Interview by Stephanie Moore Hopkins
Originally Published via Layered Pages on October 2, 2015
I’d like to welcome Deb Hunter to Layered Pages today to talk with me about her writing. She writes fiction as Hunter S. Jones. She is a member of the prestigious Society of Authors founded by Lord Tennyson, Rivendell Writers Colony, Historical Writers’ Association, Historical Novel Society and the Atlanta Writer’s Club. Her Tudor History blog, Fear and Loathing in Tudor England, is a reader’s favorite. Originally from a Chattanooga, Tennessee, she currently lives in Atlanta, Georgia with her Scottish-born husband. Her best seller, PHOENIX RISING, a fictional story of the last hour of Anne Boleyn is available on Amazon.com and at a bookstore near you.
SECRETS from a DANGEROUS TIME is a multi-dimensional series set in post-Civil War Reconstruction in Chattanooga, Tennessee and the north Georgia. This series is an Amazon Exclusive available via MadeGlobal Publishing.
Why do you write?
Is there really an answer for this? I’m not certain if writing is a compulsion or an art form. It feels as if it’s a bit of both, doesn’t it? Writing is something I have always done. As a child, I made up stories and plays for my cousins and friends to ‘play’. Some people dance, some paint, some are musicians, and some of us write. Writing has always been a major part of my life. Great question. Thank you for asking.
How has writing impacted your life?
You mean besides having no interaction with family or friends so you can research? Or, the part about chatting with strangers about imaginary people who you have created? Otherwise, I can’t say it’s impacted my life at all.
Actually, writing has had a wonderful impact on my life. Due to writing, I received a scholarship that assisted in paying for part of my undergrad degree, many moons ago. Along the way, I’ve worked with some incredible people and institutions. Writing and research have led me to meet some of my best friends and helped in building friendships with quite a few people I admire greatly. Writing has shown me a path that I want to follow for the rest of my life. My own ‘Yellow Brick Road’, so to speak. I cannot wait to get to Oz because the journey has been a revelation.
Let’s use my new series SECRETS from a DANGEROUS TIME and my novella PHOENIX RISING as an example. PHOENIX RISING is a story of Anne Boleyn. It introduced me to Claire Ridgway, Alison Weir, Susan Bordo, Elizabeth Fremantle and Nancy Bilyeau. I admire and respect these authors immensely. Working with them on my FEAR AND LOATHING IN TUDOR ENGLAND has been a dream come true.
After PHOENIX RISING and the success the book has brought, it would be expected that I follow with another Tudor era story, right? Well, it didn’t work that way for me. I was inundated with Tudor information and decided to write about something I knew little about, the post-Civil War era, known as Reconstruction. We all know the U.S. Civil War is documented and the stuff of legends. But, what secrets lie hidden in the Reconstruction Era?
In writing SECRETS from a DANGEROUS TIME, I took two family stories to build the series on; first my family was involved with the Cherokee Nation in the 1800s. Part of the family went to Oklahoma, and part remained in Southeast Tennessee. The other fable is that we sold medicine in Chattanooga during the Reconstruction. So, I dive in head first and begin research, only to find out that little is documented for the era due to the volatile political and racial divide in the U.S. from 1867–1877. Not to be deterred, I have worked with the Chickamauga National Military Park, Chattanooga History Center, and the Atlanta History Center to better understand what everyday people experienced during this controversial period in U.S. History.
What I have discovered is that Chattanooga was a hospital center for the Confederacy at the first part of the Civil War. Due to the railroad system, wounded soldiers were shipped via railroad to Chattanooga to heal. As the tides of war turned, Chattanooga became a hospital center for the Union Army, again due to the railroads into the town.
As my research continued, I discovered that patented medicine at that time was a unique quantity. If you sold medicine after the war, you didn’t simply stand on a street corner and peddle your wares, nor did you mainly sell your medicine in a shop or pharmacy. Medicine companies or pharmacies would pay for medicine shows to tour parts of the Southeast to sell the medicine. These traveling medicine shows were the only entertainment everyday people in the rural South had at that time. When the musicians and entertainers came to a little town, it became a big event. These Southern medicine shows and there were shows in the Northern states as well, evolved into what we now call the Wild West shows of the late 1800s. In the early 20th century, the traveling shows underwent another metamorphosis and became known as Vaudeville.
There’s much more, but you will have to read my series. Although, SECRETS from a DANGEROUS TIME, isn’t simply a history book. I’ve blended the drama of the era with the mystique of the South, tossed in romance and enough suspense to give the stories a contemporary feel. Who doesn’t love a steamy Victorian romance with enough history to make the story intriguing?
One more thing for you. When I decided to write a Victorian story, I looked into what was popular with Victorian readers. Serialized fiction was all the rage. Think Charles Dickens and The Pickwick Papers, Alexandre Dumas, and The Three Musketeers. In America, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Henry James, and Herman Melville wrote serialized stories.
Following their formats, I decided to write SECRETS form a DANGEROUS TIME and its stories in a series. I have even included photographs and maps that have never been published before, just as was done in Victorian series. All in all, this has been a labor of love and a dream project for someone who is both a literature and history proponent. I invite your readers to take this journey with me.
What advice would you give to beginner writers?
Follow your heart but don’t quite your day job!
Thank you so much for featuring me today!
Secrets from a Dangerous Time is a 2015 featured release by U.K.’s Historia Magazine!
PURCHASE SECRETS from a DANGEROUS TIME here: getBook.at/Secrets1
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Tags: Hunter S. Jones, Phoenix Rising, Post Civil War, Secrets from a Dangerous Time, Fiction, Books, Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, Cherokee, Medicine
WHISKEY vs BRANDY
His Flag is Out.
Hunter S. Jones
When the English Historical Fiction Authors announced a blog hop to commemorate four years as a writing group, I was excited about the possibility of jumping onboard. The second anthology in a series, named CUSTOMS, CASTLES AND KINGS, written by members of the group and spearheaded by our fearless leader, Debra Brown, is being released on September 30. Ms. Brown suggested that we blog about customs.
Customs is a fantastic concept, but how would I go about this. My first foray into historical fiction became the best-selling PHOENIX RISING, a fictional look at the last hour of Anne Boleyn. I’m not quite ready to venture into Tudor history and its social mores as of yet. So you’ll know, there will be plenty more of Tudor History from me in 2016.
SECRETS from a DANGEROUS TIME, my latest project is a Victorian time travel series based in the U.S. following the Civil War, primarily in north Georgia and the Chattanooga Tennessee area. I do know something of practices in the region, since my father’s family has been here since the late 1700s. So, what about dogs? Dogs are something we all have. Tennessee’s Walker Foxhounds and beagles are as loved now as they were two hundred years ago. But, no…no. Hunting is too controversial. Sipping a brandy after work, my mind begins to roam. What is a unique practice in the American Southeast? What has been ingrained in our memory as “our” custom, yet has ties to the United Kingdom? What is the one thing which we believe belongs to us, but is actually part of our “Colonial hangover,” metaphorically speaking, of course.
Taking another sip of brandy, my British husband walks into the room and says, “I shall join you with a whiskey. Let’s toast our anniversary.” With those words, this blog was born. Whiskey vs Brandy.
What could be a more American custom than a toast on a special occasion? According to Drinking in Colonial America, “Colonial Americans believed alcohol could cure the sick, strengthen the weak, enliven the aged, and generally make the world a better place. They tippled, toasted, sipped, slurped, quaffed, and guzzled from dawn to dark.”
There is a theory that the Mayflower had more barrels of whiskey on it than it did passengers. Another theory notes that the Pilgrims were basically dropped off at Massachusetts Bay instead of being taken to the Virginia Colony simply because the crew determined there wasn’t enough beer and whiskey to get themselves back to England. Keep in mind that colonies were a business at that time.
The early settlers in the thirteen colonies kept the British concept that water was unsanitary. They began each day with “a pick-me-up and ended it with a put-me-down.” Between daylight and dusk, they imbibed a mid-morning whistle wetter, a luncheon libation, an afternoon accompaniment, and a supper snort. They ended the days with several rounds at the equivalent of a British public house, called a tavern in the early colonies. These establishments were used by judges as courtrooms. Taverns were the center of the communities, hosting social events such as christenings, weddings, funerals, trials, and election-day gatherings. The seeds of the American Revolution were sown in these locations due to the sharing of open ideas throughout the colonies.
Early Americans did not care what anybody thought about their love of alcohol. As a Georgian wrote: “If I take a settler after my coffee, a cooler at nine, a bracer at ten, a whetter at eleven and two or three stiffners during the forenoon, who has any right to complain?” Craftsmen drank at work, as did hired hands in the fields, sailors at sea, and soldiers in camp. College students enjoyed malted beverages…Harvard had its own brewery. When the school did not supply sufficient beer in 1639, President Nathaniel Eaton lost his job.
Like students and workers, the Founding Fathers enjoyed a drink or two. John Adams began his days with a draft of hard cider. Thomas Jefferson imported fine wines from France. John Hancock was accused of smuggling wine. Patrick Henry worked as a bartender and as Virginia’s wartime governor, served home brew to guests.
The age of the cocktail lay far in the future. Colonists enjoyed alcoholic beverages with such names as Rattle-Skull, Stonewall, Syllabub, Sling, Toddy, and Flip. They had a colorful collection of words to describe drunkenness. Benjamin Franklin collected more than 200 terms, including afflicted, biggy, boozy, busky, buzzey, cherubimical, cracked, “halfway to Concord” and my favorite, “His flag is out.”
Not everyone believed that alcohol consumption was a good idea. The Virginia Company of London wrote to Governor Francis Wyatt at Jamestown in 1622 complaining that the effects of drinking had a negative impact on the colony’s production and output of goods. James Oglethorpe, founder of Georgia, fearing rum would ruin his business venture, tried to ban it’s consumption in his colony. Puritan leaders attacked drunkenness, although they also saw alcohol as a necessary part of life. Benjamin Franklin enjoyed a convivial drink but called for moderation, writing “nothing is more like a fool than a drunken man.”
By 1790, United States government figures showed that annual per-capita alcohol consumption for citizens over fifteen years of age amounted to thirty-four gallons of beer and cider, five gallons of distilled spirits, and one gallon of wine. Keep in mind, these amounts were what could be recorded as purchased. What people made and drank at their own homes and farms was not recorded.
Early Americans thought alcohol was healthful. We were an English Colony and as such shared their customs. Remember, their work was much more labor intensive than work in today’s world. Alcohol soothed tired muscles and was seen to not only prevent health problems, but it to cure. They took whiskey for colic and laryngitis. Hot brandy punch addressed cholera. Rum-soaked cherries helped with a cold. Pregnant women and women in labor received a shot to ease their discomfort.
Where do the differences between whiskey and brandy enter our country’s settlement? Let’s look at the definitions of the two. Whiskey (whisky) is a type of distilled alcoholic beverage made from any form of fermented grain mash. Depending on the geographical region or type of whiskey that is being made, whiskey can be made from barley, malted barley, rye, malted rye, wheat, and corn. Whiskey became the drink of the Scots Irish, the hardy settlers of the Appalachians who forged into the western areas of Pennsylvania, Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia and Alabama following the American Revolution. Whiskey has never gone out of style and is a global phenomenon.
Brandy (short for brandywine) is a spirit distilled from wine, grapes and other fruit juices. The word ‘brandywine’ is derived from the Dutch word ‘brandewijn’ meaning “burnt wine.” Early colonial wine was made from apples or peaches, especially in what became the Southern coastal states. Even during Prohibition, farmers in the South couldn’t understand why “our medicine” was being forbidden because brandy was considered necessary for medicinal purposes.
We see how alcohol had its place in everyday life as the United States was settled. In my series, SECRETS from a DANGEROUS TIME, Dr. Garrett Cleighton is of Colonial English heritage, thus apple brandy takes its place in the story as part of his ‘medicine.’ Whiskey will appear in the series, mirroring the usage of alcohol by Americans as times and customs changed.
SECRETS from a DANGEROUS TIME
Chaos reigns in a lawless time filled with revenge and betrayals. Following the American Civil War, the Southern States are reeling under the revenge taken on them by the victors.
Casey King must change her name, fake a marriage and forget modern comforts to survive within the world she now finds herself — 1873 post-Civil War Reconstruction Era Chattanooga, Tennessee…a world full of violence and mystery.
The charismatic Dr. Garrett Cleighton, a mixed heritage Cherokee, decides to give her a part in his traveling medicine show. Casey takes a chance in order to hide her secrets. Dr. Cleighton could betray her or he might keep his promises.
Author Hunter S. Jones mixes romance with Civil War drama and brings contemporary suspense to life in the setting of the Reconstruction South.
The journey begins in “Secrets from a Dangerous Time, Story 1”.
Get this Amazon Exclusive story today at getBook.at/Secrets1
Today is the release of Castles, Customs, and Kings: True Tales by English Historical Fiction Authors Volume 2. Edited by Debra Brown and Sue Millard
An anthology of essays from the second year of the English Historical Fiction Authors blog, this book transports the reader across the centuries from prehistoric to twentieth century Britain. Nearly fifty different authors share the stories, incidents, and insights discovered while doing research for their own historical novels.
From medieval law and literature to Tudor queens and courtiers, from Stuart royals and rebels to Regency soldiers and social calls, experience the panorama of Britain’s yesteryear. Explore the history behind the fiction, and discover the true tales surrounding Britain’s castles, customs, and kings.
This is a blog hop! Join the other History Hoppers at the following…Powered by Linky Tools Click here to view the Linky List…
This is a Blog Hop!
www.History.org. Colonial Williamsburg. That The Future May Learn From The Past.
Beverages And Their Adulteration Origin, Composition, Manufacture, Natural, Artificial, Fermented, Distilled, Alkaloidal And Fruit Juices, Distillation in America, by Harvey W. Wiley.
History of Spirits in America, The Book of Bourbon offers a wealth of information on the settlement of the United States. Although none of the articles are directly quoted in this blog the stories from the site offer information into the many alcoholic beverages and their metamorphoses throughout the United States growth and settlement.
All photographs or illustrations are public domain or courtesy of the authors.
Originally published Saturday, March 8, 2014
A few months ago, my writing collaborator noticed something interesting about the author Hilary Mantel. He sent an email, basically saying… She (Ms. Mantel) connects with her characters much the same way you do.
Apparently, Ms. Mantel understands the characters she writes about via an almost supernatural connection. Imagine my surprise when the following showed up in the Wall Street Journal’s Speakeasy last week. For the new WSJ Book Club, Hilary Mantel chose to answer my question.
My brush with literary greatness, and I could not be any more delighted!
Could you share more insight as to how you find the ‘voice’ of each character?
Also, your interest in the supernatural is intriguing & I want to know more. — Hunter Jones
ANSWERS FROM MS. MANTEL:
To find the voice, I listen! Tudor officials often dictated their letters; it gives us some insight into how they spoke and thought, though most of the preserved letters are on public and not private topics. Mostly you have to work out, from actions, the habits of thought that precede them. Then from the thoughts to the actual words, the quirks of expression, the distinctive tone of each character…. I think what you do is open a space for your guest. You learn to wait. They show up when they’re ready: That is to say, when you know enough, when you’ve learned all you can, when you are mentally prepared. The effort is in the preparation. You cook the feast and lay the table. You hope they’ll stay talking till the small hours.
I think you can’t understand the past unless you can enter, imaginatively, into a mindset which is alien to that of most present-day secular rationalists. The world, to me, appears a very complicated place. I believe that what we can see is only a part of what there is to be seen: that our senses benefit from a bit of stretching: that minds should be exercised, and that reductionism is no fun at all. I try not to judge the people I write about; I just try to be at their disposal, for the while. So if they are Roman Catholics, incense wafts about me. If they are Calvinists, I hope to be one of the Elect. If they believe in ghosts, I am haunted. You must be flexible in this way, it seems to me. If you are fixated on your own experience and judgment, you are not going to be happy as a novelist. The whole point is to become “other,” on a temporary basis, of course. And if you are too absorbed in listening to yourself, your characters will not speak.
It’s like acting. Except that the play may go on for a decade.
Thank you Hilary Mantel for taking the time to explain your writing process. And thank you WSJ for making it easy for readers to connect with our favorite authors. This is better than taking a picture because it is immortalized in print. Here’s the entire article. Please take a look.
Elodie Parkes joins me today, as we celebrate the release of Rescuing Cade, from Evernight Publishing.
Hi, Elodie, welcome! I have five questions for you today. This is different from the usual author interviews you do.
Hi, it’s great to be here. (Smiles)
- Tell us a secret about your books, anything that springs to mind as long as you’ve never revealed the answers to anyone before.
Yikes, that will blow the secret, then, huh. (Grins) Okay here we go. This is scary. It’s not about my new release, Rescuing Cade, from Evernight, but about, Candle Magic, my Dec 23 release with Siren. In my stories there’s always the tiniest part of truth from either my life or from some real life situation and I never tell anyone.
In Candle Magic, my heroine, Simi, tells Jason, my hero, about her family. That part is a truth and it’s about me. Jason is part spirit, part angel made human through the magical connections Simi has triggered by finding a candlestick and buying old candles from an antique shop.
Here’s the snippet.
Reluctantly he pulled away from her lips. “I’m sorry I don’t have a Christmas gift for you. I’d like to have brought you something.”
Surprise showed in her eyes as he gazed at her.
“I have nothing for you either, but we have each other today, and if I hadn’t met you last night, I would be alone today, and from what you’ve said about family, so would you.”
Jason rocked her in his arms, incredibly pleased at what she’d said. “We do have each other. What happened to your family, your parents? Is that prying?” he added, aware it might be something horrible that Simi wouldn’t want to reveal.
“They moved out of the country. They disowned me. I don’t know why really. They just stopped replying to my emails and calls.”
Startled by this sad revelation, Jason hugged her. “I’m so sorry. Do you think something might have happened to them?” He made a mental note to check on that if he returned to the ether.
Simi leaned back in his arms. “Nothing has. I check on them.” She grinned then continued. “They have a surf and ski shop. It has webcams up that show the interior and exterior of the shop to the world. I check it out when I’m online. I see them in there.”
Astounded, Jason stared at her. There were no words to express his surprise, empathy, or sorrow at this bizarre situation.
She must have become embarrassed because she bowed her head silently.
Jason crushed her to his chest, his hand in her hair and his arm around her waist. “Hell, Simi, that must hurt you. I don’t know what to say.” He rocked her again, stroking along her back in an attempt to convey comfort and care. He remembered the Kris Kringle gift, and seeking to lighten the mood, he reminded Simi. “You have that gift from your office party. Open it. It will be fun to see what someone got for you.”
Copyright Elodie Parkes, Siren Publishing.
Thank you for sharing that secret. I’m tempted to ask what the secret fact is in Recuing Cade, but … on to the next question.
- What do you like most about sex?
Oh no. (Laughs) That’s worse than giving up a secret. I’ll answer. I have no ‘like most’ I like it all. Let’s face it sex is yummy.
- I see you post a number of gorgeous guys pics on your Facebook page and blog. What part of a man’s body turns you on most?
I like that V shape on a man’s hips, especially when there’s a fine line of hair running down to his … I like shoulders and eyes and stubble and hard asses, then there’s thighs and lips. (Sighs)
- What’s your favorite cocktail?
Is that a trick question? I actually don’t drink alcohol. I have allergies and I discovered that alcoholic makes them all worse.
- Are you wearing a matching bra and panties right now?
I am. (She laughs) I most often do. I love pretty underwear, lacey stuff, stockings and garter belts. I’m mostly seen in jeans, boots, and leather jackets, but under them is black silk and lace. I read a jokey thing on Facebook that said only in erotic romance is the girl wearing matching bra and panties. I don’t think that’s true.
Cade’s trying to get over a broken heart when his friend Jack takes him off to a nightclub, named only, The Club. Although at first Cade is shocked by the place he meets Marissa. It’s not long before he and Marissa get together, but under the pressure of expectations from, The Club, and Marissa’s fear of commitment, they’re both running in opposite directions.
Gorgeous Cade has touched Marissa’s heart in ways she doesn’t want to admit.
Lovely Marissa has lifted Cade’s sadness and opened his heart to love again. The trouble is — someone has to give a little. Who’s it going to be?
An erotic romance with a sprinkle of vanilla BDSM
I have a hot excerpt for you today.
Marissa found her gaze straying back to Cade.
He stood awkwardly by the table where Jack finger-fucked his current Sub. She laid back with her legs wide apart, her dress up around her waist, and her wrists tied over her head with a blue satin scarf. If she’d worn panties to visit The Club, there was no sign of them now.
Marissa watched the Sub squirm, whimpering for release.
Jack shook his head. “Not yet, sweetheart, I’m enjoying your lovely pussy. Your cream’s running down my palm. I’m going to lick it up and then I’ll think about letting you come. Are you enjoying showing my guest what a good girl you are?”
The Sub murmured, her breath hitching as Jack bent and thrust his tongue into her pussy.
“Yes, sir, it’s exactly how I hoped it would be.”
Marissa’s pussy drenched her panties. She licked her lips.
Cade lurched around and took a step toward her table.
He looked unseeing right into Marissa’s eyes, the expression on his face a glaze of pure confusion, and then he passed by heading to the bar in the corner.
Marissa watched him take a sip of the iced water he’d ordered, then she too got up and walked away from that part of The Club where sex soaked the air with erotic perfume, and the sounds of orgasm played havoc with her own desires.
Copyright Elodie Parkes, Evernight Publishing 2015
Buy the new release:
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Thank you for hosting me with February 12, Evernight Publishing release, Rescuing Cade.
Elodie Parkes is a British author writing romance, erotic, contemporary, and often with a twist of mystery, paranormal, fantasy, or suspense. Her books are always steamy. Her tag is, Cool stories: Hot love scenes.
Elodie lives in Canterbury with her two dogs. She works in an antique shop by day and writes at night, loving the cloak of silent darkness that descends on the rural countryside around her home.
She has also released titles as an individual indie author.
Violetta is an executioner… of vampires. Famed for her fiery beauty and mesmerising personality, she has never failed an assignment.
Monsieur Martinet is no ordinary vampire, though. He is a master at his craft and can control humans with the merest flick of his eyelids. The vampire huntress with the porcelain skin and flaming red hair has killed all of his brethren, without exception. He now seeks the ultimate revenge: her submission in HIS bed.
If he’s allowed to stay alive long enough, that is.
“Are you ready to die, Monsieur Martinet?”
Her voice was clear and deceptively calm, although he wasn’t fooled for a moment.
“What a pleasure it is to meet you at last, Violetta.” He made sure the resonant tones of his voice penetrated her eardrums, and he felt her body clench. It was a beautiful, instinctively sexual response, and she was unprepared for it. The predator inside him preened its feathers. “As ready as I’ll ever be,” he finally replied to her question, nodding his head politely. “Feel free to do your worst, Madame.”
Turning around to feast his hypnotic blue eyes upon her, he widened them to their full potential. These were eyes that could see through a person’s soul in an instant and rifle through suitcases of hidden secrets with casual indiscretion, inhaling them all into his head to be used to his advantage at a later date.
Her eyes widened in fear, as he’d intended them to.
“You have the gift,” she gasped in a tight voice, already backing away from him in panic.
“Ah oui, mon petite,” he said with a menacing drawl. “Did none of the others tell you?” He let himself enjoy the faint tremor that shook her body and rattled her composure. Then, he pushed his will upon her, rooting her legs to the spot as if she had been encased in concrete. Moving slowly towards his now immobile prey, he glared at her with his bright blue irises. “I suspect that’s because you killed them before they had a chance to talk about dear old Daddy.” The look he gave her was faintly mocking.
She narrowed her eyes in response and tried to fight his control. The force of her will struggling to regain the use of her legs was quite impressive but ultimately futile. That didn’t mean that he couldn’t see why most of his coven had fallen under the almost indomitable power that she wielded. This one was strong. He knew her agile body would be lightning fast and that she would know all the tricks of the ‘death’ trade, but it didn’t change anything. The fact remained that she was no match for his particular talents.
“You have killed all of my children, cherie. For that alone you should die. I find these days, though, that death falls short of my expectations in the revenge stakes. It is, in my humble opinion, over far too quickly. So I’ll make you an offer you can’t refuse. Two minutes. You have two minutes in which to kill me in any way that you choose, without interference on my part. If you fail, however, the consequences will be high. I hasten to add that they might even be catastrophic for a woman of your nature, so think long and hard before accepting my challenge.”
He watched her eyes narrow as she waited for his verdict. Her little brain was whirring over countless possibilities of all the cruelties which he might care to inflict upon her and not a one was correct, although some of her ideas certainly had merit. He wasted no time in setting her thoughts straight.
“If you fail, I fancy you’ll be the first of my new breed of children. Depending on how exacting my desire for revenge is, I might even take you for a bride; an eternal one, Violetta.” Her horrified shudder amused him. Delving inside her head once more, letting his talents have free reign, he listened attentively to her thoughts. The first thing he discovered was her terror at having her body overpowered by nothing more than his gaze. She had never witnessed that kind of control before, and her thoughts were already running rampant with the significance of what killing him would mean for mankind. Now that he had demonstrated his skill, he had just painted a great big red cross on his forehead. No matter. Death was the least of his concerns. Her thoughts began taking on a different hue, and this time she wondered how he might use his particular brand of control over her, should she fail. Violetta speculated between whether he would want her as his servant, to fetch and clean for him, or as a blood slave to feed upon, which was the considerably more unpalatable option for her. He resisted the urge to laugh. His designs on her were a little more carnal in nature, although he had no objections to tasting the delightful life-force that flowed through her. He pondered on what the spicy red fluid coursing through her veins would taste like? A Bordeaux? No, that would be a little heavy and old. She was more of a Cotes de Provence rosé, soft, fruity and fresh — with a hint of summer and berries.
Her thoughts, becoming more jumbled and crazy by the second, forced him to pay attention once more. She was on the verge of accepting his challenge, confident she stood a fighting chance at extinguishing his life. Her only concern was the ‘eternal bride’ threat. She did not fear death, surprisingly enough, unlike ninety-nine percent of her fellow mortals. The thought of becoming immortal, however, would shatter her mind to pieces. The eternal damnation, the loss of her soul and becoming the evil she had fought so hard to destroy had her all of a flutter. He heard her deep inhalations of breath as she actively calmed herself down and thought through his proposal logically. In the end, she estimated her chances of success outweighed the risk of her mind’s destruction. Her reasoning was disgustingly noble. She believed that this would be the greatest service to the world her life could offer, and it was her duty to accept. Besides, she figured that he needed her permission in order to change her, and she felt that no amount of persuasion on his part could ever make her agree to such a fate.
If she failed in her task, he would enjoy proving her wrong.
“Two minutes should be more than enough time for what I have in mind, Monsieur. Release me.”
“Say please.” He gave her a dark look and a feral smile.
Attempting one last gargantuan effort at freeing her feet and finding herself still tightly pinned to the spot, she gave in gracefully. “Pretty please, Monsieur. Let me kill you.” Well, not so gracefully, after all.
The invisible glue that had held her feet pinioned to the soft grass disappeared instantly. She fell forward before regaining her balance and managed, awkwardly, to right herself. Flexing her feet gingerly beneath her, she decided no permanent damage had been done and business could continue as usual.
Kicking off the ridiculous shoes she’d been forced to squeeze her feet into for the evening’s proceedings, she let them fly in the air, and the lavender sandals hit him full force in the stomach before they dived towards the floor.
“Death by stilettos? Now that’s one I haven’t seen before…” He let his voice trail off into the cool night air as he stared at her face. She was mesmerising. The wind had taken her red hair and whipped it forward around her face. The lights from the ballroom behind her had illuminated it into seething, orange flames. The soft lilac of her dress appeared almost translucent in the bright light, and her silhouette could be seen in sharp relief through the thin organza. The laser-cut, silver filigree mask she wore was cast half in shadow and hid a good portion of her face, serving to give a mysterious but very feminine air. Although oxygen was not a pre-requisite for his kind, he sucked in a breath regardless. For one tiny split second he found himself entranced by the beauty before him, and he could have almost been persuaded to kiss her hand and kneel at her feet. In the next, he was angered by his momentary lapse in concentration and visions of the bloody massacre his coven had become haunted his thoughts. She would pay — in the worst way possible. In fact, if he lived through her attempts on his life, he would make it his mission to watch her suffer every hell imaginable.
“Your two minutes begins now,” he said coldly.
“So be it,” she whispered and, bending forwards to get a grip on the end of her dress, she pulled the floaty material upwards to reveal two, creamy white thighs complete with her instruments of death. Black leather holsters encircled each; one held a small solid silver dagger and the other a sharp wooden stake.
Download Dancing With Death FREE on Amazon through January 27, 2015. Got it now!
London, England, June 4, 2014: Bestselling author Hunter S. Jones, fresh from the London Book Fair, has announced that her novel September Ends is honored as the indie 2013 Book of the Year and 2013 Best Romance nominee by eFestival of Words. This is the latest honor for this author and novel which has been called “A work of art” and “The stuff legends are made of.” Jones, who resides in Midtown Atlanta, has been called an “indie sensation” due to the enormous international acceptance of her work and the critical acclaim received by her books.
September Ends is contemporary fiction, with romance, erotic and supernatural elements, bound by poetry. It reveals the intricate web of passion and desire which entangles Liz Snow, Pete Hendrix and Jack O. Savage. The story is told through Liz Snow’s diary, Jack O. Savage’s poetry, and from letters sent across the Atlantic. Traveling throughout the lushness of a summertime in Tennessee and Georgia, September Ends”journeys into the elegance of London’s West End and is finally settled in the countryside of Cornwall, England, a decade later.
Ms Jones has recently established Ra Jones Publishing as a platform for independent authors. She is currently writing September First, the prequel to the September Stories, with her collaborator, an anonymous English Poet.
You can also find her music, theatre and writers blog on ExpatsPost.com.
September Ends is currently available as both a paperback and ebook on Amazon.
Welcome to the cover reveal for Elle J Rossi’s INDIGO DAWN, coming out 25thMarch with Moon Rose Publishing! Josie Hawk and Keller O’Leary are back in full force in this continuation of the Josie Hawk Chronicles, kicking the ass of every dark creature that stalks the night in Nashville.
Vampire Lust and Pixie Dust.
Josie Hawk is a Huntress. A killer devoted to protecting the humans of Nashville from the shadows that lurk in the night. But the shadows are gaining ground.
When an infamous pixie tricks Josie into a drug-induced nightmare, Josie envisions the death of her vampire lover, Keller O’Leary. Was the vision a threat … maybe even a promise? But from whom?
Desperate to track down the source of the toxic psychedelic pixie dust, Josie kicks and punches her way toward the truth. But her efforts backfire, provoking a deadly attack at Wolfie’s — the bar Josie co-owns…
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The lovely peeps at SSLY–Smile Somebody Loves You–have graciously added me to their stellar line up of authors and bloggers for their New Year’s Eve Blog Hop & Giveaway. Their question…
What Are You Looking Forward To In 2014?
Here are the Top 10 Things I Am Looking Forward to in 2014:
10. Completing the next “September Story”, the follow up novel to September Ends which is tentatively titled September Again.
9. Revealing the identity of the anonymous English poet once September Ends reaches 10,000 paid downloads.
8. Returning to Nashville for a book signing at the Elaine Turner Boutique in Green Hills. (Can’t wait and still can’t believe it.) It is a lifelong dream come true.
7. Having a book signing in my favorite shoe boutique in the world, Chattanooga’s Embellish. (Of course, a writer would have a fav store called Embellish. How very appropriate.)
6. Meeting with friends–virtual and real-time. I wonder if I’ll even meet my collaborator at some point. (Writers, we’re not like other people. Occasionally we write books with people we’ve never even met.)
5. Continuing my unique partnership with Spa Sydell and Vixen Vodka here in my new hometown of Atlanta, GA.
4.Being a featured author at The Novel Experience AND Authors After Dark. Can’t believe this dream is coming true either!
3. Working with ART ROCKS ATHENS. I bow before the artistic and creative force of their combined magnificence and achievements. Their art and music changed the world.
2. Taking a Caribbean vacation with the love of my life.
1. It will no longer be 2013 !! :) What an Horrendum Anno this stinker of a year has been. Good bye 2013. I’m outta here.
For all of you, my darling readers–I consider you all as friends. I wish you peace. I wish you love. Most importantly, may the magic of all your dreams manifest throughout 2014. You are making all my dreams come true, even dreams I did not realize I had. Thank you so very much for giving me the ability to hope and believe again.
Now it’s your turn, tell me…
What are you looking forward to in 2014?
Smile Somebody Loves You. Now, join the rest of the blog hop to meet some incredily talented writers. Get onboard to win some super>uber>mega fantastic prizes, too. Cheers everyone! Happy New Year 2014! Stop at all these great blogs and enter to win. So much talent, so much to win!
Grand Prize will be drawn on January 3, 2014
The Grand prize, which will be chosen from the rafflecopter at the bottom of the page will include: a $150.00 Amazon or Barnes and Noble gift card (winners choice) SSLY Key Chain, a signed copy of Bohemian Grove by T.M. Williams, an E-book of Maverick Touch: The Cat by Ashley Nemer, e-book Scorned (LeKrista Scott, Vampire Hunted) by Tyffani Clark Kemp, paperback copy of Summertime by Christina Cole, a signed copy of Mail Order Brides of the West: Trudy by Debra Holland, a Godiva Chocolate Basket Courtesy of Morgan Wyatt and an awesome prize, a 30 minute tarot card reading via Skype or telephone by author Shauna Aura Knight!(I wish I could win this one!)
Blog Hop Participants:
Madison Sevier Tricia Andersen Cate Masters Tabitha Shay Paula Millhouse Hunter S Jones Magella Troche Tory Richards Deena Remeil Evelise Archer Ashley Nemer Roxy Wilson Inner Goddess Forum Literal Hotties TM Williams Jayn Wilde Victoria Pinder Eden Connor Elise VanCise Andrea R Cooper Adriana Kraft Leigh Ellwood Lisa Carlisle Andrea Cooper Sherry Gloag Natasza Waters Kathryn Beyerle Lively Sugar and Spice Reviews Jeanine McAdam Morgan Wyatt Naomi Bellina AJ Williams Lyncee Shillard Beth Barany Candy Caine’s Corner Shauna Aura Knight Kimmie Easley Fiona McGeir Donna Michaels Tiffany Clark Brenda’s Book Beat Reading by the book</a Tuere’s not so Random Thoughts Flossie Benton Rogers Stephanie Kepke Debora Dennis Samantha Holt Heidi Sieverding
Re-release of The Wolfs Maine
(Re-release of The Wolfs Maine)
Avalon felt like her life was set on repeat. Every new day was just like the one before until Avalon’s friends talk her into venturing out and leaving her dead end relationship behind. Little did she know that she would meet her soul mate face to face and that he would ignite a desire in her that she never knew existed.
John had been watching over Avalon ever since her parents died when she was three but she had no clue. She had only been talking to him online for a year. She slowly learns that there is a whole world and a whole story she had not known about involving every one she knows and cares for.
Her boyfriend Nicholas is not the man she thought him to be, if he is a man at all and John seems to be more than he lets on as well.
Avalon soon discovers the hidden truths but can she handle it? With Nicholas seeking vengeance can John and her friends help her?
“Nicholas! Have you lost your mind?!” He walked over to stand in front of me.
“Why of course not Ava. Isn’t that what you let him call you?”
My heart was beating out of my chest.
“What are you talking about?”
“Why the man you are seeing. You let him call you Ava right?
“You can’t keep things from me Avalon. I know it all.”
I had no clue what to say, none at all. Do I confess or lie? I might as well confess since he seems to know or is he just playing me to get answers? What do I do?
“What are you thinking about now? What to tell me? How to tell me you’re seeing someone else and want to leave me, that you know damn well I won’t let you do? Want to tell me that is who you were with all day today when you should have been at home?” All I could do was stutter.
“Who? What? How?” His hand was reaching up and wrapping around my throat as he got closer to me and whispered in my ear.
“Because my dear I know it all. I can find out anything. You just ended your own life.” I gasped as he threw me towards the broken wine rack that I fell right on top of. Glass punctured my hands as I hit the floor. He started towards me but I couldn’t get up, all I could do was crawl my way backwards.
My life was over. Nicholas was surely going to kill me; I could see it in his eyes. He was towering over me all 6’4” of him, he bent down and clasped my throat in his hands. As I looked into his eyes all I could see was rage. It almost looked as if his eyes were turning red. He was beginning to squeeze my throat tighter, I could feel the panic throughout my body but there was nothing I could do.
He had me pinned to the ground, I couldn’t move and now I couldn’t breathe……..
AUTHOR BIO & LINKS:
Jinni James lives in Huntsville, Alabama with her husband, her two precious daughters, her awesome step-daughter, her cat and her dog. She works during the day as an administrative assistant and at night after she is finished with her day she sits down to become the author she has always dreamed of becoming. She started her first book The Wolfs Maine back in 2011, which has now been re-released as Shifting Hearts and hasn’t looked back since. She stays pretty busy with her full life but she wouldn’t have it any other way.
Hello everyone. Today the author Kenneth Weene has joined me in exile. Kenneth, the man who gave us the quote, “The journey of a thousand miles starts with a single frustration”. Yes, Kenneth has written a very special story for us today calledChristmas Puzzle. Thank you for joining me today Kenneth! Everyone enjoy and have a very Merry Christmas!
The cold, wet night was made more miserable by the reflection of Christmas lights in the puddles. The blare of carols echoed flatly off buildings. The racket of harried cab drivers filled the streets.
Matt Desmond was interviewing witnesses. Their stories were the same, not so much the same as would raise a flag, not as if they had been practiced. It was like putting a jigsaw puzzle together. Pieces fit; and when they did, the picture got clearer.
Matt Desmond liked puzzles. Twenty-three years on the force, the last fifteen and a half working homicide, and that was what he liked about his job — the puzzles.
He had loved doing puzzles with Sally. They would spread the pieces in the middle of the living room floor while Jaquie groused about the mess and his teaching their only kid to be as big a slob as he.
“Daddy, when I grow up, I’m going to marry you,” Sally would peep.
Matt would laugh and say, “I love you, too, Sally-Sweet.”
He had shared her tea parties and gone to her school assemblies and games. Not a lot of fathers did, especially not fathers who were also cops; but Matt and Sally were different.
And they talked — about everything. He never told her she was too young, too little. When she asked, he shared cases: Maybe he shouldn’t have, but Sally never seemed upset. They were just puzzles, and she loved puzzles.
Then without warning, those days were gone. Sally was gone. That was a puzzle Matt had never solved. Neither had the entire New York City police department.
“Maybe somebody’s got her in Mexico or Haiti or one of them other countries?” Morrison’s comment had not been helpful. What the hell could the light of his life be doing in some other country, some other world? Matt had thought of drugs and whorehouses and wept.
The girl whose body was splayed on the road — bones broken and her body contorted — appeared to be about the same age as Sally, as she had been — fourteen-fifteen?
Matt hated days like this, days that reminded him.
“Just exactly what happened?” he asked the next one, a young guy who was scarcely bundled against the cold.
“Dunno. Didn’t see.”
“Your friend dies and you ‘dunno?’” Matt tried to mimic the boy’s tone. He took note of the piercings; for Matt they were just another offense.
Nose, both ears — not even the same size holes, chin, left eyebrow, and that big thing in his tongue. What the hell is the matter with them?
“That’s right, Chief. I dunno. See I was in the can taking a dump. I mean you wouldn’t want me going out here.”
Matt grimaced. “Over there,” he commanded pointing in the direction of the kids he had already questioned.
The next was a girl, maybe a bit older than the dead girl maybe not. Thin, dull-eyed, long hair needing a wash. Something insubstantial about her.
“Who the hell’s Ralph?” she responded to his first question.
Matt pointed to the piercing-pocked youngster he had just questioned.
“Oh, Slim Jim, he was in the john. Missed it all.”
“What was he doing in the john?” Even as he asked, Matt regretted the question.
The girl didn’t crack a smile. “Taking a crap.”
“You call him Slim Jim?”
“Cause he eats them, Slim Jims. You don’t want to be around him when he farts.” Her tone stayed flat, her face unchanged.
“So, tell me about the accident.”
“Your friend, she’s dead.”
“Not my friend.”
“But you were here.”
“Duh. Yeah, we were all here.”
“We was car surfing, she wanted to try, she slipped. End of story. End of her.”
“What’s her name?” So far nobody had known.
“Don’t know. Never seen her before. That’s how it happens.”
“How what happens?”
It was gnawing at Matt: the absence of caring, of involvement. Not a tear, not a smile, not even a grimace. He glanced over at “Slim Jim.” The boy was staring at him. They all were. They weren’t talking, not the way kids should, not the way Matt expected.
“How we join up. People drift in. People drift out. Some stay. Them that stay got names; the rest don’t.”
“Everybody has a name.” One name kept repeating itself in Matt’s head, “Sally, Sally.” He would never give up loving her, wanting to find her. That was what had ended their marriage. Jaquie had had enough. Matt figured any sane woman would have. No, it wasn’t that I missed her so much. I did. I do. But I can’t put it together. I got to figure —
“Sure,” the girl responded, “we all got the names our Moms and Dads gave us, but those aren’t our names, not once we’re here.”
“And you don’t know her name?”
“Nah. Not here long enough.”
“What about you?” Matt asked. “You got a name?”
“Sure. They call me Homer.”
“Homer? Why’s that?”
“’Cause I tell the stories.”
“’Bout the first ones.”
“The first ones?”
“Yeah, the first ones.”
Uncomfortable, Matt did something he often did, something of which he was usually unaware. He pulled out his wallet and flipped it open to the photograph, the one he always carried. The one that gave him a moment of — not peace, but respite. Yeah, it gave him relief.
Sally and him at Coney Island. That had been the summer before. They had ridden the Cyclone and eaten hotdogs, and laughed. He had felt good, young, alive. Father-daughter time. Then she had told him about Harris, her first love, her first lover. Matt had taken it well, only threatened to kill the bastard twice, cut off his balls — well that was a few times.
But they had laughed. At the end, they had laughed and asked one of the Japanese tourists to take their picture. That had been outside the House of Horrors. “Monsters, Zombies, Vampires,” the loudspeaker had proclaimed in tinny loudness. And Sally held the orange-rag dog he had won throwing rings at soda bottles.
“I hope your mother won’t be too jealous,” he had said; and they had laughed some more.
Coney Island: that had been her choice. Not Great Adventure or a water park. Sally loved New York. Matt figured that came from him, certainly not from Jaquie. His ex had remarried and moved to Atlanta. What the hell was in Atlanta?
Then Sally was gone, disappeared. Matt had found Harris, just a kid who had a new girlfriend. No leads. Nothing.
“Where’d you get that?” Homer demanded, breaking into Matt’s reverie. Her voice was louder, but it contained no hint of emotion.
“You know her?”
“Sure. That’s Her.”
Matt stood dumb.
The girl reached out for his wallet. Matt handed it over.
“That’s Her,” she repeated.
“Mrs. Drac. You know, Her?”
“That’s my daughter. Do you know — ”?
He had no time to finish. The girl had wrapped her arms around him. With strength that belied her slight frame, she pulled him to her and sank her teeth into his neck.
Then Matt understood. He thought of weeping, but his feelings had died. At least his Sally hadn’t forgotten. She had sent for him. It would be a good Christmas. That much he finally understood.
Today is the official release of Vigilante of Shadows! The beginning of a new series from Miranda Stork, the action begins fast and hard with a murder, an immortal murderer, and a bright young police officer caught in the action. Oh, and shadowpeople and a demon. Did I not mention those? Vigilante of Shadows sets the series off on a path that will be humourous, horrifying, and just a little bit steamy. A path where this time…the whole of humanity hangs in the balance.
Aodhan clutched uselessly at his head, groaning. He knew it was useless, because the voice was not inside his head. It followed him, skimming across buildings and land. It had followed him since he was sixteen, and it still followed him today, like a memory too horrific to be forgotten…
Aodhan is a shadow-demon, hardened and cold after years of being alone, after his love, his Entwined, was cruelly taken away from him. He has closed his heart to the world, and now spends his life ridding the world of men like those who took his beloved away, an immortal hit-man…
Arianwen Harris is a young DCI, working for York City Police. When a known criminal is found viciously killed, she finds herself trailing a hit-man who has seemed to escape clutches again and again…but she begins to find herself drawn to his dark charms and roguish good looks…
As their two worlds collide, Aodhan and Arianwen find themselves coming together to escape a far greater enemy, one that threatens to create a world far worse than the one they live in. As they battle to hold back the oncoming forces, fate has another plan; one to draw them together and heal their broken pasts together…
He paced along speedily, hands shoved deep in the pockets of his jeans. The sounds of the night surrounded him–distant cat song, the steady hum of far-off cars, the soft sound of wind whistling underneath people’s windows. He loved being out at night, not because it was a time when his ‘kind’ were more active, but simply because it was so much quieter than the day. The sounds of people rushing around disappeared, and left a peaceful calm with the soothing darkness.
Of course, there were the voices in his head, but that was another story.
He shrugged his shoulders up, cutting off the wind whistling around his neck. He wasn’t particularly cold, but the noise was annoying when your ears were so sensitive that a pin dropping could sound like a two-ton weight.
Aodhan’s mind went back to the girl from the bar. He hadn’t meant to be so brisk with her, but it was really best that no-one got that close. He…didn’t do well with people any more. They always brought back memories of simpler times, of her. And besides that…he killed people. People who wouldn’t die if they hadn’t found out about them…
Aodhan was a demon.
A rare demon, as well, a shadow demon. He had been born to a Scottish clan just over eight-hundred years ago, to humans. Contrary to what he saw people believed in the media and books, demons were actually born to humans. There was no line of them, like vampires or werewolves. They were simply…random.
When he had been born, there were no noticeable signs of what he was. He just looked like any of the other babies born to them, strong and healthy, but definitely human.
As he grew older, he had shown great proficiency with all weapons, learning faster than any of the other boys in the clan. Even some of the boys older than him had a hard time keeping up. He was never big-headed about it though, simply trying to fit in with everyone else. However, the clan talked about how the strange-eyed boy was so much quicker and stronger than others twice his age, and whispered about ancient gods coming back to the earth. His looks weren’t too odd for his clan, everyone having black, brown, or auburn hair. But his eyes were odd. All others in his clan had mostly blue eyes; some of them had brown eyes. But he had startling clear green ones, more like a cat than a human.
When he was thirteen, he suddenly began developing strange growths near his temples. After going to see the clan’s wise woman about it, she simply cackled, and whispered, “Those who are given the gift of darkness, should not fear the unknown.” He had shaken off the wise woman’s words, telling himself that she had finally gone crazy.
The growths had developed further, until they started to look like small dark horns, about the length of his thumb. They curled close to the curve of his head, smooth with small ridges forming at each stage of their growth. Luckily, Aodhan’s hair grew wild and long, allowing him to cover them up as much as he could.
By the time his twentieth year was reached, he was a well-loved member of his clan. He was kind and helpful to all, and helped to fight off their enemies more times than he could count on both hands. But he was holding a dreadful secret from his clan. Since his horns had grown, he had also noticed many other things.
He had begun to…see things. Shadows.
When he was out hunting in the forest near to their home, he would think that he had seen someone moving in the trees behind him. But when he swung around to face them…nothing. Then he would hear a soft chuckle, his name being called on the wind. At night, in his bed as he tried to sleep, he would see black figures running around the walls.
He had tried to tell the wise woman of the village again, thinking them to be spirits sent to drive him mad, or something worse. She simply shook her head at him, and chuckled, rocking herself to and fro. He had got used to the shadows by now, drawing the blanket up over his head so that he couldn’t hear their taunting murmurs….
Aodhan suddenly stopped walking, snapping out of his daydream. He was sure he had seen one of…them. Looking all around, he scanned the buildings with his vivid eyes. The problem with them was that they could hide anywhere they chose–walls, buildings, floors, anywhere–especially at night.
The red brick buildings around him looked empty, the few alleyways just leading alongside the backs of houses, a small number of bins scattered about. No-one else was walking near him on the pavement, no sound anywhere.
Just as he was about to turn around and carry on walking, pulling his jacket up again, he heard something behind him. Something whispery and cold.
Rafflecopter code (if you have Blogger):
<a id=”rc-7adce32″ class=”rafl” href=”http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/7adce32/” rel=”nofollow”>Vigilante of Shadows Release Day Giveaway</a>
Moon Rose Publishing www.moonrosepublishing.com
I was born in Guisborough, North Yorkshire in 1987 and have lived in various places around Britain, including Newcastle and Glasgow.
My writing is inspired by various writers, including the vivid characters of Charles Dickens, the imagination of Stephen King, and the gothic imagery of Anne Rice.
My love of horror began at an early age, when I was only three or four. I could read proficiently at the age of three, and devoured fairy-stories, but I always had a bent towards the darker stories, such as the Brother’s Grimm’s tales…Red Riding Hood was always a firm favourite, although I always felt sorry for the wolf, despite him having tried to eat everyone!
Originally published at huntersjones.com.