Midnight Masque by Elle j Rossi

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Nashville is the newest breeding ground for the darkest creatures of the occult. Huntress Josie Hawk will protect her streets—whatever it takes.

Bar owner and paranormal ass-kicker, Josie Hawk, is dealing with the stress of how to introduce her vampire-lover, Keller, to her vampire-hunting father. Meanwhile, the streets are buzzing with excitement over the announcement of a masquerade themed celebration with the up-and-coming stars of country music.

Josie and Keller are forced to abandon their trip into the secret world of hunters when a mysterious crew of cloaked beings emerge from the shadows and threaten to crash the biggest party of the year.

With the supernatural activity escalating to code red, Josie must find a way to stop the insidious evil hidden behind the array of masks. If she doesn’t, the masquerade party could turn into a mass funeral.

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Elle J Rossi grew up in rural Indiana surrounded by great people, a huge family and more animals than she could count. Sadly, there were no vampires or shape shifters lurking about in the woods behind her house. What’s a girl to do? Seek them out, that’s what! The sights and sounds of the world beckoned, so she left her small town to escape into a creative world full of music – and hopefully rendezvous with a vampire or two. As a full time singer she was able to lose herself in a thousand different songs in a hundred different places, all the while scanning the crowds for those ever-elusive beings of the occult.

After meeting the love of her life and settling down, she yearned to find a new and fulfilling creative outlet. Overly fond of the happily ever after, she wondered what it would be like to have her own characters lead her down dark and twisted paths. The very first word on the very first page sealed her fate. She’d found a new love. She’d found her escape.

Now along with weaving haunting tales about the journey to love, she’s creating cover art for authors around the world and loving every second of it. For fun, she cranks country music to take her back to her roots, and sings karaoke anytime she gets a chance. Her husband, two children, and three cats that rule the roost keep her company along the way and guarantee she doesn’t get lost in the enchanted forest. She wouldn’t have it any other way. And, yes, she is still on the lookout for real-life vampires.

by Sarah Cass

Multi-published author. Mom of 3 special needs kids. Wife to 1 good man.
Redefining Perfect every day.

18 years

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I posted this last year and the year before at this time. I’m re-posting it. I will always repost it every year at this time…
I know what today is. I know what it means to our country. I remember every detail of 2001 in vivid detail…but since before 2001, this date has been difficult for me, for my family…in 1996 my family’s core was lost, the heart of us…my grandfather…so my post on 9/11 is for him. Oh, and at surface glance I hate this picture of me, but then I see the pure joy on my face dancing with my grandfather and aesthetics be damned, it’s my favorite picture. 


It was his birthday.

I was about four years old, and a very short kid…and he was TALL.

I remember standing by as he put our coats in the closet. I leaned my head way back to stare up, up, up at him and asked, “How tall are you?” With his sparkling eyes and laugh he informed me that he was over 6′. My eyes grew wide, and all I could say was, “But you’re so close to the ceiling! If you have ANY more birthdays you’ll go right through!”

His chair sat by the front door and the minute he sat the race was on – who would get the privilege of sitting on his lap, carrying on as deep a conversation as a child was capable of? Who would get to play with his round pot belly, and listen to his laughter?

He worked for GM and he was proud of it, and so were we.

When I close my eyes I can still smell his pipe and see the pipe carousel on his dresser. I can smell the cigarettes that he and grandma smoked.

I remember that after he retired he would watch soap operas during lunch.

And I remember the weddings – when my cousin and I would trade off and share him for the dance. “Grampa” by the Judds.

I remember his smile.

I remember his belly.

I remember the strength that he always carried in his soul and body.

I remember the pain that shot through my heart at the word…”cancer”. Once it was uttered it was less than a year. 10 months.

I remember the first time I saw him in the hospital-and how I had to run from the room because it made me physically ill to see my big strong grandfather lying in a bed weak and hooked up to tubes.

I remember his fight.

I remember when it was acknowledged in our hearts that the time to fight was over.

I remember how he held on – hours past when we thought we would lose him – because he would not let go until he’d gotten to hear the good-bye of all of his grandchildren, and my brother had been in surgery for a shattered wrist around the world in Japan. Half an hour after the final phone call, Grampa was gone.

I remember the sound of the tennis balls scattering across the hallway when my professor’s assistant walked up asking if she knew where I was…and all I could do was run to my car to get home as soon as I could.

From there it’s a blur…a long car ride from NC to NY. The arrangements. The funeral home. The droves of people I didn’t know, but who all knew him, overflowing the room.

The pain has lessened, resorted to a memory. For the most part I remember the love, the good things, the joy. But on this day every year the pain comes back to the forefront.

The pain seems so much stronger now that Grandma has gone to join him.

Refreshed and renewed now, they are together forever, but they will always be here in our hearts.

We love you still, and will always love you, Grampa.

by Sarah Cass

Multi-published author. Mom of 3 special needs kids. Wife to 1 good man.
Redefining Perfect every day.

The Destructo Duo

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Once upon a time I would explain it away.

“Ones a sensory seeker…”

of course…

“Well she’s just egging on her sister to get her in trouble.”

Then again…

“She knows it’s wrong and does it anyway.”

I think Erik would be happy if I just faced facts…

destructoThese two would be best known as “The Destructo Duo”.

No matter the toy…

The book…

The bed…

Whether they love it like no other…

Or could care less…

Whether it’s theirs…

Or ours…

Or something as old as myself that has stood the test of time…

They break it.

We’ve tried everything to curb the habit.




Nothing seems to work.

My Barbies? Lasted for twenty years until I gave them up thinking I’d not have any girls (oops).

Theirs?  We’ve lost 2 to beheading’s, 4 to lost limbs, and 2 to horrifying hair situations.

The Monster High dolls are a blessing because they separate, but go back together easily.

Toys I grew up with that made it through me, and then Denver…now long gone because they weren’t spared the wrath of the crazies.

We just don’t know what to do anymore.

I’d hoped it would get better as they’ve aged…and in some ways it has.

Books are a little more cared for now.

I guess I should be happy for that battle won…

Maybe I will be…

At least until I find the next beheaded Barbie.


Any tips on curbing the destruction? I’m out of ideas. Yes, they share a room. No, there is NO hope for a playroom. TINY house, lots of people…we make do with what we’ve got.

by Sarah Cass

Multi-published author. Mom of 3 special needs kids. Wife to 1 good man.
Redefining Perfect every day.