Sunday, January 25, 2015

Doing the Monster Mash

by Nancy Gideon

My first brush with the paranormal was on late night Creature Feature when I’d sneak downstairs to be scared witless watching monster movies with my older sister. Dracula, Wolfman, The Blob, Frankenstein, Swamp Thing . . . I wouldn’t sleep a wink all night sure every creak and groan of our old house meant something was trying to get in.


It wasn’t until I was older that I understood that the allure of these creatures wasn't just the fright factor. I discovered a strange affinity, not for the crusading hero, but for the tragic monster. In these poor maligned beasts, I found an appealing humanity, the want to be loved, accepted, to belong. Sorta like the wounded heroes of the books I’d begun to read . . . only with a bit more bite. Isn't it the hint of danger and potential threat that makes the dark hero one of our favorites? Isn't it the nobility of the marauding monster that makes you feel sad when it's destroyed because its intention was misunderstood or because it was only defending its own right to survive?

I’ve taken up the cause of those powerful yet vulnerable beings in my vampire and shape-shifter series, to redeem the undesirable and frightening. But it wasn’t until I was offered the chance to write about truly monstrous monsters when approached by ambitious young director Lynn Drzick in the mid-‘90s to do a novelization based on his horror screenplay for a soon-to-be filmed horror Indie that I got back to the roots of my fascination.

IN THE WOODS is a monster story. It has real human heroes— firefighters who’d stumbled upon a terrible secret trying to protect those they love and police officers tracking down a vicious serial killer to save their community. But it also has the creature factor with not just one, but TWO unnatural beings tearing up the scenery, one with a mindless instinct and the other with intelligent purpose. Bring those four separate pieces together and . . . well, use your wildest imagination. I did. And it was gloriously gory fun!

IN THE WOODS just had its 15 Year Anniversary as a classic horror film and is about to be released on Blu-ray (with a commentary track I just recorded with the director and leading man DJ Perry! Squee! Movieaholic fangirling! More about that on my recent blog post . . .) and on Video On Demand, so what a perfect time to resurrect the novelization!


Hundreds of years ago their battle began . . .

In an age of knights and sorcery, a good king must raise a monster to protect his people from the demon unleashed by a dark-hearted enemy determined to claim his kingdom. But once called forth upon blood-drenched fields, can such evil ever be truly laid to rest?

To a present day community held hostage by fear, a serial killer will soon be the least of its worries after two off-duty firefighters enter a forest and find a grave. What they dig up isn’t a victim or family pet. When they race from the woods, they bring a timeless hell with them . . .
Reviews:

"Horror and mystery combine to delight readers with a work reminiscent of early King." -- The Mystery Zone

"Horror at its finest and most eerie!" -- Midwest Book Review

"Horror fans be on the look-out for this terrifyingly delicious novel!" -- Vampyres

IN THE WOODS is currently available on Kindle, but will soon be released in other e-formats as well as paperback. Get in touch with your inner beast while waiting for Penny Dreadful to return to Showtime!

What monsters did you secretly cheer for when you were growing up? How about now?



Thursday, January 22, 2015

Paranormal TV Treats

by Stephanie Beck


So far, 2015 has been good to me. Not in the usual ways. In real life, my kids have been sick, I've been sick, it's been wicked cold, and my dog now has a nervous bladder and pees all the time. Oye.


But, in my TV life, wow. It's been non-stop TV awesome. Fun paranormal shows and superhero shows--I haven't felt like "Oh, I need to get home to watch my show" since the 90's. I'm not a solo TV watcher--I like to hang out with my husband and talk during commercials, gush about the show, all that good stuff, so it is a very social experience when I find a show I'm excited about.


The two that have caught my eye--The Librarians and Marvel's Agent Carter. I love where the Librarians could be going. It's definitely not perfect, but I'm willing to overlook the downfalls and just enjoy the stories. Long critique short--I like it. Marvel's Agent Carter is fantastic in pretty much all ways. Sadly, Captain America is considered dead in it. The only way it could be better is if Captain walked in, but I'm still happy even if that doesn't happen.


It's no secret I adore paranormal fiction and superhero fiction. I mean, I write if quite often and not just for other people. It's my little secret--when it comes to writing what I love, the paranormal and superhero stories really are special.


Take care and happy watching/reading/writing--whatever floats your boat!


Stephanie Beck


Super Special Superhero Trilogy for 99 cents


Justice Fraternity Chronicles





Saving the world and falling in love.

Launch into action with the Justice Fraternity Chronicles. Meet the team—Man of Wonder, Dinah-Go, Crypto-Man, and Sparrow—as they face the evil doers of Silver City and beyond.

Super Love:
Man of Wonder lost Dinah-Go once, back when their only identities were the ones behind their masks. Now, as Myles, he is out to win Dinah's heart and bring her back to the life she loves as a superhero.

Crypto Love:
Sidekick extraordinaire, Crypto Man is all about being a hero. He fights beside Man of Wonder but is questioning his place in the Justice Fraternity. When something fishy is going on in his old hometown, Crypto Man heads over to check it out. Teaming up with Penna Banena—a supermodel with superhero dreams—wasn't in his plan, but it might be time for Crypto Man to be more than a sidekick.

Fallen Love:
Broken-hearted Sparrow and the brilliant Dr. Erica Simons must work together for the betterment of superheroes everywhere. Her research could change the world…if Sparrow can keep her alive long enough to share it. An old foe emerges, and Sparrow will have more than inner demons to fight if he hopes to win the day, and the doctor's heart.

Content Warning: This book contains scenes of epic bad guy butt-kicking and delightful displays of sexy affection—sometimes on the same page. No capes required.


Buy Now: Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Justice-Fraternity-Chronicles-Box-Set-ebook/dp/B00SDJ61E4/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1421932852&sr=8-1&keywords=justice+fraternity+chronicles


B & N http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-justice-fraternity-chronicles-box-set-stephanie-beck/1121083212?ean=2940150150263



Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Space Travel




Andromeda Galaxy from NASA's Hubble telescope
If you write science fiction (or its sub-genre science fiction romance), your characters probably need to get from place to place . . . unless they’re locked in a room somewhere the entire story. Not sure that would make a very interesting read, though. My critique partner frequently reminds me my characters are in a “white” room—no action, no descriptions. Actually, my first drafts resemble screenplays with a lot of dialogue and some stage directions.



So, how do your character move? Let’s assume they can walk, run, crawl. Can they project themselves to another place (teleportation)? Can they fly? Great. But not exactly what I’m going for. I’m thinking more along the lines of vehicles.



Is the civilization your characters inhabit advanced enough to get off their planet? Are they in the early stages of space exploration or are they veterans? Have they mastered faster-than-light speed? Or found wormholes through which their ships can travel from one star system to another?


Or what about a stargate? Thanks to Amazon Prime that I accidentally subscribed to a year ago, I’ve been OD’ing on Stargate SG-1. Now there’s an interesting concept. Obviously, other people found it interesting since the show was on for ten seasons. Stargates are like personal wormholes, taking people from one planet to another in a different star system. A stargate could be something designed by aliens, like in SG-l or the obelisk 2001: A Space Odyssey.
 
However your characters travel, be consistent. But most of all, have fun designing your methods of travel.



Diane Burton writes science fiction romance, romantic suspense, and mystery. Her most recent SFR is The Chameleon (Book 2 in the Outer Rim series).

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Woo-hoo! It's Christmas!

What's that you say? Christmas was almost two weeks ago? Not if you celebrate Russian Orthodox Christmas! ;)


I'll use any excuse I can to have more sparkly lights and tasty treats. I blame it on Belphagor, my Russian demon. (That's right, the devil made me do it.) Belphagor isn't a believer (and neither am I), he just likes to celebrate. And watch his boy Vasily celebrate...and then take advantage of his boy's amusingly inebriated state. But don't worry; it's consensual. In fact, Vasily would pout if Belphagor didn't push his buttons and then punish him for it. And a 6'5" 200+ lb. firespirit demon can put away a lot of Christmas cheer, so there will undoubtedly be something to punish him for by the end of Christmas night.

If you're a fan of naughty m/m demon antics and you haven't read my Demons of Elysium series yet because you don't have an ereader or just prefer print, you're in luck. Book 1 in the series, Prince of Tricks, was released in trade paperback just in time for Russian Christmas!

One of Library Journal's Best Books of 2014, Prince of Tricks' "steamy, solid entertainment" gets five stars from Rainbow Book Reviews, and RT Book Reviews calls it “a spicy erotic fantasy that submerges the reader into a tempestuous relationship that speaks of dark desires and wicked delights... drenched in a decadent haze of pleasure, pain, discipline and punishment.”

When desire rises, angels will fall. One, by one, by one…

Over the past century, Belphagor has made a name for himself in Heaven’s Demon District as a cardsharp, thief, and charming rogue.

Though the airspirit is content with his own company, he enjoys applying the sweet sting of discipline to a willing backside. Angel, demon, even the occasional human. He’s not particular. Until a hotheaded young firespirit steals his purse—and his heart. Now he’s not sure who owns whom.

A former rent boy and cutpurse from the streets of Raqia, Vasily has never felt safer than in the arms—and at the feet—of the Prince of Tricks. He’s just not sure if Belphagor returns those feelings. There’s only one way to find out, but using a handsome, angelic duke to stir Belphagor’s jealousy backfires on them both.

When the duke frames Vasily for an attempted assassination as part of a revolutionary conspiracy, Belphagor will do whatever it takes to clear his boy’s name and expose the real traitor. Because for the first time in his life, the Prince of Tricks has something to lose.

Warning: Contains erotic sex: m/m, m/m/m, m/m/m/m…oh hell. Let’s just say “mmmmmm!” and be done with it. Also one m/f scene. Smart discipline meted out with a great deal of love and charm. Erotic sex acts requiring copious amounts of elbow grease.

Now available in print at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Samhain Publishing.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Great Beginning!

...to a New Year that I hope will bring you everything you want! I didn't make any resolutions, as normal, I plan to wing it. *smile*

But I did wake up to a new cover and wanted to share it, along with a snippet, with everyone.

Dirty Rotten Vampires 2
Love Me Madly

Coming soon to Changeling Press

With one undead and the other full of fire, they had two choices—fight dirty and love madly.

Split (Sophronius) Kryder didn’t enjoy hunting demon mixed vampires, hell, his daughter is one. Drawn back into the battle for vampire supremacy, he needs a new partner. The council tossed the name Tang into the pot so Split figured the vamp must be good. Turns out Tang Odette has curves and legs that go on, and on. A maddening inferno of desire ensues wreaking havoc on his world and to possess her Split plans to fight dirty…and win.

The new slayer assigned to Tangerine Odette is an ancient, chauvinistic, and cold-ass vampire she plans to ditch immediately. His superior attitude drives her crazy. Didn’t help any that each time she’s near him, her body heats up more than a pit in hell. Maybe if she gives the old jackass a taste of what he pines for, he’ll whimper away into a corner and leave her to fight.

Excerpt:
Heat has a smell. Magical and as sweetly perfumed as an exotic night-blooming jasmine, warm air whispered around him, gently brushing his face with butterfly-soft wings. Keeping his eyes shut tight, Split Kryder embraced the scent, allowing it to render him helpless, exposing memories buried deep a long, long time ago.
Shit. Opening his eyes to the real world, he spied a spider vanish into a crevice between ornate moldings joined high up in a corner across from him. He shoved a booted foot against the desk and sent the antique piece banging against the wall. Standing, he strode to the corner, stood on the desk, and reached to rip wood away. “Goddamn Philadelphia.” The gray, dank atmosphere was colder than his undead heart. Split slammed his fist into the wall and pulled chunks of red brick away.
“Sophronius!”
Spinning, he eyed Vigier Stone, a vampire with slightly more skill and strength than himself. “Don’t call me that.”
“Have you lost the capability to levitate along with your mind?” Vig, a member of the vampire council, elicited fear and respect because of his position. “Get off my desk; that was a gift from…”
“There’s a spider in here.” Yeah, I’ve lost it. Screwing with Vigier was not wise, but the only thing Split feared at the moment was going fuck-nuts if he didn’t get the hell out of the City of Brotherly Love.
“You could have killed it with a flick of your fingers.” Vig blinked the behemoth desk with a myriad of cubbyholes and paper stacks back to its original position in the office, leaving Split hanging in the corner. “Fix that gaping hole or I send your sorry ass after the eight-legged horror.” He shuddered. “I can’t believe you disturbed the nest.”
Split contemplated the council member. “Whatever.” Landing lightly on the balls of his feet, he waved a hand and watched stone and mortar fly into place and the splintered wood bind together, forming a loose bond in the corner. “Has your almighty council found me a partner yet? I’m growing cobwebs sitting here.”
“Insolence has won you no friends on our council.”
“Those bastards sit in luxury while slayers keep demon mixes from chewing their lazy, fat asses off.”
Vig smiled wanly at the corner as he tightened the molding with a mental nudge Split didn’t miss. “Have you ever seen a fat vampire?”

“You get my drift.”

Available now at: Changeling Press; All Romance Ebooks; B&N; Kobo; Amazon

Dirty Rotten Vampires 1
Hurt Me Good

A cold heart plus hot blood sweetens the pain.

Barringer Ganteau has hunted enough demon-mixed vampires to last a million lifetimes. His wish is to see all demi-vamps maimed, preferably dead. Single-handedly, he attempts to vanquish the scourge of mixed breeds from the face of the earth. Then Ringer meets Armada, a demi-vamp with the power to deliver the kind of pain he desires and melt his frozen heart.

Armada comes from Haiti, carrying the exotic heat of the islands and her kind with her. When she faces a cold-hearted vampire, a being superior to her mixed heritage, she vows to hate him as much as he hates her. Armada hadn’t reckoned with the vamp’s ability to use pain to bring out a side of her she had not known existed.

Read More

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


Sunday, January 4, 2015

Make a resolution you want to keep

As one year ends and the promise of a new one begins, just about everyone is looking to make goals and resolutions for a new beginning...and then generally breaking those resolutions before the first month of the new year is through. 

Who made a New Year’s resolution last year? (Eagerly raises hand)


How many of you have kept the resolutions that you made last year? (Slowly lowers hand then looks around to see if anyone else still has a hand up)


 How many remember their resolutions? (Nods)


Is it because they're the same ones you’ve made year after year and never keep but think this year will be different? (Ducks head)


Yep, that’s me. Making those same resolutions to eat better/lose weight, exercise more, get more sleep, write so many words/pages... 

How about trying something different this year and make a resolution to do more of what you love? 

It's a win, win because you'll be happier and less likely to break your resolution. So take a minute and write down some of the things you love doing most in your life. 
Go ahead...I'll wait.

Okay, here's mine!

Resolution Number #1 for me is to resolve to write more and write even better than before!

Next develop some steps on how you're going to meet your resolution, then you'll be more likely to obtain it. 

Here's how I'm going to do it: Reading and writing and arithmetic... movies.

·      Read more books: My TBR pile is ginormous! Luckily most of it is on my kindle or I might not be able to get into my office if I had all the books in print. As most writers know, the best way to become a better writer is to read more. So while I'm immersed in my favorite happy place of a good book, I'll know that I'm improving my writing by 'studying' other writers.

·      Watch more movies: It’s amazing how movies can be so educational to writing. I find myself pointing out (to the dismay of my hubby trying to watch the movie) the black moment, how the backstory is added in (good and bad), red herrings...all invaluable to my own writing skills.

·      Write more-The more you write- the better you’ll get. I can prove this by pulling out an old story that is waiting to be finished. (The horror! Look away before you burn your eyes!) But I'll set a time and place, so it's measurable and not a vague goal.

·      Other writers: While reading more stuff, how about trading writing with a writer friend? It’s a win, win situation in that you’re getting another writing perspective on your work while reading more books.


Have you made any resolutions you'd like to share? 

~Maureen 

Penning stories boasting laughter, light suspense and something magical in the hope of sharing her love of finding the extraordinary in the ordinary world.

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