Tag Archives: paranormalfreebies.com

The Sinkhole of Inspiration

Thursday’s Bite

a paranormal blog

Today I’m welcoming fellow Paranormal Freebiesteam member, ML Guida to Thursday’s Bite. ML is pursuing her Master of Arts in Creative Writing through Regis University.  On November 15th, 2011, her novella,Cassandra, will be published through Five Prince Press in the anthology Finding Ms. Wright.

http://www.mlguida.com/

I hope everybody had a Happy Spooky Halloween.   I have to admit I overdosed on John Carpenter’s Halloween.  I love watching Jamie Lee Curtis be terrorized by Michael Myers.  What I like about John Carpenter’s Halloween is the suspense – how Michael jumps out of dark corners, the music and the tension.  When movies just show horrible gore and blood, they lose the tension and terror.  Think of JAWS.  How many times have you heard the theme song and shuddered?  As you can see, horror movies have always been a favorite past time for me.  A couple of weekends ago, I saw Paranormal Activity 3 and yes, it’s scary, because it possesses these same components.  My favorite is the babysitter sitting in the kitchen.  I won’t give away what happens because it’s one of the best scenes in the movie.  If you like to be scared, I’d recommend it.

I enjoy horror books as much as I do the movies.  But sometimes, the screenplay misses the terror of the book.  For instance, Stephen King’s The Shining is a suspenseful book, but the movie with Jack Nicholas fails to capture the terror in the book.  I know many people would disagree with me, but I like the ending in the book better than I do the movie.   My other favorite author is Anne Rice.  I feel in love with Lestat, Louis and Armand.  The ultimate sexy vampires!  I believe both Rice and King’s ability to develop believable characters makes their books hard to put down.

My fascination with scary movies and books led me to write paranormal romance.  In my world, I can create my own supernatural monsters.  In Cassandra, I create an Underworld where demons dwell, not the ones that will possess you like in The Exorcist, but demons that had mated with mystical and real creatures.  My hero, Eric, is Prince of the Dragon Demons who are in danger of becoming feral and conquering their world and then focusing on ours.

Many times, readers want to know writers come up with our ideas.  Writers develop ideas based on every day experiences.  In this case, I surfed the internet and stumbled upon a sinkhole in South America.  The huge sinkhole sunk over 100 feet into the ground.  A highway had caved into the hole.  I broke out in shivers when I saw it, because I wondered what would happen if it stretched to hell and something crawled out.  I took it one step further and thought about my favorite mountain town, Frisco.  What if a sinkhole happened in the middle of the night at Walter Byron Park?  Hmmm…what if a demon flew out searching for his mate?  Eric Wyvern comes to life for me.  What would happen if the heroine could see ghosts and a demon goddess from the Underworld?  The demon goddess in my book is the Wraith, and I have to admit she was fun to write about.   She is shrouded in a dark cloak and all you can see is her skeletal hands and red burning eyes.  When she talks, she hisses.  She is one of my favorite characters in this book.

So, the next time you see a sinkhole, imagine where it would go?  What lives down there?  What wants to escape into our world?

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Halloween Treats 2011 Grand Prize Giveaway Today!

Moonday Mania

a blog about the craft of writing

Today is the day I announce the  Halloween Treats Grand Prize Winners for the entire month! Three lucky people will win a swag bag with wonderful Jessica Aspen Swag and a Barnes and Noble $15 Gift Certificate! But hold your horses, I have to gab for a minute first.

This has been a whirlwind October for me, and believe you me,  I have enjoyed riding the whirlwind. From running my first big contest, Halloween Treats, to exploring the world of Flash Fiction with Rach Harrie’s Third Writing Campaign, it’s been one new experience after another. I feel like I’m at the amusement park on my game board of life.

And I expect the rest of the year to continue to be filled with wonderful and scary new experiences. I’ll be working on my first professional edits, with my new editor from Passion in Print Press. I’ll be researching my options for my first professional blog tour. And I’ll be doing all this while running CRW’s Award of Excellence, our amazing contest for romance authors with books published in 2011.

This year not only was the beginning of this blog, but it also marked the beginning of Paranormal Freebies. A blog and ezine that I share with ML Guida, Hillar Seidl and Marilyn Wigglesworth. We’ve had great fun creating a place for paranormal readers and authors to converge.

My latest ride on the whirlwind came on Monday, October 24th with the opening of the Choose Your Own Adventure blog hop, Ahoy Sea Serpent. If you havent tried it start at  Kerri Cuevas’s blog and find out what happens when a group of random bloggers get together to write a story, and make you, the reader, the decision maker. Thanks Kerri for a wonderful opportunity.

This month I’ve given away a book with every blog post and today is the grand prize drawing! If you’ve been hanging out here you know that I’m running the contest in celebration of my novella Little Red Riding Wolf’s acceptence from Passion in Print Press. Little Red Riding Wolf will be available February 18th, 2012

My last giveaway book winner from Saturday’s blog is Gloria! WOOT!

I will be doing a whirlwing blog tour during January and February and promoting Little Red Riding Wolf‘s release date. And I’m thinking I just might run another contest in February. It’s not only my release month, but it also contains romance’s biggest holiday, Valentine’s Day. So don’t forget to check back during the month of February and find out what fun prizes are being given away. Who knows? I might even have copies of Little Red to give away.

So, on to what you’re really here for…

Drum roll please!

And the winners (you had to have commented during the month of October during my blogs to win) of the three amazing Jessica Aspen Swag bags complete with Barnes and Noble gift certificates are…..

CASEY W!

KT HANNA

JEN

Congratulations! Send me your contact info through the contact page and I’ll get your prizes to you! Any prizes not claimed by November 30th will be forfeit.

And for everyone who dropped by and commented this month, thank you very much. I’ve enjoyed getting to meet each and every one of you and hope to keep hearing from you on a regular basis.

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Filed under Moonday mania, Writer's Journey

The Elements of Magic

Thursdays Bite

a paranormal blog

Due to my crazy schedule attending the CRW retreat, getting CRW’s AOE contest and tea organized and the upcoming second challenge of the Thrid Writing Campaign, (as well as taking a sick day) I am taking the liberty of re-posting my first column from Paranormal Freebies Wizzards, Witches and Psychics, Oh My! Thanks for your patience.

Wicca (pronounced /ˈwɪkə/) is a specific Neopagan religion. Its adherents are referred to as Wiccans, though the terms Witches or Crafters are also used.[1] Developing in England in the first half of the 20th century,[2] Wicca was popularised in the 1950s and early 1960s by a Wiccan High Priest named Gerald Gardner, who at the time called it the “witch cult” and “witchcraft,” and its adherents “the Wica.”[3] From the 1960s onward, the name of the religion was normalized to “Wicca.”[4]

Source: Wikipedia

Wiccans practice a variety of different kinds ofmagic. One of the most popular kind is described in books by the now deceased author, Scott Cunningham. Scott’s magical spells are based on working with the harmonies of nature and the four elements. Earth, air, fire and water.

Earth, is the first element. Dense, solid and nurturing Earth is used for growth, prosperity and fertility spells. Ritual tools include dirt, heavy or green stones, earth smelling herbs and the metals iron and lead. Earth is represented by the color green and the pentacle. Its season is winter, its direction is North and the astrological signs are Tarus, Virgo and Capricorn. Spells that are based in earth are spells that need grounding, stability or refer to growth or finance.

Air’s ritual tools include fragrant flowery herbs, wind instruments (such as a flute), light weight stones and the metals tin and copper. Its represented by the wand and the color yellow. Air’s season is spring and its direction, East. Gemini, Libra and Aquarius are all Air signs. Spells for travel, knowledge, instruction freedom and recovering lost items all benefit from an air ritual. Air encompasses divination, concentration, visualization and wind magic.

Fire’s basic nature is complex. From warming the hearth to destroying woodlands fire has many jobs. It is purifying, destructive, protective, sexual and forceful. Its color is red and its tool is the knife. Stinging or thorny plants, plants from hot and desert areas and ones that provide heat such as coffee or peppers are all useful in fire rituals. Summer is its season and South is its direction. Gold and brass are its metals. Aries, Leo, Sagittarius are all fire signs. Use fire in spells for protection, sourage, sex, energy, authority and banishing negativity.

Water is used for cleansing and healing. It is the element of the psychic and love. Use aquatic plants, succulents and flowers that represent love in water rituals. Its stones are blue, transparent or translucent and its metals mercury, silver and copper. Autumn is water’s season and West it’s direction. The cup or the cauldron is its tool. Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces are water signs. Use water in spells and rituals for love, purification, healing, dreams, sleep and psychic awareness.

In a Wiccan ritual all the elements will be represented, but on draws on specific elements for support based on the type of need. A spell for protection from a stalker might use a candle, a garnet and cayenne pepper. A spell for prosperity green herbs and a sketched pentacle. Rhymes and formalized words are used to clarify purpose and strengthen the spells. There are many books and places where you can find more information on Wicca and the four elements. But remember, in Wicca the one rule holds sway: An it harm none, do what thou wilt. In other words, before you do a spell you must be sure of your intention.

Are you interested in magic? Have any questions about the four elements or Wicca? Leave questions, comments and ideas for future blogs in the comments section.

All the information on the four elements found here is from Scott Cunningham’s book Earth, Air, Fire & Water, More Techniques of Natural Magic from Llewellyn Publishing.

This is just a short blog and cannot convey the subtlties of Wicca and Elemental Magic. For more books and resources visit Llewellyn’s home page http://www.llewellyn.co

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What in the BLEEEP Do I Write?

Thursdays Bite (on Friday)

a paranormal blog

Due to the added post on Tuesday for the first challenger of the Third Writers Platform-Building Campaign (click HERE for post) Thursday’s Bite has been delayed till today (Friday). Thanks for your understanding!

I say I write paranormal fiction, but is that exactly true? After reading Is it Paranormal, Supernatural, or Preternatural? by author Elijana Kindel on Paranormal Freebies I began to wonder. I write twisted Fairy Tales, like Little Red Riding Wolf and The Queen’s Huntsman. I also am currently writing a darker non fairytale linked series of werewolf stories. Do these qualify as paranormal by Elijana’s definitions.

PARANORMAL…that which lies outside the range of normal experience or scientific experience.

SUPERNATURAL… anything above or beyond what one holds to be natural or exists outside natural law and the observable universe.

PRETERNATURAL…that which is outside or beyond the natural and is believed to have a rational explanation for its occurrence.

Are werewolves and elves and witches outside the range of normal experience. I’d have to say yes. Are they outside natural law? I asked Elijana about werewolves and vampires and here is what she said:

“Weres and Vamps would actually fall into the Preternatural camp. Because they’ve got a finite range of abilities and they have (if the paranormal world is built correctly) a rational explanation for their existence. It might be genetic–or magical–or whatever, but there is a reason why they exist.”

So why do we call it “paranormal” fiction when it is really about preternatural creatures?

Here is my view:

It’s because of the universe. If you use our basic universe and our basic rules, stay on our planet and stay (mostly) in our time period. We label it paranormal, because it is within our normal range of experience.

If you go to other worlds without reference to our modern normal world, its fantasy. And if you go to other planets and too much in the future, it’s science fiction and you need to have reasonable solid science (okay, not perfect science, but believable within the worldbuilding).

So when is it urban fantasy?

Here is Wikipedia‘s definition:

Urban fantasy is a sub-genre of fantasy defined by place; the fantastic narrative has an urban setting. Many urban fantasies are set in contemporary times and contain supernatural elements. However, the stories can take place in historical, modern, or futuristic periods. The prerequisite is that they must be primarily set in a city.[1]

Doesn’t that sound like paranormal? When I looked at Wikipedia’s definition of paranormal fiction it sounded like it included urban fantasy, not that they were separate and distinct genres.

Which leads me to believe that even though my twisted fairy tales have werewolves in a modern setting, as do my newer WIP’s, and even though I write about elves and witches and magic. I can cover it all by calling myself a paranormal romance author.

What is your view? Do you have a distinct idea of what paranormal is versus urban fantasy? Do you only read one or the other or do you read a wide eclectic variety like me?

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Filed under roots of paranormal romance, Thursdays Bite, Werewolves and the Fae

TA-DA! Site Unveiled and Winners Announced!

It’s here! Today is the day!

I’m excited to announce the winners of the Name My New Blogging Days contests! And the winner’s are:

Moonday’s Mania from Kat Archer  and Thursdays Bite from Carol Kilgor!

Congratulations and I will be contacting you about your prize!

Thanks to everyone who rescued me and contributed the wonderful (and crazy) names. I considered each and every one, but I can only use two. I’m thrilled to be keeping up with the Wonderful Wednesday’s and Fantastic Fridays out in the blogging world. Great job peeps!

You’ve probably already noticed the new look. This is the first part of my paranormal push. A new look for my new focus, paranormal all the way! Most of the changes I made a few weeks ago. I added a calendar page of events and moved some widgets around for greater ease, but I saved the new look for today and the contest announcement. I have to thank my wonderful photographer husband for the pictures. I’m looking forward to working with him again and getting some more paranormal pics.

Another exciting  new piece is the addition of my blogging on Thursdays. Now that I have a phenomenal new name for my Thursday blog I will be dedicating Thursdays to the paranormal reader. This Thursday will be on twisting Fairytales, and after that every Thursday will have a paranormal bent.

The last piece in my perfect triangle is the addition of guest bloggers, starting with my good friend Sherry Isaac. Sherry’s new anthology Storyteller is coming out July 30th and she will be blogging here August First and August Eighth. Check out the new calendar page for updates on what I’m doing and all my exciting guests.

I’m also thrilled to announce that the first Friday of every month, starting with  August 5th, I’ll have a permanent place on  ParanormalFreebies.com . My monthly blog there will be Magical Musings and will focus on spells and magic in the world of the paranormal.

I’d love to hear what you think of the new site and the new blog names, go ahead and leave a comment for me!

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