Mother of the River by Emily McPherson


Mother of the River
The Protectors 
Book One
Emily McPherson

Genre: YA Fantasy
Publisher: Eyebright Books
Date of Publication: 03/07/2023
ISBN: 9798986797311 
ISBN: 9798986797304  
ISBN: 9798986797328 
ASIN: B0BJJH5ZXV
Number of pages: 272
Word Count: 73,800

Cover Artist: Berterra Forester

Tagline: May you have the hindsight to know where you’ve been, the foresight to know where you are going, and the insight to know when you have gone too far. – Irish Proverb

Book Description: 

Ianthe was only six years old when her mother vanished and the strange statue appeared in the river near her home. Now, eleven years later, the statue stands as a memorial and a place where Ianthe often visits to tell her mother about her life. But when an old acquaintance returns to town and suggests the statue isn’t just a statue, the presence of a mythical creature comes into question, and Ianthe begins to wonder what really happened all those years ago.

With her best friend, Fintan, by her side, Ianthe searches for a lost legend and discovers fantastical dangers, family secrets, and the magic of Ireland. But finding the myth may not be enough to mend the past. And finding the truth just may threaten her future.

Excerpt

“Ianthe, you could have said goodbye to your friend, you know. I didn’t mean to pull you away so quickly.”

“Oh, it’s fine,” Ianthe said, waving her hand in dismissal. “You didn’t.”

“But I did interrupt something, didn’t I?” Dubheasa smirked, almost amused with Ianthe’s discomfort.

“Well… sort of,” Ianthe said, “but believe me. I might owe you a favor for that one.”

Ianthe dropped her hands into her pockets and suppressed her embarrassment for another time. They arrived at the tea shop, opting for the outdoor seating on such a beautiful spring day, and claimed a small table with chipping white paint at the edge of the patio. The proprietor, Idina, weaved in and out of tables taking orders, quick as a hurricane wind.

“What’ll you have, darlings? Oh, Ianthe.” Idina’s tone brightened as she recognized Ianthe at the table. “Evening, love. How are you?” she asked with a dip of her head. A deep brown coil fell in front of her eye, and she flipped the curl back into place.

“Hello, Mrs. Kent,” Ianthe said with a cordial nod. “Just grand, and you?”

“Fine, perfectly fine. And I’ve told you to call me Idina, haven’t I?”

“Right. Sorry, Idina.”

As Ianthe got older, more and more people in town asked her to call them by their first name, as though she was one of the adults—a concept much too odd for Ianthe to accept. Now she was expected to call Ms. O’Malley from down the road Eleanor. Mr. Wilson, who brought the morning paper, asked her to call him Norman. (Who knew he’d named his cat after himself?)

And now Mrs. and Mrs. Kent were Idina and Hazel.

“You’ve just had a birthday, haven’t you?” Idina said.

“Yes— well, it’s been a couple of weeks.”

“Seventeen now, are we?” she asked, adjusting her apron.

“That’s right,” Ianthe said, and she straightened up in her chair as a proud smile dimpled her cheeks.

“I’ll have Hazel bring you some dry herbs and teas to take home then. Now, what’ll you two have?”

“I think tea and scones,” Dubheasa said, raising her brow at Ianthe, and Ianthe nodded.

“Two cups, two scones,” Idina confirmed. “Extra butter, Ianthe?”

“Yes, please,” Ianthe said with a smile.

A loud shatter sounded from inside the shop, and Idina jumped out of her skin.

“Oh, Hazel, good grief. Slippery fingers, slippery fingers,” she continued to mutter as she hurried inside.

“I hope she remembers our order,” Dubheasa said, chuckling at the commotion.

“She will,” Ianthe assured her. “They can be a bit chaotic, but Idina and Hazel are the best around. If I didn’t know any better, I’d say Hazel is magic with her teas.”

“What makes you so sure she isn’t?”

Ianthe giggled at the insinuation, but Dubheasa’s eyes only narrowed.

“You’re not serious,” Ianthe said. “Tea can’t be magic.”

“Perhaps not, but people can be.”

“Pft. I was only having a laugh, Dubheasa. I know Hazel doesn’t make magic tea because magic isn’t real.”

“Here you are, darlings,” Idina said, setting the tea and scones on the table. “Enjoy!” And she rushed off again.

Ianthe slid a cup and a scone to her side of the small table and slathered butter onto the bread while Dubheasa eyed her carefully.

“Well then,” Dubheasa said, thankfully moving on to a new topic, “when did we last see each other, dear? Do you remember?”

“Um,” Ianthe paused to take a bite of her scone. “Two summers ago, I think.”

“And has much changed since then?” Dubheasa asked, stirring cream into her tea.

“Besides growing a bit taller, nothing at all.”

“Well, I’m glad to see you’re still here.”

“Why wouldn’t I be here?”

Dubheasa sipped her tea and waited for Ianthe to come to some sort of conclusion, but Ianthe stared back, lost as ever.

“Well, the Scréch Sídhe, of course,” Dubheasa finally said.

Ianthe couldn’t help but subtly roll her eyes, feeling a sliver of annoyance in her gut.

“Oh, right. Of course,” she said flatly. “How could I forget.”

“You still don’t believe in the Sídhe, do you?” Dubheasa asked, though she already knew the answer.

“No, I must admit. I don’t.”

“If you don’t mind me asking, why is that?”

“You told me the Scréch Sídhe would come for me after my mother disappeared, but it’s been eleven years. Do you really believe a magical faerie would need this much time to find a person?”

Dubheasa continued to sip her tea with squinted eyes before offering another question.

“Then how do you think your mother turned to stone?”

“Oh, this again?” Ianthe said, reminding herself a bit of her dad. “My mother didn’t turn to stone.”

“I’ve seen her, Ianthe. I know she stands in the river.”

“I’ve told you,” Ianthe said, dropping her hands to the table rattling the teacups. “My father had that statue made in remembrance of her. It’s not actually her.”

“And yet, he never visits her to remember her.”

“N—no, you’ve got it wrong, Dubheasa. My mother disappeared.”

“And disappearing into thin air is a more acceptable explanation for you?” Dubheasa asked, studying Ianthe’s face.

“Certainly more acceptable than ‘cursed by a faerie’,” she said in a failed whisper, gripping the edge of the table and leaning in.

About the Author:

Emily McPherson is an author for young adult readers with a liking for fantasy. As a member of the LGBTQIA+ community, she strives to normalize seeing characters of the rainbow on the page without harmful stereotypes. She is an Irish dancer with a slight obsession with mythological creatures. She lives in Connecticut with her husband, son, and—the real mythological creatures—her two rescue pugs.







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Release Day Blitz Martyr by Linda Robertson Reinhardt


Martyr     
The Immanence Series
Book Three
Linda Robertson Reinhardt

Genre: Dark Fantasy
Publisher: Igni House Publishing
Date of Publication: Nov 28, 2022   
ISBN:   9781685440091
Number of pages:  635
Word Count: 148,000 
Cover Artist: Linda Robertson Reinhardt

Series Tagline: A renegade angel once changed human society forever… now a new angel will change it again.   

Book Description: 

Jovienne’s quest to understand her power and claim her freedom leads to a shocking discovery–one that will shake the foundations of modern society and sends her straight to Hell.

Listen to the Immanence Soundtrack



About the Author:

Linda Robertson Reinhardt is an internationally published novelist and her short stories have appeared in several anthologies. In 2022, she released The Immanence Series, a dark fantasy trilogy for which she created the covers and all the interior artwork. A life-long musician, she’s also an award-winning composer, so it’s no surprise she also wrote and produced a 72-minute original orchestral score to accompany the new books. She has even scored a few short, independent films. Her music is available on most streaming channels. She is also a graphic artist and a painter, and her artwork is available through Redbubble. If that’s not enough, she makes jewelry and hand-blends/hand-bottles fragrances that she sells on her Etsy store. A mother of four boys, Linda is married and lives in Ohio.
 







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A Haunting at Marianwood by E.M. Munsch


A Haunting at Marianwood
Dash Hammond 
Book Six
E.M. Munsch

Genre: Mystery
Publisher: Mystery and Horror, LLC
Date of Publication: October 18, 2022
ASIN: ‎B0BJ4GYGD2
ISBN-10: ‎1949281213
ISBN-13: ‎978-1949281217
Print length: ‎217 pages

Book Description: 

Life is good for Dash Hammond. He’s recently remarried his childhood sweetheart, Dr. Maevis Summers, and together they’re raising his four-year-old son, T.J. in the Hammond family homestead in Clover Pointe, Ohio. A retired Army colonel, Dash now keeps himself busy fixing everything from a leaky faucet to an unsolved murder.

It is no wonder that his cousin Billy McCafferty calls on Dash for a road trip to Kentucky when  his oldest sister is in trouble. The president of a religious order, Sister Miriam Patrice, Miri Pat to those who knew her before she took the veil, has been hearing things, seeing things and misplacing things. A very competent woman, she refuses to accept an unearthly reason for all this.

Marianwood, the motherhouse of the Sisters of the Blessed Mother of God, is located on an old plantation thought to be haunted by its original inhabitant, Miss Victoria Harris, who is rumored to prowl the grounds and cemetery in search of her murdered beau. 

When the Ohio contingent arrives, they discover that things are not as simple as your ordinary haunting. 

In a battle of wits, will the victor be supernatural or a very corporal retired Army colonel?


Excerpt:

A HAUNTING AT MARIANWOOD

Sister Miriam Patrice slid back from the kneeler. The quiet of the church soothed her as it wrapped its velvet cloak of serenity around her. She sat, hands folded, once in prayer but now to stop the trembling. Glancing at the sunlight streaming through the stained-glass windows casting a rainbow on the empty pews, she drew in deep slow breaths. She looked at the watch pinned to her tunic. Time to get back to work. She rose to leave the church, her place of refuge, a place free from the distractions of the running the community and the new retirement home the sisters established to help make ends meet.

The members of the Sisters of the Blessed Mother of God found their numbers dwindling. New recruits, as Sister Miriam Patrice called them mimicking her cousin Dash Hammond’s military jargon, were very rare. The teaching congregation once had more than a hundred sisters. Vocations, callings to either the religious or the educational side of the community, had fallen to less than a handful each year.

As she walked down the aisle to the back of the church, she heard it again. Tap, tap, tap. She stopped to listen, making sure she wasn’t mistaken. That sound sent shivers down her spine. Squaring her shoulders she walked to the doors next to the church exit. One led up to the choir loft, the other down to the cellar. In days past she had gone up the stairs; today she would go down.

Pulling the doorknob, Miriam Patrice met the resistance of a locked door. She pulled out her keys and unlocked it. She struggled with the door, suggesting to her that no one had gone to the cellar in a while.

The stone steps were worn but sturdy. She moved cautiously into the darkness, one hand on the wall to steady her nervous knees, the other searching for the handrail. Her hope was that the security guard forgot to close the door one day and some critter, not two legged, was trapped down here and making the tap, tap, tap sound. Logically she knew this was wrong, but the alternative could be worse.

Decades ago they discovered one of the newer buildings constructed during a period of rapid expansion had been built on an underground spring. It wasn’t long before the building tilted, as did their finances. What a waste of time and money. Fearful that what she would find was a tell-tale pooling or bubbling of water, she moved forward slowly. She said a silent prayer that she would not stumble into a puddle, a precursor of the inevitable unwelcome news.

Her trek seemed unnecessarily slow though reason told Miriam Patrice she should alert one of her sisters where she was just in case she lost her footing. But her reasoning had not been the sharpest of late. She blamed her sleepless nights, not because of an uneasy conscience but an overabundance of concern for her congregation and its uncertain future, both financially and individually.

After spending a half an hour poking into the corners, searching for the origin of the sound, Miriam Patrice gave up. She needed a flashlight if she wanted to do a proper search. Next time she would be prepared. Next time, she told herself, she would be less skittish, more confident that she could deal with whatever sprung up from the tap, tap, tap. After deciding this, she nodded to herself. At least she didn’t hear a drip, drip, drip.

The sound had stopped so she returned to the church. As she locked the door behind her, the tap, tap, tap began again, louder this time. If she permitted herself, she would have said damn.


About the Author:

Elaine Munsch is a native of Cleveland, Ohio, but has spent her adult life in Louisville, Kentucky.  She graduated from Nazareth College of Kentucky located outside of Bardstown and attended The Ohio State University for her graduate work. She has been a bookseller for fifty years working in both large and small, chain and independent bookstores. She opened the first Barnes & Noble in Kentucky where she set up a mystery reading group which is still active today. She also taught classes in the mystery genre for the Veritas Society and joined the local chapter of Sisters in Crime.
  
With Susan Bell, she co-edited MYSTERY WITH A SPLASH OF BOURBON, an anthology of bourbon related stories.

As E.M. Munsch, she writes the Dash Hammond series set on the shores of Lake Erie. The latest title, A HAUNTING AT MARIANWOOD, is set to be released at the end of October.