As head of Nightbird, Sybil Crewes is working 24/7 to keep America safe from zombies, demons, and other unearthly creatures. Her ultimate goal is to end the curse that turned her into a vampire, but first she needs to destroy The Necronomicon, the infamous book of the dead. Unfortunately, Sybil's archnemesis, The Reaper, uses the book to raise an army of zombies.
When she finally retrieves The Necronomicon, Sybil not only runs into hideous, dangerous zombies and werewolves, she’s also haunted by her disturbing past, which goes way back to the 1770s. A deadly race against time to destroy The Necronomicon emerges as the gates of Hell open. Will she be able to stop evil before it spreads around the world?
Sybil Crewes is out to retrieve the Necronomicon, so she can stop being a vampire, but it’s not going to be easy. There was plenty of action to keep you entertained and lots of supernatural creatures for fans of the series. I would recommend it.
As far back as she can remember, Cynthia has been listening to exciting stories told by her mother. She grew up reading books from Edgar Allan Poe, H. P. Lovecraft, and Philip K. Dick, among others.
It was Cynthia’s mother who inspired her to start telling—and writing—her own stories.
Ms. Fridsma’s writing career started after a handicap in 2014—she has a tremor in her right hand, numbness in the fingers, and pain in her wrist. She had to give up her other creative outlets, such as photography, computer programming, and gave up on juggling, so focused on what she could do rather than what she couldn’t do.
Besides writing, she sometimes plays guitar—in Jimi Hendrix style.
Cynthia lives with her husband and two pet bunnies in Amsterdam.
We are going to be running new promotions for authors through Twitter, starting August 1st 2018. Each day of the week we will post a special promotional opportunity.
Monday Madness - Massively discounted or Free books
Teaser Tuesday - Teasers to upcoming releases - must be within one month of posting
Hump Day Recommendations - My reading recommendations
Throwback Thursdays - Back catalogue series promotion
Freaky Fridays - Horror books
You can contact me through the contact page or email me at email@example.com if you would like to promote your book. It is all completely free. I prefer to promote horror, fantasy and sci-fi, but will consider most books. No young children's books or non-fiction please.
You can follow the account @storyteller_skg to keep updated. I will promote up to five books a day.
Psychological SuspenseDate Published: 08-04-2018
Laurie Brandon isn’t crazy. It’s a bout of panic that has her muttering indecipherable sounds and crying out like a mad woman, an attack brought on by her infant daughter’s sudden disappearance from the town’s annual Apple Festival. Not insanity. She needs help to save Emily. Someone has to see that, do something.
But her recent history of psychosis coupled with witness claims that Emily was never at the festival with Laurie isn’t helping her credibility. Neither is recent suspension from her job as a school teacher over stability concerns. Perhaps most damaging, though, is Laurie’s insistence that her ex-husband, Jake, had something to do with the child’s disappearance. Any sane person knows a dead man can’t run off with a baby.
The town sheriff believes Laurie is, at best, unreliable and possibly something much worse. But Laurie knows what she saw. She knows other things, too, details too hard to believe and even harder to accept. Now, she needs to convince someone – anyone – that Emily is in danger before the sheriff locks Laurie away permanently.
September 18, 2018
I’m not crazy. I know what I saw.
With a wave of dizziness, I hunch forward, my head hanging low, my palms pressing against a cool, hard surface. The evening sky blackens before my eyes and the chill in the air raises goosebumps on my arms despite my fleece lined sweatshirt. I can’t think straight, can barely breathe.
The silhouette in the darkness…that posture, poised to take action…
I didn’t need to see a face. I’d know that stance anywhere. But it isn’t possible.
I chew on my lip, try to gnaw the panic away. It has to be possible. I saw with my own eyes.
I can’t just stand here and wait, need to do something, find help. No one will believe me, though. It’s hard enough for me to believe me. It won’t help that everyone seems to think I’m out of my mind.
A tingling sensation shoots through my head like a strike of lightning and heat spreads through my body, starting in my head and washing through my chest. My heart beats so fast I fear it will burst. I remind myself to breathe. It’s just a panic attack. I’ve had plenty before and right now, it’s no wonder. Soon it will be over. I’ll be back to normal, get help, make someone believe me. Someone will help. They have to.
Breathe in, one, two, three. Out, one, two, three.
A fog settles in my head, sprinkling over my mind like chalk dust. I find myself gasping, my heart racing faster and harder. This symptom is new. I blink, trying to focus on the brick surface of the street but it’s a blur. The dust is growing thicker, an eraser materializing, brushing over my mind and randomly choosing which memories to wipe away.
Not my memory. I must remember.
My palms slide farther over the surface of…a table, counter…I’m not sure, but it’s rough like a sheet of unfinished wood. I lean hunched over it, struggling to breathe as I peer beneath my arm to look behind me.
Emily. My sweet baby girl.
She sits in her stroller, kicking her feet and cooing at the plush doll in her chubby fist. Cold flushes her cheeks pink, but the fleece bonnet tied beneath her chin keeps her head warm.
She’s here. She’s safe. I think. I’m not entirely sure. The fog is getting thicker, her image waving in and out as if it may not be real. I have no way of knowing. In this state, I can’t trust my eyes.
Maybe I can’t trust what I saw before either.
No. That was different. Not panic induced. Real.
A high-pitched shrill slices my skull, piercing my eardrums before fading to a crackle. Light flashes, then dozens of white stars appear.
“Laurie?” A voice slices through the static.
I force myself to stand up straight and blink. Lights swim before a backdrop of blackness and voices echo around me. Screaming. But in a happy way. The scent of grease lingers in the air, mingling with a sweet and spicy smell, like sugared cinnamon.
The lights twirl and I blink again. A Tilt-a-Whirl spins, masses of people passing in front of it. My eyes are drawn to one man, not because I know him but because he looks like a marionette, his arms outstretched, pulled by strings. My gaze follows the threads to four little dogs, Teacup Pomeranians, the kind Jake would never let me have.
“Ankle biters. Useless yippers.” I hear the rage in his voice, the unwarranted anger I’d become accustomed to. “Food for real dogs, that’s what they are.” That’s my translation, the clean version with every other word removed.
“Laurie, are you okay?” That voice again, soft and feminine, though drowning in background music.
I bring my vision in, notice a woman standing on the opposite side of a counter before me. I know her, Rochelle, a good friend of my mother’s. Two pies sit on the counter between us and she holds a wad of bills in her hand. A cool breeze brushes my skin, whisking the aroma of the pies toward me. Apple.
A memory washes over me, replacing Rochelle’s current image with one of her in my mother’s kitchen from many years ago. I see Rochelle pressing dough into pie tins, hear my mother counting with me as I measure sugar and sprinkle it over a huge bowl of sliced apples. “One…two…”
I’m five years old and wearing my favorite apron. Mom made it for me, complete with an embroidered apple on the chest. In front of me mom’s apple shaped clock ticks on the wall. Except for Christmas it’s my favorite time of year, being with mom in the kitchen and baking pies for the festival.
I blink, focus on Rochelle. Present day Rochelle. I remember. The Apple Festival. I’m in a booth selling pies to support the school. I brought Emily. My friend, Josie, came too. I look beside me, but Josie isn’t there. She must have stepped away.
Rochelle is still staring at me, her eyes wrinkled with concern. I force a smile and straighten my back, pulling myself off the countertop. “I’m fine,” I tell her. “Just getting a migraine.” I can’t tell her the truth. Everything I love is already in jeopardy; Emily, my job. Thanks to Jake, rumors of my supposed insanity spread over town as quickly as softened butter over a slice of bread.
I’m fine. I am. Postpartum psychosis, the doctor called it. My-wife’s-an-effing-nut-case, Jake called it.
Ex-wife. Almost. He forgets that part.
As I blink my thoughts away and hone in on Rochelle, I can’t help wondering what she thinks of me. Does she believe I have a migraine or is she waiting for the right moment to make an emergency call to the mental hospital?
“You scared me for a minute there,” Rochelle says, handing me the bills in her hand. “Keep the change. For the school.”
I force another smile and take the bills from her, my hands trembling with the aftereffects of my attack. I’m still trying to get my bearings, breathe in and out, slow the hammering of my heart.
Rochelle hoists her purse on her shoulder, a huge tan bag that causes my shoulder to ache just looking at it. “You sure you’re all right?”
I nod and force my mind to focus. My name is Laurie Brandon. I’m a second grade teacher. I’m in Jackson, Ohio at the Apple Festival. My hometown. I glance at the surface of the street where the booth sits, the brick street confirming my location. A few blocks away, lights illuminate the water tower hovering over the town, painted red to resemble an apple and embellished in a green leaf with a pipe protruding from the top as the stem.
I live on Mountain Valley Road. My parents are Gary and Paula Barreau. Emily is nine months old.
My heart rate slows and my body relaxes, the routine stabilizing me. I take a deep, long breath. I’m okay. Everything is fine. I’ll call the doctor in the morning. The medication she gave me has been working well. It’s just the extreme stress, my psychopath-almost-ex-husband worsening my psychosis, if that makes sense.
I remember. There’s more. I let out a gasp.
“I can tend the booth for you if you want to head home to lie down,” Rochelle offers.
I don’t hear Emily behind me. It shouldn’t surprise me. I can barely hear Rochelle over the crooning country band a block down the street. Still, I spin on my heels to check on my daughter.
She isn’t there.
My eyes shoot left to right so fast the plywood walls of the booth seem to flail. Emily… She was there just a moment ago in her stroller, wasn’t she? I saw her. I looked behind me, under my arm… I thought she was there.
My heart races again, my stomach turns, fog swirls in my brain. I can’t help questioning myself, replaying the day through my mind to make certain I brought Emily with me. I picture Josie in the booth and Emily right behind us in her stroller, just like I saw her earlier.
It was today, wasn’t it? My breathing grows faster, intensifying the dizziness. I’m not sure. The fog needs more time to clear. I force a deep breath. In, one, two, three. Out, one, two, three.
“Laurie?” Rochelle’s voice jumbles with my thoughts.
I just need a moment to get through this and then everything will make sense. Maybe I’m remembering another day. It wouldn’t be the first time it’s happened.
In, one, two, three. Out, one, two, three.
But I spot something on the street. I lean in, force myself to study it, make sure of what I see.
There is no mistaking; it’s Emily’s soft pink doll. If she wasn’t here, where did the doll come from?
The next scream I hear rolling over the crowd is my own.
Christine Barfknecht has a passion for weaving the darkest bits of the human psyche into page-turning fiction. She’s been crafting stories since before she printed her first word and credits her overactive imagination to a lifelong love of reading. She seeks out books that keep her hiding beneath the covers at night or turning pages long after her eyes begin to cross, and strives for those qualities in her own writing.
Christine lives in rural Wisconsin with her husband, children, and pets where she is also a virtual bookkeeping entrepreneur. In addition to reading and writing, she enjoys gardening, crafts, time with family, and traveling. APPLE OF MY EYE is her debut novel.
Thank you for joining us for Fae Folk. We hope you have enjoyed it. Stay tuned for the next event later this year!
The truth is not known, beneath the sky of stars,
Whether they were of heaven or earth.”
The Tuatha De Danann or the Tribe of Danu are said to be an ancient race of Gods who once ruled Ireland. They are described as being tall with pale skin and red or blonde hair.
It is said that they arrived in Ireland over 4000 years ago and ruled between 1897BC and 1700BC.
There are many tales of their battles. No one knows where they came from, but there is speculation amongst historians that they came from Norway or Denmark.
They are said to have brought with them four treasures -
So what were the Tuatha De Danann? Were they Gods? Or Aliens? Or humans who had developed futuristic tech?
Leprechauns are mischievous creatures who guard a pot of gold. If a human can capture a human, then they can be granted three wishes. Often depicted as wearing green, they are popular in Irish culture.
Brownies are from English and Scottish myth and they are household spirits. They are supposed to come out at night and help with chores around the house. Homeowners would leave out gifts for them such as honey or cream. This myth is similar to the house elves of Harry Potter.
Gnomes are more than just garden accessories. Earth based creatures, there are stories about them from all over the world. They live underground and they can wield magic. Tiny in stature, they protect and care for the animals.
Sixteen-year-old Kaye is a modern nomad. Fierce and independent, she travels from city to city with her mother's rock band until an ominous attack forces Kaye back to her childhood home. There, amid the industrial, blue-collar New Jersey backdrop, Kaye soon finds herself an unwilling pawn in an ancient power struggle between two rival faerie kingdoms - a struggle that could very well mean her death.
Just typical. No love life to speak of for months, then all at once, every horny creature in the Otherworld wants to get in your pants...
Eugenie Markham is a powerful shaman who does a brisk trade banishing spirits and fey who cross into the mortal world. Mercenary, yes, but a girl's got to eat. Her most recent case, however, is enough to ruin her appetite. Hired to find a teenager who has been taken to the Otherworld, Eugenie comes face to face with a startling prophecy—one that uncovers dark secrets about her past and claims that Eugenie's first-born will threaten the future of the world as she knows it.
Now Eugenie is a hot target for every ambitious demon and Otherworldy ne'er-do-well, and the ones who don't want to knock her up want her dead. Eugenie handles a Glock as smoothly as she wields a wand, but she needs some formidable allies for a job like this. She finds them in Dorian, a seductive fairy king with a taste for bondage, and Kiyo, a gorgeous shape-shifter who redefines animal attraction. But with enemies growing bolder and time running out, Eugenie realizes that the greatest danger is yet to come, and it lies in the dark powers that are stirring to life within her...
Commanded by her aunt, the dark Queen Andais, to conceive a child as heir to the throne, Meredith Gentry, a half-mortal, half-faerie princess, returns to Los Angeles, only to find herself and her lovers trapped between the dark and light faerie courts and human law.
The Morrigan is the Celtic Goddess of War, Fate and Death. Her name means Phantom Queen and she has the ability to shape shift usually taking the form of a raven or a crow.
She is similar to the Valkyrie's of Norse legend, appearing over battlefields and deciding who will live and who will die.
She is sometimes depicted as having two sisters and represents the triple Goddess.
1) Tell us about your book (s) (or short story)
Halayda (book one in the Star-Fae Trilogy) is an epic fantasy/steampunk mashup inspired by Celtic fae mythology and featuring fast-paced adventure, impossible romance, and snarky faeries. Halayda released in 2017, and the second book, Rothana, comes out this fall.
From the back cover:
A mortal alchemist. A faerie king. A bond that transcends death.
Betrayed by a trusted mentor, Sylvie Imanthiya hides on the fringes of society, caring for half-fae orphans and trading her alchemical creations on the black market. She lives for the one night each season when she can see her dearest friend—a man whose destiny is far above hers.
King Taylan Ashkalabek knows better than to exchange halayda vows with a mortal. Even their friendship is a risk; love is an impossible dream. Then a brutal alchemical attack poisons his realm, unearthing a dark power within him—and leaving Sylvie with the ancient mark of Faerie’s savior.
Manifesting unpredictable abilities and aided by allies with their own secrets, Sylvie and Taylan journey into the wilds of Faerie to heal the damage and confront Casimir, an invincible star-fae determined to claim the realm as his own. But only their enemy knows Sylvie’s true capabilities—and Taylan’s weaknesses—and how to use them in his vicious schemes.
Her fate is life. His fate is death. With Faerie in the balance, Sylvie and Taylan must stand together before reality as they know it is destroyed.
2) Who is your main character? Tell us about them.
Twenty-five-year-old Sylvie Imanthiya is a half-fae alchemist who lives in the slums of a Victorian-esque city. She devotes her life to rescuing orphaned fae and half-fae children, selling her alchemical potions on the black market to make ends meet. She loves blankets, peppermint tea, and painting murals on the walls of her ramshackle house. For the past seven years, she has served as an ally of the fae king Taylan, using her alchemy to help him keep order on solstice and equinox nights, when the fae come and go freely between Faerie and mortal realm.
3) What is your favorite Fae myth or story?
Hard to choose! I think my favorites are found in the old ballads of England, Scotland, and Ireland. In addition to writing, I do traditional-style ballad singing. Faeries turn up a lot in these centuries-old songs, and they usually bring plenty of trouble with them. Probably the most famous is Tam Lin, in which a woman has to rescue her lover from a faerie queen who is going to literally send him to hell. Another of my favorites is Thomas Rhymer, who falls into the hands of a far more benevolent faerie queen but still ends up getting taken away to Faerie for seven years and being given the "gift" of not being able to lie (gotta love fae gifts). I really want to write a Thomas Rhymer retelling someday.
4) The Fae. Helpful magical creatures? Or mischievous tricksters?
More of the second, definitely! I like my fae with an edge of danger - unpredictable and not bound by human rules, but still capable of benevolence.
5) What is your Fae elemental? Salamander (Fire) Undine (Water) Brownie (Earth) or Sylph (Air)
About the Author:
Sarah Delena White was raised by wolves in an alternate dimension. She writes eclectic speculative fiction that reworks mythology with a fine balance of poetry and snark. She’s an experienced world traveler who loves to weave world folklore and ancient concepts into vibrant, original story worlds. She is the administrative manager for Uncommon Universes Press. When she’s not writing, she can be found making elegant designer bead jewelry, traveling to festivals as a professional ballad singer, drinking tea, and seeking to create the perfect latte. She can be bribed with dark chocolate. You can find her online at https://sarahdelenawhite.com/
A changeling is said to be a fairy child that has been switched out for a human child. The fairies would take the child to use as a slave or out of malice. There are stories from all over the world including Ireland, Scotland and Germany.
The changeling children were usually badly behaved or had other afflictions. It is thought that this was a way of explaining deformities and illnesses.
I AM AN AUTHOR, BLOGGER AND A JOURNALIST.
“Description begins in the writer’s imagination, but should finish in the reader’s.”