Book Blitz & Excerpt: Beware of a Cursed Forest + Giveaway

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Beware of a Cursed Forest

Misty Falls, Book 3

by Martha Wickham

Contemporary Fantasy Fiction

Date Published: 09-19-2023


How long can a magic ring last?

Long enough to get Violet through the worst, then send her through it again. When her new husband and his friends go grave robbing, they dig up a legend. They recover a thousand-year-old ring with a curse. When she finds it she uses it to her advantage like the last ring she owned, and her husband confesses to her how he obtained it. The magic flees from the ring after killing the people it sees deserving, but when it attacks her, Violet knows what she must do. It’s go back to grandma’s, then Misty Falls.

When she goes back her curiosity gets the best of her and she goes with a friend to investigate a murder in the haunted forest. Soon the forest is haunting her, and she is met with the killer, who wants more young blood. Though born on Friday the 13th, she believes in herself. Is she able to escape a streak of bad luck?

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Curtis and his friends split up into three motel rooms ten minutes away from the cemetery they wanted to rob. They couldn’t bring them on the plane, so they had to go to a local store and get a shovel for each of them. The plan was to rob Jessie’s grave first and look for the famous ring that was fashioned in hell. “I want to see this ring,” one of them said. “I hope it doesn’t say made in hell or I will run.” They snickered at his joke except for Curtis. All their rooms were right next to each other. After hitting Jessie’s grave that night they would look through other graves and the mausoleum afterwards because there was no digging with those, then they’d go for the bigger graves, because the families may have had more money to pay for them.

After a quick dinner it was darkening. “Can we go now?” Curtis asked.

“It’s supposed to be late, but we will all take the rental car and be there in about thirty minutes. It’s getting darker at this point. I don’t think anyone will see us.”

“Have you done this before?” Curtis asked.

“No, I’ve stolen but not from a grave and this will probably be the only time.” By the time everyone was in the car it was darker, and they left. They had shovels and gardening tools in the back.

A red glow of light began to come from over the horizon. “I thought the sunset was over,” one of them in a black leathery jacket said.

“It was,” said the dark blond who appeared to be the leader. He had the most  experience stealing and did not spend one day in jail for anything.

As they got out the red seemed to get bigger. After opening the trunk, they then got out shovels and began looking for the one grave with the ring. There was a large, rounded tombstone straight ahead with some fresh flowers there half dead. The leader went for that one and it read Jessie the name they were looking for. He had died almost ten years ago and there was a card against the stone. It was about how someone missed him so much and how she loved him but never told him enough and it was signed Tess. It was from his girlfriend. The leader left it open and put it back. His friends began to dig but Curtis wandered around looking for graves to start digging. “Go to the mausoleum,” the leader told him, and Curtis went that way glad Violet had no idea where he was.

As the guys dug Curtis tried opening crypts with the shovel but they didn’t come open. When he found an old one with a big crack he decided to try that one. This person had died in the 1920’s. He hit it hard a few times with the shovel and the right side fell off. Sliding the coffin out and peeking in he could not see well but there wasn’t anything buried with him of value. He put it back and tried to find another one. He kept looking for older graves because if they were buried with anything old it could be valuable.

Curtis stepped out of the crypts and saw that most of the sky had turned red accept a circle of black in the middle. They all stared at it. “What makes the sky like that?” One of them asked. No one responded.

“Guys I don’t like this,” Curtis said.

“We are almost there,” the leader said, and he made deep holes with his shovel. “Go look for crypts to steal from.” Just then he smacked into the coffin with his shovel. They dug it out and opened it. Curtis came to see. “There he is.” Exactly, Here lies Jessie just like the tombstone said. Curtis glanced up and the whole sky was red. It seemed like an omen to him but there were still pretty twinkling stars shining through. The leader pulled the ring of his finger. Examining it the design looked like hell fire and he check on the inside. It said made in Hades. He wanted to throw it but pawning it would be a better idea. He put the ring in his pocket, and they began reburying Jessie.

They kept looking around the graveyard for ghosts and zombies coming to get them for revenge, but they didn’t. If anything, Jessie would have been glad the ring was gone and being the good person that he wouldn’t hurt anyone. They finished covering the grave. “Don’t worry. We’ll pawn it as fast as we can,” he told Curtis.

“If and when we find a pawn shop,” one of them said. Curtis was the only one uneasy and they couldn’t drive away fast enough. He would never do this again and was sorry he broke the man’s crypt marble.

The sky had stayed red for the rest of the night. When morning came it seemed like a dream but they needed to find food and a pawn shop. There were still days left in their stay in Michigan to do as they wished after finding what they needed.

After Curtis called Violet the leader wanted to tell them his decision. “I easily found a pawn shop in the phone book, but it’s not close. So, I have decided we have more to steal, and we can pawn that before we go back to Canada where we won’t get caught. Is that ok?” he asked Curtis.

“That’s fine. It’s only a ring and I’m not even staying with it,” he responded.

“Yes, and it must be worth so much. We can split it just tell your little lady back home your business was doing well.” Curtis nodded in agreement. They spent the day looking for places to rob and eat.

While they ate Chinese food in a motel room the leader made his announcement. “We will rob an old mansion. It’s old but they look like they have money. Tomorrow me and Anthony will go and see if there’s an easy way in and what they leave open or unlocked.” All they could do was nod. “Then we’ll come back when they’re gone and get you Sawyer. Curtis we need someone to drive the car. You can get out, but you need to be ready to drive. Hopefully these people are going on summer vacation. How’s that sound?” he asked Curtis.

“Sounds fine. If we go in through the backyard it’s harder for people to see what we are doing,” he suggested.

“Good idea,” the leader Tristan said.

He turned on the TV while they had a beer and relaxed. “It’s funny how rich people like to come out here thinking that it’s nice and peaceful and then get robbed.”

About the Author

Martha has studied writing with Writer’s Digest and has an associate’s degree in Social Services. She has also written poems and songs and even studied screen writing and horror. She still writes and likes getting writing prompts. Her favorite author is VC Andrews. If you purchase and read Martha’s books a review on this web site will be greatly appreciated. She can also be found at 

Contact Links


Twitter: @MarthaWickham



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Book Blitz & Excerpt: The Hanging Night + Giveaway

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The Hanging Night
by Sasha Hibbs & Christina Hooker
(The Threads of Fate, #1)
Published by: Evernight Teen
Publication date: December 15th 2023
Genres: Romance, Young Adult

When a sad turn of fate takes Josephine Blair to the small town of Bridgeport, West Virginia, she meets and falls for the devious and cunning Caius Duke. Her life blooms in both wonderful and terrifying ways.

Together, Josephine and Caius discover they have something deeper and more intense than true love. While theirs is a love spanning centuries, what they don’t realize is the stronger their relationship becomes, the more some unknown evil is trying to tear them apart.

A captivating tale of eternal love, vengeful curses, and a power that can make or break them all, The Hanging Night will pull you in, making you wonder how we are all tied together, and if the ties that bind are truly meant to last.

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You know you can’t see the air, and you don’t have to see it to know it’s there—it just fills the space, and you’re grateful (whether you realize it or not) because if it didn’t fill the space, you’d suffocate.

That’s how I knew she was in the room.

I had my head down, searching through magazines, when what I can only describe as a heat chill rippled in me, causing me to shiver and the skin on the back of my neck to tingle. When I heard the cooler door pop open, I stopped breathing and stayed perfectly still, hoping this wasn’t the day I got arrested for shoplifting … for stealing stale food and one lousy, domestic beer, no less. If I had to go to jail, I wanted it to at least be for something worth it—money, jewelry, a car. FYI: I’ve never stolen any of those things or anything like that—only necessary or completely useless items, which I know is paradoxical. Let me explain: I’d take a plastic bobble-head of an off-brand, generic Batman or a sandwich before I’d take something sentimental or valuable to an individual—it’s just how I roll, ya know? And only from stores. Like, I don’t want your shit, but if it’s some dumbass thing on a shelf in a Dollar General, it’s fair game, and of course, like I said, I learned to be my own chef at a very young age. And can I really be held responsible for what I do when I am hungry? Isn’t that a famous candy commercial these days?

I wasn’t startled when she spoke, but expectant, and resigning myself to the fact that I was busted, I turned to face the girl. When I looked at her, all I saw was sadness. There wasn’t a stitch of makeup on her face, but she didn’t need any because even in sadness, she was striking. The circles under her eyes were so dark and deep, they almost echoed, but her brown irises were flat, like something was missing in them—a spark, maybe, and at the very end of her left eyebrow, there was a tiny, pink crystal. I immediately loved it—it gave her an edge no girl I’d seen in this boring ass town had. Her espresso-colored hair was knotted up in a bun with frizzy strands sticking out everywhere, which, though messy, was somehow endearing. Overall, she looked defeated, though, like all the air had been let out of her balloon. So, despite the circumstances, despite me being caught, red-handed, stealing my dinner, I immediately wanted to make her smile. So, I made jokes, trying to be cool. Im not really into labels.

“Put those back!”

“C’mon. They’re five-day old pepperoni rolls. You’re going to pitch them anyway. I’m hungry.”

She seemed to contemplate for a moment, tilting her head and looking at me, taking me all in, trying to figure me out. Her shoulders relaxed a little, and she let out a quick breath, seeming to judge that I wasn’t a threat. “And cigarettes? I know old people do, but what teenager smokes these days? News flash. They’re bad for you. And if you’re only hungry, what about the beer and the magazine?”

“Uh … after dinner entertainment?” I asked, trying to justify myself.

She reached out and grabbed for the 40oz beer I had, and as her hand brushed mine, my brain short-circuited. Ice formed around each of my ribs, cracking then melting, and in that moment, I felt the color red splash through me. She paused, momentarily looking dead into my eyes, and somehow, I knew she felt it too. Our hands had to have only touched for a nanosecond, but it passed in an eternity. The intensity—our brains somehow sharing the same image, as if connected by some weird fiber optic cable—was overwhelming, and I gasped, but the rest of my body was paralyzed as I got stuck in this strange moment with her. But for as quickly as it came and as long as it lingered, the cable snapped, and the moment broke, and the world spun in real time again. My body jerked at the sharp snap back to reality, causing me to yank my hand back, and when I did, the beer exploded in foam and glass shards at our feet, a kind of drunken mosaic.

Author Bios:

By age 5, Sasha Hibbs‘ favorite movie was Gone With the Wind. By age 12, she completed her 7th grade book report on the sequel, Scarlett. By 18, she met and married her very own Mr. Rhett Butler and as it turns out, she never had to worry about going back to Tara to win the love of her life back. Fortunately, he stuck with her.

With a love of all things paranormal, the ambiance of the South with its gigantic antebellum mansions and canopies of Spanish moss, and a love for her husband’s rich storytelling of blacksmiths and the mythology surrounding their origins, it wasn’t long until the world of her debut novel, Black Amaranth, was born.

When not working her day job as a nurse, you can find Sasha dreaming of her next beach trip, reading the latest YA novel, and drinking more white chocolate mocha than she should.

Sasha lives in mountainous West Virginia with her husband, Tim, and their two daughters. She is currently hard at work on her next novel.

Author links:
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Christina: I’ve always been captivated by stories and words, but not with the speaking of them (as I’m little more than a foul mouth with appendages), just with the reading and writing of them.

In 2020, I made my dream of writing a book a reality, and in 2023, my first collaborative novel is releasing!

Author links

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Book Blitz & Excerpt: Kiss of a Witch + Giveaway

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Kiss of a Witch
by S.G. Slade
(Darkness Rising, #2)
Publication date: December 14th 2023
Genres: Adult, Fantasy, Historical

Trapped in a spreading web of darkness, the power of an ancient book might be their only hope.

Mary Sparrow was cursed at birth, and the bawdy house is the only home she’s ever known. Like most of the girls, she dreams of escape. But when an old man drives her friend to madness, she swears she will have her revenge.

Toby Chyrche also hopes for a better future, away from the tailor’s shop where his fate seems set in stone. Then afateful meeting seems to promise freedom, until an ancient book of magic reveals chilling truths.

Ensnared in the spreading web of darkness, they turn to magic to protect themselves. But shadowy forces crave a sacrifice, and the spectre of death is beckoning. Can they wield the power of the book to protect those they love? Or will they pay for their courage with their lives?

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Then Toby ducked through the low door from the street and her breath stopped short in her throat. She was on her feet in a moment, shoving the sewing back into the basket at the hearth, straightening her skirts, checking her hair and adjusting the neckline of her bodice, small breasts pushed up and on display to their best advantage. She waited by the hearth, a coy smile on her lips and her head tilted in invitation. He saw her straight away and made his way towards her, and the little light of hope inside burned brighter. He had come, not for any girl, but for her.

‘Ale, Rosalind,’ Mary ordered to the other girl, who still sat staring at the unlit fire. Rosalind turned towards her, frowning in question. ‘Get us ale,’ Mary told her again, and eventually the girl got to her feet and headed out the back to where the barrels were kept.

‘Master Chyrche.’ She dropped her best curtsey, and he returned it with a bow.

‘Mistress Sparrow.’

They sat at a small round table beside the fireplace, and he looked around the empty room. ‘Where is everyone?’

She shrugged. ‘Elsewhere.’

‘Then I’m glad,’ he replied. ‘Because it means I can have you all to myself.’

She laughed, taking pleasure in the pleasantry. ‘I am all yours, Master Chyrche.’

He took her left hand in his, and began to caress the extra finger, gaze intent on the movement of their hands. Then, looking up, his eyes fixed hers in question. ‘Are you truly cursed, Mary Sparrow?’ he asked. ‘Does the Devil suckle at night on this finger?’

She gave him an uncertain half-smile in answer. Why was he asking the same questions again? ‘I cannot rightly say,’ she murmured. ‘I hope not.’

Lifting her palm to his mouth, Toby kissed it, then briefly, discreetly, slid the extra finger between his lips, his tongue warm and moist as it curled around the tip. Her breath lifted in response, warmth in her gut. Then Rosalind returned with the jug of ale and Toby let her hand go. Mary poured for them both and she drank, unsure of him now. She had met men before who made a fetish of her fingers, but Toby’s sudden interest disconcerted her. She lowered her cup and looked at him. He was watching her closely, eyes grey and pale in the candlelight, and she was self-conscious under his scrutiny.

‘Perhaps I’m your Devil,’ he said.

‘Perhaps,’ she replied, but she had no understanding of his meaning. He must have seen the confusion in her eyes, though she tried her best to hide it, because then he gave her a smile that made her fall a little deeper.


Author Bio:

S.G. Slade was born and raised in the historic city of Bristol in England, and now lives in Sydney, Australia, with her husband, son, and a very small dog called Livvy. She has worked variously as a secretary, a teacher, a shop assistant and a nurse, but lifelong obsessions with books, history, and magic have never waned. When she isn’t reading or writing (which isn’t often), you can find her either doing yoga, going for long walks, or watching old movies. Touch of a Witch is her first historical fantasy book.

She uses the pen name S.G. Slade for her fantasy books, and also writes Historical Fiction under the name Samantha Grosser.

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