Audio Spotlight & Excerpt: Heart’s Blood + Guest Post

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Title: Heart’s Blood

Author: Calinda B

Narrator: Alex Black

Length: 7 hours 22 minutes

Series: The Bloodstone Quadrilogy, Book 2

Publisher: Calinda B

Released: Oct. 5, 2020

Genre: Dark Fantasy

 

Magic is dark. Evil is mayhem.

I’m Siobhan Riordan, and my life is an unending nightmare.

I was living a fairy-tale, until I found my husband brutally slain. Ever since then I’ve been raising our three-year-old son on my own and just trying to get by.

But I can’t hide any longer. There’s a mysterious plague going around my town, an illness that causes people to go mad just before the end. Even worse, I’m being stalked, though I don’t know by who. Doctor Steven Breslin seems like the only one who can help, though he has secrets I’m not ready to uncover.

Then the worst happens – my son falls prey to this supernatural disease. If I don’t save him, death awaits us all.

Heart’s Blood is the thrilling second installment in the Bloodstone Quadrilogy – an exciting and steamy dark fantasy that’s dripping with horror and lust. Prepare to be on the edge of your seat as you fall into this intense supernatural world.

 

 

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A New York Times, USA Today and #1 Amazon bestselling, award-winning author, Calinda B writes kick-ass heroines who don’t know their own strength. When she’s not writing, she’s been known to fall off ice cliffs; fire walk with Eastern Europe fire officials; or wake up from a six weeks coma, wondering how she got there in the first place. She’s been stuck in currents at Deception Pass in her kayak, and loves to swim with sharks. She greets every day with gratitude and an openness to what might be around the next corner.

She’s also an EMT serving her local community as a volunteer. Her tagline is, “Let’s go save some lives!”

With umpteen books roaming the universe and more in her head, you can find her at www.calindab.com. Or, if you want to stay connected, join the exclusive mailing list! http://www.calindab.com/newslettersignup.html

WebsiteTwitterFacebookGoodreadsInstagram

Narrator Bio

Alex Black is an articulate, engaging, and versatile narrator based in Cambridge, Vermont. He’s worked in theatre, film, audio production, and appeared on radio. As an accomplished audiobook producer with over 90 titles, he’s worked closely with independent authors and publishers.

He’s received more than 500 5 star reviews and specializes in Romance, Fantasy, Science Fiction, Apocalyptic, Mystery & Thriller, LGBTQ+, and Memoirs.

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Guest Post

Reasons to listen to the Bloodstone Quadrilogy
by Calinda B

A couple of years ago, when I returned from Ireland, a place of magic, exquisite beauty, friendly people, and fascinating lore, I stumbled upon the myth of the female vampire of Waterford known as the Dearg-Due.

This myth is stated as:

“Centuries ago, in the area that is now Waterford, a young girl with beauty so astounding that men were besotted with her and women wanted to be her, was happily living day to day and had the love of a farm laborer. They made plans to marry and have children of their own.”

Her father, however, a cruel and greedy man, forbade the marriage. He wanted her to marry someone noble, wealthy, more in line with his plans. His daughter’s happiness meant nothing to him. So, he married her off to a “wealthy and notoriously atrocious” clan chieftain.

You can guess how this loveless marriage went. The young woman, whom I named Maggie in the Bloodstone Quadrilogy, sat apart from everyone else at her wedding and vowed to claim revenge on her father and her horrible husband.

After the marriage, she and her husband proceeded to live together at his home, but she was miserable, and he was miserable. Different endings have been assigned to Maggie. Some say she was killed by her husband. Some say she died of a broken heart. Still others say she simply failed to thrive and faded away.

But one thing is clear—when she died, she came back to seek revenge as a vampire.

This sounded like the perfect beginning for my tales of the Bloodstone Quadrilogy.

So, I began to write. Each time I sat at my keyboard I became immersed in Ireland. If you haven’t been there, you simply must put it on your travel list, whenever we’re allowed to freely travel again! It’s one of my favorite places on the planet.

And when I was finished, I had four fine stories filled with intrigue, humor, murder, sexy fun and romance. Yes, there’s a vampire, but there are several other paranormal creatures that you might not know about. Give the Bloodstone Quadrilogy a try if urban fantasy, a murder mystery, and romantic intrigue are to your liking.

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Audio Spotlight & Excerpt: Grave Stone, by Calinda B

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Title: Grave Stone

Author: Calinda B

Narrator: Alex Black

Length: 8 hours

Series: The Bloodstone Quadrilogy, Books 1-4

Publisher: Calinda B

Released: Oct. 17, 2020

Genre: Dark Fantasy

 

Revenge can be bloody. Vampires are deadly.

A number one best seller in Vampire suspense and mystery suspense!

I’m Lassi Finn, and I just want to get back to Dublin – unfortunately, there’s a score of murders preventing me from ever returning to my normal life.

I came to a small town in Ireland to bury a loved one, but now I’m caught up in a mystery of the supernatural kind. Three mutilated bodies show up on my doorstep before I even have time for tea, and the local detective knows more about me than he should. Not to mention the local priest is hotter than hell…oh, and did I mention he seems to glow, and not in the normal, “happy to see me” manner?

The killer isn’t just cold-blooded. She’s cold-hearted, literally. And I’m about to be her next victim. Either that, or go down for murder.

The beginning of a steamy, dark fantasy series, Grave Stones is the first book in the edgy and quirky Bloodstone Quadrilogy. Listeners will experience thrills, romance, and sexy nights while investigating the mystery of the monster who inspired Bram Stoker’s Dracula.

Buy Links

Buy on Audible

A New York Times, USA Today and #1 Amazon bestselling, award-winning author, Calinda B writes kick-ass heroines who don’t know their own strength. When she’s not writing, she’s been known to fall off ice cliffs; fire walk with Eastern Europe fire officials; or wake up from a six weeks coma, wondering how she got there in the first place. She’s been stuck in currents at Deception Pass in her kayak, and loves to swim with sharks. She greets every day with gratitude and an openness to what might be around the next corner.

She’s also an EMT serving her local community as a volunteer. Her tagline is, “Let’s go save some lives!”

With umpteen books roaming the universe and more in her head, you can find her at www.calindab.com. Or, if you want to stay connected, join the exclusive mailing list! http://www.calindab.com/newslettersignup.html

WebsiteTwitterFacebookGoodreadsInstagram

Narrator Bio

Alex Black is an articulate, engaging, and versatile narrator based in Cambridge, Vermont. He’s worked in theatre, film, audio production, and appeared on radio. As an accomplished audiobook producer with over 90 titles, he’s worked closely with independent authors and publishers.

He’s received more than 500 5 star reviews and specializes in Romance, Fantasy, Science Fiction, Apocalyptic, Mystery & Thriller, LGBTQ+, and Memoirs.

Twitter

Book 1, Gravestones, features Lassi Finn and the town priest, Cillian Ward. Cillian is a cover-model worthy handsome man who spiritually guides his flock of churchgoers in the small seaside city of Ballynagaul.

I decided to ask him some questions to see how he would react in the following situations:

  • Facing a bomb threat
    • Calinda, you know me, and you know my secrets. Without revealing too much I can safely say if the bomb threat affected me alone, I would face it with a clear mind and willing resolve. I’m not afraid of death.
    • If it affected my parishioners, or the town of Ballynagaul, I’d have to somehow remove the threat without revealing my secrets. That would be a tricky task.
  • Finding out they are going to be a parent
    • As this is impossible, I have no need to ruminate on such matters. Becoming a father would put the child in too much harm to consider.
  • Running into an ex
    • Awkward. She’d be dead.
  • Attending a high school reunion
    • What’s a high school again?
  • Negotiating with a car dealer
    • I have absolutely no experience in such matters. I don’t even drive. I’d probably “lose my shirt” as you Americans are fond of saying. (smiles)
  • Spending the holidays with family
    • Since my family consists of my congregation, I’ve spent many a holiday with families in the community. It’s always a pleasant affair as long as they don’t ask too many questions about my past.
  • Being ‘snowed in’ in a log cabin
    • I can’t imagine. We seldom have snow in Ireland. I suppose if I were with the right person or persons it could be enjoyable.
  • Being told they have x months to live
    • I’m not sure how to answer this as it might give away one of my secrets. Let’s just say it might be welcome, depending on the circumstances.
  • Getting pushed into the pool at a party
    • Again, this would be awkward for reasons I can’t reveal. Everyone would get a shock, I assure you.
  • Being stuck in a foreign land with no money, no knowledge of the language, and no shoes
    • As long as I could find a body of water, I’d find my way back to Ballynagaul.
  • Suddenly being invisible
    • Now this would be quite interesting. I could do my work without fear of being found out. Bring it on!
  • Inheriting a haunted mansion
    • It would be no different than the way I live now as you’ll find if you listen to the Bloodstone Quadrilogy.
  • Winning the lottery
    • I’d give it away of course. I have no need for money.

 

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Spotlight, Excerpt & Guest Post: Through Rain and Missing Mantaurs + Giveaway

BANNER1 - Through Rain and Missing Mantaurs

Through Rain and Missing Mantaurs - Jeanne Marcella
Jeanne Marcella has a new MM/MMF dark fantasy out: “Through Rain and Missing Mantaurs.” And there’s a giveaway!

Her past is postage due and centaurs are ready to collect.

Through Rain and Missing Mantaurs is a dark fantasy most daring and eccentric. A tale not for the faint of heart. Pony is a bipedal half-breed centaur with no desire to waste tears on a past she can’t remember. She’s busy enough with her mail routes and package deliveries, and of course, floundering through hot-cold love affairs with the high class courtesans Mardyth and Lullaby.

The mundane drudgery of her life shatters when Konstantine Bywater takes over as Lightfoot Delivery’s new boss. He asks questions she can’t possibly answer, and stirs up a tragic past better left dead and buried.

But running away is no longer an option. Not when Kon and his minions accuse Mardyth of an unspeakable crime. With her lover’s life at stake, Pony won’t stop until she uncovers not only the truth of Mardyth’s innocence, but the truth of the past as well.

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Giveaway

Jeanne is giving away a $20 Amazon gift card with this tour:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Direct Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/b60e8d47167/?


Excerpt

Through Rain and Missing Mantaurs meme

Chapter 1

Saddle-sweating, horse-humping, gods-cursed bastards! The rumors were true. Shit! Bad luck must be in love with me or something. Maybe it could give Mardyth lessons.

Arms pumping high and heart hammering in her parched throat, Pony pushed to reach her top speed. The rumble of centaur hooves behind her vibrated both earth and air. She absorbed those rumbling shock waves into her svelte, bipedal runner’s body. And knew her two human legs—versus their four equine ones—would not be enough.

Still, she would try.

The sweltering heat weighed heavy. Her ratty brown and tan courier’s tunic clung like a starving tick. Rocks and pebbles further split the threadbare soles of her worn-out boots as she pounded down the rutted road. She grimaced at the sweaty slap of calloused arches sliding around in rotted footwear that could fall apart any day now.

Pony squinted at the onslaught of bright blue sky. Her brain cooked in its own juices as the summer sun withered the forest corridor. Her brown hair slipped from its limp topknot; stray strands plastered her sunburned cheeks. It was almost too hot to breathe. Too dry to live. And the damn fools giving chase wanted to die of heatstroke right alongside her.

As it always did in situations like these, Callum’s unfavorable input surfaced to harass her. Stupid, gods-damned centaurs—worthless scraps of horsemeat to toss to the dogs. Her former guardian’s mantra, though crude and offensive, might hold slivers of truth. It was most certainly stupid to be running full-out in this blistering heat. At any other time, she might’ve been curious about this, her first ever centaur encounter.

Just to say she’d finally met one.

Give a lecture about overexertion in extreme weather.

Maybe engage in some harmless flirting.

To finally decide, once and for all, that Callum was right about them.

Or wrong.

But not when this chase proved that they were hunting for courier blood.

Any courier’s blood.

Keep running. Don’t look back.

She looked back.

Six tall shapes, the merging of man and equine. Hooves kicking up clouds of rising dust. The whip of long, flashing manes. The distance between them shrank with each passing second.

Her mail satchel, empty except for the meager bait of Escape Plan Number Two, bounced against her spine. Slung across her chest and anchored into the strap of her mailbag, a dozen small throwing blades awaited use. The large knife hanging at her hip, anchored at her thigh, allowed slight consolation.

Escape Plan Number One took the form of the few coins she couldn’t spare; the bits of metal jingled in her trouser pocket, muffled by a scrap of cloth.

Your job is to run, but hold strength in reserve. Callum’s voice echoed in the back of her mind. If cornered, kill without hesitation or remorse.

Okay. Good advice. She was good at running. That was all she ever did.

Pony crushed dry cracked lips between her teeth. Escape Plan Number One never failed. But would this tactic work on centaurs?

Wait. She had to revise that. Would Escape Plan Number One work on murderous, marauding centaurs who’d probably noticed she was a half-breed suffering through the last few days of her estrus?

If Callum were alive, he would’ve wagered against her.

Might as well give the plan a go, Horsemeat.

She sensed the distance closing between them. Imagined their hot breath blowing down the back of her neck. Their tall, bizarre forms hovering over her. Their hands tearing at her tunic to confirm the hidden tail braided and wrapped around her waist like a belt…

Pony shook off the terror. No time to panic.

Dipping into her trouser pocket, she pulled out several bronze skull coins and flung them over her shoulder. It was back to rummaging through garbage cans when she got home. The currency thudded along the highway and pinged off rocks. On her old southern routes, tossing money always worked with the undesirables skulking around looking for a mark.

The thundering sound of hooves sped up and deepened. Pony ground her teeth. All right, so they weren’t after money. Not typical highwaymen then. Why couldn’t they be greedy bastards like everyone else?

Escape Plan Number Two.

Reaching into the mailbag, Pony pulled out the four carrots she’d pilfered from the company stables. She glanced at the vegetables, shrugged, and took a bite out of one. Then she proceeded to fling the orange darlings over her shoulder in two-second intervals.

High-pitched squeals of disgust and indignation answered.

Oh well. It’d been worth the try. Maybe they weren’t all animal after all. Or maybe centaurs were fussy eaters. Maybe she should’ve grabbed a salt brick instead. Then she could’ve brained them with it.

Escape Plan Number Three then.

The road continued to bend, the thick forest jutting into her direct line of sight. She darted for the ferns and scrub brush. Towering pines blotted out some of the sun’s glare—for a few seconds she was running blind.

Two centaurs armed with longbows jumped out in front of her. The younger one took aim at her heart.

Horseshit! She was speedy, but not quick enough to outrun a flying projectile. Gulping, she dropped into a slide, feet first. Gravel tore open her calloused palms and ripped holes into the back of her trousers.

Great. Bleeding in several places, and now she had clothes to repair. “Arggh!” She slammed slick fists to the ground. “What’s wrong with you swag-bellied tail-waggers? You’d shoot one of your own?

BANNER2 - Through Rain and Missing Mantaurs

Author Guest Post:

The Journey to Finding Just the Right Planner by Jeanne Marcella

At the start of 2020 I had great plans. Everyone did. In January, I’d started off running. My mind was full of words and worlds and fun characters that were just flying from my fingertips to the keyboard. I was proceeding along very well with one of my lighter works—an urban fantasy set in the year 1900. For the first time in YEARS, I thought I was finally getting it together and picking up the pace to get books out.

Then we all know what happened.

It’s taken me nearly the entire year, but now that I’ve picked myself up mentally, I’m turning back to consider what I can get done in 2021. And see if somehow, I can make up for lost time.

Now, I know that’s nearly impossible, so I won’t be completely stressing myself out. I’m going to at least try to see how much focus I can regain.

Recently, I found that some writer friends are big supporters of the planner systems. It sounded like a marvelous thing to try, so I jumped right in. And I easily got hooked by all the colorful stickers. I fell headlong into a new obsession with Washi tapes!

Calming down and composing myself from all the sparkly stuff (I’m like a damned crow.) I opted to try one of the more popular calendar planner brands. I picked a short, three month option where you write in your own calendar dates.

I tried several times over those three months to make it work, but it didn’t. There was too much distraction. Too many detailed pages that needed three ribbon dividers attached to keep your place in each section. Too many questions listed that weren’t relevant to my writing. Questions that often made me just sit there and try to fill out, and couldn’t. Meaning lots of time wasted.

Another planner I tried was specifically geared toward writers. While it worked somewhat, I still felt too scattered with all the side options and questions.
What annoyed me about the writer’s planner was the weekly calendar work space section was too narrow and restrictive to be of much use to me.

So I went back on the hunt to uncover what else was available. I found a nice, thin paperback that was a five year calendar planner off of Amazon. It was one of those print on demand ones. While I wouldn’t mind having a few more blank pages for notes, this one was nearly The Three Bears perfect. All it is, is calendar pages for each year, for five years. There’s a column for notes in each month.

It seems this is all I need for now—just a broad overall view of information and a bit of space for self-tracking my progress. Maybe once I get the hang of these planners, I can start expanding back into more detailed options.

A big lesson re-learned here is what works for someone else doesn’t necessarily work for you. That’s why there are so many wonderful planners out there. There’s something suitable for everyone.

Crossing my fingers now that the plans I had in 2020 will cascade down into 2021 without any more world-altering events. I do so look forward to diving back into both my dark, and light fantasy worlds and adding even more of a twist to them. So getting set and getting ready, here’s to a new year!

MEME4 - Through Rain and Missing Mantaurs

Author Bio

Jeanne Marcella writes dramatic, and often character driven fantasy fiction not for the faint of heart. Quests, adventure, danger, and the grit of living are foremost, but relationships and mild romance might also share the pages.

Granted unlimited access to books at a very early age via the library, she quickly acquired a fondness for creating her own stories through word and drawing. She was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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