Clarissa Johal: April 2015

Friday, April 24, 2015

VOICES Pre-Order and Cover Reveal Blitz #paranormal #suspense #excerpt

"Sometimes the ghosts from your
past…are real."

Welcome to the Pre-Order and Cover Reveal Blitz 
for VOICES by Clarissa Johal

Book Details:

Title: VOICES
Genre: Paranormal Psychological Suspense
Author: Clarissa Johal
Editor: Bobbie Metevier
Published by Permuted Press May 19, 2015
ISBN: 9781618685698
ASIN: B00WAH55JW
Pages: 264




About VOICES:

Sometimes the ghosts
from your past…are real.    
    
Moira Flynn is arrested for attacking a door-to-door solicitor with a knife. She claims a voice told her the man was intent on assaulting her. The trouble is, she was the only one that heard that voice. Moira strikes a plea bargain and is sent to a psychiatric hospital for voluntary treatment. Dr. Richard Cassano is hesitant to treat her as schizophrenic, as she does not show the standard symptoms. As their sessions progress, Moira confesses there are two voices—and they aren’t voices in her head, but the voices of ghosts. Are they imaginary? Or are they actual spirits, attached to her for reasons of their own? As Moira’s doctor uncovers more of her past, he begins to realize that her ghosts are real. And one of them is determined to drag Moira into the afterlife with him.


Excerpt from VOICES:


Moira choked down a congealed glob of oatmeal. Bland, like all the food here. She picked up her plastic knife and smeared margarine onto a piece of dry toast. Patients were only given plastic utensils. She washed the toast down with a gulp of tepid decaf coffee and sat back, miserable. “I hate this place, I want out.”
“At least your session was cancelled for tomorrow,” Jack said. “One less thing I’ll have to sit through.” 
Dr. Cassano didn’t say why, either, Moira worried. He seemed nervous about cancelling too.
“We’ll get out.”
“Not we, Jack, me. I want out.” She stared mournfully at the food on her tray. “I don’t care what happens to you.”
“That’s not nice,” Isabella said. 
“I don’t care what happens to you, either.”
“You’re mean!” She retreated to the corner of the room to pout.
“Don’t be mean, Moira,” Jack reprimanded. “Isabella’s just a child.”
She let out a sound of frustration. They both knew Jack didn’t care the slightest about Isabella. “I wonder why Dr. Cassano cancelled it.”
“Why do you care?” 
Moira turned away pointedly and undid her braid, hoping to dissuade the headache coming on.
“Don’t ignore me,” Jack said, his voice hardening. “I didn’t like the way he looked at you this morning.” He grabbed her arm.” I don’t like the way you look at him either. I see the way you look at him.”
She shook him off. “You’re paranoid, Jack.”
“You know what I’m talking about, don’t play dumb.” He sat back, his eyes watchful. “Don’t trust him, Moira. Who knows what he’s planning?”
“If you do anything, Jack, I mean anything. They’ll lock the door and throw away the key.” She moved away from his presence. “And don’t think they wouldn’t medicate me with a dozen different pills, all guaranteed to make you go away forever.”
“You know pills won’t make me go away, Moira,” Jack bit out. “They might make you sleep, but they won’t make me go away.”
Silence filled the room. Moira picked up her brush and started brushing out her hair.
“It would be his word against yours, if he ever tried anything.”
“Just drop it, Jack,” Moira said.
Jack narrowed his eyes. “He’d medicate you so you’d never remember it, either.”
She shook her head in disgust.
“Maybe you could bust out of here!” Isabella jumped up. “I’ll bet you could open the window with that knife.” She ran over to the window and pushed against it.
“It’s completely sealed, Isabella.” Moira watched her, feeling helpless to the noise from her efforts. “Stop banging on it! You’re going to get me into trouble.”
“You could cut through the walls!”
“Hello? Plastic knife, it can’t cut anything.”  
“It can’t?” Jack asked. “Have you tried?”
She caught his look and quickly turned her attention to Isabella, who was still thumping on the window. “I’m not breaking out of here, Isabella. Do you want me to go to jail?”
“But what if they keep you in here forever?” Isabella asked.
“They’re not going to.” 
“But what if they do?” Isabella jumped up and down. “What if they keep you here until you’re old and grey and all your teeth fall out?”
“It would be awful to be stuck here forever,” Jack said quietly. “Wouldn’t it, Moira? Just awful.”
“They’re not going to keep me here forever!” Moira said. “Isabella, stop it!”
The door opened. “Problem?” the nurse asked.
She glanced over at Jack. A slice of a smile crept across his lips. “No. No problem. Just…thinking aloud.”
“Finish up your breakfast, then,” she said briskly. She shut the door again.
Moira picked up her carton of juice and took a sip.
Jack pushed her hand upwards, sloshing juice into Moira’s face and down her T-shirt.
Whoops!” Isabella giggled.
“Asshole,” she muttered. She went into the bathroom with Jack trailing her. Their eyes connected in the mirror.
“Looks like you’ll need another shower,” he murmured.
She pressed her mouth in a straight line and turned her back to him.

***

VOICES Pre-Order Links:


About the Author:

Clarissa Johal has worked as a veterinary assistant, zoo-keeper
aide and vegetarian chef. Writing has always been her passion. When she’s not listening to the ghosts in her head, she’s dancing or taking photographs of gargoyles. She shares her life with her husband, two daughters and every stray
animal that darkens the doorstep. One day, she expects that a wayward troll will wander into her yard, but that hasn’t happened yet.

*Member of the Author's Guild
*Member of the Horror Writers Association

VOICES
(May 2015) Permuted Press

STRUCK
(January 2014) 1st Edition Musa Publishing, LLC
(March 2015) 2nd Edition Clarissa Johal

*Second place in the Preditors and Editors Readers Poll 2014
*Winner of the Indie Book of the Day Award

BETWEEN
(December 2012) 1st Edition Musa Publishing, LLC
(March 2015) 2nd Edition Clarissa Johal

*Second place in the Preditors and Editors Readers Poll 2012
*Paranormal Reads gives BETWEEN 4 out of 5 Bats

PRADEE
(2010) Clarissa Johal

*Second round finalist in Amazon's Breakthrough Novel Award Contest 2012 

Find Clarissa Online:



Tour Hosted by Sapphyria's Book Promotions:




http://saphsbookpromos.blogspot.com/


If you're interested in being part of the Release Day Extravaganza for VOICES on May 19, 2015 
or the Review Tour May 25-29th, please sign up! 


Friday, April 17, 2015

Frightening Friday - Hauntings: Old Newgate Copper Mine & Prison

Photo courtesy of  adwriter via Flickr
In East Granby, Connecticut, Old Newgate Prison was originally founded as a copper mine in the early 1700's. In 1773, it was converted into a prison to house Tories and Loyalists during the Revolutionary War and was later utilized for Confederate prisoners during the Civil War. During this time, the holding areas in the mines became known as "Hell," and the prisoners were employed as miners. In 1827, it was closed and the inmates were moved to another facility. It re-opened as a mine for about three decades before finally becoming inactive. At the beginning of the 20th century, it was officially designated as a National Historic Landmark. 
It doesn't come as a surprise that Newgate's history is riddled with fatalities and tragic events. In 1806, an altercation involving 30 men ended with the death of inmate Aaron Goomer. Another event occurred in 1823 and involved over 100 prisoners, two of whom were fatally shot by guards. Along with these altercations, were failed escape attempts. One of the most notorious happened in 1827, when a prisoner fell to his death while trying to escape by climbing up a rope that had been dangling in the well.

As with any location associated with tragic events and history, Newgate Prison has gained a reputation as a haunted spot. Over the years, there have been stories of spirits roaming the grounds and disembodied voices heard within the mine's tunnels. Screams have been reported coming from empty areas of the mine, a ghostly face was spotted in one of the rooms, and an apparition of a man climbing a rope above a shaft, have also been reported. Other stories include inexplicable cold spots, being touched when no one is there, and a general feeling of being watched. One visitor claimed he went into the mine and was shown around by a tour guide dressed in prison clothing. When he left the mine, he thanked one of the other employees for the tour, only to be told that they didn't have anyone working as a tour guide within the mine.

****
Intrigued by this historical landmark?
It's one of many places to visit in East Granby, Connecticut.

Check out THE LEGACY OF BUCHANAN'S CROSSING by Rhea Rhodan for her take on the area.
"One of the last magical strongholds on earth."

Sign up for Rhea's newsletter to enter her giveaway HERE



Available as an e-book from these and other major etailers. Coming soon in print!

Amazon
Barnes & Noble
iBooks

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Thoughtful Thursday - Psychic Visions

"The Crystal Ball" by John William Waterhouse
Public Domain
Psychic visions are explained as those moments when physical and spiritual worlds cross paths. The term "psychic vision" is used as a broad explanation to describe three methods of divining information:
 
1) Visualization--seeing events, objects, persons and places in the spiritual realm instead of the physical world. 

2) Auditory--hearing voices or thoughts that impart knowledge and information that was otherwise unknown. 

3) Kinesthetic--obtaining information through movement or physical sensations. 

Within these methods are three classifications: clairvoyance, clairaudience and clairsentience. These classifications are commonly used to describe the different types of psychics and the way they receive their visions.

Clairvoyance refers to the ability to visually see the information. Apparitions appear and pass information to the receiver via images. Some clairvoyants don’t necessarily need a "helper" to pass the information but receive directly from a higher source.

A psychic who is clairaudient hears voices via spirit guides, angels or the higher self of an individual. A clairaudient may hear future or past events. 

A clairsentient may channel the emotions of a departed spirit, feel subtle changes in the immediate environment, and translate those feelings into information. They sense the information objectively.


Intrigued by the concept?

Check out FINDING GRACE by Rhea Rhodan
Sign up for Rhea's newsletter to enter her giveaway HERE

Two haunted souls seeking peace find each other instead

Kidnapped by human monsters, Grace Thorne was ripped from her quiet intellectual life and left deeply scarred. She’s hidden herself for five years, but there’s no escape from the nightmares of the past, or visions of the future. When one foretells tragedy, she gambles her fragile defenses on a haunted man to prevent it—only to discover love is the biggest risk of all.

Jack Daggery doesn’t need a mirror to know why people avoid him, not that he cares. After years working deep undercover, immersed in betrayal and death, all he wants is some peace and the quiet security company he co-owns.

Dagger has no idea why the foul-mouthed little server of questionable gender bothers him. But he does know that living with the ghosts of his past was hard enough without being tormented by the mysterious thorn in his side—or finding how much he needs her.

Amazon
Barnes & Noble
iBooks
Kobo

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

#Paranormal Wednesday - Familiars

Photo courtesy of Rhea Rhodan
In European folklore, familiar spirits (sometimes referred to simply as "familiars") were supernatural entities believed to assist witches in their practice of magic. They would appear in numerous guises, often as an animal, but also at times as a human or humanoid figure. It is said that there are three ways one "acquires" a familiar. 1) the spirit may spontaneously appear to the individual, 2) the familiar is passed down through the family or by one powerful individual to another, 3) the familiar is "called upon." In some cases, it was said that witches were assisted by several familiars throughout their lifetime. Certain familiars would appear as needed, much like guardian spirits.  

Modern day witches believe you can draw a familiar to you by meditation. Find a quiet place to sit undisturbed, and allow your mind to wander. As you journey, you may encounter various people or animals. Focus your intent on meeting a spiritual companion or helper. The helper may not come in the form you envisioned but the companion will offer the help you seek.


Intrigued with familiars? Check out THE LEGACY OF BUCHANAN'S CROSSING by Rhea Rhodan 


Available as an e-book from these and other major etailers. Coming soon in print! 

iBooks

                   Sign up for Rhea's newsletter to enter her giveaway HERE

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Tangled Tuesday - Guest Author Rhea Rhodan #paranormal #fantasy #romance

Please welcome Rhea Rhodan, author of The Legacy of Buchanan's Crossing

***
The Legacy of Buchanan’s Crossing just won an EPIC award! Whoo-hoo! To celebrate, I’m holding a drawing on April 23rd (closing on the 22nd) for newsletter subscribers. 


The prize is this raven’s claw ring. A link to different views and instructions on how to enter are in the latest issue. 
If you haven’t already signed up, all you need do is send an email to: 
rhea-subscribetonewsletter@rhearhodan.com 
with the word "newsletter" in the subject line. Oh, and reading the excerpt below will give you a leg-up on the drawing’s bonus question. 

***

Breaking denial’s spell takes more than magic

Cayden Sinclair: BBW—big, beautiful witch—struggling to control her power and become worthy of her legacy.
Clint MacAllen: Blinded by ambition and desperate to save his failing construction company; he’s not expecting to find redemption wrapped in goth and toting a truckload of crazy.
J Milton: Mega-developer with plans for the Crossing.
Buchanan’s Crossing: One of the last magical strongholds on earth.
Each has everything to lose. All will stop at nothing to win.

The Legacy of Buchanan's Crossing


Clint MacAllen’s eyes flew open, but he saw only darkness. He Clint art pounding, gasping for air, he struggled against clammy bonds. No, just sheets, soaked with the cold sweat drenching his body. Rising to rest his elbows on his knees, he took a deep breath. It had been one hell of a nightmare.

The thing was, it had included everything he’d ever wanted: the German sports car, a hot yet classy wife, two point five perfect kids, a big beautiful house. It was all there. The dream had begun with the proposal he’d received yesterday in the mail, a very real offer from a mega developer he was meeting later this morning. He’d have pounced on the job even if he weren’t desperate. The development was a green builder’s dream come true and a fast track to the top.

Yeah. Then he’d gotten a load of the view from up there and found himself in the pit of hell. Recalling the unnatural geometry made him queasy. He walked unsteadily to the bathroom, filled the glass at the sink, and took a couple of swallows. A casual glance in the mirror made him jump. One side of his face was bathed in the eerie blue light of the electric toothbrush, the other in the red light from his razor’s recharging stand. The familiar face had been replaced by the image of someone he didn’t know and never wanted to meet. The man’s eyes were soulless, his lips twisted in a hideous grin.

Clint brought a hand to his face to reassure himself. His lips were pursed, not spread. But when he moved his hand, his reflection broke into a maniacal echoing laugh.

He screamed and jerked.

And found himself in bed, damp sheets sticking to him, sour breath scorching a parched throat.

Christ almighty.

A crow’s feather glinted in the moonlight as it drifted in through the open window. Clint closed it against the sudden draft and went to the kitchen this time, straight to the fridge for ice water. That was it. No matter how wide awake he was or how brave he felt, anchovies on late-night pizzas from HandiMart were off the menu.

His gaze strayed to the business card on the countertop next to the pile of overdue bills. Its raised blue letters glittered in the light from the stove’s digital clock. Five twelve. He leaned on the counter and guzzled the glass empty. A shower would help too, along with some aspirin for the blooming headache. Sleep, though, would be out of the question. It often was.

The shower’s multiple jets took their time working the pulsing hot water into his tense muscles. He dried off slowly, pleased he’d sprung for the extra-large bath sheets and not settled for those dinky regular-sized ones. He wrapped one around his waist and f lashed on unbidden memories of his youth, before he’d started working construction summers, when he’d been such a gangly weakling. Another batch of nightmares there. He grinned as he stepped up to the sink and caught his muscular reflection. Those days were long gone.

From the corner of his eye, he saw the drinking glass sitting on the edge of the sink and froze. It was half full.

Since one horrible night when he was barely a teenager, he had never walked away and left something partially consumed. He either ate it, drank it, or dumped it. Always. The layers of the nightmare started to come back to him in waves, then that awful view, then the beer and the pizza.
After drinking a glass and refilling it with a shaky hand, he drained it again and set it back on the shelf above the sink. Empty, damn it. Unfortunately, when he opened the medicine cabinet for some aspirin and something to settle his stomach, it was empty too. Fine and damned-dandy. Once his teeth were brushed, he’d have to drive back to the scene of the crime: HandiMart.
####

The annoying little bell on the door jingled. Cayden looked up from behind the counter and the page of her book.

He’s back.

She glanced in the convex traffic mirror at the corner of the aisle. Her hair comprised its usual hopeless nest. She smoothed her short black leather skirt, straightened the little black tailored Victorian jacket she liked to wear with it, and stood up tall. As tall as her five feet plus the four-inch lace-up platform boots allowed, anyway.

He was probably in his early thirties, a few years older than she. Deeply tanned and tall, his broad shoulders and hard, lean muscles stretched his navy blue T-shirt across his chest and biceps. His sandy hair was sun-streaked and conservatively cut. He was much, much too all-American. But since he usually looked good enough to eat, drooling over him couldn’t be any worse for her than a pint of Ben & Jerry’s she didn’t need either. Presently though, he looked like something had eaten him. Then spit him back out.

She offered him a nod and her gentlest tone. “You want the back of aisle three.”

He stared at her.

“Past the ibuprofen, you’ll find the Pepto-Bismol and Alka-Seltzer.”

Mr. Sinfully Delicious turned up the aisle with a grunt and without a backward glance. That was nothing new. In the year and a half she’d worked the graveyard shift, he’d stopped in once or twice a week. While he’d never been rude to her, he’d never given her a reason to believe he knew she was alive, either. Why should tonight be any different?

Between his appearance and his purchasing habits, she’d pegged him as an insomniac with an outdoor job. Yet one more reason he was pure fantasy material. What could she do with someone who chose to be in the sun all day? She went back to reading the sad tale of someone much more her type, Roderick Usher.

She had a near overwhelming urge to sneak a peek up the aisle for a breathtaking view of a world-class butt wrapped in snug jeans worn thin in all the right places. Sadly, such a temptation also provided an excellent opportunity to develop some desperately-needed self-control. With great pride and determination, she avoided looking up until the clatter of small boxes on the counter and a not-even-remotely-subtle throat-clearing forced her to.

“That part of the costume?”

“Excuse me?” Cayden tried a little throat-clearing of her own. Not because her mouth had gone dry as the Sahara or she needed the time to get her brain functioning again. Of course not. But because something had drawn her to meet his eyes for the first time. Their color made her feel a bit seasick. Past that, something—

“I mean the story you’re reading, The Fall of the House of Usher. Is the Poe part of your getup?”

Cayden was used to being ridiculed about the goth thing, especially by guys like him. She might have responded with something cool and cutting or simply a haughty laugh. If only she hadn’t already been reacting to the something in his eyes that was resonating with the ring in her pocket, she would have had some precious control. That’s what she told herself later.

Instead, she blurted out a favorite line from Poe’s poem: “All that we see or seem, is but a dream within a dream.”

“Wh-What?” His too-sexy mouth fell open, and those mesmerizing ocean-colored eyes widened as though she’d touched a nerve.

A telltale flicker of the overhead lights reminded her to keep her head above those dangerous waters. The rack next to the cash register started wobbling dangerously, then spinning wildly, unleashing sprays of breath mints. It was screeching loud enough to distract him from the sound of boxes rattling on the shelves all over the store—she hoped.

In a burst of brilliance—or inspiration, she’d grudgingly admit to Gran when she had to—Cayden slipped the ring out of her jacket pocket and tossed it into the fray. It was likely the best chance she’d ever get to verify the suspicion that glimpse in his eyes had planted, sprouting consequences she was battling to contain.

Persuading the rest of the inventory not to join their suicidal breath mint brothers was a feat requiring power and effort, rather than brilliance or inspiration. It left her drained and shaky. She sent rich prayers of thanks to every god and goddess she could think of. They’d not only helped her control her magic, they had also favored her with a generous gift. She was now able to give that particular aspect of Mr. Sinfully Delicious’s anatomy, the one she’d denied herself earlier, the closer inspection it so richly deserved.

Too bad she couldn’t leave him bending over the kamikazes’ scattered remains forever. Sighing deeply, she joined him on the other side of the counter. He began apologizing as though she’d been expressing dismay over the mess, rather than forcing herself to part from the view.

She knelt on the floor next to him, gathering runaway breath mints. “Don’t worry about it. You should have seen the mess a drunk made with his pizza here a couple of hours ago. And uh, speaking of pizza, I did warn you about those anchovies, remember?”

He hmm-ed noncommittally, re-relegating her status to that of service droid. Except when she glanced up, he was staring. His attention had probably been drawn by nothing more than the cleavage the little jacket would reveal from his angle.

Now she had to focus her own attention. She pointed past him to the copper ring gleaming more brightly than it ought to under the store’s dreary fluorescent-tube lights. “Did you drop that?” The words had come out nice and casual, even if she’d had to call on her remaining power to make them.

She held her breath when he turned and picked up the ring. He examined it carefully, almost as if he’d seen it glow and pulse with a grayed blue-green light the exact shade of his eyes. He couldn’t have, though. That welcome vision was for her alone. She rose weakly, light-headed, until she remembered to breathe.

He straightened too, frowning and shaking his head. “It’s not mine.”

There went her breath again. The rejection was an unexpected blow, following as closely as it did on the heels of her elation at having found the man meant to wear the ring. Recognition had been too much too hope for, a romantic pipe dream she’d carried as long as she’d carried the ring, since her eighteenth birthday.

They both stared as it lay glowing, more dimly now, in his open palm.

Maybe he only needed some encouragement, because as romantic pipe- dreams went, this one was particularly reluctant to be on its way. “Are you sure? It looks like it would fit.”

Of course it would. The ring always fit its Keeper perfectly. That was its nature. Even if said Keeper’s hands were remarkably large and richly callused, his fingers distractingly long and thick. Cayden swallowed the sudden excess of moisture provoked by the southward migration of her thoughts. Part of her was thrilled to discover this supremely hot man was the one who—

“Yeah, I’m sure. I’ve never seen it before.”

Like bright sunlight piercing languid shadows, the comment wrenched her from her reverie, reminding the other currently impaired part of her— the one with brain cells—how next-to-impossible him being who he was made her mission.

As if to reinforce her first clear thought since he’d spoken to her, he shoved the ring into her hand. She had no choice but to accept it. The instant their fingers brushed, the vision filled her mind’s eye: dark grasping tendrils drifting all around him. Whatever they were, they definitely tipped the scale closer to impossible.

Gripping the counter with her free hand, she forced the other to retreat with dignity and returned the ring to its pocket. She took a long prayer- filled breath as the vision receded and she could watch him less painfully.

He was wiping the hand that had held the ring on the leg of his jeans. It wouldn’t help. The ring had found its Keeper, whether the Keeper accepted it or not.

Cayden allowed herself a small smile. At least he wasn’t completely insensitive to its magic, and he did have integrity. That was something, anyway. “Yeah, by the way, I’m Clint, Clint MacAllen.” For a second, she thought he was going to take her hand in his. Instead, he went back to wiping it on his jeans.

Her smile faltered. Great. He didn’t even want to touch her. Why would he? An extra all-too-literal thirty pounds heaped on the impossible end of the scale.

All she could think of to say was, “Cayden Sinclair. Nice to meet you.” She propped up her smile, fighting furiously to keep from blushing, in vain. Her face heated anyway. She’d used up all of her power. Lovely. If she were any lamer, she’d be on the floor with the rest of the debris.

“Cayden.” Mr. Impossibly Gorgeous, Clean-Cut MacAllen marred his handsome face with another frown. “Isn’t that a boy’s name?”

Wonderful. “Yeah. I guess you could say I’ve been a disappointment all around.”

He looked her over slowly, nodding. If debris had emotions, she knew just how it would feel. The door jingled and the morning clerk shuffled in, along with the invasive rays of the rising sun.

Saved.

Cayden tossed her replacement a heartfelt greeting, then grabbed her book and all but ran to the storeroom for her backpack. Unfortunately, just inside the door, the grungy broom glared at her in guilty reminder of the powdered bones of the breath mints’ remains. She couldn’t leave the mess for her relief to deal with. She owed him.

She didn’t find the dustpan right away, probably because she watched through the small window in the back room door until Clint MacAllen left the store before she started looking for it. By the time she’d returned those few packages of breath mints that had remained intact to their hooks on the rack and given the dearly departed a proper burial, the sun was rising. It made sufficient inroads to reveal the streaks in the storefront’s big plate-glass window. Ugh. Comprehending why anything without chlorophyll in its veins would worship the sun was beyond her.

The spelled black leather backpack from Gran was broken in to perfection, though the ignorant might call it beat-up. Cayden usually found whatever she wanted in it effortlessly. But with her hands shaking the way they were, finding her very dark round wire-rimmed sunglasses took far too much digging. Locating her black lace parasol was easier. Trying to pull the snug black lace gloves on was not. She slipped on the backpack, opened the parasol, and reached down to trip the levers, dropping the row of wheels that converted her boots into roller blades.

If she skated hard, she could make the next bus to Bradley and from there to East Granby in time for breakfast with Gran at Buchanan’s Crossing. This wasn’t the kind of news to share over her specially-grounded iffy-anyway landline. This was too big for anything less than Gran’s cozy kitchen. 

####

Available as an e-book from these and other major etailers. Coming soon in print! 


—Rhea


Rhea Rhodan  
Romance with a Twist of Magic, a Touch of the Paranormal


Monday, April 13, 2015

#MeatlessMonday - Vegetarian Haggis

This week's posts are inspired by The Legacy of Buchanan's Crossing by Rhea Rhodan. If you haven't picked up a copy of her book, please do! The Legacy of Buchanan's Crossing just won the EPIC ebook Award 2015 for Fantasy Romance.

Breaking denial’s spell takes more than magic 

Cayden Sinclair: BBW—big, beautiful witch—struggling to control her power and become worthy of her legacy.
Clint MacAllen: Blinded by ambition and desperate to save his failing construction company; he’s not expecting to find redemption wrapped in goth and toting a truckload of crazy.
J Milton: Mega-developer with plans for the Crossing.
Buchanan’s Crossing: One of the last magical strongholds on earth.

Each has everything to lose. All will stop at nothing to win.


Available as an e-book from these and other major etailers. Coming soon in print! 

****

I left this week's #MeatlessMonday recipe up to Rhea who wanted to pick something Scottish. And what's more Scottish than haggis?  Traditionally served with "neeps" and "tatties" (turnips and potatoes), Rhea graciously offered up a vegetarian version of the recipe—because you don’t need magic to make a good Scottish Haggis vegetarian. But don’t tell Cayden’s Gran, okay?
Enjoy!


Photo  courtesy of Donald Macleod via Flickr
Vegetarian Haggis

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 small carrot, finely chopped
5 portobello mushrooms, finely chopped
1 cup vegetable broth
1/3 cup dry red lentils
2 tablespoons canned kidney beans - drained, rinsed, and mashed
5 tablespoons chopped nuts or seeds of choice (peanuts, hazelnuts, walnuts, almonds and/or pumpkin seeds are a few to try)
1/2 tablespoon marmite
1 tablespoon lemon juice

1-1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 pinch ground cayenne pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons pepper
1 egg, beaten
1 1/3 cups steel cut oats

Directions:

Heat the vegetable oil in a saucepan over medium heat and saute the onion 5 minutes, until tender. Mix in carrot and mushrooms and continue cooking 5 minutes. Stir in broth, lentils, kidney beans, nuts/seeds, marmite and lemon juice. Season with thyme, rosemary, cayenne pepper, and mixed spice. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to low. Simmer 10 minutes. Stir in oats, cover and simmer 20 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Lightly grease a 5x9 inch baking pan.
Stir the egg into the saucepan. Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking pan. Bake 30 minutes, until firm.

****

Tomorrow, Rhea Rhodan will guest on Tangled Tuesday and (shhh...) there may even be a contest to enter.


Friday, April 10, 2015

Frightening Friday-Poltergeists

Photo courtesy of jerik0ne via Flickr
German for "noisy ghost," a poltergeist is a supernatural being responsible for physical disturbances, loud noises and/or destruction of objects. They can haunt a particular person or location and said to be capable of pinching, biting, hitting and tripping people.

Poltergeist manifestations have been reported in many cultures with early accounts dating back to the 1st century. There are three famous cases that have taken place in the 20th century. Extensively investigated and reported, in some cases the phenomena has even been photographed and videotaped.


THE THORNTON HEATH POLTERGEIST CASE

In the 1970s, in Thornton Heath, England, a family was tormented by poltergeist phenomena that started when they were woken in the middle of the night by a bedside radio that had somehow turned itself on. This was the beginning of a string of events that lasted nearly four years. Objects reportedly flew through the air and the family would sometimes hear a noise which suggested a large piece of furniture had crashed to floor. When they went to investigate, nothing would be disturbed.

The family consulted a medium who told them that the house was haunted by a farmer named Chatterton, who considered the family trespassers on his property. An investigation confirmed that a man named Chatterton had indeed lived in the house during the mid-18th century. The family reported seeing the farmer appear on their television screens, wearing a black jacket with wide, pointed lapels, high-necked shirt and black cravat.

After the family moved out of the house, the poltergeist activity ceased, and none have been reported by subsequent residents.


THE ENFIELD POLTERGEIST CASE

In Enfield, London, a poltergeist made headlines in 1977. The activity was centered around and 11-year-old girl by the name of Janet Harper. The child's bed moved, shuffling noises and knocks could be heard on the walls, and a heavy chest of drawers reportedly slid by itself across the floor. Lego bricks and marbles, often hot to the touch, were thrown around the house.

The case was studied for two years. Knocking on the walls and floors was almost a nightly occurrence. Furniture would slide across the floor to be thrown down the stairs, drawers were wrenched out of dressing tables, objects would fly across the room, bedding would be pulled off the beds, mysterious puddles of water were found on the floors, and sporadic outbreaks of fire were followed by their inexplicable extinguishing. The spirit finally revealed itself through Janet, speaking in a deep, gravely voice. The spirit announced that his name was Bill Wilkins, and he had died in the house-a fact that has been verified.

Now aged 45, Janet lives in Essex with her husband, a retired milkman. She describes the poltergeist activity as traumatic, and admitted being bullied in school over it. She also admitted playing with an Ouija board with her sister just before the activity flared up at the house. The family was plagued by trauma shortly after the attention over the case waned.  Janet’s younger brother died of cancer, Janet suffered the loss of her own son who died in his sleep at 18-years-old, and her mother developed breast cancer and died in 2003.

In 2003, Clare Bennett and her four sons moved into the house. Her sons would wake in the night, hearing people talking downstairs. The family moved after two months, stating that they always felt a certain presence in the house and never felt safe.

If you're interested, details on this particular case can be found in Guy Playfair's book, This House is Haunted: The True Story of the Enfield Poltergeist

THE DANNY POLTERGEIST CASE

In Savannah, Georgia in 1998, Al Cobb bought a late-1800's bed at an auction as a Christmas present for his 14-year-old son, Jason.

Three days later, the teenager said he felt as if someone were watching him. A few days after that, he came home from school and found his toys in a pile on the bed and several photographs of his deceased grandparents flipped over. His family began finding notes written in large block-like letters from someone called "Danny." The notes stated that in 1899, the boy had died in the bed at the age of seven. The family was curious and tried to communicate with the child. But when a terra cotta head flew off a shelf, narrowing missing Jason, they decided to sell the bed.

It soon became apparent that Danny wasn't the only spirit in the house. Jason had become receptive to several; 'Uncle Sam,' who had come to reclaim his daughter who was buried under the house, 'Gracie,' a young girl who was buried in a nearby cemetery (verified), and 'Jill,' a young woman who left a number of handwritten messages. 

Parapsychologist Andrew Nichols was called in to investigate the case. He stated that there was a strong electromagnetic field in the wall next to Jason's bed. He believed the wall had opened Jason's already present psychic abilities.

If you're interested, details on this particular case can be found in Al Cobb's book, Dannys Bed: A Tale of Ghosts and Poltergeists in Savannah, Georgia 


Thursday, April 9, 2015

Thoughtful Thursday - Aerial Circus Arts and the Flying Trapeze

On my way to class 
I've been taking trapeze classes these past few months and absolutely love it. The series just ended and I'm considering enrolling again. It's a bit brutal at times (bruising) but I'm hooked. It's very similar to ballet in a lot of ways except I get to wear these nifty tights. 

We have high-ceilings in our living room and have installed an aerial hoop and silks for my daughter. She rarely uses the silks anymore, so I was considering replacing them with my own trapeze so I could practice. The carabiners and rigging are both there--all I need is the cotton ropes and trapeze bar. Easy enough.

Barry.com
Dance Trap​eze Bar, 3m Rope​s and Padd​ed Leather Prot​ector​s  
$600 CAD

Single Trapeze with 8 foot ropes 
$305

Single trapeze with cotton rope
$595 plus $45 shipping

Single Trapeze, no ends
$350


 Photo courtesy of Barry.com 
Yes, I was rather floored myself. I use a three-point dance trapeze which looks like this. Seems simple enough. Cotton ropes reinforced with steel cable, padded leather protectors, steel bar. 
That will be $350-$640 please.

Did I mention we have the carabiners and rigging installed already? 

The search continues...









Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Tangled Tuesday - Cover Reveal: First Frost #yafantasy

Book Info-

Title- First Frost
Series-The Frost Series Book # 1
By-Liz DeJesus
Publication Date- June 22nd, 2015
Published By - Indie Gypsy

Blurb-

Fairytales aren’t real…yeah…that’s exactly what Bianca thought. She was wrong.

For generations, the Frost family has run the Museum of Magical and Rare Artifacts, handing down guardianship from mother to daughter, always keeping their secrets to “family only.”

Gathered within museum’s walls is a collection dedicated to the Grimm fairy tales and to the rare items the family has acquired: Cinderella’s glass slipper, Snow White’s poisoned apple, the evil queen’s magic mirror, Sleeping Beauty’s enchanted spinning wheel…

Seventeen-year-old Bianca Frost wants none of it, dreaming instead of a career in art or photography or…well, anything except working in the family’s museum. She knows the items in the glass display cases are fakes because, of course, magic doesn’t really exist.

She’s about to find out how wrong she is.

Links-




About the Author

Liz DeJesus was born on the tiny island of Puerto Rico. She is a novelist and a poet. She has been writing for as long as she was capable of holding a pen. She is the author of the novel Nina (Blu Phi'er Publishing, October 2007), The Jackets (Arte Publico Press, March 2011) First Frost (Re-realeased through Indie Gypsy Summer 2015), Glass Frost (Re-released through Indie Gypsy Summer 2015), Shattered Frost (Indie Gypsy, Summer 2015) and Morgan (Indie Gypsy, July 2014). Her work has also appeared in Night Gypsy: Journey Into Darkness (Indie Gypsy, October 2012), Twice Upon a Time (Bearded Scribe Press, Winter 2015) and Someone Wicked (Smart Rhino Publications, Winter 2013).

Liz is currently working on a new novel and a comic book series titled Zombie Ever After (Emerald Star Comics, Fall 2014).

Social Media Links

Monday, April 6, 2015

#MeatlessMonday - Fairy Cakes with Lemon Curd

Fairy Cakes are smaller and lighter versions of American cupcakes. They're widely popular in the UK and (in this case) topped with lemon curd. Enjoy!


Photo courtesy of cupcakequeen via Flickr
Fairy Cakes

5 egg yolks
2/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
1 tablespoon lemon juice
5 egg whites
2/3 cup sifted cake flour
1/4 teaspoon salt

Method:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease and flour 20 muffin cups.

Beat egg yolks till thick with a whisk in a bowl. Gradually beat in 1/3 cup sugar, beating continually. Add lemon peel and juice.

Beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Gradually add remaining 1/3 cup sugar and beat until stiff peaks form. Gently fold the whites into the yolks.

Sift together cake flour and salt. Gently fold into egg mixture.

Fill muffin cups 2/3 full. Bake at 375 F for 10-15 minutes, until inserted toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely.

Use a sharp paring knife, cut into the top center of each cupcake and remove a cone-shaped piece. Fill with lemon curd. Sprinkle with powdered sugar, if desired.

Photo courtesy of foodchronicles via Flickr
Lemon Curd 

1-1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
4 eggs
1/2 cup lemon juice

Cream together sugar and butter. Add the eggs one at a time and mix. Add lemon juice

In a saucepan, cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly until the mixture thickens (about 10 minutes). Cool in the refrigerator.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

#FREE Today Only! - STRUCK #paranormal #gothichorror

The shadows hadn't been waiting. 
The shadows had been invited.

Caught a storm, Gwynneth is struck by lightning. She wakes in the hospital with a vague memory of a mysterious stranger. Following her release, the stranger visits her at will and offers Gwynneth a giftone that will stay the hands of death. Gwynneth is uncertain whether Julian is a savior or something sinister... for as he shares more and more of this gift, his price becomes more and more deadly.

FREE on Amazon US Today Only
FREE on Amazon UK Today Only


Thursday, April 2, 2015

Thoughtful Thursday - The Day Pollen Stole My Life and 5 Simple Solutions

Photo courtesy of brookenovak via Flickr
Evil pollen. There. I said it. I love trees as much as the next sucker person, but this spring, I've had enough. Last week, I was a useless mess. Running sucked. Ballet sucked. Writing sucked. My sinuses had never been so unhappy and everything took super-human effort. Okay, enough whining.

This week, I've found a sorta-kinda solution: Claritin with a 1/2 shot of nasal spray. Soooo, Claritin makes me jittery. Like, really jittery. No coffee needed because (hooray!) I have Clariton to keep me awake. And because of the dreaded "rebound effect," I can't use the nasal spray for more than 3 days. What's an author to do?

Here are my five simple solutions to spring allergies. Let me know if they work for you.

1) Move to Antarctica I've never considered moving south, but I hear the penguins are lovely this time of year. And with 0 permanent residents, I can't go wrong. I'll have enough quiet time to churn out novel after novel.

2) Hermetically Seal Myself from Head-to-Toe Amazon sells a vacuum sealing system for a mere $69.50. Of course, it's only big enough for cutlets, but I'm sure with a bit of convincing, Foodsaver could be talked into upgrading their model.

3) Exorcise Each and Every Plant  Cast out the demons. Pollen be gone! The power of winter compels you! The power of winter compels you!

4) Condoms Every plant gets one. Yes, yes. I realize that means nothing reproduces. Whatever.

5) Burn it with Fire Torch every single tree because it's the only way. Oh chill. I'm just kidding.

Excuse me while I OD on nasal spray and run a marathon like Speed Racer.


Wednesday, April 1, 2015

#Paranormal Wednesday - Nightmare in the Closet

Photo courtesy of lunamom58 via Flickr
I woke in the middle of the night last week. Not an uncommon occurrence as I’m a light sleeper. (My husband jokes I can hear butterfly wings from five miles away) What was weird was that I woke with the intention of closing my closet door. I lay, fully awake, and tried to figure out why I felt the need to get up. The closet door was open but I always leave it open.

Do you ever get images slammed into your head “out of the blue?” They make no sense and aren’t related to what you’re thinking—but they show up with a clarity as if someone showed you a photograph. Usually, the image is of a person’s face or something mundane. This time, the image kind of freaked me out. In my mind’s eye, I saw a white-washed and hunched figure creeping up to the side of my bed. It had no hair or eyes, nor was it entirely human. Its hands were elongated and its fingertips were blood red. Not like they had blood on them, but an ombre skin coloration from white to deep red.

I have to say, the image rattled me. And I don’t rattle easily. Normally, I would have dismissed it as my overactive brain and gone back to sleep. But this time, I had a terrible feeling that this thing was actually sneaking up on me. I found myself checking over my shoulder like a little kid. I never do that. As an author of the paranormal, I know fear gives things power. But I couldn’t help myself. There was nothing there, of course. After several minutes, I closed my eyes and firmly told myself to grow up and get a life. 

The feeling continued until, in my mind’s eye, I saw the thing skulk into my closet. And here’s where it gets weird—I heard my clothes falling from the hangers. Yep, you read that right. My clothes...were falling...from the hangers. My eyes flew open. I sat straight up in bed. Split second decision: 

1) I could wake my husband like the femme fatale I wasn't (or) 
2) I could go see what the heck was going on. 

I chose to go see what the heck was going on. 

The closet was dark and I switched on the light. Three of my dresses had fallen to the floor. Three. It was as if someone...or something, had plucked them from their hangers and tossed them on the floor.

Don’t know. Don’t want to know. Making myself a mental note to shut the closet door at night…