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Thanks everyone, for coming by for our little Halloween shindig. The sugar high isn’t exactly gone yet, but Night Mistress has been dragged kicking and screaming back into her vault for the season. As for the minions, I have them cleaning up the mess Mistress and Franken-Helsing left behind. Sheesh. Boy, is being a minion tiring! What’s on tap for the rest of the fall? I need to consult the oracles but I suspect … yes, really, in all seriousness, you can expect more writing so we can get that next special story out for you, probably more babbling. I have some pictures I might upload (The drum circle this time out was nice, if…shall we say “chilly”–For my friends out in the North and northwest, stop laughing. Yes, I was chilly this weekend!). I hope those of you in the path of the storm–ahem–weathered it well. No pun intended. What a weird year this has been yes?
There’s that sugar high I mentioned. Maybe it’s more like lack of sleep. Anyway, I just wanted to check in and say a public thanks to all our guests. I enjoyed having you. All the Halloween giveaways are still running. You have until November 4th to comment for some free stuff. Have a good one, and let’s hope, no tummy aches!
*Mistress glares at minion* Do you really think that’s the best way to deal with the problem?
Well? *Minion Juli ducks* We’ve got to try something. This mob is growing angrier by the minute.
They won’t survive.
Really? *Juli crosses arms* Look how far they’ve gotten. If anyone can help, they can. She’s on the guest list, after all.
*Mistress lays her hand to her forehead * Give me strength… All right, I’ll ask. Ladies and gentleman, please welcome our next guest, paranormal romance author Jean Murray. Jean’s the author of Soul Reborn. So tell me, dear Jean, do you know any ancient magic that might help quell this crowd? Never mind. Come sit by me, have some…oh, let’s break out the wine, shall we? Now, care to tell my visitors a little about yourself, dear?
Jean Murray: Similar to other authors, I’ve always had these stories bouncing around in my head. It helped pass the time driving, waiting in line etc… It wasn’t until 2009 that I actually thought to write them down. Before I knew it I had a four book vampire series. It wasn’t until my husband sparked the idea about publishing that I even considered submitting my manuscripts. At the time it was just a hobby. I’m so glad he did—it changed my life.
Jean Murray was born and raised in a small town on the east coast. In her pursuit of a nursing degree, she aspired to see the world and joined the Navy. One of the benefits of her membership in the Armed Forces, she has had the opportunity to travel and live in different parts of the world and the United States. Her travels abroad have given her the opportunity to experience different cultures. It inspired her to delve into Ancient Egyptian myths and legends for her Key to the Cursed series from Crescent Moon Press.
Mistress: Curses maybe that’s what we need? Hm….. What inspired your novel, Soul Reborn?
Jean: Would you believe Scooby Doo? No really. I was searching for something unique to write that was different from vampires but had the same allure. Zombies were hot at the time, but I just couldn’t bring myself to writing a zombie romance. (I know some writers can pull it off, but me—no). I wanted to write something that stretched the line between paranormal romance and urban fantasy. Action, romance and a little humor thrown in for good measure. Frustrated, I sat down with my kids one day and they were watching a Scooby Doo Movie. This one was based in Egypt. It sparked an idea. The ancient Egyptian culture had always been an absolute love of mine. The idea that souls lived beyond death. When most people think of the Underworld, they think of hell, torture, punishment, but the Ancient Egyptians believed the Underworld was another realm of existence. If they passed the test they could live eternity in paradise. The majority of Underworld gods of ancient Egypt were benevolent. What a great backdrop for a book!
Mistress: I agree. Egyptian mythology is fascinating. So what became of your research?
Jean: I was told by several writers that publishers would only accept a historical Egyptian-based novel. Ignoring their warnings, I sat down and wrote Soul Reborn. I’m so glad I did. It became my debut novel and the second book, Soul Awakened is due out soon.
Mistress: So, let that be a lesson to you folks, don’t ignore your instincts. You never know where it might lead. Congrats on the coming new book. Can you tell us more about Keys to the Cursed.
Jean: The series had been well-received, much to my enjoyment. I have to pinch myself sometimes. I just had a fan/blogger send me a pair of handmade sarcophagus earrings. It’s days like those that make it all worth it!
Mistress: You’ve likely seen these questions as our other guests have answered them, but I’d like to know a little about my guests. What’s your preference: All Hallow’s Eve or All Saint’s Day?
Jean: I think most of us are more familiar with the term All Hallow’s Eve or Halloween. I’m all about dead souls (love to write about them).
Mistress: Favorite scary movie?
Jean: Aliens. The one movie that will make me jump and cover my eyes was the first Alien movie. The thought of being used as an incubator for an alien baby grosses me out beyond all belief. Not to mention it bursts from your chest and kills you. Ah, yeah—scary!
Mistress: That is disturbing. Let’s talk of something more pleasant: Dr. Frankenstein or Dracula?
Jean: Dracula- definitely. I love the premise that he vows vengeance for the death of the woman he loves. It’s hard not to sympathize on some level or at least understand why he is the way he is. (Depending on which story you follow).
Mistress: I suppose that’s true. Still… eternity is a long time. I told him once, just get over her dear, you’ll find another sweetie. Speaking of sweets: Candy corn or chocolate?
Jean:For Halloween—definitely candy corn. Like Oreo cookies, I have to nibble the layers separately. Yes, quirky, I know, but I can’t help it.
Mistress: Well then, there’s some in the pretty crystal dish on the refreshments table. Feel free to gorge if you like. What are you going to dress up as for Halloween this year?
Jean: A housewife. LOL. Actually, I have a mask from New Orleans I’m going to wear with a black cape to cover my sweatpants, rollers and fuzzy slippers. Ha!
Mistress: The vampire housewife? Oh that sounds cute! 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?
Jean: Although I love the lure of Dracula, I have to say The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allen Poe is one of my favorites. It’s been ages since I’ve read it, but it reveals the power of guilt and the ability of the mind to manifest hallucinations. In my opinion it is the best written short story ever. If you haven’t read it—you must!
Mistress: It is quite chilling! Speaking of stories, please give us a taste of your work.
THE HUMAN REALM, HIS BATTLEFIELD.
Asar, the Egyptian God of the Underworld, has been tortured and left soulless by a malevolent goddess, relegating him to consume the very thing he was commissioned to protect. Human souls. Now an empty shell of hatred, Asar vows to kill the goddess and anyone involved in her release, but fate crosses his path with a beautiful blonde huntress who has a soul too sweet to ignore.
DEADLY SECRETS BETTER LEFT UNEARTHED.
Lilly, fearless commander of the Nehebkau huntresses, is the only thing standing in the way of the goddess’ undead army unleashing hell on earth. But Lilly has a secret—one she is willing to sell her soul to keep. If the Underworld god discovers her role in the dig that released the goddess, she will lose everything, including his heart.
Excerpt of Chapter 1:
Movement flickered in the deep shadows.
Asar stilled. Midnight skin blending into the night, he slipped easily into the gloom of the New York City streets and waited.
The human heat signature he hunted lingered in the air like a fine French perfume. He was not surprised when a trio of pale- skinned, red-eyed revens zoned in on the same body heat. The undead craved the flesh of their once previous form.
It was not the human‘s flesh Asar desired.
Saddled by his own hunger that burned like fire in his chest, he raced toward the haunting scent, anxious to claim the prey before the revens. He was not about to give up such a delicious soul to
those ravenous cannibals.
Still too far away, he exploded with a shot of preternatural speed on the slippery, uneven pavement. Surefooted, he hurtled a foul dumpster and sprinted around the brick building. Hunger fueled his every step. He fully expected to hear a scream from the human victim before he reached the alley, but the air remained still.
He slid to a stop on the wet asphalt. The three revens he had sensed lay decapitated on the polluted street. Gaping chest wounds indicated the hearts had been destroyed.
Fragments of shimmering light illuminated the gray, decaying flesh, rising into the night air. Normally, he would have absorbed the shifting souls, but revens were tainted and doomed never to reach the afterlife. The undead were truly dead.
Where was the human?
The sound of shattering glass resonated from above, followed by a shower of diamond shards. Asar evaporated into the shadows against the cold brick of the building and narrowly avoided the carcass of a headless reven plummeting from the upper window. The body hit the pavement like a side of meat slammed onto a butcher‘s countertop. Dark, putrid shrapnel of blood and bone spattered across the roadway. The reven‘s head soon followed, bounced off the cement with a loud crack and rolled slowly down the sidewalk before coming to rest inches from his foot.
He did not give it a second look. Through the shattered second story window, he caught a glimpse of glowing green eyes and the flash of silver.
His body grew taut with anticipation. The humans he typically encountered at night were criminals and opportunists looting stores or transporting illegal goods — the unsavory dredges of humankind. No one else dared to be outdoors for fear of becoming a reven‘s next meal.
The criminals were easy enough prey, overconfident with their modern weapons, but this opponent utilized a more ancient form of deliverance. The reven kills were calculated and completed with the precision and stealth of a skilled assassin. This hunter was no doubt getting paid top dollar for this kind of suicide mission.
The revelation made his chest burn hotter with dark need. His prey would not go down easily. The harder the fight, the more living energy he could absorb from the human‘s soul.
He looked upward. The night sky was waning to lighter shades of blue. He had only an hour of darkness left before the horizon split open with the sun‘s rays. He would like nothing more than to draw out the fight for his own perverse pleasure, but he had to end it soon or face the wrath of his ancient curse.
A pain he would sooner avoid.
A loud crash of metal against stone around the corner interrupted his reverie. He launched forward out of the shadows, unconcerned with revealing his location, and did not waste any time turning onto the dimly lit street.
Only to find it empty.
Asar scanned quickly around the perimeter while turning slowly in a circle. The hunter did not have enough time to scale a building or sprint down the long block. His prey had to be a short distance from here. He walked forward, following the heat trail that vanished in the middle of the street.
Where did you go? Asar turned, looking for some exit the hunter could have used. The pavement shifted slightly under his foot. Looking down, he rotated his foot to the right. NY City Water & Sewer.
So, his prey had gone underground to draw him into a more cramped battle. Little did the hunter know, Asar would be the only victor in this game of cat and mouse.
He would leave with the man‘s soul.
Into the darkness of the small tunnel, he followed the exaggerated heat trail in the confined space. He heard the faint breathing and pounding of a human heart. Here kitty, kitty. The hunter was foolish enough to make a stand, but not for long. He followed the arresting scent, anxious to fill his hollow emptiness. Only a few more steps and then he‘d see his prize—
His gaze shifted over a female with long blonde hair whose curvy hips were loaded with an arsenal of weapons. In her hand, she clasped a long, intricately carved blade—a blade she pointed directly at him.
Asar swallowed against the sudden constriction in his throat. Not a hunter.
Energy rippled off her skin like streamers of bright sunlight. Her powerful essence of life called to him, the very energy that fed
his unquenchable hunger. All he had to do was touch her silky skin or lips to devour the luscious beauty. He had already taken a few steps toward her when he stopped.
Another sensation of hunger distracted his senses. One he had not felt in very long time, nor cared to feel again. His hardened arousal was inconvenient, considering the moment.
An inconvenience he was willing to explore a little before he dined on her soul. Heat radiated off her skin, a sharp contrast to his own cold, dead body. His skin began to burn, even at this distance. A welcome, but deadly flame. Despite this threat, he drew in like a moth to a flame. Warm, soft and most importantly, alive.
“I will not hurt you,” Asar whispered in a low, resonant voice. Amusement flickered in the female‘s glowing green eyes. I can‘t say that I would make the same promise, she said with a menacingly seductive smile, pressing the tip of her blade above his empty chest cavity.
It brought him to an abrupt halt, but only briefly. Despite the knife, he could not help but draw in closer. He waited to see if she would act, thrusting the blade deep into his chest. The fair female would be in for a shock, as it would not have the outcome she expected. He had no heart to pierce and no soul to destroy—a fact that relegated him to hunt in this despicable place.
““Why would a beautiful woman risk her life by being out after dark?” he asked, running the tips of his fingers against the sharp blade. Only a skilled warrior could wield such an instrument. The beheaded revens in the street were evidence enough of that.
Awaiting her answer, he leaned in on the tip of her blade, piercing his dark skin.
“Who says I‘m the one at risk here?”
She pressed the blade a little deeper into the thick muscle of his chest to call his bluff. He sneered. The huntress would need to do more than that to cause him pain.
“I do,” Asar said, enjoying her little taunt. She obviously had no
appreciation for who she was speaking to or else there would be fear in her eyes. Everyone feared death on some level, and he was the master of it.
Judge, jury and executioner.
As God of the Underworld, Asar was death, personified.
As if sensing his thoughts, she withdrew a second blade from her hip, escalating the level of her defense. “You don‘t belong here and I‘ll see you just as dead as your pale friends from earlier this evening.”
“Friends? Who said I had any friends?” Asar stepped forward again forcing himself into the personal space she so obviously wanted to keep for herself. He moved close enough to smell her sweet scent. Like a finely spun sugar on the tip of his tongue. He
licked his lips and his groin tightened to an unbearable ache.
His gesture and level of arousal did not go unnoticed. A sudden flash of heat rippled from her body and turned her face a bright pink, a contradiction to her hardened eyes. He still maintained a respectable distance from her, yet he could feel the current of energy emanating off her skin, stronger than an average human.
Her beautiful green eyes blinked quickly. Her confusion registered in the deep emerald depths. “What are you?” The cadence of her breath increased as he hovered over her lips, creating a small white vapor as it crossed his face. The urge to kiss her was strangely unbearable, as was the strain of his hard cock against the confines of his pants.
“You would not believe me if I told you.”
Her eyes shifted to his approaching lips. “Honestly, it doesn’t matter. You are not human, which makes you only one other thing.”
Despite her threatening words, the pain from the tips of her blades penetrating his skin disappeared. The knives were no longer positioned to kill. He tilted his head and watched the fluctuation in the huntress’ green eyes. Still no fear, but intelligence and an equal amount of curiosity analyzed him.
Asar could not deny the need to taste her any longer. Grimacing against the burning of his skin so close to hers, he leaned in to savor her soft lips. (to read more of the sample, please visit http://www.amazon.com/Soul-Reborn-ebook/dp/B004WDYK7A/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1350953511&sr=1-1&keywords=soul+reborn#reader_B004WDYK7A )
Mistress: Sounds fascinating! Where can our guests find you on that evil little realm called the Web?
Blog Address: www.wickedromance.wordpress.com
Mistress: Thanks for being with us tonight, Jean. You know, i think I’ve come up with a great idea: if you find an ancient spell to disperse this mob, I’ll be happy to have it!
*Minion Juli looks at Jean and rolls her eyes* We’ll work on it, Mistress. Folks, we hope you enjoyed this chat. Don’t scamper off….There’s more to come.
*Mistress helps author Rosalie Lario through underground tunnel*
Mistress: I’m sorry to bring you in like this, dear Rosalie. We’ve had a heck of a night. You have no idea what’s been going on! Come sit by me, here. Don’t mind the dust. We’re cleaning up a little. Fernando, bring our dear friend here a drink and can you clean the dust off her jacket? Thank you, my dear. He’s a good little minion. Well, you do have to watch him during the full moon’s but most of the time, he’s manageable. Settled, dear? Good. First off, tell my guests a little about yourself and your work.
Rosalie: I am the paranormal romance author of the award-winning Demons of Infernum series and the Fallen Warriors series. I write about tough but good-hearted demons and sexy-as-sin angels.
Mistress: What inspired your novel Blood of the Demon?
Rosalie: I had been contemplating writing a book centered around demons for a while, when I had a dream about the lead character in BLOOD OF THE DEMON. I knew then that Keegan would be only half demon, and that demons would be a race of beings from another dimension rather than your typical beings from Hell. Everything else fell into place soon after that!
Mistress: Give us a taste of your influences.
Rosalie: My absolute favorite novels are To Tame a Highland Warrior by Karen Moning, After Midnight by Teresa Medeiros, and One Foot in the Grave by Jeaniene Frost. Notice they’re all paranormal, lol.
Mistress: I did notice that….So this is probably a given but: All Hallow’s Eve or All Saint’s Day?
Rosalie: I absolutely love the general spookiness of All Hallow’s Eve!
Mistress: Favorite scary movie?
Rosalie: I don’t do gory scary. Freaks me out way too much, especially if it could actually happen in real life (i.e. slasher movies). So my favorite scary movie, which is more of a supernatural thriller, is The Devil’s Advocate.
Mistress: Ooh that was a creepy movie! Which leading man might you be fonder of Frankenstein, or Dracula?
Rosalie: There’s something innately sensual about Dracula (well…not the Bram Stoker version, lol), so I’ll have to go with the mesmerizing bloodsucker over the pieced together monster creation.
Mistress: Candy corn or chocolate?
Rosalie: OMG, is there even a contest? Chocolate!
Mistress: More candy corn for me, then. What are you going to dress up as for Halloween this year?
Rosalie: A black cat. Original, right?
Mistress: Actually, so far, among our guests, it is an original choice. You all are very creative and have really thought these answers out! 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?
Rosalie: Hmm, it’s tough, but I’ll have to go with Dracula.
BLOOD OF THE DEMON, Book 1 of the Demons of Infernum series Keegan lives to exact revenge on the evil demon who sired and abused him. When his father devises a plan to bring on the apocalypse, he and his three half-brothers, interdimensional bounty hunters for the Elden Council, are charged with capturing and delivering their father for punishment. Art gallery owner Brynn Meyers has no idea that her ability to read memories embedded in objects and drain people of their life force means she has demon ancestry. Unfortunately for Brynn, she’s also the key to raising an ancient zombie army, which puts her on every demon’s Most Wanted List. And no one wants her more than Keegan’s father. Keegan must protect Brynn from his father by any means necessary, but he’ll have to learn to harness the other half of his genetics—the far deadlier, uncontrollable half—when he starts to fall for the one woman standing between him and the vengeance he so desperately seeks. The one woman he’ll never be able to resist.
Read the first three chapters at http://www.entangledpublishing.com/blood-of-the-demon/
Mistress: Where can our guests find you on that evil little realm called the Web?
Thanks for visiting us tonight, Rosalie. I hope you have a pleasant walk home. Yes, of course i’ll send Fernando with you; I’ll even make sure he takes the shotgun just in case…you never know where Dr. Franken-Helsing might pop up–though I am fairly sure he’s safely in his tomb at the moment…and for good, I hope!
*Night Mistress checks security cameras* I think we’ll be okay for the rest of the event. If not, I’ve brought in some extra reinforcements. Or I should say our next guest, paranormal romance author, Emily Guido, has. She’s brought her knowledge of vampires along with her so it should go smoothly (I hope). Emily, do sit down here beside me, my dear. You look a little shaken up. Did the villagers do something to you? No. Good.. I know they’re scary, but don’t mind them. Let’s talk of something else while the next batch of brew steeps.Tell us about yourself.
Emily Guido: Hello! I work during full-time and go to MBA school full-time. Write Paranormal Romance novels and consult and critique other novels. Then I do all the stuff you have to do like cook, clean, laundry, grocery shopping. Needless to say, I’m super busy.
Mistress: Seems so… What inspired your Lightbringers series?
Emily: That’s easy! I love this question because I get so excited when I talk about how I got the idea. I was thinking one day of a couple that loved each other very much but they were total and complete opposites. Then to add drama, this couple would have to fight Heaven, Hell and everyone in-between to be together and stay together.
Mistress: Sounds like my life sometimes. *laughs* Now tell us your favorites: All Hallow’s Eve or All Saint’s Day?
Emily: You are kidding me, right??? Halloween of course!
Mistress: I must admit, I have a fondness for the holiday myself. Favorite scary movie?
Emily: Dracula with Frank Langella… He was SO GORGEOUS in that movie and his eyes were hypnotizing.
Mistress: He is…with that in mind, would you choose Dr. Frankenstein or Dracula?
Mistress: Candy corn or chocolate?
Emily: Both Tastes like a Baby Ruth Candy Bar.
Mistress: I’ve never tried that! What are you going to dress up as for Halloween this year?
Bwahahaha… the only costume NOT befitting my status… a Catholic School Girl!
Mistress: *eg* I see you have a wild streak! 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?
Emily: Sorry to be a broken record but DRACULA… always Dracula. I am sort of a “Vampire Connoisseur”! I love everything about the lore.
Mistress: No apology required. We’re fond of vampires around here too. The scarier the better. Please give us a taste of your work.
Emily: Tabbruis is a Blood-Hunter, he drinks blood to survive. Over millennia Tabbruis has wandered the Earth alone aimlessly living through many historical events.
Charmeine just came to the Earth in 1997, unable to remember anything.
When Tabbruis meets Charmeine the attraction is immediate and passionate. They are polar opposites and clash together in a strongly romantic and dramatic way. When she meets Tabbruis, Charmeine’s powers as a Light-Bearer, one who throws lightning, is triggered and grows exponentially.
Will Charmeine and Tabbruis fulfill their destinies? Will they realize their importance in both the Blood-Hunter and Light-Bearer world? Can romance develop between a Heavenly Light-Bearer and a Hellish Vampire Blood-Hunter?
Mistress: Oh, I don’t know. What a tough question! I guess my guests will just have to read to see how it works out! Where can our guests find you on that evil little realm called the Web?
Coming Soon to Amazon in the next month:
“SEDITIOUS” the Fourth Novel in “The Light-Bearer Series”
“RANSOM” the Fifth Novel in “The Light-Bearer Series”
Coming Soon in 2013
“Conundrum” the Sixth Novel in “The Light-Bearer Series”
Mistress: Wonderful. Thanks for being with us in our little shindig, Emily and good luck with the books! Now, what can we do about these villagers? Folks, Emily is giving away the first three books in her series to one lucky commenter so please leave Emily a comment or question. We will choose the winner at the end of this event. Until then, have a pleasant evening. Watch out for those villagers!
*Tucks knife into boot and straightens skirt* Oh, dear lord. You have no idea what happened! Those rat bastards broke through the gate! Poor Casey. I hope she got home okay. Don’t worry. I wont let them inside the castle.
*tumult sounds. Mistress turns to next guest* I’m so sorry, Calisa dear, we’re going to have to move our little chat into the basement. *Opens basement door and shoos Calisa down steps.* Ahem, not the best place to conduct an interview…if I’d known this was going to happen I’d have rescheduled. Sit down here dear. No, not in the electric chair. Over there on the divan.
Hi Juli and Mistress! It’s great to be here sharing my scrimshaw doll story with your readers!
Night Mistress: And we’re glad to have you here today. But before we get down to work, let’s have some fun. With all that’s going on outside, we need a little distraction right now, don’t you think? So… All Hallow’s Eve or All Saint’s Day?
Calisa: I think All Hallow’s Eve. Something about eve being more mysterious than ‘day’.
Mistress: I agree, I just can’t drag out of my cryptic before 6PM. Do you have a favorite scary movie?
Calisa: Ugh, I don’t DO scary movies anymore, but back in the day I loved any of Stephen Kings movies and books. Pet Cemetery to pick just one.
Mistress: Ah, so the classics! Dr. Frankenstein, or Dracula?
Calisa: Definitely Drac. I love a man who has bite!
Mistress: Another Drac lover. Listen, I’m going to have to tell you what he’s really like some day…. Here’s a better choice: Candy corn or chocolate?
Calisa: Now that’s just rude, Mistress! To make a girl choose like that when chocolate is one of the choices isn’t fair!
Mistress: Oh, I’m sorry. On the other hand, it’s an easy choice isn’t it? Come now, what’s your poison?
Calisa: Chocolate, of course.
Mistress: What are you going to dress up as for Halloween this year?
Calisa: Well, I don’t know if I’ll dress up this year. Last year I didn’t. But the year before I was the great pumpkin! One year I was a She Devil. Maybe I’ll just be Gramma this year.
Mistress: *g* I’d love to see that costume! Do you have them on you? No, oh well. Then we’re just going to have to continue with the torture. 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?
Calisa: Seeing as I only recognize two of those, I’ll go with Drac again. LOL
*Mistress pats Calisa’s hand* Don’t worry. I’ll lend you a few.
Mistress: You’re quite welcome. *thump*
*Mistress glances worriedly at ceiling* *aside* What the bloody hell is going on up there now?
*Minion shouts*: Nothing, Mistress. We got it!
*Shares look with Calisa* Ahem, would you like to share anything else, dear? Seems we have a little more time.
Calisa: while your visitors decide what they’ll be for Halloween and share with us, here’s the blurb and excerpt for my first book, Home, released from The Wild Rose Press.
What could a gypsy and a Vietnam veteran have in common?
BLURB: Silvertown’s outcast, Poppy Tippen, has loved football hero Sam “The Force” Callahan forever. But he never seemed to know she was alive. Now he’s home from the war and she suddenly finds herself comforting him from the demons of “that damn war.” Is his attention merely an escape from the haunting nightmares? Or does she hold the interest of the only man she’s ever truly loved?
Sam Callahan’s only solace from the war nightmares wrecking his life comes in the unlikely form of a gypsy girl with stigmas of her own. He’s known Poppy his entire life, but there’s something different about her now. Something special he desperately wants to hold on to. Can he convince her she’s the only thing he needs to put the past behind him?
Over the next week he actively avoided his mother as he raked and watered the lawn. He’d found out the gardener had left when his mother stopped paying him, not that Sam blamed the guy. So, he would try to do what he could to fix the old place up again. Somehow, like himself, he doubted the place he’d called home would ever fully recover the ravages of wartime. It gave him something useful to get through the days before he creeped out at night.
“Sammie, we need to talk.”
He dropped his head and counted briefly before facing his mother. “Good morning, Ma.”
“Have you talked to that woman?”
No nonsense, that was Ma. He dragged in a heavy breath to stifle a groan. “What woman would that be?”
“Don’t play games with me, Sam. You know full well I’m talking about that gypsy woman who owns the doll store. Did you tell her you want the doll back?” His mother threw hands to hips. He waited five ticks. Yep, there it was. Her left foot began flapping like a fish out of water to make known her full ire at him. He almost grinned.
As he stared at her tapping foot, Sam realized he’d actually missed that trait in his mother while he’d been gone. But she wasn’t interested in reflections of days past. “No. I’m not going to get the doll. It’s better off gone if it causes you so much distress. Just forget it and let it be, Ma.”
“Forget it? Haven’t you heard what I’ve been telling you? It will only cause more problems the longer that woman has it!” She was almost yelling and Sam cringed inwardly with a glance around. She ought to keep her voice down or—
Or, what? Did he expect the VC to pop out of the surrounding sticks that had once been shrubbery admired by the whole town? Yes. He did. Damn it all. Why was it so hard for him to let go of the war he was no longer a part of? He shuffled his loafer-clad feet and sighed heavily. “What’s so special about that doll that you won’t let it go?”
His mother looked away from him as though she had a secret and twisted her hands around her ever-present hankie. “It’s bad, evil.”
“Then, why on earth would you want it back? Good riddance, I’d say.”
“No!” She backed up a step and looked up at him, lips painted the same bright red, and he vaguely wondered if she’d worn it so long it had become permanent, a tattoo. A bright red tattoo. Blood red… “It was a gift from my cousin, Helen, when I visited her in California, before she died. I already told you that. But, it’s cursed! I can’t risk anyone else suffering because of that—that thing!”
Blood red… Sam shook the image off and looked over his mother’s head toward the street.
Of all the times to wander in, he didn’t need Poppy showing up right then, while his mother was on her insane rampage about a doll.
A doll that Poppy’s mother had bought fair and square, according to Ma. Now it was a cursed doll? She’d said something about that last time she mentioned the damn thing. He was suddenly afraid his mother was losing her mind. “Son of a bitch.”
“Watch your mouth, young man. I won’t have that kind of language used in this house. Your father—God rest his soul—didn’t use that filth, and I won’t have my only son speak it.” She sounded so normal, suddenly.
“Sorry, Ma. I need to go…somewhere, for a while.”
“Get the doll.” Her voice poured from that red mouth like a warning.
He leaned the rake he’d been using before the interruption against the wood shed and tossed a wave over his head to his mother as he strode for the driveway, and Poppy. Suddenly, it took all his will not to break out in a run and just keep going. Never to stop until he was far, far away from this new nightmare his mother had introduced to him. Blood red, blood. Red, blood, red, blood, red blood.
Sam didn’t stop when he reached Poppy, but grabbed her hand and swung her around with him—took her away before his mother realized who she was. He especially didn’t need her to see the doll shop owner’s daughter.
He picked up his already fast pace until he felt a jerk against his hand and slowed down. He didn’t want to talk. Not yet. Walk. Keep walking…fast.
“Whoa, soldier boy!” She yanked him to a stop. For a little thing, she was stronger than he’d have thought. “What’s with you? If I wanted to race I’d be a horse.”
Blood red. No talking. Walk. Her hand still in his, he gave a rough tug.
Calisa Rhose is an Okie, born and bred, through and through, and proud of it. While growing up when she wasn’t on the back of a horse, she could be found with pen and paper in hand. Her writing career began with poetry in her younger days. In time the poetry turned into stories of romance and dreams. She’s an active member of National Romance Writers of America (RWA) and the local chapter OKRWA. She is coordinator of National Reader’s Choice Awards, IDA and the new webmistress. When she isn’t reading for pleasure or crafting her own books, Calisa stays busy as an independent editor, as well as, a staff editor for Lyrical Press, Inc. All those are her activities when family doesn’t have her attention.
Calisa: Thanks for letting me come hang, Juli and Mistress. Happy Halloween!
Night Mistress: You’re most welcome, Calisa dear. Don’t worry about getting out. My minions can get you home safely. >:) We’ve got ways the villagers haven’t discovered yet! Enjoy your night.