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Myths, monsters and marvels

Welcome Lyndi’s Adventurous Friend Alice Renaud!

Social adWe all know what mermaids look like, don’t we? Long hair, seashell bra, fish tail. But mermaids didn’t always look like that. The sirens in The Odyssey who charmed Ulysses with their songs were part-woman, part… bird. Other depictions of mermaids show them with teeth and claws and rather scary. Welsh legends feature beautiful women who live in water but don’t have a fish tail, like the Lady of the Lake who gives King Arthur his sword Excalibur. Welsh folklore is full of aquatic creatures. As well as mermaids and mermen, there are afancs (water monsters, part crocodile, part beaver), mist hags, torrent spectres, and the mysterious Ceffyl Dwr, the Water Horse, who can appear in any body of water – lake, river, even baptismal fonts in churches. The Horse can sometimes take human form and walk on land, like the Scottish Selkie. In horse form he gallops along the shore at night, and if he meets a lone traveller, he offers him a ride on his back… only to throw him off in the marshes.

I grew up listening to and reading tales of such fantastic creatures. One day in Brittany, I saw young men come out of the sea, wearing black wetsuits. I had the idea of shape shifting mermen, who can move between a human and an aquatic form. In their aquatic form my mermen have webbed hands and feet, and a tail… but not a fish tail. They’re one hundred per cent mammal, hot blooded, and beautiful, of course! So the Sea of Love series was born. It follows the lives and loves of four young merfolk as they discover the world of humans… and fall for a human, in defiance of the laws of their people. The Welsh creatures of legends appear in all my stories. The Water Horse features in Music for a Merman, the second book in the series (the books in the series are stand-alone stories and can be read independently). Read the extract below to find out more!

Release your inner mermaidBlurb

Rob Regor knew that humans were trouble. All the shape shifting mermen of the Morvann Islands knew it. And human women were double trouble… especially when they were lying on the road in front of a digger.

Rob has a mission. Go to the mainland. Work as a policeman. Spy on humans. Report back to his father, the head of the Regor Merman Clan. It should be easy. Until he has to arrest Charlie. Rob can’t fight his attraction to the sexy eco-warrior, and it puts him on one hell of a collision course with his family and his Clan. Will he break the rules – or break her heart, and his?

Love ‘em and leave ‘em, that was Charlie’s motto. It had served her well until now. But Rob is different… Can she open up her heart to Rob – when a secret buried in her past surfaces and changes her completely?

Mammals FBBuy Links

https://amzn.to/2ZkU5wR

https://books2read.com/u/mdG7Bw

Excerpt

Somehow Charlie felt that one merman, at least, was near. She forced her body into perfect stillness, hoping that the invisible enemy wouldn’t hear the frantic beating of her heart. Unless he had infrared vision, he couldn’t see her any more than she could see him. Maybe he’d walk right past her.

The merman hissed at her out of the darkness. “I can smell you, human.”

A tiny wave lapped over her feet, though there was no breeze. A mysterious voice whispered in her head. The monsters won’t win. Run to the sea. I will protect you.

Maybe she was going mad. But if so, it was a helpful sort of madness. Strength was rising through her body, easing the pressure on her ribs. Wherever the voice had come from, she’d follow its advice. She gripped the stone harder and put her hand behind her back. She had to buy some time, until the damn moon came out and lit her path to freedom.

“What do you want?” she asked.

A suction sound informed her that her enemy was moving through the mud, but he wasn’t coming any closer to her. Maybe he too was waiting for light. Or maybe he was wary of her. The thought comforted her. He was right to be careful. She could be dangerous too.

“I’m not going to hurt you,” the merman said. “I want to help you.”

Charlie almost sniggered. He must think I’m stupid. She’d play along, until she saw an opportunity to escape.

“That’s good,” she said, trying hard not to sound sarcastic. She put on her best “lost little girl” voice. “Can you help me get out of the marsh?”

“Sure!” The merman sounded eager, almost enthusiastic. She heard him move forward, but slowly. “I’ll give you a ride on my back, if you want.”

The voice murmured in Charlie’s head. She couldn’t tell if it was real, or a childhood memory. An old fisherman had told her that story once, when she was holidaying on the Morvann Islands with her parents. And she had read the same story, in the old book she’d found in the police station. The Water Horse offers the unwary traveller a ride on its back, only to throw him off and drown him in the marshes.

Valentine's Day date

 

My Love Affair With Haunted Houses

Welcome Lyndi’s Adventurous Friend Robert Herold!

(Author of The Eidola Project)

Haunted Houses and I go way back. I used to set up a haunted house display in my parent’s garage and enlist my brothers and friends to play the roles of various monsters as I, as a mad scientist, led other neighborhood kids through the chamber of horrors. The tour would end with me dissecting a monster in a serio-comic way, removing all manner of things from its abdomen (such as a pop bottle, an old shoe, and a dirty sock). At the conclusion, the creature’s arm would swing out at the other kids, courtesy of a little fishing line, and send the frightened kids running from the haunted garage.

After college, I took a job in a nursing home as I dipped my claws, er, toes, into the writing life. At the nursing home I reprised my earlier passion for haunted houses and got other members of the staff and the management to buy into the idea of putting on a haunted house for the patients. People were encouraged to retrieve a treat from the bottom of a bowl of intestines (OK, it was pasta). There were opportunities for (geriatric) boys to meet ghouls, and gals to hang out with all sorts of unsavory monsters. The conclusion, once again, was me as a mad scientist werewolf (showing my true colors) who would operate on a monster and once again pull out various things from its abdomen (this time it included a bedpan – I’m such a wit). Since I was an adult, I also jazzed it up childhood shtick with beakers of dry ice and colored liquid bubbling away behind me on repurposed bookshelves. The pièce de résistance was me (as the ersatz wolfman/mad scientist) throwing the breaker switch (OK, it was a sponge mop handle) and causing the creature’s eyes to light up. At this point, the creature’s arm would swing out, as before (remember the fishing line trick?) and grab one of the patients.  As I look back on my cavalier sensibilities, I realized I was damn lucky I didn’t cause a heart attack.

When my older son was in kindergarten and first grade I resurrected the haunted house motif, this time for my son’s birthday parties. I used all the same ideas to great success, perhaps too great. After causing one little girl to pee her pants, I realized I had ridden this horror express perhaps a little too far. My forays into this live on only in the nightmares of former kids, now adults.

The haunted house that left the biggest impression on me was as a high school student when I participated in a spooktacular haunted house that was put on by a local rock music station. I helped with the construction, mostly as a gofer, and got to be a werewolf (oh, the joy) once the place opened. This haunted house was not for kids, and had many a frightful room as we repurposed an old home before it was to be torn down. I, as the wolfman, was in a room with Dr. Frankenstein and the monster, and we’d all jump at folks and delight in their screams. Then, toward the end of the evening, in a moment of werewolf abandon, I decided to jump up onto the wall and grab the bars on a window. Much to my chagrin, and pain, the iron bars were actually wooden dowels that broke off and I crashed down onto my werewolf tailbone. I howled in pain. People loved it! I, however, too embarrassed to admit my pain and mistake, limped the three miles home that night instead of begging a ride from someone with wheels. My lesson: One must suffer for one’s art!

Blurb:

It’s 1885 and a drunk and rage-filled Nigel Pickford breaks up a phony medium’s séance. A strange twist of fate soon finds him part of a team investigating the afterlife.

The Eidola Project is an intrepid group of explorers dedicated to bringing the light of science to that which has been feared, misunderstood, and often manipulated by charlatans. They are a psychology professor, his assistant, an African-American physicist, a sideshow medium, and now a derelict, each possessing unique strengths and weaknesses.

Called to the brooding Hutchinson Estate to investigate rumored hauntings, they encounter deadly supernatural forces and a young woman driven to the brink of madness.

Will any of them survive?

Excerpt:

Sarah retrieved the lamp and twisted the peg. The outhouse door swung open on its own, and she gasped.

“Momma?” Sarah asked as she held out her lantern. No. A ruined version of Molly stood in the doorway.

Before her disappearance, people often commented on the sixteen-year-old’s beauty, but in the last twenty-eight days birds pecked out her pretty blue eyes, and maggots now swam in the sockets. Molly’s head hung to the left at an odd angle. Her skin looked mottled with patches of gray, blue, and black. A beetle crawled out of Molly’s half-opened mouth and darted back in.

Sarah’s heart leaped to her throat, and she jumped back. She lost her footing, fell onto the outhouse seat, and dropped the lantern to the floor. She bent to retrieve it; thankful the glass globe did not break. Sarah looked up and saw an empty doorway.

Impossible, she told herself. Must’ve dozed off, had a nightmare, and woke up when I dropped the lamp. Her heart still pounded in her chest, and Sarah took a deep breath to calm herself.

Holding the lamp before her once more, she crept out…

Author Bio:

The supernatural always had the allure of forbidden fruit, ever since Robert Herold’s mother refused to allow him, as a boy, to watch creature features on late night TV. She caved in. (Well, not literally.)

As a child, fresh snow provided him the opportunity to walk out onto neighbors’ lawns halfway and then make paw prints with his fingers as far as he could stretch. He would retrace the paw and boot prints, then fetch the neighbor kids and point out that someone turned into a werewolf on their front lawn. (They were skeptical.)

He has pursued many interests over the years (among them being a history teacher and a musician), but the supernatural always called to him. You could say he was haunted. Finally, following the siren’s call, he wrote The Eidola Project, based on a germ of an idea he had as a teenager.

Ultimately, he hopes the book gives you the creeps, and he means that in the best way possible.

 

Contact Links (list as many as you’d like):

Website:  https://robertheroldauthor.com/

Blog:

Email:  email@robertheroldauthor.com

Facebook:   https://www.facebook.com/RobertHeroldauthor/

Twitter:   https://twitter.com/RobertHerold666

Goodreads:   https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/48422164-the-eidola-project

BookBub:   https://www.bookbub.com/books/the-eidola-project-by-robert-herold

YouTube:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SZovJ-MZQ5Y   (17 second animated book trailer!)

Instagram:   https://www.instagram.com/robertheroldauthor/

Pintrest:   https://www.pinterest.com/roberttherold/

LinkedIn:   https://www.linkedin.com/in/robert-herold-6675757/

Amazon Author Page:   https://www.amazon.com/Robert-Herold/e/B07YW82TLR

 

Links for Purchase (use as many as you’d like):

Amazon:  https://www.amazon.com/Eidola-Project-Novel-ebook/dp/B07YRB4F99/ref=sr_1_1

Barnes & Noble:  https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-eidola-project-robert-herold/1133990920

Kobo:   https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/the-eidola-project

Apple iBooks: https://books.apple.com/us/book/the-eidola-project/id1482589362

Chapters:  https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/books/the-eidola-project/9781509224074-item.html

Google Books: https://books.google.com/books/about/The_Eidola_Project.htm

 

More about me:

I wanted to be a werewolf as a child, so writing is letting me live out my childhood fantasies! I live in Seattle and have been a middle school history teacher for many years. I also play in local band called Bluetopia. My wife works with homeless women. Our two grown sons live in Portlandia. We have a chihuahua, named Jangles, we inherited from my sister when she passed away. He watches the television with us and barks at any image of an animal or animated creature (including the Mucinex monster)!

I’ve always been fascinated with the horror genre. In addition to wanting to be a werewolf, subscribing to monster magazines, and building all the Universal Monsters models, as a boy I used to construct a haunted house in my family’s garage and invite the other kids in for a scare!

I just received the contract for the second book in the Eidola Project series, currently at the editor, a sequel involving a werewolf (I know, go figure!) called, Moonlight Becomes You. I am also halfway through writing book three, where the team travels cross-country (a big deal in 1885) to solve a series of murders by a deadly shapeshifting creature plaguing the coastal Native Americans in the Washington Territory. It’s entitled Totem of Terror.

Interesting part of the story to research:

I found researching William James’s actual forays into paranormal investigations fascinating. A great resource is The Ghost Hunters—William James and the Search for Scientific Proof of Life After Death, by Deborah Blum

What inspired the title of the book:

The book is about a team of 19th Century ghosthunters who become ensnared in a deadly investigation of a haunted house. Eidola is a Greek word for ghost, so I thought it fit perfectly.

 Advice for aspiring writers:

Come up with an ending first. It will provide direction and keep you from getting lost half-way. Also, pack the inner critic away in a lock box until you’re done with the rough draft. Having a sense of the whole, however rough, rightly gives you a sense of accomplishment. When editing, only let the critic out for short periods and only if it behaves itself. Work hard to polish your writing, but don’t let it cause you sink into despair or abandon your work. If I can do it, anyone can!

What I do for fun, besides writing:

Reading, watching movies and TV, taking long walks, eating ethnic, going to the theater & concerts, listening and playing music—especially jazz and classical (I play the sax and flute and I’m in a band).

 My favorite quote:

“If a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing badly.” G. K. Chesterton, author of the Father Brown mysteries

Awards for The Eidola Project:

  • Currently a semi-finalist in the Chanticleer International Book Awards—Paranormal Category
  • 2nd Place in The Paranormal Romance Guild’s Reviewer’s Choice Awards
  • 3rd Place in The Grand Opening Awards

Are monsters real? Ask Tera Shanley

SWC CoverSilver Wolf Clan   A new Paranormal romance from Tera Shanley and Lyrical Press/Kensington Publishing Corp.

Book 1 in the Silver Wolf Clan saga

 

Blurb:

What happens when monsters turn out to be real? One summer night while camping in the woods, Morgan Carter finds out in a big way. A tall mysterious stranger, Greyson Crawford, risks his life to try and save her sister from the vicious wolf attacking their camp. When he’s bitten and disappears into the night, Morgan can only assume the worst.

Greyson shows up a year later, and he’s a different animal altogether. His eye color shifts constantly and the rumble in his throat sounds more animal than human. She hasn’t any idea where he’s been all this time, but a good guess as to what he’s become.
Grey is determined not to let the darkness of his new existence affect Morgan and the little girl in her care. He hasn’t been able to stop thinking about Morgan but knows he should stay away and let her live a normal life. That’s easier said than done, though. A new danger pulls him from the shadows to keep her safe, and he’s no wolf in sheep’s clothing.

Can she accept what lurks just below his surface? More importantly, can she survive him?

Buy Links

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Silver-Wolf-Clan-Tera-Shanley-ebook/dp/B00KYUNENG/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1403281510&sr=8-1&keywords=Silver+Wolf+Clan

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/silver-wolf-clan-tera-shanley/1119847720?ean=9781616505424

Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/silver-wolf-clan

Kensington Books: http://www.kensingtonbooks.com/book.aspx/30513

Author Bio:

Tera Shanley writes in sub-genres that stretch from Paranormal Romance, to Historic Western Romance, to Apocalyptic (zombie) Romance. The common theme? She loves love. A self-proclaimed bookworm, she was raised in small town Texas and could often be found decorating a table at the local library. She currently lives in Dallas with her husband and two young children and when she isn’t busy running around after her family, she’s writing a new story or devouring a good book. Any spare time is dedicated to chocolate licking, rifle slinging, friend hugging, and the great outdoors. For more information about Tera and her work, visit http://www.terashanley.com.

blog tour author picAuthor Links

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/terashanley.author

Blog: http://www.terashanley.blogspot.com/

Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/terashanley

Website: http://terashanley.wordpress.com/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7212904.Tera_Shanley
Excerpt

Greyson’s muscles quivered under Morgan’s hand but it likely had nothing to do with the cool rain. He opened his eyes slowly and the brilliance of the golden color pooled there was almost too dazzling to look directly at. Like staring at the sun. No one would mistake those for human eyes.

If she’d had any doubt before about the brand of monster he’d become, those liquid amber eyes put them to rest. He pulled his hood back and the chin-length dark blond hair from her memory fell forward into his face. She moved a strand to the side. He’d lost weight in the past year. He hadn’t had an ounce to lose in the first place, but it looked as if he’d struggled to stay healthy. His eyebrows, just a shade darker than his hair, were furrowed but he let her drink him in. He was playing fair. For all she knew, he’d been watching her the entire year. It was her turn now.

His nose was straight and his jaw line masculine. From the brief moments she’d known him out in those woods, she’d seen how intoxicating he was. He’d been a fearless warrior bent on that murdering wolf’s destruction, no matter the cost. Here, in the dirty alley under the relentless clouds, with those glorious feral eyes and a snarl in his chest, Greyson Crawford was utterly consuming.

Softly, she said, “You’re beautiful.”

His shaky whisper tore at her. “I’m a monster.”

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