Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Blog Tour + #Giveaway - In the Beginning: Dark Retellings of Biblical Tales Anthology presented by Month9Books @chapterxchapter @month9books


In the Beginning (Oct. 25, 2016) –Eight authors come together to build a powerful collection of dark young adult short stories inspired by the mysteries, faith, and darkness found within the Bible. Old Testament and New Testament, iconic and obscure figures alike are illuminated, explored, and re-envisioned throughout this charity anthology from Month9Books.

IN THE BEGINNING, ed. Laureen Cantwell and Georgia McBride

Daniel and the Dragon by Stephen Clements A troubled orphan named Habakkuk dutifully follows his master, the prophet Daniel, into temples of blood-thirsty demon-gods, battles with unspeakable horrors, and bears witnesses to mind-breaking evil until his master's zealous defiance of the king's law seals their fate.

Babylon by Nicole Crucial Far above the earth, in Second Eden, where moments and eternities all blur together, young Babylon befriends Sefer, the Book of Life. As Babylon awaits the moment she'll fulfill her destiny, she and Sefer try to understand the world in which they live.

Last Will and Testament by Mike Hays A homeless young boy, Baz, bears the weight of humanity on his shoulders and upon his body. When dark forces test a new-found friendship, Baz’s willingness to bear the ugliness of their world will be shaken.

The Demon Was Me by Sharon Hughson Based on the story of the demon-possessed boy healed by Jesus, this tale provides a glimpse into a post-apocalyptic world where a teenage boy seeks to journey to a better land and yearns to discover the kind of man he's meant to be, only to be hijacked by an evil spirit intent upon chipping away at the hope, faith, and resilience of its host.

The Deluge by Marti Johnson A non-believer shares the story of Noah’s ark-building and the deadly downpour that follows. Fear, faithlessness, and the fallibility of mankind collide in a community where second chances aren’t unlimited and a better-late-than-never attitude just might be your doom.

Condemned by Elle O'Neill Just sixteen-years-old, Barabbas finds himself pulled out of Routlege Academy and into a reality show competition—against Jesus himself—where the reward for the winner is life.

First Wife by Lora Palmer In a first-person retelling of the saga of Jacob, Rachel and Leah, themes of family, deception, guilt, and heartache emerge amidst the first days of Leah’s marriage to Jacob—a marriage mired in trickery a mere week before Jacob was to marry Leah's sister Rachel.

Emmaculate by Christina Raus Based on the story of Mary's Immaculate Conception, we enter the troubled mind of Emma, who finds herself torn between her religious upbringing and the purity ring that binds her to her boyfriend and the pregnancy that results from her relationship with another boy.
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In the Beginning: Dark Retellings of Biblical Tales 
Publication Date: October 25, 2016 
Publisher: Month9Books


10 Places I Want To Visit

Everyone dreams of travel—especially we writers, who use those experiences for fiction, nonfiction, or both. Here are a few of the places I want to be inspired by someday.

1. Munich, Germany

I think it’s fair to say that most people would enjoy visiting the places that their ancestors come from. My mother’s side of the family originated in south Germany, and there’s even a museum there dedicated to the group they belonged to (the Danube-Swabians). Plus, Munich is famous for its Octoberfest celebrations, Christmas markets, and its proximity to Neuschwanstein Castle, the structure that inspired the Disney logo! And if you speak German, like I do, it’s always nice to get a chance to use it.

2. London, England

The UK is high on most Americans’ lists for travel because of our long history with Britain and the fact that we all speak English, which makes tourism a lot easier. As a Jane Austen fanatic, I’d love to see the country about which she wrote. (And while the Regency period would certainly be interesting, the only thing I think I’d like would be the balls.)

3. Tokyo, Japan

I spent a good deal of my teenage years watching anime, reading manga, and consuming everything I could get my hands on regarding the culture of Japan. In fact, I recently did a paper for an Asian Religions class deconstructing the portrayal of Japan’s two main religions in the show Inuyasha, and the Japanese mythology is still one of my favorites. I’d love to see the sights and sounds of Tokyo.

4. Hawaii

I’m not much of a beach person, but Hawaii would probably change that. I might even be willing to learn to surf. 

5. Knicanin, Serbia

This is a bit of a strange one, but it goes back to writerly research. I’ve always wanted to write a book based on my maternal grandfather’s experiences in post-WWII Yugoslavian concentration camps, and the camp where he spent most of his time (formerly Rudolfsgnad) is now called Knicanin.

6. New York City, New York

Seems like nothing special, but I’ve never been! I feel like visiting NYC is a right of passage for any American, and I haven’t be able to have that experience yet. I can only imagine what it would be like to stand in Times Square, see a show on Broadway, or discover delicious, hole-in-the-wall restaurants.

7. Rome, Italy

I’ve actually been to Rome before, but I loved it so much that I’ve made a pact to go back someday. There is nothing more captivating than a city that’s thousands of years old, and nothing more hilarious and simultaneously awesome than standing in front of the Parthenon and walking twenty yards to the nearest McDonald’s. Rome is full of life, art, and history in a way that I’ve never seen before.

8. Atlanta, Georgia

Another one that seems unassuming, Atlanta has always held a strange appeal to me. I don’t know exactly what it is about the city that makes me think I’d like it so much, aside from all of the events that go on there. Maybe it’s a strange, mystical ideal I hold about the urban south as outposts of modernity, art, and progress in otherwise rural areas. Honestly, I feel like Dragoncon alone is enough of a reason to want to go!

9. Berlin, Germany

More reasons to use my German, and who wouldn’t want to go to Berlin? Not only is it full of history, the site of the iconic Berlin Wall, but it’s also well-known for its nightlife and art.

10. Prague, Czech Republic

My parents and grandparents took a cruise around Eastern Europe last May and fell in love with Prague. I’d love to have the chance to do the same.

So there you have it! What ten places would you most like to visit?

Nicole Crucial is a student at the University of North Carolina Wilmington studying communication studies and creative writing. Her interests outside of writing include all kinds of pasta, em dashes, color-coding everything, and collecting an absurd number of pictures of her cat. She is one of eight authors in the forthcoming In the Beginning anthology from Month9Books. To learn more or connect with her, visit
Stephen Clements
Stephen Clements earned a Masters in Political Science from the University of Memphis, served a stint in the US Army with a heaping long tour in Iraq, and would never recommend Baghdad as a vacation spot. When he got out, he cornered and married a mean, beautiful woman, and they have three corgis and one murderous cat. He has three books, with a recent short story in MEMPHIS NOIR. He loves history, theology, travel, and making wine.
Nicole Crucial
Nicole Crucial is a creative writing student at UNC Wilmington. Her hobbies outside of reading and writing include social media, Netflix, yoga (sometimes), costuming, organizing things, and spoiling her cat. She loves writing about fantastic worlds because she is certain that she would not survive in them. You can visit her website at:
Mike Hays
Mike Hays is from Kansas, a tried and true flatlander by birth. He relishes the fact his adult self can now make stuff up and not be sent to the principal's office for it. His life is built around stories-whether as a dad, a molecular microbiologist, a high school sports coach, or as an author- stories are key. He writes mainly from a boy point of view and hopes to spread ideas and stupid-funny inspiration through his books, blogs, and social media. His upper middle-grade historical fiction, THE YOUNGER DAYS, is about a family's survival in the fallout from the violent Border War over "Bloody" Kansas. Connect with him on Twitter (@coachhays64).
Sharon Hughson
Nurtured through a troubled teenhood by Aslan in Narnia, Sharon Hughson has long appreciated the power of the written word. She has published romance and women's fiction, but her dream is to write young adult fantasy, a genre she credits for keeping her alive during her parents' turbulent divorce and the chaotic readjustments that followed. Sharon fuels her imagination with recollections from years of motherhood and a lifetime of experience working with young people, at church and in public school. She resides in Oregon with her husband, sons and three cats, where she spends her non-writing hours substitute teaching, reading, playing piano, enjoying the outdoors and scrapbooking her family's memories.

Marti Johnson
Marti Johnson was born on an American Naval base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. She has lived in Massachusetts, Maine, Colorado, Nevada and California. Marti hiked and climbed mountains as a girl and young teen, and spent many years on horseback in the scenic eastern Sierras in California. She is the author (under her given name, Margaret Johnson) of DARK HORSE SPIRIT: BEYOND REDEMPTION published in 2014, and is currently working on a sequel.

Elle O'Neill
Elle O'Neill loves reading and writing-from her first all-nighter as a seven-year old with autographed copies of David Adler's Cam Jansen books to her high school and college English and creative writing classes. She believes that you can fall into the world of a book and find yourself. While she sometimes has a hard time separating fiction from reality (or is it that she prefers not to?), she likes to think that's a whimsical asset. She enjoys reading just about anything, but treasures underdogs and bluestockings-their trials and successes feel close to home.
Lora Palmer
Lora Palmer writes science fiction and fantasy for young adults. Her debut novel, THE MIRRORMASTERS, is forthcoming from Clean Reads. Bucks County, Pennsylvania is her home, where she resides with her wonderful husband and their mischievous cat. She has earned a graduate degree in Psychology and works at a local residential facility serving autistic children and teens. In her spare time, she also sings in a praise band, Chalice Sounds.
Christina Raus
Christina Raus earned her BA in Creative Writing from Western New England University in 2015. She received the Max Y. Litman English Prize for literary analysis and written communication upon her graduation. She has written articles for Lioness Magazine, a digital publication for female entrepreneurs. Originally from Massachusetts, she currently resides in New York, where she is attending Sarah Lawrence College and working on a novel. She is expected to graduate from Sarah Lawrence's MFA in Creative Writing Program in 2017. "Emmaculate" is her first fiction publication.
LAUREEN P. CANTWELL, Editor: Laureen grew up in eastern Long Island and eventually found her way to Memphis -"the rock 'n' roll side of Tennessee," where she worked as a librarian at the University of Memphis and grew to love the darkness of the city-and Elvis. While there, she proposed and co-edited an anthology of short fiction, Memphis Noir, part of Akashic Books' renowned Noir series published in November 2015. That adventure led to a conversation with Georgia McBride at a library conference, and to the thrilling experience of working with In the Beginning and putting together a charity anthology full of complex stories suitable for a young adult audience. She currently lives in Western Colorado and works as a librarian for Colorado Mesa University.
  GEORGIA McBRIDE, Editor: Georgia lives in North Carolina with her kids and husband. She has three dogs, one bird, and a fish. She loves to read, watch movies, listen to music, and go see films. She is a publisher, producer, writer, and editor. She has never met a piece of bacon she did not eat, or a cup of coffee she did not drink.
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