Halloween is Over, but Creepy Reads Are Here! Paranormal Bar & Grille Excerpts & Giveaway

Brooke Banks | 12:00 AM | |


October starts out warm and sunny, but this is the month when everything changes. Mornings grow frosty, leaves change colors, and the breeze takes on a bite.

Summer dies.

It's a time for harvest celebrations. A boy loans a girl his coat. She snuggles a little closer and takes his hand. A riot of autumn splendor accompanies the farmer's market where they stroll.

But the vibrancy of daylight doesn't compare to the darkness of night. Is that chill on your neck the breeze or something else?

You walk a tad faster and look over your shoulder. The trees creak when the wind whips through their branches—at least, you hope that noise came from the undulating bows.

You check under the bed and inside the closet before climbing under the covers. Sleep doesn't come easy. The old house groans its complaints, and the night magnifies every innocuous noise until terror paralyzes you—because you know nefarious things go bump in the night.

Welcome to the Paranormal Bar & Grille Blog Tour

...where you can rub elbows with everyone from a gargoyle or vampire, to a creature from urban legend, to the ghosts from realms of myth. Step up to the bar, grab a booth. You never know what’s on the menu, or if you might end up there yourself.

Sound like your kind of hangout? Then you’ve come to the right place. We're a group of five authors who love nothing more than to trigger the chill that crawls up your back, the nervous glance tossed over your shoulder. We invite you to discover outstanding books and check out our awesome tour prizes.

Enter our $30 Rafflecopter giveaway here, then visit our blog StoryEmpire.com to participate in a scavenger hunt. Fifteen prizes are up for grabs on Story Empire, three from each author. You have the opportunity for 10 Amazon gift cards ranging in value from $15 to $10, plus ebooks from the participating authors.

Just be careful of what the bartender serves you. That heady brew may not be a beer, and witches can't be trusted to provide effective antidotes.




A Thousand Yesteryears

Supernatural Suspense/Mystery
Date Published: April 26, 2016
Kensington Publishing/Lyrical Underground

“Masterful, bone-chilling fiction…one intense thriller. A Thousand Yesteryears will keep you guessing, gasping and turning the pages for more.” —New York Times bestselling author Kevin O’Brien

Behind a legend lies the truth…

As a child, Eve Parrish lost her father and her best friend, Maggie Flynn, in a tragic bridge collapse. Fifteen years later, she returns to Point Pleasant to settle her deceased aunt’s estate. Though much has changed about the once thriving river community, the ghost of tragedy still weighs heavily on the town, as do rumors and sightings of the Mothman, a local legend. When Eve uncovers startling information about her aunt’s death, that legend is in danger of becoming all too real…

Caden Flynn is one of the few lucky survivors of the bridge collapse, but blames himself for coercing his younger sister out that night. He’s carried that guilt for fifteen years, unaware of darker currents haunting the town. It isn’t long before Eve’s arrival unravels an old secret—one that places her and Caden in the crosshairs of a deadly killer…



“The phone might be on the fritz,” Eve said as she carried Doreen Sue’s glass to the sink. “I’ve been getting a lot of strange calls with screeches and clicks. I had the phone company check it out, but they couldn’t find anything wrong with the line.” Whatever their verdict, she still wasn’t convinced the odd calls weren’t the fault of an electronic malfunction.

“Screeches and clicks?” Doreen Sue paused mid-dial, pressing the receiver to her chest. “I’ve heard that happens sometimes when a family member dies.”

Eve rinsed the glass with water, then set it in the drain board to be washed later. Something cold slithered down her back. “Excuse me?”

“Your Aunt Rosie.” Doreen Sue bobbed her head as if the answer was obvious. “She might be trying to communicate with you.”

Eve started to laugh, then quelled the instinctive reaction when she noted Doreen Sue’s expression. The woman wasn’t joking.

“Spirits often try to converse through electricity and everyday instruments like TVs, lights, and phones. I know it sounds silly, but I follow all of that stuff…horoscopes, psychics, UFO theories.” A wave of her hand said she took only half of it seriously. “I’ve seen some strange things around here, especially by the TNT. I’ve never seen the Mothman, but I remember reading an article about a medium who was convinced her dead husband tried to communicate with her through phone calls. She heard things like amplifier feedback, insect noises, and strange clicks whenever she answered the phone.”

Eve felt her face drain of color. After talking to a disembodied “thing” in an igloo at the TNT, she should have no problem believing her dead aunt was reaching out to her. She’d sat in the living room only days after arriving and voiced that wish aloud. Aunt Rosie, I wish I understood what was going on. I wish there was some way you could talk to me. The phone calls had started not long afterward. Fluke or answer to her request?

The Author:


Mae Clair has been chasing myth, monsters and folklore through research and reading since she was a child. In 2013 and 2015, she journeyed to West Virginia to learn more about the legendary Mothman, a creature who factors into her latest release.

Mae pens tales of mystery and suspense with a touch of romance. Married to her high school sweetheart, she lives in Pennsylvania and numbers cats, history and exploring old graveyards among her passions. Look for Mae on her website at MaeClair.net

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The Glade

Mystery/Thriller
Date Published: November 2014

“Readers who like to curl up during the long winter evenings and feel the delicious chill of fear running up and down their spines need only turn to The Glade to have all their expectations fulfilled.


The Glade is a horror story in the mould of Stephen King, and rendered the more so by its faint echoes of Pet Cemetery and the even stronger resonance of the pervasive malignancy of It.”—Review by Brian O’Hare

This gripping, edge-of-your-seat mystery/thriller will have you thinking twice about booking that idyllic cottage in the country. Nothing in this woodland paradise within the Forest of Dean is what it seems.

The Wenstrops have it all: health, wealth, and happiness. Until everything falls apart. Helen gets arrested for murder, and yet is either unable or unwilling to give a defence. During her detention, vital evidence goes missing and tensions run high.

Meanwhile, in the woods, malignant forces gather power.

This sensational second novel by acclaimed author Harmony Kent will have you alternately laughing, crying, and gripping the edge of your seat as this roller-coaster ride of a plot unfolds. It will keep you guessing through its many twists and turns, and hijack your attention right up until you turn the final page. This book has it all: murder, intrigue, the supernatural, a broken marriage, a love affair, courage against impossible odds, suspense, and high drama.

“Expertly written, the book keeps you guessing at every turn. What can I say? You really have to read this book ... if you're brave enough!”—Review by Fantasy Queen

The Glade is an IndieB.R.A.G.Medallion honoree, and an Official Selection for the New Apple Book Awards 2015.


Purchase: Amazon

“Mrs Wenstrop, I am arresting you for the murder of your husband.”  The policeman grabbed hold of her forearms and continued, “You do not have to say anything.  But it may harm your defence if you do not mention, when questioned, something which you later rely on in Court.  Anything you do say may be used in evidence.”  The officer snapped the cuffs closed around her trembling wrists, and then gave her a hard look and asked her: “Do you understand?”

“Yes.”  Dullness, from deep shock, fogged Helen’s brain.

She kept glancing toward the door, which led to the hallway, where she knew the narrow stairs would take her up to the bedroom—to where her husband’s dead body still lay.  She had left him lying in bed, and he looked for all the world as though he were asleep.  But she and the police knew better.  Helen wondered if this was some kind of crazy, twisted April fool.  But no, it was after midday, so the joke would have to have been given up by now.  Besides, Geoff would never put her through this—no matter how angry they might have been with one another over the past weeks.  This was for real.  Her brain refused point blank to process her situation.

Even though she had killed him with her own hands, she couldn’t accept that he was dead.  They would never, not in a million years, believe her story.  No, they were more likely to admit her to the mental hospital than anything else.  Hell, she couldn’t even believe her tale herself.




The Author:

Harmony Kent is famous for her laughter, and has made quite the name for herself … she’s also, um, a writer … and fairly well known for that too. She’s even won a few awards. Harmony lives in rural Cornwall with her ever-present sense of humour and quirky neighbours and refuses to admit to her age.

If you catch her at work, you’ll see that she also offers editing, proof reading, manuscript appraisal, and beta reading services. Not to mention being passionate about supporting her fellow authors.


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Will O' the Wisp

Paranormal/Young Adult
Date Published: March 13, 2015

There is something evil up Bergamot Holler, and it's been targeting the Hall family for generations.

Patty Hall is fifteen years old. She loves stargazing, science fiction, and all things related to space exploration. This leaves her perfectly prepared for the wrong problem.

Patty is afraid her mother will send her to a care facility if she tells her what she's seen. If she doesn't figure things out soon, she's going to join her father in the Hall family cemetery plot.

Patty has to come to grips with her own physical handicap, survive the wilderness, and face an ancient evil all alone if she's going to survive.

Will O' the Wisp is suitable for young adults. It involves strong elements of suspense, and is set in the mid 1970s.



Purchase: North American Continent Rest of the world

Headlights made their way towards us along the Bergamot Creek trail. "Damn it. I wish people would just stay away."
Pete looked at them and said, "They're far enough away we can still watch. Besides, they might not stay once the road ends. Maybe it's Mrs. Matthews with another one of her boyfriends."
"That's gross. I don't care to see that again."
"Satellite," Pete said.
It was no Comet Kahoutek, but we watched it pass overhead and waited for the next one. The car turned out to be a van full of older kids. Three guys and two girls. They built a fire and took out a styrofoam cooler. They looked like students on their way to college somewhere.
I turned my radio off and pushed my lower lip into my upper. "I suppose they're spending the night." The sound of their car radio reached our ears.
"So what? We might catch another satellite or a shooting star before we have to go home."
"Meteor. They aren't really stars. And now we have light pollution." I looked up once more and tried to have a good time.
"Holy crap. What's that?"
I snapped to attention and looked at Pete. He was fixated down toward the campers. A ball of green light, about the size of a softball, drifted along the stream bank. It was darker than the fireflies, more the color of moss, but it glowed in the dark. It lit up the gravel alongside the creek.
"That has to be the king of all fireflies," Pete said.
"Maybe it's a cluster."
It turned and headed our way. Pete crab-crawled away from the light.
The glow got softer. It headed back toward the campfire. It was like it couldn't make up its mind.
A blond boy with surfer good looks walked away from the fire toward the glowing sphere. He said something to his friends, but I couldn't hear it over their radio. They all stood and looked. He spread his arms wide then waved the thing toward the campfire like he was calling his dog.
The glowing ball started flickering and moved toward him. It hit his chest and pushed him back. Then it went -- it went inside him. He arched rearward, then forward, hit the ground and convulsed.
The girls screamed and ran.
"What the hell was that?" Pete said. "Oh my God! What was it?"
"I don't know, but one of them's running this way. Let's get out of here."
"See you tomorrow."
"You're just going to leave me?"
"This is Burkeford. White girl, black boy, after dark. I don't want to decorate a tree somewhere by morning. I can't get caught out here."
I swooped up Rick's binoculars and headed for home. The screaming girl was almost to the clearing when I made it into the deep woods. Briars tangled my braces and I fell into the thorns. Someone yelled from the campfire for her to come back. He said something about a hospital.
I lay still in the briars and sucked blood from the back of my hand. The girl fumbled to light a cigarette and took a step toward the van. When she left the clearing, I untangled my braces and found the trail.
I suppose I ought to get a flashlight, but I've walked this trail so many times I could do it blindfolded. Stupid Pete. What if there are more of those things?
The forest threatened, menaced even. This was my special place, and all I could think of was getting away. Every trunk became a good place for something to lie in wait. Every rock pile, a den for some monster. I tried to hurry as I picked my way through the rocks and roots along the trail.
What the hell was that thing? The John Glenn book said he saw green stuff swirling around his ship. I've never seen anything like it. Never even heard of anything like it. What the hell was that thing?
I picked up my pace once I got to the fence along the field. I needed a bath, and wanted to get indoors. I really wanted to get inside. The fox yapped off to the west, and I thought about my parents.
I slipped in through the back door and headed for the stairs.
"You didn't stay out long," Mom said, "and you're bleeding."
I shrugged. "Briars. I fell." I tried to blow it off and keep cool. Rick talked her into letting me go up the ridge. If she thought it was dangerous, she'd never let me go back.
She stood up and picked a twig out of my hair. "I hope you took care of Rick's binoculars. Those were expensive you know."
I lifted them over my head. God, she could be annoying. "Right here, Mom. Good as new." I headed upstairs for my room.
Crap. I'd left my backpack and radio behind. Mom didn't notice. If I can slip out next time, I'll just bring it all back then.
Rick was in the bathtub, so I had to wait. I went to my room, took off my braces and picked thorns out of my elbows.
Fireflies don't attack people. That guy seemed like he invited it to camp and now they're taking him to the hospital. Maybe he's dead.
Mom yelled up the stairs. "Patty. Telephone. It's your friend Petey."
I headed down. Thank God he got home. There could be dozens of those things out there.
"It's just Pete now, Mom." She handed me the phone.
"I just wanted to make sure you got home," Pete said.
"I'm fine, how are you?" I said it for Mom's sake, then turned away. "No thanks to you," I whispered.
"Look, you don't understand. Your parents are cool and all, but not everyone is. There are people around who'd lynch a black boy for even talking to a white girl. Laura gets it. Why don't you?"
"I get it, but this is different. Something bad happened out there. I was scared and you left me all alone."
"I was scared and alone too. I saw monsters behind every tree."
I smiled. "Me too. Guess we'll have something to talk about on the bus."
He chuckled and said, "Yeah, so what was that thing?"
"I have no idea, but I think it's alien."

"See you on the bus."

The Author:

I was born in a town called Elko, Nevada. I like to tell everyone I was born in a small town in the 1940s. I'm not quite that old, but Elko has always been a little behind the times. This gives me a unique perspective of earlier times, and other ways of getting by. Some of this bleeds through into my fiction.

I moved to Idaho right after the turn of the century, and never looked back. My writing career was born here, with access to other writers and critique groups I jumped in with both feet.

I like to write about things that have something unusual. My works are in the realm of science fiction, paranormal, and fantasy. The goal is to entertain you for a few hours. I hope you enjoy the ride.

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Love Set in Stone

Paranormal Romance
Date Published: April 2, 2016

A cold stone heart breaks more easily than it beats. Than it loves.

Damien was a loyal warrior, killed in battle in 1203. Because of his true heart, he was given the option to pass on to his eternal reward or exist in another state of being as a protector… until the time came when he could resume living the life he’d been cheated of.

A soldier by nature, he chose the latter. And he waited centuries—as a gargoyle—growing increasingly bitter about his choice. Then he sees her.

Rina is a hard worker and loyal friend. She just has the worst luck. One night, after saving her best friend from a violent assault, she finds herself at the attacker’s mercy. Then out of nowhere, a savior comes and rescues her.

With only an angel to guide him, Damien must make the right choices to win Rina’s heart, or be forever damned as a grotesque mockery of the guardian he once was.



Purchase: Amazon Universal Link

He gasped but only succeeded in inhaling thick embers. “I hate it when you do that to me, Anael. What the hell?”
“Not what, Damien,” Anael said. “Where. It’s against the rules, but you needed to see.”
“Hell.”
“The first level.”
Damien choked on clouds of brimstone and looked around. Bodies hung on racks, some scourged by demonic creatures wielding whips of fire, others stretched until their limbs tore off only to reassemble and stretch again. Some souls were skinned and devoured, the torment cyclical, never-ending. Giant beasts with nine-inch claws and twelve-inch teeth tore people into bloody shreds. They gnawed on the bones of writhing beings, snarling and snapping at anything near them.
There was no blessed retreat into unconsciousness or death. This was their other side, their ever-after, their eternity. The tormented endured each torture, alert and unprotected. Impossibly hot gusts of wind howled through the cavern, tossing the departed from one horror to the next. And the maniacal screeches of the tormentors were only overpowered by the anguished wails of the damned.
“I’ve seen enough.” Damien’s words were barely intelligible through his coughing and wheezing.
“Are you certain? This is only the first level. The second level hosts souls feeding on their own entrails, or having a myriad of sexual violations forced upon them. Rape. Sodomy. Bestiality. And then there’s—”
Damien clutched Anael’s arm. “Enough!”
“Do you understand now?”
Damien looked up and howled, his throat burning, his voice mingling into the sounds of all the other lost souls, an agonizing dirge melodic only to Satan himself.

When he thought the devil’s name, the most sinister laugh echoed through the cavern, a shadow given voice and power. It sent chills down his burning spine. The demons cheered, their victims cowered, and Damien cringed, seeking escape that would only be denied him.


The Author:
Staci Troilo has always loved fiction, ever since her parents read her fairy tales when she was little. Today, her interests are much more eclectic. She loves getting lost in sci-fi battles, fantasy realms, horror worlds, suspenseful intrigues, and romantic entanglements.

As goes her reading, so goes her writing. She can’t pick a single genre to focus on, so she doesn’t even try. She’s proud to say she’s a multi-genre author.

When she’s not reading or writing, she’s spending time with family and friends, possibly cooking for them, or maybe enjoying an afternoon in the pool. To learn more about her, visit her website or connect with her on social media.

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Vampire Island

Paranormal YA
Date Published: October 18, 2015
My name is Zoe Tempest. Just let me say, I had no intention of becoming a vampire hunter. My world revolved around the trendiest clothes, the boy of the week and shopping. My parents were well-off and indulgent. I was the center of their universe. I’m afraid I took that for granted. My life was as close to perfect as a seventeen year old can get. I had everything. Then my parents were murdered and my world came crashing down.

After their funeral, I went to live with my uncle Julian Kilmer. That’s when everything changed. In a manner more terrifying than anything I could have imagined.

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We stood in the dark gloomy hall of his mansion. As thunder boomed, the lights flickered. Moments later a streak of lightning, visible through the long narrow window, hit nearby. The floor shook. Outside something screamed in the night. In spite of the room being hot and stuffy, goose bumps roughened my skin. I rubbed my arms.

He leaned toward me. His shadow loomed menacingly across the floor engulfing me in black.

Before I could stop myself, I took a hasty step back and bumped against the door. The cool knob pressed hard into my back. He might be my uncle, but he was a stranger and a scary one at that.

With his index finger, he pulled down the sunglasses and looked over them. I gasped. His eyes were the same distinctive cobalt as my own. But where my eyes only added to my Barbie doll appearance, his sucked me in like a vortex. As if he could suction every thought right out of my head just by looking at me.

A trace of unease flickered across his face. “You aren’t sick are you?”

“No. What makes you think that?”

“You’re white as a sheet. Goose bumps are standing up on your arms like a plucked turkey.”

Being a vegetarian, the mental image wasn’t a pleasant one.

I gathered my courage and asked “Why can’t I go out?”

“Because I said so.”

I barely refrained from rolling my eyes.

He shifted his weight, his expression impatient.

Cold clammy beads of sweat trickled between my shoulder blades. I twitched my shoulders.

“Now there’s a reason.” I fisted my hands on my hips.

“Because it’s dangerous,” he said curtly.

“What do you mean?”

He raised a black, slashed eyebrow. “What about dangerous don’t you understand?”

“This is the Bahamas. How dangerous can it be?” I challenged, straightening my shoulders and lifting my chin.

“This is a remote, unknown, island in the Bahamas.” He flicked an imaginary piece of lint off his black silk shirt.

“Does this remote island have a name?”

His cobalt gaze locked with mine. The deep black flecks in them flickered like tidal waves.

“Vampire Island.”



The Author:

Sandra writes YA Fantasy, Paranormal and Historical Romance, and Metaphysical Nonfiction. She lives in sunny North Carolina with her husband, a brood of critters and an occasional foster cat. Although shopping is high on the list, her greatest pleasure is sitting on her porch, listening to the birds, sipping coffee or a latte and enjoying a good book. She's a vegetarian and a Muay Thai enthusiast.

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4 comments:

  1. What a great looking layout! Thank you for hosting us today.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you! I love creepy reads, so this was a no-brainer for me :D

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