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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Wistful Wednesday

A Review: Stolen Away
by Alyxandra Harvey

Stolen Away
Alyxandra Harvey brings her trademark romance and adventure to the world of Faery
For seventeen years, Eloise Hart had no idea the world of Faery even existed. Now she has been abducted and trapped in the Rath of Lord Strahan, King of Faery. Strahan was only meant to rule for seven years, as Faery tradition dictates, and then give up his crown to another. But he won't comply, and now chaos threatens both worlds.

The only one who can break his stranglehold on the Faery court is his wife ... Eloise's aunt Antonia. Using Eloise to lure Antonia, Strahan captures his wife, desperate to end the only threat to his reign. Now Eloise must become the rescuer. Together with her best friends Jo and Devin, she must forge alliances with other Fae, including a gorgeous protector named Lucas, and Strahan's mysterious son, Eldric—who may or may not betray them.
My Thoughts:
All I can say about this book is that the title is not misleading - and it is the reader who will be Stolen Away by this story. I have read quite a few books with this same theme in the past and they were really hit or miss with me. Some lived up to the hype, others made me wonder what the hype was all about. Not so Stolen Away. This has to be one of the best Faery books I have read in a long time.
I was caught from the very first pages and happily strung along until the thrilling conclusion - and I wasn't disappointed by it. The characters were amazing and so well drawn out, it was like I was reading the diary of a friend. I found myself rooting for the characters and wishing them well, cringing when they ran into trouble, and breathing a sigh of relief when things worked out. I found myself drooling over Lucas and Eldric, laughing out loud with Devin, and secretly wishing I was either Eloise or Jo.
The descriptions of the faeries and their world were detailed to the point that I felt like I was there with them, experiencing everything they did. I actually believed this world could exist. And I almost wanted to live there! But not everything is beautiful in the faery world and that is where the real intrigue lies.
If you enjoy stories about faeries and the faery world, then you will definitely want to b Stolen Away.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Mystic Monday

Hey there!

It's been awhile since I've posted here. That was for many reasons, the biggest being all the migraines I suffered with last year. It just felt like it never ended. Then, when I was easing myself back into real life, I spent a lot of time over in the Anime Alcove, adding reviews on the different anime programs I've watched. Still have a few more to enter, but I'm beginning to branch out and plan on starting back with this site regularly as well as our:
YA Cove
Mystery Isle
Sci-Fi Coffers 
Fantasy Files and 
Horror House 
- links to all of which can be found in our Causeway, or the tabs above! 

Also, I finally had the chance to get my newest online writing endeavor organized today. It's called Unbound Soul Network. The world and characters are still pretty basic right now, but the idea is not only to get an idea of my writing, but to see how this world will unfold as I come up with it.

We also have Twitter: Just type in Unbound Soul Network! (1 Tweet so far!)

We have a brand-spanking new Facebook page too under Unbound Soul Network! Stop by and like the page! When it gets to 25, I'll be able to create give it it's own link! :D 

I hope you'll stop by, check it out, and follow it!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Supernatural Sunday

     all's fair in vanities war FINALhighres.jpeg



Elizabeth Marxx

When you imagine druid, you imagine someone resembling the man above. Locke Cavanagh is descended from this old gentleman, even though Locke looks nothing like the old wise man depicted here. The one thing they do share in common besides their ancient DNA is their workrooms. Locke’s inner sanctum is not very different from his predecessors, even though a millennium separates them.

Locke Cavanagh’s is located in the barn behind his house in Salem. His Sanctum Sanctorum contains his library of arcane knowledge, his temple, a magical museum, and a worktable.

Locke’s barn is original to the property and dates back to the late 1780’s. The barn has a waist-high stone foundation with raised timbered walls above, and it’s crowned with a slate roof. It has several entrances, a regular door nestled under the eaves, a double barn-door that slides on a track and a loft door for the second story hay loft, which Locke converted into a bedroom. The interior has limestone floors; the center of the stone floor has a laminated wood, checkerboard-floor, where life-size chess pieces stand like statues waiting to be moved by feats of magic.

All druids worth an ounce of salt have a library of the arcane that houses books on magic, science and nature, history, myths and legends, art books, reference materials and maps. Even though the druids don’t record their own histories in bound volumes, they do collect the knowledge of other ancient wise people. These volumes range in a myriad of magical subjects from the Persian Magi, to the arcane wisdom of African shamans, to the mysticism of the ancient Egyptians.

Locke’s temple or altar, houses his serpent’s egg which is used for divination, his athame (knife) and chalice used for rituals and depictions of the male and female gods: Abundia the goddess of abundance and a bronze statue of Cernunnos the god of fertility. Candles, a censure for burning incense, bowls of salt, a crystal bowl for water, and gong are all items used to represent the earth and elements. Any magical amulets and talismans would also be kept here for protection. If one possessed, let’s say, a magical mirror, it too would find protection when placed on the altar.

A druid learns many lessons from his environment and his desire for learning and improvement never ceases, making a magical museum essential. A cabinet of curiosities holds precious items like seeds, flowers, fossils, rocks and crystals, models or dioramas for further study. Globes, sundials, and contraptions like timepieces, water clocks, and sundials are used for plotting the motion of the heavenly bodies and estimating the best times to take action or create spells. A menagerie containing both a terrarium with local plant life, insects and small animals, and an aquarium planted with natural water plants and filled with local pond water and fish help keep the druid grounded in his local surroundings.

A druids’ worktable houses items for creating compounds that work in conjunction with spells and incantations. It’s not much different than a modern chemistry lab set-up. An athenos is a small furnace used for melting and combining metals and other substances similar to a Bunsen burner. An alembic is used for distilling the essence of liquids used for the same thing as an evaporating dish and lab burner. Pieces of quartz, a mortar and pestle, a whetstone and knife, bottles and cloth sacks for herbs and spices are scattered around the surface. Locke doesn’t keep any freshly ground unicorn horn around but he does have eye of newt. These folklore items rest alongside beakers, Erlenmeyer flasks and safety glasses at the table. Some of the more traditional items on a druids’ worktable are crystal balls for divination, which should only be used sparingly, hour candles, and a polished skull which serves to startle visitors and makes an excellent paper weight. A large black cauldron rests in the middle of the table and is handy for stirring all sorts of spells or for storing paint thinner. Don’t tell Locke this is what Keleigh used it for while he was away or he might blow a gasket, nah, he’ll just make sure Humphrey scours it. What druid doesn’t have a little minion to do all the dirty work?

If you think because you have ExtraOrdinary skills you don’t have to work at them, your wrong. Just like any other talent inherited from your parents, the more effort you invest in enhancing the ability, the better master of it you will become. Most ExtraOrdinaries believe their magical aptitudes are a gift and choose to use them wisely and for good purposes, but beware those who use them for the sole purpose of expanding their personal power, for they pay a steep price. Remember what happened to Ciara, a fiery death isn’t fun. Just ask the Seer.

For those interested in how Locke differs from the old looking druid above, here’s a glimpse of what a modern druid looks like. Be still your beating hearts. . . All this and magic too!



Saturday, January 21, 2012

Starlight Saturday

Please Welcome Guest Author
J.J. Bidell

I am very happy about sharing some information about me here. My real name is Elke Becker and I am a German author living in Spain, so my English is far away from being perfect. So please bear with me ;-)

After travelling around the world at least I settled down in Spain, to be exactly on Mallorca, a beautiful island in the Mediterranean Sea. I never felt like home in Germany and for that reason I looked for my place in the world.

I lived alone in Venezuela where I started studying Spanish. Nobody over there spoke English nether German. So I felt very lonely there the first time. For that reason I started writing and never could stop again. The stories of too many funny adventures, curious situations, different customs and very nice people from all over the world has to been told. As it was in a time where not every home had an internet connection nether skype or other systems offered their service, I had to connect with family and friends going in an internet café. So I started writing what happened to me during my stay like a dairy. I saved it on a floppy disk and walked to the closest internet café for sending it to my family.

In this time I was far away from writing novels but I never stopped writing for myself. The first three “novels” are still “sleeping” in a file in my computer. They are nice to read … but without a real story or plot … I showed it only to my sister and to a friend – they loved the stories and I know they will love everything I write because they love me. So I took courses in creative and screenplay writing, bought books like “How to write a damn good novel” and some other books about writing – and I wrote a lot. Short stories, longer ones and scripts for short movies.

After another year I tried to start my next novel. I plotted with the “snowflake method”, wrote a crime story – inspired by a true story – and found a publisher in Germany. So things started slowly.

It was great fun during the screenplay writing course painting the storyboard of my script for a short movie and helped a lot in dialogue seeing the written words getting alive by actors. I will never forget the feeling I had seeing it on the screen. If you wish to have a look – it is subtitled and free:

Well, my nieces are not interested in crime stories not even in my ones. Kids are cruel and honest and I love this. But they asked me why I am not writing something for them like an urban fantasy story without werewolves and vampires and I promised them to consider it.

As I travelled to Mexico before I remembered a legend of jaguar people in the Maya era and I started thinking: What will happen, when a young woman in present time will be transformed into a panther in a foreign country living there by her own? What if she fell in love and this love will be in danger? Slowly the plot grew up. I travelled to Maine for finding the right place for the US setting and after a year the first part of novel has been done. I wrote this story under the name J. J. Bidell. (The name comes from my nieces Jessica and Janine and the maiden name of my beloved mother Bidell)

My nieces love the story and other readers in Germany like the story too. So I asked a professional translator in Washington to translate the first part for English readers. Some people asked me, why English spoken people should read a novel of an unknown German author and I was not able to answer. But I nor know the answer why German readers are reading the stories of authors from other countries … maybe it is only while the story sounds interesting? I will see if they like the story. The time will show.

In the meanwhile I am working in the second part which will be finished in December this year (German Edition) and I love how the characters challenge me while trying to live their own live in the story. And the story I have in mind for them.

My only intention is to entertain the reader for some hours. Nothing more, nothing less. If I achieve this I am very happy and if not I try to achieve this next time as far as I gain it.

J. J. Bidell.jpg
J. J. Bidell grew up in the country-bred of Southern Germany with an older sister and a younger brother. Since she was 18 years old she travelled every year like a backpacker thru the North and South America as she never felt comfortable in her native country. She considers herself like a cosmopolitan with German roots.  After living in Venezuela and in the Dominican Republic she moved to Spain. Since 2005 she lives on Mallorca with her older sister and her fifteen year old black cat, which is more than happy that she never has to set paw in another airplane again.

Under the name Elke Becker she published several short stories with Amnesty International, in anthologies and a novel with Schenk Publishing House. Her script of a short movie “Marie´s voice” has been running in several international film festivals like in the UK and Colombia.

Where to meet:
Twitter: @JJBidell

Link to the novel:

Look for my review of J.J.'s book to come!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Wistful Wednesday

Why Wolves?

(Image courtesy of

Whenever I discuss my latest book, Sloane Wolf, people often ask me, Why Wolves? And I have to say, why not? Wolves are fantastic creatures that mate for life and are truly faithful to their mates (from what I've read), and we humans could learn a lot from them.

As it pertains to my book, however, it was rather serendipitous that I ended up writing about wolves. I didn't intentionally set out to do so, but a series of events conspired to make it happen. The first event came in the form of a book that was ultimately made into a movie that got me to thinking - and anybody who knows me can tell you that when I get to thinking, things begin to a writing sense that is! I can turn the smallest nugget of an idea into a story, if motivated enough to do so, and that is how this story started out, as just a nugget. So there I was, inspired by this other book/movie enough that certain scenes kept kicking up in my head (ahem, fight scene), but content just to imagine it in my head. 

(Image courtesy of

Until event number two happened. That would be a contest that an electronic publishing company was running with the theme of - you guessed it - wolves. And so I thought, why not? I had some interesting scenes kicking around in my head, the contest was for a novella length story, so I had enough to accomplish that. And with the help of event number three - discovering an article about gray wolves returning to Massachusetts after a100-plus year absence - a true story began to formulate with legends of wolves and why they "reappeared" in the state after such a long absence. Wow, I thought, this was really going to be something, if I could get it all together in time.

Trouble was, once I started writing, I just kept on writing and I over-shot the word count. One thing I forgot when I set out to enter this contest: I have never been able to write short. I keep trying, but I usually have so much to say, it doesn't conform well to short stories or novellas. Not wanting to cut anything to fit the guidelines, I simply finished the book for me. And by the time I was finished with it, I knew that I had to try to get it published anyway, I felt that strong about it. And after several fits and starts, I finally found the right publisher for it in Muse it Up Publishing.

So there you have it. The serendipitous events that led to the birth of Sloane Wolf.


Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Tantalizing Tuesday

Best Bad Date Character Interview
Addison James


Addison: Today I’m pleased to interview the stars of my recently released romantic comedy short story, THE BEST BAD DATE: Dr Roger Lane and Ms Susan Wells, written by me, Addison James, and released in December 2011 by Muse It Up Publishing.  Susan, Roger, thanks for agreeing to be interviewed.

Roger: Thanks for inviting us.

Susan: Yes, it’s very sweet of you to ask us.

Addison: Well, I really appreciate you allowing me to document your story. I think the title tells it all, but can you two describe how your first date was and how did you survive?

Roger: (laughing)  Well, how much time do we have? (He looks at Susan and holds her hand.) Honey, would you like to do the honors?

Susan: (smiling) Well, I could, or we could do it together.

Addison: let’s start with how you met. That’s interesting.

(Roger and Susan look at each other and burst out laughing.)

Roger: Um, interesting is a good word.

Susan: I’d say unusual.

Roger: Memorable.

Susan: Unique.

Roger: Special. (gazing into Susan’s eyes and ignoring Addison)

Susan: (looking at Roger) Very special.

(Addison coughs and the couple refocuses their attention to her.)

Roger: It was a bachelor auction.

Susan: And he was worth every penny!

Addison: Yes,that’s unusual. And special. And the date itself? The most memorable first date ever?

Roger: Ever!

Susan: Everything that could go wrong went wrong.

Roger (counting on his fingers): the dyslexic printer, the parking ticket, the doggie do...

Susan: You’ll never forget that , will you?

Roger: (smiling) No dear (continues counting) The waiter spilling, the parking ticket…

Susan: The porn movie…

Roger: It wasn’t porn, it was artistic.

Susan: It was NC-17.

Roger: (holding her hand tighter) But, it all worked out. When you see how someone faces adversity, you know their character. And I knew Susan was someone special right away. All those events just confirmed it.

Susan: I felt the same way. Most guys would have become angry and accusing and defensive. Roger just took it step by step and we handled each problem together.

(They look into each other’s eyes again and Addison coughs, again. They turn to face the interviewer.)

Addison: So, the readers want to know how the second date was.

(Roger and Susan laugh together.)

Susan: Perfectly normal.

Roger: But perfectly wonderful.

Addison: And there have been more dates?

Susan: (nodding) Lots more.

Roger: Lots and lots more. We have a big date planned in June.

(Susan, glowing, holds out her left hand where there is a diamond solitaire on her third finger.)

Addison: Congratulations!

Roger: We’re at the age that we don’t want to wait. We want to start a family. We’ve had our starter marriages and relationships, at our age, we know the real thing when it happens and we don’t want to let it go away.

Susan: It’s been a whirlwind but wonderful. We’re very happy.

Addison: Well, that’s all we have time for. Thank you both for taking the time and congratulations!


Brief synopsis

When is a bad date good? Susan Wells finds out when a bachelor auction leads to a date with handsome  Doctor Roger Lane, and a night to remember. What could go wrong? Everything. Will love find a way through this comedy of errors? Absolutely.

Book blurb:

 “It’s for a good cause.”

Dr. Roger Lane repeated this mantra over and over again as he was dragged onstage in front of several hundred screaming women.

It wasn’t supposed to happen like this. Roger knew today was the day of the bachelor auction fundraiser for Saint Albans Hospital. Marge, the head of the Ladies’ Auxiliary, even sought him out specifically to participate--“Our own Doctor McDreamy” she was quoted saying).

Roger purposely arranged to be out of the hospital today, but there was an emergency surgery that required his attention. After the surgery Nurse Williams decided to show him a super secret shortcut back to the physician’s parking lot, which somehow managed to reroute him so that he ended up in the auditorium on the stage where hundreds of women were yelling, “Take it off! Take it off!”


Author Bio:

Addison James spent her childhood with her nose in a book, ignoring the natural beauty of her native Vermont. She went to the right schools, got the right jobs, and spent her early adult years being responsible and stable. Then, her long repressed urge to write emerged and she has been feeding it ever since.


Twitter: @addisonj_writer

Author page on Amazon:

Author page on GoodReads:

Google +: Addison James

Link to purchase book—book published December 16, 2011.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Goddess Fish Party Pavilion: Why Wolves? Comment to Win

Goddess Fish Party Pavilion: Why Wolves? Comment to Win: Whenever I discuss my latest book, Sloane Wolf, people often ask me, Why Wolves? And I have to say, why not? Wolves are fantastic creatures ...

Goddess Fish Party Pavilion: Why Wolves? Comment to Win

Goddess Fish Party Pavilion: Why Wolves? Comment to Win: Whenever I discuss my latest book, Sloane Wolf, people often ask me, Why Wolves? And I have to say, why not? Wolves are fantastic creatures ...

Goddess Fish Party Pavilion: Shiloh Beck - First Kiss

Goddess Fish Party Pavilion: Shiloh Beck - First Kiss: Shiloh nearly leapt off the sill as his hand touched her knee. It took every ounce of willpower she possessed to remain seated and appear ...

Goddess Fish Party Pavilion: Interview With Shiloh Beck from Sloane Wolf

Goddess Fish Party Pavilion: Interview With Shiloh Beck from Sloane Wolf: Here is an interview empath Shiloh Beck did with author Kay Dee Royal: KDR ~ Welcome Shiloh Beck, star of Sloane Wolf, a paranormal roman...

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Wistful Wednesday

Holiday Hangover

So we remembered what we were thankful for over an overstuffed turkey and too many side dishes to be consumed in one sitting. We celebrated the birth of one of the most popular men in biblical history by giving gifts we couldn't afford, thereby setting up a debt that will ring us into the new year, which we welcomed with the world's oldest teenager and a large crystal ball. Now all that remains is remnants of the holidays in the form of turkey soup mom made and froze for later consumption, a Christmas tree that needs to come down but you lost the ambition half-way through the ball dropping in Times Square, and the total let-down when you realize the holiday season is over. 

I call this the Holiday Hangover. That lull between New Year's and the next excuse to buy something for someone you love because nothing says "I love you," like a gift they really don't need - you might recognize it as Valentine's Day. Do you get restless during that time? Bored? Listless? And what is it about us that makes us want to celebrate Every Little Thing with an expensive gift, a ton of food, and excessive drinking? Whatever happened to just Being Together?

I don't know about anyone else, but for me, this lull between holidays always gives me time to think and reflect upon the year just past, the holidays just celebrated, and makes me wonder if they were all worth it. Did I really have to make that huge turkey for five people? Did I really need the stress of worrying that I couldn't afford to buy gifts, or that I'd ring in the new year alone? In a word: No. But I did it anyway. Do I have any regrets? Only that I stressed so much about the gift thing. Turns out, everyone loved the gifts I made them. Will I do it all again? You bet.

Same time, next year.