Huzzizzle of the Realm - September #horror #paranormal & #fantasy Reads

Books to keep you up reading at night!

The newest release from Christine Rains.
Currently top rated at Ellora's Cave!

Ghost Dancer (The Paramours #1)
The Paramours - ghost hunting with a kiss.

When Nina Azure’s talent as a ghost dancer doesn’t persuade a handsome phantom to talk, she entices him with sizzling sexual energy. Ben Moore’s spirit is tied to this world with guilt, but he breaks his self-imposed silence for the beautiful Nina. Lust makes him fully physical and she loses herself to desire. She must help him carry on to the afterlife, but her attraction to him is immensely powerful. She must push aside her own feelings and let him go—and perhaps find romance among the living.
Purchase links: Ellora's Cave & Kobo

Add it to read on Goodreads!

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A New Release Coming From
Cathrina Constantine
Release Date: October 24, 2015
Published by: Crushing Hearts and Black Butterfly
Genre: Science Fiction/Action Adventure
A Tallas Sequel

How far would you go to protect your family?

A peculiar metamorphosis has taken shape since the final days. And the planet is in the throes of healing.

Fulvio McTullan leads his family and a band of misfits to form a new settlement, far from Tallas and it’s nefarious Elites. Their journey takes them into uncharted territories where strange creatures are lurking. It’s a battle of survival, not only from the creatures, but the mutated earth as well.

Meanwhile, Pomfrey Addler, an oppressive Elite squashes the insurrection in Tallas. Suddenly, citizens begin to vanish in the middle of the night and his daughter, Paniess is hell bent on revenge.

Fraught with mishaps, Fulvio finally locates the perfect place to settle. They begin to rebuild until they receive a call. A call which will lure them back into the clutches of Tallas.


Catherine Stine will be signing copies of her dark fantasy Dorianna at the 2nd Belmar Book Convention on Sunday, October 11th, from 10 to 4 pm in Pyanoe Plaza. If you live in or near the New York, New Jersey area, come on over for a great day of books, beach, sun and more books! Then walk the Belmar Beach boardwalk and soak up some autumn sun.


From Captain Underpants to Harry Potter to Lolita - The Importance of Books on the Banned Books Lists

On banned books lists
for teaching witchcraft & sorcery
Banned Book Week is next week with a specific focus on young adult novels—why they are important, why they should be read, discussed and taught in schools. As an author of young adult fiction, I believe in unflinchingly honest stories. For instance, in my dark fantasy, Dorianna, I address the temptation to manipulate in order to gain power, and the fallout from that. If teens have no access to cautionary tales that will shake them up, they may be more likely to impulsively delve into questionable behavior. But that is only one reason these novels are important.

In my college lit classes I've been teaching stories from The Arabian Nights and pairing them with Bruno Bettelheim's groundbreaking essay "The Uses of Enchantment." He was a psychiatrist who worked with severely disturbed kids, and a firm believer that they need stories with dark as well as light elements in order to fully understand the struggle of human life in all of its permutations.

Too brutal? Too honest?
Or too valuable to ban!
Some of my favorite books have been on banned lists. I’m talking about Lord of the Flies, where I learned about how dangerous “crowd-think” can be and To Kill a Mockingbird, which spoke to the perils of racism and the importance of standing up for what one believes to be just.

A banned book - Really?!
Currently, the most absurd book on the list has got to be the hilarious middle grade novel Captain Underpants. Really? Are you kidding? Since when do we forbid belly laughs over silly cartoon guys in undies? Why should this book be read? Easy answer. This book inspired a huge number of reluctant young readers to finally take the joyous plunge into fiction.

As we’ve learned from ancient Greek myths to Shakespeare to modern day, The Truth Will Out in one way or another. I recently traveled to Russia and saw firsthand the damaging effect of repression and bans on free speech. The most profound example of this was when I visited The Nabokov House Museum in Saint Petersburg. Vladimir Nabokov is the author of Pale Fire, Pnin, and his most famous and controversial book, Lolita.
Lolita by Nabokov
What astounded me there, were cases containing pages of his novels, sent around in secret mails during the time the Soviet Union banned his books. His readers were so devoted they risked their very lives to mail ten or twenty pages at a time to each other in order to keep on reading his transformational stories.

Banned books teach us about love, bravery, the dangers of bullying and racism and so many other things. What would students learn if libraries contained only whitewashed mealy-mouthed porridge? Bettelheim, and many teachers and writers are strong believers in not sugarcoating reality, which is what we do when we only provide the most mild, sanitized fiction. Here are a couple of his quotes that speak directly to why we cannot afford to ban books: “What cannot be talked about cannot be put to rest. And if it is not, the wounds will fester from generation to generation,” and “The ability to read becomes devalued when what one has learned to read adds nothing of importance to one's life.”

Bring on the harsh, sexy, terrifying, eye opening, mind-blowing books that alter and elevate us. 


What would you do if you were transported back to medieval times?

Imagine you, your family, and your friends are at the carnival enjoying all manner of carnival foods and fun rides. You spy a fantastic looking tent touting Rennaisance Faire fun for all. Intrigued, you part from the group intending to just sneak one quick peek. The second you touch the tent flap, everything changes. The tent is gone and all around you is the noise, clang, and clatter of saddled war horses, knights in armor and preparations for a joust. You've been transported to the medieval times. Until you can find your way back to your own time, you have to do something, so, what would you do/be?

River Fairchild - 

I'd have to be a fortune teller in medieval times. That way I could still keep my head attached to my neck, despite the fact that I'd be a mouthy female who doesn't know her place in society. My skills would be in demand and I could frighten the superstitious people into leaving me alone without resorting to burning me at the stake.

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Christine Rains -

If I were transported back to medieval times, I'd fast be collecting materials to make a time machine to travel back to the 21st century! I couldn't live without the comforts of our modern world. And books! Books were a rare and precious thing in the dark ages. I'd make some coin by being a scribe (if they would even allow a woman to do so!) and piece together a primitive contraption that would make the Time Lords cringe.

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Ellie Garratt - 

If I were transported back to medieval times, I'd be in big trouble. I don't like to see people treated unfairly, so I'd make it my mission to track down Robin Hood and join his rebellious band of men. I'd become an outlaw, hiding from the law and fighting injustice.

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Gwen Gardner -

image credit: <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/73645804@N00/3677498528">Secret Summer Herb Garden</a> via <a href="http://www.imageslike.com">free images</a> <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/">(license)</a>
Click photo for attribution

I'd be a healer and spend my time growing and drying herbs to use in my concoctions. They'd be tied in bundles and hung from the ceiling and my little hovel would smell so wonderful! There would always be something simmering on the hearth. The plague wouldn't dare come anywhere near my medicinal cures.

Misha Gerrick

By jason train under CC BY 2.0

I'd rule, I believe. ;-)

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Angela Brown -

I'd probably become a knight of mystery. Being transported to a time without electricity, lacking toilets that flush, and missing my basic comforts could bring out some pretty angry emotions. Until I could get home, kicking lots of butt could be a good way of channeling that anger. And being a girl, well, I'd have to keep my identiy a secret.

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Cherie Reich - 

I'd take a moment or so to panic. Then, I would lament the fact I was in the Middle Ages and not some place cool like Ancient Greece or Rome. After that, I would get myself to a nunnery. Not because I care for all that religious stuff, but it's a safe place for a woman who'd more likely be accused of witchcraft to plot a way back to modern times.


M. Pax -

I come from a long line of merchants, so I'd probably be a shop girl working in the family store. If I retained the personality I currently have, I'd spend the days daydreaming of better days. However, considering how life was at the time, I'd probably be counting my blessings to be a merchant's daughter. If I had a choice, I'd be out training the horses.


Jeff Chapman -

I would be a knight at the Round Table of course, feasting on wild boar and venison, quaffing copious drafts of mead, writing love poetry, and questing after the Holy Grail in my spare time. Okay, back to reality. (UR is a collection of fantasy writers.) According to the dictionary, chapman is an archaic term for a peddler. Yup, I would be the medieval version of a door-to-door salesman, traipsing across the countryside, selling stuff that people can't afford and don't want and likely spreading plague-infested fleas in my wake. Like to buy some vair-lined slippers? They're guaranteed to keep your feet toasty this winter.


The Thing I Love Best About Being a Published Author

No, believe it or not, it's not the big bucks rolling in at present. It might actually sound strange, but my favorite thing is interacting with people who enjoyed my books.

See, I write for myself first, but then when the book is done, I want to share it. It's not as easy as that, though. Publishing is actually a terrifying thing to do, because once the book is out there, it might find people who don't like the book at all.

So hearing back from someone who likes what I've written makes my little heart glow with happiness. (No really.)

My favorite comments are when people quote their favorite passages from the book. Or when they read one chapter and tell me what they think will happen next. This mostly happens on Wattpad, which is a great place if you like chatting with people as they read the book.

Not all of them comment, of course, but those who do appreciate when I answer them. Which means they comment more, and eventually a relationship is built in a more personal way than would have been possible before the internet.

So, if you ever do buy the book, the links and addresses in the back are there for a reason. I really do want to hear back from you if you enjoyed what I've written. Squeeing along with readers is one of my favorite hobbies.

What about you? If you're a writer, what's your favorite sort of message from a fan? And if you're more of a reader, have you ever contacted a writer whose story you enjoyed?


Interstellar Dad by Jeff Beesler: Speculative Fiction Worth Reading #SciFi

Isn't it great to be surprised by a book? That's how I feel about Interstellar Dad by Jeff Beesler.

This book sucked me in from paragraph one and held my attention throughout. The main character is someone easy to identify with and root for. 

He's going through a rough patch. Went through a divorce. His job isn't going so great. He's falling apart and his life is going with it.

Bad goes to worse when he winds up in the desert in need of a tow truck. Then things get weird with an encounter often attributed to the American southwest.

What follows is folly and laughter and fun. Beesler definitely takes the reader on a ride of emotion throughout the story.

I liked it so much, I was excited to see the second one is now out. Yup, I for sure bought it.

Without hesitation, I give Interstellar Dad 5 stars. It's available on Amazon.

Have you read any good books lately?


Just Another Day in Purgatory

Death and Chronos are pleased to announce the launch of their new novella, Just Another Day in Purgatory.

What’s the book about, beyond the wacky fun and crazy misadventures of our fearless duo? It’s about friendship in the midst of insanity. Trying to find order in the middle of chaos. Living life on the edge and having fun while doing so. It’s about having someone’s back, no matter what.

I’d like to think it has heart. I hope you think so too. Best of all? It's only .99!


Hell freezes over. Heaven heats up. A resort springs to life on the banks of the River Styx and souls don’t want to move on.

Nothing scares our intrepid immortals—except a run-in with a scissor-wielding Fate after messing up the Great Tapestry. She’s the only one capable of cutting their Life Threads.

It’s just another day in Purgatory for Death and Chronos as they sort through the mayhem and keep the universe from spinning out of control. Be sure to bring along your helmet. You never know when Death might offer you a ride on his Harley.

A towering wall of ice loomed before them, rising from the road with a suddenness that left little time for Death to react. The bike slid sideways for a gut-wrenching moment before stopping just short of pinning their bodies against the frozen behemoth.
“That was close.” Chronos dismounted on legs gone rubbery by the near miss.
“Hm.” Death tapped his metacarpals against the ice. “It’s not cold. It’s—”
“—Gaia.” Chronos forgot to breathe after the name passed through his lips.
“We’d better get out of here. Use your hourglass to take us to Hell.”
“But we didn’t do anything,” Chronos protested even as he yanked the object from his belt.
“I know, but do you want to try explaining that to her? Better to fix the problem first and explain later.”
Chronos twirled the hourglass in his hand. Nothing happened. A fierce wind howled from behind the wall.
“What’s wrong? Will you please hurry before Gaia decides to turn us into garden gnomes?”
“The weather’s affecting it. It’ll take some time to reset.” Chronos fumbled with the instrument as the wind tried to snatch it out of his grip.
“I think we’ve run out of time.”
Death’s words hung in the abyss as Chronos managed to whisk them away from Purgatory and into Evil’s domain. Smoke swirled around them like scented fog. The chill air felt foreign in this place, normally so warm it bordered on steamy.
“Are you going to fix this?” A disembodied voice boomed from the shadows before its owner appeared. Lucien stomped into the room, teeth threatening to chomp through the cigar clenched in an unsmiling mouth.
“But we didn’t do anything.” Chronos sighed. The day hadn’t improved at all.