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Today's Author Spotlight is author Margot de Klerk! Read on for the full interview. Publication date: July 21st, 2021 Amazon |  Goodrea...


Today's Author Spotlight is author Margot de Klerk!

Read on for the full interview.



Publication date: July 21st, 2021

Nathan is a vampire hunter on the cusp of graduation. He’s been training for this his entire life: the moment he qualifies and joins the rest of his family in their noble calling.

If only it were that simple.

His grades are a mess, his social life is a disaster, and what’s worse, his best friend is a witch! Add to that, his vampire uncle is back in town and his crush might just be supernatural too, and you have one big melting pot of potential parental disapproval. Nathan doesn’t think he can take much more, and then the dark mages come to town.

As bodies begin piling up in the streets, Nathan finds himself pulled deeper into political intrigue and a deadly plot that will pit him against his own family. When the girl he likes comes under threat, Nathan races against time to solve the mystery... well aware that with every step he takes, he comes closer to his father exposing all his secrets.



What's your latest release? 

Wicked Magic, the first book in the Vampires of Oxford series, was released on 21 July 2021. Vampires of Oxford is a series of standalone novels, exploring the lives and adventures of different characters in an alternate universe where vampires and witches live amongst us. Wicked Magic is all about Nathan, a vampire hunter who finds himself siding with the vampires he’s supposed to hate.

Can you start out by telling us a little about your latest work? 

My debut novel is Wicked Magic. It’s a story about a vampire hunter-in-training, Nathan, who’s about to graduate. He finds himself doubting the values he’s been raised with. It’s very much a story about that awkward time in life, where you’re struggling with more and more responsibilities, trying to figure out who you are independent of your parents, and learning to stand on your own two feet. It also has a little bit of romance and a supernatural mystery.

Where did you get the inspiration to write this story?

This world has existed in my head for a long time, at least since 2013. I went to university in Oxford, and it’s a place which has always been very inspirational for me. I’ve also always loved vampire stories, and I knew my first novel would be a vampire novel.

Truth be told, I was actually working on a different novel in this series, and Nathan was a side character. One day, whilst I was working, I thought, “Hey, Nathan would be a really interesting character to explore some more.” The opening line popped into my head, and I started writing. One sleepless night later, I had fifteen thousand words written. I guess Nathan wanted his story to be told that badly.

When you developed the characters, did you already know who they were before you began writing or did they develop organically?

I start from a static point, knowing exactly how the character is at the beginning of the story. But I don’t plot out the character development. That grows organically. I like it the most when characters surprise me.

Which of your characters was your favorite to write and why?

I enjoy writing every character, but I think I love side characters the most. It’s so fun to think about who they really are, and then to filter that through the main character’s perspective. I especially love morally grey characters. They’re not the bad guys, but they’re going to do bad things. Through the main character’s perspective, I can make the reader think a certain thing about them. In Wicked Magic, I loved Adrian and Jeremiah the most. In my next novel, there’s one character… I can’t wait to see what people think of him.

Truth be told, though, I eventually fall in love with all my characters. If I don’t love them, it’s a sure sign that I need to cut them.

What was more important to you when you were writing: character development or plot?

A bit of both, I’d say. My novels are very character-driven. I like exploring who a person is and figuring out what they would or wouldn’t do. I’ll start with an overarching plot idea, but how it plays out will be decided by the characters. Who are they, where are they going? For me, they’re like real people with opinions, hopes, dreams. They don’t always do what I tell them to do! But I also love dropping hints about the main plot, and trying to trick the readers. My favourite thing is to write a character you think is good/bad… but they turn out to be the opposite.

What was one of the most surprising things you learned (about your story, about yourself, etc.) while writing?

I’ve been misusing the word “mercurial” my entire life! Also, I’m not as good as social media as I thought I was. My dad (who’s in his sixties) had to teach me how to use Twitter and Instagram. Ouch!

In your opinion what makes a good story?

It’s easy to say this is about world-building and characters, but for me it boils down to slightly more subtle things. The first is emotion. Do I, as the reader, feel the same things the character is feeling? I love a book that makes me excited when the characters are under stress, sad when they’re sad, etc. Writing style: I don’t like overly descriptive writing. A book that tells me how to feel is a no-no. I also don’t care where the doors and windows are. Dialogue: good dialogue will hook me in seconds. I’ll ignore a lot of flaws if the dialogue is great. Superb plot. I was reading a book recently, and I was literally a chapter away from DNFing it, and then the author killed off the love interest! Needless to say, I finished the book the same day. A story should be well thought out. I hate plot holes, and I really like to understand how the magic works from the start. I’ve read a few books that are about a character learning magic, and that’s fine, but that’s not an excuse to not explain what your magic is capable of from the start. Excellent worldbuilding: I’ll look at characters and plot first. To me the worldbuilding is the support staff. You might have great characters, but if the world has more holes in it than Swiss cheese, those characters are going to fall flat.

What can I say? I’m a fussy reader!

How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?

Having only just published my debut novel, I’m not quite sure I’m qualified to answer this question yet, but I’ll give it a shot!

I used to be a very unstructured writer, working in fits and bursts. Publishing has forced me to get organised. I have lists and spreadsheets, and I work on the book and marketing for a few hours every day. I’ve had to be very disciplined, or else I’d have overshot my deadline.

Do you read your book reviews? What do you consider "good" /"bad"?

I read every review, and will continue to do so until I have too many reviews for it to be practical (and here’s to hoping that happens). I consider all feedback to be good feedback. That isn’t to say that negative feedback is fun! It hurts like an open wound. Generally, I have to take a day or two before I can consider objectively whether I want to address the negative feedback. I’m always glad when I can, because that’s when you learn, but sometimes it’s not possible/practical. Then I take it on board for the next book.

A bad review for me would be just trashing the book. I get nothing out of that, and I wonder why the reviewer bothered reading it? They didn’t get anything out of the reading, either. Those, I will ignore. Thankfully, there haven’t been any yet.

What led you to start writing?

I honestly don’t remember. Writing is just something I’ve always done, and I’ve known for years that I wanted to be an author. I remember being about eight years old. We were on the train back home from visiting my aunt, about a four-hour journey, and my brother and I wrote “mystery novels” on scrap paper with golf pencils. It was just something we always did.

Do you have any writing superstitions?

I don’t like sharing my manuscripts with anyone before I’ve finished the first draft. They’re always littered with mistakes and plot holes and random notes to myself. It also feels unlucky. I don’t know why, but I prefer for the first external feedback to be on a completed draft.

What attracted you to the genre(s) you write in?

I like young adult as an age group because I really enjoy exploring the tensions and conflicts that arise at that age. You’re not quite an adult, but very definitely not a child anymore. It was also a time of my life when books really helped me, so I want to honour that. As for fantasy, it’s a genre I’ve always loved. I love creating new worlds, drawing on mythology, and trying to find little bits of magic in everything.

What is one of your favorite words? OR Is there a word you find yourself using too often?

“Actually” and “really”. Grammarly and I had a bit of a disagreement on the necessity of those words.

What are you currently reading?

The Paper Magician by Charlie N. Holmberg. No opinions yet, but I really do love the cover.

A lot of authors have a soundtrack while writing. Are there are songs you had on repeat?

I usually listen to lofi music or coffeeshop jazz. It helps me concentrate. I’m one of those people who gets distracted very easily by any changes in environment.

If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?

Perseverance and plotting are the most important things, not inspiration. If you’ve plotted out your novel, and you can follow that plot and just push through the bad moments, inspiration will come back.

Which animal would you say is your spirit animal and why?

Definitely a cat. I love cats. I look after all the community cats in the area I live.

Would you rather live in a haunted mansion or a cottage surrounded by fairytale creatures?

I’ll take the cottage. I love writing scary stuff, but in real life I’m a massive scaredy cat.

What is something about the genre that annoys you?

Ooh, that’s a hard one! I will read any trope/perspective/writing style so long as it’s well written. That makes me sound like a very flexible reader, and I’m actually not. I have high standards for what counts as “well-written”. So I’d say there’s no one trope that annoys me, but poor editing, poor grammar, unnatural dialogue, or an annoying MC are likely to make me DNF. I don’t like obvious plots, nor do I like plot holes or unexplained magic of deus ex machinas. Lately I’m also a bit tired of the masquerade, where a teenager discovers a new world and then turns out to have world-saving superpowers. I prefer books about ordinary people managing to save the day with the limited abilities they have.

What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?

I only drink coffee when I’m writing. The rest of the time I’ll only drink tea.

Are you on social media and can your readers interact with you? What are your links?

I’m MargotDKwrites on both Twitter and Instagram, and I love chatting to people. I will reply on both, though I prefer Instagram.

What advice would you like to pass on to aspiring writers that is unconventional but true?

The people who are close to you might not care as much about your writing as you want them to, and that’s going to be really tough. For example, I sent a family member my final draft, and he replied that he “might have time to read it before it’s published”. That hurt! Remember you’re completely immersed in your work, and so you’re obviously going to be really passionate about it. They’ll probably get a little sick of you talking about it all the time. They’ll take ages to read manuscripts, or they might not want to read your book at all. That’s okay. Keep annoying them! One day, you’ll publish a book that will touch someone’s heart. That’s what it’s all about.

Do you have a WIP? If so, can you tell us anything about it?

Yes! I’m working on the second book in my series. It’s about Cynthia (the love interest from book one). She’s just graduated school, and is heading to Berlin for a few weeks. I love writing about Berlin. I used to live there. It’s a brilliant city, with so much history and culture. It’s magical all on its own. I hope I can do it justice.

The summary will be up on my website soon, so people can head over there and find out a bit more about the trouble that Cynthia’s going to get herself into. Hint: a lot of trouble. Really, she’s totally unprepared.





Margot de Klerk is a British-born young adult fantasy writer in her late twenties. Born to South African parents, she has lived in six different countries and speaks several languages. She read German at the University of Oxford, and has a passion for old languages and linguistics. Her debut novel, Wicked Magic, was inspired by her time living in Oxford. When not writing, she enjoys photography, travelling, sewing, and various sports. She currently resides in Dubai.

Margot, thank you so much for taking the time to be my guest on Cats Luv Coffee!

Today's Author Spotlight is author Peter W. Blaisdell! Read on for the full interview. Publication date: November 1st, 2020 Amazon |  G...


Today's Author Spotlight is author Peter W. Blaisdell!

Read on for the full interview.




Publication date: November 1st, 2020


What's your latest release? 

My latest release is THE LORDS OF THE SUMMER SEASON. It’s a modern/urban/dark fantasy set during San Francisco’s ‘Summer of Love’ in 1967. This was a time of real-life fantasy when the creative and musical scene was exploding and everything seemed limitless. Until it wasn’t.

(Content warning: I tried to capture some of the 'edginess' of this time and place, so there is vulgarity in certain scenes and dialogue. Also, even the supernatural and animal characters aren't the usual cuddly fantasy tropes; they can be a bit unhinged at times!)

Can you start out by telling us a little about your latest work? 


In THE LORDS OF THE SUMMER SEASON, the main character, Bradan, is an almost immortal magician who grew up in Camelot and grew famous during San Francisco's 'Summer of Love' in 1967. Though he’s 1500 years old, he only looks about 30 years of age and intends to enjoy this period to its fullest, fronting an acid rock band and romancing a witch who’s also nearly immortal.

However, this era had a darker side, so there are scenes where creative forces run amok. The villains represent this – I’ve included some really vile villains. Even Bradan sometimes gets carried away and unleashes powers he really can’t control.
I was after contrasts, so some of the novel is painted in shades of psychedelic pastels while other scenes are done in dark grey.

As in all of my novels, I’ve included (I hope) cool supporting characters, including the aforementioned 6th century witch, tons of ghosts (including the one haunting his motorcycle), and Bradan’s eccentric band-mates. Bradan also has a pet wolf, Tintagel. ‘Pet’ is probably the wrong word. Tintagel represents atavistic, implacable nature and has a sardonic sense of humor often directed at Bradan.

When you developed the characters, did you already know who they were before you began writing or did they develop organically?


Great question. The main character, Bradan, was in my previous fantasies and so was the wolf, Tintagel. The magician, Merlin, also shows up briefly in a flashback to Bradan’s youth in chapter 2. So I had a pretty good idea of who they were – though Bradan’s complicated to write since he’s lived so long. The challenge with him is trying to give him the wisdom of great age, but still let him do crazy, risky stuff. 

There are also two other main characters who I’d never written about before, the witch Morgana and a college professor, Taryn. I thought I knew who they were before I began writing, but they both took on a life of their own as the story progressed. They were a study in contrasts. Taryn is idealistic, rational, and sensible while Morgana is magical, age-old, but looks young and is always up for a good time. However, part of her definition of a ‘good time’ is hunting souls. It was great fun having these two collide with Bradan and each other. 

What attracted you to the genre(s) you write in?


I write fantasy because it’s a genre that encourages – demands – that the author use their imagination. And also because you can mix interesting themes in with the magic, spell-craft and witches. My main goal is to entertain readers, but if I can also include cool ideas and motifs, that’s where the real magic happens.

What is one of your favorite words? OR Is there a word you find yourself using too often?


I use 'ironic' way too often.

Would you rather live in a haunted mansion or a cottage surrounded by fairytale creatures?


I guess it would depend on just how sociable whatever haunts the mansion is and whether the fairytale creatures outside the cottage are friendly. This is a fun question to think about because my latest book, THE LORDS OF THE SUMMER SEASON, has both ghosts and fae folk, as well as a half-mad Welsh god. The main ghost in my story has friendly intentions towards Bradan, but she also haunts him by reminding him that he was partly responsible for her death. The fae folk are a different story. Bradan never knows where he stands with them and they can be lethal when provoked. However, he needs to become allies with them to defeat the story’s villains, so he serenades them with an impromptu set of songs in a park (hey, it’s the Summer of Love after all). 

Are you on social media and can your readers interact with you? What are your links?


I definitely like interacting with readers. I have a website (link: https://blaisdellliteraryenterprises.com/ ). The books are on Amazon (link for THE LORDS OF THE SUMMER SEASON: https://amzn.to/3zqKJNE )

Do you have a favorite line that you've written? What is it and why do you like it?

“Radiance touches her face while she translates the Greek into Arabic, the most elegant of scripts. The kneeling woman’s features are partly in shadow, partly illuminated thanks to the muted light from outside filtering through the scrim. It is hot, but not maddeningly so as the palace’s big blocks of stone ward off the sun and preserve just a smidgeon of the previous night’s chill to leaven today’s furnace-like temperatures.

Bradan needs Lubna’s acquiescence to study in the Caliph’s libraries. He may need her help to survive.”

The lines above are from a flash-back scene in another of my fantasies, THE LORDS OF POWDER. I like them because they try to capture a setting and a mood. They also introduce the two characters and then show that one of the characters, Bradan, is in mortal danger.




Peter Blaisdell lives in the LA area. He has a PhD in Biochemistry and has conducted postdoctoral research in molecular biology as well as publishing peer-reviewed research papers in these fields. He has also published business articles on managing research in technology companies. None of this has much to do with the literary side of his life, where he is an active reviewer of fantasy, science fiction and magical realism as well as general literature. The Lords of Powder and The Lords of Oblivion are novels in a fantasy/thriller series. Each book can be read as stand-alone novels or together as part of a series.

Part of the fun of having a 1500 year old protagonist in this series is that the author can plunder history for exiting times and places to deploy in the story. To that end, most of The Lords of Powder and The Lords of Oblivion take place in modern times, respectively, Miami circa 1978 and San Francisco today. However, some chapters were set in tenth-century Spain, eight-century Lindisfarne, and fifth-century Tintagel. Future books in the series will use other cool settings.



Peter, thank you so much for being a guest on Cats Luv Coffee Book Reviews!

Publication:  August 17th, 2021  by Harper Voyager Links:  Amazon  |  Goodreads T he incredible finale of the page-turning, high-octane Sand...



Publication: August 17th, 2021 
by Harper Voyager

The incredible finale of the page-turning, high-octane Sandman Slim series filled with an explosive ending and intense kick-ass action from New York Times bestselling author Richard Kadrey.

It’s been three months since Stark stopped a death cult and a potential ghost apocalypse, and he’s at loose ends. His personal life is a mess. His professional life isn’t much better. And the world…well, the world is going to shit. L.A. is gripped by a viral epidemic that has everyone wearing masks and keeping their distance from each other. But what’s even more frightening is the Shoggot gang and their leader, King Bullet, who revels in the city’s collapse.

Who is King Bullet? No one knows. He seemingly came from nowhere with nothing but a taste for mayhem and an army of crazed killers who follow his every command. What king wants seems simple on it face: Chaos. Destruction. A city in flames. But there’s more to the king and his plans for L.A. and what Stark discovers will change Heaven, Earth, and Stark himself forever.

It's hard to believe that this is the final book of the Sandman Slim series. The series finale finds Stark in the midst of a viral pandemic where everyone is wearing masks. LA is in chaos. And in the midst is gang leader King Bullet, who seems to have a vendetta for Stark. Hold on to your hats because the train is barreling into the station and there's no one at the helm. 

This is a welcome change as the last book in the series, Ballistic Kiss, definitely felt like one of the slower books. Kadrey put a lot more emotion into Stark, with more introspection than the kick-ass action that I have come to know and love from him. King Bullet takes us back to everything that the Sandman Slim series has been. Once again, there is a very eccentric villain (King Bullet) that Stark has been tasked with taking care of. He's questioning why exactly he was tasked with it, lending credence to the idea that Abbott has not been on the up and up with him. 

This pandemic is no COVID, as terrible as that has been. This one causes autophagia, the consumption of your own body. Yes, these people are chewing their lips and fingers, and...ugh. Disgusting.  In a lot of ways, it's a parallel of a lot of what's happened since COVID. Businesses are shuttered, masks have to be worn everywhere, and for other reasons, riots have happened. Honestly, I read to escape the real world, so reading a story about a novel pandemic in the midst of a novel pandemic wasn't really my cup of tea.

Kadrey certainly wraps up all the loose ends with this finale. All the character arcs are settled without feeling like they were quickly tied up for the sake of completion. I think most fans will be happy with the fulfillment of the Sandman Slim series. Don't think we can completely count Stark out though. That ending might just leave the tiniest bit of wiggle room. 






Publication date: April 27th, 2021 Links:  Amazon  |  Goodreads "M essy divorce? Check. Emotional stability of the involved parties? Qu...



Publication date: April 27th, 2021


"Messy divorce? Check.

Emotional stability of the involved parties? Questionable.

Possibility of bloodshed? High.

Yep; it was definitely starting to sound like one of my cases."

​In addition to being San Diego's supernatural mediator, John Smith is the city's least successful private investigator. Those two careers collide when what was supposed to be a simple infidelity case draws the attention of the local werewolf pack. John soon finds himself pressed into service mediating a separation between the pack's married leaders.

Even under normal circumstances, divorce is hell. But when werewolves are involved? It's murder.

Read now


 

Blood is Thicker Than Lots of Stuff is book two in The Many Travails of John Smith, following Investigation, Mediation, Vindication. We pick up in John's life after his first mediation for the paranormal community went...well, he survived anyway, mostly unscathed. He's back in the PI business and even has a date! He did anyway until the vampires had to show up and ruin it for him. Truth be told, they didn't need to show up for it to be ruined; he's entirely capable of doing that himself. Something about still living in your parent's basement at 25 doesn't exactly lend itself to having a phenomenal dating life. He still has his PI business going for him and it's thriving—until werewolves start trying to kill him. 

John has truly made some interesting life choices along the way. He always manages to end up right in the middle of the mess. Not that he's trying, mind you. It's truly a matter of happenstance and some drunken advertising that has landed him where he is. This time he's been hired by a husband to find out if the wife is cheating. He's still out there giving it everything he's got and it turns out he's actually a pretty decent mediator despite getting in way over his head all the time. 

Humor is still a big draw in this series. We've continued with the truly fun chapter titles "In Which ___". For example: Chapter 12, "In Which People Are Strange When You're a Stranger". The vegetable demigod Bill, who is so strangely charming, is absent but he has tasked John with the care of his ward, Jee Sun aka Tiny Flower, who manages to be both adorable and a diminutive terror. John's inner voice is still as quirky as ever and his outside voice is still spewing things that would much be better kept inside. Tullbane's casual writing style hasn't changed but Blood is Thicker Than Lots of Stuff gets darker than the previous book. John is still the average guy trying to feel his way through but the action kicks up a bit more leaning more towards typical UF fare while still avoiding second book syndrome.

I judge a lot of UF by whether you could pick up a book in the middle of a series and still understand what the heck is going on. The Many Travails of John Smith #2 passes muster. A good chunk of the opening is reintroducing characters and bringing the reader up to speed. That being said, the reader would get more enjoyment out of knowing the characters a bit more intimately and immersing in the worldbuilding gradually.  This is a series that is going to go the distance so do yourself a favor and start from the beginning. 









Publication date: March 19th 2021 Links:  Amazon  |  Goodreads T he stakes are real. The mediator isn't. An exiled vampire queen. A vege...



Publication date: March 19th 2021

The stakes are real. The mediator isn't.

An exiled vampire queen.

A vegetable demigod.

A magic Nintendo.

When supernatural forces collide, it will take a skilled mediator to keep their conflict from destroying San Diego.

Unfortunately, all they have is John Smith.

Read now


 


Investigation, Mediation, Vindication (I'm already tired of typing that) is comedic urban fantasy gold. The story follows private investigator hopeful John Smith, who has an unfortunate genealogy of a long line of John Smiths. Let's be honest; there's a lot of unfortunates about John Smith. He still lives with his parents, he hasn't had a girlfriend in years (might be due to #1), and he's just found himself caught up in a potential war between a noble vampire House and the demigod of nightmares. He's casually enjoying a local Comicon when he's attacked by crab people and kidnapped by vampires for his own good. As it turns out, in one night of drunken bad choices, John posted an ad stating that he was in the business of investigation, mediation, and vindication, and after a hit on all the mediators in San Diego, he's the only mediator left. 

John is a fantastic character. He's nerdy, witty, twenty pounds out of shape, and way over his head. John has absolutely no magic or really any job skills for that matter.  One moment he's trying to survive paying the rent on his business in the not-so-great side of town, the next he's trying not to be killed by the vampires and prevent San Diego from being sucked into a Hell dimension. Pretty much the only thing is he's got going for him is a big mouth that doesn't know when to shut up. He does, however, seem to have an innate ability to avoid vampire whammies, to the displeasure of the vampires. 

There are a lot of secondary characters but they still manage to be unique for such a large cast. The snarky, vampire Juliette who wears Ramones t-shirts and nicknames John "little bird", thanks to his shower singing, is fantastic. However, the real character not to miss is the demigod of nightmares and terrors, Lord Beel-Kasan—who just happens to be a seven-foot-tall asparagus with coal for eyes, a carrot for a nose, and a magic marker drawn mouth—and goes by Bill. Yes, Bill (as if that's the weirdest thing about that sentence).  Thanks to John's immunity to supernatural mumbo jumbo, that's how Bill appears to him. Apparently, to others, he's enormously more frightening. Even without arms or legs, asparagus demigod Bill somehow steals the show.  

From the chapter titles like "In Which Hell is Being Stuck Somewhere With the Wrong Person", to the fact that the war might be started over a classic Nintendo, humor is obviously the main driving force in this urban fantasy.  Ridiculous and irreverent, it still manages funny without quickly nosediving into annoying. John is a huge nerd though so a lot of the dialogue is low brow. For example, after being kidnapped by the vampires, his inner dialogue is trying to decide on names to call the vampires. He settles on "manpire" and "femmepire" and he's really proud of himself for coming up with the second. Sometimes the banter takes a bit too long for the sake of the joke, which drags the novel down a bit, but it definitely gets better the further into the plot it goes. 

It's nice to have an urban fantasy series where the MC truly has no idea what he is doing. There are no magical abilities or black belts in martial arts. No weaponry expert or military background. Just a dorky smart-mouthed guy named John who has stumbled into the paranormal world.

Publication date: April 2nd 2021 Links:  Amazon  |  Goodreads I ’m Sam Quinn, the werewolf book nerd owner of the Slaughtered Lamb Bookstore...



Publication date: April 2nd 2021

I’m Sam Quinn, the werewolf book nerd owner of the Slaughtered Lamb Bookstore and Bar. Things have been busy lately. While the near-constant attempts on my life have ceased, I now have a vampire gentleman caller. I’ve been living with Clive and the rest of his vampires for a few weeks while the Slaughtered Lamb is being rebuilt. It’s going about as well as you’d expect.

My mother was a wicche and long dormant abilities are starting to make themselves known. If I’d had a choice, necromancy wouldn’t have been my top pick, but it’s starting to come in handy. A ghost warns me someone is coming to kill Clive. When I rush back to the nocturne, I find vamps from New Orleans readying an attack. One of the benefits of vampires looking down on werewolves is no one expects much of me. They don’t expect it right up until I take their heads.

Now, Clive and I are setting out for New Orleans to take the fight back to the source. Vampires are masters of the long game. Revenge plots are often decades, if not centuries, in the making. We came expecting one enemy, but quickly learn we have darker forces scheming against us. Good thing I’m the secret weapon they never see coming.


Read now
 

The Dead Don't Drink at Lafitte's is the second book in the Sam Quinn series. Sam is the werewolf girlfriend of San Francisco's Master of the City and is living in the nocturne with his vamps while her place is under construction. As I, too, like to live on the edge, I did not read book one, The Slaughtered Lamb Bookstore and Bar, before picking this one up. 

At first, this was a frustratingly slow read for me. While the author does a good job of giving you the backstory, it was challenging to be invested in the story. Sam simply was not a character that I felt strongly about and there wasn't enough action to keep my interest. Vampire politics take up a big chunk of the novel to start. It appears that vampires are bigots and begrudge that a smelly dog is now the girlfriend of their leader. There's enough unrest that the Master of New Orleans is attempting a coup on the nocturne. It is only after they go to New Orleans to answer that insult head-on, that the story really starts rolling. 

Once there was a change in scenery, the entire feeling of the book shifts. I've never been to New Orleans, so I enjoyed experiencing it through Sam's eyes. It didn't feel like the tourist's view that you get a lot when a book is set there. More back alleys than Marti Gras.  There's a whole new cast that enters into play in the Big Easy; ghosts and gorgons and alpha werewolves. Sam begins exploring her own talents as a necromancer, which includes influencing the dead. Clive even disappears in New Orleans for a while and can I just say I liked it better when he was gone! I might have even found myself rooting for a certain werewolf. 

There's plenty of snarky dialogue, hilarious banter with Stheno, the gorgon, and lots of "off with their heads" moments. In spite of the supernaturally enhanced abilities, Sam isn't the typical urban fantasy badass. She isn't filled with confidence and using her powers has an unfortunate downside. There are also some dark moments that include torture, slavery, and sexual assault. Yes, there's romance but as it's already established, it wasn't necessarily the main focus. The Wicche Glass Tavern—book three coming in October 2021—has a lot of potential if it can continue with the world building and character growth. 




Publication date: February 10th 2021 Links:  Amazon  |  Goodreads F ed up with playing by the rules, recent university graduat...

Publication date: February 10th 2021
Links: Amazon Goodreads

Fed up with playing by the rules, recent university graduate/ex-cum laude/ex-soccer star Kera MacDonagh changed her life forever when she read How To Be A Badass Witch. Much to her surprise, the spells actually worked. 

Within the first few weeks of on-the-job training, Kera’s new powers attracted all sorts of trouble. Now hunted as a magical vigilante, Kera stalks criminals in the darkness of Los Angeles while attempting to hide the signature of her supernatural powers. Kept safe by the trusting and kind Kim family, Kera decides to “come clean” to her boyfriend regardless of the consequences. 

With her world turned upside down, Kera struggles to balance her sanity. Will magic be enough to help her come out on top? She hopes so because the other way lies madness. 

About the Author 


MICHAEL ANDERLE has sold over 4,000,000 sci-fi/fantasy books worldwide either under his name or as a collaborator with other well-known authors. Anderle is the founder of LMBPN® (London, Milan, Barcelona, Paris, New York) Publishing, which publishes sci-fi/fantasy fiction by authors from USA, Australia, England, Canada, and various countries around the world. An “Amazon Top 100” ranked author, Anderle is popularly known as the creator of 20Booksto50K® on Facebook. He launched the group with the goal of sharing industry knowledge that helps independent authors to achieve their publishing goals. As a child growing up in Houston, Texas, USA, Anderle read books in the high fantasy and sword-and-sorcery genres and eventually developed a love of urban fantasy and sci-fi. At the age of 47, Anderle began writing full time and has since become a well-known author in the community. Michael Anderle resides in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. To learn more about Michael Anderle and LMBPN®, visit lmbpn.com.

Publication date: February 11th 2021 Links:  Amazon  |  Goodreads There are few things worse than being on the Arcane Bureau of Investigat...


Publication date: February 11th 2021

There are few things worse than being on the Arcane Bureau of Investigation’s naughty list.

To keep myself out of hot water, I’ve made a deal with the devil—using my skills as a grave talker to help the ABI solve some very cold cases.

But there is something mighty amiss in this task—especially when quite a few of these cases lead me right back to my home town of Haunted Peak and the secrets buried there.

Excerpt

“Out less than a minute and already talking to spirits and punching ghosts. Way to
go, Adler.”
That smooth voice did not belong to my best friend, J. Oh, no. I wasn’t that lucky.
The big hunk of man-meat Siobhan had been talking about was not my partner, but the
death mage ABI agent who’d simultaneously saved my bacon and torched it.
I swung my head to face Bishop La Roux, straightening my shoulders like I was
going to have to punch him, too.
Dressed in a criminally hot pair of jeans and a T-shirt that should be illegal in at
least five states, Bishop held out a bag with a very familiar logo on it like he was
warding off a lion. Ignoring his messy hair and scruffy beard, I met his coal-dark eyes
with suspicion. But instead of punching him like I had Hildy, I snatched the Si SeƱor bag
from his hands, opened it, and dug in. The prison fare was a step above cat food, in my
opinion, and just the thought of that yummy bit of heaven made my mouth water.
“Good to see tacos still work,” he said, chuckling. “You need a ride home?”
The last time he’d needed to bribe me, he’d done it with these tacos. Good god in
heaven, I was a pushover. I ignored the ridiculously hot man in favor of unwrapping a
taco one-handed and shoving an end in my mouth. My teeth crunched into the blissfully
crispy half-steak, half-pork taco, and my eyes rolled back in my head.
“Maybe,” I said around a mouthful of food. If he were any other man, I might have
felt weird about my rudeness, but just like Hildy, Bishop was on thin ice. Though, tacos
were an excellent way to strengthen his footing.
That taco was gone in another two bites, and I swallowed the yumminess before
continuing, “How’d you hear about me getting out? Even I didn’t know until today.”
Bishop gave me a sly smile. “A little birdy told me.”
“I suppose you could give me a ride if you don’t have anything better to do,” I
conceded, my tone only mildly petulant.
“No, Adler,” Bishop said, his voice a hell of a lot closer than it had been a few
seconds ago. I whipped my head back to find him solidly in my space. “I don’t have
anywhere else I want to be.”
Well, okay then.

About the Author


Annie Anderson is a military wife and United States Air Force veteran. Originally from Dallas, Texas, she is a southern girl at heart, but has lived all over the US and abroad. As soon as the military stops moving her family around, she'll settle on a state, but for now she enjoys being a nomad with her husband, two daughters, an old man of a dog, and a young pup that makes life... interesting.
 

Publication date: February 2nd 2021 Links: Amazon | Goodreads T he time has come for Kai and her friends to make a final stand, and as the ...


Publication date: February 2nd 2021


The time has come for Kai and her friends to make a final stand, and as the war begins, everyone must choose a side. But with the lines between good and evil more blurred than ever, Kai has to stick with her convictions and follow her heart. Kai’s first priority is to free Finn from the clutches of Tessa Raven, who has become no better than the evil she once fought against.

As Kai reluctantly turns against the people she once considered her closest friends, she becomes entangled in a struggle with a mysterious new power that threatens to destroy what is left of Finn and change everything she thought she knew about the planet.

Meanwhile, Charlie and Aric remain behind and help Raven breach the underground world of the Science Council. All bets are off as they prepare to cross every line and burn every bridge in an attempt to claim the world that has abused them for too long.


Excerpt 

Too many missing coefficients.

Raven ran her ungloved hand over the smooth, cool metal of the missile. She needed it to shatter the barrier—opening the way down so that she could destroy the Science Council. She knew enough about terminal ballistics to be able to calculate its exact impact on the crystal tube that led to the Science Council’s underground lair when it struck. The only problem was that the makeup of the tube was so unique…

“It’s a thing of beauty, Raven,” Sayers commented. He stared at her hungrily from his spot amongst her people, seeking approval.

“Yes, it is,” she offered, and he smiled.

“The only problem is, because the substance we’re striking has never been studied, there’s no way to tell if it will work without testing it. Our likelihood for success is still low.” She glanced around the interior of the Dome of Artifacts, taking in the relics from the original Earth with an appreciative eye. “And I’m not willing to risk destroying all of these artifacts by blowing up the whole place when the chance of it failing to destroy the tube is unacceptably high.”

Her soldiers stood around her, silent, waiting for her suggestions. She’d been trying to puzzle this out for three weeks, and the answer was painfully obvious: a last straw plan. And yet, she hesitated, because there was a small part of her that wanted to try every other possible scenario before resorting to what she knew would work, even though she knew that wasn’t logical.

Damn my weakness.

“We’ll need something softer,” she said at last. “Something that will turn to mush on impact rather than ricocheting off the crystal and taking out this whole place. Also, we’ll need something much bigger… heavier.” She scrutinized the crystal tube housing of the elevator platform that had, thus far, been impossible to penetrate.

“Would you like us to try crafting a hollow missile that’s twice this size?” asked Larson. “We’d have to melt this down first.” He gestured toward the missile they’d taken three weeks to craft and painstakingly calibrated.

“No.”

The time to divulge her last straw plan was now. She knew a missile wouldn’t work. A rain of bullets wouldn’t work. But she happened to have a special tool—a former friend who could run at the speed of a bullet and who was close to two hundred pounds.

A human body hitting the tube at that speed would spread adequate weight over a large enough surface area to crack open the entryway to the Science Council’s underground world like an egg. Also, a body would explode upon impact, resulting in a mostly liquid byproduct, causing minimal damage to the artifacts.

Finn’s sacrifice would save the planet.


About the Author


Tracy Auerbach is an author of science fiction and fantasy for teens and adults. As an avid reader with a vivid imagination, she chose to study film, English, and education, and went on to teach and write STEM curriculum for the New York Department of Education. This helped to polish her writing skills and ignite her passion for science fiction and fantasy. 

Her first scholarly article, published in Language Magazine, was about the value of active, creative learning in science.

On the fiction side, Tracy’s work has been featured in the online literary journal Micro-horror, The Writing Disorder fiction anthology, and the “(Dis)ability” short story anthology, in addition to her novels.

When she is not teaching or writing, Tracy is usually reading or spending time with her family. She lives in New York with her husband and sons.

Publication date: January 25, 2021 Links:  Amazon  |  Goodreads B lair Graves’ father went missing seven years ago. The legal death of he...


Publication date: January 25, 2021



Blair Graves’ father went missing seven years ago.

The legal death of her paranormal radio host father tilts her world sideways on its axis. When no will can be found, Blair is forced to adapt to a quickly shifting reality. One in which she’s forced to sell her family home.

When a historical fixer-upper catches her eye, she goes all in, hoping to escape her father’s legacy and the long shadow cast by his very public disappearance.

But when the house starts presenting more problems than just the creaks and groans associated with old age, Blair starts questioning what she knows about life, death, and what comes after.

When the very arrogant and handsome Cash Kelly–a ghost-hunting expert–offers his help, Blair is sure he’s the same kind of attention-seeking, conspiracy-promoting, dollar-chasing content creator hack as her father.

As she begins to question his motivations for helping her, the haunting escalates to a dangerous point, forcing Blair to confront the reality of the world her father believed in.

And what it means to be his daughter.

The X-Files meets Supernatural in this urban fantasy series about the strength of a father-daughter bond and how, sometimes, truth really is stranger than fiction.

Read Now







She leads us past the other living room and down the hallway. Another room is nestled off to the side.
“The conservatory, or sunroom,” Diana says, ushering us inside.
Glass walls and a glass ceiling incase the room.
“One of Mr. Solomon’s favorite rooms, I’m told,” Diana says.
“Tell me more about him,” I prod her as we make our way out of the room and upstairs.The second floor hosts all the bedrooms and two of the bathrooms. She shows me each in turn as she chronicles the life of
the former homeowner.
“Oh, there’s not much to tell,” she says. “His wife had a stroke when she was quite young. Died tragically by drowning in the pool one evening during a party. Mr. Solomon was so grief-stricken that he lost his senses, I’m told. He married one of the housekeepers.”
“That’s horrible,” I tell her.
“Oh, quite. He also lost a son that night. The boy was but a toddler. It’s thought that he jumped into the pool after his
mother in an attempt to save her. Unfortunately, they both perished. I can’t imagine what that was like for Mr. Solomon.”
“Jesus,” I whisper.
And I thought my old house was marked by tragedy.
“Indeed,” Diana confirms, almost like she’s reading my mind.
She goes on.
“The Solomons sold the house and moved away in the early part of the twentieth century. It belonged to the family who made it a funeral home after that. But when none of Mr. Horn’s boys wanted to take up the mortuary arts, the Horn family sold it as well.”
There’s a mural in the master bathroom and I stop to stare at it when we arrive.
“That was painted for the original Mrs. Solomon,” Diana says. The mural features a nude man and woman standing on either side of a mountain. Above them, a heavenly being seems to be watching over them. They both cast their eyes upward.
Roses line the outside edges. “It’s the sixth card of the tarot: the Lovers.”
“Did Mrs. Solomon enjoy tarot?” I ask.
“Oh, she enjoyed a number things she probably shouldn’t have,” Diana assures me. “All of that was quite popular at the time.” She begins to make her way back to the second story landing. I cast a glance back at the mural. Faded and peeling, it’s still beautiful. It could easily be restored.
“She was known for her wild parties. I imagine tarot and the like played a role at times.”
We head up to the third floor.
“This space was mainly used as storage by the Horn family,” Diana says. The giant attic-like room hosts a number of objects, all covered in yellowing white sheets. A musty smell accompanies it. I feel an itch in my nose and promptly sneeze.
“There’s also a basement,” Diana says. “I should note that it was used by the Horns for embalming,” she says hesitantly. I imagine this is the sort of information that served as a deal breaker for other prospective buyers.
There’s a bit of comfort in knowing that the saddest things to ever happen in this house had nothing to do with me, Blake, or my father.
It’s a strange perspective, but I welcome it.
We head back downstairs to the first floor.
“I imagine you have a husband with whom you might discuss the purchase,” Diana says.
“No,” I say. “It’s just me.”
“No children?” she asks with an arched eyebrow.
“None of those either.”
“No husband and no children,” she clucks. “Smart girl.”
Diana winks at me.
I take in the house one more time before we step outside.
As Diana turns to head to her car after giving me her card I call out to her.
“Diana,” I say. “Wait.”
She raises her eyebrows and looks as if she might want to ask me why I’ve stalled her in getting back to the office.
I inhale deeply, look back at the house once more, and I leap.
“I’ll take it.”

Marnie Vinge is a novelist and storyteller as well as the creator of the podcast, Eerie Okie.

She first started writing at the ripe age of 7, creating a science fiction horror story about a monster that lived in seaweed off the coast of Corpus Christi. Since then, she's stretched her wings by writing urban fantasy, paranormal romance, and horror.

To check out Eerie Okie, search your favorite podcast platform. If you're an Oklahoma ghoul who loves the morbid and macabre, it's the podcast for you.

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