Monday, October 31, 2011


The GrimoIRE Chronicles:
Veil Between Worlds by Sally Dubats

Seventeen-year-old Cassie leaves school for home one afternoon and encounters a beautiful boy with an enchanting voice who steals her life force then makes her forget the attack ever happened. For other girls the memory loss would be the end of the story, but Cassie is Wiccan and she uses her intelligence and authentic witchcraft to remember the truth. Her spell sets in motion a dangerous mind-blowing adventure that takes her to another dimension, the astral plane, where anything is possible and a perilous romance with Trenton blossoms. Cassie learns that Trenton is a Siren. Ruthless, deadly and elegant, the Sirens are an evolved species, a combination of the Muses, the Graces, and the Undead. They have influenced human art, music, and dance through the ages -- with a price, and Trenton’s family is renovating a decaying resort to open a school for teens gifted in the arts. A dangerous love triangle develops between Trenton, his intended Siren Match Iris, and his true Match Cassie, turning Cassie’s world upside down. Halloween looms and the veil between worlds thins. Stereotypes break down when friends come to Cassie’s aid, and she must delve deeper into her knowledge of witchcraft to discover the High Priestess within. The tale culminates at midnight on Halloween in a desperate astral battle to save each other from Iris’s fury or be trapped on the astral plane forever.

My thoughts:

This is a brilliant foray into paranormal romance and Wiccan practices. This stunning beautiful masterpiece drew me in from the first page as the book touched on many aspects of my solitary Pagan path. The author is a practicing Wiccan; her book introduced the reader into the different facets of the Wicca religion. Basic concepts were touched upon in the beginning of the book, weaving the Wiccan element with romance masterfully. It was a refresher on some of my own practices so I enjoyed it immensely. Some of the things that were shared in the book were astral travel, tarot cards, spell crafting, Book of Shadows, the God and Goddess, reincarnation, and Summerland. It’s almost like you are actually reading a Book of Shadows in the beginning.
The average reader may be put off at first with the alternative religion references but if they have an open mind, they will thoroughly enjoy the flow of the book.  As the story continues, you find yourself really rooting for Trenton and Cassie’s budding romance and feeling pity for the villainess.
This is granted a 5 fairy rating for the blend of romance, Wiccan practices, and paranormal. I am highly anticipating the next book in the series.

Sally Dubats Social Media Sites








Wednesday, October 26, 2011


andrew van way guest blog and book giveaway
In conjunction with my Halloween themed posts this month, here is another guest post by Andrew Van Wey, author of Forsaken, his spine tingling new horror eBook.  Being the wonderful guy he is, he has graciously offered up 5 copies of his e-book with a special message from him in each one.
To enter, please answer the question,

Caring is Scaring... and Sharing.  Lessons Learned from the Front Lines of The Candy Brigade. 

Halloween gets a bad rap.  Mention Thanksgiving and people think of food and family.  Bring up Christmas and it’s toys and sharing.  Both are Hallmark ready, dripping with meaning and special lessons ready to be summed in a Charlie Brown special. 

Poor Halloween just sits there, the turd in the punchbowl; a holiday for kids and a few creepy adults; a glucose-fueled parade upstaged by its more serious holiday siblings Thanksgiving and Christmas.    

Of all the lessons I learned as a kid, few came from those Hallmark posers in November to December.  Yet one of the most important came from Halloween. 

I grew up just south of San Francisco, where the weirdoes were the ones that traded in their protest banners and beards to build computers and companies out of their garages.  Crime didn’t happen, or if it did it involved toilet paper and an unlucky house.  Even in October the days were warm.  We played soccer after school and biked home, laughing and pushing each other into bushes as we quoted The Goonies.

Basically, I grew up in the suburbs. 

Each summer was endless, each winter mild, and every Halloween Night was a contest to see who could get the most candy.  Our costumes were our weapons, our baskets were our reserves, and at the end of every night we’d tally up our mountains of glucose and declare a winner.  That kid would keep the crown of Candy King until next year or, more often, until around Guy Fawkes day when we forgot it.

It was Kind of a Big Deal.

There were four of us, the Candy Crew.  Felix, the leader.  Brock the jock.  Myself, the small one.  And Melvin. 

I was the oldest, Felix an only child.  Brock was adored by his parents, and I’m sure Melvin was too but he had the unfortunate place of being the fifth in a family of five boys and two teachers.  Clothes were handed down hand-me-downs, fourth string rags that were vintage before vintage was in.  He was always half a decade behind the style.

Threads and shreds and well-worn clothes be damned, he was still one of us.

Except on Halloween. 

That night all bonds of friendship were severed.  We were all enemies, obstacles in the way of being the one with the most candy.  Like good little Silicon Valley capitalist entrepreneurs in training, it wasn’t personal, it was business.

We must’ve been eight or nine because I was a Ninja Turtle and so was Brock.  I think Felix was some Jason Voorhees Freddy Kruger combination.  Melvin was supposed to be an Arcade Game, perhaps Double Dragon, but he looked nothing like it.  His costume was a series of cardboard boxes stacked together, scribbled upon, and held to each other by duct tape like some vagrant’s pile of recycling.  It had probably been his oldest brother’s costume five Halloweens back.  I swear one of the boxes was for an Apple II.

Our plan of attack was to hit the Peter Coutts neighborhood.  The streets were close together, the houses many.  Our candy to walking ratio was high, the doorbell to doorbell distance ratio low. 

To make our chances better we jettisoned our traditional plastic pumpkin candy buckets in favor of pillowcases.  Earlier we raided our parents’ linen closets, getting whatever high tensile 400 thread count carbon fiber NASA/Ames prototypes we could find.

Except Melvin.  Like the costume his pillowcase was a hand me down, something that looked like a gunny sack that might have held beans on a tramp steamer.  We went door to door, smiling, pillowcases outstretched, practiced smiles and polite “thank you’s” before scampering off.

To a kid there are three kinds of candy.  The top shelf stuff, Three Musketeers, Butterfinger, Mounds, your standard bar candy shrunk down for Halloween. 

The second tier is the tradable kind, the single Rollo’s, the Smarties, the sticks of gum, or those crappy bottles that are half syrup, half wax.  You could exchange these around five to one for a packet of Twizzlers or some top shelf candy during after-hours trading once the candy count was clear and fair market price was established.

Then there’s the crap candy. 

It’s not even candy, it’s health food that just happens to be sweet.  Raisins and apples and dates that comes twisted in a pouch with a little bow.  If you gave this to us it usually ended up tossed on your roof.  It’s simple physics.  Your organic pear weighs as much as ten Snickers, and we’re carrying these for hours.  Try not to slip on the bananas flung back onto your driveway.

(Apologies to those of you who do give fruit for Halloween.  Seriously though, drop a fiver on a bag of Snickers at Wal-Mart or just turn out the lights and pretend you’re not home.)

After almost two hours our mission was drawing to a close.  We’d cleared almost all the houses and our pillowcases looked like we were carrying small corpses.  Melvin’s bag was leaking candy and the clouds were thick and flickering.  Then, it started raining.

Not just a little.  It rained like god was mad at us.  One moment dry, next minute soaked.  Our extraction point was a few blocks away and we covered those last dozen houses in tag teams, queuing up three doorbells deep and holding the spot for our buddies as we snatched that candy before any adult could finish saying how cute our costumes were.  All the while our costumes are growing heavy and Melvin’s cardboard was clinging to his body in places and sloughing off in others.

We cleared the last house, yanked the candy from the owner’s hands, and ran across the field towards that idling Ford Taurus for evac.

Except, it wasn’t an empty field anymore.  It was mud death trap.  We fought it, four pairs of feet getting sucked in from below while soaked from above.  Half a football field away sat my friend’s mom, doing a crossword puzzle in her car, unaware that we were about to be swallowed by the Swamp of Sadness.

It was every kid for himself.  We struggled, fought, and then we heard the scream.  There lay Melvin, middle of the mud, face down, gunny sack split open and candy scattered everywhere.  We could see some of it, a few wrappers between lightning flashes and passing cars.  We fumbled around, grabbing rocks and Reese’s Cups, throwing anything in our bag and dragging Melvin back to the car where we screamed: “Get us out of here!”

Every year the candy crew convened post Halloween and poured its score out into little mountains like sugary Scarfaces.  Except this year.

We removed the rocks and separated the crap candy from the rest.  We put it all in one big pile.  Then we split it up four ways.  Even Steven.  Sure, some of us came out behind, but we still had enough to last us until Christmas if we ate a few a day. 

Maybe we were all little socialists in training, maybe we just realized it was the right thing to do.  All I know is every Thanksgiving I’m supposed enjoy a meal and reflect on the joy of family.  Every Christmas I’m supposed to share because it’s expected. 

I’m not saying I don’t do that or feel that, but...

Sitting there, soaked and muddy, sugared up and laughing with our spoils between us on that Halloween, maybe we learned that it wasn’t the size of the score that mattered, but the friends you shared it with.

And no holiday meal has ever tasted sweeter than that.

find Andrew at the following social media sites




Saturday, October 22, 2011


I’m pleased to introduce Áine Massie to my little place on the web. She is author of Blood’s Voice and the forthcoming Blood Bound. It was an honor to share her insights with you the reader. She is having a giveaway of her books in conjunction with her official blog tour.GIVEAWAY ENDED 10/31/11

Tour Recap

Áine Massie Interview

Áine P Massie is originally from Florida, she now lives in Wisconsin where she works on her House Millar series full time while raising four children (the term herding cats comes to mind). Her major in College was Childhood Education (0-5) with a minor study in Deaf Culture/ASL. She is also a Wiccan priestess dedicated to the gods, family, and love.

A life-long reader, Áine has always had a particular fascination with vampires, mythology, and the unusual. When she can escape from her children and books, she enjoys .. oh yes, reading, playing, ritual, a good cappuccino, and working with her healing stones.

Her first published work came in high school where she was part of a writing and drama group. But, she’s been reading the likes of Shakespeare and Poe since late elementary school and enjoys most forms of fiction. Blood’s Voice has been a long time in coming and with its publication (June 2011) Áine embarked on a new chapter in her life.

Blood’s Voice

Anya Millar had no memory of her life or an instruction manual on how to navigate the insane world of humans, biting, and reality. Instead, Anya has had to learn to navigate the world of love, life, and sanity while avoiding those that would see her dead or enslaved.

This is the ongoing journey of Anya and Nicholas, human loving vampires and the human they love, Declán. What makes it all more complicated is that they are abominations in their own world and Declán is a natural born vampire hunter called a Guardian.

Anya must come to terms with who she is and her missing past, Nicholas must win back the object of his eternal love while dealing with new cravings in his silent heart, and Declán must learn to destroy the very creatures that he has unequivocally given his heart and blood.

Did you always want to be a writer? If so, what medium did you choose to starting writing? Was it Poetry, Short Stories, Novellas, Novels??

I have always written, especially in school.  I wrote a lot of poetry and short stories at that point.  A lot of it was the release feelings or to explore my own thoughts more. 
“Blood’s Voice” was my first novel length work.

What was the inspiration for your book, Blood Voice?

Anya started out as a crazy idea for a game, RPG, that I was preparing for.  I bounced the idea off a couple of friends and with their encouragement I started writing.  I didn’t set out to write a full length novel nor did I base the story off of something else per se.  I’m sure it has similarities at times to other things I watched or read but it was never deliberate.

What is your favorite genre to read and why?

Paranormal, preferably with a romantic flair to it.  I just love reading about non-humans, esp vampires, were’s, fae, winged humanoids, and mere-kin.  Don’t know the specific reason I just always have.  I do and have read books where all the people were normals but I just don’t (in most cases, there are a few exceptions ;) ) get into them as much.

Do you prefer to be indie published, self-published, or traditional published?? Why?

I publish through my own label, Geas Publishing.  I wouldn’t mind being more traditionally pub’d but I’m not stressing it either way.  I have complete creative control like this, which I like!  Trad Pub would provide a lot of things I can’t do myself, or at least don’t know how to yet, but I chose to publish myself for “Blood’s Voice” and “Blood Bound” instead of waiting years as so many authors are forced to do.

Did you ever experience a major life changing event? If so, did that impact your writing at all?

I have experienced a few events that would fall into that classification, both good and bad.  I think the two that most had impact in how I perceived the world for use in my books would be finding someone that could look past my flaws and broken issues and love me as I was/am and the loss of half my pregnancies.
Anya is broken in some ways and struggles to deal with her ‘issues’ while striving for connections even though she’s a vampire with little memory of her life... and none she wants.  I didn’t suffer the things Anya has but the principle is the same.  Loss, pain, struggling to find within the confidence and strength of self.

If you could be a book genre, which one would you choose and why?

I’d be what I write, only without the torture, lol.  As I stated before, I love paranormal things so that’s what I’d chose to be. :)

Name a song(s) that define(s) you as a writer.

Oh, hard one... hum...  Dirt Room by Blue October I think would be good.  I know it’s a weird choice but if you look at my main character it makes sense, at least to me. ;)

If the world was on the edge of extinction, how would you survive??

I have absolutely no clue, lol.  A survivalist I am not.  If the world in question was my own creation I’d seek the help of the House Millar, gladly offering my neck in exchange for surviving. ;)

What advice would you give to other aspiring writers like myself??

Never give up.  There are many that would disregard or belittle works for many reasons... never listen.  Some of the greatest writers have suffered the same, the lesson I took from one of my favs as a child is that perseverance is key. 
That doesn’t mean don’t listen to constructive criticism, but not to let the opinions of others stop you!

What other projects do you have on the horizon??

Write now I’m working on the third book in the series, “Glamour Blade.”  Yes, it’s spelled correctly, it’s just not American English, lol.  It is written from the point of view of Rory, a fae warrior and seer.  A few characters will feature in the book but while much about Anya will be revealed, she is not the focus. 
She will be in book four though, so don’t fear I’m leaving her behind.

Tell us about 5 books that changed your life in some way??

Dracula, the Stand, the Complete Works of Edgar Allen Poe, the Canterbury Tales, and (don’t laugh) the Cat in the Hat.

If you could time travel, what time period would you go to and why??

Ancient Ireland.  I love so much of the history and would love to visit it first hand.  It would have to be pre-church take over though... I want to go when women were warriors and equals. 

And a fun one, what would you do if there was a zombie apocalypse?

Find my loyal fanged ones to protect me from the nasty brain eating hoards.  Let’s see... terrorized and eventually killed by zombies or red on by the sexy undead.... no-brainer here :D

Please put any social media links here or anything else you would like to share with your potential readers.

Facebook: Blood’s Voice / Blood Bound Tour

Thanks for doing the interview!!!

Thank you for having me.  It’s been a pleasure and an honor.

Thursday, October 20, 2011


Reverb Review by Jeri Cafesin  

Blurb from Goodreads
James Michael Whren is brilliant, beautiful, wealthy, and taken-with himself, or more precisely, his genius for creating music. The object of desire for many, James's greatest passion is for his muse. But on the evening after his brother's funeral, his father turns his life upside down, and James is left abandoned in hell with no one to save him. James finally escapes, and on his run for freedom he's forced to confront the man he was as he seeks asylum from old friends and ex-lovers. Humbled and almost defeated, he finds refuge on a small Greek island. But with solitude comes madness. Then James meets Elisabeth. Reverb is a story of redemption, and follows one man's extraordinary journey of emotional growth through his discovery of his capacity to love.

My thoughts

First off, I have to say this isn’t my usual genre but the music element intrigued me so I decided to read it. The book wasn’t what I expected. Once you get past the slow moving plot, you find an emotional tale about a man’s obsession and the roads he has to travel to find himself again. He meets Elisabeth and her son Cameron on a small Greek island and slowly moves closer to that goal. This was an emotional read and I really enjoyed reading it. Jeri weaves a gripping emotional roller coaster ride.
I give this book 4 fairy rating as I didn’t get into it as much as I thought I would but it was a good read nonetheless.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


 Troy Lambert Guest Blog & Book Giveaway

Please welcome Troy Lambert, author of Broken Bones short story collection, to my blog today with a SCARY guest post in anticipation for Halloween. He has graciously offered for giveaway to one lucky commenter, a copy of Broken Bones.

Please answer the following question:

What is your most memorable scare???

Please fill out the Rafflecopter form for Blogger or answer the question in the Wordpress comment field and make sure to leave your email address. GIVEAWAY ENDED~~~

Devil in a School Dress

The windshield was spattered with blood. Her blood.

Why did Brad have to have such a high mountain driveway? A mangy black dog had run into the road and she had swerved to miss it. The passenger side wheels left the pavement. She tried to correct, got them back on solid ground, but slid sideways. That’s when the rear wheels left the pavement and the car tumbled end over end down the hill.

She was seat belted in, and every air bag in the Volvo her husband had insisted on buying her had deployed. Her husband, who was on business in Chicago with the advertising firm they both worked for. Somehow in all the flipping the car had turned around and now she was facing downhill looking at a tree through the spider webbed cracks and droplets of blood. She tried to lift her right arm to touch her head, and pain shot through her arm and up to her shoulder. Broken.

Her husband had insisted on the Volvo for the safety. Yet she was headed to Brad’s to celebrate Halloween after she had called her husband earlier in the evening and told him she had a headache and would be going to bed early. He had been concerned. “You sure you are okay honey?” he asked. 

She had reassured him. Of course she was fine, she had told him. It was just a little headache. She was going to stay home.

“Goodnight. I love you,” he said.

“Goodnight,” she had answered and hung up. She touched her forehead with her left hand and it came away soaked. There was a lot of blood and she smelled something she didn’t like. Gas.

She tried to open the door. It was twisted and mangled into place. She couldn’t move it.  Frantic, she banged her left shoulder into it over and over, finally falling back into the seat. She undid her seat belt and stared at the center console. It had popped open in the crash and inside was one of those little brass hammers for breaking the window if you were underwater. Her husband had insisted she carry it. At the same time she spotted her cell phone on the passenger side floor. It was lit up and ringing. Even from here she could see the name on the caller ID. It was Brad. She tried to reach it with her left hand. She couldn’t reach the phone, but her hand closed around the handle of the hammer.

The gas smell seemed to get suddenly stronger and she retched nearly losing the light dinner she had eaten earlier. With a rapid reflex she raised the hammer and broke the window pushing it out. Fresh air flooded the car and she attempted to turn her legs to slide out the window. Her right ankle protested, but not as loudly as her arm. She screamed with a start and then began to move more carefully. An inch at a time she eased herself out the window, working her shoulders out first including her dangling right arm. Holding on with her left she judged the distance to the ground dreading the drop.

Her cell chirped again, the signal for a text message. As it did the right side of the car exploded pushing her out of the window and into the dirt. She landed on her right side, and then began to roll rapidly downhill. She fetched up against a tree with a grunt, and for a moment the world went black.

She awoke to two things: smoke and fire. She struggled to stand, and kicked off the ridiculous red heels she had been wearing. She looked down at her costume, suddenly ashamed. A devil in a schoolgirl dress? Really? It had seemed so playful and harmless at the time. Her legs were scratched and the red stockings were shredded. The tail and pitchfork still protruded though at an odd angle from under the plaid skirt. She thought of the red garters there, the red matching bra under her white button up blouse now stained with blood.

At least your underwear are clean, She thought and giggled thinking of her mother’s odd obsession. Her thoughts were interrupted by crackling flames. The hillside was on fire. There was a trail a foot from where she landed that led downhill.

Always go uphill form a fire, her husband’s voice said inside her head.

She looked at the heavy underbrush. “I can’t honey,” she said out loud. “I love you.” She limped down the trail, full of regret, moving as quickly as she could. A few yards ahead she saw a gate. A sign read:

Abbandonate ogni speranza che entrate.

It looked oddly familiar but she couldn’t remember where from. She went through. As she did the air changed. It smelled like burning sulfur.

She turned and looked back through. There, closer than she thought possible was her crushed Volvo. Flames licked hungrily at the hillside around it, and right next to the driver’s side door lay a body. She recognized the costume, and the little headband with the red horns laying by the head.

“Welcome,” a deep voice said. She turned and saw a beautiful blond angel. He looked a lot like Brad.

“Thank God,” she sighed. For a second I thought. . .

He held up a hand. “Your costume is a poor imitation of me,” he stated. Her face fell. He straightened to a regal pose and began to speak:

I am the way into the city of woe.
I am the way to a forsaken people.
I am the way into eternal sorrow.

Sacred justice moved my architect.
I was raised here by divine omnipotence,
primordial love and ultimate intellect.

Only those elements time cannot wear
were made before me, and beyond time I stand.
Abbandonate ogni speranza che entrate.

“Abandon Hope All Ye Who Enter Here,” his voice filled the world with the translation.

She cried out in horror and screamed. Lucifer stood silent waiting patiently for her to stop.

Troy Lambert is author of the short story collection-“Broken Bones”. He is a freelance writer and historian from North Idaho where he lives with two gifted dogs, two of his five children, and his lovely wife of ten years.

Troy Lambert Website

Troy Lambert Blog


Facebook Author Page


Monday, October 17, 2011



Today, I’m pleased to have M. Edward McNally on my blog for an interview and book giveaway. He is generously donating 1 set of all three of his Sable City series to one lucky commenter and 2 copies of Sable City to 2 lucky commenters. Please answer the question, “What character would you be if you were in an epic fantasy?” GIVEAWAY HAS ENDED~~

What inspired you to become a writer??

- Literally, it was in second grade and the class wrote poems, I think the theme was a particular color or something simple like that. The teacher sent them to the local paper, the Kansas City Star, and they ran mine. My name in print, I was hooked. :-)

What character(s) of your book(s) do you most relate to??

- One of the things I wanted to do by writing in the Epic Fantasy genre was to sort of play with the standard tropes, not in a disrespectful way, but just to keep things interesting. So I don’t really have straight “black and white” heroes or villains, just people with competing interests all trying to do what they think is right. To that extent I guess I relate to them all, or else the readers probably wouldn’t relate to them either.

How do you visualize your stories? By dreams? Inner monologue with your characters, dreams, etc.?

- Literally, the series thus far at three books started with a single image of a young woman in a field of steppe grass, approaching a wounded warhorse with an apple in one hand. She’s Tilda Lanai now, and she gives me no rest when I’m not writing her story.

What is your writing ritual? Music?? Silence? Meditation?

- All first drafts are long-hand, I personally can’t get the same emotional connection to characters typing at a scree. I take a notebook everywhere and I’ll write wherever I can: Lunch counters, park benches, against the steering wheel, you name it.

What inspired you to write Sable City?

- That image of Tilda mentioned above. I saw it in my head and just started writing to find out who she was, what she was doing there, how the horse got hurt, etc.

If you could be a book genre? Which one would you choose and why??

- Do I get piercing blue eyes and washboard abs if I say Romance? Would I get to shed my Irish Catholic guilt if I chose erotica? ;-) But really, fantasy. C’mon, who doesn’t want to hang out with a dragon?

What knowledge do you want to share with aspiring authors like myself??

- The more you do it the better you get at it. Really.

if you were stranded on a deserted island, what 5 things would you bring and why??

- Crates of paper and piles of pencils. A good pencil sharpener, one of those metal ones like they use to bolt to the walls in schools. A desk and a chair.

What other books do you have to write or be written in the horizon??

- The series rolls on, sprawling and expanding. I’m going to be here as long as the characters will have me. :-)

If you could have dinner with anyone alive or dead? Who would it be and why??

- James Joyce. As an writer of Irish ancestry, I am culturally obligated to say that.

If you could time travel, what time period would you go to and why??

- I couldn’t hack pre-AC society, I’d have to go forward to see if we ever figure any of this stuff out.

How do you write your books?? By the seat of your pants? Or is it plotted out in advance??

- Total Pantser. Sometimes I think I know where I’m going, but I’m only about 50/50 on it so far. Really, I write to find out what happens myself.

How many books in the future do you see in the The Sable City??

- The Norothian Cycle is at present The Sable City, Death of a Kingdom, and The Wind from Miilark. This feels like the end of Act I.

Here is a twist...10 words or less, what comes to your mind first??

Sun - Phoenix. Not the bird, I live here.

Moon - Druids and Stonehenge.

Fantasy - Tolkien.

Sanity - Insanity.

Stars - The Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Chaos - Madness reigns, in the halls of the mountain king.

What are your social media links for your readers??

Let’s see, I tweet as @medwardmcnally, the series is on facebook at, and I am finally getting a blog where a lot of maps on such for the series are available at

Thanks much Heather, that was fun. :-)

Ed McNally