It is a strange feeling, Elinor once thought, to be in the bathroom when one is supposed to be in the movie theater. It leaves one feeling rather out of place, and ill at ease. This is how she’s felt her entire life, and it all started with a visit from a specter named Dave—and a jar of moonshine.
“The Budsem Affair,” by Virginia Wallace
Bubba Waugh just wanted to use the phone, in a building deceptively labeled ‘Mistress Mary’s School for Girls .’ Little does naïve, country-born Bubba know that a certain ‘Mistress Holly’ is waiting for him …
“Thirst,” by Catalyst Jost
Maxwell is trapped in a world of hallucinations, and vivid dreams. It all started with a blood-red drink, poured into an ornate goblet. Can Max fight his way through the nightmare? Will he ever reconnect with the love of his life, or is he simply too far gone?
“The Protocols,” by Virginia Wallace
For thousands of years, the Plutonians have been watching our planet from afar. Now, they wish to examine it more closely. But even these refined, technologically-advanced aliens might not be prepared for Earth’s hilariously appalling quirks …
“Five Candles,” by Virginia Wallace
Jake DeCarlo leads a shameless existence, living in a world of booze, drugs, and cheap sex. Even his devoutly Catholic mother can’t get through to him. But when the eternal bill for his debauchery comes due, a mysterious man named Uncle Yenaldo is more than willing to chat with him …
“A Time to Die,” by Loren A. Douglas
Adam is watching his wife waste away from cancer. What’s killing him is also watching his neighbor’s beautiful, abused, young-adult daughter inch ever closer to suicide. While one woman is fighting for her life, another is moving towards throwing it all away. This begs the question: is it really such a sin, to put the soul of a suicide candidate into the body of a desperate, dying person? One woman wants to live. The other does not. Wherein lies the right or the wrong of the matter …?
“Find Me in the Mirror,” by Virginia Wallace
Amanda’s adult life is a spectacular success. Her childhood, on the other hand, was a train wreck. The Repeating Universe Theory claims that there are endless universes, with infinite variations upon reality. Search the repeating universes long enough, and you might eventually find another you. And it is in this maze of cosmic variables, that Amanda is able to offer a word of encouragement to her younger self.
“Rime of a Fairy,” by Chris Taylor
Music has always been near and dear to the heart of man. The Celts believed that such enraptured melodies were the work of the Fae, and perhaps this is true …
Today, I’m very excited to have Virginia Wallace who is my cohort in our Saturday author talks. She’s fun and funny and a great writers. Welcome to my blog Virginia!
Thank you for having me! A pleasure, as always.
So I know a lot about you but please tell my readers about yourself.
lol … I never know where to begin on that one! I was born and raised in Norfolk, VA, USA. … and no, I wasn’t in a gang. I was home-schooled from grades 3-12, and spent most of my childhood without a TV … which is where I get my love of reading. It was either read or stare at the wall! I started writing in my early twenties, and spent a few years on the indie scene. After a long hiatus, I re-entered the publishing world in 2020, this time as a traditionally-published author. Although true to form, I would end up back on the indie scene about a year later!
No TV must have been rough. What sorts of books did you read?
Anything I could get my hands on! I’m a huge fan of nineteenth-century lit. Mark Twain blew my mind. I discovered his work when I was nine, and read his entire body of work fairly quickly. My mother introduced me to Daphne du Maurier when I was fourteen, and that was another game changer. I’m also a huge fan of pulp-era Science Fiction, like Ray Bradbury and Isaac Asimov. But at the end of the day, I’ll read pretty much anything.
Mark Twain was very nuanced in his writing. Did you read him exclusively as a child or as you got older did you discover more of the nuances?
I re-read his work often. It’s funny, some of his work was obviously born of nostalgia, such as ‘Huckleberry Finn’ or ‘Tom Sawyer’. ‘The Prince and the Pauper’ was a classic-style folk tale, but ‘A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court’ was biting social satire. ‘On the Damned Human Race’ was just plain cynical. ‘Pudd’nhead Wilson’ was pure genius, and I suspect laid the groundwork for later mystery writers.
Who do you think has had the most influence on your writing?
Stylistically, probably Daphne du Maurier. Her work has a lush, brooding, deeply introspective feel. I also love that her word usage is so poetic.
Do you feel your writing is poetic?
I try. To me, using words is like painting a picture. Articulate, prettily-written prose creates an image in the mind of the reader. Am I poetic? Ultimately, I think that one would be best answered by my readers.
You write dark novels – leaning towards horror or horror aspects in your stories. What started your fascination with horror or the darker topics?
As I’m fond of pointing out, nearly all popular tales have an element of darkness to them. Even with children’s lit, stories like ‘Where the Wild Things Are’ are quite popular. I didn’t have a very happy childhood, and I remember gravitating towards films like ‘Dracula’, or music such as Black Sabbath and Metallica. There’s something cathartic, I think, about turning pain, fear, and anger into art. Makes it less scary, you know?
I think it’s a great way to channel your inner demons. I read an interview with Neil Diamond where he confessed he tried therapy but talking didn’t work but the therapist learned all he needed from Diamond’s songs. Do you feel like you’ll get tired of the dark?
No. The human mind is full of nastiness, and I think it’s best never to forget that. I think my work would suffer terribly if I did. Darkness isn’t the point, it’s the backdrop. Love, selflessness, and heroism shine all the brighter in a dark setting. That’s a good thing, I believe. Freddy Krueger was terrifying, but what made ‘A Nightmare on Elm Street’ such a legendary story was that Freddy’s evil brought out Nancy’s courage, and made her the best possible version of herself that she could be.
That’s an interesting concept – like we don’t know it’s dark if we don’t have light. Do you incorporate that sort of balance into your book?
I do. Darkness for the sake of darkness is just nihilistic, and rather depressing. There has to be some kind of balance, even if it skews more towards one end of the spectrum than the other.
So I know you. I know you’re a funny person. Do you incorporate humor into your stories and how do you balance the humor with the dark and light?
There are always flashes of humor in my stories, but I realized last year that I’d never written anything that was intentionally humorous in its overall tone. So I wrote a short story called ‘The Ritual’. Ironically, it’s about two serial killers and it’s the bloodiest tale I’ve ever written. But I deliberately adopted a whimsical, tongue-in-cheek tone for it. You laugh, and you feel awful because you’re laughing … ‘cuz that stuff really isn’t funny, you know … but you laugh anyway. Or at least, I did when I wrote it. ‘The Ritual’ will appear in the anthology ‘Dark Desire’, by Black Velvet Seductions.
LOL I think dark humor is appreciated by many if done in the right way. We’ve talked about what you do write so now tell me what you don’t want to write. Are there any genres you avoid?
Erotica. My work does feature sexual content as needed – sex being a part of life, after all – but I’d rather it not be the point. I much prefer simply building a strong sense of sexual tension, because I find that interesting from a psychological point of view. I’ve written just about every genre, though. I finally checked Science Fiction off my list with my short story ‘Orion’ (featured in ‘Cowboy Desire’). In hindsight, it was odd that I waited so long to write sci-fi because I love reading it.
Since it’s a favorite will you write more scifi?
I’m sure I will! My favorite genres are the ones that give the imagination the most latitude. Horror, fantasy, sci-fi … I actually found my contemporary romance ‘When the White Knight Falls’ the hardest to write, because I couldn’t just bust out a wizard or a spaceship as a plot device!
I agree. Last question so make your answer good…. What has helped you be the writer you are?
I always thought of myself as an artist, as a child and young adolescent. I made a fair amount of money doing portraits and advertising art, and I started taking lessons very young. What made me a writer was this: When I was in my mid-teens, my friends taught me how to play ‘Dungeons and Dragons’. I was hooked right from the get-go! It wasn’t long before I went from being a character player to being the ‘Dungeon Master’: the story-teller and narrator. (I always say ‘Dungeon Master’. ‘Dungeon Mistress’ just … well, it doesn’t sound quite right. Gives the wrong impression, you know?) I learned to find my voice as a writer by actually telling stories, not writing them down. A lot of readers have pointed out that I have a ‘conversational’ writing style, and that’s almost certainly why. Role-playing games made me an author, and I highly recommend them to everyone. They stretch the imagination like nothing else does, in my opinion.
Virginia – thank you for joining me today. I’m sure my readers will enjoy learning more about you.
Virginia and I connected up through mutual friends. She’s a blast and you cannot take her seriously on anything.
Virginia Wallace was born and raised on the Chesapeake Bay region of southeastern Virginia, USA. She’s lived all over, from the mountains of New England to the American Midwest.
Virginia first learned to tell stories as a teenager, via playing role-playing games such as Dungeons and Dragons and Vampire: The Masquerade. It would be years before she began putting her tales on paper, but she’s been making up for lost time ever since.
The novel When the White Knight Falls marked her debut into the mainstream publishing world, and she’s also appeared in the anthologies Desire Me Again and Cowboy Desire; all three were published by Black Velvet Seductions.
Seven Forbid was her first solo collection of short stories, which she swiftly followed up with Eternally October.
Tell us about yourself.
Now see, I NEVER know how to answer that one! I mean, where do I even start? ‘I was born an orphan at the age of four …?’ I’m an author. And also a smartass. And I really like beer. Does that work as a starter? I s’pose I can add that I like whisky, too, especially Scotch. Single Malt. Oh, and at least twelve years old.
When did you know you wanted to be an author?
I was fourteen. I was homeschooled, and my assignment that year was to write a novel. It sucked, but I fell in love with how much fun it is to tell a story. That was the same year that I also discovered the work of comic-book writer J. Marc DeMatteis. I loved his stories so much that yearned to be just like him! I found the dark intensity of his tales absolutely mesmerizing.
What genres do you like to read? Are these the same genres you write in?
I’ll read just about anything you put in front of me. Ooooh, look, a pamphlet on hemorrhoids!
Is your book for adults, young adults or children?
Adults. I tried writing a YA novel once. It went to hell real fast …and by hell, I actually mean Hell. No foolies!
What is your current release or project?
I’m in Black Velvet Seductions’ new anthology, ‘Dark Desire’, which should debut this spring. I’m SUPER stoked about that one!!! I have two stories in it. Romance with a body count, you know?
Tell us about the key characters
Well, ‘Beginning Forever’ marks the return of Jillian the werewolf, who was featured in ‘Desire Me Again’, also by Black Velvet Seductions. I also have a brand-new tale called ‘The Ritual’, starring Romy—a pyromaniac serial killer. I hafta admit, ‘The Ritual’ is my favorite short so far!
What is your blurb or synopsis of the book?
Oof … I ain’t written a blurb yet. My bad! But when I announced the contract signing, I said this: ‘Meet Romy! She’ll set your world on fire! And probably you along with it.’
Share an excerpt
“How’d you grow up in North Carolina without learning to use a shotgun?” asked Romy, handing Bert the freshly-loaded weapon
“We were never allowed to have guns in the house, at least not after Dad shot Grandma.”
“Was it an accident?”
Bert sighted carefully, pointing the shotgun at the younger man’s surviving kneecap. He was grateful that the old man was momentarily silent; he always hated it when people begged for their lives, and so did Romy. Life is short, and when it’s over, that’s it. Both he and she were offended that people would so often debase themselves seeking a mere few minutes more of panicking, wretched life.
Bert lowered the gun, aghast.
“Ooh,” said Romy, biting her lip. “That … That wasn’t his knee, Bert.”
“AAAAAAAUUUUGGHH!!! AH CAIN’T SCREW NO MORE!!!”
“Maybe we should give this guy a free pass,” said Bert regretfully, raising his gun again.
Bert sighted more carefully this time …
“Well,” said Romy, waving away the acrid gun-smoke as she wiped the spattered blood from her pretty face, “at least you hit his head just fine!”
Do you have a favorite scene?
Yes, but I can’t share it. It’d be a spoiler, you know? It’s the scene in which Bert and Romy met, and fell in love.
What advice would you give a beginner?
How much time do you have to devote to writing? Don’t answer. Shut the hell up. Whatever you were about to say … it ain’t enough!!!
Welcome to the dark world of ‘Seven Forbid’, with four tales to keep you awake at night!!!
The People of the Lie
Bobby is elated to meet his adolescent crush, by pure happenstance. But as he slowly gets to know the iconic Hollywood siren, he begins to suspect that the glamorous world of celebrities might not be as glamorous as he’d once thought …
On a bright sunny morning, away in a mountain cabin, a pretty teenage girl awakens to find herself completely alone. This is odd, because her aging, married lover brought her here for a weekend getaway. Where did he go? Why did he leave? And most importantly, what are his plans for her?
It’s been said that Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. But a woman scorned has nothing on a woman belittled, reviled, and beaten …
The Day Punkin Blew Up the Devil
The sleepy town of Watsonville seems to have suddenly found itself hypnotized by its charming new mayor. As the mayor slowly begins selling out the town to the forces of evil, only one person has the courage to defy him: a strange young boy in a coonskin cap, known by the moniker of ‘Punkin’. Watsonville is swirling into a maelstrom of darkness. Does Punkin have what it takes to stop its descent?
Most of us are used to having our relationships handed to us. Siblings, parents, family friends …
But sometimes those relationships don’t quite work out, do they? Sometimes the relationships that matter most are the ones that we chose for ourselves, or that Fate chose for us. Sometimes, the dearest family is a family of friends.
Thus I present to you these four stories, stories about the relationships that matter most. They may not be ingrained into our DNA, or forced upon us by society, but their influence lingers on nevertheless.
Life isn’t always about blood, or social familiarity. No, life more often consists of the bonds that we forge during our most vulnerable moments.
‘Eternally October’ is a book about those moments, and how they define our lives.
The Bottom Line
Wes Carville grew up without a father.
But he didn’t grow up without a mentor. Mr. Hutt, the kindly old man around the corner, looked after and guided the boy, all throughout his troubled adolescence.
Wes is a man now, and Mr. Hutt is long gone.
And Wes is about to learn that the line between death and life might be more blurry than he once thought …
Arthur Bennett is an up-and-coming novelist, a brilliant but lonely man.
Like many reclusive authors, he hides behind his alter ego: his nom de plume. Celia is his greatest creation, a spunky, vivacious woman beloved by the reading public.
As isolation slowly begins to eat away at his fevered brain, Arthur starts to wonder …
Who’s more real? The author, or the pseudonym?
The Eye of the Hurricane
As a violent hurricane rolls across the coast like a juggernaut, Earl Schumacher finds himself strangely apathetic about the dangerous storm.
Ever since his beloved terrier Jack-Jack died, the world just seems … unreal.
Little does he know that the storm is about to change reality, at least for him – perhaps forever.
The Word, the Blood, and the Phoenix
There is no creature more powerful than the Phoenix. Possessed of the ability to traverse both space and time, the Phoenix eyes everything beneath his gaze with open contempt.
Only one entity is more powerful than he: the Son of Man, the living incarnation of the Almighty. The Phoenix hates Him for this.
As the Phoenix recklessly pursues the Son of Man, seeking the source of His power, he is about to learn a painful lesson: there is a difference between the flames that illuminate …
Virginia Wallace is a native of the Chesapeake Bay region on the Southeast coast of the United States. Nomadic by nature, Virginia has lived all over, from the mountains of New England to the rolling hills of the American Heartland.
She began her creative career during her late teens and early twenties, working as a freelance portrait and commercial artist. She slowly transitioned into writing, eventually self-publishing three novels for the ‘indie’ book market.
As a writer, Virginia Wallace has always worked at meshing modern stories with a lush style reminiscent of 19th Century American and European literature. When the White Knight Falls marks her debut into the mainstream book market.
The lovely and talented Kate McCoy once thought that her future was predictable, and secure. Classical music was her passion, and she was inarguably the mistress of her craft.
Then she met Alec Murdenson…
Alec knows nothing of orchestras; he’s a rocker, through and through. The ferocity of his music seems out of place when viewed alongside his easy smile, and his sense of humor… not to mention his handsome face, and striking green eyes.
But there is something else lurking behind his riveting gaze, an entity that is both Alec and yet not Alec at all. That phantasm is more than a little disturbing; perhaps it is even a cold-blooded monster.
As Kate becomes tangled within Alec’s web, she is forced to re-think everything she once thought she knew. In so doing, she must make a horrific choice: Either run for the hills…
Or embrace a man who understands human depravity better than she ever could.
Estelle Pettersen is an Australian author and former journalist whose romance stories explore empowerment, freedom, and finding one’s strength. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree, majoring in Journalism and Psychology, from the University of Queensland, Australia. Her second degree is an MBA from Queensland University of Technology, Australia. She is a member of Romance Writers of Australia and is passionate about history, languages, cultures, traveling, food, and wine. She is happily married and living in Norway these days.
After five years of living in London, Olivia Bertrand returns home to Roma, in western Queensland, Australia, only to literally bump into sexy ex-football player Jack McCullen.
Close friends since early childhood, Olivia has always had a crush on Jack but was too shy to admit it. Having been through failed relationships and life changes, both realize that they want each other more than ever. Now, they’re only one step closer to taking their friendship to the next level.
Are Olivia and Jack ready to completely let go of the past for a wild ride ahead? Will they finally admit their love for each other, or will they go their own separate ways? Find out in this sweet and sensual erotic romance of friends to lovers in an Australian country town.
I knew where we were heading when I recognized a large sign on the old road to the McCullens’ cattle farm about twenty minutes later. Jack parked in front of a magnificent, high-set Queenslander home. It was built of timber, raised off the ground, with a corrugated iron roof and a spacious veranda. The front lawn was a gardener’s delight, with outback flora and an old eucalyptus tree, where Jack and I had carved our initials when we were about nine years old.
“I haven’t been to your house for a while,” I commented as we walked up the steps. “I’ll get a chance to see your mum and dad and say hello.”
“They’re visiting some relatives in Toowoomba this weekend, so it’s just us tonight,” Jack replied, then cleared his throat. “Come over for dinner next Sunday arvo. They’d love to see you.”
“Sure,” I said, stealing a glance at Jack’s athletic physique. “Does that crazy bush turkey still visit your backyard?”
Jack released a light chuckle, then tilted his head and flashed his megawatt smile. “Did you miss Fred?”
“He was a real nutter, that one! Fred would’ve made a good Christmas meal.”
“Fred disappeared shortly after you nicked off to the other side of the world. He’s never come back.”
“Well, good riddance!” I smiled, feeling the warmth of Jack’s body as he stepped closer toward me.
“Ah, you miss him,” Jack murmured, cupping my face with his rough, warm hands. He was right. I missed that crazy, feathered bundle of insanity, who was part of the McCullen farm. However, it was Jack who I craved—I felt his warm, minty breath on my neck as we stood in front of the door in heated silence.
“Livvy, there’s something I’ve wanted to do with you for a long time,” he confessed, pulling me tightly into him.
“I wanted it too,” I whispered, inhaling his spiced, woody aftershave. My fingers trembled as they touched his tanned face and traced the tip of his aquiline nose, down to his soft lips.
“Will you kiss me?” Jack’s deep ocean eyes begged mine.
Nancy Golinski is an American Council on Exercise certified personal trainer. She has a Master’s degree in Exercise Science and has been a college professor for over 15 years. She is passionate about health and fitness and empowers women to make healthy choices. She is also a romantic at heart and writes romance fiction novels. She is married and lives in a small town in Ohio, close to Amish country. When she’s not writing, you can find her at the theatre or hiking one of Ohio’s many nature trails.
When Jessica Thomas moves back home, sparks fly between her and childhood friend, Spencer Campbell. Jess can easily see herself settling down with a man like Spencer, but he’s married, and she’s no home-wrecker. She vows to keep her distance, but then an epic snowstorm throws them together. Can their friendship survive? More importantly, can they handle the consequences of that snowy night?
Alice lives in London, UK, with her husband and son. By day she’s a compliance manager for a pharmaceutical company. By night she writes fantasy romance about shape shifting mermen, water monsters and time-travelling witches. Her first book, “A Merman’s Choice,” was published in January 2019 by Black Velvet Seductions. It is the first book in a fantasy romance trilogy inspired by the landscapes and legends of Brittany and Wales. The second and third books, “Music for a Merman,” and “Mermaids Marry in Green,” are out now. Alice has also contributed short stories for the BVS anthologies “Mystic Desire” and “Desire Me Again,” both available now, and “Cowboy Desire,” on pre order now, release date 1 April. Alice loves reading and writing stories, and sharing them with anyone who’s interested!
Space Cowboy Blues
Josh is a space cowboy. His job? Taming alien species. But on the blue planet Albastra, the beautiful Melynas is more than a match for him. He’d love to get close to her… but everything on Albastra is lethal to humans. Including her!
R.M. Olivia likes her writing hot and her characters even hotter. In case you couldn’t guess, she writes erotica and erotic romance. Where does she get her ideas? She credits her muse for whispering in her ear and pouncing on her keyboard. She gives her utmost gratitude to this little vixen of creativity. She believes in letting her passions be her guide and in throwing caution to the wind. R.M. Olivia does not discriminate in her choice of characters or story lines. Keep reading, keep loving, and keep dreaming.
Riva Stewart is living her very own nightmare when she flees her abusive boyfriend. In a twist of fate, a broken down car places her in the path of two very hot cowboy mechanics. Now only question is which man does she want more? How about both?
Cowboy Desire is an eclectic assortment of short stories.
It includes contemporary, historical, fantasy, and even outer space romance, Cowboy Desire offers fourteen stunning short stories.
These fourteen authors provide a range of sweet to sexy stories all with a Western cowboy theme. They feature strong men and women battling the weather and dangerous terrain, here on earth and in outer space.
The collection is as diverse as the authors who wrote them. Here’s a chance to discover new talented authors and the characters they create. Within these pages, there are blends of tender, often moving, thought-provoking and downright sexy stories.