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Buy: Sloane Wolf by Margay; Nora's Soul by Margay; Pandora's Box by Gracen; Hell's Phoenix by Gracen

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Friday, October 28, 2011

Phantasm Friday

News Flash!

Hey, all, I just wanted to pop in with a quick bit of news that is exciting to me - and hopefully to you, too! My new book, Sloane Wolf, makes its debut today on MuseItUp Publishing! I'm so excited! You can read all the details about it - plus catch an exclusive, the first posting of an excerpt from the book - here:

Sorry about the transfer to another site, but I wanted to give my author blog some love, too! Thanks in advance for stopping by!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Wistful Wednesday

Review: Nephilim by Mary Ann Loesch


Don't let him brand your soul.....

Tattoo artist Nathan Ink—an angel secretly living on earth—forces his clients to face their flaws by tattooing images of their sins on their bodies. In the urban fantasy, Nephilim, this little glimpse into the soul often results in his client’s death. Though Nathan shuns the other angels, when he is asked to keep an eye on Faye, an attractive nightclub singer being stalked by a malevolent being, he reluctantly agrees.

Faye is a nephilim (half angel/half human) and unaware of her stalker. She believes the other angels have asked her to investigate Nathan because of the high mortality rate of his clients. Despite her distaste for his methods, Faye discovers that Nathan is not a rogue and is forced to question her mission. Unwittingly she learns her stalker’s secret: he’s also a nephilim whose twisted plot is to exterminate the angels and breed a new race of beings with Faye. Knowing this, she realizes that teaming up with Nathan and using his unique artistic abilities may be the only way to stop this nephilim’s hellish plans.

(From the author's website)

The Review:

I have a special place in my heart for angels. I write about them myself (Nora's Soul), I believe in them, and I like what they symbolize. So when other authors use angels as their protagonists, I like to read their stories to get their take on them - and believe me, they're all different! For this reason, I was very interested in reading Mary Ann Loesch's book, Nephilim. Just reading the blurb above was enough to entice me, even if I didn't already have a thing for angels. But I have to say, I'm feeling kind of ambiguous about this book. I'm not sure what I think about it. There are many things I  liked about it, but there were also some things that I didn't.

What I liked about it was the cast of angels, namely Azal, Nathan and Raphael. They are all interesting, well-rounded characters, each providing a reason to root for them. But I do have to admit that with the way the book was set up, I was a little confused at first about who was the actual protagonist of the story. Even though the blurb says Nathan Ink, in the beginning I actually thought it might be Azal. First, he was center stage with Faye and there were several references to their past that made it seem like he might be her hero. But then the story introduced Nathan and the confusion built a little bit until Azal suddenly took a step back and Nathan took center stage. It wasn't until Faye and Nathan's first romantic encounter that I truly believed they were the two protagonists in the story, that it was their story. But I guess that's what can happen when you have such fully-fleshed secondary characters - sometimes they just demand to take center stage themselves. (Hint, hint, Mary Ann: Give Azal his own story! And then invite me to the party because I just love, love, loved him!)

What I found difficult about the story was the grittiness of it. There's a lot of coarse language in it - even God swears at one point - and at times, I did find it a little offensive (the idea of God swearing really put me off). Call me old-fashioned, but I don't like the idea of angels behaving in such a coarse manner. For many of the secondary characters and the villain, the language seemed appropriate, but it didn't sound right coming from others. But that's just me. Still, I didn't let that one sour note prevent me from finishing the book and I'm happy I did because after what the author put her main characters through, I had to make sure the villain got his due. And although the book concluded with a somewhat ambiguous ending, I was still satisfied with it.

So all in all, I would have to say that Nephilim is an intriguing story that will have you staying up at night, eagerly reading to the thrilling conclusion to discover for yourself how Faye and Nathan could possibly overcome such a powerful foe. I would definitely recommend this book to lovers of urban fantasy as well as the paranormal genre.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Tantalizing Tuesday

Pump Up Your Book Promotion

Angels and Halloween

By Mary Ann Loesch

When I think angels, I don’t think Halloween.  Angels are supposed to be sweet and kind. They’re supposed to have little wings and halos that might occasionally appear to be crooked, but are always fixable.  Vampires, werewolves, zombies—none of those creatures are do-gooders like the angels, because, ultimately, an angel is the good guy, the one thing that doesn’t go bump in the night when Halloween rolls around. Right?

Hmmm…well, not necessarily.

I think angels are vastly overrated in the Good Guy Department.  To further understand my thinking, you need to meet Nathan Ink from my book, Nephilim.  An angel living on earth as a tattoo artist, Nathan is hardly your average cherub.  In fact, he takes great pains to avoid communications with others of his kind who don’t approve of his unconventional methods when it comes to dealing with sinners. Nathan’s specialty is tattooing his clients with symbols that represent the seven deadly sins. However, his tattoos aren’t innocent little drawings, but living entities that can cause all kinds of harm to those branded with them.

For example, a mermaid tattoo from Nathan wouldn’t just remind you of the sin of vanity. Oh, no. It would take things a step further and turn you into a mermaid who drowns in her own beauty.  Like to gossip? Then you might want to stay away from Nathan’s collection of Speak No Evil monkey tattoos. Unless, of course, you don’t mind having your lips sewn together for the sin of envy…

See? Angels can be the perfect hellish addition to your Halloween parties!

A reader recently asked me where I got the idea of writing about angels who are not as helpful and kind as some tales make them out to be.  As cheesy as it may sound, I found the answer in the Bible. I mean, have you read the Old Testament? It’s truly the stuff that nightmare are made of! Angels back then didn’t exactly mess around when it came to dealing out punishment. They didn’t use any Dr. Phil catchphrases or talk about the importance of making good choices. Most angels tended to just drop the hammer of God and go on about their business.

I kind of like that idea. Sometimes we sugar coat things, make excuses—no wonder we are the masters of credit card debt! Anyway, I opted to create a character who is everything your average angel (is there such a thing?) is not.  So come on and meet Nathan Ink this Halloween.  He’s got stories to tell and designs to draw.

Just don’t sit in his chair unless you are very brave…   

To learn more about my book, Nephilim, or me, visit my website or stop by Loesch’s Muse to chat!


Mary Ann Loesch is an award-winning author living in the Austin Area. Teacher by day, writer by night, Ms. Loesch has an extensive background in Theatre Arts and education. In 2009 her novel, Nephilim, won the Writers League of Texas Manuscript contest in the category of Science Fiction/Fantasy. Having published short stories in SNM Horror Magazine, A Side of Grits, and Red Fez, she is also a proud contributor to the blogs All Things Writing and Loesch’s Muse, both guides for beginning writers. Lyrical Press, Inc. published her urban fantasy, Nephilim, July 2011.

You can visit her website at or her blog at

Monday, October 17, 2011

Mystic Monday

Returning to the World

As some of you may know, I've had a long hard road this past year dealing with migraines that just wouldn't go away and conventional meds - including my 100mg Imitrex - didn't even touch the pain. It wreaked havoc on my ability to read and decimated my ability to actually write anything down. In fact, I spent an awful lot of time offline because the pain had been too much to deal with and when I was online, I just didn't have the metal faculties to think or remember anything. 

Then, depression set in. That really made things even harder to deal with. Besides the headaches that just wouldn't go away - caffeine didn't help matters either - I still had to deal with muscle pain and chronic fatigue. I just never felt like I could get enough sleep. In fact, that's what I did a lot...sleep...then there were the bouts of insomnia too. To make matters worse, the arthritis in my joints and spine was so bad that on more than one occasion I was tempted to get one of those red walkers from Walgreens that has the basket on it that can also double as a chair...

...and I'm not even 40 yet...

...hell, I'm not even 39 yet!!!! 

It just seemed like my life was slipping away and fighting didn't seem to matter. Then things got even worse. My head felt like it was going to explode and I couldn't even keep water down. I went to the closest urgent care, but they were too concerned with high my blood pressure to do anything (um yeah, extreme pain like this is going to push it to extraordinary heights, duh!) and told me to go to this newly built urgent care/ER facility.

While I won't be going back to that first urgent care facility, I can honestly say that going to that new facility made changed things. 

The people at the urgent care were smart enough to realize that the pain was the problem (not the blood pressure) and that my bp would return to normal once the pain was neutralized. 

The painkiller they gave me neutralized the headache pain along with a few other things! Whatever it was, it worked wonders. I've been dealing with bad pain in my lower back for years now - 10, I think. Scans and MRI's never showed anything out of the ordinary, and there were no signs that I might have a blockage anywhere in my digestive tract, so I was completely surprised when I discovered that the majority of my back pain was actually curable, even though I thought it was a permanent condition. 

Basically, the anti-inflammatory they gave me intravenously (along with saline) caused the blockage to be shifted out and was eventually passed (long and painful story). The blockage was the true cause for the worst of the pain I felt in my lower back. While I still have some pain from the bone spurs that can make standing in one spot and sitting upright for extended periods problematic, I have experienced a strong reduction in pain. It's so nice to be able to do those pesky things like walk, wash dishes, do laundry and a myriad of other every day things in life many of us tend to take for granted, without feeling overwhelming pain.  

I'm not without some pain, but I'm no longer as debilitated as I once was. Now I can wash an entire load of dishes at the sink in about 10 minutes or so with little to no discomfort where before it would take me 30 minutes minimum to wash half as many dishes because I had to stop and rest every five minutes or so because it hurt so much to stand and my body just couldn't stand up against the pain. 

I'm beginning to take my life back. Because I've been in such extreme pain for the past year and muscular pain from the previous years, things around our house went undone. The place has been a mess, closets remained unfinished for years because I just didn't have the physical strength or ability to deal with the debilitating pain. All that is changing now. After the Packers game (I won't gloat, even though they are 6-0!), my husband and I finally managed to make a huge dent in cleaning out/organizing our garage and move the exercise bike and weight bench in from the garage into the recently finished off exercise room. 

It feels good to have finally made such progress...almost as good as it does to be able to lift things - anything - again without feeling extreme pain and my spine's overwhelming desire to just crumple to the floor. Yeah, that's about how I felt every day for years. I still don't know where I found the strength to stay upright let alone mobile for all those years when all my body wanted to do was crumble to the floor. 
I'm loving this new found condition. I feel like I'm waking up after having been asleep for a long time. For the first time in many years, I feel good after exercising. I know winter isn't even here yet, but I'm excited for spring and the prospect of being able to ride a bike again, and I'm eager to start my weight training program. 

I'm hoping this is just the jump start I needed to finish all the undone projects around the house. There are so many, and I've realized that it's these undone projects that have been interfering with my creativity, stifling it. 

Changes are happening. I'm excited about them and eager for what I might find lurking in the crevices of my brain! I'm also looking to jump back into offering author interviews and more book reviews! :D

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Wistful Wednesday

Catching Up With Me

Hello, All! Lots of changes happening with me lately, so I figured I'd take the opportunity to catch you up on them.

First, my personal author's blog has a new home, thanks to the wonderful Moonlight webmistress Carrie. It's still a work in progress, but please stop by and visit me here.

Next, I have a new publisher! MuseItUp Publishing is releasing my next book at the end of this month, which I am very excited about! I will share more details soon. In the meantime, I was interviewed by a fellow Muse author and would love for you to stop by and check it out here.

And probably the most exciting news for me is that I have a new book coming out entitled Sloane Wolf. I will be posting more about it in the future, but for now, here's the awesome cover:

And the blurb:

For more than a hundred and fifty years, the gray wolf has failed to roam the hills of Massachusetts, leading to the belief that they are extinct. But with a spattering of sightings across the Berkshires, the legend of the gray wolf comes to fruition. The product of that legend, Micah Sloane will go to great lengths to protect his kind from the threat of outsiders, who seek to exploit the legend for their own interests. One thing he didn’t count on, however, was finding his soul mate in the company of such men.

From the first time she predicted a stranger’s imminent death when she was little more than a child, Shiloh Beck knew she was different. Wishing to cultivate her gift, her parents made the fateful decision to enroll her in a private school for paranormally gifted children. Unbeknownst to them, the school was just a front for a research facility simply called the Institute, whose secret board members weaned gifted children from their families to exploit their gifts. Shiloh has spent the better part of her life trying to escape the Institute and reunite with the family she was told had abandoned her.

From their first meeting, Micah and Shiloh share a connection that goes beyond the normal to bond them in a way that love alone cannot. But before they can build a life together, they must deal with the fall-out when the legend of the wolves collides with the men behind the Institute.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Twilight Thursday

Spotlight on Sherry Ficklin

Born of Blood

***Palmetto Moon, Book 1, Born of Blood is due for release on October 9th 2011 from Tell-Tale Publishing.***

A young mother has vanished without a trace and Sophie D'Angelo has been hired to solve the cold case that left police stumped. Tensions are high between the local cops and the newly 'out of the coffin' vampire community, landing Sophie smack in the middle of the toughest mystery she's ever faced and in the middle of a possible civil war. Her only allies are her loud, overbearing italian family and her ex-fiancee turned-vampire, Caleb, who shares her house, her business, and generally gets on her nerves. If he wasn't already dead, she'd probably kill him.

As if that wasn't enough, Sophie has become the fixation of a twisted killer who is leaving a trail of bodies straight to her door.

Can Sophie uncover the truth behind the strange disappearance and unmask her stalker before she, or someone she loves, becomes his next victim?

About Sherry:

Sherry is a full time writer from Colorado where she lives with her husband, four kids, two dogs, and a fluctuating number of chickens and house guests. A former military brat, she loves to travel and meet new people. She can often be found browsing her local bookstore with a large white hot chocolate in one hand and a towering stack of books in the other. That is, unless she's on deadline at which time she, like the Loch Ness monster, is often only seen in blurry photographs.

Her teen fantasy series, The Gods of Fate Trilogy, is forthcoming from Dragonfly Publishing. Book 1, Foresight, and book 2, Second Sight, are now available everywhere books are sold. Her first adult horror novel, Palmetto Moon, is forthcoming from Tell-Tale Publishing.

(Note: This was slated to be a review of Sherry's new book, Born of Blood, but as it was a dnf for me, I decided to spotlight the author instead. I will let the readers decide for themselves. What was difficult for me to get into might be just right for them.)

Monday, October 3, 2011

Mystic Monday


- communique 2

It's been a few days since I last posted. I'm alive, but still hunted by the soul binders. While I have eluded capture thus far, they see me as a threat to their "order" and wish me make an example out of me.

I do not plan to go down easy. I plan to fight!

In my travels, I have learned of others who are free like me though they say I am different and that's why the binders hunt me. It's worth exploring though. I thought this would be a reliable mode of communication, but the binders have located it, and can track me when I post. The people I met have a place I can contact you without risk of being found.

From now on, I'll be making posts via the

...until next time...

  - Chai-Lee