Sunday, December 29, 2013

Call for #Submissions: #Fantasy #Anthology, Roane Publishing

Hey, authors! I'm sharing a writing opportunity on behalf of my author friend, Terri Rochenski, who works with an indie press. They are looking for submissions based on a picture prompt--one so lovely it deserves an entire book of stories dedicated to it.
Roane Publishing, a small press for fantasy, romance, and erotica, issued an open call for submissions to its upcoming anthology PORTALS.
Submission Deadline: March 15, 2014
Some paths aren't meant to be tread.
Theme: This is a FANTASY anthology with a picture prompt. The picture prompt is shown above. Fantasy tales with romantic elements will be accepted, but the submitted stories DO NOT require a romantic element to be considered. 

The full submission requirements for this anthology are as follows:
  • The picture prompt must be present in the story in some fashion. How, is up to you, the author.
  • Stories must be at least 5K but should not exceed 10K in length.
  • All sub-genres of Fantasy will be considered, including, but not limited to: Dystopian, Steampunk, Epic, Sword and Sorcery, and Urban Fantasy. 
  • For this anthology, Science Fiction elements are completely acceptable.

Please email a brief query letter along with your completed and polished manuscript to and put the anthology name PORTALS in the SUBJECT LINE of your email.

Completed stories should be attached in TXT, RTF, DOC, or DOCX format ONLY and attached to your query email. All other attachment file types will be deleted unopened.

Visit Roane Publishing for more information. Good luck and happy writing!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Cover Reveal! WOLF'S BANE (Demimonde #3)

The cover to the third book in the Demimonde series..

WOLF'S BANE (Demimonde #3) by Ash Krafton
Sometimes, when life gives you lemons, all you can do is try to avoid paper cuts.

Since becoming oracle to the demivampire two years ago, advice columnist Sophie has battled werewolves and survived a vampire attack (or two). However, not only was she powerless to save her lover Marek when he slipped to the brink of evolution, she also witnessed his transformation into a falcon, the symbol of Horus United.

Sophie’s quest to save Marek is further complicated when rock star Dierk Adeluf – who also happens to be the king of the Werekind – invites her backstage after a concert. Just when it seems she will find respite from heartache, Sophie is bitten by a werewolf and Dierk decides she is destined to be his queen.

Sophie is caught between the demivamps she loves and the Were who commands her to love him. Throw in his jealous wanna-be girlfriend—a true bitch if ever there was one—and an ambush by witches, and there you have the big mess that Sophie calls her life. And, hello? Her soul mate is still a bird.

She’s supposed to be the girl with all the answers, but Sophie needs more than a little advice--she needs divine intervention.
Forthcoming Spring 2014 via Pink Narcissus Press

Find the other books of the Demimonde series on
Thank you to every one who is sharing my cover reveal today!
Dark World Books Reveal Hosts' list:
Special Hosts' List:

Book Tour: "The Corvids: Winter" by Lisa Ann Brown

The Corvids Winter Cover

The Corvids: Winter
(The Corvids #2)
Francesca de Lorimar, the beautiful Gypsy necromancer from Ravenswood Glen, is called to investigate a murder at Talus Hall and exorcise the unruly poltergeists which nightly ravage the mansion. During her quest to unravel the truth, Francesca discovers scorching secrets about herself, her parentage, and of power, as she stumbles headlong into first love and battles the ancient evil which stalks The Corvids.

The Corvids: Autumn
(The Corvids #1)
The Corvids is a four-part paranormal romantic suspense series. Delve into the depths of darkness, magic and love in this murder mystery/coming of age quartet!
Arabel Spade, a young girl living in the strange and mystical land of The Corvids, determines to solve a brutal series of murders using her unique paranormal abilities. Through her perilous journey, Arabel learns about herself, the dark secrets which stain her family history and the passions and rigors of first love.
Amazon – Smashwords

Lisa Ann Brown
Lisa Ann has been involved with storytelling and entertainment, in one form or another, her entire life. Beginning her creative journey as both a writer and an actor, Lisa Ann spent many years immersing herself in innumerable books, countless theatre productions and earning a degree in Musical Theatre. Shortly after college, she attended the Vancouver Film School to learn the finer points of screenwriting. This study culminated in the writing of a few feature length scripts and an overwhelmingly potent desire to move from Canada to Hollywood. Once ensconced in East Hollywood however, creative inspiration lured Lisa Ann away from screenwriting and returned her to her original writing intentions: to be a novelist. In three months, Lisa Ann had completed her first novel, I Raid, and there has been no cessation of her novel writing ever since. Moving back to Canada, she spent many years working as a talent agent in Vancouver before retiring from the film industry to focus on writing full-time. Lisa Ann derives great personal satisfaction by delivering her characters through the twisting arcs and unexpected tribulations of their imaginary lives. She strives to keep her readers on edge while enjoying the suspense and surprise of their literary journey. She resides in picturesque Vancouver, BC, Canada where she is happily nestled in between the Pacific Ocean and the Coastal Mountain range.
Blog – Twitter – Facebook – Goodreads – Amazon

Re-visit the past stops on
The Corvids: Winter Tour

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EXCERPT From The Corvids: Winter
Francesca saw the body before she smelt the decay of death.
She knelt down beside the cold flesh and closed her eyes. Flashing images assaulted her senses immediately. She watched in dull horror as the spectacle of the poor girl’s death played out in glorious color, all of the abysmal details glaringly vivid. Horror closed over Francesca; a great fist of unrelenting enmity clasped her tightly.
The dead girl was young. Too young to die leaving a life unlived in her wake.
Hovering above the corpse, Francesca utilized her preternatural vision to discern several small intersecting red and grey lines - denoting possession - and she glanced around immediately to seek out the corresponding Dorojenja wheel of death. Francesca could feel the pull of the wheel’s malicious intent as it greedily trolled energetically for further souls to ensnare.
Xavier immediately pulled his mount to a stop in front of the gruesome display.
He jumped from his horse and knelt in the snow beside Francesca and the dead girl. His eyes closed, Xavier efficiently created a sacred circle of Gypsy magic and performed a counter-spell ritual to immobilize the curse, utilizing his athame. Zander quickly joined in with the work.
The throat of the girl had been slashed viciously. Multiple jagged lines had been cut gleefully across the expanse of her now cold, lifeless skin. Her innocent blood soaked the snow, glistening deep ruby red and dark, inky black.
A sacrificial victim, the young woman had been dressed in a long, heavy, brown hooded robe and she wore nothing underneath.  The large cowled hood had been thrown back to reveal the torn throat of the victim and the harsh, angry slashes against her pale skin.
The dead girl did not appear to be much more of an age than Francesca and Francesca keenly felt a terrible sense of loss at her untimely demise. The sorrow permeated the most profound depths of Francesca’s gentle heart.
To have one’s physical life ended in such a vicious manner! And then to further suffer the cruelty of eternal possession to the forces of darkness and evil was a fate Francesca was certain no one deserved. She despised the forces who had stolen the girl’s life-force. No one deserved to die like this and most certainly not this young, innocent girl.
Francesca telepathically followed the trail of red and grey lines to the pulsating source. The wheel of death beat out a sharp series of harsh, staccato notes of displeasure, soiling the environment. Peering intently, Francesca determined that the Dorojenja wheel was indeed placed next to the roaring bonfire, and was hexed properly to ensnare the sacrificial victims to its torturous call. The wheel had been coated with invisibility rendering its presence impossible to detect through regular vision.
Francesca, with her advanced training and preternatural vision could barely see the shield. But she could feel it, and she knew what sordid stains decorated its face.
The intersecting lines and numbers. The headless dove. The blood. 
Francesca attempted to block the noise from inside of her head as best as she could. The screams of the possessed filled her with their sobs, their unrelenting terror. The dead girl had joined a large number of souls, many more than Francesca had ever known to have been collected within a Dorojenja wheel of death. She felt the trapped energies pulling at her, desperately seeking a last audience, desperately seeking release from the torment.
Francesca sent the image of the wheel and its location to Xavier. He frowned as he addressed the group.
“We shall disperse the Sending & Seeking Spell immediately to source out Arabel’s presence. We’ll soon see if she is being held against her will by these Dorojenja members. Advancing upon their meeting under the cover of our current energy void - assisted by a severe Blocking Spell – we shall disperse in two’s to encircle the members of their party. Once we have ensnared them within our boundaries, Zander will unleash a hostile energy void, regressing the ages of the members to that of toddlers. We shall easily capture their party with an Immobilization Spell. ”
Xavier released the potion Daphne and Francesca had created.
The potion filled the air with a colorless, spinning vortex as the herbs swirled and danced excitedly in the frigid air. A line of magic assembled itself into a seeking circle of energy as the herbs took hold of the destination Xavier programmed them with. The herbs would thoroughly track and trace the Dorojenja and search out Arabel’s presence among them, if she was indeed held captive.
Francesca shivered involuntarily. The screams inside of her head from the dead girl had increased, both in intensity and volume. Inundated with misery, Francesca felt all of the victims – so many other young girls - pressing now, against her very temples, screaming and wailing and screeching. Francesca clasped her small hands to her ears, fighting once more to control the harsh, disturbed track of her inner audio. She sent golden waves of solace toward the ravaged and violated girl.
The screams continued, moaning from the depths of eternal torture.
Stella butted her head lovingly up against Francesca’s arm, letting her know telepathically that she was going to fly up to the top of the nearby forest branches where she could observe the Dorojenja without being noticed.
Zander was busy creating the hostile energy void filled with regressive properties while Xavier monitored the Sending and Seeking Spell fragments for clues. Francesca wrapped the psychic edges of the protective energy void Xavier had called into being closer around herself, much as she would enclose herself in a warm blanket. The wrath and pain of the wheel of death became suddenly muted and Francesca felt the energy void extending its reach farther out as the group broke down into pairs.
Without discussion, Francesca found herself coupled up with Simon.
Xavier and Zander had moved to the right of the bonfire and Bertrand and Lorenzo were circling around to the left. Which left herself and Simon. Francesca ventured a quick look at the golden curled young man and was comforted at once by the calm assurance she spied within his compassionate hazel eyes. 
Simon took hold of Francesca’s hand briefly. She watched as colors of green and gold encircled her upon the contact. Francesca’s eyes closed of their own volition for a brief moment as the energy created between the two of them warmed her instantly. They moved in unison toward the roaring red flames of the bonfire and the amassed group clustered in celebration of dark lust and black magic. Francesca set her jaw firmly.  
Saul Porchetto would pay for this latest desecration, she vowed to herself.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

The Music That Moves The Pen: Author Tricia Schneider (Free Kindle Days)

Readers of this blog may be familiar with paranormal romance author Tricia Schneider because she's cool enough to visit whenever she has good news to share. (She's also one of the hosts of the Very Paranormal Holidays blog hop, which you can enter here).
To celebrate her newest story, she's brought us an extra special treat: a guest post about her musical muses! I rather commend her on her choice of music; she's got suburb taste. (*grin*) And it explains one of the reasons why we get along so well...
Songs, Sirens, and Story-Telling
Tricia Schneider
A guest post by Tricia Schneider
I have three children ages 3, 6, and 7. Needless to say, I have a very noisy household. My writing time has had to become flexible over the years as I became a mother and my babies grew. Each stage brings new challenges and rewards. But one thing has stayed the same throughout. They are always noisy! Especially my boys. They wrestle, they chase each other, they fight, they laugh. They don't even play hide and seek quietly. I can hear them giggling as they try to hide. As much as it makes me crazy and happy at the same time, the noise doesn't help my writing. It's just a distraction. One more among many distractions for a writer to overcome.

I used to write after my noise-makers would go to bed at night, but I didn't last long myself by that time. After a full day, I'm usually exhausted by nightfall. I might be able to stay up and watch a favorite TV show or two with my husband but most times I'm asleep before the end (except with The Walking Dead, there's no way I can fall asleep during that show!). So, writing at night rarely works for me anymore.

Now, I write in the mornings. In fact, I wrote The Witch's Thief during the early morning hours. My kids will either play or watch morning cartoons while I sit in the kitchen and write. But, the noise still bothers me. So I wear earphones and listen to music while I write. The music drowns out the yelling and laughter of my children when they play, and it muffles the sound of the TV on those days they choose to watch something with obnoxiously catchy tunes that I find myself singing for no reason later on in the day.

I listen to a variety of music, sometimes depending on my mood or  at times depending on the scene that I'm about to write.

Here's a list of what I keep close by for my writing days:

Peter Steele of TON
Type O Negative, A Perfect Circle, Nine Inch Nails, Audioslave, David Bowie, Annie Lennox and Enya. Even though most of these have lyrics, their voices often lull me into a kind of hypnosis that helps me get into that writing zone that I crave each day. And the music is usually dark and moody, very emotional stuff that spurs my creativity since I write mainly paranormal romance with a touch of gothic mood throughout.

Movie Soundtracks and Scores are another favorite for those days when I'm just not in the mood to listen to lyrics:

The Lord of the Rings, The Pirates of the Caribbean, Sherlock Holmes, The Last of the Mohicans, Underworld, Resident Evil, and Bram Stoker's Dracula. More dark and moody themes that spark emotion within me. Just listening to these songs makes me want to write!

And then I have a collection of classical music that I enjoy listening to. Mostly it's Mozart and Bach, but I do have several others that I sometimes find useful.

I can tell you while I wrote The Witch's Thief, I always started out listening to Type O Negative's Bloody Kisses album. Black No.1 and Summer Breeze are my favorite songs on that one and were guaranteed to pull me deep into my writing. There's something very hypnotic about the singer Peter Steele's voice. It's like he used some sort of spell to sing like a siren luring listeners into a dark and dreamy world. Sadly, our world is darker without him. He passed away in 2010. I have all of Type O's albums and thankfully I never get tired of listening to them.

My husband is a bass player and vocalist in a local band (in Pennsylvania) called Mystagen. He has a deep sexy singing voice that I find equally hypnotic. On the album they released a few years ago, the song Soul Steal is my absolute favorite. Lots of emotion in that song, too. Of course, in most cases, I used to write while listening to them practice. No need for headphones then!

The Witch's Thief is being offered
FREE on Kindle from December 17-21.
Hurry over and grab your copy!

To save her sister’s life, Julia Grey seeks a spell hidden somewhere within Merriweather Manor. Her position as a lady's companion affords her the freedom to search the house. But time is running out. The necromancer she's bargained with is growing impatient. And an unexpected appearance of a man from her past makes matters worse in an already complicated situation.
Basil Merriweather returns to England after ten years abroad to discover his childhood sweetheart living in his home. But, he's no longer the carefree man of his youth and she's hiding something--deadly secrets Basil vows to uncover even as he hides a dark secret of his own.
While neither Basil nor Julia will trust in the other, their hearts speak a truer language.  In a grand attempt to save Julia's sister and Basil's life, the two must finally confess sinister truths. Will their admissions help or hinder any future they may have together? Or will the necromancer destroy all in a vile attempt at revenge.

"What are you doing?" 

He ignored her frantic questioning. Instead, he blocked out the sound of her voice and raised his arms into the air at his sides, his fingers splayed out as he extended his senses to scan the area. His power eased out, like extensions of his fingertips, stretching into the corners of the room, seeking, searching for the source of the magic he sensed. 

It was here...somewhere. 

He had sensed it earlier on his arrival, but being that his aunt and siblings practiced magic on a regular basis he'd never given it a second thought. 

This room, however, stank with it. He smelled the odor, something strangely like sulfur... 

"A spell has been cast in this room," he muttered. A strange spell. Odd. A spell he'd never sensed before, something new. It felt off is some way he couldn't explain. Who would be working new magic of this kind in his home? And, in this room in particular. Aunt Petunia worked her spells in the privacy of her rooms upstairs, or sometimes in the gardens, but never in this room. And his siblings each, practiced in their own private settings, places where they could concentrate without the threat of being disturbed. A fairly difficult task with the number of people normally in residence at Merriweather Manor. 

He took a step closer to the center of the room where he sensed a surge of power. He shivered as coldness seeped into his skin. It wrapped around his arm, sinking into his flesh, right down to the bone. This was not right. 

The magic in his house was always full of warmth and gentleness. Goodness and love. This magic chilled him to the bone. His heart skipped a beat. There was fear, terror, pain. This spell was full of darkness.

About the author:

Tricia Schneider is a paranormal and gothic romance author. She worked as an Assistant Manager at a bookstore for several years. Now she writes full-time while raising her 3 young children in the coal region of Pennsylvania. For more information about her books visit:

To buy her books:


Monday, December 16, 2013

Gravetells Readers Choice Awards! #vote #paranormal #romance

Fans of urban fantasy and paranormal romance, get ready to show the love for your favorite authors, books, characters, and publishers!
A few quick notes before you get started…
  • In many categories, you can vote for more than one nominee!
  • You’ll only be able to submit your vote(s) for each category once during the entire event, so be sure you’ve made your choices carefully!
  • Voting ends at 8pm Pacific time on Thursday, December 19th.
  • Winners will be announced on Sunday, December 22nd
And, in case you needed a tip *grin*
BLODD RUSH was nominated for Hottest Couple!
I hope you'll stop by to cast your vote and show your support for Sophie once more. Competition is deliciously vicious and every vote will count! 
My publisher, Pink narcissus Press, is nominated for favorite publisher, as well. Spread the word!
You can vote HERE
Thanks, Demimonde!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Very Paranormal Holidays Blog Hop: December 15-30

Wishing you Very Paranormal Holidays...

So glad to join my good friend Tricia Schneider in another great paranormal blog hop!

Authors Kallysten and Tricia Schneider organized this Very Paranormal Holidays Blog Hop to share their love for paranormal romance, help you discover new authors, win books, prizes... and maybe a brand new Kindle Fire! Be sure to fill out the entry form at the end of this post... and good luck!

This holiday I am especially excited--I'll be unveiling the cover of the latest Demimonde book WOLF'S BANE in a few days. This cover is rockin' and well it should, since one of the Weres is pretty rockin' himself. (I can't keep the grin off my face just mentioning him.) Hope you'll join me on Dec. 20th when we unveil the cover...

Until then, I'll keep busy re-watching episodes of NBC's Dracula. Although the title character is the guy to watch (JRM is a favorite actor of mine, even when he portrays awful men), I find the most compelling character in the series to be Renfield.

Yes, I said Renfield.

I've come across a lot of Renfields in my time. Remember the creepy bug eater from Gary Oldman's version? YECK. Just--yeck.

Much more amusing was Xander's unwilling assumption of the role in the Buffy TVS episode. (Season 5 Episode 1) Xander was pretty much an awesome Renfield and, until this year, had held the coveted place of honor as BEST RENFIELD EVER.

But, alas. Xander has been dislodged from his lofty perch by the newest Renfield, because this particular incarnation is simply perfection.

Unlike Dracula's previous day walkers, the new Renfield is noble, devoted, and completely loyal to Dracula... by choice. Recently, I watched the episode of Renfield's origin story and found out there was even more reason to adore the guy.

Remember how Xander tried to fight the vampire's compulsion? Hysterical, really. But our new day walker isn't bespelled--he chooses to serve, because Dracula saved him from a fatal beating. Rennie's fealty was born out of gratitude.

See, Rennie was a lawyer--a cunning and shrewd man who can size up the chess board and spot the strongest piece. Small wonder he speaks up and provides key financial information that would benefit Alexander Grayson (Dracula's human alias)-- he could tell the strongest player was Mr. Grayson, and took a chance to align himself with him.

It earned him a solid clubbing from the men trying to foil Grayson. Broken, bleeding, and staring down a bullet, Renfield watched Grayson massacre every last man in the room. Dracula took Rennie to safety, thus earning his gratitude and unfaltering loyalty forever.

That was the element that had kept me from truly resonating with the Renfield character all these years--free will. I'm not big on slavery and I really don't like the idea of being forced to do something that I don't want. There was always an element of coercion involved in the character, until now.

And I think it adds a definite spin on Dracula's character, as well. He didn't force Renfield's hand, or his mind, or his spirit. He earned Renfield's service. Makes Dracula all the more compelling, I think. He is bewitching through his actions, his cunning, and his persuasion--not through a magic force that humans can't ignore. (Plus, he's got those JRM eyes. Never hurts.)

What about you--are you a fan of Dracula? What do you think about his day walker, Renfield?

Comment to win... just fill out the Rafflecopter form to enter a gift card and ebook giveaway!

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Monday, December 2, 2013

12 Days of Christmas Blog Hop


12 Days of Christmas

In the spirit of the holidays, I'm sharing a cookie recipe and a giveaway. You can also enter the main giveaway for huge prizes. Read on, enter, and enjoy!

One thing, above all others, really hold the essence of holiday spirit for me. No, not the malls or the lights or the haunting melodies of carols...

For me, it's cookies.

Juvenile, right? But I know a lot of you are nodding your heads, hoping no one sees you, because  you're all about the cookies, too.

I'm not a cookie baker, but my mom is. And man...I look forward to her cookie plates every year. She started weeks in advance, freezing tray after tray in her big freezer downstairs, and shameless old me sits in her kitchen like the kid I used to be, waiting until her back was turned so I could sneak my favorites off the plate.

Candy Cane Cookies are the biggest pain to bake (at least for a non-cookie-baker), but the payoff will make you glad you did it. Minty, crunchy, fun to eat--everything a cookie should be. Plus, you'll wish you'd grown up with me because you'll immediately regret every year up until this one because this is the first year you get a candy cane cookie. You're born again. And you're welcome.

Seriously. They are THAT good.

Recipe by Carol Schott

1 c. soft shortening               
1 c. 10x sugar                        
1 egg
½ tsp. Almond extract
1 tsp. Vanilla

Sift together and stir in

2 ½ c. flour
1 tsp. salt

Heat oven to 400 degrees.

Blend shortening, sugar, egg and extract together.  Blend well with flour mixture.  Divide in half.  Blend ½ of mixture with ½ tsp. red food coloring.  Leave remaining dough white.

Divide into 1 inch balls (both  the red and the white dough).  Then roll each ball into  5” logs.  Taking 1 white piece and 1 red piece, twist together  and bend into candy cane shapes.

Bake 400 degrees, ungreased cookie sheet  5-6 minutes or until bottoms are lightly browned.  Remove from oven and, while still hot, sprinkle with a mixture of 1 tablespoon sugar and CRUSHED peppermint candy.

HINT:  you can also shape them into wreaths or sticks (easier)  Dough is very soft so I suggest you chill it for at least an hour and work with small batches on floured surface .  Also, these are sooo good, make a double batch.  You won’t be sorry.


Here's a special giveaway for Demimonde readers.... and the grand contest entry form follows it. Get clicking and good luck!

Win an Amazon gift card and  a copy of BLEEDING HEARTS and journey to the place where the Demimonde began...

Sophie Galen is an advice columnist who is saving the world--one damned person at a time.

Shy and sensitive Sophie has all but given up on love until she meets Marek, a mysterious stranger who seduces her with his striking good looks and his take-charge attitude. Yet the darkness she senses within him may be more than she is prepared to handle when Marek draws her into a world of vampires, werewolves, and treachery. Forced to leave behind the comfortable routines and certainties of her past, Sophie makes unbearable sacrifices and uncovers hidden truths about herself and the world around her...

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SEE THE OTHER STOPS ON THE HOP by clicking HERE. You'll find great recipes and countless ways to win, since many other authors are also hosting giveaways.

And don't forget to enter the main contest!

Grand Prize: $150 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash
First Prize: One (1) eBook from Every Participating Author

Good luck and happy holidays!