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Murder, betrayal, & scandal plague the Colburn family. A curse has shadowed them throughout time. This tale of intrigue follows the Colburns back to their beginning in New Orleans, Louisiana. Matt Colburn’s duty is to protect an aristocrat named Arial. From the moment they meet, she steals his breath away. They dance and it feels like a brush with destiny, but Arial has a dreadful secret that endangers the lives of everyone she holds dear, especially Matt. Will he be able to save her or will she become the next victim of the Louisiana Strangler…
Posted in book trailer
Tags: author, book, book review, book trailer, bookblogger, catalina dubois, ebook, fantasy, fiction, goodreads, kindle, kobo, literature, mystery, nook, novel, paranormal, read, reader, reading, romance, story, supernatural, suspense, The Colburn Curse, thriller, trailer, writer, writing
Darrell has a lot going on. He’s made a name for himself as the football coach of the local high school team. It’s quite possible he has finally met the love of his life, but he’s still dealing with being accused of providing steroids to his players. Just as he begins to hope things will take a turn for the better, the supernatural starts to take over and he starts seeing ghosts. Darrell, not wanting to admit a ghost is foremost on his mind, attempts to live his day-to-day life, but it’s not working.
Darrell, the main character of Randy Overbeck’s Crimson at Cape May, is doing all he can to overcome the accusations laid against him. His current situation has put any future he might have with Erin on the edge of ruin, and the ghosts that plague him are relentless. He is struggling to overcome the stigma that now hovers over him while he battles the dark looks and cold stares from the townsfolk with whom he once traded pleasantries. In addition, Darrell is concerned about a connection between one of his troubled players and the new ghosts he has seen in Cape May.
One of the most fascinating aspects about Overbeck’s books centered around main character, Darrell Henshaw. As he moves from place to place, spirits are drawn to him and each one seems to know about the other. Overbeck uses this amazing trait to flawlessly move from one book to the next and seamlessly connect subplots.
I appreciate the introduction of Cassie. She brings a down-to-earth feel to the ghost story that spans the length of the book. Darrell is, for all intents and purposes, the one on whom the story-line relies. Cassie, however, somehow grounds the book and gives readers a truly relatable character. She questions her decisions, struggles with a low-wage job, and is conflicted about her own place in this world. She breathes a new kind of life into an already fascinating story.
The tragic subplot surrounding the young football player, Josh, and his sister, Josie, brings everything into perspective. As Darrell and Cassie team up to find out more about the ghosts plaguing them both, they are actively solving a missing persons case about which no one else in town seems to care. Along with Cassie’s story-line, Josie’s story makes the book engaging and palpable. No one wants to imagine what can happen to a young person who has run away or been abducted. The fact that the town is so hush-hush about her disappearance makes this reader’s heart skip a beat.
With both elements of mystery and suspense, readers across genres will find this second book about Darrell Henshaw intriguing. Overbeck includes just enough romance to appeal to readers who require complicated relationships in their reading as well. I thoroughly enjoy the style Overbeck uses and highly recommend Crimson at Cape May to anyone who has not tried his work before.
“The only difference between the saint and the sinner is that every saint has a past, and every sinner has a future.” ~Oscar Wilde
SINNER PROMISES A GRITTY, CAMPY RIDE THROUGH THE HEART OF OBSESSIVE/COMPULSIVE DARKNESS.
Alice’s life is spiraling out of control. After an accident leads to a tainted blood transfusion, Alice descends into the supernatural world of vampires, addicted to blood, destined to sin. Only, that’s her second largest problem. The first might kill her for real.
With no sire or formal keeper, Alice is among the feral vampires, marked by white eyes and the ability to live without drinking blood, unless the cravings prevail. Caught between two rivals, Alice doesn’t know what she wants to be, a sinner or a saint. Wolf, an enigmatic firecracker, has the power to make Alice embrace her troubles as strengths, no matter if she is wicked or kind. But Gesick cools Alice’s anxiety, accepting the paranormal activity surrounding her presence.
Will Alice choose Wolf, a woman with little standing in her way, or Gesick, a man who knows a little something about temptation?
~New Adult/Mature YA 16+ due to gore, language, and adult situations.
The Henna Witch is the enthralling account of Ashia’s mission to defeat a SORCERER who is invading dreams. How did this fascinating idea start and change as you wrote?
Dreams have long been a fascination for me, lucid dreams and nightmares in particular, as they exhibit such profound power and imagination. I wrote the book while I was in the recovery stages of my last cancer surgery, in which a 2×2” piece of skull was replaced with a 3D printed part. I was having a lot of lucid dreams, even extracting myself from certain death in one of them, so much so that when I woke I wasn’t sure if I’d actually been close to dying.
Two ideas were at play when I started the book and I made an attempt to merge them. The First is that we can live and even die in dreamlands when we sleep, an intriguing concept that I expanded to collective worlds where the creatures of our dreaming imagination are the souls of others. Surely animals dream as well. How many times have I watched my dog ‘run’, even ‘bark’ in his sleep?
Secondly, on a metaphorical level, bad leadership and greed steal the dreams of the populace. The greed of a few supplanting the dreams of many became the subtext.
Because of the multi-dimensional nature of dreams, it was hard to not take advantage of it and there are quite a few larger than life moments because of it. I’m pretty sure many people have done astonishing and magical things in their dreams, where anything is possible. Ashia and O’la also bring an equally dimensional approach to living in the day to day.
I am entirely indebted to my editor in keeping the transitions between dreams and characters comprehensible and helping me arrange the book. It would be far less of a story without her guidance.
Ashia is an intriguing and well-developed character. What was the inspiration for her character and the obstacles she faces?
I wanted to write a story centered around a black shamaness of the jungles facing the power of civilization. She was meant to be a simpler character in the beginning, but the scope of the challenge changed her as well. I initially made my ‘evil sorcerer’ a little too arcane and masterful to justify his powers and her backstory had to match in some way. The dreamscapes demanded attention as well, so she became much older, one of the fabled Muses that live in both worlds. This story grew with the telling, though her motivation from the beginning was always the protection of the animals, her sacred trust. The ability to communicate with animals was also meant to be a central part of the story from the beginning. I think there is a universal wish to be able to understand animals if we but knew their language.
The young girl, O’la, was only to be an introductory foil in an early chapter, but she ended up staying with the story, often stealing the scene. I even had to add my own dog in, a scruffy mutt with Buddha’s soul. He proves to be as powerful and brave in his own way as the panther that guides Ashia, whose journey was far more interesting with them in tow. She could talk to the animals and exhibit great power, but could she manage a twelve-year-old with a stray dog?
I felt the relationship between Ashia and O’la to be one of the most important parts of the book, especially in those moments when the girl’s capacity seemed to outshine Ashia’s own.
I thought that the novel captures the dark feel of age-old fairy tales. What were some themes you wanted to explore with this book?
I’m glad that association to old fairy tales exists. I was totally captivated by Grimm’s Bros., et. al. as a young reader and I know it influenced my later choices in reading material and favored authors. Fairy tales by their nature are very metaphorical. I mentioned a few of the themes above, though at the root of it is Man in conflict with Nature. There is life in every corner and under every rock and perfectly adapted for whatever niche it is in, often astounding creatures that exceed our imaginations. Ashia and O’la became their voices as much as the wizard Kapornic and his Trader enablers were the embodiment of civilization.
Are you still working on ‘Deck of the Numinon’ or do you have other projects in the works?
I’m on the third draft of ‘Deck of the Numinon’, which should be the final one, with subsequent editing. I expect to publish it in early summer of ’20. Like my other books, it has evolved far beyond my original concept. I have truly enjoyed resurrecting the characters of Cerra and the Demon from ‘Demon of the Black Gate’. It wasn’t really planned in the original outline, but it became apparent that I needed a dynamic and equal counter to the magical strength I had given the Deck, a powerful fortune-telling tool. Cerra and the Demon were perfect for the challenge and the story took off from there. I am particularly thrilled with the original artwork by Bluebird Design that will be incorporated into the story and cover. As far as future projects, I don’t have anything solid, just notes building a new tale. I enjoy mysteries and spy novels and want to incorporate some of those elements into the next book. By this time next year, I should be done with a tolerable draft. Working title: ‘The Transparent Mask’.
When an enchanter begins stealing the souls of animals to haunt the dreams of men, Ashia Verena, one of the ageless Guardians, is drawn into a confrontation that resurrects a dangerous secret of her past. A native girl stows away on Ashia’s journey and becomes irrevocably entangled within the nebulous realms of magic and dreams. As the circle tightens, experience and innocence must join in hopes of overcoming the sorcerer’s lust for power and revenge.
Winter Chills is a collection of seasonal ghost stories that entertain and spark the imagination. How did the stories in this collection come together?
This collection was a collaboration between 4 writers who met through the #WritingCommunity on Twitter. I (S.J.) was in the process of starting up 8N Publishing, and a conversation with D.B. Carter led to the idea for this book. Derek R. King and Natalie Reeves-Billings were invited to contribute because I’d seen some of their work and was very impressed with it. I thought our individual styles would mesh well to create a cohesive overall book.
Winter Chills was born.
The Holiday Party was my favorite story from the collection. What was your favorite story from the book?
Thank you so much! It took me a lot of false starts before I was able to write The Holiday Party, so it really makes me happy to know you enjoyed it so much.
It’s hard to pick a favorite. Each story is special to me for different reasons. I think they all work well together, as a whole, even though we wrote them separately without knowing what everyone else was writing.
I’m very proud of how it all turned out.
What was the inspiration for your story, ‘The Holiday Party’?
I have a friend who’s a paranormal investigator. I’ve gone on a couple of public ghost hunts with him and it was a fascinating and peaceful experience. It really made me wonder ‘what if?’
I took that feeling and tried to apply it to the progression of the story.
Do you enjoy writing short stories, or do you prefer to work on longer novels?
It had been years since I’d written a short story, so trying that out again was a bit of a challenge for me. Every word and action has to count in a short story. You don’t have the luxury of tens of thousands of words to build up to the climax. You only have a few thousand. If you don’t start in the right place, or relay the right events, it won’t work. It was a challenge, but I really enjoyed it.
I’m working on a new series of novels now, but also starting a short story for a future collection. It’s good to keep the writing skills sharp by trying different things from time to time.
In the spirit of seasonal ghost stories, this wintry collection will send a tingle down your spine, but may also warm your heart.Six short stories range from waiting for a mysterious midnight train, attending a party with an unexpected guest, a life-changing reunion for a miserable family, receiving a holiday greeting unlike any other, a visit from an unusual group of carolers, and a journey through a blizzard with a twist. Grab a blanket, your favorite hot drink, and settle in for some Winter Chills.
Posted in Interviews
Tags: anthology, author, author interview, book, book review, bookblogger, Derek R. King, ebook, fantasy, fiction, goodreads, horror, kindle, kobo, literature, nook, novel, paranormal, read, reader, reading, S. J. Lomas, short story, story, supernatural, Winter Chills, writer, writing
Tree of Souls is the thrilling conclusion to your Blood Dagger series. What were some things you wanted to make sure you wrapped up before the end?
Without giving too many spoilers away (I hope not), I had to make sure I wrapped up Corinth’s (my eighteen-year-old reluctant hero and The Chosen One) journey, first and foremost. He had a lot going on in this last book—Tree of Souls—and he also had a lot of burning questions. Questions about his lineage, the blade he carries, and The Watchers, a group of elite warrior angels. I also had to make sure I gave Larna (my eighteen-year-old protagonist) her day too. It was important to show the extent of her growth at the very end. There were a lot of characters to finish fleshing out, especially Gabriel Stanton (the vampiric bad guy).
I always enjoy the next book more than the last. What were some challenges you set for yourself as a writer with this book?
Thank you very much! I loved writing all of the books, but the last one is my favorite. The one and only challenge was to just finish it. Tree of Souls is a whopping 640 pages! It was a lot of work.
The emotional turmoil is palpable in this novel. What were some themes you drew on while writing?
Man, there was a lot of emotion running through the entire novel. I felt every bit of it. I guess you could say I drew a lot on life experiences, and how I would really react in certain situations. A good old-fashioned meltdown is never out of the question. It was important to make each scene as believable and fleshed out as possible. Smells and sounds and body language all help pull those together for the reader.
What is the next book or series do you plan to start next?
I just started a spin-off series to The Blood Dagger. It is not titled yet, but I am super excited to see where this new series takes me.
I am also plotting out a seven book series, a mix of Ready Player One meets Warcross. You might have a lot more reading to do in the future.
The first vampire.
The last Nephilim.
The end of a saga.
The epic battle between angel and vampire begins in this third installment in the Blood Dagger series. Ever since his meeting with a group of all-powerful angels calling themselves the Grigori went awry, things aren’t looking up for Corinth Taylor or for his best friend, Larna Collins. After Corinth was almost stabbed to death, Alastair Iszler, Corinth’s brother-in-arms, heroically stepped in to save Corinth’s life—thereby sacrificing his own in the process.
Larna, still reeling after losing the love of her life, has only one mission in mind: kill the vampire who tortured Corinth. Sarah. But things aren’t so cut and dry anymore when friends turn into enemies and enemies turn into friends. Trusting Gabriel Stanton, the leader of one of the most powerful vampire clans in the world, might just be enough to cause his downfall by her hands. Especially since she has the worst kind of history with him—the killing-your-father kind.
Will Corinth make it through his transition to become a vampire? Will the Grigori’s plan at world domination come into fruition? Can they pull together in time to stop the threat?
Find out in the last and most action-packed novel in the Blood Dagger series. It will not disappoint. A must-read from start to finish.
John Patrick Kennedy’s Plague of Witches is a coming of age tale about 21-year-old protagonist, Kana. Kana has been raised by her wealthy father in a life of ease. She seems to have everything, except her mother. She has no memory of her at all. Kana is bright and on the path to success when she is met with some information that rocks her. Kana finds out that she is a witch. Not only is she a witch, she’s a legacy. She will be attending her mother’s alma mater, Shipton University, to continue her mother’s research. First, she will have to jump through a myriad of hoops to deem herself worthy and learn 21 years worth of magic in a very short period of time.
I love how Kennedy takes such an obscure element and makes it relatable. I’d dare to say that the everyday reader hasn’t done much more dabbling in magic than the occasional card trick. Yet, I found myself sympathizing and relating with many things that Shipton’s students are facing. Kana is playing catch up, trying to master skills that her classmates have long been proficient in. She’s sort of the “low man on the totem pole,” and even though she is catching up quickly, she feels a bit out of place. The same can be said for Vanessa. She’s a master of magic, but due to stifling rules, her magic has been suspended. She’s older than most of the classmates, and also feels like she sticks out like a sore thumb. Even though these two have boundless power at their fingertips, they can still feel small and inept. It seems to be a common theme across not only this story, that no matter how powerful or perfect someone is, self doubt and the feeling of not belonging almost always sets in. These young adults are skilled witches, but Kennedy doesn’t lose their humanity.
Kennedy also piques interest when speaking of the “entity” who continually seeks its “promised” host. We are to assume that the entity is seeking Kana. A dark, elusive, inhuman being is always on her heels. I feel like this can be metaphoric in a way. Kana has a perfect life from the outside, but there is a big mysterious hole in the shape of her mother left in her soul. No one has a perfect life. There’s always an obstacle or hindrance or something in a dark closet in the way of complete contentment and reminds me that no one really has it all together.
Plague of Witches is written masterfully. It’s like the elusive black entity of Stranger Things meets a crazy cast of characters from Harry Potter. Being a fan of both, I can’t get enough of this book. Kennedy should have no problem gaining loyal readers in this genre. The plot is interesting with its twists and turns and easy but not boring readability. I’d love to read more by Kennedy.
Pages: 370 | ASIN: B07X51CV6N