Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Treasured & Tipsy Timeslip: Traveller Scott A. Lerner

Travel and make-believe go hand in hand. Whether we're in the present or the past, in a haunted castle, an enchanted forest or a broken down building, beauty is in the eye of the beholder and traveling the world can bring the imagination to life.

Please welcome this week's guest, author and attorney Scott A. Lerner. #Travel #AuthorInterview #TreasuredTipsyTimeslip #RachaelStapleton

I would love to travel to Ancient Egypt. I find their culture fascinating enough to make it a part of the Fraternity of the Soul Eater. I would love to have been around in ancient times but would settle for being there during the late 1800s through the 1920s. I could be around during the great archeological discoveries. My book takes place in modern times, but the magic from Ancient Egypt is referenced throughout. After all, the deities are not dead, only buried beneath the sands of time waiting to be called upon. 

It would also be fantastic to see the future, since I am not limited to a specific time period. Maybe I could see the world a few hundred years down the road. I would know if society’s doing fine like in Star Trek or not doing as well, as in Planet of the Apes. I would also know what stocks to invest in. Will Apple still be around? I would love to see if we have flying cars. I have been wanting one for years. Will our robot overlords be cruel or kind? The future would certainly be a great destination, no matter what the location.

I wouldn’t mind a trip to Woodstock, New York, in August of 1969. I hear they had a concert that would have been fun to attend. Although the rain and mud might have been a tad unpleasant. Yet the great music would more than make up for it. 

In truth I live in a great time and a great place. My books, which are part of a series, take place in Champaign, Illinois—a town less exciting than New York and less scenic than Malibu. Yet, thrills and paranormal creatures of the dark can haunt anywhere at any time. With books and movies available online, you can find adventure anywhere.

The Fraternity of the Soul Eater
A Samuel Roberts Thriller
Book 3
Scott A. Lerner

Genre: Urban Fantasy, Thriller

Publisher: Camel Press
Date of Publication: June 15, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-60381-289-4
ASIN: Not yet available

Number of pages: 218
Word Count: 57k words

Cover Artist: Sabrina Sun

Book Description:

It’s been a while since Samuel Roberts was called upon to save mankind, and he’s getting restless. His girlfriend Susan thinks he’s a danger junkie, and he’s worried he has a hero complex. He’s back to his usual small-town lawyerly duties in Champaign-Urbana, handling divorces and helping people beat DUI raps. But then a young fraternity pledge calls. During an initiation ceremony he witnessed the live sacrifice of a young woman, but he had so much alcohol in his system that no one believes him. Except Sam. Lately Egyptian lore has been creeping into his life, his dreams, and his movie preferences, and he’s pretty sure he knows why. Evil is knocking on his door again.

Is the call welcome? Why can’t Sam be satisfied with his comfortable legal practice and gorgeous redheaded girlfriend? Maybe it’s because he knows that, as inadequate as he may feel to the task, he and his friend Bob may be humanity’s only hope against ancient supernatural forces combined with modern genetic engineering. Come hell or high water. Or in this case, the underworld or subterranean pyramids.

The Fraternity of the Soul Eater is the third book in the Samuel Roberts Thriller series, which began with Cocaine Zombies and continued with Ruler of Demons.

Available at Amazon


She was wearing tight black jeans and a low-cut cropped T-shirt that exposed ample cleavage. A golden ankh dangled between her breasts. On one forearm was a tattoo of a bird I assumed to be a lark, and on the other, a tattoo of a hawk. Her bright blue eyes matched her hair. She was striking looking but by no means beautiful. A slight muffin top was made more visible by her short shirt, and she had apparently broken her nose at least once in her life. She smelled like sandalwood and cinnamon.
I would never cheat on Susan, but I had to admit there was something sexy about Lark. I tried to put my prurient thoughts away and deal with the issue at hand. Also, the ankh made me wonder if she was playing for the other side. I was not a big fan of birds, which for me had always been a harbinger of bad luck.
“So what is it that you couldn’t tell me at the courthouse?”
“I’m a graduate student at the University of Illinois and heard from a friend about Chris’s case. I went to the preliminary hearing to get more information.”
“That’s fine—it’s an open courtroom—but I can’t tell you the specifics of his case.”
“I am here to help you, not the other way around.”
“Cool!” I leaned back in my chair, trying to look casual. “Tell me what you know.”
“My sister was at a party at that fraternity three years ago. She has not been seen since. I believe she was killed there. I can’t prove it, but I have been trying to ever since.”
“Did you call the police?”
“No, I called Pizza Hut.” She sighed. “I’m … sorry. This whole thing …. it’s hard to talk about. Yes, I called the police and the FBI. I even hired a private investigator.”
“No luck?”
“None. In fact, they all told me to let it go.”
“I take it from the fact you are here that you didn’t ‘let it go.’ ”
“You take it right. I was attending the University of Iowa. I was close to getting an MFA in fine arts but I transferred to the University of Illinois a year and a half ago. I’ve been investigating the fraternity ever since.” As she spoke Lark moved her arms about in quick gestures, reminding me of the bird she was named for.
“What have you learned?”
“For starters, I believe your client.”
She hesitated, as if pained by what she was going to relate. “Last year I dated a guy named George Hammond. He was a rich kid, kind of a geek, but he was okay. I essentially stalked him until he agreed to go out with me. At first I was only interested because he was pledging the fraternity. I know I was using him, but he was using me too. When he got accepted into the fraternity he told me a few of their secrets.”
“Any chance I could chat with George directly?”
She shook her head, a little violently. “Not unless we hold a séance. I’m sorry. I appreciate you speaking with me, and I don’t mean to be sarcastic. George died in a car accident. Actually, he was murdered, but I can’t prove it.”
“What did he tell you?”
“Every fall the fraternity sacrifices a girl. Their choice is based on her not having much in the way of family or money. They want someone who won’t be missed. The organs are removed as though she is to be mummified. Since there’s no pyramid to bury them in, the bodies are not wrapped or mummified or even kept.”
It was difficult to absorb what she was telling me. “That is nightmarish. What the hell do they do with the bodies?”
She jerked her shoulders up and down in a shaky shrug. “Who knows?”
“Why would they do such a thing?”
She looked mournful now. “George didn’t know. It may have been to test the pledges’ loyalty to the fraternity. He said they would commit the murder at a hidden temple and that the members would have to chant ancient prayers as part of some strange ritual. The leaders of the fraternity told him that the girls’ souls were being fed to the ‘Soul Eater,’ but George didn’t think they were serious.”
“Do you believe what George told you?”
She looked me hard in the eye. “My sister is missing.

About the Author:

Author and attorney Scott A. Lerner resides in Champaign, Illinois. He obtained his undergraduate degree in psychology from the University of Wisconsin in Madison and went on to obtain his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Illinois in Urbana Champaign. He is currently a sole practitioner in Champaign, Illinois. The majority of his law practice focuses on the fields of criminal law and family law. Lerner’s first novel and the first Samuel Roberts Thriller, Cocaine Zombies, won a bronze medal in the mystery/cozy/noir category of the 2013 Independent Publisher (IPPY) Awards. The second book in the series is Ruler of Demons. The Fraternity of the Soul Eater is book 3. Book 4, The Wiccan Witch of the Midwest, will be released on Halloween, 2015.

You can find Scott online at: www.scottlerner.camelpress.com

Tour giveaway

5 eBook copies of The Fraternity of the Soul Eater

Link to giveaway

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Rachael's Reviews: Apostle

A Haunting Tale of Deranged Love

Apostle is about serial killer Benji and his insatiable desire to kill and "feed his inner monster." When he meets a 16-year-old drifter named Beth, he takes her under his wing, becoming her mentor, teaching her how to harness fear, dominate and kill. Apostle traces Benji and Beth's growing relationship, her want for a deeper connection and what arises from a broken heart.This book made me nostalgic for certain dark comedy's l​ike Natural Born Killers and the 1988 movie Heathers. I found myself both terrified and rooting for Benji and Beth, two serial killers on a killing spree set in Ontario in the early 1970s, specifically in the French River with reference to Sudbury. Somewhere in the middle, I began to loathe Bloody Beth just as I suspect the author Lacey Crowe had planned. ​And while I am a huge fan of mystery and perhaps even some light thriller/suspense. This book was definitely out of my wheelhouse, I wouldn't call it horror but it was very dark and I was skimming ​the cruel cold hearted​ killer Beth had become but then all at once ​the plot shifted and the hunter became the hunted. As a woman, it was excruciating at times to read what Beth was going through as the victim of a psychopath more twisted than herself but it moved fast and I read the book in practically one sitting​. No details were spared and at times I was definitely squirming and yet I was riveted and I couldn't look away.  This story is one of karmic consequence, repentance and self-realization but it is not for the squeamish at heart. Kudos to Author Lacey Crowe who is able to make deranged characters vulnerable and dare I say like-able.

Apostle is available in both ebook and print formats at Amazon.com, Amazon.ca, Amazon.co.uk, Barnes & Noble, Booksamillion.com, Booktopia.com.au, and directly from the publishers' website.

"I awoke to a small beam of light that had bites eaten out of it by the heads Kyle ’s two girls. The kettle still screamed in my ear—the right one. I looked over toward the sound and saw the little girl ’s gaping mouth, teary eyes staring at me, fiercely screaming. staring at me, fiercely screaming. Kyle was leaning over her, undoing the zipper of his the zipper of his pants. The girl was already naked, sitting in her own bloodstains."

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Treasured & Tipsy Timeslip: Traveller Lacey Crowe

Travel and make-believe go hand in hand. Whether we're in the present or the past, in a haunted castle, an enchanted forest or a broken down building, beauty is in the eye of the beholder and traveling the world can bring the imagination to life.

Please welcome this week's guest, fellow Canadian, Lacey Crowe, who writes for the lovers of the darker side of fiction, channeling stylistic inspiration from the spirits of John Steinbeck, Ray Bradbury, and maybe even a little Edgar Allen Poe.

#Travel #AuthorInterview #LaceyCrowe #Camping #TreasuredTipsyTimeslip #RachaelStapleton #ExploreOntario #CurseofthePurpleDelhiSapphire #LoonsLanding #ManitoulinIsland #BrucePeninsulaNational

I live in the city now—a small city surrounded by lakes and rivers. The Ontario city I was born in was much the same, though it has grown since then and is possibly now too big for me. I’m a fan of the countryside. I’m attracted to the darkness of the bushes, the quietude. I embrace the isolation, the fireside, the hot, sticky moment when the sun bakes me in my tent or trailer. It’s peaceful in the country. It’s dark. It’s frightening. It’s exciting. And Ontario has some of the best places to experience this.

A particular, fictitious campground enthralled the psychopathic character in my novel, Apostle. But though the grounds were fabricated, the river it’s located on is very real. My list of five campgrounds to visit in Ontario should and will begin with any of the many campgrounds in French River, Ontario. But to make it more specific, how about the seasonal camping spot I visit every year?

Loon’s Landing is situated on the main channel of the French River, which stretches from Lake Nippissing to Georgian Bay. Themed parties, excellent fishing and swimming, and friendly ownership. It’s fun. Like, really fun. This campground, along with a few others I used to frequent when I was little, served as inspiration for my novel.

Manitoulin Island is so beautiful, it needs to be experienced. It’s located on one of the great lakes, Lake Huron. There are several camping spots along the island, which heavily embraces an old-school, Native American culture. The water is clear and the expanse is massive. Many beaches have a soft, sandy bottom. Sometimes, it sucks you in up to your ankles. That feeling is one of my favourite childhood memories.

Fathom Five National Marine Park blows my mind. Why haven’t I ever visited Tobermory? Look at this photo and my work here is done. A shipwreck just off the shore? How cool is that? The history here is palpable, even just through the photographs. It’s eerie and it’s fascinating—and my psychopathic characters could have totally hidden a body in that shipwreck.

Sleeping Giant Provincial Park is located in Thunder Bay, Ontario. “Sleeping Giant” alludes to a rock formation in the shape of man lying down, which I like to think of with my inner-childlike fascination. I’ve heard that Thunder Bay is one of the best cities for outdoor activity in the summertime. The mountains here are breathtaking and the wildlife is abundant. I think this beauty is what others imagine when they think of Canada.

Bruce Peninsula National is incredibly gorgeous. This photo is of the Grotto, a popular tourist attraction for obvious reasons. Again, why haven’t I ever visited Tobermory? Located on part of the Niagara Escarpment, Bruce Peninsula boasts several camping spots on beautiful, aqua waters. Warm weather is finally among us. It’s time to get the tent out and visit some of these sweet camping spots. Don’t forget to pack your knives, you little psychos.

Bloghost Insert: I've been to Tobermory and I can vouch for it's awesomeness! This national park lies at the tip of the Bruce Peninsula, 11kms south of Tobermory. Here are some fun pics from my camping trip from 2011.


There are camping facilities here, and some of the most dramatic scenery of the Niagara Escarpment. The Bruce Trail also traverses the park, and there are several short hikes that will get you onto some of the most scenic parts of the Bruce Trail, including the Natural Arch, the Grotto and Halfway Rock Point, pictured here. The Grotto a beautiful natural cave carved into the cliffs.
That water is ice cold!

To get to the Grotta from the trail you have to scale down through a hole about 10 metres. The cave extends into the side of the cliff for some meters to expose a pool which connects by an underwater passage to the main body of water at the tip of the point. The cave is lit from beneath the water by green light coming from the far side of this passage, and swallows were visible in the dim light as they flew in over our heads to reach their nests protected high up on shelves in the cave.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Treasured & Tipsy Timeslip: Traveller Michelle Hiscox

Travel and make-believe go hand in hand. Whether we're in the present or the past, in a haunted castle, an enchanted forest or a broken down building, beauty is in the eye of the beholder and traveling the world can bring the imagination to life.

Please welcome this week's guest, fellow Canadian, Michelle Hiscox. She hails from Drumheller, Alberta. The dinosaur bones buried in the hills of her hometown inspired the first stories she ever wrote, and she feels blessed to walk those same hills with her daughter today

#ANewDayatMidnight #Romania #Montana #Travel #AuthorInterview #MichelleHiscox #ParanormalRomance #TreasuredTipsyTimeslip #RachaelStapleton #CurseofthePurpleDelhiSapphire


As the author of the paranormal romance, A New Day at Midnight, I researched many haunting and dynamic locations to use as inspirational fodder for the settings in my book. Below is a sample of places travelled by the Hearne family on their centuries long journey from Romania to Montana territory.


What a better inspiration for a paranormal tale than the stomping grounds of Vlad the Impaler and his army of minions. Romania has also been home to Romani people for centuries, and reflects the heritage of my main character, Merik Hearne.

In the 15th century, Vlad the Impaler brought Poenari Castle back from ruins to use it as a cliffside military location near the Argus River valley. It afforded a view of all the land below and a nearly impenetrable site of defense. It was in the Poenari area that Vlad began the use of spikes to kill his victims, earning his famous moniker.


Image Source: www.romanmysteries.wordpress.com
“The Monster House”, or the Palazzo della Maschero Grottesca, is a 16th century palace in Rome that boasts an entryway with the mouth of a demon, a very fitting inspiration for a book based on characters with much more than human origins.

Built by Italian painter Federico Zuccari beginning in 1592, the palace sits near the top of the Spanish Steps. The windows and doors are adorned with the screaming mouths of ghouls, an unforgettable site for any passerby.

Image Source: www.fineartamerica.com

The clapboard wood saloon epitomizes the flavor of the old west, when Montana Territory was rough, dangerous, and full of the dreams of the people moving through to stake their claim and build better lives for themselves and their families.

The alleyway to the side of the Cranston Saloon provides the backdrop to tragic events in A New Day at Midnight. The drink and debauchery often found in such locations provides the perfect setting for the unravelling of a Vetala, or a demon, while he both saves and destroys the unfortunate souls he finds there.


Image Source: www.pinstopin.com
The Rocky Mountain range extends over 3000 miles through Canada, the United States, and New Mexico. It also accounts for a long stretch of land through Montana, the home chosen by the Hearne family to build Rosehearne Manor, a fortress set against forest and mountainside.

The manor started out as a single dwelling surrounded by caravans and tents, and slowly grew to the stone monolith housing generations of Romani families.
Difficult mountain conditions afford the Hearne’s a measure of safety from the forces working against them.

A New Day at Midnight
The Hearne Family Saga
Book 1
Michelle Hiscox

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Publisher: Bookkus Publishing

Date of Publication: February 14, 2015

ISBN: 0991709497

Page Count Print – 264       
Page Count Electronic – 268
Word Count: 92,691

Cover Artist: Bookkus Publishing

Book Description:

When Merik Hearne finally lays claim to the woman that betrayed him, she inspires much more than his need for revenge—but is her love worth dying for again?

Condemned to play host to a demon, the scarred Romani leader has amassed a fortune with only one goal in mind—to possess Hannah Worthington, the traitorous beauty that has eluded him for over a decade. With an exchange of coin, everything he has been striving for is within reach but nothing is as he imagined. The tender, sharp-tongued woman he encounters tests the bounds of his convictions and he is torn between the promise of reckoning and longing for a love that once destroyed him.

Exchanged for a purse of gold and informed she is to be a slave, Hannah vows she has not survived a lifetime of loss only to wither under the likes of Merik Hearne. And she will do everything she can to make sure he knows it. Despite his overbearing manner, his fierce scars, and her own determination to escape him, she begins to see that something beautiful might lie beneath…something that belongs only to her. She must discover the angle from which the great lord plays before his dark desires consume them both. 

As they struggle to find truth amid pasts marred by sorrow and secrecy, they are unaware that a vengeful apostle orchestrates the rise of a forgotten god—and the end of their chance at a life together.

Available at  Amazon   Amazon.ca   Amazon.co.uk  BN
Excerpt 1

As Merik looked about the darkness of his cell with new eyes, he saw Hannah standing in the corner. He knew she was not truly there, but the voice of the other ensured he did not look away as it whispered in his ear. He saw her many times, always a mirage, always torturous. Unsure if his rage outweighed his disappointment at her absence, he listened.
She mocks you, young one. She told those men where to find you. She told them lies about you. They could know nothing without her betrayal. You will find her. Make her bleed. You will find her and make her pay for each transgression. Sink your teeth deep within her and watch the blood flow over the ground. Drink her dry until her offences are but a memory. It will ease the agony, as nothing else will.
Merik saw her a thousand times during his short stay in the cellar. The pain sliced through him, and it would not ease no matter how much his father fed him. Nothing helped to suffuse the suffering until he began seeing Hannah in the confines of the cell.
He saw her exactly as she looked that night at the clearing. In spite of himself, he found himself reaching for her hand, and did so each time she appeared to him. Desire bubbled to the surface and he despised it, closing his eyes against the sight of her. The image played over and over in his mind, running like a crooked wheel. He saw the woman who destroyed him, the woman who destroyed his brothers, and he could think only of making her suffer—until he thought of touching her again.
The bottle shattered in his hand from the force of his grasp, and he looked down to see shards of glass embedded within the flesh of his palm. When he looked up, Hannah was gone.

Excerpt 2

Hannah realized Merik had left her doors unlocked. Again. Did he believe she would stay now that she knew his true name and nature? She dare not utter the real question plaguing her, but it invaded her mind nonetheless.
Is he right? A large ember escaped from the iron latticework in front of the fire, landing on the rug at her feet. She watched it smoulder.
Smoke curled up in delicate tendrils, disappearing before reaching the high ceiling. She stared for several long moments, willing the flame to grow, to consume her. It held the colour of Merik’s eyes, burning gold and crimson. A small flame flickered to life, hungry for progress until she stamped it out with the heel of her foot.
Rising from the fire to flop on her bed, she stopped short as an echo rang through the hall. Certain her battered senses played tricks on her, she pulled back her covers to lay down but heard it again.
Whether it was a call of rage, grief, or agony she could not distinguish. It came from Merik’s quarters, echoing deep within the shadows of the hall. Padding to her door, she warred between anger over his treatment of her and the desire to ease his pain.
She could not ignore the fact he’d told her the truth. Pulling a robe about her shoulders, she kicked off her charred slipper. Without consulting her mind, she made the decision with her heart. She rested her hand on the door, opening the barrier between her and the unknown.
“Shit. Shit, shit, shit. What am I doing? I can stay in my rooms. There is hardly any need to go out there.”
Another tortured cry rose in the air, strengthening her resolve to help Merik.
Lighting a candle, she forced herself to go into the hall. Another cry rang through the air, and as she got closer to Merik’s chamber, she finally understood what he was saying. Her name.
“I’m coming, Merik.” Running to his room, she entered through the open door to see an empty chamber. Desperation overrode the fear hammering her heart against her chest. The room smelled of blood, of sickness. Could Vetala even get sick? Could they die?
“No, please no, not again. Merik? Merik, please call my name.”
He groaned. As she followed the source of the noise, the candle shook in her hand. The hot wax stung her flesh when she stopped several steps in front of a half-open door set in the wall.
“Merik?” The smell of death clung to the entrance and she gagged. The candle wobbled in her hand. She steadied it, saying a quick thanks to God it did not go out. She could not bear to go forth in the darkness without light. Setting the candle on the floor, she swung the door wide. The candle flickered as she picked it up. Fear twisted her guts and no matter how she tried, she could not stop her hands from shaking. She took another step.
“Merik?” It took her eyes several moments to see more than a foot from her face. When she saw him in the dim light, she gasped. He now stood in front of her. It took her several more moments to realize he was not standing of his own volition, but rather restrained by chains embedded in the stone wall. When he lifted his head, she covered her mouth to stifle a scream.
Eyes of molten gold and crimson stared back at her. His jaw and facial bones were distended, his hands curled into claws. The changes were much more severe than the few instances she attributed to the loss of her mind.
“I…I…” Stepping back toward the entrance, her gaze never left Merik’s. She turned her back on him to commence a rather spineless retreat, but could not get her feet to cooperate.
“Hannah?” The voice held much more than pain. What? Desperation? Hope? She could not move as her heart and mind waged war. Despite his appearance, she knew beneath the angled bone protruding from his flesh, his distorted face, and the fangs visible in his mouth, Merik stood in front of her. The man she met a decade before. The man looking at her with the same single focused intensity with which he always did. The man she loved.
Taking another step and hearing nothing but her own harsh breathing, she took one more.

About the Author:
Michelle Hiscox is a Paranormal Romance fan and author who hails from Drumheller, Alberta. The dinosaur bones buried in the hills of her hometown inspired the first stories she ever wrote, and she feels blessed to walk those same hills with her daughter today. Crocus flowers and dust bowls full of cactus never fail to inspire.

While her little girl and husband provides many welcome distractions to writing, it's something she always finds her way back to. Michelle is the proud, and slightly crazy, owner of two dogs and three cats, all animals she loves more than she reasonably should. She's been reading voraciously since she was a child and, one night, pulled her nose from a book to start writing her own.

Amazon Author Page –http://www.amazon.com/l/B00VO2K990

Tour giveaway

5 print or ebook copies of A New Day at Midnight (winner’s choice, print available to US and Canadian Shipping Only)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Looking for a GREAT FREE mystery? Curse of the Purple Delhi Sapphire!

Former librarian Sophia Marcil is an expert when it comes to supernatural spells and ancient curses, not only has she studied them, she actually inherited one in the form of a sapphire and was transported to a past life. Now she’s back and keeping a low profile in the Emerald Isle with her strapping Irish love but she knows the maniac obsessed with her cursed gemstone is out there. She soon realizes he may be closer than she thinks when Cullen proposes with the very sapphire that’s cursed her. As soon as it touches her skin, she feels herself being wrenched back in time. 
"Twists, turns, great characters, and time travel ... what's not to love!"---Marissa Campbell
#mystery #timetravel #freebooks #SolsticePublishing

Free on Kindle June 15-19. Limited Time Offer.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Tuesday's Treasured & Tipsy Timeslip: This Weeks Traveller is NY Times Bestseller, M.J. Rose

Travel and make-believe go hand in hand. Whether we're in the present or the past, in a haunted castle, an enchanted forest or a broken down building, beauty is in the eye of the beholder and traveling the world can bring the imagination to life.

Please welcome this week's guest, New York Times Bestseller, M.J. Rose. She's taking us on a tour of Paris, the City of Lights. Not only is it one of her favourite places, it is the setting for her latest release, The Witch of Painted Sorrows.

#Paris #MJRose #NewYorkTimesBestSeller #Travel #AuthorInterview #TreasuredTipsyTimeslip #RachaelStapleton #CurseofthePurpleDelhiSapphire

MJ: I’ve been to Paris many times but I’d love to go back to the Paris of 1894 which I write about in my novel. It was a marvelous and curious time. The arts flourished side by side with philosophy and a deep and powerful interest in the esoteric movement. I’d specifically to visit the artists studios and night clubs and occult library/store that I write about in the book. I’d want to go to a few black masses even if they did frighten the daylights out of me.

I’d also love to go to Egypt in the 1920 when Harold Carter was excavating the great pyramids. And I’d love to go Italy when Michelangelo was painting the Sistine Chapel so could watch!

The Witch of Painted Sorrows

M.J. Rose

Genre: Gothic – Erotic

Publisher: Atria/S&S

Date of Publication: March 17 2015

ISBN-10: 147677806X


Number of pages:384

Book Description:

New York socialite Sandrine Salome flees an abusive husband for her grandmother's Paris mansion, but what she finds there is even more menacing. The house, famous for its lavish art collection and elegant salons, is closed and under renovation. Her grandmother insists it's too dangerous to visit but Sandrine defies her — an unexplainable force is drawing her home.

There she meets Julien Duplessi, a mesmerizing architect, who introduces her to the City of Lights — its art world, forbidden occult underground, nightclubs — and to her own untapped desires.

From a mysterious fire at the Palais Garnier opera house, to a terrifying accident at the Eiffel tower and classes with Gustav Moreau at the École des Beaux-Arts, Sandrine's experiences awaken her passions. Among the bohemians and demi-monde, Sandrine uncovers her erotic nature as a lover and painter.

Then more ominous influences threaten — her husband is tracking her down and something insidious is taking hold, changing Sandrine, altering her. She's overcome by the spirit of La Lune, a witch, a legendary sixteenth-century courtesan, and an unsung artist in her own right, who exposes Sandrine to a darkness that could be a gift or a curse.

This is Sandrine's "wild night of the soul," her odyssey in the magnificent city of Paris, of art, love and witchery, and not until she resolves a tragic love story and family curse will she be free of the ghost's possession.

Effortlessly absorbing and richly imagined, with sumptuous detail and spellbinding suspense, The Witch of Painted Sorrows conjures the brilliance and intrigue of Belle Époque Paris and illuminates the fine line

Available at Amazon BN iTunes IndieBound


Paris, France April 1894

I did not cause the madness, the deaths, or the rest of the tragedies any more than I painted the paintings. I had help, her help. Or perhaps I should say she forced her help on me. And so this story—which began with me fleeing my home in order to escape my husband and might very well end tomorrow, in a duel, in the Bois de Boulogne at dawn—is as much hers as mine. Or in fact more hers than mine. For she is the fountainhead. The fascination. She is La Lune. Woman of moon dreams, of legends and of nightmares. Who took me from the light and into the darkness. Who imprisoned me and set me free.

Or is it the other way around?

"Your questions," my father always said to me, "will be your saving grace. A curious mind is the most important attribute any man or woman can possess. Now if you can just temper your impulsiveness..." 

If I had a curious mind, I'd inherited it from him. And he'd nurtured it. Philippe Salome was on the board of New York City's Metropolitan Museum of Art and helped found the American Museum of Natural History, whose cornerstone was laid on my fifth birthday.

I remember sitting atop my father's shoulders that day, watching the groundbreaking ceremony and thinking the whole celebration was for me. He called it "our museum," didn't he? And for much of my life I thought it actually did belong to us, along with our mansion on Fifth Avenue and our summerhouse in Newport. Until it was gone, I understood so little about wealth and the price you pay for it. But isn't that always the way? 

Our museum's vast halls and endless exhibit rooms fascinated me as much as they did my father—which pleased him, I could tell. We'd meander through exhibits, my small hand in his large one, and he'd keep me spellbound with stories about items on display. I'd ask for more, always just one more, and he'd laugh and tease: "My Sandrine, does your capacity for stories know no bounds?"

But it pleased him, and he'd always tell me another.

I especially loved the stories he told me about the gems and fate and destiny always ending them by saying: "You will make your own fate, Sandrine, I'm sure of it."

Was my father right? Do we make our own destiny? I think back now to the stepping-stones that I've walked to reach this moment in time.

Were the incidents of my making? Or were they my fate?

The most difficult steps I took were after certain people died. No deaths were caused by me, but at the same time, none would have occurred were it not for me.

So many deaths. The first was on the morning of my fifteenth birthday, when I saw a boy beaten and tragically die because of our harmless kisses. The next was the night almost ten years later, when I heard the prelude to my father's death and learned the truth about Benjamin, my husband. And then there were more. Each was an end-ing that, ironically, became a new beginning for me.

The one thing I am now sure of is that if there is such a thing as destiny, it is a result of our passion, be that for money, power, or love. Passion, for better or worse. It can keep a soul alive even if all that survives is a shimmering. I've even seen it. I've been bathed in it. I've been changed by it.


Four months ago I snuck into Paris on a wet, chilly January night like a criminal, hiding my face in my shawl, taking extra care to be sure I wasn't followed.

I stood on the stoop of my grandmother's house and lifted the hand-shaped bronze door knocker and let it drop. The sound of the metal echoed inside. Her home was on a lane blocked off from rue des Saints-Pères by wide wooden double doors. Maison de la Lune, as it was called, was one of a half dozen four-story mid-eighteenthcentury stone houses that shared a courtyard that backed up onto rue du Dragon. Hidden clusters like this were a common configuration in Paris.These small enclaves offered privacy and quiet from the busy city. Usually the porte cochère was locked and one had to ring for the concierge, but I'd found the heavy doors ajar and hadn't had to wait for service.

I let the door knocker fall again. Light from a street lamp glinted off the golden metal. It was a strange object. Usually on these things the bronze hand's palm faced the door. But this one was palm out, almost warning the visitor to reconsider requesting entrance.

I was anxious and impatient. I'd been cautious on my journey from New York to Southampton and kept to my cabin. I'd left a letter telling Benjamin I'd gone to visit friends in Virginia and assumed that once he returned and read it, it would be at least a week before he'd realize all was not what it seemed. One thing I had known for certain—he would never look for me in France. It would be inconceivable to Benjamin that any wife of his could cross the ocean alone.

Or so I assured myself until my husband's banking associate, William Lenox, spotted me on board. When he expressed surprise I was traveling by myself, I concocted a story but was worried he didn't believe me. My only consolation was that we had docked in England and I had since crossed the channel into France. So even if Benjamin did come looking, he wouldn't know where I'd gone.

That very first night in Paris, as I waited for my grandmother's maid to open the door, I knew I had to stop thinking of what I had run away from. So I refocused on the house I stood before and as I did, felt an overwhelming sense of belonging, of being welcome. Here I would be safe.


April Indie Next List

March Library Reads List

Big Spring Books – Amazon

#1 Historical Fiction for 2015 - Goodreads

"This bell époque thriller is a haunting tale of obsessive passions." —People Magazine

"Provocative, erotic, and spellbindingly haunting...will have the reader totally mesmerized cover-to-cover....a 'must-have' novel." —Suspense Magazine

"A haunting tale of erotic love.... M.J. Rose seamlessly weaves historical events throughout this story filled with distinctive characters that will keep the reader captivated to the end." —Examiner.com

"Rose has a talent for compelling writing, and this time she has outdone herself. Fear, desire, lust and raw emotion ooze off the page." —Associated Press

"Haunting tale of possession." —Publishers Weekly

"Rose's new series offers her specialty, a unique and captivating supernatural angle, set in an intriguing belle epoque Paris — lush descriptions, intricate plot and mesmerizing storytelling. Sensual, evocative, mysterious and haunting." —Kirkus

About the Author:
New York Times Bestseller, M.J. Rose grew up in New York City mostly in the labyrinthine galleries of the Metropolitan Museum, the dark tunnels and lush gardens of Central Park and reading her mother's favorite books before she was allowed. She believes mystery and magic are all around us but we are too often too busy to notice... books that exaggerate mystery and magic draw attention to it and remind us to look for it and revel in it.

Rose's work has appeared in many magazines including Oprah Magazine and she has been featured in the New York Times, Newsweek, WSJ, Time, USA Today and on the Today Show, and NPR radio. Rose graduated from Syracuse University, spent the '80s in advertising, has a commercial in the Museum of Modern Art in NYC and since 2005 has run the first marketing company for authors - Authorbuzz.com

The television series PAST LIFE, was based on Rose's novels in the Reincarnationist series. She is one of the founding board members of International Thriller Writers and currently serves, with Lee Child, as the organization's co-president.

Rose lives in CT with her husband the musician and composer, Doug Scofield, and their very spoiled and often photographed dog, Winka.

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