Monday, October 31, 2011

Samhain Blessings

The veil has lifted! This is the day where spirits walk freely among us. A time to honor those who have passed and how they impacted your lives. Before heading back to Tennessee later today, Harry and I will be paying a visit with Granny Plutts. She and Grandpa Elbert are buried on top of a hill in a quaint county cemetery. 

Elbert and Plutina Radford were my Nanny Payne's grandparents, so that would make them my great great grandparents. This old photo hangs in my mom's living room and will someday be mine.

I love going to visit Granny Plutts at her final resting place high atop the mountains. The view is spectacular and it's so peaceful and serene atop that hill. The cemetery is very well maintained and fenced in where I can let Harry off his leash while I visit with my ancestors.

As of yet, I've never been able to channel Granny Plutts, but I would love to talk to her. Grandpa Elbert was a Madison Count Sheriff and my Daddy was able to remember him fondly. They both passed many years before I was born. I've had the most success in communicating with spirits from my father's side of the family. Daddy is always with me and Nanny and my Great Aunt Essie have both paid me visits from the other side, along with my Nanny's brother Uncle Weston who dropped by one night with a nice message.

Today is also the official release of the first book in my Ring Dreams series. You can get a copy of Headlocks and Hexes for only .99 cents at Smashwords or Amazon Kindle. The book will also later be available in print through Amazon and in about a week through Barnes & Noble for the Nook.

Have you had any close encounters with spirits? If so, leave a comment and the person with the coolest personal ghost story will get a free download of Headlocks & Hexes from Smashwords. The book is available there in formats that work for all ereaders or you can download the file as a .pdf and read it on your computer.

Have a blessed Samhain and I'll check back in later this evening and announce a winner tomorrow.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Headlocks & Hexes

Headlocks & Hexes is going to be released on October 31st and I will be throwing a week long party to celebrate. I'll be giving away free ebooks every day next week, both here and on

All you have to do is add a comment in order to possibly be a winner. A grand prize winner will get a magickal penis candle just like Rowan uses to cast her love spell on Dylan.

Odessa will be blogging on to introduce the characters and I'll be handling things from here with character interviews, interesting tidbits about the book, and anything else that might cross my wicked little mind.

If you have a review site or would like either myself or Odessa to be a guest on your blog please let us know. Who wouldn't want to talk to a real live ghost? And you know Odessa has a mouth on her. I'm also always open to having guest bloggers here.

In the mean time, if you've not done it yet, please visit Smashwords and check out a couple of free Ring Dreams Snippets.

Monday, October 24, 2011

An Affinity For Shadows

Today's guest is another Gypsy Shadow author, Liz R. Newman. She's dropping by to discuss her latest release, An Affinity for Shadows

What about 9/11 inspired you to base a novel upon this era?

I began the novel An Affinity For Shadows, while I worked on my Master's Thesis in Clinical Psychology.  For this novel, I incorporated the knowledge from the internship I took on in the world of broadcast journalism while studying for my undergraduate degree, the deeper understanding of human empathy which I felt bonded us after 9/11, and my passion to become a romance novelist.  The brainchild of all of those interests is the book itself.

Writing had always been an ambition for me, but my first generation American parents discouraged any professions they deemed impractical.  They didn't understand that in America you are free to do anything you have a passion for, and if you do it well, you can make a living at it. 

A few friends have asked me how I come up with the stories I write.  This is right before they tell me I should write a book about them, which I find a bit humorous.  I think we all think our lives make interesting stories, but there are first and foremost most interesting to ourselves.  We seek out fiction to find characters who are extraordinary and larger than life.  In my experience as a writer, I never choose the stories.  The stories choose me. I came up with my idea for my next novel, The Last Day King, by strolling around Pier 39 having an ice cream cone with my family, and looking up and imagining the wizard Merlin standing on the skid gear of a helicopter as as he hung on to the side while flying through the blue sky.  The story simply grew from there, as preposterous as that sounds, it turned out to be a great story.

Life comes in cycles, and so do stories.
How do you feel the world will benefit from this particular piece of art?

The story is a mainstream literary romance, which in layman's terms means it is about more than just the romantic tension between Kate Theodore, the broadcast journalist whose life changes by being at the scene of 9/11, and whose solid gold ambition crumbles into dust when a beloved cameraman dies near the scene; and her Italian lover Sal Olivieri, who also happens to be near the scene of the 9/11 attacks, and merely blocks away. They do not know each other well at this point, and they both process the 9/11 attacks in different ways.  The story is predominantly about Kate, and how she stumbles through life, trying to overcome Post Traumatic Stress Disorder while fighting to care for her sanity and fulfill obligations of friendship.  Her Italian love affair is another delicious layer of the cake, and the reader is left to savor this layer at the end of the story, which concludes with a not so typical happily ever after ending.

How do you think people will react to a book about 9/11?

As the tenth anniversary of the attacks passes, I believe people will approach some art and literature that includes the theme of the attacks with an open heart.  It really depends on what the art or literature is truly about.  I had one publisher pass the manuscript onto an editor who rejected the manuscript outright without reading a single page.  When I asked her for feedback, she brought up the movie "Remember Me" starring Robert Pattinson, saying it performed poorly at the box office.  I read multiple reviews on the movie, and what seemed to bother the public the most was not so much the story but the "throw in" of 9/11 at the end, which was meant to elicit tears from the audience. 

An Affinity For Shadows is not about using the tragedy to incorporate what is often termed as "cheap parlor tricks" to get a rise out of people.  My hope for the novel is that readers will come away with the resolution that in order to find love, you must reach out for it, in order to have a true friend, you must be a true friend, and in order to truly experience joy, you must have had a taste of pain.  I think I speak for millions when I declare these statements to be true.

What do you hope to accomplish with this book?

My novel is about overcoming tragedy and embracing love.  It's about viewing the world outside of yourself, and understanding that often times, personal loss is necessary for a person to change their life, and to help change the lives of others. But it's so much more than tragedy.  It's about friendship, family, love and laughter, and all of their amazing and bittersweet counterparts.
Art for me is healing.  From abstract paintings by Salvador Dali or Dante, to novels such as The Road or The Book Thief, to movies such as West Side Story or Hotel Rwanda, art has brought me to a higher state of consciousness more readily than any textbook ever has.  The artist reaches out through their work, and I long to strike that rare and universal chord of connection between artist and beholder, through the best medium I  know how.  The written word.

Liz R. Newman holds a Certificate in Fiction Writing from the Gotham Writer's Workshop, an M.A. in Clinical Psychology, and a B.A. in Mass Communications with a concentration in Broadcast Journalism. She worked as an intern and staff writer at KTVU Broadcasting Station in Oakland, California.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Wedding Bells

No, a date hasn't been set yet. There's not even a ring on her finger. Not that it stopped Rowan from having a squealing gotta have it fit when she saw the latest Vera Wang witchcraft wedding collection.

Seeing as how Rowan is at least five inches too tall to wear the DeFleihr witch dress worn by both Dinera and Lizzie, Dinera decided to break tradition and allow the chosen one to have a brand new dress.

Grandmere Dinera has already had her people get on the phone with Vera Wang's people to arrange a fitting for her favorite granddaughter and her diva flower girl.

Just picture Rowan in that gown with her long flowing red hair. She'll be wearing red high heels and the DeFleihr ruby pentacle pendant around her neck. She'll carry a bouquet of red roses and be accompanied by her mini-me flower girl in a kiddie version of the dress. Red haired Tabitha will be sporting ruby slippers and her mom's matching ruby pentacle pendant as she tosses red rose petals down the aisle.

Rowan's next goal is to find Bianca and Courtney black bridesmaid dresses that make them look like cows. Of course Courtney is going to insist on a plunging neckline and plenty of leg showing to play off her even more impressive red stiletto heels.

Let's hope Dylan doesn't freak out over the news. 

Here comes the bride to be!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Identity by Sheila Deeth

I'm pleased to have one of my fellow Gypsy Shadow authors - Sheila Deeth - visit my blog today...

Who am I?

It’s not an unreasonable question for someone else to ask me, but why don’t I have an answer, and why do I keep asking the question of myself. Who am I?

We’re sitting in a restaurant and a fellow diner wants to know about my husband’s job. But who am I?

We’re meeting at church and someone asks “What do you do?” But who am I?

Or back in the day when I used to take children to school (they’re all grown up), who was I then?

Actually, kids all grown up is part of the problem isn’t it? I was their Mom but now they don’t need a Mom to look after them. So who am I?

Once I was a child trying to decide who to be as I started to grow. Something happened—something that shouldn’t have happened, yet happens far too often—and left me thinking I existed for other people, not for myself. I wonder if I’ve been looking for my identity ever since. Forty years ago—child. Twenty years ago—Mom. And now?

I wrote a novel about a woman searching for identity and she wasn’t me. I know she wasn’t because the voice in my head said so. Perhaps she was my muse. So now I’m writing more and more, and my third ebook’s just come out. My world’s full of characters, all of them asking “Who am I?” as I pour their thoughts and dreams onto the page.

Who am I? Perhaps I’m their muse, and perhaps they’re mine. I’m a writer, and I’m writing for me, though I’m hoping you might like the tale.

Maybe I’ll even get that novel published one day.

Thank you so much Jezebel for inviting me to your blog.

About Flower Child: When Megan miscarries her first pregnancy it feels like the end of everything; instead it’s the start of a curious relationship between the grieving mother and an unborn child who hovers somewhere between ghost and angel. Angela, Megan’s “little angel,” has character and dreams all her own, friends who may or may not be real angels, and a little brother who brings hope to her mother’s world. But Angela’s dream-world has a secret and one day Angela might learn how to be real.

About the author: Sheila Deeth grew up in the UK and has a Bachelors and Masters in mathematics from Cambridge University, England. Now living in the States with her husband and son, she enjoys reading, writing, drawing, telling stories, running a local writers' group, and meeting her neighbors’ dogs on the green.

Moon of the Wand-Maker

"Bubble Flower" by Josephine Wall
Symbolic Living has an excellent link that discusses the full moon in Aries.
The Full Moon in Aries represents the divine impulse that inspires creativity. 
Aries is the sign of the quest, the spark that ignites your personal mission in life.
Being a writer with a Venus in Aries this is a very powerful moon for me.
My words are my sacred artistry.
What inspires me.
What ignites that flame of passion.
Who I am as a person.
Without words I am nothing.
Words make me whole.

On this night take time to reflect and reveal in your own uniqueness.

Embrace your passions.
Commit to your goals.
Dare to dream.
Dream to live.


Monday, October 3, 2011

Thanks So Much!

I just wanted to give a big thank you to everyone who commented on the Evernight Birthday Bash Blog

Cherie Marks was the winner. I hope she enjoys a good read from Evernight.

I am really looking forward to my erotic short story Snow Angel being in Evernight's 2011 Stockings and Suspenders Holiday Anthology and hope all of you will check it out. It should be an awesome read with such an amazing group of writings included in the anthology.

My debut novel - Headlocks and Hexes - will be released sometime this month by Gypsy Shadow Publishing. We're working on the edits now. This is the first book in my Ring Dreams series with wicked witches and hot pro wrestlers.

It would mean a lot to me if you would consider giving it a read. I'll also be doing a giveaway on release day so please keep checking back for more details.