Thursday, October 27, 2016

Guest Blog with Roxanne D. Howard: Fun and Interesting Facts about Halloween



Today, Roxanne D. Howard and I are doing a blog swap for our Halloween-themed tours. Check her out and be sure to say hi! -Katey


Hi there, I’m Roxanne D. Howard. I write erotic romances with Loose Id. Thanks for having me on your blog! With my Halloween-themed book (the first in a series), Batten Down the Hatches, out now with Loose Id, I’d like to share ten fun and interesting facts about Halloween with you all.

1. The word “witch” actually means “wise woman.” Wiccan women were highly respected before Halloween came to America.

2. Halloween is thought to have been around for over 6,000 years. Trick-or-treating originated in Ireland in the early 20th century for a festival of the dead called Samhain, where Celts left treats on their front doors to ward off evil spirits, and then eventually it came to America through Irish-Americans. During World War II it died out due to sugar rations. After the war, the “Peanuts” comics helped to bring it back along with children’s magazines and radio shows, and by the early 1950’s it became popular again. In a way, Halloween is more Irish than St. Patrick’s Day.


3. The fear of Halloween is called Samhainophobia.



4. When the movie Halloween was made in 1978, the budget was so small that they used a Star Trek mask of William Shatner for the character of Michael Meyers. When Shatner later found out, he said he was honored.


5. Scottish lassies believed that they could see the images of their future husbands if they hung wet sheets in front of their fires at Halloween. Some believed that they’d see the face of their boyfriend if they looked into mirrors while they walked down stairs at midnight on Halloween.



6. October 30th is National Candy Corn Day. Despite it being one of the most hated Halloween candies, Americans purchase over 20 million pounds of Candy Corn every year. It’s surprisingly one of the healthier candies being fat free, with 140 calories per handful. Candy corn was created in the 1880s in Philadelphia, and at the time it was called “chicken feed.” The recipe hasn’t changed in over 100 years.




7. Some of the first Halloween costumes were worn by the Celts. They would wear animal skins and blacken their faces to emulate the dead to honor them. America didn’t see the outburst of costumes until the 1930s.




8. The largest pumpkin ever measured weighed over 2,000 pounds and took 105 days to grow.



9. Bobbing for apples originated from the Roman harvest festival that honored Pomona, the goddess of fruit trees. Young single adults would bob for apples either in water or hanging by a string, and the first one to bite into the apple would be the next one allowed to marry.


10. The first known pumpkin originated in Mexico around 9,000 years ago. People used to believe pumpkins had the ability to remove freckles and cure snake bites. We all better go eat some pumpkin pie, then!




Book Description:

Art by Bianca Duerte, Design by April Martinez
Batten Down the Hatches is currently published with Loose Id, and available at all major online retailers. Please enjoy the book description and character art below. The character art was commissioned by Natalie and Bianca Duarte.

Piper Goldhirsch is the head reporter for Business Buster, an Undercover Boss-esque tabloid exposé show. While it was never her dream job, it pays the bills. When she attends a masked Halloween Ball and has a passionate affair in the billiard room with a sexy costumed pirate captain who calls himself Captain Jack, what starts out as a few kind words and exchanged kisses soon transforms into the greatest sex of her life, and she’s haunted by the powerful magic between them. Piper parts ways with the mysterious stranger, and assumes she’ll never see him again… until he becomes her job’s next target.

Captain Jack Spencer runs his own brand new whale watching company, Ahoy, Matey, on the outskirts of Costa Mesa and Balboa Island. He’s so good at it he’s garnered the attention of rival companies. Piper is called in by Jack’s nemesis to go undercover on an ocean tour to expose him, and reveal his alleged illegal tricks that have made his business so successful in a short amount of time. But when Piper realizes he’s the same sexy man she slept with at the Halloween Ball, she’s emotionally conflicted. Jack is unable to forget the woman from Halloween, and when they do meet up again, they can’t keep their hands off each other. It’s time to Batten Down the Hatches, because the waves are about to get wild!


Character Art:





Excerpt:
IN TYPICAL HOLLYWOOD fashion, the idiots talking to Legs obviously had no idea she was upset, but Jack saw her pain, plain as day. Whatever they’d said had transformed her radiant smile into a thin line, which paled her pretty face, and it pissed him off.

He stalked past them and yanked a bottle of wine out of a bucket from a nearby table when the attendant had his back turned. She had her coat slung over one arm and appeared to be leaving, but then she paused and went into the billiards room instead. She left the door partially ajar. He waited a minute, then nudged the door farther open and stepped into the room. She had her back to him and was clutching the edge of the pool table on either side of her, her head hung low. Her coat lay sprawled out on the pool table, as though she’d flung it there in haste. Jack closed the door behind him.

He should have tried to make conversation while they danced. He knew he should have; after all, this woman had all but stepped out of his most private fantasies and been delivered right into his arms. But he didn’t want to break the magic that seemed to permeate the air tonight. As was the case when he spotted a rare, beautiful whale out in the deep-blue sea, he needed to hold on to the moment and cherish it. Hopefully she’d talk to him now.

“Mind if I join you?” he asked, his voice low.

She gasped and turned, her hand over her heart.

“Sorry, I didn’t mean to scare you.”

Her chest heaved as she took in some deep breaths, then he saw her visibly relax.

“It’s okay. I just…thought I was alone.”

Her strong New York accent and throaty voice shot straight to his cock. He lifted the bottle of wine like a white flag. “I can leave you alone if you’d like. I thought it looked like you could use this. I’ll leave it here. Have a nice night.”

He didn’t want to come off as a creep, even if it meant blowing whatever chance he had with her. He set the wine down on a side table and turned to go.

“Wait.”

He turned back around. She bit her lower lip as she appraised him.

“You can stay for a while.”

“Thank you.” He moved further into the room, picked up the bottle, and held it up. “Hey, you want to see a cool trick?”

“Sure.”

“Fifteen years at sea taught me this.” He grinned.

“Sea?” She paused, then eyed his costume. “Oh, that’s right, you’re Captain Jack.”

“Argh. I am, lass,” he quipped in a pirate voice. He slouched beside her and parked his rear end against the pool table as he began to remove the foil on the bottle. “Now, if you’d be so kind as to pass me your shoe, wench.”

She quirked an eyebrow. “What? Why?”

“So I can open this thing. I didn’t manage to grab a corkscrew. But I know an old sailor’s trick. Bear with me. I promise, I’ll give it back in pristine condition.”

“Um, okay.”

She steadied herself against the pool table with one hand and unlatched her right flat with the other. He hooked his finger beneath the strap and examined its craftsmanship. “You have dainty feet for such a leggy woman.”

“Charming. You always start conversations this way?”

“Only with beautiful women I’m trying to impress, Legs,” he said as he flirted with her, leveling a heated glance on her impressive breasts. He turned his attention back to the bottle. “Not from around here, are you? New York?” Her dark, intelligent eyes followed his movements as he removed the foil covering.

“Jersey, originally, but I grew up in New York.”

“You don’t strike me as an actress. You’re too with it. You would have told me your life story by now.”

She laughed. “No. I’m the anchor of a late-night cable news show.”

He nodded and hummed with this new information. He didn’t watch television and had no idea who this woman was, but he could believe it. She looked the type. “I see you’re a rebel too.”

“Excuse me?”

He motioned with his forefinger to her elaborate eye makeup. “The unconventional approach. Nice butterfly mask.”

“Oh.”

She smiled and ducked her head. God, her wide and beautiful mouth. He stifled a groan at the image of what her succulent lips would look and feel like around his cock.

“Thanks. My mom was a makeup artist for Cats on Broadway for seven straight years. She gave me some pointers, and they kind of stuck. She did all kinds of makeup experiments on me, like fairy eyes, animal faces… I asked her to do a big bruise once, and I thought it was the coolest thing ever. I went around the block and showed it off to all my friends.”

He chuckled. “She sounds pretty cool.”

“She’s the coolest. And anyway, if you can’t be original on Halloween, when else can you be?”

“I’ll drink to that.” He turned his attention to the flat in his hand. He nestled the slim bottle in the base of the shoe, and using both hands, smacked it against the pool table.

Her eyes widened, and she stretched her hand out. “Whoa. Here’s an FYI, Captain Jack. Those are expensive. You won’t impress me by ruining perfectly good shoes.”

“Trust me.” He winked at her and smacked the shoe on the pool table three more times. The cork loosened and came almost all the way out. He grabbed it between his teeth and yanked. A loud pop filled the room. He gave her the bottle of wine. “Milady. You take the booze. I’ll put your shoe back on.”

PIPER RAISED HER eyebrows, impressed. “Damn. I knew heels were instruments of power, but this took it to a whole new level.”

By all rights, a man on his knees before her with a cork between his teeth shouldn’t have been sexy, but he was. This guy had confidence coming off him in waves, but in a more organic sense than one of the manscaped   Hollywood peacocks who frequented these type of events. He exuded confidence. And boy, those boulder shoulders of his begged to be touched.

Author Bio:



 Roxanne D. Howard is a romance novelist who resides in the mid-western United States. She has published At the Heart of the Stone and Chicks Dig the Accent with Loose Id. Roxanne is a U.S. Army veteran, and has a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and English. She loves to read poetry, classical literature, and Stephen King. She is also an avid Star Wars fan, musical theater nut, and loves everything related to marine biology. She is the proud mother of two beautiful girls, several pets, and loves to spend time with her husband and children when she’s not writing. Roxanne loves to hear from her readers, and she can be contacted at author@roxannedhoward.com. To find out more, please visit her website at www.roxannedhoward.com.

Social Media Links:



Monday, October 24, 2016

Multi-Author, Multi-Book Interview Time!

Vampires, Werewolves, Fae, Witches, Demons! We've got it all. Welcome to my special guests, all in the Halloween spirit.... -Katey

We’re here with Matt Antonin and Thackeray from Katey Hawthorne’s Praesidium, Aiken Kavanaugh from Kinsey Holley’s Going for Brook and Jason Cook from PG Forte’s Going Back to Find You

Welcome gentlemen. It’s good of you to join us. It seems you’ve all been involved with paranormal incursions, of one sort of the other this Halloween season. But this year also found you teaming up with someone to prevent one or more disasters. What was your first impression of him?

Matt: Brick Shithouse. I mean, he did attack me in a shrubbery.

Thackeray: It wasn't an attack! More like a... gentle... ambush.

Matt: Mmm-hmm. Answer the question.

Thackeray: Witchy. (Long pause.) And then, eventually, "hot punk librarian."

Matt: Nice.

Aiken: I like Jason. Solid lad when you need backup. He drinks blood but he’s not a murderer or anything 

Jason: Aiken was a little manic when I first met him—it was a stressful situation. But I could tell right away that he was definitely the kind of guy you’d want at your back in a crisis. Unless the crisis involves excessive blood loss; then you might be screwed.

Q#2:  If your life was turned into a movie, who would play you? 
       Matt: Man, I don't know any actors who have my hair. My hair is my best feature.
       
       Thackeray: The guy who plays Luke Cage.
       
       Matt: I could see that, actually. Damn.

Aiken: Sebastian Stan.

Jason: Max Thierot—but he’s not really tall enough.  Maybe Justin Hartley? 
Q#3: Who would play your lover?
       Matt: Well now I have Mike Colter stuck in my head but, nah. I don't know. Someone huge, though. And fine. Okay yeah maybe Mike Colter.

Thackeray: Jussie Smollett.

Matt: ... you watch Empire?

Thackeray: I thought everyone did.

      Aiken:  Kate Mara.

Jason:  Nina Dobrev is almost a dead ringer. It’s kind of ironic, actually.

Q#4: If you could change one thing about your past, what would it be?

Thackeray: ... no comment.

Matt: That's not how it's played, Thackeray. Come on. One thing.

Thackeray: I'd keep my mother from moving us into that house. 

Matt: Then you wouldn't be a demon hunter.

Thackeray: This is why I didn't want to answer. Makes no sense, changing things.

Matt: I'd change it so Thackeray would tell me everything right away instead of making me wait. 

Thackeray: Ha, ha.

Aiken: Different parents.

Jason: I’m with Thackeray on this one. You think you’re changing one thing, but you might end up changing everything. However, if there had been any way I could have said goodbye to Liz before I left for San Francisco, I would have liked to do that.


Q5: What’s next for you? 

Thackeray: More of the same... but better.

Matt: You big softie. 

Thackeray: ...

Matt: What he said.

Aiken: No idea. That’s the only way for quasi-immortals to keep from going mad with boredom – never look too far down the road.

Jason: That’s kind of up to Liz. I think she’d like for us to keep traveling. But, eventually, I’d like to move back to the Midwest—at least for a little while.

For more of this interview, please visit authors Katey Hawthorne: http://www.kateyhawthorne.com/?zx=1898257b9ee6dc0e








Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Witchy Boys: Release Day Shenanigans!

Yay, Happy Halloween Month! Witchy Boys is here and ready to set the mood ♥


I've got some great release day reviews to share, if you need further convincing!

4 Stars from Joyfully Jay: "Witchy Boys is a cute set of short stories and fun for Halloween season." -Jay

3.5 Stars from Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words: "Hawthorne does her absolutely spooktacular best when describing the rising of the zombies and the manner in which they were then dispatched." -Melanie

4.5 Stars from Prism Book Alliance: "They were both easy, sexy reads that highly entertained me." -Teresa


Today is the second day of the Witchy Boys blog tour--which means more places to enter the giveaway. Check it out:



October 17 – A.J. Llewellyn
October 19 – The Novel Approach
October 20 – MM Good Book Reviews
October 21 – Love Bytes
October 24 – P.G. Forte
October 25 – Joyfully Jay
October 26 – Prism Book Alliance
October 27 – Roxanne D. Howard
October 28 – Diverse Reader
October 31 – Jenna Rose


Monday, October 17, 2016

Guest Post with A.J. Llewellyn: How Tame Should a Man Be?

Today, I am super excited to have a blog trade with the wonderful A.J. Llewellyn. So without further ado.. Enjoy!.♥  -Katey

How Tame Should a Man Be? By A.J. Llewellyn

I adore research. I love ferreting out the unusual and the absurd… then five years ago I hit the literary jackpot when I researched werewolves for a story I’d committed to writing for Amber Quill Press.

I agonized for days over how to come up with something fresh and original in a genre that is frankly saturated with werewolf stories. I didn’t want to conform to the “norms” associated with the legend, but I wanted to make sure my story wasn’t so outlandish that people would say, “Oh, come on!” when they read it.

And then I struck gold.

I found an old newspaper article online from 1907 about a small town in Argentina that once had strong rumors about male babies turning into werewolves. The seventh son born to a family was doomed to become a werewolf, according to the article I read.

Mass hysteria created a horrible solution. The town’s residents began killing every seventh male baby born to families, hoping to ward off the curse. The killings got so bad that the mayor of the town stepped in at the urging on the local police. He offered to be the godfather to these boys, to both protect them and bless them.

To this day, the mayor of the town is still the godfather to every seventh son… And even the country’s president is often asked to step in if the mayor is busy!

This legend is entwined with another: that boys who swim across a certain lake emerge on the other side emerge as werewolves. Those who do “turn” have to live for nine years without killing a human and by swimming back across the lake in the opposite direction can break the curse. Of course, boys being boys are said to challenge each other, and the curse, and swim across the lake.

I loved these two stories!

They gave me the idea for Tame and its sequel, Savage: Tame 2.

Tame was one of the biggest-selling stories of my career. Interestingly, I received some awful emails from people in Argentina who were upset about the book and how dare I write such nonsense? I pointed them in the direction of the article I’d read and they were shocked. I was amazed how few people knew of the legend.

And even if the myth didn’t exist, fiction isn’t supposed to be real, but I like to ground all my stories in reality. Recently, Amber Quill Press shuttered and the rights to Tame and Savage: Tame 2 returned to me. I’ve contracted them with MLR Press.

Tame releases On October 28, just in time for Halloween! These two books remain among my favorites and I am so glad they are being rereleased. I hope you’ll check them out!




Tame By A.J. Llewellyn

Logline:

Ludo might be the most magnificent man Cavan's ever met...but why does he say he's...tame?

Blurb:

It's Halloween and LAPD cop Cavan Carmichael is expecting spooky things...this is LA, after all. But who could have predicted a late night animal abuse call would reveal a beaten, chained-up man in a garden shed?

Cavan rescues the bruised and bloodied man who rasps the mysterious words, "Don't worry I'm tame."

But is he? Nothing about him adds up. For every medical test the doctors perform, come only more questions. When Ludo is admitted to the hospital he has grievous injuries inflicted by a despicable assailant via antique instruments of torture.

Unbelievably, these injuries heal fast and Cavan, who visits the recuperating man finds he is attracted and intrigued. But can he overlook such oddities as bristles under the man's tongue or strange wolf hairs in his wounds?

Is the most beautiful man Cavan has ever seen, really...tame?



Excerpt:

“There’s nothing in the shed. I don’t keep my dogs in there.” The man kept babbling. “You can’t go in there. That’s private.”

They inched toward it, the big silver bolt on it glinting under the flashlights’ beams. Cavan saw a dark stain on the door. He was sure it was blood.

“Unlock this please,” Ben insisted.

“No. There’s no dogs in there. Come back with a search warrant.”

They reached the shack, Cavan touching the lock. The padlock had not been pushed all the way down.

Inside the house, the dogs started barking like crazy, as if sensing something was very wrong. Cavan pulled out his iPhone with his free hand and surreptitiously began recording.

“The lock,” Ben said again.

Unbelievably, Luke Masterson took off running.

Cavan heard Ben shouting something to him, but he didn’t respond. He wondered what horrors awaited him as he lifted the lock off the hinge, slid back the bolt and prepared to enter the shack. He heard Ben running and realized he’d gone after their suspect. Cavan braced himself as he got the door open and, flashlight in one hand, camera phone activated, began searching the small room. There in the corner sat a huddled creature chained to the wall, shackles on…his feet. It wasn’t a dog. It was a beaten, shivering, shaking, bloodied man. Cavan would never forget how the man tried to make himself smaller. Defenseless. Petrified.

Suddenly, his head came up. His swollen eyes looked right at Cavan.

Holy shit.

“Don’t worry,” the man said. “I’m tame…”

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Just in time for Halloween - Witchy Boys!

Looking for some sexy stories for dark nights? Boy have I got something for you...


It would be difficult for me to communicate just how much I love Halloween. That's why I'm reallllly excited to have a spooky lil book ready for you this year. It contains an updated reprint of Præsidium and a brand new story called Blood Magic and the Mini Zombie Apocalypse. It'll be up for grabs on Tuesday the 18th, but why wait? Pre orders are hot at Amazon.com, All Romance eBooks, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, and Smashwords.

For excerpts, behind-the-book bits, and general Halloween fangirling--OH and a chance to win a $20 gift card--be sure to stop in and follow the Witchy Boys Blog Tour, starting Monday!


October 17 – A.J. Llewellyn
October 19 – The Novel Approach
October 20 – MM Good Book Reviews
October 21 – Love Bytes
October 24 – P.G. Forte
October 25 – Joyfully Jay
October 26 – Prism Book Alliance
October 27 – Roxanne D. Howard
October 28 – Diverse Reader
October 31 – Jenna Rose


Just in time for Halloween! Two novelettes about men with magic—and the occasional demon. 

"Blood Magic and the Mini Zombie Apocalypse"

Griff has a bad habit of getting talked into black magic he shouldn’t be using—but this time it’s even worse. His ex is bent on revenge in the form of a mini zombie apocalypse, and the only person who can help Griff is a hottie white magic practitioner named Blythe. The catch: one of Griff’s spells gone wrong left Blythe with a haunted apartment a year ago, and Blythe isn’t over it.

Still, Blythe agrees to work with Griff. As they unravel the ugly blood, sex, and death magic, they also discover surprising things about each other. Hopefully, it’s enough for the ultimate trust they’ll need to defeat a lot of zombies and a crazed witch, or their town will end up covered in corpses.

"Præsidium"

Six years ago, Thackeray agreed to let a demon haunt him in exchange for help hunting other demons. It's a lonely life, but worth it to be the best demon hunter possible -- to save families from the kind of evil that ruined his own childhood.

This Hallowe'en, Thackeray's dealing with an upstart coven. A powerful, pretty witch named Matt defects to help Thackeray stop their scheme to invite god-knows-what from the other side. 

Demons are much easier to fight than the urges Matt's flirting inspires. But Thackeray can't hook up with a demon watching over his shoulder... can he?

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Alchemiya Tour Wrap Up + Halloweeeeeeeen Stories

Thanks so much to everyone who dropped in and checked out the ALCHEMIYA blog tour. It was so much fun--and I'm so excited about this whole new world to explore. Because, yeah. There will be more. Two more... that I know of! ♥

While I was hopping around the internet, Some great reviews came in!

Kym Palmer at Rainbow Reviews says (rather enthusiastically): A very enjoyable read and I already wish book two was available.

Dee at Love Bytes says (with slightly more reservations): People who enjoy historical settings, with scientific lingo, engaging heroines, and a side of spice, will more than likely enjoy ‘Alchemiya ‘.

Holly at The Lesbrary says (so sweetly, I thought): The author knows how to spin a good yarn, and gives us a protagonist that is sometimes delightful, sometimes petulant, and sometimes both of these things at once.  

I love all these sites, so this is amazing, for me. Yay!

Interest in who won the giveaway? Check out the tour starter day party and scroll down!

But as they say, there's no rest for the... well, you know. In honor of my favorite holiday, I've got something special cooking up. It's two novelettes tied up with an neat bow, and it's called Witchy Boys: Sexy Stories for Dark Nights. Blood Magic and the Mini Zombie Apocalypse is brand new, never before seen material! And Præsidium is an updated reprint about two of my faves. More about the upcoming book tour this weekend, but for now...

 Check it out:


Just in time for Halloween! Two novelettes about men with magic—and the occasional demon. 

Blood Magic and the Mini Zombie Apocalypse
Griff has a bad habit of getting talked into black magic he shouldn’t be using—but this time it’s even worse. His ex is bent on revenge in the form of a mini zombie apocalypse, and the only person who can help Griff is a hottie white magic practitioner named Blythe. The catch: one of Griff’s spells gone wrong left Blythe with a haunted apartment a year ago, and Blythe isn’t over it.

Still, Blythe agrees to work with Griff. As they unravel the ugly blood, sex, and death magic, they also discover surprising things about each other. Hopefully, it’s enough for the ultimate trust they’ll need to defeat a lot of zombies and a crazed witch, or their town will end up covered in corpses.

Præsidium
Six years ago, Thackeray agreed to let a demon haunt him in exchange for help hunting other demons. It's a lonely life, but worth it to be the best demon hunter possible -- to save families from the kind of evil that ruined his own childhood.

This Hallowe'en, Thackeray's dealing with an upstart coven. A powerful, pretty witch named Matt defects to help Thackeray stop their scheme to invite god-knows-what from the other side. 

Demons are much easier to fight than the urges Matt's flirting inspires. But Thackeray can't hook up with a demon watching over his shoulder... can he?

Coming October 18, 2016. Pre-order now at Amazon.comAll Romance eBooksBarnes & NobleiBooks, or Smashwords.