Sympathy for the Devil By Ripley Proserpina

I’m excited to announce the upcoming release of my new book, Matched with a Demon. This book, a paranormal romance, is the first in my Demon Matched series.

Matched with a Demon drew on a lot of my favorite things, mythology and history, poetry and mysticism. The research was almost as much fun as writing! June 6th, this story drops, so here, my friends, is a bit of a teaser.

****

He advanced on her, the cloud rising and swallowing her. It was alive, and it smothered her. A manifestation of every doubt and fear she ever had, she could hardly breathe beneath it. It whispered to her, you’ll never be anything, you’ll always be alone, no one loves you, you’d be a terrible mother, give up, give in. 

Stubbornly, she pushed through it, knowing Delia was hurting on the other side and she needed her. And the man—fudge, when she got out of here, she was getting his nameneeded her, too.

Like moving uphill through a blizzard, she finally reached the crest of the darkness and collapsed. Kneeling, hands against the cold marble floor, she caught her breath. “Stop,” she panted.

Delia stood, feet planted on the couch, her gaze fixed angrily on her uncle. Before her eyes, an answering cloud rose around the child. Was it possible there was a color blacker than black? If so, Delia created it. Small body vibrating with energy, her hair began to whip around her head.

“Enough!” Lucia yelled. Pushing herself to her feet, she stumbled to Delia, grabbing her. The cloud immediately disappeared and black eyes met hers. “Enough, Delie.” There was a sound like a window shutting out a storm. “Enough,” she repeated. “Both of you.”

Whatever anger held the man up abandoned him. He collapsed, falling onto his butt. His arms hung limply off his knees and he stared at his hands like he’d never seen them before.

“You’re both hurt, you’re both scared. But you have each other, and you have me.” At her pronouncement, the man looked up. “Well, Delie has me. You… Never mind.”

Delia trembled, laying her head on Lucia’s arm. Smoothing the child’s now wild hair, Lucia continued, “You have family. This is your uncle. That’s good, isn’t it? And maybe he has an anger issue, but he certainly seems like he could protect you if needed.”

Lucia could feel his gaze on her, but she refused to glance his way.

“You’re not going to leave me with him?” Delia’s voice trembled, her eyes wide and scared.

“No.”

“Yes,” he answered simultaneously.

Pinning him with a glare, Lucia repeated, “No. I’m not leaving you with Uncle Grumpy-pants.”

Delia giggled. “Maybe he needs an ice cream.”

Lucia continued to watch him, pretending to contemplate her idea. “You might be right. Ice cream helps everything.”

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The Singing Dagger – Celtic Fantasy by Kylie Sabra

What possesses one to write a novel? Passion! It’s there inside of you,clawing its way out. You can’t not write it. That’s how it was for me with The Singing Dagger. I was in an emotionally abusive marriage with my—ooh do I dare say it – second husband. Dagger was an escape for me. When I look back on writing it, I rather feel like I cheated.

There were no arduous outlines. No hair-pulling bouts of writer’s block. No episodic self-doubt. I set a schedule – 6:00 pm to 6:00 am, six days a week. Each day at Noon I’d slip into silken sleep and the dreams would come. Always the next scene came to me in perfect order. I could clearly see my characters and came to know them so intimately that there was no question in my mind as to how they would respond to various situations. Although the main characters, mortal and immortal, are gifted with magical powers and are pure of heart, they have their faults and idiosyncrasies as well. I love them. I’ve heard tell an author can love his characters too much. Poppycock. Ooh did I say that out loud?

Each night I set myself a minimum of five pages of new material. Some nights might indeed see just five pages. After all, dreaming a story scene and putting it on paper are two very different animals.

Each night I’d start with editing the previous night’s work. I never had any desire to rush through these pages trying to see how much I could turn out in the shortest period of time. I was in love and my novel was my lover. We caressed each word with great care, committed to careful study of each to ensure greatest satisfaction. We? You may ask. Yes. We. My characters and I. For indeed, they had their own voice.

There are many words in a writer’s tool chest, but the joy is in determining exactly which word delivers the precise emotion, the picturesque ambiance, the subtle nuance. Which word will paint the desired landscape in the reader’s eye? Which word will perfectly describe the character’s anger, joy or despair?

The writing took about six months. I set it aside for nearly three months before turning it over to an editor. I started the book in January, 2007 and ended it in November of the same year. And then I left husband number two. The process of leaving and the writing of the novel ran parallel lines. Dagger saved me, gave me confidence to do what I had to do.

I’m including two excerpts. I could have, and maybe should have, included an intense romantic scene, but this first one makes me laugh. I hope it will you as well. The second is rife with raw emotion. Is there sex in the book? Let me just clarify. It is a Celtic Romantic Fantasy.


Intro: Aidan is visiting the four army camps ensconced around the estate. King Mordha had proven to be difficult from the beginning — with his prejudices and backward ways. In this scene – well let’s just say, the proverbial shit hit the fan.

“We need to move on to our final stop,” Aidan said to the king. “Since it’s late afternoon, Ian and Bradach may as well come with me. We need to see Mordha and then head back to the house for dinner. We’ll see you after for our nightly debriefing.”

“I look forward to it.” Fergus sent them on their way feeling hopeful, in spite of what they were riding into.

The foursome was still a ways from the stables above Mordha’s camp, when Bradach pulled up next to Aidan.

“Any reason you put Mordha’s men so close to your house?”

“They’re the smallest group and they need the most attention.” Aidan breathed a long, tired sigh. “I’ve been dreading this visit all day.”

Bradach turned his head towards Ian and Gildas. “Is that why you brought back up?”

“I guess you could say that. I have no patience with undisciplined behavior, and I don’t trust myself to respond as I probably should.”

“Oh, so you brought me along. You think I’m going to be any more controlled than you?”

“Well, one of us has to be.”

Before they even reached the stables, sounds of raucous laughter arrived on the breeze—along with something else.

Ian held his sleeve up to his nose. “What’s that stench?”

Aidan bit his lip. “This is going to be bad.”

The sight that met their eyes when they rounded the stables was worse than any of them imagined. Animal and human excrement covered the ground because Mordha’s men were too lazy to dig a ditch. They’d strewn food scraps as far as the eye could see.
Aidan pulled at Mire-chath’s reins so tightly the horse reared.

Finn and Murtagh joined them, having just returned from their encampments for the evening meal.

“Oh shit!” Finn let out a long low whistle and laughed. “Brie’s gonna to have a fit. There’s only twelve hundred of them.” He threw up his hands, still laughing. “How’d they do this in such a short time?”

The camp wasn’t even aware the Elders and their captains watched them. Music rang through the air. Mordha’s men danced jigs and emptied jugs of new beer down their throats. And the king himself reveled in the middle of the fray.

Isélad and Lennox rode up beside Aidan and Bradach.

Aidan gave them a black look. “How could you let this happen?”

“Let this happen?” Isélad said, snarling. “You think we let this happen? There’s only Lennox and me here. I wanted to kill the useless bastards,” Isélad curled his upper lip and adopted a churlish, sing-song voice, “but Lennox here didn’t think it a wise choice.”

“I would never have imagined sons of Tara to be such debauched fools,” Aidan said.

Bradach crossed his arms over his chest. “What’re you going to do?”

“Do?” Aidan gaped at him. “I find Isélad’s idea attractive.” Aidan jerked his head toward Finn. “Damn it, stop laughing.”

“I know what to do,” Finn said with a shrewd grin. He turned and rode top speed to the house. They could still hear him laughing halfway up the path.

Aidan and the others pulled away from the noxious stench and waited for Finn’s return.
Soon enough he rode past them, Brie’s long blond hair flying behind her. She had her wand drawn and was in a fury, evidenced by the fiery red of her cheeks.
Men scattered, dropping jugs, instruments and food. Finn cut several swaths through the unruly crowd until they were silent. Brie’s inhuman screams rooted them where they stood.

Finn brought his horse to a stop in the middle of the mob.

Brie jumped down and the encampment stared at her wild eyed. With the first swipe of her wand she cried, “Glan amach!” Every jug of alcohol turned upside down, emptied their contents and shattered on the ground. The men cried a vicious lament, but before they could take any action against her she waved her wand again and cried, “Glan suas!”
Excrement and debris swirled into the air and flew to the end of the field furthest from the stables and main house.

“Oh, Brie.” Finn spit and wiped his face with his hand.

Yelps of anger rose from the crowd, but none dared move. Human and animal filth covered everyone, including Brie and Finn, but the field was clear again.
Aidan, Isélad, Ian and Bradach ventured closer, shaking with laughter.

“I’m glad we stayed back.” Bradach doubled over, clutching his side.

Mordha marched up to Brie. All she could see of him through the muck were his two hamsterish eyes. “What’s the meaning of this, young lady?”

Finn dismounted and lodged himself between the king and his wife. “I know you want to be careful how you address Lady Brieanna, Mordha. Don’t forget, you’re in her home now.”

Mordha backed off a few paces.

“How dare you come into our home and treat it in this manner,” she said. “Take your men down to the water and clean yourselves up. That way.” She pointed toward the cliff path leading down to the ocean. “Don’t even think about mucking up the river.”

“How dare you address me like this.” He poked his thumb at his chest. “I am King.”

“Then act like one. Since this is how you regard our hospitality, you’ll enjoy none of it tonight.”

Mordha’s mouth hung open.

“Go,” she screamed.

He hung his head and motioned his men to follow him. They disappeared down the path as she’d told them.

Brie and Finn climbed back on their slippery horse and rode to where Aidan and the others waited near the stables.

“I don’t know about you, Bradach, but I couldn’t have handled it better,” Aidan said.

“Nothing like a riled up woman to set things straight.”

Finn pulled up to Aidan. “Whoa,” Aidan said, backing away. “That’s close enough, thank you.”

Once she calmed down, Brie got a good whiff and wrinkled her nose. “Ugh!” She retrieved her wand from her pocket and returned Finn, their horse and herself to their clean and altogether more pleasant selves.

“That’s much better,” said Bradach, laughing. “Yummy. I’m hungry.” They broke into a gallop and raced each other home.


NOTE: The Taran army has just arrived at Faerne Green, just a few miles from where the deadly battle for which they have prepared these past months will take place. Aidan is in the inn watching Erin settle herself and their baby into their room. He is coming to terms with the imminent loss of the woman he cherishes more than his own life. The Elders had told him he would have a long, happy life with her, but he knew better — felt the rending of his heart as they drew closer to her end. He recalls the vision he had when he was away with the Night Stalkers.

He closed his eyes and the dreadful hour glass imprinted on his brain. Only a few grains of sand remained and the dagger quivered impatiently. Anger snaked up through his core. She was leaving them. He clenched his fists.

She busied herself cheerfully, folding Tiernan’s clothes as if nothing were out of the ordinary.

He beat against a raw fury that made no sense. It’s not like she’s choosing to leave, but how dare she be so happy.

He threw the door open. “I’ll be back,” he said sharply over his shoulder. “I need to check on…something.” Aidan slammed the door behind him and ran to an exit at the far end of the hallway. The door opened up on a set of stairs leading down into a deserted alley. He leaned against the wall of the building and banged his head against the roughness of the unpainted pine boards. Aidan slid down the wall and came to rest on the dirt-encrusted landing.

He beat his fists against the floorboards trying to distract himself from the rising torrent inside him. Thunder boomed overhead. Lightning stabbed the sky and piercing raindrops fell, joining the first tears that sluiced down his face. The increasing ferocity of the late spring storm kept pace with the tempest railing inside him and provided cover for the unleashing of his anger.

“I can’t do this. You ask too damned much.” He shook his fist at whatever god had set this path. “I need my wife and that boy needs his mother. What gives you the right to ask so much of us?” If there was an answer, he couldn’t hear it over the shrieks without and within.

Bradach raced up the stairs to get out of the rain. He had his hood pulled down low over his face and nearly tripped over Aidan before he saw him.

Aidan leapt up and intercepted Bradach’s jaw with an uppercut, knocking him backward.

Bradach grabbed the rail and broke his fall about a quarter ways down the steep stairs. He stumbled back against the rail, rubbed his jaw and gawked at Aidan in shock.

Aidan’s body drove him the rest of the way down the steps. They landed in the mud, Aidan straddled him and drove three more punches home before Bradach threw him off and jumped to his feet.

He stood over Aidan, his knees soft and his fists clenched in defense.

“What—”

“You’re the last person I want to see.”

Bradach’s expression echoed his confusion.

“My loss, your gain. That’s the way of it, isn’t it, Bradach?”

“No, that’s not the way of it. Do you seriously believe I want her to suffer? You think I’m chomping at the bit just waiting for her to die? Of course I want her, I love her, but I would’ve never chosen this path for her. I assumed she’d live to be a grandmother, a great grandmother even. I wanted her to have a full life, a man that worshipped her as much as you do and children that adored her.”

Aidan flew at Bradach.

“I didn’t choose this path, Aidan. She did.”

Aidan’s body went slack. He fell rather than plowed into Bradach, who caught him. “No, she wouldn’t do that.” He wept while Bradach held him.

The storm was subsiding.


I am working now on The Lost Child, book two of the Caitriona Prophesy. I’m happily married to husband number three. We’ve been together ten years now. And no. I’ll not be leaving him with the publication of The Lost Child.

You can purchase The Singing Dagger on Amazon.com.

 

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Happy Memorial Day by Stacy Hoff

To all my Passionate Readers,

I wish you a wonderful Memorial Day—one filled with love, compassion, peace, and remembrance.

I am spending the weekend with my family, simply hanging around in the house, and enjoying being around those I love. But I’m also thinking about the families who are not whole, those who have lost their beloveds—men and women who died while serving in the armed forces.

My heart goes out to all these families. This Memorial Day, let us remember them all.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS FOR STACY HOFF:

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How Music Pulled Me From Nothingness by Heather Novak

I’ve been staring at my computer screen for months, waiting for words to come. Any words. A blog, a song, a poem, a silly kids book, the books I have editors waiting for…anything.

The beginning of October was one of the happiest weeks of my life when I married the love of my life. The day after we returned from our honeymoon, everything went into a downward spiral into the darkest my life has ever been. For months, everything revolved around trips to the hospital, talking to hospice and doctors several times a day, then funeral arrangements, and finally, grief. Suddenly, my mom was gone.

I have experienced close and personal loss before, which was followed by writer’s block, but this was vastly different. I was in a downward tailspin into total nothingness.

My day job as a ghostwriter was an hourly struggle – heck, a per-minute struggle – and was made even worse when a coworker broke off our friendship mere days after I returned to work after the funeral. I couldn’t find solace in work or in writing.

For months, I thought I was done being a writer.

Then, I heard an interview from Josh Ramsay, lead singer of Marianas Trench and everything changed. (MT is a Canadian rock band that creates brilliant concept albums and you need them in your life.) Josh, in addition to writing for MT, co-writes songs for other artists (best known for Call Me Maybe.) But after the breakup with his fiancee and his mother becoming very ill, his words dried up, too.

In his interview, he says, “I couldn’t write, I couldn’t write anything. And then I spent about six months in the total dark…”

 I cried, because that’s exactly what I was feeling. He continued to say eventually the creativity came back and he couldn’t get the ideas down fast enough. 


I probably watched the interview like six times, then when I woke up the next day, I saw a glimmer behind my own darkness. I realized the darkness was not a black hole, but a thick, opaque veil. I played the Astoria and Ever After albums from cover to cover, then searched out a lot of the live music (thank you cellphone cameras and YouTube!). The following day when I woke up, I had the opening paragraph for a book I wanted to write.

Yeah, okay, it was just one paragraph, BUT IT WAS ONE PARAGRAPH! The veil snapped back in place, but not before I understood that it was temporary. 

The following day, I wrote 520 words. Then after, I added a few more. Am I back to writing 1500 to 2000 words an hour? Not even a little bit. But it’s amazing to not be living in a void anymore.

So, Josh and MT, while you don’t know me from Crazy Fangirl #346984750845, thank you for getting me through one of the worst months of my life.

Here’s an a cappella cover of my favorite MT song, Porcelain. My favorite line, “When your heart releases/you won’t fall to pieces/let those old disease lie…”

And here is my favorite MT video to date – one word: PUPPIES.

Thanks for reading, NoP friends.



On this day in 1925 – Rosario Castellanos was born. She was a Mexican poet and author, known for her work dealing with cultural and gender oppression, considered one of Mexico’s most important literary figures of the 20th century (d. 1974)


Wishing You Laughter & Good Books,BannerWithInfo_ForWeb
Heather Novak
Find me at:
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Facebook: authorheathernovak

Hunting Witch Hazel: Now available
I was happy with my West Coast life – 24-hour pizza delivery and bikini-clad bodies as far as the eye could see. Now I’m in the small-ass town of 
Hayvenwood to extract a ransom to save my little brother’s life. And that ransom is locked inside of the sexiest witch I have ever met, Hazel Evanora.

Click here for details on our brilliant upcoming conference! Space is limited.

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Say What We Mean

One of the most common things I hear people say is that something or someone is interesting. What does that mean? Anyone who has a decent degree of experience with the English language knows this can mean a lot of things, either good or bad. When I say English I’m also referring to United States English. English spoken in other countries may make the same types of references but I can’t claim to know that for sure.

Additionally, I do speak Spanish and while I’ve heard words like “interesante” used in a similar context, I have not experienced the same amount of situations which can change the word’s meaning depending on how it is used.

Words like these always make me wonder why it is we struggle to say what we mean or what we want at times. The conclusion I’ve come to is that we are afraid for some reason or other, but then I must ask whether that fear is valid?

At work I was working with a prospective client who I felt was really trying to avoid paying for financial assistance. And yet, the truth is he needed it. The questions he was asking, the struggles he face– the service I offered would really help him. I brought up the service as something he should consider but never flat out asked him about it. And why? Because I felt he didn’t want it. And maybe I was right but now I will never know if I was or his hesitation on the service. I never said what I meant to said and I have no good reason why.

So I bring up my question again, is this fear of ours really valid that we tend to “dance” in our conversations than talk? I don’t think so. Perhaps there is a time and place but in most cases we should just say what we mean–we may just find it makes the world a little less complex.

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Handed It In Late @_@ by Mandy Rosko

So I finally got done formatting and uploading and handing in the third volume for The Wild Wolf’s Wife, and even though it’s 3 days late from its intended due date, I’m fairly happy with the way it turned out 🙂

 

This is my second book, or series of books, that has now been finished on Patreon, and I must say I’m pretty happy with how it’s turning out 😀 Next month I get to work on the three or four volumes in my Billionaire, Vampire, Dragon shifter and Cat shifter menage romance, and that’s going to be something pretty wild 😀

 

I don’t often get the chance to work on menage, so this one is going to be fun, and because of how complicated it could turn out to be with three people in the mix, that’s why I’m thinking it could be up to four volumes, which will be interesting to say the least 😀

 

What are your thoughts on menage? I’m writing paranormal fantasy to move the story along, which I usually see with shifter romances in my neck of the woods, so I’m hoping to give this one some sort of different flair, and very soon I’ll be getting the audio version for Bad Boy Bear Volume 2 out into the world, and that’s going to be just as fun 😀

 

Happy Reading!

 

Mandy Rosko

 

Before I go! I’m building up my Wattpad following so if you happen to like reading sexy Billionaire romances for free you can check me out over here at https://www.wattpad.com/user/Mandyrosko

 

Cheers!

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A Dancing Heart Paranormal-Scope

Romance and pollen are in the air.  Spring is always a mixed bag of emotions and sneezes.

While I am not qualified in any way to read neither stars nor planets, I am intimately linked to the paranormal in the world in many ways. So are you.

The paranormal-scope is for entertainment purposes only and is not meant to guide your life by.

The week for:

Aries:
Gnomes are avid gardeners. You don’t have to be. The Farmer’s Markets are opening! Get some fresh greens and enjoy.

Taurus:
Dragons love to roll in the sunlit ocean. Take time to go to the beach or a lake. Open yourself up to relaxing more.

Gemini:
Mermaids are good at finding treasure. An opportunity is coming your way. Don’t jump at it without check it out first thoroughly.

Cancer:
Werewolves don’t mean to have fleas. Have all pets checked out for fleas and ticks. Be watchful of bugs entering your home.

Leo:
Aslan roars a new life change coming your way. A door opens. Embrace the wonder of how life reinvents itself.

Virgo:
Griffon take flight into the spring air. Plan a vacation even a day or two to get away from it all.

Libra:
Goblins love graphic novels. Try something new in your life. A new hobby. A class. A new way of looking at things. Maybe a comic or graphic novel.

Scorpio:
Faeries think you are adorable. Smile and show that cheerful side of you. Reward yourself with a new item for the wardrobe.

Sagittarius:
Pixie dust is everywhere. It’s spring. Take care of your health.

Capricorn:
A bear shifter wants to cuddle you. You make a lot of people feel safe and warm. Accept a hug because you need them too.

Aquarius:
Elves have a passion for parties with friends and/or family. Plan one a low stress get-together where everyone brings something to eat. Or call out for pizza.

Pisces:
Pegasus takes you flying. You’re going to see a situation from a new perspective. It’s going to be enlightening and personally helpful.

-Susan
Susan Hanniford Crowley, Amazon Kindle Bestselling Author of Vampire Romance
www.susanhannifordcrowley.com
Where love burns eternal and whispers in the dark!

NEW: Vampire Princess of New York, Arnhem Knights of New York, Book 2 available in Kindle!  Coming soon in Print on July 4th!

 

 

 

 


Vampire King of New York,
Arnhem Knights of New York, Book 1
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Vampire in the Basement, Vampires in Manhattan, Book 4 available in Kindle.
Poseidon’s Catch (mythology romance) available in Kindle.
Mrs. Bright’s Tea Room (steampunk romance) available in Kindle.
A Vampire for Christmas,Vampires in Manhattan, Book 3 available in Kindle.
The Stormy Love Life of Laura Cordelais, Vampires in Manhattan, Book 2 available in Kindle and Print and Barnes and Noble Print
When Love , Vampires in Manhattan Book 1 available in Kindle and Print, Nook, Kobo and Smashwords.
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Posted in A Vampire for Christmas, Max Vander Meer, Norse, paranormal, paranormal romance, romance, romance novels, Susan Hanniford Crowley, The Stormy Love Life of Laura Cordelais, vampire books, Vampire David Hilliard, Vampire King of New York, Vampire King of New York In Print, Vampire Maximillion Vander Meer, vampires, Viking, Weekly Paranormal-Scope, Yule | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment