Need by Madison Wentworth


Need
Madison Wentworth

Genre: Paranormal Erotic Romance
Publisher: Madison Crest
Date of Publication: Aug. 30, 2021
ISBN: 979-8468157046
ASIN: B09F3WVDZC
Number of pages: 165
Word Count: 24,000
Cover Artist: Bookcoverzone.com

Tagline: Sometimes you crave what’s good for you. Sometimes he craves you too.

Book Description:

Cherie just met the love of her life, but there’s a catch: He’s dead.

It’s not every day you find true love on an adult website, but that’s the most normal thing about Cherie’s new boyfriend, Evan.

To start with, he isn’t actually new. They’re engaged, or so he says. But she has no memory of planning their wedding, or even meeting him, for that matter, because for her, it hasn’t happened yet.

The bond is there, though. She can feel it. As a vampire of the soul, she can taste it, and she needs to taste more of it. It’s a bond so strong that it awakened his spirit in order to find her. Now, she must save him in order to free him from death… so she can have all of him. She needs that.

Need isn’t a word she uses lightly. She’s never truly needed anyone before. But she’s discovering she needs him now, even as their time together appears fated to be cut tragically short. And he needs her, too, more than she knows.

Yet their mutual craving is only just awakening. Can they find a way to cheat the fates and find a future together?

Time alone will tell.



Excerpt:

How are you supposed to feel when you find out the man you’ve fallen in love with, who you’ve never even met in person, reveals that the two of you were once engaged, and that you were—inadvertently or not—the cause of his death?

I try to plan for every contingency, but even super-prepared Cher hadn’t seen that one coming.

“Does that mean the whole thing has to happen all over again the same way?” I asked.

“I don’t know.”

“Does it mean we’ll get to meet, after all? Or do I meet another version of you instead?”

“I don’t know.”

This was exasperating. The odd thing was, I found it almost impossible to be mad at him. It wasn’t his fault, anyway. He had no idea how to get out of the place where he was, wherever or whenever that might be, or what would happen if he did. I had no idea how to get him out, either, but I did know I had to find a way—and without him getting run over by a car again. I’d strap him to the bed if I had to.

“If we were engaged before, does that mean we still are?” I asked.

“I think so, unless you want to break it off. Do you?”

“No, I like being your fiancée.”

“Good. Because I like it, too.”

I still didn’t feel comfortable telling anyone else about Evan, or telling Layla anything more about him, because now it was even weirder than before. So, the only person I was left with as counselor was my inner voice.

I need to get him back here again. I need to see him.

Need. It was a word I’d hardly ever used before, and certainly not in connection with myself. But I seemed to be using it more and more with Even.

How do you think you’re going to do that if he’s dead?

It was a good question.

I could call my ghost-hunter friends.

You don’t need to hunt him. You already know where he is: In that smartphone screen of yours! You drew him to you through the internet. Now you just need to bring him the rest of the way.

How?

By being yourself. He hungers for you and can’t resist you. He will come.

Could it possibly be as simple as that? It couldn’t be. I remembered the voice had asked me once before who I was, and I’d answered that I was just me. But I was only that person when I was alone. Otherwise, I was always pretending—except when I was with Evan. I could be myself with him, too. So maybe it really was as simple as that, after all. It had to be, because I couldn’t think of anything else. But how could I be my true self, my vampire self, when the world was watching?

You can’t. You need to go someplace.

It didn’t help that I was having this conversation with myself at work.

“Cher, can you come over here for a sec?” Joy motioned toward me. “This customer needs his frames adjusted.”

“Coming.”

Fortunately for the eye clinic, and for my own job security, I was great at multitasking. I was able to keep brainstorming about how to get some privacy even while I was adjusting Mr. Thompson’s new glasses to fit him perfectly without pinching the bridge of his nose or pulling down too much behind the ear.

“Thank you,” he said. “You’re very good at that.”

I laughed easily. “I should be. I’ve been doing this long enough. But you’re very good at being a patient patient, and that makes all the difference.”

He nodded slightly and… was he blushing? So often, I found that the smallest kind word or gesture was appreciated beyond what I’d expected. People didn’t treat each other with kindness enough anymore. It had become rare enough that, when it happened, it was unexpected.

And they were grateful. It was sad that common courtesy had fallen so far out of style.

But being nice to people was how I’d been raised; it was part of who I was.

Vampires are known for their courtesy. They only enter where they’re invited.

That was it!

I had to be myself—my vampire self—to draw Evan back to the land of the living, but I had to invite him, too. That was the one thing I’d been missing. He might be dead, but he was also a vampire, and if I invited him, he would have no choice but to accept.


About the Author:

Madison Wentworth grew up on syndicated reruns of Dark Shadows and The Twilight Zone, coming of age not far from the Malibu surf. A job as a reporter for a small-town newspaper meant digging through police reports, gossip, rumor, and innuendo. And that led to more work as a writer, and a move east and northward to the opposite coast, a venue far more conducive to night-owl vampires and their felines.

An interest in cinema — and outings to see movies such as Ghost and The Sixth Sense — reignited a fascination with the paranormal, and stirred an interest in blending the mystical with the sensual.

The result is NEED, the author’s debut novella.




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Evil Seeds: The Ultimate Movie Guide to Villainous Children



FIVE UNUSUAL HALLOWEEN ACTIVITIES

By Vanessa Morgan 

Do you want to do something different for Halloween? Here are five unusual places you can visit.

A horror-themed museum

Torture museums are the obvious picks for Halloween. But what about a Museum of Vampires and Legendary Creatures, or a Museum of Fantastic Art?

A horror-themed escape game

Escape games are all the rage these days, and they come in a variety of different themes. For Halloween, pick one with a haunted house or horror topic. Will you make it out… alive?

An abandoned (haunted) house or building

They don’t even have to be haunted; abandoned locations are creepy enough in and of itself, especially if you visit them at nighttime. A word of caution, though: Some of these places can be dangerous (holes in floors, falling bricks), so don’t go exploring on your own.

A horror-themed restaurant or bar

The Vampire Cafe in Shinjuku, Japan, for example, has cross-shaped food, dark corners, blood-red decorations, and waiters dressed up as vampires and speaking with a Transylvanian accent. If you want to keep it more simple and close to home, you could opt for Lost Boys Pizza in London, England, named after the 1980s horror movie – complete with horror movie background music, black pizzas (Kale All Vampires, Fangs for the Memories), and horror-themed events (movie screenings, vampire yoga).

A horror film festival

Many cinemas host horror movie nights for Halloween, but it’s even more fun to visit a horror film festival (such as Razor Reel) and enjoy horror films all week(end) long.

Which unusual Halloween place(s) would you like to visit?


Evil Seeds: The Ultimate Movie Guide 
to Villainous Children
Vanessa Morgan

Genre: horror, thriller, 
movie reference, encyclopedia
Publisher: Moonlight Creek Publishing
Date of Publication: August 15, 2021
ASIN: B09CNSJRTF
Number of pages: 392
Word Count: 143.538
Cover Artist: Gilles Vranckx

Book Description:

Something’s wrong with the children. They’re murdering classmates, torturing parents, speaking in tongues, drinking human blood, and practicing black magic. Your offspring is on the rise, their blood no longer innocent. There will be casualties, and you may be among them.

Featuring nearly 250 of the creepiest, weirdest, and most dangerous kids ever to inhabit the cinematic landscape and sourced from over 40 different countries, Evil Seeds is THE comprehensive movie guide to villainous children in all their incarnations: the supernatural horror of ghosts and demonic possession, twisted tales of twins and changelings, dark matters of witches and evil babies, visceral frights of werewolves and vampires, the lurid lore of golems and trolls, and shocking drama of murderous orphans, juvenile serial killers, survivalist youngsters, and disturbing family values.

From cult classics to obscure fan favorites, Evil Seeds proves there is no shortage of frightening children. So keep an eye on your little darlings, or they might just fix their sights on YOU.


About the Author:

Vanessa Morgan is the editor of the movie reference guides When Animals Attack: The 70 Best Horror Movies with Killer Animals, Strange Blood: 71 Essays on Offbeat and Underrated Vampire Movies, and Evil Seeds: The Ultimate Movie Guide to Villainous Children. She also has had one cat book (Avalon) and four supernatural thrillers (Drowned Sorrow, The Strangers Outside, A Good Man, and Clowders) published. Three of her stories have been turned into movies. She has written for myriad Belgian magazines and newspapers and introduces movie screenings at several European film festivals. She is also a programmer for the Offscreen Film Festival in Belgium. When she’s not working on her latest book, you can find her reading, watching movies, eating out, or photographing felines for her blog Traveling Cats.





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Weep, Woman, Weep by Maria DeBlassie



Witch’s Brew Cocktail

It’s been a while since I’ve concocted a cocktail recipe, and even longer since I’ve come up with one for Halloween.  I love a good cocktail because they’ve always struck me as one of the most basic kinds of potions.  Think about it: a good cocktail can give us liquid courage, exorcise a hard work week, or even act as a temporary love spell.  And as will all potions and spells, the medicine is in the dosage.  Too much and it’s poison, too little and your Friday night is perhaps a little less adventurous (wink wink).  

It bears repeating that I like to avoid syrupy or excessively sugary ingredients and stick to clean tastes modeled after the classics when it comes to cocktail making.  I do this because most novelty cocktail—a la Halloween drinks—are sugar bombs.  Not my idea of a good time or a tasty drink.  Although I call these Halloween-inspired concoctions, I have been known to drink them throughout the year, especially the green fairy, a tasty absinthe-kissed cocktail perfect for ending the workweek and stirring up some writing inspiration for the weekend. 

Lately, come Saturday night, I’ve been experimenting with this new drink: Witch’s Brew.  It was inspired by my garden and all the herbs I cultivate there: rosemary, lavender, sage…all delicious, all medicinal, all typically associated with healers and witches because of their various magical and healing properties. I started wondering how I could fold those flavors into a tasty magical brew.

I used gin as the base because of herbaceousness and went for a bold choice of mixer: chartreuse.  It’s what gives this drink the verdant green color we typically associate with potions.  It’s also an ancient healing tincture made from over 130 herbs.  It tastes fresh, like mint and fennel, with the other herbs as a strong supporting cast.  Yum!  I paired this refreshing taste with lime because I love a good gimlet and its variants. 

The real kicker to this is what I do with the gin.  I infuse it with green apples—who doesn’t think of witches without thinking of forbidden fruit?—along with rosemary and a few juniper berries to make the herbaceousness of the gin really pop.  Also because I love rosemary, the natural protector of the herb world.  Juniper berries are also fast becoming a kitchen witch staple in my home.  Did you know juniper both protects good energy and repels the negative? If that’s not magical, I don’t know what is! Add a dash of bay leaf bitters, for the leaf’s powers of divination. 

As with all spells (and drinks), feel free to play with the recipe. Chartreuse might be a bit pricy for some (though a little goes a long way so it will last a while!), try swapping it out with rosemary or ginger simple syrup or apple schnapps (or both!)—it will change the flavor, but will no doubt be equally festive, if with more sugar.  The infused gin makes about two cups of yum—plenty to experiment with or to whip up a magical batch of this brew.

All good spells require a little time, a little love, and quality ingredients.  While this cocktail is a touch more labor-intensive than my others in that you first need a week to infuse the gin, it’s worth it.  Plus, while you wait, you can prepare the right kind of energy you want to infuse into this brew.  Do you need a little more magic in your life?  A little more mischief?  A dash of hope or a heading dose of healing?  Whatever you need, let it brew until you’re ready to infuse it into a batch of this tasty elixir.  



 
Ingredients:

For infused gin:
2 cups gin
1 Granny Smith apple
2-4 juniper berries (depending on how strong you want the juniper flavor to be)
1 large spring of rosemary

For cocktail:

2 oz apple and herb-infused gin
2 dashes bay leaf bitters
.75 oz chartreuse
.5 to .75 oz freshly squeezed lime juice (depending on how tart you like it)

In infuse gin, slice green apple and place in clean mason jar.  Squeeze juniper berries so they crack a little—this will help the alcohol absorb their flavor more—and place in jar.  Pour gin over ingredients and let sit for a week, shaking when you remember to.  A day or two before you want to enjoy your cocktail, throw in a sprig of rosemary that has been slightly bruised, again, to help the alcohol better absorb its flavor.  I wait for a little on the rosemary because the fresh stuff takes less time to be extracted in alcohol and letting it sit too long in the gin muddies the flavor.  To use, pour gin through a strainer into a clean mason jar.

For the cocktail, mix gin, chartreuse, lime juice, and a dash of bitters in a shaker.  Add ice and shake until the container is frosty. Serves one—so double or triple the batch and invite your coven over. Pair with a chilly autumn night, a full moon, and a handful of spells.  Cauldron optional. 

This post originally appeared on Enchantment Learning and Living, home of professor, writer, and bruja Maria DeBlassie, where true magic is in the everyday!




Weep, Woman, Weep
A Gothic Fairytale about Ancestral Hauntings 
Maria DeBlassie

Genre: Gothic Fairytale, Occult, Supernatural
Publisher: Kitchen Witch Press
Date of Publication: August 25, 2021
ISBN:978-0-578-97464-4
ASIN: B09CV9P9SH
Number of pages:150 pages
Word Count: 37,935
Cover Artist: Rachel Ross

Tagline: Nothing makes a woman brave except getting on with the business of daily life.


Book Description:


A compelling gothic fairytale by bruja and award-winning writer Maria DeBlassie.

The women of Sueño, New Mexico don’t know how to live a life without sorrows.

That’s La Llorona’s doing.  She roams the waterways looking for the next generation of girls to baptize, filling them with more tears than any woman should have to hold. And there’s not much they can do about the Weeping Woman except to avoid walking along the riverbank at night and to try to keep their sadness in check.  That’s what attracts her to them: the pain and heartache that gets passed down from one generation of women to the next.  

Mercy knows this, probably better than anyone.  She lost her best friend to La Llorona and almost found a watery grave herself.  But she survived. Only she didn’t come back quite right and she knows La Llorona won’t be satisfied until she drags the one soul that got away back to the bottom of the river.

In a battle for her life, Mercy fights to break the chains of generational trauma and reclaim her soul free from ancestral hauntings by turning to the only things that she knows can save her: plant medicine, pulp books, and the promise of a love so strong not even La Llorona can stop it from happening.  What unfolds is a stunning tale of one woman’s journey into magic, healing, and rebirth.

CW: assault, domestic violence, racism, colorism


Excerpt:

One time, I was feeling mighty fine and thought I’d try something different. I saw this ad in a magazine where a woman was in an obscenely large bathtub and covered up to the neck in bubbles. This was in a room with a marble floor, and there were candles everywhere, and she had her hair up all nice and a face mask on. Well, I got to thinking a nice long soak after a hard day’s work would be nice.

This was a few months after my run-in with Sherry, and I was trying hard to let myself enjoy things more. It occurred to me after seeing her that her fatal flaw was not believing that her future was right in front of her. Or maybe she was too afraid to take it with both hands. I began to wonder if we didn’t hold back and do half the work for La Llorona with all that we ran from life.

So I bought some bubble bath and made more beeswax candles and set about having myself a spa night. I mean, my bathroom was nowhere near as nice as the one in the picture. My tub was only long enough for me to sit upright and was right next to the toilet, but I made do.

It was lovely. I mean, divine! I could see why fancy women liked this. I put on the radio, and the music was soft and sweet, like the candlelight against the fading day. I was so relaxed, that I was about to fall asleep in that tub.

That was when I felt cold hands grip the soles of my feet and pull me under.
I should have seen it coming. Why willingly linger in a body of water? But I didn’t, and that was how I found myself drowning in bubbles and thrashing around in my tub. It’s also how I learned that evil woman could find me anywhere—and I mean anywhere—so I could never let my guard down.

Her grip was strong. Seemed like the harder I fought, the stronger she got. I was flailing about, my arms searching for anything and everything to hold on to, when I knocked one of those beeswax candles into the tub. To this day, I have no idea why that scared her, but it did. She recoiled something quick at the hiss of the flame when the wax hit water.

I didn’t waste a second—I hoisted myself out of the tub and collapsed on the bathroom floor, choking and sputtering and sopping wet. Took me forever to clean up the mess and cough up all those flower-scented bubbles. My feet were cold and sore for days, with claw marks where her bony fingers hooked into my skin.

Whoever said bubble baths were relaxing was a big fat liar.

 

About the Author:

Maria DeBlassie, Ph.D. is a native New Mexican mestiza blogger, award-winning writer, and award-winning educator living in the Land of Enchantment. Her first book, Everyday Enchantments: Musings on Ordinary Magic and Daily Conjurings (Moon Books 2018), and her ongoing blog, Enchantment Learning and Living are about everyday magic, ordinary gothic, and the life of a kitchen witch. When she is not practicing her own brand of brujeria, she’s reading, teaching, and writing about bodice rippers and things that go bump in the night. She is forever looking for magic in her life and somehow always finding more than she thought was there.


Find out more about Maria and conjuring everyday magic at https://mariadeblassie.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/enchantmentll

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