Tag Archives: witches

Author Showcase / Interview & BOOK GIVEAWAY – Jim Proctor (Freedom: A Futuristic Fantasy)

Howdy and welcome to Kam’s Place, Jim Proctor! 

 

  1. For those who might not be familiar with you, would you be a dear and tell the readers a little about yourself? How did you get your start in the writing business?

(Jim)  I’ve been a laboratory scientist and engineer for the past 38 years. I’ve been married for almost 35 years, and my wife and I have four kids. The youngest is 22.

It’s hard to say when I got my start in the writing business. I think I started writing my first novel around 2007 or 2008. I spent more than four years writing it. I had this idea that I would send it off to a publisher and they would love it. They would send me a check for a bunch of money, and I’d be an author. Then I heard about this thing called self-publishing and I jumped into it. I cut a lot of corners, and the book sucked, though I didn’t realize it at the time. I wrote a short story and another novel, both of which also sucked.

It was then that I reached a low point in my life. My sister was dying of cancer. I was in poor health and dealing with constant pain. It was all too much for me. I unpublished all my books and vanished from indie book community for almost two years. Then I got the itch to write again. I decided, if I was going to do it, I needed to take it a lot more seriously. I wrote a new novel (which had grown out of the horrible short story I had unpublished). I hired a professional editor. I hired a professional cover artist. I began to think of myself as an author when I published Veronica Phoenix.

Somewhere in there, I started in the writing business.

(KAM) I’m truly sorry for all the pain and suffering you’ve experienced in your life. My thoughts are with you. 

 

 

Carl Wilkins, a successful man with a thriving business, loses everything and has to start over from scratch. His dogged determination quickly deteriorates when he finds that even his reputation is gone. With barely enough money to buy a cheap bottle of booze, and no prospects for employment, things look bleak until he receives an unusual job offer from a stranger who turns up just as Carl hits rock bottom. The perilous space salvage job is more than just a chance to rebuild his broken life. It is also a chance to strike back at SACOM, the people who ruined him. Carl, the best space salvage operator in the star system, bets his life that he can complete the job. Setting out in the Phoenix, a specially modified space freighter, Carl begins a dangerous mission to find and collect missing cargo pods from the dense asteroid belt. Struggling to remain alive in the belt while avoiding detection by SACOM ships, Carl learns that he may have as much to fear from the people who hired him as he does from SACOM. His chance to rebuild his life turns into a desperate race across the galaxy in hopes of finding a safe haven where no one will ever find him.

 

 

 

  1. Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? If so, please share how you handle it.

(Jim)  I don’t really dread writer’s block. I write when the story is ready for me to write it. Sometimes that means writing every day for months on end. Sometimes the story just doesn’t fall into place. When that happens, I spend more time reading. The story always comes back to me to be written. You can’t force it. I can’t, anyway.

 

 

  1. Will you please share with the visitors what genre(s) you write? Also, when you’re not writing, how to do you spend your time?

(Jim) I mainly write Science Fiction and Fantasy. When I’m not writing, I work on old cars and I read.

 

 

  1. I know many writers, such as myself, keep their pastime/career a secret. Do those close to you know you write? If so, what are their thoughts?

(Jim) Most people who know me, know I write. When I first started, I wrote under a pen name and I didn’t tell many people. It was a bit surreal. I don’t know if I thought I was going to become famous and I didn’t want people to know who I really was, or if something else made me use a pen name. When I came back to writing, I used my real name. My friends and coworkers know I write.

(KAM) That’s great! 

 

 

  1. Will you share with us your all time favorite authors? If you’re like me, it’s a long list so give us your top ten.

(Jim) Not in any order… J.R.R. Tolkien, Peter F. Hamilton, Julie E. Czerneda, Isaac Asimov, Terry Pratchett, John Varley, Lia Fairchild, Jon Messenger, Bart Hopkins, D. Hart St. Martin. There are many more.

 

 

  1. If you could choose one book to go to the big screen, yours or otherwise, which book would you choose and whom would you love see casted in the parts?

(Jim) Oh, I love this question. I would love to see Veronica Phoenix and Search for the Phoenix go to the big screen. I know that’s two books, but they are really one story. Or, two stories running side-by-side.

Casting… hmmm… If I could choose, Megan Carson would be played by Gina Torres. General Lance Nelson would be played by LL Cool J. Carl Wilkins would be played by Bruce Willis. Nolan Peters would be played by Peter Scolari. Georgia Bennet would be played by Sigourney Weaver. Some of these actors are too old for the parts, but I find it hard to accept that. After all, I’m still a teenager.

 

Fighting to remain one step ahead of SACOM, Nolan Peters and Megan Carson investigate the mysterious disappearance of their friend, Carl Wilkins. During the investigation, Nolan struggles with his growing affection for Megan, while she tries to cope with the recent death of her husband. Will the strain bring them together, or drive them apart? 

When the pair uncovers evidence of a treasonous conspiracy that threatens the stability of all human worlds across the galaxy, they reluctantly put their trust in a SACOM investigator and a hard-nosed Army general to root out the conspirators. Will their trust prove to be their undoing… or prevent a galactic-scale military coup?

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  1. Would you care to tell us what you’re working on now? That is if it’s not top-secret information. If so, just whisper it in my ear. I swear it’ll go no further.

(Jim) I started writing a post-apocalyptic story with a science fiction premise. Unfortunately, it isn’t going very well. I’ve written the first three chapters, and it is too much scifi. The post-apocalyptic crowd doesn’t like a lot of scifi in their stories. I am taking a short break, and then I will turn three long chapters into a short opening chapter. That’s the part I am having a hard time with. Then chapter two will start right in with the post-apocalyptic stuff.

 

 

  1. Where can we find your stories and is there a particular reading order?

(Jim) All my books are available on Amazon for Kindle and in paperback. I would suggest reading Veronica Phoenix before reading Search for the Phoenix. You can read Freedom: A Futuristic Fantasy before or after the Phoenix series.

 

 

  1. Would you please share how your present and future fans can contact you?

(Jim) I can be found on Facebook (facebook.com/IndieAuthorJimProctor) and on Twitter (@AuthorJProctor). I have a web site, as well: AuthorJimProctor.com, though I must admit I have fallen a bit behind on updating it. I need to remedy that.

 

 

  1. Before we conclude this enlightening interview, do you have anything else you’d like to share? The stage is all yours.

(Jim) I’ve been involved with the indie book community for several years and I must say, I have met a lot of wonderful people. Most are friendly and helpful, as well as supportive. A few… not so much. I ignore them. Usually you can spot the ones to avoid. Their facebook page is all “Me-me-me, I’m so wonderful.” Anyway, I want to say to everyone who has helped me, been supportive, promoted me, “Thank you.”

 

 

~~ Closing remarks ~~

Thank you Jim for answering a few questions for us and also for allowing ONE LUCKY VISITOR a chance to WIN a signed book by you. 

Now, who’s ready to win a prize?! (keep scrolling for details) 

 

 

 

~~Time to check out the prize!!~~

Jazeen is a prisoner—not in a jail or a dungeon, but in her own home. Her parents, guilt-ridden since the death of their oldest daughter, have taken overprotective to the extreme, never allowing her out of the house except to attend school. 

Trapped and frustrated, Jazeen only wishes to be free. When a familiar bird taps on the metal of her balcony, compelling her outside to investigate, she’s hit by an almost jealous yearning when it spreads its wings and soars away. Despite knowing her mother would disapprove, she climbs onto the railing, staring out at the vastness of the stars. It’s then she hears it… the thrum of an airship. 

Mistakenly under the impression Jazeen is about to jump, the eccentric airship pilot throws her a rope. In an act of defiance… or perhaps desperation… she grabs it and climbs onto the ship’s deck, sending her life in an entirely new direction. The dangers of the world, once no more than vague concepts, suddenly become very real. 

Thrust into a reality where magic isn’t make believe and witches do exist, Jazeen isn’t sure if she has what it takes to protect her newfound freedom, but she isn’t about to give it up without a fight.

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Venandi reached the next pad where a large passenger airship was tied up. A ship like this would have a captain, a first mate, one or two pilots, as well as stewards and a cook. With a crew of that size, it was a pretty safe bet that the first mate would slack off as soon as the captain was out of sight. He would promise the captain that things would get done, and then he’d delegate everything to his underlings.

Venandi studied the people milling around the airship. One man was doing a lot of pointing and barking out orders—probably the ship’s captain. Beside him was another man who seemed to be trying to look important while staying out of the captain’s way—likely the first mate. He would be the man to talk to once the captain left the area. Captains weren’t generally forthcoming with information when questioned by strangers. First mates were more talkative when their captain went away. They tended to be self-important, considering themselves just one step away from being a captain without having much in the way of real authority aboard ship. They were the ones who would tell you where their wealthy, invalid grandmother lived in exchange for a modest bribe. If money didn’t work, offering to buy the mate a drink or four often did. They were especially loose with information after several drinks. Venandi waited, being careful to move about casually so as not to appear to be watching the crew. Soon, the captain finished giving orders and walked away toward the town. The first mate, looking both annoyed and relieved, began yelling at other crew members as well as port workers assigned to their pad. Then, having relieved his own stress, he sat on a crate and watched as everyone worked. Venandi walked along the pad and approached the man.

“Nice ship,” he said.

The first mate looked up, grunted something under his breath, and went back to watching the crew work.

“Do you frequent the ports here along the coast?” Venandi asked.

The man looked at him and said, “Can’t you see I’m busy? I have a lot to get done before the captain comes back. Get lost.”

“Please, accept my apology. I didn’t mean to interfere with your important work. Being first mate is a tremendous responsibility. You practically run the ship from bow to stern while keeping the crew in line and working hard,” Venandi said.

“That’s right. And what do I get to show for it? Crap wages and derision from the captain, that’s what.”

Venandi sat on a crate nearby. “Exactly! That’s why I just walked away from the ship I was serving on. The captain started bossing me around as soon as the ship touched down, telling me to do this and do that. And then what does he do? He turns to leave, no doubt planning to find a bar stool that needs warming. Well, I’ve had my fill of that. I told him off and walked away. You should have seen the look on his face.”

The man smiled and nodded. “Good for you. So, are you looking for a job on another airship?”

“As a matter of fact, I am. Not just any ship, though. I have an old friend by the name of Angus Beaph who runs his own airship. I worked for him years ago. Leaving his ship was the biggest mistake of my career. I’d like to find him and see if he’d be willing to give me another chance.”

“Where’s he fly out of? Can’t say I recognize the name. Is it a passenger ship? I know most of the passenger ships in these parts,” the man said.

“No, it’s a private ship. He mainly does charter operations for small groups. You know, fishing trips, sightseeing, that sort of stuff.”

“Well, the name still doesn’t ring any bells. What’s the ship look like?” the man asked.

Venandi leaned closer and said in a hushed voice, “It’s a nuclear-electric ship. It has big engine pods with the electric motors coupled directly to the props. It has a red balloon and a light blue composite hull.”

“I might have seen a ship like that a time or two. What’s it worth to you?” the man asked.

Venandi smiled. “My future livelihood might depend on me finding that ship and getting my old job back. I would be extremely grateful for any information that might help.”

“Well, I could probably spare you a few minutes of my time if you’re buying. My captain always goes to The Wheelhouse Tavern when we’re here. I know another bar where we could talk in peace.”

Venandi stood. “Lead the way.”

“Extremely grateful, you said?”

Venandi nodded. Digging in his pocket, he pulled out two gold coins, looked around to see if anyone was watching, and handed them to the first mate. “That’s just the down payment. When we get to the bar, I’m buying.”

The man smiled and stood, slipping the coins into a pocket. “Follow me.”

The man led the way through the port and along the edge of town. He entered The Flight Deck, a rundown dive across the street from the port’s maintenance hangars. This was a bar where men and women with greasy hands and stained overalls would hang out. No airship captain would set foot in here, except maybe to find a delinquent crew member and drag him back to the ship.

The bar was dimly lit, crowded, and loud. Six pool tables were in use to his right. To the left, a wall lined with dartboards had a large crowd of spectators. The rest of the room was filled with tables from the front wall to the bar at the back. The first mate made his way to an empty table in the far-right corner beyond the pool tables.

Venandi sat across from him. “You said you’ve seen my friend’s ship.”

“I might have,” the man said. Waving to a man wearing a stained apron, he offered no more information. The man in the apron approached.

“What can I get for you gentlemen?” he asked.

“I’ll have a beer and a shot of whiskey. The good stuff, understand?” the first mate asked.

“Yes, sir.” Turning to Venandi, the waiter asked, “And for you?”

“Same thing,” he said as he handed the man some money.

The man counted the bills and slipped them into a pocket of his apron. “I’ll get your drinks right away.”

“You were telling me where you saw my friend’s ship,” Venandi prompted.

“Let’s see if the beer and whiskey jog my memory,” the mate said.

Venandi smiled. “I’ve already paid for the first round in advance.”

The mate smiled and nodded. “Ain’t the first round I’m worried about.”

The waiter returned. He set two tall mugs and two shot glasses on the table.

Venandi pulled out a wad of bills and handed them to the waiter. “This is for the next three rounds.” Turning to the first mate, he asked, “Are you satisfied?”

The mate nodded. “Make sure you’re back with the next round before this one is done.”

The waiter nodded and walked away.

“Now, my friend’s ship?” Venandi asked.

“We sometimes take folks over to a resort on the South Sea. I’ve seen a ship like you described a couple of times. Odd thing is, it’s never running along the coast. Mostly it’s going out to sea or coming back in.”

“That’s interesting. What’s out there in the sea?”

The first mate shrugged. “Don’t know. On the chart, there’s some small islands off the coast, but none of them have cities. They’re all too small. Can’t imagine he’d be going to one of them.”

“And where is this, exactly?” Venandi asked.

“Head over to Rockport on the south coast. Buy yourself a chart of the area. You’ll see the islands. There’s seven or eight of them scattered around the sea.”

“Thank you. You’ve been most helpful,” Venandi said as he stood.

“Hey, we still have three more rounds coming,” the mate objected.

Venandi smiled. “I need to go, but I’ll tell you what. You can have six more rounds on me.”

The first mate smiled. “It’s been a pleasure doing business with you.”

Venandi nodded, then turned and hurried out of the bar. 

 

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Ladies and gents, in celebration of Jim Proctor’s latest release, Freedom: A Futuristic Fantasy, he is offering ONE LUCKY CONTESTANT a SIGNED PAPERBACK COPY

To enter, all you have to do is leave JIM a comment or question on his feature from NOW until Tuesday 11:59 p.m., central time. 

On Wednesday, (June 27th), I will randomly select a winner and he or she’s name will be announced on a comment. 

We ask that you PLEASE FOLLOW the blog posting so you will receive a notification when I make the happy announcement.

 

**Due to shipping costs, only residents of the continental United States will be eligible to enter.**

 

~~ Don’t Forget~~

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Author Showcase – G. E. Stills (Micca’s Wrath)

Volume 4 in the Demon Slayers series!

For the 18+ reader: Strong language and descriptive sex scenes: M/F/M and F/F 

When Kiya declines to let her join the demon slayer team, Micca is crushed. When an old high school friend walks back into her life, joy envelops her. She moves in with Kevin and Dale then enrolls in college. She meets and becomes great friends with, Trisha, the woman who lives in the apartment across the hall from her. Micca soon becomes the happiest she has ever been. Three people, Kevin, Dale and Trisha become the most important people in her life. She falls deeply in love with all three of them. 

But happiness seldom lasts forever. Micca is a witch and the mortal enemy of demons. One of them finds her and plans turn her world inside out before taking her life. 

 

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Micca is far from innocent and pure. Instead she is brazen and rebellious, as Kevin will soon find out.

Micca sighed at the feeling of crisp coolness pressed against her skin. She opened her eyes and gazed out on the unfamiliar room. She was in a strange bed as well. Rolling to her back she gathered the cool satin sheet around her neck and gazed up at the antique white ceiling. Micca slowly became aware of her surroundings. With this awareness came the knowledge that with the exception of her panties, she was naked. Glancing to the foot of the bed she saw her top and shorts were folded neatly and rested on the top of a dresser. There was a nightstand composed of the same light-colored wood as the dresser on one side of the bed and a white leather chair. On the other side of the bed was an armoire, again constructed of the light-colored wood. “Nice,” she breathed. “Nothing but the best for you, huh Kevin.”

The bedroom door cracked open and an eye peered in. She chuckled. “I’m wake.”

The door opened wider and Kevin strolled into the room. He wore a collared pull-over shirt and blue jeans today. He carried a cup of coffee in his hand which he held out to her. Micca sat up ignoring that the sheet fell away with her actions exposing her breasts. “Bless you,” she said and accepted the cup. “I’m sorry I fell asleep last night—”

“Yesterday was a long drive. You needed rest.”

“Is it safe for me to assume you carried me in here, undressed me, and put me in this bed?

“Yes.”

“And did we?”

Kevin grinned. “No, your good virtue is intact.”

Micca snorted. “My good virtue was gone long ago. Back when we were in high school. If I remember right, you were one of the ones who helped me remove it.”

Now it was his turn to snort. “If you’re waiting for me to apologize for that you’re going to have a long wait.”

Micca took a sip of her coffee and he continued, “I do have a confession to make.”

“And that is?”

“I snuck a peek and I love you’re blue landing strip.” His grin reminded her of a naughty little boy peeking in his dad’s nudie magazines.

“Thank you. Now I need to ask you something.”

“Okay.”

“Did Dale help you carry me in here and undress me? Did he also look at my landing strip?”

Kevin cocked his head. “Would you like it if he had?”

“Maybe I wouldn’t have minded,” she blurted unthinking, then quickly tried to change her words. “I mean no. I feel uncomfortable enough that you’ve seen me I should be mortified at the thought both of you had.”

“But you aren’t mortified, are you? You like him, don’t you?”

She didn’t answer.

“That’s what I thought. Well he likes you as well. He told me so.”

“Kevin, I do like him, I like you as well. There’s one big difference.”

“And that is?”

Shamelessly she said, “I didn’t last night but this weekend is just started. Before it is over you and I are going to fuck at least once.”

Kevin grinned and stood from the chair he sat in. “I didn’t know what you wanted but there’s yogurts and bagels out in the kitchen.”

“Is Dale here?”

Kevin paused at the door. “No, he had some errands to run this morning. He’ll be back later.” Kevin continued out of the room.

Micca folded back the sheet, grabbed her empty coffee mug from the nightstand and followed him wearing nothing but her G-string. She padded into the kitchen and Kevin turned. His jaw dropped open when he saw her.

“It’s time I stopped pretending to be bashful and innocent and be my slutty self. Kevin, you know I’m no virgin what you should know is I’ve partied a lot. I’ve been with more than one man in a single night, in the same room. I’ve been with women too. On occasion I’ve been with more than one at the same time. Do you still want to have sex with me?”

He crossed from the coffee pot to stand in front of her. Taking one of her cheeks in each of his hands, he tilted her face up and pressed his lips to hers. “Yes,” he answered when he ended the kiss. He slapped her ass and pulled out a chair for her then took her coffee mug.

While he refilled it, he asked. “So are you trying to tell me you wouldn’t mind a threesome?” He crossed back to the table with two coffee cups and set hers in front of her. He pulled out a chair and sat then waited for her to answer.

“That is for you and Dale to discuss and decide. I’ll only say this, I’m open to it if you two want to share me and can avoid the drama of two men being jealous of each other. I don’t do drama well.”

 

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A Witch and Her Dragons: Volume 1 

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The Spreading Evil: Volume 2

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Seattle Bloodbath: Volume 3 

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Website / Blog / Youtube
Personal Facebook Page / Facebook Author Page
Twitter / Amazon Author Page  / Goodreads / Google+

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Review of “Kingdom of Honor” – Tricia Copeland

Volume 3: (Kingdom Journals)

Jude’s Story

Jude only knows one thing: he must rescue Camille. It doesn’t matter what must be done to save her from the evil coven, he will do it. But once she’s recovered, what will his role be? How does he fit into the trinity’s prophecy? Find out in this urban fantasy adventure novel that finds the Kingdom Journals characters traversing the globe in search of Camille, and the key to breaking an age-old curse.

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(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique)

 

Kingdom of Honor, third book in the Kingdom Journals seriespicks up precisely where Kingdom of  Darkness ends: a rescue mission going awry. This lose-lose situation enabled readers to witness Jude’s powers in action. Cloaking, melting metal, invisibility, and telepathy are just a few skills Jude possesses. Oh, and if that wasn’t enough, he knows martial arts too. For sure, Tricia created one badass character. The only thing I wish she would’ve created was a spell for easier traveling. That special talent would’ve saved Jude, Camille, Grady, Tyler, Janine, and others much time/aggravation/heartache/etc. However, that probably would’ve shortened the book by 100 pages so…. maybe it’s a good thing it took them a long while to find Camille. 

Speaking of Camille, her character didn’t capture my interest as much as Jude’s role. I can’t exactly tell you why. On the other hand, I was hoping Helene would’ve stuck around. I liked her and saw great potential with her character and contribution to the storyline. 

Now, a Kingdom book wouldn’t be a Kingdom book without a few twists. In the past, we learned who witches were descendants from and NOW….. Tricia discloses some interesting, unique facts about vampires. 

 

 

Heart Rating System:

1 (lowest) and 5 (highest)

Score: ❤❤❤❤

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READ THE ENTIRE SERIES FROM THE START!  

Volume 1 (Kingdom Journals)

He wouldn’t understand. He didn’t live in a pretend world. In truth, he did. Most beings, pure humans, walked around thinking they were the only type of people that existed.” –Alena

As a creature forbidden by both vampire and witch cultures, Alena is forced hide her identity. Her mother moves them from city to city searching for answers. When Alena finds Hunter everything changes. She believes their bond may be the. But her mother finds Theron, an equally handsome and mysterious suitor. Will the truth of his intentions be uncovered before it is too late? Or will her Mother’s kingdom be reduced to embers?

 

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 Volume 2 (Kingdom Journals)

“… the previous night’s vision, or whatever it was, ended with a name I heard clear as day, as if the people were in my room. Ivy, the girl and boy recited together.” – Camille Could her dreams be real? Is she the key to freeing witches from their curse? Of course not, right? Thinking that her only chance at a normal life lay in a new treatment, Camille joins Dr. Antos and a group of teens for a month long camping trip in Iceland. There she meets Jude, a fellow schizophrenic. Dr. Antos invites Camille and Jude to extend their work with him on the island of Sardinia. Camille is suspicious of Dr. Antos’s intentions but her dad goes missing, leaving her no choice but to travel to Italy. Is she walking into a lion’s den or has her illness invaded her reality?

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BUY ALL 3 NOW WITH JUST A CLICK: Kindle Purchase Link (US)  / Kindle Purchase Link (UK)

 

Kingdom Journals 4 – Hunter’s Story

 

 

Tricia Copeland grew up in Georgia but now lives outside the mile-high city of Denver, Colorado with her husband, three kids, and multiple four legged and finned friends. An avid runner and paranormal fan, she also enjoys hiking, trivia, and Scrabble. You can connect with Tricia and other readers on FacebookInstagramTwitterPinterest, and on her website.

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Review of “Seashells, Spells and Caramels” – Erin Johnson

Murder at a magical baking contest off the coast of France.

Imogen’s spent her twenties in Seattle, saving every penny and missing every party, to follow her dream of opening her own bakery.

When that dream goes up in flames, she accepts a spot in a mysterious baking contest—one she doesn’t remember entering. She travels to a bustling, medieval village off the coast of France and discovers an enchanting world of magic and mystery, and learns that she, too, possesses powers.

Unable to so much as cast a spell, Imogen struggles to keep up with the other witches and wizards who have come from all over the magical world to the Water Kingdom’s big competition. She juggles relationships with a sweet new friend, a snarky baking fire, and a brooding, handsome baker. As Imogen falls for this bewitching world, she fears she won’t master her magic in time to win the job of Royal Head Baker, and will be forced to return to the shambles of her non magical life.

It only gets worse, when a competitor drops dead in the middle of the big white baking tent, and Imogen’s the prime suspect. Now, she’ll not only have to survive the vampire and psychic judges, but also clear her name by finding the real murderer, before they strike again.

With a killer on the loose, a missing prince, and the Summer Solstice Festival fast approaching, Imogen will have to bake like her life depends on it- because it just might.

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EXCERPT

The string quartet, persuaded into playing the conga, churned out the familiar song as a middle-aged man sat next to them, an upended ice bucket between his knees, playing the “drum.” The line of rehearsal dinner guests snaked between tables. I peeled my eyes away from the conga line as a beautiful guest sauntered toward me.

She smiled, her teeth bright against her dark skin. Her hair, tightly curled and piled atop her head in an enormous bun, bounced as she swayed her hips to the music, her snow-white gown catching the candlelight from the tables.

“Cake or a cupcake?” I asked for the umpteenth time. I smiled and held up one of each.

She tapped a slender finger against her lips as her dark eyes darted from one to the other. The diamond bracelets she wore slid up toward her elbows as she threw her hands in the air. “Oh, ow about zem both, eh?”

I grinned and handed over the plates. I loved French accents. Not that I’d ever been to France, or anywhere really. Before I’d moved from St. Louis, I’d never even been out of state.

“Are you ze baker?”

I nodded.

“I’ve been earing all night about ze desserts.” She stepped closer and lowered her voice. She smelled like jasmine. “I eear they’re just bearsting weeth mageeck.” She winked, then held the cupcake up to her mouth, gingerly taking a bite around the wrapper. She moaned and bent her knees, sinking halfway to the ground. “Incredible. Just incredible. You should enter ze contest, you reeally should. And I don’t do false flattery, believe me.”

I raised a brow. “The contest?”

She looked me up and down. “You reeally don’t know? Ze Water Kingdom’s holding a contest for ze new royal baker. Last one died recently.” She looked around and leaned closer, her voice hushed. “Ze official word is she died of a ‘art attack, but if you ask me, eet was dark mageeck. Somezing underhanded, you know? Murder.” She leaned back and straightened. How much had this woman had to drink? “Zat shouldn’t scare you zough. I reeally zink you should enteer, zhere’s steel time. I probably ’ave a flyer somewhere.” She set the plates down and fished around in her sparkly white clutch.

“Zey’ve been distributing zem all over ze kingdoms. Anyone can apply, anyone at all… well almost, no shifters, ze usual, but ze’ll take emigrants like you.” She poked around some more in the tiny clutch.

Pretty sure if you haven’t found it by now, it’s not going to suddenly appear. The bag looked like it could barely hold a credit card… maybe.

She looked at me and shrugged her slender shoulders. “Can’t find one.” She glanced around and then winked. “Don’t usually break ze rules when traveling on visa, you know.

But I am here as ze date of ze retired ambassador, so if I geet in a beet of trouble, he’ll just geet me out.”

I scanned the conga line. Did she mean Ben’s grandpa?

A small sound, a zap, like snuffing a candle out with wet fingers, made me turn toward her again. In her hand she held a large, brown sheet of paper. “We’ll just keep zat between us, eh?”

Goose bumps prickled up the back of my neck and arms. I looked between the paper and her face. Where had it come from? It was too large to fit in her bag without folding, yet it was completely smooth and crisp. She handed it to me. The oddly thick paper seemed to be coated in wax. I sniffed it and smelled honey.

“Well, I’m off.” She lifted the plates. “Thank you for ze delicious treats. So good to have met you.”

I nodded, not sure how I felt about this strange and beautiful woman. “You too.”

“Think about eet.” She lifted her chin toward the flyer in my hand and danced her way back to the party.

I held the waxy paper up to my face and read, “The Magnificent Contest for the Water Kingdom’s Next Royal Baker.”

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(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique) 

 

I absolutely adore watching cooking competition shows so reading a story where competitors are magical, paranormal beings sounded too good to pass up.  Much like  Master Chef and Top Chef, in Seashells, Spells and Caramels, readers will be treated to theme challenges where contestants will be voted off until a winner is crowned. As with the other popular shows, there are baking mishaps, rivalries and tears.

However, Seashells, Spells and Caramels had a few things you’d NEVER see on any primetime competition show.

1.) You’ll never see a REAL vampire judging the sugary concoctions.

2.) You’ll never witness a flame speaking to you. 

3.) A murder mystery probably won’t pop up when watching Hell’s Kitchen.

 

Seashells, Spells and Caramels had humor, mystery, and a hint of romance. A truly magical, delicious read…..one I’m sure will be a bestseller for the talented Erin Johnson. 

 

Heart Rating System 

1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 

 Score: ❤❤❤❤1/2

 

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ALSO AVAILABLE

Book 2

A dark carnival and a dire prophecy lead to murder and mayhem.

With the Summer Sea Carnival visiting the enchanted island of Bijou Mer, Imogen jumps at the chance to help run the royal bakery booth. It’ll get her out of the palace and allow her to continue avoiding her feelings for a certain engaged prince.

Imogen’s plans to lay low are shattered when the world-famous necromancer, Madame Zerna, is found dead, sawed in half on the dark magician’s table and Imogen’s friend Rhonda is caught red-handed. With incriminating evidence piling up against Rhonda, Zerna’s rival, Imogen promises to help clear her name by finding the real murderer. 

But between running the booth, encouraging Maple as she struggles to lead as head baker, and taking spell lessons from the friendly strong man, Imogen’s got her hands full. And it’s no easier getting information from the evasive dark magician or Madame Zerna’s secretive assistant. Even Rhonda’s hiding something. 

With the Night of the Dead fast approaching, and Rhonda headed for a maximum security witch prison, Imogen races to unearth the real killer in time to save her friend. But in a mysterious carnival where nothing’s as it seems, will Imogen have the magical powers to keep from being on the chopping block herself?

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Book 3

Murder at a Mermaid Nightclub

The enchanted village of Bijou Mer’s on high alert, with the villainous Horace on the loose. Imogen’s excited to escape the tension with a trip to the underwater Mermaid Kingdom to bake for the young mermaid queen’s engagement to the pirate king.

But when the mermaids turn out to be less French Riviera and more Jersey shore, the bakers are wrapped up in their world of clubbing in sea caves and fighting off seals for the best tanning spots, and are embroiled in a pirate smuggling scandal. It gets worse when a member of the mermaid court is found dead in a fishing net, and one of Imogen and Maple’s baked goods seems to be the murder weapon.

Imogen tries to fish out the real murderer to clear their names, while struggling with her romantic feelings for Hank. At the same time, she’s working with him to learn to control her magic and investigate Horace’s riddle and her own mysterious past.

As the mermaid court’s freewheeling lifestyle rubs off on the bakers, the gang lets loose and passions rise to the surface. But with a giant octopus crawling the ocean floor, the mermaid court filled with simmering secrets and scandals, and the ever present threat of the Badlands Army, Imogen must solve the murder before she ends up fish food herself.

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A native of Tempe, Arizona, Erin spends her time crafting mysterious, magical, romance-filled stories that’ll hopefully make you laugh. In between, she’s traveling, napping with her dogs, eating with her friends and family, and teaching Pilates (to allow her to eat more).
 

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Author Showcase – G.E. Stills (Seattle Bloodbath)

Volume 3 in the Demon Slayers series

The demon Tiona has escaped Kiya and her team in Oklahoma. She has gone to Seattle, Washington where the band Kiya manages is scheduled to perform. Tiona is determined to destroy Kiya, first because she hates witches, and second, for killing her demon son. The demon terror plots Kiya’s demise along with those associated with her and this time the band itself will not escape unscathed. Disappointed at not encountering Tiona in Oklahoma, Kiya and her team go to Seattle unaware that Tiona is already there and preparing to strike. The coming confrontation will be deadly and costly for both sides.

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For the 18+ reader: Strong language and descriptive sex scenes.

Ona has been converted and now serves her demon Mistress, Tiona, without question. Max will be the first of the musical family to suffer Tiona’s wrath, he won’t be the last.

 

Tiona peered down from a high point in the upper tier of seating at the concert going on down on the stage. Ona was circulating through the crowds below. Neither of them had occupied the assigned seats stated on their passes. Those had just been used as a way to gain entrance to the packed auditorium. Without much hope, she scanned the mass searching for Kiya.

She wanted information desperately but getting it might be a tricky problem. They couldn’t just walk up and ask someone. She had little hope that Ona would be able to hook up with one of the band members even though they were notorious for partying after their shows: not here with these masses of beautiful women to choose from. Even though Ona was devastatingly gorgeous herself the odds were unfavorable.

Tiona scanned the throng again and smiled, but she had an alternate plan. Ona’s scorpion parasite allowed her to communicate with the woman mentally. “Where are you?” Tiona asked.

“Forcing my way through the masses,” Ona answered, “But I’m nearing the north end of the stage. As you ordered earlier, I’m searching for one of the band’s roadies to try and hook up with.”

“Let me know when you find one,” Tiona said and went back to searching.

“I will my Mistress,” Ona answered.

As she observed, Tiona thought of the plan. The chances of Ona getting in with one of the band members was remote, but seducing one of the roadies would probably be successful. Getting information from him would be easy if things went according to plan. Tiona strolled to a new location and continued her search.

“I think I spotted one,” Ona’s thought filtered into her mind. “He’s the beefy blonde at the north end near the back of the stage.”

Tiona focused her enhanced vision in the area Ona indicated. The man wearing tight blue jeans and a t-shirt with the band’s logo stenciled on it was standing near the stage with a prop in hand. “I see him. Go to work sweetie. Lure him in.”

“Yes, Mistress.”

***

Ona forced her way closer to the man garnering a looks of displeasure and a few rude comments as she did. She ignored them and focused on her target instead. Her scorpion companion allowed past knowledge to dribble out of the recesses of her mind. The name Franz flashed into her thoughts although she couldn’t remember what her relationship with him had been. What she could remember was Franz had once been a roadie and had shared his memories of the occupation with her.

She used this knowledge to strike up a conversation with the man whose name she soon learned was Max. At first their conversation centered on the band but Ona steered it to what Max did. Ona used her knowledge to ask intelligent questions of him and of course showered flattery on him. When he was looking away at the stage, Ona smiled, during their conversation Max couldn’t keep his gaze from drinking in her body largely revealed by her scanty outfit. The deep V of her dress dipped low enough to reveal her navel piercing and barely cover her red areolas. The red dress with splotches of white ended a third of the way down her thighs when she was standing. Black high heels completed her outfit. Her G-string panties were black as well but she hadn’t show those to him…not yet.

While Max was occupied with handing a prop up to the man on stage she unclipped the silver chain that held the halves of her dress over her breasts. He turned back to face her and she twisted quickly to glance at a noise in the audience. Her action caused her left breast to spill from under its scanty covering affording him a brief view of her nipple piercing. Ona turned back to face him and pretended embarrassment at having exposed her breast. She quickly covered it and continued their conversation. By the end of the concert she had provided him views of both breasts and bending over to retrieve her purse she had purposely dropped, afforded him a glimpse of her bare ass.  

The band left the stage and the crowd started to file out of the auditorium. “Well the show is over. I’ll be riding back to the hotel with the rest of the roadies soon. It’s been nice talking to you Ona. Most of my conversations here are about the band members and how to get access to them.”

Ona placed her hand on his bicep. “I really enjoy taking with you Max. I hate to end the evening.” She paused as if considering. “I don’t suppose you’d be interested in continuing our visit over cocktails and a bar I know of?”

Max scratched his chin. “I love to but I’d miss my ride.”

“I have a car. I can take you back to the hotel after. Damn,” She dropped her purse and stooped to pick it up. In the process, her breasts spilled free. It was all the incentive Max needed. Ona could read his mind through the look in his eyes. “He wants to fuck me badly. Guess what Max? you’re going to get the chance to do just that.” Her thought reached out to Tiona.

“Good girl,” Tiona thought back.

“Let me tell one of the guys I won’t be riding back in the van,” Max said. “Wait right here.”

“He’s hooked,” Ona told Tiona while she waited. “We’re leaving in the car.”

“I’ll go out and get in the trunk,” Tiona answered.

Max returned and slipped his hand in hers. When they left the auditorium, he let her guide him to the car and slid into the passenger seat. Ona slipped into the seat pretending to drive to the bar she’d mentioned. As she drove her dress bunched higher and provided Max clear views of her black G-string each time they were stopped at a light and under the bright illumination there.

Ona flashed a smile at Max when his gaze drifted to her center once more at a traffic light. “Do you like what you see?” she asked him.

He quickly shifted his gaze and looked out the windshield.

“Don’t pretend to be shy and try to make me think you don’t screw girls all the time Max. You’re working for a band and going from town to town.”

“No comment,” he said.

“None needed, I’m sure I know. I like talking to you…Maybe I’ll like doing something else with you even more.”

Max swallowed hard but didn’t answer.

Ona turned into a gas station. “I need to make a quick pit stop and can’t wait until we get to the bar. Wait right here.” She got the restroom key from the attendant and dashed into the restroom. When she returned to the car she slid behind the steering wheel again and pulled back out on the street. His eyes bugged and his jaw fell open at the next stop light when he saw she’d removed her panties.

“Damn.” He gulped again.

Ona reached down and played with her piercing. “I don’t normally do this but I feel a chemistry between us. Kitty is thirsty for some milk. Do you have any milk to give her?” Ona asked then tossed her panties into his lap. “Maybe you should take a whiff of those before you answer.”

Max lifted the panties from his lap and inhaled deeply. “Christ Ona you have no idea how much I want to fuck you.”

“Well then, we’ve established what both of us want, the only thing left to decide is should we do it in your room or drive out to my house about thirty minutes away.” Ona held her breath hoping for the answer she desired.

“My room. It’s closer.”

Ona exhaled in relief. “Okay, where’s your room?”

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A Witch and Her Dragons: Volume 1 

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The Spreading Evil: Volume 2

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