Happy Holidays, kittens! Yes, its that time of year again. In the words of Billy Mack, “Christmas is all around.” The holidays always put me in mind of family gatherings, snow covered hills, warm fireplaces, and baking parties. Those little traditions without which it just wouldn’t feel like Christmas. So I’ve compiled a little list of things that make the season bright for The Belle…
1. Christmas movies. The first thing I do to get in a Christmasy mood is to pull out the arsenal of movies for the season. Now I’m not talking about those cheesy Hallmark Channel movies that they start showing on Oct. 31st, but the traditional favorites. A Christmas Carol, It’s a Wonderful Life, and Love Actually are among the movies that get me in the spirit.
2. “Do They Know It’s Christmas” by Band Aid. It’s true that there are hundreds of Christmas songs that the radio begins to play ad nauseum at the beginning of November, but this one is special. It perfectly conveys to me what Christmas should be all about. Not to mention it takes me back to Christmas when I was a little kid.
3. Making a thousand batches of peanut butter fudge. Fudge is probably my favorite Christmas treat. If you’ve never had homemade fudge, you’re really missing out. There are many ways to make it, but my preferred flavor is peanut butter. Later in the month I’ll post the recipe.
I could go on for ages, but let’s get down to brass tacks. Another way to celebrate Christmas this year, for me, is to participate in this lovely blog hop with Mocha Memoirs Press. They’re featuring some amazing holiday reads this month including a brand new Naughty Klaus story from Drea Riley called “It’s Christmas, Cupid!” Also, Mistletoe Dreams is offered for $3.99– a bundle of three holiday favorites that are sure to melt your snowglobes. Plus a couple of holiday favorites from Siobhan Kinkade and Selah Janel. And if that wasn’t enough, MMP is hosting a HUGE giveaway of books, swag, and GCs to make your holiday bright!
So click on the button below to visit our holiday friends and don’t forget to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway! Winners will be announced on Dec. 15th!!
Once more I’ve decided to welcome another author over to the Belle to do my dirty work. Today, author and cover art critic David Blalock has come over to talk about his Angelkiller Triad and how a really great cover artist can give your book the boost it needs to excel. Because, as we all know, your book might be the best thing ever, but no one will know if they don’t pick it up. And if you’re like me, you often choose a book initially because it has an interesting cover. Seventh Star Press is well known throughout the industry for having the very best in cover and interior artwork and David’s trilogy is a perfect example. But I’ll let him tell you…
What can I say about Matt Perry’s artwork that can do it justice? His covers have drawn some significant attention to the series, attention it probably would not otherwise have had. As an artist, Matt has the ability to take an idea and imbue his own personal interpretation into the image without losing the original theme. It is a tricky balancing act, one he has mastered admirably.
The cover of Angelkiller is a striking image, unlike anything I’ve seen. His use of atmospheric imagery on that cover gave it that disturbing, unreal feeling that conveys the essence of the Great Conflict. The books are about a war between entities more than human and that cover shows just enough humanity to connect with the reader while retaining that otherworldly quality. The interior images in Angelkiller faithfully reproduce the scenes from the text in an exciting and provocative manner. They more closely connect the reader to the text, inserting more humanity into the art while retaining just enough emotional impact.
For Traitor Angel, Matt reached into the idea of virtual reality crossing over into mundane reality by presenting the combat between good and evil, represented by the knight and the dragon, against a background of circuitry. As a lot of the book contained just this combat, it was again faithful to the ideas embodied in the text while making a broader statement about the story arc in general. The interior art continues this theme, reaching toward the humanity without letting us forget how different the virtual reality conflict can be.
Finally, in Doom Angel’s cover, Matt states the Great Conflict in an iconic image that sums up the series marvelously. The feedback about this art has been unanimously positive. Again, he took the road of impression instead of strict interpretation, resulting in a stunningly beautiful, yet slightly troubling, image. The Great Conflict could not have been better presented in a single piece of art. The interior artwork only reinforces and strengthens the conviction that what is happening has a deeper meaning than simply a war between human factions.
Having Matt Perry as my artist for the series was a struck of incredible luck. I am very fortunate to have such a talented and perceptive individual on my team. And Seventh Star Press has a gem of an artist in their employ.
Now you all know that while I’m a romantic at heart, I really love a dark urban fantasy. I’ve just started reading Angelkiller but I’m already in love. Read this description. I dare you not to be desperate to read it…
Why do bad things happen to good people? Simple. In the ancient war between the Angels of Light and Darkness, the Dark won. Now it is the job of an undercover force simply known as The Army to rectify that.
Using every tool available, The Army has worked to liberate our world from The Enemy for thousands of years, slowly and painfully lifting Mankind out of the dark. On the front of the great Conflict are the Angelkillers, veterans of the fight with centuries of experience.
Jonah Mason is an Angelkiller, and his cell is targeted as part of plot to unseat a very powerful Minion of The Enemy. Mason and his troop are drawn into a battle that stretches from real-time to virtual reality and back. The Conflict is about to expand into cyberspace, and if Mason is unable to stop it, The Enemy will have gained dominion over yet another realm.
Sounds pretty awesome, doesn’t it? Okay, kids. That’s it for me today. I’ve got a dragon by the fireplace waiting. He seems pretty tame but he keeps shouting, “Bored!” and breathing fire. If I don’t act quickly, my house may burn down. See ya, kids!
Welcome! Today kicks off the Death’s Dance blog tour. That’s right, author Crymsyn Hart is stopping by the blog today to talk about her top ten horror movie villains. And Crymsyn knows horror movies.
Yes, it’s true I am a big lover of horror movies. Have been since the first time I saw one when I was four. That movie was Poltergeist. I remember peeking out from behind the chair in our living room and watching the movie. Although I can’t recall what about the movie frightened me the most, probably that darn clown doll that attacks the kids because it still creeps me out today. From that first movie I was hooked.
I watch B movies and some I classify as C grade movies because we know they are just so bad that you can’t look away. For a couple of years when I was a teenager and there were such things as video rental places, I would walk up the street and rent a video for $1.25. And the video store was stocked with movies from Full Moon Productions way back in the 1990’s and I watched things like Subspecies, Puppet Master, Meridian, & Trancers to name a few.
Horror villains come in all shapes, sizes, and other supernatural varieties. Here are my favorite top ten.
Death – from the Final Destination movies because you can’t cheat death.
Blade – From all the Puppet Master movies
The Tall Man – Phantasm franchise
PumpkinHead – PumpkinHead
Pennywise – It
Radu – Subspecies Movies
Freddy Krueger – Nightmare on Elm Street
The Creeper- Jeepers Creepers
Chrome Skull – Laid to Rest & Chrome Skull: Laid to Rest 2
David – Lost Boys
So yeah these probably are the typical ones most people pick. However, these are some of my favorite franchises I watch while I’m writing. If you haven’t seen any, I suggest checking them out.
Ugh! How is David from The Lost Boys not higher on the list??!!! He’s one of my favorites as well. But I suppose I have to forgive Crymsyn, as she is a true goddess of horror. This month, she’s spotlighting her new release from Seventh Star Press, Death’s Dance. Here’s a little taste:
Being a psychic, you would think talking to the dead was a walk in the park. However, it’s not always that simple. The hooded specter haunting me is one I’ve been dreaming about since I was a kid. One day, he appeared in my bedroom mirror. Good. Evil. I don’t know what his true intentions are. Enter Jackson, ghost hunting show host extraordinaire, and my ex, to save me from the big bad ghost. From there…well…it’s been a world wind of complications. My house burnt down. I’m being stalked by an ancient evil and gotten myself back into the world of being a ghost hunting psychic. Jackson dragged me, along with a few other psychics, to a ghost town wiped off the map called Death’s Dance.
From there things went from bad to worse.
You’re asking, where can I get this jewel?? This tome of horrific loveliness that will haunt my dreams so badly that I’ll have to shove it in the freezer til morning? Well, kittens, you can just click on the cover above or follow these links:
Crymsyn is a National Bestselling author of over seventy paranormal romance and horror novels. Her experiences as a psychic have given her a lot of material to use in her books. She currently resides in Charlotte, NC with her hubby and her three dogs. If she’s not writing, she’s curled up with the dogs watching a good horror movie or off with friends.
Good morning and welcome to the Purrfectly Gift-tastic Blog Hop, brought to you by the amazing folks over at the Blog Hop Spot! It’s going to be a lot of fun and a celebration of a variety of authors to get you in the holiday spirit. I thought I’d begin by telling you a bit about what you can WIN on my stop this time! I know, that’s what you really wanted to hear anyway. We talk a good game about wanting to hear about the writer’s process or interviews with the characters, but what we really love is the free stuff. Go ahead, be honest. Santa is watching. So let’s get to it!
I’m keeping it simple this time. No rafflecopters, all you have to do is follow the blog and leave a comment. That’s it, folks! Leave me a comment and follow the blog and you will be entered to win a pdf copy of either Strange Bedfellows: Three to Tango or Masquerade. Both are hot little menage pieces that are just the thing to get your gears grindin’. I’ll be choosing 3 winners!
Also, while you’re here, you can scroll down and click on my SCRUMPTIOUS St. Nick to enter the Ho-Ho-Holiday Giveaway, where you can win all kinds of stuff from myself and other authors! There IS a rafflecopter involved there, though.
Since you’re going to have to choose between them, I’m going to leave you with blurbs of both Three to Tango and Masquerade so you can go ahead and start daydreaming. And I don’t mean about sugarplums….
Blurb of “Strange Bedfellows: Three to Tango”:
“…vampires can be dangerous to your health.”
A truer statement had never been uttered, but when Cali stumbled upon The Oubliette, she began to realize the wisdom in those words. Broken-hearted and bored, Cali’s life had become a string of TV dinners and romance novels. She wondered where her life was going until she followed the mysterious stranger through the red door and entered a world that few would ever know existed. A world of vampires, werewolves and pleasure beyond imagination. Within the walls of The Oubliette, Cali will embark on a dangerous and sensual journey of discovery that will change her life forever.
Blurb of “Masquerade”:
“What’s your fantasy?”
Blythe McLachlan had the perfect life until the night he said those three little words that could make or break a relationship. When Blythe tells her husband about her fantasy of a hot menage, he’s less than pleased. But when he drops her off at a mysterious masquerade ball, she finds that the boundaries of love can be crossed and rules are made to be broken.
Don’t forget to click the kitty pic at the top of the post to visit the other blogs on the hop! It’s a great way to find some new authors.
If I’ve piqued your interest or if you just want to come point and laugh, I can be found at the following locales:
Welcome back to the Christmas Wishes Hop! I decided that since one of the big prizes in this hop is a kindle or nook loaded with eBooks, that I’d give you some pimpage on MY book that will be included with the big prize. I thought I’d repost an interview with the main character, Seth, in “Sanguine Kiss.” He’s a sexy vampire with absolutely no qualms about eating you alive. Of course, that’s one of the best things about him…
AC: Welcome, Seth. Thanks for agreeing to talk to us today. Pardon the garlic garlands. But we have to keep it safe, sane and consensual you know.
Seth: Of course, Lexxx. But you needn’t have worried. The world is far more interesting with you in it.
AC: (blushing) You’re such a charmer, Seth.
Seth: (in a decidedly sarcastic tone) Vampire!
AC: Indeed. And speaking of that, tell us a little about your origins.
Seth: Well, as hard as it might be to believe, I was born in 1341 B.C. in the city of Thebes. I was a slave to a scribe named Kheti. One day while I was gathering papyrus reeds by the river, a beautiful woman came upon me. At first I thought she was the goddess Isis in human form, but her intentions were soon revealed.
AC: I’m sure that was traumatic.
Seth: Indeed, but she claimed she could turn me to a living God. Being stupid and young, I believed her. And well… here I am.
AC: I have to ask– were the two of you lovers?
Seth: (chuckles) For nearly a thousand years. Off and on of course. But as you know, now I have a new love.
AC: Of course. That lucky Gillian Thompson. Why did you choose her for your mate after being alone so long?
Seth: I don’t know if you realize, but the senses of a vampire are very keen. Each of you has a distinct scent that is either pleasing or abhorrent. There are subtle nuances that one can almost taste. You, for example Ms. Christian, have an extremely spicy and sweet scent. I would imagine that your blood tastes of cinnamon and chocolate. Something about Gilly’s scent was so intoxicating. It was as if her body called to mine. I loved her in an instant and knew that I would no longer be satisfied without her. And I suppose I enjoyed that someone needed me.
AC: (cheeks in flames still over the chocolate remark) How do you feel about how vampires are portrayed in the media nowadays?
Seth: Rather amusing. I saw one of those Twilight movies with Gilly a few months ago and spent the whole thing thinking, “What sort of weed were these people smoking?” A bloodless vampire movie. It doesn’t surprise me. Sexiness and allure is part of the vampire’s hunting practice and I’m sure that women find that very appealing. The problem is, no one depicts what happens afterward. Don’t get me wrong, I love women. But there’s nothing I need more than blood. And I’m sorry, I prefer it warm and directly from the source, if you get my drift (piercing stare that renders the Belle speechless for several moments).
AC: Well… it’s certainly been a pleasure, Seth. I hope you’ll come back soon and give us some more insight.
Seth: Anything for you, Lexxx. I’ll come over and over if you like (eyebrows cocked in obvious innuendo).
(Wrapping a garland of garlic around herself like a feather boa.) Thanks for joining the blog today, folks. I certainly HOPE that I’ll be back tomorrow…
That Seth is such a sexy interview. “Sanguine Kiss” is just one of the books that you’ll find on your new Nook or Kindle if you win the Christmas Wishes Blog Hop contest! So be sure to go and visit the other blogs on the hop by clicking the button at the top of this post. And if you’d like to enter to win those eReaders chock full of romance, then follow this little link: http://booktrailershowcase.com/2012/12/06/christmas-wishes-blog-hop/ and you’ll find the Rafflecopter widget!
It’s me again—your old pal Lexxx with a blog about the slightly disturbing genre of horror erotica. I am going to reveal a disturbing, if not surprising, piece of myself. I’m into sex and violence. I think the two go hand in hand, actually. Think about it—in horror movies, the hero and heroine almost always get busy just before the monster jumps out and annihilates their naked flesh. It’s always been a rule of slasher films that the first big kill is some girl showing us her white underwear and/or gratuitously large breasts while she runs from the axe murderer that hacked up her lover in the previous frames. Let’s face it—sex and fear have a lot in common. Your pulse races, you get short of breath and then at the peak—complete exhilaration. As I sit here writing this article, I’m watching the movie “Pet Sematary,” based on Stephen King’s brilliant novel. King is a master of turning the ordinary into the EXTRAordinary. Love is the most ordinary thing around, sex even more so. As they say, the birds and the bees do it. So it only seems natural that love and sex should have starring roles in horror stories.
My release, “Dollface,” from No Boundaries Press, is about the horror of obsessive love. We’ve all been there, right? We’ve all had that person who knew just how to push our buttons in all the right places. We want to be with them every minute and hang on every word they say. But what if that person doesn’t return our affections? Perhaps they just don’t like us “that way,” or aren’t really looking for a relationship. Maybe it’s because they were an old love whose time has passed, never to be recaptured. Or worse, your ultimate mate doesn’t even acknowledge that you’re alive. No matter how you slice it, it hurts. The pain of unrequited love can turn even the most normal of people into angry harpies that blow up your phone with disturbing text messages. But what if it was more sadistic than that? What if the lover was a bit… unbalanced. That, my friends, is the stuff of erotic horror.
In the genre, over the last several years, we’ve seen a huge surge in blending horror and romance. Yes, this is the Twilight portion of our little discussion. Ah, Twilight, a sweet little YA novel about necrophilia. New girl at school meets popular boy, falls in love and discovers that he’s a bloodsucking creature of the night (or as Corey Haim so aptly put it in “The Lost Boys,”—“A goddamn shit-sucking vampire!”). Indeed a tale as old as time. Stephanie Meyer may take credit for it, but Bram Stoker did it back in the Victorian era. The difference is, Stoker realized the true metaphor of the vampire. When Dracula says, “The blood is the life,” what he meant was “the blood is the sex.” And I think that’s what fuels the hatred of Twilight among oversexed adults like me. Meyer cut Edward Cullen’s balls off and stuck them safely down in her purse. He doesn’t drink blood—he may as well be impotent. Vampires are romantic heroes. They always have been. Their powers of seduction are necessary to their survival and to take that away so that they can be “the good guys,” just undermines their power as horror figures. One reaction to that has been erotic horror featuring badass vampires that have no problem fucking your brains out then sucking your blood. And it gets stranger than that. I’ve heard of erotic horror featuring zombies, demons, ghosts and witches. Coming soon to your bookstore: The Secret Sex Lives of the Loch Ness Monster.
So what’s the point? We all feel like a bit of a monster every now and then. Love makes us do crazy things and we find ourselves relating to the creatures of the night. So when you think about it that way, it really isn’t all that strange, this love of all things both erotic and macabre.
We’re drawing closer to Halloween. That feeling of dread sweeps over us slowly, licking at the back of our necks like a sadistic lover. We can feel it in the crisp autumn air. We can hear it in the whistling of the wind around the eaves. We can smell it like burning leaves, yet it offers no warmth. Everywhere we can feel the spirits of the dead watching and waiting. Some of us hide, bundling ourselves in fuzzy sweaters, moving quickly through the streets to the safety of our homes, praying that nothing will follow us there. Others of us will revel in it. Those of us that relish the feeling of being scared. That gasp of surprise, the chill of fear– it is exhilarating and we seek it out.Sanguine Kiss is for us.
There were two cuts, side by side that seemed to drag a couple of inches down his arm. “I thought vampires were invincible.”
He flicked his tongue over the curve of her breast, watching as her skin prickled. “The scar marks us for what we are. You will have one too.” Gillian tensed at his words and he pulled her to him. “The pain lasts only a moment,” he whispered, his lips moving softly against the puckered skin
of her nipple before drawing it into his mouth. He suckled gently at first, worrying it to a swollen bud until she gasped. Only then did he prick the edge of the areola with his teeth. The wound was miniscule and she barely noticed the sting until the tiny pearl of blood appeared. Pulling back from her, he purred deep in his throat upon seeing the deep red rivulets that ran down the side of her breast, following the curving silhouette of her body. Before it could reach the sheets below, he swooped down and captured the drops with his tongue, then lapped at the precious fluid.
Gillian moaned, her heart beating faster. She knew she should be afraid, but she was lost in the sensations he created. He kissed his way back up her torso, alighting on her other breast and biting down hard. She cried out, instinctively trying to push him away. He grabbed her wrists and pinned them to the pillow behind her head. She groaned and struggled, but he was much too strong for her. Closing his mouth over the breast fully, he sucked at the wound until it was bleeding heavily down her front. She watched with eyes blurry with tears, as the thickening sanguine fluid stained her skin. He drank deeply for a few moments, then tore himself away, wiping his mouth with the back of his hand. Strangely, she didn’t feel drained as she’d thought she would. Only this heaviness that had settled into her extremities, keeping her still as he slid away from her. “Is that it?” she croaked sleepily, thinking that perhaps she’d been afraid for nothing.
He gave a dark chuckle as he stood up at the side of the bed. A smear of her blood stood out as a harsh streak of black against his skin. “Patience, little one,” he said, pulling at the button on his jeans. “I’ve only just begun. Such a delicious delicacy should be savored, not devoured in one sitting.” She shuddered and he chuckled again, pushing the restricting fabric over his narrow hips and down until he stood before her, a vision of male perfection. His body seemed to be carved of stone, every muscle standing out just under his skin. The bones of his pelvis crossed over his hips, drawing her eye down to his cock which stood out impressively, giving away his own lust. Gillian smiled, feeling somewhat empowered by this show of arousal. She wanted to sit up and go to him, but her body was so heavy. She felt as if he’d restrained her, but there were no bonds.
Seth threw his head back, his black hair spilling over his shoulders as he inhaled her scent on the air. “Fucking hell, Gillian.” He sighed. “Your scent…so much fear, so much desire…it’s like a drug.” He climbed back into the bed, kneeling between her outstretched legs. “I fear that once I start, I won’t be able to stop,” he murmured, grasping the waistband of the pants she wore. With a growl, he pulled at them until they were ripped
completely open and he could jerk them down her legs. “A thousand years of practice and you have me behaving like a fledgling.”
“I’m… I’m sorry…” she stammered, biting her lip as his fingers brushed her thighs.
He leaned over her, kissing just below her navel and swirling his tongue around it. “You’re not sorry,” he replied, opening his mouth wider and grazing the warm skin with his teeth, opening another bloody gash. It dribbled slowly down, pooling in the crease above her mound. She could feel the warm wetness and she reached down to touch it, but he slapped her hand away. With the flat of his tongue he licked at the blood, tasting it and groaning with satisfaction. It wet his lips and when he gazed up at her, he looked like a sinister harlequin with his painted mouth.
The streaks of blood were a map to her center and he followed it without hesitation. He reached out to touch her sex, gathering some of the blood that had collected in the corner of his mouth and using it to paint around her opening, then licking it away until she was arching up against his mouth, begging him for more. He pulled the outer lips of her sex between his lips to kiss each one in turn. With two fingers, he pulled and tugged at the dewy petals until they were plumped with blood.
“Seth…” she sighed, her voice trailing off into an unintelligible moan as he took each side into his mouth in turn, rolling the moist flesh between his lips, careful not to bite. As he teased them, they began to part, revealing those secret destinations deep inside. His fingertips were all too willing to help them along, pulling the lips wide apart and flicking the swollen nub of flesh that was carefully hidden behind. Gillian’s breath was slow, coming in shallow gasps as he kissed and nibbled at her clit. She could feel the moist heat rush to her sex and she struggled to pull her legs further apart to urge him on, but still, every movement was a struggle as the venom crept slowly through her veins. As he kissed at the tiny clitoris, his fingertips slid up her body, swirling in the pools of blood still dripping from her breasts and belly. She looked down, watching as he brought his fingers to his lips, tasting the blood and then pushing his fingers forcefully into her sex. He moved them inside in gentle circles, then stroked them in and out until her blood mixed with the slippery wetness of her sex. He lapped it up like a man dying of thirst. Gillian’s voice rose in octaves, higher and higher as she surrendered to the pleasure of his foreplay. The loss of blood had made her delirious, sighing and crying, out of her head.
Yes, kids. The 2012 Howloween Blog Hop is drawing to a close today. I hope you’ve had as much fun as myself and the other authors. It’s always my privilege to share my work with all of you in the hopes that you’ll enjoy enough to take a chance on my work, but also to connect with new folks and let you know a bit about me. Today, I thought it might be appropriate to share some of my favorite Halloween reads.
1.Pet Sematary by Stephen King: This was my very first introduction to true horror fiction. I remember that the movie was coming out and the book had been re-released in paperback. It was everywhere. Being a young darkling, I begged my mother to let me read it. After weeks she finally relented and it remains one of my favorite books of all time. If you haven’t read it, it’s the story of Louis Creed and his family who move into a sleepy little New England town. They’re seemingly the perfect family—the doctor, his devoted wife and their two adorable children. Of course there’s an underlying darkness there with past marital turmoil and such, as in most Stephen King books. It all begins when the daughter’s cat is killed in the road and the Creeds’ kindly neighbor lets Louis in on a dark little town secret. The mythology of the place is so well-constructed that the town itself is a character. And though no one has ever mentioned it—the character of Jud is pure genius. Jud manages to give out a lot of information without being an information dump. He is both a catalyst for the evil to wield, but also one of the only pure “lawful good” characters in the book. As always, King’s attention to detail gets you into the story and even though it’s a horror novel, you really care about the characters. They aren’t just kill fodder.
2.Dracula by Bram Stoker: How can you be a horror writer or even just a goth if you’ve never read this book? Dracula wasn’t the first vampire novel, but it was the first that gave us the archetypes that we now hold near and dear to our hearts. The entire novel is written as diary entries and letters, which at first don’t seem very foreboding, but as the story goes on and the notes grow darker, the reader is drawn into the world Stoker creates. It makes the horror closer, somehow. It also plays on that universal fear of being out of control. Mina loves Jonathan Harker, but she can’t resist the call of Dracula. She is out of control of her senses. And of course, once one becomes a vampire, they are slaves to their bloodlust.
3.The Complete Works of Edgar Allan Poe by Edgar Allan Poe: Let’s keep it goin’ old skool here with some Edgar Allan Poe. I couldn’t choose just one story or poem to highlight, so I’ve made the decision not to decide. If you have a prayer of writing a horror story, a paranormal romance, a thriller or an adventure—you must put Poe on your reading list. Most people think he was this brooding hack who drank himself to death, bitter and alone. And to a point that’s true. He was the original goth. If Stephen King is the master of characterization, Poe is the master of atmosphere and mood. His words paint such a vivid picture and he literally manipulates the reader to feel however he wants with those words. I remember reading “The Raven” the first time and feeling the apprehension that the narrator does as he approaches the door. What would be behind it? What was that rapping on the chamber door? I remember screaming in my head “Don’t open it, you idiot!” And then of course, “The Tell-Tale Heart” is such a good trick because your heart is actually beating faster as you plow toward the inevitable ending. It gives me shivers just thinking about it.
4.Deathbird Stories by Harlan Ellison: Look, however you feel about Ellison as a person you have to admit he’s a fucking genius. He’s mostly known for floating in that upper echelon of sci-fi writers, but he can spin a good horror story when it’s called for. One story in the collection that I’m particularly fond of is “Bleeding Stones” about the gargoyles on St. Patrick’s Cathedral coming to life. The descriptions are deliciously grotesque. It’s like a primer on “how to gross out your readers.”
5.Duma Key by Stephen King: I had to give another nod to Uncle Steve for the last in my horrific Halloween reads. Anyone who knows me personally knows that I hate winter. I don’t like cold weather and I tend to get depressed. And though Halloween isn’t in winter, it puts me in mind of how I always try to find some good books that help me escape the dark months. Last year, I read Duma Key. I thought it would be nice since the whole thing takes place on an island off the coast of Florida where it’s warm, even in January. Folks, it’s one of the creepiest books I’ve ever read. Now, it’s dense. You have to be willing to dive in with both feet and not come up for air for a good long while, but it’s so worth it. It follows the story of a man whose life has fallen apart after a terrible accident. He’s got some brain damage going on and so he often forgets things—even what words go with what objects. He goes to The Key with the intention of committing suicide, but he manages to find a new life there and some terrifying secrets. If you love a good ghost story, this one is just extreme. Perfection.
Well, kids… it’s been fun hangin’ with ya the last few days. I’ve made some new friends and I hope added some new followers. Please feel free to comment, pop over and see me on Facebook, or who knows– maybe we’ll even get to meet sometime. I’ll be at several Cons this year and I’d love to see you. Don’t forget! I’ll be announcing the winner of the pdf copies on Halloween Night, so keep checkin’ back! Until we meet again…
Hey there boils and ghouls! It’s me again and I’m back with a little horror for your Halloween. That’s right, the Belle has written a straight horror piece that’s properly sick and twisted. Yes, never trust the plain Jane that seems so innocent…just sayin’…
“Pull yourself together, Caroline,” she scolded, wiping her eyes with the back of her hand. “This town is full of boys. What makes that one so special?” Getting up from the floor, she crept over to her bed that occupied the center of the cramped little room. Everything looked cozy and inviting. Everything was in place as it had been when she’d made the bed earlier. The same bed she’d had all her life was made up with her mother’s patchwork quilt and lots of fluffy pillows. The rafters overhead hung with strings of white Christmas lights, offering a soft glow to the room that was almost as good as a fireplace. All around the room were shelves full of books, mostly romances and her schoolbooks. Atop each one was a line of dolls that she had been collecting since age three. All of them peered down at the room through their glassy blue eyes, some of them even winked from years of dust being caught in the eye-hinges. They were her most trusted companions these days. She could tell them anything and they always smiled back. They didn’t care if she were pretty or clever. They didn’t care that she often felt closer to dead bodies than people.
“Nothing. They’re all alike.”
Caroline looked around, hearing the voice so clear that it took her aback. “Who’s there?” she called, her voice quivering and cracking.
“No one. No one is here but us. No one ever will be.”
She turned to see all of her dolls staring down at her from their perches up above. Their smiling porcelain faces and bouncy sausage curls seemed to taunt her. “That’s not true.”
“Of course it is, Caroline. No one loves you like we do.”
“You’re dolls. Just toys! You aren’t real!” Her breath came in short gasps as she covered her ears and tried to block out their laughter.
“He laughs at you, Caroline. Just like everyone.”
“He does not! He’s kind! Not like all the others…”
“He and that bitch, Ginny, are probably laughing about ‘weird old Caroline’ right now.”
Caroline sank down to the bed. “Stop it,” she cried, pulling a pillow over her ears. “It’s not true! You aren’t real!”
“Only a doll could ever love you, Caroline. Only a doll would never leave you.”
It was true. These dolls had been with her since she was an infant. They were always there. Always smiling. And suddenly she knew what she had to do.
That Caroline… she’s a sick little girl. Who said no harm could come of playing with dolls. Anyway, dont’ forget to drop me a comment telling me your favorite Halloween tale and an email addy so I can add you to my list of miscreants. I will be announcing the big wiener on Halloween night here on the blog, on my Facebook Fan Page and of course– I’ll email you too.Don’t forget… just click the blog hop button at the top to visit MORE fantastic authors!
The hero of my second release, “Second Skin,” is a sexy older man. This isn’t a
coincidence, kittens. The older I’ve gotten, the more I’ve developed an interest in older men. It’s weird because I never figured that I’d be one of those women that sought out a fifty-something. Not that I haven’t always liked a mate to be older—my husband, Tally, is five, almost six years older than I. When we met, my mother was so worried about our age difference. I was 17 and he was 22—old enough to buy beer. But I was never interested in boys my age. I suppose in my eyes they weren’t as mature or mysterious. As I’ve gotten older, my fascination has gotten worse. I’m just not interested in the sex symbol of the moment unless he has a little silver in his hair. Older men are confident, self-assured, dominating— AND THAT MAKES ME HOTTER THAN A TIN ROOF IN THE MIDDLE OF JULY. So I’ve attached a wicked little excerpt from “Second Skin” that showcases our hero, the sexy Jack Leannan. Incidentally, “leannan” is Gaelic for “lover.”
Jack Leannan wasn’t like anyone I had ever met before. And I think I knew we were going to sleep together from the moment I saw him. We met briefly at a dinner party and I was instantly fascinated. He was quite a bit older than I, but it didn’t affect his allure at all. The silvery strands at his temples only served to highlight the cool blue composure of his eyes. His body was solid, a telltale sign of one who took care of himself, but not overdone. He had a quiet grace that gave him an air of mystery and dominance. His accented voice was low with just a tinge of gravel that had me drooling with his first hello. We stood around in the same circle of strangers, exchanging shallow niceties and bored expressions. He didn’t say a lot, merely commented when spoken to. I noticed him laugh quietly to himself at inopportune times and it endeared him to me, though I was afraid to engage him in conversation.
I didn’t notice when everyone else had left the circle and I still stood there, holding my glass of wine and staring at Jack. It was as if the entire world had disappeared around us and I couldn’t care less. “Miss Spencer? Are you alright?” He spoke to me and I started. I hadn’t realized that he even knew my name.
“Catherine. Please call me Catherine,” I said, somewhat robotically as I pushed the words from my lips.
He smirked, one eyebrow quirking. “Are you sure we know each other well enough for that?”
“I’ll risk it,” I replied.
“As long as we’ve set the ground rules.” With another smile he offered his hand and we shook politely. I tried to let go, but he held on tight and then pulled, leading me to a couch nearby. “I hate parties,” he said casually as he motioned for me to sit. “Standing around talking to strangers was never my forte.”
“You seem to be doing well so far,” I replied, taking a seat.
“If you’ll notice, the only person I’ve actually spoken to is you.”
Whew… that Jack is one of my favorite heroes ever. He’s sexy, smart and he knows just what to say to get my blood boiling. That’s what’s so hot. Not just that he’s an older man, but that he seems to know everything poor Catherine needs to hear. Of course, it’s his downfall. But I’m not one to give spoilers.
Don’t forget to go in and leave some comments– be sure to tell me about YOUR favorite Silver Fox. And of course, click Miss Bettie up there to visit the other blog hop participants!