A Review: In the Red by Selah Janel

I’m back again this week to tell you a little bit about Selah Janel’s new book, In the Red.  It’s a story we’ve heard a million times: boy makes a deal with the devil and ends up regretting it.  BUT WAIT… the last person that wrote that story wasn’t Selah Janel.

I’ve known Selah a while now. I’ve been a fan of her writing back when she was still just doing it for fun.  She’s always had a quirky perspective on the world and a way of putting words together that is both disturbing and hilarious.  In the Red does not disappoint.  It is the story of a miserably unsuccessful musician, Jeremiah Kensington, who is willing to do anything to get out of the countrified rut he’s gotten himself into. Enter Jack Scratch.  Jack offers to make him a star with a new life, new band and new image.  With the new image comes a new pair of boots that seem to hold a mysterious power.  But the longer he wears the boots the more he realizes that the price he’s paid is high.

It is obvious to anyone who reads In the Red that Miss Janel did a lot of research.  She’s spoken to musicians and other performers to try and delve into their psyche.  It’s very evident in the first couple of chapters that Janel has a handle on the struggle that Jeremiah is going through.  Then later, the unwilling transformation that he goes through and realizing how selfish his pursuits have been– it really keeps the reader glued to the pages.  At least it did for me.

Another thing that I loved about In the Red was Janel’s narrative voice.  Her snarky personality, clever wit and intelligence comes shining through.  She assumes that the reader is intelligent and doesn’t dumb down situations and descriptives.  Her prose is refined, yet accessible.  The story will appeal to young, frustrated adults as well as an older audience that remember the decadence and opulence of the glam rock era.

If you’re looking for an exciting read that keeps you guessing right up until the end– and oh my sweet heavens what an ending– I recommend In the Red with absolutely no reservations.  It’s just so different from anything else out there.  Skirting the line between urban fantasy and horror, each chapter keeps the reader guessing and engaged.  Run out and pick up your copy TODAY!

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About In The Red by Selah Janel

Live like a rock star. Dance ‘til you die. Are you in?

What kind of a rock star lives in a small town in the middle of nowhere and plays at weddings and funerals? That’s what Jeremiah Kensington is thinking after an unsuccessful bar gig one night. Then Jack Scratch comes into his life, ready to represent him and launch him to stardom. Jack can give him everything: a new band, a new name, a new life, a new look, and new boots…although they aren’t exactly new. They once belonged to The One, a rocker so legendary and so mysterious that it’s urban legend that he used black magic to gain success. But what does Jeremiah care about urban legend? And it’s probably just coincidence that the shoes make him dance better than anyone, even if it doesn’t always feel like he’s controlling his movements. It’s no big deal that he plunges into a world of excess and decadence as soon as he puts the shoes on his feet, right?

But what happens when they refuse to come off?

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About Selah Janel…

Selah Janel has been blessed with a giant imagination since she was little and convinced that fairies lived in the nearby state park or vampires hid in the abandoned barns outside of town. Her appreciation for a good story was enhanced by a love of reading, the many talented storytellers that surrounded her, and a healthy curiosity for everything. A talent for warping everything she learned didn’t hurt, either. She gravitates to writing fantasy and horror, but can be convinced to pursue any genre if the idea is good enough. Often her stories feature the unknown creeping into the “real” world and she loves to find the magical in the mundane.

 She has four e-books with No Boundaries Press, including the historical vampire story ‘Mooner’ and the contemporary short ‘The Other Man’. Her work has also been included in ‘The MacGuffin’, ‘The Realm Beyond’, ‘Stories for Children Magazine’, and the upcoming Wicked East Press anthology ‘Bedtime Stories for Girls’. She likes her music to rock, her vampires lethal, her fairies to play mind games, and her princesses to hold their own.

Peep through Selah’s window…

Bloghttp://www.selahjanel.wordpress.com

Fandom Scene Columnhttp://www.fandomfestblog.com/blogs/selah-janel

Facebook Author Pagehttp://www.facebook.com/authorSJ

Facebook Book Pagehttp://www.facebook.com/intherednovel

Goodreadshttp://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5622096.Selah_Janel

Amazon Author Pagehttp://www.amazon.com/Selah-Janel/e/B0074DKC9K/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1346815995&sr=1-2-ent

Twitterhttp://www.twitter.com/SelahJanel

In the Red with Selah Janel: Happy Endings

I have the unique opportunity to be the first stop on the 2nd leg of the “In the Red” blog tour with Selah Janel.  Let me start off by saying that not only is Selah one of my best friends but she’s also a fantastic writer with more creative ideas in her little toe than in my entire leg.  Well.. at least to the knee.  On today’s stop, she’ll be telling us about writing the perfect ending.  And I can tell you, kittens, In the Red has one of the best endings I’ve ever read…..

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Endings are funny things. Just when you think you’ve got everything wrapped up, just when you think you have a fabulous, punch-in-the-stomach ending that will have everyone on the edge of their seats and talking…things change.

I’ve kept mostly mum about the second half of In the Red on purpose. I don’t want to give everything away, after all! It’s more than that, though. In some ways the second half of the book is also based around a postscript to the fairy tale The Red Shoes, depending on the version you read. Like the first half, it definitely is more urban fantasy in style and takes it’s time. It’s the part of the book where I really began to realize just how much I liked my character Jeremiah Kensington, and just how much I could relate to him in some ways.

Ever since the plot was a short story, it was my instinct and intention to end it at the height of the action, where the first part of the book ends. I was all for it up until my first round of edits…and I just couldn’t do it. I’m not sure how it exactly happened, but I suddenly, instinctively knew that there was much more to Jeremiah, and much more to the story.

This was a very hard and very long section to write. Not only did I keep thinking up ideas, but they kept shifting, and it took a long while for me to make sense of everything. It also required a lot of research into places I was unfamiliar with. I think people forget that it isn’t just about the research – you still have to find a way to make sense of it all, relate it to your plot and characters, and make it make sense for the situation…otherwise it’s just showing off how many facts you’ve been able to find out. You have to relate it in a way that accents the story instead of overshadows it. Thankfully, I was able to tap into the more emotional side of things, because I also had an unholy fear of getting something wrong or out of context. Most of the time my life became a mix of work and writing, and even when I was away from my computer I was going over everything in my head repeatedly, trying to get things to make sense.

Jeremiah comes to grip with a lot in the second half of the book. Not only does he have to realize that his life is changed forever, but there are some very serious consequences to making a deal that seems too easy, especially when it’s with a dark force. He has to face up to his addictions, his desperate need for fame, and his use of the red boots as a crutch – a crutch that has dire consequences that he only realizes way too late in the game. It’s interesting to me that sometimes when we realize something is bad for us, we still depend on it. We still want it. We still long for it, and lash out at those that have our best interests at heart. I’ve done it at certain hard points in my life, and revisiting my own behavior and reactions was not an easy process, though I’d like to think that it made Jeremiah’s actions a little more believable. He starts out as a selfish person, he’s enabled to become an extremely selfish person, and now he suddenly has to decide whether he’s going to break or try to move forward.

It’s a hard fact of life that sometimes you’re dropped to your knees. Sometimes you have to face the music, so to speak, or at least deal with repercussions to actions you never thought would lead to any bad results. Sometimes it’s an accident, sometimes it’s something stupid, but sometimes, sometimes you have to take a deep breath and realize that you’ve had moments where you’ve acted truly horrible. Jeremiah definitely has to deal with that, and at the same time he has to figure out what exactly is his reality, and what isn’t…or are all the strange things he’s seeing really withdrawal or is there more to his business deal than meets the eye? He has to learn that not everybody is going to like him or even want to understand him, but there are people who are in his corner, though they aren’t the people he initially wants there. He also has to learn that there are things that are harder to face than “evil” or “darkness.” At the end of the day, even if a person survives those encounters, they’ve still got to look in the mirror and decide how they feel about what they see there.

I also had a really tough decision to make with the ending…how much did I wrap up? Should I give it a clean, button-type epilogue that ties everything up in a nice and tidy bow? Do I answer every single question that people have? Do I make sure to overly explain it all so there’s no doubt as to what’s going on?

I did think long and hard about that one. I even asked some friends and people who just plain liked to read what their feelings were. Interestingly, their opinions were very similar to mine. There is no neat ending to a situation like this. There’s no reason to have a tidy little vignette where we see how everyone ends up and where they are in ten years or more. Life isn’t like that, and with everything Jeremiah goes through in the book, I couldn’t honestly say that life would be easy for him even a year down the line. People don’t have “they lived happily ever afters.” That’s unrealistic, and honestly I find it insulting to the readers. People do their best. They move forward. They stumble. They get stuck. They get out again. Sure, I have an idea of where Jeremiah ends up, but I didn’t feel that it was necessary to give that away. Instead, I wanted to leave it hopefully vague, in the spirit of the fairy tale that inspired me. I want people to have some sort of idea of where things are going, but do they honestly need to know the definitive ending? Do they need to know if he continues on the same path, makes a lot of money, or falters, regrets his decisions, or any of the rest of it? In this case, no. At the end point of the book, even Jeremiah isn’t looking that far ahead, so I think it’s unreasonable for everyone else to try to. Instead, I hope that people appreciate his journey, his battles, and his growth and become of fond of him as I have.

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Alright, here’s the deal– Selah’s giving away a pdf copy of In the Red.  If you want to enter, just comment on this post with a question for Selah… and don’t forget an email addy so you can get your prize!  If you aren’t comfy with putting your email on the post, just find me on Facebook (Alexandra Christian) and drop me a message!  Coming up later this week– MY review of In the Red and a new trailer for the book…

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Selah Janel has been blessed with a giant imagination since she was little and convinced that fairies lived in the nearby state park or vampires hid in the abandoned barns outside of town. Her appreciation for a good story was enhanced by a love of reading, the many talented storytellers that surrounded her, and a healthy curiosity for everything. A talent for warping everything she learned didn’t hurt, either. She gravitates to writing fantasy and horror, but can be convinced to pursue any genre if the idea is good enough. Often her stories feature the unknown creeping into the “real” world and she loves to find the magical in the mundane.

 She has four e-books with No Boundaries Press, including the historical vampire story ‘Mooner’ and the contemporary short ‘The Other Man’. Her work has also been included in ‘The MacGuffin’, ‘The Realm Beyond’, ‘Stories for Children Magazine’, and the upcoming Wicked East Press anthology ‘Bedtime Stories for Girls’. She likes her music to rock, her vampires lethal, her fairies to play mind games, and her princesses to hold their own.

More about In the Red:

Live like a rock star. Dance ‘til you die. Are you in?

What kind of a rock star lives in a small town in the middle of nowhere and plays at weddings and funerals? That’s what Jeremiah Kensington is thinking after an unsuccessful bar gig one night. Then Jack Scratch comes into his life, ready to represent him and launch him to stardom. Jack can give him everything: a new band, a new name, a new life, a new look, and new boots…although they aren’t exactly new. They once belonged to The One, a rocker so legendary and so mysterious that it’s urban legend that he used black magic to gain success. But what does Jeremiah care about urban legend? And it’s probably just coincidence that the shoes make him dance better than anyone, even if it doesn’t always feel like he’s controlling his movements. It’s no big deal that he plunges into a world of excess and decadence as soon as he puts the shoes on his feet, right?

But what happens when they refuse to come off?

You can harass Selah around the web at these locales:

Bloghttp://www.selahjanel.wordpress.com

Fandom Scene Columnhttp://www.fandomfestblog.com/blogs/selah-janel

Facebook Author Pagehttp://www.facebook.com/authorSJ

Facebook Book Pagehttp://www.facebook.com/intherednovel

Goodreadshttp://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5622096.Selah_Janel

Amazon Author Pagehttp://www.amazon.com/Selah-Janel/e/B0074DKC9K/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1346815995&sr=1-2-ent

Twitterhttp://www.twitter.com/SelahJanel

Wicked After Dark: The Horror of Our Love

 

Click me to hop to the next blog!

It’s me again—your old pal Lexxx with a blog about the slightly disturbing genre of horror erotica.  I am going to reveal a disturbing, if not surprising, piece of myself.  I’m into sex and violence.  I think the two go hand in hand, actually.  Think about it—in horror movies, the hero and heroine almost always get busy just before the monster jumps out and annihilates their naked flesh.  It’s always been a rule of slasher films that the first big kill is some girl showing us her white underwear and/or gratuitously large breasts while she runs from the axe murderer that hacked up her lover in the previous frames.  Let’s face it—sex and fear have a lot in common.  Your pulse races, you get short of breath and then at the peak—complete exhilaration.  As I sit here writing this article, I’m watching the movie “Pet Sematary,” based on Stephen King’s brilliant novel.  King is a master of turning the ordinary into the EXTRAordinary.  Love is the most ordinary thing around, sex even more so.  As they say, the birds and the bees do it.  So it only seems natural that love and sex should have starring roles in horror stories. 

My release, “Dollface,” from No Boundaries Press, is about the horror of obsessive love.  We’ve all been there, right?  We’ve all had that person who knew just how to push our buttons in all the right places.  We want to be with them every minute and hang on every word they say.  But what if that person doesn’t return our affections?  Perhaps they just don’t like us “that way,” or aren’t really looking for a relationship.  Maybe it’s because they were an old love whose time has passed, never to be recaptured.  Or worse, your ultimate mate doesn’t even acknowledge that you’re alive.  No matter how you slice it, it hurts.  The pain of unrequited love can turn even the most normal of people into angry harpies that blow up your phone with disturbing text messages.  But what if it was more sadistic than that?  What if the lover was a bit… unbalanced.  That, my friends, is the stuff of erotic horror.

In the genre, over the last several years, we’ve seen a huge surge in blending horror and romance.  Yes, this is the Twilight portion of our little discussion.  Ah, Twilight, a sweet little YA novel about necrophilia.  New girl at school meets popular boy, falls in love and discovers that he’s a bloodsucking creature of the night (or as Corey Haim so aptly put it in “The Lost Boys,”—“A goddamn shit-sucking vampire!”).  Indeed a tale as old as time.  Stephanie Meyer may take credit for it, but Bram Stoker did it back in the Victorian era.  The difference is, Stoker realized the true metaphor of the vampire.  When Dracula says, “The blood is the life,” what he meant was “the blood is the sex.”  And I think that’s what fuels the hatred of Twilight among oversexed adults like me.  Meyer cut Edward Cullen’s balls off and stuck them safely down in her purse.  He doesn’t drink blood—he may as well be impotent.  Vampires are romantic heroes.  They always have been.  Their powers of seduction are necessary to their survival and to take that away so that they can be “the good guys,” just undermines their power as horror figures.  One reaction to that has been erotic horror featuring badass vampires that have no problem fucking your brains out then sucking your blood.  And it gets stranger than that.  I’ve heard of erotic horror featuring zombies, demons, ghosts and witches.  Coming soon to your bookstore:  The Secret Sex Lives of the Loch Ness Monster

So what’s the point?  We all feel like a bit of a monster every now and then.  Love makes us do crazy things and we find ourselves relating to the creatures of the night.  So when you think about it that way, it really isn’t all that strange, this love of all things both erotic and macabre. 

My books can be found  at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, All Romance eBooks and anywhere quality eBooks are sold.

Howloween Blog Hop: Dollface Excerpt

CLICK ME to visit the other Blog Hop participants!

Hey there boils and ghouls! It’s me again and I’m back with a little horror for your Halloween.  That’s right, the Belle has written a straight horror piece that’s properly sick and twisted.  Yes, never trust the plain Jane that seems so innocent…just sayin’…

“Pull yourself together, Caroline,” she scolded, wiping her eyes with the back of her hand.  “This town is full of boys.  What makes that one so special?”  Getting up from the floor, she crept over to her bed that occupied the center of the cramped little room.  Everything looked cozy and inviting.  Everything was in place as it had been when she’d made the bed earlier.  The same bed she’d had all her life was made up with her mother’s patchwork quilt and lots of fluffy pillows.  The rafters overhead hung with strings of white Christmas lights, offering a soft glow to the room that was almost as good as a fireplace.  All around the room were shelves full of books, mostly romances and her schoolbooks.  Atop each one was a line of dolls that she had been collecting since age three.  All of them peered down at the room through their glassy blue eyes, some of them even winked from years of dust being caught in the eye-hinges. They were her most trusted companions these days.  She could tell them anything and they always smiled back.  They didn’t care if she were pretty or clever.  They didn’t care that she often felt closer to dead bodies than people.

            “Nothing.  They’re all alike.”

             Caroline looked around, hearing the voice so clear that it took her aback.  “ Who’s there?” she called, her voice quivering and cracking. 

            “No one.  No one is here but us.  No one ever will be.”

            She turned to see all of her dolls staring down at her from their perches up above.  Their smiling porcelain faces and bouncy sausage curls seemed to taunt her.  “That’s not true.”

            “Of course it is, Caroline.  No one loves you like we do.”

            “You’re dolls.  Just toys!  You aren’t real!”  Her breath came in short gasps as she covered her ears and tried to block out their laughter. 

            “He laughs at you, Caroline.  Just like everyone.”

            “He does not!  He’s kind!  Not like all the others…”

            “He and that bitch, Ginny, are probably laughing about ‘weird old Caroline’ right now.”

            Caroline sank down to the bed.  “Stop it,” she cried, pulling a pillow over her ears.  “It’s not true!  You aren’t real!”

            “Only a doll could ever love you, Caroline.  Only a doll would never leave you.”

            It was true.  These dolls had been with her since she was an infant.  They were always there.  Always smiling.  And suddenly she knew what she had to do.

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That Caroline… she’s a sick little girl.  Who said no harm could come of playing with dolls.  Anyway, dont’ forget to drop me a comment telling me your favorite Halloween tale and an email addy so I can add you to my list of miscreants.  I will be announcing the big wiener on Halloween night here on the blog, on my Facebook Fan Page and of course– I’ll email you too.  Don’t forget… just click the blog hop button at the top to visit MORE fantastic authors!

My books can be found  at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, All Romance eBooks and anywhere quality eBooks are sold.

If I’ve piqued your interest or if you just want to come point and laugh, I can be found at the following locales:

Facebook

Facebook Fan Page

Twitter

 

The Howloween Blog Hop #1

CLICK ME to visit the other Blog Hop participants!

So some bright star (ahem… me) decided it would be a good idea to participate in TWO, that’s right TWO blog hops this season.  So congratulations!  You get twice the Lexxx for half the price.  Kind of a “Buy One Get One Free” sort of arrangement.  But let me tell you a little bit about this hop.  I’ll be giving away a PDF copy of EITHER Sanguine Kiss or “Dollface.”  It’s up to you, dear reader, to decide which you prefer of my most horrific offerings.  All you have to do is leave me a comment on one of the Halloween Blog Hop posts that tells your email addy (of course) and your favorite spooky story (it can be a book, a story, a movie or a real life paranormal experience).  On Halloween Night I will announce TWO winners to recieve their choice of eBook. 

That being said, I have to give you a synopsis of each book so you can start thinking which one you’d like best….

 

 

“Dollface” is the story of Caroline, a plain Jane, small town Southern girl who just happens to be a funeral home cosmetian. Everyone in town likes Caroline,  though they’ve always felt that there was something not quite right about her.  For years Caroline has pined in silence for the funeral director’s son, Scott Bauer. Scott has always been kind, but never returned her affections. Her world comes tumbling down when she discovers that Scott is to be married and will leave her forever. She can’t let that happen and will go to unnatural lengths to keep him.  (Straight horror)

Vengeance is only the beginning…
Gillian Thompson wants to end her life. Deserted by her lover and desperate for peace, she thinks that death is the only answer. But life never closes one door without opening a window. On a fateful night, the one that should be her last, she meets the dark and mysterious Seth, who seems to understand the depth of her pain. Rather than let her kill herself, he offers Gillian a new life beyond pain and regret. A life bathed in bloody kisses and bittersweet vengeance. (M/F erotic romance)
This weekend I’ll be posting little snippets of each, so you don’t have to decide right now.  Have fun on the HOP.  And don’t forget to visit the other sites and leave lots of comments.  There are so many great giveaways…
If I’ve piqued your interest or if you just want to come point and laugh, I can be found at the following locales:

Facebook

Facebook Fan Page

Twitter

 Blog

Goodreads

My books can be found  at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, All Romance eBooks and anywhere quality eBooks are sold.

It’s Beach Season!

Aaaah…. the humid air of a Carolina spring.  The only difference between a Carolina spring and a Carolina summer is the rain.  It’s only mid-April and already the temperatures are climbing into the 90s!  That can only mean one thing– it’s time for the beach!  Long days of lounging on the sand, watching the waves and sipping a tall fruity drink  under a garishly colored umbrella.  Of course if you’re like me, you’ve always got a good book in your beach bag.  So seeing as how I never do much promotion, I thought I’d just give a run-down of my releases.  Just to give you some ideas for loading up your Kindle.  I promise they won’t disappoint!

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Available NOW from Rebel Ink Press!

Beast of Burden:  Sascha has been a slave in the village of Kaspar for most of her life.  Unappreciated and alone, she lives out her days toiling away and putting up with constant torment.  When her kind master goes off to the marketplace in a neighboring town, he offers to bring her a gift.  All she asks is for a single, red rose.  Little does she know that the rose will cast her out into the service of the beastly Lord Marek.  Rumored to be a scarred and cruel man, Cianan Marek has been searching for a kindred soul.  His life as a warrior came to an abrupt end when he was attacked by werewolves in the Outlands.  Bitter and alone, he’s been hiding a terrible secret since returning to Kaspar as Lord Governor.  In this adult retelling of the classic fairy tale Beauty and the Beast, Sascha and Cianan learn the power of destiny and that some beasts lurk in the most unlikely of places.  This  one is my newest release and I must say— it’s a hot little number.

 

“Dollface”: “Dollface” is the story of Caroline, a plain Jane, small town Southern girl who just happens to be a funeral home cosmetian. Everyone in town likes Caroline, though they’ve always felt that there was something not quite right about her. For years Caroline has pined in silence for the funeral director’s son, Scott Bauer. Scott has always been kind, but never returned her affections. Her world comes tumbling down when she discovers that Scott is to be married and will leave her forever. She can’t let that happen and will go to unnatural lengths to keep him. The story has a bit of graphic violence and alludes somewhat to necrophilia, mostly in the style of Faulkner’s “A Rose for Emily.”  This one’s straight horror, so there’s no hot sex.  But the anti-heroine, Caroline, is genuinely creepy!

“Masquerade”:  “What’s your fantasy?”  Blythe McLachlan had the perfect life until the night he said those three little words that could make or break a relationship.  When Blythe tells her husband about her fantasy of a hot menage, he’s less than pleased.  But when he drops her off at a mysterious masquerade ball, she finds that the boundaries of love can be crossed and rules are made to be broken.  This short story has been described as a smouldering piece of Heaven that’s sure to fog up your iPad screen…

 

“Second Skin”:  When Catherine Spencer meets the seductive Jack Leannan at her company dinner party, she could never have imagined how fast she’d fall for him. He’s everything her husband isn’t—older, confident, and highly sexual. He lures her under his spell with promises of passion beyond her wildest dreams, and she finds herself ready to give up everything. But Jack is no ordinary lover, and the secret he harbors could destroy her.
Hellsong:  Can mercy be a sin? Lonely bookstore manager Theo Chandler lost herself in Hurricane Katrina. Found wandering alone in a swamp with no memory of her life before the storm, she has spent the last few years building a half-life where no one touches her so no one can guess her secret. Only Father Jerome, a voodoo priest who witnessed her birth, and the minions of Lucifer know her true identity and the monster she could become.
As the last of the Grigori, Heaven’s guardians of humankind on Earth, the angel Saraquel should destroy beautiful Theo before the forces of Hell use her to destroy him, humanity, or even Heaven itself. But like Jerome, he sees the humanity in her that far outshines the hidden demon. He forms a connection to her that he has never known with anyone else through all his immortal life. Choosing to protect her, he joins Theo and Jerome in a fight to bring down hell’s design and save her human soul.
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Wow!  I can’t believe I have that many releases to shamelessly plug!  And coming soon, I’ll be releasing the first in a BRAND NEW SERIES!  I can’t say much about it just now, but it’s my first foray into the world of self-publishing.  I thought I’d give it a try and see what happens.  The idea is to release some “quickies” that will most likely be sold in the $0.99- $1.99 range.  Each story is an erotic paranormal romance that revolves around this strange little place called “The Oubliette.”  So be on the lookout for those!
Finally, I’d really like to thank all of you that have been my faithful readers both of my books and my blogs.  It feels so good to know that there are folks out there that appreciate what you do.  Thanks folks!!  I won’t forget you when I become rich and famous… hehe….

NEW RELEASE: Dollface

Alright, my laptop is playing tricks on me.  Deepest apologies to those of you that follow my blog.  You just received a blank blog post.  This is why I’m a Mac person.  My iMac never betrays me this way.  At any rate, I just wanted to let everyone know that my new short, “Dollface” has been released into the wild from No Boundaries Press!  It’s my first straight horror piece and it’s just so damn exciting! It’s also a great example (in my humble opinion) of that hazy genre we like to call Southern Gothic.   Y’all know I love to write about all things dark and sensual, but this time I delved into something less appetizing.  There are no happily ever afters in this story.  Well… except maybe for the nutty anti-heroine.

“Dollface” is the story of Caroline, a plain Jane, small town Southern girl who just happens to be a funeral home cosmetian. Everyone in town likes Caroline, though they’ve always felt that there was something not quite right about her. For years Caroline has pined in silence for the funeral director’s son, Scott Bauer. Scott has always been kind, but never returned her affections. Her world comes tumbling down when she discovers that Scott is to be married and will leave her forever. She can’t let that happen and will go to unnatural lengths to keep him.

Check out the blurb….

*****

“Hey there, Miss Caroline,” Justus shouted from the kitchen when he saw her come in.  “Thursday night usual?”

“Yes, please,” she replied, squeezing into one of the tiny booths in the corner.  Her Thursday night usual was stew beef and rice with a side of fresh tomatoes.  Looking around she saw the usual dinner crowd.  Sherriff  Roberts and his wife Melissa sat at the large corner table by the window.  Mr. Crabtree sat at the bar with his country fried steak, jabbering away to Mrs. Keester.  The Brewer twins ran around the old broken pinball machine while their mom read a book, completely oblivious.  Caroline sighed, her face fixed in an expression of contentment.  There were advantages to living in a small town.   Caroline always felt like she was among old friends in this place.  It helped with the loneliness.

“So guess who hopped in here for a piece of my sweet potato pie earlier?” Mrs. Keester asked, hefting her heavy breasts on to the counter in front of Mr. Crabtree.

“Couldn’t say,” he replied, helping himself to another forkful of collard greens.  “But I’m sure you’ll be glad to tell me, Wanda.”

Laughter echoed from the kitchen.  Justus’s head poked out from the window.  “Ain’t that the truth, Crabtree?  Our church don’t need a bulletin—we got Wanda.”

The men laughed heartily at Wanda’s expense for several seconds until she cleared her throat.  “You men finished?” she spat and emphasized her contempt on the word ‘men.’  “Anyway, Gerry Bauer’s son Scott was in here earlier today and he was jumpy as a whore in church.”  Caroline’s ears pricked at the mere mention of Scott’s name.  Grabbing the newspaper in the booth beside her, she pretended to read while listening closely to their conversation.

“Why’s that?”

“Well you know that girl from over in Maitland he’s been seein’—what’s her name—Ginny?”

“Ayuh,” Crabtree answered with a disinterested glance.  “What about her?”

“He was takin’ her out tonight so he could ask her to marry him!”

Caroline dropped her tea glass. It fell to the floor with a heavy clatter and  ice spilt all over.

Wanda rushed over from behind the bar and pulled a towel out of her apron.  “Caroline!  Are you okay, honey?”  She dropped  down on her knees and began picking up the ice off the floor.

*****

Now that I’ve whet your appetite, you can find the story at No Boundaries Press and Amazon.