The Sting of Victory by S D Simper- Haunted Halloween Spooktacular

The Sting of Victory
Fallen Gods
Book One
S D Simper

Genre: Adult Dark Romantic Fantasy (LGBT)

Publisher: Endless Night Publications

Date of Publication:  September 14th 2018

ISBN: 978-1-7324611-1-6

Number of pages: 400
Word Count:  102K

Cover Artist: Jade Mere

Tagline: The cost of love is always high.

Book Description:

“When faced with monstrosity, become the greater monster. The sting of victory will fade with time.”

When Flowridia, a witch granted power by an unknown demon, deceives an alluring foreign diplomat, she is promoted to a position of power to conceal her falsehood. Thrust into a world of politics and murderous ambition, she has her gentle heart and her Familiar to guide her – as well as a drunk Celestial with a penchant for illusion.

Meanwhile, Lady Ayla Darkleaf, Grand Diplomat of Nox’Kartha, smiles with predatory charm and wields her blades with a dancer’s grace. Flowridia falls into a toxic love affair, one she knows will end in heartbreak. But as Ayla’s legacy as a vampiric creature unfolds, Flowridia begins to see the broken woman behind the monster.

When a foreign emperor dies at the hands of a mysterious interloper, one who seeks to collect the greatest sources of power in the realms, Flowridia’s kingdom is charged to stop him. But Flowridia’s devotion becomes torn between duty to her own and the woman whose claws grip her heart.

In the ensuing clash of Gods, Flowridia must choose her loyalties with care – the fate of kingdoms rest in her hands.

The next morning,
twelve roses sat in a bouquet on her bedside table. Flowridia steadily blinked
into wakefulness, smiling fondly in the dim morning light.
The scratching
of a pen on paper alerted her to the presence beside her. She turned over, only
to see Ayla sitting in her bed, legs under the covers. The lithe woman, still
fully dressed and hair well-kempt, glanced down from the nondescript book in
her hand. The other held a pen. “Good morning,” Ayla said, and she turned the
book toward her.
Flowridia saw a
detailed ink drawing of her own sleeping image, her breath leaving her as she
studied the near-perfect likeness. Each individual strand of hair seemed ready
to burst from the page, her lips glossy, and even the gentle blemishes of her
face – her faint freckles and hints of scars – held a delicate beauty about
them. A stunning image, and Flowridia felt heat color her cheeks.
This was how
Ayla saw her. “It’s beautiful.”
“You can have
it. I have others like it,” Ayla said, and she ripped the page from the book
and leaned over to place it on Flowridia’s table. She set the book aside and
slid down next to Flowridia and the little wolf who slept beside her.
“I didn’t expect
you to be here,” Flowridia said softly, and when Ayla pressed their lips
together, she smiled wide.
A vicious grin
tugged at Ayla’s mouth as she pulled away. “What’s the worst Casvir can do?
Kill me?” She chuckled and snaked her arms around Flowridia’s waist, keeping
their bodies flush together. “Besides, I got carried away with drawing. After
you fell asleep, I realized how peaceful you are to watch.”
An odd
statement, and Flowridia raised an eyebrow. “I would have thought you already
knew that, with how often you’d snuck into my bedroom.”
“Clever girl,”
Ayla said, and she planted a kiss on Flowridia’s cheek.
Feeling brave,
Flowridia dared to add, “And you have other drawings like it, you said?”
A wide and
dangerous grin spread across Ayla’s face. “Most are from memory. But it’s been
a long time since I’ve had as pretty a subject as you.”
Somewhere in the
depths of Flowridia’s sense of self-preservation, she suspected she ought to
object to this, yet this sudden change in Ayla’s decorum, while jarring, wasn’t
unappreciated. Instead, she said, “How did you learn to draw so well?”
Ayla chuckled.
“When you’ve lived as many centuries as I have, you pick up a few hobbies.” Her
hand moved up to stroke Flowridia’s hair, her neck, and as she traced down,
Ayla flinched at the scar. She glanced down and leaned in to place a kiss at
the top, above the collar of Flowridia’s dress. “Give it time. It will fade.”
By Flowridia’s
side, the small wolf stirred, perhaps awakened by their conversing. In clumsy
motions, Demitri approached Ayla, even as she leaned away, visibly wary.
“It’s all right
if you touch him,” Flowridia said, smiling softly. “You don’t need my
permission; only his.”
In tentative
motions, Ayla offered a hand forward, but Demitri ignored it. Instead he
settled into Ayla’s lap, curling into a ball while she kept her hands up, oddly
But before
Flowridia could comment, Ayla lowered her hands, letting one settle onto
Demitri’s back with a quiet smile.
watched them fondly, the peaceful scene warming her tender heart. “Ayla, last
night . . .” Her breath hitched when Ayla glanced up. “I shouldn’t have told
you to leave. I’m sorry.”
Ayla held her
gaze, her smile fading as she shook her head. “We both said terrible things.”
When she returned her attention to Demitri, Flowridia knew Ayla would say
nothing more.
“You mentioned
something else,” Flowridia dared to push. When she hesitated, Ayla reached over
to cup her cheek, softness returning to the vampiric woman’s expression. “Are
you The Endless Night?”
“Oh, Flowra,”
Ayla said, amusement in her words. “I promise, I am no demon.” She scattered
kisses across Flowridia’s forehead, and with each one Flowridia felt her body
relax. A firm kiss pressed against her lips. “No need to worry yourself.”
Ayla said
nothing more, instead continuing those sweet gestures. Each kiss brought a
deeper blush to her cheeks until, giggling, Flowridia dove in to return the
favor. Their lips met, and when her tongue parted Ayla’s lips, she reveled in
the soft moan her cold companion released.
With an apology,
she sent Demitri away. Alone with Ayla, Flowridia savored every unmapped curve
of her body, before finally settling at the valley between her legs.
Bitterness, she discovered, was the sweetest taste of all. Ayla’s pleasure rose
with the sun.

About the Author:

S D Simper has lived in both the hottest place on earth and the coldest, spans the employment spectrum from theater teacher to professional editor, and plays more instruments than can be counted on one hand. She and her wife share a home with their two cats and innumerable bookshelves.

Immortal Descent by Carolyn M. Walker Haunted Halloween Spooktacular

Truth be told, I am obsessed with all things Halloween and it is my favorite time of year! Since I was a young child, I’ve adored the idea of the one night a year when all things spooky were embraced! And Halloween is one of those times when I can just go crazy! I love food and gatherings, so decorating the house, throwing Halloween parties and enjoying all the frightfully fun things happening around town is kinda my thing! Today, I’m going to share a few of my favorite crafts and foods I love to do for beloved Halloween!

Some easy crafts I do are making my own “potion” or “witches’ brew” bottles. They are easy to make and can be done with just about any glass container. For these, I used old soap dispensers, a small vase, a wine bottle, and a few corkscrew jars from the dollar store. The labels were easy to find in a set and cost about $2 from Wal-Mart. You can also make your own! Fill with water and food coloring, or whatever and boom, you’ve got yourself some great decorations to set the mood for the season.

One year, I threw a little party for my daughter and her friends, so I decided to make some scary finger foods and treats. I was going to do orange and black label cards but then I decided custom decorated ones would be better. I printed them out on decorative design printer paper, pasted them to cardstock, then cut them into whatever shape I wanted. Lastly, I simply taped a wooden skewer to the back for easy placement. These signs were cute with the snacks and are reusable!

Here’s some of the treats I made. All were a hit! 

Below are “Monster Fingers” made from mozzarella string cheese cut to finger size. I used the knife to cut little “finger creases” in it, added almond slivers for the nails, followed by red icing gel for the blood.

These “Bones ‘n Blood” were made from pulling apart crescent roll dough to about (each piece three inches long), then tying each end so it looks like a bone. I then baked them as usual and served it with a side of warmed marinara “blood!”

Bat cupcakes are my fave and beyond easy to make! I just baked a batch of devil’s food cupcakes like normal and iced them in chocolate icing. Next, I snapped some fudge-stripped shortbread cookies in half and stuck them into the cupcake for wings. Lastly, I used a Hershey kiss for the face and two dots of red icing gel for the bats’ eyes.

These easy “coffin bites” were simply ham and cheese sandwiches cut into the shape of coffins, then I wrote on them with black icing gel.

These were store-bought but still great! I simply baked sugar cookies as instructed then sprinkled them with orange and black sprinkles while still warm. The kids loved them!

Immortal Descent
Carolyn M. Walker

Book Genre: Adult Urban Fantasy

Release Date: 4/3/2018

Publisher: Clean Reads / Astrea Press
Book Description:
Deep in the caves of rural Western Germany, the truth about immortality has remained a secret for centuries, but now that secret is about to break free…
Ethan West knows what it means to be different. With a haunted past and a strange sixth sense he sometimes can’t control, Ethan’s in search of a better future. Instead, he’s brutally attacked. Narrowly saved by the beautiful and mysterious Rue, Ethan quickly learns the world is darker and more bizarre than he had ever imagined. And sparing his life comes with a price: being reborn immortal. Now, a dark faction of ancient, cursed immortal beings known as Lorns are after him. And they want his rare, newly awakened soul.
Descended from the mythological Nephilim, Lorns are bound by either the divine force of order or the mortal force of chaos. Ethan is a rarity, bound by neither, yet he is ruled by both. Now, wielding an ancient and volatile power, Rue and her Alliance work to keep Ethan from spiraling out of control. At the heart of a terrifying underground war between Lorns, Ethan becomes the target of one side and a savior to the other. Amid everything, Ethan struggles to understand his own purpose and power—an ordeal that tests his loyalties, beliefs, and sanity in ways unimaginable. And the greatest danger is yet to come.
About the Author:

Carolyn M. Walker is a California native and lover of all things literary. As an avid reader, she always enjoying new and exciting reads. Now as an avid storyteller, it is her mission to bring that same joy to her beloved readers. After earning her Bachelors in English Literature and Psychology, Carolyn went on to pen the draft for her first fiction novel and hasn’t looked back since. Aside from writing, she is also passionate about art, food, travel, history, and music. Carolyn has a soft spot for holiday cooking and loves experimenting with new recipes and treats. She also loves the beach, snorkeling and diving. Carolyn now lives in sunny Florida with her husband and daughter.

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Haunted by Darkness by Raven M. Williams and Jena Baxter

Raven Williams
Darkness grows all around,
As the woods echo with haunting
On the pumpkins the frost does
And in the cemetery mist covers
the graves.
The wolves howl at the bright
full moon,
Filling the air with their spooky
Witches, their cauldrons they do
While stroking their familiars’
soft black fur.
Costumed children roam the
Looking for candy and other sweet
The Vampires, Ghouls, and Goblins
give fright,
As all gather to celebrate
Halloween Night.

Haunted by Darkness
Raven M. Williams and Jena Baxter
Genre: Dark Fantasy, Paranormal Fantasy, Fairytales
Publisher: Raven Williams
Date of Publication: 12/5/16
ISBN: 978-1540861559
Number of pages: 494
Word Count: 110818
Cover Artist: Raven Williams
Book Description:
These are not your childhood tales!
Haunted by Darkness is a collection of eight Dark Fantasy Tales and Legends from the minds of Jena Baxter and Raven Williams. Experience the Darkness as you step further away from the Light.
Raven’s Tales
Fall into Darkness, A Realm Jumper Chronicles Origins Story:
The darkness within brings a great downfall.
Rise of the Dark Witch, A Realm Jumper Chronicles Origins Story: Sometimes a person is beyond redemption.
Witch Hunter’s Rise, A Witch Hunter’s Society Origins Story: When darkness falls, death awaits.
Witch Hunter Ordained, A Witch Hunter’s Society Origins Story: Will his dark deeds end when vengeance is had?
Jena’s Tales
Belshazzar: The Gods rest in eternal sleep while their appointed Guardian for men and supernatural creatures is going mad.
Eyes of the Gods: A lonely phoenix returns to his home in Misty Haven to die, until he hears a song that cuts to the heart of his being.
Children of the Moon: Tormented by dreams and exhausted, Raven is sent to live with her aunt where she is lulled into a dreamless sleep by a haunting melody.
Hunted: Cursed by the Queen of Fairies and hunted by men, Darla must find true love or remain a deer forever.
Amazon      Kobo      iTunes      BN      Mystic Realms

Victorian London
Lucien closed
his eyes and tucked his violin under his chin, placed the bow to strings and
began to play. Long notes with a bittersweet edge embodied the atmosphere, like
a ship floating, lost, its crew and sails forever lost at sea.
A door slammed
in the background, and something heavy pounded the floor. Lucien’s eyebrows
knitted in frustration, as a discordant note sliced through the illusion he
created. He placed the instrument on an end table, and stormed out of the
library, into the parlor.
His brother,
Edward, stood near the entry, loosening his cravat. He nodded.
“What are
you doing slamming into the house like a herd of elephants?”
The material
slid off Edward’s neck, and his lips curled into a pout. “Annabelle has
decided to marry Merrill Brighton,” he said, with a huff. “That
leaves me starting over, or marrying Winnifred Camden.”
Lucien didn’t
think Winnifred was so bad. She had a few love handles, but that just added to
her personality somehow. His brother on the other hand, wanted someone with
riches and popularity. Lucien frowned and shifted. “What does that have to
do with your conduct? Please settle the affairs of your love life without
tearing down the house? Even Winnifred won’t want a man with a poor
“Easy for
you to say. Ladies hang on your every word.” He smiled, “Or should I
say note?” He sat at the piano, and ran his hands over the keys. Soft
sounds poured into the room like a whisper.
Lucien sighed,
and pulled his coat from the rack. While he loved his brother’s piano, he
wanted to play violin and he couldn’t do it with the other music in the
background. “I’m going for a walk.”
be out alone tonight,” Edward said. “The moon is full, and it’s
children will roam seeking their next meal, as the night wears on.”
Lucien scoffed.
“Fairytales written to frighten children. Don’t be absurd.”
Edward laughed,
and the door slammed shut behind Lucien. Not that he was angry, he understood
Edward’s frustration. A gentleman needed to find a woman of wealth to settle
with in order to live in comfort, unless he had a fortune of his own. Lucien
didn’t worry about such things. He would rather spend his time making music.
Everyone fell into the hands of destiny anyway, the cards would fall where they
wanted, changing the course of a man’s life, and shaping his future in ways he
never dreamed. A pleasant chill climbed up his back. Where would his music take
him? Would he be able to perform in great halls, or be forced to settle with a
woman, warming a bed and creating babies for her comfort?
The moon hovered
bright over the city, and sparkles of light danced on the surface of the
Themes. Lucien stopped to watch, breathing in the cool night air. His favorite
kind of evening after a warm, summer day. Frustration rolled off his shoulders
in waves. He began to relax and continued on his way.
shuffled behind him. He stopped and glanced back. Nothing but the moon and it’s
shadows disturbed the darkness of night. A bird screeched overhead, and he
jumped, as he resumed his walk. The footsteps resumed when he continued
walking. When he stopped again, they did too. Could there be something to the
moon children myth? Goosebumps covered his skin as he turned and squinted to
see better, but there was still only darkness. He took a deep breath and
shrugged the tension out of his shoulders. He was being foolish.
The shuffling
stopped when he turned toward the city, and soon he wondered if it had been the
work of an over-active imagination. His anger giving rise to the absurd. His
shoulders dropped, and he relaxed, as new threads of music filled his mind. He
hummed them as he walked, until the shadow of a man came into view up the lane.
Lucien tensed, was someone waiting for him? He turned left at the corner, but
moments later, the silhouette stood waiting once more. He turned again.
It had to be
someone else. No one could move that fast. How many people were out this
evening? Maybe it had something to do with the moon. His brother’s words echoed
in his mind. He turned again, and shuddered when he saw the silhouette of the
man waiting.
Lucien’s heart
raced. He spun and jogged back the way he came. In seconds, the silhouette
blocked him, but this time it was closer. His chest tightened as the man moved
toward him, his stride like a feral cat. For a moment, all Lucien could do was
Lucien broke the
spell, spun around and ran. The chest he crashed into was solid as cement.
Muscled arms encompassed him. He kicked his feet and twisted, but the man’s
grip tightened.
worry,” a smooth voice crooned.
“We’ll be
done in just a few minutes.”

About the Author Raven Williams

A prolific writer, Raven began her career in 2010 with a blog and non-fiction, then moving to fiction in 2014, when she began Elven-Jumper, the first book in the Realm.
Jumper Chronicles. She now has 30 books to her name, spanning the Realm Jumper Chronicles, Raven’s Twisted Classics, and the Demon Stones Saga, as well as her non-fiction, with more planned.
When Raven is not writing, she is creating art in the form of abstract paintings, fractal designs, and jewelry pieces that tie into her stories. She is also a caregiver for a disabled family member and two cats. She physically resides in the Northwest Florida Panhandle, but spends most of her time mentally in her Mystic Realms.
Will you join her?
Sign-up for Raven’s Newsletter here:
Raven’s Mystic Realms FB Page:

About the Author Jena Baxter

A prolific writer, Jena Baxter creates characters with depth and stories filled with action, emotion, and a little bit of romance. She loves building fantastical worlds and cultures.

Living in Northern California with her husband, Jena enjoys soapmaking, her pets, and writer’s conferences. She also reads for a screenwriting contest on an annual basis.

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