Spotlight on #LGBTQ #Romance: Girl Crazy by @RedLJameson

Hi Everyone! The second book in the multi-author Cupid Dating Agency series is out now! Details are below. I’m putting the finishing touches on my first of four books for the series, and will tell you about it soon! 🙂 Reminder: each story in the series is a unique, standalone read. Happy reading! xo, Celia…

 Girl Crazy book cover, by Red L Jameson, The CUPID Dating Agency series, book 2

 
Title: Girl Crazy
Author: Red L. Jameson
Series: The CUPID Dating Agency
Series #: #2 (standalone read)
Genre: lesbian romance, paranormal romance
Date of Publication: September 24, 2019
ISBN: 9781370721757
ASIN: B07XYGV64R
Page/Word Count: 113 pages

Join bestselling author Red L. Jameson for her first lesbian romance in this fun, funny, and free-spirited read!

Lia Hamasaki is smugly happy as a top editor at the world’s most prestigious publishing house. She’s been passing for human for more than twenty years—her angel wings carefully protected from sight. Those darn wings are her biggest secret. When she hears news that the Cupid Dating agency has found her match and she has to—by law, she has to!—meet a demon, she’s obviously disturbed. Her secret has been carefully kept for decades through a façade of sophisticated elegance and outright lies, and nothing and no one will reveal her secret.

Saphie is free—free from Lucifer’s dungeon where she’d been head writer for thousands of years, and she’s free from Lucifer’s torture. Not only that, but the ever-romantic demon has just been matched with an angel—be still her punk-rock, poetess heart. But as she meets the angel who could be the girl of her dreams, she realizes she won’t fit into the angel’s elegant world. Further, heartbreakingly, the angel doesn’t seem to want her in the first place.

But the law is the law, and the two opposites have to stay glued to each other for the next forty-eight hours where they have a snowball’s chance in hell to fall in heavenly love. But sometimes, especially when the Devil is in the details, those chances are worth the risk.

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About Red L. Jameson

Red L. Jameson lives in the wilds of Montana. While working on a military history master’s degree, she doodled a story that became her bestselling, award-winning romance, Enemy of Mine, part of the Glimpse Time Travel Series. After earning her gigantic master’s—the diploma is just huge, she couldn’t stop doodling stories, more Glimpse stories—because she can’t get enough of hunky Highlanders and buttoned-down Brits—and other stories, a paranormal romance series and contemporary series, which grew into the pen name R. L. Jameson, under which she writes cerebral and spicy erotic romance. She’s currently working on another master’s degree, so who knows what she’ll doodle next!

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About The CUPID Dating Agency

The secret is out: angels and demons walk among us. The Cupid Dating Agency, once merely responsible for aligning the fates of compatible humans, have expanded their portfolio. Operators of luxury cruises and charitable organizations are as valued as casinos and trendy bars, and it’s up to the cupids to find the angels, demons, and humans who will run these businesses. Should a heavenly attraction between the participants lead to all sorts of sinful fun, well, that’s just the icing on the cake.

Interested in Book #1? Check out “The Mediator” Spotlight –>

Spotlight on #UF #YA #PNR: Pictures of Dorianna by Catherine Stine

Hi Everyone! November is upon us and for me, that means Nanowrimo! I’m working on a new series I’ll share with you soon. Today, author Catherine Stine is here with her YA Urban Fantasy and a prize-packed giveaway, too. Enjoy! xo, Celia

Title: Pictures of Dorianna
Author: Catherine Stine
Genre: Urban Fantasy, YA paranormal romance
Publisher: Konjur Road Press
Release date: October 23, 2019
ISBN: 978-1-7333901-0-1
e-book: 978-1-7333901-1-8
ASIN: B07WGB5HQ6
# or Pages: 327
Word count: 90K
Cover Artist: Najla Qamber

Internet followers, beauty, power. It all sounded good. Until it transformed into a terrifying reality Dorianna couldn’t stop. New twist on Dorian Gray with the first-ever female lead!

When her father is jailed, her mother ships lonely, plain Dorianna to her aunt’s in Brooklyn, NY. There, Dorianna yearns to build a new identity, but the popular Lacey bullies her—mostly for getting attention from her ex, Ander.

Ander takes Dorianna to Coney Island where Wilson, a videographer, creates a stunning compilation of her. She dreams of being an online sensation, as she’s never even had a birthday party, and vows she’d give anything to go viral. Wilson claims he’s the Prince of Darkness and offers her the beauty and fame, even love she’s dreamed of—warning her that a pledge has its downsides. Dorianna has no idea of how dire those consequences might be.

She’s thrust into the spotlight, and an incomprehensible nightmare. Not only is she prettier, she’s gaining harmful powers of manipulation. When her dark forces grow beyond anything she can control, she’s desperate but clueless as to how to stop them.

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EXCERPT

Wilson taps impatiently on the keypad. “You want beauty and youth forever, Dorianna? I can give you that. Power over those mean girls; over a lot of people? It’s yours for a price. Just say it.” His eyes are golden and black and red all at once, like unearthly spears, piercing through me. I’m dizzy. I need fresh air now. But I want this promise more than anything. Ever.

“What’s the price?” I rasp.

Wilson’s stare burns into me. “Can’t say exactly. But there always is.” His words are ice and fire. Flutters of snowflakes pattering silently under my skin that melt into scorching sparks.
I follow an irrepressible urge to stand up, and look down on Wilson with his narrow, feral face and piercings. I need Ander to look at me with that passion. I need those hater girls put in their place. I need a friend, and for people to want to be with me all of the time, to never be bored. Only to love me.

It’s worth any price.

A powerful force in me breaks loose, as if a flu bug is racing rampant down my spine.

“Would you… give your soul?” Wilson’s whisper invades my gut, my brain.

Ander’s aching gaze from our time at the beach shimmers in front of me. Enticing. I can almost feel his kiss. Like water. Drink it in. I’ve never wanted anything as much as I want this. “I’d give anything for power, easy youth and beauty.” My voice comes from all around me, spreading, gluey on my skin. “Yes, I’d even give my… soul.”

The air spirals into a funnel, draining all oxygen from the room with a hiss.

So, so, soul.

In an instant, new air swoops in, suffused with rich, delicious minerals. I gulp it in, openmouthed, so very thirsty. “To be seen and accepted,” I murmur.

Wilson goes head to head with me. “Forget about just being accepted. How about having a following of millions, going viral?”

“Really?” I’m whirling. “Going viral.” Wilson’s promises are golden brands, anointing me, conferring an otherworldly legitimacy I’ve never, ever felt. How does he manage to do this?
Ander returns with the brownies. I luxuriate in the sexy new glint he’s giving me.

“Something feels different in here,” he notes. “It’s colder.” He puts the brownies down. Who needs sweets when he’s looking at me like this? Is this vow a real thing? Is it already working?
An unfamiliar power in me swells with precarious danger and weight as I study Ander and Wilson. Abruptly, I’m flung out of my body, inexplicably looking down on them as pitiful peons who will someday worship at my feet.

As two of the very, very many.

Then, I’m back inside myself stunned by how I was seeing them. The room seems to rush with the force of souls washing through, and I flinch when I hear them moaning. I tell myself it’s only the whir, whir of the hard drives.

 

About Catherine Stine

Catherine Stine is a USA Today bestselling author of historical fantasy, sci-fi thrillers, paranormal romance and young adult fiction. Her novels have earned Indie Notable awards and New York Public Library Best Books for Teens. She lives in Manhattan and loves spending time with her beagle, writing about witches and other fabulous creatures, gardening on her deck, and meeting readers at book fests.

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Catherine Stine’s Tour Giveaway

1 $35 gift card

1 signed copy of Pictures of Dorianna (USA only)

1 Pictures of Dorianna coffee cups! (USA only)

1 ebook of Witch of the Cards (historical fantasy)

1 ebook of Ghosts of Fire (fantasy anthology, includes story ‘Rollerskate Boys’)

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Spotlight on #postapocalyptic #darkfantasy: The Famished Trilogy by @theanniewalls

Hi Everyone! Author Annie Walls is here today with her post-apocalyptic trilogy. Perfect reading for Halloween. Read on and be sure to enter her tour giveaway, too. Happy Halloween! xo, Celia


Title: The Famished Trilogy Box Set
Author: Annie Walls
Genre: Post-Apocalyptic
Publisher: Annie Walls
Release date: October 1, 2019
# or Pages: 942
Word count: 314K
Cover Artist: Annie Walls

After surviving four years alone, Kansas Moore ventures from her refuge to uncover mankind resumes without her. Upon encountering Rudy Hawthorne, she plunges into a new world deep with secrecy, deception, and manipulation.

Kansas struggles to preserve her humanity from distorting and fading like that of society around her. Not only does she fight the undead, she battles for the resistance. Answers prove dangerous to seek as everything is not what it seems.

As Kan accepts comforts in new friendships and love, she soon realizes civilization isn’t the only thing worth fighting for.

In an exhilarating plot thick with twists and turns, The Famished Trilogy propels you through a unique journey that’s emotional as much as it is gripping. Nothing will prepare you for the ride.

Amazon | Book Trailer

Title: Taking on the Dead
Series: The Famished Trilogy
Number: Book One
Author: Annie Walls
Genre: Post-Apocalyptic
Publisher: Annie Walls
Release date: Sept. 2012
ISBN 10: 1478276258
ISBN 13: 978-1478276258
ASIN: B009EB4YDU
# or Pages: 310
Word count: 107K
Cover Artist: Stephanie Mooney

Life for Kansas was perfect until the day the world changed. She has been hiding out for four years in solitude. It’s the only way to survive. The only way not to draw zombies. Helping a small group of people, she learns the new world might not be what she assumes.

Venturing out of her refuge and comfort zone, she meets Rudy, who helps her find a greater purpose. She realizes the world has moved on without her. Only it’s not what she expects. Her knowledge of the living dead grows and only makes her more curious as humanity continues to hang on by a thread.

While on her search for answers she finds comfort in new friendships and love, but her past seems as if it will haunt her forever. Kansas takes it upon herself to help other survivors, which would be easy if the famished were the only obstacles. In a post apocalyptic romance trilogy plot thick with twists and turns, this adult dark fantasy is emotional as much as it is horrifyingly gripping.

*Not intended for a young audience. Mature content.*

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Title: Controlling the Dead
Series: The Famished Trilogy
Number: Book Two
Author: Annie Walls
Genre: Post-Apocalyptic
Publisher: Annie Walls
Release date: November 2014
ISBN 10: 149361472X
ISBN 13: 978-1493614721
ASIN: B00G8JB1FU
# or Pages: 280
Word count: 95K
Cover Artist: Annie Walls

With the help of her new companions, the path Kansas follows leads to more knowledge of the ever adapting famished.

The team finds help in unlikely places, meeting more survivors, and discovers the possibility of a new beginning.

When the team experiences a devastating loss, Kansas struggles to keep her humanity from fading and distorting like that of the surviving society around her. It begins with knowing who to trust and who to leave behind. First, she must trust herself – she won’t make the same mistakes twice.

As the answers to her questions are revealed, Kansas begins to understand the knowledge comes with a heavy price and great responsibility of controlling the dead.

In a trilogy plot thick with twists and turns, this adult dark fantasy is as emotional as it is horrifyingly gripping.

*For Mature Audience*

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Title: Living with the Dead
Series: The Famished Trilogy
Number: Book Three
Author: Annie Walls
Genre: Post-Apocalyptic
Publisher: Annie Walls
Release date: July 20, 2019
ISBN 10: 1085805409
ISBN 13: 978-1085805407
ASIN: B07VGZ1L76
# or Pages: 370
Word count: 112K
Cover Artist: Annie Walls

For five years, life is strenuous for Kansas Moore as she travels with her team and saves more people from the clutches of the revolutionists. On the downtime, they construct and enlist for their own cause.

When the general assigns her to search for Mago, she turns to the team and what they find overturns everything they’ve learned so far.

In this dramatic conclusion of The Famished Trilogy, things are not what they seem and comfortable living is far from reach.

*This book contains graphic violence, intense language, sexual situations, drug use, and is intended for a mature audience.*

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About Annie Walls

Annie Walls is an author of dark and urban fantasy. She resides on the Tennessee countryside with her husband, son, and bulldog. Far, far away from society. She’s a romantic and misanthropist. When she is not writing, she is reading.

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Famished Trilogy Tour Giveaway

Prize = 1 Halloween-themed junk journal (value $85) and $25 Amazon GC.

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Spotlight on #ParanormalRomance #Werewolves: Lust by Lola Taylor

Hi Everyone! Say hello to author Lola Taylor. She’s here today with sexy werewolves from her Blood Moon Rising series. Enjoy an excerpt and be sure to enter the Bewitching Spooktacular giveaway, too! xo, Celia


Title: Lust
Number:Companion Novella to Book 2
Series: Blood Moon Rising
Author: Lola Taylor
Genre: Werewolf Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Indigo Dreamer Press
Release date: November 25, 2015
ISBN 10: 0983513171
ISBN 13: 978-0983513179
ASIN: B018PH0R84
# or Pages: 188
Word count: 42K
Cover Artist: Deranged Doctor Design

Takes Place During the Same Timeframe as Book 2 in the Main Series

Can love be born from hatred?

A WOLF WHO HAS SPENT HIS LIFE IN THE SHADOWS OF HIS PAST…

Beta werewolf—and ex–bounty hunter—Shadow knew when his Alpha commanded—er, “politely growled”—for him to attend the werewolf summit, that it was going to royally suck. Not only does he not want to fool around with all that royal werewolf bullshit, but he also knows he’s not exactly everybody’s favorite guy. Considering he ruined a lot of those werewolves’ lives in his old profession, he’ll be lucky if he can survive the weekend. Not to mention his mating Fever is driving him insane—and so is the feisty Alpha female he’s Marked as his mate.

A QUEEN OF WOLVES WHOSE REIGN IS THREATENED…

Spirited Breanna Whiteclaw is barely holding it together. With an ornery Alpha named Strider out to make her—and her pack —his own, and with her pack recovering from recent attacks by an unknown enemy, she has her paws full. Attending the summit means leaving her pack in their time of need, but as a royal werewolf, she knows she has no choice. Add to that the fact that her Blood Moon is approaching, and she has yet to find a mate—until the devilishly handsome Shadow Marks her as his own.

CAN LOVE BE BORN FROM HATRED?

Shadow never intended to go through with the mating ceremony—especially with the daughter of a man he killed. But his Fever has other plans. The more he’s around her, the more he craves her touch, longs to hear her voice, and aches to claim her.

From the moment Shadow’s Mark formed on her hand, Breanna knew her mate-bond was destined for failure. The bounty hunter responsible for her father’s death is the last wolf on this earth she could ever bind herself to forever. But if she wants to remain Alpha and save her pack, she might not have a choice. As Strider closes in on her, she finds herself relying on Shadow’s quiet strength—and craving those rough hands all over her curves.

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EXCERPT

Shadow felt her watching him before he saw her.

His eyes followed his senses, locking onto a tall raven-haired woman with olive skin. Her eyes were slanted and deep brown, her brows thick and black, her lips full. Her features made her look like an Indian princess. Tribal tattoos of black ink covered her biceps and wrists in bands. The simplicity of her inky dress complimented the turquoise stones dangling from her ears. She was radiant.

And pissed as hell as she stormed over to him.

He raked his brain, trying to figure out who this woman was.

“How dare you show your face here, murderer!” she screeched, getting right in his face. Anger seethed from every pore in her lovely, toned body. Not that he was looking.

Eyes upward, mate.

He didn’t flinch at the flung insult. He’d been called worse.

Drake stepped up to stand beside him. “Breanna,” he said smoothly, ever the diplomat. “I see you’ve met my new head of security, Sh—”

“I know who he is,” she spat, still glaring at him. “He’s the man who murdered my father.”

Stunned silence followed the statement. It was the first time Shadow had seen Drake struck speechless. A crowd had gathered around them as people pretended to be chatting but were secretly listening to the fight.

Freaking rubberneckers.

Drake at last shook his head and cleared his throat. “I’m sorry, you must be mistaken.”
“No,” Breanna said coldly, holding Shadow’s gaze. The burning fire in her eyes only made her more attractive. Breanna… Breanna… why couldn’t he remember who she was? “I’ll never forget the face of the man who killed Bear Whiteclaw.”

Bear White… Oh fuck.

This was his daughter? Shadow remembered seeing her at his trial, giving a passionate testimony that nearly had the jury ruling in favor of killing his ass. He hadn’t recognized her. She’d changed in the years since they’d met. She’d grown more into a woman.

A harder, colder version of the tearful pup mourning over her father, a man who deserved to rot in hell for the crimes he’d committed against mankind and paranormals alike. Killing Bear Whiteclaw had been doing the world a favor. Instead, it had earned him the scorn of a lot of people, including the fiery female in front of him.

Words of apology dried up in his mouth. How did you say you were sorry for something like that? “Miss, I—”

“What? You’re sorry? Don’t you dare lie to me, you son of a bitch.” Her dainty hands formed fists, which trembled at her sides. Blood dribbled between her fingers, dripping to the floor. Her claws must have come out. He’d bet his retirement she was itching to tear his face off. She’d probably smile while doing it.

A tall blond man who looked as if he could bench press a bus walked up to Breanna and whispered something in her ear. The tension eased out of her, but only slightly.

She stepped up to Shadow, her lips brushing his cheek and making him shiver.

“If it’s the last thing I do,” she whispered, “I’ll kill you.”

In one fluid motion, she was gone. He watched her walk away, his body too wired from the heat burning through him.

A fire that had blazed to life the second her lips had caressed his skin with the threat of death.

 

About Lola Taylor

“Lola Taylor” is a pen name created for the romances I can’t show my grandma without blushing. My favorite genre to write is romantic suspense, usually involving hot werewolves, warlocks, or any other type of paranormal creature. Keep the action hot and the romance hotter—that’s my motto! I’m a horror film junkie, I still love Halloween as an adult (seriously, I think I get more excited for it than some kids do), and what precious spare time I have is spent with my family, reading (everything from sci fi to middle grade), playing the flute, painting pretty pictures, or screwing around on Pinterest or Etsy. Hailing from the South, I currently live in the Midwest with five fur babies and my hubby.

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Spooktacular Giveaway

Lola Taylor’s prize in the multi-author giveaway: 5 ecopies of Forever, a sequel to Lust. (Features the same couple. Winners will receive a Bookfunnel link to download their choice of format.)

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Spooktacular Spotlight on #ParanormalRomance: T.L. Christianson’s Shades of Red Series

Hi Everyone! It’s a spotlight on two books today from T. L. Christianson’s Shades of Red series. Enjoy an excerpt plus TL’s viewing recommendations for Halloween. Be sure to enter the giveaway, too! Enjoy! xo, Celia

Title: Scarlet – Taming the Thirst
Series: Shades of Red #2
Author: T.L. Christianson
Genre: Paranormal Romance / Thriller-Suspense
Publisher: Myth and Moon Press
Release date: 12/04/18
ASIN: B07J6SGQY1
ISBN: 978-1097339587
# or Pages: 284
Word count: 86K
Cover Artist: German Creative

Sarah’s determined to cure the vampire plague…if she can control her bloodlust.

Sarah’s determined to cure the vampire plague…if she can control her bloodlust. To keep her in line, sexy, soldier Karsten has been assigned to her. He may be just what the doctor ordered…

A rogue scientist is infecting the Moroi of the world with a deadly disease, and one woman is willing to risk it all for the cure. Dr. Sarah Shepard doesn’t let anything get in her way. She’s a renegade virologist who’s on a mission to find a cure.

However, as a new vampire, her out-of-control bloodlust has ruined her marriage, taken her kids and continues to plague her at every turn.Karsten Ingvar is an elite Danish soldier who specializes in taming new vampires. When he takes an assignment to help the prestigious Dr. Shepard, he can’t help but be fascinated and compelled by her determination and beauty.Together, they begin to track down this madman, but the more they learn, the more questions they have.When Karsten’s centuries-old past steps between him and Sarah, she’s forced to make an unthinkable choice between her love for the soldier and her old life.

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EXCERPT

I’m Dr. Sarah Shepard, and I’m a vampire.
Apparently, my “blood lust” has become an issue for my employers, and I’ve been assigned this crazy cute soldier. But, I’ve got a better use for his skills…no…not that, as tempting as it is. Don’t be so dirty minded…
No, someone out there has created a disease that’s ripping through the moroi world. With our combined skills, I’m going to find this scientist, capture him and cure this disease once and for all!
I know this can’t make up for the loss of my husband and my children, but it’s a start.

Title: Ruby – Blood is Thicker Than Water
Series: Shades of Red #3
Author: T.L. Christianson
Genre: Paranormal Romance / Thriller-Suspense
Publisher: Myth and Moon Press
Release date: 6/25/19
ASIN: B07R1M3L9S
ISBN: 978-1073899142
# or Pages: 300
Word count: 68K
Cover Artist: German Creative

Caught between a vampire clan leader and a sexy human bounty hunter, Hazel Richards, unfortunately, can’t have them both.

Finding herself kicked out of her clan, job, and Manhattan apartment, Hazel teams up with bounty hunter Alexei. Their target is the Butcher, a notorious killer of Vampires. During the investigation, sparks fly between the two. However, Hazel’s clan leader, Aurev, won’t escape her mind. She’s been close to him for almost 80 years. Surely, she’d know if Aurev wanted more…or would she?

When a cryptic thumb drive comes in Hazel’s life, it implicates her clan and could spell ruin for them all. Alexei already has a job, but he’s willing to abandon a rich reward to help solve the mystery. But he might not help her if he knows that she’s devoted to her leader. Is Aurev really unattainable or has he harbored feelings for Hazel all along? Is Alexei who she really wants or is he just a backup?

A sexy bounty hunter, a loyal clan leader, a mysterious thumb drive and a threatening letter. Someone’s accusing the New York vampire clan of treachery and Hazel has to figure it out before her world comes crashing down!

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T.L. Christianson’s Top 10 Halloween Movies

Halloween is my most favorite holiday! There are so many reasons why I love it! The air has become crisp and clean, with a scent of leaves and rain. There’s a bustle of hurry as all the fields begin their final harvest for the year, and a sense of celebration is in the air. Besides, I have a huge sweet tooth and what better way to celebrate eating some candy and the change of seasons than with a movie? Here are my top 10 films, enjoy!

10 – Buffy The Vampire Slayer (1992)
This is such a classic vampire movie. Buffy’s scrunchie, bunchy socks, and big bangs will take you back to the ’90s. Buffy deals with all the stereotypical “girl” problems like boys and periods, but manages to kick butt and look good while doing it. Even though it’s been eclipsed by the Buffy TV series with Sarah Michelle Gellar, this movie is still a fantastic flick and will forever feel like Halloween to me.

9 – Ghostbusters (1984)
Nothing says spooky and Halloween like this original film. Ghostbusters is such a classic that it’s been duplicated, imitated but never replicated. It’s fun and scary, and I just love the entire storyline. If you haven’t seen this movie, stream it tonight!

7 – Scooby Doo (2002)
Alright, this movie is kind of a guilty pleasure for me. It shouldn’t be good, it should be terrible, but for some reason I love it. As a Nancy Drew fan and a definite old school Scooby Doo fan, this movie just struck a sweet spot for me. For Halloween, this is a go-to film.

6 – The Village (2004)
Yas Queen…The Village. I love the entire premise of this movie. While it has some big names like Sigourney Weaver, I don’t think it’s that well known. I love The Village because the story has such a surprising reveal midway through, flipping the entire paradigm the original plot is built on. This scary story has a ring of plausibility for me, and that’s why it’s on my Halloween top 10 list.

5 – Practical Magic (1998)
This falls into the classic witch tale catagory. Two spinsters raising little girls, a curse and best of all the most fantastic house ever! This house has its own cult following. I mean part of watching this movie is to see this house…am I right? Also, with heavy hitters like Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman, Practical Magic makes magic feel practically real.

4 – Zombieland (2009)
Ah man, what’s not to love? This is a super fun, modern zombie flick. There’s a nerd, a pretty girl, zombies, and Bill Murry. If you haven’t seen this little-known film, go check it out!

3 – The Craft (1996)
This movie seemed dangerous and forbidden to me as a youth, but I love this film for the sheer believability of it. If four teenagers had magic, how would they use or misuse their power and what would the consequences be? I’d think kind of like this.

3 – Lost Boys (1987)
“Sleep all day. Party all night. Never grow old. Never Die. It’s fun to be a vampire.”
I think the Lost Boys were the first sexy vampires—I mean they were scary and total hoods, but this movie is funny, frightening and hot as hell.

2 – Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (2001)
This is the first movie of the Harry Potter series, which has been wholly capitalized on in the last 18 years it’s been out. From Diagon Alley being recreated in the swamps of Florida to actual grown adults running around with sticks between their legs to imitate Quidditch (a game on flying broom sticks to those of you living under a rock.) Nevertheless, I will always love this book and movie because of the sheer enchantment, hope, and wonder it evokes. It’s genuinely one of my all-time favorite movies, but I save it to watch during October to add to that sense of amazement and change we feel during this time of year.

1 – Goonies (1985)
This uber classic movie not only reminds me of Fall and Halloween, but of my childhood and a more innocent time. Everything about this film screams nostalgia for me and for that reason, it’s my ultra-all-time fall favorite. There are bad guys, bullies and romance all wrapped up in an HEA. Goonies never say die!

About T. L. Christianson

T.L. lives in Colorado with her husband and two children. She’s a graduate from the University of Colorado in Boulder and an avid outdoorswoman. When she’s not outside or writing, you’ll find her playing the Sims, a new Nancy Drew Mystery game or watching some Netflix.

She’s always jotted down stories and even wrote her first novel at age 16. T.L. finally decided to share her stories with the world and pursue publication after a severe injury left her in the hospital. She was given a bleak prognosis with lots of restrictions. Fighting to overcome them, T.L. has defied her doctors expectations and now lives a normal life. Although she still struggles occasionally from the fallout of her injuries, she’s a fighter and wants merely to give her readers the joy and contentment that she feels when reading a good book.

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Spooktacular Giveaway

eBook set of Scarlet – Taming the Thirst; and Ruby – Blood is Thicker Than Water

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Spotlight on #urbanfantasy: Gallowglass by Jennifer Allis Provost @parthanan

Hi Everyone! Jennifer Allis Provost is here today with the first book in her urban fantasy series, the Chronicles of Philip Williams, plus some spooktacular info on Scottish ghost stories and Halloween traditions. Be sure to enter the Bewitching Spooktacular giveaway, too! Enjoy! xo, Celia

Title: Gallowglass
Series: Chronicles of Philip Williams #1
Author: Jennifer Allis Provost
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Bellatrix Press
Release date: June 6, 2017
ISBN: 978-1622510320
ASIN: B06XXQCPFB
# or Pages: 271
Word count: 75K
Cover Artist: Deranged Doctor Designs

Karina didn’t set out to free the Seelie Queen’s gallowglass. Now she’ll do anything to keep him.

After Karina and her brother, Chris’s, lives fall apart in separate yet equally spectacular ways, they leave New York behind and head to the UK. Karina buries herself in research for her doctoral thesis, all the while studiously not thinking about the man who broke her heart, while Chris—who’d been a best-selling author before his ex-fiancée sued him for plagiarism—drinks his way across the British Isles.

In Scotland, they visit the grave of Robert Kirk, a seventeenth- century minister who was kidnapped by fairies. No one is more shocked than Karina when a handsome man with a Scottish brogue appears, claiming to be the Robert Kirk of legend. What’s more, he says he spent the last few hundred years as the Gallowglass, the Seelie Queen’s personal assassin. When they’re attacked by demons, Karina understands how dearly the queen wants him back.

As Karina and Robert grow closer, Chris’s attempts to drown his sorrows lead him to a pub, and a woman called Sorcha. Chris is instantly smitten with her, so much so he spends days with Sorcha and lies to his sister about his whereabouts. When Chris comes home covered in fey kisses, Karina realizes that the Seelie Queen isn’t just after Robert.

Can Karina outsmart the Seelie Queen, or is Robert doomed to forever be the Gallowglass?

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EXCERPT

My jaw dropped, and if I hadn’t already been on the ground I would have fallen. As it was, my arm went out from under me, and my shoulder bumped into Robert. “Are ye all right, lass?” Robert asked.

“Yes,” I lied. There was nothing all right about this. “Why did the queen take you?”

“She fancied me,” he replied. “Offered me an apple, ye ken. I said no, it angered her, she cursed me. And here we are today.”

I looked up at him. He still had his head tipped back against the tree, his eyes closed. “That sounds like the ridiculously oversimplified version.”

At that, he opened his eyes and speared me with his gaze. “Would ye be likin’ all the details, then, lass?”

I swallowed. “Um, maybe not just yet.” My gaze moved from Robert’s face to the quartz in my hand. “What makes you think I freed you?”

“Ye made contact wi’ the tree, wishin’ to rescue me. Wishes are powerful things, ye ken.” Robert leaned over and touched the quartz. “Then ye dropped your stone, and a door opened for me. I ha’ been waitin’ for ye ever since.”

“Wishes are powerful things,” I repeated. “Why do you want to leave with me? You don’t even know me.”

“I know ye freed me, and that is no small thing,” Robert replied. “I also know that as soon as Nicneven kens I’ve left me post, she will send her creatures to retrieve me.”

“Creatures?”

“Aye. And I do no’ want to be here when they arrive.”

I took a deep breath and got to my feet, Robert following suit. Once we were standing I looked into his clear blue eyes, his guileless face, and sighed. He was either telling the truth, or he was the greatest actor in the world. Or I was the world’s biggest idiot; the jury was still out on that.

“Well, let’s go.”

“Go?” he repeated hopefully.

“If you’re telling the truth—and I’m not saying that you are—I can’t just leave you here. And, if you’re not telling the truth, I’ll drop you at the nearest police station,” I added, trying to act tough in front of the armored man with the sword.

Robert inclined his head, and took both of my hands in his. “Lass, soon enough ye will ken that I only speak what’s true.” He once again brought my knuckles to his lips; this time, I let him kiss me. It was nice, having one’s hand kissed by a dark, handsome man. “Karina Siobhan Stewart, I am now your charge, and I shall follow your every command.”

“Okay. Um.” I looked him over and issued my first command. “First of all, you can’t tromp around Aberfoyle wearing chain mail. You’re going to have to take off your armor.”

 

Scottish Ghost Stories by Jennifer Allis Provost

As the calendar approaches Halloween each year, talk inevitably turns to ghost stories. What better way to celebrate the season that with ghost stories from Scotland, the birthplace of Halloween? Below are some of the most chilling tales based in two of Scotland’s largest cities, Edinburgh and Glasgow.

Edinburgh is the ideal setting for a ghost story, what with its gruesome past and ancient warren of streets. Greyfriar’s Kirkyard, located in the Old Town, was the scene of religious persecutions in the seventeenth century. There have been more than five hundred recorded poltergeist attacks within the kirkyard.

Not quite a ghost story, the tale of William Burke and William Hare is chilling nonetheless. They were body snatchers turned murderers that operated in Edinburgh between 1827 and 1829. They sold their corpses to one Dr. Knox at Edinburgh University to use in his lectures. Eventually, the pair were implicated when Dr. Knox made a full confession. Hare turned king’s evidence on Burke, and Burke was hanged shortly afterward. His corpse was dissected and his skeleton displayed at the Anatomical Museum of Edinburgh Medical School, where he remains today. A fitting end, if you ask me.

Several stories originate in the city’s underground alleys, one of the most famous being Mary King’s Close and the Blair Street Vaults. Costumed tur guides will regale you with tales of intrigue, plague, and murder. Or better yet, visit the Edinburgh Dungeons where you can take a turn on the Drop Dead Ride, where you learn what it’s like to be hanged in excruciating detail. If you survive, you can hear all about Scotland’s most famous cannibal, Sawney Bean.

As the most populous city in Scotland, Glasgow has plenty of ghoulish tales to tell. Some say a lovely lady haunts Hillhead station. Witnesses have seen her wearing pre-WWII finery, and she’s always laughing or whistling a song. As ghosts go, she’s ne I wouldn’t mind running into.

The ghosts associated with the track between West Street and Shields Road aren’t nearly as fun. Reports of this ghost claim it’s half boy, half animal, and it tends to be gnawing on something. I suppose it’s for the best that we don’t know what that “something” is.

Glasgow’s southern Necropolis made headlines in the 1950s when children began roaming the graveyard in search of a seven foot tall vampire. The vampire—who was said to have metal teeth—was blamed for two missing children. Neither the children nor the metal-mouthed vampire were ever found.

What are some ghost stories you’ve enjoyed, Scottish or otherwise? Tell us in the comments!

Scottish Halloween Traditions by Jennifer Allis Provost

The day we call Halloween has its origins in the Celtic holiday Samhain (pronounced sow-in). The ancient Celts believed that on Samhain the veil between this world and the Otherworld grew thin, thus allowing humans to interact with the spirit world. This thinning of the veil not only made contact with spirits easier, it also allowed monsters to enter our world.

Celts would leave offerings outside their doors, such as a bowl of milk or a loaf of bread, to appease the fae. Some creatures, such as the impish puka, took their offerings directly from the fields. And some creatures were a death sentence to all who saw them, as were the Dullahan. They were headless men who rode horses with fire in their eyes, and if you saw one death was imminent.

Also on horseback were The Sluagh, or Faery Host, was made up of the spirits of the restless dead. They came from the west on Samhain, their mission to steal souls. Celts would keep all western-facing windows and doors shut on Samhain to keep the Sluagh from entering their homes.

With all these monsters afoot, folk devised several ways to ward off evil spirits. Large bonfires were set to ward off malevolent entities, and lanterns bearing scary faces were carved from neeps, what we Americans call turnips. Of course, this custom gave rise to the pumpkin jack o’ lantern we still see today.

Our custom of trick or treating also has roots in the Scots tradition of guising, in which children would disguise themselves as evil spirits. This way, they could venture out on Halloween without being detected by ghouls and monsters. However, guisers couldn’t simply knock on their neighbor’s door and expect candy. They first had to perform a trick, such as reciting a poem or joke, and candy was their reward.

Other traditional customs still practiced today, in one form or another, include dookin’ for apples. Much like the modern game of bobbing for apples, this game involved trying to grab apples from a tub of water using your mouth, or a fork clenched between your teeth. Children would also try to bit treacle scones suspended from ropes, while their hands were tied behind their backs. If you were recently engaged you might throw a nut on the fire. If it quietly burned amid the embers your union would be good, but if those nuts hissed and crackled it foretold of discord in the house.

Does your family still practice traditional Halloween customs? Let us know in the comments!

About Jennifer Allis Provost

Jennifer Allis Provost writes books about faeries, orcs and elves. Zombies too. She grew up in the wilds of Western Massachusetts and had read every book in the local library by age twelve. (It was a small library.) An early love of mythology and folklore led to her epic fantasy series, The Chronicles of Parthalan, and her day job as a cubicle monkey helped shape her urban fantasy, Copper Girl. When she’s not writing about things that go bump in the night (and sometimes during the day) she’s working on her MFA in Creative Nonfiction.

Web Site / Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest | Amazon | GoodReads

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Spooktacular Spotlight on #UrbanFantasy: Amber Ruin by @SuzanneMSabol

Hello Dear Readers, Suzanne Sabol is here today with Book 8 of her urban fantasy series, The Blushing Death, plus her top 10 favorite fantasy series. Be sure to enter the Bewitching Spooktacular giveaway, too! xo, Celia

Title: Amber Ruin
Series: The Blushing Death Series #8
Author: Suzanne M Sabol
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Soul Mate Publishing
Release date: October 9, 2019
ASIN: B07YCKXRMZ
# or Pages: 308
Word count: 106,733
Cover Artist: Rae Monet

Racing to survive the traps set by Baba Yaga and the magic of the Outer Realm to rescue two of her wolves, Dahlia Sabin enters the Outer Realm understanding she may never come out again.

Dahlia, Dean, and Patrick are attempting a political coup of the supernatural world. Gathering allies to upset the balance and throw off the shackles of the ancients won’t be easy. But to live alongside humans instead of in their shadow, they’ll have to overcome enemies at every turn; vampires, shifters, the fae, and humans.

Baba Yaga, the queen of the dark fae, has her own designs for Dahlia. Moving her chess pieces on the board, the ancient witch has set a trap to draw The Blushing Death back into her clutches. To possess Dahlia and the power of Fertiri magic for her own purposes, Baba Yaga will do almost anything -sacrifice anyone – to rise to power once more.

Racing to survive Baba Yaga’s traps and rescue two of her wolves, Dahlia enters Baba Yaga’s mountain understanding that she may never come out again.

Available at: Amazon

Suzanne Sabol’s Favorite Fantasy/Urban Fantasy Series

10. TIE: Night Huntress–Jeaniene Frost / Anita Blake (1-5)–Laurell K.Hamilton
9. Blackthorn & Grim – Juliet Marillier
8. Mercy Thompson – Patricia Briggs
7. Vampire Huntress – L.A. Banks
6. The League: Nemesis Rising – Sherrilyn Kenyon (McQueen)
5. Hidden Legacy – Ilona Andrews
4. The Hollows – Kim Harrison
3. Sevenwaters – Juliet Marillier
2. Immortals After Dark – Kresley Cole
1. Kate Daniels – Ilona Andrews

About Suzanne Sabol

Suzanne M Sabol is the author of Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance. She is a graduate of The Ohio State University and has two Bachelor of Arts degrees with majors in Criminology, International Studies, Russian, and Political Science. She has a Master’s degree from The Ohio State University’s John Glenn School of Public Affairs. She is married with one child and lives in Columbus Ohio.

Suzanne M Sabol is a member of several professional organizations; Romance Writers of America, Central Ohio Fiction Writers, North East Ohio Romance Writers Chapter, and the Fantasy, Futuristic, and Paranormal Chapter of RWA.

The Blushing Death Series and the Blood and Bone Legacy are published through Soul Mate Publishing. Editor, Debby Gilbert, can be contacted through their website at www.soulmatepublishing.com.

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1 prize pack of goodies including the following:
1 wine glass
1 journal
1 relaxation gift packet
1 book in the Blushing Death Series

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Spooktacular Spotlight on #UF #PNR: The Darkest Gateway by Jeri Westerson

Hi Everyone! The Bewitching Spooktacular tours continue with Jeri Westerson’s Book of the Hidden UF/PNR series. Enjoy an excerpt plus Jeri’s Halloween playlist. Be sure to enter the Bewitching Spooktacular giveaway, too! xo, Celia

Title: The Darkest Gateway
Series: Booke of the Hidden #4
Author: Jeri Westerson
Genre: Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance
Publisher: JABberwocky Literary
Release date: October 2, 2019
ISBN: 978-1-625674-25-8
ASIN: 978-1-625674-23-4
# of pages: 301
Word count: 90,181
Cover Artist: Mayhem Cover Creations

“Whoever said country life was dull didn’t know Moody Bog.”

With the arrival of Samhain, the supernatural Booke of the Hidden is set to release a barrage of deadly creatures onto the hapless village of Moody Bog, Maine.

Tea proprietor Kylie Strange knows the showdown is coming and wants to end the Booke for good. But the only way to accomplish this is a journey to the Netherworld and get the help of the only being powerful enough to destroy the Booke: Satan himself. And, though the brooding and elusive demon Erasmus Dark has captured Kylie’s heart against her better judgment, she ignores his repeated warnings that the mission guarantees her doom.

Amazon | Series Book Trailer

EXCERPT

I moved to the very edge of the road and waited.

The sound grew louder. It couldn’t be anything except hoofbeats. They clopped, not in a gallop but in a leisurely canter. And soon, there was the Dullahan coming around the curve. His head looked even greener and slimier under his arm than it had before, if that were possible.

His weirdly roving eyes spotted me easily. He kicked his red-eyed horse’s sides and hurried toward us. All the while, he swung that spine whip. With each revolution around his headless neck, the weapon grew longer and longer.

I kept the spear close to my side. I didn’t want that whip to catch it the way it had gotten the crossbow the last time.

He was almost upon me when he shrieked, “Kylie Strange!”

“That doesn’t work on me, you idiot!” I yelled.

The face frowned under his arm. It cast its googly eyes toward Erasmus and opened his mouth to yell his name.

“He’s a demon, remember? We’ve been through this before. Boy, you sure have a short memory. Must be because your brain is decaying faster than the rest of you. Looks like a bad case of melting Roquefort you got there.”

His dead face either grimaced or it really was melting. “Then I don’t need to say your name,” he said in a high screechy voice.

He spun the whip. Before I could get out of the way, it came at me and wrapped around my body, trapping my arms at my sides. I barely got out a yell before I was yanked off my feet.

The horse started galloping and I was flung out behind it almost parallel to the road. I couldn’t bring the spear up. I was whipping around in the air and getting a little seasick, but it was better than being dragged behind on the asphalt. There wouldn’t have been much left of me after that.

The bones of the spine whip were digging sharply into my skin. I tried wriggling free. If Headless decided to fling me off a cliff, there wasn’t much I could do about it. I knew Erasmus must be around somewhere, but this was up to me to figure out…if I could.
The Dullahan galloped around a sharp curve and I was thrown and dragged through the limbs of pine trees shouldering the road.

“Dammit!” I yelled, spitting out pine needles. “I am so going to kill you!”
He lifted his head up with his other arm. It swiveled and glared at me. “Not if I kill you first, Mistress Strange.”

“No need to be so formal,” I grunted, struggling. I slammed into some holly bushes and OW!
The face cackled and turned away, tucked back under his arm again. Then I looked up and saw what he was cackling about. The next curve of the road didn’t have any nice prickly holly bushes or spikey pine boughs. It was just granite all the way up the rock face.

“Shit!”

Shivery Playlist for a Creepy Halloween
by Jeri Westerson

I must confess, my playlist isn’t the typical fare of “Monster Mash” and “Love Potion Number Nine.” It’s about the soundtrack I like to listen to when I’m writing my paranormal tales. These are for my series Booke of the Hidden that takes place during all of the month of October and culminates on Halloween. The series wraps up with the fourth book, THE DARKEST GATEWAY. Tea proprietor Kylie Strange finds and opens the mysterious Booke of the Hidden, and must capture deadly creatures she’s unwittingly unleashed, while juggling the advances of an alluring and dangerous demon and a very human and handsome sheriff. So I need different tunes to get me in the mood.

So let’s start with “Devils” from Say Hi. Because my urban fantasy deals with a supernatural Booke and a demon guardian who gets intimately close to Kylie, the song deals with the devil getting hold of everything in the singer’s life, even “he make it to my heart”—just like Kylie. YouTube

The next one is Valerie Broussand’s “A Little Wicked”, because Kylie and Erasmas Dark, the demon, do get a little wicked. Especially when she can’t decide between the handsome sheriff or the demon. Who would YOU chose? YouTube

And then there’s “In the Shadows” by Amy Stroup. This mysterious and evocative tune really takes you there. There may be humor in these books, but there is still something not quite right, not…quite…human going on. It’s a song that gives me the shivers. YouTube

And just to lighten things up—and because the First Werewolf comes out of the Booke and bites one of Kylie’s friends—there’s the incomparable Warren Zevon’s “Werewolves of London”. Who doesn’t like a werewolf with a pina colada in his hand “…and his hair is perfect.” YouTube

And finally, a haunting song that will spirit you away, right to the dark shadows of Samhain, Halloween, with all the dangers and powers that shimmer and awaken this night. Loreena McKennitt’s “The Mummer’s Dance” recalls strange and secret Celtic festivals in a darkened wood lit only by moonlight. YouTube

About Jeri Westerson

Los Angeles native JERI WESTERSON is the author of twelve Crispin Guest Medieval Noir Mystery novels, a series nominated for thirteen national awards from the “Agatha” to the “Shamus”. Her fifth novel BLOOD LANCE was named one of the Ten Hot Crime Novels for Colder Days by Kirkus Reviews, and her sixth, SHADOW OF THE ALCHEMIST, was named Best of 2013 by Suspense Magazine. For BOOKE OF THE HIDDEN, her urban fantasy series, Publishers Weekly said, “Readers sad about the ending of Charlaine Harris’s MIDNIGHT, TEXAS trilogy will find some consolation in Moody Bog.” The fourth and final in the series, THE DARKEST GATEWAY, releases October 2, 2019. Jeri also writes the humorous SKYLER FOXE LGBT MYSTERIES under the pen name Haley Walsh. Jeri’s short stories were included in several mystery anthologies, including Shaken: Stories for Japan (for the 2011 Earthquake Relief Fund). Jeri was also featured on two local NPR shows, “My Awesome Empire” and KVCR-Arts. She has served two terms as president of the Southern California Chapter of Mystery Writers of America, twice president of the Orange County Chapter of Sisters in Crime, and as vice president and California Crime Writers Conference co-chair for the Los Angeles Chapter of Sisters in Crime. See more about Jeri at JeriWesterson.com, BOOKEoftheHIDDEN.com, and SkylerFoxeMysteries.wixsite.com/novels.

Web site | Book of the Hidden | Skyler Foxe Series | Blog | Facebook | GoodReads | Amazon | Pinterest

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Spooktacular Spotlight on #SciFiRomance #SFR: Enemy Games by @marcellaburnard

Hello Dear Readers! It’s time for another Bewitching Spooktacular tour. Marcella Burnard is here with her Sci Fi Romance series, a playlist, and a tasty snack recipe. Be sure to enter the Bewitching Spooktacular giveaway, too! Enjoy! xo, Celia

Title: Enemy Games
Series: Chronicles of the Empire #2
Author: Marcella Burnard
Genre: Sci Fi Romance
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press, Inc.
Release date: October 16, 2019
# of pages: 425
Word count: 95k
Cover Artist: Debbie Taylor

Different species from different worlds make reluctant allies.

While combating a plague, scientist Jayleia Durante becomes a pawn in a greater game. With her father missing and intergalactic mercenaries on her trail, her decision to cooperate with Major Damen Sindrivik may prove advantageous…if she can control her attraction to the officer who abducted her.Some secrets aren’t worth keeping…Damen, a spy from a rival government, will use anything, including his predatory instincts, to achieve his mission…locating Jayleia’s father.

She reacts to Damen’s charm and seductive power, so why does he question her motivation?Conflicted loyalties and enemies abound…Traitors and the alien enemies threaten to destroy the galaxy. Jayleia must choose.

Betray her father, risk her friends, and lose Damen, or prevent an Interstellar war?

Amazon

EXCERPT

Damen, fully dressed, left the tiny chamber by stalking straight up to her and glaring at her, a knot in his jaw. If she backed up, she’d collide with the bed. His bed. Muscles low in her abdomen clenched tight. Confusion rocked her. What had happened to make her react to the man? She sidled away, circling toward the open shower door. He leaned in, his gaze holding hers. Rational thought evaporated. She stumbled into the sanitizer. “What aren’t you telling me?” he murmured, his gaze fixed on her mouth. The air left her lungs and she struggled to recall that she had no business hoping Damen would make good his implied threat to kiss her. Pressing her lips tight, trapped by his gaze, she nudged the button to activate the system. The door shut in his face.

 

Bring on the Creepy Music!! by Marcella Burnard

My Halloween PlayList features NOX ARCANA (even the Christmas albums are creepy, y’all. I love these guys), DESIDERII MARGINIS, CITIES LAST BROADCAST, MUSICA CTHULHIANA.

Spotify Link: https://spoti.fi/2mnI2wd

RECIPE: Deviled Potato Bites by Marcella Burnard

This is a plant-based, vegan, gluten free recipe. It doesn’t look creepy, which bums me out, but with ‘deviled’ in the name, you can’t go wrong. And these things are devilishly tasty.

You’ll need to buy a pack of baby yellow potatoes. Rinse them, cover them with water in a pot and boil just until they’re fork tender. I start checking at about 8 minutes. Once a fork pierces the largest potato easily, remove the potatoes from the heat and drain. Set aside.

Now for the ‘deviled’ part

You’ll need:

1-2 Medjool dates – Pitted
1/4 Cup boiling water
Place your dates in a blender. Pour the boiling water over them to soften them for a few minutes.

1 Can garbanzo beans drained and rinsed
1 TBSP spicy brown mustard
1-2 tsp dijon
2 cloves garlic
2 TBSP lemon juice

Place these ingredients in the bowl of a food processor with the blade fitted inside it.

Blend your dates in the soak water. Start on low, then turn up the speed and let them get pulverized. If your dates were really hard, you’ll be happier if you soak them longer, even overnight. I find the organic medjool dates in the produce section of my local grocery store are moist and soft enough to use with maybe five minutes of soaking. You’ll have to experiment there. Once the dates and water have been blended, add them to the other humus ingredients in the food processor. Rinse down your blender with a little more hot water – you might add it to your humus as you process it.

Turn on the food processor and process your mixture down to a texture that pleases you, adding a bit of the rinse water from your blender as needed to achieve the consistency you prefer. Taste for spices and adjust to your taste. The dates add sweetness to the mix and most closely mimics the flavors of Deviled Eggs from my childhood. You may prefer to omit them. If you do, use plain water or veggie broth to thin your humus as it blends.

Cut your reserved potatoes in half. Use a melon baller and scoop a divot out of the inside of the potatoes. Spoon the humus into the cavities. Dust with smoke paprika and chives. Then watch yourself eat them all in one sitting!

About Marcella Burnard

Marcella Burnard graduated from Cornish College of the Arts with a degree in acting. Yes, there have been a few paying gigs here and there, but writing is her true love. Marcella writes science fiction romance, urban fantasy, paranormal, and fantasy. If a story brings the weird, Marcella’s right there for it. She lives in Florida, where she and her husband are outnumbered by cats. Marcella is actively involved in feline rescue in the Tampa Bay area, and you can always find cat photos and videos on her Facebook page or on her Instagram account.

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Spooktacular #Halloween #Donuts + #YAFantasy: Flesh by @Laura_Bickle

Hello Dear Readers! Laura Bickle is here today with some tasty fun: DIY Halloween Ghoul Donuts! Plus take a look at her YA Fantasy/Horror story, “Flesh”. Be sure to enter the Bewitching Spooktacular giveaway, too! xo, Celia

Title: Flesh
Author: Laura Bickle
Genre: YA Horror
Release Date: September 19, 2017
ISBN: 9781537857992
ASIN: B074XBJ697
# of pages: 307
Word count: 76,573
Cover Artist: Danielle Fine

The dead are easy to talk to. Live people, not so much.

Charlie Sulliven thinks she knows all the secrets of the dead. Raised in a funeral home, she’s the reluctant “Ghoul Girl,” her reputation tied to a disastrous Halloween party. But navigating her life as a high school sophomore is an anxiety-inducing puzzle to her. She haunts the funeral home with her parents, emo older brother, Garth, their pistol-packing Gramma, and the glass-eyeball-devouring dachshund, Lothar.

Chewed human bodies are appearing in her parents’ morgue…and disappearing in the middle of the night. The bodies seem tied to a local legend, Catfish Bob, who has resurfaced in the muddy Milburn river near Charlie’s small town. When one of Charlie’s classmates, Amanda, awakens in the cooler as a flesh-eating ghoul, Charlie must protect her newfound friend and step up to unravel the mystery…and try to avoid becoming lunch meat for the dead.

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EXCERPT

“Amanda, I… Oh.”

I don’t know what else to say. My brain just shuts down.

She is wearing the sheet, wound around her like a toga. It trails behind her bare feet, sort of like a painting about Greek goddesses I’ve seen in art books. She’s leaning over another body stored in the cooler unit on a cart. Her back is to me, and I can only see her pale skin and her burgundy-black hair shuddering.

“Amanda.”

She turns at the sound of my voice, seeming only to hear me for the first time. Her face is covered in dark blood. In her hand, she’s holding a big chunk of purple flesh. Her eyes are half-closed. The autopsy incision on the elderly body below her has been ripped open, and I’m pretty sure that what she’s holding is a lung.

“So hungry…” she murmurs.

I retreat until my back presses against the cold door. A whimper escapes my lips, and I drop the laundry basket with a sharp crack of plastic on the tile floor. This has to be a dream. A screwed-up anxiety dream that I’ll wake up from any moment now…

Amanda’s black eyes snap open. She stares at the chunk of flesh in her hand. “I…Agh…What’s going on?”

Lothar waddles over to her and begins to beg. Bile rises in my throat. “That’s Mrs. Canner,” I manage to answer. “She’s seventy-two and died of surgery complications for varicose veins. Deep vein thrombosis, I think. I don’t remember.” I’m babbling, trying to keep the bile down.

Amanda drops the lung with a wet splat. Lothar scrambles to it and begins scarfing it down. Her hands are trembling. She presses them to her temples. “I don’t understand. I don’t understand.”

I nudge the laundry basket closer to her with my foot. “I brought you some clothes. And, um. Food. You should get dressed.”

I think I should be afraid. I think I really ought to be. But Amanda seems genuinely confused. She reaches for the clothes I’ve brought her. To be polite, I know that I should really look away. But I can’t move. I am not turning my back on her. My heart pounds, and I struggle to take deep, uneven breaths.

Amanda unwinds the sheet and slips into my clothes. Though I avert my eyes, I see that her shoulder and side are still torn open. But my mother hasn’t begun the autopsy yet, so there is no Y-incision across her chest and abdomen.

“Do you remember what happened to you?” I manage to ask. I congratulate myself for having a rational thought. Woot.

Her voice is halting, and her brow wrinkles as she struggles to button my jeans. “I remember…something was chasing me. Jesus, it hurt…” Her hand comes up to her neck, and she seems to remember, fingering the edges of the wound. “Am I in a hospital?” she asks again.
I suck in a breath. “No. You’re at my house.” It’s not a lie. Not really.
She scans the room, as if registering the sight of the cadavers. “You’re the girl whose parents run the funeral home. The Ghoul Girl.”
“It’s gonna be okay,” I tell her.
“Why am I here?” Her breath makes ghosts in the cold air.
“The Sheriff found you, alongside the road.” That’s true also, even if not the whole truth. “I think we should get you upstairs, so you can talk to my parents…”
She shakes her head, and her dark hair slaps across her face. “No. I…Oh my god. I’m here because…somebody thought I was dead?”
I swallow hard. “Yeah.”

 

Laura Bickle’s Glittery Ghoul Donuts

When I saw vampire donuts come across a friend’s Facebook feed, I knew that I had to give them a try. I’ve had my own share of Pinterest disasters, to be certain, but I think this is something I can handle. The worst thing that could possibly happen would be that I’d have a dozen mangled donuts, right? I could eat all the evidence before anyone was the wiser.

vampire donut supplies
1. I gathered my materials. I picked up a dozen glazed donuts, a bag of plastic vampire fangs, and a package of candy eyes. For fun, I got some edible glitter. I originally thought I might make sparkly vampire donuts with silver glitter, but decided to get green so that the completed creatures would remind me more of ghouls.
vampire donut supplies
2. I squished some vampire fangs into the donut holes to make mouths.
vampire donut supplies
3. Then I added the candy eyes. They stick very well into the donut glaze.
vampire donut supplies

4. Then I dusted the donuts with edible green glitter. I was pretty pleased with my green choice…they seem particularly monstrous.

vampire donut supplies

5. And ta-da! A horde of flesh-eating ghoul donuts!

I’m counting this as a Halloween craft win. Do you have any Halloween crafts you’re going to make this season? Any raven wreaths, bat cookies, or carved pumpkins on your agenda?

About the Author:

Laura Bickle grew up in rural Ohio, reading entirely too many comic books out loud to her favorite Wonder Woman doll. After graduating with an MA in Sociology-Criminology from Ohio State University and an MLIS in Library Science from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, she patrolled the stacks at the public library and worked with data systems in criminal justice. She now dreams up stories about the monsters under the stairs. Her work has been included in the ALA’s Amelia Bloomer Project 2013 reading list and the State Library of Ohio’s Choose to Read Ohio reading list for 2015-2016.

More information about Laura’s work can be found at:
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