Monday, January 26, 2015

Liza Investigates the Poison: Cyanide

Today, we discover more about the poison Cyanide.

Plants love to create cyanide in their seeds so the #*@! animals will stop eating their future.

Apples, cherries, plums, peaches all have cyanide in their future progeny (seeds, stones, or whatever they call their potential seedlings.)

Normally, there is just enough to make grazing animals regret eating them, but not enough to kill them. So if you swallow an apple seed, don't worry. However if for some reason you decided to eat a bowl of apple seeds, you probably won't be doing that second time. Cyanide poisoning is pretty fast.

Other plants, such as Laurel are more concerned about themselves and put cyanide into their leaves.

In ancient times, Middle Easterners discovered if you distilled laurel leaves, you could get rid of those that annoyed you. And since that is always a popular reason to distill something, the recipe not only was passed down, but improved throughout history.

The first suggested murder of historical note using cyanide was in AD 14, Rome. Tacitus and Cassius Dio (great names, right?) accused Livia of murdering Augustus by soaking his figs in distilled laurel leaf cyanide.

Now figs also have cyanide in their seeds, and their seeds aren't segregated, so your only choice is to eat fig seeds along with your fig, or not eat figs at all. However, Augustus would have had to eat a huge quantity of figs to kill himself naturally. But if he were a fig addict + a Roman glutten, it might have happened. But Tac & Cas claimed Livia, his wife, of soaking the figs in distilled Laurel leaves, aka cyanide.

Upon reading about Livia, she was a very powerful woman and several people in her family, who annoyed her, died early in life, and the rumors had it she was behind the deaths. So while we don't know for sure, it seems possible. 

Later, she was deified as Augusta. 

Perhaps as the Goddess of Cyanide.

Enough ancient history. Let's discuss some famous people who have used cyanide to say
"So Long and thanks for all the fish!"

Starting of the list: ADOLF HITLER, and his girlfriend Eva Braun, Hermann Goering, and the father of computers: Alan Turing.


Alan Turing was a brilliant man who happened to love another man. He was brought to trial on the latter and given the horrific choice of prison or chemical castration. He chose the later. 


Over a year later, he was found dead with a half eaten apple by his bed. Test indicated it was cyanide poisoning. The coroner declared it a suicide. His case was reassessed in 2002. It is now believe there was insufficient evidence to have ever claimed suicide and this was more likely an accidental poisoning during one of Turings experiments with gold plating, which uses cyanide in the process. It is possible he breathed in too much vapors during the electrolysis process.

From that point on, Cyanide was on the mind of everyone. Both Russia and the US began to stock pile it.

So let's talk details.
Cyanide has an odor of almonds. However the strength of the odor you detect will depend upon your genes. Some people can smell it easily, others cannot smell it all. Some claim it a 'bitter' almond smell. (Since when has 'bitter' become an description of an odor). Others claim it 'sickly sweet almond smell." (again that's a taste description, not a smell description.)

So it has an almond smell which you may or may not be able to smell.  This is starting out well....

Symptoms in case of chronic poisoning:
Fatigue,
Dizziness.
Confusion,
Restlessness
Rapid breathing
Nausea & Vomiting
Irrational behavior,
Headaches, and
Possible seizures.

Smoking cigarettes is one of the main exposure sources outside of working with cyanide chemicals for chronic poisoning. (It contains arsenic too.)

Symptoms of Large dose poisoning:
Convulsions,
Loss of consciousness,
Low blood pressure,
Slow Heart Rate,
Lung injury,
Respiratory Failure.

Survivors of Severe Cyanide poisoning may incur brain, heart, & nerve damage.

Breathing in cyanide fumes is the most common means of poisoning.

If exposed to cyanide, call 911, put all your clothes and contacts if you wear them, shoes etc.in a double garbage bag, (Do this quickly or do it after the shower), then take a shower with soap as you wait for help to arrive. 

If you have help, start with the shower and have them call 911. If they bag the cloths, have them wear gloves while double bagging.

Now for good news: There is an antidote! 
But for it to be effective, it must be taken soon after the poisoning. Go directly to the hospital where they should provide antidote before getting test results for cyanide poisoning. If they wish to wait for the tests to come back, assure them your children will sue the hospital for gross negligence, because by the time they get the tests back, you will be dead.


50mg of Cyanide causes death in five minutes.

So don't be chatty on the phone...


And thus concludes the favorite author poison in the 1960's.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Liza O'Connor Reviews Jenna Jaxon's Almost Perfect.


GREAT NEWS! Jenna has a rafflecopter in which two lucky people will win big time: a $25 Gift Card and a basket/box of chocolates.



An Almost Perfect Meeting
Does the right place and the wrong time equal the almost perfect couple?

When Pam Kimball’s plans to play Janet at a Rocky Horror Picture Show get derailed, she’s determined to go on with the show.  She commandeers the first guy she sees—a tall, sexy, geeky stranger—to be her Brad. The guy knows nothing about the show, but plays along, stunning her with a kiss in the middle of the performance. Pam feels his interest while they dance and decides to make a bold next move.

Roger Ware’s come for a midnight showing of a classic movie, only to find a cult classic playing instead.  To make it worse, he’s dragged onto the stage by a forceful brunette who won’t take “no” for an answer. Not that Roger wants to say no after one impulsive kiss gets him fired up for more.  When Pam invites herself over after the show, her seduction is clear, but will it continue once Roger reveals one embarrassing secret?

“If you’re skinny dipping, you forgot to remove one very important piece of clothing.”
She shrieked and whirled around.

Roger stood on the beach behind her, a green bottle of Perrier in one hand. His gaze played up and down her naked torso, and his salacious grin widened. “Mind if I join you?”

She gasped, wrapping her arms across her chest to shield her breasts from his hot gaze. 
“What the hell are you doing back here?”

“I came to make peace.” He waved the bottle at her. “Thought you might be thirsty by now.”

Her gaze fastened on the green glass, her mouth suddenly dry as sand. She stepped toward him then froze as she glanced at his face.

Roger stared at her, his eyes sparkling with excitement. He wiggled the bottle, challenging her to take it.

She’d be damned if she’d accept anything from him. Not here, anyway. That would make her feel weak, dependent. She eyed the condensation on the bottle. A single drop ran down the side, hung for a second at the bottom then plopped into the sand.

Shit. Right now, she was weak, dependent, and thirsty.

“Come on, Pam. It’s only water.” He still held the tempting thing out to her. Hell. She marched up to him, her steps as loud as she could make them on the packed sand. 
Stopping an arm’s length from him, she peeled one hand away from her breasts and shifted her other to cover as much as possible. 

For once, she thanked God for a B cup. She snared the bottle and shot him a look of triumph, only to realize the bottle was capped. To open it, she’d have to use her other hand.

Furious, she shifted her gaze from the tantalizing object to his gleeful eyes. “Would you open this for me, please?”

“Suddenly lost all your strength, have you, hon?” His eyes took on a hunger she remembered. “It’s not as if I haven’t seen your breasts before.”

“Then you don’t need to see them again, do you?” Heat rose in her cheeks. He was enjoying this way too much. “Come on, open it. You said it was a peace offering.”

“And these are part of the peace negotiations.” He stood, arms crossed over his muscled chest, better looking than she remembered.
Not fair.

“I’m bored, Pam. My date still hasn’t turned up, so I thought I’d come harass you a while. I’ll tell you what.” He reached for the Perrier and unscrewed the cap, but didn’t offer it to her. “You show me yours, I’ll show you mine.”

“And why would I want to see yours again?” She fixed her gaze on the bottle resting at his hips, watching the carbonated bubbles rise to the top, willing herself not to let her gaze stray toward his crotch.

“For old time’s sake?” His eyes flashed with mischief as he tipped the sparkling water up and started to drink.

She stared, her parched lips opened in outrage. Glug, glug. He was making that sound on purpose. Was he going to drink the whole damned thing?

After swallowing at least a third of the contents, he came up for air. “Ah! Hits the spot every time.” He grinned. “Still can’t take a joke? Too bad. Here.” He thrust it toward her.

Pam grabbed the bottle with both hands and shoved the end into her mouth so quickly the glass clicked against her teeth. Greedily, she sucked in and almost choked. The exquisite lime-flavored water rushed into her body to hydrate parched cells. Three more guzzles, and she breathed deeply, satisfied for the moment.

She wiped her hand across her chin where she’d dribbled and held the bottle out to him, but his slack-jawed attention was riveted on her chest. Which meant….

“You still look fine, Pam. Mighty fine.” Her ex-husband licked his lips, his grin reaching almost ear to ear.

“Damn it, Roger.” She wrapped her arms around her breasts so fast she hit herself with the bottle. If there hadn’t still been some water left, she would’ve brained him with it.

He reached down and slipped off his sandals then untied his drawstring, all the while grinning like a fool. With one swift movement, he shucked his pants to reveal a hard, tanned body, complete with a seriously large erection.

She hadn’t seen that coming. 



 Today, I'm reviewing Jenna Jaxon's fabulous story, Almost Perfect.  

 I loved Almost Perfect, because until the HEA (which was perfect) it was more like real life romance, where moments are awkward and embarrassing, misunderstandings abound, and disappointments finally overtake the reasons why they fell in love to begin with.

For a short novel, Jenna Jaxon managed to stuff the entire circle of love in her story. She does so by focusing on the fun parts: the first meeting and falling in love and then the re-uniting and falling back in love. 

The miserable years in between get short shrift because NO ONE, not even me, wishes to dwell there for long.
But in real life they happen. No relationship is perfect every day. At least none that I know of. If there is someone out there who believes every day of their marriage has been pure bliss, please keep it to yourself. No one likes a show off. The rest of us have squabbles, fights, mistrusts, resentments…honestly, only our innate need to love and be loved keeps us in our less than perfect relationships.

Jenna Jaxon’s story is warm and adorable from day one when Roger mistakenly wanders into a Rocky Horror Picture show performance. Pam has dreamt of this night when she finally gets to play “Janet” only her “Brad” gets sick. Thus, she conscripts Roger, who has never seen the movie, to play the role. Needless to say, it doesn’t go according to script and they get replaced by another couple.

And thus begins their ‘almost perfect’ first date.
I don’t think I’ve related to a book half this well in my life. While most romance readers prefer fantasy perfection to reality, that’s because for many of us, real life romances don’t go that well. But this book is one of hope. Yes, you can misread situations, do stupid things and still, in the end, after all hope is lost, fall in love again.   

In addition, Jenna Jaxon is a superb writer. Why she isn’t already a best seller completely baffles me.  She should be. I give this a 5 star.






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Jenna Jaxon is a multi-published author of historical and contemporary romance.  She has been reading and writing historical romance since she was a teenager.  A romantic herself, she has always loved a dark side to the genre, a twist, suspense, a surprise.  She tries to incorporate all of these elements into her own stories. She lives in Virginia with her family and a small menagerie of pets.  When not reading or writing, she indulges her passion for the theatre, working with local theatres as a director.  She often feels she is directing her characters on their own private stage.

Jenna is a PAN member of Romance Writers of America as well as President of Chesapeake Romance Writers, her local chapter of RWA. Her debut novel, Only Scandal Will Do, is the first in her House of Pleasure series, set in Georgian London. Only Marriage Will Do, the second book in the series, is set to release in June 2015 from Kensington. Her medieval serial novel, Time Enough to Love: Betrothal, Betrayal, and Beleaguered, is a Romeo & Juliet-esque tale, set at the time of the Black Death.

She has equated her writing to an addiction to chocolate because once she starts she just can’t stop. 

DON'T FORGET THE $25 GC & CHOCOLATE

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Liza O'Connor investigates the poison Arsenic

Arsenic

It's not the deadliest, nor the fastest poison, but since the first human decided to poison other annoying humans, it's been the most popular.

By the Victorian Era, it had become the Poison of Choice.  Probably because it was easy to obtain at the pharmacy or apothecary and could be given in food or drink, having little taste or odor. In addition, it was used in many household items, and naturally shows up in various foods, so if you were very clever, the doctor could declare it an accidental death. 

In fact, even today, you could be consuming low doses of arsenic each day. The average person will ingest about 8 mg of arsenic a day.

I'm talking today, not in olden days. Here's some Consumer Report data to worry you: 

In a sample of 88 apple and grape drinks 9 samples had higher levels than the gov allows your drinking water to have.

(Yes, your drinking water may have small amounts of arsenic given the metal is quite common and ubiquitous.)

But back to the juice. People who drink apple juice have 20% more arsenic in their urine than non-apple drinkers.

The other modern main arsenic provider is RICE, especially Rice Syrup. Rice grown in old cotton fields in the south are believed to have high arsenic content because arsenic was used as a pesticide when the lands were cotton fields. Arsenic can remain in the soil for a very long time, and some vegetables mistake it's chemical marker as nutrients and gather it up from the soil.

Okay, I've terrorized you enough about our modern day arsenic worries. Let's return back to the Victorian era.

Arsenic was used in fly paper, wood floors, curtains, fabrics, candles, ornaments, and even tobacco (which was extremely popular with the men.) Thus, if a heavy smoker who worked in a fabric factory, and burned candles in his boarding room that had floors made of heavily arsenic doused wood, then the doctor might rightfully declare his death to be an accidental poisoning or a natural death.

But, many at the time believed there was an epidemic of poisoning going on as well.  In 1840, the Statistic Head of the General Register Office (Someday I may write a blog on exactly what this job entailed, but right now, lets just focus on his claim, because it implications went all the way to the Parliament.) William Farr wrote: Arsenic 'is generally asked for to kill rats, but it is questionable whether arsenic kills more rats than human beings."

Parliament was so moved that in 1851, they passed an Arsenic Act. This forbid a pharmacist to sell arsenic to a person, unless he knew them. This is rather like the states that require an X day wait before you can actually buy the gun you wish to purchase. A wife who wished to kill her husband would need to spend a few week buying other things at the store, so the pharmacist would 'know' her before she complained of rats and returned home with the evening meal of arsenic.

Hmmm, that law was going to work....

So they added another bit to the law. Each pound of rat poison must have  an ounce of indigo coloring or soot mixed in with it.

Thus, requiring it to be served in a dark beverage such as coffee or a meat cooked in a dark gravy.

Yes, it took them 11 years to come up with a law that would only dissuade the real rats from eating soot flavored food. 

Another interesting tidbit: If you read my earlier blog on Antimony, you'll recall I declared the 3 musketeers of poison to be Antimony, Arsenic and Silver because they are often found together in nature.

Well, it turns out that the symptoms of Antimony and Arsenic are remarkably similar, only Antimony leaves a strong taste of metal in your mouth, while Arsenic has a much milder metallic taste.
Here are it's main sympton: 

Burning sensation in throat
Difficulty swallowing
Violent stomach pains
Continuous vomiting
diarrhea
fainting 
depression
cramps in the calves
Vertigo
Loss of consciousness

The main differences appear to be the lack of odor and a milder metallic taste, and it could be served in a larger dose without the body rejecting it and hurdling it back out. But like it's buddy poison, Arsenic attacks all the internal organs.

It is also the poison used to attempt to kill one of my sleuths in Book 4 of the Adventures of Xavier & Vic. A vengeful butler uses soot flavored arsenic in coffee despite the fact tea was requested. This resulted in only a single sip taken and then spat out. Still, the fool had poured enough arsenic in the cup to kill a person 20 times over, so my sleuth remains in danger. 



Coming in March 2015
Well Hidden Secrets
by
Liza O'Connor

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Font size nightmares in Blogger? Here's how to fix them.

Beginning in 2014, some guest blogs I would try to put on my blog seemed to be possessed by demons. 


I like LARGE print. But sometimes when I would request large print, everything would look fine, then when I previewed it, I'd have five different sized fonts, some of which were tiny ant size. Yet when I looked on the edit page, it all looked fine. What was going on?


 I suppose I could have hunted down an exorcist, but instead I decided to systematically go through the HTML for something new that might be mucking up my font sizes.


And I found it.

The problem is that WORD automatically attaches a long line of optional fonts into the HTML. There's a group of fonts that are small size fonts and for some reason Blogger ignores all other instructions and gives them priority. 

These appear to be the troublemakers:
mso-ansi-language: EN-US; 
mso-bidi-language: AR-SA; 
mso-fareast-font-family: "
mso-fareast-language: EN-US;

The easiest way to exorcise them is to copy your WORD DOC onto NOTEPAD, then copy Notepad Doc onto Blogger compose page.

Notepad kindly removes the unwanted riffraff.


Before a helpful friend told me of this easy fix, I intended to tell you to go to your HTML page, hit Ctrl A (Copy all) and copy it to WORD.


That's right, Word caused the problem, so make it fix the problem. (If you have an HTML app with the Find/Replace feature, that will work too, but I'm discussing how to fix it in Word.)

In Word, you now have a page of HTML jibberish. If you don't, go back and read the above instructions again because you did something wrong.

Go directly to Find and Replace Word box.

In the FIND  copy the highlighted problem font line/s that is/are in your html. Sometimes it will be all four, other times it will be one of them. Doing each one separately is the safest way, but if you are certain they are bundled in your HTML then copy the whole bundle and fix it all.

In the REPLACE block hit one blank space
Then REPLACE ALL. This will remove all the troubling fonts.

Copy the entire page of exorcised HTML back to your HTML page in Blogger.
Then check your Compose page. If it looks good, hit preview to make sure real life looks good. 

Sometimes one of the problem fonts shows up by itself so if you still have tiny fonts in preview, then search MSO until you find one of the above fonts hanging by itself (that happens in links a lot).

Also, these fonts will sometimes cause a second font size-one you don't want- to be created in the HTML that supersedes the commands made in blogger. See the blue highlights below

If so, you need to either remove it or change it to the font you want.

Don't try and do this one by one. Do a Find and and Replace




Example
Here's a doc I lifted from Word and put into this blog:



Two Warnings

Lydia is the most unlikely of heroines, and some readers, who expect their heroines be virtuous and kind, shouldn’t read this story. While Lydia does grow up a great deal through the pages of this book and shows moments of generosity and true love, all the while achieving wealth beyond her imagination, she also remains the self-centered child of her past who will do whatever is necessary to grasp a better future than the dismal life of destitution intended for her on the day her father dies and the estate goes to Mr. Collins.
She, like all of us, are a product of our environment.

Warning about Illogical punctuation:
I go by the English Logical Punctuation rules when it comes to commas and periods used within dialog. This means if a character says, “Then he declared me a ‘pragmatist’,” I will punctuate it logically as the English do.
In U.S. rules, it would be: “Then he declared me a ‘pragmatist.’”  However, that is illogical. The single quote only discusses the pragmatist. Thus, it should surround the word, before the punctuation.  
How did we come to be illogical?


Here's a short sample of HTML with the two problems:
The Blue highlights need to be the same size
and the Yellow highlights need to be removed.


<span style="font-size: x-large;"><span style="font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;,serif; font-size: 12.0pt; line-height: 150%; mso-ansi-language: EN-US; mso-bidi-language: AR-SA; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; mso-fareast-language: EN-US;">How did we come to be illogical? Long ago, we </span>

While the above may seem impossibly hard, it only takes about 3-4 minutes.  


Please don't try to remove every font that begins with MSO. Some are good fonts, such as MSOnormal.


AREN'T YOU GLAD SOMEONE SHARED WITH ME A BETTER WAY TO GET RID OF ALL THE NEW EVIL MSO FONTS: COPY THE WORD DOC TO NOTEPAD AND THEN COPY THE DOC FROM NOTEPAD TO BLOGGER.  (If you can't find notepad on your pc apps, you can locate an electronic version that works here: http://itextpad.com/FxcQIv6uKfmknPetX2ha40RWMBEzsO

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Liza interview Lincoln Farish about Junior Inquistior

Welcome! Today, I plan to interrogate Lincoln Farish and his Junior Inquisitor.


Many years ago, I met Lincoln Farish on the Critters.org site for Sci Fi, Fantasy and Horror. I had him read my Sci Fi Roms and he gave me freaken nightmares with his terrifying horror series.

And now he wishes to publish them so everyone else will have nightmares. Yep, he's that kind of guy. Sharing 'til the end.

His book will be out March 1, so you might want to book some trauma therapy time in advance if you enjoy a dark novel, intelligently written, that delves into true evil.

So let's bring in the deranged author and begin the interview.

Liza: So Lincoln, let's first discuss why you are calling this urban fantasy instead of HORROR. The early draft I read was fabulous, but crammed full of Horror. 

Lincoln: I was really stuck trying to shoehorn my story into a genre, because it just didn’t quite fit. 

I’m not trying to scare anyone, warn the populace at large about the dangers of Cthulhu, or teach a moral lesson, like horror usually does. 


At the same time, if you have a group of people who have powers that can and usually do harm regular people, your story is not going to be a happy one. Bad things will occur, people will die, and mayhem will ensue. 


It’s not dystopic—for most people, magic never enters their lives and they go about quite happily unaware of its existence. Those who do, however, experience all kinds of terrible events and traumas. The more or less contemporary setting makes it urban fantasy...so dark urban fantasy almost horror.


Liza: I'm calling it HORROR!!!!  It's been many years since I read your early draft and I can't get the astounding moments of horror out of my head.
And while you might not be trying to scare people, your evil characters have no trouble doing so.

So explain why you chose Catholic Monks to fight against the evil that lives among us.


Lincoln: I needed a group that was world-wide, large enough that they could have a secret society within them, and old enough that they could’ve been battling evil for a very long time. 

I also needed to explain from where the darkness comes without copying anyone. Larry Correia uses the Cthulhu mythos. Harry Potter is fairly agnostic—religion is rarely mentioned, aside from Christmas. Rick Gualtieri has a hint of Catholicism, with the Templars protecting the Icon from the icky vampires. Jim Butcher has a bit more Catholic mythos with angels and Knights of the Cross, so I went further; full-on Catholic, but again it wasn't initially planned, more like happen-stance that when I started I picked out ground no one else was using at the moment.

Liza: Well, it makes your book memorable, that for sure. Let's check out the cover:


Blurb

Brother Sebastian is halfway up a mountain in Vermont, hell-bent on interrogating an old woman in a shack, when he gets the order to abandon his quest for personal vengeance. He has to find a missing Inquisitor, or, more likely, his remains. 

He’s reluctant, to say the least. Not only will he have to stop chasing the best potential lead he’s had in years, this job—his first solo mission—will mean setting foot in the grubby black hole of Providence, Rhode Island. And, somehow, it only gets worse…

If he’d known he would end up ass deep in witches, werewolves, and ogres, and that this mission would jeopardize not only his sanity but also his immortal soul, he never would’ve answered the damn phone.


Excerpt

I took another step into the shop, pushing against the waves of evil. On the next set of shelves, I saw a severed hand in a large clear jar. The hand of a slain witch contains the knowledge of the deceased. The possessor then has that knowledge, all her spells and tricks. It’s one of the reasons witches were burned years ago...

A flash of movement from the other side of the room caught my eye. Two handmade Raggedy Ann style dolls were each held fast to the counter by a small black iron chain. The dolls were sitting slumped, as though alive and waiting for release. High-pitched, girlish voices came from them, full of hate, malice, and insanity. A sign in front of them said they were Hogaana Dolls.

A summoned spirit—a soul called from Hell—can be captured and enslaved by a strong or skilled witch. Trapped between here and Hell, the spirit can act as an oracle and tutor—a guide for witches trying to learn and experience new levels of power and what I’d call madness but she would refer to as “clear thinking” or “a deeper understanding.” The drawback is that a spirit is still ethereal and can escape easily unless tightly contained and constantly fed power to keep it here. The bound spirit can be transferred into a vessel to contain it in a form, a body...

My hands were shaking, my stomach roiled, and my eyes stung from the candles and incense. I wanted to flee...

I needed to leave and report back. This was beyond my abilities.

When I looked up, a tall, thin woman was staring at me from behind the counter. Her gray hair grew in clumps between patches of gnarled burn scars. She was dressed in a tight jumpsuit, stained with blood. Rings covered her hands, and I saw the deep purple of porphyrite in one.

Her face had an odd twist to it, as though someone had taken a screw, driven it into her nose, and turned it. She was a Screwface—a witch who thrived on pain and torture. A witch I wasn’t capable of breaking, or even dealing with. And now it was too late for me to escape.

Only a very special type of Inquisitor—a man without empathy, one who would be called a sociopath in the regular world—could deal with them. Formed into teams called Hammers, they’re elite, but they die even faster than regular Inquisitors. Not only do they train longer and harder than my regular Brethren, they receive special instruction on how to deal with Screwfaces. And despite all this training and conditioning, they’re still sometimes reduced to a pitiful weeping mess after one of their Purges.

Her smile reeked of madness and pain.

One of the dolls moved and shrilled, “Make it bleed.”

She glanced at it then raised the hand with the porphyrite ring, which was glowing and snapping in a purple and black nimbus. She was unleashing some spell; only magic was that mind-bending color. “Goodbye, false monk.” 



Coming March 1st.

might want to load up on Valium

Stalking Links for Lincoln Farish:
Facebook lincoln.farish.7
Twitter @LincolnFarish 


Sunday, January 11, 2015

D'Ann Lindun presents The Cowboy's Baby

Today, I have the fabulous D'Ann Lindun on my site sharing her latest book, 
The Cowboy's Baby





At sixteen, unwed and scared, Cat O’Brien gave up her newborn daughter for adoption. Seventeen years later Eve reappears…pregnant.
Tanner Burke never forgot his first love. Or the daughter he gave up at eighteen.
Forced together for the sake of their pregnant teenage daughter, can Tanner and Cat find a way to forgive each other and fall in love again?


She grabbed the candy dish and peered through the peephole before sliding back the deadbolt. Someone stood on her porch, but Cat couldn’t make out any features through the tiny opening. She swung the door open and a gust of wind-driven snow blew in her face. The storm had picked up to be a regular winter gale, swirling snowflakes around them. Blinking, she looked around for small children, but only an adult in a heavy coat and a shawl covering most of the face stood there. Was this a teenager trick-or-treating? If so, as what? Obviously not a ghost or princess.

“Can I help you?”

The bundled-up figure mumbled something, but the words were lost in the wind. Cat struggled to hold the door with one hand, and held out the candy dish with the other. The stranger said something unintelligible. Cat raised her voice to be heard over the protesting shutters. “I can’t hear you.”

The black scarf again muffled the answer.

Cat shivered in the wind, but she was unwilling to let a total stranger in her house. This might be Granite, population eight hundred, but she had spent too many years in Denver to be careless. She motioned to the wicker chairs still sitting on the porch. “Step over here and tell me what brings you out in a storm.”

Instead of moving toward the chairs, the stranger pulled the scarf from her face and striking blue eyes met Cat’s. “Are you Cathleen O’Brien?”

“Yes.” A vague unease rose up Cat’s back. “Do I know you?”

“No.” The girl jutted out her chin in an all-too-familiar gesture and shoved a wad of papers toward Cat. “But you gave birth to me.”

“Oh, God.” Cat let go of the candy dish and it crashed to the floor, sending miniature candy bars and cheap plastic toys flying across the porch. Her knees threatened to buckle and she grabbed for the door. Was she hallucinating? How could this be? It wasn’t possible for the baby she’d given up almost eighteen years ago to be standing in front of her. She stared at the daughter she’d given birth to, but never seen. Her eyes, her nose…his mouth.

She would not think about Tanner Burke.








Falling in love with romance novels the summer before sixth grade, D’Ann Lindun never thought about writing one until many years later when she took a how-to class at her local college. She was hooked! She began writing and never looked back. Romance appeals to her because there's just something so satisfying about writing a book guaranteed to have a happy ending. D’Ann’s particular favorites usually feature cowboys and the women who love them. This is probably because she draws inspiration from the area where she lives, Western Colorado, her husband of twenty-nine years and their daughter. Composites of their small farm, herd of horses, five Australian shepherds, a Queensland heeler, two ducks and cats of every shape and color often show up in her stories!

D’Ann loves to hear from readers! Please contact her at



Friday, January 9, 2015

Daisy Banks shares links to discover Werewolf Lore


Following on from my other post I thought I’d share some of the Werewolf myths and legends I looked at when I was researching for Timeless and To Eternity.

Here are some links to places I used to find information and they are full of Werewolf lore. Some of the legends are centuries old, they cover several continents and range from descriptions of primal fears to latest sightings of supposed Wolf men.

There were lots of other places I looked and some reference books I used too, in my search for what I hope readers will think of as a realistic transformation. I added some ideas of my own. 
The lure of the Werewolf has proved very strong in fiction and romance over generations and I am very proud I am able to offer my tale of the wolf in love.

I based the character of Magnus on the legend of the true Werewolf, the beast that transforms uncontrollably at the full moon. He is the creature who loses all self control and kills indiscriminately. This moon induced terror is what Magnus fears most and is part of his reason for being such a recluse.  But he does have one hope to gain some control over the creature if he is willing to accept it. He must take responsibility for his actions and find someone who has the ability to control him.

Added to all the above was the notion that the man Magnus, strong as he is, would be felled by discovering love.

When Sian arrives at his magnificent house in the first story of the series Timeless, she strides about those polished mahogany floors in six inch, red patent heels and does a smash and grab raid on his heart.

From there the series has developed.
Both books, Timeless and To Eternity, are available in e-book and print.


Blurb for Timeless
Their love will be eternal, the legend says...if they survive.

Lonely and forced into a life of secrecy, four hundred-year-old Magnus finds Sian--the sexy music film producer who’s working in his house--tough to ignore. As she resists his alter ego when he invades her dreams to seduce her, her innate powers astound him and his need only grows. In dreams or reality, he’s determined to make her his. She is meant for him alone.

Independent, hard-working Sian has hopes and plans for the future that include the stately house at Darnwell. Not its aloof owner. She’s there to acquire the home for a video shoot, nothing more. By day, each layer she explores in Magnus’s grand old home with him leads her deeper into love. But by night, he seduces her in her dreams, gives her ecstasy like she’s never known. Then she learns his secret: Come the full moon, she is the only one who can control his wolf curse. First though, she has to survive it.


Blurb for To Eternity.
For four centuries Magnus has lived according to the dictates of the moon, his heart isolated by the domination of his wolf nature. Now fate has brought the beautiful, independent Sian to his house at Darnwell and their irresistible attraction has exploded into a white-hot passion. Yet she is not wolf, and the time has come for her to embrace the change. But once she completes the ritual and claims her place next to Magnus, the rivals will appear on the horizon…

You can read the first chapter of Timeless and To Eternity on my blog. Do visit and check out the My Books section where you will find first chapters.

I am in the process of writing the third book in the series, Out of Time, and hope to have it finished soon.

Thanks for reading.
Xx
Daisy Banks

Buy Links for both Timeless and To Eternity.
ARe

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