Tag Archives: vampires

Mega Research Trip: #Prague (Pt. 2)

My last full day in Prague was rather chilly and overcast. But there were still amazing sites to see and adventures to be had!

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View of the cathedral at the palace.

We wandered into the more modern part of the city only to find this lovely trolley which had been turned into a restaurant. What to do but try it out? The food was pretty tasty, the ambiance perfect, and the heat lamps very much welcome.

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This trolley is now a restaurant serving pasta.
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So, of course, we had to stop for lunch.

 

 

 

 

 

I also found a bit of cravat porn, so that was cool. ;-)

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Yes, this is a real person!

 

 

 

 

 

The streets of Prague are just so…atmospheric. I can totally see a chase scene happening here. Explosions! Hail of bullets! Vampires!

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The streets of Prague. Perfect for a chase scene.

 

 

 

 

A sobering and informative trip to the Jewish Cemetery.  There are 12,000 gravestones here, but more than 100,000 bodies! The stones date from 1439 to 1787.

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Jewish Cemetery
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Memorials at the Jewish Cemetery

 

 

 

 

And of course, plenty of gothic architecture to keep a person’s brain working overtime. Seriously, the city is so inspirational.

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Randomly gothic buildings everywhere!

 

 

 

 

We did a ghost tour that night which was fascinating.  Granted, the tour guide was a total arrogant jerk, but at least he was also informative and somewhat entertaining. How’s that for a dichotomy? lol

Next up: We’re off to Paris!

Mega #Research Trip: Day 4 – Rambles in #HydePark, #Mayfair, and #NottingHill

I totally lucked out on this Mega Research Trip of 2015. My friend and fellow author, Emma Jameson, was also in London doing some research of her own (She’s got two AMAZING cozy mystery series. I can’t recommend them enough). We were able to hang out and combine our research adventures.

First stop: Hyde Park. One of my favorite places in London. You will no doubt recognize the name from a couple of my books. Morgan gets into it with a vampire in Hyde Park in the second Sunwalker Saga novel, Kissed by FireThe park also makes an appearance in my contemporary romance series, Notting Hill Diaries.

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Hyde Park in the morning.
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The fabulous Emma Jameson lounging in Hyde Park.

 

 

 

 

 

Our next stop was Mayfair. One of Emma’s series is set largely in Mayfair, so this was a natural for our agenda.

See that ridiculously shiny car below? That was just meandering through the streets so of course I had to snap a pic. Good thing I did. It inspired a scene in the upcoming Sunwalker Saga: Witchblood novel, Deathwalker.

I also found some great pics of the inspiration for the mysterious basement apartment in Kissing Frogs(If you’ve read it, you know what I mean!)

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This uber cool car makes an appearance in the upcoming Witchblood novel, Deathwalker.
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The mysterious basement flat from Kissing Frogs. I used to walk by such flats every day on my way to work in Mayfair.
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The mysterious basement flat.
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Grosvenor Square near the American Embassy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A church in Mayfair.
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The Mayfair – a pub near my old office. We just had to pop in for a pint!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finally, we had to skip over to Notting Hill for some research. With Kissing Mr. Darcy coming up this fall, I knew I needed more fodder. I certainly got it! From the quirky shops to the pastel houses, everything was so inspirational. I can’t wait to add all kinds of fun things to the book. Including some flirtations with handsome gentlemen. ;-)

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A typical row of houses in Notting Hill. Much as I imagine Kate’s flat to be in Kissing Frogs.
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Chloe, however, is a more colorful sort. She lives in one of these. Painted purple, naturally.
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Of course we HAD to take a picture in front of this sign!
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One of the many cute little shops.
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We had to stop here for refreshment.
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More Notting Hill Goodness.
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A Notting Hill pub that will most definitely appear in the books.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was certainly a busy day! Next up: More adventures in London. AND stay tuned for Prague!

 

 

Ride the Dragon: Intro Box Set #paranormal #science fiction

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Want to try out the first book in four of my series for a discount? Check out Ride the Dragon, the paranormal/scifi intro box set. It’s cheaper than buying each book individually and it will give you a taste of some of my worlds.

NOTE: These are not new stories, but previously published books packaged together at a discount.

Description from Amazon:

A collection of four books introducing you to four different paranormal and science fiction series by Shéa MacLeod. Perfect for anyone new to MacLeod’s writing.

OMICRON ZX (An Omicron ZX Prequel) – Starship captain Zala Lei’s bid to bring a dangerous criminal to justice leads her to Omicron 5 and Xander Lodai, a man even more deadly than the one she’s tailing. She can only hope that Xander can help her stop evil in its tracks before she becomes the next victim.

FEARLESS – Soulshifter Trilogy Book 1 (A Sunwalker Saga Spin-off novella) – “I hated this life I’d found myself in and yet I had no choice but to carry on living it. Lost. Confused. Alone. Forever separated from my own kind.”

Murdered at the hands of her king and former lover, Zip finds herself stripped of nearly all her powers and trapped inside the mortal body of a teenager. She finally knows what it is to be human, but it might be the last thing she wants. Especially with a killer stalking the halls…

“Swallowing hard, I held his gaze. I wasn’t sure if I was daring him or defying him. Maybe both.”

Mick Egan is determined to make his life count for something. Getting clean was one thing. Discovering the secrets of a girl like Zip is another. If he was smart, he’d run like hell, except he’s not about to leave her alone to face a murderer.

DRAGON WARRIOR (Dragon Wars, Book 1) – A man without a past.
A woman without a future.
A world destroyed by monsters.
All that’s left is hope.

In Rain Mauri’s post-apocalyptic world there are no shades of gray when it comes to survival. Until she meets a Dragon Warrior and discovers nothing is as simple as it seems.

Together, Rain and the Dragon Warrior must uncover the truth behind the nightmare their world has become. Their quest will put them in the crosshairs of a ruthless enemy, but with her determination and his skill, they might just save their race from destruction. If they can save each other first.

BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR (Cupcake Goddess, Book 1) – Once the Welsh goddess of love and beauty, Branwen has lost her powers (most of them), moved to the middle of nowhere, found an obsession for cupcakes, and gained twenty pounds (okay, fifty). She’s not having a good millennium.

So when her next door neighbor, cross-dresser Ryan Roberts, makes a simple wish, Branwen decides to grant it. Ryan is about to find out that where cupcake obsessed ancient goddesses are concerned, you should be careful what you wish for.

Available now on Amazon and Kobo.

A Haunted Freebie

The Eclective: The Haunted Collection
The Eclective: The Haunted Collection

Just in case you missed it last time, The Haunted Collection is free today and tomorrow on Amazon!

“Empty Vessel” by M. Edward McNally: Captain Wil has command of his own ship, the respect of his crew, and his wife is expecting their first child. But at sea, the winds always become calm just before the storm breaks.

“The Smell of Death” by Tara West: Maggie’s unusual powers bring new threats to her already troubled childhood.

“Safe” by Emma Jameson: In Victorian London, a grave robber makes a nice living off the dead, until he opens the wrong crypt.

“Soulfully Sweet” by Shéa MacLeod: As if helping the living isn’t enough of a pain in her divine hindquarters, Branwen (former goddess of love and beauty) is stuck helping the dead on All Hallow’s Eve.

“May I Go Play?” by Heather Marie Adkins: Micah inherits a southern mansion where ancestors long dead relive their violent deaths. And now, they want company…

“Blehdward, the Vampire who Couldn’t Sparkle” by Pj Jones: Blehdward desperately wants to fit in with the cool vamps. If only he could learn how to sparkle.

“Franscesca” by Alan Nayes: Break a promise to a feiticeira and you will live to regret it.

“Soul Eaters” by R.G. Porter: Kaitlyn never believed in the existence of other worlds. Now she’s in the middle of one where humans aren’t the hunters but the hunted.

Download yours today!

Pride & Prejudice & Vampires

UPDATE:

Apparently there have been some difficulties with this book going free today, so it is NOT free as of yet. Will keep you all posted when it does go free.

 

Because I love ya’ll, I’m going to tell you about another FREE book. That’s right. Free. But only today, okay? So go grab yourself a copy of Pride and Prejudice and Vampires.

You will either love me or hate me. Depending upon how you feel about Miss Austen. Frankly, I’m a fan. And I am a firm believer that if Miss Austen were alive and writing today, no doubt Elizabeth and Co. would have been kicking some vampire ass. Or becoming vampires. Or getting eaten by vampires. Or something.

Continue reading Pride & Prejudice & Vampires

We Will, We Will Haunt You

The Haunted Collection – Free 5 & 6 October

It’s that time of year again. The time when ghosties and ghoulies come out to play the The Eclective unleashes a little Halloween chaos on the world.

This year we’ve come up with eight spooky(ish) stories filled with tales of beings from the Other Side. A haunted house, a discontented ghost, and supernatural powers…who could ask for more?

Even better? The Haunted Collection is FREE today and tomorrow on Amazon, so pop on over and pick up your copy. It includes my Cupcake Goddess short story “Soulfully Sweet.”

 
 
 
Soulfully Sweet by Shéa MacLeod
As if helping the living isn’t enough of a pain in her divine hindquarters, Branwen (former goddess of love and beauty) is stuck helping the dead on All Hallow’s Eve.
 

It’s Release Day! And Other News.

My friend, Tara West, made this super cool ecard for me! :-)

Montlake released Kissed by Darkness and Kissed by Fire today! I’m super duper extremely excited!

I may be biased, but I think these books are awesome. I spent a lot of time with my amazing editor, Tiffany Yates-Martin, writing and rewriting and rewriting some more. This lady has edited for the likes of Anne Rice and Jim Butcher so she knows her stuff. She really helped me make the Sunwalker Saga shine!

Continue reading It’s Release Day! And Other News.

Sunwalker Saga Rides Again Plus York S’Mores

I’m super excited to announce that the new Montlake Romance versions of Kissed by Darkness and Kissed by Fire will released on October 2nd of this year. Kissed by Smoke will be out sometime in December.

Can I get a SQUEE?

Continue reading Sunwalker Saga Rides Again Plus York S’Mores

Writer Wednesday: Zombies and Romance

Ladies and gents of the multi-verse, welcome to Zombie Month here on ye olde blog.  Yep, that’s right, I’m dedicating a full month to the awesome that is zombies.  I may not write about zombies, but boy do I love reading about them!

Today I have a super special guest, my friend and fellow author, Danielle Benson.  We’re having some coffee and croissants (we both love France) and chatting romance during the zombie apocalypse.  So grab yourself a cuppa and sit a spell.

SM:  Hi Danielle!  Thanks so much for joining me today.  You know how I love me some zombies!

DB: Same here, honey. I used to be a bit freaked out by them but then I read Jack Wallen’s masterpiece, I Zombie I, and it definitely changed my life. I bought the whole trilogy and decided even zombies need some love too. So I wrote my own ode to the zombie genre!

SM:  Let me start by asking you a few random questions so we can get to know you a little better.

1): What’s your all-time favorite thing to eat?

DB: Aw, wo(man)! You askin’ me about food? I am such a sucker for Chinese food but without a doubt, give me one of France’s 500 varieties of smelly cheese and a baguette and I am in heaven! I’ll be your best friend if you pair it with a good red wine. Umm, yummy!

I knew you’d be a sucker for French food!  I do love a good smelly cheese.

2):  Tell me what you love about living in Las Vegas.  Is there anywhere else you’d want to live and why?

DB: Las Vegas is interesting. I have been here for almost eight years (come this July) although I spent a year during this eight year stint in Manchester (that’s England). Not that I missed much. It’s cold in the winter, ultra-hot in the summer and we don’t have much of a spring or autumn, unfortunately.

Would I like to live somewhere else? I have been planning a two to three year stint in France starting next year so I am writing my butt off to make sure I have the funds to do it. In terms of France, I would love to live in Ile-de-France because the weather is mild (most of the time) and my favorite suburb in the world (Versailles) is there. That and a dozen French friends makes it the perfect suburb to settle. Did I mention it is just a half an hour train ride from Paris?

Um, be sure to invite me to Chez Danielle, you hear? ;-)

 3):  Who are your top three zombie authors?

 DB: Ohhh, difficult (not!) but without a doubt Jack Wallen, Jessica Meigs and Iain McKinnon. The last one is Scottish so um, yum … and he writes a damn good zombie story too!

 Scottish … <wipes drool off face>

4):  What’s one totally crazy, off-the-wall thing you’ve done in your life?  And would you do it again?

DB:  I climbed to the top of Mont St. Michel in Normandy with a hot French guy (he’s only a friend). It was overcast, cold and raining as we decided to do it on a miserable day in December. Did I mention I’m scared of heights and we climbed all the way to the top? It was exhilarating and beautiful and I would absolutely do it again!

 Oh, man, that would be AMAZING!  Mont St. Michel is on my bucket list.  So is a hot French guy, but I digress … ;-)

5):  If aliens came down and asked you to go with them to their home planet, would you go?

 DB: Definitely. I could use a little change of scenery. As long as they didn’t plan on me staying forever because I am a girl who doesn’t like to be tied down in one place forever.

I hear ya.

SM:  Now let’s move on to your writing. 

6):  Did anyone or anything special inspire you to become an author?

DB: My friends and my sister. Although half the time they used to complain and say it was a waste of time, everyone who is important to me knows how much I love to write. It’s a bit frustrating though because they don’t understand everything which goes into crafting a story. Thank the white-bearded man above, Allah, the stars (or what ever people do or don’t believe in) I have always believed in myself. I truly believe we as writers are our worse enemy sometimes and if we can find the strength to say, I have my sucky days but without a doubt, I am damn good at this, we make it easier on ourselves and those around us.

Amen, sister.  It took me YEARS before I found enough confidence in myself and in my writing to really put my work out there.

7):  Can you tell me a little more about your latest novel?

DB: It came to me after I finished Jack Wallen’s I Zombie I and Jessica Meigs’ The Becoming. I wanted to do my own little spin on the zombie genre without shoplifting from my good friends. I thought of a concept, did an outline and took it from there.

The basic premise of the novel is you get to meet people from all over the world and from all walks of life thrown together because of a plague called The Reaper virus. Some people are naturally immune but the humans who aren’t become flesh eating monsters. The problem is there IS a vaccine but it is purposely being rationed for the “right” people. Another issue, there is a method to the madness. The zombies are a by-product of something much more dangerous and it isn’t just the good ole U S of A involved but all the Western countries put together.

Oh, that rocks my socks.  Love me some conspiracy.

8):  Why zombies?

DB: At the time, I was all vampired out and although a lot of people think there is NO way to make zombies into anything other than fodder, I took this novel in another direction. Yes, there are zombies but it is much more of a 28 Days Later than George Romero’s Dawn of the Dead.

The humor is kept to a minimum and I believe my characters are very easy to identify with because it is a very difficult situation. The problem is, the whole world isn’t experiencing this phenomenon. The vaccine was passed out early and efficiently in the United States so it is more or less functioning almost at pre-virus levels where as other Western nations have been devastated.

That’s definitely a different take and one I find very interesting.

9) Do you find that zombies and romance make a good mix?  And how do you keep that balance between smexiness and horror?

DB: It’s hard to mix violence and sex but it can be done if it is done right. To my defense, no, there isn’t as much sex in this novel as there would be in one of The Vamp Saga series’ books but there is some. I tried to play up the romantic aspects of the characters but in that way, I wanted it to be about real love and emotion.

There is a sense of urgency when one’s life is at stake or even the life of a loved one and so my real feelings of smexiness are in the characters themselves and how they feel about their significant others. No one wants to lose a person they love and it was these emotions I played upon as opposed to outright sexy times if you know what I mean.

I know exactly what you mean.  That sounds fantastic.  Sometimes the pull between two people can be brought out in a way that’s infinitely sexier than just having them get it on.

SM:  Now for the REALLY important stuff:

Pizza and Beer or Champagne and Filet Mignon?

DB: Six months ago, I would have definitely said Pizza and Beer but since learning Pizza is not one of the food groups which agree with me, can I make a compromise and say Filet Mignon and Beer? There are some great European Beers and therefore Beer doesn’t have to be Budweiser or Fosters if you know what I mean. In terms of the Filet Mignon, I would have to say bloody as I hate overcooked red meat.

Chocolate or Cheese?

DB: Definitely cheese. I love me some good chocolate and Belgian chocolate is some of my favorite but with five hundred varieties of French cheese, a girl can’t go wrong!

Coffee or tea?

DB: Definitely coffee. I can appreciate tea and drank copious amounts of it when I was in England but I still loves me a good cup of coffee (and no, I’m not talkin’ instant either).  

And how do you feel about dragons?

DB: Dragons are absolutely fantastic. Reign of Fire is one of my favorite all time films with the smexy Mathew McConaughey and the very hot Christian Bale. However, looks like you own the patent on that one so I prefer to read your stories and I will bow out of writing about dragons for now less I want to look like a Shéa MacLeod copy-cat!

 Haha!  No worries there!  But I’m so with you on Reign of Fire and Mathew McConaughey/Christian Bale.  Nom. Nom.

SM:  Danielle, thanks so much for hanging out with me today.  It’s been a real treat.  You, lady, are super fabulous!

DB: Shéa, my darling, being with you is like having Christmas come again and so soon after last year. I love your blog and look forward to your posts. Thank you for having me.

If you want to keep up with Danielle online, she can be found here:

Her Website http://thebeautifulpeopleawritersjourney.blogspot.com/

Facebook http://www.facebook.com/Author.Danielle.Blanchard.Benson

Twitter @dblanchbenz007

GoodReads  http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/5455146-danielle-blanchard-benson