Monday, October 31, 2011
The winner of a digital copy of Caridad Pineiro's THE LOST (from this previous blog post) is Angela Campbell, thanks to random.org. You've won a copy for either a Nook or Kindle. If I don't hear from you in the next couple days I'll be contacting you! Thanks everyone who stopped by.
Hope everyone had a great Halloween!
Thank you everyone who stopped by for my Monster Mash-Up party, both authors and commenters alike! I hope you discovered some new authors and found some interesting reads this October. (You still have a chance to win books in the two posts directly before this one)
Halloween is one of my favorite holidays of the year. Any excuse to get dressed up, party, and perhaps partake in a few drinks… totally cool with me. Halloween wasn’t always such a fun holiday however. Halloween, or Hallow E’en, as it’s called in Ireland stems from the Catholic Church’s ‘All Hollows Day’ or ‘All Saints Day’ (which is a celebration of the Saints). However, before Christianity was introduced to Ireland, Halloween as we know it dates back to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain. November 1st was the end of summer and their harvest, and the beginning of winter. The Celts believed that on October 31, the line between the world of the living and dead blurred. The Celts needed their harvests to survive so out of respect, they built huge bonfires and sacrificed animals. In addition, they dressed up in various ghoulish costumes in the hopes of disguising their human form to spirits roaming the earth.
Here are some fun facts about this holiday!
1. The next full moon on Halloween will be October 31, 2020 so get ready!
2. A pumpkin is a fruit.
3. Orange and black are associated with Halloween because orange is associated with the Fall Harvest and black with death
4. Bobbing for apples is thought to have been derived from the Roman harvest festival that honors the goddess Pamona.
5. Halloween was brought to America by European immigrants.
6. Black cats are connected with Halloween because they are thought to help witches.
7. In Mexico, they celebrate Dias de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) on November 2nd.
8. Are you afraid of Halloween? You might have Samhainophobia.
9. Orange isn’t the only color of pumpkins. They also come in blue, white, and green!
10. Harry Houdini died on Halloween in 1926 at the age of 52 from peritonitis.
Stay safe this Halloween!
Sunday, October 30, 2011
So the Witch of Kerrow Gwenyth Killigrew explains to a skeptical Rafe Fleming in my latest regency-paranormal DANGEROUS MAGIC.
And she’s right.
Like Ireland, Wales, Brittany, and the highlands of Scotland, Cornwall held tight to its Celtic roots. It’s a landscape rife with mystery and magic. Birthplace of King Arthur. Home to ill-fated lovers Tristan and Isolde. Final resting place of the lost kingdom of Lyonesse. A place where legends spring thick as heath from the rocky cliffs and lonely moors.
In DANGEROUS MAGIC, the mystical aspect of Cornwall became embodied in a single character—Gwenyth Killigrew. A midwife by trade, she possesses the otherworldly gift of Sight. The power to see into the heart of a person and occasionally to glimpse the very future. Through her, I could indulge my infatuation with Celtic mythology and folklore, bringing in the horned god Cernunnos, Beltane bonfires. Heck, I even threw in a glimpse of Annwn, the land of the dead.
And I barely scratched the surface.
I never got to the piskies—mischievous, red-capped old men no bigger than an inch. Or the ugly, baby-stealing spriggans who could raise a terrifying whirlwind and guarded the treasures said to be buried beneath the county’s numerous burial mounds and dolmens. And not a single reference to the Knockers—gnome-like creatures inhabiting the mines of Cornwall.
But like all good faeries, they haunted me. Buzzing round the back of my brain waiting for their chance to make a little mischief.
They finally got their chance when I began writing my books about the Other, men and women bearing the blood and powers of the magical Fey. This is a world where faery and mortal are interconnected and where the striking landscape and the traditional legends blend to become a world both recognizable and extraordinary. There are Keun Marow, deadly creatures based loosely on the fearsome Wild Hunt. There are the beautiful powerful Fey who reside within their Summer Kingdom but whose visits to the mortal realm invariably signal big trouble. There are selkies and uirisc (a bit like piskies and yet not) a magical sword, and King Arthur himself even makes a cameo appearance.
Will Cornwall’s curious blend of familiar present with mystical past continue to inspire future books? Let’s just say my current project holds a few new paranormal surprises and they live in the remote corners of southwest England where anything can happen and in my books, usually does!
No tricks but some nice treats on offer today!! Leave me a comment and be entered to win your choice of my Carina e-book DANGEROUS MAGIC or a hard copy of the first book in my Heirs of Kilronan trilogy from Pocket, EARL OF DARKNESS. Either way, you get a little Halloween magic and a lot of great paranormal romance!
A writer of historical-paranormal romance, Alix Rickloff creates a compelling world of magic and enchantment set during the British Regency period. Her books have been described as “sexy and intense”, “exciting and spellbinding” and “a universe you won’t ever wish to leave”. You can visit her at www.AlixRickloff.com, www.facebook.com/pages/Alix-Rickloff/101434889914147 or www.blameitonthemuse.com.
Saturday, October 29, 2011
When it came to writing my debut novel, “Cry Wolf,” it was a no brainer that I’d return to my childhood fascination of monsters, mysteries and urban legends. My hero and heroine needed a fun mystery to solve, and the moment I decided to set my story around Halloween, I knew I had the perfect subject for a subplot. Years ago, when I heard there were actual, modern-day “werewolf sightings” across the United States – kind of like the Nessie sightings – my writer’s imagination kicked into overdrive. I started churning out “what if?” ideas faster than a speeding (silver) bullet. Suddenly my hero and heroine, Sean and Andrea, had a story to investigate while they battled an animal attraction of their own.
I don’t discriminate. I’m a huge fan of all monsters these days — as long as they stay confined to my Kindle or television, of course. I always look forward to October because it means the classic Universal horror monsters — Dracula, Frankenstein, The Wolf Man and so on — will be visiting with me for a while. This October, I’m also looking forward to the many books and e-books that will introduce me to new shifters, vampires, witches and other ghoulish characters I’m sure I’ll come to love and revisit. Katie Rues’ “Destined Mate” and Alex Rickloff’s “Dangerous Magic” are just a couple of stories on my to-read list. Hopefully some of you will also give “Cry Wolf” a try when it releases Oct. 31.
What about you? What’s your favorite monster? Even better, what monstrous books or movies would you recommend for this time of the year? Let us know in the comment section, and you could win a free copy of “Cry Wolf” along with a $10 gift card from Amazon.
##Angela Campbell is the author of “Cry Wolf,” available Oct. 31, 2011, from Carina Press. To learn more about her or her story, visit www.angelacampbellonline.com.
Friday, October 28, 2011
An author's favorite game is "what if?" What if goddesses had been real? What if, millenia later, their descendants still had abilities? What would they use them for? How would they organize?
And who would make them targets?
My Goddesses Rising series explores all of this and more. My paranormal interests tend to lean toward humans with amazing abilities, and they are (almost never) the monsters of the story. The true monster in Under the Moon is just a man. But a man who won't be content until he's drained as many goddesses as possible of their power.
One of the fun things about writing a trilogy about supernaturally powerful people is thinking up things they can do with that power. My heroine uses hers to help whomever she can, whether it's healing injuries or improving local farmers' crops or retrieving lost items. Her birth mother does a kind of non-invasive plastic surgery, from fixing uneven earlobes to eliminating scars and birthmarks. Another goddess can infuse items with certain properties. She usually creates novelties, like stones that never stop glowing, but her abilities get twisted when a bullet is infused with a hallucinogenic that almost kills the book's hero.
So here's your challenge! Think up some out-there abilities you'd love to have! Get as far outside the box as you can!
Under the Moon, Book 1 in the Goddesses Rising trilogy
Their power gives them strength…and makes them targets.
Quinn Caldwell is the epitome of a modern goddess. Her power source is the moon, her abilities restricted only by physical resources and lunar phase. She runs a consulting business and her father’s bar, serves on the board of the ancient Society for Goddess Education and Defense, and yearns for Nick Jarrett, professional goddess protector and the soul mate she can never have.
But someone has developed the rare and difficult ability to drain a goddess of her powers, and Quinn is a target. With the world thinking Nick has gone rogue (whatever that means) and that Quinn is influenced by “family ties” she didn’t know she had, keeping themselves safe while working to find the enemy proves harder each day.
But not as hard as denying their hearts…
Natalie J. Damschroder's latest and upcoming releases:
Behind the Scenes October 31, 2011
Carina Press | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Audible coming soon.
Under the Moon November 1, 2011
Entangled Publishing | Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Fight or Flight Out now!
Carina Press | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Audible
You can learn more about Natalie and her books at her website, eHarlequin, Goodreads, Twitter, and Facebook. She blogs with four other
Thursday, October 27, 2011
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been asked this. Everyone from my mother to people I used to go to school with have asked me before. The conversation usually goes something like this.
“So, your latest book is about werewolves (or vampires)?”
“That’s right.” I proceed to tell them about my latest book.
“Um. So, when are you going to write something normal? Cause I don’t read anything weird.”
The last time someone asked me this question they were about to purchase a copy of Terminator. I replied, “Right. Because sending your father back in time to get your mom pregnant is totally normal.”
Many people (particularly in small towns like mine) seem to be under the false impression that just because the characters are not completely human that you can’t relate to their stories. That’s not true at all. We all have things to overcome in our relationships and within ourselves. It may not be as serious as an aversion to sunlight or a severe need to wax on the full moon, but everyone has problems.
The difference is our problems aren’t solved between the pages of a good book. That’s what’s so great about fiction. I strive to make my characters and their situations REAL. That doesn’t mean it could really happen. It means that what they are feeling is real. The emotion is what brings reality to my stories.
Besides, being a vampire or a werewolf could be a metaphor for almost anything. It’s about looking beyond the surface to see who they really are. The man behind the beast is a very attractive concept to me. I’ve seen some great looking men who were monsters underneath. I write stories about the exact opposite.
Beauty and the Beast is a classic story that somehow comes through in each and every paranormal romance I’ve ever read or written. It all comes down to can you see what’s beneath rather than what everyone else sees? Isn’t that what love is all about?
You don’t love someone because you don’t see their flaws. You love them because you see the flaws … and the flaws don’t matter. They are simply a part of the person you love.
So what if he has a hairy back once a month or grows fangs from time to time? Back to the original question: When am I going to write anything normal? According to my dear friend Skyla, I already do.
You can find out more about Tracey and her books at www.traceyhkitts.com
Her latest release is Raven’s Destiny, an erotic short with Ellora’s Cave.
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
Please welcome guest author, Caridad Pineiro!
He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster.
When I ask myself why I like writing about creatures of the night and other otherworldly beings that some would consider monsters, it always comes back to the same thing for me: That it’s interesting seeing how the humans deal with them.
Will the villagers react in anger and chase after the beast with pitchforks or burn down the old mill with the monster within?
Will compassion slip into the mix and allow the humans to see past the pointy teeth and hair to the heart beating beneath the surface?
Or as Nietzsche so clearly saw, will the humans become scarier than the monsters themselves?
I love juxtaposing those variables in the stories I write and oftentimes, it’s the humans that either start off scarier than the monsters or end up being way more frightening.
I think that’s why we love stories revolving around monsters – because they make us face our fears and force us to understand more about ourselves. When faced with something that has our hearts pounding and palms sweating, will we be like that mindless mob and react without thinking or will we embrace all that is good within us? Will we even go a step further and come to love the beast with the heart of gold beneath the furry face and monstrous paws? (And yes, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast is one of my fave monster movies).
Why do you love monsters? Take a moment to share your thoughts on why they appeal to us so strongly!
Thank you for having me with you today, Katie! I appreciate it.
And thank you Caridad for blogging with me today! Caridad is an incredibly talented and giving author so thank you for stopping by! And in case you don’t know, her book The Lost just released and it looks fantastic! I’d like to offer a digital copy to one commenter for their Nook or Kindle. Please leave your email address with your comment so I have a place to send your gift. And please note you will need either a Barnes & Noble or Amazon account for me to send your gift! Contest open until October 31, 2011 9 AM central time.