Sunday, October 30, 2016

My Ghost Tale!

A Ghost Tale

There is never any proof. That is the most frustrating thing about ghost stories, isn't it? But so many people have one. Mine is fairly tame. My hubby, one the other hand--his  is so scary he joined a religious group (which turned out to be just about as scary, but that is a whole other tale).

I grew up with the creepy delight of monsters and vampires, Halloween costumes and Trick or Treating, all very classic Baby Boomer activities. Loved Halloween, loved the candy. My mother liked to dress me in cute costumes like Little Red Riding Hood. Since I grew up in Billings, Montana, the costumes included a winter coat.

When I was in college in Billings another girl and I rented a basement apartment near the college. The old lady we rented from told us not to be alarmed if we saw an old man down there, the basement had once been her husbands' shop. He died some years ago, but renters sometimes saw him in the basement.

Patty and I dismissed this nonsense.

That fall, I was once again plagued by strep, bronchitis, asthma and a flare up of Epstein Barr, which happened throughout my teens and twenties when I got run down. Luckily we lived near the hospital, where Patty had a part time job. She helped me walk to the ER for many meds, and we took a taxi back.

I went to bed and drank a little water now and then, and missed a bunch of classes. My parents decided I needed to live on campus, which I wasn't happy about. But getting through finals wore me out, so I crashed in bed, waiting for the parents to arrive. They were going to help me pack and set me up in the dorms before Christmas. Patty went home for Christmas and had a roomie lined up.

Yup, sick again, running a fever, and alone with asthma crap. My brothers had moved to the oil fields to work, college was out, the weather was cold, like usual in Billings. I went to bed in a bit of a mood!

Sometime in the night I was woken by a man speaking my name very sharply, almost a metallic quality to the voice, hard to explain. Like a rifle shot. No one was in my apartment and the door was locked. I moved to the living room and dozed with the TV on. My parents and little sister arrived the next day so I never spent another night alone in that apartment.

More than a year later, close to college graduation, I lived in yet another apartment with two girls. This was in a regular apartment complex, not  a basement. It had nice windows overlooking the north side Rimrocks, sandstone cliffs.

In the early spring I was once again sleeping. I don't recall being sick, just sleeping. I had the smaller bedroom to myself, my roomates shared the master bedroom.

A sharp voice called my name, that same cracking bullet quality as I had heard before. My eyes flew open I. I glimpsed a man, dressed in a dark overcoat and hat like business men wore with their suits, like my dad wore. He vanished. It was daylight. I don't recall his face, but he was not a young man.

Same ghost? I think so. I don't know what he wanted, or if he was trying to help or harm.  Maybe I was having an asthma attack or quit breathing? Don't know.

I've never had another ghost encounter--and I no longer live in Billings!

Melisse Aires

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Unleashing His Roar by @MeganSlayer ~ A Sanctuary Tale #contemporary #paranormal #mmromance #lionshifter

Since I'm away from my desk, I thought I'd spotlight my latest release, Unleashing His Roar. I'm very fond of this series and can't wait to get back to their world. Once I get a few more projects done, then it's back to Sanctuary. Until then, here's a little bit about the book. Enjoy!!

Unleashing His Roar  
Sanctuary, Book 7Megan SlayerM/M, Anal Sex, MasturbationParanormal, Contemporary, Lion Shifters/Panther ShiftersFrom Resplendence PublishingCover 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:

EXCERPT:©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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Friday, October 28, 2016

Dwarf by Barbara Edwards

The first thought most people have about a dwarf is one of the seven dwarves in Snow White. Disney did a wonderful job of introducing them as cute, friendly helpful beings. It isn’t until the chase of the wicked witch that their violent side is revealed. 

The dwarves in the Hobbit are more frightening. they are determined to fight for their goal. Dwarves are in Norse mythology, German and several others. they are ususally depicted as short and ugly.

Having a dwarf in your garden is a way to protect your property from attack. You should carefully check to see if they’ve moved during the night. This indicates they are paroling. 

Many of the popular video games feature fighting dwarves. 

I have three dwarves right now and am looking for more. it’d not easy to find the right ones. I have policeman who is a play-off of my retired policeman husband. I have a gardener with a wheelbarrow for my love of gardening. then the last is a dwarf sitting and watching. I put him under some large leaves and he kept guard. 

My next paranormal will have dwarves in their more common role of miners guarding treasure. Its been interesting researching them. 

I know they need help from my heroine to keep their treasure safe. And my hero doesn’t believe in magic so here we go. I plan to have it ready next year.

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

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Chinese Halloween

Western cultures have traditional days of the dead or ghost days, part of tribal folk religions before the advent of Christianity. In Britain, Halloween originated from the Celts who believed the last day of October was when ghosts crossed the boundary from the spirit world to ours. On the other side of the world, the Chinese hold a similar belief. On the days of the Ghost Month and especially on the night of the full moon, a bridge exists between the here and hereafter, and people take additional precautions to honor the dead. If a spirit isn’t kept happy, perhaps because of an unfortunate death, improper burial or no descendants to perform rituals, it becomes a ghost (sometimes called a hungry ghost.) Ghosts aren’t necessarily evil. Some are just, let’s say, dis-spirited. Ghosts may attack human beings to prompt them to meet their needs or at least draw attention to their plight.

Ceremonies guard against vengeful spirits and honor ancestors or famous people of the past. In return, happy ghosts can be helpful. Ghosts receive the most attention during Ghost Month, the seventh month in the Chinese lunar year. The Hungry Ghost Festival occurs when the moon is full near the end of summer. For this reason, it’s often referred to as Chinese Halloween.

The First Day of Hungry Ghost Month
One the first day of the month, the gates of the spirit world open wide and an army of hungry ghosts leave to haunt the living, eat food, drink wine, and collect ghost money. (Sounds like Sunday supper at my house.) People put up red painted paper lanterns in businesses and residences and burn make-believe paper money in towns, along roadsides, in fields or temples. Incense is lit and sacrifices of food offered to the hungry, unhappy ghosts. The belief is ghosts won't create mischief or throw curses after eating food sacrifices and collecting money. (I have the same belief about my relatives.)

The Last Day of Hungry Ghost Month
The last day of the seventh lunar month has a special festival to celebrate the closing of the afterlife’s gates. Colorful papers are burned, symbolizing money, clothing or luxury objects for ghosts to take back with them. Lanterns made from wood and paper are inscribed with ancestors’ names and floated at night down a river so ghosts follow the lights to the spirit realm. Taoist monks even have a chant thought to be unpleasant enough to force any reluctant stragglers to hurry on their way.

Safe Practices for Ghost Month
Customs vary from place to place, but here are a few simple rules to follow to keep safe during the Ghost Month:

Don’t stay out late. You may run into a ghost.

Don’t spit on a tree. It can offend its spirit.

Don’t step on or kick the ashes of offerings on the street.

Don’t whistle alone at night. Something may sing along with you.

Don’t walk at night near walls unless you want to attract a ghost to your peripheral vision.

Don’t turn your head if patted on the shoulder from behind. The hand may not be from a human.

Don’t swim at night. Something in the water may pull your legs.

About the Author
L. A. Kelley writes fantasy/sci-fi adventure stories with humor, romance, and a touch of sass. You can connect at


Wednesday, October 26, 2016

The True Sorcerer by Victoria Craven

When we think of sorcery we always think of Merlin, the conjurer of magic and wise sage to King Arthur. Not really a Halloween character but definitely noteworthy. But legends of sorcery are attributed to many things witchcraft is known for. They’re believed to raise the dead, place ghastly curses on people who offended them, and called the devil from hell.
Throughout history, men have claimed to wield the supernatural. The world will always have its wizards. Here are 5 suspicious characters:

The Sorcerer of Trois-Freres
The Sorcerer of Trois-Freres, France is one of the earliest depictions of sorcery in human history. He was a mix of man and animal, with human limbs, a pronounced penis, and an animal body with antlers. Obviously, a man drew that picture. Though scholarly debate surrounds his identity, the Sorcerer is believed to be either a shaman or a god who held sway over the people inhabiting his area.
Perhaps even more interesting than the Sorcerer himself are those who painted him. The cave is theorized to be a place of gathering, where rituals were performed to ensure a large bounty during hunts. The Sorcerer, if he was indeed a god, would have been a god of sorcery presiding over a coven of prehistoric wizards. If the Sorcerer represented an actual man, however, he could be likened to a prehistoric Merlin.
The Black Constable
Charleston, South Carolina has a long history of voodoo, and its deadliest voodoo sorcerer was named John Domingo. He wore a silver ring in the shape of a serpent that he claimed could raise the dead. This supposed necromancer used his undead to enforce his own brand of law, earning him the nickname “Black Constable.” It was said that sailors would buy wind from him to ensure a safe journey. He could also create storms their way if he felt offended. Despite his unrivaled clout, legend says that he met a sudden and mysterious end.
He had just apprehended two suspected robbers. Dragging them through the street, one in each hand, he compared himself to Jesus with a thief on either side. Except, thought Domingo, he himself was more powerful. According to the story, he then felt invisible fingers draw him up on his toes, choking the life out of him. Legends say his ghost can still be seen walking the streets.

St. Cyprian

Legend says that St. Cyprian was a magician of Antioch in league with the devil. At the request of an amorous young man, he conjured a demon to arouse the maiden Justina so that the youth could seduce her. Justina recognized the attack on her sanctity and defeated the demon by making the sign of the cross.
His magic thwarted, Cyprian summoned the devil himself to tempt the maiden, but he was defeated in same manner. Disgusted that Satan could be beaten by a mere maiden Cyprian cast off his sorcery and converted to Christianity. In time, he became the bishop of Antioch and was martyred for his faith.
The Magician of Marblehead
The Magician of Marblehead was resident of Little Harbor, Marblehead in Massachusetts; Edward “John” Dimond was feared as an alternately benevolent and malevolent sorcerer.
Darker legends say that he was a necromancer who dug up graves for his diabolical arts. According to stories, Dimond would go to the local cemetery during storms and cry into the wind, hailing distant ships at sea. When in a benevolent mood, his voice could be heard by captains thundering above storms, telling them the right course. Other times, when a captain offended him, Dimond, would curse them and send storms to capsize their ships.

Michael Scot
Michael Scot was one of the most influential European intellectuals of the 13th century. Unfortunately for him, history remembers him as not a scholar but a sorcerer.
Scot had a fascination with the occult and treated it with just as much enthusiasm as more orthodox subjects. In Scot’s time, any European with Middle Eastern learning would have been respected and even feared. But Scot also took to dressing in an Arab gown, fueling the belief that he was indeed a sorcerer. Sound like anyone you know? I’ll give you a hint. Think King Arthur.

After his death, other feats were attributed to him, such as changing the course of the river Tweed, drawing rope from sand, and even cleaving the Eildon Hills of Scotland into three separate cones. His reputation earned him a spot in Dante’s Inferno, where he was punished eternally in the level of hell reserved for wizards.

Of course these are not creatures so to speak but they certainly dealt with demons, the undead and the Devil himself.

Who knew Merlin would have such malevolent counter parts?

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Taking a Bite Out of Romance

by Nancy Gideon

From late night “Creature Feature” to Thursday’s Must Watch “Supernatural,” I’m a sucker for creatures you can sink your teeth into. There’s nothing like a toothsome hero. Dark, tormented, powerful, and yet vulnerable in ways only the heroine (and the reader) can understand. No wonder my two long-running paranormal Touched by Midnight and By Moonlight series are built upon the mystique of my two favorites – vampires and shapeshifters. There’s something irresistible about a being so dangerous humbled by the one thing it can’t control – love.

My new release (as of yesterday!) celebrates the ultimate deadly, damaged and bad boy deliciousness of the shapeshifter House of Terriot, first introduced in the By Moonlight series and now featured in a four book spin-off starting with PRINCE OF HONOR. Enjoy a taste . . .

The hunter becomes the prey, a prisoner to his own desire . . .

Turow . . .

Strong, silent man of integrity content to serve his new king as a prince in the turbulent shape-shifter House of Terriot. A tracker and relentless hunter, he’s used to running trails alone until charged with returning a traitor to their mountain top home to face the unforgiving judgment of their clan. On the run with the bad girl he’s loved forever, the choice between duty and desire has never been more difficult . . . or deadly.

Could the bargain made to save their lives become reality?

Sylvia . . .

Manipulative schemer or victim caught between a mother’s ambition and a rogue prince’s lust for power? Trust is almost as foreign as the idea of love, but to save herself from certain death, she must risk both on the good man who deserves them . . . from someone worthy. Trapped by the only one who believes in her goodness, will she betray him and run for her life . . . or stay and destroy him with a long hidden truth?

Deadly, Damaged, and Delicious!
Brothers too H.o.T. to Handle!

While you’re sampling this non-caloric holiday treat, I’m busy finishing the final chapters of PRINCE OF POWER so it can howl before the end of the year.

Have a hauntingly wonderful Halloween!!



Turow was the only one, other than Cale, who shortened her name that way. Before, it had always annoyed her, his familiarity stripping away the distance she preferred to keep between herself and others. Now, that rumbled intimacy did the opposite, drawing her closer, where outside influence held no sway.

“Syl, let me protect you. I swear, on my life, no one will ever harm you.”

She touched his face, his bold, beast face, reveling in the strength she’d always known dwelt within him. She touched his mouth, first with her fingertips, feeling the fierce cut of his teeth beneath the yielding softness of his lips, then with her own, slowly, prudently, until his tongue touched and mated with hers. A fierce vibration shook through him, harsh, hungry. Oh, he was exciting, barely restrained, dangerous and hers to control . . . if she could . . . but of course she could.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Nancy Gideon on the Web

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Killing the Faerie:from the Book of Cautionary Tales

Killing the Faerie: from the Book of Cautionary Tales
By Francesca Quarto
“For the last time!  Who gives a wasp wing?”
Randell Pearson was livid with his wife.  She had little concept of what made him happy and none of what made him furious.
A Wizard of little repute among his peers, he found her doubting him at every turn, a blow to his ego.  His deep insecurity made the criticism even worse.
Today, Halloween Eve, he was in a determined frame of mind, despite Katrina’s harangue.
“You can’t kill a Faerie, Randell; there will be horrible retribution to be paid by you; perhaps even by us!” she said imploringly.
“This will prove my abilities beyond any doubt.  I shall be elected as Prime Wizard to his Majesty…a giant among my fellows!”
“Besides, this Faerie is an evil runt, who has delighted in tormenting me the whole of my Wizarding life.  He has inspired my fellow Wizards to jeer me behind my robe and placed curses upon me so that I slowly shrink in height.”
It was all true; Randell lost his lofty frame of six feet and three inches over time, currently standing at barely five feet in his shoes. 
Randell had a plan he’d long ruminated over. 
Capture King Alfred’s attention and by the bold act of killing a Faerie, force his fellow Wizards to elevate him to the highest post in Alfred’s Kingdom; Wizard Guardian of the Books.
These volumes held every kind of Magical theory, ward, spell and any relevant guides to performing Magic.  There were only one dozen of these great treatises, written by long progressed Wizards and Witches. 
 “Randell, you mustn’t attempt this folly” Katrina pleaded yet again.
Her husband was young and impetuous, something her mother had warned her about before they wed.
“He’s too young and inexperienced pet; only one century and fifteen years with no Magical credentials either.” She had cautioned.
But Katrina loved the handsome boy and threw her mother’s words to the wind running away with him.
“This Faerie shall fall to me!  I have been taunted long enough as he demeans my skill at Magic. And see me!  I am shrunken by his very curse!
Now, I’ll show him and the others, before he has a chance to blink his yellow eyes!”
Halloween Eve, Randell stepped out of his small cottage on the rim of the Blue Marsh and into the gathering dusk.
Katrina had left for the Annual Spirit Fest, urging caution one last time and kissing him a fond good bye.  She knew his venture would end badly, but his fate was his alone and she had Magic to do.
Randell found the tight cluster of tree houses where the Faerie clan of the Shannon had lived for eons without count. 
He moved stealthily, not wanting to give away his presence.
They’ll know me soon enough he thought with a tight smile.
He had brought with him his mentor’s staff, willed to him at his progression, not many years earlier.  It contained all the power the old Wizard stored in it, before he left this realm. 
Randell held it in front like a Matador’s cape, creeping on his soft leather slippers, circling the one tree home where he knew the hated Fay to live. 
He chanted his strongest spell and laid down wards to prevent his foe escaping the terror he was about to unleash.
Just as he finished his Magical machinations, he heard something riding the wind.  A chuckle, like water splashing over the rocks of a fast stream.
He abruptly stopped.  Searching the gloom around him and he pricked his ears for the sound to reemerge from the murky night.
There! He thought alarmed.  Someone is laughing…
He turned in a tight circle trying to locate the being hidden in the shadows of the Faeries tree homes.
“Show yourself, coward!” he hissed into the fearsome dark.
“Tsk, Tsk!  Wizard.  Tis you who skulk about on this Hallowed Eve. Why are ye creepin’ about like some unholy wraith, I might ask ye?”
The Faerie dropped his camouflage of vine and bark and stepped away from the side of the tree home closest to the Wizard.
“We Faeries have been watching ye Randell.  Yer plan to come here ta savage me, has marked ye fer me wrath. Are ye ready to receive yer just pudding?”
Randell was undone by the Faerie’s threat and raised his staff to ward it off. 
The Faerie merely laughed again.
He smirked into the Wizards terrified face.
“Oh, tis not yerself alone that shall bear me curse.  Fetch ye home en see what ye have done.”
The Faerie blinked out of sight.  Randell felt a deep chill burrow into his very marrow.
He sprinted like a yearling deer for his own abode.  He was nearly there when his body became sluggish, his legs moved as if through heavy syrup.  He dragged himself an inch at a time, until he reached his door.
But it wasn’t anything like his own door; it had shortened until it seemed only passable by a field mouse.
His house, was shrunken, looking from his view above it, like a shriveled mushroom.
“What is this evil art?” Randell screamed out into the tops of the trees surrounding his miniature cottage.
Vaguely, he became aware of his own size.  He was gigantic, too big to enter any human’s house, let alone his own diminutive domicile.
His head brushed the trees that would normally have blocked the floating moon.  
Now, he not only had a clear view of the witches passing across its face, but he saw over the tree tops to the distant River Shannon, several kilometers away.
There was another chuckle tickling his ear.
“Randell Pearson, ye will be a giant among yer Wizard peers after all” said his Faerie tormentor.
“Be careful not to squish yer wee wife.  And before I leave, one last ting…

Be careful what ye wish fer, “Giant among Wizards!”

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Halloween Monsters: Frankenstein's Monster

Frakenstein's monster. Of all the Halloween-related monsters, this one is perhaps my favorite. Sounds crazy, right? Vampires, werewolves, ghosts, and now even zombies have become sexy. Though how you make rotting flesh and eating brains sexy is a question for another day. 

These days monsters are written into paranormal romance novels and movies as the romantic heroes. But not Frankenstein's monster. Poor guy. And I have to wonder why not?!? (I mean if zombies can make the list...)

Frankenstein, to a certain extent, is the grand-daddy of today's traditional Halloween monsters. The character was conceived by a woman--which is awesome. Mary Shelley wrote the book and published it anonymously in 1818. It was written as a bet between herself, her eventual husband Percy Shelley, Lord Byron, and John Polidori. The bet was to see who could come up with the most terrifying story. And, for originality, I would say Mary won it hands down.

In 1819, Polidori wrote The Vampyre - what is considered to be the literary precursor to all vampire books, including Bram Stoker's Dracula which wasn't published until 1879. But Polidori's book was still based on local folklore. Shelley's was purely from her own imagination. And what makes Shelley's book terrifying is the reality of the situation. While vampires are scary in their other-worldly powers, Frankenstein's monster is a tragic figure, born of modern science.

The real monster is Dr. Viktor Frankenstein himself. The "monster" created at the hands of Dr. Frankenstein, and then rejected outright by that man, is, in my opinion, someone to be pitied, helped, and loved. Granted, in the end the monster murders several people, but those acts are direct response to the life of cruelty he must endure alone. And the murders are acts of revenge against his creator.

While Mary Shelley does describe the monster--who is never given a name--as hideous, it wasn't until Boris Karlof's portrayal in the 1931 move Frankenstein, that the green skinned, flat headed monster with the bolts in his neck became the popular and iconic image. In my opinion, this image is part of why this monster hasn't transitioned in literature and movies the way his peers have.

Personally, I feel there is great potential here for this monster to find his place among the contemporary romantic heroes like vampires and werewolves. If you go back to the basic concept, this person is actually just a bunch of body parts from many different people, sewn together and then stimulated to bring it to life. The scars would be very much a part of who he is. But the original monster only wanted to be loved and accepted. He even asked for a female counterpart to be made so that he wouldn't be lonely.

So next time you think about writing a paranormal romance, consider taking on Frankenstein's monster - and give the poor man a name while you're at it. Even monsters need love.

“...once I falsely hoped to meet the beings who, pardoning my outward form, would love me for the excellent qualities which I was capable of unfolding.” - Frankenstein's monster

Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Creatures, Crawlers, and Shapeshifters by C.J. Burright

Halloween is my favorite holiday because it gives me a valid excuse to dress up and scare people, no judgment. Add in copious amounts of chocolate, and it’s a win-win. But along with all the personal fun, Halloween also draws people to the scary and supernatural. Maybe it has something to do with the time change, less daylight, and the rumored thinning of the veil between worlds. Whatever the reason, it’s a great time to explore some paranormal, and one of my favorite creepy creatures are the shapeshifters in all their various forms.

Shapeshifting mythology has roots in many different countries, and most of the stories link shapeshifters with trickery and deceit, hunting and killing weak humans. Sure, werewolves and vampires are common knowledge, but there are more variations than a fanged dead dude who transforms into a bat or a sexy beast of a man who becomes a slathering wolf at the full moon. Here are a few of my favorite, lesser known shapeshifters.

Leshy – Slavic. Hang out in forests and usually appear as tall men, but can change into plant or animal form, from moss to the mightiest oak. If you see a peasant with glowing green eyes, watch out! He might tickle you…to death.

Kitsune – A Japanese fox that can take human form, usually a beautiful woman, girl or grandpa. Not only can they clone your appearance, the can manifest in dreams. Worse, they have the ability to weave an illusion so real, their victims believe the alternate reality, sometimes going mad. Have a pet dog? Take it with you. Kitsunes hate the puppies.

Skinwalkers – Navajos call them yee naaldlooshii (don’t ask me to pronounce it). They are a variety of witch who can not only take the forms of wild animals, but also steal your face. If you lock gazes with them, they’ll go all bodysnatcher on you. And they might decide just to murder you…with poison powder made from corpse dust, ground infant bones, to be exact.

Rakshasa – nasty Hindu creatures who eat human flesh. If you’re a Supernatural fan, you might remember the episode with the Rakshasa who changed into a clown, followed children home from the circus, and until the Winchesters showed up, let’s just say there weren’t any fun balloon animals. Clowns are scary. Don’t trust them. Period.

V’alkara – from my Dreamcaster world. Not only do these guys feed off nightmares, they can change into the very creatures in their victim’s dream, from fanged, fuzzy bunnies to fire-breathing demon horses. They aren’t afraid to kill if someone gets in their way, and some of them have a serious sweet tooth, so fair warning. Don’t steal any candy from something that looks like it belongs in a nightmare.

With trick-or-treating adventures around the corner, shorter days, and magic seeping through from other realms, you never know what might be behind the masks, human appearance or not.

What’s your favorite type of shifter?

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Creature Feature-Jinn by Author Elizabeth Alsobrooks

The Jinn have always fascinated me, from a very young age. Aladdin’s Lamp is probably the first contact most American children have with a “genie”. It seemed so dark and mysterious to me. In my era, we also had “I Dream of Jeannie,” with Barbara Eden, a sit-comedy. Then, Disney came out with an animated version of Aladdin’s Lamp and it was a romance in the style of Cinderella and the westernization was complete.
The reason that I mention westernization is that the Jinn are understood to be much more than a children’s tale by much of the world. The word Jinn itself comes from the Arabic al-jinn, Romanized as djinn, or anglicized as genies--most common among Americans. [The plural is actually Jinn, as in the Jinn species, and the singular is jinni.]

Islamic belief divides conscious beings into three species: the angels (malayka), the hidden ones (jinn), and humankind (nas, or banu adam). Both the Quran and Hermetic texts speak about Jinn, describing their creation, their abilities and their purpose.  Angels were created first, from light, and, “Indeed We created man from dried clay of black smooth mud.  And We created the Jinn before that from the smokeless flame of fire.” (Quran 15:26-27) Angels are not considered to possess free will, which is why in Islamic thought Satan is a jinn because an angel could not have chosen to be evil or to turn against the Almighty. Jinn have many other characteristics besides free will in common with humankind. They eat and drink and though it is frowned upon and forbidden have been known to have sex with and even marry humans and have children.

That’s where the similarities end. Jinn are tricksters, even those who chose to be good are often interfering and considered less than trustworthy. They are incredibly strong and fast and live for hundreds or even thousands of years (it’s unclear exactly how long). One explained to King Solomon that they could carry a heavy object a great distance in the twinkling of an eye.  Jinn can fly and become invisible. They are also magical shape shifters, able to take on whatever form they want, or even possess an object or person, as in demon possession. Scary creatures indeed!

There are a variety of jinn, varying from place to place and region to region. In Egypt, there are female jinn who inhabit the canals and tributaries of the Nile and lure men to their deaths, like the sirens from western cultures, but these legends don’t appear elsewhere in the Arab world.  
There are generally 5 types of Jinn. Marid are the classic genies of folklore, big barrel-chested with booming voices. They are often associated with water. Effrit are intelligent and cunning and thought to live in societies similar to humans, in caves and underground dwellings. Those of you who were True Blood fans, may remember that there was an Effrit during the last season. They are generally demonic, and this is the type of jinn over which King Solomon is said in the Quran to have had power. I drew from this particular legend to write, “The Opal Ring,” in my newest release, and the jinni in my story is the same one once enslaved by King Solomon with an opal ring.
There are also Ghouls. These have traveled north and west to become common in English language terms as undead monsters. Ghouls are thought to be zombie-like jinn who haunt graveyards and prey on human flesh. They are incapable of goodness and have low intelligence. The Sila are a talented shape shifter form of jinn. They are more tolerant of humans and are usually portrayed as females. They are rarely seen, but are thought to be similar to seelie, from the Middle English word for “good faerie.”  Finally, there are the Vetala, the original vampires, semi-malevolent spirits from ancient Indian (as opposed to Native American) folklore. They can possess human corpses and prevent them from decaying, to trick humans into believing the Vetala is an ordinary person. They are thought to have psychic powers and be able to foresee the future and the past.

I've included a link to an awesome movie on magicians being aided by jinn (which you read about in my new release below, too!). It's a long show 2 1/2 hours, so if you find it interesting you may want to bookmark it for when you have the time, but it's really interesting. The collection and comments by David Copperfield alone were fascinating to me as I saw him live in the 70s!

So I guess, the Jinn are an entire cast of creatures until themselves. There’s plenty of fodder here for many a future tale, and if you’d like to see what I’ve done with a Jinn tale, pick up a copy of my new release! It’s an Amazon Bestselling Hot New Release Anthology! And since it’s October, I’m donating $1 to Breast Cancer research in memory of my mom for every copy I sell, and Tell-Tale Publishing is donating 1% of all their October sales of the anthology to BCR!

"The Opal Ring" Upon the death of her mother, Jasmine accompanies her distracted, grief-stricken father to her perverted uncle's hotel in Cairo, Egypt. She takes her mother's job and becomes the magician's assistant and also learns to enhance her father's magic with spells discovered from her mother's Book of Shadows. They carry on, but all is not as it seems. Behind the glitz and glamour the smiling fa├žade is a true illusion. Jasmine is in danger and needs to escape the gilded cage in which she's imprisoned. Her magic, though strong, is not powerful enough, so she plans to use a talisman she acquires from an antiquities dealer with the help of her one true friend, Ahmed, the hotel's security assistant. The legendary ring of King Solomon will enable her to control a terrifying but powerful jinni. He will boost her father's magic enough to secure a contract in Vegas so they can return to America.  But at what cost? 

Monday, October 17, 2016

The Amazing World of the Paranormal ~ @oddlynn3 #LynnCrain #ParanormalRomantics

Hi everyone ~ this is my very first blog post here at Paranormal Romantics and I’m very happy to be here. First, let me apologize for being late. I have lost a day somewhere in there and thought today was only the 16th. If you look at the blog, you can tell I added my bio and my book cover…all in anticipation of the 17th’s blog post…and here I almost missed it! Bad me!

I need to let you all know that I write everything from super hot contemporary to hard core science fiction but the worlds I love best to do are those in the paranormal realm. There is nothing more magical than building your own world then making things happen in that world. I love all sorts of things that go bump in the night and have written books about vampires, shifters, paranormal hunters and investigators and even time traveling detectives intent upon saving our world as we know it.

I love the lore and ideas that are steeped within the paranormal. It’s amazing many of our fears come from our original superstitions against things we didn’t understand. Things like werewolves and vampires and even things like wendigos can all find their basis within the history of human kind.

The idea of vampires have existed for millennia going as far back as Mesopotamia but the current phenomena as we know it has only been around since the 18th century. It comes mainly from Europe and come from the verbal traditions of the many ethnic groups of the area. They were thought evil beings who preyed on the living to get their sustenance while at the same time passing along their evil. In many areas, it became so pervasive that there were public executions of people who were thought to be these beings.

Werewolves have also been around for a long, long time. Some early sources of their existence remain in the works of the Roman Petronius (27-66) and the European Gervase of Tilbury (1150-1228).  It mainly came about as people tried to come to grips with their new Christian faith and the folklore of their area. I could write a whole paper on the specifics as there is so much documentation as to when this phenomena came to be. Unfortunately, it was lumped together with the witch-trials and there were many people who were persecuted or killed if someone in power thought they were a werewolf.

Wendigos are much more interesting as they actually arose from Algonquian folklore right here in the new world. It is associated with cannibalism, murder and insatiable greed. The monster can have characteristics of a human or a spirit who has possessed a human. This creature also has a modern medical equivalent called Wendigo psychosis that some indigenous communities see as environmental destruction and insatiable greed to get money. It is a very interesting phenomena.

But I love things a little more closer to home. One of my current works-in-progress is about a psychic paranormal investigator with the touch, meaning psychometry, who is pushed into the world of paranormal. Serenity Donovan is without the training her mother would have given had she lived. But since she doesn’t, she has to learn for herself. In wanting to know the character, I’ve been writing her diaries and short stories from the time she was left alone until the first novel occurs. She has a sexy ghost for a side-kick and I can’t wait to introduce everyone to this character. The first month of her diary and short story will be available November 1 on my series blog, The JR Chronicles. Here’s a little sneak peak of both:

January 2009

1 ~ Mom always said I should take notes and I guess today’s the day I start. I miss her. I miss her telling me what to do, how to handle JR and…well…just everything. Not much of a way to start a new business, is it?

2 ~ Second day and the phone hasn’t made a sound. Did Mom have to wait this long?

3 ~ I’m telling you. I’m going crazy. I mean who wouldn’t in my position. I have been studying for this since I can remember. And that’s not all I can remember. The number one thing on that list…meeting Jasper Ryan or JR for short depending on my mood…I mean, it’s not every day a girl meets a ghost and then gets told he will always be her partner. Geez…I was only nine when I first saw him…glad I never told my Mom then. I’m sure she’d be smacking me on my head for thinking he’s hot now. Actually more than hot. How about incredible?

4 ~ Other than drooling over JR again, da nada. How many ways can one say nothing?

Spring’s Pesky Imp

I’m sure you think this is about the season. It isn’t. It’s all about the imp who was terrorizing those who waited for the Vegas bus in the town square of Spring, Nevada.
Spring should have been a ghost town by now but with its proximity to Sin City and the mountains still loaded with silver, it had managed somehow to limp into the 21st century. Today, strewn amongst the historic homes, there were tract houses along with the inevitable mansions of the wealthy, none of whom were famous beyond the borders of Nevada. Many casino execs didn’t want their families in the city and came to Spring to live their idyllic dream in a small town.
But today isn’t even about the imp. It’s about my ability to make it go away, leave the fair people of my hometown to their own devices and therefore, none the wiser, for the supernatural event happening in their midst.

And finally, here’s the logline for the first novel in this series called Angels and Demons ~

A mystery, a ghost and me…how much fun can one girl have?

What do you all think? I’d be happy to hear from you, so don’t forget to leave a comment and you’ll be thrown into my monthly drawing for a $25 Amazon Gift Certificate. See you next month!