Category Archives: Thursdays Bite

Camp Nanowrimo Update: Tales of the Black Court #4

Thursday’s Bite

a blog for the fantasy romance fan

It’s spring! Time for baby bunnies, green grass, and romance (wink, wink). It’s also April and time for Camp Nanowrimo.

Now for those of you who know me you know I am a Nanowrimo fan. National Novel Writing Month is the time all us crazy people try to write fifty thousand brand new words on a brand new book in thirty days. It makes November particularly challenging if you live in the USA and have a week of Thanksgiving vacation and food prep for the last week of the month.

But I digress…

Because this month is actually Camp Nanowrimo wear the sun is hot and the living is easy and you can set your own goals. But I’m a crazy person, not just because I’m a romance writer, but also becasause…I’m a romance writer.

This camp Nano I am setting my goal at…FIFTY THOUSAND WORDS!!!

Okay, okay. So I’ve tried to hit 50k before in 30 days and never done it. And it’s not November. And I have a lot to do this month. But I’ve also been dying to write Book Four in the TALES OF THE BLACK COURT, and I want to write it all this month. 🙂

Now, it’s going to be around 80-90k words, so writing it in all one month when the most I’ve ever written is 32k (when I wrote Goldi) is not going to happen. But, I really think I can hit 50k. It only takes writing 1,667 words per day for 30 days.

And it’a  fun book to write. It’s full of romance, and magic, and elves, and more romance. There are super sexy scenes and scenes of adventure. Why can’t I just have fun, and write it fast?

Well, guess what? I can!

So far I have written 13,346 words in six days. SIX DAYS!!! I’m ahead. 🙂

Will the entire book be written in a month, not likely, but I should have most of it done by the end of April and then it’s an easy hop, skip and a jump to May. I won’t tell you when I think it’s going to be done, because I’m not going to jinx it. But, it’s coming. WOOT!

What are you doing this month? Are you writing away with me? Are you dreaming of summer and planning your summer reads? Planning to be on the beach? Leave a comment and let me know.

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Author Bio:

Jessica Aspen

Jessica Aspen has always wanted to be spirited away to a world inhabited by elves, were-wolves and sexy men who walk on the dark side of the knife. Luckily, she’s able to explore her fantasy side and delve into new worlds by writing paranormal romance. She loves indulging in dark chocolate, reading eclectic novels, and dreaming of ocean vacations, but instead spends most of her time, writing, walking the dog, and hiking in the Colorado Rockies. You can find out more information and read about Jessica’s paranormal romances at http://JessicaAspen.com

To sign up for Jessica Aspen’s newsletter and get your link to download your exclusive FREE book, please click HERE.

Rogue Enforcer by jessica aspen

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Filed under Nanowrimo, Tales of the Black Court, Thursdays Bite, Writer's Journey

Writing Intertwined Shifter Romance

Thursdays Bite

a blog for the fantastical everywhere

SCARLETT: A Sexy Shifter Fairytale Romance is almost here! Happy dancing!!!

It’s been way more of a challenge than I thought to write intertwined romance stories, especially about shifters. Way back when I first wrote GOLDI I knew I had to do something with those extra bear brothers, Cam and Abe Beresford. Three bears, but only one romance left me two romances short. But I also knew that I wanted to twist the fairy tale Rose White and Rose Red, a tale about two sisters and a bear shifter prince, so I had my solution.

Of course, in the fairy tale only one sister gets the bear, the other gets his brother, but that worked out perfectly for me: two sisters, two bear shifters, two romances. Bingo! I took me a long time to get to the writing of Cam and Abe’s story and when I finally did I was faced with one fairy tale and two romances. Urg! What to do?

How did I split one fairy tale between two books?

Well, here’s how I solved the issue: I decided that each book would have aspects of the original fairy tale with Scarlett being the main story of the encounters with the dwarf. You see, every fairy tale needs a villain and in Rose White and Rose Red the villain is this mean selfish dwarf who has turned the prince into a bear and wants his treasure. The girls run into him several times and try to help him out of predicaments, but he’s always ungrateful and rude. Finally he pushes the bear too far and the bear kills him.

Perfect! I have my story. But…

But, once again, two books, two girls, two bear shifters and two romances. Solution? Two dwarfs! Although in my book the villains aren’t dwarfs, instead they are just mean, cranky or crazy bear shifters.  What this let me do is twist the same fairy tale two ways. Love it!

I hope you enjoy both Scarlett and Silver’s stories. They were harder to write then I thought they’d be, but I learned a lot about myself as a writer, and bear shifer romance in particular

Leave me a comment and let me know what you think about writing the same story from different points of view? Or your opinion on sexy shifter romance and fairy tales in general. I love to hear from you. 🙂

Or check out my last blog on writing bears vs wolves.

Cheers!

Jessica

Scarlett: A Sexy Shifter Fairytale Romance by Jessica Aspen

Trapped in an isolated cabin with trouble on the way, how is Scarlett to know that the man who could be her prince, is actually a bear shifter in disguise.

Order today on:
Ibooks
Barnes & Noble
Kobo

Amazon.

Release date: March 18th, 2016

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Author Bio:

Jessica Aspen

Jessica Aspen has always wanted to be spirited away to a world inhabited by elves, were-wolves and sexy men who walk on the dark side of the knife. Luckily, she’s able to explore her fantasy side and delve into new worlds by writing paranormal romance. She loves indulging in dark chocolate, reading eclectic novels, and dreaming of ocean vacations, but instead spends most of her time, writing, walking the dog, and hiking in the Colorado Rockies. You can find out more information and read about Jessica’s paranormal romances at http://JessicaAspen.com

To sign up for Jessica Aspen’s newsletter and get your link to download your exclusive FREE book, please click HERE.

 

Author web links:  

Website: http://jessicaaspen.com

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5759763.Jessica_Aspen

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JessicaAspen

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JessicaAspenAuthor

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/jessicaaspen/

Join the Jessica Aspen mailing list! Get the scoop on new releases, sales, plus the chance to win ARCs and participate in special giveaways.   To sign up for Jessica Aspen’s new release email and get your link to download your exlusive FREE book, please click HERE

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Filed under paranormal inspiration, Sexy Shifter Fairytale Romance, shifters, Thursdays Bite, Writer's Journey

Bears VS Wolves, Writing the Shifter

Thursday Bites

a blog for the inner animal in all of us

ANNOUNCEMENT: Only ten days left to enter to win a Kindle Fire Six, $25 Amazon Gift Card, and six ebooks from our talented Chain of Love romance authors.

Enter at: 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

cinder: a sexy shifter fantasy romance by jessica aspenThis is a really fun contest. Everyone gets one free entry, but then, all you have to do is read our books and find the Cameron character in each of our curvy romance novellas and get bonus entries.

Each of us has “hidden” a character named Cameron in our stories. Mine is extra special to me because he (0r she!) is a character already in another Sexy Shifter Fairytale Romance and is getting their own book very soon. (Is that a hint? Maybe!)

Now on to the blog!

*****

Bears vs Wolves, are you taking sides? 

Well, I do write both. My Sexy Shifter Fairytale Romances are fairy tale based, and so I naturally started with Little Red Riding Hood, and turned it into RED, my feisty wolf shifter heroine and after I wrote her brother’s story Snow, I thought, hmm, more wolves? Are there more fairytales with wolves?

Well none came to mind, but what did come to mind was Golidlocks and the Three Bears. So I had fun twisting Goldi and Zeke’s story. But after I did I was left with the question: did I like writing bears or wolves better and what should I write next?

What if you write both and love both?

Turns out I do love writing both wolf shifters and bear shifters, but there are some basic differences. When I write the bear romances I think of what a real bear is like. They’re bigger and bulkier. Surprisingly fast. They have amazing senses of smell, much more sensitive than a wolf’s and that’s something I had to learn. I thought the wolves would be better at scenting things, but no, bears can smell food and their mates for miles.

Bears are also kind of unsociable, especially compared to wolves. They don’t like to live with others, they seem to me more surly and individual. So I put my bears on bear mountain and made it clear that they like space. So much space that they don’t even mind sharing the small town of Smittsville with humans. Why? Because the humans add space between the bears.

What about wolves?

Wolves are obviously pack animals. What I kind of think of as tribal. So much so that in my first book, Red, when Evan comes to Radon, Colorado they treat him as an outsider. They hide all the women of mating age from him and make him feel very unwelcome. And in the end, it comes down to the pack or Evan. And Red has to decide.

Wolves seem more fun to me. Like they love rolling in the grass and tracking rabbits for hours, even if they aren’t hungry. They do it for fun. Not that they are killing randomly, no the wolves of Radon respect nature. But they aren’t adverse to chasing a rabbit and getting distracted from the trail.

What about the romance?

So, how do I use the differences between the bears and the wolves when I write a romance? Well, if you’ve read Red, Snow and Cinder, all wolf shifters, pack is the priority and it frequently comes into conflict with the romance. Especially since all three of those have human love interests. I also used that in Goldi, since that’s a cross species romance between a bear shifter and a wolf shifter. Goldi is isolated from her pack and it makes her vulnerable. And Zeke, the bear, is a loner who needs his mate.

And then apply heat!

Alpha wolves get dominance issues in bed and out. I loved playing with the dominance and submissive behavior in the bedroom when I wrote Red. And when you talk about surly bears, Zeke’s first hot scene with Goldi definitely walked the edge of dangerous.

So, do I  love writing the bear shifters more or the wolves? I’m sure you can tell I enjoy both. And luckily, I get to chose which kind of character fits the romance. Do I need a social animal/hero? Or do I need an anti-social, unruly hero? Or heroine. You know, I haven’t written a heroine who’s a bear yet. Hmm. Definitely need to get back to writing!

What do you love reading best? Wolves or bear shifters? What about lions? I’ve had a sexy, Latin lover taking over my imagination for a long time and it took me a while to realize that he needs a big cat. Maybe a mountain lion? What do you think? Leave me a comment below and tell me your favorite shifter.

 

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Author Bio:

Jessica Aspen

Jessica Aspen has always wanted to be spirited away to a world inhabited by elves, were-wolves and sexy men who walk on the dark side of the knife. Luckily, she’s able to explore her fantasy side and delve into new worlds by writing paranormal romance. She loves indulging in dark chocolate, reading eclectic novels, and dreaming of ocean vacations, but instead spends most of her time, writing, walking the dog, and hiking in the Colorado Rockies. You can find out more information and read about Jessica’s paranormal romances at http://JessicaAspen.com

To sign up for Jessica Aspen’s new release email and get your link to download your free book, please click HERE.

 

Author web links:  

Website: http://jessicaaspen.com

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5759763.Jessica_Aspen

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JessicaAspen

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JessicaAspenAuthor

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/jessicaaspen/

Join the Jessica Aspen mailing list! Get the scoop on new releases, sales, plus the chance to win ARCs and participate in special giveaways.  When I send you an email, there’s always something in it for you! To sign up for Jessica Aspen’s new release email and get your link to download your free book, please click HERE

 

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Filed under Sexy Shifter Fairytale Romance, shifters, Thursdays Bite, werecreatures

Paranormal Romance Howloween Blog Hop Starts Today!

Thursdays Bite

resurrected from the dead

howloween paranormal blog hopIt’s here! The scariest paranormal romance blog hop of October with over 60 authors, prizes at each stop, and a grand prize of a $50 Amazon Gift Card!

To participate, read my blog and enter my contest then hop to Jane Weekly’s Hops With Heart:

http://hopswithheart.blogspot.com/2014/10/paranormal-romance-howloween-blog-hop.html

and discover all the other authors on the list. Oh, and don’t forget to enter the Rafflecopter drawing for the grand prize!

RAFFLECOPTER LINK

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/3ad276f821/

To enter my contest read through the excerpt below and tell me in the comments box if the yummy Nate Pierce would be enough to get you to stay in a haunted house, or would you turn tail and run back to Boston?

Winner receives an e-copy of my contemporary Gothic GHOSTS OF CHRISTMAS PAST

Ghosts of Christmas Past

excerpt: chapter one

Jen turned, gazing over the bare winter fields to the tangle of trees. No explanations, no obligations, no complications. For two whole weeks she could just hide here, and write.

The first genuine smile she could remember since April spread her face wide.

Then the pickup arrived.

Black, large, and full of male attitude it parked right next to her vacation house, dwarfing her small car and taking up the entire drive.

“Oh, there’s Nate now.” Mrs. Castlebury waved at the man pushing an eager black Labrador back into the cab while trying to exit the vehicle.

He got the door shut, faced them, and grinned. Dressed in New England casual of laced-up work boots, jeans, and plaid shirt under a denim jacket, Nate Pierce, striding across the snow, hand out in welcome, was a commercial for settling down. Tall. Good-looking in a rugged, works-for-a-living kind of way. And he had a dog. A big, sloppy, super-cute dog, wagging its tail and drooling on the driver’s side window.

For one impulsive moment Jen wished this was her life. She loved big dogs, the country, and secretly, men in plaid shirts, but she hadn’t had the opportunity for any of it since her dad’s death. Their daddy-daughter fishing trips, where he’d gotten to get out of his suit and she’d gotten to be free of her school uniform, had stopped cold the year she’d turned twelve.

This was the first time since then she’d ventured outside of somewhere hot and warm with a very clean, very controlled hotel. Her mom’s idea of a vacation. Of course, neither her mom nor her ex, Jason, tolerated dogs of any size. And as for living outside of the Boston city limits?

Neither of them would consider the horror.

She squashed the sudden surge of loneliness and desire for something she’d probably never have, and pasted on a smile.

Mr. Good-Looking Country Boy tramped through the snow to the porch, pushed his overlong forelock of sandy brown hair off his face, and held out a hand. “Hi, I’m Nate Pierce, your landlord.”

“My what?” She shot a quick look at Mrs. Castlebury.

“Your landlord, dear. I’m just the listing agent. Nate owns the house and he’ll see to any upkeep you need.”

“In fact, I’ll be back in an hour or so after you’ve gotten settled and bring the Christmas tree.”

“The Christmas tree?” She’d forgotten. She’d purchased the Christmas in New England package because it had been cheaper than renting by the day. “That’s not necessary,” she said, her voice chillier than she’d intended.

“I’ve already cut the tree down.” Nate’s friendly grin wavered as did his hand hovering in the air between them. “It would be a shame to waste.”

She didn’t want to be friendly with the neighbors. She wanted to hide out and recuperate. Make up her mind as to what in the world she was going to do next. But good manners won out.

Jen repressed a sigh, reached out, and slid her bare hand into his. As it disappeared into his tan callused grip, her hand seemed slim and small. He squeezed gently and a tingling warmth spread across her skin.

Hot caramel sensation slid from the connection between them, up her palm, along her arm, and through her entire body. Her hand tightened automatically, and a responding spark lit in his eyes.

Jen swallowed. Shoot! She wasn’t ready for this. She was here to lick her wounds, not some guy’s abs. And given the strength in his hand and his wide shoulders, she’d bet he had some killer abs.

She gazed up into Nate’s warm chocolate brown eyes and his face blurred. For a moment she saw another face superimposed over his. Same brown eyes, same tanned, rugged New England skin, but more boyish, broad-boned and black haired.

Every hair on her scalp tried to climb out of its slicked back, ponytailed restriction.

Then her new neighbor’s sharper, more intense features came into focus. Jen panicked and jerked her hand away. Wiping her buzzing palm on her long red wool coat she backed up, nearly running into Mrs. Castlebury.

“Oh, I’m sorry. Pardon me.” She circled around, putting the older woman between herself and Nate Pierce.

What the hell just happened?

Jen tucked her hands into the safety of her coat pockets, surreptitiously rubbing her tingling right palm along the silk inside her pocket. Trying to get rid of the strange feeling spreading along her skin and telling her pounding heart that everything was fine. That something bizarre hadn’t just happened to her. And that life was safe and normal.

Ghosts of Christmas Past

Jen MacNamara flees the Christmas wedding of her best friend and cheating fiancĂ© and runs to the country to spend the holiday alone. It’s the perfect plan, until her unexpectedly sexy neighbor and landlord, Nate Pierce, insists on bringing the holiday to her—complete with a Christmas tree, hot chocolate, and an unexpected kiss. 

And that’s not Jen’s only problem. ghosts of christmas past by jessica aspen

The cozy country farmhouse is already occupied by something evil. Now Jen’s nights are spent wrapped in sensual dreams of a past life, and her days growing closer to Nate as they solve the mystery of the malevolent ghost that haunts not only the house, but also wants Jen dead. 

Dare to discover Jessica Aspen’s sexy, new adult, contemporary, Gothic romance, today.

 Available at:  Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Ibooks, AllRomanceEbooks

Add Ghosts of Christmas Past to your Goodreads shelf.

Author Bio:

Jessica Aspen

Jessica Aspen has always wanted to be spirited away to a world inhabited by elves, were-wolves and sexy men who walk on the dark side of the knife. Luckily, she’s able to explore her fantasy side and delve into new worlds by writing paranormal romance. She loves indulging in dark chocolate, reading eclectic novels, and dreaming of ocean vacations, but instead spends most of her time, writing, walking the dog, and hiking in the Colorado Rockies. You can find out more information and read about Jessica’s paranormal romances at http://JessicaAspen.com

To sign up for Jessica Aspen’s new release email and get your link to download your free book, please click HERE.

 

Author web links:  

Website: http://jessicaaspen.com

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5759763.Jessica_Aspen

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JessicaAspen

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JessicaAspenAuthor

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/jessicaaspen/

Join the Jessica Aspen mailing list! Get the scoop on new releases, sales, plus the chance to win ARCs and participate in special giveaways.  When I send you an email, there’s always something in it for you! To sign up for Jessica Aspen’s new release email and get your link to download your free book, please click HERE.

 

 

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Filed under Bloghops, Ghosts of Christmas Past, Gothic Romance, Thursdays Bite

Paranormal Romance Book Trailers-Fall 2014

Thursdays Bite

a peek into the romantic world of the paranormal

Hello and welcome to Jessica Aspen Writes on Thursdays Bite, my paranormal romance blog day. Well, Thursday is typically my paranormal day, but I have a HUGE announcement to make. I’m switching my paranormal romance posts to Fridays and calling them Fantastical Fridays. Why? Well if you read Monday’s post on my Fall Resolutions you will know that I’m reorganizing my time around writing my romances. Thursdays have become so busy that not only am I not home to respond to comments on the blog, but getting the blog done eats into my Wednesdays, which should be my writing days. Hence the Thursday sabbatical and moving on to Fridays!

This will be the last Thursdays Bite for some time. When my schedule shifts around, then I’ll look at adding it back in again. Or, if I just feel like it, I may do one for fun! Stay tuned. Next week I’ll have my typical paranormal romance blog on Fridays. Fridays are fun, right? No, they’re fantastical!

Now on to what you’re really waiting for, the Fall 2014 Paranormal Romance Book Trailers!

We’re covering the gamut today with our romance trailers, from magic shops-to Egypt-to Regency England. We also have some very different styles of trailers. I love how each romance author brings her own style to their paranormal book trailers.

The first book trailer I have today is Shannon Grey’s Shoppe of Spells, book one in the Gatekeeper’s series. It’s a simple text trailer, but I love the way the words shatter. It’s also pretty short, so I think the length helps keep your attention long enough to get to the end.

Now we come to Magic of the Nile by Best Selling Author and USA today HEA Sci-Fi Enounters Columnist Veronica Scott
I love Egyptian music, that and the sparklies in the video make me want to dance. Not that my Egyptian dancing is all that!

Magic of the Nile is one of Veronica Scott’s Gods of Egypt series. If you love exotic romance and a little history with your reading, check it out!

And last, but not least, is Angela Quarles new time travel paranormal romance, Must Love Breeches. Angela not only has produced her own book trailer, but she recently had an article on how you can do the same. Check out Jami Gold’s Blog HERE and find out how you too can make your book into magic.

So that’s all folks! See you tomorrow on my first Fantastical Fridays. Since I showcased my paranormal romance book trailers today, you’ll be able to click the link to Karen’s Killer Fixin’s and see what a paranormal romance author cooks up in the kitchen. It’s not just witches brew and fairy cakes!

Do you have a paranormal book trailer for your book? Would you like to see it featured on Jessica Aspen Writes? Please send me the YouTube link, as well as your name and buy links for the book and I’ll try to get it posted in the next Fantastical Fridays Paranormal Book Trailers feature.

Jessica Aspen

Author Bio:

Jessica Aspen has always wanted to be spirited away to a world inhabited by elves, were-wolves and sexy men who walk on the dark side of the knife. Luckily, she’s able to explore her fantasy side and delve into new worlds by writing paranormal romance. She loves indulging in dark chocolate, reading eclectic novels, and dreaming of ocean vacations, but instead spends most of her time, writing, walking the dog, and hiking in the Colorado Rockies. You can find out more information and read about Jessica’s paranormal romances at http://JessicaAspen.com

To sign up for Jessica Aspen’s new release email please go to: http://eepurl.com/zs4Sj

 

Author web links:  

Website: https://jessicaaspen.com

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5759763.Jessica_Aspen

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JessicaAspen

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JessicaAspenAuthor

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/jessicaaspen/

Join the Jessica Aspen mailing list! Get the scoop on new releases, sales, plus the chance to win ARCs and participate in special giveaways.  When I send you an email, there’s always something in it for you! http://eepurl.com/zs4Sj

 

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Filed under Book Trailers, Thursdays Bite

Celebrating the Pagan Calendar

Thursdays Bite

a paranormal pagan post

ghosts of christmas past by jessica aspenBefore I dive into the blog I want to thank all of my newsletter subscribers who have read and reviewed my new Gothic romance, Ghosts of Christmas Past. I love reading the new reviews, and I’m thrilled that you all love it! I was very scared to delve into something new, but I love Gothics and romantic suspense, so I really wanted to try. Thanks for taking the time to read and review, it not only gives me feedback for my writing, but it also opens doors for new readers to discover my romances. Thank you!

Ghosts of Christmas Past available at: 

Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Ibooks, AllRomanceEbooks

And for all of you who missed out on the opportunity to read and review Ghosts of Christmas Past for free, please sign up for my email newsletter. I do offer some goodies and you never know what’s coming next! Click HERE to sign up.

Now on to the blog!

Celebrating the Lunar Calendar

As many of you know I write about witches in my Tales of the Black Court fantasy romance series and with Halloween right around the corner, I thought it was time for another Pagan Post. When I write about witches in my romances I dip into the new Pagan traditions. That doesn’t mean I always stick with what people in the religion believe or celebrate, but it does mean that I bring in elements from new Paganism. And maybe a little from the old.

The Pagan calendar is divided up by the lunar calendar. In other words, there are thirteen months, instead of twelve, because there are thirteen full moon cycles during a year.

The days that mostly cover September fall into the “Month of Vine”. It begins September 2nd and ends  September 29th. Lunar months are shorter than our Gregorian Calendar  it’s how the lunar calander ends up with thirteen months instead of twelve. I love the idea of using the natural cycles of the Earth and Moon to regulate our days and nights. It makes much more sense to be able to look up in the sky and see that the month is drawing to a close, or that it is just beginning. And there is no pesky Leap Year to try to figure out.

The down side is that the lunar months shift back and forth. But maybe that’s all my perspective from my dependence on the Gregorian Calendar. Our normal calendar is very rigid. It doesn’t change much. It’s why we have the extra day every four years so we can steadfastly maintain our rigid days. It keeps us on task and on topic. Maybe we couldn’t have the organized society that we do without it?

Or maybe not.

Here is one list of names for the lunar months, starting with the New Year, which begins close to Samhain, or Halloween.

And then the cycle starts all over with the months shifting according to the cycle of the moon.

What would you think if we used a lunar calendar? Does that put us in closer contact with nature? What would we do for the people who live in the Southern hemisphere? Would they still be celebrating the winter holidays in the summer or would they have their own celebrations in tune with their own seasons?

Check out next week when I look into what happens to the pagan calendar in the Southern Hemisphere.

Author Bio:

jessica aspen, authorJessica Aspen has always wanted to be spirited away to a world inhabited by elves, were-wolves and sexy men who walk on the dark side of the knife. Luckily, she’s able to explore her fantasy side and delve into new worlds by writing paranormal romance. She loves indulging in dark chocolate, reading eclectic novels, and dreaming of ocean vacations, but instead spends most of her time, writing, walking the dog, and hiking in the Colorado Rockies. You can find out more information and read about Jessica’s paranormal romances at http://JessicaAspen.com

To sign up for Jessica Aspen’s new release email please go to: http://eepurl.com/zs4Sj

 

Author web links:  

Website: http://jessicaaspen.com

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5759763.Jessica_Aspen

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JessicaAspen

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JessicaAspenAuthor

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/jessicaaspen/

Join the Jessica Aspen mailing list! Get the scoop on new releases, sales, plus the chance to win ARCs and participate in special giveaways.  When I send you an email, there’s always something in it for you! http://eepurl.com/zs4Sj

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Filed under Pagan Post, paranormal inspiration, Thursdays Bite, witches

Being a Gothic Romance Author

Thursdays Bite

a paranormal blog

 

It’s early but I’m focused on fall and my mind is turning to Halloween. Ghosts and witches and haunted houses. It helps that I have a new Gothic romance out, Ghosts of Christmas Past. What makes a Gothic romance author? What makes Gothic different from other types of paranormal romance? I blogged about Gothics and Gothic Romance a few months ago (you can check it out HERE and HERE), but today I’m thinking of the suspense element that all Gothic romance authors need in their books.

Gothic is suspense.  There might be a missing wife, a rumor of the hero being a murderer, or a smuggler. The most famous Gothic romance is Rebecca, by Daphne Du Maurier.

rebecca by daphne du maurier“Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again… I came upon it suddenly; the approach masked by the unnatural growth of a vast shrub that spread in all directions… There was Manderley, our Manderley, secretive and silent as it had always been, the gray stone shining in the moonlight of my dream, the mullioned windows reflecting the green lawns and terrace. Time could not wreck the perfect symmetry of those walls, nor the site itself, a jewel in the hollow of a hand.”

Rebecca opens slowly, but you know from the very beginning, that something dark is approaching. Look at all the words in this paragraph that hint of the dark story to come. First of all we are in a dream state, where anything can happen. Then Du Maurier uses “unnatural growth” to remind us of the danger of untamed nature. And, when we are talking about Gothics, nature implies natural desires—sex. Here, she subtly lets us know that Manderly has gone wild and the dangers of seduction are rampant. To even dream of Manderley is to take a risk.

She moves on to “secretive and silent”. There is nothing more dangerous than a secret, and of course all secrets must be kept silent. We are already anticipating, wondering what is the secret that this place holds. Why shouldn’t we visit it, even in a dream? And how dangerous can it be?

Then she backs off the dangerous sensuality of the estate, recalling it as a lovely place, a jewel with perfect symmetry. But even at the end she let’s us know by using the word “hollow” that while it is lovely, it still has a darkness about it.

If you haven’t read much Gothic, then Rebecca is the place to start. It isn’t fast paced, like my modern Gothic romance, Ghosts of Christmas Past. Nor will you find the intensity of a modern romance. The attraction between the heroine and her husband is implied. His control over her is suspect. He is rich and older and has secrets that they don’t talk about. Rebecca has a dark suspense that is reminiscent of the Victorian Era. And, even though it’s set in the 20th century we are drawn back to a past where huge estates held ghosts and darkness.

Have you read Rebecca? Or any of Daphne Du Maurier’s works? Did you know there is a contest named after her held by the Kiss of Death Mystery and Suspense chapter of Romance Writer’s of America? The Daphne Du Maurier award is a prestigious and difficult to win award for the best in mystery and suspense romance. What do you think is the best thing about the opening to Rebecca? Does it make you want to read the book?
Okay, it’s still summer, but here in Colorado it’s been cool and rainy this week. School has started, and fall flowers are out in the grocery store, so I’m thinking fall. I’m also scheduling my guests for September through November on my new Whimsical Wednesdays Guest feature (check the calendar HERE), and working on scheduling my fall events. This October I’ll be celebrating The Dark Huntsman’s birthday in October, so look for all kinds of fun then, and I’ll be guest posting all over the internet, so check back here to keep informed. Check out my NEWS page for the calendar of events and what’s coming up this season as well as updates on my progress on Broken Mirror.

Author Bio:

jessica aspen, authorJessica Aspen has always wanted to be spirited away to a world inhabited by elves, were-wolves and sexy men who walk on the dark side of the knife. Luckily, she’s able to explore her fantasy side and delve into new worlds by writing paranormal romance. She loves indulging in dark chocolate, reading eclectic novels, and dreaming of ocean vacations, but instead spends most of her time, writing, walking the dog, and hiking in the Colorado Rockies. You can find out more information and read about Jessica’s paranormal romances at http://JessicaAspen.com

To sign up for Jessica Aspen’s new release email please go to: http://eepurl.com/zs4Sj

 

Author web links:  

Website: http://jessicaaspen.com

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5759763.Jessica_Aspen

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JessicaAspen

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JessicaAspenAuthor

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/jessicaaspen/

Join the Jessica Aspen mailing list! Get the scoop on new releases, sales, plus the chance to win ARCs and participate in special giveaways.  When I send you an email, there’s always something in it for you! http://eepurl.com/zs4Sj

 

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Filed under Ghosts of Christmas Past, Gothic Romance, Paranormal Book Review, Thursdays Bite

Stephen King, the threat that hangs over all writers

Thursdays Bite

a blog about the horror of writing

I’ve started writing ghost stories. Gothic romances of vulnerable heroines, desperate heroes, and scary haunted ghosts. I have an extensive reading background in Gothic romance and I love it, so it’s easy for me to create the spooky house, the dark and stormy night, and the hero who might be a threat.

What isn’t so easy for me was writing the ghost. But luckily I have my own ghost lurking behind me, Stephen King. Not that my little haunted holiday romance is anything like Stephen King’s writing. It’s not. Not at all. Don’t pick it up thinking it is. But more to the point, Stephen King is what scares me.

cujo by stephen kingI’m so terrified of him that I’ve never even read one of his fiction books. Just the idea of reading Cujo or Pet Cemetery makes my palms tingle and my knees weak. I know I won’t sleep. I know I’ll be afraid to even turn off the light.

That’s the kind of writer I want to be. Someone who has mastered his craft so well that even the thought of reading their books brings up emotion. I have read Stephen King’s book On Writing. And that was scary enough. I know have Stephen haunting me. Lurking behind me if I don’t write with dark looks, waving a judgmental finger at me. Saying, “You didn’t write today? For shame!”

When I first read On Writing and realized that Stephen King did not consider you a real writer, a serious writer, unless you wrote everyday, I nearly gave up. There was no way with a job, two small children, and a house to run, that I was going to be able to write every day. I needed time to focus. Time to work without someone needing me. Time to write.

But I didn’t give up. I faced the specter of Stephen King’s dire warnings about not writing and I did my best. I wrote slowly during those days. If I hit 500 words when I wrote, that was a good day, and if I wrote three days a week, that was a good week. But still he haunted me.

Even now I can feel him standing behind me. Why are you wasting time blogging? Why aren’t you writing the book? What are you scared of?

Um, you.

I am scared of not writing. Scared of writing. What if it’s not good? What if they hate it? What if I fail?

Stephen moves in closer. I can feel him nearly touching me. So what?

So write.

Even though I’m scared, the ghost of Stephen King is right. None of that matters. What matters in the end is the wordcount. How many words got down on the page. In the long run, that’s all I’ll see as my success or failure.

Who is your motivator? What ghosts do you have lurking behind you  driving you to succeed?

Happy dancing! Ghosts of Christmas Past recieved two five star reviews this week! WOOT! You can read Patricia Statham’s review at Books To Curl Up With or you can check out the five stars that Kathy left on Amazon or Goodreads.

And don’t forget, Ghosts of Christmas Past is only on sale through the end of August. Get your holiday read for 99 cents today!

Available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Ibooks and AllRomance E-books

Author Bio:

jessica aspen, authorJessica Aspen has always wanted to be spirited away to a world inhabited by elves, were-wolves and sexy men who walk on the dark side of the knife. Luckily, she’s able to explore her fantasy side and delve into new worlds by writing paranormal romance. She loves indulging in dark chocolate, reading eclectic novels, and dreaming of ocean vacations, but instead spends most of her time, writing, walking the dog, and hiking in the Colorado Rockies. You can find out more information and read about Jessica’s paranormal romances at http://JessicaAspen.com

To sign up for Jessica Aspen’s new release email please go to: http://eepurl.com/zs4Sj

 

Author web links:  

Website: http://jessicaaspen.com

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5759763.Jessica_Aspen

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JessicaAspen

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JessicaAspenAuthor

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/jessicaaspen/

Join the Jessica Aspen mailing list! Get the scoop on new releases, sales, plus the chance to win ARCs and participate in special giveaways.  When I send you an email, there’s always something in it for you! http://eepurl.com/zs4Sj

 

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Filed under About the Author, channeling success, facing failure, ghosts, Ghosts of Christmas Past, paranormal inspiration, Thursdays Bite, Writer's Journey

Ghosts and Ghoulies and Things That Go Bump in the Night

Thursdays Bite

bringing out the ghost in paranormal

Hi, I’m blogging again. I was taking a blog break and had every intention of not blogging until September, but it turns out I miss it! I like the schedule and I like writing about fantasy and paranormal romance. So, I’m back! And in honor of my new modern Gothic, Ghosts of Christmas Past, I’m writing about ghosts.

I’ve always read ghost stories. Do you remember those book orders the teachers used to send home with the kids in elementary school? Arrow Books and Scholastic? I lived in a fairly rural area. Our library was in a small house, and my mom had been one of the people to start it. It had a lot of books people had donated, but very few new ones and I loved all the choices that came home in that flyer.

Especially the mystery and suspense.

And there wasn’t much of that. I read Nancy Drew and had devoured all the ones within my reach by the end of second grade, and I loved Scooby Doo, but at that time books for kids were mostly focused on kids having adventures, so I was hungry for more mystery, more suspense, more supernatural. (Okay, technically in both Scooby and Nancy’s books the supernatural turned out to be some guy named Bob hiding behind a wall, but for a moment you could pretend there was a ghost.) Enter the short ghost story books.

scary stories by alvin schwartz

Do you remember reading these?

Books about haunted sailing ships and the sad stories behind them.  Books about men who married women with ribbons around their necks, who turned out to be already dead. Books about haunted houses, courthouses, and outhouses. You name it, if it was out there it had been haunted.

So when I decided to write a ghost story, I had plenty of fodder in my imagination. I needed an older house, because having a new house be haunted doesn’t carry the same thrill. I needed a ghost, well, that’s self-evident. And I needed a reason for her to be a ghost, and not just a ghost, but a malevolent one.

That was tougher.

Enter Agnes. Now I sympathize with Agnes. Her life wasn’t easy and she’s really trying hard to do the right thing. Unfortunately, it’s really wrong to do what she does. Should I tell you and spoil the book? No, I think I’ll let you read it yourself. But trust me, I put a lot of thought into why Agnes would do what she did, and how she thought she was justified.

And then I had to make her scary.

That was the fun part. That’s when all those books that kept me awake at night when I was nine came into play. All the creepy things that make you want to run but when you turn and really look at them, you can explain them away. So you stay in the house.

Did you read ghost stories as a kid? Do you read them now? Do you like to be scared? Have that shiver run up your spine?

Because I want to let all my regular readers have a chance to pick up Ghosts of Christmas Past it’s on a limited time offer of 99cents through the end of August. After that it’s up to $2.99, so grab it while it’s cheap!

 

 

Contemporary Love Stories with a Gothic twist.

ghosts of christmas past by jessica aspen

 

Ghosts of Christmas Past

A Haunted Holidays Novel

Jen MacNamara flees the Christmas wedding of her best friend and cheating fiancĂ© and runs to the country to spend the holiday alone. It’s the perfect plan, until her unexpectedly sexy neighbor and landlord, Nate Pierce, insists on bringing the holiday to her—complete with a Christmas tree, hot chocolate, and an unexpected kiss. 

And that’s not Jen’s only problem.

 The cozy country farmhouse is already occupied by something evil. Now Jen’s nights are spent wrapped in sensual dreams of a past life, and her days growing closer to Nate as they solve the mystery of the malevolent ghost that haunts not only the house, but also wants Jen dead.

 Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Ibooks, AllRomanceEbooks

Introductory price of 99cents! Goes up to $2.99 on September 1st, 2014

Join my new release newsletter for early information on specials and new releases! Click HERE to sign up.

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Filed under ghosts, Ghosts of Christmas Past, Thursdays Bite

Where Are the Paranormal Romances?

Thursdays Bite

a paranormal romance blog

Publishers aren’t taking new paranormal romance authors. Or at least that’s the scuttlebutt around the writer’s cons. I had this happen to me last year. I have an extra series that I’m not sure what I’m doing with, it’s paranormal suspense and I pitched it at a romance writer’s con last year. The editor told me if I took out the paranormal and left it just suspense, she’d take a look at it. I think this is ironic as I have a writer friend who, a few years ago, was shopping romantic suspense and in order to get published she had to add a paranormal element to her suspense!

What’s really interesting about this is that I also know some romantic suspense authors who gave up being published by publishers and decided to self publish. They had received many rejections saying the market just wasn’t there for romantic suspense. Now the publishers are looking for those authors and they are selling books hand over fist without the publishers.

This gives me hope for paranormal romance. So I’m not taking the paranormal out of my suspense series. I’m still pitching it, not because I don’t want to self-publish it. It’s simply that I have so much on my plate that I don’t have time to publish it myself right now and if a publisher would like to help me with that, and it’s the right contract, then I’d be open to having some help. However, if those publishers are not taking paranormal romance, I might just end up with some free time in the next year or two. And then watch out! I’ll be publishing it myself.

And when those publishers begin to realize that there are still a lot of hungry readers out there looking for paranormal romance, it will be too late. That series will be selling like hotcakes while the publishers race to catch up to the market. Like they are doing now with romantic suspense.

Do you read a genre that’s hard to find? Romantic suspense was that way a few years ago and the market was flooded with paranormal romance, now it’s getting trickier to find new paranormal romance authors and series, unless you discover self-published. What about western romance? Publishers said that was dead but I know authors who are doing quite well with it. What do you read? Are you finding what you want?

I’m taking a break through August. A summer sabbatical while I work on my book, work on household stuff and head to RWA Nationals on a road trip. If I get organized, I might post a few blogs between now and then, but writing comes first! Want to keep up with me and maybe see what’s going on down at RWA? You can check it out on Facebook. 

See you in September!

9 Comments

Filed under self publishing, Thursdays Bite, Writer's Journey