IndieWritersReview Spotlight! Holiday Feature: A Magic Redemption by Tena Stetler (Bewitching Book Tours) Excerpt Feature


Happy Thursday! Today IndieWriter’s Review is participating as a host for A Magic Redemption A Demon’s Witch Series  Book Five by Tena Stetler! (Bewitching Book Tours) Please make sure to check out the awesome excerpt!:)

Mystery of the Missing Christmas Lighting Display
 
As Christmas approaches one family tradition is to drive the neighborhoods enjoying the Christmas lighting displays everyone puts up.  The last few years there have been less and less.  I understand, as our own lighting display has been downsized.
 
Last year many around our area protested a utilities rate hike in November set to reap the benefits of those who put up Christmas lighting displays.  Yes, sadly we were one of those, since the year before our December utility bill had been a lot higher than in previous years.  We couldn’t afford another huge increase, and the deliberate timing of the hike was deliberately grinchy, so we put up only the minimal lighting display. It was a sad year for enjoying Christmas lights displays.
 
This year, the rate hike will be put off until January as in previous years, except last year. Wise decision utilities department. The lightening displays have returned, and ours included.
 
The real point of this post is for many years, we watched a certain home in our area add to his homemade Christmas display and looked forward to seeing what had been added each year. It was not religious in nature, but fun. 
 
There were Peanuts characters, then Tweety Bird and its companions, Little Mermaid, the Grinch, Disney Characters, Winnie the Pooh and pals, just to name a few, all homemade. Spotlights illumined the display.  Suddenly about four years ago, not only were there no new characters, but the display disappeared entirely. Each Christmas we checked, still the house was dark, no sign of the previously wonderful Christmas light and character display. 
 
Had they moved, after all this is a military town, people come and go a lot? Was there a family illness or emergency that caused the display to go missing?  While we reveled in the other fantastic lighting displays, we were saddened as we drove past the dark house checking each year.
 
No we never knew the people who lived in that house. But we felt a connection to them watching the display grow year after year.
 
On December 10, 2017, we clambered into our truck, hot chocolate in hand, to go check out the neighborhood Christmas lights. With trepidation we turned the corner where the darkened house had been for several years. Lo and behold, in all its previous glory the Christmas lights and beloved characters were on the front lawn, house and roof.
 
We were ecstatic to see the house lit up once again, the Peanuts merry-go-round spinning slowly, all the other cartoon characters smiling broadly. No new characters, but that was all right because the decorations were back. 
 
We took pictures, and decided to share the beloved display with you. Funny how one thing can brighten your spirits as that house did ours that night. 
 
This year I believe we will go back to that house and knock on their door and tell them how much we have enjoyed their display throughout the years. Also how much we missed it when it was gone.  Christmas lighting is a time consuming, expensive endeavor and a labor of love. To those of you who set up Christmas displays year after year, THANK YOU!
 
Please share your Christmas Traditions with us in the comments.

 

 

A Magic Redemption

A Demon’s Witch Series

Book Five

Tena Stetler



Genre: Paranormal Romance

 

Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Date of Publication: 12-5-18
ISBN: 978-1-5092-2343-5
ASIN: B07JVN4DYD
Number of pages: 322
Word Count: 80,585
Cover Artist: Kristian Norris
Tagline: Even with magic, finding your place in the world proves more difficult than imagined especially when someone is out for revenge.
Book Description:
Synn, a demon, carries extraordinary magic and power, but there is more within her than she dreams. Kidnapped as a child, her captors murdered her family and forced her into training as a warrior assassin.
When an assignment goes horribly wrong, she finds herself at the mercy of the friends and family of her intended target. Offering valuable information in exchange for protection, she gains her freedom, but it is not without its challenges.
Gavin Shaughnessy is the publican at his family’s Irish pub. He is certain Synn is meant to be his and isn’t bothered by her past. He must find a way to convince her their future together is stronger than the dark memories that haunt her dreams.
When her past comes calling for revenge, will their love survive the raging inferno she brings down upon them? Or will the searing path of destruction destroy all they hold dear.
Amazon        Amazon UK        Amazon AU

Amazon CA        BN       iTunes

 

Time seemed to
go on forever as she slowed and walked backward for a while, her foot steps in
the sand filling with water as she traveled along the shoreline, as if nature
erased her intrusion. She turned around and continued her trek. Unaware of how
long or how far she’d walked, the sudden outline of a figure, cloaked in the
fog, jogging toward her caused panic to set in. Her heart pounded rapidly in
her chest, she swallowed hard, adrenalin pumping through her veins as flight or
fight response kicked in. Digging her good foot into the sand she prepared to
attempt a sprint…to where. Where the hell am I? A quick glance around, she
spied a light from a familiar building far off on the bluffs as the figure
burst from the fog. A tall, wide-shouldered male with long muscular legs came
closer. She froze.

 

Once lithe,
strong and agile in her former life, a boss’s retaliation had taken a toll on
her body. Now tired her gait was uneven and unsteady, even a slow sprint would
likely end with her face planted in the sand.
 
About the Author:

 

Tena Stetler is a best-selling author of award winning paranormal romance. She has an over-active imagination, which led to writing her first vampire romance as a tween to the chagrin of her mother and delight of her friends. After many years as a paralegal, then an IT Manager, she decided to live out her dream of pursuing a publishing career.
With the Rocky Mountains outside her window, she sits at her computer surrounded by a wide array of witches, shapeshifters, demons, faeries, and gryphons, with a Navy SEAL or two mixed in telling their tales. Her books tell stories of magical kick-ass women and mystical alpha males that dare to love them. Well, okay there are a few companion animals to round out the tales.
Colorado is home; shared with her husband of many moons, a brilliant Chow Chow, a spoiled parrot and a forty-five-year-old box turtle. When she’s not writing, her time is spent kayaking, camping, hiking, biking  or just relaxing in the great Colorado outdoors. During the winter you can find her curled up in front of a crackling fire with a good book, a mug of hot chocolate and a big bowl of popcorn.
Twitter Page: www.twitter.com/TenaStetler  

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IndieWritersReview Spotlight! The Pain Eater by Courtney Diles(Excerpt Feature) Bewitching Book Tours


Hello Everyone! I’m very excited that IndieWritersReview is participating as one of the host for Author Courtney Diles’s The Pain Eater. Check out the awesome excerpt below! (Bewitching Book Tours)


The Pain Eater

 

The Divine Benefactors

 

Book Four

 

Courtney Diles

 

 

 

Genre: Paranormal romance
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Date of Publication: November 28, 2018
ISBN: 978-1-5092-2270-4 Paperback
ISBN: 978-1-5092-2271-1 Digital
Number of pages: 238
Word Count: 55096
Cover Artist: Debbie Taylor
Tagline: A beast consumed with pain could be her greatest pleasure.
Book Description:
Roxie Maeda is a college senior who hears voices in her head. When she first sees the demonic creature haunting her crush, she blows it off as a hallucination, but then it shows up in her Psych class, visible to everyone.
Its appearance triggers a police search of the campus, which reveals a bag of guns right outside the classroom. Someone was planning to shoot up the school. Over time, the creature discloses that he is a pain eater—a cursed, undead human who eats pain demons that arise from injuries, taking the pain into himself.
His selflessness sways her, and she befriends him only to fall in love. Together, they resolve to break his curse and save Prometheus University from its unknown attacker.
Amazon     BN
Excerpt:
Without closing my eyes, I slowly wrapped my mind around what the guy in black was. Monster. Supernatural. Something that wasn’t supposed to exist. But what exactly was he? Could he be a ghost? He could walk through walls. He could disappear.
What kind of ghost dresses like some kind of assassin and gets his jollies from causing campus lockdowns? It didn’t fit.
Plus, he was flesh and bone when I hit him with the knife. I thought about banshees, but banshees were female, weren’t they?

 

 I thought about Japanese shinigami, escorts to the underworld—but no one had died.
About the Author:
Courtney has an English degree with a Writing Concentration from the University of South Carolina. She lives in Indiana with her Marine husband, two singing huskies, and three purring kitties. She blogs about her own experiences with mental illness.
Website: www.courtneydiles.com     

 

IndieWritersReview’s Spotlight! Guest Post: Author D.L. Jordan’s Feature “The Power of Determination and Hope When Writing”


Hello Guys! I’m so very excited to host Author D.L. Jordan today! Please check out the awesome guest post below and his D.L. Jordan’s very cool releases!

GUEST POST: Author D.L. Jordan

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The Power of Determination and Hope When Writing

Hello everyone,

My name is Dominique Langston Jordan. I am an author and, most recently, a publisher! I’m very happy to be the guest poster. I’d like to thank my friend Michelle Cornwell-Jordan for giving me this fantastic opportunity to share my insight with you all. My last post for Indie Review was all the way back in 2014. It was called The Power of Words and The Gift of Writing. In that article, I discussed how much I enjoyed writing and how great of an impact the words we use can have on us. I still believe that words are powerful and that they are some of the most precious things we have. As writers and creators of written content, we already know this. We use words every day when we’re creating stories. In this post, I’ll talk about the power of determination and how to maintain your sense of hope when seeking to bring your dreams to fruition.

Whenever I post something on a blog or a website, I try to put something out into the world that’s positive. There’s enough negativity in the world as we know it and I certainly don’t want to contribute to that negativity if I can help it. Since 2014, a lot of things have happened in my life. I’m grateful for all the great things that have happened. I’m also grateful for the bad things as well, because they’ve helped to mold me into the person I am today. Whenever we’re writing any sort of literary content, we hope that what we have written will be appreciated by others. Whenever I first began writing my books, I desperately wanted my writing to be admired by all those who read them. As I became older, that perspective began to drastically change.

Whenever I had a great idea for a story come along, I would always write with the thought that whatever I was working on had to be approved and accepted by others. However, shortly after publishing my book The Erlonan Tales: The Genesis of Destiny – the first book in my Erlonan Tales series – I began to develop a different attitude when writing. I eventually learned that I didn’t need to seek the approval of others when it came to my writing. It doesn’t really matter what people may think about your work or even the subject matter of that work. If you approve of what you’re writing, then that is all that matters. As writers, we must be determined to accept the fact that we are the gatekeepers of our own happiness when it comes to our work and what we out out into the world.

At the beginning of this post, I had labeled myself as a publisher. Well, it’s true! I’ve recently delved into the world of publishing by distributing my works under my own company called DLJordan Books. DLJordan Books is my proudest achievement as an indie author. After years of querying, I had hoped and prayed that an agent or editor would see the value in my work. It wasn’t until recently that I decided to take power into my own hands and come to the realization that the only one who really needed to see the value in my work was me. I then created DLJordan Books and have published several books under that name, which include novels, screenplays, and most recently a children’s book.

My most recent release under DLJordan Books is a children’s book called Little Sally and Her Phone of Many Colors. This book is available now and came about as a response to recent studies that suggest young people, especially young girls, are seeking validation from others through social media. This book is to simply illustrate the fact that young people, and people in general, don’t have to rely on ‘a like or follow’ to see themselves as important or special. We are all special in our own way! I think this is a very important lesson for young people to learn and I think a children’s book was the right tool to bring that lesson forward.

In conclusion, the point of this post was to let you know that, as a writer, you have the power to do anything! With the values of determination and hope, we as human beings can take matters into our own hands and make our dreams come true. We are the sole gatekeepers to our own happiness. We shouldn’t let obstacles or the possible disapproval of other people dictate how we see ourselves and our talents. If you continue to believe in yourself, then there’s nothing that can stop you. Even as I’m writing this I’m currently working on some other projects that will be available soon. I’m continuing to hold on to the determination and hope that I have for myself. I invite you to do the same!
I hope you have enjoyed my post. You can find more information about me and my latest book Little Sally and Her Phone of Many Colors at the links below!

Thank you,

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Dominique Langston Jordan (D. L. Jordan)
Information on Dominique Langston Jordan:

http://www.DLJordanBooks.com

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Little Sally and Her Phone of Many Colors:

“Little Sally loves her phone! After trying to gain likes and follows for the website she has made, Sally meets the friendly Gary the Gruzzle – a furry, magical creature from a magical land. Sally and Gary soon go on an adventure to faraway places she’s never been before. Follow Sally as she goes on the adventure of a lifetime!”

Buy it on Amazon by clicking here.

Other Books by D.L. Jordan

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IndieWritersReview’s Spotlight! Spooktacular Feature: A Demon’s Witch by Tena Stetler. (Bewitching Book Tour)


Happy Halloween! So today I’m very excited to participate as a host for Author  Tena Stetler( A Demon’s Witch ) as part of a Bewitching Book Tour Spooktacular Feature!:)  

Haunting Cripple Creek, Colorado
 

With its wild and turbulent past, Cripple
Creek, Colorado has a history of unexplained, supernatural occurrences, no
wonder it’s earned the reputation of one of the most haunted towns in America.
Tales of haunted Cripple Creek hotels, casinos, and homes flourish.

The Imperial Hotel at Third Street and Bennett Avenue
known originally as the Collins Hotel, was built after most the town burned to
the ground in 1896. As a young man, George Long emigrated from Europe and
eventually made his way to Denver. He married his first cousin and together
they ran the hotel. The union produced two daughters and a son. The eldest
daughter, Alice, was mentally disturbed and the parents were forced to keep her
locked in their apartment next to the lobby for her safety and the safety of
others.

Soon after George fell to his death while
negotiating the narrow stairs to the basement. Or some say Alice escaped,
waited for him at the top of the stairs, struck him over the head and he
crashed to his death from the stop of the stairs. It’s rumored his ghost haunts
the hotel to this day.

My experience at the Imperial Hotel was at
the performance of Dracula by the Imperial Players in early 1990’s. The
performance was excellent, but the strong feeling of someone watching, icy
patches and pressure on my arm and lower back, when no one was there.

The hair on the back of my neck stood straight up.
After meeting the cast in the lobby for an autograph session, my family and I
quickly exited the hotel and raced to the safety of our vehicle, thankful that
we hadn’t booked a room. Looking back on the experience, was it the performance
of Dracula in the supposedly haunted hotel that caused my imagination to run
wild, or was there really something there? I admit to having an overactive
imagination, but not that time. In the years since, I’ve visited Cripple Creek
on numerous occasions, to explore old buildings and mining shacks.

My husband and I drive up Hwy 67 to enjoy the
turning of the Aspens in autumn, used to camp at the Lost Burro Campground but
I haven’t set foot in the Imperial Hotel since that night. 

Looking
for a fun Halloween Read?
A Witch’s Journey is
chocked full of meddling ghosts, shapeshifters, sexy witch, a ruggedly-handsome
Navy SEAL. An exciting story of redemption, wildlife rescue and Halloween
festivals. What more could you ask for
?

 
 
A Demon’s Witch
Demon’s Witch Series   
Book One
Tena Stetler
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: The Wild Rose Prss
Date of Publication: 11-25-2015
ISBN: 978-1-5092-0308-6
ISBN: 978-1-5092-0309-3
ASIN: B014BVSZIC
Number of pages:  314
Word Count: 82,115
Tagline: Undeniable attraction and dark secrets between demon and witch promises to tear apart both their professional and personal worlds.
Book Description:
Keeping a lid on all the paranormal beings inhabiting Washington D.C., is a daunting job. Bruce, a six hundred year old demon and the Territory Overlord of the Western Hemisphere, keeps his finger on the pulse of DC’s power players through the activities at his highly successful Wycked Hair Salon. His movie star good looks and body builder physique keeps his dance card full and the rumor mills running.  Within these walls, his anonymity is safe, mostly.
Bruce’s world spins out of control when Angelique, a pint size, gorgeous witch, with an attitude breezes through the doors of his salon. She is the younger sister of Tristian, Bruce’s long time trusted enforcer, whose professional skills are second to none. Tristian is furious at the relationship between Bruce and Angelique, a dangerous situation, but something darker awaits them all. Yet undeniable attraction between demon and witch promises to tear apart both their professional and personal worlds.
Amazon     Amazon UK        Amazon AU     Amazon CA
Kobo      BN       iTunes       Wild Rose Press




About the Author:

 

 

 

Tena Stetler is a best-selling author of award winning paranormal romance novels. She has an over-active imagination, which led to writing her first vampire romance as a tween to the chagrin of her mother and delight of her friends.

 

 

 

With the Rocky Mountains outside her window, she sits at her computer surrounded by a wide array of paranormal creatures, with a Navy SEAL or two mixed in telling their tales. Her books tell stories of magical kick-ass women and mystical alpha males that dare to love them. Travel, a bit of mystery, and adventure flourish in her books.

 

 

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IndieWritersReview’s Spotlight! Warlock Holmes Books 1-3 by G.S. Denning (Paranormal Mystery) Halloween Flash Fiction Feature! (Bewitching Book Tours)


Happy Friday Guys! I’m so excited that IndieWritersReview is participating as a host for Author G.S. Denning (Warlock Holmes series) Halloween Flash Fiction The Girl at the Back of the Train. (Bewitching Book Tours) 🙂

 
In book 3 of the
Warlock Holmes series, there’s a character—Violet Hunter—who is an obvious link
for tie-in stories by whoever wants to write one. So, when they asked me for a
macabre, Halloween-worthy short story, she was an obvious choice. Thus…
 
 
The Girl at the Back of the Train
The train car gives a sudden lurch.  The soldier staggers. The doctor curses. The
cobbler wobbles. The eighteen dead men—still chained to the seats, frozen with
their final screams of horror upon grey, mummified lips—jostle back and forth.
One of them tips over. His head separates from his dehydrated neck and thumps
down into the isle. But the next swaying of the train sends it rolling under a
seat where nobody will trip over it, so that’s nice.
“Well,” says the engineer, placing
both hands to his hips, “this is clearly going to take forever!”
He is not the sort of engineer
who drives a train down a railway. He is the sort who builds that railway. Or,
in this case, the sort who comes all the way down from France to register displeasure
that somebody else is not building it, quite as fast as certain rich gentlemen
would like. To say the Orient Express has suffered significant setbacks to its
development would lie safely within the realm of understatement. Everybody
knows it.
Everybody, except the Eastern Roumelian
attaché. He lets forth an audible scoff. “These men? Ha! Disregard them.
Remember, these are all filthy Bulgarians. Political prisoners. Malingerers and
malcontents who would go to any lengths to see our enterprise fail.”
As he is placating a Frenchman,
he speaks in French. This is good for the girl at the back of the train. A
Londoner, she is comfortable with French. Less so with Turkish or Bulgarian. In
the pockets of her great fur coat, she has books that tell her how to order
lunch in either of those languages, or find out where the nearest bathroom
happens to be, but these are of little use for the order of the day—ferreting
out a supernatural murderer. She’s already decided these men are fools, so she
is not watching them. The setting sun, streaming through the windows on the
right has cast their four shadows on the wall to the left. She is watching
those. She’s rubbing her right leg against the carpeted runner that lines the
wall beside her seat. By God, it’s getting tired. She’s been rubbing it against
any suitable surface she can find, for the last three days. There’s no damned
electricity in this country. She’s making do with static. She sneaks a peek
inside her coat at one of the dials on the waist of her electric blue dress.
Her capacitors are at less than 15%. If it were twice as high, she’d despair it
would never be enough. But what can she do? Three days of building static and
this is all she has to show for it…
Judging by his eyebrows and the
angry bristling he’s getting his moustache to perform, the Frenchman has not
been successfully placated. “Any lengths?”
he says. If his tone gets any more dubious, he’ll likely split his pants. “Yes,
I would say they were fairly committed to their cause, if they were willing to
commit mass suicide in so grotesque a fashion, just to delay construction of a
railroad that would bring prosperity to their country. Is that your opinion,
doctor? That these men did themselves in, to slow us down?”
The doctor gulps and looks over
at the soldier. The soldier gives him a little nod to say that—yes of course—he
will be shot if he undermines the authority of the Eastern Roumelian attaché.
The doctor licks his lips and mutters, “Well… what other explanation is there?
There are no marks upon them. No signs of violence. Perhaps it is the result of
a poison? And… erh… as the noble attaché points out, they were Bulgarian.”
“Of course they were Bulgarian!”
the Frenchman shouts. “Line up any ten men you find on the street and seven of
them will be Bulgarian. Then, after we account for the Greeks, the Armenians,
the Gypsies and the Jews, less than two of them will be Turks. I’d say if all
these dirty Bulgarians ever stood up
at the same time and decided they wanted this fake little country to be a part
of Bulgaria, you Turks would have a hell of a fight on your hands, wouldn’t
you?”
The soldier nods that this is
true. But the Eastern Roumelian attaché raises one finger and protests, “Of
course we are not Turks.”
The Frenchman rolls his eyes for
the two hundredth time today and indicates the patch on the soldier’s shoulder,
the proud crest of the Ottoman Empire.
“Well… He’s on loan,” says the attaché.
“But let me assure you: the men with whom you bargain are fully loyal to the
country of their birth.”
“Yes, I am certainly gathering
that impression,” the French Engineer huffs. “You, for example must be nearly
forty and—if I am not mistaken—Eastern Roumalia was created by the stroke of
some crazy Englishman’s pen five years
ago
. At this rate, I do not think it shall endure another five.”
At the back of the train, the
loan woman winces. Yes. Her countrymen do seem to have a certain way with maps,
don’t they? Divide this, separate that, bargain, bargain, and in the end, how
does it turn out?
Generally, not so very well.
The Eastern Roumelian attaché
gives his iciest smile and plays his trump card. “Perhaps then, you should go
back to Paris and convince the Compagnie Internationale des Wagons-Lits to
change their slogan to: Luxury train accommodations from Paris to nearly Constantinople.”
“We get them to Constantinople
now!” cries the Frenchman in that tone of wounded French pride his countrymen
practice so well and so much.
“And you do your best not to
advertise the fact that the last hundred miles are not in luxury sleeper cars,
but on leaky ferry boats from Varna,” the attaché reminds him. “Let us all
strive to remember: you need our help.”
“Who’s help?” The Frenchman
thunders. “These men are all dead! There’s five more cars, just like this! This
morning, we left Bucharest with over one hundred fit workers. Now, what have we
got? One cobbler and your assurance that nothing at all is wrong!”
“Yes,” says the soldier,
narrowing his eyes at the skinny young man who stands beside him, “one cobbler…”
“I hope you are not implying,
sir, that I had anything to do with
this!” says the cobbler. “I am only here as a gesture of good will, to make
shoes for the workmen. Let me tell you, now that I see what I’ve gotten into, I
have no desire to go. Let whatever workmen still survive at the camp have these
fellows’ shoes and you can take me back home!”
The Frenchman harrumphs. “Unless
we accept the honored attaché’s assertion that one hundred men, chained in
separate train cars, orchestrated their own simultaneous slaughter, perhaps it
is not unwise we ask of the single survivor to tell us what he saw, eh?”
“I told you: I saw nothing!” the
cobbler insists. “All the lights went out and the screaming started. I was the
only man who was not chained, so I hid under my seat. When the lights came
back…” The cobbler gestures around him, at the desiccated corpses.
“I find it most suspicious,” says
the soldier.
At the back of the car, the lone
woman rolls her eyes. That’s what he
finds suspicious? She watches the shadows and rubs the wall.
“Look, we were all on the train,”
the cobbler protests. “Any of us might have done it.”
“But so far as we know,” says the
Frenchman, “you were the only one back here. The rest of us were in the front
with the engineer and crew.”
“What about her?” the cobbler
demands, pointing at the lone woman. “She might have done it!”
“She did not do it. She is here
to help,” says the Frenchman, in a tone that leaves no doubt as to exactly how
helpful he has found her. “My employer has sought aid from many diverse
avenues. It seems they asked the noted English Wizard, Mr. Warlock Holmes, to
come down and do magical battle with whatever has been killing off all your
workmen. The honored gentleman, it seems, could not be bothered. Instead he
sent Miss Hunter, there. One tiny woman, unescorted, and he seemed confident
she would solve all our problems.”
Violet bristles at this. It’s the
third time he’s pointed out she has no companion. As if the most alarming thing
about the current situation is that one lone woman should entrust herself to
the company of so many swarthy foreign men. Her eyes flick to the engineer. “I
am not unescorted.”
“So you keep saying.”
Wit and Fortune are
always with me, sir, and you may have occasion to be glad of it, before long.”
For just a second, it looks as if
she is going to have a particularly saucy answer to that.
But then the lights go out. Even
the sunlight vanishes.
The screaming starts. It does not
last long. Three astonished exclamations of alarm. One strangled scream. The
sudden stink of vinegar. The shattering of glass and the unexpected blast of
fresh, cold air.
The lights come back on.
Now there are but three shadows
on the wall.
“What has happened?” cries the
doctor. “Where did the soldier go?”
Before anyone can reply, he finds
the answer himself by tripping backwards over the dried corpse that lays across
the aisle.
“Mon dieu!” says the engineer.
“What is going on?” says the attaché.
For the first time he looks worried. He has the power to deny that anything is
happening. But if he is wrong—as everybody knows he is—has he any power to stop
what is happening?
“By God, he was right beside me!”
wails the cobbler.
“His rifle! What happened to his
rifle?” the doctor says.
Violet Hunter gives a grim nod.
It’s the only piece of good news she’s had in the last two days. She looks at
the broken window, just behind the Engineer. Well, well… Where could the rifle
have gone? The situation seems to be moving towards a confrontation long before
she is ready, but at least she has this: the creature is afraid of guns.
She looks down at her gauge.
Still not quite 15%. Ah well. It will have to do. The first time she wore the
electric dress, it was meant to be the instrument of her execution. Now, with a
few choice modifications from the genius, Tesla, it shall perhaps be the
instrument of her salvation. Funny, how this big wide world is coming together…
She met him in Paris, where this rail company is headquartered. Yet he is an
Armenian—he hails from very nearly the spot she’s in, now. And it is not an
ideal spot, if she’s honest. Oh well,
she thinks, let’s see if the native son
can save me
. She flips the capacitor switch on her periwinkle blue,
electric blue dress from charge to discharge. She stands.
“I have been listening to your
foolish opinions for three days,” she says, “and they keep getting worse and
worse. I’m sure our friend the attaché will happily attribute all our present
misfortunes to the character of the Bulgarians. The doctor is so clearly under
his influence that he will concoct—in his mind—a poison that can suck the very
life and moisture from its victim in only seconds, though he knows no such
thing exists. All of you seem willing to believe that it is no strange thing
for all the light—even sunlight—to wink out, as if we had just gone into a
tunnel. You know there are no tunnels, here. You refuse to believe I have any
expertise in such matters, for my area is the supernatural and you all believe
such concerns to be pure fiction. Yet you also believe you are the last four
living men in this train car. Is that correct?”
“Well… Yes,” says the attaché.
“I see,” says Violet Hunter.
“Then perhaps you can tell me: if the supernatural possibility is pure
poppycock, if there are four living men standing in the center of this car, why are there only three shadows on the wall?”
“Eh?” the men wonder. Their eyes look
down to their feet, follow their shadows up onto the wall, and they realize
they are indeed one shadow shy.
The doctor has one.
The engineer has one as well.
The attaché, too.
The cobbler gives an angry hiss.
And the lights go out.
Violet knew they would. How could
he ignore a challenge like that? The moment is come. In her mind, she is
certain the cobbler knows how to drink the life-force from a man, in only
seconds. It is possible he may even know something about the construction and
maintenance of shoes. But does he know anything about electricity? Time to find
out. She flicks a switch at her waist and the room fills with a barely-audible tweeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.
And he’s on her. She didn’t know
whether she’d feel arms or teeth, but the thing that touches her is neither.
It’s wet. It stinks of vinegar. It starts to wrap itself around her, like an octopus’s
tentacle. No, two or three tentacles, at least. There’s a pulpy mass of it,
just in front of her and several cold, wet appendages around her. There is no
life in them, no heat or hope. They want hers. They want to drink it out of
her.
But she’s got something else for
them. Violet thrusts both hands forward, onto the strange wet thing. There’s a
flash and a crack.
The tentacles slide away.
The spell is disrupted.
The sunlight comes back.
In the middle of the car stand
the four men.
Well…
Three and a half.
The cobbler is headless, his body
sags in the arms of the doctor who—as the light returns—stares down into the
gaping neck of his countryman and stammers, “He… He is hollow.”
And no wonder. Much closer to
Violet, down at her end of the car, floats the cobbler’s disembodied head.
There are several vertebrae visible, dangling from the bottom. Attached to
these by flaps of membranous viscera are most of his internal organs. Violet is
sure she can pick out the stomach, because there it is at the bottom of his
throat. His lungs are easy to spot, as well, for they are the greyish-pink
sacks that inflate and deflate in that familiar way. Oh! And that big reddish
organ on his right must be the liver. Violet knows all about those. Her parents
taught her. Those are the things that fail on you and leave your two children
orphans if all you ever eat is whiskey. Below that hang numerous loops of
intestines which, doubtless, were the probing tentacles she’d felt in the
darkness.
Eww…
But then, the dress had been due
for a wash, anyway.
The head of the cobbler is
bobbing about in midair with… quite literally… a shocked expression on its
face. Violet has no idea what sort of thing she’s looking at. But she does know
this: she hasn’t killed it. They’re standing there just feet apart, dumbly
staring at each other, and in probably just a moment, one of them is going to
attack.
She makes sure it’s her.
Her hands bolt down into the fur
muff she wears at her waist. It has two purposes. It keeps her hands cozy in
the cold mountainous air. It also houses her two escorts. From either side, she
pulls forth a copper-coated Webley-Pryse revolver, custom made for her by a
fellow she kissed once, and his disreputable room-mate. The barrel of the
pistol in her right hand is emblazoned with the word Wit. On the left, Fortune.
Violet takes a few steps forward,
yanking back the triggers with a businesslike rhythm. Left, right, left, right,
until the hammers click against spent cartridges. Twelve deadly .455 rounds fly
forth, smashing into her enemy.
Well…
Not only her enemy.
Three of the mummified corpses
have grand new holes in them.
The French engineer slaps at the
sleeve of his coat, desperately swiping away the dusty coating of
cheek-and-moustache spray that have recently come to rest there. But that’s his
fault. He shouldn’t have been standing so close to the other victims if he
didn’t want mummy bits all over him.
The Eastern Roumelian attaché
keeps shifting his gaze back and forth between Violet and the growing red stain
on his trouser leg, displaying an increasing level of horror and recrimination
with each subsequent transit.
“Well…” says Violet, with a
defensive sniff, “I can’t be expected to be perfect at everything, can I?”
Yet the most disturbing outcome
must be this: the creature is not down. She’s sure she hit it. She saw the
liver shake, watched a few loops of intestine forced back by the impact of her
rounds, saw one lung dent inward, like a balloon poked by a toddler’s finger.
She even saw the Cobbler turn his head and grimace in fury as one bullet struck
just below his eye. But to what effect? If anything, her barrage seems only to
have stirred him from his stupor. There is no damage. By the smell of things,
all his internal organs seem to have been pickled in vinegar, until they have
reached some sort of preternatural, rubbery invulnerability.
But then…
Why did he get rid of the
soldier’s rifle?
Why is he scared of guns?
She hit most of his vital organs,
didn’t she?
Except…
“The heart!” Violet shouts.
“Where is the heart?”
The question is met with
quizzical looks from the engineer and attaché, and a horrified scream from the
doctor who—gazing down into the depths of the cobbler’s torso, seems to have
identified something which offends his sensibilities.
Yes. There is her target.
Of course, both of Violet’s guns
are empty now. She hits first one thumb release, and then the other, and yanks
the Webleys’ barrels down. Twelve brass cartridges rattle onto the floor.
Which is good. But do you know
what would have been better? Maybe she should have put one of the guns away.
Maybe she should not have reached into the fur coat’s copious pockets for spare
bullets with the guns still in her hands. Maybe she should have concentrated on
loading one pistol and not the other.
As it is, she’s fumbling with not
only two handfuls of bullets, but two handfuls of gun. She’s only slid a few
rounds home, when the creature’s intestines wrap around her arms and neck.
By God…
Their touch…
She reaches up to grab them with
her left hand, letting Fortune dangle by its trigger guard from her index
finger. She uses another of Tesla’s tricks. Human muscles, it seems, are
stimulated by electrical activity from the brain. And, on any given effort,
only a small percentage of the muscle fibers are used. Then again, it doesn’t
take much current to make sure they all fire, when needed. The strength with
which Violet Hunter flings the Cobbler’s head and organs to the far end of the
train car astounds everyone. The engineer cries out when the tangled ball of
organs flies past. The doctor gasps. The attaché faints. Though—in his
defense—he’s lost a fairly consequential amount of blood.
Violet’s arm is screaming.
Tesla’s innovation can greatly increase the strength of her muscles, it is
true. But not the tendons. Not the bone. Sufficient force will, of course,
separate one from the other. He’s given her more than ample power to tear
herself apart, if she’s not carful. And if truth be told, she has not been
careful. How much damage has she done to herself? And—almost as bad—she can
tell she’s got no opportunity to do any more. Her capacitors are empty. She’s
on her own.
No time to worry about it, now.
The cobbler’s head hits the far
wall and immediately springs back towards Violet. They both know they’re in a
race. At the center of the car lies his body—lies his still-beating heart—the
reason this creature is afraid of mortal weapons.
His head regroups itself and
charges her body. Her body charges his, tipping the barrel of each Webley back
into place as she runs. She’s there a moment before him, tackling his mortal
form from the arms of the doctor as she readies her guns. Her friend, Dr.
Watson, cut the barrels down, as well as the handles, to suit Violet’s small
frame. The weapons kept much of their power, but their precision suffered
greatly. No matter. She won’t be missing, now. She presses the barrels of both
pistols against her enemy’s chest.
Click,
click
.
Oh, but do you know what she
should have done?
Click,
click
.
She probably should have paid
attention to where she was putting
those bullets. There are just so many chambers, you know. Did she… um… did she
happen to place the rounds at the top of the cylinder? The part that would spin
away from the barrel if the hammer were pulled back?
Click,
click
.
Horrible loops of intestine wrap
around her neck now. It is not their force that strangles the breath from her,
but their nature. They are cold. They are unlife. The living cannot endure
their touch.
Click,
click
.
She’s got no eyesight, now—no
sense of the living world. She is falling. Falling through the ashen void.
She’s got no memory of her own self. No love. No sadness. No hope of future
prospects.
But there is a part of her—somewhere
between her failing mind and her finger muscles—that remembers the task at
hand. Simple, repetitive movements which have become second nature are the last
things to stop. Which is lucky for everybody aboard.
Or… Almost everybody.
Click,
Bang! Bang! Bang!
The cobbler’s head gives a hiss
of protest. The intestine tentacles relax and begin to fall away. Violet
thrashes herself free, with the little strength that remains to her. She
collapses forward onto the chest of her enemy, panting.
She stays there for some time,
fighting to make her body breathe. After a few moments, she pushes herself to a
sitting position.
“Well,” she says, in a trembling
voice, “that’s done.”
She raises one forearm and daubs
some vinegar, some blood, and a rather unladylike quantity of perspiration from
her brow. She stumbles to her feet. She’s shaking. She might just topple over.
But then, if she can stagger past five more cars of dead men, she’ll have made
it to the dining carriage.
And that will be worth it.
She rather fancies a cup of tea.
As she totters past the
slack-jawed engineer and doctor, she mutters, “Good day, gentlemen. Warlock
Holmes sends his regards.”
 
Warlock Holmes – A Study in Brimstone
Warlock Holmes
Book One
G.S. Denning 
Publisher: Titan Books
Publication Date: May 17, 2016
ASIN: B014BQVKUC
Tagline: Sherlock Holmes is a genius … Warlock Holmes is something else …
Book Description:
Sherlock Holmes is an unparalleled genius. Warlock Holmes is an idiot. A font of arcane power, certainly. But he’s brilliantly dim.
Frankly, he couldn’t deduce his way out of a paper bag. The only thing he has really got going for him are the might of a thousand demons and his stalwart companion.
Thankfully, Dr. Watson is always there to aid him through the treacherous shoals of Victorian propriety… and save him from a gruesome death every now and again.
Warlock Holmes – The Hell-Hound of the Baskervilles
Warlock Holmes
Book Two
G.S. Denning
Publisher: Titan Books
Publication Date: May 16, 2017
ASIN: B01KRUN0IQ
Tagline: Sherlock Holmes is a genius … Warlock Holmes is something else …
Book Description:
The game’s afoot once more as Holmes and Watson face off against Moriarty’s gang, the Pinkertons, flesh-eating horses, a parliament of imps, boredom, Surrey, a disappointing butler demon, a succubus, a wicked lord, an overly-Canadian lord, a tricycle-fight to the death and the dreaded Pumpcrow. Oh, and a hell hound, one assumes.
Warlock Holmes – My Grave Ritual
Warlock Holmes
Book Three
G.S. Denning
Publisher: Titan Books
Publication Date: May 15, 2018
ASIN: B075WCS6WZ
Tagline: Sherlock Holmes is a genius … Warlock Holmes is something else …
Book Description:
As they blunder towards doom, Warlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson find themselves inconvenienced by a variety of eldritch beings. Christmas brings a goose that doesn’t let being cooked slow it down; they meet an electricity demon, discover why being a redhead is even tricker than one might imagine, and Holmes attempts an Irish accent. And, naturally, Moriarty is hanging around… in some form or other.
  
About the Author:
G.S. Denning furiously studied reading and math until he could play Dungeons and Dragons. His love of DandD expanded to a passion for all things in the sci-fi and fantasy realm, particularly when spliced with comedy – Douglas Adams, Terry Pratchett, Monty Python, Red Dwarf, Black Adder, Whose Line is it Anyway, Dr. Who, and the holiest of holies: The Princess Bride.
He learned his story-telling skills on the improv stage as a member of Orlando Theatersports, Seattle Theatersports, Jet City Improv, and as a Disney Performer at Epcot. G.S. also worked for Nintendo and Wizards of the Coast.
Finally, after realizing that humanity had not used the pun Warlock Holmes yet, he sat down to begin his first novel series: a dark-comic retelling of Arthur Conan Doyle’s classic Sherlock Holmes stories. G.S. Lives in Las Vegas with The Best Wife and The Best Children.



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IndieWritersReview Spotlight! Fey by Kirsten Weiss (Cozy Witch Mystery)(Flash Fiction Feature/Rafflecopter Giveaway!)


Hello guys! Well in the spirit of the season, today IndieWritersReview is participating as a host for  a little  Halloween Flash Fiction! Check out  Wherein Jayce Battles a Phooka Halloween Flash Fiction from the Witches of Doyle By Kirsten Weiss! 🙂 (Bewitching Book Tours).

 

 
 
Wherein Jayce Battles a Phooka
Halloween Flash Fiction from the Witches
of Doyle

By Kirsten Weiss

 

 
***
“Well, you
didn’t have to answer so honestly,” I grumped. My sister Karin could be bossy.
A farmer
wandered the pumpkin patch beneath a full, harvest moon, his curses floating on
the warm, night air. He prodded a smashed rind with his boot.
Jaw clenched, I
scanned the ruined field and jammed my phone into the apron of my French maid
outfit. Hey, when you’re a real witch, there’s no point to dressing as
something supernatural. Besides, Halloween night was supposed to be time for
sexy fun with my boyfriend, Brayden, not for playing monster-cop.
My chest
tightened. Brayden and I were solid. Totally. But I’d sort of missed our last
two dates due to unforeseen magical circumstances, and Halloween was a special
time for us. I couldn’t let him down again.
I plastered on a
smile and waved to the farmer. “Did any pumpkins survive?”
“Damned kids!”
In other words,
no.
My phone
vibrated again. Ignoring the text, I knelt beside a tiny pumpkin the vandal had
overlooked. I picked it up, brushed off the soil. Since I was an earth witch,
plants liked me. I closed my eyes and focused on the pumpkin. Was there magic
here?
“You! You!
Stop!”
My head jerked
up.
The farmer raced
toward a scarecrow by the side of the dirt road. The scarecrow lifted its arms
and smashed a pumpkin to the ground.
“Damn it.” It
was magic. I leapt to my feet and sprinted toward the scarecrow. Was this a new
trick? The local fairies animating scarecrows?
A shadow swept
through the darkness in a clatter of hooves. Bells tinkling, a wagon flashed
between us.
I skidded to a
halt, teetering inches from the moving hayride, loaded with giggling kids and
beaming parents and jingling harnesses.
The pumpkin
split in my hand, and I jumped. My hair lifted at the nape of my neck. What the
hell?
The hayride
passed.
A shimmer of
light flitted behind the scarecrow and vanished into the nearby woods.
I cocked my head
and shivered. What was that? Dropping the pumpkin’s remains, I hurried forward.
The scarecrow
slumped and dropped the pumpkin in her hands. And it was a her, a real her in a
scarecrow outfit, and not, as I’d thought, a scarecrow come to life.
“What? Where am
I?” She glared at me. “What did you do?”
“Nothing!”
Typical. I always got blamed.
The farmer
roared forward, arms swinging. The scarecrow sprinted away, which seemed like
smart thinking.
I checked my
phone and texted my sister.
***
Seriously.
Crappiest pep talk ever. And where was I supposed to get iron?
The hayride
clattered to a halt. Its driver helped the riders out and handed each a
horseshoe.
Iron. I jogged
to the wagon.
“Hey,” I said,
chest heaving.
The driver
smiled at my costume. “Hay is for horses.”
Yay. A comedian.
“Can I have a horseshoe?”
“Did you buy a
ticket?”
“Please, it’s
super important.” That I make my date. Okay, and that I de-possess innocent
Doyle-ites. Oh yeah, and send the stupid fairy back to wherever it came from.
“No ticket, no
ride, no lucky horseshoe.”
“Fine,” I
snapped and rummaged in my frilly apron for some bills. “How much—wait, are
they real horseshoes? Iron horseshoes?”
“Sure.”
I handed over
the money and got my shoe. “Perfect.” I raced into the oak forest.
The light dodged
through a vineyard, between rows of twisted vines, and vanished behind a rise.
I jogged over
the hill into another pumpkin patch.
A middle-aged
woman in a plaid shirt, jeans, and vest hurled a pumpkin to the ground.
Aghast, I gaped
at the wreckage. At least a quarter of the field was already destroyed, rinds
and seeds and orange strings tangled on the ground.
“Catch!” I
pitched the horseshoe at the woman.
She plucked it
from the air and tossed it over her shoulder. The woman kicked a pumpkin.
Okay then. No on
the iron. Or that guy had lied about the horseshoe.
My phone chimed,
a gentle cascade of notes, and my insides fluttered. I didn’t need to check the
screen. Brayden was the only person I knew who called instead of texting. He
was old-fashioned that way. It was super cute.
The pumpkin in
the woman’s raised hands exploded, raining down on her head. Her mouth opened,
and the orb flew from her throat.
She stumbled and
rubbed her forehead. “What…? My pumpkins! Who smashed my pumpkins?”
Keeping an eye
on the wavering light, I answered the phone. “Hey there,” I said, trying for a
low purr. But it’s hard to be sexy surrounded by smashed squash.
“Jayce.”
Brayden’s voice rumbled. “Am I in the wrong spot?”
My belly heated,
turning liquid. “Sorry. My bad. I’m on my way.”
He laughed
softly. “I’ll wait. See you at Antoine’s.” He hung up.
The fairy light
bobbed up a forest trail, along a stream.
I looked down
the hill, where my F-150 was parked, and bit the inside of my cheek. If I
ditched my fairy quest, I could be at Antoine’s in ten minutes.
The light
vanished around a bend.
I swore and
charged up the inky trail. But the blasted light kept ahead of me.
The trail
changed, ribboning past cottages and a miniature red waterwheel.
I jogged up the
stone steps from the creek to Main Street.
Across the road,
a deflating bouncy castle marked the entrance to a pumpkin patch. Old Mrs.
Biddlecreek raised her cane and brought it down on a pumpkin.
Frustrated, I
glanced at my phone. It was nearly midnight. I was sweaty. My maid’s outfit was
a wreck. Antoine’s, a small town bar, would be closing soon. I was so screwed.
How had I gotten
stuck with fairy-removal duty? I didn’t know what I was doing. Iron was a bust.
And I’d no idea why the fairy had left its first two hosts. Not because of me,
that was for sure.
My phone pinged,
and my muscles tensed. I really needed to choose a text tone that was more
relaxing, like my chimes…
Chimes.
The first time
the fairy had left, horses had trotted past, bells jingling. And the second
time, Brayden had called, and my chime tones had rung.
Mrs. Biddlecreek
whacked another pumpkin.
If I was going
to get rid of the fairy for good, I needed bigger bells.
I scanned
through cat videos, political screeds… “Ha!” I turned up the volume and thrust
my phone toward the old lady. Winchester Cathedral’s bells bonged from my
phone’s speaker.
The old woman
clapped her hands to her ears. A ball of light flew from Mrs. Biddlecreek’s
mouth. The light quivered, pulsing, then shrunk to nothing, popping out of our
world’s existence.
The pumpkin
patch exploded, pelting me with an orange mess.
“Augh!” I
ducked, too late.
Mrs. Biddlecreek
blinked and shook a pumpkin rind off her cane.
“Jayce?”
Brayden, dressed like Zorro, strode down the sidewalk. Even beneath the black
mask, I’d know his broad shoulders and confident stride anywhere.
Frantically, I
brushed slimy orange from my maid’s outfit. “Brayden! You came looking for me?”
“Whoa.” He
plucked a string of seeds from my hair, and his emerald eyes sparkled. “What
happened?”
“It was sort of…
uh… a magical problem.”
His handsome
face creased. “Why didn’t you tell me? I was worried.”
I motioned
toward the pumpkin patch. “I didn’t want to ruin your Halloween with… this.”
“Ruin?” He
pulled me close, getting pumpkin on his silky white shirt. “All I want is to be
part of your magic.” He kissed me, sending a shockwave through my body.
“Is that all?” I
whispered.
He peeled
another string of orange goo from my shoulder. “And get you into the shower.”
*****

 

Read about Jayce and her magical sister in The
Witches of Doyle cozy mystery novels. Book 5, Fey, arrives on October 28th,
just in time for Halloween!
 

Fey

The Witches of Doyle

Book 5

Kirsten Weiss

 

 

 

Genre: cozy witch mystery

 

Publisher: Misterio Press
Date of Publication: October 28, 2018
ISBN: 978-1-944767-34-1
ASIN: B07GBHMJZZ
Number of pages: 192
Word Count: 61,000
Cover Artist: Dar Albert
Tagline: This witch will do anything for a normal life with the man she loves. But when you’re on fairy patrol, normal is relative.
Book Description:
This witch will do anything for a normal life with the man she loves. But when you’re on fairy patrol, normal is relative.
Witch Jayce Bonheim has packed away her candles, crystals and cauldrons. With her boyfriend recovering from a hex, she’s determined to build a sane and magic-free life for them both.
But when a horde of troublemaking gnomes invades the small town of Doyle, it’s up to Jayce and her magical sisters to send them packing.
After the gnomes lead Jayce to a murdered employee from her own café, she’s plunged into an investigation that lands her in the sheriff’s crosshairs. And Jayce must catch a killer before the sheriff’s brewing witch hunt nets a very real witch.
Fey is book 5 in The Witches of Doyle cozy mystery novels. Buy Fey and start reading this quirky witch mystery today!
Spells included at the back of the book.
Amazon      Kobo      iBooks      Nook
 
About the Author:

 

Kirsten Weiss has never met a dessert she didn’t like, and her guilty pleasures are watching Ghost Whisperer re-runs and drinking red wine. The latter gives her heartburn, but she drinks it anyway.
Now based in San Mateo, CA, she writes genre-blending cozy mystery, supernatural and steampunk suspense, mixing her experiences and imagination to create vivid worlds of fun and enchantment.
If you like funny cozy mysteries, check out her Pie Town, Paranormal Museum and Wits’ End books. If you’re looking for some magic with your mystery, give the Witches of Doyle, Riga Hayworth and Rocky Bridges books a try. And if you like steampunk, the Sensibility Grey series might be for you.
Kirsten sends out original short stories of mystery and magic to her mailing list. If you’d like to get them delivered straight to your inbox, make sure to sign up for her newsletter at kirstenweiss.com
Feel free to follow her on Twitter @KirstenWeiss or Bookbub, get in touch on Facebook, post a picture of this book to Instagram and tag her @kirstenweissauthor, or send her an email. She’ll answer you personally…which may be a good or a bad thing, depending on your perspective.

Twitter: http://twitter.com/KirstenWeiss    

 

 

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