Monday, September 30, 2013

Ground Zero by Nicholas Ryan

“This is exactly the kind of intelligent, action-packed zombie thriller that fans of DJ Molles and Max Brooks will love!”
- ZombieBookBlog

Aboard a freighter bound for Baltimore harbor, an Iranian terrorist prepares to unleash an unimaginable horror upon the United States. The ‘Wrath’ is an undead plague – an infection that consumes its victims with a maddening rage and turns them into mindless blood-thirsty killers.
Jack Cutter is just an ordinary guy dealing with a dreadful guilt when the virus tears through his home town. Before it’s too late, Cutter will have to find a way to survive, and find a reason fight:

If you are looking for a new zombie novel to warm your nights and chill your blood, then this book is it. If you love The Walking Dead, Fido, WWZ, Jonathan Maberry or Zombieland, then this is the next book to keep you entertained while waiting for the show to begin this October. It has a great voice and action that will keep you turning the pages.

*action packed
*terrorist plot
*cool read



Sunday, September 29, 2013

Laura Parker on Vampires: The Lure and the Allure

Vampires; the Lure and the Allure.

By Lara Parker, author of DARK SHADOWS: WOLF MOON RISING.

Vampires and zombies and ghouls, oh my! What is the ever-growing fascination with supernatural entities that are also evil? Is it because we live in difficult and disappointing times and seek escape from our troubles? Or does it go deeper?

First of all, it’s obvious that sexual urges play a large part in the appeal, and the bite of the vampire is a thinly disguised metaphor for the sexual act. Being bitten plays out the stages of seduction: the irrepressible urge, the loss of will, the abandonment to desire, and then penetration and orgasm. Unfortunately, being bitten is also lethal. One either dies or becomes one of the living dead.

In the teen age and college culture of today, young girls are expected to be sexually available, even eager. The old-fashioned standard of playing hard to get so that he will want you more has disappeared. This doesn’t mean that girls are happy with these expectations, but they are pressured to conform to them nevertheless.

And we’ve always been drawn to the ‘bad boys,” and popular songs often explore that topic. Desiring what is bad for you and can harm you is part of the allure.

TWILIGHT provided a way out of this dilemma since sex with a vampire is forbidden; being bitten is the sure road to death, just as sex was thought to be in days before birth control and antibiotics.

Bella is safe because she can abandon herself to love. A beautiful, powerful boy takes care of her and keeps her safe, but she does not have to have sex with him because, well . . . she can’t have sex with him. (At least in the first book) She and Edward both know this, and the sword lies between them and keeps them apart. Bella gets the boy but remains the virgin to be loved for her virtue.

In the cult TV show, DARK SHADOWS, the vampire Barnabas Collins fulfilled the dreams of lonely housewives watching TV over their ironing and longing for the renewal of passion in their lives. Desire for a vampire’s bite is not being unfaithful to one’s husband because the bite cannot be safely consummated. One can fantasize passion but not succumb to it, expunging guilt but leaving one free to explore sexual desire.

Played with Shakespearian conviction by the charismatic actor, Jonathan Frid, Barnabas Collins represented the fulfillment of female fantasies.  Dangerously evil, he was also deeply morose and consumed with guilt over his need for blood, engaging not only the “bad boy” desires but also the mothering instinct: “He is so sad and depressed; can’t I be the one to relieve his misery?”

On a deeper level, the vampire embodies all that we aspire to and all that repulses us. He is immortal, living forever, and this is what we long for most deeply: eternal life. This is why we practice religion because we are promised an afterlife in paradise. At the same time we are repulsed by anything dead, even a squished cockroach or a dead mouse. We draw back in disgust. This is the push-pull of the vampire, desire coupled with loathing that creates artistic tension and a compelling fixation.

The vampire also possesses the allure of the competent, reckless but sophisticated male who is experienced and powerful. He is a figure of forbidden desire much like the cowboy, the gangster, the gambler, or the lord of the manor, a mysterious, gloomy and troubled loner whose indifferent heart can be won by the right virtuous woman. 

This scenario is at the heart of Gothic romance, Jane Eyre, for instance. The fact that the vampire is a member of the wealthy and powerful class of men makes him appealing to women and the fact that he is evil disguised makes him taboo. The dichotomy is evident, and the desire to pull the two sides of the vampire into one accessible human being is the lasting attraction.

Love and death are fiction’s time-honored topics, and the vampire embodies both.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Death Lies Between Us Blurb Blitz and Giveaway

Death Lies Between Us
by Jody A. Kessler



Saving the life of someone you love should not be the worst thing you have ever done, unless you are an Angel of Death.

Disgruntled with his position in the afterlife and conflicted by his feelings toward his new client, Nathaniel Evans forgoes the rules and saves nineteen year old Juliana Crowson from being hopelessly stuck in Forge Creek. This alters Juliana’s destiny and she finds herself in a series of near death accidents.

In the mountains of Colorado, Nathaniel comforts Juliana as she struggles to understand her paranormal abilities while coping with her brother’s drug addiction. When an ill-tempered Native American Shaman teaches her the difference between ghosts and place memories, she decides she wants nothing to do with the supernatural world. Too bad she doesn’t know that Nathaniel is part of it. 

Will fate bring these two together, or has Nathaniel made the biggest mistake of his afterlife?


Excerpt Three

“Juliana?” I don’t respond. I can’t face anyone.

“Can I sit with you?”

I hug my knees into my chest with my face buried in my folded arms. I mumble into the pit of my lap. “Are you here to end my misery?”

“Not yet.”

It’s an odd answer but then again so was the question. “Then, please leave.”

“I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have come, but neither can I go.”

I turn my face, taking in the crisp air and digest his unusual answers. There are so many things that have happened tonight that don’t make any sense. Why would one more confusing sentiment make any difference?

Loneliness wraps around me, holding me in a cool embrace. I break its grip by saying, “It goes on the list, you know?” I speak into the dark. No movement or sound gives away his location but I can feel him close by. The low thumping of Blue Nouveau’s drums is the only sound breaking the stillness of the forest.

The caress of his voice brushes my ear. “Which list are you referring to?”

“Our list — things that are inexplicable.”

“Which deficiency of mankind are we adding tonight?”

“Lying to someone you love.” My voice is flat but the tear leaking from my eye gives away my true feelings.

“We can put that one on the top of the list,” he says.

 A tender hand surprises me as it wraps gently around my swollen ankle and finds a comfortable hold. The warmth penetrates through the sore muscles like a mild current of electricity.


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Jody A. Kessler enjoys writing paranormal novels and is a member of Pikes Peak Writers.  She is a yoga instructor, Reiki Master, and a graduate from the Colorado Institute of Massage Therapy. When she took an extended leave from her massage practice to stay at home with her newborn she returned to her first true passion —writing. She spends most of her time being a mother, writing, and teaching yoga, but also likes going to concerts, hiking, practicing herbal medicine, and reading anything that catches her interest. Jody lives in the mountains of Colorado with her family.

Death Lies Between Us is her debut novel and the first book in the An Angel Falls series. Book two, Angel Dreams, is scheduled for release in early 2014.

She welcomes visitors to her website
Buy a copy on Amazon   Barnes and Noble
Or connect with her here:  Facebook  Goodreads  Twitter  Pinterest

Jody will be awarding $10 Amazon GCs to two randomly drawn commenters during the tour. Fill out the form below.

Follow the tour:

Monday, September 16, 2013

Dark Shadows: Wolf Moon Rising

The first all-new Dark Shadows novel in years, written by Lara Parker, one of the stars of the cult classic TV show!

When a portrait is lost that has maintained Quentin Collins’s youthful appearance for over a century—and has also kept his werewolf curse at bay—Quentin begins to dread the full moon.

Meanwhile, David, the sixteen-year-old heir to the Collins fortune, has fallen in love with Jacqueline, a young girl living at the Old House who is the reincarnation of Angelique. David and Jacqueline are swept back in time to the prohibition era of the Twenties, where David uncovers the dark secrets of the Collins family history.

Most threatening of all, Dr. Nathanial Blair, an expert in the paranormal, has come to Collinwood because he suspects they are harboring a vampire. Fortunately, Barnabas Collins has returned to his coffin after a disastrous flirtation with life as a human. Nevertheless, what Blair discovers places the entire Collins family in jeopardy.


Lara Parker is as bewitching and cunning an author as she was when she portrayed the sexy enchantress Angelique on Dark Shadows
WOLF MOON RISING injects new blood into a classic saga on werewolves and vampires.”
—The Commercial Appeal on DARK SHADOWS: WOLF MOON RISING

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Box Office Poison: Guest Post with Phillipa Bornikova

The paranormal in Hollywood....  Well, there are some who would say there’s nothing “normal” about Hollywood at any time (insert rim shot here).  Joking aside, the fantastic has been integral to film and to Hollywood from the earliest days.  Consider Méliès and his film A Trip to the Moon or Le Manoir du Diable, or Murnau’s terrifying German silent vampire film Nosferatu.

When America came roaring into this new form of entertainment there was Frankenstein, and the Wizard of Oz, and Lon Cheny’s Wolfman, and Bela Lugosi as Dracula.  Witches, vampires, werewolves and an array of other fantastic and monstrous beings have been cavorting across both the big and small screen for decades.

So why did I decide to set an urban fantasy novel in Hollywood?  Partly because I had included elves in my pantheon of supernatural creatures, and it just seemed like an inevitable conflict would arise between the human actors and the preternaturally beautiful Álfar of my universe.  Hollywood is a town that puts a big premium on looks.  Even writers are subject to this judgment of the physical.  It would be logical that the Álfar would begin to get all the roles to the detriment of the human actors.

Also I’ve known a lot of hard charging Hollywood agents and managers, and in my universe I had postulated that werewolves would gravitate toward highly competitive jobs and dangerous jobs from bond traders to soldiers, etc.  High powered agents and managers are ruthless and it seemed like another profession well suited for Hounds. 

I also know the siren song of Hollywood.  I’ve felt it myself, and for generations the handsomest boy and the prettiest girl in high school have made that pilgrimage for the chance to be a star, our American version of royalty.  That made me think about the attractions of our world to the more pastoral Álfar, and I had another source of conflict that I could explore.  The truth is how you gonna keep ‘em down on the farm or locked in fairyland once they’ve seen Tinsel Town?

Ultimately the premise for my series was to investigate how the presence of supernatural creatures would affect our culture as well as our economics and politics.  I wanted to look at the levers of power, and entertainment certainly plays a part in that.  It is how we project American values and power to the world, and it’s also our largest export.  It just seemed like the next logical place to explore how vampires, werewolves and elves would  change our world.

So that’s the origin of BOX OFFICE POISON and I hope it sheds a little light on the internal workings of The Industry, and provides a bit of fun along the way.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Fairies in My Fireplace Release Day Blitz

Fairies in My Fireplace
Monster Haven Book Three
R.L. Naquin

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Publisher: Carina Press

Date of Publication: Sept. 3, 2013

ISBN: 9781426896279

Number of pages: 226
Word Count: 86,000

Cover Artist: Kix by Design

Amazon      BN     Carina Press

Book Description:

Sometimes it’s the monsters who need to be saved…

A migration of mythical creatures has begun, and more and more of them are landing on Zoey Donovan's doorstep. As the only Aegis left in the country, it falls to her to protect the Hidden and keep them safe—and her house has become a sanctuary for water sprites, goblins, harpies, djinn and more.

Keeping track of her boarders is a full-time job, and Zoey's already got her hands full trying to run her wedding planning business. Good thing she has a resident closet monster to keep her organized, and a hot Reaper boyfriend to help her relax every once in a while.

But she can't keep up monster-triage indefinitely, and as more Hidden arrive, it becomes clear that someone—or something—is hunting them. In the midst of planning an event for a notoriously difficult client, Zoey's got to figure out who's behind the hunt…and she's got to stop them before there are no Hidden left.

Chapter One

As I inched across the roof of my house, the harpy nestled against my chimney regarded me with suspicion. I’d have let her stay there, but the mailman could be coming up the street soon. With all the weird things he’d already caught glimpses of on my property, I didn’t think he’d go for some half-assed explanation that she was a Halloween decoration. Especially since it was April.

I drew closer to her, and she pressed herself against the bricks. By human standards, she couldn’t have been more than eighteen or nineteen, though maybe harpies had a different rate of aging. She was all boobs and hair and feathers. And she stank. She also clutched my car keys in her sharp, grimy claws.

I stretched my legs out on either side of the roof peak and sat back, straddling it. The harpy relaxed. I laid my hands on my thighs in as nonthreatening a manner as I could muster. I kept my voice low and casual—as casual as I could while squatting, two stories up, with cedar splinters poking me in the ass.

“There’s nothing to be afraid of here,” I said. “Are you okay?”

She frowned. I truly hoped harpies understood English, since my regular translator, an eight-month-pregnant brownie, was unavailable. The height wasn’t a problem—brownies don’t fall, they float. The climb was the issue. Molly didn’t need the strain. Her tiny body was already burdened enough with the thimble- sized life inside her.

The harpy stretched one filthy wing and shook my car keys. Her perky breasts jiggled. I kept eye contact, afraid to get caught staring. Seriously, though, they were impressive. I never felt I lacked in boobage until that moment, but if I had what she had, I’d head straight to Mardi Gras. They’d run out of beads and beer by the time I left.

An arm I didn’t know she possessed snaked out from under her greasy feathers and scratched a nipple before folding away.

She shrugged. “I’ve been better.” Her voice had a husky sound to it, like she’d been gargling with a handful of sand.

At least we could communicate. That was a good start.

“Anything you want to talk about?” I reached out to her with my empathic gift, opening myself to whatever emotions she might be leaking. Nervous energy pat- tered against my skin, tinged with the dark taste of fear.

She shook her head, and a hank of stringy blond hair dropped across her face. She peered at me, waiting.

I thought I heard a car and glanced out across the yard. No mailman yet. The driveway was clear. “Listen, we need to get you somewhere you can’t be seen, okay? You’re welcome here. Just not, you know, right here.”

She chewed on her bottom lip, thinking, measuring me up through her mat of hair. When she finally spoke, it was a whisper. “I don’t have anyplace else to go.”

I let out a breath. “Oh, honey, as long as I’m here, you have a safe place to be. You just can’t camp out on the roof. We’re protected here, but we still have to stay out of sight, okay? We’ve got trees in the back, if you want to stay in the open. There’s room in the attic if you want to come inside. No one will bother you there.”

The bird-woman shook her hair from her face and looked at me with surprise. “I can come inside?”

“Of course you can.” I smiled to reassure her. “And when you’re ready, maybe you can tell me what’s wrong?”

She nodded. “Maybe.”

I stuck my hand out, palm up. “Unless you were planning on a road trip, I could really use my keys back.”

She shifted from one foot to the other and eased toward me. A shingle knocked loose and slid down the sloping roof, crashing to the porch below.

A voice rose up the side of the house where I’d left the ladder. “Zoey! Is everything okay up there?”

The harpy froze, her face draining of color.

“It’s okay,” I said. “That’s Maurice. He’s a closet monster. You’ll like him. Everybody does.”

She looked doubtful. “You have a closet monster here?” She shuddered.

I suppressed a giggle. Like Maurice was a threat to anybody. “We have all sorts here. Maurice helps take care of everybody. I’m Zoey. What should we call you?”

“Viola. Vi, if you want.”

I grinned. “It’s nice to meet you, Vi. If you’ll hand me the keys, we can get down from here and get you settled.”

Vi scooted closer and dropped the keys in my outstretched hand. “Sorry about that,” she said. “They were so bright and shiny. Sometimes I act without thinking.”

I managed to climb down the ladder without hurting myself, and Maurice was at the bottom waiting.

“Why didn’t you answer me?” He frowned. “I was worried. And how much damage did you do up there? Are we going to have leaks when it rains? I’ve got a lot to do already.”

My lips curled in a tired smile. “Just a couple of shingles. It should be fine.” A shadow flitted above us and another chunk of wood dropped to the ground. “I need to run to the attic and open a window for our latest guest.”

Maurice sighed, his large yellow eyes weary, and his face even more gaunt and pale than usual. “I’ll take care of it. I need you to call Andrew. We’ve got a hellhound with some sort of mange or something. I put it in the garage. You’ve also got a pair of water sprites in your bathroom sink, and a family of gnomes is hiding under the back porch.”

I ran my hand through my hair and groaned. “All that showed up while I was on the roof?”

He nodded. “We’re running out of places to put people, Zoey. This is ridiculous.”

About the Author:

Rachel’s head is packed with an outrageous amount of useless Disney trivia. She is terrified of thunder, but not of lightning, and tends to recite the Disneyland dedication speech during storms to keep herself calm. She finds it appalling that nobody from Disney has called yet with her castle move-in date.

Originally from Northern California, she has a tendency to move every few years, resulting in a total of seven different states and a six-year stint in England. Currently, she’s planning her next grand adventure. Rachel has one heroic husband, two genius kids, a crazy-cat-lady starter kit, and an imaginary dog named Waffles.

She doesn’t have time for a real dog.

 Tour Wide Giveaway
3 copies of one Monster Haven ebook, winner’s choice of one book from the series
1winner of all three Monster Haven ebooks