Tag Archives: Beem Weeks

A New Release by Harmony Kent! #Poetry

Greetings to one and all. Today we welcome author and poet Harmony Kent to the Indie Spot.

Hi, Beem.

Thanks so much for hosting me today.

It’s always wonderful to visit with you.

Here’s a little bit I’d love to share about my latest book of poetry, Sorrowful Soul.  Full of freestyle poems, which provide company and compassion through the devastating journey of grief and loss and onward, this heartfelt collection shows us we do not travel this lonely road alone.

Though I’ve organised this book of poetry into seven sections, which follow established stages of grief, I’d like to note bereavement is non-linear and messy. It’s common to move up and circle around, and progress to the so-called higher steps, only to come crashing down, especially on anniversaries or other meaningful dates. Not even meaningful, as it can be the most insignificant of everyday things that undoes us … a discarded shoe, an odd sock, or a simple visit to the shop.

Here’s an extract from the opening lines to a poem about a various triggers …

From Part 5: Depression, Loneliness, & Reflection

(Extract From Triggers)

a discarded shoe

an odd sock

or a simple visit

to the shop

who ever knew

the total

and utter shock

such simple things

could induce?

such tiny

inconsequential

bits n bobs of life

mere detritus

and mundanity

yet hold the power

to fell the hardiest oak

When my father-in-law passed away, a simple overnight stay in a hotel undid dear hubby. He had become so used to picking up the phone and calling his dad to share his experiences with him, and the realisation he could no longer do that hit him hard. I believe a couple of years had passed by this point, and most of the time, hubby got on well within his new reality. This small change, though, brought it all back.

Have you experienced fresh grief from unexpected reminders? If so, chat with me in the comments. I hope you enjoyed this poetic excerpt and would love to know what you think. Thanks for reading 😊

 

PRE-ORDER NOW: https://mybook.to/SorrowfulSoul

About the Book:

If we’re lucky, we meet twilight at the front door and old age creeps in on the night breeze.

Even if we make it to our twilight years, the more we age, the more loss we must endure as part of the cycle of life. Many of these poems lament death, but they also relate to broken relationships, severed friendships, and the loss of youth. This book of grief poetry is as much about saying goodbye and working through loss as it is about death and love split asunder.

This heartfelt collection provides company and compassion through the devastating journey of loss and shows us we do not travel this lonely road alone. Within these pages we share shock, numbness and denial, catapult into anger, bargaining, depression, loneliness, and guilt, and—eventually—make the seismic shift into testing the possibility of a new normal and finding acceptance.

 

Universal Sales Link: 

https://mybook.to/SorrowfulSoul

AUTHOR BIO:

 

Harmony Kent spent 13 years in a Zen Buddhist monastery, where she faced her demons and overcame devastating low self-esteem and found freedom. After a life-changing injury, Harmony returned to the world at the tender age of 40, and her life as a writer began.

Harmony is an award winning multi-genre author, and her publications include:

The Battle for Brisingamen (Fantasy Fiction) AIA approved

The Glade (Mystery/Thriller) AIA Approved/BRAG Medallion Honouree/New Apple Literary Awards Official Selection Honours 2015

Polish Your Prose: Essential Editing Tips for Authors (Writing/Editing) New Apple Literary Awards Top Medallist Honours 2015

Finding Katie (Women’s Fiction)

Slices of Soul (Soul Poetry Series: Book 1)

Life and Soul (Soul Poetry Series: Book 2)

Sorrowful Soul (Soul Poetry Series: Book 3)

Interludes (Erotic Short Stories)

Interludes 2 (Erotic Short Stories)

Moments (Short Stories and Poetry)

Jewel in the Mud (Zen Musings)

Polish Your Prose (How to Self-Edit)

Creative Solutions (Creative Writing Inspiration)

Backstage (Erotic Romance and Thriller)

FALLOUT (Post-Apocalyptic Dystopia) BRAG Medallion Honouree

 The Vanished Boy (Psychological Thriller)

As well as being an avid reader and writer, Harmony also offers reviews and supports her fellow authors. Harmony is always on the lookout for talent and excellence, and will freely promote any authors or books who she feels have these attributes.

 

Harmony’s Website

 

twitter: @harmony_kent

 

Goodreads: Harmony Kent

 

BookBub: Harmony Kent

 

Story Empire (co-authored blog): Harmony Kent

 

Harmony’s Amazon Author Page: author.to/HarmonysBooks

 

 

 

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Demons!

Happy Halloween! Today, I am sharing a story I wrote some years ago. It originally appeared in a horror anthology entitled The Gates of Erebus. It has since been added it to my short story collection called Strange Hwy: Short Stories

Ghosts don’t exist. They simply are not real. When a person dies, they cease to be—unless you’re religious, then you have either heaven or hell. Dead people don’t wander around on planet Earth, hiding out in rundown old farm houses. They just don’t. My mother told me so a hundred times. So did my father.

Demons, well, they’re a different thing altogether.

I saw it at the bottom of the list. My name, Jessa Leaner, big and bold in the late summer sunlight, showing I’d be one of the fortunate ones. I’d be sitting in Mrs. Corner’s class for my fifth-grade year. That meant other kids, those less fortunate ones, would be forced to endure an entire school year under the rule of fat Miss Biddlewine. After all, Conklin Elementary School had just two fifth-grade classrooms. A kid’s entire well-being depended upon the fate tossed at him or her by those in charge of assigning students to teachers.

Mrs. Corner, she’d been at it since my own parents had made their way through fifth grade, a kindly sort—not at all different from my own grandmother. Her classroom rested beneath a cozy atmosphere, with posters on the walls encouraging reading and writing and believing that anything and everything is possible for those who dared apply the effort. An aquarium at the rear of the room flashed the brilliant colors of exotic fish not native to our area—reds and blues and greens and yellows. Jiminy the gerbil worked furiously on the wheel inside a cage next to the fish tank—as if he, alone, powered the very lights overhead.

There weren’t enough desks, though. Four neat rows of sixes added up to just twenty-four. Three of us didn’t get there early enough to secure our places.

“There’s room in Miss Biddlewine’s class,” Mrs. Corner explained, dismissing the overflow of kids standing at the back of the room.

Tommy Richter grinned at me from his seat, said, “Shit out of luck, Leaner. Off to the dungeon.”

Three of us were forced to make the slow march down the hallway to the cold, bland, fishless, gerbil-less, poster-less confines belonging to the one nicknamed The Beast.

It didn’t take long for me to wind up on the bad side of Miss Biddlewine. An A+ book report suffered with the markings of a D- after The Beast had become convinced that I hadn’t fully read the assigned novel. But I had read it—the year before. So what if I forgot about the little twist at the end?

“You’re a lying little cheat,” she told me to my face.

“Am not,” I argued.

Detention followed, a full week of missed recesses.

“I hate her,” I told Shasta Cummings on the bus ride home from school that day.

Shasta said, “You do not.”

We’d been best friends since before kindergarten, me and Shasta—even though we’re complete opposites. Shasta, tall and blond and beautiful, scored all A’s on her report cards and never spoke a bad word against anybody. Me? Short with brunette hair chopped in a pixie cut. And my grades, well, they were nearly as bad as my attitude—if you believed my mother.

“Okay,” I relented, “maybe I don’t hate her. Maybe I just don’t like her very much.”

The bus trundled down Grove Road past the old Fielding place. All eyes aboard the bus turned fearfully on the abandoned farmhouse. Nobody but squatters had bothered with the place since Elmer Fielding took a hammer and caved in the heads of his wife and three young children before shooting himself in the temple some thirty years earlier.

“We’re going to stay the night in there on Halloween,” Shasta boldly proclaimed.

Tommy Richter didn’t believe a word of it. “Horse shit!” he spat. “Ain’t nobody got guts enough to go in there at night. Even those squatters make sure they’re out before sundown.”

I had to side with Tommy on that one. Shasta had been saying we’d stay the night in the old Fielding place every Halloween since second grade. We never did, though.

Tommy’s the one who brought it up. He said, “You know, Fieldings and Biddlewines are blood related.” He shifted in his seat across the aisle from me and Shasta. “Rumor has it that Miss Biddlewine’s mother was a Fielding.”

“So what?” I retorted. “What’s that got to do with the price of tea in China?”

“Means she might have it in her to just up and snap one day,” Tommy explained, ambling toward the door to get off at his stop. “Crazy runs in families, I hear.”

*      *      *

I didn’t mean to say it out loud; it just sort of slipped past my lips and found its way into Miss Biddlewine’s ears. Write an essay on what we hope to be when we grow up, she told the class.

Simple enough. I wanted to move to Hollywood and be an actress, I wrote. It’s a dream I’d nurtured since the first time I ever saw The Wizard of Oz on TV. I yearned to be Dorothy, just wandering along my own yellow brick road. It didn’t matter that I’d never acted in anything—I was simply too petrified to try out for the school plays year after year.

Miss Biddlewine’s beady black gaze fixed on me like I’d brought a plague into her classroom. “You’re joking, right?” she said. “A Hollywood actress? You? No, ma’am. An actress must be pretty and talented. You, Jessa Leaner, are neither. I suspect you’ll amount to little more than a housewife to one of the local farmer boys. That will be your lot in life.”

Anger got hold of me, convincing me that this was not the time to cry. Not in front of The Beast.

As I said, I didn’t mean to say it out loud.

But the words fell out anyway.

Loud and hate-filled came my voice. “I hope you die!”

Gasps filled the room, sucking all the breathable air from my lungs. I wanted to apologize right there on the spot. But the thing about pride, well, pride is an obstacle.

Pride goeth before destruction.

Miss Biddlewine didn’t react—at least not the way I figured she might. She simply dismissed me and called up the next student.

*      *      *

We all knew something bad had happened when we found Principal Goresline, rather than a substitute teacher, occupying Miss Biddlewine’s desk.

“Died during the night,” he said, his words fluttering above my head like evil accusing butterflies.

All those other kids looked on me as if I’d gone to Miss Biddlewine’s house myself and did away with her.

The accusation from my conscience found its mark. My fault!

“She was fat,” said Shasta. “She had a heart attack. You can’t blame yourself because she ate too much.”

But I’d said those words. I’d said them aloud.

Spoken words can never be taken back.

*      *      *

“It’s a Ouija board,” Shasta announced, cradling the box like she would a newborn baby. “We’ll use it to conjure up Miss Biddlewine when we stay in the Fielding place tonight.”

“My parents won’t let me be out all night,” I argued, hoping to talk her out of such a foolish notion.

“They’ll never even know. You’re telling them we’re staying at my house, and my parents will think I’m staying with you.”

I needed to know. I needed to ask Miss Biddlewine if she blamed me for her death.

“Does that thing work?” I wondered aloud, nodding at the box.

Shasta’s reply came adamant, certain. “Of course it works. My cousin Janet used it to talk to our grandmother last Halloween. She asked private questions and the board answered correctly. It had to be Grandma because nobody else could have known the answers.”

We walked up on the Fielding place just as the sun dropped below the horizon, leaving the sky streaked through with purple. First-floor windows had long ago been busted out by teenagers using the place for a hangout. Graffiti on the walls told tales about this girl or that one who might do things I’d never heard of before. Spent cigarette butts and empty beer cans littered the creaky floor.

“We’ll sleep upstairs,” Shasta said. “It’s not as dirty up there.”

Water stains painted ghostly images on the ceiling where the elements breached the leaky roof. Half-burned logs clogged a small fireplace inside the bedroom we claimed.

“Can you build a fire?” Shasta asked.

I tossed up a shrug, said, “Maybe we shouldn’t.”

I’d long ago learned to hate that dismissive tsk sound Shasta often employed. She knew as well as I did that I’d give in.

“Fine,” I huffed, “—but I ain’t taking the blame if this place burns down.”

*      *      *

Shadows came out against the orange glow. Teasing dark shapes danced in corners, mocking our false bravado.

“Do you suppose he killed somebody in this room?” Shasta wondered.

He did—one kid in each bedroom as they slept. The wife, she’d been found in the kitchen. Fielding killed her as she prepared breakfast for her family.

We sat Indian style, facing each other, in front of the fire. The Ouija laid claim to the space between us. Candy bars and soda pops kept us in comfort.

Simple questions were asked as a means to calibrate the spirits. The oracle moved to either yes or no, depending on the knowledge we’d sought.

Shasta took control once we were satisfied we’d connect with somebody.

She asked, “Can we speak to Miss Biddlewine?”

The oracle slid across the board. Yes.

“I didn’t mean it,” I whined, hoping Miss Biddlewine herself might be listening. “Honest.”

Letters began to pile up beneath the oracle, spelling out words I didn’t want to know. KILL came first. Then, DEMON. DEATH and BLOOD followed.

“This ain’t Miss Biddlewine,” Shasta assured me.

I flung an accusation at her. “You’re the one moving that stupid thing, aren’t you?”

“I swear I’m not,” Shasta promised.

All that soda pop and a case of the nerves got to me. “I gotta pee,” I told her, gaining my feet.

“Hafta go outside,” Shasta said. “Somebody smashed the toilet.”

“Come with?” I asked, hoping to hide the pleading in my voice.

But Shasta wouldn’t budge. The comfort of her sleeping bag won out over friendship.

Under my breath, I said, “I hope they get you.”

The stairs creaked beneath my feet. Darkness swallowed the main-floor rooms. Outside, thick black clouds blotted out the moonlight. The night air had gone to a damp chill.

In the back of my head I could hear my mother’s voice. Be quick about it!

Just beyond the back door I popped the snap and pulled my jeans down. That’s when I heard it—heard them. Those whispered voices mocking me from somewhere inside that old death house. Shadows moved through the kitchen like tall dark ghosts, vaguely human in shape. I counted two of them against the blackness.

“Come inside,” a whispered voice seemed to say.

Long, twisted fingers gripped the door frame.

A face, gaunt and hollow, peered out at me, watching me through black pools of nothingness where the eyes were meant to be.

I have no recollection of yanking my pants up, just of running across a field of soy beans, stumbling blindly toward my house.

My mother opened the door, said, “I thought you were staying at Shasta’s house.”

“Decided not to,” I replied, slipping words between puffs of breath.

“Shoulda called. I’d have sent Daddy to pick you up. A girl shouldn’t be wandering around at night.”

I could still see that face: the empty gaze, protruding cheek bones, and the way its tongue dangled between cracked lips. Had he been one of Fielding’s victims? A son, maybe?

*      *      *

Shasta’s parents came looking for her the following day.

I don’t know why, but I told them everything. I told them about staying at the Fielding place, the Ouija board, seeing the demon in the window.

They found Shasta’s body in the room we’d shared. She’d been abused in ways you’d expect to read about on graffiti-covered walls.

Squatters, the police claimed. Drug addicts, judging by all the needles found.

I knew better, though. I’d seen the culprits.

Demons.

Author D. L. Finn Returns With a New Release!

I am excited to help announce the latest release from my friend and fellow author D. L. Finn here on The Indie Spot!  

 

Thank you, Beem, for having me on your blog today to celebrate the release of A Voice in the Silence.

I live far enough away from neighbors that they may not see if I need help, but will hear cries or screams. During a big snowstorm with a power and phone outage, it is guaranteed no one will hear or know help is needed over the loud symphony of generators. Our only option would be to walk down our long driveway, cross the icy road, and trek across our neighbor’s property. Although, it’s doubtful they’d have better luck getting any help.

Luckily, since we’ve lived in the woods, there has never been that scream for help, only cries from wild animals. Perhaps I write the bad away.

Fun Finn Facts

  1. I love to take nature photos and write poetry about what I see and feel.
  2. Nothing pulls me into a story more than a personal journey—whether it’s horror, science fiction, mystery, drama, fantasy, or romance.

Blurb

Drea Burr has experienced more than her share of loss when a stray dog, cat, and rat enter her life. Although the animals start to mend her broken heart, there is something very unusual about them. During a snowstorm, Drea discovers a chilling set of footprints leading to her front window. Both the police and a ghostly messenger warn her about a killer stalking widows. Help comes from her late husband’s best friend, Adam Hale. As the two try to discover answers, more questions arise— about a killer, ghosts, and animals experimented on in a lab.

Can Drea and Adam survive the threats coming from so many directions and save themselves and the animals they’ve grown to love? Or will more tragedy destroy her second chance at happiness? Find out in this thrilling, cozy paranormal adventure.

Excerpt

The fading day’s dull orange glow filled the void in Drea’s attention usually occupied by the TV and computer. The landscape held no movement, not even the expected high winds that had caused her power to be shut off to prevent forest fires. A surge shot through her body in the same uncomfortable fashion that the flu had done last week. But it wasn’t a virus relapse—it was a warning that someone, or something, was watching her. 

Perhaps it was a wild animal. A deer, or even . . . “Rob, is that you?” She held her breath, waiting for a sign. Finally, she blew out the empty hope when she couldn’t keep it in anymore. Two years of this had worn her down.

The cold gun on her lap offered no protection against the dark thoughts that took her to a place that was getting harder to climb out of. She pulled her sweater tightly around her and scrutinized the tree-lined driveway that led to the curvy country road. She shifted her weight in the yellow-and-white lounge chair and studied the weapon in her hand.

“You understand, don’t you?”

The .45 pistol her husband had bought her for protection ten years ago had become her confidant when she tired of talking to ghosts. Today, though, it carried the heavy weight of her existence.

“It’s too much. Just too much loss. I’m so alone, and to top it off, Robbie’s so far away.” Her throat tightened. She sipped some water and took a deep breath. “I must disappoint you, even thinking about using this gun on myself, Rob. It would devastate Robbie if I—”

Drea’s shoulders slumped, and her head followed when her glance caught a prominent headline in the morning paper she had retrieved from the end of the driveway. An unidentified woman’s body had been found, and a killer was on the loose. She used the gun to cover the fearful headline, even though her chances of being murdered by a serial killer were slim to none.

She shook her head. What she needed to focus on was her relationship with her son. They used to be so close, before he met that woman. Now he barely called his mother to check on her after his father died or when her beloved pets passed. This morning had brought an unwelcome text from him.

Tammy isn’t feeling well. It wouldn’t be a good time to visit right now. Sorry, Mom. I’ll talk to you soon. Love you.

“I hope he wakes up someday, Rob. That woman is toxic. Of course, you saw through her the first time you met her. I should have listened to you. Do you hear that, Rob? It’s me admitting I’m wrong, which we both know hardly ever happens.”

Amazon Purchase Link US
Amazon Purchase Link UK

Author Bio

  1. L. Finn is an independent California local who encourages everyone to embrace their inner child. She was born and raised in the foggy Bay Area, but in 1990 she relocated with her husband, kids, dogs, and cats to Nevada City, in the Sierra foothills. She immersed herself in reading all types of books but especially loved romance, horror, and fantasy. She always treasured creating her own reality on paper. Finally, surrounded by towering pines, oaks, and cedars, her creativity was nurtured until it bloomed. Her creations include adult fiction, poetry, a unique autobiography, and children’s books. She continues on her adventure with an open invitation to all readers to join her.

D.L. Finn Links:

Twitter

Facebook

Instagram

Pinterest

D.L. Finn blog

Author Amazon Page

 

 

Life & Soul: A Poetic Journey With Harmony Kent!

I am truly honored to host my dear friend Harmony Kent today on The Indie Spot. I am excited to help her with the launch of a new collection of poetry. Take it away, Harms!

Hi, Beem. Thanks so much for hosting me today. It’s always wonderful to visit with you. Here’s a little bit I’d love to share about my latest book of poetry …

From Lonely Soul:

Hello?

 

Sitting at a crowded table

Good food, good friends, good wine

And still a silent tear escapes

The corner of my eye

Surreptitious wipe

Hoping nobody sees

Their sympathy will only

Bring me to my knees

And who could truly understand

This empty chair in which I sit

Or the ache masked by my laughter

Is there anyone there?

When I wrote this poem, I had recently moved down to Cornwall after leaving the Zen Buddhist Monastery, where I’d spent about 13 years in a thriving community. The juxtaposition from being surround by people, even if we spent much time in contemplative silence, to the utter emptiness of a house with only me in it, was massive. While I soon made friends, every night—and most days—saw me alone with my own company. Disabled and aged forty, I held little hope of meeting a soul with whom I could spend my life. Also, because I had suddenly entered such a different life than that of the monastery, I felt the odd one out. How many of us have felt alone in a crowd at some point in our existence?

Hello is all about that search for belonging. I hope you enjoyed this poem and would love to know what you think.

The Book!

Life & Soul is the second book in the Soul Poetry Series by acclaimed author Harmony Kent.

This beautiful collection of over fifty poems will take the reader through the highs and lows of everyday life via contemporary poetry in a range of styles and themes. Within these pages, you will find reflections on the Lonely Soul, the Seeking Soul, Brief Soul, Friendly Soul, and the Loving Soul—states of mind and living and longing we each experience over the course of a life.

Life & Soul offers something for lovers of poetry from all walks of life.

Praise for Slices of Soul, Book 1 in the Soul Poetry Series:

 

“I found my answer in this wonderful treasure-trove and have already read it three times.” Robert Fear

“I found in Slices of Soul something approaching aesthetic bliss, a sense of being connected in some way to other states – like tenderness, kindness, ecstasy – where art is the norm.” Colm Herron

“A stunning collection of poems that I read in one sitting! Unable to simply put this down until I had read the last. I love the clarity of the short poems, such clear images created in so few words or phrases. Many of them touched my heart and I will be giving them a 2nd and 3rd read!” Audrina Lane

Universal Link: mybook.to/LifeAndSoul

AUTHOR BIO:

 

Harmony Kent spent 13 years in a Zen Buddhist monastery, where she faced her demons and overcame devastating low self-esteem and found freedom. After a life-changing injury, Harmony returned to the world at the tender age of 40, and her life as a writer began.

Harmony is an award winning multi-genre author, and her publications include:

The Battle for Brisingamen (Fantasy Fiction) AIA approved

The Glade (Mystery/Thriller) AIA Approved/BRAG Medallion Honouree/New Apple Literary Awards Official Selection Honours 2015

Polish Your Prose: Essential Editing Tips for Authors (Writing/Editing) New Apple Literary Awards Top Medallist Honours 2015

 

Finding Katie (Women’s Fiction)

Slices of Soul (Soul Poetry Series: Book 1)

Life and Soul (Soul Poetry Series: Book 2)

Interludes (Erotic Short Stories)

Interludes 2 (Erotic Short Stories)

Moments (Short Stories and Poetry)

Jewel in the Mud (Zen Musings)

Polish Your Prose (How to Self-Edit)

Creative Solutions (Creative Writing Inspiration)

Backstage (Erotic Romance and Thriller)

FALLOUT (Post-Apocalyptic Dystopia) BRAG Medallion Honouree

 

The Vanished Boy (Psychological Thriller)

As well as being an avid reader and writer, Harmony also offers reviews and supports her fellow authors. Harmony is always on the lookout for talent and excellence, and will freely promote any authors or books who she feels have these attributes.

Harmony’s Website

twitter: @harmony_kent

Goodreads: Harmony Kent

BookBub: Harmony Kent

Story Empire (co-authored blog): Harmony Kent

C. S. Boyack Offers Good Liniment! #NewRelease @virgilante

C. S. Boyack is a talented writer with a phenomenal imagination. He is also somebody that I consider a friend. I have recently read the first novel in his Hat Series and instantly became a fan. There is a uniqueness in Craig’s stories that is both refreshing and entertaining. So, it is my good pleasure to introduce author C. S. Boyack’s assistant Lisa.

Wow, thanks for having me over, Beem. This is a new stop for me. I know Craig wants me to talk about his book, but I’m excited to get to my poster. It’s one of my all-time favorites. It’s me taking Noodles for a walk on a sunny day. He’s having fun, and I’m looking pretty svelte. Sean Harrington did a wonderful job on this one.

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The newest entry in The Hat Series is called Good Liniment, and Noodles shows up here. This book introduces magical creatures to the series, and circles back to the witchcraft alluded to in the very first book.

Noodles is something like a cross between a Rottweiler and a snapping turtle. He’s a water creature that a witch named Cyrus Yoder adopted years ago. He’s not a familiar, but more of a pet.

Don’t worry about regular people seeing him when we went out. Cyrus cast a spell on him that makes him look like a smoky-grey standard poodle. But, guess what? It doesn’t work on robot girls, so I get to see his cute chubby butt wiggling down the street.

Noodles is like manic crazy all the time. He loves his people and does zoomies around the yard while eating or playing with his favorite toy.

The main characters, Lizzie and the hat, get to spend a considerable amount of time at Cyrus’s house, so Noodles gets plenty of page time. He’s so cute, I just love him. I also have it on good authority that he could get some scenes in a subsequent story.

Back to this tale, so I don’t get fired. This whacko cult of some kind is killing off members of the local coven. They vote to hire Lizzie and the hat to deal with the problem any way they see fit. It seems they know more about her and the hat, than even she does, and believe she’s well equipped for the task.

This puts Lizzie in the unenviable position of hunting humans once more. Monsters are one thing, but it seems humans are the worst monsters of all.

If you like your paranormal fiction in an urban setting, with plenty of snark, The Hat Series might be for you. Good Liniment features plenty of pop culture references to pro wrestling, comic book conventions, urban legends, and rock & roll, we’d appreciate you checking it out.

It comes in a size Craig insists upon calling noveloids. These are short novels that you can read in a single afternoon. I hope I’ve whet your appetite enough to take a chance.

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Blurb

Someone is murdering members of the local witches coven. They turn to Lizzie and the hat for their unique skills that might help eliminate the killers.

A religious zealot might be a monster, but is still a human being. This task isn’t the same as staking vampires or shooting zombies. It isn’t the usual project Lizzie takes on for her night work.

This all takes place during a recovery period for Lizzie. She needs to keep her cover band together and find a new way of getting them gigs. More bands and less venues are making finances tight. The hat didn’t make things easier during her absence, by spreading rumors about why she took her sabbatical.

Someone killing others over a point of view insults Lizzie’s sensibilities. She has secrets to keep. Her employers have secrets, too. It doesn’t make for a comfortable working environment, but she agrees to do what she can.

Convincing her strong-willed employers to stay indoors during all this poses another problem. Can she keep them alive long enough to finish her task?

Good Liniment is full of magic, magical creatures, and an entire underground community living amongst us.

The Hat Series consists of short novels that can be read in a single afternoon. They’re full of snarky dark humor and can be easily read out of order.

PURCHASE GOOD LINIMENT

BUY THE HAT SERIES

Find C. S. Boyack on Social Media

Blog

C. S. Boyack Books

Twitter

Goodreads

Facebook

Pinterest

BookBub

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Celebrating Sally Cronin on this International Day of Awesomeness! @sgc58

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Greetings to one and all. Today, March 10th, is International Day of Awesomeness. I would like to introduce you to one of the most awesome individuals in the blogosphere. That person is author and blogger Sally Cronin. And just what makes Sally such an awesome person? It’s her selfless promotion of indie authors from across the world.

07YhR08E_400x400Sally publishes the Smorgasbord Blog Magazine. Her incredible support has helped connect indie authors with readers from all four corners of the planet. Today is a grand day to celebrate this wonderful soul. And since Sally supports so many of us writers, it’s a great day to support her.

Visit Sally’s Amazon Author Page and find your next read. Stop by the Smorgasbord Blog Magazine and leave a comment letting her know how much she’s appreciated. Find her on Twitter and give her a follow!

Join me and all my friends at Story Empire in celebrating this wonderful human being.

Story Empire group

Happy International Day of Awesomeness, Sally. You truly are one of a kind.

A Mind-Bending Trip: John W. Howell’s Eternal Road #BookReview

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Book Blurb:

James Wainwright picks up a hitchhiker and discovers two things 1. The woman he picks up is his childhood sweetheart, only Seventeen years older. 2. He is no longer of this world.

James began a road trip alone in his 1956 Oldsmobile. He stops for a hitchhiker only to discover she is his childhood sweetheart, Sam, who disappeared seventeen years before. James learns from Sam falling asleep miles back caused him to perish in a one-car accident. He also comes to understand that Sam was taken and murdered all those years ago, and now she has come back to help him find his eternal home.

The pair visit a number of times and places and are witness to a number of historical events. The rules dictate that they do no harm to the time continuum. Trying to be careful, they inadvertently come to the attention of Lucifer who would love to have their souls as his subjects. They also find a threat to human survival and desperately need to put in place the fix necessary to save mankind.

The question becomes, will James find his eternal home in grace or lose the battle with Satan for his immortal soul and the future of human life with it? If you like time-travel, adventure, mystery, justice, and the supernatural, this story is for you.

My Review:

Rating: ★★★★

Imagine Marty McFly driving Doc Brown’s DeLorean through the afterlife rather than traveling through time. This is kind of what you get in John W. Howell’s uniquely original take on eternity and life beyond this realm.

Eternal Road begins with a taut, suspenseful prologue set some seventeen years in the past. Sam, a young girl, is murdered, though her body is missing.

Seventeen years later, James stops to pick up a hitchhiker. Soon, he discovers this young woman is his childhood sweetheart, the missing Sam. It’s at this point that James realizes both he and Sam are no longer among the living.

This is where Howell takes readers on a unique and original journey through an ultra-strange world of the paranormal. James’s old 1956 Oldsmobile serves a similar role as McFly’s DeLorean, as it carries James and Sam through different times and places. The first stop is 1881, where James is introduced to Virgil Erp, Marshall in Tombstone, Arizona. Wyatt Erp and Doc Holliday are there as well. James and Sam witness the gunfight that made the OK Corral famous. Asked to stick around for the inquest, the pair settle into the local hotel. Adolf Hitler makes an appearance as a representative of the devil.

With Sam as his assigned guide, James travels the Eternal Road toward his ultimate destiny, making stops at the Alamo, Las Vegas, a visit to Sam’s parents, and an encounter with Lucifer.

John Howell has created a mind-bending reality that is fun and entertaining. There are elements of romance, mystery, paranormal, and historical fiction at play here. I thoroughly enjoyed this long, strange trip—and I mean that in every sense of that phrase. A good read.

About the Author:

dp89a742lqi4u5jtd31vjsd9p1._SX450_John began his writing as a full-time occupation after an extensive business career. His specialty is thriller fiction novels, but John also writes poetry and short stories. His first book, My GRL, introduces the exciting adventures of the book’s central character, John J. Cannon. The second Cannon novel, His Revenge, continues the tension. The final book in the trilogy, Our Justice, launched in September 2016 concludes the thriller series.

John’s fourth book Circumstances of Childhood, launched in October of 2017 tells a different thriller story of riches to rags, football, Wall Street, brotherly love, redemption, and inspiration with a touch of paranormal to keep you riveted. The fifth book is a collaboration with the ​award-winning author, Gwen Plano titled The Contract. Heavenly bodies become concerned about the stability of the Earth and send two of their own to risk eternal salvation in order to save the planet. The Contract achieved number one status in its genre. John’s latest book is titled Eternal Road – The final stop and launched in September 2020. In search of their eternal home, Sam and James discover a threat to human existance. They also encounter the prince of darkness. The question is; can they save humankind and their eternal souls. All books are available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle editions.

John lives in Lakeway, Texas with his wife and their spoiled rescue pets.

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One of My Favorites From 2021: Legacy of Danger #BookReview

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Book Blurb:

Elena Dkany inherits her family’s castle in Romania, a land dipped in myths, folklore, and the legendary walking dead. The local proverb serves as warning: “Do not speak badly of the Devil, because you cannot know to whom you will belong.” When she’s attacked by an international assassin, only her deceased husband and her ex-boyfriend’s live presence can protect her on her journey to the mountainous region of Transylvania.

But that’s not the only problem troubling Elena. Who is that boy invading her dreams? And what really happened to a priceless gem-crusted silver cross buried by an earthquake in the fifteenth century? Who’s stalking Elena? Who wants her dead and why?

My Review:

Rating: ★★★★★

It begins with a subtle, familiar whisper from beyond the grave. Did somebody murder Elena Dkany’s grandmother? If so, who did it? And most importantly, why did they do it?

The voice of her dead grandmother launches Elena on a journey that will take her far away from the life she’s built for herself in Chicago to the ancient land of Romania, a place her people once called home. Here, in a remote village, she inherits her family’s ancestral castle.

But Elena isn’t taking this journey alone. Acting as her escort on this trip is FBI agent Alex Brancusi—who also happens to be Elena’s first love. A young boy haunts the dreams of both Elena and Alex. Who is this child?

Attempts are made on Elena’s life. But who would want her dead? Are they the ones who possibly murdered her grandmother? Why does the ghost who saved her life resemble Elena’s deceased husband?

In Legacy of Danger, author Patricia A. Guthrie has crafted a well-told tale of murder and intrigue. Her skillful style expertly weaves multiple genres into a single, tight narrative that is at once believable and compelling. Romance and murder mingle with the paranormal, and betrayal arrives at the deepest levels. If you enjoy stories that put you on the edge of your seat—and keep you there—this is a book for you.

One of the best books of 2021.

About the Author:

1kcgq8jmvcbght3kqfs5jrjmlc._SX450_Patricia A. Guthrie is the author of romantic suspense, paranormal, mystery novels and short stories. Her current published novels ‘IN THE ARMS OF THE ENEMY’ ‘WATERLILIES OVER MY GRAVE’ and ‘LEGACY OF DANGER’ and her short story ‘WILLED ACCIDENTS HAPPEN’ are available in online bookstores such as Amazon.com. She also has short stories published on Amazon, Skyline Magazine and Affaire Du Coeur and non-fiction articles in the Collie Cassette and the online ‘Nature Journal.’

Guthrie is an accomplished musician: opera singer, church soloist and music teacher. After leaving the opera, Guthrie became a music therapist in a school for children with special needs and then went on to teach music in the Chicago Public School system. She resides in the Chicago area with her cats, Archie and Kitzy Kitty, and her horse, Dixie, who help her write every chance they get. Pat’s an avid animal lover and advocate.

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Concordant Vibrancy Volumes 4 and 5 are FREE Until 1/16/22!

All Authors Publishing House is offering two of their short story collections for FREE from January 12 until January 16. Be sure to grab your copies before time runs out!

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Concordant Vibrancy 4: Inferno

51cgnv22HuLThere is a universal fascination associated with passion―its defining element, fire, as well as the unseen. Yet how many dare to trespass beyond the final product, exploring the ingredients which keep it sustainable?

This is the traverse of the fourth installment of the Concordant Vibrancy collection, presented by All Authors Publications and Promotions, entitled “Inferno”. Nine phenomenal talents diverge under one purpose: the creation of literary works guaranteed to set the mind, heart, and spirit ablaze.

Stories included: “Express-Oh” by Adonis Mann, “Not Always Like This” by Carol Cassada, “The Fireman” by Harmony Kent, “The Complications of Fire” by Beem Weeks, “Calliope’s Inferno” by C. Desert Rose, “Moxy” by Y. Correa, “Antipode” by Synful Desire, “The Chronicles of Aidan” by Da’Kharta Rising, and “The Calefaction of Insight” by Queen of Spades.

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Concordant Vibrancy 5: Extancy

51gpBoDKh-LWith a proud and heavy heart, All Authors Publishing House presents the final installment of the Concordant Vibrancy collection, entitled “Extancy”. Eight exceptional talents intermingle to share their interpretations on the following question:

“What intangible elixir is paramount to one’s survival?”

~ C. Desert Rose expands on the elixir of Awareness in her essay “Frequencies Towards Illumination”.
~ Carol Cassada outlines the amount of Strength to tackle the medically unexpected in “Caregiver”.
~ Beem Weeks explores the swiftness of Adaptation in his story “Five Minutes”.
~ Da’Kharta Rising elicits dark humor and strange situations as the ingredients for Felicity in “The Unmasking”.
~ Adonis Mann illuminates the subjectivity of Unity in “Axis … Redefined”.
~ All Optimism needs is a window of opportunity to flourish, as demonstrated in Synful Desire’s tale, “Rome’s Debris”.
~ Evolution is an intangible necessity through the many reincarnations showcased in “The Itinerant” by Queen of Spades.
~ The synergy of the aforementioned elements from Concordant Vibrancy I – IV are given lives of their own through “Soul Searching” by Y. Correa.

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Fun Read: My Review of Girl Wears Those Shoes.

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Book Blurb:

Aspiring young Chinese immigrant Gigi O survives by working as a stripper, but she strives for true success in the U.S. real-estate industry. Navigating this highly competitive business is tough, especially when her only support comes from the deeply flawed man she loves and her old cohorts from the strip club. Issues of betrayal and trust, loyalty and commitment complicate her goals even as one lesbian friend adds new dimensions to her understanding of love versus desire. Then the market crashes and financial turmoil threatens to rob Gigi O of all she has achieved. Can she find new ways to chase her dreams—and still manage to keep her clothes on? Or might she find a better reason to take them off? Girl Wears Those Shoes is a tale of love and power, the story of one woman who wants to make the world her own—if only she can figure out how.

My Review:

Rating: ★★★★★

Girl Wears Those Shoes tells the story of Gigi O, a young Chinese American woman at a crossroads in her life. She’s barely getting the bills paid while dancing in a strip club. Sure, Gigi may be a popular girl at the club, but she wants more out of life than her current circumstances can afford. Like most humans, she craves love and success and stability. When Gigi enters the world of real estate, her prospects begin to brighten.

Author Jenny Wang has crafted a story that reads like a memoir, even though it is fiction. Her characters offer a variety of personalities and subplots. Romance and lost love share the same spaces in this story set in Houston, Texas. This is Jenny Wang’s first story. It will be interesting to see where she takes these characters, should she choose to write a sequel. A fun read indeed.

About the Author:

Rp2z7B8S_400x400After two decades in the real-estate industry, Jenny Wang has established her brand, “Jenny Wang Houston,” with JWang Properties, a boutique agency with a personal touch, and JWang Media, a custom-video production team for promotion and marketing. An active community booster, Jenny is the past president of the Women’s Council of Realtors, Houston Network. An Ambassador of the Houston Ballet, she holds a lifetime membership in the University of Houston Alumni Association. Author of her debut novel, Girl Wears Those Shoes, Jenny Wang is proud to live her principles even as she pursues her own unique vision.

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