Monday 26 February 2018

Cover Reveal and New Book Release: Unquiet Dead by Chris Pavesic...


Unquiet Dead

Chris Pavesic

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About the Unquiet Dead

In Chiaroscuro it’s important to keep the faith.

When the Temples north of Chiaroscuro are burned and followers of the Sun Goddess are murdered, Catherine, a bard of the Ealdoth Temple, sets out to find those responsible and to bring them to justice. With only the help of a traveling group of minstrels and a retired fae investigator, Catherine must solve the mystery before more people are killed.

So saddle up your clockwork mount, buckle on your electro-dagger, and join Catherine as she finds herself pitted against members of her own Temple, rogues members of the Seelie Court, and a seemingly unstoppable army of undead.

Genres: Steampunk/Mystery/Dark Fantasy 

Length: 140 pages. 
Available in Print and E-Book 

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Services were scheduled to commence in an hour, and Ernest needed to be ready. He struck a match and lit the first gaslight, watching the flame take hold and flare up. The light pushed back the shadows so parishioners were able to find their way to the pews without stumbling. He would extinguish the artificial lights right before the service so the effect of the sunlight illuminating the darkness hit with maximum impact as it flooded through the skylights. 
The parishioners would marvel at how the Temple filled with the Goddess’s Holy Light just in time for the service. Ernest would marvel at the fact that none of them were smart enough to realize he flipped a switch on back of the altar to swing open mechanical shutters. 
There was a religious stirring in Grand Marsh more powerful than anything Ernest had experienced in his ten years as a Sacerd. The services at dawn, noon, and sundown were packed. Few of the farmers went out to the fields. They worked in town on community projects or sat drinking at the tavern. Their wives remained in the town square, full of chatter, instead of staying on their farmsteads. Their thin voices filled the air. The youngest children were kept close while the teens clustered in protective packs far enough away to keep their discussions out of reach of their parents’ ears. But close enough to be in sight at all times. None of them wandered off. 
Three times a day they filled the Temple, ready to hear his words. Faces tilted up to him. Man and woman, young and old. And none of his parishioners would confess why they were so filled with the Holy Spirit that they were neglecting their farms. They were afraid of speaking blasphemy. But he knew the reason, and it caused a lift in his heart that was not due to religious inspiration. They were scared, plain and simple, and it gave him hope. 
Since being assigned to the far parish almost five years ago, a posting he saw as an end to the upward progress of his career in the Temple, he struggled daily to swallow his disappointment. It wouldn’t leave, and it was bitter. Bitter. 
In this remote village, far from the bustle and industry of Chiaroscuro, the quality of his life, the texture of his life, changed. He longed for life in the city. The world seemed to have shifted into two zones. The pace of life for the city dwellers increased while people living in the countryside were being left behind. 
Time’s arrow struck fastest through the densest populations. Sacerds assigned to any of the major cities made more connections and accumulated more power in a single week than he did in a year. Exerting influence was impossible when the spheres of power were spinning outside of his reach, moving too fast for him to see, let alone have an impact. 
The wound to his pride stung the most. The elders had hurt his feelings. To be dismissed so easily, passed along so casually—it was like the swatting of an annoying insect. The Temple elders did not treat him as if he mattered, as if his family ties were consequential. True he was a third son, but of a noble line. And they assigned him to a rustic Temple to attend to common folk far below his station. 
Very little was required of him here. Or, more precisely, very little of what he did here interested him. He burned to return to the central Temple and to be part of the intrigues and power shifts. This attracted him more than caring for the simple souls of farmers and shopkeepers. Power was why he joined the Temple, and what he was now denied. 
But not for long. The thought clanged in his mind with undeniable rightness. Not righteousness. It was an important distinction. Would the Goddess sanction his actions? Probably not, but he was past caring about her approval. During all of the ceremonies, all of the prayer and introspection, he had never felt any divine presence. He had never witnessed any miracles, and doubted their existence. 
But power, oh he had seen the existence of power. Political. Social. Religious. Whatever you called it really didn’t matter. Get enough people to follow you. Enough people to believe in what you were selling. This was the belief that could move the world. 
There was only one woman in his life he needed to please now, and she held no divinity. Merci had offered him a way out of this rural purgatory, and he had accepted. Truth be told, he had grabbed at it like a castaway might grab at a line from a passing airship. If the price were the damnation of his soul, so be it. 
He glanced out the window at the transport coming down the lane. A high quality clockwork carriage with the Temple’s Crest stamped on the doors rattled over the boards strewn across the irrigation ditch and stopped, parking in the speckled light cast by the ornament trees planted along the lane. The carriage blocked traffic, but the driver did not seem to care. Elder members of the clergy, Hlytere, and above, felt they had the right of way. Others had to go around. 
A pale, dark-haired woman emerged and stood for a moment looking around. She pulled the hood of her dark cloak over her hair and walked through the yard toward the Temple. Ernest’s gaze followed her, trying to imagine who this stranger was. 
Her footsteps sounded in the aisle and, when he turned from window, she was almost upon him. Her speed startled him. When he saw her face to face he realized she was younger than he had supposed. Too young to be a Hlytere, but her use of the carriage meant she was favored by the Temple elders. The seed of jealousy radiated through him. He felt it in his chest and the pit of his stomach. He struggled to keep the emotion off his face. “Greetings.” He shook her hand with a firm grasp. Her hands were small and smooth and white. “Will you come in for a moment?” He led her to the small reception room off the main area that contained a round table and several wooden chairs. He lit a cheroot, offered her one, which she declined, and they sat down. 
“Please forgive me for calling on you so close to mid-day Services, Sacerd Ernest.” She paused. “You are Sacerd Ernest, correct? It’s not like me to presume.” 
“Of course. I’m glad you came. I watched you drive up, you know, and I wondered who you were. We don’t get many visitors from the Temple here.” 
“I’m surprised you don’t recognize me, cousin. Of course, I didn’t recognize you. So perhaps it’s not so surprising.” 
“I’m sorry. I …” 
“I’m from the cadet line of our family tree. My father is the elder son of the younger son of our line.” 
His brow creased in thought. “Grace?” 
“Yes,” she said with a smile, reaching out to touch his hand. Her fingers rested there for a moment too long. Lingered. And then she leaned back in the chair and crossed her legs, which were slim and bare beneath her robe. 
Sacerd Ernest regarded his guest, wondering that her physical presence should suddenly dawn upon him so. She was more beautiful than he had thought at first. Her skin was clear and lovely, and her eyes and mouth were made up carefully and well. 
What’s her game? He licked at the perspiration that appeared upon his upper lip. 
“I would like your help in a small matter. And of course I wanted to meet you.” 
“You did?” 
“Our sponsor has spoken of you with such affection.” 
“Our superior?” He used the wrong word to see if she would correct him. 
“Technically, I suppose, she may be yours. I’ve never thought much of the rules of hierarchy in the Temple.” She cocked her head, listening to noises from the other room. Some of his parishioners had started to file in for the service. “It’s such a mercy, isn’t it?’ 
Ah, code words
She must think she’s being clever, although he had no idea who could possibly overhear their conversation. It was only just dawning on him why she must be here. In his town. In his Temple. But he didn’t care. All he wanted to do was get out of Grand Marsh. Get back to Chiaroscuro. It didn’t bother him that people, his parishioners, may die, or suffer a fate worse than death. He just wanted to get out. 
It’s not my fault if I’m following orders. 
But that was a poor excuse, wasn’t it? Guilt flared, hot and strong. 
Do you want to stay in Grand Marsh forever? Ministering to the townsfolk? Do you? 
No … but he didn’t want to hurt people. Those conflicting thoughts pulled at him. There was the question of right and wrong. What was right for him might go wrong for others. But that was the way it had to be. 
Thus he banished the guilt. When something inside of him tried to protest again, tried to tell him to think before he did this, he smothered it. 
“When?” He didn’t have any time for nonsense. The quicker it occurred, the quicker he resumed his rightful place. 
“In two days. I have some items in my transport that need to be set up in the Temple, but kept out of view.” She smiled and spoke a little louder so that the earliest arrivals overheard her. “I wish I could stay to help with the Mass, but I am needed back in Chiaroscuro.” She lowered her voice. “Officially I never left the city.” 
“Of course.” He guessed that she had no desire to partake in the service. “I will help you with whatever you need.” Whatever may come of it, he had gone too far to stop now.
Meet the Author:

Chris Pavesic lives in the Midwestern United States and loves Kona coffee, fairy tales, and all types of speculative fiction. Between writing projects, Chris can most often be found reading, gaming, gardening, working on an endless list of DIY household projects, or hanging out with friends.

Find Chris Pavesic Online:

Amazon Author Page
Facebook Author Page
Tweets @chrispavesic

Monday 19 February 2018

The Importance of Downtime for Writers and Discovering New Books…

The East Coast of Newfoundland
In August 2017, one of the trips on my bucket list was checked off. Along with my hubby, son and his significant other, my brother and his wife, we headed out to Newfoundland for a week of fun, sun, and relaxation. Okay, so there was some sun, and the weather wasn’t too bad (glad I packed pants and a warm coat), but the experience proved to be unforgettable. It’s true what they say about Newfoundlanders. They’re friendly, accommodating, warm, and welcoming! Especially on George Street in St. John’s…

I’ve written about why writers need R&R before, and you can read that post HERE. Taking breaks between your writing projects and tasks is so important for writers. It gives your brain time to slow down, and quit thinking about what’s on your writer’s to-do list next. It’s important to recharge and take some time away from the keyboard, and I did just that when I went to visit Canada’s Rock.

Getting Screeched-In at Christian's Pub on George Street
Among the things we did were whale watching (what a treat!) and seeing the too-many-to-count puffins dive-bomb us in the excursion boat. We also went hunting for the last iceberg on the east coast and managed to find it, though it seemed a shadow of its former self. And the scenery! Well, it truly is breath-taking! I can only imagine what greeted the Vikings when they discovered this carbon copy of their homeland. Most of us got screeched-in (makes you an honorary Newfoundlander) through a special ceremony that you get to kiss a cod fish and drink a shot of screech. Still cringing.

I was lucky enough to meet a fellow author at the Inn we were staying at, and we conversed about the joys and perils of publishing. The author’s name is Andrew Peacock and he is a bit of a celebrity around Newfoundland. Now a retired veterinarian, Andrew wrote about his adventures (and misadventures) being the only veterinarian for miles around. Originally from Ontario, Andrew figured he and his wife, Ingrid would only be staying in Newfoundland briefly. Turns out he was wrong about the duration, and three decades later he and his wife still live on the Rock. Curious as to Andrew’s story, I bought a signed hardcover book, Creatures of the Rock, and immersed myself into his world. It was the perfect pick for the downtime I needed, and many of the places he mentions, I got to visit firsthand. So, I thought I’d share this gem with you.

About the book:

When you’re the only veterinarian in an area that’s 130 miles long and has a coast on either side, you never know what each new day might bring. A cow giving birth, a colicky horse, an aggressive lynx, caribou in need of pastures new, a polar bear in a bingo hall, a six-hundred-pound boar who won’t like what you’ve been asked to do to him… The only constants for Andrew Peacock are his faithful dog and his passion for his work.

When Andrew Peacock made the move from Ontario to Newfoundland, he thought he was kicking off his career as a newly qualified veterinarian with a brief adventure in a novel location. Turns out he was wrong about the duration—he is still in Newfoundland three decades later.  But it has certainly been an adventure. A whole series of adventures.

In his immense new practice—half the Avalon Peninsula—Andrew was the only vet for miles around, visiting patients (and their owners) on farms, in homes and zoos, and in the wild. 
A day’s work could include anything from performing a Caesarian section on a cow in a blizzard, to pursuing a moose on the loose, to freeing a humpback whale from a trap designed for cod. And, on the human side, anything from trying to impress a surprisingly large audience of farmers with your first boar castration, to taking care of the distressed owners of a stricken cat, to discouraging farm hands from helping themselves to hypodermic needles.
All this against the background of a domestic scene in which Andrew's wife Ingrid—also freshly qualified, as a “human doctor”—shares the adventure of making a new life, fitting in to a well-established community, and in due course of starting a family.

Andrew Peacock is a born vet, devoted to the care of animals, and in constant wonder as an observer of their lives.  Luckily for the rest of us, he is a born storyteller, too. Creatures of the Rock is a funny, thrilling, unflinching but ultimately heartwarming collection of tales about the connections between people and animals, and people with each other.

Sounds like an interesting read, right? In a way, Peacock’s novel is reminiscent of the book, All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot. Incidentally, Herriot started writing his books when he was fifty, and penned fifteen books in the time that he could wrest away from his practice. They sold 50 million copies in 20 countries. But he continued his veterinary practice long after his books made him famous, and once said, “If a farmer calls me with a sick animal, he couldn’t care less if I were George Bernard Shaw.” I truly believe Mr. Peacock is in good company here.

If you’re an animal lover, I urge you to pick up either Andrew Peacock’s memoir, or check out James Herriot’s wonderfully written books that also spawned a long-running television series. Although my novel, Lost and Found is about a teenager possessing the psychic ability to talk to animals, my hope is that it brings awareness to the plight and needs of animal shelters, sanctuaries, and rescues everywhere. Have you ever discovered a great book or met an interesting author while on vacation or taking some downtime? Would love to read your input and comments. Cheers, and thank you for spending time with me by reading my blog!

Monday 12 February 2018

Love is in the Kitchen with a Free Cookbook Offer: Sweets and Treats for Someone Special…

Remember the old adage, ‘The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach’? There may be some truth to that, though I would update the phrase to say, ‘The way to a person’s heart is through his or hers’ stomach’. After all, food is an intimate experience. Good food creates memories, forges friendships, makes the heart grow fonder, and makes for good dinner table conversations. And food is one of the ways you can show someone that you care for them.

If the thought of cooking a romantic meal or baking a sweet treat for your true love makes you tingly all over, then have I got a gift for you! Cue a romantically-inspired cookbook written by the following fourteen proficient and prolific authors, of various ages and genres: Marci BoudreauxCarol BrowneHL CarpenterSara Daniel,  C.D. HershVonnie Hughes, Alicia JosephEmma LaneLizzie T. Leaf, Sharon Ledwith, Susan LodgeAnne MontgomeryChris Pavesic, and Sloane TaylorThese wonderful writers have created an array of tantalizing recipes that will make your loved ones beg for more, and even offer to wash those dirty dishes.

Sweets and Treats for Someone Special is your go-to recipe book for entertaining on Valentine’s Day, hosting bridal showers and engagement parties, or celebrating that special event with your true love. Compiled by Sloane Taylor—a gourmet cook in her own right—and designed by mother-daughter duo HL Carpenter, the included recipes offer a wide variety of mouth-watering treats, indulgences, and meals to satisfy your loved ones’ cravings and insatiable hunger.

Oh, and did I mention that it is FREE

So why not have your just desserts? Literally. You’ve got nothing to lose and sultry memories to gain when you download Sweets and Treats for Someone Special. There’s a recipe for even the fussiest lover in your life. Give yourself a gift during the season of love with a sensual cookbook from fourteen writers who would love nothing more than to share their favorite recipes, and fulfill your deepest desires. Bon Appetit!

Download your FREE cookbook at Smashwords, and Amazon

Monday 5 February 2018

Come Celebrate my Birthday with a 99¢ Sale on ALL my Ebooks…

It’s that time again. You know, when Mr. Groundhog awakens on February 2nd to see if he can spot his shadow or not. Well, while he’s checking out to see if we’ll have an early spring or not, I’m kicking off my annual birthday celebration by doing something a little different this year. Starting February 2nd and running until the end of the month, ALL my ebooks will be on sale for only 99 cents through Mirror World Publishing, and all major online stores! Yup, you read that right! If you haven’t read any of my books in The Last Timekeepers young adult time travel adventure series or Mysterious Tales from Fairy Falls teen psychic mystery series, please consider filling up your ereader devices with one, two, or all of my books for under $5.

BONUS: If you’d rather crack open a real book, Mirror World Publishing has graciously lowered the prices on The Last Timekeepers and the Arch of Atlantis and Lost and Found paperbacks. This deal is only available on their website.

NOTE: Due to circumstances beyond my control, the third party online ebook prices for 99 cents won’t kick in until February 11th. I sincerely apologize, but the ebook sale is on right now over in Mirror World Publishing’s virtual BOOKSTORE in all available formats. 

To make it easier, below is a list of all my ebooks, and the online store buy links:

The Last Timekeepers and the Arch of Atlantis (Book #1):

Legend of the Timekeepers (prequel):

The Last Timekeepers and the Dark Secret (Book #2):


Lost and Found, Book One: Mysterious Tales from Fairy Falls:

This amazing deal won’t last long! Plus, I can’t think of a better way to ride out the forecast that Mr. Groundhog gives us than relaxing with a good ebook (or paperback), a comfortable chair, and cozy blanket. Keep warm, and I hope you get to escape to the past and have a blast with one of my books! Cheers and thank you!