Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!

Posted by: Angela Campbell

It's finally here - All Hallows' Eve - the day when many of us turn pumpkins into jack-o-lanterns, dress up as ghouls and princesses, pig out on candy, tell scary stories and watch horror films on TV (or hide inside with the lights off reading, hopefully, a great book!). For the Here Be Magic authors, it's also time to award one last treat and announce the grand prize winner of our Halloween Party Extravaganza!

Before we do so, I think I speak for all of us here at Here Be Magic in saying our thoughts and well wishes go out to any and all of our readers who were in the path of Hurricane Sandy this week. We hope you all are safe, dry and warm.

Now, for those who have been awaiting our grand prize announcement, well, what are you still waiting for? Adjust your costume, grab a cup of punch, and gather around.

First, we'd like to congratulate the winner of our Week 5 giveaway. Rene Swanberg, or the person of her choosing, will be forever immortalized in an upcoming book from R.L. Naquin. Congratulations, Rene!

Drum roll, please...

The winner of the e-reader (winner's choice of Kindle Fire HD/Nook HD) is Soha Molina! Congratulations, Soha! In addition to the e-reader, Soha will receive a gift basket of swag from Here Be Magic authors and a selection of free e-books.

I'd personally like to thank all of the authors who contributed to our prizes in October, and the following authors for sponsoring the grand prize:
Joely Sue Burkhart
Angela Campbell
Ruth A. Casie
Seleste Delaney
PG Forte
Jax Garren
Kaily Hart
Shona Husk
Inez Kelley
Jane Kindred
Nicole Luiken
R.L. Naquin
Janni Nell
Tia Nevitt
Annie Nicholas
Cindy Spencer Pape
Veronica Scott
Eleri Stone
Jody Wallace
Now let's crank up "Thriller" and see who among us remembers the moves, then we'll bob for apples! There's a few hours left to party hard. Won't you join us?

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

How to Catch a Vampire?

Posted by: Annie Nicholas




Catching a vampire is not an easy task or for the faint of heart.  Killing would appear easier since imprisonment isn’t necessary.

Why would I want to have a vampire? Obviously, you haven’t read any of my books. I take this task seriously because as a writer I want my stories to appear possible. In hunting all dangerous prey considering their weaknesses is tantamount.

So, I made a list of vampire weaknesses because anyone who knows me knows I love my lists and numbers. There are many species of vampires so I wrote all known limitations.

1.       Sunlight

2.       Wooden impalement

3.       Holy relics and water

4.       Dismemberment

5.       Fire

6.       Certain poisons

7.       Blood

8.       Sex

 

I disqualified the dismemberment because I want them alive and functioning.

If the vampire you’re stalking is religious then luring it to a room filled with blessed icons could weaken it enough to be trapped.

 There has got to be a cool way to corner one with sunlight. I’ve seen vampires trapped in wells but as the sun rises they get fried. I don’t want them crispy. Maybe we could give them a small recess to hide in?

I’ve killed vampires with fire and even heard of some slayers using flamethrowers but once again it’s with the goal of killing. A fire lined prison would keep your vamp but we still need to catch it and not burn down the place.

Now, I’ve heard certain rare poisons work to incapacitate them. Anne Rice used laudanum and I’ve used my own blue windex colored drug, which the source is still a secret.  Delivery is the hard part. Finding a volunteer to drink the poison and then allow a vampire to drink from them is not as easy as it sounds.

Blood and sex is more a desire but can be used as weakness, which brings us to the old bait and trap technique. I’ve used a beautiful, sexy prey animal to lure a vampire to its trap but of course it back-fired. Those creatures of the night can be clever.

As to wooden impalement, it brings us back to death BUT it did inspire me. What if I used really thick iron bars instead? Say four of them that pinned their bodies to the ground. They wouldn’t be able to escape without tearing themselves apart, which brings the dismemberment issue back up.

I guess if the vampire wanted to be caught it would be easier. They are such sneaky creatures.  A willing prisoner, he/she wouldn’t try to escape and less apt to hurt you.  And what’s a little chain and bondage between friends?
Want to read an action packed, sexy vampire story over Halloween. My book BAIT is FREE. Download here.

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/BAIT-Angler-book-The-ebook/dp/B004P1IYAS/ref=sr_1_13?ie=UTF8&qid=1351341697&sr=8-13&keywords=annie+nicholas

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/bait-annie-nicholas/1100245217?ean=2940011209499&itm=1&usri=annie+nicholas


 

Monday, October 29, 2012

Here Be News

Posted by: Eleri Stone
Our new releases this week


Santiago, Chile

After surviving a vampire turf war in Alaska, vampire courier Sydney Kildare is back behind the wheel and working under an assumed name in Chile. She doesn't speak the language, doesn't know the city and—worst of all—has to drive a crappy car.

What she does have is Malcolm Kelly, her sort-of boyfriend and manager of the city's vampire population. But with Malcolm preoccupied by bloodsucker business—and a gorgeous vampiress from his past—Sydney feels more alone than ever.

But Sydney has more than her love life to worry about. She's got vamps on her tail, mysterious deliveries that leave death in their wake, and old enemies targeting her to get to Malcolm. Turns out he's got a history more deadly than she ever imagined, and she'll have to use every skill in her arsenal to stay alive...

Running in the Dark can be purchased at Amazon  -  Barnes & Noble  -  Carina Press and wherever e-books are sold.

Regan can be found roaming the Internet at Website  Twitter  Facebook


Links of Interest

From PW, about the possible Random House, Penguin merger. Some speculation about what that could mean for SFF.

Jane Friedman: Do Publishers Need to Offer More Value to Authors?

COYOTE CON was this weekend. If you missed any of the panels you can find the transcripts here.

One of my new favorite sites. From io9: This Tumblr about Star Trek: TNG fashions will fill the rest of your day with extreme hilarity

And last but not least..."The Riches of Middle-Earth Await You" at Denny's.

Here Be Magic Group Announcements

Eleri Stone is excited to announce that she has signed on with Sara Megibow of Nelson Literary Agency. Read the full story here!

The winner of our Halloween Party Week 4 giveaway is Georgie Lee. Congratulations, Georgie!

We'll be announcing the grand prize winner of the e-reader (Kindle Fire HD/Nook HD), free e-books, and gift basket this Wednesday, so be sure to check back on Halloween to see if you're the winner. It's not too late to enter! In the meantime, we have one last treat to giveaway (woot! to October for having 5 weeks).  Have you always wanted to make an appearance in a good book? Author R.L. Naquin will name one nonhuman character in her Monster series after the person of the winner's choice. If you haven't read the first book in this series - Monster in My Closet - it's a really fun read. Book two releases in March, with more to follow. You could be immortalized as a fairy, skunk ape, lake monster, dragon or some other fun creature. How cool is that? Enter below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

And to enter for the Kindle Fire HD/Nook HD, use the form below. Good luck to you all!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Meet the Author - Jeffe Kennedy

Posted by: Veronica Scott
 Continuing our series of Here Be Magic Author interviews, today it's my pleasure to talk with Jeffe Kennedy! Her most recent books are ROGUE'S PAWN and HUNTING THE SIREN.



What prompted you to start writing?
I wasn’t happy in my graduate program and I went to a huge convention (60K people) in my field. And it seemed to me that none of them were happy either. So I sat myself down and asked the honest question of what the perfect life would be, no ifs, ands or buts considered. It turned out I thought being a writer would be the perfect life. So I figured I’d better figure out a way to make it happen.

What’s your writing process? Where do you write?
I have a desk in a dedicated office at home, right in front of a window with an amazing view down the Galisteo Basin in New Mexico. I write every day, for two hours, usually in silence. I tend to write from beginning to end, discovering the story as I go.

How do you celebrate when you finish a novel?
I don’t really. When I finish a novel or novella, I feel satisfied—but also a little sad. I might buy myself an “expensive” bottle of wine (like $20 instead of $5). But usually finishing one story means I get to start the next one. I guess I “celebrate” by mailing it off, to critique partners or agent or editor, and I love that feeling.

Do you do a lot of research for your books?
Not really. I’ve been a reader all my life and I’ve got quite a bit of education under my belt – I draw on all of that quite a bit. In some ways, I prefer not to do specific research. For example, the Wild Hunt appears in the book I’m writing now. I’ve read about it over the years, in various forms and stories, so I have bits and fragments about it in my head. I feel like if I go read up on it now, I’d be more likely to directly borrow from those stories, even without meaning to. If I don’t, I can just let that mash-up of impressions from over the years kind of mix in with my subconscious and this story and make it be something that comes from me as a storyteller.

Have you ever used an incident from real life in one of your books?
Oh sure. I draw on real life all the time. I’m not sure any of them would be recognizable though.

Quickfire:
Favorite TV Show: I don’t watch TV – gave it up quite a while ago
Favorite Movie: The Keira Knightley/Matthew Macfadyen version of Pride & Prejudice
Cats or Dogs? Cats (though I love dogs, too) (VS sez Jeffe has THE most adorable kitten - you can often catch his photos on her blog!)
Favorite Flower: Stargazer Lily
Tea or coffee: depends on my mood – love both
Boxers or Briefs:  commando
Sweet or spicy: love both!
Morning person or evening person: Evening person by nature, morning person by training because that’s when I write best
Favorite food: does wine count?
Favorite time of the year: autumn
Favorite song: Every Rose Has its Thorn for melancholy; So What for feisty. Boys of Summer, Everybody Knows, In My Mind – I could list a hundred.

Finish this sentence  “I believe in the Magic of……”
The universe

What are you working on next?
I’m closing in on the end of the sequel to Rogue’s Pawn

What one question do you want to ask your Readers today?
What questions do you *really* want to ask authors that you think you shouldn’t?

Where can your Readers find you online?

VS sez: For a truly creepy One From the Archives for Halloween, read Jeffe's true story about The Birdwoman, which she talked about at Here Be Magic in March. I still get nightmares!
 

Friday, October 26, 2012

Symptoms of the problem

Posted by: Shawna Thomas

Life has been wonderful but very, very busy lately.

I have four books in various stages of the publishing process. This is a wonderful, fabulous situation in which to find oneself. If I could hole up in a deserted cabin in the woods, writing and editing to my little hearts content, this wouldn’t even be challenging. But how many authors do you know who can do that? Not this one. 

And if I had known I’d give birth to the baby-who-does-not-sleep, I might have requested a slightly more relaxed schedule. But I didn’t. So like most of you, I spend my days juggling work, children, housework, husband and the work we love: Writing.  So for those who have tried to carry on a conversation with me either in person or via email/twitter/facebook. For those of you who are still waiting for returned phone calls or RSVPs... I apologize. Things should return to somewhat normal in March.  I think.

Until then, here are five signs you can tell I’m deep in edits.

1.       I just about disappear from Twitter, author loops and Facebook. In those rare appearances, you’ll see I’ve tweeted, replied or posted from my phone. I do this while I’m nursing. That’s multi-tasking, folks. And also, don’t worry about the typos—those little keyboards with said baby trying to grab phone out of your hands— it can’t be helped. Oh and phone calls. I’m so sorry Aunt Stacie. Yes I’m alive. Yes I love you but no, I honestly don’t have time for a ten minute conversation right now.

2.       I carry around a notebook with me wherever I go to write down any pure-genius solutions to plot/character arc problems. Of course this is pretty standard. I’ve also forgotten pure-genius book ideas because I didn’t have anywhere to write them down...or was just too tired to get out of bed. The muse has a pretty acerbic sense of humor you know.

3.       If mutter to myself or walk around as though I am in a different world, talking to people you can’t see. . I am. Don’t worry, I’ll be back. The best thing to do is just walk away.

4.       My laundry has begun to reproduce. My nemesis, the laundry basket. Granted laundry for seven isn’t for the weak of heart, but we every room has its own laundry basket and five overflowing laundry baskets in the blink of an eye? Me thinks something nefarious is afoot!

5.       Dinner consists of whatever I can find in the refrigerator/freezer/pantry that takes less than thirty minutes to whip up. It’s a good thing my kids like grilled cheese, hot dogs or frozen pizza. 



And there you have it. So what are some things you do, or don't do, when you have a lot on your plate? PS: Here's a peek at my new cover!







Thursday, October 25, 2012

The Magic of Halloween

Posted by: Seleste deLaney/Julie Particka
Growing up, everyone I knew always said Christmas was their favorite holiday. When the question came around to me, I'd duck my head and mutter, "Halloween." It wasn't that I was ashamed, but at the time being the odd man out sucked.

Interestingly enough, the favorite thing never changed. I dressed up and went out most years during college (I think I was working the last year :( ), and when word got to me that teachers and students regularly dressed up at the high school I taught at I was all in. (Turned out that last one was a practical joke played on me, but a lot of the kids loved that I dressed up, so raspberries on my fellow science teacher.) Then I had my son, and it was like this whole other world of Halloween awesome.

I actually broke out the sewing machine.

I carved pumpkins for the first time in years and I took him trick-or-treating and to Boo at the Zoo, and all sorts of things. Maybe I didn't dress up anymore, but that didn't change the happiness that lit up my world every Halloween. Then my daughter came along and I got to add fairies and princesses to the mix. It was like a world of awesomeness in two little packages.

Now my kids are starting to grow up. My son is more or less making his own costume this year--doing the teen thing where he throws something together and adds make-up. I don't think my daughter is far behind. But so far, they are still more than willing to accept my help, which means  I still get to play. One of these years, I might even dress up with them. Maybe.

It's funny, but I've learned that I prefer to give this time to them for playing. I get to do the costume thing at conventions and embrace my inner Halloween lover, but these days for me the magic is in my kids becoming someone "new" for a day. There are no princesses or dinosaurs this time around to reflect how they see themselves. Nope. The Boy is going as an alien (very reflective of his concerns about middle school next year), and Mini-Me is going as one of her favorite Monster High characters (the headstrong one... go figure).

And there's the magic. Whether they realize it or not, when they choose their costumes for Halloween, they're choosing which part of themselves to emphasize to the world. It's a big screaming sign that says "Here I am! Take it or leave it!" There aren't many moments in life where that's an acceptable practice.

But on Halloween it is, and that's why it will always be my favorite holiday.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Construction of a Hero

Posted by: Cindy Spencer Pape
One of the most important parts of a romance for me is having a hero I can (at least for a little while) fall in love with. This is true whether I’m reading a book or writing one. There are certain characteristics he just HAS to have, and yet they can’t all be clones of one another. You have to make him strong, sexy, smart, and flawed, but he has to stand out from all the other strong, sexy, smart and flawed heroes out there.

With Liam McCullough, hero of Moonlight and Mechanicals, there were a few things I knew about him from Steam and Sorcery, the first book in the Gaslight Chronicles. He’s got dark hair and eyes. He’s a werewolf, and Irish. He’s a constable, then inspector with Scotland Yard, and his family is something of a mystery. He’s fiercely loyal to his friends. I also knew from the very first chapter of Steam and Sorcery that Wink Hadrian had fallen in love with him at first sight when she was only 16 years old. I knew there was something sad and tragic in his past and that’s about it. A fair amount for a secondary character, but not enough for a hero.

Soon after I started writing Moonlight & Mechanicals, I learned some more things about Liam. He was lonely. He has a powerful belief in justice and using one’s resources to help those less fortunate. He’s utterly estranged from his father, an earl, and had a tragic relationship in his younger days that left him certain he should never marry. He’s also carrying a lot of guilt over his long-standing attraction to Wink.

There’s a crucial moment in this book where Liam learns something about himself and his notions of family and responsibility from someone—actually a series of someones—much younger than himself. It’s mid-way through, so I don’t want to give it away, but I think it’s one of the most entertaining yet life-changing sequences I’ve ever written. Right then, I fell a little more deeply in love with my werewolf cop. I very much hope that you fall in love with him too!

* * * * *

Moonlight & Mechanicals
Now available at Carina Press: http://bit.ly/QwaSP8

Blurb: Engineer Winifred "Wink" Hadrian has been in love with Inspector Liam McCullough for years, but is beginning to lose hope when he swears to be a lifelong bachelor. Faced with a proposal from a Knight of the Round Table and one of her closest friends, Wink reluctantly agrees to consider him instead.

Because of his dark werewolf past, Liam tries to keep his distance, but can't say no when Wink asks him to help find her friend's missing son. They soon discover that London's poorest are disappearing at an alarming rate, after encounters with mysterious "mechanical" men. Even more alarming is the connection the missing people may have with a conspiracy against the Queen.

Fighting against time--and their escalating feelings for each other--Wink and Liam must work together to find the missing people and save the monarchy before it's too late...


I'll be doing a blog tour over the next two weeks with Bewitching Book Tours. Today I'm also at the Carina Press blog and at Blooding Book Tours. Tomorrow and Thursday, I have live booksignings in Lansing and Flint, Michigan. See my website for more details. I'd love to see you stop by!


Monday, October 22, 2012

Here Be News

Posted by: Eleri Stone
Our new releases this week


London, 1859

Engineer Winifred "Wink" Hadrian has been in love with Inspector Liam McCullough for years, but is beginning to lose hope when he swears to be a lifelong bachelor. Faced with a proposal from a Knight of the Round Table and one of her closest friends, Wink reluctantly agrees to consider him instead.

Because of his dark werewolf past, Liam tries to keep his distance, but can't say no when Wink asks him to help find her friend's missing son. They soon discover that London's poorest are disappearing at an alarming rate, after encounters with mysterious "mechanical" men. Even more alarming is the connection the missing people may have with a conspiracy against the Queen.

Fighting against time--and their escalating feelings for each other--Wink and Liam must work together to find the missing people and save the monarchy before it's too late...

74,000 words

Buy

Links of Interest

Have you seen this? Txtr Beagle is the smallest, lightest 5″ e-reader, doesn’t need cables, costs $13 – and it’s revolutionary At that price, I'm going to give one to everyone I know.

The Joy of (Supernatural) Sex: Three Reasons Why Men Should Read Paranormal Romance

Here Be Magic Group Announcements


Time to get ready for Coyote Con! Coyote Con is an online convention celebrating all flavors of SFF, horror, and romance. Check out the schedule here and get registered to Join the Howl!!!

Last but not least, we're on week 4 of our month-long Halloween Party and, yes, we've got more treats to give away before our big celebration and grand prize giveaway next Wednesday! This week, we're giving away a promo package for authors. Want someone to tweet about your book, website or genius to an almost 5,000 combined followers? Looking for a blog to feature either a review of your book or interview you? What are you waiting for?!? Enter this week's giveaway (more details below)!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

And don't forget, you can still enter to win a Kindle Fire HD or Nook HD with free ebooks and a special gift basket!

  a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, October 21, 2012

A Tweaker of Worlds

Posted by: PG Forte

Writers often need to construct elaborate fantasy worlds in which to set their books, worlds with their own sets of rules and constraints.  I’ve done that a time or two myself, but most of the time, I prefer to tweak.

There’s a lot to be said for basing a story in a familiar locale; the research is easy and, most of the time, all the heavy lifting has already been done. In other ways, working that way can be more of a challenge—it’s all detail work, rather than broad sweeping strokes.

As a reader, I enjoy reading a book set in a favorite location or, alternately, I get a kick out of visiting a new location, somewhere I’d previously only read about, and finding it familiar.  As a writer, it’s fun creating stories where the lines between reality and fantasy blend. Vampires in San Franciso, fae in Ireland...

Oh, wait, that was supposed to include an unreal element, wasn’t it?  Okay, never mind.

There's a line I love from the movie Silverado--yes, I know. I'm showing my age with that reference--but it goes something like this: "Life is what you make of it; if it doesn't fit, you make adjustments." That kind of fits in with what I'm saying. Some stories require more "adjustments" than others. I'm something of a History freak, by which I mean, I'm bad with dates and occasionally more-than-a-little fuzzy on the details, but I love the interconnectedness of events, the cause-and-effect, the way one thing led to another, led to another...leading us here.

When I write stories set in other times--a steampunk past, a dystopian future--I have to play a game of what-if, I have to look for places in History where "my" past and/or future worlds can diverge from reality.  I have to determine how that divergence will effect not just the timeline itself, but the worldview of the characters who will be populating this newly tweaked world.

Then I have to figure out how to seamlessly explain what I’ve done to readers. That’s probably the aspect I find most challenging. How do you explain what’s never happened from the POV of characters who aren’t cognizant of the “real” world where these events took place?  

For example, I set This Winter Heart in a North America in which the Louisiana Purchase had never taken place. Since it never happened, my characters had no knowledge of it. I could have them discuss the boundaries of all the new countries and territories I’d carved out, I could drop hints as to why things now were the way they were,  but the reasons why their Santa Fe differed from my Santa Fe is not anything that would occur to them to wonder about.

I think I tend to err on the side of having my characters say too little about such things, rather than too much. But I wonder what other readers/writers feel about that.

In general, how much do you need to know about why an alternative world is different than our reality? Are you satisfied with hints as to why/when/how things have changed? Do you want to discover the differences as you go, or do you want things spelled out ahead of time?   
.



Saturday, October 20, 2012

Where have I been?

Posted by: David Bridger
It's been a strange year. I didn't have any book releases between Quarter Square in summer 2011 and its sequel Golden Triangle, which is coming in February 2013. That worried me a bit. You know, a unpleasant whack on the backside from the old writer's My readers will all forget me stick.


Here I am, just in case. :)

But there was nothing I could do about the release schedule so I got on with business and hoped you'll still welcome Golden Triangle when it appears. It's nearly twice as long as Quarter Square, with lots of new characters and a widely expanded Wild Times series world.

So the first part of the year was eaten up by edits on Golden Triangle and a science fiction book that's also scheduled for release next year. Then I got into my main writing project for this year, which is a post-apocalyptic steampunk adventure called A Flight of Thieves that delights me every time I sit down to write it.

I also gave my blog a good refit; and started vlogging every Monday on YouTube.

You can find them both here, but the best thing would be for you to get my posts in your email.

As well as the Monday vlogs there will be blog posts each Wednesday (including monthly guests posts from some exciting people) and Friday games.

Go on. You know you want to. Go over there and click that button in the sidebar. Then we can keep talking and I won't have to worry about you all forgetting me! :)

Friday, October 19, 2012

Lady Sarathena Remillus

Posted by: Nicole Luiken

Today we’re interviewing Lady Sarathena Remillus, the main character of my fantasy romance novel, GATE TO KANDRITH.

    1. What was your life like growing up?

SARA: I grew up on a remote estate in the province of Elysinia.  My father spent all his time in the capital and my mother was ‘delicate’ and rarely left her sickbed, leaving me to run wild with only slaves for company.

     2. Before the action in the book what were your plans/hopes for the future?

SARA: When I was fifteen, my thoughtless actions beggared my family.  I swore then to marry as my father wished to help rebuild our fortunes.  I gave up my dreams that day.

3. What is your most distinguishing characteristic?

SARA: Beauty, though I’ve found it more of a curse than a blessing.  In a society where woman are chattel, my beauty has made me a pawn.

4. What is your major skill or talent?

SARA: I excel at both mathematics and horseback riding, both extremely unladylike talents.

5. What’s your favourite colour?

SARA: Blue used to be my favourite colour; it is the colour of House Remillus, and I’ve been told that it matches my eyes.  But in Kandrith the colour blue is associated with Vez, the God of Malice, and the colour of my eyes almost gets me stoned.

6. What’s on your bucket list?

SARA: I’ve always long to travel—though not to Kandrith.  At least I managed to see the great Vaga Waterfall along the journey and visit the Temple of Mek in the middle of the falls.

7. Who do you love?
     SARA:  The most unsuitable man in the world, Lance of Kandrith.  He’s an ex-slave, our countries are mortal enemies, and he despises noblewomen.  He’s rude and impossible.  But.  He saved me from an abduction, he doesn’t treat women like mindless toys, and he has a heart as big as a mountain.  Plus very sexy muscles.

Read an excerpt or buy Gate to Kandrith
 
Don't forget to scroll down and enter the Halloween giveaway.  Weekly prize 5 first chapters critiques from Herebemagic authors (including me).  Grand prize: Ereader, your choice of Kindle Fire or Nook


Thursday, October 18, 2012

Halloween Round Robin, Magic Style

Posted by: Jody W. and Meankitty
We're midway through our big Halloween celebration at Here Be Magic, and for today, ten or so of the HBM authors have prepared you a special treat. Or maybe it's a trick?? I don't know -- when I sent this to each author in turn, they may have felt like it was some kind of trick! But they all pitched in graciously, and so we are able to present to you the follow piece of communal fiction. It's about Delphie the pixie and how she likes to spend Halloween. Read on, if you dare...and if you have enough time...and if you're in the mood for a laugh...

***


PART ONE

Little-known pixie fact: Halloween is one of the best nights for politicking. The stupid humans open the door to anyone who knocks and happens to be in costume. So it's no trouble to get an invitation inside and then bespell them to vote the way you want them to.

Adjusting her fake fairy wings--ha, like fairies can fly--Delphinia Bathsheba Slippery-Elm marched up the scraggly sidewalk to the door of the old mansion on the corner of Hoot and Main. Her trick or treat bag swung from her wrist. The porch lights weren't on, but the house was definitely decked out for Halloween. Spookiness practically oozed from it. (Jody Wallace)

PART TWO

Delphie pasted on her best smile and lifted the brass gargoyle doorknocker. The resulting clang was out-of-proportion loud and nearly knocked her off her favorite stiletto heeled boots. She caught her breath as the door creaked--actually creaked--open and a shadowy figure loomed down at her.

"Aren't you a little old for Trick or Treating?" The voice was as deep and smooth as the rarest Belgian chocolate.

Delphie looked up, way up, and gasped. Even in cheesy plastic fangs and a polyester cape, the dark-haired hunk was a walking wet dream. He eyed her from her pink hair to pointed toes and crossed his arms over his impressive chest.

"Unless it's a different kind of trick you're looking for, in which case you still have the wrong house. The fraternity house is the next one over." The door began to close, ever so slowly, in Delphie's face..... (Cindy Spencer Pape)

PART THREE

Delphie placed her small palm against the door and her pointed boot in the crack. This guy was going to be a little more difficult than old Mrs. Futchermeyer across the street. No matter. She was prepared for that. Every vote counted, and this particular voter might be worth working over...um...for.

"Wait," she said. "Before I go, I have a treat for you." Before he could object, she reached into her Trick or Treat bag and pulled out a handful of sparkling dust. Pursing her lips, she blew across her palm, and the dust floated into the gorgeous fake vampire's face.

He blinked twice and sneezed. "What the hell was that?" he asked. (R.L. Naquin)


PART FOUR

Backing away hastily as he reached for her, Delphie was shocked when the man disappeared between one blink and the next. An invisible hand grabbed her shoulder and hauled her across the threshold, door slamming behind her like the crack of doom.

"What have you done to me?" he said, not releasing his grip.

"Just – just some pixie dust to influence your vote," Delphie stammered, a terrible suspicion giving her chills. "You’re not human, are you?"

His laugh was short and ended in another sneeze.

"Not exactly, sweetheart. Wanted my vote eh? Couldn’t just ask for it nicely? You do know there’s only one way to break this curse of invisibility now, don’t you?" (Veronica Scott)

PART FIVE

"Curse of invisibility? I think that would be pretty cool." She was thinking about all the fun pranks she could pull when he sneezed again.

"You would." Even narrowed in obvious derision, he had the most incredible pale brown eyes. Unfortunately they too faded away, like the Cheshire cat.

Delphie stomped one high-heeled boot. "And what is that supposed to mean?"

"Only that I’s clear you’re not above tricks and deceit."

"Tis the season." She smiled. "Besides tricks are not the same as deceit." She glanced around the surprisingly modern foyer. "What’s it to you anyway?"

"You are standing in my home."

There was that. This man was infuriating, but he had been so very nice to look at. "What are you anyway?" (Shawna Thomas)

PART SIX

"That, my dear, is information you don't need to know."

Delphie affected pity. "Vamp, huh, but too young to have any cool superpowers yet."

"What? No, of course--" He stopped. "Tricky pixie."

"I try," Delphie said modestly. She stealthily reached into her pocket for more dust. If one had made him invisible, she was dying to know what two would do. (Nicole Luiken)

PART SEVEN

Delphie pulled out her hand and a tiny entanglement of black fur trembled against her palm as it sneezed out a barely audible squeak. Oops. That wasn't the transformation dust. That was her ex she'd turned into a miniature peromyscus last time he'd pissed her off. She hadn't decided if she was going to feed him to her cat or change him back yet.


Shoving Romulus back into her pocket, Delphie retrieved the sparkling dust. Before she could purse her lips and blow it at the deliciously tempting vamp, a hot puff of air blew the dust in her direction.

"Fair is fair, sweetheart. Now you’ve got no choice but give in. We both know what it’ll take to cure us. Let’s get to it, shall we?" (Angela Campbell)

PART EIGHT

A shuffle of feet and Delphie found herself pinned to the wall by an invisible fake vampire. Cool fingers scraped down her bare arm. He caught her wrist in a powerful grip and slammed it none-too-gently into the wall.

She lifted an eyebrow. "Like it rough, do you?"

His breath was warm against her neck, his laugh rich and deep. "Three drops of fairy blood, spilled on Hallow's Eve--the night the veil between worlds is thinnest--will purge your magic."

Crap. How did he know that? No way she could let him break her charms. She'd canvassed all night.

"You know what else cures invisibility?" she asked archly as she curled her free hand into the curtains beside them. "Fabric." She yanked, swathing him in orange silk. In surprise, he let her go. She pitched toward the door. "Gotta dash. There's a fraternity that needs to get out the vote." (Jax Garren)

PART NINE

Lights blazed in the fraternity house. Music blared so loud she feared her knock would go unanswered, which might not be a bad thing. She was beginning to question the wisdom of approaching a fraternity house. Before she could hurry away the door was flung open by a huge guy cradling a half empty vodka bottle.

He took one look at her, screamed in horror, and banged the door in her face.

Unusual reaction. Most frat boys would be thrilled to see a pretty fairy on their doorstep. Unless--oh no--she pulled out her compact and checked her appearance.

The fairy dust that the vamp had blown in her face had turned her into an ugly, warty old crone. She sensed someone approaching, someone she couldn't see. Must be the cute vamp, who was still invisible. She couldn't let him see her like this. (Janni Nell)

PART TEN

Delphie pounded on the door of the frat house again. It only opened a crack this time, but she was ready. She quickly blew a handful of fairy dust into frat boy’s face and slipped past him while he was rubbing his eyes. Then she ducked into the hall closet to hide.

She couldn’t believe what a mess the evening was turning into. Her fairy dust was clearly defective. She never should have tried to economize by buying in bulk from the White Sands Discount Fairy Supply Shoppe.

"Perfectly safe and Reliable" the unctuous-voiced salesclerk had called it, promising that the rumors of radioactive isotopes in their product causing monstrous mutations were entirely without substance. She’d like to blow some dust his way and see how he liked being smacked with the ugly stick.

But, in the meantime, why was the small bulge in her coat pocket growing larger...and larger...and larger? (PG Forte)

***

So WHAT has it got in its pockets?? Will the invisible vampire still want to get his "cure" from the warty pixie? Will the frat boys think they got into some bad liquor? Will all Delphie's hard work in getting out the vote (her way) be for naught? What do you think happens next? And what do you think the title of this should be?

We'll present Delphie's further adventures back here in 2 weeks! We'll be joined, I believe, by none other than author Rebecca York who is going to be pitching into the story too. Do you think she can write Delphie out of this situation? Be sure to drop by and find out.

Sincerely, Jody Wallace & Meankitty
Making the Internet Cattier Since 1999
http://www.meankitty.com * http://www.jodywallace.com
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