Thursday, June 28, 2012


Greetings, fellow bookworms!

Today I’m welcoming Stephen Zimmer/Erin from the Fires in Eden Series.

Hope you enjoy this interview. If you like what you see, please leave me a comment on this post or follow my blog.

Spirit of Fire cover First


Character Interview of Erin, from the Fires in Eden Series

Hi Erin, sorry for bothering you in your dream, but I wanted to talk with you if that is okay.

You mean you want to talk to me and probably harangue me, like just about everybody is doing these days. Look, I don’t need any more advice or telling me what I should be doing. You can talk with me if you want, but I’ll cut it real short if you start acting like Lee or Gunther. Not dealing with lectures right now. I’ve got more than enough to think about.

No, I’m not here to judge, I just wanted to ask you about a few things. How are you doing right now?

Lousy. Is that clear enough? But at least we are going to be under the sky again. Fresh air, thank God. I hated being down in a big cave all the time where you can’t even tell day from night. It was driving me crazy. The blue light over everything was eerie. Everything seemed cool and damp. The Unguhur were downright weird, and I don’t even want to begin talking about what they like to eat.

You are a vegetarian, aren’t you? That would present some difficulties in the world of the Unguhur.

Yes, I am, and I have been for quite a while. It apparently was very amusing to Lee and Ryan after we met them here in this world. They probably got a kick out of it when I got sick on some berries. I have tried to stay the way I am here, but you have to survive too. But I can still be grossed out when I see things like giant spiders and bats being used for food, like the Unguhur hunters bring back. What they eat is absolutely disgusting. I couldn’t eat any of it if I wanted to. Bland mushrooms and a little fish were about it while I was down there.

You mention hunters. You were hunted yourself during your time in Ave, were you not?

Twice now. Once right when we got here. Yeah, a pretty rude greeting to this world for sure. Just after we found ourselves in this place some big flying monster attacked me and Lynn. We barely escaped it, and I think it ran into something worse, but it sure did make us wary about everything. Being almost eaten really lets you know you aren’t in Kansas anymore, if you know what I mean.

The other time we had a group of big, four-legged predators go after me and Ryan, when we were just wanting to talk a short walk in the woods. They were huge, and had longer heads, very aggressive. Gunther called them something like Hyaeds. We got out of that situation too, thankfully. (Voice lowers) I do feel really bad about one of Gunther’s Jaghuns dying then.

No, I don’t like being hunted, and it makes me even more convicted to be a vegetarian too.

What do you think of this world after being here for a little while?

I want to go back to my world. I want to hang out with my friends again, drink, listen to some music. I want to wake up in my own bed and live my own life. Is that asking too much? This place has pretty skies, but this isn’t living. This is just surviving. I’m sick of it already.

Gunther’s home was stuffy and uncomfortable. I’ll take air-conditioning and a queen sized mattress any day of the week. Get me out of here if you can!

I wish I could, but this is just your dream. Haven’t you gotten a little help from some, like Gunther?

You would bring him up, wouldn’t you! He’s incredibly rude, and let me tell you, he doesn’t smell too good either. He just think because he is a tough man he can boss us all around, I think. He’s really intimidated everyone, I think, but I’m not going to let him think that everything’s okay.

Didn’t he come to your aid at one point? With the Hyaeds you just mentioned. And before?

You would bring the latest incident up again. Yes, he did, when we tried to get a moment’s peace and a breath of fresh, cave-free air. It was just horrid luck that we ran into those beasts, and I am grateful that Gunther came. And I said I was sorry about the Jaghun, those creatures he keeps around him.

And he helped us when those things called Trogens, who were mounted on winged beasts, were trying to attack us. That’s when we met Gunther, when he helped fight them off.

Sure, he’s helped us more than once, but it doesn’t change the fact that he’s obnoxious and just not a nice person to be around.

How is Lynn doing right now? She’s your best friend.

I still say she is, but she’s not doing me any favors lately. She’s really disappointed me a lot, to be honest with you. Seems she is taking the side of Lee more often, to the point that Ryan is the only one that seems to get where I am coming from now. I don’t know what’s getting into her, but she needs to remember who her friends are.

And Lee? Doesn’t he mean well?

He does. I think he sees himself as our leader, like he’s our uncle or something like that. Not a bad guy at all, I just don’t want to be patronized. He’s not some wilderness or survivalist expert. He’s just some guy who owned a Chinese restaurant who got stuck in this place with the rest of us. I’m not going to put him on a pedestal.

So where are you heading now?

Don’t know. I really have no idea. None of us do. All I can gather is that it is too dangerous to stay underground and that they don’t want us captured. It all makes me laugh that they think we are some kind of important people. If they saw how I lived back in my world they would change their view really quick. Me and Uli and the others getting stoned in the middle of the woods. Yeah, I’m really important (laughs).

But I’ve seen the dangers and I guess you should listen to the people that live in this world. So we’re heading deeper into the woods with a bunch of Saxans that survived a battle.

I hope you reach safety, and I wish you luck, Erin. I really hope you find your way back home too.

(low voice) That’s all I want, but it seems kind of impossible right now. Thank you for the good wishes, I really need all the luck I can get, it seems. I might sound mad at everyone, and I kind of am … except for maybe Ryan right now … but I will try to help the others as much as I can too. We all need to reach home.

You can find Stephen at the following places on the web:

Stephen's main Twitter/FB contacts are:
Twitter: @sgzimmer

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The Darkening Dream


A Vampire Novel with Actual Bite!
As the modern world establishes itself and pushes the supernatural into the shadows, the supernatural fights back. The Darkening Dream is a chilling new dark fantasy novel by Andy Gavin, creator of Crash Bandicoot and Jak & Daxter. The book has received rave reviews and is on sale for only 99 cents on Amazon Kindle from June 25th-29th! Download your copy here. In addition, Andy is doing a big giveaway, including a $100 gift certificate to Amazon, signed copies of his books, video games, posters, and more! The Darkening Dream Rafflecopter Giveaway Tweet, like, follow, share, blog and grab a copy of his book to enter.

Get your 99 cent copy of The Darkening Dream today on Amazon only.

Long-time readers of dark historical fantasy (Tim Powers, Guy Gavriel Kay, Katherine Kurtz) will appreciate the weaving together of mythology, occult, and religion, while younger readers and fans of HBO dramas (True Blood, Carnivàle) or urban fantasy (Laurell K. Hamilton, Kim Harrison, Jim Butcher) will be drawn to the twisted imagination, graphic action, and romantic tension. About The Darkening Dream Even as the modern world pushes the supernatural aside in favor of science and steel, the old ways remain. God, demon, monster, and sorcerer alike plot to regain what was theirs. 1913, Salem, Massachusetts – Sarah Engelmann’s life is full of friends, books, and avoiding the pressure to choose a husband, until an ominous vision and the haunting call of an otherworldly trumpet shake her. When she stumbles across a gruesome corpse, she fears that her vision was more of a premonition. And when she sees the murdered boy moving through the crowd at an amusement park, Sarah is thrust into a dark battle she does not understand. With the help of Alex, an attractive Greek immigrant who knows a startling amount about the undead, Sarah sets out to uncover the truth. Their quest takes them to the factory mills of Salem, on a midnight boat ride to spy on an eerie coastal lair, and back, unexpectedly, to their own homes. What can Alex’s elderly, vampire-hunting grandfather and Sarah’s own rabbi father tell them? And what do Sarah’s continuing visions reveal? No less than Gabriel’s Trumpet, the tool that will announce the End of Days, is at stake, and the forces that have banded to recover it include a 900 year-old vampire, a trio of disgruntled Egyptian gods, and a demon-loving Puritan minister. At the center of this swirling cast is Sarah, who must fight a millennia-old battle against unspeakable forces, knowing the ultimate prize might be her very soul. The Reviews Are In "A vampire novel with actual bite." ~The Kirkus Reviews "A gorgeously creepy, strangely humorous, and sincerely terrifying tale." ~Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) "Mr. Gavin has brought something refreshingly new to a genre now suffused with poorly-concealed bodice-rippers which have more in common with Fabio than Bram Stoker: depth. His big baddies are scary, not romantic interests, and the added religious lore is complex and engaging. Don't expect another Twilight -- the story can get downright creepy, so be prepared for a return to the old horror sensibilities of supernatural fiction." ~Amazon Review "With Mr. Gavin's video-game pedigree, I was expecting something aimed squarely at the 18-25 year old fanboy contingent; what I got in The Darkening Dream was something wholly unexpected: A period novel with a female protagonist, a crash-course on Judaism in the colonial years, and multi-layered series of plot arcs featuring a crazy cast of natural and supernatural characters populating turn of the century America." ~Amazon Review "…A perfect blend of mystery, magic and myth. A grown-up Grimm's fairy tale... emphasis on grim." ~Amazon Review

Read the first two sample chapters here.

Get your 99 cent copy of The Darkening Dream today on Amazon only.

About the Author

Andy Gavin is an unstoppable storyteller who studied for his Ph.D. at M.I.T. and founded video game developer Naughty Dog, Inc. at the age of fifteen, serving as co-president for two decades. There he created, produced, and directed over a dozen video games, including the award winning and best selling Crash Bandicoot and Jak & Daxter franchises, selling over 40 million units worldwide. He sleeps little, reads novels and histories, watches media obsessively, travels, and of course, writes. Find out more here

The Magic of The Darkening Dream

In constructing The Darkening Dream I wanted the meta-story to play off conventional tropes. Broadly, a cabal of ancient supernatural beings has sent one of their number to recover an artifact needed to destroy the world. And surprise, it turns out a group of teens are all that stands between them and Armageddon.
How much more Buffy can you get?
But that's just the high level. I also wanted to ground this preposterous scenario in real history and legend. So as a methodology, in designing my array of supernatural beings and occult practitioners I turned to historic sources. Before our modern science and technology rendered magic quaint, it was the domain of religion and superstition. Of belief.
And each spiritual and magical system has its own framework. Proponents wrote out of certainty, out of faith. I merely dig up their writings and take them at their word.


Osiris as king in the west
What binds a group of ancient evil beings together? Not some grand principle of villainy. Evil is just extreme selfishness. But hatred can go a long way. The enemy of my enemy is my friend. So who from the ancient world has suffered the most?
Might it be the old gods? Or those who worship them? Who offers sacrifice anymore to Osiris? Who fears the shadow of Anubis as they step from this world into the next? Who believes the beetle god Khepri drags the sun across the sky behind him?
No one. And those that remember the glory days are pissed off.
So who's been lurking around since the time of the pharaohs?

The comte at Versailles
The Comte de St. Germain has, or so he told everyone in the court of Louis XV. Apparently, at the very least, he is party to the secret magics of Osiris, Son of the Earth, King of the Dead. The elixir of Osiris is said to prevent death. And so the comte, which is but one of his many names, has been lurking about for some time. But the old magics are not what they once were. Their power has diminished with their gods. So he whispers in the ears of kings, pulling on what strings he can, seeking allies where he can find them.
And old gods may fade, but as long as a single soul still believes, they never die.
Even the ancient blood gods and their vampire acolytes. Born in ancient forests of the north where men offered midnight blood sacrifice. Of their king, their Ancient Master, raised from the dead a hundred centuries past, nothing remains but pure fury. Hatred for the burning sun, hatred for his mortal prey, hatred for the new world of foul brick and lifeless steel.
But in hatred, perhaps, there is common cause.

The Artifact

Observe the all important Ram in the Thicket (lower right)
Clearly, the physical goal of our baddies had to be something really big. Something useful to them in their plots. The fall of antiquity was not about barbarians at the gates of Rome. No. The rising tide of monotheism was what really swept away the old order.
So it is against God that our villains lash out.
And I found the perfect legend in the most unlikely of places. I was passing the time during Yom Kippur services by reading the story of Abraham offering Isaac for sacrifice (Genesis 22). This has always been a passage of particular interest to me, dealing as it does with the nature of the relationship between man and God and the meaning of ritual sacrifice. But it was in the commentary that I noticed something peculiar, a cryptic remark that "the Ram in the Thicket is but one of ten special things created by God on the eve of creation."
How's that for a magic seeker's wet dream.
Back at home I dug into this and discovered that on the eve of the first Sabbath, before the creation of world, God created ten special things (which besides the Ram include the rainbow of Noah, the staff of Moses, and other goodies). These items are eternal, having existed before the universe, they have no temporal beginning or end. God, it seemed, placed the Ram into the trust of the Archangel Gabriel, who kept it in the Garden of Eden until Abraham needed it at Mount Moriah. Afterward, nothing of the Ram was wasted. Gabriel took the horns and brought one to Moses so that he could sound the arrival of the Ten Commandments at Mount Sinai. The other was kept by the archangel, hidden in the Garden, so that at the appointed time it might be brought to Elijah to sound the End of Days.

Gabriel and his trumpet
This notion of a horn blast sounding the end of the world is a highly persistent meme. It's found not just in the Jewish traditions regarding the Messiah, but in the Revelations of John where seven angels (including presumably, Gabriel) sound the end of time and the Last Judgment. And also in diverse mythologies such as the Norse, where the Gjallarhorn shall announce the onset of Ragnarök.
In the world of The Darkening Dream, all beliefs are simultaneously true, as brought forth and conceived by their believers. This means that anything as consistent as the horn legend is doubly true. Archetypal truth made manifest.
And what of Gabriel's Horn? Eternity is a long time and the archangel flits hither and yon. Might not a busy seraph misplace such a thing... if only for a short time?

The Myriad Layers of the Esoteric World

How to properly envision a world in which vampires, the Archangel Gabriel, witchcraft, and Egyptian gods all exist? Many might just toss them together arbitrarily, but I wanted to find a framework consistent with traditional mysticism. Having read hundreds of religious and magical texts I have identified numerous consistencies in the thought patterns of the esoteric mind.

The Tree of Life
By way of example, let's place ourselves in the mind of my protagonist Sarah's father Joseph. As a Rabbi, scholar, and mystic Joseph draws his world view from the Zohar and other great texts of the Kabbalah. In this conceptualization, which can be summed up as "hidden and not revealed," the world is a many layered thing, like an onion, with the portion we perceive merely the lowest of ten modalities, all simultaneously overlaid. The pure conceptualization of God pervades everything, and is the highest. Yet the human mind can not fully comprehend this level of divine and celestial purity. In between are various layers that express important truths like "Beauty" and "Wisdom." In Joseph's orthodox world, God is all powerful, so powerful that even the Archangel Gabriel is but a manifestation of His Strength. The angel is not an independent entity, but a protrusion of God's will into these middle layers of reality. Joseph might actually see the angel, but in his mind, this is just his perception of an aspect of God leaking into the mortal layers. The human mind cannot comprehend the divine, so God softens the blow with the angelic form.

Sitting down to the witches Sabbath
As hard as this might be to get your head around, it seemed reasonable to extend this kind of framework to many forms of magic in the book. The villainous Puritan warlock, Pastor John Parris, works a school of traditional witchcraft, yet it too is based on layered perception of reality. For him, the magical realm is twisted into a less spacial form, with objects and people adjacent not just by physical proximity, but by the likeness of their form and nature. So, a person's hair, separated as it might be from their body, provides magical access to the owner. Likewise, his religious conceptualization allows for the layering of hell dimensions, separated by flame. With the help of his succubus lover he is able to step through these fiery gateways and bend the rules of time and space.
While occasionally, as is the case with the Horn, the mythological drives the story, most often the structural needs of my plot demanded esoteric action. I therefore required interoperability between diverse magic systems in order to make the action work. For example, when Joseph wishes to protect his home from the intrusions of the evil Parris and the ancient vampire al-Nasir, he prays to invoke the archangels and align the physical rectangle of his house with the metaphysical form of King Solomon's Temple. For him this is an act of faith drawing on protective aspects of God's divinity.
But Parris too is able to perceive this change in the nature of reality, albeit in his own terms. His plans to gain entry requires the construction of an elaborate ritual analog. Like a voodoo doll for a building. Just as the limbs of the doll can be broken, the metaphysical walls of the temple may be breached.

Succubus from the source

Learning from the mouth of devils
For each of my supernatural beings I strove to draw upon classical source materials rather than rely on 20th century pop culture. My warlock, Pastor Parris, is a man of repressed passion based on serial killer profiles. His only emotional connection to the outside world has been through a series of dominating female figures. First his puritanical grandmother, then following her grisly demise, his succubus lover Betty. Like all magic in the world of The Darkening Dream, Betty is a conceptual product of her beholder. So I turned to The Malleus Maleficarum, the rantings of two 15th century clergymen, Heinrich Kramer and James Sprenger. This book, which translates as the The Witch Hammer, was used by the Inquisition as a handbook for identifying and persecuting witches and demons.
Along with a five page essay on the mechanism by which Succubi and Incubi transfer semen, the Maleficarum has this to say about Succubi:
Devils have no lungs or tongue, though they can show the latter, as well as teeth and lips, artificially made according to the condition of their body; therefore they cannot truly and properly speak. But since they have understanding, and when they wish to express their meaning, then, by some disturbance of the air included in their assumed body, not of air breathed in and out as in the case of men, they produce, not voices, but sounds which have some likeness to voices, and send them articulately through the outside air to the ears of the hearer.
From this passage, we know that one of the means of identifying Succubi is that they do not move their lips when speaking, but manipulate the elements of fluid air near their mouths directly. Hence, in my novel, Betty does not open her mouth to speak, but the air in front of her shimmers as she does. In keeping with my fast paced action oriented novel, I never make an issue of this, but like thousands of other details in the book it is informed by the source. Clearly brothers Kramer and Sprenger knew what they were talking about, as they inspired thousands to burn at the stake.

Khepri and Osiris in the good old days

The Power of the Word

With each different school of magic I tried to extract the historic flavor and mindset of past occultists. The mysterious Khepri, another of my villains, practices an ancient Egyptian magic entirely different from Parris' devilish thaumaturgy. The spirit of Egyptian magic often derives from the use of secret names and the spoken word — nay command. The sorcerer/priest orders, by way of his secret magic, the very gods and demons to do his bidding. So it is that when Khepri invokes the miniature sun which is his weapon, he cries these words from The Egyptian Book of the Dead:
Re sits in his Abode of Millions of Years. The doors of the sky are opened for me, the doors of the earth are opened for me, the door-bolts of Geb are opened for me, the shutters of the sky-windows are thrown open for me. I know you, I know your names; Release him, loose him!
By sheer force of his sorcerous will he demands the sun yield to him. And so it does.

Truth is Stranger than Fiction

By writing a modern fantasy adventure, but by grounding the magic and supernatural in tradition, I wanted to prove that the old adage really is true: Truth is stranger than fiction. The twisted imaginations of our ancestors, devoid of the distractions of the current age, were often far more creative than the half-assed creations of Hollywood and the like.

A Big Giveaway for The Darkening Dream

This week, through June 29th, Author Andy Gavin is running a big giveaway to celebrate his 99 cent promo sale.
The Darkening Dream Rafflecopter Giveaway
Tweet, like, follow, share, blog and grab a copy of his book to enter.

About The Darkening Dream

As the modern world establishes itself and pushes the supernatural into the shadows, the supernatural fights back.
An ominous vision and the discovery of a gruesome corpse lead Sarah and her friends into a terrifying encounter with a fledgling vampire in 1913 Salem, Massachusetts. Eager to prove themselves, the young heroes set out to track the evil to its source, never guessing that they will take on a conspiracy involving not only a 900-year vampire but also a demon-loving Puritan warlock, disgruntled Egyptian gods, and an immortal sorcerer, all on a quest to recover the holy trumpet of the Archangel Gabriel. Relying on the wisdom of a Greek vampire hunter, Sarah's rabbi father, and her own disturbing visions, Sarah must fight a millennia-old battle between unspeakable forces, where the ultimate prize might be Sarah herself.

The critics love it

"A vampire novel with actual bite." ~The Kirkus Reviews
"A gorgeously creepy, strangely humorous, and sincerely terrifying tale." ~Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)

Read the first two sample chapters here.

Get your 99 cent copy of The Darkening Dream today on Amazon only.

About the Author

Andy Gavin is an unstoppable storyteller who studied for his Ph.D. at M.I.T. and founded video game developer Naughty Dog, Inc. at the age of fifteen, serving as co-president for two decades. There he created, produced, and directed over a dozen video games, including the award winning and best selling Crash Bandicoot and Jak & Daxter franchises, selling over 40 million units worldwide. He sleeps little, reads novels and histories, watches media obsessively, travels, and of course, writes. Find out more here.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012



Hello and welcome to my blog!!! Today, I’m turning over the blog to Connie for an interesting post about reading. Please enjoy and leave a comment!! 

Color of Evil
Description of The Color of Evil:
Publisher: Quad City Press
Category: Thriller/Suspense/Horror/YA
Date: March 9, 2012
Available in Print and Kindle: 252 pages
Tad McGreevy has a power that he has never revealed, not even to his life-long best friend, Stevie Scranton. When Tad looks at others, he sees colors. These auras tell Tad whether a person is good or evil. At night, Tad dreams about the evil-doers, reliving their crimes in horrifyingly vivid detail.
But Tad doesn’t know if the evil acts he witnesses in his nightmares are happening now, are already over, or are going to occur in the future. He has no control over the horrifying visions. He has been told (by his parents) never to speak of his power. All Tad knows is that he wants to protect those he loves. And he wants the bad dreams to stop.
At Tad’s eighth birthday party (April 1, 1995) in Cedar Falls, Iowa, the clown his parents hire to entertain Tad’s third-grade classmates is one of the bad people. Pogo, the Killer Clown (aka Michael Clay) is a serial killer. So begins 53 nights of terror as Tad relives Pogo’s crime, awakens screaming, and recites the terrifying details to his disbelieving family. The situation becomes so dire that Tad is hospitalized in a private institution under the care of a psychiatrist–who also does not believe the small boy’s stories.
And then the police arrest Pogo, the Killer Clown.
Flash forward to the beginning of Tad’s junior year in high school, 8 years later. Tad is 16 and recovered from the spring of his third-grade year. When Michael Clay was caught and imprisoned, the crime spree ended and so did Tad’s bad dreams.
Until now, in the year of our Lord 2003, when evil once again stalks the land.
This is a terrifying, intense story of the dark people and places that lurk just beneath the surface of seemingly normal small-town America. As one reviewer says, “Wilson nails the darkness beneath the surface of small-town Midwestern life with an intense story based on fact.”
Tad must wage a silent war against those who would harm the ones he loves. A battle to the death.
“The Color of Evil is old-school psychological horror, artfully blended with new-school shocks and twists. Not only won’t you see this coming, you won’t believe your eyes when it does. Bravo!”- Jonathan Maberry, New York Times Best-selling author of Dust & Decay and Dead of Night and multiple Bram Stoker Award Winner
Connie Corcoran Wilson is a born storyteller! Her new novel The Color of Evil is a real page-turner, and a very good one, indeed! Wilson, in this, her second novel (and the first in a trilogy), takes time with each character and handles them quite well…The reader is kept informed and fascinated. It all works. It moves the story forward, scene-by-scene, in a controlled way. The Color of Evil is total entertainment. Wilson’s got a winner here!”- William F. Nolan, Logan’s Run and Nightworlds, Living Legend in Dark Fantasy
The Color of Evil is the kind of read that grabs you by the lapels and doesn’t let go until much mayhem has ensued and the tightly-coiled plot has unwound. Wilson keeps the reader engaged and on edge as this story of a ‘a small-town gone wild’ plays out in horrific detail. Make sure you lock the doors and windows before starting, because you won’t want to get up and check until you have finished this one!”- Donnie Light, Dark Justice and Ripper’s Row
Connie Corcoran Wilson’s ‘The Color of Evil’ is a scary, entertaining novel. Dealing with a young person’s supernatural powers, bringing Stephen King’s ‘Carrie’ and John Farris’ ‘The Fury’ to mind, Wilson introduces us to Tad McGreevy, a young man who can see people’s auras. A haunting childhood experience has already taught him the color of evil. This territory has not been mined in a while, and Wilson’s take is fresh. With first-rate writing, a strong story, and believable characters, THE COLOR OF EVIL is a winner. Highly recommended!” -Pete Giglio, “Anon,” “A Spark in the Darkness”
“The Color of Evil by Connie Corcoran Wilson is an engrossing page-turner! Although I am not a regular reader of horror stories, I was “hooked” within the first few pages and involved with the characters who seemed both familiar and believable. I think we all know a Tad or a Jenny or a Charlie Chandler and care very much about what happens to them. Also, the author’s use of the “aura” device is fascinating and effective. Wouldn’t we all love to see what “aura” surrounds some of our acquaintances!
Now I can’t wait for the next one in the trilogy and hope that Stevie will be O.K. while I wonder what will ultimately become of the evil Michael Clay. I imagine Wilson will deal with that very creatively.”- Jdnord, Amazon Reviewer
“Connie Corcoran Wilson’s The Color of Evil about a Midwest teen’s power to sense the unimaginable was a page turner for me. The characters were well developed and the setting was familiar. Events were frightening yet not so horrific as to scare me away (I’m not a horror story fan). A good read made even better by this talented writer.- Ibmamski, Amazon Reviewer
Connie Wilson

About Connie Corcoran Wilson:
Connie (Corcoran) Wilson (MS + 30) graduated from the University of Iowa and Western Illinois University, with additional study at Northern Illinois, the University of California at Berkeley and the University of Chicago. She taught writing at six Iowa/Illinois colleges and has written for five newspapers and seven blogs, including Associated Content (now owned by Yahoo) which named her its 2008 Content Producer of the Year . She is an active, voting member of HWA (Horror Writers Association).
Her stories and interviews with writers like David Morrell, Joe Hill, Kurt Vonnegut, Frederik Pohl and Anne Perry have appeared online and in numerous journals. Her work has won prizes from “Whim’s Place Flash Fiction,” “Writer’s Digest” (Screenplay) and she will have 12 books out by the end of the year. Connie reviewed film and books for the Quad City Times (Davenport, Iowa) for 12 years and wrote humor columns and conducted interviews for the (Moline, Illinois) Daily Dispatch and now blogs for 7 blogs, including television reviews and political reporting for Yahoo.
Connie lives in East Moline, Illinois with husband Craig and cat Lucy, and in Chicago, Illinois, where her son, Scott and daughter-in-law Jessica and their two-year-old twins Elise and Ava reside. Her daughter, Stacey, recently graduated from Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee, as a Music Business graduate.
Connie’s Website

Reading as a pursuit in America is in peril. Studies conducted over the past few years prove this, even if our observations of the world around us haven’t provided proof enough.
"Reading at Risk", (a 2008 NEA survey), surveyed over 17,000 adults aged 18 or older, asking them about their reading habits in regards to novels, short stories, poetry and plays. The focus was mainly on literary reading trends.
In a separate study entitled "To Read or Not to Read," statistics were gathered from more than 40 national studies on the reading habits of children, teenagers and adults. This study dealt with all kinds of reading: books, magazines, newspapers, online reading.
According to the NEA, less than 1/3 of 13-year-olds read for pleasure every day, a 14% decline from 20 years ago. The percentage of 17-year-old non-readers doubled in that same twenty-year span. If you're an American between the ages of 15 and 24, you spend 2 hours a day watching television, but only 7 minutes a day reading, according to this study.
Timothy Shanahan, a professor at the University of Illinois in Chicago and past president of the International Reading Association says that many young people say they don't read because it's lonely. When they are online or text messaging, they feel involved with others, but they do not feel this sense of community when reading by themselves. "What kids like about IM-ing and text messaging is that it's playful and interactive and connects then to their friends,” said Shanahan in an article entitled "The Grim Reader" in the March/April, 2008, issue of Poets & Writers. (pp.10-13).
Shanahan continued, "The Harry Potter books were read not mainly because of this wonderful story and the language, I don't think, but because it was this huge phenomenon that allowed young people to participate in it. What was exciting was reading what your friends were reading and talking to them about it. People of all ages are hungry for that kind of community."
The article continues discussing the need for community and how the Internet seems to fill that void for many disconnected individuals. It is not difficult to see that reading a book, as opposed to going online, might suffer, if the desire for feedback and community, lacking in today's anonymous society is satisfied most by the online substitute for actual human interaction.
Of some concern to me was the survey that was printed with the article "The Grim Reader", a survey of 75 readers who voted on the 2007 Best Award-winning novel. Sixty-two percent of those responding believed that Cormac McCarthy's novel "The Road" deserved that distinction, which it well may, based on its plot-driven story and theme.
The problem is that Cormac McCarthy doesn't much believe in the use of traditional punctuation, particularly apostrophes. I realize that no less a luminary than e.e. cummings similarly refused to capitalize, but picking "The Road" only reinforces our drift, as a nation, towards literary anarchy, defined in this case as a failure to recognize, honor or attempt to follow in any way the rules of grammar and punctuation.
Sometimes, we veteran English teachers feel like the little Dutch boy with his finger in the dike. We know that the dike will give way if we remove our finger, but what are we to do? Language is constantly changing, yes. It is not set in stone and there are new words and terms and techno-speak being added every day. I am much more likely to use a "sentence fragment" in stories I write today, because I have changed with the times.
But some appreciation for following the rules handed down by great writers seems prudent. Poet e.e. cummings was the exception that proved the rule, not a groundbreaker who made new ones. It will be interesting to assess Cormac McCarthy's effect on language from the perspective of a decade hence.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012






Today I’m welcoming Jolene Perry to my blog with a spotlight on her new book Knee Deep. Please enjoy her guest post and take a look at her links below.



Guest Post by Jolene Perry

Sometimes a story is more personal than you expect it to be.
I read an article in an online newspaper that talked about the YA books coming out that year which dealt with abusive relationships.
I'd part mapped one out a while back, and thought maybe I'd work on it - all evidence that the market had just gotten an influx of them didn't sway me the way it should have…

The more I wrote in the story, the more personal it became.
I was not ever hit by my boyfriend in high school. He never screamed and yelled at me - though I heard him trashing his room a few times when I left after an argument, and he didn't hesitate to show me when he was pissed about something.

He'd pick fights with me over the phone and hang up, knowing it meant I'd sneak out to "straighten things out."

There was one really horrible night with him that I'd blocked from my mind for a long time, that I remembered when I was writing, so I used it.

I see these cases my husband talks about with women who are beaten and bruised and making up excuses and going back over and over. One ended in murder a couple of weeks ago. A case my husband will be prosecuting when it goes to trial.

The abuse story I told is nowhere near that dramatic, but so much of Ronnie's story was mine. WAY more than I realized while I was writing it. When I got to the end, and started writing down the parts of her story that were real (I always do this for my author site), I realized more and more how much of me was in that girl.

I stared at my computer screen in shock.

I had one of my best friends, who was a guy, who I shared more with than I probably did to most of my girlfriends - (like Luke from Knee Deep) and a boyfriend I'd known since I was a kid (like Shawn from Knee Deep) And I felt this draw to my boyfriend, only because I'd known him for so long, not because we really had anything left in common.

I felt more like I was stuck in this relationship, and didn't even realize I didn't want to be there until I visited a friend in college and saw how much more LIFE was out there. It was just that the idea of this one person had been in my head for way too long.
And where did I end up? Married to the best friend.

People talk about writing what you know, and then talk about keeping yourself out of your books. But you know what? I KNEW that situation - and I know I'll get some bad reviews (like you always do - ESPECIALLY when you tackle a tough topic) that are going to say that Ronnie's actions weren't believable.

But here's the thing - I told her story, the best way I knew how. Ronnie's reactions with pieces of my truth. And there are some drastic differences, but there are also some startling similarities. So, to me, Ronnie's actions were completely and totally understandable.

And that's the story of how Knee Deep came to be.

Knee Deep Excerpt

My front door opens. “Hello?” Shawn calls.
“In here!” I say back. Suddenly this feels weird. Why would this feel weird? This is just what happens when one of us is stuck at home. Why would today be any different? But my heart’s beating against the inside of my ribs, trying to tell me this is different.
Luke scoots away from the couch. Does he feel it too? That maybe him and me hanging out alone for the day might not have been the best idea?
Shawn steps through the hallway and scowls when his eyes meet mine and then pass to Luke. This shouldn’t be a big deal. Except...I’m so stupid. I was just thinking how I needed to make Shawn’s life outside of his house less stressful, and part of me
knew it was weird that Luke was here without Shawn. I thought it, and did nothing. But again, it is just Luke.
“What’re you doing here?” Shawn asks. His dark eyes fix on Luke.
“I figured you’d be here, man.” Luke stands up. “It’s like we always ditch together, right?”
Romeo and Juliet kissing in the pool on the TV screen probably isn’t helping anything. Maybe Shawn won’t notice, or maybe it’s just sending my heart into crazy flutters because this tension between Shawn and Luke and, I guess, me, is happening during the most romantic scene of the movie.
“Uh, I don’t know.” Shawn’s still scowling, his brows pulled low and his jaw tight.
“You would’ve hated it,” I say. My eyes catch his, but his are as black as his mood seems to be. I’m so stupid. Why did I have to let Luke stay?
“Yeah, maybe.” Shawn’s narrowed eyes go from Luke to me, back and forth, as if judging the situation. Really? What did he think could possibly happen between Luke and I? Even if this is suddenly on my top three ‘most awkward moments’ ever. I can’t even think about what the other two might be. Maybe I’ve just found number one.
“Romeo and Juliet all day.” Luke laughs, but I know him well enough to see he’s trying really hard to be relaxed. His shoulders are too stiff, and his normal stance is too rigid. I wonder if Shawn sees it too. “Guess I’ll leave you two alone.” Luke’s trying hard to keep his voice light.
“Yeah.” Shawn has yet to return Luke’s smile. “I almost never see my girl anymore.”
It’s like I’m on the edge of my seat, tension pinpricking every part of me. I’ve never seen Shawn like this.
“Well, I should get my ass to rehearsal anyway.” Luke gives Shawn a friendly pat on the shoulder before heading outside.
I don’t watch him go. My eyes are on Shawn, trying to figure out what to expect next.
“What the hell was that?” His sharp gaze is now pointed directly at me.
I stand up and lean to the side, trying to be relaxed. “It didn’t seem like a big deal this morning.” Maybe if I play it off as nothing Shawn won’t be so mad. He knows Luke and I are friends. No big deal, I tell myself again. But I don’t know if I’m trying to convince myself or Shawn.
“Was he here when we were texting?” he asks. His voice may be low, but not in a good way. It’s low in a way that makes him sound like he’s past the edge of reasonable anger.
My body’s screaming for me to take a step back, which makes no sense. This is Shawn. My Shawn. “No.” But I’m weakening by the second, almost shaking inside. His jaw tightens again.
My eyes close as I remember, and dread fills my chest. “He got here as I sent my last one.” Is that bad? Good?
“And you didn’t think to tell me? What the hell is that?”
I jump at the sharpness of his voice. Shawn doesn’t need this stress. I know this. I reach forward to put my arms around him. We just need to hold one another for a minute, then it’ll all be fine.
He stops me, grabbing my arm—hard—just above my wrist.
“This is not okay.” His jaw is set.
“Hey.” My voice shakes. My body shakes. I’m actually scared of Shawn for the first time ever. I jerk my hand once, but he tightens his grip...impossibly tight. My lungs can’t pull in a breath; there’s just not enough air in the room anymore. “Shawn, you’re hurting me.” He can’t mean to hurt me. He can’t.
His face is stuck in a sharp scowl.
“He’s your friend.” My voice is crying. I want to try and pull my shaky arm out of his grasp again, but I’m afraid to; he’s squeezing so hard. Tears are hot against the back of my eyes, threatening to spill over.
“How would you feel if I spent all day with some chick?” The words come out as angry spit from between his teeth.
I open my mouth to answer but can’t, the lump in my throat has taken over. All I can think about is that I need to find something to say so he’ll let me go. Some way to get the air through my throat to form words. “It’s just Luke,” I plead, sucking in a breath.
“Whatever.” He throws my arm back at me, turns, and walks out the door, slamming it hard behind him. My body jumps at the sound.
I stumble backward onto the couch. I’m like a leaf battered about in the wind. Nothing’s working right. I need to sit. Normally I’d run after him, but I have no idea what to expect. And I’m afraid. Of Shawn.
He’s never been that way before. Ever. He’s moody and particular, but this seems...extreme. I’m cradling my wrist with my other hand, afraid to look at any possible damage. It hurts to move it. What just happened here? How did it happen?
It’s like there suddenly must be something fundamentally wrong with the universe. But the TV’s still on. My house looks normal and quiet. I’m still breathing, but Shawn, my Shawn, just hurt me. Lying down seems so anti-climactic, but I can’t bring myself to do anything else.
When Juliet realizes Romeo’s dying the sobs take over, and I pull my knees to my chest as if making myself smaller will somehow dull the pain.
It doesn’t.

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Knee Deep

Shawn is the guy Ronnie Bird promised her life to at the age of fourteen. He's her soul mate. He's more uptight every day, but it's not his fault. His family life is stressful, and she's adding to it. She just needs to be more understanding, and he'll start to be the boy she fell in love with. She won’t give up on someone she’s loved for so long.
Luke is her best friend, and the guy she hangs with to watch girlie movies in her large blanketopias. He's the guy she can confide in before she even goes to her girlfriends, and the guy who she's playing opposite in Romeo and Juliet. Now her chest flutters every time he gets too close. This is new. Is Ronnie falling for him? Or is Juliet? The lines are getting blurry, but leaving one guy for another is not something that a girl like Ronnie does.
Shawn’s outbursts are starting to give her bruises, and Luke’s heart breaks as Ronnie remains torn. While her thoughts and feelings swirl around the lines between friendship and forever, she’s about to lose them both.


Jolene Perry's Bio:

Jolene grew up in Wasilla, Alaska. She graduated from Southern Utah University with a degree in political science and French, which she used to teach math to middle schoolers.
After living in Washington, Utah and Las Vegas, she now resides in Alaska with her husband, and two children. Aside from writing, Jolene sews, plays the guitar, sings when forced, and spends as much time outside as possible.
She is also the author of Night Sky and The Next Door Boys.

ISBN: 9780983741886
ISBN: 9781476060316
Pages: 240
Release: May 1, 2012

Kindle buy link - $2.99
Nook buy link - $4.95
iBookstore buy link - $4.99
Coming soon
Google buy link - $3.79
Smashwords buy link - $4.99
PDF buy link - $4.95

Wednesday, June 13, 2012


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What/who inspired you to become a writer??
There’s a what and a who to answer your question. The what part would be movies. In fact, I guess I could point to one movie, “Star Wars,” that expanded my mind to the possibilities of imagination. I was a child of about seven, and my strict Catholic parents consulted with the priest to make sure it was okay if I saw the PG movie. With the padre’s blessing, I fell in love at first sight with allowing myself to dream of a galaxy far, far away.
The who part would be my eighth grade teacher, Mrs. Reynolds. But actually, she inspired me to be an actor. Basically, she suggested I might enjoy participating in a summer theater workshop. As a shy kid, this was therapeutic because I ended up stealing the show as a hammy Boris Renfield in “Dracula, the Musical.” This inspired me to see what I could do when I used my imagination, and since it received stimulation, I began writing stories.
Do you have a favorite genre of book that you like to read/write? If so, why??
I enjoy writing in the horror genre, but I like fantasies and thrillers as well. Basically, anything that can transport me to another world gets the vote of my eyeballs. Horror, in particular, provides a gateway to the forbidden, which is exciting and scary. Growing up, I had a happy but repressed childhood. As long as one followed the rules, one didn’t get spanked with a ping pong paddle. Using my imagination, though, I could go anywhere and explore anything.
What helping aids do you use to focus when you write? Music?? Nature???
I listen to Pandora, the film soundtracks channel. This helps me imagine I am inside the movie which is the story I’m writing.
What character(s) of your book(s) do you relate to the most??
For Frankenstein’s Confessional, I’d have to say I’m like Kenny Blaze. He’s an aspiring singer/songwriter living in a seedy studio apartment in North Hollywood, California. I write songs and have lived in such an apartment where the cockroaches rule the roost. I’ve also worked in an Italian restaurant, but unlike Kenny, I wasn’t a singing waiter. Also, another striking contrast would be that I’ve never had a guitar pick that tried to influence me in evil ways. That’s an important distinction, by the way.
What words of wisdom would you like to share with aspiring writers like myself?
Keep writing. Don’t you hate that? People ask what advice do you have about writing and they say, write. However, it’s what needs to be done. We have many blank pages before us that must be filled before we can get any sleep. And, as with any other endeavor, you have to keep practicing at it.
How do you visualize your stories?? In pictures?? Conversations? Dreams?
I visualize them as movies unfolding before my eyes. As someone who has acted, I imagine the characters on stage. I think of what their movements should be. I think of their clothing and what motivates them.
What are your writing goals for the next 5 years??
For the next five years, I’d like to create a series of books (probably a trilogy) that centers on one protagonist. I’ve always been an ideas guy, coming up with all kinds of ideas illustrated, for example, in a series of short stories. Even the novel before this collection, Fear in Appleton, was essentially a number of vignettes that coalesced around a college student protagonist and ghost/former professor antagonist. Now, I’d like to develop an intriguing character in a unique world that will (hopefully) captivate readers.
How long did it take you to write Fear in Appleton?? What/who inspired these books??
That novel took about three years to complete. I came up with the idea of a ghost that could inhabit people’s minds and root around in there to discover fears that could then be used against them. In his mortal life, the creative writing professor who would become the ghost had a number of phobias. It sounded interesting to me to have a ghost that would want to publish the stories of his exploits.
The current collection of stories I’m working on, Frankenstein’s Confessional, should be completed by this October (about a year after I began writing it).

If you could have dinner with someone dead or alive, famous or not famous, who would it be and why??
I would like to have dinner with Stephen King. He’s a big inspiration. I’ve always enjoyed the imaginative leaps he employs in his books. His stories don’t just involve a lot of mindless splatter. There are fascinating ideas to explain the weird phenomena populating his creations. Also, he never forgets to make his characters human. The reader cares about these people who face horrible things.
Let's do something fun...write something about each of the next 10 words in 10 words or less.
Movement: how a character behaves.
Fantasy: the gateway to our imagination.
Chaos: the friend of a writer who enjoys solving a puzzle.
Energy: the sizzle of inspiration, breathing life into creations.
Balance: the symmetry of description, dialogue, and action in stories.
Synchronicity: when the threads of a story come together, magically.
Imagination: the soul’s wings.
Invention: the way out of boredom.
Freedom: a sense of confidence that allows creativity.
Intelligence: a marshaling of resources to deal with problems.
What made you decide to jump on the E-book trade?? And how do you feel about it??
I wanted to get my stories out there. The world is a far different place, even just going back five or ten years. The Internet has exploded, with social media paving the way for self-expression and self-promotion. It’s a do-it-yourself environment, and I feel it’s a good platform for authors. Look at how many singer/songwriters have been discovered after striking out on their own.
If you found yourself on a deserted island, what 10 things would you take and why?
I’d take my wife (couldn’t live without her; is this cheating?), my Kindle (to read books, duh!), something to write with (again, duh!), food (one has to eat), water (one has to drink), a guitar (the wife likes to hear me sing), my iPhone (Gilligan would have loved Angry Birds), a box of flares (so I could signal for someone to rescue me, duh!), a fishing pole (to catch fish, I won’t say it), and a boat (in case I decide I don’t like being stranded on an island).
How do you write your books?? Are you by the seat of your pants writer or do you plot out your books in advance??
I’ve done a little of both. I feel, more than anything, I need to understand the characters. I need to know who they are, where they’ve come from, and where they’re headed. After all, they’re in charge of the story.
And last by not least, if you could time travel what period of the history of future would you go to??
I would go to a time when we’ll be traveling to other planets and trading with various alien species. I’d skip over the intergalactic wars to a period where we’re able to accept our differences and appreciate what each race has to offer.

Feel free to any other interesting tidbits about yourself :) Please include your social media links.
Fear in Appleton is available for purchase now on Amazon.
Frankenstein’s Confessional will be available for purchase on Amazon in October, 2012.
Over 400 have liked the Frankensteins Confessional Facebook page!
Frankensteins Confessional on Facebook
Over 1,100 have liked the Fear in Appleton Facebook page!

Friday, June 8, 2012


Today, I’m turning over my blog to my super Sassy Siren Sister, Barbara Hightower and allowing her to post her press releases of some great new authors. Next on the list is Silke Juppenlatz.


Today, I’m turning over my blog to my super Sassy Siren Sister, Barbara Hightower and allowing her to post her press releases of some great new authors. Last on the list Sondrae Bennett


All’s fair in love and war.
As leader of a fox skulk, Cody is used to feeling protective. But when his best friend, Misty, gets attacked, his panic has nothing to do with duty. Suddenly, he’s noticing Misty as a woman instead of the girl he grew up with. But pursuing those feelings would risk their friendship, something he's unwilling to do.
Misty's tried everything, without success, to convince Cody she's not "one of the guys". Yet now that he's looking at her like she always dreamed, he pulls away every time she gets close.
Danger lurks in the background, waiting to pounce. Someone plots against the foxes, leaving them all in jeopardy…especially Misty. Will Cody overcome his fears in time to save the woman he loves?
A Lyrical Press Paranormal Romance
When her lips parted in surprise, his tongue swept inside, taking control. This wasn’t a gentle kiss, but one borne of frustration. He didn’t ask for control, but seized it.
His flavor filled her senses. Everything fell away as she lost herself in his kiss. The entire world disappeared until it all that existed was the two of them.
Wiggling to free her arms, Misty reached up and circled his neck, rubbing the hot skin at the back before threading her fingers in his hair. The new position allowed his hands to slide down to her hips, pulling her forward until her front was plastered against his. Every inch of her pressed against him. He hardened as he pushed against her.
She moaned into his mouth, her hands fisting in his hair. The reality of the situation hit her, causing a shiver of pure pleasure to snake down her spine. Cody stood in her front entranceway, kissing her with such passion. This couldn’t be happening. It had to be a dream. But her dreams had never compared to this.
He broke the kiss to gently bite her lower lip.
Her breath hitched as he trailed his lips down her throat, stopping to nibble at her collarbone. Without thought, her body jerked forward into him, thrusting her breasts up in invitation. An invitation he seemed to understand as he reached his hands around her back, keeping her arched forward. His lips continued their descent, placing gentle pecks at the edge of her shirt. Blood pounded in her ears, drowning out everything but the sensations thrumming through her, his lips on her breast, his hands firm against her back, encasing her. Supporting her.
“The bedroom,” she managed to gasp as he slipped his hands under her shirt. Everywhere he touched fired nerve endings, leaving a trail of sensation in their wake. His hands stopped and he lifted his lips away from the top of her breasts, making her groan in frustration. When he straightened, she opened her eyes to stare warily into his as he studied her.
She tried to put every bit of certainty into her eyes, willing him to continue what he’d started. She knew she’d won when the roguish smile curled his lips before he leaned down and ravished her mouth once again.

I love romance. I love reading romance, living romance (who doesn't), but I especially love writing romance. There's no greater feeling than watching my characters come alive in each other's arms. Most of all, I love giving my characters the happily ever afters they deserve, with a little necessary drama first.
One of my favorite things is picking up a new book and sinking into the story, immersing myself in the emotions between the characters. I hope someday to inspire readers the same way my favorite authors have inspired me.
When not writing, I can usually be found curled up on the couch with a good book, taking my dogs for walks, or spending time with my family.
It always makes my day to hear from my readers.
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Today, I’m turning over my blog to my super Sassy Siren Sister, Barbara Hightower and allowing her to post her press releases of some great new authors. First up on the list, Brynna Curry. 

Ultimate power, or endless love?
Born the son of a Scottish laird a thousand years ago, but now trapped by his cousin's spell, Devin McLoch has seen countless battles and death. The erstwhile thief has turned away from darker pursuits to lead a life of peace, protecting those he loves and considers part of his clan. However, there is one woman he can never forget, who must be given a chance to change, to accept her heart and his.
Arianne Farrell is just as dangerous and intoxicating as her power. Imprisoned in an ancient stone dance more than a thousand years ago, her only chance at freedom from the spell is through love--a love she denied. When Devin asks for her aid to save another from imminent death, she realizes there is more at stake than just her freedom or her heart.
WARNING: Two stubborn sexy wizards using magic with no bounds, scorching love scenes, and happy ever after. Ever play with fire?  
A Lyrical Press Paranormal Romance
Excerpt #3 – General audience
Hovering his hands over Aiden’s toy laptop, Devin began to reverse the damage. Not exactly a healing, but much the same. With the magic came the memory of destruction. Raine pulling the toy out of Aiden’s hands, crying, overwhelming heat and tossing a melted lump of plastic onto the grass. Fear was the most forefront emotion. “She lost her temper and lashed out with heat, melting the toy. It’s a wonder she didn’t set something on fire. Her magic is out of control. Allie’s binds have been broken.”
“But how? She’s just a little girl, Dev, my little girl.”
“Not just. You’ve always known your daughter is special, Jack. Allie has been binding Raine’s gifts since she was two.”
“Yes, but I thought she might be a touch psychic or something. Not like, what do you even call that?”
“Raine is a hereditary witch. Fire is her element.”
“Like you. Then can she do all the things you can?”
“Yes, eventually. We share the same type of magic.”
“Good. Then you can tell us--”
“She’s a phoenix, Jack. Do you understand what that means?”
“Like the bird?” Liv had rejoined them. He saw the question, the realization, sink in. Her child’s life was in danger. Slowly shaking her head, she moved around the sofa to sit beside Jack and clutched his hand.
Should he lie to her? No. Liv would skin him for it later and she’d have Jack’s help. “Yes, Liv, exactly so.”
He watched her expression crumble as fear gripped her. A sob ripped from her throat. “Jack. No. No. No.” It killed him to hear her repeat the words over and over as though just that mantra would save her daughter. Only one person might be able to do that. Liv leaned into her husband and buried her face in his neck.
Jack stared at him as he pulled Liv closer. Calm, controlled eyes, flat and shuttered, told Devin inside Jack was falling apart. “Tell us what we need to do.”
“If she doesn’t learn to control the magic, it will destroy her, like the bird of legend. Only there is no coming back. It explains why Allie can’t bind Raine’s power anymore. I should have come back sooner. She’s just so young. My powers didn’t emerge until I was twelve.”
“What can we do? You have to stop this.”
“It is something she has to learn. As did I, when my powers began to emerge and my mother recognized the danger. She had faerie blood and called for her cousin Daemon to teach me. We need help.”
“She is only three years old.”
“I know, but the magic has to be controlled or--”
“No!” Liv screamed pulled away from Jack, stood and met him eye to eye. “I will not let magic take my daughter. Do you hear me? Fix this. I don’t care what you have to do.” She grabbed the front of his shirt, emotions out of control. “Please. Please, Devin. Don’t let my baby die. You promised me. You promised me you’d always look out for them.”
“And I will. I’ll do everything in my power, Liv.” Gently he pried her fingers away, but held on to her icy hands. “A laird’s promise.” Watching one of the strongest women he’d ever known collapse into her husband’s arms, he knew there was only one person who could help him keep his word. And he hoped Arianne was in an accommodating mood. If not, he was prepared to barter anything necessary to gain her cooperation. Raine was all that mattered.