Thursday, February 28, 2013

Guest Post: Me, Them and Us by Keira Michelle Telford

I’m often asked how much of my own personality ends up in my characters, and the truth is: all of me. Not just in one character, or even in one book, but overall, there’s a little bit of me in all of them. 
Ella ‘Silver’ Cross is my arrogance, my defiance, my addiction, my strength, and my greatest weakness. She’s cocky and sarcastic, and quite often speaks before she thinks. She genuinely doesn’t care if people like her or not, and she’d never compromise herself just to fit in with a crowd. In short, she lives her life the way she wants to live it and makes no apologies. A tomboy at heart, she doesn’t see the point in painting her nails or putting on make-up. To be honest, she barely sees the point in brushing her hair. She considers her sexuality, like political allegiance and food cravings, as fluid and subject to change at any given moment. If she loves a girl, she loves a girl. If she loves a boy, she loves a boy. She doesn’t much care to be pigeonholed. She has some not-so-great traits, too, of course. She curses like a sailor and is prone to being grumpy, vindictive, and vengeful. She can be cruel, though she recognizes her capacity for cruelty and tries to keep it at bay. Worse still, she has a very addictive personality, and should be kept away from anything that comes with even the remotest risk of dependency.
Alex is my heart—the soppy, romantic part that believes in eternal love. He’s the little puppy part of me that just wants to be loved. He feels most secure when attention’s being lavished upon him by the one he loves (Silver), and when she’s cold and distant, he feels anxious and uneasy. He can sometimes lack self-confidence, which tends to make other people think of him as meek, but he’s a tower of strength when he needs to be. He’s also smart. Like, geek smart. He likes to learn new things and he LOVES books. He craves the acquisition of knowledge, and his curiosity is limitless. On the negative side, he can be rather doubtful of his own abilities. He often under-sells himself, and finds it hard to see in himself the things that other people see and appreciate.
Luka is my guilty pleasure, lusting after women in a way that only a lovable rogue like him could get away with. He’s incredibly sexual, and proud of it, but his determination to enjoy himself and to be seen as something of a playboy has many negative repercussions, and also hides a deeper weakness. For a start, it’s a type of escapism—it’s a distraction. He fills his mind with other things so that he doesn’t have to deal with the fact that he’s often too afraid to go after what he really wants (Silver). He puts on a big show in the hope that nobody will be able to see through the façade and discover how unhappy and unfulfilled he really is. He makes out that he’s carefree, but in all honesty, he’s full of regrets and concerns.
Maydevine is my sense and reason, and my level-headedness. He’s practical and logical, and almost Vulcan in his approach to problem-solving. To some people, this can seem cold and unfeeling. In reality, he has emotions—he just keeps them well concealed. He sees emotion as a sort of weakness, and he hates to appear weak in front of others. Pretending not to be driven by emotion has become something of a habit over the years. Unfortunately, this puts up barriers between himself and the people who want to be close to him. He finds it hard to let people in, and the older he gets, the gruffer he becomes.
Then, there’s Alice. Alice is my manipulation and my selfishness. She puts on an act and gives people what they want, all the while hiding her true identity. She’s a real Walter Mitty kind of character. I don’t even think she knows who she really is anymore, and, perhaps, neither do I.
I’m so much of these people and they’re so much of me, the lines are eternally blurred between my thoughts and theirs. As much as I discover new things about each of them every time I write about them, I’m also discovering new things about myself. (Some things I like, some things I don’t). Writing is a cathartic experience for me, I suppose. Maybe I’m the real Walter Mitty here. Maybe I’m all of these people and more, and I have some kind of undiagnosed dissociative identity disorder. Who knows? Ultimately, as long as I’m at peace with all of these clamoring voices, I’m more than happy for them to stick around, and I’m sure there’s plenty more yet that we’ll learn from each other.

Length: 162 pages

Book Description:

2342 CE
Dishonorably discharged from the Hunter Division and banished for crimes she did not commit, Silver struggles to come to terms with her new prison-like surroundings: a segregated area of the city called the Fringe District, populated by murderers, thieves and rapists.
tarving, and desperate for money, she reluctantly accepts the Police Division's invitation to enroll in a covert Bounty Hunter program: an initiative devised to infiltrate the criminal underworld of the Fringers, and to force the very worst warrant dodging law-breakers to meet their fate--death.

Unfortunately, Silver doesn't realize that the Police Division is about to up the ante. They need more than little snippets of information and arrests--they need someone to pull the trigger. They need an executioner.
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Cover Reveal: Deceived Part 3 Chloe's Revenge by Eve Carter

Deceived Part 3 Chloe's Revenge by Eve Carter

Genre: Erotic Romance

Publisher: Carter Publishing House (Self-Published)

Format: Ebook

Length: approx. 130 pages

Release Date: March 15th 2013

Book Description:  

The steamy Deceived romance trilogy by Eve Carter, in the bestselling tradition of Fifty Shades of Grey by E. L. James and The Blackstone Affair by Raine Miller.

When Chloe Swanson, an innocent mid-western college graduate, lands her dream job in New York City, she doesn't realize what kind of a ride she's in for.

It doesn't take long before her boss, the charming and sharp businessman Patrick Collins, deceives her into being part of his plan to land the biggest account of his life.

However, he never expected that he would fall for her. Suddenly, he finds himself trapped between a ruthless billionaire client, who has her own eyes set on Patrick, and his deep affection for the beautiful Chloe.

What follows is a sensual and passionate journey of self-discovery, as Chloe faces the harsh reality of jealousy, love and money in the big city.

Stimulating, amusing and highly arousing, Deceived is a romance that will excite and titillate your senses.

Purchase Deceived Part 1 - New York: Amazon
Purchase Deceived Part 2 - Paris: Amazon


Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Character Interview for Captivated by Sarah Makela

Today we have Honora Butler, the heroine of Captivated, with me for a few questions about her love life and her past.

1. Honora, with being a mercenary, how do you have time for a love life?
I don’t. My relationship with Brennan wasn’t quite something I’d planned.

2. What it like being with someone from a race you’ve fought against for most of your life?
That’s...complicated. I’ve moved on from thinking of him as a dark elf. Now, he’s just Brennan. Besides, he isn’t the one who killed my parents.

3. That’s a good way to think about it. You’re more than human. What kind of powers do you have?
Mostly I use my physical prowess to fight, but I do have magical abilities yes. I possess fire magic, which is interesting since Brennan relies on ice magic. *smiles* Opposites apparently do attract.

4. They seemingly do! What do you love most about Brennan?
Being a mercenary, I’m always in control. I have to be for the survival of myself and those in need, yet with Brennan, he takes control. I love that about him. But don’t you dare tell him. I’ll profusely deny it was ever mentioned.

Thank you for having us here!

Title: Captivated
Author: Sarah Mäkelä
Genre: Erotic Fantasy Romance, Paranormal
Publisher: Total-e-Bound Publishing
Format: Ebook
Length: 60 pages
Purchase: Total-e-Bound | Amazon |

Book Description:
After her family was killed by a dark elf, mercenary Honora Butler’s purpose is the disposal of wicked faeries, elves, and other Unseelie beings, but she’ll find herself questioning her mission when she meets Brennan, a dark elf who doesn’t conform to what she believed his kind were like.

Brennan O’Niall doesn’t know what it is about Honora that makes him crave her, but he wants to find out. However, when she’s charged with the murder of a friend, he’ll have to discover the truth and decide just how much she means to him.

Gritting her teeth, Honora Butler sneaked farther into the dark, snowy forest. Danger lurked within the shadows, and she would kill or be killed. Death didn’t intimidate her anymore. She knew it too well.

Everyone she’d loved had been taken from her. 

Snow crunched beneath the soles of her knee-high leather boots. When she was young, the Mercenary Guild had taken her in. They’d seen her abilities and her determination. They’d trained her, given her a chance when she’d wanted only to die, and now she did what she bloody well could to make sure the dark beings of the Unseelie Court hurt no one else. 

A horrified scream erupted ahead, beckoning her deeper into the forest. It had to have been caused by her prey. Picking up her pace, she pulled a throwing knife from its sheath. Her magic surged into the blade, filling it with power and making the metal white—hot. 

The trees broke into a clearing. The cause of the cries stood in the dirt road. A woman cowered on the ground while a short, stocky man dressed in blood red with a matching hat sneered at her. He looked to be having far too good a time.

"I have a husband and kids. Please, don’t hurt me," the woman whimpered. "My master…he’ll—"

The Fear Dearg snorted and crossed his arms in front of him. He stared down his crooked nose at the terrified woman as if pondering what to do first.

Honora doubted the woman was in immediate danger. The Red Man mostly engaged in cruel pranks on those he sought, but that wouldn’t stop her from killing him. Her mission in life was to rid the world of malevolence.

She slid from the trees, taking one quiet step after another. "Na dean maggadh fum," she said. Those words, ‘do not mock me’, were the best chance she had to take him down without a problem.

The Fear Dearg jerked his gaze to Honora. His lips curled back into a snarl at the interruption. "So be it. Now go on. Get out of here. Can’t you see I’m busy?" He stared at her blankly, waiting. "What? You want my favour and prosperity? Wait for your turn."

Just like that, he returned his focus to the woman. He grabbed at her dress.

With a snap of her wrist, Honora sent the throwing knife sailing through the air. A wash of blood arced in a thick spray as the Fear Dearg collapsed, the knife lodged in his head.

Shrieking, the woman scurried backwards from the corpse. Her eyes were wide and horrified at the sight of the dead faerie. "What have you done?" she asked, glancing Honora’s way. Shaking her head, she picked up her large basket with foodstuffs that lay on its side. Most of the food had fallen out, but the woman didn’t bother gathering it. She took the basket, then ran off down the dirt road.

What had that been about?

Honora watched the woman until she disappeared around the curve of the path. She walked over to the dead Red Man then tugged her blade out of his skull. It came away easily, blood dripping off it in great crimson drops. She wiped it clean on his jacket before tucking the knife back in its sheath.

Her stomach rumbled. On the ground was an unsoiled loaf of bread from the woman’s fallen food. She stripped off her bloody gloves and crouched. She brushed off a few leaves then tore a piece from it and lifted it to her lips.

In the distance, she heard a faint noise like that of a large flock of birds beating their wings. That couldn’t be right. Birds weren’t typically active at night there. Yet the sound grew louder.

The sudden realisation of what it was punched her in the gut. She dropped the bread and raced after the woman. Honora needed to find the safety of shelter. She couldn’t be out here when the Sluagh—restless spirits of the dead—flew over. What they did was worse than death. They captured their victims’ souls.

Behind her, the cries became impossibly louder. She didn’t have much time at all. She had yet to spot any homes or places to hide and knew if she were spotted she would be connected with the murder of the Fear Dearg, and hunted. She wouldn’t be safe unless she found somewhere soon.

Chancing a look over her shoulder, she saw a horrible black mass darken the sky. Screams of their victims filled her ears then. They were close. She caught sight of an elegant manor off to the left.

About the Author:
Sarah Mäkelä lives in North Carolina with her husband and cats. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, computer and console games, and traveling all over the world. She is a member of Romance Writers of America, as well as the Heart of Carolina Romance Writers and the Fantasy, Futuristic, and Paranormal chapters. Find her online at


Monday, February 25, 2013

Book Blurb Buzz: The Divinities Series by Lia Davis

Title: Forgotten Visions
Series: The Divinities #1

Author: Lia Davis
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Soul Mate Publishing
Format: Ebook
Length: 62,000 words
Book Description:

Kalissa Bradenton isn’t your average coffee shop owner. Born to an elite witch bloodline with a rare genetic mutation, she’s a Divinity on a mission. The death of her parents sends her away from her Maxville, Florida, home and into an ancient war between witches and demons. When childhood friend Ayden Daniels comes to her aid after an almost fatal accident, visions of a past she doesn’t remember sparks an old flame and new desires. With the past slowly becoming clearer, she eagerly sets her sights on mending Ayden’s heart and gaining his trust–until a ghost from her past returns to claim her as his demonic mate.

Ayden, the new Sheriff of Maxville and grandson of the oldest living Divinity, is investigating a series of Divinity killings. When he comes face-to-face with the one woman he hopes to have little to no contact with, old pain rises, quickly followed by anger and resentment. Through his rare power of adaptability, he learns actions from the past may not be what they seem. Hope fills his broken heart and determination pushes him to do whatever it takes to win Kalissa’s heart once more before he loses her forever.

Together they must find the strength to mend their tormented souls, while fighting an evil out to destroy the world.

Death's Storm (The Divinities #2) by Lia DavisTitle: Death's Storm
Series: The Divinities #2
Author: Lia Davis
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Self Published
Format: Ebook
Length: 42,000 words
Purchase: Amazon |  B&N | ARe | Kobo

Book Description: 

Technical genius and demi-goddess--aka Divinity--Khloe Bradenton relies on no one for help, and she definitely doesn’t need comfort from anyone other than her twin. After her parents died by the demons’ hands over two years ago, she has graciously stepped up to her place in the war between demons and witches. When a creature far more dangerous than the ones responsible for killing her parents claims he is her guardian, she is torn between her desires for the dark predator and the painful loss she has endured at the hands of her enemies.

One of the last death demons still in existence, Jagger has pledged his life to the Goddess Hecate. Charged with the guardianship over the Divinities, he is never to approach them, but to aid them from a distance. When the firestorm, Khloe, sacrifices herself to save her twin and best friend and becomes the prey, he has no chose but to reveal himself to her. He is taken by surprise when the need to claim her as his own emerges. A desire he has never felt before could be more dangerous than the demons out to destroy them.

About the Author:

Lia Davis is a mother to two young adults and two very special kitties, a wife to her soul mate, a paranormal romance author, graphic designer, and co-owner to Fated Desires Publishing, LLC. She and her family live in Northeast Florida battling hurricanes and very humid summers. But it’s her home and she loves it! 

An accounting major, Lia has always been a dreamer with a very activity imagination. The wheels in her head never stop. She ventured into the world of writing and publishing in 2008 and loves it more than she imagined. Writing and designing are stress relievers that allow her to go off in her corner of the house and enter into another world that she created, leaving real life where it belongs.

Her favorite things are spending time with family, traveling, reading, writing, chocolate, coffee, nature and hanging out with her kitties.



Friday, February 22, 2013

Mayhem and Off the Wall Names? by Ashlyn Mathews

Why I love Paranormal Romance...

I not only love to read paranormal romances but I enjoy writing them too. As writers, we have the freedom to make our paranormal worlds as dark or light as possible. And by that, I don’t mean in relations to night or day, serious or light-humored. Dark worlds can be chaotic worlds where the lines of right and wrong are hazy while evil is disguised beneath an illusion of goodness, or vice versa. Or it can be a world of hope and light, friendship and love a beacon through the darkness.

You choose. How do you like your paranormal worlds — small towns or urban settings; past, present or post-apocalyptic; a world where supernatural beings coexist with others or do they live and fight in secret? The imagination knows no boundaries.

I also love the freedom to choose unconventional names. Yes, there are the occasional common names like Ryan, Sophie and Alexandra (Alex) in my paranormal romance, Shadow Watcher. However, for My Fallen, my newest release, the names came as I wrote, and once I put their dialogues to paper, their personality matched their names — Xavier Doom, Drake Sterling, Sacred, Trader, Defcon and Elise Castle.

Xavier is the ruthless demon, Drake is the poor human turned billionaire vampire, Sacred is X’s right hand man while Trader and Defcon are X’s sidekicks. Elise Castle is a Vampire Slayer with a heart of gold. From their names, can you get a “feel” for their personality? How do you like the names in your paranormal reads? Traditional? A tad on the foreign side? Off the wall?

I also love paranormal romances for the weapons. Come on, these are badass men and women. Why not lock and load them with crossbows, tasers, swords, and a shotgun full of silver shells? Or in Xavier’s case, he can immobilize and kill with his mind.

And last but not least of why I find the mayhem of paranormal romances so fun to write — the rides. I’m talking motorcycles, an Escalade limousine or stealth helicopters, Silencers. Badass men and women can’t always get to their destination by foot. They gotta get there with style, lol.

So those are the reasons I love to write paranormal romances and why I enjoy reading them.

For more about Ashlyn Mathews, you can find her at, Twitter @ashlynmathews and Facebook

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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Check out: Cornerstone Deep Book 1 of the Chronicle of Shilo Manor by Charlene A. Wilson

It's their nature - long lives and rebirth. They're from another dimension, one gifted with advance abilities, but they serve in Cornerstone Deep. They're the Wizards of Shilo Manor.

"We are of another plane. Only by ancient covenant do few know our true natures. We walk this world among you, beside you, loving you."

Title: Cornerstone Deep
Series: Chronicles of Shilo Manor, #1
Author: Charlene A. Wilson
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Class Act Books
Pages: 224
Purchase: Class Act Books | Amazon | Smashwords (CD) |

Book Description:
They outlive the mortals of this realm by thousands of years, and when it comes to love the cruel fact is reinforced. Reincarnation doesn't exist on this plane. They lose their wives to death with no hope of reuniting. Yet they continue to accept others for whatever time they have together. Save for Cole. His love for his last wife still burns in his soul four centuries after her death.
When the service they render to the noblemen of Cornerstone Deep brings him face to face with Anna, something unexpected happens.  In a realm of silent souls, hers calls to him.  He responds with a kiss—one that joined with the spell of servitude she inhaled, binds her soul. 
Breaking ancient covenants, angering the lords, and bringing the gods' wrath upon him, Cole tries desperately to undo his wrong and free his love—despite the determination of the nobleman to keep her.
~ * ~
“My life is a mirage of endless time. But you in this moment engulf me, rivet my mind, encompass my soul.”

Title: Cornerstone Deep Echoes
Series: Chronicles of Shilo Manor, #2
Author: Charlene A. Wilson
Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance, Science Fiction,
Publisher: Class Act Books
Pages: 279
Purchase:Class Act Books | Amazon | Smashwords (CD) | Smashwords (CD Echoes) | Cornerstones free sampler |

 Book Description:
Mianna’s return heals Cole’s soul and he promises to follow her for the rest of his existence.  But the past isn’t what he believes.  The fight for her has only begun.
Lord Dressen’s obsession grows as unexpected knowledge is revealed.  His search for Mianna has spanned six life times and he won’t give up now.  The courts stand behind him.  Power pulses through his veins.  Determination peaks and not even Cole Shilo can stop him.  He will win his prize.
Struggling to stay ahead, Cole’s anger explodes.  Nothing is sacred when it comes to keeping his love—not even covenants made with gods.  But, through all his efforts, lofty or damned, the truth remains.  Will echoes of another life cause him to fail?
~ * ~
“Every breath you take is a song to my soul.”

 About the Author:
Charlene is an author of paranormal suspenseful tales that sweep you away to other dimensions. She weaves magic, lasting love, and intrigue into multi-layered story lines to immerse you into the lives of her characters.
She began writing in her early teens when her vivid dreams stayed with her long after she had them. The characters and worlds were so amazing, she brought them to life through her books. You can meet them now in her series, Chronicles of Shilo Manor, and soon in her series, Aumelan.
She resides in a small community in Arkansas, USA, with her two beautiful daughters, a gray cat, Chester, and a fluffy black dog, KooJo.
Her first novel, Cornerstone Deep, was published in November 2010 by Class Act Books.  Her second, Cornerstone Deep Echoes, was released February 2012, also by Class Act Books.  

Saturday, February 16, 2013

The Summoner's Tale--Author Interview and Giveaway!

Title: The Summoner's Tale
Series: The Order of the Black Swan #3
Author: Victoria Danann
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: 7th House
Format: Ebook
Length: 300 pages
Release Date: February 14th, 2013
Purchase: Amazon
Book Description:
Coming Valentines' Day 2013

Book Three - The Summoner's Tale

Reading The Series In Order Highly Recommended.

 A secret society, a witch, a psychic, vampires, modern day knights, heroes, elves, fae, assassins from another dimension, and fairytales come together where emotions intersect. Two souls, joined by a mystical bond, separated by distance, must simultaneously struggle through pain and darkness in an ultimate confrontation with character and an ultimate struggle for life proving that true love waits patiently through lifetimes and finds courage to survive. Even in the strangest places. Even when you're least expecting it. Even when you're far, far from home.


The plural of vampire is vampire.
When the rush of activity subsided, he found himself alone with his own thoughts; a condition that was more than familiar since he had spent hundreds of years that way. Without the distraction of his friends' banter, since his proposed staff had left Edinburgh, he had begun to see his task not just as a job, but as a mission, one immersed in the duality of joy and gravity.

He had never considered himself to be impatient. Quite the contrary, everything he had ever pursued in earnest, from painting to music to writing, had depended upon patience. But, his cognizance of the enormity of the burden he had accepted had grown over the past months and he had turned to brooding about the time that was passing.

Every day that nothing was accomplished was a day when more people had their humanity taken from them, another day when vampire remained imprisoned in bodies infected with the foulest disease imaginable, and, also, another day when people died.

The project was moving painfully slowly. Everyone who had originally been assigned to work with Baka was gone: married, retired, whatever. Everyone except Heaven - who had turned out to be anything but.

The large work space, intended for several people, seemed deserted with him alone most of the time. He worked from early in the morning till late at night, challenging both the hours in the day and the fact that he was one excruciatingly short-handed task force leader.

When Heaven was present, her moods ran the range of a shallow bell curve from disagreeable to surly to sullen. He admitted that he had provoked her on their first meeting, for reasons that were a mystery to him. Something about her instantly put him on edge and made him feel anxious.

Even though that feeling persisted, he had attempted to make amends so that they could work together amicably. To no avail. She was prickly to the core, spurning every effort on his part to develop a rudimentary standard of civility. She behaved as if simple courtesy was more than she could manage which meant that "nice" was a goal way too distant.

He not only had to work with a person who detested his very presence, but, adding insult to injury, it seemed he couldn't shake an inexplicably strong attraction to her. He found himself staring at the curve of her cheek with her head bowed over work. Or the shine of her chestnut hair when she walked through a ray of light. Or the way her lips pursed whenever he gave her something to do. It was damned aggravating.

To make matters worse, he seemed to have lost interest in pursuing other women.

At exactly fifteen after five she double checked her wristwatch, closed an open folder, rose, pushed her arms into her sweater jacket, put her purse on her shoulder and, like every other day, walked out of the office without saying goodnight.

He perpetually struggled to concentrate because the space seemed to vibrate with a low level, but annoying irritation when she was there. It was stand to reason that he would be glad to see her gather her things and go, but, in fact, he hated it even more when she left. He heaved a big sigh. Fuck me.

Baka had been a person with a well-developed sense of morality, and a well-functioning conscience before he became a vampire. During the last hundred years of life as a vampire, having survived long enough to blessedly recover his understanding of right and wrong, he had voluntarily turned himself into The Order and served as "consultant" voluntarily consuming only artificial sustenance.

No. He had never been short on conscience. And that conscience was rubbing a hole in his brain telling him that it would be wrong to simply sit at a desk and plan a strategy on paper while, at the same time, doing nothing. So, keeping his own counsel, for better or worse, he determined that he would continue to work as a bureaucrat during the day, but would spend his nights - at least part of them - looking for others he might help back to the light.

He had worked with Monq at Jefferson Unit labs to develop a delivery solution. Taking a page from the methodology of the late Gautier Nibelung, they had decided that the safest and most effective approach would be dart gun. Each dart was outfitted with a tiny canister that would puncture on impact releasing a formula that was part stun and part cure. The proper dose of stun solution had been determined by tests on Baka himself. So he knew it worked. First hand. Obviously vampire must be incapacitated while the viral antidote works. As medicinal remedies go, it is fast working, but not instant. There is a delay of two to four hours between introduction to the system and complete reversal of the disease, depending upon the age and constitution of the individual.

His plan wasn't perfect. It depended on encountering one vampire at a time and extracting him, while paralyzed, without engaging other vampire. Tricky, but the alternative was waiting for a task force to be vetted, assembled, and trained. And waiting was the one thing he couldn't manage. Maybe it wasn't the smartest thing he'd ever done, but, hell, he'd had a long life.

           To his advantage, he still had certain attributes that were extra human. Not like comic book heroes. More like human plus. No one knew if these benefits would fade away over time, but, for now, he was a little stronger, a little faster, and could see in the dark a little better than most people. All traits very useful for vampire hunting.

It just so happened that he found his assigned base of operations in prime territory that qualified as a vampire magnet on all counts. In Edinburgh's Old Town there was a large pedestrian population that came out at night and it was built on top of an underground system that was not utilized to any extent that would interfere with the needs of vampire. All this was literally in sight of his office - five minutes' walk away.


In a darkly poetic way, it was fitting that vampire would thrive in Edinburgh's underground city which consisted of a system of tunnels, caverns, and cells cut into the much softer sandstone under the rock that the above-ground Old Town is built upon. It's a place with grisly history where thousands of hapless poor lived in darkness, packed together without sanitation and with the vilest of criminals. Plague victims were not removed and buried or burned, but just sealed in their cells.

Modern day Ghost Tours offer a shallow excursion - shallow because individuals don't want to stay in the underground very long. Words like "creepy" are frequently used even by hard-core insensitives. That leaves miles of maze for a vampire haven.


Baka had been a vampire long enough to know all about how they think. He knew that the days of the Beltane festival would be a gorge fest for vampire. The Royal Mile, just over the heads of vampire living in the Underground, would be crowded with visitors to the city, visitors intent on celebration and revelry, danger being the last thing on their minds. It would be a blessing to vampire in the original sense of the word which was bloodletting; when, as a rite of passage, young pagans would stand in a pit under a grate where a bull was sacrificed and bathe in the blood that fell.

So Baka finished his day, went to dinner alone, and slowly savored every bite of his of actual food. Afterward, driven by a heartfelt desire to do some good in the world, he pulled on a pair of cargo pants and equipped the dozen pockets with two dart guns and as many canisters as he could carry without being slowed down. He descended the stairs to the main foyer wondering if, even partial redemption for a long life of misdeeds, is possible. The fact that he was not accountable for that infamous history should have given him some peace of absolution. But didn't. He said good evening to the doorman and headed out into the night.  

About the Author:
Though works of fiction are a departure for me, I have had this series simmering on the back burner of my mind for years, but time is at a premium. In addition to authoring and illustrating Seasons of the Witch and writing course work for Seasons in Avalon, I play Classic Rock music and manage Houston’s premier variety and R&B band.

This series will include some of my education in the paranormal and fictionalized anecdotes from my journals during the years when I was a practicing “metaphysician”, but most of the material is fantasy – of course.

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The Entire Tour for The Summoner's Tale

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Swept Away Valentine's Day Blog Hop

Character interview with Charlotte Dashiell (of Byzantine Gold) by Chris Karlsen

Please tell us a little about yourself. I grew up in Chicago. My father was a Chicago cop. He’s retired now and my mom was a housewife. Other than my parents divorcing when I was a teen, I had a pretty typical and happy childhood. I have one brother, Nick, who is a Chicago cop too. He’s with the SWAT team there. I love him to bits and worry about him. It makes me crazy to hear him tell some of his dangerous SWAT details.
Nick couldn’t care less about history but I can’t remember a time that I wasn’t fascinated with the subject. I knew as a young girl of twelve I’d be an archaeologist. I was a little girl when the Indiana Jones movies were popular. I wanted to be the female Indiana but without the snakes and people shooting at me.
While in college, I decided to specialize in nautical archaeology. I now have my PHD and look forward to working on the recovery teams of new shipwreck discoveries. I start getting excited in the spring knowing the next dive season is only weeks away.
Is that why you live in Turkey?Yes and no. You can’t throw a rock and not hit something historical in Turkey. The waters off the coast are beautiful and there are so many wrecks filled with artifacts to bring to the surface. To me, each ship has a unique story to tell. I love trying to uncover that story through the relics and the wreck remains.
That said; the main reason I live in Turkey is because the love of my life, Atakan Vadim, is there.
How did you meet?Atakan is an archaeologist also but he’s employed as an agent for the Turkish Ministry of Culture. We met last year when he assigned as my dive partner on the recovery team of a Bronze Age wreck site. I’d been a witness to the death of the government agent originally assigned to the project. It was Atakan’s job to quietly investigate me and make certain I had no involvement in the man’s murder.
It took some time but we developed a friendship and trust between us. From there, one thing led to another and we fell in love.
When he’s not in the field working an archaeological site, he conducts investigations of smugglers dealing in the sale of illegally obtained artifacts to the black market. He and his investigative team work out of an office in Istanbul.
When not in the field, what do you do to stay busy?I do preservation work with artifacts at a lab in Istanbul. I clean, identify, tag, and catalogue the relics.
I’m also writing industry articles about the wrecks where I’ve participated on recovery teams.
You recently finished a project. Tell us about it.
A Byzantine Era warship was found off the coast of Northern Cyprus. The ship carried a cargo of gold, coins, jewelry, and religious objects. MIAR, the archaeological company I am associated with found this very curious. If it was a merchant ship, we’d expect that type of cargo but not on a Dromon, which is a ship meant for battle. Because it was so unique, the rich find received a good deal of publicity.
The publicity caused a major problem and put the whole team at risk. A cell of a terrorist organization found it more than curious. They decided it was too tempting to ignore. The valuable relics would bring them much needed funds. Their leader stole the identity of a diver assigned to the project and infiltrated team. To make things worse, he was assigned as my dive partner.
Where was Atakan?
He was to be my partner but while we were on vacation in Paris, an old enemy of his, a man he sent to prison, came after Atakan. He shot Atakan as we walked down the street. Fortunately, it struck him in the shoulder. A few inches to the right and he’d have been killed. Atakan continued as the site’s Ministry representative, but the injury kept him from being able to dive.

Did you catch the man who shot him?
No, he escaped in Paris. Those months were a double nightmare for us both. We had reason to believe he followed us to Cyprus so Atakan’s life was at stake the entire time. Then, when we learned my partner was a terrorist, Atakan and another Ministry agent had to race the clock to capture the members of the cell before they could attack the camp.

When you’re not dodging danger, what’s life like for the two of you?We like to travel. In the winter, we ski. In the warm months, right after the dive season, we enjoy staying places with lots of water sports.
At home we entertain fairly often. Atakan and I both are decent cooks so we have friends over for dinner a lot. We also have an apartment in a lovely location with a view of the Bosphorus. If the weather allows, we like to relax on the patio with a glass of wine and just watch the ferries as they come and go from the Asian side of the city to our side.

What would surprise people the most about you?I belly dance and I’m not too bad at it. (Smile)
What would surprise people the most about Atakan?Outwardly, he appears stern and cold. But those who know him will tell you he is warm and outgoing with a wicked sense of humor.
Anything else you’d like to say?
I hope everyone will be intrigued to read about the dangers that surrounded this recovery project and Atakan, in Byzantine Gold.
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