• Immortal Trust

    The Curse of the Templars III

    When archaeologist Chloe Broussard accepts the contract to lead a dig in Ornes, France, she has no idea she will uncover Veronica's Veil. When she...

  • Immortal Protector

    The Curse of the Templars IIa

    After the brutal murder of his seraph, Iain Donnelly's salvation is eternally lost. Damned to become a dark knight of Azazel, he can no longer embrace...

  • Immortal Surrender

    The Curse of the Templars II

    Farran de Clare, loyal member of the cursed Knights Templar, wants nothing to do with predestined mates. Even the Almighty...

  • Marked for Death

    Inherited Damnation Book VIII

    Taran McLaine knows the agony of his incubus father's curse more intimately than his siblings. A century ago he murdered the only woman...

  • Enslaved by Fear

    Inherited Damnation Book VII

    For standing against her brother, Brigid McLaine is imprisoned within her home. All she wants is freedom and the ability to follow her dark...

  • Doomed to Torment

    Inherited Damnation Book VI

    Isolde McLaine left Hatherly Hall and its darkly handsome owner Angus Shaw to escape her incubus father's curse. But when word reaches her...

  • Bound by Decency

    The Flying Gang Legacy I

    Once, Cain sailed with the cutthroats of The Flying Gang, fearless Captain of The Kraken, bound to no one save the sea. After inheriting...

  • Lie to Me

    A man of action...

    After helping to break up a Russian human trafficking ring as part of the CIA’s elite Black Opal team, Alexei Nikanova’s newest assignment is to rescue...

  • The Heart’s Stronghold

    What she’s hiding is unforgivable…

    With six million stolen dollars tucked away in a Swiss account and a new identity, Natalie St. James arrives in County Kerry, Ireland toting a horde of secrets...

  • Fated for Sacrifice

    Inherited Damnation Book V

    When Reese Hamilton is abandoned in the snow-laden woods, she must find her way to Dáire McLaine’s cabin—a friend she’s...

  • Ensnared by Blood

    Inherited Damnation, Book IV

    Beth Whitley has finally put her life back together after her husband’s betrayal and is determined...

  • Stripped

    Body of secrets...

    As a member of the CIA’s elite, Black Opals, Natalya Trubachev must live a lie, working undercover as the lover of Dmitri, a Russian mob boss...

  • Immortal Hope

    The Curse of the Templars I

    Centuries ago, Templar knights defied the archangels and unearthed the copper scroll, revealing the gates to hell. Cursed for their forbidden act...

  • Destined to Die

    Inherited Damnation, Book III

    Haunted by his mother’s betrayal, Belen McLaine surrendered to his demonic half long ago. For centuries, he’s roamed, doing all he can to corrupt...

  • Tormented by Darkness

    Inherited Damnation, Book II

    Cursed by her incubus father centuries ago, the last thing Rhiannon McLaine wants to do is fall in love...

  • Cursed to Kill

    Inherited Damnation, Book I

    One of eight children born to an ancient Celtic priestess and sired by a demonic incubus, Cian McLaine suffers from a centuries old curse...

  • Misunderstanding Mason

    The truest gifts are damaged...

    Fourteen months ago, Aimee Garland had the perfect marriage—until her husband blindsided her with a divorce. Now, he’s home and she intends...

  • Misunderstanding Mason

    Sometimes the most vivid pictures go unseen...

    When Kirstin Jones agreed to work with her live-in boyfriend, Mason, on a free-lance job for a wealthy client, she...

  • Waiting for Yes

    One man holds the ability to fulfill her dreams...

    Gabrielle Warrenton gave up everything to pursue her dream of a first-class Egyptian Arabian...

  • A Christmas to Believe In

    When a man's dreams are in ruin...

    Struggling Thoroughbred breeder, Clint King, hasn’t been home for Christmas in...

  • Timeless Valentine

    Childhood hatred fired their blood...

    When Lucas Benning relocated to Kansas City, his best friend’s sister became his roommate. Problem is...

  • All I Want

    Some dreams were never meant to be...

    Renowned architect, Josh McDaniels, spent ten years avoiding his hometown and the unforgettable...

  • Seduction’s Stakes

    Never make a wager you can’t afford to lose...

    A member of horse racing’s elite, Maddie McCleery’s got her eye on the Triple Crown and her heart set...

Good morning, everyone! Let's see, it was last winter when Immortal Trust came out, and it's well past time for another installment. You've been waiting patiently--and not so patiently for some--but here it is!



IMMORTAL SACRIFICE
The Curse of the Templars, Book IV

In the wake of an Italian mobster’s death, the archangels charge Immortal Templar Knight Caradoc of Asterleigh with protecting a necklace that contains Christ’s tears. He vows to bring the relic home, never imagining he’ll have to battle Isabelle Speranza, the only woman he’s ever loved and whom he left in a futile attempt to protect her heart.  Discovering she’s his fated seraph changes everything.  For the dark lord Azazel is hunting the Templar mates.

Isabelle lost her heart to Caradoc in a whirlwind affair abroad, only to be abandoned in the middle of the night.  When she encounters Caradoc in Sicily three years later, her buried anger fuels desire that won’t be denied.  Yet a dark shadow threatens their reunion.  Azazel has discovered her greatest weakness, and her dreams promise unspeakable horrors if she fails to procure the sacred necklace. 


As danger stalks her, Isabelle reveals an unbelievable secret.  To save them both, Caradoc must accept her truths, even if it means turning from everything he’s sworn to uphold.


Purchase Now!  Amazon | Print | Kobo | All Romance E-books
Barnes and Noble / Nook Coming Soon!

EXCERPT:

Bliss rocketed through her body, lighting her up from the inside out.  This was what she’d wanted, what she’d craved, for nearly three years.  Caradoc holding her, kissing her, telling her all the words he’d once whispered with just the touch of his tongue.

Apologies flowed between them, words she no longer cared about and yet somehow inherently understood.  Urgency replaced the gentleness of his mouth.  The slow, sensual stroke of his tongue became demanding.  Possessive.

Isabelle surrendered with a muffled cry, and they came together with startling ferocity.  He hauled her close, eroding every last bit of her rational thought with the press of his strong, hard body.  Heat filtered through their clothing, warming her skin and warding away the lingering chill in her veins.

Too long she’d known this only in memory.  Too long she’d relied on distant sensations to nurse her soul-deep yearning.  But now it was real.  Caradoc was here.  Kissing her as if nothing had changed between them and they were once more locked away in a cottage in England, lovers who couldn’t get enough of one another.

The slide of his hand along the length of her spine stirred her heartbeat into an erratic rhythm.  Each staccato pulse shot zings of ecstasy to every nerve ending she possessed until they all stood on end and her body trembled with sensory overload.  His powerful arms surrounded her.  His mouth dominated.  His broad chest offered shelter from every catastrophe she could imagine.

She couldn’t get enough.  Hungered for every bit of raw emotion that Caradoc had once exposed her to.  Craved the feel of his skin sliding against hers, the sensation of taking him into her body and knowing him only as a lover could.  She squirmed against the building ache within her womb and gave in to a soft moan.

The sound, however, jolted her back to reality, and the harsh realism sent her crashing through ecstasy to land in a bruised heap on the cold hard truth.  This wasn’t the man who made her believe in dreams and fairytales.  This was the man who’d sworn his love then left her to wake up confused and alone.

Isabelle shoved out of his embrace.  “I’m not doing this,” she rasped. Not in a hundred years.  Make that a hundred centuries.

She straightened her skirt then bent over to pick up her purse that had landed on the floor some time earlier.  Slinging it over her shoulder, she bolted for the door.

“Isabelle, wait!”  Caradoc caught up with her in four determined strides.  His fingers wrapped around her wrist.  “I did not mean for that to happen.”

“Of course not!”  She gave her arm a fierce jerk at the same time she opened the door.  “You didn’t mean it before, why should you now?”


~Claire
www.claireashgrove.com
www.toristclaire.com

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Hi everyone!  It's Release Day!!

Please give a warm welcome to EXPLOSIVE, the third book in the Black Opal series, by my alter-ego, Tori St. Claire.  You can give it a try for only $2.99!

KINDLE version will be live today - Amazon has fixed my account.

For now:  Buy Paperback
Buy Digital:  Nook  |  Kobo  |  All Romance eBooks

  A man on the hunt...

Jayce Honeycutt never imagined returning to his hometown for a wedding would find him confronting the woman he intended to marry. Nor did he anticipate the passion they once knew would burn as hot and bright as ever. Only now Alyssa’s involved with Jayce’s former best friend, and Jayce can’t bring himself to interfere. When he learns Alyssa may be in danger, however, everything changes. As the threats against her life escalate, Jayce will stop at nothing to unveil the secrets she’s hiding. Even if it means risking his heart all over again.

A woman on the run…

Ten years ago, a brutal attack forced Alyssa Martin into a world of solitary darkness. She threw herself into her career, but now her work has led her back into the nightmare of her past and thrust her into a deadly game. When her roommate employs Jayce for her protection, memories compound. She’s never forgotten their shared desire, and her body still craves his masterful touch. Yet Jayce is determined to break down her protective walls, and confiding in him is more frightening than the shadows stalking her. But someone else is determined to control her. To survive, Alyssa must trust in Jayce and bare herself completely.

EXCERPT

CHAPTER ONE
Of all the god-awful methods of torture Jayce Honeycutt could envision, weddings ranked at the top of his list. That was saying a lot, considering he’d spent the last ten years of his life disarming bombs for the CIA’s specialized, undocumented team of Black Opals. He’d done his fair share of making threats on US security go away as well, sometimes using those very same methods of torture on subjects that held critical information. But hands-down, a wedding beat every documented and undocumented coercion tactic he knew.

After the last fiasco, when Alexei Nikanova—one of the most esteemed Black Opals, no less—married a virtual terrorist, Jayce had his fill. No more weddings. No more people losing their goddamn minds and throwing away perfectly good careers in the name of the two-faced bitch called love.

That is, until his older sister Jasmine called a month ago. Now he was back in Boulder, Colorado, the last place on earth he wanted to be, not only attending, but participating, in a damn wedding.

He slammed his pickup into third and skidded around the corner. He’d endured the family dinner with the in-laws he’d never see again. Suffered enough polite handshakes, false hugs, and sugary sweet smiles to last a lifetime. Now he couldn’t get to the bar fast enough. One beer to take the edge off. Another to clear his head—around five he might just forget how Boulder had changed his life and how he’d once been dumb enough to buy into the fantasy of weddings and lifelong nuptials. True, he’d never made it to the altar. No, Alyssa hadn’t let it get that far before she vanished, she and their unborn child.

Grinding his teeth against the unwanted rise of memories, Jayce eased up on the accelerator. Just as revisiting the past would bring up trouble, so would getting a ticket. Kevin Clark, director of the Black Opals, would make him eat this one. The three in London had pushed his boss a bit too far. Not to mention Jayce’s attitude about Alexei’s wife. Clark had all but forced Jayce to accept Jasmine’s request to escort her down the aisle. Not that he would have refused. This gave him the opportunity to be near his younger sister, Jordan, at a time she needed company the most.

A bright orange neon sign announced that Jayce had reached his destination and welcomed visitors to the Rocky Mountain Taproom. He nosed into a parking space, killed the engine, and jumped out of the car. Pocketing his keys, he entered a world of sultry blues and even more sultry lights. For the most part, the bar was dead, as he’d expected on a Wednesday night. A few men gathered around the pool table. Near the bar, three ladies laughed over the sound of a crooning sax. They looked his way as he grabbed a barstool. One shyly lifted a manicured hand to wave.

Jayce nodded at the brunette. Cute, but he wasn’t looking for a piece of tail. Not tonight. In another hour he was supposed to meet Jordan. She’d said she wanted to talk. About what made Jayce’s stomach twist into knots. He didn’t want to confront those memories either. All they did was remind him how he’d failed the one person he was closest to. How he’d been so caught up in his own disaster he couldn’t bring himself to help his sister fight the bastard who raped her and subsequently convinced the entire town she’d brought it on herself.
Still, he owed it to Jordan to be there for her. With Jasmine’s wedding approaching, the date of the disaster so near, he couldn’t tolerate the idea of leaving Jordan alone right now.

“What’ll it be, handsome?” The bartender propped her elbows on a polished brass rail, bending forward until Jayce couldn’t help but notice her nipples were about to escape the low-cut tank top.

“Coors Light, bottle.”

Her mouth curved up in an approving grin, and she tapped stubby nails on the polished wood. “Hometown boy at heart.”

Jayce chuckled. “Yeah, something like that.”

As she fished a frosty bottle from the cooler, she cocked her head to study him. “Hey, don’t I know you? Class of 2000. Jayce…Harcourt?”

“Honeycutt.” For the life of him, he couldn’t begin to produce her name. He supposed that shouldn’t surprise him; he’d blocked most of that year out.

She set his bottle down and extended her hand. “Marcie Lauflin. We had Accounting I together.”

Accounting. Jayce bit back a grimace. No wonder he didn’t recognize a thing about Marcie. Alyssa had been in Accounting I. He couldn’t recall a single lesson—he’d singularly attended class so they could spend time together. It was the only way they could be together without worry of getting caught.

He slid his hand into Marcie’s and gave it a shake. “It’s a pleasure. I see Boulder hasn’t changed much.”

“Nah, it never does.” She grinned. “You know how it is. What brings you back to town?”

“Wedding. My sister’s.”

Marcie wrinkled her nose, echoing Jayce’s very poignant sentiment. “Ew.”

“Yeah tell me about it. Not exactly my cup of tea. But…family…” Lifting his beer, he offered Marcie a mock toast, then downed a hearty mouthful. The cold coated his throat and soothed the tightness in his gut.

“You ran with Brice McTavish, didn’t you?”

Wow. Talk about a name from the past. Though Jayce had cut Brice off along with everyone else in Boulder, they’d been tight as teens. Both of them just barely getting by, one foot in the grave, the other barreling on ahead, hoping they’d manage to graduate by the skin of their teeth. Neither wanted to be held back again. “Is McTavish still around?” It might be nice to revisit that particular person from his past. Have a few laughs while he was in town, a few beers, a few minutes of disbelief that they were still alive.

“He’s still here. He’s some big name attorney now. Criminal law. Folks tend to look the other way when he’s around, ‘bout like they did back then.” She laughed again and swept a white cloth over the immaculate bar. “He’s a regular here on Wednesdays. I’m surprised he’s not in yet.”

“Really?” The night was looking up. Beating McTavish at a game of pool would improve Jayce’s mood ten-fold.

“Yep. He must be hung up at the office.” With a frown on her overly-painted face, Marcie rose on her toes and looked over Jayce’s head at the front door. “Wait. He’s coming inside now. Hey, Brice!”

Jayce cringed as her brittle voice thundered over the music. Damn, no wonder she was tending bar. She could break up a fight with just a yell. No one would want to stick around long enough to hear it twice.

“Evening, Marcie,” Brice called in amicable return. “Got a Jim and Seven for me?”

“Got something better. Look who’s in town.” Marcie thrust a plump arm under Jayce’s nose. “Jayce Honeycutt.”

“Jayce?” Brice’s grin doubled in size as he slid onto the stool beside Jayce’s and thrust out his hand. “I’ll be damned. Never thought I’d see you around here again.” As Jayce fitted his hand in Brice’s and gave it a firm squeeze, his childhood best friend enveloped him in a brotherly hug. “It’s good to see you, man.”

“Good to see you too, McTavish.” That was the one, the only, truthful thing he’d said all night. He took Brice in quickly, observing he’d evidently bettered his life. Crisp lines defined a custom-tailored, dark grey, Italian suit. Beneath the stylish coat, white silk opened at the collar. His brown hair was cut short, no longer clinging to his shoulders or falling in his eyes. And he’d shaved. Something McTavish avoided in high school like most men avoided low-rate whores.

“So where you been?” McTavish asked as Marcie passed him his drink.

Jayce took another pull from his beer before issuing his concocted excuse. “I’ve been working security.”

“Security?” McTavish gestured at Jayce’s own imported black suit. “Didn’t know installations could dress a man like that.”

Chuckling, Jayce shook his head. “Not installations. Consultations. Custom designs for the wealthy.”

McTavish let out a long low whistle. “Nice.”

“Marcie says you’re an attorney now?”

“Yeah, gotta pay the bills somehow. After the first year of partying at CSU, I realized rent didn’t come free. Got my act together. Managed to graduate. Opened my own practice about four years ago.”

“Like it?”

“Love it.”

McTavish darted a jerky glance at his watch, then smoothed his free hand down his pants leg. Too many years of being trained to notice insignificant actions alerted Jayce to the absent gestures. Nervous. Hiding something. But what? And why?

Jayce didn’t have long to wait to discover the answer. As he swigged another drink, the men surrounding the pool table all did an about-face toward the door. He turned, curious what, or rather who, captured their immediate attention. At the sight of silken hair the color of rich chocolate, a waist so tiny it would make Scarlet O’Hara cry, and a smile that could silence an angel chorus, Jayce’s heart slammed to a halt.

Alyssa Martin. Holy fuck, he hadn’t prepared for her on any level. Let alone the way she sidled up to McTavish and planted an affectionate kiss on his mouth.

“Hey, babe. Who’s your—” Turning toward Jayce, her words abruptly stopped. Recognition flashed behind even richer brown eyes. In a heartbeat’s passing, her delicate face washed white. “Jayce,” she exhaled.

He couldn’t speak. For the first time in his life, he couldn’t produce a single word. Dozens rallied in his head. Questions she’d never answered—where had she gone, where did he screw up? What happened to our baby? Nothing worked its way past his dry-as-sand throat.

She blew out a breath that fanned the loose tendrils around her face and restored a bit of color to her fair cheeks. “You look…good.”

So did she. Fucking hot as hell. Slimming pencil skirt in khaki, a flirty summer blouse that accented her toned arms—she was every bit as beautiful as she’d been when he’d fallen head over heels for her. More so now that she’d filled out. Her breasts were full and pert, her hips narrow and defined. Her waist still so small he could fit his hands around it and touch his fingertips if he squeezed just a little. And her hair… God, her hair. She hadn’t cut it. Ten years, and it was still as long and glorious as he remembered. He’d bet his soul it would still slide like satin between his fingertips.

Old longing pitched his stomach in a violent circle, and Jayce struggled to put words in order. He had to say something. Something other than a demand for answers. He forced a smile he hoped was casual. “Hey, you.”

His stomach lurched again as Alyssa perched herself on Brice’s knee. Though he hadn’t seen her in a decade, though he had every right to want to strangle Alyssa Martin, the sight of her with Brice was like someone rammed a boot in Jayce’s gut. A steel-toed one that cracked a rib. Christ, the burn was agonizing.

His Alyssa, the woman he’d done everything he could to provide a life for, was with his best friend. Former best friend. Perched on his lap in a way that couldn’t be mistaken as anything but intimate.

The irrational need to put a bullet in McTavish’s forehead possessed Jayce. He turned away and stared at his beer, the malt flavor now as bitter as rotten hops. As a covert operative, he should have anticipated Alyssa might be in Boulder. But last he’d heard, she’d left the city. Her parents gloated when they informed him she’d gone to her aunt’s in New Mexico. It was the only bit of information they’d ever volunteered.

If they’d liked him better, if his family came from the same wealth as hers…

He clenched a hand around the cold glass and choked the timeless questions down.

“Jayce?”

Alyssa’s voice reached him distantly, pulling him out of thoughts he had no business entertaining. The faint touch of her hand on his shoulder seared like coals. He forced himself not to flinch.

“Should I…go, Jayce?”


Buy Paperback
Buy Digital:  Nook  |  Kobo  |  All Romance eBooks



~Claire
www.claireashgrove.com
www.toristclaire.com

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Hey all!

For those of you who haven't heard, EXPLOSIVE, the 3rd Black Opal book, releases tomorrow!!



There's a few important things you should know:

a.  Amazon KDP has broken my account.  They are trying to fix it, but...it simply won't be available on Kindle until they do.  With the sheer number of folks who've signed aboard to help get the word out, I was in a position to have to keep moving forward with the release, and while I'm not responsible for their glitch, I do apologize to Kindle users.

b.  It will be available, however, on Barnes and Noble for Nook, Kobo, and All Romance eBooks, as well as CreateSpace for the print copy.

c.  It will release at $2.99 and stay on sale through October 1.

d.  I have a giveaway going on through Goodreads -- enter to win a signed print copy!!



Goodreads Book Giveaway

Explosive by Tori St. Claire

Explosive

by Tori St. Claire

Giveaway ends September 20, 2013.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter to win


~Claire
www.claireashgrove.com
www.toristclaire.com

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Yay!  It's finally here -- the smokin' hot cover for Explosive.

Explosive continues the Black Opals saga with Jayce, who you met in Lie to Me as Sandman.  (For those of you who might be leaping into the darkly seductive world of undercover operatives, don't worry, all Black Opals books stand alone.)

So, I'm going to show the cover here, but to be entered for the giveaway or read the exclusive two-part excerpt, you're going to have to hop over to Scorching Book Reviews and Love to Read for Fun.  They've split the excerpt in two parts.  Be sure to stop at each to get a glimpse of Jayce and Alyssa.



EXPLOSIVE

Black Opals, Book III
Tori St.Claire

A man on the hunt...

Jayce Honeycutt never imagined returning to his hometown for a wedding would find him confronting the woman he intended to marry.  Nor did he anticipate the passion they once knew would burn as hot and bright as ever.  Only now Alyssa’s involved with Jayce’s former best friend, and Jayce can’t bring himself to interfere.  When he learns Alyssa may be in danger, however, everything changes.  As the threats against her life escalate, Jayce will stop at nothing to unveil the secrets she’s hiding.  Even if it means risking his heart all over again.

A woman on the run…


Ten years ago, a brutal attack forced Alyssa Martin into a world of solitary darkness.  She threw herself into her career, but now her work has led her back into the nightmare of her past and thrust her into a deadly game. When her roommate employs Jayce for her protection, memories compound.  She’s never forgotten their shared desire, and her body still craves his masterful touch.  Yet Jayce is determined to break down her protective walls, and confiding in him is more frightening than the shadows stalking her.  But someone else is determined to control her.  To survive, Alyssa must trust in Jayce and bare herself completely.

Start reading the excerpt at Scorching Reviews

Read part two at Love to Read for Fun

And spread the word that Explosive is coming September 17th and will be available for 2.99!




~Claire
www.claireashgrove.com
www.toristclaire.com

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Good morning, readers!  Today I'm bringing Karen Greco in with her debut Urban Fantasy, Hell's Belle.  Lets take a look at this book that sounds really fascinating to me!


Hell's Belle
Hell's Belle Series Book, One
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Date of Publication: June 17, 2013
ISBN: 1484830202
Cover Artist: Jeff Brennan

Half vampire, half human, Nina Martinez spent most of her life underground as part of an elite secret team of government agents that quietly take down rogue monsters, the human world none the wiser. She moves back to her hometown of to keep an eye on the recent uptick in supernatural activity, and to help run the bar she co-owns with her aunt. Her attempt at a “regular” life, not to mention a budding relationship with smoking hot FBI agent Max, is cut short because of a string of ritual murders targeting the city's community of witches. 

But Nina's investigation unearths deadly secrets from her long buried parents. Now the target of supernatural assassins, could Nina be the most dangerous vampire hybrid to ever exist? No wonder she can’t get a date. 

An urban fantasy set in a decaying Providence, Rhode Island, HELL'S BELLE is a fast-paced, adrenaline-fueled roller-coaster ride through a city on the cusp of becoming an urban wasteland. HELL'S BELLE is an energetic, expansive, and cinematic beginning of a new series in the urban fantasy genre.

Amazon

Karen is going to share some fun info today with a top 10 list of what inspired her love of the supernatural.  So take it away, Karen!

I have always loved movies, and the scarier the better. But I prefer suspense and chills to simple gore-fests. These ten movies had a profound impact on me at a very young age, and I consider them key influences to my work as a writer now.

MAGIC
I think this was Anthony Hopkins' first American movie. I watched it when I was about 9 or 10, in an old roadside motel in upstate New York, near Niagara Falls. It was on television. I was so frightened; I covered my face but watched through my fingers. A demented, psychopathic dummy that murdered people--how could I NOT watch?

DRACULA
The first movie I ever saw was Dracula (the one from 79, with Frank Langella as the Count). It was on at the video store when my dad was buying our first VHS player -- one of those early 80s monstrosities! Anyway, the store had it on, and I watched while my dad picked out the machine. Since it was a long, long process, and I pretty much watched the whole thing. I was riveted. Of course, now I know that it was an absolutely brilliant cast, with Trevor Eve as Jonathan Harker, and Laurence Olivier as Van Helsing. No wonder I loved it.

(Quick note. Clearly my parents didn't really monitor what I watched--I also saw Lipstick when I was around that age. And the 2nd movie I ever saw was Ordinary People, which frightened me far more than Magic or Dracula! Third movie was a Cheech and Chong. Clearly they had very relaxed viewing standards, but I think I turned out okay regardless.)

THE EXORCIST
A young girl. A demon possession. A priest who lost his Faith. I was a little older when I saw The Exorcist, and was struggling to get through CCD (Sunday school for Catholics) without experiencing the wrath God (really, the wrath of my Hell-hath- plenty-of-fury Priests). So I related to this film in about a million different ways!  And let's just leave that to the armchair psychotherapists.

ROSEMARY'S BABY
Roman Polanski's classic. That cast was extraordinary—Mia Farrow, John Cassavettes. And no one does weird old lady better than Ruth Gordon.

PSYCHO
Really, every Hitchcock movie should be on this list, but Psycho is iconic. Norman Bates set the bar high for sociopathic killers on film. And that shower scene proved that sometimes seeing less is often more frightening than seeing everything.

WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO BABY JANE
This movie, like Psycho, proves that you don't have to be supernatural to be a monster!  It also taught me about how even awful, unredeemable characters have their own reasons, however false, for being so evil. Finding the humanity in such awful characters is what gives them real dimension. Plus, Betty Davis and Joan Crawford!

THE OMEN
Oh Damien. Another film that I related to in so many ways! It kicked off my life-long fascination with Great Britain--I loved the locations in this film. And the rabid Rottweilers partially inspired my character Dog. I was also fascinated by the idea that pure evil (in this case, demon spawn) could one day be a political figure, and not necessarily by satanic misdeeds but chosen by the people to lead. The idea that you do not know that this person you admire and respect it really the root of all evil. That's more frightening than Freddie Krueger, I think.

THEATRE OF BLOOD
My list would not be complete without at least one Vincent Price movie, and Theatre of Blood hits all the right buttons. It's simply over-the-top, and Price is chewing the scenery. Great fun.

HALLOWEEN
I was probably about 13 when I saw Halloween for the first time. This film kicked off my adoration for John Carpenter. For a long time, I religiously watched all Michael Myers movies, up until the one with LL Cool J. While most of my friends were Team Jason, I was totally Team Michael. Loved the Halloween franchise way more than Friday the 13th. Jamie Lee Curtis suffered no fools.

THE WAR OF THE WORLDS (radio broadcast)
Okay, not a movie and more sci-fi than horror, but my 5th grade teacher played Orson Welles' infamous radio broadcast during class and it influenced me profoundly. I was fascinated by the fact that a fictional program could be so real that it actually sent people into a panic. I am not a huge fan of stories about aliens and alien invasions (I even loathe the movie Alien), but this adaptation of the H.G. Wells novel is a classic spine tingler.

I think I can relate to the love of many of this.  The Omen is one of my favorites!  What are your thoughts, readers?

Before we part ways with Karen, she is also sponsoring a giveaway today.  It spans the tour, but you'll need to enter to have a chance to win one of 10 copies of Hell's Belle.  The winner will be able to choose which digital format: mobi or epub.



a Rafflecopter giveaway


More About the Author:

An award-winning playwright, Karen Greco has spent close to twenty years in New York City, working in publicity and marketing for the entertainment industry. A life-long obsession with exorcists and Dracula drew her to urban fantasy, where she can decapitate characters with impunity. HELL'S BELLE is her first novel.

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A Bewitching Books Guest







~Claire
www.claireashgrove.com
www.toristclaire.com

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Apologies, readers -- I had to deal with some emergency farm issues and this is making it to you late.  However, I hope you'll be as excited about this discovery as I was.  M.E. Sutton is here today to talk about Storm Clouds, her latest release.  Look at this cover!  It screams, "READ ME!"

Storm Clouds
Hero’s Sword Vol. 2
Publisher: Delabarre Publishing
Date of Publication: April 24, 2013
ISBN: 9781619410558
ASIN: B00CIUR7HO
Genre: fantasy -middle grade

Amazon  Kobo   BN  iBooks

Eighth-grader Jaycee Hiller is beginning to fear she only imagined her trip to Mallory. But when a rainy afternoon leaves her with hours of playing Hero’s Sword, her favorite video game, she finds herself drawn back into the game – literally.

STORM CLOUDS is the exciting second volume of the HERO’S SWORD saga – chronicling Jaycee Hiller’s trials in eight grade, and her exciting adventures in Mallory, the setting of her favorite video game. Jaycee enters the video game realm via a special controller and is caught up in the action of this fantasy realm.

In STORM CLOUDS, a valuable jewel belonging to the neighboring estate of Devin, the Sapphire Star, is missing, stolen at the Fall Consortium. Lady Starla stands accused of the theft. Devin’s demands are clear: return the Star or they will take it back by force.

Now it’s up to Lyla Stormbringer to find the Star and the thief. before Mallory finds itself at war.


M.E. is here today to tell us how the fantasy world of the game parallel or differ from our real world. Here's what she had to say!  Be sure to read all the way through her post -- there's a giveaway at the end!

Whenever you get the opportunity to create a world, you inevitably end up with similarities and differences to the “real world,” no matter if your world is your neighborhood, Middle Earth, or the moon. The world of Hero’s Sword is no exception.

The estates that make up the Empire, essentially the world of Hero’s Sword, look very familiar to real life – if we were living about 600 years ago, that is. The Middle Ages, especially between the 12th and 15th centuries, are a good comparison for the basic world of Hero’s Sword. If you think of rolling countryside, grand manors, quaint towns, and three basic social classes – peasant, townsman, and noble – you’ve to the general idea. It was the time when men wore a lot of steel and women wore elaborate dresses. At least if you had money, that is. If you didn’t, well, your wardrobe was considerably less opulent.

When I think of Mallory, I often picture the French countryside of the times. The roads would be dirt or cobblestone, depending on where you were. Like France at the time, the economy is largely based on agriculture, with large farms dominating the landscape. There would be some trade in the towns – people dealing in cloth, shoes, or spices. And like the fiefdoms in the real world, the common folks would swear loyalty, and pay taxes, to the ruling landowner. In Hero’s Sword these are the estate owners who, although they don’t have titles, fill the same role as those barons and counts of medieval times.

Also like medieval France, the main method of transportation is the horse – either riding one or horse-drawn carts and carriages. Weaponry would be similar – bows and arrows, crossbows, and swords mostly (although I suppose the Imperial army has pikes too).

So if you go to an encyclopedia, or Wikipedia for that matter, and look up “12th century France,” you have a pretty good idea of what Mallory, and any other estate of the Empire, looks like. And yes, I deliberately stayed away from magic in the world of Hero’s Sword – at least anything resembling real magic. Some day people who deal in herbs and healing, and the superstitions that were common to the times, may make an appearance. This is another similarity to “real life,” where you can’t get out of trouble by reciting a spell or drinking a potion.

But what about the differences? Well, if you are comparing Hero’s Sword to modern life, of course things are very different. Both are inhabited by people (as opposed to elves and dwarves), but all of our modern conveniences, such as flushing toilets, running water, or cars, are missing. No firearms either – and I’m not sure if that makes the world of Hero’s Sword more or less “civilized”!

The other major difference is the characters, particularly Jaycee/Lyla. In “real life,” Jaycee Hiller is a girl in eighth grade, about 13 years old. She’s not quite a child, but she’s not an adult either. She has knowledge and skills appropriate to her age and society. She’s probably awesome at working electronics, but if you put a sword in her hand she’d be a bit lost. Not to mention the fact that she wouldn’t be strong enough to swing a very big sword.

Lyla Stormbringer, on the other hand, is definitely older. Not very old, but probably in her mid-20s. She possesses skills at archery and swordsmanship that Jaycee does not – although obviously Jaycee would know how to do those things in a video game. For the purposes of the book, however, Lyla needs to have those skills. Otherwise, she’s not going to be taken seriously – and that definitely wouldn’t work for the book. Because she is older, Lyla also doesn’t have to fight against a natural doubt that a child would be up to the task of saving the lady of the manor or averting war. Of course they trust Lyla, of course she’s capable.

That’s probably the biggest difference between the world of Hero’s Sword and “real” life. In the game, Jaycee is a strong, capable, confident young woman. In “real” life, she’s still kind of a wall-flower, not quite ready to believe she could be a real-world Lyla.

And that’s the question to be answered, not just in Storm Clouds, but in the entire series. What can Lyla teach Jaycee about surviving the real world? And will Jaycee learn those lessons or not?

It should be fun to find out, don’t you think?

Claire:  I do think it should be fun to find out, and I have added this on my list of books for my two boys and I to read together.  Looking forward to it!

Now for the giveaway!!

ME is providing an e-book copy in the winner's choice of format for today's stop.  Leave a comment below!

But that's not all.  There's also a tour-wide giveaway that you can enter through Rafflecopter.  Enjoy folks!!




About the Author:



A software technical writer by day, Mary Sutton has been making her living with words for over a decade. She writes the Hero’s Sword middle-grade fantasy series as M.E. Sutton, and The Laurel Highlands Mysteries series as Liz Milliron. She lives in Pittsburgh, PA with her husband and two children.





A Bewitching Books Guest



~Claire
www.claireashgrove.com
www.toristclaire.com

Labels: , , , , ,

"Victorians used the term 'limbs' as a euphenism for legs, which were thought to be so sexually exciting to a man, even a glimpse of a table leg could incite him to sexual frenzy. Table skirts were invented to prevent any unnatural unions between men and furniture."
~
(History Channel International)

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