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Halloween Blog Tour: Elizabeth Black

10292013 - Elizabeth Black ug_largeWelcome to the Wicked, Weird and Whimsical Words Halloween Blog Tour!! A few of my author friends from Broad Universe and I adore Halloween, so we’re trading blog posts every other day for this last week of October.

Elizabeth Black is a Broad I’ve met more recently than the other women on this tour, but I’m so glad to know her now. And I am such a sucker for haunted house stories! I sooo want to go here!

Happy Halloween!!

 

I Stayed At A Haunted Bed And Breakfast. Twice.

By Elizabeth Black

Yup, I was foolish enough to stay at a haunted bed and breakfast – twice. This B&B dates back to the Revolutionary War, and it sits on a river. I had heard about it from one of my ex’s friends, and after much planning I finally stayed there when I was in town for a theater stage crew convention.

The story behind the haunting is as follows:

British soldiers came up the river and proceeded to set the small town on fire, destroying most of it. Soldiers threw torches on the porch of this B&B, which was originally a brothel. The proprietress swept the torches off the porch with her broom. She made a deal with the soldiers. She would house them, feed them, and allow them to use her services as long as they didn’t burn the place down. They agreed, and this B&B was allowed to stand whilst homes around it burned to the ground.  The haunting involves the ghost of the proprietress wandering the halls in the dead of night, checking on her clientele and the women to make sure everyone was comfortable. There have been other sightings as well. The B&B itself is absolutely beautiful, decorated in Victorian splendor. It includes a lovely bar and discounted dinners every Friday night. The rooms are beautiful, spacious, and very homey in that Victorian style I liked very much.

The first time I stayed it was off-season in mid-winter. I was in a room overlooking the river. What a view! I enjoyed a delicious meal and the company of a man I met in the bar. He came to the B&B several times per month to enjoy dinner when in town on business. No, I did not take him to bed, although he was very handsome. We ate dinner together. That night I slept well until about 3 am when I heard a party going on in the room next to me. There was a lot of noise. I managed to go back to sleep. At about 4:30 am I heard heavy footsteps walking up and down the hallway. I immediately thought of the ghost of the proprietress stalking the halls checking on everyone and went back to sleep. I wondered whys she wore combat boots, since her footsteps were very loud and heavy. I felt very safe, secure, and comfortable. Not the least bit scared.

The next day, when I went down for breakfast, I told the clerk about the party and the footsteps. She told me I couldn’t have heard anything because I had been alone in the building all night. Yeeeahhh!!!!! The party! The footsteps! None of it could have happened!!!

Of course, I had to return.  🙂

The second time I stayed I was with my current husband. While we slept, someone turned on the overhead light in the middle of the night. I was a very light sleeper and I snapped awake the moment the light turned on. My husband snored away next to me. I was far too tired to get up and turn off the light, so I went back to sleep. When I woke up shortly before dawn, the light was off. I asked my husband later about the light and he said he had turned it off before going to bed. He didn’t get up during the night at all.

So who turned on the light? And who later turned it off?

I heard those footsteps in the hallway again, and felt as safe as I did the first time.  No party this time, though. At least this time there were other guests in the place. I wasn’t alone in the building again.

So there you have it. I had my own ghostly experiences. Granted, I think there were perfectly natural explanations for what I heard. The kitchen was downstairs right off my room and noise from clean-up could have carried up the stairs. I could have mistaken those noises for a party. It’s also likely my husband simply forgot he didn’t turn off the overhead light. But I like to think I had ghostly experiences both times I stayed.

Happy Halloween, everyone!

My stay at the Kitty Knight House influenced my erotic romance novel “An Unexpected Guest”. Here are buy links and an information page.

Fanny Press

http://fannypress.com/2009/12/12/an-unexpected-guest/

Amazon Paperback

http://tinyurl.com/yb9ya5t

Amazon Kindle

http://tinyurl.com/yhbll2h

Web Site Page:

http://elizabethablack.blogspot.com/p/unexpected-guest.html

Here’s where to find me on the web. Friend me on Facebook, follow me on Twitter, and check out my books! I’ve included my Amazon author pages for both of my pen names, so whether you’re into sexy or spooky, I have stories for you!

 

Elizabeth Black – Blog and Web Site

http://elizabethablack.blogspot.com/

Elizabeth Black – Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/elizabethablack

Elizabeth Black – Twitter

http://twitter.com/ElizabethABlack

Elizabeth Black – Amazon Author Page

https://www.amazon.com/author/elizabethblack

E. A. Black – Amazon Author Page

http://www.amazon.com/~/e/B00BBWHMFM

The Wicked, Weird and Whimsical Words Halloween Blog Tour runs every other day October 23-October 31.  Join us all five days for Halloween fun!  Be sure to say hello on any post to be entered in a giveaway at the end of the tour!

Halloween Blog Tour: LC Hu

10272013 - mc_coverWelcome to the Wicked, Weird and Whimsical Words Halloween Blog Tour!! A few of my author friends from Broad Universe and I adore Halloween, so we’re trading blog posts every other day for this last week of October.

I’m honored to have our own Hostess with the Mostest who put this blog together, LC Hu, for today’s post! 🙂 And I’m also extremely pleased with this article on vampires because for a long time, I shared her disdain of these particular monsters. I love how she refound the spark of horror.

Happy Halloween!!

Revamping the Vampire, by LC Hu

Happy almost-Halloween, everyone!

A quick shout out to Trisha for hosting me!  It’s great to be here.

Today, I want to talk about revisiting a classic Halloween monster–the vampire–twice, and what it means to me to reimagine a subject.

We’ve all heard the old adage “There’s nothing new under the sun.”  (Or the stars, in a vampire’s case.) And it’s true–it’s hard , if not impossible, to come up with something completely new; even if you think of something that’s pretty original, odds are good that someone else has thought of it too.  There’s a lot of people pondering a lot of subjects out there.

So for me breathing fresh life into something old is more about adding a personal touch.  Finding what unsettles me, or interests me, and adding that little bit to the existing monster.  And hitting a common note is just fine–wanted, perhaps, because it will help my audience connect.

In recent work I’ve revisited the vampire twice.  I find this a little funny–since outgrowing my Anne Rice and Poppy Z Brite phase, I’ve carried around a little bit of hipsteresque disdain for the befanged blood drinker.  But for the Re-Vamp project, we were doing a tour of all the old, classic, monsters, so I was obligated to revisit the subject.  And for Midnight Carnival shared world project, part of why I tackled a vampire was precisely my disdain; it seemed like a personal challenge, to make this overdone monster interesting to me again.

Re-Vamp was all about trying to bring the classic into the current, to be both nostalgic and contemporary at once, so for the vampire in my short story “Lump,” I read a lot about the origins of the vampire.  I decided to go with the elements that disturbed me: the corpse-like pallor, the distended/bloated belly, elements that hearkened back to people being frightened of decomposing corpses.  Decay and rot are unsettling to a lot of people.  For the contemporary angle, I used situation and location–by the side of the highway, the dark woods, the quandary of helping someone (or something) injured by the side of the road, or leaving it out of fear.

Being a shared, established world, The Midnight Carnival had established certain rules for vampires already, so I only had so much room to work with: they could be wounded or killed by holy water, fire, sunlight, silver; they were made, not born; they live on blood; they are stronger and faster than humans, and able to heal quickly. So it became the little things about my individual vampire, Carver, that I played with to make him interesting to me.  I tried to imagine how a vampire like that might blend into the human world best, become the wolf in sheep’s clothing as best as possible.  What biological alterations the transformation would cause, and what neurochemical or other personality-influencing changes.

His teeth, for example: they are all sharp, like a dog or cat’s teeth, even the molars.  The canines are longer, the front teeth more flattened/bladelike, but they are not the two puncturing canines of the classic movie vampire.  They also retract.  The human set and the vampire set are interchangeable, sliding back into the gums, one set replacing the other.  Or his breathing–Carver breathes so he can speak, because I liked the physicality of it, the little obedience to the real world, that you must have air in your lungs and expend it to speak.  It’s also good camouflage, when you’re pretending to be human.

And I mentioned mental changes too–it’s not clear, in the MC world, if it’s a demonic soul outsting a human one to cause the vampiric change, or a virus, or something else, so I went with it being more physical, including alterations to the brain and brain chemistry.  Once upon a time Carver was a very good, upstanding man, a detective with a beloved wife and two beloved daughters, and I started thinking about what kind of a vampire a man like that would become, if you took away his regret and a large part of his empathy and handed him a ravenous, unending appetite for blood.

…I could go on all day.  Suffice to say, I interested myself in this old, reliable monster again, and had good fun with it too.  In the end, I think that’s all it takes to breathe a little new life into the old–have fun with it, go crazy, let yourself break rules or obey them, just learn to enjoy the monster–or whatever subject matter you’re revisiting–again.

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To learn more about The Midnight Carnival: One Night Only or Re-Vamp, visit maddocsoflit.com or find L.C. Hu at elsiewho.wordpress.com!

The Wicked, Weird and Whimsical Words Halloween Blog Tour runs every other day October 23-October 31.  Join us all five days for Halloween fun!  Be sure to say hello on any post to be entered in a giveaway at the end of the tour!

Halloween Blog Post: Justine Graykin

10252013 - ANcoverLarrythumbWelcome to the Wicked, Weird and Whimsical Words Halloween Blog Tour!! A few of my author friends from Broad Universe and I adore Halloween, so we’re trading blog posts every other day for this last week of October.

Justine Graykin‘s second post in this tour tickles me to no end. I’ve been a fan of her Archimedes Nesselrode since she started reading excerpts from it at Rapid Fire Readings years ago. It was an audio book first, and I just don’t do audio books. So, when she finally, finally, finally had a huggable book published, I did, indeed, drive all the way up to her release party in New Hampshire so I could immediately hug my own copy. Squee!

Happy Halloween!!

An Excerpt from Archimedes Nesselrode by Justine Graykin

Archimedes Nesselrode, my newly-released novel from Double Dragon, is mostly gentle and whimsical, a tale of an artist with strange and wonderful creative powers.  But these powers also have a dark and frightful side, one which even the artist himself fears.

In honor of the this shiversome season, I offer to the readers of my dear friend Trisha’s blog an excerpt from the book in keeping with that spirit of darkness.

We join the artist and his devoted housekeeper attempting to escape from the vengeful anger of Zarah Trebbiano, the operatic diva whose advances Mr. Nesselrode has rejected.

“Get in the car, Mr. Nesselrode,” Ms. Mare said firmly, “I shall handle this.”

“Oh, yes, get into the car, Michel!” the singer mocked.  “Do as your woman servant says!  Spineless worm!  That is all you are!  Gutless and spineless!”

“That will be enough!” Ms. Mare snapped in an imperiously commanding tone that any school mistress would have envied.  “You will leave immediately and do not dare attempt to contact Mr. Nesselrode again in any way!”

“Call off your dog, Michel,” Madam Trebbiano said, “her yapping annoys me.”

“You are a crude, ill-bred woman who ought to be ashamed of herself, but is too arrogant to realize it!  Now, good night to you!”  Ms. Mare turned on her heel to go.  Her employer had still not moved.

“Ill-bred?” the singer cried.  “This from an illegitimate brat of the serving class!  Oh, yes, I know who you are!  You’re the housekeeper, aren’t you?  Do you think to improve your position by coddling your master?  A bit of advice to you–don’t attempt to bed him!  He is a passionless, impotent fish!”

“How dare you?” Ms. Mare cried in outrage.

“Can’t you say anything, Michel?  No, you pathetic, sniveling poseur!  I should never have wasted my time with you!  You are not a man at all!”

“That will be enough!” Ms. Mare commanded, uncomfortably aware that they were beginning to attract a crowd.  “Mr. Nesselrode, get into the car.  We are leaving!”

“Go on, Michel!  Run with your tail between your legs!  That’s all you’ve got down there!  Go home with your faithful dog!  Perhaps you can reward her with a few limp-wristed caresses!  Or do you prefer little boys?”

“Zarah, shut up!”

The transformation of Archimedes Nesselrode from rabbit to wild-eyed fury was sudden and astonishing.  He spun around to face her and his voice rose into a screech.  “Shut up!  Shut up!  Shut up!”

Madam Trebbiano was shocked speechless, taking a step away from him.  Ms. Mare was frozen, her mouth open.  She had seen him annoyed, fretful, peevish and irritated.  She had never seen this.  His eyes blazed with madness, but not the gentle, harmless madness she was accustomed to.  His face was twisted horribly and malignantly.  The winged snake flew up into the air with alarm and darted over to Ms. Mare, coiling about her legs and cringing, afraid of her own master.

“You summon great passion in me, Zarah!  Oh, yes!  You inspire me with wild emotion!”  He laughed, but it was a fearful, maniacal sound.  “You are fascinated by my magic, eh?  I’ll give you a demonstration!  See what I create in your honor!”  He held out his hands.  To Ms. Mare’s horror they were dripping with scorpions.  If there was any creature which inspired greater loathing in her than spiders, it was scorpions.

Madam Trebbiano’s expression showed much the same sentiment.  She was grimacing in revulsion.  Archimedes Nesselrode, quite monstrously insane, walked towards her.  “Embrace me, Zarah!  I’m all yours!”

“Get away from me!” she cried, backing away.  But she found her retreat blocked.  They were no longer standing on a city sidewalk.  Archimedes Nesselrode had conjured a chamber of horrors.

The stone walls that enclosed them slanted at bizarre angles and intersected with unbearable asymmetry.  The seams where the stone blocks met were cracked and seeping with fungoid slime.  From the slime bubbled shapeless things which crawled and dripped to the crazily tilting floor.  The ceiling was thickly hung with sticky webs which seethed with black legs and bloated bodies.

“Gifts for you, Zarah!” he shrieked, his voice cracked and shaking, “From the bottom of my heart!”  He threw the scorpions at her, and began to laugh hideously.  He became swathed in robes of black and scarlet, and from beneath the folds of the robe erupted monstrosities, deformed and hideous.  Writhing hunks of severed flesh, embedded with eyes, oozing like open wounds, they flopped and crawled around him.  Zarah Trebbiano screamed and clawed helplessly at the venomous creatures that clung to her, stinging her repeatedly.

Stunned with horror, Vivian Mare stared, unable to believe that her timid, sweet employer could have so suddenly mutated into this terrible monster.  It took an act of strongest will power to break the paralyzing spell.

“Snake, for pity’s sake, let go of me!”

My thanks to Trisha Wooldridge for her gracious hospitality.  Archimedes Nesselrode is available as a paperback 10252013 - j_graykin_photothrough Amazon and as an ebook though most major distributors.  You may learn more about this and my humble self on my website, at justinegraykin.com

About the Author:

Justine Graykin is a writer and free-lance philosopher sustained by her deep, abiding faith in Science, Humanity and the belief that humor is the best anti-gravity device. Author of Archimedes Nesselrode, a book written for adults who are weary of adult books, she is producer of the BroadPod podcast.   She lives, writes and putters around her home in rural New Hampshire, occasionally disappearing into the White Mountains with a backpack.

The Wicked, Weird and Whimsical Words Halloween Blog Tour runs every other day October 23-October 31.  Join us all five days for Halloween fun!  Be sure to say hello on any post to be entered in a giveaway at the end of the tour!