Friday, October 31, 2014

A Special Halloween Treat! Ira Gansler's Things in the Darkness - Excerpt and {Giveaway}


Excerpt
Father Frank hung up his robe on a hook next to the door. He offered Kevin some coffee and Kevin accepted. Father Frank brewed the coffee and chattered while he did so about the recent activities in the church and how much he had missed the Tremmels’ presence, not only on Sundays but at many of their outreaches that had taken place since Kevin’s accident. He came out with a tarnished silver tray carrying the pot of coffee, two mugs, cream, and sugar. He sat the tray down on a table that sat on the inside of the L formed by the couch and chairs.

Once he and Kevin had fixed their cups of coffee, Father Frank sat back in one of the chairs as Kevin sat caddy-corner on the couch near him. Father Frank sipped his tea, while waiting for Kevin to start talking, which was another trick Kevin was sure he must have picked up during his days in the mental health field.

Knowing that it was up to him to start, Kevin decided to just lay all his cards on the table and blurted out, “I think I’m possessed.”

Father Frank did not bat an eye at this statement and Kevin felt himself able to breathe. This did not mean that the priest believed him, but it did indicate that he was willing to listen and that was all Kevin could ask at the moment. Finally, the priest spoke up. “When did you start to feel this way?” Kevin felt no judgment in the question and began to feel even more relaxed.

“Shortly after the accident,” Kevin said. “Maybe even right after it. I can vaguely remember some of the dreams or visions I had before I briefly came to in the operating room...” He trailed off and hesitated for a moment to share the point he thought might be vital, but one he didn’t know if the priest had any knowledge of. He thought to himself, “You’ve gone this far, you might as well not stop now.” He took a deep breath, looked into his coffee as if trying to read the future in the swirls of cream, or at least discover some vital secret behind existence, and then finally stated, “When I was dead.”

Father Frank did not drop his gaze and only took a brief second before saying, “I assume you mean clinically dead? Your heart had stopped?”

Kevin shook his head emphatically, “Yes, they used some kind of new resuscitation technique on me, but even so, they said I set some kind of record for how long I was dead before they were able to bring me back.”

“And you think that perhaps you brought something back with you from the afterlife?” Coming from anyone else, this would have felt like they were placating or even teasing him, but Kevin heard the sincerity in Father Frank’s voice and was willing to go on.

“I don’t know exactly. I only know that I haven’t been myself ever since I woke up from the coma.”

“How so?” Father Frank leaned forward and studied Kevin’s face and body language as he asked the question.

“I have been extraordinarily short tempered. I have felt rage at the slightest perceived or real threat or insult. I find myself critical of the very things I used to believe so strongly in, like my students and my family. I am
suspicious of everyone I meet and see ulterior motives in every action.” “Surely there must be more. You are an educated man. If this was all you were experiencing, I imagine your first thought would not have been demonic possession, but a mood disorder of some kind resulting from the trauma of your accident.”

Father Frank’s eyes bored into Kevin’s as if he could read the truth behind them. Kevin felt exposed and for a brief moment wished he had never came. Then he thought of Sarah, Chloe, and Jacob and the grisly visions he had seen when he lost his temper the previous day. He knew that he had to continue, no matter how crazy he would sound.

“I’ve been hearing a voice,” Kevin looked down at the floor. He was determined to get this out, but he could not meet the priest’s eyes as he said this part. “It urges me to do horrible things. Things of such a level of depravity that I find myself disgusted with the very thought of them once I come to my senses. It speaks of this darkness and urges me to join with the darkness. I dream every night of a pitch blackness, with creatures of some sort in the swirling in the background which become clearer every night.”

He looked up at the priest, and the look of desperation in his eyes was impossible to miss as he continued on. “These creatures, Father, I think if I see them in their entirety I really will go crazy. I don’t think any human mind was ever equipped with the ability to see them as they are.” Now the tears began to flow, but he had given up any pretenses at maintaining a sense of dignity or pride in this situation. “I see the most horrible things as if they are really happening. Violence, death, sexual perversion, and it is like I am actually committing these acts, it seems so real. My wife and children…I saw myself hurting, torturing, and killing them, and for a brief moment, I actually enjoyed the images until I came to my senses.” Kevin completely broke down into tears at that point and Father Frank placed a hand on his shoulder, but said nothing.

After a couple of minutes, Kevin was able to continue. “I would never actually harm them, Father. I would sooner damn myself to an eternity in Hell through taking my own life before allowing any harm to come to them. But it is so real. If this isn’t the work of a demon, then I don’t know what to think anymore. Six months ago, I would have thought that the notion of a demon in the literal sense was laughable. But now...now I don’t know what to think.” Kevin grabbed the priest’s hands and the desperation blazed in his eyes. “You have to help me, Father, you just have to!”

About the book
An accident puts Kevin Tremmel into a coma. Upon waking, he is not the same. Is it psychological trauma or something darker at work?

Until recently, Kevin Tremmel was at peace with his life. He had a wonderful family, a meaningful career, and his life is finally settling down. Everything seems to be going great - until the night he dies in a car accident.

When the doctors revive him, it's evident that he's not the same. Strange urges and images haunt his waking hours, and he finds himself fighting frightening new impulses. Has the trauma of the accident caused a mental illness -- or has he brought some malevolent being back with him?

In order to save his sanity, his sense of self, and his family, Kevin must discover what force is at work on him and how to overcome it. It’s that, or give up all he loves and become a servant to the things in the darkness.

Praise
"Terrifying and engaging, impossible to put down." Henrique Couto, Writer/Director of Babysitter Massacre and Director of Haunted House on Sorority Row and Scarewaves.

"Creepy, contemporary riffs on Lovecraftian themes!" John Oak Dalton, Screenwriter - Among Us, Haunted House on Sorority Row, and Scarewaves.


About the author
Ira M. Gansler is the father of three girls whom he adores and hopes to one day mold into fellow horror fans! He has been married to his fantastic, supportive wife for almost twelve years. Ira focuses on honing his writing craft through fiction, blogging, and screenwriting. He was one of the writers for the film Scarewaves, having written the screenplay for the “Office Case” segment.

Ira has been an avid horror fan since the time at age five when he ran screaming back to his bed after having witnessed the scene in A Nightmare on Elm Street where Freddy was dragging a bloody and dying Tina across the ceiling. Since then, he has embraced all types of horror. The Shining, anything by H.P. Lovecraft, and the original Night of the Living Dead will always hold a special place in his twisted heart. He prays that when the zombie apocalypse does come that it consists of slow zombies and that the Elder Gods show mercy on us all.

You can follow Ira M. Gansler on his blog, The Rage Circus Vs. The Soulless Void at http://ragecircus.blogspot.com, on twitter @RageCircusBlog, or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ragecircusblogger. Ira also writes reviews and conducts interviews for the From Dusk Till Con Network at www.fromdusktillcon.com.

GIVEAWAY
Enter to win one of two great prizes during the #DarknessEmerges Tour. Ira is giving away a GRAND PRIZE of a signed print copy of his book, The Things in the Darkness, plus a signed copy of his “Office Case” segment from the movie, Scarewaves. As a second prize, he’s giving away another signed print copy! Enter to win through the Rafflecopter below. Enter now until Dec. 1, 2014. This is a tour wide giveaway, and open to U.S. Residents only due to shipping. If you want to enter from outside the U.S., and you can, but if you win, you’ll receive an e-book.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


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Thursday, October 30, 2014

A little bit of witchery and love - Juli D. Revezzo


Normally I like to read about all sorts of fantasy and magic; my first loved books were the Elric series by Michael Moorcock, about a brooding sorcerer taking on his changing world (or that’s the story in a very small nutshell). When I started writing, I couldn’t help including sorcerers and wizards and witches of all kinds. My paranormal series, Antique Magic, (including the books THE ARTIST’S INHERITANCE, CAITLIN’S BOOK OF SHADOWS, and DRAWING DOWN THE SHADES) however, took a page from real-world magic. The series concerns a budding witch (Caitlin), an ancestral curse, and the ghosts she gets herself involved in. Caitlin is a kitchen witch, of sorts, whose magic derives from a vow and agreement with her gods even before this life. That magic is a combination of good wishes and love she mixes into everything in her home. She dotes over her garden and can make it thrive even in the worst part of the Florida summer. She also has prophetic dreams that lead her, (In THE ARTIST’S INHERITANCE) to find the identity of the fiends maintaining an ancient curse against her beloved husband.

In the follow up to THE ARTIST’S INHERITANCE, (entitled CAITLIN’S BOOK OF SHADOWS) she documents her trials as she again faces that evil, in danger of ruining her family still, and Christmas. The third book in the series, DRAWING DOWN THE SHADES sees Caitlin growing even more in her knowledge of the otherworlds, of magic, and its uses....practical and mystical. When a ghost comes to her begging for help about something whose source is buried under 50 years of speculation and post-modern folklore, it might take a little bit of magic to dig down to its core—and stop it in its tracks.

I hope you enjoy my worlds as much as I’ve enjoyed creating them! J Here’s a little taste of each if you’d like to check them out.


THE ARTIST’S INHERITANCE (Antique Magic, book 1):

The balance between good and evil can be an art... or a curse.

Trevor and Caitlin were once happy newlyweds, profiting from Trevor's art. Until Trevor inherits his brother's house, and with it, his part of a family curse. Now, Caitlin will stop at nothing to save her beloved husband from insanity and suicide, even if it means she must embrace her destiny and become a witch.

THE ARTIST’S INHERITANCE is available at Amazon (http://amzn.to/XokygP ), Barnes and Noble (http://bit.ly/R5mt86 ), Smashwords (http://bit.ly/RH0GCI ) and in paperback from Createspace (http://bit.ly/RkOdr0 ). I hope you will check them out and enjoy them.


CAITLIN’S BOOK OF SHADOWS (Antique Magic book 1.5)

Something terrifying stalks Caitlin and her beloved Trevor. Something the bits and pieces she left claimed she had to make sense of--or so legend says. When the curator of their collection finds Caitlin's long forgotten diary, she wonders will it tell the whole tale? Will it tell why Caitlin seemed so determined to tell the difference between reality and nightmare even as she continued the fight to defend her family from evil? Will it explain why she thought her world twisted? If she really became a witch?

Perhaps the answer lies between the lines of her story, one of lessons, struggles, and the hopes she carried like a warrior's shield.


**This is a side (or supplemental, if you will) story in the Antique Magic series, a companion to The Artist's Inheritance (Antique Magic, Book One).


DRAWING DOWN THE SHADES (Antique Magic book 2) 
Business can be hell…

Life is good at Starfort Collectibles until the owners, Caitlin and Trevor Fulmer, acquire a beautiful statuette with a murky past. Shortly thereafter, mysterious hauntings wreak havoc on the couple when a ghost in the attic threatens retribution. Caitlin presses her coven for help before the ghost succeeds in meting out deadly punishment—on Trevor.

You can find all the titles in the Antique Magic series at Amazon: http://amzn.to/1i7wIrd

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/?series_id=850440

And Smashwords: http://www.smashwords.com/books/byseries/5714

And in paperback from Createspace: https://www.createspace.com/pub/simplesitesearch.search.do?sitesearch_query=Juli+D.+Revezzo&sitesearch_type=STORE


About the Author
Juli D. Revezzo is a Florida girl, with a love of fantasy, science fiction, and Arthurian legend, so much so she gained a B.A. in English and American Literature. She loves writing stories with fantastical elements whether it be a full-on fantasy, or a story set in this world--slightly askew. She has been published in short form, and recently released her debut paranormal romance novel Passion’s Sacred Dance. She also has an article and book review or two out there. But her heart lies in the storytelling.

To learn more about Juli, THE ANTIQUE MAGIC series, and all her other works, see her site, at http://julidrevezzo.com

Amazon Author Page: http://amzn.to/1dmAwFa

She’s also on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/julidrevezzo

Good Reads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5782712.Juli_D_Revezzo

Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/111476709039805267272/posts

Pintrest: http://pinterest.com/jewelsraven/

And Twitter: @julidrevezzo

For news on forthcoming releases sign up for her newsletter at: http://bit.ly/SNI5K6

The Artist's Inheritance is on sale through Saturday for 99 cents on Amazon and Barnes and Noble! Grab your copy!


Sunday, October 12, 2014

Anne Rice's The Vampire Armand Read-a-Long...Have you started?


Just a quick reminder that the read-a-long started on Friday, October 10. Still time to join us! First discussion will be around October 24 and will cover Chapters 1 - 7. Enjoy...I know I will!!!

Original schedule and sign up post here.


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Wednesday, October 1, 2014

It's the Season of the Witch...Plus, Read-a-Long Update and Announcing a New Read-a-Long!


One of my favorite times of year is here! And this is the third year of Season of the Witch here at Castle Macabre. I'm looking for contributors this month, as I've learned from my fail with Gothic September that I just don't have time to come up with all the content myself. So, if you're interested in contributing a scary book or movie review, or just want to write something about what you love during this time of the year, please email me at truebookaddict (AT) gmail (DOT) com  I would really, really, really love to have you!

Next up is an update on The House of Seven Gables read-a-long and scroll down for the exciting new read-a-long announcement!


Update on The House of Seven Gables Read-a-Long - I am so sorry that I did not stay up-to-date on the read-a-long. I had a hell of a September with work and all so barely had time to read anything. And then when I did pick up this book, I just had so much trouble getting into it. So, I'm still reading and hoping to finish by this weekend so I can post a final update. Thank you to Carol who stuck with it...and to anyone else who did.


The Vampire Armand Read-a-Long! What could be better than reading an Anne Rice novel in the Fall!? And since I have not made it through the entire Vampire Chronicles yet so I won't be reading Prince Lestat like everyone else this Fall, I thought I would live with them vicariously by progressing to the book I was at when I last visited the series. Anyone game? I'm hosting this in conjunction with my Never-Ending Anne Rice Challenge which I launched in August. You can check it out on its dedicated site here.

I've made this one a bit longer than a month in hopes that the longer time period will be easier for me to manage. Reading will follow the schedule below (subject to change)...start reading on October 10:

Read Part I: Chapters 1 - 7 
Discussion will be around Friday, October 24

Read Chapters 8 - 15
Discussion will be around Friday, November 7

Read Part II: Chapters 16 - End
Discussion will be on Friday, November 21


Who's with me?

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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

House of Seven Gables Read-a-Long - Discussion Delayed #NH7Gables


Sorry, folks! I'm running behind. Will have the discussion up by Thursday or Friday at the latest. Please feel free to share your thoughts on Twitter in the meantime using #NH7Gables


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Monday, September 1, 2014

Gothic September and The House of Seven Gables Read-a-Long Kick Off!


It's time to kick off Gothic September and start the read-a-long of Nathaniel Hawthorne's The House of Seven Gables. I am so excited because Fall is here (unofficially after Labor Day, officially September 23) so the spooky/scary reading is starting and Carl's R.eaders I.bibing P.eril IX. Who else is excited!?

I am going to be doing some Gothic reading this September with The House of Seven Gables and a new book coming out in October, An English Ghost Story by Kim Newman. I'm also going to be listening to some Edgar Allan Poe on audio and, if I have time, I'll squeeze in Picture the Dead by Adele Griffin and Lisa Brown.

If you want to join me in reading some Gothic books this Fall, I hope you will share what you read with me in the comments. I will be posting several times all month about Gothic topics and will share links to your posts. Also, if you would like to contribute by writing a post, please also leave me a comment. Would love to have your contributions!

If you will be joining me for the read-a-long of The House of Seven Gables, I am keeping the reading schedule fairly simple. We will have only two check-ins here on the blog, mid-book and end. You can also share your progress on Twitter or Facebook using the hashtag #NH7Gables. If anyone would like to have a Twitter chat at finish, please let me know in your comment below.

The House of the Seven Gables Read-a-Long Schedule

September 1 - 15 
Chapter I/The Old Pyncheon Family through Chapter X/The Pyncheon Garden (end on p. 151)

September 16
Mid-Book Check In

September 16 - 30
Chapter XI/The Arched Window through end (ending page in my edition is 309)

October 1
End of book/Final check in

Twitter/Facebook hashtag:  #NH7Gables

Happy Gothic September and Happy Fall!

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Friday, August 8, 2014

The Unholy by Paul DeBlassie III - Character Guest Post


I’m Claire Sanchez, curandera, medicine woman, protagonist in The Unholy. I witnessed my mother’s brutal murder in the nighttime forest of Aztlan at the hands of a black-robed man. Hiding behind the tress, a five-year-old girl, I was powerless to help. This nightmare haunted my waking life and dreams for twenty-five years. I feared fulfilling my destiny as a medicine woman. My mother died because of who she was. Terrible fright dominated my life. The black-robed man could find me and do what he had done to my mother. Death lurked around every corner of Aztlan. Religion, I came to discover, cloaks many a sordid deed and foul personage. There was no way I could continue to run. What I most feared came my way, discovered my whereabouts, what my life was about and was to become, and who I loved. The time came for me to decide. Decisions of life-long consequence are painful, agonizing. Nevertheless, I do not regret the decision I made. I had to face the ghost of my past or forever be haunted by nightmares of what might come and what I could have done differently. I am not one to be indecisive. It was all a matter of timing. Yes, it was violent. Yes, the world of the supernatural and natural collided and forever changed the lives of so many people; but, I would not have it any other way. I needed to be true to my life, destiny, to myself as a woman who could run no longer. I could no longer cling to old ways and crippling terrors that needed to be confronted. I did what I had to do and for that I am glad and am complete. To all who read, I send you courage as you confront the dark side of religion and a woman’s quest to discover self, destiny, and whether, because of the scarring of her past, she could ever love again.
About the bookA young curandera, a medicine woman, intent on uncovering the secrets of her past is forced into a life-and-death battle against an evil Archbishop. Set in the mystic land of Aztlan, The Unholy is a novel of destiny as healer and slayer. Native lore of dreams and visions, shape changing, and natural magic work to spin a neo-gothic web in which sadness and mystery lure the unsuspecting into a twilight realm of discovery and decision.

Purchase your copy at AMAZON


About the author
PAUL DeBLASSIE III, PhD, is a psychologist and writer living in his native New Mexico. A member of the Depth Psychology Alliance, the Transpersonal Psychology Association, and the International Association for Relational Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy, he has for over thirty years treated survivors of the dark side of religion.

His latest book is the psychological/paranormal thriller, The Unholy.

Visit his website at www.pauldeblassieiii.com or his blog at www.pauldeblassieiii.blogspot.com.

Connect & Socialize with Paul!

TWITTER * FACEBOOK

Watch for my review...coming this weekend!


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