Thursday, 20 September 2018

Sign Up For The October Frights Blog Hop 2018!

It's that time of year again!


Time to sign up for the October Frights Blog Hop!




Here's a quick overview of this great Halloween/horror/paranormal event.



  • It is run by the October Frights group on Facebook
  • It happens from from October 10th-15th
  • The hop theme is any and all things creepy or spooky or Halloween
  • All participants must be a member of the October Frights group as we run all info, graphics and links through that group
  • Either blogs or websites are acceptable; as long as you can post easily visible content you can join the hop
  • Participants can post daily, semi-daily, or run one post for the entire hop, your choice
  • Posts can be stories, poems, excerpts, book spotlights, photo montages, general ramblings about spooky stuff, etc.
  • All signups will be through Inlinkz and the embed code or link MUST be added to your blog hop posts (code is available through the October Frights group)
  • Cross promotion is encouraged, so if you’d like to have other participants guest on your blog or website feel free to post an offer in the group
  • Promotion of the blog hop is mandatory, how you promote is up to you. For Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook we use the hashtag #OctoberFrights
  • If you sign up, posting on October 10th is MANDATORY. If you cannot, (due to whatever) please inform the organizer (me, Anita Stewart) or post in the group so you can be removed from the hop roster, or otherwise accommodated.  Sites with no October Frights content (and I mean content, not just a graphic) by October 11th will be culled from the hop


If you are interested, sign up below (click the "add your link" button) at InLinkz.
Then join the October Frights group!




Monday, 17 September 2018

Scath Oran Blog Tour: The Banshee

Today, the blog is a stop on the Scath Oran book tour and I have a guest post by author Stacy Overby on one of my favourite subjects, the Banshee. I also have a look at Stacy's new poetry book, Scath Oran, so enjoy.



The Banshee


Banshees. They’re the quintessential mythical creature when it comes to creepiness and death. Many movies and stories include them, but what—beyond their shriek—do the stories tell about banshees? That question drew me to explore the myths surrounding banshees when writing Scath Oran.



Banshee Origins

The origins of the banshee are somewhat clouded, but one drew my attention. It is said that the banshees came from women who died during childbirth. These women-turned-banshees roamed, portending death, until they reached what would have been the end of their natural life. None of the myths talked about what happened from there, but the implication is that they passed into their version of Heaven or paradise. Other legends talk about banshees being created from women who were murdered. It seems that, regardless of the method, legends say banshees are created from women who meet tragic ends.
With this origin myth, the banshees would presumably appear as young women. While that was sometimes the case, it did not always hold true. This is one place where the Celtic belief in Maiden, Mother, Crone shows up. Just as often as the banshee appeared young, she also would appear as an older woman to an old “hag”. Another image from Scotland painted of the banshee was a woman washing bloodied clothes at the ford in a river. The one who saw her there washing the bloodied clothes would soon die.


The Banshee Cry


The keening and wailing of the banshee is perhaps the most classic aspect of the banshee, and the one most often thought of when the banshee are mentioned. Most legends agree that this cry is about warning someone of impending doom. Some legends say the banshee only cry at the death of a true blood Milesian Irish. Others talk about the number of banshee keening signified the greatness or holiness of the person who died.
Scholars believe the wailing of the banshee stems from a different Irish tradition. At funerals, the Irish would hire keeners to wail laments at a death. The better the keener, the more in demand she was. With this association with death and funerals, it is easy to see how this tradition crossed the line to become something more in legends.




The Fairy Connection

Another interesting aspect of banshees is that some Irish believed the banshee was a fairy woman who would bear the news of a loved one’s death. This held true even when the person died far from home and family. Thus, the banshee would be the herald bearing the news of the death before any human messenger could bring the sad tidings.

Also Known As

The banshee had multiple other names as well. She could be known as the bean chaointe, or keening woman. Bean nighe, or other variants, meaning little washerwoman or washer at the ford, is a Scottish variation to the banshee myth. The hag of the mist was yet another variation of the banshee stemming from Welsh legends. Which name was used depended on the region in which the story originated.


Other Facts


The intentions, and dangerousness, of the banshee also varied depending on the legend being studied. Some banshees were said to be closely tied to their families and their cries were sorrowful laments of the loss to the family. Other banshee legends talked of angry and vengeful female spirits who frightened and tormented those who heard her cries. A few even speak of the banshees causing the deaths they sang of, rather than just reporting them.
One of the most intriguing pieces of information on the banshee I found was about the beliefs in banshee. For many centuries, not believing in banshee was blasphemous in the British Isles—Ireland in specific. While this has waned in modern times, there are still those who believe in the existence of banshees as something more than myth and legend.


So, there you have it, a brief history of the banshees. They are featured several times in Scath Oran, including a story about how one banshee came to be. Scath Oran is available on Amazon and Draft2Digital. You can find me at www.thisisnothitchhikersguide.com.





Scath Oran: poetry from the Otherworld by Stacy Overby 






The Wee Folk. The Fae. Fairies.

Whatever you may call them, they have whispered secrets in this collection of poetry plucked from the halls of Tír na nÓg. But, be forewarned, not all is as it seems on a journey through the shining realm. Come, take a step into the fairy ring as songs of the Fae drift on the damp night air. 

Scath Oran: poetry from the Otherworld
releases September 22nd, 2018 and is available at
Draft2Digital






For more stops on the tour check out the list: Scath Oran Blog Tour






Saturday, 15 September 2018

Interview With JK Allen, Author of Angelborn

Today I have an interview with author JK Allen who talks about writing and her debut release, the YA urban fantasy, Angelborn. Enjoy.


Interview With JK Allen



Why don’t you begin by sharing a little about yourself.

I graduated in 2010, with a degree in Creative Writing and English and decided to get really serious about my writing. It was a dream of mine to get published, and I was determined to work until I did. So I’m pleased as punched that not only do I have several works in anthologies, but that my debut novel, Angelborn, comes out September 27th!



Could you tell us a bit about your latest book?

Angelborn is a YA urban fantasy that features Ginny Gracehurst, a teen who thinks she’s just a normal girl until she gets a demon mark and is thrown into a world she never knew existed. Turns out she’s half angel and the object of a powerful half demon’s evil plans. She must work to stay out of his hands while keeping her loved ones safe.




How long have you been writing, and how many books have you published to date?

I wrote my first story the day after I learned how to write and never stopped. I have three stories and four poems in anthologies with another short story releasing in November. Angelborn is my debut novel.


When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?

I’ve always been writing, but I didn’t realize I wanted to be a writer until I was deciding my major for college. I knew I liked English, but I never even knew it was possible to major in Creative Writing. My advisor mentioned it offhand and it was like a bell went off for me. It was exactly what I wanted to learn and do, and I dove right in.


What is your greatest challenge as a writer?

This is odd for me, but editing my own work has been a challenge for me. I work for a publishing company and actually do a lot of editing for them, and I love editing for others! But when it comes to my own works, I do struggle to get motivated, even though I really believe good writing is rewriting.


Do you have a favourite author, or writing inspiration?

I love a wide array of authors. I feel like there’s so much to learn from so many different writers and writing styles. I love stories with great characters I can relate to.


What advice would you give beginning writers?

Write first, edit later. I think it’s so important to distinguish between the two. It takes two completely different ways of thinking to do each, and you can really stifle your creativity by thinking too critically too soon. Get the draft out, you have time to perfect it later.


What do you like to do when you're not writing? Any hobbies?

I love being fueled by creativity, so I like drawing and painting in my free time. Also, reading is a passion of mine. And sometimes I crochet. Basically I like creating things or getting lost in imagination, mine or my favorite authors.


Are you working on another book?

I am in the middle of getting the sequel to Angelborn, Heavenfire, ready for publication in April. And I’m getting geared up to start writing the third book in the series. I’m a plotter, so I had to get my scene list and research in order first.



Angelborn by JK Allen

High school is all about boy meets girl, girl gets demon mark, and girl finds out she’s half-angel. At least that’s how it is for Ginny Gracehurst.

Sixteen year olds have a lot going on in their lives, and Ginny is no exception. Grades, homework, pimples, oh and now the sudden appearance of a demon mark. And discovering her father, who she thought was dead, is actually the great angel Grace. Who is very much alive.

With unforeseen powers growing, she has to figure out who she really is. While also staying out of the reach of a powerful half demon who is hell-bent on bending her to his will. The Alliance, an organization that is supposed to help people like her, is threatened by her potential gifts. They are more invested in their own hierarchy than in upholding their divine mandate. It’s up to her and a new friend, Aiden, to protect not just herself, but the ones she loves.

Angelborn is available on Amazon for a September 27th release.

The blog tour for Angelborn is running from Sept 14th to Oct 5th.


About the Author:

JK Allen received her BA in Creative Writing and English from Michigan State University. She wrote her first story when she first learned how to write and hasn’t looked back since. Common writing themes that can be found in her work address identity, everyday magic, and the type of strength that can be found in ordinary people. Three of her short stories and several poems are featured in anthologies, and Angelborn is her debut novel coming out September 2018. She is currently working on the trilogy as well as several shorts, while researching for a new series in the works. Her reading tastes are as varied as the genres she enjoys writing, from Jane Austen to J.K. Rowling. When she’s not writing, you can find her painting, drawing, or lost in another world between the pages of a book. Or on Facebook. She write YA urban fantasy mostly, but also dabbles in other genres like horror and poetry. You can find her at Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Or on her Blog.


Saturday, 1 September 2018

Book Announcement: Psychonaut the Graphic Novel by Carmilla Voiez

Today I have a spotlight and something a bit different: a release announcement. I'm bringing you all the lovely information about Psychonaut the Graphic Novel by Carmilla Voiez with art by Anna Prashkovich. Enjoy!



New Release - Psychonaut the Graphic Novel



What would you do for the one you love? Satori would travel worlds and battle demons, but however much Star begs he just can’t let her go.

Psychonaut the Graphic Novel is out September 1st, 2018. Written by Carmilla Voiez with art by Anna Prashkovich, this is a comic for mature adults, containing scenes of sex and violence. Psychonaut is the sequel to Starblood and forms part of The Starblood Trilogy. Backed by Kickstarter supporters this gorgeous volume is available in print (hardcover and paperback), on comiXology and Kindle.

Diversity and representation might be current buzzwords, but they are also important. Starblood and Psychonaut, two graphic novels from the Starblood Trilogy are both written by an illustrated by women. It’s a story that has strong women at its heart, with themes of sexuality – including bisexuality, and self-identity. The antagonist is a woman who rages at the world and the protagonists are searching for their places in that world.

On release day Carmilla will be hosting a party on Facebook from 9pm – 11pm (UK time +01.00) and a live chat on her website from 11pm to Midnight. You are welcome to attend both.
We are setting up a rafflecopter which will be live from Sep 1 – Sep 8, with three prizes for the winner and runner ups. You can enter by completing various tasks including helping us promoting the book release or purchasing a copy. Rafflecopter Prizes: First prize - a) if winner resides within the UK – signed paperback copies of Starblood and Psychonaut the graphic novels OR £20 Amazon voucher (winner’s choice). b) if winner resides outside the UK – paperback copies of Starblood and Psychonaut the graphic novels OR $25 USD Amazon voucher (winner’s choice). Runner up prizes: Second prize - Ebook versions of the following PLUS $5 USD Amazon voucher: Cristy Stoat – Brown House, Faith Marlow – Being Mrs Dracula, Lily Luchesi – Skin Deep, Cathrina Constantine – Tallas. Third prize - Ebook/pdf versions of the following: Elaine White – Decadent, Cathrina Constantine – Rising Star, The Erotic Tales of Carmilla Voiez. Rafflecopter link here - http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/ce99b5c58/?

Check out some of the pages from Psychonaut the graphic novel and find a link to the Rafflecopter at http://carmillavoiez.wixsite.com/carmillavoiez/single-post/2018/08/27/Psychonaut-the-Graphic-Novel and enjoy some Feminazi Splatter Goth fun.

Black Sun the Graphic Novel, the final book in the trilogy, is currently in production. Two of our Kickstarter backers will feature as characters in the third volume. To keep up to date with news on the final book join my blog or subscribe to my newsletter. After the success of the Psychonaut Kickstarter it is very likely we will use the crowdfunder again when Black Sun is ready.

About The Starblood Trilogy -

I wrote The Starblood Trilogy during the final years of my second marriage and a lot of the things I was feeling then found their way onto the page. The three main characters represented aspects of myself, Star was my confusion, Satori my sexuality, and Lilith my rage. It was cathartic but very painful too.

One of my favourite lines from the first book remains - “There is no shame in love, only completion.” Lilith says this to Star, but the words are at odds with Star’s experiences throughout the trilogy. Shame and love seem to go hand in hand for Star.

If you want to find out more about the Starblood story it is available as a trilogy in one volume – here’s the Amazon link, but it can also be found on iTunes, Kobo etc – http://smarturl.it/TheStarbloodTrilogy

About Psychonaut –

Satori is caught between two worlds. There is something he needs in one, but the other keeps drawing him back. However, he is in love and he isn’t going to let a little thing like death get in his way. To reach his goal, he must face unimaginable horrors, not least of which is his true self.
Star’s tortured and broken body awaits Satori, but does she really need him to save her? His rival, a rage-filled young woman, grows more powerful and becomes as twisted as the ribbons in her hair while the demon, Lilith, draws each of them inexorably towards her. Who will survive the coming battle?

Full of sex and magic, “Psychonaut” is an exploration into the human psyche and the second book in Voiez’s “Starblood” trilogy.

“Carmilla Voiez is more of a singer than a writer. She tells her compelling story in a hypnotic, distinctive voice that brings her eerie world vividly to life.” Graham Masterton

“Psychonaut is a book of mad impulses, inner vision, sadism, escape and belief. You feel uncomfortable reading it, like Alex strapped to the chair in Clockwork Orange being taught to feel sick at atrocity. Rather than leave us crippled by response, though, Psychonaut bears you through the hurt towards the only paradise we can be assured of…a love past fault.” Jef Withonef, Houston Press.
What is comiXology? “comiXology is home to the largest selection of digital comics anywhere, comiXology takes comics further with [their] revolutionary Guided View™ reading technology on all your devices. Start building your digital comics library and lose yourself in the world of comics, graphic novels & manga. Guided View allows you to swipe or tap to cinematically shift from panel-to-panel at your own pace! Each Guided View experience has been handcrafted by a comic lover to make sure you have the best possible adventure, no matter how small your device.”


Want to create your own graphic novel or just see how Anna and I created Starblood? Check out this blog post (includes page images and some of the script) - http://carmillavoiez.wixsite.com/carmillavoiez/single-post/2017/03/28/How-to-create-a-graphic-novel

Do you have a favourite character in Starblood? Mine’s Freya. In fact she’s demanded I write a new book just for her. I’ll be working on that this November, and if successful, Starblood will no longer be a trilogy. It will be a series. Here’s more about my favourite character - http://carmillavoiez.wixsite.com/carmillavoiez/single-post/2017/03/06/Freya-is-one-hell-of-a-fucked-up-character

Links to everywhere you can find Psychonaut the graphic novel - http://carmillavoiez.wixsite.com/carmillavoiez/graphicnovel



Saturday, 11 August 2018

Book Spotlight: The Rose Queen: Book 1 of the Rose Trilogy

Today I have another book spotlight for you. This time it is the fairy tale fantasy, The Rose Queen, Book 1 in the Rose Trilogy, by Alison McBain. In addition to a peek at the book, there's a short excerpt. Enjoy!


The Rose Queen: Book 1 of the Rose Trilogy by Alison McBain



The Beast doesn't always wait for Beauty. Sometimes Beauty IS the Beast.

Princess Mirabella is betrothed to a repulsive old man a year after her mother's death. She refuses the marriage, only to find out her betrothed is a sorcerer as well. He takes his revenge by transforming her into a savage and frightening beast, giving her an ultimatum: she has three years to solve the mystery of her curse—or die.

Exiled to her mother's estate to hide the scandal, Mirabella learns that the sorcerer was not alone in keeping secrets. Her grandfather was murdered before Mirabella was born, and her mother's death is looking less and less as if it came from natural causes. The only point in common to all their ruined lives: her father, the king.

Faced with a conflict between saving her family and saving her own life, the choices Mirabella makes will change the future of the kingdom—and magic—forever.




The Rose Queen: Book 1 of the Rose Trilogy is available on Amazon




EXCERPT FROM CHAPTER 1:


When she was sixteen, Mirabella attended the last ball her mother, the queen, would organize. Although Mira’s beauty was maturing, she was not yet done with the plumpness of youth. Between now and her eighteenth year, she would grow five more inches. At eighteen, she would be the tallest of all the women and taller than a number of the men of court. She would come eye-to-eye with the king, although his stature was greater simply due to the height of his crown.

But at sixteen, something about her was not yet complete.

It was attractive, that unfinished quality in her. At her mother’s ball, one could tell where the princess stood merely by the number of suitors hovering around one spot. Overwhelmed by the crowd, she had learned by that time to smile coyly and say little. She donned indifference like armor, and without intending it, her distant and cool demeanor became her trademark. What would they all say if they knew she felt shriveled up inside under the constant attention?

Because she didn’t say much, Mira listened. Since childhood, she’d had the knack of paying attention to multiple conversations at the same time. She could be at a crowded gathering like this ballroom, and still distinguish each voice around her. Even as she smiled at her companions, she was mostly paying attention to the conversation now taking place behind her.

Him? What would the king want with him?”

“Called him from there, you know. The queen said—”

“Country buffoon. Did you know that when he made his bow, he neglected to—”

“Not surprising. What do you expect, letting in riffraff? And look at those clothes—”

She couldn’t help but turn to look for the subject of the conversation.

The person they spoke of seemed alone despite the hordes of people who swirled around him, like a pebble untouched in a stream. His clothes were a touch less elegant, less polished, as if he had spent money frugally and been cheated of the finest materials. It aped the latest style, but was not quite the thing. There was something about him, though, that spoke to her.

His features were forgettable, but his eyes—they were dark and miserable in the crowd.

She managed an introduction and, a touch belatedly it seemed, he asked to escort her around the ballroom. She glanced to each side, at the bodies of suitors piled up around her, and raised one perfect eyebrow at him in conspiracy. “Thank you, sir,” she replied and was granted his smile.

She heard a ripple of whispers after them, but it was unlikely she would ever see this country lord again, and so she didn’t worry about what impression she might be making. For a moment, she breathed more easily in the man’s ostracized presence. He said almost nothing, and it was a definite improvement over the ceaseless prattle of the admirers left behind.

And for a moment, she felt… not alone. Or if alone, it was a shared aloneness. She could be a solitary creature and take comfort with another’s pain in the midst of the crowd.

When the man made his final bow, she felt she had done a good service to rescue him and keep him company. Maybe someone might do the same for her someday.



About the Author



Alison McBain is an award-winning author with more than seventy short stories/poems published in magazines and anthologies, including Flash Fiction Online, Abyss & Apex and On Spec. Once in a while, she puts on her Book Reviews Editor hat for the magazine Bewildering Stories or interviews authors and other creatives on her website, www.alisonmcbain.com.

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