Posted in books, new adult, new release, paranormal, romance, the ghost host

Release Day! The Ghost Host: Episode 2 #kindle #kindleunlimited #paranormal

The next installment of The Ghost Host is here just in time for the holidays!

The Ghost Host

Episode 2

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It’s bad enough that Echo already has ghosts haunting her 24/7, now her past mistakes want to join the fun and come back to haunt her, too?

Moving to Georgia was supposed to be a fresh start. So far, it’s turned out to be a fresh start at more chaos. After battling Devourers for the soul of her childhood friend, Echo learns the depth of what her abilities might cost her. She’s always been pretty good at failure, which is concerning when the fate of the spiritual world is suddenly in your hands.

If that isn’t enough pressure already, Echo’s personal life is a mess. She and Malachi are both freaked out by her ability to control him and have no idea whether their relationship was ever based on more than their bond as Medium and Keeper. Kyran is keeping his distance from both of them to keep from doing something stupid, things are still tense with her parents, college is proving more than she bargained for, Agent Morton is doubting her stability and brings in his son Griffin to help keep her grounded-which only causes more problems between her and pretty much everyone, and Echo gets pulled into her first case: a young boy whose mysterious injuries and claims of monsters in his dreams has everyone baffled and terrified of what it might mean if he isn’t lying.

Oh yeah, and a past mistake Echo thought had already been dealt with is back to settle a score. It can’t get much worse than that, right? Except, for Echo, things can always get worse.

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Posted in writing, writing advice, writing tips

3 Tips for Researching #Paranormal (for your writing) #research #podcast

For Halloween, I decided a paranormal themed podcast was in order! Read the transcript or listen to the podcast for tips on researching paranormal for your writing and incorporating what you learn into your story.

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The blending of fiction genres has led to a variety of paranormal subgenres, from paranormal romance to paranormal military fiction. Readers love paranormal fiction, but they expect it to be either factual or wholly unique. Now, when talking about factual paranormal fiction, what do I mean? I mean researching the common theories, terms, mythos, and culture. Writing paranormal may sound as easy as throwing in a few ghosts or vampires. Writing paranormal that truly draws in readers takes a little more than that. Today I’ll discuss how to research paranormal and incorporate what you learn into a convincing story that will capture reader’s attention.

Research

How do you find reliable information on your chosen paranormal topic? That’s a tough question, because when you type “ghosts” into a search bar, you’ll get anything and everything. There are two important aspects of researching the paranormal for a work of fiction.

First:  You’re not looking for a scientifically proven set of facts. You’re looking for the general consensus among a community of believers. What are the hallmarks of belief in ghosts? What do most accept as standard and what are the outlier theories? What is dismissed outright? Talk to people who actually believe and participate in the culture. It’s important to understand the core beliefs of a paranormal topic in order to ground your story in the basics. Then you can take it where you will.

Second: Learn the culture. Given that I’ve been working of The Ghost Host: Episode 2 lately, I’ve been researching ghosts, ghost hunting, and concepts of the soul and afterlife. Even though Echo doesn’t need as many physical tools as the average ghost hunter who can’t see ghosts, it’s important that she knows what others are using to confirm her talents and explore their own paranormal experiences. I need to know about EMF, EVP, protocol for séances, what herbs are involved in ritual cleansings, and more. Know the terminology, tools, and implements of your topic so your character can convincingly belong to that world.

Applying what you’ve learned

The tough part of research is that you learn thousand things when you only needed to know about one. A mistake writers sometimes make is trying to cram everything they learned into their book. Just because a reader is interested in ghosts doesn’t mean they want a chemical breakdown of why salt disrupts spiritual energy.

When incorporating your research into your stories there are two questions to ask:

Is this integral to the plot? If it is, blend your research into the story as needed. Don’t info dump. Give the reader only what they need to know in each scene in order for them to suspend disbelief and stay involved in the story. Add research as you would leave pieces of a breadcrumb trail: Just enough to follow along.

The next question you want to ask is: Will this help create a believable setting or world? In The Ghost Host, I mention that one of the characters sleeps with a hex bag under his bed. Other than a brief mention of what “might” be included in a hex bag, I don’t go into any more detail. The story itself doesn’t deal with hex bags. I used it only to add to Kyran’s character and illustrate that he comes from a family who believes in the occult and doesn’t think twice about what others would consider odd.

If a bit of research doesn’t enhance the story or help with world building, save it for something else.

Suspend your own disbelief

Writing paranormal fiction, by its very nature, requires authors to write in a way that convinces readers to put aside typical logic and science and accept the unexplainable as fact. You can’t convincingly do that unless you as the writer can do the same thing. Now, just because you write about vampires doesn’t mean you have to believe in them. You do, however, need to believe they could exist in the world you’ve created in order to convince a reader to believe.

This requires the paranormal aspects of your story to hold equal weight with the plot and characters. A brief mention of one character believing in something paranormal during the course of plot and character development doesn’t constitute a complex blending of story and paranormal. If the main resolution of the story hinges on the paranormal, it can’t come as a surprise to the reader. No one likes to get involved in a coming of age story only to have a horde of ghosts jump out at the end to resolve some critical plot point. Trust me, it happens.

Even in “The Sixth Sense” where the twist is that Bruce Willis is in fact a ghost, the entire storyline revolved around the viewer believing that ghosts are real and involve themselves in the world of the living. Had there been absolutely no mention of the paranormal and the story focused only on a young boy receiving counseling for behavior issues, only to have Willis suddenly figure out he’s a ghost with unresolved issues and the boy knew it the whole time, would have been confusing at the least.

Just as when an author researches another culture, specific location, scientific breakthrough, or historical event, due diligence is required in order to fully capture what they are researching. There are many people around the world who believe in the paranormal. If you intend to write an authentic account of someone experiencing paranormal phenomena, treat it the same way you would write about anything else. Your fiction may be someone else’s real beliefs, and they’ll spot lazy or halfhearted work a mile away.

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Posted in the ghost host

First look at The Ghost Host…Finally!

I’ve been dying to share this for forever! So finally, here it is…the cover for THE GHOST HOST!

I had a heck of a time finding a redhead on stock photos sties, but I’m lucky enough to have a fabulous photographer for a sister and she got the lovely Kate Bordeaux to pose as Echo Simmons for the front cover and I think it turned out awesome!!

The Ghost Host NEWYou can add it to your Goodreads TBR list…

TGH GoodreadsJoin the Facebook Release Party…

TGH FB PartyPre-Order the book right now!

PreOrder TGHThe Ghost Host Full WrapIf you want to know more about the photographer or cover model, check them out here!

Cover Model Photography Provided by:

Kassondra Sturtevant with Mystereah Photography (Facebook)

Twitter: @Mystereah

Website

Cover Model

Kate Bordeaux

Posted in books

Gods and Mortals Box Set: 14 FREE Paranormal and Urban Fantasy Novels

Who wants FREE books?

Well I’ve got 14 of them for you!

godsmortalsboxFourteen awesome authors have banded together to give you a chance to download 14 FREE paranormal and urban fantasy novels. Get a taste of myths and legends from all over the world, and if you enjoy them, pick up the rest of the series!

So what’s in the box set?

Fourteen FREE fantasy novels. Tag along with modern humans as they face off against heroes, Norse and Greek gods, and monsters of old … over one million words of divinely (and diabolically) inspired fantasy, adventure, and romance. Join the freshest voices in paranormal romance and urban fantasy, New York Times, USA Today, and Amazon bestselling authors, on unique journeys to heaven, hell, and worlds beyond.

Get this heavenly FREE fantasy collection … before it’s too late!


And here’s a little more about the authors and each book…

godsmortals Elsker by S. T. Bende
Kristia Tostenson just found out her new boyfriend is the Norse God of Winter, and an immortal assassin destined to die at Ragnarok. Her orderly life just got very messy.

I Bring the Fire (A Loki Story) by C. Gockel
Amy Lewis is being pursued by a very bad wolf. Can Loki God of Chaos and Mischief save her, or even save himself?

Sympathy for the Devil by Christine Pope
When the Devil tires of ruling Hell, his only hope for salvation is to capture the heart of one ordinary young woman.

Dead Radiance by T. G. Ayer
Bryn Halbrook, modern teenager, creature of myth. Dead Radiance makes Norse Myth a contemporary truth, pitting one teenager girl against Trickster gods, and mythical creatures.

The Gatekeeper’s Sons by Eva Pohler
A teen becomes entangled with the Gods of Olympus when one of them falls in love with her. Some give her gifts, others seek to destroy her …

Nolander by Becca Mills
A young woman from small-town Wisconsin discovers that monsters are real — and that she might just be one herself.

Crossroads Saga by Mary Ting
Protecting Claudia from the fallen was half-angel Michael’s his duty. Falling in love was never part of the plan.

Twin Souls by DelSheree Gladden
Uriah and Claire didn’t believe in their tribal stories until Claire’s poisoned and those myths spring to life to test their love and unravel destiny.

Blood Debt by Nancy Straight
A mythological romance: Camille is denied her
father’s identity until her mother’s death. She discovers a family she never dreamed of and a world that should not exist.

The Forgotten Ones by Laura Howard
Can the magical Tuatha de Danaan, the forgotten people of Ireland, help Allison restore her mother’s sanity?

Marked (Soul Guardians Book # 1) Kim Richardson
A sixteen-year-old girl suddenly dies and finds
herself in Horizon as a rookie in the Guardian Angel Legion.

Relentless by Karen Lynch
Sara Grey lives a double life until a fateful encounter with a sadistic vampire and a fearless warrior exposes her powerful gifts and changes the course of her life forever.

Hope(less) by Melissa Haag
The world is on the verge of a Judgement that will change everything, and Gabby, a uniquely gifted human, is the first key.

Runes by Ednah Walters
My new neighbor, Torin St. James, is the key to my father’s disappearance, my mother’s past and the secret they’ve been keeping from me–my destiny.

GRAB YOUR FREE COPY TODAY ON YOUR FAVORITE PLATFORM!

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1Exh2fb
BN: http://bit.ly/1CsV09V
IBOOK: http://apple.co/1EYREdk
Google: http://bit.ly/1bN2fRw

Posted in writing, writing advice, writing thoughts

Holiday Writing…or Not Writing: Choosing a Genre

2014-12-08 09.13.19With the holidays approaching, I’ve been seeing loads of posts and promos for Christmas books. I was even a part of one promo for #ChickLit4Xmas, which was lots of fun. I’ve never been particularly into reading Christmas themed stories. I have nothing against them. I’ve simply never been drawn to them.

As I’ve been seeing all the holiday books being promoted, I realized I’ve never even written a single Christmas scene is any of my books. At least I don’t think so. It’s been a while since I’ve reread some of my early books. I’m pretty sure all I have are some birthday parties and a brief mention of Christmas in Shark Out Of Water.

One might start to think I have an aversion to writing holiday scenes. It’s kind of funny actually. I really don’t know why I haven’t written a holiday scene before, but it got me thinking. How do writers choose what genre they’re going to write? Obviously, I can’t speak for all authors, and I didn’t think about this early enough to take a poll, but here’s why I write what I write along with a few tips on how to choose your genre.

I write in several genres and subgenres ranging from YA paranormal/sci-fi/dystopian/urban fantasy, to straight up romance, to new adult (a rather new venture), to some unpublished projects that are just plain YA drama no otherworldly twists and turns at all. So what genre for what story?

Basically, the way I decide how to choose a genre depends on three things.

1: What is the main conflict of the story?

Is it personal or situational? Personal implies a lot more internal struggles while situational may be more event-driven. Figuring out what you want the driving force behind the conflict to be can be a challenge, but this question helps you narrow down whether you’re going to be thinking along the lines of faster paced/question driven writing or deeper emotional trials that won’t need bam-bam-bam events to pull the reader through the story.

2. What type of stumbling blocks will your characters face? 

This question in particular helps me chose the age range of my characters. With YA, parents are an issue, as are friends (more so than in other genres usually), limits on what they can and can’t do, firsts (big decisions, relationships, sex, drugs, alcohol, etc.), and self-discovery.

2014-12-08 09.22.48With New Adult, some of the YA issues still apply, but you add in facing the grownup world with jobs, bills, being on their own, dealing with consequences without parental backup, failure, and so much more. There’s more freedom for the characters in some ways, but a new set of responsibilities can limit them as well.

With fiction for adults, you’re facing day-to-day life with work and family, dealing with past mistakes, reality of the life they’ve chosen/ended up with, wanting more or something different, having to grow up and actually be an adult, serious relationship issues, etc. Asking yourself these question can help point you in the right direction for ages of your characters, which will help you narrow down your genre choices.

3. To paranormal or not to paranormal? 

Maybe this isn’t a question every writer asks, but I do. So far, all of my published YA books have some sort of paranormal/sci-fi/urban fantasy element, but I have other projects, finished and unfinished, that just didn’t work as anything but straight drama. Why? Because the source of their main problems are real problems, not imaginary ones. My adult romance series, Date Shark Series, doesn’t have a single ghost, demon, curse, or magic power anywhere. I wanted to focus on actual relationship problems we’ve all faced at one point or another and I didn’t need anything outside reality to do that.

Figuring out the driving force behind your conflict will help you decide whether or not your story needs something paranormal.

So, these are the questions I ask myself when I start a new project. Sometimes I already have these worked out when the idea hits me, but sometimes I don’t. If you’re uncertain about what direction to take your story, try asking yourself these questions. If you have questions you ask yourself to help you decide, I’d love to hear them! 

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