Spotlight & Author Interview: Sanctuary, by Michael J. Stiehl

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Sanctuary by Michael J Stiehl

Hell Hare House Short Reads, #7
By Michael J. Stiehl
Genre: Fantasy / Horror
Publisher: Black Hare Press
Cover Artist: Dawn Burdett
Out: October 11th, 2022
Page Count: 190

Deep in an impenetrable swamp, lies the Sanctuary. Abandoned there as a child, Theobard has lived a quiet life among the Silent Brotherhood, a monastic sect that never speaks. The arrival of Dellia, a beautiful golden-eyed girl with a secret, will change everything. Her secret will expose Theobard’s true nature, and that of the Sanctuary, pulling apart the only world he has ever known, leaving nothing the same.


Author Interview:

1. What inspired you to write this book? 

After a long break from writing, I wrote what I thought was going to be a short story but ended up being a novella. In that story Theobard, the protagonist of Sanctuary, was one of the secondary characters. I was unhappy with how that story turned out but couldn’t stop thinking about Theobard and how he came to be the way he was. I was fascinated by the challenge of telling a story where the bulk of the characters use sign language and the idea of how sometimes you meet people in life who open the world to you – whether you want them to or not.

  1. What, if anything, did you learn when writing the book?

I started writing this book with the notion that it would be romantic and was surprised when my first readers saw it more as a mystery or horror book. I think I learned that sometimes stories have a mind of their own and the good ones are willing to break your heart even as you write them.

  1. What surprised you the most in writing it?

How complicated it is to use sign language in pre-modern times at night. It’s really hard to hold a candle and put your hand in the light for others to see – let alone sign words that require two hands.

  1. What does the title mean?

I think everyone has a sanctuary in their life – a place they feel safe and fulfilled – but sometimes that sanctuary can change out from under us. What was once a place you longed to be in can suddenly be unrecognizable. I think the title is about those places and what you do when that  shift happens.

  1. Were any of the characters inspired by real people? If so, do they know?

To the best of my knowledge they are not. But you never know what’s rumbling around in your brain.

  1. Do you consider the book to have a lesson or moral?

At first I didn’t, I just wanted a kind of romantic adventure story. By the end, however, it became clear to me that if there is a lesson or moral it’s that everyone needs to be free to be themselves but that freedom seldom comes without a price.

  1. What is your favorite part of the book?

The final chapter. I often worry about endings but I was so happy with this one I could hardly believe I wrote it. I’ve read that final chapter perhaps more than any other part of the book and  it still moves me to this day.

  1. Which character was most challenging to create? Why?

The Silent Brothers. Having characters that don’t/can’t/won’t use their voices makes dialogue tricky.

  1. What are your immediate future plans?

Write more stories. I have some that are completed and looking for a home and others that are partially done. I can’t wait to put more of them out into the world.

About the Author:

michael j stehlMichael J. Stiehl has had a lifelong passion for fiction, in particular horror, comics, adventure and science fiction, and is thrilled to finally be writing some of his own. Michael lives in the Chicago suburbs with his wife, two kids and his very silly poodle Jack. When not writing fiction, Michael spends his time riding bikes, camping, reading books, obsessively listening to music and playing D&D with his friends. In short, he hasn’t changed a bit since junior high.

Social Media:

Facebook / AmazonGoodreads


Spotlight & Giveaway: Curse of Clansmen and Kings, by Linnea Tanner

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Apollo’s Raven

Curse of Clansmen and Kings Book 1

by Linnea Tanner

Genre: Historical Fantasy Romance


PenCraft 2019 Best Book of the Year Award

A Celtic warrior princess is torn between her forbidden love for the enemy and duty to her people. 

AWARD-WINNING APOLLO’S RAVEN sweeps you into an epic Celtic tale of forbidden love, mythological adventure, and political intrigue in Ancient Rome and Britannia. In 24 AD British kings hand-picked by Rome to rule are fighting each other for power. King Amren’s former queen, a powerful Druid, has cast a curse that Blood Wolf and the Raven will rise and destroy him. The king’s daughter, Catrin, learns to her dismay that she is the Raven and her banished half-brother is Blood Wolf. Trained as a warrior, Catrin must find a way to break the curse, but she is torn between her forbidden love for her father’s enemy, Marcellus, and loyalty to her people. She must summon the magic of the Ancient Druids to alter the dark prophecy that threatens the fates of everyone in her kingdom.

Will Catrin overcome and eradicate the ancient curse. Will she be able to embrace her forbidden love for Marcellus? Will she cease the war between Blood Wolf and King Amren and save her kingdom?

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Dagger’s Destiny

Curse of Clansmen and Kings Book 2


A Celtic warrior princess accused of treason for aiding her enemy lover must win back her father’s love and trust

In the rich and vibrant tale, Author Linnea Tanner continues the story of Catrin and Marcellus that began with the awarding-winning novel APOLLO’S RAVEN in the Curse of Clansmen and Kings Series. Book 2: DAGGER’S DESTINY sweeps you into an epic tale of forbidden love, mythological adventure, and political intrigue in Ancient Rome and Britannia.

War looms over 24 AD Britannia where rival tribal rulers fight each other for power and the Romans threaten to invade to settle their political differences. King Amren accuses his daughter, Catrin, of treason for aiding the Roman enemy and her lover, Marcellus. The ultimate punishment is death unless she can redeem herself. She must prove loyalty to her father by forsaking Marcellus and defending their kingdom—even to the death. Forged into a warrior, she must overcome tribulations and make the right decisions on her quest to break the curse that foretells her banished half-brother and the Roman Empire will destroy their kingdom.
Yet, when Catrin again reunites with Marcellus, she is torn between her love for him and duty to King Amren. She must ultimately face her greatest challenger who could destroy her life, freedom, and humanity.

Will Catrin finally break the ancient prophecy that looms over her kingdom? Will she abandon her forbidden love for Marcellus to win back her father’s trust and love? Can King Amren balance his brutality to maintain power with the love he feels for Catrin?

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Amulet’s Rapture

Curse of Clansmen and Kings Book 3


Blood stains her Celtic home and kingdom.

The warrior Druid princess will do anything to retake her kingdom.

Although Catrin is the rightful heir to the Celtic throne in Britannia, she is lucky to be alive. After witnessing the slaughter of her family at the hands of her half-brother, who was aided by the Romans, she is enslaved by a Roman commander. He disguises her as a boy in the Roman Legion with the belief that she is an oracle of Apollo and can foretell his future. The sole bright spot in her miserable new life is her forbidden lover Marcellus, the great-grandson of the famed Roman General Mark Antony.

But Marcellus has been wounded and his memories of Catrin and their secret marriage were erased by a dark Druidess. Though Marcellus reunites with Catrin in Gaul and becomes her ally as she struggles to survive the brutality of her Roman master, he questions the legitimacy of their marriage and hesitates to help her escape and retake her kingdom. If their forbidden love and alliance are discovered, her dreams of returning to her Celtic home with Marcellus will be shattered.

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Skull’s Vengeance

Curse of Clansmen and Kings Book 4


[An] epic tale of love, betrayal and political intrigue.” InD’tale Magazine

The requisite fantasy elements of magic and mystery abound…Tanner also does an admirable job weaving in the politics and mythology of a bygone people.” Kirkus

Part fantasy, part historical fiction, Linnea Tanner has woven together a wonderful tale of romance, intrigue, mystery, and legend to create an entertaining and complex story.” The International Review of Books

[A] captivating tale of triangles; love, lust and espionage, friend, foe, and spies., barbarians, civilized Rome and spiritual-supernatural beings.” 2019 Pencraft Book of the Year Award

A Celtic warrior queen must do the impossible—defeat her sorcerer half-brother and claim the throne. But to do so, she must learn how to strike vengeance from her father’s skull.

AS FORETOLD BY HER FATHER in a vision, Catrin has become a battle-hardened warrior after her trials in the Roman legion and gladiatorial games. She must return to Britannia and pull the cursed dagger out of the serpent’s stone to fulfill her destiny. Only then can she unleash the vengeance from the ancient druids to destroy her evil half-brother, the powerful sorcerer, King Marrock. Always two steps ahead and seemingly unstoppable, Marrock can summon destructive natural forces to crush any rival trying to stop him and has charged his deadliest assassin to bring back Catrin’s head.

To have the slightest chance of beating Marrock, Catrin must forge alliances with former enemies, but she needs someone she can trust. Her only option is to seek military aid from Marcellus—her secret Roman husband. They rekindle their burning passion, but he is playing a deadly game in the political firestorm of the Julio-Claudian dynasty to support Catrin’s cause.

Ultimately, in order to defeat Marrock, Catrin must align herself with a dark druidess and learn how to summon forces from skulls to exact vengeance. But can she and Marcellus outmaneuver political enemies from Rome and Britannia in their quest to vanquish Marrock?

**New Release!!**

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Award-winning author, Linnea Tanner, weaves Celtic tales of love, magical adventure, and political intrigue in Ancient Rome and Britannia. Since childhood, she has passionately read about ancient civilizations and mythology. Of particular interest are the enigmatic Celts, who were reputed as fierce warriors and mystical Druids.

Linnea has extensively researched ancient and medieval history, mythology, and archaeology and has traveled to sites described within each of her books in the Curse of Clansmen and Kings series. Books released in her series include “Apollo’s Raven” (Book 1), “Dagger’s Destiny” (Book 2), “Amulet’s Rapture” (Book 3), and “Skull’s Vengeance” (Book 4). She has also released the historical fiction short story, “Two Faces of Janus.”

A Colorado native, Linnea attended the University of Colorado and earned both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in chemistry. She lives in Fort Collins with her husband and has two children and six grandchildren.

Website * Facebook * Twitter * Instagram * Bookbub * Amazon * Goodreads

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Book Blitz & Giveaway: The Continuing Adventures of Laurel Palmer, by Pamela McCord

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The Continuing Adventures of Laurel Palmer

by Pamela McCord
Paranormal Romance
Date Published: October 20, 2022
Publisher: Acorn Publishing

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Is there love after death? Laurel Palmer is about to find out. Thanks to a little shove by her husband, Laurel wakes up dead. And there’s no sign of that white light people are supposed to go into. Now a ghost stuck on earth, Laurel is determined to find out how she can get into heaven. On her search for the light, Laurel meets Teddy Rule, a hunk of a ghost who coincidentally was also murdered by her husband. Turns out, he didn’t get that light either. As they work together to figure out what’s keeping them on this earthly plane, feelings develop. Not knowing if heaven will separate them, they must decide whether or not to cross over.

Purchase Links


About the Author

Pam got a late start in writing but has made up for it with several published novels and a few more on the way. A serendipitous conversation with a writer friend launched her literary career, and the fact that she might never have had that particular conversation is enough to make her believe that fate played a hand in sending her down the path to becoming an author. All four of her published books have won the Mom’s ChoiceAward Gold Seal, and the first book in her Pekin Dewlap Mystery series was the winner of the American Book Fest Children’s Fiction Award.

She’s lived in Southern California most of her life and is thankful to have a loving family and supportive friends. Spending time at home during the COVID pandemic advanced both Pam’s writing and her relationship with her My Cat From Hell TV star, Allie, who manages to exude just enough affection to make her scary feral ways tolerable.

Contact Links

Twitter: @Pam805
Instagram: @PamelaMcCordAuthor


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