Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Dark Fantasy’

Friday Features’

Guest talks about

making special tomato sandwiches

by

Chris Pavesic

Readers of the Revelation Chronicles know that my main characters love tomato sandwiches. To make them special, I have included a recipe for Vegan Mayonnaise. You only need four ingredients to make this dressing and it is ready in just 2 minutes! You also only need four ingredients to assemble your tasty lunch: homemade bread, sliced garden tomatoes, lettuce, and mayonnaise.

Vegan Mayo
1 cup avocado oil
½ cup unsweetened plant-based milk
2 tsps. apple cider vinegar (or key lime juice)
Sea salt to taste

The oil and the plant-based milk should be at the same temperature. It is easier to blend.

If you use an immersion blender: combine all the ingredients in bowl. Place the immersion blender so it sits firmly on the bottom of the bowl. Pulse until the mayonnaise emulsifies. Once most of the mayo has emulsified, move the blender up and down to incorporate any oil that is sitting on the top.

If you use a regular blender: place all the ingredients in the blender, except the oil, and blend for about 5 seconds. Then add the oil gradually while the blender is on, turning it gradually from low to high until the mixture thickens.

Note: I make this with almond milk rather than soy because of allergies. Almond milk makes a thinner mayonnaise than soy milk. To thicken, simply decrease the amount of liquid by one teaspoon.

If you use key lime juice rather than apple cider vinegar, the mayonnaise will be sweeter.

While you enjoy your sandwich, check out this excerpt from Travelers Zone, my newest novel in The Revelation Chronicles series.

Above the tree line floats an airship close to three hundred feet long with a slightly rounded wooden hull. Ropes attach the lower portion of the ship to an inflated balloon-like aspect, bright white in color with an identification symbol, a red bird with white-tipped feathers extended in flight, inside a round yellow circle in the center of the canvas. The deck is manned with archers and swordsmen. There are two sets of fore and aft catapults.

What I don’t see are cannons or any other type of a gun large enough to account for the sound of the explosion.

The ship pivots in the air, coming around to point directly at what looks like an oncoming flock of five large birds. Or creatures. They are too big and too strange looking to be birds. They drift closer, flapping their wings.

A moment passes before I realize that they are not creatures either. They are some sort of gliders. A person hangs below each set of the feathered wings, which flap and move with mechanical precision in a sky washed out by the morning sun.

The archers nock their arrows and aim at the flock.

The gliders draw in their wings and dive toward the deck, covering the distance in a few heartbeats. Most of the arrows fly uselessly past the attack force and fall like black rain from the sky. The archers aimed and released the volley too late.

The forward catapult releases a torrent of small rocks at the lead glider. It is a scatter-shot approach that proves effective. There are so many missiles that it is impossible to dodge them all.

But at the moment the stones strike, the other four let loose with fireballs. Spheres of crackling flame spring from their hands, glowing faintly at first and then with increasing brightness. The balls of fire shoot from their hands like bullets from a gun and fly toward the ship, exploding. Pieces bounce off the hull and fall to the ground, throwing hissing, burning globs of magic-fueled fire in all directions, setting everything they touch aflame.

Want to learn more about The Revelation Chronicles? Click HERE for updates on this and the other series by Chris. Watch the video on YouTube.

4eee6-chris2bpavesic2bauthor2bphotoChris Pavesic is a fantasy author who lives in the Midwestern United States and loves Kona coffee, steampunk, 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.

Learn more about Chris on her website and blog.

Stay connected on Facebook, Twitter, and her Amazon Author Page.

Read Full Post »

Wednesday Special Spotlight

Shines On

A new release by Chris Pavesic that is a Steampunk/Mystery/Dark Fantasy. Available in Print and E-Book. Be sure to get your copy today!

Blogcatherine

Unquiet Dead

Chris Pavesic

Screen Shot 2018-01-12 at 7.55.36 PM

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.

Add to Your Shelf on Goodreads

Purchase Your Copy from Amazon

Learn More on Facebook

Excerpt

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.

IMG_0886

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:

Website

Amazon Author Page

Facebook Author Page

Tweets @chrispavesic

Read Full Post »

Wednesday Special Spotlight

Focuses on

The Nothingness

By

JC Stockli

THE NOTHINGNESS:

“Fall from your graces into the depths.”

A dispirited addict learns that history repeats itself deep within hidden worlds. Evie Westvale is lost in the lifeless existence of her drug-laden fishing town. She finds much more than fellow addicts lurking beneath the docks. Craving escape from her inebriated reality, she discovers the presence of a dark stranger who haunts her dreams in the most delicious ways. Lucca has come to prey on the dregs of Fallhaven. He has not arrived by accident, and he is not alone.

Riding waves of blood and lust, Evie is forced to confront her dark past and an irresistible future, but can she survive the tempest brewing inside?

THE NOTHINGNESS is the first installment of the ADDICTIONS OF THE ETERNAL series.

5-Star Reviews!! “Couldn’t put it down! Suspenseful and intriguing” “A page-turner with an urban-goth heart” “Brilliantly written dark fantasy is not for the faint-hearted”20150916 Nothingness

BUY LINKS:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00SU3WYWG?tag=geolinker-20

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-nothingness-jc-stockli/1121285369?ean=9780986268809

EXCERPT:

Evie twisted and twirled through the tables and the shadows. She bobbed her head to the music and lip-synced along. Beyond taking orders, the music overwhelmed any attempt at conversation. Familiar patrons nodded or winked a greeting as she walked by. After a curvy course, she’d arrived at her destination.

When Evie reached the corner booth, she stopped dead in her tracks. Tray in hand, mouth gaped open, Evie stared down at whom she gathered to be the most beautiful man she had ever seen.

The stranger reciprocated her stare with a devious smirk and dark eyes. The sandy scruff of a five o’clock shadow framed his face. His dirty-blond locks hung down the side of his jaw line, ends resting just across his shoulders. His sharp, angular features guarded deep dark irises. They created a sharp line above his eye sockets, like they were meant to purposely shield those dark pools of mystery from the club’s lighting. He held one eyebrow cocked indicating his amusement at her obvious fascination.

Look away, dammit. You’re embarrassing yourself.

Evie forced herself to look away from his hypnotic features, but not too far. She dropped her gaze to his well-cut shoulders. His lean frame was shrouded under a soft grey sweater and worn leather jacket.

Dammit. Stop giving him the once over, she demanded of herself again.

Evie averted her eyes once more. This time she stared straight down to his lap. Weathered jeans concealed what Evie presumed was something much more offensive to stare at than his face. She lifted her surprised gaze back up to meet his. The sly side smirk across his face widened. Clearly, he delighted in her awkwardness. Exasperated, she broke the silence and forced herself out of her reverie.

“Hi,” she said, yelling over the music. She had to lean closer towards him so that he might hear her. By doing so, she caught a faint but pleasant scent overpowering the rankness of the club. “What can I getcha?”

The stranger looked back up at her in pure delight. Eyebrows lifted, he propped himself up with his elbows, one against the table top and the other against the back of the booth’s bench. They cradled his thin but muscular frame. He stretched himself up to her. She leaned in even closer. Her senses now identified his aroma of orange blossoms and mint.

Delicious.

“I was thinking I might like you,” he replied and licked his lips.

Evie snapped upright. His dark gleaming eyes held her in place. His smile haunted. Evie’s pulse quickened. Her heart threatened to burst from her chest. And she softened deep between her thighs at the thought of serving herself up to the devilishly tenebrous stranger.

She moved back a little, allowed herself a moment to register his order and shake off his scent. Fighting a quiver, she replied, “Sorry man. If you’re looking for a girl, you’ll have to request one of the dancers. I just bring the drinks.”

She forced her composure and feigned cockiness with her hip shifted to the side, waiting for a new order. All the while her body trembled with anticipation.

“I can’t say I’m interested in any of these girls,” the stranger said. His dismissive hand waved through the air. “And I don’t care for alcohol myself.”

He reached into his pocket to reveal a large wad of cash and placed it down on the table. She looked at the generous fold of twenty-dollar bills. At least a few grands’ worth. She gawked at him in amazement.

“I…” she stuttered. “I can’t accept that. I’m just your waitress.”

“Should that matter?” he asked. His constant smile made her shiver. “You asked for my order, and I’d like to order you.”

THE SAVING:

COMING SOON!!!!!20150916 Saving cover 3 (digital)

“Have you found the light, or have you fallen?”

Evie’s life can never be the same as long as the Sempiternal continue to call out from the depths. She’s in limbo, too ignorant and afraid of the future Lucca has planned with her. She’s left Fallhaven, set adrift in a new city, and fighting more than withdrawal. Evan has become her constant companion, committed to assimilating Evie to a clean, mortal life, but at what cost?

Though he fights to help her concur her demons, still she struggles with her cravings for Lucca’s nothingness. How can she move on when there can be no light to her days without the darkness of his nights?

THE SAVING is the second installment of the ADDICTIONS OF THE ETERNAL series.

Bio:

Choose your poison: Paranormal Fantasy • Romantic Horror • Dark Fantasy With A Twist? Maybe all of the above, and then some? Stockli strives to keep it dark and intimate, feeding off of those quiet moments where secret exchanges of eye contact scream louder than words. Her work consists of “perfectly imperfect characters and real-life grittiness.” She is inspired by music, the past, and possibilities. Happily Ever Afters are only achieved through the cost of some blood, guts, or a soul or two… if at all. Also an established full-time professional, Stockli has earned her BA in Art & Architectural History and MBA with a concentration in Marketing. Over the years she’s traveled, lived, learned, and moonlighted as a magician’s assistant, a roadie for a metal band, a dance fitness instructor, and even dressed up as a promotional character at public events. For her, life has been all in good fun and given her a wealth of real life material to work off of. She lives along the Massachusetts coast with her husband and two little monsters. You’ll likely find them dancing around the house, or out on the water soaking in the sun and breathing in the sea salt air.

Where to find JC Stockli:

https://jcstockli.wordpress.com

www.facebook.com/JCStockli

www.twitter.com/JCStockli

www.instagram.com/JCStockli

www.pinterest.com/JCStockli

 

Read Full Post »