Saturday, October 29, 2011

Please welcome the awesommer Sommer Marsden

It's my pleasure to welcome back a very dear friend, Sommer Marsden, to promote her latest release — Big Bad. She was here not too long ago to promote her Zombie series and has returned just in time for Halloween, to share with us  her latest creation about vampires. Let me warn you, after I read the excerpt for Big Bad, I immediately purchased a copy. Perhaps Sommer is part witch.

Take it away, Sommer:

Missing In Action

I don’t know if it’s normal or even rational to do so—but I really missed my characters when this book was done. I wrapped up BIG BAD and my time with Ruby, Ellis, Tyler and Peabody felt far from done. So I took a week off and then I went and I wrote the sequel. To find out what my missing in action characters had been up to.

Unheard of for me. Very heard of for other writers, but not so much for yours truly. The zombie books and the Seekers series don’t count for one reason: they are pretty much a long serialization in my head. They’re one long story told in pieces. But BIG BAD felt like a full story told. But hey, hunh, go figure…still more to say.

So I put my writer’s hat back and dove back in. Long Lost, the sequel will be out in December.
Maybe it’s wrong to fall for characters that hard. Maybe it’s abnormal *cough* to miss people who don’t exist. But hey, as Popeye said: I yam what I yam and that’s all that I yam.
And what I yam is mentally prepping to pimp the next and final (maybe…probably…surely!...mostly) tale of Ruby and Ellis.


Excerpt from BIG BAD by Sommer Marsden

I took a shower, standing in the heat and steam and wondering if I had been stupid to take Tyler at his word. He was a guy, after all. And hot-headed, possessive and even petulant on occasion. It was part of why I loved him. Being a vampire didn’t cool that part of his nature any, but he wasn’t over the top about it.

“Which is why you took him at his word and went ahead and dove head first into your natural lust for him, you dipshit,” I scolded myself. The water blazed super hot and outside I heard a crack of thunder. Odd to have a thunderstorm this late in the season. I climbed out, because being electrocuted was not on my To-Do list for today.

Rain beat the windows and inside of me a pulse seemed to beat in time with the weather. I could feel the sex and the orgasms’ ghosts deep in my pussy. The bite on my back beat in time with my cunt and my heart. They were already healing. Most of the bites from earlier were already gone. I’d have to ask Tyler about that.

I wiped the steam from the mirror and stared at myself. My own blue eyes, my own dark blond hair. I spotted a few silver strands mixed in with the brown and platinum. Truth be told, I didn’t mind. “So this is what I look like.”

The words startled me. More than the words, though, the ease with which that unanticipated sentence rolled off my tongue.

I touched my reflection. My pale eyes, my wet hair, my lips. I closed my eyes and thought of Ellis. How close he had been. That kiss. The feel of his hard cock pressed to my split and the feel of his heart banging against my chest. Part of me marveled that I’d been able to fend him off after wanting him for this amount of time.

I blew out a sigh that sounded shuttering and weak even to me and put my hair up in a towel. I tied my pale lavender kimono tight and opened the door. To Ellis Bach.

“Jesus Christ on a cracker you scared the shit out of me,” I yelled.

He flinched but laughed softly too. “I’m out of sausage. I came to see if you had some.”

I blinked, feeling stupid and flustered and buck naked despite the silk that barely covered me. “The store is closed,” I said dumbly.

He hooked his hand in the soft pale belt and tugged so I staggered forward a bit. “Maybe you have some. In your fridge or something.”

Great. First I had sex and dinner with a vampire. Now the wolf had shown up for a late night snack.

It wasn’t hard to let my mind trip back through earlier in the day on our walk. It was very easy to feel his skin and his breath on me. And now with his hand trapped in the belt of my robe and the invisible sparks of energy shooting off of him—that I could feel everywhere—I wanted him with an almost violent urgency

So I stepped back. He grinned and I studied the gingery brown stubble along his cheeks and jaw. His hair was the color of honey in the sun, dark and light and red at times. It was no particular color of hair and I wanted to push my fingers into it and feel the thick unruly waves under my fingers. He kept it much shorter than Ty’s but not too short and I imagined what it would be like to tug that hair while he went down on me.

My nipples pebbled under my clothes and my throat made a little gaspy noise before I could stifle it.

“I can smell how much you want me,” he whispered. “So don’t be embarrassed. I can smell it as surely as I could smell you in the shower all hot and slippery from the water. The water and the heat accents your natural smell. Like baking a chicken makes the house smell good.”

“Are you comparing me to poultry?”

“Maybe, innocent little bird. You have to be careful for wolves,” he chuckled.

Ellis was fast and he pressed his pink lips to my lips. I went stiff and then kissed him back hungrily. I could worry about my nerves later. I held his huge shoulders and pressed myself to him, realizing that one man had just left and here I was kissing another.

But I felt no guilt. Why should I? This was what I wanted and it was okay. There was no one there to tell me that it wasn’t.

“You smell confused.”

“You need to stop smelling me.”

Ellis wrapped his hands around my waist and tugged me in. He buried his face to the place where my neck met my shoulder and inhaled deeply. It made me tingle and I shivered against him, feeling his hot breath on my cooling skin. “But you smell so good,” Ellis said, his mouth pressed to my skin as he spoke.

I relaxed into his embrace, taking in his scent now. Feeling the intense heat that radiated off of him and warmed the front of my kimono. “God you’re hot.”

“Thanks. You’re pretty sexy yourself.”

I snorted. “I mean heat, heat. Like hot to touch.”

“Metabolism thing. We burn hotter and faster than most. Unlike your chilly friend.”

I pressed my hand to his hard chest, feeling his heart galloping under my palm. He was excited. The heat that warmed my fingers was intense. Like touching a wood burning stove. I wondered what that would feel like naked flesh pressed to naked flesh.

“I could show you, ” he said, cocking an eyebrow.


“I could show you what you were just wondering. All you have to do is take off that silly little bit of silk and I can show you how hot I feel against you.”

“How did you…are you…”

“Psychic? No, little bird. But I am good at reading expressions and yours had dirty written all over it.”

Heat flooded my cheeks and I pushed past him. “Let me check on that sausage.”

“Oh you leave me open for a good sausage double entendre,” Ellis growled.

“And hopefully you won’t take it since you’re not oh…fourteen.”

“Come on, Ruby. All males are fourteen at heart.”

Blurb for BIG BAD by Sommer Marsden

Lust according to Ruby: 

You read those books where they explain it all away. They make it fine with rationalization. But what if I just want to? What if that's my whole reason? My life is not a romance novel. I don’t need justification. I’m a grown woman who knows what she wants. 

I want Ellis. And I want Tyler. 
And I won’t apologize...

What’s worse than wanting both your best friend who’s a vampire and the just-back-in-town alpha werewolf you find yourself fixated on? Finding out that the werewolf in question wants you, too. But he isn’t too keen on the sharing part. Oh, and by the way, you’re his dead mate.

Okay, okay, dead is harsh—reincarnated.

What’s worse than that? Realizing that you believe the whole crazy tale of reincarnation. Because it seems to be true.

And yet you still want them both—together. Vampire and werewolf and you in the middle. Stuck between two predators who want you and only you. To complicate it all, you find out that you can have it. With your new/old mate’s blessing. But just one time before he claims you as his. 

Are you brave enough to take it? That one shot?

 Well...Are you?

Warnings: This title contains graphic sex and language, spanking, m/f/m sex, multiple partners.


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Book of the Day on Author Island

Aloha! Welcome to Author Island

A Sheryl Locke Holmes Mystery 

An old college friend begs Sheryl to help find her missing cousin, Opal, who may have been kidnapped by a mysterious mountain man.

When all leads are exhausted, Sheryl concocts a dangerous plan - she becomes bait for the kidnapper and alleged murderer.

But will she survive her plan? Or is this Sheryl's last mystery?

WIN - To get your name in the hat for a free download of today's book of the day, read the excerpt to find out who is Sheryl's number one suspect.  Email your answers to AuthorIsland at, along with your name and address if the prize is a print book or your email address if the prize is an ebook.  Please put "Book of the Day" in the subject line.  And don't forget to check back to see what great book we have up for grabs as tomorrow's BOOK OF THE DAY!!

An Excerpt from: Sheryl Locke Holmes: Book 3: Opal's Disappearance

Copyright © 2011 C.L. Exline
All rights reserved, Wild Child Publishing.

When Sheryl spotted Dot, she stopped so fast that Brian bumped into her. “Dot, sweetie, open your eyes.”

“No. Shoot him.”

“I’m not sure, but I think tree season is over,” Brian said.

“Huh?” Dot opened her eyes and frowned.

“Your hood is caught on a branch.” Sheryl hurried to get Dot loose. “No one has you. You’re safe.”

“You’re kidding?” Dot tried to turn around, but the branch held her firm in its grasp. “I was so sure that mountain man had me.”

“I thought Lucas had you.” Sheryl put her gun away and freed Dot.

“Speaking of Lucas, where is he?” Brian looked around. “He should have been with you.”

Dot pointed toward a pile of brush. “He went over there to check something out, and I waited here.”

They heard a moan, and Lucas staggered toward them.

“Lucas! Were you attacked?” Dot rushed to him.

“No. I was picking some flowers and tripped over a stump. When I heard you yell, I jumped to my feet and whirled around so fast I ran into a tree or into something. Hit hard enough it knocked me to the ground.” Lucas had a big knot on his forehead. Leaves and debris clung to his hair, shirt, and pants.

“You’re a sight.” Sheryl laughed.

“What were you doing picking flowers?” Brian asked.

Lucas’ face turned crimson. “Well, uh, I... uh, it seemed the right thing to do.”

Dot brushed off Lucas’ back.

“Let him alone, and we’ll get back to canvassing the area.” Sheryl grabbed Brian’s arm, and they returned to their starting point.

“Don’t rush me, woman.”

“I wouldn’t have to if you’d walk faster.”

By the time Sheryl and Brian met up with Dot and Lucas again, Dot was wearing flowers in her hair. The four searched for over two hours, but found nothing. Not even a cigarette butt.

“Well, I’m disappointed,” Sheryl said.

“Does this mean Cindy is a suspect?” Dot asked.

“She’s moved to the top of the list.”

Buy Now!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Join me on my Oct-Opal Fest Blog Hop

Opal's Disappearance became available for purchase Tuesday, Oct. 11 from Wild Child Publishing. To celebrate the launch of the third book in the Sheryl Locke Holmes Mystery Series, I'm doing an Oct-Opal Fest Blog Hop. Please follow me on my journey. Stalkers fascinate and scare me. Look I have chills already.

Let the List begin:

Chris Redding -- Oct. 6
Wild Child Blog -- Oct. 12
Starla Kaye -- Oct. 13
Emmy Ellis -- Oct. 17
Sarah Ballance -- Oct. 20
Raine Delight -- Oct. 22
Elaina Lee -- Oct. 24-25
Long And Short Review (LASR/WC/GT Haunting Halloween Blog Fest) -- Oct. 30
Goddess Fish Promotions Party Pavilion (Haunting Halloween Blog Fest) -- Oct. 30

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Welcome Terry Odell

I'm so excited to have as a special guest -- mystery writer -- Terry Odell. During one of my usual sleuthing of sites for something to read, I discovered a new author. Okay, new to me, but not any more. The story that got my attention was called On The Other Side of the Page. To quote Terry, "A tongue-in-cheek look at the other side of writing." As an author, you'll love it. Boy did it ring true for me. And as a reader, you'll understand a bit more about writers and our wacky thought processes.  Great story.

Anyway, I was hooked and had to had the entire series that featured lovable characters Sarah and Randy, which means the main books  Finding Sarah and Hidden Fire

Lucky for all of you, Terry has also bundled together a collection of short stories into an anthology entitled Finding Fire, which includes On The Other Side of the Page.You'll learn about Sarah before Randy and what happened after Hidden Fire. A must have collection. Of course, I'm selfish and I want more. Which is good because she has another series for me to read.

Okay, I’ve prattled long enough. Terry, tell us about yourself.

What do you come up with first in starting a story: Title? Characters? Plot? Setting? Conflict?

Characters, then conflict (actually, those go hand in hand, so they build off each other. Then plot, which grows from the characters and their conflicts. Title is absolute last. I hate coming up with titles.

Tell us about what you've had published.

I started with contemporary romance short stories with The Wild Rose Press. Then I wanted to write a mystery, but it turned into a romantic suspense, Finding Sarah. Since then, I've had seven books published, although one of them, Starting Over,  was first published by Cerridwen Press, then re-released with a new title and re-editing, as Nowhere to Hide, which is now available from The Wild Rose Press in print and digital formats.

Any works in progress?

Yes, I'm working on a 3rd Pine Hills Police romantic suspense.

What drives you as a writer?

Otherwise I'd be expected to do things like clean toilets. Writing is much more fun.

How long have you been writing?

About 8 years. In that short time, I've seen amazing changes in the publishing industry. Authors are now free to pursue their own paths, bypassing agents and publishers if they want. I'm kind of in both camps. My Blackthorne, Inc. series fits both categories. I wrote When Danger Calls, and it was published in hard cover by Five Star Expressions. About 18 months after it came out, the publisher decided to "remainder" it, which meant it was effectively out of print.

However, I bought all the remaining copies, so if anyone wants one, I've got them. But, what I decided to do was test the indie-publishing market. Since I owned the rights to the book, I published it myself as an e-book, and it's in virtually all the e-book stores. In the meanwhile, Five Star bought the second book in the series, Where Danger Hides. However, even though they don't retain the e-rights, their contract prohibits and author from publishing the digital version for a year. So, Where Danger Hides is hard cover only.

Then (and because the traditional publishing industry moves so slowly, I'd already signed the contract for the third book in the series, Rooted in Danger, which again will be hard cover only for a year after it's released in April of 2012. Since I'm a writer, I was already working on another book, Danger in Deer Ridge.

However, given the slow turnaround, and the fact that Five Star had discontinued Expression, its romantic line, choosing to focus on mystery, I wasn't sure that book would work for them, so I opted to bypass the publisher entirely and go straight to digital myself. And then I added a print version through Amazon's Create Space for those who prefer print over digital. Complicated? You bet. But I wrote all the books as stand alones. They feature returning characters, but a reader doesn't have to read them in order.

I've also recently regained the rights to my two Pine Hills Police novels, Finding Sarah and Hidden Fire, and have re-published them myself, as well as another stand alone romantic suspense, What's in a Name?

Being robbed at gunpoint wasn’t part of Sarah Tucker’s business plan.  Neither was falling in love with the detective who arrived to solve the case.

For police detective Randy Detweiler, a routine robbery investigation turns into the biggest challenge of his career when he falls in love with the victim and ends up having to save more than her business.

Returning from a stint as part of a task force on violent crime, Randy Detweiler is eager to reunite with Sarah Tucker in Pine Hills, but she’s having second thoughts about their relationship.  Can she deal with a cop who gets called away at a moment’s notice, especially one who won’t talk about his job?

Their reunion is cut short when a body is discovered and rumors fly that it’s the work of a serial killer. To make matters worse, the Town Council might disband their police department, and Randy's under added pressure to solve the murder before they take action.  Forced to work under the radar, Randy struggles to balance work with a shaky relationship.

Sarah can’t cope with apparently meaning less to Randy than his job. Should she force him to choose between his job and the us she envisions for the two of them? All bets are off when Sarah herself becomes a suspect in Randy’s case. Before long, it’s more than their relationship that’s in danger.

A Winter's Day: What happened before Sarah met Randy? For Sarah Tucker, life was perfect. She had David, their gift shop, and despite minor spats, a happy marriage--until the day everything turned around. A prologue not included in the novel, A Winter's Day introduces heroine Sarah Tucker, and lays the foundation for what unfolds in Finding Sarah.

Coping Mechanisms: Randy may have his cop partner, but Sarah is his new life partner, and she's aware that any new relationship has its little hiccups. But what works with a fellow cop isn't going to cut it with Sarah. Determined to dismantle his fortress, brick by brick if she has to, she confronts him after a difficult case has him retreating. Follow these newlyweds as their relationship moves onto the next level.

A Summer's Eve: Randy and Sarah are back in an epilogue to Hidden Fire. Cutbacks in the Pine Hills Police force have increased Randy’s workload, and he’s looking forward to getting some time off to spend with his wife. However, despite all of Randy’s detective skills, Sarah still manages to surprise him, sending their lives down a new path.

The Other Side of the Page: Who says characters aren't real? Of course they are. And how do authors find their characters? I can't speak for others, but I advertise. Here's a look at how I found Randy and Sarah, the hero and heroine of Finding Sarah and Hidden Fire. And, as a bonus, there's also a look at what happened when I left them unattended for a while. A tongue-in-cheek look at the other side of writing.

Thanks so much for allowing us to know more about you as a person. The floor is yours.  Terry, please tell us where to find your work, your website, your blog, book trailer, and anything else you care to share.

My blog, Terry's Place
I'm also on Twitter as @authorterryo
And you can find me on Facebook, Google+ and probably places I don't even know about! Best way to find me is to go to my website, click the "Links" icon under my picture, and get all the URLs to my pages.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Welcome Sommer and her Zombies


Please help me welcome the lovely, the awesommer -- SOMMER MARSDEN.  She's going to share with us her thoughts on running and writing, then some great books with hot covers and ZOMBIES.

Run for your life!...or your butt…
It drives my kids (and my man) insane that I run without headphones and music. I run in silence. The three of them can’t fathom it, and I can’t fathom any other way.
Running gives my brain a chance to run with the ball, so to speak. No TV, computer or people talking to me to interrupt the flow of my thoughts. Which, yes, can be a bad thing. But it can also be a super thing. It was chance run-in with a very strange passerby one morning that gave me the idea for LUNATIC FRINGE and the snippet below. If I’d been singing along to The Counting Crows or screeching Bohemian Rhapsody at the top of my lungs, I’d have never made the mental connection to my zombies and my exterminators. Ever.
Granted, a lot of what goes on in my head when I’m running is: Oh dear baby Christmas I’m still running is it over yet? Can I sit down now, please?
But during those golden moments where I drift and my mind wanders, I get some good ideas. For current books or future books or blogs. Or just scenes. Titles. Lots of stuff.
But yeah, mostly its internal weeping and begging. Occasionally, I pretend a zombie hoard is chasing me and I say to myself, Run for your life! I usually keep my same old speed, though.
Much to my dismay, I’m running more because I’m about to be forty. And I would like to be a tiny bit lighter. Not much, just enough to wear my favorite jeans to my party and…ya know…breathe.
I did consider on my morning run today, listening to books on tap. They have them now that are as small as an MP3 player and you just insert your own battery and headphones. But then I realized that I’d be piping someone else’s words into my head instead of letting my own unfold. And then I might have missed the fact that it was really misty and foggy and Jack the Ripperish. I might not have realized that it was unusually deserted for my neck of the woods. I live spitting distance from the city proper but for most of my run I felt like I was on some country road. I might have missed the webs that seem to have inundated our neighborhoods and are strewn all over the bushes and trees and even too-tall grass…
See? My brain just took off in six different directions ;)
Leave me a comment for a chance to win the zombie exterminator pdf of your choice. Tell me how you get your ideas (if you happen to a writer), how you exercise, if you love to work out to music or…your favorite zombie book/movie/series. Pretty much dealer’s choice 


LUNATIC FRINGE by Sommer Marsden.

Buy link:

Poppy's birthday should be a big, fun, sexy deal. And it is, until the zombie exterminators find out that the creepers in their neck of the woods happen to be switching the game up a bit. They have a new nifty trick that keeps them from being readily recognizable. Something poor Poppy is unlucky enough to find out on her morning run. She goes from fantasizing about her birthday foursome with the boys, to running home to spread the bad news of mutation.

Her big day is suddenly full of machetes, a lady from the CDC and news of a new vaccine that might—or might not—work. Lucky for Poppy the boys won't let the new turn of events ruin her birthday, they still take her where she needs to go. Because all four of them know, every day could be your last. Sadly, Garrity, Cahill and Noah can't control what happens next. Things change, possibly forever, for their little group of exterminators. And over the next few days Poppy realizes a few things with perfect clarity: she loves Garrity, the thought of losing one of the boys terrifies her, and she's completely at a loss when it comes to one of her own being threatened. It seems to be the one area in which she can't pull off the bad ass persona.

What will she do, she wonders, if their perfect group of four suddenly becomes a group of three? How will she survive?


“Happy birthday to you. Happy birthday to you…Happy birthday, dear Poppy Cooper you stunning badass…happy birthday to you!” I wheezed to myself as I ran our back road that was nothing but dirt and gravel.
I was twenty-five today. I was running not so much from my birthday, but toward a new year. Or so I told myself. I had finally found a peaceful place in my life, so who was I to bitch about a change in the final digit of my age?
The Mizpah that Garrity had given me for Christmas banged against my chest under my baggy, stained tee. The tee was unattractive to say the least, but the very-vintage, white Old Navy shirt always made me feel peppy enough to run even when that pep was a big fat lie.
I reached up to stroke the sterling silver half- heart through the cotton. Then my hands, ever vigilant, reached around to check the machete that was hanging in a nifty little back sling. I blew out a big breath and concentrated on running at a good clip without falling down.
I was back to humming Happy Birthday, but more quietly. Feeling the Mizpah on my skin, I realized the jewelry was just a placeholder in Garrity’s mind. One day he’d present me with an engagement ring and expect to make an honest woman out of me. I wasn’t sure how I felt about that.
My foot slipped a little on gravel, and I turned my ankle just enough to sting but not enough to do any real damage. Still, I slowed my gait a bit.
“I’m more of the girl you have the wild fling with before you get married,” I confessed to myself because it was how I really felt, and there was no one here to judge me. “I’m the girl you bang senseless for a year or three before you go out and find the mother of your children.”
My throat closed up a little at my declaration.
“No maudlin birthdays, Cooper,” I reprimanded myself.
I started to run again, mostly to distract myself. Tonight there would be presents and cake and—I shivered here—possibly the four of us would do the nasty. Now that I had gotten past the guilt I’d felt at pulling Cahill into my long-anticipated three-way back in December, now…oh now, I wanted it to be all of us. I wanted Noah in my bed with the other boys even though he’d made it clear that he would be there for his man, Cahill. That was fine. I could do rules.
I saw the woman coming, and my heart stammered in my chest, doing that floppy fish tango that always makes me think I’m having a heart attack. Running through my mental quick checklist, I realized she seemed okay: pink flesh, eyes alert, pretty normal gait—normal for these uneven, uncertain gravel and dirt roads.
I raised a hand in acknowledgement.
She ignored me.
“Hunh. Maybe she’s shy,” I muttered under my breath, and I kept running. As long as she wasn’t a creeper, I could run past her without fear.
She was human—just rude.
I studied her some more under my slightly lowered lids as I ran. I was running faster than I’d realized because I was coming up on her faster than intended. Her skin was normal, her eyes were normal, her face seemed blank, but I’d met a few of those in my time. People who just mentally checked out and appeared vacant until you talked to them. So I talked to her.
I was about two feet from her when I said, “Hi, how ya doing?”
She sort of twitched, her eyes finding me, and when I was within touching distance, she grabbed my arm. Her skin was cold and kind of soft, and I felt it give as she pressed her fingers to my arm. Then I smelled her.
“Jesus pleesus, holy mother fuck,” I growled and grabbed her upper arm both to gain control and keep her from tugging me in.
Her arm came off in my hand, as easy as a chicken leg pulling free of a roasted bird at Sunday dinner.
I felt my stomach roll over and realized I was no longer running. I was standing stock still, clutching this woman’s arm. This perfectly normal-looking woman until…now.
She turned to me then, and I blinked, seeing the mottled flesh, the white-rimmed eyes, the gaping mouth, the hunger. I saw it all, and when she moved her face in toward me with that now-mechanically snapping jaw, I hit her with her arm. I clobbered her upside the head, and her dirty brown hair swayed. She made a moan-grunt-sigh sound, and I hit her again—hard.
Her arm fell apart in my hand, and I gagged. Sure, I’m an exterminator, but I’m still human. An arm coming apart in your hand is gross. I don’t care who you are.
“Bitch,” I grunted, trying to keep myself fired up. Angry keeps you alert. Scared gets you dead.
I stepped back from her—three giant mother-may-I sort of steps and yanked my machete free.
This time when she stepped toward me, I lopped off her head, stuck the tip of the machete in the front of her skull and split it like a ripe watermelon. Why? It was the kind thing to do. If I hadn’t punctured the brain, she’d just be a body-less head with some sort of murky awareness. To me, that is the very definition of hell.
I stared at her twitching body and her shattered head. The arm lay to the side of the road in some weeds. “Happy fucking birthday,” I said to myself and turned fast to run home.

Excerpt from WE KILL DEAD THINGS (Zombie Exterminators Book #1)
Buy Link:

Also on Kindle, at ARe, Bookstrand etc.

Honestly, the whole thing is Noah’s fault. We were all doing our normal closing-time bitchfest in the food square at Parktowne Mall and not really paying attention, when the first creeper showed up. That’s what we call them—the zombies—creepers.
Anyway, the first one showed up, and I assumed it was just another stoner looking for a slushie. Nope. It took all of my college logic skills to finally realize the creeper was up to no good when it lunged over the counter at me.
Garrity—Chris to his enemies—the object of my not-so-secret lust, let out a yell and rushed out with the bat we keep behind the counter at Smash It, the slushy and juice shop we run. He hit the guy on the shoulder—intending to do no real damage—but the bat sort of sank in and then made a squishy noise.
“He reeks,” I’d yelled, or something equally brilliant.
Then Noah was running out of Mamma’s Pies pizza stand with a meat cleaver of all things. Which he promptly buried in the guy’s skull. Thank God he was carving up Italian beef at the time.
The creeper gave me a stunned look that almost made me feel bad for him and Noah gave the cleaver another little shove and something cracked deep in the dead guy’s skull.
The dead guy fell on me.
That had been the first creeper, and Noah had taken it out (being the only one smart enough to have the news on in his food court stall so he actually had news about the suddenly mobile undead). Garrity had to take out six more before we got the main doors locked. Nick Cahill—main man at The Beef Barn—found one making the moves on a side of beef in the walk-in. He took it out with an electric knife.
The night was pretty much what bizarre is made of, and when we found ourselves clustered on the merry-go-round drinking a good bottle of wine pilfered from the gourmet place, Noah made a joke.
“We should start a new business,” he laughed. He was a business major, after all. “Our slogan could be We Kill Dead Things.”

Excerpt from NO GUILT (Zombie Exterminators book #2)
Buy Link:

Also on Kindle, at ARe, Bookstrand etc.

Chapter One
“Don’t spook her,” Garrity said.
Noah was turning his big white van onto Topaz Lane, and I was trying really, really hard not to stare at Cahill. This was our first big job since moving from Maryland to Connecticut. Our first mission handed down and paid for by the county we lived in. Once we left our hometown after taking care of the Evoluminaries and their rabid leader William Tell (who had wanted to use me as a zombie baby mamma, thank you very much) we’d treated ourselves to a few weeks off.
Now the cupboard was bare, and we were itching to do something that did not involve loud music, alcohol and trading creeper war stories like old men at a veterans’ lunch.
“I won’t spook her. Why the hell would I spook her?” I snapped. Being fixated on Cahill’s offer wasn’t helping my mood. An offer of a threesome with him and Garrity—something that, yes, boys and girls, I have fantasized about more than once. It had come out of the blue after a drunken bucket-list conversation the four of us had had. Bam! In a moment of privacy, the offered was slammed down on the figurative table, and I couldn’t seem to stop poking at it. It was something I wanted, but it scared me.
I caught Cahill looking at me from the front seat where he rode shotgun to his lover Noah. I felt my face flush when I saw his cocky grin. Jeesh.
“Because you seem a bit on edge, Poppy,” Garrity said and leaned in. “Why are you so on edge, babe?”
It had taken forever and ever for me and Garrity to get together despite attraction and all that jazz. But my mother’s death and our last mission had sealed a bond that was a long time coming. So how would he feel about bringing handsome, tall Cahill in on the sex part of stuff? My brain wouldn’t let it go, but I swallowed hard and said “Don’t know. Maybe I’m rusty.”
“Nah. You’re good, girly. There’s nothing rusty about you,” he said and kissed me.
I turned my face fast—before I could analyze it—and kissed him on the lips. Part of me wanted to say those dreaded three words. I love you…part of me wanted to scream at even allowing myself to think it.
The van jumped and jittered on non-existent shocks and ripped me out of my reverie. “We’re here,” Noah said.
“Ready?” Cahill asked.
“No,” I said.
“Good.” Garrity patted my legs. “So let’s do this thing.”
We got out of the van and went to knock on Marylou Peterson’s front door.
I watched that instant—the instant that all couples seem to have—unfold. As Garrity was touching the small of my back, Cahill was touching Noah’s arm. That we-have-a-connection touch. Would Noah hate me forever if I took Cahill up on his offer? Would it ruin our friendship? Would it ruin the four of us and how we worked together? It was something I had to push out of my head as the front door swung inward. I had to focus on the complaints by the neighborhood and the county about a creeper that was loose that no one could seem to pinpoint. The last place it had been seen was Marylou’s house. I needed to focus on her.
“Hi, Marylou Peterson?” I spoke. The boys felt it better that I introduce us since I was relatively calm and a girl and there was a zombie apocalypse under way—or so the general population thought. “My name is Poppy Cooper, and we need to talk to you about a recent cree—” Garrity nudged me. Creeper was our own personal nickname for the undead. “Um…undead sighting on your property.”
“Who are you?”
“We’re county licensed freelance exterminators,” I said. Which was a fancy way of saying we kill dead things. We’re killers for hire.
“Oh,” she said in a small voice.
“May we come inside and speak with you?” Garrity asked, flipping a piece of nearly black hair out of his blue-blue eyes. He smiled. His boy next door shtick. Niiiiice.
“Sure. Come on,” she said and took a step back.
Funny. She seemed more scared of us than the idea of rogue zombies in her neck of the woods.
People were strange.
“It was on my property?” she asked. Her eyes were wide and frightened but off. Something wasn’t right, and I couldn’t figure out what. Maybe we’d interrupted her and her boyfriend or something.
I looked at the county’s paperwork. Connecticut was way more of a stickler for paperwork than Maryland had ever been. Go figure. “Two complaints of a lone male undead subject on your property,” I said. “But when someone is sent out to take care of the call, he’s gone. There is a note that the second complaint called was only partially sure it was a male subject. Have you seen anything?”
She shook her head. Her big brown eyes wide, her fingers twirling a piece of dyed-red hair so tight I feared the whole lock would pop right out of her scalp. “No. It’s just me and my brother here. I haven’t seen anything. My dad’s long gone—has been for years, my mom…” She shook her head and looked away.
Christ, I hated this part. I always felt like a heel. Like I was pouring salt in a wound, because I was. I had lost my mother to a creeper, I knew the pain of it. I also knew I’d been slightly luckier than most simply because my mother had been immune to the virus that was infecting all these undead. She didn’t rise. Most people had to deal with the loss and unwanted resurrection.
“I’m sorry,” I said. A few stupid words that could not possibly stem the flow of pain.
She nodded, cleared her throat. “My mother succumbed to the virus.”
“And your brother? Has he seen anything?”
“I’d have to ask him. Chuck’s not here right now, though,” she said, waving her hand around the kitchen. “But I’ll ask when I see him.”
“Can we look around your property? Maybe there’s something attracting this subject,” I said. When did I start talking like a zombie cop? I didn’t know.
“Sure,” she said and gave me another shrug. “You’re not going to find much. An overgrown yard, a shed, honeysuckle bushes and an old dog house. But go for it.”
“Thanks.” I nodded to her back kitchen door. “May we?”
Marylou stood and unlocked a series of locks on the door. Finally, she was able to pull it open. “I’ll be here when you’re done,” she said.
I eyed Garrity and his gaze flicked to the locks. Five of them by count and an old fashioned cheap battery operated alarm. It simply hung on the door knob, and if jostled it would sound an ear piercing alarm to let the occupants know someone had opened the door.
When we hit the wide planted, screened-in back porch, I whispered to him “Safety first.”
“Jesus, I’ll say.”
Cahill and Noah had already hit the property, walking the perimeter like two jungle hunters. I turned to face the house once I hit mid-yard. I stared up at the farmhouse windows that reminded me creepily of the eyes of the undead. They were there, they were open, but no one was home. The windows were uncovered, the sun bouncing off the upper panes of glass. I thought I saw something in the upper right, but then a crow flew overhead and it was gone. Probably a reflection.
The house to the right was for sale. The house to the left was buttoned up like a storm was coming. “We need to check next door,” I said to Garrity.
He grunted and checked out the shed. “Nothing but lawn stuff. Mower, hoes,” he laughed.
“Are you five?”
“Hoes,” he laughed again.
“Hey, flirt later!” Cahill called, and when I looked up, surprised, he winked at me.
It went right to my pussy, that wink. I shook my head, ashamed of myself. We were on a job. I could worry about my sex life later.
“Anyway, just some gas and lawn care stuff. Normal shed crap,” Garrity said and put an arm around me as he passed to show we’d just been teasing.
I kissed him on the cheek, and he looked surprised. It was my penance for dirty thoughts about Cahill. Now how did I make amends with Noah? I had no idea.
Not that Noah was even paying attention. Or seemed to care. Maybe he didn’t know about…
“Hello?” Garrity rapped softly on my forehead with his knuckles.
“Sorry. Spacey. What did you say?”
“I said we need to talk to that brother. But first we’ll go next door.” He cocked his thumb at the battened-down house. “My guess is at least one of the complaint calls came from there.”
“I agree.”
“Well, someone call fucking Guinness. Or the church. Because that’s a miracle.” Noah brushed his surfer boy hair out of the way and holstered his gun. We were all armed to the teeth but trying to appear like we were just checking to see what was what.
It was nice to keep everything tucked away and hidden until we had an actual creeper spotting. On the other hand, we had to have it all so we weren’t caught off guard and didn’t become lunch for some dead things.
“Seriously,” Cahill said and put a possessive hand on Noah.
It made me hot all over to see those two touch, and it instantly brought to mind the times I’d accidentally seen them together. It was easy to imagine Noah sucking off Cahill. And it was never hard for me to call up the image of Cahill plunging into pretty Noah. Holding his slim hips and pushing his cock deep inside. But it had totally been accidental, me seeing them. Okay, the first time had been an accident. The other times had been luck.
“We’ll cut through the bushes to speak to the neighbor. When we come back here we can use the back door and talk to Marylou.”
“She’s edgy with a capital fidgety,” Noah said.
“I know. But imagine that you’re a young woman living with just your brother, and he’s not here. Maybe she’s alone a lot. Her mom died.” I felt a twinge in my gut when they all looked sad for me, and I shook my head. “Don’t do that. Don’t pity me,” I snapped, and they all fixed their faces into masks of indifference.
I cleared my throat, coughing away the ball of emotion that had lodged there. “And she doesn’t have dad to speak of. That’s gotta be hard. And then we show up—our ragtag team of killers…I gotta say, boys, I’d be a little edgy too, I think.”
Garrity sighed. “You have a point. Lucky you, you have us.” He smacked my ass hard, and I gaped at him.
“Come on,” Noah said to Cahill, and led the way. “Let’s go talk to the neighbor before they do something like fuck in the bushes.”
It was Cahill who turned and waggled his eyebrows at me. Jesus. This was getting sticky fast.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Opal's Disappearance available soon at Wild Child Publishing

Sheryl Locke Holmes Mysteries: Book 3: Opal's Disappearance
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Sheryl Locke Holmes Mysteries: Book 3: Opal's Disappearance


Available October 11, 2011

by C.L. Exline

An old college friend begs Sheryl to help find her missing cousin, Opal, who may have been kidnapped by a mysterious mountain man. When all leads are exhausted, Sheryl concocts a dangerous plan—she becomes bait for the kidnapper and alleged murderer.

But will she survive her plan? Or is this Sheryl's last mystery?

Genre: Mystery/Humor
Book Length: Short Story
Word Count: 31,465
Pages: 120
Price: $2.99
Formats: PDF, HTML, ePub, Mobi, Lit, PRC

Buy link

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Last day of Back to Back with Kathryn Meyer Griffith

Welcome back to the last installment of Back to Back with multi-published author Kathryn Meyer Griffith. She's been gracious enough to share with us the backstories with three of her books. The Heart of the Rose, Vampire Blood and today we finish with Witches.

The Story of Witches
(Originally a 1993 Zebra paperback and
now a 2011 Revised Author’s Edition from Damnation Books)
By Kathryn Meyer Griffith

In 1991 I’d already been writing for about twenty years, on and off (though there was a long gap where I didn’t write because of a divorce, the finding of a full time job to support myself and my son, and a remarriage…life) when I contracted my fourth novel, my first of four to Zebra paperbacks, a romantic horror called Vampire Blood, about a family of vampires who ran a movie theater in a small town. I’d already had a fifth novel, The Last Vampire, completed and in with them when they asked me for another novel.
Got anything about witches, they asked. Witches are hot right now. Hmmm.
For many years I’d played around with an idea about a present day white witch who finds a diary of a long dead witch – either good or bad, I hadn’t decided – in her old house’s attic, or basement, or under a floorboard. The story would have been about the good witch reliving the other dead witch’s life through the diary. I’d always called that possible book Rachel’s Diary in my head.
So in 1991 or 1992 I began the witch book and it quickly metamorphosed into a story of a present day good witch, Amanda Givens,  who’s yanked into a perilous seventeenth century past by an evil witch, Rachel Coxe, to take her place…and die a horrible death as an accused witch. I had the idea then to actually send Amanda into the past to live (for a while) the other witch’s life. Of course, being a good witch, Amanda, changes the other witch’s unsavory reputation but still ends up in a prison waiting to die for Rachel’s earlier crimes. The story, simply put, would be how Amanda overcomes her trials and tribulations, finds her lost eternal love again in the past, and finds a way to return to the present alive. In the process, learning some important life lessons about accepting what life has dealt her and the value of sisters, friendships and the love of those around her. Or good versus evil and, in the end, good wins and is rewarded. I also threw in a few touches of humor in the form of three precocious witches’ familiars…a mind-reading and speaking cat called Amadeus, a mouse, Tituba, and a tiny bat, Gibbiewackett …all with feisty personalities and quirks of their own.
I was excited about the book as I was writing it and when it was done, pleased with it, but had no idea that over the years it’d become the jewel of my writing career and the book that my fans would love the best of all my books. I loved the cat face cover Zebra did for it (a rare occurrence as I’d learned the hard way that covers weren’t always what I’d envisioned and in the early days I had no choice but to accept whatever the publisher’s gave me…and some weren’t so hot, let me tell you!).
Witches came out in 1993 and did well. I noticed soon after as I went on to publish other books that I got the most response and admiration for it. Readers loved the three sisters, Amadeus and Amanda, Gibbiewackett and Tituba. In those days I was too busy working full time as a graphic artist, living my life and writing new books to notice. It went into a second printing in 2000 and after that, sadly, went out of print. But my fans never forgot it. I’d find comments on it and discussions on the Internet…even customer reviews raving about it years and years later. I tried talking Zebra into reissuing it but after Zebra and I parted ways there was no talking them into it.
Then in 2010 when Damnation Books contracted my 13th and 14th novels, the publisher, Kim Richards, asked about all (there was 7 at the time) my out-of-print Zebra and Leisure backlist novels and if I’d like to have them reissued as new paperbacks and, for the first time ever, in e-books. Sure, that’d be great! I told her. And, as they say, the rest is history. Between June 2010 and July 2012 all 7 of them (and now another 3 of my Wild Rose Press novels and two short stories from 2007) updated, rewritten and with stunning new covers will be out again. All in e-books for the first time.
Of course, that’s meant a heck of a lot of rewriting. A lot of work. Those early novels go back twenty-seven years and were first written in the days of snail mail and on an electric typewriter before the Internet, e-mails and Windows Track Changes (for editing). Oh, boy, did they need revising. As of today I can happily say they’re all rewritten now except the very first one, Evil Stalks the Night, 1984; yet even that one will be completed soon.
I’ve often been asked what I think of e-books and I have to say it feels strange, all these years later, to be so into them. I think it’s fantastic to be able to put thousands of books on one little lightweight hand-held contraption and sell them as inexpensively as we do. I started publishing e-books four years ago and have seen such great changes in even that short a time. I love the editing process now. With Track Changes it’s truly a collaborative effort between the editor and the writer and it’s taught me far more about the craft of writing than the old way of just sending off the manuscript, being asked to change certain things, but then never seeing any of those changes or the basic edits until the book was printed and in my hand. Now, no more pages added by an editor (That actually happened in Evil Stalks the Night. The editor, who I never met, added three pages of his own and I didn’t even know about it until I held the book in my hand. And the three pages didn’t make sense…ech!) that I never know about or see until the book comes out. Yeah.
With a chuckle I recall a writer’s convention I attended in 1990 – yes, that far back – and the main topic back then was…OMG the electronic books are coming! They’re going to make us authors obsolete! Print books are going to die a terrible lonely death…etc., etc. Lack and alas, what are we going to do? Ha, ha. It’s ironic that 21 years later I’m in love with e-books. They’re the future. And I think there’ll always be room for print books as well as electronic ones.
So Witches…Damnation Books is rereleasing it April 1, 2011. I’m thrilled. The cover is still of Amadeus, the cat, and Dawne Dominique did an amazing job on it. My editor, Alison O'Byrne, helped me make it a better book than eighteen years ago. Of all my novels, I’m most proud of it. It’s held up pretty well. I hope it finds many more readers and fans.
So that’s the story of Witches…the little book that wouldn’t die.

Thank you!   E-mail me at
Kathryn Meyer Griffith has been writing for nearly forty years and has published 14 novels and 7 short stories since 1984 with Zebra Books, Leisure Books, Avalon Books, The Wild Rose Press, Damnation Books and Eternal Press in the horror, romantic paranormal, suspense and murder mystery genres… and all 12 of her old books above (and two new ones) are being brought out again between June 2010 and July 2012 from DAMNATION BOOKS and ETERNAL PRESS again in print – and all in  e-books for the first time ever! Learn more about her at or or or and!/profile.php?id=1019954486