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!



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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 www.shaunaauraknight.com/books


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Lynda Again --
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Have a Blessed day!

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2 comments:

Lynda K. Scott said...

Welcome Shauna! Loved your post and the excerpt. Thanks for being with us!

Shauna Aura said...

Thanks very much for hosting me!