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Friday, November 11, 2011
Where Ghosts Come to Play. Sexy Paranormal Excerpts. 1 of 3. Chance to Win!
It’s finally that time! 11.11.11 has arrived.
In this case, the date means the release of my long awaited novel, The Victorian Lure (Calum’s Curse: Ardetha Vampyre). I started writing this book a few years ago. At birth, it was an entirely different story. In fact, it was originally drafted to be the follow-up to Highland Muse which was part of The Song of the Muses Anthology at The Wild Rose Press. Regrettably, that never happened.
But I didn’t let that get me down.
Instead, I gave the story a complete overhaul which included expanding it from a novella into a full novel. Gone were the Greek gods. In their place, ghosts and yes, even a nasty nemesis of a vampire. I was pretty shocked by the whole turn of events and how eventually this book became the first in a trilogy about three haunted houses which imprison creatures of the night. Three creatures bent on destroying descendants of Calum himself.
Who is Calum?
As it turns out, Calum had what I like to call a ‘there but not there’ part in my recently re-launched MacLomain Series. In Fate’s Monolith (Book 1) he was the babe in Marie’s belly. In Sylvan Mist (Book 3) he was the brother overseas studying in France. Yet these were novels that took place in the colonial period. The Victorian Lure takes place in present day. So there you have it, Calum is a ghost that though it seems he haunts the house, he’s really haunting his descendants to not only protect them but help them solve the mystery of the creatures sent to destroy them.
So who are these doomed descendants?
Three cousins, all born in different parts of the world, who run the Worldwide Paranormal Society. One is Scottish, one Irish and the third, American. In The Victorian Lure, you’ll meet Leathan Stewart, head paranormal investigator and journey with the team through the turbulent whirlwind of the Victorian and its role in Calum’s curse. Interested in 'meeting' the team? Before you leave A Writer's Mind today, be sure to head over to their new character blog, Paranormal/Syfy Romance- Deep, Dark and Delicious.
The fun part of the Calum's Curse trilogy?
Besides Calum, other characters from The MacLomain Series make an appearance throughout the Calum’s Curse Trilogy. If you’ve read the series you’re familiar with the Adlin, head shaman and meddlesome cupid. He’s back in The Victorian Lure as a ghost and moral compass for the ghost hunters. Enjoyed Destiny’s Denial? Well, Caitlin and Ferchar, join the paranormal crew in a most unexpected way!
I decided to celebrate the launch of the series with excerpts from The Victorian Lure shared throughout the weekend. Yes, Halloween may have come and gone elsewhere but here at A Writer’s Mind, ghostly encounters have only just begun. As an added bonus, I'd like to host a contest. Once lucky winner will be drawn from all comments left on posts between now and Sunday. The prize? A free Ecopy of The Victorian Lure! Before we begin, a bit about the book...
Is it true love or is the magnetic pull just another part of the Victorian's lure?
Dakota Allerton depends on no one but herself, but then she's never needed a ghost hunter. When her dream home becomes a house of horrors that is holding her hostage, her only hope is a Scotsman who investigates the paranormal.
The supernatural is nothing Leathan Stewart can't handle. However, trapped in Dakota's cursed Victorian home, he finds himself falling back in time. Only those who persevere can survive the dark domination.
Fear has a way of drawing two people together but so does the need to be loved. Dakota and Leathan must fight against unknown enemies, discover the secrets of Calum's Curse and defeat a vampire bent on finishing the legacy it began.
So why not start out right with the bone-chilling scene that caused Dakota to seek help to begin with? (Please note: this dialogue is intended for a mature audience)
Rye Beach, New Hampshire
Walk in. Never look back. Leave it all behind. The icy ocean swirled around her ankles. The steady ebb and flow of waves an undeniable invitation.
“Don’t do it.”
“What?” Dakota spun. Nobody stood there. Only the Queen Anne Victorian mansion gazed down from its perch across the dark, desolate road. Her new home seemed more sinister than the fate she’d contemplated moments ago. She ran a shaky hand through her short locks and shivered. What was she thinking? With a deep breath, she sucked in the salty autumn air and frowned. Why, after all this time, did she suddenly turn coward?
“Shake it off, stay strong,” Dad had always said.
And, to this day, she had.
Imagine if he could see her now. Dakota headed for the house. Pins and needles stung her wet feet when she crossed grainy sand and frozen asphalt. As she climbed the stairs to the front door, light flooded the foyer. Thank God the power was on. It was about time. The thought of spending the night huddled in front of the fireplace drinking bottled water hadn’t appealed to her in the least. Locating the thermostat, she cranked the heat.
An eerie chill slithered up her spine. Alert, she studied every corner. Was someone watching her? Impossible. Had to be her imagination.
Ten minutes later, Dakota plunked down in front of the one thing worth living for, her top of the line computer. Snuggling deeper into her oversized sweatshirt, she defrosted her toes in fuzzy slippers and logged on. With a couple of clicks of her mouse, she had surfed through her competitor’s sites, looking for functionality and/or upgrades. She knew damned well they were doing the same thing.
Give it a month or two, and she’d leave most of them in the dust. After all, the social networking site she created was different than most. It had two options for customers to choose from. One section brought fans of anything paranormal together. Like vampires, werewolves, shape-shifters, creatures of the night? It included a feature that allowed people to create their own unique page and befriend whoever they liked on the site. The other─and far more lucrative option─was the dating section. Looking for a fellow reaper devotee, maybe a sexy hunk with fangs in his closet? Don’t go any further! In addition, her site had superior security that was implemented and designed differently than any other site online.
So far, jackpot.
2.4 million dollars later, she was still undecided whether to sell to one of the top search engines. Dakota took a sip from a teeming glass of merlot and admired her site’s splash page. Twisting in from a murky pool of black and gray it ended on a small red dot. Click, click on the dot. A werewolf sprang forward, fangs dripping blood, eyes eager. Click, click again and enter the main site. She grinned. It wasn’t always a werewolf. She’d created over ten different ferocious monsters and coded them to randomly display on her splash page.
She clicked on the words, Welcome, madness. Name your space.
Enter name. She typed, “Last Girl Standing.”
Enter password. She typed, “betyourass.”
Once the page loaded, Dakota sifted through comments, mail, invites. Why the hell had she created a page here? Morbid curiosity she supposed. Or just shitty memories. Then again, she’d made a few good friends. One in particular had caught her attention. He called himself “Ghost of a Chance.” Like her, he was a software engineer, specializing in web development, so they’d had numerous conversations about graphics, animation, advertising, and other related topics. Besides that, she knew little about him personally.
A previously left instant message popped up from him. “Looks like I missed you. Hope to chat soon!”
Dakota smiled and closed the message. She didn’t even know what he looked like, where he came from, but she wanted to know more. Much more.
A sizzling fire erupted in the bottom right hand corner of the screen. Someone was trying to contact her via instant message. Hell, she thought that’d been set to invisible. Eyes narrowed, she clicked on the inquiring name “I Remember You.” Whoever they were had typed, “Wanna have some fun?”
Just about to sign off chat, she stopped when they typed, “Awe, c’mon Miss England!”
Dakota froze. She flexed her fingers and typed, “Who is this?”
Only a site “friend” could instant message her.
They must’ve got the wrong person.
About to sign off another message appeared. “Has it been so long that you’ve forgotten me?”
She typed, “Think you got the wrong person.”
“Hmmm, doubt it.”
Knees tapping beneath the desk, fingers shaking slightly, Dakota shook her head.
“Getting nervous, Miss England?”
So not gonna take this. Dakota logged out of the site and closed the browser. Strangely enough, the splash page popped up again. She frowned. Click, click. The browser wouldn’t close. Dakota hit the “off” button on the computer.
Still no change.
The splash page had loaded. The red point wanted to be clicked. Hell if she would! She took her hand off the mouse. It clicked on its own! Eyes wide, she rolled back. Instead of a creature screaming forward, a globe of the Earth did. Long-fingered masculine hands formed around the globe. Even the wide, half-mooned nail beds could be seen.
Dakota blinked. “I’ve gotta be seeing things,” she whispered.
The hands began to decay, the cuticles peeled back, the knuckles crawled with vermin. Someone whispered, “Are you sure?”
Dakota covered her mouth with her hand and shook her head again.
A teeth-grinding laugh blared through her speakers. The hands twirled the planet, faster and faster. She pinched the bridge of her nose and narrowed her eyes. Think. Think. She leaned over and pulled the computer cord from the wall. Still, the hands decayed faster while they whirled the globe quicker. At that exact moment, the miniature portrayal of the Earth flew out of the computer screen and sailed over her head.
Dakota swiveled her chair and gripped the armrests. Her wine glass hit the floor and shattered. This can’t be happening. But no, the eighteen inch portrayal of the Earth hit the far wall. It slammed to the floor, rolled and stopped at her feet. Red wine swirled around the planet. She peered down. It looked like something. But what? Holy crap. Was it? Could it be? It appeared Earth was drowning in blood.
Blinking, Dakota tried to clear her vision. This had to be a joke. What if it wasn’t? Should she run? Get the heck out of there. She didn’t know what to do so. Foolish or brave, she leaned over and studied the very real globe smoking at her feet. She touched the surface and yanked her hand back. Ouch! Hot! Cocking her head, she looked closer. A burn clearly marked the country of Scotland.
Slowly, carefully, Dakota rolled her chair away. The globe must have been there all along. This was a figment of her imagination. The computer whirred. She swung back to the screen. Blood boiled beneath her cheeks. Fear made her limbs freeze. Hell had a name.
And it had found her at last.
Sky here. Be sure to join me again tomorrow as I continue this excerpt right where I'm leaving off. Tomorrow the Worldwide Paranormal Society enters Dakota's victorian for the first time. And Dakota meets lead investigator Leathan Stewart.
Award-winning New Hampshire native, Sky Purington writes a cross genre of paranormal/fantasy romance heavily influenced by history. From Irish Druids to Scottish Highlanders many of her novels possess strong Celtic elements. More recently, her vampire stories take the reader to medieval England and ancient Italy. Make no mistake, in each and every tale told you'll travel back to another time and revisit the romanticism history holds at its heart. Sky welcomes feedback from readers and can be contacted at Sky@SkyPurington.com.
Contest winners are selected by me using the random generator shown below. Each commenter who follows the rules given each week-whether it's to answer a question or simply comment-is assigned a number according to when they left their comment. For example: Jane comments first, then Sue, then Maria. Jane becomes #1, Sue #2, Maria #3. If the contest requires an answer to be left and Jane and Maria answer it, Sue does not, then Jane and Maria have entered the contest. Therefore, Jane is #1 and Maria is #2. Make sense? All numbers are then entered into the Random Generator. The number selected is therefore the winner. Make no mistake, I welcome those of you who choose not to enter the contest. Kind comments are always well received by visiting authors! Thanks so much. ~Sky
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