Monday, May 9, 2022

TV Series Review: ANNIKA



One of my favorite actresses, Nicola Walker, stars as DI Annika Strandhed in this 6-episode series on PBS, and wow, she doesn't disappoint! 

She was in two of my fave series, Unforgotten and River. (If you haven't watched those yet, put them on your list!) 

It took me a minute to get used to the format in ANNIKA, where Walker breaks the fourth wall and talks directly to viewers. But it soon became the best part of every episode. 

I think this series will appeal to readers and writers, since Walker's character defines each episode based on her literary preferences. The first episode centers on Viking sagas, another on a Shakespearian play. 

If you decide to watch this, make sure you see all six episodes. You don't want to miss a minute of this treasure!

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Monday, May 2, 2022

Movie Review: In The Shadow Of The Moon

 


I just finished watching IN THE SHADOW OF THE MOON on Netflix and, whoa, was it good! If you can handle gore (not my fave story element) and push past the beginning, which is a bit confusing, you might just stumble on one of your favorite SciFi/Horror flicks. 

Time travel, end of the world scenario, secret identities, mystery, and a redemptive ending, oh my gosh, I'd give this one 10 stars. 

It has echoes of The Tomorrow War, but this released in 2019, two years before TTW. 

IN THE SHADOW OF THE MOON stars Michael C Hall, but don't let the fact that he's a minor character stop you from checking this one out! Every actor pulls their weight in this one.

Note: If you want to stay up-to-date on all my book and short story releases, please sign up for my newsletter! New members get a free short story.

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Where there are wolves...

When I found out that Ye Olde Dragon Books was putting together a WEREWOLF-THEMED anthology I knew I wanted to have one of my stories included. The deadline was tight, so I was very excited when my entry, DOG BOY, was accepted!

Today, I'll talk about the MOONLIGHT AND CLAWS anthology!

This anthology has stories written by 17 different authors. Below is the blurb for the collection:

..................

The Wolfman.

Where does the Hollywood version end and folklore begin? What is the truth about the wolfman, the werewolf, the were, the lycan, the skinwalker and shapeshifter?

You know what? It doesn't matter!

Because here between these pages, we invite you to explore and enjoy and shiver and cry and laugh and cheer and sigh and even fall in love with the amazing imaginations of seventeen authors, who explore their own particular twists and turns and reflections on just what it means -- or could mean -- to be the Wolf.

Just which version do you believe in? Lost soul -- cursed victim -- avenger -- motherless child -- star-crossed lover -- lonely heart -- healer -- music lover -- loyal friend -- hero?
Which version of the Wolfman most resonates with you?

Open the book, explore, and find out.

He could be someone you know. He could be the "boy next door." He could be you …

.................

My story is flash fiction, which means it's somewhere between 1,000 words and 2,000 words long. 

The blurb for my story:

Sometimes boys don't cry wolf, because they ARE the wolf.

Below a short excerpt from my story, Dog Boy:

His hair stuck out in thick tufts, never combed or washed. His shirt had lost its color and its sleeves were gone, and I often wondered if he shivered while he tried to sleep. One night, when he and his pack of stray dogs were off prowling through alleys and along the riverbed, I crept out to his hiding place. I found a few toys lying about—a ragged, lopsided rabbit, most of the stuffing gone; a small truck, the paint almost completely worn off. There, I left an old blanket. And a Bible. I doubted that he could read, but I knew that if he could walk on two legs, then he had a soul.

And there was no doubt in my mind that he needed saving. 

You can purchase MOONLIGHT AND CLAWS in digital or print HERE.

Tomorrow, I'll tell you about the SECRET SANTA anthology.

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Witch Anthology Should You Read?



Halloween is a great time to read a spooky book and get in the mood for the upcoming festivities. (Hello, Edgar Allan Poe, I know you born to celebrate this holiday.) This year I'm blessed to have stories in not one, but TWO chilling anthologies: Cursed! and Moonlight And Claws. In the next two days, I'll tell you a little about each one below and each of my stories that are included. I'll also give you a snippet/sneak peek of those stories! 


Today, I'll talk about CURSED!


This Halloween Anthology has six authors and six spooky stories. My story in this collection is The Bone Bride and it's set in the same world as my upcoming novel, Raven Heart.


The one-line blurb: A high-born girl learns she’s been sold as bride to a dead goblin prince.


A short excerpt from The Bone Bride:


There were tables filled with food, the sort of delicacies that Rowan had always been warned about—things that could enchant a girl so deeply that she would never find her way home again. Cakes and pastries and fruit from across the Shadowsea, sugared tangerines and salted beef and sweet buttered bread, glasses of wine that never went empty. And music, so tempting, she couldn’t hold still. As soon as her feet touched the ground in the grassy circle, she started to dance. She only paused long enough to take a slice of meat or a piece of fruit or a sip of wine, then she would laugh and start dancing again.


’Twas a magic circle, sure enough, but what sort of magic she didn’t know. Not Brightwitch magic, that only took place during the day. But this didn’t seem like Nightwitch magic either. Granted their magic took place during the night, but it was almost always done to confuse and torment humans.


Rowan wasn’t human anymore.


All around her, beautiful women and handsome men danced. She couldn’t see Prince Blackroot, although she knew he was here. The moment they had arrived, a dashing king wearing a golden crown had taken Blackroot by the arm and escorted him to the edge of the clearing. Now and then she could see the king—he would nod and smile benevolently at her—but the dancing crowd prevented her from seeing the Goblin boy who had saved her from being trapped in place for all of eternity.


She didn’t know where she was but it felt like Lightland, the place the saints and the priests all told little children about.


Except, now and then, it felt like something else.


Something horrible.


Every half an hour or so, all the dancers would come to a halt, unable to move. Then, the changing patterns on the Bone Brides’ dresses all became the same.


They all showed a horrific war that was going to forever change the land of the living and the land of the dead. And Rowan could tell by the events—which began with Rowan’s death—that this war was coming very soon.




And here are short blurbs of all the stories in that collection:


The Bone Bride: Unholy matrimony isn't the only thing to fear this Halloween.


Touch Of The Old Gods: A village under siege must make an unholy alliance in the hopes of survival.


Illusion At Midnight: A vampire searches for his mate, but she's not interested in spending eternity with a bloodsucker.


The Genie's Curse: After a genie is bound and cursed, she realizes she will do anything to have her freedom restored.


Cursed Birthday: A female child is only born once every 100 years—some say she's a blessing, others say she's a curse.


Secrets Of The Grave: When a ghost tour goes wrong, unwelcome secrets of the grave are unleashed.


You can purchase CURSED! here.


Tomorrow, I'll tell you about Moonlight And Claws!

 



Tuesday, October 12, 2021

A Place Of Magic Release Day & Giveaway!

  A PLACE OF MAGIC releases today! Yay! At long last, this book is out in the wild. If you haven't had a chance to pick up a copy yet, I will keep the price at 99¢ for a few more days. It's available to purchase in digital and print, on Amazon, B&N, Apple, Kobo, and a few more places.

Also, if you did get a copy, please consider leaving a review. I would greatly appreciate it!


There are some things happening on the Interwebs today and I hope you can stop by! First, there's a tour of 25 blogs, hosted by Bewitching Book Tours, and some blogs have exclusive excerpts from my book. Plus there's a rafflecopter giveaway of 1 Signed print copy of A Place Of Magic, 1 Custom tote bag, and 1 Amazon gift card for $25.


And these blogs below have guest posts, interviews, short stories, and sneak peeks of my future books. 



The Book Junkie Reads: Interview where I talk about a character I can't wait to write.

Supernatural Central: Chat where I discuss my new release and another project I'm working on.

I Smell Sheep: Excerpt from Raven Heart, my WIP, plus a special giveaway.

A Bewitching Guide to Halloween: One of my spooky flash fiction stories.

Serena Synn: Chatting about marketing tips and advice for aspiring authors. 

JB's Bookworms with Brandy Mulder: Talking about how and when writing is difficult. 

The Creatively Green Write at Home Mom: One of my flash fiction stories.

Paranormalists: How to survive a zombie apocalypse.


Sadie’s Spotlight: I confess what inspired A Place Of Magic.

Thursday, September 30, 2021

New Release And Giveaway

Just wanted to let y'all know that I have a new book releasing soon. Those of you who have followed my writing career for a while might remember my 2011 HarperCollins novel, Feast: Harvest Of Dreams. Several years ago, I got the right backs to that book. I've since rewritten it and it will release on October 12th. 


If you like fae, magic, and mythical creatures in a fierce battle over an earthly kingdom, I think you'll enjoy this story! A PLACE OF MAGIC is a full-length, stand-alone, urban fantasy/ paranormal fantasy.

You can order it here.

The preorder price is only 99¢. 

The price after release will be $3.99.

But, if you preorder now, I have a FREE GIFT for you!



THE GIVEAWAY: A PLACE OF DREAMS Novella

If you preorder A PLACE OF MAGIC before release, please take a screenshot of your receipt and send it to me at merrie [at] merriedestefano [dot] com, with this in the subject line: PREORDER RECEIPT. Then, once the prequel novella is formatted and ready for readers, I'll send it to you for FREE. 

BLURB for A PLACE OF MAGIC:

Halloween's the wrong time for Maddie to visit Ticonderoga Falls.

She doesn’t remember Ash, the dark, magnificent creature who once saved her life. She doesn't know that a Hunt will begin soon, led by Ash—a Darkling Fae—or that hungry monsters will harvest the villager’s dreams.

There are rules about harvesting humans; the poor creatures are so delicate. If you take too much, they’ll die. Without dreams, they perish. And perish they do, now and then, despite Ash's efforts to keep them safe.

Soon the Hunt will begin. And no human will be safe.


And one bonus magical item...
Here's the Book Trailer for A PLACE OF MAGIC.




Thursday, August 30, 2018

Winter is Coming

Winter is coming and, with it, come the faeries.

If you haven't read FAIRYTALE CHRISTMAS, this would be a great time to buy a copy and settle back for a nice historic fantasy with a dash of romance. OUTLANDER meets SLEEPING BEAUTY in this tale.




Three thousand years ago, a war began between the immortals and the mortals. It's a war that continues to this day...

Before history began, a legendary queen battled a foreign army, braved the death of her husband, and faced betrayal at the hand of someone she trusted. This is the story of Eire, Queen of the Faeries, the Immortal One, and the leader of the Tuatha de Danann.

To this day, her homeland, Ireland, bears her name, and this is the story of the war that drove the Immortal Ones into exile. It's also the tale of how she found help from an unexpected place, leading her to a love like she had never known before.

Fairytale Christmas is a story that spans thousands of years. It's also the beginning of all of our fairytales and legends; it's where mortals and immortals survive because they love one another, proving that love is the greatest gift of all.

This is the first installment in the Saga of the Fair Folk, a journey that lasts until the end of time.

..................

Just a note: Things are changing in the indie print world and I don't know if I'll keep selling the print version of this book. So, if you ever wanted to get this one in a hard copy, now is the time to buy it!

Kindle version here.


Print version here.

Audible version here.