Virtually Fantasy Con – Blog Hop Hunt – Marsha A. Moore

Hi, I’m Debbie Manber Kupfer author of P.A.W.S. and I’m your host for this stop in the Hunt.

 

If you would like to find out more about the Hunt, please click here – http://vfcscavengerhunt.weebly.com/

Somewhere on this page is a hidden number. Collect all the numbers from all the authors’ posts, and then add them up. Once you’ve added all the numbers, and if I am your last author, please head to the official website and click on the ENTER HERE page to find the entry form. Only entries will the correct number will qualify to win.

 

The author I’m pleased to be hosting for Virtual FantasyCon’s Blog Hop Hunt today is author, Marsha A. Moore of paranormal and fantasy romance novels.

 

Hello! I’m Marsha A. Moore and I’d like to share with you one of my popular mini-stories from my collection of fantasy flash fiction Tea Leaf Tales.

Tea Leaf Tales: The Witches’ Skull Game

TeaLeafTales

Nearly a fortnight has passed since an outcry of shrill cackles chilled my spine, a fearful incident I will relate in this tale.

As the full moon rose, I followed the raucous laughter to what I thought was an abandoned arcade, where, lit by the Hunter’s Sanguine Moon, dozens of women swept from the entrance. The door, heavy with its burden of criss-crossing boards, creaked in grating harmony with their raucous voices. Dressed in whirls of dark fabric, only their faces, pale as lilies, and glittering dark eyes reflected the blood-red light. After the last of the women was swallowed by the night, the door remained ajar, tempting me…calling to my curiosity.

Too timid to investigate the shop in darkness, I returned the next morning to find it still open…still waiting. With sweat beading across my brow, I approached with care, and hearing no noise and seeing no sign of movement, I tiptoed around the cracked door, taking care not to touch anything. Inside, a bare bulb shone above a table littered with animal bones. I picked up a long bone, and the skull resting on the table gnashed its teeth and snarled, “The curious shall be visited on All Hallow’s Eve.” I dropped the bone and bolted through the door to find nightfall had already descended, and a woman’s laugh winged past me on a chill breeze.

 

Tea Leaf Tales is a series of original ten-sentence short stories by Marsha A. Moore, relating to photos/scenes that resonate with her.

Visit my website www.MarshaAMoore.com to read more archived episodes in my Mercantile of Tea Leaf Tales and watch my blog for new episodes.

*~*~*

 

I would also like to introduce you to my two book series: Coon Hollow Coven Tales and The Enchanted Bookstore Legends.

 

~Coon Hollow Coven Tales~

Genre: paranormal fantasy romance

The series is about a coven of witches in a fictitious southern Indiana community, south of Bloomington, the neck of the woods where I spent my favorite childhood years surrounded by the love of a big family. The books are rich with a warm Hoosier down-home feel. There are interesting interactions between coven members and locals from the nearby small town of Bentbone. If magic wasn’t enough of a difference between the two groups, the coven folk adhere to the nineteen thirties lifestyle that existed when the coven formed.

A note to readers: the books in the Coon Hollow Coven Tales series are written to be read in any order. The series is about one community, and its residents may pass in and out of various books, but each book has its own unique and special story to be told.

In this series, Witch’s Moonstone Locket and Witch’s Cursed Cabin are available now, and the third book, Blood Ice & Oak Moon.

WitchMoonstone

More about Witch’s Moonstone Locket:

Twenty-three-year-old Jancie Sadler was out of the room when her mother died, and her heart still longs for their lost goodbye. Aching to ease her sorrow, Aunt Starla gives Jancie a diary that changes her entire life. In entries from the 1930s, her great grandmother revealed how she coped with her own painful loss by seeking out a witch from nearby Coon Hollow Coven. The witch wore the griever’s moonstone locket, which allowed whoever could unlock its enchantment to talk with the dead.

Determined to find that locket, Jancie goes to the coven’s annual carnival held in her small southern Indiana town of Bentbone. This opposes her father’s strict rule: stay away from witches. But she’s an adult now and can make her own decisions. She meets Rowe McCoy, the kind and handsome witch who wears the moonstone. He agrees to let her try to open the locket, but they’re opposed by High Priestess Adara and her jealous desire to possess him. Desperate for closure with her mother, Jancie persists and cannot turn away from a perilous path filled with magic, romance, and danger.

Available at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00V2DG0HG

Goodreads link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/24807853-witch-s-moonstone-locket

 

More about Witch’s Cursed Cabin:

Eager to be on her own away from home, twenty-year-old Aggie Anders accepts a relative’s invitation to live in Coon Hollow Coven. Although she’s a witch from a different coven, what locals say about the Hollow confuses her. How can witchcraft there live and breathe through souls of the dead?

 

Aggie’s new residence in this strange southern Indiana world is a deserted homestead cabin. The property’s carriage house serves as the coven’s haunted Halloween fundraiser. It’s a great opportunity for her to make new friends, especially with the coven’s sexy new High Priest Logan.

 

But living in the homestead also brings Aggie enemies. Outsiders aren’t welcome. A cantankerous, old neighbor tries to frighten her off by warning her that the homestead is cursed. Local witches who practice black magic attempt to use their evil to drive Aggie away and rid their coven of her unusual 2 powers as a sun witch.

 

Determined to stay and fit in, Aggie discovers not only that the cabin is cursed, but she alone is destined to break the curse before moonrise on Samhain. If she fails, neither the living nor the dead will be safe.

Available at Amazon: http://amzn.to/1VyO0US

Goodreads link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29410037-witch-s-cursed-cabin

 

More about Blood Ice & Oak Moon:

Pick up your copy today!

Blood Ice & Oak Moon

BloodIce

Esme Underhill is about to discover a darkness hidden inside her that could destroy her chance for independence and possibly kill her.

 

Esme’s mother took her young daughter away from Southern Indiana’s Coon Hollow Coven to prevent her from learning about the unusual witchcraft she had inherited. When Esme is twenty-seven, her beloved Grammy Flora passes away and leaves her property in the Hollow to her granddaughter. With this opportunity to remake her life and gain independence, Esme attempts to emulate Grammy Flora as a wildwood mystic who relies on the hedge world of faeries to locate healing herbs. But fae are shrewd traders. When they open their world to her, she must meet the unknown malevolence of her birthright.

 

Thayne, the handsome king of the fae Winter Court, faces his own struggle to establish autonomy as a new regent. He is swept into the tempest of Esme’s unfolding powers, a dangerous threat to his court. His sworn duty is to protect his people, despite Esme’s beauty and allure, which tear at his resolve.

 

Both Esme’s and Thayne’s dreams of personal freedom are lost…unless they can trust each other and overcome surmounting dangers.

Pick up your copy today!

Goodreads link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/31248013-blood-ice-oak-moon

 

~The Enchanted Bookstore Legends~

EnchantedBookStore

Genre: epic fantasy romance

Series description:

The Enchanted Bookstore Legends are about Lyra McCauley, a woman destined to become one of five strong women in her family who possess unique magical abilities and serve as Scribes in Dragonspeir. The Scribes span a long history, dating from twelve hundred to present day. Each Scribe is expected to journey through Dragonspeir, both the good and evil factions, then draft a written account. Each book contains magic with vast implications.

 

Lyra was first introduced to Dragonspeir as a young girl, when she met the high sorcerer, Cullen Drake, through a gift of one of those enchanted books. Using its magic, he escorted her into the parallel world of Dragonspeir. Years later, she lost that volume and forgot the world and Cullen. These legends begin where he finds her again—she is thirty-five, standing in his enchanted bookstore, and Dragonspeir needs her.

 

When Lyra reopens that enchanted book, she confronts a series of quests where she is expected to save the good Alliance from destruction by the evil Black Dragon. While learning about her role, Lyra and Cullen fall in love. He is two hundred and twenty years old and kept alive by Dragonspeir magic. Cullen will die if Dragonspeir is taken over by the evil faction…Lyra becomes the Scribe.

Books available: Seeking a Scribe (book one); Heritage Avenged (book two); Lost Volumes (book three); Staurolite (book four); Quintessence (book five, series completion)

Available at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00XM1KLCQ

~Bio~

I love to write fantasy romance and paranormal romance. So much in my life feeds the creative flow I use to weave highly imaginative tales.

The magic of art and nature spark life into my writing, as well as other creative pursuits of watercolor painting and drawing. I’ve been a yoga enthusiast for over a decade and am a registered yoga teacher. My practice helps weave the mystical into my writing. After a move from Toledo to Tampa in two thousand and eight, I’ve happily transformed into a Floridian, in love with the outdoors where I’m always on the lookout for portals to other worlds. I’m crazy about cycling. I live with my husband on a large saltwater lagoon, where taking my kayak out is a real treat. I never have enough days spent at the beach, usually scribbling away at stories with toes wiggling in the sand. Every day at the beach is magical!

 

Social Media Links:

Website: http://MarshaAMoore.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/marshaamooreauthorpage

Twitter: http://twitter.com/MarshaAMoore

Google +: http://google.com/+MarshaAMoore

Pinterest:  http://pinterest.com/marshaamoore/

Amazon author page: amazon.com/author/marshaamoore

Goodreads author page  http://www.goodreads.com/marshaamoore

 

Thanks for checking out my books and have a great time on the rest of the Scavenger Hunt!

 

Did you find the number? If you did, then click Marsha A. Moore’s link – https://MarshaAMoore.blogspot.com to continue Virtual FantasyCon’s Blog Hop Hunt.

Shadow Stalker – Book Tour



Shadow Stalker – Part 3
Episodes 13 – 18
By
Renee Scattergood
Coming November 23rd
Pre-Order Your Copy Today!

About Shadow Stalker – Part 3



Things go from bad to worse when the Galvadi Empire develops a new technology to use against the shadow stalkers. Now Kado and Makari are more determined than ever to keep Auren away from their enemies, but Auren decides enough is enough and takes matters into her own hands. She turns herself over to the Galvadi to get close to Drevin and Makari has no choice but to play along. He is forced to either torture Auren to prove his loyalty or die knowing she will be tortured and enslaved anyway. Somehow they have to get close enough to Drevin to bring him down and put an end to the Galvadi’s tyranny once and for all.



Buy Links:

Shadow Stalker Part 3 (Episodes 13 – 18) is now available for Pre-Order! It’s 50% off for a limited time, so hurry and reserve your copy!

Get The Whole Series
About Shadow Stalker Part 1 (Episodes 1 – 3):


The Hidden Truth (Episode 1)
A young shadow stalker is destined to enslave the people of the Serpent Isles, and the Galvadi Empire want this child of prophecy dead. Auren Trasks perfectly normal life is disrupted when the Galvadi invade, and she learns a startling secret about her past. A secret that will change her life forever.
The Delohi-Saqu’s Fate (Episode 2)
Auren is being targeted by the Council of Elders, and the only one who could put an end to their corruption is her father. But leaving the Dark Isle would turn Kado against her.
Shadows’ Betrayal (Episode 3)
After seeing the monster she will become, Auren swears not to leave the Dark Isle. Despite that, the elders are conspiring against her. To escape their scheming, she and Kado decide to explore the Dark Isle. But worse things await them in the forests.
Forbidden Love (Episode 4)
Kado and Auren survive a deadly storm, but when Auren is forbidden from pursuing love with another young shadow stalker, will it be enough to drive a wedge between her and her foster father?
Destiny Reconciled Part 1 (Episode 5)
Auren and Kado accept that they may not be able to avoid her leaving the Dark Isle. Now they have to prepare for that eventuality. Will the training be more than Auren can handle?
Destiny Reconciled Part 2 (Episode 6)
Cathnor has been arrested and is facing a death sentence. The Dark Isle is out of control, and Kado is the only one who can help his people. So he prepares Auren for the possibility that she may have to leave the Dark Isle without him and face her destiny alone, but can she leave him and do what must be done?

Buy Links:
About Shadow Stalker – Part 2 (Episodes 7 – 12)

Episode 7: Bound by Fate
Auren’s best friend was captured during the Galvadi invasion, and her rescue attempt goes awry. Now Auren finds herself in the hands of an enemy who knows her true identity…one who has the power to be either her destroyer or her salvation.
Episode 8: Broken
Auren doesn’t succumb to Makari’s torture, so he decides his father was right about her being the delohi-saqu. Now he resorts to more sadistic methods to extract information, which could doom the Coalition if Auren fails to resist.
Episode 9: Turning Tides
Now that Makari knows the truth about Auren, he has sworn to protect her and help her escape. But when the other guides become suspicious, Makari’s loyalty is tested, and he is forced to do something he swore he’d never do again.
Episode 10: Separate Paths
Auren finally meets Shai, Kado’s daughter, but she is too weak from her months of torture to escape the reconciliation center. Makari takes over Shai’s cleansing sessions, but that means Auren will face daily torture again. To make things worse, Makari disappears and Auren is given a task that means taking the life of someone she loves.
Episode 11: Escape Part 1
Auren and Shai begin their escape, but it doesn’t go as planned, and they are forced to adjust their plans. They are pushed to their limits, and Auren has to put her untried abilities to use or risk being recaptured.
Episode 12: Escape Part 2
Makari has decided to stay with the Galvadi for Auren’s protection. Auren and Shai are on their own, and nature seems to be against them. After being seriously injured, Auren falls ill and it starts to look like they will never reach their meeting spot with Kado on the southern shore.
Buy Links:
Want to get Shadow Stalker Part 2 (Episodes 7 – 12) free too? http://reneescattergood.com/subscribe-today/
Renee Scattergood lives in Australia with her husband, Nathan, and daughter, Taiya. She has always been a fan of fantasy and was inspired to become a story-teller by George Lucas, but didn’t start considering writing down her stories until she reached her late twenties. Now she enjoys writing dark fantasy, and she’d dabbling with paranormal thrillers under a pen name.
She is currently publishing her monthly Shadow Stalker serial, and she has published a prequel novella to the series called, Demon Hunt. She is also working on a new series of novels, A God’s Deception.
Aside from writing, she loves reading (fantasy, of course), watching movies with her family, and doing crafts and science experiments with her homeschooled daughter. Visit her site for more information and a free copy of Shadow Stalker Part 1 (Episodes 1 – 6): http://reneescattergood.com
 – A blog where I feature indie and small press authors.
 

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Precipitous Brew (5)

cauldron

Occasionally when I’m out I have a random idea for a scene far ahead in the P.A.W.S. saga. All kinds of things inspire such scenes and in this case it was a cryptic crossword clue I created – “Precipitous Brew” – the clue is a double definition. Both parts of it lead to the same answer. I’ll leave the answer off the post in case you’d like to guess it.

Anyhow I gazed at that clue and thought what a wonderful character name it would make, and then started thinking who Mr. Brew would be. I decided that Precipitous is Hugo Hogswarth’s counterpart in the London P.A.W.S. Institute that is hidden deep within Hampstead Heath. Now in a future P.A.W.S. episode Miri will visit London P.A.W.S. and encounter Precipitous Brew.

Here’s a little snippet of their first meeting:

(In the kitchen at the P.A.W.S. Institute of London in Hampstead Heath.)

Precipitous Brew stirred the soup. The cauldron bubbled ominously. “Needs more mustard,” he muttered.

“Oh Hello, what can I do for you?”

“I was looking for the mugwort,” said Miri, “Professor Holdum sent me.”

“Mugwort … mugwort. Can you hold this please?” He beckoned Mir forward and with some trepidation she grabbed for the large wooden spoon that rocked back and forth in its lumpy green ocean.

“Is that pea soup?” asked Miri, peering into the cauldron.

“Ah yes, its traditional, you know … NO! NO! Widdershins. You must stir it widdershins. Oh for a wizzlewoop.” Precipitous Brew stepped back from his cauldron, closed his eyes and sighed.

PAWSLondon

Imprisoning a Duel Discord

Imprisoning a Duel Discord Cover 2

Imprisoning a Duel Discord By Louise Findlay

The world is in musical order and a team of Government Agents called Harmony track down, experiment on and sometimes kill those who express the music of dissonance. Psycha, a duel Discord of Vyla and Sios is a prime lab rat to Harmony. Being able to disrupt harmony just by voice and hands alone makes her even more dangerous than the usual Discord. Will she run into trouble trying to protect her boyfriend, Caleb? Will her desire to destroy Harmony prove fatal for her? What will be left of her if she ever does get captured?

Excerpt

Psycha

What had Caleb gotten himself into this time? We were discords for music’s sake. We couldn’t strike back against Harmony if we ran, and be damned if he got caught. He was a Tara Discord not a Vyla like me. He was more vulnerable and I knew for a fact he left his Tara back at camp. Careless. That was so unlike him. He was usually methodical and paranoid. He couldn’t afford to throw his life away on a whim. I was the reckless one.

I hummed a tune to try and find his wavelength. Discords stuck out like a sore thumb, and he was a Tara. He was invisible without it, but I knew his musical signature like the back of my hand. I was almost certain I could pick something up, and I did. The three note discordant hum that was uniquely Caleb was faintly ringing in the air. I rushed to try and catch up to him. There was no way he would get captured on my watch. Cinder would kill me.

No. I caught sight of a man with the Harmony symbol on the back of his black suit. The tell-tale sign of a sharp, with two notes at the bottom and a treble clef in the middle, made him the enemy. I’d seen what happened to Discords when Harmony got a hold of them. They were mere husks of their former selves; dead and despondent inside. Their life cruelly ripped away. I would not let that happen to Caleb.

I screamed out notes at the man’s back, notes which clashed horribly. It was music to me, but the assailant recoiled, clutching his head in pain. How dare he try and take away the thing that made Caleb who he was. Being Discords defined us.

My enemy retaliated by taking out his Ko and trying to play me into submission. The harmony was excruciating to me. I was a duel Vyla/Sios Discord. Normal Discords were three parts discord and one-part harmony. I was fully Discord. I could control music with my voice and by touch alone. I hated Harmony for what they did to us, and I knew I’d be their prime lab rat.

“Caleb, run” I shouted.

I was bombarding him with musical assaults, but I had to be careful not to hit Caleb. He was powerless without his Tara. Why did he not bring it with him?

“I’m not leaving you,” he said.

Ah. Blood ran down my cheek when a note hit. Harmony and dissonance were opposites. One could hurt the other. Harmony were the government and Dissonance were the outcasts. I would make them pay for condemning us to a lifetime of running. Harmony agents lived to capture us.

“Go, you idiot. Get back to camp. You’re defenceless,” I ordered.

At last, he managed to see sense and fled. I couldn’t protect him if he was in the way. I waved a shield to protect against the agent’s next attack. Now Caleb was safe I could really let loose without fear of hurting him. I used my voice and hands in tandem to unleash a barrage of musical weapons at him. Streams of note swords and arrows flew at the enemy. He was pretty quick to keep up with me, but he couldn’t deflect everything I threw at him.

I started to hum a dissonant melody designed to sweep into his soul. I would poison his harmony with dissonance. He let out a hiss, which told me I was successful. I screamed as more musical implements of doom attacked me. I used the blood trickling down my arm in a note. Blood notes packed a mean punch. Judging by the look on his face, it did.

“Just die, Harmony bastard,” I said.

“Bring it, Discord cur,” he replied.

I screamed like a banshee. When he was distracted, I flung a spear at him. I turned his cries into a gag with a wave of my hand. His voice was grating to my ears.

Ah. A melody hit me straight in the neck and continued to constrain my throat. I tried to catch my breath, but it was impossible. I flailed around, trying to swipe him off me, but to no avail. I couldn’t let him get me. I couldn’t be captured. I finally managed to get him to relent, but my vision turned hazy as I gasped for breath.

Want to read more? Support Louise on Patreon – patreon.com/authorlouise

Louise Findlay - Dreamless Roads

Louise Findlay writes fantasy (generally short stories) and inspirational poetry. She enjoys reading and writing about mythological creatures such as angels and demons, but has a soft spot for vampires. Louise is currently in the midst of writing a vampire novella, A Spy in the Sagax Vampires, about two vampire clans whose deputies clash in a big way.

She generally writes ebooks, but she’s also part of a few anthologies which are in paperback and is working on a special secret project this year.

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Introducing the High King’s Will by M.A. Ray

HighKingWillArt

Today on Paws 4 Thought we’re celebrating the release of a brand new novel by M.A. Ray, The High King’s Will. Want to read a preview? Of course you do!

EXCERPT

The void in the side of his favorite mountain: the yawning hole that led down into the Worm’s cave. Four days ago, and a lifetime. He didn’t know why he’d come when he’d meant to visit Vercingetorix, when it was all so clear in his mind, written in red glow and gold flashes, darkness and fire. Shivering, he hugged himself, rubbing his upper arm. “Wormsbane” seemed so empty compared to that drowning, dragging fear.
He gazed at the cave mouth as he retreated; he wouldn’t put his back to it any more than he would to Beagar. When the night trees swallowed it, he turned and ran with the ancient reptile stench imagined in his nose. He would never forget it.
His desire for something good and clean and pure strengthened, took him down the mountain until he reached a glade. At the edge of it he stopped again, looking out over the grass spattered with the white spots of hallucinogenic moonflowers. And then he stepped over the boundary.
Vercingetorix was there in a twinkling, looming over Eagle in breath-stealing glory. “You were here just yesterday. One might almost think you love me.”
“I do,” Eagle said.
“Nevertheless. You shouldn’t be here.”
“I know it’s late. My father gave me leave.”
“And why have you come?” Vercingetorix stood tall and proud, with an iridescent horn that pierced the dark.
“I’m leaving. Tomorrow. I wanted to say good-bye to you.”
The unicorn tossed his great head, turning a black eye like the depths of night toward Eagle. “Oh, Eagle Eye,” he said. “Nobody says good-bye to me. It simply happens that one day they cannot return.” With a sigh deeper than the ocean, he went on, “It wouldn’t have been long anyhow. You’re much too old for a child’s dream, too far grown for a child’s pleasure. The love I bear for you could never be enough to live on.”
Eagle said nothing. He only feasted his eyes on Vercingetorix, splendid under the moon, for the last time. The unicorn surpassed beauty. So white he dazzled, like fresh snow blazing on a clear night. Thick with muscle, bigger by far and more powerful than any horse of the People, with hooves of brightest gold, and those star-field eyes, huge and lustrous and ancient. He was an old thing. A holy thing, and wise, and frivolous with it.
He whuffed, stirring Eagle’s hair. “Where are you going?”
“I don’t know. Father says— Father says we can’t come back,” he whispered.
“Ah.” The unicorn turned away. “The High King’s will crushes all before it. Fimberevell would be better served by Bearach’s hand, but she has Beagar, who seeks only to rule her. Fare well, Eagle Eye Wormsbane. If you can.”
“I’ll miss you.”
“And I you. More than you can know.” Vercingetorix’s head swung again, and his eye glittered fiercely. “Behave yourself.”
“I always behave.”
“It’s well or badly that’s in question, hmm?”
Eagle smirked.
Laughter danced in the vast field of stars. “Good-bye, Eagle Eye.”
Vercingetorix flashed away into the glade that was bigger than it looked. He was a snowy blaze in high summer before he disappeared into the trees—down a rise, Eagle knew, that was inside a fold of the Real in the glade. The tall grass waved dark, and looked fathoms deep.
He stuck his hands in his pockets and went home.
M.A. Ray is a lover of fairy tales, comic books, classic fantasy, and power metal. I keep my meat shell in Wisconsin these days. I won’t tell you where I hide my heart. I’ve got a husband and two kids, and they’re the only reason I leave Rothganar.
Pick up your copy of The High King’s Will today and check out M.A. Ray’s wonderful array of books on Amazon.
HighKingWill
(banner is by Tiana Clawson and cover by Rachel Bostwick)

Feeling A Way – Blog Tour


Feeling A Way 
After The Collapse Book 1
S.A. Gibson

A child has been kidnapped and swordsman William Way must save him, but doing so will not be an easy feat. In this post-apocalyptic world, where new dangers and mysterious happenings lurk at every corner, doing what’s right could lead to unimagined threats.


While William’s journey has just begun, Kalapati, a bow woman for hire, has begun her own quest. But she is charged with delivering a child to a sinister cult leader, bent on taking charge and controlling the lives of all those in the state.

As William and Kalapati fight to complete their missions, they soon come to wonder how their efforts will change their futures. Will they join forces for the greater good or will the past experiences of each limit the choices available to them? The battle for libraries to control the future of California begins.


Buy Links


About the Author


 Published author of academic articles and book chapters and post-apocalyptic “woodpunk” fiction, S.A. Gibson turns his passions for learning, artificial intelligence, and human communication into accessible worlds of wonder and fascination. He is proud of having been active in political actions for peace and justice. He has served as an official celebrant in performing a couple’s marriage. He lives with his beautiful wife and their beloved Dachshund-Chihuahua in Southern California, where he is currently producing an academic title on international ethnic conflict.

Sins of the Past – Griddlebone

DebbieBanner2

The werecat padded silently across the cobbles of the dark Vienna street. It was deserted now, but Griddlebone knew it would soon be filled with bootsteps and cries, gunshots and blood. They were slated to come at dawn, to cleanse this last Jewish neighborhood of its vermin, so that the proper folk of Vienna could finally live Judenfrei.

Inside the darkened houses, the residents huddled in fear. The news of the transport had only come hours before, and some still couldn’t believe it. They had been fooling themselves for months, believing this one insignificant street could survive in its own little bubble, that somehow God would protect them.

They readied themselves with what few valuables they had left. Maybe they could still bribe the Nazi soldiers. Maybe there was still a way out.

The werecat flexed his claws, as he waited in the shadows. Griddlebone wished he could rescue them all, but his orders were clear. He could only take one. They needed to be the right age too – a teenager would be good, strong enough to fight, strong enough to survive the turning.

As the first rays of light caught the cobblestones, Griddlebone felt the bootsteps echoing down the street. Soon. His tail swished back and forth in anticipation. Within minutes, the first soldier came into view. The werecat was all but invisible to the soldiers, his mottled grey coat blending perfectly with the cold grey street.

At the same time as the first soldiers appeared on foot, a silver-grey truck arrived on the street and parked in front of the buildings, waiting for its human cargo.

As the Gestapo soldiers marched past the werecat’s hiding place, he longed to dig his claws into their ankles, to hear them scream with pain. Not yet, Griddlebone, not yet.

Listen to Debbie reading her story Griddlebone from Sins of the Past on Outskirts Science Fiction Theatre.

Sins of the Past – signed copies now available directly from me for just $15 including shipping (US orders only)

Historical Stories of the Macabre including my tale, “Griddlebone”.

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Or purchase from Amazon in Kindle or paperback.

Sins

Sins of the Past – Andy Morris

AndyMorrisBanner

Today on Paws 4 Thought we continue our Sins of the Past series with Andy Morris, author of Birthright. Tell us a little bit about yourself, Andy.

I live in a small town in the West Midlands, England called Wednesbury with my fiancé, Gemma and my two children, Harry (6) and Emily (4). I’m currently working for a joinery company manufacturing door frames and doors, which at the moment is taking up a lot of my time so finding time to write is difficult, but I do what I can when free time becomes available. I’ve always been a big horror fan, whether it be films, novels, or even comics and have often been told I have a morbid imagination, which does come in handy when writing horror.

Who are your favorite authors?

 Stephen King, Dean Koontz, and Brian Keane.

Tell us a bit about your story, Birthright?

Birthright is a story about a young boy and how his haemophilia transforms him into a vampire. I set it during the Russian Revolution because of the Tsar’s young son Alexei, who did suffer from the condition and whose disappearance has been shrouded in mystery. Birthright is actually a small part of a much larger story that I have been working on for a while.

 If you could travel back in time to any place and period in the past where and when would you go?

I’d travel to ancient Greece around 2000 B.C.

 What attracts you to writing horror?

The macabre and the sinister have always fascinated me and having a slightly weird imagination, it seemed a perfect fit.

 What are you currently reading?

The Strain by Chuck Hogan and Guillermo Del Toro.

 Are you planning to write a story for Sins of the Future? Any hints about your story?

I do have plans for a story. All I can say at this time is when the world is ending and food is running out, what lengths would you go to to survive?

 What do you like to do to relax?

I like to read, watch films, and spend time with my family.

 What are you currently working on?

I’m currently working on the series of novels set in the same world as Birthright.

How about a snippet from Birthright?

It has been sixteen years since my whole family, including myself, were killed in the town of Tobolsk, Russia.

It all started in 1905 when peaceful protesters marched upon the Winter Palace, my family’s home at the time. Although my father was not in residence then, he was blamed for the shootings by the palace guards, which resulted in nearly a hundred deaths and over 300 more severely injured. This day was to be known as Bloody Sunday and was the start of my father’s decline as the ruler of my motherland. This set in motion events, which would take another thirteen years to come to a head and during that time my life would change forever.

What happened next, you will not find in any history books. Scholars will not be talking about it. For what happened to me, Alexei, son of the last tsar of Russia, heir to the throne, was unnatural. I was born with a blood disorder, a disorder known as haemophilia. To many this is a disorder where the body can’t produce the blood-clotting agents it needs in order to heal, but what you may not know is that the literal translation for this disorder is

Love of blood”.

Like all parents, mine were very protective, but more so because of my condition. The slightest bruise or cut could have been life threatening and like most young boys growing up I had my fair share of bumps. This bought all kinds of doctors to treat me, but it was one instance in 1912, when I was just ten years of age, when my condition really took its toll. We were vacationing in the town of Spala when I fell from my horse while hunting and I was in a critical condition – so much so that the last sacrament was read to me by a priest. Doctors could do nothing for me and my mother resorted to turning to a starets (a spiritual elder of the Russian Orthodox Church) to come and see what could be done. This man’s name was Grigori Yefimovich. Known to many as Rasputin…

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To read more pick up a copy of Sins of the Past today in Kindle or paperback.

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Sins Of The Past

Sins of the Past – T.D. Harvey

TDHarvey

Today on Paws4Thought I continue my Sins of the Past series with British author T.D. Harvey. Tell us a little bit about yourself, Tee.

My name is T. D. Harvey, but you can call me Tee. I live in Hampshire, which is on the south coast of England. I’ve been writing all my life, but in spring 2013, I decided to get serious. Since then I have had three stories published and have many more scheduled for this year. My writing is generally dark fiction, but can go in any direction. I am a discovery writer. I make no plans, nor do I plot my characters’ journeys. I simply sit at the keyboard and write. It’s a wonderful experience, but it makes editing a nightmare.

My writing time is limited. I work full time as a Business Analyst—a job I very much enjoy. However, my dream is to drop my hours and concentrate more on my writing, perhaps even write full time. I also have to make room for my chronic pain condition, Fibromyalgia, that can make me too ill to write. So, I scribble at every opportunity; in my lunch break, whilst waiting for a doctor’s appointment, when I am unable to rest at night and when my partner is out of the house and I have some peace and quiet.

Who are your favorite authors?

My favourite authors are varied.

Mark Tufo (Zombie Fallout series) is a fabulous storyteller and an inspiration for Indie writers. He has built a loyal fan base by developing a relationship with his readers. He’s someone an aspiring Indie writer can learn from. 

Tell us a bit about your Sins of the Past story?

In the Stillness and the Silence came to me whilst watching some of the World War I anniversary coverage on television in 2014. It got me thinking about how difficult life was in the trenches and how brave those men were, how much we owe to them. When the idea of an historical horror anthology was first raised, I was intrigued, but not particularly interested in submitting.

History, as my GCSE history teacher will attest, has never been my strong point. However, the WWI coverage struck such a cord with me, that I wasn’t surprised when the story made itself known. As a discovery writer, I never plot or plan a story. So when I sat at my laptop and started typing, Frank appeared. At that point, I didn’t know this was to be my ‘Sins’ submission. I just typed and waited to see what Frank’s story was.

What inspires you to write?

Life, the universe and everything. I was recently driving to work and a single word inspired me to write a story the moment I stopped the car. I keep pens and pads with me at all times because I never know what will trigger a new idea.

If you could travel to any time and place in the past where and when would you go?

I found this a difficult question. As I said, history never interested me when I was younger. The older I get, the more interested in history I become. There are many periods in history I find fascinating, but if I were to have been born then, I wouldn’t be in a good position in life. But as a visitor, I could simply observe and enjoy. So, I think I’d probably visit 1910 through to the late 1920’s Britain. I find that part of our history fascinating. There was so much change around then. The fall of the big estates and the servants that held them together, the rise of Hitler, the increased reliance on new technologies…The rate of change back then must have been exciting for the young and terrifying for the old. I think there are many similarities between the then and now. It would be fascinating to see just how much.

What do you like to do to relax?

With physical activities no longer open to me, my relaxation often comes from TV, movies and audiobooks. I also have two Tonkinese cats and three tropical fish tanks. I like to grow my own vegetables too and my partner has built a greenhouse and garden on stilts so no bending down or digging for me!

Kike  Kike and Anjali

We love kitties here at Paws4Thought. Tell us a little about your furry friends Tee.

Kike (Keekay) is my 4 year old, brown tabby Tonkinese. She is smart, cuddly and a complete mummy’s girl. We tragically lost her brother, Kai to a very rare cancer in March. She was devastated and miserable without him, as were we. Tonkinese do not cope well with being alone, so in June Ajali joined our family. Ajali is a chocolate mink Tonkinese. He is now 18 weeks old and has brought life and laughter back into our home. Kike loves him, although he can be a bit too rambunctious for her. He is smart, lively and a daddy’s boy.

Anjali and Kike Anjali

What are you currently working on?

It’s a very exciting time for me. I’m completing the editing of my first novel, Paper Dragons and Shadow Demons. This is the first in the Hidden Realm trilogy, a dark fantasy series for middle grade readers. It is not for the faint hearted. The artwork is in progress. My wonderful illustrator understands the tone required and has produced some fantastic proof of concept pieces already. I have been recording some trial readings of the novel, as I intend to publish an audio version, read by myself.

I am working on the second of the Hidden Realm trilogy as well as discussing with my illustrator a series for younger readers, based on the Hidden Realm universe.

As ever, many short stories are whizzing round my head, as well as three other novels, all dark fiction for an adult audience.

I’m also in the progress of finishing up a fun anthology project with the theme of pants, or trousers if you’re British like me. We’re in the final editing stages now, the cover art is complete and we’re nearly ready to publish. It’s a multi-genre collection of stories that stemmed from a bet between friends that we couldn’t possibly write a story all about pants. How wrong we were.

How can readers connect with you?

I have a Facebook Author’s page here: https://www.facebook.com/T.D.HarveyAuthor

I also have a blog here: http://tdharveyauthor.wordpress.com/

I love to connect with my readers, and I look forward to meeting more of them. If you wish to contact me directly, my email address is t.d.harvey.author@gmail.com

Thank you for taking your time to answer my questions Tee.

Want to read a little of Tee’s story? Sure you do …

In the stillness and the silence, Frank could imagine he was night fishing with his pals back home in England, instead of in a trench in France, fighting a war he didn’t entirely understand. In Frank’s imagination, there was no ‘Great War’ with Germany. There was only night fishing.

He stares into the Pacific, waiting for that elusive tug on the lines. At the peak of high tide, the sea stops its ebb and flow, becoming still and quiet. No fish take his bait. No men speak during these minutes of calm quiet. The temperature drops, a mist develops over the sea and the cold creeps inside his bones. Just when it seems the world has stopped forever, the eerie atmosphere is broken by the sound of water rolling once more. As the tide begins to drop away, the spell of emptiness is lifted and the fish begin biting once more. Frank pulls sharply on his rod, bedding the hook in the fish. He reels frantically as the fish ‘runs’ and the world returns to normal.

“Frank? What the bloody ‘ell are you doin’?”

“What does it look like I’m doin’?” he answered the private on patrol. “I’m fishin’, ain’t I?”

“In a trench in the middle of France? Look, I know we’re practically swimmin’ in ‘ere, but it’s not exactly the Atlantic, is it?”

“Where else am I gonna fish?”

“You ain’t gonna catch nothin’ ‘ere! And besides, you ain’t got no rod an’ line, ‘ave ya?”

“Don’t need one,” Frank said. “Just dreamin’.”

“Dreamin’? You dream when you sleep, not stood up actin’ it out.”

“I dream however I want to.”

“Well, if you wanna catch something, why not take the dog for a walk an’ see if he can catch some rats? Or you could pop on over to Jerry and catch one o’ them.” The private laughed at his own humour but Frank just shook his head. “Maybe…maybe you’re tryin’ to get invalided out? Tryin’ to say you’re nuts? That’s it, innit?”

Frank simply sighed at his friend, “’Course I ain’t, Bob.”

“You’d have to try ‘arder than that, anyway. You’d ‘ave to be really nuts for ‘em to take you outa here.”

“Get back on patrol before they catch you chattin’. And put that bloody cigarette out before you do. Idiot, gonna get yourself shot!”

“Don’t you worry,” he said. “I got the angels lookin’ after me. Me Mum sent ‘em.”

The private continued his rounds, still smoking his cigarette, its glowing end the only thing visible as he moved further away. The cloying scent of tobacco drifted past in his wake.

“Bloody idiot,” Frank muttered under his breath.

Alone once more, Frank was returned to silence. He hated the silent trenches at night. The eerie quiet of slack tide was a party compared to the trenches. His nerves were wrought with the tension, but his body and mind were exhausted. The night could be broken at any time by a single sniper shot or a full attack. In the day, the trench was filled with the bustle of constant battle, superiors shouting their orders, men running, guns firing. At night, there was often silence. Though not always.

His reverie was broken by movement to his left. Bayonet raised he searched in the darkness. He tried moving silently towards the spot where he had caught the movement, but his boots squelched in the mud and sloshed in the water. He advanced cautiously, placing his feet carefully to reduce noise and avoid losing his footing. It was a cold night but the air around him seemed to freeze, reminding him once more of slack tide. A low fog was spilling over the edge of the trench, filling it with an ethereal curtain that obscured his view.

“Shit!” he whispered when a dark figure appeared, the white mist seeming to glow around it. “Who’s there?”

The figure did not answer him but simply stood, still and silent. Frank couldn’t even tell if the figure was facing him, or away from him because it was nothing more than a silhouette. Frank felt a trickle of sweat roll down his spine and shivered from the cold. His hands, protected by gloves, were stiff and frozen; his fingers felt thick and immovable. His trench coat was warm, but not warm enough. He wasn’t sure he could fire the gun. The shape began to dissolve, dissipate like smoke. He advanced quickly now, thinking the figure was moving away. Surrounded by the fog, Frank could see nothing but wisps of white. The air was damp on his skin, he shuddered but kept going. The cloud of moist cotton began to break up; tendrils of mist clung to the bottom of the trench as the rest dispersed.

“Frank!”

Frank whirled around in surprise. The patrolling private was back.

“What the ‘ell are you doin’ leavin’ your post?”

“I saw someone,” Frank answered, “In the fog.”

Bob pushed past and shone his torch. He advanced up the trench with great caution, gun raised. When he returned he shook his head.

“Nothin’,” he said. “You sure you weren’t dreamin’ again?”

Fists clenched, Frank said, “I wasn’t dreaming.”

“Well, whoever it was, they’re gone now. Probably just someone stretchin’ their legs.”

“Then why didn’t they answer me?”

“Probably didn’t hear you. Stop spookin’ yourself! Shift’s over soon an’ we can get some sleep.”

Bob continued his lonely circuit and Frank returned to his post. He stepped up and peered cautiously over the parapet, seeing nothing but a slight mist covering the ground. No man’s land stretched beyond the defences of the trench. Barbed wire lay in a deadly patchwork, covering the ground. No planks rested atop it—a tell-tale sign, if it had been breached. Frank knew he had seen something. Someone, he quickly corrected himself. He stepped back down and into the hollow in the earth where he would spend the rest of his uneventful shift.

To read more pick up a copy of Sins of the Past today in Kindle or paperback.

UK readers can follow this link to Amazon UK.

Sins Of The Past