Friday, October 31, 2014

Guest - C.D. Hersh

Happy Halloween! It's the last day of the month but we have a terrific author to help us while away the time till tonight! C.D. Hersh has a great post on shapeshifters so grab one of our treat bags, a cup of coffee or tea and sit back and enjoy!


Top Ten Shape Shifters Plus One

Linda, thanks for hosting us on your blog. We’re going to talk about shape shifting today, a paranormal element we consider pretty cool.

If you Google shape shifters you might come up with a list similar to this:
            1. Werewolves
            2. Vampires
            3. Selkies
            4. Skinwalkers
            5. Kitsune
            6. Leshy
            7. Berserkers
            8. Púca
            9. Wendigo
            10. Encantado

We are not going to say anything about werewolves and vampires because most know what these are capable of doing. However, you might not know much about the others on the list.

Selkies are found in Faroese, Icelandic, Irish, and Scottish mythology. They have the ability to transform themselves from seal to human form by shedding their seal skin. Mermaids have their basis in the selkie shape shifter lore. Selkies, male and female, are extremely beautiful when in human form. If you hide a selkie’s seal skin they are forced to remain human.

Skinwalkers are Navajo shape shifters who have broken tribal taboos in order to obtain the magical ability to shape shift. They are most frequently seen as a coyote, wolf, fox, eagle, owl, or crow, but they also have the ability to assume the form of any animal they choose. Additional powers include the ability to steal the face of a person, and absorb themselves into your body if you lock eyes with them, read human thoughts, and make any human or animal noise they choose.

Kitsunes are intelligent, magical Japanese foxes, with nine tails, who can assume human form. Tricksters, they have the ability to clone the appearance of an individual, but they prefer the shape of a beautiful woman, young girl, or elderly man. Able to manifest themselves in people’s dreams, they create elaborate illusions that can be perceived as reality. Additional kitsune powers include flying, invisibility, the power to generate fire or lightning, bending time and space, and driving people mad.

The Leshy is a Slavic, mythological, male woodland spirit, who is a protector of wild animals and the forests. They usually appear as tall men with pale white skin and dark green glowing eyes, but can shape shift into any animal or plant. They are mischievous, but not always evil, and enjoy misguiding humans and kidnapping young women.

Berserkers are human Norse warriors, with the ability to transform, via a trance-like fury, into wolves, bears, and wild bulls. This transformation enables the men to fight with incredible strength and endurance. In order to make the full transformation they wear the pelts of bears and wolves into battle.

The púca is one of the more friendly shape shifters. They don’t eat you, kill you, or kidnap you. They do, however, like riddles, playing pranks, and confusing and scaring humans. This Celtic fairy is capable of assuming animal forms, the most common a black horse with a flowing mane and luminescent orange eyes. No matter what form they take they are capable of human speech. If treated nicely, they will help humans.

Watch out for the Wendigo. Malevolent, cannibalistic creatures, Wendigos are associated with the winter, the north, and coldness. Cannibalism transforms humans into Wendigos. Gluttonous, greedy, and prone to excessiveness, they are never satisfied with a one-person meal and are constantly searching for new victims. When humans become Wendigos, they will grow considerably in size.

An encantado is a seductive Brazilian shape shifter, who loves parties and is very musical. They have the ability to shift from their freshwater dolphin or sea snake shapes into human form. Magical abilities include the power to control storms, haunt humans, and various mind control techniques used to inflict illness, insanity, and even death. They are also known for kidnapping humans.

The Google search has missed one form of shape shifters and those are the ones that appear in our series, The Turning Stone Chronicles. When we created our shape shifters we wanted something a bit different than the ordinary werewolf and not quite as malevolent as some of the shifters mentioned above. So, using the theory that all of us have three states of personality: Id, Ego, and Super-ego, we created our shifters with the ability to shift to multiple forms.

For purposes of our world, we’ve translated the Id to be the shifter’s normal persona or ego. Their alter-ego is the opposite of the ego. If the shifter is male then his alter-ego is female and vice versa. Not wanting to completely ignore the animal side, we made the shifter’s super-ego, the animal nature of the person. Interestingly, new shifters don’t know what their animal ego is until they become skilled shifters. Sometimes this shift comes as a surprise to the person, which can make for interesting scenes.

Another different aspect of our shifters is the mimic shift. They can look at a person or picture and mimic that look. But watch out! You have to be careful what you do as a mimicked shifter. There are consequences if you do something evil.

Here’s a peek, from our newest book, Blood Brothers, at one of the rogue shifters getting ready to do something bad:

Outside University Hospital Sylvia waited, watching for a nurse to mimic shift into so she could get into the building undetected. A blonde, about her height, wearing green scrubs-the same color as the ones she wore-crossed in front of her and headed for the parking lot. Sylvia slipped her coat hood over her head, turned toward the building wall, and shifted. As the last tingle of muscles and cells reforming subsided, she stepped sideways, dropped her hood, and moved to the building window. Strands of blond hair lifted off her shoulders in the breeze and a pair of blue eyes stared back at her. Her own mother wouldn’t know her. Satisfied with her disguise, she headed inside.
“Back already?” one of the nurses at the registration desk asked as she came in the door.
Smiling, Sylvia nodded. The phone rang and the nurse answered, her attention diverted. Sylvia slipped behind the desk and flipped through the patient list for Alexi’s name. Room 352. She dropped the list and headed for the elevator.

Title – Blood Brothers, The Turning Stone Chronicles
Author – C.D. Hersh
Genre – Paranormal Suspense Romance
Heat Level - Sensual
Release Date: October 29, 2014
When Delaney Ramsey is enlisted to help train two of the most powerful shape shifters the Turning Stone Society has seen in thousands of years, she suspects one of them is responsible for the disappearance of her daughter. To complicate matters, the man has a secret that could destroy them all. Bound by honor to protect the suspect, Delaney must prove his guilt without losing her life to his terrible powers or revealing to the police captain she’s falling for that she’s a shape shifter with more than one agenda.

The minute Captain Williams lays eyes on Delaney Ramsey, he knows she’s trouble. Uncooperative, secretive, and sexy, he can’t get her out of his mind. When he discovers she has a personal agenda for sifting through all the criminal records in his precinct, and secretly investigating his best detective, he can’t let her out of his sight. He must find out what she’s looking for before she does something illegal. If she steps over the line, he’s not certain he can look the other way for the sake of love.

Shape shifter Delaney Ramsey’s daughter is missing, and she is bound by honor to protect the man she suspects of the deed. To bring him to justice, she must go against her code, the leader of the secret shifter society, and the police captain she is falling for.

Amazon buy link for The Promised One (The Turning Stone Chronicles):
Amazon buy link for Blood Brothers (The Turning Stone Chronicles): Will get to you as soon as available.
Putting words and stories on paper is second nature to co-authors C.D. Hersh. They’ve written separately since they were teenagers and discovered their unique, collaborative abilities in the mid-90s. As high school sweethearts and husband and wife, Catherine and Donald believe in true love and happily ever after.

Together they have co-authored a number of dramas, six which have been produced in Ohio, where they live. Their interactive Christmas production had five seasonal runs in their hometown and has been sold in Virginia, California, and Ohio. Their most recent collaborative writing efforts have been focused on romance. The first book of their paranormal romance series entitled The Promised One (The Turning Stone Chronicles) is available on Amazon. The second book in the series Blood Brothers is coming October 29, 2014 from Soul Mate Publishing.
Where you can find CD:
Soul Mate Publishing:

The Turning Stone Chronicles—The Promised One

In the wrong hands, the Turning Stone ring is a powerful weapon for evil. So, when homicide detective Alexi Jordan discovers her secret society mentor has been murdered and his magic ring stolen, she is forced to use her shape-shifting powers to catch the killer. By doing so, she risks the two most important things in her life—her badge and the man she loves.

Rhys Temple always knew his fiery cop partner and would-be-girlfriend, Alexi Jordan, had a few secrets. He considers that part of her charm. But when she changes into a man, he doesn’t find that as charming. He’ll keep her secret to keep her safe, but he’s not certain he can keep up a relationship—professional or personal.

Danny Shaw needs cash for the elaborate wedding his fiancée has planned, so he goes on a mugging spree. But when he kills a member of the secret society of Turning Stones, and steals a magic ring that gives him the power to shape shift, Shaw gets more than he bargained for.

When homicide detective Alexi Jordan is forced to use her shape shifting powers to catch a paranormal killer, she risks the two most important things in her life—her badge and the man she loves.

Lynda Again --

Hope you've enjoyed our guest today. Please click on the Google (g+) button to help spread the word and leave a comment to let them know. Remember, if you're a member of my newsletter, you'll get the latest news on my books along with the newsletter. Sign up. It's free!

Have a Blessed day!

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Thursday, October 16, 2014

Guest - Sarah McNeal

Good morning! We're having typical Michigan weather: cold, warm, cold, warm, cold. Throw in some rain, some sun, maybe a little snow and you're here  But those fallen leaves in gold, brown and russet really help set the mood for Halloween. There's a crispness in the air and no Trick or Treater will be able to sneak up on you 

So grab a cup of coffee or tea and a delectable piece of pumpkin pie and sit back and enjoy our guest, Sarah McNeal and her take on Haunted Amusement Parks, bwahahahah!

Make sure to check out her contest!


Abandoned Amusement Parks Are Creepy

In my new release, ‘THE BEAST OF HAZARD”, from the Halloween anthology, COWBOYS, CREATURES, AND CALICO, Volume 1 from Prairie Rose Publications, I wrote about an unscrupulous circus owner who abandons his circus which wreaks havoc and danger on the fictional town of Hazard, Wyoming.

I started researching abandoned amusement parks and, I have to tell you, there is nothing creepier than a place where laughter and fun once resided, now desolate and eerily silent. Imagine, on a hike in the forest, stumbling upon a metal clown half buried in the dirt and a Ferris wheel covered in vines out in the middle of nowhere. Even worse, imagine in the middle of a meadow with low lying fog coming across life size statues of dinosaurs. One might even think the creatures were real at first sight. I, for one, would run shrieking and screaming. Roller coasters and carrousels appear particularly sinister empty of passengers and slowly eaten by vines and trees. It just makes me shiver to think how they must appear to someone who might come upon them by accident.  

Near my home in North Carolina is an abandoned mill. I saw it every time I drove to the beach down highway 74. The old mill has deteriorated and kudzu vines have taken over most of the structures. It fascinated me, and it creeped me out. Of course, I had to get some photographs of it. Here is one of them.

In my story, “THE BEAST OF HAZARD”, an entire town is in danger just as the children are preparing to go out trick-or-treating. What is this beast? And what are the townspeople going to do to protect themselves as well as their livestock?

 A Terrorized Town…A Killer Beast…And Deliverance

Joey Wilding isn’t certain what’s killing the livestock in Hazard. Some believe it’s a bewitched beast, others a wolf gone rabid. As the town veterinarian, he’s seen mutilation before, but not like this, as if something enjoyed the killing.
When Claire Beau asks Joey to help her injured wolf-dog, and begs his discretion, he begins to suspect he has found the Beast of Hazard—and its beautiful mistress. But as he walks through the woods after dark, something more ominous than any wolf stalks him from the shadows.

As they stepped out into the dark night, a chill ran down Joey’s spine as he remembered that terrible growl he heard in the woods. He was comforted a little by the light on the barn that flooded the space between the barn and house with a pale light. From off in the distance, a sound came from the depth of the forest that shook Joey to the core.
Claire’s face grew pale and her eyes widened. “We should hurry,” she said in a voice tight with fear. Whatever that thing was out there, Claire must know something about it. The woman who had a huge wolf as a pet suddenly looked afraid of the thing out there. Her response made him very uneasy. Could he trust her?


CONTEST ALERT: I will be giving away a digital copy of the Halloween anthology, COWBOYS, CREATURES, AND CALICO, Volume 1 to a commenter.

I have a story coming up in the Christmas anthology from Prairie Rose Publications, “When Love Comes Knocking”.

A lonely widow…an indiscretion…a gift for redemption

On Sale for October, my medieval paranormal trilogy, Legends of Winatuke, boxed set will be only 99 cents. It has 3 full length novels filled with adventure, creatures, evil beings, a witch, and romance: Dark Isle, Lake of Sorrows, and The Light of Valmora…all for only 99 cents.

About Sarah

Sarah McNeal is a multi-published author of several genres including time travel, paranormal, western and historical fiction. She is a retired ER nurse who lives in North Carolina with her four-legged children, Lily, the Golden Retriever and Liberty, the cat. Besides her devotion to writing, she also has a great love of music and plays several instruments including violin, bagpipes, guitar and harmonica. Her books and short stories may be found at Publishing by Rebecca Vickery, Victory Tales Press, Prairie Rose Publications and Painted Pony Books, and Fire Star Press, imprints of Prairie Rose Publications. She welcomes you to her website at

Lynda Again --

Hope you've enjoyed our guest today. Don't forget to check out her contest. And please click on the Google (g+) button to help spread the word and leave a comment to let her know. Remember, if you're a member of my newsletter, you'll get the recipe for the pumpkin pie along with the newsletter. Sign up. It's free!

Have a Blessed day!

Contact me


Monday, October 06, 2014

Guest - Karri Thompson

Good morning! We have author Karri Thompson visiting us today. She's got a terrific post about one of our cultural icons - zombies! So grab a GF Vampire Eyeball Cookie, a cup of hot blood coffee and a chair. Karri has a contest so make sure you enter it (directions below). Enjoy!
We’re All Infected
Karri Thompson
            As a high-school English teacher, it is not uncommon for me to hear the latest scoop on campus from my students while I circulate the classroom, helping them with their assignments. I tend to ignore the superficial stuff – the hottest boy or girl on campus, the fight that happened at lunch, why someone has been suspended, etc. – but recently when I kept hearing one particular topic over and over again, I couldn’t help but listen and eventually question them about it.
            What were my students talking about? The Walking Dead – one of AMC’s top series with an average of 10.4 million viewers per episode during its fourth season.
 Zombies? Nope, it wasn’t my thing at the time, but being a Netflix subscriber, I gave it a shot, and to my surprise, I wasn’t disappointed. My husband even joined my “Walking Dead” marathon, and he was the last person I thought would ever become hooked on a show featuring the undead.
But The Walking Dead is more than just a show about zombies. Its cast of likeable and many hot characters (Darrell and Rick), reminds us that every person is vulnerable, and that at any given moment, we might need to rely on one of our instincts, a special, biological trigger that helps us decide whether to face a danger and fight or turn away and flee from possible injury or death.
            Our brains are uniquely hard-wired to keep us alive. This fight-or-flight response is just one part of our human nature, and it just so happens to be the innate response viewers witness most often in each episode of The Walking Dead
            True – a zombie apocalypse will never happen, but people still hold the inborn fear that if they end up in the wrong place at the wrong time, they might experience something similar, whether it’s a terrorist attack, natural disaster, nuclear war, or world-wide pandemic. The popularity of the National Geographic Channel’s reality show, Doomsday Preppers, only reinforces the fact that many Americans are currently preparing for the worst, a time when the phrase “survival of the fittest” might become a reality.
Recent political and catastrophic events around the world, such as the hostilities in the Middle East, cases of Ebola in the United States, and this decade’s recent string of international disasters, such as the Tsunamis that hit Thailand and Japan, only add to this sudden rise in preparatory behavior and the fear of Armageddon.
            Dystopian novels like Brave New World, The Hunger Games, Divergent, and even my own novel, Mirror X, give the reader insight into a conceived post-apocalyptic world, worlds containing the many psychological and physiological survival methods used by each book’s characters. The continued popularity of this genre again reinforces the fact that as humans, we never forget that we are vulnerable and mortal.
“We’re all infected” with the same strong, intrinsic will to subsist no matter what the cost, making stories as unimaginable as a zombie apocalypse or a world where babies are harvested in containers, something millions of people love to watch and read about.
            Halloween is just around the corner, and although my agent told me the publishing market is saturated with “zombie” manuscripts, I might still write one. With season five of The Walking Dead beginning on October 12, and with a record-breaking estimate of over 20 million viewers, I think the zombie trend is far from ending, and I definitely know why.

MIRROR X/Karri Thompson

I was born more than a thousand years ago.

Put into a cryogenic tube at age seventeen, forgotten during a holocaust that decimated the world, I've finally been awakened to a more serene and peaceful future.

But things at the hospital are new and strange. And it’s starting to scare me.

Everyone is young. Everyone is banded and tracked. And everyone is keeping secrets. 
The cute geneticist Michael Bennett might be the only good thing in this crazy new world where “life is precious” but no one seems free to live it. The problem is, I don’t think he’s being totally honest with me, either.

When I’m told only I can save the human race from extinction, it’s clear my freeze didn’t avoid a dreadful fate. It only delayed the horror…

MIRROR X/Excerpt

I was filled with too much turmoil and betrayal to even raise my voice. “You should have told me from the very beginning, Michael. All that talk about training and career opportunities was a big lie.”
            He bent forward, his eyes aimed at the gray floor as I watched his back rise with each breath.
            “I’m sorry, Cassie. Until you were told about the project, we had to keep you from asking questions we weren’t ready to answer. They were going to wait another week, but I couldn’t lie to you one more minute.”
            I folded my arms against my chest and sighed. “I’m being forced into doing something I don’t want to do, and I’ve been manipulated and deceived by people I thought I could trust.”
“We needed to wait until you were stronger. You were too vulnerable.”
“And I’m not vulnerable now? Look at me.” I said, raising my frail arms and letting them drop limply to the bed.
“We’re all vulnerable. We’re desperate. And we’re running out of time.”

 About Karri Thompson

Growing up in San Diego, California, Karri Thompson spent much of her years at the beach, reading novels, tanning, and listening to music. At SDSU, she earned a BA in English, MA in education, and her teaching credential. As a wife, mother, and high-school English teacher, she began writing novels, giving all of the compelling plots and unique characters in her head a home. Victorian literature rocks her socks, and when she’s not writing, jogging, going to concerts, or watching her son play football, she’s reading Dickens.

Instagram: authorkarrithompson
Twitter: @karrithompson

To Enter Karri's contest, click on the Rafflecopter link.
a Rafflecopter giveaway


Lynda Again --

Hope you've enjoyed our guest today. If you did, please click on the Google (g+) button to help spread the word and leave a comment to let her know. Remember, if you're a member of my newsletter, you'll get the recipe for the Gluten Free Vampire Eyeball Cookies along with the newsletter. Sign up. It's free!

Have a Blessed day!

Contact me


Monday, September 29, 2014

Guest - Linda Nightingale

Good morning! We have author Linda Nightingale. And in the corner there, we have Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Blondies and cafe au lait. Try some. They're calorie free ;-) (Alas, the member recipe for the cookies will have calories.) Sit back and enjoy!


I have been told that readers want to know about the people who write this weird stuff.  So, I’ll introduce my weird self.  I started life on December 27th (year intentionally omitted) as Linda Joyce Brown in Anderson, South Carolina.  I grew up along the way and became a legal assistant.  The last position I held before retiring to write fulltime was with Legal Services at MD Anderson Cancer Center.  I am a mother, a writer and a lover of horses.  I spent many years in the show arena.  My Andalusian stallion Bonito was twice national champion at halter.  Our breeding operation was Camelot Act II in my hometown.  After the death of two of my horses, I sold the farm and moved to Miami, but Bonito, of course (he was my soul mate) went with me.  I’ve lived in Canada and England, and now reside in the big State of Texas.   My favorite things are my two sons, horses, piano and gorgeous men with long blond hair.

But I’d rather talk about my books!  My Work in Progress is another paranormal romance titled, The Summons.   I’m having a lot of fun writing this tale of a spirit bound to a witch who doesn’t know she is a witch.  When he rebels against a powerful Shaman bent on sacrificing her for sins she did not commit, the wouldn’t be witch must learn her craft fast.

I have four books available in eBook and in print, Sinners’ Opera, Gemini Rising, Cardinal Desires and my latest release, Sinners’ Obsession, the sequel to Sinners’ Opera and Book #2 in the Obsession Series.  Sinners’ Opera was in the Top Ten in the 2013 Preditors’ & Editors’ Poll.  Gemini Rising won the Mainstream Category in that poll in 2012.  Cardinal Desires won the Georgia Romance Writers’ Magnolia Award.

Sinners’ Opera, the book of my heart, was the first one I wrote, and it was years in the making and editing from over 1,000 pages to 171 published in 2013 by Double Dragon Publishing, a Canadian publisher.   My editor at DDP asked for a sequel, and Sinners’ Obsession is now in the editing phase.  I had already begun a prequel, Sinners’ Waltz.  In that long ago beginning, I didn’t anticipate writing a series, but I seem to have done so!  So, I needed a name for the series and, very originally, I have called the Morgan trilogy, Obsession.

Morgan D’Arcy, the hero, is an English lord, a classical pianist and … a vampire.   Sinners’ Opera is Isabeau’s and Morgan’s story.  You can view the book video on YouTube at:
The music is beautiful, and author Noelle Adams did a splendid job with production of the video.

Sinners’ Obsession was released in August by Double Dragon Publishing:
A frantic mother researches her daughter's flawed DNA in a race against time, suffering disappointment after disappointment in her search for a cure.

In this sequel to Sinners' Opera, Morgan D'Arcy, English lord, classical pianist and vampire, finally wins his Isabeau. Six months of painful separation have eroded Isabeau's need to remain true to her wicked bargain with the most powerful vampire in the world, Lucien St. Albans. During their estrangement, Isabeau gives birth to Morgan's daughter, Eroica—a DarkeChilde, half-human and half-vampire, outlawed by the Vampyre Code. She loves Morgan too much to live without him and relents to his enticing pursuit, but a dangerous confession nearly shatters their idyllic existence. In a dark moment, Morgan tells Isabeau their child carries a defective gene that will cause Eroica to go mad at puberty.

Eroica D'Arcy is the subject of Isabeau's deal with the devil. When their beautiful blonde daughter reaches her twentieth birthday, she is promised to the Dark Prince of vampires, Lucien St. Albans.

Other Books:


Lynda Again --
Hope you've enjoyed our guest today. If you did, please click on the Google (g+) button to help spread the word and leave a comment to let her know. Remember, if you're a member of my newsletter, you'll get the recipe for the Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Blondies along with the newsletter. Sign up. It's free!

Have a Blessed day!

Contact me


Friday, September 26, 2014

Guest - Shauna Aura Knight

Good morning! It's definitely Fall here in lower Michigan. Cool temps, leaves putting on their fancy colors, squirrels and bunnies hurrying to put away their winter stores. I'm doing the same though not in a hurry-scurry manner. I'm freezing some of my herbs, corn, squash, and green beans. I'd like to do more but time is no woman's friend and we all only have 24 hours in a day. With that in mind, today's delectable treat is an easy Gluten Free Apple Crisp. And to go with it, we have some fragrant cinnamon coffee. So pull up one of our cozy chairs and have a treat that will delight your taste buds while we listen to our guest, author Shauna Aura Knight. Enjoy!


Why do We Like Paranormal and Magical Stories?

The paranormal romance genre is pretty popular, but being a curious person I sometimes wonder what makes the supernatural, the otherworldly, and the magical, so endlessly fascinating. I must find it captivating since everything I write has some kind of a fantasy or sci-fi element to it. Even with the movies I watch, I’m willing to put up with some pathetic plots as long as there is magic, superpowers, or space ships.

Without getting too woo-woo, I think there are things below the surface of the “real world.” I think there is the occasional magic, the occasional unexplainable phenomena, even the occasional miracle. And I think that those stories inspire us and entrance us. Or maybe it goes back to hundreds, thousands of years ago, when we huddled around the fire having no idea how the world worked. At the Winter Solstice, would the nights really just keep growing longer? Or would the sun ever come back? Imagine what it must have been like, when the natural world held a mystery, a magic, and even a little terror.

Sometimes I think it’s a little thrilling to think that there are people out there with magic powers. That there are werewolves, vampires, ghosts, psychics, superheroes, and magic-users. That there is something beyond the daily grind of our reality. And in romance, I think it’s particularly alluring that there are sexy guys with supernatural abilities courting the heroine. Or that the heroine has magical powers.

In my first novella, Werewolves in the Kitchen, Ellie ends up mating two werewolves,
Kyle and Jake. They are stronger than average and have that intense primal attraction. I think there’s something pretty enticing about werewolves and shapeshifters…about a guy that is so hot for you his eyes glow and he has difficulty keeping himself from shifting into his animal form. Imagine a guy with super strength, stamina, and endurance who could fight off powerful enemies for you, a guy who has a psychic connection to you, who absolutely loves the way you smell and would do anything for you.

I think with paranormal romance, there’s potential for the traditional alpha hero to get an interesting spin as a werewolf, a vampire, or some other supernatural magic.

I have an urban fantasy novella, The Autumn Leaves, the White Dress with subtle paranormal and fantasy elements of the story including Meredith dreaming her own death, an intense Samhain ritual, and speaking to the spirits of the dead. 

I call it subtle magic because for me, this kind of paranormal and psychic phenomena isn’t really that far reality. While it’s not common, I have heard of—and experienced—prophetic dreams and spirit communication. I facilitate community rituals for Pagan and Earth-centered communities, and I also write nonfiction books on Dreamwork and other metaphysical topics. In my fiction, the paranormal elements are a little bit more reliable than they typically are in real life. In reality, prophetic dreams and spirit communication that are that directly accurate are fairly rare.

The story itself was inspired by a dream I had, though it wasn’t prophetic. Actually, a lot of my fiction is inspired by my own dreams.

My story A Winter Knight’s Vigil is probably the most subtle magic of all the stories I’ve written, and yet, it’s how real magic works. Amber and Tristan are on a retreat in a cabin in the woods with their coven, and when things get hot and heavy between them, they find themselves facing their own personal shadows and fears during intense ecstatic rituals.

I facilitate rituals like that with some frequency when I travel around the country teaching in the Pagan community. I truly enjoy writing “real” ritual magic into my paranormal and urban fantasy stories. But—for me, the kind of magic that happens in rituals like that is genuine. Participants in the rituals certainly have some intense experiences!

I think the allure of that kind of magic and paranormal phenomena is that connection with that something larger…I think we just want to know that there’s magic out there.

When I teach workshops, whether  they are psychic development workshops, dreamwork, or when I’m facilitating rituals to get people into a deep ecstatic trance state, I think that people are looking to touch the fingertips of that magic, that something deeper. Maybe you call it the divine, maybe you call it the Force, maybe it’s just the mysteries of the universe at work. I think that many of us want to see that universe at work. We want to understand it. We want to know there’s an order to the pattern.

We also want to know that there’s something special beneath the surface, something potent and inexplicable and wild and utterly fascinating.

 I think that people tend to envy the folks that have touched that something beyond. The truth is that many people lament to me that they can’t meditate, that they don’t have psychic experiences, that they can’t get visions at will. And then every once in a while, they find a way to open to that experience.

And no, it’s not like in a fantasy book where people zap people with lightning bolts, or where people shapeshift into wolves. It’s still a magic. Just a subtle magic. That subtle magic is all around us, but we have to get better at listening to find it.

Some of the books I have coming out involve the flashier magic—vampires, faeries, psychic mages, and massive epic fantasy battles with armies and elves and warriors. But I think at the core, I’ll always also deal with those more delicate magics. The little magics that are just rippling under the surface of the water, just out of reach. The magic of the shadows we face, the dark nights, the personal transformation we each go through to become who we could be.

What inspires you about paranormal fiction? What is your favorite kind of magic? Comment below with your email address for a chance to win a FREE ebook copy of Werewolves in the Kitchen (or any one of my three novellas, winner’s choice). Winner will be chosen on October 1st.

Werewolves in the Kitchen:
When Ellie moved to the SpiralStone retreat center to figure out her life, she expected peace, quiet, and spiritual practice. She had no idea that the two sexy men running the kitchen would seduce her…much less at the same time. Kyle and Jake turn out to be wilder than they seem and Ellie finds herself wrapped up in devastating magic. She must choose: stay with Jake and Kyle and risk who she has been, accepting the dangerous world of shapeshifters? Or leave them and risk madness, or worse?

Available for $2.99 at:

Excerpt from Werewolves in the Kitchen:

Ellie looked up, surprised by the sudden silence in the room, and her jaw dropped a little. The two men were suddenly looking at her like hungry wolves. Ellie felt like a cornered deer and actually backed up against the washer.

Kyle stepped behind her, scenting her hair. Then Jake and Kyle shared some look between them.

Ellie was tongue-tied. They had to be teasing her.

Jake moved in front of her, and she trembled as he sniffed her hair band and then her hair. “Yes, definitely like you.”

“Yes,” Kyle murmured, nuzzling her neck. She was panting. Kyle growled and pulled back. “I don’t want to pressure you.”

“We don’t want you to feel like you have to.”

Ellie made a soft sound. Words wouldn’t come.

“Are you ok?”

“Do you want us to stop?” Jake murmured. She shook her head and then gasped when Kyle kissed her neck. Jake stroked her cheek and kissed her lips gently at first, and when she moaned he pulled her closer. Kyle lapped at her neck, nipping now, and Jake was kissing her with deep velvet strokes of his tongue.

She moaned weakly feeling Kyle behind her, Jake in front of her pulling her close against his hips. Kyle slipped his fingers into her shirt to tease at her nipples, and she leaned back against him, bucking into his touch. Kyle drew the straps of her cami-top down even as Jake started dragging her shirt up.

She pulled back to breathe, and Jake stroked her cheek, nibbling at the other side of her neck. “Guys…I need a shower….”

Kyle chuckled, lifting his head. “Not like we haven’t been baking in our own juices; we can take care of that. Come with us.”

“Come with you?”

“To our room,” Jake whispered into her ear, and she moaned, closing her eyes. “Come on,” they urged, drawing her to the stairs.

“But…I…” Ellie shook her head. “Why now?” Kyle turned her to face him.

“We both wanted you, but we didn’t want to scare you.”

“I saw you watching us. Don’t you desire us?”

“Oh yes, but I thought you two were...that is…didn’t think you’d want….”

Kyle kissed her deeply. “I want you. Jake wants you. We’ve been trying not to crowd you, but well…”

“You didn’t seem to get our signals.” Jake sucked hard on her neck.

“I just thought you were being nice.”

“Oh we were being nice,” Kyle grinned. “We’re going to be nicer. Come on.” He shut the washer.

Shauna Aura Knight
 is an author and fantasy artist inspired by the mythic stories of heroes, of swords and magic, and of the challenge we each must overcome. She’s the author of several urban fantasy and paranormal romance stories including Werewolves in the Kitchen, A Winter Knight’s Vigil, and The White Dress, the Autumn Leaves. Find excerpts and more at

Lynda Again --
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