Friday, October 26, 2012

Black cats, Halloween, & a ghost story #giveaway

I love black cats.  I adopted two from a shelter 15 years ago, when they were about 6 months old.  Sadly, Shadow passed away last year, but the other is still going strong, even in his advanced years.  Spazzy has some white on his face and paws, and earned his name as a crazy kitten.  He is constantly on the prowl for a lap to snuggle in, so the minute you sit down in my house, be prepared to stay put a while.

Shadow’s name fit him as well.  He was skittish and wary, but also sweet and loving.  He was scared of most people, yet I saw him chase neighborhood dogs off our property more than once.  Shadow was completely black—dark and sleek and beautiful.  I would never think of him as a symbol of bad luck, but I can see how people might view black cats as mysterious and otherworldly.

I miss my Shadow kitty dearly

The ancient Egyptians believed cats had magical powers, and regarded them as sacred.  In fact, they worshipped a feline goddess known as Bastet.  On the other hand, Druids feared cats.  All cats are nocturnal and appear dark as they creep through the night, sure-footed and stealthy even with no light to see by.  This gave all cats a mystical aura, but the color black has often been associated with sinister forces.

Black cats, along with bats and spiders, have long been considered by some to be bad omens.  Some cultures believed witches could turn into cats in order to avoid capture.  Black cats were also thought to be familiars—low ranking demons tasked with serving and protecting a witch.

Even with a limited understanding of diseases, societies throughout history were also able to see the connection between cats and outbreaks of plague.  Cats control rodent populations, and rats are carriers of many diseases deadly to humans.  This added to the idea that cats had powers beyond human comprehension.
Thus, an association with witchcraft and the occult, superstition, fear, and awe combined to make black cats a symbol of Halloween, the night when the barrier between the paranormal and physical worlds grows thin.  Silver Lake, my debut paranormal romance, revolves around a restless spirit—the ghost, Brandy, is desperate to communicate with her living friends.  In order to help, Rain and Jason must reunite, and together they’ll face not only a haunted lake house, but their own painful past. 
My Spazzy kitty
loves boxes
            And while not central to the story, our heroine, Rain, owns a black cat named Minx.  I hope you’ll take a moment to read Silver Lake's excerpt and blurb below!  If you'd like to enter the giveaway for a free e-copy, please leave a comment with contact info.  Happy almost - Halloween J

Rain Anderson can't decide which is more unsettling—encountering the ghost of her missing friend, or reuniting with the man whose love she foolishly rejected. But one thing is certain: the past has come back to haunt her, quite literally.
Five years ago, Rain's tight-knit group of high school friends unraveled when one vanished during their senior year. Now, a parent's deathbed request has reunited the friends at Silver Lake, including Jason Lansing, the man Rain discarded. Rain and Jason discover the powerful attraction between them has survived, but though Jason is willing to forgive, he can't let himself forget. The possibility of falling for Rain again is too risky.
Slamming doors, crashing objects, flaring fires—clearly the ghost has a message to share. As Rain and Jason struggle to unravel the truth, they must face a desperate spirit in need of help…and a burning passion that refuses to die.

            “I saw...a figure.  A figure with dark hair, and I think it was Brandy.”  She shuddered and put her forehead back on his chest. 
Reluctantly, he moved their bodies apart a bit and scanned her face.  He held on to her shoulders and asked calmly, “You saw Brandy?  Brandy is here?”
            She shook her head.  “No, I saw… like… an image of Brandy.  I woke up, because it was cold, and I saw something moving.  It was Brandy, I’m sure of it, although I didn’t see her face clearly.  And then she, um, disappeared.”
            “An image of Brandy?  Are you saying you saw a ghost, Rain?”  He was pretty sure she’d had another nightmare, but the way she had flown out of her room gave him the impression it had been an extremely vivid one.
            “I know, it sounds ridiculous.  But that’s what I saw.  And she sort of, well, went through the wall.  I’m sure you don’t believe me,” she added miserably, lifting her stormy eyes to his.
            He pulled her back into a hug before he could stop himself.  “I absolutely believe you.  Whether you were awake or asleep, you saw Brandy and that’s scary.  I don’t think we can deny that weird things are happening here.”
            Jason smoothed her hair and waited patiently for her trembling to subside.  If a ghost really was lurking in her bedroom, there wasn’t a whole heck of a lot he could do about that.  A rare sense of powerlessness caused his jaw to clench in frustration.
He stopped watching the door and instead focused on the gorgeous woman in his arms.  She clung to him, and his body responded to hers with a familiar ache.  He knew he was losing the battle to keep his feelings platonic.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

True ghost story!

Today I'm blogging about the ghost who lives on the farm depicted in Stephen King's 'Salem's Lot!  What an excellent and TRUE Halloween story, PLUS my host Lilly Gayle is running a giveaway contest for my haunted love story Silver Lake.  Stop by and enter by leaving a comment and contact info!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Contest Winner!

And the winner is....texxie88!  Congrats, texxie, I'll be emailing you soon!  Thanks so much to everyone who came by and commented and followed, I really appreciate it.  And if you would still like to win a copy, I'm giving THREE more away before Halloween.  After all, Silver Lake *is* a ghost story :)  I'll be running contests as a guest blogger at Lilly Gayle's blog as well as Long and Short Reviews, and I'll be doing one last one here on Halloween at the end of The Wild Rose Press Halloween Haunt blog hop.  So please do check back to get those dates.  I'd tell you now if I knew myself, but I don't, lol.  In the meantime, anyone going to see Paranormal Activity 4?  Looks super spooky!

How do you like my super high-tech system of tupperware and paper?

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Inaugural Post and Giveaway!

Welcome to the inaugural post of my new blog!  I'd smash a champagne bottle on the computer but that would probably result in a big mess, a broken computer, and a waste of champagne.  Anyway, I'm glad you're here, please consider following my blog so I'm not all alone here in cyberspace.  Plus, you'll be entered into the SILVER LAKE E-BOOK GIVEAWAY CONTEST!  Yes, that's right...all you have to do is follow the blog and leave a comment with a way to contact you if you win.  Silver Lake is a reunion romance and a ghost story, a perfect read for the Halloween season, and one lucky winner will be chosen at the end of the week (Friday, 10/19).  You can read the blurb under the Silver Lake tab or even click on the Amazon buy links to read excerpts and the first chapter.  Thanks for coming by!