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All posts for the month September, 2015

Walker Wednesday – 30/09/15

Published September 30, 2015 by shellirosewarne

Hi all,

Now, I know I usually do Wolf Wednesday, but since it’s almost October and I’m preparing for the release of my zombie-themed book, I thought we might do something a little spookier for the next few weeks 🙂 We all know about zombies from books, movies and tv (anyone else anxiously waiting on the return of The Walking Dead?) but there’s a lot we don’t know – such as where the legends came from and some extra facts on the best way to survive in a zombie outbreak (hey, there was a blood moon this week – end of the world is apparently coming doncha know!). So, let’s start at the beginning 🙂

haitiThe modern idea of zombies is thought to have started in West African tribes and then traveled with captured slaves to Haiti, where it grew in belief. In Haitian folklore, zombies were classed as being dead people who were revived by dark magic (or necromancy) by bokors. These were dark sorcerers or priests and the raised corpse was completely under their control, their own personal slave, and could have been raised for various reasons such as revenge, power, or even cheap labour.

There is also a Haitian legend of an ‘astral zombie’, which was an incorporeal being considered to be a part of the human soul that was captured by the bokor in order to enhance their powers. They would even sell ‘bottled’ spirits to people for things such as luck or healing. It was believed that eventually God would take back the soul so the entrapment was only a temporary effect.

olde zombiesOne of the big beliefs of Haitian Voodoo was soul dualism. Therefore both these different types of zombies were only half whole – they were either missing the flesh or the spirit.

The Haitians also believe that feeding salt to a zombie would free it (possibly linked to the belief that salt could protect against dark magic). This didn’t mean the zombie would come back to life, but that it would be free from the bokor’s control and return to its grave.

The Haitians also had laws against the making of zombies, including one that states that if someone is drugged, buried alive and then dug up and revived, it is still classed as murder.

white zombieHaitian beliefs on zombies first came to notice in the Western world with William Seabrook’s book, The Magic Island (1929), which later inspired the first zombie movie, White Zombie (1932). This was also the first independent horror film to star horror icon Bela Lugosi.

Tuesday Teaser – 29/09/15

Published September 29, 2015 by shellirosewarne

Hey all,

Well, it’s Tuesday – which is always better than Monday, right? 😉 Thought I would share a wee teaser to hopefully help you through the week. Since I’ve just the release date for Love Reawakened, my zombie-themed romance, and I’m starting to get very excited, this week’s teaser comes from that. This is very close to the start, and shows Emma, our heroine and professional witch, getting in a little over her head. Hope you enjoy! 🙂

raise the dead 2She drew the circle carefully, making sure the whole of the grave was included, before starting on the symbols, protection, binding, summoning. It took a while. By the time she’d finished, she was aware of the restlessness from behind her, but chose to ignore it. Instead, she doubled checked each one carefully; after all, it wasn’t his ass on the line if something went wrong. Well, maybe it would be, but only after it had gone through her. She wasn’t keen on those odds. When she was confident everything was perfect, she carefully fetched the chicken.

It started up squawking again the moment she picked up the cage, almost as though it sensed something wrong. This was the part she hated. Gently, she placed cage on top of the grave, in the center of the circle, before laying a line of corn outside the cage door. Picking up the long knife, she hid it behind her back. Rationally, she knew the chicken probably had no clue what it was, but it seemed kinder in her own mind. The cage door opened with a click, and the bird happily followed the line of food, its head bobbing down merrily. Okay, get it over with. One quick stroke, and the creature didn’t have time to squeak before its blood gushed over her hand and onto the dirt below.

Shocked gasps came from behind her, but the vibrations were already running through the ground. Quickly, she smeared the blood around the edges of the circle. The energy was rising now, waves spreading out as the hairs on her arms stood up, and tiny tremors ran through the soles of her shoes. She drew a final symbol in the blood on the gravestone itself, the rough stone grazing her fingers and making the lines awkward.

“Patrick Connell, rise. Come from your grave at my command. Rise from your sleep at my bidding.”

The earth in front of her practically bubbled now, and then it parted, and a tall figure emerged. Neil almost shrieked behind her, but her attention stayed focused on the corpse in front of her. He was newly dead and perfectly preserved. In fact, gazing at him, you would barely know the difference if you saw him walking down the street. She was quite proud. She didn’t do this spell much, but this was a damn good raising!

“Patrick Connell, you have been raised at my command. You will do as I say and nothing more, bound to me by blood and magic. Do you understand and obey?”

The corpse looked at her, surprising clarity in his deep blue eyes. She didn’t think she’d ever raised one this ‘new’ before, and it was actually a little disconcerting how alive he appeared. He’d obviously been a handsome man, tall with broad shoulders, thick dark hair, strong jaw, and quite startling eyes. Then he opened his mouth and said a single word.

“No.”

graveyard_by_chrisrosewarne

Artist credits to: http://rustymermaiddolls.blogspot.co.uk/2010_10_01_archive.html

http://chrisrosewarne.deviantart.com/art/Graveyard-138390015

(The second one is no relation – I was just as surprised to see the name as you!)

Monday Catch Up

Published September 28, 2015 by shellirosewarne

Hi all,

Well, it’s been a busy month – managed a weekend home, where it’s always lovely to catch up with family and friends, and a short visit to the Highlands. Stunning scenery and I’m very lucky to have it just a few hours away. Have shared a few piccies so you can see what I mean 🙂 The first one is Eilean Donan Castle, which you might recognise from various films, and most of the rest are on the Isle of Skye.

IMG_2155IMG_2227 IMG_2201 IMG_2260 IMG_2289 IMG_2330

On the writing front, it’s been all go as well. I’ve been lucky enough to find a new home for Love Reawakened with Three Worlds Press – and have just found out my new release date is going to be the 15th October. Exciting! It’s creeping up fast though so am busy with final edits and starting up promo things etc. I also have a lovely new cover that I can’t wait to share with you (soon, honest!).

I’ve really enjoyed delving back into this world, and have already started on book 2. For those of you who may have read already, it’s going to be Ailsa’s story – but don’t worry I’m going to get to Carisa and Deacon soon! I’m also writing a short prequel showing how Emma and Garret first met, which is probably going to be a free read on here, so keep an eye out 😉

Hope you’re all having a wonderful start to the week. Take care x

Untitled_Panorama1

My Sexy Saturday – 26/09/2015

Published September 26, 2015 by shellirosewarne

Hi all,

I’m really happy to be joining the My Sexy Saturday blog hop today. Since I’ve been editing Love Reawakened for its re-release next month, I thought I would share an excerpt from it (and hopefully I should be able to show you the shiny new cover very soon!). Hope you enjoy!

1798190_716926988348019_862364079_n

She sighed. “I’m sure that’s not the case, but either way, you’re alive. So surely it’s worth it?”

He supposed it had to be. He stroked his thumb over the back of her hand, the softness and warmth of her skin soothing him. She smiled down at him.

“Besides, if you’re talking about owing people, don’t I get anything for helping keep you alive back there?”

He grinned at her. “Nice try, honey. If I remember rightly, I got injured by your zombie, while saving your ass. So if anything, you should owe me.”

She leaned forward, a wicked glint in her eyes that sent blood pooling to certain areas.

“Is that so?” she whispered, her lips a breath away from his. “I kinda liked the idea of you owing me.”

He swallowed. “Oh yeah? And what would you be wanting in payment?”

Don’t forget to check out the other great authors taking part here: http://mysexysaturday.blogspot.co.uk/

Have a great weekend x

New Release – The Scandalous Proposal of Lord Bennett by Raven McAllan

Published September 25, 2015 by shellirosewarne

Hi all,

I’m thrilled to have the lovely Raven McAllan visiting today with her new release, The Scandalous Proposal of Lord Bennett (well, I’m intrigued already!). If you love a bit of Regency (and really, who doesn’t?) you’ll love Raven’s sizzling stories. *sits back and puts her feet up*

Hi everyone. It’s great to be here and talking about my latest book, The Scandalous Proposal of Lord Bennett.
It’s my debut novel with Carina, out on 22nd of September on Amazon and Kobo. I’m more than a little excited. As every publishing house works in different ways, it’s been a steep, and thrilling learning curve. I’m enjoying every second of it.
I fell into writing Regency romance almost by accident. I’ve always been fascinated by that era, by the undercurrents and the secrets that filled the ton and the way people behaved, and decided I’d like to see if I could put some of the machinations and romance into words.
Let’s hope I’ve succeeded.

blog ravenBlurb…

To have and to hold?
Reluctant debutante Lady Clarissa Macpherson has never forgotten the forbidden kiss she shared with notorious rake, Lord Theodore ‘Ben’ Bennett, all those years ago. Even now, he’s the one man who sets Clarissa’s pulse racing and her skin tingling – no matter how hard she tries to ignore it!
Yet, when Ben rescues her from the unwanted advances of a drunken Lord at a society ball, she finds herself in a most scandalous predicament – engaged, to the most eligible bachelor in London!
Wedded? It appears so, but bedded? Clarissa demands more from her marriage than simply surrendering to her new husband’s sexual desires, especially when she realises she’s falling deeper in love with him every single day. Ben must prove that she’s the only woman for him – and surrender his heart!
Yet resisting her new husband’s delicious seduction may prove the hardest thing Clarissa has ever done…

A wee tease…

‘All the gardens were my mama’s favourites when she was alive.’ Stupid. After all, how could they be if she were dead? ‘She would have said exactly the same with regard to the staff. I’ll make a note to let them know.’ He experienced the usual sharp pang of loss that hit him whenever he thought of his long-gone mama. She had passed when he was at Eton, and Ben still experienced the loss, as if it were the day before. ‘I feel they may be neglected somewhat. I’m sure she – I – would be happy for your input.’
Her sigh stirred the hairs on his neck.
‘You don’t like the idea?’ He’d thought she’d be pleased. Truly the way a woman’s mind worked could be a mystery. For one fleeting moment Ben had a vision of his last mistress. Her mind worked in one way only – calculating what was in it for her. He had parted company with the fair lady when her demands began to be inappropriate. Right from the start he’d told her it was a temporary liaison and, whatever she’d thought, he’d had no intention of altering the status quo. And now he was married? Ben had an uneasy feeling life might not be the same, even though he thought he and his wife had come to an understanding.
‘The gardens?’ he prompted Clarissa when it seemed she wasn’t going to answer.
‘Oh yes, the gardens. Perhaps.’ Her offhand, indifferent tone of voice irritated him. The knock on the door came as a welcome relief. Ben was out of his depth, and he didn’t like the sensation.
He liked the news even less.
‘What do you mean, some idiot’s driven into my coach?’ He roared the words, and blinked rapidly, as if the gesture would change the declaration uttered by the harried footman in front of him. ‘How the hades did you let that happen?’
Clarissa placed her hand on Ben’s arm. How he stopped himself from shaking it off, he had no idea. He glanced at her impatiently. She stood her ground and returned his perusal.
‘My lord, have you never heard the expression do not shoot the messenger? Scraptoft here is only relaying what’s happened. He is neither responsible for it, nor able to alter the chain of events. He’s told you about the accident, and you need to go and see for yourself what’s to be done.’
The footman flashed a grateful glance in her direction and Ben gritted his teeth. She was right, of course, but he didn’t like to be reminded of it in such a fashion.
‘Of course, my dear, you are, as ever, correct.’ He cursed the defensive tone.
‘I accept your apologies and acknowledgement, my lord.’ The words and intonation were dulcet, the look in her eyes not so. ‘I will arrange for our food to be delayed until your return.’
Ben nodded curtly. ‘Thank you. My apologies, Scraptoft. It is, of course, not your doing. Forgive me – I was somewhat perturbed.’ He gestured to the man to precede him, and turned back to his wife once the other man had left the room.
‘I trust you can entertain yourself while I’m away?’
Her eyes filled with mischief, and he could have sworn she choked back a laugh.
‘Of course, sir. I have a book.’

blog raven 2

Hmm, well you can never be bored with a book, right 😉 Hehe, well I think that’s my weekend reading sorted. If you want to get hold of a copy as well, you can find the buy links here:

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Kobo

Hope you enjoy!

Thursday Tall Tales – Tempting Sin Part One

Published September 24, 2015 by shellirosewarne

Hi all,

Well, it’s getting towards weekend, and to hopefully speed you along towards Friday I’m starting a new Thursday post called Tall Tales, where I’m going to share some short stories with you in a few installments.

The first is called Tempting Sin, and some of you may have come across it before in the now recalled anthology My Bloody Valentine. I really hope you enjoy it and, as always feedback is welcome 🙂

Tempting Sin

598591_150933858449834_2080588945_nThe world was spread out before her, rolling hills and quaint villages. If she strained, she could make out people scrambling in their busy little lives, so convinced of their importance. If only they could see things from here, perhaps they would realize the insignificance of it all.

Perhaps her life was no better. Lately, she’d been feeling dissatisfied, and that shouldn’t be in her nature.

“Enjoying the view?” The low voice made her jump and she spun around, shocked.

“What are you doing here?” she snapped.

He laughed, spreading his hands wide, a gesture of innocence she knew he didn’t possess. “It’s a free sky.”

She glared at him. Sin was always appealing—it was designed that way—so it shouldn’t surprise her that he was gorgeous. Well over six feet, heavy muscles under pale skin, one arm encircled by an intricate set of tattoos that wrapped lovingly around his biceps. His face was masculine perfection: strong lines, dark hair, and eyes the deep green of emeralds. Gazing into them, Isaura could almost see the flickering flames in their depths. She was well aware that she shouldn’t look, but sometimes it was just too tempting.

“Surely there’s plenty of sky,” she retorted. “Must you pick the same cloud as me?”

He smiled; really, that smile should be outlawed. “There is indeed, but then I came for the view as well.” His gaze was bold and slightly amused as it ran over her.

“Go find another view,” she told him sharply.

“You know, you’re blushing.”

She glared. Lying was a sin, so she couldn’t deny it, but she didn’t see the need to admit to it, either.

His eyes mocked her. “Still sticking with the guys upstairs, then?”

She nodded shortly, turning away.

“A shame.” His voice had dropped and she felt it running down her spine. “It’s so much more fun below. But then you’re too pure to be tempted by anything like that. Aren’t you, Isaura?”

She half-turned, surprised he knew her name. He took a step closer, his body brushing up against hers. An odd tingle ran through her, an unfamiliar feeling starting in her stomach and pooling lower.

“It’s called desire,” he murmured.

She should leave, run away and never see him again. Despite herself she was curious; it was intense, so far away from anything she’d experienced. She recalled the restlessness she’d been experiencing lately, the desire for something else, something new.

That deep green gaze was consuming her. She couldn’t look away as his head dipped and his lips covered hers. The softest brush of flesh, but over and over until her lips tingled and burned and she felt herself parting them on a soft gasp. His tongue slipped between them, the kiss deepening, becoming more desperate, needy. Flames spread through her body as her blood caught on fire. The sensations were earthier, more elemental than anything she had experienced, and yet they made her feel lighter, freer than she had in a long time.

He released her. She knew she ought to rail at him, but instead her fingers crept to her swollen lips, feeling oddly bereft.

“I have watched you for a long time, Isaura. You are not meant to be on high. It is not where you belong.”

Isaura wanted to protest, but she had the same doubts, the same questions herself lately.

“Where do I belong, then?” she whispered.

He smiled at her. “With me.”

Shock went through her. “I can’t. I would have to fall.”

His gaze was mocking. “It’s not as bad as they make out, my dear. Besides, you are hardly the pure of mind and heart, are you?”

She blushed again; right now her thoughts seemed to be entirely impure—almost downright wicked. He grinned as though he knew exactly what they were.

“It is a free choice. When you decide, come and find me.”

Before she could reply, he stepped off the edge of the fluffy cloud, floating lazily for a moment before disappearing. She had no idea how he did that. If she fell, she would lose her powers, be essentially mortal. It was a ridiculous thought and based on nothing but a kiss! It was too much to give up.1509164_610462822340852_717518126_nArtwork credits:

Esther Puche – http://estherpuche-art.deviantart.com/

Anne Stokes – http://www.annestokes.com/

Wolf Wednesday – 23/09/2015

Published September 23, 2015 by shellirosewarne

Hi all,

Since you know I’m a huge wolf fan, I thought I would share some wolfie facts with you once a week. And since it’s apparently ‘hump day’ let’s also throw in some cuteness and start with wolf pups 🙂

baby wolves in snowPups are born completely blind and deaf (but have a keen sense of smell), depending on their mother and other members of the pack.

All the wolves in a pack help take care of the pups. When the pups are very small, other pack members bring food to the mother so she does not have to leave the den. When the pups are a little bigger, pack members “take turns” bringing them food, playing with them and even “baby sitting.” cute baby wolfOnce the pups are about eight weeks old, they leave the den and start using “rendezvous sites.” These are meeting places where the wolves gather to sleep, play and just “hang out.” Until the pups are old enough to go with the adults they stay at the rendezvous site. Often, one of the adult wolves stays with the pups to watch over them.

When the pups are around six months old, they look almost like adult wolves. Around this time they start hunting with the rest of the pack.

Most wolf pups are born with blue eyes, which gradually change to a yellow-gold color by eight to sixteen weeks, though sometimes their eyes can change color much later. Occasionally, a mature wolf will be found with blue eyes.

cute wolf

Cuteness overload? Never 😉 But if you haven’t got your wolfie fix yet, why not check out Scarlett Legacy and see my very own Big Bad Wolf? The link is here:

myBook.to/ScarlettLegacy