Reading in bed just got a little hotter.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Visions by Anna James

TITLE: Visions

AUTHOR: Anna James
GENRE: Contemporary  *  Paranormal Romance * Haunting

LENGTH: 57 pages






Prudence Bailey has just learned that Laura Bailey, the woman she has always believed to be her mother, is in fact a distant cousin. Laura adopted Prudence when she was four years old after her father, Joshua Adams, brutally murdered her mother, Jane, then killed himself. She has no memory of the past and, after Laura’s death, decides to return home to Salem Massachusetts to learn more. Twenty years have now passed since the murder / suicide took place.

Almost immediately, she meets Detective Matt Cavanaugh, her neighbor. Matt is gorgeous and sexy and Pru is instantly attracted to him. Matt is also linked to her past. His father, now a retired police officer, was first on the scene the night of her parents’ deaths. From the moment she returns, Pru experiences visions that lead her to believe that the circumstances surrounding her parents’ deaths are not as they seem. The facts don’t add up. And when a recent murder that Matt is investigating is linked to the past, they discover that Pru is right and the killer is still on the loose.

Will they discover the killer’s identity in time or will history repeat itself?


Where does the line draw between nightmares and reality? What if your nightmares are a reality? Or should I say, were…

Prudence isn’t one to believe in ghosts or the undead. But when her nightmares become so intense that she can actually feel the pain of the victims in her head, she begins to think maybe her nightmares aren’t just bad dreams. They may be, in fact, a message from the past. But that’s impossible, right?

When her mother/cousin dies, Pru inherits the house she once called home. Many years have passed since then, and she has very little recollection of those times. That is, until she steps foot inside the foreign dwelling and is assaulted by visions so terrible, they leave her shaking with fear. Something bad happened there, and she’s no longer sure her father was to blame.

Matt recognizes Prudence almost from the moment he sees her. He can’t believe she’s actually returned after all these years. He knows the story behind her parent’s deaths—after all, his father worked the case—but something about it all just doesn’t make sense. As the two of them become reacquainted, they begin finding clues that lead them to not only some things about the house that were left out of the homicide/suicide report from years ago, but also about who might actually be responsible for Pru’s parent’s deaths.

Visions is one of those stories that really hooks you from the get go. Ms. James does a wonderful job of weaving a tale of suspense and romance, all at once. As Pru and Matt rediscover each other, they also begin to unravel the mystery of Pru’s past. There were very little grammar/punctuation errors. If they were there, I was so engrossed in the reading that I hardly noticed. I thoroughly enjoyed her character development and plot. This is one I will certainly keep and will probably re-read sometime when I feel like curling up with a hot cup of coffee in front of the fireplace. The attraction between Pru and Matt is dynamic and Ms. James adds just enough sex to heat up the story, but not so much is drowns out the main objective, which is to find out what really happened to Pru’s parents.

If you like a little suspense and danger with your romance, then grab a copy of Anna James’ Visions. I promise you won’t be disappointed.

To find out more about Anna James, please visit:

Excerpt from The Spaces Between Your Screams

Christopher Hiver

eTreasures Publishing


Genre: Collection, Horror, Short Stories

Don't scream. It only entices them, and when you stop, the real terror begins. In the moments between your cries, the monsters are released, profane and insatiable. Werewolves, witches, vampires and creatures never named prowl from the darkness. Soul collectors knock on your door while animals you won't find at the zoo slither through the yard around the dead bodies. Angels hover over your house, just in case.

Behind them, in the bushes, demons wait for the same reason. A storm brews in the distance, ready to sweep you up and take you away, but to where? And would it be better than here where you're afraid to stop screaming and machinery hidden in the clouds has covered the sky?

EXCERPT from the story Taking Jenny Seriously:
     Martin Brawley sat in the police interrogation room smoking a stale cigarette. He could hear footsteps shuffling around outside the door and wished they would come in and get it over with. He wasn't going to tell them anything anyway. He couldn't if he wanted to stay alive.
     The door finally swung open. Martin raised his head to see two men come into the room. The first was the one who had arrested him earlier in the day, Detective Ned Rothstein. Rothstein sported a wide body, too large for his small head. It made him look more than the twenty pounds overweight that he was. The second man wore an ill-fitting, brown suit with ashes from a cigarette
dusting the jacket lapels. The man in the suit sat down, and Rothstein introduced him.
     "This is my partner, Detective Smalley. He's going to take over the questioning, and I'd advise you to start telling the truth. Smalls here can get real pissed." Smalley stared at Martin with bored eyes. It didn't seem to matter to him whether Martin talked or not. Rothstein hitched up his pants and left, slamming the door.
     "All right," Smalley said, as soon as the door shut, "let's get this over with. I'm going to ask you some very simple questions, and you are going to answer them truthfully, and then I'll go home and you'll go to jail."
     "I told the other guy I don't know what happened."
     "I haven't asked a question yet. Now, tell me, did you kill your wife?"
     "No. I told the other guy that."
     "What did happen to her?"
     "I don't know."
     "You were in the house with her."
     "I didn't see what happened. I left the room and when I came back, she was in the chair, dead."
     "Was she sitting in the chair when you left the room?"
     "So, you leave the room, your wife is alive, sitting in an easy chair. When you came back, she's dead."
     "You didn't hear anything, see anything?"
     "What did you do when you came back into the room?"
     "I said something to Jenny, but she didn't answer. I repeated it, and when she didn't respond again, I looked at her. She was slumped in the chair. I walked over to her and shook her, thinking she had fallen asleep. When she still didn't move, I checked for a pulse, but she was dead."
     "Then what did you do?"
     "I called the police."
     "You didn't notice the five small puncture holes around her heart?"


An Interview with Christopher Hivner

Join me in welcoming Christopher Hivner as he tells us a little about his writing and his obsessions. I must warn him though, he and my hubby might have a throw down over Kate Beckinsale!

1) Links to website and list of books with purchase links.
Chapbook of poems “Edged in Blue”
Collection of short horror stories “The Spaces between Your Screams”
*free read*

2) How long have you been writing? What got you in to writing?
I started taking it seriously around 1992, but I’ve written stories since I was 5 or 6 years old. I love words and even as a kid loved to learn new ones. The first thing I would do after learning a new word was write a story based on being able to use the new vocabulary somewhere in it. Reaching my late 20’s is when I decided I needed to take it seriously and see what happened.

3) What was your first published book? Looking back, is there anything you’d change about it?
My first collection published was a chapbook of poems called Edged in Blue in 2004. When I re-read it now I still think a few of the poems are really good while the others have solid ideas but my use of language to convey those ideas is a little naïve. The Spaces Between Your Screams in 2008 is my first collection of short stories and there are hundreds of things I would change. Word choice, sentence structure, even plot lines, but I think that’s a natural reaction. No writer is ever completely satisfied with anything they write.

4) What or Who has influenced your writing?
This is a cliché considering how many people probably say it, but I started writing horror stories after reading my first Stephen King book. I was in 7th grade when I read Salem’s Lot and it filled my head with all sorts of ideas none of which, you could argue, really belonged there. I didn’t start writing poetry until well after high school. Influences would be Emily Dickinson and Charles Simic. I’ve been writing a lot more humor the last ten years, my blog, Cosmic Overdrive, is very influenced by Dave Barry’s style in his syndicated column. Some of my more absurd work comes from my love of Monty Python.

5) Where do you get your ideas?
Almost anything can trigger a “what if” thought: A news story, a conversation with a friend. etc. I think paying attention to people and how they act and speak can spark ideas as well. Many times just creating an interesting character first can give me an idea later. I’ve also come up with a title first and wrote a story around it.

6) What hinders your writing? (distractions? noise?)
If I sit down to write it either has to be silent or I have to play certain styles of music. Rock music or anything with too much going on lyrically breaks my concentration. Some people I like to listen to are Dead Can Dance, Vas, Steve Roach, R. Carlos Nakai, and Delerium. I also do better if I’m in a small room. If the space is too wide open there are too many things to grab my attention. I like to sit on my porch and write during the summer but there’s so much going on between the neighbors, the squirrels, the bugs, etc., it doesn’t usually turn out well.

7) What genre are you most comfortable with? What would you like to explore?
I’ve been writing horror the longest and I enjoy it, but it can still be a chore to get what’s in my head down on paper. I’m probably most comfortable with humor. When I’m trying to make the reader laugh it flows out of me easier than anything else I’ve tried. I’d like to write more science fiction. I’ve written a handful of short stories in the sci fi vein. My hindrance is not understanding the complexities of the hard science well enough to write anything too complicated and ambitious.

8) Are you a by-the-seat-of-your-pants kind of writer, or do you have to use an outline to put your collective thoughts into some semblance of common sense?
Definitely seat-of-my-pants. I’ve tried making outlines or plans but I never end up following them. Somehow the story always veers off in another direction that I like better and the plan is out the window. Some of my favorite short stories I’ve written I didn’t have an idea when I’ve started. I wrote a sentence and went stream-of-consciousness from there until an idea presented itself.

9) Which of your books is your favorite? Why?
“The Spaces between Your Screams” because it contains 39 short stories and I know how much work I put into each story.

10) Do you incorporate some of yourself into your characters? Personality traits? Likes? Dislikes?
I use a lot of likes or dislikes, especially the music a character may be listening to, book they may be reading or food choice. Any other personality traits would be subtle, nothing overt.

11) What do you think is the perfect hero/heroine? Why?
My taste generally runs on the dark side of life so I lean to the anti-hero. I was never a fan of the super hero comic books as a kid. I read Conan. Conan would help someone but there usually had to be a reward involved or he might intervene if someone angered him. This isn’t the model to follow for real life, but I find it more entertaining when the hero has plenty of visible flaws.

12) What is your latest release? Please share the blurb and purchase info with us.
A collection of short horror stories “The Spaces between Your Screams” eTreasures Publishing: $11.95 paperback, $5 ebook
Amazon: $11.95 paperback, $4.99 kindle

Don't scream. It only entices them, and when you stop, the real terror begins. In the moments between your cries, the monsters are released, profane and insatiable. Werewolves, witches, vampires and creatures never named prowl from the darkness. Soul collectors knock on your door while animals you won't find at the zoo slither through the yard around the dead bodies. Angels hover over your house, just in case. Behind them, in the bushes, demons wait for the same reason. A storm brews in the distance, ready to sweep you up and take you away, but to where? And would it be better than here where you're afraid to stop screaming and machinery hidden in the clouds has covered the sky?

13) What do you have in the works?
I have two other short story collections partially done and a first draft of a novel about a third completed. I just need to figure out how to make a day 32 hours long so I can find the proper time to work on them.

14) Do you have any suggestions/comments for prospective authors?
Read everything: fiction, nonfiction, poetry, comic books, the backs of cereal boxes. It will give you ideas you didn’t know you had and expose you to different styles of writing. Exposure to other people’s writing will help you discover what you like and are comfortable with.

1) What is the sexiest or most erotic thing someone has said to you?
I’m going to keep that to myself but I will relate that the most erotic song I’ve heard is Beth Hart’s “Am I the One”. The first time I heard it was on a local radio station on my way to work one morning and I almost drove off the road.

2) Is there anywhere you’d like to visit? Why?
Germany and the UK. Those are my family’s ancestral homes so I’d like to see where we came from.

3) Do you have any obsessions? What are they?
First would be music. I have a few thousand CDs and listen to a broad spectrum of styles. It’s easiest to say I don’t listen to rap/hip hop, jazz or Latin. Anything else I probably have at least a few songs of. Second would be reading. My home is filled with books. I’m out of shelf space so they are currently in piles wherever I can fit them. I’m also going to go with a good rack of baby back ribs. Heaven on earth.

4) Do you have a crush on any actor/actress? Who?
Kate Beckinsale. The best thing about the movie Underworld was Kate in black leather.