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Monday, October 31, 2011

Guest Blog: Kathryn Meyer Griffith

The Story of Egyptian Heart
A backstory and other tidbits from an old writer’s life
You Tube Book Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cogCNYKzPqc


Let me start with this: I have always loved ancient Egyptian stories since I was a child. I remember I wrote one of my first school papers at around eleven years old in pencil on the ancient Egyptians after dragging home an armful of musty smelling books from the library. I don’t recall exactly why I loved this particular time period and the people that lived in it but it might have had something to do with the movies The Ten Commandments (I was raised a Catholic), the horror mummy movies of the 1960’s and the early TV shows on Nefertiti and Cleopatra. I just had this affinity for the period.

It was February 1994 (I noted it on the outside of the manila folder where I keep a running book history on each novel) when I began Egyptian Heart. Originally I called it The Cursed Scarab. Later, I retitled it Egyptian Heart because I wanted it to more reflect the romance tale it had become.

I still had my agent, Lori Perkins, who’d sold four earlier novels for me to Zebra Books (Vampire Blood, 1991; The Last Vampire, 1992; Witches, 1993 and The Calling, 1994…after I’d sold my first three novels on my own to Leisure Books: Evil Stalks the Night, 1984: The Heart of the Rose, 1985; Blood Forge,1989) and she’d told me about a new romantic horror line that Silhouette was starting called the Shadows Line. They wanted to tap into the darker romantic paranormal market. Lori said they wanted the kind of story I wrote but with more romance. It was Silhouette after all. I’d been labeled as a horror writer from the get go, though all my novels blended genres; usually I wrote a romantic horror mixture with dashes of adventure, suspense and sometimes threw in a little history or mystery as well…but in those days the big publishers felt the need (and I think they still do) to squeeze a writer into one narrow slot. So I was a horror writer.

But by 1994 I’d lost my sweet editor at Zebra and a new one took her place...and over the next year he didn’t like anything I wrote for him and later that year Zebra unceremoniously dropped me and my latest book (Predator, a story about a dinosaur in Crater Lake…which never came out but still lingers like some weird ghost book in every computer on the global Internet) only six weeks away from going to the bookstore shelves. I’d begged the new editor not to call it Predator, bad title since there was a popular movie out of that name and it was nothing about a dinosaur, and the cover was awful, an empty boat on a lake…what!!! Having that book – my first ever – dumped like that was a crushing experience, let me tell you. I had a stack of finished, printed covers and had already done my final edits! I got to keep my advance but the book was officially dead. The new editor-that-didn’t-like-my-writing explained: “No one wants to read a book about a dinosaur.” And six months later Jurassic Park came out! The book is still sitting in a drawer somewhere and perhaps one day I’ll resurrect and finish it as well).

At that point, my agent wanted me to branch out so I wrote two manuscripts for the Silhouette Shadows Line or tried to. Egyptian Heart and Shadow Road (a romantic suspense about a woman truck driver driving a dangerous wintry route with a murderer on her tail, and a hitchhiker in her cab that she feels she’s falling in love with…and fears, at times, he’s the killer; which later I retitled and sold as Winter’s Journey). To make a long story short, Silhouette Shadows turned both down. Seems I had too much horror in them; not enough sex. I didn’t follow the formula. Sheesh. I’ve never liked depending too much on sex in any of my books or writing a book too predictable. The originality of the novel and the characters make the story for me.

After that my agent dropped me. Ah, the life of a writer.

So, then life (as it has many times in my 39 year writing career), family and job problems, and my other novels (I was into murder mysteries for years and sold two to Avalon Books), got in the way and Egyptian Heart and Shadow Road went into drawer hibernation until, oh, about 2004, when I rediscovered them, dug them out, rewrote them and began trying to sell them again. Sometimes, I’ve found, a book left alone in a dark cubbyhole ages like good wine. (Or sometimes it just turns to vinegar.)

Fast forward three years to 2007 and a new e-book (e-books still being considered a risky new-fangled craze at that time!) publisher called The Wild Rose Press contracted both and eventually a third called The Ice Bridge, a ghostly romantic murder mystery set on Mackinac Island, and published them. Good publisher. They treated me well. But in 2010 when I contracted my two newest novels, Before the End: A Time of Demons and The Woman in Crimson (both romantic horror) my new publisher, Kim Richards Gilchrist at Damnation Books wanted to bring out all my old out-of-print novels again (going back to those early Leisure Books from the 1980’s) in print – and e-books for the first time ever. Seven old paperbacks. I’d rewrite them all, get new covers and they’d all live again. I was thrilled. And grateful. It would take a lot of work on both our parts but when we were done ALL my old novels would be in print again and in electronic form out in the world. I jumped right in.

Then when my two year contract (I was lucky, e-books still being new, it was only for two years; now most e-book publishers contract for five years or longer) ran out with The Wild Rose Press. I happily switched Egyptian Heart, Winter’s Journey, The Ice Bridge and a novella Don’t Look Back, Agnes to Eternal Press (Damnation Books sister company). Kim Richards, and her husband William, had just brought Realms of Fantasy Magazine into the fold, as well.

So. Egyptian Heart has had a very long history. Simply put, it’s a time travel paranormal romance set in the ancient times of Nefertiti and her heretic Pharaoh Akhenaton. It’s more romance than history, though I did a lot of research in 1994… originally for my 1994 Zebra horror paperback The Calling. I thought: why waste all this hard worked for research on just one novel? So I also used it for Egyptian Heart and an erotic short story, The Nameless One, one that Zebra had placed in their 1994 horror anthology Dark Seductions and now it’s available from Damnation Books.

The new cover for Egyptian Heart by Dawne Dominique is amazingly beautiful and Kim Richards herself was my editor. Thank you both.

So from a child’s love of ancient Egypt to the finished book, it’s been a long journey and goes to show all you writer’s out there that, yes, persistence does sometimes win out. And a good book never dies. It just ages like wine in a dark drawer.

I hope you’ll give Egyptian Heart a look and a read. The best way to describe it is through its blurb and so here it is:

Maggie Owen is a beautiful, spirited Egyptologist, but lonely. Even being in Egypt on a grant from the college she teaches at to search for an undiscovered necropolis she’s certain lies below the sands beyond the pyramids of Gizah doesn’t give her the happiness she’d hoped it would.

There’s always been and is something missing. Love.

Then her workmen uncover Ramose Nakh-Min’s ancient tomb and an amulet from his sarcophagus hurls her back to 1340 B.C – where she falls hopelessly in love with the man she was destined to be with, noble Ramose, who faithfully serves the heretic Pharaoh Akhenaton and his queen Nefertiti.

She’s fallen into perilous times with civil war threatening Egypt. She’s been mistaken for one of Ramose’s runaway slaves and with her light hair, jinn green eyes and fair skin she doesn’t fit in. Some say she’s magical and evil. Ramose’s favorite, Makere, tries to kill her.

The people, angry the Pharaoh has set his Queen aside and forced them to worship one god are rising up against him.

Maggie’s caught dangerously in the middle.

In the end, desperately in love, will she find a way to stay alive and with Ramose in ancient Egypt–and to make a difference in his world and history?

Because Maggie has finally found love. ***


And thank you for having me on your blog! Kathryn Meyer Griffith

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Since childhood I’ve always been an artist and worked as a graphic designer in the corporate world and for newspapers for twenty-three years before I quit to write full time. I began writing novels at 21 and have had fourteen (nine romantic horror, one historical romance and two mysteries) previous novels published from Zebra Books, Leisure Books, Avalon Books, The Wild Rose Press, Damnation Books and Eternal Press.

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

E-mail me at rdgriff@htc.net I love to hear from my readers.

CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR $150 GC WINNER!!

We ran the comments through www.random.org and the winner of the Haunting Halloween Blogfest $150 Amazon or BN GC is:

::::throws confetti:::

Stormy, please email us with your choice (Amazon or Barnes and Noble) to lasreviews AT gmail DOT com

Thanks to everyone for playing this weekend and check back the first weekend of December for a chance to stuff your stockings with books -- hundreds of prizes will be given away!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Thanks for a fun day!

Thanks, everyone, for chatting today, and stopping by to comment to my posts! I had fun and enjoyed meeting you!

The winner of my new e-book novella (Adrienne's Ghost) is Na. (Na, I'll be sending you an e-mail to the address listed in the post to confirm where you'd like the PDF sent.)

Again, thanks to everyone! Hope you all have a fun (and safe!) Halloween!

Leah

Amber's Mysterious Death


Sheryl Locke Holmes Mysteries: Book 1: Amber's Mysterious Death
Amber's Mysterious Death is book one in the Sheryl Locke Holmes Mystery Series.
Background: One of Sheryl's best friends, Amber, allegedly died in a house fire. All Sheryl knows for sure is a body burned beyond recognition was found handcuffed to a bed. Sheryl wanted to grill Amber's husband, Roger, except he asked for time alone during his grief and disappeared. Now that Sheryl has found Roger again, she's not stopping until she gets answers from him.

Excerpt:
The sound of police sirens startled Sheryl and brought her back to the present. College days were long gone. She sighed and ached for the bittersweet memories. Amber had been a kindhearted person and a good friend. She missed her. This time Roger would answer for what he'd done.
Feeling more at peace, Sheryl returned to bed, ready to dream about being in the arms of her true love, Jake.
No sooner did she doze off than Sheryl awoke with a start, unsure what had disturbed her sleep. The moon brightened the room, and in no time Sheryl's eyes adjusted well enough to see a dark silhouette. She bolted upright in the bed. "Who are you? Why are you in my room?"
Instead of running away, the intruder, who appeared to be dressed all in black, took a step closer to the bed, then another step, and another. Before Sheryl could react, hands were around her throat, and she was being strangled.
While she fought her assailant, she tried to shout for Dot and kick out her legs to get free. Her words sounded like gurgles and sputters. She was losing the battle. Her vision clouded over. Star bursts of lights whirled around and they were joined by the same face she'd seen at Waverly Mansion. Was it possible? Darkness took over. 

Scary movie anyone?


I never knew the movie Halloween was actually shot in the spring, using fake autumn leaves. I LOVE scary movies, but have a hard time finding anyone who will watch them with me. Although I love writing spooky stuff, I’m a complete wuss when it comes to horror movies (it’s a fact), and won’t watch one alone. I’m considering telling my best friend we’re going to see a chick flick, then showing up at Paranormal Activity 3 instead. She’d seriously kill me.

Some dreams are worth it.

A Dream series - three steamy tales of romance, suspense with unexpected paranormal flares



IN OUR DREAM:
 Jennah Best left the adrenaline packed life of being a cop on the edge for a more peaceful place.  She escaped a marriage that almost destroyed her and now lives her life working for a small police station in the town of Ridge.  At her age, she’s accepted that it’s too late and too much work to start all over again, until she meets a man in a dream...

While young, Dominic Palmer has always proven he can get the job done.  Or at least, that was the case before he accepted a job and agreed to go undercover as an inmate. When months go by and there’s no word from his outside contact he wonders if he’s been left on the inside for good.  He’s fighting to stay alive and keep his sanity, but finds himself completely distracted by a mysterious woman he met in a dream...


FROM A DREAM:
Jennah has found happiness. She wasn’t looking for it but isn’t about to give it up now that she has it. Everything she craved for years was now right in front of her--a man that makes her feel cherished, a peaceful life, and a job she enjoys. It all changes when she wakes up in a dark hole, alone, unarmed and unable to connect with the one man she’s grown to need. 

Dominic realizes he is one of those men that wants the whole package of marriage and a family, and he’s found the woman to have that with. He’s going stir crazy having to stay hidden until the leader of a criminal organization is caught, but he’s more than willing to stay right here with her. 

All of his plans evaporate when a vindictive criminal takes her from him as a hostage. He won’t rest until she’s in his arms again. 
AFTER THE DREAM
Feeling less then worthy as a normal man surrounded by a team with special skills, Brody has to wonder why he’s a part of it.  If it weren’t for one team mate being there, he’d transfer back to normalcy.
 
Tess has always felt like a freak, even surrounded by others that are different she still feels like an outsider.  Only one of her team mates make her feel like an everyday person.  


Jacqueline Paige
http://jacqpaige.blogspot.com/



The power of music and names

Curious to discover the impact music has on people and animals David Merrill set up an experiment using mice.  He wanted to know whether different types of music would impede or enhance the animals learning patterns and behaviour.

For one group of mice he played classical music twenty-four-seven, and the second group listened to heavy metal over the same time period.

He released the first group into a maze and studied their learning abilities and social behaviour patterns. At the same time he released the second group of mice into a similar maze.  Unfortunately the second group of mice never reached the end of the experiment because they set about and killed each other.  Needless to say David Merrill abandoned the experiment. 

The film industry has known about the impact of music on human behaviour for decades.  They use it to add influence to their scenes and, to a certain extent, to control their audiences’ reactions.  You only have to ‘listen to the kind of music used in horror, Halloween, ghost and other paranormal films.

This powerful tool is not available to authors so what can they do to subliminally influence their reader’s attitude towards certain characters?  Obviously actions, physical appearance and attitudes all play a part, but in the real world not all antagonists are ugly, badly educated, ignorant, and uncouth.  Many are suave and sophisticated, and use their looks and charms to play their victims.

But there is another tool in a writers’ arsenal.

Names!


 In my debut novel, The Brat, published by The Wild Rose Press, Denny Cadmore was ‘the baddie’.  With a name like Cadmore what other part could he play?  The use of an old fashioned term ‘cad’ subliminally inserts the information they’ve met the antagonist and then verifies it as the reader progresses into the story.






In my current novel Duty Calls, published by Black Opal Books, the hero insisted on the name ‘Hawk’.  Eventually we agreed on Rafe Hawk.  A Hawk is a bird of prey, tenacious, patient and goes for what it perceives as beneficial to it.  i.e. Its wits and intelligence to catch  its prey to feed and stay alive in times of adversity.




In my upcoming novella, From Now Until Forever, published by Astraea Press, my hero is a prince.  After all there’s been a spate of royal weddings around the world, while the interest is high.  I gave my prince the surname Gasquet, simply because Henri Gasquet, the French tennis player is amazing to watch.  I gave him the name Liam because the second in line to the British throne, Prince William, married his Kate just a few days before I began writing From Now until Forever, and I saw no reason for not following the trend and cashing in while I could. LOL.






Amazon, Kindle, Nook and several other e-outlets.

Character Interview With Shyann Devere of Into the Fire

Shyann Devere, the heroine of Into the Fire, broke away from her bustling catering business for a few minutes to let me ask her a few questions.  She assures me, she's put Luke (her hero) to work while she's with us, so she won't get too behind.

Cherie:  Thank you, Shyanne, for agreeing to be interviewed today.  I know things are going well for you since your appearance on Kitchen Twist, so I'm glad you could make it.

Shyann:  Yeah, Halloween seems to have been the beginning of a very busy season of parties.  I'm not complaining though.  It's the first time I've really felt in my element.

Cherie:  I'm so happy for you.  So, where are you originally from?

Shyann:  My family is from the Carolinas, but my parents moved us all to New York when my father got a lucrative job offer.  So, I consider myself a New Yorker.

Cherie:  Why did you decide to go on the show Kitchen Twist?

Shyann:  After I quit my sous chef job at Heat, I knew I wanted to do something different but related to food.  Catering gave me the freedom to be the one in charge of the operation.  I like being my own boss.  But, being an unknown meant I had to start from the bottom.  I figured an appearance on TV would jumpstart that process.  Boy was I right!  Business is booming.

Cherie:  Congratulations!  So, career is set.  What about love?

Shyann:  (Blushes adorably) Thanks to you and the show, Luke and I are back together, and everything's how it should be.

Cherie:  I couldn't get it out of Luke earlier.  Can you tell what happened in the pantry?

Shyann:  (Her lips tip up slightly) All I can say is Luke is good with his hands.

Cherie:  Well, I'll let you get back to business...and to Luke.  Thanks for stopping.

Shyann:  Thanks for all you've done for me.

Into the Fire


Blurb

Months after he stole her affections—then her executive chef position—Shyann and Luke meet again under sizzling circumstances, competing head-to-head on a televised cooking show called Kitchen Twist. Each arrives with a motive: Luke intends to win back Shyann’s heart, even as she wants closure on the not-so-tasty heartbreak he once served up.

Luke knows culinary masterpieces require a delicate touch, but that knowledge is tossed out with the leftovers as he works to show Shyann he’s not such a bad guy. Now he pushes his skills to the limit to win the competition and satisfy a bet.

Can two top chefs resist each other as they move out of the pan and into the fire?

Excerpt

Silence reigned for half a minute before he reached out a hand and touched hers like a breezy
whisper. Her head went a little fuzzy at the warm contact. He shouldn’t still be able to affect her so
strongly.

“I regret it went down the way it did, but why did you show me the exit before giving me a chance
to explain, not to mention—dress? Enlighten me, sugar cheeks?”

With a jerk, she pulled her hand free. He was really asking for it. Sugar cheeks? Seriously? Now
she knew he was only messing with her. She could give as well as she got.

“Tell you what. You win tonight, and I’ll give you your chance. You lose, we go our separate ways,
and you walk out all by yourself, big boy.”

A crooked grin formed on his face as he reached a hand toward her hair. He fingered an escaping curl
before she pulled away, leaving his hand hanging in mid-air.

“You can call me big boy all you want, but I’ll do you one better. How about if I win, I take you to
dinner, and you let me explain the whole situation?”

She felt her eyebrow rise and knew he’d read it as interest, but she didn’t care at the moment. “I
honestly don’t want to hear any explanation from you now or ever, but if I win? Which I will, of
course.”

“Then I’ll leave it up to you. If you want me to walk away, I will.” He took a step closer, placed his
hand on her shoulder, and leaned down, his mouth right next to her ear. “But if you want me to call you darling, sweetheart, and sugar cheeks all night long, I’ll do that too.”


Do kids still trick-or-treat?

I live in southeastern Virginia (moved here about four years ago from New Jersey). One of the biggest differences I noticed is the way they handle Halloween around here...or I guess I should say, the way they don't handle it! I don't see any decorations around the neighborhood, and for the last two years, I haven't seen ONE CHILD (not one!) trick-or-treating. I mean, not even a kid getting into a car to go somewhere. (It's not like I'm spending my day watching out the window, but still you'd think at one point or another I'd see evidence of a child, any child, trick-or-treating!) I didn't buy any candy this year. Am I jinxing myself? Will I have 100 hungry trick-or-treaters ringing my doorbell, looking for their goodies?? (Think I'll just keep the light out!)

What is it like in your part of the country/world?

It's Still Tomorrow.

No Halloween would be complete without witches.



Blurb: Fired from her job, her apartment firebombed, and her small amount of money dwindling too quickly, Sarah ran. Knowing that the terror would follow, she took the only refuge available to her, an unfinished house she’d inherited. She didn’t know she would also inherit a long legged hunk of good looking man that would set off every buried desire she’d ever had. Her vow to never practice witchcraft again ended when the terror threatened Dem. Her enemies learned that like vicious dogs, they should have let the sleeping witch lie.


In this scene, Dem went to Eva for advice on Sara.

“What else did you see?” he asked, fighting the very thing she accused him of.
“I’ve already said more than I should have. She shut me off. You saw her do it when I asked her about her name. It was the same as saying ‘mind your own business.’ Are you afraid of her?”
“No,” he answered, staring into his cup of coffee because he had seen Sara shut Eva off, just not recognized it then, “but there’s something going on I don’t understand.”
“Ask me for a reading on you,” she urged. “That wouldn’t be violating her privacy.”
“It wouldn’t tell me much about her, either,” he pointed out.
“You’d be surprised.”
He leaned back, thinking to humor her. “Okay, what do you see?”
“A block.”
“Excuse me?”
“How do you feel when you’re with her—sexually?”
“Eva,” he pleaded in embarrassment.
“Nothing, right? Oh, don’t be such a prude. I saw a block on you last night, and if you won’t talk about it, I can’t help.”
“I don’t know that I want that kind of help,” he mumbled.
“Does it hold when you’re away from her? Spells like that do have a distance limitation. It isn’t like she…”
“Back up a minute. Are you saying she put a spell on me so I wouldn’t—you know, won’t when I’m around her?”
“That’s exactly what I’m saying. Think back to the first time you saw her. Did you notice any kind of hand gesture?”
Dem wiggled his fingers at her mockingly, while thinking what Eva said was just how it was. He also remembered how Sara had answered him the night he took her home when he said he wouldn’t try anything, like she had secret information as to why he wouldn’t.
“Nothing so obvious,” she said seriously. “It would have been subtle, something that looked natural.”
“She was just standing there with one hand shading her eyes from the sun, and the other shaking her shirt. It was wet.”
“When she dropped her hand, did it pass over her eyes?” She could tell from his expression it had. “That was it. She shut your eyes to seeing her—in a certain way.”
“Why?” he asked dubiously.
“Fear.”
“She thinks I would hurt her?”
“Of feelings, Dem. If they were to develop and you turned away from her because of her powers, well, it would hurt, and there aren’t that many who wouldn’t run. My Freddy was one of those exceptions. You have the potential to be, you being here talking to me proves that, but most men, well, it makes them feel inferior.”
“What kind of powers?”
Eva shrugged. “The powers take so many different directions. I haven’t seen enough of her to know how hers manifest.”
“But you knew the minute you saw her that she was like you. That’s why you greeted her the way you did.”
“Oh, yes, her aura sparkles with it.”
“She does this a lot.” He showed her the fingers and thumb action. “Why?”
“Trying to work off energy most likely.”
“She shocks the shit out of me every time I touch her.”
“Fire is her element,” she repeated. “She could reduce that if she went back—oops, talking too much.”
“You’re thinking she was a practicing witch, but she isn’t anymore.”
“Now you’re closing off.”
“You’ve given me a lot to think about,” he said as he stood. “Can you take that block thing off?” Just because he didn’t like the idea of it.
“No, and it would be dangerous to try without knowing what incantation she used.”
“And she would just put another one on?”
“Possibly and probably stronger next time. There is one thing though, Dem. She’s fighting nature. The desire may weaken the spell and break it on its own in time, but the energy will transfer until then, seeking a release from behind the block, if there is an attraction. Do you fight?” Dem stared at her, so she asked instead, “How do you feel about her?”
“When I’m with her?” He shrugged slightly. “Like I’ve known her all my life, comfortable,” he grimaced slightly, “except when we’re fighting.”

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no matter how it started, Halloween is just plain fun, unless

you're caught up in horror.


excerpt 1: “Do you know what tomorrow is?”
“What?” she asked, confused by the sudden subject change.
“Tomorrow is—”
“I know what it is!” she retorted, with the cause of her anger coming from much deeper than he would ever know. “It’s my birthday though I doubt you have any intentions of helping me celebrate it.”
Her birthday had never been celebrated, not as a child or as an adult beyond the ‘everyone pitch in and sign a card and provide a cake’ at work. She certainly never brought any attention to it, not after the hell it had always been as a child, a memory that nearly wrung a sob from her. Not only were birthdays never celebrated, she was condemned because hers fell on so unholy a day.
“You were born on Halloween?” he asked sharply.
“Oh, yes, one of the many reasons I had to—” She caught the rest before it was out, the bitterness nearly choking her. While other children were out running happily from door to door, she had been on her knees praying.
“Had to what?”
“Nothing.”
“Just how strong a witch are you?”
Sara screamed at him. “I am not a witch!” She panted to bring her emotions down and growled out, “I don’t believe in any of that garbage.”
“It isn’t just David tormenting you, is it?”
She laughed with a hysterical edge. She wasn’t at all sure she wasn’t losing her mind with all that tormented her. “Don’t waste any more of your time on me, Mr. Beaumont. You’ve accomplished what you set out to do. Even with David dead, you had to prove you could take what was his.”

excerpt 2: “Get ready. It’s time to start,” he told the two men and took her arm again.
With a limp, he escorted her up the steps, through the black drape and onto a small stage at the edge of a pit of hell. Walls, ceiling and floors were pitch black, flickering slightly with glimmers of red. The only light came from a low torch on each corner of the stage and glowed dully from braziers sitting towards the back an abyss of dark. Her eyes watered, and her nose stung from the air, heavy with the scent of sulfur. At the front of the stage, his followers waited, all covered in black from head to toe.
He faced his audience and raised his hands. The murmur of conversations stilled in rapt anticipation. His gloved hands reached out towards torches on each front corner of the stage. With a flick of his fingers, each flared to twice the height, burning with a brightness that hurt her eyes in the gloom. In response, an excited murmur ran through the black clad figures crowding the edge of the stage.
The depraved hunger for the coming blood and death rushed over her. Sick to her heart, Sara’s hands flew out to hold it away. Still, the terror ate its way into her soul. She didn’t hear the words of the chant, yet she swayed with the rhythm. She continued to sway after he sat her down on a bench in the center of the stage and moved to the front, arms raised in praise to their chosen god. Those standing on the floor, their slick, black faces raised in enthrallment, fell silent as he called the Dark Prince forward.
The black walls moved, fluttering and rippling at first, then in and out, flickering with the malevolent life of a monster awakening. A strong draft surged through; the walls rose and fell, puffing in and out, and, faint at first, the sound of a heartbeat as well as the sound of raspy breathing grew in volume.



Larriane AKA Larion Wills, two names one author, thousands of stories

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Cursed not once but twice!


Maddy sighed and closed the book. She stood there debating on whether to go out and tell Colin help was on the way, or to sit here and try to figure it out more before Ginger got here. Colin came bolting into the room.
“A woman just came out of your tree!” He looked over his shoulder and then back to her.
Maddy grimaced. She probably should have warned him about that too. “She’s come to help figure this out.”
He turned and watched as the woman reached the house. “And popping out of trees is okay?”
Maddy glanced behind him to see Ginger coming in. “Uh, yeah.” Colin turned and backed up to the desk, then perched on the edge of it.
Ginger came in the room and stopped short, looking at the man leaning on the desk. “Oh, I hadn’t thought to ask if it was a man from our community, but I see by the look on his face he’s not.”
Colin shook his head. “Lady, I don’t even think we’re from the same planet.”

Excerpt from TWICE CURSED
Maddy is the oldest witchling to ever attend the Hidden Cove Academy, having been cursed as a teen; she’s forced to have a solitary life outside of her own magical community.  With her magic so dangerously unpredictable, she rarely takes the chance on mixing with the general public.
From one harmless trip to a museum she finds herself spellbound yet again by an invisible boundary, caused by a three hundred year old curse, dictating that Maddy must stay close to the stunningly sexy Colin.
Being stuck with a tall, dark, incredibly lick-able stranger can’t be all that bad, right? Until they discover if they get too close the spirits bound with the curse will take over their bodies ... at the same time if they’re too far from one another the curse will kill them both.
Will the curse's secrets be unraveled in time or does certain death await them both? 


Buy Link:
http://www.whiskeycreekpress.com/store/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=868&zenid=b6f6020a188bcbaa347c328b46b7a25a

Jacqueline Paige
http://jacqpaige.blogspot.com/

Some Halloween History


Here’s a fun Halloween fact: The ancient Celts thought that spirits and ghosts roamed the countryside on Halloween night. They began wearing masks and costumes to avoid being recognized as human.

How about a little Halloween Curse?


A new release - two tales of curses in one book!

Warm up for Halloween with...

BEHIND THE MASK 
Her world is calm and predictable until one night, one costume party and one sexy masked man happen.

In a fit of temper, Gracelyn’s only sister curses her so she’s forgotten the moment anyone turns away from her. Only one thing, at an exact moment, can break the curse.  After years of failed attempts, she is forced to accept living her life completely alone.   
Her world becomes calm and predictable —
until one Halloween night … 
one costume party … 
and one masquerading man change everything.

THIS RING
From a curse four decades old comes love and trust.

Devastated Emma flees to a cabin on an isolated lake to attempt putting her life back together.   How she’s going to accomplish this she has no idea— the only thing she knows is she can’t go back and will never be able to trust again.
Bryce spent forty years trying to figure out how he ended up in the strange situation of not being alive or visible—it’s when he stops trying to find the answer he discovers the reason.  Feeling that deep in your soul connection with another was what he was lacking all along.  Now if he can convince the woman he feels it for, he may have a chance at living once more.



















I will be giving away a pdf copy of CURSES to one lucky commenter
today from this blog and GFP
(so make sure you leave an email addy!) :)

Jacqueline Paige
http://jacqpaige.blogspot.com/

Mischief Night - Halloween Eve -

Today is Halloween "Eve" -- what we called "Mischief Night"  when I was a kid. We'd roam the neighborhood in groups and play (hopefully) harmless pranks on our neighbors. A biggie was "decorating" someone's house with strands of toilet tissue. (Okay, I know, what a pain in the you-know-what, but it was hilariously funny to 11-year-olds!)

Now, I was a pretty tame kid and never did much more than look, but I do remember having a lot of fun running around with my friends, just thinking about letting loose and doing something crazy.

I think Mischief Night has gone the way of the do-do bird, and I'm sure that's a good thing! But I have to admit to feeling a little sorry for the kids today.Does anyone else remember Mischief Night? Anyone who used to be more creative, more daring, than I was? :-)

Curse of the Opal


Curse of the Opal


Opal is the birthstone for the month of October. You may have heard that the opal brings bad luck and is an evil stone. Some people claim that's not true, while others know better. I was born in October and you're safe—for now. A poem in honor of my latest release — Opal's Disappearance.

Curse of the Opal
A Beautiful Opal
Burns With Fire
The Brilliant Colors
Like New Lovers Desire
Hot Glowing Color
From A Rainbow Of Hue
Given By An Admirer
Whose Heart Is True

A Gift From The Heart
To One That Is Loved
The Sparkle So Pure
Like The Stars Up Above
The Stars With Their Sparkle
That Dance Round The Moon
The Rainbow Of Colors
Could Spell Pending Doom

The Opal Is Worn
By Only A Few
And Worn Without Fear
If Your Birthmonth Is True
Do Not Try To Lie
Do Not Try To Cheat
The Curse Of The Opal
Is Bittersweet

A Taste of Dragons

I'm Beth Caudill. I write fantasy and paranormal romance short stories.  As a teenager I devoured Anne McCaffrey's novels.  I loved many of her worlds not the least of which was Pern.  Who didn't dream of having their own dragon to fly them around?

Here is an excerpt from Dragon's Mate, by own take on dragons.

Chapter Two

Images of people swirled by faster than she could process as Lord Petra twirled her around the dance floor. Laughing as the music stopped, she allowed the leader of the Earth Dragons to escort her away from the excitement. They stopped at a nearby concession to get some juice. Enjoying the afternoon revelry, she could appreciate the tradition which included a day celebration before a private moonlit ceremony.

“It is a good day for a joining. Prince Marcus is a lucky man to win your hand, Karee,” he said conversationally.

“Yes, and I’m lucky to have him.” She gave him a dazzling smile trying to cover up the fact that she was a fraud; they both deserved so much more than a passionless marriage.

Suddenly an inhuman scream disturbed the celebration. Turning towards the sound, Karee was horrified to see a sky-blue dragon plummet to the ground, causing tremors across the whole area.

“By the stars, we have to see if he’s okay,” Karee cried.

“Come. I will take you there,” Lord Petra told her before moving off and changing into his dragon form in a swirl of greenish-brown mist.

Stepping into his clawed hands, she sat carefully to avoid snagging her silk dress on his olive green scales. When she was settled he took off, quickly covering the short distance to the downed dragon. Karee reveled in the wind blowing around her and the breathtaking sight of the landscape as seen from the sky. All too soon, Lord Petra was landing next to a very chaotic scene.

People scrambled around the downed dragon, some trying to help while others were running from his snapping jaws. Taking charge, Karee immediately yelled, “Stop! Everyone back away and give the Dragon Lord some space.”

The people quickly retreated, relieved to be far away from the dragon’s teeth. The dragon snaked his neck back and forth, snapping at anyone he thought too close. Occasionally, he would try to flap his wings, roaring whenever the left one moved.

“So what are you planning?”

Jumping at the sound of Lord Petra’s voice in her head, Karee stared at him a moment wondering how she could have forgotten about his presence. Hard to forget about a massive reptile standing next to you, yet the only dragon that occupied her thoughts was the one across the field from her.

Buy Link: The Wild Rose Press
Website:  Beth Caudill

With a touch ...


Jacinda Brown keeps to her safe existence doing investigative research, avoiding people and places with people. To most, it appears she has a normal life; blending completely undetected in her lonely continuation.


She doesn’t investigate people; she can’t get that close. Through her hand she can feel emotions, thoughts.  With a touch she can see what has been.  


Unfortunately fate tosses her into a situation where her carefully guarded secret and her own conscience are at war when she finds herself working with detectives to find a killer.  Jacinda clashes with the very strongly grounded detective, Reid Merritt, destiny has forced her to work with. 


At some point he begins to matter, making her decision harder. Will he look at her with abhorrence, like she’s some sort of freak when she’s through?


What will be the price, this time, for the ability she doesn’t want?




















Book One in the Hidden Senses Trilogy



Buy link: Class Act Books

Jacqueline Paige
http://jacqpaige.blogspot.com/

CONGRATULATIONS TO TODAY'S FIRST $10 GC WINNER!!

In addtion to the grand prize of a $150 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC, we're giving away smaller prizes all weekend long!

Let's kick it off:

The choice of a $10 GC to either Amazon.com or Barnes and Noble goes to:

::::throws confetti:::

Keep on commenting -- you might be next!

LOTS OF LAUGHS, VISIONS, DREAMS, THRILLS AND CHILLS

Hello Again! I'm Diane Davis White and I'm here to say, I hope everyone is having a spooky  All Hallows Eve, and you've been chilled to the bones, thrilled to the loudest decibel of a scream, and happy to experience all the ghostly and frightening things that happen on the night of the dead and the undead--coming soon to your nearest neighborhood.
       


Many of my books are Historical Native American Romance and paranormal in the respect that they all have visions and dreams that become reality. And of course, once in a while a shape shifter ambles through a story, but briefly. I like to think of my stories as multi-genre, and include the occasional time travel.


In Moon of the Falling Leaves, a Lakota warrior/shaman has a vision that calls to him to help a white family. In Moon of Ripening, there are instances of ESP between the hero and heroine that keep them safe. In Moon of Hard Winter there is time travel, visions and ESP to titillate the senses.
So even though there are few things here that go bump in the night, the spell binding stories of love and danger, coupled with the use of dreams, visions and extra sensory perception, and other-worldly spirits should be enough to draw you into a highly thrilling All Hallows Eve.



Oh, and I have a fantasy ghost by the name of Sadie, The Shady Angel who is a fun, comedic character. She has appeared in several anthologies, but I'm in the process of creating a single title book involving my feisty red-headed ex-hooker angel.
In the first stories she was earning her wings. Now she has them, it's a struggle to hold on to them sometimes, especially with her strict and domineering mentor, Pricilla. Pricilla is as straight-laced as they come, and everything is strictly by the book. Her constant hounding of the hapless demi-angel she is supposed to be teaching, becomes a tug-of-war with every assignment. Sadie, though often right, is just as often out of her element and the pair seem to need each other, though neither admits it.

Coming soon to a Kindle book near you!
The Adventures of Sadie, The Shady Angel
Keep your eyes open! Sadie is coming soon to haunt you!

Ruby's Deadly Secret

Book Two in the Sheryl Locke Holmes Mysteries

Ruby's Deadly Secret by C.L. Exline

Mystery - Romance - Humor

Blog

Buy Link



In keeping with the Halloween theme:


Excerpt:
The house loomed ahead when Sheryl picked up her phone and dialed Jake's phone number. "Jake, I think Dot's been tricked, and she's at Bridgeside."
"You wait for me," Jake said.
"I'm almost at the house."
"Do not go inside. Wait. I'm on my way."
"I'll do my best."
"Sheryl, wait for me!"
"If Dot needs me, I have to go in. So you better hurry." Sheryl slipped the phone in her pocket and parked by the house.
Her heart skipped a beat when she noticed the front door was ajar. She got out of her car and slipped on her jacket. She knew it was a trap, waiting for her to spring it, and she had no intention of falling for the ploy. Except she heard Dot screaming. Sheryl raced up the porch steps and shoved open the front door. "Dot! Dot!" She listened, yet heard nothing.
 She remained in the doorway, feet itching to move, hoping Jake would hurry.
 Bloodcurdling screams reverberated from upstairs.
 Sheryl rushed inside and up the steps. "Dot! Where are you? Dot!" Silence. Not sure what to do or where to look, Sheryl waited on the steps of the second floor. "Dot!" Sheryl heard whimpering and with a sinking heart knew it was coming from the attic. Without hesitation, Sheryl made her way to the attic door.
 The whimpers were fading. "Dot! Dot!" Sheryl pounded on the door. "I'm here, Dot. Hold on, please hold on." She twisted the doorknob from side to side, but it was locked. In frustration, she kicked the door.
 She'd just slid her hand in her jacket pocket when she heard a distinct click. She turned the knob and felt giddy with relief. It was unlocked. "Dot! I'm here." Sheryl paused knowing that once she stepped inside the room, they would be trapped. A strange noise caught her attention. "Dot?" No reply, nothing except a strange squeaky sound.
 Sheryl hurried into the room and almost fainted. She stared in horror as Dot's body swung back and forth suspended from by a rope from the rafters. "No! You bastard!" On shaky legs, she hurried to aide Dot. She decided that if Dot wasn't dead, the least she could do was support her bodyweight until help arrived. She stood on a crate, wrapped her arms around Dot's body, and lifted. "Hold on, Dot. Hold on. Try to breathe." Tears burned her eyes and she closed them, wishing that Jake would arrive. Something dropped onto her foot, and Sheryl looked down to see an arm. She screamed. The crate rocked. She stumbled backward, falling to the floor.