Saturday, October 14, 2017

A First! My First! Self-Published Novel - The Summoning

At the end of September, I navigated the Amazon process for indie-publishing.  I didn't encounter any troubles at all, thank goodness, in publishing The Summoning in Kindle format.  Soon, I plan to publish it in paperback. Here's the blurb and the dynamic cover created by the talented Debbie Taylor:

Heather Morique is a witch. The problem is she doesn’t know it. One month after losing her infant son, her husband Jahill and his mistress perish in an accident. He was a refugee from an obscure branch of the Arawak Indians, and soon after his death, mysterious whispers lure her to his homeland. She soon finds herself in a web of secrets, lies and illusions. Jahill’s obscure branch of the Arawaks worship two gods: Eyrael, a spirit from another dimension, is their God of Wind and Sea. His brother Sofiel is the God of Fire and Earth. The powerful new Shaman has pitted brother against brother, and these two powerful spirits—one light, one dark—battle to remain the tribe’s ruling deity. When Heather unwittingly summons Eyrael, these two unlikely soul mates face a dangerous fate.  More frightening than the buried secrets, Heather and Eyrael discover the chemistry between them almost irresistible.

For those in line to purchase (LOL), here's the Amazon  link.

  The book is only $2.99 but Prime members can read for free!

Friday, October 13, 2017

Diane Burton’s Love Affair With Star Wars

Last weekend, TNT ran a Star Wars marathon. Since I was in the middle of inputting receipts into Quicken and needed some background noise, I turned on the marathon, catching Episode I: The Phantom Menace close to the beginning. Fortunately, the football game of the year for Michigan residents (University of Michigan vs Michigan State University) didn’t come on until 7:30 pm, so I had control of the remote all afternoon. 😊

Having watched each episode about a million times (slight exaggeration), I knew I could do the financial stuff and follow the movies. Hah. Too many times, a scene would snag my attention. It didn’t take much to yank me away from data input. (Bo-ring) Each time I watch one of the movies, I see something new. Yes, even after a million times. During the big pep talk scene in A New Hope and Mon Mothma says “Many Bothans died to bring us this information” I immediately thought of Rogue One that told that story.
photo: IMDB
I love the expansion of Star Wars to include side stories, like Rogue One. I’m looking forward to more of them. Just as I’m anxiously awaiting the release of Star Wars VIII: The Last Jedi.

Why this fascination with a forty-year-old movie and its sequels? And why are new fans made every generation? I can’t speak for everyone, only my family. (If this sounds vaguely familiar, my post almost three years ago speaks of my family’s fascination with the series.)
photo: IMDB
Hubs and I saw the original Star Wars in the theater. We enjoyed it so much, we took our kids. When the VCR of the first trilogy came out, I bought it (still have the original tapes), and we watched the films many times. I took my son and his best friend (ages 5 and 6) to Star Wars V: The Empire Strikes Back and sitting in the front row because we didn’t arrive early enough. (I still remember the crick in my neck.) We’ve watched the entire series on DVD so many times, I think they’re starting to wear out. LOL We passed the torch to our children who in turn have passed it on to their children, all of whom share our passion. Our 7.5-year-old grandson beats everyone at Star Wars Trivial Pursuit. His 10-year-old sister comes in a close second.

When I wrote the previous post (December, 2014), my granddaughter, Toddler Girl, hadn’t been born yet. I did say we’d indoctrinate her in Star Wars. Now, she’s two and a half. Her favorite toys at my house are the three sets of Star Wars nesting dolls. Guess who’s been teaching her the names of the characters? Hehehe. She remembers Chewbacca, BB-8, and the princesses Leia and Rey. Well, I think Rey is a princess. She has to be Luke’s daughter, right? I guess we’ll find out when Star Wars VIII: The Last Jedi comes out on December 15th. You can bet our three generations of Star Wars fans will be at the opening. Seeing the trailer yesterday added to the anticipation.
photo: IMDB

For me, the fascination of the movies is the adventure. Before 1977, I never read science fiction, and I thought previous sci-fi movies were hokey, unbelievable. Because of the manner in which Star Wars was written and filmed, the viewer can easily suspend disbelief. Of course ships travel through space and hop from planet to planet. This was adventure (and romance) that happened to take place in a “galaxy far, far away.” As I’ve said many times, that’s when my love of science fiction romance began. Consequently, I was thrilled when Disney bought the franchise and began making new movies.

I’ve never felt this way about a movie series. I compare every sci-fi film I see to Star Wars. None measure up. (The only ones that come close are the Star Trek series.) As you can tell, I’m still an unabashed fangirl.

What movie series captured you?

Diane Burton once knew the name of every Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo astronaut. After watching the first Star Wars movie, she knew she wanted to write about space adventure. Her Outer Rim series (The Pilot, The Chameleon,and The Protector) are about strong women (like Star Wars heroines Leia, Rey, and Jyn) on the frontier of space. Read about Diane's books at

Monday, October 9, 2017

Must Love #Audiobooks and #Superheroes! The Judas Contact is now available on audio!

I admit to having a soft spot where audiobooks are concerned. I do a lot of roadtrips and I flove listening to audiobooks when I'm on the road. Over the last few years I've listened to everything from Stephanie Plum to Nalini Singh to Felicia Day and more. When I go for long walks, I'll push play on the latest novel captivating me.

I really can't get enough of it and will actively collect audiobooks to keep a generous supply for future trips. Last year while I was driving from Dallas to San Diego for RWA, I nearly ran myself off the road laughing at Eve Langlais' A Demon and His Psycho. While I highly recommend this novel, please note that your laughter may impair your ability to operate heavy machinery!

The first time I heard one of my books in audio it was Some Like it Royal, and I couldn't stop giggling. Hearing someone else read my words blew me away. Then I had the great good fortune of working with Christine Padovan on my Always a Marine series.

It never fails to make me happy to hear my book in audio which is why I'm thrilled to share with you the release of The Judas Contact, Boomers Book 1 read by the amazing Dorian Bane. His voice is sweet, sexy, and perfect.

Check him out, and listen to a sample.

If you love superheroes, time travel, action adventure and some sexy romance, then Boomers are the books for you! Learn more about Boomers!

Tell me, do you have a favorite audio book? Or favorite place to listen?

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Disciple's Descendants

I'm throwing my hat into the 'serialized' book venue! Again.

Disciple's Descendants is a series of short novellas that each have their own happy ending but--it's a continuous storyline. Series. And I told myself no more, just do one novel, one story! Right. I've been furiously typing away so as to have at least 5 of them ready with the intent to release one every 4-5 weeks. Four are totally done, out with beta readers and an editor. I can't wait to re-release them into the world of readers. Yes, re-release because they initially premiered back in 2012 with me writing under a nom de plume -- Jocie Parker. I believe the rewrites are so much better. I neglected these guys on their first foray into the reader's sphere. This time they come with promo and a trailer is underway as soon as I find suitable music. I truly enjoy splashing these men, some of which are unhuman, onto pages.

Not only are there relatives of the original disciples, there be dragons here!

First up is Ander and you can learn more by visiting A Sovereign Spot. You can read even more by checking out Conversations.

The dragon shifter, Leviat, appears in Scorching Book Review's 2017 Sex Scene Championship this month and if you haven't hopped over to be warmed by a few HOT! sex scenes, go now. I'll wait for you to get back.

Hey? Hello!! I know, I know. It's scorching hot over there. Did you vote for Leviat?

Anyway, welcome back. I'm going to give you a quick preview of Disciple's Descendant 4 starring Simeon Zeals and his kinky human, Nancy Cannon.

I am beginning to think these characters need a Tree of Life just so I can keep up with them all and know who is who! Similar to the one I have in my head (and in a crazy wild spreadsheet) pages, and pages, and pages... So many series.

Disciple's Descendant 4

Simeon Zeals is invisible to humans. Hell, just one disciple aside from Gage Harrow masters the ability to keep up with his movements so taking what he covets poses no problem. Until he meets someone who is out of reach. Gage and Zeb protecting her only makes Simeon want the woman more. He doesn’t give a damn she isn’t a descendant. He hasn’t even thought past bedding her for more than one night—maybe two… Or three.
Nancy Cannon unknowingly stumbles into disciples frequently at Arrogant Bastards, but when she hit a solid wall of invisible muscle, her life careens out of control. Meeting the flesh and blood version elevates her senses, has her feeling and wanting things Nancy never even dreamed of. Caught in his web of desire, she begins to spin a few of her own.
Each silken thread of passion slowly tightens around them.

Nancy stopped inside the door and slumped against the wall trembling. What the fuck? She’d known Zeb long enough to know that wasn’t his voice. The words she heard outside were spoken by someone else, someone whose tone sent a bolt of lust right to her core. Glancing around the club, she searched for Pet and found her staring toward the entrance. Since Pet discovered her mother was alive and visited with her often, she had been nothing but happy so why the downturn to her lips? What in hell was going on? Everyone at the table peered in Nancy’s direction and for the first time, she saw them clearly. An iridescent light glowed around the group appearing to encase them in…in some kind of bubble. Squeezing her eyes shut and shaking her head dissolved the strange vision. She’d known for a while the guys from TD, Inc. weren’t normal, but she couldn’t put her finger on exactly what was different.
“We need to talk.”
The back of Nancy’s head bumped the wall. “Ouch!” Engrossed in thoughts, she hadn’t noticed Pet leave the table or walk over. “What?”
“We need…”
“Pet, I got this.” The voice.
That was the voice she heard in front of Arrogant Bastards and it sent another delicious tremor straight to the apex of her thighs. Her tiny panties couldn’t take another pulse of liquid. Turning to see who owned it, Nancy looked into the sexiest smoky gray eyes she’d ever seen. Pinpoints of silver lights sparkled in their depths as the man who owned them flashed a crooked smile. How freaking dare him! He’d licked her and rubbed his… “You rude bastard.” Why the hell didn’t she see him outside? And even worse, why did he turn her on, make her weak in the knees.
“Mmm, sweet lips, and wrapped around such dirty words.”
“Simeon, I need to talk to Nancy. There are some things she doesn’t understand.”
“Pet, honey, Ander’s rifling through my mind and staring at me with pure hatred. Go, I said I got this.”
Simeon. His name rolled through her mind but it did nothing to abate Nancy’s growing more and more agitated at how they both ignored her. “Me, it’s me you’re talking about as if I’m not here.” They still didn’t look at her.
Pet’s head leaned, “I’ve seen something.”
“Yeah, what would that be?”
“Sim, I’ll leave you with one word—Gage.” Was it possible Pet, Nancy's oldest and dearest friend, was scared?
“I’ll handle Gage.”
“Simeon, I mean it.”
“Pet, go. If Ander bum rushes my mind, it won’t be healthy for any of us.”
Bum rush his mind! While he talked with Pet, Nancy checked Simeon out from head to toe. Lord, he was big, tall, absolutely gorgeous, and… Big! Thick, dark hair curled over his collar and his partially unbuttoned white dress shirt did nothing to hide hair sprinkled over an eye level muscular chest. Lean, long fingers of one hand splayed on the wall beside her head, and his arm bulged inside fine material. Narrow hips were hugged by perfectly creased brown slacks, hips she imagined pressed against her ass again, naked hips pumping... Enough already!
“Your fate, not mine.” Pet twirled and walked away.
Creep had slobbered on her. “HELLO,” Nancy yelled, “I’m right here, damn it.” She watched Pet return to the table.
“Darling, I know that.”
“What makes you think you can just rub against my ass, slobber on me and…”
“Slobber? Really? Why is everyone so dramatic tonight?”
His other hand came up and a finger feathered across her chest, moved to touch her lips, and Nancy had had it. She opened her mouth and bit hard. “There, fucker.”
 “Son of a bitch, you got some fire in you.” The cretin smiled, and the whole room lit up. “Have a drink with me?”

Growl and roar-it's okay to let the beast out.-J. Hali Steele

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

The Pro's and Con's of an Overactive Imagination

by Maureen L. Bonatch 

Once in awhile I have someone new to my books comment that I must have quite the imagination. Although the interpretation of this comment comes from the manner in which they make this remark. Sure, sometimes it’s to discuss the storyline or the uniqueness of a character, but other times it’s said slowly, with a pointed look, as if uncertain of the stability of the mind of someone who could imagine such a story.

Those who have an overactive imagination understand—or at least they pretend they do. If they find those like-minded a discussion can be held about whatever unusual thought just passed though their mind with a nod of understanding or excitement at exploring the extraordinary possibilities.

Those who don’t have much of an imagination just might become a little, well, uneasy.

How Much Is Too much Imagination?

  • Pro- You can write outrageous, imaginative stories
    • Con- Some of the people who read these stories become a little uncomfortable after this peek into the dark crevices of your cranium 
  • Pro- Midnight hours of your neighbors’ indicate potential stories of werewolves, vampires or serial killers
    • Con- You sometimes lose sleep thinking about these possibilities
  • Pro- You can entertain yourself for hours without really doing anything
    • Con-Working your imagination doesn’t burn as many calories as you think it should and you can develop the dreaded “book butt”.
  • Pro- Nothing you view is completely ordinary if you look long enough
    • Con- Glazed staring into space isn’t good social practice—and neither is drooling
  • Pro-You can’t stop dreaming about “what if”…
    • Con-You can’t stop dreaming about “what if”…

Who's With Me? The Lovers, the Dreamers and Me


Explore the dark side of the imagination and preorder 

Evil Speaks Softly today right here.

They were never supposed to meet. Fame came easy for Liv by following in the footsteps of the
female writers in her family. The cycle repeated for decades…until Liv changed the story. 

Her villain doesn’t like the revision—and he isn’t a fictional character. In his story, the bad guy always wins.

Author Bio: Maureen Bonatch grew up in small town Pennsylvania and her love of the four seasons—hockey, biking, sweat pants and hibernation—keeps her there. While immersed in writing or reading paranormal romance and fantasy, she survives on caffeine, wine, music, and laughter. A feisty Shih Tzu keeps her in line. Find Maureen on her websiteFacebookTwitter

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Guest Lea Kirk

Hello, my name is Lea Kirk, and my newest book baby is not a sci-fi romance.  Yes, it’s true. My most recent release is a paranormal romance, and I’m not ashamed to shout it from the parapets of Dracula’s castle either.

How did this craziness come about? Well, like so often happens to me, I had a very vivid, very weird dream. This one was about a woman who had acquired something of great value from some guy and he would kill to get it back. Enter, the vampire. For some reason, the vampire hated the guy who was chasing her so he decided to help her. They were supposed to leave town, but the guy caught up with her in her apartment before they left. He turned into a snake and was trying to bite her. The vampire appeared and the snake bit him instead. The woman was devastated because she loved the vampire, but now he was dying…

…and I jerked awake with tears in my eyes.

Yeah, I know. Totally unfair. I wanted to find out what happened next because things did not look good for the vampire and the woman. Then a ray of sunlight cut through the morning fog in my brain and I remembered, “Duh, you’re a writer.” I could give them the happily ever after they deserved! I rushed to my computer and typed up everything I could remember from the dream and saved the file. I call this “putting them on ice” because that’s kind of what I do. They stay frozen in time in my ‘puter until I finish my current projects. In this case I was working on the second book in my Prophecy series and a short story set in the same universe.

A couple of months later, I was messaging with S.E. Smith and she extended a gracious invitation to me to write my own original story set in the fictional town she’d created called Magic, New Mexico. Like there was even a remote chance I’d say no! But, I was still buried under my two other projects so we agreed to discuss it again after the new year.
January first came and I had no clue what I was going to write. Magic, New Mexico is a town of paranormal and alien beings, but I couldn’t fit my Prophecy series universe into it because, well, the Anferthians had already decimated Earth. Before that, no extraterrestrials had actually visited our planet. It was a quandary, for sure. So, I pulled up my file of saved story ideas (you will not believe how many of them have their roots in my dreams!) and scrolled until “Vampire Dream” jumped out at me.

Ah, hah! I had my story idea and it was time to give this couple their happy ending. I began writing it that morning while everyone else in my family slept in. I also bought all of the already published Magic, New Mexico stories to ground myself in S.E. Smith’s world. To say I was captivated would be an understatement.

If you’re familiar with Magic, New Mexico, you’ll know that many of the book titles start with “Touch of” or “Taste of”. This was a fun idea that the authors from an earlier release group came up with to play off S.E. Smith’s title, Touch of Frost. More on that in a minute. So, I made Taste of Venom my working title. The problem was that’s not very romantic sounding. Even my writing friends and my editor looked at me sideways. And I deserved it because, ew. Venom?  Seriously? I was stumped as to what the real title could be, so I kept writing the story until one day my hero realized that as a created vampire he’d lived long enough to find his one love. He had been made for her.

Bam! Title found. I love it when a plan comes together, even though I had no clue there had been a plan to begin with. (This pretty much sums up my life, by the way. She had no clue….)

As the process continued and more authors joined group #3 of Magic, New Mexico, we began to click. There were many fun chats, including what we wanted to do to make our group different from the first two. Some of us continued the “touch” and “taste” tradition, but many of us went our own directions with our titles. The thing we did do differently is that we created crossovers between our stories, and some previously released stories. In my book, Alexandru Carson’s name comes up in a conversation, Michele Callahan’s little fairies from Touch of Fire are mentioned, and Dev the Genie from Taking on Tory makes an appearance. I have had the pleasure of reading Sabine Priestley’s Tainted Magic, where Jody Wallace’s dragon from Silver Bound appears. I know there are others, but I have only managed to read two of the fifteen books in this group so far. How many tie-ins can you find in our stories?

I must say, this whole experience has been incredibly positive and I’m thinking about writing a second book set in the little town of Magic, New Mexico, where being abnormal is normal. The perfect place for an author to hang out.

Made for Her
Vampires and faeries and snake-shifters. Oh, my!

Donnie McAllister’s dream job turns into a nightmare when she discovers her boss isn’t as human as he seems. Racing against time to return a legendary dagger to the land of the Fae, she must rely on a dangerously sexy vampire to navigate a world she never knew existed. Because if she doesn’t deliver, it’ll cost Donnie her life and leave the ancient weapon of untold power in the hands of her corrupt, venomous boss.

Four hundred years ago one man destroyed everyone vampire Mikhail Cherneski held dear. Now his nemesis is after Donnie, the human woman whose blood calls to Mikhail like no other. For she means more to him than a simple snack to satisfy his despicable eternal thirst. When Mikhail comes face-to-face with his enemy, he must risk his immortal life or watch Donnie suffer the same fate as his family.

Another bewitching story from Magic, New Mexico.

Excerpt from Made for Her
(Girl meets vampire she’s avoiding again, this time in the middle of the desert)
Donnie’s grin faded as her gaze was drawn to a small cloud of dust moving toward them, cutting through the sage and cacti on the other side of the highway. “As long as it isn’t Mr. Merrick who finds us.”

The dust cloud became larger as it got closer. Without Carnwennan’s magic cloaking them, they were vulnerable. Chances were pretty good it wasn’t Mr. Merrick, unless he had super-fast healing powers and instant transportation to this exact spot the moment she let go of Carnwennan’s hilt. No. This cloud must be from a vehicle, and the only ones who’d drive the narrow dirt roads out here would be local yay-hoos. It was easier to believe she’d left both Mr. Merrick and Mikhail on the East Coast.

Something shiny flashed, and a vehicle blasted out of the dust cloud. A pick-up truck, older model, mid-twentieth-century vintage. The reddish-brown body bounced on its chassis as it sped across the dirt track of desert roadway. She couldn’t hold back the chuckle welling in her chest. Good luck finding that thing in a sand storm out here. It’d blend right in.

Whoever was driving was not slowing down. There was no chance this was their ride. She stepped off the road next to a dusty boulder, uncapped her water bottle, and brought it to her lips. The sun flashed off the windshield and the truck barreled across the empty highway and past her. Strains of AC/DC’s Back in Black blasted through the hot air.
She coughed and waved her hand as the dust cloud enveloped her.


The skidding of tires on gravel drew her attention back to the old truck. What kind of maniac slams on their brakes that hard on a dirt road? The truck fishtailed to a stop. The dust cloud floated over the truck, obscuring it before continuing its silent trek out into the desert alone. The world around Donnie seemed to hold its breath, as if waiting for the driver’s next move.

No, wait. That was her holding her breath. She exhaled slowly. The backup lights came on and the truck rolled back toward her. Could this be their ride after all?
The pick-up stopped just far enough ahead that she couldn’t see the driver. The radio was off now too. She leaned to her right as the passenger door opened, and her gaze locked with the driver’s.

“Hello, Donnie.” Mikhail said with a small, deadly smile.

Well, shit.

Author bio
Lea Kirk loves to transport her readers to other worlds with her science fiction and paranormal romances. She is the award winning author of the sci-fi romance Prophecy series, and the newly released Magic, New Mexico PNR, Made for Her.
She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her wonderful hubby of twenty-seven years and their five kids (aka, the nerd herd).

Friday, September 29, 2017

Writing What You Love with @MeganSlayer #vampires #gayromance #eroticromance #gay #paranormal

I am part of a book club, well 2, and for one of them we have to read the book the group selects. I don't mind. These tend to be books I wouldn't have read otherwise. So I'd finished the book selected for this month and was returning it to the library. I told the librarian that I'd returned it, so when she saw it in the return...that's why. She asked me what I thought about the book. It wasn't my favorite story. It wasn't. I had some issues with the way the author wrote the true crime story. He focused more on his thoughts and his insertion into the story, while trying to claim it was a true crime kind of tale. If he'd said it was a work of fiction, then he was spot on, but by calling it true crime...well, I disagreed.

Here's the thing, the librarian then said to me, well you have to write what you know. He must feel that close to the story.

She's right. He must've felt that close to the story. To be honest, the crime he wrote about hit me hard, too. But I'm not a crime writer. I get too antsy during mystery books and want to disclose whodunit immediately. I guess it's part of my short attention span. But what she said got me to thinking. Write what I know? Or write what my imagination and the characters dictate?

I tend to write what I want based on what the characters tell me to do. Really. I tried to write more than a few times to what I knew. It's only worked when my characters share some of my experiences. Okay, so I don't personally know any vampires and I haven't chatted up a zombie, but that's my imagination. I don't know if I wrote a story that focused just on my personal experience, if it would be a good story. I don't know. I guess it would be more of an autobiography than a work of fiction. Although I suppose the book would be a mix of both. My memories aren't photographic. For all I know, I'd probably embellish--not to make the tale better, but because that's how I'd remembered it.

But I haven't written that story about my experiences. I've written about vampires, zombies, shifters, romance, love and people finding second chances. It's been fantastic. I love it. I've written with my friends and written alone. I can't wait to get my next book out there. I hope you all enjoy them. :-)

Here's a little bit about my upcoming story, Biting Love. It's part of the series I wrote as a crossover to Madison Sevier's Rosie Peaks series. Check it out!!

Biting Love By Megan Slayer A Rosie Peaks Crossover Novella
Megan Slayer Publications
M/M, Anal Sex
Contemporary, Paranormal
 Mix one vampire with one human who doesn’t believe in the paranormal and add some sizzle.
Anson wasn’t looking for a partner when he spotted the handsome human, but he’s not about to argue when the mood strikes. He’s got to bring a date to the Halloween bash and Parker fits his bill exactly. Now all he needs to do is convince Parker that vampires truly exist.
Parker is practical, intelligent and a little on the geeky side. He can’t believe his eyes—a handsome man has not only hit on him, but asked him out…to a masquerade ball. He doesn’t believe in vampires, but Anson wears his Dracula costume a bit too well.
Can these two find love and trust after all or will the sparks only last until the dawn?
 Universal Link: JP: CA: UK: DE: FR: AU:

Megan Slayer - It's Always Fun to Squirm

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Thursday, September 28, 2017

Keeping Stereotypes out of my Books by Barbara Edwards

One of the hardest things about writing paranormal is the preconceptions of the audience. Everyone knows a vampire, a werewolf, a ghost or a dozen others. So what do you do if you want to include one in your story? Do you use the stereotype? Or do you try to find something different?
I know in Ancient Awakening, I wanted a terrible villain: a creature who sucked the life from his victims. That sent me skating too close to Dracula. 
I had to really think about my villain. How to make him different?
I finally made him a true ancient, older than the vampire.
Ancient Awakening excerpt:
Josh Randall swallowed the bitter taste of fear. In Vietnam, he’d learned the first danger sign was often an unusual noise. He pressed his ear close to the cracked-open door. 
Quiet as a grave,” he mumbled. 
“Relax. That’s good.” Wally belched loudly and scraped the last drops of stew from his cup with a folded slice of stolen bread. He dropped the cup next to his sleeping bag.
Wally and Butch’s rough laughter echoed eerily within the mausoleum’s marble walls. It had taken a minute to open the brass lock sealing the heavy double doors. Another to bring in the meager supplies they carried. A hundred years ago they’d been called tramps or hobos. Josh liked those terms better than homeless. He had a home although, at times, he wasn’t sure where.
At least he was with friends. Josh eased the heavy metal door open another inch and peered into the darkness. Dread twisted his innards. Without his pills, the shadows constantly threatened. The cold cubicle enclosing them sent paralyzing shivers over him. He huddled around his purple backpack. Everything he possessed was inside.
Smoke from the brightly burning fire in the center of the mausoleum made his eyes water. He blinked away the tears. The absence of tropical plants, mud and humidity didn’t fool him. He’d believed they were safe before, and his friends had been blown to smithereens.
A familiar hum was steadily growing inside his brain. He clamped his hands over his ears. When the noise continued, he wrapped his sleeping bag over his shoulders and squeezed his eyes tightly shut. Maybe if he crawled underneath the cover the sound would vanish. He concentrated on his friends’ voices.
“Man, it’s great to be out of the damn wind.” Butch’s cup clinked on the floor. “Time to head for Florida. Indian summer won’t last so we gotta hustle. We could stay a couple days, maybe make a few bucks.”
“Ain’t likely. New Englanders’ more likely to hand out clothes or food. Bunch o’ tight-fisted do-gooders, ‘specially here in Rhodes End. ‘Member last year? Them old biddies gave us new boots before the police moved us out.”
“Mean bastard, the chief. Don’t want to meet up with him again. Prob’ly the reason none of the other guys are around.”
“Ain’t just him,” Wally’s voice dropped as though he feared being overheard. “It’s this place. Something about Rhodes End causes an itch between my shoulder blades.”
“You’re an old woman.” Butch snorted loudly. “Worried the dead gonna grab ya? Nobody buried here, but I bet there’s something worth pawning. No reason to keep it locked otherwise.” 
“I ain’t afraid of nothing,” Wally protested. His shoes scuffled on the polished marble tiles as he fumbled his way around the eerily lit space. A ceramic urn splintered on the floor with a loud crunch. He fished a small penlight from his pocket and used the pinpoint of light to examine the mess. “Worthless shit. Wouldn’t get fifty cents for it all.” 
Josh cringed and peeked warily from the folds of his sleeping bag. The hum had changed to a soft slithering, like a snake on sand. Something stirred close by, something evil. 
Wally pointed towards the faintly illuminated back corner. 
“How about that? Mighty fancy carving on it.”
“If it was a little bigger, I’d figure it for a coffin.” Butch scratched his unwashed head while he squinted at the carved stone rectangle. “With gold rings or teeth on the body.” 
“Lem’me see.” Wally shined his small flashlight so the beam revealed the writhing figures.
“Piece of shit.” Butch pushed at the box. Stone grated on stone. “Too heavy to lift. Help me get the lid off.”
“No,” Josh whimpered. Evil. He smelled evil. He couldn’t tear his terrified gaze from his friends. He tasted it.
“Watch out!” 
The box crashed heavily to the floor. 
“Damn it, ya broke the friggin’ side. Be worth spit now.”
“Quit yer whinin’. At least you’re not bleeding. Damn edge cut my hand. Shine a light here while I check inside. Better be worth our trouble.”
Bloodcurdling shrieks tore open the night.
Battle-ready, Josh threw aside his covers. Where the hell was his rifle? His fingers tore over the smooth marble. Butch let out a screech and stamped over him before clawing his way outside. The night swallowed him.
Twisting shadows battled across the walls. Josh scrambled to find his rifle, kill the enemy, defend his squad. 
Wally swore hoarsely, his voice breaking over vile words. Tumbling outside, Josh found grass and dirt under his hands, but no gun. 
He didn’t recognize the next scream as Wally’s, but it couldn’t be anyone else. 
Bile choked him. He couldn’t help. He had to escape.
Josh ran. 

Then I stumbled into werewolves. There are thousands of stories about all kinds of werewolves. Lovers, killers and everything in between. It’s fun to be different. In Ancient Blood, I built an entire clan of werewolves. It was a matter of writing my own rules for what they are. I based it on research into real wolves and their behavior. Even so, I need to keep details in a diary to make sure I remember.

Blurb Ancient Curse: Evil never dies; and for psychic Rainie Gamble who accepts a job to weed out evil artifacts, this could not be more true. When she arrives at the home of Thomas Broquette, her new boss, she isn’t sure what to expect. But the handsome and intriguing Thomas is only the tip of the paranormal activity she encounters while going through his library.
After several near misses when Rainie is injured by evil forces, she wonders if her new boss is hiding a secret? What does t he previous owner Mason have to do with the threads of doom encasing the estate? And why does Thomas bring her father, a well-known art thief, into their midst.
The attraction she feels for Thomas grows, as does the evil winning its battle against the inhabitants of what could be her new home. Rainie wonders if she will find and defeat the inhuman force causing all their problems before she and Thomas are sucked into its evil forever.

So after Ancient Curse, what is my next challenge?
I’m going back to the first Jacob Rhodes and why he came to this land. I hope to finish it shortly since I’ve been short-circuited by real life. It’s nice to be back in my fictional world.

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