Spotlight, Excerpt & Feature: The Wantland Files + Giveaway

the wantland files

The Wantland Files
Lara Bernhardt
Genre: supernatural suspense
Publisher: Admission Press
Date of Publication: December 16, 2016
ISBN: 978-0998426105
ASIN: B081RFTMR5
Number of pages: 286
Word Count: 73,470
Cover Artist: BEAUTeBOOK

 
She sees dead people. He doesn’t believe in ghosts.
 
The X-Files meets Ghost Hunters when psychic Kimberly Wantland is forced to collaborate with skeptic Sterling Wakefield as she investigates a ghost terrorizing a young family in the season finale of her hit television series The Wantland Files.
 

 

Excerpt:

The frigid blast hit her, not a tidal wave crashing over her, but an iceberg, solid and powerful. And furious.

The icy shock took her breath away. She gasped.

The entity dropped from above and sailed past, blowing her hair behind her. Strong, warm hands grasped her arms, intent on steadying her. She shook free as Drew screamed.

“I told you to stay with the boy!” She crossed the room in three steps and knelt beside the toddler bed.

Drew no longer sat in the corner.

“Kimmy? What’s happening?” Michael called from the door.

“Just keep recording! She’s here. She’s powerful. Keep the cameras rolling.”

Danielle’s voice joined the fray. “What’s wrong? Drew! What’s happening?”

“Stay in your room,” she commanded as forcefully as she could with lungs chilled by the dark entity. “Stay with your baby!”

Her fingers trembled as she searched the bed. Every square inch of the miniature thing. Her chilled hands were not so numb that they would miss a toddler’s body. Where was he? Frantic and scared, she lost control of her extrasensory perceptions. She stopped running her hands over the bed and held still. Clutching her crystal, she breathed deeply. Where was the entity? Where was the boy?


I remember thoroughly loving a book called It’s Halloween by Jack Prelutsky when I was little.

This is a book of poems, and that appreciation only increased the older I got.
The works of Edgar Allan Poe intrigued me beginning in high school. I liked all his writing and was particularly fascinated with The Raven.
His poem Spirits of the Dead is perhaps less well known, but perfect for Halloween:
Spirits of the Dead
By Edgar Allan Poe
Thy soul shall find itself alone
’Mid dark thoughts of the grey tomb-stone—
Not one, of all the crowd, to pry
Into thine hour of secrecy:
Be silent in that solitude
Which is not loneliness—for then
The spirits of the dead who stood
In life before thee are again
In death around thee—and their will
Shall then overshadow thee: be still.

 

For the night—tho’ clear—shall frown—
And the stars shall look not down,
From their high thrones in the Heaven,
With light like Hope to mortals given—
But their red orbs, without beam,
To thy weariness shall seem
As a burning and a fever
Which would cling to thee forever:

 

Now are thoughts thou shalt not banish—
Now are visions ne’er to vanish—
From thy spirit shall they pass
No more—like dewdrop from the grass:
The breeze—the breath of God—is still—
And the mist upon the hill
Shadowy—shadowy—yet unbroken,
Is a symbol and a token—
How it hangs upon the trees,

A mystery of mysteries!



About the Author:

Lara Bernhardt is a Pushcart-nominated writer, editor, and audiobook narrator. She is Editor-in-Chief of Balkan Press and also publishes a literary magazine, Conclave. Twice a finalist for the Oklahoma Book Award for Best Fiction, she writes supernatural suspense and women’s fiction. 
 
You can follow her on all the socials @larawells1 on Twitter and @larabern10 on Facebook, BookBub, and Instagram. 
 

 

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Spotlight: The keepers + Giveaway

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Join Us for This Tour from October 12 to October 25, 2021
 


Book TitleThe Keepers by Joy Lynn Goddard
Category:  Adult Fiction (18+),  379 pages
Genre:  A Family Saga crisscrossing Mystery, Romance and Suspense genres. (Upmarket fiction)
Publisher:  Joy Lynn Goddard
Release date:   June 2021
Tour dates: October 12 to October 25, 2021
Content Rating:  PG-13 + M:

Author’s Note: Children’s mental health is a growing concern in today’s schools. Often kids suffer in silence because of the stigma attached to their mental health needs. Mental health organizations such as the Canadian Mental Health Association work hard to change this mindset. It can’t come soon enough. As a teacher, I worked with troubled teens and saw firsthand the devastating effects of their silence. With this in mind, I began writing The Keepers, for if I could help just one “Alexandre” find his voice, my efforts would be well worth it. There are a few mature scenes and some bad language here and there, reflective of a character coming-of-age. 

 

Book Description:

Despite struggling to raise a troubled teenage son on her own, Beth Marshall has no intention of selling her beloved vineyard and moving to the city where her ex-boyfriend awaits with open arms. She has strong ties to the land, where she is happy living with her granddad and aunt in the old farmhouse, so when she gets an offer to sell her property, she turns it down. Meanwhile, a writer recovering from a shattering past moves into the guest house, tugging at her heart. She’s not going anywhere.

But after her granddad discovers a dead body in their shed, Beth fights jail time. She can’t imagine a worse nightmare until she gets a call in the middle of the night with shocking news about her son!

Buy the Book: Amazon
add to goodreads

 

Meet the Authors:

Joy Lynn Goddard teamed up with husband Daniel Pike to write contemporary adult fiction. Their first and second novels, Moonshadow and The Keepers, have global appeal and won Canada Book Awards. Besides novels, they wrote Buyers, Liars, Sellers and Yellers, a collection of humorous short stories about the real estate industry. Although she is well known for her young adult and junior fiction—starting with the award-winning Daredevils and including Hello, my name is Emily, Charlie’s Song, Jazz, When Pigs Fly, and Mrs. Maloney’s Garden—her adult novels are quickly attracting attention. Each book involves romance, mystery, and suspense genres.

Joy and Dan divide their time between Guelph and Belleville, Ontario, where they spend time with family when not working on their next book.

connect with the authors: website ~ twitter ~ facebook ~ goodreads

 

Tour Schedule:

Oct 12 – Cover Lover Book Review – book spotlight / giveaway
Oct 13 – Working Mommy Journal – book spotlight / giveaway
Oct 13 – Splashes of Joy – book spotlight / giveaway
Oct 14 – Books for Books – book spotlight
Oct 15 – Rockin’ Book Reviews – book spotlight / giveaway
Oct 18 – Lamon Reviews – book spotlight / giveaway
Oct 19 – Sadie’s Spotlight – book spotlight / giveaway
Oct 20 – Kam’s Place – book spotlight
Oct 20 – Locks, Hooks and Books – book spotlight / giveaway
Oct 21 – Jazzy Book Reviews – book spotlight / giveaway
Oct 21 – Celticlady’s Reviews – book spotlight / giveaway
Oct 22 – Literary Flits – book spotlight / giveaway
Oct 22 – Book Corner News and Reviews – book spotlight / giveaway

Oct 25 – Pick a Good Book – book spotlight / giveaway

 

Enter the Giveaway:

 

THE KEEPERS by Joy Lynn Goddard Book Tour Giveaway

 

Spotlight, Feature, & Excerpt: Witch of the Cards + Giveaway

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Witch of the Cards

by Catherine Stine
Genre: paranormal historical suspense
Publisher: Konjur Road Press
Date of Publication: March 16, 2016
ISBN 13: 978-0-9848282-6-5    
ISBN-10: 0-9848282-6-5
ISBN 13: 978-0-9848282-7-2  
ISBN 10: 0-9848282-7-3
Number of pages: 265
Word Count: 76K
Cover Artist: Mae I Designs

*

Fiera was born a sea witch with no inkling of her power. And now it might be too late. 

Witch of the Cards is a supernatural romantic suspense set in 1932 on the Jersey shore. Fiera has left the Brooklyn orphanage where she was raised and works in Manhattan as a nanny. She gets a lucky break when her boss pays for her vacation in Asbury Park. One evening, Fiera and her new friend Dulcie wander down the boardwalk and into Peter Dune’s Tarot & Séance, where they attend a card reading. 

Fiera has an unsettling ability to sense future events and people’s hidden agendas. She longs to either find out the origin of her powers or else banish them because as is, they make her feel crazy. When, during the reading, her energies somehow bond with Peter Dune’s and form an undeniable ethereal force, a chain of revelations and dangerous events unspool. 

For one, Fiera finds out she is a witch from a powerful sea clan, but that someone is out to stop her blossoming power forever. And though she is falling in love with Peter, he also has a secret side. He’s no card reader, but a private detective working to expose mediums. Despite this terrible betrayal, Fiera must make the choice to save Peter from a tragic Morro Cruise boat fire, or let him perish with his fellow investigators. Told in alternating viewpoints, Fiera and Peter each struggle against their deep attraction. Secrets, lies, even murder, lace this edgy fantasy. 

From Lovers of Paranormal: “Interesting story of witches, deceit, secrets, romance and friendship. Fun and creative.”

 

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Excerpt:

If I only had a week in this glorious beach town, I wanted to catch up with sleep and plunge into as many escapades as possible—even bewildering, outlandish ones.

We walked in, to the jangle of Mr. Dune’s door chimes. I skated around, ogling the floor-to-ceiling shelves brimming with leather-bound books on cosmic mysteries, spiritualism, and witchcraft. Two immediate standouts were Ten Ways to Practice Mentalism and Dona Bella, Memoirs of a Southern Witch. These were my fare, similar to a favorite book at the public library—a tome on dark magic. The most stirring part was about each witch dynasty having its own grimoire, a sort of magical recipe book. I had no clue as to why dark tales tickled me so, and often wondered about my taste.

Still, I read everything I could get my hands on, even boring books that drifted me right off to the Land of Nod. At my nanny job, I was so desperate for stories I even read the tedious articles about cooking and how to throw a proper cocktail party in Mrs. Cuthbert’s Reader’s Digest and Home Arts magazines.

 Mr. Dune strode toward us. His handsome aura and towering presence intimidated yet thrilled me. He was dressed in crisp, charcoal gray pants and a vest with a double-breasted pinstriped jacket. “Are you lovely ladies here for the séance?” He held out a long, elegant hand, studded with a silver ring. I barely collected my wits enough to shake it and nod. Dulcie’s hand whooshed out and hardly touched his before she clamped it protectively back to her side.

No doubt about it, he was the most striking man I’d ever seen. His thick mop of dark hair tapered into long sideburns, rendering his jawline a tad dangerous. I guessed he was in his mid-twenties. When his coffee-brown eyes gleamed at me, my breath caught, and a heat greater than any moonshine fired through me.

We paid the dime admission. He escorted us to a round, wooden table with lion-footed legs where we joined a heavyset older couple and a reedy gentleman with thin, blond hair. His lime-fizz eyes darted over to Dulcie, and then away. Two empty chairs still beckoned.

Dulcie looked terrified, so I smiled at her. She calmed enough to take a seat.

Mr. Dune strode to the window, loosened the crimson curtains, and lowered their heavy velvet over the windows, lending the already-pensive storefront a mystical aura.


The allure of creepy, ramshackle beach towns as settings for dark fantasy:
What is it exactly that makes edgy beach towns the perfect setting for sinister fantasy and historical suspense? I’ve always been attracted to the dark side, and particularly to strange beach towns. So far, I’ve set two novels in them.

When I first moved to New York City after college and a stint out west, you couldn’t tear me away from the dilapidated boardwalks of Coney Island. This was back before the arcade was renovated, back when the sideshow by the sea with its sword swallower and human pincushion were on full display. It was when a hungry, dirty capybara was caged in a box that read: Only $5 To See the Biggest Rat in the World! This poor critter was a plot point in Dorianna, my paranormal twist on Dorian Grey. And no surprise, I set Dorianna in Coney Island, and installed a sexy villain in Wilson Warren. He was an agent of the devil disguised as a videographer who prowled the beaches, making girls into viral Internet sensations for a very high price.

Fast-forward to my novel Witch of the Cards, set in 1932, about Fiera, a sea witch who has a special talent with Tarot (and not just reading the cards). Of course,I set it in a shady shore town, in this case, Asbury Park, NJ. You see, I’ve been coming to this gentrifying coastal town for years and know it well—its sunny moods but also its spooky, moody shades.
Around the turn of the century, and up until around 1945, Asbury Park used to be the stomping grounds of the glitterati. There were grand concerts in the art deco Convention Center, and people dressed to the nines would stroll on the boardwalk at night. Then came the race riots of the 1960s and the economic crash, and the place fell into major disrepair. Its only remaining claim to fame was The Stone Pony, where Bruce Springsteen rocked into the limelight.

About twenty-seven years ago, when I first ventured into the Asbury convention center, there was a huge hole in its roof that seagulls flew in and out of. And there was only one lonely saltwater taffy store on the boardwalk run by an ancient lady who seemed to have stepped out of a Stephen King novel. In Witch of the Cards the taffy sold in the shop has very odd effects, and I installed an illegal speakeasy in the taffy store basement. I turned the (actual) Paranormal Museum on CookwellAvenue into a place to hold séances that often went horribly wrong.

In Witch of the Cards, even the ocean hides terrible secrets.

There’s something about the scent of saltwater and hotdogs, the splintered, salt-dried boardwalk and the scream of people hurtling down on the arcade rides that gets my blood charging and my imagination firing. What about you?
Here’s a snippet of a scene when Fiera and her date Peter venture down to the basement speakeasy in the taffy store:

“Perhaps I was far too gone, but I didn’t care. Peter and I danced and danced. The room filled with the overflow from the convention hall dance—young lovers, bootlegger types with wide ties and cigars, older women with twinkling earrings and heavy bosoms, even a prostitute or two. I thought so anyway, because they wore way too much rouge and came alone to sit brazenly up at the bar with the gin rummies.

This time I couldn’t say whether or not I stepped on Mr. Dune’s polished wingtips. This time, he probably couldn’t be sure if he knocked his bony legs into mine. We had many more nips of absinthe, and I wolfed down another green-swirl taffy and before I knew it, I was leaning provocatively against Peter and laughing like a wild banshee. 
 
I remember gaping up at him to see his black hair all disheveled and him mumbling indistinctly. And I, thinking that he was the most gorgeous human being I’d ever seen. I remember Dulcie grabbing one of my arms, and Peter grasping the other. I remember all of us howling at the crescent moon over the ocean, and the shocked sideways glance of the hotel proprietor as we all stumbled in. 
 
I recall pulling out the Tarot he’d given me, and laying them out on the bedroom rug. I recall babbling at him—about a witch and a swindler and a boat—not necessarily in that order. I can still picture his expression of shocked surprise but not at what.
 
And I remember Peter’s lips branding my forehead—how could I ever forget that—while shocks of his lush black hair dangled deliciously on my burning cheeks. The last thing I recall before things went dark was kicking off my shoes.”
 
Happy Season of the Witch,
Catherine Stine
 

About the Author:

Catherine Stine is a USA Today bestselling author of paranormal, urban and historical fantasy. Witch of the Wild Beasts won a second prize in the Romance Writers of America’s Sheila Contest. Other novels have earned Indie Notable awards and New York Public Library Best Books. She lives in New York State and grew up in Philadelphia. Before writing novels, she was a painter and fabric designer.

She’s a visual author and sees writing as painting with words. Catherine loves spending time with her beagle Benny, writing about supernatural creatures, gardening and meeting readers at book fests.

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