Thick mist obscures half of the full moon, and surrounds the medieval castle in a shroud. The hostesses of the Author Roast and Toast gather on a battlement, looking out over the eerie landscape.
"Ooooh, creepy," Melissa says. "Hard to believe this is a summer night."
"Hard to believe we're not here for a gothic horror novel," Lyn says.
With an indelicate snort, Mary glances down at her steam punk attire. "Even harder to believe that someone told me to dress like Lara Croft from Victorian Britain."
Sniggering, Lilly and AJ hide behind their hands. Both ladies wear modern evening gowns better suited to the gala event being thrown to honor the fantasy anthology, Portals. The authors of the newly released work are likewise tastefully attired, so Mary appears even more the sore thumb.
"I don't know what could have happened," Lyn says to Mary. "Didn't you get the memo? I had it sent out via courier. Hand delivered by none other than-"
Mary cuts her short, glaring fiercely. "Mac!"
"Don't kill the messenger!" Mac throws up her hands and hurries away. She takes off in pursuit of Oliver, headed in the opposite direction with a tray full of a sinister looking red beverage being served in wine glasses.
"I'm so glad I'm not on the hook this time," Melissa mutters. "Mary, I think you look adorable."
"Oh yes," Lilly and AJ chant together. "You're just so darn cute!"
Before we tuck in to the deliciousvirtual fare on offer - all with connections to the stories in the book: Ma's Grizzly Bear Stew and Delia's Homemade Lasagna, a chocolate ' Whistling Past 'the Graveyard' Cake,* Cup o' Worms*, Battlesby Hall cheese and red wine, to go with Mexmur's wild game appetizers and Night Queen's Brew -
Happy Book Birthday to Portals!
Genre: Fantasy Anthology (mixed sub genres)
Release Date: June 5, 2014
Keywords: Fantasy, Epic Fantasy, Sword and Sorcery, Urban Fantasy, Steampunk, Short Stories, Picture Prompt
Description: No matter what world you call home, or what your station in life, there are just some paths that weren't meant to be tread.
Ordinary World by Laurie Treacy
Imagine a new neighbor moves next door, a creepy guy who gives fifteen year-old Amy Silva the willies? Amy wonders what the stone archway in the backyard is for. Her life becomes even more stressful when her family reveals they’re witches.
Could Amy’s new neighbor have anything to do with a local girl’s disappearance or be a threat to her magical loved ones?
Maronda’s Quest by Christy Thomas
The Grand Wizard has decreed Maronda enter the Portal of Life to embark upon a quest of great importance, but despite her Ma’s claims it is a blessing, premonitions of danger persist.
Lenox works to prove his worth to wed her, his true love, but it appears a wizard plots to remove him from Maronda’s life forever. To secure their future together, Lenox decides to accompany her on the quest, even if forbidden. He must ultimately choose between using his dragon fighting skills which could lead to his death, or give Maronda her greatest desire.
In the end, it’s Maronda who must learn to live with the consequences of his decision
Mexmur, the Huntress by Anna Simpson
Long ago a dragonkeeper betrayed his charges. To bring back magic, to set things right, Mexmur is sent through the portal.
Can she succeed armed with only a poem, talon and blade.
Entrance of Lost Souls by Echo Shea
A guardian to the entrances between worlds, Gladys has been called to bring a little girl back from Fairyland. Passing through the Entrance of Lost Souls is no fun, neither is hunting down a deranged banshee, but what is a guardian to do?
And, is the banshee really kidnapping the girl...or saving her from something else?
Where Once were Hearts by Havva Murat
After losing both his parents, his entire fortune and his childhood sweetheart, Master Bartholomew Battlesby sets out into the wilds of Northern England to make the acquaintance of his only surviving relation, the landed recluse, Mr. Horatio Grimsby who has an eerie penchant for both tinkering and clockwork. But, on finding his relation dead, with a gaping hole in his chest, and the beautiful, but scornful, Miss Evangeline Witherop ruling in his place, Bartholomew learns there is more than one way to lose your heart.
Can Bartholomew reignite the spirit of love and mercy within Miss Witherop, or will he suffer the same fate as his poor, heartless cousin?
The Lunatic Queen by Michael Siciliano
The land of Mershinka has been thrown into perpetual night. Their King is dead and a moon witch, known as The Night Queen, rules from the royal palace in Grosnov. An endless fog shrouds the land, killing crops and starving the populace. Cold-eyed enforcers put down rebellions while volksa, twisted wolf-creatures, roam the mists looking for prey. Many have given up hope and wait for the inevitable end. All seems lost.
Two teenagers, Pavel and Tamara, devise a plan to kill Vazya the Night Queen when the moons Kainsk and Seresnya are down, end the stifling enchantment, and bring the sun back to their dying land. But, they need a watch to tell time, a compass to guide them through the mists, weapons to fight off Vazya’s minions, and all the courage they can muster.
*Courtesy of 'Ghoulish Goodies Cookbook
*Courtesy of 'Ghoulish Goodies Cookbook
Book Blitz and Tour-wide Giveaway
Paperback copy of Portals and a $10 Amazon gift card.