Thursday, November 30, 2017

The New Kid on the Block

Howdy, everyone! My name is Lea Kirk and I’m a new kid on the block, so I thought I’d do a little self-intro and answer some questions about me that you might not even realize you want to ask.

Why “Lea”, and how is it pronounced? Lea is my middle name and it’s pronounced “Lee”, not “Leah”. I was born in the days when Leah was still spelled with an “h” (yeah, I’m that old). Also, that’s the way my mom says it, and I’m not arguing with her. Mom’s always right, you know, and I happen to love the way my name is pronounced. However, if you call me Leah I’ll still respond. I have to because the priest who baptized me pronounced my middle name “Leah”, which means I need to be on my toes so the Pearly Gates don’t close before I get there!

And what about Kirk”? Now, I know what some of you are thinking: No brainer. She’s a Star Trek fan. Duh. And you'd be right. But, I did not choose Kirk because of Capt. James T. No, seriously! Kirk really is a family name…my paternal grandmother’s maiden name, in fact. My grandmother was one of my greatest influences to become a writer. She was an avid reader, loved writing (never published anything), and was a school teacher. We shared a mutual love of reading, and at some point she planted the seed that I should pursue writing. One day we were talking and I told her when I did become a published author, I would use my middle name, Lea, and her maiden name, Kirk as my pseudonym. I can still picture the way her entire face lit up.

Would my grandma read my sci-fi romances, or my one paranormal romance? I'd like to believe so, especially since I dedicated my first book to her memory!

Why sci-fi romance? We’ll blame my dad for this one. He got me hooked on the original Star Trek at the tender age of six. At the time, I had a two-piece red knit jumpsuit—a tunic-like sweater and bell-bottom pants.  I also had a pair of groovy white go-go boots. (Don’t judge me, it was the 70’s!) I used to wear those boots and the top, which just covered my butt, and run around the house pretending to be Lt. Uhura and having the most amazing adventures in space. I’d love to meet Nichelle Nichols just to tell her that story. She was a profound inspiration to my six-year-old self. After Star Trek came Star Wars, Close Encounters, Battlestar Galactica, Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, TNG, Voyager, every Star Trek and Star Wars movie ever made, The Orville, every rocket/shuttle launch by NASA, etc., etc., etc. So, you see, my fate was pretty much sealed the day my dad sat me in front of the rabbit-eared T.V.

What have I written? My first SFR book is Prophecy, and it’s the first book in the Prophecy Series. Book two in the series is Salvation. I am currently working on Collision, book three, and hope to have it out sometime in 2018. Also, All of Me is a short story that happens between Prophecy and Salvation. All of these books are (or will be) available on Amazon, B&N, iBooks, and Kobo.

This past September I released my first PNR novella, Made for Her. It’s a vampire romance and part of S.E. Smith’s Magic, New Mexico Kindle World—which means it’s only available on U.S. Amazon. (And now on KU, too!)

In October of this year I was part of the Other Worlds boxed set, which features a collection of SFR and PNR romances. My contribution, Touch the Stars, is a novella-length SFR that will eventually be reworked into a full-length novel and become book one in a new series I have percolating in my brain. Other Worlds is available on Amazon, B&N, GooglePlay, iBooks, and Kobo.

What’s the best way to follow or contact me? First, let me say thank you for still being with me here! My readers are why I do what I do, and I love hearing from you. You can connect with me on Facebook and Twitter. I also have a newsletter, which comes out on the 6th of each month…the next one is less than a week away and is chock full of holiday goodness. (Hint, hint.) Also, you can check out my website.

And there you have it, a little bit about me. If you have any other questions, just leave them in the comments and I’ll do my best to answer. I look forward to "seeing" you all here on Paranormal Romantics next month!

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Author Bio

USA Today Bestselling Author, Lea Kirk, loves to transport her readers to other worlds with her science fiction romance and paranormal romance stories. In 2016 she released Prophecy and Salvation, books one and two of her Prophecy Series, as well as All of Me, a short story set in the same universe. Grave Tells Blog named her Debut Author of the Year for 2016. In 2017, she released her first vampire paranormal, Made for Her, and a new story for the Other Worlds boxed set—Touch the Stars. Her third book in the Prophecy series, Collision, is on track to release in 2018.

When she not busy writing, she’s hanging out with her wonderful hubby of twenty-seven years, their five kids (aka, the nerd herd), and a large Doberman mix who thinks she’s one of the “kids”.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Writing the Magic of Christmas with @MeganSlayer #christmas #shortstory #gayromance #erotic #bdsm

There is something about the magic of the season that's fun for authors. It is. Authors have the thrill and romance of
Christmas as inspiration for stories. I love it. There's something about the snow, the chill, the sparkles and the nostalgia that gets to me. I'm a sucker for the movies. Doesn't matter what channel, I'll find a Christmas movie and indulge. I don't care if it's mundane, if the ending is silly or if I've seen the movie a hundred times, I'll watch.


Getting immersed in the spirit of the holidays helps me to write. Once one idea starts flowing, the rest follow. This year, one of my Christmas stories involved a box. Now, I know what you're thinking. Um, there are a lot of boxes that have to do with Christmas. Hello, Christmas gifts come in boxes. I put a new spin on the gift idea.

Here's the blurb for my short story, Christmas Box:

Hayes Carter knows what he wants out of life -- to be the best lawyer he can, to balance his work and home life and to please his Sir. This Christmas, he wants to belong to Sir for good.
Ford Rogan loves his boy, Hayes, but Ford's not sure he's relationship material. Hayes, though, makes him think otherwise. Then there's that naughty Santa at the club... Submit and your wish will come true 
Can Santa, even a naughty one, grant their wishes? Will the magic of the season be enough, or will they end up with nothing more than a lump of coal?

See? Not the standard here's a gift and I hope you like it fare. A person in the box? Now, don't get wonky on me. This isn't a creeper story. I like feel good Christmas tales. Everything works out in the right way at the end. There's magic, mayhem and a spanking or two. Gives me goosebumps just thinking about it.

What about you? What's your favorite thing about Christmas? I'd love to know!! 

Want to know more about Christmas Box? Then check it out at Changeling Press! Out now and on sale!! Gotta love a sale!

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Megan Slayer - It's Always Fun to Squirm
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Tuesday, November 28, 2017

A Christmas Ghost by Barbara Edwards

Ghosts are appropriate for Halloween and I do have a ghost story. Recently  I’ve been writing about my paranormal Rhodes End series, but my Christmas novella features the ghost of a dog who doesn’t want to leave her mistress alone. It is based on memories of my Dixie who sent her days keeping me from becoming a hermit. She’d demand a walk. Taking me out of my house to enjoy the fresh air and get some exercise. She’d sleep on my feet, keeping them warm while I wrote. 

I didn’t really think about my companion passing away and when she was diagnosed with cancer, it broke my heart. She was in terrible pain, but I didn’t want to let her go. It took me a week but I finally made the wrenching decision to send her over the rainbow bridge.

Dixie’s Gift
Digital ISBN 978-1-5092-

Author: Barbara Edwards

Blurb: Ellen Carter deeply grieves for her husband Dan, but at least she still has Dixie, her beloved Malinois. However, soon Dixie leaves her too. But the faithful dog cannot rest easy in heaven while her mistress is unhappy. Dixie pleads with the Archangel Michael to let her send help, and intercedes for Ellen in the only way she can. But will Ellen get the message, and more importantly, will she accept Dixie's gift?
Sexy newcomer Michael Burke can barely take enough time from his successful restaurant for a decent night's sleep, let alone romance. Still, he is intrigued by the beautiful widow and can't resist entering her shop. Sparks fly, and when Ellen has an accident in a snowstorm, he comes to her rescue. Trapped by a blizzard and aided by Dixie's Gift, Ellen and Michael find more than shelter--they find love.

Cover artist: Debbie Taylor 

He brushed a wisp of her hair from her cheek. It clung like spider silk to his fingers.
He rubbed the strand and his heart raced. When her lips parted, he bent forward to taste their soft curve.
Sweet, so sweet, he thought as her mouth melded with his. His hands slowly slid from her slender shoulders to her waist. Soft as a feather, she sighed. Her curves fit against his hard chest like matching puzzle pieces.
The lights blinked, dimmed, and then flared back on.

Dixie's Gift tugs at your heart, and though the snow threatens, you can't help but be warmed by this sweet story. A must read! -- Kara O'Neal, Author

"Dog lovers, do not read this book . . . without a box of tissues nearby. A touching story of love and compassion." - Diane Burton, author of the Outer Rim series.

"Delightful. . .Barbara Edwards weaves a heartwarming holiday tale of rediscovering love after the death of a spouse and the loss of a beloved pet. It's a refreshing story with a theme of joy and peace and filled with engaging characters. And who can resist a romantic winter setting with lots and lots of snow?" ~ Judy Ann Davis, Author and Educator

Dixie’s Gift by Barbara Edwards is a gift of a read. Sweet, romantic, poignant, and touching, it will bring a lump to your throat and satisfaction to your heart. If you don't shed a tear, you're a robot." ~ Award winning author Alicia Dean

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Amazon Author’s Page

Monday, November 27, 2017

Zombie 101

You Think You Know Zombies?
Ha, you say. Of course you do. A zombie is a reanimated corpse. You may even know the word zombie originated from the Kongo word nzambi which means spirit of a dead person. It was later altered to zonbi in Haitian Creole by descendants of African slaves, and eventually became zombie. How is a person zombified? Well, that’s easy. The innocent victim is infected by a pathogen. The origin can be natural or manmade, but begins with Patient Zero. The infection spreads with a bite and then the victim develops an insatiable appetite for human flesh, particularly tasty brains.

Wrong, wrong, wrong. That’s only the short history of zombies and like many myths, this one has some basis in fact.

Early Zombie Lore 
Fear that the dead won’t stay buried is common in folklore. Many Stone Age burial sites in the Middle East had corpses interred beneath large stones. In an ancient site in Syria dating back 10,000 years, the dead were not just weighed down with heavy weights, but also decapitated—an early link to modern zombie lore.  Although piles of rocks discouraged animals from digging up remains, removing grandpa’s noggin also kept him from a moonlight stroll.

Ancient Greeks were equally careful with their corpses. Archeologists working in Sicily unearthed a Greek necropolis called Passo Marinaro dating from 800 BC. The entombed, children as well as adults, were found in a variety of positions; staked, tied, or again weighed down by stones. According to the Greeks, certain deceased were more prone to walk among the living. These included victims of murder, a plague, or a curse. Greeks also piled on the extra big rocks for those born on unlucky days. Bad enough being killed by a plague or curse, now you had to spend eternity with a boulder on your head.

eHarmony Head Zombie
Early hints at the development of modern zombie lore can be found in places other than the Middle East. Norse mythology contains tales of the draugr or “again walker” who like to munch on locals. They pass on their curse by biting a victim (sound familiar?), but can also have supernatural powers such as shape-shifting or entering a person’s dreams.  Romania has its own native zombies with strigoi, a combination zombie/vampire. They drink blood and rise from the dead to stalk the living, generally a relative.  To stop them the grave must be dug up and the head and heart removed. One way to turn into a strigoi is to die single, so some communities marry off the corpse as a preventive measure. Take that, eHarmony.

Liquid Zombie
Modern Zombies
Present day zombie lore has two types (three if you count the mixed drink made with rum and fruit juices.) The first is the “not quite dead” created by voodoo magic. This one has a practical social application. A family or community decides a certain individual is an annoying pain in the rear.  They hire a bokur, a voodoo priest specializing in black magic. The bokur uses spells, incantations and a liberal dose of coup padre, a powder made from the poison, tetrodoxin. It slows heart rate, respiration, and drops body temperature. Thinking the victim perished, the body is buried and then later removed by the bokur. The new zombie is in an addled state with memory erased and transformed into a mindless drone. All in all, an efficient method for removing undesirables from society and a win-win for both the community and the bokur. An annoying pain in the rear is gone and the bokur receives a docile servant. This type of zombie doesn’t consume flesh and is relatively harmless. He might even be happier. Leave him be.

The second type of zombie is a strictly Hollywood creation from screenwriters in La La Land. Patient Zero is infected by either a natural or manmade entity. Death is the result, but the corpse is reanimated by a mysterious biological process and develops an insatiable craving for human flesh. One bite from a zombie spreads the infection and chaos reigns. Although fictional, some folks take the threat of the zombie apocalypse seriously, like the Center for Disease Control in Atlanta. The CDC is tasked with investigating dangerous pathogens and their scientists are apparently endowed with a cheeky sense of humor. People don’t like to think ahead and prepare for emergencies. The CDC realized the steps to slow the spread of a dangerous viral outbreak would be the same as needed to combat a zombie apocalypse, and people might pay more attention to the latter. Official zombie apocalypse guidelines are now posted on the CDC website. They include such things as items to keep in an emergency kit and how to make a disaster plan. The site went over like gangbusters and crashed the day it went live.
Check it out at You can even join the CDC Zombie Task Force. Proceeds go to disaster relief efforts and health programs. Now, go prepare your own kit and keep your mitts off my tasty brains.

L. A. Kelley writes scify and fantasy adventures with humor, romance, and a touch of sass. You can find links to her book on L. A. Kelley’s Amazon Author Page. Her zombie killing name is The Big Freak.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Getting Your Creative Mojo Back

Other writers may have a project that they stick to until the very end. I felt the same way. I had to pick a project and work until it was finished.

This time it didn’t work for me. I was working on a time travel project. I changed every scenario, re-did the outline 5 or 6 hundred times, I even changed the names of my characters hoping I would feel the vibe. It just wasn’t happening. I started to dread going to my computer and ask myself again, what next? The cursor was my enemy, accusing me of not trying hard enough.

Then, of course the procrastination started. It was always, I’ll get back to it tomorrow. No, that didn’t happen, tomorrow turned into next week, and then more time passed, and I felt guilty for not getting back to it. Thus, the vicious cycle

I talked to my friends about the book, and they gave me great ideas, and new directions. I would feel motivated for about a week, then the ideas dried up, and I was back to staring at the computer, watching the cursor blink like it was expecting something to happen.

Then one day I was looking through my computer files and the title of an old project peeked my curiosity. I wondered what my mind set was when I started it. I put it aside because I had this other book to finish. It was my obligation.

When I opened the file, it was like opening a door that glowed on the other side, waiting for me. It was a fantasy about a crystal city. As I read a few paragraphs the ideas flew into my head. An outline was created in one night. In a week I wrote 20,000 words. My fingers couldn’t type fast enough. For the last few weeks I have been getting up early to work on this new and wonderful project until my granddaughter arrived in the morning for daycare

At night I’d think about what I was going to do the next day, and what new adventure would my characters have. This is an amazing experience. I don’t think I have been this excited about a project since I started writing my first book. It has great possibilities, and my imagination is limitless.

Do you have book ideas filed away in your library? Project you once set aside. I bet you do. If you get bogged down with a project, take a look and see if there is anything else that inspires you.