Tracy Garrett | Happy “All Hallows Eve”
Uncategorized / October 31, 2008

Most everyone knows that Halloween, October 31, is the day before All Saints or All Hallows Day. But did you know that some of our modern traditions grew from the ancient Celts more than 2000 years ago? The Celtic festival of Samhain, or the Feast of the Dead, celebrates the day when summer ends and winter begins. It is believed to be the day when the dead revisit the mortal world. Carving pumpkins—or jack-o-lanterns—dates from the 18th century, when a blacksmith named Jack consorted with the devil and was condemned to wander the earth as punishment. He begged the Devil for some light and was given a burning coal, which he placed inside a hollowed-out turnip. When the Irish came to the United States during the great potato famine, the practice of keeping a turnip with a candle in it in the window to ward off the Halloween demons came with them. Since pumpkins were easier to get here than turnips, the substitution was made and a new tradition was born and shared. Wearing costumes also dates back to Celtic times. On Samhain night, when the living and the dead were at their closest, the Celtic Druids would dress up…

Eva Gordon | Wolves as Archetypes in my Novels
Uncategorized / October 30, 2008

My blog is about why my fantasy and paranormal novels center on wolves as main characters, or spirit guides. In my debut fantasy novel, The Stone of the Tenth Realm, my hero is a Scottish werewolf, an alpha of his own pack. My current work in progress is an epic lycan series, which I hope to sell soon. I’m not alone. Numerous authors are following the call of the wild.Why is the wolf a common archetype in many myths and stories, even today? Nothing sends a chill down your spine more that hearing a wolf’s howl in the night. While at a wolf sanctuary, I spent the night in a trailer on the grounds and was privileged to hear night after night of thirty wolves in their nightly serenade. No sound is more awesome. Yet in the past the wolf had a more sinister reputation. During the development of agriculture and domestication of livestock people settled down and pushed out old hunting deities. Wolves were vilified as part of pagan beliefs and turned the wolf into Satan’s ally. Fear of the wolf once ruled Europe. Wolves were hunted and exterminated. Legends of werewolves were rampant. Little Red Riding Hood and…

Sandra Ruttan | Imaginary Friends
Uncategorized / October 29, 2008

I was staring at the wall, my hands still. My partner assumed I was taking a break and started talking to me. “Be quiet! There are voices talking inside my head and I have to hear what they’re saying!” He muttered something like, “Okay crazy person,” and left me to talk to my imaginary friends. Writing a novel is an extremely personal venture. For months, these characters live inside your mind as you get to know them and try to reveal their character, intent and actions on the page. When you write a series it’s even more personal, because you develop a long-term relationship with your protagonists. In THE FRAILTY OF FLESH, book two of the Nolan, Hart and Tain series, the storylines are very personal. In book one, events from the past are alluded to but not exploited. In book two, Nolan is confronted by some of his darkest fears, Tain struggles with a deep personal wound that will never heal, and Hart suffers a devastating loss. Some of my friends have wondered how I could put these characters through hell. As a reader, and as someone who loves series books and gets very attached to characters, I can…

Kim Lenox | Romance Heroes — and Real Heroes
Uncategorized / October 28, 2008

I’ve heard the allegations before, and I’m sure you have too. They (“They”) say that romance heroes (and heroines, for that matter) aren’t realistic portrayals. That they are such idealized fantasies that they can’t be taken seriously. I know my personal preference: while I want a hero to be ultimately heroic – even if it’s reluctantly so — the more flawed and complex he is, the better for me as a reader. Perfect and one-dimensional men just aren’t very interesting. What about the physical aspects of a hero? I had a number of inspirations for Archer, my hero in NIGHT FALLS DARKLY. One was Eric Bana. Hubba hubba! He’s just a personal favorite actor of mine. I’d also found a piece of fantasy artwork on the artists’ website Deviant Art. If you’re interested you can view it here. So confession … yes, I guess as far as appearance goes, my hero, at least in my mind, was terribly idealized. Maybe I should have written: “The role of Archer, Lord Black, will be played by Eric Bana” on the inside of the book. That wouldn’t work because … what’s attractive to my reader? What’s “hot” to thousands of different readers? I’ve…

Carole Nelson Douglas | Midnight Louie
Uncategorized / October 27, 2008

Some folks find black cats and October 31 unlucky, but not me. Halloween was always the most significant holiday on my personal and professional calendar. Now that my new Delilah Street, Paranormal Investigator urban fantasy series is coming out, I am one happily haunted writer. Dancing with Werewolves, the first Delilah Street adventure, got a Publisher’s Weekly starred review last Halloween. The followup, Brimstone Kiss, released today, Oct. 29, and just got another PW starred review! (“Filled with kisses and kick-ass action . . . dishy writing . . . twisty plot.”) And, of course, since 1985 I’ve been intimately linked with a hunky, hard- boiled Vegas detective named Midnight Louie who was born on Oct. 31. Lucky for my husband that Louie is a cat character in my long-running mystery series named after him. Sam’s birthday is Oct. 14 and mine is Guy Fawkes Day, Nov. 5, so Halloween has always been our meet-in-the middle celebratory day. Who wouldn’t like that? Costumes, happy kids, and candy. Midnight Louie is based on a real stray cat but I gave him an Oct. 31 birthday because I figure he’s macho enough (“Sam Spade with hairballs”) to tweak his tail at superstition….

Sandi Shilhanek | Robyn Carr & Breaking Rules
Sundays with Sandi / October 26, 2008

This week I broke one of my cardinal book rules. I bought a book that I’ve already read, and I plan on keeping it. In case you don’t know I don’t keep books nor do I reread books. This being the case why then would I purposely buy a book I’ve already read? The answer is easy…due to the Readers-n-Ritas event I attended a few weekends back I was able to get two autographed books from the Virgin River series by Robyn Carr. I being the book fanatic than decided to see if Ms. Carr would be nice enough to autograph the third and return to me, and she agreed. So naturally I needed the book. The trip to the bookstore went smoothly enough, but I didn’t walk out with just the one book. Does a book fanatic ever walk out with just one? I ended up buying the reissues of the Grace Valley books because of the beautiful covers. It didn’t matter that those books in their original covers are sitting on my shelf waiting to be read, the new covers call my name, and I had to have them! I couldn’t believe I was carrying those books to…

Sara Reyes | Do You GLOM?
Uncategorized / October 25, 2008

The decorations at our back!Originally uploaded by freshfiction Yikes, it’s Saturday and I’m supposed to blog if I can’t find a fill-in. So, okay, an eventful week to recap! First we had our annual Scary Spaghetti Book Club at the Shilhanek house in Garland. LET ME TELL YOU, you needed to be brave to sit and EAT in this decorated to the gills house! Mike S. took his passion for scary stuff and over the years has a collection that is UNBELIEVABLE. Plus it moves, moans, walks, talks and is generally extremely frightening. Even going to the bathroom takes courage! TMI I’m sure, you’ll have to meet us in person to get all the “gory” bathroom details! THE ACCIDENTAL DEMON SLAYER by Angie FoxOriginally uploaded by freshfiction So, if you don’t believe me, check out our photos on Flickr…even my son was impressed! And you know it takes allot to impress guys when talking spooky stuff! BTW, the food was as always amazing and very fattening! The wine helped too *grin* Well, we had the scary atmosphere and our call-in guest was Angie Fox author of THE ACCIDENTAL DEMON SLAYER But the best for the week is my glomming of…

Bonnie Vanak | A Werewolf Tale
Uncategorized / October 24, 2008

Alpha werewolf leader Damian Marcel has a small problem. Her name is Jamie. She’s a computer geek who is into World of Warcraft and is dying of a spell turning her into stone. She also happens to be his destined mate, who tried killing him with a poison kiss. He’s faced with searching through New Orleans to find an ancient book of magick to save her life, figuring out what Jamie means when she talks about cosplay, and fighting Morphs that want them both dead. Here’s an excerpt from Enemy Lover, a November release from Silhouette Nocturne. Jamie sat on the couch as she typed on a laptop. Damian nearly dropped the fruit. Elongated purple elfin ears stuck comically out of either side of her head. She glanced up as he set the peaches down on the coffee table. A question in his eyes, Damian sat beside her and playfully tweaked an ear. “I’m a warrior Night Elf,” she said, yawning. “I’m too tired to wear the rest of the outfit. Cosplay makes me feel better. It’s comforting.” “I thought women liked dressing in old sweats to get comfortable.” Her mouth turned down. “When I cosplay, I am Celyndra, my…

Michelle Monkou | Inviting Classic Romance Characters To A Reunion
Uncategorized / October 23, 2008

My 25th high school reunion came and went. Out of all the reunions, I’ve only attended one. It was great to see people who had been a major part of my growth as a young adult. I have to be honest. There were those who caused me to inwardly cringe because they were the loud mouths, bullies, or obnoxious jerks to a large school population. Thankfully for the most part, I had a chance to connect with many who were my friends. Would love to say that we kept in touch, but that never happened after high school, and it didn’t happen after the reunion. Reality hit hard, though, with the deaths of several people I knew. One particular friend passed after the high school reunion where we both promised to stay connected. Her diagnosis of colon cancer came within a few short months of her passing. And the feeling of invincibility was made vulnerable. Yet, I’m still glad that there are a hearty bunch of volunteers who put together these high school reunions. No one expected that I would be a romance writer. I had aspirations to be a Broadway dancer and choreographer. From the time that I was…

Angie Fox |Real bikers don’t wear pink – And other lessons I learned on the road
Uncategorized / October 22, 2008

It’s no secret I’m a bit of a girly girl. I like my silver jewelry, I own way too many purses and I can spot a nail salon from 100 yards. So it was a bit of a surprise, even to me, when I found myself calling up Harley bikers and asking if we could get together. Oh and if they could possibly bring their dogs?… But hey, I’m a writer and research is part of the job. In this case, I’d set out to write a paranormal about a straight-laced preschool teacher turned demon slayer who has to run off with a gang of geriatric biker witches. Plus, my heroine has a smart-mouthed dog that, thanks to her new powers, can talk…and talk…and talk. In order to get the real story on Harley riders (and their dogs) I went online and learned that there is a nationwide club of bikers who ride with their dogs. So my heroine could have her snow white Harley, and her Jack Russell Terrier too. Of course I had to meet these hard riding dog lovers. Turns out, they were way more friendly than I’d ever imagined. They invited me into their homes, introduced…