Giveaway with Michelle Franklin....ends November 5th!
Spooktacular giveaway with Leanore Elliots Beasts..ends tonight!! Your chance to win 1 of 3 copies!
Monster Mash with Regan Black...ends tonight!! Your chance to win a paperback or e-copy of one of her books plus and autographed tote and every commenter gets a free book!
Romance girls gone goblin....ends tonight!! Enter to win JT Hardings newest paperback book!
Jake Bannerman's Pitchfork Diaries....ends tonight!!! For my horror fans!!
Giveaway with Cari Quinn...ends November 5th!! Enter to win Bad Kitty!!
With me today are two very special people! I have a guest post by "Nanny" over at Getting Naughty Between the Stacks. This lovely lady helped me get started! So I asked her to guest post on my favorite holiday! Take it away Nanny!!
Should Vampires Really be Sexy?
I've been interested in the paranormal, ever since I was young. Vampires have always been one of my favorite creatures. Yet the creatures of today aren't what many would've thought of vampires back in the day. There are many legends going as far back as the Bible about creatures that suck blood or other bodily fluids and they cover the globe. But the vampire as we know it is a relativity new creature, no not just the sparkly ones, the term vampire wasn't even coined until the 17th century. The charismatic and sophisticated vampire was born in the 18th century. Up until then most vampires were waking corpses that drank blood at night and crawled back into their grave or crypt at dawn. These where ghouls the stuff of nightmares, not wet dreams. Heck in Japan they had a vampire like creature that's head detached from it's body to go flying around and find victims. Seriously not sexy in my book. In Puerto Rico and Mexico they have el chupacabra which isn't even human like. It's more like a dog and attacks goats leaving a tell-tail fanged mark and bloodless husks. The vetala is an India legend of a ghoul like creature that inhibits a corpse.
Given this nightmarish history should we really be swooning over vampires?
In today’s culture Vampires are brooding, misunderstood, and sexy. We see them as the count in a goth novel, or the hero in a romance novel. I've seen cowboys, high powered office executives, even terrorist vampires. More often than not they are wealthy, and why not they have centuries to make the money. Usually good looking and smart. Well I guess they'd have to be to survive without being staked by a religious nut. They all have some power too, and lets not forget the main thing that draws us to them eternal life. I guess it's not hard to see why we're drawn to the vampire, turn bloated corpse into sexy hunk and you've got a recipe that almost everyone will crave. Mr Stoker you were really on to something.
But it kind of bothers me that we've turned these really great legends into... something that sparkles. Perhaps it's time to let the vampires rest in peace and turn our sexy sights on something new... like zombies, come on make zombies sexy I dare you.
So what's your opinion? Do you think vampires should be sexy? Up next is a new author friend of mine, Jaz Primo, who writes about vampires :) We all love them! He has written a short tale just for my blog!! Gotta Love him!! Take it away Jaz!!
Pumpkin Protective Services
by Jaz Primo
Charlie Meister was a bully throughout most of the year. However, during the month of October he was always particularly spiteful. Charlie hated Halloween. Perhaps it was from the teasing that his grade school classmates issued towards him at Halloween. Some would ask, "Hey, Charlie, going out to wait for the Great Pumpkin with Linus this year?" Others would tease, "Hey, Charlie, get ready for all of those rocks in your trick or treats bag!" Even though Charlie had grown into his teens, he still hated Halloween.
"It's nothing but a childish holiday for losers," Charlie often groused. "Just another lame reason for companies to sell crap to people."
Throughout his early teen years, Charlie clandestinely selected the occasional pumpkin display as targets of opportunity leading up to Halloween night. The owners of a normally festive and decorative pumpkin would wake one morning to find their carved creation lying in pieces in the middle of the street, or perhaps just find it smashed in place where it had sat. Most people associated such events as a reflection on the regrettable state of society's lack of civility and respect for other's personal property.
However, by the time that Charlie had turned seventeen, his disdain for Halloween reached new levels that fateful fall. Gone were his normally secretive and only occasional attacks on the neighborhood's carved pumpkins. This year was different. Charlie planned a full-scale demolition of Halloween decorations in the final days leading up to Halloween.
As Halloween fell on a Friday that year, Charlie had an entire work week to orchestrate his subversive destruction. Overjoyed that most people would be adhering to earlier bedtimes due to the requirements of school and work, Charlie found his task relatively unencumbered by complications. Not being prone to laziness, he began his endeavors on Monday night.
Charlie was surprised how easy it was to sneak out of his house after eleven o'clock once his parents had gone to bed. Having grown up in same suburb since he was a child, he knew his surroundings like the back of his hand. He negotiated in and around the less-traveled portions of town, including making keen use of trees, parks, and relatively unused walking paths. The buildings of closed or abandoned businesses were ideal to use as cover, and he knew where most of the town's buildings used video surveillance cameras in parking lots and entrances. Still, he only managed to damage or destroy a dozen or so Halloween displays.
Tuesday resulted in very little discussion about his Monday evening exploits, and by that evening he once again ventured out into the night to devastate pumpkins and gourds. In his own sardonic play on words, he played a variety of Smashing Pumpkins tunes on his iPod while carrying out his anti-Halloween agenda. By Wednesday night, Charlie had become quite regimented and experienced in handing out his angst-ridden punishment to all things Halloween.
On Thursday, there was quite a bit of talk among Charlie's classmates regarding acts of vandalism around town. That night, Charlie began his relatively practiced journey through town. However, he noticed that there seemed to be more than a token police presence driving around town. He was hardly deterred from his mission and felt well-prepared to explain that he was doing nothing more than talking a walk because he couldn't sleep. It wasn't as if anyone had seen him out and about on previous evenings. He snickered over his good fortune.
Moving from house to house, he felt a little like Dr. Seuss' The Grinch, though it hardly kept him from enjoying his destructive endeavors. After the fifth house, Charlie felt a sudden chill creep up his spine. He could have sworn that he was being watched!
He quickly knelt into some nearby bushes, turned off his iPod, and scanned the area for anything unusual. He heard neither the sound of a vehicle nor a passerby. Charlie waited for many moments, hugging the darkness as he waited for anyone to reveal themselves.
Charlie let out a breath that he hadn't realized he'd been holding and quietly stepped back onto the dimly-lit dirt path leading into a nearby wooded area to continue his clandestine mission to another part of town.
"Hey, buddy," came a sudden deep voice. "Whatcha' doin'?"
Charlie swirled around with a start to confront the visitor. His eyes widened as he stared at what could best be described as shabbily-dressed person wearing black leather gloves and...a pumpkin for a head!
"Who the hell are you supposed to be?" he demanded, peering into the triangular eye sockets of the pumpkin head. All that he saw was a dimly-glowing yellow hue. There wasn't even any eyeballs!
"Me? You can call me Jack," the pumpkin person muttered.
Charlie chuckled. "Jack the pumpkin, I presume? Dude, Halloween isn't even until Saturday. You're not only pretty silly-looking, you're two days early."
Despite his bravado, the fellow actually gave Charlie the creeps. He strained slightly in the dim light as he studied the guy's pumpkin. There was only a sad-looking slit for a mouth and two holes for a nose.
The scent of fresh pumpkin permeated the air as the strange visitor clasped his gloved hands before him and shook his head.
"So, you've never heard of Jack O'Lantern, then?"
"Jack O'Lantern? You've gotta' be kidding," Charlie snorted. "No, I guess I don't know Jack, after all."
"Very funny, kid," Jack said flatly. "Listen, what is it with you and pumpkins, anyway?"
Charlie could hardly believe that he was standing around chatting with a guy wearing pumpkin headgear. "Dude, I'm just out for a walk-"
"Ha! I've been watching your little exploits from a distance all week now. Frankly, I'm not amused," Jack said. "But you caught me in an uncommonly generous mood tonight. Tell you what, Charlie, you just turn around and head home right now and we'll forget the whole thing. But no more pumpkin carnage, or I'll be back, and you won't like it very much."
Charlie frowned. "How the hell did you know my name? And I don't care if you're the Great Pumpkin, if this is some sort of joke I'm going to punch your lights out."
The pumpkin's eyes flared bright yellow and Charlie tensed as he took a step back. Jack menacingly pointed a gloved forefinger at him.
"I know you and every other kid in this world, so drop the sarcasm, Charlie," he growled. "You could say that I'm the spirit of Halloween."
Charlie's mind raced as he tried to generate logic from his Twilight Zone circumstances. He'd certainly never heard of Halloween spirit, at least not in the manner that Jack had mentioned. Was it like the Christmas spirit? Still, he didn't believe in Santa Claus so why should he believe in Halloween spirit? Then a sinister thought struck him.
"Listen, Jack, I don't believe in Halloween, got it?"
"What?" Jack asked uncertainly as his yellow eyes flickered for a moment.
Charlie gained renewed vigor as he sensed a glimmer of success...no pun intended. He shrugged and turned his back on Jack as he started to walk off.
"Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, Cupid, they're all the same," Charlie continued. "They don't exist, and neither do you."
Charlie concentrated on real, tangible things in his life such as his dog, his parents, and the certainty of a math test that he had coming up on Friday. He cleared his mind of all things Halloween and clicked his iPod back on. Then he took a fresh breath and headed back onto the dirt path towards the direction of his home.
"Why you little-" Jack growled, though his voice seemed to trail off in the distance.
Charlie casually glanced back over his shoulder, only to find that there was nobody standing back where "Jack" had been only moments before.
Friday was relatively uneventful for Charlie. He took his math exam later that morning, mercilessly teased some classmates at lunch, and managed not to fall asleep during the remainder of his afternoon classes. He realized that Friday night was his last opportunity available to take out a little more vengeance on the neighborhood's Halloween displays. Although he suspected that he'd have to wait until much later before he could go out. People usually stayed up later on Friday nights.
Charlie went out with some friends after school. At least, they were the closest people that he thought of as friends. In reality, they were classmates who he'd know throughout his school years whose personalities annoyed him the least.
By midnight, he was ready to head out for a final mission against Halloween. Nearly half the town had experienced some level of vandalism during the past week. If only for his need to remain anonymous, he would likely have been quite a notorious celebrity in town that week.
He carefully made his way through town, noticing that there was decidedly more traffic about than on previous evenings. Still, he felt that he was practically an expert by that point in the fine art of evasion.
"I should join the CIA," he quipped.
Three Halloween displays suffered his wrath before he came upon a particularly darkened yard. He could make out the outlines of three carved pumpkins on the front porch. Slowly and quietly, he made his way towards the steps.
Suddenly, the porch light snapped on and he slipped back around the corner of the garage.
A young boy wearing Peanuts pajamas stepped out through the front door holding a massive, intricately-carved pumpkin.
"Joey, hurry up and set it outside. It's way past your bedtime," came a woman's voice from inside the house.
"Okay, Mom," Joey replied.
The little boy carefully placed the huge pumpkin onto the edge of the porch. The other gourds flanked it as a sort of honor guard. It had to be the biggest carved pumpkin that Charlie had ever seen.
"I hope that the Great Pumpkin likes it," Joey whispered with awe as he looked into the starry night sky.
"Joey, hurry up and come in now," came the woman's voice.
The little boy quickly retreated back into the house, closing the door behind him with a thud. Then the porch light went out again.
Charlie smiled evilly. He was practically overjoyed by the prospect of smashing that huge pumpkin right in the middle of Joey's driveway.
"Psst," came a deep voice from behind him.
Charlie started and whipped around to see Jack standing behind him. His triangular yellow eyes blazed brightly.
"I warned you, Charlie," Jack growled.
Charlie was dumbfounded. He hadn't even had a single thought about Jack since Thursday night. He tightly shut his eyes and immediately thought of all the tangible, real things in his life. He thought about his dog, the repairs needed on his car, his plans for the weekend, and which video game he wanted to download from Amazon. After a few moments, he opened his eyes again.
Jack stood directly before him
"But you're not real! I don't believe in you," Charlie retorted.
Jack snickered darkly. "No, but little Joey sure does."
Charlie adopted a horrified expression.
The next day was Saturday. It was Halloween. Little Joey held a Halloween party for his friends that day, and everyone was impressed and amazed over the huge pumpkin on his front porch. He beamed with pride that someone had actually placed a blue ribbon on it during the night with the inscription, "First Prize Pumpkin!" That night, Joey had the best time of his life trick-or-treating.
Nobody ever heard from Charlie Meister again. His parents reported him missing and the police searched the entire county. All that was ever found was a huge pumpkin in the middle of the forest sitting atop a dead tree stump. It had the most intricately-carved image of a young man's face on it, and the detective working Charlie's case could have sworn that it held a strong resemblance to the missing teen.
* * * * *
Today's Halloween story is brought to you by Jaz Primo, author of the Sunset Vampire Series. Jaz is also a history aficionado, "pun-master", and all-around fan of things vampire and urban fantasy. He is a native of Oklahoma where he lives with his wife and a long-lived cat. Visit his website at http://www.jazprimo.com.
This is Jaz and he is a sweetie! He has just come off of his Sunset Vampire Series Tour! This a peek at his book!
“We vampires are focused and tend to shape our own realities.”
My name is Katrina Rawlings, and I am a vampire. I declare that with neither pride nor ego. I am simply nature’s most dangerous predator. On occasion, it’s a very valuable quality. It helped me protect Caleb Taylor one day when he was very young. But that single, traumatic day is behind him now; wiped from his memory, or so I hope.
Caleb has finally matured into a rather striking young man, and believe me, I like what I see. I’ll readily admit that there are issues for us to confront and overcome, though a sense of mutual commitment isn’t one of them. I’m feeling hopeful for our future together, in fact. But an adversary from my past has returned to haunt me, and she’s trying to get back at me through Caleb. That was her first...and last...mistake. I’ll protect my Caleb at all costs, and I’ll make her regret the day she was born.
So, I suppose that I’m not just a vampire. I’m about to become someone’s worst nightmare!
Katrina Rawlings is a vampire who has finally rediscovered happiness for the first time in centuries. But unwanted complications erupt with a vengeance. Decisions of necessity combined with dark memories from a forgotten past threaten her relationship with the love of her life. When a sacrifice must be made, can she endure her decision?
Caleb Taylor's life is finally back on track. He has rebounded from a near mortal injury, both physically and emotionally. Yet, his reality is shaken by the suggestion of a betrayal of trust from the woman he loves. Can the power of love overcome the power of a lie?
Paige Turner is a century old vampire who fearlessly revels in a simple existence pursuing blood, dancing, and sex. Simple needs, and all met in the same manner: hot, fast, and without regrets. But a spontaneous visit leads to heartfelt sacrifice, and unexpected complications strike fear to the core of her soul. Will she survive the revelations?
In the exciting second novel in the Sunset Vampire Series, a trust is betrayed, bonds of friendship are strained, relationships may end, and a tenuous neutrality among the world's vampire population is threatened. With stakes so high, some will not survive A Bloody London Sunset!
And Jaz is actually about to release a third book in the series! I will have the reviews of these books coming in a few days! Happy Halloween Everyone! If you have time, answer Nanny's question, comment on Jaz's story, and tell me your big plans for tonight :)