Manuscripts Burn


MANUSCRIPTS BURN

"Manuscripts don't burn"
- Mikhail Bulgakov

Hi, I'm horror and science fiction author Steve Kozeniewski (pronounced: "causin' ooze key.") Welcome to my blog! You can also find me on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and Amazon. You can e-mail me here, join my mailing list here, or request an e-autograph here. Free on this site you can listen to me recite one of my own short works, "The Thing Under the Bed."

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Guest Post: Erica Lucke Dean, Author of SUDDENLY SORCERESS

Today I'm happy to host fellow Red Adept Publishing author Erica Lucke Dean, who has recently released her sophomore novel, the paranormal romance SUDDENLY SORCERESS.  Be sure to hang around until the end because our mutual publisher is generously hosting a giveaway for this blog tour.  You could win $20 or $10 Amazon gift cards or a free copy of her first book, TO KATIE WITH LOVE!  But only if you wholly grok this guest post and marketing pitch first.



I found the synopsis for her new book somewhat...shall we say...suggestive.  It certainly made it easy for me to come up with a prompt for her guest post.  Well, instead of hemming and hawing any longer, maybe I'll just let you read it:

Synopsis of SUDDENLY SORCERESS:


PMS can be a real witch.

Ivie McKie isn’t your run-of-the-mill kindergarten teacher.  After an encounter with a horny goat, Ivie has a confrontation with her lying, cheating fiancé. She is shocked when the big jerk suddenly transforms into a skunk—the black and white furry variety.

Enlisting the help of her shopaholic friend Chloe and sexy club magician Jackson Blake, Ivie is forced to play a literal game of cat and mouse as she races against the clock to change her ex back before she’s arrested for his murder.

With every new spell, a fresh wave of sexual desire draws Jack further into Ivie’s troubles, along with her panties, the car, the kitchen, and assorted seedy bathrooms.

Ivie soon discovers what every witch worth her spell book knows: There’s nothing worse than a bad case of Post Magical Syndrome.

***


And now I'll turn the blog over to Erica to answer the prompt this synopsis immediately inspired in me:

Today I heard the term ”Shark Week” for the first time and then I read about "Post MAGICAL Syndrome" in your synopsis. What are the best…or worst…euphemisms and metaphors that you’ve heard (or made up) for…um…you know…that thing that we don’t like to call by its proper name…


PMS can be a real witch.

When Stephen said he wanted me to write a guest post about PMS, I was certain he was messing with me. Okay, sure… PMS comes straight out of the tagline to my new book, SUDDENLY SORCERESS (the story of a kindergarten teach turned witch who accidently turns her cheating fiancé into a skunk all because of PMS) but surely, he couldn’t want me to break it down and analyze the meaning behind it, right? Let’s face it, guys run from PMSing women like Bigfoot, hell-bent on their destruction. The mere mention of tampons, or assorted other menstrual paraphernalia tends to turn grown men into shrieking little girls.

But he wasn’t kidding. He wanted me to break down the world of PMS so a guy could understand it.
So here goes…

Before you can understand PMS, you have to realize what the condition really is. P (pre) M (menstrual) S (syndrome.) In a nutshell, we’re talking about the rough water you have to paddle through before surfing the crimson wave. The frantic week of stress and anxiety leading up to your monthly visit from Aunt Flo (or Aunt Ruby, or Aunt Martha.) The impending doom (complete with the menacing soundtrack) just before Shark Week. Or (dare I say) the flaky crust to your cherry pie?

I think I just grossed myself out coming up with all the creative ways to refer to the Crimson Curse. Gone are the days of “That time of the month.” Modern women like to spice things up with such golden nuggets as having a crime scene in your pants, being on injured reserve, taking the red eye to Zanzibar, and riding the cotton pony.

But none of those things specifically refer to PMS. PMS is like running around the African savannah with an “Eat Me” sign on your back. It’s swimming in shark-infested waters with a paper cut. It’s the time immediately preceding the giant tampon symbol in the sky warning men to take cover while out of control hormones ravage the town.

Speaking of raging hormones and an unsuspecting town… My last bout of PMS was especially brutal. I felt like Dr. Jekyll and Mrs. Hyde. An entire town of holiday shoppers was at risk while I was loose in the wilds. Let’s just say, they were lucky my magical prowess lies solely within the pages of a book. We would have had a whole town of woodland creatures dressed in yuppie outdoor wear if I could work real magic.

So there you have it. PMS and the modern witch. I mean woman. Is it any wonder they wanted to burn us at the stake?

About the Author: 



After walking away from her career as a business banker to pursue writing full-time, Erica moved from the hustle and bustle of the big city to a small tourist town in the North Georgia Mountains where she lives in a 90-year-old haunted farmhouse with her workaholic husband, her 180lb lap dog, and at least one ghost.

When she’s not busy writing or tending to her collection of crazy chickens, diabolical ducks, and a quintet of piglets, hell bent on having her for dinner, she’s either reading bad fan fiction or singing karaoke in the local pub. Much like the characters in her books, Erica is a magnet for disaster, and has been known to trip on air while walking across flat surfaces.

How she’s managed to survive this long is one of life’s great mysteries.

Excerpt from SUDDENLY SORCERESS:


Prologue

“You’re too sexy, my ass!” I tried to tune out the Right Said Fred ringtone as I fished my fiancé’s cell phone from the pocket of his discarded Dockers. I glared at the flashing caller ID. “You just don’t give up, do you?”

That was lucky number thirteen. Thirteen missed calls in the span of an hour. Thirteen calls he was unable to answer.

Because of me.
After pressing ignore one more time, I shoved the phone back into the pocket where it belonged, hoping it would muffle the sound somewhat. I didn’t know why I didn’t just turn off the damn thing. I’d endured his ridiculous ring tone more times than anyone should have to, obviously determined to punish myself. Between the maddening song and the horrible smell, I certainly felt punished. Even if it wasn’t nearly enough.

Way down deep in my bones, I knew my life had been forever changed. Even if I could somehow fix things—put them back to normal—nothing would be the same again. Not ever.

Swallowing against the crystal ball-sized lump in my throat, I dropped Matt’s pants where I’d found them, along with his shirt, his boxers, and his shoes, and I collapsed onto the rumpled blankets on the bed.

That sort of thing didn’t happen in the real world. Only small children or crazy people believed in… no, I refused to even think the word, let alone say it. It’s impossible. But I’d seen it with my own eyes, and whatever it was, it definitely wasn’t normal.

My scruffy housecat made another frantic orbit around my feet as the phone sounded again, the self-centered lyrics looping, making me cringe. Apparently, he’d also grown weary of the tune.

If only I could say the choice of ring tone was ironic, a product of his wry sense of humor. But he didn’t have much of a sense of humor. Matthew Green was exactly that arrogant. Despite every despicable thing he’d done to me, every insult, lie, and betrayal that had led us there, I truly wished Matt could answer his stupid phone himself. Unfortunately, wishing didn’t seem to be on my side that morning.

Stifling a groan, I pulled myself from the warmth of the bed to dig the phone out of Matt’s pocket again. Geez, persistent much? With a deep, cleansing breath, I mashed down the button to accept the call.

“Matt! Where are you?” Matt’s receptionist, Ginger, snapped before I had a chance to say hello.  “Friday’s your busiest day. Do you have any idea what time it is? You’ve already missed two appointments.”

Even without caller ID, I would have recognized her breathy Betty Boop voice. She sounded as though she’d been sucking helium all morning. I didn’t know her well, but I suspected she was banging my fiancé.

“We’ll be lucky if there’s enough time for a quickie before the next patient arrives,” she continued in a whisper.

Yep… definitely banging him. 

“And another thing.” Her sweet baby voice morphed into a feral growl. “Candy’s been standing outside your office all morning. I thought you said you were done with her? I’m not kidding, Matt, if I find out you’re still screwing her, I’m going to cut off your balls.”

Apparently, I was engaged to a pathological cheater. Of course, I hadn’t known that when I agreed to marry him. There were a lot of things I didn’t know about Matt. Then again, there was a lot I didn’t know about me.

“Well? Aren’t you going to say anything?”

“Uh… hi, Ginger.” I cleared my throat and resisted the urge to “say anything.” “This is Ivie. Matt can’t come to the phone. I… uh... don’t think he’s going to be able to… uh… make it into work today.” I managed to stammer through the basics without my voice cracking.

“Oh, hi, Ivie.” Her voice changed again; she sounded as if she’d been sucking lemons. She didn’t even have the decency to be embarrassed. “What’s wrong with Matt? He hasn’t missed a day in… Actually, I don’t think he’s ever called in sick.”

My eyes darted to the closed bathroom door, and I shuddered. “He’s really not feeling like himself today.” Understatement of the century.

“Is he sick?”

“Um… I definitely don’t think anyone wants what he has.” I tiptoed around the answer. I wasn’t good at coy, but I gave it my best shot.

“Oh… Well, in that case, maybe it’s best if he stays home.” I could almost see her coiling a lock of her thick red hair around her finger as she spoke. “Just tell him I hope he feels better, and not to worry. I’ll reschedule his appointments for him. Do you think he’ll be well enough to come in Monday?”

I tamped down a flicker of panic. “I really hope so.” But I seriously doubt it.

After listening to Ginger rant for a minute about missed appointments and the difficult task of rescheduling, I ended the call, staring at the bathroom door as if I expected a silent command to open it. I closed my eyes and tried to imagine the door swinging wide and my fiancé sauntering out. I popped open one eye. The door hadn’t moved—not even a crack.

For far too long, I’d avoided that room. With three tentative steps, I closed the distance between myself and the master bathroom, covering my mouth and nose with one hand as I cracked the door. I’d almost gotten used to the foul odor in the bedroom. It was bad but not unbearable. The stench in the bathroom was overwhelming. The fumes poured out, bringing tears to my eyes. The small space reeked worse than when I’d locked him in there last night. It smelled as if someone had cooked up a potion of burning tires and rotten eggs in a boiling vat of sour ammonia, and even that comparison wasn’t quite bad enough.

Blinking back the sting of tears, I scanned the room. I didn’t see him anywhere, just a puddle that looked suspiciously like urine in one corner and in the other, a makeshift bed fashioned out of—were those my good bath towels?

No Matt.

A quick rush of adrenaline kick-started my heart. What’s happened to him now? This is bad. Very, very bad. As if things weren’t bad enough already. What sort of person was I? What I’d done was unspeakable, so horrible even I didn’t know what I’d done.

Just as I was about to have a full-blown panic attack, he slinked out from behind the hamper. I should have been relieved he was still alive, but I wasn’t sure if his current state was much better. He stared up at me—his beady little black eyes blinking in the harsh fluorescent light—so much smaller than he used to be and covered in a thick pelt of black and white fur. My fiancé.

The skunk. 

***


Be sure to purchase SUDDENLY SORCERESS at:

Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Kobo
iBookstore

And don't forget to review it and tell your friends about it on:

Goodreads



Rafflecopter code:


2 comments:

  1. Thanks for hosting me on your blog Stephen! It was fun. A bit on the dangerous side, but still fun.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's "Austin" Powers. "Danger" is my middle name...

      Delete

Enter your e-mail address in the box below and click "Subscribe" to join Stephen Kozeniewski's Mailing List for Fun and Sexy People. (Why the hell would anyone ever want to join a mailing list?)