If you got a different kind of ereader from Santa for Christmas, the story is also free at Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/320047 (I expect Barnes and Noble and Amazon UK will catch up eventually but for now the epub is available at Smashwords)
Though their fame became legend, a rumor cropped up about the Fulmer family: Something terrifying stalked Caitlin and her beloved Trevor. Something the bits and pieces she left claimed she had to make sense of. When the curator of their collection finds Caitlin’s long forgotten diary, she wonders will it tell the whole tale? Will it tell why Caitlin seemed so determined to tell the difference between reality and nightmare? Why she thought herself a witch?
What will the holidays hold for Caitlin? Perhaps the answer lies between the lines of her story, one of lessons, struggles, and hopes for each new year.
Includes samples of The Artist’s Inheritance, Antique Magic Book One, and the second volume, Drawing Down the Shades (which are also both still on sale). **This is a side (or supplemental, if you will) story in the Antique Magic Series. And remember, book 3 is forthcoming!
Enjoy, and as always, reviews are welcome.
Since it’s close to Halloween, I’ve decided to chat about what scares me. My girls find it frustrating that very little scares me. They are forever trying to jump from darkened corners, hide things in my bed, or dream up other diabolical ways to make mom scream.
To be honest, there are only two things I’m afraid of–werewolves and butterflies. My fear of butterflies will always remain a mystery, but I can trace my fear of werewolves back to one Halloween when I was six-years-old.
I had decided, as kids do, to pick the most impossible costume for my mom to sew. I wanted to be Snow White—complete with the huge skirt, laced bodice, and puffy sleeves. To my mom’s credit, she did a brilliant job sewing it together. So brilliant, in fact, that she refused to let me wear the dress until Halloween night. She was afraid I would ruin it.
Halloween night finally arrived, and off I went in full costume, my mom and dad in tow. I was never afraid of the dark, so when we came to one house that happened to have all the lights off, it didn’t occur to me that it was a set-up.
With pillow case in hand, I gathered my Snow White skirts and ran up the walkway, completely focused on my task at hand. The last thing on my mind, were the bushes on either side of the door. Bushes large enough to hide a teenager, dressed up as a werewolf, and completely focused on Halloween festivities of his own.
Out he jumped, and off I ran, screaming at the top of my lungs. I guess I must have snagged my skirt on a bush, because I remember hearing it rip and my mom screaming something of her own.
But, I was sure it was the werewolf—making a grab with the intent of dragging me back to his lair. So sure, in fact, that I continued to run.
My mom was mortified.
The teenager was mortified.
I was oblivious and kept running until my dad finally caught up with me.
From that point, all I remember was being dragged back to the house where the werewolf lived. I don’t remember the teenager removing his mask, I don’t remember him apologizing profusely, I don’t remember the fact that he dumped his whole stash of candy into my pillow case (so my parents tell me). I pretty much just blanked out.
And so a fear is born. I can’t watch werewolf movies before bed, else I have nightmares. I write scary stuff about ghosts, demons, and things that go bump in the night, but I won’t touch the subject of werewolves with a ten-foot sword. My girls think it’s great fun to don one of those rubber werewolf masks in the Halloween stores and chase me around with it. We laugh, but inside, that little six-year-old girl is screaming.
And candy is the farthest thing from her mind.
Thank you for having me as a guest, Night Mistress!
Mistress: Oh my! That’s just terrible, Clarissa. Most of the werewolves I know are rather cuddly, once you give them the right puppy chow. At least it provided fodder for some intriguing stories, yes? Why don’t you tell us a little about your novel, BETWEEN?
by Clarissa Johal
How far would you go to redeem yourself?
As a young girl, Lucinda was able to see spirits, a gift that didn’t come without its problems. Now, a dedicated young veterinarian, she is committed to the idea that every life can be saved.
After a devastating accident, Lucinda tries to escape her past by moving to a small town. There, she meets a newcomer and feels an immediate connection with him. But there is another mysterious stranger to the small town, one that stirs within her a mixture of unease and desire.
As Lucinda is drawn into a bitter tug-a-war from the forces around her, she is likewise pulled into a dangerous twist of past and present events. Forced to make difficult choices, she finds that the two men are locked in not only a battle for her life…but a battle for their salvation.
Sounds wonderful, Clarissa! A spooky tale for a Halloween night for sure. Thank you for joining us.
Clarissa: And thank you for the tea. *sniffs tea suspiciously* I’m actually a coffee drinker. Forgive me if I set it aside for now…
Mistress: No, there’s nothing wrong with the tea, dear. I’ll see about getting you some coffee, though… 😉
Clarissa Johal has worked as a veterinary assistant, zoo-keeper aide and vegetarian chef. Writing has always been her passion. When she’s not listening to the ghosts in her head, she’s dancing or taking photographs of gargoyles. She shares her life with her husband, two daughters and every stray animal that darkens the doorstep. One day, she expects that a wayward troll will wander into her yard, but that hasn’t happened yet.
Did you know today is Bastille day? *nods* So for this Sneak Peek Sunday we have a spooky entry from House of Cards (Reign of Tarot, book 1) that just so happens to take place around this time of year. The main character, you see, is on the run because his family is about to be arrested during the opening strains of the Reign of Terror which affected France in the years following this event. So, here he is, just a moment after one of his horses threw a shoe. And he sees a woman hanging from a tree.
Surely, he was seeing things: the poor soul hadn’t been there a moment ago. Ignoring the driver’s warning, he turned back to demand he lend a hand as Sinjon intended to cut her down. The more he looked, the less he was sure she was human. There was something odd about her: the nails weren’t right seeming almost like razors, her skin more like wrinkled leather, her throat a little too long. Her eyes were altogether strange, gouged, yet whole; staring and lifeless, yet somehow they seemed to watch him. What had happened to the right side of her torso, he couldn’t tell, but it was torn to shreds, strips of bloodied flesh hanging, ribs showing through the injury. Yet, when he tilted his head for a different view, the skin and sinew seemed almost woven together. Something protruded from her back, but whether two humps, knives, or—it couldn’t be—stubby wings, he couldn’t decide. Or didn’t want to know the nature of what he saw.
As he turned back to his driver, a wall of ethereal flame erupted between them. Sinjon fell back, staring in astonishment. The ice-blue flames crackled and spat, the wind gusting from the blaze was cold as a winter’s breeze. Beyond, noises of battle erupted.
Sinjon reached for his pistol. A screaming woman flew from the conflagration and locked her hands around his throat. Shock paralyzed him as she dragged him to the flames.
The fire engulfed them utterly. The hag hissed, baring wicked fangs. Twisting her grip, her nails cut his flesh like blades. He shivered in the chill of the unreal blaze, struggling for freedom. She laughed and tossed him about until nausea threatened to overtake him.
Sudden darkness blinded him. Chains snaked around his chest, his limbs. He slammed against a stone wall alive with spiders; the monsters sunk their teeth deep into his flesh, shocking him with unmatched pain.
“Where are you?” he screamed. “Come and face me, damn you! I’m not afraid of you!”
Does he have reason to fear her? What does she want? If you’d like to see what happens next, House of Cards (Reign of Tarot, #1) is available at Amazon and Smashwords. Book two is in the works to be released (tentatively) next year!
Caitlin frowned at her flowers. Maybe there was something there, a calming feel, a wisp of dust? “What do we need charms for?”
Love and happiness were always welcome, sure. But protection? “What do we need protecting from?”
Beryl leaned forward and sniffed a rose. “Don’t you know by now? The gods of Annwn want his chair.”
The words hit Caitlin hard as if the tree branch overhead had collapsed on her head. She felt faint, and was glad her friend hadn’t brought this up while she was driving. “Why would any— I don’t understand. How can you think that?”
“Look at it, Cait. The horses, the writing he’s carved into the arms and back.”
“What writing? There’s scrollwork, but no writing.”
“Yes there is,” Heather said, “if you look close.”
She shivered. “What’s it say?”
Beryl pursed her lips. “Enough for me to know it’s got all the signs to attract what wants attracting.”
Caitlin pictured the chair in her mind. “No. They’re nothing more than designs, like the ones in his sketchbook.”
“What designs in a sketchbook?”
She led them upstairs to the attic and showed them Trevor’s sketchbook. Spiraling tornadoes, prancing horses and snorting bulls covered the pages in elegant and bold ink lines. Beautiful drawings that simultaneously awed and scared her.
Beryl shut the book quietly. “I amend my earlier statement.”
“What do you mean?”
“We don’t just have work to do. We have a ton of work to do.”
For this week’s installment, here’s an excerpt from my novel, The Artist’s Inheritance. Maybe you’ve seen this one, maybe you haven’t?
The novel takes place in Gulf Breeze, Florida just outside Fort Pickens, and involves a wood carver–Trevor–and his wife, Caitlin, who’s worried her hubby is slowly going insane–just like his twin brother did before he committed suicide. So, when anything comes up concerning this chair Trevor’s working on, Caitlin’s ears perk up. Read on and you’ll see…
“How much will you take for these fine drawings?” The male voice drew her attention away from Trevor’s work. A short man with black hair and a lazy eye, dressed in a pinstripe suit and straw hat, crossed the [Wilkins and Brandt] gallery to pause at Trevor’s side. “They’re your work, are they not? Are they available?”
“Yes, they’re mine,” Trevor said. “They’re not for sale. Sorry.”
Caitlin eyed the older man. Who’s this fella?
“Don’t be absurd, Trevor.” [His employer/mentor] Abby Wilkins, jumped in before Caitlin could ask.
Caitlin took in his fine coat, the diamond gleaming from his ring finger. More than likely, the man could pay a fortune for the pictures. Perhaps even the chair they had stashed in the attic. Maybe they’d be rid of the stupid thing yet.
“For you, Mr. Hofter? Of course they are.”
“No, I’m sorry,” Trevor said. “They’re not for sale.”
Abby choked and pulled Trevor aside. “Are you mad, darling? Do you know who he is?”
Caitlin peered over Abby’s shoulder, seeing the man in question studying a Jeffersonian era desk. Trevor grimaced. “I can’t say I do.”
“That’s Marvin Hofter,” Mrs. Wilkins said conspiratorially.
“Who’s Marvin Hofter?” Caitlin asked.
Abby spluttered and tugged at the collar of her linen blouse. “How can you not know him?”
The name meant nothing; Caitlin could only give her a blank look. “I don’t.”
“My dear, he’s only the editor in chief of Antiques Daily.”
Now Caitlin understood why Trevor’s mentor was making such a huge deal.
Trevor touched one of the sketches, almost, Caitlin thought, as if he would protect them. “I’m sorry, no. The pictures aren’t for sale.”
Hofter pursed his lips and retrieved a card case from the pocket of his silk coat. He pulled forth an embossed business card and handed it to him. “If you change your mind, don’t hesitate to call me.” The man tipped his hat and walked away.
Caitlin kept her gaze on him. Something about him made her want to grab Trevor and move as far away as possible. Like to Siberia.
The Artist’s Inheritance The balance between good and evil can be an art… or a curse.
Trevor and Caitlin were once happy newlyweds, profiting from Trevor’s art. Until Trevor inherits his brother’s house, and with it, his part of a family curse. Now, Caitlin will stop at nothing to save her beloved husband from insanity and suicide, even if it means she must embrace her destiny and become a witch.
I hope you enjoy this excerpt. Cait’s story continues in Caitlin’s Book of Shadows. Meanwhile, the next book in the series, Drawing Down the Shades, is coming up really soon! 🙂 Thanks again to Tammie Clarke Gibbs for inviting me!
Since spring is here, I’m sharing a “garden” excerpt from Caitlin’s Book of Shadows:
“I can’t wait for the spring thaw,” Caitlin complained, sliding her coat off. “Come on, late February!”
“No,” Trevor said, sweeping the shop’s floor. “Can we skip February?”
Her heart twisted and she smoothed a hand down his arm. February would mark one year since Gordon’s death—and what a year it had been! She shuddered, not
wanting to remember. “I’m sorry, honey.” She wondered if more peace spells were in order.
“Personally, I can’t wait to get back out in my garden. I’ve been reading about the cultivation of orange trees. I’d love to add one! I’m sure we can fit it in. Maybe
place it in the west corner of the yard.”
Trevor frowned and turned back to his work. “We’ll see. Are you going to have room after the Christmas tree?”
“Of course.” She sighed and swept a duster over the elaborate Hulish figurines he’d set on a table near the shop’s front window. “I wonder if it will survive the
hot summer. Probably not. If it doesn’t, I can put the orange tree there. Hibiscus might be an easy addition and—being a little daring—I think I’d like to try some lavender this year.” She sighed. “I bet it’ll die on me.”
“You’re better than that and you know it,” he said, disappearing into the office.
Caitlin flipped the duster over and shoved it into its holder behind the desk. She glanced out the window at the gray, chilly afternoon. Come on, spring! I’ve hadenough of the cold!
Would you like to read more? The story continues in Caitlin’s Book of Shadows, available at Amazon and barnes and noble.
genre: Supernatural horror
Though their fame became legend, a rumor cropped up about the Fulmer family: Something terrifying stalked Caitlin and her beloved Trevor. Something the bits and pieces she left claimed she had to make sense of. When the curator of their collection finds Caitlin’s long forgotten diary, she wonders will it tell the whole tale? Will it tell why Caitlin seemed so determined to tell the difference between reality and nightmare? Why she thought her world twisted? If she really became a witch?
Perhaps the answer lies between the lines of her story, one of lessons, struggles, and hopes for each new year.
What truths will her Book of Shadows reveal?
**This is a side (or supplemental, if you will) story in the Antique Magic series, a companion to The Artist’s Inheritance (Antique Magic, Book One).