Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Tuesday's Treasured & Tipsy Timeslip: This Weeks Traveller is Susan Mathews

Travel and make-believe go hand in hand. Whether we're in the present or the past, in a haunted castle, an enchanted forest or a broken down building, beauty is in the eye of the beholder and traveling the world can bring the imagination to life.

Throw on your favourite plaid jacket and join this weeks's time travelling guest Susan Matthews as we take a virtual voyage into the wilds of Canada, Alaska, England & even LasVegas, possibly the wildest place of all:) 

Susanne Matthews is an avid reader with a penchant for happily ever after. In her imagination, she has travelled to foreign lands, past and present, and soared into the future. Now we're thrilled she's going to take us with her. Buckle up!



Stop #1 The Lake of The Mountain in Prince Edward Country, Ontario. 


Susan:Only two and a half hours west of where I live. This mysterious and sacred place according to Mohawk legend was where I set my book, Echoes of the Past. The Lake of the Mountain is an anomaly. To make it easier to understand what drew me to the lake and what will take me there again, http://prince-edward-county.com/lake-on-the-mountain-provincial-park/ Take a few minutes to read about the mysterious lake and see if you don’t feel the pull to visit there.

Rae comments: I have to agree with Susan...Prince Edward County is gorgeous. My hubby and I celebrated our anniversary at the Merril Inn a couple of years ago as part of a wine tour. It's located in the heart of Picton, within walking distance of specialty and antique shops, restaurants, the historic Regent Theatre and picturesque Picton harbour. We had a fabulous time and I highly recommend it. 

 

Hop in the Time Machine for Stop #2 Quebec City

Let's travel backward and eventually cross the ocean, making a quick stop in Quebec City, the first French city in North American in what was then New France.  I’ve visited Quebec City many times both in the summer and in the winter. I’ve walked the Plains of Abraham where the British led by General Wolfe defeated the French under Montcalm in 1759 and laid claim to my native land. My ancestors were among the early French soldiers sent to defend the colony in 1660, almost a hundred years earlier. A fictional account of his struggle can be found in my novel, The Price of Honor.  Someday, I hope to visit France and Caen and its surroundings.

Rae chimes in: Once again, nice pick Susan. I love all of Quebec. It's a little piece of the old world. I spent a girls weekend here in Tremblant a couple of years ago celebrating my mother's birthday Beautiful in every season! I also based the skiing scene from my novel, Curse of the Purple Delhi Sapphire here.

Las Vegas Grand Canyon


Photo Credit
American Travel Center



Stop #4 Step Aboard this Alaskan Cruise
For Stop # 3, we’re off to sin city, Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon, not to mention all those neat little Nevada desert towns famous back in the day for silver mines and more recently for UFOs. This image shows the different colors of rock I describe in my novel, Just For The Weekend. Seeing Vegas and the canyon with my own eyes is an item on my bucket list, one I hope to make a reality within the next two or three years.



That brings us to Stop # 4 Alaska. Come mid-June, one of the top three items on my bucket list will be filled. My husband and I will be taking the Alaskan Cruise aboard the Celebrity Millennium. During our vacation, we’ll go on a catamaran ride, walk on the glaciers, and take a train ride into the Alaskan wilderness. Some people think we should be going south, especially after the cold winter we’ve had, but I want to see the land of the midnight sun for myself. Plus, since I’ve decided to base The White Iris, the last book in my Harvester Series there, I want to see this rugged land first hand.


Rae:Like Susanne, I am Canadian and I love wilderness. Alaska feels like a place I could fit in. Of course it is an extreme place. In the winter, darkness reigns but in the summer the days get long and from what I've read the sun barely sets at all, just dips low in the sky and comes right back up again.



The Famous Standing Stones - Stonehenge

Last stop on my fantasy vacation: Stop # 5, Stonehenge. The very first book I ever wrote sits in my computer awaiting editing—and man does it need it. The head hopping would amaze you, but that book was written long ago as part of a creative writing course, and the strange thing is, head hopping was never even mentioned. Makes you wonder about the qualifications of college professors since I got an A+ in the course. Someday, I’ll open the file and rework Time and Again, a fantasy aimed at the YA market and allow the mystery of druids, crop circles, earthbound angels and other magical creatures trapped within its pages to escape. 

Rae: This prehistoric monument is located in England and is the famous time slip location of one of my favourite novels, Outlander by Diana Gabaldon.





Monday, March 30, 2015

Rachael's Reviews: A World Apart by L.J.K Oliva

Author L.J.K. Olivia had me at Black Magic Lounge


"Inside, the lounge was nearly empty. Violet cushioned banquets lined the walls opposite a long, dark wood bar. Behind it, shelves of exotic looking bottles extended to the ceiling. Vivid blue backlights turned them various shades of purple." 

This book was well-plotted and well-written and I was particularly impressed with the author’s rich and stellar description which enabled me to "see" Lena’s paranormal world. 

Being a writer, I know the challenge of putting words together—the right words in the right way—so a story can come alive in the readers’ imagination and it is a lot harder than most people think. 

The story opens in a small concrete chamber in the mind of a sadistic monster reminiscing the smells of liquid garbage, roasted meat and the screams of his victims. A picture so vivid, the author might have painted it onto my eyelids. From there we meet Private investigator Jesper MacMillian and Lena Alan and we enter a world where monsters aren’t just real, they’re hiding in plain sight. Suddenly, everything Jesper knows is suspect, starting with his current case. For Lena, a medium since childhood, it’s just another day at the office.

A World Apart is a solid paranormal detective mystery and a nicely creepy ghost story with moments I found somehow reminiscent of the old 1940’s detective stories. Enhancing that plot is the author’s ability to take popular tropes like hoodoo, necromancy and gypsy legend and lore and twist them just enough to make them seem new and more intriguing. I highly recommend this book!


A World Apart
Shades Below
Book One
L.J.K Oliva

Genre: Urban fantasy

 Book Description:

"There are things that go bump in the night, Mr. MacMillian.  It's my job to bump back."

Private investigator Jesper MacMillian was sure he'd seen it all.  After all, in a city like San Francisco, strange is what's for breakfast.  Following a long  recovery after a horrific accident, his life is finally the way he wants it- or at least, close enough.  The only monsters on his radar are the ones that keep him awake at night.
All that changes the day he meets Lena Alan.


Before MacMillian has a chance to brace for impact, Lena drags him into a world where monsters aren't just real, they're hiding in plain sight.  Suddenly, everything he knows is suspect, starting with his current case.  For Lena, a medium since childhood, it's just another day at the office. 

For MacMillian, it's the beginning of the end of everything he thinks he knows.
  
Excerpt 1

"I should hex the IRS."
Lena set down the receipt she was scrutinizing, and stared at the woman across the table from her.  "You're not serious."
The woman blew a wisp of dark brown hair out of her face, tugged off her plastic-frame reading glasses, and stretched.  The movement made her deep violet lowlights shimmer.  "Why not?  It might distract them for a while, and we could take a break from sifting through all this bullshit."
Lena snorted.  "Hey, I said you didn't have to help me.  My business, my-"
"Responsibility.  Whatever." The woman rolled her eyes.  "We both know you're shit with numbers.  Hand me that calculator."
Lena bit back a grin, and obediently passed it over.  "Have I ever told you you're like some kind of occult superhero?  Georgia Clare: bookkeeper by day, badass biker witch by night.  Seriously, you should put that on your business cards."
Georgia scowled, but her sharp green eyes twinkled.  "Well, as your bookkeeper, I'm hereby suggesting you set up a network for this place.  Are you kidding me with all this paper?  If I didn't know your family, I'd swear you were Amish."
Lena shrugged.  "I'll get to it."
The bell above the door jingled, and a small posse of women trekked inside.  Lena flashed them a smile.  "Welcome! Take a seat anywhere.  I'll have someone right with you."  She set down the receipt she was holding and stood.  "I need to go find Connie.  Thanks again, Georgia."
Georgia was already tapping away at the calculator.  She waved without looking up.
Lena left their table in the corner, wove around the other tables and scooted behind the counter.  The women were ogling the scones and tiny cakes in the pastry case.  Lena nodded to them, pride warm in her chest.  She pushed open the swinging doors and stuck her head into the kitchen.  "Hey, Tiburcio!  You seen Connie back here?"
Her head chef popped up from behind one of the stainless steel counters.  "No, señora, not yet.  Do you know when Jimmy is coming in?  He was supposed to take a look at the stand mixer."
Lena's good mood immediately deflated.  "I'm afraid we won't be seeing Jimmy around anymore."
Tiburcio's eyebrows went up, and she prayed he wouldn't press her for answers.  Mercifully, he merely gave a single, short nod.  "Qué pena.  Nice guy."
She swallowed hard.  "Yeah.  Yeah, he was."
With Connie nowhere in sight, Lena backed out of the kitchen again, and turned to the group at the counter.  This time, her smile felt tight.  "Sorry about the wait, guys.  Just pastries today?"
She forced herself through the motions, and heaved a sigh of relief when they finally headed out the door, already picking bits of scone from their crisp white paper bags.  Lena allowed her gaze to wander to the park across the street.  Maybe she'd head over there for lunch.  For some reason, the shop felt smaller than usual.  Some fresh air would be nice.
Maybe it would help dislodge the painful knot from her throat.
She was still staring into the park when a dark green, classic-looking car rolled up to the curb.  The throaty engine rattled the shop's windows, then shut off.  A tall, dark-haired man climbed out.  He paused, turned, and looked directly at her.  The bottom plummeted out of her stomach.  Lena shook herself.  Of course he wasn't looking at her.
He was looking at the shop.
Sure enough, he squinted at the sign, slammed the car door and started across the street.  He walked with a barely noticeable swagger, his well-built body encased in a dark gray suit.  She looked closer.  No, not quite a suit: instead of a blazer, he wore some sort of belted military jacket.
She braced herself.  The bell above the door chafed her already strained nerves.  The man filled the narrow doorway.  Lena swallowed hard.
She knew a wolf when she saw one, and this man was definitely a wolf.  He stayed in the doorway for a moment, then started towards the counter.  His gait swayed, and she realized what she'd thought was a swagger was actually an injury.  An old injury, judging by the practiced grace with which he wielded his curved black cane.
Lena relaxed slightly.  A wolf was bad news, but a wounded wolf?  That, maybe, she could deal with.
He reached the counter, and leaned against the glass.  Lena frowned.  "Can I help you?"
His eyes took a quick tour of her body, then he straightened.  "Maybe.  I'm looking for the owner of this place."
"You found her.  I'm Powonia Alan." Lena crossed her arms.  "If you're looking for a job, I'm afraid we're not hiring at the moment."
The man blinked.  "I'm not here for a job.  I'm looking for a friend of mine.  His parents told me he'd been working here."
Something started to ache in the pit of her stomach.  "Is that so?"
The man arched an eyebrow.  "Jimmy Vaspurkan.  You know him?"
She didn't know what made her open her mouth.  Maybe it was the man's eyes, too heavy on her face.  Maybe it was the way his voice reached deep into her gut and made her insides quake.  Maybe she just needed to talk to someone.
Whatever the reason, she was answering before she could stop herself.  "You're a little late.  He's dead."

Excerpt 2

The elevator came to a stop.  The doors started to open.  MacMillian backed away and shook his head.  "Do me a favor.  Leave now.  Don't come here again."
He stepped into the hallway, then froze.  Clustered outside the door to the office was a horde of people, the widest slice of humanity he'd ever seen crammed into one place.  There were cowboys, businessmen, soldiers.  Native Americans, what looked to be early Chinese, and more than a few women resembling the one from the side street.
The woman stepped out of the elevator behind him.  She hissed.  "Jesus.  Is it always like this here?"
MacMillian stared down at her.  "What are you- you can see them?"
She rolled her eyes.  "Well, obviously.  I'm a medium, remember?" She started down the hallway, paused, and glanced over her shoulder.  "Are you coming?"
MacMillian hung back.  She shrugged.  "Suit yourself."
She walked up to the edge of the crowd and cleared her throat.  "Okay, someone want to tell me what you're all doing here?"
Multiple heads swung towards her.  An elderly man in a suit that would have been the height of fashion in the late eighteen-hundreds stepped forward.  MacMillian strained his ears, but he couldn't hear what the man said.  The woman listened closely, made a curious sound in the back of her throat and turned back to him.  "He says there's a medium here.  Are you sure you're not sensitive?"
He was feeling rather sensitive, but he shook his head.  "I don't even know what that means."
The woman humphed.  "That's what I thought."  She turned back to the man.  "So you're all here to be moved on?"
The man nodded.
Her shoulders relaxed.  She reached out and took the man's hand in hers.  His eyes widened, then a peaceful look came over his face.  His lips turned up.  White light appeared in the center of his chest, expanded outward until his entire body glowed.  With what looked like a sigh of relief, he evaporated.
MacMillian's jaw dropped.
The woman moved slowly through the crowd.  Hand after hand reached out for her.  She took each one, held on until its owner flashed white and disappeared.  By the time she reached the office door, the hallway was empty.  She leaned back hard against the wall and closed her eyes.
MacMillian didn't remember moving, but somehow he was standing in front of her.  He closed his free hand around her arm and towed her inside, not stopping until they reached his office.
He slammed the door.  "What the... what was..." He dragged a sleeve across his brow.  It was drenched in sweat, but his skin felt freezing.
The woman watched him, her eyes sympathetic.  "Rough day, Magnum?"
He glared.
She sighed and rubbed her forehead.  "That, my dear detective, was the other San Francisco.  You've probably seen it before, just out of the corner of your eye.  You've probably dismissed it all your life.  Maybe you always told yourself you'd just had too much to drink."  She paused, her gaze heavy on his face.  MacMillian squirmed.  "But I'm guessing you always knew better."
His head was throbbing.  He shook it once, twice, but it didn't clear.  "I don't get it, Miss..."
"Alan," she supplied.
He nodded.  "Ms. Alan.  Why are you here?"
Her eyes darkened.  "Because there are things that go bump in the night, Mr. MacMillian.  It's my job to bump back."


About the Author:

L.J.K Oliva is the devil-may-care alter-ego of noir romance novelist Laura Oliva.  She likes her whiskey strong, her chocolate dark, and her steak bloody.  L.J.K. likes monsters... and knows the darkest ones don't live in closets.


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Blog- http://writebitches.com    


#bookreview #bookreviews #paranormal #detective #urbanfantasy #ljkolivia #writebitches #lauraolivia #writermama #fivestars #amazingreview #funread #ghostlyread #bewitchingbooks #bewitchingbooktours #roxannerhoads #rachaelsreviews #raesreviews


Saturday, March 28, 2015

Rachael Reviews: Heuer Lost And Found by A.B. Funkhauser


Ms. A.B Funkhauser is a brilliant and wacky writer incapable of dumbing things down and amen for that. Her distinctive voice tells an intriguing story that mixes moral conflicts with dark humor, not too mention booze and cigarettes.

The book’s title refers to the lead character, a lawyer who dies in his home. As the body decomposes, the man’s spirit experiences euphoria, rage, disappointment and eventually hope. 
One of my favourite characters Enid, an employee of the Weibigand Brothers Funeral Home where Heuer now resides just happens to be Heuer the dead lawyer’s former girlfriend and as we re-live the flawed recollections of their murky past—it really poses the question. How do we deal with death?​

#bookreview #authorbookreview #darkhumour #funeralparlour #womensfiction #ghosts#ABFunkhauser #death #funny #Heur #LostandFound #canadianauthor #goodbook #B7 #writersgroup

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1239495089

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Tuesday's Treasured & Tipsy Timeslip: This Weeks Traveller is A.B Funkhauser

Travel and make-believe go hand in hand. Whether we're in the present or the past, in a haunted castle, an enchanted forest or a broken down building, beauty is in the eye of the beholder and traveling the world can bring the imagination to life!

A.B wanted me to clarify that the
ciggy is a prop. Perhaps in honor of her father
to whom she pays tribute to below.
Throw on your pj's and ​climb in the casket with ​this week's guest, funeral director and fiction writer A.B Funkhauser as she takes us on virtual voyage through her memories and dreams relaying the places and times that inspired her.

A.B. Funkhauser is the author of a Dark Humor series and Weibigand Brothers Funeral Home is the setting of her new release, HEUER LOST AND FOUND. Coming this April. 23rd 2015. A visceral journey of two people: one living, one dead.


THE SHADOW RADIO SHOW


“Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men. Only The Shadow knows...Bwahahahahaha.”


For many my age and younger, knowing the origin of the above might be a bit of a stretch: yet I do. Corny? Yes. Hilarious? Absolutely! The quote, or more correctly, the radio program to which this voice over belongs comes from none other than The Shadow, which got its start in pulp fiction and later ran an incredible seventeen years on American radio from 1937 to 1954. 


Featuring lurid tales narrated by a supernatural all-seeing being that always knew better than the affected hapless humans it oversaw, The Shadow spoke to me in reruns throughout the Seventies.
What got me was the voice. What hooked me was the medium. Radio, you see, forced me to conjure up images of just where the plays took place. As a ten year old, it was no mean feat, seeing that my world barely extended past the hydro field in summer and the school yard in winter.
“What evil lurks?” I wondered. And was it always in sinister places?
The answer, I found, lived in dreams, and it was to some of these that I return over and over again years after they first played out. That I have recurring dreams—usually in Technicolor—I think speaks to the impact of radio: if given a choice, I would color my dreams no matter how frightening. Somehow, in color, the sinister seems palatable. Even inviting.

PLANET OF THE BATHROOM STALLS

 I remember finishing a harrowing week of Grade 12 second term exams. Exhausted, relieved and flat out broke, I had no choice but to celebrate my accomplishment with a long sleep. Waking in dreams, I was confronted by a highly stylized ape man in an orange jump suit. He wasn’t Roddy McDowall from Planet of the Apes, but a curious hybrid that co-opted equine features in a high cheek-boned, narrow face that embraced intelligence and a promise. The ape did not speak as he took my hand, ushering me over verdant hills backed by brilliant vistas I instantly recognized from the beats out of Sgt. Pepper’s. We were barely out of the Seventies at this point, so strawberry fields made perfect sense, even if my companion—a behemoth of eight feet or more—could have easily made Poe’s House of Usher his home. I asked him where he was taking me, but the ape said nothing, pulling me along with kind, if not gentle urgency, until, at last, we arrived at our destination: a row of bathroom stalls as orange and shiny as his coveralls. He wanted me to step inside the first one, yet I could not. It was a pay toilet, and I didn’t have a dime.

THE LAKE AND THE DRAGON



It will be eighteen years this May since my amazing German daddy passed away while on vacation in sunny Florida. His death, completely unexpected, knocked all of us near to him on our collective rear ends. Yet his passing was perfect—at least for him. My dad came from another age, an age currently celebrated on AMC’s Mad Men. Cool, collected and always on top of his game, my pa drank scotch and smoked cigarettes to his end of days: his pockets, when turned out, contained an empty pack of Chesterfields. He smoked his last one. Good on you pa. I missed him in those early days—I still do—yet in the afterburn of the funeral, seeing him again was paramount. It was not long before he visited me in dreams, this time in a lake setting muted with sepia tones save for a cobalt sky and bone bleached trees denuded of their summer leaves. My dad, you see, was renowned for saving the day. And so it came as no surprise when I tipped my fishing boat and fell into the dark water, that he would rescue me from an odd looking creature that reminded me of TV’s H.R. Pufnstuf.


Confronted by the large yellow beast with his oversized spots and tousled felt-twist mane, my first impulse was to shoo him away. “Be gone absurd beast with your goggly doll eyes!” Before I could reach him, strong arms overtook me, drawing my close. It was dad in his favorite black and rust hunting jacket, impossibly dry despite the cold water we found ourselves floating in. Pufnstuf, the dragon, opened his soft felt mouth at the sight of dad, as if to frighten him, but my father just laughed, reaching out with one of his short fingers (the rest of it claimed by a band saw in the Fifties) to poke the silly bugger in the eye. Puf retreated beneath the waves. I haven’t been back to the lake lately, nor have I been visited by the large, yellow, felt-mouthed beastie, but I wish it so most terribly. My dad is there, and I’d love to see him again.

THE HOUSE OF USHER AS HOME
maxresdefault.jpg
Edgar Allen Poe’s Fall of the House Usher stayed with me if only for the author’s assertion that the cursed family tree ran vertically and without branch. “How strange,” I thought at the time. Yet, when I woke for the first time in an amazing home—high ceilinged and trimed with thick mahogany baseboards and crown molds—I knew where I was. Imagine a long hall, the plaster walls stained cerulean blue to compliment large crystal chandeliers to mark a white ceiling honeycombed with bowed crossbeams of black and tar. The hall, never ending, opens every thirty feet or so into rooms beautifully decorated from the Age of Empire; each a different color, each recognizable every time I visit because I’ve had this dream before. And never, ever, is there an intersection along the way. It is Usher’s family tree, but I do not fear it. This is not a family tree cursed, but a home filled with history, its rooms lovingly curated by something I have yet to see.

MISTRESS BISCUIT AND HER SHORTBREADS

www.travelmob.com
In a similar vein, I have visited the home of Mistress Biscuit many, many times. Each time, it is the same. I wouldn’t have it any other way. The front door opens into a spectacular foyer, shitake monochrome walls accented with glass and chrome backed by sky high windows capped by a vaulting ceiling twenty feet above our heads. I say “our” because the guests are there, wrapped in looks reminiscent of the disco era, but tasteful to one who was there. “Mistress is busy,” the tall, slightly balding fellow in livery informs me. “Would madam care for a swim before chicken?” Don’t mind if I do. Pocketing a couple of sweeties fetched off a silver tray of shortbreads and arugula, I head to the indoor pool where a friend awaits. He is young, wearing a white terry cloth robe. I have no idea who he is.

#authorinterview #authorspotlight #featuredauthor #travel #beautifulplaces #whimsical #fantasy #mystery #writers #books #fiction #bookstoread #treasuredtipsytimeslip #tuesday #dreams #theshadowradioshow #Pufnstuf #Edgar Allen Poe

Monday, March 23, 2015

Get Featured on the Treasured & Tipsy Timeslip: Coming Soon to a Tuesday Near You

Travel and make-believe go hand in hand. Whether we're in the present or the past, in a haunted castle, an enchanted forest or a broken down building, beauty is in the eye of the beholder and traveling the world can bring the imagination to life! So throw on a corset, ​warm up the​ time machine or climb in a casket and take a virtual voyage with ​us​.

I'm lining up spots on my blog. If you want to be featured beginning next Tuesday. Comment, Email or Message me. You will need to name 3-5 of the most whimsical fantastical places you would travel to if you could. It can be in a different era, it can be spooky and/or whimsical. Whatever you want just as long as you name the places and why. Please provide pictures. It's a great opportunity to talk about the setting of your book(s) if you're looking to promote. If you're interested email me raquelle.jackson@gmail.com with your 3-5 places, include what's magical, creepy, intriguing, romantic about it. include stories or history and a picture of each place. Please also include your media kit. Thanks! Rae

#authorinterview #authorspotlight #featuredauthor #travel #beautifulplaces #whimsical #fantasy #mystery #writers #books #fiction #bookstoread #treasuredtipsytimeslip #tuesday

Friday, March 20, 2015

Jillian Jacobs Cover Reveal: Fire’s Field The Elementals Series Book 2

Fire’s Field
The Elementals Series
Book 2
Jillian Jacobs

Book Description:

Bound by a dark enchantment, only an elemental flame can light the way.

Vengeance

Forged in rage and sorrow, a dark witch’s spell travels down her ancestral line to Violet Levina. Enchanted with the power of the entire Electromagnetic spectrum—microwaves, gamma rays, radio waves, Violet is cursed with limitless energy and the obligation to destroy an insidious creature composed of dark matter.

Justice

For over five hundred years, Flint has served as Fire, aiding Earth’s environment and its people as one of four Elementals. Yet only once in his long existence has he been burned. A flaming redhead ignites the embers of his heart, but he finds her resistant to the heat building between them.

Illumination

Knowing she must fulfill her destiny, Violet travels to her ancestral home in Ireland, accompanied by the fiery Elemental. Not fooled by his charms and brazen demeanor, Violet wishes only to shield him from the coming battle, but can’t deny the flames of desire flickering when she is at his side.

Love

While standing together against unrelenting adversaries, false friends, family betrayals, and an underlying seed of darkness, they must burn bright or the ruthless power behind the ancient spell will turn everything to ash.

With Flint as her beacon in a field of darkness, Violet will discover that love holds the most powerful magic of all.

Fire’s Field Prologue Excerpt:

They were coming for her.
On the eve of her mother’s 25th birthday, a young witch fought back chills as the sounds of braying bloodhounds echoed through the forest. A single red stroke, mixed with the faintest purple, lit the darkening sky, as night, along with death, crept closer.
At the banks of River Nore, Sorcha rocked back and forth, tears of innocence-lost escaping down her cheeks. Heart splintering, she searched her memory for a spell to ease her mother’s torment. With her hands locked in the fabric of her mother’s woolen dress, she chanted pleas to the Goddess Isis to hear her cries and heal her mother.
To no avail.
The only answer came in the form of the demon’s sickness dripping from her mother’s mouth in a sludge of grimy gray mud.
Fear unlike anything she’d ever felt iced her heart, as once more she begged, swore her very life in exchange for the continued beat of her mother’s heart.
A piercing pain shot through her overburdened mind as the beast fought to break through her mental shields. Weakened by her angst and un-tested youth, she left a crack exposed, and the beast slipped in. Squinting her eyes closed, her entire body shaking with the will to deny the sick beast entrance, she couldn’t prevent his foul words from seeping through.
“Your mother paid for her defiance, for her inability to accept this gift only I could give her. Look at you simpering and shaking, if you weren’t so weak I’d use you, but no matter, I’ll be back.”
Drained from holding back the tempest, Sorcha let loose true sobs for the loss of the deepest love of her life, her solid fortress during every storm, the lyrical voice singing away her nightmares. Ignoring her drenched skirts, she released all her torment against her mother’s breast, barely catching the beat of her mother’s weakening heart between each aching moan torn from the depths of her soul.
No one came to her aid. No one soothed her broken spirit.
The sounds of the hounds drew closer, their howls a mad cacophony in her surreal world. The yellow-glow from fire-tipped sticks, created a mystical glow in the woods before her. Snaps and cracks of branches reverberated across the forest as the frenzied townspeople advanced to accuse and convict one of their own—a witch.



About the Author:

In the spring of 2013, Jillian Jacobs changed her career path and became a romance writer. After reading for years, she figured writing a romance would be quick and easy. Nope! With the guidance of the Indiana Romance Writers of America chapter, she’s learned there are many "rules" to writing a proper romance. Being re-schooled has been an interesting journey, and she hopes the best trails are yet to be traveled.

Water’s Threshold, the first in Jillian’s Elementals series, was a finalist in Chicago-North’s 2014 Fire and Ice contest in the Women’s Fiction category.

Jillian is a: Tea Guzzler, Polish Pottery Hoarder, and lover of all things Moose.

The genres she writes under are: Paranormal and Contemporary with suspenseful elements.


Website: www.jillianjacobs.com




Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Looking for a New Book Boyfriend ... Let's Get Irish with Chapter Twenty-Two

Happy St. Patricks Day! I thought today we could celebrate all things Cullen O'Kelley.


Favourite Drink: Pint of Guinness
Career: Architect
Area of Expertise: Castle Restoration
Hair Colour: Ginger



Excerpt from Chapter Twenty-Two
Curse of the Purple Delhi Sapphire
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Shivering, I started up the stone path to our front door. I’d loved Cullen’s Tudor-style house from the first visit—it reminded me of Snow White’s cottage with its steeply pitched roof and massive chimney thrusting skyward. My favorite part was the diamond-paned windows, all of which were dark now, except Cullen’s study, which seemed to emit a faint red glow. I quickened my pace, focusing on the lighted window. He was home. He must have been dropped off, though, since his Landrover wasn’t in the drive. Probably one too many pints. My stomach tightened the moment I shut the door and called for him Only silence answered. I took out my cell and quickly shot him a You home? message. Eyeballing the bottle of shiraz on the counter, I slipped off my shoes and pulled the French doors open, taking in the scent of sweet vanilla and honeysuckle from the gardens. No more bad thoughts. I was letting my imagination run away with me. I needed to get ready for my dinner date—an entire evening alone with Cullen. My heart leapt at the thought.
I stopped by the study, which was on the way to the bedroom. Cullen loved this room. It was decorated with masculine oil paintings of ships and battle scenes. Bookshelves lined the back wall behind his desk, surrounding a large marble fireplace which shed a dying glow. So that was why it seemed a little brighter than the rest. Cullen must have left in a hurry today.
I switched on the desk lamp and gazed across the room at his shelf full of books. Vehicles, mechanics, architecture: all things that reminded me of Cullen. All except for one on spirituality. This was an odd coincidence. How had Ann’s book gotten here? Had Cullen unpacked my box? I walked over to the shelf and picked it up, running my hand along the cover before opening it. The edges were earmarked and smudged. This wasn’t my copy.
Why would Cullen have a book written by Ann Switzer? Had he come across it and saved it for me? I tried to think of whether we’d ever talked about Ann and how my uncle Velte had attacked and murdered her grandmother at the Switzer farm. I couldn’t recall the discussion ever happening.
I put it back and turned away, looking at Cullen’s desk; it was massive and dark, like my feelings at the moment. I hated to invade his privacy, but I couldn't ignore my intuition.
The drawers extended down both sides, almost—but not quite—reaching the clawed feet. The top was clean, unlike the surface of my old desk—which was always piled high with papers and half-drunk cups of coffee. I grasped the knob on the top left-hand drawer. Locking drawers now, are we?
My eyes darted back to the bookshelf, then wandered along the walls which were painted a pale, buttery yellow. This room which I normally found cheerful and pleasant felt like it was closing in on me. My heart sped up. Maybe it was time to open Nick’s letter. I tried the next drawer down. Inside, there was nothing but a notebook and a few pens. I was stalling. I moved the notebook and—bingo—found a letter opener but as I reached for it, the hair on my arms prickled.
A familiar address stood out to me, written on a little blue matchbook. Gripping the desk’s lip to steady myself, hands shaking, I pulled the memorable little matchbook out. I closed my eyes, banishing the sight of Nick’s flat number from my mind.
It’s not possible,” I whispered numbly, shaking my head. I reached into my purse and pulled out Nick’s envelope, grabbed the opener, and tore in. My stomach churned and my hands shook.
Sophia,
I know you told me to stay away and you’re probably rolling your eyes right now but please leave Ireland. I swear I’m not writing this to fight with you or to be spiteful. You’re being fooled and if you don’t wake up before it’s too late, you’ll be dead. I realize I’m the last person you want to hear this from, but it’s true. I hired a private investigator and this is what he found…
My tears spilled onto the page as I glanced at the investigator’s notes scrawled below. I could make out key words like mentally unstable. It was so messy, I could hardly focus. Handwriting was clearly a lost art, but then again I was crying so hard my vision was blurred.
Sophia? Ye home?” Cullen’s voice floated up the stairs and down the hall.
My heart was pounding violently. Desperately I tried to control my tears as I made quick work of folding the paper in half but not before noticing the words raped and accused of murder. I used my sleeves to dry my tears.
Yes,” I called back, trying to make my voice sound as normal as possible. “You didn’t respond to my text.”
I looked down at my phone, blinking, and felt completely caught off guard.
I’m just on the phone in the study.”
It’s almost dinner time. Shouldn’t ye be after gettin’ ready?”
Yep, I will in just a moment.”
Cullen’s footsteps receded. The house was suddenly very still. I let out my breath and reached for the phone. 



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