The winner for the Halloween Blog Hop is…
Congratulations, Cassandra. You will receive an email from me shortly with the details on your win.
If your looking for the Halloween blog hop post, then you have found it!
Hi, my name is Janice Seagraves. I write romance of various genres. Here’s my bio: Janice Seagraves grew up in a small California town. Her home is a hundred year old haunted house (I’m not kidding), where she lives with her husband and daughter, an overly affectionate cat and a Jack Russel that’s in love with her daughter (still not kidding).
A lot of people read my bio and ask me, “Is your house really haunted?”
Yes it is. Since my husband and I first moved into our house twenty years ago, I’ve heard a little girl crying when I washed my hands in the bathroom. Which in itself isn’t anything unusual, however we live two miles out of town in the middle of what had been a grape vineyard but is now an almond orchard, and we have no close neighbors. I’ve lived here for twenty years and heard the same child sobbing. Reason would dictate that if this was a child, it would be grown by now.
Once when my daughter was still a newborn baby, I was enjoying a few blessed moments of shared TV viewing with my husband (you never know how fleeting those moments are until your a new parent), and then my baby started to cry. I sighed and started to get up, when I heard a woman’s voice saying very clearly, “Hush, baby,” I ran into the bedroom, and my husband ran outside. When I turned on the light, the baby was asleep and no one was there. My husband came back inside and told me no one was outside.
While my daughter was a baby, she would sleep with us, and during this time I would feel the bed dip like someone was sitting down. Usually this meant that my hubby was putting on his boots for work. But other times, I’d open my eyes to see that I was alone. Over the years I, my husband and my daughter have seen a little girl ghost at different times and places in the house.
One time while my daughter was sleeping with me, she screamed in the middle of the night. I jerked awake and turned over, that’s when I saw the little girl ghost sitting on my bed on the far side of my daughter, staring at me. Then she faded away.
When my daughter was little about three or four, she had an invisible friend named Jenifer or Jenny, which I later realized was our ghost girl.
Once or twice I’ve heard a scary voice saying my name, and a chill would wash down my back.
Thank goodness I haven’t had that in a while. *shiver*
I’ve been woken up by the sound of my bedroom door being opened and when I looked to see who it was, the door was closed. That just happened the other night. I got up again to look and the door was closed.
Nope, no more sleep for me. We’ve seen orbs. Mostly green and blue ones. I saw one in the bathroom and followed it in my daughter’s room, where it landed on the foot of her bed and disappeared. I have taken a few orb photos with our black kitty we used to have, and I have an earlier photo with a white something that went through my husband’s mouth.
These photos were taken with two different cameras; the above photo is digital and the below one is a 35 mm. When my husband worked nights, sometimes I would see something under the fitted sheet moving back and forth. I thought maybe a mouse got into the mattress. My husband and I flipped the mattress over and I couldn’t find any mouse holes, so I have no idea what that was.
One morning, I was woken up by a child singing the song called the Lilac Tree. Both my husband and daughter were in the living room watching Saturday morning cartoons. And nothing they watched had a child singing. I’ve been woken up by the smell of Brownies and thought my daughter was baking. I got up to go into the kitchen and no one was cooking. Boy was I disappointed.
One time when I overslept, I heard someone walking around my bed and a voice saying, “Come on, honey, it’s time to get up.” When I got up, no one was there.
When one of my daughter’s friends spend she reported hearing the bathroom door creak open, and the sound of whispering. The friend asked my daughter if her parents were awake. My daughter said no, and then they both went and checked the bathroom. They found it empty.
My husband and I both have heard whispering voices before, right when we got home. We’d quickly unlock the front door to the house, flinging it open, but the noises stopped and no one was there.
A few months ago when I just laid down to go to sleep, I felt someone tuck in the tag on my pajama top. My bedroom door was closed and hubby was working the graveyard shift and my daughter was spending the night at a friend’s house.
I was alone.
Or was I?
Leave a comment about your own ghostly experience and your email addy, for a chance to win a five dollar Amazon gift certificate.
And just for stopping by, you also receive two free downloads, which is the start of my science fiction romance series The Arcon Saga.
The Arcons Are Coming!
Janice’s website: http://janiceseagraves.org/
Janice’s main blog: http://ladyjanice.blogspot.com/
For my wicked post, I’m offering up an excerpt from my free SF read, Exodus Arcon:
Aziza palmed the bathroom door release and walked out, dressed only in a large towel. She froze when she saw her mate talking to his identical twin. It was confusing to see her mate’s handsome face on such a hard-bitten warrior.
Blade looked her up and down, crossed his arms with a raised eyebrow ridge. “Who were you expecting?”
“I was waiting for you, Blade.” She crossed the room to stop in front of him.
Keefe gaped at the towel. “Why are you undressed, my heart?”
Aziza frowned at Keefe. He’s acting possessive, even though he knows I must do this. “When Paz bit me, the blood ran down, ruining my clothes. I didn’t want to take a chance on my last nice outfit. Everything else is on board the ship.”
Blade, breathing hard, turned away from her. “I better go.”
“No, don’t go.” Aziza grabbed his arm. I must do this.
“You don’t want me.” Blade looked everywhere but at her.
“I made a promise,” Aziza blurted before she could stop herself.
“To who?” Blade yanked his arm away.
I can’t tell him, I promised Ynyr. “To . . . Keefe.” She glanced quickly at her mate, he nodded with a frown.
“You must come,” Paz told him. “We three are the only ones of our family-unit who are healthy enough to make the journey.”
“Why is that, youngling?” Blade glared at the youngest family member.
“Ynyr is dying,” Keefe shouted the harsh news at him. “And Lug our podling is fading.”
“My two podling aren’t allowed to come either,” Paz’s voice rose to a squeak as tears streaming down his face. “You got to come, Blade, you just got to.”
Keefe gave his twin a long look. “We three and Aziza, need to go on.”
Aziza grabbed Blade by his wrist. “Come on, bite me. I know you want to.”
All three males sniffed the air, as Aziza’s pheromones filled the room, smelling like pod blossoms in the spring time.
“My heart, what are you doing?” Keefe frowned down at her.
“I’m keeping my promise,” she snapped at him.
Blade closed his eyes and moaned. “That’s a dirty trick.” He turned away from her.
Paz jumped up to pull Blade’s other arm, turning him toward Aziza. “Do it. I want you to come with us, and this is the only way.”
“And you, my podling?” Blade looked straight at Keefe. “Do you really want to share your mate with me?”
Keefe’s face flushed lavender, but he said through gritted teeth, “Bite her, but don’t swallow.”
“With her undressed and smelling of pheromones, all I want to do is bury her underneath my body while I bite that lovely white skin.” He leered at Aziza, showing his sharp canines. “Is that what you want, my lovely?”
Aziza pulled harder on his wrist, staring into his crimson eyes. “You’re not fooling me, Blade. I’m not afraid of you.”
“You should be,” he growled. “I’m a bad tempered military male, whom you do not want as a mate.”
“You will bite me, but only that, understand?” She raised her chin. “We are going to pretend to mate. Nothing more.”
“Yes, mistress. You order and I shall obey.” Blade lifted both arms then dropped them so hard, both female and youngling couldn’t hold on. He stepped up to Aziza with such speed, that she was left blinking at his muscular chest a surprised moment.
She smelled Blade’s spicy-sweet pheromones, and then craned her head up at him.
Placing his hard hands on her head, he gently tilted it to the side. He sniffed up her neck and shoulder, making her shiver.
“Do you accept me, all of me,” he breathed against her skin.
“Yes.” She barely said that single word of consent, when his sharp canines pierced her flesh. This wasn’t the little nip she got from Paz. No. This was a deep bite from a male wanting to mark his mate.
Blade stepped back, stared straight at Keefe and swallowed the mouthful of blood. “By blood I bind myself to you forever, Aziza, my sweet.”
All three watched him for a stunned moment, until he hit the ground and convulsed.
Leave a comment and your email addy, for a chance to win a five dollar gift certificate from Amazon.
And just for stopping by, you also receive two free downloads, which is the start of my science fiction romance series The Arcon Saga.
The Arcons Are Coming!
Janice’s website: http://janiceseagraves.org/
Janice’s main blog: http://ladyjanice.blogspot.com/
Back-story: Too much info?
by Special Guest Lia Davis
One critique partner says to delete two paragraphs saying it’s data dump and slows the story. Another says it’s great back-story information, but asks if it can be spread out. A third loves the world building. What do you do? How do you know if the back-story info is too much?
First, critiques are opinions and suggestions. You take what works for your writing voice and toss the rest.
The crits I mentioned above are three examples of those suggestions. Why are they different? Because people are individuals and we don’t always read the words the same. What is too much info for one person may be just enough for another.
As the author, we have to find that balance. Will you please everyone? Not a chance. I find the balance that makes me happy with outcome, and of course my editor. When I’m doing my self editing/revision stage, I look for information that I would skip over as a reader. I ask myself if the information move the story along. If not, I decide of what needs to be there and what can be introduced later on or through dialogue. The biggest thing is if you, as a reader, will skip over it then others might as well.
Kalissa Bradenton isn’t your average coffee shop owner. Born to an elite witch bloodline with a rare genetic mutation, she’s a Divinity on a mission. The death of her parents sends her away from her Maxville, Florida, home and into an ancient war between witches and demons. When childhood friend Ayden Daniels comes to her aid after an almost fatal accident, visions of a past she doesn’t remember sparks an old flame and new desires. With the past slowly becoming clearer, she eagerly sets her sights on mending Ayden’s heart and gaining his trust–until a ghost from her past returns to claim her as his demonic mate.
Ayden, the new Sheriff of Maxville and grandson of the oldest living Divinity, is investigating a series of Divinity killings. When he comes face-to-face with the one woman he hopes to have little to no contact with, old pain rises, quickly followed by anger and resentment. Through his rare power of adaptability, he learns actions from the past may not be what they seem. Hope fills his broken heart and determination pushes him to do whatever it takes to win Kalissa’s heart once more before he loses her forever.
Together they must find the strength to mend their tormented souls, while fighting an evil out to destroy the world.
Ayden Daniel had only been in Charlotte an hour before his cousin, Zach, called with a favor. No. Not quite a favor. A request that sounded more like a plea.
“You’re shittin’ me?”
“I’m afraid not. Charlotte PD said it was a hit and run.”
Right. “Please tell me she’s …”
“She’s alive. A bump on the head, but she’ll be okay.” Zach hesitated before continuing. “I know how you feel about her, but you’ll have to go get her.”
A muttered curse slipped from his lips at the same time his heart lodged in his throat. “Fine.” The word came out in an irritated huff. Ayden hung up and wished he had never answered the damn phone. No, that wasn’t completely true. He would never forgive himself if something happened to Kalissa that he could have prevented.
She was the one person he’d hoped to avoid as much as possible when he’d taken his place as Sheriff of Maxville. It wasn’t that he disliked her, that was the problem. Despite his better judgment and a glutton for punishment, he still cared too damn much for the woman.
The mere mention of her name made his pulse race with excitement. His body hardened at the thought of seeing her again after fifteen years. But his mind screamed to walk away. To let her be. Kalissa was trouble, and a hazard to his heart. She’d broken it once—torn it right out of his chest—at the age of seventeen.
A human friend had laughed at the mention of their young age and Ayden’s claim that she was the only one for him. A mistake on his part to confide in a human and expect him to understand magickin way of life. Magickin children developed at a faster rate. At the age of seventeen, he was as mature as most twenty-five-year-old humans and fully aware that he had met his eternal companion.
They were life partners—magical mates—destined to spend their extended lives together. To find one at such a young age was a gift.
A gift she stole from him.
Lia Davis is a mother to two young adults and two very special, equally different kitty cats. She’s a wife to her soul mate, who drives her crazy during editing/revisions. She and her family live in Northeast Florida battling hurricanes and very humid summers. But it’s her home and she loves it!
An accounting major, Lia has always been a dreamer with a very activity imagination. The wheels in her head never stop. She only recently got serious about publishing her work and loves it more than she imagined. Writing a stress reliever that allows her to go off in her corner of the house and enter into another world that she created, leaving the day job where it belongs.
Her favorite things are spending time with family, traveling, reading, writing, chocolate, coffee, nature and hanging out with her kitties.
It’s way too easy to fuss over the details before you get the story written.
The thing is, you have to give yourself permission to write a sloppy first draft, and promise your internal editor it can have a crack at the ms after it is finished.
Your Welcome or is it You’re Welcome?
By Janice Seagraves
I’ve been having some guest spots on my blog and website, and when I’m thanked by someone in an email, I write back to them ‘your welcome’. Then I realized that didn’t look right.
Is it your welcome
Or You’re welcome.
The easiest test is to say it out loud; if you can put in you are in the sentence, then you’re is the right word to use.
You are welcome.
See how that fits.
So for future reference always write you’re welcome when someone thanks you.
I’m stopping by today to share an excerpt from A Killer’s Field, a new fictional novella motivated by the senseless I-45 Texas killings, most of which have remained unsolved.
A few years ago, I became aware of the overwhelming number of unsolved crimes along the I-45 corridor located south of Houston. In an area known as the Texas killing fields, this property has become a dumping ground for some of the country’s most horrific crimes.
Since the early 70s, bodies have been abandoned in these Texas swamps. Many young lives ended too soon and families were devastated as bodies were recovered but never truly laid to rest. Killers seemingly committed the perfect crimes and thanks to the mysteries surrounding so many of the murders, questions were forever left unanswered.
A Killer’s Field is a short young adult Halloween story available in e-format. Published by Devine Destinies, the novella is fictional but the inspiration behind the story was developed over time by researching some of the true, and quite brutal, unsolved Texas killings.
A Killer’s Field isn’t a true story. However, when I wrote the novella, I tried to write a short story that would appeal to young people and in some small way let the victims’ families know their loved one hasn’t been forgotten. At the same time, this short story includes a warning for all readers with an underlying message in regards to social networks, a tool often used when criminals make their first connection with their future victims.
I’d like to invite your readers to check out A Killer’s Field, on sale now at Devine Destinies. Readers, please leave your comments about the cover, short story, or any aspect of A Killer’s Field. I’ll stop by again today and choose one random winner for one free e-gift. If you’re posting a comment, please include an email address or check back to see how you can claim your prize.
Thank you for sharing your blog with me, Janice.
A Killer’s Field by Susan Elizabeth Alvis
“A deadly event turns participants into victims as a Texas killing field becomes ground zero for a Halloween hunt….” A Killer’s Field, Susan Smith Alvis
Kristen McMurray is flabbergasted when her boyfriend decides to take her to the Texas Killing Fields for Halloween. She’s not at all impressed with his plans for a romantic evening, let alone the idea of frolicking on the very grounds known to harbor the deadliest of secrets.
Picturing a moonlit sky high above them and a murderer lurking in the shadows, Kristen is convinced her boyfriend has either lost his mind or worse. Perhaps he’s become a quiet lunatic waiting to emerge.
Reluctantly, Kristen agrees to spend Halloween in the fields. Unbeknownst to her, they enter the heart of a huge Halloween hunt, an organized event and obvious trap used to entice unsuspecting victims to the very place where dozens of bodies have been previously dumped.
One brush with death leads to another, but Kristen keeps her wits about her as her boyfriend turns their Halloween night into an evening she’ll never forget. While the fields live up to their harrowing name, Kristen faces the horrors of the past. Somewhere along the way, she discovers an inner strength and a will to survive, realizing determination and the desire to live are the only elements ensuring she’ll leave the fields alive!
Excerpt for A Killer’s Field by Susan Smith Alvis
I’m about as flabbergasted as my Dobermans were when I went outside to feed them prime rib and a vulture swept down and stole the raw meat straight from the pan. The event occurred last week but I can still picture their wide eyes as they stretched their necks upward and barked at the heavens. They were in terrible shock, poor things. After the clever bird escaped, all they could do was stand there and pant, foam forming in the corners of their mouths.
Okay, so I’m not panting or wiping drool from my chin. I am, however, stunned.
“Well, what do you think?” Dennison asks, backing away from his pickup. “Say yes, Kristen. It’ll be a lifetime experience. One you’ll remember forever.”
“What makes you think we’ll live to later share our experiences?”
“You’re so dramatic,” he says, returning to work on his truck. “Most women would see this trip for what it is—an overnight getaway.”
“Visiting the Texas Killing Fields, on Halloween no less, is not my idea of a romantic weekend.” I stare at his back. “Where will we stay?”
“I’ll pack a tent and a sleeping bag.”
Wonderful. For a minute, I consider his idea of snuggling inside confined spaces. That is, until a body bag comes to mind. After all, those fields symbolize decades of horror.
Copyright © 2012
Ginger Software Program for Self-editing
By Janice Seagraves
I tried out Ginger. And here’s what I think.
It’s a big program and took a lot of space on my laptop and slowed it way down. Going online is a pain, so after I finish trying it out, then I’ll delete it off my hard drive.
It works online so staying online as you use the program is a must.
It’s fast. It checks over your prose one sentence at a time and shows the sentence at the top of your screen along with the sentence with the suggested changes just underneath. You have an option of skipping or accepting the changes.
It only checks your words, not your punctuation. But it will check for correct word usage, which is great.
However, I suggest you look closely at what words are being suggested before you click on accept. Some of the suggestions on names was laughable, especially since I’m currently working on a SF Romance series, so you know some of my names are going to be far from normal.
It also corrects your email and posts online.
Here’s what I think: for a free program, it’s an excellent tool for self-editing. Just make sure you have the room on your hard drive before you download it.
But, if you’re looking for a program to check for punctuation errors, then you’ll have to look somewhere else.
Today’s Thursday’s Thirteen is at my blog: http://ladyjanice.blogspot.com/2012/09/thursdays-thirteen-save-water.html
DAY NINE – ‘CLAIMING MAGIQUE’ BLOG TOUR
Welcome again to my Virtual Book Tour for Claiming Magique , Book One in my Appointment with Pleasure series for Ellora’s Cave. If you enjoy sultry sex with a deeply moving love story, then you’ve come to the right place. :)
Here’s the cover, blurb and a brief excerpt to give you an idea of the plot.
I’m also offering a contest – the tour winner will have her choice of THREE of my backlist ebooks. So, read on!! And leave comments at each of my stops (check my blog daily for details: http://www.tinadonahue.com/blog/ ) for your chance to win! The more comments, the better your chances.
Book One – Appointment with Pleasure series
A man at the center of power…a woman who won’t be ruled…
They call her Magique.
Sought out by the District’s elite, she’s no ordinary call girl, deciding who will pleasure her for the evening. Her preference is for several men at once. Games of bondage and submission heighten her arousal and desire to have a strong male take her…to be adored.
Lobbyist Hunter Prescott was only looking for a good time, not a woman who unleashes a hunger so deep it changes his world. He won’t stop until Magique is his alone, a prisoner of his lust, powerless against his growing need for her body and heart.
With this man, resistance isn’t allowed. For this woman, he’ll create a world of sensual delight and yearning like none she’s known. Proving that only with trust and true surrender will she find unparalleled rapture.
She accepted their silence as though moments like this had played out before with countless other men who were fascinated by her presence and confident sexuality. Jack had claimed she didn’t like one on one, preferring group sex. As far as Hunt was concerned, Tim and David no longer existed. He and Magique were alone in this room.
His mind went into overdrive, picturing her facing the wet bar, obedient to his every demand. He had dozens, but contented himself with the most pressing first. With his hands on hers, he directed Magique to grip the edge of the counter. She turned her face to his, their mouths so close he could smell her sweet breath. It warmed and tickled his skin. Kissing her shoulder, he guided her to bend at the waist. Her hair tumbled over her arms, away from her ass, his sole focus. Inch by delicious inch, he edged up her wicked dress, exposing her buttocks. Two lush globes that begged him to squeeze them.
In his fantasy, she wasn’t wearing panties or a thong. He wanted nothing separating her skin from his, not even a condom. According to Jack, there wasn’t any worry about getting her pregnant. She protected herself well. She also knew that he, Tim and David had submitted to testing and passed with flying colors, free of any social disease. None of them would have been here tonight if they’d been a threat. It was one of her many demands.
Images unwound in Hunt’s mind of him kissing the crease at the top of her thigh. The scent of her sex washed over him. He suppressed a groan of delight and touched her slit. Slick with her arousal. Ready for—
Her sleek muscles rippled beneath the shimmering gold fabric as she turned back to the bar, pulling Hunt from his outrageous fantasy. He stared stupidly at the tray she held.
On it were three glasses of varying heights. The squat one with the amber liquor was bourbon neat, no water or ice. His favorite drink.
He wondered if it was Jim Beam and suspected it was. Had Jack told her his preference in hard liquor? Most likely.
With the grace of a runway model, she moved toward them, her heels clicking lightly on the floor, her steps in rhythm with the music’s beat. Slow and suggestive. In front of David she stopped, her slender fingers circling a Manhattan, what he always ordered, complete with three, not one, maraschino cherries. Just as he liked.
Ice tinkled in the glass as she lifted the drink to him and murmured, “Nĭhăo ma?”
David stared as if she’d just spoken Martian, rather than what sounded like Chinese. He blurted, “Wŏ hĕnhăo.”
Whatever he’d said had her commenting again in the same language. To Hunt’s surprise, David actually relaxed. Hell, he started to flirt, his tone husky and provocative, making her arch one slender eyebrow.
Before David could react or say anything else that might get him banished from here, she moved to Tim, offering him the tallest glass with a wedge of lime at the top…his usual scotch and soda.
“Et comment allez-vous ce soir?” she asked him, her French as effortless and flawless as the last language she’d spoken.
Amazing. Not only was she multilingual, she seemed to know that Tim had spent several years after college screwing around in Paris, blowing his trust fund before his father cut him off and ordered him home.
Unlike David’s initial reaction, Tim grinned. His fingers caressed hers as he took his drink.
“Bon!” he said, “Mais j’espère être encore mieux.”
No arched brow this time. She took in Tim’s length in the same manner he’d done with hers, pausing on the good parts, particularly his fly and obvious erection straining against it.
Screw that. Possessiveness, hard and uncivilized, coiled within Hunt, making him restless to have her first, to keep her from Tim and David.
“Heat with Heart”
CLAIMING MAGIQUE (AVAILABLE NOW)
THE YEARNING (HOLT MEDALLION AWARD OF MERIT)
UNENDING DESIRE (BEST BOOK Rating – LASR Erotic)
SENSUAL STRANGER (BOOK OF THE YEAR 2010)
DEEP, DARK, DELICIOUS (HOLT MEDALLION AWARD OF MERIT)
*** CONTEST ***
To celebrate the release of Claiming Magique , I’m offering a contest. One lucky commenter during this blog tour will have her choice of THREE of my following ebooks**:
- Adored – RWA award-winning; EPIC 2011 Finalist; 4 Stars RT
- Deep, Dark, Delicious – EPIC 2011 Finalist; Holt Medallion Award of Merit
- Lush Velvet Nights – EPIC 2011 Finalist; Golden Nib Award
- In His Arms – SIX 5 Star Reviews; 4 Stars RT
- Sensual Stranger – 2010 Book of the Year (erotic); 4 Stars RT
- The Yearning – Top Ten Bestseller
- Take Me Away – #1 Pick, Miz Love Loves Books
- Unending Desire – Best Book Rating LASR
- SiNN – Nominated for Book of the Week LASR
** Winner chosen at random. Winner chosen September 13