Horror Book Spotlight: Gretel by Christopher Coleman @c2coleman


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Dark Fantasy, Horror


gretel by christopher coleman

“One of the best collections of strong female characters that I’ve seen in a long time.”–Errant Dreams

Alone. Frightened. Captive. If you hear someone approaching, RUN. She is not there to help you.

There is an ancient evil in the Back Country, dormant for centuries but now hungry and lurking. When it sets its sights on an unsuspecting mother one routine morning along an isolated stretch of highway, a quiet farming family is suddenly thrust into a world of unspeakable terror, and a young girl must learn to be a hero.

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Excerpt:

She’d never gotten used to the taste.  Even with the life and strength that teemed in every molecule, the russet fluid always went down heavy and crude.  Like swallowing a fistful of thin mud that had been lifted from the bottom of a river.

There was a time in the early years of her life—this second life—when she was forced to mix the liquid with soup or tea, or to stir it into the batter of the sweet confections and pies that even today she took pleasure in baking.  She had experimented relentlessly with temperatures and combinations—using ingredients she wouldn’t have otherwise fed to a cockroach—hoping to create a formula that, if not tasty, was at least palatable enough to override the involuntary rejection by her mouth and throat.

But she’d had little success, and soon began believing the more she tampered with and diluted the delicate recipe, the more the regenerative effects were diminished.  Her nails and hair didn’t seem to grow quite as quickly, and her teeth, though they were restored, felt as if they had just a bit less length and severity.

Of course, it was plausible she was entirely wrong about the effects of the tampering, and she accepted the possibility that her observations were paranoid inventions of an overprotective mind.  But she also wasn’t taking any chances, and over time she had trained herself to drink the mixture straight.  After all, it took mere seconds for the solution to make it over her taste buds and down to her belly.  After that, it was ecstasy.


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About the Author:

Christopher Coleman lives in Maryland with his wife and two children. He received his degree in English Literature from the University of Maryland and has been writing professionally for over five years.

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Paranormal Romance Feature: Spirit Board by Erzabet Bishop @erzabetbishop


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Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy


spirit-board

Arcane Imaginarium Book One

Two mates are better than one…

Vanessa lives vicariously through the romance heroines in her overflowing bookshelf. No real man can ever measure up to the sultry, shapeshifter heroes with their feral smiles—or so she thinks until a creepy costume shop and a chance encounter with a fortuneteller shake up her ordinary life. When Vanessa’s best friend brings her to a sexy costume party, she realizes more than fur is going to fly.

Rick is an Alpha cat shifter and co-owner of the Imaginarium. When he scents the luscious Vanessa, he has no intention of letting her slip away. But Rick isn’t the only man searching for his one true love. Cian is a former Captain of the Winter Court in Faery, wielder of shadows and magic. When Fey enchantment and shifter might collide, more than mere hearts are caught in the crossfire. And as a threat looms closer with the turning of the season, both men may be the keys to Vanessa’s heart—and her survival.

Reader note: contains BBW heroine, ménage, spanking, light BDSM, and erotic romance elements

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Excerpt:

“Do you want your fortune told, my dear?” The crone’s rheumy eyes met hers, and a shiver slid down her back. The woman gave her the willies.

“I…”

“Please. Be my guest. It will be my treat to show you your fortune.”

Indecision warred within her. “I’m here with my friend.”

“Go ahead! Get your fortune read.” Aria came up beside her and looped an arm around her neck. “Let’s find out what kind of night you’re going to have at the party.”

“OK.” Vanessa made her way to the small table and lowered herself into the seat. In front of her laid a strange-looking Ouija board printed with an alphabet and a yes and no.

The older woman took an item out of a wooden box and placed it carefully on the surface of the board.

“What’s that?”

“It’s called a planchette, silly.” Aria rolled her eyes and grinned at the annoyed look Vanessa gave her.

“I’ve never used one of these, OK? My father would kill me.”

“Why? Does he think they’re a portal to some other dimension or something?”

Vanessa wrinkled her nose. “I’m not sure. He just never let anything like it in the house. It’s beautiful.” The workmanship of the board and the intricate lettering transfixed her. She reached out to touch the planchette but the older woman stopped her.

“Not yet, my girl. First you must think of a question.”

“What kind of question?”

The woman’s thin lips curved upward. “The spirit board offers much guidance but also warns of things to come. Ask the right questions and you’ll find the answers you seek.”

“Cryptic, much?” Aria yawned. “Why don’t you play with the board and I’ll find you something to wear.”

“Sure. Whatever.” Vanessa focused her attention on the board in front of her. The letters weaved in front of her eyes.

“Now,” the old woman began, her eyes bright in her pale face, “think of the question you would like to ask the spirits. But be warned…”

“Of what?”

“The truth can wound or it can set you free.”

Vanessa held out her hand and the old woman enveloped it in her own. She placed Vanessa’s hand on the planchette and released her. “Fingertips only. Now…think of what you want to ask.”

Vanessa moved her fingers until only the tips touched the planchette. Her mind raced. There were so many questions she wanted answers to. Who was her mother? Not her father’s wife, but her biological mother. Should she go to this party with Aria on Friday or stay home like she always did, safe behind a pile of books?

Before the woman placed her own fingertips on the planchette, it took off toward the yes. Then it sped to the letters and began to spell out something.

“What the—?” Vanessa snatched her fingers away as if they’d been singed.

“Goddess…” The fortune-teller stood abruptly, knocking her chair over. Her brow contorted and her eyes were owlish with fear showing a ring of veined white around the iris. “Stop.”

“It’s still moving,” Vanessa whispered, her pulse hammering beneath her skin. “I’m trying to make out what it’s saying, but the thing is going too fast.”

“What’s going on over here?” Aria scrambled back toward the table, an expression of horror on her face. “Jesus, Vanessa.”

“I didn’t do it,” she snapped. “It’s wigging out.”

“Obviously.”

The old woman backed up, her eyes wide. “You must go to the party. Something you need will be revealed to you there. That is all I can tell you.” With that, she yanked the planchette off the board and swiftly tucked it back into the wooden box it came from. Without looking at either of the girls, the fortune-teller retreated into the back room, the door shutting behind her with a resounding thud.

“Thanks,” Vanessa called, a little too late.

“OK then. That wasn’t weird.” Aria grimaced. “Come on. I have a couple of dresses you need to look at.”

“Yeah. Sure. OK.” Anything to get her mind off of whatever just happened. “Freaky” didn’t even begin to cover it.

“How about this?” Aria raised her arm and a flowing Egyptian priestess costume dangled from her fingertips. The white fabric was sheer, but it had so many layers, it had the potential to work. Around the hanger was a plastic bag complete with golden armbands and some kind of bluish lapis necklace.

“OK,” Vanessa replied reluctantly. “Hand it over.”

Aria scurried over and passed the dress off, a smirk on her full lips. “This is going to look great on you. Just wait.”

“Sure.” As long as it got her out of here faster. Vanessa decided putting distance between the fortune-teller and her would be a good thing. “Why did I let you talk me into this again?”

“Cause you love me and you’ll have lots of fun?”

“You haven’t even told me what kind of party it is.”

Aria gave her a cheeky grin. “And ruin the surprise?”


About the Author:

erzabet-bishop

Erzabet Bishop is an award-winning and bestselling author who loves to write naughty stories. She is the author of Lipstick, Crave, Snow (Three Times More Lucky Box Set), Malediction (A Wicked Halloween Box Set), Map of Bones (A Wicked Affair Box Set), Sanguine Shadows (Vampire Bites Box Set), The Science of Lust, Wicked for You, Heart’s Protector, Burning for You, Taming the Beast, Bayou Shadows (Nola Naughty Nine) Hedging Her Bets (Alpha Fever Box Set), Cat’s Got Her Tongue (Alpha Heat Box Set), Arcane Imaginarium: Spirit Board, Holidays in Hell, Mallory’s Mark (upcoming),The Devil’s Due (upcoming), Charity Benshaw’s Enchanted Paddle Emporium (upcoming), Club Beam, Pomegranate, A Red Dress for Christmas, The Black Magic Café, Sweet Seductions, The Erotic Pagans Series: Beltane Fires, Samhain Shadows and Yuletide Temptation along with being a contributor to many anthologies. She lives in Texas with her husband, furry children and can often be found lurking in local bookstores. She loves to bake, make naughty crochet projects and watch monster movies.

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Paranormal Romance Feature: Possessing Prudence by Betty Ann Harris @authorbettyann


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Paranormal Romance/Mystery 


possessing-prudence

The scenic seaport town of Mystic Port is steeped in history. Prudence Trivit, the town’s historian, is on a mission to find out the truth about her Great Aunt Alexandra Beaudicort, who was accused and found guilty of murdering her husband, the Mayor of Mystic Port, back in 1897. Prudence, known as Prudy, is certain of her great aunt’s innocence.

A handsome young journalist, Dylan Monroe, is sent to Mystic Port to interview Prudy in advance of the town’s 250th anniversary celebration. Dylan immediately notices Prudy’s uncanny resemblance to her great aunt in the huge portrait of Alexandra that hangs in the museum. Stunned by her beauty and so intrigued by the story of Alexandra, Dylan falls for Prudy, and together they investigate to find out the truth. But uncovering the truth comes with some mishaps and mayhem. As the spirit of Alexandra points them in the right direction,the opposing spirits try to dissuade them.

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Excerpt:

Dylan turned on the recorder and started asking questions. “I’m intrigued by this Beaudicort woman. Can you tell me more about her?”
“Yes, well, Samuel Beaudicort was the mayor of Mystic Port in the eighteen nineties. His bride, Alexandra, was actually in charge of his mayoral campaign. It was unusual for a woman prior to women’s suffrage to hold a position of such importance, and to have been successful in getting her husband elected.”
“Are you saying she was a woman ahead of her time?”
“Yes, I guess I am. From what I’ve been told and from what I’ve read about her, she was one of those women who wanted to have it all: a loving marriage, successful career, children, and she had an extreme interest in politics.”
“That’s quite interesting. She must have had a very full life.”
“Well, she did have one child, a son named Simon. Unfortunately, before she had a chance to have any more children, her husband, the mayor, died suddenly while in office. Devastated as she was to have lost her husband at such an early age, leaving her a widow at twenty-four, she carried on displaying grace and great strength. She wanted to take her husband’s place as mayor, but she was unable to do so.”
“Do you mean because she was a woman?”
“I’m not sure if she could have become mayor or not. I rather doubt it. But she wasn’t given the chance, because something happened that changed her life forever.” Prudy paused for effect.
Dylan appeared most intrigued. “Please, continue, what happened?”
“Alexandra was arrested for the murder of her husband.”


About the Author:

betty-ann-harris

I’m a self-professed hopeless romantic and a lover of mysteries, suspense and crime novels. Spys, FBI special agents, and even your everyday experienced sleuths are involved in most of my books, however, I’m now expanding into the world of paranormal and historical romance.

Eureka Point, the first in the Protected Heart Series, was a labor of love and the story behind the book was something I’d been thinking about for many years before I actually started plunking those keys. I loved writing it!

The story, which takes place in what I found out after I’d written the book, is an actual place in Northern California, is a spellbinding tale of love, deceipt, crime and passion. The setting, the seaside town of Eureka, speaks for itself with its dangerous cliffs and rocky shores; the perfect place for danger and a mystery, and perhaps even a murder to take place.

After Eureka Point came the sizzling hot thriller, A Very Special Agent, as Special Agent Stephen O’Leary tries to save bestselling romance author, Maggie Tyler from a psychotic stalker. Following A Very Special Agent came Danger in Paradise in which Ruby Stone, my first beautiful female special agent, saves and falls in love with her future husband.

My first paranormal romance, Possessing Prudence, debuted in August of 2015 and is 5-star reviewed. Prudence Trivit tries to solve a murder mystery and becomes involved with the spirit of her Great Aunt Alexandra who was accused of murdering her husband, the mayor of Mystic Port back in 1897. With the help of the handsome journalist, Dylan Monroe, Prudy finds herself deeply involved in this mystery involving her late great aunt and enlists the help of a psychic medium. Is Prudy in for more than she bargained for?

Go ahead, get swept away in mystery, romance and suspense…


Steampunk Mystery Book Feature: Whispers of Bedlam Asylum by Mark C. King @MarkCKingAuthor


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Thriller, Mystery, Steampunk


whispers-of-bedlm-asylum

Even the splendor of Victorian Age London was not without its faults. In its heart is one of the darkest places in human history, Bedlam Asylum. The whispered rumours of brutality, fear, and hopelessness turn out to be only the beginning of its cruelty.

One man is trying to protect his family by uncovering the worst of Bedlam’s hidden secrets. One woman is following in her late husband’s footsteps to try and help those that can’t help themselves.

They will both find that looking for evil does not necessarily make one prepared to find it.

Free on Kindle Unlimited!

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Excerpt:

Even the splendor of Victorian Age London was not without its faults. In its heart is one of the darkest places in human history, Bedlam Asylum. The whispered rumours of brutality, fear, and hopelessness turn out to be only the beginning of its cruelty.

One man is trying to protect his family by uncovering the worst of Bedlam’s hidden secrets. One woman is following in her late husband’s footsteps to try and help those that can’t help themselves.

They will both find that looking for evil does not necessarily make one prepared to find it.


About the Author:

mark-c-king

Mark King is an easy-going writer with a talent for finding enjoyment in most any situation. He’s a lifelong reader whose literary interests include science fiction, adventure, thriller, and mysteries. He grew up in California but now lives in upstate New York with his wife. When not working or writing, he can be found watching movies, kayaking, associating with friends, and of course reading. Mark is happy to have been recently accepted as a Goodreads author!

Visit Official Website at: www.MarkCKing.com


Halloween Cozy Mystery Feature: Caught Dead Handed by Carol J. Perry


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Cozy Mystery


Caught Dead Handed Mech.indd

She’s not a psychic–she just plays one on TV.

Most folks associate the city of Salem, Massachusetts with witches, but for Lee Barrett, it’s home. This October she’s returned to her hometown–where her beloved Aunt Ibby still lives–to interview for a job as a reporter at WICH-TV. But the only opening is for a call-in psychic to host the late night horror movies. It seems the previous host, Ariel Constellation, never saw her own murder coming.

Lee reluctantly takes the job, but when she starts seeing real events in the obsidian ball she’s using as a prop, she wonders if she might really have psychic abilities. To make things even spookier, it’s starting to look like Ariel may have been an actual practicing witch–especially when O’Ryan, the cat Lee and Aunt Ibby inherited from her, exhibits some strange powers of his own. With Halloween fast approaching, Lee must focus on unmasking a killer–or her career as a psychic may be very short lived. . .

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Excerpt:

Someone had dropped a slim cellphone, and it vibrated there, wedged between two of the huge granite slabs. I leaned cautiously, reaching for it. Below the wall a tangle of seaweed drifted, mixed up with Styrofoam cups and beer cans, all the usual debris the tide brings ashore every day. There was a bright orange glove down there, the kind that lobstermen use. There was even a big lavender sofa cushion.
But sofa cushions don’t have platinum hair, do they? Or a hand? A strangely discolored hand that seemed to wave in a languid motion as tiny fishes bumped and nibbled at the shiny ring on a plump finger.


About the Author:

Carol J. Perry was born in Salem, Massachusetts, on Halloween eve, and that magical city serves as the backdrop for her Witch City Mystery series. She is also the author of several young adult novels. Her nonfiction articles on travel, antiques, and ecology often appear in regional and national publications.


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