Saturday, August 23, 2014

Darklight On… JL Addicoat


Today’s Darklight On is… JL Addicoat.

Welcome, JL






How did you come to write speculative fiction? What attracted you to the genre?

That’s an easy one to answer. I find books never have only one genre, there are usually one or two others poking their noses in. When my brain starts working, and the voices start talking to me (and each other), anything could and does happen. Romance, spirits, the past, present and future, and even magic can roll into the one story. My imagination knows few boundaries.


Are you a plotter? Pantser? Or somewhere in-between?


Somewhere in between. I usually have an idea where I’m going. I may sketch out a rough outline, but after that the characters take hold, tell me what’s to happen and I become the narrator.


Do you have a favourite of your characters?

I like Julia. Some of her traits and interests are similar to my own. On the other hand, Bill holds a special place with me as I’d love to remake an English Garden.



What are you currently working on?

My current work in progress is the story of two strong women born over a century apart, who find themselves in a struggle with the same foe.

I also have a partially finished work involving the futures of two worlds, where each need the others help to survive.


What is your favourite part of the process of writing?


Coming up with the idea and developing it. I won’t start writing something until I have a rough outline of what is going to happen, even if it is in my head.


What can we expect from JL Addicoat in the future?

Hmm. What to expect. I’m hoping to have two novels and two short stories published or close to being published in the next year. The short stories are extended versions of my competition entries in the Little Gems.


Who are your favourite authors?

I have a few and they vary. My favourite romance author has to be Anna Campbell. I admire her writing and I love her voice.

Others I admire for their research and stories are Jean Auel (Earth’s Children series), Kathleen O’Neal Gear/W. Michael Gear (First North Americans series) and Kathy Reichs.



What are you currently reading?


At the time of writing this I’m reading The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. I love how different the story is and who’s narrating it.


Do you have a favourite spec fiction movie or TV series?

I admit to being a Science Fiction nut. Star Trek, Star Wars, Intelligence, Defiance, they all ring my bell.



Do you have advice for emerging writers?

My biggest piece of advice for anyone taking on their dream of writing a novel is to not give up on yourself. Yes, it’s hard. Yes, there are so many ‘rules’. Learn the rules and stick with it.

Most of all, don’t get upset if you don’t make it the first time. Take what criticism has been made and work with it.



~~~

Thanks, JL Addicoat!





Blurb to Spirit of Love:

Old buildings have an eerie haunting feeling, and the 17th Century Manor house in the Cornish countryside Julia intends to restore, is no exception. Originally her dead husband’s dream, she feels it’s up to her to complete it in his memory. When she arrives she realises it’ll take more than a quick clean to bring the dilapidated old Manor to its former splendour.

While exploring the house she feels as if someone, or something, is watching her. Darting shadows and movements seen from the corner of her eyes appear to confirm sinister happenings at the Manor in the past. The discovery of an old diary hidden in a chest of drawers, and the story it tells, lead Julia in a different direction than she originally thought she would be taking.


Buy Links:
Amazon AU   |   Amazon US   |   Barnes & Noble   |   RoguePhoenixPress

Contact the Author:
Website   |   Blog   |   Facebook  |   Twitter

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Magic Thursday SPIRIT OF LOVE with J L Aldicott & a Giveaway!

I'm delighted to welcome fellow Dark Sider J.L. Addicoat onto the blog today, to help celebrate the release of her debut novel, Spirit of Love. J.L. is also generously giving away an e-copy of her book to one lucky commenter!




Set in the rolling Cornish Countryside sits an old Stone built 17th century Manor house. All though it’s had occupants before, many of them, none have stayed.

Why?

This is the question Julia finally discovers the answer to.



Why did I pick the Cornish country side for my first novel, not a rural Australian landscape?

After all, I live in the dusty, but beautiful landscape of the Australian bush in a small country town. The reason is simple to explain. My husband Kevin and I are old building nuts. We live in a Queenslander built in 1904, still standing on the majority of its original stumps. The house is the closest to original condition in the whole town.

Both of us love Time Team and other archaeological programs and my ancestors travelled out from Cornwall in 1865. Even though I have never been to Cornwall, it’s definitely on my bucket list to go.

Whenever we see an old manor or mansion in films, my thoughts often turn to the lives of those who may have lived in the houses so long ago and what if?

What if there was a secret passage? Many old manors had priest holes and hidden passageways for the servants to use.

Is there a hidden dungeon or basement? What may have happened down there?

Could someone’s insane Aunt Bessie been locked in the attic and never let out? Could she still be there, haunting the house?

As a child I was always reading. I read Erich Von Daniken’s Chariots of the Gods when I was ten years old. My mind often wondered during school time, where I would disappear into my own thoughts and visit places never heard of or seen before. I wrote stories for myself and in later life, writing helped me through the darker and more depressing stages of life. I suppose I was always destined to be a writer, but it took a fellow Darksider, Imogene Nix, to make me do it. I became her beta reader and the rest is recent history.

Thank you for letting me have a spot on Magic Thursday, and don’t forget there is a giveaway of an ebook of Spirit of Love. (Gift Certificate from Rogue Phoenix Press)

Good luck to the winner and I hope you enjoy it.



Spirit of Love can be downloaded from

Excerpt.

Turning the heavy iron key in the lock, an ominous creak sounded as Julia tried to open the huge, rusting gate. It moved reluctantly. Putting her shoulder to the rusted metal, she pushed hard. “Come on, you ton of junk. Open or you’ll end up in a scrap merchant’s yard.” A loud crack emanated from the protesting metal, and, as if it had heard her, swung open without a problem. She brushed herself down. “See, that wasn’t so hard, was it? All I ask is a bit of co-operation.”

A tangle of grass and weeds lay ahead. I have to drive through that? Julia ground her teeth. “I’m going to have to get a new gardener. This one obviously doesn’t know what a lawn mower or grass trimmer is.”

The grass moved in front of her. Startled, she jumped back. Something scurried away underneath the tangled mess. She followed its progress with her eyes, until it disappeared into the large, unkempt hedge near the gate.

A sense of foreboding settled in Julia’s stomach as she quickly returned to the car. She didn’t know what it was about the manor, but each time she visited, the hair stood up on the back of her neck. It felt as if something or someone was watching her.

Starting the car’s engine, she drove slowly down the weedy, rutted path, the car bouncing as its wheels sank into the potholes. Julia cringed at the jolts and scraping sounds coming from underneath the vehicle. “I should never have sold the Landcruiser. What was I thinking, bringing the Jag?” She knew what she had been thinking. She was the Mistress of the Manor now, and wanted to show off.

As she bumped along through the avenue of trees, the manor revealed itself. Grey stone blocks of the fa├žade gave a haunting welcome. Julia swallowed a lump in her throat and tears pricked her eyes. It wasn’t right. Richard should have been here with her. He’d wanted to restore the old mansion for a while. This was his dream house.
Instead, it had become his burial place.

She’d promised, while she knelt at his graveside, to restore the old manor in his memory. That had been two years ago. The memories of the time still haunted her. Grief and loneliness had held her back. Mentally, she felt stronger now, and able to accept having to carry on alone. “Get a grip on yourself Julia. It’s an old house. It’s bound to have a few creaks and groans.”

Parking the Jag next to the front door, she unpacked, placing the bags in front of the massive wooden doors. The leering gargoyle face on the door knocker sent a shiver through her. Placing a hand over its face so she wouldn’t have to look at it, Julia turned the door key in the lock and pushed the door open.

She’d never been inside the manor. Richard had gone inside, but she had stayed outside in the gardens. Just the look of the grey stone on the outside gave her an eerie feeling. The same feeling assailed her now. She glanced back behind her. The hair on the back of her neck stood up. Something or someone was watching her. She was sure of it.

“Get inside and shut the door. Then they won’t be able to see you.” Quickly picking up her bags, she kicked a small bag forward with her foot, in an effort to get everything inside and shut the door. After closing it, she turned around and gasped. The entrance opened in front of her. Large marble tiles covered the floor, with the roof looming high above. A hand carved wooden staircase in front of her wound its way to the first floor.

Oh, Richard. If you could only see this as I am now. I can see you running up the stairs. Running your hands over the banisters. Pulling up the carpet to see the wood underneath. I can see the delight in your eyes.

She ran her fingers over a nearby wall. Tracing the raised wallpaper patterns with her fingertips brought a sense of loss, a heaviness to her heart. She could feel the loneliness of the building. To her, it felt neglected, like it hadn’t been loved for quite a while. Like her. Great, now you’re associating yourself with a building. A moldy, musty stench emanated from the old, red, patterned carpet on the stairs, and she wrinkled her nose at the smell.

Once, people had walked up and down the rich, red carpeted stairs. She could imagine children sliding down its curved railing, laughing as they reached the curled end, then running back up the stairs again for another trip. She smiled at the visualization it brought to her mind.

Now, the only footsteps it felt were from the mice chewing holes in its carpet, showing the bare wooden boards underneath. Yes, this is a very sad house indeed. As she turned left into what appeared to be the library, she caught a shadowy movement from the corner of her eye. She spun and glanced around, but nothing was there.

“Hello, is anyone there?” Silence was her answer. Maybe a bird had flown in through a broken window somewhere? She shook her head, chiding herself for being silly and so jumpy. She laughed to herself. I’ll be seeing ghosts next. A cold shiver ran through her at the thought.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Good News Day

Welcome to this week's good news
brought to you this week by Nicole Murphy


SALES

Congratulations to Carolyn Wren, who has sold her first full-length novel to Secret Cravings Publications. Empathy will be out in March 2015. Here's the blurb:

What if you could feel emotions of everyone around you as a physical sense? What if someone you know is kidnapped, and you feel them die?

Three friends, their empathic gifts hidden from the world, experience every terrifying moment of a kidnapping and murder, as it happens.

Despite having no suspect, and no body, headstrong, stubborn, Meredith Baron has to convince cynical detective, Mike Stone of the terrible crime, by any means possible. Oliver Lord must overcome his unwillingness to reveal his special abilities, both to the distrustful Mike, and to Zoe, the woman Oliver secretly loves. When Kira Duke, the most powerful of the empaths is the next victim, a desperate encounter with lonely widower, Drew Atherton and his mysterious child, Sally, changes her life forever.

This unlikely group of people must work together before the assailant strikes again. But how do you catch a murderer, when your only clue is emotion?


S E Gilchrist has signed a three book contract with Escape Publishing in her Darkon Warriors world, (a science fiction, action /adventure romance series on the steamy side!). The next book, When Stars Collide has been scheduled for an October 2014 release.


AWARDS


Kylie Griffin placed third in the inaugural Koru Award from Romance Writer's of New Zealand with Allegiance Sworn. The Koru is a popular voted award, presented at the RWNZ conference.




The first book in SE Gilchrist's Darkon Warriors series, Legends Beyond the Stars, placed 2nd in its category in the Passionate Ink RWA chapter 9th Annual Passionate Plume contest.



RELEASES


Loving the Prince, the first book in the Jorda series by Nicole Murphy, has been released by Escape Publishing. The second book, Winning the King will be released in December and the third, Saving her Heart, in April 2015.



Cassandra Wiltmore is the heir to the throne of Rica, but it’s unlikely she’ll be stepping up any time soon. So she spends her days managing and building the Rican Balcite Mining Company. The company has made her family wealthy beyond imagination, but that kind of power needs careful control, and Cassandra is just the Wiltmore to control it.

When a new bid for the mining license is announced, Cassandra is determined to squash it. Then the thefts and threats begin, and every step she takes seems to be wrong. Taking on a new protector seems like an indulgence Cass can’t afford, but she equally cannot afford to be caught off-guard. If only the best man for the job wasn’t also the best-looking man she’s ever seen.

Kernan Radaton has ambition, and as protector to Cassandra Wiltmore, he’s well placed to reach all his long-held goals. If only his new all-business boss didn’t make him think of only pleasure. With the company, the heir and the family under attack, the last thing anyone needs is a distraction. But once everything is safe again, Kernan is developing new ambitions — ones that involve a lot of very personal time spent getting to know his boss on a very personal level.

Buy links

Friday, August 1, 2014

Real Life Paranormal with Maggie Mundy


Dreams or Portents?


My real life paranormal is not really mine but my husbands. The dream was brought back recently by the disaster of MH117. 

Many years ago in 1983 he woke up and said he had a nightmare. He said he was on an airliner and that a jet fighter came along side and shot them down. He jokingly said “as if that would happen.” 

The following day the news came out that a Korean airliner had been shot down by the Russians because it had flown into their airspace. He was thankful that he had not had the same dream again this time. It was probably coincidence or he saw something on TV but it definitely sent a chill up his spine.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Korean_Air_Lines_Flight_007



 ~ ~ ~


available for 99c until 2nd August, 2014




A witch is murdered in 1850 in a ritual that will grant longevity to four men. What they are not aware of is that she has bestowed the same power to another called Seth to avenge her death.

 
Cara lives in present day Bristol, and is a descendant of the witch. Having been unlucky in love she fills her days with food with her Irish themed catering business. Her nights are another matter; they are full of erotic dreams of a mysterious lover, or nightmares with mutilated bodies. So this wasn’t the best time for her Nana to tell her she is coming into her power.  




 








Maggie Mundy

Author ~ Dark Speculative Fiction
Unknown Protector out August 13th
Hidden Mortality out now with
Blood Scent
World Change out now with






Maggie Mundy lives in Adelaide, Australia and is a member of Romance Writers of Australia, and the local chapter SARA (South Australian Romance Authors). She recently completed a Bachelor of Arts in Drama, English and Creative Writing at Flinders University. She had a short story published in the RWA Topaz Anthology Little Gems in 2010 called Sea and Vines. She has two books out with Rogue Phoenix Press. An erotic novella called Blood Scent and a paranormal romance called World Change. She also has a supernatural thriller out with Soul Mate Publishing called Hidden Mortality.

She has also performed for many years in corporate entertainment for which she wrote her own sketches, which probably explains why her head is so full of characters. She loves writing romance but thinks falling in love can be scary, especially in her stories where creatures of the night really exist.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Magic Thursday - Witches on Trial

Hello again.

Today I'm talking about the Witch Trials that occurred within 15th and 18th Centuries in Europe and America.

Depending on which resource you read (and I've read a few) anywhere between 40,000 - and 200 000 individuals were executed for allegedly practicing witch craft.

Why did they do it?
It seems to be a case of mass hysteria. Life was difficult in those times, illness, death and accidents were often supersititously viewed to be the work of the devil or some other harbinger of evil. As I'm sure you know, people like to feel safe and religious faith makes people feel safer. It's no surprise then that at Christianity was on the rise during this era and changes in its doctrine surrounding the devil had a significant impact on belief and persecution of witches.

Witches were considered the property of Satan, and therefore responsible for the bad things that happened in a town or village. The first Church inspired witch hunts began in earnest in the 15th century. It is perhaps wise to note, that it wasn't only women accused of witchery. Men, girls and boys were also accused. That said, approximately 75-80% of all accused were women. Leading the witch hunts to be called a 'gendercide' by feminist writers.

How did they find witches?

There were dedicated Witch-Finders. Yes indeedy. One such man was Matthew Hopkins, who decided it was his God sent duty to find and destroy all the witches in England. He called himself the 'Witch Finder General' and travelled from village to village sniffing out witches. During this time (1647) England was in the midst of civil war, and suspicions and mistrust were ripe. It didn't take much to coax someone into accusing another of witchcraft. As a result, in each village, anyone who was remotely unpopular or peculiar in any way, was put on trial for suspected witch craft.  Here's the thing, Hopkins would then examine their bodies for any birthmarks or blemishes (said to be the marks of the devil). Then he would 'test' them and torture them for confessions. Ultimately, this man was responsible for the deaths of some 230 individuals - and was paid handsomely for his efforts.






Hopkins had seven keys ways to identify a witch:
1. Having the diabolical mark - that is moles or marks on the body.
2. Owning a black cat.
3. Talking to yourself.
4. Talking to animals.
5. Spinning a round.
6. Having red hair or freckles.
7. Having unusual eyes.

Is this more subversive Disney devil worship? *kidding*










Other indicators or 'proofs' of being a witch:

-having a diabolical pact with the devil in return for rewards.
-being denounced by another witch.
-having a relationship with another witch.
-participating in the the Witches Sabbath.
-using sorcery.
-blasphemy
-possession of items used for black magic.
-to express fear of interrogation.
-not to cry under torture.
-having sex with a demon.

Witch Trials, Interrogation and Torture.
The torture of witches began to increase in frequency after 1468 when the Pope declared witchcraft to be "crimen exceptum".
 Then following the publication of the Malleus Maleficarum (the most comprehensive book about witchcraft at the time) hysteria about witchcraft intensified.

Individuals were subjected to sleep deprivation, sexual humiliation, dunking, swimming tests (in which most drowned) and a multitude of other unpleasantness.
Ultimately, if you were convicted of witchcraft, you were either excommunicated or executed. Many individuals were burned alive at the stake (particularly in France) whilst others were strangled and then burnt at the stake.

Punishing Witches in Germany
Interestingly it appears that Germany had the highest rate of witch executions, an estimated 17 - 26,000 individuals, whilst Ireland only had 4. Despite the hype and fervour with the Puritans vs Witches in America only 35-37 individuals were actually executed.

So there you have it, a very brief history on Witch Hunts. Enjoy your Thursday!

 

Interesting Link:
http://www.gendercide.org/case_witchhunts.html

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Good News Day

 



Welcome to this week's good news

brought to you this week by Cassandra L Shaw


 
AWARD WIN

 
Congratulations to
Kylie Griffin for winning the 2014 Greater Detroit RWA Booksellers Best Award in the Paranormal Romance section for Allegiance Sworn (#3 Light Blade series)
 



 
 

She thanks Chris Taylor who attended the awards dinner to accept the accolade on her behalf.


Kylie Griffin
National Bestselling Author
www.kyliegriffin.com
 
 
 
BOOK COVERS AND REALEASE DATES
 

Adina West is celebrating the July 31 digital release of the
fifth and final episode of Covens Rising, the next title in her serialized Dark Child series.




Links to retailer here:

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Darklight On... JM Bray

Today's Darklight on is... JM Bray.
Welcome, JM!

Hi, my name is JM and I’m severely right brained.

My wife and I found long ago that letting me open the chequebook results in chaos. Seriously, if she were to disappear, I’d be without lights, water, and gas within a few months. For me, life revolves around rhythm, balance, harmony and flow. It doesn’t matter what I’m doing, it all becomes some form of right-brain-ed-ness. 

I love to cook and am not afraid of experimenting. Admittedly this doesn’t always turn out well, especially my earliest efforts. I once made a key lime pie. As you can see, it’s velvety yellow, with a nice billowing white top. 

To me that didn’t, and still doesn’t, make any sense. Let’s be honest, if you went to the market and saw a lime the shade of that pie, you wouldn’t bother. Right? Limes are green…dark, luscious green. So, I figured, if that’s the colour of the fruit, the pie should be the same.

Yeah, pie the colour of spinach didn’t go over too well at the church social. The taste was perfect, but no one would touch it. I’d let my artistic bent, take my efforts past what the public would accept.
 
All of you wonderfully intelligent writers already know where I’m going. We deal in imagination. Our words take people places, and if we do it well, they’ll set aside their notions of what should be, and go with us on a journey…but only to a point. If we go too far it upsets the rhythm, it’s more than they can take.

I’ve had an idea for an anti-hero story, one that goes beyond the character in Dexter. A hero that’s so good at being bad, and I mean really bad, that we want him to succeed. I think it can be done. Maybe I don’t have the talent or huevos to pull it off. Or, maybe, it’s a slice of dark green pie. Maybe someday we'll find out.

In the mean time I’ve some deliciously dark, food fun on the list to prepare. After all, Halloween is just a few months away.


Do you have a story idea or scene that you've shied away from? Tell us about it!


And now for the author stuff:




Mending the Shroud Links
Goodreads - Amazon - AmazonAU - iBooks - B&N 

About the Author
J.M. Bray lives in Southern California with his college sweetheart and their two dogs. After a lifetime together, they are happier than the moment they met. When not writing or working his "day job", he loves to cook, play the guitar, and travel with his wife. Every chance he gets, he races an old Porsche named "Tuffy" at tracks in the southwest.

Connect with JM

Twitter: @jmbraybooks
Email: jmbray@jmbray.com
Website: www.jmbray.com
Blog: http://blog.jmbray.com
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/JMBray.books
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/jmbraybooks/