Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Review: A Dose of Brimstone by Noree Cosper

A Dose of Brimstone (Van Helsing Organization #2)A Dose of Brimstone (Van Helsing Organization #2)

Try a little Brimstone to bring out the demon in you.

Gabby thought the brimstone drug was destroyed. However, now a multitude of demons plague New York, and from the look of their scaly skin, the drug has taken hold of the Big Apple. When Gabby finally uncovers the mastermind behind it all, she realizes this battle won't be easily won. Faust is unlike any demon Gabby has seen before, capable of possessing multiple entities at once; he’s even manipulated a corporation of vampires into spreading their own version of brimstone. If Gabby and the Van Helsing Organization don't put an end to Faust's plan, it'll soon be Hell on Earth.

My Review

I love a good adventure, and that’s what The Van Helsing Organization delivers in buckets. Since finishing A Prescription for Delirium over two years ago, I’ve eagerly awaited the return of demon hunter Gabby and the Van Helsing brothers Esais, Tres, and my favourite character, Adrian. So when I heard Noree Cosper was seeking reviews to coincide with the release of A Dose of Brimstone I leaped at the chance to read the sequel before its release. I was not disappointed.

The ever-deepening plot sinks its claws in and pulls you through the story hell for leather. All of the elements I enjoyed in the first book are present in the second: strong women, chiefly protagonist Gabby; non-stop action; glorious fights; vibrant imagery; and, of course, the Van Helsing brothers.

I’ve read a lot of vampire novels and in truth I’m sick of them. So much so, I now refuse to review anything that appears to be the same old vampire tale reworked to fit an author’s fantasy. I’ve read too many and I can’t stand the thought of consuming another. I have what I call a fangover. A Dose of Brimstone is different. Much like A Prescription for Delirium, the many other supernatural beings provide a cavalcade of colour to compliment the main focus of attention, the drug plot. Vampires are just another force of evil in the crazy world of The Organization. There are a few loose ends left dangling at the end, but this is a clear promise of more books to come.

What propels what could essentially be considered “more of the same” into five-star territory is how much time we get to spend with Adrian this time round. What makes him such a compelling character? How little of himself he gives away has a lot to do with it. Even though we spend two-thirds of this story in his company, he remains guarded throughout, compelling us want more from him. We catch snippets of his brilliance through Gabby’s eyes and can’t help but be intrigued by his denial of any gifts like those his brothers possess. He’s broken, and we want to see if he can be fixed as much as we don’t want him to change at all. Adrian is an exceptionally well-crafted character and I defy any reader not to end up loving him.

If you like the sound of A Dose of Brimstone, I strongly recommend you read A Prescription for Delirium first. If you’ve already read it and are unsure of the sequel (I mean really, how could you?) then rest assured, you’re in for a wild ride.

Noree Cosper
Noree Cosper loves writing about magic in the modern world. While growing up in Texas she constantly searched for mystical elements in the mundane. She buried her nose in both fiction and books about Wicca, Religion, and Mythology. Everyday became an adventure as she joined a group of role-players, acting out her fantasies of vampires, demons, and monsters living in the world. She embraced her nerdom wholeheartedly. Noree grew, but never left her love for fantasy and horror. Her dreams pushed her and her hand itched to write the visions she saw. So, with her fingers on the keys, she did what her heart had been telling her to do since childhood. She wrote.

Friday, 14 August 2015

Mystical Bites Tour

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mystical bites ebook

Bite sized stories bursting with magic. Suspend your disbelief and let your imagination take you away. Trust yourself to fly as you follow 23 talented authors on a journey through magical realms. There, find love with a werewolf, make it rain with a coven of witches, fight alongside dragons, and more. Give into the magic, and step into our worlds.​ Add it to goodreads Join the release day party! Buy it here!    

About the Authors:

  Displaying PenelopeAnne Bartotto.jpgPenelope Anne Bartotto Penelope Anne Bartotto started writing once she discovered crayons were not a recommended dietary option. Fueled by coffee she has written numerous poems and flash fiction, as well as short stories featured in Paranormal Anthology with a Twist and Dark Light Four. Married with three adult children, she calls Wisconsin her home. Now free to pursue her love of the written word, between reviewing for InD'Tale Magazine and editing, she continues to work on her great American novel. 

Displaying RAB author logo.jpgReven Archer Black Reven Archer Black lives in Canada but her imagination lives in the speculative fiction world, dallying with fantasy more than other genres. Her writing adventures started one fateful night when she was 6 years old. Now she is armed with a wildly eclectic music collection and a large helping of weird ideas, exploring the dark side of human nature. Reven’s first novel, Ascension, is slated for release in 2015, kicking off her epic fantasy series, Blood & Heritage. She welcomes everyone to drop by her social media pages and say hello, especially if they come with humour and chocolate.

Displaying cath 163.jpgCathrina Constantine Cathrina Constantine is a young adult author. She writes paranormal/thriller/dystopia/romance/mystery/fantasy/contemporary novels. To date she's published: Wickedly They Come, Wickedly They Dream, Tallas, short stories in A Touch of Winter, Twist of Fate, and her 4th novel, Don't Forget to Breathe will be published by CHBB in Feb. 2015.      

UntitledMichael Cross Michael Cross lives in Seattle, WA. This land is prone to lots of rain, fantastic adventures and the occasional flyby dragon. When Cross isn’t working on his next novel, he spends his time reading, modding steampunk inventions or working on his airship with his copilot chihuahua. Cross dreamed of becoming a storyteller back when he was read stories like “The Odyssey” and legends of Roman soldiers and Arthur. He writes mostly paranormal, fantasy, New Adult and steampunk. 

Displaying 11054842_10153270003196639_480545129800708707_n.jpgNicole L Daffurn Sunshine, surf and family are the corner stones of Nicky’s world. Being born and raised on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia gave her the opportunity to chase her dream of photography and later novel writing. She fell in love with fantasy and dystopian and crafted stories with strong men and powerful women. As well as her many contributions to chbb anthologies, her debut novel through Crushing Hearts and Black Butterfly - Courageous Souls - was released November 6 2014. Her Second Novel - The Darkness Within was published February 5th 2015. When she is not busy being an author, you will find her walking along the water with her husband or chasing after her two children.

  Displaying 10676830_10203652720291400_427302663_o.jpgJoe DiCicco Joe DiCicco is a 30 year old author of horror, sci-fi, dystopian and dark fantasy. He has one novel and two short stories available on Amazon. He currently resides in upstate NY. 

  kcfinn_headshotKC Finn K. C. Finn was born and raised in Cardiff, South Wales, where her love for storytelling grew at a precociously young age. After developing the medical condition M.E. / C.F.S., Kim turned to writing to escape the pressures of disabled living, only to become hooked on the incredible world of publishing.

    Displaying meeeeee.jpg Jordanne Fuller Jordanne Fuller is a mishmash of creative talents whirling into one another, solidified into a woman. She has been writing since she can remember but didn't realize how much she enjoyed it until her poetry explosion at the age of sixteen. At twenty, she wrote her first (unfinished) novel that will likely never see the light of day. Now that she is thirty(ish) Jordanne has finished her first novel that she hopes to publish in the near future. Dusk is her first piece to enter the hands of a publishing company, and the stand alone prequel to Night, her current novel in progress.

  Displaying H.L.Houghton image.png HL Houghton H.L. Houghton remembers sitting on the floor with a little red typewriter, tapping keys and asking her mother for spellings. She was three years old and from that day to this, she has dreamed of writing wonderful things for others to read. H.L has published a collection of funny vampire stories titled 'Almost Dead' and a short story , 'Dakkar,' available in Crushing Hearts and Black Butterfly Publishing's 'After Tomorrow Anthology'.When she isn’t writing she can be found with a camera glued to her face or a book in her hand. She loves music, singing badly and watching people run from the rain.

Displaying Author pic CL McCollum.jpgCL McCollum C.L. McCollum spends her time delving into the wonder of the world. She’s always been drawn to the “How” and the “Why” and the “Is this even possible?” That addiction to wonder has led her to the realm of Science Fiction and Fantasy. C. L. is on the Great Agent Hunt for her first full length novel, but has stories featured in the charity anthology Clichés for a Cause: It Was a Dark and Stormy Night (October 2014) and the After Tomorrow anthology (December 2014). Currently, C. L. is keeping it weird in Austin, TX with the love of her life and their various furry roommates.

Displaying RoxanneMilson.jpgRoxanne Milson Originating from the sunny Gold Coast, Australia, Roxanne now resides in the small city of Tauranga in New Zealand. All her life Roxanne has used her love of art and writing to bring her creative imagination to life. Born to love fantasy and anything Victorian Gothic, she has come to love various genres and writes stories in fantasy, Steampunk, dark Gothic and even crime thrillers. Currently, Roxanne is working on her first two novels in a series of crime thrillers known as the Echoes of Murder, an epic dark fantasy and several short stories in various genres including paranormal and fantasy. When Roxanne is not planning and writing her stories, she’s drawing them, bringing all her characters to life through visual art. And when she’s not doing either of those, she’s curled up with her cats or out horseback riding.

Displaying 11138590_791043100993744_3984164075514637652_n.jpgStacey Janie McIntosh In 2011 she had her first short story Freya published in an anthology, nine more followed bringing the total up to ten. The latest two Shadows of Annwn and The Hunter Million are published in the CHBB Anthology Mystical Bites.   UntitledEmma Michaels is the bestselling author of the Society of Feathers series. As an avid reader she started her book blog in 2009 ( and over the years has received numerous publications. Working to help Indies and small presses from around the world she has received the nickname ‘The Mad Hatter’ for her versatility in graphic design, publishing, marketing, and blogging.  

    1982097Lexi Ostrow Lexi Ostrow has been in love with the written word since second grade when her librarian started a writing club. Born in sunny southern California she’s spent time in various places across the country and can’t wait to settle down somewhere in the French Quarter when she’s able too. Lexi has been a writer ever since the second grade in some form or another. Getting her degree in creative writing and her master’s in journalism she couldn’t wait to get a chance to put her fantasies down on paper. From paranormal romance to thriller there isn’t a genre she doesn’t love to spend her time reading or writing.

  Displaying IMG_7499.JPGDemetria Patalano Demi started out writing poetry, which evolved into short stories. Waiting for her goal to become a full-length author is soon to come. She currently is involved in Anthologies for Crushing Hearts and Black Butterfly Publishing. She loves to read, write, and take pictures. Demi is from a small town in southern Illinois. She is a homemaker to, two beautiful children Nikolai 4 and Dani Jo 8   

Displaying Heather Sharpe Author Photo.JPGHeather Sharpe Heather Sharpe is an ex-teacher turned stay at home mom. She lives on six acres in Kansas with her husband and three year old son, and more pets than any sane Mommy would agree to. In any time not spent chasing pets and children Heather likes to go to the lake, crochet, or bake.  

    10386360_10204973022980555_8714246124754803180_nJessica Slater Jessica was born in Brisbane and raised in a beautiful country town; Warwick. Since the moment she could read and write she never stopped and it was always an endless pile of books and paper.When she isn’t writing or reading you can find her working as a manager at KFC or taking walks with her partner and beautiful dog.    

Displaying author pic.jpeg AL Staum Andrea L. Staum is the author the Dragonchild Lore series, The Attic’s Secret novella, and has contributed to several best selling anthologies. She's a trained motorcycle technician, an amateur home renovator, and somehow manages to find time to write. She lives in south central Wisconsin with her husband, three 'unique' cats. 

  Displaying PavSquared.pngPavarati K Tyler Award-winning author of multi-cultural and transgressive literature, Pavarti K. Tyler can be found with Doc Martens strapped on over fishnets, but a girlish giggle as easily and likely as a throaty guffaw.   

Displaying Author pic.jpgJess Watkins Jess is an avid reader, writer and chocolate devourer. She runs a book blog called A Book Addict's Bookshelves and co-runs Worlds of Words. She has lived in three different countries and owns an unreasonable number of t-shirts. A Whovian, Browncoat and Sherlockian, Jess loves anything to do with superheroes, Game of Thrones and Joss Whedon. She is the author of Girl Meets Underworld, As We Lie Dying and Escaping Rapture which is part of the After Tomorrow Anthology.

Displaying 10433210_10203910539701585_5823061669008600757_n.jpgGina A Watson Gina Ashley Watson is an Australian Writer who has always loved to tell a story. She started writing her first book in 2012 and has loved writing ever since. Gina studies a Bachelor of Writing and Creative Communication at the University of South Australia in Adelaide. Her favourite genres to write in are: Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance, Young Adult and loves to read in those genres as well. Gina’s life now revolves around her boyfriend and family as well as studying, writing and trying to squeeze in time to read. 

Displaying LukePhoto2.jpgLuke West Luke has been writing for as long as he can remember, getting the initial 'buzz' when his short story 'Gus the Bus' was selected for publication in his primary school newsletter. He finds his characters to be unique with addictive personalities and loves to connect with his readers.   

  Displaying 29052013030.jpgMatthew Wilson Matthew Wilson, 31, has had over 150 appearances in such places as Horror Zine, Star*Line, Spellbound, Illumen, Apokrupha Press, Hazardous Press, Gaslight Press, Sorcerers Signal and many more.

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

SPINNER by Michael J. Bowler TOUR


by Michael J Bowler
YA Horror/Paranormal
Published on August 5th, 2015

Fifteen-year-old Alex is a “spinner.” His friends are “dummies.” Two clandestine groups of humans want his power. And an ancient evil is stalking him. If people weren’t being murdered, Alex might laugh at how his life turned into a horror movie overnight.
In a wheelchair since birth, his freakish ability has gotten him kicked out of ten foster homes since the age of four. Now saddled with a sadistic housemother who uses his spinning to heal the kids she physically abuses, Alex and his misfit group of learning disabled classmates are the only ones who can solve the mystery of his birth before more people meet a gruesome end.
They need to find out who murdered their beloved teacher, and why the hot young substitute acts like she’s flirting with them. Then there’s the mysterious medallion that seems to have unleashed something malevolent, and an ancient prophecy suggesting Alex has the power to destroy humanity.
The boys break into homes, dig up graves, elude kidnappers, fight for their lives against feral cats, and ultimately confront an evil as old as humankind. Friendships are tested, secrets uncovered, love spoken, and destiny revealed.
The kid who’s always been a loner will finally learn the value of friends, family, and loyalty.
If he survives…



with SPED kids


Karina Martinez for The Daily Cougar

It is a somber day as I approached the lunch table. This group of SPED students (Special Education) has experienced a tragic loss – their teacher was killed last night, run down by a truck outside her apartment. We’ve never had such a tragedy at Mark Twain High. Ms. Lorna Ashley had been teaching Special Education for four years and her class was always self-contained. That means the students were with her the whole day, for every class. Her current group consists of six male students, all gathered around the most beat-up of the lunch tables not far from their classroom. I have my faithful photographer with me – Jasmine Rodriguez – and we both try to look professional as we stop at their table. These kids have a reputation around campus for being weird and usually nobody ever goes near them. One of the boys is in a wheelchair, but the others look normal. You’d never know they were Special Ed.
I introduce Jasmine and myself. The boys stare at us like we’re from Mars or something. The white haired boy, Alex, the one in the wheelchair, has these amazing blue eyes that almost make me forget what I was there for. I explain that I write for the school paper and we’re doing a story on Ms. Ashley’s death.
“Why?” That comes from the light-skinned black kid named Java. He glowers and looks suspiciously at the camera Jasmine holds.
“Well, we’ve never had anything like this happen before,” I explain, “and it’s big news when a teacher gets killed.”
Israel, dark hair, really handsome, blurts out, “What the f**k?”
That catches me off-guard. “Well, I just mean, it’s something the school paper can’t ignore.”
Jorge, tall and thin with unkempt black hair, hands me a piece of paper with no expression on his face. It has a big red “V” scrawled on it. I exchange a nervous glance with Jasmine, who stifles a giggle, and then turn back to Jorge.
“What’s this for?”
“We’ve never had anything like this happen before,” Jorge says in a monotone voice, repeating my words to me. I confess, I’m feeling creeped out.
Roy, the skinny white kid with snakebite piercings in his lower lip brushes hair from in front of his eyes. Those eyes look sad to me. “Ms. Ashley was a great teacher. She was like a mom to us. That’s all you gotta write.”
There’s a Vietnamese kid named Cuong at the table, but he just plays with a Gameboy like we’re not even there. Alex stares at me with those blue eyes and I feel like he’s looking right through me. I shiver. He’s the one our readers most want to hear from because he’s the most disabled kid we have at Mark Twain, being in a wheelchair and all. So I focus on him.
“So, um, Alex, do you have anything to say about Ms. Ashley?”
Alex’s intense look doesn’t let up at all. His white blond hair falls across his forehead and back over his collar. His serious expression doesn’t hide his good looks. If he weren’t crippled he’d be hot enough to date.
“Like Roy said, Ms. Ashley was the best teacher I ever had,” Alex answers, his voice filled with sadness. “She never got mad at us when we couldn’t do something. She just helped us find some other way. She loved us.”
I take notes as he speaks, still feeling those deep blue eyes looking through me. “So, you guys are Special Ed, right?”
“Yeah, so?” Java says. He’s big and buff and wears one of those tight shirts like football players wear. He looks scary.
“Well, our readers don’t know much about being special ed. Are you guys like, retarded?”
I ask it innocently because that’s usually what special ed means, but Java’s face turns stormy.
“We are not f***ing retarded!” Israel says loudly. Other kids milling about look over curiously. Now I feel embarrassed.
“Sorry,” I say. “It’s just, well, that’s what normal kids think about special ones.”
“We are normal,” Roy says. “For us. Right, Alex?”
Java looks ready to explode so I turn to Alex.
“Roy’s right,” Alex says, his voice tight with anger. “We don’t read or write good, but we’re the same as you.”
            “Except you can’t walk?”
            “The hell?” Roy blurts. He stands and towers over me. “Get outta here! You don’t know s**t!”
            Alex places one hand on Roy’s arm and that calms him a little. He looks at Alex and Alex shakes his head slightly. Still angry, Roy re-seats himself.
“No, I can’t walk,” Alex replies, those eyes fixed intently on me.
I try to steer this interview into a non-threatening direction. “What’s it like, not to walk?”
“Shut up, bitch!” Israel says loudly. He can’t seem to speak in any tone other than loud. He draws more attention to me than I want. Then Jorge says, “Shut up, bitch,” and sounds eerily like Israel. I shiver again.
“It’s okay, Izzy,” Alex says. I think he’s probably been asked that question a lot because he just sighs and looks up at me from his wheelchair. “What’s it like to walk? I never have so I don’t know.”
That answer floors me and I have no response.
“See?” Alex goes on. “Normal is different for everybody. Maybe you could print that and the kids around here might stop talking s**t about us and calling me Roller Boy all the time. We got feelings same as all of you, and we’re not losers like everybody says. Roy could fix anything in this school that breaks down. And Java could kick ass on the football team ‘cept people keep calling him a dummy. He’s not. Not of us are. We’re just born different.”
I’m trying to write down every word because it’s all so amazing and so unlike what I thought these kids were like. I guess I thought they were dumb because that’s what I always heard. I realize that this is the first time I ever interacted with them. Alex stops talking and I stop writing. The others are staring at me and I feel like I should say something, but don’t know what.  Then it hits me.
“Could I try out your wheelchair?”
“The f**k?” Israel says even louder. The “F-word” seems to be his favorite.
Alex looks at me with open-mouthed surprise and I realize I didn’t ask the question very well. “I, uh, I just thought I could write a better story about what it’s like to be crippled if I sat in your chair and, you know, wheeled around a little.”
Roy leaps to his feet again. “Get lost. We’re not freaks and Alex ain’t crippled! He can do anything you can and more!”
Jasmine giggles beside me and I nudge her, trying to salvage this interview.
“It’s okay, Roy,” Alex says quietly. “Let her try.”
“Alex! She’s just messing with you.”
“No, I’m not, really,” I answer quickly. “I just want to feel what it would be like to sit all the time.”
Roy’s angry look makes me realize I said the wrong thing again. I’m really wishing Ms. Jacobs hadn’t given me this assignment. Alex touches Roy’s arm again in a calming way and pushes himself up and out of his wheelchair onto the bench so easily I think I gasped. His arms and upper body look pretty buff, but he moved so easily I’m shocked.
“Go ahead,” he says. “Try it out.”
I feel all of them mad-dogging me as I step forward and uncertainly sit in the chair. I try to push forward, but my feet on the ground get in my way.
“Your feet go on the footrest,” Alex says and points to it.
I look down and see where he’s pointing and place my feet there. Then I start wheeling around. It’s fun, I find myself thinking, almost like riding in a Go-Kart. Jasmine snaps some pictures of me in the chair and of the SPED kids watching me.
“How is it?” Jasmine asks.
Before I can stop myself, I say, “It’s fun.”
I spin around and head back toward her. Other kids standing nearby laugh and point.
“Let me try,” Jasmine says.
I hop out of the chair and she plops into it. Wheeling herself around in circles, she makes like she’s going to run into another kid standing off to the side. The kid lurches back and Jasmine laughs. All the students standing around laugh and point to Alex and his friends. I hear one of them say, “Hey, it’s Roller Girl.”
“This is so cool,” Jasmine gushes, and I catch Alex’s facial expression when she does. He looks like someone punched him. Those blue eyes look so hurt I almost feel like crying. I hurry to Jasmine.
“Give him back the chair.”
Reluctantly, she steps out of it and I wheel the chair back to Alex. He gives me a look that pierces my heart and I realize how hurtful what we just did is to him. He slides himself deftly into the chair and pulls his feet onto the footrest.
Roy steps up to me. He’s really mad. “Had enough fun? Get the f**k outta here and leave us alone.”
I step back as all of them stand up to mad-dog me. Even the Vietnamese kid stops playing his game to glower. I exchange a nervous glance with Jasmine, who hurriedly snaps a few pictures.
“I, uh, well, thanks for talking to me,” I say uncertainly. “I’m, well, sorry about your teacher and all.”
Jasmine grabs my arm to pull me away. I can’t help but look into Alex’s blue eyes one last time. He looks so hurt, more than he did when I first got here. I understand these kids now more than I ever did before. They feel pain and sadness just like we do, and they deserve the same respect.
“I’m sorry, Alex, about the chair thing. See ya around.”
Alex doesn’t answer, so I turn to follow Jasmine away into the crowd. The other kids are still laughing.

Note: This is how I wrote up the article, but Ms. Jacobs decided not to run it. She felt it would embarrass Alex and his friends, and then she spent an entire period teaching us proper ways to ask difficult questions during an interview. I know I blew it, but at least I now understand that the kids we call Special Ed are just as human as I am, and I plan to treat them that way from now on.


Michael J. Bowler is an award-winning author of eight novels–A Boy and His Dragon, A Matter of Time (Silver Medalist from Reader’s Favorite), and The Knight Cycle, comprised of five books: Children of the Knight (Gold Award Winner in the Wishing Shelf Book Awards), Running Through A Dark Place, There Is No Fear, And The Children Shall Lead, Once Upon A Time In America, and Spinner. His horror screenplay, “Healer,” was a Semi-Finalist, and his urban fantasy script, “Like A Hero,” was a Finalist in the Shriekfest Film Festival and Screenplay Competition. He grew up in San Rafael, California, and majored in English and Theatre at Santa Clara University. He went on to earn a master’s in film production from Loyola Marymount University, a teaching credential in English from LMU, and another master’s in Special Education from Cal State University Dominguez Hills. He partnered with two friends as producer, writer, and/or director on several ultra-low-budget horror films, including “Fatal Images,” “Club Dead,” and “Things II,” the reviews of which are much more fun than the actual movies. He taught high school in Hawthorne, California for twenty-five years, both in general education and to students with learning disabilities, in subjects ranging from English and Strength Training to Algebra, Biology, and Yearbook. He has also been a volunteer Big Brother to eight different boys with the Catholic Big Brothers Big Sisters program and a thirty-year volunteer within the juvenile justice system in Los Angeles. He has been honored as Probation Volunteer of the Year, YMCA Volunteer of the Year, California Big Brother of the Year, and 2000 National Big Brother of the Year. The “National” honor allowed him and three of his Little Brothers to visit the White House and meet the president in the Oval Office. He is currently working on a sequel to Spinner. His goal as a YA author is for teens to experience empowerment and hope; to see themselves in his diverse characters; to read about kids who face real-life challenges; and to see how kids like them can remain decent people in an indecent world.

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Friday, 26 June 2015

The Witch of Painted Sorrows Tour


(Daughters of La Lune #1)

by M.J. Rose
Gothic Historical Fantasy
Published by Atria Books on March 17th, 2015

Possession. Power. Passion. New York Times bestselling novelist M. J. Rose creates her most provocative and magical spellbinder yet in this gothic novel set against the lavish spectacle of 1890s Belle Époque Paris.

Sandrine Salome flees New York for her grandmother’s Paris mansion to escape her dangerous husband, but what she finds there is even more menacing. The house, famous for its lavish art collection and elegant salons, is mysteriously closed up. Although her grandmother insists it’s dangerous for Sandrine to visit, she defies her and meets Julien Duplessi, a mesmerizing young architect. Together they explore the hidden night world of Paris, the forbidden occult underground and Sandrine’s deepest desires.

Among the bohemians and the demi-monde, Sandrine discovers her erotic nature as a lover and painter. Then darker influences threaten—her cold and cruel husband is tracking her down and something sinister is taking hold, changing Sandrine, altering her. She’s become possessed by La Lune: A witch, a legend, and a sixteenth-century courtesan, who opens up her life to a darkness that may become a gift or a curse.

This is Sandrine’s “wild night of the soul”, her odyssey in the magnificent city of Paris, of art, love, and witchery.

Praise for The Witch of Painted Sorrows
This bell époque thriller is a haunting tale of obsessive passions.” —People Magazine
Provocative, erotic, and spellbindingly haunting…will have the reader totally mesmerized cover-to-cover….a ‘must-have’ novel.” —Suspense Magazine
A haunting tale of erotic love…. M.J. Rose seamlessly weaves historical events throughout this story filled with distinctive characters that will keep the reader captivated to the end.” —
Rose has a talent for compelling writing, and this time she has outdone herself. Fear, desire, lust and raw emotion ooze off the page.” —Associated Press
Haunting tale of possession.” —Publishers Weekly
Rose’s new series offers her specialty, a unique and captivating supernatural angle, set in an intriguing belle epoque Paris — lush descriptions, intricate plot and mesmerizing storytelling. Sensual, evocative, mysterious and haunting.” —Kirkus
Mixes reality and illusion, darkness and light, mystery and romance into an adult fairy tale. [Rose] stirs her readers curiosities and imaginations, opening their eyes to the cultural, intellectual and artistic excitement that marked the Belle Epoque period. Unforgettable, full-bodied characters and richly detailed narrative result in an entrancing read that will be long savored.” —Library Journal (Starred Review)
An elegant tale of rare depth and beauty, as brilliantly crafted as it is wondrously told….melds the normal and paranormal in the kind of seamless fashion reserved for such classic ghost stories as Henry James’ The Turn of the Screw.” —Providence Journal

Amazon – Barnes & Noble – iBooks – indieBound


Paris, France April 1894

I did not cause the madness, the deaths, or the rest of the tragedies any more than I painted the paintings. I had help, her help. Or perhaps I should say she forced her help on me. And so this story—which began with me fleeing my home in order to escape my husband and might very well end tomorrow, in a duel, in the Bois de Boulogne at dawn—is as much hers as mine. Or in fact more hers than mine. For she is the fountainhead. The fascination. She is La Lune. Woman of moon dreams, of legends and of nightmares. Who took me from the light and into the darkness. Who imprisoned me and set me free.

Or is it the other way around?

"Your questions," my father always said to me, "will be your saving grace. A curious mind is the most important attribute any man or woman can possess. Now if you can just temper your impulsiveness..."

If I had a curious mind, I'd inherited it from him. And he'd nurtured it. Philippe Salome was on the board of New York City's Metropolitan Museum of Art and helped found the American Museum of Natural History, whose cornerstone was laid on my fifth birthday.

I remember sitting atop my father's shoulders that day, watching the groundbreaking ceremony and thinking the whole celebration was for me. He called it "our museum," didn't he? And for much of my life I thought it actually did belong to us, along with our mansion on Fifth Avenue and our summerhouse in Newport. Until it was gone, I understood so little about wealth and the price you pay for it. But isn't that always the way?

Our museum's vast halls and endless exhibit rooms fascinated me as much as they did my father—which pleased him, I could tell. We'd meander through exhibits, my small hand in his large one, and he'd keep me spellbound with stories about items on display. I'd ask for more, always just one more, and he'd laugh and tease: "My Sandrine, does your capacity for stories know no bounds?"

But it pleased him, and he'd always tell me another.

I especially loved the stories he told me about the gems and fate and destiny always ending them by saying: "You will make your own fate, Sandrine, I'm sure of it."

Was my father right? Do we make our own destiny? I think back now to the stepping-stones that I've walked to reach this moment in time.

Were the incidents of my making? Or were they my fate?

The most difficult steps I took were after certain people died. No deaths were caused by me, but at the same time, none would have occurred were it not for me.

So many deaths. The first was on the morning of my fifteenth birthday, when I saw a boy beaten and tragically die because of our harmless kisses. The next was the night almost ten years later, when I heard the prelude to my father's death and learned the truth about Benjamin, my husband. And then there were more. Each was an end-ing that, ironically, became a new beginning for me.

The one thing I am now sure of is that if there is such a thing as destiny, it is a result of our passion, be that for money, power, or love. Passion, for better or worse. It can keep a soul alive even if all that survives is a shimmering. I've even seen it. I've been bathed in it. I've been changed by it.


Four months ago I snuck into Paris on a wet, chilly January night like a criminal, hiding my face in my shawl, taking extra care to be sure I wasn't followed.

I stood on the stoop of my grandmother's house and lifted the hand-shaped bronze door knocker and let it drop. The sound of the metal echoed inside. Her home was on a lane blocked off from rue des Saints-Pères by wide wooden double doors. Maison de la Lune, as it was called, was one of a half dozen four-story mid-eighteenthcentury stone houses that shared a courtyard that backed up onto rue du Dragon. Hidden clusters like this were a common configuration in Paris.These small enclaves offered privacy and quiet from the busy city. Usually the porte cochère was locked and one had to ring for the concierge, but I'd found the heavy doors ajar and hadn't had to wait for service.

I let the door knocker fall again. Light from a street lamp glinted off the golden metal. It was a strange object. Usually on these things the bronze hand's palm faced the door. But this one was palm out, almost warning the visitor to reconsider requesting entrance.

I was anxious and impatient. I'd been cautious on my journey from New York to Southampton and kept to my cabin. I'd left a letter telling Benjamin I'd gone to visit friends in Virginia and assumed that once he returned and read it, it would be at least a week before he'd realize all was not what it seemed. One thing I had known for certain—he would never look for me in France. It would be inconceivable to Benjamin that any wife of his could cross the ocean alone.

Or so I assured myself until my husband's banking associate, William Lenox, spotted me on board. When he expressed surprise I was traveling by myself, I concocted a story but was worried he didn't believe me. My only consolation was that we had docked in England and I had since crossed the channel into France. So even if Benjamin did come looking, he wouldn't know where I'd gone.

That very first night in Paris, as I waited for my grandmother's maid to open the door, I knew I had to stop thinking of what I had run away from. So I refocused on the house I stood before and as I did, felt an overwhelming sense of belonging, of being welcome. Here I would be safe.


New York Times Bestseller, M.J. Rose grew up in New York City mostly in the labyrinthine galleries of the Metropolitan Museum, the dark tunnels and lush gardens of Central Park and reading her mother’s favorite books before she was allowed. She believes mystery and magic are all around us but we are too often too busy to notice… books that exaggerate mystery and magic draw attention to it and remind us to look for it and revel in it. Rose’s work has appeared in many magazines including Oprah Magazine and she has been featured in the New York Times, Newsweek, WSJ, Time, USA Today and on the Today Show, and NPR radio. Rose graduated from Syracuse University, spent the ’80s in advertising, has a commercial in the Museum of Modern Art in NYC and since 2005 has run the first marketing company for authors – The television series PAST LIFE, was based on Rose’s novels in the Reincarnationist series. She is one of the founding board members of International Thriller Writers and currently serves, with Lee Child, as the organization’s co-president. Rose lives in CT with her husband the musician and composer, Doug Scofield, and their very spoiled and often photographed dog, Winka.

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