Tag Archives: gothic romance

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 fiancé 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 NobleKoboIbooksAllRomanceEbooks

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

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 PastWhat 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

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 fiancé 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

Introducing a New Adult Gothic Contemporary Romance

Thursday’s Bite

a fantasy romance blog

I thought today I’d introduce my upcoming new Gothic novel, Ghosts of Christmas Past. I’m delving into new territory with this one because it isn’t a fairytale twist. It is a…hold your breath…

halloween toombstonesNew Adult Gothic Contemporary Christmas Romance.

Phew!

What in the world is that?

Well, I wanted to write a modern ghost story. And I’ve always loved Gothics. I personally think Gothics are New Adults, they just weren’t called that when they were published originally. (Check out my blog on the similarities of Gothic and New Adult covers , HERE.) Girls on the cusp of being true adults. Young women who are out on their own for the first time. Yada, yada, yada.

You get it, don’t you?

Anyway, I love Gothics and ghost stories, so I decided it was finally time I wrote one. And I needed a holiday release, so the idea was born to have a series of quicky novellas I could write as a break from the fairy tale twisting. I don’t want to just write Christmas stories, so I’m writing a series of holiday novellas, Haunted Holidays: A series of contemporary love stories where the heroes and heroine’s take on the supernatural.

Okay, the log line needs work, but it’s a fun series!

And, yeah, this one turned out a little longer than a novella. It edged into short novel status when it sneaked past the limit of 40,000 words, but hey! Every one of those words is needed!

I don’t have a cover yet, but here’s the blurb:

Ghosts of Christmas Past

A Haunted Holiday’s Novel

Jen MacNamara flees the Christmas wedding of her best friend and cheating fiancé 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.

So I hope you’ll join me in my pursuit of the supernatural. If you’re interested in all the early details of the release sign up for my newsletter HERE, where you can find out about all my upcoming releases and specials. Look for Ghosts of Christmas Past to be out sometime in July for Christmas in July! WOOT! Stay tuned for details.

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Filed under ghosts, Haunted Holidays, Thursdays Bite

Halloween Horror

Thursdays Bite

a halloween is coming blog

  • You might have guessed that Halloween is my favorite holiday. I grew up with a mother and a grandmother both born on Halloween, so we always had a party. To celebrate, my mom handed out FULL SIZE candy bars. Needless to say we were popular with the neighborhood kids. But I think the best thing about Halloween is being scared. 

That’s why I’m loving writing Gothic. Spooky houses, ghosts, creepy feelings snaking up your spine. Brrrr! Maybe that “Who I Write Like” website was right. Maybe I do write my paranormal romances like Ann Rice and Stephen King. One can only hope! (If you want to read that post, check it out HERE).

What I do know is I’m super excited about not just Halloween but also Christmas this year because my spooky, sexy, Gothic romance novella will be ready for release. Ghosts of Christmas Past, is the first story in my new paranormal romance series: Haunted Holidays. All novellas and all featuring romantic ghost stories. It’s like having Halloween at Christmas time, and I’m anticipating all the ghostly fun.

Yes, Jack, Christmas would be better with a little bit of Halloween thrown in. We already have Scrooge and his ghosts, why not add more?

halloween toombstones Writing paranormal means my plots always have zing, but writing horror means the zing is always creepy. Hmm, I may enjoy this too much! IN fact I think I do. I’m already thinking ahead to my next Haunted Holiday novella and I’m not even finished with this one? Love  ghosts. Love romance. So how could I not write a ghostly romance?

I grew up reading not just ghost stories, but Gothics. From the very old stories like The Turn of the Screw and The Woman in White, to the later romances that Victoria Hold and Phyllis Whitney used to write. Gothic is in my blood.

And who can forget Ammee, Come Home, by the classic Gothic author, Barabara Michaels. Brrr. I’m not sure I can live in a house built before 1992 without wondering if there is a ghost.

What other ghosts in love stories can you remember. My mother used to love The Ghost and Mrs. Muir. Have you seen that one? The TV show reminds me of adult Scooby Doo, funny and a little spooky. It was based on the movie of the same name, which has a terrific romantic and haunting piece of music to go with it: The Ghost and Mrs. Muir Suite. You can listen to that and imagine the ghost falling in love with the lovely and young widow.

Do you like a little horror with your romance? How about mixed in with your Halloween or Christmas? Did you ever read a true Gothic romance? Or delve into old fashioned mysteries?

I’m still on tour. Tommorrow I’ll be hopping by Romance and Beyond. If you’d like a glimpse into romance in my life, come on by.

My Goodreads Book Giveaway is still underway. If you haven’t taken advantage of this opportunity to win a print copy of The Dark Huntsman, then what are you waiting for? It’s spicy, fantasy romance at it’s best! (If I do say so myself. wink wink)

The Dark Huntsman

by Jessica Aspen

Giveaway ends October 22, 2013.

See the giveaway details at Goodreads.

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Filed under Writer's Journey

New Adult Paranormal Or: Bringing Back the Gothic Cover

Moonday Mania

a mystery, an innocent girl, a dark deceptive man…

For the last several years all I’ve heard from authors is: NEED MAN CHEST! Gotta have it on my cover or  it doesn’t say romance. But I don’t just write romance, I write dark paranormal romance, new adult paranormal, or… dare I say it… Gothic Romance.

Right now, and for the past few years, that’s exactly what man chest does. For women, book buyers, editors, the sight of a guy on the cover signals romance. So does a couple in a hot embrace. But what about a solitary woman on the cover, what does that say?

A woman on the cover brings me back to my classic Gothic roots. All those romances where a young woman goes out on her own and deals with a dark, dangerous, sexy, alpha male. Hey wait, isn’t that what I write? Isn’t that the basis for New Adult Paranormal?

Yeah, it is.

So do I need man chest? Does it signal to my group of readers that they are getting what they are looking for?

Um, no.

Why?

the dark huntsman by jessica aspenBecause there is a new trend taking shape. A new, but old trend. The gothic romance is coming back and it’s signaled not by lots of skin, but by lone women. If it’s a YA paranormal you would see a single item a la Twighlight, but the latest trend in NA is a single woman with lots of angst. In other words, a cover like The Dark Huntsman.

Now, strictly speaking The Dark Huntsman is not a gothic, there is no spooky house. (I’m writing a gothic Christmas novella right now, The Ghosts of Christmas Past and that one has a house.) But it has the other elements of a gothic and curously, New Adult Paranormal.

  1.  a young woman, just finding out who she is
  2. a dark, mysterious man. Sexy and just a little bit powerful or intriguing
  3. a mystery

Add in the house and you have a Gothic Romance, just like days of old. Starting with Daphne Du Maurier’s famous line from Rebecca and moving through the golden age of authors like Victoria Holt, Mary Stewart, Barbara Michaels and Phyllis Whitney we see a slew of books about young women going out on their own for the first time and discovering…DANGER.

And love.

the legend of the seventh virgin by victoria holt

And what did those covers look like?

Hmm, let’s look. Any man chest visible? No.

A lone woman, obviously in trouble, and a dark stormy background.

Romance has come full circle with New Adult Paranormal, we’ve come back to the Gothic Romance and I love it. What an opportunity to write angsty heroines, dark mysterious heros, and of course, classic haunted houses. Now in a New Adult Paranormal, you might find something else takes the place of the house, but you would still have the three key ingredients: a young woman in trouble, a dark sexy man, and a mystery.

What books have you read lately that fit this bill? Do you see the trend in romance to come back to the Gothic? Have you read a New Adult Paranormal Romance? Have you dipped your toe into New Adult? What romance trends do you see? Are you still hungry for man chest?

There is still time to enter my Goodreads Giveaway for The Dark Huntsman. Ten print copies, up for grabs! Only three weeks left, so hurry up and enter today.

And if you are on the winners list for The Dark Huntsman e-book giveaway, and you haven’t checked your spam file, please do so. I sent all the winners an email and I’d love to send you your prize!

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Filed under Moonday mania, New Adult, roots of paranormal romance, The Dark Huntsman