Please welcome Luxie Ryder into the moonlight. Love your name, Luxie. To learn more about Luxie join her at her website where you can learn more about Luxie and her books! Now, to the good stuff…
GRACEN: Do you have a movie that you must watch every Halloween? What's your favorite scary movie? Do you have a favorite scary character or character type?
LUXIE: ‘Halloween’ is always a favorite! Jamie Lee Curtis, the scream queen, can’t be beaten. The soundtrack, the atmosphere and that jerky, handheld camera draws me in every time and even though I know where the scares are; I still jump out of my skin!
My favorite scary characters are from the teen slasher movies I saw when I was younger. I remember seeing a Friday the 13th (part two) and A Nightmare on Elm Street double bill at the movies on time, and being absolutely terrified! Jason and Freddie haunted me for days afterwards. You never get over your first fright night!
GRACEN: Do you dress up for Halloween? If so, what will you be dressed up as this year? What was your all-time most favorite costume that you ever wore? Why?
LUXIE: I have dressed up for Halloween and I loved it! I had this fabulous vampy dress one year in black velvet with a jagged hem and a blood red collar. I won’t be dressing up this year (as far as I know – no invites have surfaced yet) but I would love to.
GRACEN: Oh, that sounds like an awesome costume! 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?
LUXIE: I do knock on wood and throw salt over my shoulder. I love the folklore surrounding superstitions – such as the one where you have to smash your empty eggshells or else witches will go to sea in them and sink ships – but I don’t practice any except the ones I mentioned.
GRACEN: Interesting folklore about empty eggshells. Never heard of it before and now I'm wondering how many ships I'm responsible for sinking! ;-) Do you believe in ghosts? If so, have you ever had a ghostly encounter and tell us about it?
LUXIE: No, I don’t believe in ghosts but I DO believe in the power of the human mind and its ability to convince you that you are seeing something that isn’t there! In some ways, I find that a little more terrifying!
GRACEN: Tell us 3 funny or strange things that happened to you, or someone you know, on past Halloweens?
LUXIE: Well the first story comes from my teens and that Horror Double Bill a friend and I watched at the cinema. We were cowering in our seats, clutching on to each other…when someone slammed the exit door at the back of the room! I am not exaggerating when I say that the staff almost had to scrape me and Anna off the ceiling. We screamed SO loudly that everyone in the cinema was in hysterics.
Another scary movie moment (I’m such a sucker for them) was when hubby and I saw Final Destination. Again, the bit with Tara Reid and the Greyhound bus had me jumping out of my skin! That time, I lurched so far back in my seat, that I banged my head off the knee cap of the girl behind me! Painful and embarrassing.
My favorite Halloween ever was the year I went to see The Rocky Horror Picture Show live at my local theater. The girls and I all wore corsets and torn stockings and gothic make up to the show – as did everyone else, guys included. What a fun, funny night!
GRACEN: LOL Thanks for sharing these! If you could be any paranormal creature, what would it be and why?
LUXIE: I’d like to be a vampire, but only for a short time. I wouldn’t be able to kill anyone but I’d love to know what it felt like to be that sexy and powerful.
GRACEN: Swashbuckling pirates like Johnny Depp are sexy, but e-pirates are not. How do you handle e-pirates in your writing world? Do you have any advice or wish to share any experience with other writers? Anything you wish to say to e-pirates in general?
LUXIE: e-pirates are thieves. There is no other word for them. I almost feel that the term ‘pirates’ minimizes what they do, but I accept that it’s as good a word as any. New technology is developing all the time and, just as those who stole music suddenly found themselves with a multi-million dollar lawsuit on their hands, so will e-pirates one day.
GRACEN: That lawsuit can't come soon enough in my opinion! Now, let’s get to your writing, Luxie…Why the paranormal genre? What was the draw for you?
LUXIE: I love the paranormal genre for many reasons. I like that you can create new worlds, characters and circumstances and let your imagination take free reign. Paranormal romance, specifically, provides the opportunity to write some amazingly sexy scenes and situations.
GRACEN: 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.
LUXIE: I like to think I tell realistic tales of ordinary people who find themselves in extraordinary circumstances.
GRACEN: Do you prefer playing tricks on people or bestowing treats? Does that show through in your writing? If so, how?
LUXIE: What an interesting question! You’ve made me realize that I like terrorizing my characters! But there is always a treat at the end.
GRACEN: LOL I love dishing out terror on my characters too! *Mwhahahahah* 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?
LUXIE: I decide and I keep my muse in check! My muse is a dark, naughty little madam and I often have to rein her in because I am not sure people want to read some of the stuff she comes up with!
GRACEN: What was the creature/paranormal character that you had the most fun creating and why? Who—to you—was the sexiest character you wrote and why?
LUXIE: Well of course, Ethan Butler is by far the sexiest character I have shared with the readers in one of my paranormal novels. When we meet him, he is already a huge, handsome hunk of a man and then he is turned into a vampire! Irresistible!
I had the most fun creating Mama Susu from my novel Mama’s Charm. She is a voodoo priestess from Haiti and nobody knows how old she is, save to say she is ancient. She is a little bit naughty and the locals are terrified of her but she has a soft spot for the heroine Martine. The old girl still has an eye for the fellas - as our rugged hero Wade finds out when he wakes up naked on her kitchen table. Great fun!
GRACEN: Ooo…Mama Susu sounds like a fun gal! 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?
LUXIE: I’d love to meet Ethan from Sacrifice or Wade from Mama’s Charm. They are both inspired by men I go weak at the knees for in real life. They are tall, strong, ruggedly handsome (no pretty boys here please) who will do anything to save the woman they love.
The character/s I wouldn’t like to meet are Clairvius Douyon - the evil bokor from Mama’s Charm. He’s a nasty little man who isn’t as powerful as Mama Susu but still causes major problems for the hero and heroine – and Silas from my novel Sacrifice. He’s the head of a local nest of vampires that control New Orleans by catering to the peccadilloes of the city’s politicians.
GRACEN: Thanks so much for joining us in the moonlight, Luxie! All the best of success with your books!
All Hallie Matheson wants is someone to rent her apartment. What she gets is the handsome and wealthy, Ethan Butler. They hit it off instantly and Hallie thinks she has found a lifelong friend, until she tries to explore the sexual tension between them. Ethan rejects her and then avoids her for months, leaving Hallie confused and hurt.
Until one fateful night she finds Ethan collapsed and near death on her door-step.
Ethan has spent the last few years investigating vampires, until a sudden attack ends his mortal life. Now, he has even more reason to avoid Hallie, despite his desire to have her. Her continuous presence sparks a desperate hunger within him he can no longer control. No sooner has their affair begun when his worst fears are realized.
Desperate to do anything to keep her alive, Ethan vows to make the ultimate sacrifice.
Hallie had wiped away her tears by the time he cracked open the door, but he could still see the tracks on her face and the redness around her pretty green eyes. She’d lost a few pounds in the last couple of weeks, evident from the way the sweat pants that used to hug her lovely curves now hung loosely from her hips. Another thing he felt responsible for.
“H…hi,” she said, her voice still husky from crying. “Can I come in?”
Ethan wanted to tell her to stay away, but as he struggled to find the right words without causing her more pain, his delay in answering clearly upset her. Her beautiful green eyes sparkled with unshed tears. It physically pained him knowing he was the cause of her sorrow.
He moved out of the doorway, gesturing for her to enter, and took a last deep breath of air before her scent and taste assaulted his senses.
“Thanks.” Hallie took a seat, perching on the edge of the very sofa where he’d almost ended her life. Ethan didn’t join her. Instead, he remained standing, watching her silently. The highly sensitive awareness coursing through his body warned him she was more than a little angry. She was livid.
“Now I can see you’re perfectly okay. Do you mind telling me why the hell you’ve been so mean to me? I took care of you, only to find you had disappeared in the middle of the night, and I haven’t laid eyes on you since.” She stood up abruptly and moved towards him, her finger jabbing at his face. “The least you could do is thank me for helping your sorry ass!”
Ethan took a step back, unsure if he could handle it should she touch him. “I sent you some flowers. Didn’t you get—”
“Yes, I got them.” She sighed and the anger drained from her face. “But that’s hardly the same as seeing with my own eyes that you were alive. Ethan, I truly thought you were dying.”
“I’m sorry, really I am. But as you can see, I’m fine.”
He moved a little closer to the door, his hand extended as if to grab the knob. Any hopes that she’d accept his flippant answer and leave him to his misery were dashed when she walked back to the sofa and sat down again.
“Are you going to tell me what happened?”
She smiled, but it didn’t reach her tired eyes. “Besides the fact you owe me an explanation, I’m a lone woman living in a house with a man I don’t really know as well as I thought I did. If you have drug or alcohol problems—”
Ethan swallowed his offense at her words. “I don’t drink, and as for drugs, do I look like an addict to you?”
Hallie shook her head, a shy smile lighting her features. “Not really. You do look well, though. Amazingly so, considering how bad you looked two weeks ago…” Her voice drifted off and she seemed to lose her train of thought as her gaze crawled over him slowly. Ethan tensed and turned away.
“So, what happened?” she asked, the weariness back in her tone.
“I don’t know the details.” That much wasn’t a lie at least. “I was researching a story at this club and the last thing I remember is a young Creole woman—”
Hallie cast her gaze downward. “Did you…you know…with her?”
“Have sex with her? No.”
The blush crawling over Hallie’s cheeks almost made him growl. He didn’t need to be reminded that her warm, sweet blood lay mere millimeters below the surface of her skin.
“So what did she do to you?”
He shrugged, feigning ignorance. “I can only guess what happened but it doesn’t matter now anyway. As you can see, there’s no lasting damage.” Hallie fell silent. If he was very lucky, she’d let it drop. But since when had he ever been lucky?
“I’m sorry Ethan, but that’s bullshit. You’re a reporter for God’s sake. Do you really expect me to believe you didn’t try to find out what she did to you?”
“Like I said, it doesn’t matter—”
“Like hell it doesn’t! All kinds of shady stuff goes down in New Orleans. How do you know she didn’t poison you? DocFletcher said—”
“Whatever he said was wrong.”
“So you do know what it is.” Hallie got to her feet and closed in on him, her voice a gentle plea. “Tell me.”
She reached out to grip his t-shirt but he stopped her, wrapping a hand around each of her wrists and held her away. Hallie gasped from the contact, obviously shocked at how cold he felt. For him, her skin almost burned his palms as her heat radiated through his flesh.
“Please, I need to know,” she whispered.
“It would only frighten you.”
Ethan dropped his gaze, unable to look into her eyes while they silently begged him to open up to her. Instead, he gazed at her trembling lips, groaning when the sight of them caused a hard jolt of desire to course through him. Ethan let go of her and tried to move away but he stopped, frozen with dread when her fingertips caressed his cheek.
Ethan felt her heart thud with frenzy and she sucked in shallow, rasping breaths. He stared at her face, then her sensuous lips slightly parted as she tilted her head back, telling him without words she wanted to be kissed. Ethan drank the sight of her in, promising himself this was all he would take…but then he caught another aroma…one he couldn’t resist.
Hallie’s arousal perfumed the air, assaulting his senses without warning. The tiny amount of restraint Ethan had left, snapped, replaced by the hungry entity within him. He couldn’t control himself any longer, not when the intoxicating woman tormented his basic desires. He reached out and cupped her jaw, lifting her chin as his mouth descended.
Hallie sank into him, moaning softly when his lips slid across hers. Her hands brushed his hair and she tugged, trying to pull him closer, her body pressed against his. Her warm, soft flesh burned into him, even through his t-shirt, and he craved more of her heat. Ethan wrapped his arms around her back and trapped her against his torso, thrusting his groin into hers in response to the way she writhed against his erection.
He only intended to give her a little of what she asked for while taking a taste for himself, but he was unprepared for the spike of lust spearing through him when her tongue slid boldly into his mouth. An image of her, naked and writhing beneath him, leapt into his mind and he knew he no longer had the strength to stop.
Hallie pulled away first, her breath ragged as she released a throaty, self conscious laugh…but when she looked up at him, a hair-raising scream tumbled from her lips, as she stared in horror at his mouth.
Ethan brought his hands to his lips, wiping them quickly to check for her blood. He wiped again and winced as something sharp pierced the back of his knuckles.
Fangs. He’d forgotten about the fangs.
http://www.bookstrand.com/mamas-charm - buy link
Martine's tarot cards didn't warn of the handsome stranger about to walk into her life. Wade didn't want to fall for the sexy gypsy causing havoc in his. Neither knew of the magic that brought them together or the evil that threatens to tear them apart.
Mama Susu has watched over Martine for years and believes Wade can give her the love she craves. After using her powerful magic to bring them together, she prepares to do battle with Clairvius - the bokor obsessed with Martine and determined to end Wade's life.
Voodoo and betrayal in the heart of New Orleans. Can their love be saved by Mama's Charm?
Did he know me? I squirmed a little under his intense scrutiny, sure he had never been a client. I wouldn’t have forgotten him—if only for his looks if not his strange mannerisms. Still, something lurked behind his gaze that unnerved me. If I didn’t know better, I would swear he didn’t like me much. I’d be happier when the session was over. Going through my usual routine, I gave my name.
He repeated it, making it sound dirty somehow. ‘Martine. Is that Creole?’
I nodded, uncomfortable with the slant he put on the words. Deciding to ignore it, I continued. ‘Usually, people tell me what they want to know, and we see where the cards take us, ok?’
He shuffled in his seat before fixing me with a look. Again, I knew he wouldn’t be entirely truthful, but it was his money, and if he wanted to waste it, it made no difference to me. ‘I think my wife is seeing someone.’ His voice had trailed off as he finished speaking, sounding rougher, tinged with something that sounded like sadness, but could have been anger.
I got up and lit some candles—a blue one for him, to bring peace and happiness and a black one for me, to absorb the negative energy I could feel coming from him. I wasn’t exactly nervous but couldn’t shake the edgy feeling I had about the guy.
Flicking a quick glance over my shoulder, I found his eyes on my ass. Turning back to him as I cleared my throat, his perusal continued, inching slowly up my body, finally reaching my face. Any hope I had of seeing contrition or embarrassment at his being caught mentally undressing me was chased away by the slight smirk he gave before dropping his gaze.
His story wasn’t ringing true but the natural intuition I always relied on failed me. All I knew for sure was that a man, concerned about a cheating wife, didn’t come to a tarot card reader and look at her in the way he had just looked at me.
I settled in my seat, determined to get the reading over with as quickly as possible. Lifting the damp hair from my neck once again, I felt the fabric of my dress strain across my breasts and knew without needing to check that he would have noticed. Appallingly, my nipples hardened at the thought and I abruptly dropped my arms, cursing my own stupidity. Eyes averted, I spent a few moments shuffling the deck while telling him to concentrate on what he wanted to know. Offering him the cards, I told him to split them as he asked the question out loud. Nothing happened.
Having no choice but to look at him again, my breath caught at the change in his expression. The cold, dark eyes that had first greeted me now seemed larger and much warmer. The hard line of his mouth had relaxed and he looked slightly flushed. His delay in answering had been intentional. He’d wanted me to look at him.
I could feel myself blushing under his stare, feeling totally out of my depth. I didn’t know what he wanted or why he affected me this way. And he knew he affected me. His posture had relaxed and the hands that had been rigid on the table now smoothed down over his thighs as he kept his eyes on me all the while.
I felt a trickle of sweat start to roll down the side of my neck. Needing to wipe it away, I didn’t move, afraid again of making him look at my body but more afraid of how I would react when, not if, he did. I felt it slip slowly downwards onto my collarbone, pooling there for a second before it continued, as I knew it would, down my chest and under the neckline of my dress.
His voice made me jump. ‘It’s sure hot in here. Do you mind if I take off my over-shirt?’
His gaze riveted to the spot where the trail of sweat had disappeared inside my clothing, making it clear he had been following its path. I shook my head at his question, trying without success to refocus my attention on the cards.
My eyes were drawn back to him as the grubby v-neck t-shirt stretched taut across his chest. He shrugged off the shirt to reveal sweaty, heavily muscled arms that rippled as he moved, causing my breath to catch in my throat. His musky scent reached my nostrils and wasn’t entirely unpleasant, but it was entirely male. An ache began between my legs and I willed myself to ignore it. Sure, he was one hell of a man but that didn’t explain my reaction to him. Maybe the sexual drought of the past year caused me to squirm in my seat at the nearness of a good-looking guy? Whatever it was, I wished it would stop.
‘Should I cut them now?’ I only realized that I had been staring at him dumbly when his voice broke through my trance. I nodded, grateful for the distraction of the cards as I held them out to him. Placing a large hand under mine to steady it, he cut the deck. My skin burned where he touched me but I refused to analyze it, concentrating instead on the small amount of cards he had chosen. Men were quite anal about such things and often struggled to cut them exactly in half, like it mattered.
I found my voice. ‘You didn’t ask the question.’
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