LASR Anniversary Scavenger Hunt: Where Danger Lies by Donna Del Oro


Thanks for joining us on our anniversary scavenger hunt! It’s easy to play– first read the blurb below, then answer the question on the Rafflecopter. You might win a $100 Amazon/BN GC.

Based on actual events, in WHERE DANGER LIES, Book Three in my romantic-suspense FBI series, there are two plot points taken from my research. One, the existence of PRC (People’s Republic of China) spies in the USA. I read about this in several places: Wall Street Journal, several news magazines and a few other sources. These spies tend to congregate in technology rich places like Silicon Valley and near military bases, such as San Diego and Seattle. In WHERE DANGER LIES, FBI agent Jake Bernstein is asked by a Navy commander to help young CSIs solve the murder of a Navy weapons specialist. This murdered Navy officer often visited a gay nightclub in San Diego, also frequented by suspected PRC spies.

One of my FBI sources told me about a counterespionage case of his which involved the surveillance of a suspected PRC spy. This case will become the crux of my fourth book in the series–title as yet undecided.

The second plot point in WHERE DANGER LIES is based on a newspaper report about an honor killing that took place in Escondido, California in 2014. A Muslim man killed his wife in a so-called “”honor killing”” because she had threatened to go to the police and expose him as a potential terrorist. In the police investigation that occurred, the man blamed white supremacists and various hate monger groups for beating his wife to death. The cops were actually inclined to believe him until the man’s teenaged daughter came forward and revealed the truth. In my book, the woman doesn’t die but comes close. And yes, the daughter ends up revealing the truth.

We suspense/crime authors never have to go far to find ideas for our plots, do we? Unfortunately, that is so true.

–by Donna Del Oro

Buy the book at The Wild Rose Press.

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Influences by Frank Cavallo – Guest Blog and Giveaway

Long and Short Reviews welcomes Frank Cavallo whose occult-thriller Rites of Azathoth was released earlier this year. Leave a comment for a chance to win a print copy of the book (US only please).

Influences
One of the things you get asked frequently as a writer, even a small indie writer like me, is the question about influences. Who do you read, and why?

It’s a question I’ve often asked about my favorite writers. Knowing something about an author’s influences really can be a window into what shaped their work, from their style of prose to the themes they return to frequently. In some cases, I “discovered” authors I’d never read, or never even heard of, by checking out the influences of my favorite writers.

With that in mind, I’d like to briefly touch on three influences of my own that don’t get read much today, and that might be worth a look, especially if you’re looking for something a little weird, or a little different. These guys shaped my work, sometimes in odd ways, and in my humble opinion, deserve more attention than they get these days.

Karl Edward Wagner

If I had to sum up Wagner’s writing, it would go something like this:

Grim tales, soaked in blood. Monstrous forces from the eldritch dark slithering their tentacles from the shadows, met by the gleaming steel of a broadsword. A deeply troubled anti-hero wandering the Earth, forever haunted by his sins.

If that appeals to you (and it always has to me) then go out and get one of his books. You won’t be disappointed. I’ve been able to grab a few beaten up paperback copies of Kane novels at second hand bookstores over the years, and you’d be hard pressed to get me to part with them.

His work struck the perfect balance between sword & sorcery and cosmic horror. To me, Wagner is dark fantasy.

Clark Ashton Smith

Of the “big three” from the Weird Tales era, he is the least remembered of the trio, and I think that’s a real shame. It might be because he had no single signature character, like Robert E. Howard, who lives forever in the guise of Conan the Barbarian, or Lovecraft, who gave us the Cthulhu Mythos. It might also be because his prose was the least accessible of the pulp era heavyweights. CAS had one of the most peculiar styles of any fantasy writer I’ve ever come across, and I love him for it. I’ve read that he was essentially self-taught, and as a result his work is highly idiosyncratic. He had a fondness for bringing back words that had fallen out of use, or for digging up the most obscure terms he could find. In his Atlantis the city towers aren’t merely white or black, they’re blazing orichalcum and ancient spires crawling with the verdigris of centuries.

In my estimation no one has ever equaled his ability to set a mood of uncomfortable, off-kilter weirdness. I go back to his work over and over, especially when I’m trying to evoke a creepy, unsettling mood in my own fiction, always looking to find a way to come close to what he seemed to do so easily.

Eric R. Eddison

His most revered work is The Worm Ouroboros, which is an all-time favorite of mine, and a wonderfully odd book. The prose is deliberately archaic, but in a wholly different way than Smith’s work. Eddison was a devoted student of the old Viking sagas and the Homeric tradition. He made a conscious effort to hearken back to all of them. Because of that, in places the text is bloated and florid. It’s not easy reading. But what it does do is revel in the delight of language itself. He lingers on ornate descriptions, lovingly detailing every aspect of weapons and armor and the trappings of royalty. Totally unnecessary for advancing the plot, and I suspect he didn’t care. He wanted to immerse you as deeply as possible in his invented world, years before Tolkien set the standard for that, by the way. You would never write a book like this now, and at times it can get to be a little too much. I look at this as something like the far edge of what fantasy writing can be. It is absolutely glorious at times, and at others, it fails in the most epic fashion possible. At every point though, it is unlike any other fantasy book I know of, and it is spectacular to behold.

F.B.I. criminal profiler Diana Mancuso doesn’t do field work anymore. Not since a tragic mistake that cost innocent lives. But when notorious serial killer Luther Vayne escapes from prison and resumes his campaign of brutal murders, the Bureau convinces her to take one last case.

To catch him, she must understand him. She must delve into the arcana that fuels his madness, risking her life and her sanity to follow his twisted path.

The trail plunges her into a shadowy world of occult rituals and unspeakable horrors, leading to a secret cabal operating at the highest levels—and a plot to summon the darkest of all powers, to bring forth an evil that does not belong in our world—to enact the Rites of Azathoth.

About the Author:Frank Cavallo is a horror and dark fantasy writer. His previous works include Eye of the Storm, The Lucifer Messiah, The Hand of Osiris, and the Gotrek & Felix novella Into the Valley of Death.

He was born and raised in New Jersey. He graduated from Boston University with a degree in Communications in 1994 and he earned a JD from the Cleveland Marshall College of Law in 2001. His life-long fascination with the darker side of human nature has led him to devote most of the past 15 years to a career as a criminal defense attorney, at the Cuyahoga County Public Defender Office, in Cleveland, Ohio. There he has come face-to-face with some of the truest horror in this world. Murder, rape, burglary, drugs. That’s his bread and butter.

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The Top Five Musts for Writing a Best Seller by Michael Phillip Cash – Guest Blog and Giveaway


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Michael Phillip Cash will be awarding a $10 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

The Top Five Musts for Writing a Best Seller

5. You must research your subject ad nauseam. If you’re writing about ghosts, you have to know everything there is to know about ghosts. I mean everything. Google is my mistress (special sorry shout-out to my wife, you know I love you honey). Make Google your best friend and go deep into your subject. Buy every book you can on Amazon and read them until you know your subject like the back of your hand. I do this for every book I’m writing.

4. Develop your characters before you put your fingers to your laptop. You must know their tics, you must know their arcs. If you don’t you will never finish your story. I highly recommend the book Save the Cat by Blake Snyder. He (rest in peace, Blake) has elevated my storytelling to levels beyond I never thought I could comprehend. Read from master storytellers. Success leaves clues. Tony Robbins said that. Go find these clues so you can be a success.

3. Outline your story. Outline where your characters are going to go. Know where your characters are going to end up. Don’t write with a gut feeling. It doesn’t work. You can never go from point A to point B without knowing the intricacies of your characters. Create a blueprint for your story that you can tweak while you are writing.

2. Write every day. Every day. Even if it’s one paragraph, get it down. The minute you procrastinate, you will never finish.

1. Make a compelling protagonist and antagonist. Your protagonist wants something, and they will do everything in their power to get it. Make your bad guy, a big, BIG bad guy who wants to stop your hero from getting what they want. The bigger the obstacle it is for your hero, the bigger the reward will be. Test your hero, don’t go easy on them. Wring the life out of them. Bring them to the brink of death a dozen times. Have them stare death in the face and give a big smile. Your hero has to grow and overcome everything, but make sure it isn’t easy. Think Frodo in Lord of the Rings. He didn’t walk to Mordor, drop the ring in Mount Doom and walked back to the Shire for lunch. Tolkien tested him. He lost a finger, he lost his soul, he got stung by a massive spider. Your hero is what represents life. Life is not easy. Life throws setbacks at you. You must throw these same setbacks at your hero, and just like you, they will overcome them. Now go write something.

Julie and Brad Evans are house flippers. They buy low, clean out the old occupants junk, and try to make a profit. Enter Hemmings House on Bedlam Street in scenic Cold Spring Harbor, Long Island. Too good a deal to pass up, but with an ominous secret. The old Victorian Mansion has dwellers that do not want to be dispossessed. As the house reveals its past, will the couple’s marriage survive The Flip?

Enjoy an Excerpt

“I hate this place,” Brad grumbled, as he shoved another piece of crap into the super thick black garbage bag. The basement smelled like shit, and here he was, alone on his birthday and shoveling hundred-year old junk from a dank cellar. This had to be the worst flip they’d ever attempted. He gave the creaky stairs a gimlet-eyed glance and for a nanosecond hated Julie. Really hated her and her cockamamie ideas. Where did that idea of hate come from? he wondered. He loved his wife, didn’t he?

“It has so much charm,” she’d cooed every time they discussed the place. And then, last night, she’d sprung it on him. “Let’s keep it.”

“Over my dead body,” he told the decaying piles of newspaper. Once they finished this job and paid their bills, he had some thinking to do. She picked the homes, went back to her tidy little job in the city, and left him to muck around in the garbage. He couldn’t see himself doing this for the next twenty years, not anymore. Not after this dump. It wasn’t that he was afraid of work, or even plain old elbow grease. There was something about this project that turned him off. From the moment he entered the house, his skin crawled, and he found himself unaccountably angered by Julie and her insistence that they buy this place. It was as though his opinions didn’t count, and she made him feel like a hired hand instead of her partner.

About the Author:Michael Phillip Cash is an award winning and best-selling author of horror, paranormal, and science fiction novels.

He’s written ten books including the best-selling “Brood X”, “Stillwell”, “The Flip”, “The After House”, “The Hanging Tree”, “Witches Protection Program”, “Pokergeist”, “The History Major” and “Battle for Darracia” series. Michael’s books are on the Amazon best-seller list and have also won numerous awards. Additionally, he is a screenwriter with 14 specs under his belt. Michael resides on the North Shore of Long Island with his wife and children.

“Stillwell: A Haunting on Long Island”, “The Hanging Tree”, and “Schism: The Battle for Darracia” has all been named to Foreward Reviews Book of the Year Awards. His newest book, “The History Major”, has been taking readers and reviewers by storm.

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A Living Grave by Robert E. Dunn and Chills by Mary SanGiovanni – Spotlight and Giveaway

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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The authors will be awarding digital copies of both books on tour to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

a-living-grave_final-copyThe first in a gritty new series featuring sheriff’s detective Katrina Williams, as she investigates moonshine, murder, and the ghosts of her own past…

BODY OF PROOF

Katrina Williams left the Army ten years ago disillusioned and damaged. Now a sheriff’s detective at home in the Missouri Ozarks, Katrina is living her life one case at a time—between mandated therapy sessions—until she learns that she’s a suspect in a military investigation with ties to her painful past.

The disappearance of a local girl is far from the routine distraction, however. Brutally murdered, the girl’s corpse is found by a bottlegger whose information leads Katrina into a tangled web of teenagers, moonshiners, motorcycle clubs, and a fellow veteran battling illness and his own personal demons. Unraveling each thread will take time Katrina might not have as the Army investigator turns his searchlight on the devastating incident that ended her military career. Now Katrina will need to dig deep for the truth—before she’s found buried…

*****
chills-copy“True Detective” meets H.P. Lovecraft in this chilling novel of murder, mystery, and slow-mounting dread from acclaimed author Mary SanGiovanni . . .

It begins with a freak snowstorm in May. Hit hardest is the rural town of Colby, Connecticut. Schools and businesses are closed, powerlines are down, and police detective Jack Glazier has found a body in the snow. It appears to be the victim of a bizarre ritual murder. It won’t be the last. As the snow piles up, so do the sacrifices. Cut off from the rest of the world, Glazier teams up with an occult crime specialist to uncover a secret society hiding in their midst.

The gods they worship are unthinkable. The powers they summon are unstoppable. And the things they will do to the good people of Colby are utterly, horribly unspeakable…

Enjoy an Excerpt from A Living Grave:

“I know your Uncle Orson,” he said. “Been fishing with him more times than I can remember.”

I crouched to be close to the ground and kept poking around the body with my stick, then sketching things in the pad. Clare’s talk was actually soothing to hear. Normal, even though he was doing it to keep his mind off of something not normal in his life at all.

“Your daddy too. Way back when.”

I think I nodded, reacting more to the sound than his words. Tossing my stick aside, I stood, then circled the body. Each time I stopped I added to my sketches. I had to force myself to look into the face. Into where the face had been. I sketched. Then I looked away. I sketched her hair. Then I looked away.

“There are monsters in the woods,” Clare said, his back still to me. I was listening then. “It used to be a joke. When I was a kid, people talked about Momo, the Missouri monster. It was like a local Bigfoot. But the real monsters are people, aren’t they?”

I didn’t answer him.

“Perverts.” He spit the word out. “Monsters that do that to children. There isn’t hate big enough for them nor a hell deep enough. This will rile some people up. He lives in one of those piece-of-crap mobile homes in that big development off of F Highway. You know, over by the McKenna farm.”

“Who does?” I had stopped writing and was paying very close attention to Mr. Bolin at that point.

About the Authors:robert-dunn
Robert Dunn is the author of the novels The Red Highway, The Dead Ground, and Behind the Darkness. He can be found online at robertdunnauthor.blogspot.com or on Twitter at @WritingDead.

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*****
mary-sangiovanniMary SanGiovanni is the author of the Bram Stoker nominated novel The Hollower, its sequels Found You and The Triumvirate, Thrall, and Chaos, as well as the novellas For Emmy, Possessing Amy, and The Fading Place, as well as numerous short stories. She has been writing fiction for over a decade, has a masters in writing popular fiction from Seton Hill University, and is a member of The Authors Guild, Penn Writers, and International Thriller Writers. Her website is marysangiovanni.com.

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LASR Anniversary: T.C. Tereschak

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This post is part of Long and Short Review’s 9th Anniversary Celebration. Enter the Rafflecopter at the end of the post for a chance to win a $100 gift card or other prizes.

Clayton’s Balls

When it gets hot; sticky, Mississippi delta hot; it always takes me back to that summer; the summer I turned twelve, and Clayton Sproul.

“Only mad dogs and Englishmen go out into the midday sun” or really bored twelve-year-old boys. In the shade of the maple trees that lined Spring Street, my best friend, Ed Compton and I were playing “homerun derby” using my whiffle ball bat and a ratty, old tennis ball Ed had brought. I’d just sent the ball sailing to the other end of the block for the third time and Eddie refused to get it. “Too hot,” he said and plopped down on the curb.

“Bullshit!” I protested. “I fetched for you. I’m, sure as hell, not getting it.”

“Leave it; full of dog slobber anyway; had to wrestle it from Bandit.”

Some dweeb, on a baby-blue Schwinn, dashed after the ball and came back with it. “Can I play?”

“Steady fielder,” hissed Ed.

“Meaning… I don’t get to bat?”

“You’re a genius,” said Ed, dismissively.

The dweeb started pedaling away.

“Hey, kid! My ball?”

“You didn’t want it. It’s my ball now. Finders keepers…”

Ed stood up. “Give…, or I’ll give you a fat lip.”

The kid got off his bike and tip-toed to get in Ed’s face. “Try it,” he spat.

I started roaring with laughter.

“Ballsy little prick,” tittered Ed and waved off the advance. The kid gave a smug nod and with that, our friendship began.

He name was Clayton Sproul; a year older; small and pale; an only child from Cherry Hill, New Jersey; banished to northeastern Pennsylvania to spend the summer with his aunt while his parents “worked out” some problems.

Over the next two weeks, our bond and the temperature, grew. Too hot to move, we spent most of our time flopped down somewhere in the shade swapping lies.

It was Ed who came up with the idea. “I’m bored outta my gourd. Let’s hit the Cubbies, tomorrow, early, before the sun comes up. We’ll catch some fish, then swim.”

“The Cubbies?” asked Clayton.

“Two swamps; peat bogs really; up on a mountain ‘bout eight miles away,” I explained. “First Cubby is crystal clear; good for swimming but not for fishing. Second Cubby is as black as coffee, but great for bullhead and perch.”

“We’ll fish Second Cubby first, then, when it gets too hot, we’ll mosey on down to First. If no chicks are around, we can skinny dip.”

“Smashing idea old chap,” said Clayton in a dead on British accent. We cracked up.

The following morning, we got up and pedaled our butts off. Drenched in sweat, we baited up and cast out into the black water. Four hours in, the only thing biting were the bugs. Midday, some high school kids showed up with beer and weed and started splashing around.

“We ain’t gonna catch shit now,” complained Ed.

Clayton peered into the murky water and asked, “How deep is it?”

“Deep…” I said.

Clayton climbed up onto a large rock, beat his skinny, white chest, did a half-descent Tarzan call and jumped in. Ed went next and then me. We jumped off that rock for hours.

I don’t know why we weren’t paying attention; can’t remember… but when one of the potheads said, “Man, that kid can really hold his breath a long time,” I looked around, and my heart sank.

We dove in a hundred times looking for him. The fire department sent divers in for a week. They said the lake was bottomless; nothing but mushy peat, who knows how thick, and he must have sunk in it.

Decades have gone by. The mountain is now a ski and golf resort, the second Cubby a water hazard where Clayton rests on the bottom; preserved in tannic peat; forever thirteen; pale and skinny.

Sometimes, I stop and watch the golfers. Occasionally, a ball will plunk into the black water but I’ve never seen anyone brave enough to reach in and fish it out. If they did, I wonder, would Clayton pop up and snatch it back? “You didn’t want it. It’s my ball now. Finders keepers…”

BabaFete_w10513_750There are some who say, at just the right moment, you can steal another’s soul…

About the Author:T.C. Tereschak is a horror fiction writer and lover of history, mystery and macabre.

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LASR Anniversary – Alan Joshua

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This post is part of Long and Short Review’s 9th Anniversary Celebration. Enter the Rafflecopter at the end of the post for a chance to win a $100 gift card or other prizes.

Beyond “Altered States”: The SHIVA Syndrome

Imagine sitting in the shade of a beach umbrella or near a glassy lake fully absorbed in The SHIVA Syndrome by Alan Joshua. A unique science fiction/paranormal thriller, one Goodreads reader calls it, “Awesome, awesome, totally Awesome!!!” Another says, “Not your typical sci-fi thriller….One of the best books of 2015.”

The SHIVA Syndrome, a finalist in two competitions, is the saga of Beau Walker, a disgraced research professor who is tortured by paranormal abilities beyond his control.

In a secret Russian mind research laboratory, an experiment has gone horrifically wrong, creating a black hole that devastates the city, destroying thousands of lives and leaving a mysterious mile-deep crater. Walker is strong-armed into helping the US government work with Russian authorities to uncover what happened to prevent another such an event from occurring. Unchecked, SHIVA can destroy humankind and rip apart the very fabric of reality.

British psychic investigator, Brian Allen says, “If ever there was a book that richly deserved to be made into a film it is this one.”

Sheri Hoyte of Reader Views claims, “I was absolutely captivated from beginning to end, and by captivated, I mean held hostage, as my life was literally put on hold until I finished reading.”

SHIVA is a genre-crossing thrill ride that caused one reader to write, “Almost to the end. Had to take a break. My neck and shoulders are in huge knots due to the tension! If I were a nail biter, I’d have nubs!!!”

If you prefer light and airy summer reading, SHIVA is not right for you. However, if you crave a challenging read, enjoy white-knuckle action, and dare think the unthinkable, the plot is full of surprises and fast moving with lots of twists and turns.

Discover why a Goodreads reader said, “The Shiva Syndrome is in the top 10 books of the best sci-fi/fantasy books I have read in over 40 years and I read over 200 books a year!”

TheShivaSysndrome-EBOOK-newA secret Russian mind research laboratory in Podol’sk erupts, annihilating thousands and leaving a monstrous, one-mile deep crater in its wake. Beau Walker, parapsychologist and reluctant empath, is coerced into joining a research tem, code-named SHIVA, to investigate the enigmatic event.

Walker must fight his way past political and military deceptions and a host of deadly adversariees to unlock the riddle of the SHIVA syndrome.

Will he have the physical, emotional, and spiritual strength to defy the dangers he faces…or will they destroy him before he can come to a new, challenging understanding of the nature of reality?

About the Author:Alan Joshua is an author, clinical psychologist, and parapsychologist. His debut fiction novel, The Shiva syndrome, is a science fiction/paranormal thriller. A believer that the exploration of human consciousness and its hidden abilities is the ultimate frontier, he skillfully blends and interweaves altered states of consciousness and parapsychology with genetics, paleontology, mythology, and religion to produce a frightening, brisk, and film-worthy story building to an intense climax.

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How Do You Handle Negative Criticism? by Merry Freer – Guest Blog and Giveaway

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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Merry will be awarding a $20 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

How do you handle negative criticism?

Assuming the critic is well-intentioned, it is my opinion there is no such thing as negative criticism. If all of the feedback an author receives sounds like it came from their mom, it does them a disservice as a writer. It is difficult to be objective about one’s own work. That’s why writers use content editors and beta readers….to get honest evaluations of their work. I always smile when a reader prefaces his/her opinions of my work by asking, “Will it bother you if I’m perfectly honest with you?” Bother me? Telling me what you think I want to hear will not be helpful to me at all. I need to hear about inconsistencies and missing information. I need to know if there are errors in grammar or typos.

It’s sort of like when you have a piece of broccoli stuck between your teeth or a rip in your pants. A good friend will tell you. Wouldn’t you want to know?

How do I handle negative criticism?

I say, “Thank you.”

Negative reviews are a different story. That’s where the thick skin you grew while writing has to get thicker after publishing. One of the most important and most difficult lessons a writer needs to learn is to take reviews with a grain of salt and NEVER respond to them. Many will contradict one another and some you will wonder whether the reviewer read the same book you wrote. It is never a good idea to engage with a reader regardless of the review the reader gave. Many or most readers appreciate a feeling of anonymity when writing a review. The only time a review should really be taken to heart (without comment) is when the reviewer finds technical problems with your work. Consider it to be free proofing. Otherwise, my advice is both simple and hard as hell. IGNORE! IGNORE! IGNORE!

MediaKit_BookCover_SpecialLevelsOfEarthlyHellDrew Collins experiences the world in black and white. As an educated man of science, he rejects belief in the paranormal and the existence of demons. Until an evil energy he calls “The Beast” repeatedly enters his bedroom at night and takes possession of his wife’s body.

What he witnesses at night in his own bedroom cannot be reconciled with science. And yet he sees it with his own eyes, feels its presence, ominous and evil, with his entire being.

Against every instinct, Drew reaches out for help. It is not just his marriage that’s at stake. The evil force has invaded his wife’s family, tearing them apart and culminating in bloodshed and murder. Drew must face a stark choice: sacrifice his belief that the world is a rational place and fight an entity he doesn’t understand and is reluctant to label, or abandon his wife and her family.

Author’s Note to the Reader: Sadly, the most frightening and brutal events in this book are factual. The story is loosely based on one family’s experience with multiple tragedies, some of them “ripped from the headlines.” It is also an excruciatingly factual account of one man’s experience with a loved one who is possessed by a demonic presence. However, it transcends genre and is as much a tale of romance, of cultural barriers, of abuse, and of family drama, as it is of demonic possession. The link between the introduction of an evil spirit and the heartbreaking misfortunes that are visited on the family is left for the reader to decide.

Enjoy an Excerpt:

Drew didn’t remember falling asleep. He did remember waking up. Something was wrong. A chill traveled up his spine and enveloped him. With a sickening feeling of familiarity, sweat began to form on his forehead and trickle down his temples as fear overcame him. He quickly glanced at the digital clock on the table beside the bed. The blood-red numbers announced the time eerily – 3:00am – a haunting reminder of the first time.

Someone was watching him. He was certain of it. His eyes were immediately drawn to the window. A dark fear formed in his gut and sent out tentacles of terror that invaded his thoughts and squeezed his lungs, threatening his very breath.

The sensation of movement brought him to his feet but his trembling legs couldn’t support him and he allowed himself to fall back onto the bed next to his sleeping wife, Adriana. Turning his head toward the window, he looked closer at what appeared to be vapor, distorted lines of energy waving like the air in the distance over a desert highway in August. A terrifying feeling of knowledge washed over him. It was alive.

Drew’s mind flashed to the first time he had encountered the demon in the bedroom at his mother’s house, the night it hijacked Adriana’s body – at 3:00am. It was always at 3:00am.

About the Author:MediaKit_AuthorPhoto_SpecialLevelsOfEarthlyHell

Merry Freer is an author of memoir and fact-based fiction. “Special Levels of Earthly Hell: The Story of One Family’s Chilling Struggle with Demonic Possession” was inspired by actual events that were experienced by her nuclear and extended families, tearing relationships apart and making national news headlines. This book comes on the heels of her first book, a memoir named “Doctor, Doctor.” While “Doctor, Doctor” is her debut novel, she has been a writer and editor for many years, including work with the San Diego Chargers and the San Diego Hall of Champions. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism from San Diego State University and has been a featured speaker for classes dealing with medical ethics.

Her controversial memoir, “Doctor, Doctor,” topped the Best Seller List in True Crime/White Collar Crime for 10 months and received a “Best Books of 2014” award from “Suspense Magazine.”

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This Would Be Paradise by N.D. Iverson – Spotlight and Giveaway

 


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. N. D. Iverson will be awarding a $10 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the banner to see the other stops on the tour.

In a world where a virus has spread turning most of the population into flesh eating monsters, there are two friends partying it up in New Orleans when the infection hits. Far away from home, they are trapped and trying to make sense of all that has happened with the help of new friends and enemies along the way. Zombies aren’t the only thing to fear…

Enjoy an excerpt:

The doors opened with a buzzing sound. The main lobby was devoid of people; even the receptionist behind the front desk was gone. Usually there was at least one person standing there with the phone glued to an ear. Did I sleep through a fire alarm or something?

I slowly made my way to the buffet area, looking around for a sign of life. Everything was set up but looked like it hadn’t been touched. Strange, considering it was already afternoon. Normally stale cereal and that one scary looking sausage that seemed to have been there all week would be all that was left by now.

I poured myself some coffee from the giant stainless steel percolator, watching the steam waft up from the foam cup. The smell alone helped invigorate my dulled senses. Sipping the hot liquid, I started to look around to figure out what was going on and maybe see about some maid service. We weren’t messy people, but somehow our hotel rooms always managed to look like a disaster zone – overflowing garbage, towels on the ground, running out of the mini-shampoo bottles sized for the head of an infant.

All the tables in the dining area were open, no one sitting around enjoying the mediocre hotel-provided food. I felt my hackles rise. Usually there was at least one person or group in here at all times. A noise that sounded like someone eating caught my attention and I stepped over to the booths that lined the wall.

“Hello?” I called out as I rounded the tall booths.

The sight that greeted me was not what I had expected. A woman covered in what appeared to be blood, was kneeling over a larger mass on one side of the booth. Her shirt was torn down the front revealing her daisy spotted bra and deep scratch marks on her chest. She snarled at me, flecks of whatever she’d been eating spraying from her red stained lips. I took a big step back.

She slowly got up from the booth, all her attention now focused on me like I had just insulted her outfit. I could see the thing she was on before much more clearly now. Holy shit, holy shit, holy shit! It was a man. There was a gaping hole in the body cavity, knotted intestines dangled down the side. I retched at the sight. Did I unknowingly step onto the set of a horror movie?

The woman had managed to get herself out of the booth, slipping a little on the blood coated floor. The coffee fell from my hand, as she started toward me, her face contorted into a feral mask. I took off running back the way I’d come, my earlier fatigue forgotten as adrenaline pumped through my veins.

About the Author: N. D. Iverson is young author trying to find her niche in the world. She has a business degree; to which she is still trying to find a practical application for. She has bounced from half-baked ideas of becoming a forensic pathologist (cut short when the option for attending an autopsy came up and she rather quickly decided maybe that wasn’t for her), a member of a rock band (sadly, neither her nor her friends could play instruments or sing, not that it’s a requirement these days…) and many more. 

This Would Be Paradise is her first completed book, which has started a chain reaction of one-too-many book ideas dancing around in her head. She plans on wrangling in these ideas and making full fledged books from them. So keep an eye out on the horizon for more works to come! For more information, please visit her website

You can purchase This Would Be Paradise at Amazon and at all major eBook retailers!

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Alice Through Bloodstained Glass by Dan Adams – Spotlight and Giveaway

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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Dan will be awarding an eCopy of Alice Through Bloodstained Glass to 3 randomly drawn winners via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

MediaKit_BookCover_AliceThroughBloodstainedGlass Alice is minding her younger sister when the Zombie apocalypse hits. She has to find safety but is thwarted at every turn – by a strange man, by two stoners. The world has gone mad and she doesn’t know who to trust.

Enjoy an excerpt:

Alice registered the confused look on her sister’s face and traced her line of sight along her outstretched arm to her finger that pointed to a man racing along the edge of the park. The sight was peculiar, if nothing else. Unlike the joggers Alice noticed on her way to and from school, who ran the circuit daily, this man was dressed in a fine grey suit. The perspiration had soaked all the way through the jacket, leaving a dark stain that was clearly visible even from this distance.

The man was running toward them and Alice instinctively stood and moved in front of her sister, resting her hands on her hips in an attempt to look as intimidating as possible. Last term she had adopted the same stance in the playground when Susie P had stormed up to her and accused her of snitching. She had held her ground then and Susie was a proper bitch — this guy looked like he had nothing on a pampered schoolgirl.

‘Oh dear, oh dear,’ he muttered as he saw them, huffing between words to catch his breath.

Alice didn’t know what he meant by that but even her little sister had risen, and now stood behind her, clutching her book to her chest like a makeshift shield.

He slowed, glancing over his shoulder, then to his phone, then back over his shoulder again before slowing and changing his direction to come their way. Behind him the street was empty, and the air hung heavy with static, a shimmering haze warped the road in the distance.

‘What are you doing outside?’ he asked in disbelief.

Alice thought it was none of his business and told him as such.

‘Didn’t you see the news?! It’s been all over the television and radio.’

‘Do you see any of either of those around here?’ she retorted, indicating with the wave of her hand the open expanse of the park.

He looked at her like she hadn’t heard a word he had said. ‘The infection … it’s been all over the news. They are telling everyone to remain indoors and people who display symptoms are … dangerous.’

‘What do you mean infection?’

The man was clearly getting frustrated, ‘The fatal kind.’

Alice’s sister let out a whimper behind her. It probably wasn’t as bad as he was making out. People died all the time from diseases.

At the sight of her questioning raised eyebrow, the man elaborated. ‘It’s worse than just death. Once they die, they get back up and start feeding on the closest human. If you don’t believe me check out YouTube. I’m sure someone’s posted something by now.’

Alice skimmed her finger along the screen of her phone, quickly thumbed in her password without taking her eyes from his face. He was looking nervous; his fingers were shaking and he kept looking back in the direction he had come from.

A moment later she had opened a browser and was skimming through videos labeled ‘zombie outbreak’, ‘woman eats child’ and ‘The apocalypse is here’. She clicked on the first and tapped her foot impatiently as the video loaded. The screen opened and was filled with a woman cradling a man in her arms, both covered in blood. At first it looked nothing more like some horrific accident, and the woman was grieving the loss. Until the woman leant down and tore a chunk of flesh from the man’s chest, ripping her head back and Alice could clearly see meat dangling from her mouth, her jaw moving up and down as she devoured it.

Alice put the back of her hand over her mouth to stop herself from vomiting. The video panned down the street behind the meal and a crowd of blood-covered monsters were shuffling toward the filmer’s location. Then someone muttered ‘Oh fuck’ and the video cut off abruptly.

Alice’s face was drained of colour as she slowly put her phone away. The man, who had stood patiently while she discovered the horrid truth for herself, was now jumping from foot to foot, scanning the distance.

‘Ok, I believe you now.’

‘Finally. They are evacuating the city at four different points. We’re closer to the south exit, at the school on Williams street. Do you know where that is?’

‘Yeah, I know.’

The man pulled his phone back out of his waistcoat pocket and looked at the time. ‘We’ve got 20 minutes before they quarantine the city and no one else gets out. The army will probably fire bomb the city if ground troops can’t deal with it.’

Alice wondered if he had formerly been in the military or if he was just repeating what he had heard on the news. It didn’t really matter, but she was curious, if only for a second. She was about to ask him when the sound of smashing glass resonated in the distance followed a split second later by a wailing car alarm. Then there was the high-pitched scream.

‘Fuck it, let’s go! I don’t want to be late,’ the man ordered, before turning and racing off south.

Alice looked at her sister then back at the man. She grabbed Elizabeth by the hand and raced after him, risking a glance back over her shoulder. She immediately knew she shouldn’t have. The first wave of the walking corpses came around the corner where the man had come from and her heart leapt into her throat.

Alice fixated on the man at the front of the pack. Perhaps ‘man’ was a loose description now.

Half his face was missing, exposing the whiteness of the jaw and teeth underneath the skin and muscle. Blood dripped from the remains of his dark goatee and covered the front of his white shirt. His head hung to one side and he seemed to be dragging his left foot along with each labored step of his right.

‘Don’t turn around sis, just keep your eyes focused on the man in front of us, the man in the waistcoat,’ Alice pleaded, making a bigger push to catch up to him.

About the Author:MediaKit_AuthorPhoto_AliceThroughBloodstainedGlassDan Adams is a Sydney-based writer. When he’s not penning kick ass war stories, he’s working on his guns – the arm variety, rather than the weapons featured so prominently in his books. He loves slushies and always finds himself climbing too many stairs on Wednesdays.

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Buy the book for only $0.99 at Amazon.

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#LASR_Anniv Aberrancy by Su Halfwerk

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Enter the rafflecopter at the end of this post for a chance to win a $100 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC + other prizes!

AberrancyRobert Williamson, esteemed judge, adoring husband, and doting father, has his flawless life snatched away, leaving him damaged beyond repair—damaged by a witch whose taunting presence spells his destruction.

Before exacting his revenge, Robert is hell-bent on digging out explanations.

His demands are wild, his interrogation method peculiar, and what he seeks most might well cost him what remains of his sanity—and he knows it.

Despite horrible odds, Robert refuses to give in.

Aberrancy is a gripping dark tale of lives lost…to a different kind of evil.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Su Halfwerk writes in the horror and paranormal romance genres. From a tender age, the written word left a strong impression on her, later on terrifying, blood-chilling books became the object of her interest. Su’s style in horror combines shuddery terror with elements of surprise; some would even call it an enigmatic twist. In the world of paranormal romance, she transforms the desire to scare into a quest to seduce and tantalize.

Her book, His to Possess, is a finalist in the 2011 EPIC Awards in the Paranormal Romance category.

When not writing, Su is designing book trailers for herself and other authors.

http://www.su-halfwerk.com
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http://twitter.com/SuHalfwerk
https://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/aberrancy
https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/540281

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