Today’s Guest: KJ Hawkins

KJ Hawkins joins us today to tell us about herself and her writing. Her first published work is out in an anthology. Please enjoy getting to know KJ and enjoy the excerpt she was kind enough to share with us.


Bio: KJ Hawkins is a young fantasy author making her way into print. She has had a strong love for fantasy since she was nine years old.

As an adult the magic stayed with her inspiring her to write stories of adventure and magic. Hawkins, at her best, brings personality to every word she writes, exciting her readers with every page.

Fun Fact:  KJ Hawkins is actually a pen name taken from the initials of her real first and last name. Hawkins came from her favorite childhood film, Treasure Planet, the lead character is James Hawkins!


The Magical Muse: A Collection of Fantasy Stories

The Magical Muse 72

Story Blurb:

Trisha finds herself in the clutches of a monster like know other. She has to fight her way to freedom only to find herself looking at death’s door. Will she survive the fight or will a secret hidden from her past be her saving grace?

Book Synopsis:

Stories of fantasy ranging from dark, to light and inspiring, bring life to this anthology.  The creatures featured throughout, both good and evil, display the devastating or wonderful personalities they were given by the authors who created them for your enjoyment.

Available at Amazon and Smashwords


Excerpt: Trisha’s Escape

by

KJ Hawkins

 

The train’s wheels screeched as the brakes were thrown up and the storage car came closer to the camp. Trisha could barely stand in the rail car as the mass of bodies standing around her slammed into her. After such a long voyage, the smell in the car was intense from sweating bodies, urine, and other bodily fluids.

If someone had told her three days ago that this was going to happen to her, she wouldn’t have believed them. Just thinking about how those soldiers had broken down the living room door while Gram brushed her black hair was frightening enough. Then to find herself separated from the only family she knew, and thrown among these other women and children who were considered useless, was nerve-racking.

Trisha didn’t even want to turn her thoughts to what could possibly be happening to Gram right now. Her health wasn’t the best and she could barely make it around on her good days. She knew the only reason Gram still was alive was because Trisha needed her to survive in this world of war.

Her mind was racing with so much dread and worry Trisha hadn’t even noticed that the train had slid into a stop. She had pretty sharp hearing for a kid; at least that was what her Gram had always told her. Trisha could slowly hear the yells of men outside the sliding doors. Her heart started to race faster as the doors to the car began to screech open…

A large muscular man appeared in the center of the door frame. He stood with a frown on his face and his arms crossed over his chest. His golden hair was shining in the sunlight. What really frightened Trisha to the core were his eyes.

The eyes that bore into her soul weren’t human, at least from what she could see. They were smoldering red holes that made her feel like she was in the presence of death.

“Welcome…Jewish scum,” he spat. “This is Ravensbruck—the place to throw you worthless women and children. I am Sergeant Smith, and if you are lucky, you might make it out alive.”

Sergeant Smith locked eyes with Trisha as she began to tremble under his devilish gaze. He smiled, showing his razor-sharp teeth, and she knew in that moment that she was going to die there.



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Today’s Guest: Cheri Schmidt

Cheri Schmidt

Bio: Cheri is the bestselling author of Fateful. Think “The Vampire Diaries meets Jane Austen.” Fateful is followed by Fractured, Forever, and The Order of Curse-Bound Knights. And she has one other book in another series out entitled, Fair Maiden.

Her Fateful Series has been a bestseller ever since she published it, and well over a 150 thousand copies have been downloaded worldwide.

Cheri will say that her head is a very crowded place, and she wishes she could write faster. She will also tell you that if you do not like glittering fairies, hot vampires with British accents, knights in shining armor, the dashing Mr. Darcy, girly-girls who wear skirts, modern-day vigilantes, or large amounts of snogging, then perhaps her stories are not for you.

Currently she is working on The Trapping Club, a sequel to Fair Maiden, a contemporary/spy romance series, and a Steampunk series.


Two of Cheri’s Books

 

Fateful, book one in the Fateful Series, is available for Free download and Whispersynced. This means you can pick up Fateful for free for Kindle and then get the audiobook for only $1.99!!!

Short Blurb:

For Danielle Darcey, when the sun sets in London the magic begins, but just as that magic begins, Danielle’s fairytale romance ends…because the hero of her story is a vampire.

Praise for Fateful on audio:

First, I am usually wary about listening to the audible version of books especially because I love to leave the character’s personalities to my own imagination. Schmidt (author) and Tristan (narrator) definitely changed my opinion for this book as I both read and listened to the story. I can’t express enough my unexpected surprise at how well the audio version portrayed the story SO closely to what I envisioned. ~The Book Stalker Reviewed

Tristan Hunt is, in my opinion, THE Jim Dale of Romance. ~Cassandra

The writing was thrilling and engaging all the way through! The narrator did an outstanding job with presenting emotions and mood of each character. Oh la la for sure! ~A. C.

It’s so romantic, and the narrator does a great job! Tristan brings emotion to the story. I love reading the book, but having a real person narrate the story really brings it to life. It makes it a lot more exciting. ~Heather

The narrator was great! I love when he switched to his “American Girly” voice! Great plot, Great characters, Great Narrator. What else can I say but GREAT! ~KSWilde

Which character – as performed by Tristan Hunt – was your favourite? Danielle’s uncle Nick, there was a part where he was telling a story and Tristan spoke in such a perfect tone that even I felt shivers. If you could sum up Fateful in three words, what would they be? Emotional, beautiful and soulful. If you prefer audio books then get the first book right now, narrated perfectly by Tristan Hunt. Definitely a 5 star rating from me. ~Beks in the UK

What does Tristan Hunt bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book? I loved the way Tristan brought Max’s character to life in exactly the way I imagined it. Tristan told the story in a wonderful hybrid of watching a movie and listening to a friend that was easy and comfortable with the perfect amount of expression and performance… So beautifully written and performed that I shed a tear or two. ~Leanne in the UK


04-Order of Curse-Bound Knights-Cheri-reduced

Most current book release:

The Order of Curse-Bound Knights (book 4 in the Fateful Series)

 

Available at Amazon

 

Blurb:

A dying knight, the infamous Sir Maximilian…

A curse saves him. That curse makes him even more dangerous…and he likes it. To him, a new life as a vampire is an appealing thing.

The man who turned him into this great, fearsome warrior tasks him to watch over and protect his mortal daughter, Nadia. But the beautiful Nadia puts Max’s skills as a knight to the test, captures his heart, and bewitches him with eyes of emerald green. A power more potent than any magical curse.

Inspired by ballads of Robin Hood, Nadia is a bit too rebellious for her own good. And with a kind heart, she is much too trusting and forgiving for Max’s peace of mind, because those attributes get her into a great deal of peril. Deadly creatures surround her—some of them are there to protect her and some want to lure her into a trap—and she has no idea…

But can a knight in shining armor heal a lady’s heart when her love for the legend of Robin Hood is used against her?


Excerpt from The Order of Curse-Bound Knights by Cheri Schmidt

Chapter One

Poisoned, Twice

“Why can’t you just let me die in peace?” rasped Max, using up a large measure of his waning strength and resenting the men standing beside his bed for making him force out the words at all. Drawing a breath that wheezed into his failing lungs and rattled on its way back out, Max closed his eyes again.

The rancid flesh around his wound had stopped throbbing at least, and was now a dull tingle. But the poison had leeched into his bloodstream. He could feel the toxic infection work its way to his heart, slowing it. From the inside out it sapped the life from his body.

Max was more than ready and more than willing to die from such a battle wound. He just wished his death had been instant instead of drawn out like this. A wave of new pain lanced through his insides and the surge caused him to cough violently. The contraction of his abdomen forced his head up and away from his pillow. Cool air swept across his sweaty hair and scalp. A hand caught his head, cradling it. Max resented that too. He didn’t want to be bothered even with kindness right now.

“Sir Maximilian, will you please join our order of knights?” The strongly spoken query drew his attention from the pain-filled jumble of barely coherent thought.

Max forced open his eyes and aimed a scowl at the man intruding on his efforts to welcome death so he could finally be released from this torture. The action took a lot more energy than he’d anticipated. His vision blurred instead of focusing on the man who’d said his name was Beon. Another called Seth stood by his side. They looked like a pair of wavering blobs, one dressed in green, the other in blue. Max had met them, but only briefly a while back on his most recent visit to London. “Leave me be,” he managed in a raspy voice.

Fingers grasped the sleeves of his sweat-soaked shirt and gave him a shake. The laces at his neck loosened and cool air snapped at his feverish skin. “Listen to me, Max. You don’t have to die!”

Max wanted to growl, Have you lost your bloody mind? and emphasize his frustration with a creative string of vile curses. Instead he wrinkled his brow in anger again because that’s all he had the strength for. How could the fool possibly say he didn’t have to die? The idea was pure lunacy. He knew how he was feeling. He was dying, and there was no doubt about it, no escaping it, and no cure for the poison creeping through him.

“Hmm. Is he scowling at us?”

Seth nodded. “Indeed, I believe he is.”

“I’ll admit I’m impressed he can do it so fiercely on his deathbed. He is going to make a wonderful knight for the Order,” Beon said, pride and admiration in his tone.


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Today’s Guest: RJ Mirabal

A few months ago, RJ Mirabal stopped by for a visit. He’s back again with some new items and some special deals. Please make him feel welcome.


RJ face original hi resBio: RJ Mirabal loves the Middle Rio Grande Valley having lived there for most of his life. Los Lunas High School 2006 Teacher of the Year, author RJ Mirabal, went on to win the Excellence in Education Award for NEA-New Mexico in 2007, having taught English, speech, drama and computer literacy. Now happily retired, he purses writing and music while volunteering with a motorcycle club and teachers’ organizations. RJ enjoys exploring New Mexico’s wilderness areas on his four-wheeler and traveling with his wife, Cheryl. The Tower of Il Serrohe is his debut novel.

 
 
 
 
 


RJ Mirabal Promo_BookCover

 

 

 

 

The Tower of Il Serrohe and Extreme Dust Storms May Exist (Books 1 & 2 of the Rio Grande Parallax Series)

Author:     RJ Mirabal

 

  • Don Vargas, a man who has lost his way.
  • A rundown casita near the Middle Rio Grande Valley in New Mexico.
  • Nightwing, a bat offering an unlikely hero a formidable quest.
  • A Portal to another valley, the Valle Abajo, where lifestyles are primitive.
  • Clans in the Valle Abajo begging for help to overcome the Soreyes, a wily clan terrorizing the valley for generations.
  • A Tower erected by the Soreyes which seems to be a mysterious source of their power.

All this leads to a unique modern fantasy involving curanderas, an alcoholic looking for escape from the failures of his life, an enigmatic bat who manipulates events behind the scenes, adventures, a beautiful woman, and more surprises in this contemporary New Mexico-based tale.

 

Though the book ends, the story doesn’t. Book 2 of the Rio Grande Parallax: Extreme Dust Storms May Exist is now available. Many familiar characters from The Tower return along with new exciting personalities to spice up the adventure:

 

Extreme Dust Storms May Exist (release date coming up in mid-July 2015):

It is five years after the final events of The Tower of Il Serrohe and Esther, a sixteen-year-old honor student and athlete, suffers a mysterious accident and dreams of a valley much like her Rio Luna home, yet ominously different. Next, a bat repeatedly slams its body against her window during a powerful wind storm and she hears a whispering in the darkness.

 

It is the bat, Nightwing, who persuaded Don to take on his mission in The Tower. Nightwing begins to persuade Esther, Don’s younger cousin, to use her intelligence and resourcefulness to drive away the Soreyes from the Valle Abajo—the valley of her dreams. As she shares these disturbing details with her best friend, Markey, they both worry Esther is going insane.

 

However, new dangers threaten when word reaches the Valle about a murderous clan in the far away Mountains of Sky east of the Valle while in the west there lives another band of Soreyes. Meanwhile, a mysterious presence lurks in the background as the saga of the Rio Grande Parallax continues.


 

Both the epub and mobi version of The Tower of Il Serrohe, are available on Black Rose Writing’s web site for FREE as of now: Black Rose Writing


 

Chapter one from Extreme Dust Storms May Exist, Book II of The Rio Grande Parallax Series:

 

(Monday, May 7, Rio Grande Valley)

 

 

Esther scanned the western horizon of Luna Mesa trying to catch sight of her father’s missing cattle when a turbulent cloud of heat and fine dust washed over her from behind. Turning to look for the source, she was struck full body—as if by a huge fist—and collapsed to the ground, unconscious.

Not the best way to get ready for softball practice.

 

Esther hadn’t wanted to be on the mesa in the first place. Throwing on her practice uniform, she had grabbed her duffel bag and rushed out the door when her father, John, called out to her.

“Esther, where the hell are you going?” he asked, wiping his hands as he entered from a back room. “You have to take hay up to the cattle before you leave.”

“I’ll be late, Dad. Got a big practice for the district playoffs on Friday. Besides,” she said, “it’s Joshua’s turn. Coach will kill me if I’m not there in twenty minutes!”

“It’s not my fault you put off getting ready for practice until you barely have time to get there. Joshua had to stay after school, so—”

“Right. Little turd’s probably doing detention again for being late five times—”

“The cows can’t wait while you work out your schedules or personal problems,” he added, tossing the towel on the table.

“I’ve worked all afternoon on the front ten acres,” John continued, “and it’s time for me to pick up a load to take to Amarillo. You have to do it. Joshua can do the next four days in a row so you’ll have time to get ready for the big game.

“Satisfied?” he asked, flashing his bashful little boy grin despite his forty-five years.

Resisting an urge to smile back, Esther turned on her heel and dashed out the door, throwing her duffle on the bales of hay in the back of the old Ford pickup. Once it groaned to a start she floored it, leaving her father laughing in a fury of dirt and wounded teenage pride.

The old F-150 bounced and rattled its way up the rocky road to the mesa where they had a small herd of Angus cattle on a hundred acres of range land. Fortunately, it was only a mile and a half north of the high school baseball field. Esther could run across the field, jump the fence, and still be on time, provided she wasn’t delayed while unloading the hay.

But when she topped the mesa, her hope faded. The cattle should have been there waiting for their daily feeding, but the water trough sat forlorn on the empty plain. The little herd always passed the time filling up on cool water from the old earth-mover tire embedded in a pad of cement.

“Dammit,” she muttered, as if her parents were sitting beside her. She left the truck to walk around, searching the horizon for her favorite cows and their spring calves. They were nowhere to be seen.

It was odd the cattle weren’t there, but Esther began to think they might have good reason to avoid the place. She could feel a strange sensation in the air, as if static were building up before a lightning strike. But the deep blue sky was clear of all but a few puffy clouds to the south.

She had just started scanning the western horizon toward the busy Interstate traffic a half mile away when a ferocious dust devil crept up behind, striking her down.

It seemed like hours, but Esther began to come around in under ten minutes. She lay on her side, her upper body aching fiercely. Spitting dirt, she sat up and almost blacked out again.

What the hell was that? She wondered, only vaguely recalling what had happened.

Looking around for “Piss-Ant,” the young bull who feigned attacks whenever Esther or her mother looked him in the eye, she again saw she was alone on the mesa. So she couldn’t blame that little devil for a sneak attack.

Great, now I’ll have to take a shower before practice!

Esther could barely move her throbbing head, neck, and back as she dropped the beat-up tailgate and winced when its rusty hinges shrieked in protest. Grabbing the bale hook, Esther began pulling the bales off the bed onto the ground. She cut the baling wire and kicked the tightly packed hay loose so the cows could get big mouthfuls when they got around to coming for dinner.

The back of her head felt like it was splitting open as she dragged herself back into the truck, started it up, and swung around to head back down to the house.

Somehow, no matter how important, she didn’t feel like going to practice today.

 


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Today’s Guest: Jan Marie

author shot

Bio: Jan Marie is an establish online article writer. Mostly self trained with only attending one Rock Valley College writing course she first broke into the comic book writing scene where she worked with new independent companies as head script writer. She then moved into freelance writing having been published by various online publishers and also was featured in FATE magazine. She also hosts her own Review business blog site Authors and Angels where she host reviews and interviews of fellow indie authors. She now has written her first fantasy romance novella “Angelic Confessions.”


Angelic_Confessions_Cover_for_Kindle

In a world where the Father created all I was born…an angel. A new breed I was meant to overthrow the children of heaven. To prevent this I was taken, and raised as Father’s own. my memories wiped, the dark beast inside me caged. Memories never stay buried though…

Even  Angels Sin…

Aye is an angel born unto one of highest angels of the heavenly council. Having never had this happen before Father raises Aye as his own making her believe she was created just like the rest of her angelic brethren, well except for the voices that whispered to her to kill them all. Aye would never, but she can not deny the thought, the sight of their blood on her skin, her lips is thrillingly tempting. What is she really? Why does everyone look at her with either disgust or lustful interest?

Aye’s world changes at the behest of Father that she have a guardian. Surprised it is the soldier Pio that Aye had befriend as a child. Soon emotions are tempted that could awaken a beast that could destroy or save them all.

Available at: Amazon and Barnes & Noble


Excerpt from Angelic Confessions: Book I

I awoke to the feeling of being encased in luscious warmth so I nuzzled into it more.

“Are you nuzzling me?” I heard Pio’s voice underneath me. I opened my eyes wide finding myself lying against Pio in his lap. I jumped up sliding off his lap, stumbling to my feet. How long had he been holding me? “I was not.” I said defensively.

“Fine if you say so,” he said as he rose raising his hands in surrender. “You should get dressed then,” he said motioning me up and down. Again the familiar heat rose to my cheeks. Ugh! The man was incorrigible. I stomped away to dress in a simple medium length white dress with a red sash that tied in the back. Still fuming in my mind I tried to tie the sash behind me, when I felt Pio’s hands take over.

The man confused me. A total jerk one second, kind and gentle the next.

“Why do you have to be such a jerk?” I said exhaustedly.

“Well, I have been called worse, and by my own men too….”

I turned to face him wondering if he was insane. “Don’t you miss your former duties? Why are you watching over me? I-”

He took my face in his hands as my breath caught in my chest. “No, you are not. Your Father requested me, but I was honored he trusted me to do so.”

“Thank you,” I said slipping his warm hands from my face. I then smiled sweetly clasping my hands behind my back. “I am fine now.”

Pio dropped his head wearily, as he went and collapsed onto my bed. “You’re going to give me grey hairs now.”

“Angel’s don’t get grey hairs do they?” I said slinking myself back towards my door. Just as I turned to grab the handle a hand instantly slapped onto my wrist.

“Oh no you don’t,” he said as he slipped his arms around my waist swinging me around.

“Let me go,” I glowered tugging at his arms around my waist.

“But you were nuzzling me before,” he cooed.

“I thought you were a pillow.” I glowered.

“No you did not think I was a pillow,” he smiled against my cheek.

“Okay! I didn’t you win,” I said giving up when there was a sudden knock on my door. We both looked up surprised as he let me go. I walked over to the door oddly feeling naked without his arms around me. I quickly shook the thought out of my head opening the door to reveal Raphael.

“How are you feeling Princess?” Raphael beamed cheerfully. “I am better, thank you,” I curtsied.

“May I speak with your guardian for just a moment?” Raphael looked over at

Pio and I looked back to see Pio nod; he then walked out with Raphael as he closed the door behind them. I crouched down putting my ear to the door to listen.

“I’m fine, Raphael, thank you. I will do as our Lord requests. She is listening by the door by the way.” I gasped as the door swung open. Out I splattered onto the marble floor. “Very well then,” Raphael said. I looked up to see Raphael pat Pio on the shoulder with a weary look as then he walked away.

I stood up and bowed before Pio. “I am sorry for listening!”

“You are an impossible girl, aren’t you?” I winced as he put his finger under my chin lifting up my face to look at him.

“And you still like me right?” I smiled sweetly.

He chuckled. “Yes, I do, though I cannot let this misbehavior slide,” he scolded as I stood up straight a bit shocked.

“Pioooo,” I pouted.

He intertwined his hand with mine pulling me along to leave. “Father gave me permission to punish as needed.”

“Father did not!” I choked.

He looked back at me smiling quite mischievously. “Let’s go now, naughty girl.”


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Today’s Guest: C. B. Mac Gillavry

Today’s guest is just gearing up to put out her first work. She expects to have a short story available at Amazon starting on the 24th. While you wait for that, please get to know C. B., and get acquainted with her work.


Bio: C.B. Mac Gillavry studied English and Dutch literature, she has an affinity for Colonial Dutch literature. C.B., like so many authors, started writing as soon as she was able to write, although the actual reading started at a later stadium, with the discovery of Jane Austen. She enjoys many different genres and writers, preferably in the original language. The environment is a key topic in her writings and she ideally writes for young adults, in the hope of enchanting them, even if just for a short while.


The Eco fantasy series Domus Dianae for young adults is composed, so far, of novels and short stories revolving around a group of characters of various nature and backgrounds.

Supermoon.

The first short novel’s main character is a girl of seventeen, Victoria Springer, who finds herself endangered by three people. Their goal is to pollute the Lake Garda and kill the girl. She finds out that she has magical powers she was destined to have, thanks to the aid of people and fantastic creatures who live in and around a highly magical place. From very shy and reluctant, she grows to accept a more active role in the story. She also learns about dragons and fairies, gnomes and magic, and at the end of the novel she finds love.

Here be dragons! A Michaelmas tale.

The first short story picks up where the novel has left, with the main character struggling to accept her new relationship and finding out more about the boy she loves. She is taught about certain mechanics in the magical world and has to fight against poachers in order to save the life of a group of nymphs and the dragons from exposure.

The lights of Saint John. A Fairy’s Tale.

The second short story is a fairy tale, the main character is Agatha the fairy, who has to overcome her past issues with long lost lovers and grow towards another more suitable partner, a nature spirit she encounters on a quest. She has to help him find the golden cloth, in order to save nature from the greed of men. She fight against her last lover, which is also a metaphor for her fighting against all the wrong he has done to her.

Domus Dianae is the magical place on the shores of the Lake Garda, Italy, around which the series revolves. There is an ecological theme waving through every individual story, together with a quote from Shakespeare and a song setting the tone of the  individual tales. The fantasy element also brushes against both real historical events and Greek mythology, as the place chosen for the tales has historically been home to a Greek colony and further inhabited throughout history.

The series will include at least two more short stories and a longer novel (work in progress), mostly set in Indonesia.


“O, she doth teach the torches to burn bright.
It seems she hangs upon the cheek of night
Like a rich jewel in an Ethiop’s ear.”
–Romeo from “Romeo and Juliet” (1.5.43-45)

William Shakespeare

The Lights of Saint John – a Fairy’s Tale

By C.B. Mac Gillavry

Earring Twang

Once upon a time, there lived a small, golden fairy who went by the name of Agatha. She lived among many other magical creatures, on the shores of the great blue lake, in an enchanted valley that carried the name of Valtenesi, Valley of the Athenians.

The little fairy had long straight blond hair and was known for her sweet smile that reflected her kind nature. She was able to fly thanks to transparent golden wings that looked far to big for her. They were adorned with very delicate and almost watermarked patterns.

Agatha was the one who was in charge of breeding and training the fireflies that embellished the fields on hot summer nights. Whilst she was preparing for the summer to come, for the feast of Saint John, she stopped at the house of her friend. Susanna was the human who lived in the Domus Dianae, the most magical place on the western shore of the Lake Garda.

It was a bright and shiny morning when Agatha flew into the enchanted garden, the sun shone golden in the light blue sky…

‘Georgie! Come back here. You’ll burn down all the trees…’ Twang ran after the electric blue dragon, while Susanna rushed to and fro with pans of water to put out the little fires. All the while she kept repeating the word no, like a never ending mantra, under her breath.

‘What’s going on?’ Victoria asked.

‘Little George is being a bit naughty. He was supposed to lit a small fire, but the thing got out of hand…’ Susanna yelled over her shoulder.

Victoria and Joe looked at the scene holding hands. They both sighed at once. The girl looked up to her boyfriend and asked, ‘Do you think I should do something?’

He turned his head to her, then to the scene and back to her again. He nodded,‘I’m afraid so.’

Victoria sighed and placed her hands against an imaginary wall. She closed her eyes, muttered a few words and big splashes water fell out of the sky right above the little fires. One after the other, the flames dimmed and turned into thin gray smoke plumes that snaked up to the sky.

‘Well done!’ Joe cheered.

Susanna sagged to the ground and the chanting stopped at once as well.

‘Come here, you little devil!’ said Twang brightly, when she took advantage of the little dragon’s surprise. He only looked up at the sky where the water had suddenly come from.

‘I guess this’ll do for the moment.’ Victoria added dryly.

The little fairy whizzed into the garden and called merrily to the others, ‘Having a bit of a problem with the pup?’

Twang took the dragon by the collar and pulled him gently towards the house. ‘I suppose… He’s lovely when he wants to be. He is an adolescent right now, so I have to work hard to make him behave. Dragons should be treated with a gentle hand, otherwise they might turn aggressive.’

Agatha smiled broadly. Susanna got up and slowly regained her composure. She turned to the fairy and said, ‘Hello dear Agatha, what brings you here?’

‘Oh, I’m on my way to the grass fields. I still have to pick the spot.’

‘You seem cheerful.’ Noted the woman.

‘I am! For the first time in a very long time, I am… and I want to keep it this way. I can’t wait to show you how well the Lights are doing.’ She rose in the sky again, waved at the others, and shot away laughing, enveloped in her golden light.


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Today’s Guest: Charlotte Henley Babb

Some of you might remember Charlotte from a blog tour we did together a few months ago.  Well, she’s back and she’s got some new stuff to share with us. I hope you enjoy today’s visit.


charlotte-babb-author

Author Bio

Charlotte Henley Babb began writing as soon as she could hold a piece of chalk and scribble her name. Growing up in the red mud and sweet tea Carolinas, she was a voracious reader with widely diverse interests ranging from the classic folk and fairy tales to sci-fi writers like Terry Pratchett and Robert Heinlein. She brings to any project a number of experiences, including work as a web designer, high school teacher, college instructor, technical writer, gasket inspector, cloth store associate, girl Friday, and telephone psychic.

Her first novel, Maven Fairy Godmother: Through the Veil, won the 2014 Sharp Writ Book Award for Sci-fi/Fantasy and an honorable mention in the 2014 National Federation of Press Women Communications Contest for adult novels. Her second novel, a steampunk story of espionage and political intrigue set in an alternate 19th century U.S., is scheduled for release in late summer 2015.


20-Hours-to-Charles-Town200x300

 

Excerpt of 20 Hours to Charles Town to be released late summer 2015

Jonas stumbled toward the sky port, well into the afternoon shadow of the airship. He tripped on something, fell onto his face. He scrambled to his feet, leaning on the fence for support. He would have to get into the loading dock first, with no wagon for explanation. He found a discarded box, and with some effort, lifted it to his shoulder. He hunched over as if the box were weighing him down, and walked by the guards who protected the toffs leaving their carriages and loading into their elevator cages. Some people had even paid just to ride up to see the view of the Hudson, but Jonas just kept walking. He knew laborers were invisible.

Once inside, he found the freight elevator, little more than an open platform on a hydraulic pillar. He put the box down and sat on it, covering his face with his hand and getting his breath back. The upward motion of the elevator made his stomach quiver. Finally it stopped, on the roof, where the whole city and Jersey too lay before him. He stared at his feet and limped up the ramp to the loading dock.

The pain from the scrapes and bruises was drowned out by the vertigo of seeing the city in the distance from five stories in the air. He forced himself to look up into the dark bowel of the airship and to feel the solid ramp and the building beneath his feet. He had to explain to Madame what happened and ask her to take him out of the city to save his life. He had to walk higher to get there.

Another wave of dizziness hit him, but this time he wasn’t thinking about how far he was from the ground. He’d used his reserves running from the Red Hares gang, and he was exhausted.  He stumbled. A brown strong arm grabbed his shoulder, sending stabs of pain through his body.

“Man, what happened to you?” Plato, the loading dock boss, put his shoulder under Jonas’s arm and half-dragged him inside. “Get this man some water,” he called out. Plato set him on a crate. He grabbed a dirty bandanna from a pocket and started to dab at Jonas’s head. “Madame said you weren’t coming today.”

Jonas flinched away. “I got to talk to her right now. The Hares hit the shipment–got it all.” He leaned over to put his weight on his feet. “Help me up to her office before it gets any closer to lift off.” He forced himself to stand, again fighting dizziness and nausea.  With any luck, Madame would kill him now and save the Hares the trouble.

Plato’s dark face frowned with concern, his grizzled eyebrows drawn together like a strip of wool. “Better stay down here with us. She’s wound tight today–lots of toffs aboard, some bigwig meeting–lots of extra cargo.”

“All the more reason.” He steadied himself with a hand up to Plato’s shoulder. “Thanks.” He pulled himself up straight and headed for the stairs.

“Three flights up and to the left,” Plato said. “I’ll let her know you are coming.”


 

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Maven Fairy Godmother: Through The Veil.

A dead cellphone calls with a job offer and a promise of dragons.

Imagine if Terry Pratchett sat down with Kathy Bates to make up fractured fairy tales for Edward Everett Horton to read aloud: you’d get MAVEN FAIRY GODMOTHER: THROUGH THE VEIL.

Giving up what’s her self-esteem for coffee, her last chance to redeem her life comes as a job offer to be a fairy godmother. But Faery is shrinking, the other fairy godmothers have disappeared, and nothing she does turns out right. How can she put together the happily ever after each of her clients wants with her boss standing in her way?

MAVEN FAIRY GODMOTHER: THROUGH THE VEIL is fast, fun read that shows that none of us is ever old enough to know better as we try to wish for we think what will make us happy.

Maven Fairy Godmother: Through the Veil
$5.95 Kindle /$15.99 Paper

http://bit.ly/Maven2ed


Other stories:

 

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Maven’s Fractured Fairy Tales

$2.99 Kindle / $5.99 Paper

http://bit.ly/eMFFT

Fairy Godmother Maven Morrigan has her own way of making the happily ever after come true. These stories take on The Frog Prince, Rumpelstiltskin and Beauty and the Beast. Three fractured fairy tales to bring you a smile

 


 

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Also available as separate stories $0.99

Bubba and the Beast http://bit.ly/BubbaBeast

MavenStiltskin http://bit.ly/MavenStilt

Fairy Frogmother http://bit.ly/FrogMom


 

Other story collections, not in series

 

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Just a Smidgen of Magic: Enchantment at the Edge of Mundane
Five flash fiction stories of magical encounters.
http://bit.ly/Smidgen $2.99 kindle/ $5.49 paper

 

 

 

 


 

 

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Walking Off Heaven’s Shore

$2.99 Kindle/ $5.99 Paper

http://bit.ly/WalkShore

A ten-piece bucket of Southern fried flash fiction.

 

 


 

 

 

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Turning Point

A cup of coffee and a decision $0.99 Kindle short

 

 

 

 



 

Links

Personal blog: http://charlottehenleybabb.com

Book blog: http://mavenfairygodmother.com

Facebook author page: http://facebook.com/charlotte.henley.babb

Facebook Book Page: http://facebook.com/maven.fairy.godmother

Twitter: @charlottebabb

Linkedin: http://www.linkedin.com/in/charlottebabb/

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/charlottebabb

Tumblr  charlottebabb.tumblr.com

Goodreads: http://bit.ly/CHBabb-g

Amazon Author page: http://amzn.to/CHBabb

Today’s Guest: Debbie Manber Kupfer

Today marks the second edition of the Magic of Solstice Fantasy Writer’s Tour, and joining me is Debbie Manber Kupfer. Debbie is a big animal fan, especially cats, so she gets gold stars from me. Please enjoy Debbie’s visit here today.


BIO: Debbie Manber Kupfer grew up in London and lived in Israel, before somehow ended up in St. Louis, where she works as a puzzle constructor and writer. She lives with her husband, two children, and a very opinionated feline. She is the author of P.A.W.S and Argentum and has short stories in several anthologies including Fauxpocalypse, Shades of Fear, Darkly Never After, Sins of the Past, and Heroes & Villains. She believes that with enough tea and dark chocolate you can achieve anything!


Welcome to the world of P.A.W.S. by Debbie Manber Kupfer

 

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When Miri’s grandmother dies, she passes onto Miri a silver cat amulet. Little does she know but the charm carries the family secret, a secret that saved her grandmother from the Nazis and is about to make Miri’s life a lot more interesting.

 

After she is befriended by others with the same strange, magical powers, her history comes alive. And with it, Miri’s fate becomes more dangerous.

Excerpt:

 

Vienna, October 20th, 1941, today was Celia’s tenth birthday. This was not how she imagined celebrating it. She was with her family – her mama Miriam, her papa David, her elder brother Issel and her baby sister Liza. They were huddled together in the back room of their tiny two-room apartment in Grosse Spielgasse, in the dark, barely breathing.

Outside the building, the boot steps got nearer and nearer – Celia heard shouting, screaming, gunshots. She crouched down even closer to the ground, wishing that somehow they could all melt away into the shadows. Celia clutched her cat Max tightly in her arms, feeling his warmth, his soft tabby fur close to her skin, willing him to stay quiet.

Her mamma cradled little Liza at her breast, nursing her so she would not cry out. Outside the pounding footsteps get closer, closer: “Juden, Juden, Heraus, Heraus, Schnell, Schnell!!” Now they are at the door of the neighbors – the Wassersteins. She heard crying and a single gun-shot.

Miriam beckoned to her, “Celia, mein Katzerl , come here,” she whispered, “I have something for you, for your birthday.”

Celia approached Miriam cautiously, still clutching Max to her, “What is it Mama?” she said gazing into Miriam’s blue, blue eyes – studying her prematurely wrinkled face, memorizing every crease. Mama, my mama, she thought.

Still holding baby Liza with her left hand Miriam reached round the back of her neck with her right and unclasped the chain that she always wore beneath her clothes, close to her heart. It was a silver chain with a cat charm on it. “Take this Celia, mein Katzerl, wear it always, remember I love you. Ich liebe dich.”

“I love you, Mama,” she whispered as she fastened the chain around her neck, just as the doors burst open – six gestapo soldiers rushed into their home – “Juden, Heraus, Heraus . . .” Celia watched as her family was herded out of the door . . .

Also Available at Debbie’s Site


The story continues in Argentum (P.A.W.S. Book 2)

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In book 2 we go beyond the boundaries of St. Louis P.A.W.S. and visit the P.A.W.S. in New York, as well exploring the beginnings of P.A.W.S. in Europe.

Excerpt:

Out of the darkness came a face more terrible than any Miri had ever seen before: huge fangs dripping with blood, eyes once blue, now glowing yellow and red, reflecting the blood that flowed all around them. Miri tried to scream, but nothing came from her lips. Echoing through her head was terrible laughter.

“You thought you were done with me, Miri, but I am immortal. I can never die. And now I am inside you! Thank you, Miri. Once, long ago, I gave you life and now you are returning the favor. How thoughtful of you! Oh, what fun we are going to have together. You have brought me into P.A.W.S.—exactly where I want to be.”

 

Debbie is currently working on book 3 in the series that tentatively is titled Maze of Shadows. Once more Miri is on the move and this time she is visiting Israel, to discover the secrets of her shapeshifter book that she has been told is linked to her silver cat charm.

Also Available at Debbie’s Site

 

 



LINKS

Website/Blog

Facebook

Twitter

Amazon