Mae Clair’s Pen Pal: Margarita Felices with New Vampire Fiction

Vintage compass, spyglass, feather pen and candle on old see mapI’m happy to introduce another new Pen Pal today. Margarita Felices has stopped by with CALL OF THE RIGHTEOUS, book two in her popular vampire series. Sit back, unwind, and take a moment to get to know Margarita and her intriguing undead characters.

Thanks for visiting, Margarita. Please share a bit about yourself and how long you’ve been writing.

I live in Cardiff with my partner and three little mad dogs and I work for a well-known TV broadcasting company. I love living in Cardiff because, for all its modernisation, there are still remnants of an old Victorian city. I love writing and base my stories in Cardiff because it has such character.  When I can, I go out to the coast and take photographs, mind you, we have a lovely castle in the city centre and a fairytale one just on the outskirts, so when I feel I can’t write anything, I take a ramble to those locations and it clears my head.

I am Gothic.  I love the fashion, the architecture and the music. The club in my novel is real. When I was writing book one, I got all my club material and clientele from there, I wouldn’t have finished that section without it.

I think I was 10 years old when I first started to write stories…    <thinks back and smiles at reading her first essay in front of the class>     I’ve always loved writing stories.  My teachers weren’t so impressed though.  I remember my English teacher giving us our weekly essay assignments and always pointing at me and then saying in front of the class, “No more than 10 pages OK?”   That was sheer torture for me each time.  I had been known to fill two exercise books!    But they soon found a place for me.  I ended up writing for the school newspaper and then became its Editor, I always thought I’d end up a journalist, don’t know what happened there.   After I left school I wrote short stories for magazines and that paid my expenses while at college.  In fact my published short story The Psychic was one of the short stories sent to the magazine.   They heavily edited it so it was nice to rewrite it years later and let you all have the full story.  (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Margarita-Felices/e/B007BHDIVS/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0)

That’s quite an interesting background, and what a wonderful place Cardiff must be! Do you have a favorite place and/or time of day to write?

I have a laptop and write at home next to my bed so I can just fall in when I feel I’ve done too much!   It’s not always ideal because I find myself waking up in the night sometimes and doing an hour on it again.  I love to write at night, I think my imagination kicks in more at night.  I start around 11pm and before I realize it, it can be 3am!   I don’t start work until 11am so I can afford to lie in and my body clock seems to have adjusted for late nights.

Please tell us about your new release, CALL OF THE RIGHTEOUS.

Well this new release is part two of the trilogy.  It goes back in time and starts when Rachel has already told her parents that she’s going to fix everything and find Max and the book.  But she’s a new vampire and is alone and frightened until Arun shows up to show her what to do.  They have a lot of adventures while they search for Max and the book.  Rachel makes her first mortal friend, Arun falls in love, Max gets involved with the French Revolution, Rachel meets a dashing Count and saves him from the guillotine and of course it’s the start of the vampire hunters, The Righteous. 

JOS BOOK ADS WITH BOTH PICS AND JAREDSo much going on! How did you choose your title?

I love a band called HiM and they released a song called The Sacrament.    “I hear you breathe so far from me.  I feel your touch so close to me.  And I know my church is not of silver or gold.  Its glory lied beyond Judgement of Souls.”   I just loved the song and those words stuck in my head.  When I first began to write the trilogy, the original title was Gothic Dreams, but I felt it wasn’t deep enough, so I changed it to Judgement of Souls because the missing vampire artifact in my novel, the Book of Cain, is after all about the souls that it possesses within it.  It seemed very apt.

It sounds like you must have done a good bit of research for this novel. What was the most interesting thing you discovered?

I had a lot of research to do with this novel.  Firstly I had to set up dates stretching 300 years.  Then I had to see if anything interesting happened in those years, the French Revolution for example.  It was extremely hard tying up mortals and immortals… I had to make sure that my mortals actually lived a certain amount of years while my vampires just carried on as usual through the years.   I also had to research the Fort in Malta where our characters deal with the Righteous, I decided to go to Malta and take a look around for myself.  I also went to Rome to research the Vatican Museum, Library and Vatican as well as finding out who was the pope at the time my characters visit Rome…   and a visit to Ancient Rome was also handy.

What great places to visit for research! When you’re not writing (or reading) what do you do to unwind?

I do love to take pictures. I live in Wales which is home to a great Jurassic coastline. We have castles, ancient ruins of all kinds, mountains, waterfalls and wildflowers and beaches, lots and lots of beaches (you can even find fossils on some of them).   I have three little dogs so I love to spend time with them too. Cinema, clubs, Facebook, live bands – I’m very partial to drumming and drummers…  <blushes>

LOL. My brother is a drummer and actually met his wife when his band was playing a gig. And Wales sounds phenomenal. I would so love to visit! Now for some favorites: 

Favorite color:  BLACK

Favorite type of music:  GOTHIC ROCK/ROCK

Favorite musical group or singer:  30 Seconds To Mars / Within Temptation /  Evanescence

Favorite animal:  DOG

Favorite social media platform:   FACEBOOK

Owl or lark:  OWL

Thanks for the interview, Margarita. I hope you enjoyed your visit today and I wish you much success with your series. I love the history element woven through it!

If you’d like to know more about Margarita Felices, connect with her at the following haunts:
Blog
Twitter:
 @felicm60
Facebook
Goodreads

Book cover for Judgement of Souls by Margarita Felices showing a young female vampire holding a swordBLURB
CALL OF THE RIGHTEOUS
Rachel has a promise to keep. When Max arrived at the Elysium and started to court the young Rachel, who knew why he was really there? Who knew what he was planning?

Who knew he’d frame her parents and leave behind such misery? Who knew he’d break her heart?

Rachel should have known.

It may take time to track him down, but she will and she’ll make him sorry. In the second part of this vampire trilogy, Rachel searches for Max and the missing vampire artifact to save her parents.

Meet her new best friend who happens to be mortal, meet her handsome Count destined for the guillotine and meet the Righteous, the fierce vampire hunters.

Purchase CALL OF THE RIGHTEOUS from
Amazon UK
Amazon 

Mae Clair’s Pen Pal: Author Pamela Moran with Blind Sight

Hand writing a letter with a goose feather

My Pen Pal guest today is Pamela Moran who writes an intriguing paranormal series about PSI Sentinels.

I originally “met” Pamela when I won the first book in her series in an online contest and quickly became a fan. Not only are the stories unique and engaging but her covers are fabulous. Look them up, as you’re in for a treat!

In the meantime, please say hello to Pam who has just released BLIND SIGHT, Book two of the PSI SENTINELS: GUARDIANS OF THE PSYCHIC REALM.

I know release time is always crazed, Pam. Thanks for swinging by for a visit. I’d love to hear all the deets about BLIND SIGHT. Can you tell us what the story is about?

Death haunts Gabe Nicholetti’s sleep with visions of dead people. People he doesn’t know, people whose murders he can’t prevent. But there’s always a connection to someone Gabe knows, a connection from Gabe to that someone who cares about the person in Gabe’s vision. He has to find it, and won’t rest until he does.

Justice is all he can offer those he sees in his visions, and one thing Gabe is good at is finding murderers.

Among the other PSI agents, Gabe Nicholetti is known as the Harbinger of Death. Even his boss, isn’t immune to that initial gut tightening reaction when he sees Gabe in his office, sitting and waiting.

Who’s going to die?

Rily Carrigan, small town cop from Eagle’s Crest, Oregon, has no patience with what she calls the woo-woo and she’s not about to bow to fate and let it run right over her, no matter what Gabe Nicholetti believes. She has the murder of a one-time friend to solve and isn’t about to let a PSI agent get in her way.

In spite of trying to keep his distance, something about Rily Carrigan gets to Gabe, makes the vision personal. He’s never been able to save a victim before, but this fight has now become one he needs to win.

Book cover for Blind Sight by Pamela Moran depicting a young attractive man and woman with trees in the backgroundHow did you choose your title?

Gabe Nicholetti has the Sight, but is Blind to who the person is, to how they die and to who kills them. But he always finds out because he won’t rest until he does. In a very real way, the dead people in his visions are his and remain so, even after he’s solved their murder.

Fascinating!  Which character did you enjoy writing the most and why?

Rily Carrigan.

She’s a cop from a family of cops, and that family means everything to her. She’s up front, honest and authentic. She’s not afraid to let you know how she feels and she’s not afraid to show her emotions.

At least on the surface.

It’s not until you get to know her that you realize she isn’t sharing the real depths of herself, that she keeps her true fears contained and shoved into a box marked private, open at own risk.

She’s truly a complex and deep character with a fiery spirit.

How did you choose your setting?

Eagle Crest, Oregon doesn’t exist except in my mind, but is loosely based on the area around Astoria, Oregon. I been through and around there several times and the place managed to wedge itself deep inside my soul. What better place to set a story than one I love and want to visit again and again? Travel with a purpose and a definite reason to go back!

I agree with you! Share one sentence – - yes, only one! – - of dialogue or description you love.

The beautiful blonde stretched out at the edge of some forest floor, her lifeless green eyes staring at him, through him.

If you couldn’t be a writer, what else would you choose to do?

Travel Photographer. The landscape photos in some of the FaceBook teasers I’ve posted are from my photos. The trees in the background of the cover for BLIND SIGHT are from a photo I took near Young’s River outside of Astoria one December a few years back (while researching for STOLEN SPIRIT and BLIND SIGHT).

How wonderful you were able to use that shot. Travel photographer always appealed to me as well (though I’m hardly a good photographer, LOL). The heroine in my June release, ECLIPSE LAKE is a travel/nature photographer for a renowned magazine. I guess I always imagined it an equally adventuresome and glamorous occupation.

And now for a few questions allowing my readers to learn more about you.

What is your dream vacation gifted to you by a fairy godmother?

An RV and several months to explore wherever the whim takes me! I’ve always had a serious case of wanderlust when it comes to travel. Doesn’t matter if it’s close by or far away, I’m always the first to say yes, let’s go – that’s if I’m not the one who came up with the trip in the first place. Have camera, will travel has been my motto for a long time.

Yes, you would definitely make a good travel photographer! :) What is your favorite season?

That transition time between seasons is my favorite. The air is charged with a sense of impending transformation, all my senses are stirred and it’s like a sweet promise of change; when new leaves are just beginning to bud yet Winter hasn’t quite lost its grip; when the days are getting longer and warmer but the nights still have that hint of Spring chilliness; those last days of Summer just as leaves begin to change; those same leaves, fallen from now bare trees, laying scattered across the ground while Autumn attempts to keep the cold at bay.

And the snow. There’s something magical about that first snowfall.

Oh my! I never met anyone else who related to the transitional change between seasons like that. I LOVE THOSE TIMES! I’ve done a number of blog posts in the past relating to what I call “transitional moments” that embrace more than just season change. Switching gears again, who is your favorite musical group or singer?

Although most of BLIND SIGHT is set in Oregon, the story opens with Gabe on his sailboat in the British Virgin Islands. Kenny Chesney, especially his island music, helped set the tone of the story for me. SOUL OF A SAILOR, SPIRIT OF A STORM, FRENCH KISSING LIFE, SOMEWHERE IN THE SUN, SOMETHING SEXY ABOUT THE RAIN … all of these are part of a play list I put together while writing BLIND SIGHT.  I’d put the music on shuffle and let it play low in the background.

Owl or lark?

My husband waved me outside one evening a few years ago, just as dusk was falling. His finger to his lips, he had me look upwards. There, in our massive oak tree, on a curved branch, sat four baby owls, each no more than a few inches tall. They were all watching him with avid curiosity. Three were groomed and settled, looking like well-behaved triplets. One was ruffled and a bit scruffy (he was our favorite). Mama owl, who was only a few inches taller herself, made a few agitated flybys, but must have decided we were no threat and flew off to do whatever mama owls do while her babies perch on tree branches. We haven’t seen the owls posing like that since, although we do still hear them occasionally.

I would have loved to have witnessed that sight. Owls fascinate me. One of my earliest novels (now languishing in a drawer somewhere) involved a magical owl. Mountains or beach?

Home, at nearly 6,000 feet, is the mountain region of Southern California, and there aren’t many places I’d rather live. Oak trees, five different kinds of pine, manzanita, cool air in the summer when it’s over 100 in the valley, a small creek nearby. A different version of paradise that I love.

I’m a beach person, but I’ve been as far north as Lake Tahoe and loved it. I would really like to see Oregon someday. Thanks for sharing those lovely images…and for being by guest today! :) 

If you’d like to connect with Pamela Moran you can find her at the following haunts:
Website
Twitter
Facebook
Goodreads

Author Pamela Moran in a pensive pose with and to chinAuthor Bio
Whether painting, out on a photo shoot or writing, Pam has always had a bend toward the creative side of life. Her favorite is when she can combine any of those with travel. Places get into her blood and she loves to explore the possibilities, always with characters and a story in mind.

An astrologer for most of her adult life, Pam has been known to see auras and the occasional ghost. Considering she lives in a haunted house in the mountains of Southern California, this keeps life interesting.

BLURB for BLIND SIGHT:

Death plagues Gabe Nicholetti’s dreams, but he can’t save the people in his visions. The most he can do is bring their killers to justice. But this time, this victim makes it all personal.

Rily Carrigan is a dead woman, or she will be in a matter of days as her past rushes forward to shatter her carefully constructed world. But Rily doesn’t believe fate is absolute. How is she going to convince the man who’s seen too many die that it’s possible to save her life?

Just outside a small, Oregon town, something malevolent lurks, waiting to seize what was once promised then stolen. Together, Gabe and Rily need to find a way to deny fate and keep Rily alive.

Purchase BLIND SIGHT from:
Amazon

AmazonUK 
B&N 
Kobo

Mythical Monday: Australia’s Min Min Light by Mae Clair

This one doesn’t really qualify as mythical because its existence has been documented, but there’s plenty of debate about what it is and what causes it.

A dark night sky with several glowing discs of lightA light phenomena of the Queensland region of Australia, the Min Min is a large flickering disc of luminescent light that appears at night, hovering about three feet above the ground. Named after a small settlement in the Outback, the Min Min made its first appearance in 1918 when discovered by a stockman (cattle worker). Its origin, however, can be traced farther back in time to Aboriginal myths that predate western settlement of the area.

The lights do not appear to be harmful and will vanish if fired upon, only to reappear later. They have been known to follow people on foot, horseback and in cars, sometimes keeping pace for miles. A few night time travelers have reported them assuming the shape of a horse or a man. Most, however, claim the Min Min to be a glowing amorphous light. According to legend, anyone who chases the lights and successfully catches one will never return to tell the tale.

Sign welcoming visitors to Min Min Light Territory in Boulia, Queensland, Australia

Photo by GondwanaGirl 6 January 2009 (Public domain) via Wikimedia Commons

Theories put forth include an optical illusion, swarming insects that have taken on bio-luminescent characteristics, and a geophysical phenomenon produced from an natural electrical charge. Whatever the cause of these unusual lights, thousands have reported seeing them. The town of Boulia in Queensland, welcomes visitors to the Land of the Min Min Light with a large sign proclaiming the mystery.

As someone who has been fascinated by atmospheric ghost lights and spook lights since I was a kid, I find the idea of the Min Min enchanting. Wouldn’t you love to see one of these eerie weaving lights?

Debbie Peterson Visits the Ghosts of Berry Pomeroy Castle

I’ve got a special Pen Pal on my blog today–Debbie Peterson, whose novels I love. I’ve read them all, and each time I think she can’t out do herself, she does. I’m currently deeply engrossed in her latest release, SPIRIT OF THE KNIGHT, and think it’s my favorite to date. A Scottish Castle, romance, ghosts, mystery . . . what’s not to love?

Today, Debbie has dropped by to share a few eerie legends about Berry Pomeroy Castle, rumored to be one of the most haunted sites in the British Isles. What better way to usher in her ghostly romance, SPIRIT OF THE KNIGHT, than to set the tone with this thoroughly spooky guest post:

~ooOOoo~

Hello Mae! I’m so excited to be here and share some blog space with you today while I celebrate the early Kindle release of “Spirit of the Knight . . .”

Mariah Jennings, the heroine of “Spirit of the Knight,” believes in ghosts. After all, she has seen her fair share of them since taking on the task of painting castles for “The Gallery of Castles Project.” For instance, shortly after arriving at her first assignment in South Devon, England, she discovered firsthand the wild tales concerning Berry Pomeroy Castle were, in fact, quite true.

The mysterious castle ruins, nestled deep in a wooded valley, charmed Mariah at first glance. She easily imagined William the Conqueror gifting the lands to Ralph de Pomeroy in appreciation of his support during the Norman invasion and all the way through the battle of Hastings in the year 1066. Yet, the lovely fortification wouldn’t grace the area until 1305.

Berry Pomeroy Castle

Berry Pomeroy Castle
Courtesy of Wikimedia, Image in Public Domain

Her research also revealed that two centuries later, Sir Edward Seymour, brother-in-law of King Henry VIII and Lord Protector of England, acquired Berry Pomeroy in the 1540’s. During his tenure as Lord Protector, Sir Edward made a host of enemies. Therefore, it didn’t surprise a soul that in October of 1549, the Earl of Warwick managed to oust and imprison him in the Tower of London. His subsequent conviction on twenty-nine different charges resulted in a death sentence. Edward’s enemies saw him executed on the 22nd day of January, in the year 1552. His death notwithstanding, the Seymour family inhabited the castle until 1668 and retains guardianship to this very day.

Now, the day Mariah arrived at Pomeroy, the locals regaled her with stories of ghostly apparitions and strange phenomena. They spoke of lights without source, disembodied voices, cold spots, and sudden, freak winds. She could testify to all of that and within the first few days of her stay. Those particular events didn’t pose a problem for Mariah. However, becoming a witness to the legendary, full-bodied apparitions took far more courage.

While inspecting the shadowy dungeon, she came face to face with the “White Lady.” This particular ghost haunts the castle prison, and rises up from the tower known as St. Margaret’s, to the castle ramparts. She is the spirit of Margaret Pomeroy, imprisoned by her sister Eleanor, after Lord Pomeroy left for the crusades. Unfortunately, their father left Eleanor in charge. According to legend, jealousy of Margaret’s beauty and her love for the man she too desired, Eleanor slowly starved Margaret to death, following a two-decade incarceration.

Berry Pomeroy Castle

Berry Pomeroy Castle
Courtesy of Wikimedia, Image in Public Domain

Shortly after the shock of seeing the ghost wore off, an apparition dressed in a long blue cape and hood appeared in the doorway as Mariah worked on her first painting of the castle.  Known as the “Blue Lady,” this ominous spirit enjoys luring men into the most dangerous, unstable portions of the castle in hopes of facilitating their death. Why would she do such a dastardly thing? Well, tradition maintains this spirit is the daughter of a Norman Lord who once occupied the castle. His vile abuse resulted in the birth of a child. To cover his heinous deed, the man strangled the infant. Another version of the story states that our “Blue Lady” hated the child so much, she strangled it herself. As a result, her troubled spirit will never find rest. Those who’ve seen her say she wrings her hands in anguish and torment. At various times, the cries of the murdered infant can be heard throughout the castle. (I’m not certain I’d want to stick around after that…)

During her stay, Mariah oftentimes heard unexplained screams accompanied by heavy thuds in a vicinity of the castle known as Pomeroy’s Leap. This, the locals said, was easily explained. Besieged at the castle, with defeat imminent, two brothers dressed themselves in full armor. They mounted their horses, rode off the top of the castle ramparts, and fell into the precipice below. An act–considered heroic by some–they apparently replicate to this very day.

Despite the beauty of the castle, Mariah seemed quite relieved the day she packed her belongings and headed to the next castle on her list. I can’t say that I blame her though, do you?

Thanks Mae, I truly enjoy each of my visits with you!

Book cover for Spirit of the KnightBLURB SPIRIT OF THE KNIGHT:
She fell deeply in love with him in the early days of her childhood. And in return, she captured his heart the moment he first cast his gaze upon her…

Renowned artist, Mariah Jennings hired to paint a thirteenth-century Scottish castle, gets the shock of her life when she encounters the handsome knight who has dominated a lifetime of portraits and sketchbooks.

But Sir Cailen Braithnoch is no ordinary ghost, nor did he suffer an ordinary death. Magic of the blackest kind cast a pall over the knights centuries ago. As the ghost and his lady seek to unravel the paradox surrounding his death, black arts, otherworldly forces, and a jealous rival conspire against them.

Will those forces tear them apart, or is their love destined to last throughout the ages?

ABOUT THE AUTHORDebbie Peterson, Author Debbie has always had a soft spot for fairy tales, the joy of falling in love, and happily ever after endings. Stories of love and make believe filled her head for as long as she can remember. However, it was her beloved husband who encouraged, cajoled and inspired her to take up a pen and write some of them down. Her journey to published author could fill quite a few pages, but in June of 2010, she submitted her debut novel, “Spirit of the Rebellion” to her wonderful, patient, editor at The Wild Rose Press. A few short months after Rebellion’s release, her second novel, “Shadow of the Witte Wieven” was published through InkSpell Publishing. Her third novel, “Spirit of the Revolution” was released in 2013, through The Wild Rose Press.

When she is not busy conjuring her latest novel, Debbie spends time with the members of her very large family. She also pursues her interests in family history, mythology, and all things ancient and historic.

You can find Debbie at the following haunts:
Website
Blog
Twitter
Facebook
Goodreads

SPIRIT OF THE KNIGHT is currently available in early release for purchase on Amazon

 

Veronica Scott and Dancer of the Nile

Love letterI’m showcasing another Pen Pal on my blog today. Please welcome Veronica Scott, who is here to share her novel, DANCER OF THE NILE, an intriguing story set in ancient Egypt.

Let’s get started!

~ooOOoo~

When it comes to plotter vs. panster, I think even plotters veer from their outline to a degree during the writing process. When you finish a novel, how closely would you say the end product resembles your original concept — 100%? 50%? Something else entirely?

I’m a seat-of-the-pants person, no doubt. When I start writing a novel, I know the hero, the heroine, the setting, how the story begins, how it ends and maybe 2-4 of the really big scenes that will occur along the way. I don’t deviate much, although I may add a few fairly major scenes I didn’t know the characters were going to go through before I got there. I think my books are probably 90% what I envisioned before I started, just with more details filled in.  For Dancer, I ended up adding a bit more interaction with Renenutet the Snake goddess. In Magic, I added a river voyage that was really necessary to show some aspects of the heroine’s personal challenges.

You seem to have a good grasp on your style. What attracts you most to your chosen genre?

I write in two very different time frames. First is a paranormal series set in ancient Egypt, which is what I’m primarily here to talk about today. Dancer of the Nile is my most recently published novel in this connected series and Magic of the Nile is coming out in March. (I also write science fiction romance set in the far future.)  I love the possibilities inherent in the paranormal – that you can be living your everyday normal life and yet all these very cool, mystical, impossible things could be happening. Shifters, vampires, magic…in my  Egyptian novels, the gods become personally involved in events, although I usually write about a human heroine and the man she falls in love with as the main characters. Magical things happen…

I love that magical element. No matter the time frame or setting, the inclusion of paranormal aspects always intrigue me. How did you choose your title?

One of my favorite old “B” movies made in the 1950’s is entitled “Princess of the Nile”, so my titles are a tiny sekrit nod to that movie but also when I began this connected series, I wanted Readers to know they were going to be in ancient Egypt. I like the convention for naming subsequent books “of the Nile” to show there’s a connection.

DancerOfTheNile_1600x2400I like that too. :)  I imagine there had to be a good deal of research involved in this novel. What was the most interesting item you discovered?

I’m constantly doing research into aspects of ancient Egypt. I’m totally fascinated with their 3000 years of civilization and the rich culture and mythology. You should see my tower of scholarly tomes! But for Dancer of the Nile, I think my biggest challenge in some ways was writing the dance scene. You can’t give your book a title like that and not have a dance, right? I’m not any kind of trained dancer myself and you can only get so much insight from the preserved tomb paintings of dancers. So I developed a performance piece for Nima, my heroine that combines what we do know about actual ancient Egyptian dance, a touch of belly dancing (thank you, youtube), a hint of Hollywood and Bollywood ideas what ancient dance consisted of and a dash of ballet. The latter is in terms of describing some arm and leg positions – I didn’t have Nima in toe shoes 3000 years before ballet was invented, I promise! In the book, she’s also spent a few days with a company of dancers from the Land of Minos, so she could well have picked up a few steps or moves that weren’t Egyptian.

Your research definitely sounds like it enriches the book. I love when an author takes the time to “get it right.” How about sharing the first three sentences of your novel?

The chariot jounced over deep, hard ruts, and Nima had to grip the railing tight with her bound hands to avoid falling. As the ride smoothed out again, she tossed her head to keep stray tendrils of hair out of her eyes and squinted, glancing behind at her fellow Egyptian prisoner. About an hour ago, a small unit had joined the bigger column that held Nima, dragging this man with them.

Awesome opening! It drops the reader right into the heart of the moment and definitely makes you want to learn more. Why is she a captive? Who is the other prisoner? So many intriguing tidbits!

And now for a few quick personal favorites. Please share your:

Favorite season: Autumn!
Favorite time of day: Dawn (definitely a morning person)
Favorite color: Purple
Favorite animal: Red Tailed Pandas – so cute! But I live with two cats…
Food you never grow tired of: Blueberries

I had to Google Red Tailed Pandas. They’re so adorable! I love am besotted with cats (nice Egyptian connection there). Blueberries are a favorite of mine too. I like to sprinkle them on plain Greek yogurt along with granola, my breakfast of choice during the week.

It was great having you here today, Veronica. Thanks for dropping by to share your book and answer my questions! Best of luck with the series. I love the time period!

Thanks for having me as your guest today, Mae! You certainly gave me some fun questions to answer…

Connect with Veronica at the following haunts:
Blog  @vscotttheauthor   Facebook   Goodreads

Veronica ScottAUTHOR BIO:
Best Selling Science Fiction & Paranormal Romance author Veronica Scott grew up in a house with a library full of books as its heart, and when she ran out of things to read, she started writing her own stories. Married young to her high school sweetheart then widowed, Veronica has two grown daughters, one grandson and cats Keanu and Jake. Veronica’s personal motto is, “Never boring.”

MISC FACTS ABOUT VERONICA
Received a 2013 SFR Galaxy Award for her novel WRECK OF THE NEBULA DREAM and a 2014 SFR Galaxy Award for ESCAPE FROM ZULAIRE.

Proud recipient of the NASA Exceptional Service Medal but must hasten to add the honor was not for her romantic fiction!

DANCER OF THE NILE:
Egypt, 1500 BCE

Nima’s beauty and skill as a dancer leads an infatuated enemy to kidnap her after destroying an Egyptian border town. However, she’s not the only hostage in the enemy camp: Kamin, an Egyptian soldier on a secret mission for Pharaoh, has been taken as well. Working together to escape, the two of them embark on a desperate quest across the desert to carry word of the enemy’s invasion plans to Pharaoh’s people.

As they flee for their lives, these two strangers thrown together by misfortune have to trust in each other to survive.  Nima suspects Kamin is more than the simple soldier he seems, but she finds it hard to resist the effect he has on her heart.  Kamin has a duty to his Pharaoh to see his mission completed, but this clever and courageous dancer is claiming more of his loyalty and love by the moment. Kamin starts to worry, if it comes to a choice between saving Egypt or saving Nima’s life…what will he do?

Aided by the Egyptian god Horus and the Snake Goddess Renenutet, beset by the enemy’s black magic, can Nima and Kamin evade the enemy and reach the safety of the Nile in time to foil the planned attack?

Can there ever be a happy future together for the humble dancer and the brave Egyptian soldier who is so much more than he seems?

AVAILABLE on Amazon   Barnes & Noble   All Romance eBooks  Smashwords iTunes

Mythical Monday: The Ghost Ship of Loch Awe by Mae Clair

bigstock-Lighthouse-In-Dense-Fog-23759474In the northern waters from Scotland to Iceland, a ghost ship is often glimpsed, riding the sea a day’s journey from the rugged coastline. Known as the Ghost Ship of Loch Awe, she resembles a passenger liner of the early 1900s.  It’s uncertain why she is attributed to Loch Awe, Scotland’s third largest freshwater loch which has never received a vessel larger than a coastal cargo ship.

The phantom boat appears only when the water is calm but swaddled in layers of fog. She materializes from the mist, smoke curling from her chimney stacks, her decks ablaze with lights.  It’s been reported she passes so close to other vessels those onboard can see passengers strolling on her decks.

Most spine-tingling of all, she passes in utter silence, swallowed quickly by the fog. Not a sound is heard in the unnatural hush. From the waves breaking against her hull to the ratchet of noise that should rise from her engines, there is nothing but eerie stillness and calm.

Despite the relative serenity of her passing, calamity follows in her wake. According to legend, within twenty-four hours of the vessel’s appearance, catastrophe will strike. She is the harbinger of a collision at sea, the tragic death of a crew member, or some other dire misfortune.

Oddly, the Ghost Ship of Loch Awe has never been identified as the phantom of an actual vessel. There is no account of any ship to fit her description, no maritime record of a lost vessel that resembles her. She is a whisper of myth, an omen that is perhaps born from the water itself, serving as warning to those who spy her that tragedy awaits.

Mythical Monday: The Wild Hunt by Mae Clair

I’m digging deep into my memory for today’s Mythical Monday post. I’ve read multiple books in which the Wild Hunt factors into the plot, but can’t come up with a single title off the top of my head. Frustrating.

I’m sure I devoured most of them in the days when fantasy novels were my go-to genre. I remember several scenes vividly. Although I don’t read nearly as many fantasy tales as I once did, I still love a good supernatural/sorcerous novel, along with all of the eerie and ethereal beings that haunt the pages.

bigstock-Horse-Eye-In-Dark-39925873I’ve read stories with dragons and necromancers, dark faerie races and repulsive monsters. Ogres, doppelgangers and slithering beasts. Perhaps none is more frightening than the Wild Hunt – a band of ghostly phantoms on spectral steeds. They can be seen racing across a night-blackened sky or hovering just above the ground, a macabre host surrounded by undead hounds. The chilling sound of the Hunt’s horn echoes through lonely meadows and moon-splattered woods, striking fear into the hearts of all who hear it.

Myths of the Wild Hunt can be traced to Scandinavian and Germanic myth; later to Northern European countries. An omen of ill fortune, the Hunt foretells of looming catastrophe, often of plague or war, most certainly death.

Fortunately it is limited to specific times, beginning on October 31st and ending on April 30th, (Beltane Eve), of the following year. The height of the Hunt’s activity comes during the midwinter festival of Yule (December 21st). On that cold wintery night, travelers would do well to stay indoors, gathered close to the hearth where it is safe and warm.

bigstock-Log-Cabin-In-Winter-28568249In Norway peasants superstitiously left a measure of grain outside between Yule and Twelfth Night to feed the Huntsman’s horse in hopes he would pass them by. If caught in the path of the hunt, travelers knew to fall face down in the middle of the road. If fortunate, they would feel nothing but the icy paws of the hounds passing over their back. Legend says the Huntsman will graciously spare those in the middle of the path, but woe to he who attempts to track the hunt. That ill-fated soul will find himself a captive in the land of the dead.

In many tales, the Norse god Odin is the leader of the Hunt, riding astride his eight-legged steed, Sleipnir. The Saxon version defines Herne the Hunter as leader, and in many legends, King Arthur is one of the huntsmen.

When I think of the Hunt I always envision its wintry existence. Perhaps it is nothing more than the chilling specter of something supernatural blending with the innate cold of winter. The two twine effortlessly, conjuring striking images of silver moonlight, snow and phantom horses in my mind.

Winter will soon be officially upon us with the arrival of Yule on December 21st – the shortest day of the year. I love this month, a truly magical time, culminated by the arrival of Christmas Day. Even as I celebrate that joyous occasion I can’t help but be intrigued by the folklore of the past.

By the same token, I prefer to imitate those lodgers who huddled around their hearths on cold wintry nights, safe and secure in the warmth of their homes. As fascinating as the Wild Hunt is I prefer my December nights full of Christmas cheer, good Yule tidings and merriment.

What about you?

Mythical Monday: The Church Grim by Mae Clair

I’ve long been familiar with Grims and the Black Hounds rumored to haunt the countryside and moors of England. One of my earliest Mythical Monday posts was about Black Dogs. Recently, however, while researching an unrelated subject, I stumbled over a reference to Church Grims and was immediately enthralled.

A large black hound, the Church Grim has a specific charge. It is the folk memory of a sacrifice.

I don’t know about you, but I had chills the first time I read that sentence. Sacrifice? Folk memory?

Let me explain.

It was once believed the first burial in a cemetery was tasked with the duty of protecting the dead. Under obligation, the guardian was responsible for keeping departed souls safe from the Devil and his night-spawned demons. For this purpose, a dog was often sacrificed or buried alive within the foundation of a new church, thus allowing human souls (who followed) to move on to the afterlife.  The folk memory of that sacrifice became a spirit bound to the church and its cemetery.

bigstock-Spooky-Old-Cemetery-On-A-Foggy-40839520The dog (or grim) was often seen on stormy nights, prowling among the headstones. If someone within the parish was about to die, the grim would cause the church bells to ring, signaling death was near. During funerals the creature rang the bells to signal a soul’s departure.

Despite the ruthless manner of its death, the Church Grim was a loyal guardian, protecting all within its domain.

What intrigues me about this legend more than anything is the idea that a “folk memory” can give birth to a spirit. Think of the story potential! Whether benevolent or malignant, I fell in love with the concept. It’s definitely going on my “to write” list.

What do you think?

Cover Reveal: Van Locken’s Witch by Debbie Peterson

Today, I’m delighted to share the absolutely gorgeous cover of my friend Debbie Peterson’s paranormal romance, VAN LOCKEN’S WITCH.  It’s just stunning!

Cover-Title---Van-Lockens-Witch

As always, Debbie weaves the supernatural with romance and history, a combination I love. I’m so looking forward to reading this and have already snatched up my copy from Amazon!

BLURB
Kapitein Rand Van Locken has no idea what awaits him as he boards the Spanish galleon on behalf of the Dutch West India Company, or that the beautiful woman imprisoned within will change his life in ways he never imagined or even desired. Until now…

Lissa Capoen, didn’t plan for the Spaniards to capture her while attempting  to rescue her sister. She didn’t foresee the handsome sea captain coming swiftly to her aid and offering his assistance. Nor did she expect him to steal her heart and claim it as his own.

Yet, as destiny brings them ever closer together, Armando Manera is determined to recapture the witch and present her to the Spanish King. No matter what it takes…

VAN LOCKEN’S WITCH is available from Amazon
Add VAN LOCKEN’S WITCH to your Goodreads list

photoDPAUTHOR BIO
Debbie has always had a soft spot for fairy tales, the joy of falling in love, and happily ever after endings. Stories of love and make believe filled her head for as long as she can remember. However, it was her beloved husband who encouraged, cajoled and inspired her to take up a pen and write some of them down. Her journey to published author could fill quite a few pages, but in June of 2010, she submitted her debut novel, “Spirit of the Rebellion” to her wonderful, patient, editor at The Wild Rose Press. A few short months after Rebellion’s release, her second novel, “Shadow of the Witte Wieven” was published through InkSpell Publishing. Her third novel, “Spirit of the Revolution” was released in 2013, through The Wild Rose Press.

When she is not busy conjuring her latest novel, Debbie spends time with the members of her very large family. She also pursues her interests in family history, mythology, and all things ancient and historic.

You can find Debbie at the following haunts:
Website 
Blog
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Goodreads

Mythical Monday: The Redcap by Mae Clair

bigstock-Spooky-Castle-8290225Malevolent spirits are always a hot button topic during the days leading up to Halloween.

The ghastly creature I’d like to introduce you to today will never be mistaken for anything less than monstrous. Though not exceptionally tall, the redcap is a murderous goblin that secrets himself in the crumbling ruins of old castles along the border between England and Scotland. This heinous creature derives its name from the red cap on his head, the color achieved by soaking the hat in human blood.

It is the goblin’s lot in life to constantly seek new victims for should their cap dry out, their life will end. Because they must constantly kill to remain alive, they often move from castle to watchtower or any pile of crumbling stone that may provide temporary residence and shelter them from witchfinders and exorcists.

From a distance, a redcap may be mistaken for a stocky old man with a gray beard, but there is nothing arthritic about their movements. These vile creatures are capable of remarkable speed even though they shod their feet with iron boots. Possessed of burning red eyes, lethally pointed teeth and eagle claws in place of hands, they are the spawn of nightmares. Some tales say they carry a pikestaff or scythe to aid in killing. Small in stature, they have incredible strength and can easily overpower a grown man.

After making a kill, the goblin will drink his victim’s blood then dip his cap in what remains, renewing its crimson hue. It is impossible to outrun or even out power a redcap, but like most creatures of faerie, they are not without weakness. Brandishing a crucifix will send them fleeing, and reciting any passage from the Bible aloud will make them disappear instantly.

One of the things that fascinate me most about folklore is how even those creatures that seem indestructible at first glance always have some type of fatal fragility. Thank goodness for Bible verses and crucifixes! I would not want to meet a redcap even on Halloween.

What about you? *queue spooky music*