Saturday, September 23, 2017

Twins by Kim Iverson Headlee

TWINS
The Dragon's Dove Chronicles, the novella genesis of book 6

by Kim Iverson Headlee
.



Genre: Epic Historical Fantasy






From the award-winning, critically acclaimed pen of Kim Iverson Headlee comes the fall of Camelot as you have never seen it before.

The death of their mother knells the death of any hope for a joyful future for Gyan’s identical twin daughters, Gwenhwyfar and Gwenhwyfach. Their father, Arthur the High King, wastes no time in announcing firstborn Gwenhwyfar’s betrothal to Medraut—the man whom Gwenhwyfach secretly loves. And Gwenhwyfar is in love with Angusel’s son Lannchu.

The twins conspire to defy Fate and trade places. They know how ambitious is their scheme, for Gwenhwyfar is trained in the domestic arts and Gwenhwyfach has chosen the warrior’s path, yet the sisters are confident of success. The wedding and its accompanying night come off without a hitch… for both of them.

Fate, however, shall not be defied.

Incorporating ancient Welsh legends of the “False Guinevere” and “Feasting the Hungry Man,” and featuring many characters introduced in Dawnflight, Morning’s Journey, and Raging Sea, this glimpse into their destiny, thirty years after the setting of those novels, reveals the destruction of Arthur’s realm that’s unique in all of Arthurian literature.

Praise for other Arthurian works by Kim Iverson Headlee:

“Intense.” USA Today (Dawnflight)

“Solidly entertaining.” Publishers Weekly (King Arthur’s Sister in Washington’s Court)



The bedchamber door opened. A dragon writhed in her stomach. This was the moment upon which all her plans hinged.


Gwenhwyfach summoned a nervous smile for her bridegroom that wasn’t feigned.


Medraut flicked his gaze about the chamber before letting it come to rest upon his bride. “You’ve become more like your sister.” His speech was only a wee bit slurred. The dragon in Gwenhwyfach’s stomach took a leap. He waved a hand in her direction. “Chosen like a true warrior.”


He was right, Gwenhwyfach realized with a mental groan. Defensively, the room offered only two possibilities: near the door for the greatest element of surprise, and near the fire, with a wall to guard her back and a weapon nearby in the form of the blunt but heavy iron poker.


She rose. “Not so, my lord.” She fought to keep her voice low and even, her eyes downcast. “I was cold.” She added a shiver and chafed her arms.


“Ah.” Gwenhwyfach kept her gaze lowered as Medraut approached her. “Perhaps I can be of assistance.”


He unpinned her brooch. The cloak slid from her shoulders to pool at her feet. Gwenhwyfach allowed herself to look up and saw hunger smoldering in her husband’s eyes. She tried to forget that his hunger wasn’t for her. In time, it would be.


By CLM 


I have to confess, the names were a tangle for me.


But that aside, I never got lost. This is a short but packed full of content delight.


I was shocked many times in this story.


There appears to be a chance for love. Two twins, one experienced with a sword and the other experienced running the castle decide to switch identities so each can have the one they love.


Kim Headless puts so much into her stories. Even this short story is filled with so many court intrigues.






Kim Headlee lives on a farm in southwestern Virginia with her family, cats, goats, Great Pyrenees goat guards, and assorted wildlife. People and creatures come and go, but the cave and the 250-year-old house ruins—the latter having been occupied as recently as the mid-twentieth century—seem to be sticking around for a while yet. She has been an award-winning novelist since 1999 (Dawnflight first edition, Sonnet Books, Simon & Schuster) and has been studying the Arthurian Legends for nigh on half a century.


Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Val & Pals series by Margaret Lashley

VAL & PALS series
by Margaret Lashley

Genre: Humor/Women's Fiction/Chick Lit





The first 2 books will be specially discounted to 99 cents on Sept 19th.




Absolute Zero: Misadventures From A Broad

A Midlife Meltdown...with a Side of Fries.


Val’s long-suffering life as a patient daughter, dutiful wife and reliable workhorse has turned her into a snarky, miserable nag.

She has the house, the husband and the career. The only thing missing is the happy.


Before she’s set out to pasture, Val wants one more go around the track. Unbridled. In Italy.


La dolce vita or bust. 


Will Val find her happy ending abroad? Or someplace she never thought to look? And will she get there before her money and her sense of humor run out...


If you've ever dreamed of ditching your life and running off to Europe, now’s your chance! Join Val on a roller-coaster ride through Europe that will leave you gasping! From gut-busting hilarity to gut–wrenching gaffs, finding yourself again is always worth the price of admission. Buy it now!




The plane came to a halt. A mechanical bell binged. I looked around nervously. I slung my purse across my shoulder and sardined myself into the line of passengers inching their way down the narrow aisle. When I reached the plane’s exit door, I paused hesitantly, like a convict who’d gotten free of her cuffs without anybody noticing. My mind swirled with excitement and abject terror. Goosebumps rushed across my body. The hair at the base of my neck pricked up like a scaredy-cat.


What the hell was I doing? 


Mere days before, I’d slammed every single door – including the screen one – on my life back in Florida. The last chance to change my mind had come and gone, as unheeded as a speed limit sign at a NASCAR rally. Every safety net I’d ever known was thousands of miles away, across the Atlantic Ocean, out of sight and out of reach.


I took a deep breath to steady myself, then stepped off the plane into the complete unknown. I glanced back and waved goodbye to the Air Italia flight crew. I turned again and meandered down the gangplank behind a frail, elderly couple holding hands. Their long-standing marriage triggered flashbacks of my own, long-suffering one.


Seven weeks ago, I’d signed the final divorce papers ending fifteen years of matrimony to Jimmy Johnson, a man I no longer knew. I envisioned the beautiful house Jimmy and I had shared together. I’d sold it and my advertising business just days before the flight. After splitting the pot with Jimmy, I’d netted a hot-damn jackpot of $473,000. I pictured my best friend, Clarice Whittle. I’d left my Ford in her garage, along with a few boxes that held the final remains of the cranky, resentful woman I hoped this trip would get rid of for good.


I’d brought next to nothing with me. I’d left even less behind. No kids. No pets. No job. No husband. No responsibilities. No nothing.


I’d spend the last forty-one years in perpetual motion – Val Jolly’s non-stop stint as dutiful daughter, long-suffering wife and brown-nosing business woman. I’d catered to everyone else’s needs for as long as I could remember. Somewhere along the way I’d turned into a crabby, shrill woman that even I didn’t like. I’d forgotten who I was and what I wanted. This trip was going be my R&R&R – relaxation, romance and re-invention.


I was in Italy to try my hand at living irresponsibly, like my trampy cousin Tammy Jeter. She’d always done as she damn well pleased. Up ‘til now, I’d thought she’d been selfish. Especially when she left Whitey Large and their five pit-bulls (One with puppies!) to run off with Tater Johnson. Turns out, that girl had had it right all along.







Glad One: Starting Over is a ...!

How Many Do-Overs Do You Get in One Lifetime?


One crazy old lady. Two gin & tonics. Three wacko beach-bum friends. Will Val's fourth stab at starting over add up to a big fat zero?


Val's down, but don't count her out just yet. Broke, but not broken (just seriously cracked), Val Fremden returns to her hometown of St. Petersburg, Florida to find everything she knew squashed under the heels of change.


With nothing left to go on but her own dry sense of humor and the life coach advice of a beer-guzzling old lady she meets at the beach, can her life get any crazier? Just wait.


Glad One is a satirical look at divorce, single-hood and climbing back up the social ladder. It's told through the eyes of a snarky, reluctant, midlife-crisis survivor who lost everything -- but regained herself.


Is there a light at the end of the tunnel for Val? Or is that just the headlamp of another train wreck heading her way? Knowing Val, it's probably both.


If you like wacky, deeply flawed characters and laugh-out-loud situations, you’ll love Glad One! It’s the second book in Margaret Lashley’s hilarious, irreverent Val & Pals Series of seriously funny women's fiction.




A puff of jaded air forced its way between my pursed lips like steam from a relief valve. I needed a good cry. But this was not the time or place for it. To distract myself, I started counting my blessings.


One decimated pocketbook. Two cottage-cheese thighs. Three maladjusted ex-husbands.... Crap! 


Whoever was running the show up there had a wicked sense of humor – and I was getting damn tired of being the punchline. I scrounged around for my powder compact and opened it, intent on repairing my makeup after the nine-hour flight. One glance in the mirror at my worn-out face made me snap it shut. Why bother? 


In forty-five years, I’d accumulated a good portion of wrinkles, a fair amount of belly fat, and, apparently, precious little wisdom. These questionable assets, along with $5,726 and a suitcase full of inappropriate clothes, were all I had left to launch my latest life makeover. I slumped back into my seat. I was bone-dragging tired. Even so, a wry grin snuck across my lips like a stolen kiss from a stranger. I was not defeated. Not yet, anyway.


The way I saw it, I still had two viable options. One, I could finally learn to laugh at myself. Or two, I could drink myself into oblivion. I fished around the bottom of my purse for a coin to determine my fate. I flipped a tarnished nickel into the air with my thumb. It did a triple gainer, plunged into my coffee, and splashed a nasty brown stain on the crotch of my white stretch pants.
Awesome. Let the festivities begin.


***


My last life makeover had begun over seven years ago, and had turned out to be a spectacular, downward spiral reminiscent of diving off a cliff with a bowling ball in my pants. Drowning in dullness and fueled by movie-inspired stupidity, I’d ditched a tiresome marriage and lucrative writing career, sold all my belongings and took off for Europe. In Italy, I met a German and fell in love with the idea of life with a stranger in a strange land. Things had been great for a while. But then the shiny wore off and the cracks showed up, like they always did.


On my arrival back in St. Petersburg, Florida, I’d discovered that seven wasn’t such a lucky number. In fact, seven years abroad had been just exactly long enough for my entire credit history to be erased – just like most of my money. I’d gotten off that plane with no driver’s license. No place to live. No credit card. No phone. No resume. And, worst of all, no friends. Incredibly, I’d somehow managed to become a foreigner in my own homeland.


As a lifelong lover of irony, I’d had to smile at my own ingenuity. How many other people on the planet could have claimed such a monumental fuck-up?





Available for only 99cents Sept 19-22



Two Crazy: Fickle Finger of Fate

The World is not a Safe Place for Figurines. 


When you’re pushing 50 with an industrial bulldozer, birthdays can be a bitch. What was intended as a gag gift for Val ends up making her gag all right – and lands her in a whole heap of trouble with the law.


With one hot cop on her tail and a mean one on her trail, Val turns to old friends and new ones to help prove she’s not into human dismemberment.


Who’s the good cop? Who’s the bad? And who’s the dwarf in the Halloween mask?


Will a pair of falsies help Val stumble onto the truth? If not, she’s got to rely on her wacky, beach-bum friends if she’s going to escape the fickle finger of fate.


Two Crazy is a satirical look at how life seems to take pleasure in screwing up all of our well-laid plans. It’s told through the eyes of a snarky, middle-aged woman with major trust issues and dubious, yet highly original coping skills.


If you like deeply flawed characters and laugh-out-loud situations, you’ll love Absolute Zero. It’s the third book in Margaret Lashley’s hilarious, irreverent Val & Pals Series of seriously funny women's fiction.




I woke the morning after my birthday party with a cop in my bed and a dead body in the kitchen. Okay, it was just a roach carcass. But I swear it was big enough to draw a chalk line around. It was legs-up in the middle of the floor. I’d fumbled, bleary-eyed, toward the cappuccino machine in nothing but Tom’s t-shirt, and had managed, of course, to step right on it. The disgusting crunch of its carapace underfoot made me scream like a little girl.


“Aaahhhh!”


As a native of the Sunshine State, I’d grown up learning to deal with the worst that Florida’s flora and fauna had to throw at me. Poison ivy. Cabbage-palm spikes. Daddy long-leg spiders. Fire ants. Kamikaze tree frogs. Ghoulish house geckos. Deadly rattlesnakes and cottonmouths. Even the occasional gator on the road or in a swimming pool. I’d managed to make my peace with all of them – except one.


Let a roach get anywhere near me – especially a flying one – and my bravado disappeared faster than Oreos at a Weight Watcher’s convention. When I’d stepped on that nasty bug, I’d let out a scream that could be heard on the International Space Station. If that marked me as a sissy, so be it. But there was something abhorrently primeval about a creature that could live for months without its own head.


“What’s going on in there!?”


Tom dashed into the room. He was naked except for his state-issued revolver. The sight of his tan, muscular body almost made me forget about my predicament. Almost.


“A roach,” I grimaced. I held up my foot like it needed stitches.


Tom grinned at me and shook his head.


“There appears to be no permanent damage. What happened to my fearless partner? Valliant Stranger?”


“Hey. Roaches are my kryptonite, okay?”


“Duly noted. I thought you put out some traps. Roach Motels, right?”


I took a paper towel off the roll and ran it under the tap. I bit my lip in disgust and wiped my foot. 
“Yeah, I did. I guess there was no room left at the inn.”


Tom sniggered. “Don’t those things come with ‘No Vacancy’ signs?”


“Very funny, Mr. Morning Sunshine. Can we please change the subject now?”


“Okay.”


A dirty grin crept across his face. Tom sidled up to me and put his hands on my hips.


“Have you got a vacancy that I can fill?”


I knocked his hands off of me.


“Geeze, Tom. I think that may go down in history as the most disgusting foreplay line ever.”


Tom scooped me up into his arms. His naughty grin deepened his dimples and crinkled the corners of his hypnotic, green eyes.


“Okay, how about this? I’ve got a gun, lady. Better do what I say.”


Both my hormones and my imagination went haywire.


“Now that’s something I can work with.”










Three Dumb: Wheelin' & Dealin'

Baloney and Cheesed.


They say three’s the charm. But charming isn’t Val’s style.


Val Fremden is a lot of things. Quirky. Jaded. Disaster prone. But more than anything, she’s afraid of commitment.


When boyfriend Tom tells her he loves her – then trades away her mom’s ashes for a tiki hut – Val’s just not feelin’ it.


On the warpath with Tom, Val’s forced to rely on her oddball friends to help track down her mom’s cremains. But three botched stakeouts and two disasters later, she still hasn't got peanuts. Through trial (but mostly error), Val discovers it's not easy to outwit a mobile master of disguise when she's stuck driving a paddy wagon full of nutcases.


She loves Tom...she loves him not. Knowing Val, she’s gonna need a bigger flower….


Three Dumb is a satirical look at how life, over time, changes our perception of love and the things we value. It’s told through the eyes of a snarky, middle-aged woman with legendary commitment issues and a gnawing reluctance toward romance.


If you like deeply flawed characters and laugh-out-loud situations, you’ll love Three Dumb. It’s the fourth book in Margaret Lashley’s hilarious, irreverent Val & Pals Series of seriously funny women’s fiction.




I’d spent Sunday evening alone, cooling down slowly, like the nuclear reactor at Chernobyl. I’d avoided a critical meltdown, and when I woke up Monday morning, I’d found myself on the verge of no longer being a lethal danger to other life forms.


After a cappuccino and a long, cool shower, at 8 a.m. I called Lefty’s Hauling again. It rang fifteen times, unanswered. This was, of course, totally unacceptable. It was time for Plan B.


I slipped on a sundress and sandals, put my hair in a ponytail and climbed into the red pleather driver’s seat of Maggie, my 1963 Ford Falcon Sprint convertible. With a little encouragement in the form of smashing her gas pedal to the floor, Maggie carried me north along Gulf Boulevard. The four-lane road, lined with two- and three-story beach resorts, skirted the Gulf of Mexico like stiches in a hem.


Year round, tourists flocked to the quaint mom-and-pop motels and sugar-white beaches. I couldn’t blame them. All-in-all, St. Pete Beach was a great place to be.


I turned east on 107th Avenue. Immediately, the salt air and kitsch beach shops disappeared, replaced with anywhere-USA strip malls. At 66th Street, I turned north in the direction of good-old Pinellas Park.


Every major metropolitan area had a section designated especially for rednecks. How they found each other, I didn’t know. Maybe they were all related, or there was some special redneck hotline I wasn’t privy to. At any rate, in Pinellas County, the mecca for country bumpkins and politically incorrect-and-proud-of-it folks was definitely Pinellas Park.


If it weren’t for Florida’s history of hurricanes and tropical storms, Pinellas Park would have choked to death on doublewide trailers decades ago. But in 1993, a freak storm took out all but the very highest quality manufactured homes. It had been dubbed the “1993 Storm of the Century” by some, the “’93 Super Storm” by others, and the “Great Blizzard of 1993” by the Yankees up north. But we locals simply called it the “No-Name Storm,” because it had come up so quickly and unexpectedly not even the weather forecasters had had time to register it with an official moniker.


It had begun on March 12th as a cyclonic storm in the Gulf of Mexico, then quickly grew into a beast that stretched from Cuba to Canada. It moved into Florida around midnight, catching us unaware with winds over 100 mph. It spawned 11 tornadoes and a storm surge in St. Pete that topped out at seven feet. For folks along the coast, bay and rivers, it had been devastating. It wiped out or damaged over 18,000 homes in the Sunshine State and killed 47 of our citizens, more than Hugo and Andrew combined. Suffice it to say, it was not a good time to be living in a tin can on wheels.




WHAT FOUR
November 7, 2017

Most Definitely Contains Nuts.


All Val wants is a quiet holiday away from her oddball family. But a promise pried from her lips earlier in the year has blown that wish out the henhouse window.


When Val and her boyfriend Tom arrive at her mother’s house in Hicksville, USA, the annual Family Fruitcake Competition is well underway. And there’s more than a few fruits and nuts in the running.


But the biggest contest is between Val and her mom.


As their battle of wills heats up, unexpected ingredients get thrown into both women’s batter. It may be time to call in a referee….


Who will get best in show? Who will get their just desserts? And will Val’s half-baked family turn out to be too much baggage for Tom to handle? Order a copy and find out!


If you like deeply flawed characters and laugh-out-loud situations, you’ll love What Four. It’s the fifth book in Margaret Lashley’s hilarious, irreverent Val & Pals Series of seriously funny women’s fiction.





Like the characters in my novels, I haven’t lead a life of wealth or luxury. In fact, as it stands now, I’m set to inherit a half-eaten jar of Cheez Whiz…if my siblings don’t beat me to it.


During my illustrious career, I’ve been a roller-skating waitress, an actuarial assistant, an advertising copywriter, a real estate agent, a house flipper, an organic farmer, and a traveling vagabond/truth seeker. But no matter where I’ve gone or what I’ve done, I’ve always felt like a weirdo.


As a child I lived in my own pretend world of tickling fairies and talking cats. I began writing when I found an ancient black typewriter on my grandparent’s back porch. (Inspired by my brothers, Boys are Stupid was my first masterpiece.)


I’ve learned a heck of a lot in my life. But getting to know myself has been my greatest journey. Today, I know I’m smart. I’m direct. I’m jaded. I’m hopeful. I’m funny. I’m fierce. I’m a pushover. And I have a laugh that makes strangers want to join me at restaurants. In other words, I’m a jumble of opposing talents and flaws and emotions. And it’s all good.


In some ways, I’m a lot like Val Fremden the main character in my Val & Pals Series. My books featuring Val are not autobiographical, but what comes out of her mouth was first formed in my mind, and sometimes the parallels are undeniable. I drink TNTs. I had a car like Shabby Maggie. And I’ve started my life over four times, driving away with whatever earthly possessions fit in my car. And, perhaps most importantly, I’ve learned that friends come from unexpected places.




Sunday, September 17, 2017

SLAMMED (Davy's Saga) by Liza O'Connor now 99cents

99 cents from 9/17-9/19


Slammed (Davy's Saga)

by
Liza O'Connor


Here are just a few of life’s slams against Davy Hill:
1) The night of his big ride he discovers his girlfriend Sherrie is on a date with his nemesis, Bobby Conrad.
2) Davy’s mother is dying from cancer.
3) The hospital bill is astronomical, and the bill collectors have descended on Davy's dad, making him miserable.
4) Davy’s mom dies during the parade ride down Main Street.
5) After the funeral, a ‘cousin’ he’s never met before asks him why they dressed up his mother like a cheap hooker.
6) Davy slams his fist into his cousin’s iron jaw & hurts his riding hand.
7) The CEO of the World Bull Riding Co now thinks Davy is a hothead and wants to drop him.
8) A bartender tries to rip him off, claiming he owes a pricey bar tab.
9) Charles Gavin (Marketing head for the WBR) takes Davy under his wing, but he’s not trying to help Davy. He’s just using him.
10) Charles has Davy sign 10 sponsor contracts without legal advice.


Here are positive things that happen as well
1) Davy has loving parents (poor, but great parents).
2) Davy rides a bull no one else has ever ridden.
3) Davy wins $200,000 on his first event.
4) Davy’s town throws a parade for him.
5) His mother rides next to Davy during the parade.
6) Leeroy Stub shares the whole story of why Davy hit his cousin & wins the sympathy of most of executives and board members, so they don’t drop Davy.
7) Davy is good looking, does great interviews, and can ride bulls.
8) Davy falls in love with the nurse who works on his aching riding hand.
9) Davy makes friends with other bull riders.
10) Bull Riding fans looking for autographs are encouraged by the two best riders to stand in Davy's line. 


And this occurs all in the first eight chapters.  

Matters get really crazy later on. 


SLAMMED


By
Liza O’Connor
Contemporary Suspense
Country Western/ Bull Riding

Blurb


Davy Hill goes from obscurity to fame by riding the rankest bull alive. Coming from a life of poverty, the young cowboy expects his life to change for the better now that he’s a successful professional bull-rider. Yet, with every occurrence of good luck comes an equal dose of bad. He suffers a potentially career-ending injury, a string of betrayals, and much worse. Despite all the brutal slams he takes, he keeps getting up, because he’s a bull-rider and they never give up.

BUY IT NOW!
SLAMMED
Davy’s Saga, Book 1
99 cents for 3 days!
Sept 17-19 

EXCERPT

KC yelled for his fans and Davy to follow him. Davy hoped he was leading the way to the official signing area and not to the bar, because Davy’s fans looked too young to drink.
He sighed with relief when he saw Justin Strong seated at a foldout table with a long line of fans stretched before him. Davy sat down in the chair beside him. The line of fans who had followed him from the stands was dwarfed by Justin’s fans, but that didn’t surprise him in the least.
Justin smiled at him and then stood up. He spoke loudly so the people far back in his line could hear. “In case you haven’t noticed, Davy Hill, the rider who won the round tonight is sitting beside me with a shorter line.”
To Davy’s shock, about a third of the people, all from the back of Justin’s line moved over. He smiled at them in appreciation, but honestly, he thought they’d made a bad choice.
KC laughed and yelled to his line. “That fellow is Davy Hill, the young rookie who won last week’s Challenger’s event with a record breaking score of 96.5 on Son of Sam, and he could win this event as well.”
Now Davy’s line was actually twenty people deeper than Justin’s and twice as long as KC’s. KC then tipped his hat to Justin and sat back down. Both fellows seemed greatly amused, as if they had just pulled some grand joke on Davy.
As Davy’s hand began to cramp, he recalled Mr. Gavin’s warning not to ruin his riding hand by writing too much. Yet, his fans demanded more than just his signature. They wanted their item to have their names, then some meaningful sentence, and finally his name followed by his claim to fame: winner of the Oklahoma Challenger event.
A half-hour later, KC told his fans he could only take fifteen more. When he ignored his fans’ protest, the ones out of the count grumbled a bit and then moved into Davy’s line. Consequently, KC was ready to leave in five minutes, while Davy looked like he’d be signing autographs ’til midnight.
“Davy, I’ll see you there,” KC said and ran off before Davy could ask the name and address of “there”.
Ten minutes later, Justin disappeared as well. In fact, Davy was the only rider left, breaking his riding hand with a pen. He sighed and worked through the pain.
At the end of an hour, he finished the last autograph and collapsed his head on the table as he massaged his riding hand beneath the table. A strong hand gripped his shoulder.
“You hung in there ’til the end. The fans appreciate that.”


BUY IT NOW!
SLAMMED
Davy’s Saga, Book 1
99 cents for 3 days!
Sept 17-19


ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Liza O’Connor lives in Denville, NJ with her dog Jess. They hike in fabulous woods every day, rain or shine, sleet or snow. Having an adventurous nature, she learned to fly small Cessnas in NJ, hang-glide in New Zealand, kayak in Pennsylvania, ski in New York, scuba dive with great white sharks in Australia, dig up dinosaur bones in Montana, sky dive in Indiana, and raft a class four river in Tasmania. She’s an avid gardener, amateur photographer, and dabbler in watercolors and graphic arts. Yet through her entire life, her first love has and always will be writing novels.

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Monday, September 11, 2017

A Necessary End by Diana Rubino


Hello, readers. Ghost stories are great around Halloween, but they're a lot of fun any time of year, even summer...there's something about a midsummer twilight and slowly gathering dusk that always spooked me. This photo taken at Old Parish Cemetery in York Village, Maine, was the first orb photo I ever got, at dusk one July (upper right of photo).


In 2006, I decided to combine my love of Lincoln and the paranormal. I began researching A NECESSARY END, my paranormal twist on John Wilkes Booth's insane plot to assassinate President Lincoln. It contains no fictional characters. 

Abraham Lincoln has fascinated me since I was eight years old. I don’t know what got me started, but it might’ve been a book which I still have titled The Life of Abraham Lincoln, Volume 1, written in 1895. When I was in 3rd grade, in the mid-60s (which shows how long I’ve been a Lincoln nut), my teacher asked us to bring a book to school from home, for a show & tell. My mother suggested I bring this Lincoln book, which even in 1966 was in bad shape—yellowed, stiffened strips of Scotch tape barely held the covers to the spine. With the wisdom of an 8-year-old that sadly, all of us outgrow, I demurred, saying, “This old book? She’ll think we’re poor!” My mother corrected me: “No, she’ll think we’re rich. Books like this are rare.” Then she proceeded to tape it up some more. Those 47-year-old Scotch tape fragments adhere to the book’s spine and pages to this day. My teacher, Miss Cohen, was duly impressed. I treasure that book to this day, and it’s one of many on my “Lincoln shelf” which holds books about our murdered president, his wife Mary, his assassin John Wilkes Booth and his family, the “Mad Booths of Maryland” and the conspirators who faced the gallows or years of hard labor because Booth, their charismatic leader, sucked these poor impressionable souls into his insane plot.

After writing 8 historicals set in England and New York City, I wanted to indulge my passion for Lincoln-lore. I began researching in depth about Lincoln’s life, his presidency, his role in the Civil War, and Booth’s plans to first kidnap him, and then to assassinate him. 

A NECESSARY END combined two genres I’m passionate about—history and paranormal. I joined The Surratt Society, based in Maryland, and attended their conferences and tours. Through the Surratt Society I met several Lincoln/Booth/Civil War experts. One lady I’ll never forget meeting is Marjorie “Peg” Page, who by all accounts except definitive DNA testing, is John Wilkes Booth’s great granddaughter. My trips to Lincoln's home and tomb in Springfield, Illinois, Gettysburg, Ford’s Theater, and the house he died in, Petersen House, brought me close to Mr. Lincoln’s spirit. My travels also acquainted me with Booth’s brother Edwin, the most famous actor of his time, and his unconventional family.  A recording of Edwin’s voice reciting Shakespeare on one of Edison’s wax cylinders still exists at :

My paranormal experience includes investigations at several haunted homes, restaurants and graveyards. I investigate with a group from Merrimack, NH, led by CC Carole, www.ccthehuntress.com. I’ve never seen a ghost, but I’ve received responses to my questions with my dowsing rods. Wishing I had my recorder with me, I made a ghost laugh at the Jumel Mansion in Harlem, New York City, (see the story and photos on my blog, www.dianarubinoauthor.blogspot.com)
Tragically, we’ll never hear Abraham Lincoln’s voice. But his spirit lives on. In my book, which is fiction--but we all know that novels are fictionalized truths--I gave Booth what was coming to him. He got his justice in real life, but in A NECESSARY END, he also got the paranormal twist he deserves.
And I enjoyed sticking it to him!
I paralleled the Shakespeare play Julius Caesar in this story because in the play, Caesar was known as a tyrant to the Senators, who feared losing their power, as Booth feared losing the Confederacy. Booth always considered Lincoln the tyrant, hence his proclamation ‘sic simper tyrannis’ (be it ever to tyrants) when he jumped to the stage after shooting Lincoln.

Caesar’s Senators, Brutus and Cassius among them, conspired to stab Caesar to death on an appointed day. Booth recruited a group of like-minded disciples to aid him in his insane plot, at first to kidnap Lincoln, then to kill him.

By day, Booth was a Confederate spy and courier, taking dangerous missions so that his beloved South could fight the North in the war that tore the nation in two. But in this story, an even darker secret plagues him–he believes he’s the reincarnation of Brutus, the man who slew the tyrant Caesar, and Booth’s destiny in this life is to murder the tyrant who’s ravaged the South—Abraham Lincoln. In obeying the spirit of Brutus, Booth devises a plot to assassinate the tyrant.

I wrote it as a paranormal instead of a straight historical novel because spirituality was extremely popular in 1865 and all throughout Victorian times. Mary Lincoln was a staunch spiritualist. So stricken with grief after the deaths of her boys Willie and Eddie, she hired mediums such as Nettie Maynard to visit the White House and hold séances in attempts to contact her boys from beyond the grave.

The extent of séances, table-tapping, Ouija boards, Tarot cards, and otherworldly activities in this era fit perfectly with the story I wanted to tell. We could never enter Booth’s head, but his insane behavior begs the question: was he truly haunted by a spirit who drove him to his heinous act that changed history forever?
Or was he simply insane?

Excerpt:

And I am Brutus, Marcus Brutus, I; Brutus, my country's friend; know me for Brutus!" Booth declared to the proud reflections in his three facing mirrors.
       The center mirror clouded over. Puzzled, he leaned into it to peer closer. His reflection faded as if the mirror were clear glass, and another human form took shape, becoming sharper as the mist faded. He was astonished to be looking into the face of a man whose eyes bored into his, pinning him with an unnerving stare. Booth took a step back, glancing to the left, then to the right, but his own reflections were moving right along with him. He focused once more on the stranger in the center, the Roman nose giving the weathered features distinction. He’d seen this face before, but where?
       The head nodded and the hint of a pleased smile curled the thin lips. Without so much as a word, the figure faded into the mirror’s eternal depths, and Booth was once again looking at his own astonished face.
       “Damn you! Who are you?” He pounded the mirror and it wavered, his image jerking back and forth with the moving glass.
       Exasperated, he turned away.
       “I’ll find out who you are if I die doing it.” He twirled around to face the mirror, seeing only his three perplexed reflections.



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 Review of A Necessary End
by Diana Rubino
I found this story most intriguing!

The story line, while partly paranormal is in my opinion, a most credible read.

I’m not saying this is what really happened, I’m only saying it reads as if it could be.

Now if you strongly don’t believe in spirits and ghost, then you probably won’t enjoy this story. But if you are open minded that some mediums are credible and some ghosts are real, then you’ll have a grand time.


What truly impressed me about this story were the details, many factual, which the author placed in her story. While some details might be fabricated from the authors’ imagination, it was written seriously and with painstaking factual detail embedded within the story to give the reader a sense of both reality and entertainment.
Reviewer: CLM