Press Release: Fang Me Three Times by R.L. Merrill

My friend R.L. Merrill has a new book out!
New Paranormal Romance Release
Fang Me Three Times: Magic and Mayhem Universe
The Miscreants #1 By R.L. Merrill 

Three kisses will break the curse, but what if your Prince Charming can’t hold back the fang?

Cursed witch Wilma Wetter is proud to represent her magical Germanic ancestors as a weather forecaster, even if it means taking a job in a town called Assjacket, West Virginia. While tracking the weather before a historic lunar eclipse, she and her trusty camerawoman Jules come across three ridiculously attractive rock stars wandering in the woods.

Gustavo “Gus Valens” Valenzuela comes from a rock ‘n’ roll family and has been living the dream since joining his cousins in forming The Miscreants, but a hazy meeting with insistent groupies leaves The Miscreants forever changed. And hungry.

Gus holds the key to awakening Wilma’s latent powers, held in check by an ancient family curse. Can he help her break it without changing her life forever? And would change necessarily be a bad thing?

Please Visit https://www.magicandmayhemuniverse.com for buy links!


About the Author:

R.L. Merrill brings you stories of Hope, Love, and Rock ‘n’ Roll featuring quirky and relatable characters. Whether she’s writing about contemporary issues that affect us all or diving deep into the paranormal and supernatural to give readers a shiver, she loves creating compelling stories that will stay with readers long after. Winner of the Kathryn Hayes “When Sparks Fly” Best Contemporary award for Hurricane Reese. Ro spends every spare moment improving her writing craft and striving to find that perfect balance between real-life and happily ever after. She writes diverse and inclusive romance, contributes paranormal hilarity to Robyn Peterman’s Magic and Mayhem Universe, and works on various other writing and mentoring projects that tickle her fancy or benefit a worthy cause. You can find her connecting with readers on social media, educating America’s youth, raising two brilliant teenagers, trying desperately to get that back piece finished in the tattoo chair, or headbanging at a rock show near her home in the San Francisco Bay Area! Stay Tuned for more Rock ‘n’ Romance.

www.rlmerrillauthor.com

Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @rlmerrillauthor

Pandemic Stories: If Poe had written Annabel Lee during a Pandemic

In the book, Quoth the RavenI presented my interpretation of Edgar Allan Poe’s poem “Annabel Lee” in short story form. In “My Annabel” I explored the theme from the perspective of an ER doctor and his wife in the middle of a Pandemic outbreak. Little did I know the theme would become so real to us today.

I now present you with an excerpt from “My Annabel” below.


My Annabel by Emerian Rich

They blamed me, but I couldn’t stop it. Annabel was going to die from the moment she hugged that poor sick child and I knew it. She knew it too, but neither of us vocalized it. It was more of an exchanged look, a silent message as she smoothed back the hair of that poor homeless waif.

The virus had been loosed on a plane flying in from London, but the passengers didn’t start getting sick until they left the airport. By then, they’d had time to infect others. Patients streamed into the ER faster than we could care for them. The rules? Stay four to six feet away, use the protective gear, and make no contact. We followed the rules…except that once.

Just like an unexpected pregnancy from casual sex, it only takes once.

I can’t explain why Annabel picked up the child whose sneeze infected her, only that it could have just as easily been me. Perhaps it was the child’s pleading blue eyes, too young to know the severity of what her innocent-seeming cold meant, or maybe it was those cute, chubby cheeks covered with tears. Maybe it was because we’d talked of having such a child, of finally being ready to give ourselves up to parenting, of allowing our lives to be taken over by the mixture of joy and stress of being parents. Diapers, late-night feedings, no rest. After all, if two doctors couldn’t function without a little sleep, what good were we?

And so Annabel allowed herself to be infected because of a sudden lapse in judgment, an urgent wish to ease a little girls’ suffering. Who could fault her for that? No one. But they blamed me.

She’d waved me off when a few of the interns in hazmats swooped in to handle the girl. The interns washed Annabel, too. They worked quickly, shedding her of her clothes and wiping her down as I watched from the other side of the glass.

“She can be saved,” they murmured. No way the great Doctor Lee—one half of the greatest medical team ever known to the West Coast—could succumb to the virus as the result of simply embracing a defenseless young soul. We were brilliant surgeons, but our bodies were still human. The physical laws of biology and virus still applied.

By the time I’d been installed in a hazmat suit, my Annabel was naked and shivering, more from fever than cold. Unembarrassed by being on the patient side, where modesty was nothing compared to wellness, her teeth chattered as she fell into my white-shrouded arms. I embraced her, gripping the body I knew as well as my own, wishing I could smell her hair, wanting nothing more than to rip off my mask and succumb alongside my love. But when I moved to do so, she pleaded with me to protect myself, that it was she who made the mistake and she who must pay the price.

“You must live on,” she said. “You must live this life for us both.”

In those last hours as I held her on my lap—me in my hazmat, she in her hospital robe—Annabel reminded me of our life. Not the life we lived then— each trying to be strong for the other, trying to concentrate on the love not the loss—but our life before. When we moved to San Francisco fresh out of medical school, against her parents’ wishes, to be interns in a new city on the West Coast. She spoke of the little apartment we could barely afford. Of lovemaking between shifts, or on breaks, or whenever we could. In the car, in the on-call room, and sometimes in our own bed, exhausted but craving each other’s touch. She reminded me of those rare days off when we’d take a picnic to the park and roll in the grass, enjoying the sun on our pale, indoor skin or running along the beach letting the freezing water tingle our toes in the sand.

“We loved with a love that was more than a love,” she said, her weary, red-rimmed eyes looking up at me from her curled spot on my lap.

“That we did and will always, forevermore,” I replied.

After the light was gone from her eyes and her heart stopped for good, I held her still, willing my love to revive her. You’d think it would. For why would the heavens give us such a gift of love if not to make it powerful enough to bring back life?

To read more of My Annabel, download Quoth the Raven.


The works of Poe were dark and often disturbing. From dismembered corpses, rivals bricked behind cellar walls, murders in back alleys, laments for lost loves, obsessions that drive men – and women! – to madness, his stories have had a profound impact on both the horror and mystery genres to this day.

In Quoth the Raven, we invite you to answer the call of the raven and revisit Poe’s work, re-imagined for the twenty-first century. Here, the lover of mystery and Gothic horror will find familiar themes in contemporary settings, variations on Poe’s tales, and faithful recreations of the author’s signature style.

Contains stories and poems by Aryan Bollinger, Brian Ellis, Chris Abela, Donea Lee Weaver, Edward Ahern, Emerian Rich, Frank Coffman, Gregory J. Wolos, Hugh J.O’Donnell, John Kiste, Kara Race-Moore, Karen Robiscoe, Kenneth C. Goldman, Lauryn Christopher, Lawrence Berry, Matthew M. Montelione, Melanie Cossey, Penelope Paling, R.C. Scandalis, Sarah Murtagh, Scott Wheelock, Sidney Williams, Sonora Taylor, Stephanie L. Harper, Steven R. Southard, Susan McCauley, Tiffany Michelle Brown, Tonia Kalouria, and Vicki Weisfeld.

Available Now!

Plague Master: Rebel Infection Excerpt from New Book by H.E. Roulo

Today I have a special treat from my good friend H.E. Roulo. She has a new book out and is sharing an excerpt below. Enjoy!

Trevor’s return from the zombie infection makes him unique. It also makes him dangerous.

He’s a hero on his homeworld, celebrated for finding a vaccine against the zombie virus, but the ruling Founders don’t trust him and his low origins. When the revolution comes, Trevor is caught in the middle.

Despite his homeworld’s troubles, a message from a Plague Master forces Trevor to seek reinforcements. He hunts for Kristin, the woman he left behind, and an answer to why the vaccine is failing.

He and his friends must fight on space stations and worlds overtaken with infected to discover the terrible truth about his cure.

With the release of book two of the PLAGUE MASTER Series, readers get to rediscover teenager Trevor Seth. Trevor is hailed as a hero for returning with a vaccine for the zombie infection. His celebrity also makes him a dangerous threat to the powerful Founders of his homeworld. Revolution is in the air, and Trevor is caught in the middle.


     Excerpt From Chapter 3 of Plague Master: Rebel Infection

The flash in his eyes said Gerd’s patience had ended. “Maybe one day you could take me, kid, but it isn’t today. Listen. Nod. Smile at the funny jokes.”

Speeches followed, most of them about the miraculous recovery of Shailon since Trevor and Elena brought back the elixir. Trevor trotted forward obediently, waving.

The crowd formed a sea of swaying arms and open throats. The roar became obscene, something full of teeth and tongues that surged toward him with grasping hands. Sunlight heated the skin of his tingling cheek until it burned. He wanted to dig his fingers into the scar. His fingers settled into the spot, tearing the skin as if he could pull it out.

The announcer talked about him in a buzz, unaware how close Trevor came to panic before the crowd. He couldn’t remember being a zombie, those memories were gone, but he remembered joining the army of zombies advancing on Mengus’s ship. Those zombies, these people. In his confused mind, it was hard to find differences between them.

His pulling fingers stopped, each nail pressing a crescent into discolored flesh that had healed once he became human again. Somewhere in the swimming memories, he made a discovery. I did this myself. I dug these holes in my cheek.

Revulsion, over the animal he had been, surged anew. Did part of that animal still lie within him, hidden deeper than the marrow of his bones where the zombie cure hid? What was I trying to dig out?

Trevor walked to the podium where some celebrity comedian pranced. Trevor shoved him aside. The sea of faces lifted to him, mouths falling open as the comedian staggered and fell off the stage, neatly caught by security lined up there. Of course, they lined the stage. Everyone up here was a Founder, and the people screaming from below were townspeople. His people. Not zombies.

They hadn’t planned for him to speak, just show his face so his successes were attributed to the Founders. Glossing over the truth. He cleared his throat.

“The zombie plague is over. I remember deciding to fight back. I couldn’t fight the zombie plague by myself, I was just a bait boy,” he said.

His words reverberated through the speakers. The crowd fell silent. They’d come to celebrate, but the speeches had been pats on the back from dignitaries. Suddenly, someone was talking to them. “That’s all they said we could be. Things were different on Lindley. I brought back

the cure for one disease, but there’s another.”

Swallowing his fears, Trevor squeezed the microphone and stepped from the podium, sensing Gerd approaching.

From the crowd, a woman in a red sunbonnet strained to touch his ankle.

Trevor let the speakers carry his intimate tone. “Did you fight? I bet you did. We all did. But we had no weapons. We had no safe places to retreat to, and they herded the zombies into our neighborhoods.”

The entranced listeners stood still, and Trevor knew he could ask anything of them. He inhaled, ready to use that power.

Read more excerpts and see behind the scenes of the PLAGUE MASTER trilogy.

Twitter: @hroulo

Facebook: www.facebook.com/heroulo

Blog: www.heatherroulo.com

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/hroulo

Author Central: www.amazon.com/author/heatherroulo

Plague Master: Sanctuary Dome (Book 1): https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01CKAPXWW

Plague Master: Rebel Infection (Book 2): https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07WTQV6M7

#KillSwitch excerpt: “SoulTaker 2.0”

As technology takes over more of our lives, what will it mean to be human, and will we fear what we’ve created? What horrors will our technological hubris bring us in the future?

Join us as we walk the line between progressive convenience and the nightmares these advancements can breed. From faulty medical nanos and AI gone berserk to ghost-attracting audio-tech and one very ambitious Mow-Bot, we bring you tech horror that will keep you up at night. Will you reach the Kill Switch in time?


A sneak peek inside…

SOULTAKER 2.0
EMERIAN RICH

Tory swigged a Red Bull too fast, causing pain to ripple down his esophagus. He twisted in his lopsided office chair as the massive gulp of carbonation traveled down. Pain wasn’t a stranger to him. Like most his age, with his coding skillz, he had tendonitis, carpal tunnel, tennis elbow, neck strain, you name it. His swelling hands throbbed with the inevitable ache from running out of Naproxen.

Drilling his fingers into the keyboard at an inhuman pace, he noticed an error in the hardcoding fifteen lines up on his screen.

“Fuck!” He clicked up into the jungle of text and typed over his error. With only an hour left to complete the project, Tory berated himself for such a newb mistake.

His Bluetooth headset buzzed, scaring the bejesus out of him. It seemed like every time the earpiece buzzed, a spark of electricity zapped into his ear. His grandpa was probably right, the thing would give him cancer one day.

“Tory,” his employer’s masked voice trilled the “r” and chilled his bones.

“Mr. D?”

“What are you doing to the code? Why are you altering it?” The voice dug into him, scraping at his insides like a cheese grater.

“I… I messed it up. I had to redo that part.”

“You’re behind schedule.”

“I know. It’ll be done by midnight, I swear.” Tory glanced at his digital clock, blinking a few times before his tired eyes made out the neon green numbers displaying 11:17.

“Imbecile!” the voice bellowed, making his ear ring and his whole being shudder. “Delivery by midnight means it has to be complete by ten till to push it out to the servers. Are you fucking kidding me? I paid you well for this job and you better damned well come through or there will be hell to pay. You hear me? Hell to pay!”

The line clicked dead before Tory could respond.

Tory stood, his legs stiff as he walked. He tripped over empty pizza boxes and pitched forward, into the bathroom. His place needed a bulldozer to carry away all the food delivery trash he’d amassed during the week he’d been tied to his computer. Unzipping his fly, he relieved himself, not really caring if he hit the target or not.

The gamer podcast he’d been listening to while working, caught his attention.

“You hear those money hungry bastards over at Dullahan Games are rolling out their new add-on pack, Reaper, without beta testing?”

“This is the most anticipated add-on pack since the creation of multi-player games. They made two million dollars the first twenty minutes of pre-orders and stand to top thirty mill by release. These gamers are willing to pay to be the first to see it, glitches be damned.”

Paid. Yes, think of the money. Still, Tory couldn’t remember what he’d be paid. Dollar signs mixed with hashtags, until he realized he was remembering a hex color code instead of a payday.

In less than an hour, he’d be set for life. He could sleep or get high or go to Sandra’s Halloween party. Shit. Halloween. The life of a hacker used to be much more fun, back in the day before special character passwords and cybercops, when his bot could crack a system code in under twenty minutes. When Halloween consisted of scamming credit to treat his crew to a night of drinking and lap dances.

But now he was legit, working on the most popular MMORPG on the planet, SoulTaker. The concept was simple. Gamers signed over their digital souls to live out their wildest fantasies in a suped-up cyberland where supernatural powers were norm. The add-on pack, Reaper, would be legendary. ‘Course his name wouldn’t be on it, but he had already let slip a viral email to gamers with his hacker handle so they would know.

Slumping back into the ancient desk chair, he squeezed his blurry eyes and smiled. Only three rows of code and he’d be done. His tired fingers flew across the keyboard. The guillemets and backslashes blended into a puzzle of sorts. Greater than, less than, equals. Only a code junky knew what the maze said. At his last keystroke, the zap came again in his ear.

“It’s done,” he said before Mr. D. could say anything.

“I don’t see…” A computer bleep interrupted his speech. “Ah… Very good.” The line clicked before Tory switched over to his bank and saw the funds wired in. All the stress from the endless hours of coding crippled him. His hands were like giant claws, his body wouldn’t move. The clock flipped to 12:00.

Toggling over to the game, Tory logged into the server to watch players devour his newest creation. Just a few minutes basking in his glory and then he’d hit the hay for a well-deserved sleep.

He watched as character after character rezzed and speech bubbles exploded on the screen.

Severed13: Whoa! Awesome!
CallMeHeaven: I can’t believe we’re in!
HellBoot: Fuckin’ epic!

The upgrade included a “soul reaping” that would cause your character to gain even more supernatural powers. Little red flags appeared over each avatar in turn.

SOUL OFFICIALLY REAPED


EDITED BY:

DAN SHAURETTE

& EMERIAN RICH

STORIES BY:

H.E. ROULO, TIM O’NEAL, JERRY J. DAVIS, EMERIAN RICH, BILL DAVIDSON,

DANA HAMMER, NACHING T. KASSA, GARRETT ROWLAN, DAPHNE STRASERT

PHILLIP T. STEVENS, LAUREL ANNE HILL, CHANTAL BOUDREAU, GARTH VON BUCHHOLZ

Available now on Amazon!

 

 

#NGHW Editor’s Picks

HorrorAddicts.net continues our Horror Bites series with a bundle of new fiction by our Next Great Horror Writer Contestants.

Featuring work by:

Jonathan Fortin
Naching T. Kassa
Daphne Strasert
Jess Landry
Harry Husbands
Sumiko Saulson
Adele Marie Park
Feind Gottes
JC Martínez
Cat Voleur
Abi Kirk-Thomas
Timothy G. Huguenin
Riley Pierce
Quentin Norris
With introduction by Emerian Rich.

HorrorAddicts.net is proud to present our top 14 contestants in the Next Great Horror Writer Contest. The included stories, scripts, and poems are the result of the hard work and dedication these fine writers put forth to win a book contract. Some learned they loved writing and want to pursue it as a career for the rest of their lives. Some discovered they should change careers either to a different genre of writing or to a new career entirely. Whatever lessons came along the way, they each learned something about themselves and grew as writers. We hope you enjoy the writing as much as we did.

Just 99 cents at Amazon.com

******************************************************

A sneak peek inside…

INTRODUCTION

by Emerian Rich

The Next Great Horror Writer Contest was such an awesome experience, I don’t think we could have imagined what excitement it would bring to our listeners and what success it would inspire in the contestants. Being the first ever Next Great Horror Writer Contest in HorrorAddicts.net history, it certainly made Season 12 an adventure.

HorrorAddicts.net has had writer competitions for quite some time. Starting in 2009, we hosted the Wicked Women Writers Competition where women horror writers wrote and produced a short audio story with a theme chosen by us. In 2011, the men wanted a stab at it and we launched the male equivalent contest, Masters of Macabre.

Both of these competitions required the writer to record and produce stories on their own. At times, we allowed alternate voices for entertainment effect, but the main point was to have the author podcast their own work. We were podcast authors after all and expected the same sort of dedication from the contestants.

Over time—and following the great pod-fade of 2012, caused mostly by Mevio suddenly dropping all of their free accounts without notice—the contest entries waned. There were still contestants, but not as many podcast authors and those that were still trucking, were dealing with the new era of audiobooks Audible had ushered in and how to transfer to ACX. However, there were still writers wishing to complete, they just weren’t educated on the podcasting bit. At this same time, there were suggestions of combining the men and women’s contest and including our alums in the race, but none of it excited me.

In an attempt to evolve the contest, I dreamed big. This next contest had to be something that authors would clamor to enter. It would have to offer a prize that went beyond badges and horror gift packs—although those gift packs are pretty cool!

I asked myself, what do all authors want? Well, book deals of course, acceptance letters, and royalty payments. I knew we could offer small short story publications, but what if I could get them a chance to pitch their novel to a real publishing house in hopes of getting a deal?

I approached the well-known Crystal Lake Publishing first. They were well-respected by the horror community and we’d been acquainted with them through the show reviewing their books and featuring their authors. I offered Joe a choice. We could offer the winner a contract, or if he wasn’t prepared for that, just an interview for possible publication. When he said they could offer a contract, I about fell out of my chair. Now, it was real. Now, I really had to step it up.

If we were going to allow Crystal Lake Publishing to put their faith in our winner, that writer had to be tested beyond breaking point. They had to prove they had what it took to actually enter a real writing career. We settled on thirteen writing challenges, pushing the authors out of their comfort zones and asking them to meet insurmountable deadlines. But we weren’t completely heartless. We’d have mini-prizes along the way.

One of my fears upon launch was that given the tough challenges, no one would enter. But we were inundated with authors all clamoring for that grand prize. 137 writers grappled for the top spaces. Authors from 13 countries, 34 US states, ages 18-75, and from all different ethnicities and backgrounds answered our call.

It was a tough decision picking the top ones. We graded every part of the application process from why they thought they were a horror addict, what genres they most liked to write, their goals as a writer, why they enrolled, their online presence, and most importantly, their 100-word story submitted for entry. The story took half the grade while their application answers took the other half.

Only a chosen few would go on to compete. Dan Shaurette, Heather Roulo, and I spent hours pouring over the top twenty, comparing stories, their answers to questions, and how we thought each of them would compete. Not only did we strive to get a diverse list with men, women, and people from different countries, but we also wanted those who gave creative answers to questions. Did their answers to these seemingly ambiguous questions make us want to read more? Was their viewpoint original? Would they be someone both our US and our listeners abroad would be interested in following for a whole season?

Finally, we rested on the top contestants and the contest began. The following stories, scripts, and poems are the result of the hard work and dedication these fine writers put forth to win a book contract. Some learned they loved writing and want to pursue it as a career for the rest of their lives. Some discovered they should change careers either to a different genre of writing or to a new career entirely. Whatever lessons came along the way, they each learned something about themselves and grew as writers.

HorrorAddicts.net is proud to present our top 14 contestants in the Next Great Horror Writer Contest. We hope you enjoy the writing as much as we did…To read the stories, click here.

******************************************************

HorrorAddicts.net

for Horror Addicts, by Horror Addicts

Listen to the HorrorAddicts.net podcast for the latest in horror news, reviews, music, and fiction.

HorrorAddicts.net Press

www.horroraddicts.net

New Fiction! Quoth the Raven – Inspired by Poe

Quoth the Raven

featuring

“My Annabel”
by Emerian Rich

The works of Poe were dark and often disturbing. From dismembered corpses, rivals bricked behind cellar walls, murders in back alleys, laments for lost loves, obsessions that drive men – and women! – to madness, his stories have had a profound impact on both the horror and mystery genres to this day.

In Quoth the Raven, we invite you to answer the call of the raven and revisit Poe’s work, re-imagined for the twenty-first century. Here, the lover of mystery and Gothic horror will find familiar themes in contemporary settings, variations on Poe’s tales, and faithful recreations of the author’s signature style.

Contains stories and poems by Aryan Bollinger, Brian Ellis, Chris Abela, Donea Lee Weaver, Edward Ahern, Emerian Rich, Frank Coffman, Gregory J. Wolos, Hugh J.O’Donnell, John Kiste, Kara Race-Moore, Karen Robiscoe, Kenneth C. Goldman, Lauryn Christopher, Lawrence Berry, Matthew M. Montelione, Melanie Cossey, Penelope Paling, R.C. Scandalis, Sarah Murtagh, Scott Wheelock, Sidney Williams, Sonora Taylor, Stephanie L. Harper, Steven R. Southard, Susan McCauley, Tiffany Michelle Brown, Tonia Kalouria, and Vicki Weisfeld.

Available Now!

Guest Blog: Meet the Hero of Virtue’s Temptation by Lela Bay

Guest Blog- Meet the Hero of Virtue’s Temptation  by Lela Bay

Thank you for having me on your blog, Emerian Rich. I admire your range and how you’re not afraid to try anything.

Ruined Reputations is my first romance novella, and contains two very different stories. In the first, “The Unusual Manners of Mr. Aarons,” the hero is unconcerned with propriety. He has larger matters to deal with. Others cannot so easily overlook convention, however, especially when it leads to ridiculous scenes such as him grabbing the fake fruit off the top of a woman’s hat.

In contrast, the hero of “Virtue’s Temptation” is concerned with weightier matters and his arrival is not nearly as humorous.

When we first meet Mr. Stinson Eleanor has already rescued a naive girl on the threshold of a hotel room with an unsuitable man. Taking charge, Eleanor is determined to chaperone her youthful charge home, but Bitsy is uncooperative. Forced to wait for someone to come after the girl and reveal where she lives, Eleanor spends an uncomfortable afternoon in the lobby with the innkeeper who had so easily turned a blind eye to Bitsy’s predicament.

She hears someone arriving in the courtyard.

“Will ye be sitting there until the devil comes for me soul? Are you sent to see justice done?” The innkeeper squawked, unable to bear her gaze a moment longer.

Eleanor did not deign to answer. Straightening her narrow skirts, she checked the angle of her cocked hat and walked toward the desk.

The innkeeper shied back, as if she really were an agent of infernal retribution. Rather pleased that he might consider his immortal soul, and perhaps improve his conduct in future interactions, she measured her steps with the wavering shadow outside. She arrived at the desk at the same moment the door slammed open, smashing into the wall. A long-legged force of nature swept into the room.

The innkeeper cried out and crouched away from Eleanor, who turned toward the stormy gentleman. At the sight of him, her own heart leapt, for he more greatly resembled an avenging angel than she could ever hope to. His hair, mussed from the ride, swept back in golden waves from a tanned forehead and gleaming brown eyes. The greatcoat made black wings on his back, giving him an ethereal magnitude that blotted out the rest of the room as he bore down on them.

Eleanor stepped back, a hand rising to her throat. Yet she squared her shoulders, standing in his way and sending him to a jarring halt that threatened to squash her as his mass wavered and the layers of fabric around him snapped toward her with a final clap like an animal’s jaws.

She held out a hand and placed a smile across her smooth lips. Eyes meeting his, searching, she spoke as if they chatted in an elegant ballroom. “I believe we are acquainted.”

He took her in with one incredulous sweep of brown eyes, jaw tightening, prepared to dismiss her like an ant before an elephant, but his eye returned to her, a faint frown flirting with the golden sweep of his eyebrows as he reevaluated.

She tilted her head, trying to convey with her body all she dared not say.

The first story, “The Unusual Manners of Mr. Aarons,” is a sweet and lighthearted story. “Virtue’s Temptation” is darker and full of Eleanor’s longing to get to know Mr. Stinson yet adhere to the rules of propriety. In contrast to Eleanor, the girl she is attempting to save runs into trouble and Eleanor and Mr. Stinson become allies attempting to save her.

 


Lela lives in a modest house with her husband, children, and pets. Despite living in the far north, she requires a certain amount of sunshine each day or she gets grumpy. When she isn’t writing, she enjoys strolling, gardening, reading, and tea time with friends.

She enjoys stories with intimacy and humor.

Blog: http://lelabayblog.wordpress.com
Amazon Author Page: http://amazon.com/author/lelabay

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/bay_lela

RUINED REPUTATIONS

“A tantalizing pair of Regency tales.” ~Emmy Z. Madrigal

“Ruined Reputations is a love letter to high romance of the Brontes with the meticulous eye for detail that readers crave like oxygen itself.” ~MJ Sherry-author of the Back Page Babylon series

–The Unusual Manners of Mr. Aarons–

Rumors of Mr. Aarons unconventional ways are confirmed when he nearly yanks the bonnet off Emmaline’s cousin’s head. Drawn by his charm and good looks, Emmaline finds herself assisting him in his mysterious mission.

His obscure search appears to lead to her cousin, beautiful Catherine Connersfield. She is the more sensible choice, but will she have him? More to the point, will Emmaline let her?

–Virtue’s Temptation–

Experience has taught Eleanor it’s better to be practical than passionate.

When she discovers Bitsy eloping with her French tutor, scandal threatens to ruin the girl.

To keep her reputation intact, Eleanor reluctantly chaperones the rebellious heiress.

Eleanor’s spotless character protects Bitsy, but behaving respectably proves difficult when tempted by the dangerously attractive Mr. Stinson.

If she fails it will end with … Ruined Reputations.

Guest Blog: American Vampires by Loren Rhoads

Loren Rhoads is a good friend of mine and just happens to be an aficionado on cemeteries. She’s here today to tell us about the vampire panic of New England.

I knew about the witch panic in Salem, but less familiar to me were the vampires of New England.  Rather than Bram Stoker’s vampire, rising from his grave to roam the night, New England’s vampires could prey upon the living while still confined inside their coffins.

There are almost 20 documented cases, beginning even before the American Revolution, of vampires being exhumed in New England. One of the last instances took place in the 1880s.

George and Mary Brown farmed outside the town of Exeter, Rhode Island.  Mary Brown was struck by an illness, probably tuberculosis, that drained her vitality.  She withered and died in 1883.

The following year, Mary’s eldest daughter, who was called Mary Olive, died at the age of 20.

Several years passed before George and Mary’s son Edwin began to fade.  The local physician suggested that Edwin and his wife move to Colorado Springs for his health.

The cold, dry air did seem to help Edwin, but while he was recuperating, his sister Mercy began to fail at home.  Edwin rushed home to say goodbye to her. She died in January 1892 at the age of 19.

Since winter had frozen the ground solid, Mercy’s corpse was placed in the receiving crypt at Exeter’s Chestnut Hill Cemetery. Receiving crypts were common in the days before cemeteries developed heating blankets to thaw the winter ground.  Old cemeteries often still have these crypts, although nowadays, they are usually used as sheds to store lawnmowers and other grounds-keeping equipment.

Back in the 1890s, Edwin’s health deteriorated after he returned to Rhode Island.  George Brown’s neighbors decided Edwin was suffering from Vampire’s Grasp. The only way to save him would be to “perform the folk ritual.”

On March 17, 1892, while George stayed at home, the doctor and George Brown’s neighbors dug up the graves of Mary and Mary Olive. As one would expect after almost a decade in the ground, both women’s corpses were badly decomposed.

Then the mob opened the receiving crypt. When they lifted the lid on Mercy’s coffin, they discovered she had turned sideways. Rather than considering if she had been buried alive — or merely jostled as she was carried to the crypt — the onlookers took her unexpected position as proof she was a vampire.

Other than the body’s movement, Mercy’s body looked as expected. But when the doctor removed her heart and liver, they leaked blood.

The neighbors placed the organs on a rock in the cemetery and set them afire. The ashes were collected up and mixed with liquid to be fed to Edwin.  Unfortunately, the remedy didn’t save him.  He died six weeks later.

Whether she roamed from her tomb or not beforehand, Mercy now turns up as a ghost in this nondescript little cemetery. Apparently, the blue lights of will o’ the wisps hover close to her grave.


Loren Rhoads is the author of 199 Cemeteries to See Before You Die and Wish You Were Here: Adventures in Cemetery Travel. She writes about graveyards for the Horror Writers Association and blogs blogs about cemeteries as vacation destinations at cemeterytravel.com.

199 Cemeteries to See Before You Die

Amazon | Barnes & Noble |  Indiebound

Wish You Were Here: Adventures in Cemetery Travel

Amazon

New Fiction: Dusk’s Warriors by Emerian Rich

Super excited to announce the release of my vampire sequel, Dusk’s Warriors! Check out the sites and dates of the blog tour below.  Dusk’s Warriors
by Emerian Rich

Heaven has opened up and welcomed the vampires of Night’s Knights into a new reality. As they struggle to find their place in their new world, trouble brews on Earth.

Demon servant, Ridge, is causing havoc by gathering up all the souls on Earth that have been touched by immortality. When he injures one of the Night’s Knights crew, he launches a war between the vampires of Heaven, the Big Bad in Hell, and a mortal street gang of vigilante misfits.

Will Julien, Markham, and Reidar be able to defeat the evil that’s returned, or will they once again need Jespa’s help?

In honor of the release, check out the blog tour! You can learn more about the book, read excerpts, and read more about your favorite characters!

Oct 1 EmzBox emzbox.com
Oct 2 Anna Kate Suton EverySavageCanDance.com
Oct 3 HorrorAddicts.net HorrorAddicts.net
Oct 4 Kerry Adrienne kerryadrienne.com/blog
Oct 5 Emz Blog emzbox.com
Oct 6 Mary Anne P-C skewednotions.com
Oct 7 EmzBox emzbox.com
Oct 8 Lisa Lane cerebralwriter.com
Oct 9 Karen Williams doomtown-doomtown.blogspot.com
Oct 10 Anita Stewart afstewartblog.blogspot.ca
Oct 11 Shannon Lawrence thewarriormuse.com
Oct 12 Sumiko Saulson SumikoSaulson.com
Oct 13 EmzBox emzbox.com
Oct 14 HauntJaunts hauntjaunts.net
Oct 15 J. Malcolm Stewart sabbx.wordpress.com
Oct 16 Julianne Snow theflipsideofjulianne.wordpress.com
Oct 17 AR Neal starvingactivist.com
Oct 18 Lisa Vasquez unsaintlybook.wordpress.com
Oct 19 Jaime Johnesee jaimejohnesee.blogspot.com
Oct 20 Pete Aldin Petealdin.com
Oct 21 Rich and Roulo richandroulo.wordpress.com
Oct 22 Lucy Blue lucybluecastle.wordpress.com
Oct 23 Adele Marie Park firefly465.wordpress.com
Oct 24 Patrick C. Greene PatrickCGreene.com
Oct 24 Stephanie Ellis infernalclock.blogspot.co.uk
Oct 25 Selah Janel selahjanel.wordpress.com
Oct 26 David Watson theallnightlibrary.wordpress.com
Oct 27 Dave Strom davemstrom.wordpress.com
Oct 28 Killion Slade www.killionslade.com
Oct 29 Loren Rhoads lorenrhoads.com
Oct 30 Emmy Z. Madrigal emmyzmadrigal.com
Oct 31 EmzBox emzbox.com

Praise for Dusk’s Warriors:

“All hail, the queen of Night’s Knights has returned! Emerian Rich’s unique take on vampires delights my black little heart.” ~Dan Shaurette, Lilith’s Love

“A world of horror with realistic characters in a fast paced thriller you won’t be able to put down.” ~David Watson, The All Night Library

Praise for Night’s Knights:

“Fresh, original, and thoroughly entertaining.” ~Mark Eller, Traitor

“Emerian brought the Vampire Novel back from the dead.” ~C. E. Dorsett, Shine Like Thunder

Available now at Amazon.com in print and eBook

New Non-fiction from Emerian Rich: Self Promo Stories

selfpromobook

Check out my article, “Building Your Readership from Your Office Chair” in this new FREE eBook edited by Valerie  Estelle Frankel.

Just published? Self published? Indie title? Looking for wonderful advice on self-promotion? This book has it all: silly hats, theme candy, sandwich board costumes. There’s also plenty of up-to-date social media advice — Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, blogging. There’s advice for KDP free days and linking your book with bestsellers. Getting reviews and arranging bookstore events. Basically, these stories by award-winning authors can help you build you brand and pick the gimmicks that’ll get you noticed….and best of all, it’s free! Read these authors’ wonderful true stories and learn how to sell your book.

With authors…Emerian Rich, Valerie Estelle Frankel, Sandra Saidak, J. Malcolm Stewart, Victoria M. Johnson, Steve Masover, Vincent M. Wales, Marleen S. Barr, Loren Blowers, Kathleen Ann Gonzalez, Ashley Dioses, Elizabeth Barone, Valerie Lee, Dave M. Strom, Jennifer Ng, Loren Rhoads, Denise Kawaii, and Daniel M. Kimmel.