Archive for the ‘Blog Tours’ Category


January 10, 2013 3 comments












Clicky the image to enter to win!

Today I have the honor of hosting the final stop for the Dragonthology Blog Tour! What’s a Dragonthology you ask? Only seven of the greatest dragon tales (see what I did there? Dragon tales? Dragon TAILS? HA!  I kill me) known to man, compiled in one book, with probably one of the coolest covers I’ve ever seen. What’s so awesomesauce about the blog tour itself? Um…hello….How about a chance to win a 25$ Amazon gift card. You can use it to buy the Dragonthology and a whole bunch of other books! How’s that for a sweet deal?


Book Description

Publication Date: December 31, 2012

Enter the pages of the Dragonthology. No single story has ever been great enough to contain the mystical, wondrous creature known as the dragon. We
assembled the greatest draconian tales and put them between the covers of a single tome to satisfy your hunger for everything dragon. Seven magnificent
stories, ranging from science fiction to mystery, await you within.

The Case of the Bloodstone Dragon by G.L. Jackson

A washed up has been, Private Investigator Clark is down to his last $100. That is, until the night a mysterious femme fatale walks through his door
weaving a tale of intrigue in hope of recovering an artifact steeped in mystery and danger. What follows is a raucous ride through a little known human and
dragon history, played out on the streets of New York City.

Unto the Breach by Jason Andrew

Jonathan Heller uncovers an unusual secret during one of the bloodiest campaigns of World War One in the middle of horrific trench warfare. Can he convince
an ancient dragon that humanity is worthy of life during their darkest hour?

The Dragon of Sullivan Hall by Marian Allen

A dormitory full of fun loving female students, an angry red dragon with a litter full of hungry whelps, and a particular student of Irish descent. This
won’t end well for the dragon.

Egg Hunt by Jay Wilburn

A lonely smuggler must make decisions he never dreamt possible in the darkness of space to elude capture and protect his precious cargo of dragon eggs.
When one of them hatches, it threatens to damage his ship. Can a person change enough to save a ship, a dragon, and himself?

The Clan by Troy Lambert

Dragons return to the earth and humanity enslaves them with the last remnants of technology of their dying race. Now the technology of old is fading. Will
the dragons be able to rise again? Will the humans declare war, or will a peaceful solution be found? It all rests in the hands of an ancient dragon, and a
lowly shepherd and his clan.

Dragon Seeks a Wife by Sandra Graves

What happens when a dragon falls ill and is told he will die in a year and a day unless he finds his one true love? The only thing a dragon can
do. He sets out on a quest to win the hand of the perfect mate for a dragon–the daughter of the king. Aided by a Quetzal bird sorcerer, he begins his
quest. An old fashioned fairy tale with a Meso-American twist.

Darkness Taken by J.A. Campbell

In a land where children are warriors and the only adults are mythical creatures, all are called to fight the Darkness. Til and her dragon partner,
Heliodor, complete the perfect Welcome Ceremony, but their joy is short lived. The Dark has slain a unicorn and taken her foal back to the Darklands. Can
Til and Heliodor venture where none go and rescue the young unicorn?

Categories: Blog Tours

Witch Hunt: of the Blood, a REVIEW

January 4, 2013 15 comments


Five novellas based on Devin O’Branagan’s bestselling novel, Witch Hunt!
You’ve closed the cover on Witch Hunt, but the story isn’t over … yet! Devin O’Branagan has handpicked writers to take up her characters’ stories and explore what happens next.
The anthology begins with O’Branagan’s own novella about Hawthorne matriarch, Vivian. Vivian and her fellow British witches work together to prevent a Nazi invasion during World War II. Then there is Colonial maiden, Bridget, who struggles with the guilt of failing her family in Salem, 1692. Her younger sister, Prissy, mysteriously disappears and finds another magical world. Julia, torn by family loyalties, love, and her spiritual quest, pays a huge price to continue the bloodline. And Miranda uses her powers against the great influenza outbreak of 1918—but finds the ultimate foe is prejudice against her kind.
Discover what was left out of Witch Hunt and revisit your favorite characters with these exciting novellas. The story isn’t done until the battle’s lost and won.
This anthology contains novellas by Devin O’Branagan, Suzanne Hayes Campbell, Keri Lake, K.L. Schwengel, and Krista Walsh.
All five authors of the anthology are available for discussion at Devin’s writers’ forum. This is the link to chat with them: Chat With The Authors!
Witch Hunt: Of the Blood is available in both print and eBook formats and may be found at AmazonB&N, and Smashwords. (Smashwords provides copies compatible with almost all types of eReaders including Sony, Apple, Kobo, etc.) It is also available internationally via Amazon worldwide!

Two of the stories in this anthology are bridges to the upcoming sequel, Witch Hunt: Resistance, which will be released in 2013.
The original Witch Hunt is an international bestseller first published by Simon & Schuster’s Pocket Books. It has been translated into German and Turkish and is consistently on the bestseller lists. It is the story of 300+ years in the history of a family of witches, from the time of the Salem trials to a modern-day witch hunt. It begs the question: could it happen again?
Witch Hunt is available as both a paperback and an eBook. It is available at Amazon,B&N, and Smashwords.

The Review

You go through life. Sometimes bad things happen, sometimes good things happen. Being contacted about doing a possible review for Witch Hunt was definitely one of the highlights of my week. I don’t do reviews often, and it’s not a matter of preference, it’s a matter of time. Having a full-time job, being a full-time publisher, and being a full-time author takes its toll on the amount of hours in your day. I don’t get to read much for pleasure anymore. It just isn’t a priority. So using the excuse, “It’s for a review,” came in quite handy and you can expect to see a lot more reviews from me in the near future. Now that I travel a lot, I have to do something to keep me occupied on the flights!

I’ve always been a fan of the Paranormal. In fact, other than some steampunk and a smattering of science fiction, it’s all I read. Vampires, werewolves, monsters, you name it. I’ll read it. Witches, vampires, and demons are without a doubt, my three favorite character types. It’s why I jumped at the chance to review Witch Hunt. This is the part where I lay down my honesty clause. I include this in all my reviews: I am an author. I am a publisher. That does not taint or tarnish my review in anyway. If you value my opinion, keep reading. If you don’t, don’t read any further. I was also given this book free of charge in return for an honest review. That will also not taint or tarnish my review in any way, shape, or form.

Now, let’s get down to business, shall we?

Fan boy moment–> LIKE OMG, this book was amazing!

There. Got that part out of the way. Now I won’t sound like an idiot during the rest of the review. But daaaaaaamn  I had to say that. The book itself is actually a compilation of 5 novellas. Don’t groan! I’ll smack you if you do. I am a kindle owner. NOTHING irks me more than to download a book and start reading it and have the percentage drop one percent with each page. You will not have one gripe about the length of Witch Hunt. I laughed maniacally as my “percentage remaining” dropped at a barely noticeable rate! So if you’re looking for a quick read, this book is NOT for you.

Now, for my other peeve when reading an anthology of different authors. Some are awesome, and some are so bad you want to take away their crayons. It’s human nature. Some people like a story…some people don’t. Some people like Twilight, the other 99.9% don’t. I kept looking for the story I was going to hate. When I got to the fifth story, I think I actually rolled my eyes and thought, Here it is. This is gonna be it. By the time I was done, I actually reread it to make sure I liked it. So here’s the bad part of my review. If you’re looking for one story in it that you will hate, this book is NOT for you. There. I said it. Im such a hard ass reviewer, eh?

Okay, now that we got the negatives out of the way, let’s focus on the positives.

Each story was just amazing, and no I’m not blowing smoke up your chimney. The stories themselves range from WWII witches doing all they can to aid in the war effort, witches in the 1700’s, A witch-doctor (hahahahaha, I mean a doctor who is a witch, not a witch-doctor, bing bang walla walla bing bang), and modern witches. The big surprise for me was finding two of the stories that are tied together and a prelude to the next book in the series. And no, I’m not going to tell you which two. I was surprised, you can be surprised! Trust me, you’ll be all like, “OOOOOH,” and stuff. Totally worth it.

Some of the authors truly shocked me. Some are well known, some are not, but all of them wrote with a quality of the most seasoned of veterans. I cannot recommend this book enough and it is truly worth every penny you WILL spend on it. No I’m saying YOU WILL BUY THIS BOOK, for I have commandethed thee. The future ruler of your world has spoken, make it so, number one, so shall it be.

Because I’m nice, here is a list of the stories inside:

Of the Blood of Witches

By Devin O’Branagan

Circle Unbroken

By Krista Walsh

Shadows of Dreams

By Suzanne Hayes Campbell

The Banishing

By Keri Lake

Blood Tells All

By K.L. Schwengel

Categories: Blog Tours


November 11, 2012 2 comments

OR, Interview with a half-mad genius!  I’m a very lucky individual today. I have a guest. The lovely AND talented, Katy O’Dowd.  She is the author of THE LADY ASTRONOMER and hails from the emerald isle. I agreed to host her on her blog tour (after much threatening and bribery I might add), and I wanted to do something a little special…

An interview. I hope my questions let you get into the mind of this fabulous author (don’t worry if you can’t get out and are scared, we’ll send a rescue party)

The animals in your story were truly lovable, even the farting lemur. Who were your inspirations for them?

Why thank you kindly! The farts came courtesy of my beloved old dog – who sadly left this world for the next earlier this year – man, I don’t know what else he was eating but whooboy, those were some smells. I would be writing and eau-de-Boxer would waft its way to me. The ring-tailed lemur? One of my favourite animals, and a friend of mine did an oil painting of one for me years ago. Owls, awwww! Also, cats, of which I have two-ish. Well, I foster for the local cat rescue place, so that number goes up. So a mix really. I wanted to be a vet when I grew up. Sadly, it was not meant to be. Damn you dreamy-stare-y-out-of-windows brain!

The Great Forty Foot telescope and the Lady Astronomer herself have basis in real life, would you care to share your inspiration with the readers?

Read it in a book. No, really. A big fat fact book. It was heavy.

Your creations, especially your automatons, seem to be steeped in folklore as to the power-source (plant). Where did you get your idea for these?

Do you know that ad that used to be on? For a shampoo. It had a voiceover (while the lady threw her head around, showing of her glossy tresses) which said, ‘and now the science bit’. Y’see, I’m not, shall we say, that great at the science bit. So I kinda made it up. Also, shhhhh, I’m a bit of a veggie tree-hugging hippie. Still be my friend?

I laughed heartily while reading the Lady Astronomer. Do you often put as much humor into your work as an author?

I’m really glad you laughed! That rocks. I try.

What’s next for Katy O’Dowd? Any projects in the works?

I’m currently writing a follow-up to the book I wrote with my Dad, The Scarlet Ribbon. It’s historical-medical fiction.  We write under the name Derry O’Dowd (my middle name). As for me myself, have finished an historical crime novel and plotting another.

May we expect a sequel for The Lady Astronomer?

What a marvellous idea!

As a writer of steampunk, do you draw inspirations from any other sources or writers?

Oh my yes. Did you know that Edgar Allan Poe wrote a tale about a balloon reaching the moon? Not to mention HG Wells and Jules Verne.

When did you first start writing?

As I said above, I really wanted to be a vet. Fail brain set in, and I needed to do something else instead. So I decided to be a radio journalist. Vet to radio journalist, why not? Makes perfect sense!

How many times did you contemplate ending your existence before you found a publisher?

I am lucky to be alive.

Tell us about your current publisher. Are they all awesomesauce and stuff?

Awesomesauce doesn’t even begin to cover it. I am absolutely thrilled and honoured to be published by Untold Press who have been a total delight to work with. I may just have to inflict something else ‘pon them J


Broccoli or Cauliflower?

Oh bleck! I just did a little vomit in my mouth – neither!

Favorite adult beverage

Anything with a really high caffeine content.

If you were a shoe, what kind would you be?

A big clodhopper of a boot. A black one. Flat. At least calf-high. With loads of straps and buckles.

How do you kill a vampire?

Noooooo! Vampires are your friends! Unless they are of the sparkly variety.

Milk or dark chocolate?


Finish this sentence: All doctors are…

…. unable to make their handwriting legible.

You die and go to hell, what music is playing in the background?

Well, I would like to think that The Dark Lord would have better taste, but if you mean Hell as in a Horrible Place it would have to be freeform jazz.

Favorite holiday and why

Halloween! Sweets! Ghosts! Witches! Things that go bump in the night!

Most terrifying way to die?

Suffocation by Tribble. Ticklish!

Favorite movie

Little Nicky! Yeah!

Book Description

Publication Date: September 26, 2012
Lucretia’s life as an astronomer is quickly turned on its head by her
eldest brother when he is commanded by the king to build the grandest
telescope in the land. Her nights spent on rooftops gazing at the
stars are replaced by adventure as the family move to be nearer the
king. In a race to build the Forty-foot telescope on time, misfortunes
take their toll. The lady astronomer finds court life to be more
dangerous than she could have ever imagined. Can she find the strength
inside to overcome the obstacles threatening her destiny? Only the
stars will tell.



Categories: Blog Tours


February 24, 2012 Leave a comment

Greetings yet once again peoples of Earth! Very excited for Jen Wylie. The very LAST installment of her Tales of Ever Series just hit the electronic shelves this week. I don’t know if you’ve read any of these, but if you havent…


Cuz I said so and said please and thank you. 😀

So, anyhoo. Here’s a look at Sanctuary. Story 6 of the TALES OF EVER!!!!!! (Insert ominous music here)

Book Description

Publication Date: February 20, 2012
The only thing that could make Ever a worse place to be trapped in has finally happened. The dragons of Ever are loose…and they’re hungry.

We’ve made it this far and I won’t give up on finding the one person who could make being here a little better. We’re so close to finding the hidden city and my dad. I know we are. I just don’t know if we’re going to make it. My friends and I are struggling. Okay, we’re getting our butts kicked. We don’t have a choice but to continue. It’s not like we can call a time out.

Then the unthinkable happens…my boys get hurt. Now I have to summon the power and the courage to save them. I just hope it will be enough and we can find my father. Will we have a happily ever after?

Categories: Blog Tours

Book Review: Zombies Don’t Cry by Rusty Fischer

January 14, 2012 6 comments

Check it out on Amazon



Genre: Kick ass YA Zombie Story

Price: Too low

Pages: Not enough

Rating: 5 zombie thumbs

Okay, I normally don’t review books especially on my blog. If I read a book and its really good I post a review on amazon. The fact that I’m actually reviewing this book should speak VOLUMES (get it? Made a book joke.) about Zombies Don’t Cry.

I’ll admit it. I’m a vampire nut. I read about them, write about them, and occasionally dream about them. I have never felt anything other than icky about zombies. Don’t like zombie movies. Don’t like zombie books. Don’t like zombie merchandising or action figures. I always thought they were pretty gross and as for fictional characters left little for character development when their only dialogue is, “Brains!”

I hate zombies sooo much, that if the zombie apocalypse ever came to be, hand me a shotgun and a chainsaw and get behind me. I’ll lead the way to safety!

Then I fell in love. Not with a zombie, but a zombie book. I had the opportunity to meet Rusty Fischer at the Spooky Empire Convention in Orlando. What an amazing guy. Personable and just a lot of fun. He gave me a copy of his book and said, “Here. TRY it.” So I did. Thanks be to the gods for Rusty Fischer. He had me hooked from chapter one. He actually makes being a zombie, COOL!

If you’ve ever seen a zombie movie, you know the premise for every zombie book ever written. You know “Tanker truck crashes spilling toxic waste in the mostly deserted town. Redneck comes into contact with said toxic waste, becomes zombie, bites everybody, and by the end the last two survivors of humanity are surrounded by the zombie hordes in a desert somewhere.” That story.

Zombie’s Don’t Cry is NOTHING like that. Rusty pens a tale of wit, humor, edge of your seat excitement and makes you root for the undead! They’re the good guys and I can promise you there isn’t one poorly sealed container of toxic waste anywhere in the story! WOOT WOOT!

So grab your kindle, and throw this one on it. I promise you that you won’t be disappointed especially if you’re into YA Books. It’s a great story from start to finish, doesn’t leave you with a cliffhanger, and has plenty of room to grow for sequential works! (If you read this, I’m serious, Rusty. I want them to go to Disney World next!)


A former high school teacher, Rusty Fischer is the author of several supernatural novels for young adults, including Zombies Don’t Cry, Vamplayers and Afterlife Academy. He and his beautiful wife Martha live in sunny Cape Canaveral, Florida.


Categories: Blog Tours

Blog Stop-Darke Conteur

October 12, 2011 7 comments

Thanks for the intro Sean! Love the hair!
Welcome Humans to The Paranormal Pit Stop. Your one-stop E-zine on the Ethereal-net for everything
in the paranormal world. This week, we are proud to bring you part one of a two-part interview with a
very rare creature. She is Jezryall; half human half demon, and for those of you who aren't dead or in
astral form, she is known as the current caretaker of the Acheron portal in North America.

Paranormal Pit-Stop: Welcome Mistress Jezryall. We here at the Paranormal Pit Stop are glad to have
you here. First, we'd like to point out to our new readers, that you are a half-breed. Not a full demon.
Jezryall: Correct. My father was an incubus demon. My mother was human.

P.P.S.: That must have been an interesting life growing up?
Jezryall: Interesting is not the word I would use. There was much fear during The Dark Ages. I was
locked up in a monastery for most of my adolescence, under the careful watch of religious fanatics. They
thought they knew what was best for me. Unfortunately, for them, they were wrong.

P.P.S.: I know demons have a long, almost immortal life, but is your lifespan shorter because of your
human side?
Jezryall: Yes. Demons live for several millennia, which gives the impression of immortality, but
eventually their bodies do wear out and they turn to dust. Humans would be surprised to learn that like
them, demons have a childhood and adolescent stage as well. This adds to the illusion of longevity.

P.P.S.: If you don't mind me asking, how old are you?
Jezryall: To be honest, I am not sure the year I was born. I do have a vague memory of traveling to Rome
around the time of Alexander the Great.

P.P.S.: Do you have a difficult time restraining your demon side around humans?
Jezryall: Yes. All the time. Humans give off very distinct aromas when they are in a high emotional state,
and each emotion has a different scent. Their most powerful are fear and arousal. I can detect their
sweet smell from miles away. It is intoxicating, and hard to resist.

P.P.S.: When did you become a portal caretaker?
Jezryall: It was after the English landed on the east coast of this continent. The Guardians knew
they would soon dominate, and were afraid they would take control of the Acheron portal if it was
discovered. When the Shaman caretaker died, the Guardians agreed I was the only powerful entity
capable of protecting it, and asked me to oversee its care.

P.P.S.: And then you moved it.
Jezryall: Yes. The colonists moved quickly through the countryside, and in my naivety, was afraid of it
being discovered. I re-located it up north, to what was once a small trading village in Canada.

P.P.S.: Once a small village? Has it changed over time?
Jezryall: Yes. Had I a seer on staff at the time, I might have been forewarned that the village would
become the capital of the newly formed country. I would have taken my chances and left the portal
where it was, considering the government of the newly formed American States, dedicated the entire
portal nexus a park, decades later. Yellowrock, or something like that. It would have been safe in the


P.P.S.: Speaking of safety, the European portals of Acheron are still shrouded in secrecy, yet you've
turned the North American one into a global company? After moving it in fear of being discovered, why
such a bold turn-around?
Jezryall: Western ideology advanced quickly with the onset of the Industrial Revolution. People became
less superstitious and more logical in their thinking. I found it was easier to monitor situations under the
guise of a business, than of a religious institution. People are more suspicious of you, if you claim you
are there for religious purposes. If you say you are a business, they generally leave you alone.

P.P.S.: Speaking of religion, have you ever visited Hell or Heaven?
Jezryall: No. I am only a caretaker for the portals and I have no need to visit. I doubt I would be
welcome in either place, but I do admit, it would be nice to see what lies beyond the veil.

Well, that's all the time we have for this week's interview. We would like to thank our host Sean Hayden
for allowing us to post this interview on the human internet. It's always nice to have new friends!

If you'd like to learn more about Jezryall and her staff, you can find more information at the link
provided below.

Join us next time when we visit Michelle Simkins and bring you part two of our in-depth interview with
Jezryall. This is The Paranormal Pit-Stop saying; just because it's dead, doesn't mean it's not alive!

His first day of work wasn't what Martin Cunningham expected. A sultry boss, a classy receptionist, the
drama-queen foreigner, and a painfully shy techie who prefers hiding to human interaction, was the
oddest group of characters he'd ever met. When an assassination attempt is made against his new boss,
Martin comes face to face with the stuff of nightmares.

Now he and his new co-workers must race to prevent another attack, but where do they start? There's
very little to go on, and the only solid piece of evidence escaped through the u-bend in the toilet. By
the end of the day, Martin becomes one of the privileged few who really understands what lies in the
shadows, and what it means to work in THE WATCHTOWER.

Darke Conteur is an author at the mercy of her muse. Writing in several genres, she prefers to write
in paranormal and science fiction, and has stories published in Brave Blue Mice, Bewildering Stories,
and The Absent Willow Review. When not busy writing, she looks after one wannabe rock-star, one
husband, two cats, and one ghost dog.
Categories: Blog Tours

#100blogfest Blog stop with author Martin King!

August 12, 2011 1 comment

Near where I lived was a free tip. I better explain for those of you in foreign countries what I mean by that. An area of land where people disposed of their household waste illegally – sometimes known as fly-tipping.

So there is this place along a narrow country lane near some woods where we would hang out. Quite often we would scavenge down the slope for something to do. Once someone had thrown away a load of lead windows and we scurried around getting all the lead off and then took it to the foundry to weigh it in. We got about £0.50p for our haul.

Well there was this one particular day when me and my mates were loitering around when a big estate car pulled up. A ‘mister’ got out and offered to pay us handsomely if we would scramble around and get these certain items he was after.

They were these big metal weights that were on sash windows. So anyone hold enough reading this might know what I mean. Well it was a hot day and very hard work, but it didn’t matter because the ‘mister’ was going to pay us loads!

A good two hours later after dragging all these heavy things up the slope and loaded them into the back of his car, he went to get his money out of the wallet. Low and behold, he didn’t have any change. Well that didn’t matter because he would return soon with our reward.

I’m sure one of my mates is still standing in that spot now, convinced the ‘mister’ will return. What a dirty, rotten trick to pull on a few innocent and angelic little children. If it turns out that you were the man who played that lousy stunt, then I want interest too…

These blogs are all about fun and sharing. Thank you for reading a ‘#100blogfest’ blog. Please follow this link to find the next blog in the series:

Categories: Blog Tours Tags: , , ,

Guest Post with Jennifer Wylie

March 6, 2011 2 comments


Today I get to host Jennifer Wylie on her blog tour, celebrating the release of he short story, the Forgotten Echo! I have a treat for you. She’s sharing with you the events leading up to the story. So you get a prequel! I hope you enjoy it as much as i did.

For those who have read The Forgotten Echo, THANK YOU! I know more than one reader has also been captivated by the mysterious Immortal, Devon. This little tale will answer some questions, from his point of view.
For those who haven’t read it yet, I hope you’ll be intrigued and decide to try it out.
For more free random stories in the Immortal Echoes world, stop by my blog.


I walked down the darkening streets of yet another city. I had been through so many over the years, the centuries, they all seemed to blur together. It was strange, how so little changed over time. Enough did to be troublesome. Being an Immortal time meant little to me. However I lived side by side with mortals, and to them it meant everything. More so even, as the centuries had passed.

A faint, rueful smile crossed my lips as for a while I counted the number of people hurrying by, checking their watches.

I’d come to this city for business. Though I disliked dealing with mortals I pretended to be one, and so had to show myself on occasion. This time a meeting for one of my companies. A very important one, they had told me. Idiots. My executives had spent most of the time whining and complaining, blaming others for the last quarters poor sales. As so often was the case, the trip had been a total waste of my time.

Shoving my hand into my pant pockets I continued to wander as shops began closing up and the number of people rushing by dwindled. The street lights lit the sidewalks well enough, though I had no cause to worry about what may lurk in the shadows. No simple mortals could hurt me, not even with their silly mortal weapons. Other Immortals, creatures from the Otherworld, were another matter but one I didn’t worry about much either.

As Immortals went, I was one of the oldest, and also one of the strongest. Even if my own powers were not enough, I had my Echoes always close at hand.

As if I’d called, a form appeared in the shadows ahead of me, quickly solidifying into a person. The man walked out into the light, normal as can be.

“Devon.” He gave a brief nod of respect. Which he should, I’d created him, bound his soul at death to me and the Otherworld. A few did not appreciate it, though they all gave their consent at the time. They had to for the difficult magic to work.

My Echoes rarely bothered me when I roamed the cities I visited. They knew I wanted to be alone and took great pains to make sure it was so. “What is it?”

“You’ve received a message from Angela. She wants you to contact her as soon as possible.”

I could not stop the frown which came at his words. Angela was another Immortal, one I had foolishly become indebted to only a few years before. Apparently she was ready to collect. I wasn’t looking forward to finding out what I would have to do to remove a life debt.

A small growl of frustration left me and I looked down at the grey sidewalk, knowing my fire was likely flashing in my eyes. It was a part of me, part of my magic. It also appeared at the worst of times. I had to always stay in control of my emotions around mortals. Another reason I hated being around them.

“Would you like me to send a reply?”

I looked back up and shook my head. “I’ll return home shortly.”

My Echo nodded, paused a moment, and then turned and walked calmly back into the dark alley to disappear. Smiling a little I began walking again. Good help was hard to find. Choosing a human to become an Echo wasn’t easy. They would be spending forever with you, after all. If they weren’t destroyed trying to protect you. The trick was to find someone intelligent, not hard on the eyes and not annoying, yet at the same time to try to avoid one you would become too attached too. Add the problem of the person having to be actually dying and one saw just how hard it was. At least in these times, in the past wars and plaques certainly made it a little easier.

Over the centuries I had collected half a dozen Echoes. All were exceptional in their duties. None, however, were very good company. I’d been contemplating finding one for that purpose alone. They would still protect me, grant me their power if needed, but I wanted to be able to hold a decent conversation as well.

The streets began to fill again with young men and women making their way to the bars and clubs. I stopped and glanced down a side street, listening the the faint pounding of music and the growing sounds of more and more excited voices.

Had I ever been so young and carefree? I couldn’t remember.

Turning away I decided it was best to head home. I stepped to the side as a number of girls passed me on the sidewalk, giggling and chatting.

“Wow, did you see him?”

“I’m not blind, Sarah.”

More giggles erupted and I smiled faintly as I turned to watch them cross the street. I saw her then, walking arm in arm with a nervous looking man. Even from across the street she caught my attention. Not so much beautiful, but lovely. Curves in all the right places, dressed to go out, but not garishly so. Her smile was so radiant I felt pulled toward her. I wished I could look into her eyes.

With a startled gasp I turned away. Strange, that a mortal would affect me so. Strange, and also interesting. I glanced over my shoulder again, watching her walk away.

I stepped back, leaning against a building and cupped my hands. A faint whistle brought a tiny light. A little creature of flame. “Stay hidden,” I warned it.

It flew up, hiding in my hair. “Yes? Yes?”

I discretely pointed to the woman. “I want you to watch her for me.”

“Watch! Yes!” The flame darted off.

A faint smile crossed my face and I headed down the street to find a nice dark alley where I could create a gate home.

Over the weeks which followed I learned much about her, not just the facts, but little things. She was an extraordinary woman, in more than just looks. She had a big heart to match her intelligence, but could also be a little shy. I watched her when I could, and doing so made me more happy than I had been in a very long time. I was not, however, foolish enough to speak with her, or even let her see me.

My Echoes did not agree with my new pastime. It took them some time before they came to me, but they did. I suppose I should have been pleased they truly cared. They were concerned my obsession with her was not healthy. She wasn’t mine to have, she was mortal. I didn’t really care and brushed off their concerns. What I was doing was harmless. I merely watched her, nothing more.

Yet they persisted, pointing out my growing feelings for her were increasingly obvious, not only to them, but to my enemies. I had to let her go, before she became a pawn in their games.

They were right of course. I had to stop, and with great reluctance I did. Though I left a handful of flames to watch over her, just in case I’d done so too late. So I told myself.

I was glad I took such precautions when five years later my flames returned screaming in panic. She needed me. Unfortunately it was at the worst possible time. Battle between the two main factions of Immortals loomed so closely I had in fact been dressing for it when they arrived. I didn’t have time to go to her. I couldn’t afford the loss of power either.

“I’m sure she’ll be fine,” I told the flames.

“No! No!”

“She dies! Dies!”

Their words froze me. My actions. My heart. She couldn’t be dying. It wasn’t possible. She was supposed to live a long and wonderful, happy life. I closed my eyes tightly. Healing was not one of my powers, at least not one strong enough to cure imminent death.

Had it been any other time I still could have gone to her, taken her to another who could heal her. But no one would do so now, not with the fighting about to start literally at any moment. I should have been on the battlefield now.

The flames continued to dart around me frantically. But then, they had been watching her all these years hadn’t they? They had probably fallen for her charms as well. “Hurry! Hurry!”

I closed my eyes and pinched the bridge of my nose. Whatever had happened, I couldn’t save her. There was nothing I could do if she truly was dying…unless I made her an Echo. One of mine. Bound to me forever.

I shook my head. I couldn’t do that. Not to her…

“Come! Come!” The little voices rose hysterically, pleading, breaking down my resolve.

“Where is she,” I demanded, drawing forth my power to create a gate.

They led the way, guiding me to her. It was hard to remain calm. I knew I shouldn’t be doing this, for more reasons than one. I should just let her go. Coming to her, helping her, was both breaking my own rules and dangerous. I still had a battle to fight.

I stepped through the gate into an empty parking lot. My flames continued to babble away as some of them gathered around me.

The rest danced around her where she’d fallen on the ground, blood soaking her clothes and pooling around her. Pain lashed my heart to see her again, like this. I couldn’t do this, I shouldn’t…

“Quickly! Quickly!”

I turned slightly, feeling one of my Echoes appear at my side.

“Devon, it’s started. They need you!”

My jaw clenched and I closed my eyes for a moment. I could still walk away, let her die. It was the natural order of things wasn’t it? I had to decide, and quickly.

“Tell them I’m coming.” I let out a deep sigh. “I’ll just be a moment.”


Jennifer Wylie was born and raised in Ontario, Canada. In a cosmic twist of fate she dislikes the snow and cold.

Before settling down to raise a family, she attained a BA from Queens University and worked in retail and sales.

Thanks to her mother she acquired a love of books at an early age and began writing in public school. She constantly has stories floating around in her head, and finds it amazing most people don’t. Jennifer writes various forms of fantasy, both novels and short stories. Sweet light is her debut novel to be published in 2011.

Jennifer resides in rural Ontario, Canada with her husband, two boys, Australian shepherd a flock of birds and a disagreeable amount of wildlife.

My website:

My blog:

Detour 2 Death

February 1, 2011 12 comments

Sean Blog Tour Post

Thank you so much for having me here today, Sean!

I’m so thrilled about Detour 2 Death coming out. This is the third book in the Extreme Hauntings series and almost didn’t happen. Because of some family tragedies, I stopped writing for nearly a year. The funny thing is, I had been eager to write this book before the second one even came out. School’s Out 4-Ever is a fabulous book with lots of thrills and chills, but in Detour 2 Death, I got to play with paranormal settings. Bonus!

For me, creating the three grim reapers that Kaylee has to battle in alternate planes of existence were really cool. The White Reaper works the hospital in real time. He collects the dead at Marsden Memorial is a formidable enemy. The Red Reaper, Molok, runs Davey’s Feverland and makes sure his victims suffer terribly before he collects their soul. The Black Reaper lives on the dark side of this reality, in a place called Shadowland, where he torments the ghosts of the dead who haven’t passed on.

Kaylee is forced between these three places on a spirit walk. While she’s out of her body, the whiter reaper sends an ancient spirit to possess her. Not only does Kaylee have to save Davey, but she has to do it before the evil entity inhabiting her body kills her parents at home. One of my favorite moments is when Kaylee thinks, “I’ve heard of people losing their minds, but not their whole body!”

Thank you so much, Sean, for hosting me today. I’d love to offer one of your readers a chance to win a free book thong! Please leave a comment and I’ll put your name in a hat for the drawing. I look forward to taking questions or hearing your thoughts, everyone!


There are worse things than death, but not at Marsden Memorial hospital.

Kaylee Hensler knows her best friend Davey is on the brink of death. She knows this because she’s a psychic. When she flees the girl’s reformatory to get to him, she has no idea the special sort of hell waiting for her.

Reapers are collectors and they come in many forms. In Feverland, the world created by Davey’s sickness, the red reaper goes by the name of Molok, an ancient evil with deep roots. In Shadowland, the dark side of the hospital, a black reaper promises torture and torment to lost souls. The white reaper is the most fearsome, giving Kaylee three days before he collects both her and Davey’s souls.

Kaylee has one secret weapon, one she doesn’t fully understand. Her abilities will be tested, her loyalty betrayed, and her love misplaced. No one escapes Death.

Award-winning author J.R. Turner lives in Central Wisconsin with her husband and three children. She began writing in high school, and after a decade working as a commercial artist, started her first novel in 1999. Aside from crafts, camping and cooking, she loves holidays. A favorite is Halloween, a combination of spooky supernatural fun and chocolate. Visit her at to learn more!

Categories: Blog Tours

My Interview with Judy Douglas Knauer

January 21, 2011 2 comments

Have you ever met one of those people you instantly took a liking too? Ya, those people. If you’re lucky you get to spend your life surrounding yourself with people just like them. Intelligent, witty, fun, entertaining. Well I have good news for you. I’m going to save you some trouble and introduce you to one of them. She happens to be a VERY talented writer too! Please say hello to my friend Judy Douglas Knauer.

When was the exact moment you decided to write a book?

I was 18 years old, lounging on a sofa with pencil and paper and thought I’m going to write a romantic western novel.  So I did.  I’ve always loved the West so researching Indians and Texas territory was fun.  The book made it to typewriter and my filing cabinet where it sits today.

Did you have a specific inspiration for the story A Dirty Way to Die?

You bet I did!  Several in fact.  The two main male characters are based on six different men who were veterans of the Viet Nam war.  The story itself started as a romance novel about professional female mud wrestlers.  The Chicago Knockers did a show at the Fairbury, IL fair right after my first romance novel was published by Berkley/Jove and I decided to interview the ladies with the romance genre in mind.  The women gave me great material, but instincts told me not one New York editor would look at a romance based on mud wrestlers.  I ain’t no dummy.  So I began the book by killing one off in my hometown of Peoria at the Heart of Illinois Fair.  My inspiration for setting the private eye’s office in Peoria was a well-known female New York editor who I overheard saying in a phrase that used the f word: no book would ever sell set in Peoria.  Never say never, especially to me.

What is your favorite aspect of being a published writer? Is their anything that you don’t like?

Being a published writer is my favorite aspect!  I make up stories because I love doing that, but I write them hoping to have them read, to have readers taken to someplace outside themselves, where I am when I write them.  If my work just sits in a drawer or box, then the circle is incomplete and that I do not like.

If you had the opportunity to go back and change any portion of A Dirty Way to Die, what would it be?

I guess I would have Manny get beat up and shot more times, since that seems to be the popular way of today’s private eye novel.  I’ll see if I can make up for that in the next two Manny Shepherd novels in the works.

Do you write full time, or do you have another occupation as well? How do you find a balance between them?

If you mean 8 to 5 as full time, I retired from those hours and a good paycheck three years ago.  Besides a minimum four hours a day writing and at least another four contriving in my head, I’m semi-fanatic about a clean house and flower and vegetable gardens having no weeds.  I sew, knit and crochet for my grandchildren when I’m not on a writing deadline, which I’m on now.  Deadlines do  not allow for balance; the book is always in my head.

What’s next in the works for you? Do you have anything planned that you would like to share?

A second Manny Shepherd P.I. novel is two-thirds done with a third outlined, but on a backburner until I finish Mourning Preyers, my second thriller.  I’ve also begun a mystery with a female journalist protagonist with criminal investigation college courses to her credit, which is my background.  Editor Tom Colgan saw first pages years ago and told me that was the direction I should take.  Naturally, I’ve written two thrillers since then and almost completely ignored his wise advice.

Has any author or authors inspired you to write? Anybody in particular you would like to be compared to?

Every mystery author whose novel was on the shelves of my neighborhood library in Peoria since I was in third grade inspired me to make up stories, maybe in particular Mary Stewart.  I was so fortunate that the librarians allowed me to keep reading above my age level.  I once got a rejection letter from an editor who told me I should not write like Ross McDonald.  At that time, I did not know who Ross McDonald was, but now see him a lot in Dennis Lehane’s work!  A few years ago I’d have jumped with the answer Elmore Leonard as who I would like to be compared to.  No one does character or moves a story with character better than Leonard.  Then along came Stephen J. Cannell novels and Lehane.  I would love to be a writing mix of Leonard, Cannell, Lehane, Tom Wolfe and Carl Hiassen!  Perfect!
Along the road to getting published, what did you find the most rewarding and most difficult?

The most difficult task along the road to getting published is just that – getting published.  The most rewarding was that phone call from a Berkley editor telling me they wanted my book.

Tell us about the area you live in, did it play into the setting of your book in any way?

As I said A Dirty Way To Die is set in Peoria, my hometown, but my P.I. solves crimes everywhere but there!  In my first novel, a romance the publisher title Ecstasy Reclaimed (by Brandy LaRue my pen name) my setting was the farm and farmstead where I live–right down to the final love scene in the middle of a cornfield!

If you had once piece of advice to ive to aspiring writers, what would it be?

One piece of advice to aspiring writers – never give up and re-write.
You think you’ve got problems?

Doc Goold calls it cognizant premonition triggered by causal hypersensitivity, but Manny Shepherd and his Vietnam vet buddy Steve Mallinotti call it Shepherd’s Luck, that time-proven knack to sense bad shit lurks just around the corner.  Manny felt the premonition slump into his gut minutes before he witnesses Steve’s girlfriend Rita Hayward get slammed in the mud to her death by a well-stacked gal dubbing herself Screaming Eagle.

Mired in shock, guilt and a drunken haze, Steve coerces Manny, who has little on his Private Investigator’s plate, to figure out why Rita died like that with them and a SRO crowd watching and cheering at Peoria’s Heart of Illinois fair.  After all, back in earlier days at Neelys Landing, Missouri, Rita reigned as a star gymnast.  So how could a simple Judo throw have killed her?

No way will Manny jeopardize his tenuous yet sensual relationship with Tazewell County’s District Attorney, Lisa Shelton, to hang around half-naked, oiled-bodied beauties with names like Virgin Witch, Passion Queen, Midnight Fire, and Holy Terror, just to expose the obvious – Princess Lay-ya aka Rita Hayward just took a bad…okay, seriously bad header.

Steve’s heart-tugging story of Rita’s journey to professional mud wrestler fame, and haunted by Rita’s single staring dead eye watching him, Manny takes the leap onto the St. Louis Slingers on-tour bus.  Shepherd’s Luck bites hard amidst boobs and bullets as Manny is targeted while he hunts down a scheming, sadistic killer.


Purchase A Dirty Way To Die for only $2.99 at Amazon’s Kindle Book Store, B&N’s Nook, your PC, OR at

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What others are saying about…


A Dirty Way To Die


Manny Shepherd is a breath of fresh air for the PI scene. A Dirty Way to Die rocks, and J. Douglas Knauer writes with just the right combination of grit and savoir-faire to give the book both style and realism.

—Michael A. Black, author of Hostile Takeovers and I Am Not a Psychic, with Richard Belzer.


Pulse-pounding action, a flawed hero with a code of ethics, and the inside story on women mud wrestlers combine for an exciting adventure in J. Douglas Knauer’s A DIRTY WAY TO DIE.

—Luisa Buehler, author of The InnKeeper: An Unregistered Death; Grace Marsden Mysteries ~ Think Monk in a skirt solving Cold Cases ~


Sexy and lusty mud-wrestlers and murder. Manny has his hands full. Looking for some entertainment? You’ll find it (in A Dirty Way To Die).

—Frank J. Scully, author of Resurrection Garden, release date January 1, 2011, MuseItUp Publishing


Judy Douglas Knauer got her first critical author review for a poem she wrote while in second grade.  One of the little girls in her Peoria, IL Brownie Troupe disapproved of the way Judy depicted her in the poem, even though it was true.  Multiple years later her first novel, Ecstasy Reclaimed by Brandy LaRue (a pen name) sold to Berkley Publishing without ever seeing a rejection.  Years later she was hired as chief editor, reporter and photographer for The Citizen, a weekly newspaper that covered Livingston County, IL.  During seven years in the newspaper business she won 14 journalism awards including eight from Illinois Press Association. She has sold non-fiction to Buckeye Farm News, Time/Warner, and Countryside magazines and a short mystery to Over My Dead Body.  One novel never being rejected notwithstanding, she admits to having a bulging folder of rejections compiled over many years for multiple novels yet unsold.  Her motto is “You never fail until you stop trying.”  She has three published novels with the latest, her first private eye novel, released in August 2010.


Judy is the proud mom to two daughters and two sons and Gramma to three boys and one girl.  She lives with her husband, Dennis, on four acres about 75 miles south of Chicago.  When she’s not working on her current thriller-in-progress, she enjoys gardening, fishing, reading, cooking, refinishing antique furniture, learning, walking and travel.


Please visit to learn more about the author and her books.

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