Fictionista, Foodie, Feline-lover

Friday, December 27, 2019

Friday Excerpt: Deus Ex Magical

This is an excerpt from the first of the Ostrander Witches series, set in Seattle.

DEUS EX MAGICAL by Kat Parrish

I won’t pretend my usual breakfast is a bowl of unsweetened Greek yogurt with a handful of perfectly ripe raspberries stirred in with a tablespoon of chia seeds that I wash down with a huge mug of organic green tea sweetened with a teaspoon of artisanal honey.
I’m not the girl juicing beets she grew on her apartment balcony or blending kale with pineapple and ice for a super-healthy, vitamin-packed smoothie. I don’t even own a juicer. Machines like that scare me. I can barely manage to wrangle my drip coffee maker in the morning.
Most of the time I start my days with leftover Indian food or drunken noodles with chicken or kung pao shrimp because spice kickstarts my metabolism way better than caffeine and I can tell myself I’m getting a shot of protein and vegetables in with the carbs of the leftover naan and noodles.
And yes, what I eat for breakfast tells you more than you need to know about what I eat for dinner most nights.
Cooking is not my super power.
I try, but sometimes, when it’s been raining for a week and the five-day forecast calls for more of the same, the only thing I want for breakfast is the daily special at the coffee shop on the first floor of the building where my office is located. The daily special never varies because nobody wants to have to deal with making choices first thing in the morning. I find that comforting.
I love that I can sit down, push the menu to the side and tell Dineen I’ll have the special. I love Dineen, even though she’s not a morning person so our interactions are pretty one-sided. I know it can be irritating to be around someone who isn’t morning challenged when you are, so I respect that and keep it brief.
 I love that Dineen doesn’t try to talk me into having something like oatmeal with a bowl of fruit on the side. She just picks up the menu, goes away and then returns bringing me sustenance. Orange juice. With extra pulp, just the way I like it.
French toast with crispy edges.
Bacon that’s still flexible.
An egg any style, which means scrambled dry for me.
All for eight dollars, which is a steal.
It’s late October and 44 degrees in Seattle. It was a French toast kind of day.
I had meetings scheduled back to back all morning, so I wanted to come in early to get paperwork out of the way. I’d done a job fair at Kent-Meridian High School over the weekend and had not only heard from tons of kids who were looking ahead to jobs after graduation and summer internships, but six different faculty members had also contacted me. I was particularly interested in one history teacher who had her pilot’s license, had exhibited her photographs in galleries across the Pacific Northwest and who listed “adventure travel” as a hobby on her resume.
She absolutely fitted the requirements I needed to fill a position being offered by a documentary filmmaker who was putting together a history of British Columbia’s Gulf Islands and needed a pilot to get him to remote locations as well as someone to take still photos for the book he was writing to accompany the documentary. He had a government grant for the project, so the pay would be generous, and he planned to do all the field work during the summer when the teacher was on a school break.
My food arrived just as I was composing a text to my client, telling him I had the perfect candidate to work on his documentary.
You’re probably thinking—Shouldn’t you have at least interviewed the teacher before telling your client you had “the one?”
If I were just any job recruiter the answer would have been—yes, I absolutely should have. But I’m not just any recruiter. Finding people isn’t just my job.
It’s my talent.
If you’re a Fuqua Business School graduate who invented an app and sold it to Google before your twenty-third birthday, anyone can find you a job—if you actually need to work after selling your app to Google.
But say your skillset is a little more…eclectic. Say you are basically unemployable except for the one job that fits your skillset perfectly, even though you have never heard of that job.
I am the headhunter who will find you that job.
When a client comes to me with a request for a left-handed Mandarin speaker who plays the piano and has experience as a pastry chef, I know that somewhere there exists exactly the person they’re looking for.
And if you are that person, I will find you.
As I said, it’s a talent.
All witches have one.
I grant you having the ability to match people to jobs isn’t exactly the sexiest thing a witch can do. When I was growing up, a lot of my relatives pitied me and some of the ones who were closer to my age bullied me. Especially my twin cousins Lea and Tia who could both time travel. They used to call me a “lamitch,” which was their made-up word for “lame witch.” They didn’t call me that around Roz, though. My older sister is a weather witch, the strongest in the family for the last hundred years, and she’s very protective of me. The last time the twins started to give me a hard time, she conjured up an extremely localized storm that rained on them just as they were leaving for their prom.
Roz is awesome.
That sort of thing is totally against the rules, of course, but I wasn’t the only one the twins bullied, so everyone in the family kind of looked the other way. And the twins never bothered me again.
I would have liked to be able to time travel or whip up storms, but having a skill that’s actually marketable in the normal world turned out be pretty useful, and while Tia and Lea landed jobs working for a super-secret government contractor at monthly salaries roughly ten times what I make in a year, their job requires them to live on-site in an out-of-the-way military base in Greenland.
I know of at least three people who’d hire either one of them in a second if they knew they existed, but I’m not going to be the one who introduces them.
I know it’s petty, but they’re mean girls. And I don’t like mean girls. It’s not as easy to steer clear of them here in Seattle as it was in my home town, but for the most part, my life is mean girl free.
I was born in Port Angeles, Washington, a small town north of Seattle known mostly for being the birthplace of football legend John Elway. My dad runs the online learning program for Peninsula College and my mother is a liaison for the student exchange program with kids from Port Angeles’ sister city in Japan. My mother’s talent is languages. She speaks them all. Even the dead ones. Some of the ghosts of people who died in the Fukushima tsunami ended up wandering on the beaches of Washington state and my mother helped them get home. That’s another of her skills. She sees dead people.
My father loves my mother unconditionally, but he isn’t a witch and it sometimes freaks him out that both his daughters inherited her witchy ways.
I think he’s kind of relieved that what I do isn’t particularly showy or odd; that it’s almost something that could be explained as being “really good at her job.”
Even if I hadn’t had a power, though, I still would have been “different.” Even though Roz and I look enough alike I used to “borrow” her driver’s license when I was underage, in other ways, we could not be more different.

Friday, December 20, 2019

An Excerpt from The Gates Between

This is an excerpt from my story in Queens of Wings and Storms, now available. The cover was created by Lou Harper of Cover Affairs. I love her work. She has plenty of premades as well as the custom work she does.

by Kat Parrish

Most people believe the gates separating life from death only open one way. That’s not true. What is true is that once you pass through the gates and then return, you are never the same again. I found this out the hard way. I died on my 17th birthday.
And then I came back.

CHAPTER 1:  You’ll be sorry when I’m gone

I don’t even remember what the argument was about. My stepmother and I fought constantly about everything…everything and nothing. Often our arguments were about me *not* doing something. One day it would be about me not making up my bed.
I kept the door to my bedroom closed, what did she care?
Another day it would be about me not putting gas in the car the last time I used it.
The morning of my birthday, it had been about me not wanting to eat the nutritious breakfast Elle had cooked especially for me, relaxing her ban on eating what she called “flesh” to fry up some turkey bacon. Though why she had even bothered, I don’t know. I usually just grabbed a cup of yogurt on the way out the back door and on the one day—the one day—she decided to do the mom thing and cook up some eggs and bake some refrigerator biscuits, I didn’t want to slow down to bond with her.  It was my birthday and it already sucked.
 I was already missing my real mom worse than usual; the idea of making pre-coffee chit-chat with her flawed replacement was not appealing.
It never occurred to me offering me breakfast might be Elle’s way of trying to make me feel better, to start the day off in a nice way. It never occurred to me to give Elle credit for anything, especially not for doing something nice.
My best friend   Kasi told me I was being a bitch when I complained to her about what a big deal Elle had made of me dissing her breakfast. 
Kasi’s mother’s idea of cooking breakfast was throwing a box of toaster waffles on the table as she left for her office. “You should be grateful she cares enough to cook for you.”
Maybe, but I was sure Elle wasn’t cooking for me because she cared about me. She just wanted to look good for my father. 
Not that he was there. He was hardly ever at home any more, at least not for more than a week at a time before he jetted off to some exotic place to advise his clients on the best way to exploit the natural resources of their or someone else’s country.

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

A Different Kind of Christmas story

Dog’s Dinner

By Katherine Tomlinson

Christmas dinner at our house is always a big deal.
Maura always brings the candied yams. She makes them with pecans and orange juice and marshmallows and crushed cornflakes on top so they’re squashy and crunchy at the same time.
She’s the only one who ever actually eats them; the rest of the family prefers to load up their plates with Helen’s sour-cream garlic mashed potatoes and Sylvia’s cauliflower cheese and Nissa’s cornbread stuffing. Plus there’s always macaroni and cheese and corn pudding and green bean casserole and buttered Brussels sprouts and Aunt Rose’s cherry Jell-O salad.
Theo, the only brother, always brings carrot sticks and celery stalks stuffed with pimento cheese. Nobody eats those at all, but it is a tradition, so he brings them, and Mom always throws them away after she lets me lick the cheese out of the channels in the celery.
Theo’s my boy. When we were both little, I’d sleep on his bed and he’d hug me like a stuffed animal and tell me his secrets. When he got ready to leave for college he hugged me and explained that he was going away but that he loved me and would be back. I licked the tears from his face but didn’t really understand what “going away” meant until I realized I couldn’t smell him in the house any more. That made me frantic until Mom found an old sneaker that had Theo’s scent all over it and let me have it to chew on.
Dad always carved the turkey and he did it the old-fashioned way, with a bone-handled carving set that his father had used and his father before him. Sylvia’s husband Daniel thought that was a very inefficient way to do things and one Christmas, he’d come over to the house with an electric knife in one hand and a big cheesy grin on his face. He’d pushed Dad aside at the head of the table and turned on the knife.

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Ink for the Beloved by RC Barnes--a review

"First in a series" is always a great phrase--a chance to experience a new world or discover a new writer. Ink for the Beloved is the first book in RC Barnes' "The Tattoo Teller" series. It's YA done with flair and imagination. There's a mystery at the heart of it, but the heroine, 16-year-old Bess Wynters is a girl with a little something extra. What her 'superpower is" and how it affects her life and helps her solve the mystery is both original and believable.

Barnes hooks us from the first pages of the book. Something terrible has happened and Bess is sitting in an interrogation room as she's questioned by the cops and a sympathetic ADA about people she knows. Beth is confused, conflicted, guilty and defiant and we're drawn to her and her inability to give a simple answer to the lawyer's question, "When did the trouble start?" For Bess, there has always been trouble growing up in her mercurial mother's household. Her beautiful mother with tattoos all over her body and her bright red hair. She looks like her eautiful mother, although her skin is nut-brown, the legacy of a father named Charles who never met her and doesn't even know she exists.

Bess can't really count on her mother--a legendary tattoo artist whose promiscuity ensures a never-ending parade of possible "daddies" for Bess and her baby sister Echo--but she has two friends who have her back--Rueben and Joanie, whose Jehovah's Witness beliefs are challenged by the whole tattoo thing, but whose steadfast friendship survives things that would have sent a lesser friend away.

Bess is clever and brave and those two qualities almost prove her undoing as she tries to puzzle out what's going on with her mother's shady new beau Todd. She's tender with her little sister--a wonderful character who comes across like a real little girl, and not some imaginary version of what a little kid is like.

There are wonderful moments between the sisters, who share secrets and much, much more.

There are also moments that will break your heart when the meanings behind some tattoos are told. (There's a lot of good info about tattoos and the trends and the menaing. Barnes has included little vignettes along the way, and they enhance the overarching story.)

The book is complete as a stand-alone but there are still some mysteries. What happened to the mural artist who called himself Spiderwand? Will Bess ever meet her father? These characters feel like they have a life beyond the pages here. Treat yourself to the read.

Find Barnes at her website and follow her on Amazon.

Monday, December 2, 2019

Monday Excerpt from The Waking Dream

     The Waking Dream is a "new adult" paranormal romance that I think is a little different from the usual run of PNR.  I have always been fascinated by dreams, and this story grew out of an idea I had while reading about new sleep therapies. It's a quick read--roughly 21K words, which is a novella. Here's the first chapter.   


For in that sleep…what dreams may come?”—William Shakespeare

If you have a sleep disorder and you google “treatment” or “cure,” chances are one of the first links that comes up is the website of the Alviva Sleep Clinic (ASC), the revolutionary medical center run by Dr. Lauren Alviva and her two oldest daughters, Dr. Kitta Alviva-Fujiwara and Mira Alviva, Ph.D. It’s kind of a boring website—a homepage illustrated with stock photos, a contact page, an “about us” page. There are no links to social media, no auto-playing multi-media elements, no newsletter registration forms popping up.

It almost looks like something the doctors put up themselves using a Squarespace template and YouTube tutorials. The copy hasn’t been SEO’d. There’s no attached blog either.
It’s almost as if they’re not trying.

  But having a small digital footprint hasn’t hurt the clinic’s business. On the contrary, like a new restaurant that doesn’t publish its address or a club that opens in a new location every night, people “in the know” always seem to know where to find it.

The clinic’s unorthodox treatments for insomnia, sleep apnea, REM Sleep Behavior Disorder, narcolepsy, and sleepwalking are controversial but effective, and there’s a sixteen-month waiting list for the thirty-bed clinic tucked away in a picturesque valley in upstate New York.

The results ASC achieves are noteworthy and consistent. Former patients have left glowing testimonials on the website and rapturous reviews on Yelp. The local papers and lifestyle magazines regularly feature one—or all—of the Alvivas in articles that are as much gushing personality profiles as they are business stories. The various doctors Alviva have been featured in national print media as well, and Lauren’s expertise makes her a sought-after guest on cable and broadcast television. Everybody wishes they could sleep better.

The doctors are all extremely photogenic, all of them tall and Nordic blonde, like a group of Valkyries who decided to come to earth for a spa day and then stayed to open a sleep clinic. So that plays a factor in getting the word out as well, although Lauren Alviva discourages what she calls “the cult of personality” surrounding herself and her daughters and makes every effort to frame the clinic’s narrative as being a team effort.

It’s a big team. The ASC employs a fleet of psychologists and board-certified sleep specialists as well as nutritionists and personal trainers who work together in a holistic fashion, using everything from massage to sleep restriction therapy to tackle deep-seated sleep issues. The clinic offers seminars on stress management—open to the public as well as the in-patients—and provides customized vitamin and supplement regimens to combat insomnia and restless leg syndrome.

Successful as those therapies are, they are not the only source of the clinic’s reputation and the impassioned devotion the doctors Alviva inspire. The most enthusiastic praise for the clinic is a result of the program Lauren calls “Deep Dreaming.”

Thanks to the technologies and techniques she’s developed, Lauren and her oldest daughters can access their patients’ subconsciousness and participate in their dreams. This tandem dreaming makes it possible to access the deeper roots of sleep problems and other psychological factors that might be in play. The procedure is less invasive than it sounds, and often when the patient wakes, he or she has no memory of what happened while they were sleeping.

When the Alviva Clinic first introduced “Deep Dreaming,” it seemed like science fiction. To say the sleep science community was less than enthusiastic was an understatement. Most were deeply suspicious—suspicious to the point of paranoia.

North America’s premiere sleep specialist, Dr. G. Taylor Wells of the University of Toronto, was particularly vociferous in his opposition to the tech-assisted therapy, calling it “downright dangerous” and “criminally irresponsible.”

The patients disagreed. And they kept coming to see one or another of the doctors.
Each of them has a different area of specialization.
Lauren’s area of expertise is sleep-walking, sleep-talking, and night terrors--parasomnias all her daughters suffered in childhood.

Kitta, whose wife Mai Fujiwara was killed while working with Doctors Without Borders, specializes in helping people deal with PTSD and other conditions brought on by trauma. The Deep Dream treatments take a lot out of her and she can’t schedule more than two or three a month without suffering from PTSD by proxy herself.

Mika’s practice is almost entirely limited to those who want to change behaviors, whether it’s an addiction to drugs or overeating. The clinic offers a “money-back” guarantee for patients who relapse and most of them use the money to go through treatment again. The Clinic rarely must refund a client more than once.

If that’s all the clinic did, it would be enough to keep it in business for decades but there’s another treatment option that’s “off the menu,” so to speak, an option you won’t find mentioned on the website or in the brochures or even in the Yelp reviews. The clients seeking this unnamed remedy usually arrive at night, often by helicopter and nearly always in disguise.

They’re not here to be treated by the famous Dr. Lauren Alviva or her equally famous daughters Kitta and Mira.

They’re here to see me.

Friday, November 29, 2019

Black Friday Book Fair

Something for everyone. CLICK HERE.

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Queens of Wings & Storms: a limited edition fantasy and urban fantasy collection has just published in time for the holidays. I have a story in there, a tale of a girl who dies and comes back with the ability to travel both ways between the gates of life and death. My contribution is called The Gates Between, and the solo cover was done by the great Lou Harper of Cover Affairs.

To celebrate publication, the authors of the stories included are doing a terrific Dragon-themed giveaway.  Check it out:

In celebration of our new release, Queens of Wings and Storms, welcome to the Ultimate Dragon Loot giveaway!

Follow 11 urban fantasy & paranormal romance USA Today bestselling and award-winning authors on Amazon and BookBub for a chance to win an amazing prize pack valued at $360!

You could win a $150 Amazon gift card, a Dragon treasure box full of jewelry and coins (valued at $150), and four best-selling urban fantasy and paranormal romance hard copy books (valued at $60), two signed by Sherrilyn Kenyon! Additionally, several of the participating authors are throwing in their own swag!

Gain points for each entry you follow. The more points you get, the greater your chance at winning! Subscribe to each author's newsletter for even more points!

Whoever has the most points at the end of the giveaway wins. In the case of a tie or multiple participants having the maximum amount of points, the names will be entered into for the winner.


Happy New Release of the Queens of Wings and Storms box set!


Prizes come with:

$150 Amazon gift card.

Dragon treasure box includes a dragon box, dragony coins, dangly earrings, 2 necklaces, 3 bracelets, 2 rings. (Note: jewelry and coins are not gold or silver weight, but are lead and nickel free)

Hard copy books include Archangel’s War trade paperback by Nalini Singh, Sapphire Flames by Ilona Andrews, and 2 signed Sherrilyn Kenyon Deadman’s Cross hardbacks.

The runner up will receive a $20 Amazon gift card!

Giveaway runs November 16th (midnight Eastern Time) - December 2nd (midnight Eastern Time)


The Season Begins

It's Thanksgiving--and I have much to be thankful for this year. Last year at this time, my landlord had just told me he was going to move his mother into the house I'd been renting for four years, and suggested strongly that he would LOVE it, if I  could be out by the first of December. I managed to do that with a LOT of help, and now live in a place that's much more comfortable and half as much. So win/win on that. Christmas this year is going to be a lot more festive but also mellower. I love the season, and have already put up my Christmas trees. Aren't they jolly? I hope this season of winter holidays finds you safe and warm and loved.

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

something Urban Fantastic This Way Comes

Urban fantasy is probably my favorite genre--ever since I first stumbled across Laurell K. Hamilton. And I'm really looking forward to the release of Doctor Sleep, which I'd call more urban fantasy than horror. It's always great news when a new UF series debuts, especially when it comes from a writer like Rebecca Hamilton and her co-author Miranda Brock.

The Cursed Key is now available as a pre-order for only 99 cents. Order it now and it'll be a nice surprise when it releases in January. 
Here's the blurb:

A forgotten past, a dark mage, and an unyielding curse.

Another team beat free-spirited archaeologist Olivia Perez to the dig of a lifetime, and now she’s left with the choice to wait for scraps or brave a dangerous, dusty tomb in hopes of finding other priceless artifacts. Her reward? A mysterious key she has no idea is cursed. Soon, Olivia realizes she’s brought home more than just an ancient rarity.

Malevolent visions begin to plague her. Unnerved by what they reveal, she casts away the key…unknowingly placing it into the waiting hands of a dark mage bent on destruction. Only when a shifter agent from the Paranormal Intelligence and Tracking Organization arrives searching for the key does Olivia realize what a huge mistake she’s made.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019


This boxed set is one I've been working on since February. My novella, "The Poisoined Cup" is part of the collection.  Right now it's only 99 cents to pre-order. So ACT NOW as they say.
Here's the universal link.

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Review of Pretty Little Gun by R.C. Barnes

Every tattoo tells a story and sixteen-year-old Bess Wynters can read those stories—the ones on the surface and the ones that are below the skin—just by touching them. It’s a talent that would get her labeled a freak if people knew what she could do, so even her mother, legendary tattoo designer Terry Wynters, doesn’t know the whole story.
This short read is an introduction to the world of Barnes’ upcoming novel, Ink for the Beloved, and it will pique the interest of anyone who has despaired at the mountains of same/old same/old YA books and their supernatural heroines. Brown-skinned Bess is refreshingly original and wise beyond her years. She sees it all, but she doesn’t share all that she sees and that’s a burden she carries alone. Her world is something different too. For one thing, there’s only one male character in this story and he’s not a love interest. Barnes teases us with a mention of a “Ink for the Beloved” ritual Terry Wynters has invented and we want to know what that is all about. In fact, we want to know more about everyone and everything we’ve encountered in this story. Barnes’ “The Tattoo Teller” series debuts later this month with Ink for the Beloved. Put it on your TBR list.

Find Pretty Little Gun here

Monday, September 9, 2019

Playing with Fire!

Love is patient, love is kind, even those doomed by what is forbidden let love be their salvation in the Playing with Fire Boxset -
On pre-order for 99c + 14 free reads for you today!

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Excerpt from The Poisoned Cup

We're just weeks from the release of the Playing With Fire boxed set (so excited). To get you in the mood (you HAVE pre-ordered it, haven't you?), here's the prologue to "the Poisoned Cup," my modern-day retelling of the love triangle between Arthur, Guinevere, and Lancelot:

In the end, people blamed me for the fall of Camelot and the end of the British monarchy. As if one woman could do in a thousand days what a thousand years of war, murder. Family feuds, and anti-royalist sentiment could not. Those who blamed me conveniently forgot that when Arthur took the throne, he inherited a kingdom already in disarray. The Brexit mess had weakened the economy, fractured the United Kingdom, and left his subjects demoralized and unhappy. They needed a scapegoat, and they chose me for the role.
It wasn’t even personal.
Royals have traditionally been a focus for “civilian” discontent, and in many cases, understandably so. Royals were rich, after all, and therefore had no idea what it was like to live paycheck to paycheck or work more than one job just to be able to afford the basic necessities.
It grated on the public when a royal—usually some dotty dowager duchess—was praised for being “hard-working” when the work involved was mostly smiling pleasantly while listening to a boring speech about some issue of little practical concern to anyone outside the room. After all, no one wants to hear the extinction of the skylark when their own jobs are in danger of disappearing even sooner.
And it didn’t help that the royals were always so ubiquitously on display, with the press and the bloggers feverishly covering their every move, recording their every utterance, and memorializing their every fashion faux pas. And even then, in the face of nearly universal mockery, it took forever for the “fascinator” fad to die. I never could understand how a grown woman could wear something that looked like a toddler had made it out of pipe cleaners and keep a straight face. Or those silly flat hats that are tilted at such an acute angle that they looked like tiny alien spaceships had just landed on the royal coif.

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Playing With Fire--new over reveal!!

Check out the new cover for the Playing With Fire boxed set--Fifteen novels and novellas from award-winning writers and me!!! This new cover is bold and badass, and I'm very happy with it.

Dig into hours of forbidden love, lust, and heat as these heroes and heroines long for their beloveds, break taboos, and fight for the ones they never should have chosen—but could never resist.
99 cents on pre-order + free gifts  Click here..

Sunday, July 28, 2019

New Reader Giveaway

This one ends in a few days!  You don't want to miss it!
If you are into the all consuming, thrilling and heart wrenching paranormal romance read! Then this is the giveaway for you!
Win 4 of your choice from these epic reads from #1 NYT bestselling author Jennifer L Armentrout , sponsored by Playing with fire Boxset authors!

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Summer Solstice Boxed Set is here!

Fill yourself with the heat of summer with these paranormal and fantasy reads.

From shifters to goddesses, vampires to aliens, there's something for everyone within these pages. Look no further for sizzling romances and thrilling adventures that are bound to leave you desperate for a cool down.

Featuring stories by:
USA Today & International Bestselling Author Nicole Morgan
USA Today & International Bestselling Author Laura Greenwood
USA Today Bestselling Author Laurie Treacy
USA Today Bestselling Author Candace Sams
USA Today Bestselling Author, Two-time EPIC award winner, Amazon Bestselling Author Lesli Richardson
Award winning, IPPY Gold Medal Winner, and Amazon Bestselling Author Nikki Landis
Author Kat Parrish
Author Ashlee Nicole Bye
International Bestselling Author Krista Ames
International Bestselling Author Deelylah Mullin
Bestselling Author Elana Brooks
Award Winning Author Brenda Sparks
Author Katherine Kingston

Pre-order your copy today!






Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Grimm, Grit, and Gasoline...An anthology of Fairy Tale Retellings

I m very fond of fairy tales and fairy tale retellings, and World Weaver Press just put up a new one for pre-order. Called Grimm, Grit, and Gasoline, the collection of dieselpunk and decopunk tales was edited by Rhonda Parrish. (No relation, as far as I know.) This is the first in a new series Parrish will be editing for World Weaver called "Punked Up Fairy Tales."

I am fascinated by all the varieties of "punk," from solar punk to clock punk to atomic punk, and beyond but I'd never heard of "Decopunk," but it's helpfully defined on the site.

Just the titles of the stories are evocative One that caught my eye was "Steel Dragons of a Luminous Sky" by Brian Trent. I am a longtime fan of Brian's work and can't wait to see what he's done here.

Wendy Nikel's "Things Forgotten on the Cliffs of Avevig' is another tale I can't wait to read. Yu can preorder the book on the World Weaver Press site or at your favorite digital retailer.

Sunday, June 9, 2019

Remembering Sandra Seamans

I knew Sandra Seamans, but I didn't know her. It's amazing the impact a person can have on your life when you never meet them in real life. I wish I had met her in real life because in our email exchanges and online interactions, she was warm, supportive, and encouraging. When I was first starting to write fiction she introduced me to everybody, hosting my blog by adding it to her blogroll. And when Joy Sillesen, Joanne Renaud, and I started Dark Valentine Magazine, she became a
contributor, which helped give us street cred as a fiction site and also helped us spread the word. I am really sorry that Dark Valentine is no longer archived because she wrote some great stories for us, including "Abiding Guilt," about a widower escaping from a nursing home. He misses Gloria. He misses sex. And the nurses at his facility have confiscated his phone after finding out he's been calling 1-900 numbers.

I was a daily visitor to her site My Little Corner, looking for places to send my work. I'd sometimes sent her tips when I found markets on my own that she hadn't highlighted. She always gave me a hat tip and I was always pleased because I'd been able to give her something in return for the many tips she gave me. (I sold one or two stories to markets she'd listed over the years.)  I also liked reading the occasional story she posted and sought her fiction out on other sites. Here's a link to the short stories she wrote for Shotgun Honey.

Monday, April 22, 2019

Adrienne Woods Crate full of goodies!

Do you know about crates? They're the best giveaways ever. PLAYING WITH FIRE, the boxed set of paranormal stories dealing with forbidden love is sponsoring a whole bunch of different crates this month and next. Check this one out here.  This is the crate sponsored by writer Adrienne Woods between now and the end of May.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Playing With Fire pre-order live!

 💕💕Romeo and Juliet. Lancelot and Guinevere. Edward and Bella. 💕💕
They all had one thing in common...Forbidden Love.
Discover twelve incredible new worlds from international and USA today best selling authors in this forbidden love themed box set. Playing with Fire is now on pre-order for only 99c. Free boxset with over 1600 pages with every pre-order.  Get it here

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Fantasy Freebie Giveaway

Looking for something to read while you wait for the next season of Game of Thrones to start?(Tomorrow. Squeee!)  Grab some freebie fantasy reads here.  And see you in Westeros tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Moonlight Mist

This limited edition paranormal romance collection has been extended through the fall. Which is good news because it's a fantastic collection of work. (And I'm not just saying that because I'm one of the authors in the set. (My novella, Waking Dream, was written just for this set.)
You can get it on Kobo.
On Barnes & Noble
on Amazon

Here's the blurb:

The creatures of this alternate plane lurk beyond the mist. 
Craving for what they need. 
Some may find it. Some might even curb that hunger. But a few will not.
Without knowing what it is they need to satisfy a primal need, they seek out something more. Something that will test their limits in search of something greater. Something powerful... Something everlasting

This collection includes:

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

PLAYING WITH FIRE on pre-order

I know, you've got boxed et fatigue. It happens! 
But you really want to check out PLAYING WITH FIRE, the set I'm in coming this fall.
It's a collection of tales themed to FORBIDDEN LOVE.

Get your pre-order here (iBooks and Amazon links are not yet live.)
Claim your freebie gifts!

My story is a version of the classic Arthur/Guinevere/Lancelot tale I call The Poisoned Cup. I had
A.S. Oren of Glass Crocodile make the cover and am quite pleased.

Thursday, April 4, 2019

Deadly Southern Charm...a crime fiction collection

This new collection of crime fiction from Wildside Press features more than a baker’s dozen of stories about “steel magnolias”—strong southern women who “embody that legendary mix of femininity and fortitude. The contributors are members of the Central Virginia Chapter of Sisters in Crime and some “guest authors” and the tales run the gamut from period pieces like “Southern Sisters Stick Together” by Stacie Giles to the opening piece, “the Girl in the Airport” by Frances Aylor, a neatly done bit of airport noir.

The tone of the tales ranges from Lynn Calhoun’s Gothic tale “Cayce’s Treasures,” (with its references to the fad for wearing “lover’s eye” jewelry to the black humor of Libby Hall’s “Stewing” and the flinging around of dog carcasses to the hilarious send-up of country music songs (“”Take My Heart, Leave the Dog”) in Sherry Harris’ “Country Song Gone Wrong.”

A couple of stories touch on the supernatural—Ronald Sterling’s “Just like Jiminy Cricket” for one, and Brad Harper’s “Shadow Man.” Food comes up a lot and the reference to grilled bacon and pimento cheese sandwiches will make any reader’s mouth water. (K.L. Murphy’s “Burn.”)
Twist endings, unfaithful spouses, unreliable narrators, and lots and lots of southern local color—pick your poison (and yes, there’s poison here too). 

If you love crime fiction, pick up Deadly Southern Charm and enjoy. You can buy it on Amazon or directly from Wildside Press. For more Sisters in Crime anthologies with Virginia writers, check out the SinC website.

Monday, March 18, 2019

A review of Monkey Justice by Patricia Abbott

Patricia Abbott crafts stories like Cartier designs jewelry, one polished gem of a word at a time. And yet there’s nothing “precious” about any of these stories—gritty, gravely, raw stories about people and their worst impulses. Many of these stories take place on the margins, in the places between memory and the present. Things aren’t always what they seem, and if there is any justice to be had in the end, it is rough justice, vigilante justice, final justice.

Abbott’s stories are character-heavy, and dialogue-rich. Even the internal musings of the characters have substance. Her descriptions are precise, and immediately relatable, as when she describes the “gluey, mousey” smell of all used bookstores. “I thought only cops used the word vehicles,” one character muses, “but maybe prisoners and cops traded words like a cold.” It’s an offhand comment but it seems like the perfect combination of words.

Most of the stories here are dark, effortlessly noir-ish and strongly rendered slices of low-life pie. But there are also delights like “Bit Players,” which features the late, great character actor Jack Elam and a telling bit about the way casting directors work in Hollywood.

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Feed your reader!

I love boxed sets, both as a reader and a writer. I love being able to sample work from writers I don't know and I love being a part of a group of writers putting together collections of work with a common theme. (You'll be hering a lot about PLAYING WITH FIRE in the coming months. It's a boxed set of stories about forbidden love and I'm reworking the Arthurian myth in my tale.) But Playing with Fire won't be up for preorder until next month. In the meantime, here's a set you can preorder.

CURSED LANDS. Twenty-two tales  where magic, danger, and romance lurk between the shadows and the light.  All the authors you love and more!

Delayed gratification isn't for you? No problem. Here are a couple of boxed set you might have missed. First, The Witching Hours, a collection of eleven noels about witches and witchcraft withbooks from Christine Pope, Stacy Claflin, Yasmine Galenorn, Sarra Cannon, Phaedra Weldon, and more. (Including me--my MAGIC IN THE BLOOD is included.) Get it here for FREE.

For 99 cents, you can snag another boxed set, FATED MATES. It's all about shape-shifters and their mates and if you're curious about what all the "reverse harem" hype is all about, there's that too. Here's the Amazon blurb:

Monday, February 25, 2019

Once Upon a Star, a review

Fiddlehead Press has a whole series of ONCE UPON A … sets of retold fairy tales and this newest one may be its best. The fourteen fairy tale-inspired science fiction tales are all fresh and inventive and lots of fun to read, from Sarra Cannon’s Matrix-meets-Robin Hood spin on the classic tale (“Loxley”) to Christine Pope’s “The Cyrano Solution,” which is an epic take on “The Princess and the Frog.” The “inspirations” for the stories run the gamut from a trio of Russian tales to “The Goose Girl,” and while there’s a Cinderella story, it’s quite unlike the classic tale. One of the best things about the set is that it doesn't fall back on the same old/same old stories that everyone seems to retell--Beauty and the Beast, Snow White, the Little Mermaid, but bring in a much more diverse set of stories.

The writers all seem to be having a lot of fun, but there are some lessons to be had here as well—revenge and redemption figure large in several of the stories.

There’s also nice world building. Some of the stories, like those by Anthea Sharp and Christine Pope, take place in between “episodes” of their long-running series, while others are “one-offs” the writers admit were a genre stretch. Moreover, while it’s possible to see some of the influences on the stories, the writers have augmented their ideas with other bits and pieces of lore and myth and folktale. And so, we have Grimm’s fairy tales coexisting with Pinocchio and Washington Irving’s Sleepy Hollow. Wrapping a science fiction skin around these old stories makes them feel as shiny as the titanium hull of a space craft.

If you like science fiction and fairy tales, this is a boxed set you NEED to get.  You can buy it here.

Author Interview with Veronica Marie Lewis-Shaw

Born in Lisboa, Portugal to parents of Portuguese/Russian descent, Veronica Marie and her partner of seven years and wife of four years, Christina Anne, are "still very much on honeymoon!" 

When not teaching, Veronica writes noir and crime fiction. She has been published in Pulp Metal Magazine, The Lost Children: A Charity Anthology, the horror anthology 100 Horrors, from Cruentus Libri Press, Katherine Tomlinson's Nightfalls: an End of the World anthology, Drunk On The Moon 2: A Roman Dalton anthology, Gloves Off
: Near To the Knuckle's debut anthology, and Lily Childs' new horror/urban fantasy anthology, February Femme Fatales, which went "live" on Amazon on 8 February 2014. She has also appeared in the inaugural issue of Literary Orphans magazine. 

What is the first piece of writing you ever sold and do you remember how much you got paid for it? Once I decided to let the world see my writing, I jumped right into anthology submissions, mostly charity anthologies; I liked the idea of my words helping others. I haven’t given much thought to submitting to a publication or online entity for pay, although I see Switchblade is doing an open submission call during the month of February.

      You primarily write short fiction. Is there a novel in your future? Definitely! Or a series of novellas; I’ve been tossing that idea around too. My novel is a contemporary/noir crime fiction, whose main character is a female lesbian police detective – Aimee Belanger. Aimee has a past… don’t we all… and balancing that against her new career in law enforcement, coupled with her sexual identity and ‘help’ from a sometimes ally – an eight-hundred-year-old lesbian vampire - presents a unique set of challenges.