Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Tea Leaf Tales: Tricycle Terminator



With the leaves falling, Christmas would come soon, and that meant one thing to Tyler Shepperd—asking Santa for a bicycle, not a tricycle, a real two-wheeled dirt bike like his big brother Shawn rode. Tyler had already asked and been turned down by Mom, then Dad, and Grampa, although he might be able to wear down Gramma if he could tolerate sitting in her lap a few more times. All the others said six was too young, he wasn’t ready, maybe for his seventh birthday next summer, which was too late for Tyler. The one person he was sure wouldn’t turn him down was Santa.

But just in case Mom or Dad got to Santa first before Tyler could hand him his letter, when he saw him at the mall in December, he had a plan. Before it got too cold, he would ride the old trike he hated more than his younger sister Emma until the wheels dropped off or the frame bent worse than Dad could repair, even with Grampa’s help and magic tools.

Every day after school, rain or shine, Tyler took to the leafy sidewalks, skidding out and slamming the tricycle into tree trunks. After weeks and many bruises, a shadowy figure jumped across his path. Frightened, Tyler collided with a loud thud into an old oak that set one of his rear wheels wobbling. He picked himself up, watched the shadow man return to a high branch, and the faint jiggle of a sleigh bell made Tyler smile.

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, September 5, 2016

Tea Leaf Tales: Have you met the Watermelon Warrior?


Winnie Walters chopped and mixed her fruit salad for the neighborhood Labor Day block party.

Even though she’d received the sign-up form late, no one claimed her specialty. For the last fling of summer, everyone wanted Winnie’s salad. Her sweet elixir brought to mind the magic of heady jasmine-scented June nights with dizzying white blooms that made neighbors swarm her fruit like a hive of honey bees.

On the blustery Saturday afternoon when Winnie arrived at the party carrying two heaping bowls, many cheered while others gaped.

One woman peeled two squirming elementary-aged kids from her side, held out an empty plate, and pleaded, “Look at you: summer goddess. Dish me up some of your inner peace to get me through until school starts.”

Winnie planted her feet in a wide stance, twirled a long-handled serving spoon, let out a piercing yell, then filled the woman’s dish. “This is no goddess headdress, but the helmet of a warrior—defender of fruit through Crone’s Summer and Blackberry Winter.”

The woman savored the salad’s sweet flavor and sparkling magic, shared some with her children, and after the meal the serene golden glow of Indian Summer warmth blanketed the neighborhood.



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

For years I've written somewhat regular installments in a collection of fantasy flash fiction, my Tea Leaf Tales, which have been posted here on my blog. These enormously popular, original ten-sentence short stories relate to photos/scenes that resonate with me.

As a special perk to those who are part of my mailing list, I've decided to share new Tea Leaf Tales with them before posting them on my blog. These are short, fun, and give some insight into the creativity and imagination found in my books. Sign up to receive them first!

And as a thank you for signing up, you'll also receive a free copy of my paranormal romance story, Ruler of the Night.

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.

Friday, September 2, 2016

Featuring: All the Wounds in Shadow: The Healing Edge by Anise Eden #giveaway



All the Wounds in Shadow
The Healing Edge
Book Two
Anise Eden

Genre: Paranormal Romance/Romantic Suspense

Publisher: Diversion Publishing

Date of Publication: August 23, 2016
ISBN:  978-1682302873
ASIN: B01G5Y6GO8
Number of pages: 240
Word Count: 81,645

Book Description:

For fans of Karen Robards and Shiloh Walker, Anise Eden brings us the mesmerizing sequel to her paranormal romantic suspense novel All the Broken Places.

Cate's enemies aren't just surrounding her―they're inside her head.

Therapist Cate Duncan has just accepted a job with the MacGregor Group, a unique collective of alternative healers. She’s excited by the prospect of honing her empathic healing techniques among others like herself―aura readers, telepaths, crystal healers, and more. The fact that Cate just started dating Ben, her magnetic new boss, is an added bonus.

Before Cate can settle into her new routine, the poisoning of a prominent neuroscientist draws the entire MacGregor Group into both a federal investigation and an even more insidious threat. Protected by Ben’s former Marine Corps unit, Cate and her colleagues must use their alternative healing methods to solve the crime as their patient clings to life. The responsibility of discovering crucial information falls to Cate and her parapsychological powers.

But for Cate, unraveling the mystery means reopening wounds that had just begun to heal―and in the environment of the Marine Corps unit, differences between Cate and Ben become clearer, straining their budding romance. When a new crisis looms, Cate must trust in her colleagues’ gifts and the strength of Ben’s love, finding the courage to confront her deepest and most terrifying demons―or her own life will be at risk.


BN Paperback     Nook     Kobo     iTunes

Google Play     IndieBound     Ganxy


Excerpt:

ALL THE WOUNDS IN SHADOW – Excerpt #1
by Anise Eden

In my dream, only the crabs’ lives were in jeopardy. Mom and I chose a spot on the pier that was shaded by a nearby oak, hoping for some relief from the humid heat. The buzzing and clicking of crickets and cicadas swelled as the summer afternoon ripened.
“Hold it perfectly still, Catie,” Mom whispered. “We want them to think it’s just a strange-looking plant.”
“I’m trying.” But after an hour, my arm ached from holding the crab net steady. “Maybe the bait isn’t rotten enough to attract them.”
Mom jiggled the string with the chicken neck tied to the end, making it dance just beneath the water’s surface. “Should I pull it out so you can check it?”
“Ew, gross!” I grimaced. “No thanks. I believe you.”
Suddenly, her whole body tensed. “Look, there’s one!”
The water was green and nearly opaque with algae. Staring down, I could just make out the ghostly limbs of a blue crab swimming up toward the bait.
“Wait until he’s really absorbed in what he’s doing and then scoop him up,” she murmured. “Not too quickly, though. You don’t want to scare him.”
“Right.” Once the crab started attacking the chicken neck, I slid the net beneath him and slowly lifted it to the surface.
“You got him!” Mom jumped to her feet. “Pull him out, and let’s have a look!”
“He feels really heavy!” We exchanged smiles of victory as I raised the dripping net up to eye level.
“Oh, no,” Mom said. “It’s beautiful, a great catch. But we have to throw it back.”
“Don’t say that!” I moaned. “Why?”
“It’s a female. It’s poisonous.”
I examined the crab. She was right: it had a full, rounded apron. With a sigh, I tossed the crab back into the water. “Females aren’t poisonous, Mom, just illegal to catch. You know that.”
“Whatever you say.” Mom walked over to the edge of the pier and turned around to face me. “I have to go now. Don’t follow me.” Before I could even grasp what she was doing, she had folded her arms across her chest, closed her eyes, and tilted her stiffened body backwards into the water.
“Mom!” I leapt forward, reaching the edge of the pier just as she hit the surface with a sharp splash. Remembering my lifeguard training, I got down on my belly, lay on the wooden planks, and thrust my arm into the water. But she was already out of reach.
I grabbed the crab net and plunged the handle down towards her, but she kept her arms folded, eyes closed. “Mom, grab the handle!” I cried out, but she kept sinking. Within seconds she was nothing more than a whitish blur.
“Don’t worry! I’m coming!” Screw lifeguard training, I thought as I kicked off my shoes and prepared to go in after her. But just as I was about to dive, something dragged me backwards by the waist.
I looked down to find a man’s arm wrapped around me—a man’s arm in a blue suit jacket. A familiar voice said, “Oh no you don’t.”
“Ben, let go of me!” I struggled to free myself from his hold. Then I realized that I was yelling out loud, awake and in bed, thrashing about and wrestling with the python of sheets tangled around me. My cell phone beeped and vibrated along the surface of the bedside table as the alarm went off. Meanwhile, my heart pounded in my throat. In my mind’s eye, all I could see was my mother sinking further and further into the river.
Goddammit, I thought, vigorously rubbing the tears from my eyes. Would my dreams ever stop transforming into nightmares—reminders that I had failed to see that my mother was in crisis, that I had failed to save her[AE1] ?
I strained to hear Ben bounding up the stairs to see what the yelling was about, but there was only silence. Had I only cried out in my dream? “Ben?” I called, loudly enough for him to hear me if he was awake. Still no response.
So he was still asleep. That was odd. Ben told me he’d never lost the early-riser habit he had developed in the Marine Corps. I turned off my cell phone alarm, put on my robe and slippers, and padded down the stairs. But he wasn’t on the sofa, where I’d left him the night before. In fact, he was nowhere.
I scanned the first floor of my tiny row house and found a note he’d left on the coffee table. “Had to go in early. See you at work. Bring a bag packed for a few days.”
Well, that’s cryptic, I thought as a bud of irritation formed. I flopped down on the couch and breathed slowly, trying to bring my heart rate back down to normal after the dream I’d had. “Bring a bag packed for a few days.” But packed for what? Given how focused he was on my training, I somehow doubted that Ben was planning a romantic getaway.
I tried Ben’s cell. No answer. I tried Pete’s cell. Again, no answer. Whatever was happening at the office, it must have been keeping them both occupied.
At least I had another way to find out what was going on with Ben. I sat cross-legged on the couch. With my hands resting on my knees, I closed my eyes and took a few slow, deep breaths. Then I pictured the filament of light that connected my heart to Ben’s, and focused my mind.
In an instant, the psychic portal between us opened. As my consciousness reached out and touched his, I fell back against the couch, struck by the intensity of his emotions. He was worried about something or someone, and there was a definite sense of urgency. Still, there was no actual fear. That told me that while some kind of crisis was going on, at least Ben was safe.
Then his feelings for me crashed through the portal, flooding me. Whatever else he was dealing with, I was on his mind. Once again I was overwhelmed by the strength of his feelings. Although I knew the portal only flowed one way, I tried to send my own feelings back in his direction. I pulled my consciousness back into my body and opened my eyes.
My gaze immediately settled upon my right hand, and the exquisite ring Ben had given me the day before. The gold band was carved to look like two birds in flight, holding a luminous round piece of Scottish agate with their beaks and the tips of their wings. He’d wanted to give me something concrete to remind me of how he felt about me when he wasn’t there, to reassure me when I had worries or doubts. A soft warmth bloomed in my chest as I twirled the ring slowly around my finger, admiring its craftsmanship. We’d agreed that I would decide when to tell people that the ring was from him—and that we were dating. In the meantime, we were keeping both things a secret. I wasn’t quite ready to go public with our new relationship, and Ben didn’t want me to feel any pressure.
As I went upstairs and laid my suitcase open on the bed, I thought about my disturbing dream. My mother’s fall into the water was obviously a reference to her suicide three months before. But the poisonous female crab? And Ben stopping me from saving someone’s life? I knew he didn’t like it when I put myself in danger, but he’d never just let someone drown.
Then again, maybe there’s nothing to decipher, I told myself. Sometimes a dream is just a dream. I tried to content myself with that thought as I showered, dressed, and packed in a hurry. I was anxious to get to the office and find out where we were going—and what crisis had made Ben leave that morning without so much as giving me a kiss good-bye.



 [AE1]Added this paragraph because without this context, I think readers who haven’t read the first book will be left scratching their heads about a lot of Cate’s emotional reactions to things later in the book.


Playlist:

“One And Only” – Adele
“Dindi” – Joseh Garcia
“I'll Be Seeing You” - Billie Holiday
“Fight Song” - Rachel Platten
“My Baby Just Cares for Me” - Nina Simone
“I'm Kissing You” - Des'ree
“Sabotage” - Beastie Boys
“It Had to Be You” - Frank Sinatra

About the Author:

Author Anise Eden writes The Healing Edge paranormal romantic suspense series for Diversion Books. She spends most of her time tucked away in her writing nook imagining things that aren’t there. On those rare occasions when she emerges from seclusion, Anise may be spotted in coffee shops, staring at her laptop screen and silently moving her lips as she reviews bits of dialogue. Although Anise claims that she’s the one in charge, the characters in her head do sometimes make her laugh out loud at inappropriate moments.

Visit her online at http://aniseeden.com



Tour giveaway

10 ebooks in either Kindle or Nook copies will be gifted through Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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, September 1, 2016

Get advance episodes of my popular Tea Leaf Tales of fantasy #FlashFiction *New mailing going out tonight 9-1-16*


For years I've written somewhat regular installments in a collection of fantasy flash fiction, my Tea Leaf Tales, which have been posted here on my blog. These enormously popular, original ten-sentence short stories relate to photos/scenes that resonate with me.

As a special perk to those who are part of my mailing list, I've decided to share new Tea Leaf Tales with them before posting them on my blog. These are short, fun, and give some insight into the creativity and imagination found in my books.

A mailing will go out tonight with a new Tea Leaf Tale. Be the first to enjoy it! Sign up using this link. 

And as a thank you for signing up, you'll also receive a free copy of my paranormal romance story, Ruler of the Night.




Hope you join me!

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.

Featuring: Witches Protection Program by Michael Phillip Cash #giveaway



Witches Protection Program
Michael Phillip Cash

Genre:  Witches, Action, Adventure

Publisher:  Chelshire, INC.

Date of Publication:  May 14, 2015

ISBN:  1511411341
ASIN:  B00YANTA4K

Number of pages:  239
Word Count:  45,518

Book Description: 

Wes Rockville, a disgraced law enforcement agent, is given one last chance to prove himself and save his career when he's reassigned to a 232 year old secret government organization. The Witches Protection Program.

His first assignment: uncover a billion-dollar Cosmetics company’s diabolical plan of using witchcraft for global domination, while protecting its heiress Morgan Pendragon from her aunt’s evil deeds. Reluctantly paired with veteran witch protector, Alastair Verne, Wes must learn to believe in both witches and himself.

Filled with adventure, suspense and a rousing good time, Michael Phillip Cash creates a tongue-in-cheek alternate reality where witches cast spells and wreak havoc in modern day New York City.


Amazon    BN

Excerpt:

“Follow me, kid.” She led him down a gray hallway with mulberry-colored carpet, more plush than anything he’d ever seen in a governmental office. The place had to be a city block wide, with corridors branching off to other conduits. Here and there, a doorway opened. Wes saw that many were filled with groups of people sitting at polished conference tables. Some rooms were dark, with shades drawn, the light of a presentation on screens peeking through the slats of the blinds. Staff walked through the hallways, nodding to each other. Some were in pairs. All had a badge hanging on a chain or attached to a pocket. He squinted, but he couldn’t make out the impression on the shield. Forget about attempting to read it. He shrugged; while it looked official, it was unfamiliar. For a person who grew up with an entire family in law enforcement, he found it odd that he’d never seen it before.

“What is this place?” he asked.

“This is where the magic happens,” she told him cryptically.

She opened the door, whispering, “Prepare to be amazed.” Then, with a giant pop of her gum, she disappeared.

“Where…” Wes turned, looking for the woman, but couldn’t see her anywhere. “Where is…”

“Oh, she’s gone. Come in already,” a male voice ordered impatiently.

Wes spun to the speaker, his eyes settling on a small man seated at a glass desk. He was in a neat gray suit but wore a black turtleneck, which made him look like some odd, eccentric leftover from the beatnik generation. He was older than Wes’s father, Wes guessed somewhere north of sixty, with the thickening middle of a sedentary life, a tanned complexion, and silver hair. His chubby face sported a neatly trimmed goatee. Wes wondered where his beret might be. The man studied Wes with interested black eyes that glowed with merriment.

“What kind of department is this?”

“Mr. Wesley Paul Rockville. Son of Harris and Melinda, brother to Lauren and Andrew. Tough act to follow. Runt of the litter?”

Wes bristled, wondering where this pint-size dude got off calling him a runt. At six foot three, he was hardly considered small. “I fail to see what this has got to do with my reassignment,” he said icily.

The older man ignored him. “The young gun who had his free will sucked right out of him.”

“No one took my free will!” Wes shouted, his face hot.

“I think Miss Genevieve Fox did a pretty nice number on you.”

“What are you talking about?”

Alastair cocked his head, a smile playing on his lips.

“I don’t think this is funny, um…Alastair. I’m getting out of here.”  Wes had had enough. He was pissed and hungry.


“Sit down, Agent Rockville. It’s time you learned about your new assignment.”


About the Author:

Michael Phillip Cash is an award-winning and best-selling novelist of horror, paranormal, and science fiction novels.  He's written ten books including the best-selling “Brood X”, “Stillwell”, “The Flip”, “The After House”, “The Hanging Tree”, “Witches Protection Program”, “Pokergeist”, "Monsterland", "The History Major", and “Battle for Darracia” series. Michael’s books are on the Amazon best-seller list and have also won numerous awards. Additionally, he is a screenwriter with 14 specs under his belt. Michael resides on the North Shore of Long Island.


                                                                                               




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, August 31, 2016

Featuring: The Lucy Trilogy by L.M. Pruitt



Burden
Lucy Trilogy Book 1
Winged Series Book 11
L.M. Pruitt

Genre: Urban fantasy/paranormal romance

Publisher: SP Press
Date of Publication: July 26
Word Count: approx. 90K
Cover Artist: Najla Qambler

Book Description:

All my life, I've had plans. 

Dying the day before beginning the final year of my surgical residency wasn't one of them. 

Finding myself drafted in the eternal war between good and evil wasn't one of them, either.

And dealing with friends, enemies, and lovers I don't remember?

Definitely not in my plans.
Available at AMAZON

Curse
Lucy Trilogy 2
Winged Series Book 12 
L.M. Pruitt

Genre: Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance

Publisher: SP Press
Date of Publication: August 27
Word Count: approx. 90K
Cover Artist: Najla Qambler

Book Description:

The problem with plans?

 Even the best ones can go awry. And when they do... all hell breaks loose.

If I've learned only one thing in the last few months, it's the past never dies.

Four plagues down. Six more to come.

We need more than a plan.

We need a miracle.

Redemption
Lucy Trilogy Book 3
Winged Series Book 13 
L.M. Pruitt

Genre: Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance

Publisher: SP Press

Date of Publication: September 29
Word Count: approx. 90K
Formats available: ebook
Cover Artist: Najla Qambler

Book Description:

The problem with miracles?

They require a deity who cares.

And if you don't have one of those... you need a sacrifice.

Or the world ends

About the Author:
L.M. Pruitt has been reading and writing for as long as she can remember. A native of Florida with a love of New Orleans, she has the uncanny ability to find humor in most things and would probably kill a plastic plant. She knows this because she's killed bamboo. Twice.  She is the author of the Winged series, the Plaisir Coupable series, Jude Magdalyn series, the Moon Rising series, and Taken: A Frankie Post Novel. 
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.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Jungian dreamwork ~guest post by Ann Gimpel, author of the Coven Enforcers series

It's always a great day when Ann Gimpel is here as my guest! Today she's talking about Jungian dreamwork and her historical PNR series, Coven Enforcers. 


First off, thanks so much for inviting me back to your blog. I appreciate your ongoing support for my books, and I’d be happy to return the favor and feature something of yours on my blog. Just let me know.

I’ve been thinking a lot about Carl Jung lately. All the unrest in the world was something he predicted over half a century ago. After I finished my psychology training and was fully licensed to practice, I decided I wanted to integrate Jungian dreamwork into my practice, so I studied Dr. Jung and his prolific works.

Jung was born in 1875 and graduated from medical school around 1900. He saw himself as a man of science, not as a mystic. That label has grown since his death. It’s true that Jung was fascinated by “soft science.” For example, he believed in astrology. There are a few “Jungian astrologers” around today. They have a slightly different take on reading charts. In any event, before Jung would accept an analysand (Jungese for patient), he sent them off to have their chart done to see if their energies would be a good blend with his own.

Before you scoff and stop reading, remember that Jung was a psychiatrist. He treated mental illness before we had drugs to blunt the most severe symptoms, and he had a surprising amount of success “curing” illness we consider incurable today, like schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. This is a gross simplification, but he joined patients in their delusions so he could understand them, and helped them find ways out of the twisted labyrinth their minds had become.

Traditional analysis is an extremely intimate relationship between doctor and patient. Patients spend several hours a week in the doctor’s office analyzing dream material to shed light on the roots of their problems. While modern psychotherapeutic approaches focus on symptom alleviation, analysis aims to integrate a person’s psyche so they can transform themselves into fully functioning human beings.

While treating his patients, Jung was struck by the similarity of the material presented by those with mental illness. This led him to postulate the existence of a collective unconscious that collects and organizes our experience as human beings. He traveled widely and did research into primitive cultures. The commonality in symbolic drawings led to further fleshing out of his theories of the collective (as opposed to our personal) unconscious.

This is getting long for a guest post, so let me wrap it up on a personal note. I was drawn to depth psychology because of its potential to enrich us. That we are alive at all is one of the mysteries, and I don’t want science to explain everything away. If any of you are interested in learning more about Jung, try Man and His Symbols or Memories, Dreams, and Reflections.


Thanks again for inviting me. I’d be glad to answer questions added to this post as comments.

*~*~*

Blood and Magic
Coven Enforcers
Book One
Ann Gimpel

Dream Shadow Press
63K words

Release Date: 7/18/16

Genre: Historical paranormal romance with a steampunk edge

Coven Enforcers = Dark, Dangerous, Magical Men

Coven Witches bow to no one—least of all Enforcers.

Sparks ignite. Tempers run high. Passion explodes. Hot. Sweet. Impossible to ignore....

Book Description:

Magic didn’t just find Luke Caulfield. It chased him down, bludgeoned him, and has been dogging him ever since. Some lessons are harder than others, but Luke embraces danger, upping the ante to give it one better. An enforcer for the Coven, a large, established group of witches, his latest assignment is playing bodyguard to the daughter of Coven leaders.

Abigail Ruskin is chaperoning a spoiled twelve-year-old from New York to her parents’ home in Utah Territory when Luke gets on their stagecoach in Colorado. A powerful witch herself, Abigail senses Luke’s magic, but has no idea what he’s doing on her stagecoach. Stuck between the petulant child and Luke’s raw sexual energy, Abigail can’t wait for the trip to end.

Unpleasant truths surface about the child. While Abigail’s struggling with those, wraiths, wolves, and dark mages launch an attack. Luke’s so attracted to Abigail, she’s almost all he can think about, but he’s leery too. The child is just plain evil. Is Abigail in league with her? It might explain the odd attack that took out their driver and one of their horses. In over his head, he summons enforcer backup.
Will they help him save the woman he’s falling in love with, or demand her immediate execution?

Amazon    BN    iBooks    Google Play    ARe    Author’s Store


Excerpt from Blood and Magic:

…Cursing her long skirts and cumbersome petticoats, Abigail used magic to skip the coach steps. Power blazed from her hands before she could see what she was aiming at. She was afraid if she took even a few seconds to hunt for a target, something would get her. Being dead wasn’t desirable, but it was better than the other things wraiths could do to her. Those turned her blood to ice chips.
With her booted feet planted firmly on the ground, Abigail finally got a good look at the wraiths. She drew magic from deep in the earth and sent it chasing after them when they jumped sideways to evade her magic. Insubstantial as tall, thin puffs of smoke, they had glowing charcoal eyes. Long, blood red claws graced what passed for hands. Binding their victims with fiery strands was a favorite trick—just before they sucked your soul right out of you, leaving a handy vessel for one of their masters to occupy. Wraiths used to feed only on the living, making them into new wraiths. They’d been bad enough then, but now they functioned as hired thugs for practitioners of the Black Arts. It lent them the ability to operate in broad daylight. Abigail wondered which group of sorcerers this crew worked for. The Alchemical Council? Black Magick?
Good God but there were a lot of them. Why? Surely they weren’t interested in the contents of the coach, which only carried mail and Carolyn’s substantial luggage. Ducking and spinning to escape being entwined in a blazing net, she thought about the girl’s steamer trunks. Abigail only helped pack two of them. The third had been locked and ready to go. Could that possibly be what the wraiths were after?
She shut off her thoughts so she could focus. The ragged sound of her own panting thrummed loud in her ears as she chucked one killing blow after another. Bolts of blue-white light flared from both hands. No point in running anything less than wide open. For each wraith she obliterated, three more showed up to take its place. Her chest ached from breathing sooty air and wraith stench.
Heat seared her back. Damnation! Her skirts were on fire. Abigail funneled magic behind her to quell the flames, but it didn’t work. Smoke stung her nostrils. Fire had already eaten a long gouge in one of her hands. If she dropped to the ground to deal with her burning clothes, the wraiths would pounce. Terror licked at her along with the flames.
In spite of her brave thoughts earlier, she didn’t want to die. Not here. And not like this. She cursed her corset. It was hard to get a decent breath. If she’d known she was going to have to fight—
“Keep after ’em,” Luke growled from behind her. “I have your dress under control.” She felt him drape something heavy around her shoulders—a lap robe he must’ve snatched from inside the coach—and press it close against her with his body. Gratitude wrapped warm tentacles around her. Having him right next to her made her already pounding heart do flip-flops, but she forced herself to focus on something other than all those rock-hard muscles jammed against her back.
“Are they all on this side of the coach?” she wheezed, still struggling to breathe. Between the smoke, her stays, and Luke’s body so near, it was a losing battle.
“Pretty much. Guess they want you more than me. Actually, they’ve been trying to get to the trunks up top.”
A discordant warning note sounded in the back of her mind. What the hell was in the girl’s luggage that would draw wraiths? Her back wasn’t hot anymore, so she assumed the fire was out.
That fire, maybe. The one inside me is just getting going…
She squirmed from more than the smoke and struggled not to turn around and press the front of herself against Luke. They had bigger problems than his undeniable charisma. Luke didn’t seem to be in a hurry to move away, though. He remained front to back with her, and she absorbed power flowing from him. Damn, but he was strong. What she wouldn’t give for that kind of magic.
It would help if I could breathe…
With difficulty, Abigail forced her mind away from Luke’s charms. “The driver?” She hadn’t been round to the front of the wagon to check.
“Dead.”
“Ever driven one of these things?”
“Concentrate on killing, woman. If we can’t get shut of the wraiths, ’twon’t matter a diddly damn.”


Blood and Sorcery

Coven Enforcers
Book Two
Ann Gimpel

Dream Shadow Press
64K words

Release Date: 8/1/16

Genre: Historical paranormal romance with a steampunk edge

Coven Enforcers = Dark, Dangerous, Magical Men

Coven Witches bow to no one—least of all Enforcers.

Sparks ignite. Tempers run high. Passion explodes. Hot. Sweet. Impossible to ignore....

Book Description:

Joshua committed his life to fighting Black Magick. Not sure who he hates worse, dark sorcerers or the clerics who tortured and mutilated his family, he lives on the road with his horse and his magic, working as a Coven enforcer. Breana Giraud is the only woman he’s ever loved, and until very recently she was married to someone else.

Breana’s husband, Don, sold his soul to the devil, embracing dark practices. Along the way, he corrupted their daughter. While Breana could’ve turned him in to Coven justice without a second thought, she couldn’t bring herself to implicate her child. Still reeling from her daughter’s death at the hands of evil, and grateful her husband met the vicious end he deserved, she feels broken, damaged. The last thing on her mind is falling in love.

Joshua tries to hold back, give Breana room to mourn her losses, but if he has his way, she’ll become his wife. With Don dead, and the path to his heart’s true love finally clear, he’ll do anything he can to make her his. Even if it means fighting his way past the dark mages’ leader, who wants her for his own.

Excerpt from Blood and Sorcery:

Salt Lake City, Utah Territory
Breana Giraud bolted upright in her bed, the darkness around her shattering into fire-tinged motes of black. Heart thudding hard against her chest, throat constricted with fear, she reached for power, intent on shrouding herself in a protective spell. Goddamn her husband. He was at it again. It was like him to wait until she was sleeping—and she had to sleep sometime.
Once upon a time, she’d cared about Don—a witch with power to match her own. But he’d been seduced by the dark and become deeply entrenched in Black Magick. Shielding herself against him drained her, but she didn’t have any choice. Sucking air around the narrow place that used to be her throat, she sent magic spiraling outward. She didn’t sense him near, but the enchantment that just dragged her from a sound sleep had Don’s name—and sliminess—stamped all over it.
Her eyes snapped open. Don was dead.
Dead.
What the hell was happening to her?
He couldn’t harm her anymore, so why was his stench all over the room? It wasn’t even the bedroom they’d shared. She’d moved to the far end of the hall to escape the horrible memories that swamped her every time she thought about him.
Guess that didn’t work very well.
She pressed her tongue hard against her teeth and reached for her magic again. Surely she could summon a mage light. Simplest of spells, it required almost nothing in the way of power. Finally, after she was shaking and sweating with effort, a wavery blue light formed, casting the bedroom in eerie shadows. Breana urged her light to burn hotter, brighter. Her teeth were chattering, and she felt as if she’d never be warm again. Icy sweat dripped down her sides.
She tugged the heavy, wool blanket around her shuddering form, but it didn’t help so she dragged air hard into lungs that had nearly forgotten how to cooperate. And then did it again. And again, until she was able to clamp her jaws in a harsh, desperate line.
Her light flickered and brightened, and the ball of fear making it hard to breathe eased the slightest bit. Falling back asleep was laughable, so she dug her way out from under the covers and pulled a robe woven from soft, cream-colored wool over her linen nightdress. Sheepskin slippers came next.
At least the godawful chill that had permeated the air was dissipating, and the reek of evil along with it. Brimstone held a sulfur taint that burned the back of her throat and made her skin prickle with a million points of discomfort.
She blinked back tears as she made her way downstairs, her mage light bouncing over one shoulder. The dark had taken both her husband and her daughter, and robbed her of what had once been a warm and comfortable marriage. She hated Black Magick with a passion. Hated what it had almost done to her as she walked a tightrope between her husband’s demands and her responsibility to the Coven.
“Yeah, and I did a shitty job all the way round,” she muttered as she poured a cup of tepid coffee into a mug. It was bitter as all get out from sitting on the back of the woodstove since early the previous morning, but she gulped it down anyway, wanting the quick stimulation.
Too keyed up to sit, she wandered to a window and looked to the east. Dawn wasn’t far off, but the horizon was still dark. Days were growing longer, but it was still winter, and it might not get light until seven. She’d sent a meticulous letter to Coven headquarters in New York. Within it, she detailed her sins in not turning her husband and daughter over to Coven justice—once she fully understood their allegiance had shifted to dark power.
That letter had certainly arrived by now.
What would they do to her?
A snort of derision curled her mouth into a bitter smile. She knew what she’d do to someone in her position. Banish them from the Coven for starters. After that, it would be anyone’s guess, but the Coven wouldn’t be out of line demanding her life as punishment for shielding her family from what they deserved.
Not much she could do. About any of it. No. She needed to keep going, day by day, and let the wheel spin as it would. She’d find out soon enough. Certainly by this coming summer when most—if not all—of the Coven had relocated to Utah Territory. At least she’d given Luke and Abigail a good start by marrying them. Memories of that day—and their joy—kept her going through the hardest spots.
She plodded back to the stove and poured the last of the coffee into her cup before she opened the woodstove door and sent a jot of magic to stir the embers. Once they crackled merrily, she added chunks of wood and refilled the kettle on the back of the stove with water from the pump next to the sink. The chores were automatic, and they settled her nerves enough to dissect what had driven her awake.
Coven enforcers, a group of hard-bodied, sharp-eyed men, who kept witches on the straight and narrow, had seen to it that both Don and her daughter, Carolyn, met their end in mage fire, purging their souls of darkness. And they’d killed Alistair MacDuff, head of the Alchemical Council. She and Abigail had seen to the death of Alistair’s henchman before he, too, was dumped in the purification of mage fire.
“Guess we didn’t get them all,” she muttered as she ground coffee beans with a mortar and pestle.
“If them refers to who I think it does,” Joshua drawled from the kitchen doorway, “of course they’re not all dead. That fresh coffee I smell?”
Breana curved her mouth into a soft smile. “You know damn good and well it is. I drank the dregs from yesterday morning. Hang on till the water boils, and I’ll brew a fresh pot.”
“Don’t rush. I got time.” Joshua moved closer to the stove, extending his hands toward its warmth. Tight-fitting, buff-colored leathers, similar to what most Coven enforcers wore, hugged him like a second skin. Flame red hair hung loose to the middle of his back.
Breana turned to face him squarely and crossed her arms beneath her breasts. “Looks as if you got up in a hurry. Your hair’s not braided.”

Blood and Illusion
Coven Enforcers
Book Three
Ann Gimpel

Dream Shadow Press
64K words

Release Date: 8/22/16

Genre: Historical paranormal romance with a steampunk edge

Coven Enforcers = Dark, Dangerous, Magical Men

Coven Witches bow to no one—least of all Enforcers.

Sparks ignite. Tempers run high. Passion explodes. Hot. Sweet. Impossible to ignore....

Book Description:

Not all witches join the Coven. Fiercely independent, Isla heads up her own small band in the San Francisco area. She’s never needed help before, but dark sorcerers drive her and her group into hiding, trapping them.

Sam’s worked for the Coven as one of their enforcers forever. He’s been there so long, the Coven is the only mistress he knows. It’s a lonely life on the road thwarting wickedness and Black Magick with his guns, his magic, and his horse, but it’s been enough to satisfy him. Until now.

A group of witches is in deep trouble. They’re not part of the Coven, but Sam is sworn to protect all witches and he rides to their assistance with several of his brothers. Nothing prepares him for the outspoken spitfire who ends up riding double with him. She’s forthright, opinionated, and downright hostile, but he’s drawn to her self-sufficiency—and her undeniable beauty. Soon, Isla is all he can think about.

Dark forces are on the move. Protecting the woman he’s falling in love with is at the very top of Sam’s list. If they manage to survive, he’ll tame her. Claim her. Make her his.


Excerpt from Blood and Illusion:
…Isla huddled with six other witches in a basement beneath one of the warehouses lining San Francisco’s docks. Her hair hung in filthy strands. Grime caked beneath her nails, and she stank, but at least she was alive. Russian sorcerers—or at least sorcerers who spoke Russian—had killed four of her sisters before she’d dragged the rest of their small band to a defensible position and swathed them in layers and layers of magic.
It had been a short-term solution, but they hadn’t had any choice. Not really. Only problem was they had no easy way out. If they dismantled their spell, the sorcerers would find them in a trice. If they remained where they were, eventually they’d starve to death. She was far weaker than she’d been a week ago when they’d barricaded themselves into the underground room with its dirt floor and dirt walls. Small cutouts high on two walls coincided with ground level, and provided their only source of light.
In desperation, she’d used her power stone to call Hester Thorne, a witch who’d been instrumental drawing their group into a cohesive unit. Hester promised help, but it had yet to materialize. Breath steamed through Isla’s teeth as she bent forward and stirred the shallow pool she’d created from a broken pot made of crockery and water dripping down the walls. It took a while, but the water had finally grown deep enough to become a scrying instrument.
Weariness dogged her, and her vision blurred. She squeezed her eyes shut, willing them to focus next time she dragged her lids open. Thinking it might help, she pushed herself upright and walked around the six- by ten-foot room.
“What are you doing?” Kat eyed her balefully out of bloodshot blue eyes. “I was asleep.” Dirty blonde hair had been braided to keep it out of the way.
“Aye, and ye’ll be asleep permanently if ye’re not careful,” Isla shot back, the brogue from her native Scotland thicker than usual. It was one of the reasons she and Hester had bonded so tightly. Shared roots from Scotland’s Highlands and islands.
“Isla! Come look at your pool!” Rowan cried. Silver hair fell about her, dragging in the dirt, but her brown eyes were lit with hope.
Isla skidded to her knees and stared at the water’s surface. Nine men strutted down the rock-strewn sand fronting the ocean. Tall, rangy, hard-bodied and clad in leathers, it was obvious they were used to ruling the world. At first she thought they were a new passel of sorcerers, but she forced herself to look closer.
Not trusting her first take, she took a ragged breath. Maybe she wished for salvation from the room that was likely to become their crypt so desperately, she was imagining things, “What does it look like to you?” she asked Rowan.
The other woman turned to face her. “Help. That’s what it looks like. Those men are bleeding power, and it’s the good kind.”
The other women skittered across the floor, jostling one another to get close to the pool so they could see.
“Be careful!” Isla cautioned. “Else ye’ll tip the dish, and we might not live long enough for me to refill it.”
Her heart hammered against her ribs as she took in the men. One of them in particular caught her attention and held it. Long, blond hair spilled across his shoulders, and his eyes were a bright, turquoise blue. Strong bones carved his cheekbones into bas-relief, and his jaw was square, determined. Buff colored leathers covered him, and they were skintight, leaving virtually nothing to her imagination. Broad shoulders led to deeply muscled arms and narrow hips with a high, tight ass. Long legs disappeared into boots that laced to his knees.
Her throat grew dry. Many a year had passed since she’d experienced such an immediate reaction to a man, and it confused her.
Must be because I’m half-staved.
Och aye, and ye know better, the other half of her brain inserted dryly. Whoever he was, he was one gorgeous man.
Understanding slammed into her, and she was ashamed she hadn’t put two and two together immediately. “They must be the aid Hester promised.” She glanced at the other women.
Rowan lurched upright. “If that’s true, then we need to go outside and help them.”
Isla licked her chapped lips. “They’re not looking as if they need any help, but at least that way they won’t have to hunt for us, and mayhap we can leave this accursed place.”
“You’re the one with the strongest magic,” Kat pointed out. “And the only one who can project telepathy beyond the enchantment hiding us. See if they answer.”
Isla exhaled sharply. It was a reasonable suggestion, but not without risk. If she was wrong, and those men were actually allied with the dark, she’d have given away their position. Opened them to a certain death. Or worse, imprisonment at the hands of evil.
“I was in your mind,” Rowan said, her voice surprisingly gentle. “We’re as good as dead now. I say we chance it.”
“I was coming around to the same conclusion.” Isla breathed deeply to center herself and drew out her pink moonstone. Before she could think things to death, and her courage failed utterly, she linked to the stone and sent her magic thrumming outward. No need to make things fancy, so she settled on the shortest phrase imaginable.
“Are ye who Hester sent?”
Depending on the answer, she’d ask for proof and take things from there.


About the Author:


Ann Gimpel is a national bestselling author. A lifelong aficionado of the unusual, she began writing speculative fiction a few years ago. Since then her short fiction has appeared in a number of webzines and anthologies. Her longer books run the gamut from urban fantasy to paranormal romance. Once upon a time, she nurtured clients, now she nurtures dark, gritty fantasy stories that push hard against reality. When she’s not writing, she’s in the backcountry getting down and dirty with her camera. She’s published over 30 books to date, with several more planned for 2016 and beyond. A husband, grown children, grandchildren and wolf hybrids round out her family.

Find Ann At:
@AnnGimpel (for Twitter)

*~*~*
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.