My doors are open daily (and from dusk ‘til dawn if you’re reeeeally brave) Wednesday October 23 through Wednesday October 30 for Spooktacular fun, games, and giveaways. Here are some of my previous guests. Ask them if they had a good time . . . if you can identify them, that is. Maybe by dental records.
Over the years I’ve been lucky enough to amass some fascinating writer friends. Some of them you’ve already met in previous and this year’s HOH. It’s my pleasure to introduce you to Jo Ann, a tiny lady with a huge smile and even bigger heart, as her bio below will attest. Whether it’s squeezing in dinner at a Broadway hotspot in New York or laying on Reiki healing hands at a writers retreat, she’s up for it. Depending on her pen name, she’s a lady of mystery, of the supernatural, and of life’s simple pleasures. And she knows the best people . . . like Nils Bjornsson.
With that yummy well-advertised image of Thor grabbing at your imagination, I bring you the hero of Jo Ann’s J.A. Ferguson time travel My Lord Viking to discuss the clash of his ancient world with Regency England . . .
When I started writing dark paranormals for Pocket and was checking out review sites, the first thing that impressed me about Kristie Elston was the banner for Dark Faerie Tales! Careeepy! In a totally awesome way! As my series progressed, I was thrilled to participate in some of the wonderful events she hosts including Supernatural Smack Down (check out Cale’s kick @ss entry!) and Spooky Legends. In fact this Spooky Legend scene ended up in one of my books. Can you guess which one? What a great way for authors not only to get promotion but to display their creativity.
Get to know Kristie better as my HOH puts her on the Q&A rack... then get over to Dark Faerie Tales and soak up the ambiance!
We all have our own holiday traditions—some inherited from family and some created as we grow older and broaden our horizons. In my family, we always picked out pumpkins for carving and set them out on the porch. My mom would take me and my sisters along the dark, leaf-covered and usually drizzly streets of our neighborhood in our home-made costumes (sometimes including a plastic mask with stretchy string!) toting pillow cases or paper grocery bags from door to door while my dad handed out treats at home and tried to keep the dog from jumping through the screen.
Who knew when we met at a Lowell Arts Council event – me as one of the author speakers and her, an academic on her way to a PhD wanting to explore romance fiction writing – that we’d forge a friendship that would span 20 years and now the distance from Michigan to Arizona. Elizabeth has been my critique partner, beta reader, wine country tour guide, and fellow researcher on a weeklong trip to New Orleans. And now we share something more – we proudly share space on PNR/UF bookshelves with the release of her debut adventure Urban Fantasy, Illuminati: The Book of Life.
When the last two books of my By Moonlight series went e-only, I lost the majority of the avenues I’d been using to promote my titles. So how to let readers know the books were available? I reached out to my favorite go-to blog and review sites and Jackie Morgan came through for me in spades. There must be a good graveyard reference in there someplace about digging up some great reviews – oh, yes, there is! Jackie houses a group of fabulous reviewers at her site. One look at this review done by Nikki for Prince of Shadows says everything about why I love them so. Add to that the unique things they offer readers and authors alike. They’ve invited me several times to participate in their Black Friday event where you place your characters in shopping peril. Silas and Nica enjoyed it so much, I took Giles and Brigit (a Mall-zilla if ever there was one!) back in what turned out to be a lead up extra content scene right out of Betrayed by Shadows. Enjoy a look then join me in welcoming Jackie Morgan, who lets me turn the tables to interview her . . .
The Children of the Night . . . what music they make. And on Halloween that music is rocking! Go beyond those moaning and groaning sound effect CDs to shake the dust off your guests and get their chains rattling with this hit list of howling good tunes. Go one shambling step farther by creating a TubeSnack playlist of music videos and put them up on your big screen or laptop monitors for a sight and sound experience. Click through to check out the videos then make your own special blend of Monster Mash for you and your guests to enjoy. Can you think of any good one’s that I’ve missed?
I think in the back of every writer’s mind there’s the whisper of Kathy Bate’s cooingly dangerous, “I’m your biggest fan.” (Darn you, Stephen King!) Still, I’d do about anything for my readers. They’re the reason I’m able to do what I love. They’re enthusiastic, eager, excited, energetic, and sometimes impatient when it comes to that next read. They know my books and characters better than I do and will discuss them endlessly. But aside from writing, I also have a full time job (Darn you, health insurance!) so my time is a carefully hoarded commodity that keeps me from attending every suggested conference and event I’d like to.
I love the holidays. When my boys were younger and I lived in a house instead of a third floor apartment, I couldn’t wait to drag out the decorations for an indoor/outdoor top to bottom makeover. My favorite was Halloween, especially when it came to curb appeal. I was known for my huge glow-in-the-dark skeleton reclining indolently in my picture window as if lounging along the back of my couch, for the spooky eyes blinking in my front bushes, for the eerie sound effects drifting out into the night and the doormat that screamed when you stepped on it. My carved Garfield and Mario pumpkins made a splash . . . all over the street out front.
Sometimes the best thing about writer friends is the history you share. And no, I won’t be mentioning the number of years that history spans. Waaay back, when I’d just started out in my publishing career I met an awesome group of authors in my neighboring state who were part of the Chicago North Chapter of RWA. Creative, generous . . . FUN! What a great bunch of ladies to hang with for their amazing suite parties and infectious enthusiasm. And then there was the entertainment factor of seeing the ever glamorous Ms. Bodine dealing with a tiny university dorm room with one electric outlet and no bathroom counter when she was one of our chapter’s Retreat speakers—and still pulling it off like a runway model! I had the pleasure of introducing you to Patricia in last year’s HOH. I’ve taken great pride in watching this dynamic duo’s careers blossom and evolve in new directions, and now to have the two of them between the same book covers! Squee!
Welcome Patricia and Sherrill as they share their spooky side with Written In the Stars . . .
Besides the candy, hands down the best thing about Halloween is dressing in costume. It’s a chance to release your inner diva or demon for at least one night and howl at the moon—figuratively or literally. What to wear, what to wear? To help you decide what you want to be for Halloween, I’ve compiled a list of the most popular from amongst costume outlets online:
Ninja Turtles (what’s old is new again!)
Anything Disney or Pixar from Minions to Monster University to Princesses
I’m THRILLED to introduce my first author guest, Roxanne Rhoads. To classify her as an author is like reading the prologue and leaving out the rest of the story. Roxanne first came to my attention as the organizer of the Flint Vampire Ball in my home state. THAT got my attention. Then her Bewitching Book Tours got ME attention with a wonderfully organized blog blast under my own very cool banner. And she featured me and my latest book in her glossy Bewitching Book Tours Magazine. Sizzling paranormals are the tempting icing on the cake!
Remember how you moaned and groaned in high school when you had to come up with a theme? Find the underlying purpose or message. Ewww! Time to resurrect those skills and come up with an A-list Halloween party that’s to die for! A Theme Party!
Here are some suggested themes to get you plotting . . . Adapt them according to the number of guests and space available.
I’m thrilled to introduce you to my first Patio Chatter guest. When I ventured into Social Media as an author and was asking (begging!) review sites for any scraps they could toss my way as far as free promotion, I was lucky enough to stumble upon Literal Addiction and was BLOWN AWAY by the attention lavished upon me by Michelle and her often in tandem cohort Carla at Book Monster Reviews. They pampered me with fantastic Spotlights, Author Ambushes, Chats and the most fun, Character Interviews. (Check out my favorites of Max Savoie dishing on Silas MacCreedy and Giles and Brigit sitting down for some gossip with their hostesses at: Literal Paranormal Book Club. These archived copies in no way represent the truly awesome look they had when on the website!) Not only do Chelle and I share a love of all things scary, but I vicariously enjoy my favorite rock-n-metal bands through the concert pictures she posts and envy her edgy hair colors. She also knows how to rock a Halloween costume!
Nothing like touring a haunted house or eerie graveyard to put you in the mood for Halloween. Join me on a visit to America’s Ten Spookiest Cities, known for their hair-raising ghost sightings. Then, if you dare, take a trip to America’s Scariest Homes – 12 real-life haunted houses!
How well do you know your Haunted Real Estate? The quiz in the Game Room just might save your life!