Monday, June 5, 2017

When Authors, Vampires, and Witches Descend Upon New Orleans For a Party!


Happy Summer, everyone!


One Happy Birthday Girl
While some "well-worth-the-waiting" cover art is being finalized for my next book, Witches’ Pawn,( the second follow-up in my three-part book series, The Binding), I’ve been diligently writing away on this third final book.

Recently, I was treated by two amazing women who thoughtfully gifted me with an ultimate surprise birthday trip to New Orleans.



Alys and me
Why New Orleans?  A party, of course! Alys Arden, Fellow Authoress, hosted a book release party for her newest book, The Romeo Catchers, and the evening was a bitingly-good time.  For a few hours, I had the chance to "fan-girl" unabashedly as we toured the Ursuline Convent, an important old setting in both her books, The Casquette Girls and The Romeo Catchers, and maybe even more wonderful than that, I met a lot of really interesting people and gained a few new friends who love many of the same things that I do.


Courtyard of Beauregard-Keyes House
(Not my picture--we were there in the evening)
This impromptu trip garnered an armload of useful writer tidbits and provided plenty of Louisiana "mojo" that will definitely influence my upcoming pages .This well-attended book-release party was held in the Beauregard-Keyes House in New Orleans right across the street from the convent on Rue Chartres, being once owned by author, Frances Parkinson Keyes, who published over 50 books, many of them being written at this well-preserved home in the French Quarter. Another writing incident occurred while I was merrily devouring a divine luncheon of Sweet Corn and Crab Bisque at the Chartres House restaurant. Beneath a red umbrella that shaded us in the rear courtyard, I soon discovered that our table was within arms reach of a beautiful fountain. Our great waiter, Tevan, explained to us that the fountain had once been a small swimming pool, instead, and that it had been a well-known hang out/haunt of the writer Tennessee Williams, who used to spend his time, long ago, possibly in the same spot I was sitting that day, writing poolside.  I can only wish that surely some of those excellent "writer vibes" from both historic locations and these two revered writers has seeped a little into my veins a bit.


Add caption
While in New Orleans, I did find a little time to conduct a little more research for book three (of The Binding trilogy), as well, and found myself meandering and exploring with my two companions inside the Voodoo Museum and then in a few other eccentric "found-only-in-New Orleans" stops.


Sign inside of Potions, a speak-easy vamp bar
Since my return, inspiration has me writing non-stop.  New Orleans always does this to me, infusing my thoughts and increasing my creativity meter to huge proportions until I have trouble transcribing onto paper all the words that are floating around in my head.


Love Potion #9 from Potions
The next blog will be about the release of Witches’ Pawn.  Stay tuned for special announcements!


And a HUGE thank you to the two women who facilitated the coup of the century! A sneak attack voyage worthy of Pirate-status acknowledgement and admiration! Here's a vial of Love Potion #9 for you!

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Love and Light in the New Year

Daffodils in Winter
Promise of Spring

While February gets underway, I’ve been setting up the building blocks for all the things I want to accomplish and do this year.

The Binding: Witches’ Pawn, the second installment of The Binding trilogy which takes place in New Orleans, is being edited.  The book cover is being created by the amazingly talented artist, Synque White, and I am busy structuring and writing the conclusion. This book series is, for lack of a better description, my baby.  I want so desperately for readers to feel, smell, taste and know New Orleans through my characters and words that I continue to research and make additions and changes even after having the entire story plotted out.


Also, while working on the second book, I discovered some formatting errors and small faux pas throughout The Binding (Book 1), so I’ve also been working to correct that for future readers.

There are other exciting things going on in my world.  I’m teaching myself how to make jewelry and will soon be adding different pieces to my Etsy store along with other creations I’ve been working on lately.

Credit to Photographer
And perhaps, even more exciting than that is a project that I’m only helping with on the sidelines.  My mother, a budding Herbologist and firm-believer in all things natural, has began building her apothecary so that she can offer the chemical-free, healing and beauty products she has been concocting at home for quite some time to everyone on the Etsy store.

Do you have anything you want to accomplish this year?  Tell me down in the comments!


I will share more as these things come together throughout the year.  Until next time, love and light to you all.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

A Vampire's Christmas Eve in New Orleans

Christmas at St. Charles Mansion, New Orleans
Credit to Photographer
Yuletide is upon us, and I'd like to give you all a gift to say thanks for reading my books, blogs and following in all the crazy adventures I get myself into.

Over the last year or so, I've been asked multiple times for a glimpse into Demien's mind, and so, I give you "A Vampire's Christmas Eve in New Orleans."


Let me know if you enjoy it!

Wishing you all a magical Yule, a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.




Haven't read The Binding yet?
Get The Binding here!

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

The Romeo Catchers ~ Alys Arden

I loved Alys Arden's novel, The Casquette Girls, so much that I jumped on the chance to share her upcoming book, The Romeo Catchers, with all of you! Do yourself a favor and check it out.  She spins a wonderful tale.



The Romeo Catchers
Alys Arden
(The Casquette Girls #2)
Published by: Skyscape
Publication date: May 23rd 2017
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult
Tormented by the fate she condemned her mother to, and by the lies she’s forced to tell to cover it up, Adele scours Storm-ravaged New Orleans for the truth about her family’s magical past. But every turn leads her back to the one person she’s determined to forget: Niccolò Medici. Not even the multitude of enchanted locks on the attic door trapping Nicco within can break their connection.
Sensing Nicco calling to Adele, Isaac tries relentlessly to keep her from exploring paths too dark that would endanger them all. But a new threat is rising: the Medici’s presence has attracted something else to New Orleans…an older enemy, one that will bring Isaac’s haunted past to life, test the witches’ friendships, and jeopardize Adele and Isaac’s blossoming relationship.
In this spellbinding continuation of The Casquette Girls saga, Adele must draw on the past—from seventeenth-century Florence, a time bubbling with alchemy and fraternal betrayal—and sort history from fantasy if she is to have any chance of saving her mother, her coven, and her magic.
Sequel to:
25917801


Author Bio:
Alys Arden was raised by the street performers, tea leaf-readers, and glittering drag queens of the New Orleans French Quarter. She cut her teeth on the streets of New York and has worked all around the world since. She either talks too much or not at all. She obsessively documents things. Her hair ranges from eggplant to cotton-candy colored. One dreary day in London, she missed home and started writing The Casquette Girls.
Her debut novel garnered over one million reads online before it was acquired by Skyscape in a two book deal. Her second book is due out winter 2016.
Alys is represented by ICM. And she still plans to run away with the circus one star swept night.

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Thursday, November 17, 2016

November Moon and Samurai Swords


Super Moon November 2016

In the last couple of weeks, I've been busy scribbling as fast as my little fingers will move to finish up The Binding: Witches' Pawn.  I'm almost there. I can feel it in my bones, and I can't wait.  Soon, I will start working with my cover artist, the amazing Synque, to create the perfect cover that keeps within the feel of The Binding and alludes to the action to come. If you've not yet read The Binding, my New Orleans vampire novel, just follow the link! Available Here






I'm also working hard to make Christmas items and fill custom orders through my Etsy shop. If you are hoping to gift someone a unique gift for the holidays, please stop by my little store. Here










Samurai suit

Outside of Frist Center
In the meantime, adventures abound. At the very beginning of the month, we visited the Frist Center to enjoy The Way of Samurai exhibit. While there, we made very cool, totally adult origami Samurai hats and watched the coolest rhythmic display ever!




Matsuriza Taiko Drummers


Stevie Nicks
Credit to Photographer


And on one magical night, to celebrate my mom's birthday, we saw Stevie Nicks in concert.  Yes, it was amazing!


Hot Air Balloon guiding
us on an Autumn journey
Holidays are coming up fast now, and there is much to be done. Crafts and gifts must be created.  Merriment must be had.  And above all, the wheel of the year has finally spun around to that peaceful, perfect time of year where I can curl up and write with a cat cuddling at my side and a steaming mug of tea. 






How is your November going so far?  Just leave me a comment down below!

 

Origami
Samurai Hat






Wednesday, November 2, 2016

October Shenanigans



Hello all!!!

As I mentioned in my previous blog, the month of October is my favorite time of the year.  At my house, we go all out embracing Halloween and the changes of the season with the joyous exuberance that one usually hears about at Yule and Christmastime.  

For almost two months we decorated our yard in anticipation of visitors and spooks.  Daily, we came up with new little areas of Halloween fun, while we simultaneously tucked back more ideas for next year. The goings- on were numerous, and you'll find below the shenanigans I fell into:

Painted Raven Wings
Autumn Cloak Back
Autumn Cloak Front














First, we needed costumes!  Yes, costumes!!!  The Renaissance Faire falls on the fourth weekend of October every year.  So, not only does one need a spooky outfit for trick or treat night, one also needs an outfit of magical proportions for Faire-going. I made three costumes this year.  1) Painted Raven wings - seen above. 2) An Autumn Faery cloak made with over 2,000 leaves not including the three in my hair. 3) Medusa - complete with a head turned to stone and a crown of golden snakes.
Medusa in the graveyard
My golden crown of snakes almost disappears in the nature background.



When the day arrived, the breezy, sun-filled weather could not have been more perfect on Faire day. Joined by friends for a few blissful hours, we were transported back into times long remembered and much missed.
A Gathering of Rennies


Wood Lathing
Merry Meet






Here are a few of my pictures from this year's Renaissance faire.

2016 Monarchy
Our new Bagpiper













Trick or Treat Table





Then, Halloween weekend arrived. This year the neighborhood got together and put on a Halloween hayride event for the kids (and adults too.)  All down our road, neighbors prepared for the haunting evening. Screams and delighted laughter echoed throughout the hills.  

Candlelit Cemetery
Dancing Witches








Loreena McKennitt 2016
And would you believe it?  My October was about to get even better!!! On October 30th, one night before Halloween, I got to see the number one artist on my bucket list, Loreena McKennitt!!!  For many, many years her voice has inspired my writing and my life, and her performance seared her voice permanently into my soul.










Finally, as Samhain night arrived, we ended our magical October with brightly lit candles honoring our ancestors long passed and a couple of carved pumpkins!  Hoping your October was a magical as mine.  Drop me a comment to tell me how you celebrated! 
Louis by our Halloween pumpkins

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Pumpkin Party

Full Moon October 2017




Enter if you Dare 
When leaves turn to the colors of fall and the crisp, autumn wind wisps through the nooks and cranny's of the hollow, my favorite time of year arrives in ghostly splendor!


The wheel turns, and with it October comes bringing everyone back together after a year of hard work and wandering.  To kick off this most perfect of months, we held our annual Pumpkin Carving Party where witches, goblins and haints all stopped by to join in the pumpkin revelry and autumn treats.



Burton inspired table
Illuminated by candles, lanterns and the light of the full moon, my friends and I gathered around the mini-bonfire to sing a few songs from ages long past and to catch up with old friends.



We supped on a delicious Buffalo Chicken Chili and toasted French bread with spicy corn dip and chips on the side for snacking. Witches hats made from Hersey's kisses, tombstone cupcakes, and vampire chocolate bars added to the night's ambiance and fueled our sweet tooth.   

And to drink, the star of the evening, was a little thing we like to call Autumn Sangria.

The original recipe was named Fruit Jar Sangria; however, its flavors and presence at our autumn party caused it to be dubbed with a the new name of Autumn Sangria.

Directions:  Just add snipped dried apricots to jars, a few green grapes, diced apples and pears (which were floated in acidulated water first), a cinnamon stick 1/3 cold apple cider, frozen apple cider ice cubes, 1/3 Barefoot White Moscato, and top with ginger-ale, sprite, or club soda.


Well fed and relaxed, there was only one thing left to do...admire our pumpkins beneath the moonlight.


Voodoo Doll

Ghoulish Ghosts

Skull and Crossbones

Mardi Gras Mask 

Doing anything fun this October?  Tell me all about it below!