Supernatural Saturday: Alien Chickens and Keres Death Spirits

It’s time, once again, for Supernatural Saturday!

Remember, not this Supernatural:

This one:

 

I thought I’d share this little clip with you.  It’s a record of the most recent alien visitation to our fair planet.

Don’t feel bad.  I almost wet myself, too.

But onward!  Upward!

Today we speak, my friends, of Keres Death Spirits.  Now, this is one demon I didn’t make up.  No, I stole it fair and square from the Greeks.

In ancient Greek mythology, the Keres were female spirits of death.  Specifically violent and cruel death.  You know the stuff: death on the battle field, murder, that sort of thing.  Why is it women always get the “fun” jobs?

 

 

As you can see, the Keres are also very lovely and attractive.  <cough> They’re kind of like Valkyries gone bad with long white fangs and nails.  Horrible monsters who drank the blood of the wounded and dead.  And being spirits, they’re not exactly easy to kill.

And you know what THAT means?  Yeah.  I had to throw one straight at Morgan.  ‘Cause I’m evil like that.

 

So, what do you think of the Keres Death Spirit?  Scary?  Or just too run of the mill?  Bet you wouldn’t want to run into one in a dark alley …

Fantastical Friday: Othello, Warehouse 13, and a Plague of Zombies

Happy Fantastical Friday, my fabulous peeps.

Fantastic Video:

I want to start out with a very special video for my bloggy friend Craig Hallam who is currently studying Othello.  I really think this should be required watching for all Shakespeare aficionados.  And, in fact, anyone of the female persuasion who is planning on doing something stupid over a man.

The world would be a better place if we all had a Sassy Gay Friend to steer us straight.  Don’t you think?

Fantastic TV:

Last night I finally watched Resident Evil: Afterlife.  I don’t care what the critics say, the RE franchise is full of awesome!  I mean, who doesn’t love a zombie apocalypse?  Right?

There’s loads of stuff blowing up and zombies getting shot and people getting chomped.  What’s not to like?

Not to mention I’ve liked Milla Jovovich ever since I saw her in Fifth Element.  Even better, Wentworth Smith and Bruno Kodjoe add some serious eye candy.

And let’s not forget Warehouse 13 is finally back on UK tv screens this coming Thursday.

I can’t help it.  I really dig this show.  I mean mysterious artifacts with magical powers?  Come on!  That is SO full of awesome!

After all, those of you who’ve read my book Kissed by Darkness are well aware of my love for ancient magical artifacts.

Fantastic Books:

First of all, a big congrats to Heather Marie Adkins whose new paranormal novel Abigail just went live on Smashwords today.  Seriously, people, you’ve gotta check this out, it sounds amazing!  Murder, revenge, faeries, treachery.  Oh, SQUEE!

I’m about three quarters of the way through Family Jewels, the latest installment in Norah Wilson’s Dix Dodd mysteries.  Fantastic!  Honestly, this one’s even better than the first book.

And finally, for more paranormal coolness, check out Talia Jager’s The Ultimate Sacrifice.  Demons, super powers, shamans, and secrets.  Got to love THAT.

And that’s all she wrote, folks.  Stay tuned for tomorrow’s Supernatural Saturday.  Hmmm… wonder what kind of supernatural creature will pop up for a visit…

Death by Stereo

Best Vampire Death Scene EVER!

The time has come, my friends, to say goodbye to Tuesday Thrills and Thursday Chills.  Weep not!  I will still be posted four days a week, plus the random fun post when I feel like it.

But for now, I want to spend more time WRITING.  That way I can get more books out faster so you can spend more time READING.  And that thrills me to bits.

What does a vampire getting killed by a stereo have to do with it?

Nothing.  It’s just plain cool.

So, catch you tomorrow for Fantastical Friday!

Writer Wednesday: Chewbaca Rides Again

It’s Wednesday again and you know what that means … another episode of the IWU (Indie Writers United) Never Ending Blog Tour!

If you have no idea what I’m talking about, don’t worry.  Very few people ever know what I’m talking about.  Basically, I’m just interviewing cool indie writer people.

Today’s contestant is the ridiculously cool Heather Marie Adkins.  HMA, come on DOWN!

Let’s start this inquisition off right with the MOST important question of all.  The one I ask each and every one of my lab rats.  Er, guests.

Heather this morning.

SM:  If you were a Star Trek® (or Star Wars®) character, which one would it be and why?

HMA:  Okay, I really hope you don’t forever hate me, but I’ve never watched Star Trek.

Now before I get oodles of hate mail piling up in my inbox, let me point out those were both during my childhood and I wasn’t exposed to a lot of television or movies in my younger years.  I read a lot.  I was a nerd, with glasses and everything.

Now that I’m older, I might like them.  But I

Ooops! Wrong pic. This is the REAL Heather.

don’t have time to go see the new movies that come out, how in the world would I make time to see the old stuff?

I do know some characters, so I’ll go with Chewbacca.  ‘Cuz he’s fluffy.

SM:  Seriously, that’s the first time EVER I’ve heard Chewbaca referred to as fluffy.  Just for that I forgive your lack of ST/SW.

You’ve got three books out right now: The House, The Temple, and Underneath.  Can you tell us more about the books and the inspiration behind them?

HMA:  Ooo, I like this question.

“The House” is a free ten thousand word short story based on stories my grandmother has told me about her childhood home.  She grew up in Nowherehickville, Kentucky in an old plantation house that was crazy haunted.  I compiled everything she told me about it and then tweaked the story a bit to make it fiction and to give it a plot.  The nonsense that happened there wasn’t nearly as beautifully wrapped in a cohesive story as in “The House”.

Susan is appalled when she moves back home after college to find her parents are packing the family off to Florida–to her Gran’s empty ancestral home.

The place is a mess, but it goes beyond the aesthetic–something is even more wrong with the house than they ever thought possible, and it’s deeply intertwined in their family’s past. 

Some of her ancestors aren’t quite gone, and they’re determined to play out their anger to the bitter end, despite the home’s new inhabitants. 

She can only hope her family will make it out alive.

(Shéa sez:  Sounds seriously creepy!  And right up my alley. )

“Underneath”–I have no idea where I got the inspiration for this free nine thousand word short story, though the seed must have come from a series of dreams I had in an underground cavern.  I’ve always been fascinated by ancient civilizations, particularly the barbaric ones like the Aztecs and Mayans who practiced such awful forms of ritual sacrifice and torture (if that makes me twisted, so be it).  I love the idea of Atlantis, hidden beneath the sea, so I just figured, what if there was an underground city no one had ever seen, and suddenly, it’s found and open to the world?  I started writing, and ended up with “Underneath”.

An ancient city, entombed beneath a museum that seeks to understand the brutal race that once inhabited the underground world.

A young woman with special empathic powers offered a job to create an exhibit of the city’s artifacts.

Underneath, they wait for her.

(Shéa sez: You had me at “Aztecs”.  I heart Aztec and Mayan history and mythology.  And you KNOW how I feel about Atlantis!  Double SQUEE!)

“The Temple” is my debut novel and it DID originate solely from a dream; the actual dream ended up in the book.  I like to think a lot of my inspiration for creating Vale and her world comes from my love of the supernatural, my love for the incredible dialogue of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” (show, not movie), and hardcore Pagan themes.

Vale Avari has a mysterious past and a laundry list of super-powers, but that’s nothing compared to what she finds upon moving from small town U.S.A to jolly-good England.

A chance dart throw lands her in Quicksilver, an off-the-map place with a big problem – people are dying, and word is, it’s supernatural. 

At her new place of employment, a temple dedicated to the ancient Mother Goddess, Vale learns something even more shocking – women guards are disappearing at an alarmingly patterned rate; women who possess special gifts like her own. 

Supernatural powers aside, Vale isn’t ready to believe in the Wild Hunt as the culprit, and she’s determined to prove the deaths are acts of human violence.

Plagued by a brute with a history of domestic violence and lusting after a dark-eyed man with a secret, Vale has a limited amount of time to discover the killer before he strikes again. In the process, she’ll learn things aren’t always what they seem and the supernatural might not be so extraordinary after all. 

The Hunt could ride for her.

(Shéa sez:  Triple SQUEE!  You know the Sunwalker Saga was inspired by Buffy, so I love, love, LOVE that The Temple was, too.  Were we separated at birth?)

SM:  I notice that all the books you’ve published so far have an element (or a lot of elements) of the supernatural (which I love!).  Have you always been interested in writing about the paranormal?

HMA:  I think I love the idea of the paranormal because I feel like it jumpstarts my imagination more than writing about the mundane.  There are so many angles you can attack when you write about the supernatural. I’m obsessed with the paranormal.  When I first started writing my upcoming Chick Lit, I had already written several paranormal novels/shorts and I had to check myself the entire time.  I kept wanting to make my heroine telepathic or make the dog a demon–alas, she’s just a normal (messed up) girl and he’s just a dog.

SM:  LOL!  Darn.  Who wouldn’t love a telepathic heroine with a demon dog.  Still, I bet it’s one heck of a story!

What other new tales are you working on right now?

HMA:  Dear gods, I’m writing so much right now I don’t even know where to begin.  I have two books coming out within the next month.  One is a Fantasy/Romance with paranormal themes titled “Abigail” and the other is a Chick Lit called “Constant State of Disaster” (Shéa sez: Sounds like my life! haha).  My WIPs include a thriller with a ghost as protagonist, a Southern chick lit, and the first in a witchcraft mystery series.  That’s on top of my long list of ideas for future novels.  I’m a nightmare.

SM:  Oh Mylanta!  I am ridiculously excited!  I love the idea of the witchcraft mystery series.  Heck, I like the sound of all your books.  Definitely my kind of read.

For those of you keen to check out Heather’s writing, both The House and Underneath are available for free at Smashwords and Barnes and Noble.  The Temple is just 99 cents.  What a steal!

The Temple (99 cents):

Tuesday Thrills: Adam Rodriguez, Brand New Blurb, and Damaged

So, lots of thrilling things happening this week.

What’s Thrilling Me on Telly?


First off Adam’s back.  Er, I mean, CSI: Miami is back.  Season 9 finally appears on UK television screens this Thursday on Sky 1.  SQUEE!

Admittedly, the original CSI is my favorite, but Miami is good fun.  And my soul sister’s never waning love for Adam Rodriguez is a vast source of amusement for me.  Ok, yeah, so he’s pretty and all, but I just love the blood and guts and MURDER!  I know.  Probably I need my head examined.  I blame my misspent youth.  Misspent watching Perry Mason reruns.

What’s Thrilling Me on my Kindle?

As if that weren’t thrilling enough, I’ve discovered a new writing talent: Talia Jager.  Talia Jager has several books out, all of which look excellent.  I’m particularly keen on her paranormal, The Ultimate Sacrifice.  But it’s her latest Damaged: Natalie’s Story, which strikes a real chord.  It’s the story of a teenage girl who’s life is touched by domestic violence and how she learns to overcome the damage of abuse at the hands of her violent boyfriend.

I think this is an incredibly important topic for young women.  Heck, women of any age.   I admire Jager for tackling such a weighty subject and helping make young women more aware of the dangers of domestic abuse, but also of the reality that they are stronger than they know and they CAN recover.

What’s Thrilling Me in News?

I finally posted the blurb for my second Sunwalker Saga novel, Kissed by Fire.  You can read it on my “Books” page, or read it right here:

Vampire hunter Morgan Bailey’s life is about to take a turn for the weird. As if Sunwalkers,a Templar Knight, and an ancient Atlantean artefact weren’t enough.

When a MI8 analyst is brutally murdered, Morgan is called to London to investigate. She stumbles across a conspiracy involving an extinct supernatural race. Dragons. But the dragons may not be as extinct as everyone thought.

The Darkness grows inside her. A new power rages out of control. She is stalked through the streets of London by the vampire who murdered her.

Morgan must hunt her own killer. She must uncover the truth. Or humanity will be plunged into a war it can never hope to win.

Coming August 2011

Even more thrilling, it’s on track to be published by the 4th week in August (though I’m hoping for the 3rd week).  Hold on to your seats, boys and girls.  It’s gonna be a wild ride!

What’s thrilling you this Tuesday?

Mythos Monday: Finding Atlantis

Welcome to Mythos Monday.  The chance to discover the truth behind the myth.  On today’s menu?  The lost city of Atlantis.

Yeah, yeah, I know.  It’s not real.  The scientists say so.  Even if it was real, it was probably really based on the eruption of Thera which resulted in the destruction of the Minoan culture.

Whatever.

I’m a writer.  If I want to believe in the lost city of Atlantis, then by golly I will!

I’m sure you’ve all heard lots of stories surrounding Atlantis.  What it was.  What its people were like.  Where it was.  How it was destroyed.  There are loads of stories out there.

They’re all wrong.

Here’s the truth:

Ten thousand years ago, the sun was dying.  Even worse, a deadly virus sprang up out of nowhere killing billions.  There was only one choice: flee.

So, a dying race of people left their world for ours.  They built a new city on Earth and called it Atlantis.  It was a beautiful city full of wonders and magic.  Well, the local humans called it magic, but remember this was an advanced species.  So was it really magic?  Or just incredibly advanced technology?

“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”  Arthur C. Clarke“Profiles of The Future”, 1961 (Clarke’s third law)

I guess we’ll never know.  But that wasn’t the problem.  The problem was, the Atlanteans brought the virus with them.  When the virus escaped Atlantis and came into contact with the human population … well, let’s just say it wasn’t pretty.  You can read all about it in Kissed by Darkness.  I think you’ll be surprised.  I know Morgan Bailey was when she discovered the truth!

Needless to say, the only way to stop the virus and save humanity (in the mind of a priest admittedly going slowly insane) was to destroy Atlantis.  It didn’t take a night and a day.  Just one big BOOM!

And in that one act of destruction, an entire people was lost, and a legend was born.

So, what do you think?  Was there a real Atlantis?  Where do you think it was?  What’s your favorite Atlantis myth?

Supernatural Saturday: Ripper Demons, Twinkies, and (of course) Dragons

Welcome, my friends, to another Supernatural Saturday.

I’ve been thinking about a lot of important things lately.  Like, for instance, should the zombie apocalypse ever get off the ground we don’t need to worry about starvation.  Despite what all those doom and gloom people like to say, we will always have Twinkies:

But we’re here to talk about something of the supernatural variety.  So how about some Ripper Demons.

Never heard of them?

Well, now, I’m shocked.  You obviously need to brush up on your demonology!

Ripper Demons are sneaky.  See, when you first meet a Ripper Demon, he’ll probably look a little something like this:

He’ll wine you and dine you, promise you the moon and stars.  Maybe even show you a real nice, um, time  (Nudge.  Nudge.  Wink.  Wink.  Know what I mean?).  Problem is, underneath it all, he really looks like this:

He will rip your heart out.  Literally.  Then when he’s eaten his fill of your more tender, tasty parts, he’ll decorate his lair with your bloody bones.

Nice, huh?  They don’t call them Ripper demons for nothing.  There’s a rumor going around Jack the Ripper was really a Ripper demon.

Okay, so I totally made Ripper demons up.  But that’s the fun part of being a writer.  You can make up whatever floats your boat.  And a Ripper demon was the perfect bad guy to face Morgan Bailey in her next adventure: Kissed by Fire.  

I’d like to say “everything’s better with demons”, but that doesn’t sound quite right.  So, we’ll just say I’m probably disturbed on many levels since I actually quite enjoy inventing these things.

In other supernatural news, I finished writing another chapter in Dragon Lord.  I gotta say I’m REALLY exciting about this new story.  The book is coming along nicely and the trilogy as a whole is shaping up in my head.  It’s going to be LOTS of fun.  Non-stop action, romance, stuff blowing up, and lots and lots of DRAGONS!

And what do I say about dragons?

Yeah, you know it!

Fantastical Friday: A-Team, Star Trek, and the Family Jewels

It’s Friday and once again it’s time for a Friday mash-up.

Video of the Week:

And here’s a mash-up to end all mash-ups.  Star Trek as the A-Team!

I’m not sure which is funnier, Scotty as Baracus or Spock as Face.

Books of the Week:

This week two exceptionally good authors have published exceptionally good books in completely different genres.

If you want to learn not only how to self-publish, but why you should, don’t miss out on David Guaghran’s brand new release Let’s Get Digital: How To Self-Publish and Why You Should.  This is no boring, dusty tome.  This is well researched, cleanly laid out information written by a man who has suffered the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune.

Or something like that.  Personally I consider this book a must-read for anyone for anyone who ever wrote a book, whether they’ve considered self-pubbing or not.  It’s an eye opener folks.  Best of all, Dave is offering the PDF version FREE on his blog.  But if you prefer a different format or you just want to support a great author, you can purchase other formats for just $2.99 at Smashwords and Amazon.

The amazing Norah Wilson is at it again with the next installment of her Dix Dodd mysteries: Family Jewels.  Many of you may remember Norah from my post back in June when I interviewed her about the first Dix Dodd book, The Case of the Flashing Fashion Queen.

You better believe I went straight over to Amazon UK this morning and bought Family Jewels for my precioussssssssssssss.  Er.  I mean my Kindle.

All I can say is that Janet Evanovich had better watch her back.  Stephanie Plum has got some serious competition!

Family Jewels by N. L. Wilson is also available on Smashwords and Amazon US.

Blogs of the Week:

For a more intellectual discussion of vampires and their origins, check out Vampires These Days.

Need some writing inspiration?  Or just love reading about archaelogy and mythology?  Check out Gene Lempp’s blog.  This week’s post was on the real Dystopia Island.  Fascinating stuff.  Gene’s is probably one of my top favorite blogs.

Love reading paranormal romance and urban fantasy?  Want to read reviews, author interviews, fun guests posts, and have lots of chances to win great books?  Then head on over to werevampsromance.org.  So many great books, so little time!

It’s a lovely sunny day here in old London Town.  Tonight I’m having a girls night with my friend the REAL Kabita Jones. ;-)  Pizza and Pimm’s all around!

And that’s all she wrote, folks!  HAPPY FRIDAY!

Thursday Chills: Ghosts Among Us

Continuing with my theme from yesterday’s post, I’d like to tell you a ghost story.  And not just any ghost story, but a TRUE ghost story.  One that happened to me.

Now I don’t claim to know everything there is to know about the Universe and the Afterlife and what ghosts really are.  Maybe they’re spirits of the dead, trapped between realms.  Maybe they’re angels come for a visit.  Or maybe they’re just residual energies bobbing around thither and yon for no reason.

But what I do know is that once upon a time I saw a ghost.  Or at least something ghost-like.  So, why don’t you sit back and relax while I tell you of my brush with the paranormal.

It was several years ago and I was visiting friends in a beautiful 17th century farmhouse in rural New Jersey.  That’s right.  The farmhouse was built in the 1600s.  Before America was even America.  Now if that isn’t a place ripe for haunting, I don’t know what is.

It was a cold night, the day before Thanksgiving, and we’d sat down in the living room in front of a roaring fire (The fireplace was seriously big enough to roast a cow.  Whole.).  I sipped carefully at my glass of wine, enjoying the rich, fruity taste.

As I sat there, glass in hand, staring into the heart of the fire I saw something out of the corner of my eye.  It looked like a ball of bright, weight light.  It felt like something more.

It went zipping through the room, high up near the ceiling.  Much as the lady of the house might bustle from room to room, making sure all was in order and her guests well cared for.  And really, that was the impression I got; that the energy was once the lady of the house.  Her benevolence radiated from her in waves.  She cared little for the mortals below, save that she was pleased her guests were enjoying themselves.

Almost as soon as she’d come, she’d vanished and I did not see her again.  Nor did I feel her presence.

Now lest you think I was drunk and seeing things, let me put you straight.  I am a lightweight, but even I can’t get drunk on two sips of wine.

Am I crazy?  Delusional? Perhaps.  Maybe I’m just over imaginative.  There are those who would certainly agree with that!

But there is no doubt in my mind I saw something  that night.  Though what that something was is anyone’s guess.

How about you?

Have you ever had a brush with the paranormal?  Have you ever had a run-in with ghosts?  Do you think that ghosts walk among us?

Writer Wednesday: Restless Spirits

The next guest on the chopping block   blog is the fabulous Jean Marie Bauhaus.  Thanks so much for taking the time to be here today, Jean.SM:  I want to start with a REALLY important question which I ask all my victims guests: if you were a Star Trek® [or Star Wars® ] character, which one would it be?

JMB:  First of all, thanks for having me, Shea! 

When I was little and playing Star Wars with my friends, I was ALWAYS Princess Leia. Now that I’m much older and wiser… I would still be Princess Leia, because she’s pretty badass, and she gets to make out with Han Solo.

As for which Trek character I’m most like… probably Bones. I can be pretty crotchety. 

SM:  I’m totally with you on the Princess Leia thing.  Hello!  Who wouldn’t want to make out with Han Solo?As for Bones, yeah.  Sigh.  He’s HAWT.  Oh … wait. You meant the other Bones.  Pity. ;-)

So, I was looking at your blog and I see you have a book out: Restless Spirits.  (Blurb: A paranormal investigator becomes the subject of her own investigation after stumbling into the crosshairs of a malevolent spirit. Finding herself a ghost and imprisoned in a house that’s haunted by the spirit’s other victims from across the ages, Veronica “Ron” Wilson discovers an afterlife that’s full of surprises, the biggest of which is that ghosts can still fall in love.) 

Now THAT sounds right up my alley!  Can you tell us more about it?

JMB:  I can. I think it was shortly after I saw The Grudge that the question first occurred to me — if someone dies horribly and becomes this evil avenging spirit who murders everyone in its path, then what happens to the spirits of the people it kills? Do they become evil avenging spirits, too, or do they just get pissed off at the ORIGINAL avenging spirit and gang up on it? I wrote Restless Spirits mainly to answer that question.

SM:  That sounds ridiculously cool!  Have you always been interested in writing about the paranormal?

JMB:  I’ve always been fascinated with the idea of the other – non-human beings or entities living among us, either battling against us or trying to fit in and have relationships with us. And ghost stories have always scared me. I’m not sure what I believe about ghosts — as a religious person I believe in angels and demons as depicted in the Bible, but I’m not sure that the Bible is quite as definitive about ghosts as most Christians claim, and I’m not sure where ghosts fit into that equation. At any rate, they freak me out. A few years ago I started watching Ghost Hunters and researching the paranormal mainly to confront that fear and desensitize myself to it a little. And that, of course, fed into Restless Spirits and my protagonist’s background as a paranormal investigator.


SM:  Are you working on anything new?

 

JMB:  I’m currently writing Dominion of the Damned, which explores how vampires would react to a zombie apocalypse that threatened to do away with their food supply. It should be ready for release in October.

SM:  Vampires and a Zombie Apocalypse?  Oh, goodie!  I can hardly wait!  Sounds like two of my favorite things rolled up into one tasty treat.

Thanks again, Jean.  Wishing you much success.

Seriously, does it get any cooler than avenging ghosts and vampires in a zombie apocalypse?  I think not!  To learn more about Jean’s books, check out her website.

You can find Restless Spirits on Amazon, Barnes & Noble or Smashwords.  Best of all?  It’s only $2.99!

For those of us in the UK, it’s also on Amazon UK for just £2.14.