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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Excerpt

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 www.marthawickham.com. 

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Twitter: @MarthaWickham

 


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Book Blitz & Giveaway: Heart Stealer + Giveaway

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Heart Stealer
by Melody Wiklund
Fantasy
Date Published: 12-08-2023

Without a heart, death and love are equally impossible.

James’s heart has been stolen. He knows because he got stabbed in the chest and didn’t even bleed. On the plus side, he isn’t dead! On the minus side, whoever has his heart can control him, and until he gets the heart back, he is incapable of feeling love for anyone but the thief. Whoever that may be.

He has to get the heart back, and quickly. But with an assassin in the mix, and a vengeful ex-lover, and a suspicious fiancée, and no idea who to trust or where to look, the task won’t be easy. Especially when, with a stolen heart, he can’t even really trust himself.


About the Author

 

 

Melody Wiklund is a writer of fantasy and occasionally romance. In her free time, she loves knitting and watching Chinese dramas. And she’s never summoned a spirit or an assassin… or at least so she claims.

 

 

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Book Blitz & Giveaway: It’s a Wonderful Dog, by Keri Salas

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It’s a Wonderful Dog

A Christmas Tail

by Keri Salas

Animal and Holiday Fiction

Date Published: November 16, 2023

Publisher: Acorn Publishing


 

It’s Christmas Eve in western Kansas and a snowstorm is gaining strength as Bear Bailey, a devoted Great Pyrenees, tries to comfort his beloved owner Mary. She’s in hot water with the local business villain, and Bear’s earlier altercation with this miser only seemed to make things worse. When Mary blurts out that she wishes for a different life, Bear blames himself for her despair and runs away.

Meanwhile Jiff, a Labrador patiently waiting for his own human to meet him at the Rainbow Bridge, sees Bear shivering alone in the blizzard. Knowing Bear won’t survive the night without intervention, Jiff agrees to act as Bear’s guardian angel on Earth. He is determined to show the Great Pyrenees what the lives of the humans around him would have been like without his presence over the years.

A holiday “tail” for those who love the season but feel the deep loss of loved ones (both furry and human), It’s a Wonderful Dog shines a light on the power of love and community, and reminds us that miracles do exist.

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About the Author

Keri Salas grew up a small town girl with a sense of grand adventure. After marrying her childhood sweetheart and starting their first business on a shoestring budget, she went on to spend the last two decades as a life coach helping others reach their dreams.

The greatest joys in her life are exploring London, snuggling with her dogs (past, present, and future), and spending time with her husband David. Though not necessarily in that order. She believes that people will knock your socks off with their kindness, and life is filled with miracles and serendipitous events to rival any great fictional book.

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