The Truth about Night

The Truth About Night
by Amanda Arista
Genre: Paranormal Mystery
As an investigative journalist, Merci Lanard has an uncanny knack for getting the truth out of people, a talent she uses to expose the real story behind her city’s most gruesome crimes.
Until one night, when her partner, Ethan, is killed.
Reeling from shock and grief, Merci vows to track down his murderer. As she starts digging, she meets Ethan’s estranged brother, Rafe, who agrees to work with Merci to find his brother’s killer. She soon discovers Ethan had been hiding things from her, mainly that he was a Shifter and had a whole life in a supernatural world she knew nothing about.
A Shifter himself, Rafe introduces Merci to magic she never knew existed. As they work together to uncover hidden connections between Ethan’s murder and a series of strange dead bodies, they find themselves in the crosshairs of a turf war for the soul of the city.
If Merci is to have any hope of saving her city, she will have to face the truth about this war, the truth about this new magical world, and the truth about who she truly is.
Amanda was born in Illinois, raised in Corpus Christi, lives in Dallas but her heart lies in London. Good thing she loves to travel.
During the summer after second grade, she read every book in the young adult section of the library, much to the surprise of the local librarian. So she started making up her own stories and hasn’t stopped.
She has a husband who fights crime, one dog who thinks he’s a real boy, and another who might be a fruit bat in disguise. She recently added a tiny human to the mix who is following in her mother’s footsteps of storytelling.
Along with her BA in English & Psychology and her MA in Education, Amanda is a graduate of the SMU Creative Writing Program and now teaches other aspiring authors. She has delivered lectures at several writer conferences and loves discussing craft, character, and structure. Her current favorite: Stirring up Trouble with Romantic Subplots.
She is represented by Kimberly Brower, of Brower Literary & Management.
Random Facts:
Amanda is adopted and loves to share that story with others to promote adoption.
Amanda has a collection of turtle figurines that collects on her travels.
Amanda has a strange love of cheesy horror movies. She prefers demons and witchcraft to slasher films.
Amanda is a really good bowler and completely rocks at croquet.
Amazon gift card and Merci Lanard swag pack.
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The Viola Valentine Mysteries

A Ghost of a Chance
A Viola Valentine Mystery Book 1
by Cherie Claire
Genre: Paranormal Mystery
From award-winning novelist Cherie Claire comes a new paranormal mystery series. They say there are blessings from Hurricane Katrina. For Viola Valentine of New Orleans, it was losing her dead-end job and leaving behind a loveless marriage and an overbearing family. But the storm also blew open a psychic door. Now she sees ghosts who have died by water. As she enters her new career as a travel writer, solving mysteries that appear with apparitions everywhere she goes, the one person she hopes to speak to — her daughter who died of leukemia years before — continues to elude her. Or does she?
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Ghost Town
A Viola Valentine Mystery Book 2
Every day at dusk, in a small Louisiana town, the dead emerge from Lorelei Lake. And travel writer Viola Valentine must use her “gift” of seeing ghosts to rid this town of its apparitions. Viola struggles not only with the task at-hand, but hopes that this evolving ability she obtained after Hurricane Katrina will help her reach her beloved Lillye. Yet, the more Viola struggles to talk to her departed daughter, the more frustrated she gets. Plus, it’s 2008, the height of the Great Recession, travel jobs are hard to come by, and her suffocating family and ex-husband keep making demands. She takes solace in a new love interest, one who teaches her how to harness her anger. In the end, Viola realizes that only love can solve her problems, from ridding ghosts of lakeside towns to healing a broken heart. Ghost Town, book two in the Viola Valentine Mystery Series by award-winning author Cherie Claire.
Trace of a Ghost
A Viola Valentine
Mystery Book 3
Award-winning novelist Cherie Claire continues her paranormal mystery series as travel writer Viola Valentine takes a trek down the historic Natchez Trace of Mississippi. Traveling with her is an adventurous heiress who’s been dead since 1860 and a living fellow travel writer who’s not what he seems. In the end, it’s a showdown between good and evil, and a bargain made with the devil at the crossroads may be Viola’s final undoing. Book Three in the Viola Valentine Paranormal Mystery Series.
Ghost Trippin’
A Viola Valentine
Mystery Book 4
John Valentine left home for a birding conference and never returned, his family chalking it up to the divorced father’s mid-life crisis. But when a body is found on the old family homestead, his daughter Viola must piece together the clues her father left behind. Along for the ride are her witchy Aunt Mimi, her uptight lawyer sister Portia and her sometimes ex-husband Thibault Boudreaux, otherwise known as TB. What they discover on this crazy ghost trip through Texas will be much more than they anticipated.Ghost Trippin’ continues the story of Viola Valentine, who changes her life after Hurricane Katrina and follows her dream of being a travel writer. But the storm also blew open a psychic door and now she sees ghosts who have died by water. As she travels the South in her new career she must also solve mysteries that appear with apparitions. But the one person she hopes to speak to — her daughter who died of leukemia years before — continues to elude her. Or does she?
Give Up the Ghost
A Viola Valentine Mystery Book 5
In 2005, Hurricane Katrina uprooted Viola Valentine from her dead-end job and what she deemed a loveless marriage. Four years later, she and her husband Thibault “TB” Boudreaux are starting over on a Tennessee houseboat, she following her dream as a travel writer and TB finishing school at Smoky Mountain University.But the ghosts of the past continue to hound the couple, infiltrating negative energy into their peaceful cove. With her family at stake, Vi must learn to harness her supernatural powers, face her fears and fight the evil that threatens to unravel them all. Book Five in the Viola Valentine Paranormal Mystery Series.
Cherie Claire grew up in south Louisiana, with mud between her toes and a rabid love of Mardi Gras parades. Born in New Orleans and now living in Cajun Country, she couldn’t help but write about her unique, colorful state.
Cherie is the award-winning author of several Cajun historical romances and The Cajun Embassy series of contemporary romances. She’s a Holt Award finalist, a Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice Award finalist and received the Louisiana Press Women Book of the Year. Her latest is a paranormal mystery series featuring ghost sleuth Viola Valentine of New Orleans.
Check out her non-fiction titles at
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Zia Westfield

Zia Westfield is the next contributor to Black Velvet Seductions Mystic Desire. Her short story is a paranormal shifter romance.

Author Bio

Zia Westfield creates suspenseful, exciting stories with romance at the heart of them. There is nothing more thrilling than watching two people fall in love despite the odds and the danger surrounding their every move.

She makes her home in Tokyo with her husband and three sons. She holds a full-time job, volunteers too much because she doesn’t know how to say “no,” and generally finds peace between the pages of a book or when she’s writing out the stories in her head.

Tell us about yourself.

I’m an Italian-American with the noisy family that comes with that and have lived in Japan for many years. My husband is Japanese with all the traditions and rules of that culture. It makes for interesting times at our house! We’ve raised three boys, who are university age, so I’m preparing for an empty nest soon. During the day I teach English as a foreign language to university students, a job that keeps me hopping. At night, I try to write whenever I can before I faceplant after a long day. I love walking along the beach, being with family, and watching Hallmark mysteries. I’m a sucker for a good romance and mystery. 🙂

When did you know you wanted to be an author?

My nose was always stuck in a book when I was a child. I think it was probably middle school or high school that the idea of writing a story glimmered as a possibility. But authors seemed like magical people with incredible imaginations. How could I possibly do something like that? It took many years and motherhood to give me the courage to actually try bringing the characters in my mind to life.

What genres do you like to read?  Are these the same genres you write in?

Mystery (especially cozy mysteries). Romantic Suspense. Paranormal Romance. I write in Romantic Suspense and Paranormal Romance. I haven’t tried to write a cozy mystery yet, but I think it would be a fun genre to work in.

Is your book for adults, young adults or children?

Mystic Desire is an anthology of short paranormal romance stories for adults.

What is your current release or project? 

Mystic Desire is out now! Woo hoo! In October, the next book in my Deadly Encounter series, Killer Deceptions will release.

Tell us about the key characters

Bewitching the Wolf is my story in Mystic Desire. Alice Humphreys is a witch who is loyal, hardworking and determined to remain single. Brodie MacEwan is a wolf shifter who believes in the ties of family and the soul-deep connection to the one woman fated to be his mate. When the two meet, it’s sparks all around!

What is your blurb or synopsis of the book?

Alice Humphreys has poured her heart and soul into creating a magical B&B where guests experience their fantasy vacation in their dreams. When Brodie MacEwan arrives looking for a room, she gives him his choice of the adventure room, the relaxation room or the romance room. There is something all too predatory about the Scotsman and he makes her body tingle in places it shouldn’t! 

Brodie has been sent to investigate the mysterious death of his uncle. He never expects to discover his mate in his dreams. But is the illusion real? As he moves closer to identifying the woman his soul is bound to, he must deal with a grumpy leprechaun, a ghostly terrier, bumps in the night, and musical bedrooms. Any other wolf shifter would turn tail and run, but Brodie never gives up when he’s in pursuit and never when the stakes are so high!

Share an excerpt

     An hour later, they were sitting around the table. Despite Alice’s best intentions, she had ended up next to Brodie. With every spoonful of Aunt Cora’s stew, she inhaled Brodie’s scent to the point that if someone has asked how the food tasted, she would have replied “wild with a dash of the outdoors.”

     A loud crash from above caused Alice to spill stew on her shirt. Oggie snatched the wine from the table, cradling it in the crook of his arm. “ ʼTis an earthquake,” he bellowed. Puddles popped into the room and ran toward them, but as Brodie stood up, Puddles skidded to a stop, yelped and poofed away.

     Alice wiped off the sauce trailing down her shirt, then tossed her napkin on the table. “I’ll go see what happened.” She addressed Brodie, grateful to escape his presence. “Please enjoy Aunt Cora’s amazing apple pie for dessert.”

     Brodie nodded towards Aunt Cora. “Please save me a piece. I’ll go with your niece.” He scraped back his chair and stood, his gray eyes darkened with a swirl of emotion she didn’t understand but that sent a shiver down her back.

     She led the way up the stairs, aware of him behind her the whole way. When she reached the room directly above the dining room, he moved in front of her.

     “What room is this?” he asked in a low rumble.

     She dropped her own voice in response. “Henry Duncan’s study. Nothing has been touched. Aunt Cora wouldn’t allow it.”

     He nodded and, standing to the side, opened the door slowly and then pushed it fully open. He stepped inside and, after peering in, Alice followed. She noted that Brodie had no problem maneuvering in the darkness. For her own sake, she hit the lights.

     The French windows to the balcony were open; the curtains billowed into the room with drops of wind and rain. Alice hurried across to thrust the large windows closed, locking the handles. She turned and surveyed the room. A pile of books lay on the floor next to the desk.

     “These books must have tumbled off when the windows blew open,” Alice said.

Brodie nodded. He prowled the room like a predator, the movement of his muscles mesmerizing and completely unacceptable. He was her guest—a guest who was cutting up her peace of mind.

     “Well, that should do it. Shall we go back?”

     Brodie glanced at her, his gaze more silvery than gray. “Not yet.”

     Alice frowned. She was about to remind him that he was a guest in the house when Puddles popped out from behind a bookcase, ran over to a large armchair situated near a standing lamp and sniffed the rug.

     “What’s the dog’s name?” Brodie asked, everything about him on alert.

     Puddles stiffened. His head came up, and tucking his tail beneath his legs, he scampered back towards the bookcase.

     “It’s Puddles.” She tapped her chin with her finger. “He seems afraid of you. I wonder why,” she added dryly.

     He ignored her. He barked out something in a language she didn’t understand, except for the word Puddles, and darn if that dog didn’t turn around and obediently trot over to the man.

     Brodie squatted down and, holding the dog’s gaze, appeared to hold silent communication with the Scottish terrier. Puddles’s tail began whipping side to side with increasing vigor. He let out a yip, ducked his head, and then disappeared.

     “Humph,” Alice sounded, crossing her arms. “What was that all about?”

     Brodie rose and, once again, seemed to draw all the energy in the room towards him. But the predator in him had receded, the silvery shade of his eyes back to slate gray.

     “Puddles said that Henry wanted a book to read,” Brodie said, his mouth quirking upwards.

     Alice stared at him in horror. “Do you mean I have a second ghost?” Alice looked up at the ceiling and then shook her fist at it. “Henry Duncan,” she shouted. “You broke Aunt Cora’s heart!”

     Brodie’s mouth dropped open. “Lass, he’s dead.”

     “That’s no excuse.” She brushed past him, pausing only long enough to say, “I want a slice of pie before Oggie eats it all. Are you coming?” She marched out the door and thought about how Aunt Cora had cried for days after Henry passed on. Her aunt was wrong. Men dumped, deceived and died. So no matter Brodie MacEwan’s good looks and her traitorous body’s responses, she was standing strong.

Do you have a favorite scene?

I love the scenes Oggie is in. His way with words makes me smile every time I read them. I also can’t help enjoying the fight Alice puts up to hold back the inevitable.

What advice would you give a beginner?

Keep writing! There is no magic formula. Writing is a craft and like any skill, it takes constant practice and a lot of perseverance to reach The End.

The Dreem Doctor Mysteries

Dream Student
The Dream Doctor Mysteries Prequel
by J.J. DiBenedetto
Genre: Paranormal Mystery
Sara Barnes has her life totally under control. All she has to worry about is college exams, Christmas shopping, applying to medical school–and what to do about the cute freshman who has a crush on her. And everything is going according to plan, until the night she starts dreaming other people’s dreams.
It’s bad enough that every night is a theater of her friends’ and classmates’ secret fantasies. Worse yet are the other dreams, the dark ones featuring a strange, terrifying man committing unspeakable crimes.
As the nightmares increase, Sara’s life becomes a blur of waking and sleeping, of terror and urgency. Because if she was given this dream-sharing gift for a reason, it must be to stop the killer madman she’s come to know all too well. But how can she stop him when she’s just a student, and they’re only dreams?
Dream Student is the thrilling prequel to the Dream Doctor Mysteries.
**Start the series FREE!!**
Dream Doctor
The Dream Doctor Mysteries Book 1
Between adjusting to life as a newlywed and trying to survive the first month of medical school, Sara Alderson has a lot on her plate. She definitely doesn’t need to start visiting other people’s dreams again. Unfortunately for her, it’s happening anyway.
Every night, she sees a different person and a different dream. But every dreamer has one thing in common: they all hate Dr. Morris, the least popular professor in the medical school, and they’re all dreaming about seeing him – or making him – dead.
Once again, Sara finds herself in the role of unwilling witness to a murder before it happens. But this time, there are too many suspects to count, and it doesn’t help matters that she hates Dr. Morris every bit as much as any of his would-be murderers do.
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Dream Child
The Dream Doctor Mysteries Book 2
Dr. Sara Alderson can deal with eighty-hour workweeks as a resident at Children’s Hospital. Dealing with crises in the Emergency Room or the OR is second nature to her. But now she faces a challenge that all of her training and experience hasn’t prepared her for: Lizzie, her four-year-old daughter, has inherited her ability to see other people’s dreams.
After Lizzie befriends a young boy on a trip to Washington, DC, and then wakes up in a panic that night because of a “bad funny dream,” Sara knows exactly what it means: her daughter is visiting the boy’s dreams. Complicating matters is the fact that the boy’s father is a Congressman, and he’s dreaming about a “scary man in a big black car” threatening his Daddy.
Unraveling a case of political corruption and blackmail would be hard
enough for Sara under the best of circumstances. But when she has to view everything through the eyes of a toddler, it may be an impossible task.
Dream Family
The Dream Doctor Mysteries Book 3
Dr. Sara Alderson didn’t think she had a problem in the world, when she walked into the office for her first day as a partner in her own medical practice. And then the police showed up and arrested her for a crime she couldn’t possibly have committed. Twenty four hours later, after a horrifying day and night in jail, Sara comes home a different – and completely broken – woman.
Clearing her name is her first challenge, but that’s nothing compared to the task of rebuilding her shattered psyche. And the only way she can do that is with the help of the supernatural dreams, the same dreams that have nearly cost Sara her sanity – and almost got her killed – in the past.
Waking Dream
The Dream Doctor Mysteries Book 4
After nearly a decade of visiting other people’s dreams, Sara Alderson thought she had made peace with her supernatural gift. Until one night, while watching her husband dream, she saw someone else watching him, too: a mysterious woman in a red dress.
The woman in red keeps appearing in the dreams of Sara’s husband and his co-workers. Sara doesn’t know if this mystery woman is trying to steal her husband, drive him mad or something even worse. All she does know is that now she has something she never imagined: a nemesis. And the only thing more dangerous than a nemesis who shares her ability to step into other people’s dreams, is one who knows far more about that ability and how to control it than Sara does.
Dream Reunion
The Dream Doctor Mysteries Book 5
Dr. Sara Alderson is heading back to college for her ten-year class reunion. Her husband and two of her children are coming with her – and so are her supernatural dreams.
One of her old classmates is becoming more frantic with every passing night. Sara can’t see his face, but she can see everything else in his dreams, and he’s coming closer and closer to committing a desperate act to try and save his business. Sara’s the only one who can save him, and his family – if she can figure out who he is and what he’s planning in time.
Dream Home
The Dream Doctor Mysteries Book 6
Dr. Sara Alderson thought she was securing her and her family’s future when she moved them to a small town in New York and took a job as Chief of Pediatrics at the local hospital. Unfortunately, things aren’t going quite according to plan. For one thing, she has enemies at work who resent her from the moment she sets foot in the hospital.
For another, she’s visiting the dreams of an old man who’s seeing nightly visions of a storm that will wipe out the entire town. He’s convinced that the visions are true – and as winter closes in, Sara is starting to think he might be right.
Dream Vacation
The Dream Doctor Mysteries Book 7
Thanks to her unique ability to step into other people’s dreams, Dr. Sara Alderson has solved murders, unraveled conspiracies and saved lives. But when a crisis hits close to home, even her supernatural gift might not be enough to avert disaster.
On a family vacation to Paris, Sara’s fifteen-year-old daughter Grace disappears without a trace. The only way to find her is through Sara’s dreams. But her gift has taken an unwanted vacation, and without it, Sara has no idea how to rescue Grace. In a foreign city, with no clues, and her dreaming talent failing her for the first time, Sara must figure out another way to find Grace before it’s too late.
Fever Dream
The Dream Doctor Mysteries Book 8
Dr. Sara Alderson isn’t used to her patients dying for no reason. When a young boy succumbs to a mysterious illness that defies all her efforts to treat it, she refuses to accept defeat.
After two months of questions, Sara has attracted the attention of powerful people who don’t want their secrets uncovered, and will go to any lengths to make sure they stay hidden.
Now, time is running out for Sara to unravel the mystery before anyone else falls victim to the illness. And before her career, her family and her freedom are taken from her by enemies she doesn’t even know she has.
Dream Wedding
The Dream Doctor Mysteries Book 9
It ought to be a joyful time for Dr. Sara Alderson. Her daughter, Lizzie, is about to graduate college, and marry her longtime boyfriend. But the family’s happiness is shattered when a drunk driver seriously injures her teenage son in a hit-and-run accident.
Now, instead of planning her daughter’s wedding, Sara must fight to save her son’s life. And when she discovers who the drunk driver was – someone she thought was a colleague and a friend – she has to fight her desire for revenge. Because Sara knows she has the power to visit the driver’s dreams, and in those dreams, she holds the power of life and death.
Dream Fragments:
Stories From the Dream Doctor Mysteries
The novels don’t tell the whole story!
Readers of the Dream Doctor Mysteries know that Sara and her family have a very busy life outside the pages of the ten Dream Doctor Mysteries, and here’s your chance to peek into it.
Twelve stories are included in this collection, and you’ll discover what happened on Sara’s final Spring Break of college; Lizzie’s first day of school; Betty and Howard’s first trip out of the country; and much more!
J.J. DiBenedetto is author of the Dream Series and the Jane Barnaby Adventures and lives in Arlington, Virginia with the love of his life and a white cat who rules the roost.
His passions are photography, travel, the opera,
the New York Giants, and of course writing.
Mr. DiBenedetto is devoted to writing books with a sense of mysticism to entertain and perhaps invite his readers to suspend belief in a way they might never have.
Since he was very young , he has always been intrigued with the supernatural and things that can’t be explained rationally.
By always asking way too many questions, it piqued his interest to the point of setting his writing off and running when he grew up! All the curiosity building up all those years were finally getting put into words to captivate readers. And it hasn’t ended. His main goal is to share all the stories he has inside, putting pen to paper. And that’s how the Dream Series was born.
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