Monday, November 30, 2015

Cover Reveal: The Coming Darkness by Eric Swett

Justin is a fallen Angel. He just happens to be one of the Horsemen of the Apocalypse, the Grim Reaper himself, Death. A year has passed since he remembered who he was and what he is. He is regaining some of the abilities and memories he lost when he chose to fall to earth and live amongst humans, but he has a long way to go before he can fully reclaim his title. When Justin comes across a young girl being chased by a monster, he does what he can to save her, but he soon discovers this is no normal girl, and failing to save her will change the world forever.
“Something tells me this is the place,” said Samantha.
“I think you’re right.” Justin felt the Power emanating from the place; the origin or intent of the magic cast upon the little building remained elusive.
Justin opened the door and Samantha strode inside. Her sharp business attire and well-manicured look terribly out of place in the shop filled with countless shelves filled with books and dark little trinkets and charms that hung from hooks throughout the room. She sniffed and wrinkled her nose. “It smells like a tomb in here,” she said as she picked up the desiccated corpse of a chameleon from a nearby shelf.
“I’ve smelled worse,” Justin said as he entered the room and shut the door behind him. He stopped when he stood behind her and whispered, “Human magic often requires these sort of physical components, at least until the wizard is powerful enough to eschew such trappings.”
“How…uncivilized,” Samantha said as she placed the dead lizard back on its shelf.
“So true.”
The Angels turned to see a man entering the shop through a doorway behind a broad wooden counter. He was tall for a human, though he fell well short of Justin’s six and a half feet. He wore a dark purple button down shirt that nearly concealed the tattoos that covered his biceps and upper chest. Thick black and grey stuble covered his shaved head. His eyes caught Justin’s attention. He saw that sort of dark fire burning within the eyes of men before. Monuments carved in their likeness and tomes filled with tails of heroism and infamy contained their names.

“Welcome to The Curious Cat. My name is Mathew Finitz, and this is my shop.”

Eric Swett is the husband of Tracy and the father of Zachary, Connor, and Kaitlyn, and could not be prouder of his family.
He lives in Statesville, North Carolina, spends his daylight hours working in IT and has done so for the past six years.
Being a fan of all things geek, he has spent most of his life reading science fiction and fantasy. He started writing in high school, but it wasn’t until he moved to North Carolina that writing became anything more than a hobby.

You can find Eric online at Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and My Writer’s Cramp. 

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Book Review: Crestfall by Lily St. John McKee

Aria Andrews comes to Newfoundland for the funeral of her twin sister, Sonata, whom she has not seen in seven years. Sonata has been brutally murdered and Aria must find the murderer with the help of her brother, Finn, and the policeman in charge, Bennet Halfknight. All three of the Andrews siblings had magical powers: Aria has command over earth, Finn over fire, and Sonata had command over the air.
Finn's new girlfriend is a witch and she and Aria become friends. Sophie also helps in this paranormal murder mystery where there are werewolves and other creatures.
Crestfall is an engaging story and brings a fresh perspective to paranormal worlds that is still within credibility. I especially liked the origin story for the werewolves. The descriptions of Newfoundland were right on and perfect for the story. I enjoyed this book and I think that any lover of paranormal tales would like it too.

Link to Amazon

Saturday, November 28, 2015

New Release: An Unexpected Death by M.E. Maki

An Unexpected Death: A Caitlyn Jamison Mystery
By M.E. Maki

When Caitlyn Jamison learns of her cousin’s murder, she’s determined to see justice served. She leaves her comfortable life in Washington, D.C. and travels to New York’s Finger Lakes region where she is faced with her estranged family and painful memories she had long since buried.

Against his better judgment, Sheriff Ethan Ewing acquiesces to Caitlyn’s request to assist in the investigation, though neither expected to be confronted with another murder, environmental issues, politics and fraud as they worked together to solve an unexpected death.

Link to Amazon

About the Author

M. E. Maki is a writer, editor and genealogist. Her genealogy research has been published in Connecticut Ancestry and The Nutmegger, a publication of the Connecticut Society of Genealogists. She writes a genealogy blog, Growing Up in Willow Creek, and produces family history monographs. This is her first novel.

Mary grew up in Upstate New York, where this story is set, and now lives in Virginia with her husband, Ray. She is a member of Sisters In Crime, and is currently working on the next Caitlyn Jamison mystery. Visit her at:

If you're interested in her genealogy works, here are her books and a link to her genealogy blog: Harry Nunn and His Family - genealogy monograph
The Hardenbrook Family: Honoring Ancestors in Upstate New York - genealogy monograph

Friday, November 27, 2015

Book Review: Mountains Never Meet by Stephanie Smith Diamond

Mountains Never Meet is a delightful read. Maggie is a 30-year-old editor with a nice fiance, Thomas, and a good life in Boston. Handing with her rowdy brothers compensates for the blandness of life with Thomas. Though she's supposed to be planning the wedding and moving in with him, Maggie becomes distracted by the idea of a trip to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro. Thomas reluctantly agrees, but at the last moment on their layover in Paris, he backs out and leaves Maggie on her own. She breaks the engagement and continues to Africa.
The week-long trek up the mountain is described in detail and makes you feel as if you are on the hike. I believe the author also took this hike and she's translated the experience expertly in the book. Maggie continues to gain confidence being on her own. Though Adam, the last minute replacement for Thomas, is attractive and willing to help her, Maggie is suspicious of his motives. Her journey to learn to take help and not just accept 'good-enough' is what makes this story so interesting. She has decisions to make after the trek. Should she go on the safari that she and Thomas had also planned? Should she go back to Boston, Paris, or stay in Africa?
I can not wait to read more from this author.

Link to Amazon

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Book Review: Caretakers of Eternity by Edward Gordon

Caretakers of Eternity is a ghost story that takes place in a vineyard in Arizona. Horrible things have taken place there and a little girl dies and ends up haunting the place. Years later the current owner, Robert, wants to move to California so he makes a deal with a local real estate agent, Jennifer, to sell her the place. He's had a dream that she is the new Caretaker and he makes her promise to never sell the place.
Jennifer and her partner, Mike, agree but plan to sell it anyway since it isn't in writing and they can make millions of dollars. They don't count on the ghost, Whitney, nor what they find in the basement.
Horror is not a genre I particularly like, but this was a well-written story. There are parts that creep the reader out, but that is the purpose of this kind of book. If you are looking for a good story that moves along and makes the hair on your neck rise, then this is a book for you.

Link to Amazon 

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Trad Tuesday - Ar Lan y Mor sung by Catrin O'Neill

I was reminded yesterday that I've neglected one of the Celtic nations, so today I am featuring a Welsh song.  Ar Lan y Mor is a love song set beside the sea which pretty much surrounds Wales. Catrin O'Neill is a Welsh folk singer. The lyrics are:
Ar lan y môr mae rhosys cochion
Ar lan y môr mae lilis gwynion
Ar lan y môr mae 'nghariad inne
Yn cysgu'r nos a chodi'r bore.

Ar lan y môr mae carreg wastad
Lle bûm yn siarad gair â'm cariad
O amgylch hon fe dyf y lili
Ac ambell gangen o rosmari.

Ar lan y môr mae cerrig gleision
Ar lan y môr mae blodau'r meibion
Ar lan y môr mae pob rinweddau
Ar lan y môr mae nghariad innau.

Llawn yw'r môr o swnd a chegryn
Llawn yw'r wy o wyn a melyn
Llawn yw'r coed o ddail a blode
Llawn o gariad merch wyf inne.

Mor hardd yw'r haul yn codi'r bore
Mor hardd yw'r enfys aml ei liwie
Mor hardd yw natur ym Mehefin
Ond harddach fyth yw wyneb Elin 

Beside the sea red roses growing
Beside the sea white lilies showing
Beside the sea their beauty telling
My true love sleeps within her dwelling

Beside the sea the stones lie scattered
Where tender words in love were uttered
While all around there grew the lily
And sweetest branches of rosemary

Beside the sea blue pebbles lying
Beside the sea gold flowers glowing
Beside the sea are all things fairest
Beside the sea is found my dearest

Full the sea of sand and billows
Full the egg of whites and yellows
Full the woods of leaf and flower
Full my heart of love for ever.

Fair the sun at new day’s dawning
Fair the rainbow’s colours shining
Fair the summer, fair as heaven
Fairer yet the face of Elin

Monday, November 23, 2015

New Release - Crestfall by Lily St. John McKee

Crestfall is a dark fantasy with a heart of love—for the earth, its creatures and plants, for people who strive, care, and face down fear. Its young heroine, Aria Andrews, interrupts her medieval history studies to attend her sister’s funeral in a town on the rugged coast of Newfoundland. Her estranged twin was murdered, and Aria becomes a suspect before setting out to uncover the brutal truth with the help of her brother Fynn, his girlfriend Sophie (a witch), and forthright Bennet Halfnight, a handsome detective. All three Andrews siblings have possessed unworldly natural powers; Aria uses hers to pursue an old antagonist and confront new ones: shape-shifters and werewolves in this startling romantic novel of beastly gore and human tenderness.
Lily Portrait-2 copy-2 copy

Lily was an accomplished author who was on the verge of publishing her first novel when she became sick. For seven weeks, she struggled with ARDS–acute respiratory distress syndrome–in the ICUs of both Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington, DC and Johns Hopkins of Baltimore. In sickness, she showed the same bravery and determination she demonstrated throughout her life. Should you wish to support the doctors who tried to save Lily’s life, please visit to make a donation in Lily’s name.

Lily’s family has also established The Lily McKee High School Fellowship in her honor. Please see details on the tab above. Donations support students from across the Washington Metropolitan Area who share Lily’s passion for Shakespeare.

Link to Amazon

Book Review: Flashbacks by Morgan Smith

Since I'm just a few years older than the author, I was interested in reading this and see how her memories compared to my own. I was very pleased with this book. The writing is terrific and the anecdotes were both familiar and often jogged my own memories of the sixties.
Since the author lived in Canada growing up, it was a new perspective for me. Her father was a university professor and her mother was an activist. This gave the author quite a bit of freedom for a young girl, but that was what those times were about. This is a very enjoyable read and I highly recommend it.

Link to Smashwords

Friday, November 20, 2015

Book Review: Little Girl Lost: Home is Where the Heart Is by Angelique S. Anderson

Little Girl Lost: Home is Where the Heart Is continues Star's story from Book 1, Separation. Star is living in Montana, her parents seem to be getting it together - until they're not. They take off with her to a possible job on the West Coast, but stop at an old friend's house and end up staying there. They are back to their old ways and Star finds that her step-mother has even worse problems.
Based on the author's own story this is a sad and touching book. At times,
it makes you cry, but it also uplifts as you see how this little girl overcomes all these issues.

Link to Amazon

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Trad Tuesday - Thousands are Sailing sung by Planxty

There are probably hundreds of Irish immigration songs. The Irish Famine drove thousands of immigrants away from Ireland and provided much fodder for this type of song. The Irish spread out all over the world, but often wrote songs about their immigration experiences and the hope to go back home one day.

Planxty is an Irish band that has been comprised of many great Irish musicians. Among them are Donal Lunny, Christy Moore, Andy Irvine, and Liam O'Flynn.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Libraries and E-Books

I grew up in libraries. My mother had us at the local library at least once a week and sometimes more. My grandmother was the town librarian in the next town from us and we would visit her there also. Libraries are just some of my favorite places to be.

As an Indy author I still believe in libraries. I've donated my softcover books to places where I am able. And I participate in the SELF-e program sponsored by Library Journal that allows e-books to become part of library catalogs across the country (USA only). Further information is in the link below, but I would urge you to think about participating in this program. It is free to submit and if accepted, your book is entered into the SELF-e catalog as a curated book.

I think this program is a win-win. My book is now available in my local public library as a curated selection and libraries are promoting Indie authors to their readers. Check out the information below if you are interested.
Check out this link if interested

See if it's right for you!

Friday, November 13, 2015

Cover Reveal: Time for the Lost by Chess DeSalls

TFTL Cover RevealCalla's disappearance leads her family and friends to suspect that she’s lost. In a desperate attempt to find her, Valcas seeks help from a man he betrayed. A new search begins, one that sounds promising, even if it forces Valcas to confront his past. The travel team reunites for a mission they never saw coming: a journey to a world caught between life and death, and hidden within the deepest recesses of time. Ivory rediscovers a friend and Ray learns the meaning behind his tattoo. But the connections they make between travelers and the lost may twist the core of the Time and Space Travel Agency inside out. Time for the Lost is the third installment in The Call to Search Everywhen serial series. Catch up with Calla and Valcas' adventure before the third book releases in February 2016!
About the Author
Chess Desalls is the author of the YA time travel series, The Call to Search Everywhen. She's a longtime reader of fantasy and sci-fi novels, particularly classics and young adult fiction. Her non-fiction writing has led to academic and industry publications. She’s also a contributing editor for her local writing club’s monthly newsletter. The California Writers Club, South Bay branch, has awarded two of Chess’ stories first place for best short fiction. When she's not reading or writing, she enjoys traveling and trying to stay in tune on her flute.
chessConnect with Chess on:
Twitter Facebook Tumblr Instagram Goodreads Pinterest

New Release - Mountains Never Meet by Stephanie Smith Diamond

Exciting New Release

When Maggie has second thoughts about getting married, she thinks an exotic vacation will bring her and Thomas closer together. Thomas agrees but he isn’t thrilled with her choice of a destination – Mount Kilimanjaro. Their rocky relationship becomes even more strained, however, and Maggie finds herself in an unexpected situation. 

Maggie hates asking for help but she finds it in the form of an unlikely stranger. Against the magnificent backdrop of the African savannah, Maggie starts to question everything she’s ever thought about love, life, and where to call home.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Book Review: Brothers of the Night by Linda Lee Williams

Brothers of the Night is the continuation of the Blood & Company series. I read book three New England Nights, but not the first two so I was not familiar with some of the people in the Chicago/Slater part of the book. Still, it did not make a difference as I was able to follow along and really enjoy this vampire book.
Truthfully, the vampirism is not the focus of the book. The focus is on a group of family and friends and how they interrelate with each other. Some are vampires and some are humans, but I thought that the vampirism was treated more as a disease (like diabetes). It is the impact of being a vampire that the story is about, how it affects both the vampire and those around them.
This makes for a very interesting and thoughtful story. The ability to have children, the power of a vampire to persuade humans, and the ordinary human stories of adoption or finding a lost sibling all combine for a well-written and engrossing story.

Link to Amazon

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Trad Tuesday - The Wind That Shakes the Barley performed by Solas

"The Wind That Shakes the Barley" is an Irish ballad written by Robert Dwyer Joyce (1836–1883), a Limerick-born poet and professor of English literature. The song is written from the perspective of a doomed young Wexford rebel who is about to sacrifice his relationship with his loved one and plunge into the cauldron of violence associated with the 1798 rebellion in Ireland. The references to barley in the song derive from the fact that the rebels often carried barley or oats in their pockets as provisions for when on the march. This gave rise to the post-rebellion phenomenon of barley growing and marking the "croppy-holes," mass unmarked graves into which slain rebels were thrown, symbolizing the regenerative nature of Irish resistance to British rule. As the barley will grow every year in the Spring time of the year this is said to symbolize Irish resistance to British oppression and that Ireland will never yield and will always oppose British rule on the island.
Solas is a Irish-American band noted for their traditional music and original compositions. The band members have changed over the years, but have always had Seamus Egan and Winnie Horan.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Book Review - Linked and Holding the Link by Hope Welsh

Lana is a work-at-home web designer. Her mother recently died under suspicious circumstances. Lana refuses to have anything to do with the paranormal abilities that she seems to have inherited from her mother. But when something invades her house one night, she barely escapes.
Cole is a private detective with a secret of his own. He finds Lana and is immediately attracted to her and wants to help her.
This two-book set is the first part of the Prophecy Series. Lana and Cole are steamy together and must work to find out what happened to Lana's mother and then resolve Lana's own difficulties. It's a good story and a quick read, especially if you like paranormal romances. I enjoyed it and would recommend it. I intend to read the third book when it comes out though there isn't a cliffhanger ending (each book can be read on its own).

Link to Amazon

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Trad Tuesday - Aird Uí Chuain performed by At First Light

Aird Uí Chuain is one of many emigrant songs for the Irish. It speaks to the longing to return to country Antrim near Cushendun which is where my Irish ancestors came from. Below are the Gaelic and English lyrics.

At First Light is a traditional music Irish band made up of Members: John Mc Sherry (Uilleann Pipes, Low Whistles) Dónal O'Connor (Fiddle, Keyboards) Francis Mc Ilduff (Uilleann Pipes, Whistles, & Bodhrán) and guests Ciara McCrickard (Vocals & Fiddle) Michael McCague (Guitar, Bouzouki) Tony Byrne (Guitar) Rubén Bada (Bouzouki, Guitar, Fiddle).

Aird Uí Chuain

Dá mbeinn féin in Aird Uí Chuain
In aice an tsléibhe atá i bhfad uaim
B’annamh liom gan dul ar cuairt
Go gleann na gcuach Dé Domhnaigh

Is iomaí Nollaig a bhí mé féin
I mBun Abhann Doinne is mé gan chéill
Ag iomáin ar an trá bháin
‘Is mo chamán bán ins mo dhorn liom

Agus och och Éire ‘lig is ó,
Éire lionn dubh (melancholy) agus ó,
‘Sé mo chroí ‘tá trom ‘s bronach.

Nach tuirseach mise anseo liom féin
Nach n-áirim guth coiligh lonndubh nó traon
gealbhán, smaolach, naoscach féin
Is chan aithním féin an Domhnach

‘Sé seo an choraíocht atá buan
Ar a’ tsaol go gcuirfeadh sé cluain
Mheallfadh sé an chaora ón uan –
Agus mheall sé uaimse an óige

Dá mbeadh agam coite is rámh
D’iomairfinn liom ar dhroim a’tsnáimh
‘S mé ag duil le Dia go sroichfinn slán
Is chan aithním féin an Domhnach
English Translation

I wish I were in Ardicoan
Near yon mountain far away.
I would seldom let the Sunday go
From the Cuckoo’s glen across the bay.

It is many a Christmas Day I had
In Cushendun while still a lad;
Hurling on the White Shore Strand
With my good ash hurley in my hand.

And it’s oh dear Ireland, you’re my home!
Far from you I had to roam
And my heart is heavy and alone.

But my heart is weary all alone
And it sends a lonely cry
To the land that sings beyond my dreams
And the lonely Sundays pass me by.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Book Review: New Avalon, Love and Loss in the City of Steam by Neal F Litherland

New Avalon is a series of short stories that take place in the fictional steampunk city of the same name. The city of New Avalon is vividly described and mapped out. Parts of it reminded me descriptions of Victorian London, but other sections of the city are unique.
I enjoyed every single story, something I do not always find in anthologies. The prose is elegant and descriptive, noting small details that enchant and cause the reader to linger over a sentence. Each story revolves around a love that goes wrong in some way. There are no happy endings here and that seems fitting in New Avalon.
Many of the stories hark back to Greek mythology which I found interesting. The Flight of Icarus is a retelling of that myth in a style that I found unique and intriguing. I particularly liked The Legend of Black Jack Guillotine which tells of an affair that spawns a horrific legend. Another story I really liked was The Understudy which reminded me of The Phantom of the Opera.
I highly recommend New Avalon and I will definitely be looking for more from this author.

Link to Amazon