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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

10 Things Every Ghost Hunter Should Know

 For those of you embracing a predator's perspective this Halloween!

1) Forget the popular belief that ghosts are always dangerous, fearful and hurt people.
2) Ghosts don't travel, follow people home, or appear at more than one location.
3) The entities on the other side are the ones who decide that they want to contact us, not the other way around.
4) Ghosts can't be explained away nor will they disappear. They continue to appear frequently all over the world, to people from all walks of life, in old houses and in new houses, on airports and in streets, and wherever tragedy strikes man.
5) The fewer physical disturbances there are, the easier it is for ghosts to communicate themselves to the outer world. A quiet moment, such as is more likely to be found at night than in daytime, is the period when the majority of sightings are reported.
6) Ghosts are nothing more than a human being trapped by special circumstances in this world while already being of the next.
7) It is important not be influenced by popular renditions of ghostly phenomena. This holds true with most movies. Television, where distortions and outright inventions abound, is especially troublesome.
8) Where an objective manifestation takes place, and everybody present is capable of hearing and seeing it, energy drawn from the living is used by the ghost to cause certain phenomena, or perhaps the movement of objects, doors opening by themselves, and other signs of a presence.
9) Ghosts do not fade away over the centuries; they are, in effect, present for all eternity unless someone makes contact with them through a trance medium and brings reality to them, allowing them to understand their predicament and thus free themselves from their self-imposed prison.
10) The worst reaction is to become panicky in the presence of a ghost, since it will not help the ghost and will cause you unnecessary anxiety.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Top 5 Disturbing Poems by Edgar Allan Poe

In the spirit of Halloween we've cracked open some poems by Poe. Here's several that we recommend for the chilly days ahead:

5. Alone
The speaker of Alone describes how he was an outcast as a child. The dread from childhood ends up following the narrator wherever he goes.

4. Dreamland
Picture a place that exists outside of space and time - all ruled by a phantom named Night. The narrator is exposed to ghosts of his late friends as he travels through the ever-mutating Dreamland.

3. The City in the Sea
The City in the Sea describes a city that is ruled by death. No rays of hope shine on this place. There isn't any movement in the city until the end of the poem as a wave signals the arrival of Hell.

2. The Raven
The rapping at the chamber door is like a cloud of sadness ready to pour. The sorrow catches the narrator and all he can do is wish for tomorrow. The raven's repeated chime of "Nevermore" always bests the author's pleadings for it to fly away. In the end we find that the sorrow is here to stay indefinitely.

1. Annabel Lee
This poem starts out innocently with the love between Anna Bell Lee and the narrator. Then angels, jealous of their love, decide to take Annabel Lee's life. Annabel Lee being out of the picture doesn't tame the intensity of the narrator's love. The poem ends with the narrator telling us that he always sleeps next to her tomb.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Pulling off a successful Halloween prank

Last week on Wednesday, October 24th, police in Illinois responded to a potential homicide. The parents of two kids between the ages of six and eight, decided to get the Halloween season rolling by staging a fake murder. The kids thought an actual murder was occurring, beat their parents to the neighbors house, and called 911.

Here are 3 tips to effectively stage a Halloween prank while keeping yourself out of news headlines:
1) Pull the prank in an enclosed area so your target stays in your realm of control.
2) Try and conduct your prank as close to Halloween as possible. This will decrease the risk that people take it too seriously.
3) If your victims are as young as in the news story we talked about, it's best to have someone with them that's in on the prank. That way if the situation gets out of hand, the double agent can smooth things out.

See the full story at http://www.kfvs12.com/Global/story.asp?S=13403578

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Touching Evil by Kay Hooper: Book Review


Touching Evil: A Review
by Alina Jackson

Touching Evil tells the tale of Maggie Barnes, a telepathic police sketch artist that is determined to stop the evil that is terrorizing the streets of Seattle.   Knowing that it will be her personal responsibility to stop this madness, Maggie puts herself in life threatening situations.  With no clues or description of the perpetrator she must rely on her own special talents and the information a blinded victim can recall.  While pursuing the mad man she meets John Garrett, a self-assured successful business man, who finds it hard to believe in Maggie’s talents but begins to fall deeply in love with her.  As time progresses John becomes more convinced that Maggie is in serious danger.  Since no new leads develop,  John, with the help of the lead investigator, convince the Chief of Police to call in the little known special unit of the FBI to help end this terror.  Can this psychopath be caught before the evil touches more of Seattle’s young women and destroys the woman he loves? 

The opening prologue grabbed me from the first sentence but as the chapters continued I found it harder to get excited about the story. I kept turning the pages but I think that was due more to my determination than the thrill of the story. The characters in the story were flat. The supporting characters lacked depth to the point that I often forgot who they were and why they were there, making it necessary to go back a few pages to refresh my memory.  John Garrett, the love interest, seemed nice enough but I wanted to fall in love with him.  I knew little about his personality except that he didn’t believe that it was possible to possess any of the paranormal talents described in the story.  I would have liked to know where he came from and what drove him to be successful.  John and Maggie’s relationship could have used a more in-depth description.  What about John did Maggie love?  What about Maggie, other than her talents, did John love, hate, or fear?   Also, Maggie’s brother Beau added little to the story and didn’t show a side of Maggie that made her seem more real.  I was puzzled why he was even mentioned.  Then the villain came out of no-where.  It felt as though it was an afterthought where the author had to find a way to end the tale.  All I could think about was if John was a powerful and smart business man then why didn’t he see anything unusual when his sister became a widow?   The story ended with too many questions left unanswered.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Zombie Excerpt -- Neeta Lyffe, Zombie Exterminator


Thanks to Karina Fabian for sharing this with us. Visit her online at http://fabianspace.com . Happy Halloween!

When I wrote *Neeta Lyffe, Zombie Exterminator,8 I decided to do something different.  Since the plot took place in Hollywood at a reality TV show, I had one of the writers working on his documentary about zombies.  It turned out to be a really fun way to introduce people to my world, crack a lot of jokes, and do some fun things with zombies that did not fit in the events of the novel.  I’d like to share a bit of that with you.
Incidentally, both this incident and Gary Opkast make an appearance in *I Left My Brains in San Francisco* as well.


Notes for: The Zombie Syndrome
A Documentary
By Gary Opkast

Episode: Zombie Zero

Film clip of a zombie clawing its way out of a grave (NOTE: Check YouTube; InsaneCandid is supposed to have a good one, and his family may sell the rights to pay for his funeral expenses.)
NARRATOR: The world has been living under the zombie threat for over two decades, yet where did this threat originate?  Did it begin with a single human, or a simultaneous uprising?  Did the zombie syndrome migrate to other countries, or did it spring simultaneously, as it were, from the grave?  The answers to these questions could give scientists a much-needed break in isolating and resolving the cause of zombie-ism.  So the search continues for that elusive first case--the one scientists call "Zombie Zero."
Cut to DR.  BEN HANSEN (CORRIANDER SPICE) (Need background visuals--something non-zombie-ish but interesting enough to detract from digitized face effect): "The problem we're coming up against is in the reporting.  Sure, now, you call 9-1-1 and tell them there's a zombie on your lawn, and the Z-mat team comes right away, but who would have believed this twenty-three years ago?"
Cut to re-enactment of 9-1-1 call.  Note on bottom: 9-1-1 call, Pleasantville, KY, Oct 31, 2019, 11:35 p.m.
"9-1-1, how may I help you?"
"Please!  Help me!  There's a, a zombie and it's--"
"Where are you?"
"I'm in a barn off Countryside Lane!  My boyfriend and I were on a drive and we ran out of gas and now--"
"'Ran out of gas'?"
"Shut up, okay?  There's a zombie and it broke the window and pulled Billy out of the back seat and--"
"Miss, have you been drinking?"
"Shut up and help me!  I'm in the barn and it's coming after me and I think Billy is too!"
"Miss, could it be they're just playing a joke?"
Screams.
Cut to clips of the barn, the bodies with sheets over them, one hand, obviously zombified, peeking out.
NARRATOR: "It was no joke.  Barbie Munchausen, 17, and her boyfriend, Billy Stakes, were discovered by police officers lurching hand-in-hand down Countryside Lane.  When they attacked Policeman Lance McRue, his partner, Dougie Marsh, a longtime fan of zombie films, decapitated them with an ax.  Even so, officials were slow to believe the zombie story until McRue himself re-animated an hour later.  This was the first confirmed case of zombie-ism in the United States, but was it the first?"
HANSEN: "Not a chance.  We have found veiled references to the undead back to the mid 2010s.  Before that, we had some vampire sightings, but we're pretty sure that was part of the Twilight craze.  Vampires!  Come on--who's going to believe that old tale?"



Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Bared to You: A Crossfire Novel -- Review

Sylvia Day certainly keeps you on her toes with this first installation of the Crossfire series. I was captivated from the first moment Eva and Gideon meet, although I still find it fascinating at the intense animal attraction in that very first meeting. I understand that some people can have outstanding looks but is it really possible for one man to attract women to him like flies to honey? It seems every woman in this book can't keep their eyes off him as if he was a real modern Greek god come to life. I don't believe that can be possible. Yes, maybe a few women may have their heads turned and their legs go weak from one man but every single woman in the city that enters this novel? Hmm...

The book opens with a bang. Eva and Gideon meet but neither know who the other is only to find out that they work together. The attraction continues and heats up but then again, I have to ask the fans: The character's first exchange of words goes something like this:

Gideon: Are you sleeping with anyone?
Eva: I don't see how that's any of your business.
Gideon: I want to f*** you so I want to make sure no one else is in the way.

Hmm, makes you wonder. No small talk, no getting to know you stuff, he just gets blunt and to the point. Ladies, even if you were immensely attracted to the man, wouldn't you slap a guy for talking like that if it's almost the first thing out of his mouth? Although, if Ms. Day was going for shock value, it worked, and it did get the juices flowing to start this sensational erotic trek.

This book keeps you going from chapter to chapter. The characters had a strong chemistry that kept the pages hot. It's the ultimate in dom/sub relationships and Gideon Cross is definitely overpowering.

I enjoyed the story and couldn't wait to get the second in the series. If you want a good erotic tale, I would highly recommend this one.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

I Left My Brains in San Francisco -- Author Interview


Welcome to Karina Fabian, author of the zombie exterminator series. I am happy to help promote, I Left My Brains in San Francisco, on her virtual book tour this month. 


1. Can you tell us a little about yourself?

 I’m an author who prefers to talk about her books and writing than about herself.

2. Your zombie exterminator series sounds exciting. Please describe what "I Left My Brains in San Francisco" is all about.

 It’s the 2040s, where the government subsidized everything including protests, the cars run on manure, and zombies are the latest household pest. Neeta Lyffe is an exterminator with a license to re-kill the undead.  She’s taken out dozens of the shambling undead and even hosted Zombie Death Extreme, where she trained up apprentice exterminators on a reality TV show that makes Survivor look like dodge ball.  This week, however, she and her business partner/boyfriend, Ted are on the way to San Francisco to an exterminators’ convention.  She’s hoping to relax, meet up with old friends, and pursue her relationship with Ted.  When the undead rise up from watery graves to invade the Bay Area, she’ll have to drop the fun and pick up the chain saw!

3. What was the hardest part of writing your book?

 The romance.  Neeta, while being a kick-butt exterminator and normally a very confident woman, nonetheless was insecure about her relationship with Ted.  However, when I wrote it the first time, I made her too insecure and kind of whiny.  Fortunately, I have terrific critiquers, several of whom are guys and let me know it was too chick-lit.  It took a couple of rewrites, but she’s back to being kick-butt while still not sure where she and Ted stand.

4. What books have had the greatest influence on you?

 The Bible, first and foremost. Do It: Let’s Get Off Our Buts still motivates me, though I’ve not read it since college.  Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy still provides a quirky wisdom and random snickers. A Wrinkle in Time got me started writing fantasy.

5. Briefly share with us what you do to market your book.

 This book tour, obviously. I have over 30 stops; you can find the full schedule at http://fabianspace.blogspot.com.  I am giving away 3 copies via Goodreads.  I send out press releases, and am doing a signing Oct 27 at the Provo Zombie Run.

I also have a singing contest going for my book trailer, which I hope will get folks interested.  Check that out at http://fabianspace.blogspot.com/p/are-you-next-zombie-idol.html.


6. How do you spend your time when you are not writing?

Cooking, cleaning, loving my dogs and cat, playing with the kids, watching movies on Netflix, reading, and chatting with my husband on Skype.  I also take haidong gumbdo, which is Korean sword martial arts, but I don’t practice nearly enough.


7. What are you working on next and what's in store for Neeta Lyffe, Zombie Exterminator, in the future?

Actually, I can answer both at once.  My next story is “Shambling in a Winter Wonderland,” in which Neeta and Ted will take on zombies on the ski slopes!  It’s a fundraiser story for Operation Homefront, so what I do is post an episode and ask for donations.  Once I earn $10 in donations, I post the next episode.  All the money goes to Operation Homefront, which provides financial and other assistance to families of military members and wounded warriors.  It’ll start in November at http://skizombies.karinafabian.com
  

8. Where can people go to find out more information about you or to check out your books?

 The easiest way is http://fabianspace.com.  I have my books listed by genre, or you can look at my master list under the About.  I also have some useful stuff for authors, like were to ask for reviews and how to do a virtual book tour like this.

9. If you had to suddenly evacuate your home/country, what one book would you make sure to grab before you leave?

 Scrapbook—just about anything else, I can get on Amazon once I settle back in.  Which scrapbook would be the hard question.

10. Would you like to add anything that I may have missed?

Just thanks for having me on your blog!


Thursday, October 4, 2012

The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty: A Book Review

I have always loved the tale of Sleeping Beauty. In fact, that is my favorite story of all time. I guess you can  call me a hopeless romantic. You can imagine my excitement when I saw the erotic novel, The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty, by Anne Rice (writing as A.N. Roquelaure). The most romantic story with an added edge of eroticism? I couldn't resist.

Now I wish I had.

The book opens with a bang. The Prince (who never has a name throughout the entire story) finds Beauty (who also is just known as that and no other name) and awakens her, but not with the usual tale of a kiss. This sleeping princess requires more hardcore stuff to open her eyes and so we get right down to the nitty gritty; however, something bothers me in this opening and continues until the end.

According to the book, Beauty fell asleep when she was 15 and slept for 100 years. Since she has not aged, I have to assume she is still a mere fifteen when the prince, who is 18, finds her. So basically he rapes her? Not as romantic as I first thought the story would be.

Anyway, he makes her his personal sex slave and demands she remains naked at all times. They travel back to his castle, all the while she's completely naked and on display for the public.

Other slaves, at the castle, are in the same predicament, but we also find out that they are young teenagers being used for the pleasure of the lords and ladies. Under age entertainment? Not my idea of a book that's supposed to excite me.

This book seemed lacking. The sex was rare and when it came, was fast; torture so constant that it was amazing any of these people survived more than a day; and no emotional commitment at all. The characters seemed dry. I couldn't get involved with them and as my editor told me, the reader needs to care about the character whether it be hating them or loving them. I didn't feel anything except horror. I didn't care what happened to the people in this book and I found it amazing at some of the things that were done.

I was sorely disappointed with this first book in the trilogy. Although I would like to see what happens, I don't know if I want to spend the money to get the second book. It certainly wasn't anything I expected an erotic version of a romantic story to be about.

The writing was less than stellar and some of the wording in the sex scenes was laughable. I have read quite a bit of erotica in my time and I can honestly say I haven't ever read passages like that.

How can you get involved with an erotic story if there's no emotion? There's a lot of telling and not enough showing, except for the punishments. This book is all about the punishment and not so much anything else. Personally, I think it should have been a story of Beauty and the Beast, not Sleeping Beauty.



Monday, October 1, 2012

FOR SALE: Short Horror Story for Halloween

Have you always wanted to be the star of your own story? Do you love Halloween and horror as much as I do? Then here's a unique opportunity to be the hero of your own making.

I will write a piece of dark fiction, up to 1,000 words, based on your idea.

Send me an email at blackwidow@shelbypatrick.com with the subject "Custom Story" briefly summarizing your idea in 100 words or less. Since this is meant to be a horror story for the Halloween season, please let me know if you want to be the hero or the villain and provide me with a location (preferably your own or some place you always wanted to go but isn't too exotic).

For example, your email may look like this:


I would like a custom story featuring me as the hero, where I’m tormented by the soul of a little girl who died in a fire at my apartment house in Manhattan over thirty years ago.

OR

I would like a custom story featuring me as the villain, in post-apocalyptic California, and it’s a fight for survival to not only defeat healthy survivors of war-torn America but to stay alive from the diseased souls that have been re-animated.

In your message, please state how much you want to pay for this story. I will take submissions from now until October 20, 2012. I will announce the story I have chosen, contact the winner by email and arrange payment. Story will be delivered via email before Halloween.

Winner must agree to allow his story, or part of his story, to be posted at my website.