Thursday, April 27, 2017

I need to invent killers! ~guest post by Viola Carr, author of The Dastardly Miss Lizzie: An Electric Empire Novel Book Three


I need to invent killers!
Guest post by Viola Carr

The Electric Empire is my first mystery series. I mean, sure, it's an edgy, dark, gender-flipped steampunk reworking of Strange Case Of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, in which Dr Eliza Jekyll – daughter of the infamous Henry – is a Victorian-era crime scene investigator, addicted to her father's magical potion, fighting to stay safe in a world where magic is a capital crime, and resisting the interferences of her sultry dark half, Lizzie Hyde. With a clockwork dog.

So there's a whole lot going on, besides murders. Lizzie gets her own point of view, and her own adventures in crime and love. There's magic and weird science and alchemy as well as a little romance. But the three books - The Diabolical Miss Hyde, The Devious Dr. Jekyll, and the new book, The Dastardly Miss Lizzie – are murder mysteries at heart.

Which means I need to invent killers! Nasty ones, preferably, difficult to understand and even more difficult to catch. Gruesome murders, ahoy! For an historical crime novel – even a fantasy one – it's tempting to go down one of two routes.

The first is… 'do Jack the Ripper!' Everyone knows and loves Jack, right? He's the iconic Victorian murderer, mysterious and bloodthirsty. The picture of evil. And the fact that he never got caught means the possibilities for fiction are endless.

But I didn't want to 'do Jack', as fascinating as he is. I've already extrapolated some characters from classic literature, and given them my own spin. I wanted to invent my own murderer, who kills for their own reasons. And let's face it: prostitutes as victims is kind of lazy and sexist. I wanted to freshen it up a little!

The second temptation is to bring in the modern approach. Meticulous psychopaths who taunt their pursuers with elaborate games. Get into the killer's head and do some profiling.

Thing is: in Victorian times, they didn't have modern psychology. The idea of a psychopath, or personality disorders, hadn't yet been formulated. So the 'profiling' that we see in today's crime fiction wasn't possible. Even Sherlock Holmes, who worked at the very end of the 19th century, didn't do this. Someone who committed brutal murders was a lunatic, and that was that.

Also, many experts of the day still believed in the 'criminal classes' – the idea that poor people were somehow inevitably pre-disposed to commit crimes – and that there was such a thing as the 'born criminal', physically as well as mentally deformed, who could never be rehabilitated. The idea that crime has social causes wasn't widely understood.

So if someone was committing a string of murders in London – like saucy Jack the Ripper – it was because they were a 'lunatic' or a 'criminal type', and probably a foreigner, too! The fact that Jack seemed to be an educated man – with surgical skills, no less – was utterly baffling. How could a 'gentleman' be a gruesome murderer? No effort was made to 'profile' or to understand motive in the way we know it today.

In that way, I confess I've given my quasi-historical sleuth a bit of a modern edge. Eliza doesn't believe in the 'born criminal'. She questions everything. And she works in a mad-house, so she does attempt to get into the killer's head in the modern fashion. We expect that these days when we read crime fiction. And because my books are mysteries, not thrillers, you don't get the killer's point of view. So having Eliza speculate about their motives makes the murder investigation more fun to read about!

Eliza also uses crime scene techniques that strictly weren't available in that time period. She knows about trace evidence and fingerprints, for example. But hey, it's steampunk! She has wacky gadgets and alchemical potions that make her a kind of scientific whizz-kid… but they also get her into trouble. Because in her world, 'weird science' can get you arrested. So her special knowledge is useful, but dangerous.

Anyway, it's all so much fun to write that I can't wait to get into the next book! In the meantime, I hope you enjoy my dark, wacky, twisted version of a quasi-modern historical steampunk fantasy mystery horror novel. With a sprinkling of classic literary characters and real-world people. And clockwork dogs.

The Dastardly Miss Lizzie
An Electric Empire Novel
Book Three
Viola Carr

On sale: 4/18/2017
ISBN: 9780062363121

In the third book in Viola Carr’s fantastically fun and wonderfully edgy Electric Empire novel, set in the gritty world of alternate Victorian London, Dr. Eliza Jekyll must team up with her secret other half, Miss Lizzie Hyde, as her world comes crashing to a halt when a madman begins targeting the city’s most important scientists, and sorcerers threaten all she holds dear.

About the Book:

Crime scene physician Eliza Jekyll is trying to share a life with her rebellious second self, Lizzie Hyde. But being two people in one body isn’t easy, not when Eliza has a professional reputation to protect and Lizzie is veering headfirst into a life of debauchery and crime with an increasingly demented Mr. Hyde. Not to mention the difficulty of making a respectable marriage with Remy Lafayette--Royal Society investigator and occasional lycanthrope--while Lizzie enjoys her own dubious romantic entanglements. And with England on the brink of war, Remy’s secretive mission in sorcery-riddled Paris grows ever more sinister. Has he been an enemy agent all along? Or is Eliza finally going mad?

Now, she’s confronted by her most baffling case yet: an evil genius with a penchant for theatrics is murdering eminent scientists in the most inexplicable ways. Her investigation uncovers a murky world of forbidden books, secret laboratories and bleeding-edge science punishable by death--and a shocking connection to her father’s infamous experiments. Desperate to learn the truth about her past, she must infiltrate a cabal of fanatical inventors bent on a discovery that will change the world--or destroy it.

With London under attack by sorcery-wielding terrorists, and the Royal Society’s enforcers determined to bury her evidence for good, Eliza needs all the friends she can get if she’s to thwart the killer and keep her head. But when Lizzie’s criminal shenanigans get Eliza fired from the Metropolitan Police, and Remy is implicated in an act of bloody vengeance he didn’t commit (or did he?), she’s on her own.

Except for wily, resourceful, mercurial Lizzie. But Lizzie’s got her own life now. And she’ll do anything to keep it. Even if it means attempting the unspeakable and finding her own body. Even if it means throwing Eliza to the wolves, and letting the world burn…

Amazon     BN     HarperVoyager     BD    Kobo     iBooks


About the Author:

Viola Carr was born in Australia, but wandered into darkest London one foggy October evening and never found her way out. She now devours countless history books and dictates fantastical novels by gaslight, accompanied by classical music and the snoring of her slumbering cat. She likes steampunk, and thought it would be cool to investigate wacky crimes with crazy gadgets…just so long as her heroine was the creator of said wacky gadgets: a tinkerer, edgy, with a dash of mad scientist.






Marsha A. Moore is a writer of fantasy romance. The magic of art and nature spark life into her writing. 

JOIN MARSHA'S MAILING LIST and receive a free copy of her paranormal romance story RULER OF THE NIGHT.


Read Marsha's COON HOLLOW TALES of paranormal romance and her ENCHANTED BOOKSTORE LEGENDS for adventurous epic fantasy romance. For a FREE ebook download, read her historic fantasy, LE CIRQUE DE MAGIE, available at Amazon and Smashwords.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Tea Leaf Tales: Harbinger of spring in a pinstriped pinafore


     So stalwart is she, forcing through the dense carpet of last year’s leaves packed hard by winter’s wrath. A harbinger to the winter-weary hordes of beast and man alike, she offers reassurance that the season of cold and snow is passing and life is returning.
     Early spring is the season of small but mighty flowers, not to be overlooked. Dainty, yes, but fragile, no. She and her sisters endure frigid nights and heavy rains of the changing season, closing their delicate blossoms tight. Her slender stems dissuade ants and bend to the harshest winds.
     Compared to far gaudier blossoms who arrive in the relative ease of late spring, she earns her vainglorious name through sheer tenacity. Small in size but large in numbers, she will march from her woodland home into towns and across lawns.
     Her white petals glisten in the sunshine, and faint pink lines guide the season’s first bees into her blushing nectar. Some think of her as an innocent little girl wearing a pinstriped pinafore, and others know her as tasty miner’s lettuce, but most delight in her as their Spring Beauty.

Tea Leaf Tales is a series of original ten-sentence short stories by Marsha A. Moore, relating to photos/scenes that resonate with her. 

Marsha A. Moore is a writer of fantasy romance. The magic of art and nature spark life into her writing. 

JOIN MARSHA'S MAILING LIST and receive a free copy of her paranormal romance story RULER OF THE NIGHT.


Read Marsha's COON HOLLOW TALES of paranormal romance and her ENCHANTED BOOKSTORE LEGENDS for adventurous epic fantasy romance. For a FREE ebook download, read her historic fantasy, LE CIRQUE DE MAGIE, available at Amazon and Smashwords.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Tea Leaf Tales: The Chosen Rabbit


     When the sun melted the snow from the ground and grey clouds from the sky, Patches knew. His nose twitched with anticipation, more each day as the sun scented the air with fragrant flowers and fresh green growth.
     His parents, aunts, uncles, and cousins had told him the tale of the great Goddess Eostre, who he’d not seen because her last coming occurred just prior to his birth, as was the case with many young ones. A beautiful vision of white light and long, flowing golden hair, she would arrive in the forest glade with much fanfare on Ostara Equinox Day for an extended celebration. They all said it was an honor to be one of her chosen, though they’d not been selected to serve as her emissaries so how could they know? What had happened to the privileged ones from past years? They never returned to the forest.
     When Goddess Eostre did arrive, the glade teemed with hundreds of rabbits from all corners of the forest, all vying for her recognition, but Patches hung at the edge, watching and apprehensive, for many days.
     On the tenth and final day, after dozens had been chosen, Eostre strolled the perimeter chatting with those old ones she remembered from years past.
     As she drew near, Patches trembled at her beauty and magnificence, but when her hand stroked his back with a warmth that permeated love deep into his heart, she instilled him with all the courage and resolve he needed to fulfill his role at her Easter sunrise.

Tea Leaf Tales is a series of original ten-sentence short stories by Marsha A. Moore, relating to photos/scenes that resonate with her. 

Marsha A. Moore is a writer of fantasy romance. The magic of art and nature spark life into her writing. 

JOIN MARSHA'S MAILING LIST and receive a free copy of her paranormal romance story RULER OF THE NIGHT.


Read Marsha's COON HOLLOW TALES of paranormal romance and her ENCHANTED BOOKSTORE LEGENDS for adventurous epic fantasy romance. For a FREE ebook download, read her historic fantasy, LE CIRQUE DE MAGIE, available at Amazon and Smashwords.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Enter To Win in the Spring Fling Mega Gift Card Giveaway!

We're Treating Readers to a Spring Fling with a Mega Gift Card Giveaway April 2-24 and Facebook Hop April 21-24

Enter for the chance to win $1250 in Amazon Gift Cards! Sponsored by the 77 authors listed below
Constance Phillips • Debbie White • Tamara Lush • Nancy Segovia • Helen Smith • Stella Marie Alden • Alyson Hale • Shirley Hailstock • Dena Garson • Ava Bradley • Tamara Ferguson • Lynda Haviland • Eva Chase • Ashlee Price • Allyson R Abbott • Phoebe Rose • Ysa Arcangel • Tee Garner • Jennifer Allis Provost • Rachel Woods • Amelia James • Jacqueline Diamond • Marsha A. Moore • Siera London • Emily Leigh • Aileen Harkwood • Jenna Barwin • Tara Lain • Christa Paige • Cynthia A Clement • Marie Booth • Hope Welsh • Sarah Fischer • Marie Johnston • Anne Renwick • Brea Viragh • Gayle Parness • Trish McCallan • Aubrey Wynne • JD Monroe • Sharon Kay • Elizabeth Rose • H. D. Thomson • Amy Brent • Caitlyn Blue • Margo Bond Collins • Bokerah Brumley • Felicia Beasley • Amy L Gale • Olivia Wildenstein • Tracie E. Christian • Patricia M Jackson • Kristy Tate • Astrid Arditi • Lisa Mondello • Cassie Alexander • Lori L. Robinett • Amanda Uhl • Melissa Belle • Josie Riviera • Layla Messner • Bree Dahlia • Cherie Claire • Barbara Barrett • M. Black • Lizbeth Selvig • Cailin Briste • Mia Ford • Bambi Lynn • Roxanne Snopek • Stacy Gold • Alex Gordon • Kristine Smith • Marianna Baker • Greta Boris • Oliver Chase • Allison Gatta

One entry signs you up to each of our newsletters. You can also earn extra entries by signing up for our newsletters early, before the giveaway ends on April 24 (don't worry, you won't be double subscribed).

Click Here to Enter the Giveaway

Be sure to also join us for our Facebook Hop April 21-24, when we will have 77 gift cards for you to enter to win. That’s a gift card at every stop! Plus a bonus giveaway for the winner’s choice of an Amazon Echo Dot or Kindle Fire. For more info, visit the Hop website https://megagiftcardhop.wordpress.com/

Marsha A. Moore is a writer of fantasy romance. The magic of art and nature spark life into her writing. 

JOIN MARSHA'S MAILING LIST and receive a free copy of her paranormal romance story RULER OF THE NIGHT.


Read Marsha's COON HOLLOW TALES of paranormal romance and her ENCHANTED BOOKSTORE LEGENDS for adventurous epic fantasy romance. For a FREE ebook download, read her historic fantasy, LE CIRQUE DE MAGIE, available at Amazon and Smashwords.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Tea Leaf Tales: The Duty of the First Flower


     During past weeks, in her dark enclave she had heard his whispered promise. Almost too good to believe, of renewed spirit and beauty beyond measure. Tendrils of his warmth tempted her to believe.
     And she did believe. The first flower of spring pushed through the ponderous soil and cracked the frozen surface using her tender shoot protected with little but pride. Finally free, she sought his warm, loving touch, and reassurance, which weren’t denied.
     “You are the first, which is both honor and duty, for you must now call to the others.”
     First flower expanded her delicate aura, casting energy in wider halo. She radiated in shades ranging from transparent to gray to white and even a regal crown of gold, matching the varied angles of his rays. But while he ebbed and flowed, she held steadfast, and soon others heeded her signal, who, in turn, engaged more, until a blanket of fresh growth sang a bright song of green on Equinox Day.

Tea Leaf Tales is a series of original ten-sentence short stories by Marsha A. Moore, relating to photos/scenes that resonate with her. 

Marsha A. Moore is a writer of fantasy romance. The magic of art and nature spark life into her writing. 

JOIN MARSHA'S MAILING LIST and receive a free copy of her paranormal romance story RULER OF THE NIGHT.


Read Marsha's COON HOLLOW TALES of paranormal romance and her ENCHANTED BOOKSTORE LEGENDS for adventurous epic fantasy romance. For a FREE ebook download, read her historic fantasy, LE CIRQUE DE MAGIE, available at Amazon and Smashwords.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Tea Leaf Tales: Grandfather’s Magical Whisk Broom


     Spring always speaks to me of cleaning, whispering to let go of heavy emotional baggage, shouting to throw out household clutter and dirt. I keep many brooms that serve different cleaning functions, most of which confuse my husband the few times he chooses to sweep. Brooms are not all the same, but all deserve due respect for their service.
     This particular one is quite special, my father’s and grandfather’s whisk broom. Its long history has accumulated magic, and the stubby but sturdy broom continues to serve us from its well-earned position on my bookcase shelf of treasured American literature, not performing mundane cleaning chores. It deserves honor and reverence.
     Magical brooms need special care and should be treated like family. Never leave home for long periods of time without notifying that broom. Always greet it by rubbing your hand over the entire staff and length of the bristles. The more attention, the more magic. 


Tea Leaf Tales is a series of original ten-sentence short stories by Marsha A. Moore, relating to photos/scenes that resonate with her. 
Marsha A. Moore is a writer of fantasy romance. The magic of art and nature spark life into her writing. 

JOIN MARSHA'S MAILING LIST and receive a free copy of her paranormal romance story RULER OF THE NIGHT.


Read Marsha's COON HOLLOW TALES of paranormal romance and her ENCHANTED BOOKSTORE LEGENDS for adventurous epic fantasy romance. For a FREE ebook download, read her historic fantasy, LE CIRQUE DE MAGIE, available at Amazon and Smashwords.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Featuring Lalin Bonheur, a paranormal mystery/romance by Margaret O. Howard

About the Book:
Title: Lalin Bonheur
Author: Margaret O. Howard
Genre: Paranormal Mystery / Romance

When Lalin Bonheur shape shifts, she roams the Vieux Carre as a sleek tuxedo cat to learn the secrets of her city. 

But on her debut at a Quadroon Ball in 1830 this octoroon beauty meets and falls in love with French aristocrat, Etienne Legendre. Etienne becomes her protector and he soon learns that his mistress leads a second life as a healer and voudou priestess. 

Their story takes a bizarre turn after Lalin's protector marries. His wife, Minette, dies mysteriously and he is charged with murder. Lalin concocts a zombie potion to assist him in his escape from jail.
The couple sail upriver to hide until they can prove his innocence. But their struggles only become more challenging, when they face the fearsome loup-garou (wolf men of Louisiana) and then a giant bird. Lalin must use her magic to battle these monsters. But it's what she learns about the vicious feathered creature that brings the story to its climax. 

Author Bio:
Margaret O. Howard is a writer and former dancer, who grew up in the Deep South and currently walks the gulf beaches of Florida every morning, She adores her two sons, three rescue cats, cool weather, travel, photography, ballet, books, and mermaids. Her novel, Lalin Bonheur, is set in the city of voudou queens, New Orleans. You can visit her at margaretohoward.wordpress.com, Margaret Howard Trammell on Facebook, or @howardomargaret on Twitter.

Links:
Amazon (Kindle)

Amazon (Paperback)

Purchase the book from these bookstores:
www.mfbooks.us/  and www.midtownreader.com 

Book Excerpt:

Etienne watches me drinking from the calabash, my giant gourd. The libation to the spirits I pour onto the courtyard stones. My feet shift, spirits pass through me. I twirl in waves of motion, never breaking the rhythm of my dance. Breathing fast, I lift my body, spinning on my toes. He stands in the darkness near the doorway, passion in his moonlit eyes, not knowing that I see him. My wide skirt swirls above the candle circle. Watch me dance, my love, I whisper. Now my feet lift high and pound the stones like flying mallets, while candle flames lick my toes. 

A tangle of bedclothes is spread across the four-poster in my boudoir. Only hours ago we rolled on that mattress, making the canopy rattle. He does love me, that I know. And he’s seen my talents with the magic. His devotion sends the voudou pumping through veins. 

This café au lait woman, his octoroon mistress, dances full out. But soon my body will be melting, shrinking, and that he’s never seen. My spinning stops, my skirt ripples as I stand before my altar praying to the saints. My candles flicker. The power’s in me, and just like that I see the flames turn blue. My skin tightens, bristles. I’m sinking now. Breathe, breathe, I say to myself. I’m down, I’m down.

It’s too dark for Etienne to see what’s happening to me, but his eyes widen as my form changes in the shadows of the yard. He watches from the open doorway of my parlor and then rushes through onto the courtyard stones. He stands tall in his finely tailored suit. But the mist rises around me, so that I am hidden. At this moment I am changing, rising up on my haunches.

“Lalin,” he calls, “Lalin, where are you?”

I sit, still and elegant, and then lower my head to lick my midnight fur and wipe my whiskers with a paw. But Etienne stumbles in the mist, swaying in the darkness as he trips over my candles and falls on the stone floor. But magic makes him sleep, distorts his memory, and gives me time to find my answers.

I have much to learn this night when I travel in my feline shape. And this is how I know what happens in the back streets and secret hideaways in our New Orleans.


Marsha A. Moore is a writer of fantasy romance. The magic of art and nature spark life into her writing. 

JOIN MARSHA'S MAILING LIST and receive a free copy of her paranormal romance story RULER OF THE NIGHT.


Read Marsha's COON HOLLOW TALES of paranormal romance and her ENCHANTED BOOKSTORE LEGENDS for adventurous epic fantasy romance. For a FREE ebook download, read her historic fantasy, LE CIRQUE DE MAGIE, available at Amazon and Smashwords.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Featuring: Chameleon, a new YA Gothic release from Zoe Kalo





Chameleon
Zoe Kalo

Genre: YA Gothic/Multicultural

Date of Publication: February 15, 2017

Number of pages: 230
Word Count: 55,000

Cover Artist: Deranged Doctor Designs

Book Description:

An isolated convent, a supernatural presence, a dark secret…

17-year-old Paloma only wanted to hold a séance to contact her dead father. She never thought she would be kicked out of school and end up in an isolated convent. Now, all she wants is to be left alone. But slowly, she develops a bond with a group of girls: kind-hearted Maria, insolent Silvy, pathological liar Adelita, and their charismatic leader Rubia.

When, yet again, Paloma holds a séance in the hope of contacting her father, she awakens an entity that has been dormant for years. And then, the body count begins. Someone doesn’t want the secret out…

Are the ghost and Paloma’s suspicions real—or only part of her growing paranoia and delusions?


Excerpt: 

I cannot clearly say how I had entered
the wood; I was so full of sleep just at
the point where I abandoned the true path.
--Dante Alighieri, Inferno 1. 11-12


Chapter 1

Puerto Rico, 1973

Oak trees dripping with Spanish moss embraced us from both sides, but not enough to shield us from the prison that would be my home for the next seven months. The high stone walls and neo-Gothic bell tower loomed over us as my stepfather drove his Mercedes through the spiked iron gates and into the sloping, curving driveway.
A spider of dread crawled up my back. Prison indeed.
I couldn’t believe it had come to this. The way things had blown out of proportion. I’d only wanted to contact my dead father. Ask his forgiveness.
            My mother reached for my hand from the front seat without turning around to look at me. I stared at her perfectly polished red nails and the glittery square cut emerald on her ring finger. Her fingers flicked, silently pleading for my attention, but I was frozen inside. Her hand retreated.
I stared at the convent, my eyes studying the pointed arched windows, the worn, age-blackened stones. The place looked haunted. Perfect for my state of mind. What was my mother thinking?
Something moved behind one of the windows. A face. For an instant my pulse raced at the sheer paleness of it, at the two dark holes that made up its eyes.
“What are you looking at?” Sara, my six-year-old half sister, asked.
I pointed. “A girl.”
She followed my line of vision. “Where?”
“There. High up. In the window.”
            She dipped her head so she could have a better look. “I don’t see anything.”
            I felt a shiver, but not from the cold. It’s white. It’s watching us.
            Then the car moved too close to the building, and the face vanished from view. 
            “Is this your new school, Paloma?” Sara asked.
            I nodded. Sara was the child, female version of my stepfather. Her bottomless dark eyes, framed by velvety lashes, stared at me with misery. “I don’t like it,” she whispered, grabbing my hand.
            “It’ll be okay,” I whispered back, and gave her hand a little squeeze.
            “You promise?”
            “I promise.”
            “Well, here we are,” Domenico said in his strong Castilian accent, stopping the car in front of the entrance. He climbed out and opened the door for my mother. Then he proceeded to take out my suitcases from the trunk.
            My mother was silent. She stepped out like a wooden mannequin, her eyes shimmery with unshed tears.
            I climbed out, followed by Sara, the gravel crunching under our shoes. The early morning air was cool and a blanket of mist still lingered—not surprising, since the convent was on the outskirts of El Yunque, the island’s rain forest. More Spanish moss hung from the oak trees and rippled in the breeze like long, shivering memories. I could smell the dew on the leaves and the rich perfume of moist earth, redolent of open graves.
            I glanced at the ominous clouds. “Beautiful morning.”
An ongoing distant hum resonated all around us. One, two beats passed, before it struck me: Waterfall.
Something within me shut down—or exploded, I couldn’t be sure.
I shut my eyes for a second, wiping out memories of chilled water searing my lungs.
            I repeated the eighth multiplication table in my head. This always helped.
“After you,” Domenico said, interrupting my thoughts. 
I wanted to loathe him. Tried to, anyway. I could see what my mother saw in him: a powerfully charismatic, handsome man with the infinite skill to make people do his bidding. My mother, with her small delicate features and petite frame, looked invisible beside him. A mere spectre. But that was just a façade. I knew better.
            The big oak door opened and a nun clad in black habit and a wimple came down the steps to greet us.
            Sara wrapped her arms around my waist. Her gesture both comforted me and heightened my anxiety. Nuns in habit made me think of great black birds. 
            “Bienvenidos,” the nun said. Like my stepfather, she also had a Castilian accent. “I’m Madre Estela and I’m second in charge to Madre Superiora. You must be Señor and Señora de Aznar.”
            They exchanged small talk. Madre Estela sounded polite enough, but she didn’t offer to shake hands with my parents, which I found strange. Maybe nuns weren’t allowed to shake hands. I wouldn’t be surprised. I noticed the wedding band on her ring finger. Married to God. Absurd.
            “You must be Paloma,” she said tonelessly. 
            “Yes,” I said. Wasn’t it obvious? I didn’t know what else to say.
            The cross on her chest caught my attention. It had a crucified Christ on it and I noticed the thorns cutting Christ’s forehead, the little drops of blood glistening on His fragile body.
            “Welcome to our school, Paloma.” Her critical gaze scrutinized my makeup, my tight jeans. “I’ve heard much about you.”
I didn’t miss the hint of cold disapproval in her voice. I wasn’t sure how much my parents had complained about my behavior, but considering I had been kicked out—well, actually, kindly asked to leave—from my previous school in the middle of October, it couldn’t be good.
            “Are you ready to resume your senior year of high school?” Stress on resume.
            “I can’t wait,” I said. There was no point in being nice—or pretending to be. That just wasn’t me. I felt miserable and couldn’t hide it. Besides, I could tell from our short exchange that she’d made up her mind not to like me long before meeting me, and I had the sinking feeling that no matter what I said or did, her opinion wouldn’t change. I had already been stamped in her Inquisition book, tagged a criminal. 
            Madre Estela’s stony eyes moved to Sara. My little sister’s arms clutched my waist even tighter. From the nun’s expression, I could tell she was wondering if I had infected Sara with whatever plague ailed me. She dismissed us and turned back to my mother and stepfather. “Madre Superiora is expecting you in her office.  Let’s not keep her waiting. Don’t concern yourselves with the suitcases. Someone will come for them shortly.”
            They thanked her and followed her up the steps.
            “I don’t want to go in,” Sara said.
“It’ll be okay,” I said. I glanced at the window. I wanted to see the pale face again. But there was nothing.
            A drop of rain hit my cheek and I wiped it off. Then I held Sara’s hand and together we walked up the steps and through the arched doorway.
I felt my throat closing up.
            Seven months.
Seven months wasn’t that long, was it? Besides, Thanksgiving break was just around the corner. Six weeks, to be exact. I had already marked my calendar. I couldn’t wait. I would go through the motions, no need to make friends that I’d never see again. When you get close to people, you end up getting hurt.



About the Author:

A certified bookworm and ailurophile, Zoe Kalo has always been obsessed with books and reading. Reading led to writing—compulsively. No surprise that at 16, she wrote her first novel, which her classmates read and passed around secretly. The pleasure of writing and sharing her fantasy worlds has stayed with her, so now she wants to pass her stories to you with no secrecy—but with lots of mystery. She lives amongst cats and books in Belgium, and is the author of the Cult of the Cat young adult fantasy series and the Retribution novella series for adults.

Sign up for her newsletter at www.ZoeKalo.com and receive her exclusive short story “Arkalla.”

Website and blog: www.ZoeKalo.com



Marsha A. Moore is a writer of fantasy romance. The magic of art and nature spark life into her writing. 

JOIN MARSHA'S MAILING LIST and receive a free copy of her paranormal romance story RULER OF THE NIGHT.


Read Marsha's COON HOLLOW TALES of paranormal romance and her ENCHANTED BOOKSTORE LEGENDS for adventurous epic fantasy romance. For a FREE ebook download, read her historic fantasy, LE CIRQUE DE MAGIE, available at Amazon and Smashwords.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Tea Leaf Tales: Flamingo Hearts of Love


     “Come on, Peaches,” Titian begged for the tenth time.
     “No, everyone will laugh, especially my parents since we aren’t the same color.”
     “But I love you and it’s Valentine’s Day,” he urged, but she shook her head.
     Titian bravely positioned himself between her and the flock, waiting for the right moment when the others had grazed their way across the pond.
     “This isn’t safe to be alone with gators around,” Peaches said and ruffled the graceful pale feathers of her wing tips.
     “Don’t you trust me?” he asked, lifting off, calling her bluff as a test of her love.
     His heart swelled when she followed him into the air, across the stand of trees, and to a tiny hidden inlet off the bay, his secret place he shared with no one, but today was special, she was special. He dipped his bill into the warm, shallow water, scooped a mouthful of brine shrimp, and passed it to his sweetheart.
     Through the afternoon, he stood guard, while she dined and the hue of her feathers deepened.
     At sunset, they rejoined the flock and the other couples, already positioned beak to beak and neck to neck in perfectly matched hearts.

Tea Leaf Tales is a series of original ten-sentence short stories by Marsha A. Moore, relating to photos/scenes that resonate with her.
Marsha A. Moore is a writer of fantasy romance. The magic of art and nature spark life into her writing. 

JOIN MARSHA'S MAILING LIST and receive a free copy of her paranormal romance story RULER OF THE NIGHT.


Read Marsha's COON HOLLOW TALES of paranormal romance and her ENCHANTED BOOKSTORE LEGENDS for adventurous epic fantasy romance. For a FREE ebook download, read her historic fantasy, LE CIRQUE DE MAGIE, available at Amazon and Smashwords.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Enchanted Bookstore Legends by Marsha A. Moore, the epic fantasy romance now in a complete box set


It's finally here! And I love how the cover turned out. It's featuring my own watercolor painting of the series' golden dragon character, the Head Guardian. In creating this box set, I recalled how much these characters meant to me and how they still live on in my heart. A magical journey! 
AN EPIC FANTASY ROMANCE SERIES 
Seeking a Scribe, Book 1
Heritage Avenged, Book 2
Lost Volumes, Book 3
Staurolite, Book 4
Quintessence, book 5 
THE ENCHANTED BOOKSTORE LEGENDS are about Lyra McCauley, a woman destined to become one of five strong women in her family who possess unique magical abilities and serve as Scribes in Dragonspeir. The Scribes span a long history, dating from 1,200 to present day. Each Scribe is expected to journey through Dragonspeir, both the good and evil factions, then draft a written account. Each book contains magic with vast implications.
Lyra was first introduced to Dragonspeir as a young girl, when she met the high sorcerer, Cullen Drake, through a gift of one of those enchanted books. Using its magic, he escorted her into the parallel world of Dragonspeir. Years later, she lost that volume and forgot the world and Cullen. These legends begin where he finds her again—she is thirty-five, standing in his enchanted bookstore, and Dragonspeir needs her. 
When Lyra reopens that enchanted book, she confronts a series of quests where she is expected to save the good Alliance from destruction by the evil Black Dragon. While learning about her role, Lyra and Cullen fall in love. He is 220 years old and kept alive by Dragonspeir magic. Cullen will die if Dragonspeir is taken over by the evil faction…Lyra becomes the Scribe.

Marsha A. Moore is a writer of fantasy romance. The magic of art and nature spark life into her writing. 

JOIN MARSHA'S MAILING LIST and receive a free copy of her paranormal romance story RULER OF THE NIGHT.


Read Marsha's COON HOLLOW TALES of paranormal romance and her ENCHANTED BOOKSTORE LEGENDS for adventurous epic fantasy romance. For a FREE ebook download, read her historic fantasy, LE CIRQUE DE MAGIE, available at Amazon and Smashwords.