Monday, August 31, 2009

Guest - Marcia Colette

Good morning, everyone! Today's guest is Marcia Colette who'll be discussing her paranormal characters. It's a very interesting article. Enjoy! Read all the way to the Lynda Again section to discover how you can win a copy of Marcia's Stripped.

-- Lynda

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Creatures and Ideas

Whenever I look around me, at my house life or those of others, I see ideas. While life might be a tad mundane at times, it’s how you spice it up that makes for good fodder…and good stories.

The only reason why I bring this up is because I don’t write about normal paranormal characters. I’m always looking for ways to change them up. That doesn’t mean I neglect the classic vampire or werewolf. Are you kidding me? I love the classics! If it hadn’t been for them, I wouldn’t have the imagination that I do now. My only thing is they’re not the focus of my stories. They might play secondary character or a bit part, but that’s about it.

In Stripped, my main heroine is a human hybrid or half werewolf and half human. I love love love my werewolves. But…I wanted to make mine different. Having a half-wolf is definitely different. At least, for me it is. My heroine, Alexa Wells, has all of the characteristics of a werewolf, but she doesn’t change and she’s not quite as strong.

In my werewolf world, that’s an extremely rare trait in itself. Most human hybrids are killed off due in part to a full-blood challenging them or they’re mentally unstable because they don’t understand what has happened to them. Nevertheless, I wanted to make this work with my human hybrid and I had found a way to make that happen. Next thing I knew, Alexa Wells was born. If we can have dhampirs (half human/half vampire), then why not the same for werewolves?

There are many stories about shapeshifting cats out there, but I could hardly find any werecheetahs in the mix. I love cheetahs. There’s something majestic about them that catches my eye. They deserve their own story, so that where my werecheetah romances were born. Seduction on the Prowl will be the second story in series and will be released Spring 2010 with Parker Publishing. I love this story because it introduces other creatures that don’t always get enough page/screen time, IMHO. I’m talking root women, mummies, cunning women, and chameleons. I love love love my chameleon heroine. She will definitely get her own story, if I have anything to say about it. ;-)

I won’t divulge any of the other characters I’m working on, but rest assured I will have a character dictionary on my website one of these days. I’ll have to, in order to keep track of my supernatural world. For now, let’s just say I’m thinking well outside the box and probably in another field. No worries though. One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned as a paranormal writer is that anything is possible as long as you make it believable.



Someone wants their perfect weapon back, only she’s not coming quietly.

Alexa Wells wants her life back. She’s just not sure what that life was. The memories inside her head—a stripper’s—aren’t hers, and before she humiliates herself onstage one more time, she sets out to collect the scattered pieces of her mind. The trail leads to Boston, charges of identity theft and murder, and the real bombshell: a forgotten werewolf lover who insists she’s a werewolf hybrid.

Matt York doesn’t care that she looks at him like he’s been smoking crack between court cases. Now that he has her back he’s not about to let her go it alone, even if she can easily kick ass and take names all by herself. Amnesia only scratches the surface of her problems, and like it or not, she’s stuck with him.

She’s also stuck with Robert Gamboldt, a venture capitalist who’s not above murdering his way to the top. He’s not about to lose his prize possession without playing dirty. It’s a simple enough offer. Be his personal assassin, or go to jail.

With options like that, it’s enough to make a hybrid go full-blood.

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Paranormal author Marcia Colette was born and raised in a single-parent household in upstate New York. She graduated from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute with a bachelors degree in biomedical engineering and a masters degree in information technology from American Intercontinental University. After a couple of moves from north to south to north, she is now living in the south again in the lovely state of North Carolina.

Unlike many authors, Marcia hadn’t discovered her love for reading until her late twenties. As it turned out, her tastes were very selective and different than most of the stuff her English teachers tried to shove down her throat. She has been a lover of the paranormal from her first horror movie and has never looked back.

Marcia is a member of the Horror Writers Association, Paranormal Mystery Writers, and Romance Writers of America.

The best place to find her is on her blog where she loves connecting with readers and other writers. Conferences/conventions where sci-fi, fantasy, and horror reign supreme are a good bet, too, along with the occasional romance conference.

For more information check out my website at www.marciacolette.com or my blog at http://marciacolette.wordpress.com.
Purchase STRIPPED at http://new.mybookstoreandmore.com/shop/product.da/stripped


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-- Lynda Again.

If you leave a comment on the blog, email Ms Colette at marciacolette@gmail.com and she'll enter your name in a drawing for an e-copy of her book Stripped. Good luck!

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Friday, August 28, 2009

Would You? Could You?

I saw a fellow author's blog post the other night that pretty much said Zombies (and I assume all of the living undead) wouldn't be romance hero material. So that got me to thinking...I know it's scary isn't it?

What do you think about androids? Creepy? Too staid? I think the most well known of "his" kind would be Data from Star Trek Generations played by Brent Spiner. I'll have to admit the light green tint of Data's skin made him a little offsetting to me, but in some instances I could see why women were intrigued. Who wouldn't want a man that could download the Kama Sutra in seconds and put that info to good experimentation? On the other hand, could a woman be satisfied without her partner feeling love for her?


I've known about androids and the taboo idea of having them for an "intimate" partner since I was in high school back in the 90's. I had no idea that graphic novel I picked up was so explicit, but those pictures were lovely. The story had a pretty staid plot where the heroine was working at the plant, and saw an android she liked who seemed to have a different spark about him. They ran away together and basked in their love (while living of their folksy talents), but ultimately their relationship was doomed. A total BBM for any android/human relationship would be that he'd be deactivated and lose that little something extra or be torn apart, literally.


Then in my twenties came Bicentennial Man with Robin Williams. It went a step farther in showing how an android with AI could in fact learn to love...at least as well as a scientific creation made of mechanical parts can. Though the movie was slow, in the end it was worth taking the journey and I think made people really think about man, machine and perhaps the mixing of the two.


More recently, came Lars and the Real Girl. Now Bianca was a "real" sex doll, instead of an android, however for Lars she still served a purpose...someone to love him unconditionally. The movie is poignant, funny, and at many times kooky. However, after the initial shock the concept becomes plausible and the magic of the movie is that viewers begin to agree with Lars and see the doll as a real woman! It made me wonder what end would people go to to find love in a world like ours today?


In answer, I muse on Surrogates starring Bruce Willis (matured since Fifth Element). In this new cinematographic world people have retreated into safe havens and allow their "android" self to live in the outside world. Though they are at the helm, and everything the "android" feels and does is also sensed by the individual. Imagine the horror when things go haywire and people start to die when their androids are killed! However in the mean time, those who aren't targeted get together and hook up in the carnal sense with their "fake" selves. I can't say I'd like that, even if I could feel every touch...since there would always be a spacial barrier between me and my partner.

Than again, I can't see myself with a typical free thinking (due to complex programming) android either. That's not to say it wouldn't be a nice fantasy to try out like any other dominatrix type of role as me boss, you plaything. I can definitely see where this type of romance/relationship could come in handy for sci-fi novels with romantic elements. In fact, I think Johanna Lindsey may have blazed that trail somewhat in her Warrior series...though she never brought physical love to fruition between the heroine and her humanoid companion. I'll bet this was due in part to the publishing house and editor saying she couldn't push that envelope!



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Monday, August 24, 2009

Guest - Jessica Lee

Good morning, everyone! This week's guest is author Jessica Lee who will be discussing the paranormal genre and why it's one of her and our favorites. She's offering a free e-copy of her new book so make sure you follow her instructions on how to win.

-- Lynda

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What is your fantasy? Is it werewolves, shapeshifters, vampires, part human - part animal creatures that you enjoy getting swept away with?

I love the paranormal genre. Ever since reading my first Karen Marie Moning book about magical Highlanders who could travel through time, I’ve been lost and haven’t looked back.

That’s not to say that I never want to read a contemporary novel again. Of course not, it just has to be a very special book to grab my attention if it doesn’t have some incredible male with some extraordinary talent -- If you know what I mean?

We’ve all met the good-looking guy next door, or the hunk in the next cubicle at work. They’re great, and sweet, and would probably take me out to a nice movie and dinner. But I want a night with the guy who can bend steel with one hand, save the world from an evil demon, and then take me back to his place and show me…well, you know, something you’ve never experienced before.

That’s the draw of a good paranormal romance. It’s something you can’t find next door or at work. When I sit down to read, I want to find a world that’s different than the place I wake up to each morning. One that’s full of adventure and heart-stopping sexual tension.

I’ve mentioned Karen Marie Moning and her Highlander series. She also has a new Fever series that’s superb. Angela Knight and Lora Leigh are two other authors who do an excellent job of introducing you to characters you’d never find in an office cubicle. Then there’s Larissa Ione, I adore her Demonica series. She’s brings a whole new definition to playing doctor. Whew!

These four women have truly been an inspiration for me in the genre.

My new release, Desire to Die For introduces you to five males of my all time favorite species: vampires. If tortured, sexy alpha male vampires make you yearn, then the Warriors of the Enclave have been waiting for you. I hope I can accomplish for you a little of what my mentor’s have done for me: give you an adventure and love affair that sweeps you away, and a ride that you never forget.

Kenric St. James wants revenge. After two centuries of denying his body’s needs and with vengeance finally at hand, the last thing he expected to find was the one woman he burns to claim as his own. If only giving her his love wouldn’t surely mean her death.

All Emily Ross desires is time alone to learn who she is without a man and to save the home that holds her heart. The last thing she wants is another controlling, dominant male calling all the shots, in bed and out. Never would she have thought stopping her car one night to save a dying man might change her mind, and her life, forever. But is what they have, their desire, worth dying for.

What species stimulate your fantasies? And who are your favorite authors that bring those characters to life? I’d love to hear from you.



Buy link: http://www.loose-id.com/prod-Desire_to_Die_For-986.aspx

I’m giving away a copy of my debut ebook release to one lucky person who leaves me a comment. I’ll randomly draw from an email address from the list and contact you by Friday evening, August 28th.

Thanks for stopping by,

You can find me at www.jessicaleenovels.com

Blogging at www.trampyvamps.com on the first of each month.

If you stop by my website, don’t forget to visit my Contact page and add your name to my newsletter.

Feel free to drop me a line anytime. I love to hear from my readers!

Jessica
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Ms. Lee lives in the southeastern USA with her husband and son. She loves writing, and can’t wait for that quiet time each day when her son is in school and she can get lost in another place and world with the fantastical, sexy creatures in her head.

She’s a member of Romance Writers of America, FF&P, Carolina Romance Writers and Passionate Ink.

DESIRE TO DIE FOR - AVAILABLE NOW from on Vimeo.




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Saturday, August 22, 2009

Winners of To Temp The Wolf

Good morning!

Thanks to everyone who commented and entered the contest! I wish you could all have won but...

Congrats to Beth Caudill and Julie Robinson who've each won a copy of Terry Spear's To Tempt The Wolf!

I know you'll enjoy them as much as I did!

Lynda

Friday, August 21, 2009

Star Light, Star Bright...Interstellar Interview with Rachel Caine


With a rap sheet of characters as long as my arm, it's no wonder she has a listing of awards long enough to match. As a NY Times and USA Today bestselling author, Rachel has come up-close and personal with several "paranormal" types. It's no doubt that her fans know she pens the Weather Warden, Morganville Vampires and the Outcast Season series, but did you know she's got a whole plethora to boot?

As Julie Fortune she published SACRIFICE MOON, an official Stargate SG-1 novel. Rachel has also contributed to a number of short story and novella compilations that have been edited by such notables as P.N. Elrod, Charlaine Harris, Toni L.P. Kelner and P.C. Cast.

So what gave her the diversity to pen so many characters? Her former jobs as a musician, insurance investigator, web designer and an accountant (after earning her degree at Texas Tech). And what keeps her chugging along to write book after book? A writer's favorite go-to--chocolate--and to celebrate (her favorite beer) Guinness.
If you can't get enough of Rachel's multi-media smorgasbord on her beautiful website (which I believe might be influenced by her fantasy artist husband), then check her out at LiveJournal, MySpace, Facebook or Twitter.

I've never met Rachel Caine in person, but after pouring over her website, I think I'm already turning into a fan-girl. Of course, I'd seen her books on the shelf, but never really studied one. When I picked up a copy of RT Magazine and saw that her latest Weather Warden book (#8) was about "to drop", I knew I had to get her to come visit.

It didn't hurt that a past Interstellar Interviewee had "squeed" over her books at my local RWA Chapter meeting. And even though it isn't a rare occurance for authors to get excited about books, it is impressive that when Rachel's name was mentioned half the room filled with banter and praise. Now that's notable...especially when that episode happened last year!

Though I don't try to forecast the weather (much less change it) I do foresee some Rachel Caine novels on my TBR pile in my near future. If not for the drama and passion, but for the secret to how she can dabble in so many series and still knock people for a loop with her fiction. Bravo Rachel...keep those stellar stories coming on down!


What plot points led you to write? Were the weather wardens, vampires and djinn among the characters at you
r beck and call, what inspired you to settle into the paranormal realm of fiction?

I think that (back in the dim mists of pre-history) when I first started writing, it was more about imagining a particular scene I desperately wanted to see. I still get sparked from that, usually--a particular scene or image that really pushes me to develop an idea around it. For Joanne and the Weather Warden series, it was the idea of the storm overhead actually watching her, hunting her. (If you've ever seen the movie BACKDRAFT, I don't think anyone has ever captured the essence of fire as a character the way they did, and there's a moment when you would swear the fire is a living thing, staring back at the characters--no CGI, either. That probably was part of it as well.)

As far as the vampires, I've always had a fascination for them--my favorite stories were vampire stories, so it was natural for me to like to write about them.

As far as paranormal goes--when I first got started writing, what I was doing was classified as "horror" because vampires only went in that section of the store. Later, when I got away from vampires but still had paranormal elements, nobody knew where to put me on the shelves...it wasn't until the whole "paranormal/urban fantasy" sub-genre was born that I had a real home. But I've always had the paranormal in my stories, in some form. (Copper Moon, for example, was marketed as pure romantic suspense, but I have reincarnation of both the main character *and* a dog!)

No wonder they didn't know what to do with me.



When did you coin the phrase Weather Warden, and how did you brainstorm the crux of the series?

Hmmmm, good question! I think the phrase came pretty naturally, but to be honest I don't remember the exact chain of events that put it together. I think I rejected a couple of others, like "Weather Witch," just because I wanted it to be more...institutional. :)

I knew from the start that there were three elements in the first book-
-Joanne's (magical) illness, her quest for Lewis, and the weather coming after her. I more or less triangulated the plot around those points.



Are your free reads works you’d intended to flesh out, or did they settle that tug of war inside you to finish up subplots that you wished you could’ve expanded? What did you think the first time someone took your musing and mixed their own thoughts in for some cool fanfic?


My free reads were ideas that probably weren't quite big enough to make into novels, or were odd bits that didn't fit in anywhere. There are a few exceptions--"Black Corner," a Weather Warden story, actually ended up as a concept in CAPE STORM, although the specifics of the story did not. Sometimes they're things that I would like to expand, but more often they're just fun to do.

As far as the fanfic goes, I have been tremendously impressed with the enthusiasm and direction the fanfic has taken. Was there a little nervousness? Sure! I got a little worried every time I open up one of the files and start to read. It's a bit terrifying to a writer to be out of control of her own story, but at the same time, I actually think that's a good thing.



Where did the coolest fan moment occur that made all your hours slaving away and traveling for signings worth it?

Oh, my goodness, so many to choose from. And honestly, I don't think of the writing as work--it's hugely enjoyable to me when I get to just drop into the story and go away. Signings are so fun for me, too--I love meeting people and talking to them, and the travel is always interesting (and informative).

But as far as best moments go, I'd have to say that it was an email from a young lady of about 20, who said that she had never in her life read an entire book. She hated to read. She'd faked her way through school, and fooled her parents by checking out library books and putting bookmarks in them but never opening them. She continued this habit after school, and one day she checked out my first Morganville book, GLASS HOUSES. She opened it up to read the first page, and read the entire book, and immediately wanted to read something else.

She told me that my book opened up a whole new world for her. You just can't get a better moment than that.



Who is your go-to author to get you out of a writing slump? Or do you have a favorite movie or album that always helps get you back on track with your WIP?

Ooooh, my go-to author is always Roger Zelazny. I try to read his Amber series once every couple of years; I just love his style and his characters.

As far as movies, I've got a ton of 'em, but none of them really spark my writing directly when I'm stuck (rather, they help me AVOID it!). But music is definitely an asset. I build custom playlists for each book, and when I get stuck, I go out on a mission to find new music to carry me through.



Videos, wallpapers, and a kicking website, oh my! How have your past jobs helped you in your writing career?

Thank you! :) I'm glad you like all the goodies...as you might be able to tell, I'm a bit of a graphics/web/video junkie. I worked in graphic design and layout for many years, and I still do a lot of that kind of work in my current day job (as Director of Corporate Communications). That job has also been invaluable in teaching me about PR and time management, because it's very intense.

I started out an accountant. VERY helpful for doing your own bookkeeping and taxes!



What did you come away with from Nationals in DC, and do you have any vital dates to shout out to fans about?

I am ashamed to say that I didn't attend Nationals. Alas, I am not (yet) an RWA member--not because I'm not interested, but because I can barely keep up with my schedule as it stands. I will join one of these days, though.

Vital dates, hmmm. Well, there are new Morganville Vampires audiobooks coming out about every month through the end of the year, so look for those...CAPE STORM, the 8th Weather Warden book, was just released in August...ETERNAL KISS, an anthology I'm in, came out the last week of July...and coming up in November will be the 7th Morganville book, FADE OUT. I'm also going to be Writer Guest of Honor at RavenCon in Baltimore in 2010, and also at ArmadilloCon in Austin later in the year.

For those of you in the Des Moines area, I'll be doing a bunch of library visits September 10-13, so check my website for dates and locations in the Calendar area!





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Monday, August 17, 2009

Guest - Terry Spear

Good morning every one! Today's guest is one I'm sure you'll all enjoy. Terry Spear is is rapidly becoming an auto-buy for many of us with her exciting and engaging werewolf tales. This newest one is sure to whet your appetite for more -- be sure to check out my review of To Tempt The Wolf.

Sourcebooks is giving copies of To Tempt The Wolf to two lucky readers. Read all the way to the Lynda Again section to find out how you could win.

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What is Urban Fantasy?
By Terry Spear

When I first started writing fantastical realms, I believed two kinds existed: fantasy—where fantastical creatures lived in an old-world, rather than contemporary-world; and paranormal which described the paranormal, psychics, ghosts, angels and such.

But the term urban fantasy kept popping up in describing demon, gargoyle, vampire, werewolves, and other fantasy creatures in a contemporary setting, not old-world, and something other than strictly paranormal. I began seeing definitions of urban fantasy—has to be set in a city, no sex, doesn’t have a romance, doesn’t have happily ever after, dark, has to be first person point of view, etc, etc, etc.

Here’s how I like to think of it: Urban fantasy is a contemporary world where fantastical creatures/characters live. It’s a world where they can own homes, go to dance clubs, use cell phones, and have websites. It’s a place where everything is just like what we consider normal in our everyday lives, except fantastical creatures live in them. They can exist in secrecy, or openly become part of the community. Urban fantasies can be hot and sexy, or sweet, or have no romance at all. They can be dark or light or a something in between. The fantastical characters can live in cities or in the country. The stories can be written in first person or third person point of view.

What makes them urban fantasy? The fantastical element, whatever it is, existing in our real world today.

But then again, why does it even matter what we call our fiction? By tagging it with terms like paranormal romance, or urban fantasy romance, it helps us to get the word out to readers who love the kind of stories we create. Tags help drive search engines.

Just think if I only called my werewolf romance, romantic suspense, and the first time a reader read where the hero shapeshifted into a wolf, what would the reader think of that, if he or she only liked romantic suspense?

This actually happened to a NY Times Best Selling author. The romantic suspense was a paranormal complete with vampires, but it wasn’t marketed as such. In this author’s case, some of her romantic suspense readers were appalled. And vampire readers wouldn’t have known to read her series, thinking it was just strictly romantic suspense. So tags are important for us as writers to target the right audience.

We can further “show” what our stories are about so that readers can find the kind of stories they love to read with extra tags like: dark urban fantasy, light urban fantasy, and urban fantasy romance.

So what are my werewolf tales? Urban fantasy romances on the suspense side with a twist of humor. No, not twisted humor. =) In the series, werewolves do not exist, unless you are one of them, of course.

In To Tempt the Wolf, the heroine finds the hero naked on an Oregon beach…what is the poor woman to do, but take the injured man into her home before the full force of a winter storm hits? Only he quickly takes charge when he learns SHE is in real danger and that’s when the REAL trouble begins.



Thanks so much for Star-Crossed Romance having me today, and I hope readers will friend me and check out my books!

www.terryspear.com
http://twitter.com/TerrySpear
http://www.facebook.com/terry.spear
http://www.myspace.com/terryspear
http://www.terry-spear.blogspot.com
http://casablancaauthors.blogspot.com
http://www.wickedlyromantic.blogspot.com
http://shapeshifterromance.wordpress.com

Terry Spear
“Giving new meaning to the term ‘alpha male’.”



About the Author
A retired lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army Reserves, award-winning author Terry Spear has an MBA from Monmouth College. An eclectic writer, she dabbles in the paranormal as well as writing historical and true life stories for both teen and adult audiences. Spear lives in Crawford, Texas. Her 2008 Sourcebooks Casablanca release, Heart of the Wolf was named a Best Book of the Year by Publishers Weekly. Destiny of the Wolf and To Tempt the Wolf are in stores now, and more are on the way: The Legend of the White Wolf (February 2010) and Seduction of the Wolf (August 2010).

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-- Lynda Again.

To enter the drawing for To Tempt The Wolf, please leave a comment AND send me an email with To Tempt The Wolf in the Subject line and your address in the body of the email. That's it :-) Good luck to you!

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Review - To Tempt The Wolf

To Tempt The Wolf
by Terry Spear
Sourcebooks Casablanca, Inc
September, 2009

Tessa Anderson's main concern is getting her wrongly convicted brother out of prison and to do that, she must find the one guilty of committing murder. But finding a naked man washed up on the rocky beach beneath her Oregon cabin in the freezing cold will either put a crimp in her plans or help her solve the mystery surrounding her brother's case.

Of course, the man is a mystery all on his own. Tall and buff and handsome in a way guaranteed to scatter any woman's thoughts, Hunter doesn't remember who he is or where he came from. All he can, in fact, remember is that he's an alpha of his werewolf pack. Who or where that pack is, he has no idea. So his first instinctive goal is to discover who he is but he can't leave the petite, red-headed beauty to struggle alone to find the truth in her brother's murder case and he can't leave her alone when he discovers she's being stalked by another werewolf - one who wants her for his own. Especially since as he grows to know Tessa, Hunter finds the idea of her being with another man...offensive.

The problem? He's a royal, he needs a royal mate and he's opposed to turning humans into werewolves, no matter how beautiful they are.

Ms Spear has created a fast, adventurous novel full of sexy romance. The chemistry between Hunter and Tessa is apparent right from their first encounter even though both try to fight it. That's something we've come to expect from a writer of Ms Spear's caliber. She has a deft hand creating very human, very sensual characters that step right off the page.

I particularly found the bits and pieces of the werewolf culture revealed in this book to be fascinating even though the males tend toward the domineering. Well, they tend that way but Ms Spear gives them heroines strong enough, mentally and emotionally, to set the boys back a few steps -- which is as it should be.

The book will be available in September. Buy it. I think you'll like it.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Rollin'

Standing in the foyer of the local DMV for an hour to renew my license, I thought once again how I longed for the ability to transport. Ever since college I've wished I could push a button and Scotty could beam me up and back home in minutes. That two hour drive every weekend got old quick, especially when it took a chunk out of vital work time. These days I'd love to avoid the headache of commuting, etc. (see standing in line at the DMV).


Then again, what kind of training would you need to use a teleportation device? A PhD? I'd guess at least a Masters, since we are talking about reorganizing important particles here. Though I think JUMPER style would be more awesome! (I'd be in the unlucky 5% that wouldn't get to "jump" just turn rocks into coal for my mutant power. At least I'd be popular at Christmas time, and I'd make a killing during the winter. Still...)


I do have to say the "flying saucer" has come a long way since the THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL in 1951. The one in RACE TO WITCH MOUNTAIN was cool with its movable panels and hovering energy core, though I did wonder,"How is that staying attached?" Still it was exciting to watch the alien youngsters flip through digital displays of maps and readings like those shown in the latest 007 movie and in newer episodes of CSI. I do have to say the inside of the ship reminded me a lot of FLIGHT OF THE NAVIGATOR because of the hand controls.



However, since all I have is my car, I can still use the Chevy Volt as my jumping off point. It's scheduled to launch in 2011, though I'm sure it's price tag will be far out of my reach. I like the idea of an electric car with the fuel backup. But because it's a 4 cylinder with what looks like a heavy body frame it likely won't outrun any Mustangs. Though the concept car does have "a sophisticated design and engineering as a result of collaboration between GM designers and GE Plastics" to make a bold and futuristic piece of machinery. Sleek styling, tech toys and energy efficiency to save the planet....what more can a girl ask for?


What got me on my transportation kick, besides thinking my Contour has almost seen her last days? Jotting down all the ways for my wedding guests to get to NC for the big day as well as cataloging the places they can stay nearby. So what do you like better--planes, trains or autos? And what do you wish you could take instead?

Hmm...a starship cruise would be nice, without the FIFTH ELEMENT theatrics :0)


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Monday, August 10, 2009

Guest - Ericka Scott

Good morning everyone! Today we have the talented Ericka Scott visiting us. Ericka has a very interesting article for us today on one of our favorite subjects - werewolves! And she has a giveaway so enjoy her article and watch for ways to enter the drawing for her book.

-- Lynda
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A Howlin' Good Time

Werewolves. Stuff of myths and legends? The result of psychosis. Or...real?

As I was researching The Werewolf Whisperer and late, Unleashed, I came across the story of the Henrico County Werewolf. It is a well known local legend although no one seems to know its origins. The creature is only seen during the full moon and has been known to howl. It also chases people, although it has never killed or hurt any humans. Six-feet tall, it's covered with grayish white hair. It can stand on its hind legs or run on all four legs. It has a human-like body but a face like an animal.

This, along with all the books, movies, and stories told around the campfire when camping spurred my imagination. So, when I was looking for inspiration for a tale of seductive suspense, it's no surprise that werewolves came to mind.

But, not just any old werewolf. This one is of man's own making. As we know from the media and popular fiction, the government has the unfortunate habit of dabbling in biological warfare. Both real and fictional mad scientists are endeavoring to harness the power of ebola or, in my story, lycanthropy. Needless to say, these diseases weren't created to be servants of men and tend to have nightmarish results.

Which is how Eclipse, California, my fictional high-desert town featured in The Werewolf Whisperer and Unleashed came into being. As you drive through town, it looks like any other middle to upper class neighborhood. Nice houses, well-kept lawns, and a particularly well-stocked meat section at the grocery store. The only difference, the population of Eclipse are outcasts, nearly prisoners in their little town. For, once a month, at the full moon, the inhabitants turn into werewolves. For public safety, they've been isolated from the rest of the world. You can read all about Eclipse and it’s residents in The Werewolf Whisperer and Unleashed. The print edition of The Werewolf Whisperer includes Unleashed is available in paperback at Amazon.com -- http://www.amazon.com/Werewolf-Whisperer-Ericka-Scott/dp/1606591053/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1249755709&sr=8-2.

And just to make sure you stay awake and glued to your windows during the next full moon, here's a few more recent werewolf sightings.

Perhaps one of the most famous cases is told by Delburt Gregg of Greggton, Texas. In 1958, she was alone on a dark and stormy night. Her husband was away, and she had of the night, she awoke to the sound of scratching at the screen. When the lightning flashed, a "huge, shaggy, wolf-like creature" was "clawing at the screen and glaring ... with baleful, glowing, slitted eyes." As she jumped from the bed to grab a flashlight to get a closer look, the creature dashed away and hid in a large collection of bushes. Ms. Gregg didn't fall asleep right away and was stunned to later see a tall man walk down the road and into the darkness.

In 1936, Mark Schackelman claimed to have seen a six-foot tall, hair-covered creature digging in an Indian mound near Jefferson, Wisconsin. The creature had a large muzzle and included both ape and dog characteristics. With pointed ears and human-like hands, the creature smelled to high heaven with the scent of dead meat. The next night, Schackelman saw the same creature and heard it making a strange "three-syllable growling". When he began to pray, the creature quickly turned and dashed away.

Then, there's the Beast of Bray Road. On October 31, a young woman was driving along Bray Road near Delavan, Wisconsin when she felt her car jump as if the right tire had hit an object. After stopping the car, she saw a dark and hairy figure running toward her. She sped away only to have the creature jump onto the car's trunk. Due to the slick metal, the beast was unable to gain a hold of the vehicle. When returning with a friend, the duo saw a large dark shape standing near the side of the road.

When the report got out, several other people also claimed to have seen the strange creature. In 1989, Lorianne Endrizzi was traveling along the same road when she caught site of a figure kneeling at the side of the road. When she slowed the car, she claimed the creature stared at her through the passenger window. She estimated the beast was about six feet away and had grayish brown hair with large fangs and pointed ears. She also claimed the creature had a snout and human-like hands. A local farmer also saw the creature, but took it to be a gigantic dog.

Real or Fiction?

What do you believe?

For a chance to win a free print edition of The Werewolf Whisperer (which includes the bonus selection Unleashed), tell me your favorite werewolf story, movie, or book (you’ll get bonus points if you have a personal werewolf story to tell!). At midnight on Friday, August 14th, I'll draw a winner!


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Ericka Scott is a multi-published, bestselling author of seductive suspense. She's written stories for as long as she can remember and reads anything under the sun (including the back of cereal boxes in a pinch). She got hooked on romantic suspense in her college days, when reading anything but a textbook was a guilty pleasure. Now, when she’s not chauffeuring children around, wishing she had a maid, or lurking at the library, she’s spinning her own web of fantasy and penning tales of seduction and suspense. She currently lives in Southern California with her husband and three children.

Get a behind the scenes look at her writing and zany family on her blog at http://erickascott.blogspot.com

She also loves friends, so come friend her at http://myspace.com/erickascott

She's also on Facebook at http://facebook.com/ericka.scott and Twitter @ErickaScott

You can find out more about her books at www.erickascott.com

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Fascinating article, Ericka! Thanks for being with us today. I think my favorite werewolf movie is 'Wolf', the one starring Jack Nicholson but there's so many who can choose? :-D I'm looking forward to hearing what our readers like or may have experienced. -- Lynda

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Friday, August 07, 2009

Saving Face

As authors we know that one of the most important things to consider is saving face, and I don't mean that literally. It's very important that an author appears professional, is nice to everyone (even if they don't feel that way on the inside), and behaves like they're following the golden rule to the letter. I'm not saying they should be saints, or that they can't voice their opinion. But battles should be carefully waged, especially when the platform is large or the topic is a hot-button.

Another kink is that these days anyone and everyone can see that one mistake or hear about a little slip almost the moment it comes out of an author's mouth. With the surge in popularity of "living live" people tune into their pcs more than their news on TV. Which means that occasionally what fans/industry professionals see isn't always the truth. (Not that the news is 100% right.) For instance that video of the soldier in Iraq with the puppy. Some said it was real, some said it was fake...either way there was outrage and a sensation. On the flipside that choreagraphed wedding entrance that went viral made brides everywhere sit up and take notice, not to mention millions of others. (But did you notice the little box that blinked up on YouTube to ask for donations for a good cause?) Imagine if your manuscript or book was about to land on the racks or a publishers desk. If a fan or editor Googled you what would they find?

We've all done some things we wish we could take back, especially in those amourous moments of emotion...but recall that once something is on the web it can't disappear. That post that you thought you deleted...it's still lingering somewhere. Which is why it's so important to censor your posts and comments, not to mention what you "put up" for the public to see. You spend hours on your manuscript, so why not use that same knowledge to self-edit a possible disaster?

I'm not saying you shouldn't have an entity on the web. Actually you'd be behind the curve if you didn't, since that's the way to get new readership and attention these days. Writers' works are being discovered by agents/editors because of their author sites and posts, and fans are delighting in "meeting" their idols live on social sites (Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, etc.). The www is the new frontier, and should be explored...just be sure to do so with caution and by playing things smart. And if you intend to have a pen name, make sure you and your counterpart don't converge to the point that followers are scratching their heads about why they like you so much. Some invisibility is okay (especially if it's for a cause or supports your work), but remember why you're on the web...to sell yourself and an image that bolsters support.



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Monday, August 03, 2009

Review - Celtic Sacrifice

"Do you know how to make the gods laugh, Ceana? Tell them of your plans."

This remake on the old adage made me laugh when I read it in Celtic Sacrifice by Sheryl Brennan. Not that the book is a comedy though it does have some lighter moments. This book, billed as a historical romance, somehow got mixed in with my usual collection of paranormal, fantasy or sci fi romance books. You may recall, we had Sheryl guest with us some time ago (she had a lovely article about male character archetypes).

Nevertheless, this was an interesting take on the subjugation of Ireland to England based on the observations of Ceana, a druid priestess whose destiny is to restore the mystic powers of an ancient ancestor. Not that there's a lot of warring going on - it's more on the order of skirmishing (though, to be honest, a war is a war is a war and none are pleasant). There were also elements of culture war - Christianity against the old beliefs of druidism and how it and its attending politics splinters Ceana's family.

I particularly liked the druid priest, Cian, who seemed destined to wed Ceana and who knew he wanted to marry her from a young age. However, I was rather surprised when Cian turned out NOT to be the romantic hero in the story. Still, the mysterious young warrior who turned out to be the hero wasn't bad either, lol.

I have to admit the romantic elements of the story weren't as strong as I would like them but I found Celtic Sacrifice to be an a pleasant summer read. And I'd like to offer the book as a prize to one lucky person who is a member of my newsletter group.

Details on how to win will be in my Monday, Aug 3 short newsletter to the group.


If you're not a member of my newsletter group, please consider joining. I'd love to have you there.

To join my newsletter, send a blank email to:
LyndaKScott-Newsgroup-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

Wookie my big old fluffy kitten, loves picking winners so I hope lots of you will enter the drawing :-D


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