Release Day Blitz Staked: A Vampire’s Tale by Kim Catanzarite



Staked: A Vampire’s Tale
Angel of Death Series
Book One
Kim Catanzarite

Genre: Fantasy-Supernatural-Speculative
Publisher: Forster Publishing
Date of Publication: Oct. 3, 2023
ISBN: 978-1-7359522-6-0 
ASIN: B0CF6BS4HZ
Number of pages: 207
Word Count: 57,000

Cover Artist: Damonza

Tagline: Can an angel also be a monster? 

Book Description: 

Gregorie Babin has existed in a gently lulling darkness for so long he’s not even sure he’s human anymore. Surrounded by four walls, without light or space in which to move, he has become what he envisions as a mollusk inside a shell. Is he alive or dead, or perhaps in some kind of purgatory or Hell? The answer lies in a past he no longer remembers. It is only when random forces break him out of this perpetual darkness that he can begin to know the devastating truth—and what it means for his future.

Written with the author’s signature talent for “psychological conflict . . . and emotional tension” (The Book Commentary), this is a speculative journey of a young man’s desperate desire to get back home to the ones he loves. Prepare to be captivated by a tale that tests the boundaries of your imagination and leaves you questioning the darkness that lies within us all.

Excerpt

He smelled something.  

Offensive and yet desirable.

The terrible hunger returned, roiling through the whole of him like the brawny ocean crests that had thrust him onto the beach. The hunger demanded he move. He floundered on his side for a moment before righting himself and beginning a frantic, disjointed crawl: one foot dragging behind him, an elbow giving out. Every hinge in his body resisted, and the movement required complete concentration. All the while this unignorable “wanting” spun through him like a bear desperate to hunt and devour.

The scent grew potent as he neared the wood.

His ceaseless craving forced him to scrabble across a path of wooden planks that bridged over the dunes. A spigot at the top of this footbridge awaited, causing him to hesitate. Was it thirst that propelled him? Perhaps dehydration had driven him to near madness?

Since he was on all fours, he reached the fausset easily. Why it would be built out here and so near the ground, he didn’t know. The handle twisted after a brief struggle that hurt the bones of his palm. He set his open mouth below it and let the water flow, glugging and choking as he filled his body with liquid. Still, he experienced no satisfaction.

The wind changed direction and that same scent tempted him. He scuttled from the path and entered into the dark of the wood, mindless of the ground’s debris, the stabbing sticks and thorns penetrating the skin on his hands and knees. Moving forward like a dog led by its sniffing nose, he charged through, searching for the source of the strange, beguiling stench.

The hunt led him to a small horse—or no, not un cheval—stubby horns grew from the animal’s graceful head. A deer, lying on its side, its legs twisted beneath and blood coming from its—he pounced, the animal shuddering as his hands connected with its warm trunk and his mouth attached to its supple neck. His teeth penetrated the hide, though not without effort, and then a warm, metallic taste filled his mouth and that was all that mattered.

He fell back in ecstasy as his stomach softened and veins thrummed, his heart quivering with new life. He’d never consumed anything so soothing, so satisfying. His limbs warmed, the nourishment spreading, and his insides filled to bursting.

He rested on the ground beside the animal while it relaxed into its last breath.

Go with grace, he said in his mind.



About the Author 

Kim Catanzarite grew up in northern New Jersey reading Anne Rice novels and watching The Lost Boys. She tapped into her creative writing obsession while attending Skidmore College and has never looked back. Kim is the award-winning author of the Jovian Universe sci-fi series. She is a freelance writer and editor for publishers and independent authors, and she teaches for Writer’s Digest University. Her Self-Publishing 101 blog discusses the ins and outs of indie life as well as all things writing craft. Kim lives on the East Coast with her husband and daughter.

For more information, visit www.AuthorKimCatanzarite.com






 




Vampire Witch by Eileen Sheehan



Ghost Dream by Eileen Sheehan

I first saw a photograph of the abandoned house on Twelve Maple Lane about a decade ago. My immediate impression was what a wonderful inn it would make for those who appreciated the days gone by.  So, without so much as a walk through, I bought it.

It was nightfall when I approached the old house that had been wholly unoccupied for years with reverence and a touch of trepidation. Its residents had long left it to the mercy of rodents, dust, and cobwebs. I felt as if I was invading the privacy of the ghosts who were left behind. Ghosts of occupants over the centuries since the building was little more than an idea in the mind of the builder.

Holding my flashlight firmly in one hand, I turned the porcelain doorknob that would allow me entry. It, like the door, was cracked with age. My mind pondered over how many hands had turned that knob and pushed their way into this dwelling in its glory days. Days when vibrantly colorful rooms glowed with the softness of gas and candle light and radiated laughter and happiness. My ponderings quickly left me when, for the first time in my life, my level head -that had always ignored and given no credence to superstition- experienced an overwhelming dread as an invisible cobweb clung to my face. I shuddered. It was only a cobweb, but it felt as if I’d walked through someone. Or, better yet, someone had walked through me.

Like a frightened child, I rushed to the one room that I had made certain was prepared for my occupancy by the workmen who were hired for the house’s resurrection. As I locked the door, a sense of security swept over me. I had not only locked out the moldy darkness, but the eerie feeling of unseen eyes was no longer hovering about. Someone had been thoughtful enough to make sure that there was a cheery fire burning in the oversized fireplace. Its flickering flames did wonders to give a sense of warmth and safety to the room. I sat down before it with a comforting sense of relief. The electricity was turned off, requiring the soft flickering lights of candles to illuminate my surroundings. Seeing the antique furnishings in such ambiance brought up visions of days gone by.

From the color and print of the faded wallpaper, and the delicacy of the bed and dressing table, I deduced that the room had once belonged to the gentler sex. I closed my eyes as I allowed my imagination to summon visions of faces out of the mists of the past. Faces that were long forgotten and voices that long ago grew silent for all time.

As a storm brewed outside of the thick leaded window panes, my reverie shifted to sadness. The singing of the voices from the past was replaced by the shrieking of the winds outside. The laughter in the ears of my mind shifted to a softened wail. The incessant beating of the rain against the panes stripped the room of all tranquility. The eeriness that I’d left beyond the closed door slowly crept through the cracks beneath it.

A nervousness overtook me as the fire burned low. An overwhelming sense of loneliness consumed me. Eager to shake it, I arose and changed into my night clothes. I moved about the room, stealthily preparing for slumber as if I was amongst others whose dreams would be lethal to interrupt. Diving onto the mattress, I slithered beneath the covers. With my head barely exposed, I lay listening to the rain and wind and the faint creaking of distant shutters until a blissful, deep sleep overtook me.

The acute stillness of the home when I awoke filled me with a shuddering expectancy. All, but the beating of my heart, was silent as I lay in the pre-dawn light while I debated what to do. The workmen would not arrive for several hours. My stomach was announcing the need for the breaking of my fast, but my cowardly nerves refused to budge. So, I lay in the warmth and false security of my bed until an unseen force took matters into hand.

Slowly. Very slowly, the bedclothes slid toward the foot of the bed. It was as if someone was pulling them from me. Instead of being too nervous to move, I was now scared stiff. Not only couldn’t I move a muscle, but I could make no sound. I finally regained control of my body enough to allow me to grab the edge of the blankets and pull them back over my breast until they reached my chin. It took an even greater effort to pull them over my head. Beads of nervous sweat formed upon my forehead as a result.

I lay in frozen silence while I waited for what might happen next.

After a brief interval, that steady pull on the coverings returned. I roused my energies, snatched the covers with a vice grip, and pulled them over my head again. Suddenly the sound of heavy footsteps permeated my room. I felt a sense of relief that they sounded like they were moving away from me instead of toward me. When the footsteps reached the bedroom door, I waited for the creaking sound of it opening and closing, but it didn’t come. The footsteps, however, continued to exit the room and fade as they walked further into the empty house.

I lay trembling while contemplating what just happened until I had myself convinced that it was a dream. My nerves were further soothed when I crawled out of bed and found that the bedroom door was still bolted on the inside.

The day passed as normal. I exerted a good deal of emotional energy overseeing the workmen in my effort to keep the integrity of the old house in place. Once nightfall arrived and the men retired, I eagerly took my exhausted self to my bedroom once again.

I had just blown out the candle and snuggled beneath the bedclothes when I heard a grating noise overhead. It sounded like a heavy box was being dragged across the floor. When the dragging sound ended, a loud thud occurred. It was so loud that the windows shook.

Beyond my locked bedroom door, I could hear the muffled sound of doors slamming throughout the house.

A part of me wanted to get up and search for intruders, while the other part of me said to stay put and wait to see what would happen. I regretted not taking the precaution against intruders by having a bat or some other type of self-defense weapon in my room as I listened to the sound of stealthy footsteps creeping about the corridors, as well as up and down the stairs.

Sometimes these noises stopped outside of my bedroom door, hesitated, and went away again. I heard muffled sentences and occasional half-uttered screams that were faint, but discernable. Then, a light breeze passed by me as the swish of invisible garments reached my ears.

The eerie feeling that I’d felt the night before returned with a forcefulness unmatched. I sat up in bed and held my hand to my heart while I did my best to slow the beating that threatened to get out of control. Unlike the night before when the fireplace was ablaze with illuminating light, I had lit only a small fire that rapidly turned to embers. With the candles snuffed out, I was forced to rely on the glow of the embers and the filtered rays of the full moon through the window to see my surroundings. The shadows bounced about, but I was still able to make out a cloaked figure hovering in the corner of the room.

“Who are you and what do you want?” I nervously asked. The figure remained silent as it slowly moved toward me.

“This is my home,” I said with a boldness that I didn’t feel.  “You are not welcome.”

“Why do you wish to have this home?” the figure asked in a deep voice that had a hint of echo to it.

Surprised by the question, I was even more surprised by the way I calmly replied with, “I wish to bring it back to its glory days and to share it with others.”

“Glory days?” the figure mockingly said. “Those were times long gone. The house belongs to me now.”

“I purchased this house,” I insisted. “I have the deed to it.”

“You may have the deed, but I have lived in it,” the figure argued. “It belongs to me. You will leave.”

Fear was replaced by indignation over the shadowy figure’s demand that I leave a home that I’d put so much of my heart and soul into and would require even more before its beauty could shine through once more.

“If you care so much for this home,” I challenged, “Why have you let it go into such disrepair?”

“It is as I desire it to be,” the figure firmly announced.

“It is not as I desire it,” said a female’s voice from seemingly nowhere.

“Josephine!” the figure bellowed. “Why have you come?”

“I never left,” the voice replied. “I simply saw no reason to negate your occupancy until now.”

“Why now?” the figure asked.

“Finally, there is someone who is willing to return the life and love to the walls of my home,” Josephine said. “I have cried decades of tears for want of such a thing to occur. Now that it has, I will not allow you to prevent it. You must go.”

“I have occupied this place too long for you to be able to push me out,” the figure bitterly announced.

“Perhaps, if it were just myself doing the pushing,” Josephine said with conviction.

Too stunned and amazed by what was occurring before my very eyes, I stayed motionless while I listened to what I discovered to be two discarnate beings verbally debating over who should take control of the house that I now owned. I was tempted to ask them both to leave, since the house now belonged to me, but, since I was only now being exposed to the reality of a world beyond the here and now, I was uncertain what the protocol for such a request would be. So, instead, I remained stoic and silent while I waited to see what the outcome of this verbal debate might be.

To my surprise and dismay, the arguing grew quite potent. So potent, in fact, that the stillness of the air left the room. It was replaced by what I could only describe as a violent wind. The bedroom door rattled, along with the windows. A fleeting fear that the glass might shatter flashed through my head before my attention was turned to the fact that the room seemed to expand in the darkness as the figure of a woman in a Victorian gown appeared before me.

Although I had already become aware of the presence of the cloaked figure, he was merely a shadow. This woman, on the other hand, was as opaque as myself.

She was neatly put together with not one hair out of place. Her dress was of vibrant colors that glowed in the moonlight. As I stared in startled wonderment, several equally opaque spirits, both male and female, in Victorian attire joined her. Soon, the room was filled with what I inherently knew were former occupants of the grand house.

The shadowy figure stood his ground, alone against a roomful of spirits wanting him out. At first, as the energy he projected blew like a hurricane through the room to the extent that I clung fast to the bedpost, I thought for sure that he would win. It took a moment for them to gather together with hands firmly clasped, but when they did, the wind changed direction and forced the shadow into oblivion.

I sat in silence on the edge of the bed while I debated what to do next. The spirits faded away, one by one, until only Josephine remained.

“You need not fear us,” Josephine said. “We are pleased that you bring to this home the life and love that it deserves. It has been our desire for decades. We will protect you and it from this moment on.”

With that, she also faded away.

Feeling safe and satisfied, I silently smiled and retreated to the security of my bedcovers. Within moments, I fell into a deep, exhausted slumber.

I awoke the following morning to the sounds of workmen bustling about the house. Surprised that I’d slept for so long, I raced to join them. As the day progressed, my thoughts, and memories of the battle between spirits the night before faded. By the time nightfall returned, I considered it nothing more than a vivid dream.

The restoration of the house continued until it was restored to its original glory with no more incidents from the unseen world. Since there were no more bumps in the night, bedclothes mysteriously sliding off me on their own, or spirits appearing before me, I eventually completely dismissed the dream as a reaction to the unsavory ambiance of a neglected home.

Today, I operate an historic inn that offers tours that are accompanied by the history of the house and its occupants that I acquired from the local library and town records. On rare occasions, I will receive a report from one of my overnight guests reporting vivid dreams of a woman in Victorian dress smiling as she stands at the foot of their bed.

Vampire Witch
Vampire Witch Trilogy
Book One
Eileen Sheehan

Genre: Paranormal/thriller/romance
Publisher: Earth Wise Books
Date of Publication: 01/01/2016
ISBN: 978-1726737524
ASIN:  ‎ B0195YJ1Q0
Number of pages: 378
Word Count: 91,903

Tagline: She falls for two handsome vampire brothers. Now, she must choose…. Lovers of VAMPIRE DIARIES or TRUE BLOOD will enjoy this story.

Book Description: 

Discovering the mother that you thought was dead for over a decade is very much alive will shake your world.

And so begins Casey’s dilemma. Add to that her mother has become a mutant vampire and has promised her in marriage to a wicked vampire king in order to unite the two kingdoms. Now, let’s combine that with the fact that the bearer of such news is a hot and sexy guy who turns out to be a vampire and he steals her heart. Then, to top it off she finds that he has an equally hot vampire brother vying for her love and who she just might have feelings for too.

Ready or not, Casey’s life just took a turn for the strange.

Join Casey in this sizzling, action-packed first book of a paranormal romance thriller trilogy.

Book Trailer: https://bit.ly/3PDgAWJ

Amazon      BN     Kobo     Apple     Smashwords



Luthias groaned and raised his hand to his head.  Gwendoline was at his side in a flash.  She lifted him into a position that allowed him to easily drink the liquid she held to his lips and then lowered him back down again.

“This will help him regain a bit of his strength, but he’ll still need blood,” she said. She went to a tall refrigerator in the corner of the room and inspected its contents. “I doubt I have enough to bring him back to normal.”
“How much do you need?” I asked.

“He’s almost bled dry,” she said.  “I have enough to keep him alive, but not much more than that.”

I bit my lower lip while I watched Gwendoline pull every bag of blood she had in her supplies and place them on a tea cart to roll next to the table.  She emptied the first bag into a glass and urged him to drink.  He weakly obliged. By the time she’d fed him the last bag, the hollow around his sunken eyes was beginning to disappear and his wounds were starting to shrink.

I pointed this out to Gwendoline and she smiled faintly.

“If he has more blood will they heal completely?” I asked.

“Within seconds,” she said.

“Where does he usually get his blood?” I asked hesitantly.

“He hunts deer or wolf. Large animals are generally the best,” she replied.

“No humans,” I mused admiringly.

“Verso vampires refrain from drinking human blood whenever possible.  The risk of developing an addiction is too great,” she explained. “We live peacefully amongst ourselves and rarely venture out into the rawness of what’s left of our planet. An addiction to human blood would require they leave Verso.”

“There are some who drink it,” I said.  “A maid told me humans don’t last long in Verso because rogue vampires drink their blood until they’re dead.”

“That’s true,” she said with a nod. “It takes a strong vampire to be able to stop drinking a human’s blood before they drain them dry. In my centuries of life, I’ve known of only a few who could do it.”

“Is it the magic that keeps you alive?” I asked.

“Indeed,” she replied with pride. “As it will ye.”

“I plan on becoming a vampire,” I reminded her.

“Yes, but until ye do, the magic will slow down the aging process,” she explained. “There’s no need to rush things.”

“How old was Geo when he was turned?” I asked while I mindlessly stroked the length Luthias’s arm.

“He was twenty-eight. He had a wife and three children, poor lad,” she said.

 “I never thought about him having a family,” I gasped. “What happened to them?”

“They were killed by the raiding vampires. Geo was saved because of the strong magic in his veins.  Luthias found him and brought him to me to tend to.  He looked much like Luthias does now,” she said.

“When did Luthias turn vampire?” I asked.





About the Author:

Sitting at her antique rolltop desk in her home in upstate New York, Internationally Published and Award Winning author, Eileen Sheehan, writes steamy romance thrillers for the mature adult with a sexy male and strong female. The majority of her novels are paranormal, but some are just plain novels about people in love. As the years progressed, so did her writing style. Although she still includes romance and has a happily ever after ending, her stories tend to have more mystery, thrills, and horror in them.

She makes it a point to write a novel length that will allow the busy readers to be able to sit down in an evening (no more than two) and be taken on a journey that was created by her active imagination without having a week go by before they gets to the end of the story.

An incurable romantic, she has a love affair with at least one of her characters… one book at a time. She hopes the same thing happens to you.

Eileen started out as a freelance writer for periodical magazines and newspapers. From there, she tried her hand at writing screenplays. Her screenplay, “When East Meets West” was a finalist in the 2001 Independent International Film and Video Festival at Madison Square Gardens, NYC. Finally finding her niche, she lets her imagination loose with paranormal romance/thrillers. 

If you want to see more quality writings at a reasonable price, please support her efforts by leaving a review and becoming a follower










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My SECOND Life by Simon Yeats



My SECOND Life
Simon Yeats

Genre: Memoir
Date of Publication: 7/4/23
ISBN: 9798223369066
ASIN: B0CB4LCCPN 
Number of pages: 254
Word Count: 76,000
Cover Artist: Yolairis Barranco          

Tagline: You cannot possibly understand how important things are until you have to decide between them and life.

Book Description:

We all have two lives, but we only get to experience the second one when we realize we have just one.

My first real scare in life happened when I was seven – I got attacked by a kangaroo. My first brush with death occurred at the age of 12 when my dad drove our family down the treacherous Skipper’s Canyon dirt road in New Zealand, in a rented minivan.

Including the terrifying night when I almost found myself in two separate plane crashes, there have been at least half a dozen other occasions when I was just a moment’s inattention away from death. However, none of these frightening incidents can compare to what I went through after my son was abducted.

This memoir recounts the story of how I harnessed the traumatic experiences of my life to find the strength to persevere through a 13-year battle to be a father to my son.
  
What did it take for me to reach this second life? I had to truly understand the meaning of fear.

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Meet the Author Video
https://youtu.be/mfb8WOeMSG4


Excerpt:

At seven years of age, I am not comfortable at all being alone. It is a very unsettling feeling. Nerve-wracking. The sense of uncertainty over whether anyone will come back to get me. That I will be abandoned and left behind. Well, I already am left behind, so the fears are well founded.

My coping mechanism, when terrified at this age, is to cry and then shrink into a corner.

But I don’t want anyone to witness my fragility. I have to keep that hidden.

As I search for a place to disappear into, I stumble across an unlocked gate to an enclosure. There are no people on the other side in the enclosure and my youthful brain interprets this as a secure place then in which to hide and cry.

I do not even hesitate to go in. Keeping my emotional fragility hidden far outweighs the explicit warning from the park owner that “everything in Australia can kill you.”

In recent years, I have often wondered how the course of any life might change if these small insignificant moments in our lives were different. How strong is their influence on the outcome of our existence? What if we had not gone to this animal park this day? Could my life be completely different? And this moment occurred 48 years ago. How grand do defining moments in a person’s life have to be to completely change the trajectory of their lives?

What if mum and dad had taken us kids for a hike this day instead of driving around the back streets? What if we went to the toad races? What if I had not needed to go to the bathroom?

What if? Can a life change that much from the effect of a moment that takes just five minutes to play out?

I wander a few steps into the pen and sit down with my back against the fence. Here, I will not have to be worried about seeing the faces of my parents, who could be embarrassed at the sight of their shrinking violet of a son, while at least they will see where I am and come get me. Hidden but obvious. A useful tactic in every child’s handbook.

It is at this point that I am aware that I am inside a large pen that has a group of kangaroos in it.

If there is one native Australian species that any person alive would prefer to be enclosed with, it is the kangaroo. Not with one of the world’s nine deadliest snakes out of the top ten. Not with a couple of saltwater crocodiles. Not with a collective of deadly drop bears. Give any man a docile, grass eating kangaroo every day of the week.

A group of kangaroos is most commonly referred to as a ‘mob.’ They also use the terms ‘troop’ or ‘court’. In this case I will stick with the use of ‘mob’ and then I can later casually toss in using the adjective ‘unruly.’

Most of the kangaroos are listlessly lying around scratching their groins, as these animals do most of the day, even in the wild. The life of a nature park animal exhibit is most likely 99% boredom until some inattentive staff member also leaves the gate to the crocodile pond ajar.

I sit against the fence, remaining perfectly still. One oversize Big Red kangaroo rises from its sprawl on the ground. He stretches himself upright, then laboriously rolls forward on its front paws to nibble on the tufts of brown grass. Observing me, he slowly paddles his way over to inspect the newest occupant of its pen.

The nickname given to any male kangaroo is either ‘boomer,’ ‘buck,’ or ‘jack.’ Sitting alone in an animal enclosure as a seven-year-old, while penned in by a beast on a comparative size scale as large as wrestling great Andre the Giant, I would also accept the use of the term ‘scary mother fucker.’

Scrambling to my feet, I then stand frozen. I swallow large measures of palpable fear as the animal sniffs at my cheek with its sizable, quivering nostrils. It is a disconcerting feeling, while it takes all my youthful willpower to not have my knees buckle and collapse. At seven, this is like staring death in the face.

Holding my breath, I desperately attempt not to flinch as the roo perches in front of me.

The other kangaroos in the ‘mob’ stand up and move into position to back up their ringleader. If my legs were not two sticks of gelatinous whale blubber sheathed in sausage casing, I might have run. There is no telling if this is the right thing to do, but it was one of the two options available to me on the table. The other one is cowering where I am and die.

The Big Red slowly leans forward and gently taps me on the chest with his paw. Barely a glancing touch, but still a well-intentioned threat. The native animals of Australia are still bullying the colonialists a good 200 years after we thought we took over the land. Humans may well be the most intelligent species, but no one sits down on a toilet seat and simply ignores an inland Taipan nestling in the water of the bowl, no matter how well developed our brains are.

What am I supposed to do against this animal? Defend myself? I could not fight my way out of a wet paper bag if I had on steel capped boots, a swastika tattooed on my forehead, and holding an M-16.

The kangaroo staring me in the face terrifies me.


About the Author:

Simon Yeats is a physical therapist who works primarily with spinal cord injuries. The most challenging of the most challenging of patients. His own experiences in life overcoming tough challenges makes him perfectly suited to his profession. His interest in writing books is to inspire the world to go over and above the ordinary in everything they aspire to do in life.







 

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