Saturday, November 23, 2013

Allegories of the Tarot review and giveaway ~Kami

Allegories of the Tarot

byAnnetta Ribken (editor), Peter Giglio Lon Prater, Billie Sue Mosiman , Kris Austen Radcliffe , Spike Marlowe , Jessica McHugh , Eden Baylee ,…Rochelle Maya Callen , Red Tash , MeiLin Miranda , Catie Rhodes , Anne Chaconas , Patti Larsen , Jordan L. Hawk , Samantha Henderson, J.H. Sked , Tristan J. Tarwater , Jennifer Wingard , Laura Eno , Timothy Smith , Matthew Bryan

The ALLEGORIES OF THE TAROT Anthology is a short story collection, featuring 22 stories based on the 22 cards of the Major Arcana of the tarot. The stories range in length from 2,300 to 6,000 words, and are penned by new, emerging, established, and award-winning authors across a range of genres: Horror, Speculative Fiction, Bizarro Fiction, Erotica, Mystery, Humor, Paranormal, Epic Fantasy, Literary, Romance, and Historical Fantasy. Although you may not be interested in the genres of some of the stories, there is something in this anthology for everyone and it includes at least some of the genres you listed as being interested in reviewing, and so I thought of you when going through my list of Badass Blog Tour Hosts. The group of authors in this anthology includes a Pushcart Prize nominee, a Pulp Ark nominee, a former Bigfoot researcher, a journalist, an award-winning YA author, and a Rhysling Award winner.

This is a really great anthology with a very eclectic mix of authors and subjects. I was really enjoying the stories and I liked how the authors tied their own unique styles to the Tarot deck's major arcana. Some of the stories are centered around a Tarot reading and their Tarot card. I like the ones that interpret the Tarot card without ever actually mentioning the card better. Some of the stories were very short and ended too abruptly. All in all a very enjoyable read. 4 stars.

On the Road to Devil's Gulch ~ Peter Giglio
In this story a young man is hitch hiking with a dog. Twenty-three-year-old Bill wants experiences that he can write about. The Tarot Card The Fool has a picture of a young man who is about to walk off a cliff, a dog biting at his heels. This story definitely takes that picture and turns it into a very interesting story.

The Intern's Story ~ Lon Prater

An old man and a young man are at a bingo parlor intent on photographing fairies.

Deadly Son ~ Billie Sue Mosiman

Katrine tries to warn King Solomon that Sheba will bring catastrophe with her.

Flesh In Frame ~ Spike Marlowe

This is a really interesting story about a female artist and plants. A really short, very eerie little tale. I liked this one a lot.

Dmitri and the Mad Monk ~ Kris Austen Radcliffe

Dmitri poisons, stabs and shoots Rasputin and then throws him in the river. Dmitri and Rasputin are both shifters and hard to kill.

On the Shoulders of Muses ~ Jessica McHugh

This is a science fiction story about muses. Delivering inspiration is very scientific in this story. Another very interesting short little tale that I enjoyed a lot.

A Modern Affair ~ Eden Baylee

Ellen is getting a Tarot reading, the Lovers card comes up and the psychic says that it could represent her having an affair with a younger man. Ellen's older husband is the Director of Obstetrics & Gynecology and she is an erotica writer. Ellen is struggling with writing a sex scene in her book. J.D. Ellsworth is a poet and in an online writer's group that Ellen is a member of and they quickly start messaging each other sexually charged, innuendo filled messages. Their banter is erotic and very steamy. I was disappointed that this story ended so quickly. I liked the little naughty, online affair.

Squashfest ~ Annetta Ribken
Two Southern girls go to a squashfest, some kind of fair to celebrate squash. They go to the fortune teller's tent. Sally Mae wants to know where her father is. “You’ll have a heap to get over, but in the end you’ll be on the winning side on account you’re ornery and stubborn.” This story seemed like part of a bigger piece. It wasn't really a stand alone story at all.

A Promise in the Dark ~ Rochelle Maya Callen

In Zorilah the Arcana live. This story reminded me a lot of Kresley Cole's The Arcana Chronicles but this takes the Strength card, a girl holding a lion's mouth closed and crafts a story around a girl taming lions in an arena.

The Hermit ~ Red Tash

The Hermit's magical lantern shows him the truth, but not the only truth.

Vista Bridge ~ MeiLin Miranda

 Juanita tries to save suicides jumping off a bridge by giving them good luck. But life isn't fair and she isn't supposed to have her finger on the wheel.

Justice ~ Catie Rhodes

Peri can see dead people.

Path of Sacrifice ~ Matthew Bryan

A demon story.

Transformation ~ Timothy Smith

 Rose's grandfather is dying. This is a sad little poignant tale.

Reply All ~ Anne Chaconas

A story told in emails. The boss's wife is having an affair. A group is gossiping about it in email until a comment is accidentally sent “Reply All” and the entire office knows about it. I thought this story was so clever and funny. I could relate to office gossip through email and the dreaded “Reply All” button.

Hoarder ~ Patti Larsen

  Jane buys more and more things to try to make herself happy. A very scary, creepy little story.

After the Fall ~ Jordan L. Hawk

A psychic powers, sci fi, sweet, romantic story.

L’Etoile Flamboyant ~ Samantha Henderson

A tale of The Night Circus

The Moon ~ J.H. Sked

Anna has cancer and she goes to her magical friend.

The Strange Case of Sal and the Solar Elixir ~ Tristan J. Tarwater

A Body for Your Birthday ~ Jennifer Wingard

Phoenix ~ Laura Eno


Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Waking Up Dead (Callie Taylor, #1) by Margo Bond Collins spotlight with giveaway ~Kami


When Callie Taylor died, she expected to go to heaven—or maybe hell. Instead, when she was murdered in Dallas by some jerk with a knife and a bad-mommy complex, she went to Alabama. Now she’s seen another murder, and she can’t just let it go; she must find a way to make sure the police figure out who really killed Molly McClatchy before an innocent man goes to prison, all the while trying to determine how and why she woke up dead in Alabama.

 Margo Bond Collins is the author of the paranormal mystery "Waking up Dead," forthcoming in 2013 from Solstice Publishing, and "Legally Undead," first in an urban fantasy series coming in 2014 from World Weaver Press ( She lives in Texas with her husband, their daughter, several spoiled cats, and a ridiculous turtle. She teaches college English online. She loves paranormal fiction of any genre and spends most of her free time daydreaming about vampires, ghosts, zombies, werewolves, and other monsters.

Authors name/Pen name: Margo Bond Collins

Author’s Bio: Margo Bond Collins lives in Texas with her husband, their daughter, several spoiled cats, and a ridiculous turtle. She teaches college-level English courses online, though writing fiction is her first love. She enjoys reading urban fantasy and paranormal fiction of any genre and spends most of her free time daydreaming about vampires, ghosts, zombies, werewolves, and other monsters. Waking Up Dead is her first published novel. Her second novel, Legally Undead, is an urban fantasy, forthcoming in 2014 from World Weaver Press.



Twitter:  @MargoBondCollin

Be sure to add Waking Up Dead to your Goodreads bookshelves:

Book Trailers: 100%

Waking Up Dead

Release Date: October 8, 2013


When Dallas resident Callie Taylor died young, she expected to go to Heaven, or maybe Hell. Instead, she met her fate early thanks to a creep with a knife and a mommy complex. Now she's witnessed another murder, and she's not about to let this one go. She's determined to help solve it before an innocent man goes to prison. And to answer the biggest question of all: why the hell did she wake up in Alabama?

Genre: Paranormal Mystery


Excerpt 1

When I died, I expected to go to heaven.

Okay. Maybe hell. It’s not like I was perfect or anything. But I was sort of hoping for heaven.

Instead, I went to Alabama.

Yeah. I know. It’s weird.

I died in Dallas, my hometown. I was killed, actually. Murdered. I’ll spare you the gruesome details. I don’t like to remember them myself. Some jerk with a knife--and probably a Bad-Mommy complex. Believe me, if I knew where he was, I’d go haunt his ass.

At any rate, by the time death came, I was ready for it--ready to stop hurting, ready to let go. I didn’t even fight it.

And then I woke up dead in Alabama. Talk about pissed off.

You know, even reincarnation would have been fine with me--I could have started over, clean slate and all that. Human, cow, bug. Whatever. But no. I ended up haunting someplace I’d never even been.

That’s not the way it’s supposed to work, right? Ghosts are supposed to be the tortured spirits of those who cannot let go of their earthly existence. If they could be convinced to follow the light, they’d leave behind said earthly existence and quit scaring the bejesus out of the poor folks who run across them. That’s what all those “ghost hunter” shows on television tell us.

Let me tell you something. The living don’t know jack about the dead.

Not this dead chick, anyway.


Excerpt 2

As Molly straightened up, the man slipped the wire over her head and twisted it around her neck. She struggled, but he pulled the garrote tighter and tighter.

I was screaming at the top of my ghostly voice, for all the good it did me. I moved up behind the man and beat at his back with closed fists--fists that slipped in and out of his back without ever making real contact. He shuddered a little--clearly he was one of the very slightly sensitive ones--but he didn’t loosen his hands.

I reached up and tried to grab the wire, tried to pull against the pressure he was exerting on the wire and it did loosen for an instant. But only for an instant. The living have more control over solid objects than the dead do. I never resented that fact more than at that moment.

But I kept trying. I kept trying as Molly’s face turned purple, then blue, then black, kept trying even as she drooped in the man’s grip.

Then he loosened the wire and it was too late. I watched that wispy, light-on-fog life force slip out of Molly and move on to wherever it is that other people go when they die. I was glad she didn’t show up next to me as a full-blown ghost. At that moment, I wouldn’t have wished my impotent half-existence on anyone.

I couldn’t help thinking that if I’d been alive, I might have been able to save her.

If I could have cried real tears, I would have. As it was, I was sobbing hoarsely and calling the man every dirty name I could think of.

I was still cursing as I followed him around the kitchen. First he opened the pantry and pulled out a box of Hefty garbage bags. Then he grabbed a knife out of the block on the counter. And finally, he picked up Molly’s body and carried it to the bathroom.


Excerpt 3

“Hey,” I said, hurrying after the woman. “Wait up.”

“I know you’re not talking to me,” she said. She stared straight ahead and pushed her cart down the middle of the aisle toward housewares.

“I am talking to you. Look. I know this is really weird, but I need your help.”

“Well, I’m not talking to you. I don’t know what your problem is, but you can take it somewhere else.”

I wanted to reach out and grab her cart, to make her stop and talk to me, but of course I couldn’t. Which gave me an idea.

I scurried out in front of her, planting myself in her path.

“Move,” she said.

“Not until you hear me out. Please?”

She moved her cart to the left. I stepped out to intercept her. She moved to the right. So did I.

“You got some kind of death wish or something?” she asked.

I laughed and shook my head. “If only you knew.”

“I’ve got no time for this,” she said. And she slammed into me with her shopping cart.

At least, that’s what she planned to do.

The shopping cart, however, slid right through me. When it stopped, the basket had sliced cleanly through my midsection. The bottom rack merged with my ankles. From my perspective, it looked like two perfectly solid objects--me and the shopping cart--had melted together. I don’t know what she saw.

Whatever it was, it wasn’t good.

The woman’s eyes widened, then rolled up into her head as she slumped to the ground in a dead faint.

I bent down to try to wake her up, but no matter how hard I concentrated on making contact, I couldn’t even touch her.

I hate being a ghost.


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