New Release – Dark Abigail by Tish Thawer

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Will she remain the dark assassin, or fight the evil growing within?

There’s a new player in Hell who’s plunged Purgatory straight into chaos.

Dark Abigail strikes terror in all whom she targets, but when Raven and Holli discover who’s really pulling her strings, Abigail learns that being good at her job isn’t something to be proud of, but instead, something to fear.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Award Winning Author, Tish Thawer, writes paranormal romances for all ages. From her first paranormal cartoon, Isis, to the Twilight phenomenon, myth, magic, and superpowers have always held a special place in her heart.

Tish is known for her detailed world-building and magic-laced stories. Her work has been compared to Nora Roberts, Sam Cheever, and Charlaine Harris. She has received nominations for a RONE Award (Reward of Novel Excellence), and Author of the Year (Fantasy, Dystopian, Mystery), as well as nominations and wins for Best Cover, and a Reader’s Choice Award.

Tish has worked as a computer consultant, photographer, and graphic designer, and is a columnist for Gliterary Girl Media and has bylines in RT Magazine and Literary Lunes Magazine. She resides in Colorado with her husband and three wonderful children and is represented by Gandolfo, Helin, and Fountain Literary Management.

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Ostara in Southern Hemisphere – Mabon in Northern Hemisphere

Ostara Blessings to those of us in the Southern Hemisphere as we come into Spring. For me this is a special blessing, I had my cancer check up yesterday and got another ‘all clear’.

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Ostara

This festival is named after the Anglo-Saxon Goddess Eostre, also known in Old German as Ostara. Little is known about this Goddess except that Her festival was celebrated at the Spring Equinox. She was a Goddess of Fertility and was connected with hares and eggs. She may have been a Goddess of the Dawn. She may also be connected with the Greek Eos and the Roman Aurora, both Dawn Goddesses, and with the Babylonian Ishtar and Phoenician Astarte, both who are Love Goddesses.

The Spring Equinox is a time both of fertility and new life, and of balance and harmony. Light and dark are here in balance, but the light is growing stronger. It is a time of birth, and of manifestation.

The days grow lighter and the Earth grows warmer. At Ostara, seeds may be blessed and planted. Seeds of wisdom, understanding and magikal skills may also be planted. Eggs are used for the creation of talismans, especially for fertility, or ritually eaten. The egg is a symbol of rebirth and its yolk represents the sun, and the white representing the White Goddess. This is a time of both growth and balance, a time to work on balancing yourself.

Ostara is a celebration of birth and new life. You will begin to see shoots of new growth and swelling buds on the trees. Energy is building as the days become warmer. This is the time of the official return of the young Goddess after Her Winter hibernation. The young God has now grown into manhood. It is believed that at Ostara the Goddess and the God consummated their love for one another. From this the Goddess became pregnant with the God to be reborn at Yule.

The Green Man is very predominate at this time of the year. He is a personification of all life that exist deep within Nature and is usually represented as the foliate mask made up of greenery, leaves growing from mouth and nose, and encircling the face as beard and hair. In some pictures He looks savage, ugly or threatening; in others He is benevolent and watchfully protective.

Blessed Be!

Mabon – Northern Hemisphere

Many Mabon blessings to those in Northern Hemisphere as the cooler days begin.

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Mabon is very much like Thanksgiving. Most of the crops have been reaped and abundance is more noticeable than ever! Mabon is the time when we reap the fruits of our labor and lessons, both crops and experiences. It is a time of joy, to celebrate that which is passing (for why should we mourn the beauty of the year or dwindling sunlight?), looking joyously at the experience the year has shared with us. And it is a time to gaze into the bright future. We are reminded once again of the cyclic universe; endings are merely new beginnings.

Since it is the time of dying sun, effort is also made to celebrate the dead with joyous remembrance. Natural energies are aligned towards protection, wealth, prosperity, security, and boosting self-confidence. Any spells or rituals centered around balance and harmony are appropriate.

Also, (from a variation in legend) the Equinox is the day of the year when the god of light, Lugh, is defeated by the god of darkness, Lugh’s twin and alter-ego, Tanist. The night conquers day. The tales state that the Equinox is the only day which Lugh is vulnerable and the possibility of his defeat exists. Lugh stands on the balance (Autumn Equinox-Libra) with one foot on the goat (Winter Solstice-Capricorn) and the other on the cauldron (Summer Solstice-Cancer). He is betrayed by Blodeuwedd, the Virgin (Virgo) and transformed into an Eagle (Scorpio).

Two events occur rapidly with Lugh’s defeat. Tanist, having beaten Lugh, now takes over Lugh’s place both as King of our world and lover to the Goddess Tailltiu. Although Tanist now sits on Lugh’s throne, his official induction does not take place for another six weeks at Samhain, the beginning of Winter, when he becomes the Dark King, the Winter Lord, the Lord of Misrule. He mates with Tailltiu, who conceives, and will give birth nine months later (at the Summer Solstice) to her son, another incarnation of Tanist himself, the Dark Child.

 

The First Quick Read Thriller Is Out!

reblogged from http://hollybarbo-books.com/2016/09/19/the-first-quick-read-thriller-is-out/#respond

BINDING CONTRACTS

Quick Reads Book 5

by Holly Barbo

GENRE: Thriller Short Read
What do you do when you no longer want something? You discard it, right? Which is exactly what happens when Keith gets tired of his wife. But there are signed contracts and someone hasn’t read the fine print.

“Mr. John, it is good to see you.” She looked into his bloodshot eyes and noticed the circles of fatigue beneath them and the general pallor of his skin. “Still haven’t heard from the VA?”

John shook his head and took another bite. After he finished chewing and taking a swallow of coffee, he cleared his throat. He hadn’t talked much in days and hoped his voice was still working. “You have a good memory. I haven’t been here in three weeks. Thank you for the service you offer. The food, shower and clean clothes make me feel almost human.” Having run out of things to say, he took another bite as he watched the kind face framed in black.

She smiled. “It is a skill that comes naturally to me, thank you. But it isn’t perfect. I have forgotten your last name, if you’ve ever shared it, but do remember you saying you were a SEAL in Afghanistan and have worked in a similar but non-military position after that. I can surmise you are now homeless due to your PTSD?” She looked at him for confirmation and waited until he gave a curt nod. “The wheels of the VA move very slowly. Too slow for the people who need help. I also have noted, when speaking to you, that you are intelligent, educated, and I know the longer you stay on the streets the greater chance you have to die early. It would be a real waste.” She smiled and patted his hand. “Son, I’ve some news for you. A new clinic has opened its doors. I’ve watched them to see if they are legitimate and to see the quality of their care. It’s called The Destiny Clinic, and it is going through the paperwork to be recognized as a VA-affiliated treatment center. Instead of cash, the price for treatment is to help the community in whatever capacity you can, and if that is beyond the patient receiving services… it is free. The funding comes from a local company who made its money making prosthetics and body armor. This is their way of supporting the wounded veterans.” She handed him a card. “Here’s the address. It isn’t far, and they have several treatment programs and therapy strategies. The day is still young. You can go there after your meal. You’re a good man. Let them guide you back to us. Our city, our country needs quality people like you.”

He looked down at the card and back up into the kind eyes. “You don’t know me or what I have done, what I’ve seen. Those things return in my nightmares and in sudden sounds. Terrible flashes of memories. The military and later…” John’s voice dropped to a near whisper as he lowered the coffee mug to the table. “The CIA gave me a structure and purpose until I became broken and a liability to them. But you’re right. Living on the streets and under the overpasses is a game of Russian Roulette. Thank you for your kindness.” Pocketing the card, John picked up his empty plate and cup. He stood and looked down into the lined face of the nun. “Sister, I don’t know your name.”

“I’m Sister Mary Rebecca.”

“Thanks, Sister Mary Rebecca. My name is John Easton.” He gave her a nod of respect, then with a small smile he touched his forehead in a salute. He left his dishes in the pan beside the kitchen and stepped out into the late spring day.

A Beltane GiftThe Tin of HoneyThe Dragil: Broken MagicThe Battered Ball

Holly’s world is shaped by her love of family, the beauty of the natural world and an irrepressible creative drive. She has always been curious and sees life through questions. These four characteristics color her writing voice and her stories frequently evolve from her asking “What if….?” Her tales tend to have non-urban settings with nature contributing to the plot, building discordant themes inside a seemingly peaceful refrain.

Her motto: Weaving Alternative Worlds with Threads From Today.

New Release – Working Title The Banned Underground by Will MacMillan Jones

Today I have a New Release for you, Working Title a Banned Underground book by my friend Will MacMillan Jones.  There is also an excerpt for you to read.

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Tolkien meets Spinal Tap!

The Banned Underground, the biggest dwarf blues band in the universe, are back. Their first album is finally mixed and about to be released on an unsuspecting world. But nothing is ever that simple is it? Their Record Company have the fiscal probity of the average politician and are being underhand with the Banned’s finances, aided and abetted by their accountants (who want to promote a rival group).

But wait: the Tour is about to be filmed, although the film maker has issues of his own – not least that he is worried that he too might not be paid. Then there’s the chip on his shoulder; and as he’s a RockTroll, it’s a pretty sizeable chip too. As the rival bands career around the country, followed by the cameraman, one question is on all their minds- will the beer money hold out until the end of the Tour?

Music, magic and movies collide in a kaleidoscope of fun, puns and technicolour jokes in the seventh adventure for The Banned Underground.

The Banned Underground collection of stories are all stand-alone books that can be read and enjoyed in any order at all. Meet a wild group of musicians, wizards, trolls, witches and elves – although as the elves have made themselves into International Merchant Bankers they have become a bit pompous about who they are prepared to meet, or at least whose existence they are prepared to acknowledge. So come and cheer for The Banned, as they discover that money makes the world go round. {An assertion disputed by the Flat Earth Association.}

The Prologue…

-Right!  Cue funky electronic weird music… I’m thinking Theremin, I’m thinking synthesiser with every dial turned to bizarre, I’m thinking psycho-pop on drugs, I’m thinking futuristic…

-Good! Now the Opening Sequence, let’s have lots of fleeting images, I want stars growing and melting and draining off the screen in all directions…

-That’s it! That’s it!  Let’s make it clear beyond doubt that there’s some serious time/space travelling going on.  What, Brian? Yes, time travel.  The past is another country you know, even if British Airways don’t fly there.  What? Yes, I know the low cost budget airlines feel like you’ve gone back forty years but that’s not the same thing.

RUN VT!!!

-You with the boom mic, drop it a bit further down towards the actor.  No, don’t bounce it off his head you cretin, just keep it low enough to pick him up clearly.  Then raise it whenever I want a close shot from Camera Two there.  How will you know? You watch me, and watch the actor at the same time.  I don’t care if you go cross-eyed! No one will be able to tell the difference anyway.

-And the actor, where is he? Has anyone seen the Lecturer? Oh, having a crafty smoke behind his lectern is he?  Boom Mic Bob (No, I don’t care if you think that’s not your name, it’s what you’re called on MY set) go and give him a quick kick and tell him I’ll set the sprinklers on him if he does it again.  He can smoke behind the bicycle sheds like normal people do in a real college…

-What? What?? That extra wants to go to the toilet as we’re about to start filming?  Tell him to wet his pants; he’ll be in character for a student on his first day at University then!

-Camera Three!  Start with a wide pan, then zoom in on the door when it opens and Terry comes into shot.  Boom Mic Bob (No, I know that’s not your name, do you want me to call you something else? Because I’ve got the perfect name for you right on the tip of my tongue you know…) Raise the mic whilst Camera Three starts with the pan shot, then lower it in time for the lecturer’s opening line.  What? He’s had a drink behind the lectern? Of course he has, he’s in character too!

-Quiet on Set!  Lights! Cameras rolling! Action!!!!!!!!

*

 

The door of the lecture room opened slowly, and the lecturer stopped speaking and turned to look at the new entrant who was still out of view in the corridor. “Well, it’s only the first class of your course on Cinematography, why should any lecturer expect all his students to turn up on time?”

“Sorry,” rumbled a low voice from the corridor.

 

“Well come in, come in.  It’s a visual arts course this, so it is appropriate that I can actually see my students!  Come in, sit down and tell us all your name…  Oh good heavens!”

“I’m Terry,” said the RockTroll as he came carefully into the classroom, and sat down on one end of a bench seat.  The other students grabbed wildly at the long desk before them as they rose into the air.

“What do you think you are doing here?” demanded the lecturer.

“Come to learn.  I want to be a cameraman.”

“But you aren’t a man, are you?”

“Cameratroll then.”

“Do you seriously expect me to teach you Visual Arts?”

Terry looked down at the floor, but didn’t move.  “I paid my fees, and I passed the entry for the course.”

“Look at you! How can you hold a camera?”

“Carefully,” replied Terry.  He stood up, and the other end of the bench returned to the ground, spilling students across the floor.  “Sorry,” Terry said to them.  He walked to the lecturer, and gave him a slip of paper. The lecturer read the sheet as Terry towered over him.

“I’m not happy about this,” said the lecturer. “But for now go and sit at the back and keep quiet.”

Terry frowned, then nodded and walked to the back of the classroom.  The students on the back row quickly gathered their bags and papers and moved forward, and Terry sat down in splendid isolation.  The lecturer scowled, and then turned to pick up the broken threads of his discourse.

 

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Concealed from prying eyes by spells, incantations, wizardry and (more effectively) by substantial bribes*, the enchanted Fairy Hill Banking Headquarters of the Edern in North Wales was the scene of unfrenzied activity.  The regular meeting of the Board of Directors was in session.

[*Obviously not naked bribes.  The weather is against that sort of behaviour in North Wales.]

Lady Hankey drew herself up to her full height and stared down her patrician nose at her colleagues on the Fairy Hill Board of Directors. “Gentlemen!” she said loudly, “The meeting is now in session.”

She sat down and opened the expensive, hand tooled leather file containing her copy of the agenda.  Lord Telem opened a bottle of champagne with an expert twist of his wrist, and filled two crystal glasses.  He pushed one across the table to Lady Hankey, avoiding the ridge mark in the centre of the table – the legacy of an old Boardroom disagreement and an axe wielding Chief Executive Officer.

“Where is Lord Blear, anyway?” yawned Lord Tosca from further down the table, as he toyed with a plate of smoked salmon sandwiches and investigated the contents of a bottle of single malt whisky. “He’s the CEO, he’s supposed to chair these meetings. It’s the only thing he actually does.”

“He’s otherwise engaged,” replied Lady Hankey. “You know that he and Lady Meillar have been offered some major honours?  The Investiture at Buckingham Palace is tomorrow, and they are checking their wardrobes.”

Lord Tosca was uninterested. “Why anyone would think Blear is a suitable recipient for any honour is beyond me.  What did he do to deserve such a thing?” he asked.

“Charitable Donations and Good Works are a traditional method,” observed Lord Telstar.

“Well, he argued that charity begins at home and awarded himself a large bonus,” agreed Lord Telem.  “But when that didn’t work he made a huge donation to the Prime Minister’s favourite charity.”

“I’ll bet that’s another charity that began at home,” sniggered Lord Tosca.

“And a large sum found its way into Party funds, I believe. Anonymously, so that it didn’t have to be declared.”

The Directors all nodded understandingly.

“Of course, he let the Party Treasurer know who was making the anonymous donation, just to make sure,” added Lady Hankey.

“I’m sure that he deserves the Honour,” said Lord Tosca carefully, in case the Boardroom was wired for sound and a recording was being made.  “Where’s Lady Meillar?”

“It seems that she’s getting her Honour awarded, too,” said Lady Hankey, a little sourly.

“Not jealous, are we?” asked Lord Telem.

“Such things are an outmoded anachronism in our modern, pluralist and democratic society,” Lady Hankey said firmly.

“And besides, you didn’t get offered one.”

“And besides, I didn’t get…that’s got nothing to do with it.”

The other Directors hid their smiles.

“Anyway,” Lord Tosca suddenly asked, “Why are you taking the meeting, Lady Hankey?”

“Lord Blear instructed me to do so whilst he is unavoidably detained.”

“At Her Majesty’s pleasure?” asked Lord Tosca, sceptically. *

[*The legal term for indefinite imprisonment.  Although Her Maj. no longer bothers to visit the prisons personally to jeer and point at those so held for her pleasure.  Isn’t it a shame when old traditions die out?]

“Can’t see the Queen enjoying Blear’s company,” said Lord Telem.

“Anyway, there aren’t enough of us here to form a quorum,” objected Lord Telstar, getting back to the matter in hand.

“There are four of us,” pointed out Lady Hankey.

“Is that a quorum, then?  I thought that was five of us.”

Lady Hankey smiled.  “As Acting Chair, I have a casting vote in the event of a tie.  So four of us are enough.  Anyway, there is a very short agenda.”

“That makes a change,” said Lord Telstar.  “Does that mean I can get back to some real work?”

“Are you suggesting that attending a Meeting of The Board of Directors is not real work?” asked Lord Tosca.

Lord Telstar examined his fingernails.  Whilst elegantly manicured, they also showed the unmistakeable signs of having hit too many keys on a computer keyboard. “Are you suggesting that it is?” he asked, mildly.

Lady Hankey gave Lord Telstar a very hard look. “Proper Corporate Governance requires rigorous and demanding efforts by responsible directors,” she said haughtily.

“In my experience of corporate affairs, responsible directors are like hen’s teeth.  The irresponsible ones are much easier to find,” said Lord Tosca.

“And more fun to work with,” agreed Lord Telem.

“In our client companies, maybe.  But we are supposed to be better than that,” insisted Lady Hankey.

Lord Telstar threw back his head and laughed openly; Tosca and Telem joined him in amusement.

“Lady Hankey,” said Lord Telem at last, “we understand that as Head of Ethics you might think that: but this is a modern International Investment Bank and we have a different approach to challenges.”

“More robust,” agreed Lord Tosca.

“Focussed,” added Lord Telem.  “On profit.”

“Profit need not be a dirty word,” objected Lady Hankey.

“Of course not,” smiled Lord Telstar, patronisingly.

“But we should have clean hands, both ethically and environmentally,” insisted Lady Hankey.

“We are bankers.  Of course our hands are clean.  We leave the menial job of actually doing things to other people, and just handle the money. Which is clean, even when it’s dirty, if you follow me.”

“Anyway, I’m bored,” announced Lord Tosca.  “Can we just do whatever we have to and then get on with something useful?”

Lady Hankey sniffed offensively, and produced her agenda from a leather wallet which had cost about as much as a small Rolls Royce.

“First item,” she announced. “ Renewal of the contract for maintenance of the car park.”

“Have we had competitive quotations?” asked Lord Telem, principally to get his name mentioned in the official minutes of the meeting.

Lady Hankey took a sheet of paper from her folder and read from it. “We offered the contract to three firms.  One did not reply, the existing contractor offered the same terms, and the third firm said that they were unable to undertake the contract without an extension of their funding from their bank.”

“Who do they bank with?” asked Lord Tosca.

“Actually, they bank with us,” replied Lady Hankey. “But their funding isn’t on the agenda until the next meeting, so there is really only one option available to us.”

“Then after mature consideration, we’ll renew the contract,” said Lord Telem, refreshing his champagne glass.

Lady Hankey relaxed slightly.  Her brief from the CEO was going well. “Next, the Board has to renew the formal instruction to the Finance department to make the regular payment of taxes on the payroll to Her Majesty’s Treasury.”

“What?” Lord Tosca sat up.  “I though Telem here had done away with that nonsense!  And what’s Blear up to, suggesting we pay taxes!  We are an investment bank, for heaven’s sake! Our job is to make money by financing the country, not to finance the country from the money we make. Otherwise the National Debt would be repaid, and that would be a disaster for us!”

Lady Hankey opened a second slim file from her folder and examined the sheet on the front page. “I believe it is being considered an emergency short term economic measure.”

“The Government said that about Income Tax nearly two hundred years ago*, and we still haven’t got rid of that!”

[*Entirely true.]

“I think the Government’s view is that the economic emergency is still going on, two hundred years later**,” observed Lady Hankey.

[**Also true. It’s probably the same emergency, caused by the same reasons: It’s only the politicians and the location of the wars that change.]

“Well that’s no surprise when you look at who runs the government, is it?” grumbled Lord Tosca.

“It will only be a token amount now though,” Lord Telem reassured him.  “Lord Telstar did make a stellar breakthrough last month.”

“Yes,” said Lord Telstar, smugly.  “After a year of continual research, we finally located an alternative reality in which taxation didn’t exist at all: and we were able to route most of our staff payroll through that version of reality.”

“No taxation at all?” asked Lord Tosca.

“No.  And I can report that using our portal and newly created financial links to and from the version of our Bank over there, we have been able to boost revenues significantly by marketing their service to Premier League football clubs over here.  They hate paying tax on their players’ huge salaries, so I foresee steady growth.”

“Excellent!” agreed Lord Tosca.

“Lord Blear feels we can exploit this as a way of ensuring we are granted tax free status as a Free Portal in the next Fiscal Statement, but that paying a nominal amount of tax now will smooth the path,” Lady Hankey read from her notes. “I personally have a number of ethical concerns, but they are for a different meeting.”

The others all nodded enthusiastically.

“So, motion to renew the payment passed?” asked Lady Hankey.

The others all nodded unenthusiastically.

“And finally, we have been asked to get involved in an ethical cultural investment.”

Lord Telem looked cautious. “What sort of investment might that be?”

“We have been asked to provide some funding for a small business to make a documentary film,” explained Lady Hankey

“Films are very tax efficient,” observed Lord Telstar, approvingly. “Who is the applicant?”

Lady Hankey looked at her brief notes again. “Local Council Industrial Estate Records.”

“Do they bank with us? I’ve never heard of them,” observed Lord Telstar.

“No.  They have been referred to us by their financial advisors, who are connected to Caer Surdin, I believe.”

Lord Telem sat up.  “Caer Surdin?  But we were at war with them! They are our enemies.”

Lord Telstar shrugged. “War is war.  Business is business.  Of course, sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference except for the paperwork, but…”

“Now, now: let’s not get into a fight,” said Lord Tosca.

“That seems to be Blear’s view,” Lady Hankey said, reading her brief brief.  “Hands across the Divide, reconciliation with old Foes, moving forward together to a new and prosperous future.”

“Not a chance!” said Lord Telem vehemently.  “It will be a trick, a stratagem, a subterfuge.”

“A what?”

“Caer Surdin are not to be trusted,” insisted Lord Telem.

“I agree,” agreed Lady Hankey.  “As Chair of the Ethics Committee, I have to say that we should have ethical issues over entering into business dealings with the Forces of Darkness.”

“We do business with the Government,” objected Lord Tosca.  “I can’t see the difference myself.”

“Does that mean we need to sell all those Government Bonds we bought last year?” asked Lord Telstar.

“They were an awful investment,” agreed Lord Telem.  “We’d have had a better return if we’d simply turned it into gold and buried it under the car park for five years.”

“You could say that about anything, though,” muttered Lord Telstar.

Lady Hankey sniffed.  “Lord Blear would be able to explain it, I’m sure. Especially with his nice shiny new medal to help him. Probably from buying all those Government Investment Bonds.”

“Why do they call them Bonds, anyway?” mused Lord Telem.

“Because you get tied up in them and can’t escape, I think,” grumbled Lord Telstar.

“Well, I think we should treat this as a straightforward business transaction,” insisted Lord Tosca.  “Can we examine the proposal?”

Lady Hankey dropped the brief on the table with distaste. “Putting it simply, they want to borrow a lot of money to make a film.  Of a group.”

“What group?” asked Lord Telstar.

“The Banned Underground.”

“But they are great!” exclaimed Lord Tosca.  “I mean, we hire them to play here and stuff!”

“How are they connected with the Dark Side, then?” asked Lord Telem.

“I see them as innocent…” started Lady Hankey.

“Innocent? That lot?” Lord Telem howled with laughter.

“Innocent of evil doing,” continued Lady Hankey.  “I think that they are innocent dupes of a cunning plan by The Grey Mage, and I think we should reject this application.”

“Well hold on a moment,” said Lord Tosca, leaning forward across the Boardroom table.  “They are getting popular.  If there’s a good percentage for us, we could make some money out of a film like that.”  He looked at Lady Hankey, and added: “Ethically, too.”

“He’s got a point,” agreed Lord Telstar.

“Oh very well, let’s vote,” grumbled Lady Hankey.

“For,” Lord Telstar said firmly.

“For,” agreed Lord Tosca.

Lord Telem shrugged. “I’m in favour, too.  I quite enjoyed their last concert here.  Let’s make it a condition that we get a free gig at our next Corporate Event.”

“Ha, good idea!” approved Lord Telstar.

“Oh, very well then,” sniffed Lady Hankey.  “I’ll make the notes.”

“No, The Banned will make the notes.  Minims, crochets, quavers, that sort of thing.”

*

In another room inside the enchanted Fairy Hill, Lord Blear (Chairman and CEO of Edern Enterprises and Merchant Banking) nodded in satisfaction, and turned to his personal assistant.

“You can turn off the spycam in the Boardroom, now.”

“Yes, sir,” replied the aide, and turned off the TV link.

“Remind me to have another discussion with Lady Hankey, though.  The Ethics Committee is there to explain to the Regulators why whatever we decide to do is right, not to tell us it might be wrong.”

“Yes, sir.  Lord Blear, may I say something?”

“Go ahead.”

“You cannot go to the Investiture at the Palace dressed in a basque, a thong, and fishnet tights.”

“But I’m awarded the Order of The Garter, and the invitation says ‘Dress Appropriately’!”

“No!”

“Of all right, fish out the Evening Suit, then.  Oh, and you’d better tip off Lady Meillar too.  She’s getting The Order of The Bath.”

Links7

 

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WEBSITE       BANNED UNDERGROUND       TWITTER       FACEBOOK

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New Release – The Curse of Clyffe House by Will MacMillan Jones

Today I have a New Release for you, The Curse of Clyffe House, from my friend Will MacMillan Jones.  Will has given us a taste with an excerpt of what is to come.

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Description1

The Curse of Clyffe House is the fourth in the Mister Jones Mysteries collection

It was supposed to be a holiday, time away whilst his friend and neighbour wrote a book about their last adventure. But as soon as Mister Jones arrives at the holiday cottage things start to go wrong, and waking up to find a skeleton in his bed is only the start. Terror stalks this cottage and before long Mister Jones discovers an ancient Evil is plotting to wreak devastation across the land; and it will start with his death.

Poison, fear and a horrific Shadow from long ago stand between their survival: can Mister Jones and his friend defeat the Curse of Clyffe House and live?

Praise for the Mister Jones Mysteries collection on Amazon:

‘I could not put the book down’

‘Creepy and unsettling’

‘Don’t read alone in the dark’

‘Sparsely told in a classic horror style’

‘A mad rush into danger that horror lovers will adore’

‘A classic, Dennis Wheatley feel’

‘Read it in one sitting’

‘Two days later, I can still remember every detail’

 

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Robert turned over in the antique bed and sighed as he heard the springs of the old mattress move under his weight. In that ethereal state between waking and dreaming he reflected that elderly beds in solitary ancient holiday cottages were a hazard to be accepted when on solo walking tours of the Welsh countryside: at least he was only here for the one night before shouldering his rucksack and moving on. Even the dubious delights of this place that both looked and felt as if it still belonged to the Middle Ages were better than sleeping outside. Especially, he thought, as the rain was beating intermittently against the small, single glazed window. He hoped the weather would be better by the morning.

Then Robert froze. The mattress springs groaned under the shifting weight of another body – yet he was here alone. He could feel the motion as the other person rolled over and sat up. Although he didn’t dare to move, Robert opened his eyes. Bright moonlight filtered into the room through the ill-fitting curtains. The intruder stood up, leaving the bed, and Robert heard the bedroom door open.

At last he found the courage to roll over and sit up. Warily turning his head, he saw that the bedroom door was now wide open and he could hear footsteps in the corridor leading to the main entrance. With a sudden surge of unexpected bravery, he flung the bedclothes away without noticing that the duvet on the other side of the bed had lain undisturbed. He heard the sound of a handle turning and Robert ran around the end of the bed and looked out into the corridor. The moonlight shone through the open front door, and he could see that he was alone.

The front door slammed shut, the sound terrifyingly loud in the silent cottage. Robert walked cautiously to the door, and looked out. Across the field, he could see a single figure slowly walking away from him. The person was wearing an ankle length white nightgown and had long auburn hair reaching halfway down the back of the gown: she was clearly female, and his instincts were stirred by her figure. Transfixed, he watched her walk away from him. Robert was inexplicably saddened as, driven by the wind, clouds drifted across the moon and she vanished from his sight. He turned back into the cottage and pushed his feet into his walking boots without bothering to tie the laces. He grabbed his jacket and strode out of the house, across the field. The light of the full moon shone again as the clouds shifted and there she was – ahead of him on the track that returned to the Coastal Path.

Her hair was mysteriously unmoved by the wind that tugged at his unfastened jacket, but Robert didn’t notice. He was completely confused; who was this woman, and how had she been in his bed? Why had she been in his bed? He wanted answers to these questions,  so he picked up his pace and walked faster towards her. Yet without seeming to increase her speed, she remained always ahead of him.

“Hey! Hey! Wait!” he shouted. She didn’t seem to hear, and Robert shouted again. “Who are you? What do you think you were doing?”

She reached the gate that opened onto the Coastal Path, just as the rain started falling again. Robert cursed as he hurried after her, occasionally slipping as the path became muddy under his feet. At the gate, he stopped to catch his breath, yet she continued walking at that same deceptive pace, southwards now along the cliff top. The earthen track showed an occasional footprint in the mud, footprints that slowly filled with dark rainwater and reflected the brilliant full moon. Robert wiped the rain from his face and licked the water from his lips. He tasted salt and realised that the water was not rainfall but sea spray, driven over the top of the cliffs from the waves that lashed against the rocks far below.

Half slipping now on the mud, Robert ran after the woman. At last, at a turn in the path, she stopped. Panting with the effort, he hurried towards her. The woman walked on for maybe ten paces and then stopped again. At last, thought Robert, he could catch this strange person. The surface became more slippery and treacherous under his feet, so he slowed his speed and walked towards her with some caution.

“No good going over the cliff,” he said aloud to himself and took care in placing his feet. The edge of the cliff was perilously close; indeed the woman was standing now on a dark grassy spur away from the path. Still she faced away from him, but now the wind tugged at her nightgown, revealing a full figure that stirred his blood. Her hair began to stir and fly in the wind. As Robert slowed his steps further and finally approached her, she spread her arms wide to the wind and tilted her head back to bathe her face in the light of the full moon.

“Right,” demanded Robert a little breathlessly, as he reached her. “Who are you, and what the hell were you doing in my cottage, in my bed? In my bed, for god’s sake?”

The woman lowered her arms and turned to face him. With a gasp, Robert saw that she had no lips, no eyes, and no face: just a white skull, gleaming in the moonlight. Skeleton hands reached out for him. With a stifled scream, he staggered backwards and lost his balance. His feet slipped on the wet grass and falling he slid over the edge of the cliff. For an instant his right hand scrabbled vainly for a grip on the grass, then with a cry, he was gone to the welcoming mouth of the raging waves that thundered on the jagged teeth of the rocks a hundred feet below the Coastal Path.

The clouds briefly obscured the full moon, and when they were gone the cliff top was empty and silent.

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New Release – Bumps In The Night by Anthony Renfro

Today I have a New Release for you, Bumps In The Night, from author Anthony Renfro.  So if you want to get a little or a lot scared, then grab this book.

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6 tales of terror filled with gore and suspense.

Need to Feed

Another year. Another massacre looming. When the sun rises on the Old West town of Saltwater Junction this town will face head on two fierce predators. Vampires who stalk you in the sunlight, and werewolves that transform with the sunrise. This short story rewrites the legends and all you’ve ever known about these creatures of the night. Where do you go when there’s no place left to hide?

Fear of the Scarecrow

This short story is about a desperate man hungry for revenge. Sometimes revenge comes with a price.

The Man from the Road

A man suddenly appears on a road. He’s lost, confused, no clue as to how he got there. He starts to walk and stops suddenly. There’s a bonfire in a field nearby. He sees people dancing around this fire. They are performing some kind of ritual. He turns to flee, but he’s captured. No chance of escape. He hopes he is only dreaming, because all of this seems a bit too real.

Gluten Free

Suicide by Gluten? In this short story one man opts out in a most unusual way.

The Dead of Winter

A short story about an apocalyptic nightmare in a crisp frozen landscape filled with winter and living corpses.Two men try to find safety in this dead world. Hoping to ride out the night. Hoping to find warmth and shelter. Hoping not to become food for the zombies.

The Lot

This short story is about a Christmas Tree lot that has evil intentions.

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EXP from Fear of the Scarecrow

Tommy pulled himself out of his nightmare thoughts and looked up at the scarecrow again. He took another bitter shot of cheap liquor, grimaced, and then put the bottle away. He pulled out the scrap of paper with the old witches incantations scribbled on it, and then he took out his wife’s wedding ring. He placed the gold band on the ring finger of the scarecrow, slipping it over the burlap flesh that seemed too life like for something so inanimate. It fit perfectly. He looked down at the paper, and then up to the moon. He read these words out loud.

“BY THE LIGHT OF THE FULL MOON!”

“AVENGE ME!”

Tommy looked from the moon to the scarecrow who was now alive. Its eyes burned an eerie green color, and its cut out mouth was now filled with razor sharp teeth and plump red lips. The scarecrow broke the bonds that held its wrists and ankles in place, and floated out towards Tommy, who, of course, took a few steps back, stopping when his butt reached the green corn stalks.

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One Lovely Blog Award

One Lovely Blog Award

One Lovely Blog AwardTina Frisco has nominated me for the One Lovely Blog Award along with 15 other fabulous bloggers.  I am honored and blessed that she thought of me.  Thank you, Tina.

Here are the rules for accepting the award:

1.  Thank the lovely person who nominated your blog and follow them.
2.  Display the award and add this set of rules to your post so that your nominees will know what to do
3.  Nominate as many other great blogs as you like, listing them in your post and notifying them via a link in one of their blog posts.
4.  List 7 interesting facts about yourself to the post.

7 Facts About Me : 

  1. I have been with my beautiful husband for a blissful 24 years.
  2. My favourite colours are purple, midnight blue and burgundy
  3. My favourite thing to drink is red wine and filtered water (not together lol)
  4. My favourite things to do are read, write, sketch (although I’m not great at sketching) and design and make mystical clothing
  5. I’ve kept a journal since I quite young
  6. I live in the beautiful mountains in Southern part of Australia
  7. I survived cancer

Bloggers That I Am Nominating

https://witchesofthecraft.com/

https://suteko.wordpress.com/

https://melchelledesigns.com/

http://jadekerrion.com/

https://kimharrison.wordpress.com/

http://lynnrush.com/

https://cpd-inc.com/

http://www.tishthawer.com/

https://paulaacton.com/

https://warriorwriters.wordpress.com/

http://mistralkdawn.blogspot.com.au/

https://mysticalmagicalherbs.com/

This is optional.  There’s no dishonor in not accepting my nomination.  I and the blogging community will understand.  I look forward to all of your fabulous blog posts!

Blessed Be!