Saturday, February 28, 2009
In one scene she runs into the 'Ellylldan' (Pronounced elch-chlith-dan.) These were evil sprites with glowing eyes and fire at their fingertips, reputed to lure unwary travellers to their doom by leading them into the bogs where they were lost for ever. Yes, Wales has her fair share of imps and demons - also lost civilisations. Not far from Aberystwyth, where I used to live, at low tide one can see the remains of a submerged forest. This is all that remains of Cantre'r Gwaelod, or Maes Gwyddno as it would have been known at the time 'Dancing With Fate' takes place. The legend is simlar to the 'Atlantis' story and tells how the little town was drowned when the appointed watchman attended a banquet given by the king, became intoxicated and left the water gates open. The town sank beneath the sea and it is said that if one stands on the beach on a quiet evening one can hear the church bells chiming beneath the waves.
Of course Wales has long been associated with the druids and Merlin (or Myrddin) who was ruputedly born in Caerfyrddin, a small mid Wales town which is named after him. (The English version is Carmarthen.) The symbol of Wales, on the Welsh flag, is the red dragon, and there is an interesting legend telling how this came about. King Vortigen was a British Monarch of post-roman Britain. After an incestuous affair with his daughter, he was obliged to flee to the county of Gwynedd where he was advised by his wizards to build a fortress, or 'dinas', now known as Dinas Emrys. He decided to strengthen his defences by building a tower, but each time the timber and quarried stones were carried to the site they disappeared over night.
His wizards recommended a human sacrifice of a 'fatherless child' and the child Merlin was brought. Before he could be put to death he announced that a lake lay the middle of the foundations. and beneath the lake two dragons fought, a red and a white one, representing the Britons and Saxons. He told the king it was pointless to try to build his tower on top of dragons, and he should leave and go somewhere safer. Vortigen realised there was something supernatural about the child and fled to the Lleyn Peninsular, after giving Dinas Emrys to Merlin. (Emrys is a form of Ambrose, derived from the Latin 'Ambrosius' pertaining to the gods, and is another name by which Melin was known). The red dragon later became the Welsh National emblem.
Then there is the legend of Devils's Bridge, also not very far from Aberstwyth, where I lived. It is actually three bridges one above the other, spanning a deep gorge with a spectacular waterfall and a deep pool known as 'The Devil's Punchbowl'. It is said the orginal bridge was built when an old lady lost her milk cow one day. The animal somehow managed to cross the river and she knew she could not wade across herself fearing she would be swept into the whirlpool. Suddenly Old Nick himself appeared and told her he would buld a bridge across the chasm if she gave him the soul of the first thing to cross it, knowing she would have to walk across to fetch her cow. She agreed, but was not as simple as she looked. Once the bridge appeared, she put her hand in her apron pocket and threw a crust of bread across the bridge. Immediately her little dog ran across to retrieve it. The devil, realising he was beaten, disappeared in an evil smelling cloud of smoke and was not seen in those parts again, leaving the old lady to fetch back her cow.
There are so many myths and legends of Wales, I could go on much longer. No wonder I love fantasy so much, growing up and living in wild and spectacular countryside, with such a wealth of stories to draw on, how could one fail to be inspired?
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Thursday, February 26, 2009
Warning: This title contains hot, graphic demonic sex that goes beyond magic.
When I decided to write my first paranormal romance I looked no farther than what I’ve been doing already: horror. It was a no brainer for me.
I’ve read paranormal romances where the vampire didn’t drink blood nor did bad things. Let’s admit it, European vamps drink blood—humans are food for goodness sakes. I also had a problem about a vampire getting together with a human—things like necrophilia came up. My first vampire romance was set not only in the future but on another planet. The hero was the last Undead Earth vampire in existence and he had to escape from Earth to another world as pollution was killing his kind off. It was on that new planet that he met his ‘soul mate’, Nalessa, an alien vampire. She was the last survivor of her civilization, which perished eons ago. That story became Crimson Promise. Since then, I did write a vampire with a human romance story, which also was a second chance at love for two lovers separated by terrible circumstances.
Monsters are scary. We all are afraid of the dark. What better way to conquer that fear of the dark then have the heroine or hero fall in love with a monster? You have the bad boys or girls in contemporary romance novels, but this takes that bad idea and making them even badder? Besides the reader wants to be taken away from their mundane day-to-day life and suddenly they can read a tale where the heroine moves to some creepy town. Each night something or somethings are taking innocent citizens. These monstrous things are also after her. But she meets a tall, dark and handsome man, who saves her from a pack of howling things. She falls for him. Maybe even makes love with him. It is later that she learns he’s not human, but one of those ‘howling’ things. He’s a werewolf, cursed to take another shape, but he’s tortured and doesn’t want to harm humans. Will she, can she, change him for the better? When she does, and both ride off into the sunset on his motorcycle, the readers close the book with a snap, knowing once again there’s a happily ever after for another couple.
You don’t have to stick to supernatural creatures either. Why not an alien, whose people want to take over our world? Not just an alien, but a parasitical one? I did this with Iridescent Invasion. Since that e-publisher closed its doors and I got the rights back, I plan to turn this short story into a full length novel because it did so well. This could be considered a ménage in an odd sort of way--a love story between three people with two bodies.
It doesn’t matter what your hero or heroine is, a paranormal allows you to take chances, to go where no reader has been before in a love story. You can take the theme of racism, religion and prejudice, and add a twist by making one of the lovers a merperson or a vampire or shapeshifter. They say that love overcomes everything--well, here’s a writer’s chance to prove that.
With writing paranormal romance and being allowed stretching the limit with blood chilling horror I have proved that a horror author can take their experience and apply it to a paranormal romance with no problem.
Go beyond the usual, instead take the unusual that stretches the boundaries and find romance with Sapphire Phelan's aliens, werewolves, vampires, fairies, and other supernatural/otherworldly heroes and heroines.
Monday, February 23, 2009
“I did not. Not in any way.” Liar, liar, pants on fire. “I was repulsed, actually. It was the worst experience of my life.”
He dropped his hands to his side. I hated that I missed the warmth of his touch.
“Repulsed?” he asked. “That’s a strong word. You’re not suggesting, then, that I forced myself on you, are you? The repulsive, evil half-breed that I am.”
“No but I—”
“You could’ve finished me off back then if it was that horrible an experience. I was waiting for it, you know. For you to come back in a blaze of regret and strike me down to Hell for eternity. But you didn’t. You avoided me instead.”
“I was humiliated.”
He opened his mouth to respond but shut it again and gave me a puzzled look. “How so?”
“I was there to give you a warning, Siméon. Then I was on top of your desk naked. That doesn’t happen to other Angels. Other Angels don’t let themselves get seduced by demons.”
“I’m half human.”
“They don’t get seduced by humans either.”
“Has it happened before? With other demons?”
“Of course not. I’m not a slut.” Ugh. That sounded a little too defensive.
He grinned. “How many humans?”
“How many Angels?”
“That’s none of your business.”
“More than six?”
“No,” I said too quickly.
“More than five?”
“Why do you care?”
“Five then.” He tapped his finger on his chin. “So I’m one of five? That surprises me a little considering how easy it was to get you naked. Not that I’m complaining.”
“Actually, I’ve only been with three men, you jerk. Including you.” MOG help me. Why was I standing here arguing with a half-breed who could testify I was a true redhead?
“Did the other two enjoy you as much as I did?”
My mouth fell open in shock. “I-I’m not here to discuss my sex life. What is wrong with you?” Why did I ask? I already knew what was wrong with him. He was a fiend, a mongrel, Satan’s little helper, wreaking havoc wherever he went. I made a move for the doorknob but he held the door shut with one large hand.
“I apologize, Abigail.” He spoke softly in my ear with his front pressed against my back. “I only want to know more about you. You intrigue me. But I understand if my questions are too personal. I’ll try to behave.”
“What do you mean I intrigue you?” I had to ask. Yep, I was so hard up I was fishing for compliments from my enemy. How pathetic.
I felt his mouth brush against my shoulder as he inhaled. “Your smell is of an Angel but slightly different. Spicier, maybe. Your hair is the color of fire, wild, free and sensuous.” He collected my spiraled locks into a ponytail with his hand and then swept the tips of his fingers down the back of my neck. “And your skin is pale and delicate with…freckles. It’s imperfect but charming. No, more like enchanting. You enchant me, Abigail.” He said the last part as if he’d found the final piece to a puzzle and I sighed.
Sunday, February 22, 2009
Time Management is key for an author’s success. For example, this week I have few events planned:
Today – Romancing February Blog Tour – Stop by my blog and comment to win a pair of earrings. You’ll also learn how to win the grand prize of $75 gift certificate to The Wild Rose Press.
Tomorrow – Spotlight Author – I’m the spotlight author at Writers and Readers of Distinctive Fiction.
Thursday – Free short story – I have a flash fiction short story available at The Long and Short Reviews as part of their Thrifty Thursday promotion.
Until Mid-March – Sony eReader Contest – Buy one of my short stories: Dragon’s Mate, Garden Magic, or Informally Yours for only $1.50 and you can enter for a chance to win a Sony eReader. Click here for the details.
Thursday, February 19, 2009
Loren Fairchild longs for children, but is barren. At a cottage in Carlisle, UK, she puts her divorce behind her and begins a new life. She learns that in 1947 the former owner’s wife disappeared. The same week, according to local gossip, her husband took up with a dark-headed harlot. One morning, a simple minded woman appears and triggers events that change Loren’s life forever.
Miles Chapeau misses the wife, the mother of his two children, he’d known before the war. When he returned from WWII in 1945 she’d been hurt in an air raid and now has the mind of a child. He loves her and would never forsake his duty, but misses the intimate side of marriage and a woman to share his life. One day she disappears and his existence is turned upside down.
An excerpt can be found on my website. Thanks for checking it out and happy reading.
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Friday, February 13, 2009
How odd is it that today is Friday the 13th and the day before Valentine's Day?? They just don't seem to mix--unless you think of some creepy Valentine's Day slasher movie. Then again, Valentine's Day has some dark history behind it.
The celebration of this day (possibly) began due to a priest named Valentine at the time of ancient Rome. Emperor Claudius forbade his young soldiers to marry. Valentine defied the emperor and married young couples in secret. When Claudius found out he imprisoned Valentine and eventually executed him. While in prison many of the young couples whom Valentine had married visited him in his cell and brought him flowers and notes. It is even said that Valentine himself fell in love with his jailer's daughter. He sent her a love note and signed it 'From Your Valentine.' He was executed on February 14th. (Or so the story goes) In the 5th century Pope Gelasius declared February 14th to be Valentine's Day. It may have also been to Christianize the pagan holiday of Luperci (a fertility festival) which was celebrated at the same time.
Then let's not forget February 14, 1929--one of the most infamous days in American history of crime--especially in Chicago. This was the St. Valentine's Day Massacre--as the gangs of Al Capone and Bugs Moran battled to the death. Romantic wouldn't you say??
So, maybe, Valentine's Day and Friday the 13th do indeed go together after all. It's not all about falling in love, spending time with your hunny, and all that other sappy stuff. It has a gruesome history but doesn't that make it all the more interesting.
Happy Valentines Day! Hope you have a lovely day with your significant other.
Cindy K. Green
In this battle of wills, who will come out the victor or will tragedy destroy their love forever.
Saturday, February 7, 2009
Free advertising is free advertising and I was thrilled.
Friday, February 6, 2009
He was the inventor of the Ferguson rifle. With this rifle, a man could reload and fire without breaking cover or while lying prone. In addition to being an excellent marksman, Ferguson was charismatic. His men joked about his tentmates, two ladies, both named Virginia. "He'll never worry about whispering the wrong name," a soldier commented.
Three years before the battle of Kings Mountain, Ferguson had the chance to shoot a senior Rebel officer, but the man's dignity and courage impressed him, and he found he couldn't shoot him in the back, as it would be dishonorable. The man was George Washington.
In 1780, there was disagreement among the colonists of South Carolina, Loyalists felt the New World belonged to England, while the Rebels were willing to fight for liberation. Tensions grew between the factions, foreshadowing another civil war in years to come.
Colonel Ferguson went door to door, hoping to inspire Loyalist sentiment, and bring the people to his side, promising if they did not desist from rebellion, that he would bring fire and sword down upon them, and hang their leaders. The Rebels vowed to target Ferguson at King's Pinnacle.
The battle of King's Mountain ended with a Rebel victory afer Colonel Ferguson was shot from his horse. His body hacked up and urinated upon. One Virginia rode from the battleground unmolested by soldiers on both sides, there is a rumor she betrayed Ferguson. The other Virginia died on the same battlefield. They are buried together.
Today, re-enactors replay the events of this battle. There are tales of hearing and smelling horses on the trails where no horses have tromped. At night, a light appears along the trail. A brave soul might follow the light to the grave of Colonel Ferguson where it will disappear. Is he looking for those who desecrated his body? Could Virginia be atoning for her betrayal? Is the light there to remind us, even among our enemies, there is honor.