A collection of jokes by yours truly

Dragon jokes:

How to housebreak your new pet dragon: invest into asbestos curtains in case of accidental sneezes.

How to housebreak your new pet dragon: purchase a 5500 gallon drum of those curvy & bumpy “Damsel Chews” treats.

How to keep your new house dragon healthy: buy him only the dragon kibble that contains parts of extra-lean knights.


Fairytale jokes:

Before kissing Sleeping Beauty, Prince Hypochondriac wiped her down thoroughly with disinfecting wipes.

The wedding between Beauty and the Beast was called off, because Beauty was allergic to animal hair.

Cinderella’s Fairy God Mother was cheap; that’s why her glass slipper turned back into a pickle jar.

After transforming a frog back into Prince, Princess left him – who’d want slimy kisses followed by warts?

After blowing at the houses of the 3 little pigs, the Big Bad Wolf hyperventilated & fainted. That winter the 3 little pigs wore very warm fur hats and hoof mittens.

After Prince kissed Sleeping Beauty, he immediately fled the castle – after 100 years of sleeping, she had one hell of a morning breath!

Red Riding Hood thought the wolf in a bonnet was her grandma; the wolf refused to eat her for fear of losing IQ points from such a dumb meal.


Annoying people jokes:

How to annoy ppl: Send ’em a note claiming to be their long-lost rich uncle that wants to leave ’em a large inheritance.

How to annoy ppl: Call ’em at 3 a.m. to tell them that u finally found a missing button from your dress pants.


Cat jokes:

A writer’s cat always knows when the tea in the mug on the desk is cool enough to slurp and thus claim the scribbler’s tea for its own.

What do monsters under the bed look like (as described by Twitter members):

elektrosoundwav ‏@elektrosoundwav

Ronald Reagan


Vulgate ‏@xBlood_Monkey

Betty White.


John Smith ‏@ohpleasesayyes

Old, cynical, hairless,unhappy,bruised and battered by the world,disillusioned.impoverished, alone–and with my 85 yr old face!


S. Conde ‏@SConde3

Adolf Hitler. I was convinced if my leg dangled off the bed he’d pull me under and make lampshades of my skin. Gross, I know.


Colin Orr ‏@Corrgolf

George Bush!


Angela Mortimer ‏@AngelaMortimer2

Oh dear Larisa – I didn’t have a monster under my bed – something wrong with me –


John Jason Lee ‏@HunterDrune

My brother – being a pain in the arse as usual…Literally: he’d poke me with a knitting needle. Mattresses were thin back then.


Lunarbaboon ‏@Lunarbaboon

The monster under my bed looked like cartoon ham, with eyes and spider legs of course.


Amanda Egan (Writer) ‏@Mummy_Misfit

They looked a bit bald and a bit hairy. I’m now married to one and he sleeps in the bed next to me 😉


Lee Ann Howlett ‏@lah_ann

Often I just thought of it as a huge hand that would grab one of my feet if I tried to get out of bed.


Shanora Wen ‏@Eroticature

Dunno. Never saw him. If I could jump far enough from my bed, I was only a few steps from the lightswitch. Light dissolved him.


Linda Hamonou ‏@crazypuce

It was a flat dark circle with snakes going out of it and trying to pull me in with them. Like a giant mouth.


Rob ‏@IntuitionByRob 10h

It was invisible.


Jeffrey Hollar ‏@Klingorengi

Since I slept on top bed of set of bunk beds, it looked remarkably like my older brother 😉


Lisa Graas ‏@CatholicLisa

Two witches. A short, fat one and a tall, skinny one.


Elsie Harper ‏@Elspern

Darkness, silence and the ghost from Ghostbusters!


Mark Swain ‏@MarkSwain4

It looked like a man. In fact I believe it was a man.


christina bradbrook ‏@christibell1972

I didn’t have time for anything under my bed cos I had an old lady that sat on a commode in the corner of my room (ghost).

Authors’ confessions: the most foolish thing their characters have ever done.

Storm Dancer by Rayne Hall

Merida is a magician who can change the weather with her dance. She has travelled to a far-away, drought-parched country to bring succour with rain. But the local ruler doesn’t honour the agreement, and conditions aren’t right for working magic. He has changed the date, so astrological alignments are wrong. the orchestra members are frightened of foreign magic and refuse to play for her, and on top of that, her ritual is presented as a public entertainment in the arena.

Nobody takes her seriously, because they don’t believe she can bring rain. Angrily, she resolves to show them by calling more rain than they have ever seen. Since the music and astronomical conditions are lacking, she overcompensates in other ways, and enters into a much higher level of trance than is safe. The rain comes… but the effort leaves her exhausted mentally, physically and magically. Now she is weak and vulnerable… and she is in a foreign country, in the power of a sadist, with no one to turn to for help. If only she had assessed the risks before she supercharged her magic!

Amazon US
Barnes & Noble

Calico Jack in your Garden by Karl Wiggins

It Just Happened so Quickly

So here was a funny thing. I’m on the platform at King’s Cross waiting for the semi-fast Watford when an Uxbridge train pulls into the station. The doors open and this little Indian bloke in a cheap suit goes to get off, except as the door opens it catches the strap of his bag, although initially he didn’t notice. He must have been leaning with his back to the side bit; you know the bit I mean.

So the door opens, catches the strap of his bag and he goes to step across the ‘Mind the Gap,’ but with one foot up in the air he’s suddenly whipped back into the train again, landing with a THUMP on his arse with the bag hanging at shoulder height from the door above him. He fucking noticed then alright.

It was one of the funniest things I’ve seen in a long time because it happened so quickly. One minute I’m bored watching the Uxbridge train’s doors open and the next this little Indian bloke in a suit is sitting on the floor of the train with his legs spread out in front of him.

I just stood there smirking as he picked himself up and tried to free his bag. He heaves and jerks and schlepps and strains but the door’s not giving up the bag without a fight. And this little bloke hasn’t got much fight in him at all. Of course it’s even funnier because he’s looking bewildered and perplexed and embarrassed and, let’s be honest, getting himself into a bit of a tiz-waz.

Oh, and by the way, what do you think all the other good citizens of London are doing while this is going on? Well, they’re looking at him with interest, of course. No one offers to help. They’re all engrossed to see what’s going to happen next.

I was cracking up!

Eventually the doors start to close, the little Indian carries on tugging, and as the doors close they release his bag, with the effect that he’s catapulted across the carriage into another bloke who was standing there watching. He keeps his feet this time, but he’s missed his chance and the doors have now closed, trapping him inside. He’s missed his stop. As the train pulls away I can see him sheepishly looking at his fellow passengers, realising they’re all chuckling away on the inside but avoiding his look.

He’s made a complete twat out of himself and he knows it, but he can’t work out how it all happened so quickly when just 60 seconds earlier he was comfortably humming sitar music to himself and looking forward to the vindaloo his wife’s no doubt knocking up for him at home, yet two seconds later he’s sat on his arse on the floor of a crowded train.

You never know when these comedy moments are going to strike next, do you?

Runny Nose on the Tube

Disaster struck last night on the tube. I’ve picked up a cold from somewhere, and at the same time Sue’s got the flu, so between the pair of us we’re not much use. We couldn’t take Monday off because you can’t really can you? Everyone thinks you’ve been out on the piss all weekend.

Anyway, mine’s a runny nose kind of cold. You know the type. Keeps waking you up at night by spontaneously streaming without warning. And it’s the same during the day. You can be sitting at work, reviewing a scaffolder’s Risk Assessment, when you have a fraction of second warning that your nose is going to leak. It’s only liquid, nothing too disastrous, but given the chance you’d prefer to catch it in a tissue rather than have it drip onto your keyboard.

You push your chair back, lean your head forward to protect your shirt and reach for the tissues, but it’s all too late.

So I’m standing in a crowded tube carriage facing these four people who are sitting side-on to me and keeping an eye on the three behind me in the reflection in case any of them gives up their seat, when without any warning whatsoever my nose spontaneously starts to drip. Instinctively I know I can’t reach my tissues in time so I kind of take half a step backwards, lean my head forward and liquid from my nose plops onto this bloke’s knee.

He’s a kind of Asian type Greek type Arab kind of bloke, if you know the sort I mean, bald head, neatly trimmed grey beard, and I’ve just deposited a couple of drips of clear fluid from my nose onto his trousers. Now I know it’s harmless, it’s just my body’s way of getting rid of toxins, but I must say he doesn’t look too impressed at all.

As for me, I don’t often get flustered but I’m now embarrassed to the point of humiliation. I give him one of those ‘What’s a guy to do?’ kind of looks and shrug my shoulders apologetically.

He made an effort to clean it off with his Evening Standard, but he did look a bit pissed off.

Amazon US
Amazon UK
Author’s site

Flawed Gods, the first book in the Flawed Gods series by Angela B. Mortimer


His silliest move was asking Doella to marry him. His reasoning was sound, after all they would get caught and then they would be reconditioned and forget all they meant to each other. He was sure that if they were married in the full Varan sense, then they would never forget the feelings they had for each other. Doella. under duress, agreed, but of course she was far too young to settle down.

Amazon US
Amazon UK
Barnes & Noble

Hyclos, the second book in the Flawed Gods series by Angela B. Mortimer


Doella needs information to save lives, and she’s had a lot of fun shape-shifting as her powers grow, so of course she reasons the best way to find what she needs is to go in disguise and find a bar and she will get the data she needs by either listening. or if she has to, read minds – the latter banned by Varan Law. It works but she is repulsed too, suddenly her life and what she must do takes on a more serious turn.

Amazon US
Amazon UK
Barnes & Noble

ANTics (for ages 7+) by Dakota Douglas

The most foolish thing my characters have ever done: One of my characters, called HesitANT, is a timid, young ant. When fleeing for his life, he dives into what he thinks is a cave for safety. It turns out to be a soda can and he is antennae deep in trouble. A human (I call them Two Legs) picks up the can and puts it in a trash can. HesitANT finds himself trapped inside a strange world of darkness and strange smells. The upside is – the bin is full of rotting food, so he won’t go hungry.


Addune: Part I: The Vampire’s Game by Wendy Potocki

Undoubtedly, the most foolish thing a character has ever done in one of my novels is fall in love with a vampire. Of course, it would be ever-the-optimist Miranda Perry that engaged in such lunacy. Ignoring all the good counsel from friends, family, and trusted advisors, she chose to see the good—where there was none! There was actually only a deep hole where a soul should be. It was the misstep that stated her rolling down the mountain and into the fiery pit waiting below.

While I thoroughly understand her reasoning, I, too, would never have believed that someone was literally a vampire. Figuratively, sure! I’ve met plenty of those energy drainers. But actually? In reality? A living and breathing one? Nope! Some have called her ditzy for ignoring the warnings, but I found it perfectly reasonable, but no more! Intimately acquainted with the sad tale, if someone even whispers the word “vampire,” I am officially outta there!


A Witch Without Magic by Larisa Walk

Her witchcraft name is Belladonna and she prefers most people to know her by that name, because when she still went by her birth name, Elise Teaguewell, she made a mistake of falling in love with a wrong man. He was a radical environmentalist who thought that the way to save trees and animals was by blowing up slaughterhouses, putting spikes into trees scheduled for cutting down and sending letter bombs to scientists that used animals for testing new drugs. To prove her loyalty to him, Belladonna participated in blowing up a slaughterhouse, for which she was caught and jailed for 5 years. At least those years weren’t a total waste of time, since while in prison she learned to wield magic, found Goddess and learned how to make beautiful toilet paper roses.


Authors’ confessions: the worst thing their villains have done.

Elijah’s Chariot by Douglas Kolacki

The Reverend Masterplan: Burned down his church, with everyone inside, after tricking them into drinking poison. After this, he committed suicide and succeeded. It still didn’t stop him from coming back.













On The Eighth Day, God Created Trilby Richardson by Douglas Kolacki

Jed Trumbull: Allowed his father to dominate his life long after the father’s death, even to the point of a pretty serious murder attempt.













Sinister Presence by Brianna Carlisle 


She hid in a closet until late afternoon, when Julie often took a nap before meeting Jessica at the bus-stop after school. Once Julie was asleep, Susan came out from the closet armed with a butcher knife she’d taken from our own kitchen, and attacked Julie. She stabbed her thirteen times about the face, neck, and chest. She took off her bloodied clothes, washed up in our bathroom, then put on some of Julies’ clean garments.

http://www.amazon.com/Sinister-Presence-ebook/dp/B00B5FCB2E/ref=tmm_kin_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1360545600&sr=1-1  Blog:  http://how2writeazombienovel.blogspot.com/












Flawed Gods, the first book in the Flawed Gods series by Angela B. Mortimer


The typical villain, but I can’t give too much away and spoil the story. Needless, to say he too loves Doella, if he is capable of what most of us know as love that is. He is a man who will do anything to achieve his goals and he does, and as he does, he drags in the innocent to help him cover up his crimes and is very careful to leave no actual proof of them.

We’ve all met Simune, we’ve worked with him, seen him in politics and in power, seen the constant smirk, the open eyes “what me? No, no, I’m perfect” he purrs “I don’t do that,” and finally he whispers, “You can’t get me, you’ve no proof….” Before he puts the “knife” in as he fights back and then denies everything.

We’ve seen the unseeing, flock around and offer sympathy and shaken our heads.  Simune too has his stalwart believers and if the Varan police are suspicious, without any proof they can’t dig deeper. It seems Simune will never be caught out….he has laid false trails, accused others of his crimes and there is worse to come….much worse. We long for him to be caught, but I’m not saying any more….

Another word from my husband, or should I say exclamation…..”He should have eaten him!” I knew whom he meant should be eaten….

Smashwordshttp://tinyurl.com/8yv6eoa  – Amazon US  http://tinyurl.com/9htrsof   UKhttp://tinyurl.com/97odd8b 

DIESEL http://j.mp/NjblC3  APPLE http://itun.es/i6JF4Mw   KOBOhttp://tinyurl.com/7ty5y8b 

NOOK http://tinyurl.com/atyqg4t 












Hyclos, the second book in the Flawed Gods series by Angela B. Mortimer


Wylane is Doella’s dragon son and lover, he replaces his father in her life, for not only must the new dragon race grow and survive, but without them there is no future universe, and this reality also put in jeopardy.  Wylane instigates the mating for “dragon customs must suffice” now his father is gone. Doella is still part Varan and dragon customs wound her Varan sensibilities, just as they would a human. The idea of mating with such a close relative is abhorrent to her although she too knows that it must be. This will pass as her dragon-self overcomes the Varan, but for now it is raw.

Dragons are the first and oldest and have billions of years of memories, most forgotten until needed, Wylane is no exception, he knows what his part is, and he knows the game he must play. Soon, so will Doella and she needs his help to carry the ageless plan to fruition and the pain of her final future is as hard to bear as all the ages to come, but Wylane will share it with her, her last husband.

He is my husband’s favourite character, “he’s so intelligent, but he doesn’t let on unless he has to…”

SMASHWORDS http://tinyurl.com/a328e8u   NOOK http://tinyurl.com/c2osqud   KOBOhttp://tinyurl.com/aqur57u 

APPLE http://tinyurl.com/d7hxqgo   DIESEL http://tinyurl.com/b3seo5m 

AMAZON US http://tinyurl.com/aht3cs8   UK http://tinyurl.com/aa4q6b8 












The Vampire’s Game by Wendy Potocki

Yes, well, the worst thing a character has ever done is quite embarrassing since they all misbehave frequently—and quite well. I’d have to say that the worst thing might be my female vampire’s propensity for tearing heads off males after having sex with them. While in the insect world, the dispensing of one’s partner might be considered business as usual, when it’s done to humans that are quite enamored with the vixen, it really lends a shabby sort of treatment to the whole process. “Make love, not war,” comes to mind, but my dear sweet Rachel doesn’t seem to care. She sticks her fingers in her ears, sings “La-la-la-la,” very loudly so she doesn’t hear my reprimands to cease and desist of dispensing of the poor saps in this way.

Why men are so enamored with this Venus flytrap is easy to understand. It’s what comes from having a vampire look like a centerfold for Hustler magazine. Did I mention she dresses in thongs and sexy lingerie for the occasion? Well, she does. She knows how to attract male attention, but then in my Adduné trilogy, sexuality is a weapon that keeps my vampires on top of the food chain and humans at the bottom—even though that position is sometimes reversed in the actual consummation of a lust-filled fantasy that is sure to end in disaster. C’est la vie! Key in the classic Frankie Goes to Hollywood song: “Relax, don’t do it … when you want to come!”













Cab Driver by Karl Wiggins

Villain #1

I was on Figueroa and 81st, and I’d parked the car up to go looking for a number. I’ll tell you how dark it was, I was a house away before I saw a figure in front of a gate. A couple more steps and I realised that there were about ten of them. And they were an evil looking set. Which I suppose they would be, wouldn’t they? You’re hardly likely to find a bunch of choirboys hanging about in the dark on 81st and Figueroa. The only option, of course, is to front it out. I walked right up to the gang and started talking, asking if they knew where the house was.

“What number ya’ll looking fo, nigger?”

“Number 123A,” and it turned out that this happened to be the very house. I didn’t know whether to be pleased about that or not. I didn’t know whether I’d be regarded as a friend because this was where I was headed or as a nice piece of meat that happened to be on the path. I had a lot of money on me, although most of it was pushed down my sock.

“What ya’ll want, man?”

“Cab for Clifford.”

“Oh yeah?” But just then Clifford came out and invited me in. I just wanted to get the hell out of there but figured I was safer in the house with him than outside in that dark street. I sat down while he finished getting ready, reflecting how easily people who have nothing invite you into their homes. After a while four or five of the gang-members came into the house and started asking me all sorts of stupid questions. One of them pulled out an 8 millimetre Mauser and started cleaning it. Maybe it was a present for his mother, I don’t know, but I obviously wanted to keep the conversation light. My mind was also on the fact that I hadn’t locked the car. Supposing they stole the money I’d hidden under the seat? Who cares? Supposing they stole my only transport out of here? Fuck!

Clifford changed his mind about wanting a cab and I decided to let him off the scrub fee, nice guy that I am. When I got outside the gang collared me again. This was when I expected One big bastard, with a coal-black tangled mess of a beard, was practicing karate kicks on a fence post. The leader, stinking of Olde English and vodka, approached me and asked me about London. I told him some crap or other and he said he might visit one day. Maybe he could stay at my house. “Yeah, be great,” I said, happy to be making new friends.

But eventually they let me go, and as soon as I got into the car I knew they’d boosted it. The seats were slashed, the glove box was hanging open and the money from under the seat was gone. What would you have done? Get back out of the car and front them with it? I don’t think so.




Villain #2

“Frankie Davies is an out-and-out villain. He’s a thief, simple as that. By the time he was twenty-one-years-of-age he’d already spent over two years inside. So obviously he’s not a very good thief, or at least he wasn’t then. Perhaps he learned something inside. In his younger days he could turn his hand to anything. Breaking and entry, smash and grab, hold ups, you name it. Under different circumstances, or in another day and age, Frankie would have been a cattle rustler, a gunrunner, a highwayman or a pirate. Frankie Davies was never destined to be a dustman or an accountant, or work in a warehouse or be a shop assistant. Frankie has sticky fingers, and that’s all there is to it.

“In the past he’s worked on market stalls and as a ticket tout and a bouncer. But more than this his calling in life is to exert himself in the freelance appropriation of anything he can lay his hands on. Frankie is as cunning as a shark and as shrewd as a Philadelphia lawyer. With his eye always to the main chance, Frankie lives on his wits. With thick black hair and eyebrows, he looks like a Gypsy, although as far as I know his heritage is true blue Cockney. But he always has a look about him, a half smile, as if he knows something you don’t, or rather as if both of you know something that nobody else does. He has wariness about him, an instinct of self-preservation, always looking twice and leaving nothing to chance. Even though he’s only in his late twenties, he often appears more level-headed than the rest of us, as if he has a worldly wisdom beyond his years. Frankie is always on his guard.

“He’s not a big chap, more stocky than tall, but he’s definitely fit, visiting the gym at last three times a week. Mind you, he never likes to get involved in fights. Not because he lacks courage, you understand. He has more balls than most of us, but to risk arrest when there’s no money involved would be pure foolishness to Frankie. He always wears a black leather coat. A nice thick expensive one. And he’s always very pale. I’ve never, ever seen him with a suntan. He has a thick, London accent and will sometimes actually talk out of the side of his mouth.

“Frankie is always talking to people that none of the rest of us knows or has ever seen before. You’ll be drinking with him and he’ll say, “Hold on, I’ll be back in a minute,” and then go and sit at a table with a couple of poker-faced, tough guys who never take their eyes off him. He’ll have that half grin on his face and will be looking from one to the other and back again. A few words will be spoken and then he’ll stand up, nod to them and come back and join the rest of us. It would be impolite to inquire who they were.”













A Witch Without Magic by Larisa Walk

Lana Hammerschmidt

Actually, Lana has done several very bad things, but then what do you expect from a woman who was beaten with a strap by the father as a child, cheated on and verbally abused by her husband, and finally have a ruthless nymph take up residence in her mind?

She sucked the life out of a whole neighborhood of people, making them age decades to days.  You should’ve seen those poor five-year-olds that looked like forty-year-old dwarves! The other thing she has done was squeeze the heroine’s pregnant cat until its ribs broke, just so that Lana could abduct the heroine’s best friend and hold him hostage.



Authors’ confessions: their characters’ most unusual, juicy or even scandalous quirks

A Witch Without Magic by Larisa Walk

Character: Randolph Hammerschmidt was a ladies’ man.  Except that the ladies he preferred to date were the inmates in the women’s prison where he worked as a correctional officer.  When his mentally unstable wife found that out, she turned to black magic and became even more unstable.  In a fit of revenge, she changed Randolph into a cat and he barely escaped from becoming her slave familiar.  Now he lives in another witch’s house and is learning how to live like a cat.

A Witch without Magic:  http://tinyurl.com/9mdcbc6












Sinister Presence by Brianna Carlisle 

Olisha, in my novel Sinister Presence, is a memory vampire, she is a memory junkie. Feeds on them and uses them like a drug.

Sinister Presence:  http://www.amazon.com/Sinister-Presence-ebook/dp/B00B5FCB2E/ref=tmm_kin_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1360545600&sr=1-1  Blog:  http://how2writeazombienovel.blogspot.com/












Elijah’s Chariot by Douglas Kolacki

The Reverend Masterplan. He doesn’t only preach resurrection, he’s experienced it, and still has the bullet-hole in his head to prove it. But don’t get too near that smell he’s given off since then. Elijah’s Chariot:  http://amzn.to/A49eZj












Storm Dancer by Rayne Hall

Dahoud is a troubled hero with a dark past. He seeks to atone for the terrible deeds he committed as a siege commander, and to build a new life of humility and peace. Ruling the land he once devastated, how can he keep the secret of who he really is? Possessed by a demon that tempts him back into his old ways, how long can he resist the lure? Dahoud fights to protect his people from war’s violence – but how can he shield the woman he loves from the evil inside him?

Dahoud’s juicy fantasy: a strong woman wrestles him and wins, so he can submit.


Amazon: viewBook.at/B005MJFV58

Kobo http://www.kobobooks.com/ebook/Storm-Dancer/book-T8AIA5xS_k6gZlCd-dUyiQ/page1.html?s=KcWDYlJ4lkyuGb9QgU7bxA&r=6

Smashwords https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/88037

iTunes https://itunes.apple.com/gb/book/storm-dancer-dark-epic-fantasy/id483339067?mt=11&buffer_share=d7658&utm_source=buffer

Barnes&Noble http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/storm-dancer-rayne-hall/1106014027?ean=2940011519741












Annwyn’s Blood by Michael Eging
Aldonzo, Prince of Languedoc, is our favorite quirky character in Annwyn’s Blood.  He is from a region of Southern France that retained its Roman-ness despite the collapse of the western Empire.  To cement an alliance with a kingdom in Britain, his family sent him across hostile Frank kingdoms in Gaul to the court of High King Mattheus who rules in Wales.  To say he is a fish out of water is generous.  Once there this young man, schooled in his letters and old Roman learning (and accustomed to life’s finer things), finds himself encamped on the fringe of civilization with a king whose retainers seem little more than the brigands and cutthroats they hunt.  He gains a reputation among the court as a “fop” who seeks fame and glory while striving to avoid the hardships of military life.  With his finery and oiled locks, he presents a very different, almost tragically comic figure compared to the hardened soldiers and questing heroes surrounding him.  But this prancing popinjay finds himself thrust into the forefront of danger where he must dig deep within himself to find the courage and strength to survive and overcome, to rescue his betrothed, and at last earn the respect of Mattheus and his court.

Can be found at:












ANTics (children’s fantasy) by Linda Dakota Douglas

RepugnANT is an an evil spider. Born with seven instead of eight eyes, he was banished by his fellow spiderlings. He almost died but was saved by a Spider Witch who gave him magic powers that make him almost invisible. However, he has one flaw – a fear of water – that makes him vulnerable. And he’s also got the worst pong of any creature in The Crawly Kingdom.

The link is viewBook.at/B008EKVXB8












The Vampire’s Game by Wendy Potocki

This expose of quirkiness is lovingly directed at Miranda Perry. Introduced in The Vampire’s Game, she’s the central character of the vampire trilogy, Adduné. A proper Englishwoman, she hides a dark secret … she sings into her hairbrush.

A lover of popular music, she’s practiced the fine art of hairbrush singing in front of her mirror since a small child. Discovered by her father when she didn’t properly fasten her bedroom door, he said nothing about the experience—keeping her privacy safe just the way a good father would. Not outgrowing the penchant, she continued to expand her horizons in college by involving her best friend, Tiffany Rodriguez, into her mad fantasy. The two joined forces, lip synching to Heart, Pat Benatar, Gloria Estefan, Celine Dion, The Black Eyed Peas, and with Tiffany’s urgings, the Pussycat Dolls! Yes, imagine them writhing around while mouthing, “Don’t You Wish Your Girlfriend Was Hot Like Me!” Yes, I’m sure that he does, Miranda. Personally, I’m hoping that before Part III ends, she takes the fine art to the next level by breaking loose with some karaoke in her favorite NYC bar.













SEEN by Heather Sutherlin

Margo wanted more. At 16 she had a man, but not just any man – a man who left his wife and child for her. But when she ran away with Vincenzio she had no idea that he meant to take her through the portal into this realm. Of course there were benefits to this little quest, too. Claregh, their guide, was a man who commanded attention with his tall frame and broad shoulders. A smile curved across her red painted lips as a new plan crystallized in her mind. She would seduce the wizard and convince him that they could rule the land together if he would help her. She’d whisper sweet words of lusty promises in his weak little ears. When at last they reached the sorcerer’s fortress, she would use the wizard’s magic and her lover’s strength to overcome their enemy. Just think of all that she could do with a fortress of her own and the sorcerer’s newly claimed army. She may have needed Vincenzio and Claregh to get this far, but Margo didn’t need a man to share her power and new found wealth. So, once their quest was complete, she would do what any smart girl would do. She’d dispose of them.


Blog: http://heathersutherlin.com/

Work in progress – book 2 after “A Witch Without Magic”

This questionnaire is part of The Next Big Thing Blog Hop. If you are tagged, please answer the questions at the end of this post and then tag another writer.

About my work in progress:

What is your working title of your book?  “No Sleep for the Witches”
Where did the idea come from for the book?   From my interest in the legends about incubus.
What genre does your book fall under?   Fantasy and horror
Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?  Angelina Jolie
What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?   Someone is killing witches by turning their own magic against them.
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?  Self-published
How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?  Still writing it.
What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?  Stacey Justice books
Who or what inspired you to write this book?  Incubus legends
What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?  Belladonna, the heroine of the book, shares her home with a healing witch, a ghost, a large carp whose scales fell off, a house guardian spirit, and 22 cats, one of whom used to be human.

Please visit the fabulous author that tagged me: Celia Breslin

Instructions for the blog hop questionnaire:

***Use this format for your post
***Answer the ten questions about your current WIP (work in progress)
***Tag five other writers/bloggers and add their links so we can hop over and meet them.

Ten Interview Questions for the Next Big Thing:
What is your working title of your book?
Where did the idea come from for the book?
What genre does your book fall under?
Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
Who or what inspired you to write this book?
What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
Include the link of who tagged you and this explanation for the people you have tagged

The Blue Dahlia

After six years of therapy, Melissa’s voice still calls me from the lake.  My shrink’s three hundred and twelve cream-colored business cards sit on my desk.  One card for each appointment that failed to stop me from hearing my lover’s whispers in the patter of rain on dead leaves, in the footsteps on a flagstone path, in terror-soaked dreams.  I can’t tell what she is saying, but I know the voice is hers.

The cards form a perfect column, smooth sides and straight edges.  Three hundred and twelve cards, three hundred and twelve times questions asked and answered: ‘How do you feel about the lake, Irina?’  ‘It took Melissa’s soul, doctor.  How do you think I should feel?’


During the week number three hundred and thirteen I run out of my medications, the little pills in bottles labeled, May cause drowsiness.  There is a problem with my medical insurance and I can’t pay for the pills out of pocket.  Three days later Melissa’s voice, full of torment and pain, calls to me in my dreams.  It is no longer a whisper, the way it used to be, but a cry for help, as sharp and urgent as a razor blade pressed against a trembling wrist.

I know about wrists and razors.  When told my relatives in Russia about Melissa and me over the phone, they disowned me.  I became a lesbianka to them–only murdering someone would’ve been worse.  I was eighteen at the time.  The razor seemed the only way to cope.

When I wake, I find that Melissa’s voice has followed me from the dream, like a pulsing red thread of Ariadne.  Instead of meditating it away the way my shrink taught me, I listen to it closely.  I will not snap the thread that connects us.  Not anymore.

In my backyard where a stunted olive tree grows among knotgrass and oxalis, I dig a hole in the damp soil next to a sprinkler.  ‘If you have a woe, dig a hole and tell your woe to the Mother Moist Earth.  Make an offering to Her and to the one who can grant your wish,’ my great-grandmother told me when I was a little girl, back in Russia.  ‘Superstitious nonsense,’ I would’ve said a few months ago, maybe even a few days ago.  When I came to this country, I made a decision to leave all the superstitions behind.

On the other hand, maybe it’s just the lack of pills talking, telling me to do the things for which my shrink, if he knew, would have me admitted to a psychiatric ward.  But after six years of his cream-colored cards, the lake still holds my lover and me captive.

A handful of redwood compost goes into the hole.  It smells like decaying pine needles on the forest floor that sees only dappled sunlight.  Then I sprinkle in the seeds from different flowers: daisies, begonias, dahlias, dianthus.  Perhaps one or two will be chosen.  I whisper my plight into the hole, my words falling in like droplets of sorrow.

From a plastic jar I pour lake water onto the mound.  And I wait, and water, and mark the days on a calendar with a red pen.

When the plant finally blooms, I recognize a dahlia, but not the kind I have ever seen before.  Its outer petals are blue, like the lake on a summer day without clouds.  The inner petals are as black as the lake at night and among them a moon-yellow center is nestled, bristling with the tentacles of stamens.

I wear gloves to cut the dahlia.  The way its colors glow, its melody that I can almost hear, this flower is not meant for human hands.  I do not know if the lake will accept this otherworldly dahlia in exchange for Melissa’s soul.  Perhaps it no longer knows the meaning of beauty because it has grown used to empty beer cans, candy wrappers and other garbage that people toss into its waters.  I have to take my chances.

So, I drive the dahlia to the lake in a closed cardboard box marked “X-mas, etc.” and Melissa’s voice grows louder with every mile.

The night is eerily like the one from six years ago: the drowned moon, the fishy smell of silt, the drooping willow branches combing the waves…

When I drop the dahlia into the lake, it does not float but sinks like a chunk of lead.  I wait.

The mist rises, just like before.  Fear is a copper coin on my tongue.  But I wait for her to come to me.  She steps out of the mist, her lake-weed hair trailing like a bridal veil.  Her body looks as before: It is made of aquatic plants, fish, a beer can, a candy wrapper, a used condom.  Her terrible beauty that held Melissa captive as she kissed my lover’s life away on that night still glows like a will-o’-the-wisp.

My road splits here: She will accept my offering or I’ll join Melissa.  The lake will take its toll either way.  That’s alright with me.  Mostly.  As I meet her glowing yellow gaze, a drop of sweat slides down my left temple.  It is chilly as melt water, even though the night is warm.  I shiver.

She holds her hands together, as if harboring a live moth within.  The dahlia blossom has replaced the beer can that used to be her left breast.  She nods to me, opens her hands and lets a puff of fog rise from her palms.  Before the fog dissipates, I catch in it a glimpse of a face, a lopsided smile and a dimple in the right cheek.  “Melissa,” I whisper.  Then I am alone and silence is only silence–it whispers nothing into my ears.

Back at home I keep vigil by the fireplace as I watch the cream-colored business cards turn to embers, then to gray ash.  The lake at last has let me go.


The end

A Witch Without Magic (paranormal fantasy novel)

Rescuing Oatmeal

She lay curled into a tight ball of gray and orange fur.  The other shelter cats moved around her like a tide of many colors.  They meowed, begging for our attention, ate kibble from large bowls or hissed at each other.  The tension in this room of the shelter was high – too many cats in too close quarters.  The air smelled of cat urine, oily feline bodies and kibble.


Despite all the commotion around her, the gray cat with little brush strokes of orange across her coat lay still, as if none of it concerned her in the least, as if she was trying to tune out the life around her.


My husband and I, volunteers at the cat shelter, played with the other cats.  We held, stroked and talked to them, trying to give them the attention they so badly needed.  We’d been coming to the shelter for several weeks now, but because the little gray and orange cat kept to herself, we never learned her name or her story.


One Sunday we were about to go home, when we noticed her.  When we came up to the shelf where she lay, we both touched her and stroked her.  She ignored us, as if she didn’t want to let herself feel anything.  We persisted and she finally opened her pale green eyes.  I saw such hopelessness in them that my throat tightened.


My husband picked her up, petted and talked to her.  At first she was quiet, almost limp in his arms.  Then she started to purr.  When I looked into her eyes again I knew what we had to do.  Although we had lost our dear feline companion to a car accident eight months ago and weren’t planning on adopting a new cat anytime soon, there was something about the gray and orange cat that touched us both in an unexpected way.  We looked at each other and we knew.


We found out that her name was Oatmeal and that she had been adopted and returned twice.  She had a sweet and affectionate personality, but her previous owners couldn’t care for her for various reasons.  Next Saturday when we came to take her home, she saw us through one of the windows in the shelter room where she lived and came to the door.  There we found her, waiting for us and ready to go, minus a bindle of possessions over her shoulder.


We had the staff put her in our cat carrier to take her home.  On the way out, as always, I wished I could take all the cats home – so many pairs of feline eyes full of broken hopes.


Because Oatmeal seemed like such a bland name for our new cat with her bubbly and affectionate personality, we renamed her.  She is now Solstice, because we adopted her near the summer solstice and because the little touches of orange coloring in her gray fur look like glimpses of the sun through the clouds.  Sometimes we refer to her as our angel cat, because she helped us heal from the loss of our cat that had passed away.

A Witch Without Magic – Paranormal Fantasy Novel

Cursed by an insane nymph that stole her magic, Belladonna now must find more mundane ways to earn a living. After all, she has a slew of house-mates to support: a ghost, a house guardian spirit, and twenty-one cats. When everyone on her street except her begins to age at an alarming rate, she gets the blame. To save her neighbors and prove her innocence, she must travel to the Otherworld where her worst fears will come to life.

The Magic in the New Year’s Tree

Officially speaking, Christmas was not celebrated in the Soviet Union.  It didn’t disappear altogether, just became converted into the New Year’s celebration.  The decorated tree, the presents, and the holiday table, set with the rather utilitarian dishes of Soviet cuisine, became the new tradition while Christmas went underground.  Still, the holiday retained some of its magic, although in the tiny apartment where I grew up in the midst of the Siberian tundra the magic was mostly of the tacky kind.

Because our artificial New Year’s tree looked more like a used bottle brush, we over-decorated it to cover up the scruffy branches.  We hung shiny glass ornaments and tinsel; tossed little white puffs of cotton that pretended to be snow on the branches; and strung colored lights that reflected in the tinsel and the ornaments.  We also hung tinsel from the ceiling.  It made the living room, which doubled as my parents’ bedroom, look like a place where silver rain fell continuously, never touching the scuffed floor.

If you switched off the ceiling light and left only the tree lights on, and if you squinted, the living room-bedroom with its pink wallpaper, worn red carpet, and a gurgling radiator under the iced window, disappeared.  What you saw were twinkling fairy lights, which did make the place appear magical.

After the traditional meal of potato salad, fried chicken, pickles, and beet salad that didn’t taste all that different from the potato salad, my parents would go out to celebrate with their friends.  Alone in the apartment, I would sit quietly with the ceiling light off.  The room would be illuminated only by the New Year’s tree lights and the glow that seeped through the window ice.

I would squint and stare at the decorated tree and wait for something magical to happen.  Perhaps a beautiful spirit would step out of the glow and take me with it, away from the dilapidated apartment where the radiators gurgled and the air faintly smelled like potato salad.  I would wind up someplace with trees and flowers, someplace where true magic lived.

Of course it never happened and I never told anyone about my New Year’s Eve vigils, because both my parents and my classmates would’ve made fun of me.  Fantasies and deep feelings were acceptable in fairytales but not in real life in the Soviet Union.  You could hardly even find any fantasy books in book stores, though science fiction was more common.  Perhaps Soviet citizens were supposed to live firmly in the socialist present and dream of the future when communist paradise would become reality.

I didn’t know it then, but my love for writing fantasy was born during my New Year’s Eve vigils.  I think Yaroslava, the heroine of my novel, A HANDFUL OF EARTH, had her beginnings there, too, because she knows about forbidden magic and loneliness and how to hide her feelings from people that wouldn’t understand.


Review of A HANDFUL OF EARTH by Diane Donovan of Midwest Book Review

A Handful of Earth is a powerful saga of ancient Russia. Here spinster princess Yaroslava faces strife and danger as a Mongol hoard draws near her village, threatening her people and complicating a dire situation in which her father is too old and ill to deal with them; yet her people refuse to follow a woman.

When her kingdom falls Yaroslava becomes a slave, destined to be a concubine to a Mongol lord, and even then faces enemies from within those ranks. To gain her freedom and any remnants of her kingdom she must use tools foreign to her: magic, deception, and even treason.

This saga is wonderful, packed with historical details and lively action; but best of all is the powerful and captivating language of a writer who begins the story with a bang: “I needed to be Princess Olga. Her people had followed her into battle when she ruled Rus three hundred summers ago. I, on the other hand, couldn’t even talk my townswomen into
evacuating before the Tartar siege.”

A Handful of Earth is a first-person story of nobility, courage, and survival told in a spirited, involving voice that is packed with drama and psychological reflection: “I kept my silence, for I had learned from my father that when a man aches inside, he doesn’t necessarily want you to draw him out of his dark thoughts. Trying to talk to him at a time like this only makes the thoughts grow darker and that darkness can turn on you if you aren’t careful.”

Romance, changing allegiances and issues of courage and survival of oppressors makes this a powerful and fast-paced novel packed with supernatural elements that spice the protagonist’s conflicts with man with her ultimate conflict with forces on the dark side.

Ultimately Princess Yaroslava must face these dark forces both within and outside of her kingdom, and must find a way to overcome them to realize her true destiny and that of her world.

A Handful of Earth charts bravery, leadership, and a woman’s struggles to become a winner. You could say it’s an epic historical novel of ancient Russia, but that would be simplifying the novel’s force and strengths.

More than a singular piece of historical fiction, it’s a saga of what it means to be female, a leader, and how deals with the devil are contemplated in the course of a struggle for freedom.

It’s a saga replete with psychological tension and struggle, and is a top recommendation.