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Hello, my name is Valorie. I have a Master's Degree in History and a license to teach-- I have been both university professor and public school teacher. Currently, I am a middle school social studies teacher. I love horror movies and spooky things. Every day is Halloween. I am also a passionate book blogger.

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Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Book Blitz & Giveaway: Peculiar Country by Stuart R. West




Peculiar County


Genre: YA Paranormal/Ghost Mystery

Release Date: July 30th 2017

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Summary:




Growing up in Peculiar County, Kansas, is a mighty...well, peculiar experience. In 1965, things get even stranger for Dibby Caldwell, the mortician's fifteen year old daughter. A young boy's ghost haunts Dibby into unearthing the circumstances of his death. 




Nobody—living or dead—wants her to succeed. James, the new mop-topped, bad boy at school doesn’t help. Dibby can’t get him out of her head, even though she doesn’t trust him. No, sir, there's nothing much more peculiar than life in Peculiar County…except maybe death in Peculiar County.



Buy Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo



EXCERPT:

I pushed through the doors. They swat at my backside, squeaking with mischief. Eee-hee, eee-hee
Down in the workshop, the cold really packed a wallop. I rubbed my arms, stamped my feet. I rode my hand along the wall, searching for the light switch.
Tik…tek…tik
Fluorescent ceiling lamps sprung to life, duller, deader than usual. Instead of providing warm luminescence, they cast everything in an odd light, everything touched in artificial tints.
Immediately, the strong, familiar odor of ammonia enveloped me. But I couldn’t place the other smell, couldn’t describe it. If pressed, I suppose I’d catalog it somewhere between sweet and metallic. Sorta the way blood tastes when you prick your finger and suck on it. I’d never smelled anything like it before, not in Dad’s workshop or elsewhere.
An overriding smell rode in like fog. A strong, wrong odor that brought to mind mold and rot. A primal scent from a different time or place.
Ching! Ding! Ting-a-ling!
Impatient as a hungry baby, the bell-ringer called.
Click.
The walk-in refrigerator door handle swung up.
Chumpf!
The door released its seal and opened, just a few inches. A pale blue—hardly blue, more like moon-white—cone of light fell across the floor. A swirl of frost slivered out, twirled in the bare luminescence.
Ding! Ding! Ching! Ting-a-ling-aling
Cut off in mid-ring, the bell silenced. Everything hushed. No sound, not a peep, a tick, a drop. Just the silent shroud of death.
Slowly, I crept toward the refrigerator. Which didn’t make a lick of sense as I knew Hettie waited for me. There didn’t seem to be any real sense in maintaining silence either. But any noise—even my own—made me want to scream.
Above me, the light flickered off, on, then sizzled like bacon before settling on dark.
My hand gripped the handle. Arctic cold, I wrenched my hand back. I flagged it ‘till the stabbing needles of cold left. With my shoulder, I nudged the door. It pushed open half-way, then stopped. I followed with a mighty mule kick.
The door opened about as far as its hinges would allow.
I took a deep breath, held it. When I exhaled, I spouted out a frozen, visible vapor.
“Hettie?” I whispered.
I entered. To the left, the metal shelves on the wall were unoccupied. On the opposite side, all but one sat empty. A rumpled plastic cloth lay across the bottom shelf.
The eerie blue light had no visible source, but it provided ample light to see by. Maybe too much, considering.
“Hettie?” I repeated a little louder.
In the back of the unit, where Dad housed his supplies, a hanging shower curtain billowed out. Plastic crinkled. Something moved, fluid behind the curtain’s rippling waves. Not exactly flesh-colored, not much of anything.
Tinggg!
My heart urged me to turn back. Traitorous feet wouldn’t comply.
White snails of fingers crawled around the plastic and gripped it. Slowly, the curtain pulled back. Rusty rings on a rustier rod squealed screeeeeee.
Hettie stood exposed, naked. Except for the black “X” stitching up her innards. Varicose veins twined her legs. Toes exploded into corns the size of thumbs. Her scrubbing pad of hair stood up on end, a static raised brush of black and white.
Clouds had moved into her eyes, milkier than when I’d found her, yet intently focused on me. She showed that awful cavernous smile again. Barnacle-like teeth jabbed out of her gums.
Her lower jaw wobbled, then dropped ajar. Not an involuntary movement caused by gas either, the way sometimes happened to corpses. She gasped, a hissing radiator.
She took a doddering step toward me.
Ding!
The bell tied to her toe tolled.
Ding-a-ling!
Each step forward took great effort. A kind of ghostly arthritis hampered her dead limbs, encased them in cement. When she moved, wood cracked. More wood splintered, her body falling apart. She raised an arm. Dark veins spiraled around it, swimming upstream with determination. They rode toward her sagging bosom, traveled north up her neck, snaked beneath her chin, and set up house on her face.

And still she kept coming.

About the Author
Stuart R. West is a lifelong resident of Kansas, which he considers both a curse and a blessing. It's a curse because...well, it's Kansas. But it's great because…well, it’s Kansas. Lots of cool, strange and creepy things happen in the Midwest, and Stuart takes advantage of them in his workCall it “Kansas Noir.” Stuart writes thrillers and mysteries usually tinged with humor, both for adult and young adult audiences.
Stuart spent 25 years in the corporate sector and now writes full time. He’s married to a professor of pharmacy (who greatly appreciates the fact he cooks dinner for her every night) and has a 25 year old daughter who’s dabbling in the nefarious world of banking.


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GIVEAWAY:

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Promo Blitz: Holy by Abbie Krupnick






Horror /contemporary dark fantasy
Date Published: April 15, 2017
Publisher: Darkwater Syndicate, Inc.

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Gus Stevens has the worst of both worlds. By night, he resides in the Dream World, a place steeped in magic and exotic dangers. By day, a giant snow-lizard stalks him in the Real World, looking to make Gus its next meal. In order to regain control of his life, young Gus must undergo a psychoanalytic exorcism. But this comes with a high price—he must break away from everything he has ever thought was real. Author Abbie Krupnick blends the magical and the mundane in this avant-garde dark fantasy where nothing is as it seems.




Excerpt

The high-pitched scream of a predatory bird echoed from the direction of the Valley. The eagle was approaching at break-neck speed, a maroon streak under the stars. Then it braked and circled lazily overhead a few times before alighting opposite Gus, talons gripping the edge. Gus heard the volcano groan, its anger filling him. The mountain shuddered, its sides growing warm. He slipped out of his cocoon of heat, felt naked without it in front of the bird.
“Hello,” the Magician said, examining him with green eyes. “Why don’t you come down and we’ll talk about things in the grove.”
Gus wondered how much he had overheard.
The mountain was heating up by the second. In a few minutes the smooth stone would scald his feet. A pale orange glow flashed briefly at the bottom of the vent, then colored to yellows and reds too fast, too soon.
“Whenever you’re ready,” Language whispered.
“Don’t listen to him, Gus,” the Magician said. So the Magician could hear, too. What an unsurprising comfort that was.
“Boy, in a few moments, I’m going to flood the whole World with molten rock. Make your choice quickly, because this is the only chance you’ll get.”
“Gus Stevens, you get down from the volcano this instant!” the Magician ordered sternly. Gus couldn’t help snickering at that.
“What are you going to choose, a lifetime of pain here, pretending you’re happy when you can’t even talk about your sham of happiness?”
“I’ll give you a nice, relaxed ride down to the grove. Your Mothers will make your favorite foods. I’ll even make Spear Mother take off her helmet for you.” The last offer disgusted him.
“Gus, he’s a monster.”
“This renegade spirit is crazy.”
“He’s whoring out Spear Mother.”
“I would do no such thing. I’m simply explaining to my son—”
“Boy, friend, vessel, host, house, my stronghold, listen to me: Which do you want? The misery this poor excuse for a Person offers you or freedom?”
I don’t know! I don’t know! I don’t know! I don’t know!
“Easy, Gus, easy,” the Magician murmured. Gus shot him a poisonous look, took several deep breaths while staring at the rising column of magma. A despairing question anchored him.
I’m going to suffer whether or not I’m free, right? he asked the rock illuminated like a burning mineshaft. The magma rose higher. The Dream World will go under and I’ll be the same?
The magma’s rise halted as Language stopped to think.
“Well,” it replied. “You’ll have me.”
What difference will that make?
“Do you promise not to be angry if I tell you?”
Sure.
“The truth is, I don’t know,” it said, and the magma resumed its journey upwards. It had to be less than seventy feet away. Sixty-five. Sixty. It stopped again. “I don’t know what the Waking World is like except through what I’ve overheard you say.”
So how do you know you’re important there? You don’t even know if it exists.
“I don’t. But I trust Mathis. You do, too, don’t you?”
Dumbstruck, Gus replied, I guess.
“And he told you the mountain would explain everything?”
Yes. He didn’t tell me that the mountain was possessed by a crazy spirit calling itself Language incarnate.
“Exactly, Gus! Well done!” the Magician wheedled, “Don’t trust it. Trust ME. I’ll give you all the knowledge you’ve ever wanted from me if you return to the grove.”
The magma hadn’t started to rise again but its heat was baking his face.
Please, Language begged, now inside his head. Please.
You don’t care what happens to me. So what if I kill myself, right? You lose your chains. I’m still screwed.
I’ll be trapped in your soul again, but YOU will be free to use me. Which is how it should be.
Then you’re exchanging one prison for another.
If you were in my place, you’d be right, but the rules are different for me. Please, Gus. Let me go.
He had nothing to say to it.
Please, Gus. Please. PLEASE.
It was hysterical, its voice rising higher and higher with the magma. His ears were ringing again.
PLEASE. PLEASE. Let me go. Let me go. Let me go. LET ME GO.
Its hysteria was getting to him. He couldn’t stop his own tears from leaking.
Please, Gus. Please let me out. LET ME OUT! LET ME OUT! LET ME OUT!
It was screaming bloody murder. He covered his ears as though this would muffle the sound inside his head. He was ready to smash the sound out of his skull on the vent but Language stopped him with a whimpering, Please.
“Please please please please please!” the Magician mocked, voice muffled. He kept chanting “please please please” as he cleaned his feathers. Gus tuned him out, waited until the bird had finished so he could see the hate on Gus’s face. Long-hidden vows to repay the suffering his mentor had caused him boiled to the surface. He chewed them all into a simple order to Language.
Now.



About the Author



Abbie Krupnick lives in Summit, New Jersey. When she’s not writing, she trains Brazilian jiu-jitsu and makes explosive quantities of visual art.











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Pre-Order Blitz & Giveaway: Rose De Muerte by Natalie Bennett


Title: Rose De Muerte
Author: Natalie Bennett
Genre: Dark Erotic Romance
Release Date: October 16, 2017
Covers by: Covers by Combs




NOTE: ROSE DE MUERTE WILL NOT BE AVAILABLE ON BARNES & NOBLE, KOBO, OR ITUNES AFTER RELEASE




Roselynn ‘Rose' Morgue is in love. 

That sounds good on the surface, but nothing about Rose’s life is ever simple. 

The object of her affection is not only her stalker, he’s also supposed to be dead, and that little fact throws a wrench in her plan to reinvent herself. 

You see, Rose is far more twisted than anyone would ever believe, and will do whatever it takes to ensure no one ever finds out the truth about her past. But when a series of murders begin, Rose’s secrets rise to the surface, and one extremely pissed off secret can’t wait for her to get what she deserves. 

*Trigger Warning* 
Bad Sh*t happens. 
This book will not entice warm fuzzy feelings. 
(This book is a standalone prequel that sets the stage for Pernicious Red)



a Rafflecopter giveaway






Natalie Bennett is the creator of erotic stories that always come with a warning label. She writes about depraved alpha a**holes and women that love to hate them. Her books don't follow any specific tropes, have no set word counts, and tend to deviate from traditional HEA's.


When she isn't in front of her computer she's spending time with her husband and their three little boys.

Natalie is an avid fan of caramel frappes, horror movies, Shameless, and of course, reading.

You can find Natalie on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.



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Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Promo Tour: McKinley Mysteries, Family is Murder by McKinley Mysteries by Carolyn Arnold




Family Can Be Complicated

 
Family is Murder offers food for thought with a thrill… An entertaining and fast read, making you want to read more.”
–In a Small Compass

Family can be a place of unconditional love and a safe haven from the rest of the world. On the flipside to that, it can violent, broken, or nonexistent. No matter where you are on the spectrum, family is complicated.

For Sara McKinley, she was given up for adoption as a baby. At least she struck it lucky with her loving adoptive family and a mother and father who might as well be blood. But still, she would love to meet her birth mother. It’s never been something she’s avidly pursued so as not to hurt the woman and man who raised her, though. But in Family is Murder things get complicated when a woman shows up claiming to be her birth mother.

Sara is eager to believe her, while her husband, Sean, is skeptical. After all, there’s a lot on the line. Not only his wife’s hurt feelings if this woman’s a liar, but the billions they’d inherited.

But when a dead body turns up soon after Sara’s supposed mother takes off without so much as a good-bye, Sean and Sara both start to question the truth. They could have very well welcomed a killer into their home…

Carolyn Arnold

Book Overview:
If only there were someone to clean up this mess…
Sean and Sara McKinley put out an ad for a maid, but they never expected Sara’s birth mother to apply—or at least that’s who the woman is claiming she is. While Sean is suspicious of her true identity and motive, Sara opens her heart to the woman. But when a dead body turns up soon after Sara’s supposed mother takes off without so much as a good-bye, they both start to question the truth.
Could they have welcomed a killer into their home and not even known it? 

Available in e-book and paperback.Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Apple iBooks | Kobo | Google
For more retailer links visit: http://carolynarnold.net/family-is-murder.

About the McKinley Mysteries:
Romance. Humor. Murder. Are you looking for a murder mystery without all the graphic violence and foul language? Something that you can enjoy in an afternoon and walk away feeling good about afterward? How about a dash of humor and romance? If so, meet former detectives Sean and Sara McKinley. When a billionaire leaves them all his money, they no longer have to work, but they find themselves sticking to what they’re good at—solving murders. Undercover, off the books, and around the world, they’ll get to the bottom of things…and romance it up along the way.

This is the perfect book series for fans of Hart to HartCastleColomboMonkRockford FilesPsych, and Magnum PI.

About the Author
Carolyn Arnold is an international bestselling and award-winning author, as well as a speaker, teacher, and inspirational mentor. She has four continuing fiction series and has written nearly thirty books. Both her female detective and FBI profiler series have been praised by those in law enforcement as being accurate and entertaining, leading her to adopt the trademark, POLICE PROCEDURALS RESPECTED BY LAW ENFORCEMENT™.

Connect with CAROLYN ARNOLD Online:
Website | Twitter | Facebook

And don’t forget to sign up for her newsletter for up-to-date information on release and special offers at http://carolynarnold.net/newsletters.

Promo Blitz: The Man in the Forest by Michael Warriner





Paranormal Horror
Date Published: May 31, 2017
Publisher: Darkwater Syndicate, Inc.

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Vincent, a musical prodigy, is caught up in a concert rivalry with a former student. He travels to Romania to settle the score, but what he discovers is the horrific true story behind the song his protégé wrote, “The Man in the Forest.” Supernatural phenomena and horrific sights abound, but the locals are tight-lipped about the mysterious goings-on. Can Vincent and his group upstage their rival, or will they fall prey to the curse of the man in the forest?






Excerpt

Behind him, in the hallway leading to the front door, he heard a light pattering of footsteps. He looked over his shoulder. The footsteps stopped, but he couldn’t see anyone in the doorway. Out of the corner of his eye he detected movement in the hall, but turned in time only to catch a shadow scurry away.
It had been a small shadow—a child perhaps? But what would children be doing so far out in the forest without their parents, and this late at night?
Vincent chased after the shadow, but when he got to the hall, nothing was there. Just then he heard something behind him. He quickly turned and caught a glimpse of what looked like the ventriloquist’s dummy—what was his name? Johnny Nelson—skipping to the stairs and out of sight. Vincent’s eyes grew wide.
Vincent ran through the living room to the stairs. He froze upon hearing a childlike laugh and looked up. The puppet stood at the balcony with its face in between the rails, leering at him. It looked exactly like the one in the painting.
First taking a breath to steady himself, Vincent climbed the stairs, the doll watching him all the while with tiny, creaking movements of its wooden eyes.
All at once the lights in the cabin went out, blanketing the house in shadow. He heard the pattering of small feet run down the second story hall. Vincent halted midway up the stairs and listened… nothing.
Then the lights blinked back on. Vincent ascended the rest of the stairs to the second story balcony. Johnny Nelson was gone without a trace.
Further down the hall, Vincent noticed the door to Mary’s bedroom was ajar. The lights inside her bedroom flickered as though the electrical wiring had gone bad. He went to the door and pushed it open.
It was dark when he stepped inside, the light mounted in the fan providing only sporadic bursts of light. He reached up and flicked the light bulb, and it steadied. As he lowered his gaze, he caught sight of Johnny Nelson in the reflection in the mirror atop the dresser. Before Vincent could even react, there was a muffled pop and crunching of glass. He dove to the floor as shards of the light bulb in the fan rained down around him. “Vince!” Mary shrieked. “Are you okay?”
He looked over his shoulder from the ground. Mary and Tyler stood in the doorway.
Vincent got to his feet, but didn’t answer right away. The mirror in the dresser was little more than an empty frame with a wood backing, its glass having burst all over the dresser’s surface and the floor. On the backing, in red letters that looked too much like blood for Vincent’s liking, was written: “Johnny Wants To Play!”




About the Author





Born and raised in Central Florida, Michael Warriner pursued an early interest in learning music and creating characters in hand-drawn comic books. He began his career working simultaneously in the mental health industry and as a character performer at his local theme park. It was while pursuing his degree in Psychology that he began writing stories “just to kill time.” Before long, he had written two manuscripts. This developing interest in telling stories was further driven by his fascination with amateur filmmaking. By day, Michael now applies his education and training to assist clients diagnosed with mental illness. By night, he writes novels, and in his free time he composes music. He draws upon these varied interests to create unique characters and thrust them into memorable stories.


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Promo Blitz: Sons of Twilight by Collette Jackson-Fink





Romance, Fantasy
Date Published: June 2017
Publisher: Outskirts Press

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A mysterious black towering pyramid pushes its way up in the middle of the Midwestern city of Waterloo, IA, during an earthquake sending the city into chaos. It is the doorway to an underground world, the Garden of Eden where angels dwell. When a special tactical team is sent inside, one of its members Dane Coles is chosen to be among them, spinning his life and those around him into a vortex of twist and turns! Indulge in this hardcore fantasy!

'Sons of twilight', picks up where 'Daughters of Twilight' ends, throwing readers into a deeper complex story as Dane and Asia have been banished from the Garden of Eden to protect them and their twin sons from the evil that dwells there. Dane and his sons escape to the surface with the aid of Asia who is to follow, but not before suffering the wrath of the Ancient one; one of the oldest members of the Garden. He seeks to use the young lovers’ children for his own ends. When denied this, the Garden is thrown into chaos. Bands of angels ranging from war angels to peace keepers, elders to newborns; children of earth men and angels. Dane fights to keep himself and his sons alive while facing many challenges as he waits for his Asia to join him. He is not alone in his fight for survival as his team leader, Captain Ivan Steel and a host of other special team members fight to seal their place in the Garden along with their angel wives at their sides. A global darkness is coming and their new acquired skills are needed not only to protect themselves but the people on earth, globally, as they run interference in order to keep the peace among world warring factions.


Other Books by Collette Jackson-Fink:



Publisher: Outskirts Press


The special tactical teams had been trained for normal encounters with flesh and blood...not supernatural beings.


A quiet little city in the Midwest town of Waterloo, Iowa is about to come to life...with angels! When an earthquake measuring seven hits Waterloo, a huge black pyramid shaped tower pushes it’s way up through a corn field in Blackhawk County spinning the city into the national spot light. It’s thought that the “Black Tower” is dormant, but when special tactical teams are sent inside to investigate, special team member Dane Coles is confronted by the impossible...a beautiful creature that has been cursed and cast down into oblivion within the Garden of Eden, using the ‘Black Tower’ as a doorway to the surface...

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About the Author





Collette Jackson-Fink has been writing since she was 13 years old. A Persian Gulf veteran, Collette works as a respiratory therapist at a trauma center in her home state of Iowa with her husband, Ron.









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