Wednesday, October 31, 2012

A Treat to All On Halloween! Enjoy!

Twilight's Eternal Embrace free to All Trick or Treaters at Amazon.
(Offer good until Nov. 2nd.)

Thank you to everyone who made Wicked Haunt-o-ween loads of fun! Remember a few of the contests end on Nov. 2nd. So you still have a chance to fill those goodie bags!

Have a safe and Happy Halloween and a Blessed Samhain!

Wicked Haunt-o-ween with Renee Charles and her Haunted House

The contest has ended. Melissa is the winner!! Congratulations!!

KAREN: Renee Charles is an author at The Wild Rose Press and she is here to share a TRUE Ghost story with us Halloween Day! So hold onto your love ones and snuggle closer. This one is eerie!

***CONTEST: FOR YOUR treat Renee will choose one lucky trick or treater to win a $10 Amazon Gift Card. Read on to find out how you may win. Good Luck! Contest ends Nov. 2nd at Midnight.


Now for the ghostly tale....

True Ghost story in Niles Canyon…Fremont, CA
By Renee Charles

When I was 20 I lived with my mother and step father while I figured out what direction to take with my life. I had settled on joining the Coast Guard, and was waiting for school to start when we moved into an old house in Niles Canyon, built in 1886.

It was a charming house, although small. Only two bedrooms, both attached to the single bathroom.  A parlor.  A dining room and large kitchen took up a good third of the house and where everyone spent most of their time. The house also sported a mudroom, basement and attic complete with cobwebs. I stayed in the small bedroom off the parlor in the front of the house. I loved the room, with its tall windows and ornate wood trim. Beautiful.  We lived there for about three months before the dreams began.

I wasn’t prone to nightmares, and if I did have them, they were usually made of the typical stuff, falling outta a plane or my teeth falling out. Never monsters. Never ghosts. Until then.  I began having a reoccurring dream of a black cloud like thick ink that floated over my bed undulating, and flowing back in on its self.  It pulled at me like it wanted something until I couldn’t stand it anymore and would wake up. I didn’t understand, and even once awake, I could feel the sense of desperation hanging over me. The dream didn’t happen every night, but each time it did happen the pull grew stronger. I didn’t know what it was, and I didn’t tell anyone.

One day I brought a friend home from work on our lunch break. She was very animated and bubbly while we made sandwiches, then we went in my room to grab a couple of things and all of a sudden she was silent. She didn’t sit down and she stayed near the door.  On the way back to work she apologized and said there was something strange about my room that made her uncomfortable, and not to take it personally, but she would never come home for lunch with me again. Nothing like that had ever happened to me before.  I was young, active and always on the go. I always brought friends home.  Because I lived with my parents, when I entertained, we hung out in my room.  Her reaction struck me as strange, but unimportant.

A few weeks later I invited a boy I’d been dating and another couple over. Once we entered my room my date’s demeanor changed. He became unusually quiet. No one else seemed to notice. They were laughing and joking as usual, but he did not speak a word. Then, after about 20 minutes, he abruptly stood up and said, “I’ve got to leave.”

He rushed out and concerned, we followed him to the large front porch. Agitated, he apologized for his weirdness, but there was a presence in my room and he couldn’t stand to be in there.
That was the wakeup call. There was something wrong with my room. The dreams that still felt so real in the mornings were growing stronger and more frequent. I had to tell someone what was happening. I couldn’t tell my family. No one else seemed to be effected by it. So, I told my best friend, Danielle about the dreams. When I did, her face grew pale and she told me whenever she spent the night she heard whispering in her sleep that she could still hear as she woke up, and she didn’t like sleeping over.

Six months after we’d moved in, my mother informed me we were moving out. When I asked why she confessed the house seemed “uncomfortable” to her. Being a firm Christian therapist that was all she would allude to.

The week after we moved out, my mom asked if Danielle and I would go back to the house Saturday to pick up the extra boxes, newspaper and tape that we’d left behind. We agreed without a second thought. On the way, we chatted about a guy we both knew, John, who’d asked out on a motorcycle ride the next morning, and the fact that I was scheduled to swear in to the Coast Guard on Monday and ship off to boot camp soon.  

When I opened the back door and we stepped into the old house, the oppressive feeling engulfed us, and was so heavy that it literally sucked the breath from me.  It was no longer just in my room. It was everywhere. There was a weight on my shoulders and my feet felt like cement blocks. Danielle and I worked quickly and silently. The parlor at the front of the house seemed much darker than it should have been at dusk. Without a word between us, we both stayed well away from the door to my bedroom.  When we finished, we got in my pickup and drove away still silent.

As we got further from the house the pressure lifted, and my friend finally asked if I had felt what she felt. I told her it was the same thing I dreamt about nearly every night by the time we moved. But I had never felt it while I was awake. It terrified me. My hands trembled on the steering wheel as I drove and I could not shake the horrible dread, as if the heaviness were trying to follow me, but couldn’t stretch far enough. I dropped my friend off at her house and went home to bed.  Thankfully, I did not dream. 

The next morning was my date, but when the boy was a half hour late, I called Danielle to tell her I was having second thoughts. When I explained something was telling me not to go, she laughed and said John was sweet and to give him a chance. I mentioned it didn’t matter if he stood me up or not since I would probably never see him again after I left for the military. John came right after I hung up.

At 9:30 am Sunday morning we left for a motorcycle drive through the Santa Cruz Mountains. Forty-five minutes later we were in a horrific accident that left us both alive, but in the hospital. I had broken my back in three places, severed nerve endings in my leg, destroyed a toe, broke several bones and wound up with a double concussion. John broke an arm and a leg.

We survived. Both our lives changed that day.  I did not leave for the Coast Guard as scheduled.
 I never felt the black oppressive sensation again. I never dreamt of it again. Was it the evil presence everyone thought it to be? Or was it trying to warn me? Either way, I am glad I got on John’s motorcycle that morning, because my life did indeed change that day. That boy eventually became my husband of twenty years.

***CONTEST: All you have to do is answer one or all of the questions and you are enter to win a $10 Amazon Gift Card!  Do you believe in Ghosts? Have you ever seen one? Do you want to? 
CONTEST ends Nov. 2nd at Midnight.

BLURB for Changes In Autumn:
Ex-animal control officer, Autumn Reynolds always had a soft spot for injured animals. So when one shows up on her porch with a gunshot wound, she has no choice but to help it. But she gets caught in the maelstrom when the injured wolf turns out to be a hot werewolf and the shooter comes back to finish the job. Now she's going to become a wolf, or die trying. Fortunately, she has her own Alpha-male who owes her one. However, Autumn fears if she does survive, she might lose her heart in the process.
Conner Grayson owes the beautiful woman his life and feels obligated to help her through her first change. Though he recognizes her as his mate, as her Alpha, he won’t deny Autumn the right to choose once she becomes a wolf. That is, if he can resist the overwhelming need to claim her as his own. 
Purchase Changes in Autumn at:
The Wild Rose Press 
Find Renee Charles at:

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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Wicked Haunt-o-ween with Cheryl Pierson and the Wizard Merlin

The contest has ended. The winner is Sue!! Congratulations!!

KAREN: Cheryl Pierson is a multi-published author of historical, western and paranormal tales that come straight from the heart. You don't want to miss falling in love with her wounded heroes and her feisty heroines. Today she's sharing a sneak peek at her upcoming release Six Guns and Slay Bells: A Creepy Cowboy Christmas, featuring her tale: The Keepers of Camelot.

***CONTEST: CHERYL will be giving away one Ebook copy of SIX GUNS AND SLAY BELLS: A CREEPY COWBOY CHRISTMAS, to one lucky trick or treater! Read on and and find out how you may add this treat to your goodie bag. CONTEST ENDS NOV. 2ND AT MIDNIGHT PST.

Take it away, Cheryl...

THE KEEPERS OF CAMELOT BY CHERYL PIERSON 

Who likes the stories of King Arthur and his knights? I do! I have been fascinated with the entire legend of Camelot since I was a child. The Sword In the Stone, the Disney cartoon movie, was a favorite when I was young.

As I got older, I couldn’t get enough of the movie musical, Camelot, with Vanessa Redgrave, Franco Nero, and Richard Harris in the starring roles. I valiantly tried to struggle through T. H. White’s “The Once and Future King” but finally had to admit, it was too heavy for a twelve-year-old. As an adult, I enjoyed it, along with Mary Stewart’s series of the Arthurian legend as told from Merlin’s POV—a “must read” set if you’re a Camelot fan.

So,the story I wrote for the “Six Guns and Slay Bells: A Creepy Cowboy Christmas” anthology is one that is dear to my heart in many ways. Even the title, “The Keepers of Camelot”, was not something I had to think about for long.

Legend says that Arthur will rise once more when the world needs him the most. But in my story, something goes awry, and Arthur has returned in many times, many places, throughout the centuries since his final battle.

The story opens with Arthur on a stagecoach in the American west—Indian Territory—of the 1880’s. But in this life, he comes across two people he’d never thought to see again—Lancelot and Guinevere. Why are they here—and how will it all end…

The stage is attacked by Apaches minutes before the driver gets the passengers to the safety of the next stage station. Though they’re safe for the time being, a nerve-wracking Christmas Eve is in store as the Apaches wait for them outside.

Arthur has a plan. He’s seen the fearless leader of the Apache—the man they call “Sky Eyes”, a man he knew as Lancelot du Lac a hundred lifetimes ago.

Will Lance’s prowess as a warrior combine with his legendary arrogance to seal the fate of the people inside the station—including Guinevere, the woman he gave up everything for in the past?

One young boy in the group unknowingly holds the key to Lance’s decision. But will the glorious legend of Camelot be remembered?

There are some excellent stories in this book by many great western writers, including Troy Smith, Courtney Joyner, Robert Randisi, L.J. Washburn, James Reasoner, and many more. They’re all paranormal in some way, and they all take place in a western setting.

This makes a great gift for others—or for yourself! It should be available tomorrow in print and e-book format. Let me know if you’re interested, and I will be glad to forward the links to you as soon as I get them. You can e-mail me at or leave your e-mail address in the comments section here. All my other short stories, anthologies, novels and novellas can be found here: https://www.amazon.com/author/cherylpierson

***CONTEST: I will be giving away one e-copy of SIX GUNS AND SLAY BELLS: A CREEPY COWBOY CHRISTMAS, to one lucky commenter! CONTEST ENDS NOV. 2ND AT MIDNIGHT PST. (Don't forget to leave your email)


Individual blurb for my story:
In my story, The Keepers of Camelot, Arthur and Guinevere have reappeared during the 1880's to the western frontier. Under an Apache attack, Arthur and the other stagecoach occupants are forced to take shelter at a nearby stage station where he discovers Guinever living her new life as the wife of the station proprietor. As the Apaches attack once more, Arthur recognizes their leader as none other than Lancelot du Lac. He knows that Guinevere has recognized him, as well. They've each lived a thousand lives since that last fateful day they spent together, when Lance rescued Ginny and fought with Arthur, but has their dream of Camelot faded completely? One of the occupants of the stagecoach, a young boy, touches the forgotten vision within Arthur, centuries after Camelot's loss. The prophecy says Arthur will return when the world needs him most--but why are Lance and Ginny here? And can the steadfast belief of one homeless boy rekindle the glorious hope of the greatest legend of all time?

EXCERPT:
“Come now, Ginny. Let’s have done with this pretense, shall we? We both know Lance is leading that band of savages.”
Her gaze faltered, and she looked away from him, not answering.
“Do you really believe he’ll harm you?” The note of gentleness crept into his tone, in spite of his resolve not to care.
“I—I don’t know, truly. He was—so angry when we last spoke. When I told him I’d made my decision to go to the convent—”
“You haven’t seen him since—since we fought?”
She shook her head. “Not really…Oh, I’ve seen him, during these attacks, but never spoken to him. Arthur, I’ve lived a thousand lives, but not fully. I seem to just wake up in another time, another place. Somehow, I—” She stopped herself, then went on in a controlled tone. “I believe it must be the same for you. And for Lancelot. We’re all trapped in this circle.”
“How do we end it, Ginny?”
She moistened her lips in the nervous gesture he recalled so well. “I’m not sure. But I—I wonder if maybe it’s not somehow connected to…forgiveness.”
Anger flared quickly in Arthur’s heart. She dared ask him to forgive? Forgive her treachery? Forgive Lance’s betrayal? Forgive her causing the death of the dream he’d held so dear? A cold smile touched his lips.
“You ask much, my lady. Especially after all you’ve taken.”
She nodded, the stricken look in her eyes almost too much for him. Even in the near darkness, he could see the pallor of her flawless skin.
“Yes. You were always a much better person than I, Arthur. You had a generous heart. A loving soul.”
“Make no mistake, Ginny—I am first a warrior. A ruler.”
In the gathering darkness, she laid a hand on his. “No, Arthur. You are first a man. And a good one.” The softness of her skin on his in the shadows brought a flood of memories that he’d thought were carefully locked away.
“You know Lance won’t attack now.” His lips curved caustically. “He loved Christmas-tide more than the rest of us put together.” It had always been Lance who suggested they find the biggest Yule log in the forest, spearheading the effort to organize the men and making it a festive occasion. It had been Lance who sang the Yule songs with such fervor, his deep baritone booming through the stone hallways of the castle.
Ginny’s eyes filled with sudden tears. “Arthur—when I see him as he was today…I wonder if he even recalls the things we remember. It seems he’s become absorbed in the ways of the Apache. The look on his face is so intent, so—cruel. I don’t believe he’s the person we knew.”
“He was never the person I thought I knew, Ginny. Never.” At her quick look, he smiled. “Yet, there’s a part of me that, even now, wants to call him my brother, as I did before—before everything fell apart.”
Ginny nodded. “I hope that same part of you remembers me in another light as well, Arthur,” she whispered.

Release date: October 31, 2012
Cheryl's Amazon Author Page:   

Monday, October 29, 2012

Wicked Haunt-o-ween with Linda Nightingale

THE CONTEST IS ENDED. AND THE WINNER IS... JEAN! Congratulations!!
KAREN: Grab your fans, ladies and gents.  Linda Nightingale pens tantalizing erotica paranormal tales!  However, the treat for today is: Her Halloween story below is for all trick-or-treaters so enjoy!

CONTEST (for USA and International), but for 18yrs and older only: Linda is offering a download of THE NIGHT BEFORE DOOMSDAY AND AN AUTOGRAPHED cover flat of Night Before Doomsday to one lucky trick-or-treater. Read on to and find out how this lovely prize can be added to your goody bag.
.
Now for the Halloween story...
The Acolyte by Linda Nightingale

The tower clock struck midnight.  Ravenwood tensed, glanced over her shoulder at the Sanctuary.  No lights shone in the mullioned windows.  The Masters mustn’t catch her out alone at night.  Punishment would be rapid and severe.  She might even be banished.  Her reputation at the school had suffered for her sister’s sin.
She lit the torch, black smoke billowing from the flame. A darkling shiver crawled down her rigid spine. The voices that had roused her from sleep whispered a warning as she crept into the abandoned barn.  A lonely owl hooted from the rafters, ruffling its feathers and blinking. Red light winked in the bird’s golden eyes.  She swallowed hard, straining her ears for any sound.  The eerie stillness chilled her soul.
Ravenwood had come to say her last goodbye to her sister.  Tonight, Mariana slept the peace of the dead in this old outbuilding. Tomorrow, she would be lowered into unhallowed ground.  Then only god knew what the fate of a demon’s consort would be.  Her breathing rasped loud, puffing white clouds in the October air. She inched deeper into the gloom, shoved the hood of her robe back.  Shadows capered in her peripheral vision. A web caught in her hair, clung to her face.  Another hard shudder coursed through her, and gooseflesh prickled her limbs.  Nausea swirled in her stomach. Frantically, she swiped the crusty fly stuck in the web and the disgusting stickiness from her skin.
Blackness coiled along the  rotted wood pile. A mouse squeaked, scurried out and scampered away. The shade loomed larger, distorted in the flickering light. She flinched back a step. With a shaking hand, she clutched the crucifix around her neck. The shadow crossed the pitchfork, fell on the coffin.
Darkness coalesced into the figure of a winged man.  Two yellow orbs glowed in his leathery gray face.  The wings were shiny, rubbery black with spines and points.  A sweet smell rose from him, but she knew the fragrance was a glamour masking the reek of the Pit.
"Daakiel," she whispered.
"Well met, Ravenwood." A laugh rumbled from his broad chest. “Such pretty blonde hair and lovely ivory skin, but beneath your rose and gold beauty is a soul as dark as I am.”
As always, her sister’s lover was naked, his grotesque, swollen equipment proudly on display.  She shuddered head to toe, glancing around quickly, studying her options.
There were none.
The creature with hellfire eyes stroked a hand with long, vicious claws over the pine coffin.  From inside, came a soft scratching then the lid rattled, an urgent pounding echoing in the ruined barn.
Ravenwood's heart caught in her throat.  A sudden silence crawled along her nerves.  The owl hooted and took flight, a wingtip brushing her cheek.  She flinched, clamped a hand to her mouth, but a little cry escaped.   The demon flexed his wings, stirring a tornado of moldy straw.
A malicious grin split the monstrous face.  "Come my pretty," and with the rasp of claws, he ripped the lid off the coffin.
Her dead sister sat bolt upright, empty fish eyes locking to Ravenwood's.   A terrifying smile spread Mariana’s blue lips. Crimson pinpointed the black irises. Any innocence that might have remained in the once Acolyte had perished. Like a spider, elbows and knees arched at odd angles, she crawled from the casket.  Grave clothes clung to her pale, withered body but her breasts were exposed and bloody.  She was horrible.
Ravenwood wouldn’t give the monster the satisfaction of screaming.  She bit her tongue hard enough to draw blood.  The demon turned and stalked toward her, fangs dripping thick, green saliva. Horrified, she backed away, collided with a stack of old cans, sending them clattering to the ground.
"Dear sister."  Mariana's corpse spread her arms in invitation.  Sharp fangs dented the lower lip of her smile.  "Raven, forsake your god.  Join me."
Ravenwood ducked, grabbed the pitchfork and brandished the rusted prongs at the demon.  Another unholy laugh rumbled from its throat.
"You cannot escape, Ravenwood.  Your sister has paid her dues.  She is mine.  Tonight, Acolyte, you join me in Hell."
Playing for time, she flung the pitchfork at the demon and dropped the torch.  Smoke billowed from dry straw. Flames sprang up, reaching for the cracked roof.  Laughter boomed in the fire.  Engulfed in the holocaust, her sister's horrified face branded the nightmare in memory.  The demon's leering smile didn’t falter.
She whirled and fled, her legs pumping, her feet going nowhere.  The school seemed hundreds of miles away and her feet leaden.  If she reached the Sanctuary—
A claw sliced her shoulder.  Pain scalded her arm.  Blood oozed warmth down her back.  She whirled, staring straight into the demon's burning eyes.  Lethal pointed teeth lined the creature’s gaping maw.
A scream ripped the black velvet night, searing her throat.  She stumbled a retreat, praying aloud.
“No answer?” Daarkiel cupped a hand to his pointed ear. “Pray to someone who will hear you.”
The ground beneath her feet rolled and tossed.  She fell to her knees.  Fear lodged in her dry throat, strangling her prayers.
“You have taken my lover from me. Burned her alive, you did.”  The creature beckoned with a bloody claw.  “You will replace her.”
An image of her sister’s living cadaver blinded her. She shook her head.  “Never.”
The earth opened, swallowing her.  Down she plunged into a loamy grave, the velocity of her fall sweeping her robe over her head.  Her feet scraped something hard.  Bones.  She didn’t have time to scream.  The hole closed over her head, burying her alive.
Insects slithered over her feet. Something crept down her back.  She swallowed the horror and the bile burning her throat. The black dirt caressed her naked arms and legs and matted her hair. Trapped in the earth and in her robe, unable to claw for the surface, she held her breath until her lungs threatened to implode.  Terror gripped her heart in an icy hand.
 I’m going to suffocate.
A desperate gasp for breath sucked the fatal soil into her mouth and nose.  Ravenwood whispered her final prayer.  For forgiveness.
THE END

CONTEST USA and International), but for 18yrs and older: To be entered to win a download of THE NIGHT BEFORE DOOMSDAY AND AN AUTOGRAPHED cover flat of Night Before Doomsday, answer the questions.
Question: Name your favorite Halloween character: Frankenstein, Dracula, Wicked Witch, Ghosts...Why is this Halloween character your favorite? Leave your answer in the comments. Don't forget to leave your email address, too or I'll have to haunt you. 
Good Luck! CONTEST ENDS ON NOV. 2nd AT MIDNIGHT.

BLUB FOR GEMINI RISING: 
At birth, Alain and Alina Alastair are a scientific wonder—identical male-female twins—a biological impossibility.  Destined to tread forbidden paths, they discover love, lust, and danger lurking in their future.  When their parents whisk their miracle children home to an isolated island, their lives reach a turning point.
            Alain craves escape from the seclusion. 
            Alina yearns to express her love with a man who treasures her.
            The secrets at Alastair Keep threaten to undermine the very foundations of the world in which these impossible twins live.

The buy this book at:  
 
Linda Nightingale's website:  http://www.lindanightingale.com
 

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Wicked Haunt-o-Ween and Howloween Blog*Hop

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You've come to the right place if you're here for the Howloween Blog Hop and if you're here for Wicked Haunt-o-ween! Check out all the author posts and enter the contest!

So Trick or Treaters let's chat about vamps!!

Dracula 2000—When a group of immortality seekers steal the corpse of Dracula, the fate of the world is in jeopardy. Only one of the Van Helsing line can stop him. It's really campy, but I rather liked the the interesting theory of how Dracula came to be.

Salem’s Lot—This mini-series was loosely based on Stephen King’s novel. Salem Lot is a town. Mr. Straker, a new member of the community, takes up residence with his partner Mr. Barlow. People start to disappear and some are dying from a mysterious causes.

Lost Boys—A divorced woman and her teenage sons, Mike and Sam start over in Santa Carla, California. Sam meets some friends who believe in vampires. Of course he doesn’t believe them until his brother starts showing signs that he's one of the undead.

Queen of the Damned- Vampire Lestat has risen from a decades long slumber. He loathes lurking in the shadows and decides to live among the mortals as a Rock Star. His intoxicating music awakens, the mother of all vampires, the ancient Queen Akash, from her crypt.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer- An American cheerleader who is destined to be the next Slayer.  She is the one woman who must defend the world from vampires.

Van Helsing- Gabriel Van Helsing is a man cursed with a past he cannot remember and driven by a mission he must not deny. Van Helsing roams the globe as a fugitive, hunted by those who don’t understand the true nature of his calling. When he arrives in Transylvania, Van Helsing finds it ruled by the evil and seductive vampire, Count Dracula.

Blade: The story of a semi-human superhero who battles evil, bloodsucking vampires. Blade is half vampire but has devoted his life to killing vampires, with the help of Whistler, a human vampire hunter. His nemesis is Frost, a vampire who aims to take over the world. 

Underworld: For centuries, two races have evolved hidden deeply within human culture, the aristocratic, sophisticated Vampires, and the brutal, feral Lycans (werewolves). To humanity, their existence is no more than a myth.  A Vampire warrior, Selene discovers a secret that has terrifying repercussions for both tribes. (I personally liked all the Underworld Movies.)

Love at First Bite: When Count Dracula spots the beautiful Cindy Sondheim in a magazine, he vows to make her his own - forever.

Interview with the Vampire-- In 1791, plantation owner Louis De Pointe Du Lac is unhappy with the life he has, until Lestat De Lioncourt comes into his life. Lestat, a vampire. He allows Louis to make the decision of either death or life, but he fails to truly explain life is as a vampire.

The Night Stalker(1972) --A vampire is loose in Las Vegas and killing people.  Reporter Carl Kolchak (Darrin McGavin) is out to find this vampire, but nobody believes him. His editor thinks he’s crazy and the police think he’s a hindering the investigation, but  Kolchak is determined to rid Las Vegas of the blood sucking fiends. (I thought this was so scary as a kid, but I bought the DVD a few years back and couldn't believe how corny it was. lol)

Bram Stoker’s Dracula-- This version of Dracula is closely based on Bram Stoker’s classic novel. A young lawyer (Jonathan Harker) is assigned to a gloomy village in the mists of eastern Europe. He is captured and imprisoned by the undead vampire Dracula, who travels to London, inspired by a photograph of Harker’s betrothed, Mina Murray.

What's your favorite Vampire Movie?


Twilight's Eternal Embrace is my new release. Can you guess what it is about? You got it. Vampires!!

Blurb:
The Oiche Sith, the blood drinkers, forged an alliance with the Lathe Sith, a neighboring daywalker clan. The Oiche Sith would protect them from invaders in exchange that one female a year wed one of their warriors for the blooding ritual. Unfortunately, the female Lathe Sith never survives for very long.

Adryanna, a Lathe Sith, mourns the death of her recently mated sister, but she finds solace in the most unlikely place—in the arms of Bram, an Oiche Sith. She should fear him, loathe his existence, but instead she longs for their twilight embraces. Bram admires Adryanna’s strength and wishes only to protect her, even if it’s from him.

If Bram cannot find a way for Adryanna to survive the blooding ritual the romance is doomed. They seek help from Sheerin, Bram’s cousin, who believes he’s found a way for the Lathe Sith to survive, but others in the Oiche Sith clan do not wish for them to succeed.
Enter the to win a $10 Amazon Gift Card and don't forget to hop to the next blog on the list:

a Rafflecopter giveaway
 
Next on the Howloween Blog hop
Abbey Maclnnis: [Author] {m/f } (spicy )
Vera Roberts:[Author] {m/f } (sweet )  
Tanya Goodwin:[Author] {m/f } (spicy )
 Mummy Charlie: [Author] {m/f } (sweet )
 Krystal Shannan:[Author] {m/f } (spicy )  
 Jennifer Conner: [Author] {m/f } (sweet )
Event Page of the Howloween Blog Hop

Wicked Haunt-o-ween with Adrian Scott and a Vampire Society

The contest is closed. Lisa is the winner!! Congratulations!!
KAREN:Adrian Scott is the author of chilling tales and creatures in the shadows. He is here today to give us an exclusive behind the scenes look at his new series A Society of Vampires.

***CONTEST: One lucky trick or treater will be able to add a PDF copy of the first volume of The Society of Vampires: A Vampire's Tale to their goodie bag. Read on to find out how. CONTEST ENDS: NOV. 2 AT MIDNIGHT PST.

‘SOCIETY OF VAMPIRES SERIES’ – THE CONCEPT BY ADRIAN SCOTT

The ‘Society’ series which, at present, stands at sixteen completed novels, (including the ‘Tarkusian Chronicles’ which detail the life of Lord Tarkus from birth to when he formed the Society of Vampires in the 1600’s, started out as a single novel entitled ‘A Vampire’s Tale’.

I wanted to tell the story of a normal mortal man who falls in love with a female vampire and becomes one of her kind. And I wanted to tell it in the first person, to try to create a ‘feel’ of reality with my readers, and sympathy for the person telling the story.

But somewhere along the line, after the protagonist and his ‘wife’ and ‘daughter’ arrived in Paris during the 1800’s, I realized things would be far simpler for them if there was a society established specifically to assist people – or vampires, actually – in their position: homeless; in need of shelter; and seeking somewhere to settle down and live as close to a normal life as is possible for one who must feed on the blood of mortals. I also saw that there must be laws, governing the behaviour of vampires if they were to live in a society of normal human beings and avoid being hunted to extermination.

And so the Society of Vampires came into being, with Lord Tarkus as its Permanent Overlord. The Society provided temporary accommodation for vampires newly-arrived in Paris, in a large building at 6, Rue du Guerre, where an apartment could be given to the new arrival until the Society found a permanent dwelling for them - paid for, staffed, and maintained, of course, by the Society. And it also administered the laws governing the Nosferatu, and maintaining peace between mortal and ‘immortal’, even though human society itself was totally unaware of the existence of the Society or its members.

But this created a problem: such an arrangement would soon become common knowledge among the Nosferatu, and with vampires heading for Paris from all across Europe, we would soon have a situation where numbers of people would be found in the city on chilly mornings, their blood drained, and their lives ended…which also created a problem for the next-of-kin. It also meant the vampires had need of human allies.

The answer was to institute a law forbidding the taking of blood from any person unless that person was of such a type that society in general would benefit by his or her death – wife-beaters, those who profited from prostitutes, thieves, criminals of the worst kind, and those who would, under normal circumstances, be dead within twenty-four hours. In such a situation, the Society would then see to it that the next-of-kin, if they depended on the victim for food and survival, would from that point be provided for by the Society.   

The answer to the second problem was to create a Pact with the gypsy people who would, in exchange for protection from the attacks of their age-old enemy, the werewolf, tend to whatever ‘cleaning up’ needed to be done, and would carry out other small tasks for the Society, including holding positions on Lord Tarkus’ Advisory Committee.

Where did the idea of using the gypsy people come from? For that, I must thank the late actor Lon Chaney, who in 1941 appeared in a film entitled ‘The Wolf Man’, and played one of the screen’s first werewolves. The gypsies were the victims in this film, and during one scene, an old woman tells Lon Chaney (in his human guise) of an old gypsy legend handed down through the centuries:

“Even the man who is pure at heart
And says his prayers at night
May become a wolf when the wolfbane blooms
And the Autumn moon is bright.”
(I believe those are the words, or as near as I can recall).
      
In that film, the gypsies were cast as those who carried the secrets of how to destroy a werewolf, and so, referring back to that film I saw all those years ago, they became the allies of the vampires in my ‘Society’ series.
     
 The werewolf I positioned as the ‘bad guy’ in the series – desiring to kill the vampires above all else, because without their protection, the gypsy people would themselves be open to attack…destroy the gypsies, leave the world without the knowledge of how to destroy a werewolf, and nothing could stop the werewolves from attacking and killing at will whenever and wherever they chose.
     
 So an Accord is formed between gypsy and Nosferatu, and the battle is engaged against the werewolves. And my Society now has an aim and a purpose.
    
Why did I cast the gypsies and vampires as the ‘good guys’ and the werewolves as the ‘baddies’? That’s the easiest question of all to answer: the werewolf, in its animal form, is a crazed, bloodthirsty killer, and will slaughter young, old, man, woman, child or even newborn baby merely for the sheer pleasure it gets from the act of killing. The vampire, however, feeds from humans (and sometimes takes so much blood it causes death) because it must – if it does not feed, it dies. I included the gypsies because I saw that the vampires must have a human ally with whom to go into battle, and because of that ‘old gypsy woman’ in Lon Chaney’s film, they were chosen.

And that is where the idea of the Society of Vampires came from. When I wrote ‘A Vampire’s Tale,’ I had no idea where it was going to lead me – but now that the Society ‘exists’ and it has led me to write another fifteen novels along the same theme, I bless my Muse for her hard work – whoever she may be.

***CONTEST: One lucky trick or treater will be able to add a PDF copy of the first volume of The Society of Vampires: A Vampire's Tale to their goodie bag. All you have to do is answer these questions: Tell us about your favorite vampire story. What intrigued you the most about the tale? CONTEST ENDS: NOV. 2 AT MIDNIGHT PST.

Can't wait? You Can Purchase A Vampire's Tale Both in Print and Ebook at:
Amazon Kindle
Amazon Print


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Since I was nine years old, I have taken an interest in the unusual, the strange, the mysterious; my favourite authors have always been Edgar Alan Poe and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle...I feel I have read and re-read their tales and enjoyed them so often, each word is engraved somewhere within me.

Now, I am retired from the workaday world, and turn my attentions from short
stories to novels dealing with those forces that I have always been fascinated by.

Please visit Adrian Scott's Website for updates and his other fascinating books!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Wicked Haunt-o-ween: Wayne Dundee Battles Dracula!

KAREN: Wayne Dundee is a multi-published author. His PI Joe Hannibal novels have been published in several languages and nominated for an Edgar, an Anthony, and six Shamus Awards. His 2010 western short story "This Old Star" received the Peacemaker Award from the Western Fictioneers writers' organization. His debut Western novel, DISMAL RIVER, won the 2011 Peacemaker for Best First Western. This talented author has also penned a vampire tale, Night Spoor. This dark edgy vampire story is an adventure you don’t want to miss.

***CONTEST: Wayne is offering a PDF copy of Night Spoor to one lucky trick or treater! So read on and find out how you may add this fantastic prize to your goodie bag!


The Summer I Spent Battling Dracula (and His Evil Minions) BY WAYNE DUNDEE
 
It was summer, 1958. I was ten years old.

Two of my older cousins invited me to go to the drive-in movies with them one night. It was some kind of triple-feature spook fest. In spite of my tender years, I was always pretty level-headed so my parents had no objections and no concern that I might in any way be traumatized by the films. After all, I stayed up late to watch Shock Theater on television every Saturday night and nothing there had ever managed to send me screaming into their bedroom.

I only remember two of the movies that played at the drive-in that night. The first was more of a science fiction feature called The Monolith Monsters. It had to do with mysterious black rock fragments shattered from a meteorite that, after coming in contact with water, grew into giant rock columns that rose up only to topple and crush everything in their path. Then the newly shattered fragments would each start to grow and form another destructive giant. An ensuing thunderstorm ended up causing a whole town to be threatened by the advancing wall of crushing rocks before scientists finally figured out a way to stop them. I found the whole thing pretty dumb and not scary at all.

But then came The Horror of Dracula. Even with my Shock Theater exposure I had never heard of Dracula or vampires or any of that stuff before. But boy did I learn in a hurry. This was the second feature ever produced by Hammer Films out of England and it was based on Bram Stoker's original story of the thirsty count. Hammer's plan was to establish itself with a series of classic horror movies, remaking some of the classics earlier done in black and white by Universal Studios back in the '30s and '40s. But Hammer was doing their versions in Technicolor, making the blood a brilliant scarlet and Dracula's menacing eyes a glowing yellow in the nighttime shadows. And when the vampire (or one of his minions) was getting ready to drink, long canine teeth were exposed.

Long story short: The damn movie scared the bejeebers out of me. I tried not to let it show (the last thing a ten-year-old boy wants to reveal is that he might be a scaredy-cat) but if anyone had bothered to look in the back seat, they would have seen me sitting there with eyes as big and round as pizza platters.

What really bothered me was what awaited when I got back home. As long as Dracula was up there on the screen, I figured I was okay. But where would he show up after he'd faded out of the projector beam? The thing was, you see, where we were living at the time was a place out in the country (rented) with an outhouse providing going-to-the-toilet needs. The main house itself was a big old monstrosity, three stories high, that had served as a rural inn back in the day. The inside was still quite nice, with hardwood floors and beautiful woodwork around the doors and in the dining room. 
Outside, it was this great old hulk upon which the paint had long ago faded to leave only a dull gray color. Thinking back, it could have practically doubled for the Psycho house.

I didn't give a hang about the main house, though. Inside there, I felt fine. What bothered me was the thought of making that trip back and forth to the two-holer after dark. This involved crossing the driveway, cutting around the corner of an old shed (also faded to gray) that nowadays served as a garage, and then going down a short path surrounded by bushes and low-hanging tree branches to the outhouse. I just knew that I was on Drac's radar and it was only a matter of time before either the old bloodsucker or one of his gang would be laying for me on that path some night. And, even if I managed to "hold" my bodily functions and give in to them only during the daylight hours, there was always the chore of emptying the "baby bucket" that resulted from my year-old sister's diaper changes—it was my assignment to take care of it and it often would be recognized as a need late in the evening, after baby sis's nighttime bath.

One way or another, I was bound to have to make an after-dark outhouse trip sooner or later. And, once again, trying to shirk my duty (or deny my digestive system) by admitting to being a scaredy-cat was not an option.

Okay. So the only solution was to figure out a way to try and protect myself when the inevitable ambush came. I can't tell you why—considering the fact I was attending Sunday School on a fairly regular basis in those days, and the film had made it quite clear that the sign of the cross in some form was a very effective way to ward off vampires—it never occurred to me to simply start wearing a cross around my neck. But it didn't. Maybe my subconscious was already developing an overly dramatic flair by then.

But what did occur to me was to remember how Van Helsing had finally dispatched of Dracula at the end of the film. After the two had engaged in a knockdown-drag out fight in an old library, Van Helsing had snatched from the rubble a pair of heavy iron candle-sticks and, in desperation, held them up in the form of a cross and drove Dracula back into a wash of morning sunlight where he shriveled to ashes and died.

Okay, so lugging around a pair of heavy iron candlesticks—even if I'd had access to any—would hardly have gone unquestioned. What I needed was something similar but something much lighter and smaller … The answer came to me one afternoon when I took a break from the heat and treated myself to a cool treat that Mom regularly kept for me in the refrigerator. Popsicles. Specifally, an orange TwinPop, with two sturdy, flat sticks each about six inches long … Popsicle sticks! I could easily carry a pair of them in my jeans pocket at all times so I would be constantly prepared. Vampire pops up in front of me? I whip out my Popsicle sticks, hold them up in the form of a cross, and that creepy old blood-sucker is off to seek easier prey!

I even practiced my quick-draw with the Popsicle sticks. Got to where I could beat any of the cowboy heroes who were so popular on TV in those days. Double-Stick Dundee, master of the lightning draw and terror of vampire legions wherever they roamed.

So that's how I made it through the rest of the summer. Heck, it got to where I almost looked forward to after-dark trips to the outhouse, just daring Drac to put in an appearance so I could draw my sticks on him. He never did, though. I got through the ordeal with my blood supply intact. Eventually, I'm not sure exactly when, I quit carrying the Popsicle sticks in my pocket and my boyhood imagination carried me on to other concerns and adventures.

But I remain ready should the threat ever return. Haven't practiced my draw in a while, but I think I could get back in shape okay. And, even at my advanced age, I still like Popsicles so (especially with grandkids around) there's always a box in the freezer compartment. I could free up a couple vampire-fighting sticks in no time …

***CONTEST:
"As is the way of every writer, anything in our lives that makes a significant impact on us stands the chance of ending up in our writing. So it was with THE HORROR OF DRACULA, in addition to being the subject of the foregoing blog. It also led indirectly to an ongoing interest in vampires, to the point of writing my own vampire novel --- NIGHT SPOOR. You can check it out here:"
For a contest, the first reader who writes me at my direct e-mail --- wddundee@charter.net --- and tells me the name of the other movie I remember seeing with HORROR OF DRACULA, I will send a signed copy of NIGHT SPOOR. (Hint the answer is in the blog post.) Contest ends when the first person emails Wayne to claim his or her prize. Good Luck!!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Wayne Dundee grew up and spent the first fifty years of his life around the state line area of northern Illinois/southern Wisconsin. Always an avid reader,he decided at an early age that one day he wanted to be a writer himself.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Wicked Haunt-o-ween with Lyndi Alexander: What's behind the Mask?

KAREN: Lyndi Alexander is the author of magic, aliens and spirits and her new release is a real killer. She's here today to give us a sneak peek at Love Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me.

***CONTEST: Lyndi will be choosing one trick or treater to win an Ebook copy of LOVE ME, KISS ME, KILL ME. Read on and find out how you may add this treat to your goodie bag. CONTEST ENDS NOV. 1ST AT MIDNIGHT.

WATCH OUT FOR WHAT’S BEHIND THE MASK! By Lyndi Alexander

Halloween is a traditional time for fears and frights, especially those presented in bright, plastic costumery and masks. Sometimes we come to expect things that are scary to be kind of obvious—a friend hiding inside a white sheet, pretending to be a ghost, or a rubber snake that our child leaves under the couch to startle us.

But how do we learn to protect ourselves from things that aren’t plainly frightening? Often, dangerous things in our daily lives can be much less obvious. We trust those who love us, even though they may have the power to hurt us the most. Our environment exposes us to toxins that can make us ill, even kill us. Distractions while driving kill people every day. (And I haven’t even gotten to political ads, yet!) The bottom line is that each of us needs to use our critical thinking skills to determine whether the people we encounter are genuine, and safe, or whether they hide a treacherous intent behind a pleasant mask, just waiting until we let down our guard…

In LOVE ME, KISS ME, KILL ME, Sara Woods has to make just this decision, deciding whether the doctors at her Ohio town’s Goldstone Clinic are working to help or hurt her and her friends. Fortunately, she has allies to help her, a doctor to help teach her psychic self-defense techniques, and the assistance and constant attention of one of the town’s police officers. Or does she? Running away isn’t necessarily the answer.

In her mad rush to escape a failed marriage, Sara Woods takes the first job available and lands in the middle of a mystery. Her first assignment as a news reporter for the Ralston Courier is the investigation of a string of deaths, all young women, all her age.

She becomes a patient at the Goldstone Clinic, a local mecca of healing, to deal with chronic pain from her past. But all is not as it seems at the Goldstone, its doctors and nurses are all the picture of perfect beauty and health. Patients at the clinic first seem to get better, then they deteriorate. Sara enlists the help of Dr. Rick Paulsen, who teaches her how to access her internal power, skills she never knew she had, revealing secrets from her past. Police officer Brendon Zale also takes an interest in Sara, but he acts like a stalker, watching her every move, and he won't leave her alone.

As she digs deeper into the story, and more young women die without explanation, she tries to choose allies wisely, but not till the last confrontation does she discover the identity of her true enemy.

By then, it’s too late.

Purchase a copy of Love Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me at: Amazon


***Are you ready for a giveaway? You can win an ebook of LOVE ME, KISS ME, KILL ME by leaving a comment in the next week sharing your most shocking revelation ever. Did your daughter leave a plastic spider in the popcorn bowl while the family was watching Arachnophobia? Oh wait, that was mine. But what’s scared you? Tell us, and one lucky commenter will win! Don't forget to leave your email.


About the Author: Lyndi grew up in the Midwest, knowing from the time she was very young that she wanted to write stories. Please visit her Website for all the latest updates.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Wicked Haunt-o-ween with J.A. Garland and her Zombie Race

The contest has ended! The winner is Cia!! Congratulations!!
KAREN: J.A. Garland ran for her life from Zombies! Find out how she survived! In celebration of her outwitting the undead, she's offering one trick or treater a bag full of treats: Includes: a gift certificate for ebook INSTINCT, monogrammed jelly belly tins, coffee mug, tote bag, Ana Banana zombie soap, magnets, Lula's Chocolates, pens...and more! CONTEST ENDS NOV. 1ST AT MIDNIGHT.

Run For Your Lives Zombie Race by J.A. Garland



I'm the third from the left.

Have you ever been attacked by hordes of zombies? Recently, a team of four brave souls participated in a Run For Your Lives--Zombie race in Seattle, WA. Our mission, to traverse a challenging obstacle course through hundreds of walking and running dead while protecting three red flags hanging from a belt around our waists. The zombie's mission, to grab our flags before we crossed the finish line, thus making us one of them.

While there were many lessons learned during this event, they can be grouped into three main after action report (AAR) items.

1. Preparation Conditioning: Make sure you are physically prepared. Our race was held on a BMX race course. Hazard flagging was strung along the outside perimeters of the trail, with zombies lurking right up to that line. Running off course in a cross country trek isn't an option, you must run the gauntlet with the rest of the stampede. For those of you who haven't seen a BMX course, picture hills so steep you have to use your hands to scramble up them. Then imagine that every five feet or so are horizontal lines of zombies waiting for you--and they aren't trying to get up the hill. Some of these zombies are runners, and some are walkers, but their common motivation is an insatiable desire for your flags. You better believe you're going to be sucking air trying to get up and around them.

Weather: Pull a NOAA weather statement for the date/time of your race. Being from out of the area, I should have done this. If I did, I would have pushed the group for an earlier start time. I didn't. I also stopped looking at the car thermometer when it hit 100 degrees. Who cares after that point? It was Africa hot, and as dreaded, I'd soon lean that I didn't pre-hydrate nearly enough.

Battle Dress: Test out your running attire before combat. My chosen ensemble was a pair of long, flared cuff running pants. Crawling on your hands and knees through 20 yard mud trenches meant I emerged with mud coated pants that were several times heavier. They also flapped around my ankles and threatened to trip me up with each evac and evasion maneuver.

2. Teamwork I'd like to say everyone made it out alive, but in reality, our group had a 50% survival rate. Looking around, we were fortunate, other groups weren't nearly so lucky. I'd like to think that had something to do with our, 'take one for the team,' mentality. When two of us died, (yes, during mile two I succumbed to my injuries) we became the sacrificial lambs for the rest of the team. Coming up on a horde of zombies in the path, we would preplan a left or right hand run pattern with our team mates. Then we'd head in first so the zombies would give us chase, and our uninfected team mates could run an opposite pattern with less heat. It wasn't perfect, but it gave the survivors a fighting chance.

3. Go for the Gold
Aggression of action. I add this in, because thinking back, there was an individual who had strategy worth mentioning. He came at the zombies like they came at him. As if in a game of pigeon, he'd head straight for zombies, crazy in his eyes. Probably fearing an NFL type collision, the zombies would peel off at the last moment, and this guy would run through unscathed. Now, I'm not saying this tactic would work for everyone, I'm 5'4", so my psycho isn't going to be nearly as impressive as his 6', brick shit house attack.



Excerpt:

Chapter One

San Francisco, March 13, 0700 hours

Anxiety prickled Rory’s chest before fanning out to raise the hairs on the back of his neck. Dropping quickly, he pressed his torso and legs flat to the ground. Prone was never first pick, but a small silhouette was the best concealment the area offered.

Lifting his head, he scanned the beach. Early morning waves rolled onto the shore, a salty surf leaching down to darken the sand. He twisted, angling to look overhead. No birds, no surfers, no stray animals. Nothing. The absolute absence of activity confirmed his instincts.

Rory sprang to his feet in a protective half-crouch and turned, just in time to see a man come out of nowhere. Lowering his head and steeling his body, Rory head-butted his attacker square in the gut.

“Shit!” The man grunted, expelling an angry rush of air as he hit the sand.

Rory resisted the urge to leap back into the fray. He’d been in enough fights to know men with tunnel vision didn’t live to fight another day. Giving himself a buffer, he took a few steps back. “I’m not here for you.” This wasn't the Otherkind Shadow whose dossier he'd spent the better part of the evening memorizing.

Who was this man and why was he tangling with him?

“Do yourself a favor and stay down,” Rory growled while looking around. Several distant figures headed their way from the north and the south. It was entirely possible they weren't friends of the man who'd tried to jump him. They could be nothing more than the early morning runners they appeared. But other runners never made him feel this on edge. Just what in the hell was going on?

“You might not be here for me, Wolf, but we're here for you,” the man said as he scampered to his feet, clearing away Rory's doubts about the approaching men. His wide smile was reminiscent of the smug expression Rory once saw carved into a coyote totem pole.
Coyote slid effortlessly into the horse fighting stance, “Well, come on now. Don’t be shy. I promise to be gentle.”

Anger replaced nerves, tightening his jaw and coiling in his limbs. Rory lunged forward, fists punching thin air as Coyote sidestepped, displaying remarkable speed and agility. Heart pounding and pupils dilating, Rory's wolf sensed the danger and awoke. Snapping and snarling, the beast begged to shift and attack, but Rory couldn’t allow that. Not with his exit routes being what they were.

Coyote shoved one leg into the sand for extra support, warning Rory he was going to try something. Sure enough, he kicked out lightning fast with his other leg, catching Rory in the right knee. Rory flexed with the blow so nothing broke. Using his attacker’s forward momentum against him, he grabbed a single fistful of his shirt and yanked him close. He stabbed four rigid fingers into Coyote’s throat. The man's eyes went wide, hands pawing at his neck as his carotid sheath dilated. The immediate dump of blood dropped Coyote to his knees.

Repositioning himself, Rory wrapped his arm around Coyote’s neck and cranked until he felt the vertebrae give way with a satisfying crunch.

His heart still contracting wildly, Rory leapt to his feet. He dug his boots into the sand and raced away from the men who were closing in. In the last ten yards of his sprint his wolf railed against him, hating water the way a pump hates cavitation. Natural instinct saved his life earlier, but Rory didn't slow, instead prevailing against intuition to hit the surf at top speed before taking a lungful of air and diving under the foamy waves to safety.


***CONTEST: If you could be any paranormal creature you wanted, which one would you choose? Leave your answer in a comment (with your email address included), for a chance to win this bag of goodies! Includes: a gift certificate for ebook INSTINCT, monogrammed jelly belly tins, coffee mug, tote bag, Ana Banana zombie soap, magnets, Lula's Chocolates, pens...and more! CONTEST ENDS NOV. 1ST AT MIDNIGHT.

About the Author: J.A. is a full time firefighter in the state of California, an addicted trail runner, a connoisseur of all things cheese puff, and an author for BURST Books. When she isn't slogging through the obstacles at a mud run, you can find her hunched over her computer unleashing demons, vampires and werewolves upon the world.



Website:http://www.jagarland.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/jagarlandurbanfantasyauthor
Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/J_A_Garland