The WINNER of the Howloween Blog Hop!!

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Drum roll, please!!!!!   We have the first of our winners for the blog hop extravaganza I’ve been on for the last week.  The winner of the Howloween Blog Hop of 2012!  The winner will be the proud recipient of either a copy of Sanguine Kiss or Dollface– two howlingly good tales!

So without further ado….

The winner is CHRISTINA LIVINGSTON!!

Congratualtions, Christina!  I will be emailing you with details.  Thanks to everyone who participated.  And if you were entered in the Wicked After Dark hop, those winners will be announced tomorrow!  Happy Howloween!!!

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Happy Halloween!

Well folks, it’s a great day for kids of all ages– HALLOWEEN!  It’s my favorite holiday that’s not Christmas.  I’m sure that’s a huge surprise, seeing how I’m so rainbows, sunlight and pink bunnies.  Halloween is the one day a year when it’s okay to be a little strange.  To dress up in costumes and stuff yourself with candy.  To squeal with delight at a ridiculously gory movie.  To admit that you really do like being a little scared.  Halloween is a time of year to embrace our fears and confront our own mortality. It’s kind of like thumbing your nose at the Grim Reaper.

So one of my favorite things to do on Halloween night is to curl up on the couch with a bowl full of candy and watch scary movies.  Preferably with a whole group of people with whom you can share some screams.  I thought I’d share some of the movies that I’ll be watching today/tonight to get me in that spooky mood…

1.  Warlock:  OK, so I have selfish reasons for loving this movie.  Well, maybe not selfish but certainly sexually motivated. See… I have a thing for villains.  I always have.  Since the age of 10, I’ve always preferred the dark and evil character.  They’re just more interesting and I seem to be attracted to their power.  And well… when they look like Julian Sands…. *fanning self*.  Ok… so I may be watching this one alone…

2.  Corpse Bride:  This is one you can watch with all ages.  The Tim Burton movie was a lesser succcess than Nightmare Before Christmas, but I actually like this one better.  The music is great, the message is very positive and I just identify with the Corpse Bride. I also like it because the other female character is actually a nice person that we like and want to see happy. And of course it helps that Johnny Depp lends his voice to the unfortunate Victor.

3.  Sweeney Todd:  Speaking of Johnny Depp and Tim Burton.  This one is NOT appropriate for little ones.  It’s been called one of the bloodiest movies ever and I have to say it comes close.  Fair warning, it’s a musical, but the songs are so complex and beautiful that you’ll be mesmerized.  And of course if you listen to the lyrics they’re quite disturbing…

4.  The Others:  BEST GHOST STORY MOVIE EVER!!  If you haven’t seen this, you are missing out.  I’m not going to say much about it because I don’t want to give any spoilers, but this is positively the spookiest movie I’ve ever seen.

Alright, I’m off to buy more gummi eyeballs. REMEMBER– I’m going to be announcning the winner in the Howloween Blog Hop giveaway TONIGHT!!  So keep on checkin’ in….. Be safe trick-or-treating!

Howloween Blog Hop: The Final Chapter

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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…

My books can be found  at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, All Romance eBooks and anywhere quality eBooks are sold.

If I’ve piqued your interest or if you just want to come point and laugh, I can be found at the following locales:

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Howloween Blog Hop: Dollface Excerpt

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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!

My books can be found  at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, All Romance eBooks and anywhere quality eBooks are sold.

If I’ve piqued your interest or if you just want to come point and laugh, I can be found at the following locales:

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Howloween Blog Hop: How Much is Too Much

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Welcome to Day 2 of the Howloween 2012 Blog Hop! I’ve had so much fun reading all your comments! Please know that I appreciate each and every one. I’m especially honored by all of the comments and messages saying “This sounds so good. I’m going to put this on my wish list.” I’m always amazed to know that there are people out there that like what I write. But… on to today’s topic…

So how much is too much? Anyone who knows me can say beyond a shadow of a doubt that I’ve never had too much of anything. I tend to indulge in most things to excess. Which brings me to why we’re here today. In your erotic horror/ paranormal romance—how much sex and blood is too much? Is there a point at which you say, “I can’t read this anymore,”? Of course there are varying degrees. My recent publications have been more on the sex and less on the blood. I haven’t delved into splatterpunk much in my relatively short career, but it’s a genre that is close to my heart. For those of you uneducated on the matter—splatterpunk is a genre that combines horror and erotica in violent and twisted ways. Splatterpunk isn’t really meant to titillate so much as to shock. The tales are generally graphically violent, explicitly sexual and shockingly detailed. Needless to say, I’m a big fan. However, it isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. For some, they’d rather have the violence happen behind closed doors. Or at the very least have it brief and painless.

So where is that line? It seems to me in the media that the line gets blurrier and blurrier every day. And it’s almost always bent toward the violent side. For some reason, it is more socially acceptable to depict someone being decapitated by a flying cannonball than to show full on nudity and sex between two people who are obviously in love. The way I see it, one celebrates life and the other celebrates death. Which would you rather see?

The closest I’ve come, at least in my published works, to splatterpunk was in my first novel, Hellsong. In the prologue, one of the main characters is telling the story of how he watched his best friend devoured by a succubus. I chose to use imagery that was both horrific and primal. I wanted it to be graphic and shocking, but also strangely sexual. I’ll let you judge for yourself…

**********************************

The first thing I noticed was the smell. Something like dead flowers and decayed earth just under the coppery smell of the blood, which was everywhere. It dripped from the walls and ran in pools across the floor until I could see the canvas of my old sneakers soaking it up. I gasped, unable to find my voice, but when the glass of gin in my hand dropped to the floor, it made a loud noise. The woman’s head whipped around from where she crouched on the bed. Her eyes glowed this impossible yellow color as she glared at me, but she did not speak. Her skin looked leathery and taut under the thick veil of Jackson’s blood. I started to move toward her, wanting to throw her off of my friend even though I was more scared than a man staring at Death himself.

She made kind of a hissing noise at me, baring a mouthful of sharpened pearl teeth. I wanted to scream, to run out of there as fast as I could, but as I turned, my foot caught on something, nearly throwing me down. When I looked down, I saw a mass of red cord wrapped around my ankle. As my eyes started to focus, I realized that the bloody mess was Jackson’s insides, coiled like a snake at my feet. I did scream then and stumbled backward, slipping in the blood and falling hard on my ass. The woman-thing on the bed laughed—a sickening rasping sound that echoes in my nightmares.

I tried to stand up, but I couldn’t get to my feet. I was blinded with alcohol and tears. I began crawling toward the door on my knees. I was sure that she was going to come after me, but then I heard an earsplitting shriek pulled from her throat. She got up on her haunches at the bed, staring hatefully at me as she bellowed again. I looked over my shoulder, sure that someone would come in and see, but no one did—her screams were lost over the symphony of moans and laughter in the corridor. I watched with morbid fascination as she sat straight up on her knees. Her clawed hands held onto the broken down bedpost as she grunted and writhed on the ruined sheets. Before I was sure what was happening, I heard another cry—this one more human.

*******************

Now remember, to enter into the contest two win your choice of one of my eBooks, you need to leave a comment here on the blog with your email addy. If you don’t feel comfy leaving it here, feel free to friend me on Facebook and send me a message there. I’d LOVE to hear from you anyway!

My books can be found at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, All Romance eBooks and anywhere quality eBooks are sold.

If I’ve piqued your interest or if you just want to come point and laugh, I can be found at the following locales:

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The Howloween Blog Hop #1

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So some bright star (ahem… me) decided it would be a good idea to participate in TWO, that’s right TWO blog hops this season.  So congratulations!  You get twice the Lexxx for half the price.  Kind of a “Buy One Get One Free” sort of arrangement.  But let me tell you a little bit about this hop.  I’ll be giving away a PDF copy of EITHER Sanguine Kiss or “Dollface.”  It’s up to you, dear reader, to decide which you prefer of my most horrific offerings.  All you have to do is leave me a comment on one of the Halloween Blog Hop posts that tells your email addy (of course) and your favorite spooky story (it can be a book, a story, a movie or a real life paranormal experience).  On Halloween Night I will announce TWO winners to recieve their choice of eBook. 

That being said, I have to give you a synopsis of each book so you can start thinking which one you’d like best….

 

 

“Dollface” is the story of Caroline, a plain Jane, small town Southern girl who just happens to be a funeral home cosmetian. Everyone in town likes Caroline,  though they’ve always felt that there was something not quite right about her.  For years Caroline has pined in silence for the funeral director’s son, Scott Bauer. Scott has always been kind, but never returned her affections. Her world comes tumbling down when she discovers that Scott is to be married and will leave her forever. She can’t let that happen and will go to unnatural lengths to keep him.  (Straight horror)

Vengeance is only the beginning…
Gillian Thompson wants to end her life. Deserted by her lover and desperate for peace, she thinks that death is the only answer. But life never closes one door without opening a window. On a fateful night, the one that should be her last, she meets the dark and mysterious Seth, who seems to understand the depth of her pain. Rather than let her kill herself, he offers Gillian a new life beyond pain and regret. A life bathed in bloody kisses and bittersweet vengeance. (M/F erotic romance)
This weekend I’ll be posting little snippets of each, so you don’t have to decide right now.  Have fun on the HOP.  And don’t forget to visit the other sites and leave lots of comments.  There are so many great giveaways…
If I’ve piqued your interest or if you just want to come point and laugh, I can be found at the following locales:

Facebook

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Twitter

 Blog

Goodreads

My books can be found  at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, All Romance eBooks and anywhere quality eBooks are sold.