Monday, October 31, 2011

Edgar Allen Poe & Me: A Halloween Special Event


A Special Halloween Treat from
Book Boost Owner & Author, Kerri Nelson:



So, for those of you who haven't heard my latest good news...let me take a moment to share it with you now. What better time than Halloween Day?

I've penned two morbidly delightful poems which will appear in a soon to be released Edgar Allen Poe anthology entitled "The Spirit of Poe"! Yes, I'm honored and thrilled to be a part of this project for many reasons. You see, Poe and I have a history together.

It goes a little something like this...

It was in second grade that I penned my very first poem entitled "Black Cat: Dark As Night" and little did I know that Poe had a "Black Cat" story of his very own. It wasn't until around the fifth grade that I have a keen memory of the first time I heard the story of The Tell Tale Heart. It frightened me senseless but yet I had to know more...I was hooked.

Fast forward to junior high and we studied The Raven and then again in tenth grade Honor's English we all had to memorize The Bells! Oh, those delirious bells ("what a world of merriment their melody foretells")! The worst part of that assignment was not the memorization and recitation in front of the entire class (which I did with glee) but the listening to the other twenty-eight students following suit with their same "less enthusiastic" performances.

Now, all these years later...I'm a multi-published author of romance and suspense and I've never forgotten my love of poetry and Poe. So when this opportunity came up to submit to a collection which would provide much needed support to preserve The Poe House & Museum in Baltimore--I jumped for wicked joy and then I started typing.

Out of all the submissions, I was honored to have been chosen to include both of my macabre, morbid and darkly humorous poems to the anthology soon to be released by Literary Landmark Press.

Stay tuned to the Book Boost for details on the release date (which was previously scheduled for today but had a slight delay due to an unforeseen emergency). You can be sure I'll be promoting the collection all over the web. But if you want to reserve your copy and help the museum, you can place a pre-order at the publisher's site. Click here.

But...alas...while we eagerly or Edgarly await the release of this exciting anthology including my two never before published poems "Darkishly Yours" and "The Trials of Abby Normal"...please do share your memories of Poe from your own school days. I'm sure that most of you have some recollection to add to mine.

Anyone who leaves a comment will be entered to win one of these three prizes!

1. A signed (by me), print copy of the The Spirit of Poe Anthology (as soon as available); or




2. A copy of the book, The Complete Poetry of Edgar Allen Poe; or




3. A collectible Edgar Allen Poe shot glass keepsake!









Read more about my news here and be sure to pre-order your copy today:

http://literarylandmarkpress.blogspot.com/2011/10/our-authors-kerri-nelson.html

http://literarylandmarkpress.blogspot.com/2011/10/our-contributors.html


Once upon a midnight dreary...forever more yours,
Kerri Nelson

Friday, October 28, 2011

Inspired By Demons with Guest Blogger: Craig Taylor


Welcome to Day #17 of
the Dark Days of Demons Blog Event
here at the Book Boost!

Win an autographed copy of The Day of Legion and meet author Craig Taylor today at the Boost! Today is the fourth installment of FIVE review days for the month. They'll occur each Friday and then the final review on Halloween Day. These are books I've selected that will undergo my 5 point review system.

Today we have The Day of Legion by horror fiction author Craig Taylor. My review will follow his post and here's what he had to share...


Isn’t it funny how something can stay in your mind for so long that you can’t remember when you first became aware of it? What you do know is for some reason it has touched you in some way. Sometimes it is in the forefront, sometimes the back, but it’s there lingering in your memory and making its presence felt.

For me, that ‘something’ is a phrase in the Bible that I have remembered since childhood. I don’t remember the circumstances in which the phrase became a part of my memory, but it has certainly remained with me. I am talking about the phrase that inspired The Day Of Legion.

“And he asked him, what is thy name? And he answered, saying, My name is Legion: for we are many.” –Mark 5:9.

The image of one man horribly and painfully possessed by multiple demons, and the fact they spoke as one sent and still sends a shiver down my spine. It is an incredibly powerful image and I don’t know of any images that create the same physical response in me. I can even hear the hoarse, raspy voice croaking from his throat.

I think this is one of the reasons I find horror and paranormal films so appealing and have decided to write horror novels. The right words and combination of words can literally make people feel as though a demon is in the room with them as they read.

I also firmly believe in the concept of darkness and light and the continuous battle being waged over the direction of mankind; the complete corruption of mankind versus the enlightenment. I decided to combine my inspirational phrase and this concept and The Day Of Legion was born.

I included an immortal seductress because I find the concept of an evil person living throughout time indulging their wicked desires quite intriguing. I find it especially fascinating when that evil person takes advantage of the desires and weaknesses of others to get what they covet and leaves destruction in their wake.

I particularly chose to have the immortal character a woman because in so many books of any genre, the evil, violent character is a man, but that almost implies woman aren’t strong enough to be evil and immortal. So, the character was created and she became my favourite to write about because as strong as she was, as evil and violent as she was, she was also vulnerable. I believe this made her more believable.

If you believe in the concept of darkness versus light and the battle that rages around us as we go about our daily business, you are not alone. I guess, eventually, we will all see if we were correct because unlike my immortal character, we won’t live forever.


FRIGHTFULLY FABULOUS REVIEW:

The Book Boost's Five Point Review


1. What is it about?

Here's a blurb:

The darkness will do anything to slay all those who stand in their way of corrupting mankind. Light bearers, those born to protect mankind, must face an immortal seductress as she attempts to bring forth the Legion of Demons.

Thrust into the battle between light and dark, Doctor Patricia Leland and Light-bearer David Ravenbrook must do all they can to protect five year old Jason Hansen from evil, but at the same time, figure out the plans of the darkness before mankind is lost forever....if they can.



2. What did I think of it (using only 5 words)?

Powerfully seductive chiller that thrills!


3. Would I recommend it?

With absolutely NO reservations, I heartily recommend this book. It was gripping and spellbinding and although it might seem a scary notion to those who know me...I found myself really getting inside the mind of the seductive villainess. After all, who could resist the age old battle between good and evil...lightness and darkness...and man's continued internal battle between doing what is ultimately right versus giving in to their own desires? Certainly not this reader.

4. Who should buy it?

Fans of paranormal, the supernatural, horror, action--fate of humankind type adventure will enjoy this book. Plus, don't forget about those who love the wickedly sexy. That was my personal fave theme filling the plot that runs throughout.

5. Would I read more from this author?

Well, I do believe this is Craig's first published novel (as per his author bio). So I'll wait patiently (sigh) for more goodies from this talented novelist. No pressure, Craig. ;-)



Want More Craig?


Visit his site here:
http://creativewritingontheside.blogspot.com/

Pick up your copy of his book today! Click here.



Contest Time:

Leave a question or comment to be entered to win an autographed copy of The Day of Legion.


**Winners for Book Boost prizes are drawn the first week of the following month and posted in the Recent Winners box in the right hand side of the blog. Check back to see if you are a winner and to claim your prize! Please leave your contact information in your blog post!**

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Confronting Your Demons with Author Kerri Nelson


Welcome to Day #16 of
the Dark Days of Demons Blog Event
here at the Book Boost!

Win a DVD set of Season 1 of Reaper and meet Book Boost's owner and paranormal author, Kerri Nelson today!

Your Own Personal Demons

You've heard the term "confronting your demons"? Or the idiom..."face your demons"? And, of course, in simplest terms it means to confront or face something you've been trying hard to avoid.

As a writer, I have a lot of personal demons. Things like fear of my work not being good enough, fear that I'll never reach my publishing goals, fear that I'll hit a writing wall and won't be able to finish another book.

As a mother, I have a whole new slew of demons knocking at my door. Fear of not being a good mother, fear of setting a bad example, or fear of not being able to provide for my family.

I'm sure that everyone reading this post has their own list of demons. And there are days when I'll do anything to avoid facing them. Perhaps I'll just take up a new venture like...sewing or hmm...maybe I should ask my mother about what to do with my nap-resistant kids? Giving up seems easier but what should we really do about these demons?

Are they all meant to be confronted, conquered, and ceased? Or, is it okay to keep some demons in the closet?

I guess it really depends on the particular demon and the particular goal you have in mind. For me, I like to confront them. It takes willpower and effort but I always feel better for making the attempt. Do I always win? No. But do I always come back for more? Yes!

Here's an example...

When I was first writing Courting Demons, I entered it into a contest. One of those standard RWA Chapter contests were you'll have both published and unpublished judges reading your work. My entry came back in 4th place. Not high enough to 'final' and make it to the next round where it would be reviewed by top industry editors/agents. Close but not close enough.

I was told by the contest coordinator that my entry had been only 2 points away from being a finalist. This really burned me. So close. So very close. Of course, it could have simply been a case of subjective review. It didn't necessarily mean that the 3rd place entry was all that better than mine. After all, that entry could have had 3 completely different first round judges than the finalists did and they could have rated something an 8 on a scale where my judges may have given it a 6 on the same scale.

That's a problem with some of these contests. Each entry is not judged by the same people across the board. One may be a very tough judge. Not giving out 8 or 9 except in rare cases. While, I've witnessed some judges who won't give anything less than an 8 to any entry--no matter how bad.

So, these results kind of gnawed at me at the time. What if it really wasn't good enough? What if I'd wasted all that time writing something that would never make it. I thought about tossing the manuscript and moving on. For a short while, it became my personal demon. I lost a little confidence in it and in myself. I just wasn't sure about sending it out again.

But then I decided to face my self-confidence demon. I pushed forward. I had faith in my story and I knew that others would too. I had to believe that. I had to try again.

Turns out, I wasn't wrong. Soon, I had entered it into another contest that allowed feedback from readers versus just other authors and I gained a great following of supporters. This book then went on quite a journey. It survived the year long contest, made it to the top three finalists as judged by NY publishing editors and even received both an offer of agent representation and a NY contract.

Of course, all that would turn out to just be the beginning of my battle with seeing this book through to publication but I never gave up. Some of my supporters who encouraged me to stay in the fight have seen me through almost 3 years of getting this book onto the virtual shelves.

But I often wonder, what if I'd let that contest demon keep me from continuing on with this book? What if the demon had won?

I'm glad it didn't and that I can share Courting Demons and all its chaotic craziness with you today.

Share one of your personal demons with us and tell us how do you deal with them?

And, by the way, if you ever need help slaying those demons...I've got your back!


Blurb:

Paisley Barton was already having a bad day before she turned her husband into a rat.

First, she was fired by her boss and then came home to find hubby in the shower with a naked blonde chick. They say that hell hath no fury like a woman scorned but this break-up may just unleash hell on Earth when Paisley casts a spell of vengeance against her philandering husband.

After her spell casting inadvertently opens a portal between dimensions, Paisley finds her family home transformed into a nightly courtroom for settling disputes between demons of the underworld and she’s the judge! If that’s not enough, she’s got to deal with a charming, ancient demon named Camden who wants to be her personal bodyguard while trying to explain her husband’s sudden, mysterious disappearance to sexy police Detective Dalton Briggs.

But Paisley will show them all that an everyday working mom is better equipped than most to deal with the mystical mayhem…and with a tempting demon hottie and a flirtatious young detective vying for her affection, she soon learns that being single again isn’t so bad after all.


Excerpt:

Before she could catch a full breath, the weight of the wolf was quickly hoisted off her and she watched as he flew backwards and crashed into a nearby wall. Paul’s bag of old golf clubs fell over and they splayed outward onto the wooden floor of the attic.

Dante the wolf lay in a startled heap on the floor and Camden stood over him. Paisley looked at Camden and when he turned his face towards her, she saw he had a new tint to his complexion. He almost looked as if he were glowing like one of those light sticks the kids carried around on Halloween. His eyes were startlingly fierce and the pupils were dilated to gigantic, black holes. His teeth were elongated and the sharp points protruded out of his mouth and over his lower lip as he panted.

She found herself simultaneously frightened and aroused by the sight of him in battle mode. Perhaps it was the warrior-like way in which he stood over the dazed and confused wolf that had attacked her. He had protected her…come to her defense as if playing the hero in a story.


Or perhaps it was that seductive force field that seemed to follow him wherever he went. Then again, it could be the fact that from where she lay on the floor, she could see clearly the outline of his huge erection pressing against the inseam of his pants leg. For a moment, maybe longer than a moment, she simply couldn’t tear her eyes away from it.


She figured in the world of demon life that a fight with another demon might possibly be seen as a huge turn on. The violence, the rush of power, and the blood.


Paisley finally tore her eyes away from the pulsating male hardness and gazed up to see Camden watching her with a lustful look she wouldn’t have been able to resist if they were in a slightly different situation. Like say…the way he was lying on top of her just hours ago in her own bed.


Then the sight of his devilish grin drew her back to reality as he flicked his tongue out of his mouth and touched it ever so slightly to the tip of one of his fangs.


He may have been only a lowly vampire in the past but he sure looked like an amazingly powerful one now. She wasn’t sure what the rest of his demon powers entailed but she was already finding it difficult to resist the strength and virility that this demon was demonstrating for her right now.


Sure, he might be evil and extremely annoying but she wasn’t living in the real world anymore. She’d somehow managed to integrate herself into the world of darkness and she might as well figure out how to enjoy it in some way.


As her mind exploded with all the thoughts and emotions caused by the werewolf attack of just moments earlier, she nearly screamed when she saw the panther Felinsky leap through the air straight towards Camden’s head as if to pounce on him like the oversized cat that he was. She thought to voice a warning but Camden’s reflexes were amazingly fast.


He ducked down just as the cat soared through the air. As he hovered just above Camden’s head, Camden jumped up and shoved the cat towards the open portal. Then, he glanced back at Paisley one more time over his shoulder.


Before he leapt into the portal after the cat, he gave her a flirtatious wink.




Want More Kerri?

Visit her website here: www.kerrinelson.com

Follow her blog here: www.kerribookwriter.blogspot.com

Follow her on Twitter here: www.twitter.com/kerribookwriter

Pick up a copy of Courting Demons today! Click here.



Contest Time:

Leave a question or comment for Kerri today and be entered to win a full season 1 DVD collection of the television series Reaper!

Also, don't forget to check out Kerri's Dark Days of Demons Blog Tour still ongoing with prizes everyday and a GRAND PRIZE Kindle giveaway at the end. Details on how to enter that here!

Question of the day for the Kindle contest:
What award did I win in high school for my journalism efforts?




**Winners for Book Boost prizes are drawn the first week of the following month and posted in the Recent Winners box in the right hand side of the blog. Check back to see if you are a winner and to claim your prize! Please leave your contact information in your blog post!**

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Demons on the Teen Scene with Guest Blogger: Terry Spear


Welcome to Day #15 of
the Dark Days of Demons Blog Event
here at the Book Boost!

Win a copy of The Trouble with Demons and meet paranormal author Terry Spear today!

The Demon Guardian Series


I write both teen paranormal and sexy adult paranormal romances, but the first demon I wrote about was a water demon who was a patron demon guardian to a teen witch in The Vampire...In My Dreams.

I was still fascinated with the subject of water demons, thinking about the lure of mermaids only they can’t walk on earth as we do so wrote the sexy adult novella, The Siren's Lure, about a huntress who hunts demons when she falls for a hunk of a vampire. The problem is—does he want her for who she is or is it all about her siren’s allure?

I still couldn’t put aside the interest in demons as I began writing the young adult book The Trouble with Demons about a girl who doesn’t fit in with the normal human population. That’s because she’s a witch. But not JUST a witch, she’s half demon. And not just any demon, but she has the mission of being a gate guardian to keep the demons out of Earth world and the summoners from summoning them in the first place.

Big task for a teen who has been ignoring her witch’s training and hasn’t a clue about her demon abilities. Plus the demons are stirring up the poltergeists and she’s having to help her mother with exorcising them And then there’s the problem with a certain Dark One who sees her see him murdering his summoners. Life just sucks when you’re a teen. Especially one in her shoes. And she doesn’t even know what demon type she is!

Then there’s Hunter. Now he’s one of the Dark Ones, a Matusa demon, or at least half, his father unknown. And Jared is a full Elantus demon, electronic genius who has created a device to use for tracking the demons down so that Hunter can return them to their own world.

They all end up together, trying to stop a group of Matusa from entering the Earth world with plans to divide up the States to rule. A full Samuria demon is summoned and insists he’s supposed to be Alana’s mate as a Samuria always hooks up with a Kibuteron gate guardian.
Hunter insists that Alana has the hots for him, but that’s another story.

I’m currently working on the sequel: Demon Trouble Too.

What is the fascination with demons? They’re the underdogs. Like werewolves and witches and vampires, oh my. They’re seen as the bad guys—sure some are sexy and lovable and we’ll make allowances. But still, they were the horror stories of the past.

There is no black or white, only shades of gray. Some demons are lovable, some are not. Just as it is with humans. Some are as evil as can be. Wouldn’t we say they are like the devil himself?
In the young adult book Ghostly Liaisons, some of the bully boys I refer to as demon-spawned.
But the demons in their world could just as well say that one of their kind was human-spawned, if they considered some of the evil in our own world.

Fair is fair.

Not all demons are created equally either. Some are more powerful than the others. And there’s definitely a pecking order. The Matusa are on top, so Hunter expects everyone to bow to his wishes. It’s not happening.

At least Alana doesn’t buy it. And maybe that’s what intrigues him most about her.

Each of the teens brings their own quirky personalities, baggage, and abilities into the game, which causes all kinds of havoc, and truly is The Trouble with Demons.


Blurb:

Alana is a half Kubiteron demon, half witch who witnesses a Matusa demon's murder of his summoners. He sees her in her astral form watching him and she's next on his list of victims.

Hunter is half human, half Matusa demon, fighting to keep the evil ones out of the human world. When he's poisoned, he sees the vision of a girl watching him, only she's not really all demon and not really all there. She offers to save his life, if he offers to protect her from one of his kind. But no lesser demon dictates terms to a Matusa.

Jared is a full Elantus demon, raised by humans, who's searching for his real parents. When Hunter saves his life, he vows his loyalty to him and designs a tracker device to locate demons entering the human world.

When Alana beats on Hunter's chest to get his heart beating again after he dies, twice, he knows the half demon is hot for him.

Often at odds, the three teens work together to stop the plans of a group of Matusa to take over the human race before it’s too late.


Excerpt:


A strong antiseptic filled Hunter’s lungs with every ragged breath he took. Recognizing the smell, he assumed he was in the hospital as many times as he’d come here with his dad, hopeful he’d want to be a doctor, too. He wished sleep would take away the shooting pains in his arm and the ache from his head.


His mother’s voice penetrated the fog. “John, I’m taking Dara home to bed. Dad is examining a patient that just died, but once he’s through, he’ll see you.”


Opening his eyes, Hunter stared at his mother’s worried expression. She touched his cheek and flinched. “The nurse said the antibiotic should soon kick in. Animal control’s been contacted. They need to know what the wild cat looked like, but it’ll have to wait until tomorrow.”


Wild cat?


“Get your sleep, honey. I’ll be back first thing in the morning.”


His mother left and he closed his eyes. Wild cat? He couldn’t understand what she was talking about. Then the room swirled like a whirlpool, around and around until everything turned gray. The last vestige of light disappeared and a black hole sucked him in.


Hunter found the motel without any trouble and saw a flickering light on in Room 203. The demon was watching television? Probably enjoying all of the world’s troubles, natural and manmade. But as soon as Hunter summoned the portal, the Matusa opened the door and smiled at him. A merciless smile. He tilted his head to the side when he saw the gateway. The demon couldn’t figure out what was going on.


Did he think Hunter had been summoned? A demon couldn’t open a portal. At least not a full demon. Thankfully, other demons could see only his demon half and not his human existence. It gave him the advantage when they thought he was one of them.


But the demon probably couldn’t understand where the summoner was that brought Hunter here. No dead bodies, nothing.


Then the girl appeared like a breath of fresh air, quiet, innocent, one of the weaker demons, but not by much. As far as he could recall, the Kubiteron were only one notch down in strength from the Matusa. But they did not kill like the Matusa. Thankfully, Hunter’s human side sought to control that dark part of himself.


Her eyes widened when he caught her attention, then she vanished, like a puff of mist blown away on a windy Texas day.


Somehow, he had to find her and send her back to her world. Someone had to have summoned her and was keeping her hostage.


Had she come to him, seeking his help? He chided himself. All other demons were afraid of the Matusa. She would never have approached him willingly.


His mind hazy, Hunter chanted the words: “Stirrus, Demononus, Seplichus, Protinalium, Horrita.”


The portal opened, a blue-green light filled the room, and a wind tugged at his stiff, white bed sheets.


The girl with the golden hair and jade eyes appeared again. He stared at her while she observed the portal. Turning her attention to him, her lips parted. He’d summoned her? He had to be hallucinating.


He looked back at the gateway. Was she drawn to the portal? Did she want to go home? He had to find out where she was being held prisoner, but his mouth felt like cotton, and he couldn’t form the words.


Her gaze focused on his injured arm, but shifted to his face, still beaded in sweat.


“You’re sick.” Her words sounded surreal, airy and sweet, almost as if no words had been spoken at all. “Where’s the other one?” she whispered, and he could hear the tremble in her voice.


Hoping to convince her he meant to help her return to her world, he opened his mouth to speak again, but the words failed him.


She tilted her head to the side. “Did he hurt you?”


Again, Hunter tried to speak, but he cursed his vocal chords for not working.


She stood taller and raised her chin. “You will join the other, Matusa.” Her words were posed as a threat.


He would have smiled, if he’d had the strength. Wondering why the portal was open, he quickly closed it. The girl vanished.



Want More Terry?

Visit the website here: www.terryspear.com

Follow the blog here: http://terry-spear.blogspot.com/

Pick up your copy of the book today! Click here.



Contest Time:

Leave a question or comment for Terry to be entered to win an e-copy of The Trouble with Demons.

**Winners for Book Boost prizes are drawn the first week of the following month and posted in the Recent Winners box in the right hand side of the blog. Check back to see if you are a winner and to claim your prize! Please leave your contact information in your blog post!**

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Demonic Bloodlust with Guest Blogger: Amber Kallyn


Welcome to Day #14 of
the Dark Days of Demons Blog Event
here at the Book Boost!

Win a copy of a Dragos book (winner's choice) and meet erotic paranormal author Amber Kallyn today!


Demon, Sex and Blood

The mother of all demons - succubi and vampires alike, depending on the story you hear, is Lilith - Adam’s first wife before Eve.

You could have heard Lilith is a model for Oppressed Womanhood. You could have heard that she's a demoness who murders babies. You could have heard that she's a goddess, the wife of Death. You could have heard she's a succubus who gives men wet dreams.

When time began, stories say, Adam and Lilith were created together out of the dust of the Earth. Time passed and Lilith didn’t like being submissive to Adam. She believed they were equals. When he pissed her off too much, she left the Garden of Eden to make her own way in the world. She was cursed for daring such a thing, and turned into a succubus. God then created Eve out of Adam’s rib, in order to make her submissive to him.

Turns out feminism goes back a long way : )

Now, the first story goes that as punishment, she was given a bloodlust and ate all of her children. Hence, the first vamp. The second story is just as interesting. Lilith’s curse was to become the first succubus.

According to medieval legend, a succubus is a female demon appearing in dreams who takes the form of a human woman in order to seduce men, usually through sex. Repeated intercourse with a succubus results in sickness and, ultimately, death.

Succubi are all descended from Lilith. They reside in Hell, coming to the mortal world both in dreams and in reality. They crave sex, and the life force drained from men which sustains their immortal lives.

In modern fictional representations, a succubus is often depicted as a highly attractive seductress or enchantress, in contrast to the past where succubi were generally depicted as frightening and demonic.

Beliefs changed over time, with Lilith (or succubi in general) becoming the “divine whore" according to men, described as being a tall beautiful, obsidian-skinned, bat-winged female with long red (some legends say black) hair and sharp blue eyes.

During the Spanish Inquisition (and various other witch hunts), witches were associated with the demon Lilith, and anyone having red hair like Lilith were more likely to be hung or burnt at the stake. This perhaps is the reason why red hair is so rare and also why the current stereotypes that all red-haired people are regarded as aggressive, hot tempered, troublesome, and otherworldly.

The succubus in Dragos 4: Inflamed is a descendent of Lilith. She’s been held captive for centuries as a pawn for a dark mage. She can still travel in her dreams, however, and she finds the one man who can save her, Pete Dragos.


Blurb:

Together, a dragon and a succubus find love might just conquer all.

Pete is the youngest of the Dragos Clan, but when the woman of his dreams begs for help, he's not about to let anyone else save her. Isabella, a sex demon, has been a prisoner of the black mage for centuries. But in her dreams, she finds the one man who can love her without the cost of losing his soul. Can the two find each other, and defeat the evil mage that's been hounding the Dragos clan, once and for all?


Excerpt:

Finally reaching the end of the tunnel, Pete stared at the door from his dream. This had to be the right one -- the one with Isa held captive behind it.


With a deep breath, Pete pushed open the silent door. On the far wall was a huge fireplace, but no embers burned. His breath came out a ghostly puff as he entered the room.


The large bed was the same, as were the chains capturing Isa’s too thin arms. Pete froze for a moment, unable to move as he saw this woman for the first time in reality.


Her skin was pale, eyes closed above dark circles. She twitched, moaning. Her hair lay lank, oily. Soot and dirt marred her skin.


She was beautiful.


A pounding began in his chest. How he wanted to run to her. To throw himself down on his knees and profess his love. Yet, she would not accept the words from him. And it pained him, knowing such a thing. For she’d told him long ago she did not love, she could not.


Finding his strength, Pete shut the door and hurried to her side. “Isa.”


She began to shake, her breath heavy pants as if caught in a nightmare.


Taking her shoulders, Pete shook her gently. She drew back into the bed, pulling from his touch.


“Isa, darling. It’s Pete.” He leaned over her, capturing her face in his hands. When she didn’t respond, he bent closer and brushed his lips over hers.


An electric shock raced through him, torturously sizzling along every nerve. His body stiffened as the pain and agony rushed through him. Power, magic, leached away, leaving Pete shaking and weak.


Isa gasped, her eyes flying open. She jerked from his touch, scrambling away as far as the chains on her arms allowed.


“You came,” she whispered. Her mouth opened in an O, and she shook her head. “You touched me.”


Pete’s jaw was tightly closed. He could but grunt.


Isa leaned toward him, placing a soft kiss on his forehead. The pulsing pain withdrew and he once more felt the connection of his dragon.


He scrambled to his feet, staring at Isa. “What happened?”


She glanced away, hands twisting in the iron cuffs. “You know what I am.”


“Yeah, but nothing like that’s ever happened before.” He rubbed his aching jaw.


“The dream dimension is different from this one.” She drew her lower lip between her teeth as her gaze darted to him, then back to her lap. “I am sorry. I was not…”


Pete didn’t know what to think, but he knew what needed to be done. “Come. Let’s get you free.” He approached the bed and leaned down to get a closer look at the cuffs. But a small part of him held back, fearing to touch her again.


Withdrawing his lock picks, he started to work on the first cuff. Inside, his dragon watched carefully. Even he was unsure about touching Isa again. Snorting, Pete clicked the first lock open, then glanced down at Isa.


Her eyes shimmered with unshed tears. Her lips twisted in a grimace as she held herself back.


Pete couldn’t stop from reaching to caress her cheek, rub a smudge of dirt from her jaw. This time, the contact was not painful, but highly erotic as usual. He hardened as passion inflamed his senses.


Isa met his gaze. “I cannot promise my control is one hundred percent.”


Silently, Pete moved to the other cuff. He slid the thin metal pick into place. The door to the room burst open with a howling wind rushing inside, whipping soot and dust into the air.


The wind knocked Pete from the bed. He tumbled over the icy floor and crashed into the wall. His head smacked against the stone, and stars burst behind his eyes.


“See, my sweet little demon? I told you I would capture them,” a deep voice crowed from somewhere in the room.


Shaking his head, Pete tried to concentrate on locating the source of the voice. The air, thick with debris, didn’t make it easy.


Isa cried, “Pete! Get out of here.”


Daft woman, thinking he’d run away.



Want More Amber?

Visit her website here: www.AmberKallyn.com

Follow her blog here: http://amberkallyn.wordpress.com/


Pick up a copy of her book today! Click here.



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Monday, October 24, 2011

Scholarly Yet Seductive Demons with Guest Blogger: Carolyn Rosewood


Welcome to Day #13 of
the Dark Days of Demons Blog Event
here at the Book Boost!

Win a copy of Hunted and meet erotic paranormal author Carolyn Rosewood today!


Are Demons Sexy?


Well that depends on how you look at them.


Demons, depending on what you read or believe, can be anything from Satan's imps to a spirit of happiness. In some present-day cultures demons are still feared largely due to their believed ability to possess humans. Freud believed the fact that demons are always regarded as the spirits of those who have died recently shows better than anything the influence the influence of mourning on the origin of the belief in demons.


In art they've been depicted as everything from a winged bull to a beautiful female. Stories of demons are found in literature from all over the world, including romance novels.


My husband likes to refer to the demons in my Seduced By A Demon series as the "kinder, gentler" demons. Indeed I give them great strength and supernatural powers, including the ability to slide into shadow form and evaporate, moving from one physical plane to another in the blink of an eye. But I also make them seductive and redeemable. Well, some of them, at any rate.


In Book 1 of the series, The Last Soul, the heroine Faina is a demon whose job in Hell is to seduce men into signing away their souls. The men she seduces are bad-to-bone, and she’s been working for her demon boss Mastema for one hundred and fifty years, hoping one day she’ll be made human again. Mastema tricks her into bringing him one last soul – Jace Blackmon – and then she’ll be human again. The only problem is that Jace is a really decent guy and Faina is falling for him.


I made Faina vulnerable and a bit naive on purpose. In the story, she dies in a fire at eighteen, after being forced into prostitution in her human life. Mastema, on the other hand, is evil and ruthless. But don’t worry…he gets what’s coming to him at the end.


In Book 2, Hunted, the heroine/demon is Jahi Wickes, who is a good friend of Faina’s. Jahi was hung as a witch in 1692 and has worked in her demon existence forging documents and credit cards for demons like Faina to use as they lead men to ruin. When her former guardian angel, Vassago, comes after her, Jahi is forced to give up some of her independent streak and rely on a Nephilim bounty hunter named Dagon. Dagon has been hunting Vassago for three years. Jahi isn’t a ruthless demon, but rather someone who felt unworthy of love in her human life, and now feels she deserves her fate as a minion of Hell. Until she proves herself worthy by sacrificing herself for a friend, that is.


Book 3, Playing For Keeps, coming from Evernight Publishing in November 2011, introduces Teresa. We meet Teresa in Hunted, and she’s as ruthless and cunning a demon as you can imagine. She gives up Jahi to Vassago to save her own skin. As Playing For Keeps opens, Teresa is on the run from her own king, Apollyon. If the demons he’s sent to hunt her down find her, they’ll destroy her. She wanders into a bar in a sleepy Ohio town, and convinces the owner, Damien Walker, to give her a job. But Damien isn’t an ordinary bartender, and he knows what and who Teresa is.


You’ve met a few of the demons in my series. Now let’s talk about Nephilim. Most authors write them as heroes with a bad boy nature although some have chosen to cast them as villains. I've chosen to let Nephilim play both roles in my series.


Damien Walker would bet his bottom dollar that Teresa is on the lam from Hell. He should know. He used to track demons before he was forced to give up his Nephilim bounty hunter status. Now he serves drinks to locals in a run-down bar. It's easier to mire in self-pity when you do something pointless for a living. But Teresa isn't like other demons masquerading as humans. She's sexy but scared, desperate to hide her true identity-and the reason she's on the run-from everyone, including Damien. The fact that he's drawn to her is a complication he'd rather do without, but one he can't ignore.


If you Google "Nephilim," you could spend days reading all the theories and arguments for or against their interpretation in the Bible and other texts, both secular and non-secular. Whoever or whatever they are, whether they are real or simply the product of our fertile imaginations, clearly our fascination with these beings continues because they pop up in romance novels quite frequently.


At a recent archeological dig in Greece, the bones of what appeared to be a giant were hailed as "proof" of the existence of Nephilim as depicted in ancient texts. It was later proven to be a hoax. According to the Book of Genesis, Nephilim are the "sons of God." They are also mentioned as giants in the book of Numbers. Scholars have called the interpretation of these passages into question.


There is no clear answer as to the meaning of the terms used. Commentary in subsequent translations of the Bible draw conclusions from books in the New Testament as proof of the nature of Nephilim mentioned in the Old Testament, but again there is no clear answer. Other ancient texts assign the term "fallen angel" to Nephilim and similar beings.


In the Hebrew Bible and several non-canonical Jewish and early Christian writings, Nephilim means the "fallen ones." They are described as a people created by the crossbreeding of the "sons of God" and the "daughters of men." Interpretations for these terms vary among scholars.


I hope you’ll check out my Seduced By A Demon series from Evernight. Even though several characters make appearances in all three books, each one is a stand-alone, so you can read any of them first. Thanks for dropping by. :)


Blurb:

For the past four hundred years, Jahi Wickes has made forged documents and credit cards for the female demons who seduce men into signing away their souls. While enjoying the parades at Mardi Gras, she's ambushed by two angels. One is her former guardian angel, and the other is the Nephilim who’s tracking him.

Dagon has been chasing Vassago for three years. His first big break comes in the form of a cute, sexy demon. When he learns the real reason Vassago is hunting her, Dagon has more trouble than he bargained for. Not only was Vassago sent to guard souls in Purgatory after screwing up his assignment with Jahi, but the person who paid him to destroy her is one of her fellow demons.


Excerpt (edited for length):

Jahi had only seen angels once before, the night before they walked her to the gallows in sixteen ninety-two. Scared the shit out of her when the pair appeared in her jail cell and asked if she was ready to face her maker. After she told them exactly how she suspected she’d be judged in Heaven, she sent them away. Jahi knew what she’d been in life, and she knew what she’d be in death.


Why were angels here now, in Louisiana, and why was this creature called Vassago after her?


The second angel clicked his fingers and a pair of dark metal cuffs appeared. Jahi flashed back to three years ago when similar cuffs, courtesy of the demon Mastema, had bound Faina’s wrists. A moan escaped her throat. The sudden thought they might not be angels after all turned her stomach hot with fear.


Once again she tried to move or evaporate, but their magic held her fast. All she could do was watch both creatures struggle over the cuffs, still bellowing words she couldn’t comprehend. Vassago was stronger, and for a few seconds it looked like he’d be the one doing the cuffing.

When the second creature had the upper hand once again, Vassago turned to look at her. If she still had blood that ran it would have gone stone cold. Jahi had never seen such hatred on any face, be it human, angel or demon.


The creature holding the cuffs took advantage of the momentary distraction to lunge again.

He raised the cuffs and Jahi tensed. Vassago opened his mouth and howled, just before disappearing in a blinding flash of purple.


The one left holding the empty cuffs let out a roar, and fresh fear shot through her. Was he also after her? Her body trembled as he ranted and swung the cuffs around, the metal making hollow, clanking sounds. She dug her nails into her palms, determined not to moan again. She would not show this creature fear.


When he finally stopped she tried again to evaporate but nothing happened.


“Just stay right there. Don’t come any closer.” Her voice shook, betraying the brave words.


The creature shook his head and the handcuffs faded, along with his wings. She watched in disbelief and fascination as his face lost its glow and took on the human form of a yummy male.



Want More Carolyn?

Visit her website here: http://carolynrosewood.com/

Pick up a copy of her book today! Click here.


Contest Time:

Leave a question or comment for Carolyn and be entered to win a copy of Hunted.


**Winners for Book Boost prizes are drawn the first week of the following month and posted in the Recent Winners box in the right hand side of the blog. Check back to see if you are a winner and to claim your prize! Please leave your contact information in your blog post!**

Friday, October 21, 2011

The Very Scary Validity of Demons with Guest Blogger: H.K. Hillman


Welcome to Day #12 of
the Dark Days of Demons Blog Event
here at the Book Boost!

Win a copy of Jessica's Trap and meet author H.K. Hillman from across the pond! Today is the third of FIVE review days for the month. They'll occur each Friday and then the final review on Halloween Day. These are books I've selected that will undergo my 5 point review system.

Today we have Jessica's Trap by paranormal fiction author H.K. Hillman. My review will follow his post and here's what he had to share...


The Real. The Fake. The Scary.

What’s scary?

The made-up demon or the creature you can look up in the real world? If it’s real, then that part of the story could happen to you and that’s scary. If it’s clearly made-up, you can sleep easily at night knowing there’s not going to be one under your bed or in your closet.


That’s why I don’t invent my own demons these days. I have, in the past, but the most effective tales of terror were always those that just hinted at unnamed demons or which used real, actual demons.


I know what you’re thinking. “Oh come on. Demons aren’t real.” Oh yes. Yes, they are. Real enough for you to find if you look for them, anyway. They are described in books, very old books, some of which aren’t just made-up books within stories but which exist in the real world.


H.P. Lovecraft wrote about the Necronomicon, a book of evil magic written by an ancient Arab. It doesn’t exist and never has, but that book has had so many books written about it that it must surely be the most-quoted book never written. What it contains has become secondary to whether it exists, and it has become so popular that many now believe it really does exist.


I hope that happens to the pair of books I invented as story props. Maybe one day. In the stories with those books there are also real-life books. Books such as Goetia, Clavicula Salomonis (The Key of Solomon) and The Grimoire of Armadel, among others. These are actual, existing books. I have copies here.


Well, okay, I have translations. I could never afford to own the originals. Those are locked away in secure libraries and if you manage to get in to see them you won’t even be allowed to turn the pages. Someone wearing white gloves will do that for you. The books are too old and valuable to be touched. They’re also written in Latin or Greek and often in code so a translation isn’t just cheaper, it’s also much easier to deal with.


When one of my stories refers to Shax, Foras, Paimon, any of the seventy-two mostly unheard-of demons in Goetia or the evil races of demons in Clavicula Salomonis, readers can’t just shrug it off as some made-up monster because if they search for those names, they’ll find them. They’ll find a description and the means to conjure them. I don’t recommend trying that. It probably won’t work but just in case, best leave them alone. I hear some of them can get quite annoyed at being disturbed. When they get annoyed... well, let’s just say the next resident of your house is going to spend ages trying to get the stains out.


Having that little connection to the real world gives a story credibility but the books, like characters, have to be kept under control. Look at what happened with Lovecraft’s Necronomicon. The book was supposed to be a prop but it, along with the Chthulu mythology, escaped and overshadowed his stories. Now there seem to be more books about the Necronomicon than there are stories containing it!


The Necronomicon crossed the shadow world from fiction to reality but there are many books that can reach from reality into the world of fiction. When you read about a demonic book, then find it’s not only real but available in paperback, then the line between make-believe and real life blurs just a little.


When that tale of terror touches reality, even just a little bit, then it becomes properly scary. It’s not just a story any more. One part of it is true, so what about the rest? Is that Gamaliel really shopping in your local high street? That big spider you saw dash past at the corner of your vision – did it really wink at you?


The really scary stuff is the stuff that touches reality. There’s plenty of scary reality out there and a lot of it is far more terrifying than any horror story.


Halloween, for example. Also known as Samheim to Pagans, and long before that as a Celtic new year festival. Throughout its various names and incarnations, throughout passing trends like toffee apples and costumes, one thing has remained constant. It’s the time when the veil between our reality and the world of the dead and the demons is at its thinnest. The Celts would light bonfires and leap through them to cleanse themselves of the evil spirits following. Long before pumpkins and candles and trick-or-treat, this time of year was frightening.


If you’re looking for scary stories this Halloween, look for the ones that could be true. The ones that have a link to real life.


It doesn’t have to be a strong link. Just enough to be convincing. Then you’re into terror territory for sure.


FRIGHTFULLY FABULOUS REVIEW:

The Book Boost's Five Point Review


1. What is it about?

Here's a blurb:

In a corner of the English Civil War, a demonic battle is stirring.


An inexperienced young witch calls on demonic help to capture an ancient creature, an evil as old as Time and which inhabits the one known as ‘Witchfinder-General’.


Inexperience is no match for the wiles of demons and Jessica soon loses control. The demons will build the trap she wants but…


She is to be the bait.



2. What did I think of it (using only 5 words)?

Demon filled action packed ride!


3. Would I recommend it?

In a word....YES! The short, crisp chapters kept me turning the pages long into the night. I love action and this book packs a punch in a short but heavy on the drama package. Seventeenth century, historical accuracies and setting are crucial elements in making this one unique and a true stand-out amongst the heavily weighted paranormal marketplace currently found in today's literature.


4. Who should buy it?

Well now, I'll admit to being an authentic southern belle who hears the words "Civil War" and am immediately drawn toward a book. Can't help that my brain accidentally hears "The War of Northern Aggression" any time the words (Civil War) are sounded. But this book is in reference to the English Civil War (circa 1642 to 1651) so American readers should definitely be aware of that. Having issued that disclaimer, this book would be well received by fans of horror, paranormal, historicals, and even young adult romance!


5. Would I read more from this author?

Can't wait to see more from this author and honestly he had me at this line (taken from his author bio): "Fame beckons, although fortune remains sadly elusive." I'm right there with you, my friend.




Want More H.K.?


Visit his website here: www.hkhillman.co.uk

Follow his blog here: http://docdume.blogspot.com/

Pick up your copy of his book today! Click here.



Contest Time:

Leave a question or comment to be entered tow in a copy of Jessica’s Trap.


**Winners for Book Boost prizes are drawn the first week of the following month and posted in the Recent Winners box in the right hand side of the blog. Check back to see if you are a winner and to claim your prize! Please leave your contact information in your blog post!**

Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Dialogue of Demons with Guest Blogger: L.J. Charles


Welcome to Day #11 of
the Dark Days of Demons Blog Event
here at the Book Boost!

Win a copy of Lifethread and meet Young Adult paranormal author L.J. Charles.


Demons Don't Talk


I ran through several possibilities for this blog post and finally decided to break all the rules and allow my heroine, Shea Ang, from the Lifethread Trilogy to have a short chat with a green-eyed demon.


The deal is that Shea is apprenticed to the Fate Clotho and Clotho (who’s responsible for creating all life forms) has given Shea the unfortunate and impossible task of creating a green-eyed demon. These demons are a mutation and not only turn teens into demons, but are starting to turn adults as well. No one is safe.


“So, Shea, what do you think? Are you interested in chatting with one of the “greens?”

She stuffs her hands in the back pockets of her jeans and glares at me. “Demons can’t talk.”

“They can if I say so. I’m the author.”

“Huh. Arrogant, much?” She runs the tip of her tongue along her top lip. “But, yeah, sure if it’ll help get me out of this mess you’ve created. I mean, seriously, having Clotho give me an impossible task. What were you thinking?”

“Never mind about that. Here’s the demon now.”

A large cat-like creature prances into the room, hunkers down sphinx-like on the floor between us, and growls.

Shea takes a step back, squinting at it. “I could just un-create it. That’d be a whole lot more fun than listening to it growl.”

The demon’s ears twitch in Shea’s direction and a freaky, rough purr rumbles from deep in its throat. “No, you can’t. Not unless you travel to the Time Before Time and undo the pattern of our original creation.”

“Geezo freak-ing Pete, it talks.”


I nod and quickly write out some notes on her reaction so I can add them to the manuscript.


She circles the demon, creeping around it, her violet eyes shadowing to gray. “You are an abomination. Even demonkind doesn’t recognize you as one of their own, and—listen up ‘cause this is the biggie—I’m going to un-create you. And ‘cause this is my story, I get to win.”

The demon arches its back, levers up to sitting, and slaps its tail against the tile floor. Hard. “Silly girl. Without me you wouldn’t have a story. I am the villain. A much more important role than—”

“Spiffle. Just tell me the quickest way to un-create you and I’ll get on with it. I have a bunch of kids to protect. It’s simple really, your basic save-the-world deal. And I get to hang with Gabe as soon as I eliminate your kind.”

“Gabriel. Yes, we know of him.” The demon’s tongue does an exact imitation of Shea’s earlier move. “Tasty. I’d like to sink my teeth into that one and finish turning him into who he’s supposed to be.”

“Gabriel.” Shea bunches her fists oh her hips. “Is. Mine.”

The demon growls from the bottom of its chest and the room shakes. “No. He was born to become one of us.”

The small part of Shea that is demon leaps to the surface and her eyes flash red.


I grab my eraser and scrub the words from the tablet I’d been writing on. Never again will I forget the cardinal rule that Demons. Don’t. Talk.


Blurb:


McKenna Fin is armed, dangerous, and in love for the first time. She'll do anything to earn her humanity... except the one thing the Fate's require.


Excerpt:

“McKenna Fin.” I snapped out the syllables of my name and a shimmer of energy coated the walls of the history classroom. The back of my neck prickled with unsettling intensity, and I couldn’t stop my fingers from rifling the pages of my textbook. Four times, the substitute teacher from hell had called me by some other name. Count them. Four. Too many, even for an evil imbecile of a substitute unit. Not only was she unable to cope with a simple seating chart, but…uh-oh, her eyes were taking on the vacant stare that telegraphed “demon” in blossoming shades of red.


Dammit all to Zeus, I’d have to kill her and it was only third period.


No way around it, seeing as I’m the Moirai Priestess, connected to the Fate Atropos. There are three of us roaming the Earth at any given time, each assigned to one of the Fates. My boss just happened to be responsible for cutting lifethreads. Ending human life. Or in my case, ending demon life.


I fingered the glowing blade tucked into a special pocket on my backpack—the kind of blade made of Ouranian magick that didn’t set off metal detectors, or any other detector for that matter. Ripples of energy came alive under my fingertips as I stroked the glassy smooth surface, deftly avoiding the killer edge. I love my blade.


My fingers twitched with urgency. I had to kill it before its eyes turned completely red with demon strength. The thing is, Atropos gets all hinky when I draw attention to myself, and I seriously hate when she calls me in front of the Triad for behavior unbecoming a Moirai Priestess. Not good. It would probably mean another one hundred years being stuck in my senior year of high school. And seriously, the first fifty were more than enough. Immortality sucks. I mean, who can tolerate being seventeen years, eleven months, and twenty-five days old, for like forever? You’d think she could have created me with a birth date that came with voting privileges and didn’t require emancipation papers.


My sigh must have been ├╝ber loud because Nathan Quinn, the one and only guy at Brighton High worth my time, had his baby greens fixed in my direction. My nerves jumped to attention and a warm glow heated my cheeks, probably noticeable even though I was blessed with naturally dark skin. We’d been eyeing each other all year, but it was way complicated for a priestess to date.


“He’s just fine.” Merritt’s honeyed voice plowed into my head; bless her golden eyes and sun-kissed brown hair. Mer belonged to Lachesis, the Fate who decided human destiny, and who twisted time to accommodate said destinies. My sister priestess was down the hall in biology class, but Moirai Priestesses have telepathic bonds that provide instant communication. Sometimes good, sometimes majorly inconvenient. Right now? A total pain in the butt.


“Not now, Merritt. Seriously bad timing.” I scooted my chair back and jammed the history text in my backpack.


“Do not diss my timing, McK. Not when you need me to adjust time so you can kill that hell spawn pretending to teach history.”


I shot a glance at the demon in question. Shiny orange scales had broken out along evil-pretend-to-be-a-teacher’s arms. Noticeable. But only to me. Thank Zeus and Nyx that the vastly inferior human eye couldn’t see demons. Most everyone was nose-to-desk taking a nap, and the few attempting to pay attention had that glazed asleep-sitting-up look. They weren’t processing a thing—thank the Fates—so, they didn’t notice when the sub morphed into demon form. Looked like it had targeted that smallish kid in the front row. Not that it mattered. It was my job to rescue all human kids. An equal opportunity deal.



Want More L.J.?

Visit her website here: www.luciejcharles.com

Follow her blog here: http://blog.luciejcharles.com/

Pick up a copy of her book today! Click here.




Contest Time:

Leave a question or comment and be entered to win a copy of Lifethread in either digital or print format (winner's choice).


**Winners for Book Boost prizes are drawn the first week of the following month and posted in the Recent Winners box in the right hand side of the blog. Check back to see if you are a winner and to claim your prize! Please leave your contact information in your blog post!**

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Florida Fertile Hunting Ground for the Paranormal with Guest Blogger: Roxanne Smolen


Welcome to Day #10 of
the Dark Days of Demons Blog Event
here at the Book Boost!

Meet author Roxanne Smolen and learn how to become a real paranormal investigator...southern style.


So You Want To Be a Paranormal Investigator?

If you are interested in paranormal activity, you owe it to yourself to visit Florida. When I first moved here, I was amazed at the many avenues available for paranormal research.

The city of St. Augustine is listed in the National Directory of Haunted Places. Many people don’t know that St. Augustine is the oldest city in America. Founded in 1565, the city has beautiful, historic buildings and homes that are painstakingly preserved right down to the original residents. Paranormal newbies should consider taking a tour. I recommend the Ghost Tour (voted the best guided tour in Florida) or the Paranormal Investigation Tour at Potter’s Wax Museum. Or try the afterhours paranormal tour, Dark of the Moon, which takes you into the super haunted St. Augustine Lighthouse.

A true paranormal investigator might skip the touristy tours and head straight for the old jail and gallows where several of the original prisoners are still “hanging” around. The old schoolhouse and the chapel are also good bets for ghostly encounters. The adventurous might spend the night in the Huguenot Cemetery, a place where orbs abound, so be sure to bring a camera.

Everyone’s a Psychic

If you are more interested in speaking to spiritualists than spirits, you should head to Cassadaga Spiritualist Camp. The town is populated by certified mediums, healers, sensitives, and astrologers. They believe everyone is psychic—that means you, too—and hold public classes to bring out latent talents. They are a deeply religious people who follow the nine principles of spiritualism:

1. We believe in God.

2. We believe that God is expressed through all Nature.

3. True religion is living in obedience to Nature's Laws.

4. We never die.

5. Spiritualism proves that we can talk with people in the Spirit World.

6. Be kind, do good, and others will do likewise.

7. We bring unhappiness to ourselves by the errors we make and we will be happy if we obey the laws of life.

8. Everyday is a new beginning.

9. Prophecy and healing are expressions of God.

The town began as a community of tents in 1894 and slowly grew to more permanent wooden cabins. Today, Cassadaga looks like any small town. The homes are quaint, and the parks are tranquil. The best way to find your personal spiritual counselor is to walk down the streets (which are always eerily quiet) and wait to feel a vibration or see an aura around a particular house. Then just walk right up and knock. Both believers and skeptics are welcome.

Tools of the Paranormal Trade

If you want to be a paranormal investigator, you need to get some tools:

A good EMF detector will measure the strength and direction of electromagnetic fields as well as magnetic waves and radio microwaves. Paranormal events cause fluctuations in electrical fields, and a gaussmeter will verify that you’ve touched another realm.

A basic infrared thermometer gun will certify sudden drops in temperature. Sensations of extreme cold are often reported during spirit visits.

You should have a digital voice recorder. Not for quick memos to me but to record creaks, bangs, and voices from beyond.

Lastly, invest in a low lux digital camcorder. I say low lux because your research might take place in the dark, and you’ll need a camera that can function with little or no light.

Publish your findings on YouTube or a blog, and your followers will clamor for more.


Blurb:

Emily Goodman, a popular paranormal investigator, has made it her mission to debunk all myths and urban legends. But when she meets Satan in a haunted house and calls him a fraud, the repercussions change her life. Satan kidnaps her six-year-old daughter, forcing Emily to re-evaluate her cynicism. She must somehow break into the underworld, battle the demons of hell, and rescue her little girl. If she does, can they ever find their way back home?


Excerpt:

Vanessa took a penknife from her pocket and punched a hole in the burlap wrapper. She drew a large pentagram on the floor with the powder.


Shoulders slumped, she held out her hand. "Candles."


"Here." The boy brought out a thick red candle. "I brought a lighter."


"It has to be wooden matches," she told him.


"I've got some." Joey rattled the box as he handed them to her.


She lit the candle. In its glow, she saw the rapt expressions of the four newcomers--three boys and one girl, their hair held back by beaded headbands, their clothing laced, not buttoned. She didn't know them. They were probably part of the multitude of college kids who flocked to Saint Augustine each spring. She wondered how much they'd paid to witness the ritual.


With the candle held sideways, she dribbled a puddle of wax onto the floor and set the candle upon a point of the pentagram. As the boy held out more candles, she set one at each of the other four points. At last, she stood back to appraise her work.


"Hand me the offering plate," she said.


He gave an excited giggle, and then pulled out an ornate brass dish on a pedestal. The discolored center boasted of service many times before. He offered it to her along with a final candle.


Vanessa knelt in the center of the pentagram. She lit the candle and set the dish over it, allowing the meager flame to heat the brass. Smoke rose, drawing leftover scents of incense and soot and blood.


From his sack, the boy drew out a baby rabbit. She cradled it in her hands, stroking it, feeling its tiny heart race in terror. She looked up with a last plea--did they really want her to do this?


The boy tossed the sack behind him and lit a joint.


Vanessa closed her eyes, wishing she were anywhere but there. She was innocent. Just doing as she was told.


The rabbit squirmed within her fingers. Nose wrinkled, she cupped the animal on its back in one hand and grasped her penknife with the other. She felt a pop as the point pierced its flesh--then she opened the rabbit from groin to gullet. Blood dripped down her wrist.


She held the creature over the offering plate and scooped out its innards with her fingers, careful to include its heart so the legs would stop kicking. The intestines sizzled as they hit the plate.


Silence filled the room.


After a moment, the boy who was passing around the joint said, "Shouldn't you say some special words?"


"Yes," Vanessa whispered. A familiar coldness coursed through her. "Be ready to run."


The wall before her shimmered as if a portion had turned to water. The patch solidified into an oval, shining like a silvery mirror--Satan's Mirror. A face grew within. Brimstone overpowered the smoke of marijuana and entrails.


Someone gasped. "Wow."


Lightheaded, Vanessa sat on her haunches. She felt both exhilarated and disgusted. She had done it--she had called forth the devil once again.


The face observed them malevolently. It looked like a caricature from a comic book--red skin, yellow eyes. Its lips parted in a sneer or a grin, showing sharp, needle-like teeth.


Vanessa froze as its gaze passed over her. Maybe if she held perfectly still, it wouldn't see her, wouldn't know she was responsible.


"Is it real?" the girl asked, her words slurred as if she were stoned.


The face in the mirror laughed and said in a voice that sounded far away, "You are so weak, yet you come so willingly."


Its words did not match its lips, and Vanessa wondered whether it was speaking English or she was merely hearing English.


The others moved as if entranced, stepping to either side of the pentagram. Vanessa looked up just as a second mirror formed in mid-air behind the boy with the joint. A bright red demon leaned out as if through an open window. It grabbed the boy before he could turn and pulled him through. The window vanished.


The girl screamed. Vanessa covered her ears. The remaining two boys scrambled around.


"What happened?" one of them yelled. "Where is he?"


In the mirror, the devil laughed.


The other boy ran toward the door. Before he could reach it, a new mirror swirled into existence, and he ran straight into the arms of a waiting demon. He struggled and kicked as it lifted him from the floor. "Help me! Don't let it take me!"


The third boy stepped forward then hesitated, his face stark with horror.


"Help me! Please!" His friend reached as if across a great distance.


The window closed on his cries.


"No!" The last boy rushed to where the mirror had been. He stared at the doorway, his face echoing a longing to go through it and a fear of being snatched if he did.


Joey leapt into the pentagram beside Vanessa, hunkering beside her. He was not grinning now.


The girl stumbled away, sobbing. She fell over the sack the first boy carried. On hands and knees, she crawled to the pentagram, blowing out the candles and shoving them into the bag. "Put it back," she said. "Put it all back."


Behind her, the air shimmered.


The boy yelped and ran out the open door, pelting down the stairs.


She looked up, her long, blonde hair spilling over her face just as the demon grabbed her. "Nooo," she wailed, trying to run away. "I'll be good. I won't do it anymore."


The demon's fingers raked her face, leaving dark trails. She screamed, arms flailing as it yanked her through the mirror. The window vanished, leaving silence.




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