6.20.2017

What makes a child a reader?


The kids are out of school. You're tearing your hair out, wondering how to steer them away from the video games and internet. They don't want to read a book. That's something you have to do in school, right?

I grew up in a non-book household. No. Books. Anywhere. Strange to think of it now. I was led to a lifelong love of reading by... a movie. Them. Radioactive giant ants! Scared the pants off me when I was little, but it opened my world to science fiction. (The movie also gave me a lifelong loathing of ants, by the way.)

When I started school, I discovered you could borrow books and take them home! Yay! I found stories every bit as good, and better, than that dratted movie.

Maybe your children could find a companion book for their favorite video game and discover a world beyond the screen?

What memories do you have of discovering the world of books?

*********************

And in other exciting news... Fire and Mist, book 3 of the Well of Souls series is out!



Blurb:

Derek Mackay, 16th century laird and Druid extraordinaire, is doubly cursed—with knowledge he isn’t supposed to have, and by a goddess whose wrath he didn’t mean to incur. The curse promises sure death to any betrothed of his, including the beautiful woman surrounded by Immortal magic who suddenly appears in his life and arouses in him a wellspring of bittersweet desire. The only way to save her is to stay away from her.

Erin Kelley is restless, craving the missing piece in an otherwise contented life. Romance. A man to take her breath away. A man to keep for life. A family to cherish with him. Swept back in time on a dare, she’s confronted by an angry Highland laird—an alpha male both irresistible and determined to keep her at arm’s length. His words push her away, but his emotions pull her in. Ordinary contentment will never again be enough—not when the world contains the extraordinary Laird Mackay.


***

Yes, it’s a romance, but it’s also about adapting to the curveballs life throws at us. Struggling to persevere against the odds. Becoming victorious in the end, despite the sorrows we’ve endured in getting there. Okay… and being able to shake our fists at the universe and yell, “You can’t break me,” because that’s a fun thing to do. I hope you enjoy the journey.

And if you haven’t read any of them yet, Immortal Desires, book 1 in the series, is on sale for .99 right now. Go grab your copy!


About the author:

Cerise Laudine loves sexy Highlanders, seductive alpha males from the Otherworld, and bold women who can bring them to their knees and rock their world. Time-travel, star-crossed, or interdimensional, her stories always have a happily ever after. Though the twisted path of laughter and tears is the real journey, isn’t it? Come walk the paths with her and share in the experience.
She also writes darker tales, using the twisted side of her brain, as River Fairchild.
Cerise’s Amazon page: http://amzn.to/2pR4awe



6.13.2017

Down the rabbit hole to research historical fantasy

Lithograph by J. Childs depicts two of Philadelphia's notorious
Moyamensing gang killers of the mid-1800s
One of the strange and wonderful perks of writing historical fantasy is doing research. Right now, I am developing characters to populate my next witch novel, set in the mid-1800s in Philadelphia. I need con men and women, murderers, petty thieves and prostitutes. Can you tell I like the dark side? And so far, I’m finding excellent, twisty rabbit holes containing lots of skeevy mischief.

Take the typical misbehaviors for women at this time, where the punishment seems out of whack with the crime: a thief getting five years imprisonment for stealing a dress from a tailor, or a large plate of oysters from a tavern.

There were children in prison as well. One of the youngest girls in the records, 11-year-old Ann McQuillan, was convicted and sentenced to four years in prison for 'theft by housebreaking'.

Con men advertised in newspapers to sell “oxygenizing machines” that actually contained laughing gas to supposedly cure folks with lung disease! They hawked counterfeit currency to gullible businessmen, who received a package of green cut paper (thus, the “green goods swindle”). Big Bertha Heyman was so good at conning money from men, she could even pull it off in prison.
Big Bertha, an ingenious swindler of the 1800s
conned a man out of $900 (now about $20,000) while behind bars!

Even in the supposedly civil city of Philadelphia, Irish gangs like the Schuylkill Rangers, began by resisting anti-Catholic attackers, then evolved into organized delinquency.  They became river pirates, demanding a tax from barges heading to the city, and robbing the trade carried across the river at nearby Gray’s Ferry.

One of my characters is a “retired” prostitute, and I hit the mother lode yesterday, when I discovered there were Gentlemen’s Guides to Dens of Iniquity, a kind of wink-wink description of the “worst” establishments in the city. These guides were printed for most big cities. One of the funniest revelations was that a religious seminary on the west side of NYC was once an infamous brothel.
Built in 1819 for a seamstress, this brick house in what is now the New York University area, became a brothel in the mid–1800s—about the time the city’s wealthier citizens relocated uptown.

When I have enough interesting factoids the challenge will be to cull the best of my research and piece together the criminals and cons to form the core band of my players. Each will have their own backstories, flaws and quests.

Do you write historical fiction? If so, do you like doing research? What is the strangest tidbit you’ve unearthed so far along the way?

6.09.2017

Book Review: GUARDIAN OF THE GRAIL #paranormal #specfiction

GUARDIAN OF THE GRAIL (Immortal Blood-Book One) 
by Elena Bryce


Before vampires, they were Guardians, drinking the sacred blood of the Holy Grail, and sworn to protect it through the ages. 

When Lachlan Thorn is entrusted with the task of relocating the Grail to a castle in the Scottish Highlands, he requires the help of a witch to conceal it on the perilous journey. Unfortunately for him, the only one available is Ivy, who is untrained and a descendant of the woman who broke his heart. 

For Ivy, helping to protect the Grail gives her a chance to do something good with her magic and learn more about it. But once the Grail is out in the open it draws the attention of both vampires and vampire hunters alike, and before long Ivy is facing an ancient and powerful foe that she has no chance of escaping. 

Forced to tap into the deeper magic, Ivy must travel through time, linking with her ancestors and experiencing witch trials to take on the power that is her heritage. She might also learn the startling truth about her connection to Lachlan. 

A Grail Quest, a deadly enemy, and a love that transcends time. 
Action packed Urban Fantasy. Grab your copy now! 


Cathrina's Review:

Over the years I've watched dozens of vampire movies. Some good,  some great, and some not so great. Even as far back as the old black and white versions with the famous Bela Lugosi. However, I've only read a handful of vampire books, including the Twilight Series and Christine Rains book, OF BLOOD AND SORROW. 

I thoroughly enjoyed the Christian twist that the author, Elena Bryce incorporated into her book. It was totally unique and refreshing to read. The pace is fast and action packed and a romance which helped to keep my interest. 

We have a young pretty witch, and a handsome man who looks like he's in his twenties, but in actuality he's ancient, and another immortal that's willing to kill everything in sight in order to acquire the holy grail.

The story goes all the way back to Joseph of Aramethea, a disciple of Jesus, and his quest to keep the holy grail safe from evil hands. Guardians drink blood from the grail which make them immortal. Their main purpose is to protect the grail. They become known as vampires, but not all vampires are good. The sections of the book where it explains the different kind of vamps was intriguing and like I said before~unique, which is why this story stands apart from the rest.

6.06.2017

LavaRex, Frogzilla, Ice Bats, and Spacebergs! What fantastic disaster can you come up with? #ScienceFiction #giveaway

Sharknado, Atomic Twister, Mega Piranha, Sharktopus...

The latest in sci fi movies that mimic their 1950's drive-in counterparts are just as cheesy and fun. Sometimes the effects are better..



sometimes they're not.


They're some of my favorite movies to watch, especially in the summer. I think the link to the drive-in is why I like them best in summer.

Try your hand at some titles. Best 5 get a copy of Pew! Pew! You can enter as many times as you like. Contest ends 6/13/2017.

 Here are some creatures to inspire you.








Here are some disasters:

Earthquake

Nuclear Disaster

Alien Invasion

Volcanic Eruption

Rapid Glacier Melt




Big Bat Meltdown? Volcanic Frog? Mega Frog vs. Mutant Yeti? Have fun...


Pew! Pew! Sex, Guns, Spaceships... Oh My! 99c Countdown Deal!


Now a Best Seller!

Pew! Pew! Sex, Guns, Spaceships... Oh My! is on sale for 99c until June 10th. Snap it up! It contains my new story, "Spaceberg." Spaceberg involves a huge chunk of ice in space, moss balls with teeth, and dancing plastic flowers. What's better than plastic? Organic plastic!

  AMAZON

Get a sample of Spaceberg FREE! (first 5 chapters)
BOOK FUNNEL / INSTAFREEBIE

*

5.30.2017

Group Post - Talking about sea creatures real and imaginary



The oceans are as mysterious as worlds beyond our own. It's a world as foreign to us as Jupiter, yet we don't need a spaceship to visit it. Much of it remains inaccessible, however. The deepest depths are difficult to reach and it's unknown what all lurks down there. Much of the oceans remain unexplored. Would you want to explore those areas or hang out among the reefs? If you were a sea creature, real or imaginary, what would you be?


M. Pax

I want to explore those deep, unknowns of the oceans. So I decided I'd like to be a vampire squid. They have characteristics of both the octopus and the squid, They live at very deep depths, have large eyes, are agile, and eat shrimp. I like shrimp. They're elusive and mysterious and live in a mysterious place. All of that suits me very well. Here's a video to learn more about the vampire squid.


***

River Fairchild

I want to be Poseidon, because, well... you know... a god with unlimited powers? Owning a trident to stab things with? Wearing spiky metal thingies on your armor? And it doesn't hurt to look hunky, either. 



***
Angela Brown

There are so many wonderful, terrifying, beautiful, and well...the list of descriptions can go on and on about the creatures under the sea. But...here is where things get a little different for me. The sea creature I wish to be doesn't stay beneath the water. It takes flight to get away from underwater predators and looks darned cool when it spreads its wings. So flying fish...I'm looking at you!




***

Christine Rains

I thought maybe I'd want to be one of the legendary monsters of the sea. Every sailor quakes in terror when they sail my waters. But really, I wouldn't want a bad reputation. Nor would I want any young hunters to come looking for me. I like my quiet and peaceful life. I want silent depths and sometimes come up to the surface for a lovely view. I keep to myself just like Nessy in Loch Ness. Am I real or a hoax? I'm content to let the mystery continue.

***


Misha Gerrick

Hmmmmmm.... I'd go for....



An orca. Badass, incredibly intelligent and loyal to their families, they're by far my favorite ocean creature, so if I had to turn into one, that's the one I'd want to be. 

***
Cherie Reich

I would want to be a manatee. They are just the cutest and kindest of sea creatures.


***

Catherine Stine

I'm obsessed with the ocean and its creatures. I'm also obsessed with witches. I wrote Witch of the Cards to explore how it would feel to be a sea witch (who also does amazing things with Tarot cards. LOL). It was a rollicking ride. Here's a quote from the book.



Meradeth Houston

There are so many awesome sea creatures that picking just one is difficult! That, and I love the sea so very much (I'm even named after a Welsh sea god, haha!). If I have to select one though, I think I'd have to go with dolphin. My mom tells this story about when I was a baby and she was holding me at the railing of a small sailboat, and a momma dolphin brought her baby up right next to us to say "hi!" Kinda silly, but kinda fun :)


Cathrina Constantine

River grabbed my first choice of underwater rulers. Hahaa... But I did happen upon this fantastical being. I love horses. And whats better than a gorgeous horse that can swim underwater...





Gwen Gardner
I'm a simple girl and like to keep things simple. Mermaids are easily the most classic and modern sea creature to withstand the test of time.

Who wouldn't want to be a Mermaid?



5.23.2017

Cherie Reich's "The Folding Point" - An Excerpt from Spirits in the Water


Aimee gripped the gum filled strands and sliced through them. A hint of rosemary from her conditioner and watermelon from the gum tickled her nostrils. She dropped the clump of hair into the sink and continued chopping away. The thick tresses soon filled the basin. She felt lighter with each one off her head.

“Oh god.” The peanut butter jar slipped from Xavier’s fingers and clattered onto the bathroom tiles. It rolled over to the rug she stood on. “What are you doing?”

“What does it look like?” She straightened her shoulders and smoothed a hand through her short, jagged locks. Her reflection stared back. The girl in the mirror looked pale, her lips drawn into a determined line, yet her eyes—the intense ice blue—chilled her. She almost didn’t recognize herself. “I’m taking my life back.”

Her brother’s lips parted like a goldfish’s. Open and shut, open and shut. He eventually shook his head and retrieved the jar of peanut butter. “It’s your hair.”

She gave a firm nod. Her hair. Her life. She was in control.

As he left the bathroom, she continued to cut her hair until she was satisfied with the pixie style. She cleaned off the scissors, placed them back into the cabinet, and scooped up the dark remains where she discarded them in the wastebasket.

She was heading toward her bedroom when a fluttering sound drew her attention toward her brother’s room. His window was cracked open, and a paper bird launched from the sill and flew toward her. Did her brother create the bird? As far as she knew, her dad had gathered up the last of the paper in the house and burned it after Mom’s arrest. She held out her palm.

The bird landed and fluffed its delicately folded feathers. Its beak opened, and it spat a crumbled ball of paper into her hand. Then it flew off and perched upon Xavier’s desk lamp.

What the holy folds was this about? She unfurled the ball of paper and smoothed out the wrinkles. Midnight at Cityside Park. The scrawl sent her brow furrowing.

“What are you doing in my room?” Xavier snatched her wrist as she closed her fingers around the piece of paper.

“I saw a paper bird flying around.” She jutted her chin toward the creature.

“Open your hand.” His gaze drew to her fist, and his fingers dug into her flesh. “Come on, Aimee. It’s for me.”

“What is it about?” She opened her hand, the paper in the center of her palm.

“Nothing important.” He snatched the note and released her. “Go to your room and do your homework.”

“I don’t have any,” she lied.

“Well, go read or something.” He shooed her off and stepped farther into his room. His hand rested upon the door. “Go on.”

She huffed and backed up.

He slammed the door and locked it.

What had him so rattled? She shook her head. Whatever it was, she would find out.

Spirits in the Water is forthcoming October 2017.

5.16.2017

Caution - Romance Ahead!

I want to let you know about two new book releases by Cerise Laudine (River Fairchild's alter ego). The first is a tale of romance with an Otherworldly flavor, mythology, a gorgeous alpha male, and enough steam to fog up your mirrors. Seducer of Her Dreams.



Blurb:

Emily is beautiful, successful, and has a fantastic love life—only it isn’t with a real man. Embroiled in the hottest sexual relationship of her life with the ultimate man of her dreams—literally—she always wakes up alone. Resolved to start living in the real world again, she banishes dream lover Devan from her nights.

Devan is an immortal Seducer, created to fulfill sexual fantasies. He takes this rejection personally and visits Earth, determined to seduce Emily in person. With a full cycle of the moon allowed to get the job done, he figures there shouldn’t be a problem. The only catch… if he reveals his true nature, he’ll be banished to the void forever.

As Emily and Devan stumble toward each other, the clock is ticking, the moon won’t stand still, and the goddesses of Fate are about to intervene.

To buy it on Amazon or read it for free with KindleUnlimited,
click here. http://amzn.to/2oMaaWj

Next up is book 2 of the Well of Souls series, called Twisted Fates. It's a time-travel, Scottish Highlander series with an Otherworldly flavor and more alpha males, of course!



Blurb:


Zoey Tyler struggles to get through each day, convinced only a dark path awaits her. Disastrous choices ruined her life. Now all she has left is a black void ready to swallow her whole.

Gavin Mackay has given up trying to be the kind of man his father would have expected of him. When a force of great power rips him away from the year 1825, it drops him into the 21st century and into Zoey’s living room without any explanation. Drawn to the unusual woman, he’s sure she feels an attraction for him as well, though the stubborn lass won’t admit to it.

All too soon, the problems he left behind merge with her current troubles, creating a maelstrom of danger and putting both their lives at risk. Are their fates doomed to remain twisted in sorrow, or can they change destiny and find happiness with each other?

To buy it on Amazon or read it for free with KindleUnlimited,


And in celebration of the release, I've discounted book 1, Immortal Desires, for those who want to start at the beginning. It's only .99 or read for free with KindleUnlimited.


Blurb:

Dumped at the altar, Deanna Cameron seeks a fresh start in life. She gets more than she bargained for after accepting a new job, when an Immortal Guardian sends her five hundred years into the past. She can't return home and a magnificent highland warrior accuses her of being a spy.

Ian Mackay knows the beautiful woman who appears in his castle must be a spy. After all, she's a Cameron, a clan he despises. The powerful magic surrounding her obstructs his Druid senses, plus he finds he can't stay away from the temptress. But loving Deanna could come with a price too high to pay. Will she be the downfall of his clan—or its salvation?

To buy, click here. http://amzn.to/2qZjKq5  (this one was previously released under the author name Laura Eno)


About the Author:

Cerise Laudine loves sexy Highlanders, seductive alpha males from the Otherworld, and bold women who can bring them to their knees and rock their world. Time-travel, star-crossed, or interdimensional, my stories always have a happily ever after. Though the twisted path of laughter and tears is the real journey, isn’t it? Come walk the paths with me and share in the experience.

Cerise’s Amazon page: http://amzn.to/2pR4awe