Black Friday —> Cyber Monday: Check Out Our Featured Authors’ Books & Merch!!

Welcome to the beginning of the “holiday shopping season”!! Not quite sure who decided that… but here we are, none-the-less, lol!! In keeping with that, and knowing bookish people are always in the market for bookish things, I’d like to present a handy-dandy listing of book pages and merch sites for our 2021 Coastal Magic Convention Featured Authors!!

Jeanne Adams – https://jeanneadams.com/books

A C Arthur – https://acarthur.com/books — One Love Reunion (Reader Event) – https://onelovereunion.com

Gregory Ashe – https://www.gregoryashe.com

Eric R Asher – https://www.ericrasher.com/books

Kait Ballenger – http://www.kaitballenger.com/books-2

K C Burn – https://kcburn.com/books-2

Gail Carriger – https://gailcarriger.com/books  — Gail’s Zazzle Store — https://www.zazzle.com/store/gailcarriger

Nina Crespo – https://ninacrespo.com/books

Delilah S Dawson – https://www.whimsydark.com/books

Sonali Dev – https://sonalidev.com/books

Leigh Duncan – https://leighduncan.com/books

Tigris Eden – https://tigriseden.com/tigris  — J K Rivers – https://tigriseden.com/jk-rivers

Jennifer Estep – https://www.jenniferestep.com/books-series/books  — Jennifer’s Amazon Influencer Page (Recommendations) https://www.amazon.com/shop/influencer-d7e3246f

Lexi George – https://www.lexigeorge.com/books  —  Alexandra Rushe — https://alexandrarushe.com/books

Tina Glasneck – https://payhip.com/TinaGlasneck/collection/tina-glasnecks-books  — Tina’s Teespring Merch Store – https://teespring.com/stores/tinaglasneckmerch  —  Tina’s Premade Cover Design (for Authors) – https://payhip.com/tinaglasneck/available-premade-book-covers

Amalie Howard – https://amaliehoward.com

Violet Howe – https://violethowe.com/books

Elicia Hyder – https://www.eliciahyder.com/the-books  —  Elicia’s Merch Shop — https://www.eliciahyder.com/shop

Kwana Jackson – https://kmjackson.com/books  —  Kwana’s “We Need Diverse Romance” Shop – https://kmjackson.com/extras

Beverly Jenkins – https://beverlyjenkins.net/book-table 

Tawdra Kandle – http://tawdrakandle.com/books-2 —  The Publishing Doula (for Authors) — http://tawdrakandle.com/how-to-publish-your-book

Aria Kane – http://www.ariakane.com/p/books.html  — Sarah Nicolas – https://sarahnicolas.com/books

Kiernan Kelly – https://www.amazon.com/s?k=kiernan+kelly&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

Amy Lane – https://www.greenshill.com/books.html

J F Lewis – http://www.jflewis.net

Heather Long – https://heatherlong.net/books

Marie Long – https://www.marielongauthor.com/books

Gail Z Martin –  https://ascendantkingdoms.com  —  Gail’s Store (for Signed Copies) – https://sol-darkwind.square.site — Morgan Brice —  https://morganbrice.com/books

Hildie McQueen – https://www.hildiemcqueen.com/books.html

Tere Michaels – https://www.teremichaels.com/shop

J D Monroe – https://www.jdmonroe.com/books  —  Jessica Hawke — https://www.jessicahawke.com/books

Layla Reyne – https://www.laylareyne.com/books

Dahlia Rose – https://dahliaroseunscripted.com/product-category/dahlia-rose-print-books

Gena Showalter –  https://genashowalter.com/books  —  Gena’s Zazzle Shop  – https://www.zazzle.com/store/genashowalterbooks

H D Smith – https://wildfeybooks.com/printable-book-list

Victoria Sue – http://www.victoriasue.com

Sasha Summers – https://sashasummers.com

LaVerne Thompson – https://www.lavernethompson.com/books  —  Ursula Sinclair — https://www.ursulasinclair.com/books.htm

Nikki Woolfolk – http://www.nikkiwoolfolk.com/bookshelf.html  —  Belle Monde Chocolates – https://bellemondechocolates.com

Rebecca Zanetti – https://rebeccazanetti.com/book-series-by-genre-new —  Rebecca’s Café Press Merch – https://rebeccazanetti.com/merchandise  

Be sure to take some time to check out everything out amazing authors have to offer. Whether you’re adding to your own bookshelves and TBR piles, or introducing friends and family to your favorite authors — this is a fantastic time to support the people who give us so many incredible stories.

And while you’re at it — don’t forget to check out the Coastal Magic Convention Merch page, and stock up on everything you’ll need to be stylin’ at our 9th annual (virtual!) weekend!!

2020 Halloween Flash Fiction Event (& Contests) with Eric R Asher


As part of the Funk-N-Fiction Halloween Flash Fiction Event, we’re showcasing a few of the participating authors who are also 2021 Coastal Magic Convention Featured Authors! I’ve come to really look forward to Eric R Asher’s contributions to our event every year, and this year certainly didn’t disappoint. Eric’s short story had this image for inspiration…

https://www.deviantart.com/violet-kleinert/art/Colors-of-my-Dreams-72968028

Don’t forget to check the info for the Rafflecopter giveaway below the story!! Print books, ebooks, and giftcards are all parts of SEVEN different prize packs!

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Of Shadows and Water by Eric R. Asher

The dock at the old lake was a strange thing. Holly remembered the stories the kids used to tell about the lost. Legends had twisted their way through decades like the curved timbers and aged bench near the lake’s center. Though lake was too grand a term, pond wasn’t grand enough.

Standing at the edge of the smoky, motionless water brought back memories of things she’d prefer not to remember. But a promise was a promise, and Holly was true to her word. Wind rustled pines and falling leaves around her, but the water did not move.

The first time she’d heard the voices, she’d run. She’d run as fast as her ten-year-old legs could carry her. It would be five years before she returned to the lake with her friends. And another five before the shadows took the first of them.

Holly’s boots clicked against the wood, each step sending tiny ripples into the water, the only sign the entire lake wasn’t glass. She settled onto the bench, running her fingers over an arrow-pierced heart carved into the wood. Inside were the letters H and R.

They’d been kids when they’d carved it. It was a secret, one for her and Ricky, and one she’d never spoken of to anyone else. Hidden away deep in the woods of Missouri, they assumed they’d be safe. But there were always eyes. And the love shared between a human child and a lake dweller did not go unnoticed.

Oh, and what a revelation that had been. She’d thought Ricky had drowned in the neighbor’s pool, only for him to be confounded by the fact she was sobbing on the deck when he’d resurfaced minutes later. It was the first time Ricky realized he might be something else, something other, but Holly only grew to love him more for his oddities.

It had been five years since the darkness took Ricky. She was the only one left now. The last of them at thirty-five years old. The kids may have told scary stories about the lake, but they did not understand what waited outside it.

She flinched when the song started. It was the same melody she’d heard twenty-five years before. The delicate music was so piercing she would have given everything she was to listen for another moment.

But songs of lake dwellers called other things. Darker things that chased away any who threatened the water. Guardians who had turned on their allies and stolen more than human children.

Ricky had called them fairies. But they were nothing like the stories Holly remembered from her childhood. The first shadow moved in the tree line, and Holly stood, reaching into her pocket as the shadow smiled, nothing but darkness and fangs.

The water surged, rising around her until another shadow stood at her side. But this figure, lithe and graceful, was something else.

“Child, I did not believe you would return.”

“I told you I loved him, Mildred.” Her voice turned to stone as anger chased away the fear shaking her body. “And they stole him.”

The old lake dweller leaned down until she was eye to eye with Holly. “To leave this world is to leave everything behind. You cannot return.”

The shadow had reached the dock, its presence alone enough to sprout mushrooms and rot with every step on the wood. Holly had never seen one so clearly. A hulking beast, knuckles dragging across the wood as its fur moved in the opposite direction of the winds.

“For his passage,” Holly whispered, flipping the coin she’d taken from her pocket.

Mildred snatched it out of the air and studied the silver octagon. “I accept your tithe. May the fates find it worthy.”

The shadow swelled as it closed on them, too many eyes opening in its hellish face. A tongue that leaked shadows, braided like a rope as it ran across gleaming fangs. Even at that distance, the edges of the thing were blurred, like it didn’t belong in their world.

Mildred closed her hand around the coin, and when she opened it again, the metal was gone.

The shadow howled and charged. Holly shut her eyes. If this was the end, she didn’t need to see it when it came. She didn’t want to feel the impact when that thing reached her. The song of the lake dwellers changed. Its light notes fracturing into a dissonant screech until there was only pain, and then, nothing.

But if she knew there was nothing, she couldn’t be dead, could she?

Holly cracked open an eye, trying to understand what stood in front of her. Blue eyes peered out beneath matted black hair and dark skin.

And the shade spoke. “You remembered the coin.”

Holly threw her arms around Ricky, trying to bury herself in his embrace as her voice cracked. “I thought you were dead.”

“The shadows are gone.”

It was only then Holly realized they no longer stood on the wooden dock, but a slender boat, steered by a shade who looked like Mildred.

“To our next life, my love. Ever onward.”

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Eric’s Facebook
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RAFFLECOPTER CONTEST!

After you have left a comment for one (or more) of today’s authors, telling us what you think of the story or this blog event, click HERE to enter to win one of our SEVEN prize packs! (One entry per day.) Enter now through midnight (ET) November 1st. Winners announced on November 2nd.

**And don’t forget to follow our participating authors on their social media and/or newsletter, and follow Funk-N-Fiction for more funky bookish posts! GOOD LUCK!

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See full listing of authors and post links on the Funk-N-Fiction Halloween Flash Fiction Kickoff post: HERE!

2020 Halloween Flash Fiction Event (& Contests) with Dahlia Rose


As part of the Funk-N-Fiction Halloween Flash Fiction Event, we’re showcasing a few of the participating authors who are also 2021 Coastal Magic Convention Featured Authors! This afternoon, to get us fully into the Halloween mood… Urban Fantasy, Mystery, and Paranormal Romance author Dahlia Rose is sharing an excerpt from her current work-in-progress, ECLIPSE OF THE HEART (releasing in November!) This sneak peek was inspired by this image…

https://www.deviantart.com/yuppieboy/art/Halloween-08-102255602

Don’t forget to check the info for the Rafflecopter giveaway below the story!! Print books, ebooks, and giftcards are all parts of SEVEN different prize packs!

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Snippet from ECLIPSE OF THE HEART by Dahlia Rose

Huh…. A figured ran out in front of the car and he slammed on the breaks.

“What the hell man!” Abel honked the horn and yelled out the window. The figure was already gone and into the trees.

Making sure the road was clear he continued to drive and just before he made the turn to head towards Mrs. Hilda’s place, he saw everyone at Joe’s restaurant Westerly Stop and Sip. That included Ray whose face was painted like Frankenstein, he could pick his friend out of any line up. His soon to be wife, Fayth as the Mrs. Frankenstein was next to him. Abel instead parked close by, curious to why everyone was in costumes three weeks before actual Halloween.

“Hey Frankie, soon to be Mrs. Frankenstein,” Abel said strolling up with his hands in his pockets.

“Abel!” Fayth threw her arms around his neck in a warm hug, instantly making him smile.

Ray shook his hand and clapped him on the back. “I would’ve picked you up if you had said something.”

‘Yeah bur then I wouldn’t have seen all this,” Abel made a circular motion with his hand. “Care to explain why everyone is dressed up?”

“Friiday night Luau,” Ray said like if that explained everything.

“You do know that this is not luau attire,” Abel pointed out. This town was getting weirder every time he step foot in it.

“It’s Halloween themed in October,” Fayth pointed out. “Speaking of which we need to get you some costumes.”

“How about we don’t do that,” Abel answered and watched people rush down alleys and around buildings. “Is this some kind of scavenger hunt?”

“No, we’re looking for Jupiter,” Ray explained.

“Someone lost a dog?” Abel asked.

“No Eurydice, brother,” Fayth answered. “He’s gone werewolf before the full moon, and she sent out the alarm.”

Abel tried to convert the information in his mind to make sense. Nope not happening.

“A… werewolf,” he said slowly.

“Yes, he was scratched a few years back by some rogue wolf that came through the town,” April explained. “Now each month Eurydice usually keeps him locked up for the full moon. I guess because this October we had a harvest moon and then Halloween will be a blue moon, the energy had to be out of this world.”

Abel looked around. “This is a joke, right? I’m in a prank, aren’t I?”

Ray looked at him somberly. “No man, Jupiter gets really freaky around full moon time.”

Abel put his hand on the shoulders of his friend. “Ray, you are the most reasonable and logical man I know. Come back to me dude.”

“I’m here bro and I’m telling you Jupiter is more than likely a werewolf,” Ray answered.

He threw up his hands. “Next you’ll say there’s aliens.”

“I don’t want to say tell you there is aliens,” April said. “But there’s aliens. Eurydice runs the UFO and extraterrestrial museum.”

‘Of course,” Alen sighed and ran his hand through his hair. “So that guy who ran in front of my car was a were wolf huh?”

“Christ Abel you tell us this now?” Ray yelled.

“How the hell was I to know, I just rolled up on this crazy layer cake,” Abel snapped back. “Now if I had run over him I could understand the yelling.”

Everyone stared at him like he’s grown three heads. Ray, Fayth, her bothers, April, the abject look of horror on their faces.

“I didn’t run over him!” Abel exclaimed. “Christ almighty I saw him about three streets down before I got to main. He ran into the trees.”

April pulled out a walkie. “Head towards Grady Street, subject spotted heading into the woods across the street. I repeat, Grady Street.”

“There’s walkie talkies now,” Abel murmured bemused.

“I’ll see you later man, you can wait at the house if you want,” Ray pulled out a sliver weapon. “I may need to tranq him.”

“Good Lord.” Abel muttered the words and watched the group cross the street to go looking for a werewolf. “I should just get in my car and go back to whence I came. I’m even talking like the lunatics, and they got poor Ray. He was a good guy now he’s batshit crazy.”

Abel knew he was talking to himself and he didn’t scare, at this point this was the sanist thing he could do. He turned to head back to his car, wondering if Millie would give him a good shot or two of whiskey from the liquor cabinet. A small body barreled into his torso. He looked down to see a red hooded body.

Holding on to the shoulder so the person didn’t fall back after hitting his body like a brick wall. Abel pushed the red hood back to reveal the mass of black hair and the wide brown eyes of Nicole Fox. The song seemed to be some foretelling of he costume. Her lips parted in surprise and Lord the urge to kiss her reared up within him so quickly he had to shake his head. And this was why he kept coming back to Westerly and why he wouldn’t leave…. Nic.

“A-Abel,” she stammered, something she always seemed to do when she was around him.

“Hey there little red riding hood,” he murmured and quoted the song by Sam the Sham. “You’re everything a big bad wolf would want.”

Her light brown cheeks flamed red. “I-it was for the luau and then.”

“The werewolf hunt began,” Abel finished for her.

“You heard about Jupiter?” Nic asked.

Abel noted her was still holding Nic and she didn’t seem to mind or didn’t notice. Either way who was he to complain.

****

See what happens next in Eclipse of the Heart coming in November 2020!

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Dahlia’s Facebook
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Follow Funk-N-Fiction (links in sidebar)

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RAFFLECOPTER CONTEST!

After you have left a comment for one (or more) of today’s authors, telling us what you think of the story or this blog event, click HERE to enter to win one of our SEVEN prize packs! (One entry per day.) Enter now through midnight (ET) November 1st. Winners announced on November 2nd.

**And don’t forget to follow our participating authors on their social media and/or newsletter, and follow Funk-N-Fiction for more funky bookish posts! GOOD LUCK!

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See full listing of authors and post links on the Funk-N-Fiction Halloween Flash Fiction Kickoff post: HERE!

2020 Halloween Flash Fiction Event (& Contests) with Jeanne Adams


As part of the Funk-N-Fiction Halloween Flash Fiction Event, we’re showcasing a few of the participating authors who are also 2021 Coastal Magic Convention Featured Authors! Today is the last day of the event, and we’re starting off with a story from Feature Author Jeanne Adams. Jeanne chose this image as inspiration for her story…

Don’t forget to check the info for the Rafflecopter giveaway below the story!! Print books, ebooks, and giftcards are all parts of SEVEN different prize packs!

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NEW!!!
TRICK OR TREAT AT CAYNHAM CASTLEA
Haven Harbor Halloween Novella (Haven Harbor #7)
THE PRINCESS PROBLEM
in CHRISTMAS ON OUTCAST STATION
A space adventure with Nancy Northcott

Chapter One

Shivering as a cold, late September wind cut through her jacket, Kelce compared the old photograph of Beauclaire House with the decrepit reality she faced.

The photo depicted the mansion as a showplace, circa 1900, with well-dressed people sitting on the elegant stone steps. Gleaming windows winked in the sun, and neatly painted trim and shutters set off the dark stone facade. In the photo, the landscaping was lush, and the people smiled.

Now, the house was a run-down, boarded up disaster with graffiti on the façade, rotting trellises and drooping shutters.

“Uncle Bastian was an asshole,” Kelce muttered to herself. The wind whipped her words away.

Thanks to Bastian, the battered mansion was now hers. She hoped.

Kelce and her four cousins had been summoned from their respective homes to Asheville, North Carolina, for the reading of their Great Uncle Bastian’s will. Uncle Bastian, a strange, eccentric man, had left them each a significant inheritance. Each bequest, however, came with a challenge. If you met the challenge, you got the inheritance free and clear. You’d also receive additional, as-yet-unrevealed, gifts.

Her challenge was to get Beauclaire House habitable by Halloween. She had her wits, skill, thirty-five days, and $300,000. That sounded like a lot of money until you saw the house. It was huge, and in bad shape. However, if a Buncombe County inspector gave her a Certificate of Occupancy by the October 31st, it was hers.

If she failed to get the Certificate, however, she’d be evicted and receive a mere $10,000 for her trouble. She’d never know what else might have been in the goodie box of Uncle Bastian’s estate.

It would take hard work and take some serious luck to meet the deadline. Habitable meant working plumbing, electrical, heating and air, a working kitchen, and windows and doors that opened and closed.

Beauclaire House had a lot of windows. They were all boarded up, so she didn’t know how many she’d have to replace. God only knew what the plumbing was like.

“He knew my weakness.” Kelce loved Beauclaire House because it had belonged to her beloved grandfather, Bastian’s brother.

The wind banged a loose shutter. The noise sent a murder of crows flying from a massive oak.

The only other sound was the distant hum of a leaf blower. The neighborhood was full of estate-sized homes. Beauclaire House was the only one in such deplorable shape. The rest were neatly manicured bastions of Southern charm.

Her cousin John had grinned as she’d gotten the keys to Beauclaire House.

“Better you than me,” he’d crowed. “You’d should take the $300K and burn it down.”

“Then she wouldn’t garner the rest of her significant bequest,” the lawyer had intoned.

“Whatever.” John planned to take the upfront money and screw the challenge. His parting shot to the rest of them had been, “Good luck, suckers!”

Each cousin had the same Halloween deadline. Meet your challenge by deadline, get more than the original “prize” of whatever you were bequeathed.

John wasn’t even going to try for more. Short term gain, that was John’s style.

“John’s more of an asshole than Uncle Bastian, by far.”

Determination surged within her. Her college loans were massive. Her ancient Subaru wagon needed work, and, thanks to the pandemic, she didn’t have a job. She had savings––enough to get her through January––but after that, she’d be in trouble. She should focus on that, rather than trying to race the clock to fix what was probably an unfixable house.

Refurbished, the 9,500-square-foot Beauclaire House and its attendant eight acres would be worth several million dollars. The land itself was valuable––she could subdivide the back four acres into other lots––but she couldn’t sell it without a deed, and she didn’t get the deed without fixing it up by the deadline.

Catch 22.

John’s advice to take the $300,000, flashed briefly into her mind.

“As previously stated, John is an asshole.” She grinned. “And I’d better get my ass in gear.”

Stepping onto the crumbling porch, she gingerly tested each board. She jingled the fat ring of keys as she walked. Of course, the keyring hadn’t featured a key to the massive iron gates at the bottom of the driveway. She’d come though the people-sized gate next to the main gates––she had that key––and hauled her workbag and cleaning supplies all the way up to the house.

“Mark and replace rotten porch boards ASAP.” Another item for the to-do list. It was already pages long.

The ancient doorplate lock on what were probably stunningly beautiful oak-and-glass doors took a skeleton key. There were seven of those on the keyring. The fifth one worked, and she wrapped a piece of masking tape on it and marked it Front Door. The dark, tarnished brass deadbolt key was easier to find––there were only three that might fit it––but it took forever to wiggle the key just right.

The door swung open onto dark, dusty splendor.

She pulled a camping lantern out of one of the boxes she’d hauled up the hill, turned it on, then set about dragging in the rest of the boxes. That done, she shone a flashlight around. The wide foyer held an elegant fireplace and impressive, Scarlet O’Hara-type stairs leading to the shadowy second floor.

A long parlor ran along the right side of the house. It too had a fireplace, and the flashlight beam picked out an ornate mantel with carved oak leaves and elfin faces supported by snarling dragons on the sides. To the left, a circular room on the front of the house was the base of the elegant sunroom that dominated the facade. Attached to it was another parlor-slash-library along the left side of the house.

Her official countdown had started the minute she got the keys. Today she’d measure, plan and prepare. She’d already spent all Friday night making lists, timelines, and projections. She’d ordered materials and created a plan of attack.

Until the pandemic, Kelce had been a project manager for an Atlanta-based construction firm. She understood renovation and knew what she might be facing. She also knew how to swing a hammer, thanks to her dad and grandad. And Uncle Bastian.

That knowledge meant she’d gotten right to work. Kelce already had a welder coming Monday to cut through the big gate, since she didn’t have a key. She’d squeezed in under the wire before close of business on Friday to order the temporary power hookup and a roll-off dumpster. This morning, bright and early, she’d rented a comfy RV to stay on-site. She’d pick that up on Tuesday. The RV meant she could give up her apartment in Atlanta––one less expense. The RV was both cheaper, and on-site. She could handle one month in an RV to have a little extra for the reno.

Tomorrow’s schedule featured driving back to Atlanta to pack her apartment. Thankfully, her best friend, Selma Kincaid, would handle the movers and taking everything to storage.

“Gotta buy her dinner,” Kelce mused. Selma was thrilled about Kelce’s adventure. “Make that several dinners.”

On this last, blustery Saturday in September, she’d explore, measure and assess Beauclaire House. Every day between now and Halloween had to show progress. Kelce pulled out a tape measure, a notebook, and her favorite pen.

Time to get started.

####

Despair rocked Artimus as the petite, dark-haired woman danced around the rotting boards on the wide porch. It was already a kind of hell being unable to shift out of his human form, unable to use his magic, unable to be himself––all of himself. Now he didn’t know if the curse could ever be broken.

That curse meant living without shifting to his other form or using his formidable arcane skills until a month where there was a full moon on both the first and last day of the month. And worse, until a mortal chose to free him.

The full moon to begin it, the full moon to end it and the tasks complete. Meet the tasks and earn the goodwill of a mortal. Without promise of riches or aid, the mortal must unlock your curse’s cage. If that comes to pass, free you will be.

If not, all power flies away. You will burn in a pillar of fire as the sun rises on the new day.

Two full moons in a month was unusual, but doable. Two full moons hitting on the first day and the last though? That was rare as hell. Add in having someone––a damn mortal––ready to help?

Impossible.

For decades, he’d waited. And despaired. Until Bastian.

Surprisingly, Bastian had unearthed not only his trunks but the abominable iron cage connected to his curse. They’d found the key for the trunks, but not the cage. There was no undoing the curse without that key.

The full moons had finally aligned––one on October 1, another October 31––and things were moving. Bastian had never once mentioned this crumbling old house. Then he’d died.

Artimus had received the gate keys and this address from Bastian’s lawyer.

Instructions said bring the keyring to Beauclaire House, and he had. He’d watched for days, but nothing stirred around the old house. Until today.

Now, she was here, whoever she was. Was the woman aware of him or his trouble?

With a grunt of irritation, he muttered, “Trouble. There’s a fine, simple word for it.”

It was only his entire existence at stake.

He watched her try key after key. From his vantage point high in the massive grandfather oak, he could see everything. The old oak held onto its leaves, shielding him from view. He’d had a moment of worry when the crows flew, but she’d paid attention to them and never felt his watching gaze.

Who was she? She was far too young to be a daughter, unless Bastian, the old goat, had been up to considerable friskiness in his seventies.

“Not impossible for a human, but unlikely,” he muttered as the woman finally opened the door.

Bastian du Beauclaire had died at the ripe old age of a hundred and four, while on a tour of Egypt. With Bastian gone, there was no one left to break Artimus’s curse, unless Bastian had somehow set this frail-looking human up to do it.

“And what can she do that Bastian didn’t?” Artimus grimaced. “Nothing.”

He’d watch, for now. He didn’t dare hope. Not yet.

A scrape of sound had him refocusing on the house. She dragged the boxes she’d laboriously carried up from her car into the house. He felt bad for not helping, but he hadn’t wanted to give himself away. Or scare her. A strange man coming out of the trees to heft her boxes definitely would’ve been off-putting. If this was going to work, he’d have to make a good impression.

He grimaced at the thought.

How like Bastian to perversely leave the gate key with Artimus, rather than his heir. Gods, he hoped she was Bastian’s heir and not just some random cleaning lady.

“While I’m wishing, I’ll wish that she knows his secrets and sets me free.” He shook his head, rustling the nearby leaves. “And surely pigs will fly and flames will freeze.”

He fingered the keyring in his pocket and a trickle of magic tingled through him. Being able to feel magic and not use it was an ache in his bones. The key fob––a dragon-shaped bauble––was certainly magic. It was also important.

What he didn’t know was how, or even if, the damn thing pertained to his situation. It could just be another magical artifact in Bastian’s vast collection.

Wherever Bastian had gone––heaven, hell or some other plane of existence––he was probably laughing.

Artimus looked skyward.

“Was the keyring your idea of a clue, you canny old bastard, or just another trick?”

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Jeanne’s Facebook
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Follow Funk-N-Fiction (links in sidebar)

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RAFFLECOPTER CONTEST!

After you have left a comment for one (or more) of today’s authors, telling us what you think of the story or this blog event, click HERE to enter to win one of our SEVEN prize packs! (One entry per day.) Enter now through midnight (ET) November 1st. Winners announced on November 2nd.

**And don’t forget to follow our participating authors on their social media and/or newsletter, and follow Funk-N-Fiction for more funky bookish posts! GOOD LUCK!

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See full listing of authors and post links on the Funk-N-Fiction Halloween Flash Fiction Kickoff post: HERE!

2020 Halloween Flash Fiction Event (& Contests!) with Nikki Woolfolk


As part of the Funk-N-Fiction Halloween Flash Fiction Event, we’re showcasing a few of the participating authors who are also 2021 Coastal Magic Convention Featured Authors! Busy in her deadline cave, Nikki Woolfolk emerged just long enough to share this a snippet from THE CASE OF THE ROSE GRIMOIRE, chosen with this image in mind…

https://www.deviantart.com/fahad0850/art/0-02-116094226

Don’t forget to check the info for the Rafflecopter giveaway below the story!! Print books, ebooks, and giftcards are all parts of SEVEN different prize packs!

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To keep free of spoilers we will give the anime of the revealed villain the nickname “El Malo”.

Snippet from THE CASE OF THE ROSE GRIMOIRE
From Riveted: A Steampunk Romance Series


Vicente awoke to searing pain from his palm. He clutched his hand to his chest and felt wetness. He looked down at the blood that spilled from his palm. Someone grabbed his hand and held it over a bowl.

Vicente looked around. Each man was chained to the four corners along with one long chain linking all four victims to one another. If one moved, they all moved. There was enough chain for Vicente to stand but not raise his arms.

Chalk-drawn sigils from another tradition and Hebrew text were drawn in the center of the circle as herbs burned at the right a foot away from each of them. All four men were nude.

In his past with his friends, he had enjoyed pagan rites of passage skyclad, but this was not the kind of practice his friends would ever approve of. This was a bastardization.

El Malo was creating dark arts.

This sort of thing was whispered, spoken of with threats of shunning if practiced. His blood made him an unwilling participant. Vicente looked across at Trevor, who sat on his knees on the floor. All of Trevor’s smugness was gone from his demeanor. His eyes were sunken and had lost their bravado. Vicente did not want to imagine the horrors Trevor had faced days prior to Vicente’s arrival.

“Stand,” El Malo commanded.

Trevor did not move.

“Stand!”

Trevor flinched and tried to stand, but the effort was laborious.

On opposite sides stood Trevor and Vicente chained. When they were done with Vicente’s hand, he pulled it close to his body. He felt the palm pulsing in rhythm to his heart. Pain and itching at the wound cluttered his thoughts.

Gas lamps and candles circled their perimeter. Though the lighting was low, Vicente could see the discoloration peppered on the other three men in the Circle. 

Vicente closed his eyes and began to recite the Santa Muerte prayer for protection.

He saw Gillian’s face, her features in his mind as he repeated the prayer. His chain pulled him off balance. He opened his eyes.

The man to his left struggled against El Malo’s lackey. The jarring movements brought them all to the floor. Vicente coughed as the dust flew up his nose and sprayed over his mouth. His eyes watered. He blinked the dust away and watched the struggle between the chained man and the lackey.

Despite the shackles connecting them to one another, cementing their inability to escape, Vicente hoped his fellow chain mates would get a few good licks in. The glint of a blade flashed in the firelight before being buried in Trevor’s naked side.

Vicente heard the short-guttered cry. He closed his eyes as tears slid down his cheeks. He continued his prayers and opened his eyes only when El Malo came to the center and stood on the sigil to pour sacred ingredients into the bowl. The lectern held sacred text. The cover and half of the edged pages were stained red, and the other half black.

El Malo turned the text over and upside down.

Vicente understood that the Grimoire was half light magick and the other dark.

El Malo was reading from the dark half.

Vicente tried to keep the prayers for La Muerte drumming through his mind as El Malo and the lackeys began chanting the dark words. Their tongues effortlessly spilled out a language that Vicente had never heard but guessed was ancient. It would make it all the easier to continue his prayers. He saw the glow emanate from El Malo’s hand and began to seep from the Grimoire like hot tar.

The smell of sulfur assaulted his nostrils. He tried to take a step backward but was halted. A prickling sensation ran down his back. A wall, a field of energy, made the hair on his arms stand up. He, along with Trevor and the other men, were locked in the circle.

The sulfur filled the air and burned his throat and stung his eyes. He heard cries from Trevor and the pull of the chain. The shadow snapped around Trevor’s naked form like twine.

Each shadow cloaked the men’s bodies. The panic rose, and he could feel it burning his skin and suffocating his thoughts. He closed his eyes and tried to say prayers, but all words ceased to form in his mind. Vicente closed his eyes and imagined Gillian’s sugar-skull-colored face. He clung to the image as the darkness choked him.

“Quedar,” he pleaded to his La Muerta before everything went black.

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RAFFLECOPTER CONTEST!

After you have left a comment for one (or more) of today’s authors, telling us what you think of the story or this blog event, click HERE to enter to win one of our SEVEN prize packs! (One entry per day.) Enter now through midnight (ET) November 1st. Winners announced on November 2nd.

**And don’t forget to follow our participating authors on their social media and/or newsletter, and follow Funk-N-Fiction for more funky bookish posts! GOOD LUCK!

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See full listing of authors and post links on the Funk-N-Fiction Halloween Flash Fiction Kickoff post: HERE!

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