Archive for October, 2021

Three Connected Light Paranormal Romance Novellas, in E-Book and Print:

Yokai Magic:
When Val unearths a Japanese scroll and a cat figurine inherited from her grandfather, magic invades her world. The statuette, actually a cat spirit named Yuki–a yokai–enchanted into that form for her own protection, comes to life. With her old high-school boyfriend, she searches for a way to vanquish the threat from the spirit realm, while facing the attraction they thought they’d long since put behind them.


Kitsune Enchantment:
On the verge of losing her job, Shannon leaps at the chance to sell her graphic novel series to a major publisher. She’d love to have a closer relationship with her artist collaborator, Ryo, but how can she count on a man who keeps disappearing with the flimsiest of excuses? Ryo feels the same attraction to Shannon, but he isn’t sure how she’d react to the truth. He’s a kitsune–a fox shapeshifter–prone to transforming at awkward moments. When a wannabe wizard follows him to a science-fiction convention, Ryo’s secret, liberty, and budding romance with Shannon are all threatened.


Kappa Companion:
Two years after her husband’s sudden death, Heidi hopes to make a fresh start with a new love and a new home. But she hasn’t planned on sharing her century-old house with her son’s not-so-imaginary friends–a ghost child and a Japanese water monster. At least the creatures aren’t dangerous–or are they?

Order from Amazon

Welcome to the October 2021 issue of my newsletter, “News from the Crypt,” and please visit Carter’s Crypt, devoted to my horror, fantasy, and paranormal romance work, especially focusing on vampires and shapeshifting beasties. If you have a particular fondness for vampires, check out the chronology of my series in the link labeled “Vanishing Breed Vampire Universe.” For my recommendations of “must read” classic and modern vampire fiction, explore the Realm of the Vampires:
Realm of the Vampires

Also, check out the multi-author Alien Romances Blog

The long-time distributor of THE VAMPIRE’S CRYPT has closed its website. If you would like to read any issue of this fanzine, which contains fiction, interviews, and a detailed book review column, e-mail me to request the desired issue, and I’ll send you a free PDF of it. My e-mail address is at the end of this newsletter. Find information about the contents of each issue on this page of my website:

Vampire’s Crypt

A complete list of my available works, arranged roughly by genre, with purchase links (gradually being updated as the Amber Quill and Ellora’s Cave works are being republished):

Complete Works

For anyone who would like to read previous issues of this newsletter, they’re posted on my website here (starting from January 2018):


This is my Facebook author page. Please visit!

Here’s my page in Barnes and Noble’s Nook store:
Barnes and Noble

Here’s the list of my Kindle books on Amazon. (The final page, however, includes some Ellora’s Cave anthologies in which I don’t have stories):
Carter Kindle Books

Here’s a shortcut URL to my author page on Amazon:

The Fiction Database displays a comprehensive list of my books (although with a handful of fairy tales by a different Margaret Carter near the end):

Fiction Database

My Goodreads page:

Please “Like” my author Facebook page (cited above) to see reminders when each monthly newsletter is uploaded. I’ve also noticed that I’m more likely to be shown posts from liked or friended sources in my Facebook feed when I’ve “Liked” some of their individual posts, so you might want to do that, too. Thanks!

Happy Halloween!

My lighthearted ghost story “Desk Specter,” featuring my vampire-human hybrid psychiatrist, Roger Darvell, was published in issue 40 of NIGHT TO DAWN, which you can find here:

Night to Dawn

The opening scene appears below.

My three light paranormal romance novellas inspired by Japanese folklore—YOKAI MAGIC, KITSUNE ENCHANTMENT, and KAPPA COMPANION—have been combined into a collection titled YOKAI ENCHANTMENTS, in a trade paperback for readers who prefer hard-copy print. For those who like e-books and haven’t read all three stories yet, the Kindle edition sells at a bargain price compared to buying the novellas individually:

Yokai Enchantments

This month I’m introducing a new Wild Rose Press author, Susan Thomson, writing as S. Hilbre Thomson.


Interview with S. Hilbre Thomson:

What inspired you to begin writing?

I have always enjoyed writing, whether it was poetry, short stories or essays. I think though that the inspiration to write a novel came from being an avid reader. After reading hundreds of books, I got the idea that maybe I could be an author.

What genre do you work in?

I enjoy writing suspense/thriller stories. There has to be a hint of humor, most likely snarky humor in it!
I want my characters to be people my readers can recognize either in themselves or a friend or relative.

Do you outline, “wing it,” or something in between?

I would like to think that I am an organized person, but the truth is I am not. I write like I drive; I have a general idea of where I am going, but not sure how I am going to get there. It leads to some wonderful surprises, but can be frustrating as well.

What have been the major influences on your writing (favorite authors, life experiences, or whatever)?

My mother was always reading. She favored romance, which isn’t my favorite genre, but it got me reading. In my teens I was hooked on Stephen King. The gorier the better! After that I switched to writers like Mary Higgins Clark, John Grisham, and Patricia Cornwell where their stories were more realistic and didn’t leave me sleeping with the lights on!

What research have you done in the course of writing your novel?

For this book, I needed to do some research in the area of how law enforcement worked together, some of their lingo, and some scoping out of areas around Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire.

Please tell us about your forthcoming book.

Trevor is a book about a young boy, Trevor Reed, who is being stalked by Matthew Stone. Stone is from North Carolina and has experienced trauma and loss and is looking to get his son back. He believes that Trevor is his son and will not stop until they are together again. The Reed family calls in an old friend and police officer, Joe, to help keep Trevor safe. Joe can’t let the family down but has never dealt with this before. He ends up confiding in reporter Karen, who gives some insight to Stone’s past. The story follows Stone as he struggles with what he knows is right and the reality he wants to recreate and the Reed family as they work to keep Trevor safe.

What are you working on now?

I want to take two of the characters from Trevor and build on their budding relationship. They go back to Karen’s home town to solve a cold case. That case is the unsolved crime from Matt Stone’s past.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

I think when most writers give this advice, they say to write a lot, and then to write some more. In the process of getting my first book published, my advice is to be open to edits! Put the ego aside and allow those who are trying to help give you advice.

Where can we find you on the internet?

Working on that now! The plan is to get them live once I have a release date for my book.


Some Books I’ve Read Lately:

DOWN AND OUT IN PROVIDENCE, by Geralyn Wolf. At the time of the events narrated in this 2005 book, subtitled “Memoir of a Homeless Bishop,” the author was the Episcopal Bishop of Rhode Island. She decided to experience the plight of homeless people firsthand by immersing herself in that subculture. For almost a month, she lived incognito in shelters. In preparation, she changed her hair style and color, had a fake ID made, and sought advice from colleagues who worked in that field. She took $200 in cash for the month (more than some homeless people possessed, less than others), a few bus tickets, and a backpack with basic clothes and toiletries. As explained in the prologue, she made no claim to fully sharing the authentic experience of homelessness. As well as starting out with advantages many of her neighbors in the shelters lacked (e.g, good health), she allowed herself the option of going home for the night in some circumstances, such as getting sick (which she did at least once). I expected this book to resemble journalist Barbara Ehrenreich’s NICKEL AND DIMED, the account of her experiment in living on a minimum-wage income in several different American cities. Wolf’s book, however, is slanted more personal and anecdotal. It takes the form of a daily journal, from December 30 through January 24. She spent nights in shelters and most days in a community center for the homeless called Crossroads. Clients at the main shelter she slept in got food plus shuttle service between there and the Crossroads center. Wolf writes about the people she got to know, some with mental illness, substance abuse problems, or physical disabilities, and some with jobs that simply didn’t pay enough to cover the cost of a room, much less an apartment. She places great emphasis on the importance of “community and trust” among the homeless. At one point she lists positive aspects of this way of life, such as freedom from expectations, mundane tasks, responsibilities, fixed roles, and the burden of possessions. Nevertheless, obviously these features don’t outweigh the negatives. Aside from the physical discomforts and hazards, the homeless are too often not “seen,” even in churches Throughout the book, the author does insert more generally applicable, concrete information about the plight of the homeless. In the epilogue, she writes about the aftermath of her “coming out” to her fellow shelter residents and mentions what became of a few of them. She also touches upon systemic problems and potential solutions, especially universal health insurance and the need for affordable housing—virtually unavailable in many areas (including Providence) to someone working for minimum wage, even full time. Although Wolf, of course, writes from a Christian perspective, her story doesn’t come across as heavy-handed “preaching.” A moving and illuminating book for anyone interested in these issues.

HOW TO SLAY A DRAGON, by Cait Stevenson. The author, who holds a doctorate in medieval history, moderates the AskHistorians forum on Reddit. Subtitled “A Fantasy Hero’s Guide to the Real Middle Ages” and addressed in a humorous tone to “you” (the hypothetical would-be hero), it’s nevertheless chock-full of solid facts and real-life medieval events and people. The text is divided into sections titled “Preparing for Your Quest,” “At the Inn,” “On the Road,” “Hazards Along the Way,” “Winning the War,” and “Reaping Your Reward.” You’ll learn about becoming (or how to avoid becoming) the Chosen One, finding a mentor, staying clean, cursed swamps, enchanted forests, barbarian hordes, genies, dragons, unicorns (spoiler, they probably originated as distorted reports of rhinoceroses), buried treasure, kingly feasts, and many other topics. Each chapter includes accounts of interesting historical persons, such as princesses who saved themselves. There’s a selected bibliography plus a separate list of suggestions for “Further Reading.” This handsomely produced almost-200-page hardcover is a fun and educational book for readers and writers of fantasy fiction and/or roleplaying games.

FLATTERLAND, by Ian Stewart. This sequel (subtitled “Like Flatland, only more so”) to the classic FLATLAND (1884), by Edwin A. Abbott, features the great-great-granddaughter of “A. Square,” in-universe author of the original book, which reveals how he saw his two-dimensional world in three dimensions under the guidance of a mysterious Sphere. Teenage Victoria Square, living with her parents and two brothers, stumbles upon her ancestor’s forbidden work, which led to his confinement in a mental institution. Her outraged father burns the volume, but since this time period in Flatland corresponds to our 21st century, Vicki first secretly scans the whole text and later reads it at her leisure. As she records in her electronic diary, she’s fascinated by the book and finds a code in it, which she deciphers. Consequently, she receives a visit from a higher-dimensional entity called the Space Hopper, who takes her on a mind-blowing tour of the Mathiverse. Meanwhile, we get occasional glimpses of her parents’ devastated reaction to her disappearance. I liked the human (so to speak) interest of this part of the story, while not at all disappointed by the absence of the extended social satire found in Abbott’s book. Vicki’s travels explore not only the third dimension, but higher dimensions of spacetime. She learns about hyperspheres, quarter-dimensional spaces, fractals, triangles whose angles don’t add up to 180 degrees, rotating objects to produce their own mirror images, wormholes, expanding universes, and many other strange phenomena. In addition to explaining the math of multiple dimensions, the Space Hopper escorts her to the realms of the unimaginably vast cosmos and the irreducibly small quantum level. She’s introduced to the wild theories of mathematicians and physicists from Planiturth, including Alberteinstein. She meets weird creatures such as (among others) Schrodinger’s Cat, the Charming Construction entity, and twins who are different ages because of relativistic travel. While I enjoyed FLATTERLAND, it’s more complex than the original FLATLAND, and I must admit a lot of the explanations and diagrams left me more confused than informed. The novel can best be fully appreciated by math-minded readers and those interested in topology. Nevertheless, it’s inventive and entertaining, with the often baffled Vicki as our surrogate who constantly asks the Space Hopper to clarify the complications. I’ll probably tackle it again sometime in the future.


Excerpt from “Desk Specter”:

“I want to find out if I’m going crazy.”

Dr. Roger Darvell scanned the new patient sitting—not lying, a largely obsolete custom—on the couch opposite his armchair. He’d positioned the chair so that the sunlight filtering through the window blinds wouldn’t shine directly into his eyes. While it wouldn’t harm him, it would cause discomfort he wanted to avoid. In her early thirties, Liza McCall was a slender woman of medium height with sepia-toned skin, her chestnut hair coiled in a braided crown. Her clean scent and rose-pink aura confirmed her physical health, and he read perplexity but not fear in the emotion she projected. Vampiric extranormal senses streamlined the diagnostic process.

“We try to avoid that term. It’s unscientific as well as counter-productive. Do you have some specific grounds for concern about your mental state?”

“I’ve started seeing a ghost.” She shook her head, projecting more confusion than in denial. “I tried to show it to my sister, and she didn’t see what I saw, so I must be having hallucinations.”

She flashed a smile. “But I don’t feel any crazier than I did three weeks ago.”

Keeping his disbelief in ghosts to himself for the moment, Roger said, “You spoke of a ghost. Only one?”

“So far.” She shrugged. “Isn’t one enough? Since I go to the same church as your partner, Dr. Loren, I mentioned it to her. She said it wouldn’t be professional for her to counsel somebody she knows socially, so she recommended you. So here I am.”

“Three weeks? Did the—appearances—start then?”

The patient nodded. “I just bought my first house and moved in a couple of months ago, but I didn’t see the ghost until three weeks ago. The house is only, like, thirty years old, and I bought it from the original owners. I looked up obituaries under their name, and nobody died while they lived there except a grandfather, who died of heart trouble in a hospital. So it doesn’t make sense for the house to be haunted.”

Steepling his hands, he said in a carefully neutral tone, “You don’t seem frightened.”

“Well, I was startled the first time. I thought, you know, how did this strange woman get into my house? But when she vanished a couple of minutes later, I had to admit to myself I’d seen her appear out of thin air. She hasn’t done anything scary or threatening, though.”

“Can you think of something that happened around then to trigger the phenomenon?”

“I bought a Victorian rolltop desk from an estate sale. Every time the woman popped out of nowhere, it was when I was touching the desk.” She twisted her fingers together in her lap. “I think I’ve got a haunted piece of furniture. Either that, or I’m losing my mind. I’d like to know which.”


My Publishers:

Writers Exchange E-Publishing: Writers Exchange
Harlequin: Harlequin
Wild Rose Press: Wild Rose Press

You can contact me at:

“Beast” wishes until next time—
Margaret L. Carter