Calling All Book Reviewers!

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Hello everyone! :) I hope that you are all having a wonderful day today.  I know that I am! ;) Anyway, I recently saw on Facebook that author Kathryn Meyer Griffith is looking for more reviews for some of her books, and because I think she is such a remarkable writer, I thought that I would make a request of all the readers of Emeraldfire's Bookmark.

Like so many authors out there, Ms. Griffith is always on the look out for more reviewers for her books - most specifically her horror novels The Calling, Evil Stalks the Night and Blood Forged. All that is required from these potential  reviewers, is a willingness to read the book, and also to write a fair  and honest review of what you read. As I've said before, this is just a  request of all the readers of my blog - but if you do decide to review these books I would appreciate it very much! And I know that Ms. Griffith would as well. ;)



Meet Kathryn Meyer Griffith

Since childhood I’ve been an artist and worked as a graphic designer in  the corporate world and for newspapers for twenty-three years before I  quit to write full time. But I’d already begun writing novels at 21,  over forty-two years ago now, and have had twenty (ten romantic horror,  two horror novels, two romantic SF horror, one romantic suspense, one  romantic time travel, one historical romance and three murder mysteries)  previous novels, two novellas and twelve short stories published from Zebra Books, Leisure Books, Avalon Books, The Wild Rose Press, Damnation Books/Eternal Press; and I’ve self-published my last five novels with Amazon Kindle Direct and my dinosaur novels are my best-sellers.

I’ve been married to Russell for thirty-six years; have a son, James,  and two grandchildren, Joshua and Caitlyn, and I live in a small quaint  town in Illinois, which is right across the JB Bridge from St. Louis,  Mo. We have three quirky cats, ghost cat Sasha and Cleo, and live cat  Sasha (Too), and the five of us live happily in an old house in the  heart of town. Though I’ve been an artist, and a folk singer in my youth  with my brother Jim, writing has always been my greatest passion, my  butterfly stage, and I’ll probably write stories until the day I die…or  until my memory goes.

2012 EPIC EBOOK AWARDS *FINALIST* for my horror novel The Last Vampire - Revised Author’s Edition ~ 2014 EPIC EBOOK AWARDS *FINALIST* for my thriller novel Dinosaur Lake.

Connect and Socialize with Kathryn!



The Calling by Kathryn Meyer Griffith (2015)
Length: 339 pages
Purchase your copy from Amazon!


The Calling Blurb:

Faye Summer has been haunted by a three-thousand-year-old-murdered Egyptian princess, one of the five daughters of Nefertiti and the doomed pharaoh Akhenaton, since she was a young girl...and has glimpsed her desperate ghostly face in darkened mirrors and heard her whispers in her dreams. Whispers begging for Faye’s help in uncovering the true story of her and her family’s long ago disappearances and deaths, their terrible fate, so the ghost would no longer be damned to her eternal wandering. On that grave quest, Faye and her husband, Nick, reluctantly travel to Egypt and among the ancient pyramids, sparkling hot sands and the ghosts of the past they discover a truth far worse than they could have imagined and end up fighting for their own survival.


Evil Stalks the Night by Kathryn Meyer Griffith (2015)
Length: 402 pages
Purchase your copy from Amazon!



Evil Stalks the Night Blurb:

Twenty years ago psychic Sarah Summers fled from the evil that lurked in the woods behind her childhood home after it killed most of her family, but a nasty divorce and financial hardships forced her back when nothing else could have. With her son, Jeremy, she returns to her inheritance, her grandmother’s dilapidated house, and tries to begin a new life. She meets a police detective, Ben, who falls for her, and she prays her fresh visions of bloodshed and death deep among the dark trees aren’t true.

Then the murders begin again and Sarah is hurtled back into the familiar nightmare that has haunted her her whole life. The evil in the woods is awake again and this time it wants her last remaining brother, Jim; her son...and her. With Ben and Jim’s help can she defeat it this time...and live?




Blood Forged by Kathryn Meyer Griffith (2015)
Length: 453 pages
Purchase your copy from Amazon!


Blood Forged Blurb:


An ancient snake-demon lies trapped behind the stone walls of an Incan prison; for centuries demanding blood sacrifices and scheming to escape. Then it discovers a pathway into the world of men, forging itself into a malevolent and cursed 357 Colt Python gun, and making itself capable of giving misery and bringing death to all who touch it. Through decades it torments, decimates, the lives of the unfortunate people it comes into contact with until a married couple, Emily and Sam Walters, have enough love and faith - and the help of a mysterious priest who’s much more than he appears to be - to fight against and destroy it forever...and to finally send it back to hell where it belongs.


May you read well and often

Christine Amsden Discusses How Cassie Scot Influenced Her Own Personal Journey

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Meet Christine Amsden

Christine Amsden has been writing fantasy and science fiction for as long as she can remember. She loves to write and it is her dream that others will be inspired by this love and by her stories. Speculative fiction is fun, magical, and imaginative but great speculative fiction is about real people defining themselves through extraordinary situations. Christine writes primarily about people and relationships, and it is in this way that she strives to make science fiction and fantasy meaningful for everyone.

At the age of 16, Christine was diagnosed with Stargardt’s Disease, a condition that effects the retina and causes a loss of central vision. She is now legally blind, but has not let this slow her down or get in the way of her dreams. (You can learn more here.)

In addition to writing, Christine teaches workshops on writing at Savvy Authors. She also does some freelance editing work.

Christine currently lives in the Kansas City area with her husband, Austin, who has been her biggest fan and the key to her success. They have two beautiful children.

Connect and Socialize with Christine!


Synopsis from Goodreads:

Apparently, life doesn’t end when you get married.

When a couple freezes to death on a fifty degree day, Cassie is called in to investigate. The couple ran a daycare out of their home, making preschoolers the key witnesses and even the prime suspects.

Two of those preschoolers are Cassie’s youngest siblings, suggesting conditions at home are worse than she feared. As Cassie struggles to care for her family, she must face the truth about her mother’s slide into depression, which seems to be taking the entire town with it.

Then Cassie, too, is attacked by the supernatural cold. She has to think fast to survive, and her actions cause a rift between her and her husband.

No, life doesn’t end after marriage. All hell can break loose at any time.

Coming to Amazon on July 15, 2018!

I would like to welcome Christine Amsden, author of the paranormal mystery novel Frozen, to Emeraldfire's Bookmark. Ms. Amsden was kind enough to write a guest post for me and here it is below in her own words:

‘Cover Art Re-Reveal’
by Christine Amsden

Designed by Lou Harper, the beautiful cover art for Frozen is far more than it appears. It is actually the culmination of years of struggle, of adversity, and of serious backlash over misleading, inadequate, and unprofessional series covers.

Let me back up, because this story doesn’t begin with Frozen at all. It begins with the first book in the Cassie Scot Series, which has recently had an incredible makeover.

Many of my reviews for the early books in the series say, “Don’t judge this book by its cover!” They go on to say that the cover is awful, but the book is great. Well, obviously, I’m glad they liked the book, but I’ve been discouraged for years by the flack I’ve received for the covers.

One of the worst consequences of my original covers was the mistaken belief (by some) that my books were mid-grade novels, or at least young adult. They are not! These were written with adult audiences in mind.

As a picture is worth a thousand words, let me show you the before and after images:



The original cover artwork for the Cassie Scot Series were hand painted originals done just for me. And saying that is bittersweet, because when my publisher first suggested going this route, I felt incredible pride at the idea of having artwork created just for me. It made me feel special. At this point, I have something of a love/hate relationship with the original covers because I can’t deny they were mistakes. Yet, some part of me still sees something special in them, something unique that the modern practice of photo manipulation can’t capture.

Take Secrets and Lies, for instance, the second book in the series and the one with the greatest backlash. “It looks too romantic,” many or my readers said to me. And maybe it does. None of these books are romances, exactly, but there is a strong romantic subplot (like it or not), and that pose on the original Secrets and Lies perfectly captures the tension in that book - Evan wants Cassie; Cassie is unsure.

Photo manipulation is incapable of creating such a scene. To do the same thing with photography, I would have to hire my own models, and a photographer, and do a prohibitively expensive photo shoot to make it happen.

But I get it. I really do. The original cover artwork has mannequin-like faces, and they lack the sharpness, the zing, the edge of professionalism that people are used to seeing on urban fantasy novels.

I asked my publisher to hire a new cover designer for Madison’s Song and Kaitlin’s Tale, two spin-offs following secondary characters, and she did a nice job. Not so nice that I wanted her to redo my whole series, but definitely an improvement. And at that point, I thought I was done writing the series.

When Cassie told me, “Life doesn’t end when you get married,” and made me write Frozen, the first book in her new plot arc, I knew I needed something different for the cover. My publisher gave me some choices, knowing I was unhappy with the earlier artwork, but ultimately I refused them all and asked her if she would hire Lou Harper, who was recommended by some fellow authors.


We found a stock photo model for Cassie, and when I did, I tried to find someone with enough poses that she could be used on additional books and maybe...if I liked Frozen well enough, on a series overhaul. I told Lou about some magical creatures that appear in the book, including a hellhound, which she depicted beautifully standing atop a frozen lake. The mist obscuring the background is another important plot element, and really holds the scene together.

When I revealed the cover art for Frozen to my loyal readers, I got immediate, positive feedback. Some claimed that Cassie looked just like they’d pictured. Many said it was beautiful, and professional, and when I floated the idea of the series makeover, I was met with enthusiastic encouragement. So I went for it.

The result is...breathtaking, I think. I particularly love the covers to Mind Games and Stolen Dreams (books three and four), though I am enthusiastic about all of these. They are obviously more professional, cleaner, and state clearly, “These are adult urban fantasy novels.”

I hope you like the new covers half as much as I do, and that regardless, you’ll give the books a chance. You shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but we often do. I sometimes do, even though I know how the process goes, and how hard it is to find the right representation for a book!

I present these before-and-after covers proudly, but know the books are far more than their covers. Cassie Scot is a labor of love that only comes alive when you peek inside.

May you read well and often

Introducing the Cover For Frozen by Christine Amsden!

Meet Christine Amsden

Christine Amsden has been writing fantasy and science fiction for as long as she can remember. She loves to write and it is her dream that others will be inspired by this love and by her stories. Speculative fiction is fun, magical, and imaginative but great speculative fiction is about real people defining themselves through extraordinary situations. Christine writes primarily about people and relationships, and it is in this way that she strives to make science fiction and fantasy meaningful for everyone.

At the age of 16, Christine was diagnosed with Stargardt’s Disease, which scars the retina and causes a loss of central vision. She is now legally blind, but has not let this slow her down or get in the way of her dreams.

Christine currently lives in the Kansas City area with her husband, Austin, who has been her biggest fan and the key to her success. In addition to being a writer, she's a mom and freelance editor.

Frozen by Christine Amsden (2018)
Length: 216 pages
Purchase Your Copy From Amazon and Barnes and Noble!

Frozen Blurb:

Apparently, life doesn’t end when you get married.

When a couple freezes to death on a fifty degree day, Cassie is called in to investigate. The couple ran a daycare out of their home, making preschoolers the key witnesses and even the prime suspects.

Two of those preschoolers are Cassie’s youngest siblings, suggesting conditions at home are worse than she feared. As Cassie struggles to care for her family, she must face the truth about her mother’s slide into depression, which seems to be taking the entire town with it.

Then Cassie, too, is attacked by the supernatural cold. She has to think fast to survive, and her actions cause a rift between her and her husband.

No, life doesn’t end after marriage. All hell can break loose at any time.

Frozen Cover Reveal:


May you read well and often

Book Spotlight For There be Demons by M. K. Theodoratus

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Hello Everyone! I hope that you're all having a wonderful day today. I'm so glad to welcome young adult paranormal fantasy author M. K. Theodoratus - author of There be Demons to Emeraldfire's Bookmark. This is also my thirty-third Book Spotlight post ever, but I still hope that I do There be Demons by M. K. Theodoratus justice.

About There be Demons:


After her father remarries, Britt Kelly’s life becomes a cesspit. She lives in her sister’s two-bedroom tenement apartment with her mother, two brothers, and two young nephews. She starts a new high school where she knows no one. And, even when Britt thinks she’s making friends, the church where she studies in is torn down.

Then, the field commanders of The Demon Wars draft her and her friends to aid the four Gargoyle Guardians who fight the demons invading the city of Trebridge. The fate of the city hangs on Britt’s ability to lead and learn enough self-control to manipulate the natural magic of Grace. Meanwhile, she also needs to decide what to do about Cahal, her chemistry lab partner who is as strong as her and may have interests more than just protecting Trebridge.

There Be Demons is a continuation of M. K. Theodoratus’ urban fantasy, Night For the Gargoyles. It tells the tale of Gillen and his team of Gargoyle Guardians as they defend Trebridge while teaching Britt and her friends - the untrained “reinforcements“. Along the way, Gillen and Britt learn things about each other to make them stronger both together and alone.

Purchase your copy from Amazon!

Meet M. K. Theodoratus


Fantasy has always been part of M. K. Theodoratus’ life, starting when she starting playing with an imaginary friend when she was three. Comics, books, TV, and movies followed throughout her life. A northern California girl, many of her Andor alternative-world stories are firmly rooted there. Today, she lives in Northern Colorado with her husband and two lap-cats, and writes when she’s not wasting time on social media.

Connect and Socialize with M. K.!

Website * Facebook * Twitter * Goodreads * Blog

May you read well and often

Michael Okon Chats About Current Events and How They Influence His Writing

Friday, October 13, 2017


Meet Michael Okon

Michael Okon is an award-winning and best-selling author of multiple genres including paranormal, thriller, horror, action/adventure and self-help. He graduated from Long Island University with a degree in English, and then later received his MBA in business and finance. Coming from a family of writers, he has storytelling is his DNA. Michael has been writing from as far back as he can remember, his inspiration being his love for films and their impact on his life. From the time he saw The Goonies, he was hooked on the idea of entertaining people through unforgettable characters.

Michael is a lifelong movie buff, a music playlist aficionado, and a sucker for self-help books. He lives on the North Shore of Long Island with his wife and children.

Connect and Socialize with Michael!

Amazon Author Page * Facebook * Twitter * Website

Synopsis from Amazon:

Welcome to Monsterland - the scariest place on Earth.

Wyatt Baldwin's senior year is not going well. His parents divorce, then his dad mysteriously dies. He’s not exactly comfortable with his new stepfather, Carter White, either.

An ongoing debate with his best friends Melvin and Howard Drucker over which monster is superior has gotten stale. He’d much rather spend his days with beautiful and popular Jade. However, she’s dating the brash high-school quarterback Nolan, and Wyatt thinks he doesn’t stand a chance.

But everything changes when Wyatt and his friends are invited to attend the grand opening of Monsterland, a groundbreaking theme park where guests can interact with vampires in Vampire Village, be chased by werewolves on the River Run, and walk among the dead in Zombieville.

With real werewolves, vampires and zombies as the main attractions, what could possibly go wrong?

Coming to Amazon on October 15, 2017!

I would like to welcome Michael Okon, author of the young adult paranormal novel Monsterland, to Emeraldfire's Bookmark. Mr. Okon was kind enough to write a guest post for me and here it is below in his own words:

‘How Current Events Influence My Writing’
by Michael Okon

Current events, just like anything else, plays an important role in my writing. You can't help but feel impacted by what you see and hear around you.

In Monsterland, Vincent Konrad is able to come to power due to a raging plague. I remembered the news reports of the Bird Flu and the Ebola Outbreaks to describe the pandemic of the plague that turn people into zombies.

Watching aging rockers was my inspiration for Vampires. Seeing a talk show with my favorite band, now looking old and campy served to inspire me to portray vampires in a brand-new light as social outcasts that have failed to reinvent themselves and adapt to society. Everybody has one crazy uncle who can't seem to let go of his glory days and live in the present. I consider all current topics from climate to the economy, trends and social issues and then I try to weave them into the story to make it relatable.

When you read Monsterland, you'll see global tensions between countries much like we are experiencing now between world superpowers. Homeless people, joblessness and the effects on towns in America find it way in the story as the world economies collapse with the outbreak.

Recalling the financial crash of 2008, from our not so distant past, served as a reminder of what so many people lost and how they suffered. Social issues like tolerance and acceptance are in the news and very much a part of the book. Everyday life influences my books and if it is around me, affecting me, it will find a way into my stories.

Ultimately, whether I am writing about the past, the distant future, or a fantastical imaginary world, all my stories are about the human element and the things that surround our lives.

Michael Okon is a bestselling author and screenwriter. His newly revised book, Monsterland, is scheduled for release on October 15. Michael invites readers to connect with him on his website.

May you read well and often

Why Have I Not Been Around Much Lately!

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Hello everyone! I hope that you're all just fine this morning - I certainly am! :) Anyway, I just wanted to give you an update on how I'm doing so far.

I’m doing pretty well - except for the fact that Lollipop managed to knock a book that I started reading last week behind my easychair. Actually, I should probably say that Lollipop’s managed to knock another book behind my chair, because this is like the sixth book she’s pawed down off my bookshelf. I love her dearly, but this is starting to get slightly annoying.

I’m only upset because I was reading at least two of the books that disappeared behind the chair, and the chair is difficult to move in order to retrieve the books. It will probably take me months to get them back. Oh, well!

Anyway, I haven’t been posting too much on my blog because I was actually setting up a fresh blog at: http://emeraldfiresbookmark2.blogspot.com. I’ve transferred my posts over to the new blog, but unfortunately I can’t transfer my followers. So that’s why I’m keeping my other blog as well, although I hope that I can remove it at some point. Not to worry though, I won’t be doing that for a while, yet!

May you read well and often

Peter Thompson - Summer on Earth

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

33. Summer on Earth by Peter Thompson (2017)
Length: 294 pages
Genre: Science Fiction 
Started: 7 September 2017
Finished: 26 September 2017
Where did it come from? Many thanks to Dorothy at Pump up Your Book for sending me a copy of this book to read.
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 7 September 2017
Why do I have it? I like science fiction and Peter Thompson is a new author for me.

In the summer of 1978, eleven-year-old Grady Johnson is grieving the recent loss of his father. Times were already tough for the Johnsons, but Grady suspects now that it’s just the three of them: him, his Ma, and his younger sister Luanne, this summer will be especially hard. After all, his dad was the rock of their family. Now dad has died and the family just isn’t the same.

Grady knows that Ma is trying her best, but they just don’t have enough money to get by. He wishes that he could do more to help, but he doesn’t know how. The night that he looked out his bedroom window and wished upon a shooting star, Grady had no idea how much his life would change. And ultimately, the summer of 1978 will stay in Grady’s heart forever.

Actually, the shooting star that Grady saw that night was a spaceship plummeting to Earth. Secretly landing in a pasture behind Grady’s farm, extraterrestrial engineer Ralwil Turth has only one goal - to repair his craft’s power source and go back home. The mission should be simple enough to accomplish on an unpopulated planet such as this one. However, Ralwil’s mission doesn’t go quite as well as he planned...

Due to an equipment malfunction, Ralwil finds himself stuck in human form as he works on the Johnson farm. As he gets to know Grady and his family, Ralwil begins to learn what it means to be human. He also discovers more about the exotic charms of this planet Earth - things such as the taste of potatoes and how amazing bugs are. These are all extraordinary experiences and situations for Ralwil, and his strange reactions and odd behavior causes Grady no small measure of bafflement to witness.

As Ralwil grows to care more for Grady and his family, he comes up with a plan to try and help them, certain that it will solve all their problems. However, when trouble comes, the family’s survival and Ralwil’s very life will be on the line. The question is: will Grady find the courage he needs to help his family and save his new friend?

I have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. I found the story to be poignant and well-written, and fully appreciated that the plot was about so much more than just the science fictional element. In my opinion, this was a refreshing change from most science fiction novels, which seem to be told from a more galactic point of view, rather than a personal point of view.

The historical setting of the story was also intriguing, and not necessarily overwhelming. I look forward to reading more from this author in the future and I would certainly give this book an A+!

A+! - (96-100%)

May you read well and often