FALL INTO HORROR: It’s In the Air with Marcia Collette

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Mocha Memoirs Press is celebrating the new Fall season by showcasing their love of horror and the authors who write it. Please welcome MARCIA COLETTE as she shares her thoughts on fall and horror.


 

MarciaColette.jpg It’s in the Air. It was about a week before it school started when I first started paying attention to the Halloween things that were going up on the shelves in stores. Honestly, I think the stores put out the drab things first to gain some interest and get them off their hands before they start putting up the really cool stuff on the shelves. Anyway, I can’t help but go down those aisles because I love seeing the scary costumes, decorations, and party things on display. It makes me wish I had the time or the inclination to throw a Halloween party for my munchkin someday. I start thinking about how far I want to take my Halloween decorations, too. Do I want a giant blow-up pumpkin on my front lawn? Heck no. Do I want my front door to look like a haunted house? Uh-uh. Would I like to turn my garage into a haunted house? I sure would, but I also have this New York thing going on where my trust is hard to come by and I don’t want anyone stealing my stuff either. What about the candy? It’s not Halloween without candy. I don’t believe in doing the cheap stuff, but I don’t believe in getting a bundle of candy either. More than anything, I hate it when people give my child something like a box of raisins or some other crap that’s healthy. Yes, I’m a mom and I care, but I also believe in Halloween traditions that involve gooey stuff that sticks to my child’s fillings. With my youngling being in kindergarten now, I can already tell things are different. She’ll probably need a Halloween costume for school and I’ll have to give her something “healthy” to bring to a class party. She’ll also need a sturdy trick-or-treat bag we plan on hitting as many houses in our neighborhood as possible. I’m hoping her school doesn’t ask for parent volunteers for the Halloween Party because I’ll end up forgetting that I’m an adult and end up rolling around on the floor with the kids. Having a child, my tastes for the macabre have changed, in that, I’m more excited about something like Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party (Disney World) than I am about Halloween Horror Nights (Universal Studios Orlando). Not because I don’t want to be frightened, but rather, I prefer to spend as much time with my daughter as possible and seeing life through her eyes. Things like blood splatter and chasing people around with chainsaws are not a part of the picture. That’s not to say I won’t get my healthy dose of The Walking Dead. Oh, heck no! I’m not that crazy. I’ll just wait until the youngling falls asleep before I watch it. What decisions do you find yourself in the middle of as Halloween approaches?


Comment below and click on the rafflecopter options below for a chance to win the tour prize, a $25 Amazon Gift Card! a Rafflecopter giveaway Continue on with this FALL INTO HORROR. You can join Mocha Memoirs Press authors and share in their love of horror on Facebook. You can also click on the links below to meet other horror authors:

ABOUT MOCHA MEMOIRS PRESS:

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Mocha Memoirs Press, LLC is a genre-oriented publishing company. Their vision is to provide an outlet for outstanding speculative and romance stories that often fall beneath the radar of traditional publishing houses. They seek to provide quality stories that invigorate the reader’s literary palette like a good, strong coffee. Like great coffee houses, they offer a variety of flavors. They publish stories in the following genres: science fiction, fantasy, horror, and romance, including the sub-genres of steampunk, cyberpunk, diesel punk, alternate history, weird westerns, and mash-ups.

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How to Sell Your Book by Way of a Great Cover, or Cover Lovin’ by David Blalock

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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…

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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.

 

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Click me to buy!

 

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.

 

 

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CLICK ME to buy!

 

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.

 

 

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CLICK ME to buy!

 

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.

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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!

Forgive Me Somehow, Danielle Steele

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CLICK ME to buy!

In case there’s someone out there who didn’t know, my big sis, Lucy Blue, is a much better writer than me.  So much better that I’ve let her take over my blog today to talk about her new release, Alpha Romeo.  It’s a scintillating tell-all book written in the style of a Hollywood memoir.  Think about it this way– it’s the book about Angelina Jolie that you’ve always wanted to read.  Lucy herself describes the book as being  throwback to the old Danielle Steele/ Sidney Sheldon days.  Anyway, today she’s taking over to talk about how she came to write Alpha Romeo and why it’s such an important book for her. 

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When I was a teen-ager, my mother’s favorite writer was Danielle Steele.  It was one of the many things we fought about.  “Those books are just garbage,” I would tell her.  “They all have the same stupid, melodramatic plot.  The characters are paper dolls.  They read like the back of a cake mix.  You read Thomas Hardy for fun, for heaven’s sake.  How can you read that crap?”

                As I recall, her defense usually ran along the lines of different strokes for different folks.  But if I’d been particularly obnoxious, she might point out that she couldn’t understand how her beautiful daughter could enjoy “sickness” like Stephen King and Anne Rice, either, but she still loved me.

                As I got older and started writing fiction of my own, she read every word I wrote.  She was what that sicko Stephen King would call my “first reader,” and she praised it all, even the stuff outside her comfort zone, even the stuff I never finished.  She encouraged me every step of the way, and when I sold my first book, a horror opus about vampires, consumptive whores, and Shakespeare, no one could have been more proud.

                Mama’s health was never great, but about ten years ago, she took a definite turn for the worse.  I was in the midst of writing about medieval vampires for Pocket Books.  I actually made my first draft deadline for The Devil’s Knight during a two-week leave of absence I had taken from my day job to take care of her after her second open heart surgery.  I don’t remember ever having the conscious thought to write a “Mama book.”  I was very happy with my vamps.  But right around that same time, reading a tabloid account of a celebrity divorce, I got the idea for Scarlett Cross, a movie star who’s been haunted her whole life by the violent death of her mother.  I started writing about her in first person, a technique I hadn’t used for anything but short stories since college, because that was just how she came out of my head.

                There are no supernatural monsters in Scarlett’s world.  Maybe at that point in my life, the real world seemed a lot scarier than any horror I could think up.  Maybe I lost the knack for believing in fairies and witches and vamps for a while.  I know I made Scarlett a movie star to keep the fantasy, to keep that distance–the same reason, I suspect, that all of Danielle Steele’s heroines in those days were fashion models and lady business magnates and the daughters of Russian nobility.  Those women go through hell, but they look fabulous doing it, and they never have to worry about stuff like money or bad plumbing (at least not after the first fifty pages).  I know for me at that time, the story of an ordinary woman watching her mother waste away was beyond my talent and strength.  But I could write the outlandish trials and tribulations of Scarlett Cross at lightning speed, wallowing in her pain.  I wrote her made-up memoir right alongside my paranormals, hundreds and hundreds of pages of her voice telling the lurid story of her life while my own life as I had always known it fell apart.

                And out of that came my latest book, Alpha Romeo, the story of Scarlett’s first love.  Mama passed away in 2008, years before my notebooks full of Scarlett gelled into anything like an actual book, but sections of that manuscript were the last of my writing she ever read.  “I love this one,” she told me.  “This one is you.  This is the one.”  And while I know my vamps are as much me as Scarlett, and I still think Danielle Steele’s writing kind of sucks, I love this story in a way I’ve never loved anything else I’ve written.  Because I know she would love it, not because her daughter wrote it, but because it’s her kind of book. 

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Our poor mother always wondered how she ended up with two daughters who liked to hide in a fantasy world.  I think it’s safe to say that we are exactly what she made us. Here’s more about the book:

If the tabloids only knew.

Scarlett Cross is the classic Hollywood princess. Daddy is a movie star; Mama was a supermodel murdered when Scarlett was only four years old. Now she’s eighteen pretending to be younger for the sake of her father’s image and starting her own career as the muse of a famous European auteur. But bad boy actor Romeo Kidd is everything she’s ever wanted. He makes her feel safe and loved and wanted for the first time in her life, and she’ll do anything to keep from letting him go.

If Alpha sounds like your kind of book too, you can click the image above and zoom right over to buy it!  It’s also available from Purple Sword Publications and All Romance if you prefer a different format.  They also have nifty-neato excerpts so you can test drive first!! 

#TeaserTuesday “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes”

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CLICK ME to buy for $1.49!

So I’ve decided to try this #TeaserTuesday thing.  I don’t normally do it, but I’ll give it a whirl.  So the idea is to give a teaser– just a little paragraph– of your book.  My problem is, I have the hardest time finding ONE paragraph that will entice all of you rabid readers.  But I’ll do my best.  BTW– this teaser isn’t exactly SFW. 

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“No undergarments.  How scandalous, Miss Spencer,” he rasped against my ear, so close that I could feel his lips moving against the cuff.  He accented his mock displeasure with a firm squeeze.  My nipple immediately tightened under his palm.  Biting back a groan, I leaned back into his embrace.  I could feel his cock, already impossibly hard and trapped in an unforgiving prison of denim, nudging against my backside.  “I could do it, you know,” he continued.  “I could eat you alive.”  His words made my heart pound like a jackhammer against my breast, sending a shockwaves of sensation straight to my center.  Involuntarily, I moved against him, rocking my hips backward in a desperate attempt to get some sort of relief.  Between my thighs was a rainforest, hot and wet.  I wanted so badly to open them and let the cool air sooth my sex.  I was thankful that I had opted for no panties.  I don’t think my body would stand the friction.  “Careful, love,” he whispered, his voice startling me. “It wouldn’t do to have you come right here in the elevator.” 

Copyright © Alexandra Christian, 2014

All rights reserved, Ellora’s Cave Publishing, Inc.

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Damn, that Alexander Kensington– whew…. I could just eat him up.  Here’s more about the book so you can go buy the WHOLE thing for the bargain price of less than 2 bucks! 

Fangirl favorite Alexander Kingston has a “type”—blonde, willowy and sophisticated. He doesn’t give mousey wardrobe mistress Elizabeth a second look, until she transforms herself and sets out to seduce him.

But dark desires are at play. Before long their erotic encounter will turn into a date to die for.

Inside Scoop: This story contains sinister themes and predatory intentions.

A Romantica® horror erotic romance from Ellora’s Cave 

http://www.ellorascave.com/gentlemen-prefer-blondes.html#

 

We’re Mad as Hell!

anigif_enhanced-buzz-6671-1374245679-42_previewIt always seems that I’m blogging when I’m pissed off about something.  And usually, it’s something that might seem pretty trivial in retrospect, but tonight I saw something that not only angered me, but disturbed me as well.  The truth is, we all tend to think that we live in a modern world where everyone is given basic human rights regardless of gender, religion, sexual orientation– whatever.  We hear stories about minorities being extremely oppressed, but it always seems that these happenings are in backward countries with medieval sensibilities.  Not in modern, advanced societies where everyone has televisions, computers and the internet.  Right?  WRONG.

I read a story on Buzzfeed tonight.  It was brought to my attention by my writer friend, Selah Janel, whom I met a long time ago when we were just kids writing Moulin Rouge fan fiction.  Well, she was a kid, I was already married.  Yeah, I’m old. But I did marry young!  Anyway, I digress.  The two of us have been sisters in fan fiction for a whole and so this story floored us both.  Apparently, the Chinese government is on a witch hunt to prosecute WOMEN who write erotic fiction.  Worse, they seem to really be targeting slash fiction writers (if you don’t know, slash fiction is m/m erotic romance written primarily by female writers for female readers).  This tells me two things, kittens:  the Chinese government is discriminating against women and the Chinese government is discriminating against homosexuality.  Now, those are broad generalizations, so do let me elaborate.

Erotic fiction online is very popular in China, apparently.  So popular, in fact, that readers are willing to pay subscriptions for serial novels.  Some are fan fiction based, others are original.  For the most part, these sites do not have any explicit images or video, its merely the written word.  The Chinese government has shut down many sites already and arrested their staff.  They’ve also managed to track down authors and arrest them in their homes.  They claim that what these girls are writing is indecent and corrupting the minds of Chinese youth (paging Mr. Socrates!).  That the stories advocate violence and promiscuity and give youth a distorted image of what healthy sexuality is.  Lemme give you an image of the average female arrested for these stories.  Young, between 18-25.  Socially awkward (some, not all).  Many of them isolated and living at home with their parents. Shy.  Sexually inexperienced.  Clearly we’re not talking about Larry Flint or Bob Guccione (editors of Hustler and Penthouse, respectively) or Pauline Reage (author of The Story of O).  These are young girls who are desperately trying to express themselves and for, most likely, the FIRST time feeling that they have talent and worth.  That they can do something that no one else can do.  That they have a voice that others might be interested in.  And ultimately, that’s what the Chinese government is afraid of.  Once women learn to read, write and discover their vaginas, they become dangerous.  And Heaven forbid if they express the thought that homosexuality is OK.

This scares me, kids.  I’m afraid for these girls.  I’m afraid for the youth of China.  I’m afraid for what this could mean for the rest of the world.  I’m afraid of the sins of our past being revisited over and over.  Freedom of speech and expression is the cornerstone of our society.  We may not like what people say all the time, but most of us would fight to defend their right to say it.  It bothers me that the citizens of other countries don’t enjoy these basic human rights.  That’s not geocentrism, its truth.  So the next time we decide to get our panties in wad because we’re being FORCED to have medical insurance or FORCED to register our guns or FORCED to go to school, just remember, kiddos– it could always be worse.

The Buzzfeed Article, if you’re interested:  http://www.buzzfeed.com/kevintang/inside-chinas-insane-witch-hunt-for-slash-fiction-writers