Tag Archive: Novel Magic

Novel Magic: Impetus Toward Ireland by Judith Sterling

It’s that time of year again when strange stirrings rustle the dry leaves and half-seen shadows melt into the moonlit forest. Something tells me Judith Sterling, my guest on Novel Magic today, understands the whispers in the ether better than most. Find out how she discovered a startling truth about herself and how she incorporates her passions for history and the paranormal into fantastic books.

Impetus Toward Ireland by Judith Sterling

One night in the summer before my senior year of high school, I kicked off my bedcovers with a vengeance.  I snatched my glasses from the nightstand and glared at the ticking clock.

1:00 a.m. and all was NOT well.

I’d fidgeted for almost two hours, and sleep remained a stranger.  Rolling my eyes, I abandoned my bed, then slunk through the house and out the back door.

Humidity hugged my skin like a second aura.  With a sigh, I pushed up the sleeves of my nightgown and scanned the backyard.  Spanish moss dangled from the oak trees.  Moonlight touched the pool.  Frogs croaked their hardest, but the sharp drone of crickets stole the show.

“Why am I so restless?” I asked aloud.  “How can you yearn for something you can’t even name?”

As though sharing a private joke, the stars above winked.

The night held no answers; the mosquitoes showed no mercy.  So I stole back into the house to worship the miracle of air conditioning and find something to read.

In the living room, I searched the shelves until my gaze locked on a book I’d never seen:  Ireland – A Picture Book to Remember Her By.  I grabbed it and settled on the velvet couch.

From the moment I opened the book, I changed.  Waves of emotion rushed over me:  love, sorrow, and strangest of all, homesickness.  Gratitude flooded my heart and mind, for this was what I’d sought.  I turned each page with reverence, melding my being with the images thereon.

It was crazy.  I was born and raised in blazingly hot, equatorial Florida, about as far from Ireland and its blissfully cool climate as you can get.  Before that night, I’d never considered the Emerald Isle.  Not once.  Now my whole life seemed to have led me to the discovery that I was somehow linked to that distant land.

Desire and will swelled within me, and I squeezed the book to my chest.  I knew what I must do.

I jumped up and raced to my sleeping parents’ bedroom.  “Mom!  Dad!”

My father grunted, but my mother bolted upright in bed.  “What’s wrong?”

“Nothing.  I just wanted to tell you my decision.  I’m going to Ireland.”

She squinted.  “What, tonight?”

“No, but soon.  I have to go.”

Dad rolled over.  A rumble of complaint sounded, either from his throat or his stomach.

Mom glanced at the clock, then sank back onto her pillow.  “Fine.  But let’s talk about it in the morning, okay?”

When morning arrived, I did more than talk.  Truth be told, I ate far too many donuts, but I must’ve burned off the calories during my impassioned plea.  It was Ireland or bust!  My unsuspecting parents didn’t know what to make of my new obsession, but Dad informed me my great-grandfather had emigrated from Ireland in 1914.  How this fact escaped my notice for 17 years is beyond me, but now that I knew of my Irish heritage, I was unstoppable.

My grandfather had the address of our Irish cousins in County Kilkenny, and I obtained it faster than you can say Éirinn go Brách.  Soon after, I became pen pals with one of the cousins, and we exchanged letters, photos, and even a phone call over the next 10 months.

My enthusiasm for Ireland was contagious, and by senior graduation, three round-trip plane tickets waited on my parents’ desk.  The Three Musketeers—Mom, Dad, and I—were bound for Shannon Airport.

Excitement forbade sleep on the long flight over, so after we’d shuffled through customs, traded dollars for pounds, and procured our rental car, we drove straight to our bed-and-breakfast in the village of Bunratty and took a nap.  When I awoke hours later, Mom informed me I’d spoken Irish in my sleep.

My instincts implored me to pay attention.  From the moment I stepped foot on Irish soil, I felt I’d come home.  This was no shallow sentiment; it was a gut reaction, a reunion with a piece of my soul.

Ireland’s landscape was as gorgeous as its people were gracious, but my response to its beauty seemed greatest in Killarney.  There, while bouncing in the back of a jaunting car, I became one with my surroundings.  The cool wind caressed my cheeks and whipped my long, blonde hair into a wild mass which would’ve made any banshee proud.  Low-hanging, purple clouds harmonized with rippling lakes, and the gentle slope of mountains accompanied them.  Flowering bushes, rustling trees, and fertile soil moist with promise completed the symphony.  Each note had perfect pitch.  Every phrase was pure magic.

When our driver reined in his horse, my parents jumped from the carriage, eager to tour Muckross House.  I shared their enthusiasm but was so caught up in nature’s melody I didn’t want the ride to end.  Still, history summoned me, so I followed their lead and strode toward the house.

Abruptly, I hesitated.  The lake to my right seemed familiar.  The adjacent parkland beckoned, but I had to resist its pull.  With our jam-packed schedule, an amble through the woods was out of the question.

Years later, I would explore those woods and discover a surprising piece to add to my life’s puzzle.  Once again that night, Mom heard me speaking Irish in my sleep.

In my latest release, The Cauldron Stirred, seventeen-year-old Ashling Donoghue has a similar experience.  And she not only visits Killarney, but gets to live there.  Ah, the magic of fiction!

 

Excerpt from The Cauldron Stirred:

            A sudden, resounding chime pierced the silence. Then another rang out, and another. It sounded like the peal of a gigantic grandfather clock. The wind began to howl.

            “Midnight.” He turned and pointed. “Look!”

            From the mouth of the cave burst a symphony of specters. There were hunters on horseback and wailing hounds. Flying above and behind them were hundreds of nocturnal creatures. Living gargoyles. Gray ghosts. Copper red birds. Dark angels with massive, black-feather wings.

            I suppose I should’ve been scared. But for someone like me, who’d embraced the magic and mystery of Halloween from day one, the Wild Hunt was a glorious sight. The stroke of midnight, the rushing wind, the mad pursuit across land and sky: all stirred my soul.

Looking for a way to finish the story? Buy a copy at any of these purveyors of fine literature.

Buy at The Wild Rose Press

Buy at Amazon

Buy at Barnes and Noble

A bit more about Judith.

Judith Sterling’s love of history and passion for the paranormal infuse everything she writes. Flight of the Raven and Soul of the Wolf are part of her medieval romance series, The Novels of Ravenwood. The Cauldron Stirred is the first book in her young adult paranormal series, Guardians of Erin.  Written under Judith Marshall, her nonfiction books—My Conversations with Angels and Past Lives, Present Stories—have been translated into multiple languages. She has an MA in linguistics and a BA in history, with a minor in British Studies. Born in that sauna called Florida, she craved cooler climes, and once the travel bug bit, she lived in England, Scotland, Sweden, Wisconsin, Virginia, and on the island of Nantucket. She currently lives in Salem, Massachusetts with her husband and their identical twin sons.

 

 

Find Judith online and get news about her latest releases. 

Website – https://judithmarshallauthor.com/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/judithsterlingfiction/

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16291161.Judith_Sterling

Amazon – https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B01MT3KB7L

The Wild Rose Press – https://catalog.thewildrosepress.com/2212_judith-sterling

Novel Magic: Casi McLean’s Lake Lanier Mysteries

This edition of Novel Magic is a treat and an honor. My guest is Casi McLean, author of the award-winning Lake Lanier Mystery series. Casi is a busy lady this week as she releases the second book in the series. YOU are cordially invited to a Gala Facebook event celebrating the release. I’ll be there along with a plethora of pen-wielders to showcase Casi’s new book and a few other little items you might be interested in (like a tarot reading by yours truly.)

Go HERE to join the party!

Lake Lanier Mysteries by Casi Maclean on Sorchia's Universe

Casi McLean’s Lake Lanier Mysteries

 

I love Sorchia’s Universe. Not just her blog, which is always fun to read, but the niche this amazing author carved into the endless writer cosmos. I thrive on the unique… strange, eerie, mystical, supernatural–– they all draw me into magical worlds and conger interesting waves of “what if.” Not too bizarre or off the wall, but the almost believable stories feed my soul and vanquish any stress lurking within my own reality.

 

That’s why I write mystery, romantic suspense, time slips, and mystical urban fantasy––all sprinkled with a dash of magic or dusting of supernatural. My Lake Lanier Mysteries is time slip romantic suspense revolving around strange disappearances, eerie lore, ghost sightings and unusual occurrences attached to Atlanta’s man-made Lake, Sidney Lanier…a lake with the mysterious reputation for never giving up its dead.

 

Man-made is the key I used to open the door to my series. The Army Corp of Engineers constructed the lake in the early 1950s and, to do so, they displaced an entire rural area. Families who had lived in the basin for generations fought the decision. And understandably so. The lake would swallow homes, gas stations, banks, churches, cemeteries and Looper Speedway, one of the original racetracks to birth NASCAR, now sleeps beneath the surface.

 

 

 

What if the construction of the lake created more than a reservoir? What if dynamite detonations caused a seismic shift creating a portal connecting past to future? What a perfect setting for a time slip series… A town time forgot––Lake Lanier Mysteries was born.

 

 

 

Book one, Beneath The Lake––now available on Audible too––won the 2016 Gayle Wilson Award Of Excellence for Best Romantic Suspense...the book tells the story of Lacey Madison Montgomery…here’s the blurb:

 

A ghost town submerged beneath Atlanta’s famous man-made Lake Lanier reportedly lures victims to a watery grave. But when Lacey Montgomery’s car spins out of control and hurtles into the depths of the icy water, she awakens in the arms of a stranger, in a town she’s never heard of–34 years before she was born.

 

When the 2012 lawyer tangles with a 1949 hunk, fire and ice swirl into a stream of sweltering desire. Bobby Reynolds is smitten the moment the storm-ravaged woman opens her eyes and, despite adamant protest, Lacey falls in love with a town destined for extinction, and the man who vows to save his legacy.

 

Threatened by a nefarious stalker, the wrath of bootleggers, and twists of fate, Lacey must find the key to a mysterious portal before time rips the lovers apart, leaving their star-crossed spirits to wander forever through a ghost town buried beneath the lake.

Here is Casi’s fantastic trailer!


Beneath The Lake Trailer 
A Time-Slip Romantic Suspense

 

After that, you’ll want to grab your own copy of Beneath the Lake. Here’s the place:

Universal worldwide Amazon Buy Link: Http://myBook.to/BeneathTheLake

 

Book #2, Beyond The Mist, picks up where Beneath The Lake ended, but the story is definitely a stand-alone in its own right… This is the blurb:

 

Piper Taylor concedes she’ll never fall in love, until a treacherous storm spirals her into the arms of the handsome Nick Cramer. Unrelenting remorse over a past relationship haunts Nick, but he can’t deny the mysterious connection and hot desire Piper evokes.

 

The allure of a secret portal hidden beneath Atlanta’s Lake Lanier tempts him into seizing the opportunity to change his mistakes. But his time slip triggers consequences beyond his wildest dreams.

 

Can Piper avoid the international espionage and terrorism of 2001 New York, find Nick, and bring him home before he alters the fabric of time, or will the lovers drift forever Beyond The Mist?

Another intriguing trailer! Take a look.

Beyond The Mist ~ star-crossed lovers struggle within a cyclone of 9/11 terrorism

Continue the series with Beyond the Mist.

Universal worldwide Amazon Buy Link: http://myBook.to/BeyondTheMist

 

I hope you all join me in celebrating my new release. My Facebook Launch Party is tonight (Sept. 12) from 6 to 9. We have some incredible authors kicking off the launch [including Sorchia] with tons of giveaways, prizes and freebies. I hope to see you there tonight.

Thanks so much for hosting me today, Sorchia. I hope we have some great questions because I love talking about Lake Lanier Mysteries!

 

Find Casi:

 

Website  Twitter  Facebook  Goodreads   Amazon Author Page  Blog  Pinterest  Instagram

 

Novel Magic: Giving Books a New Life with Juli D.Revezzo

Audiobooks provide the same escape you found when your mom read stories out loud to you when you were a kid.  Remember how nice it was to close your eyes and fall into a story? These days you can listen to your favorite books via an audiobook service while you drive, make supper, or lounge on the couch with a glass of wine.

Sorchia’s Universe is happy to present author Juli D.Revezzo, author of Lady of the Tarot. She’s going to tell you  about her experiences mining this method of publishing and a bit about her new book as well.

Giving Books New Life by Juli D.Revezzo

 

Like most booklovers, I’m always happy to devour a book whenever I can. I love my ebook reader, and have mountains of paperbacks and hardcovers in my collection as well. But every once in a while, those just aren’t the most convenient format for reading. I’ve been known to splurge on books on tape, but alas, those aren’t even convenient these days. glares at MP3 format.

Either way, audio has long been a viable backup for this bookworm. As an author, I always thought it would be cool if only I could have some of my books translated into audiobook. Alas, that’s a dream…or was, until a friend of mine discovered ACX.com a service that allows authors the opportunity to fulfil this desire. She’d had several books made into audiobook (and I’d enjoyed listening to them. So when I released my latest gothic PNR novel, LADY OF THE TAROT, I thought I’d take the plunge and signed up for an account at ACX. The sheer number of narrator samples was fun to poke through, hearing all the different accents and timbres voicing various characters, it was a nice way to procrastinate working…er, I mean, it was an enjoyable hunt.

However, I had a specific challenge with LADY OF THE TAROT. Aside from the themes in the story and the paranormal romantic elements which dictated a need for a lover of that kind of thing, several of my characters are French and do tend to throw around French terminology, here and there. I thought it might be easier on me, my narrator, and my readers/listeners if the narrator could handle Emilie and company’s French. That, like I said, turned into a bigger challenge than I thought.

Fast forward past some time here, and in the end, the narrator I chose, Christina Marie Morris, was a find in herself. 

And let me tell you, you think it’s cool to hear a best seller, or one of your favorite books, in your earbuds? Listening to your own is a totally different experience. In short, what a thrill it was to hear my heroine Emilie come to life! Ms. Morris’ not only handled the foreign language terminology well, as I listened to the chapters she sent me, I began to think of, and anticipate, hearing Emilie in Ms. Morris’ voice.   I finally saw what my friend meant about a narrator giving another dimension of life to the character. As a listener also, that was a joy. Indeed, I believe it’s made me appreciate audiobooks all the more. I encourage you as readers to give them a try, if you have not. And authors, you too! I believe you’ll love the result. I did!

Before I go, let me share with the synopsis of LADY OF THE TAROT:
What the cards foretell may be real, after all

1793: Having escaped the Reign of Terror, Emilie Maigny took refuge in England, trying to come to grips with the life and loss she left behind. When her brother, Sinjon, returns, a terrifying evil swoops down upon her. Nightmares plague her now, providing strange clues…but to what?

 

Scottish-born Linton Morrison spent his entire life in luxury, whiling away the hours in intense study of the tarot and the cards’ hidden meanings, but until he met the lovely Emilie Maigny, he would never have guessed how important his study might be – to his life and Emilie’s survival when terrible evil strikes.

 

A Cypher is all Emilie needs, but what is it? Is Linton the key? He may charm her heart – and he may be her only salvation.

 

Should you like to check the LADY OF THE TAROT audiobook out for yourself, you can find it at Audible, Itunes, or Amazon (where you can also hear the sample of LADY OF THE TAROT.) See links below.

(And if you prefer plain ole print, it’s available in Kindle and paperback as well).

So that’s my tale of the audiobook journey of LADY OF THE TAROT. And my thanks to Sorchia for inviting me here to speak about it!

You can find Juli ( or grab a copy of LADY OF THE TAROT) at:

Homepage: https://www.julidrevezzo.com/

Books on Audible: http://www.audible.com/search/ref=a_offers_30_tseft__galileo?advsearchKeywords=Juli+D.+Revezzo&x=0&y=0

Books on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Juli-D.-Revezzo/e/B008AHVTLO

Books On Itunes: https://itunes.apple.com/ie/author/juli-d-revezzo/id562687362?mt=11

Sign up for her newsletter at: http://bit.ly/SNI5K6

Blog: http://julismapsroom.blogspot.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/julidrevezzo

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/julidrevezzo

 

 

Novel Magic: A Walk Down a Dark Street…Steampunk Style by Laura Strickland

It is my great pleasure to welcome Laura Strickland to Novel Magic this week. With at least 26 books under her belt (according to Goodreads) Laura writes historical romance and magical tales. Her latest, Steel Kisses, is the third in her Buffalo Steampunk Adventure series–and it has everything Sorchia’s Universe requires! But Laura can tell you about it more eloquently than I can.

A Walk Down a Dark Street. . .Steampunk Style

by Laura Strickland

Imagine you’re walking down a dark, narrow street in a shadowed city. It might be Victorian London, it might be Toronto or Boston, San Francisco or—dare I suggest—even nineteenth-century Buffalo on the Niagara Frontier. The buildings lean toward you overhead like tipsy old ladies and up ahead through the ground mist you see…

What is that? An automaton, with a glimmer of light from the street lamps winking off its silvery surface? A Jack-the-Ripper type figure, his weapon concealed behind his back? A part-mechanical, part-human hybrid with a telescoping arm? A monster? Or perhaps your heart’s desire?

Why do readers love to read (and writers to write) Steampunk? Speaking as an author, I love the intricacy of the world building, part reality and part fantastical imagining all blended together seamlessly. I love letting my mind off its leash and weaving the unlikely and improbable into a believable whole. I love the black humor, and indulging my dark side.

And why, you may ask, set such mad, dark and dangerous stories in Buffalo, New York of all places? As a native of that oft-beleaguered city, I can testify it’s the perfect setting. Natives of Buffalo, mostly immigrants and the descendants of them, definitely have their dark sides. The humor is black and self-deprecating. And they’re tough. Used to losing, they’re also used to fighting back against most anything. Like blizzards, crazed scientists, evil undertakers and the builders of mechanical prostitutes.

Unleash your dark side; take a walk in my Steampunk Buffalo, and see for yourself. All are welcome here and the weirder you are, the better you’ll fit in. Come take a look at what lies at the end of that street, and find your heart’s desire.

 

Newest release in the Buffalo Steampunk Adventure series:

Steel Kisses: A Buffalo Steampunk Adventure

Other titles in series (in order):

Dead Handsome: A Buffalo Steampunk Adventure

Off Kilter: A Buffalo Steampunk Adventure

Sheer Madness: A Buffalo Steampunk Adventure

 

Steel Kisses: A Buffalo Steampunk Adventure

 

Reynold Michaels might not be the smartest man in the city, but he knows a beautiful woman when he sees one. The lovely creature he

Steel Kisses by Laura Strickland on Sorchia's Universe

watches disembark from the steam tram every morning simply cannot be a prostitute…or an automaton. Yet at the high-priced bordello where she works he discovers she’s not only a hybrid mechanical, she’s funny, vulnerable, and quite possibly the missing piece of his heart.

Lily Landry understands that as an automaton she isn’t entitled to make her own choices. She must do as instructed or face the ultimate horror of being shut down. But when she forms a bond with Reynold, she quickly learns what it means to desire a life of her own. In a city conflicted over automaton rights, can they hope for a future together?

 

Interested? Here’s a little more steam!

“What happens to humans when they die? Do you know?”

 

Lily posed the question to Chastity, who sat beside her on the bed. The two of them awaited the arrival of a client, a very wealthy man who had booked the two of

them together. Not for the first time—this man as well as several others sometimes requested the service. This particular client invariably requested Lily and Chastity

in tandem.

 

Lily did not mind that part. She did not suppose herself capable of friendship as such, but she felt comfortable with Chastity, as much as possible in the

situation.

 

The client—who liked to be called MonsieurGrand—liked them to be naked when he entered the chamber, so they were, their bodies nearly identical except for hair and skin color.

 

Chastity gave Lily a look out of deep, black eyes. “It was not installed in my intelligence.”

 

“Nor mine. But we hear things. And learn—acquire—information.”

 

“Yes. We have been instructed not to kill.”

 

One of the first edicts, an absolute: You will not harm humans no matter what they ask you to do. You will never kill a human.

 

Chastity offered, “I sometimes think about killing humans…clients.”

 

Lily had to admit, “As do I.” She had thought about killing the human who bit her. Forbidden.

 

“Humans are weak—fragile—and easy to kill. There are many ways. The strength of my hands on a human’s throat. A kick to the jaw, a pillow held over the face. I believe if I wished I could break the rib cage and extract the heart.”

 

Lily said nothing, but the thought came to her that Reynold did not feel weak. When she touched him, she felt stronger.

 

Chastity said, “We could kill our client when he is shown in. Then we would not have to do the things he asks.”

 

A daring proposition. Lily narrowed her eyes and thought about it. “What would happen after?” Shut off.

 

“Shut off,” Chastity confirmed. “At least we would not have to do these things anymore.”

 

Lily would never see Reynold again.

 

“Unless,” Chastity proposed, “we escape.”

 

That made Lily turn and examine her sister. Chastity looked so emotionless, so calm sitting there in her naked perfection. But when Lily engaged her eyes she saw…what? Some of the thoughts that occupied her own intelligence.

 

“Is that possible?” To leave this building other than to walk to the tram and thence to their dormitory? Lily had never been anywhere else. “Guards at every door.”

 

“Mechanicals like us. I have been examining the possibilities of disabling them.”

 

“Yes?” Lily could manage no more.

 

“Yes. It would need to be done very early, when we first arrive, before Dr. Landry comes. If we disable the mechanicals…”

 

“Miss Crump is human. It is forbidden.”

 

“We might be able to overwhelm Miss Crump without harming her. Tie her up.”

 

“Nadia…”

 

“Nadia is rarely here in the morning.”

 

Lily could feel her artificial intelligence clicking over, examining the possibilities.“Now that there are more of us, it should be easier.”

 

“The new girls will not participate.”

 

“You are right. They are still stupid. They have not learned. But they may provide cover for the rest of us.”

 

Lily looked into Chastity’s eyes again. She repeated in a whisper, “What do you think happens to humans when they die?”

 

A knock sounded on the door, the steamie ushering up the client.

 

Both automatons got to their feet.

 

Chastity whispered back, “I don’t suppose it would be wise to find out just yet.”

 

If you don’t already know her, learn more about Laura Strickland.

Laura Strickland in Sorchia's UniverseBorn in Buffalo and raised on the Niagara Frontier, Laura Strickland has been an avid reader and writer since childhood. She believes the spunky, tenacious, undefeatable ethnic mix that is Buffalo spells the perfect setting for a little Steampunk, so she created her own Victorian world there. She knows the people of Buffalo are stronger, tougher, and smarter than those who haven’t survived the muggy summers and blizzard blasts found on the shores of the mighty Niagara. Tough enough to survive a squad of evil automatons? Well, just maybe.

Catch up with Laura here:

Laura’s Website

Follow Laura on FaceBook

Laura’s Author Page on Amazon

Grab a copy of Steel Kisses at any of these purveyors of fine literature.

Buy a copy of Steel Kisses on Amazon

Buy Steel Kisses at Amazon/Canada

Buy Steel Kisses at Amazon/UK

Buy Steel Kisses direct from Wild Rose Press

Buy Steel Kisses from Barnes and Noble

Buy Steel Kisses from KOBO

Add Steel Kisses to your GoodReads library