Life in progress


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THE MAGICIAN’S CURSE is FREE & BookBub!!

There will be a couple of other posts on this subject over the next few days, but this one is for my regular readers, just to explain what kind of crazy (and exciting!) week it’s been for me. To explain why The Magician’s Curse is free for the rest of the month and maybe a bit beyond. I never really wanted it to be free, but I figured it was my best chance …

You see, I decided, just on a whim, to submit The Magician’s Curse to *BookBub as a Featured Deal. Total long shot, as they receive hundreds of submissions a day. It’s like winning the lottery.  …  AND I WON!! On July 24th, an e-mail will go out to roughly 870,000(!!!) subscribers to let them know my book exists and that it’s free!!!

This is HUGE for me (said Captain Obvious), so it was important that I get the second book in the series ready to go. And that’s what I’ve been doing for the past week.

So what this all comes down to is that the e-book copy of The Magician’s Curse is free!! (Click here to see the sexy new universal link I created for it.)

If you haven’t read it yet, now is the time to get it. It will go back up to full price after the BookBub Feature, but it may stay on sale for a while longer if another submission comes through for me of a similar type, but exclusively through KOBO.

 

And finally, my other exciting news: the second book in The Great Dagmaru series is available for pre-order! My darling friend, Belinda Borradaile, (click on her name and follow her amazing FB page) really outdid herself with the new cover. Isn’t it gorgeous?

The Magician’s Blood is at the special low pre-order price of $2.99 until its release on August 10th. After that, the price will go up to $4.99, so be sure to pick it up early! (Click here.)

Here’s the blurb:

Herman Anderson is in love. Thrilled to travel across Canada with her boyfriend as his assistant onstage, she returns to her hometown—the first stop on the Great Dagmaru magic tour. Anticipating a reunion with her brother, instead she finds her family has moved without a trace.

Stephen Dagmar’s career as a stage magician is taking off. With Herman by his side, his only concern is her father’s dislike for him. But as Herman’s father makes a prediction and resolves to come between them, Stephen’s family curse returns to haunt him.

Darkness descends as the reality of the Dagmar’s incubus bloodline surfaces for the first time in over a generation. Can Herman and Stephen’s relationship survive this new trial? Will Herman survive at all?

A sinful tale of beauty and romance, love and determination, The Magician’s Blood will chill you and leave you breathless for more.

*18+ Contains explicit scenes.

This one is NOT a Young Adult book, as many readers seemed to think The Magician’s Curse was meant to be. So be forewarned.

Just a quick note about BookBub, in case you want to subscribe: I mentioned BookBub in another post here. Once you subscribe, you let them know what your favourite genres are and then they send you e-mails on a daily basis to alert you when there’s a sale on. You can also follow your favourite authors, so you’ll know right away when there’s a new release … your favourite authors like me … (click here if I’m not being obvious enough). 😉

Obviously, I won’t be sleeping much until this Tuesday and probably beyond. Knowing that I can expect (re: BookBub’s average download count for my genre) 22,600 copies of my book to fly off the virtual shelf tends to come with a prerequisite hourly SQUEE!!

Watch for The Magician’s Curse to hit the top of the charts on Tuesday, July 24th, and hopefully The Magician’s Blood will too!

SQUEE!!

*Here’s an excellent article to show you what BookBub does for unknown skilled authors: It Isn’t Amazon Publishers Should Fear, It’s BookBub


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#SoCS – Story Updates

“His eyes glowed with the ferocity of the demon within.”

This could almost be the tagline for the second novel in my series. It seems I need something to warn people that it won’t be as tame as the first book–the one so many people said could have gone under the young adult (YA) tag. So there’s that.

In other writing news, I’ve decided to give my sexy short story to my existing pseudonym, so she’ll be making her debut soon. The way it looks now, the anthology will be free, so everyone who’s interested will be able to afford it. I, with my team of editors (Milly who’s doing the developmental editing, and Raine who’s proofreading–I’m copyediting), are working hard, also for free, to get this thing looking professional. It’s a labour of love, in more ways than one. I’m still hoping to get the aforementioned series novel out soon. I need more hours in a day. Maybe a cover reveal will get me off my butt for that. Yeah.

In the meantime, here’s the cover “reveal” (ahem) for the sexy book I’m editing and included in. As you can see, the target audience is more on the side of “her.”

This post, complete with bonus points earned, is brought to you by Stream of Consciousness Saturday! Click the following link to check out all the other entries and to join in, too! https://lindaghill.com/2018/02/16/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-feb-17-18/

 


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ON FIRE – Burn, Baby, Burn

THE FLAME OF LICK’S ISLAND

~an excerpt from my short ghost story in the ON FIRE Anthology from Transmundane Press.

Once upon a time, there was a flame on a candle, in a window, of a house, on an island, on a lake, on the Earth, in the universe…
Flashback to the flame.

Marissa

Mike and I sat holding hands across the desk from our lawyer and best friend, Jeremy, when we got the news. The crisply burnt edges of the will should have told me something was weird. I didn’t say anything—I guess I was too excited.

Jeremy shook his head as he dotted the last “I” on the page. “I’ve heard about long-lost relatives coming out of the woodwork before, but this is the first time I’ve seen it happen.”

He stood and extended his hand across the desk. “Mike, Marissa, congratulations. You’re the proud owners of an island with a house and two sheds.”

“Thank you, Uncle Hubert, whoever you were,” Mike said.

“Will you move out there right away?”

“Yeah, we’ve decided.” Mike smiled at me. “We’re going to sell the condo. Assuming the place is livable…”

“I’ve been assured that it’s in great condition. Electricity, water… It’s even got great satellite service.”

“That’s perfect then,” I said. “Dibs on one of the sheds for my art studio.”

“Done. I’ll use the other one for my woodworking shop.” Mike smiled and squeezed my hand. He kissed my forehead with a sigh, and I let out one of my own, already mentally packing my art supplies.

***
Our trip to Lick’s Island began as an adventure. We were both twenty-four, had known each other for a year, had been in love for three-quarters of that time and married for half of it. We arrived in a speed boat, our guide a sun-browned old man with wild, straw-like hair and teeth that would rival a picket fence. When he dropped us off with the canoe he’d towed along behind us, he seemed nervous, his eyes shifty and his laugh like the rusty springs on a beaten-up car. He kept asking us if we were sure we wanted to spend the night.

“Sure as the sun’s going to come up tomorrow,” Mike told him.

So off he went, leaving us behind.

 

***

ON FIRE

Capable of creation and destruction, fire burns within us.
Behind the thick, black smoke of our lives, we blaze with our own unique flame.
While love compels some, others feed greed and lust into their hearths.
A tool for the deft hand, used with magic or as a weapon, but irresponsibility leaves deep burns and promises dreadful consequences.

ON FIRE brings to light twenty-six tales that explore this unpredictable yet beautiful element.
Handle with care.

Coming out 12.01.17!

Contact Information:
Website: http://www.transmundanepress.com/
Blog: https://www.transmundanepressblog.wordpress.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TransmundanePress/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/TransmundnePres
Newsletter sign up: http://eepurl.com/bYiL2r

Visit our author pages to learn more about the contributors here.

Enter Transmundane’s Giveaways!

Links:

Giveaway One:
$25 Amazon gift card giveaway

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/5ea998ae8/?

Giveaway Two:

Win one of five copies of Octavia Butler’s Bloodchild and Other Stories by following Transmundane Press on Amazon. Only available for US participants.

https://giveaway.amazon.com/p/242689e142393cd4#ts-en

And don’t forget to buy your copy of ON FIRE on December 1st, 2017!


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Cover Reveal and how I got this far

I started writing The Great Dagmaru in November 2011 for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). I’d completed the challenge with 50,000 words twice already, but in 2011 it wasn’t meant to be. My entire family got sick that month and we were in and out of the hospital. Yet I persisted with my novel because I’d fallen in love with these characters in a way I’d never fallen in love with my characters before.

After eighteen months, I finally wrote “The End” and then I went into a strange depression for a couple of weeks. It was a book hangover with a mighty kick – a kick mighty enough to make me continue the story. I’m currently working on Book 3.

I hope to have Book 2 edited and released by early 2018. In the meantime, thanks to the incredible, torturous (I’m not easily satisfied, apparently) work of my lovely cover artist, Belinda, (you can find her here) I finally have the opportunity to present to you the cover of my first book in the series The Great Dagmaru, entitled The Magician’s Curse.

Blog tour with lots of details to come!


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Coming soon! “Blood Phoenix: Imprinted” by Alisha Costanzo

With an old war raging between vampires and shifters, Ria must learn to refocus her life if she’s going to survive.

Her renegade fight was just the beginning. The queen is recruiting new soldiers. Ria’s going on vicious missions with her battle buddy. And her explosive abilities are malfunctioning at inopportune moments.

So now, Ria must forgo her selfish desires to compartmentalize her life, but what’s she to do when she can’t save everyone she wants to? One girl may not be capable of taking down an empire. Good thing Ria’s got help.

Coming May 9, 2017!

An Excerpt from Chapter Eleven:

Tahe whimpered beside me as I came awake with the hot fumes of barbequed meat and blood clogging my sense of smell. Her breath fast and shallow, her nails dipped into my forearm. “You awake, red.”
“Yeah.” A mallet pounded on my temples in a steady staccato, and I rubbed them as the cracked windshield came into view.
“Good.” Her breath caught. “Need some help.”
Terror strangled me when I turned to her. A piece of metal pinned her to the seat through her abdomen. I jumped back, hitting the door handle with my shoulder blades.
“Oh shit.”
Harris blinked at me from the passenger seat, dagger handle jutting out of his chest and blood dripping from the corner of his mouth. “You bitch.”
“Red.”
I jerked back to reality and the blood spreading through her top. I peered around quick, looking for the phantoms of Harris. Nothing but woods.
“Ain’t nothing to go off the deep end about. At least it ain’t wood.” Tahe took another shaky breath. “How far out the back is it?”
The metal came out clean on the other side. “A few inches.”
“Doable.” Wetness garbled her words.
“Okay. You need to stop talking unless it’s necessary. Let me see if I can pull it out the front.” A single hole of a few inches in diameter punctured the windshield on her side, and the metal looked like one of the posts off the guardrail. The end still had a flat wire where it connected to rail and left Tahe enough room to grab hold of it with one hand. I hoped there were no jagged pieces inside that would tear her further when I pulled it out, but if it did, I’d need something to stop the bleeding.
My door was crushed shut. “I’m going to see if there’s anything in the trunk to tend the wound once you’re free, but I have to break my window. Turn away so I don’t spray you.”
Pulling my sleeve taut against my elbow, I hit the glass three times before it shattered. A small chunk fell inside, but the rest remained intact with spider-line fractures that I pushed out.
The trunk didn’t have a whole lot of useful junk: just fluids, a jack, and a spare tire. Crap. I needed to call for help. My phone proved useless with its smashed screen. Double crap.
My giant savior it was then.

Bio: Alisha Costanzo is from a Syracuse suburb. She earned her MFA in creative writing from the University of Central Oklahoma, where she currently teaches English. She’s the author of BLOOD PHOENIX: REBIRTH, BLOOD PHOENIX: CLAIMED, BLOOD PHOENIX: IMPRINTED, and LOVING RED, and co-editor of DISTORTED. UNDERWATER, and AFTER THE HAPPILY EVER AFTER. She’s currently editing her new 2017 fire-themed anthology, writing about Ria’s father, and crafting her new YA novel for its 2018 release. In the meantime, she will continue to corrupt young minds, rant about the government, and daydream about her all around nasty creatures.


Follow Alisha at these sites:

Website: http://www.alishacostanzo.weebly.com

Blog: http://www.alishamcostanzo.wordpress.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/brokenworldauthor

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AlishaCostanzo

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/alishacostanzo/

Pinterest – https://www.pinterest.com/alishacostanzo/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4618491.Alisha_Costanzo

To enter to win an e-copy of Blood Phoenix: Imprinted, click the following link:

Rafflecopter giveaway


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After the Happily Ever After – Coming Soon!

As you may remember, some time ago I mentioned that one of my short stories (unpublished) was to be included in an anthology. Here it is!

Along with this cover reveal is a chance to win a $10 Amazon gift card, as well as a Kickstarter campaign where you can get all kinds of stuff, including coffee mugs, posters, short stories, hard cover editions of the anthology, and even a personal editing session with the Transmundane Press editors. Make sure you check out all the links.

And don’t forget to read the teasers: you’ll find mine under the “humor” section.

ever-after-amazon-kindle

SYNOPSIS:
The happily ever after is never the end. The curtain doesn’t fall once love is recognized or evil is vanquished. Credits don’t roll once the giant is slain or the big bad wolf is boiled alive. Wicked stepsisters, malevolent rulers, and hideous creatures still have lives after their sinister roles play out; heroes, lovers, and dreamers often find their victories lead to more troubles.
Within these pages are more than seventy continuations, retellings, and eldritch stories that explore the dark forests, magical castles, and hideous creatures After the Happily Ever After.

CONTACT INFORMATION:
Website: http://www.transmundanepress.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TransmundanePress/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/TransmundnePres
Newsletter sign up: http://eepurl.com/bYiL2r
Pre-order/Kickstarter link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/transmundanepress/1386536964?token=aede0285

EDITORS’ BIOS:
Alisha Costanzo is from a Syracuse suburb. She earned her MFA in creative writing from the University of Central Oklahoma, where she currently teaches English. She’s the author of BLOOD PHOENIX: REBIRTH, BLOOD PHOENIX: CLAIMED, and LOVING RED, and is co-editor of DISTORTED and UNDERWATER. IMPRINTED, her new novel, is undergoing serious edits for its 2017 release. In the meantime, she will continue to corrupt young minds, rant about the government, and daydream about her all around nasty creatures.

Having relocated from Northwest Florida’s lonesome roads and haunted swamps, Anthony S. Buoni now prowls the gas lamp lit streets of New Orleans, playing moonlight hide and seek in the Crescent City’s above ground cemeteries. Anthony is the author of Conversation Party, Bad Apple Bolero, as well as the editor to the Between There anthologies. His stories and articles have been featured in North Florida Noir and Waterfront Living. When not prowling, Anthony keeps it scary, writing dark fiction, editing, and watching horror movies. In his spare time, he DJs, plays music, and conjures other worldly creatures with tarot cards and dreams.

PURCHASE LINKS:
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Transmundane-Press/e/B00Q9R2F9W
KICKSTARTER Pre-Order: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/transmundanepress/1386536964?token=aede0285

GIVEAWAY

$10 Amazon Gift Card
https://gleam.io/bKc4r/after-the-happily-ever-after-cover-reveal-giveaway

TEASERS:

Horror

“The Spider’s Kiss” by David Turnball:
Her complexion had assumed the tainted gray of the corpse, the white of her eyes inebriated red with the wine of ruptured veins, the flesh on her fingers as black as spider legs.
“How perfectly contrary I’ve become.”
For entertainment, she plucked wings from flies and hung their panicking bodies from the gossamer mesh of a spider web draping the dusty corner of her mother’s garret, watching lustfully as the long-legged spider came slowly dancing around his prey. When the mood took, she’d pop the panicky little insect torsos into her mouth. Their sour juices oozing down her throat afforded her an invigorating but fleeting sensation.

“Jack and Jill” by Tom Williams:
Mrs Dob. He tapped an inch of ash off the joint. That ridiculous paper turban the child had worn. Evan remembered Jack’s pinched little face looking up at him, so serious, so sombre it made him smile. Dear Jack, have you lost your Jill, too, you poor thing. He took a deep, lungful of smoke.
Imagine, Jack and I both losing our Jills.
There was a difference though, an important one. Evan knew where his Jill was. Oh, yes, he knew exactly where she was. Hadn’t he carried her corpse, twice as heavy in death, across a ploughed field, staggering under her weight as he tottered over the furrows.

Fantasy

“Trader” by Robert Dawson
The ocean holds many kinds of islands. There are the ordinary sort of islands that stay in the same place all the time, solid reliable islands where men and women raise their children and cabbages. Beyond them lie the barren rocks, swallowed and released as the moon draws the tides, where only the selchie folk live, and the shifting sandbars where the cold mermaidens wait to marry drowned sailors.
Then there are hidden islands that appear on no charts. The boats of Land’s Men cannot find them except now and again by mischance, and to land there is perilous. The largest islands have been sighted often enough by Land’s Men that they have names: Thule, Hy Brasil, and golden Atlantis. But most are nameless to the people of the Land, and on these, the Sea Folk dwell.

“The Dragon” by R. Judas Brown
Lavender knew no one would come for her. Bad things happened to the daughters of poor, dairy farmers every day. The best she hoped for in life was a good marriage arrangement to a solid provider. Her dad only just found that arrangement with the town miller, a man her dad’s age. His apprentice looked like more fun, but the miller was well off.
Then she had been taken.
Fire from the sky.
A slam from behind, knocking her flat before the ground fell away impossibly fast.
Trees and rivers rushed by as she hung from yellow, bony talons until the darkness crept mercifully into her vision to steal her terror away.
She awoke on a bed of sharp sticks in a cave reeking of sulfur. Confused, she stood slowly, trying to find some semblance of sanity in the dark. A glowing sliver of daylight burned around the covered mouth of the cave.
Her feet froze before she had taken a full step as what she thought was a boulder in the dark shifted.
A long tail whipped as a pointed snout swung to regard her. It filled the cave entrance, a giant, scaly mass—a creature renowned for merciless violence and calculated malevolence. Lavender jerked back, tripping on the hem of her skirt in panic. Hands and arms scraped along jagged edges as she fell into the pile of sticks. When she came face to face with a skull, the truth shuddered through her.

Humor

“Alice on the Analyst’s Couch” by Linda G. Hill
Alice’s psychiatrist, the esteemed Dr. Dinah Fell, promised her the nightmares would stop. And to the doctor’s credit, she seemed to know what she was talking about; six months after the incident when seven-year-old Alice fell asleep under the tree, they had. That was, however, fourteen years ago.
Fresh out of college, Alice found a job quickly—to the dismay of many of her peers who had exceeded her in marks, but not in popularity —in the accounting industry for which she had studied. She hadn’t wanted to admit, even to her sister with whom she shared an apartment, that the leering man in human resources hired her based on the length of her legs and the cut of her blouse rather than her qualifications. He reminded her of someone with far too many teeth for the size of his mouth.
But regardless, she left her car at home and took the bus to work, knowing that parking spaces downtown were prime real estate. She walked the two blocks from the bus stop—about all she could stand in stilettos—and approached the receptionist at the paneled desk that fronted the office of Queen and Jack Inc . The middle-aged woman with a red bouffant hairstyle studied Alice from top to bottom. Her tight-lipped moue indicated her disapproval of the young woman’s tight sweater and short skirt, but she conceded that there was, indeed, a Mr. Topper waiting to see her in his office. The secretary stood and told Alice to follow.
“I’m Rose . You’ll come to see me only when you leave for the day, so I’ll know to take messages. You will not come to me for copies, faxes, telephone books, coffee, or favors of any sort.” She stopped at a door at the end of the long hall and placed her hand on the knob.
“Good luck.” She opened the door, and walked back in the direction from whence they had come.

“The Secret Life of Blanca Snowe” by Saryn Chorney:
The tragic events of Blanca’s childhood were at least partially to blame for her present condition. Blanca’s mother died in childbirth, and her wealthy father, the lord of Fairest Landing, raised his beloved only-daughter by himself. Although he lavished Blanca with love and affection, he missed having a wife. When Blanca turned thirteen, he remarried. Unfortunately, his new wife, Hilde, was a manipulative and vain woman with a suspicious agenda. Mostly, she busied herself spending her new husband’s fortune on beauty products. Hilde ignored Blanca; she passed the majority of her time in the toilette, mixing ointments and talking to herself in the mirror. Perhaps that wasn’t so odd, though, as Blanca spent the majority of her day talking to the birds, bunnies, squirrels, and stray cats in the courtyard of their estate.
Although the Fairest Landing police officially declared it an accident, Lord Snowe died suddenly from an allergic reaction to one of his wife’s homemade tonics, which he mistook for mouthwash. Hilde made a big show of appearing devastated, but after a month of official mourning, she debuted a new youthful look and entertained suitors. To her disdain, most of them took a shine to Blanca, who was sixteen by then. In juxtaposition to her innocent beauty, the girl also had an alluring countenance that intrigued men. This infuriated Hilde, who gave a handsome sum to a handsome hitman named Hunter to make Blanca disappear. Mid-kidnap-and-chop-up plan, Hunter found himself pitying his pretty prey. Instead of offing her, he dropped her off at a so-called safe house where seven merry men lived.

Romance

“Beauty and the Beast: The Beast Within” by Lorraine Nelson:
“And that’s what you miss?” he snapped. “That childish, immature, ranting, raving, beast-like creature?”
Belle bit back a smile. “You need to let me finish. All will be explained.” She hoped. Adam grunted, the sound so much like what her beloved Beast made whenever he was displeased that her heart twisted. For one brief second, he was back with her. Then he glanced at her, questions evident in his beautiful, human eyes. And the moment was gone.

“Need to be Apart” by Jody Sollazzo
“Once upon a time in a land far, far away, Westchester, New York…” Cam pauses.
He kisses her all over. His lips are moist, biting, and wanting. He gets to her stomach and kisses a line across it. He rolls her to her side and bites her ample hip, and she squeals.
“…there was a beautiful princess. Everyone saw how beautiful she was except for the bloody beast.”
His voice is as thick as the Dublin heat outside of this crisp air-conditioned Hilton. Em almost forgets about the all the hidden trafficking below. How all these people look the same to her. Em almost forgets who she is.
“That’s not how it was at all,” she says with giggles.

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I’M PUBLISHED!! (almost)

And now I’m at a loss for words.

It’s been an interesting time to get to this point, and someday I’ll write about it. For now, I’d like to introduce you to my amazing cover, designed by the even more amazing and lovely Belinda Borradaile, to whom I’d like to express my profound thanks. You can find Belinda’s stunning artwork and her amazing writing at https://idiotwriting.wordpress.com/

 

Book Cover For Linda G HIll

All Good Stories is a romance novelette that was begun as a project for the A-Z April Challenge in 2014. It was originally written entirely off the cuff and posted on my fiction blog unedited.

As best friends, Xavier and Jupiter have always been supportive of each others’ romantic relationships. But when Jupiter meets Bob online, Xavier can’t help but feel he needs to come to her rescue. There’s just something about Bob. In the process of preventing Bob from wooing Jupiter away, Xavier realizes he’s been in love with her all along. Can he keep her safe and win her heart? And will he ever get to read her manuscript?

Join Xavier, Jupiter, and a quirky cast of characters in this fun romantic comedy novelette with a twist you won’t see coming.

A few kind comments from my beta readers. With sincere appreciation:

“You got a couple of laughs out of me, and seriously, I do not laugh when I’m reading.” ~ Maggie Wilson, Writer/Blogger

“A lot of fun!” ~ Bee Halton, Blogger/Poetess

“A fun, easy read. It had me chuckling many times.” ~ Jeanne Owens, author of Kismet and Tell, and Chronicles of Riss.

Since All Good Stories is less than 50 pages in length, I’ve decided not to print a physical copy. The release date is Wednesday, August 10, 2016. You can pre-order your eBook for just 99¢ at Amazon worldwide for automatic delivery to your device on that day. Please find it here:

USA: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01JQWMQAE

Canada: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B01JQWMQAE

UK:  https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01JQWMQAE

All Good Stories will be available on Kobo by its release date!

Please feel free to share this post on your blog and all over social media! Thank you! And happy reading!