Thursday, October 31, 2013

Trick or Treat

Every year, children and adults alike take to the streets dressed as witches, demons, animals, celebrities, and more. They carve pumpkins and play pranks, and the braver ones watch scary movies and go on ghost tours. There are parades, fireworks displays, cornfield mazes, and haunted houses—and, most important, copious amounts of bite-sized candy. The popularity of Halloween has spread around the globe to places as diverse as Russia, China, and Japan, but its association with death and the supernatural and its inevitable commercialization has made it one of our most misunderstood holidays. How did it become what it is today? In Trick or Treat, Halloween aficionado Lisa Morton provides a thorough history of this spooky day. She begins by looking at how holidays like the Celtic Samhain, a Gaelic harvest festival, have blended with the British Guy Fawkes Day and the Catholic All Souls’ Day to produce the modern Halloween, and she explains how the holiday was reborn in America, where costumes and trick-or-treat rituals have become new customs. Morton takes into account the influence of related but independent holidays, especially the Mexican Day of the Dead, as well as the explosion in popularity of haunted attractions and the impact of such events as 9/11 and the economic recession on the celebration today. Trick or Treat also examines the effect Halloween has had on popular culture through the literary works of Washington Irving and Ray Bradbury, films like Halloween and The Nightmare Before Christmas, and television shows such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer and The Simpsons. Considering the holiday in the context of its worldwide popularity for the first time, this book will be a treat for any Halloween lover.



Halloween: Magic Mystery and the Macabre

The farther we've gotten from the magic and mystery of the past, the more we've come to love Halloween - the one time each year when the mundane is overturned in favor of the bizarre, the "other side" is closest, and everyone can become anyone (or anything) they wish... and sometimes what they don't. Introducing nineteen original stories from mistresses and masters of the dark celebrate the most fantastic, enchanting, spooky, and supernatural of holidays.

“Black Dog” by Laird Barron
“From Dust” by Laura Bickle
“Angelic” by Jay Caselberg
“Pumpkin Head Escapes” by Lawrence Connolly
“All Hallows in the High Hills” by Brenda Cooper
“We, the Fortunate Bereaved” by Brian Hodge
“Thirteen” by Stephen Graham Jones
“Whilst the Night Rejoices Profound and Still” by CaitlĂ­n R. Kiernan
“Trick or Treat” by Nancy Kilpatrick
“Long Way Home: A Pine Deep Story” by Jonathan Maberry
“The Mummy’s Kiss” by Norman Partridge
“All Souls Day” by Barbara Roden
“And When You Called Us We Came To You” by John Shirley
“The Halloween Men” by Maria V. Snyder
“Lesser Fires” by Steve Rasnic Tem & Melanie Tem
“Unternehmen Werwolf” by Carrie Vaughn
“For the Removal of Unwanted Guests” by A.C. Wise
“Quadruple Whammy” by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro




Halloween anthologies are one of the best ways to celebrate the season. This one in particular was absolutely stellar with stories from today's top novelists and short story writers. These short works of fiction take us inside the myth and dark wonder of the season and help us to embrace the sinister side of a holiday that has vastly become known for candied corn and children's parties. Some of my absolute favorites were:

"The Halloween Men" by Maria V. Snyder   A  world of masks and wonderment!
"The Mummy's Kiss" by Norman Partridge   Never watch a movie the same way again!
"Quadruple Whammy" by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro  Woooo!!!
"We the Fortunate Bereaved" by Brian Hodge  Those small town traditions...spooky!!!

Just to name a few. These authors bring to life the shadow lands that make up a good horror story and keep the bonfires burning. I have found a whole host of authors to watch and some old favorites to revisit again with these stories. Many thanks to Paula Guran for sending a review copy

5/5 for a spooktacular blend of stories that kept my nights entertained and one I will revisit every Halloween to come! I read every last page, loving each and every story.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Black Adagio: Virtual Book Tour

Black Adagio
Wendy Potocki

Genre: Horror, paranormal

Book Description:

Melissa Solange is presented the chance of a lifetime. Chosen as a member of a new dance company, she works tirelessly perfecting the one element of ballet she's never mastered—the adagio. As she rehearses, a dark force watches. Resurrected by the surprise addition of a classic ballet to the repertoire, the sinister work is thought to be cursed—destroying anyone who attempts to dance it.

When the production's lead dancers begin to disappear, the old warning is taken more seriously. A death worshipping cult called The Innocents is blamed, but she is not so sure. They may be the scapegoat for an ultimate evil living in the woods of Holybrook. Desperate for an answer, she searches for what lurks in the shadows of the old trees before she becomes the next victim of the Danse Macabre.


Keeping track of the passengers that departed, all the stops in town were completed. The last one at the outskirts of town remained. Trying to figure out why Barbara was traveling into the middle of nowhere, he ruled out that she could be headed to the school. She wasn’t a dancer, and evening was much too late to be wandering around in the dark. Then there were those woods. It made no sense for her to be going near there. No one in their right mind would be going into that forest alone.

Alone! That was it! She was going to meet someone, but why was she doing it at this time of night? Perhaps she was cheating on the man she’d left him for. If so, his heart went out to the cuckolded husband. He hated to admit it, but he could well imagine her engaging in this kind of betrayal. If she could do it to him, she was capable of doing it to anyone.

Out on the open highway, the vehicle raced at a clip. Its windshield wipers batting away, the smattering of snow drove into the glass. He stepped on the gas, his car’s tires digging in. Gripping the wheel, the heat was now shooting out and thawing his frozen extremities. His thighs still tensed, it wasn’t from the cold, only the gravity of the situation. Certain that he could press them into further action, they wouldn’t fail him. He was old, but not dead. There was no way he’d miss this opportunity.

His palms were sweating, his brow becoming moist. Old feelings surged up from the soul holding his sanity like fragile glass. His eyes already tearing up with regrets, he wondered if there was a promise of a future. While he was interested in hearing her explanation, what he really wanted was for her to change her mind.

He was being a fool. His friends and family had told him that over and over again. Even with drumming it into his head, all his chances to be happy were let go like grains of sand from a hand opening on a beach. He didn’t want to be with anyone else. It wouldn’t be fair to pretend someone else was her. 

Easing down on the brake, the final stop was up ahead. Pulling to the side of road, he parked, waiting for the inevitable. Withdrawing from the car like a cobra from a basket, he wrapped his arms over his chest, beating his arms slightly for warmth. Hopping from leg to leg, the bus came to a halt. His eyes level with the passenger that emerged, he finally saw her.

“Barbara!” he screamed, the sound covered by the loud rumble of the bus resuming its rounds.

Spinning her head around, she met his eyes. Her face taking on an expression of fright mixed with determination, she took off for the woods. Her high boots easily cutting through the deep snow, his legs had trouble lifting, but he nonetheless tried to follow the footsteps that carved out a trail.

“Barbara, please stop! I only want to talk to you!” he pleaded, “You owe me that much!”

Arms flailing from a slip, he recaptured his balance. The lip of the woods ahead, Barbara was surprisingly fleet of foot. Only a few feet ahead of him, with a tremendous effort, he shifted into a higher gear. His legs pumping forward, his arms aided in him catching up with his elusive muse.

At the foot of the path leading into the forest was where he caught her. His hand groping forward, he snatched a hold of the synthetic white material, not letting go. His other hand joined in, gaining even a better hold on her wrist. Spinning her around, he stared in horror. Unable to speak, he broke the silence with a scream.


Picking this book up, I had a really hard time putting it down and for a writer with several deadlines looming, that can be a dangerous thing. So, while I may not know a whole lot about dance, I found myself hooked by this dark supernatural tale about a sinister force lurking at Holybrook. There were a few grammatical things from time to time, but I was so engrossed in the story, they didn't phase me much at all. Those things are minor compared to a story with subtle dark forces and a plot that made me want to stay up long hours. It reminded me a little of Black Swan, but not too much. :) I also felt a little of the menacing element of Phantom of the Opera lurking and that just made my heart happy. Creepy story, beautifully written prose, especially as the book began. You felt for the character and understood this was a make or break moment for her. The description of the seasons made me smile and I think I fell in love with the story right then.

4/5 Great story. Very enjoyable!

Q:     I’m delighted to introduce Zoe Ryan, a supporting character in the wonderful new book BLACK ADAGIO by …

A:     Excuse  me, but I am NOT a supporting character.

Q:     I’m sorry, Ms. Ryan, but I’m reading through the press release and it says …

A:     Look, I don’t care what it says. I’m the freakin’ star of BLACK ADAGIO. Everything revolves around me, okay? Just consider it an extension of Zoe’s world.

Q:     But this press kit was written by the author, and Wendy Potocki states, “BLACK ADAGIO combines two of my passions: horror and ballet. In this paranormal thriller, Melissa Solange’s resolve is tested—both by dance and a jealous, spiteful fellow student named Zoe Ryan …

A:     Clearly the names are reversed. Melissa is the one who caused me the problems. She’s whiny and needy and a complete mess. She even conspired with her boyfriend Todd Cavanaugh to frame me for a crime I didn’t commit, but I’m not surprised she would use him that way. She never really cared about anyone but herself. She’s a user/loser.

Q:     I apologize for the mix-up, Ms. Ryan. Why don’t we begin again by you telling a little about yourself? How old were you when you started ballet?

A:     I started at age 7. Of course, I was instantly recognized as a child prodigy. I mean, look at the proportion of my limbs. This is the kind of physical perfection needed to excel at ballet, and luckily, I was born with it.

Q:     But doesn’t talent have anything to do with it?

A:     Talent? You mean the commodity that Melissa Solange is missing? *Zoe laughs hysterically* Excuse me, but it’s just so funny really. I suppose you’d have to see her in the flesh to appreciate the witticism. Anyway, what did you want to know?

Q:     About talent? Isn’t that a necessity for a career in professional dance?

A:     It is and I have that, also. And it’s not just me saying it; it’s every teacher I’ve ever had. They go nutso when they see me, and who can blame them? It’s why the rest of the girls at Velofsky’s Ballet are so jealous, but none more than little Missy nobody. Why are we talking about her? Isn’t this interview supposed to be about me?

Q:     Actually, you were the one that brought her up. I was just talking about dance.

A:     Then let’s talk about it! I’m the best there is. Anyone who appreciates the art can see that. I’m going to set the world on fire. Before I’m done, everyone will compare themselves to me. Just as soon as I get rid of my competition, I can …

Q:     My, that sounds ominous. Exactly what do you mean by “get rid of your competition”? Aren’t planning on murdering them in the Holybrook woods or anything, are you?

A:     Why, I didn’t mean anything! I was just talking … and you’re putting words in my mouth! Are you sure you’re not friends with that idiot Melissa?

Q:     Never met her. I’m just trying to conduct this interview. Now it says in the press kit that you’re going steady with a Justin Tortini?

A:     Yes. Justin is dreamy. We make the perfect pas de deux—on and off the stage. Put simply, he’s hot. He’s so lucky to have me.

Q:     I see, but can we just go back to Melissa Solange for a moment?

A:     Must we?

Q:     Yes, we must. I’m just wondering why, if she’s as talentless as you say, she was chosen by Velofsky’s to attend their school. After all, isn’t that invitation going to lead to her being a member of their company?

A.     It can possibly lead to a contract, but if I were Melissa—and thank God I’m not—I wouldn’t hold my breath. As for the first part of your stupid question, I don’t know why she was selected. There are a lot of curious choices—like Missy’s roommate Brandi Cappella for instance. Have not a clue as to why that mess is here.

Q:     Well, as talent goes, I hear you tell a pretty mean ghost story. Mind confessing where you got that skill?

A.     Ehm. Obviously, you didn’t even try to figure that one out on your own. I suppose it is easier to ask than actually think, but maybe that’s me. I’m not the lazy type while you are. The answer is that I’m an artiste. If you’re truly an artiste, you are creative to the extreme. It’s why my story was so compelling.

Q:     Ms. Ryan, about this supreme self-confidence you seem to possess, have you always been this in love with yourself?

A:     What’s that supposed to mean?

Q:     Nothing.

A:     A passive/aggressive, huh? You’re just another jealous byotch. I can’t help that you’re not young and beautiful like me.

Q:     Perhaps if I rephrase the question …

A:     Nope. Too late. This interview *Zoe takes off microphone* is officially over. Say hello to that pathetic little nothing Melissa when you see her. You two will make quite the team. Buh-bye! *Zoe storms away*

Q:     Well, that abruptly concludes the interview with the artist known as Zoe Ryan. Hey, Zoe, don’t let the door hit you in your tutu! Cheesh!

About the Author

Wendy Potocki lives and writes in NYC. If that isn't scary enough, she writes in the genre of horror. She feels creating good horror is an art form. She religiously devotes herself to pursuing it over hill and dale -- and in the crevices of her keyboard.

Named one of the Top Ten "New" Horror Authors by Horror Novel Reviews, she has six self-published novels. Book trailers for many of her works may be found on her official website Her next planned projects are Thrill, The Virgin, and ZaSo, a Gothic tale of horror.

In her spare time, she loves to go for long walks, drink Starbucks Apple Chai Lattes, make devotional offerings to her cat named Persephone, and be stilled by the grace, beauty and magic of ballet.



Facebook Author page:

Book Trailers

Black Adagio:

The Vampire's Game

The House of Cards

The Man with the Blue Hat

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Dead Sexy Sales Blitz

EPIC AWARD Finalist and Winner of the GOLD STAR AWARD at JERR
"Move over vamp heroes. The zombies are coming to town and they're DEAD SEXY." ~ Cynthia Eden, USA Today Bestselling Author
"Loved this book. Paige Tyler has a real flair for combining hot romance with the paranormal." ~ Desiree Holt, Bestselling Author
Can her love save him from a curse worse than death?
Romance author Simone Kent thinks she might just have found the most perfect guy in all of New York City - in bed and out.
But Drake Parrish is about as far from perfect as any man can get. Eight years ago, he was cursed by an evil Voodoo priestess to live part of his life as a zombie. Since then, he has lived like a recluse on New York’s Upper East Side, afraid to go out for fear he’ll suddenly turn into one of the walking dead.
The sex is the hottest either of them has ever experienced and Simone discovers just how naughty she can be with Drake, while he finds himself feeling things for Simone he hasn’t felt in a very long time. When the Voodoo priestess learns of their relationship, however, she comes after him again. She's determined he won't have a future with Simone, even if that means killing both him and the woman he loves.
As she led him up the steps to the second floor, Drake found himself wondering if she would ask him in. And wondering what he’d say if she did. When they came to a stop outside the door to her apartment, Simone turned to give him a smile.
“I had a great time tonight.”
“Me, too.”
She caught her bottom lip between her perfect white teeth and chewed on it thoughtfully as if unsure what she wanted to say next. It was probably an unconscious gesture, something she did whenever she was thinking, but to him, it was sexy as hell and all he could think about was kissing her.
Surely, one kiss couldn’t hurt. He desperately wanted to. He hadn’t kissed a woman in so long. It would be nice to see if he still remembered how.
Before he could stop himself, Drake tilted Simone’s face up to his and pressed his mouth to hers.
She tasted just as sweet and delicious as he thought she would. Her lips were soft and pliant under his as she kissed him back, her tongue eagerly seeking his out.
Drake groaned and slid his hand into her hair, deepening the kiss. Simone sighed into his mouth, running her hands up the front of his shirt to grasp his shoulders. The feel of her touch was like a tonic to his deprived soul and he let out another groan, deeper this time.
He ran his free hand up her side and around to her breast, cupping it through the soft material of her dress. He couldn’t stop himself and apparently, Simone didn’t want him to. She moaned and arched against him. He could feel the heat of her pussy through their clothes as she pressed up against his hard cock. Damn, she felt good.
Drake drew her bottom lip into his mouth and gently suckled on it before slowly kissing his way along the delicate curve of her jaw. Simone clutched his shoulders and tilted her head back. He eagerly trailed a path of hot kisses down her neck, then back up, his mouth finding hers again. Simone looped her arms around his neck, pulling him in even closer as their tongues met.
Down the hall, a door slammed, reminding him where they were.
Drake dragged his mouth away from hers, his breathing ragged as he tried to regain control. He had to get it together because he was about five seconds away from doing something really stupid. Like taking her to bed. “I should go.”
Her lips curved into a sexy, flirtatious smile. “Or you could stay.”
God, how he wanted to. But as much as he’d love to spend the rest of the night exploring every inch of her body, he couldn’t take the chance he might go zombie on her right in the middle of sex. Talk about coitus interruptus. And it had already been almost four days since he last turned, which meant he was already pushing his luck.
“You don’t know how much I want to,” he groaned. “But I can’t.”
Simone looked up at him with those big, blue eyes. “Why not?”
“Because I…” He hesitated, trying to come up with something that would sound believable. “I have a column due in the morning and I haven’t even started on it yet.” She knew all about deadlines, so she would understand that. Besides, he did have a column to write, it just wasn’t due until next week. “Rain check?”
She looked disappointed, but she smiled anyway. “Absolutely. How does coming over for dinner tomorrow night sound?”
It would be crazy to agree when he could be so close to having an episode, but he couldn’t say no. Not when she asked in that soft, sultry voice. “Sounds great.”
“Good. Be here at seven.”
“Seven it is.”
She pulled him down for another long, slow kiss on the mouth. “Don’t be late.”
His mouth twitched. “I won’t.” He bent his head to kiss her again, then groaned. “If I don’t go now, I’ll be here all night.”
Simone laughed. “Would that be such a bad thing?”
“Not to me, but my editor at Money Issues might not be too understanding when he doesn’t find my column sitting in his inbox tomorrow.”
She sighed. “Deadlines can be a real pain in the butt sometimes. Okay, go home and write your column. I’ll cuddle up with a bowl of ice cream instead.”
He chuckled. “Sounds better than taking a cold shower, which is what I’m going to be doing when I get home.” He closed his mouth over hers once more. “See you tomorrow night, beautiful.”
Resisting the urge to pull her into his arms again, Drake turned and walked down the hallway toward the stairwell. At the top of the steps, he glanced over his shoulder to see Simone standing where he’d left her, a sexy curve to her lips.
It took every ounce of strength he possessed not to go back and pin her against the door for one more long, lingering kiss. God, what he wouldn’t give to spend the night with her. Man, it was going to take more than a cold shower to get her out of his head.

Paige Tyler is a bestselling author of sexy, romantic fiction. She and her very own military hero (also known as her husband) live on the beautiful Florida coast with their adorable fur baby (also known as their dog). Paige graduated with a degree in education, but decided to pursue her passion and write books about hunky alpha males and the kickbutt heroines who fall in love with them.
Find her books at Ellora's Cave, Blushing Books, and soon Sourcebooks.
She is represented by Bob Mecoy.