Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Shadow of Samhain

Dreams, the Writer’s Playground


By Dawn Colclasure

There are so many things that can inspire a writer and so many sources of ideas for things to write. From books, newspaper articles, a line in a song or real-life experiences, a writer can pick and choose from a variety of sources to get ideas for things to write. Books have inspired ideas for short stories I’ve written, and curiosity about something inspired me to write an article on that very topic. I even once wrote a series of articles just because I was curious about something.

But my biggest source of inspiration – as well as my favorite one – are my dreams.

Sometimes I will have what I call a “story dream.” In these dreams, I am either a central character or an observer of the story happening. Sometimes the whole story will play out in the dream, or other times, a few scenes will happen in the dream and I’ll be so inspired by this story, I’ll put the pieces together, fill in the gaps, and bring that story to life as an actual story. I actually did this once with a short story I had accepted for publication in an anthology, a story about a haunted house called “The Old Coats House.”

On other occasions, the story will play out in entirety and I’ll wake up to write the whole thing. This happened with another short story I wrote called “Looking For You,” also published in an anthology.

Then there was the whopper of a dream story I had – a story that lasted for 15 years, in fact! Now it’s not often I’ll dream about the same person, even a man I don’t know, for 15 years. This made me reconsider the dreams, and that maybe they were not just dreams after all. Maybe they were something I really needed to pay attention to!

These dreams inspired me to write my novel, Shadow of Samhain. The man in my dreams, Jonathan, was not a Druid, but I turned him into one in the story in order to make the story work.

Dreams continue to fascinate and amaze me. Even today, after two decades since the very first dream of Jonathan, I am still interested in the subject of dreams. I like reading about dream symbols, dream analysis and interesting experiences people have had because of their dreams.

And, of course, I also enjoy looking to my dreams as a source of ideas for things to write. Who knows what I’ll end up dreaming about next ... and what my dream will inspire me to write? I can’t wait until I fall asleep again to find out – or, should I say, dream about!


BIO: Dawn Colclasure is a writer who lives in Oregon. Her articles, essays, poems and short stories have appeared in several newspapers, anthologies, magazines and E-zines. She is the author of fourteen books, among them BURNING THE MIDNIGHT OIL: How We Survive as Writing Parents; 365 TIPS FOR WRITERS: Inspiration, Writing Prompts and Beat The Block Tips to Turbo Charge Your Creativity; Love is Like a Rainbow: Poems of Love and Devotion and the children’s book The Yellow Rose. She is co-author of the book Totally Scared: The Complete Book on Haunted Houses. Her novel, Shadow of Samhain, was just published by Gypsy Shadow Publishing.

Visit her website at: http://dmcwriter.tripod.com/

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Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Bad JuJu by Dina Rae

Do You Know Your Zombies? By Dina Rae

Voodoo and zombies were my biggest inspiration for writing Bad Juju.  A great deal of research went into the story.  Most of the plot is filled with authentic elements of Voodoo and zombies. For instance, the most common and believable zombie fact claims that one can turn into a zombie because of mental collapse, disease, infection, and/or radiation.  Zombies stagger around dazed and confused, causing others to panic. Then there is the man-made monster kind or the kind Hollywood and horror authors like me tend to capitalize on.

Zombie interest continues to fascinate the world. Jeffrey Dahmer drilled holes then poured acid down his victim’s heads in hopes of creating his own zombie. His madness didn’t work.

Can man make his own zombie? Are these monsters real?

According to Wade Davis, author of The Serpent of the Rainbow, zombies are real. They are a product of the Voodoo religion. He was originally hired by a pharmaceutical company to find out about the drugs Voduists used in their death rituals. He believed that datura also known as zombie’s cucumber was a plant that could medically make one who ingested it appear to be dead for a certain length of time.

Sounds like the stuff Juliet used to fake her death. Could Shakespeare known about the magical zombie-making plant?

Datura or sometimes Cimora, a close relative of Datura’s, eventually wears off but leaves the victim in a state of confusion, highly susceptible to the art of persuasion. Presto! A zombie slave is at the captor’s disposal. Mr. Davis didn’t just find his datura flower, but witnessed zombie phenomena as he immersed himself within the Haitian culture.

Bad Juju is a unique blend of horror, romance, and fantasy. Besides The Serpent and the Rainbow, I read volumes of other Voodoo material and watched hours of TV specials. Some of the terms I learned can be found below:

Bokor: A wizard who practices black magic, a zombie maker.

Loa: deity/spirit

Ghede Family: A family of loas known as the spirits of the dead. Three barons rule the family. Baron Samedi is the loa of resurrection. Baron Kriminel is the most feared loa associated with cannibalism and souls. He’s honored on The Day of the Dead. Baron LaCroix is the loa of the dead and sexuality.

Poppet: Voodoo doll

Ti-bon-ange: “little good angel” The part of the soul that represents a person’s individuality.

Gros-bon-ange: “great good angel” Part of the soul that is collected into a reservoir of the Cosmos or spirit world.

Baka: Voodoo spirits in animal form.

Loup Garou: werewolf

Djab: a devil

Dessounin: Death ritual that separates the gros-bon-ange from the body.

Bizango Society: Secret society of Vodouists. They have Freemason-like qualities such as aprons, secret handshakes, oaths, hierarchy, and symbols. Legend states they change into animals at will. They are known for stealing black cats and boiling them to death for Voodoo services. They drink each other’s blood from a human skull chalice.

Bad Juju is available on Amazon for 1.99

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Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Killer on the Road by Charles O' Keefe

Do you fancy a good Horror mixed with paranormal and romance? Charles O'Keefe has a new book called Killer on the Road part of the Newfoundland Vampire Series.

Title: Killer On The Road

Series: The Newfoundland Vampire

Author: Charles O’Keefe

Genre: Horror / Paranormal / Romance / Vampire

Formats Available In: All eBook formats and Print

Release Date: January, 2011

Blurb: Joseph O’Reily is still adjusting to the lifestyle and the dangers that come with being a new vampire. He and Cassandra recently fought to the death with Cassandra’s estranged husband John Snow, and now Joseph has experienced his first ménage a trios, as only a vampire can. As if all of this was not complicated enough, he and Cassandra have been tasked with hunting down and killing a rogue vampire, Donald Rathmore.

Another of John Snow’s creations, Donald is an evil misogynistic killer in his own right. Donald has no interest in avenging his creator’s death, but killing Cassandra is at the top of his list.

While Donald continues his murderous spree, Joseph and Cassandra always seem to be one step behind him. The chase is further complicated as they encounter other vampires and learn more about the mysterious nature of the Vampire Council and the coming war between good and evil.

Joseph is only now beginning to trust Cassandra, and this trust will be shaken when he discovers she has even more secrets than he imagined. Her idea of justice and morality is at complete odds with his own. Despite all his powers and growing skill, Joseph is tested physically as a vampire and emotionally by Cassandra. This time the answers and challenges may be too much for the young vampire to handle.





About Charles O’Keefe:


Charles O’Keefe lives in the beautiful province of Newfoundland, Canada, with his wife and two feline ‘children,’ Jude and Esther. He works as an I.T. support guy and enjoys many hobbies and activities that include writing, reading, watching fantasy/science-fiction movies and television shows, gaming, poker, walking, acting, martial arts and of course fantasizing about vampires.

He currently has two novels out, books 1 and 2 of "The Newfoundland Vampire" series.




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Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Young Warlock by Mathew Bridle

Title: Young Warlock

Author: Mathew Bridle

Genre: YA Fantasy

Formats Available In: All eBook formats and Print

Release Date: 27th September 2013



About Mathew Bridle:


Mathew Bridle (born 1963) heralds from the south of England where he lives with his wife of 17 years and his three house monkeys (children). He began writing novels in the late 1990's with The Rising, an 80's style horror novel. A second novel quickly followed, 3 Phaze, a science fiction story set in the last days of the Earth. His third, Lagoon, inspired by the X-files is a sci-fi horror, brutal and sexual.

Nowadays he spends his time writing fantasy with Young Warlock as the first full instalment of this epic saga. When not writing he likes to relax with his Kindle, most likely reading either a classic fantasy or something from a new indie author. Either that or wrestling the controls for the Xbox from one of children.


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