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Oscar Wilde

Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Fright Night Blog Hop Giveaway International

Click HERE see the list of blogs participating to this hop!

Join us for a little Halloween fun in the Fright Night blog hop! Stop by each blog to check out their favorite paranormal or spooky reads and enter their giveaways!

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The winner will be announced here, on Mythical Books, in the Raffle form
The winner has 3 days to claim the prize by sending an email with: his/her name, address and the chosen book
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Never completely broken, she must pretend in order to survive - Spark of Light (Avery #1) by Elizabeth Tuttle

Description:

Nearly a century ago the world was decimated by a magical war. In their defeat, elves were captured by humans, cut off from their magic, and broken down into lifeless, drone-like slaves.

Avery is different. Somehow, her magic has always simmered beneath the surface. Never completely broken, she must pretend in order to survive. When Zander, her master’s nephew, brings her magic out in full force, she finds out what it’s like to truly be alive.

Ripped from Zander’s side and sent to The Farm, Avery doesn’t know if she’ll be able to hide her light and make it out alive. But there, she’ll meet someone who knows her true purpose. 

The war isn’t over, and if Avery can survive, she could be the one to set her people free. All it takes is a little hope and a Spark of Light.

MB's INTERVIEW
Thank you, Mrs. Elizabeth Tuttle
There is a saying that art is 90% hard work and 10% talent. What do you believe about that and is this saying available for writers too? 
I think it really depends on what you want to do with your art. It would be easy to just take your talent and have fun with it (and there’s nothing wrong with that), but if you want to put your art out into the world, or make a living with it, then that takes a lot of hard work. And it’s definitely true for writers. 

Some authors say that they write for themselves, but I believe that they hide something… What are in your opinion the readers’ expectations and what their expectations should be? What do you do to meet these expectations? 
I’m one of the authors that writes for themselves. What that really means is that we take our ideas and run with them without worrying about trends or markets, or the readers that might hate it, or trying to change things because of what the reader wants instead of staying true to the story that is inside you. No story is going to be loved by everyone, no matter how good it is. It’s all a matter of opinion and personal preference, so you have to write for yourself or you’ll make yourself crazy. 

I think readers want a story they can get lost in and can relate to in some way. They also want a well written and edited book. I can’t control the first. My books won’t be for everyone, but putting out quality work is very important to me and I do my best to make sure it’s as close to perfect as I can get it. 

Lately very few authors use figures of speech to reach their stories. Are these figures of speech still needed? Why so? 
I agree, and I believe it’s happening because writers are told to avoid them, and that a lot of them are “cliché.” It’s actually one of the most strongly suggested pieces of writing advice I’ve been floating around. It’s everywhere. I can see why most writers, including myself, would think twice about using them. Like a lot of advice, I think it’s too pointed. It’s the easy way out of over using, or using them wrong; just don’t use them at all, kind of like adverbs. 

Like everything, they shouldn’t be used just to be used. They should have a purpose, but yes they are still needed. All parts of speech and writing are tools we can and should use to tell a story. 

Why do you think we, even if we are in XXI Century, still read about elves, vampires and so many other fantastical creatures? 
Because they are timeless and fascinating. They awaken our imagination and wonder, and even our fears. And it’s just fun! 

Who are the Rebels Writers and why are you one of them? 
The Rebel Writers are Theresa Kay, Regan Claire, Caylie Marcoe, Stormy Smith, Kat Nichols, Briggs Schneider, Deanna Zehnder, Jocelyn Barrus, and me. We started at as writing group where we share and get feedback, critiques, and all the other great writing related support a group can give, but we’re more than that now. We’re family. I count them among my best friends and this journey wouldn’t be the same without them. In fact, I’d probably still be fumbling around with SOL, nowhere near ready to publish, without them. We keep each other focused, motivated, and encouraged. They’re invaluable, and every one of them so talented. Take a moment to check out their work. You won’t be disappointed. 

About the author:

Elizabeth’s first writing award was in the 2nd grade with a story about a cat and a dog that overcame their differences and became friends. Satisfied with that success, she put her writing career on hold until the winter of 2012. Now, she spends most days in her pajamas making things up and writing them down. Her other interests include board games, being in nature, and binge watching shows on Netflix. 


Author's Giveaway
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The last hope of making things right - Outcasts of the Worlds (Book 1) by Lucas Aubrey Paynter

Description:

Beyond the remnants of Earth lie many worlds, connected by pathways forgotten and invisible. They were left by the gods and have been found by Flynn.

A confidence man. A liar. A monster. Flynn has seen himself for what he really is and has resolved to pay for everything. Even if it means spending the rest of his days locked in Civilis, a tower prison for society's unwanted - "half-humans" gifted by the fallout of nuclear holocaust centuries past.

Jean, a prisoner in the neighboring cell, has different ideas and despite himself, Flynn finds himself joining her daring escape. After rescuing her friend Mack, the three flee Civilis as Flynn pieces together the hours before his capture and finds himself drawn to an abandoned facility where a rift to another world opens at his nearing.

Together they will venture farther beyond the stars than humanity ever imagined, find others like them that will never belong, and tangle with forces both ancient and immortal. They stand alone, hated and scorned - and the last hope of making things right in a cosmos gone terribly wrong.

GUEST POST
SF Fantasy - Between SF and Fantasy 

If asked to boil down fantasy and science fiction both to their simplest terms, I’d describe fantasy as a space in which anything can happen, where science fiction would be closer to anything that potentially could happen. 

In concept, the two are diametrically opposed. Fantasy might have its own set of rules, but these are rules ultimately based in a lack of given reason. Science fiction thrives on reason and yet, simultaneously, reason need not always be given; that the possibility that humankind can encounter science fiction phenomenon is enough to justify its own existence. 

The beauty of bringing science fiction and fantasy together then is finding that sweet spot right in the middle, that place where improbable forces collide with those we can yet define and control, and playing them against one another. 

Yet in placing the two together, consider what it means in doing so. Science fiction for humanity represents an external force, something that exists outside of us and allows us tangible control over our destinies. Yet fantasy serves as the inversion, as the idea of nature redefined into something unknowable to us, simultaneously presenting the idea that it can be internalized. 

Balancing the two sides of science fiction and fantasy demands a degree of attention on how both are represented, as well as understanding the rules of the story that serve to separate one from the other. It in many ways becomes a numbers game, keeping both close enough to equal that the story does not unduly forget itself and become just one thing or just the other. 

Of course, there are many ways to go about this. Piers Anthony’s Apprentice Adept series focused on a pair of worlds defined so thoroughly by science fiction and fantasy that the devices of one world simply would not work in the other. The horror visual novel Umineko: When They Cry opens with a pastiche of witches and demons and the protagonist, over the subsequent chapters, attempts to explain the deeds of these fantasy creatures as something a human culprit might be capable of. 

Both above examples are cases where a divide is intended to exist between the fantastic and the achievable, where one is geographic and the other is a matter of perception. In both cases though, neither allow magic to fully co-exist with the man-made. For a more blended example, consider Hiromu Awakawa’s manga/anime Fullmetal Alchemist, which presents a world more than a century behind ours, yet has developed functional prosthetic limbs we’ve not yet realized in this day and age. The magic of the world, expressed in alchemy, exists as a scientific equation where almost anything can be created with the right materials, but is governed by an underlying force that has no deeper explanation. 

Of course, being defined as Sci-Fi/Fantasy does not mean a story cannot lean in one direction or another; in most cases, it’s most likely inevitable that one will pick a prominent side. And this is fine, as the point is not to balance the scales, but simply keep focus. Even in the case of my own work, if asked to define my story in one genre, I’d have to say fantasy, and this is considering that it starts in a ruined post-nuclear Earth! 

Genre-splicing is a growing concept as we’ve come to accept that a story can be more than one thing, yet science fiction and fantasy are the only genres I know which are categorized both as the same thing and two separate things depending on where you look for them.

EXCERPT



A Crash Upon Sacred Spaces

Flynn touched down on steady ground, stumbling but keeping his footing this time. The others had arrived safely, but for the transition from the dark and concealed recess of a forgotten cavern, their destination could not have been starker. There was no sun. No stars. No moon, nor clouds in the sky. In a fashion, there was no sky. The world they had come upon had neither day nor night and as they turned to get their bearings, it was more apparent that wherever they had landed was not a world at all.

“Okay … the hell?” came Jean’s bewilderment.

“Where have we come to?” Chari followed. “I am uncertain if this is categorically normal.”

“Oh no, it is,” Mack assured. “It’s just you.”

Peering as far along the edge as he could, Flynn realized they were standing atop a massive disc of arranged stones, floating alone in an oblivion of purple and black auroras. Rising readily behind them and obscuring the full visible scope of all that lay ahead was a temple. Consuming the entire space of the discus and extending for miles, its spires loomed and its inward passages delved deep. Each stone had an inner glow as intense as a field of fireflies, and these were the only reason they weren’t stumbling hopelessly in absolute pitch.

“It doesn’t seem to rotate or orbit anything,” Flynn observed, crossing to the ledge and kneeling to look down. There was no visible end to the abyss. “It just … is.”

“Purple,” Mack commented, looking down. He looked up, “Purple,” and then ahead, “Purple,” and finally, at the ground, “Rock.”

“We’re in agreement on that then.” Flynn stood back up.

“I think this is some sort of holy place,” Chari observed.

“That some kinda priestess-y intuition?” Jean asked.

“No, just…” Chari glanced back at the edifice behind them.

“What else would you build a temple like this for?”

There were no answers. For a moment, they watched the expanse, trying to see if something waited in the distant beyond. It became increasingly clear, however, that they had come upon the sole beacon in a vast and vacant microcosm.

“I’d make it my house,” Mack finally decided. “Like, if there was a zombie invasion or something? This is where I’d hole up.”

“A what-be?” Chari asked.

“This place doesn’t seem very defensible,” Flynn observed, cracking his stiffening neck, feeling around with his sixth sense. “It’s perhaps bigger than the island we came from, but there are several routes in … and out.”

Following his meaning, Jean grinned. “Options, yeah?”

It wasn’t just the conduits. Something more tugged at Flynn, something altogether removed from the passages the others wished eagerly to explore. Faint though it was, it reminded him of Scytha, the Reaper he had met back on Sechal. Yet as reminiscent as the sensation was, it was also very different.

“I think there’s someone else here,” Flynn said, going ahead into the temple. Knowing they’d follow, he didn’t spare a glance back.







About the author:
Lucas Aubrey Paynter holds a Creative Writing degree from California State University Northridge—which looks really good when one talks about how they want to write for a living. A fan of engaging storytelling in any medium, he spent years developing the worlds, characters and conflicts that Flynn and his company encounter, before settling at his desk and writing Outcasts of the Worlds, the first part of a much larger tale to come.

Currently residing with his wife in Burbank, California, Lucas enjoys reading in a variety of formats, potentially overanalyzing character motivations and arcs, and the occasional good, stiff drink.

A a future history filled with the best and worst of humanity - Syncing Forward by W. Lawrence

Description:

Would you ever travel forward in time if you knew it was a one-way trip? 

Mr. Martin James has no such desire, but after being injected with a mysterious drug against his will, Martin hurtles through the years. This cruel twist of fate forces him to watch his children grow up and his wife grow old in a matter of days. Only an elusive group of scientists have the ability to stop his nightmarish journey; the very people who injected him in the first place. And while Martin James hopes to find a cure before everyone he loves is gone, others are uncertain if his journey can be stopped at all.

W. Lawrence weaves a future history filled with the best and worst of humanity, highlights the blessings and curses of technology, and pushes the limits of faith and hopelessness. Above all, Syncing Forward is a tale of one man's love for his family, and their devotion to saving him from being lost forever.

I am a fast reader and I made myself slow down so that I would not miss anything. Even if you are not a fan of science fiction (I'm not)you really should read this book. It is entertaining, engaging, and thought provoking. What more can you ask for in a book. I will definitely be reading this more than once. - Goodreads

EXCERPT


Blood test. Tissue sample from my mouth. A stress test that involved walking instead of running. Then it was dinnertime, but the delightful smells of Miranda’s cooking were absent. The meal was a near repeat of lunch, with the exception of a “special” shake that tasted more like grass than anything else. The ladies ate sparingly in front of me, and Bella picked cautiously at the salad her mother put in front of her.

The evening eclipsed into the late hours, and the girls’ eyes drooped. It was ultimately time for them to head off to bed, and Jerry came in to demand that I get some sleep. I shooed them away and told them I would go to sleep soon. With the kids ensconced in their beds and the duo of doctors in the guesthouse, it was finally Miranda and me alone in the living room. I tried holding her hand warmly, but she slipped it away slowly, giving me a consolation pat before breaking contact.

“So . . .” I let the word linger.

“I think you should get some sleep.” She started to get off the sofa, when I grabbed her hand and pulled her back to a sitting position.

“So.” I held her hand warmly but firmly. “Tell me what’s on your mind. It feels like you’re upset with me.”

Miranda gazed into my eyes for a while before speaking. When she did, I was surprised by what she had to say. “Well, Martin, I am upset with you.”

“Okay, why?”

“I don’t know why. I just am.”

“That isn’t exactly true—”

“Damn it! Don’t interview me like I’m some thief! I didn’t like it when you used to do it, and I still don’t like it!”

“Miranda, give me a break and just tell me what’s going on!” I raised my voice but quickly softened my tone, not sure if the girls could hear us. “Honey, please, just say what’s on your mind.”

“Fine. I hate the fact that you are fine and perfect and have only had to lose days or maybe even just hours of your life while we’ve spent four years suffering through this nightmare.” My wife was tearing up, but her antagonism clearly shone through.

I felt myself stiffening in response. “So you think I should be suffering more?”

“No! But you’re like some transient father who disappears for a decade, comes walking in on his kid’s thirteenth birthday, and expects everyone just to accept you as you are.”

“How is any of this my fault?”

“Did I say it was your fault?”

“No, but you make it sound like I planned it all this way.”

“Martin, you don’t understand. This house, the money—it’s all a bandage. I’ve been fighting to keep this family together and barely able to take care of anything. I have no family out here. No friends. Lying to everyone I know about your condition. Lying to Mami and Papi! Mis hermanos. Your brother. Bella is impossible. Amara is worse than ever—”

“Jesus, Miranda, what kid would deal with this problem well? And if you haven’t noticed, I am back. I am alive and here and wanting my wife back, and you’re mad at me for that!”

Her arms went out wide. “For how long, Martin? How long do we get you back for? A day? A month? The doctors can’t guarantee you’ll recover.”

I shook my head. “No, you’re wrong. They told me specifically that they felt confident in the treatment I received.”

“Oh, did they now? And you know how many treatments you received that they ‘felt confident’ about that didnothing? They didn’t tell you about the dozens of medications and implants and treatments they tried that failed miserably? They don’t call it Dambra forty-four because they like the number. So sorry if I don’t share your excitement over Jerry and Lenny’s stirring speech.”

I looked down at my lap and fidgeted with my own fingers. What words could I say to put my wife’s heart at ease? I didn’t dare debate her, nor did I even want to question how hard it had been—how hard it still was. Miranda was going through what many soldiers’ wives went through: raising a family on her own, managing a household, trying to have a life she could call hers. But the worst thing for a soldier’s wife had to be not knowing what might happen to her husband. Would he die tragically early, or come home fine, or perhaps return with a handicap? There were no assurances in the life of a soldier’s wife, and Miranda had experienced everything they might go through.

And yet somehow her life was even more stressful. I got that. There was no support group for husbands injected with mysterious substances by crazed terrorist scientists. My sweet wife had been going through this ordeal for four years truly alone. Dr. Gonzales’s words rang in my ears from back in Washington, DC, when she warned me that my family would suffer far worse than I would. She was right.

Miranda wiped her nose with a new tissue when I leaned over and squeezed her.

“I’m so scared, Martin! I just want to keep you home like this, and I’m afraid—”

“Don’t be. You had to go through a lot, and don’t think I’m unappreciative. But I’m not going anywhere. I’m home to stay.”

Miranda and I held each other for a long time before we finally unlocked our arms. Our cheeks slid slowly against each other, our lips brushing softly. At first awkward, our lips touched pensively until they finally remembered our marital relationship. The kiss was followed by another and another. Miranda silently stood up and guided me by hand to our bedroom on the first floor. The four-poster bed was lovely dark wood that—unlike the bed in our old house—matched the furniture around it. Curtains carefully coordinated with the borders along the wall signaled that Miranda had spent a long time designing and working on this room, unlike our New Jersey house, where we had bought whatever was on sale from an online store. This was everything she had always wanted in a master bedroom, and from the tone of her voice earlier in the day I could tell she was proud of how it had come out.

The bed was turned down and the air scented with a cinnamon candle; my wife knew I loved cinnamon and must have lit it during the course of the evening when she wasn’t angry with me. Smoothly we sank onto the bed, embracing as a husband and wife were meant to, touching, holding, grasping. I could feel her heat against my skin, and for those brief moments we were completely oblivious to the torment time had put upon us. Despite the days and years we had been separated, my wife and I were finally together.

Miranda’s kisses fell upon me faster and faster, along my neck and ear and cheek and mouth. Her hands moved so quickly I had trouble perceiving their movements at first. The bracelet alarm was going off, but it sounded like a Doppler effect, its pitch dropping and the sounds becoming increasingly muffled, as if the alarm were rushing down a country road and off into the distance. My wife stopped and stared at me for the briefest of moments before she spoke hurriedly.

“Martin are you okay Martin Martin no no not again notagain . . .”

I saw her grab for a tablet on the nightstand, and she called for the doctors to hurry to the bedroom. Lenny and Jerry stormed into the bedroom in a blur of motion with instrumentation in their hands, asking me questions I was too slow to answer. Even if I could, my hazy eyes and subdued ears were fixed on my poor wife, who sat on the edge of the bed rocking back and forth, pulling at her hair. All I managed to make out was her fading repetitions.
“Ican’tdothisanymoreIcan’tdothisanymoreIcan’tdothisanymore . . .”

******

“No,” he answered with painful honesty, “none of us do. But here’s what I do know. Your blood pressure has been steadily dropping despite experiencing stressers like the interview DHS conducted. Your body temperature is dropping. Your pupils are dilating slower than normal. You were complaining to the agents that they were talking too fast, and you’ve been describing your vision as blurry. As strange as it may sound, I believe this drug you were injected with slows the human body down considerably, and it does so on a subcellular level. I’ve never heard of such a drug before, and it doesn’t match anything Innovo Pharmaceutical research disclosed to us.

“Despite the fact that we can’t isolate the drug from any blood or tissue samples, we’re moving forward with the theory that these rogue doctors developed a drug that slows down cellular activity and—for whatever reason—they injected you with that drug.”

His voice sounded faster than normal. All of theirs were. They didn’t have the high-pitched fast-forward quality you might expect to hear when things speed up, but they sounded muffled, like I was listening to their words through a blanket. I rubbed my blurring eyes as the room seemed to pitch to a five-degree angle—just slightly off-kilter. The moment reminded me of a time from my youth when I’d had an inner ear infection. We were living in the hurricane shelters in Texas, and I remember stumbling around the house, bumping into walls and doors. Now, even though I was strung to the hospital bed with a dozen electrodes, I just knew that one step would have me toppling.

“Daddy!” Bella’s cute little voice pierced the air as she rushed past the doctor and nurses and everyone else in the room with blind enthusiasm. Seven years old and oblivious to everything except wanting her father. It was only when she grabbed my arms and got close that she realized my body was drizzled with wires. “Daddy, what is all this stuff?”

Miranda and Amara followed with a hospital worker in tow. Franciscus snapped at the worker that my family needed to leave, and the next few seconds were a buzz of everyone talking over each other.

“—they can’t be in here right now.”

“Martin, are you okay?”
“—isn’t the best time—”
“—going on with my husband?”
“—not going to tell you again to get them out of—”
“Nurse, check those connections to make sure it is reading right—”
“—let go of my daughter!”
Nurses and a new doctor quick-stepped past my family and the agents. One woman was talking to another so rapidly I couldn’t even make out what she was saying. The world turned about fifteen degrees sideways, and instinctively my hand reached for the railing. The air felt hot as nausea swelled, and I took a deep breath to keep from dry heaving.

Bella yanked on my fingers. “Daddy, can you take me to the vending machines?”

Amara snapped at her little sister. “Stupid, how is he going to take you anywhere! He’s in a bed!”

“Ma’am, we’re going to need you and your children to step out—” Agent Franciscus raised his voice.

I closed my eyes to gain my composure. They were moving and walking and talking as if I were watching a surveillance video through my own eyes.

“Hi, Daddy, how are you hey you look funny are you playing around Daddy stop playing around Momma Momma Daddy is acting weird!”

Bella’s sentences were all blended together, and before I could respond she was being pulled from the room by my wife. I blinked hard and flapped my eyelids to keep them from stinging and—hopefully—to clear my head. I tried yawning to pop my ears, thinking perhaps they were clogged. A second later Dave stood by the bedside, shaking my arm.

“Martin Martin are you okay can you hear me what’s wrong Buddy you’re not looking so hot can you please just say—” Dave was talking as if on fast-forward, his words riding one upon another.

“Slow down,” I started to say, trying to cut through their rapid speech and the concern on their faces. “I feel very strange—”

The nurse cut me off. My voice sounded raspy in my own head, and low-toned.

“Martin why are you talking so slow do you understand what I am saying?”
“Yeah, but you can’t talk so fast—”

“I need you to tell me what you’re feeling right now.”

I tried to get a word in edgewise. “I’m trying to answer, if you would let me—”

Amara had been standing in the doorway, watching the chaos from a distance after being yanked into the hallway by somebody on the staff. She ran back into the room with the hospital worker chasing after her. “Daddy why are you talking like that are you fooling around you’re fooling right come on Daddy tell the truth you are playing right you are pretending right Daddy?”

“No, sweetie, I’m not. I don’t—” I couldn’t even finish one sentence as the girls kept talking over me. The woman grabbed Amara with both hands and pulled her kicking and screaming from the room, her face flushed with anger as they rapidly sank backward toward the hallway. “Let go of my kid!” I tried to yell, but the command stalled in my throat and sputtered out like a whisper.

“Leavehimaloneleavehimalonenowstopit!”

“We’vegottotransporthimtothelabrightnow . . .”

“Wherearewemovinghimto?”
“Ma’amyouneedtocalmdownandtakeyourchildrenoutofhere—”
The room became a swirl of battered sentences strung together and overlapping. The doctors and nurses took the foreground, asking me questions, never waiting long enough for me to answer. For split seconds I could catch the movement behind them. Miranda was holding onto Amara now, dragging her from view. The hospital worker was bent over the crying face of Bella.

“Belladon’tworryyourfatherisgoingtobefinethesemenareheartohelphimit’sokayit’sokaydon’tbescaredcomeonlet’sgowithyourmomandsisterokay?”

“. . . thereisnosignofastrokewe’veplacedacalltoLangleyyesIunderstand . . .”
“. . . sealoffthisareafromvisitors . . .”
“. . . goingtoneedtotransporthim . . .”
Life turned sideways as they wheeled my gurney from the room and raced to the rooftop. Tears were building in my eyes again. I had to resign myself to quick glimpses of the world as I shut my lids and peeked from behind them when something caught my ear or moved me enough to rouse my curiosity.

By the time they got me into the medivac helicopter, I finally understood what Bruchmuller had injected me with. Those four syringes were the culmination of what these doctors had been researching. The world wasn’t speeding up; I was slowing down.

I had become the rat.





About the author:
W Lawrence was born in San Francisco, California, and moved two dozen times before settling in Pennsylvania with his extraordinarily patient wife and two precocious daughters. He wants a boy dog. He works in the world of corporate security as an investigator and professional interviewer/interrogator.

Lawrence is obsessed with 5K zombie runs, comes home empty-handed from hunting turkeys, and loves non-fiction books about pirates. He has no problem reconciling that his two favorite shows are Downton Abbey and The Walking Dead.


Author's Giveaway

Find the fortune, break the curse! - Curse of the Granville Fortune (Granville Fortune, #1) by Kelly Hashway

Published: October 21st, 2014

Description:

Find the fortune, break the curse!

The hunt is on for an ancient treasure tied to nine-year-old J.B.’s family history. He’s been having visions that make him sweaty, lightheaded, and certain he’s turning into some kind of freak—or worse, going insane. But things are worse than he imagined. The visions stem from a family curse. An ancient ancestor was accused of stealing the massive Granville fortune, and now J.B.’s entirely family will suffer.

To break the curse, J.B. must find and return the Granville’s stolen property. But he’s not the only one searching for the treasure. As he sets out on his journey through a dark and foreboding forest, he’ll battle his worst fears and fight terrifying creatures along the way. And when he meets two others who share the missing pieces of his visions and suffer from the same curse, the three soon realize they need to work together to break the curse before it’s too late.

GUEST POST
A list of 5-8 must have items when hunting for treasure 

Treasure Hunting Must Haves 
In Curse of the Granville Fortune, Jack “J.B.” Beaumont learns you have to be prepared when you’re hunting for treasure. So here are some tips from J.B. himself: 

· Don’t go hunting empty-handed Especially if you’re heading into a scary forest that preys on your worst fears. If you’re like me and don’t like weapons, bring a rope. You never know when you might need one. 
· Bring food and waterTreasure hunting can take a while, so bring plenty of food and a canteen that you can refill with water. Just keep in mind that food will attract hungry animals. 
· Use a treasure map You need to know where to start your search, so having a treasure map is a must. 
· Wear comfortable shoes and clothes Running for your life isn’t out of the question. Make sure you’re wearing sneakers. And nights can get cold, so wear layers. 
· Watch out for other people who are searching for the same treasure – Money makes people greedy and kind of crazy. Be careful of people who want the same treasure you’re after. They’ll use you in any way possible. 
· Don’t go alone It’s too easy to get lost or in a dangerous situation, so make sure you have someone with you to help you out. Oh, and your little sister probably isn’t the best choice unless you want to end up babysitting while you’re treasure hunting. 

Those are your treasure hunting tips from J.B. Happy hunting!

About the author:
Kelly Hashway grew up reading R.L. Stein’s Fear Street novels and writing stories of her own, so it was no surprise to her family when she majored in English and later obtained a masters degree in English Secondary Education from East Stroudsburg University. After teaching middle school language arts for seven years, Hashway went back to school and focused specifically on writing. She is now the author of three young adult series, one middle grade series, and several picture books. She also writes contemporary romance under the pen name Ashelyn Drake. When she isn’t writing, Hashway works as a freelance editor for small presses as well as for her own list of clients. In her spare time, she enjoys running, traveling, and volunteering with the PTO. Hashway currently resides in Pennsylvania with her husband, daughter, and two pets.

Author's Giveaway
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Help Santa finish his deliveries. - Tracy Tam: Santa Command by Krystalyn Drown

Published: October 22nd, 2014

Description:

Tracy doesn’t believe that Santa can deliver all of those presents in one night with out a little help from science. A flying sleigh can only be powered by jet engines, and Santa’s magical abilities can only be the result of altered DNA. In order to test her theories, she sneaks onto Santa’s sleigh and ends up at Santa Command, the place where a team of humans monitors Santa’s big night. When Tracy attempts to hack into their computers, she accidentally introduces a virus to their system. As a result, three states get knocked out of sync with the rest of the world. Before the night is over, Tracy has to fix time and  And she has to do it all with Santa’s magic, which she doesn’t believe exists.

GUEST POST
Character Profile: Tracy Tam (with pic if avail) 

Through a little sleuthing of my own, I was able to locate Tracy's original application for the Florida state science fair. Though never submitted, it details her plans for that fateful Christmas Eve when everything went wrong. 

Florida State Science Fair Application 

Name: Tracy Tam 
Grade: 5th 
Title of project: The Science Behind Santa 
School: Osceola School of Arts and Sciences 

This year's laboratory experiment/data collection 

- Start date: 12/24/14 
- End date: 12/25/14 

Where will you conduct your experimentation? Field, Home, School science lab 
List name and address of all non-school work sites: Santa's house - North Pole, Santa's sleigh – world wide 
Research plan/Project Summary 
a. Rationale for your project: Magic doesn't exist. Go to the magic section of any bookstore and you can find out the science behind magic tricks. Therefore, Santa's magic does not exist. 
b. State your hypothesis and expected outcomes: Santa uses science to deliver all of his presents on Christmas Eve. He uses high levels of technology that once revealed will benefit many areas of science research and study. 
c. Procedures: Climb aboard Santa's sleigh and follow him during his deliveries. Document the night using video and still footage. Collect hair and material samples to be studied later under microscope. Travel to the North Pole to observe Santa's workshop. 
d. Risk and safety: None. I will be with Santa all night. 
e. Data analysis: All materials will be brought back to either my house or the school science lab for full analysis including DNA testing. It is my goal to prove once and for all that magic does not exist. Even Santa needs a helping hand. 
***** 
After the events of Christmas Eve, Tracy decided to change her science project, giving no explanation why. This year, she will be experimenting on the effects of music on plants. 

About the author:
Krystalyn spent thirteen years working at Walt Disney World in a variety of roles: entertainer, talent coordinator, and character captain. Her degree in theatre as well as many, many hours spent in a dance studio, helped with her job there. Her various other day jobs have included working in zoology at Sea World, as an elementary teacher, and currently as a support technician for a website. In the evenings, she does mad writing challenges with her sister, who is also an author. Krystalyn lives near Orlando, Florida with her husband, son, a were cat, and a Yorkie with a Napoleon complex.

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Short Tales of Horror Part II by Regina Puckett

Published: September 2nd, 2014
Cover Artist– Ryan Jorgensen owns copyright on photo. Charity Parkerson put together the book cover.

Description:

Ours 
While Sheriff Wilson has no idea what really transpired the night twelve people were murdered in the old mental hospital during what was supposed to be a simple night of ghost hunting, he was at the scene moments after the lone survivor committed suicide. Now it’s a year later and a group of paranormal investigators want to set up a haunted house and invite the general public in that same abandoned mental hospital. How is he supposed to keep that many people safe from whoever or whatever killed the last group? 

Silent Baby Screams 
Gwen doesn't understand why her husband resents their newborn baby so much, but she never suspects that one day she'll return home from work to discover their baby boy has simply vanished. What happens next is the stuff of nightmares. 

Lucky Thirteen 
Thirteen black cats help keep watch over a bedridden, old lady. Sometimes the number thirteen is lucky but then again it might just depend on it who you are. 

Pay Back 
There’s nothing usual about Jeremy waking up late for school, but on this particular morning something feels different. When he goes downstairs to face the music, he finds his grandmother waiting for him but no one else appears to be at home. Jeremy believes he’s caught a lucky break and his mother and father won’t get to know, but he soon discovers that not everything is as it seems. He finds he’ll have to face up to his mistakes, though, and maybe even suffer a little payback himself. 

Slimmer 
Sandy loves her new boyfriend, but ever since they moved in together, Donald won’t get off her back about how much she eats. When he offers her a new miracle diet pill, she decides to try one just to shut him up. Unfortunately, there are unexpected side effects that take them both by terrifying surprise. 

Sam I am 
The morning after moving into her dream home with her young daughter and husband, Paige learns that the three story, 18th century house might be haunted. She then finds that her daughter has a new imaginary friend called Sam I Am. It isn’t long before Paige’s perfect home turns into a living nightmare.

EXCERPT


Ours

“Something drained its battery. Sometimes that happens when a spirit is nearby. Why don’t you try asking Wallace a few questions? Maybe he likes men better than women. After all he only kidnapped, raped and killed little boys. “

There nothing Alan wanted less than to try and communicate with a dead serial killer but he had forced his way in with the group so the least he could do was try in fit in. “He liked little boy’s. I don’t think he’s going to be interested in my type. I’m a little old for his taste.” 

Rhonda didn’t say anything but continued to stare at him. He finally shrugged. “Why the hell not?” He turned toward the empty room and tried not to feel like a damn fool. It was a good thing none of his deputies could see him talking to a ghost. “If you’re with us, Wallace Webster, you should know the world’s a better place without you in it. You were the lowest form of scrum bag and I think it’s a damn shame you were granted the pleasure of dying of old age in here instead of getting the electric chair like you deserved.”

Rhonda elbowed him. “Ask a question and stop antagonizing him.”

Alan glared at her. “Fine.” He closed his eyes and tried to think of a good question. “Why did you hurt those innocent children?” All of the K2 meters lit up.

Rhonda leaned over and grabbed her backpack. She dug around until she found the recorder. “Ask him something else. “

Alan stood and walked over into the circle of K2 meters. “Why, you Son of a Bitch. Why?” He felt a sharp stinging sensation across the back of his neck before cold air enveloped him. Just as he was reaching back to rub the painful area, a putrid smell filled the air and a voice right next to his ear whispered. “Mine.” Without even thinking, he asked, “Why?” There was a sinister laugh and another sharp painful slash across his neck and then down the full length of his back. He went to step out of the circle until something bumped against the side of his leg. The air around him became soupy and every breath became harder and harder to draw in. 

When he made another move to leave the circle several things happened at once; it felt as if a large hand gripped onto his shoulder, a breathe of foul air filled his nose and the room became crammed with small black shadows. Another whisper finally answered his question. “My children.” Alan forced his legs to move but he only made it a few steps when the black forms rushed to surround him. It felt as if several pairs of small hands were tugging at his pants’ legs and there were arms wrapping around both of his legs. The air overflowed with agitated murmurings and whispers.

Every hair on Alan’s body stood up from the static electricity in the room. He blinked his eyes several times trying to focus on the tiny black shadows which had suddenly appeared out of nowhere. They were all inside of the circle of K2 meters and the lights on the meters were flashing on and off like crazy. The shadows were darker than the room’s darkness. They were completely void of any light and the feelings emanating from them were if they were totally void of any happiness. 

It wasn’t so much the touching or even the presence of the black shadows that bothered Alan. It was those feelings of pain and anguish that were slowly leaching away his own happiness. He could sense they needed his help and this was the only way they knew how to ask for it. He broke out in a cold sweat, and just as the coldness was beginning to seep into his skin, frantic screaming came from somewhere else in the hospital.




About the author:
Regina Puckett is an award nominated author for her short story, Balloon Wishes.
Concealed in My Heart is a Readers' Favorite Book Award Winner.
Claimed by Sin is nominated for 2014 Ellora's Cave Golden Ankh award.
Concealed in My Heart won runner-up in the international 2014 MARSocial Author of the Year Competition.
Borrowed Wings, has received the Children's Literary Classics Seal of Approval.
Memories won first place in the 1st WSBR International Poetry Contest. This poem may be found in her book of poetry, Tilting at Windmills and Words.
Slowly Drowning won second place in the 3rd WSBR International Poetry Contest. This poem may be found in her poetry book, My Words into the Beyond.
Sir Galahad Comes to the Rescue won third place in the 3rd WSBR International Poetry Contest. This poem may be found in her book of poetry, Ramblings and Dreams.
Her collection of poetry, Fireflies, won 2013 Turning Pages Poetry Book of the Year.
She writes sweet romances, horror, inspirational, picture books and poetry. There are several projects in various stages of completion and there are always characters and stories waiting for their chance to finally get out of her head and onto paper.


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