Review of a Custom Stencil from Lazer Designs



I've been wanting a Bewitching Book Tours logo stencil for a while. 

I've tried to get one created through a couple different vendors on Etsy but they always tell me the logo is too detailed or they can't do it for some reason or another. 

So when LazerDesigns contacted me about reviewing their custom stencils I was super excited to find out they could create a stencil with my business logo.

I received the stencil last week and had planned on testing it out over the weekend but life had other ideas. My craft room is a mess due to ongoing electrical work on the house. The electrical panels happen to be in my craft room. 😟

Hopefully, by the end of this week, it'll be done.

Unfortunately, I'm booked through mid-November so I probably won't get a chance to do any creative, crafty projects until late November or into December.

However, the stencil looks amazing. It feels sturdy and should hold up great for whatever paint I decide to use. And it should last through quite a few projects. I've had flimsier stencils that held up OK so I'm sure this one will survive whatever I put it through.

I'm planning on making a sign, a tote bag, and maybe a t-shirt. We'll see how it works out. I will post updates once projects are made. 

Thank you LazerDesigns for the perfect Bewitching Book Tours stencil.

5 Things NOT to Do While Ghost Hunting - Sea Mage by Louisa Bacio #HauntedHalloweenSpooktacular



5 Things NOT to Do While Ghost Hunting

By Louisa Bacio

Yes, I’ve done it – actually hunted for ghosts. I have no idea why it’s a thing when ghosts usually come to me. I’ve done tours in California, Savannah, San Antonio, Texas, and New Orleans. 

One hotspot that never fails to bring some spectral what-was-that moments is the Queen Mary in Long Beach. From slamming doors to words appearing on the mirror (yeah, I know it could have been the previous guest, but it’s still freaky) to that absolutely creepy empty pool below decks, the floating historical landmark is filled with potential for haunting.

So how about a what not to do while ghost hunting?

Here’s my list:

5) Wear Holy Water like eau de perfume, dabbed behind the ears. You are looking for ghosts, right? You don’t want to scare them away.

4) Sit in a darkened room, and inform the ghosts they’re allowed to “touch you” to let you know they’re there. (No joke! I went to an event with Amy from Ghost Hunters, and she actually called out this invitation!)

3) Invite the spectral inhabitants to travel home with you. My advice: Let them haunt wherever they currently live. Instead, I thank them for their presence, and actual say they are not welcomed to come with me.

2) Wear high heels. (Come on, we’ve all seen the horror movie. Sensible shoes, only, please!)

1) Duck under the sheets in a historical house. Probably frowned upon, and I expect the living will ask you to leave. 

Got any more tips? 

Sea Mage: The Nightshade Guild
Book 10 Multi-Author Series
Louisa Bacio

Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Celtic Hearts Press
Date of Publication: October 14, 2021
ASIN: B08L9RGGVS
Number of pages:120
Word Count: 25K
Cover Artist: B Creative Designs

Tagline: Take a SPLASH into a new paranormal romance. 

Book Description:

Never stand down

Serena Moon treats life like a beach goer taking in the ocean’s tide. It’s all serene until you turn your back for a second, and an errant waves knocks you on your ass. 

Know when you’re in over your head

When she’s entrusted with the safekeeping of the child elven queen, she enlists the help of mysterious — complete understatement— Peder, leader of the shifter sea dragons. Serena’s not sure what’s happening off the coast of SoCal but he’s got his own tricks. 

It’s gotta be safe

It’ll take more than magic and mastery of the sea to take on the evil darkness determined to capture the world’s salvation. Serena and Peder must conquer unknown enemies and the complexity of love everlasting to save their hearts.



About the Author:

Since selling her first short story in 2010, Louisa Bacio has published more than 40 novels, novellas and short stories, including the paranormal The Vampire, The Witch & The Werewolf series and Winter Solstice Ménage. Watch for her upcoming Sea Mage in The Nightshade Guild series.

A Southern California native, Bacio can’t imagine living far away from the ocean. She shares her household with a supportive husband, two teenagers growing too fast, and a multitude pet craziness. In her other life, Bacio teaches college classes in English, journalism and popular culture.








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Real Haunted Locations with Neely Powell- Roosevelt Island




It was a cool, clear September night when we boarded the Roosevelt Island Tramway, which is the oldest urban commuter tramway in America. Amazing views of New York City make it a wonderful ride.

One of the smaller islands around Manhattan, Roosevelt Island is named in honor of Franklin D. Roosevelt, is in the East River, and is about two miles long. The island has had several names because it was privately owned for many years. It’s now owned by the city of New York. 




It’s easy to believe the island is haunted. It was used for a prison and then several hospitals, including the New York City Lunatic Asylum. At one time, there were 1,700 patients at the asylum, about twice its capacity. What better place to house those you don’t want polite society to see?

This was the hospital reporter Nellie Bly infiltrated and exposed in her book, Ten Days in a Mad House. She wrote honestly of the maltreatment and woes of the patients from first-hand experience.

The smallpox hospital on the island was brside a research institute and played a role in developing the vaccine which effectively eradicated the disease by 1979. With government support, the Strecker Memorial Lab was sort of a mad scientist’s dream come true. There were all kinds of experiments, and lab subjects were nearby and easily accessible. It’s said many people “went missing” and many others died of “unknown causes,” but it was at the forefront of understanding many diseases and how they spread. Unfortunately, like Las Vegas, what happened on the island stayed on the island.

Our plan was to visit the grounds of the old smallpox hospital built in 1856. On the southernmost point of the island, the location was convenient for dropping off smallpox patients and retrieving bodies. Can you imagine the scene on the dock? As you’re taken off a boat to go to a hospital you hope will help you, the cargo going back to the city is the bodies of those who didn’t make it.

The tram to the island was full and the streets close to the station were bustling, but few people were near the hospital. The night was eerily quiet as we stood at the fence surrounding the building. The dark windows and crumbling facade made for a chilling and scary atmosphere.It was easy to imagine the spirits of the dead all around.

We hung around and took pictures as long as we could, but grew increasingly uncomfortable. This isn’t a place you want to be in the waning hours of the night with almost no one else in sight. 

The photo below was taken by Jan Powell. A ghosthunter told her it’s possible the tiny lights you see are ghostly orbs. They weren’t visible to us. 




Healing Magic
The Witches of New Mourne 
Book Three
Neely Powell 

Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Date of Publication: Oct. 18, 2021
ISBN Paperback: 978-1-5092-3960-3  
ISBN Digital: 978-1-5092-3961-0
ASIN: B09F3VX1PCB
Number of pages: 279
Word Count: 65,001 
Cover Artist: Debbie Taylor

Tagline: An empathic witch. A magical warrior. Joined by love, they battle a demon and an evil spirit.

Book Description:

Eva Grace Connelly is a witch and a beloved healer. Rodric McGuire, paranormal expert and descendent of faerie warriors, adores the flame-haired beauty. But their future is on hold as a family curse threatens her life. 

Centuries ago, the Witches of New Mourne struck a dark bargain with the Woman in White. In exchange for peace, the malevolent spirit takes a Connelly witch from each generation. 

Eva Grace is convinced she can heal the ghost's troubled spirit and end the reign of terror. But violence and family heartbreak challenge that resolve. As Samhain approaches, the Woman and her vile demon have control. 

Is sacrifice the only road to peace? Can Eva Grace and Rodric uncover the secrets and lies at the heart of the curse?

Amazon     BN

Excerpt 2:

Eva Grace put her hand against the elderly woman’s chest and chanted quietly.

Rodric watched Inez’s color improve.

“Better?” Eva Grace asked.

“Yes, thank you. Now I have something for you.” Inez produced a little velvet bag. “This belonged to my husband Craig. The fae helped him find it.”
Her hands trembling, Inez opened the bag. The arrowhead she held out was of creamy stone and perfectly shaped. The tip was honed to a fine point.

Inez placed the arrowhead in Eva Grace’s palm.  “The day your mother was taken, Craig got out this arrowhead. He held it and cried like a baby. He wouldn’t tell me why. But he was a Connelly, and he had a good sense of magic and of danger. He told me to guard it until I knew it was time to share the power.”

Eva Grace stared down at the arrowhead.

“It’s time,” Inez whispered. “Only you can find the answers.”

The arrowhead glowed, becoming almost translucent. Eva Grace closed her fingers around it and swayed.

Rodric placed his hand on her shoulder. He felt a ripple of magic. She looked up at him, her face alight with beauty and strength.

The front door banged open, followed by a burst of cold wind that extinguished the fire.

“Hide it,” Inez warned Eva Grace. “Now.”

She stuffed the arrowhead in the top of her boot.



About the Author:

Leigh Neely and Jan Hamilton Powell are the writing team of Neely Powell. They met working at a rock ‘n roll radio station, discovered they’d both rather be writing fiction, and have been close friends ever since. Their path to cowriting paranormal romance took some detours. 

Leigh’s resume chronicles a diverse career as a disk jockey, newspaper reporter, advertising copywriter, magazine writer and editor. Jan wrote 24 romance novels as Celeste Hamilton for Silhouette and Avon Books and then built a career in corporate communications and public relations. 

Neely Powell became a successful team when they turned their attention to shifters, werewolves, witches, ghosts, fae and all things supernatural. 

Their first novel was TRUE NATURE from The Wild Rose Press, followed by AWAKENING MAGIC and HAUNTING MAGIC. The Witches of New Mourne trilogy will conclude in October 2021 with HEALING MAGIC. 

Their rules for maintaining a partnership are simple:  be honest, be kind, and bring Diet Coke and chocolate.









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Spooktacular Halloween Recipes with Lara Bernhardt #HauntedHalloweenSpooktacular



It’s the most wonderful time of the year! And, no, I don’t mean Christmas. Halloween is my absolute favorite holiday! I love the spooky shivers that accompany ghosts, graveyards, Jack-o’-lanterns, cobwebs, and haunted houses. As a young girl, I remember clearly how much I looked forward to dressing up in costumes too—and back then we had those horrible plastic masks that covered our entire faces, held on by elastic cord, with slits for eyes and mouth.

One year I recruited my younger sister’s assistance and made a DIY haunted house for my younger brothers. We transformed our bathroom into a terrifying experience (in my young mind anyway). Peeled grapes were “eyeballs” and cooked pasta “intestines.”

Once I had them thoroughly creeped out, my sister, hiding in the bathtub with a flashlight, all in black and with my pretty decent makeup job transforming her into a ghastly entity, lit the flashlight below her face and yelled, “Boo!” My brothers screamed and I got in big trouble. I considered it a huge success.  In middle school, I was allowed to host a party for friends and that remains one of my favorite Halloween memories. I dressed as a Southern belle, complete with a real hoopskirt (from goodness knows where!) and a fancy frock that would have made Scarlet O’Hara’s green eyes flash with envy. I swirled around the house serving witch’s brew and Halloween Jell-O cake (recipes below) while Halloween music played in the background.

Later in high school, my parents had moved, and our new house had a barn in the back. I made invitations and went all out with decorations in the barn, lining the walls with haystacks to sit on. Friends arrived and we primarily sat and chatted and ate snacks I’d put together while listening to music.

My dad crept across the backyard to the barn with his old chainsaw, blade removed, intent on truly scaring us by running through the darkened barn like something out of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Sadly, the chainsaw never fired up, though perhaps this was for the best.

These days, I dress up and enjoy the evening but rarely even see Trick-or-Treaters. I miss the thrill of Halloweens gone by but channel my love of all things supernatural into my book series. Happy Halloween!!


Witch’s Brew Recipe

1 quart of lime sherbet
2-liter bottle of 7-Up, Sprite, or Ginger Ale
Optional: one can of pineapple juice + ¼ cup lime juice

Mix together the lime sherbet and soda of your choice just before serving. Watch the brew froth and foam! You can add juice to your liking and even add some dry ice chips if you really want to set a creepy mood.



Halloween Jell-O Cake Recipe

1 white cake mix
1 cup boiling water
1 pkg Jell-O gelatin (orange, grape, or both)
½ cup cold water
1 tub Cool Whip
Food coloring and sprinkles if desired


—Bake the cake as directed on the box. Cool for at least 15 minutes. Use a large fork to poke holes throughout the cooled cake.

—Add the boiling water to the gelatin. (My mom used both orange and grape to marble the colors but you can opt for only orange or whatever you prefer.) Stir until dissolved. Add the cold water and pour over the cake. Refrigerate for 3 hours.

—Use food coloring to tint Cool Whip if desired and then spread over cake. Refrigerate another hour and decorate with sprinkles as desired just before serving.


The Wantland Files
Book One
Lara Bernhardt

Genre: supernatural suspense
Publisher: Admission Press
Date of Publication: December 16, 2016
ISBN: 978-0998426105
ASIN: B081RFTMR5
Number of pages: 286
Word Count: 73,470
Cover Artist: BEAUTeBOOK

Tagline: She sees dead people. He doesn’t believe in ghosts.

Book Description: 

The X-Files meets Ghost Hunters when psychic Kimberly Wantland is forced to collaborate with skeptic Sterling Wakefield as she investigates a ghost terrorizing a young family in the season finale of her hit television series The Wantland Files.


Excerpt:

The frigid blast hit her, not a tidal wave crashing over her, but an iceberg, solid and powerful. And furious.

The icy shock took her breath away. She gasped.

The entity dropped from above and sailed past, blowing her hair behind her.
Strong, warm hands grasped her arms, intent on steadying her. She shook free as Drew screamed.

“I told you to stay with the boy!” She crossed the room in three steps and knelt beside the toddler bed.

Drew no longer sat in the corner.

“Kimmy? What’s happening?” Michael called from the door.

“Just keep recording! She’s here. She’s powerful. Keep the cameras rolling.”

Danielle’s voice joined the fray. “What’s wrong? Drew! What’s happening?”

“Stay in your room,” she commanded as forcefully as she could with lungs chilled by the dark entity. “Stay with your baby!”

Her fingers trembled as she searched the bed. Every square inch of the miniature thing. Her chilled hands were not so numb that they would miss a toddler’s body. Where was he?

Frantic and scared, she lost control of her extrasensory perceptions. She stopped running her hands over the bed and held still. Clutching her crystal, she breathed deeply. Where was the entity? Where was the boy?




About the Author: 

Lara Bernhardt is a Pushcart-nominated writer, editor, and audiobook narrator. She is Editor-in-Chief of Balkan Press and also publishes a literary magazine, Conclave. Twice a finalist for the Oklahoma Book Award for Best Fiction, she writes supernatural suspense and women’s fiction. 

You can follow her on all the socials @larawells1 on Twitter and @larabern10 on Facebook, BookBub, and Instagram. 











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Celia Breslin's 2021 Halloween Viewing Picks #HauntedHalloweenSpooktacular #PNR



Celia’s 2021 Halloween Viewing Picks

My family watches (and binge-watches!) paranormal shows year-round, but especially during Halloween month. Here are our top ten recommendations for Halloween this year. 

* Ash vs. Evil Dead: a comedy horror series with the fabulous Bruce Campbell as Ash, our hero with a chainsaw arm.

* Castle Rock: Stephen King fans, check out this super creepy psychological horror series.

* Daybreak:  A fun, comedy adventure set in a post-apocalyptic world with teens battling zombies.

* The Expanse: a science fiction series that’s both crime drama and political thriller, with war tension, a missing person, and a shocking conspiracy.

* The Haunting of Bly Manor: wonderfully creepy gothic horror, ghost story set in a gorgeous, scary mansion.

* The Irregulars: A supernatural crime drama set in Victorian London, with a band of misfits, Dr. Watson, Sherlock Holmes, and assorted troublesome, supernatural beings.

* Locke and Key: spooky fantasy series in which three siblings deal with magical reality-warping keys, demons, and superpowers.

* Stranger Things: outstanding science-fiction horror with spunky kids, secret government antics, and creepy creatures.

* The Umbrella Academy: fantastic fantasy adventure series in which seven adopted siblings with superpowers deal with family drama, time travel, and saving the world.

* The Witcher: don’t miss the adventures of Geralt, our sexy, handsome, and fierce monster hunter as he navigates a dark fantasy world fraught with peril.

Happy viewing!


Eva’s Homecoming
Heartland Fae 
Book One
Celia Breslin

Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Celia Breslin 
Date of Publication: February 2022 
ISBN: 9798201153793
Number of pages: 79 
Word Count: 21K 
Cover Artist: VWZDesigns 

Tagline: A curse stole her away. Can true love lead her home?

Book Description:

After several years away for school and work, Eva O’Reilly is finally home. The West coast was fine, but her heart belongs to the Heartland and the town she grew up in. Sadly, with her mother’s sudden passing and no other living relatives, Eva is alone. And hurting.

Angus of the Tuatha Dé Danaan is elated his one true love has finally returned, and he’s determined to win her heart all over again. There are just two problems: she can’t see him or remember the Fae folk even exist.

As Eva mourns, Angus fights to dispel the veil keeping them apart. With the aid of a gang of flower fairies and the kindly elderly Wiccan next door, these cursed lovers may well receive a second chance at their happily forever after…

Currently appears in the anthology Flip The Trope: Romance Gone Wild

Novella Release February 2022


Anthology available at Books to Read  

Amazon     BN     Kobo     Apple

Excerpt

Angus stood in the center of the garden, throat tight and burning, a huge gulp of air trapped in his lungs.

Around him, a dozen diminutive flower fairies cavorted among the flora, chortling with glee. “She’s here, she’s here, our Eva is here!”

His gaze targeted the back door, body taut as he awaited his first glimpse of the female he loved. The only one he would ever love. Mo chroí, my heart. My heart walks the world, outside my body. “Come back to me.”

His voice was barely audible above the incessant chatter of the flower fairies. “We sang to her. She heard us! She liked it.”

“Hush,” he commanded, and they fell silent, vibrating with gleeful anticipation.

Seven years without her. The longest, loneliest bloody years of his basically eternal existence…

[…]

Eva stared out at the yard with haunted, brown eyes. Dark circles like the ones she’d sported months ago at the wake and funeral marred the perfection of her milky skin. He wanted to lay gentle kisses on her eyelids, nip the tip of her nose with its light dusting of freckles, lave her lips with his tongue then push it between those perfect lips…

“See me, Eva,” he whispered.

“See us,” Rosina echoed.

Eva cocked her head and touched her ear as if in response to their words. The incessant giggling of the flower fairies ceased, an expectant hush falling over the garden.

Though consumed with sorrow, Eva surveyed the yard with appreciation. Angus and the flower fairies had been tending to the yard and garden since she’d left. There was little to be done in the winter months but in the Fall, they’d trimmed and raked, then planted, pruned, and watered in Spring and Summer. Jasmine, lavender, and other blooming plants scented the air, and he watched his female take a deep breath.

Her shoulders seemed to lose some tension as she took in the neatly trimmed yard and carefully curated garden. “It’s perfect,” she said.

Angus’s heart swelled with pride at a job well done only to stutter in agony when her lovely brown eyes lingered on the central spot where he stood yet looked right through him.

“No. No, no, no,” he whispered. See me this time, Eva. Let the curse be gone.

Mrs. Murphy joined Eva near the door. “He tended it for you. From the moment you went off to school.”

“What?” Eva scanned the yard, then returned her attention to the spot where he stood surrounded by the flower fairies, all of them quivering with excitement.

“The garden, girl. He looked after it for you.”

Lines formed in Eva’s forehead, and her attention shifted to Mrs. Murphy. “I don’t understand, who did?”

He bowed his head and rubbed his brow. Each time she returns she still cannot See. My fault. All of this. Mine.


About the Author:

Celia lives in California with her husband, daughter, and two feisty cats. She writes urban fantasy and paranormal romance, and has a particular fondness for werewolves, vampires, and the Fae. When not writing, you’ll find Celia exercising, reading a good book, hanging with her family, or indulging her addiction to fantasy TV shows and movies.








 


 




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Urbantasm Book Three The Darkest Road by Connor Coyne #YA #MagicalRealism #TeenNoir


An excerpt from Urbantasm, Book Three: The Darkest Road:

I didn’t have a lot of time to put a costume together, but I dressed in black, combed my hair down as flat and straight as it would go, put on a dark pair of my tea shades, and some old lady rings my Grandmother Richter had given my mother. I wrote “OZZY” across the knuckles of both hands.
“That’s your costume?” my mother asked.
“The taste of bats is really salty!” I barked. “Really salty!”
When I hopped into Chris’ minivan, Shannon gave a snort at my costume. He had dyed his hair green and was wearing green plastic gloves. He held a huge coil of chicken-wire, wrapped in green ribbon across his lap.
I said, “What’s –”
“Sea serpent,” he said.
Chris had gone for a minimalist costume: a knife thrust into one side of his head and out the other, with blood dripping down his scalp and from the corners of his mouth. Nova wore a skeleton costume. Majenta, sitting in the way back, seemed to be dressed no differently than usual.
“What’s your costume?” I asked her.
“I’m a bat,” she said.
“Baller.”
We talked strategy on our way north, and Chillout Chris weirded me out with his ice-cold battle tactics.
“There’ll be a lot of little kids,” he was saying, “but they’re slow. They’ll be like in packs with their parents, and they’ll stick to the sidewalks. So, what we do is we cut across the lawns. That way, we can get up on the porch before they do, even if they’re ahead of us.”
“Brutal, man,” said Nova.
“I’m going to get so much fucking candy tonight,” said Chris. “And I’m gonna eat it all before tomorrow.”
Majenta didn’t say much. I couldn’t tell whether she was just her usual sullen self or if she objected to my presence on Omara’s behalf. It was hard for me to believe Chris that nobody cared about the break-up.
“Hey,” I said, “you invited Omara, right?”
I imagined Majenta rolling her eyes behind me.
“Yeah, we invited her!” said Chris. “‘I’m too old for that!’ she said.” Chris’ derision of Omara’s derision came through in his high-pitched imitation of her voice. “Ken would’ve come, but his dad needs his help at some event their family is hosting in Detroit or something.”
“What about Justin?”
“I haven’t seen Justin lately.”
When we started, the sun was still shining through the tattered hems of the clouds, casting its weak light upon the last of the leaves. Silver maples. Street after broad street had already filled with kids in costumes – Power Rangers, Batman and Robin, Will Smith and Carlton Banks, the Penguin and Catwoman, the occasional Barney – and they waddled just ahead of their parents from house to house. I expected to catch some dirty looks, but I didn’t. Yeah, we were old for trick-or-treaters, but at least we were wearing costumes. At least we weren’t pushing the little kids around. At least we didn’t trample the parkway beds of cabbage, pansies, and mums. Some of the kids trick-or-treating were older than we were. Some of them were stubble-chinned adults, plastic Hefty sacks stretched wide, cigarettes dangling from the fingers.
“Trick-or-treat!” they growled.
And they received their candy and moved on. There was an unspoken truth in the air. Anderson Park was a money neighborhood, and none of our neighborhoods were money neighborhoods. So Anderson Park got its snow plowed, its trash picked up on time, and life was good enough there that they were able to worry about things like which trees the city cut down, and whether feral cats were murdering baby bunnies. Not whether live electrical wires dangled through the trees, or whether you’d get chased down the street by murderous dogs, or whether the vacant house next door would explode in the middle of the night because nobody had turned off the gas after the last eviction. And so, on one night of the year, Halloween Night, the rest of Akawe went knocking door to door and collected its poverty tax in Snickers and KitKats. Anderson Park paid up, and didn’t fuss about it too much.
The longer we were out, the more people packed into the neighborhood, with lines of kids running from the porches to the sidewalks. We saw Wednesdays and Pugsleys, Leonardos, Michelangelos, Donatellos, and Raphaels, sometimes sporting shells made from green-painted trash can lids, Splinters and Quailmen, plenty of devils, an angel or two, Vito Corleone and Marlon Brando, Woody Harrelson and Buzz Lightyear, a Sufi and some Indian princesses, a lich holding his demilich buddy in his hand as he went, swinging it like a lantern, the usual motley of vampires, ghosts, clowns, witches, and Frankenstein monsters, a band of dancing zombies, a Cher Sarkisian, and a Cher Horowitz.
While a few sullen houses greeted us with lightless windows and drawn curtains, most of the porches glowed with pumpkins, candles, Tiki torches, faux cemeteries with cheeky epitaphs – “Izzy Dead” and “Barry D. Live” – and scarecrows planted among the gourds and cornstalks, and manic spectres with flickering eyes running from second-story windows down to the lawn, and howling demons, rattling bones, broomsticks, and evil trees.
My friends and I ranged up and down the fanciest streets. On Red Arrow, at an angular mansion of raw stones and slate shingles, with a copper conservatory at the back like the house from Clue, we got the hugest Butterfingers and 3 Musketeers bars. 
In front of a more ordinary house on Peterson, an Evil Dead shack that Quanla would have admired had been erected in the front yard, while a man revved a (chainless) chainsaw and roared dismembering threats at the local kids while his wife dropped handfuls of candies in their sacks and pillowcases.
Across the street, an experimental Christian congregation had set up a pavilion where they gave away popcorn and hot cider to the kids, and beer to the adults, and tiny stapled tracts for everybody. 
“I’m gonna try for a beer!” said Nova.
“Don’t waste our time,” snapped Chris. “It’s getting late. There’s still candy to get got, but we’ve only got a half-hour left!”
The neighborhood got wild in the last minutes of trick-or-treating.
The sun went down and the temperature dropped. Sharp and gusting wind became rain, then sleet, then snow. A lot of parents, not wanting to get out of their cars in this mess, idled down the streets alongside their kids going door to door. It all turned into a traffic jam amid the narrow streets. A few parents got fed up with waiting and drove over the curbs and across lawns as the last of the trick-or-treaters dove out of their way.
“This shit’s getting nuts,” said Nova. “Wanna head back? My bag’s full, and people are running out of candy anyway.”
Everyone agreed except Chris. Chris would’ve kept on trick-or-treating until November 1st if he could have.
“It’s good to be high on life,” he said. “It’s better to be high on sugar.”
But we’d gotten turned around. The streets of Anderson Park twisted around parks, streams, and parkways. It didn’t help that the porch lights were all out, now that almost every house had exhausted its cache of candy. Nearly all of the remaining light came from the taillights of angry cars trying to escape from the neighborhood.
We thought we were making our way back toward South Street and Chris’ minivan, but we must have gone the wrong way because we found ourselves away from the crowds and approaching the expressway.
“I want to go this way,” said Majenta.
She was standing at the mouth of a slim drive – barely a road – that turned and vanished between tall, skeletal trees.
“That is not going to get us back to the car,” said Shannon.
“Is it even safe?” asked Chris.
Majenta scoffed.
“It’s Anderson Park,” she said.
Nova laughed.
“Vote?” said Majenta.
“No way,” said Chris. 
Shannon shook his head.
“I’m cold,” he said. “That’s two of us, Maj.”
“Okay. All in favor? Come on, who wants to?” asked Majenta.
I was cold. I was tired. But I also wanted to score some easy points with Majenta. Maybe she’d tell Omara how dope I’d been during trick-or-treating.
I raised my hand.
Nova imitated me, straining for heaven like a first-grader who just aced his spelling quiz and knows all the shit in the world.
Majenta flashed a rare smile.
“The Salty Allard Brothers vs. the Rest of Us. We’re going.”
The asphalt track cut between the overhanging trees and vines, all of them leaf naked, before dumping us in a frosted parking lot. Anderson Park was one of Akawe’s “rich” neighborhoods. And this was a country club. But now it was, like seemingly everything else, abandoned. The stripped tennis courts had been riven by wide cracks packed with gray weeds. The old clubhouse had been incinerated, nothing left but a Stonehenge of blackened columns. Someone had dumped an old couch at the end of the parking lot, and it was rapidly being covered with a coat of rimey snow. Beyond all of this stretched a golf course, all of it waist-deep in dead grass and studded with yearning cottonwoods, and watched over by the ever-blinking red lights of distant radio towers.
“I know where we are, yo,” said Nova. “My uncle used to go golfing down here. This is Ruth Golf Course. I didn’t know it was shut down, though.”
“Looks like it’s been shut down a while,” said Shannon.
“It’s beautiful,” said Majenta.
All I could think was that – yes – this was beautiful, and here I was on another – accidental – nightwalk, but Omara wasn’t here, and why isn’t Omara here? Then I remembered. She’s at home studying. She’s too old for trick-or-treating. And also, she dumped me.
I kicked a mound of snow. Majenta looked at me.
“It is beautiful,” I said.
She blessed me with another smile, but I knew that her mere smiles wouldn’t put me back together with Omara.
I swallowed some snot and my throat hurt. I could feel myself getting sick as we walked. It was time to come in out of the cold.


Urbantasm Book Three
The Darkest Road
Connor Coyne

Genre: General Fiction / Young Adult
Subgenres: Magical Realism, Teen Noir, Edgy YA
Publisher: Gothic Funk Press
Date of Publication: 9/22/2021
ISBN: 978-0989920292 (Print)
Page Count 639
Word Count: About 230,000
Cover Artist: Sam Perkins-Harbin

Urbantasm: The Empty Room is the third book in the magical teen noir serial novel inspired by the author’s experiences growing up in and around Flint, Michigan. It will be published in September, 2021.

Junior high was hard. John Bridge has made and lost friends, experienced and forsaken love, and discovered his true passions. But after his harrowing experience on the roof of St. Christopher’s hospital, John has decided to turn the page of his own life and plan for his future. Now he has new friends, a new girlfriend, and a powerful new goal: to get into Chicago and leave Akawe forever.

But Akawe might not want to let John go. The city is full of memories and ghosts — urbantasms, according his former friend Selby — and they leave traces of questions that John cannot easily escape: What happened to his abducted classmate Cora Braille? How does the Chalks street gang keep replenishing its stock of O-Sugar, a drug with seemingly magical properties? And why is Selby suddenly hanging out with a notorious drug dealer? Does it have anything to do with a man with a knife or some mysterious blue sunglasses?

John has a feeling that the dreadful answers to these questions might take him to a place that he does not want to go: a dark road in a forgotten corner of his dying city. Possibly the darkest road of all.


As a serial novel, Urbantasm has to be read in order. 
New readers will want to start with Book One The Dying City.
 
Urbantasm Book Two
The Empty Room
Connor Coyne

Publisher: Gothic Funk Press
Date of Publication: September 2019      
Number of pages:
Word Count: 175,000      
Cover Artist: Sam Perkins-Harbin, Forge22 Design

Book Description:  

Urbantasm: The Empty Room is the second book in the magical teen noir serial novel inspired by the author’s experiences growing up in and around Flint, Michigan.

John Bridge is only two months into junior high and his previously boring life has already been turned upside-down. His best friend has gone missing, his father has been laid-off from the factory, and John keeps looking over his shoulder for a mysterious adversary: a man with a knife and some perfect blue sunglasses.

As if all this wasn’t bad enough, John must now confront his complicated feelings for a classmate who has helped him out of one scrape after another, although he knows little about who she is and what she wants. What does it mean to want somebody? How can you want them if you don’t understand them? Does anybody understand anyone, ever? These are hard questions made harder in the struggling city of Akawe, where the factories are closing, the schools are closing, the schools are crumbling, and even the streetlights can’t be kept on all night.

John and his friends are only thirteen, but they are fighting for their lives and futures. Will they save Akawe, will they escape, or are they doomed? They might find their answers in an empty room… in a city with ten thousand abandoned houses, there will be plenty to choose from.



Urbantasm Book One
The Dying City
Connor Coyne
            
Genre: YA, Magical Realism, New Adult, Teen Noir, Lit Fic
Publisher: Gothic Funk Press
Date of Publication: September 6, 2018
ISBN: 978-0989920230
ASIN: 0989920232
Number of pages: 450 pages
Word Count: 85,000
Cover Artist: Sam Perkins-Harbin,
Forge22 Design

Book Description:

Urbantasm is a magical teen noir serial novel inspired by the author’s experiences growing up in and around Flint, Michigan.

Thirteen-year-old John Bridge’s plans include hooking up with an eighth-grade girl and becoming one of the most popular kids at Radcliffe Junior High, but when he steals a pair of strange blue sunglasses from a homeless person, it drops him into the middle of a gang war overwhelming the once-great Rust Belt town of Akawe.

John doesn’t understand why the sunglasses are such a big deal, but everything, it seems, is on the table. Perhaps he accidentally offended the Chalks, a white supremacist gang trying to expand across the city. Maybe the feud involves his friend Selby, whose father died under mysterious circumstances. It could even have something to do with O-Sugar, a homegrown drug with the seeming ability to distort space. On the night before school began, a group of teenagers took O-Sugar and leapt to their deaths from an abandoned hospital.

John struggles to untangle these mysteries while adjusting to his new school, even as his parents confront looming unemployment and as his city fractures and burns.

 “A novel of wonder and horror.”— William Shunn, author of The Accidental Terrorist




About the Author:

Connor Coyne is a writer living and working in Flint, Michigan.

His serial novel Urbantasm is winner of numerous awards. Hugo- and Nebula-nominee William Shunn has praised Urbantasm as “a novel of wonder and horror.”
Connor has also authored two other celebrated novels, Hungry Rats and Shattering Glass, as well as Atlas, a collection of short stories.

Connor’s essay “Bathtime” was included in the Picador anthology Voices from the Rust Belt. His work has been published by Vox.comBelt MagazineSanta Clara Review, and elsewhere. 

Connor is Director of Gothic Funk Press.  He has served on the planning committee for the Flint Festival of Writers and represented Flint’s 7th Ward as its artist-in-residence for the National Endowment for the Arts’ Our Town grant. In 2007, he earned his Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from the New School.

Connor lives in Flint, Michigan less than a mile from the house where he grew up.

Urbantasm: http://urbantasm.com

Author Website: http://connorcoyne.com

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Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4218298.Connor_Coyne

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