Saturday, October 31, 2009

Why do I love the paranormal? by Crista McHugh

 Because real life is too boring sometimes.

I love writing about the strange and unusual. So far, I’ve written about ghosts, werewolves, shifters, vampires, angels, and demons. I think I’ve covered everything in the paranormal realm, right? Well, maybe not zombies… But in that instance, brains aren’t sexy. ;-) When things are out of this world, I can make the rules up as I go and have fun doing it. I create the world and have more control over the people in it.


I also love writing about the dark and the dangerous. High tension scenes make my day. Nothing keeps the pages turning (and the H/H running into each other’s arms) like a life-threatening situation. Plus, I need to feed my bad-boy addiction from time to time. I love a hero that could either kill the heroine or leave her a post-orgasmic puddle of goo.

But ultimately, I think it comes down to the fact I was born on Halloween. My parents always joked that they couldn’t tell if I was a trick or a treat. But today, the treats are for you. I’m giving away electronic copies of “Provoking the Spirit” (my naughty ghost story) and Cat’s Eyes (my sexy shifter story) to one of the commenters. Warning: both of these are on the steamy side.







My question for you is: Why do you love the paranormal?


Check out my book trailer for Cat’s Eyes on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qDSDdWnMEKM


You can visit my website to learn more about my titles: http://www.cristamchugh.com/
Happy Halloween/Samhain!

When Beauty *IS* the Beast by Inez Kelley












I love the Beauty and the Beast fairy tale. Cartoon, live action, stage make up or ink drawn, I don’t care. It enchanted me as a child and drew me as an adult. The idea of seeing deeper than skin, deeper than face value to the true heart of a person, I find a wonderful value lesson. It doesn’t matter if the female is the beauty and the hero the beast or the reverse, the lesson is the same.

But what happens when Beauty *is* the Beast?


That was something I discovered after finishing the first draft of MYLA BY MOONLIGHT. Myla is not human. She is a magical being of immense powers. Her solid forms are feline and feminine. Both are beautiful. She is exotic and mesmerizing with a tranquil gaze that scrutinizes and notes every action. Slender as a water lily with the grace of a ballerina, she is not a threatening figure.


Until you piss her off. Then the beast appears. Not so much in ugly form as in ugly actions. She is a killer. That is her design and she has no mercy. You see her beast, her fanged jaguar as it kills a wolf and enemies of Prince Taric. As a woman, she snaps a guard’s neck with her bare hands. She excels in war, beheading and killing while wearing chain mail and swinging a sword.

Taric’s best friend meets Myla and makes an astute observation:


Eyes narrowed, she fixed the young man with a predatory stare. The smile slid from his lips and a gulp worked his throat. “I spare no mercy for any man, woman or beast who threatens the prince. Heed that, Sir Bryton, and you shall never need fear my claws.”

A low snort sounded from her right but she didn’t move her gaze from the wide-eyed man seated before her. Slowly he nodded and a little curl lifted the side of his mouth. “Formidable bodyguard you have, Tar—beautiful and fierce, such a lovely but deadly combination.”

She puts herself between danger and Taric and is prepared to give everything to keep him safe, including her death. But Taric sees her beauty even while her ugliness is front and center. The beast in Myla is still a beauty to him because he loves her. He doesn’t love her DESPITE this flaw but in totality, accepting her as she is. She is both Beauty *AND* Beast and he would have her no other way.

Here are Taric’s thoughts:

Seeing her clad head to toe in mail, he would never have guessed she possessed the curves he’d caressed the night before. She was a fighter, a soldier and a killer. Myla as a lover was incredible. Myla as a jaguar was mesmerizing. Myla as a warrior was breathtaking. If war could be called music, she would be its dancer for her grace and speed were choreographed to a deadly melody. Each twirl and vault of her stance seemed more ballet than fight but her blade drew blood time and time again. In the midst of death and bloodshed, she captivated him.

Beauty and the Beast or Beauty as the Beast, the story basis is the same. Love knows the true heart.



Tell me your favorite Beauty and the Beast story. Do you prefer the hero or heroine to be the beast and why?


Inez Kelley writes a little of this, a little of that and a whole slew of the other but they all come with romance. Currently, she is working a sequel to MYLA BY MOONLIGHT. You can visit her website at http://inezkelley.com/.

One random commenter will recieve a download of Myla by Moonlight. Don't forget to leave us a way to contact you. 

Ghosts at Alcatraz? by Ari Thatcher

I’ve always wanted to see a ghost. As a kid I read as many ghost stories as I could, first fiction and then the ones claiming to be real. I say claiming only because I’ve never seen on, still!


My daughter, on the other hand, doesn’t want to know if there’s anything out there that should have moved on into the next life. She did read the same books I did, but reading about and experiencing are two different things.

So, which one of us got to see a ghost? You guessed it, she did. I’m so jealous!

She and her now-husband visited San Francisco and toured Alcatraz prison while they were there. She snapped photo after photo on the tour, cell after cell. When they got to the solitary confinement cells, she snapped yet another shot, then glanced at the display screen. Seeing the white mist, she almost dropped the camera!

She emailed several photos to me, straight from her camera. They were still rotated 90 degrees off, so I adjusted that. Then I sat and stared! Some of the cells were glassed off, but this was not one. There is nothing between Andi and the cell that could catch a reflection. I studied the area surrounding the fog just to be sure she wasn't pulling my leg, but I don't see any sign this is a reflection.


There appears to be an ear, if you look just right, but the alignment of the fog versus where Andi would hold the camera doesn't match up that it could be her reflection. There would be a camera in the reflection, wouldn't there? And the flash, since the picture is obviously brightened.

I can't find anything glaringly obvious to debunk this as anything "natural". Can you?

After seeing her ghost, Andi followed the group to the solitary confinement cells in the last photo. Those cells have no form of lighting inside. Once the door closes, the inmates were in absolute darkness. The tour guide let visitors step inside and offered to close the door so they could experience the darkness. Andi turned down the chance! Would you want to be alone in the dark with a misty figure hovering a few cells away?

I’m still envious, but maybe someday I’ll have my chance. I’m a huge fan of Ghost Hunters, so just catching one of film wouldn’t be enough. I’d want to try and record EVPs, have a psychic come and communicate.

Maybe that’s why the ghosts avoid me. I’m the paparazzi of the ghost world, wanting comments as well as a candid photo. I just need to connect with the spirit looking for his fifteen minutes of fame. If you run into one, will you let me know?




CONTEST:

Don’t forget to leave a comment, so you can be entered to win a copy of my latest ebook, Death by Sex. You can read the blurb and excerpt here: http://arithatcher.com/books


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Got Wolf? by Dariel Raye

Taming of the Wolf - Introducing “Raven’s Shelter” by Dariel Raye


Local “no-kill” expert, Dr. Karen Marshall, has spent her life learning about animals. When she rescues an extremely large wolf from an untimely death at the animal shelter, she has no idea what she has unleashed…

Hi. I’m Dariel Raye – one of the seven authors in the Got Wolf? anthologies. ”Raven’s Shelter” is a paranormal interracial romance about a veterinarian and a wolf shifter. What? You think this is a match made in heaven, too? Well, let’s just say it doesn’t start out that way. Here’s a peek at “Raven’s Shelter.”




Dr. Karen Marshall is a veterinarian with a calling – save as many stray animals as possible. The only child of wealthy, yet distant parents, she’s convinced that love is not for her. Until…



Raven’s search for his twin sister leads him to Karen. Born into a rare species of wolf shifters whose main purpose is protecting others, he has always been forced to fend for himself, but Karen’s loving, protective nature draws him – and not a moment too soon. Together, they must learn to trust each other enough to overcome a new, deadly enemy.



Karen rubbed her patient’s head and removed her surgical gloves. Surgery had gone well and the freshly neutered dog was doing fine. Fia approached her as soon as she stepped into the hallway.

“Boss, there’s this gorgeous guy here to see you. He says he’s a vet, too. He was asking Auriel if he could look around the clinic.”

“Look around? Damn it, Ron must have sent him.” She stepped into another room, removed her scrubs, and washed her hands. “Where is he? Waiting room?”

“Yep. I must say all the female clients are enjoying the view.”

Karen frowned, genuinely puzzled. “What are you talking about?”

“The view! You know--good looking man--enjoying the view? Even the pets stopped whatever they were doing and looked at this guy when he walked in.”

Karen shook her head. “Well, view or no view, he’d better not be one of Ron’s minions coming in here to piss me off or he’s gonna get cussed out today.”

“And that would make today different how?”

Karen gave Fia a no you didn’t look. “I don’t cuss every day.”

Fia laughed. “Ahem. Okay. You’re the boss, but I’ve never met another woman who can cry real tears over a dog or cat getting hurt or lost and turn around a minute later and cuss every human around her like a sailor. I’m just sayin’.”

Karen rolled her eyes and started walking back to the waiting area. “Where’s my guest?”

“Dr. Adler?” Fia called Raven to the front counter to meet Karen.

Karen stared as a tall man with wide shoulders and wavy black hair approached the counter. She knew her lips were parted, but couldn’t seem to force her jaw closed as she watched him in awe. He moved with the grace of a predator--slow, sensual movements as if his muscles rolled when he walked.

“Hi doctor.”

A few moments passed before Karen realized Dr. Adler still held his hand out for her to shake. All suspicions about him working for Ron flew from her mind as her lower abdomen lit up like a furnace and her lower limbs melted from the heat.

“Oh, hi doctor. You are from?” She tried to cover, something she seldom had to do. She was not a woman who spent much time thinking about men, let alone falling all over one. She was not accustomed to having to control her reactions.

“I’m from Washington State. I do apologize for keeping you from your patients, but I only…”

Karen found herself staring again, his words dropping to a low hum. His eyes were like water--liquid pools of baby blue in an olive-colored complexion framed by the blackest hair she had ever seen on a white man. He had high cheekbones, full lips, a straight nose, and as he spoke, she could see just a hint of pearl-white pointed incisors. The imperfection made his features perfect.

“Doctor Marshall? Are you all right?”

Karen noticed as the baby blue pools narrowed, his entire expression becoming one of concern. She blinked slowly, realizing he was awaiting a reply from her. She covered again. “Oh, I’m sorry. I didn’t get much sleep last night. You were saying?”

“If I could bother you for just a few minutes longer in private.” He smiled.

Bother? His smile gave her an even better view of his imperfect yet perfect white teeth, and she felt as if a light switch had been turned on causing the fire inside her to flare. “Oh, no bother.” She looked around the waiting room. “Five minutes?”

That smile again. “Five minutes.”

Visit Dariel Raye at http://www.pendarielraye.blogspot.com/

For your copy of Taming of the Wolf, click here. Also available in print.

One lucky follower will receive a gift certificate to Black Classics Books and Gifts.
Don't forget to leave us a way to contact you.

Interview with the Komar Brothers by Crista Paige

The following is my Paranormal Romantics Halloween Blog. Pay attention to the costume clues for Traian and Mikhail. At the end, if you think you can determine what they are dressed up as, then leave me a comment and be entered into my contest.
Without further ado…








What does a vampire wear as a costume for Halloween? I spent some time thinking about this issue and after a little bit of consideration, I realized I must go to the source for an authentic answer. Since I have a whole community of ‘fanged’ people to interview, I turned to the youngest Komar brothers of the Kan Asma people from my Blood-Vine series. They eagerly agreed to help me with the answer.

There is a famous sandwich shop on Westwood Boulevard in Los Angeles where Traian and his brother, Mikhail, offered to meet with me. During the lunch hour rush, Attari’s is a busy Persian café but due to the males’ sun sensitivity, we agreed to meet later in the evening, just before closing time. Parking is a total headache, no matter what time of day and as I was searching for an empty space, I almost wished I had vampire traits, like teleporting.
After swiping my credit card in the parking meter and selecting the maximum amount of time, I meandered down the uneven pavement following the heavenly scent of spices. Once inside the cozy, bright eatery, I immediately noticed my interviewees. I couldn’t stop my laugh as I took in the costumes they had donned. Earlier, they asked what I would like to eat and they had stuck to their promise of ordering me something. On the table sat a tall cup of coffee and an assortment of pastries. Yum!

Sliding into a booth opposite of them, I had to ask, “How long did it take for you guys to put all that together?”
One side of Mikhail’s mouth quirked up and showed a tiny glimpse of a sharp fang. “We live in West Hollywood. All the fetish shops are well stocked. Trust me it took five minutes to select and make a purchase.”


Black and gray paint was expertly applied to his handsome face and I couldn’t stop my curiosity. “Did you do the make-up yourself?”


Traian slapped his brother on the back and snickered, “No way in hell he put it on himself. Mik couldn’t discern between rouge and lip balm to save his own life. Our sister-in-law, Katiya did it. You should see what magic she wielded to dress Luke up with.”



I turned to look at Tray more fully. Nibbling on a sweet-roll, I inspected the outfit. His costume detracted from his typical dangerous air. The colors of burnished orange and shiny yellow lines set off the black stripes; it accented his long wavy hair. The thick strands were tousled and I realized the messy look was deliberate. Only one strap of the costume draped over his shoulder, leaving the other bare. When he moved, the corded muscle in his arm bunched and flexed. My palm tingled as I considered running my hand over all that masculine strength

“Yeah, well my kardes here seems to have forgotten his props, at least mine were handy,” Mikhail teased. I recognized the humor in his tone even though he switched to speak in Turkish. When he spoke the word ‘brother,’ there was no mistaking that the two were having fun here.

Tray rolled his eyes, “The teeth in you mouth don’t count as a prop, bro.”


Mikhail reached up and ran his hand through his shoulder length dark, black hair. As he did, I noticed the deliberate streaks of gray and brown. It matched the make-up of his face paint really well.
“So, what did Luke go as?” I couldn’t help but to indulge my curiosity.
“A circus lion,” Mikhail answered.

“Kat’s the tamer. She even has a whip,” Tray added with a wicked grin.
“Luke’s pussy-whipped for sure,” Mikhail added in a sullen tone. Perfect time to be sipping my coffee, his rejoinder nearly made me choke on my java.
“You are just jealous,” Tray retorted with a humorous tinge to his voice. “If you want someone to beat your ass, I have a wooden club somewhere that will get the job done.”
I heard flesh connecting with a fist before I actually realized what had transpired. Mikhail had cold cocked his brother.
Tray responded with a playful glare, “You are lucky I don’t bruise too easily Mik. It would ruin my costume.”
“I’ll hit you in the gut next time, make you double over and help with that knuckle dragging bit.”
Tray smirked and narrowed his eyes, “Be careful, I might just pin you down and pat your belly to see what kinda leg action occurs.”
Oh my God, they were hilarious and I couldn’t stop my chuckle at their banter. They both pinned intense stares on me. Tray’s vibrant green eyes scrutinized me while Mikhail’s storm-tossed blue gaze did not conceal his enjoyment. I looked from one to the other. Trying to divert them, I asked about the others in the family and what they were dressing up as.
Mikhail answered right away, “Well, Ivan doesn’t partake. He says it is a juvenile past-time one must give up at maturity.”
Making a disgusted face and pinching his lips together, Tray added, “Our oldest brother can be a smidge repressive. I think he is still stuck in the dark ages.”
With a nod of his head, Mikhail said, “He and Aleksi should have teamed up. The Sheriff and Warden costumes suit them perfectly.”
I bit down into my lip this time, trying not to laugh. “What about Anna and her mate, Dimitri?” I asked, attempting to redirect the subject.
“Should have gone as a ball and chain,” Mikhail stated with a straight-face.
“She’s too prissy for anything like that. Besides, Dimitri would break the bank to make her happy. I saw her pouting at him last week and he simply told her he’d go as whatever she wanted. Poor sap, spending the whole damn night in chain mail and armor.” Traian sighed before adding, “It is a good thing she is mated, the revealing cut of her princess gown shows a tad too much skin for my taste. One of us would have ended up taking some prick to task for gawking at her. At least Dimitri can handle the fall-out now, if he stops drooling long enough to kick some tail.”

Mikhail interlaced his fingers and cracked his knuckles. I noticed the black and silver stripes decorating the skin on his hands as well. It seemed he really took this costume thing seriously. Even his nails were painted a dusky charcoal color.
“So, Ms. Paige, anything else you want to know? I am getting eager to do some Trick or Treating if you catch my drift,” Mikhail said with a grin.
“You already got some tail; long and hairy I might add,” Tray retorted teasingly.
“And the fangs, can’t forget those,” I added with a bit of bravado.
Mikhail smiled showing off his wicked canines. “All the better to bite you with,” he replied with a quick wink.
I chewed on the inside of my cheek and tried not to stare at the sexy male in front of me. Damn, but what would it feel like to be bitten by him?

“Well? Earth to Christa,” Tray rapped his fingers on the table to gain my attention.
“Oh, I think I got enough information. The Kan Asma celebrate pretty much like all the rest of us,” I finally answered.
“What about you?” Mikhail asked.
I shook my head, “I don’t do costumes anymore. Unless playing Mommy the Chaperone with a Starbucks in hand qualifies?”
Traian licked his bottom lip and glanced over at his brother. For a moment, they simply remained silent and I wondered what they were scheming in the privacy of their mental communication.
“There’s this shop on Santa Monica Boulevard, they have lotsa leather…”
I held up my hand and tried not to sputter, “Ha. Ha. Don’t go there,” I said bemusedly while cutting Traian’s suggestion off before it got any more convoluted.
The time rapidly came to an end. Attari’s was getting ready to close and we needed to leave. Like true gentlemen, they both stood up and offered me a hand. When Tray stepped close, I nearly burst out in a fit of chuckling. The costume he wore came to mid thigh. The hemline accentuated the perfection of his legs. A pair of leather Birkenstocks finished off the look by giving a glimpse of his sexy feet. No doubt he was in for more treats than tricks tonight.
They escorted me out of the café and walked with me to my car. I thanked them for their time. Mikhail flashed his fangs one more time for me. Seeing his entire costume from the colored hair to his furry feet really set the tone for the night.
As I drove off, I was eager to go see my little munchkins in their costumes. They might not be as elaborate as Tray and Mik’s are, but my Egyptian Princess and Go-Go Girl were sure to rake in their own treasure trove of Hershey’s, Brach’s and Nestle’s.

Now, did you see all the clues? Leave me a comment with what costumes you think Traian and Mikhail showed up in. Imagine these hotties all dressed up like Traian and Mikhail, just try not to drool.






If you answer right, I will enter you into my Bound By Deception Halloween contest drawing. The winner receives a gift basket with candy and a copy of my new release Bound By Deception in a signed Jewel Case.
Don't forget to leave us a way to contact you.



If you want to take a closer look into the Kan Asma vampires, check out my website at http://www.christapaige.com/ or if you are interested in finding out what happens to Anna in Bound By Deception, it is available at Liquid Silver Books    Buy it Here

For another fun blog-hop, head over to Gem Sivad’s site where many authors, including myself, have set up a fun Trick or Treat blog-tour.
Start here: http://gemsivad.wordpress.com/blog/




Happy Halloween.

Christa

Monster Love by Stephanie Julian

I love Halloween. The changing leaves, the cooler weather, jeans and sweaters. I love huddling in my office on a gray day to write with the cats snuggled in their chair.
I love that it's okay for kids to dress as demons and ghouls and carry bloody knives and get candy. Sure, I ooh and aah over a cute little fairy or adorable cowboy. But the kid dressed in black with his face made up like something out of Fangoria always gets two treats from me.
I was raised on a steady diet of Stephen King and horror movies. The first full-length film I remember seeing is “The Wolf Man” with Lon Chaney Jr. as the tragic Larry Talbot. Since then, I haven’t met a true monster I didn’t like. Dracula, the Mummy, the Creature from the Black Lagoon… there are too many to name.

I cried when Larry Talbot was killed in "The Wolf Man.” He didn’t ask to be turned into a monster and I wanted him to get his happily-ever-after. But that was never going to happen. At least, not for Larry.
Most of the old monsters are looking for love. Dracula, the Mummy, Dr. Phibes—they just want to find that one woman to complete them. But that never happened.
Today, the monsters get to be the heroes in paranormal romance. They save the day and get the girl (or the guy) in the end. They may be hunted and feared by others but their differences, their gifts, have made them strong, powerful and capable of an understanding so-called normal people just don't have.
In “Kiss of Moonlight,” available now from Ellora’s Cave, the reader will meet the proud race of Etruscan werewolves, the lucani. They have a long history as warriors and a strong code of ethics and community. They’re not monsters. They’re not freaks. They’re strong, they’re magical and they live among us.




KISS OF MOONLIGHT:



http://www.jasminejade.com/ps-7748-50-kiss-of-moonlight.aspx


Plagued by nightmares. Stalked by kidnappers. Tamra McMillan needs a safe haven. When tattooed bad-ass Kyle Rossini steps into her life, the last thing she expects to find is a sanctuary from her demons or steaming hot sex. In fact, everything about him screams danger. But appearances can be deceiving. The tender possessiveness of his touch, the hunger in his eyes, the scorching sensuality of his kiss—all of it sears him into her soul and brands her as his for life.

But otherworldly forces are afoot and death hovers…

Etruscan werewolf Kyle is a loner. The king’s assassin with a killer’s instincts. The last thing he needs is a mate who could be placed in danger because of him. Until he meets the one woman who needs him more than he needs his solitude. When Tamra, battered but not broken, stumbles into his world and tumbles into his bed, she captures his heart. And nothing—not kidnappers or visions of his possible death—will keep him from her.




STEPHANIE JULIAN is an erotic romance author with a dark side and a taste for the paranormal. She’s the author of the Lucani Lovers and the Magical Seduction series from Ellora’s Cave. Find out why Romantic Times magazine, Simply Romance Reviews, Night Owl Romance and Joyfully Reviewed have called my stories "fascinating," "fantastic," "intoxicating."

Visit here at www.stephaniejulian.com and on Facebook and on Twitter.
One lucky commenter will recieve a download of A Kiss of Moonlight.
Don't forget to leave us a way to contact you.

ADDICTION by Sandra K. Marshall

Hi Annie,
Thank you for inviting me to Paranormal Romantics to post a blog today. It gives me a chance to talk about my upcoming release, ADDICTION. It is a great fast-paced story full of action and surprises. It's on the dark side, but it has it's lighter moments.





Here is a blurb for Addiction
Two men are after the same woman but for very different reasons
Dark-haired beauty, Jolene Dubois has a serious problem, and it's not just battling alcoholism. Late at night, she receives whispered calls. "Jolene, I want you. I'm coming for you." Shivers climb up her spine and ice flowed in her veins. What does he want? Who is it? She must figure it out before she trusts the wrong person.
Jake Farrell, the handsome rogue is an operator with women, but is he hiding something dark and sinister under his cheery facade. The detective, Andy Martin, who investigated her father's murder, continues to ask her out. Les Voodré, an alcoholic she met at AA follows her everywhere, and Ron Keisler, her AA sponsor is always there when she needs him. Could her caller be one of these men?


To further complicate her life, she fights a host of addictions, alcoholism, smoking, gambling and sex. Jolene is determined to beat the alcohol and to stay out of the clutches of the fiend who phones her.


The events in this story end on Halloween night. It would have been nice to have it come out on Halloween, but the spots for that month were filled. Fortunately, November 6th, my release is close enough to that date for those who want something spooky to read.


On a dark and misty moonless Halloween night, how would you like to get a call like my heroine does?


Excerpt from Addiction:



Ring. Ring.

Her heart pounded frantically. Jolene pushed her covers off and jumped out of bed, her gaze on the clock. Four o’clock in the morning. She had a caller. Horror pulsed through her veins, and then she grabbed her purse.

It can’t possibly be him.

Come on, Jolene, answer it.

Her hands shaking, she dug in her purse pulling out the cell phone and flipping it open. “Hello.” He’d blocked the caller ID.

“What took you so long, Jolene?” a muffled voice asked.

She tightened her grip on the cell. No. How did he get this number?

“Come on, speak to me. I know you’re there,” the whisperer said in a low raspy voice. “Don’t make me come in there.”

“What do you want?” He knew where she was. How could he? “How did you get this number?” she demanded, rubbing her palm on the pale floral bed cover. Was he outside? She wanted to hang up, but that never worked. He’d call all night then.

“Jolene, I’m disappointed in you. You were around too many people tonight for me to get to you.”

She rose and walked to the window, feeling cold in spite of her olive green cotton pajamas. If only he’d talk in a normal tone, she might recognize the voice. “Why are you harassing me?” she asked, sliding the light green curtain aside so she could peek out. There weren’t any new cars parked on the street, but he could’ve parked anywhere and be outside the house.

“I thought we were friends. Don’t you like it when I tell you all the things I’m going to do to you?” He cackled loud and long.

His maniacal laughter sent shivers up her body, and she wrapped her free arm around her waist. Did she know this person? Surely, she didn’t know anyone like this except for Les. That guy was just downright crazy. Quiet.

She held her breath and listened. Was he still there? No sound. He must’ve hung up. Softly, she started to close her cell.

“Don’t hang up on me, Jolene.”

Startled, the phone slipped out of her grasp, but she scrambled to catch it. The darn thing hit the thick beige carpeted floor. Down on her knees, she grabbed the cell, putting it to her ear.

“Hello.” The buzzing told her she’d lost him. What would he do now? Call her back. She stared at the phone, her shoulders hunched, and the tendons in her neck tightening.

After a few moments, she rose, went to her bed and climbed in pulling the covers around her. She knew she wouldn’t sleep, but she didn’t want to wake her sister or call her brother to talk to him. This was her problem to take care of. She would call the police later this morning and make a report.

Ring. Ring.

Jolene grabbed the phone; she knew it was him again. She’d made him mad by hanging up on him even though it had happened accidentally. Without saying anything, she listened, hoping it wasn’t him.

“Don’t ever do that again.”

The loud click told her he was finally gone. Her hand shook so badly she could hardly reach the oak end table to lay her cell on it. She’d never sleep the rest of the night. She had to figure out who this person could be.

The only person she knew this crazy was Les, but she didn’t know how he could’ve gotten her numbers. She’d never met him before tonight.

Pulling the covers over her head, she burrowed deeper into the bed. She’d always been afraid of the boogie man, and now he was really after her.



Would you be afraid after a call like that, or would you just think it was some kids making a prank call? Frankly, I was terrified just writing it because I know there really are bad people out there even though my life hasn't been touched by them, and I hope never is.



What do you do on Halloween night? Do you dress up in costume and go to a party, do you hand out treats for trick or treaters, or do you turn out the lights and hide from them? lol Whatever you do don't let the ghosts and goblins get you. Woo! Woo! Boo! lol Not nearly as scary as phone call from a weirdo. Grin.



I hope everyone visiting here leaves a comment. Some lucky commenter is going to get a prize from me, and I'm not telling what it is. Laughs wickedly.
Don't forget to leave us a way to contact you.



Thanks again for having me here at Paranormal Romantics, Annie.

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Samhain by Cornelia Amiri

As an author of Celtic/Paranormal/Romance novels, my favorite holiday is Samhain, the Celtic festival which gives us our Halloween traditions. Samhain, pronounced SOW-uhn, is the Celtic New Year, October 31st or November 1st. Samhain falls between the old year and the new, it is a day without time. Spirits of the dead and supernatural beings easily cross into our earthly dimension on this day, since the veil between worlds is at its thinnest.

In our modern Halloween celebration, one of our favorite supernatural creatures are vampires. The Celts have their own versions of vampires, the Manx Leanan Sidhe and the Scottish baobhan sith.


From Manx and Irish mythology the Lhiannan Shee (lannan-shee) and the Leanan Sidhe (lan-awn shee) are vampiric fey women. A Leanan Sidhe is a succubus muse, targeting poets or musicians. She inspires her victim to create a great masterpiece by inflaming them with the creativity of an entire lifetime at once. Then, she drains them of all that artistic energy, so the men die shortly after. The Lhiannan Shee, drain their mortal lovers of their blood and store it in a red cauldron in an underwater cave. Something about that struck me as funny. So I wrote a paranormal/comedy romance about a Leanan Sidhe on the Isle of Man, A Fine Cauldron of Fish, from Eternal Press.





Here’s a short, funny excerpt from A FINE CAULDRON OF FISH, about a Leanan Sidhe:

Before Margaid could answer, the guy shook his head at Andrew. "It's okay. You can keep my shirt. Although I don't know how you're holding it when your arm's about four inches away from it, but hey, I'm sure I simply had too much to drink. Keep it, that's fine.”

"What? No, I don't want your shirt. Margaid, well she thought I wanted it, but-"

"No, don't let him go." Margaid shook her red head. "You do want his shirt. And you need his pants, too."

Before Andrew knew what was happening, she shoved the shirt into his arms. Then she turned back to the quaking man and grabbed hold of his waist. "Oh, no, Margaid, don't do it." The moment Andrew yelled out, he knew she wasn't going to listen. He watched in utter horror as she unsnapped the poor man's jeans, yanked down his zipper, and slid his pants all the way to his ankles. Damn, I'm glad he's wearing underwear. Black boxers with writing all over them. What does that say? Andrew read aloud, "B is for big."



Another Celtic vampiric fey is the Scottish baobhan sith (baa'-van shee), who wear green dresses and in some legends have goat hooves for feet. Like the Manx, Lhiannan Shee, they don’t have fangs, their nails extend like claws and they rake them down their lovers back to draw blood. They are known as the dancing vampires. I thought, what a great character for an erotica paranormal romance, and I wrote a short story with a baobhan sith, Vampire Dancer, in the vampire/erotic/romance anthology, Sleeping With the Undead, which is in e-book and paperback from L & L Dreamspell.





Here’s an excerpt from Vampire Dancer:

Suddenly, Ian stopped in his tracks. “Look.”

His brothers froze as their gazes turned to where his hand pointed. Seven women, all dressed in odd dresses of green tartan silk, stood beside the carin. Their lush lips curved into smiles as seductive as warm kisses.

Ian’s pulse hammered.

Errol stepped up to them, stopping right in front of the fairy mound. “Why are lassies as bonny as all of you wandering around McLeod’s farm so late at night?”

All seven answered in turn.

“Well, we were kind of called out.”

“You see, something disturbed our sleep.”

“So we all got up and came to look about.”

“We were also hungry and wanted to pick up something to eat.”

“And on our way we found you seven handsome men.”

“We wanted to meet all of you.”

“We like to dance. We wanted to ask you to dance with us.”

Ian gazed at the last woman who spoke. She walked toward him. Her complexion was radiant, skin as smooth and luminescent as alabaster. Every line of her body, her long legs to her slender feet, her ample hips to her tiny waist and curvaceous bust, her long firm arms, slender neck, and flowing raven hair was like the same lines which swirl and loop in Celtic tracery and knot work. She was art. Her gown was a silk plaid, squares of vibrant green, like the hills, crossed with stripes of beige and ivory, like the sea coast. As

if sculpted to her body, the dress enhanced her curves. Gathered at the neckline with a round Celtic brooch, it was belted at the waist with a triple corded belt of gold. The flowing silk exposed the long calves and the slender ankles of her creamy legs. As she moved, he could see her erect nipples beneath the veil of thin fabric.

His mouth went dry. He couldn’t speak. Ian couldn’t touch her. If he touched her, he could never let her go.


So on Halloween as you look for ghosts, witches and vampires, keep an eye out for Lhiannan Shee, Leanan Sidhe, or baobhan sith. After all, our Halloween traditions come from a Celtic festival
Please post a comment. Two winners will be drawn form the comments to each win a PDF copy of A Fine Cauldron of Fish. And please drop by these web sites:
Don't forget to leave us a way to contact you.

http://www.eternalpress.ca/afinecauldronoffish.htm
http://www.lldreamspell.com/SleepingwiththeUndead.htm any time and http://www.myspace.com/CelticRomanceQueen.

Forever Bites by Adrianne Brennan




How do you like your vampires to take their immortality? With open arms like Spike from Buffy and Lestat from Anne Rice’s books? Or more like Angel, cursed with a soul and Louis, who hated what he became? Perhaps a mixture of the two?


Vampires are beings of legend and while many in their modern form retain some semblance of human nature, often times they are removed from us both in attitude and in lifestyle. Besides the obvious changes of sleeping during the day and subsisting solely on blood, often times they are portrayed as either losing their soul (and therefore their conscience) or becoming amoral and indifferent to their “prey”.

But there’s one thing that all have in common: immortality. What does it mean to live forever? If you had to live forever, how would you choose to spend the time? Would you want such an extended lifespan? Given our sun will eventually go supernova and take our planet with it, does “forever” even exist?

What do you think?




NOTE: Comment on this post and be entered to win a free PDF of either A Memory on Record or The Longest Night—your choice!
Don't forget to leave us a way to contact you.

Can you survive a trip through the Veil? by T.J.Killian

Hi all,
I’m the author who goes by the handle T.J., and I pulled on my Irish roots to bring about a series of time travel stories meant to bring both a great romance and history to life.

The Veil was important to the ancient Celts. It was the mystical curtain that separated here and now from the next life or, in the case of my series, the past.

When I originally sat down to write the first story in this series, I didn’t know what to expect. Maybe I’d come up with a tale that I’d love—maybe not. What I originally penned took on a life of its own.

Master and Commander’s Prey is a testament to what could happen when you mix a modern heroine with an alpha hero from days gone by.




There is only one law in his world...his.

Shiloh Montgomery-Moore is the queen of hiding in the shadows. This penchant is an avoidance dance meant to stave off her father’s fists and her mother’s barbs. Hot tempered, distrusting, Shiloh is determined to forge her own path in the world. Little does she know, that the path leads her to the strange anomaly know as The Veil. Whisked back in time, she finds out danger lurks everywhere and nothing can save her from a bleak future except a man of war, a master and commander.

Captain of the H.M.S. Predator, Jacob Christopher Wolfson, has his official orders–capture the French war vessel, The Bordeaux. It isn’t in his strategy to be chained to a ‘supposed’ time traveler. Immediately attracted to the mystery woman found aboard his ship, Jacob has but one chance to save his sanity and his mission; he’ll take Shiloh Montgomery-Moore to his bed or wherever the opportunity presents itself.


I took a chance and in the next story, The Storm’s Prey, I sent a modern day alpha back in time. That was a hoot.




Robinson Crusoe never faced anything like this.

Forced by vile accusations to flee England for her family's sugar plantation in Jamaica, Lady Catherine Wolfson expects a smooth trip until her life is threatened by an Atlantic gale. Saved from drowning in the storm tossed seas by Zibgniew Krushenski, a man from the future, her eyes are opened to the world of basic survival and the deep, driving riptide of intimacy.
Thanks for giving me a few minutes of your time. I hope you’ll visit my website or Eirelander Publishing for more tidbits on these two stories.

I'm giving away one download from my backlist from the commenters.
Don't forget to leave us a way to contact you.

Best,
T.J.
www.tethysjkillian.com

Halloween and Me: Perfectly Paranormal by Judi Fennell

Next week my second book, Wild Blue Under, will be available in bookstores, and I have to say, this last week or so has been incredibly surreal, which is appropro since Halloween is just around the corner. Oh, it’s been plenty surreal since my first book, In Over Her Head, launched back in June, but I’d written that story about a year and a half prior, so I had time to read it, envision it on the bookshelves; it was in an online contest so people had read the first 10,000 words and had given me their feedback… I knew how people would feel when they read it. But, with Wild Blue Under, I was just treading water, waiting. (Pun totally intended.)


So when I went to a readers’ conference this past weekend, it was so nice to meet people who had read In Over Her Head and were looking forward to reading Rod’s story. What was even more surreal was talking to them about my characters as real people. Well, as real as Mermen can be… ;}

In Over Her Head is the story of a Merman and a woman who’s afraid of the ocean, and what happens when she accidentally ends up in that ocean, has to recover stolen treasure and figure out how she’s going to make it living under the sea. Having a hunky Merman named Reel around certainly makes that prospect easier to consider ;)

Wild Blue Under is the story of Reel’s brother, Rod. And, yes, you’re supposed to laugh. The stories are full of plays-on-words, puns, pokes at pop culture and a couple of talking fish. Toss in some Greek gods, a few sea monsters, a whole host of myths, and, well, it’s not your average scuba dive.

Rod is going to inherit the Mer throne but in order to do that, he has to fulfill the Mer Prophecy by bringing a lost half-Mer princess to Atlantis. The problem is, she lives in land-locked Kansas, has no idea she’s a Mer AND a princess, and thinks she’s allergic to the ocean. Quite a few things for them to overcome—including the fact that Rod can only be out of the water for so long before he loses the ability to shift his legs back to his tail, and someone is trying to keep the Mer Prince from gaining the throne. Pretty surreal for both Rod and Valerie, especially when dive-bombing peregrines and a mercenary albatross get in on the act.

In February, the third book in the series, Catch of a Lifetime, comes out, and this will be a twist on my series. Instead of mer men, we’ll have Angel, Rod & Reel’s sister, who is a mermaid. (Well, the maid part isn’t exactly true…) We’ll have to see how single dad, Logan Hardington, who wants nothing but Normal in his life, reacts to her tail—er, tale. No wait, make that t-a-i-l. And t-a-l-e. Yes, more shifting of humans’ reality in the next story.

To help everyone “dive into the romance,” I’m offering one of my limited edition (read: can’t get anymore unless I order 10,000 of them from China) Mermaid Cell phone charms to be drawn from the comments on the blog. Don't forget to leave us a way to contact you.





I’m also giving away two (remaining) romantic beach getaway weekends in the locales where I set my stories. The drawing for the weekend at the Atlantis Inn in Ocean City NJ (www.AtlantisInn.com) will be on November 30, 2009, so hurry up and get your entry in by going to my website: www.JudiFennell.com, and the drawing for the weekend at the Hibiscus House in West Palm Beach, FL (www.HibiscusHouse.com) will be February 28, 2010.

Best of luck and happy Halloween!





Wild Blue Under



Judi Fennell

Sourcebooks, Inc.

November, 2009

ISBN#:9781402224270


Rod Tritone is all set to take over the Mer kingdom when his father retires, until the ruling council tells him he has to marry first. The council gives him legs for the duration of his mission, as well as his future queen's address and phone number.
She's Valerie Dumere, the daughter of a Mer father and a human mother who raised her in landlocked Kansas. When devastatingly handsome Rod Tritone shows up and tries to tell her about the kingdom under the sea, not only does she think he's crazy, she's determined that's the last place she'd ever want to go.


Then a vicious squad of seagulls tries to stop the Mer Prince from inheriting his throne and Val finds out about her true nature. Now she has to make the choice of a lifetime—stay on land, or follow Rod to his underwater world...



Excerpt:

When the front window rattled, the first thing Val noticed was his eyes.

The second was his smile.

And the third, well… the third was all the rest.

Rod was back.

Val reached for the edge of a display table to keep from falling over the pile of T-shirts she still had to clean up. Not because he made her weak in the knees, as some would argue—namely Tricia, if she hadn’t left to feed her family—and headed to the door.

She opened it, trying to tuck a few wayward curls back behind her ear again. “What are you doing here?”

“I couldn’t leave you to clean this up by yourself. It’s late. Have you even eaten yet?”

“Really, I’ll be fine.” She did a good job of hiding the limp as she shut the door behind him, if she did say so herself.

“Valerie, you’re injured.”

Okay, so maybe not as good a job as she would have liked.

His arm brushed hers as he walked past her. “I can do it for you.”

He certainly could, and she didn’t mean clean up.

God, what was wrong with her? She’d vowed when she’d returned home this last time that she was going to stand on her own two feet—

Okay, so that wasn’t the best analogy at the moment.

But she’d come back with every intention of making this work. Of making Mom’s dream come true. The last thing she needed was to change her focus just because a guy who had a killer smile wanted her to leave. She was not about to be swayed by a pretty face.

But when Rod bent down to grab the pile of shirts, she did start to sway.

And it didn’t have anything to do with the nice butt she got a glimpse of.

Really.

“You want to help in those clothes?” She had to get her mind off that butt.

He stood up and looked at his clothes. “What’s wrong with them?”

Not a blessed thing. “Well, they’re not exactly clean-up quality.”

“Oh. That’s easily remedied.” Before she could react, Rod had whipped the shirt over his head from the back of his neck the way guys did, and she almost swallowed her tongue.

“Is this better?”

So much it was sinful.

“So where do you want to start?”

The countertop would be a good place. Followed by a bed in the apartment upstairs, then maybe a nice, long, erotic soak in the claw-foot tub…





What people are saying about Wild Blue Under:

"Fennell returns with another underwater adventure, her second story about the Tritone brothers. She's proving herself to be a solid storyteller, and this tale is an enjoyable and pleasant read."

-Devon Paige, RT BookReviews Magazine.com


"Wild Blue Under" is the second book of author, Judi Fennell's Mer Trilogy, and the first of hers I have read and definitely won't be the last! This book was such a fun, delightful read."

-Jaime, Revenge of the Book Nerds


"Judi Fennell is a bright star on the horizon of romance.

-Judi McCoy, author of Hounding the Pavement


"The best Mer book I've ever read."

-Rowena Cherry, author of Knight's Fork


"Bubbly fun! Judi Fennell whips together talking birds, princely peril and a sexy Mer man in this sparkling 'under the sea' tale."

-Virginia Kantra, USA Today best-selling author



About The Author:

Judi Fennell has had her nose in a book and her head in some celestial realm all her life, including those early years when her mom would exhort her to “get outside!” instead of watching Bewitched or I Dream of Jeannie on television. So she did--right into Dad’s hammock with her Nancy Drew books.



These days she’s more likely to have her nose in her laptop and her head (and the rest of her body) at her favorite bookstore, but she’s still reading, whether it be her latest manuscript or friends’ books.

A three-time finalist in online contests, Judi has enjoyed the reader feedback she’s received and would love to hear what you think about her Mer series. Check out her website at www.JudiFennell.com for excerpts, reviews and fun pictures from reader and writer conferences, and the chance to “dive in” to her stories.

YOUR INNER GEEK by Annie Nicholas

Everybody has one, it’s a matter of how much you let it show. In high school, ah heck even now, I considered myself a nerd. I embraced my inner geek and continue to allow it to shine. Never one to follow conformity, I write paranormal with a twist.


On a long drive back to Canada, my native land, I flashed back to my days of major dorkdom, when I grew from being insecure in my differences and learned to embrace it, which boosted my confidence to grow into the woman I am today. As the time dragged and my children got tired of asking, “Are we there yet?” My mind wandered to monsters, most specifically werewolves.



Being a mixed culture of both human and wolf, we imagine them to be hot and sexy. Full of animal magnetism wanting to dominate and keep a mate for life. This image can fit in both cultures. Yet, another one fits in as well. The different people, who live on the out skirts of their society, my brethren, who go by all sorts of names. In wolf packs these individuals are called Omegas, the scapegoats of the pack.

How would werewolf omegas live? Could they band together? Would the pack allow them to do that? If they needed to defend themselves who would teach them?

Inspired by these questions came forth my erotic novella The Omegas coming Jan. 2010.

Only a vampire is man enough to teach werewolves how to fight.





BLURB:

Pretty librarian Sugar wants her life to stay quiet. That’s hard enough when friends and neighbors turn into furry wolves every full moon. But when a hot vampire gets involved, life’s bound to get complicated.
The Omega have always been the pansies of the paranormal. Now Chicago’s top werewolf pack has issued them a life or death challenge. Their only option: hire a vampire warrior to teach them the moves.
Daedalus has been a powerful vampire for ages. Intrigued by the chance to train the geeks of the underworld, he wasn’t bargaining on losing his heart to a human. Can he make the Omegas a success, fit into Sugar’s quiet life, and avoid being ripped to shreds in the process?

It’s too early for me to give away any copies, especially since I don’t have any yet. LOL I am going to give one lucky commenter an official Paranormal Romantics t-shirt. Happy Halloween! There will be many more posters today with a lot more prizes. Every hour another blog will go up. You can enter them all. Winners will be announced tomorrow at 18:00.
Don't forget to leave us a way to contact you.



Friday, October 30, 2009

TRICK

...or Treat?

FACEBOOK has changed - again.

I went in at some point early in the week and discovered this. Everything was hours old. After pecking around, I realized I had to hit Live Feed, which refreshed the page, and then I was able to view all posts in real time. Talk about a long list…if one of my FB friends breathed – it was on there. Who they friended, when they friended them, and who their friends were – it’s all there. No offense, Facebook, but I don’t need all that information. Basically, I stop by to see who’s being interviewed and where, and make a few comments. Well, maybe there wasn’t that much information, but it was far too much, or at least it looked like it. Oh well, I guess, like the last change, I’ll adjust. Meanwhile, this week, some other new things were presented to me. Here’s a small sample of my Thursday:

Question: what in hell is Tiny Chat? Who came up with this awful, awful idea? I mean, I have big chats, why do I need Tiny Chat? Anyway, I tried to log in to visit with some fellow authors for a Tiny Chat and it was hellacious!!

First, it asked me to login with Twitter or Facebook. So I chose them thinking at least I won’t need another password (I can’t remember the ones I have!) I was unceremoniously dumped into a room with people I had no idea about. There was ‘a’, yes, simply ‘a’ and best of all there was jamaica star, his picture even flashed up. Well, I suppose it was his picture, could have been Dracula for all I know. Okay, I know Dracula and it wasn’t him. Anyway, jamaica proceeds to ask for my star. Now, why there was a star by my name is unbeknownst to be, but there was a gold star in front of my login name. I explained I was in the wrong room and exited quickly.

My life will never be the same!

I returned to Facebook and there it was: “Purpleprose has entered Tiny Chat room.” It was splashed across the front page twice. Yikes! I’m infamous now. The second one was from Twitter. I rush over to see what was there and, yup, you guessed it. “Purpleprose enters Tiny Chat room.” Of course, it didn’t say I landed in jamaica star’s lap but – there it was.

So, I proceed to try and disconnect all the new connections. No go, can’t do it. I’m not tech savvy enough for that. I wore myself out trying. My Twitter will never be the same, it’s gone all red, words and borders, so I can see nothing there. Still, it could be a glitch on Twitter, but no one else is complaining. I've since unjoined Twitter, won't go back. Never used it much anyway.

Here's where it gets tricky - everytime I try to log into something now I'm asked for my Twitter password. Never did that when I belonged. No longer a member, I must suffer through declining to enter a Twitter password for any application it was ever connected to, remember - the connections I couldn't disconnect!

All this to say: NO! more Tiny Chat, no more Twitter. Little chats and big Tweets are not for me.

HAPPY HALLOWEEN EVERYONE.

Remember: Growl and roar-it’s okay to let the beast out.- J. Hali Steele

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Dracula the Undead by Dacre Stoker & Ian Holt

It's been one of those weeks and judging from my fellow PRomantics, I'm not the only one! Whew!

With a week full of edits, writings, reading events in Second Life and still trying to take some down time with reading for pleasure, Thursday sure came up pretty quick!

So here's my review of Dracula the Undead. Beware some spoilers ahead!






I have to say I was ecstatic to read Dracula Undead, especially knowing it was written by a direct descendant from the Stoker family and authorized by its estate. I found myself excited when I received the gorgeous book in dark red and crinkled aged paper stain design that made it look like it was ancient. Even the pages themselves were gorgeously put together. I was a little nervous about the blurb which told where all of our heroes were at the current time. Heroes that fell from grace, sure, but maybe there's a spiffy character arc that puts them through the ringer and they will eventually arise to fight through it all.

Sadly, in the end I was a bit bummed out. What seemed really awesome in theory turned out to be a rather confusing mesh of fictional and real history, narrative and screenwriting technique with a rather uneven tone. I loved the fact that we got to see Mina and Jonathan's son Quincey, named after the Harker's Texan friend who helped them defeat Dracula, as a grown man seeking his dream of becoming an actor instead of his father's preferred field of law.

The rest of the cast, er characters rather, are definitely heroes that have fallen from grace. Jonathan can't stand to look at Mina who has an unhealthy fixation on Dracula so he finds solace in various prostitutes (those who liked the HEA and love between the two will be sorely saddened here). Seward, still broken up over his love for the late Lucy so he finds comfort in heavy doses of morphine, Arthur Holmwood has married again but hates his wife. The real life Countess Bathory makes an appearance as the main villainess who likes to seduce and brutally kill young women. Throw in a bit of Jack the Ripper, the real Bram Stoker, actor John Barrymore and his sister Ethel and tons of other real and fictional people and you've got a smorgasbord of stories running all at once. Unfortunately, from the authors' voice and treatment of said characters, I get the feeling that the authors didn't like the characters nor Stoker himself very much. I like dark books as much as the next girl. I'm even reading Anne Stuart's Black Ice and am loving it so much, but here the focus seems to show the characters in the ugliest way possible before attempting to kill them off one by one.

I think Dracula Undead may suffer from too many cooks in the kitchen with no idea where to go. Once the reader gets an idea for where the story may be headed, it takes another turn as if the camera cuts away from this scene to start a completely new one and so on and so on. There are about four or five stories going on at the same time with too many characters which doesn't give the story the focus it deserves.

I couldn't help noticing that this book isn't quite a sequel to Bram Stoker's Dracula, at least definitely not in mood and continuity. Its action packed, dark, gory, blood splattered and sexually drenched pages matched that of a narrative version of a script for a big budget follow up to Francis Ford Coppola's Bram Stoker's Dracula.

Where Dracula created a sense of dread, fear and uneasiness through the power of word and mood, Dracula Undead is a straight out horror that seems to be written especially for the screen. For readers who haven't read Dracula by Bram Stoker and are looking for an action packed historical horror novel with a modern sensibility, I think they'd be able to enjoy this book. Those who are big fans of Stoker's original will find themselves disappointed in the many changes in their beloved characters and continuity along with the lack of Dracula himself until about 3/4's into the novel.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Happy Halloween

This morning, I woke up to the realization that I didn't schedule my slot on the blog and neither did I have a subject to blog about. This is unusual for me because I'm a scheduler. I plan ahead. Not so today. For the last couple of weeks I've worked on nothing but edits for various projects. I managed to eek out a chapter in the WIP but mostly it's been edits.

My brain is mush.

Which is a good lead-in for this post, I guess.

It used to be that folks dressed up on Halloween--All Hallow's Eve--to trick the evil spirits visiting the mortal realm. You see, on Halloween, the veil between the Other Realm and the Mortal Realm supposedly weakens and allows the dead to visit our world for one night. Thus the need for costumes to "fool" the evil ones so they won't bother us.

That got me to thinking. In this day and age of globalization, since we're "out there" all over the web, are those pictures and profiles of laughing happy people really our true selves or do we wear a mask and costume?

Do we hide behind a persona so no one can figure out we're not the alleged exciting, positive, upbeat people we strive to portray? No one's picture ever shows a bad day, a frown, the snarkiness or the muck we deal with on a daily basis.

What do we hide? What are we not telling you?

If you met us in person, would we be the same person you know online?

I'd like to think so but who can say for sure? Have we been honest with anyone we've met or do we cling to a costume so as not to let people get close?

It's time to take the mask off. Good, bad or the ugly, let us see. We'll understand. We're not quite...perfect either ;-)

Halloween's this weekend and while you're slumped, exhausted, on the sofa due to sugar overload, think about picking up a ghost story--mine! This is the last week to get The Haunting of Amelia Pritchart for a discounted price over at The Wild Rose Press. http://www.thewildrosepress.com

Until the next time, happy writing.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The musings of my mind that come with sleep deprivation

So, this is probably going to be a short post today. I have a number of things going on at home that are somewhat worrisome and keeping me very busy. But it is Tuesday and I didn’t want to leave us all without a blog post so here I am. Aren’t you thrilled?

Yesterday, I was having a very interesting conversation on Twitter. How many of you use Twitter? Wow. I have to say, I really love Twitter. Anyhow, it was with a pretty famous author and she had brought up the topic of Edward Cullen in Twilight and was asking some questions about why people love him and whether or not he is the new Prince Charming and the ways that perspective of him differs from her work.

The whole thing was really interesting, a lot of people were getting really heated. There are a lot of people of truly love and hate those stories. I enjoyed them. I like to read whatever books are being talked about in popular culture so I know what is being referenced on Facebook and the View.

Plus, I’ll admit it. I like a good love story. Even when it involves a sixteen year old girl and an 80 year old Vampire. So the famous author, I’m deliberately not naming her because I don’t know what the protocol for quoting people from Twitter is but I suppose anyone is able to go and look at my twitter page so feel free, go ahead, I’ll wait….

Okay, welcome back now. So the famous author says on Twitter something along the lines of Prince Charming being a dangerous message to send to women because it gives girls the idea that they can be saved or that they should wait around for some man to come and make things better for them and why not make it the other way? Why not have the women do the saving?

So I got my courage and sent her a note telling her I thought that was equally bad. That gives young girls the idea that could ‘save’ a man, could ‘fix’ the bad boy. That somehow her love would be enough to make him ‘good.’ To me, that is a dangerous concept. Much as we love the bad boys in fiction, in real life you want to be careful of men who come off as jerks, they probably are actually jerks. (Sorry, that is my two cents.)

Anyhow, she agreed with me, which was sort of thrilling. I’m tired. Very, very tired. It doesn’t take much to get me very happy or sad right now. But I started to think about why it had been so interesting to me in my current state of mind and I realized it was because I have been reading Historical Romances. Ever since I had my third son, I seem to be obsessed with reading Historical Romances. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still reading Paranormals but now in addition, I just want to read Historicals. Regency, ballroom, bodice ripping Historicals. And there is nothing more common in Historicals like that than the good girl saving the bad boy from all of his internal demons. So I guess I have it on the brain.

Its like I’m sixteen again and I’m just discovering Romance Novels and I’m hiding in my room reading about the ton. With each of my kids, when they were infants, I had something I either watched or read that ‘got me through’ their early months. With my first son, I watched the show Nip/Tuck. It actually got to the point where I would wait for him to wake me at 3 AM so I could put on the next episode. I had never seen the show before but I caught up to the current season that year watching one episode after another.

Then with child number 2, I discovered Paranormal Romances. Hence, how I got here today. So am I going to go out and write Historicals?

Absolutely not. I am so blown away by the amount of research and time that must go into every single book, the sheer intricate details of the kind of lace on the gown and the way they danced in the ballroom that I would go nuts. I did that kind of thing in college, and truthfully, I was not that good at it.

Give me some world building any day. I will admire the Historicals from a distance while I feed the baby.

Hope you all have a great day.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Guest Blogger: AJ CHASE





In my new book Cat and Mouse, available from Freya’s Bower, the hero has a little secret he’s keeping from the heroine. It’s very little. About mouse sized. See Sam Philmont happens to be a mouse sometimes. Being a were-mouse presents its own challenges. Especially when the heroine is a were-cat.









They always say write what you know. I, admittedly, have never possessed the ability to shift into a cat (though my brother and I played superhero games wherein I was always Super Kitten) and I’ve never dated a man who turns into a mouse. But I’ve dated plenty who suddenly turned into rats. So, in honor of my new release this is a list of the differences between dating a mouse and a rat.



Mice are considered to be quick and stealthy, sneaky even. Certainly if you asked Tom of “and Jerry” fame, he’d attest to all of the above. In human form, the hero Sam Philmont is intelligent and maybe even a little sneaky since he withholds a major truth from the heroine until he can’t anymore. But mostly he’s a good guy who is afraid the heroine won’t accept him for what he is.



But I once dated a guy who tried to go out with me and another girl who worked with me at the same time and tried to make us avoid each other by telling each of us that the other hated us. Because we weren’t fifteen at the time this didn’t work. We just talked to each other in the lunch room and someone was out, not one, but two, girlfriends.


That’s one difference between dating a mouse and a rat.

Having a mouse around also makes you think of things that scrabble and scurry and squirm around when you try to catch them. Being twitchy is acceptable when you’re in little rodent form but Sam spends most of his time as a human, and he, frankly, wants to be caught by the heroine.

Ladies, I think we’ve all dated the type that squirm and twitch when you try to hold on to them. I once dated someone who would repeatedly break up with me whenever we got to close to commitment and then come back again until he finally dumped me on Christmas Eve by telling me he wasn’t sure he ever wanted to be with me, he just wanted someone to be nice to him. I should have just stopped myself from being such an idiot and just kept him in a cage with a big wheel to run on.


That’s a different between dating a mouse and a rat.

Mice are bright eyed and cute and run around investigating everything with their twitchy little noses. They are naturally curious and they’re pretty cute behind glass so we don’t even care. Sam uses his natural curiosity to find the heroine again and make sure they would have met up, class reunion or not.


I once dated a guy who came into my house before a date and immediately started going through my drawers without asking and didn’t seem the slightest bit upset by my obvious horror at his stalkeresque behavior. I finally had to call a male friend and remind him of “those plans we had” to get rid of that other guy.


And that my friends, is the difference between dating a mouse and a rat.


So we might never get to date a were-mouse or a were-anything, personally I think a were-vacuum or dishwasher or something of that nature might be a convenient husband, we can still avoid dating that one guy who just turns into a rat with so little warning.


And in case you’re curious what it’s like to date a mouse, you can pick up Cat and Mouse, available now at Freya’s Bower.

AND today I'm offering to give away a copy of this book to one of the commenters. The winner will be announced tonight on this blog and e-mailed so make sure we know how to contact you!

http://ajchasebooks.com/

Sunday, October 25, 2009

HALLOWEEN FEST '09



Hey everyone! SHOUTING OUT a heads up. Halloween Fest here on Saturday Oct. 31 ALL DAY LONG.



One blog after another from guest authors. Ever hour a new blog will go up. Each one with a contest and YOU can enter them ALL. It's suppose to start at noon but so many authors are jumping on this party blog that we may need to start earlier BUT don't worry, the contests run all day long and into Sunday to allow for late posters to get a chance.



WINNERS will be chosen Sunday at 18:00 and posted that night. Come party with us.


Friday, October 23, 2009

DANCING WITH DANGER by Desiree Holt

Dancing With Danger
by Desiree Holt
is available today HERE
Blurb:

Rachel Windsor knew nothing about Gabriel Peralta except that he was walking sex appeal. He blew into her life without notice, here today then always gone on a puff of wind. But each time he appears, he does things to her body that even her fantasies haven’t conjured up, driving her to orgasms that shake her like a raging storm. His mouth knows every inch of her body. The imprint of his intimate kisses linger long after he disappears.

Now he’s back again, his life unexpectedly on the line. But even in the danger zone his sexual demands are more scorching than ever and this time, Rachel is determined not to lose him—or the erotic lifestyle that binds them.
Excerpt:

The party had been going on far too long. It was a weeknight so dinner had been scheduled for six o’clock. The hosts had spoken and made their plea, things should be wrapping up now. The room should have been at least half empty. But it seemed no one was the least bit interested in leaving. The din of conversation competed with the sound of the orchestra, which segued from one rhythmic tune to another and people continued to jam the dance floor as well as both bars.

Standing quietly in one corner, Rachel Winters looked glanced over the room. She couldn’t quite conceal a smile of satisfaction. Another successful fundraiser for The Harris Foundation. Despite tough economic times, the people who had the money couldn’t seem to give it fast enough to Sam and Loraine Harris, people with old money and a very old social position. People everyone wanted to curry favor with.

Now the Harrises were mingling with their guests, discreetly collecting checks, their bodyguards in tuxedos and guns never more than inches away. Two years ago Sam had been kidnapped by a terrorist cell who wanted an enormous ransom to fund an arms purchase. Rachel remembered that time vividly. A very black ops agency contacted by one of Sam’s close friends had taken over, faceless men moving soundlessly around the offices, interrogating everyone while a hand-picked team went in to retrieve Sam. Now the same agency provided security 24/7. It had been a difficult time for all of them and Rachel still worried about their vulnerability.

Rachel smoothed a hand down the silken fabric of her signature black cocktail dress. She always wore black, convinced it minimized the flaws in her figure. She saw her hips as too wide, her thighs as too chunky, her tummy as too rounded, especially for someone as short as she was. Now she wished she could kick off the four-inch heels she used to boost her five-foot-two-inch height. Her thick honey-colored hair was pulled up in a sophisticated arrangement that added yet another inch or two. Anything to make her feel less like a chunky miniature lost at an adult function.

Casually she stole a look at her watch. Eight thirty. Should she find some way to signal people the party was over? Sam and Loraine weren’t so young anymore and these functions were always grueling for them. She loved her job and the Harrises treated her like family, which made her take a more personal interest in their welfare. Serving as director of The Harris Foundation filled her days and nights.

Too bad it couldn’t take care of her heart, which she was sure destined to remain unfulfilled. Why did she have to go and fall for a mystery man anyway? One who appeared without warning and then was gone like a wisp of smoke. No matter how sexy he was, how good in bed, how he drove her to the highest plains of pleasure, he never stayed. Never gave her more of himself than one night at a time and those were few and far between.

She didn’t even know what he did. They’d met at a barbecue given by mutual friends and fallen into bed within hours of “hello”. But even those friends couldn’t—or wouldn’t—give her any information about him.

She knew his name. Gabriel Peralta. That was it—if that was even his real name. She also knew he was six foot four of lean hard muscle with thick silken black hair she loved to run her fingers through, a hawk nose and eyes like onyx. Hands that could make a woman’s body writhe in pleasure and a magnificent cock that stretched her to capacity and made her explode with its friction.

And scars whose origin he refused to discuss.

Just as he refused to discuss anything else. Whenever she tried to lead the conversation in that direction, he artfully distracted her with his talented mouth and hands and body. In seconds she would be a writhing mass on the bed and any thought of questions disappeared as if it’d never occurred to her.

Weeks would go by without her seeing him, weeks in which she imagined every type of situation her brain could conjure up. He was a spy. He was covert military. He was a mercenary. On the worst days she even wondered if he was married and had a wife—maybe a family—that he spent his time with between his visits to her. But she always dispelled that idea quickly. No man could be so sexually intense with her if he had another woman in his life.

Sometimes she thought what an idiot she was, living for the rare visits with nothing in between. A smarter woman would tell him to go to hell and get on with her life. But no man she met came even close to measuring up to him. In any way. So there didn’t seem to be anything to get on with. She’d stopped circling the dates of his visits on the calendar, just focused on her work and accepted the pleasure he brought when he magically appeared.

She was imagining him in her head, wondering when he’d appear out of the darkness again, when a smooth male voice cut into her thoughts.

“I would love to have one dance with you, Miss Winters. If you don’t mind.”

She shook herself from her reverie to find Lincoln Harris standing in front of her with an expectant smile. Dancing with him was last on her list of things she wanted to do. Just being with him gave her a headache. She didn’t like the man. The fact that he was handsome in a classical sense and kept himself in top condition didn’t offset his personality. He was egotistical, self-involved and arrogant.

Unfortunately he was also the heir to the family fortune, CEO of Harris Industries since his father’s semiretirement and president of the foundation board. He wasn’t someone she could easily brush aside. Or god forbid, offend in any way. Any imagined slight on her part could make her life very difficult. Board meetings that he ran gave her fits but she’d learned long ago how to deal with the Lincoln Harrises of the world. She just wished Sam and Loraine weren’t quite so blind to him.

Rachel rubbed her forehead. Tonight for some reason she was edgy and Lincoln Harris wasn’t a recipe for calm. However, she put on her public smile and held out a hand to him, reminding herself it was just part of the job. Even if she couldn’t stand the guy, her paycheck obligated her to be nice to him.

“Of course.” She forced her lips into a smile. “It would be my pleasure.”

Rachel, what an accomplished liar you are.

The orchestra swung into an old familiar ballad and Lincoln led her onto the dance floor. He would have pulled her tightly against him but she put her free hand on his shoulder, ensuring at least an inch or two of space between them.

“You’ve done an excellent job tonight,” he complimented her. “I believe this is our best turnout yet.”

“It took a lot of people to make this happen,” she demurred, turning her face away from his. The scent of his cologne was overpowering. “You and your parents have really carried your message to people. The right people.”

“Don’t be so modest. You deserve a lot of credit for the work you do.” He tightened his arm around her slightly. “I’ve been watching you for a long time, you know. You’re smart. You have elegance and grace, always know just the right thing to say to people. An asset to the foundation. Perhaps when this is over we can share a quiet drink together. Talk about…things.”

And I know just the kind of things you’ve got on your mind, you repulsive lecher.

While she was searching for a polite way to turn him down a hand touched her shoulder and a familiar voice broke into the conversation and she knew what that edgy feeling tonight had been—her radar working overtime. “Sorry. The lady has other plans.”

Even after all this time, after so many long absences, Gabriel Peralta’s honey-smooth baritone could still make her knees wobble and her pulses pound. She was stunned that he’d showed up at a place like this, an event with so many people. Usually he slipped into her house in the dark of night and left the same way.

Lincoln glared at the man behind Rachel, anger and outrage chasing briefly across his face. “I’m sorry. Have we met? I’m Lincoln Harris. And you are…”

“A close…friend of Rachel’s.” Gabe’s hand tightened on her shoulder. “I’m sure you’ll excuse us. I’m only in town for a short while and we have a lot of catching up to do.”

In a smooth maneuver he slipped her from Lincoln Harris’ arms and into his and began moving them away, his feet catching the rhythm of the music. She glanced over Gabe’s shoulder and caught the controlled anger on Lincoln’s face before he melted back into the crowd. She hoped there wouldn’t be a price to pay.

Rachel realized suddenly he was wearing what she considered an unusual outfit for him. All she’d ever seen him in were jeans and t-shirts, sometimes with a leather jacket if the weather was cool. But tonight he had on an expensively tailored charcoal gray suit, white shirt with gold cufflinks and a conservative tie. He looked exactly as if he belonged with the invited guests. It added a new dimension to her impressions of him.

With her face pressed to Gabe’s chest, she inhaled his distinctive scent, all male with a hint of the outdoors and something citrusy. She would never tell him that she still had a t-shirt he’d left several months ago that she slept with every night, holding the smell of him close to her.

“I’m impressed with your outfit,” she told him. “Did you have to borrow it?”

His chuckle rumbled against her body. “Believe it or not I actually own real-people clothes.”
“How did you get in here, anyway?” She had committed the extensive list to memory and she knew for sure his name hadn’t been there. “The guest list is completely vetted and our security is top notch.”

He chuckled softly. “Yes, I know that. But I have connections.”

“How long do you have to stay here?” he murmured in her ear.

“The Harrises usually expect me to stay until the bitter end. How long are you here for this time?”

“Two days. Can you leave early?”

The orchestra had segued into another slow, romantic tune and their bodies moved in perfect harmony. He danced with an unexpected grace, the muscles in his thighs flexing as he moved. She could feel his heart beating where he enfolded her hand against his chest and the thick ridge of his cock pressed against her soft flesh through the fabric of their clothing.

His hand caressed the nape of her neck, sending shivers down her spine and he pressed his cock more tightly against her. “Rachel, I have to see you naked. I’m so hard for you right now I’m doing my best not to lose control here in a public place.”

“I can’t leave,” she protested weakly, although she wanted nothing more than to run out the door with him. “What would I tell my bosses?”

They continued to move in time to the music, his pelvis grinding against hers, the sleek muscles of his thighs flexing with each step. One hand drifted down to cup the cheeks of her ass, pressing the light fabric of her dress into the cleft.

“People can see us.” She tried to reach back and rearrange the dress but he grabbed her hand and pulled it against him, trapping it between their bodies.“They’re all too busy being seen by other people.”
Remember: Growl and roar-it's okay to let the beast out.-© J. Hali Steele

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