Tag Archives: psychic ability

New Release Blitz: Cassadaga Nights by Jana Denardo

Cassadaga Nights | Jana Denardo

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Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: September 14, 2020

Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex

Length: 30,100

Buy Links:

NineStar Press | Amazon

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Blurb

Santino Bellomi and his coworker, Cam, are sent to Cassadaga, Florida by the Aspida Pneuma, a group of psychics and mages. Their job is to rescue a nixie from a polluted lake and to check out the town, which is known for its psychics. New recruits to the Aspida are always welcome and where better than a spiritualist camp to hunt for them? What Santino wants most, however, is to finish the assignment quickly. He isn’t a fan of heat and humidity, and he’d looking forward to a well-earned vacation once the mission is over.

Ryan Doyle grew up in Cassadaga, where being psychic runs in the family. Ryan has never roamed far from home, though it’s hard being a geeky gay, wannabe urban fantasy author living in a small town. His job as one of the town psychics is fairly routine until he meets someone new. Ryan has never encountered anyone with a psychic shield so strong until Santino sits down for a reading. Intrigued, he asks Santino out even though Santino is as secretive as he is fun.

Santino hopes to win Ryan over both for himself and for the Aspida. And he’s hoping his skills in the kitchen will swing the balance in his favor. Ryan has almost given up on finding love, living in rural Florida. Can a seductive tourist be the answer to his dreams?

Things never run smoothly for those in the Aspida. What should have been a simple rescue mission is plagued by mosquitoes, enraged ghosts, and someone or something draining residents of their life force. Ryan’s first foray into adventure may be his last.

Excerpt

Cassadaga Nights
Jana Denardo © 2020
All Rights Reserved

Ryan drew his shield over himself, letting his psychic senses dampen down. All day, most days, he dropped his armor, walking around exposed, vulnerable on all sides to the flood of stimuli. Such was the life of a professional psychic. He was unable to cut himself off when he was on the job. His clients depended on his abilities. While he could cold read a person to give Houdini a run for his money, Ryan was the real deal when it came to being psychic. Houdini would have had a helluva time debunking his abilities.

Here at home, safe in his fortress of solitude, Ryan armored up, drawing upon his psychic shields. He could rest, letting his senses recharge. Elsie—one of the original inhabitants of the town in the 1890s—had been the only thing able to penetrate his shields. The books on his bookcase rattled alerting him that Elsie, his boisterous ghost, had noted his return.

Ryan double-checked the setting on the air conditioning in his tiny Harmony Hall apartment. He might have been born and raised in Cassadaga, but it didn’t mean he loved Florida summers. That said, the air conditioner sat at an acceptable temperature, but inside, the heat stifled him. He turned on the old fan from the 1930s, the kind with barely a whisper of a guard surrounding it, and aimed it at his computer. Only the force of the wind coming out of the fan kept Kuro from jamming his paws into it to catch the blades. His cat didn’t like his fur mussed.

Ryan drew the curtains where his apartment overlooked the Cassadaga Hotel before stripping off his shorts. There, he was as naked as he could get without removing skin, and he was still too hot. He crammed into the cramped shower and ducked his head under the faucet, wetting his hair. Afterward, he strolled into the kitchen, poured himself an iced tea, and rubbed the cool glass across his nipples a few times in a vain attempt to lower his body temperature.

Finally, giving up, Ryan returned to his computer and let the ancient fan and his wet hair act as a swamp cooler. Acclimatize my ass. In quiet moments like this, Ryan was sure he heard the mildew growing on his skin in the humidity. He streamed some indie music and opened up a story file. After a day of work, he enjoyed doing what he’d actually gone to school for: writing.

Unfortunately, his career as an urban fantasy writer hadn’t taken off yet, so he was still in the family business. Much to the endless and completely irrational irritation of his sister, Mary. Ryan didn’t quite get it. She’d been vicious in claiming their mother’s house as her own to do readings in, following their mother’s path. Their whole family possessed psychic abilities, as did many others in Cassadaga, a Spiritualist commune.

Ryan didn’t understand why he couldn’t share the house with Mary, but she was having none of it. She’d been pissed off he’d been accepted into Harmony Hall after proving his abilities worthy of the honor. One had to be psychic to rent there. It bemused him that his only living relative didn’t want much to do with him, and it wasn’t because he was gay. Mary didn’t give a crap about his sexuality. No, she didn’t like the fact that his psychic abilities equaled hers.

Shoving Mary from his mind, Ryan tried to get into his story, but the day’s worries bled into his consciousness. Tomorrow, a big open house would have trainees doing half-price readings at the Davis Center, and he’d have to oversee Lisa, his trainee. It was fun, in a way, interacting with the public, and many turned out for the half-price offering. But surely there was more he could be doing with his ability.

A vague disappointment dogged Ryan because he hadn’t thought to do the psychic TV thing. He assumed they started out legit, but ratings and pressure from the shows’ money men probably quickly led to faking results. Sure, some of them did fake stuff. He’d been on more ghost hunts than he could count. No one got so many results every time, and demons didn’t really lurk around every corner. Oh, he didn’t discount demons—but to have house after house filled with them? He had his doubts. He didn’t want to contribute to all the charlatan acts out there. He was the real deal.

Sighing, he gave up for a moment and tried to clear his head with a little internet therapy. Of course the internet was as big a bane to his writing as it was an asset to his research. He checked out a tarot card Kickstarter using some truly gorgeous art and sighed again. The goal hadn’t quite been reached yet, but hopefully soon. He planned to add them to his collection. His last acquisition had been a steampunk deck almost too pretty to use. Tarot cards were the one thing he collected outside of manga. Ryan had reluctantly put his books into storage because his apartment was too small, and he’d moved to e-books, which didn’t have the same appeal. Still, his hating on the e-book afforded him nothing. He planned to sell some one day.

Elsie fluttered in the corner of his eye like black butterflies dancing in and out of the ceiling fan blades. When he turned his attention to her, she smiled, waved, and faded away, content she’d gotten his attention. Rolling his eyes, Ryan turned to his computer. He goofed off on the internet for a little while longer before getting back to his fantasy world. He’d left his warrior witch in a rough spot. He probably ought to have her save herself.

About the Author

Jana is Queen of the Geeks (her students voted her in), and her home and office are shrines to any number of comic book and manga heroes along with SF shows and movies too numerous to count. It’s no coincidence that the love of all things geeky has made its way into many of her stories.

To this day, she’s disappointed she hasn’t found a wardrobe to another realm, a superhero to take her flying among the clouds, or a roguish starship captain to run off to the stars with her.

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Cassadaga Nights Now Available

Release Blitz: Power Inversion by Sara Codair

Power Inversion | Sara Codair

Evanstar Chronicles #2

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Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: Monday, June 22nd, 2020

Length: 84,000

Cover Artist: Natasha Snow

Buy Links:

Publisher: https://ninestarpress.com/product/power-inversion/

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08BF1KP2C

B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/power-inversion-sara-codair/1137213317?ean=2940164399986

Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/50517249-power-inversion

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Blurb

Do you have to be a monster to fight one?

Erin Evanstar is a demon hunter, a protector of humanity from nightmarish predators that feed on people’s fears and flesh. They are settling into their dual life of being a teen and hunting demons.

When a tentacled horror abducts Erin’s partner, José, Erin and their family go on the hunt to get him back. But Erin gets an ultimatum: help the Fallen Angels bring on the apocalypse or watch José die. Erin will do anything to save José, but fighting monsters comes with a grim price–becoming one themselves.

Trigger Warnings: Violence, Death, Death of a Minor Character, Temporary Death of a Main Character, Mention of Past Abuse, Mention of Miscarriage, Pregnancy of Side Character, Self-harm, Suicidal Ideation, Guns, Grief, Kidnapping/abduction, alcohol use, brief depiction of humans enslaved by a supernatural creature

Excerpt

White graduation caps fell from the sky like flakes of vaporized Demon. High school was a beast, and I’d vanquished it like every monster I’d fought, with one exception—myself.

This moment deserved savoring.

Breathing deliberately, I slowed my perception of time until the caps seemed as if they were falling through cold honey on their way to the ground.

The late-spring sun beat down on me, but a breeze kept the temperature bearable. Some tassels lilted southeast—away from the towering clouds bruising the northwest sky. The weather wasn’t going to hold much longer, but I was okay with that. Thunderstorms awoke something wild in me—a pulse-racing, dance-around-like-no-one-can-see-you kind of wild—a rush of adrenaline almost as good as what I’d get from battling a Troll or sparring with Mel.

With my sense of time slowed down, the distant thunder sounded like a lion purring. The clouds glowed purple as lightning forked through them like an X-ray, temporarily revealing a mass of tentacles undulating in the clouds.

Mel, did you see that? I thought as loudly as I could, hoping my telepathic cousin would hear me.

I’d seen a lot of different Demons in the three months I’d been hunting them, but based on the stories and the Lexicon, the massive tentacled ones only materialized in oceans, and they certainly could not fly. Yet, every time lightning flashed, there they were, waving as if violent updrafts were a gentle breeze.

My heart sped up. My hands closed into fists. Mel didn’t reply.

I shut my eyes, opening my mind so I could feel all the energy around me. Most humans were blobs of buzzing heat, but Mel, a hybrid of human, Angel, and Elf, had a hotter, more intense aura with a spritz of simultaneously depressed and optimistically peppy texture. I found her near my Elven grandmother, who felt like a condensed thunderstorm.

Mel? Niben? Can you hear me? Did you see that?

Of course, there was a good chance they were both shielding. What telepath would have their mind open to other people’s thoughts when there were so many other people around?

One who hasn’t been able to properly shield in months. Mel’s melodic yet squeaky voice was a welcome presence in my mind. Shut down the hyper drive. You’re giving me a headache.

I exhaled over the course of ten seconds, willing my sense of time back to normal.

A garbled din of stretched-out voices morphed to something more akin to a clattering avalanche of pots and pans. A shoulder jostled mine. The corner of a graduation cap crashed into my head.

Erin? What had you wanted to tell me?

There were tentacles in the clouds, I thought at Mel, turning in the general direction I sensed her in.

I crashed into José, who, of course, stood right next to me.

“You okay?” he asked. Tears glistened in his midnight eyes and trickled down his sun-kissed cheeks. One snagged on the crooked tip of his nose. He clutched two graduation caps, his and mine, so tight that the scars on his knuckles were visibly stretched.

“Yeah. Are you?” I wondered if I should tell him what I’d seen. He’d been hunting Demons longer than me, but he also thrived on keeping school and the supernatural as two separate entities. And what if they hadn’t been tentacles? What if the storm had just appeared that way with the lightning in slow motion? I didn’t want to ruin his day if there wasn’t an actual threat.

“I’ll miss everyone.” He stuffed the caps under his arms and hugged me. While I wanted to celebrate because I’d made it out alive, he mourned the loss of a place that had been a haven to him for four years.

I leaned my head on his shoulder, listening to his heartbeat, trying to let his steady warmth calm the worry growing in my mind. José’s body was a rock in the sense that it was hard and athletic, but also because it anchored me when I felt as if my mind was running away.

Have you ever watched a storm with time slowed that much? asked Mel.

I shook my head before I remembered there were dozens of people between her and me. No. Do storm clouds in slow motion look like tentacles?

José kissed my hair and whispered, “Are you talking to Mel?”

I nodded.

“Is she okay?”

“She’s having trouble shielding. We should go meet up with her and the others anyway.” I stepped away from him and walked uphill.

Students, who wore white graduation robes, and their parents, who were dressed mostly in summer dresses, slacks, and collared shirts, were clumped all over Saint Patrick’s sprawling lawn.

José draped his arm over my shoulder as I wove around groups of people. The pressure was calming, lulling panic monsters back to sleep with its warm weight. I glanced up at the clouds. They were closer and darker. The wind sped up, stealing programs from a dozen people’s hands. The clouds lit up with lightning, but I didn’t see any tentacles.

Mel’s voice popped back into my head. I don’t sense anything in the clouds, and neither does Niben. I guess she’s been restraining the storm for half the ceremony. Perhaps you were seeing her power mingled with it?

Maybe. Some tension unraveled from my chest. I’d heard stories about my grandmother, Niben, controlling storms, but I’d never seen her do it. In fact, I’d never witnessed her do any magic unless she was modeling something she wanted me to try. She’d come on a few hunts, but she’d just watched with her unblinking feline eyes and later quizzed me on what I did right and wrong. For all I knew, her fabled storm magic could resemble tentacles.

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About The Author

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Sara Codair is an author of short stories and novels, which are packed with action, adventure, magic, and the bizarre. They partially owe their success to their faithful feline writing partner, Goose the Meowditor-In-Chief, who likes to “edit” their work by deleting entire pages.

If Sara isn’t writing, they’re probably teaching, swimming in the lake, reading fantasy, or walking their dog.

Social Media

Author Website: https://saracodair.com/

Author Facebook (Author Page): https://www.facebook.com/SaraCodair1

Author Twitter: https://twitter.com/ShatteredSmooth

Author Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/shatteredsmooth/

Author Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15858102.Sara_Codair

Author Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Sara-Codair/e/B072L4C869/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

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New Release Blitz: To The Flame by A. E. Ross

To The Flame | A. E. Ross

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Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: February 3, 2020

Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex

Pairing: M/NB

Length: 20,900

Buy Links:

NineStar Press | Amazon

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Blurb

Seattle boy Emerson Oakley is about to find that the strangest thing about his first year at West Virginia’s Vance University isn’t the neighbor in the next dorm over, who ghosts him after one kiss. It’s the fact that he keeps having his life saved by a stranger who seems to know about each accident before it happens.

Morrie Crisp, whose moth-person powers finally emerged at the most inconvenient time, is just trying to figure out how to deal with their crush on the boy next door, and all the different ways they’ve seen him die.

As Emerson tries to get to the bottom of who his pre-cog savior could be, his relationship with Morrie becomes extra complicated as their undeniable attraction to one another becomes a liability to both. Even as Morrie struggles to keep Emerson safe, Emerson is intent on igniting the fire between them, into which Morrie is naturally drawn.

What is a reasonable response to falling in love when the world itself is without reason? Unfortunately, neither one of them has any idea.

Excerpt

To the Flame
A.E. Ross © 2020
All Rights Reserved

Emerson

October 7th, 2019

With the sound of the school radio’s late-night show in his ears, Emerson Oakley pulled his wool-lined jacket more tightly around his broad frame and threw dirty looks at any shadows he passed, mean-mugging at would-be creatures waiting out there in the dark. Overhead, the campus clock chimed midnight, its toll reaching long and deep into the West Virginia night. Emerson clutched a stack of textbooks tightly under one arm, his free hand gripping the strap of his rucksack. By October, the school’s grounds had become a world of swirling fog. Frost was just beginning to lick at the blades of grass sitting neatly in between the cobbled walkways. The paths crisscrossed campus like a foursquare game. Just last month they had been full of hacky-sacking upperclassmen.

As a born and bred Seattle boy, Emerson was used to the sparkling mist that filled Puget Sound in spring, but the autumn weather in Appalachia was a different phenomenon altogether. It hung low, filling his nose and throat with damp cold as he made his way back to his dorm beneath flicking streetlights. His fingers were beginning to numb just a few steps in.

A loud crack rang out behind Emerson, causing him to jump a couple inches in surprise before turning around to see dazzling colors light up the sky. Some freshmen were letting off fireworks, probably to celebrate their newfound freedom to make bad decisions. The illegal rainbow starbursts snapped and popped in the sky over the astronomy building.

After reaching into his pocket, Emerson turned up the volume on his phone, letting the pop-punk singer’s smooth voice drown out any more unwanted jumpscare fodder. The song began to fade out as he crossed out of the quad and into the parking lot. His dorm was just on the other side of the empty gray stretch of pavement, and he could already see the golden glow from his next-door-neighbor’s room. He couldn’t hear the pounding bass that they loved to blast from morning to night, but he’d be in range soon enough. There was a reason he spent every night studying in the library instead of his dorm room. He didn’t know too much about the kid next door, but there were two things he knew for sure: they went by Morrie, and they fucking loved EDM turned up to 11.

“You’re listening to WVUX 69.1, The Voice of Vance. That was local band Rubric with their latest hit, ‘Risk Reward.’” The late-night host jumped in with perfect timing, his tone smooth as silk. As he continued with a recap of the week’s news, something flickered at the edge of Emerson’s vision. As he snapped his neck to the right, his breath caught in his throat. For a split second, he was certain he saw a dark shape on the roof of the nearest dorm building. The three-story brick building, Gryphon House, happened to be one of the earliest built on campus and was probably haunted, or at least that’s what the orientation tour guide had said. Of course, the guide was a bored junior, so he easily could have been making it up. Emerson was sure he had glimpsed…something. The large dark shape with flickering edges, host to two glowing red orbs that, ideally, were not eyes—or were eyes the better option?

Biting his chapped lip, Emerson turned away and kept walking, trying to focus on the words coming from his earbuds. “So, if you want to use the pool, you’re just going to have to wait until it’s been emptied and disinfected…for your own good. Oh, and one more thing—Emerson Oakley, watch your step,” the voice said just before another indie-punk hit began to play, coming in strong with the snare.

Emerson jerked his head up so hard his neck wrenched painfully. Scanning the empty parking lot, he took two nervous steps back. Just then, another colorful crack rent the sky above him, followed by a low whistle. It was the sound of a snapped power line slicing through the air and landing half-submerged in the puddle where he had been standing one second earlier.

Eyes wide, Emerson put a hand to his chest, a tight rush of anxiety beginning to cloud his brain in a familiar way. Music still pounding in his ears, he stared at the small sparks coming off the black wire. If he hadn’t taken those two steps back, he’d be fried. Panic rising in his throat, he let his logical pre-med brain take over and called campus security to let them know about the potential danger before continuing on to his dorm. This time, the music in his ears was drowned out by his own heartbeat as he swiped his key card and hustled up the stairs to the third floor.

Once he got into his room, the thump of his chest was drowned out by the heavy bass of Morrie’s EDM playlist. He basically knew the track listing by heart at this point. In a way, it was a comfort as he tried to get a grip on what had just happened. It was strange enough to get a cryptic warning from the college radio station, but he was certain that the warning had come seconds before the fireworks had actually hit the power line, assuming that was what had caused it to snap and swing into the puddle at his feet. How they could have called that shot, he had no idea. Emerson was pretty sure that the radio station was on the other side of campus.

He wriggled out of his heavy coat and flannel then stripped down to a sweat-soaked tee and gray boxer-briefs. It was hard not to think about what had just happened. He could have been deep-fried, his body burnt up and smelling like the hot dogs that the power company used to electrocute as an elementary school safety demonstration. Emerson ran his hands over his whole body just to make sure it was still there. He had always been barrel-chested with a soft, round stomach. Okay, he could admit he had a bit of an apple bottom as well, but he loved his body. If he had gotten his body fried up in a freak firework accident…well, he’d be dead and pretty upset about it. Sitting down on his worn forest-green patchwork quilt, he tried to sync his breathing to the rave beats from next door the way he’d learned in therapy.

Inhale.

Hold.

Exhale.

Hold.

He lay back on his bed and repeated that routine for several minutes until the fight-or-flight feeling flowed out of him and a reasonable calm remained. After grabbing his towel and toiletries, Emerson slipped out his door and down the hall to the bathroom. He did his best thinking in the shower, and boy, did he need a second to decompress.

The most important thing about the dorm bathroom was not to focus on the floor. If you did, it was over. All kinds of weird shit got caught in the grout that lined the beige tiles between cleanings, and it was honestly better if you could just keep your head on a swivel and ignore it altogether.

The second-most-important thing about the dorm bathroom was not to focus on anybody else either. To be fair, that had been Emerson’s modus operandi in every shared shower room he’d ever used: junior-high gym class, JV football, the YMCA pool. But it was especially vital now that he was in a university with all-gender facilities. He was proud of Vance Uni for living in the twenty-first century, and the last thing he wanted to do was make anyone feel weird or unwanted. That said, the scene was deserted, so he turned the water on as hot as it could go and divested himself of his earthly garments. The good burn of too-hot water relaxed his shoulder muscles, despite the shitty water pressure.

With a clear head, he convinced himself that there was surely a reasonable explanation for the DJ’s timely omen. Though, even if there was, it still didn’t do anything to ease his mind about the strange shape atop Gryphon House, which was still stuck in his mind.

After fluffing his hair dry and slinging a towel around his waist, Emerson made his way back down the hall to his room, just in time to cross paths with the Ghost of Electronica. Morrie was trying to unlock their door with a slice of pizza in one hand and a two-liter of soda wedged under their armpit. Emerson walked past and avoided glancing directly at Morrie, feeling irritated that they left their music playing even when they weren’t in the dang room. Or at least, that’s what he told himself. Certainly, his animosity for Morrie was all about the volume of their music and absolutely not about the way they:

1. Wore those tight black skinny jeans with the knee-baring holes, and
2. Hadn’t spoken to him once since that kiss during Orientation Week.

Obviously, neither of those things factored into the equation at all, and it was definitely not true that either of those two things ever made it harder to sleep than the pounding of a drum machine.

About the Author

A.E. Ross lives in Vancouver, B.C. with one very grumpy raincloud of a cat. When not writing fiction, they can be found producing and story-editing children’s cartoons, as well as producing & hosting podcasts like The XX Files Podcast.

Their other works have appeared on Cartoon Network, Disney Channel and Netflix (and have been widely panned by 12-year-olds on 4Chan) but the projects they are most passionate about feature LGBTQIA+ characters across a variety genres.

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