Envy’s Curse by A.R. Von *Review and Giveaway
Genre: Erotic Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Dream Z Dragon Publishing
Date of Publication: 7/23/15
Number of pages: 242
Word Count: 35,610
Cover Artist: Wicked Muse
For every gift there is a price, even for the gods.
Medusa and Poseidon have nurtured their secret love for one another for years, until one fateful day, they succumb. But for that moment of bliss, the price is steep indeed.
Can Poseidon save the woman he loves from a curse that will mean death to them both?
From the first time I saw her over a decade ago, I knew she was the one for me. Even though we have a bit of difference in age, not very many, just about four years from what I’ve learned. The first quality that called to me was not her beauty, her presence or her innocence, but her soul. It…called to me like a beacon of pure pleasure, warmth and joy. A call which none could ever ignore, irresistible and desired.
She’s always held an exquisite beauty that no other can hold a candle to. Her wavy hair carries the various color combinations only found on elm bark, it even shimmers as if it’s dusted with gold when hit with the sun’s rays. Her eyes, the portals to her soul, are the color of my favorite herb, sage. There’s no other color in those beautiful depths, they’re so pure and so beautiful, untainted by any other hues. Her lips are the plumpest, juiciest morsels I’ve ever laid my eyes upon. I’d bet her kisses taste like the berries her lips coloring resembles, a deep, natural red that calls a man’s attentions, especially when they bear a smile and show her perfect white teeth. Many times have I pictured those very lips wrapped around my cock, milking it of its essence while my lips bear only her name on a whisper of pleasure.
Her body is one to be cherished and worshipped more than any Goddess who has ever existed in this realm or any other. She has the most gorgeous pair of generous breasts that I know not even my large hands could completely cover. They always seem to want to burst out of her clothing—wanting to be set free, no matter what she wears. Her legs, so strong and long, I’d swear they could wrap around me twice while I pound into her warm flesh.
Her skin bears freckling on various visible areas of her body but is most prominent are on her nose and shoulders. I’ve not yet gotten to explore her in proper light or with all of her exposed to me, so I could see if she has more in other areas. I know I would kiss each and every single one I find. It will be done even if it takes me many years to do so. Then, I’d do it all over again, starting from her beautiful face and work my way back down again. Tasting and memorizing each one until she can’t take it any longer. I’ll taste and taste until she pleads for me to take her, to ravish her and mark her with my seed.
I knew, and still know, from deep within, she’s the only one in existence that’ll match me in every way. Satisfy me, challenge me and placate me. All things I need and desire for the woman I hunger to spend my eternity with. She’s my perfect match. My Medusa, is the other half of me, the only one who can—who will make me whole, complete and blissful.
AR Von put a neat twist on the story of Poseidon, Medusa and Athena. Medusa wasnt always the monster of mythology, at on time she was a beautiful, innocent maiden. She and Poseidon were in love but kept apart because Athena had a fatal attraction thing going, every time Poseiden shows the least interest in a woman she would disappear.When Athena finds out that they spend 3 super hot days together, she curses Medusa. Now Poseiden, with the help of Zeus and the Kracken, must find Medusa and try to break the curse. Can Poseidon save the love of his life? Will they find their HEA or will Athena finally win over Poseidon? I know Noone really knows how Medusa actually ended up cursed but this puts an interesting spin on one possibility. Definitely a book worth reading.
Independent reviewer for Paranormal Romance & Authors That Rock. 5 fang.
About the Author:
A.R. Von was born and raised in Bronx, NY and is the oldest daughter of two girls. She holds an Associate’s Degree in Computer Science and Information Technology, which was only briefly used. She’s a mother of two entertaining teen boys (as well as a lovely fawn Chihuahua, whom she considers her furry daughter.)
She’s also a wife to a delightfully handsome and amazingly funny man-beast. She loves anything dragon and fantasy related. In her free time, she enjoys exercising, writing, listening to music, hiking, cooking, dancing and reading. She also loves a great adventure in and out of a book! She writes to free her mind of its constant wondering and clutter. She thrives on the fact she can share some of it with readers that have the same passion for a great story.
She loves to hear from her reader’s and chat away, so feel free to reach out to her any time.
A.R. Von web site: http://ar-von.com/
Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/A.R.-Von/e/B00BGAHQ46/
A.R. Von’s Blog: http://dreamzofdragons.blogspot.com/
5 signed bookmark/wish bracelet combo packs
2 $5.00 Amazon gift cards
Posted in Paranormal Romance & Author's That Rock
Tags: Amazon, Paranormal romance, Poseidon
Sins of Long Ago by Naomi Bellina *Review and Giveaway
Sins of Long Ago
Genre: Paranormal romance
Publisher: Liquid Silver Books
Date of Publication: 7/27/2015
Number of pages: 189
Word Count: 71,000
Werewolves and humans don’t mix. Until danger forces an alliance and desire demands satisfaction.
Leading his pack of werewolves keeps Vincent plenty busy, and now with a predator out to harm them, life is more perilous than ever. The last thing he needs is a woman to complicate matters, especially one who sets his body and soul on fire. She’s a human and a witch — totally the wrong woman for him. Even if he could take a mate for his own, he refuses to put her in the danger his life has become. No way can they ever be together. Werewolf-style love is fine anyway. No permanent partner, no bullshit, no heartache.
Genevieve has never known true love. Cursed by an enraged woman long ago, females in her family are doomed to go insane if they fall in love. Life has been fine without a man around– until a hot werewolf drops in and captures her heart. Though they have plenty of obstacles to overcome, Gen knows they can work past them. Tell that to Vincent, as he struggles with old pack rules about love, sex, and consorting with humans.
As Vincent searches for a killer, deals with death among his own, and tries to keep his hands off Gen, she attempts to end her family curse. Together, they must find a way to break free from the sins of long ago.
Heat level: 3 out of 4
Liquid Silver Books All Romance Amazon BN
Kobo Google Play iTunes Amazon UK
Vincent is a were and the Alpha of the Howlers pack. He is busy with the pack business but can’t keep his mind off Genevieve Birch. Genevieve is a witch, but she isn’t pack and well isn’t a were! But, in an attempt to get her off his mind he asks her out.
Genevieve’s family was cursed long ago (hence the title!), by a another witch so that they will never find true love or if they due insanity would come quickly on it’s heels. Gen is attracted to Vincent and wants to fall in love, so she starts searching for the decedents of the witch that cursed her family.
While Vincent is dealing with death and pack problems, Gen and he seemed destined for each other. Ms. Bellina’s story is well rounded, plot driven and will keep you turning pages. If you are in the market for a superb paranormal romance, I highly recommend the series, again – although I found the book wonderful, I had a bit of a time getting started because I kept feeling I missed something. I may try to go back and read book one and reevaluate this review.
About the Author:
Naomi lives in sunny Florida with the love of her life and a magical calico cat. She writes for various fiction and non-fiction markets but is drawn to romance because her characters insist on canoodling and falling in love. So she lets them. Her interests include dancing, motorcycle riding, drumming and creating healthy meals. She takes the opportunity to play whenever possible.
Her motto: Never pass up the opportunity to have an adventure!
Visit her at http://www.naomibellina.com/
A $10 GC for Amazon, BN or All Romance.
Posted in Paranormal Romance & Author's That Rock
Tags: Naomi Bellina, Paranormal romance
Nicandro by Tiffany Ann
When she was 18 she left the small farming community without a stop light and headed for the bright lights of Las Vegas. She continued to write but life kept her from actually publishing anything. After ten years in the big city, Tiffany decided she wanted a much slower paced life and returned to Kansas.
It was here that she met a friend who loved her stories and encouraged her to submit them.
When not writing Tiffany loves to read anything she can get her hands on from the Dark taboo erotic books to the lighter Amish romance. She also has an interest in the lost art of pen paling. Putting pen to paper and sharing the good times and the bad through the written word with friends near and far. Tiffany also loves to travel and while she has been to the tourist attractions she much prefers the hidden gems off the beaten path that few know about. It is these adventures that often find their way into her books.
Posted in Paranormal Romance & Author's That Rock
Tags: Nicandro, Paranormal romance, Tiffany
Wild Thing by Kim Cormack *Review
She had been reborn in a place far worse than any version of hell, one could imagine. After many years lost in places void of humanity, Grey found her. He introduced her to a partially immortal family. She’d been saved in so many ways by the Ankh. They were the family that she had always been destined to find. They would teach her to embrace the dragon that resided within.
I have read a lot of paranormal romance and even though that is the genre this book is in I would classify it as paranormal/ horror romance. I had a difficult time reading the beginning it is very graphic with violence and depravities against an 11 yr old girl Lexy the Heroine and some other children.
I try very hard to judge books only against themselves not to compare them to other books I’ve read because this is not one I probably would have chosen on my own due to the graphic violence. However I actually became enthralled by the story behind the half immortal children that must survive their correction and the happenings of the children of ankh.
Lexy is amazing so strong and courageous she is a dragon that has risen above everything that was done to her and is unstoppable against anything that gets in her way. As she grows and adjusts to her immortal life she must learn about the world and how to function in everyday situations that are completely foreign to her because of her childhood or lack there of.
Through her handler Gray another child of ankh she discovers what it is to care and be cared for to love and be loved although a cruel fate is at hand and she can never have the one she truly wants.
This story is very well written the characters are very in depth and I felt very connected to them. Through all their trials and situations their is a level of humor not unlike some horror movies where there are people killing zombies but you there is humor in the situations. It’s a dark twisted humor and it’s certainly not for everyone.
I would like to read more about the characters both secondary and the main ones.
Their is graphic violence against children and adults and very disturbing situations. 4 fangs.
Into the Mist by Judith Ingram *Review and Giveaway
Into the Mist
Genre: paranormal romance
Publisher: Vinspire Publishing, LLC
Date of Publication: July 30, 2015
Number of pages:
Word Count: 91,500
Cover Artist: Elaina Lee/
For the Muse Designs
For the past six months, time-traveler Victoria Ashton has been living life as Katherine Kamarov on a ranch in rural California, circa 1890. A contrast to Katherine’s brash personality, shy and gentle Victoria has won the hearts of Katherine’s family and particularly her cousin Michael. Despite her deepening love for Michael, she has rejected his offer of marriage and sent him away, knowing that she must return to her own time on the night of the new spring moon.
In this third and final book of the series, sinister forces threaten Victoria’s new family, her property, and even her life, testing her for courage and ingenuity. A confident new self emerges, and when Michael unexpectedly walks back into her life, she questions whether she must remain a victim of fate or can find a way to determine her own future.
Meanwhile, Katherine has been living a parallel year of exchange in Victoria’s modern-day life, married to the handsome but remote Ryan Ashton. Hardened by her past, Katherine nevertheless falls for Ryan and, like Victoria, begins to search for a way to defy fate and keep the life she has come to cherish.
As the night of the new spring moon approaches, both women must search their hearts to discover how to hold onto what matters most, even if they should be forced back through the barrier of time.
He didn’t hear her slide the door open and step out behind him. Her arms circled his waist, and the faint scent of ginger spice shot twin arrows of joy and pain through his body. Wordlessly, he turned and brought his mouth down on hers. Enveloped in the soft twilight hush, they shared a kiss that was deep and long and achingly sweet. When they pulled reluctantly apart, Ryan let his eyes linger over her, already naming the vision being etched in his memory. This is how my love looked in twilight.
She was wearing her white robe, and her blond hair curled softly, just brushing her shoulders. It’s gotten longer, Ryan thought. He suddenly wanted her to cut it again, as if keeping her hair short would somehow help her to keep her claim on this body—on this life—and prevent Vicki from coming back.
Tori moved to the rail and stared out over the city deepening into dusk. “It’s started, Ryan,” she said quietly.
He moved to stand beside her. “What’s started?”
She turned and leaned an elbow on the rail, holding him with a steady gaze. “What we’ve dreaded. I dreamed about the bridge.” She lifted a shoulder. “It’s only a week away. I should have expected it.” She drew in a breath that trembled. “She was already there, standing on the bridge. Waiting for me.”
At his look, she put out her hand and covered his. “Don’t hate her, Ryan. She didn’t ask for this to happen any more than I did.” She smiled faintly. “I would have, though, if I’d known you would be here. I wouldn’t have missed this time with you for anything. No matter what happens, I’ll carry you in my heart until the day I die.”
Ryan couldn’t speak. He couldn’t move, couldn’t breathe. He could do nothing but stare at her in mute despair.
She turned her back on the glittering city and leaned both elbows on the rail, staring through the glass doors into their living room. The soft light of the table lamps was growing imperceptibly brighter as the dusk surrendered to night.
“Do you ever wonder, Ryan, what Victoria will be like when she comes back?”
“She’s not coming back.” His voice cracked.
“She’s had a whole year, Ryan, just like me. A lot can happen in a year. She may surprise you.”
“She won’t get the chance.” His jaw tightened. “I’m not letting you go, Tori. I can’t. Vicki doesn’t belong here anymore. This is your home, with Christina and me.” He covered the crack in his voice with harshness. “How can you stand there and calmly talk about Vicki coming back while you just up and vanish from our lives? Like it’s already decided, like it’s so easy for you—”
In book 3 of the set, Victoria has settled into Katherine’s life in 1890’s California. She has changes the minds of the people who didn’t like Katherine with her in ate kindness and willingness to protect her family no matter the cost.
Katherine is settling into Victoria’s place in the present and even though she’s emotionally damaged from her past, she’s falling for “her” husband Ryan.
Both women invest their hearts knowin full well the year is almost up and soon it will be time to return to their own lives. Does either woman want to give up what they have? Do they have a choice? Quite an interesting time travel romance with lots of emotion. Independent reviewer for Paranormal Romance & Authors That Rock. 4 fangs
About the Author:
Judith Ingram weaves together her love of romance and mystery as well as her training as a counselor to create stories and characters for her novels. She is also the author of a Christian guide to forgiving and posts weekly devotionals on the role of forgiveness in healing relationships. She lives with her husband in the San Francisco East Bay and makes frequent trips to beautiful Sonoma County, where many of her fiction characters reside. She confesses a love for chocolate, cheesecake, romantic suspense novels, movies that require three hankies, and all things feline.
Website, blog and free weekly devotional: http://JudithIngram.com
Tour giveaway July 27- August 24
2 ebook (.pdf or .epub) bundles of trilogy Books 1 & 2
2 signed paperback copies of trilogy bundle Books 1 & 2 with bookmarks
2 ebook copies (.pdf or .epub) of Into the Mist
2 signed paperback copies of Into the Mist with bookmarks
4 $25 Amazon gift cards
4 purse charms featuring book cover and story theme charms
Spotlight: A.N. Meade *Review
Titles: Marked, Beauty and the Darkness, and Rise of the Blood Queen
Author: A.N. Meade
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Date of Publication: Jun 16, 2012, October 28, 2013, and Apr 16, 2015
Story Synopsis Marked: When the man of her dreams walks into Kate’s reality. She hopes that this will mark the beginning of a chance to truly live her life, free from abuse and torment. She doesn’t know that there are more sinister forces at work, powers that will threaten to tear her apart. Centuries old curses, demons, voodoo priestesses, a guardian angel, and an array of intriguing humans and vampires make up the backdrop of this love story. A blood curse placed on Kate in a past life threatens to tear her away from her new found sanctuary. She has to adjust to her new life, learn the details from her past that can help her, and break the curse before the demon claims her as his own. She uses the council of a captivating group of friends, and ancient Egyptian and religious texts to help her along her journey.
Marked is were the story of Kate begins. She is in an abusive relationship and is desperate to get out of it. When she attempts something crazy Macs shows up someone she believed only existed in her dreams and turns in her into a vampire were an a new adventure begins.
Story Synopsis Beauty and the Darkness: Aimee was left feeling vulnerable after Damian’s attack. She throws herself full force into learning all she can of her abilities in an attempt to better protect herself from Damian’s growing threat and protect her circle of friends. Damian’s interest in her, however is much more than a personal one. He is not about to let her go riding off into the sunset with Marc. She is a vampire now, but there is so much more to the story, as she soon discovers.
Story Synopsis Rise of the Blood Queen: In this book, Aimee struggles to face the consequences of the tough choices she made in book 2. She has to push her personal boundaries and either grow or die. There’s an element of survival, but also the new task of building friendships and relationships from the ashes. We get to see more of Damian, Marc, Liam and Hex, as well as some new characters like Duncan. Duncan is an ancient warlock who lives in solitude in the forest. He has knowledge of the prophecies as well as the magic that Aimee is learning to wield.
Posted in Paranormal Romance & Author's That Rock
Tags: Paranormal romance, Story Synopsis, vampire
Minstrel’s Prize by Nance Bulow Morgan *Review
Nance Bulow Morgan Has Released Her Newest Mystery Fantasy Novel: Minstrels’ Prize
Southern Pines, NC — The good virtues of a heroic warrior and an elementalist are put to the test against insidious factions of evil at play against them.
Just when it seems like Andreas and Saeede will be able to settle down and enjoy a peaceful life in Breen they come across information that has them once again making their way to Hell. A holy relic has fallen into evil hands and the heroes cannot let that stand. They will fight to the bitter end and go through anything to bring it back and sever evil’s influence on their world forever.
In their quest for the relic they discover a guardian who had remained hidden from them. The events that caused this guardian to be captured by Devil’s minions cast past events into doubt. As current events unfold, they come to realize that two crimes they thought they had solved were really failed conspiracies to draw them into Hell and the clutches of Lord Devil and his minions.
Our heroes must come to terms with the demons they face and cast them aside. In doing so they weaken Devil’s power over them.
In the end a bargain is struck but it is not what you think.
About the book:
Minstrels’ Prize by Nance Bulow Morgan
Publisher: Dreamer Books
Date of publish: April 2015
About the author:
Nance Bulow Morgan has been been writing as a professional since 1991. She is the author of Legend Destiny, Voyage:a book of prose, Minstrels’ Gambit, Minstrels’ Covenant and now to complete the trilogy; Minstrels’ Prize. Originally from Illinois, Ms. Morgan moved with her cancer surviving husband to the pine woods in the Sandhills of North Carolina. Since then she has written a few unpublished short stories and completed the trilogy titled; The Minstrels’ Tale Mystery. Morgan has also worked as a photojournalist, a prep technician in the print industry, and a graphic artist for print and web applications.
Aberrancy by Su Halfwerk *Review and Giveaway
Author: Su Halfwerk
Robert Williamson, esteemed judge, adoring husband, and doting father, has his flawless life snatched away, leaving him damaged beyond repair—damaged by a witch whose taunting presence spells his destruction.
Before exacting his revenge, Robert is hell-bent on digging out explanations.
His demands are wild, his interrogation method peculiar, and what he seeks most might well cost him what remains of his sanity—and he knows it.
Despite horrible odds, Robert refuses to give in.
Aberrancy is a gripping dark tale of lives lost…to a different kind of evil.
Su Halfwerk writes in the horror and paranormal romance genres. From a tender age, the written word left a strong impression on her, later on terrifying, blood-chilling books became the object of her interest. Su’s style in horror combines shuddery terror with elements of surprise; some would even call it an enigmatic twist. In the world of paranormal romance, she transforms the desire to scare into a quest to seduce and tantalize.
When not writing, Su is designing book trailers for herself and other authors.
Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/aberrancy-su-halfwerk/1121877211?ean=2940151905220
Win an ebook copy of Aberrancy and a $25 Amazon gift card.
Her arms were secured to the wooden chair’s arms with six coils of duct tape. The same was done to her feet and the chair’s legs. Another set of layers—twelve to be exact—secured her midsection to its back.
“I don’t have much,” she said. “Take whatever jewelry I have. Take my bank card and pin code, just let me go.”
He slammed his hand on the table, the solitary candle shook without toppling to the ground. The bottle of fizz did though, and was smashed on the floor. “I don’t want your money.”
“Then what do you want?” Liquid leaked out of her eyes, presumably tears.
Her glistening eyes shifted sideways. “What?”
“You heard me. Proper and reasonable answers will be your salvation.”
“Answers to what? I don’t know what you’re talking about. I don’t even know you.” Under her breath, she muttered to herself, “This isn’t happening. This isn’t happening.”
“You thought I wouldn’t find you.” He smirked.
She inhaled sharply. “My name is Delia Kane. I’m a—”
“—high school history teacher,” he mocked. “A small town spinster who hasn’t taken a single step out of her little town except to relocate here to teach.” He paused. “Isn’t this the spiel nowadays to connect with your abductor? To humanize yourself by spilling a summary of your bio no matter how fake it is?”
She blinked sweat out of her eyes. “That’s my life you’re talking about. Hold on a second…how come you know so much about me?” She squinted at him, studying his face. “Who are you?”
The night was humid. His borrowed orderly shirt was sticking to his back. “Who am I?” He backhanded her hard enough to hurt his hand. “Stop playing tricks. You might not know how I found you this time but you know damn well who I am.”
She sniffled; mucus ran out of her crooked nose. “I swear to God, I don’t know you. There must be a mistake.”
Surely she could make out his face in the dim light. Then again, maybe she’d lost her memory from the last accident she had. Or, as per her habit, she was lying.
He glanced at the microwave’s clock. Twelve o’clock. It had taken her over four hours to awaken from the drug he’d injected her with, longer than he’d anticipated going by his wake-up record. Unlike him, her body wasn’t used to it.
“Maybe I should tell you a story. You know, to help you remember.” They had time. No one would stop by at this late hour on a school night.
And if anyone showed up, he would introduce their guts to her butcher knife.
The traffic stretched in a long line before them. Red lights flashed on and off as some vehicles inched forward. Robert winced at the long wait ahead of them thanks to Deputy Sloan, the worst when it came to situations involving a display of power and control. He would delay the whole thing, basking in the opportunity to flex his authoritative muscles.
“What’s the truck’s load?”
Mathew shrugged. “Don’t know. I was on my way to find out more.”
Sandra pulled on Robert’s hand, he glanced down. “Balcony seat, Papa?”
He chuckled and went down on one knee. Using one of his thighs for support, she settled on his shoulders and faced the front line. “You see anything, kiddo?”
Despite not being able to see her face, he heard a rare smile in her voice. “Yes, a small fire. Sooo yellow.” She sounded wistful.
“Are there any fire trucks?” Mathew asked.
Robert looked up toward Sandra who had a higher vantage point than them.
She glanced down, her blue gaze drilled into his friend’s. One word. “No.” She then went back to watching.
They strolled unhurriedly. If a big boom was expected, a fire engine would have been there already.
“I heard you left early today. How come?”
Robert opened his mouth to answer, but was interrupted by a loud explosion that shook the ground under his feet. He grasped one of Mathew’s arms to maintain his balance and not topple Sandra off. Screams and yells of panic drifted to him. Above his head, Sandra lifted a hand to the sky and said, “Wheeeeee.”
He glanced up as a yellow tube shot through the sky, arched, and rocketed down toward them. Sandra’s hand followed its progress.
As the tube drew nearer, Robert corrected himself. It was a yellow, medium size, thin cylinder. He wondered for a brief moment about its contents.
It arched toward the cars behind them.
*Review* Witch’s Moonstone Locket by Marsha A. Moore
Witch’s Moonstone Locket
A Coon Hollow Coven Tale
Marsha A. Moore
Genre: New Adult Paranormal Romance
Date of Publication: March 24, 2015
Number of pages: 315
Word Count: 94,000
Twenty-three-year-old Jancie Sadler was out of the room when her mother died, and her heart still longs for their lost goodbye. Aching to ease her sorrow, Aunt Starla gives Jancie a diary that changes her entire life. In entries from the 1930s, her great grandmother revealed how she coped with her own painful loss by seeking out a witch from nearby Coon Hollow Coven. The witch wore the griever’s moonstone locket, which allowed whoever could unlock its enchantment to talk with the dead.
Determined to find that locket, Jancie goes to the coven’s annual carnival held in her small southern Indiana town of Bentbone. This opposes her father’s strict rule: stay away from witches. But she’s an adult now and can make her own decisions. She meets Rowe McCoy, the kind and handsome witch who wears the moonstone. He agrees to let her try to open the locket, but they’re opposed by High Priestess Adara and her jealous desire to possess him.
Desperate for closure with her mother, Jancie persists and cannot turn away from a perilous path filled with magic, romance, and danger.
Available at Amazon
Excerpt from Chapter One: Great Aunt Starla’s Cornbread
Warm rain mixed with Jancie’s tears, and she rose to stand beside her mother’s grave. Not ready to let go, she bent at the waist and her fingers followed the arc of her mother’s name—Faye Sadler—in the headstone. She knew the unyielding shape well. The word goodbye stuck in her throat. She’d said it aloud many times since her mother died almost a year ago, only to have the cemetery’s vast silence swallow her farewells. Rain beaded on the polished granite. Her hand, bearing her mother’s silver ring, slid down the stone and fell to her side.
If only she could’ve said goodbye to her mother before. After years of caring for her mom while she suffered with cancer, Jancie had missed the final parting moment while getting a quick bite of dinner. The pain still cut like a knife in her gut.
On foot, she retraced the too-familiar path toward her work at the Federal Bank. Although she’d landed a job as manager at the largest of the three banks in the small town of Bentbone, the position was a dead end. Within the first six months, she’d mastered all the necessary skills. Now, after a year, only the paycheck kept her there.
Jancie turned onto Maple Street. As usual, wind swept up the corridor, between old shade trees protecting houses, and met her at the top of the tall hill. September rain pelted her face and battled the Indian summer noontime temperatures. She zipped the rain parka to keep her dress dry, pulled on the strings of the hood, and corralled strands of ginger-colored hair that whipped into her eyes. Once able to see, she gazed farther into the valley, where the view spanned almost a mile out to the edge of town. Usually, farmers moved tractors across the road or boys raced skateboards and bikes down Maple Street’s long slope.
Today, on the deserted acreage just east of Bentbone, people moving in and out through a gate of the tall wooden fence breathed life into the rundown carnival. Surprised, Jancie crossed the street for a better view. She’d lost track of time since Mom passed. The coming Labor Day weekend in Bentbone meant the valley coven’s yearly carnival. She and her close group of girlfriends always looked forward to the cute guys, fair food, and amazing magical rides and decorations…even if her father didn’t approve of witches or magic. The residents of the sleepy town awoke to welcome a host of tourists wanting to see the spectacle created by the witches of Coon Hollow Coven.
Somehow, Jancie had forgotten the big event this year. Last year, she didn’t go since Mom was so sick and couldn’t be left. Jancie sighed and turned onto the main street toward the bank. She’d lost so much since her mother passed. Really, since the diagnosis of cancer.
At that time, four years ago, Jancie withdrew as a sophomore from Hanover College, a select, private school in southern Indiana near the Kentucky border—too far away. Instead, she returned to stay with her mother and commuted to Indiana University. Balancing hours with the home health care nurse, Jancie had few choices of career paths. Not that it mattered, since her remarried father expected her to find a job in Bentbone and continue taking care of her mother. Despite the sacrifices, Jancie loved her mother, who’d always managed money for a few special things for Jancie—a new bike, birthday parties, prom dresses—even though their income was tight. Mom had paid for her tuition and listened to every new and exciting college experience.
Jancie smiled at the memory of Mom’s twinkling brown eyes, that mirrored her own, when she asked about what happened during the day’s classes: if Jancie liked the professor; if she’d made new friends.
When she rounded the last corner, her thoughts returned to the work day. At the bleak, limestone bank building, reality hit. Jancie pulled against the heavy glass door, and a gust swept her inside. She peeled off the drenched jacket and hung it on the coat rack of her small, plain office. At her desk again, she took her position.
Through the afternoon’s doldrums, punctuated by only a handful of customers, her mind wandered to the carnival. She’d gone dozens of times before and loved it. But since Mom passed, nothing seemed fun anymore, like she couldn’t connect with herself and had forgotten how to have a good time. She organized a stack of notes, anything to put the concern out of her mind.
After work, Jancie drove her old blue Camry the five miles to the other end of town where she lived in her mother’s white frame house, the home where she grew up, now hers. Glad to own her own place, unlike her friends who rented, she’d made a few easy changes. In the living room, a new brown leather couch with a matching chair and ottoman. She replaced the bedroom furniture with a new oak suite for herself in what used to be her mother’s room. With pay saved from the bank, Jancie could remodel or build on, but she didn’t know what she wanted yet. Her great aunt Starla had told her to just wait and hold onto her money; she’d know soon enough.
Pouring rain soaked the hem of her dress as she darted between the garage shed and back stoop of the small ranch house.
Glad she’d chosen to get her run in this morning before work, she changed into cozy sweats, pulled the long part of her tapered hair into a ponytail, and headed for the kitchen.
Her phone alerted her of a text, and she read the message from her friend Rachelle, always the social director of their group: R we going to the carnival?
Jancie typed a response. I guess. R Lizbeth and Willow going?
Yep whole gang. What day?
Don’t know yet. Get back to u. Jancie worried she’d spoil their fun. Even though they’d all been her best friends since high school and would understand her moodiness, she didn’t want to ruin one of the best times of the year for them. Since Mom passed, they’d taken her out to movies and shopping in Bloomington, but this was different. Could it ever match up to the fun of all the times before? “I don’t know if I’m up to that,” she said into open door of the old Kenmore refrigerator while rummaging for leftovers of fried chicken and corn.
The meal satisfied and made her thankful she’d learned how to cook during those years with Mom. Not enough dishes to bother with the dishwasher, one of the modern upgrades to the original kitchen, Jancie washed the dishes by hand and then called Starla. When she answered, Jancie asked, “Can I come over tonight? There’s something I’m needing your opinion on.”
“Why sure, Jancie. C’mon over,” the eighty-five-year-old replied with her usual warm drawl. “Are you wantin’ dinner? I made me some soup beans with a big hambone just butchered from Bob’s hog. My neighbor Ellie came over and had some. She said they were the best she’s eaten.”
Jancie glanced at the soggy rain parka and opted for an umbrella instead. “No, I just ate. Be right over.” Keys and purse in hand, she hung up and darted for the shed.
Five minutes later, she turned onto the drive of the eldercare apartments and parked under the steel awning where Starla gave her a whole arm wave from her picture window. Jancie made her way to number twelve on the first floor.
The door opened, and Starla engulfed Jancie in a bear hug, pulling her into the pillow of a large, sagging bosom. Starla smelled of her signature scent—rosewater and liniment.
Jancie had loved her great aunt’s hugs as long as she could remember. Stress and worry melted away, and she hugged back. Her arm grazed Starla’s white curls along the collar of her blue knit top embroidered with white stars—her great aunt’s favorite emblem.
“It’s so good to see you. Come sit a spell, while I get us some iced tea.” Starla pulled away and gestured to the microsuede couch decorated with three crocheted afghans in a rainbow of colors. “I thought we were done with this hot weather, but not quite yet. That rain today’s been a gully washer but didn’t cool things off much.” The large-boned woman scuffed her pink-house-slippered feet toward the kitchen. “Would you rather have pound cake from the IGA or homemade cornbread?”
Jancie laughed and followed her into the kitchen. She wouldn’t get through the visit without eating. “You’re just fishin’ for a compliment. You know your homemade cornbread is better.”
Starla arranged plates with thick slices of warm cornbread and big pats of butter on top, while Jancie transferred the refreshments to the aluminum dinette table.
“With your hair pulled back like that, you’re a dead ringer for your Ma. So pretty with that same sweetheart-shaped face.” Starla folded herself onto a chair beside Jancie. “You look to be getting on well…considering what all you’ve been through.”
“I’m doing okay,” Jancie said through a mouthful of the moist cornbread. She washed it down with a swallow of brisk tea that tasted fresh-brewed. “But sometimes, lots of times, I feel lost, like I can’t move on.” She ran a hand across her forehead. “I didn’t get to say goodbye. I spent time with her through all those years, and it shouldn’t matter, but it does every time I visit her grave and most every night in my dreams.”
“Oh, honey. I know it hurts.” Starla smoothed Jancie’s ponytail down the middle of her back and spoke with a voice so slow and warm, it felt like a handmade quilt wrapping around her. “You spent all that time and gave so much. Just like when I cared for my husband some twenty years back. I know. I never got the chance to tell Harry goodbye either. Time will heal all hurts.”
Jancie looked down at the marbleized tabletop to hide her teary eyes. “I don’t think I’m ever going to heal, Aunt Starla. I don’t know if I can ever move on.”
“There is one thing you can try. I’d have done it, if I’d have known before decades softened my aching heart. Way back, I was desperate like you.”
Jancie looked into Starla’s blue-gray eyes, set deep inside wrinkled lids.
Her aunt leaned closer. “Not many know about this,” she whispered as if someone outside the apartment door might hear. “There’s an old story about how a member of the Coon Hollow Coven, one who’s recently lost a loved one, is made the teller of the moonstone tale.”
Jancie rolled her eyes. “That’s just a silly story, one of lots that Mom and Dad told to scare me when I was little, so I’d stay away from the coven. When the moonstone locket opens at the end of the tale, you’ll get your wish but also be cursed.”
“Oh no.” Starla shook her head and pushed away from the table. “Let me get Aunt Maggie’s old diary. I got this in a box of old family things when Cousin Dorothy passed. ” She lumbered to her spare bedroom and returned with a worn, black-leather volume only a little larger than her wide palm. Once seated, she thumbed through the yellowed pages. “Here.” She pointed a finger and placed the book between them.
This story takes place in present day, in a small town with a small coven of real witches living near regular humans. What a wonderful, magical world with talking animals and really cool magic. I love seeing the beginning magic school children witches are learning. The way the witches lives and skills are described is magical in itself. The author did a good job immersing the reader in the world of spells and powers.
>Jancie is a 20 something, reeling from the death of her mother and stuck in her hometown in a dead end job. Rowe is a 20 something witch reeling from the death of his wife and unborn child. A spell brings them together and truths are revealed. Rowe and Jancie fall for each other, but the romance is pure and sweet. The truly scary part of this story is the evil, in the form of the high priestess, Adara. She is unhinged, unpredictable and wants Rowe.
>The secondary characters, like the ancient witch Vika, are so well described. Their interactions are both poignant and funny. With 2 covens and a town of humans, there are a lot of secondary characters. A truly good novel creates interesting characters, no matter how important. Even the animal “familiars” were quirky and funny. Fans of fantasy, suspense and romance, will love this book.
>This novel is appropriate for a young adult (14+) to adult audience.
>I am giving this novel 5 fangs.
>Goodreads – Witch’s Moonstone Locket – https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1262793633?book_show_action=false
>Amazon – Witch’s Moonstone Locket – http://www.amazon.com/review/R1E4DE0XJZJFXV
About the Author:
Marsha A. Moore loves to write fantasy and paranormal romance. Much of her life feeds the creative flow she uses to weave highly imaginative tales.
The magic of art and nature often spark life into her writing, as well as watercolor painting and drawing. She’s been a yoga enthusiast for over a decade and is a registered yoga teacher. After a move from Toledo to Tampa in 2008, she’s happily transformed into a Floridian, in love with the outdoors. Marsha is crazy about cycling. She lives with her husband on a large saltwater lagoon, where taking her kayak out for an hour or more is a real treat. She never has enough days spent at the beach, usually scribbling away at stories with toes wiggling in the sand.
Every day at the beach is magical!
Google +: http://google.com/+MarshaAMoore
Amazon author page: amazon.com/author/marshaamoore
Goodreads author page http://www.goodreads.com/marshaamoore
5 copies of Witch’s Moonstone Locket: A Coon Hollow Coven Tale
1 $20 Amazon gift card
Eternal Flame Book Trailer by Valerie Twombly
Posted by Beauty's Punishment
A woman he cannot have, a man who is only a dream…
When guardian Marcus Dagotto, discovers the gods have gifted him with a mate, he is pissed. He has no room for love and even less for a human who has no idea he exists.
Cassandra Jensen, has a shattered heart and has given up on men. Only one man can set her body on fire, but he is a fantasy that haunts her sleep.
Two worlds, one desire. When the two collide, fate will rip them apart and test their resolve. Will darkness and evil prevail? Or, will love conquer all?