Halloween! A special time of year. :)

Happy Halloween everyone!

What better day to let everyone know about Entranced: A Halloween Box Set, with stories by some of your favorite authors – Mary Hughes, Michelle Diener, Dale Mayer, Liz Kreger and Edie Ramer – all Magical Musings’ authors – plus Lori Handeland, Nancy Haddock, Elle J Rossi, and Leigh Morgan.

Check out the great stories!
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Holiday Feast from NY Times, USA Today and bestselling, award-winning authors. Nine exciting stories of romance and mystery, paranormal and contemporary, magical and mystical, ranging in lengths from novellas to short page-turning stories.

Escape to worlds featuring a vampire in love with a human, a powerful telekinetic, a secret lover, a spirit seer, a master magician, a wizard prince, a paranormal ass-kicker, and more.

When Midnight Comes — Lori Handeland
Visit the streets of 19th century New York in a novella based on the legend of the Jack O Lantern. Newly dead Jack Keegan may be doomed to wander the earth forever with only a lantern to light his way unless he atones for the sins of a lifetime. His love for Lucia Casale may be the only thing that can save him.

Midday Masquerade — Leigh Morgan
Can a mask help two lost and lonely people release their inner desires and find love strong enough to vanquish an ancient family curse?

Sian’s Solution — Dale Mayer
Sometimes the depth of love is only understood when it is lost forever… When a vampire discovers the human man she loves has been captured and hung in a blood farm, she goes against her own kind and risks everything to save him.

Breaking Out — Michelle Diener
Imprisoned in a secret facility, powerful telekinetic Kelli Barrack and two other ‘special’ inmates grab a chance to escape, only to confront their worst nightmares on the outside.

The Halloween Prince — Edie Ramer
A sudden storm, a broken van, and a ghost dog take widowed Sarah Lowtower to a cabin in the Wisconsin countryside and an intriguing man who becomes her secret lover. But when he becomes the Halloween Prince, everything changes.

Medium Rare — Nancy Haddock
The ghosts of St. Augustine are spooked, and spirit seer Colleen Cotton must team with a by-the-book paranormal investigator to save them all, or risk losing her own great grandfather’s spirit forever.

Feel the Magic — Liz Kreger
Jenna Carmichael is harnessing the magic of the full moon on All Hallow’s Night in a tricky transformation to earn her Master level, when the past comes back to haunt her.

Masked Attraction — Mary Hughes
Daniel Light loved Zoe Blackwood when he was a gangly dork. Now a powerful wizard prince, a masked ball gives Daniel a new chance to woo her. Coming between them is an ancient parchment with a deadly prophecy.

Midnight Masque — Elle J Rossi
Bar owner and paranormal ass-kicker, Josie Hawk, stresses over her vampire lover meeting her vampire-hunting father, while at her stars-of-country-music masquerade, supernatural forces escalate to code red. If she doesn’t unmask the insidious evil, the party could turn into a mass funeral.

Amazon | AmazonUK | iBooks | Barnes&Noble | Kobo | Smashwords

I’m away at the Ninc conference and they staying for a bit of a holiday after a hard working year so won’t be back to answer any comments until tomorrow! Hope you all have a wonderful holiday! :)

Posted in Dale's Posts | Tagged | 2 Comments

Halloween Romance

What’s Halloween without a good romance, right?

Wait…Halloween and romance? I know what you’re thinking: Misty’s gone off the deep end. Romance is for Valentine’s Day.

Yes, it is. But romance works for any holiday, even a scary one.

Think of costumes…isn’t it fun to dress up as a couple for Halloween costume parties? Check out these ideas: http://www.pinterest.com/gailfrazier/couples-costumes/  I especially love the Pretty In Pink couple.

Even the Huffington Post has 10 Tips on How To Find Romance On Halloween: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/samantha-daniels/10-tips-for-finding-romance_b_4171576.html

And what about in movies? Edward Scissorhands, anyone? The Corpse Bride? Not to mention The Lost Boys, Bram Stoker’s Frankestein, and even Ghostbusters.

In books, there are plenty of paranormal couples. Check out books by our own MM gang, many of them featuring a love interest or two:

Elemental Assassins series by Jennifer Estep

Vampire Series by Dale Mayer

Haunted Hearts Series by Edie Ramer

Biting Love Series by Mary Hughes

Romance and Halloween do actually go together beautifully. There’s nothing like watching a scary movie with your significant other.

So embrace your wicked self and get your romance on. Who is your favorite Halloween couple?

Posted in Misty's Posts | Tagged , , | 5 Comments

Holiday books (and more) are here

I was out doing some shopping with my mom back in September, and she pointed over to a display and said, “Look what’s out already.”

I looked over to where she was pointing and was greeted with … a display of Christmas trees.

Christmas trees in September? Seriously? Can’t we even wait for Halloween to be over with first? Or at least for the calendar to roll around to Oct. 1? Apparently not.

But Christmas trees aren’t the only holiday items that I’ve noticed in stores. The holiday books have already hit shelves too, especially in the romance aisle. Every year, in September and October, it seems like the covers on all the books in the bookstores and online suddenly change overnight. One day, the covers are full of beach and other summer scenes, and the next, they all feature snow, ribbons, and bows.

Christmas at TwilightThe covers are one of the things that I like most about holiday books. Snow, trees, ornaments, twinkling lights. They all make for some beautiful covers, and there is just something about those images that draws me in time and time again. Like the cover for Christmas at Twilight by Lori Wilde (out today). Isn’t that just a lovely cover? Doesn’t it make you want to curl up on the couch with a good book and some hot chocolate while the snow falls outside?

I’m a total sucker for a good cover, and despite my towering TBR pile, I always find myself buying a holiday book or two every year, even if it’s still October. And I get totally addicted to TV channels like ABC Family and Hallmark Channel this time of year, given all the holiday romantic comedies that they show.

The holiday books (and more) are already here, so I will enjoy them while they last.

What about you guys? Do you read holiday books? If so, when? Just during the holidays or at any time of year?

Posted in Holiday Posts, Jennifer's Posts | Tagged | 12 Comments

Friday Favorites

UPDATE – Congratulations to Anita for winning the giveaway! She chose Veiled Target by Robin Bielman!

TGIF! I have to say, I really do love blogging on Fridays here at Magical Musings.

Friday Favorites at MM

Today I want to hear about some of your favorite things. To give you a little reward for sticking with me and answering some questions, I will give away one digital book from one of the Magical Musings authors (up to a $10.00 value) via Amazon! To enter, just answer any of the questions below. I will draw the winner on Sunday evening!

What is your favorite book genre? For me it would be a tie between romantic suspense and contemporary romance.

Do you have a favorite book couple? Mine would probably be Trevor and Cassandra Bauer from the Countermeasure Series by Chris Almeida and Cecilia Aubrey. I don’t know what it is about them but I have loved them from the beginning of the series.

Do you have a favorite heroine from a book? This is tough for me, but I would say pretty much any heroine of Misty Evans. In my opinion, she just knows how to write kicka** heroines.

Do you have a favorite hero from a book? Absolutely. Conrad Flynn from Operation Sheba by Misty Evans. I don’t even know how to explain it but all heroes are compared to him when I read other books.

Do you have a favorite plot from a book? Where the story is just so different than anything you have read? This one is harder. I read a lot of great books. Probably the one that sticks with me as the most fascinating is Darcy Daniel’s Playing The Part.

Any other favorites in the book world you think we should talk about?

Posted in Amy R's Posts | Tagged , , , | 13 Comments

5 Southernisms Every Non-Southerner Must Know by Kelsey Browning

Please welcome author Kelsey Browning to the blog today! She and Nancy Naigle coauthor The Granny Series and the second book in the series, Fit To Be Tied released on October 21, 2014. Kelsey is here today to tell to us about Southernisms.

Kelsey Browning - Headshot

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I love, love, love my gals from Illinois—Amy Remus, Adrienne Giordano, Tracey Devlyn, and several others. And one of the reasons I love them so much is because they love my Texas accent and they let me teach them a new Southern phrase now and again.

One reason Nancy and I enjoy writing The Granny Series so much is because we get to let those Southern-gals phrases fly left and right. Our editor, Deb Nemeth, helps nurture and protect our “delicious humor and wonderful Southern expressions.”

Of the four main over-fifty female characters in our newest release in The Granny Series, Fit to Be Tied, three hail from Southern states. Lil from Georgia. Maggie from Virginia. And Abby Ruth from Texas. (Sheriff Teague Castro is also a Texas native.) So in order to enjoy these ladies to their fullest, non-Southerners might appreciate a brush-up on how to speak Southern. And, by the way, all definitions and curse worse henceforth should be attributed to me. Nancy is guilt-free.

Bless your heart. Yeah, this is a gimme, but if I didn’t include it, someone would call me on it.

Definition: Bless your heart is one of those multi-use Southern phases.

Used in a sentence: “Bless Tommy Ray’s little pea-picking heart.”

Translation: Tommy Ray’s done something ass-stupid again, and ain’t nobody gonna ever be able to beat the smart into that boy.

Used in a sentence upon news that a friend’s father has died: “Bless her heart.”

Translation: I’m feel so bad for Franny. But I wonder if there’ll be fried chicken after the funeral?

Fit to Be TiedDon’t have a pot to piss in. This is a favorite of mine. Just so visual.

Definition: It means the person is broke, desolate, and shit outta luck.

Used in a sentence: “That Glenda Ray, her daddy’s done left and now they don’t have a pot to piss in.”

Translation: Things in Glenda Ray’s house are gonna be tough for a while.

Shit outta luck. Also referred to as SOL.

Definition: In a bad spot, some times because of your own less-that-bright decision.

Used in a sentence: “You spent all your lunch money on video games? Well, son, you’re just SOL.”

Translation: You’d better steal some saltines out of the cabinet because I’m not giving you more lunch money this week.

Ugly. No, it’s not what you think (although there are plenty of backhanded insults for that).

Definition: This ugly means ill-behaved.

Used in a sentence: “Josey Ray, don’t you be ugly to your mama or else you won’t be going to the picture show.”

Translation: If you don’t stop sassing your mama, I will lock you in your room until you’re thirty.

Six ways to Sunday.

Definition: All different kinds of ways or in a particularly forceful manner.

Used in a sentence: “If you don’t put my Blue Bell Rocky Road ice cream back in the freezer this minute, I’m gonna knock you six ways to Sunday.”

Translation: The butt-whupping may be physical or verbal. Whatever I decide, it ain’t gonna be pretty.

If this small taste of Southernisms has whetted your appetite for more, be sure to check out In For a Penny and Fit to Be Tied in The Granny Series. You may see a few of these, some other favorites, and a few that Nan and I make up ourselves!

Now it’s your turn! What’s your favorite Southern phrases (And yes, we’re likely to snatch it up and put it in a book. ;-))

Posted in Amy R's Posts | Tagged | 17 Comments

Holiday Spirit (with giveaway)

giftsMisty wrote a post yesterday about the joys of autumn and how winter is almost upon the US. In Australia, it’s the other way around, spring has sprung and we’re edging toward summer, but no matter which way round your seasons are, one thing is clear, the holidays are coming up.

I’ve been asked to participate in three different year-end contests or giveaways in the last week, and that’s definitely a sign of the festive season.

Giving is the one part of the too-commercial holiday season that I like.

But with everyone organising giveaways and festive season contests, do you think it’s too much? Do most of them get overwhelmed and lost in the crowd, or is it in line with the spirit of generosity we feel at this time of year?

To get into the holiday spirit myself, I’m offering e-books from my The Dark Forest Series (The Golden Apple and The Silver Pear) as well as Entranced: A Halloween Box Set (to get into the swing of the holidays) to one commenter, to be announced on Friday.

WINNER: Congratulations to Alexisa N. She wins e-book versions of The Dark Forest series and Entranced. Alexisa, I’ll be in touch for your details.

Posted in Michelle's Posts | 6 Comments

Fall is here!

Congratulations to Anita…you’re the winner of the $10 gift card! I’ve sent you an email. :)

Fall…what a lovely time of year. If only winter wasn’t just around the corner.

I’m trying to enjoy any day the temp reaches 55 or over. Where I live, that can be a challenge in October.

October is a special month for me. My hubby’s birthday is this month, I found out I was pregnant in October seventeen years ago (it wasn’t until mid-November that I learned it was with twins). I love Halloween – the candy, the costumes, the ever present hint of the supernatural. Apples to make pies and applesauce. Hot cider. Pumpkins and squash and Indian corn. Oh, my!

fall

What do you love about October? The cool, crisp air? Pulling out warm sweaters? The leaves changing color? Digging into a good book? One lucky commenter will win a $10 gift card to Amazon or B&N (your choice!).

Posted in Misty's Posts | Tagged , , , , , | 20 Comments

What Would You Do?

As I write this, I have a cold and I’m not at my best, so I’m stealing an idea from a writer friend, Elle J Rossi. On her Facebook page, she asked an improv question last Friday: “You’re standing in the middle of your living room. You need a weapon and you need it NOW! What do you grab?”

There were a lot of great answers. I said, “A bronze candlestick holder, about ten inches tall.” Actually, I just measured it, and my candlestick is six inches tall, but I have a pair, and I would use both as weapons.

Mary Hughes said, “Cat. Many pointy ends.” The one problem I can foresee with this is that first you have to catch the cat.

Another mutual friend, Morganne MacDonald, who is a Kung Fu weapons expert, said, “Tonfa, sai, bo, tecchu, kama, a sword, a sgian dubh, a pen….they’re all in my living room.”

I love that answer! I sometimes have a pen in my living room – but not the others. Darn. One of the replies was from someone who said he had five handguns in his living room, “always at arms length.”

I might have a character in a future book have something like that. Obviously, you can learn a lot about people by their answers. (I’ve learned that Mary’s cat is much more docile than mine!) So in the interest of learning more about you, if you were in this situation, what would you grab?

Posted in Edie's Posts | 10 Comments

Cats, cats and more cats

It’s been a melancholic week for me after having to put one of my beloved felines to sleep. All week I’ve been cheering myself up by looking at images online from various catmemes to clothing with cats on it and wait for it… cat clothing stores.

Yeah, see I rarely buy myself anything but I’d be down for purchasing a few of these items.  This first one is from a clothing store catering to cat fashions called www.nipandbones.com. You can see this one here. Isn’t she pretty! lol.

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But as Halloween is around the corner – how about a costume to make your cat feel right at home? This one is available for purchase here.

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And for the cat that’s going out and needs a touch of style…consider this wonderful outfit. It’s available here.

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And of course equal outfits for both! This lovely little outfit is available here.

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Or for the well dressed cat, how about an accessory package? This one is available here.

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Doesn’t she look adorable! Not. lol. These clothing items are actually for sale which if you click the links you’ll see for yourself!!

I’ve had cats for the better part of the last 30 years – lost many and losing every one hurts. But the good thing is that each and every time I knew I’d been blessed to have them in my life for how ever long I had them. But I never… ever… dressed them up like this! Now I’m eyeing my golden Persian Pheonix and realize that there is something I could do that would make me smile – forever!

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This wonderful fashion statement is available HERE. Just in case anyone else needs a smile today! :)  Would you buy something like this for your pet?

Posted in Dale's Posts | Tagged , | 15 Comments

Guest post: Historical author Stephanie Thornton

Final Tiger Queens CoverThey say to write what you know, which is pretty sound advice, unless you happen to be writing about the 13th century wife and daughters of Genghis Khan.

Then you pretty much have to improvise.

For both of my prior novels, The Secret History and Daughter of the Gods, I had the benefit of being able to travel to Turkey and Egypt for research, but a series of unfortunate events (and a strained pocketbook) meant that I had to write The Tiger Queens without a trip to Mongolia. Lacking a time machine (or a TARDIS), most of my research came from my trusty old friends: books.

My quest began when I stumbled upon Jack Weatherford’s fabulous volumes Genghis Khan: The Making of the Modern World and The Secret History of the Mongol Queens, the former being up for grabs on a freebie table in my high school’s teacher lounge, and the second which I found a week later in Costco. I’d never heard of Genghis Khan’s powerful first wife, Borte, or his many daughters and daughters-in-law, but I soon discovered that they were fierce as tigers and tougher than nails. (They’d have to be after hanging around Genghis Khan!)

But there was still the problem of how to get those tricky historical details, the ones no historical writer thinks about when they start writing but that quickly become all-encompassing. What kinds of boots did the Mongols wear? What did they eat and drink? How did they build their tents so they didn’t freeze in the winter?

Fortunately for me, the stars aligned and I discovered Louisa Waugh’s memoir Hearing Birds Fly, which provided all sorts of answers, plus I discovered that one of my students had been to Mongolia for an exchange trip. Between the two of them, plus other fun sources like Marco Polo’s Travels, I found out everything I needed to know about Genghis Khan’s world.

Also, for the record, Mongols wore felt boots with the toes turned up so as not to accidentally kick the Earth Mother; they ate a LOT of horse meat, sometimes slipped raw under their saddles and tenderized while they rode; and to this day they have an ingenious system of pounding wool until it’s flat, then rolling it and dragging it behind their horses until it can be shaped into the yurts we’re all familiar with. Also, their tents would have been terribly smoky from the dung fires used for heating and cooking… Great details for writing, but nothing I necessarily want to experience firsthand!

About the Author: Stephanie Thornton is the author of The Secret History, Daughter of the Gods, and The Tiger Queens. She is also a history teacher who has been obsessed with infamous women from history since she was twelve. She lives with her husband and daughter in Alaska, where she is at work on her next novel.

Giveaway: For a chance to win a Kindle version of Stephanie’s The Secret History, I’d love to hear about the things you find interesting but wouldn’t like to experience first hand. I’d go first and say I’d love to take a look at Renaissance Europe, but not so keen on the lack of hygiene and flush toilets :)

Posted in Giveaway, Guest Posts | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments