Hello folks. Another Halloween. Is that why all the traffic from the local peasants? *Mistress closes curtains* I hope so. They do make my minions nervous. Oh, well. Never mind. Welcome to our yearly open house. The first guest we have for you is a talented author of young adult fiction. Paige Cuccaro welcome. We haven’t had any “young” adults running around the castle for a long time, though…maybe our just turned 100 year old minions count?
No? Oh, well. Why don’t you tell us a little about yourself?
Night Mistress: First off, tell us a little about yourself and your work.
Paige Cuccaro: Okay, well, my name is Paige Cuccaro. I live in Ohio with my husband, and three daughters. I didn’t start out wanting to be a writer, although I’ve always enjoyed writing. Once I started though, I knew it was something I’d never stop doing. I write paranormal romance and urban fantasy. Under my penname, Alison Paige, I also write paranormal erotica, but there’s almost always a bit of the otherworldly in my writing.
*Mistress preens* : Otherworldly is good. What inspired Commencement?
Paige: I am totally fascinated with biblical angels and Enoch, (who contributed to the bible and was said to be related to Noah,) retells an amazing account of angels taking wives, having children the bible calls nephilim and describes as giants. I’ve done endless research, more to satisfy my own curiosity and the writer in me just started saying, “What if?” What if the angels were still taking wives and having children, but over the eons had figured out a way to make their children seem just as normal as any human? What if these children, these nephilim, were living among us not even realizing the true supernatural power they possessed? Commencement (and the entire Hellsbane series) grew out of that premise. Depending on your beliefs it could all be very possible…and I love that!
Night Mistress: Sounds interesting! Now for some fun questions: All Hallow’s Eve or All Saint’s Day?
Paige: All Hallow’s Eve
Night Mistress: Favorite scary movie?
Night Mistress: Frankenstein, or Dracula?
Night Mistress: Candy corn or chocolate?
Night Mistress: Note to Minions, more chocolate next year. ; ) What are you going to dress up as for Halloween this year?
Paige: I’m going with the classics. I’m vamping out this year!
Night Mistress: A fine choice if I do say so myself! If you could be in any classic horror novel, or story (such as Dracula, Frankenstein, Carmilla, Turn of the Screw, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, The Tell-Tale Heart? The Raven?), which would it be?
Paige: It would be cool to be in Dracula! I just love Bram Stoker’s time period.
Mistress: It was quite nice, though really, I have to tell you, I prefer indoor plumbing and air conditioning. You have no idea how drafty those old castles got! Now then, Paige, dear, please give us a taste of your work.
Hell hath no fury like a woman’s scorn for frat guys…
Emma Jane Hellsbane knows something evil is worming its way through her college campus—she can feel it. Literally. Her freakish ability to feel other people’s emotions as though they were her own has always been monumentally awkward, and it’s easier for her to just pretend it doesn’t exist. But this time her paranormal ability just might help her save lives.
Emma Jane’s fairly certain that whatever the hateful, egomaniacal, Godlike thing is, it’s set up shop inside her boyfriend, the frat boy/soccer star Justin. And if she doesn’t figure a way to get it out of him soon, Justin’s soul will be the appetizer to the main course—the whole student body. Problem is, the big baddy is granting sinister wishes, and with each one the risks grow higher and the phrase Be careful what you wish for becomes a real-life dire warning. Of course for Emma, what feels like it could be the end is in fact just the beginning…
He exhaled through his nose, making his nostrils flare. His forehead wrinkled, then he turned back to
the computer. “Salt.”
“Supernaturals don’t like salt. It’s a known fact,” he said, typing as he talked. The kid had skills. “Next
time you go over to the frat-sty, sprinkle salt around. If there’s something otherworldly being held there, you’ll know it.”
“Seriously? I’m supposed to throw salt all over the place? They’ll think I’m nuts.”
“What, it’s a secret?” His quiet snicker shook his shoulders.
He sobered. “Not all over the place, Einstein. Sprinkle it on things. Stuff that could hold a spirit: boxes, cups, bowls, books, anything old.”
“Salt.” I tried to picture myself tip-toeing around the Kappa Omega fraternity house with one of the
plastic salt shakers the guys had swiped from Mickey D’s.
Oh, this was so not going to be fun.
“Sea salt,” Mihir said, head down, fingers flying over his keyboard, “works better.”
“Right.” Of course it does. “What are you doing with all that typing and clicking?”
“No you’re not. Tell me you are not hacked into the school’s computer.” I sat up straight, swallowing hard against my suddenly dry throat. I knew computer hacking was the pastime of most hormone-crazed kids these days, but walking on the wrong side of the law, virtually or not, gave me the willies.
He glanced over his shoulder at me, looking very young and mischievous. Then he winked and turned back to the computer. “Relax, Emma, they can’t trace me. I’m too good. Besides, I’m just fixing what some other numb-nut screwed up. At the rate those IT dips the school hired are moving, they won’t isolate the virus till next year. I’ll have it fixed in another hour or two tops.”
“Virus? Is that what made everyone’s grades show as Fs?”
“Oh. Well then, carry on.” I pushed to my feet and took the three steps to the other side of the dorm
room to stand behind his desk chair. “The dean said he’d postpone commencement next week until they can figure out which students really failed and which were just hacked. That would definitely suck. My family’s way too psyched about coming. Telling them the thing’s postponed would be…scary.”
“You know it. My parents almost had a cow over the grades. I told them the Fs weren’t real, but they’re paranoid it’ll somehow keep me from getting into med school. Boo-hoo. Right?”
Mihir didn’t really want to be a doctor. He wanted to be Giles from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Like I said…he’s fifteen.
Mihir swung his gaze, wagged his brows. “Hey, while I’m in here, what’ll ya give me for an A in advanced physics?”
“Hey, there’s nothing wrong with that B. I earned it.” Okay, it was a B minus, but it was all mine. I hated math, and just because I’d skipped some grades in high school didn’t make college courses cake for me.
I reached over and mussed his hair, then left to begin my search for sea salt…and sleazy hidden spirits.
This was insane.
Mistress: Sounds like it! Where can our guests find you on that evil little realm called the Web?
Paige: at my website: www.PaigeCuccaro.com
And your book?
Mistress: Thanks for being with us today, Paige. Good luck with your work and …don’t mind those villagers. We’ll take care of them! Have a happy Halloween season! There’s more to come, folks, so stick around. We’ll be back soon.