2022 releases

The Traitor's Game
Awaken: Wolves of Timber Falls
Sorrow's Song
Wicked Nights: A TechWitch Futuristic Urban Fantasy Novel
Bite Me, Monster: A Monster Romance
Nightfall University: Midnight Coven: A Reverse Harem Paranormal Romance
Nightworld Academy: Winterfall Witch
Phoenix: The Rise
Fated Wolf
Pray for Mercy
Keeper Of My Desire
Monster's Plaything: A Monster Romance
The Sheikh's Captive Lover (Desert Kings Alliance, #2).
Wolf Fates: Wolf Shifter Romance
Crown of Shadows
Kings of Eden: A Dark Paranormal Romane
Wild Soul: A Rejected Mate Romance
The Girl Sudan Painted like a Gold Ring: Folktales from the Sea Dyaks of Sarawak, Borneo
A Wreath Of Thorns

Thursday, 31 July 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.
-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:

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Good News Day


Welcome to this week's good news

brought to you this week by Cassandra L Shaw


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

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, 26 July 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/

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Magic Thursday with DJ Michaels and her Sexy Dragon Riders: Enforcer's Craving

Please welcome Dark Sider DJ Michaels to help celebrate her debut release, Enforcer's Craving, which is out now with Ellora's Cave! Congratulations, DJ! Please tell us a little about your book.

Enforcer’s Craving is my first foray into erotic romance – and I went the whole hog by making it a ménage! It’s classed as sci-fi (because the action occurs on a planet far far away) but there are strong fantasy elements in the story. The world in which our heroine finds herself is free of technology and our heroes are warrior dragon riders. But don’t let that trick you into thinking they are backward in any way. These boys are sophisticated and sexy (at least, I think they are anyway).

Enforcer’s Craving
DJ Michaels

Dragon Alliance, Book One

Chelsea is kidnapped from her Melbourne home and taken to an alien planet to be sold at auction. Luckily, she a gets a last-minute reprieve and is rescued by Tarkan and Ari, two sexy male dragon riders. Tarkan and Ari have long resigned themselves to the fact that they will never have a woman of their own. But when Tarkan lays eyes on Chelsea he concocts a plan to ensure she not only commits to them, but will fight for their right to be together.

Chelsea has many challenges in her new world but her biggest and most immediate concern is finding her best friend. Alone and without support, she turns to the only two people who have offered to help.

If Chelsea accepts the bargain, the Enforcers will do whatever it takes to rescue her best friend. Chelsea is attracted to them, but can she risk herself and her heart with two men she barely knows.

A Romantica® futuristic ménage erotic romance from Ellora’s Cave


The thick forest stopped all of a sudden, as if a giant had sliced it with a knife and scraped away the excess. Between one step and the next Chelsea was out of the greenery and standing on fine white sand with the sun glaring down on her head and shoulders. The beach stretched as far as she could see in either direction, and it was a good fifty meters from where she stood down to the dark blue lake.  

But the beautiful scenery was a mere backdrop for what really caught her attention. Dragons. What seemed like hundreds of them. Huge, dark, mean-looking dragons with snapping teeth and whiplash tails. Every one of them was the size of a small plane and they came in monochrome shades ranging from pale gray to blue-black.

            She hugged the treeline, not taking her eyes off the action at the shallows of the lake. There were half-naked men in the water with the dragons, scrubbing them down and washing their wings but it didn’t seem to stop the dragons snapping and snarling at each other at random intervals. 

            A man separated himself from the group, wading out of the water and jogging in her direction. The moment she realized it was Tarkan, she was so grateful to see a familiar face she didn’t quite register the fact that he was almost naked. But as he got closer the sun glistened off his wet, copper-colored skin and she realized his tiny black shorts did nothing to hide the glory of his body.

            My god, he’s perfect. Broad shoulders, deep chest, ten-pack abs and huge arms and legs. He had no hair on his body and every muscle was so clearly delineated he could have posed for an anatomy poster. His blue hair was slicked close to his head and threw his extraordinary facial features into sharp relief.
He drew to a halt a mere half step from her, his cognac-brown eyes sparkling.

            Tarkan took a deep breath and his voice rumbled out, low and sexy. “You came. I wondered if you would.”

            She tried to keep her eyes on his face, truly she did but she was a chest and shoulder girl from way back. His naked torso was making it hard to concentrate. “I would have come sooner,” she said. “But they kept a really close eye on us. I had to sneak out of the dormatory.”

            “No matter. You’re here now.” He closed the distance between them, near enough that her breasts almost brushed his damp body. Leaning down he whispered in her ear. “Have you come to ask for my help?”

            Her whole body jerked and for a moment she thought she was having a seizure, then her nipples hardened and her core throbbed and she realized what the sensation was. Lust. Pure and not simple, and certainly not welcome. She kept her gaze fixed on the drool-worthy expanse of his pecs and fisted her hands in her skirts, gripping on for dear life. “Yes, I’ve come to you for help.”

            He lifted a large, warm hand to rest on the side of her waist, not gripping her, just resting it there. It felt like a brand, searing her skin through three layers of cloth and all her sensible intentions. Then his hand slid a little lower, his thumb lightly pressing against her hipbone. “Are you willing to pay the price, Chelsea?”


About DJ Michaels:

Books have always been my refuge, a bit (okay, a lot) like an adult cubbyhouse. When real life gets too much—or too little—I can delve into my library and be utterly transported to places familiar and exotic. I can also meet the kind of people I’d never come across in my normal life, which is not always a bad thing.
These days not only do I get to visit other writers’ worlds, but I get to create my own—worlds chock full of sexy warrior men; strong, capable women; and oh yes, let’s not forget the dragons. My cubbyhouse is very cool, the door is always open for visitors, and new friends are most welcome.

Buy Links 

Ellora's Cave 


Wednesday, 23 July 2014

A Bite Of... The Sorcerer's Spell

This week it is my pleasure to welcome Dani Kristoff with A Bite Of... The Sorcerer's Spell

Can you, in less than five words describe your book?
Very sexy, body-swapping paranormal romance.

Who is your favourite character?
My favourite character would be Rolf as he’s a sexy, mysterious werewolf who finds it hard to say no.

What inspired you to write it?
 That would be a Valerie Parv romance writing class. The idea popped into my head about a woman dreaming of her dead husband and then waking up in bed with another man while being thoroughly rogered.

And here's the excerpt.

It seemed to Annwyn as she tossed and turned that the dream was becoming more and more real. The texture of fantasy and patched-together moments, which had been the flavour of her previous dreams, was absent. This one was more coherent and directed. Thomas’s hands were running up her thighs, cupping her buttocks, moving her sinuously up against his body. There was a scent, so male, surrounding her. She responded to it instinctively, groaning her pleasure. As her arousal grew to a peak and her breathing grew hoarse she could hear Thomas calling her, calling her name and asking to be let in. She began to respond, seeking him in her dream. ‘Thomas?’

Then his presence grew, strong, spicy and overpowering. ‘Annwyn?’ Was that his voice? It didn’t sound familiar.

She could not conjure the image of his face, though his presence was there in her mind. Why was he hiding from her? ‘Thomas? Is that you? Why can’t I see you?’

The voice echoed again, loudly in her mind. ‘Listen, Annwyn, you need to let me in. Let me in. Then you can see me, see all of me again. Let me in. Say you will let me in.’ Again his voice sounded strange to her ears. It had an urgent, pleading note that she had never heard before. Thomas had always spoken to her gently, caressingly.

His hands on her skin distracted her. He was slipping inside, hot and eager. God, she thought, this is intense. She let out a moan. Her dreams had never felt so alive, so real. She was moving with him as he pushed inside her then eased away, only to thrust harder. She found it hard to concentrate. It had been so long since she had been intimate with anyone. ‘Let you in?’ she panted, feeling her body press against the mattress with the weight of her phantom lover. ‘Where? Let you in where?’

His kisses were hard and urgent, kindling a fire deep within her belly. ‘Let me into you. It’s the only way we can be together again.’

Annwyn thought he was already inside her. How much deeper could he go? But he needed her, needed her to open to him on every level.

In the haze of her dream she caved in, surrendered so deeply as she reached out to him that her body shook from the force of it. ‘Come to me. Come in to me.’

The face materialised as the haze of dream lifted, the smile vicious and victorious. In her confusion, Annwyn did not realise until it was too late that it was a woman’s face, with piercing green eyes, alive with a power she could not fathom. It was not Thomas at all.

Annwyn was ripped away. Her consciousness spun into darkness, all the while the man in her dream was making love to her, thrusting into her as her body responded.

Annwyn was tied to this action, linked inexorably to each thrust, each caress, each tantalising kiss. It was as if she was caught and held by a spell and there was no way she could break out of it. Her body was owned by that man, that touch. She had no will to stop him. She was being taken high in the sky where the clouds flowed and drifted, leaving her with barely a sense of the world she inhabited.

For what seemed like a long time she floated, tumbling free with no bed, no room, no house around her. Burning in her ears, stomach heaving, and skin screaming, the sensations overwhelmed her. The only constant was those large strong hands, lifting her hips, angling them for the next thrust, hot mouth on her throat, biting without wounding.

Down, down to earth Annwyn plunged. She cried out with the force of the movement, the abrupt arrival. The crease of the sheets stuck into her back. An orange-tinged hue haloed the bed and beyond light and dark waltzed in the corner of the room.

Screwing her eyes shut, she avoided looking. There was something very wrong in what was happening to her. This was not Thomas’s body on her, in her. She jerked once, sucking in a breath. Then, opening her eyes, she screamed. Screamed like the devil.

‘What the—’ said a deep voice beside her. She heard him but kept on screaming. He disengaged from her, moved away from her yet remained on the bed. The mattress shifted beneath her as the springs adjusted to the change in weight. She screamed again.

‘Stop that,’ the man said, without a hint of sympathy. ‘You knew the consequences of your actions. You knew where this would lead. You will lift the curse now.’

He grabbed her foot. Annwyn kicked out at him, then curled her body into a ball. Through her light blonde hair, she scanned the room. The sound of paws scratching on wood drew her attention to dogs entering from further down the hall to pace around the bed. Some of them moved to huddle together in the corner. All with yellow eyes, watching her. Maybe not dogs. They were too large for dogs.

A sob escaped her, a terrified, visceral sob. Then her eyes flicked from one shadow to another. She could not look at the man sitting next to her on the bed. Her gaze leapt to the wall-sized mirror and to the image there. On a king-size bed, with pure white sheets sagging to the ground on one side, was the man, a sheen of sweat glistening between the shoulder blades and down the vee of his spine, his chest rising and falling noticeably after his exertions. Tall, with short-cut blond hair and wide shoulders tapering to a shapely behind, he sat staring at a woman with light-brown skin.

Annwyn stared at the reflection of the woman huddled near the bed head. It was her, and it was the woman in her dream— she had the same green eyes.

Thank you so much for sharing today.
If you'd like to find out more about Dani's writing, or buy this book, check out the links below. 

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Good News Day

Welcome to this week's good news

brought to you this week by Cassandra L Shaw

Adina West is celebrating the digital release of the fourth episode of Covens Rising, the next title in her serialized Dark Child series on July 24th.

Links to retailers here:

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Magic Thursday - A Ghost Story with Special Guest Alison Stuart + Giveaway!

It's my pleasure today to welcome the completely wonderful Alison Stuart to the Dark Side Down Under blog! Alison writes fabulous historical romances set during the 17th century, the Regency and the Great War, and she has also woven in ghosts and time traveling in some of her books :-)

Alison is here today to tell us about some ghostly encounters... 

Nothing like a good ghost story…

As far as I know, I have never actually seen a ghost but I’ve always had a fascination with ghost stories. This began with my mother’s tale of a ghostly encounter in a Youth Hostel in Wales. My mother is an extremely sensible woman and not one given to histrionics or flights of fancy. The story, as she tells it, is that she and a friend on a cycling tour of Wales in the early 1950s stayed the night in a converted castle that was now used as a Youth Hostel. She woke during the night to the sensation of a woman’s fingers brushing her cheek. She could clearly see a woman bending over her and as she watched the figure dissolved into the wall.
My own paranormal experiences have been far less impressive and really take the form of an emotional response to a place rather than ghostly figures. The most powerful occurred when I visited Warwick Castle in my early 20s (before it became the theme park it is today) and like all tourists went down to the cells below the castle. The feeling of misery was so overwhelming I felt as if I would suffocate. On subsequent visits to the castle nothing and nobody has been able to induce me to go down to those cells again.
In the course of my career I worked in at least two haunted buildings. Both of them were former nineteenth century mansions and both had been used by the Australian Army for many, many years. 

The first, “Netherby” in Queens Road Melbourne was the Headquarters of the 3rd Training Group during my time but had been, reputedly, used by ASIO in the 1950s. There were stories of soundproofed cellars and secret tunnels but no evidence has ever been found of either, even during Netherby’s more recent conversion to a wing of a grand hotel. Nothing untoward happened to me in all the years I worked at Netherby but I did start to pick up the stories of “Albert” reputedly the lonely ghost of a Rumanian spy. I collected quite a few eye witness reports on Albert and It started me on a quest to track down more ghost stories from Army establishments. I figured soldiers made fairly reliable witnesses. 

The other haunted mansion in Queens Road is Grosvenor which was Headquarters 4th Brigade when I first went there. Like Netherby it has long since been sold and is now a rather depressed facade to some particularly ghastly apartments. Grosvenor was far grander than Netherby and was reputedly haunted by “Esmerelda”, a young maid servant who had been found drowned in the swamp that is now Albert Park Lake. Esmerelda and I did have some firsthand contact and like Albert she is well chronicled.
You can find the stories of “Albert” and “Esmerelda” on my own blog (just click the hyperlink).
Over the years, wherever an opportunity has presented, I have gone on ghost tours some hokey and some downright spooky. You will have found me trailing lantern bearing guides in York, New Orleans, Edinburgh, Port Arthur (now there is a spooky place!), Sydney Quarantine Station to name a few. Even my own home town, the historical port of Williamstown, runs a ghost tour, although with a huge modern development going ahead which is ripping the heart out of the old town, I fear its days are numbered. Good one… planning authorities!
It was natural at some point in my writing career ghosts would creep in and you will find a couple of ghostly short stories in my collected short stories, TOWER OF TALES (Lost Souls and The Promise).  The unsettling antics of the ghosts in my World War One story, GATHER THE BONES are gleaned from the many stories I have gathered over the years. For example, the evil, ghostly hand clasping the wrist, comes from New Orleans and relates to the story of slaves waiting to be sold (New Orleans does a particularly scary line in ghosts – it was one ghost tour I was glad to do in daylight!). It was fun to write but a challenge to present my ghostly characters as credible.
I would love to hear about any ghostly encounters you may have had and there is an e-copy of TOWER OF TALES on offer for a randomly drawn commenter.


Alison on a ghost tour in Edinburgh

Alison Stuart is an award winning Australian writer of cross genre historical romances.  She is a digital first published author, whose 6th published book, LORD SOMERTON’S HEIR has just been released by Harlequin Australia. If your taste is for duelling cavaliers, wayward ghosts, time travel and murder mysteries – sometimes all in the same book – Alison’s stories are for you.
Alison is a lapsed lawyer who has worked in the military and fire service, with an obvious obsession for men in uniform, which may explain a predisposition to soldier heroes.  She lives in Williamstown with her own personal hero (and yes, he was wearing a uniform when they met!) and two cats and subsists on a diet of gin and tonic.

Alison can be found at her website, Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads.

In the shadow of the Great War, grieving widow, Helen Morrow and her husband’s cousin, the wounded and reclusive Paul, are haunted not only by the horrors of the trenches but ghosts from another time and another conflict. 

 As the desperate voice of the young woman reaches out to them from the pages of a coded diary, Paul and Helen are bound together in their search for answers, not only to the old mystery but also the circumstances surrounding the death of Helen’s husband at Passchandaele in  1917.
As the two stories become entwined, Paul and Helen will not find peace until the mysteries are solved.

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Good News Weeks

Welcome to this week's good news

brought to you this week by Cassandra L Shaw
Adina West is celebrating the July 17 digital release of the third episode of

Covens Rising, the next title in her serialized Dark Child series.

 Links to retailers here.

Christina Phillips has two of her books nominated in the Ellora's Cave Golden Ankh awards. Voting is open from now until 23rd July - please see details and link to vote below.

Twilight (other)
Bloodlust Denied by Christina Phillips
Tainted by Christina Phillips



 Ellora's Cave is introducing the Golden Ankh awards at this year's RomantiCon. Readers (and authors are readers too!) get to vote in categories for their favorite ebooks of the year.

Ebooks released July 2013 through June 2014 were eligible, and there are three to six nominations per category.

Winners will be announced at the awards ceremony on Saturday night at RomantiCon!

Voting for the Golden Ankh Awards is now LIVE.

Head over to Survey Monkey (https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/RCon2014) and vote for your favorite book in each category today! The survey will be live until July 23rd.