Saturday, February 27, 2010

Tigers - The Chinese Zodiac - by Crymsyn Hart

What is there to say about them?

They are strong, highly adaptable felines. One of the four large cats that walk they earth, they are easily recognizable by their deep russet orange color and black stripes.

Their powerful muscles bunch when getting ready to spring and they can take down their prey in one swipe of a massive paw. They can go it alone or in a group. However, they are natural born leaders.
According to Chinese Astrology, this year is the year of the Tiger.

Tigers are extremely charming and fun to be around. However they are super focused on their own ambitions.

They will fight tooth and nail if the cause is good. Super hotties with raw sex appeal. (I know I want my hero to be one. I can already hear the growl rumbling in his chest. It all depends on which spot I choose to stroke to make him purr. Meow!)

I'm sure that many will agree with me, when I say that tigers are the most intense of the other signs. You might want to take them in moderation only because they have excellent ways of channeling their energy. If they haven't quite mastered this feat, I would give a word of caution. Tigers have fast mood swings so intensity comes with the package. If you don't know what to expect, hold on and enjoy the ride.

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Thursday, February 25, 2010

The Stubborn Ox by Penelope Marzec

According to the Chinese Zodiac.  I was born in the year of the Ox. I never liked that designation.  An ox does not strike me as beautiful or gracefuland I would so much rather be compared with a more attractive animal.  I think of the Ox as big and strong so that it can pull a lot of weight but maybe that’s not a bad thing for an author to be.
As an Ox I am supposed to be endowed with certain traits.  One is stubbornness.  For an author, I believe stubbornness is not a negative attribute.  It can be a good thing because it takes persistence and determination to become published.  My stack of rejections proves exactly how determined I have been in my goal.  Without my single-minded dedication, I would have given up early on. Yes, the first rejection was the hardest, and every rejection still stings a little, but none of them ever swayed me from believing I could tell a good story.
 An Ox is also supposed to possess an excellent memory. This is extremely useful for an author.  I never know when some quirky fact in the back of my mind will lead to a wonderful plot twist.
Oxen are supposed to be methodical and reliable.  Those characteristics have gotten me through the dreaded edits of my books.
 Still, some of the characteristics ascribed to the Ox do not seem to fit my personality.  I read one guide that claimed a good career choice for an Ox would be as a horticulturist.  I have a sister who is a horticulturist.  She gives me plants she knows I am unlikely to killplants that need little sunlight and water or perennials that are much like weeds.
 In addition, an Ox is supposed to be most compatible with a rat, snake, or rooster.  I married a sheep, which according to Chinese astrology, I should never have married.  In fact, one guide claimed that we are mortal enemies.  Hubby and I can only laugh about that.  We celebrated out thirty-third anniversary.  But perhaps, that is because an Ox is loyal and makes an affectionate, faithful partner.
 For the coming year, I guess I’ll just keep plodding ahead in my ox-like way.  According to Chinese astrology, I might have a bit of good fortune in the coming year because the Tiger brings luck to everyone, but I might have to face some challenges.  However, since I’m big, strong, and stubborn that shouldn’t be a problem. I can pull my own weight.

Learn more about  Penelope Marzec on her website

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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Wolves vs. Weres by Heather Kuehl

When I started writing about werewolves (or Weres as I like to call them), I had to do a bit of research. Not a lot since I was writing about a creature that didn’t exist, but enough to have an understanding of wolves. I wanted my Weres to live a life that was a mixture of both human and wolf societies.

Firstly, I started with the physical attributes of wolves. In general wolves weigh anywhere between 55lbs and 170lbs and are between 24 to 34 inches in height, depending on what part of the world you are in. Were’s, on the other hand, tend to weigh more than that, since their human weight can’t just vanish into nothing. In other words, if Sarah weighs 120lbs as a human, that will be her weight when she shifts into a Were. They are also taller too, usually at 4ft or more. Like I said earlier, it depends on their human form. I kept the coloring of my Were’s fur true to nature, because no one would ever take a canary yellow Were seriously (at least, I wouldn’t).

Unlike wolves, my Weres mate for life and it can be outside their species. Were and human. Were and witch. Werewolf and Weresquirrel. Just like with human genetics, a child born of two different supernatural species will either become one or the other, not both (although there have been rare occurances of that happening). Gestation for wolves last around 60 days while gestation for Weres is around 25 weeks.  Humans would start suspecting things if people started having babies within two months of getting pregnant. The point is to blend in. 25 weeks doesn’t draw suspicion, especially if the pregnant Were goes through with a homebirth.

Just like with real wolves my Weres have a pack mentality, except I call the Were groups Clans instead of packs. Wolf packs can contain up to 20 members, while Were Clans can support upwards of 90. The strongest fight their way up until they become the Alpha wolf. Sometimes a family can keep Alpha status for generations, other times they can’t. The Clan name is always the surname of the current Alpha. And, just like with wolf packs, Clans will also have the scapegoat, or Omega, of the pack. The size of the Were’s territory is determined by the size of its Clan. A 10 member Clans doesn’t need as much room as a 70 member Clan.

When a Were Clan gets low in numbers, other Clans will come in trying to assimilate them. The invading Clan will kill off the Alpha and any dominate males to obtain the remaining members and their land. In reality, wolf packs rarely take in strangers and packs would encroach on another pack’s territory only if the boundary that had been set up from scent marking and howling was disrupted in some way.

Luckily, Weres have a human form that they can revert to. Wolves do not and it is because of their natural form that they are hunted in many parts of the world. One day there might not be any more wild wolves, only those in captivity. Hopefully we can find a way to reintroduce these beautiful creatures into the wild that will make both them and the human opponents happy.

To learn more about wolves, please visit:
To learn more about wolf conservation, please visit:

Heather Kuehl
Promises to Keep, available from Eternal Press 3/7/10

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Saturday, February 20, 2010

Portrait of a Vampire by Crymsyn Hart Review

Portrait of a Vampire
By Crymsyn Hart
Purple Sword Publishing 

She captured his image only once, and it’s haunted her ever since. 

Kaylynn has photographed thousands of people all over the world. However, the one man she desires wants nothing to do with her. Elijah took Kaylynn in when she was a teenager, rescuing her from an insane preacher who wanted her for his own evil purposes. 

Over the years, Kaylynn wants nothing more than to feel Elijah’s dark kiss. He wishes to keep her safe. In order to do that, he sends her away until an old evil resurfaces. Together, they have to confront the crazed reverend…and something else. Synopsis from 

 Portrait of a Vampire
Reviewed by Jasmine 
4.85/5 Screams from the Backseat 

I feel in love.  I am a sucker for "they have loved each other forever" type stories.  He loves her and she loves him, but they are held  apart for years.  It always pulls on my heart strings.  Which is the effect this story by Crymsyn Hart had on me, though even better since there is the added tension of this being a story told in the first person.  We can not be sure Elijah returns her feelings, big bad immortal vampire that he is.  

When you are the human in on Top Secret immortal info there always tends to be danger.  In this case a fanatical preacher out to control our heroine's nifty telekinetic powers.  I think if I could make things come to me I might become an even bigger slacker.  Hence why I was granted other super powers.  

So vampires fun, a pining for love, and some hot romantic tension make this book a great read.  As has often been my complaint, there needed to be more.  The ending rushed together a bit too fast compared with the pacing of the rest of the book.  I definitely want to read more of this authors work.  I actually really hope Kaylynn and Elijah pop up in a sequel.  There was a side character in there who calls out for her own story.
Find out more about Crymsyn Hart and her books at
Buy Portrait of a Vampire from Purple Sword

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Thursday, February 18, 2010

I Married a Dog by Michelle Polaris

I married a dog. But that’s okay, I’m one too. No, I’m not talking about my or my dearest hubby’s looks or any habit of straying from the marital farmyard. And I’m not talking about the unflattering propensity I have to turn into a bitch once a month when hormonal. I’m talking Chinese astrological signs. I married a man born the same year as me and between the two of us we pretty much cover the bases of solid dog attributes.

The Chinese New Year just happened, falling on Valentine’s Day this time around. Accordingly, I thought it appropriate to discuss the love between two dogs. Dogs aren’t particularly sexy animals, so my astrological sign doesn’t tickle the erotic romance author in me who thinks being a dragon or a tiger sounds much more tantalizing. Although Charlaine Harris has that sexy shifter Sam in her Sookie Stackhouse vampire stories who turns into a dog as his other form. He manages to be solid and dependable (hence doglike) as well as sexy. So maybe there’s hope.

What traits are we dogs supposed to embody? Loyalty—check on both our parts. Faithfulness—check as well. Honesty—double check. Dogs are unpretentious—double check for me as well as hubby. (I buy maybe one pair of shoes a year and wear them until they disintegrate. Same for clothes. I love hand me downs even though I’m a grown-up. My husband would wear scraps of cloth if I’d let him. Neither of us has interest in classy or racy cars. And my husband would rather trade down than up as far as our homestead is concerned, buying a boat and living on it year round if he had his preference. There’s no such thing as keeping up with the Joneses in our household.) Dogs can sometimes be shy at social gatherings and are often perceived as being cold or distant at these events. (Really, it’s just shyness. We’re not judging anyone else.) This is a definite yes for my husband and usually true for me as well. Dogs tend to be good listeners. (Okay, check for me but not my husband. Sorry dear.) Gregarious personalities love us because we’ll just sit and absorb their blather.

Dogs are born worriers—double check. Give me a subject and I’m more than happy to find a way to worry about it. Thankfully, this is getting less pronounced in my old age. My husband is a quieter worrier, but just as bad. He doesn’t always know he’s doing it. But because of that worry dogs can sometimes bark and bite at those around them—check for me (blushing with shame).

My hubby fits the characteristic of becoming highly critical of others who do not share his same highly developed sense of honor and duty. But no matter how judgmental with loved ones who raise his dander, he always remains devoted—a big time dog trait. Dogs guard against the wrongs of society and can be relied upon to speak up for the disenfranchised and downtrodden. I like to imagine that this mindset led me to choose my other non-writing career of social work. I write about bigotry and injustice in a number of my stories as well.

Another reference calls dogs selfish, terribly stubborn and eccentric. In parts this fits both me and my husband. But it’s all about context, right? Dogs care little for wealth—check, but somehow manage to have money. That’s the resourcefulness. Well, we’re not rolling in it, but I can report we have everything we truly need in life. Another Wikipedia reference tells me our element is earth, our color is turquoise and our gemstone diamond. Oh, and our lucky number is nine. (Better go play the lottery.)  Our allies are the tiger and horse and our foes the dragon. (Damn, they’re so sexy).

Not only do I and my husband share the sign of the dog, but we were born on each other’s exact half birthdays, making us the opposite western zodiac signs, both of which are fairly solid, dependable types.

All I can say is the marriage works. When two worrying, introverted, stubborn, pessimistic, cynical people live together, they keep it going with their very reliable, persistent, resourceful, honest, loyal and amicable natures. It’s like the human version of a building’s cornerstone. We’re sunk deep into the mud with each other. Solid, lasting, true. I love my husband—that dog.

Michelle Polaris

~Dark, erotic romance to scorch the soul

Bound Odyssey available at Ellora’s Cave!

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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Werewolves, the Hunky Heroic Kind By Terry Spear

In the beginning, werewolves were beasties. The idea any woman in her right mind would want to have one for a partner forever more was unthinkable. The werewolf guy would change without any choice when the full moon appeared. He’d lose any human thought and become a wild beast of prey. He wouldn’t care what he ate or killed. He just had the uncontrollable urge to do so.

In some stories, wolfbane might keep him from turning. In others, it would cause the shift. In yet others, it would kill the wolf. So it depends on the story you’re reading.

I’ve never used wolfbane in my stories. Maybe because of all the confusion as to what it might do to a werewolf. I try to keep my stories as realistic as possible. Why would wolfbane have any of the above effects on a werewolf? Now what if it were foxglove or oleander? Both are poisonous plants if ingested. But for anyone. Not just werewolves.

So let’s take another werewolf legend. Silver kills werewolves. Yes! I totally agree. And in Legend of the White Wolf, I explain why. My son and I were eating at a restaurant, and I mentioned to him how I wanted to do more research on silver, so he pulled out his phone and began looking up information on the Internet. I was jotting down notes on a napkin, excited about a new direction for my story, while he was reading off the information to me. Then the beef fajitas came and *sigh,* I was pulled away from my love of all things wolf.

I loved Miracle on 34th Street. Is Santa Claus real? Of course. The U.S. Post Office proved it by collecting thousands of letters for Santa Claus. What about werewolves? What proof is there that they exist?

Werewolf trials existed centuries ago, proving that some people were truly werewolves. So even if the majority of folks don’t believe, some did. What about Bigfoot, or the Loch Ness monster? Believers actually search for them, sightings reported, why not werewolves?

Well, in Legend of the White Wolf, some do believe in werewolves, and it’s not a good thing for the werewolf pack in the area.
Although the original concept for werewolves was that they turned into a hideous kind of beast, not a handsome wolf, in mine, I couldn’t see a woman wanting a man who looked so beastly when he was in his wolf skin. Plus, how could people not see something so different from a real wolf whenever werewolves shifted into their wolf forms? So mine are wolves, just like real ones, except they have a human conscience and when in their human forms, they still have their wolf senses. But more than that, they have the wolf pack mentality—the desire to protect their mate and pack members, to commit for a lifetime, and to cherish their offspring. They’re beautiful as wolves, and hunks as humans. What more could you ask for in a wolfish kind of guy?
Terry Spear

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Real Wolves, My Wolves - Fact vs. Fiction

Real Wolves, My Wolves - Fact vs. Fiction
A weekly blogging series coming up on Backseat Nightmares

A different Author will be Joining us every Wednesday to share some facts not only about their wolves, but real wolves too.  They do the research they have the knowledge and the insight to share the fact an the fiction.  If you enjoy werewolves in your books join us every Wednesday and meet a new author.  

Thanks and spread the word! Starts Now! 

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

I am such a Pig! by Heather Kuehl

When I first learned that I was born in the Year of the Pig, I was mad. Why couldn’t I be a Dragon? Or a Tiger? Something that made people go “Ooooh!” But when I read up on what it means to be born in the Year of the Pig, I discovered it couldn’t fit me better.

Pigs can be honest, loyal, and optimistic and I am many of those. I can be honest, sometimes so much that it can be considered blunt. Don’t ever ask me how you look in a shirt or in a pair of shoes. I will tell you exactly what I think, good or bad. I am loyal to those that have earned my trust. I will stand by my friends and family until the end. As for optimistic, though, not so much. I’m a glass half empty girl myself. I will always assume that my favorite team will loose or that the book store will not have the book I want.

Pigs can also be naive and too trusting. I learned the hard way I was like this a couple of years ago. Since then I have made sure to remember that people have to earn your trust, and until they do so they are capable of doing anything.

They say that Pigs also enjoy reading. Heck yeah I do! Once I discover an author, I have to read everything by them. I just finished reading the entire Dark Hunter series by Sherrilyn Kenyon (very good reading, BTW) in the space of three months. It would have been sooner, but the library had a waiting list. Right now I’m trying out the Dexter series by Jeff Lindsay. Hopefully great reading will ensue and I will become hooked.

Pigs aren’t usually very talkative, however if given the chance to talk about something they are interested in, they just can’t stop. Oh yeah that’s me. Mention that you like Buffy the Vampire Slayer and I will yap your ear off for hours, discussing everything from how hot Spike is to the difference between Buffy’s world and that of Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight.

Career-wise, Pigs are trusted and shine as entertainers, social activists or politicians. I’m not a politician. The thought alone makes me shudder. I’m not a social activist either, although I am not fond of animal testing or the use of fur. I am an entertainer though, if writers can be considered that.

So, you can have your Dragons and Tigers. I’m happy to be a Pig.

Heather Kuehl
Promises to Keep, available March 7, 2010 by Eternal Press.

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Sunday, February 14, 2010

Chinese New Year and Superstitions - by Isobael Liu

According to tales and legends, the beginning of Chinese New Year started with the fight against a mythical beast called the Nien. Nien would come on the first day of New Year to devour livestock, crops, and even villagers, especially children. To protect themselves, the villagers would put food in front of their doors at the beginning of every year. It was believed that after the Nien ate the food they prepared, it wouldn’t attack any more people. 
When the people saw the Nien was frightened by a little child wearing red, the villagers understood that the Nien was afraid of the colour red. Hence, every time when the New Year was about to come, the villagers would decorate their homes and village by hanging red lanterns and red spring scrolls on windows and doors. People also used firecrackers to frighten away the Nien, starting the use of firecrackers at New Years, as well as other celebrations. The Nien was eventually captured by Hong Jun Lao Zu (Lao Zu means teacher), an ancient Taoist monk. The Nien became the monk’s mount.

With that, here's a few superstitions about the New Year...

Before the New Years, you should give your home a full “spring” cleaning, but once New Years Day arrives, don’t clean your house! To do so means you’ll clean out all the good luck and you’ll have bad luck for the rest of the year! Along with this, open your windows. Opening windows is inviting good luck into your home.

No ghost stories for New Year either. In Chinese belief, ghosts are not good. Very inauspicious, so no stories about death, dying, or ghosts. (Doesn’t bode well for paranormal authors, does it?)

Wear and decorate with red. Red is extremely lucky for the Chinese. It symbolizes wealth, happiness and life. (My wedding dress was red!) Hang red banners or luck signs, and wear red. Most importantly, avoid the colour white (in clothing and food) as it signifies death.

Eat candy! How the kids will love this! Eating sweets on Chinese New Year is inviting you to have a “sweet” year.

Lastly, put away all your sharp, pointy objects. Sharp objects are believed to cut away your good luck. Along these lines, don’t get your hair cut during New Year as it cuts away your luck as wel

Isobael Liu
Where magick dances in the moonlight and wild things come to play...
"Moonlight and Magick", debut novel - available May 3rd, 2010

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Dating outside your DNA by Karen Kelley Reviewed

Dating outside your DNA
by Karen Kelley
Brava/Kensington Books

Review by Marcia Corbett
My Rating:  4 ½ out of 5

Set Phasers To Sizzle...
Special agent Roan Hendrix is a straight shooter with weapons and women, so he doesn’t appreciate it when his boss throws him a curve. But what a curve. A half-human, half-Nerakian who needs a one-on-one crash course in how best to channel her powers. And while Roan’s usually a master at separating business from pleasure, one glance into Lyraka’s green eyes is enough to spark scorching fantasies of seriously close encounters with the tall, tanned temptress... 

Lyraka’s trying not to mind the way Mister Macho Special Agent keeps barking orders, but it’s impossible to ignore Roan’s rough-and-ready appeal. The sensitive ponytail guys Lyraka grew up with didn’t have a clue how to handle her outsized sex drive, but Roan looks like he’d be up to the task in every way. Better still, he never got the memo that Lyraka’s human side makes her—ahem—“special talents” even greater than the average Nerakian’s.… Synopsis by

This is the fourth book in Karen Kelley’s Planet Nerak series and depends on the reader knowing at least something about the previous story lines.  She pulls in all of the main characters from the previous books, at least marginally, while adding several new characters.  That said, this book contains a really hot new hero, some “killer” love scenes, a really sick and perverted bad guy, some minor torture, bondage, sex slaves, space travel and plenty of action.

Although not apparent until well into the story, this is kind of a “Men in Black” view of the universe with a bit of “Star Trek” thrown in since Roan works for an agency that polices aliens on earth as well as earthlings on other planets with the beginnings of a group of worlds joining together to keep peace among their members and protect them from attack by non-member nations.

I really enjoyed the back and forth in Lyraka’s feelings for Roan.  Does she love him or hate him?  Does she want to jump his bones or never see him again?  Does she trust him……. Or not?  Then, when her mother Aasera’s old enemy decides to take his revenge on the daughter and comes to earth to search for Lyraka, things not only get dangerous, but a bit on the freaky side!  

.If you like fast-paced What the #%$#^ is going to happen next?” stories with plenty of sex and a bit of fun mixed together with dangerous situations, you really need to check out this book and the entire series, starting with “Close Encounters of the Sexy Kind”, followed by “Earth Guys are Easy” (previously published as “Cosmic Sex”) and “Bad Boys Guide to the Galaxy”  

Everything I’ve read of Karen Kelleys work is sexy and fun.  You can learn more about Karen and her books at her website,

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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Ghost Story - by Beth Tissel

This fascinating story is taken from the book I’ve been featuring lately, Shenandoah Voices, Folklore, Legends and Traditions of the Valley by late author-historian John Heatwole.

Brock’s Gap:

“Up in the Brock’s Gap region (*of the Shenandoah Valley)the old resident’s referred to the rest of the world as “out.”  It was not uncommon to hear the phrase, “people would come along from out.”

In the old days, the rest of the country was well served by the Valley Pike and other well maintained thoroughfares, but the Gap and its scattered homesteads remained isolated beyond the first rise of the Allegheny Front (*Mountains).

The hamlets of Fulks Run, Criders, Bergton and Dovesville were oases of social contact, as were a few churches here and there, but the people in the Gap were pretty self-sufficient.  Before electricity came into the area, moonless nights smothered the hills, hollows and mountains…making the faint glimmer of candlelight in a window way off a welcome sight to a late-night traveler.

It’s not surprising that some wonderful ghost stories have come from this area.  Unusual happenings were woven into stories that were told and retold…long winter nights found rapt listeners gathered around a glowing fire or warm stove to be thrilled by a story teller.”


Ghost story:  “One young girl of the Crider’s area was told that she could take the horse and go to meet her mother and sister who were returning from a trip to “out” late one night.  Her path took her to a neighbor’s farm gate where she dismounted, opened the gate, led the horse through and then re-latched it.  As she climbed back on the horse, she heard something coming from the direction she had just come.

“Someone come a runnin,’ was a man a comin’ up the road a runnin’.”

He was coming fast and she was scared.  She kicked her horse into a gallop.  As she looked back over her shoulder she saw the “man” run through the closed gate as if he were made of air.  “I flew out,” she said, but it seemed to make no difference—he was gaining on her.

“When I got to the top of the hill he was about two steps behind me.  He grabbed the horse by the tail, and she kicked up, and away she went as hard as she could run!”

That did the trick and the pursuer disappeared in their dust.

“I don’t know what it was.  It wasn’t no human; no human coulda kept up with that horse!”

The woman who was once the girl in the preceding story also related her father’s brush with a demon.

“My daddy seen one one time.  He was comin’ home after dark from Casper Turner’s.  Saw what looked like a man layin’ on a fence; had eyes like fireballs!”  Her father had a gun with him, and he shot at the demon.  The thing fell off the fence and started making a noise that made the man think he should be getting away from there.  “Had run down from the mountain.  He was scared to death.”

Beth Tissel

Daughter of the Wild by Beth Tissel
From The Wild Rose Press
Find out More
Karin doesn't know who she is—will she find the love of her life in the discovery, or uncover a tragic past and fresh betrayal?

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Friday, February 5, 2010

Superstitions and Dragons by Antonia Tiranth

Hello!  I'm going to talk about one of my favorite topics and how it relates to superstitions.  If a dragon crosses your path...wait, that's a black cat.  If you walk under a, that's a ladder.  Okay so you're thinking what in the world kind of superstitions are there in relationship to dragons?  I admit, I had a hard time figuring that one out at first until I looked up the definition of superstition and found that this is one of its definitions :  A belief, practice, or rite irrationally maintained by ignorance of the laws of nature or by faith in magic or chance

Now things get a little easier.  Beliefs about dragons are world wide.  From Nevada to Alaska to Meso-America to China.  Every culture has a tale of dragons and what they mean.  Of course, everyone knows about the Chinese Dragon Dance.  It is said that the dance originated as sort of rain dance and has evolved into a dance of luck and fortune for the new year.  In Repulse Bay, Hong Kong, one of the apartment complexes has a hole in the middle of it so that the dragon who lives at the center of the earth has a clear view of the sky.  In Europe, the dragon was once seen as a symbol of bravery but in the Middle Ages, during the Festival of Rogotian a statue of a dragon was paraded through town as a symbol of evil and sin.  Later it was later kicked and stoned by villagers as a way to rid themselves of sin. 
 Even the Americas have their dragons.  The Ancient One was believed by the Piute of Nevada to live in Lake Pyramid and that whirlpools were a sign that the creature was searching for victims.  Alaska has Pal-rai-yuk, a water dwelling beast.  Inuits painted a picture of Pal-rai-yuk on their boats as a ward against his attentions.  In Meso-America, it was believed that mistreating Palulukon was the cause of natural disasters.  There are many more myths and legends associated with dragons.  One could spend a whole day just reading them all. 

In closing, I think its safe to say that the big picture here is be nice to your dragons or you might be the cause of the next earthquake.  :)

Antonia Tiranth

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Superstitions,by AP Miller

Superstitions, are they really the old wives tales?

Hello Readers! I am one half of the husband and wife writing team of AP Miller. We write in many genres, and are published with nine publishers thus far. We live in the mostly sunny city of Las Vegas with our two dogs Brutus and Elliot who are constantly plotting for world domination.

I was asked here today to talk about superstitions and very excited to be here!

Most of us grew up believing if a black cat crossed our path it was seven years bad luck. If you broke a mirror it was bad luck.
Seeing an ambulance pass also sent bad luck your way.
And finally my favorite: Friday the Thirteenth. (love the film)

But, not all superstitions were deemed as bad. For instance if you held certain gems in your pockets or wore them on a chain around your neck they brought luck.

How did they come about? Well some say the old wives tales,and this is true to an extant. They did generate many years ago, but lets face it earlier generations had the need to believe much more then we do today weather it depended upon knowledge, reason or some type of experience.

There are many kinds of superstitions, for the most part people of other countries have their own beliefs that we may feel are outlandish, but because of their religious beliefs it’s a normal part of their lives.

Religion played a huge part in the majority of superstitions. The Catholics believe that if their infants were not baptized the devil would take their soul. As a Catholic I can vouch for that one. My mother drummed that in my head once I became pregnant. But then again the Catholic Church also believed superstition was a sin.

Believe it or not most of our own lifestyles were based on superstition, and the fact that whatever we were taught was the truth since nothing else proved those theories wrong. Many superstitions were said to have originated during the plagues that were sweeping through Europe. There are many agnostics who would see other religions as superstitions.

What about miracles? Are they superstitious? Some may think so. This would apply to an omen, would that also be a superstition? I say we believe in whatever we wish to help lead our lives as long as it works. Some of us carry amulets; others don our homes with statues and pictures, while the rest of us wear jewelry. As long as it makes us feel comfortable and we aren’t being criticized for our own beliefs there is nothing wrong with it. I for one have my own theory on superstitions but they have all worked for me.

To Happy Reading!

AP Miller

AP Miller is the best selling award winning husband and wife writing team. For more information about them and their books visit: 

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Interview with Yasmine Galenorn

I am lucky enough to have the fabulous Yasmine Galenorn, author extraordinaire, signed on to answer some questions.  Now for any of you not familiar with her mystical series check out a list of her books below, but now to the good stuff.


Ms. Galenorn as a Witchy Chick blogger, author of the best-selling Otherworld/Sisters of the Moon series, and a practicing shamanic witch, tell me, who is your favorite TV or movie witch?

Yasmine: Actually, I think my favorite TV/Movie witch had a very brief part, but she was just so cool I fell head over heels with her. In Conan the Barbarian, there’s a witch near the beginning—long dark hair and just sensual as hell. I also like the character of the narrator in that movie—the actor was Mako, I believe. He was a shaman/shamanic witch and was just too cool. While I thought Bewitched was cute, Samantha pissed me off—negating her powers just to appease Darrin’s overblown ego. And Sabrina was too ‘cutesy.’ I never watched Charmed—saw ten minutes and it bored me and that was it. Practical Magic didn’t impress me a lot. OH WAIT---I love the women in Sleepy Hollow, with Johnny Depp. They are really all witches, you know—I guess I’d choose that movie for my fave film witches.

TK: So...  the film "The Craft", cool or Hollywood bull?  Has Hollywood ever gotten it right? Do you think they could?


Yasmine: I can only answer for myself. There is no ‘right’ because every witch and pagan has their own vision of the Craft and their own way of practice. I’m not Wiccan, I didn’t really have a problem with the movie. Typical teen angst movie but I enjoyed it more than I have some. Hollywood can never get it fully right—though in the original (not the remake) Wicker Man, they got a closer than just about anything, I think.

TK: Now I did a little research, and read a few of your previous interviews, and found out we have a mutual liking for a fabulous little show called Supernatural.  So here is my question, Sam or Dean?


Yasmine: I hate to tell you, but I stopped midway through Season 3. I really got turned off by the way the plot line was going, but that’s just my personal feelings. But with the guys, if I had to pick one…oh, hard, but Dean, I guess. Sam’s cuter, but Dean—he had it going on.

TK: Don't think I have forgotten about your writing.  I am dying to hear more about the world you created, what are the immigration laws?  How do I apply for citizenship?

Yasmine: That would take forever to sort out! ~laughs~ Let’s just say there’s no official welcome over there for Earthsiders, be they FBH or Fae, right now. That may change, but we’ll have to see as the books go along.


TK: When they say write what you know, there are days and authors where that seems more doable then others.  Your life is not a direct parallel of your characters, but what tidbits of your daily routine pop up in them?

Yasmine: A number of Camille’s activities and habits--the caffeine thing, the clothing choices, Delilah’s late night hours watching trash TV and tendency to say the wrong thing at the wrong time. Menolly—her quick temper, her need for routine. Actually, there’s a little bit of myself in most of the characters.


Is there a character closest to you in disposition?

Yasmine: Camille—with a touch of Menolly’s temper, and Delilah’s black panther self and her tabby mischief. Yah, I’m a troublemaker and rabble rouser. Camille really is more based on me, partially the me that yes—I’d love to be, and partially the me that I can see if I really went off-beam. ~laughing~ But trust me, as appealing as her men and wardrobe are, I have no desire to go bashing demon heads. In real life. I, do, however, hang out with a gorgeous hunk of a husband and some pretty wacked out friends.


TK: If you could pick one of your characters to spend the day with, hang out, be comfortable with who would that be and what would you guys do together - by the way keep it clean my site is rated PG-13? :-)


Yasmine: Hmmm…has to be PG-13? Sigh. You take all the fun out of things! I’d love to hang with Morio, I think. Talk, work magic together, um…other things you won’t allow me to talk about here. ~wicked grin~ Although, the thought of riding on Smoky’s back (while he’s a dragon—see, keeping it PG-13—though…*muses*…never mind…oh, that hair of his!) while he was flying around would be a mind blowing experience!

TK: In your newest book what has changed for you in the world you have created, have there been developments with your characters you did not expect?

Yasmine: Okay, the thing is—my last book I just finished writing was the new series—the first book in the Indigo Court Series. So I can’t really apply that. But the next Otherworld book coming out is Bone Magic, and oh, so many things happened. This is a very transitional book, so much happens—including life-altering transitions for Camille and Chase. I never expect a good two-thirds of what shows up! LOL, which is why I can’t always tell you what will happen in the future if I haven’t already written it. The future is being created as I go.


TK: Now that you have spent so much time and so many pages in the Otherworld are you used to it or does it still surprise you? Does your hand itch to explore a whole new world or is the Otherworld still big enough for a while yet?

Yasmine: Both! My first book in the Indigo Court Series, another urban fantasy series—darker and edgier in many ways—than the Otherworld Series, will be out next June. But there’s so many places that I can take the Otherworld Series that I can’t really see giving it up for a long time to come. The world is fluid with so many storylines. So I’m writing one Indigo Court book a year now, and two Otherworld Books a year. Plus a few novellas along the way.


TK: While I was contemplating my next question I started to think about dinner, about how I really don't feel like cooking and where I should order from, what is your favorite takeout and what do you order?


Yasmine: I can’t do most take out due to food allergies, so you take me out to the Outback and I have a big, juicy steak (medium rare)—New York or center fillet cut, a side of King crab or a lobster tail, a side of sliced tomatoes, and for dessert—a strawberry daiquiri or a rum and Coke. How about that?

TK: Now this is a question of personal interest and of a personal nature, one of the elements of a culture is found in food, I know this might sound like a silly question but are there any dietary guidelines that you follow being a shamanic witch?

Yasmine: That depends on your individual path. I’m pledged to a goddess of the Hunt, and yes, I am quite a carnivore. But more than that, my body just demands a good amount of animal protein. My totem is the black panther (there’s the Delilah connection) and I love rare meat. Most of my dietary restrictions are due to food allergies and intolerances, which sucks rocks. But I’m a hardcore carnivore who mainly eats meat and fruits, I guess. Some veggies, but I’m just not a veggie person.

TK: Thank you so much for taking the time out of your day to share a little bit more about yourself.

Bio: New York Times bestselling author Yasmine Galenorn writes urban fantasy for Berkley: both the bestselling Otherworld/Sisters of the Moon Series for Berkley and the upcoming Indigo Court urban fantasy series. In the past, she wrote mysteries for Berkley Prime Crime, and nonfiction metaphysical books. Her books have hit the New York Times and USA Today extended bestseller lists numerous times. Yasmine has been in the Craft for over 29 years, is a shamanic witch, and describes her life as a blend of teacups and tattoos. She lives in Bellevue WA with her husband Samwise and their cats. Yasmine can be reached via her website at, via MySpace: and Twitter: The D’Artigo Sisters also have a twitter account:

Monday, February 1, 2010

Bad Luck Superstitions -- Are you a believer?

Do not walk under a ladder or you will invite bad luck. It's bad luck to have a black cat cross your path. The number 13 is bad luck.

What are superstitions, and why do we believe in them?

Superstitions are beliefs passed down through the generations. Many originated from both pagan and religious practices and traditions. They began centuries ago when our ancestors attempted to explain mysterious circumstances or events as best they could with the knowledge they had.

One popular example, before science explained such strange things as why mirrors show our reflections or why shadows appear when it's sunny, ancient people reasoned that a shadow or reflection was part of their soul. If a person broke something onto which the shadow or reflection appeared, it was believed their soul was harmed. Therefore, when a person broke a mirror it was considered unlucky or harmful. Today we know reflections and shadows are not part of our souls, but if someone still believes it is bad luck to break a mirror, they are said to be superstitious.

A superstition is a belief or practice people hold onto even after new knowledge or facts prove these silly beliefs untrue.

Superstitions rule many lives around the world, but for me they only present an interesting examination of human foibles and fears. Friday the 13th is always considered an unlucky day, but for me it's just another day.

There are people who freak out over a black cat crossing their path or who avoid any possible chance they might have to walk under a ladder. Superstitions can create interesting situations in a fictional novel, but I prefer to establish more non-traditional events.

In my Erotic book, Yes, my Mistress, it isn't superstitions that drive the storyline. Instead, I delve into the non-traditional role reversal of a Domme and her submissive. A woman in a position of sexual power over a man--not a familiar role for a diminutive character like Dani Miller. But Mike Ranger, her submissive, has no problem taking orders from his Mistress.

Yes, my Mistress is now available through Lyrical Press, Inc. at

Thank you, Terry, for inviting me to guest blog here today.


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