Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Ghost #Suspense + Steamy #Romance for Haunted #Halloween Reading! #Kindle #paranormal

It's my favorite time of year!  All the spooky stuff is highlighted this month, and I love to get a shiver up my spine...especially when it's combined with some steamy romance between star-crossed lovers.  Since that's what I like to read, that's what I write...I have two ghost story/romance novels out now, with a third on the way.

In SILVER LAKE, a group of former high school friends agree to reunite in a final attempt to solve the five-year-old mystery of their friend Brandy's disappearance.  Rain Anderson is determined to find closure for Brandy's terminally ill mother, and she's also anxious to try to reconcile with Jason Lansing, the man whose heart she broke back in high school.  As the paranormal activity in the lake house escalates throughout the summer, it soon becomes clear that Brandy's ghost has a message to share...and she's desperate enough to put her friends in danger in order to expose the truth.

GULL HARBOR is a #1 Kindle Bestseller set on Cape Cod.  Claire Linden arrives in the coastal town of Gull Harbor ready to take on an aggressive ghost.  Now that she's embraced her gift as a medium, she's confident she'll be able to rid her temporary summer home of the restless spirit that drove the owners of the house to hire her.  However, she never expects to also encounter Max Baron, the man who promised to love her forever, then disappeared suddenly from her life five years ago without a hint of an explanation.  As Claire begins to unravel the truth behind the haunting, Max is forced to share his secret in order to stay close enough to her to try to protect her from a danger that extends even beyond the paranormal.

Click the colored links to take you to each book's Amazon Kindle page to read more.  Longer blurbs and more ebook format links are also available under the title tabs above.  Grab your copies now and settle in for some suspenseful and steamy entertainment just in time for Halloween...Happy Haunted Reading!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

History of Superstitions ~ #Paranormal Postings #Halloween #Ghosts

Some of my most popular posts have discussed the origins of certain superstitions--specifically, ones that are considered bad luck.  A superstition is a long-held belief or behavior with no rational basis.  As a fan of all things spooky, I like to research the history behind the more sinister superstitions we hold, especially around Halloween.

I love (and rescue) black cats, so it's safe to say I don't believe I'm in trouble if they cross my path.  There are many reasons black cats came to be associated with magic, witchcraft, and the occult, and I've gone into further detail in this post.

Another "unlucky" symbol I can't accept (because it's the date of my birth) is the number 13.  There are a whole host of reasons for the fear of this number, many of them stemming from different religions.  I take a deeper look into Triskaidekaphobia in this post.

I thought I'd research a few more well known "causes" of bad luck for my October Paranormal Postings series.  Many of these superstitions date back to ancient times, so tracing the exact sources can be tricky.  Sometimes several factors seem to combine to create the belief or behavior.

One example is the belief that walking under a ladder brings bad luck.  One theory is that this dates back to ancient Egypt, where triangles were considered sacred (think pyramids).  A ladder propped against a wall forms a triangle; walking through would desecrate the triangle.  The Christian religion, with its concept of the Holy Trinity, also contributed to the idea that violating a triangle would be unlucky.  Finally, some sources point to the use of ladders in the gallows.  To walk under the ladder was to be caught in the hangman's line of vision.

Do you cringe if you spill the salt?  At one time, salt was a very valuable commodity, so spilling salt could have indeed been truly unlucky.  If you consider our word "salary" comes from the Latin word "salarium", which means salt cellar, the value of salt throughout history becomes even more evident.

Another explanation involves the Last Supper, during which Judas Iscariot--the betrayer of Jesus--apparently spilled the salt.  In the painting The Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci, Judas is the second to the left of Jesus; his hand is clutched around a bag (of silver, most likely), and his arm has knocked over a cellar of salt.  You can better see the detail in this copy of the painting.  Judas is the only one with his elbow on the table; the spilled salt is near his wrist.

Da Vinci's Last Supper by Giacomo Raffaelli   Attribution: Alberto Fernandez Fernandez, Wikimedia Commons

The way to possibly ward off the bad luck associated with spilled salt is to scoop some up and throw it over your left shoulder, into the Devil's eyes.  This stems from a belief that the Devil stands behind a person's left shoulder.

Breaking a mirror is said to carry a whole seven years of bad luck.  I don't put a lot of stock into most superstitions, but I admit the thought of breaking a mirror makes me nervous.  Like salt, mirrors held a great deal of value at one time--they were both expensive and rare.  Breaking one was a loss, and the guilty party might well be considered rightfully unlucky.  Another explanation goes back to the idea that a person's soul is revealed in their reflection; breaking a mirror would then equate to breaking one's soul.

If you enjoyed this post, you might want to check out my post on the Origins of Halloween as well.  Please note that the giveaway associated with that post is over, but I will have plenty more coming as I prepare for the release of HAUNTED SOULS!

An ex-boyfriend and
a dangerous ghost await
Claire in GULL HARBOR 
If you like some steamy romance mixed with things that go bump in the night...try my ghost stories SILVER LAKE and the #1 Kindle Bestseller GULL HARBOR.  My new YA Paranormal Romance involves supernatural secrets and forbidden love - check out DIVINE FALL as well.

Happy haunted reading!

Saturday, October 17, 2015

DIVINE FALL made the "Perfect #Books for Autumn" List! #amreading #Kindle #romance

Revenge, Romance, &
a Rogue Fallen Angel...
The publishing industry is not an easy one...it should come with a warning label.  And lately, I've had to deal with some of the toughest choices in my career.  I'm a big ball of stress, and it's not fun.  But then something happened to brighten my week - one of my readers sent me a link on Facebook.  "Divine Fall is on the list!" it said.

What list? I wondered as my stomach flipped.  But the title read "14 Perfect Books to Get You in the Mood for Autumn" and the site was the very prestigious BookBub...so I figured it couldn't be a bad thing.  And it wasn't.  In fact, it was so unbelievable, I found myself stunned.  Because this list, compiled by the very respectable Bookbub site, includes novels penned by Nora Roberts, Debbie Macomber, Sarah Addison Allen, Lisa Kleypas, Elizabeth Lowell...and Diane Setterfield, author of one of my all-time spooky favorites, The Thirteenth Tale.  The list goes on, with New York Times Bestsellers, USA Today Bestsellers, award winners, and books with cover quotes from Stephen King.  And then there's my YA Paranormal Romance, DIVINE FALL, sitting right in the middle.  It's no major bestseller, for sure...but it's had some highlights: one of five finalists for 2015 RomCon Reader's Crown, a reviewer pick for BTS Review's 2015 Red Carpet Award, a semi-finalist in The Kindle Book Review's 2015 Best Kindle Book Awards.

At the moment, it's up for the Reader's Choice Award in Young Adult Romance at The Romance Reviews.  With everything that's happened this month, I haven't had as much time as I'd like to ask readers for votes.  But it's easy to sign in via Facebook and click the Vote Now link once you're in!  I truly appreciate each and every vote.  Even if I don't win, I'm going to sit back and enjoy the mystery of having my book on a Bookbub list with amazing authors I could only dream of meeting someday.

And if you haven't read it yet, the Halloween season is the perfect time for some supernatural secrets mixed with forbidden first love.  The best part is the price - 99c on Kindle and Nook!  So treat yourself to a "perfect autumn read" and send me your thoughts for other great fall reads...because losing myself in a page-turning read is the best stress reducer I can think of!

Saturday, October 10, 2015

#TWD is Back! Some #Zombie History to Get Ready #TheWalkingDead

I am so excited for the return of The Walking Dead!  I'm a huge fan of all things paranormal, and October is the perfect month to celebrate the spooky.  So to get ready for Sunday's premier, I did some research on the history of zombies.

I deal with the supernatural every day, at least in my imagination.  Several of my books, while romance, also revolve around a ghost--the spirit of a being who has passed away, yet can appear or communicate in ways similar to a living person.  In essence, an incorporeal (without a physical body) version of the undead.  But in fiction and legend, there are also many examples of physical manifestations of the undead: vampires, mummies, wights, and of course, zombies.

These zombies want a piece of Rick Grimes
The Walking Dead

I've been watching The Walking Dead since the very first episode aired on October 31, 2010 - Halloween.  Fans of the show (or the comic series, on which the show is based) know the zombies on TWD are referred to as "walkers".  There are also zombie-like creatures on another show I love, Game of Thrones.  This show is of course based on the amazing novels in the A Song of Ice and Fire series by George R.R. Martin.  In Westeros, beyond the Wall, a zombie-like race known as wights wait to attack those with warm blood.  The wights are dead humans or animals who have been raised back up by the Others, an inhuman race also lurking beyond the Wall.  The Others, or White Walkers, are ancient humanoid beings associated with cold whose only weakness appears to be dragonglass.

Wights in ASOIAF can be easily
recognized by their bright blue eyes
Game of Thrones
The fictional (hopefully!) nature of zombies allows an author to decide how these already-dead creatures can be destroyed.  In TWD, the walkers' reanimated brains must receive another fatal blow.  It takes fire to stop a wight in ASOIAF. 

The book credited
with introducing
"zombi" into US speech
This fictional nature also allows for various interpretations of what a zombie is, but the general definition is a reanimated corpse with an appetite for human flesh.  In Haitian folklore, the reanimation is due to some type of magic, such as witchcraft.  During the U.S. Occupation of Haiti (1915-1934), more people became aware of the idea of zombies after apparent case histories emerged.  The journalist, explorer, occultist, and cannibal William Seabrook traveled through Haiti in the late 1920s, and he recorded a sensationalistic version of his experiences involving Haitian Vodue (Voodoo).  The book, The Magic Island, was published in 1929 and is credited by Time Magazine with the introduction of the word "zombi" to Western culture. 

One of the most famous zombie movies, Night of the Living Dead (1968), did not even use the term zombie at all.  The reanimated corpses were referred to as "ghouls" in the screenplay.  One of the writers of this cult classic, George A. Romero, admits basing the screenplay on the novel I Am Legend, by Richard Matheson (a great book and a more recent movie)  In I Am Legend, the infected beings lurking around the last human's house are referred to as vampires, not zombies.  But the general idea of a battle for human survival in an apocalyptic scenario has become very popular, which brings us back to The Walking Dead.  This group of survivors struggles daily not just to stay alive, but to maintain their humanity after society has crumbled.

There are too many novels and films featuring zombies to discuss here, but I hope you enjoyed a little history on the undead.  If you'd like to try some undead suspense in the form of a spooky ghost story (mixed with steamy romance!), download a copy of #1 Kindle Bestsellers GULL HARBOR or SILVER LAKE.  The characters face a haunted house, not a zombie apocalypse, but the plot twists, dangerous secrets, and chilling messages from desperate spirits should make your pulse pound a little faster ~ and October is the perfect month for that!  

PS - SILVER LAKE is FREE on Kindle if you have Kindle Unlimited!

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Take an #amwriting break to vote! #Romance Awards #YA #Paranormal

Writing is such a labor of love...so much goes into a book: creativity, energy, time, blood, sweat, tears, occasional break-downs, days you forget to bathe, etc.  So it's exciting when a good piece of news arrives in this very tough industry.  And I got some this week - my Young Adult Paranormal Romance DIVINE FALL is up for a Reader's Choice Award at The Romance Reviews website!

I'd love your vote if you have a minute - it's easy to sign in via Facebook or Twitter, and it's a very safe site.  All you have to do is click the blue box above the book cover here on this page, once you've signed in: Divine Fall Vote.  And if you haven't had a chance to read it yet, the good news is you can get it for only 99 cents!  October is the perfect month for paranormal, so immerse yourself in forbidden first love and supernatural secrets for less than a latte...and check out all the great books up for awards at The Romance Reviews.  And a HUGE thank you for voting!

As the last remaining Nephilim, he's an outcast in both worlds.
He'll risk his life to seek his revenge...but will he risk hers?