Sunday, October 27, 2013

Halloween Blog Hop

Have I mentioned anywhere that I simply LOVE this holiday?  If not, I'm telling you now!  Something about Halloween just makes me grin from ear to ear like a lovesick schoolgirl.  Is it the overabundance of candy? The thrilling haunts?  The absolutely divine costumes?  Truly I think it is the combination of all of the above mixed in with a healthy dose of jack-o-lanterns, horror stories, hay rides, and the delightful spine-chilling movies!

Like this image? Get it here

And what is Halloween without the perfect costume?  I've had plenty over the years from a Laura Ingalls inspired prairie girl to Marilyn Monroe to Marie Antoinette (before she met the wrong end of the guillotine) to Bellatrix Lestrange (before she met Mrs. Weasley).  This year my costume is taking a back seat to my kids' costumes since theirs have proven to be rather time intensive.  I will be re-using my now familiar Steampunk Willy Wonka ensemble.

I'm adding a few things before Halloween but generally, I just love this costume so it pleases me to don it again.  Of course, my son wanted me to dress as a TARDIS to his 10th Doctor and my daughter asked me to be Gandalf to her Thorin Oakenshield.   They were both a bit shocked as to why I declined both.  *sigh* I hope to post their costumes after Halloween but they have asked me to keep them quiet until then.

Beyond the costumes, I love the goodies.  How fun is it to make a cupcake look like a mummy or a vampire?  What about creating the perfect witch's brew complete with rolling smoke?  I have a thing about specialty cupcakes and each year I try to outdo the previous year but this year I've had to tone it down since I won't be attending an adult party (last year I did vanilla cupcakes with a strawberry liquor filling so everybody could practice a little vampirism).  This year I'm doing dark chocolate fudge cupcakes for my son's class and making them look like mummies...can't wait to show them off but I think they will look a bit like this.... (but better)....

And witch's can I forget that?  I've always loved altering hot cocoa by making it "red velvet" with a little red food coloring and then adding Homemade Marshmallows shaped like fingers or eyeballs (whatever strikes my fancy, really).  The kids always love it and once they are all in bed that special brew tends to get spiked.....not sure how that always happens but it does.

I suppose that's all I've got for now and I still have some preparations to make for this most spooooooky of weeks....I hope you all have a hauntingly good time.....

If you haven't already, swing by these fantastic blogs:
JoLynne Valerie 
Judy Martene
Candi Fox
Andrew Brewer

Next up:
Monica Corwin

And don't forget to swing by this one!
Jennifer Lee Scott

Monday, October 21, 2013

Ready for a little spookiness? Elizabeth Wixley brings it through....

Do you fancy reading something creepy over the Halloween holidays?
I was born in England, and although I enjoy travelling my heart belongs to this rock situated in the northern hemisphere. From the very beginning, I have been a dreamer, loving books and all forms of creative thinking. During my much younger days, I expressed myself through painting and music and attended art school to develop my skills. These days if I pick up a pencil or a brush it is to create dragons or monsters.
One of my other passions is history. I am intrigued by the stories of ordinary people’s lives and how they survived against all odds and in extreme circumstance. The resilience of people amazes me.  At the age of sixteen, I ran away from home, and there followed an uncertain chapter in my own life where I lived in many areas of the UK. From my various adventures, I gained a vast knowledge about ancient cultures and the emotional literacy of people today and how they negotiate their way through life.
Interacting with nature is vital to me, so I am often to be found roaming Dartmoor, and of course, I am compelled to drop into any old pub I come across to enquire about their ghosts. Perhaps because I live on an unusually wet island, I find that I am drawn to water sports. I am passionate about the sea and rivers, so my favourite article of clothing is my wet suit.
My working life recently came to an abrupt end, due to government cutbacks, when my whole team was made redundant. I worked for the Local Education authority where I supported children who had experienced trauma in their lives. I often wonder how those young people are coping now without the much needed support.
My journey through life has often been bizarre with many twists and turns, but it has provided me with ample material for my stories.

My book ‘In the Devil’s Own words’ is a multi-layered book but may also be read on face value as a fantasy adventure. It is set in contemporary Britain, but my characters are sucked back into the medieval period. Although it is an apocalyptic tale it differs in feel from many I have previously read. However, it is the same in that it addresses the age old question about good versus evil and nature versus nurture.
It starts with the discovery of a mysterious book and two skeletons buried under the floor of the village pub. From that point the four main characters, a group of dysfunctional teenagers, are drawn into a dark world where to survive they will need to rise above their issues and work as a team. However, the question is are we ever ultimately able to escape our environment and upbringing?
Please follow the link to find out more:
Please check out my trailer:

Monday, October 14, 2013

Please welcome Margo Bond Collins to the Emerald Seer's Realm

When Dallas resident Callie Taylor died young, she expected to go to Heaven, or maybe Hell. Instead, she met her fate early thanks to a creep with a knife and a mommy complex. Now she's witnessed another murder, and she's not about to let this one go. She's determined to help solve it before an innocent man goes to prison. And to answer the biggest question of all: why the hell did she wake up in Alabama?

When I died, I expected to go to heaven. 
Okay. Maybe hell. It’s not like I was perfect or anything. But I was sort of hoping for heaven. 
Instead, I went to Alabama.
Yeah. I know. It’s weird. 
I died in Dallas, my hometown. I was killed, actually. Murdered. I’ll spare you the gruesome details. I don’t like to remember them myself. Some jerk with a knife--and probably a Bad-Mommy complex. Believe me, if I knew where he was, I’d go haunt his ass.
At any rate, by the time death came, I was ready for it--ready to stop hurting, ready to let go. I didn’t even fight it.
And then I woke up dead in Alabama. Talk about pissed off.
You know, even reincarnation would have been fine with me--I could have started over, clean slate and all that. Human, cow, bug. Whatever. But no. I ended up haunting someplace I’d never even been.
That’s not the way it’s supposed to work, right? Ghosts are supposed to be the tortured spirits of those who cannot let go of their earthly existence. If they could be convinced to follow the light, they’d leave behind said earthly existence and quit scaring the bejesus out of the poor folks who run across them. That’s what all those “ghost hunter” shows on television tell us.
Let me tell you something. The living don’t know jack about the dead.
Not this dead chick, anyway.

About the Author

Margo Bond Collins lives in Texas with her husband, their daughter, several spoiled cats, and a ridiculous turtle. She teaches college-level English courses online, though writing fiction is her first love. She enjoys reading urban fantasy and paranormal fiction of any genre and spends most of her free time daydreaming about vampires, ghosts, zombies, werewolves, and other monsters. Waking Up Dead is her first published novel. Her second novel, Legally Undead, is an urban fantasy, forthcoming in 2014 from World Weaver Press.

Connect with Margo

Twitter:  @MargoBondCollin
Goodreads Author Page:

Be sure to add Waking Up Dead to your Goodreads bookshelves:

Waking Up Dead is now available on Amazon! Here's the buy link:
Book Trailers:

Thursday, October 3, 2013

What to share, what to share....Sample Saturday abound

I love Halloween. Let me just start with that. There is a reason I enjoy writing fantasy and paranormal themed books as much as I love dressing in elaborate costumes.  I always have.  Call me weird, call me nerd girl, call me whatever you like and will stand proudly with my ever so tall handmade hats, smile demurely and thank you for your compliment.  I watch Dr. Who with my kids, I adore the new show Sleepy Hollow, and I am giddy about the upcoming releases of Thor 2 and Desolation of Smaug.  Now that you understand the depths of my nerd girl status you can fully appreciate my adoration of all things Halloween.  Since I was a small girl I have lived for that special season where I could literally transform into somebody else and it is upon us excited I grow with each new skull, each eerie scream and the mass of orange pumpkins gracing nearly every store and landmark around.  It makes me giddy.  And deciding what to dress as takes a year to determine.  So, with that said, I hope you understand why I am recycling this excerpt and why my posts will be few and far between for this week's fair - I have one Thorin Oakenshield costume to create and one Frodo Baggins costume to say nothing for my own, my precious!

Ryder on the Storm on Amazon

Standing at the long, glass-topped bar of Starlight, scrunched between Dan and Shane, Storm felt safe.   Her vision from earlier tucked away in the recesses of her mind, she allowed the thrumming classic rock of the club to ripple through her.  Christmas lights twinkled above, lining the ceiling, and below her beneath the plexiglass floor.  The same lights trimmed the bar and liquor shelves.  Starlight was the hip, new club according to her friends.  They were clearly channeling some sort of big hair band vibes this evening forcing Storm to stifle sarcastic comments all evening.  She was bored.  Other than the music, she found nothing appealing about Starlight.  Her foot refused to stop keeping beat to the medley of Jimi Hendrix, The Doors, Boston, and Lynyrd Skynyrd.  Okay, so the music struck a chord and the boys had agreed to unload her entire truck and help her unpack if only Storm would accompany them for the night.  They even offered to buy her drinks.  Her guilt over sending them away coupled with the scrumptious pizza they’d delivered, well, she gave in right quick. 
The worst part of the experience had to be the get up they’d produced for her.  With all of her clothes packed away in the truck she couldn’t very well argue.  Storm dolled herself up - as in completely out of her element.  In fact, she looked like a pin-up.  Every time Storm caught a glimpse of herself in the enormous floor to ceiling mirrors behind the bar she cringed.  It was uncomfortable only for the fact that men were staring at her and the only thing that staved their awkward advances remained her two beautiful companions.  Storm felt painfully aware that she was not the typical fare for Starlight; the snug-fitting pencil skirt and off the shoulder top stood out in the crowd of spandex and sequins.  Perhaps she’d gone a touch too far with the 20s style coif.  She cursed herself for listening to Dan and Shane.
“Stop fidgeting, Storm.  You look amazing.”  Shane’s whisper tickled her ear and the compliment made her even more uncomfortable.  Retreating behind the glass in her hand, Storm eyed her co-dates.  She didn’t get it.  They could have anybody in the bar; she’d seen the droves of women watching the pair hungrily and shooting her death looks.  Still, they flanked Storm, in the middle of the long bar, and fed her drinks and popcorn in attempts to force fun down her throat.   Storm mentally checked herself; she had to give them more credit.  Dan and Shane were not the average body-building, superficial thugs and she accepted that nobody could call her hideous. 
Sighing, Storm placed the empty glass on the bar and gestured for another from the cute bartender, half clad in stylishly tattered jeans slung low on his hips, low enough to let the world know he sported nothing underneath them.  Baron, that was the name he’d given her.  Right.  Storm could only think of Snoopy and the Red Baron when she looked at him now.   That’s what usually happened.  Something would turn her off so she could no longer look at a man with even remote sexual interest.  Dan and Shane were the same.  Though she still wished she would feel something more toward them, it just didn’t happen.  Storm would always see them as the Hardy Boys, much worse since they’d become police officers.  She didn’t even really know where the correlation had come from.  It just happened one day when they were at a football game, sophomore year perhaps?  She couldn’t be certain.   Regardless, to Storm, Dan and Shane were beautiful to look at but it ended there.  Sad but true.  She sighed again as the Red Baron placed a drink in front of her and attempted to undress her with his eyes for the tenth time that night. 
Turning back to watch the crowd milling about the dance floor in odd rhythms, Storm felt a ripple down her spine and nearly dropped her glass.  Dan’s arm found its way around her waist in an instant and concern flooded his face.
“I am fine, just turned too fast.  Really.  I probably just need to slow down on the drinks a bit.”  Turning her most reassuring smile to Dan, Storm slipped out of his embrace and leaned against the bar.  His face fell and she knew it.  They’d been friends for years, since childhood, and when she’d returned, Storm looked the guys up first.  Well, she’d only looked the guys up.  Storm found out that they’d kept the postcards she sent them from her various locations but knew her well enough to leave it alone.  It was comforting to know they’d kept her secret – until Trin’s death.   She felt grateful they’d outted her for that.  The hairs on the back of her neck stood on end.  Something was coming.  Something she did not want to deal with.  Dammit.  How could she get the Hardy Boys to leave now?
“On second thought, I am not feeling too hot.  Maybe you boys could get me home?”  Storm feigned balance problems and put her arm around Dan’s waist, leaning into his warmth.  That did the trick; she felt his breath catch for a moment and then his arm around her in return.  They followed Shane as he weaved his way through people and random tables toward the door.  Storm didn’t see who Shane nearly collided with but she heard the apologies.  Her body reacted to the stranger’s voice, a blend of silk and iron, coaxing and offending at the same time.  She went rigid, that voice seemed familiar somehow. 

Before she knew what happened, Storm found herself seated in the back of her Beetle and speeding toward Willow Wood.  She felt lightheaded and realized the she had actually consumed more alcohol than she should have.  One of the guys carried her in and laid her in bed.  Storm fell asleep to their hushed argument, making out a few words in her drunken haze, something about immortals and almost blowing it.  Then her focus became convincing herself not to wretch.  She failed miserably and stumbled drunkenly to the bathroom.