Cate: Please welcome Lyndi Alexander to my special Halloween celebration. Lyndi, please tell us a little bit about yourself.
Lyndi: I’m a single mom of a daughter on the autism spectrum, a multi-published novelist in both romance and sci-fi/fantasy/paranormal, a family law attorney during the day, and I also volunteer making patchwork blankets for Project Linus, which donates homemade blankets to children in hospitals so they have something homey.
Cate: Wow, that is amazing. Kudos to you! What do you love most about Halloween?
Lyndi: In our town, people decorate outdoors for Halloween the way most towns do for Christmas. It’s so much fun to drive around and check out all the orange lights and giant spiders!
Cate: It is fun, isn't it? :) Do you have a favorite memory of a Halloween past?
Lyndi: When I was about eight, we were living out in the country in Indiana on my grandmother’s farm, and she let me have a Halloween party out in the barn. It was so spooky, with real mice and bats in the rafters. I’m not much of a dresser-upper, so I haven’t attended many parties since I grew up, but that was was a hoot.
Cate: Fun! Have you ever had an unusual experience you couldn’t explain?
Lyndi: When we first moved into our Pennsylvania house, we noticed that toys would move without being touched. Often lights would flash on and flash off without any reason—lights that weren’t even on the same circuit flashing at the same time! Several “sensitive” friends said they felt a presence in the house. I’d have loved to come face to face and chat with whoever it was, but we never did get that opportunity.
Cate: Yikes! Scary stuff. What frightens you the most?
Lyndi: Things I don’t know they’re there. Like if I know there’s a spider up in the corner (as long as it’s small and doesn’t have fangs or anything, of course) and it stays in the corner, it can live there forever. If it wants to come by and drop down in front of my face and surprise me, it’s toast. That easy.
Cate: Ha, I hear you. Ever gone on a ghost tour? Or ghost hunting on your own?
Lyndi: We took a tour of the cemeteries in New Orleans, which are above ground in concrete tombs. Pretty creepy after dark!
Cate: Very cool! New Orleans is on my bucket list. :) Any favorite Halloween recipes you’d care to share?
Lyndi: Our family has a tradition of making popcorn balls, not because we actually like popcorn balls, but because the first Halloween after we moved north from Miami, my sister and daughter made a batch of popcorn balls and really burnt the syrup badly—then served it anyway! Ever since that, we always make then just to remind her how awful those turned out.:
7 cups popped popcorn
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup light corn syrup
1 cup sugar
½ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 cup sugar
½ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon vanilla
7 cups of assorted nuts, dates, candy corn, chocolate chips, M&Ms—whatever you like.
Boil sugar, corn syrup, and salt in a small saucepan, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Cook over high heat until mixture reaches 255 degrees F on a candy thermometer. Stir in vanilla.
Pour mixture over popcorn evenly, and mix with buttered hands until every piece is coated. Then add your extras. Shape into balls and set on a tray or wax paper to cool.
Cate: Now for the real goodies! Tell us about your latest release, and where readers can find it online.
Lyndi: My paranormal mystery is called LOVE ME, KISS ME, KILL ME. It’s a 2009 NaNoWriMo novel, and is published by Hydra Publications. You can buy this book at Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble.com, Smashwords, and more, or order it in print from your favorite local bookseller! Readers can learn more about it at my website, http://lyndialexander.wordpress.com
Cate: Care to share a blurb or excerpt?
Lyndi: A bad divorce, a broken heart, a need to begin again.
These three things propel reporter Sara Woods to leave her comfortable position working for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and take the first news job that comes along, working as the new reporter for small-town Ohio’s Ralston Courier. Ralston is a sleepy little town that doesn’t seem to have much to offer this big-city girl, but her very first assignment is to investigate a dead body, a young woman found half-frozen on the side of a country road.
But soon the story on this body ties in with others, and she finds herself scrambling to come up with a common link among the dead other than the fact that they’re all young women Sara’s age.
Still recovering from a previous auto accident and struggling with chronic pain, she becomes a patient at the Goldstone Clinic, a local mecca of healing.
But all is not as it seems at the Goldstone, its doctors and nurses are all the picture of perfect beauty and health. Patients at the clinic first seem to get better, then they deteriorate. Sara enlists the help of Dr. Rick Paulsen, a doctor at the city hospital who shares her concern about the deaths of the young women, one of whom was his own patient. He teaches her through Eastern techniques how to access her internal power, skills she never knew she had, revealing secrets from her past.
Police officer Brendon Zale also takes an interest in Sara, but he stalks her, watching her every move, and he won’t leave her alone. He always turns up at the most suspicious times, especially where the dead bodies are found. What’s his interest in Sara?
As she digs deeper into the story, and more young women die without explanation, she tries to choose allies wisely, and finally discovers the heart of the danger before her. By then, it’s too late.
Cate: What inspired you to write about the theme?
Lyndi: I’d done some studying into the Eastern healing regimens, and they really interested me—the knowledge of the body’s energy fields and how they can be adjusted to give a person good health. Of course, my mind then took the opposite tack—what if someone wanted to use his or her knowledge of these powerful forces in a negative way, regardless of the cost to the person? I think we’ve all known people we’d call “emotional vampires,” people who just weigh on us and suck the life out of every situation. People can have a really strong effect on each other, intentional or not.
Cate: Anything else you’d like to share?
Lyndi: Many things exist in the world that we may not understand. Sometimes they’re attainable through education, like Sara does in my story. I’ve learned many of these techniques myself, and have friends who also practice self-healing through aromatherapy, natural medicine and so many more. Some things may look like magic, but turn out to be science. Some things are truly mystical. I hope they are. As long as we have mysteries to pursue, we can continue to expand our own knowledge and worldview.
Cate: Heads up, you guys – Lyndi has a giveaway for you!
Lyndi: I’d be glad to provide an ebook of LOVE ME, KISS ME, KILL ME to one of your readers—we’ll choose from those who leave comments, shall we? Happy Halloween to one and all! Thanks for coming by and reading about my book.
Cate: Thanks so much for joining the Halloween party, Lyndi!