Tag Archives: Durban

Texas Vampire Mini-Massacre….

22 Oct

Today we welcome Laney Stryker to the GSP Halloween Promo.

Laney Stryker is a pen name used by author Julie Kimbrell. Julie lives in Arkansas with her husband and two children. She loves to read but writing is her passion. Over the past two years, Julie’s been honored by having numerous titles both YA and Adult Romances published by various e-publishers.

Her book that we are featuring for today is Texas Vampire Mini-Massacre.

Cheyenne McAlister is a cancer survivor by day and vampire slayer by night (in her dreams). When she answers a peculiar employment ad in the paper, Cheyenne finds more than she bargained for. Not only is the ad a trap, but she meets Garrett Sims, who’s also checking on the ad. She finds herself intrigued by the boy, but ends up disappointed after a miscommunication. Can Cheyenne get past what she learned about Garrett? Will the two join forces and kick some Vampire butt?

Excerpt:

Though 8:30 a.m. doesn’t seem early to most people, it is for me. Normally, I sleep until noon, but yesterday Mom put the kibosh on that. “Cheyenne, it’s time you got up off your ass and stopped feeling sorry for yourself. You will get a job or else.”

That’s what she said to me. So, of course I wanted to make her happy, and I set my alarm for 8:00 a.m. With the newspaper in my hands and a steaming cup of coffee in front of me, I got busy. Unfortunately, the classifieds caught my eye first, so that’s where I started.

First thing, I found an announcement about Vampires that piqued my interest, but had to flip the paper over quickly at the sound of Mom’s voice. I scoured for the employment section, and found big circles already drawn around certain ads. Mom already scoped it out, which I should’ve expected.

“Cheyenne!” Mom’s voice rudely interrupted my thoughts. “Did you find the paper I left on the table for you?” Her footsteps clip-clopped down the hardwood stairs. “There were a ton of good jobs in there today. I’ve circled the ones I thought you might like.” She appeared in the kitchen and was hovering over me within seconds.

I’d already found the one that interested me in the Announcements, but I went along just to please her. “I’m reading through them all first, then I’ll make a few phone calls.” The unenthused tone must’ve given my mood away.

“Honey, I know you’d rather stay in the house and be a hermit forever, but it’s time you moved on. The cancer is gone, and you’re fine. Your beautiful hair’s finally grown out again, and you look vibrant and ready to take on the world.”

“Thanks.” I didn’t want to get into another discussion about my ridiculously low self-esteem and lack of interaction with people my age.

She kissed my cheek. “Gotta get to the hospital. I’ll see you tonight.”

“Bye.”

I waited until the door slammed and her car started before flipping over the paper and staring at that the big bold letters.

WE WANT YOU!
VAMPIRES ARE TAKING OVER THE TOWN
IF YOU WANT TO LIVE, JOIN US NOW!
INTERVIEWS MONDAY AT MIDNIGHT
WILL HEAVILY COMPENSATE VOLUNTEERS
No phone calls please
666 Dreary Lane

After reading the words over and over until I had them memorized, I contemplated exactly what the ad meant. Did someone have a vampire problem and need a hand getting rid of them? Maybe it meant the complete opposite, which would’ve been a good way for a vamp to lure some unsuspecting soul into his world then suck the life right out of them. I assumed the latter since the interview was at midnight.

I drained the coffee cup, then folded the page into fourths and tucked it in the front pocket of my baggy camouflage utility pants. Quickly, I brushed the dark, wavy hair that finally hit my shoulders after a full year of occasional trims, and pulled the auburn locks into a bun on top of my head. Running downstairs, I remembered my old but loyal car had no gas, just like my bank account had no money.

Book is available at: http://www.amazon.com/Texas-Vampire-Mini-Massacre-ebook/dp/B004UH1LE8/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1350927946&sr=8-1&keywords=texas+vampire+mini+massacre

A Dozen of Dreadfuls…

4 Oct

Next up for our GSP Halloween promo, I have the privledge of sharing Charlotte Holley’s entry, A Dozen Dreadfuls.

Charlotte Holley has an inborn love of all mysteries and the supernatural, and has been reading and writing about the paranormal for more than forty years. A mass communications major, she has written and published newsletters, magazine and newspaper articles, as well as poems and short stories since receiving her bachelor’s degree in 1980. As a beaded jewelry designer, she has also self-published twenty-two pattern collections on CD and in eBook form and has produced almost 400 individual original patterns. 
Having spent several years as a professional psychic, she has had extensive experience with the spirit world and has observed supernatural dramas that defy all rational explanation. Charlotte uses her expertise and story-telling ability to weave a powerful tale of mystery and horror, of love and deceit and of the overpowering desire of the human nature to make things right.

About A Dozen Dreadfuls:
It’s been said if two or more people strongly agree on any one thing, no matter how unlikely, that thing will come to pass. When art lovers and critics alike unanimously acclaim Sam Forbes’ monsters in his Dozen Dreadfuls series as real enough to step right off the canvas and into the world, they unwittingly unleash a rash of gory killings and a plague of terror as well.
   As the only living human who knows what is happening, Sam sets out to make up for the damage his work has caused at the risk of losing his first and best claim to fame. Can he save the world from the horror in time, and what will he have left if he does?

Excerpt:
  He was alone; the streets, deserted. The city lay sleeping in the sultry hush of the summer’s night. He trudged along, kicking the debris at the edge of the pavement, stopping now and then to rifle through the trash for anything that might be worthwhile. Here, he found a dime; there, a perfect silver chain someone had lost when the clasp came unfastened, freeing it to slide unnoticed into the piles of refuse. He smiled as he held the gleaming silver treasure up in the luminance of the streetlight before he stuffed it greedily into the crumpled paper sack he carried. The pickings were slim tonight, but he was grateful for what he did find.
     Rounding the next corner, he stopped cold. Two men were arguing in the alley. The heavier of the two grabbed the other by the collar, nearly jerking the man off his feet. “I said, give me the rest of it, punk!”
     “Quinn, I already told ya. This is all I got, man,” the smaller man squeaked.
     Quinn let go and shoved his companion to the pavement. “Sure you did, Amos. Sure you did. Okay . . . fine. So give me the rest of the goods then, and we’ll be square.”
     Amos squirmed at Quinn’s feet, looking like he’d puke when Quinn asked for the drugs. “Uh—no can do. See, my mark—well, he done stole the rest of it from me.”
     “Is that so?” Quinn demanded, kicking Amos in the gut.
     The tramp ducked farther into the shadows, fearing the two men would spot him. This whole affair was no concern of his, and to tell the truth, he knew he should go on his way. He should be making tracks as far from here as he could, as fast as he could, but something made him stay glued to the spot, fascinated by the real-life drama unfolding before him.
     Amos was doubled over in pain from Quinn’s assault.
     Quinn grabbed the writhing man by the hair of the head and jerked him to his feet. Amos screamed, but Quinn just laughed. “How many times do I have to tell you? You’re supposed to take your mark for all he’s worth; not the other way around, stupid. This is—what? The third time your mark has made off with the payload, leaving you with only crumbs? Does that seem right to you?”
     “No,” Amos managed to say between gritted teeth.
     “And does it seem right to you for me to let you live when you are such a screw-up?”
     Amos’ breaths were coming in short gasps now. He tried to escape from Quinn’s steel grip, and the tramp thought he actually heard the sound of the punk’s hair ripping from his scalp as Amos staggered free, leaving a handful of his hair in Quinn’s hand. “Aw now, come on, man. Surely you don’t mean that.”
     “Of course, I mean it. You didn’t lose the goods to your mark, did you? Did you?”
     “I—”
     Quinn threw Amos’ hair to the pavement in disgust and reached inside his jacket, bringing out a .45 and aiming it at the other man in one fluid movement. He brought the gun to bear on Amos so fast the tramp could hardly believe his eyes.
     “No!” Amos wailed. “Please, man. I got a wife and two kids. Don’t kill me. Please!”
     “I’d be doing them a favor, punk,” Quinn spat. “You’re a loser. Why don’t you admit the truth? You sold a little of it for more than you should have and took the rest of it yourself. I know your kind. You’re not just a loser; you’re a junkie to boot. Probably beat on your wife and kids, you filthy—”
     Amos stared down the barrel of the .45, his hands shaking, his gasps a mixture of hysterical sob and wheeze. The front of his pants turned dark with the stain of urine that traveled down his leg and pooled at his feet. He didn’t say another word, unable to pull enough air into his lungs to expel the utterance. He swallowed hard, and then closed his eyes, perhaps hoping if he couldn’t see when Quinn pulled the trigger, it wouldn’t be true.
     Quinn cocked the revolver.
     Amos winced and steeled himself for the shot that never came.
     At that exact instant, the tramp saw movement in the alley behind Quinn. He was still trying to decide what it was when a ten-foot tall monster took two giant steps from the shadows and knocked the gun from Quinn’s hand. Another second was all it took, and pieces of Quinn flew all over the alley before Quinn even had the chance to react. 
Where the book is avaible:
http://www.gypsyshadow.com/Charlotte.html#DreadfulsExc
http://www.amazon.com/A-Dozen-Dreadfuls-ebook/dp/B0043EV9EK/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1349370168&sr=8-1&keywords=A+Dozen+Dreadfuls

Check out Charlotte’s website at: http://charlotteholley.com/

Thank you Charlotte for being part of my promo.

Phillip and the Haunted House…

3 Oct

John Paulits is a former teacher in New York City. He has published five other children’s novels, four about Philip and Emery, as well as two adult science fiction novels, HOBSON’S PLANET and BECKONING ETERNITY. His previous Gyspy Shadow book, PHILIP AND THE SUPERSTITION KID, was voted best children’s novel of 2010 in the Preditors and Editors readers poll.

Philip and Emery are scared out of their wits when they learn their community service assignment involves dealing with a haunted house, but it gets worse! Circumstances force the boys to sneak inside the haunted house, and when they do, they receive the shock of their lives!

Excerpt:

Philip and the Haunted House

The rumble of a heavy truck caused Philip to turn in his bed and open his eyes. He felt his heart pounding. He had been trapped in some dark, awful house. He immediately recognized his own bedroom and sighed in relief. Only a dream! The sound of the truck stopped briefly and started up again. Turning a corner, thought Philip. As he listened, the truck noise ended suddenly, instead of fading little by little. Philip guessed the truck had stopped somewhere in his neighborhood.

He sat up in bed, turned, put his feet on the floor, and stretched. A long Saturday loomed ahead of him. No school. What a great feeling! Philip thought of his dream again. Yesterday, his teacher Mr. Ware read the class the part of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer where Tom and Huck look for treasure in the haunted house. While they’re looking, they hear someone coming and run upstairs to hide. One of the two men who enter the haunted house turns out to be Injun Joe, who wants to kill Tom for identifying him as Doc Robinson’s murderer at Muff Potter’s trial. Injun Joe gets suspicious, takes out his knife, and starts to climb the stairs. Tom and Huck lie frozen in fear on the floor, peeking through a chink in the wood as Injun Joe, step by step, gets nearer and nearer. Then, CRASH! The old, rotten stairway collapses and tumbles Injun Joe to the floor.

When Mr. Ware read it, he’d shouted the word “crash” as loud as he could. Everyone, including Philip, jumped out of their chairs. For once he’d been paying close attention, and the teacher rewarded him by almost giving him a heart attack. Philip blamed Mr. Ware for his frightful dream.

How could Tom and Huck even want to go inside a haunted house, Philip wondered, even if they thought they’d find some buried treasure? Buried treasure. Philip thought he might go into a haunted house to get rich, but not for fun. No way. He decided he’d go back to daydreaming in school next week and stop listening to the teacher’s heart-attack reading lessons.

Philip dressed and went downstairs. His father lay on the sofa reading the newspaper.

“Well, look who’s awake,” his father said, sitting up. “Your mother went to the supermarket. Becky’s still sleeping.” Becky was Philip’s baby sister. “Emery called twice already.”

“What time is it, Dad?”

“A little after ten.”

He had slept a long time. Maybe if he’d gotten up earlier he wouldn’t have had the dream about the haunted house. Stupid reading lesson.

“Give Emery a call, and I’ll get your cereal.”

Philip called Emery, who said he’d be right over.

As Philip dropped his cereal bowl into the sink, Emery walked into the kitchen.

“Are you sick?” said Emery.

“No, I’m not sick. Why?”

“You slept so long. I only sleep long if I’m sick. My two baby sisters cry so much I can’t sleep late anyway.”

“No, I’m not sick. I had this weird dream, though.” Philip led Emery into the living room.

“You, too, eh?”

“Me, too? You had a dream?” Philip asked in alarm. Maybe something’s going around, he thought.

“No, I mean putting the dishes in the sink.”

“Oh. Yeah, something new.”

“My mother, too. She must have talked to your mother. They do these things together sometimes. What did you dream about?”

“The haunted house Mr. Ware read about yesterday.”

“Oh, yeah. When the stairs crashed, and he made everybody jump. Cool!”

“I didn’t jump,” Philip lied.

“Well, everybody else did. Haunted houses are spooky.”

“Only around Halloween,” Philip said boldly.

“All the time,” Emery replied with a sharp nod.

Philip felt he’d established his bravery, so he dropped the topic.

“Weird, though,” said Emery.

“What’s weird?”

“A big truck pulled up around the corner, and they’re taking everything out of the junky, empty house.”

“The one with all the grass growing around it?”

“Yeah. It’s still got a “Sale” sign on it so I guess nobody bought it yet. That’ll be an empty house now and look even more haunted.”

Philip pictured the house—dark, empty, and surrounded by tall weeds. It could be haunted for all he and Emery knew; and there it sat—right around the corner from where they lived.

“Want to go watch them take stuff out?” Emery asked.

“They’re still there?”

“Yeah. They only got there a little while ago.”

Philip thought of the truck that woke him up.

“Okay,” Philip said. He’d go now, but once they’d emptied the house and left it empty and lonely and scary looking, he planned to stay away from it. Far away.

John’s book is available at: http://www.gypsyshadow.com/JohnPaulits.html#HHouseExc

Songs of the Dead

2 Oct

Dawn Colclasure is the author of five books, among them BURNING THE MIDNIGHT OIL: How We Survive as Writing Parents and 365 TIPS FOR WRITERS: Inspiration, Writing Prompts and Beat The Block Tips to Turbo Charge Your Creativity. Her articles, essays, poems, book reviews and short stories have been published in regional and national newspapers and magazines, as well as online. She lives and writes in Oregon with her husband and children.
Perfectly in keeping with our Halloween theme Dawn Colclasure’s dark poetry collection, Songs of the Dead (formerly named Topiary Dreams), is not only dark, but passionate. Anger, fear, hurt and betrayal run under the skin of this work and shine through especially bright in poems such as No Turning Back, Deep Within and I am Madness. Colclasure examines the dark side of human nature; murder, drug use, violence, insanity and isolation. But, beyond the tales of death and darkness there’s also a message of empowerment; the voice of someone who has taken too much, for too long and has finally had enough.

Songs of the Dead is a re-release of the chapbook originally published in 2003 and with more than twenty-seven new poems; it has more than earned the title “expanded”. Colclasure has a flair for prose, with lines such as “walk on the moon and hear the stars breathe,” (from Death Shows my Pain) and different poetry forms stop the reader from falling into a sing song rhythm of sameness and help to keep the collection fresh and interesting, page after page.

Excerpt:

Songs of the Dead
I’m the Only One Who Can Take You There

Push me now into your veins.
Push me softly, deep inside.
Let me take you far away
Where you won’t have to run and hide.

Forget your tears, forget your pain.
Escape from this world of despair.
Come to me, I will save you
I’m the only one who can take you there.

You don’t need to be afraid.
I will shield you in my arms.
No more sadness, no more pain.
I’ll protect you from life’s harms.

Never fail you, always true.
And you enjoy the things I do.
You won’t find better relief anywhere
Because I’m the only one who can take you there.

Where to find Dawn’s book: http://www.gypsyshadow.com/DawnColclasure.html#SongsExc

More information about this amazing author:

Her Web site is: http://dmcwriter.tripod.com/ 
Blog: http://dawncolclasureblog.blogspot.com/
Twitter: http://twitter.com/dawncolclasure
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/people/Dawn-Colclasure
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/dawncolclasure
Other: http://greenwolf103.deviantart.com/
Read an Interview at Highlighted Author!
              Writer Sanctuary
Thank you Dawn for participating.

Happy New Year

1 Jan

Bubbly anyone?


I wish you all a wonderful 2012, filled with peace and health. I have to say I am not sad to the see the back of 2011. It was a difficult year although not without high points.
The highest point was seeing my high school dream fulfilled, the publication of the Zvonek 08 series. As some of you know I wanted to live in Europe, have two cats and write books. Finally in April last year I could tick all the boxes.
Starting my blog was also a high point and it has been exciting to have wonderful people willing to be interviewed or being a guest on my blog.
My first ever guest was Shelia Deeth, telling us how she got started writing. Bless you Shelia for taking the plunge with me. If you haven’t read the entry please check October 29th.
In November I interviewed Hana Rawlings, whose book on Cake Decorating will be out this year. She shared a lovely Czech recipe for Gingerbread with us. By the way Hana would love feedback if any of you actually tried the recipe. I am including a photo at the end of this blog of the ones she made this year. Please see the entry for November 26th.
We saw the year out with my friend and fellow author Elizabeth Ann Scarbourgh, Feline Book Feast, telling us about her latest feline books. Please see the entry December 17th.
To all of you thank for being on my blog and to my readers a big thank you for your support and comments.
We start this year with guest blogger James Woods telling us about why he writes about South Africa. I have read James’ Assassination Safari and have to say it captures the South African image perfectly. As a native South African I am always suspicious of foreigners writing about my country but I have to give James thumbs up :). He will be my guest on 27/1, please do stop by.
Next month I will have Christine Wilson as a guest on my blog. Christine is an Irish author. We will be highlighting a special work of hers so please don’t miss it.
So from Zvonek and Metaxa purrs for a great 2012 and again from me all the best.

Hana's Christmas 2011 bake using the recipe she shared with us

Merry Christmas

25 Dec

Thank you all for reading and supporting my blog. To those of you who bought my book – a very big thank you. My wish is that you all have an amazing festive season with friends, family and loved ones.
Anne, Zvonek and Metaxa

Zvonek 08 Book 2 – with special Christmas story

10 Dec

Am so pleased to anounce that the second book in the Zvonek series published by Gypsy Shadow, is currently on sale in PDF format and on Amazon compatible for Kindle. Thank your Denise and Charlotte for your hard work in getting it out in time for Christmas. So all you feline fans out there here is an except ( for blurb please click on Zvonek 08 series heading)


Prologue
1786 BC

The bejewelled sky spread its dark velvet covering over the silent earth below. The pale light of the moon cast a cold glow on Ma’at. The form of the goddess nestled among the columns of the temple; statuesque, protected from the night. Still and calm filled the land with peace that brought comfort.

Somewhere in a corner, a small movement. Not threatening. In the shadows, a small, huddled bundle. Silver, shining in the tiniest of pale rays that reached it. Another movement, shifting, and then the smallest of contented mews.

On the other side of the temple, a door opened silently. A dark shadow grew in the pale light. Stopped. Then moved again. Another mew, the shadow moved stealthily forward, growing longer in the pallid light. It reached the far corner, bent. There on the floor in a golden basket, lying on a silken quilt, the small body of Anther was rhythmically breathing the safe, contented breath of sleep.

The shadow stopped, did not move for an entire twelve seconds, then quietly bent over the basket and gently lifted the sleeping kitten, clothed in the soft quilt, into its arms and moved quickly and noiselessly back to the door. A sharp glow from the eyes of Ma’at pierced the shadow, causing it to stumble and fall in a heap at her feet.

Anther, now awake and frightened, darted for the door and disappeared inside.

In the bright golden light of day, a few worshippers gathered on the temple steps, all with only one eyebrow. Anther could not be found. All that remained were the empty basket and a crumpled silk quilt.

2011

Zvonek was not in the mood to wait for Honza. They had decided to have lunch at Whiskers. The last mission had been successfully completed, the paperwork filed, and now all that was left was to kick back and relax. It hadn’t been as dangerous or as stimulating as other missions. Clawdette had decided to stay in Prague to oversee the mission, causing undue stress for everyone.

He looked around the pub. It wasn’t as full as usual. It was only their second visit to Whiskers since the HQ of Feline Intel had moved to their new location. Zvonek hadn’t been sad to leave the old FI building at all. It was getting cramped and they needed something more upmarket. Their new location certainly was in a better area. The garden around the flat—it had been arranged for Mom to move as well, which wasn’t easy since she hated change—was so much better, too. Lots of long, soft, grass. And trees! Zvonek loved trees. It was great to have them in his own garden! The flat was down the road from the former residence.

One window was situated halfway behind a leafy bush, so you could look out, but it wasn’t that easy to look in. This garden had a proper fence, about ten metres from the window. Nice all round. Alas, there still were many things he missed about the old flat.

The humans who came to pet him while he lay in the sun at the living room window. The human friends he had made on the block. Ah well!! Guess it was time to move on.

“Anything else, sir?” The kit arrived at the table, disturbing Zvonek’s thoughts.

“Nothing more for me, thank you. Just the bill.”

He looked around and saw Honza was still at the bar, purring at a couple of felines. Zvonek smiled to himself. It was typical of Honza; his friend just couldn’t help it.

He slowly walked home. It had been a hot day and Zvonek was glad for the reprieve. He stopped under the bushes in the garden to enjoy the coolness before going in.

He sat under the tree outside the window. He still used the flap method in the cat net to get in and out. Simple and it worked well. He smelled the air. Different smells, but not unpleasant.

This time, he had a dog to contend with. She belonged to their neighbour, and he had groaned inwardly when he saw her. She proved useful in a canine sort of way, like keeping strays away, which meant that he had peace, so he would tolerate her for now.

Zvonek stood up and stretched out his legs in front of him, rump in the air. He’d better go in. Mom would be home soon and he should be inside, ready to greet her. It was Wednesday, which meant poached fish! It was his second favourite. He especially hadn’t had lunch at Whiskers not to ruin his appetite. When he got inside he would nibble on some granules, just to keep himself going. He walked slowly towards the window, stretching one back leg at a time. Just as he was about to jump onto the window ledge he heard a noise. The dog! He high-tailed it across the remaining space, leapt onto the window, through the flap, and onto the sofa. Just in time. The dog bounded toward the fence, to bark at people passing the garden.

Dogs! Zvonek shook his head as he sat down on the sofa, catching his breath. He looked around the room. It was a smaller flat than their last, by a couple of square metres. Instead of a separate bedroom and living room, in this flat they were together. Mom closed the door between the living room and kitchen while she was out, so that he didn’t run out when she came in after work.

http://www.gypsyshadow.com/AnneHPetzer.html#Zvonek2
http://www.amazon.com/Mau-ow-Miracle-Intelligence-Republic-ebook/dp/B006JG0TWS/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1323409338&sr=8-2