Katherina Gerlach–A Few Words About Stepmothers

I am pleased to have award-winning fantasy author Katherina Gerlach here. She has written about a subject also dear to my own heart–faery tales–in her latest release The Stepmother: Little Brother, Little Sister. So I asked her to come tell us a little about the inspiration behind the novel. (And just as an editor’s note, I can say from personal experience that stepmothers can be awesome. ;)) Take it away, Kat!

A Few Words About Stepmothers

by Katherina Gerlach.
I deliberately chose the stepmother as the main character of this ale. Even as a child I was annoyed the stepmothers were always the bay guys girls in fairy tales. Now, that I’m a stepmother myself (I’ve been fostering two girls for nearly ten years now), it angered me. I wanted to show that stepmothers can be just as good as, and in many cases much better than, biological mothers.

Don’t get me wrong, I like the biological parents of my girls even though they’ve got severe problems, but they’re not very good parents. So why should the stepmother always get the blame? I thought it was high time to fight this cliché and show a different truth. What better place to do that then inside a story? But rest assured, I did it without a wagging finger and a moral sermon.

About “The Stepmother: Little Brother, Little Sister

An imaginative retelling of “Little Brother, Little Sister” by the Brothers Grimm. What if they painted a wrong portrait of the stepmother?

Even with her powers as a witch, Isabel cannot find a trace of her stepchildren. Desperate, she crosses the Old Forest, filled with as much malignant as benevolent magic, to reach the distant mountain kingdom she left as a young girl when her magical powers manifested. She soon realizes that a sinister creature holds the unsuspecting kingdom in thrall. It will take all she’s able to give to save her children and the kingdom she once loved.

pre-order here: The Stepmother: Little Brother, Little Sister (Treasures Retold Book 2)

About the Author
Author Katherina GerlachBorn and raised German with a generous helping of an adopted Scottish heritage, Katharina started writing at age seven (although she didn’t get serious until much later) when the tomboy adventures she lived in her father’s forest weren’t enough for her imagination any more.

Writing about balloon people, flying hearts, giant spiders, and more was her lifeline to sanity and Real Life™ all through her education. After finishing with a PhD in science, marriage and the start of a beloved but distracting family, she returned to her life-long vocation.

These days, Katharina lives for stolen moments of writing happiness in two languages while juggling her husband, two girls in puberty, a fledgling daughter that just left the house, a dog, and … laundry.

The easiest way to keep up with her publishing schedule is by leaving your eMail address with her (you’ll get a free eBook as a thank you). Or you can have a look at her amazon page or her homepage. She’s also on Facebook, Pinterest, and (occasionally) on Twitter.

Thank you for being with us today,Kat and good luck with The Stepmother: Little Brother, Little Sister. It looks like a fun read. Folks, if you’d like to check the book out, you can pre-order it here.

Happy Winter Solstice and New #shortstory release

 Cardinal in the Snow.jpg By AcrylicArtist

Cardinal in the Snow By AcrylicArtist/Morguefile.com

Announcing, my new fantasy-esque short story, “The Gift of the Stag Maiden,”  has been released in the latest edition of Eternal Haunted Summer. “The Gift of the Stag Maiden” is the story of ancient tribal warrior chosen for a great honor…Will the goddess honor him? You’ll have to read to find out! If you’d like to take a peek at this free read you can see it here.

Also, my dear friend Jolene Dawe has a new story in this issue as well. Be on the look out for “A Song for A Goose”. I, myself, can’t wait to read this one! :)

And the full edition of this month’s zine contains many other fine tales and poems. The full issue is here. Enjoy and to all who celebrate…I wish you a merry Solstice!

 

Dancing with Raven–What happens with Demons by S.G. Rogers

I love the Halloween season, don’t you? It’s the one time of the year when we can get a bang out of scaring ourselves silly. ;) Okay, paranormal fans get that giddy feeling every day of the year when they go ghost hunting or pick up a favorite book on the subject, but still, to the rest of the world, it’s the one time of the year. So, once again, I’ve gathered up some pals to celebrate this fun time of the year. Today, we start off with author S. G. Rogers whose baddies in her new book Dancing With Raven, fit very well into this spooky time of year. So let’s offer up the candy and welcome, S.G. Rogers! (although, maybe not because now, I have an earworm stuck in my head. Let me see if where that dungeon key is…. ;) No? Oh very well. My assistants are telling me I shouldn’t open the dungeon. Who knows, they say, what might crawl out. *shudder* So we’ll just go put on some Metallica and let that be the theme for dear S.G. Rogers’ little talk about…

 

What Happens With Demons

 

Halloween! It’s the most wonderful time of the year…  Okay, perhaps that’s a Christmas tune, but the point still stands. Continue reading

Scratch til it bleeds…A little flash fiction

Best laid plans and all…

I was going to participate in a “call” for flash fiction awhile ago that I saw on one of my author groups, but you know…I just kept coming up with stuff that didn’t work. It was either longer than I think the call-er takes (the guidelines asked for 300 words) or it didn’t end happily. ;) So, for your giggles, here’s what I came up with.

The picture for the prompt looked something like this:

cowboys, flash fiction, shapeshifter fiction, shape shifter fiction, paranormal

Note the fact that the dude has no hair on his chest (or at least I don’t see any in the picture). Looking at this, a little shapeshifter story popped into my head for your Halloween reading pleasure. It goes something like this: (**Might have a bit of language some of you might consider offensive. Be warned).

Scratch til it bleeds

Once king of the Known Savanna the humans bested him. He couldn’t remember now how it happened.

The concubine’s soulless eyes swept over them; one after another she scrutinized the men standing in line with him.

Balless twits the lot of them. And every one of them shaved clean. He’d never known such a shifter pride to be so chicken. Every one of the shifters beside him exuded an arrogance he didn’t deserve. Did they see what they’d given up for a chance in her bed?

He kicked himself for he followed the example. Pride, survival? T’was a hard call.

His skin itched from the shave he’d given himself trying to blend in with the conqueror. Foolish move, that. He’d give anything right now, to scratch! But she watched. And he wouldn’t let her know she’d won. Be still. Overlooked. Freedom awaits!

“You!” she said.

He touched his hat. “Ma’am.” Damn. Caught. Time was, he’d crept across the savanna like a hunter, not the hunted. You’ve grown weak, son.

She pointed at him.

The guards grabbed his arms and escorted him into her quarters. Opulence oozed from the walls, but the furs gracing the bed and marble floor made him shiver. Lion, leopard. His kin.

His skin itched as his fur wiggled beneath the human facade. He couldn’t help himself; he drew his sheared-short fingernails across his chest. Damn playing a human was hard!

She shut the door and slid out of her robes, standing naked before him.

“Really, now.” She stalked closer, as if he were the prey and she the lioness in tall grass. “Why do you scratch?”

He gave her a cheeky grin. “Come here and I’ll show you.”

She removed his hat, pushed him down on the bed, and stripped him of his jeans.  Her caressing hands made it hard to concentrate.

She kept missing the right spot!

His lush golden fur wouldn’t be contained; as it slipped through his skin relief flooded him.  “That’s why,” he said.

She screamed bloody murder… His claws came out…

He dropped her corpse and scratched, sighing relief. Satisfied, he picked up his hat, wondering, were the thin blood streaks across his chest from her claws, or his?

***

Hehe. I hope you enjoyed this little bit of flash fiction

copyright 2014, Juli D. Revezzo

*Sorry. I do not know the photographer of the above cowboy. It was just provided as part of the prompt.

Real-Life Ancient Magic Books Guest post by Vanessa Finaughty

There are very few things in life I love better than a book, and if it’s old? Oh, dear.I’ve been known to Geek out about them. (Did I ever tell you I owned a reproduction Medieval manuscript?) *removes Geek hat*  So when my next guest, author Vanessa Finaughty, mentioned she had a little essay about ancient books, ancient books of magic, at that, I couldn’t resist. So without further ado, I’ll let her enlighten us on the subject. Vanessa, you have the floor.

Real-Life Ancient Magic Books

Guest post by Vanessa Finaughty

Perhaps most modern humans don’t believe in magic, but ancient humans certainly did, as is evidenced by some of the magic books that have survived the passing of time. Who knows how many more intriguing books of the same sort once existed or, better still, are yet to be discovered?

To celebrate the Wizard of Ends virtual book tour, I thought it would be fun to share a little about some of the ancient magic books discovered thus far – in the real world.

old bookThe Book of Thoth

This is probably the best-known ancient magic book, around which there is much controversy. One could write a book about the Book of Thoth – and many have – which is why this will get its own blog post on 25 October. The Book of Thoth is a collection of Ancient Egyptian texts believed to be written by Thoth, the god of knowledge and writing. Another Book of Thoth is said to exist, an ancient spell book. In it are two spells, it’s said, one that enables the reader to perceive the gods, and one that enables the reader to comprehend animals. Many believe this second Book of Thoth to be a myth, but I have to wonder…

The Voynich Manuscript

This has been carbon dated to the early 15th century, and has often been called ‘the most mysterious manuscript’. Written in an unknown language, it’s filled with illustrations of tiny naked people, astronomical charts and strange plants. Based on the illustrations, it’s believed to have six sections, namely herbs, recipes, human biology, medicine, cosmology and astronomy. Many have claimed it a hoax – a rather elaborate one, don’t you think? It has passed through the hands of alchemists and priests. It could be a book of magic… ;-)

The Sword of Moses

This is the apocryphal Hebrew book of magic. Its text is believed to pre-date the 11th century, and only a fragment of it still exists. The book is said to include descriptions of angels and ‘heavenly realms’, invocations, prayers and rituals required in order to use the ‘sword’ – a long list of magical names that appear in the book, each for a specific purpose.

The Book of Soyga

This is a 16th century manuscript that once belonged to one of Europe’s most famous magicians, John Dee. Some of it is coded, but some is written in Latin, so we know the book holds information on spells, demonology and angels.

Have you invented an ancient book for one of your stories? Have you included a real ancient book in any of them? I’d love to hear about it in the comments!

Wizard of Ends, book 1

Book Trailer:
author Vinessa Finaughty
About the Author
Vanessa Finaughty is an author of many genres who now focuses on fantasy and science fiction. She’s published 15 books, of which 6 are fantasy. Vanessa grew up in Cape Town, South Africa, and still lives there with her husband of fifteen years, her baby daughter and plenty of furry, four-legged ‘children’.
Vanessa has always been passionate about books, and knew from a young age that she wanted to write them one day. She loves animals, coffee and the smell of wet grass, and hates liars, sweltering weather and long queues. Her interests include reading, photography, the supernatural, mythology, aliens and outer space, ancient history, life’s mysteries and martial arts, of which she has five years’ experience.

Links

Author website

Author blog

Goodreads

Twitter

Facebook

Smashwords

iBooks

Barnes & Noble

Publication dates

Wizard of Ends, Book 1: 9 October 2014

Wizard of Ends, Book 2: Dark Creature: 23 October 2014

Wizard of Ends GIVEAWAY & DISCOUNT DATES

All coupons below offer a 100% discount. (Please check dates before use)

Legends of Origin, Books 1 – 3 by Vanessa Finaughty

Book 1 is permanently free.

Smashwords coupon code for Book 2: BP37Q

Smashwords coupon code for Book 3: YC54A

Valid: 24 October

11 – 13 October

Dragon Kin & other fantasy stories by Vanessa Finaughty

Smashwords coupon code: ZU52B

Valid: 11 – 13 October

16 October

Sorcery & Subterfuge by Vanessa Finaughty

Smashwords coupon code: HA38K

Valid: 16 October

18 – 20 October

The Angel’s Voice, Books 1 & 2 by Michelle Louring

Smashwords coupon code for Book 1: FH27E

Smashwords coupon code for Book 2: EN84L

Valid: 18 – 20 October

21 October

Royal Wizard by Alianne Donnelly

Smashwords coupon code: XV26R

Valid: 21 October

27 October

The Accidental Wizard by Simon Ludgate

Smashwords coupon code: FM47Z

Valid: 27 October

Thank you for being my guest today, Vanessa and for your fascinating post! I just love old books, don’t you, folks? Thank you all for coming by and enjoy the books! And Vanessa, good luck with Wizard of Ends!