New Release: Sorrow’s Edge (The Sorrows #2), by Danielle DeVor

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Hello Lovely Readers! Danielle DeVor twitched her fingers in my direction and cast me out of my own blog! Harrumph! The nerve. (Just kidding.) She writes about exorcisms, and she’s here today to tells us why, so I’ll just get out of her way.


DanielleDeVorI’ll admit it. I find it fascinating. The idea that prayers and words could force a demon out of a human body is amazing. Now, granted, the one performing the exorcism would have to strongly believe in what they are saying. But, it is still amazing. I greatly admire exorcists.

That being said, there are some things about exorcism that makes it difficult to write about. It isn’t so much the act of writing about it, but the acceptance. For many people, the idea of demonic possession and exorcism is so scary that they cannot even fathom reading a book about it.

To a certain extent, I understand that, but I have always been under the idea that it’s better to understand what you fear.

Does writing about an exorcism sometimes scare me? Sure. That’s when I know I’ve done it right. If I felt nothing, then I need to go back and work on it some more. Writing scary things should give the author just as many chills up and down their spine as the reader.

At least that’s my belief. But, when you write about something that is mostly unknown, you end up with a lot of questions too. What If the person being exorcised isn’t of the same religion as the exorcist. Does it still work? Near as I can tell, yes. But, without me getting to talk to an actual exorcist, I really have no idea. There is only so much written down about it in publicly available books. Now, if I could get access to it in the Vatican library… well…. That would be amazing.

About the Author:

Named one of the Examiner’s 2014 Women in Horror: 93 Horror Authors You Need to Read Right Now, Danielle DeVor has been spinning the spider webs, or rather, the keyboard for more frights and oddities. She spent her early years fantasizing about vampires and watching “Salem’s Lot” way too many times. When not writing and reading about weird things, you will find her hanging out at the nearest coffee shop, enjoying a mocha frappuccino.

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 About Sorrow’s Edge:

Finding the truth can sometimes be harder than exorcising a demon…

Jimmy Holiday, defrocked priest-turned-exorcist, is trying to make sense of his life. With his on-again-off-again witchy girlfriend moving in, Lucy-the spirit from his last exorcism-hanging around, and a secret organization of exorcists hounding him, Jimmy is feeling the stress.

When a stranger calls in the middle of the night asking for help with a possession, Jimmy is puzzled. Especially when the dude on the phone says he got his number from Jimmy’s old mentor. Too bad his mentor has been dead for several years.

After a mysterious silver flask arrives at his doorstep, Jimmy is left with two options: either ignore the phone call and the flask, or listen to Lucy and travel to Arizona to solve the mystery before all hell breaks loose-literally.


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BLACK FRIDAY SALE! 40+ Crescent Moon Press ebooks for $0.99 each!

There is a Huge Black Friday .99 Kindle SALE! Check out some of these great authors below and don’t forget to enter the rafflecopter for your chance to win lots of fun stuff!

The sale runs from Black Friday to New Years, so lots of time to buy LOTS AND LOTS OF FABULOUS BOOKS published by Crescent Moon Press!

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Caden’s Fate, by Kate McKeever

Fairyproof, by Constance Phillips

Resurrecting Harry, by Constance Phillips

Speak of the Devil, by Shawna Romkey

The Devil Made Me Do It, by Shawna Romkey

What Gifts She Carried, by Lindsey Loucks

The Grave Winner, by Lindsey Loucks

Violet Midnight, by Lynn Rush

Violet Dawn, by Lynn Rush

Violet Storm, by Lynn Rush

Wasteland, by Lynn Rush

Awaited, by Lynn Rush

Tainted, by Lynn Rush

Prelude to Darkness, by Lynn Rush

Son of a Mermaid, by Katie O’Sullivan

Blood of a Mermaid, by Katie O’Sullivan

Wanted: One Ghost, by Loni Lynne

Ruined, by Kinley Baker

Denied, by Kinley Baker

Endured, by Kinley Baker

Gemini Rising, by Louann Carroll

A Shadow of Time, by Louann Carroll

Dakota Capitve, by Alythia Brown

Sorrow’s Point, by Danielle DeVor

Sorrow’s Edge, by Danielle DeVor

Red, by Reese Reed

The Memory Witch, by Heather Topham Wood

Not Your Average Fairy Tale, by Chantele Sedgwick

Not Your Average Happy Ending, Chantele Sedgwick

A Stiff Kiss, by Avery Olive

Won’t Let Go, by Avery Olive

Idyllic Avenue, by Chad Ganske

Rift Healer, by Diane M Haynes

Still Hunt, by Diane M Haynes

First Contact, by Kat Green

Citizens of Logan Pond: Life, by Rebecca Belliston

Irons in the Fire, by Penelope Marzec

The Company You Keep, by Penelope Marzec

Kiss of Blarney, by Penelope Marzec

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Book Review: The Last Guardian Rises (The Last Keeper’s Daughter #2), by Rebecca Trogner

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Lily Ayres, Sanguis Ancilla to Krieger Barnes, has retreated into the shadows of the archives, hiding from the king and the intense emotions he arouses in her. How long can she deny him? Will she accept her role in the Other world and the abilities arising within her?

Krieger Barnes, Vampire King of North America, has shared his blood, his kingdom, and his heart with Lily. He summons her, needing her nearness, needing her to attend the council meeting with him.

Merlin, the king’s advisor, must fight the darkness that threatens to overtake him. Can he survive the dark magic?

Lucien Black, the wielder of the Dragon Sword, is once again charged with Lily’s protection. How will he explain his avoidance of her?

A being buried deep underground, inside a cage of iron and wrapped in chains, escapes. Is he the dark entity that the Others feel and fear?


In the Last Keeper’s Daughter, Rebecca Trogner introduced Lily Ayers, a strange and fragile young heiress entrusted by her father to the care of ancient vampire, Krieger Barnes, the King of North America.  The first human he’s allowed into his court, Lily joins Krieger’s inner circle—composed until then of a witch, a wolf-shifter, and a cursed slayer—as his Sanguis Ancilla. It translates roughly as “blood slave,” a title that is more necessary than accurate for the complicated pair.

In the world of vampires and witches, and as she blossoms from a timid child into a willful woman, Lily’s nature as an “Other” (creatures neither human nor vampire) quickly becomes apparent, as does her role in something grand and sinister bubbling beneath the kingdoms of the supernatural. Krieger, bound by blood and primal instinct to protect Lily, finds himself in a truly frustrating position of being an honorable man. Because he loves her, he sets her free, allowing her to choose who she will give her heart to, and he waits for her to come to him.

Trogner reveals in The Last Guardian Rises that Krieger has the patience of a saint. Fearing the king would not forgive her for killing his brother at the climax of the first book, Lily turned her focus toward the castle’s archives, looking for information that would help the king while she avoided him. Days became weeks and then months, until the Krieger summons her, gives her thirty minutes to show up, and warns he won’t ask twice. She drags her feet only to learn that the king is not mad at her. Quite to the contrary, he’s loving, gentle, and demanding, exactly as she remembers, which means that the battle of wills between our romantic leads has begun anew.

In Guardian, we see more of the politics of the vampire world, more of the mystery’s machine, and more of the implications and consequences of each successive action. At a pivotal point in Detective Hunter’s arc, he tells Krieger, “We’ve been played.” The king then has to deal with a difficult situation forced upon Hunter, so how they’ve been played is not explicitly answered. It becomes apparent through the story arcs of Merlin, Hunter, King Beline (the King of Europe), that the awful transgression committed long ago against Lily’s mother on behalf of a demon was not an isolated incident. Krieger, along with his people and allies, spend months scorching a global conspiracy tied to Catholic orphanages from the Earth, only to have the pieces fall into place when Lily casually recommends a priest for Hunter’s upcoming marriage.

In addition to magic, spies, adventure, and lies, Trogner also gives her heroine two powerful, tortured men to hold her heart. The first, of course, is Krieger. The second is vampire Lucien, Krieger’s brother-by-choice and faithful servant. He was long ago imbued with the blood of a dragon, which allows him to wield a special sword capable of killing anything, but the spell came with a terrible price. Lucien cannot have sex with someone he loves. To do so would release the dragon from its prison within him. He releases his physical needs with meaningless sex, but as one of the men Krieger trusts the most, Lucien becomes one of Lily’s guardians, and every moment with her tests his resolve. Lily could make things easier by fully committing herself to Krieger and not flirting with him, but as she admits to the king, she loves Lucien, too.

A twist toward the end of the Guardian sees Krieger and Lily at once desperately in love with the other, yet separated by growing mountain of circumstances out of their control, anger, loss, and enough good intentions to build a bridge to Hades and put the ferryman out of a job. Playing the role of the Beast once again, Krieger will let his Belle go with hope that she will return to him, a decision that will move the action from Virginia to Big Sur, California, and a confrontation with Strigoi “Anson,” who claims Lily as his mate when he first lays eyes on her.

I found the details of The Last Guardian Rises intriguing, the escalation of Krieger and Lily’s relationship fulfilling, and the sex scenes very well written, yet I found the story a little slow. However, with Lily’s blood bond to Krieger broken by her demon father, and her desire to have children the king cannot give her but Anson can, book three of this story promises to be explosive, and I’m very much looking forward to it.

★★★★
About My Book Reviews

New Release: A Broken Magic (Born of Fire #2), by Justin R. Macumber

10699746_10152753809349437_542245791506566353_oOn a quest for domination, evil sorcerers from another land tore apart the barriers between our worlds, and the release of magical energy burned the Earth. Ten years later, a young woman named Skylar took control of the magic and used it to stop the sorcerers and seal the rift. Earth was saved.

Or so it seemed.

Now a new threat rises. Though the rift was closed, sorcerers from that distant land still lin in our world, and the greatest of them, Embreal, has vowed to open a new rift. Helping him is Cassandra, – a dark reflection of Skylar – who is devoted to him heart and soul. Will Skylar’s magic be enough to stop them? And, when she finally comes face to face with Cassandra, will she user her power against someone she so easily could have become?

A Broken Magic will be available on Amazon December 1, 2014.


“Justin Macumber’s Born of Fire series follows a very unique storyline and I love that it doesn’t feel just like every other book I’ve read. He has an amazing way of developing a universe that you can see. I am excited for what more is to come from Mr. Macumber.”
Amy Dale, author of OFF WITH HER HEART

“Justin Macumber knows how to master both action and character. His writing takes you to places you’ll want to go!” — Philippa Ballantine, author of WRAYTH, and HUNTER AND FOX

New Release: Gemini Rising II: The Light and the Flame

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Blurb

Ripped from her deathbed, Noah transports Kate to the Olam Yetzirah, the dimension where universes form. They seek the advice of the archangel, Michael, in how best to get back to Earth and their children. Kate’s son and their newborn daughter, Lucia, the one spoken of in the prophecy Gemini Rising, await their return.

Trouble arises and concern ripples through the Olam. Kate is unable to make the transition from human to bond mate and her dreams of returning to Earth with Noah are crushed. Uriel will become Kate’s mentor while Noah is dispatched to Naresh, his home planet and to his people to whom the Light no longer speaks.

Will Kate become the bond mate she is meant to be? Will Noah find welcome with his people or will they despise him for taking the Light from their souls. Most important of all, will the prophecy of Lucia be fulfilled, or will Belial, demon of Hades, murder her in a fit of jealous rage.

Excerpt

True love keeps no track of wrongdoing.

Memory flooding back, Belial lay with Saddash on the banks of the river, wishing he could make his mind a blank for all eternity. After a time, listening to the water’s ebb and flow, his anxiety eased.

While in the river, Saddash had taken him into her arms. Together they melded, but as usual, the joining was not complete. Since Saddash was not his bond mate the ritual left him empty, and instead of building flame the act brought him sorrow even as it provided physical relief. A part of him would always be with Sheren no matter where the Light had taken her.

“You think of that woman.” Saddash’s eyes were spiteful as she brushed back a lock of blue-black hair.

Her burnished body gleamed in the misty twilight, catching rays from the setting shoshrana sun above. Starlight glanced off the contours of her skin, adding to her lustrous beauty.

He answered her, “I do.”

“Why did you let her go?”

“It was not of my choosing.”

Saddash circled one nipple with a nail. “Am I not as good as her?”

“You are better.”

A pleased expression crossed her face and he wondered that she could not detect his lie. She should have. He had given her the power to do so, but it was always this way. Incomplete and alone he faced the world, his bond mate forever separated from his side, her clone unable or unwilling to share his life completely.

The day of his bond mate’s betrayal had dawned with each of them entwined within the other’s arms. He had a surprise for her, something to celebrate their years together. A golden dragon sculpted by the finest artist in the universe. He couldn’t wait to see her face. He thought a moment, thinking of when he’d first laid eyes on her, the raven-haired beauty of Beriah.

He had stolen Sheren from the world of creation. There, only souls of the highest luminosity could live and Sheren was the loveliest. Fair of face, dark of hair and eye, lithe of body, her arms had held him close, providing comfort to one of the Light’s rejected.

“Belial?”

“Quiet, Saddash.” He gazed across the river, his memory fading into the past.

On the day of Sheren’s disloyalty, they had been abed for hours, each of them enjoying the other in a dance of lovemaking that would make the Light blush—until she said the unthinkable.

“I want another child.”

“You what?” Her request had shaken him to the core, thinking this subject had been put to rest. Taking a sip of memosky, he searched for the right words to answer her demand. The thought of a child was anathema. No one would come between him and his bond mate, least of all a newly created soul.

“A child, Belial. I want—no I need a child.”

“Whatever for? You can create one if you will. Just think of one by Hades!”

Her eyes burned bright with tears. “Remember Haon? He came from my loins and did us both proud. Until you murdered him and our grandchild.” She sat up, her eyes bright with tears. “You and that prophecy. You fear it, don’t you. You really believe a child will take you from your rightful place in the universe.”

“Why now?” He rose from bed, dragging the sheet across the floor. “We have everything! Why must you have a child?” He would never forget her answer.

“The Light told me to ask.”

Fury exploding within, he morphed into demon-hood and staggered toward her, one hand ready to rip the soul from her body. “How dare you consult that insipient Being, that, that…!”

Sheren did not cringe. She had never been afraid of him and that had won his respect. She said again, “I want a child.”

Towering over her, his hand bent into a reptilian claw, he cried, “I’ll see you dead first.”

Instead of meeting his anger with fear she smiled, the light from her inner being shining on her face. He stood down, instantly morphing into personhood, the pain encompassing his soul not easily forgiven. He hissed, “I cannot believe you would ask such a thing.”

Ebony eyes looked back, the agony of her request filling him, letting him know that once again he would accede to her wishes.

She finished, “Still, I want a child.”

Biography

Louann Carroll is a Native Californian living in the Sierra Nevada foothills with her husband, Dennis.

Mother to three children, she is an avid rock, fossil, and gem hunter who enjoys sharing her finds with family and friends. She is a student of alternative religion, archaeology, anthropology, and paleontology.

After leaving her position as C.E.O. in the Bay Area, she has pursued her writing career with much success. Winner of the 2010 Crescent Moon Press award for best novel, she has added numerous titles to her resume. She is the author of the Gemini series, A Shadow of Time, a paranormal romance, Journeys, The Adventure of Leaf, and other children’s stories.

You can reach her at: TwitterFacebook | Email | GoodreadsAmazon Author Page

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And if you really want to know Louann…

  1. I have Crohn’s disease but it does not define me.
  2. Chocolate defines me, but because of Crohn’s I can rarely eat it. Although I do blog about it often enough. Wishful thinking, I guess.
  3. I have three kids, but they are grown, thank heavens. I could NOT do it over again.
  4. I have seven grandchildren but I’m still very young. Just ask them.
  5. I married my childhood sweetheart and after forty-four years he is still my sweetheart, but don’t tell him, he has a big enough head already.
  6. My three dogs, Chelsea, Bella, and Aggie sleep in our bed. I just can’t see kicking them out at their age.
  7. Moving to the Sierra Nevada foothills was the best decision I ever made. Aside from marrying my husband.

5 Star Review for Gemini Rising I from Merrylee from Two Lips Reviews (Reviewers Choice Award AND Recommended Read)

My Blogging Lapse, RT2014 People-Watching, and Stuff

Nancy Brant asked me to participate in a writing process blog hop and I saw it as an opportunity to post something. I haven’t blogged in a while. It sucks, but there’s a reason for it that’s relevant to my writing process. For me, writing takes one road, and reading/reviewing/blogging/promoting take another. I am working on strategy to manage both at the same time, but I’m not there yet.

There are a few, very exciting things happening with my writing career. A few years ago, I would have found one of them greatly disappointing. The benefit of time, and rapid progress in the industry, is that what might have been a setback only three years ago is now a blessing, and not even a disguised one. I apologize for being vague. I’d love to tell the story, because I think it’s an interesting one, but I neither can nor should. Truly, it doesn’t provide much value for other writers, not even for those in a similar situation.

RT2014

Marie Sexton, Me, and Alanna Coco

I attended RT 2014 in New Orleans this year. I met great people, spent a lot of time with my childhood friend, Marie Sexton, and sat in on some insightful panels. However, the most valuable thing I took away from the conference is something I observed while people watching among the indie authors. The ones that are successful–which I will define as having name recognition with strangers (think Lilliana Hart)—had two things in common that most of the authors in NOLA lacked. One, they referred to themselves as “indie publishers”, and two, they don’t sit still. Their books are the sellable component of their personal businesses, which is kept afloat with various entrepreneurial requirements. Whereas many self-published authors are fighting to connect with readers to sell a book, these few are reading trade publications, making connections, and building brands. Their books are marketing them, rather than the other way round.

Clearly, it’s not a model for success that can be implemented overnight by a working mom with a daily 50-mile round trip commute, but it’s nice to have an attainable goal.

Right now, the bulk of my focus is on Glitch, book one of a YA Sci-fi series. As of this morning, Glitch is a working title, because a book with that title was released in the same genre back in February. The idea for “The Winter Son” trilogy came about from a desire to dabble in the war between angels, but make angels the bad guys. It was originally called “The Choir Boys,” and it was intended to be a paranormal romance featuring an immortal paramilitary operative, but my main character argued that he wasn’t old enough to vote, so changes had to be made. I finish books, but they’re never the ones I start.

I’ve been asked how my work is different from others in its genre. I think that’s a question better left to readers. There’s a literary concept called “suspension of disbelief” and basically, readers cannot relate to something perfect. The more incredible something is–wealthy, beautiful, and/or powerful—the more flawed it has to be. Take any superhero you like and weigh his/her strengths against weaknesses. You’ll find they balance each other out.

It might be a cop out, but I try to make my characters on the average side, more representable of the young adult population. I avoid hot heroes and girls with red hair and green eyes. I have smart kids who make dumb, and sometimes selfish decisions. My world building is largely contemporary, but as the story progresses and the surface is scratched, evidence of richer, darker, even alien worlds can be found beneath.

I never set about writing this way. It evolved over time. I’m half-Japanese, and having been raised in Wyoming, I have come to self-identify as a white woman. For half of my life, I was a practicing Mormon, but in my 20s, I discovered an atheist within. I’m Pro-Gun, Pro-Choice, Pro-Fiscal Responsibility, Pro-Diversity, and a straight ally of the LGBT community. My writing, I believe, is a reflection of me, and written for my 16-year-old self…a girl whose life was shaped by reading books that were over her head.

My writing process is one that needs to change the more I think about it. I work out ideas in notebooks, write scenes in Scrivener, edit on hard copy, and I get done when I get done. It worked well when I was writing for myself, but my goals have changed. One day, I hope to quit my job and write full-time, and spending two years to complete one book isn’t going to get me there.

I was supposed to tag in three other writers to post next Monday, but like I said…I have two roads at the moment. Finding authors to participate turned out to be on the other one. Instead, please check out these great new releases.

Summoned, by Rainy Kaye

The Devil Made Me Do It  (Book 2, Speak of the Devil Series), by Shawna Romkey

Endured (Book 3, Shadowed Love Series), by Kinley Baker

Cover Reveal: The Devil Made Me Do It, by Shawna Romkey

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The Devil Made Me Do It (Speak of the Devil #2)
By Shawna Romkey

Coming from Crescent Moon Press, June 2014

About the Book:

Lily is working with the angels to stifle the last of the demon outbreaks and to figure out how to stop the Silence of God, so life can get back to boring normality. But all hell breaks loose when she’s stolen from school and brought face to face with the devil himself. Lily has to find her way back home to Luc, crack the prophecy that breaks the curse silencing God, and figure out how she and Luc can ever really be together; but Lucifer has other plans for her that don’t include her ever getting out of Hell in tact.

SR-37-150x150About the Author:

Shawna Romkey, teacher by day, writer by night (or day or whenever anyone leaves her alone long enough to get some work done). Bestselling YA / NA paranormal author of Speak of the Devil. The second in the series, The Devil Made Me Do It, will release July 1.

Shawna is from Kansas City, Missouri, but resides in Nova Scotia in a house by the sea with her husband, two sons, and currently two dogs but that’s subject to change depending on the local homeless dog population.

For more info, check out her website at www.shawnaromkey.com.

Cover Reveal: Blood of a Mermaid, by Katie O’Sullivan

BloodofaMermaid_coverBLOOD OF A MERMAID
By Katie O’Sullivan
Coming from Crescent Moon Press, May 2014

About the Book:

Mermaid blood.

When Shea MacNamara fell into the ocean for the first time, he found he could breathe underwater. The son of a mermaid, the sea is in his blood. Literally. The best part of Shea’s new life? His girlfriend Kae, who also happens to be a beautiful mermaid.

But darkness lurks under the sea. When evil mermen kidnap Kae, the king reminds Shea that having royal blood means making tough choices.

An Arctic dungeon, a fiery plane crash, the legendary halls of Atlantis…and narwhals?

Having mermaid blood just got a lot more complicated.

Katie_OSullivanAbout the Author:

Katie O’Sullivan lives with her family and big dogs next to the ocean on Cape Cod, drinking way too much coffee and inventing new excuses not to dust. A recovering English major, she earned her degree at Colgate University and writes romance for young adults and the young at heart. Her editing column, “The Write Way,” appears in the Literary Women section of CapeWomenOnline magazine.

Living next to the Atlantic influences everything she writes. Her YA mermaid series begins in Nantucket Sound with SON OF A MERMAID, and continues the undersea adventures with BLOOD OF A MERMAID, coming from Crescent Moon Press in May 2014. Her latest contemporary romance from The Wild Rose Press is MY KIND OF CRAZY, a Cape Cod story of second chances and starting over.

Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon Author Page

Excerpt from BLOOD OF A MERMAID, by Katie O’Sullivan

Shea grimaced. He knew firsthand the damage wind could cause. He’d witnessed tornado destruction back in Oklahoma, when he’d lost his dad and their farm. Wind could be devastating. And deadly. He needed to focus on something else. Maybe curtains and wallpaper weren’t such a bad thing to talk about after all. “Tell me again about this lady who hired your mom to decorate? Why is it she can’t pick out her own curtains?”

Hailey laughed. “Decorating is about more than curtains, you troglodyte. It’s about creating a whole look and feel for a home.”

A deep male voice crackled through the overhead speakers in rapid Greek, followed by English. “Attention, passengers. This is your captain. Please keep seatbelts fastened as we try to steer clear of this turbulence and find a pocket of better air.”

“A pocket of better air?” Hailey shook her head. “What does that even mean?”

Chip leaned back across the aisle and grinned. “Maybe this air is broken?” The light streaming through Hailey’s window shifted as the plane changed direction and Chip’s grin faded. “It looks like he made a ninety degree turn. That seems kind of drastic.”

“I’m sure the pilot’s done this a million times,” Hailey snapped, looking out her window again. “Ooh, look at that lightning over there! It’s like a fireworks display!”

Shea resisted the temptation to look out the window. His stomach already felt queasy enough, and now a storm? A slow tingling sensation engulfed his toes. “How close?”

“Oh, look out there now,” Hailey interrupted. “Water spouts!”

Shea felt the blood drain from his face. “Water spouts? Like, tornadoes on the ocean?”

Hailey glanced back at him and gently patted his knee. “This isn’t Oklahoma. I’m sure everything’s going to be fine,” she said as she pulled the plane’s information card out of the seat pocket in front of her. “But I guess it never hurts to review a plane’s emergency procedures.”

As she removed her hand from his knee to point at the diagram, Shea felt the tingling course through his legs, zinging from his toes up into his stomach. It was as if some switch in his body had flipped into high gear. Sweat beaded on his forehead and dripped down his back. The air inside the airplane cabin suddenly felt like it was clinging heavily around him, as if it were charged with electricity and Shea was the only magnet on board. He’d felt this exact sensation before, back at Plainville High School.

On the day of the tornado.

A Greek Top Ten with VC Birlidis, Author of Muse Unexpected

My parents liked sci-fi and fantasy, ’70s guitar rock, scantily-clad girls with swords, and barbarians with steroid-grade muscle. (Looking at you, Conan.) They were big on symbolism, superstition, Chinese kung-fu theater, and movies that weren’t appropriate for kids but let my brother and I watch anyway. The Ancient World? As my very Italian in-laws would say, fuggedaboutit. I was going to love Greece (and Egypt, Israel, Assyria, Babylon, Persia, etc). After my mother saw Clash of the Titans with Laurence Olivier and Maggie Smith, I really had no choice in the matter.

And that is what makes THIS guest post so exciting. VC Birlidis, author of Muse Unexpected, is here to tells us ALL about his ten favorite Greek characters ever. (Isn’t that cruel of me? I mean, how does a bona fide Greek guy sift through the awesomesauce to pick just 10?) Let’s see what he thinks!

Take her away, V!


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Medea

You can’t start a list of favorite Greek characters without listing Medea. She was beautifully flawed, strong,…well, actually completely mad. Now that’s irresistible.

Electra, the ninja assassin. I know… It’s a guy [thing] and she’s totally cool. Her being the love interest to Daredevil, yet her violent nature causes great conflict… it’s beautiful. I even liked the movie with Jennifer Gardner.

Ernst Stavro Blofeld – The super-villian all super-villian are measured by, from the James Bond novels. He is so over-the-top and beyond ridiculous that I can’t help but love him. (Wendy here. Blofeld was the inspiration for Dr. Evil and his cat, Mr. Bigglesworth.)

Another James Bond character who is so incredibly dynamic and tragically flawed is Electra King. She spends a great deal of the time playing the victim and yet she turns out to be the master-villian. Such great fun.

Hera, the vengeful wife of Zeus. So incredibly cruel, she makes most villains seem like Suzy Sunshine. There is a certain vulnerability with Hera that makes you think there is hope for her, and then she goes and attacks Perseus. Not very nice.

Dürer - Mort d'Orphée (1494)

The Death of Orpheus

Orpheus – He loved his wife so much he travelled to the Underworld to save her. And his lack of trust is the undoing of them both. Such a tragic love story and such a strong, committed husband.

Hades – Poor Hades. He’s sent to the Underworld to rule the dead. Talk about a bleak environment. Then he sees this beautiful woman, Persephone, immediately falls in love and drags her down to the Underworld. I’m assuming he did this in hopes that she would bring to his life some much needed beauty. And the poor God let his lust get the better of him because Persephone turns out to be quite the fish wife. I’m always one for the underdog.

Medusa – A tragic character, damned by the evil Athena for something out of her control. (She was raped by Poseidon in Athena’s temple.) I’ve often found it interesting that Medusa and the other Gorgons didn’t seek people out to murder. They were sought out by others to kill the “monsters”. the story of the gorgons appears to be an ongoing narrative of the value placed on women during ancient Greece times, while also demonstrating the jealousy felt woman to woman. It’s a narrative that unfortunately continues today, which makes Medusa one of my favorite Greek characters. It also drove me to place the Gorgons in a better, flattering light.

Nia Vardalos’ character Toula Portokalos from my Big Fat Greek Wedding. I felt her pain, growing up Greek and the craziness associated with it. Although I wanted to kill Nia after the 100th person asked me if adults were baptized in a baby pool. Dear lord!

Captain Birlis – An ancestor of mine, who is mostly unknown. While traveling in Greece with my Father, we visited a monastery that had an Icon of the Virgin Mary that was rumored to have cried. While there, a very small Nun was giving us a tour and she asked what our name was. My father said it was Birlidis, originally Birlis. My Pappous (Grandfather) had changed our last name when he came over on the boat. He felt Birlis wasn’t greek enough. She then told us about a Captain Birlis, who had a legend attached to him. He was a ship captain, during ancient Greece, who’s ship was sinking. (don’t know the reason why. I think it had to do with hitting hidden rocks.) the ship began to fill with water, and with impending death, they all kneeled down on the ship’s deck and began to pray. It is said the Virgin Mary appeared to them with the Baby Jesus in her arms, and told them not to fear and that she would help them. She dove off the side of the boat, yes, with the Baby Jesus, and all of a sudden the water stopped coming into the hole. It is told that a giant sea sponge had lodged itself into the hole, allowing the ship the time to make it back to land. In celebration of this, Captain Birlis commissioned a candle, the same size of the ship’s mast and donated it to the monastery in thanks of the Virgin Mary saving them. The candle remained intact, at the monastery until a major earthquake destroyed it, but apparently pieces of it are still kept at the monastery.


Muse tour

Tour Schedule

Muse UnexpectedMuse Unexpected

“We’re Muses. Not vampires, not fairies, not werewolves. We’re Muses.” Sophie was sure her mother had reached an epic level of crazy. ‘We’re Muses?’ She thought Muses were lame, not to mention she found the idea ridiculous. However, Sophie couldn’t explain away her physical transformation that made Anne Hathaway in The Princess Diaries look like a bad Walmart make-over, not to mention why her mood swings triggered an uncontrollable ability to shoot powerful bursts of energy out of her hands.

Sophie soon realizes modern day Muses have evolved into powerful guardians of humankind, tasked with keeping mortals on the right path and the original Olympians locked away from the world. But old hatreds don’t die easily, especially for immortal enemies that have an eternity to plot and gather their forces. Well aware of the Fates’ foretelling of another Olympian war, and a young Muse that would rise up as a warrior and defeat them, the Olympians have vowed to either possess Sophie or destroy her. Either way, they will make sure everyone associated with their imprisonment will reap an eternal damnation in the Underworld, leaving the Olympians to restore Mount Olympus and force humankind into a future of never-ending servitude and misery.

Amazon * Barnes & Noble * Goodreads

Praise for Muse Unexpected

“Ripe with conflict, skin-crawling creepy that is sprinkled with a wonderful sense of humor and a plot fraught with horrific danger in every step taken by Sophie, this book should be on the top of everyone’s must read list. Simply put, I loved it and can’t wait for book 2 to come out.” ~Olive (Amazon Review)

“I remember learning about mythology & Greek gods in elementary school….boring! Well, this fantastic book takes everything you thought about gods/mythology and turns it on it’s ear, sort of like “Wicked” did to the “Wizard of OZ”. At times funny at times gruesome and scary, this story definitely kept my interest. I loved the way the writer made the gods “human”. I also liked the subtle, blink and you’ll miss them hints sprinkled throughout the story. Don’t let the young adult genre scare you away. This is an engaging story that can be enjoyed by all. Can’t wait for the next one!!!!” ~Paula (Amazon Review)

Author V.C. Birlidis

V.C. Birlidis was born and raised in Miami, Florida and has always been involved in the arts. He attended the New World School of the Arts and was a member of The Miami Ballet.

Mr. Birlidis moved to Ohio to attend college where he earned his Bachelor’s degree in marketing and communications from Capital University. He currently is the Director of Marketing at one of the top midwest advertising agencies, SBC Advertising. He has freelanced as a writer for Outlook News and Tickled Pink Magazine, where he wrote a comical advice column named Ask V.

Five years in the making and inspired by the numerous Greek myths his father would utilize as demented bed time stories, Muse, Unexpected is Mr. Birlidis’ first novel. It is the first book in his Muse series.

Website * Twitter * Facebook

Excerpt

“Mom, step away from the mirror. Let me see what has happened to me.”

“But I need to explain first. It’s like this, some people may have a few additional doors open and because of those open doors, they have some extra abilities like being able to tell the future or being able to speak with the dead. Now, beings like us have the majority of our doors opened and our soul is expanded to allow us to do the things we can do. Otherwise, our soul would be ripped to shreds.”

Sophie’s arms shook; a searing heat building inside her as crackling electricity filled the air. “What has happened to me, Mom? I need to see.” She lifted her head; her eye’s meeting her mother’s. The heat was almost unbearable, burning in her eyes and moving toward her clenched fists. Her hands tingled and burned. She was sure they were going to explode.

Callie held firm. “Honey, calm down. You don’t have control of your emotions. It’s always difficult at first, but—”

Sophie was furious and she let whatever control she had slip away. Her eyes were burning through her mother, in an attempt to reach the covered mirror.

With a steady voice, Sophie said, “Let me see.” She shook her hands, in an attempt to shake off the heat pooling in them. Instead of feeling relief, the energy surged from her.

Callie threw herself out of the way, falling forward onto the floor as the energy burst hit the mirror, ripping the heavy curtains and massive iron rods off the wall and cracking the mirror from top to bottom. Sharp pieces of mirror rained down, as both women crashed to the floor.

“Ow!” The slivers of mirror glass sliced her palms. She grew silent watching the mirror-shards pushing themselves out of her skin. The cuts bled a little then stopped bleeding and healed before her eyes. She stood, afraid to move, trying to get her mind around what she was seeing.

“What the heck is wrong with me?” Sophie said, as she burst into tears.

Although a good portion of the mirror was destroyed, Sophie could still make out most of her reflection. She lifted her right hand and touched her face, realizing she was staring back at the girl from her nightmare. It was the girl who had pushed her into the grave.

This is more than just a little liposuction or a hair straightening. Am I a victim of an alien attack? Was this the work of body snatchers?

Blog Tour Giveaway

$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Ends 3/21/14

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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Click here to Enter!

Book Blast! Muse Unexpected, by VC Birlidis

Muse Unexpected“We’re Muses. Not vampires, not fairies, not werewolves. We’re Muses.” Sophie was sure her mother had reached an epic level of crazy. ‘We’re Muses?’ She thought Muses were lame, not to mention she found the idea ridiculous. However, Sophie couldn’t explain away her physical transformation that made Anne Hathaway in The Princess Diaries look like a bad Walmart make-over, not to mention why her mood swings triggered an uncontrollable ability to shoot powerful bursts of energy out of her hands.

Sophie soon realizes modern day Muses have evolved into powerful guardians of humankind, tasked with keeping mortals on the right path and the original Olympians locked away from the world. But old hatreds don’t die easily, especially for immortal enemies that have an eternity to plot and gather their forces. Well aware of the Fates’ foretelling of another Olympian war, and a young Muse that would rise up as a warrior and defeat them, the Olympians have vowed to either possess Sophie or destroy her. Either way, they will make sure everyone associated with their imprisonment will reap an eternal damnation in the Underworld, leaving the Olympians to restore Mount Olympus and force humankind into a future of never-ending servitude and misery.

Amazon * Barnes & Noble * Goodreads

Praise for Muse Unexpected

“Ripe with conflict, skin-crawling creepy that is sprinkled with a wonderful sense of humor and a plot fraught with horrific danger in every step taken by Sophie, this book should be on the top of everyone’s must read list. Simply put, I loved it and can’t wait for book 2 to come out.” ~Olive (Amazon Review)

“I remember learning about mythology & Greek gods in elementary school….boring! Well, this fantastic book takes everything you thought about gods/mythology and turns it on it’s ear, sort of like “Wicked” did to the “Wizard of OZ”. At times funny at times gruesome and scary, this story definitely kept my interest. I loved the way the writer made the gods “human”. I also liked the subtle, blink and you’ll miss them hints sprinkled throughout the story. Don’t let the young adult genre scare you away. This is an engaging story that can be enjoyed by all. Can’t wait for the next one!!!!” ~Paula (Amazon Review)

Muse tour

Tour Schedule

Author V.C. Birlidis

V.C. Birlidis was born and raised in Miami, Florida and has always been involved in the arts. He attended the New World School of the Arts and was a member of The Miami Ballet.

Mr. Birlidis moved to Ohio to attend college where he earned his Bachelor’s degree in marketing and communications from Capital University. He currently is the Director of Marketing at one of the top midwest advertising agencies, SBC Advertising. He has freelanced as a writer for Outlook News and Tickled Pink Magazine, where he wrote a comical advice column named Ask V.

Five years in the making and inspired by the numerous Greek myths his father would utilize as demented bed time stories, Muse, Unexpected is Mr. Birlidis’ first novel. It is the first book in his Muse series.

Website * Twitter * Facebook

BookBlast Giveaway

$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Ends 3/7/14

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

rafflecopter-logo
Click here to Enter!