Sunday, February 28, 2010

Guest Blogger: Terry Spear

The winner of Terry's book is: Anna Lisa! Congrats, Anna Lisa! I'll send your email address to Terry. Thanks so much to everyone who participated.

Which comes First, the Wolf or the Man?

Let’s say the man.
He’s easier to maintain. And what about this man? I think of shaggy, a little stubble, some hair on the chest. After all, he IS part wolf.

So what do you think? Does he look like he could be a wolf masquerading part time as a man?

Now here’s the wolf.

Does he look like he could make a suitable mate when in his human skin?

But which comes first, the wolf or the man? Or does it really matter as long as you get both all in one?

To Tempt the Wolf is about a man just like this, who has wolfish interests in the woman who rescues him off a cold Oregon beach. She’s a professional wildlife photographer, although her interests are mostly in photographing wolves. Only she learns not all wolves are the same.

In Legend of the White Wolf, the man comes first, because he is not a wolf at all, at least in the werewolf sense. But that changes when he attempts to rescue the heroine, and now finds that the Arctic wolves living in this Maine wilderness are not exactly wolves, either.

In Heart of the Wolf, Destiny of the Wolf, Seduced by the Wolf, the hero and heroine are werewolves. But in Wolf Fever, the heroine was not a wolf in the beginning, so becoming one has been a trial, particularly since she’s gifted or cursed, depending on her mood at the time, with psychic abilities on top of that. How can anyone deal with the problems of having no control over “seeing” future happenings, then not being able to control their physical state when the urge of shapeshifting becomes too much to handle?

But if an infected wolf bit a man and changed him, and the werewolf man changed another human, and so forth and so on, originally, a wolf would have changed the human population into werewolves. Once werewolves began mating other werewolves and did not have to change human populations to maintain their small numbers, we would have royals, or those whose lines were mainly werewolf, not diluted with human genes. They have more control over shapeshifting and can change during the new moon, when newer werewolves can’t.

Some werewolves would argue that man came first. That if he hadn’t had the predisposition to turn in the first place, the first wolf bite wouldn’t have affected him.

I say that wolf or man, he’s the perfect mate, committed, loyal, family-oriented, loveable, and protective. So then the question is, which came first? Red wolves or gray?

In Heart of the Wolf and Destiny of the Wolf, the red females speak their minds. Red wolves came first, of course. Gray wolves are of another mind. They came first, and will not be convinced of anything differently.

From Heart of the Wolf:

“You’re so arrogant. No female could ever put up with you.” She pulled the comforter over her shoulder. “I bet if you could get away with it, you would say the original lupus garou was a gray.”

“He was,” Devlyn said with conviction.

She looked over her shoulder at him. “You can’t be serious.” But his expression was completely resolute.

“Sure. The first was a gray. I can’t imagine you’d ever heard otherwise. Somewhere along the line, a smaller gray female turned a redheaded Scot and he started a pack far away from any of the gray clans. Their pups were smaller, some gray, some more red. The reds began to turn other redheads until they were able to find mates among the lupus garou.”

“Bull. Ancient Scots were big men, not small.”

“No, really.”

“You know, just because you’re bigger and stronger doesn’t mean you were first. My grandfather said the first lupus garou was a red — that he was a berserker, a Norseman, who prayed to Odin, the Scandinavian god of war and death but also of poetry and wisdom. Odin could change into any form he liked, but a bear and a wolf were his best known forms. He was thought of as the ultimate alpha wolf when he turned into that beast.

The berserker human was a redhead, and after losing his wife and children to a raiding party of Norsemen, he beseeched Odin to give him the power to right the wrong done to his family and his people.

“Odin took pity on the Norseman and gifted him with near-immortality by extending his longevity, and the ability to change into a wolf — a red wolf — whenever the moon made its appearance.”

Devlyn kissed Bella’s ear. “All right, same story, except the Norseman had dark brown hair and amber eyes, and he was a hulking brute of a man. Big, not small like a red.”

Bella grunted. “He was a red.”

Devlyn didn’t say anything for several seconds, and she thought he’d fallen asleep. But then his hand slipped under the covers and caressed her shoulder. “Is that why Vernetta knocked out your baby teeth? Because you tried to convince her that the first lupus garou was a red?”

So you see, the real question of men and wolves still remains today. Was the first werewolf a red or a gray?

What do you think?

Thanks to Lynda for having me on her blog, and hope everyone tries on a hunky werewolf or two for size!


Terry will give away a copy of her book to one commenter. Her winner will be selected and posted on Tuesday evening. Stop back by to see if you won.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

New Content on my Website

I've added some new articles to my website, along with a couple more blog radio interviews I've done. Also, the kindle versions of THE VAMPIRE SHRINK and DARK HARVEST should be available on soon.

I'm happy to report that the German translation of THE VAMPIRE SHRINK is selling well. Yay! And, I've begun putting together a 2010 version of the Paranormal Gift Basket for Brenda Novak's auction. I've gotten great response from some wonderful paranormal authors. I'll keep you updated.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Guest Blogger: Gail Dayton

The winner of Gail's book is Becky. Congratulations, Becky! Send me your contact info and I'll pass it along to Gail. Thanks to everyone who participated.

Hi. My name is Gail Dayton and I'm a writer. Specifically, a writer of books where magical things happen, things that are just a twist away from normal, into the paranormal.

My first steampunk novel, New Blood, was released last year from Tor Paranormal Romance, and the second book, Heart's Blood, came out in January. Despite the titles, there isn't a vampire in sight in either book. But there's plenty of magic.

Steampunk refers to stories of speculative fiction -- science fiction, fantasy or paranormal -- that are set in the "era of steam," usually from the beginning of the Victorian era (1824) up to WWI (1914). Some steampunk focuses exclusively on anachronistic machinery -- steampowered spaceships and the like. Some books, like Soulless by Gail Carriger, have vampires and werewolves. Some --l ike my books -- have magic.

New Blood and Heart's Blood take place in a Victorian Europe where magic is part of every day life. Most people can work minor spells of one sort or another, whether lighting candles or making the wheat grow a little fatter or conversing with Granny's ghost. Then there are the virtuosos. The magicians who can call the spirits of Roman legionnaires, or who can turn aside floods.

There are four kinds of magic in my universe -- in the European tradition, anyway. They are alchemy, drawing its power through non-living elements, like earth, fire, water, air or electricity; conjury, powered by the spirits of the dead; wizardry, the magic of green, growing things, and sorcery -- blood magic.

Because sorcery is powered by human blood, it has tended to creep people out. So much so that the last blood sorceress was killed during the witch hunts some 200 years before the opening of New Blood. Her servant was sent to find the woman who can become the next sorceress. It's taken him this long to do it.

The first story is structured like a traditional fantasy road-trip quest story. The heroine learns of her potential for power and must go seek her fate. Heart's Blood is a murder mystery where the ghosts of the victims become witnesses to their own murders. Both stories have mysterious clankety machine creatures and magic and adventure and romance and good stuff. (Even if I do say so myself, not being prejudiced, or anything.) (Read the excerpts
Here for New Blood, and Here for Heart’s Blood.)

The paranormal umbrella is a big one. More like a circus tent than anything. There's lots and lots of room under the big top, enough for vampires, magicians, mad scientists, shapeshifters, white rabbits and daytrippers through space to all live happily together. And I don't know about you, but I like pretty much all of them. I'm tickled to be in the tent with everybody.


Gail Dayton has had a checkered career doing things as varied as teaching junior college history and government, to working as the entire editorial staff (except for sports) at a weekly paper, to many hats as the paralegal for prosecutor handling misdemeanors and juveniles (the stupid, not the wicked) in a rural Texas county. Of all her jobs, she likes writing novels the best. Gail lives on the Texas Gulf Coast, two blocks from the beach, so now all the books she reads are beach reads! :) She was a RITA finalist for Best First Book in 2002, and so far, every book she's published has finaled or won a contest, most recently, the Prism Award for Best Fantasy in 2008 for The Eternal Rose.


Gail will give away a copy of her book to one commenter. Her winner will be selected and posted on Tuesday evening. Stop back by to see if you won.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Help! Kindle questions!!

My former agent retained the e-rights for my two books in my contract with my print publisher. I've been meaning to have Kindle versions made of THE VAMPIRE SHRINK and DARK HARVEST, but I didn't motivate myself until recently. I wanted to go through the books, do a "hindsight is 20-20 edit" on each, and find someone to do the conversions for me. I have done all that and the Kindle versions will be up on Amazon within a week or so.

I've also been reading JA Konrath's excellent blog about pricing of Kindle books and I'm confused.

I was going to price my books like other vampire books -- 6.39 -- but JA suggests much lower prices.

An author friend told me recently that the amount of Kindle sales on her royalty statement is very small. JA talks about lots and lots of sales of his books, which he offers very cheaply or free. He said he makes his mortgage payment from Kindle sales.

So, how about you (my author friends)? What price are your books selling for on Kindle and are they selling well? What's your opinion about the book price issue?

And, how are you promoting your Kindle books? Of course, JA is a wizard at promo (and I work a full time job and don't have as much time to do promo as when I was working totally in private practice). What does he know that I don't know? What do YOU know?


These are the covers my conversion-to-Kindle fellow, Jeremiah Tolbert, found for me.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Guest Blogger: Tracy S. Morris

The winner of Tracy's book is: donnas! Congrats, donnas. I'll send your email address along to Tracy. Thanks to everyone who participated.
Haunted Hotel

As you approach the Crescent Hotel in Eureka Springs, you aren’t likely to think of it as the perfect setting for a ghost story like the one in Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House, especially when you see it on its hilltop home, offset by a cheery white conservatory, the gazebo in the foreground and the blue sky behind it. It’s hard to believe the claims that this is the most haunted hotel in America.

But once you know the history of the Crescent Hotel, you may think otherwise. Then, the five story Victorian Gothic with balconies, thick stone walls and overhangs takes on a more sinister feel.

In the early 1880's when the hotel was constructed, the Ozark Mountains were in the throes of a tourist boom unlike any the South had seen before – or would again. At the time, doctors believed that the spring waters so abundant to the region had curative powers. The legacy of that belief still exists in the names of towns like Eureka Springs and Siloam Springs.

The hotel earned its first ghost during construction, when Michael, an Irish stonemason working high on the roof, fell and landed in the second floor area. The place where he landed, now room 218, is said to be the most haunted room in the building.

Despite this early tragedy, work went on. The hotel opened to much fanfare, drawing tourists from across the nation to enjoy the beauty of the Ozarks and imbibe the supposedly healing properties of the spring waters. However, interest in the area as a vacation destination died off once people realized that the waters had no healing properties.

Over the next few years the hotel began a gradual slide into disrepair. It was used first as a girls school and then as a women's college. During this time it’s haunted reputation grew. Usually the ghosts were attached to stories of wayward girls and lovelorn young women who had either hung themselves or thrown themselves from the balconies in a fit of depression.

But the real horror was yet to come.

In 1937, Norman Baker leased the hotel with the intention of turning it into a health resort. Baker was a charismatic man who thought of himself as a medical expert. Through a nationally-broadcast radio show, Baker claimed to have discovered the cure for a laundry list of ailments, including cancer.

This would be the second health resort that Baker ran. The first, In Muscatine, Iowa, was closed down by the authorities. Undaunted, Baker moved his patients to his new resort in Eureka Springs and advertised his resort with the claim that he had saved patients lives without using X-rays or operations.

The patients who went to Baker for help found only disappointment and death. And while records show that no one died due to Baker's treatments (which mostly consisted of spring water and ground watermelon seeds) their suffering was drawn out while they submitted to Baker's treatments rather than seeking true medical care.

Eventually, Baker was arrested on charges of mail fraud. And while authorities believe he was nothing more than a quack and a con man, locals tell a different story.

Baker, they say, liked to experiment on his patients – both living and dead. One of his more gruesome treatments – according to rumor – was to peel back the patient's scalp and pour his curative directly into the patient's brain. According to legend, dozens of patients died from this treatment.

Supposedly, when the hotel was later renovated, workmen found skeletons hidden within the walls. To this day, local legends say that there are preserved body parts still in the hotel – hidden so well that even the hotel's current owners haven't been able to find them.

The Crescent has since been renovated and opened again to tourists. The hotel staff receives frequent reports of ghostly activity throughout the Crescent. Hotel guests, particularly guests in room 218, report being shaken awake at night. Others have seen a silent man, dressed in Victorian clothing, sitting silently in the bar area.

The hotel once had an antique switchboard in the basement, but it was unhooked and removed after it had been left off the hook one too many times. Locking the basement doors didn't seem to help, so eventually the hotel simply removed it. Even Dr. Baker and one of his Nurses have been seen at the hotel.

The hotel offers ghost tours nightly, seven days a week.


Tracy is offering: an autographed copy of Bride of Tranquility. I'm also doing a give away for the entire blog tour. People who link back to this article at Paranormity (or any of my articles during the tour) and let me know at will be entered into a drawing for a gift certificate good toward the bookstore of their choice.

The winner of Tracy's book here at Paranormality will be selected and posted on Tuesday evening. Stop back by to see if you won.

Monday, February 08, 2010

Guest Blogger: Danielle Monsch

Danielle's winner is: Gwen Mitchell. Congrats, Gwen! Send me your contact info and I'll pass it along to Danielle. Thanks to everyone who participated.

When Writing a Genre is in the Blood

When I was approximately 11 years old, I discovered three things about myself that have held firm until this day.

I discovered vampires. More than that, I fell in love with vampires. Vampires with all their dark yummy goodness, which my just shy of pubescent brain could not quite understand the exact whys of the fascination. Whys would come with puberty, as they usually do.

I discovered that I could write. Before that, writing never occurred to me. I daydreamed stories all the time, but putting them on paper, nah. I received an assignment from a teacher, an everyday ordinary assignment, write a story. I felt about this as I felt about most homework, which was I didn’t want to do it, but I did it anyway. A couple days after handing the homework in, the teacher called me up to the desk. Did anyone else write this story? No, it’s my story, I wrote it by myself. This is good, you might want to keep writing, you have talent.

I discovered was that I was descended from royalty.

Bastard royalty (meaning the nice prince got some lady other than his wife pregnant, and the king shushed it up). Royalty that doesn’t exist anymore, since the country had moved away from the monarchy. Still, the writer in me has always known to never let unpleasant realities get in the way of a good story.

I am a true mutt in the American sense, a Heinz 57 if you will (letting my Pittsburgh roots show with that phrase). I can name a half dozen nationalities that make up my ancestors origins. Even with that Hungarian is my dominant bloodline . . . and this is where the royalty part comes from.

Growing up, the royalty story was always fun to tell friends, though no one ever called me “Your Majesty”, as I always secretly hoped someone would, darn it! No, not really . . . it was just a funny little factoid about me, like the fact my second toe is longer than my big toe, an interesting tidbit which everyone thinks is wild and then moves on from.

The whole royalty thing paled mightily next to my love of vampires anyway. Vampires were my life. I knew everything, read everything, saw everything. I was Goth before Goth had a name. OK, I never did the whole black lipstick thing, but nearly everything else.

How these things intersected was completely unexpected. I had a friend who was big into researching family trees. This hobby has never held much interest for me, though I completely understand the appeal. My friend had heard the royalty story, though, and found it fascinating. With my blessing, said friend went forth and looked into it.

Now, said friend was not into vampires, so when they came back with some information about my family tree, they had no idea what they were giving me. What they said when they came to me was my family tree contained a famous serial killer.

The serial killer they were speaking of was Elizabeth Bathory. Elizabeth is not in my direct line. More like we share a many times great-grandfather. Grandfather had two children, one of those children was the parent of Elizabeth, and the other child was parent to my many times minus two great-grandfather. This means we are cousins of a sort, though I can never remember exactly those seconds and fourth-removed things and how they work.

For those who aren’t immersed in vampire lore, Elizabeth was known as the Blood Countess. Legend has it she killed over 600 young women, drinking and even bathing in their blood to remain young. She and Vlad the Impaler were the two historical figures that inspired Bram Stoker to create his Dracula.

(As an aside, Vlad is also in my family tree. He married a young Hungarian Countess for political reasons. However, I have no blood ties with Vlad.)

There are usually two types of reactions when I tell people this story, given in varying degrees of interest. The first is from people like me, those who love vampires. They usually think its really cool, and one person even professed jealousy, though I don’t know if that was real or just them giving what they felt was an appropriate response. I admit I did appreciate the enthusiasm displayed, though.

For those who are vampire neutral, the question usually is how does it feel to know I’m related to a serial killer. That one is a little tougher to answer, because I feel bad only because I have no feelings towards that at all. Maybe because it was so long ago, or maybe because it happened half way across the world and there are no visible reminders of it, or maybe just because she has been so mythologized in the vampire world -- which is how I knew of her long, long before I had any clue of a familial connection. Take your pick, but she doesn’t feel like a real person to me, and I just don’t have any feelings of regret or shame in connection to the fact we are blood bound.

So how did this knowledge connect to my writing? Well, hard as it is to imagine, there was once a world before Twilight, and this was the time I was living in. Sure, we had Anne Rice, but vampire books were nowhere near as plentiful as they are now, and any other beastly creature? Yeah, good luck on that hunt.

Now, I had been told I had talent, but at this point I wasn’t actively writing. Too many of those adolescent doubts roaming my head to let me truly think I was really good at something. Still, finding out about this connection to someone from my vampire world burst my vampire obsession into super-nova proportions. The problem was I really didn’t have much new from what I had already read. Unlike today, there wasn’t a new vampire story coming out every other week.

So to satisfy my vampire story cravings, I had to write my own. Dark stories where vampires were the enemies and the hunters fell in love amidst the bloodshed, seductive stories where the vampire brings the human into his world, and the erotic stories . . . well, let’s just say at that time I wasn’t quite sure what went where but I was really interested in finding out for myself, and just leave it there.

Would I have eventually started writing even without this? Impossible to tell, of course, but I have the feeling I might not have. I am not one of those writers who tell you that they only thing they have ever wanted to do was write since the age of three. I stumbled onto writing by pure luck, and if I didn’t have outside forces hearing me talk about a story and wanted me to write it, then declaring I had talent, I might have always simply been content to keep my stories in my head.

Not all my stories contain vampires now, and my obsession has calmed somewhat, but I will always love vampires.

How can someone with my bloodline not?

Author Bio:

Danielle Monsch is a not-yet-published author, the host of the Romance themed Podcast, “Romantically Speaking” which can be found on iTunes, VP of the Eastside RWA (located in Seattle) and Assistant Chair for the Emerald City Writer’s Conference, held every October in Seattle. Contact her anytime by going to or emailing her at

Danielle will be sending one commenter a copy of any vampire novel that they choose (ask Danielle about the price cap). Good Luck!

Danielle's winner will be selected and posted on Tuesday evening. Stop back by to see if you won.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Blatant Self-Promotion

There's a tiny, free e-story available on my website. It was originally published under my pen name at The Wild Rose Press and it's mine to give away now. You can find it here:

Just scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on the download link.

Also: Check out my guided hypnosis CDs. You can have them mailed to you as CDs or you can download them. They're just like coming to my office for a hypnotherapy appointment:

Kindle versions of THE VAMPIRE SHRINK and DARK HARVEST will be available soon. Since I retained all the e-rights to my books, I'm having them Kindle-ized. Hopefully, they'll be up at Amazon within a month.

And, if you're interested in another one of my personalities, visit here: