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Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Guest Blog Death and Donuts by Stan Schatt





Finding Your Gift

I’ve been fortunate enough to meet more than the average number of people in very different professions. Much like the Tony Curtis in The Great Imposter, I changed careers as casually as some people change clothes before going to the theater. Did you recognize me when you spotted that medical student and autopsy assistant using a saw to open a brain for study? Maybe you identified me as the English professor, the telecommunications consultant, the network manager, or even the market research executive. If not, maybe you recognized me as a novelist or a biographer.

The older you get, the more you begin to look back in an effort to make sense of your life and the lives of those around you. I have come to the conclusion that everyone does have a gift, something they can give the world. It is also something that gives them joy every time they give this gift.

So, in effect, finding the meaning to your life does not really require you to visit a guru or climb a mountain to meditate. It does require you to examine what you do well and what that contributes to other people. Someone whose gift is an ability to nurture, for example, might find joy in the teaching or nursing profession. Similarly, an athlete who feels joy whenever he excels might bring that joy to others who experience joy in watching him perform. Michael Jordan is a good example. By all accounts he is not a particularly nice person. His competitive zeal caused him to fight with teammates and coaches. He never found happiness off the court. Still, he confided to reporters that the only time he felt really at peace was when he was playing basketball. His superhuman abilities on the court also brought joy to those who saw him play.

Finding your gift can take much of a lifetime or it can happen very early. My brother, for example, already knew by the age of nine that he wanted to be a journalist. He was never happier as a kid than when he brought home copies of the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and the Arizona Republic and read them cover-to cover. Over the years he worked his way all the way up to Editor, but I never thought he considered what he did as work.

In my case, I loved teaching college students, but left that profession when I became enamored with the computer industry. I spent some time in computer sales. I hated the cold calling, but I enjoyed explaining why the product was worth buying. Later I became a market research executive. Once again, what brought me joy was communicating the value of the research.

So, it’s clear to me that my gift is my ability to explain complex subjects in a way people can understand them. I’ve written several college textbooks and now teach on a volunteer basis. Even when I write fiction, I tend to take on complex issues and try to explain them in the story without being preachy. One mystery, as an example, delves into the complex issue of gender identity and transgender people. A science fiction novel I wrote explores the possible implications of a first contact between humans and extraterrestrials. That’s a subject so interesting to me that I self-published a non-fiction book on that topic.

My Frankie and Josh mysteries reflect my fascination with the topic of life after death and the paranormal. They also reflect my interest technology and its impact on our lives. My scientist friends are always offering me new compelling ways for a villain to kill a character and make it even more challenging for my Detective Frankie Ryan to solve the case.

I am very fortunate that I can spend my time writing novels –something I enjoy doing. Maslow came up with the term self-actualization to describe people who reach a level of psychic satisfaction once their basic physiological needs are met. It’s another way of describing people discovering their gift, the unique quality they bring to this world. If you’ve ever wondered what your gift is, then the best way to learn that answer is to start by interviewing yourself and jotting down all the tasks that bring joy to you. The next step is to determine what these tasks have in common. Let’s say you sell insurance all day but live for the valuable time when you’re not working so you can spend time woodworking or carving figurines. Clearly you have a gift for building things with your own hands. Whether that means you should expand your hobby into a small business or find a job that will allow you to spend more of your time doing what you love, you should consider finding ways to spend most of your day doing what you love.





Death and Donuts
The Frankie and Josh Series
Book Three
Stan Schatt

Genre: police procedure /mystery/
paranormal mystery

Publisher: Pen-L

Date of Publication: 11/22/2016

ISBN: 978-1-68313-074-1
ASIN: B01N061W4X

Number of pages: 210
Word Count:  59000

Cover Artist: Kelsey Rice

Book Description:

Hollywood stars! Politicians! Betrayal! Murder! And a by-the-book cop just trying to do her job in the middle of it all.

To solve the murder of a movie star just weeks before the Academy Awards, Detective Frankie Ryan has to navigate through a web of Hollywood secrets and political landmines, not to mention the "old boys club" in her own police department. The presence of a new designer drug and the deaths it is tallying up threaten to hinder her investigation and leave her without a suspect—and maybe out of a job. Even with the aid of psychic reporter Josh Harrell, there is more confusion around every corner. Trusted friends will turn on her, leaving her unsure who to believe and who might be in on the murder and conspiracy. 

Can Frankie discover the killer before it is too late?

Note: this is book 3 of the series but each book stands alone


Excerpt:

Frankie nodded and stepped inside the curtain. Daniel Martin
wasn’t a large man, but now he seemed even smaller in the over- sized hospital bed. He stared at Frankie with glassy eyes.
“I guess now I’m one of the usual suspects to be rounded up,” he said with a voice just above a whisper.
“We can pin attempted murder on you for Belmont and probably link you to Hobbs and Gordon, but we can make things a lot more manageable for you if you just tell me who is behind Ruby Red.”
Martin’s face broke into a rueful smile. “You just don’t get it. You’re dealing with forces much bigger than you or me. You’re just a pawn, and so am I.”
Frankie drew her face closer. “You might not have much time. I can have a priest or minister here if you want to make your peace. Don’t die with this on your conscience.”
Martin’s smile turned into a sneer. “The old circling the drain argument. Does that ever work? You’re not even good material for a Grade B cop movie from the ’40s. You keep digging into this, and you’ll be busted down to walking South Central on the midnight shift.”
“Is someone in the department dirty?”
Martin just stared at her while his lips broke into a grim smile. His face became flushed, and his eyes lost focus. An alarm sounded,
and the room was flooded with nurses. Frankie led Josh out. She shook her head.
What could possibly be scary enough for a man on death’s door- step to keep him from talking?




About the Author:

Stan Schatt is the author of forty books including mysteries, science fiction, biographies of Michael Connelly, Daniel Silva, and Kurt Vonnegut, and even college textbooks. His novels draw upon experiences he has had in a wide range of careers that include college professor, police department administrator, autopsy assistant, telecommunications consultant, and market research executive.  Schatt has been cited for outstanding teaching by the University of Southern California, the University of Houston, and DeVry Institute of Technology.


@stanschatt


Bewitching Holiday Extravaganza - Oubliette: A Forgotten Little Place by Vanta M. Black




Have a Very Scary Christmas

This time of the year is often happy, filled with cheer and the spirit of giving. For those who enjoy something a little darker, though, there are plenty of thrills on the movie front.

If you like things that are twisted and dark, then here are the top five scary holiday movies you can watch:

Jack Frost

Nothing like a killer snowman named Jack Frost to get you in the mood for the holidays, right? This 1997 thriller is a classic holiday romp you are sure to enjoy. The movie takes place in the fictional town of Snowmonton, where a truck carrying serial killer Jack Frost to his execution crashes into a genetics truck. The genetic material causes Jack's body to mutate and fuse together with the snow on the ground. As you can imagine, what happens next is pretty freaky and fun!





Gremlins

As cute as those little buggers are when they are soft, fuzzy Mogwai, they are delightfully evil as Gremlins. They wreak havoc during Christmas when a boy inadvertently breaks three important rules about getting his new pet wet. This is a family favorite and if you’ve never seen it, now it is the season.





Silent Night, Deadly Night

A slasher flick that brings us all back to the 80s, this film is perfect for fans of serial killer movies. It’s tehe story of an escaped maniac who returns to his childhood home on Christmas Eve, which is now a sorority house, and begins to murder the sorority sisters one by one. There is lots of blood and gore, watch this one with the lights low after the kids are in bed.




Krampus

Released last year, Krampus is based on a German legend and takes the notion of St. Nick and spins it in a whole new direction. It’s about a boy who has a bad Christmas ends up accidentally summoning this festive demon to his family home. Lots of jumpy moments make this a must-watch during the holidays.




The Nightmare Before Christmas

Okay, this is considered a Halloween flick, too, but it certainly crosses over and spans two of the best holidays of the year. You see, Jack Skellington, king of Halloween Town, discovers Christmas Town, but doesn't quite understand the concept. Can you blame him? Tim Burton is a master and this film can be enjoyed by young and old anytime during the season.





Oubliette: A Forgotten Little Place
Vanta M. Black

Genre: Fiction, Thriller, Paranormal, 
Historical Fiction, Genre-Fiction, 
New Adult, Horror

Publisher: Black Chateau Publishing

Date of Publication: March 2016

ISBN: 978-0-9964488-2-6
ISBN: 978-0-9964488-1-9
ISBN: 978-0-9964488-0-2

Number of pages: 566
Word Count: 247,912

Cover Artist: Black Chateau Enterprises

Book Description:

Veronica knows the monsters aren’t “just in her head”, but no one listens to the headstrong ten-year-old as they tie her to a hospital bed every night.

Years later, after being dumped by her business-partner/boyfriend, Veronica finds herself on the verge of bankruptcy. Then a late-night call promises the perfect solution — a job opportunity decorating a castle in France.

Will Veronica risk what little she has left to chase a fairytale?

When the shadowy things that once terrorized her come back, Veronica must decide how much she’ll sacrifice for them, for her sanity, and for her life.

This epic book consists of interwoven stories with paranormal twists. A horror-filled historical fiction adventure, it spans nearly two millennia.

You'll be transported to an ancient Pagan ritual, Roman-ruled Gaul, the bloody Inquisition of the Knights Templar, France as it's ravaged by the Black Death, the duplicitous Reformation, the Paris Catacombs, and the gory French Revolution, while you unravel Oubliette’s cryptic layers.


Amazon    BN    Author Website


Excerpt One from Oubliette—A Forgotten Little Place by Vanta M. Black - From the Prologue to Veronica’s Story

Veronica didn’t understand why they looked for the monsters in her head, that’s obviously not where they were. Instead of listening, the doctors stuck pads with wires to her temples and increased the dosage of an IV that dripped into her veins.
They also told the nurses to tie her down with thick, leather belts every night.
The tethers didn’t matter though, because when the monsters came, she wouldn’t be able to move anyway. The only thing Veronica could ever do was scream.
The doctors called them “night terrors”. The pudgy lady who talked funny –– she told Veronica it was her accent –– said they were “spirits”. Mommy used the term “shadow people”. Veronica just called them “monsters”, and wished they’d stop scaring her when she slept. 
They wanted her. Deep inside, on a primal level, Veronica knew the monsters –– or whatever they were –– craved her, and if given the chance, they would do something very, very bad to her. 
The little girl tried to explain this to the doctors, the nurses, the accent-talking lady, and her mother, but none of the adults really listened. Instead they argued and shouted at each other, and huffed in and out of the room –– but the thing that frightened Veronica the most, is when the adults would simply shrug their shoulders, and admit that they really didn’t have any idea what the monsters were at all.




About the Author:

Vanta M. Black, author of Oubliette—A Forgotten Little Place, enjoys uncovering the dark mysteries of our Universe.

In addition to writing,  she enjoys traveling to provocative places and studying all things esoteric.

Black has degrees in English, communication and art. She resides in Southern California with her husband and two pug-mix dogs, and spends her time in support of causes that empower women and advance science and technology.







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HORROR WRITING PROMOTION
 The Oh Lá Lá Oubliette Fan Fiction Contest gives writers the opportunity to win a trip to France! This is ideal for horror fans who love to read and write. 

The criteria is simple. Writers are asked to submit between 500 and 10,000 words. 

Any of the many story lines or characters from the book may be used for inspiration. A judging panel will evaluate fan fiction submissions on story structure, creativity, and authenticity to the book. 

Entries can be flash fiction, biographical, historical, poem, or 
nearly any other narrative format.



Monday, December 5, 2016

REUSE, REPURPOSE, RECYCLE . . . A SERIES by Nancy Gideon


I’m thrilled to be here at Creatively Green because I firmly believe in nothing going to waste. I am a Green Queen, a tenant I carry over into my writing. Words and ideas are a terrible thing to toss away.  With my new “House of Terriot” series, I’m doing everything I can to Reuse, Repurpose and Recycle by:

REUSING characters from my “By Moonlight” dark paranormal shape-shifter series. No characters have been discarded in the making of this four-book spin-off series. Many fan favorites will appear in main or supporting roles because a good hero makes a great secondary character (and the other way around!). 

Those who’ve read previous books will welcome familiar faces now used in a different way and new readers will have cause to scramble to find backlist books in which they appear.  Though these four new books can (and should) be thoroughly enjoyed without having read the “By Moonlight” series, there is the option of going back to the beginning with MASKED BY MOONLIGHT or just to PRINCE OF SHADOWS and REMEMBERED BY MOONLIGHT where the Terriots become part of the “By Moonlight” world.

REPURPOSING a villain into a heroine. Why have a character serve only one function when they can adapt to a new one. Readers are used to the redemption of the bad boy into serious hero material, but taking a bad girl and making her shine has been an adventure. Sylvia was the perfect mean girl in PRINCE OF SHADOWS, the character you love to hate. In PRINCE OF HONOR, with my strong, silent-type hero determined to believe there’s good in the woman he loves, she goes through a difficult (and believable) transformation into someone you can really root for. Besides, former bad girls get all the best dialogue! Also, in bringing in the rowdy, dangerous and delectable Terriot brothers, former scary thugs, now fabulous heroes, you get an entirely new perspective on the “By Moonlight” mythology and plotline through their more cynical eyes.

RECYCLING words.  No plot points have been overlooked. The underlying threads of the “By Moonlight” books continue to weave through the “House of Terriot” (again, you don’t have to have read the earlier books to get pulled right into the fabric of the storyline). And because all words are valuable, look for extra content from those scenes that didn’t make the final word count cut. 

Go Green! (that also applies to me being a newly transplanted fan of Michigan State!) and help me reuse, repurpose and recycle with the “House of Terriot” foursome.  PRINCE OF HONOR, Book 1 is now available, and watch for Book 2, PRINCE OF POWER in late January!

Prince of Honor
House of Terriot 
Book One
Nancy Gideon

Genre: paranormal

Date of Publication: 10-24-16

ASIN: B01MG3XHEH

Number of pages: 326
Word Count: 96K

Cover Artist: Patricia Lazarus

Book Description:

The hunter becomes the prey, a prisoner to his own desire . . .

Turow . . .

Strong, silent man of integrity content to serve his new king as a prince in the turbulent shape-shifter House of Terriot. A tracker and relentless hunter, he’s used to running trails alone until charged with returning a traitor to their mountain top home to face the unforgiving judgment of their clan.  On the run with the bad girl he’s loved forever, the choice between duty and desire has never been more difficult        . . . or deadly.

Could the bargain made to save their lives become reality?

Sylvia . . .

Manipulative schemer or victim caught between a mother’s ambition and a rogue prince’s lust for power? Trust is almost as foreign as the idea of love, but to save herself from certain death, she must risk both on the good man who deserves them . . . from someone worthy. Trapped by the only one who believes in her goodness, will she betray him and run for her life . . . or stay and destroy him with a long hidden truth?



Amazon     Nook     Kobo     ARe    iBooks



About the Author: 

Nancy Gideon is the award-winning, bestselling author of over 60 romances ranging from historical, regency and series contemporary suspense to dark paranormal, with a couple of horror screenplays tossed into the mix, and is currently testing the “Hybrid Author” waters of self-publishing.  When not at the keyboard, this Central Michigan writer feeds a Netflix addiction along with all things fur, fin and fowl. She also has written under the pen names Dana Ransom, Rosalyn West and Lauren Giddings.







Goodreads Group “NancyGideonbyMoonlight”: 
https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/109994-nancy-gideon-by-moonlight

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Saturday, December 3, 2016

Eco-Friendly Products for a Green Holiday Season


Here's a quick look at some of the latest eco-products I have discovered- and they are perfect for the holidays.

A big part of the holidays is based in the kitchen. Cooking, cleaning, socializing with family.

You can make the kitchen a little green this season with Twist.

Twist plant based cleaning marvels clean your house and look good while doing it. Their products are made from all natural plant materials and most are 100% biodegradable. 

My favorite Twist product is the Loofah Sponge followed by The Dish Dumpling and the Ravioli Scrubby. I will be keeping that Loofah Sponge on hand for all my kitchen and dosh cleaning needs. That sponge lasts forever and it doesn't get all nasty, squishy, slimy and stinky like the average sponge you buy from the grocery store. Well worth a couple extra dollars to keep my kitchen clean and green.










I use my Twist sponges and scrubbies with Seventh Generation all natural cleaning products. These are not something I just discovered. I've been using Seventh Generation products for over a decade but they pair nicely with the Twist sponges and scrubbies.

My favorite is the Lemongrass and Clementine Zest Dish Liquid


After a day of cleaning I love to unwind with a hot mug of tea. Numi Teas are great for that. Healthy and organic. My favorite flavor so far is Earl Gray. I hope to try many more. 



Now if you are ready for some eco-friendly holiday shopping and you have a cosmetic lover on your list, EcoTools is a must.





EcoTools offers Cosmetic Brushes, Hair Brushes and Body/Bath Brushes with super soft bristles. EcoTools offers 100% cruelty free products made with recycled materials. 

And the packaging is tree free made with cotton and bamboo fibers.

What's not to love?

Oh and did I mention EcoTools are affordable? Oh yeah, they have gift sets for the holidays starting at only $14.99.


Now that I've had the opportunity to try EcoTools I don't think I'll ever buy any another make up brush brand.

Disclosure- EcoTools, Twist and Numi Teas provided free products for me to try in exchange for my honest opinion.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

The Haunting of Hotel LaBelle by Sharon Buchbinder





The Haunting of Hotel LaBelle        
Sharon Buchbinder

Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal, Fantasy

Publisher: The Wild Rose Press

Date of Publication: November 16, 2016

Print ISBN 978-1-5092-1153-1
Digital ISBN 978-1-5092-1154-8

Number of pages: 198
Word Count: 48,000

Cover Artist: Rae Monet

Tagline: The past meets the present when a curse turn-of-the-century man meets a feisty modern day woman.

Book Description:

When hotel inspector, Tallulah Thompson, is called in along with her pug, Franny, to investigate renovation delays, she meets an extremely annoyed and dapper turn-of-the-century innkeeper. The only problem is he’s in limbo, neither dead nor alive, and Tallulah and the pug are the first to see him in a hundred years.

Cursed by a medicine woman, “Love ‘em and Leave ‘em Lucius” Stewart is stuck between worlds until he finds his true love and gives her his heart. When he first sees Tallulah, he doesn’t know what he’s feeling. Yet, her stunning beauty, and feisty attitude pull him in.

With the fate of Hotel LaBelle on the line, Tallulah with the help of a powerful medicine woman turns Lucius back into a flesh and blood man. She and Lucius team up to save the hotel, but Tallulah can't help but wonder if he will ever let go of his past love and learn to love again.


Amazon    BN     iTunes    Kobo    ARe     Bookstrand

Short Intro:

This short novel gives readers insights into Homeland Security Anomaly Defense Director Bert Blackfeather’s Native American heritage. An in-between book in the Jinni Hunter Series, this is a lighter paranormal tale than the others. Take one Montana innkeeper from an era when men were men and women were glad of it, one sassy hotel inspector with a pug on patrol, and stir in a generous dollop of humor and sexual tension—and you have The Haunting of Hotel LaBelle. Come along to Big Sky Country and enjoy the ride with Tallulah, Lucius, Bert, and his sister, Emma as they join forces to rescue the people and the hotel they love.


Excerpt:

A book flew at his head—and sailed through him, bouncing off the wall and landing on the floor.
            Mouth agape, the woman stared from him to the book and back to him again. “You’re a ghost.”
            “Not exactly. Shall we start over?” He leaned against the wall and folded his arms across his chest. “After a hundred years of being invisible to everyone except you, I’d like to know who you are and what you’re doing here.”
            “Of course. Why not? Could today get any weirder?” She sank into the desk chair, shook her head, and sighed. “My name is Tallulah Thompson. I’m a hotel inspector, hired by the current owner as a consultant to find out why the renovations are delayed and what he needs to do to fix it. He’s teetering on the brink of bankruptcy.”
            “What tribe are you?”
            She jerked her head up and those doggone lapis lazuli eyes of hers sparked as if she’d strike him with lightning and kill him with one look. “No one asks that. It’s not politically correct.”
            “Well, I guess you haven’t been talking to the right people. And I don’t know what you mean by that last part. I’ve never been involved in politics.”
            “Nowadays, it’s considered rude to ask about another person’s national origins.” She threw her hands up. “Why am I giving a ghost an etiquette lesson? What am I thinking?”




About the Author:

Sharon Buchbinder has been writing fiction since middle school and has the rejection slips to prove it. An RN, she provided health care delivery, became a researcher, association executive, and obtained a PhD in Public Health. When not teaching or writing, she can be found fishing, walking her dogs, or breaking bread and laughing with family and friends in Baltimore, MD and Punta Gorda, FL.


Twitter ID @sbuchbinder https://twitter.com/sbuchbinder






Newsletter http://www.sharonbuchbinder.com/contact.html#newsletter

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Monday, November 28, 2016

The Fractured Hero - High Functioning Super-Alcoholic




So, I finished Jessica Jones this week. Rather than binge, I dined on an episode or two each night: chewing each morsel of the show’s twisted diversity, savoring the experience. And what an experience it was. Not since Penny Dreadful, and recently Daredevil, has a show so thoroughly engrossed me with its themes, characters and script. I’m sure that you’ve heard a lot about the content of the show, or formed your own opinions: it’s an examination of rape culture, it’s about substance abuse more than super heroes, it’s not your typical “origin” story. I’d agree with most of the aforementioned opinions to an extent and with caveats. Here’s my take. (Note: I’m going to talk as if you’re already familiar with the show and have watched it to completion—spoilers abound and will not be flagged.)

It’s about rape culture. Indeed, the discussion of sexual assault arises, repeatedly, throughout the show. Including a few powerful lines where Jessica insists to her nemesis—the whingeing and waifish Killgrave—that he raped her again and again. The message is pretty clear that she was abused, sexually and otherwise, during her months of imprisonment with Killgrave. We never see any of this abuse, though it’s often referenced. We see plenty of Killgrave’s current atrocities, however, which paints a strong enough picture of what sort of villain he is. Still, and perhaps the show’s biggest failing, was that it didn’t really set up that backstory of abuse enough—not even with a hazy flashback. We don’t need another Sansa GoT moment; Mr. Martin’s characters are all mostly reprehensible and hard to commiserate for anyway. However, a stronger barb between Jessica and Killgrave would’ve been nice.

There was one fantastic flashback, where Jessica has a moment of freedom from Killgrave’s control and contemplates leaping off a building to either death or freedom. She hesitates, though, and Killgrave re-enslaves her will before she does anything rash. The consequences of her near-rebellion are chilling, and he commands her into an act of self-harm. I wish we’d seen a little more of that tasteful yet heinous, sexual tension and torment that he’d inflicted upon her. Nonetheless, even without a fully established foil, the dynamic between Jessica and Killgrave is electric. Killgrave’s comeuppance, too, and that final send-off-to-Jesus-line (well, Satan, for him) that Jessica gives him, left me fist-pumping and hooting-and-hollering at the screen. An utterly satisfying conclusion.

All that said, one of the most powerful scenes in the show for me, was when Jessica revealed to the man with whom she’d developed a sexual relationship (Luke Cage) that she’d killed his wife. Wow. Even though Killgrave had commanded her to do it, and she was under the effect of his mind-mojo at the time, her guilt and culpability were palpable. “I was inside you,” Luke—the victim in this case—said to her, with horror. And Jessica had no reply for him, for she realized the cruelty of what she’d done, which was similar to what Killgrave did to her. That scene was an astoundingly clever and subversive switch of the jargon and stereotypes commonly associated with rape. All throughout the show, really, you see a lot of this mutability in expectations and roles: from swapping cannon character genders (Hogarth, who’s a man in the comics), to the example I cited a moment ago. The show proves that motivations and trauma aren’t tied to gender.

It’s about substance abuse. Sure, this is another prevalent element to the series. I mean, Jessica is basically a high-functioning alcoholic—driven to the bottle by what she’d endured. Her neighbor Malcolm is a junkie, and also a sometimes willing spy for Killgrave; work that gives him a steady stream of narcotics. Luke is addicted to the memories of his departed wife. Hogarth is addicted to power. Trish is addicted to helping people. In one scene, where the survivors of Killgrave’s influence have gathered to discuss their trauma, the now ex-junkie poses the question of whether Killgrave’s suggestions are entirely propelled by the mutant’s power and not also by an individual’s latent weakness—Malcolm’s want to be high and to forget, in this case. The complexity of personal darkness and its effect on addiction is rarely explored so profoundly in shows, let alone what’s supposed to be a gumshoe, superhero drama (admittedly, I don’t have many of those with which to compare Jessica Jones).

It’s not your typical hero origin story. Well, it’s not the sort of Hollywood pap that we’re used to, that’s for sure. In Jessica Jones, there’s no clear cut sense of good and evil. Many of Jessica’s actions are questionable, and wouldn’t survive moral scrutiny. The plot progression is messy: plans fall apart, things fail—just like the people in the tale. Jessica Jones portrays a world filled with broken, struggling people. Persons who aren’t heroes, and yet, who will be defined by perceived selfless actions that have a root in trauma. I write characters like this. I know people like this. I am a flawed and aspiring-to-be-better human, myself. That’s why the show struck such a chord in me.

Brilliantly acted, meaty, complex and brutally beautiful, Jessica Jones is a show that can’t be missed.



Feast of Chaos
Four Feasts till Darkness
Book Three
Christian A. Brown                 

Genre: Dark Fantasy/ Literary/ Romance

Publisher: Forsythia Press

Date of Publication: September 23rd, 2016

ISBN: 978-0994014429
ASIN: B01M1ESQ3Y

Number of pages: 698
Word Count: 250K

Cover Artist: Dane at Ebookcoverlaunch

Book Description:

Menos has been destroyed. No corner of the realm of Geadhain is safe from the Black Queen’s hunger. Zionae—or the Great Dreamer, as she has been called in ancient tongues—has a thirst that cannot be quenched until all of Geadhain burns and bleeds. She preys on the minds of weak men and exploits human folly for an unhuman end. She cannot be defeated in her current state, but the answer to her downfall may lie in the land of her past.

It is with this aim that a Daughter of Fate, Morigan, and her brave and true companions venture to the mysterious Pandemonia, the land of chaos itself. Ancient secrets and even older power lurk in its swamps and deserts. Life itself becomes uncertain, but the Hunters of Fate have no choice: Pandemonia must give up its secrets if they want to find the Black Queen’s weakness.

Elsewhere in the realm, alliances form and break. Dead men rise and heroes fall. Eod prepares for war. In hiding, Lila, the bearer of its destruction, will be given a chance to atone and answer for her sins. Will her actions save Eod, or has she damned it with her crimes?




Excerpt:
Heathsholme was quaint—Central Geadhain’s darling, as the locals proclaimed. Looking down upon it, passengers on skycarriages were often struck by the fact that the realm possessed the look of a joyfully made quilt. Red-leafed orchards, yellow fields of flax and corn, patches of blue brocade that were swimming pools and watering holes…all threaded with brown branching roads. Sweet winds blew down from the North year-round, bearing only cool and refreshing properties until winter rose to claim the throne of seasons. When the North wind came, it froze Heathsholme’s pools into skating circles and decorated the large trees with grand chandeliers of ice. In the depths of that season, the staunch apple trees finally died. Their fruits fell to the ground and were collected. Their blossoms broke from their branches and filled the air like flocks of migrating winter birds. During this season, families came from the West, South, and East to visit Heathsholme and enjoy great outdoor festivals of food, music, mulled cider, and wine—for which the region was also famed.
Partly on account of the season’s coolness, these celebrations happened around great bonfires. At night, when the happily drunk howled at the moon, a primal spirit took hold, and effigies of nameless spirits were burned in the pyres. No one could remember why or how the Vallistheim tradition had been born, only that it was a remnant of the customs once imposed by Taroch. The ancient warlord had been fascinated by the Northmen’s rites, and had introduced many of them to Central Geadhain. Vallistheim—the winter festival—was believed to bring bounty and luck in the New Year. Over time, polite society had done away with many of the less pleasant sacrificial details to make the ritual friendlier to outsiders. Now only one cow from each of the barns and byres that rose on rings in the hilled highlands around the heart of the township was cooked in a great feast, without having been ritually slaughtered first.
In the uncultivated grasses past the city proper and its farmlands, a dedicated explorer could find the remains of crumbled churches that had been built to honor the now vanished religion of Taroch’s fancies. Runes that the sages had translated into such names as Freyallah, Odric, and Helhayr were found chiseled in the mossy arches of these grounds. These sites of an ancient religion were thought by modern minds to be haunted or perhaps protected by the ancient spirits or warriors mentioned in the stones. It was the sort of refuge where a monster, fearful of being seen, could find sanctuary.





About the Author:

Bestselling author of the critically acclaimed Feast of Fates, Christian A. Brown received a Kirkus star in 2014 for the first novel in his genre-changing Four Feasts Till Darkness series. He has appeared on Newstalk 1010, AM640, Daytime Rogers, and Get Bold Today with LeGrande Green. He actively writes a blog about his mother’s journey with cancer and on gender issues in the media. A lover of the weird and wonderful, Brown considers himself an eccentric with a talent for cat-whispering.





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