Writer Wednesday: Secrets and Whispers

Today I have another lovely guest here at Ye Olde Blog.  Tara West isn’t exactly a new face in the publishing world.  Her YAs were traditionally published a few years ago.  But a few months ago Tara decided to get her rights back and update and publish the novels herself.  Now Sophie’s Secret, Don’t Tell Mother, and Krysta’s Curse are all available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Tara, thanks for joining us today.  You write YA paranormal.  Why YA?  Why paranormal?

A lot of crazy, unexplained things happened to me and my two friends when we were kids. I thought some of our experiences would make great YA storys. Of course, my YAs have a lot more paranormal in them than what really happened to us, but we did have some ghost and telepathic experiences. 

Your trilogy, Whispers, is all about ordinary teenage girls with extraordinary abilities.  You know that’s totally my cup of tea!  Can you tell us more about the books?  Where you got the idea for them?

I got the idea from things that occurred to me in my childhood. I remember playing hide-and-go seek with my friend when we were seven. My sister was supposed to be watching us, but she left after my parents went to work. My friend saw a ghost while I was hiding. She described my teenage neighbor who’d recently died, down to the same red and white striped shirt he always wore and his strawberry blond hair. This was a new friend, who lived a few miles away. She had no way of knowing about my dead neighbor. Even now as adults, I’ve asked her and she still swears that she saw a ghost in my house. Another friend of mine somehow had to ability to read my mind. I can also read hers. Even now that she lives five hours away, whenever she calls me on the phone, I somehow know what she’s going to say. She called me once and right after she said, “Hello”, I said, “You’re having twins, aren’t you?” Yep. She was calling to tell me she was having twins.

My Whispers series is also about three BFFs who all have psychic abilities. They struggle to keep their gifts secret while fitting in with other kids at school. Sophie can read minds, AJ can see the future, and Krysta speaks to the dead. 

And speaking of extraordinary abilities, if you had to choose just one superpower, what would it be?

I’d love to fly. Flying is cool. You can drop projectiles on people you don’t like.

Do you have any memorable stories about writing?  Or the paranormal?  Either one.

I got the idea for my Whispers series from things that occurred to me in my childhood. I remember playing hide-and-go seek with my friend when we were seven. My sister was supposed to be watching us, but she left after my parents went to work. My friend saw a ghost while I was hiding. She described my teenage neighbor who’d recently died, down to the same red and white striped shirt he always wore and his strawberry blond hair. This was a new friend, who lived a few miles away. She had no way of knowing about my dead neighbor. Even now as adults, I’ve asked her and she still swears that she saw a ghost in my house. Another friend of mine somehow had to ability to read my mind. I could also read hers. Even now that she lives five hours away, whenever she calls me on the phone, I somehow know what she’s going to say. She called me once and right after she said, “Hello”, I said, “You’re having twins, aren’t you?” Yep. She was calling to tell me she was having twins.

And now for the important bits:

Chocolate or Cheese? It’s a no brainer. Chocolate.

Cowboys or Aliens? Sexy cowboys vs. little green men? Sexy cowboys win. Sexy aliens vs. cowboys? That’s a toss-up.

Favorite pizza topping? Cheese.

Funniest movie you’ve ever seen?  Really, I can’t narrow it down to just one. Some of my favorites are Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Superhero Movie and Brides Maids.

Now back to the books.  Any other projects planned?  What’s next for Tara West?

Heather Marie Adkins, author of the paranormal thriller The Temple, and a practicing witch, has agreed to pair up with me for future releases. As the girls mature, I plan on expanding the paranormal aspect of the series, and Heather is just the right writer to help me do it.

Awesome!  I’m definitely looking forward to that!  Thanks so much for visiting my blog today, Tara.

You can find out more about Tara and her books on her blog: http://tarawestauthor.wordpress.com/





Mythos Monday: Angels Among Us

Today I have a very special guest blogger here at Ye Olde Blog.  Ms. L.M. Pruitt is not only my friend and critique partner, she’s also the author author of the kick-ass urban fantasy novel Shades of Gray and the brand new psychic mystery novel Taken.  I’m ridiculously thrilled for her to be here today.  Welcome to the blog, L.M.

First, let me say how awesome it is to be here on Shéa’s page. I always like visiting, even moreso when I get to talk about something that’s currently near and dear to my heart. Where it falls on the mythological scale is totally up to you and your personal beliefs, so if I offend anyone–oops.

How many of you out there can tell me how many classes of angels there are? Anyone? Ok, I’ll tell you–there are nine. The nine are then divided into three orders, with three classes in each order.

The first, and highest, consists of the Cherubim, Seraphim, and Thrones, all of which serve as priests of God in some capicity. The second order consists of Dominions, Virtues, and Powers, who act as heavenly governors. The third and final order is comprised of Principalities, Archangels and Angels, who rule and watch over various created things.

You notice what’s missing, something I never noticed until I started doing some research, just to be on the safe side with this idea? There isn’t anyone who expressly stands between mankind and demons. Shocking, I know. I actually went to about a half dozen different websites, tried a dozen or so different search phrases just to be sure.

So, first thing to keep in mind–there isn’t anyone existing with the sole purpose of fighting back the tide of evil.

Now, we’re going to go old school apocryphal, and talk a little abou the Book of Enoch. To make a moderately long story short, a portion of angels/archangels saw the women of the world and desired them. Wanted to live among them. Major no-no. So when this group of angels/archangels did just that, lived and walked and laid with women, who in turn bore children, God was seriously on the not happy side. He pretty much went, “You want to be with the humans? Done deal.” And locked them out of heaven. The head of the now cast out angels, Samyaza, went to Enoch, who is described both in the Bible and in other works as a just and honorable man, and asked for him to intercede on behalf of the Fallen Angels. The message God sent back?

Judgment has been passed upon you; your request will not be granted you. From this time forward, never shall you ascend into Heaven; (He has said, that) on the earth He will bind you, as long as the world endures. But before these things you shall behold the destruction of your beloved sons; you shall not possess them, but they shall fall before you by the sword. Neither shall you entreat for them, nor for yourselves; But you shall weep and supplicate in silence. (Book of Enoch)

Keep in mind, these angels are different from those who were cast out as part of the great rebellion against God. So, second thing to keep in mind–there are two groups of beings who basically want payback on God. 

Ok, so what does this all this mean? I promise, I’m getting there right now. What if…

God (or Allah or whoever you subscribe to–we’re going for religious open-mindedness here), in an effort to both prevent future episodes such as the one described in the Book of Enoch and to deal with the increase of evil in the world, “creates” a special class or order of individuals. The catch?

These individuals were, at one point in time, human. Just human.

Some of them were probably warriors, some of them weren’t. Some were used to sacrificing themselves for the good of others, most probably weren’t. The one trait they all share, the one thing that defines them as a group?

When the moment came where they could walk away from certain death, they didn’t–for the good of someone else.

And so when they die, instead of going to heaven or wherever you believe people go, they instead wind up in a dusty, dirty, crowded office with a very overworked Secretary. And there, they’re given an choice: go to heaven, go back to those last crucial moments before death and have the universe realigned so they live without negative consequences, or they can join this warrior group–the Winged.

If they choose to join the ranks of the Winged, they’re given eternal life, eternal youth/stopping of the aging process, advanced healing from mortal (but not supernatural) weapons. They’re trained to be warriors, with weapons ranging from longswords to crossbows to your standard 9 mm.

They retain all their human emotions. ALL of them–hatred, jealousy, love, lust, desire. They’re free to pursue relationships with other Winged, or to enter into a relationship with an archangel, who serve as leaders and mentors of the Winged. Since they, the Winged, are no longer strictly human or strictly alive, the archangels aren’t following in the footsteps of the Fallen Angels.


The Winged can never marry. They can never have children. They exist for the sole purpose of fighting demons. And if they should die in supernatural combat–they simply case to exist. They can never go to heaven. They can never quit, never turn back.
Sounds crazy, right? Totally the kind of crazy that I want to write–that I’m actually in the process of writing. It’s not coming out anytime immediately, since I plan to write the entire series first, but it’s something to keep an eye out for.

Thanks again to Shéa for having me–if you’re wondering where exactly she is, that would be here. Feel free to wander over and check things out, and as always–happy reading!

Thanks for stopping by, L.M!  And frakk me, that woulds like an AWESOME series!

You can read more about L.M. and her books over on her blog.

L.M. Pruitt has been reading and writing for as long as she can remember. A native of Florida with a love of New Orleans, she has the uncanny ability to find humor in most things and would probably kill a plastic plant. She is the author of the Jude Magdalyn Series as well as New Moon Rising, featuring Cari Gravier, and Taken, featuring Frankie Post. She is currently at work on the next book in the Moon Rising series, Harvest Moon Rising, due out April 2012. Ms. Pruitt makes her home in Florida with two cats–one smart, the other not so much.


Fantastical Friday: Perry Mason, Vampires, and a Merry Festivus!

Happy Friday, everyone!  Finished all your Christmas shopping?  Yeah, me neither.  I’m on strike. ;-)

Fantastical Videos:

I am a lover of b-movies.  Those fantastical sci-fi and horror movies of the 50s and 60s.  So bad they were good.  Remember those?  (Or at least the reruns on the SciFi Channel back when they actually played sci-fi.)

So, imagine the thrill of joy when I discovered this little gem:

Yes, people, it’s a REAL movie.  And it’s full of cheesetastic awesomeness.

Okay, okay, I know it’s Christmas in like two days and I should be doing something Christmassy.  How about one of my favorite scenes from the movie Elf and one of my all-time favorite Christmas carols?


Fantastical Winner:

Gene Lempp come on down!  You are the winner of a copy of Jack Wallen’s Die Zombie Die.  I think you have my email, so drop me a quick one and I’ll be sure you get your copy.  Congrats!

Friday Book Club:

Fancy a bit of holiday reading? How about 9 short stories by 9 different authors celebrating the winter holidays?  The Holiday Collection is just 99 cents on Amazon and FREE on Barnes & Noble.

Meanwhile, I’m reading a few things right now.  Anne R Allen’s Sherwood, Ltd. is the hilarious follow up to Ghost Writers in the Sky.  It’s sort of cozy mystery meets chick lit.

Then there’s Danielle Blanchard’s Death Wish, the first novel in her Vamp Saga.  I’m only a little way in, but I’m liking it so far!  Gotta love a good vamp tale.  This one promises to be a doozie.  Heck, there’s even a sex and violence warning!  (Yeehaw!)  It’s also available in paperback, for those of you who prefer it old school.

Finally, I’ve just started reading Atticus for the Undead by John Abramowitz.  I’m only a few chapters in, but again, this promises to be a fun read.  It’s like Perry Mason gave up his law practice in LA, moved town, and started defending vampires (And other supernatural creatures – except we can’t call them that because it’s rude.  They are “arcanes”).  I was a die hard Perry Mason fan growing up (Re-runs!  Sheez, I’m not THAT old.), so for me, this is a good thing.

Sheer Fantasticalness!

There’s just one thing left for me to do, whether you celebrate Yule, Solstice (yes, I know it’s passed), Saturnalia, Hanukkah, Festivus, 09or Christmas – or something else entirely – may it be filled with magic, wonder, and lots and lots of glitter!

Happy Friday, Merry Christmas, and I’ll see ya on the flip side!

Writer Wednesday: Jon Bon Jovi is ALIVE! (And so is Kissed by Smoke)

Imagine my horror when one of my all-time favorite singers died yesterday.  I almost had a melt down.

Fortunately Google is my friend and Jon Bon Jovi was really in New Jersey.  Not heaven.  Though I can totally see how you might confuse the two.  Heh.

The only thing I gotta say is watch him over the next few years.  Will he age?

In honor of Bon Jovi’s non-death, I present my favorite Bon Jovi song:

Appropriate, no?  Not to mention Young Guns is quite possibly one of the most kick ass movies ever made.  (Christian Slater, Lou Diamond Phillips … need I say more?)

And what better way to celebrate the non-death of Bon Jovi than to publish the third novel in the Sunwalker Saga.  Ladies, gentlemen, aliens, and outlaws, I present to you Kissed by Smoke:

Morgan Bailey is looking forward to a nice, quiet birthday.  Fate has other plans.

A psychotic sidhe is on the loose: A fairy so powerful, not even a Hunter can stop him. But with the help of the Fairy Queen, Morgan is determined to try. She soon finds herself crashing a steampunk party, hunting down rednecks, having tea with a genie king, and battling Mongolian Death Worms.

Unfortunately there is more to the sidhe’s plans than meets the eye and his endgame spells disaster not just for his own people, but for human kind as well.

Plus a BONUS READ short story:

“Let’s Ride”

Zala Lei’s bid to stop a dangerous criminal leads her to Omicron 5 and a very special box of surprises. She can only hope that what she finds in the box is enough to stop evil in its tracks.

Available NOW on:



Amazon UK

Amazon France

Amazon Germany

Mythos Monday: Kobo and the Fairy Queen

I’m really thrilled to let you all know that Dragon Warrior is now available on Kobo!  No word yet on when Kissed by Darkness and Kissed by Fire will be available there, but I’m sure it will be soon.  I’ll definitely let you know as soon as it happens.

This is so exciting because I know that the Kobo ereader is proving hugely popular and is also, supposedly, one of the better ereaders on the market right now.  Also, I really want to make sure all of my lovely readers are able to read my books in whatever electronic format suits them.  Wahoo!


Now, as you know, Kissed by Smoke, is going to be out soon.  So, I thought today’s post should be about one of the supernatural races who make an appearance in this book, in fact, they’re going to be a bit part of the rest of the series.  Who are they?

The sidhe.

Yeah, yeah.  I see you staring at me blankly.  Sidhe (SHEE) isn’t exactly a term you hear thrown around much.

The sidhe are, basically, fairies.  But not those flitty little Disney things that look cute.  No, not at all.  The sidhe are powerful, magical beings who have, throughout the centuries, been worshiped as gods.  They live in an alternate reality, able to pass quite easily between their world and ours.  To attract a sidhe means trouble.  To anger a sidhe is a death sentence.

My sidhe are a little different than the traditional sidhe of myth and legend.  You know me, I gotta mix things up a bit!

The sidhe of Morgan Bailey’s world do not have a single face.  Their faces are constantly changing, molding and shaping new features every few seconds.  Of course their glamour is so strong this is not something a normal human can see, but Morgan is not exactly a normal human so she can see this shift.  It’s how she can tell when a sidhe’s in the room and it’s how she knows to lay low.


Unfortunately, the Fairy Queen has decided to take an interest in Morgan …

My all time favorite fairy story has got to be A Midsummer Night’s Dream by the Bard himself.

If we shadows have offended,
Think but this, and all is mended,
That you have but slumbered here
While these visions did appear.

What’s your favorite tale of the fae?


Also, don’t forget to stop by Friday’s post and leave a comment for your chance to win a copy of Jack Wallen’s Die Zombie Die.


Fantastical Friday: Morgan and the Zombie Radio DJ

I’m eyeball deep in the final polishing of Kissed by Smoke, so Morgan offered to help out today.  I’m a little nervous about it.  You know what she’s like.  But she promised to be good.  So, I leave you in the (hopefully) capable hands of Morgan Bailey:

Seriously?  Have a little faith.  I kick bad-guy ass for a living.  I think I can handle a little blog action.

Okay, now that she’s gone, I want to let you all in on a little secret.  I am a HUGE fan of Zombie Radio.  And don’t tell Inigo, but I’ve got a tiny crush on the Zombie Radio DJ.  So, I thought I’d call into the show, have a little tête-à-tête with the man himself.  Ready?  Okay … dialling …  He answered!

Morgan:  So, Zombie Dude, it’s nice to finally meet you.  I have to admit Zombie Radio is a guilty pleasure of mine, but seriously?  A radio show?  It’s like the end of the freaking world and you’re yapping on the radio.  Why aren’t you out there kicking zombie ass?  It’s not like they have fangs.

DJ: Thank you for calling into Zombie Radio. My lovely listeners of the Zombie Radio Nation, we are very privileged at the moment to be hearing from that super vampire hunter Morgan Bailey. She’s… a hottie.

So, why a radio show? This might well be the easiest question I’ve had to answer in a long time. It. Is. The. Apocalypse. Amidst this virus torn land one of the single most crucial tools we have is the dissemination of information. People need to know what to do, what is safe, where to go, who to avoid, and (even more important) who in the hell dropped this nightmare of a clusterfuck bomb on the planet. Thanks to a certain caller from Paris (eh hem..Bethany Nitshimi, call me again!) we now know who sponsored the apocalypse and can hunt them down and take them down. Interested in taking a moment from your vampire hunting to help a brothah out?

Morgan:  Okay, I get ya.  I’m down with that.  And a hottie?  I think I’m blushing.  I did hear you have a thing for red heads. <wink>

I gotta admit I don’t have much zombie experience.  I’ve kicked a lot of demon ass, dusted a few vampires, even tangled with dragons.  Zombies, not so much.  But I’m happy to help my favorite smexy-ass DJ.  How can I help?

DJ: Simple – you see a zombie, you remove its head. But even more important, you find out any information about the Zero Day Collective, you call in and let us know. Or, if you come face to face with one of the members of the ZDC, you kill them. But if you do kill them, make sure you toss off an apropos one-liner before you do. Make it something dead sexy. And make sure you’re wearing a nice cleavage-revealing top for us all. We have images in our heads we must keep up. Appearances… in many cases it’s all about appearances. And you, Morgan Bailey, have one hell of an appearance to keep up.

And yes, I do have a thing, or two (or three) for redheads.

So… Morgan, you have your sites on any particular vamps at the moment? Or has the current apocalypse got you sidetracked and sidelined?

Morgan:  Honey, I am the QUEEN of one-liners and cleavage-revealing tops.  And don’t you worry, I’m always suitably armed for the removal of various body parts.  Up to and including heads.

After what I’ve been through, the apocalypse is a walk in the park.  I jest.  But still, hard to get excited about a few brain munchers when you’ve gone up against a trio of Mongolian Death Worms.  Think Tremors on steroids.

I’ve got a few low level vamps in my sights, but honestly?  The sidhe have been all up in my face lately.  I’m telling you, the friggin’ Fairy Queen is worse than an entire sorority house full of the undead – zombies or vampires.

So, I hear I missed my chance at winning the ZR DJ’s heart.  Tell me about your lady.

DJ: Well, according to Bethany Nitshimi, there is a type of zombie (she calls them Berzerkers) that might give those Death Worms a run for their money. Bi-furcated jaws? Seriously? I’m thinking a serious case of “ouch” is in order.

Um, yeah, I do currently have a hottie in my bed. Her name is Alexa. Interesting that she looks quite a lot like you. In fact, put this corset on… yep, just like you. Oh and she’s just wonkers in bed. I mean like whoa!

Oh, I probably shouldn’t have said that. We are live. Um, scratch that last comment. Let’s just say she handles a sword really well. Oh… damn it!

Okay, question for you vampire hunter. You must have music playing through your head as you fight vamps. What are your favorite fighting songs?

Morgan:   Why sir, you flatter me.  And hey, don’t worry about it.  The FCC shirt-tuckers (to use your word) are all zombie food by now, right? 

I have been known to play Evanescence’s  “Bring Me To Life” whilst chopping vampires into tiny bits.  Will you spin that one for me, Mr. DJ?

Thanks for taking my call.  You know I’m your Biggest Fan Ever, right?

DJ: There might be one young lady from Kentucky that might fight you for that title. But, I will happily write you up on my white board as “Morgan Bailey: Biggest Fan Ever”. And my dearest Morgan Bailey, vampire killer extrordinaire, I will spin you any tune your sexy heart desires. Any time. Any where.

Be safe out there. And remember: If you think sexy, you are sexy. Be safe and kill me some undead scum!


Woohoo!  Be still my beating heart!  I can’t believe I actually got to talk to the ZR DJ.

Well, I better shove off.  That Shéa person will be back any minute.  Later!

Good grief.  Leave that girl alone for five minutes and this is what happens!  Well, folks I hope you enjoyed Morgan’s chat with the Zombie Radio DJ.  You can read more about the DJ and the zombie apocalypse in Jack Wallen’s I Zombie trilogy.  

The final installment of the trilogy, Die Zombie Die, is available on Amazon and Smashwords and Barnes & Noble NOW! Talk about non-stop action.  It  will definitely keep you on the edge of your seats and begging for more!

And if that isn’t exciting enough, the DJ’s own story, Zombie Radio, is now available on Amazon.  Trust me, you’re going to want to read this one.  It’s brain nommingly good.

For a chance to win an e-book copy of the final installment of Jack Wallen’s I Zombie trilogy, Die Zombie Die, be sure an leave a comment below or tweet about it (and mention me @Shea_MacLeod).  I’ll be choosing one lucky winner at random and announcing the name next Friday.

Note: If you don’t have the first two books of the series, don’t worry!  The winner can choose the first two books as your prize in lieu of the last book, if you like.

In the meantime, have a fabulously fantastic Friday, and I’ll see you on the flip side!

Writer Wednesday: Shapeshifters, The Illiad, and Norse Dragons … Oh, My!

I’d like to welcome the delightful Coral Moore to share with us today.  Coral is the author of the new paranormal novel, Broods of Fenrir, and when she told me she wanted to talk Norse dragons, how could I resist.  I mean, ya’ll know I love me some Viking.  Er, Norse mythology.  Yeah.  

So, without further ado, here’s Coral:


I’ve been a fan of mythology since I was a teenager. I have a high school English teacher who made me read The Illiad to thank for the hours of enjoyment I’ve derived from myths. Though I started off with the Greeks and Romans, I branched out into Egyptian and Norse myths soon after. The Norse myths quickly became my favorites because they have a different feel to them, grittier and more human than any of the others. Whether that’s connected to the harsher climate and way of life or something else entirely, I’m not sure.

Despite my familiarity with Norse myths, I really didn’t know much about how dragons fit in.  In honor of my visit today to Everything’s Better with Dragons, I did some reading to see what I could learn and pass on to other mythoholics. Here’s what I learned about the giant lizards of the Scandinavians.

One of three children of Loki and Angrboða, Jörmungandr is the brother of Fenrir. Depicted as a serpent devouring its own tail and encircling Midgard, it was said that this dragon formed the oceans that surrounded the world.

Níðhöggr was a dragon rumored to have an insatiable appetite. He primarily consumed the corpses of those who committed evil deeds, but occasionally gnawed at the roots of the world tree, Yggdrasill.

Beginning his life as an envious dwarf, Fáfnir was the son of a sorcerer. Over time, his rampant greed transformed him into a dragon. Being the embodiment of greed, he collected a hoard of treasure by slaying would-be adventurers. Sigurd, a hero of many early Norse stories, eventually kills him, but is supposedly cursed by claiming the ill-gotten possessions.

A dragon called the Fire Drake was Beowulf’s final foe. The poison of the beast killed the legendary hero, but not before the dragon itself is slain by the young warrior Wiglaf.

While reading, I wondered where all these dragons came from. Who is the first person that came up with the wild idea of a giant lizard? Personally, I like the theory that our predecessors found fossils that might have belonged to dinosaurs or whales and didn’t really know what to make of them, so they invented stories to explain them.

What’s your favorite flavor of dragon myth?


* * *

Book info:

Shapeshifter Brand Geirson was raised to rule the Broods of Fenrir, but he refused his birthright. Instead, he killed their brutal leader–his own father–and walked away.

For hundreds of years he’s avoided brood society, until a werewolf kills an innocent human woman and Brand finds himself dragged back into the violent politics of the shapeshifters. When the two brood women who mean the most to him come under threat, he must take up the throne and risk becoming the kind of vicious bastard his father was, or let the broods descend further into chaos–taking the friend he swore to protect and his lover with them.


Title: Broods of Fenrir (book website) (read an excerpt)

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Tagline: Not even a werewolf can outrun the past.

Length: 60,000 words or 210 paperback pages

Warnings: Violence, Strong Language and Sexual Content


Available in eBook at: Amazon (UK Version), Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords.

Also available in paperback on Amazon and CreateSpace.


* * *

Author Info:

Coral Moore has always been the kind of girl who makes up stories. Fortunately, she never quite grew out of that. She writes because she loves to invent characters and the desire to find out what happens to her creations drives the tales she tells.

Prompted by a general interest in how life works, her undergraduate schooling was in biology. She follows science news and enjoys conversations about genetics and microbiology as much as those about vampires and werewolves. Coral writes speculative fiction and is pursuing a Master of Fine Arts in Writing at Albertus Magnus College.

Currently she lives in Connecticut with the love of her life, who offers both encouragement and kicks in the tail when necessary. Also in residence are two mammals of the families Canidae and Felidae.

She released her first novel, Broods of Fenrir, in November 2011. Her next release, Elements of Rebellion, is due out in spring 2012.

List of places you can find her on the web:

Amazon Author Page

Facebook Author Page








Mythos Monday: A Very Steampunk Christmas

What does steampunk have to do with mythology or, indeed, paranormal-supernatural-whatsis?  No idea.  But you all know I love me some steampunky goodness, so I just had to sneak it into the Christmas holiday somehow!

What is steampunk anyway?

Steampunk is a sub-genre of science fiction, fantasy, alternate history, and speculative fiction that is set in a time or place where steam power (and often clockworks) is still widely used.  The most common settings are Victorian era Britain or “Wild West” era United States.  Also steampunk incorporates elements of either science fiction or fantasy so you might find anything from spaceships to zombies.  Which totally rocks my world!  Jules Verne and HG Wells are early examples of the genre.  And two of my favorite contemporary steampunk authors are Gail Carriger and Meljean Brook.

But what, you ask, does steampunk have to do with Christmas?  Um, nothing.  Except that like I mentioned last Monday, Christmas as we celebrate it today came to us from the Victorians.  And Victorian EVERYTHING goes just swimmingly with steampunk.  So, I think it’s kind of fun to give a nod to Christmas origins, so to speak.

I just love this BBC series on making your own Victorian Christmas.  It’s full of cheesetastic goodness.  And who doesn’t need a mistletoe kissing ball in their front room? I know I do!  Or I would if I had a front room.  But I digress.  Even if you don’t hanker after a bit of greenery this Christmas, check it out.  SAUCY!

Isn’t he a naughty man? (Yes, I typed that with a pseudo-British accent.  I’m actually not bad at it after five years among the natives.)

If you’re going to go caroling this Christmas, you really must dress appropriately for the occasion.  It’s so wonderfully Dickensian.  You can buy one of your very own from Gypsy Lady Hats.

Heck, I’d even wear one Christmas shopping.  Just because I can.

I stumbled across A Clockwork Christmas while I was perusing the internets for more steampunky goodness.  I have no idea if it’s a decent read or not, but they pretty much had me at “clockwork”, so it’s top on my Wish List.

My little Christmas tree is just five inches tall, so I’m not sure how steampunk I can make it.  (Heck, I don’t think the poor thing could withstand anything heavier than tinfoil.)  But I do adore this steampunk Christmas tree.  Maybe next year.

I do love putting a bit of the old fashioned into my Christmas.  I grew up stringing popcorn and making gingerbread men for the tree.  I still make gingerbread, but not for the tree! :-)  Old fashioned red and white peppermint candy canes are a must.  Homemade Christmas cookies and candies, not to mention pies, can always be found at my house (made by yours truly).  And my favorite tree ornaments are the old fashion blown glass type (I collect them).

What’s your favorite “old fashioned” steampunky Christmas (or Yule) tradition?

Fantastical Friday: Things That Make You Go … Sparkle?

I can’t believe it’s Friday already.  Time flies when you’re editing and rewriting like a crazy person, I guess.

Video Goodness:

Today’s video seriously made me laugh.  Out loud.  Which was mildly embarrassing since I was alone at the time.  Then again, it could have been worse.  I could have snorted coffee up my nose or something.

Oh, that amuses me no end.  Probably Twilight fans will have kittens over that one, but I think it’s damn funny.

Linky Love:

As usual, there are all kinds of fun and exciting things happening around the interwebs.

First off, Jack Wallen is talking about the 10 Things I Learned From B-Horror.  Not only is it funny, but it might just save your life.  Okay, it probably won’t save your life, but it’s still really funny and there are some excellent tips for world domination.

And speaking of world domination, author Tara West is determined to take over the world one paranormal YA book at a time.  The first book of her Whispers series, Sophie’s Secret, is FREE on Smashwords.  So, go pick yourself up a copy!

Imagine the horrors of high school compounded by the ability to read people’s minds.  EGAD!  As if the teenage years weren’t bad enough.  Trust me, I had perpetual bad hair days and off-brand jeans.  It was not pretty.  I can’t imagine topping that off with paranormal powers.

Love steampunk?  You gotta check out this site, Xerposa.com.  Everything from funky body art to steampunk cyborgs.  Awesome.  There’s even a fun webseries for your reading pleasure.

Spot of Smexy:

This week the King of Blood and Glitter is talking corsets over on his blog.  Nothing smexier than a corset (When worn properly, that is.  Not when squeezing people into unnatural shapes).  Nom.

Corsets can do the figure a world of good: Flatten the tummy, boost the boobs, straighten the posture.  And they’re not an exclusively female garment.  Like the skirt, corsets for men are making a comeback.  Not just at steampunk conventions or on B & D sites, either, but on the high fashion runway.

I say BRING IT ON!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday Book Club:

Although I’m still super busy with rewrites and whatnot, I’ve had a little more time to read this week.  Which means I’ve really gotten stuck in to Gothica will finally get a chance to finish it.  Man I am loving this book. Murder, mayhem, and a touch of the paranormal.  It’s the perfect psychological thriller.

Killers die … but sometimes their souls refuse to disappear.

Can we say creepy?

I’ve also stuck my toes in the water of Ghost Writers In The Sky.  I bought it awhile back, but this is the first chance I’ve had to read it.  It’s incredibly well written, funny, and entertaining.  Love a cozy mystery?  This one’s for you.

And that’s all for now.  What are you reading and loving this week?

Have a fabulous Friday and I’ll catch you on the flip side!