Scary movies are a year round event for me, but I especially love that Halloween brings out fright fest television. I’m a scream queen, love everything horror related, but I’m a tough critic. It takes a lot to entertain me. Jason doesn’t do it for me. Where’s the horror in watching anorexic chicks run from a masked lumberjack that is “walking” and not running after them? Horror movies like that drive me nuts.
Give me Saw, The Shining, Hell Raiser, 28 Weeks Later, or even Resident Evil any day of the week over the slasher flicks. Although, I have to admit I was mildly impressed with My Bloody Valentine 3D, but maybe that was only because Jensen Ackles shined up the screen in it. LOL
What I think of as yawner horror movies, terrify most of my friends. I went to the theaters to see 30 Days of Night, the one with Josh Hartnett and the bloodthirsty vampires that visit the Alaskan town. I spent the 113 minutes of runtime thinking, “This was supposed to scare me?” I was sooooo disappointed because I wanted to be frightened, since not much manages to frighten me. *major sigh* But my girlfriend that I dragged with me watched 30 Days of Night from between her fingers, jumping nearly out of her seat with tiny terrified screams as the movie progressed. LOL I felt like such a bad friend for enticing her to come along with the lure of a free movie and popcorn.
2. Do you have any Halloween traditions like decorating your house, having house parties, wearing costumes, etc.?
I’m boring when it comes to Halloween. I decorate my sofa table with what I call “The Village of the Damned”. It’s like Christmas houses, but Halloween themed. They make wicked, ghoulish noises that drive my husband crazy, but my boys and I love them. I also dress my black and tan weenie dog (Dachshund) in a witch’s hat and an orange scarf with witches flying on it. She hates it and hates me for it. But once I offer to let her trick or treat with us, I’m forgiven. LOL
3. If you do you dress up for Halloween, what will you be dressed up as this year? What was your all-time most favorite costume that you ever wore? Why?
Unfortunately, no, I don’t dress up for Halloween any more. I do wear spider rings, paint my nails black and wear a Halloween vest, but that’s not really dressing up, but me just being me. I let my boys do all the dressing up and have fun helping them come up with unique costumes. Last year my eldest son was Dean Winchester from the TV series Supernatural. It was an easy costume, but damn difficult getting people to understand who he was. LOL
4. Are you superstitious? Do you find yourself knocking on wood or throwing salt over your shoulder? If not one of these two, what is your superstition?
No, not really, but therein lies the conundrum. I don’t consider myself superstitious, but I do believe in some superstitions, such as, “bad things happen in threes”—or here lately in fives and sixes instead of threes. That belief has been proven too many times for me to discount. I don’t believe in knocking on wood, even though I can be caught doing it. I don’t believe black cats, walking under ladders, or breaking mirrors bring bad luck. Neither do I believe in throwing salt over my shoulder. I have caught my husband throwing salt over my shoulder for me. :-/ For a man that doesn’t believe in the supernatural, he is very superstitious.
5. Do you believe in ghosts? If so, have you ever had a ghostly encounter and tell us about it?
Ghosts! Hell, yes, I believe in them! But contrary to popular belief, they don't just go bump in the night at my house. I’ve had many ghostly encounters, none of which are ever centered around one place or one event. Paranormal central – that’s my life.
I’ve seen my great-grandfather at my dad’s house with my stepmother in the form of a white t-shirt. The only visible part of this apparition was the white t-shirt. There was no arms, no legs, no head, absolutely nothing. Mostly I simply sense that there is another unseen presence about. I’ve watched doors open, balls of white light appear and disappear, I’ve felt the cold chill of prickles skimming my skin and knowing without a doubt that someone was watching me when I was completely alone. I have never felt the so-called “cold spots” off the ghost hunting shows. I have ghosts come to me in my dreams...a lot, way more than I would like. The last girl that came was beautiful and young, but I sent her away, refusing to listen to anything she had to say because she was disturbing my sleep. I felt terribly guilty the next morning and I still wonder what she wanted to tell me. But if I don’t send them away, they interrupt my sleep and I don’t get any rest.
My dog and I both have seen a presence recently. When I asked who she was, I got the visual of a young girl, maybe eighteen or nineteen, with dark chin-length hair and she was very, very skinny. I got the sense that she had been sick, but that she was happy now. My dog was certainly happy to see her. I still wonder if this was the person I met online that died of cancer at the young age of eighteen, but I’ll never know for sure.
I think this ability has been passed to my oldest son. As a small child he would see people that weren’t there. One night, he was standing at our bay window overlooking our driveway and asked if “they” could come in and play. I was thinking maybe someone was outside, so I went to the window and peered out. No one. When I told him no one was there, he proceeded to point and tell me that they were right there, “a black man and a white mine.” They wanted to come in and play with him. I wanted to say “hell, no!” Instead, I calmly told him that they were not allowed to come in and play. My logical thinking was that maybe they were similar to vampire mythology and couldn’t come into my home without an express invitation. No way was I expressly inviting them into the home. That was only one of several incidents with my son. He saw people all the time. He told an invisible man to get out of our apartment repeatedly; I believe that same invisible man pushed him out of bed once. That apartment had the creepiest feel to it, with a distinct hostile undertone.
He had imaginary friends and dogs that he named. The imaginary friends were with him all the time. He conversed with them as if they were real people and he relayed detailed conversations he had with them. They would ride in the car with us, eat at the table with us, sit on the couch and sleep in our beds. Sometimes I thought enough was enough. One time I was scolding my son and he told me that his imaginary friend, who was named Jacob Trent, said he didn’t like me very much some days. I told him that his friend Jacob Trent was welcome to go home if he didn’t approve of me. I laughed about it later, of course, because my son was dead serious. Now, if you haven’t figured it out already, I am one of those people that strongly believes “imaginary friends” are either ghosts or spirits of some sort. Friends tell me this is the sign of an overactive imagination. Maybe, I don’t know, but I do know for someone so young, his detailed conversations were startling.
Scariest of all, there was a week out of the blue that my son would cry about going up to his bedroom because he was scared of the man in his room. He had never given us trouble before about sleeping in his room, so the suddenness of it was strange. When we tried to explain that no one was in his bedroom, he insisted that there was and that the man had green hair and red eyes and he would stare at him from over his bed. This is the tip of the iceberg for me. I could write another ten pages, but now that you think I’m crazy, I’ll end the story telling here.
6. Tell us 3 funny or strange things that happened to you, or someone you know, on past Halloweens.
The last time I remember doing anything other than trick or treating with my boys for Halloween, I was nine months pregnant (he was born 6 days later) with my youngest child and I dressed up like a pregnant baby doll. I wore pajamas with teddy bears all over them, put a pacifier around my neck and put cutesy clips in my hair. Thankfully, I didn't memorialize that costume with a photo. LOL That was a wild and crazy night, fun, but wild and crazy! :D
7. If you could be any paranormal creature, what would it be and why?
Hmm…I didn’t realize how tough a question this was until I had to answer it. For me, it’s a toss-up between being a witch or a vampire. I’m partial to both. The idea of being able to cast spells and creating power from nothing is intriguing. But the idea of being immortal is also intriguing.
Now, to my writing:
8. Why the paranormal genre? What was the draw for you?
Because I can do anything with my characters, there are no rules and the only thing limiting me is my imagination.
9. If you could describe your paranormal writing with a word or phrase, what would it be? Please be creative and look beyond words like vampire, werewolf, etc., and delve into the core of your writing to tell us what word or phrase you want readers to take with them when they've finished reading your story.
What were we thinking when we came up with these questions? Yikes! Another toughie. A phrase to describe my writing would be, “That was one hell of a ride!” I want my readers anxious until the very last second of the read. And when they close that book...er...click out of the e-book, I want them to feel like they've been on a roller coaster ride, but that it was well worth the adrenaline rush.
10. Do you prefer playing tricks on people or bestowing treats? Does that show through in your writing? If so, how?
I’m a trickster and love playing tricks on people. I doubt it shows through in my writing, since most of my work tends to be dark scenarios. But my boys and I have an ongoing prank war that my mother has helped instigate by purchasing the necessary items for the prank war. It involves scaring one another with “fake” plastic insects, spiders, snakes and lizards. The time they got me the best was with a fake ice-cube with a fly inside it. LOL Recently, my youngest kept placing fake spiders on the back of my chair and then on my computer keyboard. Well, while he was taking a shower, I placed a fake black snake on his bed so that he’d see it when he went to bed. He screamed “Momma!” and then busted into laughter, but he admitted that it did frighten him for just a moment before he realized it was fake.
11. Who decides what creatures you write about, you or your muse? What kind of influence do you have over your story, or is the muse always the one stirring the cauldron?
*glares at my muse* I’ve lovingly named my muse DM, which stands for Dean-Muse. He is an absolute tyrant that owns my soul. I am tortured and harassed by him, whipped and abused, and I love every second of it...most of the time. Sometimes he refuses to allow me to sleep with all the dialogue and paragraphs he’s committed to ripping out of my soul. We have bizarre arguments that if I repeated I’d mostly likely end up in a psych-ward. DM can either be a master of genius or a pain in my booty! But if he ever left me, it would be like carving my heart out of my chest with a plastic knife.
12. What was the creature that you had the most fun creating and why?
You know that question is a bit like asking me which son I like the most. I can’t pick one that I enjoyed the most, but I can tell you that I love creating characters that are dark, evil, monsters basically and without morals. They are an absolute joy to delve into. The darker the character, the better.
I wrote a demonic nursery rhyme and my husband’s comment was, “You’re f*c*ing crazy.” LOL He’s used to my neurotics. But here’s the nursery rhyme, tell me what you think:
One, two hell’s coming for you…
Three, four with lots of gore…
Five, six with flesh ripping licks…
Seven, eight pain is great…
Nine, ten start all over again.
13. If you had the opportunity to meet just one of your characters in real life, who would it be and why? Which of your characters would you never want to meet under any circumstance and why?
Oh, wow, another toughie. I love them all so much and I want to pick them all. But, if I could meet just one character it would be either Landau from Elfin Blood (newly released) or Rogh from WytchBlood (currently subbed). Both are immortal and both are a mixture of vampire and another paranormal creature. Both are misunderstood by their kinsmen, but love with every fiber of their soul and would go to the ends of the world for their heroine.
The one character I would never want to meet is Six from The Devil’s Den (publisher went under, so no longer available). I loved him and loved writing him, but his idea of the perfect meeting would be to shake my hand with a polite greeting while sinking his vampiric teeth into my neck. That would be how he got to know me better. *shudders* He was without morals, embraced his darkness and lived without regrets.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
Elfin Blood Copyright 2009 Gracen Miller
Cover Art by Fiona Jayde
Scorned by her own kind for her half-breed elf status, Julija lives a lonely existence among her Ivory Elf kin. She is the only one the elves can trust when a magical book in elf lore is stolen. Relegated to steal the Book from the vampire thief, Landau Jamieson, she's surprised to discover he has the ability to walk in daylight. Refusing to be deterred by developing setbacks, she’s committed to executing the heist for an Ivory King who grows more desperate to possess the Book. Nothing about the vampire is as it appears and Julija begins to doubt her mission. Worse, she begins to worry she won't have the strength to guard her heart from her sworn enemy.
Landau is fascinated by the elf stalking him and baffled by the potent hunger she elicits after ten thousand years of celibacy. Soon he discovers the lovely sprite is a pawn in a dangerous game--orchestrated by none other than a reviled enemy from his past. While blind-sided by her beauty and her magical powers, the least of which is the spell she casts on his heart, the sinister plot unfolds. What started out as folly to catch a thief, blossoms into a love that casts aside bloodlines and forges all boundaries.
Julija squinted against the sun’s harsh rays. Not even her darkly tinted sunglasses entirely cut the glare. The frames slid down her sweat-slick nose. She pushed them back up and looked around, her impatience rising. For the fifth time in as many minutes, she glanced at her watch. Two minutes left. She resettled her gaze on the odd looking house across the street.
The structure looked more like a fortress than an actual home and gave her the creeps. It was too gothic, too dark, and contrary to her light-imbued life. Made from slate, the house reached high into the sky like a castle with its domed ceilings. Gargoyles carved from stone rested above the windows, as if offering protection from demonic entities. With a vampire in residence, perhaps they did.
She shuddered to think of it as a home, but the richest, most powerful man in the city of Veil—Landau Jamieson the IV or V or something along that order—considered it such. The man was the sole reason she stood here, or rather the vampire disguised as a man was the sole reason. Ironically the city’s residents considered him royalty. Hell, more like Batman of Gotham in these parts.
Priceless. Absolutely priceless. For no other purpose other than to make herself feel good, Julija rolled her eyes beneath the thick shades.
The vampire had stolen the Ivory Elfin Book of Lore. The ancient tome detailing every creature in existence, including the fey, had been entrusted to the Elves at the dawn of creation. Whoever possessed the book also possessed great knowledge, expertise that could be dangerous if it fell into the wrong hands. Ownership of the book also ensured great power, power she could not allow a vampire to keep.
For a week now, Julija had watched him and tried to gauge the best time to strike. Failure was not an option for the best thief among the Elves. Secretly, she was proud of her talent; it had served her people well. Elves were renowned for their light step, and it just so happened her fingers were stickier than most of her kind.
Security systems could not deter her; she possessed enough magic to nix the best system in the world.
She would retrieve the book, once she figured out how to bypass the perceptive vampire and his minions. One thing still puzzled her—how had the vampire stolen it to begin with when only Elf Royals were allowed to touch it? Another dilemma for her since she was not an Elf Royal.
Her best chance to retrieve it would be in two days when the vampire attended the depot dedication of Veil's newly renovated train station. Feeling melodramatic about the event, she rolled her eyes again. How humans loved to waste money. The homeless lived near the train station, beneath the bridges in cardboard boxes. Died there too, while the station went through elaborate renovations for the wealthy and elite.
Julija glanced at her watch again as the black limousine rolled to a halt in front of the vampire’s home. Like clockwork, the man left for work every day at precisely the same time. Talk about being a creature of habit!
The vampire in question strode about as blatant as he pleased in daylight. Daylight! Vampires and daylight mixed like metal and acid. Daylight and acid were supposed to vaporize vampires and metal, but apparently not so with this vampire.
Every cocky step he took reeked arrogance. While she pondered how he managed to keep from melting beneath the sunlight, he lifted his head. Their gazes locked.
Cool as ice, and trained for confrontations, she returned his gaze. While not the most skilled fighter, she possessed some ability in that area.
Landau’s stylishly cut, dark blonde hair gleamed like gold beneath the bright sun. The man was tall, broad shouldered, and athletically built. The charcoal gray business suit, tailored precisely to fit his frame, bespoke wealth—not money, but wealth. Even from this distance, he oozed pheromones and drew her like an addictive narcotic. That could be dangerous for her elfin libido—inordinately high in comparison to other fey creatures.
The vampire tossed her a crooked grin before sliding into the back seat, leaving little question in her mind he’d spotted her. Unmoving, she watched as the limo pulled away.
Perfect. He' knows he's being watched.
Although gone from the residence, unfortunately that didn’t mean Landau left his home unguarded. Oh, no, nothing could be that easy.
Flagrant to her elfin eyes, his home embodied magic. Translated, that meant he’d opened the Ivory Elfin Book of Lore and was, in fact, utilizing the spells in the book. In all likelihood he’d used the same witchery to protect himself from the glaring sun.
Because of this, she’d have to kill him once she had the book in her possession again.
* * * * *
Landau adjusted the black sunglasses on his face and glanced out the limousine window.
The woman on the bench appealed to him with her pale, almost white, blonde hair. Through her thick shades he’d assessed her eyes to be pale blue with barely a hint of color, rather albino in nature. Her milky white complexion had looked softer than satin. He wondered how such delicate skin would bruise.
But she had an agenda. Either she was a reporter—not likely—or up to no good. Bingo! Landau couldn’t wait to find out the no good part. A long time had passed since he’d enjoyed himself.
Although he’d tried, he couldn’t read her mind. She possessed one of few human minds he couldn’t penetrate. Or she wasn’t human. The phenomena lent her an air of mystery. Even though he couldn't glean her thoughts, he knew her mind worked at top speed, planning, scheming, and devising until a perfect little blueprint had been mapped out in her mind. Her eyes were too shrewd to suggest otherwise.
He’d tossed her a snarky little grin before entering the limo, just to let her know HE knew she was stalking him. That should leave give her something to think about. He chuckled then addressed his bodyguard. “Find out who she is.”
“Immediately,” Edward, an Abecedarian—a fledgling, in human terms—agreed and then tipped his nose in the air and sniffed as if in disdain over being assigned such a menial task.
G.R. Bretz reviewed Elfin Blood and I love this comment by him: “Stopping in the middle of this story would have been as feasible as stopping in the middle of sex.” To read the complete review, go here.