Spotlight: The Beast of London by L.D. Goffigan

Today we’re featuring The Beast of London, book one of The Mina Murray series, by author L.D. Goffigan. This book sounds like something I would really enjoy and I really wanted to review it but I just don’t have enough time right now. I already ordered my copy though so hopefully I’ll get to it soon.

Check out that gorgeous cover! Read more about the book and find out how you can get your hands on a copy!

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Review of Insidious by Victoria Evers (Blog Tour and Giveaway)

Today we’re featuring Insidious, Book 1 of The Marked Mage Chronicles by Victoria Evers! I don’t usually feature romance on this blog but when I read the blurb for Insidious I thought it was intriguing.

Read on to know more about the book and check out my review! You can also read an excerpt if you’re curious! Of course, don’t forget to enter the giveaway for a chance to win an Amazon gift card!
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Are You Looking for Halloween Reads? Get into the Paranormal Bar & Grille Tour! (Giveaway)

It’s the perfect time for some spooky or scary reading, right? If you’re looking for something to read this season, check out these five paranormal books we’re featuring today!

Welcome to the Paranormal Bar & Grille Blog Tour!

…where you can rub elbows with everyone from a gargoyle or vampire, to a creature from urban legend, or the ghostly realms of myth. Step up to the bar, grab a booth. You never know what’s on the menu, or if you might end up there yourself.

Sound like your kind of hangout? Then you’ve come to the right place. We’re a group of five authors who love nothing more than to trigger the chill that crawls up your back, the nervous glance tossed over your shoulder. We invite you to discover outstanding books and check out our awesome tour prizes.

Just be careful of what the bartender serves you. That heady brew may not be a beer, and witches can’t be trusted to provide effective antidotes.

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Review: UNCommon Bodies (An Anthology) plus a Giveaway!

UNCommon Bodies is out today! UnCommon Bodies is a collection of stories curated by Pavarti K. Tyler that span across genres to explore the lives of the odd, the unbelievable, and the impossible.

I was so intrigued by the stories included in this collection that I just couldn’t pass up the chance to read it. One story in particular reeled me in: Skin by Brent Meske: After constant bullying in high school, Patricia vows to change her name and her entire being. When she gains the ability to mold and sculpt flesh, that vow very quickly becomes a terrifying reality. Now isn’t that something?

Read on to know more about this awesome collection of stories and check out my review. Of course, don’t forget to enter the giveaway, too. :)

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Spotlight & $100 Amazon Giveaway: I Can See You by Joss Landry

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I Can See You Blog Tour (Jul 28 – Aug 22)

I thought this book had an interesting story, that’s why I agreed to help out in the blog tour and host a guest post by the author. Check out the book and the guest post, and enter the tour-wide giveaway for a chance to win $100 Amazon Gift Card or $25 Amazon Gift Card.

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Blog Tour: Beyond The Pale (A Fantasy and Paranormal YA Anthology)

BeyondThePale-coverWhen I received the invite for this blog tour, I just couldn’t resist. A fantasy anthology of short stories by bestselling writers the likes of Jim Butcher and Kami Garcia? Hellsyeah.

Today we have a guest post, “Prose Lessons by the Pros,” by the editor Henry Herz. If you’re a writer or want to be one, you have got to read this post. It’s chockfull of helpful tips! Also, check out an excerpt from one of the stories, The Children of the Shark God by Peter S. Beagle.

About the book

Beyond the Pale contains eleven fantasy/urban fantasy/paranormal short stories by award-winning and NY Times bestselling authors Saladin Ahmed (Throne of the Crescent Moon), Peter S. Beagle (The Last Unicorn), Heather Brewer (Vladimir Tod), Jim Butcher (Dresden Files), Kami Garcia (Beautiful Creatures), Nancy Holder (Wicked), Gillian Philip (Rebel Angels), and Jane Yolen (Owl Moon).

Get this book on Amazon. Add this book on Goodreads.

For more about the anthology or to pre-order the book, visit Birch Tree Publishing.

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Cover Reveal & Giveaway: Shudder (#2, Stitch Trilogy) by Samantha Durante

Today we’re featuring Shudder, the second book in the Stitch Trilogy by Samantha Durante. Read more about this new installment and enter the giveaway for a chance to win a print ARC of Shudder (open worldwide)!

It’s only been three days, and already everything is different.

Paragon is behind her, but somehow Alessa’s life may actually have gotten worse. In a wrenching twist of fate, she traded the safety and companionship of her sister for that of her true love, losing a vital partner she’d counted on for the ordeal ahead. Her comfortable university life is but a distant memory, as she faces the prospect of surviving a bleak winter on the meager remains of a ravaged world. And if she’d thought she’d tasted fear upon seeing a ghost, she was wrong; now she’s discovering new depths of terror while being hunted by a deadly virus and a terrifying pack of superhuman creatures thirsting for blood.

And then there are the visions.

The memory-altering “stitch” unlocked something in Alessa’s mind, and now she can’t shake the constant flood of alien feelings ransacking her emotions. Haunting memories of an old flame are driving a deep and painful rift into her once-secure relationship. And a series of staggering revelations about the treacherous Engineers – and the bone-chilling deceit shrouding her world’s sorry history – will soon leave Alessa reeling…

The second installment in the electrifying Stitch Trilogy, Shudder follows Samantha Durante’s shocking and innovative debut with a heart-pounding, paranormal-dusted dystopian adventure sure to keep the pages turning.

Samantha Durante lives in Westchester County, New York with her husband, Sudeep, and her cat, Gio. Formerly an engineer at Microsoft, Samantha left the world of software in 2010 to pursue her entrepreneurial dreams and a lifelong love of writing. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania’s Jerome Fisher Program in Management & Technology, Samantha is currently working full time for her company Medley Media Associates as a freelance business writer and communications consultant. Stitch is her first novel. Learn more about Samantha at www.samanthadurante.com.

Enter the Giveaway HERE!!!

Blog Tour & Giveaway: A Prescription for Delirium (Van Helsing Organization #1) by Noree Cosper

Please enjoy this guest post (titled Voodoo vs Hoodoo) by author Noreen Cosper and read an excerpt from her new release A Prescription for Delirium (Van Helsing Organization #1).

Don’t forget to enter the giveaway on this blog! :)

About the book

Ninety years ago, Gabriella di Luca promised to protect the family of her dying lover. She failed to keep that promise. She was too far away to stop the devil that murdered the eldest Van Helsing son. Years later, Gabby learns the devil has resurfaced. She arrives in Hampton, TX, determined to stop the devil before it can lay a bloody hand on the remaining three brothers.

However, madness is spreading through Hampton. She suspects the devil is using this madness to test a drug which has a side effect of demonic possession. Gabby rushes to end the source of the madness only to fall victim to it. For a woman cursed with eternal life, dying is no threat. However, Gabby must stop the devil’s plot or risk losing her most precious possession: her mind.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Smashwords

 

Guest Post

Voodoo vs Hoodoo

by Noree Cosper

Little burlap dolls, black candles, whispered chants. These are some of the images that come to mind when Voodoo or Hoodoo is mentioned.  Many believe that Hoodoo and Voodoo are the same. Both have roots in Africa and are made up of mixed beliefs including pagan traditions, ancient worship, and elements of European religions. Though they have several similarities, they are really different.

In actuality, Voodoo is an actual religion and institution with established practices like religious leaders, teaching, and services or rituals. Voodoo invokes the power of the loas (spirits), the African gods and, deities. It is not connected to any other religion. The specific term for a Voodoo practitioner is a Vodouisant. Voodoo is not just a religion but a culture and a way of life.

Hoodoo, on the other hand, adheres to no organized religion and is considered folk magic. In fact, practitioners use both the loas and the religious saints of Catholicism as well as spiritualism. Hoodoo actually developed because those who practiced wanted to hide its African origins. Most of the population, who was largely Christian, considered the worship pagan and therefore bad. Practitioners see Hoodoo as a sort of personal power. The magic is based on inclinations, desires, interests, and habits. They access the loas, gods, and other supernatural forces in order to bring changes, good or ill, in peoples’ lives. It focuses on the magic and the benefits it can bring.

So, in short, Voodoo is a way of life while Hoodoo can be more of a hobby.

Giveaway

One random commenter on this blog will win an e-book copy of A Prescription for Delirium! Just leave a comment and way for me to contact you. This giveaway will run for the entire duration of the tour.

There is also a tour-wide giveaway for a printed copy of the book plus swag! Visit the tour page to enter.

About the Author

Noree Cosper loves writing about magic in the modern world. While growing up in Texas she constantly searched for mystical elements in the mundane. She buried her nose in both fiction and books about Wicca, Religion, and Mythology. Everyday became an adventure as she joined a group of role-players, acting out her fantasies of vampires, demons, and monsters living in the world. She embraced her nerdom wholeheartedly. Noree grew, but never left her love for fantasy and horror. Her dreams pushed her and her hand itched to write the visions she saw. So, with her fingers on the keys, she did what her heart had been telling her to do since childhood. She wrote.

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Read an Excerpt

CHAPTER ONE

Hampton, TX, Present Day
Not five minutes in this backwater town and I had a demon sniffing my trail. He scanned the room with the nostrils of his wide nose flaring. His hair lay plastered against his forehead in greasy brown locks. He towered over everyone, even the people standing, as he squeezed between the large round tables and the gathering at the bar. The frayed threads of his jeans and his leather vest matched the dress of the rest of the roadhouse.

I lifted my drink to my mouth and shifted to my second sight. Most people say the eyes are the windows to the soul. Those people can’t see auras. The lights on the walls dimmed, and the air took on a gray haze, like seeing things under water. Colors bloomed out from each human in the building, blending together in a rainbow. The demon was another matter.

The shaggy black dog the size of a pony stood semi-imposed on all fours over the form of the man. Flames blazed from its eyes as it scanned the room. Was there really a dog walking through a busy Texas bar? No. Demons had no corporeal form and had to possess physical bodies. This one chose a werewolf. Dio, I had a hellhound on my ass.

Talk about bad timing. Ose already had some of his minions patrolling. If it found me, it would go running to its master to let him know I was in town. My hunt was in danger of ending before it even started.

Breathe, Gabby.

I leaned forward and let my black curtain of hair obscure my face. The lid of the salt shaker twisted off in my empty hand and I knocked it over, allowing the grains to spill on the floor. The salt should cover my scent. I slid closer to the group at the next table until I looked like I belonged with them.

One of the men grinned at me, his aura a happy yellow orange. “Hey babe.”

I nodded and raised my glass, but kept my gaze on the hellhound. He paused at a man at the bar who had caught my attention, or more his aura did. A ghostly image of a woman leaned over him, whispering in his ear. My hand tightened around the beer mug, but the mutt moved on. I relaxed. The colors around the people in the bar faded, as did the ghost woman when my sight returned to normal. The haze remained, more from cigarette smoke. I turned my head to the front of the bar. One window and one door were not much of an escape route. Fifty feet of inebriated patrons stood between me and freedom.

Two of the three men I had been waiting for walked through the door. A familiar tingle ran down my spine. For a moment, I flashed back to a dressing room, staring down another Romanian hunter. We’d come across the same prey, though he thought it was a vampire. I inhaled, bringing myself back to the present. This wasn’t the twenties, I wasn’t in Paris, and these brothers weren’t Dimitri.

Both had his chiseled features and his straight nose, though their hair was more of a burnt sienna. The one in front wore his cut short and had a tuft on his chin. He towered over his brother, which meant he would be a mountain compared to my small height. The other kept his hair tucked behind his ears. He stood with his arms crossed, wearing a smirk to let the world know he knew everything.

They cast their eyes over the room. The tall one adjusted the glasses on his face and approached the man sitting at the bar. Several women watched them as they passed. A smile touched my lips. The boys knew how to dress to make an impression. Their leather coats and slacks spoke of sophistication yet still provided enough flexibility to move if needed.

I stood and nodded at the boys who’d been trying to talk to me. Rude, but it was time to work. Besides, they were too young for me. I straightened my red tank top and brushed any wrinkles from my jeans. I couldn’t approach them looking like a guttersnipe. A stool opened up on the other side of them. I took the seat and tried to look casual while listening in on the brothers’ conversation. The bartender stood in front of me, waiting for an order.

I pointed to a beer and leaned back to get a better look at the third man. His back remained mostly to me, giving me a glimpse of his bearded cheek and a ponytail a shade darker in color than the other two. Brother number three. I inched forward to hear better over someone’s bad rendition of “Bad Moon Rising.”

“Ader.” The tall man spoke in Romanian. “Your prison sentence hasn’t ended yet.”
“I got out for being brilliant,” the man at the bar said without turning around.
“Does the warden know that?” the third one asked.

If I remembered correctly, this generation of Van Helsings had four boys. Adam, the oldest, had passed away ten years ago. So that left Esais, Adrian, and Tres. The smirking boy had to be Tres he looked the youngest. Was Ader short for Adrian? Ader chuckled. “The warden didn’t have much of a say.”

Esais, the tall one, pinched the bridge of his nose and closed his eyes. He shook his head, letting out a long sigh as he looked at his brothers.

“Honestly,” he said. “First you end up in jail, and now you’re breaking out. You haven’t changed.”
“You expected me to?” Adrian asked.
“Why are you here?” Esais asked.
“Same reason as you. Revenge.”
Tres crossed his arms. “Why do you even care? You were never around when we needed you.”

Adrian turned to face his brothers, causing both of them to gasp. A patch covered his right eye while the other stared hard at Tres. Esais reached out to touch Adrian’s arm, but he pulled away.

“What happened?” Esais asked.
“Not important.” Adrian turned back to the bar. “Who were you told to meet?”
“A woman named Gabriella Di Luca.”
“Any idea what this woman looks like?”

Esais glanced in my direction with hesitation and opened his mouth.

I cleared my throat, raising my hand in a small wave. “Buna seara.”

Adrian and Tres turned their heads with near identical expressions of distrust. They didn’t expect someone to speak their native language here. I was a stranger invading their family circle.

“Who are you?” Adrian asked.
“Gabriella.”
“Convenient.” The word dripped with sarcasm.

We didn’t have time for this. The hairs on the back of my neck stood up. My gaze traveled to the table-filled area further in the room. The hellhound’s wiry form had disappeared through a large door to the right. The atrocious singing wafted through there. This would be a perfect time to exit.

“We need to speak, but not here,” I said.
“We’re not going anywhere with you.”
“Ader,” Esais said.
Adrian looked back at his brother. “We have no proof she is who she claims to be.”
“He’s right. You could be a demon,” Tres said.
“Then you already revealed yourselves with your conversation,” I said. “Look, how much do you know of demons?”
“I’ve read several books on the subject,” Esais said. “That question doesn’t answer our doubts.”
“Do I fit the description you were given?”

Esais adjusted his glasses before nodding.

“Then, can we leave? I may not be one, but there is a demon here.”

Two turned their heads, their muscles tensing as they scanned the bar while Adrian kept his eye on me. The hellhound stepped back into the room and turned his head in my direction. His gaze locked on me, and he began shoving his way through the crowded tables and chairs.

I stood. “Too late.”

Discover Your Destiny: Guest Post and Giveaway by author Eleanor T. Beaty

Yay it’s my stop for this awesome blog event, Discover Your Destiny! Read more about Eleanor T. Beaty’s book Souls of Darkness and enjoy this guest post by the author. She talks about seeing spirits–is it a gift or a curse? Uh huh, interesting, right?

Oh, there are TWO giveaways during this event. Yep, you read it right. TWO! Don’t forget to enter to win some awesome stuff and a Kindle Paperwhite! :)

About Souls of Darkness

Alex’s life is turned upside down after his father’s sudden death. An old pamphlet found in his father’s belongings leads Alex and his mother, Charlotte, to a remote Polynesian island. His mother longs for a place untouched by past memories, and Alex hopes the trip will help her to heal. Their arrival on the island elicits an eerie episode of déjà vu for Alex, and he begins to wonder about the pamphlet and his father’s past. Why did he have it? Had he been there before? Alex senses something is off with the island. Progress is unwelcome by the inhabitants. A local girl reveals the history of the island and its dark spirits. She warns him to never be caught outside after dark, but Alex finds it all hard to believe… Until inexplicable and terrifying events begin to unfold. While digging for information, Alex finds his presence on the haunted island is not by chance. Rangur, the most evil of souls, aims to use him to acquire great power. There’s only one way Alex can stop him and for that he must uncover his father’s past connection to the island.

Seeing Spirits – A Gift?
There will always be the question or doubt whether being able to see, communicate and interact with spirits is a gift. When I began to study spiritualism (and I am still a beginner no matter how much I study) I came across the explanation that we choose to have or not have this gift before we are born and we choose how much it will impact our lives and destiny. For some reason you asked for it, and I’m not meaning this in a bad way, because God is not so unkind to throw such a burden on someone without previous preparation or permission. That is what I learned. I’m sure there will be people who don’t agree and they have a right to their opinion.
Truth is we all have the ability to be mediums if we want to develop it through practice and study, but it won’t be as strong as those who come with the gift from birth. 
So back to the – you were given a choice- POV. Why would one choose such a gift? One of the reasons would be to help both the living and the dead. For those that don’t believe in past lives this might not make sense, but accepting such a burden is a way of repaying a past debt. There are many different reasons why, but the most common is that, at another time, you may have hurt people through your actions. So think of this not as a burden but as an opportunity to give back and grow, move forward and settle past debts. It is not an easy gift to deal with, as not all spirits that cross your path are easy on the eyes, or good, but there are plenty of tools at hand to teach you how to handle this gift and dominate it so that it doesn’t dominate your life. 
I know plenty of people that think that if they ignore it, it will go away. Denial doesn’t work. I have someone close to me who will turn on all the light in the house when alone and sleep with the TV on loud, just so he can’t hear those invisible friends. One day he’ll give in and probably find an amazing fulfillment with helping people, from both sides.
I don’t have that type of gift. I don’t see, nor do I hear. I always wished I’d had it, but I guess that wasn’t part of my life-plan. However, I have always been around people who have, so I’ve seen close up what it’s like to live with such a gift and use it to help others. The person I learned the most from was an assistant I had a long time ago. Her gift began in her early childhood, and as expected, the first time she told her mother, right after her grandfather died, that he had come to say goodbye, she was dragged off to the psychiatrist. A few years later her mother came to understand and accept her gift and gave her full support. 
My assistant was what is called an unconscious medium, meaning when she’s incorporated by a spirit she will have no recollection, nor control. During her first years, her gift took over her life and it was hell. She received visitors at all times. She would wake up in the strangest places. Through studies she managed to stop that; she learned to sense their approach and block the spirits from taking over. She came to dominate her gift. Sometimes, while we were in a meeting, she would start looking behind me and I would know there was someone there. It could get weird. She did pay a price for such a gift in her personal life, as in she didn’t have much of one, but she helped so many people her sacrifice was rewarded. She never used it to make money, but what if one does? Is it allowed?
In my opinion, the true spiritualist will never charge because they are only the transmitter and those who are actually doing the work, the spirits, are doing it out of kindness and they don’t get paid. However, there are exceptions, and making a humble living when sacrificing your life to help others is allowed. But if you try to use it to exploit people in their hour of need, or to glorify yourself, there will be a price to pay. I saw an amazing tarot reader go from getting everything right to everything wrong when she began to think she could charge a fortune for a service provided by others. She made the mistake of thinking she was the one who could see the future all on her own. Besides losing her high paying clients, she went through a tough time in her personal life.
Seeing and communicating with spirits is a gift and an opportunity to grow. This gift comes accompanied by friends to guide us, our mentors. Our character and our intentions will determine what kind of friends and mentors will surround us. And just like the gift is given, it can be taken away if misused, or it can even hurt us the same way we used it to hurt others.

Eleanor T. Beaty is a Young Adult Paranormal author. A worldly person born in beautiful Brazil and spent much of her childhood in several places (Argentina, Switzerland, and the US to name a few). She holds a BA in English Literature and is published in both Brazil and Turkey.

Eleanor loves spirituality and magic – both have allowed her to gain a strong grip on life and enjoy what it has to offer. She believes that everything has a reason and understanding those reasons help us deal with the difficult moments. Eleanor currently enjoys life with her husband in Brazil.

Follow her at http://eleanortbeaty.com/

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