Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Last day of Halloween fun with Fierce Dolan

Cate: It's the final day of the Halloween celebration! Fierce is here to close it off with a howl. :). Fierce, please tell us a little bit about yourself.
Fierce:  Thanks for having me, Cate!  It’s great to be with you, today!  Did you know that fall is my favorite time of year?!  I love it!  I’m so glad it’s cool and dark after all of that hot, bright sunlight! 

Cate: I love fall too! What do you love most about Halloween?
Fierce: To be honest, I don’t celebrate Halloween.  I’m pagananimist to be specific--and we celebrate Samhain and The Dead Time.  My favorite part is skulking along the cool, foggy streets while the kids trick-or-treat.  Also, honoring those who have died this year over a cozy meal and crackling fire, soaking in that lively, crisp fall energy!  I come back to life, as odd as that sounds, when Nature’s color soften, and the sky goes grey.  What can I sayI love the creepy!

Cate: :) Do you have a favorite memory of a Halloween past?
Fierce: All of them?  Samhain is my favorite holy day.  I have been a deathwalker since childhood, experiencing souls’ death moments, then when I was older, helping them to move on.  While interesting, that’s not something I can really converse about around the water cooler.  But for that slip of time that our culture honors the veil once a year, I get to feel like the way I have always experienced life is normal.

Cate: Wow, that's intense. Which makes this next question seem silly, lol. Have you ever had an unusual experience you couldn’t explain?
Fierce:  Many, and I’ve written about them extensively in my other writing.  As I said, I had them in childhood and they scared the crap out of me.  I knew by the time I was 6-7 that I was seeing and experiencing things other people weren’t, and I knew not to talk about it.  Knowing that my experiences scared other people only reinforced that I shouldn’t talk about them, which made the whole thing harder to deal with.  Eventually I realized the spirits weren’t intending to scare me, but that they needed help.  What we perceive as a spirit being aggressive or angry is the entity communicating the story of how it died, or some understanding it needs to impart before it can move on.  Once I realized that, everything changed.  It became [mostly] peaceful, and I started to work with them in earnest.  A normal day for me includes hearing voices and seeing visitors.

Cate: What frightens you the most?
Fierce:  Insanity.  Seriously, people, who aren’t and possibly can’t be in control of their wills frighten me.  Mixed with things like hatred, misogyny, homophobia and that’s a scary little problem on all of our hands.

Cate: So true. Ever gone on a ghost tour? Or ghost hunting on your own?
Fierce:  I used to, because it somehow helped me to feel legit in my own experiences.  I don’t, now.  I can interact with the dead anytime, anywhere.  Wax On, Wax Off.  I don’t seek it out now, unless there is a healing need behind it.  And of course, sometimes souls in need find me, even if I’m Wax Off.  That’s always interesting.

Cate: Any favorite Halloween recipes you’d care to share?
Fierce:  Hmm.  Well, I not a prescriptivist with cooking—I don’t measure ingredients, but I love butternut squash soup!  Roast one with some garlic and onion.  Purée it with a bit of broth, salt and pepper, a drizzle of honey and some cream.  Yum!  It’s the best by a warm fire on a cool night =)

Cate: Yum! Tell us about your latest release, and where readers can find it online.
Fierce:  Frankly, it’s a bit dark, even for me.  Journal of a Lycanthrophile is the diary of Jesse Hollman, a young man who has a fetish for justice and a kink for werewolves.  Together, his passions spiral him into a world of pain, shadow desires, and an even more sinister, secretive sort of shapeshifter—the kind that changes without shifting.  Definitely the darkest, grittiest erotica I’ve written, somewhere along the spectrum of paranormal horror.  This ain’t your grandma’s werewolf story.

Cate: lol Love that cover too. Care to share a blurb or excerpt?
We sat there, sizing each other up. Smaller in stature, overall, than the other werewolf had been, his fangs were every bit as huge. No doubt he killed those goats on the last moon.
“I’m a safe person,” I said. I swear he cocked his head and looked at me, then sprang up, kind of bounced back on his haunches. Pointing his nose straight up at the moon he let out this piercing, shrill howl. He did it several times, and this is just crazy as fuck because, yes, my ears rang like a motherfucker, but my chest hurt. My heart ached and I wanted to bawl or fucking howl too, he seemed so sad.
After a few seconds he stopped howling and his eyes bore into me. He stood on all-fours and backed down my body. When he got to my feet he sniffed and dove. I thought he was going for my leg, and I reared back to kick the shit out of him. I doubt hurting him would have gained me anything, reflex just kicked in. He grabbed my jeans cuff in his teeth and licked my ankle, down to my shoe. I stared down the length of my body watching. After a minute he looked up. His dark mane blew on the breeze, a billowing fur halo, then he ran for the trees.

Cate: What inspired you to write about the theme?
Fierce:  Frankly, I’m sick of the fluffy treatment of the paranormal genre, specifically of shapeshifters.  Yet, it wasn’t enough for me to de-humanize shifters.  I wanted to demonize humans, sort of a counter-balancing measure along the spectrum of nothing is inherently good, nothing is inherently bad.  This is the first book in the series.

Follow Fierce on Facebook and/or Twitter, to learn more about Journal of a Lycanthrophile.

Need a last-minute treat? Here's the kind of recipe I love - quick and easy! All you need are Keebler fudge stripe cookies, turned upside down, orange frosting topped with a Hershey's kiss to make these cute Witch Hat cookies for Halloween!

Thanks to all the authors who joined in the monthlong celebration of Halloween! I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Jenna Storm's here!

Cate: Hurricane Sandy blew through yesterday and today, but Jenna's a Storm I gladly welcome! :) Jenna, please tell us a little bit about yourself.
Jenna: I grew up in Pennsylvania and moved with my family to Arizona. I enjoy reading mythology, romance, paranormal and suspense. The more vampires, demons and mythical creatures the better. Throw in gloomy, cold weather, a soul shaking thunderstorm and I’m hooked.

Cate: What do you love most about Halloween?
Jenna: Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. I love the decorations and costumes. I enjoy watching horror/thriller or halloween themed movies. I guess it’s a ‘safe’ scare!

Cate: Do you have a favorite memory of a Halloween past?
Jenna: Nothing specific. I remember how fun it was dressing up, walking through the neighborhood until my feet ached and getting a good scare from the houses that were decorated. As an adult, I’m lucky to walk around with my kids and watch them go through the same things I did. The tired feet, the excitement of dressing up and trick or treating and rallying enough courage to ring the doorbell on the ‘haunted’ houses.

Cate: Have you ever had an unusual experience you couldn’t explain?
Jenna: We used to joke that the house I grew up in was haunted. We could hear light switches going on and off through the night and a man and woman arguing at times.

Cate: Ever gone on a ghost tour? Or ghost hunting on your own?
Jenna: No I haven’t but I would love to! Ever since I read Shannon Drake’s vampire series I’ve wanted to visit New Orleans and attend some of the ghost tours.

Cate: Tell us about your latest release, and where readers can find it online.
Jenna: “The Burning Seal” is a paranormal romantic suspense. It is novel length and available for download through my publisher, Muse It Up Publishing along with Amazon, Barnes and Noble and several other sites (a list is provided on Muse It Up’s Bookstore page).

For an excerpt from “The Burning Seal” please follow the link...

Cate: Care to share a blurb or excerpt?
Jenna: I’m happy to share a blurb on the book.

Detective Danni Keegan is plunged into a dark, demonic world where survival depends on deciphering the connection between ritual killings, and a demon terrorizing her for a “gift” she wasn’t even aware she possessed. She must unravel her dreams of another woman who lived during ancient times and battled a bloodthirsty demon—the same demon who now hunts Danni. The loss of her body and soul looms imminent as her only chance to destroy the demon depends on changing her new partner’s convictions. He is a sinfully sexy man, who exudes power and self-assurance with the ease of breathing and has an iron-willed determination not to believe in the paranormal.

Cate: What inspired you to write about the theme?
Jenna: Reading “When Darkness Falls” by Shannon Drake. From that point on I was hooked on paranormal especially vampires. Anne Rice’s series on the Mayfair Witches also pulled me into the paranormal genre.

Cate: Anything else you’d like to share?
Jenna: Thank you Cate! Happy Halloween!

Cate: A spooktacular Halloween to you, Jenna!

Wow, just one more day in October, which means one more guest tomorrow.

Here's a cute recipe I found in our local shopper flyer:

Yummy Mummy Spinach Dip
1 pkg (16 oz) frozen pizza dough, thawed
1 egg, beaten
2 sticks mozzarella string cheese
2 black olive slices (for the eyes)
1 cup sour cream
1/4 cup creamy ranch dressing
1 pkg (10 oz.) frozen spinach, thawed, chopped and drained
1 green onion, sliced
1/2 cup red pepper, finely chopped
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper crackers for dippers

Pat dough into 12 x 6-inch oval on baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray. Indent dough about 3 inches from one end of oval to shape the mummy's head. Let rise in a warm place 20 minutes or until dough doubles in volume.
Heat oven to 375 degrees. Brush dough with egg. Bake 18 to 20 minutes or until golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped lightly. Pull apart string cheese to make about 16 strips; arrange on bread like mummy wrappings. Bake 1 to 2 minutes or just until cheese is melted atop dough. Cool slightly. Press olive slices into bread for mummy's eyes; cool completely.
Separately, mix sour cream and dressing in a medium bowl until well blended. Stir in next 5 ingredients. Refrigerate 30 minutes or until ready to serve.
Use a sharp knife to remove the bread from the top of the mumm's body; scoop out bread from center, leaving a thin shell on the bottom and side (as shown). Reserve bread top. Discard removed bread or reserve for another use. Fill mummy shell with spinach dip just before serving; cover with top of bread.
Makes 18 servings (2 tsp each)

Monday, October 29, 2012

Taryn Kincaid stirs up a Halloween storm!

Cate: Yay, Taryn’s here for my special Halloween celebration. Taryn, please tell us a little bit about yourself.
Taryn: Well, I live and work in spooooooooky Sleepy Hollow, which is Holiday Central this time of year. It’s the setting of my new sexy paranormal releases, LIGHTNING and THUNDER, for Decadent Publishing’s fun 1Night Stand series. I also set my first erotic paranormal, SLEEPY HOLLOW DREAMS there.  SLEEPY HOLLOW sort of lends itself to spooktacular stories this time of year!

Cate: Whoa, so cool. What do you love most about Halloween?
Taryn:  The leaves, the nip in the air, the smells of apples and cider and cinnamon, the eager faces on the kids who come to your door in their costumes.

Cate: Do you have a favorite memory of a Halloween past?
Taryn:  Too many! When I was a kid my mom, whose birthday was a few days before Halloween, loved to dress us up in costumes she would whip up out of old clothes and things she had around the house. One year, she tricked my younger brother and I out as Raggedy Ann and Raggedy Andy. Before going out to trick or treat, we stopped off at a new store that had just opened. They took a picture of us and we won a TV!

Cate: Have you ever had an unusual experience you couldn’t explain?
Taryn:  Yes, and this one is a little creepy.  One night years ago, I had a very vivid dream that I was in an elevator with my grandparents, and the elevator car suddenly zoomed upward. I cracked my head on the ceiling of the car. My grandparents had vanished. When I woke up, the dream stayed with me, very unsettling. My dad was packing to go to Florida; his father had passed away during the night. (My grandmother lived to 90!)

Cate: That would be unsettling. What frightens you the most?
Taryn:  Horror movies!

Cate: Me too! lol Ever gone on a ghost tour? Or ghost hunting on your own?
Taryn:  My first career was as a newspaper reporter and columnist and a college professor in the area claimed he lived in an old haunted house. Around Halloween, he would trick it out even more eerily and invite his students and the neighborhood kids. He invited me in a few days before Halloween for a grand tour and yes, creaks, and unexplained noises and moans and eeriness galore. He was a Catholic priest, so it was even more spooky. (I don’t think his superiors at the college were too pleased about his tours or my story!)

Cate: I bet! Any favorite Halloween recipes you’d care to share?
Taryn:  Yes! Caramel apples are the easiest: Open the bag of Kraft caramels (14 oz. package). Take each caramel out of its cellophane wrapper. Melt in a pot with 2 tbs milk (or 2 minutes in the microwave). Insert sticks in 6 apples. Butter a baking sheet or wax paper.Swirl the apples in the melted caramel.  Rest them stick up on wax paper! (You can sprinkle them with crushed nuts or chocolate chips, if you like!) 

And here’s another, that’s also fun and quick: 

Fluffy Sleepy Hollow Pumpkin Dip
1 (16 oz) tub of Cool Whip, thawed
1 (5 oz) box of instant vanilla pudding mix
15 oz. can, solid pack pumpkin
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 hollowed-out pumpkin shell (optional)
Ginger snaps, graham crackers, apple slices
Mix the pudding mix, solid pack pumpkin and pumpkin spice together in a large bowl. Fold in the Cool Whip. Chip in the refrigerator until you’re ready to serve. Spoon the Fluffy Sleepy Hollow Pumpkin Dip into the hollowed up pumpkin or a serving bowl.
Dip cookies and fruit in the fluff.

Cate: Yum. Care to share a blurb or excerpt?
Taryn:  Why, yes! So happy you asked. This is the blurb and excerpt from THUNDER which released from Decadent Publishing on Oct. 26. (LIGHTNING released on Oct. 19).

Lonely young witch, Veronica Hardwicke, has struggled to get on with her life after the death of the elderly husband who’d left her a fortune and a sprawling estate in mystical Sleepy Hollow. When frightening things go bump in the night on a stormy Fourth of July, who better to call than the sexy developer and contractor, Sean Jones, who's been renovating her mansion for months?
Sean may grace the tabloid pages with a different supermodel on his arm every night, but it's Veronica who drives him nuts. Ignoring his instinct to stay away, he answers her summons.
Will the thundering passion of their 1Night Stand tear down the barriers between them?

Veronica paced back and forth in the grand entry foyer of the Belmont mansion, the kitten heels of her Prada mules clacking on the marble floors.
The rest of the place might not be finished, but she’d insisted on having a few rooms completed, so at least she felt like she was living in a home, rather than a massive, never-ending construction project. Well, her contractor had insisted, even though working around the main entrance and central hallway created more work for him and his crew. But she was forced to admit he was right.
Her cell phone chimed on top of the antique credenza shoved flush against one wall. She leaped for it. Probably Geneviève, to regale her with all the fun she was having in Paris. Or Sean, to advise her he couldn’t make it after all. She sighed and read the text message on the small screen.
Congratulations, Veronica. 1Night Stand has found your date. Have a good time.
With both anxiety and mounting excitement, she stared at the screen and waited. No other info. Outside in the night, thunder boomed. She jumped then laughed at herself.
Ghosts are one thing, but freaking out at the weather now? Cripes, you really do need this date!
She let her imagination run wild, then texted back for more details:
When? Where? Who?
An insistent pounding at the front door jarred her out of her fantasy. She swung the door open on another explosive crack of thunder.
Sean stood on her doorstep, his soaked T-shirt molding sculpted pecs and abs, his drenched hair flattened over his brow. Rain poured down as he fiddled with his iPhone, a bemused expression on his face. Behind him, jagged arrows of lightning tore the dark sky. He glared at the screen, glanced at her in confusion, then back at the screen.
Veronica’s own phone pinged again. Thunder roared. She read the message in disbelief.
You’re looking at him.

Cate: I'm hooked. :) What inspired you to write about the theme?
Taryn:  Love Sleepy Hollow. When LIGHTNING was accepted by Decadent, my editor hinted that, since the heroine had three sisters and since the hero had a brother…Yep, you guessed it. Sean Jones, the hunky studmuffin hero of THUNDER is the brother of Campbell Jones, the sexy hero of LIGHTNING.

Cate: Love interrelated stories like that! Anything else you’d like to share?
Taryn:  Come visit me at my web site, on Twitter, Facebook, the Amazon author page, and pretty much all over the web. Except Pinterest.

Cate: You guys are in for a treat! Taryn has a giveaway!
Taryn:  I’ll give away one copy of one of my books (reader’s choice). I’ll include some swag, if the winner wants to send me a snail mail address (by email).

Cate: Thanks for sharing the Halloween fun, Taryn! Only two more days left!

Meanwhile, here's a peek into the real Sleepy Hollow: