Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Master of Horror by Sara Brookes

For me, whenever Halloween comes around, it reminds me of my love of scary things. With all the haunted houses, forests and--near me--amusement parks, it's no wonder this time of year I'm like a kid in a candy store. Coupled with my love of books, you can imagine I have quite a collection of horror novels. It's not as large as it was when I was younger, but there was one author I refused to toss.

Stephen King.

Yep, I have all of his books in hardcover and could read them over and over. About six years ago, a friend was tossing her King collection and asked me if I needed any. While I had them all, my copies were obviously well used and dog eared. My copy of IT was terrible because I'd read it so many times. Needless to say, I jumped at the chance to have a fresh set of his books and took everything she had. I packed away my copies, some were first editions, and now have the ones given to me on my shelves just waiting to be well-loved again.

So, what about you, do you have a love or hate for horror movies/novels?

Scared so good? ~ What does it mean to you? By Sherri Desbois

That moment when the roller coaster car finally reaches the peak and hovers for just a second before it plunges over. The way my heart beats nearly out of my chest, that split second where I can’t breathe and I question myself. What the hell was I thinking? Let me off NOW! The thrill after stepping off the coaster, knowing I’ve done it. I beat my fear.
Darkness with only the illumination from the T.V. screen as scary music plays. I know something is going to happen from the way the music has intensified, the moment suspended, my afghan at the ready. The, HOLY JESUS, moment as the back speakers kick in, as a bird hits the peaceful window on the screen in front of me. I’m not sure whether to cover my head or run like hell. The chuckle that escapes my lips when the credits roll, it wasn’t that scary. Well, okay it was but I’m not telling my children how scared I was. I survived, and with dry pants, no less. Yeah me!

The way my fingers shake, mouth suddenly as dry as the desert, when I see a letter, sitting in my email box. A letter from a publisher, that I’ve sent my very first novel too. I’ve only sent the book out for an opinion. Never was anyone ever going to want it. I’m not an author. I’m just someone that wrote a book for a challenge for me, I’m a history major for goodness sakes. Still my heart starts pounding in my chest. The last rejection letter was really nice, but still a rejection. My pulse quickens as I move the mouse closer to the email. Please let them at least be nice about the rejection, instead of saying. Don’t quit your day job, you suck. I can almost feel the clank of the rollercoaster car against the tracks as it takes me up the steep hill. I wish I had my afghan with me, as I hear the music in my head start to intensify.
Deep breathe Sherri.

Thank you for sending HALF HEARTS to us for review.  We really liked the story, moreso than we thought we would, and would like to offer you a contract to publish it.

God I love being scared so good.

What does being scared so good mean to you…….Tell me your scared so good story and the best will win a yummy pumpkin spice bath and body gift set.

Happy Halloween.


Sherri Desbois is a soon to be published author with Liquid Silver Books. Her first novel Half Hearts is the story of heartbreak, abuse and overcoming the past. When a terrifying figure from the past steps into their fragile romance, will their love be enough to overcome the horror about to be leashed upon them or will it leave them all with only half hearts. You can find out more about Sherri at her website:
Or email me at:

What’s Old Is New Again: Steampunk and Why I’m Loving It

Steampunk is what’s happening now.  Novelists from all genres are jumping on board and taking their readers back to an alternate version of Victorian times (1837-1901) and the Second Industrial Revolution (beginning in the mid-1800s). 

The scifi/fantasy con I just attended had attendees dressed in their vision of steampunk fashion.  One of the more popular dealers in the Dealer’s Room was Lord Montague and his Steam Punk Funk Bizarre.   Just this month one of my favorite television shows, Castle, had an episode featuring the steampunk scene. 

Everything steam and punk seems to be all the rage, but it is not new.  In fact, the origins of the genre are back in the 1960s and 1970s, but the term steampunk originated in the 1980s.  The story goes (see the Wikipedia article on steampunk, highly informative and laboriously documented) the term was created by author K.W. Jeter (author of Morlock Night – Random House plans to re-release this out-of-print book in paperback in April 2011) to cover his and certain other authors works which dealt with a Victorian setting and imitated the world created by H.G. Wells in his novel,  The Time Machine. 

No matter when the genre began, steampunk fiction is generally considered to be  based on the style of works by the  famous 19th Century authors, Jules Verne, H.G. Wells, Mark Twain and Mary Shelley. 

My first experience with steampunk was on television – way back in the 1960s.  The Wild Wild West (1965-1969) was steampunk set in the United States - -  and so cool that I still like watching the series to this day.  Who could forget the traveling laboratory on the train and Artemus (Artie) Gordon and his inventions and disguises which helped Jim West catch the bad guys threatening the United States and its President Ulysses S Grant.  Jim West’s nemesis was Dr. Loveless, and a great and evil villain he was - - he was also a midget.  If you have never seen any of this series, do.  You’ll love it.  The movie with Will Smith and Kevin Kline was okay and also very steampunk in the gadgets and weaponry, but I will always love the television series the best.

I didn’t experience steampunk again until my son turned me onto The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen – the movie (2003) and the comic book series (1999).  This treatment of the Victorian era was credited in bringing steampunk into the mainstream. 

Right now, I am reading Meljean Brook’s The Iron Duke.  This story and the prequel, “Here There Be Monsters,”  in the Burning Up anthology, are set in Queen Victoria’s England.  The British pirate Rhys Trehearne aka The Iron Duke has just defeated an evil enemy, the Horde, who had unleashed nanoagents which infected every person in London and placed them under Horde control.  The Iron Duke may have defeated the Horde, but the people still fear the return of the enemy.  The novella and novel deal with the aftermath and the fears of those who survived.  Meljean’s world building is superb and she populates her books with fascinating characters alongside a veritable treasure trove of pseudo-scientific gadgets including dirigibles, mechanical sea monsters, automatons and the other trappings of any grand steampunk story.  Think Jules Verne with romance and you’ve got the idea. 

So, this Halloween try steampunk fashion to attend that special Halloween party.  Ladies, think Victorian - - corsets, short fitted jackets, skirts with bustles, sexy stockings (fishnets ruled at the con I attended) and boots, shin-high, that lace up.  Wear an ornate watch pinned to the jacket, carry a parasol (which of course doubles as a weapon), and a bonnet with plumes.  Guys can wear Victorian era military garb, an outfit to fly a dirigible in or a rich gentlemen’s garb ala Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson.  Add brass goggles, antique weaponry with a scifi twist and anything leather (aviator hats are big!).  Oh, and if you can, manufacture a metalworks arm or leg.  One guy I saw walking around the convention had on a very elegant khaki frock coat and trousers with a top hat and cane, but one arm was all brass with clock wheels and pins holding it together.  He looked like one cool and very steampunk dude. 

Why do I love steampunk?  It’s fun.  I love the combination of science and history.  I love the elegance of the fashion and the intricacy and overly ornate aspects of the machinery.  I love the imagination of the writers who take what was and make it into something totally new and different.  And, bottom line, it is entertaining - - and after all, isn’t that what fiction is supposed to do?

Monette Michaels

Sexy Supernatural Creatures

It’s Halloween night and creatures that go bump in the night are coming out to play...well, we hope they are.  What is it about supernatural creatures that make women go crazy with lust?
Is it the danger?  The strength of creatures?  The of the charts sexiness?  Hmm...I’m not quite sure.  But what I do know is that no genre has ever taken me so completely.  I’ve read all types of novels in pretty much any genre that’s out there, and no matter how fantastic the story is, there’s just something about a great werewolf tale or hot vampire adventure that keeps me captivated.
In truth, would we really want someone to bite our neck and drink our blood?  Maybe some would.  Me, not so much.  But when I read it in a novel, I’m seriously wishing it was me.  Why is that?   Is it because it taps into the romantic fantasy’s that stir in a woman?  I’m thinking, yes.  To be consumed by a man so completely that wants every part of you, including your blood.  Hell, that’s sexy, right?  Or a werewolf that couldif he wantedrip you into little shreds, but instead, loves you in a gentle way.  Yum!!
The thing I love about supernatural creatures, and I why I enjoy writing about them, is the ability to create a man that just can’t possibly exist.  It’s taking all the things we love about our men and amplifying them.  Not only can they love you, but they can love you far beyond what is possible in everyday life.
So, what’s your take?  Why do you think women are salivating over these scary creatures??

RT Book Reviews
“…Kennedy has created a world that readers will want to visit again and again!” Dawn Crowne
Bitten by Paranormal Romance
“Do you love magic, dominant men, adventure, humor, evil villains and a talking cat? Well here is an excellent book for you to try.” Laurie

Happily Ever After Reviews
The readers will find themselves snickering and crying with the characters. I highly recommend this book. Read it, go get it right away. ” Hunter

Stacey is offering a copy of The Willow. Leave a comment to be eligible.
Blog-a-Thon 2010 where the depraved and dirty minded come to gather for the weekend.

Da Rules

  • Every hour a new blog will go up until midnight. Saturday Noon to Midnight then Sunday 9 AM to Midnight.
  • Each blog will have a simple draw contest. DON'T FORGET YOUR E-MAIL ADDRESS.
  • For the NOOK contest you need to answer the following seven questions and SEND your answers to
  • All answers can be found in the blogs.
  • Contests close at 10:00AM Monday morning. Winners will be posted at Noon.

Da Questions

  1. How would Annie Nicholas catch a vampire?
  2. What kind of wolves does Rebecca Royce write about?
  3. What does Sandra Sookoo love about October?
  4. Who does Sara Brookes think is the Master of Halloween?
  5. What animal is J. Hali Steele writing about recently?
  6. What kind of photos is DL Jackson showing?
  7. Does Stacey Kennedy want to be bitten?
Don't post your answers here. E-mail them to

How to Catch a Vampire by Annie Nicholas

Catching a vampire is not an easy task or for the faint of heart.  Killing would appear easier since imprisonment isn’t necessary.
Why would I want to have a vampire? Obviously, you haven’t read any of my books. I take this task seriously because as a writer I want my stories to appear possible. In hunting all dangerous prey considering their weaknesses is tantamount.

So, I made a list of vampire weaknesses because anyone who knows me knows I love my lists and numbers. There are many species of vampires so I wrote all known limitations.

1.     Sunlight
2.     Wooden impalement
3.     Holy relics and water
4.     Dismemberment
5.     Fire
6.     Certain poisons
7.     Blood
8.     Sex

I disqualified the dismemberment because I want them alive and functioning.
If the vampire you’re stalking is religious then luring it to a room filled with blessed icons could weaken it enough to be trapped.
 There has got to be a cool way to corner one with sunlight. I’ve seen vampires trapped in wells but as the sun rises they get fried. I don’t want them crispy. Maybe we could give them a small recess to hide in?
I’ve killed vampires with fire and even heard of some slayers using flamethrowers but once again it’s with the goal of killing. A fire lined prison would keep your vamp but we still need to catch it and not burn down the place.

Now, I’ve heard certain rare poisons work to incapacitate them. Anne Rice used laudanum and I’ve used my own blue windex colored drug, which the source is still a secret.  Delivery is the hard part. Finding a volunteer to drink the poison and then allow a vampire to drink from them is not as easy as it sounds.
Blood and sex is more a desire but can be used as weakness, which brings us to the old bait and trap technique. I’ve used a beautiful, sexy prey animal to lure a vampire to its trap but of course it back-fired.

Those creatures of the night can be clever.

As to wooden impalement, it brings us back to death BUT it did inspire me. What if I used really thick iron bars instead? Say four of them that pinned their bodies to the ground. They wouldn’t be able to escape without tearing themselves apart, which brings the dismemberment issue back up.

I guess if the vampire wanted to be caught it would be easier. They are such sneaky creatures.  A willing prisoner, he/she wouldn’t try to escape and less apt to hurt you.  And what’s a little chain and bondage between friends?

I’m giving away a copy of CATCH tonight. To enter the draw tell me how you would catch a vampire.

Pretending by J. Hali Steele

This is one of my favorite holidays. The whole idea of playing dress-up and pretending fascinates me. Fantasies, and playing them out, are one reason I write. In my mind I can pretend to be anyone…pretend to be anywhere. It allows me to open my mind to new people, places and things, in particular—paranormal beings and things.

I’ve strayed from the cats (for a little while!) My most recent stories have been based on german shepherd shifters. Three charismatic brothers who accept what they are…but must convince the women they fall for to do the same. All I can say is “must love dogs!

I’ll be giving a prize to one lucky person today. All you have to do is tell me what you plan to dress up as in the comment section. If you’re not donning a costume this year, what have you dressed up as in the past?

Below are blurbs about books 1 and 2 in the Shepherd’s Watch series available now, and keep your eyes open for PROTECTED, book 3, coming to Changeling Press 12/31/10:

Blurb-SERVICED: (Excerpt)
Ren Alsatian is no one's guide dog, but when forced to care for a blind woman, the last thing Ren expects is the straight-laced librarian who reads him like a book. She fills his dreams nightly with page after page of raw sex between the dusty aisles. He wants to show her how to smell, touch and taste again.

Marguerite Pinkston knows it isn't going to be easy living with the service animal assigned to her. She dislikes dogs and this one comes with a handler whose husky voice and wild, sexy scent enflame her with visions of entwined bodies. If only she could see...

Blurb-GUARDED: (Excerpt)
Wade Alsatian is stuck guarding the owner of the escort service he frequents. He doesn't count on the sexy as hell woman tying him in knots and driving him insane with her mouth and body

Jetta Volker still carries scars from a dog attack. Now she's left in the care of a huge shepherd, and afraid to move in her own home. But it's for other reasons she waits for her guard to return. His scent triggers a need she has ignored far too long. Jetta gave up on men -- but she wants this one.

Breaking through barriers and accepting the scars from their past may tear them apart.


Happy Halloween to all of you out there!

How are you?

I’m doing well here in the blog universe as I create today’s post.  Unlink some authors who I adore, I don’t actually have a book that takes place at Halloween time. I guess I feel like I can’t do Halloween justice so I don’t try BUT having said that Her Wolf: The Westervelt Wolves Book 1 takes place right around Halloween time, which means that I get to play today too.

So here is the deal…in order to win a copy of any one book from my backlist, comment today with the order of my Westervelt books and what the first names of each couple in the books are. 

Easy enough. 

Make sure you leave your e-mail address so I can get back to you.


Happy Halloween!!

Blog-a-Thon 2010 where the depraved and dirty minded come to gather for the weekend.

Da Rules

  • Every hour a new blog will go up until midnight. Saturday Noon to Midnight then Sunday 9 AM to Midnight.
  • Each blog will have a simple draw contest. DON'T FORGET YOUR E-MAIL ADDRESS.
  • For the NOOK contest you need to answer the following seven questions and SEND your answers to
  • All answers can be found in the blogs.
  • Contests close at 10:00AM Monday morning. Winners will be posted at Noon.

Da Questions

  1. How would Annie Nicholas catch a vampire?
  2. What kind of wolves does Rebecca Royce write about?
  3. What does Sandra Sookoo love about October?
  4. Who does Sara Brookes think is the Master of Halloween?
  5. What animal is J. Hali Steele writing about recently?
  6. What kind of photos is DL Jackson showing?
  7. Does Stacey Kennedy want to be bitten?
Don't post your answers here. E-mail them to

Enjoying Some Psychic Research by Shara Lanel

When I write a story using psychic phenomenon, I make my own rules.  Casey, my heroine from Telekinetic Kisses, has had her gift since she was young, and doesn’t quite have control of it. She’s vowed to never become a lab rat again.  During sex…well, let’s not touch that subject. No talk about micro and macro psychokinesis. What she does is unavoidably in your face…even if she tries to hide it from Parker so that she can appear normal.

Author James Conrad defines the difference between telekinesis and psychokinesis thus: "Telekinesis is the movement of matter by mental means at the micro and macro levels, while psychokinesis (the general term) applies to any of a variety of more complex mind-matter effects, including TK, but also phasing through walls, extraordinary healing, etc." But PK seems to be the most used, as I’ve discovered during my recent reading. (James Conrad has an awesome list of movies with TK/PK here: )
I had never heard of micro and macro PK until I started researching for my book. Macro-PK equals observable events. Micro-PK means events not visible by the naked eye, such as change on a cellular level, through thought, that leads to healing.  One interesting tidbit I read is that some scientists believe in teleportation at the quantum level, but we’re nowhere near beaming up humans. I know a bit about Schrödinger's cat, but basically nothing about quantum physics, so I’m not even going to go there. An example of macro-PK is Uri Geller’s bending of spoons.
The stories about psychic experiments in the Soviet Union during the Cold War inspired Casey’s past as a lab rat. Yuri Andropov, head of the KGB from ’67 to ’82, wanted to move right ahead with studies of psychic warfare, and he told researchers not to worry if the subjects were injured or…died.
Another intriguing example of telekinesis is the poltergeist. These are not thought to be spirits of the dead, necessarily, but repressed psychic energy manifested in projectile stones and spontaneous fires. Wouldn’t want to be around that person—can we say Firestarter?
If you want to do your own research on PK, here’s a few links to get you going:
Parapsychological Association

Global Consciousness Project

Glossary of parapsych terms

Videos of the lab test at SRI with Uri Geller

Geller naysayers

Research on PK

Check out an excerpt from Telekinetic Kisses ( and have a rockin’ Halloween!



Award-winning author Shara Lanel started her writing
career by passing around serial stories in her sixth grade
class. She moved on to writing and editing for her school
paper. But then her dreams switched to making movies-too
much Indiana Jones-so she went to NYC for college and
majored in film.

But her true love remained writing. One hubby, one
dog, and one son later, she started writing romance. Joining
Romance Writers of America introduced her to the business
side of romance, but it was the research that fascinated her.
She met sexy SWAT guys and shot targets at her county’s
Citizen’s Police Academy. She’s attended crime scene
investigation workshops and read books on every subject
from werewolves to The War of 1812.

Shara currently lives in Richmond, Virginia, growing
hot peppers and starting fires in her kitchen in her spare
time. To learn more about Shara and read excerpts from
her books, visit

$10 Amazon gift cert.

In the Dark by PG Forte

One of my favorite things about Halloween has always been the dressing up. Costume parties provide the perfect opportunity to play at being someone else, or perhaps to show your “true face” to the world.  But what if you’d already lived for centuries and experienced an eternity of pretending to be something you’re not?

Such is the case for the vampires in my novel, In the Dark. Their take on the whole idea of costumes is just a little different…  

Saturday, October 26th, 1968

It had long been Conrad’s habit to circulate at his parties, a word here, a touch there, the occasional guest encouraged to stay behind after the others had been dismissed, and then invited back to his rooms for the night. But only for a night—two or three at most. It had been over one hundred years since Conrad had had a permanent partner in his life. He was not looking for a replacement.

It was in this way, and at one of these parties, that he first met Desert Rose in the fall of 1968. The weather that autumn had been unseasonably warm and dry. Later, Conrad would claim that it was this that was to blame for his behavior, that it was the weather that had made him so edgy, so careless, so much hungrier than usual.

Since it was the Saturday before Halloween, almost everyone at the party had come in costume. It always amused Conrad to see the unrealistic, romantic yearnings so many people harbored for bygone days. He knew, better than most, that the past hadn’t seemed all that romantic at the time. Cowboys, pirates, sultans, knights—they were rarely the dashing figures modern imagination made them. Witches, and those even suspected of being witches, had been burned in ages past. Gypsies were once spat upon and reviled.

And medieval kings and queens, for all their supposed nobility, were frequently petty and vengeful and, in his opinion, generally deserving of far worse fates than those they’d actually received.

From his vantage point, having already lived through the better part of a dozen of them, Conrad considered this present century to be a vast improvement on many that had come before. Its more relaxed social mores and unparalleled ease of travel had made his life immeasurably easier. As for the current mode of dress, he had nothing but appreciation for it. The ever more revealing fashions were certainly hard to beat for visual stimulation.

Take that, for instance, he thought, catching sight of a rippling wave of coffee colored hair cascading over a nearly naked female back. Raven tresses had long been a favorite of his, especially in combination with a pair of wine dark eyes. Ah, yes, just like those. The unknown beauty turned suddenly in his direction, dark eyes flashing in amusement. For one heart-stopping second their gazes collided. Her lips curved upward in a warm, sunny smile that brought an answering smile to his lips. And then she was turning away again, coaxed back into conversation by the handsome, red-haired vampire who was Conrad’s current majordomo, leaving Conrad’s smile to fade wistfully away.

That should have been the end of it. Nine times out of ten, it would have been. But not this time. Though Conrad was generally loath to spoil any of his children’s fun, especially one of his favorites, this was different. The girl had turned her back on him and such impertinence could not be allowed to go unchallenged.

“And what are you supposed to be dressed up as, my dear?” he inquired after closing in on the girl. He spoke the words softly, almost in her ear, delighting in the sudden flush that warmed her cheeks, the rapid patter of her heartbeat, the faint scent of patchouli that clung to her skin.

Dark eyes glanced up at him in surprise. “Why, I’m an Indian Princess, of course. What did you think?”

Conrad’s brow furrowed as he looked her over, taking in the details of her ensemble—details he’d largely missed, due to the hair and the eyes and everything else that had heretofore captured his attention. His eyes tracked the beaded headband that circled her brow, the peacock feathers strung on wire that she wore in place of earrings. The bulk of her hair flowed unfettered down her back—all but for two narrow strands, one on either side of her face, which were plaited and tipped with more feathers. He looked closer. Parakeet feathers, he decided after a moment’s perusal, or possibly conure.

Her halter top and matching micro-mini skirt were made of brown suede and heavily fringed, as were her knee-high boots. The outfit left her neck, shoulders, arms, midriff, most of her back and practically all of both her thighs deliciously, accessibly bare. He’d been to India many times, in the past, yet he’d never seen anything there quite like this.

“An Indian princess?” he repeated, wondering if the loud music blaring from his stereo system could be to blame for his confusion. Perhaps he’d misheard?

“She means like Pocahontas,” Armand explained helpfully.

Conrad gazed at him doubtfully. “Vraiment?” he inquired, feeling only slightly less confused. At least the feathers were explained…in a way.

Armand’s hazel eyes glinted as they met his. Ah, mais oui. Certainement.” His tone, one of barely suppressed amusement, left Conrad with little doubt that the French Canadian shared his opinion of the authenticity of the lady’s costume.

“Far out. You guys speak French?” Dark eyes sparkled even brighter. “That’s way cool. It’s like…like the Addams Family, or something. You know, how Gomez was always saying, ‘Morticia, that’s French!’”

“Indeed,” Conrad murmured, taking hold of her hand and lifting it to his lips. “Enchanté, Mademoiselle.”

Her gasp of pleased surprise was echoed by Armand’s far more dismayed one. Conrad shot the other vampire an apologetic look. “Désolé, mon cher. Êtes tu bien?”

As he’d expected, Armand shrugged in reluctant assent, relinquishing his claim on the girl. “Oui, d’accord. C’est la vie, eh?” Flashing a parting smile, he blended back into the crowd, no doubt in search of other conquests. The girl’s eyes filled with something close to disappointment.

“Something wrong, chérie?” Conrad inquired softly.

A slight shrug. A vague wave of the hand. And eyes that continued to look entirely too dejected as they followed Armand’s retreat. Yes, definitely disappointed, he thought, as the girl murmured, “Well, no…I just…well, I thought…w-we were talking and…”

“And might you not talk to me, now, instead? Or would you rather we go in search of Armand?”

Lifting her chin proudly, the girl met Conrad’s eyes. Her smile held just a touch of malice as she inquired, “Armand who?”

Get your copy of In the Dark here:

PG Forte inhabits a world only slightly less strange than the ones she creates. Filled with serendipity, coincidence, love at first sight and dreams come true…it also bears an uncanny resemblance to Berkeley, California.