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Friday, October 31, 2014

The Light and Dark of Halloween Costumes


Giveaway Alert!

12 SHADES OF MIDNIGHT has the full spectrum of writing styles. From Ann Voss Peterson’s thriller, THE SCHOOL…to Angi Morgan’s light-hearted paranormal, HIT & RUN HALLIE. Ann’s ideas for Halloween costumes is also a little darker than Angi (who knows she’s appeared a bit goofy at times). This year Angi’s attending a Gotham City themed party. Out of the many possible Batman characters, all she wants to dress as…is a citizen. Ann would make a great Cat Woman. 

Ann: Cat Woman? Hell yeah! Or how about a little Trek?

Ann (aka Yeoman Janice Rand, Star Ship Enterprise): When I was a kid, I loved dressing up for Halloween, and my parents enjoyed helping me make creative costumes (okay, they actually made most of the costumes, but…). I was everything from the Tin Woodman in Wizard of Oz to a Green Bay Packer football card to The Headless Horseman. 

Since my hometown of Madison, Wisconsin has a huge Halloween bash on State Street, I continued the dress up tradition far into my grown up years. It was too fun to give up. My friends and I dressed as the villains in the Beatles’ Yellow Submarine one year (we had two Blue Meanies, a Bonker, and a Snapping Turk), anti-war protestors from the 60s (hey, it was Madison, WI!), and of course, my favorite costume (above), the Star Trek crew! 

And here’s a little taste of the dark side of Halloween; the devil, the clown, and the ghost. I’m Satan, but the scariest costume here is the clown, I swear. Clowns… shudder. 

My story in the Twelve Shades of Midnight anthology does have a bit of a dark, thriller mood, although no clowns. It’s set in the same small Wisconsin town as my Val Ryker Series (PUSHED TOO FAR, BURNED TOO HOT, and coming in 2015 DEAD TOO SOON). Police Chief Val appears in this story, too. But the story itself is about a little boy who disappears inside a very creepy school, his mom’s determination to get him out, and her very sexy next door neighbor who isn’t quite what he seems...

Angi: My new series is completely opposite, Ann. The scariest thing that happens to my bodyguards is that one might break a heel.  In fact, HIT & RUN HALLIE is the introduction to my new series of novellas, BODYGUARDS IN HEELS. My heroine dresses nice and considers it her armor, even if it is four inch stilettoes.

I’ve always loved to dress up for Halloween. My tastes keep me on the lighter side though. I’m not a big gore or slasher gal. So I’ve had lots of fun. Grumpy with seven of my friends who completed the Snow White and 7 Dwarfs. A “cat-tail” waitress…actually waitressing at Pizza Hut. A clown--I’m not sure how many times. A dog (seriously) the year my daughter was in love with 101 Dalmations. A wizard--covered in silver makeup that I washed off for a week. And a rather wacky pillow character that has no name. He was even in a show… Readers can watch him on YouTube. 

Thanks for hosting us Maureen. We’ve had great fun this week on Just Romantic Suspense and hope you’ll catch all the posts from our anthology co-writers.
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ANN VOSS PETERSON is the bestselling author of over thirty novels and has millions of books in print all over the globe. Winner of the prestigious Daphne du Maurier Award and a RITA finalist, Ann is known for her adrenaline-fueled thrillers and romantic suspense novels, including the Codename: Chandler spy thrillers she writes with J.A. Konrath and her own thriller series featuring small town Wisconsin police chief Val Ryker.
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ANGI MORGAN writes “Intrigues where honor and danger collide with love.” She combines actual Texas settings with characters who are in realistic and dangerous situations. Angi's work has been a finalist in the Bookseller’s Best Award, Romantic Times Best First Series, Carolyn Readers Choice, Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence and the Daphne du Maurier.


A Picture A Day  Goodreads  Pintrest  Book Trailers on YouTube Monthly Giveaway Other posts by Angi on Just Romantic Suspense
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Giveaway:
Angi’s giving away a copy of the 12 Shades Anthology to a blog commenter.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE COSTUME? Leave your opinion for a chance to win.

LEAVE A BLOG COMMENT and enter the 12-Shades week-long RAFFLECOPTER drawing. Lots of ways to enter. Lots to give away.  

* 12 SHADES OF MIDNIGHT  * 12 authors *
* 12 unforgettable, never-before-released stories *
The stroke of midnight ushers in many things. From hijinks and mischief to danger and evil, romance is the magic that binds these paranormal novellas together. Join 12 bestselling and award winning authors as they explore the different shades of midnight in exclusive, never-before-released stories.
For more information on 12 Shades of Midnight

Liliana Hart - THE WITCH NEXT DOOR
Darynda Jones - A LOVELY DROP
Shea Berkley - DARK SECRETS: STONE COLD DEAD
Dakota Cassidy - WITCHED AT BIRTH
Claire Cavanaugh - MIDNIGHT RENEGADE
Rachel Grant - MIDNIGHT SUN
Trish McCallan— SPIRIT WOODS
Angi Morgan - BODYGUARDS IN HEELS: HIT and RUN HALLIE
Robin Perini - NIGHT OF THE JAGUAR
Robyn Peterman -SWITCHING HOUR
Ann Voss Peterson - THE SCHOOL
Jenn Stark - GETTING WILDE 


Giveaway ends 11:59pm EST October 31st. Please supply your email in the post. You may use spaces or full text for security. (ex. jsmith at gmail dot com) If you do not wish to supply your email, or have trouble posting, please email maureen@justromanticsuspense.com with a subject title of JRS GIVEAWAY to be entered in the current giveaway.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

IT’S ALL ABOUT THE WITCHES

With: Robyn Peterman and Dakota Cassidy

Giveaway Alert!

Robyn and Dakota are still having fun at the 12 Shades Shindig-o-rama. There’s still time to get in on the prizes.

DAKOTA: My witch Winnie’s inspiration came from a combination of two things—every crazy Hollywood trope you can think of for a witch (magic wands, levitation, a snap of a finger), and a whole lotta crazy.

ROBYN: I adore paranormal and I hadn’t written a witch yet. When I was mulling what I was going to write, I was talking to Dakota. We decided to share a chapter one. It all came together and we laughed a lot and Zelda and Winnie were born.

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ABOUT Robyn Peterman’s WITCHING HOUR
Released from the pokey and paroled with limited magic is enough to make any witch grumpy. However, if you throw in a recently resurrected cat, a lime green Kia and a sexy egotistical werewolf, it’s enough to make a gal fly off the edge.

Not to mention a mission…with no directions.

So here I sit in Asscrack, West Virginia trying to figure out how to complete my mysterious mission before Halloween or get turned into a mortal.

The animals in the area are convinced I’m the Shifter Whisperer (whatever the hell that is) and the hotter-then-Satan’s-underpants werewolf thinks I’m his mate.

My biggest challenge up until now was wondering if I could get away with last season’s Prada purse and shoes…Now apparently I was slated to save my people?

Deny, deny, deny. That was my new motto. Falling for the sexiest werewolf alive? Nope. Starting to care about the fur balls who needed my help? Nope. Wondering if there was more to life than next year’s Fashion Week? Nope. Nope. Nope.

Sadly no one seems to believe me.

If they think I’m the right witch, they’ve swallowed some bad brew.

CHECK OUT THE BEGINNING:

   “If you say or do anything that sends our asses back to the magic pokey, I will zap you bald and give you a cold sore that makes you look like you were born with three lips.”
I tried to snatch the scissors from my best friend’s hand, but I might as well have been trying to catch a greased cat.
   “Look at my hair,” she hissed, holding up her bangs. “They’re touching my nose—my fucking nose, Zelda. I can’t be seen like this when we get out. I swear I’ll just do it a little.”
   “Winnifred, you have never done anything just a little. What happened the last time you cut your own bangs?”
   She winced and mumbled her shame into her collarbone. “That was years ago. They rebuilt the building and no one was killed.”
   “Fine,” I snapped. “Cut your bangs, but don’t come crying to me when you look like the dude from Dumb and Dumber.”
   “You know what?” she shouted, brandishing the shears entirely too close to my head for comfort, “we’re here because of you, asshead.” 
   That stopped me dead in my pursuit of saving her from herself. What the hell did I care? Let her cut her bangs up to her hairline and suffer the humiliation of looking five.   Maybe I wasn’t completely innocent here, but I bore far less of the blame than she did.
   “No. We’re in here because of you, Winnifred.”
  She rolled her eyes. “No. It was definitely you, Zelda.”
  “You.”
   “Nope—you.”
   Winnie’s selective memory was messing with my need to protect my ass. “Oh my Goddess,” I yelled. “I didn’t sleep with Baba Yaga’s precious nephew—you did.”

ABOUT Dakota Cassidy’s WITCHED AT BIRTH
Freshly sprung from witch jail, Winnie Foster just has to fulfill the conditions of her parole and she's home free. Too bad that parole takes place in Paris. (Texas!) Where she'll work at a school for the magically inclined. (KIDS!) And be forced to endure the ex who's one of the very reasons she landed in the pokey to begin with. (GAH!!) Bratty tots, sexy ex, timed showers, creepy dolls, magic restrictions and a GPS with an attitude, all wrapped in a Texas town hotter than the surface of the sun? Oh yeah. No way this could go wrong.

CHECK OUT THE BEGINNING:
   “I’m warning you, Winnifred Foster. If you say or do anything today that sends our asses back to the pokey, I’ll zap you bald and give you a cold sore that makes you look like you have three lips,” her best friend Zelda groused as she futilely tried to snatch a pair of scissors from Winnie’s hand to prevent her from giving herself bangs.
   Winnie hopped on the sagging mattress of her cot, looking down at her partner in crimes of abusive witch magic and current cellmate in witch jail with an accusatory glance.
   She held the scissors up in the air. “I’m sorry, me? As in moi? If I say anything? Er, wasn’t it you who told Baba Blah-Blah she was wearing the wrong color leg warmers for that wart on her nose? Or was I just imagining things?”
   Zelda swiped for the scissors again. “It’s Baba Yaga,” she corrected, reminding Winnie she’d purposely twisted their jailor’s name out of spite, and it was one of the reasons they were in magic jail to begin with. “You’d better get that right at Council so we appear respectful.”
   “Call her whatever you like, Z, but you insulted her, not me. I love you, and while I totally agreed with your fashion assessment, and she did look hideous, I bet pointing out Baba DooDah’s flaws aren’t going to win us favor at Council today. She’s an elephant, my friend. She remembers everything.”
   She hopped back off the cot when Zelda stopped trying to make a grab for the scissors.   She was worried. They were up for review for parole today and she didn’t want anything screwing that up. She wanted out of this rank-smelling cell with its gray concrete walls and equally gray sheets.
   She wanted to go to parties and laugh and drink champagne like they used to.
   Drown herself in luxury and forget Ben…
   Their cell was barren of any modern conveniences, especially those they could perform magic with—like mirrors. Locked up in Salem, Massachusetts, like serial killers in an old hotel built in the early 1900s that had been converted to a jail for witches.

CHECK OUT THE ANTHOLOGY TRAILER
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Robyn Peterman writes because the people inside her head won’t leave her alone until she gives them life on paper. Her addictions include laughing really hard with friends, shoes (the expensive kind), Target, Coke Zero Cherry with extra ice in a styrofoam cup, bejeweled reading glasses, her kids, her super-hot hubby and collecting stray animals. A former professional actress, with Broadway, film and T.V. credits, she now lives in the south with her family and too many animals to count. Writing gives her peace and makes her whole, plus having a job where you can work in your underpants works really well for her. You can leave Robyn a message via the Contact Page and she’ll get back to you as soon as her bizarre life permits! She loves to hear from her fans! 
Contact   Website  Facebook   Twitter   @robynpeterman  Pintrest   Backlist  

Dakota Cassidy lives for a good laugh in life and in her writing. In fact, she almost loves a good giggle as much as she loves hair products and that's saying something.

Her goals in life are simple, (like really simple): banish the color yellow forever, create world peace via hot rollers and Aqua Net; and finally, nab every tiara in the land by competing in the Miss USA, Miss Universe, and Miss World pageants, then sweeping them in a stunning trifecta of much duct tape and Vaseline usage, all in just under one week. Oh, and write really fun books!

Dakota lives in Oregon with her dogs  and has a husband who puts the heroes in her books to shame.
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Giveaway:
LEAVE A BLOG COMMENT for a free copy of 12 SHADES OF MIDNIGHT. And don’t forget to enter the Midnight  week-long Rafflecopter giveaway where the grand prize is a $100 gift card.

Who’s your favorite witch? Real or fictional… Leave your comment for a chance to win.

* 12 SHADES OF MIDNIGHT  * 12 authors *
* 12 unforgettable, never-before-released stories *
The stroke of midnight ushers in many things. From hijinks and mischief to danger and evil, romance is the magic that binds these paranormal novellas together. Join 12 bestselling and award winning authors as they explore the different shades of midnight in exclusive, never-before-released stories.
For more information on 12 Shades of Midnight

Liliana Hart - THE WITCH NEXT DOOR
Darynda Jones - A LOVELY DROP
Shea Berkley - DARK SECRETS: STONE COLD DEAD
Dakota Cassidy - WITCHED AT BIRTH
Claire Cavanaugh - MIDNIGHT RENEGADE
Rachel Grant - MIDNIGHT SUN
Trish McCallan— SPIRIT WOODS
Angi Morgan - BODYGUARDS IN HEELS: HIT and RUN HALLIE
Robin Perini - NIGHT OF THE JAGUAR
Robyn Peterman -SWITCHING HOUR
Ann Voss Peterson - THE SCHOOL
Jenn Stark - GETTING WILDE 


Giveaway ends 11:59pm EST October 30th. Please supply your email in the post. You may use spaces or full text for security. (ex. jsmith at gmail dot com) If you do not wish to supply your email, or have trouble posting, please email maureen@justromanticsuspense.com with a subject title of JRS GIVEAWAY to be entered in the current giveaway.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Halloween Horror

Congratulations to "Bn100", the winner in Shea and Liliana's giveaway. Thank you to all who participated!

The first horror movie I ever saw was at my preacher’s house. He loved classic horror movies and he had a copy of the original Dracula…on a reel. That’s hardcore collecting right there. I was about nine and that movie scared me to death. It took me a long time to watch another horror movie. I was sixteen, and my date took me to see Friday the Thirteenth on Halloween night. Seriously? 

That was messed up. I don’t actually remember much of that movie. I covered my eyes through most of it and smacked my date every time he came near me. I was not amused. So, you can imagine my surprise when I suddenly found myself writing about the things that go bump in the night. I know exactly when I started liking horror.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer. 

That’s right, Joss Whedon got me hooked on horror. Sure, it was a new kind of scare tactic, one laced with humor and snappy dialogue, but it was still steeped in imagery that was terrifying. I love a good fight scene and tension that’ll make you squirm in your seat, but I’m also a fan of humor and deep feelings of love and family. I try to create stories that explore the unbelievable as well as the enduring aspect of the fragility of love. Making it all work is challenging, but it’s something I really enjoy and I hope my readers do too.

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DARK SECRETS: STONE COLD DEAD

Death stalks the dark streets of Boston, but even death has enemies…

Being a hero is Ryan di Taro’s job. Eradicating the city of vampires and other monsters that hide in the dark is how he got the title. When an unknown woman appears and saves his life and then disappears, he’s not sure if he’s made a friend or enemy. Should he accept her help in hunting down the undead, or is she part of an elaborate plan the creatures of darkness have created to end his quest to see evil eliminated for good.
Facebook | Twitter
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THE WITCH NEXT DOOR

They say things good and bad come in threes, and with the blood moon rising over Cauldron’s Hollow, Eloise Goodnight knew change was brewing. As one of the three Goodnight sisters, her destiny didn’t bode well. Love lost then death. So when a strange man enters their tiny village, a man with his own brand of magic, Eloise vows to stay away, but destiny—and her dreams—have other plans.
Website | Facebook | Twitter

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Giveaway:
Enter the MIDNIGHT GIVEAWAY through Rafflecopter for a chance at $100 gift card.  Stop by the SHINDIG tonight for a chance to win a Kindle. And share your favorite scary moment for a chance to win 1 digital copy from Liliana Hart’s backlist.

WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE SCARY MOMENT? It can be anything from a movie to a real life encounter. 

* 12 SHADES OF MIDNIGHT  * 12 authors *
* 12 unforgettable, never-before-released stories *
The stroke of midnight ushers in many things. From hijinks and mischief to danger and evil, romance is the magic that binds these paranormal novellas together. Join 12 bestselling and award winning authors as they explore the different shades of midnight in exclusive, never-before-released stories.
For more information on 12 Shades of Midnight

Liliana Hart - THE WITCH NEXT DOOR
Darynda Jones - A LOVELY DROP
Shea Berkley - DARK SECRETS: STONE COLD DEAD
Dakota Cassidy - WITCHED AT BIRTH
Claire Cavanaugh - MIDNIGHT RENEGADE
Rachel Grant - MIDNIGHT SUN
Trish McCallan— SPIRIT WOODS
Angi Morgan - BODYGUARDS IN HEELS: HIT and RUN HALLIE
Robin Perini - NIGHT OF THE JAGUAR
Robyn Peterman -SWITCHING HOUR
Ann Voss Peterson - THE SCHOOL
Jenn Stark - GETTING WILDE 


Giveaway ends 11:59pm EST October 29th. Please supply your email in the post. You may use spaces or full text for security. (ex. jsmith at gmail dot com) If you do not wish to supply your email, or have trouble posting, please email maureen@justromanticsuspense.com with a subject title of JRS GIVEAWAY to be entered in the current giveaway.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

When Life Mimics the Movies


Congratulations to Colleen and Brooke, the winners in Trish's giveaway. Thank you to all who participated!

I’ve been a fan of scary movies all my life. Stasher movies or horror stories based on torture and violence aren’t my favorite; they have no residual effect on me. I can watch one and still sleep like a baby, not a nightmare to be found.  For me, the movies that have a lasting effect, and invade my sleep are storylines that are more intellectually spooky, or plots that mirror something that happened to me in real life. 

The new movie Ouija is a perfect example of a movie that’s likely to haunt me long after the credits roll. Back when I was a kid I had a seriously spooky encounter with an Ouija board. My brother had found an old Ouija board in my grandmother’s storage shed when we were visiting over Christmas, and we (my brother and sister and I) decided to give it a whirl. The board was missing the piece you were supposed to rest your fingers on, so we used a crystal that my grandmother had given my sister for Christmas. I don’t remember what questions we ask. What I do remember, vividly, is when the crystal started moving on its own. We didn’t even have our hands on it, and the board was flat on the table, and the crystal just started sliding from letter to letter. It spelled out HEL—before we freaked and fled upstairs.  

Flash forward to the movie the Mothman Prophecies—this movie gave me chills and nightmares for days, partly because it was based on a true story and partly because it tapped into my subconscious fear that there are malevolent supernatural entities in this world that exist to torment us. Again, my reaction to this movie was based on something that had happened a year or so earlier.  I used to work swing shift at this mini-mart. We were the last stop before tourists left town to climb the canyon to Stevens Pass.  During a shift in early December a young family came into the store—a man, a woman and their young daughter. The woman bought a pack of cigarettes and the price came to $6.66. Quite often when the price on their items came to $6.66 the customer would laugh and say they didn’t want the bad luck and they’d throw something else on the counter to bring the price up. 

The woman in this case tossed a pack of gum down. But the husband grabbed the gum and put it away, saying he didn’t believe in such silly superstition. He paid the $6.66 and they left the store. About an hour later a bunch of ambulances went screaming up the canyon. In the paper the next day there was an article about the family. Apparently the husband had lost control of their car on a patch of ice and the car spun into the opposite lane where it was stuck by oncoming traffic. The wife and daughter were killed instantly, but the husband escaped without a scratch. It was such an eerie, creepy thing to happen. There he’d been an hour earlier making fun of his wife’s superstition and then in the blink of an eye he’d lost his entire family. It felt like the accident had been some malicious prank designed to teach him a lesson. 

Wishing you all a very spooky and fun-filled Halloween!    ~ Trish McCallan

DARYNDA: I kind of like all scary monsters and all scary movies. LOL. I love zombies and vampires and werewolves and slasher movies. Pretty much anything works for me. I really was scared of Nightmare on Elm Street. And for a lighter flavor…loved Hocus Pocus. 

Here’s a little teaser from A LOVELY DROP

The female detective watched my every move with purpose. Studying. Assessing. While Murphy watched my every move with something other than the most noble of intentions. There was both hunger and disgust when he leaned in to me, which did not speak well of his marriage. I wasn’t psychic or anything, just a wicked-good observer. I had trust issues. 

“Well?” he questioned with a raised brow. “You gonna show us your dog and pony?” 

“Back off,” a male voice said from behind me. 

We all turned as the man with issues and a duster walked in followed by the older gentleman he’d been conversing with on the lawn, the one who looked like he ate nails for breakfast. 

“We’ll take it from here,” he said. 

Murphy shrugged, clearly not giving a fuck. “As you wish, Special Agent Strand.” He backed away and swept his arm in a gallant gesture of surrender. Then he smirked again, waiting for the show to begin. 

Good luck with that. 

The duster, or Special Agent Strand of probably some obscure branch of Homeland Security nobody’d ever heard of, ignored him and turned toward me, stepping so close I had to crane my neck to look up at him. His sculpted mouth, the most revealing of all tells, remained impassive, making him unreadable. He took his time absorbing my features while his gave nothing away. After a long and quite unnerving stare-down, he began. 

“September, 2010. Two murders in the girls’ dormitory at Purdue. No suspects.”  

My attention snapped into place so fast, it cracked audibly in my ears. 

“August, 2011,” he continued. “Elderly man run down in Chicago with his grandson. No suspects.”

My gaze didn’t stray a hairsbreadth from the cerulean depths of his. The world around us faded away.

“November, 2011. Seven-year-old girl vanishes from an elementary school in Wheaton. No suspects.” 

I didn’t blink. 

“February, 2012. Woman found beaten and barely alive, dumped outside of a Des Moines emergency room. No suspects.” 

I didn’t breathe.

“March, 2013. Teller killed in bank robbery in Grand Rapids. December, 2013. Arsonist sets fire to half of Milwaukee. March, 2014. Con man steals the life’s savings of every single resident at the Sunny Hills Retirement Home in Indianapolis.” He stepped closer, staring down at me until we were practically nose-to-nose. “Those and a dozen others. All with no suspects.” 

I stood in shock that someone had put it together so thoroughly. My mind raced for an answer of how. What did I do wrong? 

“Shall I continue?” he asked, his voice as smooth as bourbon. 

I swallowed audibly but stood my ground. 

He offered me a quick nod of acknowledgement, as though accepting my silence as his cue to continue. “All of those crimes had no suspects. Zero. Yet all were solved through a series of tips from either anonymously-delivered phone calls or letters that contained names, addresses, and even drawings of the person or persons the informant IDed as the perps. All letters dropped at the corresponding police stations by a woman who kept her face hidden from cameras. Not a single clear shot of her in the bunch.” 

His face softened as his gaze slid to a lock of hair that had stubbornly refused to stay put behind my ear. “But in one, the woman was delivering a letter during a storm and one lock of curly red hair fell out from under her cap.” 

My lids drifted shut in disbelief. One lock of my ridiculous hair gave me away. Then again, how much could they get off of one lock of hair? I lifted my lashes and stood in silence, afraid to say anything that might incriminate me. 

“No comment?” 

After a long moment in which my fight or flight response warred with the logistics of the situation—How far could I get, really?—I forced myself to calm and think about this rationally. I didn’t do anything illegal. What could they charge me with? Aiding and abetting an investigation? 

Collaboration. Of course. There were sicko serial killers who collaborated all the time. Terrorists were notorious for having an entire cell of like-minded individuals. 

I lifted my chin with a new determination. “I asked for a lawyer three days ago.” 


“I asked for a pony when I was seven. Clearly, we’ve both been disappointed. What do you need to make this work?” 

SPIRIT WOODS

When an old flame brings a stray golden retriever into Kaylea’s clinic she’s stunned by the dog’s resemblance to Max, her childhood companion. But when the golden recognizes her and knows all the tricks she’d taught Max, a chilling question arises—if this dog really is the beloved family pet she’d buried beneath Spirit Woods’ canopy seventeen years earlier, what else might be making its way home from the grave?

Facebook    Twitter    Website
A LOVELY DROP

A woman who claims she can drop back in time to solve crimes meets a special agent who believes her. Now, the one thing she’s been able to manipulate her whole life is the one thing she needs more of, as she races against time with a special agent hell-bent on saving the world.  Facebook    Twitter    Website    Backlist
Giveaway:
Trish is giving away two Spirit Woods T-shirts in honor of the release of the 12 SHADES OF MIDNIGHT anthology. SPIRIT WOODS kicks off Trish’s new paranormal romantic suspense series. Just comment for a chance to win.  

So what about the rest of you? What kind of movies scare the bejesus out of you? Or have you ever had a creepy, real life event that’s stuck around and haunted you?

Don’t forget enter the 12 Shades week-long RAFFLECOPTER drawing. Lots of ways to enter. Lots to give away.  

* 12 SHADES OF MIDNIGHT  * 12 authors *
* 12 unforgettable, never-before-released stories *
The stroke of midnight ushers in many things. From hijinks and mischief to danger and evil, romance is the magic that binds these paranormal novellas together. Join 12 bestselling and award winning authors as they explore the different shades of midnight in exclusive, never-before-released stories.
For more information on 12 Shades of Midnight

Liliana Hart - THE WITCH NEXT DOOR
Darynda Jones - A LOVELY DROP
Shea Berkley - DARK SECRETS: STONE COLD DEAD
Dakota Cassidy - WITCHED AT BIRTH
Claire Cavanaugh - MIDNIGHT RENEGADE
Rachel Grant - MIDNIGHT SUN
Trish McCallan— SPIRIT WOODS
Angi Morgan - BODYGUARDS IN HEELS: HIT and RUN HALLIE
Robin Perini - NIGHT OF THE JAGUAR
Robyn Peterman -SWITCHING HOUR
Ann Voss Peterson - THE SCHOOL
Jenn Stark - GETTING WILDE 


Giveaway ends 11:59pm EST October 28th. Please supply your email in the post. You may use spaces or full text for security. (ex. jsmith at gmail dot com) If you do not wish to supply your email, or have trouble posting, please email maureen@justromanticsuspense.com with a subject title of JRS GIVEAWAY to be entered in the current giveaway.

Monday, October 27, 2014

What is your favorite Halloween tradition?

With: Jenn Stark and Rachel Grant 

Congratulations to "Jill" and "Taurus", the winner's in Jenn and Rachel's giveaway. Thank you to all who participated!

Rachel: First I want to thank Maureen and everyone at Just Romantic Suspense for letting us take over JRS this week, I’m super excited to be here to talk about my first foray into paranormal romantic suspense! I’m also thrilled to be here with Jenn Stark, who is three of my favorite people in the world (you may also know her as Jenn McGowan and Jennifer Chance) and talking about one of my favorite holidays: Halloween.

When I was growing up, Halloween wasn’t just about the costumes, trick-or-treating, and jack-o’-lanterns, it was also about the most important day of the year, which happened two days later—some call it All Souls’ Day, in Mexico it is El Día de los Muertos, but in the Grant household, it is known as my birthday.

Having your birthday fall on the third day of the triduum of Allhallowtide is about the coolest thing, ever, because it means the party starts with costumes and candy on October 31st and doesn’t end until about 60 hours later, when it’s capped off with cake and presents.

But naturally, sharing my birthday with the Day of the Dead led to an interest in the traditions around the holiday… an interest shared by Jenn as well!

Jenn: Thanks as well to Maureen and the whole JRS team—it’s great to be joining you! For me, Halloween is a fabulous mix of past and present celebrations. I love the story of “soul cakes”, popularized in Tudor and Elizabethan England, which were small currant-crossed, white-frosted pastries sold on All Hallows Eve. These little cakes were not only delicious… they could free a soul from Purgatory if consumed before midnight. What kind of awesome sales pitch is THAT?


Also, I’m a huge fan of an even older superstition, which holds that the veil between the worlds thins dramatically on the feast of Samhain, such that the spirit world can mix with the realm of the living. So all those amazingly ghoulish costumes you see? Just good folk trying to confuse (or imitate) the spirits! This acceptance of magic as part of our world fits well with my Twelve Shades anthology novella, Getting Wilde. My heroine hunts down magical artifacts with the use of Tarot cards—and encounters more than she bargains for while pursuing her newest job. The festival of Samhain would be right up her alley!

A relatively new Samhain tradition that I’ve adopted is to create a costume that represents the person you most want to become in the coming year, so you literally “dress the part” of your future self. Since I want nothing more than to be a successful, full-time author, my costume is pretty easy: tank top, pajama bottoms, slippers… and bags of mon-eh.

But while my tradition focuses on how life goes on, Rachel can take us back to remembering lives that have ended: or The Day of the Dead celebration! 

Rachel: The Day of the Dead celebration is intended to encourage the souls of departed relatives to visit and hear the praises and prayers of the living who are celebrating them. Families visit cemeteries and often decorate graves with Mexican marigolds; some families create altars in their home, which they fill with favorite foods and beverages as well as photos and keepsakes. Stories told about the deceased can be funny, and my understanding is the Day of the Dead can be quite joyous.

I’m particularly intrigued by this idea of reaching out to a departed soul with offerings, as the reverse is true in my novella in the Twelve Shades anthology. In Midnight Sun, a departed soul in an ancient Iñupiat shaman’s mask needs to reach out to the living, and unfortunately, when information needs to flow the other way, it’s not always joyous for the living or the dead…

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Giveaway:
Today Rachel is giving away one signed print copy of Midnight Sun to one commenter (US mailing address only, this title isn’t available for sale individually in any format), and Jenn Stark is giving away one digital copy of Getting Wilde (this title is not available for sale individually in any format) to another commenter. To enter the giveaway, share your favorite Halloween (or, as Rachel prefers to call it, triduum of Allhallowtide) tradition!

LEAVE A BLOG COMMENT and enter the 12 Shades week-long Rafflecopter giveaway.

Find Rachel and Jenn on the Internet: RG Website | JS Website | RG Facebook | JS Facebook
* 12 SHADES OF MIDNIGHT  * 12 authors *
* 12 unforgettable, never-before-released stories *
The stroke of midnight ushers in many things. From hijinks and mischief to danger and evil, romance is the magic that binds these paranormal novellas together. Join 12 bestselling and award winning authors as they explore the different shades of midnight in exclusive, never-before-released stories.
For more information on 12 Shades of Midnight
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Liliana Hart - THE WITCH NEXT DOOR
Darynda Jones - A LOVELY DROP
Shea Berkley - DARK SECRETS: STONE COLD DEAD
Dakota Cassidy - WITCHED AT BIRTH
Claire Cavanaugh - MIDNIGHT RENEGADE
Rachel Grant - MIDNIGHT SUN
Trish McCallan— SPIRIT WOODS
Angi Morgan - BODYGUARDS IN HEELS: HIT and RUN HALLIE
Robin Perini - NIGHT OF THE JAGUAR
Robyn Peterman -SWITCHING HOUR
Ann Voss Peterson - THE SCHOOL
Jenn Stark - GETTING WILDE 


Giveaway ends 11:59pm EST October 27th. Please supply your email in the post. You may use spaces or full text for security. (ex. jsmith at gmail dot com) If you do not wish to supply your email, or have trouble posting, please email maureen@justromanticsuspense.com with a subject title of JRS GIVEAWAY to be entered in the current giveaway.