Quick & Dirty Update

Hello everyone! A flyby blog today. I’ve had one heck of a busy week, so rather than just leave this ole blog moldering with nothing new, I’m doing a drive by for today.

The publishing world is keeping me busy and I can’t argue with that good fortune. I’ve announced before that Ashfall comes out in December. The second great thing is that I’m in a boxed set in February. I don’t have all the details yet on the boxed sset, but hope to have them to you soon.

Third is that the second story in The Wasteland Trilogy, Darkfall, will be out in March 2015! So I’m plenty busy. More details on all that good stuff later.

In the meantime, feast your eyes again on the wonderful cover for Ashfall. I just can’t get enough of this cover.

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Excerpt: Ashfall (Wasteland Trilogy Book 1)

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Post apoc romance anyone? Today I thought I’d give you a sneak peek at Ashfall, the first story in my Wasteland Trilogy which comes out in December. (Unedited blurb and excerpt). This excerpt shows some of the beginning heat between the hero and the heroine. Enjoy!

**

A strong woman and a former Air Force pararescueman tangle with a brave new world forged by an apocalypse no one could stop.

Mally Andretti survived an apocalypse that has altered the world. Tucked away in a huge compound she should feel safe, but loneliness eats away at her. Until a deep, mysterious voice tantalizes her over the ham radio and invites her into soul deep conversation. Who is the man who claims to be her friend, who awakens mental and physical cravings?

Working for a private security company takes every bit of former Air Force pararescueman Adam Becker’s time, until a sexy voice on the ham radio tempts him to do and say things he’s never done before. Mally calls on every fiercely protective instinctive inside him, and when she’s in serious danger he’ll do anything to get to her in time.

* *
Adam and the two other men shuffled Tanner out of the complex and through the gate. After they’d released the idiot outside the gate, only Adam returned to the front door. The other two men stood outside the still open gate, weapons at the ready. A curious mixture of excitement and caution mingled in her psyche. Whoever Adam Becker really was, he scared the crap out of her in so many ways. Her gaze snagged on his body, and just from the way he moved, from the confidence he displayed, she imagined he was an interesting lover. But which type of lover was he? Uncouth and ruthless, or gentle and accommodating?

Really? She was thinking about this now? She’d officially lost her mind.

He stopped at the closed screen, a frown still in place, his weapon anchored over his body by a sling. He tucked the thumb on his left hand into his belt. His wide shoulders, muscled biceps and powerful forearms screamed intimidation.

“You okay?” he asked.

“Wonderful.” She knew her comment was laced with sarcasm.

“Can I come in a moment?” he asked quietly.

When she hesitated, he took off his sun glasses and hooked them in the front of his vest. She dared gaze into the darkest brown eyes she’d ever seen. But there was worry and warmth in those eyes, too. Now that his face was entirely revealed, she could see his heritage in his deeper-toned skin. His features were craggy in that his nose was a bit sharp and long and his jaw too hard. His mouth was…well, it was just right. Kissable. Embarrassed by the ridiculous and out-of-place fantasizing, she felt her face heating. She jerked her gaze from his.

“Mally, I’m not going to hurt you.” He glanced down at the Glock in her hand. “Hey, you’ve got a weapon. If I pull anything, you can just shoot me.”

She couldn’t smile, the situation was too bizarre and her heart thudding too fast. She nodded and opened the screen door. She backed away to let him inside, and he closed the door with a snap. He didn’t lock it and as she continued into the living room, she kept her weapon in hand. Feeling a little ridiculous, she took a risk and set her Glock on the coffee table.

He crossed his arms. “Serious heat you’re packing there.”

“Do you blame me?”

“Hell no.”

For a few seconds he said nothing, but then he approached. Her insides trembled, uncertainty gripping her. He drew nearer, and she felt like a deer about to bolt. When he stood close beside her, his attention like a hot brand on her face, she tilted her head slightly back to examine him. He was easily over six feet, and at five foot seven she felt seriously at a disadvantage. In sheer muscle he outweighed her by a sizable amount. She could easily picture him saving other military personnel in his capacity of pararescueman. Right then her legs turned to gelatin. Either Tanner’s intrusion had disturbed her more than she thought, or this man’s mere presence set off a weird reaction.

Impulsively she put her hand on his vest, ready to push him away. “Think you’re standing close enough?”

His hand covered hers and held it in place, and he edged the tiniest bit closer. She drew in a sharp little breath.

“God,” he said softly as he looked down at her. “You’re trembling. It’s okay. No one’s going to hurt you. You’re safe with me.”

“What about your friends?”

He shook his head. “They’re solid guys. If one even considered touching you, I’d pound their faces.”

A wild heat danced through her, and she couldn’t help smiling just a little. She drew in a deep breath. He smelled like man…a mild mix of musk and maybe leather. It penetrated her senses and sent the warmth higher. Her fingers curled into his ballistic nylon vest. Recklessness beat in her veins, and she’d never felt anything quite like it before.

 

 

Celebrating Genres Within Historical Romance

While I write in many genres within the romance world, historical holds a special place in my writing heart. Probably because I’ve found particular satisfaction in researching the different worlds within historical romance. As a romance author I’ve seen many attempts to categorize the different sub genres within the romance field. By sub genres I mean Civil War, Regency, you name it. Regency era romances, whether sweet romance or hot, always seems to be extremely popular. Although I’ve loved reading some Regency era romance, I’ve never been too interested in writing it. Maybe because I’m the unintentional rebel. I don’t color outside of the lines when I write romance because I’m doing it to “be” a rebel. I just am. It is in my bones to write about and read about eras that aren’t the soup du jour. Some of the eras and subjects I’ve chosen to write about are a little obscure, but I manage to find information on what I need to know.

Dark Deadly Love centers around the Jack The Ripper murders of 1888 (no the hero isn’t Jack The Ripper), and I loved writing this book.

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A challenging book to write, but a satisfying one to create, was my Roman Britain book For A Roman’s Heart set in 167AD Britain. Because I lived in England three years, I loved setting this novel in the same part of England that I lived…East Anglia as it was during 167AD.

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For many years I’ve wanted to write a story set during the Blitz of London in 1940. I wrote One London Night and loved every minute of the research and putting it together. I had two beta readers from England willing to read it and they helped me enormously with making sure I didn’t mangle the English accents.

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It is hard for me not to make the paranormal a part of some of the historicals I’ve written, and in The Asylum Trilogy (which features one contemporary novel as the third book), I combined 1906 Colorado, the end of World War I, and a contemporary setting into one trilogy. It challenged me a big way, but I have to admit the World War I novel really gave me a workout because I also researched the Spanish Flu that decimated millions.

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In Love From The Ashes (2001 EPPIE Winner for Best Historical Romance), I plunged into the world of 1906 San Francisco and the Earthquake and Fire that took the city.

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In Before The Dawn I wrote about the early days of the Trans allegheny Railroad and a hero who had been wrongly convicted and sent to Eastern State Penitentiary.

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With Meet Me At The Castle I take readers into a paranormal setting in early 1800′s in rural England. This story has a gothic flare to it. I was tipping my hat to the gothics I loved to read in the 70′s as a teenager.

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In Forevemore I take readers from contemporary to 1800′s Victorian Scotland via reincarnation. This novel also has a gothic flare.

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Currently I’m writing a novel I’ve tentatively called (tongue-in-cheek) That Novel About That Thang which is set right before the enormous Krakatoa explosion in 1883. The story is in Indonesia, and because I know very little about Indonesia during that time period, the research is enormous. But you know what? I love it all. It seems one of the bigger challenges will be to discover a good name for this story, but I figure by the time I’ve finished it I might have a title!

So you can see, my love for historical novels and historical romance set in different situations and time periods is far and wide, and writing historicals has always been and will always be a great love of mine.

 

 

The Wasteland Trilogy: Ashfall Cover Reveal

Hey all! Welcome to my new blog today. After the long Halloween month, I’m ready for some downtime. This month I’m working on a story that will go into a Valentine’s Day boxed set in 2015. I’m almost finished with the story! In the meantime, I wanted to reveal the cover for Ashfall, the first novel in my Wasteland Trilogy which comes out December 2014 from Liquid Silver Books. To say I’m excited about this cover is an understatement. The artist did a great job with capturing the hero Adam. Here’s the unofficial blurb to give you a quick taste of what’s to come. Then the cover to give you a thrill. Enjoy!

**

A strong woman and a former Air Force pararescueman tangle with a brave new world forged by an apocalypse no one could stop.
Mally Andretti survived an apocalypse that has altered the world. Tucked away in a huge compound she should feel safe, but loneliness eats away at her. Until a deep, mysterious voice tantalizes her over the ham radio and invites her into soul deep conversation. Who is the man who claims to be her friend, who awakens mental and physical cravings?
Working for a private security company takes every bit of former Air Force pararescueman Adam Becker’s time, until a sexy voice on the ham radio tempts him to do and say things he’s never done before. Mally calls on every fiercely protective instinctive inside him, and when she’s in serious danger he’ll do anything to get to her in time.

ashfall

Linda Godfrey & GodJohnson

 

Happy, happy Samhain/Halloween to everyone! Here’s to some wonderful candy and good times. I know I plan to have a great day chilling with some spooky movies and doing some other projects until I go to a party tonight. :) Thanks to all the authors who participated in my Spooktacular this year.

Today I’d love to welcome nonfiction and fiction author Linda Godfrey to my blog! Many years ago I read Linda’s nonfiction about the Michigan Dogman and other eerie phenomena, and I was instantly hooked! You simply must read her work! Please welcome her as she chats about her novel God Johnson and the intriguing way this story came about.

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“God Johnson.” It seemed like the most original title I’d ever come up with. The words had sailed into my head one morning in 2009 as I sat quietly meditating, and immediately struck me as the perfect title for a fantasy novel.

I still had to come up with God Johnson’s story, of course. It seemed apparent that he was some sort of lesser divinity, with the emphasis on “lesser,” which could mean he was short on followers. I asked myself what sort of image a shape-shifting god might assume if he wanted to ooze trustworthiness, and the noble face of Abraham Lincoln sprang to mind. What potential disciple could resist signing on with a lesser god that looked like our beloved former president?

Well, most normal people, probably. But perhaps one naïve young woman who wanted something God Johnson could give her—say, superstardom—and who also had an unconscious, disastrous thing for father figures might be willing to give this tall, craggy-eyebrowed demi-god a whirl. And there stood my protagonist, Liberty.

As for the title, it seemed so out there, so unusual, I was sure it was one of a kind. I did a quick Google search anyway and nothing popped up. I went on to write God Johnson; the Unforgiven Diary of the Disciple of a Lesser God. It debuted in 2012, to my excitement, as a self-published e-book in collaboration with my literary agency Dystel & Goderich. About two days later, I discovered there was a popular Minneapolis cover band called God Johnson! I contacted them, and luckily we both found the coincidence amusing. We became Facebook friends.

God Johnson Facebook 

The band and my book were not the only God Johnsons on the planet, however. Only a few months passed before a reader clued me into the existence of a 1949 Skippy Peanut Butter-sponsored radio show episode named—yep–God Johnson. The title role was played by Peter Lorre and the episode bore no similarity to my story. But it made me start to wonder whether I’d once heard that name somewhere, sometime, my brain dutifully tucking it away until the day it popped up in the guise of book-naming genius. I took a bit of comfort in the fact that the show ran before I was born.

God Johnson Podcast/Radio Show

Then just this past fall, I chanced upon a TV listing for a Syfy show that debuted in New Zealand in 2011. It’s called The Almighty Johnsons and involves a whole family of lesser gods named Johnson. Thankfully, none of its stars sport top hats or Lincolnesque beards.

The Almight Johnsons

I was bewildered, though. How had four, very different creative works all come up with this same, offbeat title? Is there was some primordial, inherent connection between the words god and Johnson? I guess that’s possible, although I discovered that unintentional title-sharing is not really unusual. To cite one striking example, there were two independently books titled Blink released in 2005. One was a work of fiction, the other non-fiction, and neither were related to a feature film released two years earlier that was also titled Blink. A second example popped up just the other day when I looked up a book called Knocking on Heaven’s Door and found about five of them with various subtitles, not to mention the 1973 Bob Dylan song by that name.

Newspaper comic creators are also prone to simultaneous channeling of each other’s inspirations. Many people, for instance, will remember the mischievous little boy in Hank Ketcham’s popular comic strip Dennis the Menace. But few Americans know that the comic’s debut in March, 1951 occurred within hours of the release of a British cartoon boy terror–also named Dennis the Menace! The British rascal featured black rather than blonde hair and looked decidedly older than the American tyke, but the coincidence in both name and concept is breathtaking.

Whether these title twins emanate from some mysterious, quantum entanglement of creative minds or simply spring from the writers’ individual observations of the same global Zeitgeist, I can’t say. It’s tempting to think of sci-fi tropes like the human “hive mind” when two authors unknowingly simul-title their great American novels “Snort,” but it may just be that there are only so many words in the English language, and some make snazzier titles than others.

For those writers who find out in time that their title is already on someone else’s book, it may be smart to create a new one or add a subtitle to help establish uniqueness –especially if the books in question are similar in genre and concept. Of course, there are many times that titles co-exist peaceably, especially since copyrights don’t cover book titles. But there still may be some risk.

Some titles, usually those of popular series, may be trademarked, and that opens a whole new can of magic beans. Trademark infringement and copyright laws are complex beasts requiring legal advice I’m not qualified to give, but may be good topics for any writer to check out.

All of this makes me wonder whether it’s even possible to come up with a truly unique title—without using nonsense words–that has never been and never will be used by anyone else. Since everyone in the world seems to be writing a book these days, that task grows ever more difficult, especially for the one-word titles that are fashionable right now.

My own advice to anyone seeking absolute title uniqueness would be to search the Internet sooner rather than later, and repeat the process more often than seems necessary. The book title that doesn’t show up today may be released tomorrow. (And it could be released three days after yours!)

So guess what? I just took my own advice and searched again for my title for the sequel to God Johnson. I immediately found an MP3 of a German album cut that bore the same brilliantly original name as my new book title!

The sound you hear right now is the mad buzzing of the hive mind, accompanied by the riffling of my thesaurus, as I search for the perfect new words.

Linda Godfrey’s most recent non-fiction book is American Monsters; a History of Monster Lore, Legends and Sightings in America, Tarcher/Penguin 2014. All of her books, including God Johnson, and her blog and werewolf FAQs may be found at lindagodfrey.com.

 

 

 

 

L. L. Bartlett & Spooked?

Please welcome L.L. Bartlett to my blog today as she talks about getting spooked!

 

mysterious Lorraine

 

Three times the hero of my Jeff Resnick mystery series has been confronted with evidence of ghosts … but for some reason, he’s just not sure he believes in them. After all, he did suffer a serious head injury from a vicious mugging and now he’s different. Just a little bit psychic. Sometimes he knows about things that have happened in the past. Sometimes he know about things that are about to happen. But often, he’s blindsided by life in general.

Was it a ghost that scared the bejeepers out of him when he first arrived in Buffalo to recover from the mugging? Something clung to the walls of the guest room where he was to stay—a powerful force that took his breath away and filled him with such dread he was sure he’d pass out. (The book, Murder On The Mind, is free for all ebook formats, and is also available as a trade paperback.)

A set of footprints in the snow leads to a tree.

Or how about the time Jeff’s curiosity was piqued when he saw a sign advertising psychic readings. At first he was sure the medium was a fake, but then his funny feelings lead him to suspect that a murder has taken place in the dilapidated house where Madam Zahara held her readings. Just who died and how? And why was Jeff compelled to look for bodies buried in the medium’s yard? (The story is called When The Spirit Moves You.)

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Can a ghost be such a part of your life that you’re not even aware that the person has passed on? Can a ghost bake your favorite cookies, serve you coffee or tea, and hold long conversations with you, advising you like a loving parent might? It’s something Jeff’s not so sure about.

And as his creator, neither am I.

============================

The immensely popular Booktown Mystery series is what put Lorraine Bartlett’s pen name Lorna Barrett on the New York Times Bestseller list, but it’s her talent – whether writing as Lorna, or L.L. Bartlett, or Lorraine Bartlett — that keeps her there. This multi-published, Agatha-nominated author pens the exciting Jeff Resnick Mysteries as well as the acclaimed Victoria Square Mystery series, Tales of Telenia adventure-fantasy saga, and now the Lotus Bay Mysteries, and has many short stories and novellas to her name(s). Check out the descriptions and links to all her works, and sign up for her emailed newsletter here: http://www.LLBartlett.com

You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, and Goodreads.

Additional links to find her:

Murder on the Mind: http://www.llbartlett.com/index.php/murder-on-the-mind/

When the Spirit Moves You: http://www.llbartlett.com/index.php/jeff-resnick-short-stories/

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/L.L.Bartlett.author

Twitter: http://twitter.com/llbartlettbooks

Google +: https://plus.google.com/u/0/108688104967891779228/posts

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/jeffresnick/

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/977939.L_L_Bartlett

Kathy Kulig & Nightlord Lover

Please welcome Kathy Kulig to my blog today with a blurb for her new erotic vampire/menage romance, Nightlord Lover. Enjoy the blurb and excerpt!

 

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Buy Link Now at Ellora’s Cave: http://www.ellorascave.com/nightlord-lover.html

Warrior vampire Garrick Labar guards the secrets of the Guild. His comrade–vampire and sorcerer Ramon Travere–enforces the uneasy alliance between mortals and immortals. When Larissa Devine moves into town, both Garrick and Ramon are mesmerized and enraptured by her. They crave to claim her as their crimson swan and lover. But a new arrival is fair game and if they don’t claim her first, a band of renegades will.

Larissa finds a blistering-hot ménage with her protectors too intoxicating to resist. The immortals can’t deny their sexual attraction for her and sense her blood pulsing hot and furious when they’re close. Erotic desires thrust her into a world of danger and seduction. When the renegade vampires attempt to destroy a hundred years of peace, Larissa is caught in the crossfire. Eternal love and carnal nights can be her future if she survives.

Excerpt

“Anything missing?” Garrick asked.

Larissa shook her head then charged back downstairs. “Why would they just mess up the place without stealing anything?” Her throat tightened. “It’ll take me hours to straighten this up in time for opening tomorrow.” Tears filled her eyes.

“Kids,” he said. “The door probably wasn’t closed tightly and the wind blew it open. I’ll have Ramon take a look at it.”

“I should still call the police. The store was vandalized.”

“Don’t. I know the police chief. I’ll mention it to him tomorrow. If you call, you’ll only have a bunch of cars out here and the gossip will spread all through town. You don’t need that kind of publicity.” He started calling on his cell phone.

“Who are you calling?” she asked.

“Ramon and Jordan. I’m telling them to come over now to help straighten up. Between the four of us, we’ll get your place in order.”

“But it’s so late.” Her words cracked.

“They won’t mind.” He hugged her. “You’ll see. We all work together here.”

His embrace felt heavenly warm and safe, made her feel protected and a little turned on. Heat rushed to her face, embarrassed by her physical response to his touch. What was wrong with her? He was showing her kindness and she was getting horny? She pulled away, avoiding his gaze. “Thank you, Garrick. I’ll get started on the front display.”

Twenty minutes later Ramon and Jordan entered the store. “Ramon Travere,” he said by introduction, taking her hand and locking his gaze with hers with an obvious flirtatious up-and-down once-over. Ramon was striking and hot. A few years younger than she with long blond hair that fell past his shoulders. He wore leather pants and boots and a black T-shirt with a bright-yellow smiley face with the addition of devil’s horns and tail attached. Have a nice eternity was inscribed below.

If Garrick was the mysterious and muscular predator, Ramon was the sleek and wild rock star.

“Wow, you weren’t kidding, Garrick,” Jordan exclaimed. “What a mess. Any idea who did it?”

Garrick shot Jordan a glance and her eyes widened. “Doesn’t matter. We’ll get everything ready for you, Larissa. Thank you for hiring me. Garrick said you needed the help.”

Garrick’s expression revealed no clue as to who really arranged the employment. For a college student, Larissa expected Jordan to be younger but she had to be in her late twenties. Her blonde hair was fashioned in a perfect French braid. Her clothes were casual but obviously pricy designer wear and usually far out of a college student’s budget. There was no rich-girl-entitlement attitude, Larissa knew plenty of them in her college. Jordan appeared to be a pleasant, smart and polite young woman. “You’re welcome. I’m happy to have the help. I’ll start you with a few hours and when business picks up, we can add more. How does that sound?”

“Works for me,” Jordan said. “Tell me where you want me to start.”

While Larissa, Jordan and Garrick put the merchandise back in order, refolded and reorganized the displays, Ramon fixed the lock on the front door. The shock and fear of having her new store vandalized eased with the presence of the two men and even Jordan cast an aura of positive energy. Everything would work out well for her first day. The business would thrive.

“Finished,” Ramon announced. “You have a new Schlage deadbolt lock. If anyone tries getting in now, they’ll have to take down the door and frame with it. Want me to add strobe lights and security cameras, Larissa? I can rig some kind of metallic net to drop down and zap them.”

Larissa laughed. “No, the new locks are fine. Thanks. Send me the bill.”

He shook his head. “Garrick will take care of that.”

“That’s not necessary.”

Ramon walked up to her, took her hand in both of his and locked his gaze with hers. “I left my card on your cash register. If you ever need anything, just call.” His searing blue eyes had a mischievous glint and his lips twitched ever so slightly. Larissa felt her stomach tingle as if she were going down the big dip of a rollercoaster with her eyes closed and didn’t know if there was a bottom. Great, now she had the hots for two men? That had never happened to her before.

She tried counting back to when she last had a date. After four months she stopped counting. It was too depressing. No wonder she was responding to all the hot guys in New Hope. Maybe she should consider dating after her business got off the ground. After the holidays.

“Thank you, Ramon.” Her words came out in a breathy whisper. His name rolled off her tongue. He continued to hold her hand and a wave of dizziness passed through her. Closing her eyes, she hoped the sensation would pass. But then a flash of detailed images drifted through her mind.

She was in a large living room, a place she’d never seen before. Ramon stood naked before her in front of a blazing fireplace, the flickering light dancing over his body, reflecting over every cut and angle of his muscles. He was gorgeous and aroused, his cock hard and thick. His eyes glowed with an otherworldly blue glow. Holding out his hand to her, she stepped forward and noticed that she too was naked. The heat of the fireplace warmed her skin. She didn’t know why she wasn’t questioning the situation. She only knew it seemed right and couldn’t resist.

Lie with me. Ramon’s words entered her head but she didn’t see his mouth move.

Yes, she answered with her own thoughts as she took his hand. Gently, he lifted her in his arms and laid her on a thick fur on the floor. His body eased on top of her. Yes, this is so good.

Larissa. Garrick’s voice called her from a distance. The light from the fireplace highlighted his face. He was smiling despite the darkness in his eyes.

She held out a hand to him, asking him to join them. He nodded and the next moment he was naked and lying beside her too. Two men, amazing. “Garrick,” she whispered as his mouth came down on hers at the same time Ramon plunged his cock into her.

“Larissa!” Garrick shouted. She blinked and saw him standing beside the door to the storeroom.

Images of the old house, the fireplace and Ramon and Garrick making love to her vanished, yet her heart still raced. Her vagina continued to contract on empty space and her nipples bore stiff points through her sweater. She glanced at Ramon. Smiling mischievously, he stared at her through half-lidded eyes. “Are you okay, Larissa? You look dazed.” His mouth twitched in a wicked and mischievous grin.

“Yes,” she breathed. “I’m fine.”

“Everything looks in order in here,” Garrick said. “Please check on her tomorrow. Make sure nothing is missing. You can go, Ramon.”

Ramon straightened and nodded.

“Thanks for your help,” Larissa said. Her heart continued to pound and her body was still heated and aroused.

“My pleasure.” He turned to Garrick. “Night, Garrick.”

“I’ll be in touch,” he said. The moment they were alone, Garrick’s gaze swept over her in a spine-melting look that made her nervous and horny. “You still seem shaken. Don’t worry about the break-in.”

* *

Kathy Kulig is a New York Times & USA Today Bestselling author of erotic romance whose works include paranormal, contemporary, BDSM, and suspense. She has published over 20 novels, novellas and short stories. Besides her career in writing, she has worked as a cytotechnologist, research scientist, medical technologist, dive master and stringer for a newspaper. In her spare time, she can be found mountain biking, traveling, lounging on the beach with a good book or having dinner out with her husband. Kathy resides in eastern Pennsylvania.

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Kate Hill: The Human Side of Monsters

Please welcome multi-published author Kate Hill to my blog today. I’ve known Kate for a bazillion years…yeah we go way back. Welcome Kate!

StAugustinesSilhouettesmed

One of the reasons I love paranormal romance is the fantasy of exploring what a relationship might be like with someone completely different, with powers that no human could ever have.

A vampire who has lived for centuries.
A werewolf who can protect those he loves from any foe, whether man or beast.
An alien who can show you a world you never imagined.
A witch who can cast spells to help others.

There are countless types of paranormal heroes and heroines, all with fascinating otherworldly powers. The powers alone aren’t enough to make a character one to fall in love with, however. What endears them to us isn’t what makes them different from us, but what makes them similar enough to relate to. Their human qualities–anger, fear, pain, a sense of humor and the ability to love and hate–ultimately endear them to us, make them seem real and allow us to suspend or disbelief.

When an ancient vampire sinks into depression from loneliness, when a werewolf feels ostracized for being different, when an alien has to hide his identity and a witch conceal his powers because they might be persecuted, their issues become human issues. By finding similarities, it’s easier to accept the differences.

How do you feel about the human side of monsters? Do you find it easier to relate to a paranormal character when they share emotions similar to your own?
About Kate Hill

Always a fan of romance and the paranormal, Kate Hill started writing over twenty years ago for pleasure. Her first story, a short erotic vampire tale, was accepted for publication in 1996. Since then she has sold over one hundred short stories, novellas and novels. Kate also writes under the pen name Saloni Quinby.

When she’s not working on her books, Kate enjoys reading, working out and spending time with her family and pets.

She enjoys hearing from readers and she can be contacted at katehill@sprintmail.com. Visit her online here and Twitter.

Stop by her annual Halloween page here.

St. Augustine’s Silhouettes
by Kate Hill
Excerpt and purchase links
A killer runs loose in a small American town. When free-spirited Katherine allies herself with a man dubbed Satan by the townsfolk, has she found the man of her dreams or has she fallen into the hands of a murderer?

St. Augustine’s Silhouettes was previously published by Echelon Press. This is a revised and expanded version.

 

Scary Movies You’ve Missed But Shouldn’t

Every year I usually post my favorite spooky movies. Last year I posted this list of spooky movies you may not have seen but that I think are great. So this year I’m giving you the same list with a new one added at the end. Have some scary good viewing!

Horror

 

Happy soon-to-be Halloween. I think you’ve missed some good scary movies. Yes, you have. Really. For those of us who love a good movie, and who also love scary stuff, there’s a lack of the seriously spooky movie that doesn’t include a gaggle of screaming teenagers being chased by a psycho with a hack saw. I realize there are a lot of horror movie buffs who enjoy that type of movie. It it’s your cup of tea, that’s cool. What I like, though, is what I consider the honest scary stuff. The things that feel as if they could be real, or that maybe are real. Like what, you might say. Okay, there are some movies on this list that are pretty far from reality, but some of them aren’t, and that’s what I think makes them quite a bit scarier than the average B slasher flick. Some on this list are old movies that pack a significant punch, while some are more modern. Try these and see if you don’t get a good goose bump thrill this Halloween season.

Dog Soldiers

(Splendid acting, British soldier humor, action out the ying-yang.)

When A Stranger Calls

(Latest version-panned by critics but I think it is very atmospheric and suspenseful)

Unrest

(Creepy. Quite a few plot holes, but still well executed in many ways and different.)

The Haunted

(1963 version-one of my favorite spooky movies of all time. Seriously atmospheric and creepy. Acting is top notch. Julie Harris is amazing.)

Sweet, Sweet Charlotte

(Psychological chiller with amazing acting.)

Whatever Happened To Baby Jane

(Another psychological chiller.)

Gargoyles

(The gargoyles aren’t as campy as you’d expect, and the suspense leading up to the main event is pretty creepy.)

Don’t Be Afraid Of The Dark

(Old version not the newer one…although I like that one, too.)

Disturbia

(Humor, great acting, and some serious chills/thrills)

Session 9

(This sleeper has great acting. I call it psychological horror. Old abandoned asylums, ghosts maybe? This one has enough questions but isn’t so confusing that you’ll be totally in the dark. But don’t watch it in the dark.)

Housebound

(Funny horror movie with a quirky side. Made in New Zealand, with a Kiwi screenwriter and director and Kiwi actors. Highly recommended.)

Haunted: Edinburgh Terror

For a spooky chill, I’m repeating the story of an experience I had when I lived in the UK many years ago. So you’ve seen this story on my blog before. I consider it the most profound paranormal experience I’ve had so far, and there isn’t a Halloween I don’t think about it. Heck, I think of it several times a year. So here goes…

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Long before I became a paranormal investigator, a powerful experience in Edinburgh, Scotland inspired a dungeon scene in my novel, Bridge Through The Mist. This experience also colored some scenes written in my Asylum Trilogy as well.

My hubby and I loved living in England for three years from ’96 to ’99. It was dream come true, because since I was a little kid I always wanted to visit Britain. My ancestry is mainly from England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales, and you could say I was fascinated with Scotland from an early age.

Anyhooo…I digress. :) Terry and I adored Edinburgh and it became our favorite city in the U.K. One year we took a Hogmanay tour (New Year’s Eve in Scotland). Two hundred and fifty thousand people in a small area can really drain a person but it was an experience I wanted to have. The night before the Hogmanay celebrations, we decided to take a ghost tour. Quite a few tour companies visit Mary King’s Close and the South Bridge Tunnels in Edinburgh. Both areas were living quarters for people back in the 1600’s during and before the Bubonic Plague that ravaged the city. Some history says sick people were blocked up in the close and the tunnel areas to die, but in recent years I’ve heard otherwise. So I’m not sure what to believe.

When we reached the South Bridge Tunnels (we didn’t tour Mary King’s Close), the tour guide opened this door in the side of a building, and then took us down a winding staircase illuminated by candles. He’d flipped the electric light switch and it didn’t work. At least, that’s what happened…don’t know if it was set up purposely. I am not claustrophobic, nor am I scared of things underground. I didn’t feel particularly spooked, just curious about the history and ghost stories. Everything was peachy.

We reached a barrel vault room with a somewhat high ceiling and everything changed for me in the blink of an eye. The air felt too close. At first I figured thirty people in relative proximity to each other might be getting to me. I stayed close to my husband. The feeling got worse. Much, much worse. Even though it was very cold down there, all of the sudden I started to feel very warm and my hands started to sweat. Dread and apprehension overwhelmed me until I couldn’t wait to leave. The idea obsessed me. It ran around in my head like a mantra, “let me out, let me out, let me out.” I couldn’t believe how I felt and it disturbed me like nothing else I’d ever experienced. I’d never had a panic attack and this felt like what people described as a panic attack.

I don’t recall now how long we stood in that room, but by the time we left, I realized I hadn’t heard a word the tour guide said about the ghosts or history. If I thought I’d escape the feeling by leaving that room, I was partially right. As soon as we left it, the heavy dread subsided, but I still couldn’t wait to get the hell out of the South Bridge Tunnels. When we left the tour some time later, the relief was enormous. I told my husband about my experience and asked him if he’d felt anything. He hadn’t.

Ever the skeptic, I thought maybe I’d developed claustrophobia. When we visited the wartime tunnels at Dover Castle, which are also underground, I thought the same thing might happen. It didn’t. Nothing like it has happened to me since. Not long after the disturbing adventure in Edinburgh, I discovered quite a few people had the same experience in the very same room over the years.

Maybe I picked up but a small part of the trauma that occurred in that room many centuries ago. Who knows, but the paranormal investigator in me would like to go back some day and see if it happens again.