The Empress of Time (The Keeper of Night #2) by Kylie Lee Baker #bookreview #YA #fantasy

Half British Reaper, half Japanese Shinigami Ren Scarborough is no longer the girl who was chased out of England—she is the Goddess of Death ruling Japan’s underworld. But her problems have never been greater. Her Shinigami see her as a foreigner on the throne. Her brother, Neven, is gone, lost in the deep darkness. And her fiancé, Hiro, has been killed by her own hand.

Then Ren receives the most troubling news yet—Reapers have been spotted in Japan, and it’s only a matter of time before Ivy, now Britain’s Death Goddess, comes to claim her revenge.

Ren’s last hope is to appeal to the god of storms and seas, who can turn the tides to send Ivy’s ship away from Japan’s shores. But he’ll help Ren only if she finds a sword lost thousands of years ago—an impossible demand.

Together with the moon god Tsukuyomi, who shares an uncanny resemblance to his brother Hiro, Ren ventures across the country in a race against time. As her journey thrusts her into the middle of scheming gods and dangerous Yokai demons, Ren will have to learn who she can truly trust—and the fate of Japan hangs in the balance.

With it’s dark storyline and morally gray main character, I became an instant fan of the first book in this duology. The shocking ending left me anxious to see what the future held for these characters.

This sequel begins ten years after the first book, and I admit the time gap surprised me. Ren is now the Goddess of Death, a position you’d think comes with a healthy dose of authority and fear – not so in this case. Ren’s history includes being abandoned by her father, rejected by her British peers, and bullied by her fellow reapers, and now even her own Shinigami don’t respect her. She finally has the power of a goddess and still has to constantly prove herself. When she learns that an old nemesis/bully, who is now in a position of power, is coming to claim her revenge, Ren knows allies are needed if she hopes to survive. Her journey to find them turns into a quest, and I easily fell into this immersive story filled with Japanese mythology.

With the Goddess of Death as a main character your expectations of this novel should surely include death. And there’s quite a bit of it that’s bloody, brutal, and gory – but it’s not done for shock value. It goes along with this harsh world and all the challenges Ren faces. She encounters other powerful gods and goddesses in her quest, and also deals with an unexpected traitor that surprised me. Moon God Tsukuyomi is a welcome addition to the story and quickly became one of my favorite characters. The Empress of Time is a solid conclusion to this dark, gritty duology, and I enjoyed every page.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley.  Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

Storm Chaser by Lindsey Duga #bookreview #YA #urbanfantasy

Chasing dangerous storms is in Marley Pascal’s blood. For her, it’s an obsession—a need to confront the powerful, destructive forces that killed her parents.

But the storm she and her brother track down seems to violate the very laws of nature, with lightning that strikes as if from another world. In its crater, Marley finds a small purple crystal with a terrifying energy that hits her like a bolt to the chest when she picks it up.

Suddenly, it’s like the electricity pulses through her blood, a charge she can’t control. Which is exactly when he comes looking for her—the ridiculously hot boy whose eyes spark and crackle with the same force that now resides in her body. And he smells like summer rain…

But what’s inside Marley isn’t meant for her—or for any human. It belongs to him. To his kind.

As long as this force stays in her body, she’s a living target. A weapon meant to protect…or destroy.

Because now she is the storm.

I’ve always been fascinated by storm chasers and their reasons, some very personal, for choosing that line of work. It’s off the charts dangerous, and I’m surprised I haven’t come across another book before this one featuring that profession.

The author’s note at the end of the story explains how the weather in her area of the country (south Louisiana) influenced this story. Take the power of storms, throw in some aliens, storm chasers, superpowers, and a headstrong female protagonist, and you’ve got a gripping plot.

Marley aspires to become a meteorologist like her brother, Patrick. She’s ecstatic when she’s allowed to spend a day with him and his team tracking a storm. After a powerful lightning strike leaves a large crater, Marley picks up a purple crystal left behind – in hindsight, probably not her smartest decision. Bolts of energy course through her body – energy that belongs to someone else.

Brae, along with his clan and several others, are from another planet. Most of them try to live quietly among the humans after their planet is destroyed, but Cassen wants to rid the world of humans and make Earth their own. Brae is determined that won’t happen, and he’s the only obstacle between Cassen and his goal. His problem? The Superman-like power once housed in a oculus within Brae, the power he uses to fight off Cassen, now resides within Marley.

I loved the sibling relationship between Patrick and Marley. They only have each other after their parents were killed by a tornado several years earlier. Patrick is now her guardian and incredibly protective of her. As the leader of his clan, Brae’s utmost priority is keeping them safe. But when he develops feelings for Marley, those priorities become muddled. The gradual reveal of the details of his home planet, Enos, demonstrates even more of the precarious position Brae is in.

Told with dual POVs between Marley and Brae, Storm Chaser moves at a brisk pace and features thrilling action scenes. I have to mention I got a kick out of all the pop culture references – especially when Marley mentions that she and her brother text in Elvish. With that cliffhanger, I’m anxious for the next book!

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley.  Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

Spells for Forgetting by Adrienne Young #bookreview #magic #mystery #TuesdayBookBlog

A deeply atmospheric story about ancestral magic, an unsolved murder, and a second chance at true love.

Emery Blackwood’s life changed forever the night her best friend was found dead and the love of her life, August Salt, was accused of murdering her. Years later, she is doing what her teenage self swore she never would: living a quiet existence on the misty, remote shores of Saoirse Island and running the family’s business, Blackwood’s Tea Shoppe Herbal Tonics & Tea Leaf Readings.

But when the island, rooted in folklore and magic, begins to show signs of strange happenings, Emery knows that something is coming. The morning she wakes to find that every single tree on Saoirse has turned color in a single night, August returns for the first time in fourteen years and unearths the past that the town has tried desperately to forget.

August knows he is not welcome on Saiorse, not after the night everything changed. As a fire raged on at the Salt family orchard, Lily Morgan was found dead in the dark woods, shaking the bedrock of their tight-knit community and branding August a murderer. When he returns to bury his mother’s ashes, he must confront the people who turned their backs on him and face the one wound from his past that has never healed—Emery.

The town has more than one reason to want August gone, and the emergence of deep betrayals and hidden promises spanning generations threaten to reveal the truth behind Lily’s mysterious death once and for all. 

I’ve read Young’s young adult Fable series, and those books were among my favorite reads that year. I was excited to see if her adult novel would captivate me just as much. Spoiler alert – it absolutely did.

What a perfect atmospheric setting for a mystery. An island with residents that include families who’ve lived there for generations, a tight knit community where everyone knows your business (sometimes before you do), magic, and secrets upon secrets. Tourists are reluctantly greeted during the season for financial reasons, but islanders are glad to see them go when it’s over. Outsiders aren’t welcome on a permanent basis. When August Salt is blamed for the murder of a teenage girl who was his friend, he and his mother pack up and leave in the middle of the night. Their family roots may extend back for generations, but they’re now considered outsiders.

August’s disappearance devastated Emery, his childhood friend and longtime girlfriend. When he returns to the island fourteen years later to scatter his mother’s ashes and sell their house, she’s unsure of how to handle things – she’s never gotten over him. The residents immediately make it clear August isn’t welcome, and he’s expected to leave the second his business is wrapped up. During his week on the island, a tidal wave of long buried secrets come to light. Long a proponent of his innocence, Embry soon questions her loyalty. Did he really murder Lily? If he didn’t, who did? And why? This mystery enthralled me, and I formed several different theories, all of which were shot down as I turned the pages.

August and Emery are well-crafted protagonists, and the supporting cast are just as strong. The dual POVs (for most of the book) between the two of them keep the pace moving, while a few chapters from some of the residents sprinkle clues here and there about what happened that night.

Plenty of twists, spells and potions, and a little romance make this magical realism mystery a thrilling read. I’m now a confirmed fan of Young’s YA and adult titles.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley.  Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

#BlogTour and #Giveaway Saddled Hearts by Jan Sikes #newrelease #romanticsuspense

Yes, it’s the first Monday morning after the time change and even though it’s lighter, some of us are still dragging. But I have a guest who’s sure to lift your spirits. Take a murder mystery, throw in horses, music, and romantic suspense and you’ve got yourself an engaging read – the reviews I’ve read of this book confirm it. Plus, it just earned a Crowned Heart review from InD’Tale Magazine. Here’s Jan Sikes to brighten up your Monday!

I’m happy to be visiting your blog site today, Teri. I’m surprised you are still around to do blogs after your month-long Bad Moon Rising! Every post was fun. I deeply appreciate your generosity and support.

I love including a lot of my own metaphysical experiences in my writing. In my new book, Saddled Hearts, the female protagonist is a medium. That means she can communicate with souls from beyond the grave. When Jag Peters first suggests to Colt that he consider making an appointment with Sage Coventry, he shrugs it off. But the more he thinks about it, the more he decides he needs some answers from his grandfather, who is deceased. A man has shown up at the ranch laying claim to it based on a supposed poker game with the grandfather, Buck Layne, many years past.

Let’s take a peek into the session with Sage.

EXCERPT:

“Does the name Charles or Charlie mean anything to you?” She leaned forward and placed her folded arms on the desktop.

“That’s my grandfather’s given name, Charles.”

“Well, he is here with us today and is anxious to communicate with you. He wants you to know that he’s proud of you and everything you’ve done. He also wants you to know that he’s okay where he is. He says nothing hurts anymore.”

“What else?”

“I don’t know what this means, but he says to watch out for shysters. He’s showing me a key. Does that mean anything to you?”

Spit dried in Colt’s mouth, and he nodded. “My grandfather always told me that keys could unlock the answers to every secret in the universe. He collected them. I still have his collection.”

“I think that’s his way of letting you know this is real, that he’s really here. Or perhaps the answer to your dilemma can be found behind a lock.”

Tears threatened, and Colt unconsciously leaned forward. “I want to hear everything he has to say.”

“A lot of what I get shows up in symbols, and it’s up to you to interpret them. He is showing me a black tomcat. That could mean a lot of things to different people.”

“A man by the name of Tompkins paid me a visit. That’s what prompted me to come see you. Could that be what he’s showing you?”

“Could be.” She closed her eyes. “I’m also seeing a deck of playing cards, but they’re strewn around on the floor, and the black cat is walking across them.”

Colt sucked in a breath between his teeth. He whispered, “Anything else?”

“I’m seeing lots of horses running, some with saddles, some without. I get the feeling he’s possibly showing me memories.”

“He was a world champion bull rider. But he had a special love for horses. So, yes, that could be a memory. His deep love for horses is why I turned my ranch into a horse sanctuary.”

Sage nodded. “That makes sense with what I’m seeing. He’s very happy with what you’ve done.” She stared hard at him. “There’s something about you that I’m sensing, or maybe it’s what he’s showing to me. You have some sort of unique ability when it comes to animals.”

Colt blew out an audible breath. “I remember the first time I really understood that I can communicate with animals. Not in words, but on invisible wavelengths or thoughts, if that makes sense.”

“Perfect sense.” Sage smiled. “I’m also feeling a strong female presence that is wanting to get in today with a message for you. Is your mother in the spirit world?”

He choked. “Yes. She died when I was twelve.”

“Well, she wants to say hello and let you know she watches over you as much as she is allowed from beyond the veil…”

***

I’d love to hear from you. Have you ever consulted a medium for communication with a loved one who has passed on? Do you believe some people have a true gift? Let’s talk!

BOOK BLURB:

Colt Layne owns the Layne Horse Sanctuary. He lives an idyllic life between caring for the animals and playing music with his band. That is until a stranger appears with unreasonable demands. When someone murders the man, Colt is arrested. He’s been framed, but by whom and why? 

He needs to talk with his deceased grandfather. But that’s impossible. Or is it?

Sage Coventry is gifted with the ability to communicate with the deceased. Skeptical but desperate, when Colt consults with her, he gets more than messages from beyond the grave as she breezes into his heart with sweet patchouli fragrance and tempting lips he longs to kiss.

The race against time to clear his name and save the ranch launches them on a mission that brings shocking revelations.

Let’s go on a scavenger hunt! Hidden within the blog posts are clues you will need to look for.

The theme is “Things You’d Find On A Ranch.”

When you find these clues, email your answers to me at

SaddledHearts@gmail.com

With CONTEST

In the subject line.

The person with the most correct entries will win a $25 Amazon Gift Card!

The runner-up will receive an eBook of Saddled Hearts! It Pays To Play!

BOOK TRAILER: https://youtu.be/_MQ9fYH5PrI

UNIVERSAL PURCHASE LINK:  https://linktr.ee/Rijanjks

SOCIAL MEDIA:

WEBSITE: http://www.jansikes.com

BLOG:   http://www.jansikesblog.com

TWITTER: http://www.twitter.com/jansikes3

FACEBOOK: http://www.facebook.com/AuthorJanSikesBooks

PINTEREST: https://www.pinterest.com/jks0851/

GOODREADS: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7095856.Jan_Sikes

BOOKBUB:   https://www.bookbub.com/authors/jan-sikes

INSTAGRAM:  https://www.instagram.com/sikesjan/

AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE: https://www.amazon.com/Jan-Sikes/e/B00CS9K8DK

SUGGESTED KEYWORDS:

#RomanticSuspense 

#HorseSanctuary

#Rodeo

#Horses

#Murder

#PsychicMedium

#ContemporaryRomance

#Musician

#wrpbks

#NewRelease

Soul of the Deep (Skin of the Sea #2) by Natasha Bowen #bookreview #YA #fantasy

The highly anticipated sequel to the New York Times bestseller Skin of the Sea, in which the world must pay the price for one mermaid’s choice, and a dark force reverberates across realms. Perfect for fans of Children of Blood and Bone and those eagerly anticipating the live-action film adaptation of The Little Mermaid.

One life.
One choice.
One sacrifice.

To save those closest to her, Simi traded away everything: her freedom, her family, and the boy she loves. Now she is sworn to serve a new god, watching over the Land of the Dead at the bottom of the ocean.

But when signs of demons begin to appear, it’s clear there are deeper consequences of Simi’s trade. These demons spell the world’s ruin . . . and because of Simi, they now have a way into the human realm.

With the fate of the world at stake, Simi must break her promise and team up with a scheming trickster of a god. And if they succeed, perhaps Simi can also unbreak her heart along the way, and find herself again.

After I finished the first book in this series, I wasn’t sure if another one was coming, and I hoped to learn what happened with these characters. Seeing this second book on NetGalley, I knew the author wouldn’t leave the readers hanging. We’d get the rest of the story.

My favorite things from this book remain the same as the first – incredible world-building, West African mythology and culture, the sisterhood of the Mami Wata (mermaids), and some of the characters. This story picks up several months after the first book. Simi is living with the hard choices she made to save the lives of others, but blame and guilt rest heavily on her shoulders. She’s not happy in her new home, but she takes her responsibilities seriously and is determined to follow through on the bargain she struck with Olokun. After learning of a betrayal, her circumstances change rather quickly, and Simi finds herself teaming up with old friends and fighting fierce opponents.

While I enjoyed this story, I was a little surprised that consequences of the first book were wrapped up/changed within the first fifty or so pages, and this sequel seemed like almost a different series. Honestly, it can be read as a standalone since the author provides backstory.

The ending leaves open the possibility for a sequel, but I could also see the author wrapping up things here and letting the reader predict what happens in the future. If you’re fascinated by creative world-building and enjoy learning about other cultures and mythology, this is a series to add to your TBR.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

Last of the Talons (Talon #1) by Sophie Kim #bookreview #YA #fantasy #Koreanmythology

After the destruction of her entire Talon gang, eighteen-year-old Shin Lina—the Reaper of Sunpo—is forced to become a living, breathing weapon for the kingdom’s most-feared crime lord. All that keeps her from turning on her ruthless master is the life of her beloved little sister hanging in the balance. But the order to steal a priceless tapestry from a Dokkaebi temple incites not only the wrath of a legendary immortal, but the beginning of an unwinnable game…

Suddenly Lina finds herself in the dreamlike realm of the Dokkaebi, her fate in the hands of its cruel and captivating emperor. But she can win her life—if she kills him first.

Now a terrible game of life and death has begun, and even Lina’s swift, precise blade is no match for the magnetic Haneul Rui. Lina will have to use every weapon in her arsenal if she wants to outplay this cunning king and save her sister…all before the final grain of sand leaks out of the hourglass.

Because one way or another, she’ll take Rui’s heart.

Even if it means giving up her own.

This stunning cover and the game of life and death between Lina and Rui made this book irresistible. The description left no doubt I’d enjoy it – I just didn’t realize how much.

Lina may be young, but she’s experienced more tragedy and loss than most people. She lost her parents at a young age, she blames herself for the deaths of her gang/found family, and she’s now starved, beaten, and forced to work for the man responsible for killing the other Talons. If she doesn’t, he’ll kill her little sister, the one good thing in her life. Lina will sacrifice anything to ensure her safety.

The author has created a unique world filled with Korean mythology, magic, and vivid, breathtaking imagery. The dynamic between Rui and Lina is unusual and magnetic, and I was all in from their first scene together. The game is simple – she has fourteen days to kill him, or he’ll kill her. So much planning and plotting going on. And yet they’re civil to each other – he invites her to dinner, a ball, and shows her his favorite places in his kingdom. Lina is a clever and skilled assassin, but she underestimates how cunning Rui is. It’s hard to put anything over on this guy.

There’s so much to like about this novel. A protagonist who doesn’t give up and willingly sacrifices for those she loves, plot twists and unexpected paths, incredibly high stakes, and a supposedly cruel Emperor who might just possess a bigger heart than anyone realizes. I’m more than ready for the second book!

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley.  Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

Foul Lady Fortune by Chloe Gong #bookreview #AsianHistoricalFiction #fantasy

The first book in a captivating new duology following an ill-matched pair of spies posing as a married couple to investigate a series of brutal murders in 1930s Shanghai.

It’s 1931 in Shanghai, and the stage is set for a new decade of intrigue.

Four years ago, Rosalind Lang was brought back from the brink of death, but the strange experiment that saved her also stopped her from sleeping and aging—and allows her to heal from any wound. In short, Rosalind cannot die. Now, desperate for redemption from her traitorous past, she uses her abilities as an assassin for her country.

Code name: Fortune.

But when the Japanese Imperial Army begins its invasion march, Rosalind’s mission pivots. A series of murders is causing unrest in Shanghai, and the Japanese are under suspicion. Rosalind’s new orders are to infiltrate foreign society and identify the culprits behind the terror plot before more of her people are killed.

To reduce suspicion, however, she must pose as the wife of another Nationalist spy, Orion Hong, and though Rosalind finds Orion’s cavalier attitude and playboy demeanor infuriating, she is willing to work with him for the greater good. But Orion has an agenda of his own, and Rosalind has secrets that she wants to keep buried. As they both attempt to unravel the conspiracy, the two spies soon find that there are deeper and more horrifying layers to this mystery than they ever imagined. 

With Bad Moon Rising taking up the month of October, I’ll be featuring more book reviews than usual over the next few weeks to try and catch up.

After reading the These Violent Delights series by this author, it was a no-brainer to request her next book. I didn’t even need to read the description.

Main character Rosalind is a character from These Violent Delights, but let’s just say she wasn’t my favorite and leave it at that. This story is set four years after the end of that series. And she completely changed my mind about her. As an assassin for her country, Rosalind wants to atone for her betrayal four years ago and find some kind of peace. After being brought back from the brink of death by unusual means, she’s not entirely human. She doesn’t sleep or age and can heal from any wound – a definite perk considering her line of work. Her new assignment places her in a fake marriage, and her “husband” may be more trouble than she expected.

1930s Shanghai is the perfect setting for this novel. It really gave me the whole cloak and dagger spy vibe. Complex politics, hidden motives, and double and triple spies just add to the atmosphere. Fake husband Orion might grate on Rosalind’s nerves, but with his humorous quips and the banter between them, I was instantly a fan of his. Shout out to his sister Phoebe, a wonderful supporting character. His protective big brother stance doesn’t work – she’s strong-willed and has a mind of her own.

This novel clocks in at over five hundred pages, but it sure didn’t feel like it. I plowed through it in a couple days and was delighted by the explosive plot twists toward the end. With its complex storyline, it’s easily a crossover, and I guarantee this author will have a long line of readers waiting for the next book in the series.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley.  Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

#BadMoonRising Thanks You!

Hope everyone had a spooktacular Halloween last night! We had several trick or treaters and nearly ran out of candy. The best costume award went to the kid in the inflatable shark costume. His fins couldn’t hold the bag, so his friend got candy for both of them.

I love hosting Bad Moon Rising every year, but I couldn’t do it without all of the comments, shares, and author participation – which all comes from you! Thanks to all of you for helping make BMR a success. As long as you keep showing up, BMR will be here.

It was a fun-filled month meeting new authors and other readers and we enjoyed plenty of laughs. We learned there are a lot of homeless haunted dolls – not one person was willing to give them a chance. The vast majority of us prefer the Bloody Mary drink to summoning the person. Stephen King’s Misery scared the crap out of lots of writers. And adorable little furry faces will steal the spotlight every time.

See you next year!

#BadMoonRising An Endless Darkness: The Novellas by Steve Stred #horror #shortstories

Happy Halloween! I always look forward to this holiday, but it’s also a little bittersweet because it’s the last day of BMR. Today’s author has made several appearances here, and he’s certainly no stranger to horror stories. His featured book is a collection of his horror novellas, some of them the first time in print. He shares a story that perhaps isn’t your typical ghost tale, but is just as terrifying. Welcome Steve Stred!

Would you rather visit a haunted house or a haunted graveyard?

I’d definitely rather visit a haunted house, because there seems like more potential. More places to explore, more room to creep inside with who knows what waiting for you. And a haunted house can remain scary 24 hours a day. A graveyard would lose its spookiness once the sun came up! I’m a huge fan of watching Urban Exploration videos of old abandoned houses and mansions and every time they always seems so ridiculously scary, even during the day!

Do you believe in any ‘mythical’ monsters like chupacabras or shadow people?

Yes and no. For instance, yes, I absolutely believe we’re not alone in the universe. To me that seems like an impossibility with how vast space is. But I also don’t think every UFO sighting means little green men. If anyone reading this has read any of my work, they’ll know my love and fear in equal parts of the mountains. To me, the wilderness is so spacious, I find it perfectly reasonable to think that Sasquatch can exist. There are plenty of videos out there (sure some are fake) that are hard to push aside as ‘fake.’ It can be hard for people who’ve grown up their entire lives in a sprawling city to accept that, but if you’ve spent any time in the Canadian wilderness, you’ll know how massive it is and how easily it would be for any animal to remain hidden.

What is the spookiest ghost story you’ve ever heard?

Piggybacking off my previous answer, the ghost stories I always found the spookiest were more related to the woods. And some of them are not even so much ‘ghosts’ in that sense. For instance, one story I’ve heard variations of over the years involves a little boy – 4 or 5 depending on the source – who goes into the woods playing hide and seek. He goes missing. A massive search is carried out. Some sources say 100 searchers, some have said even up to 1500 searchers. All they find is two sets of prints. One matches the boys shoe size and leads from about where he was. The other is barefoot. In some of the versions their footsteps disappear. In some they find the boys shoes and the tracks disappear into a cave etc. Or a river. Always something to prevent the searchers from finding anything further. To me, that entire story scares me so badly haha! So much potential for our minds to fill in the blanks with horrific details.

How do you use social media as an author?

I’m an anomaly in that I love social media. I think it’s because I’ve curated it into how I use my own social media, that is – support and promote others (no matter their market share), celebrate when people have big wins, give kudos when someone has a loss (ie rejection etc) and just enjoy seeing what others are up to. I genuinely want to see people’s kids first day of school photos. Cool things they’ve created, awesome concerts they’ve been at and movies they watched. There’s sooooo much negativity and horrible news out there. So, I try really hard to remain as positive as I can!

What books did you grow up reading?

I’ve been a voracious reader since I was little. I started out with Archie comics and Berenstain Bears etc, before moving into Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew. My grandfather also had an extensive collection of western paperbacks, so I read some of those. Louis L’Amour type stuff. Then when I was eight or nine, I was allowed to borrow a Stephen King book from my neighbor, Patti and I was hooked. ‘Skeleton Crew’ was my first of his, ‘The Mist’ opening that up and it scared me so badly. To this day, I’m still frightened of deep, dense fog.

If you could be mentored by a famous author, who would it be?

I’m fortunate that I currently have three authors combined fill the ‘mentor’ aspect for me, whether they know it or not! The first is the awesome David Sodergren. David has been instrumental in making me a better writer. He is far from ‘yes’ man for me. I run stuff by him and our relationship is solid enough and we’ve developed a great enough rapport that I know he’ll give me his honest opinion. The same for when he is editing my work. His notes back to me reflect that and I can’t thank him enough for that.

The second is Duncan Ralston. Whether you like him or not, Duncan has a phenomenal catalog of work and has built a ravenous fan base. He’s seen it all and is always up to answer my questions. And, he’s not a ‘yes’ guy either. If he doesn’t think something will work or something’s not good enough, he’ll tell me and he’ll offer alternatives or suggestions.

Lastly, is Andrew Pyper. If you’ve seen any of my social media, you’ll know how much I love his work. Discovering his writing was a subconscious kick for my own writing. Seeing his ‘Instant Bestseller’ label on The Demonologist and his bio saying he was from Canada blew my mind. Wait? You mean Canadians CAN do this! When I retired from sports and focused my passions back onto writing (when I knew my time was ending I had returned to working on my in-progress novel of close to a decade), that mini-bio drove me. Over the last six years or so, I’ve been fortunate to have developed a friendship with Andrew, and he’s always been willing to answer any questions I’ve had that have come up. He’s been through it all, knows the ins and outs and is a truly kind person. I’ve said I’m fortunate to have him as a friend, but that never seems to be enough. Just like ‘thank you’ often doesn’t seem to be enough. But, Andrew has always inspired me and having his backing and advice on things has been a blessing.

As always – thank you so much, Teri for having me! I love being a part of these and seeing the other posts from the others involved!

From Splatterpunk-Nominated author, Steve Stred comes a collection of his darkest novellas.

Re-edited and released to achieve maximum despair, Stred gathers some of his earliest nightmares for your reading pleasure!

– YURI – a twisted haunted house story, Yuri follows a young man, forced to flee his home and find work at the mine, owned by the town’s richest man. The only problem – things are not what they seem. ‘Don’t Eat the Stew.’

– The One That Knows No Fear – they say don’t meet your idols, and this holds true in this high-octane novella. Set in the late 1970’s, young Timmy wants to find out how his favorite daredevil appears to be invincible. He’ll wish he never found out the truth.

– Wound Upon Wound – for the first time in print, the sci-fi prequel to Stred’s Empyrean Saga is filled with a growing dread. ‘What would you do if you knew today was the last day of your life?’

– Jane: the 816 Chronicles – telling the story of specimen 816, aka Jane, this prequel story tied into Stred’s smash-hit ‘Mastodon’ will grab you by your throat and not let go.

– Seth – for the first time in print, ‘Seth’ tells the story of a young boy faced with an impossible task – either kill his own brother or let the monster kill him.

– Daisy’s House – for the first time in print, Daisy’s House is the house at the end of the street that everyone avoids. That is, everyone but the local high school kids who want to prove they’re not scared.

Black Void Publishing is proud to release this collection – featuring three stories never before in print, from one of the most intriguing writers in all of dark fiction!

Purchase Links

Universal Link: mybook.to/anendlessdarkness

Author book link: author.to/stevestred

Author Bio and Social Media

A Splatterpunk-Nominated Author, Steve Stred lives in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, with his wife, son and their staffy, Cocoa.

His work has been described as haunting, bleak and is frequently set in the woods near where he grew up. He’s been fortunate to appear in numerous anthologies with some truly amazing authors.

A proud co-founder of the LOHF Writer’s Grant, he is also an Active Member of the HWA.

Website: stevestredauthor.wordpress.com

Twitter: @stevestred

Instagram: @stevestred

#BadMoonRising The Doors of Chamberlain by Steve L. Clark #horror #thriller

It’s another BMR debut today! No haunted dolls for him, either – apparently there are a lot of homeless haunted dolls out there. But this author had a hair-raising experience with another haunted item. Welcome Steve L. Clark!

Do you believe in any ‘mythical’ monsters like chupacabras or shadow people?

I split the line on this one depending on which monsters are in question. As much as I’d like to believe in Bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster, I think they are both unlikely. That said, I believe the oceans are home to ‘monsters’ beyond what we imagine. I also absolutely believe in aliens and life on other planets. The truth is out there!

If you were stuck as the protagonist in any horror movie, which would you choose?

This is an easy one. Dawn of the Dead. George Romero’s 1978 classic is my favorite movie of all time. I got into horror at a young age, and I was completely enthralled by the fight for survival against zombie hordes in a shopping mall.

Would you buy a doll that you knew was haunted?

Absolutely not. I do believe in ghosts and hauntings, and I had a personal experience with a haunted item. My father built several grandfather clocks for the family when I was young. One of those clocks went to my aunt. After she passed away, I was given that clock to keep in the family, as well as having something built my dad, who unfortunately had also passed away. My aunt was never particularly fond of me, and within days of having her clock in my house, both my wife and I noticed odd occurrences. There was a strange energy in the house that we had never experienced. Then, my wife saw a shadow walk through the kitchen from our bedroom. I connected the dots and moved the clock out to the garage. I told my mom what happened, and she agreed to trade me that clock for another one she had at her house. The incidents stopped immediately once the clock was gone. I believe my aunt did not want me to have it, and I obliged. So, yeah, I’ll pass on haunted items.

What books did you grow up reading?

I’ve always loved to read. I was in 4th grade when Goosebumps first came out, and I ordered them from the Scholastic book fair order forms we got each month at school. I devoured those, getting each new book as soon as it came out. As I got older, I moved on from Goosebumps to Fear Street, and then read my first Stephen King novel in my early teens. The rest of my teenage years were spent mostly on what I considered the big three, Stephen King, Anne Rice, and Dean Koontz. I didn’t discover the independent horror scene until much later, so I still have a lot of catching up to do.

What is your kryptonite as a writer?

Consistency. I rarely have issues with writer’s block. When I sit down to write, things flow at a good rate. My problem has always been and continues to be maintaining any kind of routine. I do not do a good job of making time to write. I’m getting better, but I’m still not where I would like to be. It’s a work in progress. Always, looking to improve.

What are you working on now?

I am currently working on my next novel/novella. It is a supernatural horror story set in the mountains of Eastern Kentucky. I am on track for a December 2022 release.

When Janie’s boyfriend Mark goes missing while filming a ghost hunting documentary, she spirals into a deep depression. Three months pass with no leads or answers.

With all hope fading and facing the reality of a future without him, Janie receives a package in the mail with no return address. It contains a flash drive and a simple note…

Mark is not dead. I need your help. Watch the videos.

The truth is more sinister than she imagined. She shares the videos with Mark’s sister Leslie, and together they are pulled into a mystery that changes everything.

Sometimes the missing should not be found.

Purchase Links

The Doors of Chamberlain: Clark, Steve L: 9798528507927: Amazon.com: Books

The Collapse of Ordinary: Clark, Steve L: 9798529126295: Amazon.com: Books

Author Bio and Social Media

Steve L Clark is an author of horror and dark fiction from Southwest Ohio where he lives with his beautiful wife and three wonderful children. He is the author of the cosmic horror novella The Doors of Chamberlain, the short story collection The Collapse of Ordinary, and a contributing author to the anthology Dark Words: Stories of Urban Legends and Folk Lore edited by Matt Wildasin, all of which are available on Amazon.

Twitter @stevelc8349