Book Release: Keeper of His Soul by Lauralynn Elliott #Paranormal #Vampires

I’m excited to have a brand new guest on my blog today. Lauralynn Elliott is a friend and sister author who enjoys exploring the paranormal in her novels. I’ve read several of them (she also does horror!) and found then engaging. Today, she’s here with a new release and has agreed to answer a few questions. I hope you’ll make her feel welcome.

Stack of old letters with ink quill and feather penLauralynn, please share a bit about yourself and how long you’ve been writing.
I’m kind of boring, really. I’m a mother of two grown sons who have families of their own. I’m very active in the church and love my church family. I’ve always loved to write, and I remember writing my first story at about 8-9 years old, all on note cards.

On notecards? You were definitely determined to start writing, LOL.
Let’s talk 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 never plot except a little in my head. I’ve tried, but it seems to completely stall the creative process. The story unfolds as I’m writing. I usually know the ending, but sometimes that even changes.

We’re very similar there, although I do make notes prior to starting and as the story unfolds. It’s amazing how easily characters and circumstance can change the course of a plot thread.
I’d love to hear about your latest book.
It’s called Keeper of His Soul, which is a paranormal romance. It has vampires and witches!

Perfect for Halloween. How did you choose your title?
I chose the title because it was a sequel to Soul of a Vampire, and in this book, the main female character is literally the keeper of a soul.

I enjoyed Soul of a Vampire and already have Keeper of His Soul on my Kindle and TBR. Which character did you enjoy writing the most and why?
I enjoyed writing Jude. He’s the vampire without a soul in the book, and he’s very dark, at least at first. He was a lot of fun to write.

Not to mention he has a great name. 🙂 Okay, challenge time: share one sentence—yes, only one—of dialogue or description you love.
I don’t know why I love this so much, but this is where Jude is fighting with a warlock. He says, “If you think your heart is darker than mine, you are badly mistaken.”

A great line, and chilling too! Now for a few quickies on your personal tastes:

Favorite color: Purple
Favorite musical group or singer: The Beatles
Favorite TV show: Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Favorite author: Stephen King
Favorite novel: IT
Food you never grow tired of: Pizza

Excellent choices, especially with The Beatles and It. 🙂 Thanks for being my guest today, Lauralynn. It was a delighted to host you at long last.

 If you’d like to connect with Lauralynn you can find her at the following haunts:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Amazon

And don’t forget to check out Keeper of His Soul:

book cover for Keeper of His Soul by Lauralynn Elliott

BLURB:
When Jan’s boss asks her and her best friend and co-worker, Tessa, to go to Arizona to pick up an ancient, dangerous book to bring back to the museum for safe-keeping, she never dreamed how that book would change her life. She also never dreamed she would finally find the owner of the soul in the bottle that she had been fascinated with for so long. She longs to return the soul to the vampire it belongs to, but things are never that easy.

Jude has been a vampire for quite some time, and he likes his life just the way it is. No guilt, no remorse. But when a pretty witch comes to him with his soul, it changes the game. He doesn’t want to have anything to do with his soul, but the witch has other ideas.

Will Jude ever get his soul back, or will he reject it? Will the Book of Forbidden Knowledge help or hinder Jan in her quest to help Jude? And will Jan be able to control the book, or will it control her?

Purchase From:
Amazon | B&N | Kobo | Smashwords

About the Author:
Lauralynn Elliott is an independently published author of paranormal and fantasy romance books, as well as some horror. She started the indie journey several years ago and has never regretted it, loving the freedom to publish what she wants when she wants. You will find everything from vampires and ghosts to elves and wizards in her novels and novellas. She enjoys putting a little bit of a different twist on some of the old ideas about our favorite fictional characters.

Lauralynn lives in the southeastern United States with her husband of many years. She has two grown sons whom she adores. Reading, playing computer games, and spending time with friends are some of her favorite activities.

Mythical Monday: The Huntsman and the Werewolf by Mae Clair

wolfreduced1.jpgLast week on Mythical Monday I shared a vampire legend, so it seemed only fitting I share the tale of a werewolf today. I’ve been in love with werewolf folktales ever since I was a little girl and first set eyes on Quentin Collins of Dark Shadows. Since then my preoccupation with this tortured night prowler steadily grew until I eventually wrote my own story, Weathering Rock.

Today, I’d like to share an older tale with you, one that originates in the Auvergne province of France. According to legend, there was once a great lord and lady whose lands bordered an area dense with forest. All was well until a creature began slaughtering the lord’s flocks. This went on for several days each month but the creature, one of great stealth and savagery, could not be caught. Many men tried and failed.

Finally, the lord summoned his master huntsman and bade him kill the wretched beast. Surely if anyone could end its reign of terror, it would be the huntsman.

bigstock-Siluette-of-man-in-the-forest--26582798Vowing to succeed, the man set out grimly determined. As dusk fell and a pall of shadows smothered the land, he came upon the creature in a wood near the manor pastures. The huntsman drove it into the underbrush, but the beast turned on him, knocking him to the ground.

Drawing his knife, he managed to slice off of one its forepaws. With a blood-curdling howl, the wolf bolted into the woods. The huntsman tracked it through the night, but was unsuccessful in finding it. When dawn was still hours away, he returned to the manor and placed the severed paw in a wooden box as a trophy for his lord.

The next day the huntsman sought an audience with his master and relayed his tale with pride. He presented the box with the beast’s forepaw as proof of his encounter with the heinous creature. But when the box was opened, a woman’s hand lay inside. The lord’s expression turned thunderous, for the hand bore a signet ring twin to his own.

Stalking to his wife’s bedchamber he threw open the door and found her being attended by physicians. When he demanded to know why, she explained she’d suffered a terrible accident, and that her left hand had been severed at the wrist.

“Here is your hand, woman,” he thundered, displaying the grisly trophy. Then he commanded his physicians to bind her, condemning her as a werewolf. She pleaded with him for mercy, but he turned deaf fears and ordered her burned at the stake.

Not a very loving husband, was he? And you probably thought he was going to go ballistic on the huntsman when he first saw the hand (I did).

But these were dark times full of superstition and cruelty. Land and livestock held far more value than a wife. I’m sure the huntsman was richly rewarded, though the tale doesn’t go that far.

One of the things that attract me to the werewolf legend is the duality of strength and fragility, its immense power bound by the whim of moonlight. The anguish of conflict, human and creature. Vampires remember their mortal life, but once turned there is no going back. The werewolf has to constantly straddle both sides of a curse — mostly human but doomed to a bestial existence every full moon.

What about you? Are you a werewolf fan? Any favorite aspects of the werewolf curse you’d like to ponder? Or maybe there’s a particular wolf story or movie that resonated with you. Halloween is creeping right around the corner. Do share! 😀

Halloween Happenings by Mae Clair

Did you feel that goose bump? Spooky happenings are afoot as I go traveling today!

design background for Halloween partyFirst up, I’m sharing a piece of flash fiction called A la Carte Kiss about a sexy vampire (yes, the werewolf girl wrote something about a vamp!) as part of Karen Michelle Nutt’s Halloween Flash Fiction Bash.

And because I wanted to offer a Halloween treat I’ll be awarding a $5.00 gift card to Amazon to one commenter. My blog followers have been so wonderfully supportive, so do hop over and enter your name for a shot at it. Aren’t treats fun?

Lest werewolves get short shrift, I’m also on Lyrical Press’s blog participating in Celebrate Paranormal Month with a post about my hunky Civil War colonel, Caleb DeCardian from WEATHERING ROCK.

So grab some apple cider or pumpkin juice and come traveling with me. What do you think of my “owlish” messenger? 😀 Isn’t he perfect as a Halloween usher?

Mythical Monday: The Cossack and the Vampire by Mae Clair

In the spirit of Halloween, I thought I’d share some spooky shenanigans for Mythical Monday this month.

bigstock-Village-Hotel-Engraving-by-Fl-31216964I want to start with an old tale from Russia about a Cossack who encountered a mysterious stranger one evening while traveling to rejoin his regiment. He’d walked for days, sometimes stopping to shelter from the cold when a farmer offered the hospitality of his barn. More often than not, the villagers he encountered scattered through the harsh countryside were wary of him, making the sign of the cross when he approached.

One evening as twilight was gathering, he spied a man camped along the side of the road. Though dressed raggedly, the stranger had kindled an inviting fire and was calmly mending a pair of boots. He did not react fearfully or superstitiously as the villagers had. The traveling soldier thought it odd the man had chosen to erect his camp beside an old graveyard, but was not deterred by the thought of the dead. Greeting the man with a brotherly hello, he gratefully warmed his hands by the fire.

The stranger’s reply was curt. “I call no man kin.”

Finished with his mending, he donned his boots and kicked dirt over the fire. Without a word, he set off down the road. Undaunted by his behavior, the Cossack followed.

“I will walk with you. Where do you go?”

The stranger’s response was brief, a few grunted words informing the Cossack he sought amusement. It wasn’t long before the lights of a village glimmered in the darkness and the sound of laughter and singing wafted to them on the air. On the edge of the village a small cottage stood with its door ajar, a wedding reception taking place within.

The two men were cheerfully welcomed inside and the Cossack joined in the celebration. The raggedy stranger elected to cling to the corners and sulk in the shadows. Enjoying himself, the Cossack gave little thought to the man’s unsocial behavior. Shortly after midnight, he was pleased to see the stranger approach the bride. These villagers were friendly. Finally the man was going to pay his respect!

The Cossack watched as the stranger knelt before the glowing bride. When she lowered her hands to his accept his well wishes, he buried his face in her palms. Within seconds, she grew pale and swooned, but the stranger’s face was flushed when he stood.

As the wedding company gathered around the distraught bride, the Cossack followed the stranger outside. “I know what you are.”

bigstock-Halloween-night-scene-in-a-spo-37249273The man sneered, his teeth stained with blood. “I’ve had my amusement. Leave me alone before I decide I need more.” He fled down the road to the graveyard where the Cossack had first encountered him. Enraged by what he had done, the valiant soldier chased in pursuit.

“You cannot kill me,” the vampire proclaimed. “The thing that lives inside me can survive even the scourge of fire.” Lunging at the Cossack, he grappled him around the waist.

Strong from many years of soldiering, the Cossack fought back as no man had before. All through the long night he struggled with his adversary. The two fought hand-to-hand, punching and kicking, twisting and rolling on the ground. When dawn arrived with the heralding cry of a cock, the vampire released the Cossack and slithered into a grave.

Injured, but determined, the soldier returned to the village where he gathered up the men. Armed with scythes and shovels, they filled a cart with kindling cut from stout rowans and birch trees. At the graveyard, they set it ablaze, using their pitchforks to heave the vampire’s body onto the pyre. When the ghoul’s charred skeleton crumbled to ash, a raucous shriek splintered the pungent air.

Maggots, rats and lizards surged from the flames; a funnel of dark-winged scavenger birds burst into the air. Swiftly, the villagers set upon the vermin, beating the foul creatures with their weapons. The twitching bodies were heaved back into the fire where they were quickly consumed. Even then more spewed forth in a seemingly endless hoard.

The killing went on for many long hours until finally the hellish creatures stopped coming. Exhausted, the villagers let the fire die and scattered the vampire’s ashes into the wind. Had even one of the nightmarish beasts survived, the vampire’s spirit would have roamed free in search of another host.

Satisfied the vampire’s evil had been thwarted, the Cossack bid the villagers good-bye and continued on his way. In one village at least, he would be remembered fondly.

~ooOOoo~

Although familiar with tales of vampires, this story was new to me. I’d never heard of a vampire’s spirit being released in the form of a rat, lizard or other creature – – or being able to escape the torrent of fire and roam free until finding another host. I’m not sure exactly how old this tale is, but I would guess 15th or 16th century. Were you familiar with this part of vampire lore?

I did stop to wonder why the vampire didn’t just bite the Cossack while they were fighting but maybe he couldn’t because he’d shared a fire with him. What do you think?

Vampires vs. Werewolves H0p: Which do You Prefer?

VVWWelcome to the Vampire vs. Werewolf Hop where   participating authors and bloggers will be discussing those sexy creatures of the night and giving away prizes. You can find a complete list of participating authors here.

As someone who enjoys a good paranormal romance, I readily admit a fondness for both night prowlers. Do I have a preference? Hmm …there are plenty of sensual, smoldering vamps out there but, if I had to choose, I’m definitely partial to the guys with a lunar attachment.

It started many decades ago with my older sisters watching a show called Dark Shadows. I was the annoying grade school kid but, even at six, was enraptured. Sure, the star of the show was vampire Barnabas Collins, but I was infatuated with Quentin Collins, tortured smoldering werewolf. A connection was born.

Today, many stories favor shifters and wolf packs which I do enjoy. But, to me, there is nothing more tragically romantic than the original werewolf legend in which lycanthropy was a curse. I love the idea of a single individual struggling against the power of something he or she can’t control. That was the concept I used when writing WEATHERING ROCK, my time travel/paranormal romance about a Civil War colonel transported to modern times.

Let me share the blurb:

Weathering Rock300dpi finalDrawn together across centuries, will their love be strong enough to defeat an ancient curse?

Colonel Caleb DeCardian was fighting America’s Civil War on the side of the Union when a freak shower of ball lightning transported him to the present, along with rival and former friend, Seth Reilly. Adapting to the 21st century is hard enough for the colonel, but he also has to find Seth, who cursed him to life as a werewolf. The last thing on Caleb’s mind is romance. Then fetching Arianna Hart nearly runs him down with her car. He can’t deny his attraction to the outspoken schoolteacher, but knows he should forget her.

Arianna finds Caleb bewildering, yet intriguing: courtly manners, smoldering sensuality and eyes that glow silver at night? When she sees Civil War photographs featuring a Union officer who looks exactly like Caleb, she begins to understand the man she is falling in love with harbors multiple secrets–some of which threaten the possibility of their happiness.

Finding a decent guy who’ll commit is hard enough. How can she expect Caleb to forsake his own century to be with her?

Intrigued? I hope so! 😀 I fell in love with Caleb while writing this story and would love to share his tale with you.

Finally, in closing, I hope you enjoy these snippets of folklore related to werewolves:

Most people know that being bitten by a werewolf will transform you into one at the rise of the first full moon. It’s also common legend that someone can willingly become a werewolf through the use of sorcery or by making a pact with the devil. But here are a few less commonly known ways of getting your (were)wolf on:

Being the seventh son of a seventh son Through cannibalism (can I get an ewwww on that one, please?) If you’re Catholic, failing to go to confession for a 10-year period By drinking from the track or footprint of another werewolf By drinking water haunted by the dead By eating a wolf’s brain (second ewwww!)

Now for my giveawawy: Comment below WITH YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS, and tell me what most attracts you to werewolves. I’ll select a winner through random.org at the end of the hop and award an ebook copy of WEATHERING ROCK, Kindle or Nook (winner’s choice). I also invite you to like my Facebook Author Page and/or follow my blog by email by using the subscription option in the top right corner of the side bar. Either ‘twould make me wolfishly happy! 🙂

Don’t panic if your comment doesn’t appear immediately. Moderation is on, but I promise your remarks won’t be lost and will materialize as soon as I check in. 🙂

Happy hopping! 🙂

Buy WEATHERING ROCK at:
Amazon
Barnes and Noble
Kobo
Lyrical Press
iBooks

And, if you’re a vampire girl, my friend and fellow author, Deborah Palumbo just contacted me. She was too late to participate in the hop, but she would like to offer a free Kindle copy of her book, THE UNDEPARTED. If you’ve already commented, on a previous post I did during the Vampires vs. Werewolves blog hop, you’re included for Deborah’s giveaway. She’ll contact her winner directly at the end of the hop.  Check out this wonderful cover and blurb for THE UNDEPARTED, book 1 of THE UNDEPARTED SERIES!

Blurb:

Cassandra is trying to figure out if she was actually bitten by a vampire and whisked away to his castle or if it was a very vivid dream, one which has left her to contemplate her own sanity.

Unknowingly, she is the only mortal to resist the vampire’s bite and capture the heart of the most powerful vampire that ever existed; the one who began the entire race of the undead, Quentin Castle.

For ions Quentin has felt nothing but the lust for blood. But Cassandra has awakened something in him that he had forsaken a millennium ago; he is determined to win this beautiful woman by mortal means rather than by the vampire’s bite. But will he be able to suppress his natural instinct? Will he be able to prove to the skeptical Cassandra that he is a vampire and not an imposter, a wannabe? What hideous thing will he do to prove that he is a vampire, prove that he isn’t using some kind of parlor trick, some Houdini magic, and that he is the real thing?

As evidence mounts on Quentin’s behalf and she can no longer deny her encounter was real and not a dream, will Cassandra be able to resist his evil charm and convince her boyfriend, police officer Mike Lapp and best friend Lucy that vampires really do exist and she’s being stalked by one?

To expedite their liaison, Quentin devises a scheme to blackmail Cassandra by setting up her boyfriend for a murder he didn’t commit. Cassandra must surrender herself to Quentin for her boyfriend’s sake and wait for Mike to scale the walls of the vampire’s castle and rescue her. But when her boyfriend arrives, she’s in for the shock of her life. People are not always what they seem to be.

Vampires vs. Werewolves H0p: Which do You Prefer?

VVWWelcome to the Vampire vs. Werewolf Hop where   participating authors and bloggers will be discussing those sexy creatures of the night and giving away prizes. You can find a complete list of participating authors here.

As someone who enjoys a good paranormal romance, I readily admit a fondness for both night prowlers. Do I have a preference? Hmm …there are plenty of sensual, smoldering vamps out there but, if I had to choose, I’m definitely partial to the guys with a lunar attachment.

It started many decades ago with my older sisters watching a show called Dark Shadows. I was the annoying grade school kid but, even at six, was enraptured. Sure, the star of the show was vampire Barnabas Collins, but I was infatuated with Quentin Collins, tortured smoldering werewolf. A connection was born.

Today, many stories favor shifters and wolf packs which I do enjoy. But, to me, there is nothing more tragically romantic than the original werewolf legend in which lycanthropy was a curse. I love the idea of a single individual struggling against the power of something he or she can’t control. That was the concept I used when writing WEATHERING ROCK, my time travel/paranormal romance about a Civil War colonel transported to modern times.

Let me share the blurb:

Drawn together across centuries, will their love be strong enough to defeat an ancient curse?

Colonel Caleb DeCardian was fighting America’s Civil War on the side of the Union when a freak shower of ball lightning transported him to the present, along with rival and former friend, Seth Reilly. Adapting to the 21st century is hard enough for the colonel, but he also has to find Seth, who cursed him to life as a werewolf. The last thing on Caleb’s mind is romance. Then fetching Arianna Hart nearly runs him down with her car. He can’t deny his attraction to the outspoken schoolteacher, but knows he should forget her.

Arianna finds Caleb bewildering, yet intriguing: courtly manners, smoldering sensuality and eyes that glow silver at night? When she sees Civil War photographs featuring a Union officer who looks exactly like Caleb, she begins to understand the man she is falling in love with harbors multiple secrets–some of which threaten the possibility of their happiness.

Finding a decent guy who’ll commit is hard enough. How can she expect Caleb to forsake his own century to be with her?

Intrigued? I hope so! 😀 I fell in love with Caleb while writing this story and would love to share his tale with you.

Finally, in closing, I hope you enjoy these snippets of folklore related to werewolves:

Most people know that being bitten by a werewolf will transform you into one at the rise of the first full moon. It’s also common legend that someone can willingly become a werewolf through the use of sorcery or by making a pact with the devil. But here are a few less commonly known ways of getting your (were)wolf on:

Being the seventh son of a seventh son Through cannibalism (can I get an ewwww on that one, please?) If you’re Catholic, failing to go to confession for a 10-year period By drinking from the track or footprint of another werewolf By drinking water haunted by the dead By eating a wolf’s brain (second ewwww!)

Now for my giveawawy: Comment below WITH YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS, and tell me what most attracts you to werewolves. I’ll select a winner through random.org at the end of the hop and award an ebook copy of WEATHERING ROCK, Kindle or Nook (winner’s choice). I also invite you to like my Facebook Author Page and/or follow my blog by email by using the subscription option in the top right corner of the side bar. Either ‘twould make me wolfishly happy! 🙂

Don’t panic if your comment doesn’t appear immediately. Moderation is on, but I promise your remarks won’t be lost and will materialize as soon as I check in. 🙂

Happy hopping! 🙂

Buy WEATHERING ROCK at:
Amazon
Barnes and Noble
Kobo
Lyrical Press
iBooks

Mae Clair: What’s Your Preference, Vampires or Werewolves? H0p!

VVWToday is Mythical Monday on my blog, and also the first day of the Vampire vs. Werewolf Hop. What a great mesh! During the hop, participating authors and bloggers will be discussing those sexy creatures of the night and giving away prizes. You can find a complete list of participating authors here.

As someone who enjoys a good paranormal romance, I readily admit a fondness for both night prowlers. Do I have a preference? Hmm …there are plenty of sensual, smoldering vamps out there but, if I had to choose, I’m definitely partial to the guys with a lunar attachment.

It started many decades ago with my older sisters watching a show called Dark Shadows. I was the annoying grade school kid but, even at six, was enraptured. Sure, the star of the show was vampire Barnabas Collins, but I was infatuated with Quentin Collins, tortured smoldering werewolf. A connection was born.

Today, many stories favor shifters and wolf packs which I do enjoy. But, to me, there is nothing more tragically romantic than the original werewolf legend in which lycanthropy was a curse. I love the idea of a single individual struggling against the power of something he or she can’t control. That was the concept I used when writing WEATHERING ROCK, my time travel/paranormal romance about a Civil War colonel transported to modern times. Let me share the blurb:

Weathering-Rock-mockup2Drawn together across centuries, will their love be strong enough to defeat an ancient curse?

Colonel Caleb DeCardian was fighting America’s Civil War on the side of the Union when a freak shower of ball lightning transported him to the present, along with rival and former friend, Seth Reilly. Adapting to the 21st century is hard enough for the colonel, but he also has to find Seth, who cursed him to life as a werewolf. The last thing on Caleb’s mind is romance. Then fetching Arianna Hart nearly runs him down with her car. He can’t deny his attraction to the outspoken schoolteacher, but knows he should forget her.

Arianna finds Caleb bewildering, yet intriguing: courtly manners, smoldering sensuality and eyes that glow silver at night? When she sees Civil War photographs featuring a Union officer who looks exactly like Caleb, she begins to understand the man she is falling in love with harbors multiple secrets–some of which threaten the possibility of their happiness.

Finding a decent guy who’ll commit is hard enough. How can she expect Caleb to forsake his own century to be with her?

Intrigued? I hope so! 😀 I fell in love with Caleb while writing this story and would love to share his tale with you.

Finally, in closing, because it’s Mythical Monday on my blog, I hope you enjoy these snippets of folklore related to werewolves:

Most people know that being bitten by a werewolf will transform you into one at the rise of the first full moon. It’s also common legend that someone can willingly become a werewolf through the use of sorcery or by making a pact with the devil. But here are a few less commonly known ways of getting your (were)wolf on:

Being the seventh son of a seventh son
Through cannibalism (can I get an ewwww on that one, please?)
If you’re Catholic, failing to go to confession for a 10-year period
By drinking from the track or footprint of another werewolf
By drinking water haunted by the dead
By eating a wolf’s brain (second ewwww!)

USE THE RAFFLECOPTER LINK BELOW, comment WITH YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS, and tell me what most attracts you to werewolves. I’ll select a winner through random.org at the end of the hop and award an ebook copy of WEATHERING ROCK, Kindle or Nook (winner’s choice).  I also invite you to like my Facebook Author Page and/or follow my blog by email by using the subscription option in the top right corner of the side bar. Either ‘twould make me very happy! 🙂

Don’t panic if your comment doesn’t appear immediately. Moderation is on, but I promise your remarks won’t be lost and will materialize as soon as I check in. 🙂

Happy hopping! 🙂

Buy WEATHERING ROCK at:
Amazon
Barnes and Noble
Kobo
Lyrical Press
iBooks

A Rafflecopter giveaway