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Thursday, October 22, 2009

TWILIGHT THURSDAY

~~~~~
PENNY ASH TAKES A BITE OUT OF THE MOONLIGHT
~~~~~
Penny Ash is the author of Wish Fulfillment, Inc., released by Dark Eden Press. Puca and A Vampire Story are both coming soon from Mojocastle Press. Visit Penny’s website to learn more about her.

I want to thank Penny for blogging with us today. It's a pleasure to have you with us. We're excited to learn more about you and your books. So, let's get started with the hard stuff...some trivia about you:

1. Do you have a movie that you must watch every Halloween? Nope.

What's your favorite scary movie? The Changeling with George C Scott.

Do you have a favorite scary character or character type? I like the bad boy who's strong but vulnerable.

2. Do you have any Halloween traditions like decorating your house, having house parties, wearing costumes, etc.?

No traditions, I'm not a very traditional person.

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?

My all-time favorite costume was a pioneer girl dress, I was 8. I loved the long dress.

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?

Not a bit :)

5. Do you believe in ghosts? Not sure what they are but I don't believe they're spirits of dead people.

If so, have you ever had a ghostly encounter and tell us about it? I've seen lots of foggy flitting shapes, had something sit on my bed beside me many times, and heard voices and footsteps.

6. Tell us 3 funny or strange things that happened to you, or someone you know, on past Halloweens.

I can only remember one, my friend and I found some old costumes, I can't even remember what they were, but I do remember we got dressed up. We got a couple of paper grocery bags and went trick-or-treating. In July. In Phoenix. The neighbors thought it was so cute they filled up the bags. We were 5.

7. If you could be any paranormal creature, what would it be and why?

But I am paranormal. :) Supposed to be a mermaid in my family tree. We even have a stone circle on the ancestral lands in Ireland :)

Now, let’s get to your writing:

8. Why the paranormal genre? What was the draw for you?

I've been into this stuff practically all my life. I don't think I could help it with my Celtic genes.

9. If you could describe your paranormal writing with a word or phrase, what would it be?

Ooo cool.

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.

I'd love it if my readers wanted more after reading my books.

10. Do you prefer playing tricks on people or bestowing treats? Does that show through in your writing? If so, how?

Tricks of course, with twists. I think it shows in my plots, the twists and turns.

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?

Me definitely. I decide what I'm going to write about. Mind you the characters take over sometimes.

12. What was the creature that you had the most fun creating and why?

The Puca. He just came to life fully formed. And he's a blast to write.

13. If you had the opportunity to meet just one of your characters in real life, who would it be and why?

Probably Sasha from the upcoming Pale Fire.

Which of your characters would you never want to meet under any circumstance and why?
King Finvarra from Puca, evil sob.
~~~~~
~~~~~

BLURB:

Kian loves humans, so much so he gets himself exiled from the Fae world. Emma doesn't believe in anything she can't see and touch. For her fairytales and magical creatures are just cute stories. Little does she know everything she thought she knew is about to change when her eccentric Aunt Chloe dies and leaves Emma an enchanted forest complete with a lust inspiring Puca.

Kian and Emma are about to find out if fairytales really do come true.



EXCERPT:


More guests began to arrive that afternoon. Emma listened to Mrs. Overstreet as they climbed the stairs to the room the retired librarian had booked. The round little old lady was telling her that she required a dish of milk every evening.

"I didn't know you had brought a cat with you, Mrs. Overstreet," Emma said pleasantly.


"Oh, my heavens, child, I don't have a cat, the milk is for Them, and you must call me Julia, Mrs. Overstreet sounds so formal," she said.


"Okay, Julia. And who might They be?" Emma was mystified. She was beginning to think that several of the guests were even more eccentric than her Great Aunt Chloe had been.

"Well, of course, They are the Little People, dear, the Fairies that are all around this house. That's why I come here every spring you know, to see the Fairies," Julia confided in a whisper. "I put the dish of milk on the side porch every night before I go to bed and every morning it's empty."

"Oh, okay, I'll be sure and let Tilly or Pin know about the milk. You have a nice day, I need to take care of a few things in the kitchen right now, I'll see you at dinner," Emma said.

She hurriedly escaped into the kitchen where Kian sat at the table, a huge grin on his face. He looked up at her as she came in, his eyes sparkling emerald with mischief. "Met the first of the Fairy ladies, have you, love?"


"Don't you dare make fun of those sweet little old ladies," Emma said. She stopped by the table and glared down at him, her hands on her hips.


She looked so enticing he simply could not resist. Kian stood and pulled her into his arms, covering her mouth with his and cutting off her squeak of surprised protest. He parted her lips and dipped his tongue in to taste her, sliding one hand down her back to mold her to his body.


Emma felt her knees go weak and Kian's arms tighten in response. She wrapped her arms around his shoulders and pressed against his burning heat with a low moan. He lifted her to the kitchen table, urgently shoving dishes out of the way. He began to lay her back, reaching between them to unfasten the silver buckle of his wide black leather belt.


The sharp sound of wood striking wood startled them.

"Kian Sean Puca!" Pin shouted. She went on at him in that odd singsong language Emma was not able to understand, obviously angry and indignant and not stuttering a bit.


Kian reluctantly backed away from her, and Emma slid off the table. Pin pointed her wooden spoon at them both. "Not in my kitchen!"

~~~~~~

Coming in 2010 from Phaze Pale Fire



Sasha and Cath have been abducted together since they were children, part of an alien experiment. When they meet by accident the government steps in to separate them. But it's too late, they're determined to stay together, even if they have to run to another planet.

~~~~~

And in progress on Textnovel.com

Cursed Blood, an unconventional Vampire novel
http://www.textnovel.com/stories_list_detail.php?story_id=1164
registration is free, feel free to vote and comment


Cursed Blood

Prolog

Louisiana 1733

The pain drove Sheldon Jefferson to his knees. The pistol tumbled from his numb fingers. Connor lay somewhere to his left, passed out thankfully. How could things have gone so horribly wrong? He watched as Margaret La Rouge stepped closer and he grabbed the silk skirt of her dress. The dress he’d bought for Louisa.

“You are beautiful mon amour,” she said, her voice low and sensuous. She threaded her fingers through his hair.

“Margaret,” he began. She clenched her fist in his hair and jerked his head back.

“And treacherous,” she smiled, a parody of sweetness. “But not, I think, so treacherous as I.”

“Please,” he gasped, “anything...”

“You betrayed me mon amour.” She lowered her lips to his. “And I do not like betrayal.” She kissed him and whispered a strange and powerful word, her lips just touching his.

He shivered. A wave of bitter nausea swept through him. He heard Connor retching. The red silk slid through his nerveless fingers as he doubled over and fell to the floor. The sound of her heels on the polished oak floor echoed painfully in his ears.

How could he have been so stupid, so blinded by lust. Another wave of pain stole the breath from his lungs. He forced himself up enough to crawl to where his brother lay.

“Con, we have to get out of here,” he pulled his shivering brother up into a sitting position.

“Shel...” Connor held onto him. “Thirsty...”

A sound at the door interrupted them. Sheldon turned his head forcing his eyes to focus on the woman there. Louisa Méchanceté crossed the room and knelt beside the two men. She kissed Connor and he seemed to relax as she eased him back down onto the floor.

“What...?” Sheldon was confused.

“Hush petit amour, she has cursed you.” Louisa’s lips touched his. Heat ripped through him. Burning, coppery, salty fire. His pain faded.

“What did she do to us?” His voice was a whisper. He held onto her, desperate for the contact with her warmth. She pressed him back to lie on the floor beside his brother.

“She has cursed you, made you like she, ruled by the need for blood.” Louisa gently loosened his grip on her and stood.

“I’ll kill her...”

“Shh. Non. I have done what I can to ease the curse. I cannot break it, only when you find true love will that happen. And alas, while le petit mort is tres bon with you, I do not love you.” She looked at the door and he followed her gaze. Her servant stood waiting. “Gervaise will take you to the docks. You must leave this place.”

He took one last look at Louisa standing on the dock before he turned and looked ahead to the future. They would not be coming back to this place. He followed Connor to their berth and the start of their new life.

~~~~~

And just for fun...
A Vampire Story

By reading further you agree you are 18 or over


It was a dark and stormy night--yes, I know, but whose story is this anyway?--I stood on the battlement of the highest turret of the castle, my cape billowing out behind me in the wind.

Lightning flashed and thunder crashed; a storm began to gather. A bolt of lightning hit the tower a few feet away and I began to get the idea it might not be the brightest thing in the world to keep standing out here. One good zap and I’d be so much ash on the wind.

Regally I pulled my cape around me with a flourish and turned to go inside. The fabric, a good quality boiled wool herringbone weave, wrapped tightly around my ankles, speeding up my progress to the bottom of the battlement stairs considerably. I didn’t even have time to turn into a bat. Damn. And ouch.

Lying there wrapped up like a mummy, I heard a snicker and looked up to see my not so faithful sidekick--thank you so much, powers of darkness, my night is complete now--leaning in the doorway.

“Sunrise is in four minutes, Master,” he said, turning to walk back into the castle.

What a weenie. I mean, is it too much to ask he should help me out and untangle my feet? Good help is so hard to find these days.

I managed to get my feet untangled at last and made it to the door, hopping on one foot while I tried to keep an eye on the sky that was slowly turning pink. I reached for the doorknob and turned.

Locked.

Figures.

I took a deep breath and prepared to transform myself into smoke.

The lock mechanism tickled as I flowed through it. Materializing on the other side of the door, I had only seconds to reach my coffin before the first rays of sunlight seared through the windows. Not sparing a thought--well, okay, maybe just a teeny one--for my Armani tuxedo lying in a heap on the other side of the door--no, I turn to smoke, the clothes stay the same, sorry to burst your bubble like that--I dashed for the dark safety of the casket, slamming the lid just barely in time.

I woke hungry. Sitting up, I pushed the lid back and stretched, yawning. Another night, another dollar. I climbed out of bed--what, you thought I’d call it something poetic?--and went to the armoire to pick out my tuxedo for the night.

Now to some, my wardrobe might be considered somewhat limited, but I took my cue from ZZ Top. As they say, all the girls are crazy about a sharp dressed man. And believe me, the girls are the only thing that makes this neverending night bearable. Dinner and entertainment all in one neat little package; you can’t beat it for convenience.

Straightening my black tie--not reflecting in mirrors really bites, especially when you possibly had a little dinner stuck in your teeth--and smoothing back my freshly styled hair, I walked toward the door. A quick adjustment to my white linen French cuffs--$19.95 including free shipping from the Men’s Store online pre-Halloween sale catalog--a deep breath, and showtime. I stepped through the appropriately creaking door to greet the first batch of tourists, a huge smile advantageously showing my teeth.

Oh. Joy. Another group of Buffy wannabes and adenoidal geeks. I began my monolog on the history of the castle--yeah, all the usual boring stuff, the family curse and the whole bit. The tourists loved it.

“Gut efenink,” I said suavely. “Velcome to Castle Blut. I am Count Vladimir Wassily, your host for the efenink.”

“Wassily? Where’s Dracula, man? I want my money back, we been gypped!” said a skinny boy in the back of the crowd.

I shuddered distastefully. There was one in every crowd, a know-it-all twerp who would probably wet himself if I allowed the walking smorgasbord called a tour group see my true magnificence.

“Vell, ve cannot all be Dracula,” I said smoothly.

“Boy, you got that right,” the boy laughed.

“Now, if ve may continue the tour?” A movement caught my eye and I noticed my assistant, Bob, lurking in the shadows. He was crawling around on his hands and knees looking for bugs--obviously, Bob has issues--and not having much luck.

“As it is now my break time, I will be turning you over to my assistant, Bob.” I really needed to get out of there for a quick bite. Bob looked up, startled, and glared at me. Payback is a bitch. I grinned at him as I swept regally by.

When I was sure the tour group was out of sight, I quickly changed to my bat form and launched myself into the night. It was time to find some breakfast.

I arrived back at the castle late--so what are they going to do, fire me?--Bob was finishing up the tour with a tale of blood and mayhem. Several of the group looked a little green. Bob may be a total butt as an assistant, but he can sure tell a story. Geek Boy looked as if he was about to lose it; it was time to step in.

“Ah, I see a vonderful time vas hat by all, thank you for comink and good night,” I said, smoothly stepping in and dismissing Bob.

And that was when I saw her. I don’t know how I missed her in my initial perusal of the tour group. She had a gothic beauty I had rarely seen. Her coal-black hair sent a shiver through me--I have a thing for dark hair, even dyed hair, oh and for Cheese Whiz too, but that’s another story--and I began to take her over with my superior mental powers. Short, shiny black dress, army boots, oh, yeah, she would make a nice bit of dessert after the tour left. I watched as the tourists filed out, willing her to stay behind.

I spoke to her in a low hypnotic voice, subtly suggesting she was under my control and would do anything for me.

“You will be happy to come with me,” I murmured softly.

“Yes, Master,” she intoned back.

“You will...” I began. Suddenly I heard an odd sound, like a held-in sneeze.

She grinned, unable to hold it in anymore and snorted, shaking, trying to keep it in, finally giving up and dissolving into laughter. She snickered and snorted, chortled, chuckled, and giggled.
I stood there in shock. She was laughing at me--and if that doesn’t kill the old ego and wilt old Willy--she wasn’t hypnotized or under control at all.

Everything I’d used for hundreds of years had just completely and totally failed. Well, damn. So much for seduction. I gave up. With an exasperated sigh of frustration, I pulled her into my arms and began to sink my teeth into her neck. Maybe I could get laid tomorrow night; the Halloween season was always good for tourists.

Suddenly I felt something hot. Whoa! Dang! Ow, dammit, that’s hot! What the... I looked down and saw the wet spot on my pants. It smoked slightly. I looked back up at the girl. She had a large cross in one hand and a long string of garlic cloves in the other. I cringed and backed up slowly. Wonderful. Well, now I knew why my mental powers didn’t work.

The holy water was eating a hole in my second-best Armani tux. And where the heck had she hidden that garlic? Freakin’ thing was a good three feet long and she just didn’t have anywhere to hide something that size in that tiny black vinyl mini-dress.

“What do you think you’re doing?” I hollered.

“Your reign of terror is over, vampire, it’s our turn now!” the girl shrieked wildly.

“Bob!” I yelled desperately.

The girl whipped a large stake out of the miracle mini-dress.

No answer.

Oh, for crying out loud. I searched for Bob. Yep, you guessed it; he was over in a corner chasing down a cockroach. Geez.

The girl raised the stake over her head and attacked. I sidestepped her lunge and tried to avoid the garlic.

“Uh, you want to tell me what this is about?” I dodged another lunge.

“As if you didn’t know, you evil spawn of Hell!” she gasped, beginning to drool.

“But...” I gasped, jumping out of the way once more. And what was all this spawn of Hell crap? I’m telling you, we need a lobby group or something, ban the anti-vampire rhetoric.

She took another swipe at me.

“What did I ever do to you?” I asked.

“You bit my mom!” She threw the garlic at me.

“Your mom? I never! Dang!” I tripped on the garlic.

“You did too!” she screamed, pouncing on me.

“When? I deny everything!” I grabbed her wrist, trying to hold the stake back from my chest and got a good look down the front of her dress. The girl had some world-class boobs.

“Twenty-seven years ago!” She struggled, determined to kill me.

“Twenty-seven years? I bite a lot of women, toots, you expect me to remember all of them? You’re crazy!” I struggled back--what, you think I’m supposed to have superhuman strength? Against a crazy woman? Get real.

“Count Wazzlie,” she began.

“Wazzlie? I’m not Wazzlie!” I yelled, offended. “Wazzlie is two castles down the road, sister! I am Count Wassily!” How insulting. I mean, Wazzlie is a no-taste dweeb! He wears a leisure suit!

The girl stopped. “Wassily?”

“Yes,” I hissed.

“You sure?” she said doubtfully.

“Yes, I’m sure!” I pushed Psycho Girl off me and stood up, dusting myself off.

She looked at me with huge blue eyes and clambered to her feet. I studiously straightened my clothes--at least what the holy water hadn’t eaten away--and ignored her. I felt a migraine coming on. A chortle from the far corner broke the silence. Bob had finally caught that roach.

“Ew!” the girl said in deep disgust.

“Bob has issues, it’s not nice to stare,” I said frostily.

She looked embarrassed, and I watched her slip stealthily out the door. I sighed, relieved, and went over to the corner, where Bob sat cheerfully munching away. He looked up at me expectantly.

“Bob, you’re disgusting, you know that?” I said.

“Yez, bozz.” He smiled, antennae stuck in his teeth.

I shuddered and went into my rooms to change for the next tour group. I looked in the mirror at the state of my clothes and grimaced. Yes, the clothes reflect, I don’t. Got it? Good. So anyway, my cleaning bill was going to be enormous. I shimmied out of my jacket and noticed the tear. Just wonderful, what next?

Hands slid around my waist and I nearly came out of my skin. Preternatural hearing? Don’t make me laugh. One hand pushed the red silk cummerbund up while the other hand worked at the button on my trousers. I looked up to see Goth Girl reflected in the mirror getting feely with an empty tuxedo. Way weird.

I looked back down to see her hands unzipping the zip and Mr. Willy getting happy. Hoo, Mr. Willy got really happy when she gave him a little squeeze.

“Uh, doing here wha, um ha.” My brain went bye-bye and I couldn’t form a coherent thought. Damn, she had talented hands.

“Wow, you’re big.”

I preened a little at Goth Girl’s words. Suddenly she grabbed my shoulders and spun me around, slamming me up against the wall by the mirror. My head smacked the stone wall with a loud crack and my teeth clacked together. I raised my hand to my throbbing head.

“Ow! What did you do that for?” Okay, so I whined, it frickin hurt!

“I’m going to tie you up and have my way with you.”

“Uh...” This could be serious; she had this weird glint in her eye. “You really don’t have to tie me up.” I edged toward the door.

“Yes, I do, I’m studying to be a Dom. I need the practice.”

“No,” I said slowly, “I really don’t think that’s necessary.

She fixed me with a glare. “Yes. It. Is.”

Oh, boy...

She had her back turned toward me. I kept an eye on her and gave the rope securing my hands to the ornately carved headboard a look. Nope, good solid knots. I glanced down at Willy Wanger. Yeah, I saw the Willy Wonka movie, in Romanian. I’m scarred for eternity. He had transformed to Mr. I’m-So-Damn-Perky-I-Hurt.

“I really like this shirt,” she said. “Silk?”

“Um, yeah, on sale from the Macy’s summer catalog.” It was a good deal too, washable silk ain’t cheap.

“Cool.” She stripped off the wonder dress and I forgot to breathe. The girl had some world-class knockers and I’d bet I could circle her waist with my hands. Of course, she’d have to let me loose first for that. And the rest of her was damn fine, a natural redhead too, from what I could see.

She dropped the dress and slipped on my shirt. Oh, yeah. I willed her over to the bed. Okay, okay, I admit the decorator was right about putting a bed in my room; this wouldn’t be nearly as much fun in a casket, not to mention kind of gross. I hoped she’d hurry up; old Willy was going to take off without her if she didn’t get a move on.

I swallowed hard, or rather I tried to; my mouth was dry as dust. “Uh, blast off is very close...”

“Already?” She sounded surprised.

“Ah, it’s been a while, so yeah. Um, all right. If you could just come over here and...” 1952, okay? Happy now?

She climbed onto the bed and knelt over me. I sighed. She stopped.

Our eyes locked, and I noticed she had one blue eye and one brown. Slowly she sank down onto me. And oh man, did it feel good. She moved, and I arched up in response. Oh, yeah, this was as good as I remembered, maybe even better.

She moaned and began to move faster. My eyes crossed and rolled back in my head. I was so close, just a few more seconds... She pushed down with a groan and I went over the edge with a shout, grabbing the headboard and jerking my hips up off the bed.

I relaxed as my breathing slowed, smiling. I could get used to this. She lay against me, limp.

“Oh, Tommy,” she said with a sigh.

My eyes snapped open. Who the heck is Tommy? So far this week I’d been a Wesley, a Ryan, a Zebulon--hey, you can’t make this stuff up--a Xavier, and now a Tommy. What is it with these women? And yes, I know I said the last time I got off was 1952, but I didn’t say I hadn’t gotten anyone else off. I’m going to have a word with the Transylvania tourism board. I think I’m getting a complex. And if they’re going to supply the clients with real garlic and holy water, I want a raise.

1 Moonbeams (comments):

RKCharron said...

Hi :)
Thank you Penny & Gracen for the great interview, excellent excerpt & the short story.
One of the best posts of the month!
Thanks again,
RKCharron
xoxo