Saturday, October 27, 2012

Chocolate-Covered Bliss

The winner of the Chocolate-Covered Bliss
Starter Kit is Bonnie! Thanks to all who entered. :-)

Before I get to the yummy title of this post, I'd like to remind everyone that the fabulous giveaway of 24 books from your favorite Supernatural Underground authors ends October 31st! If you haven't entered yet... Well, why not? Just click on the pumpkins below.

Now about the yummy--oh, something else to talk about first. At Paranormal Haven, they're having a month-long event called Halloween at the Haven. My turn for a guest post and giveaway came up yesterday, and I can't resist sharing my post with you. I wrote a paranormal short story, "Deadline," with a Halloween theme, with two different endings. You get to choose the one you like best! To read this original story making its debut now, just click on the story's title in drippy blood below. While you're there, you can enter the giveaway if you wish. 

Read my new short story!

Now, about that chocolate-covered yum. I saw a trailer for Skyfall, the new James Bond movie, the other day. After I was done squeeeeing over Daniel Craig, it popped into my head that This Was the Man I'd Most Like to Cover in Chocolate (after my husband, of course--this disclaimer, whether I remember to put it in or not, is always to be understood. Right? Right.).

So now I'm holding that thought and I figure I have not only the title for my post but an idea for too-cute giveaway, too. I'm offering a Chocolate-Covered Bliss starter kit. All you have to do is get Daniel to whisper yes ... to you. Enter the Rafflecopter drawing below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Coming Up on 1 November: An Interview with Merrie Destefano


Just a heads up that on 1 November I'll be featuring an interview with fellow Supernatural Underground author, Merrie Destefano – primarily talking her YA paranormal Fathom, but also generally chatting about her experience as an author and the paranormal genre.

Fun stuff, so I hope you'll check out the goodness an maybe and join in the conversation with a comment. Merrie and I would love to have you on board! :)


Halloween Giveaway

In the meantime, just a reminder re our all-out Supernatural Underground Halloween giveaway of 24 books by Harper Collins authors affiliated with the blog – if you haven't already signed up for this then it's not too late: just click here to join in via the rafflecopter. 


YA Giveaway

If you like giveaways and YA, I'm running a giveaway for three great YA novels on my blog this week: Rae Carsons Fire and Thorns, Kristen Cashore's Bitterblue, and Tamora Pierce's Beka Cooper: Mastiff.

I run giveaways like these from time to time when a few good books come my way and all you have to do is post a comment to enter – just click here.

(PS It's international.)


Otherwise, see you all again on the 1st for my interview with Merrie Destefano! :)

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Half-naked Men!

Congratulations to Patricia of Michigan for winning Phineas's book and giant poster! Thank you all for the comments!  Please come back November 25th when I'll be giving away a T-shirt with Howard's book cover on it!!

Did that title catch your eye?  Then the covers of my books should draw your attention, too, for they have been blessed with some spectacular half-naked men. Granted, it's the top half of the man that's naked.  Avon wants the print copies to appear on store shelves without causing cardiac arrest. And we want you to be able to read them without hiding them in a lunch sack. So we're basically talking chests here.  Gorgeous, rippled, drool-worthy chests.

Here's Howard's chest.  Yes, he has a handsome face, but that takes about a millisecond to recognize before the gaze gravitates back to his chest. I've heard there's a girl in the picture, but I haven't noticed her yet.  Oh right, the heroine, Elsa something or other. But back to Howard's chest.  It's a bit gray in color, but that hasn't detracted from the delicious contours of his six-pack. Why gray? Because when he shifts into a bear, he turns gray for a few seconds.  I guess Elsa what's-her-name is about to find herself hugging a big Kodiak bear. But that doesn't stop her from rubbing her hands over his gorgeous chest.  It wouldn't stop me, either.

By the way, Howard's book, Wild About You, goes on sale November 27th.  If you bought my historical romance, The Forbidden Lady, (and I hope you did!) then you got a sneak peek at Howard's book.

And here's Phineas's chest. Another piece of art from the Avon art department. Where do they find these guys?  I've been to New York City several times, and I haven't seen these gorgeous men.  If they ever appeared, there would be a twenty-car pile up on Park Avenue.  But back to the chest. While Howard's chest is silver, Phineas's chest is gold. They did that so it would look like an old-timey Western photo. And the photo here is actually a giant poster of Phineas.  When I did a booksigning at Joseph-Beth Booksellers in Lexington, Kentucky, they made this giant poster and gave it to me. Wasn't that wonderful of them? The poster is six feet long and almost three feet wide!  That is one big, hunky chest!

And it could be yours!!  Yes, I am giving away the giant poster of Phineas today!  One lucky person will win a signed copy of Phineas's book, Wanted: Undead or Alive, plus the poster of the book featuring Phineas's magnificent chest!  International entries welcome.  Just leave a comment about which romance hero you think has the best chest!  Good luck!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Graveyard Gothic Garden Giveaway!

Only one week left until Halloween, and to celebrate today's release of BLOOD BY MOONLIGHT, I'm already handing out the treats!

Come to the dark side of the garden with this super cool "Graveyard Gothic Garden" terrarium... you don't need a green thumb when a black one will do! :)

Spooky plants like Moonflower, Black Dragon Coleus, Dragon Tree Dracaena and the mysterious "Sensitive" plant, grown in a creepily decorative little container complete with tombstone stakes, blood rocks, skulls and spiders! Go ahead, enter! Winner will be announced on (when else?) October 31, 2012!! a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Fears under the bright sun

Spring has sprung here in Australia. It's getting warm, birds are singing, grass is growing, lawns are being mowed (I write this to remind myself that I need to get the mower out...)

Spring also brings one of the things I fear most in the world. Magpies.

Magpies are a songbird that can be found in Europe, Asia and Australia. There was a theory being mooted a few years ago that all songbirds have evolved from the magpie. This is a magpie singing:

Pretty, isn't it? It's a lovely sound to wake to.

Unfortunately, they don't just sing. In springtime, when they are nesting, they do this:

I first got swooped by a magpie when I was 11 years old. We were walking home from school, and my brothers and I decided (for reasons that must have been apparent at the time) that rather than go around a tree, we would climb up and through the fork in the middle of the tree. My two brothers got through not a problem. I was stradling the fork in the tree when something hit the back of my head - hard.

I was down that tree and across the paddock in record-breaking time. I was crying, shaking, screaming. One of my brothers went back to get my school bag and I screamed when he was swooped. We took so long to get home that my father ended up coming out to find us.

I've been terrified of magpies ever since. My terror is not helped by the fact that there's something about me that magpies love - I've been swooped the length and breadth of this great country.

I don't mind magpies in general. I'm quite happy to walk right next to one on the ground any other time of the year. But in swooping season...

So while it's bright and sunny and getting warm here in Australia while in the Northern Hemisphere things are darkening and Halloween looms, don't worry - there's still enough here to scare the willies out of us at this time of the year.

Oh, and in case you were wondering - yeah, spring is when the spiders and snakes get active.

Who'd live in Australia, huh? ME!


To help me get over my fear, why not buy one of my books? The electronic versions of the Dream of Asarlai trilogy is on special at the moment. Each book is just $3!
Apple/iTunes -

Kindle -

Kobo -
Don't forget - buy the Kobo books, read them on the Kobo app on iPhone or iPad and you can read my author comments in all three books!

Friday, October 19, 2012

In the darkest shade @ThePoetTrees

Read Sample
Plato said; Poetry is nearer to vital truth than history.
      Poetic prose included. In fact, any writing that expresses a raw emotion or insight into humanity is arguably poetic - whether it's seen through the eyes of a human, or a supernatural creature in fiction.
      So yes, that includes quotes from our favourite books, songs, computer games and movies. It includes the first liners from our favourites that are great hooks for sucking us in to the rest of the series… and the punch lines that leave us reeling, long after we’ve forgotten the rest of the story. It even includes “wow words” from YOU, oh shy one lurking back there in the darkest shadows… whether you consider yourself to be a writer or not. You see things, hear things, and over time, you process and reinterpret from your own perspective. You collect memories as lessons in life, and that intrigues me.
Everything we see is a perspective... - Marcus Aurelius
I don’t see the world the same way that you do. A sight malfunction developed during my teens, and impedes me - the same kind of “lens distortion” that inspired my Diamond Eyes trilogy in the first place. And while I can’t see through time like my heroine, Mira Chambers, the condition still served as the source of inspiration for the Poet Trees (Mira’s childhood home), where wise words have been embossed in pretty gold Braille to help keep her out of trouble – usually.
First Poet Tree in the World, created by a fan at Alice Springs, in central Australia -
It's on a tree called a "ghost gum" which is especially spooky, not only because of the "ghostly" way Mira sees through Time, but also because these trees really do glow like ghosts  under moonlight...
and the Braille says: 2C is 2Know... Amen, sister!
In a perfect world, every city would have a Poet Tree – a place where local writers could leave behind their insights as entertainment and lessons for future generations. In the real world, we call it a library.
So like an alien  or supernatural creature who's studying your species, I’m already breathless, waiting for your next move to entertain me. Quit being so darn quiet and grab this fleeting moment to say something startling… or I’ll have to poke you. ;)
Hide inside a Halloween costume, if that’s what it takes to express the most insightful side of you this month. But do it! Read, write, regurgitate. Share the one-liners that have meant something special to you, or to your own fans.
Tweet your favourite quotes from books to me @ThePoetTrees
Or FB me on FB  at

Or you can even reply in the comments below, and then I'll tweet, like, share, pin, post, blog
and shout in every space, place, group, troup, nook, book, cloud, crowd, wall and hall I can find, because @ThePoetTrees wisdom grows by sharing. And so does fun.

So don't forget to include a short link to the book itself, where we can buy it, and/or read a sample.

And when  you've done that - like good little mice in a maze - you can treat yourself to an entry in this Month's Major Supernatural Giveaway for Halloween.
Plus for a bonus, click below to enter for your chance at a copy of Leopard Dreaming over at
And good luck, humans!  (And anyone else who's lurking in the shadows this month.)

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Leopard Dreaming by A.A. Bell

Leopard Dreaming

by A.A. Bell

Giveaway ends November 29, 2012.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter to win

Related Links:

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Play the "Blood by Moonlight" Game!

As Halloween grows ever closer, I thought it might be time for a little "trick-or-treating" here in the Underground!  While I can't hold your hand while I take you from door-to-door, I can offer you a completely different type of treat - a spooky first-person adventure through some moon-lit woods!

Are you brave enough?

Take a moment, and gather your nerve, while I tell you a little about BLOOD BY MOONLIGHT, an upcoming Halloween anthology from Avon Impulse.

Here's the official description, straight from Amazon:

Just in time for the scariest season of all, three popular paranormal authors come together to tell original tales of romance beneath a Halloween moon . . .

In Terri Garey's The Ghoul Next Door, a witch and a warlock battle it out for possession of a haunted house, but the ghost may have her own agenda . . .

Tempers flare and passions rise in Jocelynn Drake's Of Monsters and Men as the local werewolf pack clashes with the Winter Court's Wild Hunt . . .

And, in Trick or Treathen by Caris Roane, a master vampire struggles to stay away from the mortal woman who enflames his very soul.

Yep, that's three all-new spooky tales of love and romance, all for only $1.99!! Werewolves, witches, ghosts and vampires... BLOOD BY MOONLIGHT is now available for pre-order, and will be officially released on October 23, 2012!

Ok, are you ready for a little Halloween adventure?


Wednesday, October 10, 2012

October News

Night Forbidden 
by Joss Ware
September 31, 2012

The world is ash, destroyed, and now controlled by Strangers. Survivors live in constant peril. But in the heart of Envy, resistance grows . . .
Somehow Bruno "Fence" Washington survived the apocalypse—emerging from a Sedona cave into a strange and terrible new world . . . fifty years later. Now, scouring the ruined earth for answers about the malevolent Strangers, the former extreme sportsman encounters an Amazonian beauty who calls to his every desire, but whose secret could mean his end.
Ana grew up in the ocean, diving far beneath the waves to the remnants of a world she never knew. Try as she might she can't resist the man who tempts her in ways she never knew possible . . . whose touch elicits truths she swore never to reveal. But the passion between them won't be denied even though it means facing a new evil rising up from the roiling waters to blanket the world in unending night.

Angel's Ink
by Jocelynn Drake
October 16, 2012

Buyer beware . . .
Looking for a tattoo—and maybe a little something extra: a burst of good luck, a dollop of true love, or even a hex on an ex? Head to the quiet and mysterious Gage, the best skin artist in town. Using unique potions—a blend of extraordinary ingredients and special inks—to etch the right symbol, he can fulfill any heart's desire. But in a place like Low Town, where elves, faeries, trolls, werewolves, and vampires happily walk among humanity, everything has its price.
No one knows that better than Gage. Turning his back on his own kind, he left the magical Ivory Tower where cruel witches and warlocks rule, a decision that cost him the right to practice magic. And if he disobeys, his punishment—execution—will be swift.
Though he's tried to fly under the radar, Gage can't hide from powerful warlocks who want him dead—or the secrets of his own past. But with the help of his friends, Trixie, a gorgeous elf who hides her true identity, and a hulking troll named Bronx, Gage might just make it through this enchanted world alive.

To Hell and Back
by Juliana Stone
October 30, 2012

Juliana Stone continues Logan and Kira's epic love story, first seen in Wrong Side of Hell.

All Logan Winters wants is to be left alone with the woman he loves. But fate isn't on his side, and the demon Lilith is not to be trifled with. She wants to know the secrets he will never give up, and he'll do anything to make sure they stay hidden. On the run, with a secret of her own to keep and protect, Kira Dove must do whatever it takes to survive. But Kira and Logan soon discover that the path to salvation is littered with treachery, and they'll each have to journey to hell and back to make sure their love survives the oncoming storm...

Wild About You
by Kerrelyn Sparks
November 27, 2012

Handsome Howard . . .
Hunky Howard . . .
Hot Howard . . .

It's not every day that Elsa Bjornberg feels delicate, not when she hosts a home renovation show where she can effortlessly demolish a kitchen. But from the moment she meets Howard Barr, this bear of a man makes her feel like a woman. And the way he looks at her, as if she were a pot of honey he'd like to lick . . .

Howard is not like most men. For one thing, he's a shapeshifter. And he always thought his celebrity crush would never amount to anything more than drooling at Elsa on TV. When his meddling vampire employer gets involved, the star is suddenly within his grasp—and within a hair of her life. For an ancient curse forbids their newfound love, and Howard is suddenly torn between his desire for her and his desire to keep her alive.


by Merrie Destefano
September 24, 2012

Turning sixteen can be hell, especially if everyone in town thinks your mother killed herself and your sister. All Kira Callahan wants to do is swim, hang out with her best friend, Sean, and ignore the kids who torment her at school. That is, until one day when she gets invited to a party. For three minutes her life is wonderful—she even kisses Sean. Then somebody spikes her drink and some girls from out of town lure her into the ocean and hold her underwater. 

Kira soon discovers that the group of wild teenagers who have come to visit Crescent Moon Bay are not as innocent as they seem. In fact, nothing is as it seems—not the mysterious deaths of her sister and mother, not her heritage, not even her best friend. And everything seems to hinge on the ancient Celtic legends that her mother used to tell her as a child.

Two and Twenty Dark Tales
Including Leigh Fallon
October 16, 2012

In this anthology, 20 authors explore the dark and hidden meanings behind some of the most beloved Mother Goose nursery rhymes through short story retellings. The dark twists on classic tales range from exploring whether Jack truly fell or if Jill pushed him instead to why Humpty Dumpty, fragile and alone, sat atop so high of a wall. The authors include Nina Berry, Sarwat Chadda, Leigh Fallon, Gretchen McNeil, and Suzanne Young.

Contest by Jocelynn Drake:

Want to win a signed copy of Angel's Ink?  I will be giving away 5 signed copies of Angel's Ink on Goodreads.  The contest runs through October 26 and is open to residents of U.S. Canada, and the U.K.

Supernatural Underground Halloween Giveaway

This contest has ended. Congrats to the winner: Sonia S., Entry #3218!! The winner was determined by Sonia has 3 days to respond to our email. If we haven't heard from her by then, another winner will be chosen. Thank you to everyone who participated in this event!!

On All Hallows Eve, the sky darkens, the wind blows, and everyone dons costumes, a futile attempt to disguise themselves from the supernatural creatures that are allowed to prowl the streets, one night a year. Ghosts, werewolves, vampires, shape shifters, mermaids and Selkies—these are the sort of creatures that make the rest of the world tremble. But here, on the Supernatural Underground, well, that’s a different story.

Here, we invite the monsters inside. We open the door willingly. Monsters and ghosts and shape shifters get the best seat at our table. We sit, rapt, as they tell us their Halloween Tale of Woe. We lean forward, eager to find out what happens next.

Their stories are like candy to us.

And isn’t that what everyone freely gives away on Halloween—handfuls of delicious candy? That’s what we’re doing, right here, right now. We’re giving away Supernatural Underground candy this month.

We’re giving away a Supernatural Underground Halloween Book Prize Pack, filled with 24 books, all written by Supernatural Underground authors. All you have to do is fill out the Rafflecopter at the bottom of the page.

The list of amazing books in this giveaway is below.

PLEASE NOTE: Some of these books are e-books, so the winner should have access to an e-reader.


The Body Finder and swag by Kimberly Derting

Nightspell by Leah Cypess

Ascension by Sable Grace

Afterlife + Fathom (e-book) by Merrie Destefano

A Blood Seduction by Pamela Palmer

Wrong Side of Hell + To Hell And Back (both e-books) by Juliana Stone

The Heir of Night, US edition by Helen Lowe

Dream of Asarlai trilogy (Secret Ones, Power Unbound, Rogue Gadda) in e-book by Nicole Murphy

Night Forbidden by Joss Ware

Angel's Ink by Jocelynn Drake

A Devil Named Desire by Terri Garey

Tatsania's Gift (e-book) by Kim Falconer

Darkness Becomes Her by Jaime Rush

Last Vamp Standing by Kristin Miller

Diamond Eyes by AA Bell

Wanted: Undead or Alive by Kerrelyn Sparks

One Grave at a Time + Once Burned by Jeaniene Frost

Diaries of an Urban Panther by Amanda Arista

Carrier of the Mark by Leigh Fallon

Just fill out the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win. Open internationally. Contest begins October 10 and ends October 31. Winner will be announced on November 1.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

To Hell and Back...

All right thanks for all your comments and now I have some new reads to add to my TBR pile!  The winner of her choice of either WRONG SIDE OF HELL  or TO HELL AND BACK (digital copy) is Tanya!

Happy Tuesday everyone!  The weather up here in Canuck land is cold, wet and well cold. Grrrrrrr, I'm not happy that the summer is over, we're well into fall and that winter is on the horizon. BUT, luckily for you I have something to heat things up!

On October 30th, the second novella in my LEAGUE OF GUARDIANS series, TO HELL AND BACK, releases and things are definitely hot for my hellhound, Logan Winters.  This second novella continues Logan and Kira's story, first started in WRONG SIDE OF HELL, and yes, you need to read the first one in order to know what is going on in this second one.

A quick recap:

With battle lines drawn and evil forces gathering in the shadows, the league of guardians is all that stands between chaos and the human realm...

Logan Winters, an elite hellhound shifter, wants to forget his allegiance to the League and the pain he's suffered because of it. But when he's ordered to retrieve Kira Dove from purgatory and bring her back to life, he can't refuse. Not only will her death affect the balance between the realms, she's also linked to a past he can't forget.

Kira Dove, a young woman murdered before her time, wanders the gray realm, alone and vulnerable. The one bright spot in her life is the memory of a mysterious protector who saved her once before. As she makes her way through this terrifying place, she can't help but wonder...will he come for her again?

As Logan races to save her, he knows he faces a nearly impossible task: How can a hellhound survive in the one place he shouldn't ever be? The wrong side of hell...

And now it continues... 

 Logan and Kira’s epic love story, first seen in Wrong Side of Hell, continues…

All Logan Winters wants is to be left alone with the woman he loves. But fate isn’t on his side and the demon Lilith isn’t to be trifled with. She wants to know the secrets he will never give up and he’ll do anything to make sure they stay hidden.

On the run, with a secret of her own to keep and protect, Kira Dove must do whatever it takes to survive. But Kira and Logan soon discover that the path to salvation is littered with treachery, and they’ll each have to journey to hell and back to make sure their love survives the oncoming storm…

To celebrate my upcoming release, I'll award one winner you choice of either WRONG SIDE OF HELL or TO HELL AND BACK, (digital copy)

In order to win you must leave a comment below and tell me what book is your most anticipated read in the next few months!  I need some new recommends, so have at it!
Please note you can read an exclusive excerpt of TO HELL AND BACK by clicking on the title!  As well, I've been posting a free online read at my website.  THREE YEARS DEAD is a superhero, urban fantasy and you can catch up HERE.

And, if any of you readers enjoy contemporary romance as well, I've a new release, a hockey romance with a heroine who is the hot shot hockey player!  OFFSIDE is a total blast and you can read an excerpt by clicking on the title!

Also, tomorrow, stay tuned as we've got a massive contest running here at the Supernatural Underground.  Over 22 books will be awarded featuring all of your favorite authors including, Pamela Palmer, myself, Jeaniene Frost, Terri Garey, Merrie Destefano, Joss Ware, Sable Grace and so many more!  Make sure to check back! 

All right, a bit of a long winded post, but there is a lot of good stuff here and remember to check back tomorrow for the big contest here!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Bubble Bubble Toil and Trouble

Can the right tattoo help you get your dream job?  Can the right tattoo bring you love?  Can the right tattoo bring you good luck, fame, or revenge?

In Low Town, it can.  Stop by Asylum Tattoo and Potion Parlor and schedule an appointment with Gage, Trixie, or Bronx.  A quick potion and a little ink, and you can be one step closer to your dreams.

**DISCLAIMER: Asylum does not guarantee the results of any potion placed in a tattoo.  The tattoo artist cannot be held responsible for any negative or unexpected potion reactions if the client fails to inform the artist of any prior potions that may have been used.  Humans under the age of 18 and elves under the age of 50 cannot be tattooed without the presence and signed approval of a legal guardian.  All tattoo artists have been tested and licensed through the Tattoo Artists and Potion Stirrers Society (TAPSS).  Management retains the right to deny any customer service and can throw your ass out the door if you're a crybaby in the chair**

Asylum is owned and operated by Gage Powell.  While Gage has established himself as one of the top tattoo artists in Low Town and in the industry, he's got a secret that he's struggling to keep a lid on.  You see, Gage is a former warlock-in-training.  And while it might sound like fun having magic at your fingertips, Gage is praying the people of Low Town don't find out.  Witches and warlocks are widely hated among the people of the world and Gage is hoping not to be hunted down for something that is little more than an accident of birth.

With help from his friends and coworkers Bronx and Trixie, Gage reveals his highly developed skill at getting into trouble.  Want proof?

The Asylum Interviews: Bronx -- Tattooing an incubus has unexpected consequences that could spell disaster for the inhabitants of Low Town.  Now available as an e-book for only $1.99.
Kindle  Nook  Kobo  iBookstore

The Asylum Interviews: Trixie -- Gage takes on a master vampire when he tries to help his ex-girlfried, but things don't work out quite how he hoped.  Now available as an e-book for only $1.99.
Kindle  Nook  Kobo  iBookstore

Angel's Ink -- Fulfilling a dying girl's wish leads to bigger problems as Gage tries to dodge a pissed off warlock, the Low Town mafia, and elves trying to kidnap Trixie.  Available October 16 as a trade paperback, e-book, and audiobook..
Amazon  Barnes & Noble  iBookstore  Book Depository

Blood by Moonlight (anthology) -- Gage and Trixie try to protect the local werewolf pack when the Winter Court roll into town for All Hallows Eve.  Available on October 23 as an e-book for $1.99.
Kindle  Nook  iBookstore

Well, I've done my part in giving you enough to read to last for a week or two, right?  Let me add one last thing.  A contest.  Please use the button below to enter my giveaway on Goodreads.  I will be giving away 5 signed copies of Angel's Ink at the end of the month.  The contest is open to U.S., Canada, and U.K.


    Goodreads Book Giveaway


        Angel's Ink by Jocelynn Drake



          Angel's Ink


          by Jocelynn Drake


            Giveaway ends October 26, 2012.

            See the giveaway details
            at Goodreads.




      Enter to win

Happy Reading!

Love comes in many varied forms.  There is the love of family, love of country, and love of chocolate.  But for Jocelynn Drake, one truly treasured love is the love of a good story.  This Midwestern native spends the majority of her time lost in the strong embrace of a good book.  When she’s not hammering away at her keyboard, frowning at her monitor, or curled up with a book, she can usually be found cuddling with her cat Demona, walking her dog Max, or flinging curses at the TV while playing a video game.  Outside of books, cats, and video games, she is completely enamored of Bruce Wayne, Ezio Auditore, travel, tattoos, explosions, fast cars, and Anthony Bourdain (but only when he’s feeling really cranky).  Jocelynn created the Dark Days series and is now hard at work on the Asylum Tales series.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Playing hookie

I took the day off of work today. I caught a cold this weekend while walking in the rain with my husband. It was a little romantic but there is nothing romantic about a stuffy nose and fever.

So I'm sitting at home, wrapped up in my favorite sweater and an embarrassingly comfortable pair of lounge pants. And I've got the best medicine.

No its not the tea and honey I'm drinking from my TARDIS coffee mug.

No its not my puppies curled up next to me.

Its the unreal eyes of James Mcavoy. Every time I get sick, I reach for two movies: The Last Station and Penelope. There is just something about his twinkling smile and humble nature that just soothes all the aches and pains in my head.

These two movies not only speak to my complete adoration of Scottish men (I'm not allowed to go to Scotland by myself- husband's orders), but also to my story teller. The Last Station documents the last months of the great writer Leo Tolstoy. More importantly, its about his relationship with his wife, which apparently wasn't all romantic walks in the rain. It is a sweet look at love and life through the teal eyes of James' character. Penelope is a modern fairy tale about a girl who needs to love herself before she can be loved. I'm a sucker for a fairy tale and James plays the piano in it.

Sometimes its the simple things that make you feel better. A sweet movie, a cup of tea with jam (they drink loads of it in The Last Station), a warm blanket and some quiet.

What makes you feel better when you're sick? When you've had a rough day at work?
Hopefully its reading about your favorite Supernatural authors.

So I'm going to go back to the couch and watch a movie. Hope that this post finds you all happy and healthy and looking forward to this Halloween season.

Amanda Arista
Diaries of an Urban Panther

Monday, October 1, 2012

Spring, Autumn — & Something New for the Supernatural Underground

Those of you who visit me on my blog will know the tagline tells you that I am a "novelist, poet, interviewer and lover of story." 

Wordsworth's "Daffodils", a favourite spring poem   
The main focus of my posts here on the Supernatural Underground is as a novelist, but I have also done a couple of interviews now, with Juliet Marillier last month, here, and Beth-Anne Miller a while back, here. And on 1 August I talked about The Awesomeness of Story... So all bases covered, right — but no, hold on a minute, there's something from that tagline list that hasn't yet been covered on the Supernatural Underground.

Did you spot it, too? That's right, I realized that I hadn't yet done a poetry post. And since I was also reflecting on the slight disconnect of it being spring here in the southern hemisphere, where I'm writing this, while those reading it in the northern half of the world are just stepping into autumn — I thought. what better than sharing two poems, one for spring, and one for autumn...

For spring: 

The Begonias
Magnolia stellata

Mal pushes
each seedling down,
grime lining
the cracks in her hands,
eyes narrowed
against the sun's
low angle.  Usually
she crams her hair up
beneath an old hat—the floppy kind
that cricketers wear—
but today the hat is perched
amongst magnolia stellata
and Mal's hair
is a fraying rope
that follows the curve
of her spine, swinging
to every movement
of bend forward, sit back,
as she pauses, wiping
dirt across her face.  "I thought
you didn't like begonias,"
I say.  Mal shrugs.
"Mum always planted them here.
I thought I might as well …"
She seizes the hat,
pulls it low
across her eyes.

© Helen Lowe

Published in moments in the whirlwind, Ed. Barbara Strang, New Zealand Poetry Society, 2009

For autumn:

First snowfall

Aaaah, autumn,
the dying season of the year,
when shadows turn to grape,
chilled by the first, faint curl of mist
around the edges of the days,
foreshortened into clear, green twilights
as night shifts from summer's deep velvet
to frosty black, the stars glow colder,
more distant, the leaves turn
gold, bronze, crimson, scarlet,
Turning colors
bravura counterpoint to cooling days –
then fall in deep, rustling drifts
beneath austere branches, the earth
dark beneath their shadow, filled
with pale secrets, bulbs lying in
wait for spring's warm ambush
to burst out upon the world,
while far above their blind heads
smoke smudges the evening air,
breath hanging in the stillness
as feet stamp crisply, briskly,
knowing winter is almost here.

© Helen Lowe

Commended, Yellow Moon Competition (18: August 2005); Published Yellow Moon 18, Summer 2006


So how about you, Supernatural Undergrounders: do you have a favourite seasonal poem?  Or simply a favourite poem? Let me know with a comment. :)