Friday, September 30, 2016

An old book lives!

One nice thing about self publishing is that your older books never die.

My first contracted work is now a short story on Amazon(Faunication), and the world it was written in has inspired new stories, soon to be published. 

My second published work, Her Accident Angel, has quite a history! I wrote an erotic romance angel/demon paranormal because I wanted a break from vampires. It was fun and action packed, and it placed in a contest. That was exciting. Unfortunately, the publishing company I contracted with went bankrupt and it was caught up in the muck.

Later I sold it to a little new epublisher. Sadly, Katrina happened. The publisher never recovered.

Publisher number three was viable for a few years and my book actually made a little money. But then that publisher died the death. I had the file, of course, but epublishers were dying like flies. I suddenly had the rights to about seven books!

Self publishing on Amazon seemed like a plan, so I started uploading. To my surprise, I made much better money than I did with small publishers. That was a nice bonus. All those older books still sell. Not huge sales, but they LIVE.

Since self publishing became my thing I've developed a Photoshop obsession. One day I decided to recover Her Accidental Angel. I have a fondness for the old thing! This one will be available for print soon, because, pretty.

You can find my books on Amazon. My website  has a newsletter sign up!

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Getting Down to Writing After a Break with @MeganSlayer

There has been a lot of things going on in my life. Lately it seems like I can't keep up with everything. I had surgery a little over two weeks ago and getting back up to speed afterwards is taking its toll on me. I thought I'd just bounce back. I'd be up and running after a few days. 

Physically, I'm up and running. For the most part, I'm healed. It's nice, since I'm a mom and keep up with the tot requires me to be on my toes. 

But the writing part...that's where I feel like I'm falling behind. I don't have a huge schedule or a ton of deadlines set up for me. What I do have is a few deadlines set up for me. Now usually, I thrive on deadlines. I need that structure. I was that dork in school who loved to know ahead of time when everything was due and what was expected so I could get them done. On the writing front, I even worked myself hard to meet all of my deadlines ahead of time so I knew when I healed I wasn't going to have stuff hanging over my head.

I had this crazy notion that while I was in the hospital, I'd write in my notebook. Yeah, that didn't happen. When I could keep my eyes open, I wasn't thinking about stories. Nope. I was thinking about going home and keeping something down. 

Then I thought, I'm home, so I'll get all of this writing done. I didn't. I watched movies, slept a lot and read a couple of books. But writing? It wasn't happening. I'd open the notebook or look at the laptop and lose not only interest but enthusiasm.

I hated it. 

I'm back on the horse, so to speak. I've gotten words written and pages down. I've got two notebooks full of more words that need to go into the computer. It's happening. Little by little. Baby steps. 

What did I realize though as I healed was that I needed a break. It wasn't that the words weren't there. It wasn't that I'd lost the touch. I needed a break. My body said, um, yeah. Time to heal. 

I listened. I took those two weeks off. I didn't force myself to write. I didn't allow myself to feel guilty because I wasn't writing. To my shock, it worked. I don't make myself write just yet. If the words flow, I jump on the feeling. If they don't...I find something else to do until they do.

What about you? Have you ever had this happen? Ever felt like you were falling behind or failing? Did you ever need a break? I'd love to know. We can commiserate. 

~ ~ ~
Here's a little bit about my latest release, Unleashing His Roar. Check it out!

Unleashing His Roar  
Sanctuary, Book 7
Megan Slayer
M/M, Anal Sex, Masturbation
Paranormal, Contemporary, Lion Shifters/Panther Shifters
From Resplendence Publishing
Cover art by Kris Norris

** An AllRomance Ebooks Bestseller!**

Wanted: a shifter. Must be caring, understanding, open-minded and looking for a shifter in return.

Zeus knew from the beginning he was different. Where the other lion shifters had paired up, he was still single. All he wants is a partner and finds a dating app on his phone. Will the app lead him to the man of his dreams or to a disaster just waiting to happen?

Justin isn’t where he wants to be. He knows shifters aren’t supposed to work for the humans, but due to a circumstance that spiraled out of his control…he’s in over his head. He wants out and when he spies Zeus on the dating app, he’s willing to risk everything to get to the lion shifter. He believes Zeus might be the one to help him move beyond his past and unleash his roar.

Will the panther and lion find each other or will Justin’s past keep them apart?

Available at:

©Megan Slayer, 2016, All Rights Reserved

His phone beeped and vibrated in his hand. He tensed at the sound. The noise came back. He should look at the screen. Should. His heart hammered, and the lion clawed at him from within. He turned his attention from the big cat to the phone. A gigantic arrow with Justin’s photo in it bounced back and forth on the screen. He touched the arrow and held his breath. Justin had replied.

Hi. Saw you, too. I’d like to talk. Tell me about you.

Holy shit. Excitement rippled through him. The lion stood at attention within him, equally thrilled. Zeus blew out the breath he’d held. What should he say? He didn’t want to sound silly.

I’m thirty-three. Single. I work @ a shelter. He paused. What else should he add? I’m looking for love.

He hit send before he could delete the words he’d typed. He probably sounded ridiculous. When Justin replied, Zeus yelped. He glanced over at Joe, who didn’t seem to have noticed.

Love, huh? Are you a romantic?

A romantic? More like a horny bastard who wanted sex that might become love. He drummed his fingers on the desk. Answering would be smart.

Justin replied first. Oh. You’re unsure? I’m a romantic. There’s someone out there for everyone, and I’m looking for my someone.

Damn. Justin was a romantic or, at least, came across that way. Maybe, the sweetness was a little much, but oh well. He’d never know if he didn’t try. Want to meet? You sound like my kind of guy.


Megan Slayer - It's Always Fun to Squirm
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Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Writing a paranormal series by Barbara Edwards

Writing a series like my Rhodes End series has its own set of problems. The biggest is remembering from book to book all the little details especially since I’m working on book four and five.

If I mention the heroine’s mother, I save it to her bio sheet, but what if I mention the road she drives to work? I need more than a note. I need a map. And I need to reference the surrounding area. 

I realized I had to keep records while writing Ancient Awakening. I locked the cemetery and the garbage dump, then the Town Hall and the village green. My town of Rhodes End was growing by leas and bounds. 

In the middle of th series I got the writing tool called Scrivener which made it both easier and more difficult since I had to go back into my old records and move clips to the new records. 

Here’s what my creation looks like.

Welcome to Rhodes End.
On the surface, nothing distinguishes Rhodes End from a thousand other small towns. More than half the population works at regular jobs, have normal families and lives. Farmers, shopkeepers, teachers and other townspeople are unaware of the ‘different’ ones. The dark undercurrents never touch them.

An ordinary tourist tooling up the scenic road may tell friends of the charming village, but only the harmless or the expected find it easily. The basic rules of space and time seem the same, but magic can occur along with paranormal activity. In fact, those with paranormal senses find them stronger, more reliable.

Rhodes End is located on a confluence of magnetic ley lines that draws magic and paranormal activity. Rhodes End dog-legs the Northeastern corner of Connecticut, the hip pressing against Massachusetts while the paw scratches into Rhode Island. 

Rhodes End rarely appears on maps due to boundary and settlement disputes. Less than an hour from Hartford, Boston or Providence, major highways cut through the hills less than a mile away. 

The ley lines are the same lines that pass under Stonehenge, the Great Pyramid, Machu Pichu and Anasazi ruins in Arizona. Their mystical power is recognized by ancient religions. The power existed before the Caucasian influx chased away the small tribes who used the site to call their spirits. Nothing is noted of the even older pictographs in the deep caves.

 Near the corners of Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts, it fails to appear on many maps due to various boundary and settlement disputes. This isn’t far from Hartford. Major highways to both Boston and New York City cut through the hills less than a mile away. 

Ancient Awakening, Ancient Blood and Ancient Curse are available from The Wild Rose Press.

Please follow, friend or like me. I love to hear from my readers.
Amazon Author’s Page

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Apache Spirits

Hello everyone. My name is L. A. Kelley and I’m a new member of this blog. I hope you’ll join me here every month on the 27th for my latest post. In keeping with the ghost theme, I’ve chosen Apache spirit beliefs for my topic.

Apache Spirits

A common theme in Native American religions is that mortals have a direct connection to the spirit world through their ancestors. Southwest Apache tribal culture revolves around the belief that these benevolent guiding forces imbue everyday life. Ancestral spirits don’t inhabit a far-away ethereal plain, but, instead are an integral part of the physical world. Without human form, they live among their descendants in natural objects such as rocks, trees, wind, or mountains.

The different tribes of the Apache used a variety of spirit worship with most tied in some way to nature. Since Apaches considered spirits exist as part of the environment, they treated the earth with dignity and respect out of reverence for their ancestors. Spirits even gifted power directly. The Jicarilla Apache tribe believed that at birth a child might receive a special ability related to an animal, a celestial body, or some natural phenomenon. In later years this gift appeared to the select individual who then must decide whether to accept the power from the spirits and become a shaman. Upon acceptance, he or she underwent a test of courage. Other tribes believed these gifts can be sought on their own, and both male and female tribal members who acquire healing powers are considered shamans. These special religious leaders may use ceremony along with a significant knowledge of plants and herbs for healing.

Women as Leaders

An interesting aspect of Apache spiritual beliefs is that unlike Christianity, Judaism, and Islam, women have a central role and serve as family leaders. The Apache believe that women become more powerful at the onset of puberty, and a special ceremony called the sunrise dance is used to prepare a girl for adult life. For four days following the ceremony, girls are attributed with significant power to promote healing or incite rainfall. Women could also have a warrior’s spirit and some joined their tribes in battle.

Using Fact in Fiction
In my paranormal Western, Spirit Ridge, I play around with the different beliefs. The hero, Sam, has an Apache grandmother who is a shaman. Sam, on the other hand, has been plagued with unsettling spirit dreams since childhood, and isn’t quite ready to accept the gift until he meets Nell, a plucky newspaper reporter. Together they must unite to stop a murderous crime lord from taking over the Arizona Territory. Both their courage will be sorely tested. If only the spirits will lend a hand…

About the Author L. A. Kelley writes fantasy/sci-fi adventure stories with humor, romance, and a touch of sass. You can learn more about Spirit Ridge and  her other  books at

Monday, September 26, 2016

My Favorite Ghost Story

by Victoria Craven

Welcome to my first time blogging. I’m a little nervous. You just never know what to say, but I’m glad you’re here. Thanks for coming.

I have a ghost protecting me. At least that is what my aunt from Cuba says. She’s like a thousand years old, so who am I to argue. Whenever I’m in trouble this dark shadowy figure shows up. Even though my husband’s a good guy he claims he’s seen it a few times. My aunt said the spirit doesn’t like him. So maybe I have a jealous ghost.

When I wrote Immortal Love I took it to another level. The spirit in my story is the tormented soul of the heroine’s mother, Isolde. The hero, Dominick the Immortal has never known defeat. Some believed he couldn’t be killed. He is haunted by the spirit world but tries desperately to shut them out. The heroine, Eleanor, mother’s spirit is too strong and breaks through the wall he’s put up against ghostly apparitions.

Dominick and Eleanor are forced to marry by the king to secure Godwin’s lands. Neither are happy about it, but it would mean treason to deny the royal decree.

McPhearson is a man obsessed with Eleanor and her land and will stop at nothing to obtain them both. Isolde warns Dominick whenever Eleanor is in trouble, and he comes to her rescue, which brings the two of them together.

Here is just a sample of the ghostly adventure:

Suddenly a chill ran up Dominick’s spine like a cold finger of ice. Sensing a presence close to him he drew his sword as he turned to the forest.

Randolf drew his own sword in readiness. “What is it?”

Scanning the trees, Dominick approached the woods. “I’m not sure.”

“Spirit or man?”

“Spirit, but she will not show herself to me.” He looked deeper into the tree line. “I sense she’s waiting.”

“Waiting for what?”

“I don’t know.”

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Who Ya Gonna Call?

by Nancy Gideon

Everyone has a ghost story or can spin one that they’ve heard and can swear is true. My oldest sister lives in a haunted house, and I didn’t know we shared a ghost story until we were randomly discussing our childhood home and she mentioned how she’d always get scolded for tripping and falling on the stairs (those stairs we had to drag our dog up and he wouldn’t stay unless we had him on a leash). Funny, my most vivid memory of our old house was the sensation of being able to float down the stairs – without ever touching one – even when my family members were in the living room below. I can still remember that feeling to this day. We compared notes. Third step from the top? Third step. Turns out my parents bought the home after the elderly previous owner fell down those steps and lay at the bottom for some time before she died alone. Ooo, goosebumps!

My sister’s house scared off the first realtor when she was in the home alone and the upstairs toilet flushed, the door opened and closed and she heard footsteps on the stairs. Undaunted by the disclosure, my sister and her family moved into the historic home where deadbolts unlock leaving outside doors standing open, the gas burners come on at random times on the stove (quickly replaced by electric!), sounds of party conversations from the oldest part of the house rise up at night, where my sister would find her big dogs crouched on the floor outside that upstairs bathroom door growling at nothing, and both her son, when a little boy, and mine when he and a friend spent the night saw apparitions of the same man in period clothing. The man they deduced was the owner who’d expanded the home and died in a fire in the basement. The activity on the front stairs, a maid who’d hung herself in the open stairwell. Would I go any farther into that house alone than reaching in to deposit the mail just inside the door when I was picking it up for them . . . oh, hell no!

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!

Though I’ve never put a ghost into any of my books, I do have my favorite things that go bump in the night:

  • Ghostbusters (the original movies just for fun)
  • Ghost (most romantic movie ever!)
  • The Woman in Black w Daniel Radcliffe (made me leave the lights on)
  • The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson (scariest book ever!!)
  • The Turn of the Screw by Henry James (which spawned Ghoststory by Peter Straub)
  • American Horror Story – Season One (lights on, again!)

For the past few years I’ve opened the doors to my own Haunted Open House in October. Still trying to decide if I want to throw off the drop clothes and get that party started for 2016. I’ll keep you posted . . .

Until then, have a Spooktacular fall season!! And happy reading!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Nancy Gideon on the Web

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

My Own Personal Ghost

Do you believe in ghosts?

I know I do. But that might be because I have my own personal ghost. About the age of twenty-three, my ghost started appearing to me regularly.

Let's preface this with a mention that around that same time, several tragedies meant I lost multiple loved ones over the course of a year or two. In researching ghosts, the two most common types of sightings either involve a haunted location or involve loved ones who've passed. For those loved ones who've passed, most family members report seeing them most frequently right after their death, with the frequency decreasing as time goes by.

So based on timing and events, my assumption has always been that my ghost falls into the second category--a loved one. My sightings weren't at locations where I knew any of my loved ones, however. All my sightings were in new and differing locations, including hotel rooms. I would wake up and a man--indistinguishable features, just a presence--would be standing over me. And would scare the ever-living daylights out of me. Every darn time.

This went on for years. Sometimes I would even wake up, heart pounding, and throw things (like  my pillow) or kick out at the apparition. Finally, I got used to seeing my ghost on a regular basis. One night I woke to find him standing directly beside me. Very calmly, I said, "It scares me when you stand so close. Can you please stay at the end of the bed?" And after that night, he always showed up at the end of the bed.

That was when I concluded that my ghost must be a loved one watching over me. My own personal bodyguard. It's been more than a decade, and I no longer see my ghost every night. In fact, he only pops up every once in a while. Every couple of months or so.

Now, I could easily explain everything away by saying I squeeze my eyes shut when I sleep, especially when I'm stressed and at night it takes a while for my eyes to clear. But where's the fun in that? Besides? Would my poor eyes know to stand at the end of the bed? Nope!

When I wrote A Ghost of a Chance, my story in the recently released Moon, Mist, & Magic anthology, I drew upon my own experience with a loved one watching over me, and tried to give my ghost-whisperer, Josie, her own personal ghost. With a twist, of course, because she has a chance to save her brother.

What I find particularly fascinating is that, during the release of the book, I participated in a few Facebook parties, during which I would play a game asking others about their own ghost experiences. You'd be amazed (or maybe not) at how many people have personal ghost stories. Even being able to describe the ghost's physical form in detail, and multiple family members sighting a ghost. With so many folks having experienced ghosts, how can you not believe?

Do you have a ghost story? I'd love to hear it!

Award-winning paranormal and contemporary romance author, Abigail Owen was born in Greeley, Colorado, and resides in Austin, Texas, with her husband and two adorable children who are the center of her universe.

Abigail grew up consuming books and exploring the world through her writing. A fourth generation graduate of Texas A&M University, she attempted to find a practical career related to her favorite pastime by earning a degree in English Rhetoric (Technical Writing). However, she swiftly discovered that writing without imagination is not nearly as fun as writing with it.

Moon, Mist, & Magic (A Paranormal Romance Anthology)

Friday, September 16, 2016

Why Yes, I Do Believe in Ghosts

Do Ghosts really exist?

I think they do, and not just at Halloween, although we may be more likely to see them during that season when the veil between the worlds is thin.

Maybe we're simply more likely to dwell on ghosts and the spirits of our departed as fall, the dark side of the year, descends upon us, and the season's growth slows, browns, and finally, dies.

The most popular explanation of ghosts are the departed souls of people who left this life abruptly, and still don't understand that they are dead. Others believe ghosts are those who have left some important thing undone in their life, or having suffered some great injustice, are sticking around to do that last chore or correct that injustice.

My favorite theory evolves from physics. If you think back to high school science lessons, you will recall that energy cannot be destroyed, only converted to some other form. People are bundles of energy, so I ask you: what happens to that energy when a person dies?

If energy doesn't die with the human body, but is instead converted to something else…where does it go? And what does it look like?

 There are as many theories as there are religions on earth, plus some that have nothing to do with a religious leaning. Those who believe in ghosts think that all or part of that energy remains on earth, albeit in a different form. Since I also believe in reincarnation, I not only accept the presence of ghostly energy, but also imagine a living pool of energy, blended spirits of human, plant and animal, circling throughout the cosmos, with new life siphoned from it constantly.

But, to get back to earth—the energy present in a person's home is the result of all the energetic beings within it. The people (and pets) who live in a certain home eventually imprint that structure with their energies.  Have you ever walked into someone's house and immediately felt welcomed and happy? Believers would say the occupants' positive energies are part of the house. On the other hand, consider a home where there was a murder, a suicide, or some other violent episode—even a contentious divorce. That turbulent energy could cause a house to become haunted.

I confess, once a paranormal writer accepts the possibility of ghosts, so many scene possibilities arise (pun intended). 
First encounters with a ghostly entity, even a friendly one, can be terrifying, as the main character in my book, Song of the Ancients, discovers, when the veil between the worlds is parted during a Samhain ritual on All Hallows' Eve:

The man in the circle knelt beside a mound of dirt, digging his hands deep, cupping the soft red earth in his palms as he stood and began to chant.

"Dust to dust,
The rocks in time dissolve
Into the oneness of the Universe.
I call forth the Ancient Ones
To join us and impart their wisdom."

He raised his arms in front of him and parted his fingers, allowing the soil to fall between them to the ground.

I watched as the soil began to swirl like a tiny dust devil in a powerful wind. Dozens of ghostly dust plumes formed around him, nearly filling the circle.

Again he raised his eyes to the dark sky, moving his arms in a sweeping motion, as if catching and gathering something. He yelled, to be heard above the noise of the swirling dust and sand:
"At this time the veil between the worlds thins.
The gates are thrown open.
I welcome the spirits who have gone before,
The Others who pass between the two worlds.
Ancestors of old, arise now!
Join the human bridge awaiting you!"

From the shadows cast by the flickering fire, I watched one of the dust devils separate from the others and spin toward me. Its outline changed. I stared at the top of the swirl, and two glowing eyes stared back. An arm formed, then a second, reaching toward me.

The air in the circle became unbearably hot. I wiped sweat out of my eyes, and was slammed with a vision of the person inside the dust, so clear it stopped my heart for one terrified beat. This can't be happening! The wraith bore the face of my mother, dead for three years.

I tried to get away, but me feet tangled with the woman on my left. The ghost grabbed for me, raking the back of my hand with her fingernails. I screamed, sucking my breath in ragged pants. She reached for my face with both hands, but I scrambled away from her outstretched arms.

The ghost stepped back, her eyes filled with sadness. Terror gripped my mind like a vise. I could think of nothing but escape. I flailed and kicked and crawled from the circle until I could stand, and run.

What do you think about ghosts, souls, energy and reincarnation? I would love to hear from you.

Sandy Wright loves to take ordinary characters and thrust them into extraordinary situations.
In her debut novel, Song of the Ancients, a Midwestern woman moves west for a fresh start. Instead, she becomes the prey in an ancient war to open an underworld portal buried in Sedona, Arizona's magical red rocks.

Readers interested in the dark side of our supernatural world will enjoy of this paranormal suspense series, written by a real-life Wiccan high priestess.


Thursday, September 15, 2016


Everybody has an inner geek. In high school, ah heck even now, I embraced my inner geek and continue to allow it to shine. Never one to follow conformity, I still follow my passion even when others give me the side eye. Why am I talking about this? Because it's this part of me that shines the most when I write my stories. Every author has a 'voice' and my inner geek speaks loud when I place pen to paper. (See, I still write my first draft longhand.)

On a long drive back to Canada, my native land, to visit my hometown. I flashed back to my days of major dorkdom when it wasn't cool to be different. A girl who liked science fiction? Who was a trekkie AND a whovian? Who wanted to be a Jedi? Let's just say the bullies had a field day with me. and I grew up insecure. I reflected on how much I'd changed since then, yet somehow still hung onto my fandom. I still loved all those things and wasn't ashamed.

What would it have been like if I'd grown up in a werewolf pack instead? This question sparked a really important desire. The underdog movement.  Did shifters have their own versions of geeks? 

Being a mixed culture of both human and wolf, we imagine them to be hot and sexy. Full of animal magnetism wanting to dominate and keep a mate for life.

 What about the ones who lived on the fringe of the pack? The different people, who live on the out skirts of their society, my brethren, who go by all sorts of names. In wolf packs these individuals are called Omegas, the scapegoats of the pack. I could relate. I'd lived there myself. 

How would werewolf omegas live? Could they band together? Would the pack allow them to do that? If they needed to defend themselves who would teach them?

Inspired by these questions came forth The Vanguards and later The Vanguard Elite, where I could explore these ideas because, let's face it, sometimes a woman just needs to root for the underdog.

Start the series for only 99 cents.

Start the series for only 99 cents

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Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Researching Ghosts by Diane Burton

Have you ever started researching a topic only to discover you’ve spent the better part of an hour going from one site to another to another? Those pesky side links. If I'd been at the library, my table would've been covered with books.

In a HubSpot (marketing site) article about bad habits, the author wrote about Black Hole Browsing. Although I’d never heard of that term, I knew exactly what it meant. I’ve fallen victim to that bad habit more than once. In fact, while researching the topic of ghosts for this post, I visited way too many sites.

Casper is my idea of a ghost. Although I’ve never seen a ghost, I believe others have because they believe they did. What how could I possibly write about ghosts when I write science fiction? That took some researching and before I knew it—Wham!—I’d fallen into that Black Hole.

Back on topic. I do believe the spirits of our deceased loved ones still care about us and watch over us. My main character in Mission to New Earth does, too. (Funny how that works.) An only child, Sara was suddenly orphaned at 26. We don’t think of adults as orphans, do we? After author Pauline Baird Jones wrote about losing her parents and thereby making her an orphan, I thought about myself. I guess you could say I’m an orphan, too, since both my parents are gone, though not as traumatically as Pauline’s or my character, Sara. My parents died of old age and complications of COPD and Alzheimer’s. My sibs and I had plenty of time to prepare.

Losing her parents made Sara’s decision to sign up for a one-way trip to a new planet a lot easier. Then I started to wonder. What would Sara’s folks think about her leaving the teaching world and going into training to be an astronaut? Would they approve, be fearful for her, or caution her to be safe and stay home? Would they like her choice of mate, Marsh Rayburn, former SEAL and her second in command on the mission? I never go into that in the story, but I like to think they would watch over Sara, keeping her safe. More like guardian angels than ghosts.

Mission to New Earth


Would you go on a one-way trip to explore a new planet? Would you do it to save humankind?

Earth’s overpopulation and dwindling resources force the United Earth Space Agency to expedite exploration of new planets for a possible new home. When new crises ensue—a giant tsunami and the threat of nuclear winter—the timeline changes. Eight years of training crammed into four. Sara Grenard and her team prepare for launch, but are they ready for the one-way trip? Will the Goldilocks planet prove just right for Earth’s inhabitants? Before time runs out.

Throughout the month of September, I’m running a Giveaway for a $10 Amazon Gift Card. Pop over to my blog to enter. 

Diane Burton writes science fiction romance, romantic suspense, and mysteries. She blogs here on the 13th of each month. She is also a contributor to The Roses of Prose blog, posting there on the 30th. On Mondays, she muses about various topics on her own blog.

Friday, September 9, 2016

#Ghosts in the Literary Machine

Ghost stories are nothing new. In fact, ghosts and spirits have populated literature for centuries. In Shakespeare's Hamlet, the ghost of King Hamlet appears no less than three times in the telling of the tale. By their very definition, ghosts can't technically hurt us–at least not physically. Yes there are reports of ghosts throwing objects, but in most stories ghosts are limited in their ability to interact with the physical world.

In fact, ghosts that do interact with the physical world are not called spirits so much as poltergeists. And spirits are not necessarily ghosts, insomuch as a ghost is the remnant of a living being where the spirit may always have been a spirit.

So why then are we so afraid of them?

Head over to Charles Dickens A Christmas Carol, and we discover the effect that four potent ghosts have on Ebenezer Scrooge. The first is Jacob Marley, who appears to Scrooge all wrapped in chains and dragging his past regrets along with him. While Marley does not actually physically hurt Scrooge, he does warn him that he faces a similar fate. No one wants to imagine that they will pass away and wake up to an afterlife in which they suffer.

It can be argued that a ghost's greatest threat is psychological.

After Marley's visit, Scrooge is visited by the ghost of Christmas past, present, and future. Of these three only the ghost of Christmas future is scary, for the spirit says nothing. Yet, he points to Scrooge's future…a lonely death. The benefit of this visitation or "haunting" is Scrooge's chance to change.

In fiction, ghosts are guideposts or catalysts for change. They may also be a punishment to torment the wicked. Still in other tales, ghosts or spirits linger behind because their work or their lives are left unfinished… they either have some task that needs to be completed or they're unwilling to abandon their loved ones.

Whether you're sitting around the campfire, staying in an old hotel, or visiting a notorious location, the idea of ghosts lingering to share their tales is provocative. So much so, that people make a living of searching for or hunting for ghosts.

Do you believe in ghosts?

Recently divorced author MacKenzie Dillon has lost her writing mojo. When she inherits her great aunt's haunted house in Virginia, she is determined to make a new start. The creepy old house provides inspiration but at what cost?

Successful architect and paranormal skeptic Justin Kent returns to Penny Hollow to fulfill his father's dying wish of revitalizing their small town. To do that, he needs the allegedly haunted estate at Summerfield. Mac, the new owner, may be gorgeous and spunky, but she refuses to sell.

These two have a dangerous history that spans the ages, but will they discover the truth in time to save their lives?

Monday, September 5, 2016

Color of Romance

Hi everyone! I've missed being here and can only say I'm happy as heck to be back though I did over sleep. Occasionally personal things get in the way and it took a while to push them aside - but I'm back!

I've been busy writing and hope you've noticed! My latest series about vampires are all multicultural/interracial with MM and MMF storylines which started as one book. However, when characters begin conversing among themselves - that often changes. One wants a story, then another, and another... With them all, romance comes in many colors!

The Triumvirate started out as WHITE BLOOD, Cayson Covett and Jackson Reynold's story written for Nightshade Collections in honor of Loving Day in June of this year. I didn't see I WON'T STOP coming until Layne Indigo smacked me on the head and said: "Really? Did you expect I'd sit by quietly and let those other guys have all the sex...umm, I meant fun!" I'm glad he complained because I enjoyed writing his story. It was even better getting to know Julius Talmane in TWICE THE BURN. He kind of needled everyone in the first two stories and plain just screwed around living on the fringes of life but when he finds his mate, Isaiah 'Ice' Sims, and then falls for Layne's mother, things get pretty sticky considering Juls and Layne were once together! Watching him find happiness made me feel good and Julius' story has become my favorite.

They are all at All Romance Ebooks and Amazon.

Here's a bit from TWICE THE BURN:

Julius Talmane turns Isaiah Sims because he desires having him forever. The Triumvirate has little choice but to give its blessing considering Julius is not only its third member, he’s Layne Indigo’s best friend. What he didn’t see coming is falling for one woman he should never ever dream of touching.

One creature seizes Piara Kaur Indigo’s attention; another is thrown in her lap. Not only does she crave both, together, she intends to keep them. Their inability to hide shared carnal desires from Piara’s son, Layne, the strongest, most magical vampire alive, may well spin civilization toward destruction. Nature is on a rampage and no one is safe!

Normally better at camouflaging what he felt, Isaiah shivered as if someone walked over his grave. More importantly, why had the monster set up shop in his psyche? Bastard continued to sift through every open pathway stealing bits and pieces of his mundane life. “Get the fuck out!” he growled.
“Ice, dude!”
Looking up he realized not only the chef eyed him, two other employees peered at him through shelving. “I’ll be back.” Both men stepped aside when he limped past and headed up a flight of stairs to his spacious apartment. Locking the door, he immediately began to strip clothes off on the way to his bathroom. “No, no, not now, not a man.” Don’t let him see! Stepping in the shower, he set the faucet to spew tepid water down his body which, though it felt overheated, continued to tremble as though ice water sloshed through his veins. “I will kill you if I ever lay eyes on you.” Christ, he’d never felt one like this, not attached to every sensual nerve linked to his brain cells, not burrowed so deep inside him… “Jesus, God, help me.” He allowed water to sluice down his back while soaping his chest and belly. Reaching his crotch, he begged, “Please, please don’t watch me.”
* * *
Julius had dematerialized and ended standing in front of a mirror in his suite’s bathroom thinking first thing he should do is inform Layne. Empathic individuals were scarce and many of those surviving had been mustered by vampires into service, their abilities honed and used as instruments against their own people.
“Not him, not Isaiah Sims. Leave him be.” Julius never desired anyone this much except… No! He thought he’d shoved her from his mind. Falling the fuck apart. Ignoring his own advice, Julius planted himself in the man’s psyche where Isaiah discovered him immediately, felt Julius’ furtive tentacles reach into every corner of his brain snatching parts of his life. “Christ, he almost controls his power.” Many empaths shut down completely by leaving society and they subsisted away from anything living. Some lost their minds and lived out remaining days in mental institutions while many more, unable to handle the cacophony of voices as well as feelings rattling through their heads, ended their lives before they even reached adulthood.
Julius had travelled up steps with Ice and entered a large apartment where he undressed, scrambled through an airy room into his bathroom, and turning water on, he stepped under a cool spray. Julius grasped every move, he even began to stroke his cock in time with Ice until he made a fantastic discovery. His heart thundered at learning Isaiah had yet to give himself to a man, take pleasure the way he always dreamed. “Mine!” Julius exclaimed.
Trying to remain quietly ensconced in Isaiah’s head wasn’t easy. In fact, he failed miserably as his own neediness swept through his body and rendered his dick so hard his vision blurred, but then Isaiah pleaded, Please, please don’t watch me. Agony in his words dropped Julius to one knee.
Julius Talmane’s existence had become one of imparting pleasure to anyone interested. Stay in his head, give him what he craves. “What the fuck!” Julius, unable to regain his feet, couldn’t find it in himself to disobey such a heartfelt cry. “I can’t do this,” he whispered as he relinquished Isaiah’s mind.

The Triumvirate books 1 & 2
When bitten, blood runs in one color.
Cayson left Jackson and he's pissed off—Jack has one question: "How many vampires banged your ass?"

Ancient blood runs deep and it's much colder!
Layne Indigo threw a racist prick out the window of a high rise office building in White Blood. See what he's up to in the second Triumvirate story

Hope you get to enjoy my bloody boys!

They are all at All Romance Ebooks and Amazon.

“Life is complicated, it’s loud. Death arrives silently.” - From TWICE THE BURN

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

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Things That Go Bump In the Night...

by Maureen L. Bonatch

—or at least like to change your favorite television show

I believe the house we used to live in was haunted.

As a paranormal/fantasy author you’d think this observation would thrill me. Not. So. Much. Turns out, I’m very happy to experience the paranormal world in my writing, in books, and movies but not too happy to run into it in the real world.

Lucky for us, the ‘ghost’ wasn’t threatening in any real way. More of a “hey, I’m here” kind of behavior. I assumed our uninvited houseguest was the woman who used to live in the house showing her displeasure that we couldn’t maintain her once gorgeous flower gardens. But I had absolutely no green thumb and the hubs had accidently (or intentionally?) plowed over some of the overgrown plants in his efforts to get the ungainly yard back under control.

Hey, I’m Here

Our otherworldly guest left little clues that ‘she’ was still hanging around like…

  • The stove burner turned on
  • The door to the garage slowly opening
  • The dog staring into an empty room, growling at something unseen
  • A radio (which initially resisted turning off) blaring on in the basement while I slept
  • A Christmas decoration, long packed away, beginning to play when I approached the box
  • Every night when I watched my favorite show she’d change the channel. (I’m guessing she didn’t approve of my choice in sitcom.)

Eventually she moved on as the occurrences diminished and then disappeared leaving me silently relieved that I hadn’t pushed her over the edge and forced her to drag me out of bed if one of my feet escaped the protection and security of the blanket.

What Happens in the Fiction World, Stays in the Fiction World

After some contemplation, I’ve come to realize that experiencing the paranormal in the fiction world, does provide a small level of security since some things can always be relied upon. Applying these certainties from fiction/movies provides me with an irrational level of comfort.

  • Bad things only happen at night

I could be in the same place, and hear the exact same noise, but it provokes a certain level of terror if it’s dark outside. Somehow the evil, unearthly forces retreat when the sun rises as my shield of protection. Too bad mister ghost, the sun just rose, I’m in the safe zone.
  • Blankets can protect you from anything

No matter how old I get there is still a certain comfort and security found under the protection of a blanket. “Oh wait, is that a ghost/vampire/monster I heard? Quick! Get under the blanket until it leaves. It will never be able to penetrate this polyester shield!”
  • Killers never run

In just about every horror movie I’ve ever seen that features a helpless (and usually clumsy) victim fleeing from some kind of a monster. The victim is running full force yet still can’t seem to outrun the slow stride of the approaching evil. (Thus validating my personal abhorrence of running)
  • Start to worry if it gets too quiet

Ok, this only works in the movies, but it’s my cue to avert my attention so I don’t toss my popcorn or inadvertently scream. This tactic is probably intended to build suspense, but it also has the inadvertent effect of reducing spilled drinks and bruises on boyfriend/husband’s arms.
  • The music is your first clue

Grab the chair arms and hold your breath—cause something wicked this way comes. Again, this only works in the movies—unless you’re like me and constantly have music on the mind. Then you might have your own ominous tune starting up as your heart races when you turn the page.

So tell me, what do you do when something goes bump in the night?

    Moon, Mist & Magic 
     Get ready to be enchanted by mythical beasts, magical creatures, and moonlit nights. 
     Enjoy your favorite author, and perhaps discover someone new, in these five fantastic tales of paranormal romance woven with moon, mist, and magic…

Featuring Stories by
Maureen L. Bonatch, Abigail Owen,
 J.C. McKenzie, Sharon Saracino & L.A. Kelley

About Maureen
Maureen writes stories in the beautiful state of Pennsylvania that boast laughter, light suspense and something magical in the hope of sharing her love of finding the extraordinary in the ordinary world. She writes Paranormal Romance and Fantasy.

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