My love affair with Candy.

Love this candy story, yum!

Karen Blake-Hall

CANDY, CANDY, OH HOW I LOVE CANDY

Halloween candyWhen I was a kid, Halloween was my most favorite holiday. I loved to spend hours deciding on my costume, and then I had the fun of helping my mother make it.

Then the magic day arrived. I was so excited I couldn’t eat breakfast. At school we made Halloween pictures with black cats, pumpkins, and witches. We sang songs about the holiday. The excitement built until we exploded out the doors at the end of the day.

We had to eat supper so I chocked it down and then put on my costume. We ran from house to house chanting “Trick or Treat”, holding out our pillowcases, watching the treasures be dropped into our bags. Then we’d dash off to the next house, and chant again.

When my mother signaled time was up we would race home to sort the candy. We’d…

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One Per Centers Rule in The Riot Club

The Riot Club Movie

One of the best movies I saw at the recent Toronto International Film Festival was The Riot Club based on young playwright Laura Wade’s smash hit of  the same name. Lone Scherfig directed. The Riot Club follows a group of students starting classes at Oxford University. Some of the students are upper class twits – members of  the very private Riot Club.  The Riot Club believes in the divine right of the wealthy and well-connected to rule and exploit. The  Oxford settings are gorgeous and the cast terrific.  At first their antics are funny but their sense of superiority and entitlement becomes deeply disturbing – especially when you learn that some current political leaders in the U.K. belonged to a similar group when they were at Oxford.

Happy Halloween Thrills

Red leaves overhead, Halloween yellow and orange ones crunching under your feet. When we were kids we knew you could try any house with the light on but we preferred the pumpkins with their scary lit-up faces. It showed good intentions, we felt. No one approached the witch’s Victorian mansion complete with a widow’s walk high above the street. And no one went to the dismal bungalow hidden behind from the road by overgrown shrubbery. If you went in there, who would hear your screams? Anyway even the ordinary homes with lights on were maybe not safe. They might not take kindly to little spidermen in red and blue with gelled hair. Or to princesses in their pink dresses and home-made foil crowns.

But the potential dangers or prowling in the dark asking for candy gave our Halloween sorties a thrilling edge. In the night, in costume, you tried out the grownup role. You went out into the world trying to judge for yourself the pros and cons, the safety and the risks of your actions. For a few hours you were in charge. Loaded down with candy, you learned that the world could be a generous place.

 

 

Interview With Kayden Claremont on Her New Book ‘Hell’s Bounty’

Kayden Claremont writes irresistible characters. Her new book Hell’s Bounty has just arrived, so I’m excited to ask her a bit about her writing.

Cover of Hell's Bounty

Hell’s Bounty

Welcome Kayden! Thank you for stopping by.

Thanks for having me today Linda. I always like a chance to talk about my characters.

That’s good because the sparks really fly when Raven and Marcus meet. Can you tell us more about Raven and Marcus?

Raven Hart is a succubus bounty hunter working for hell. Her job is to collect souls. She’s good at it too, but she doesn’t trust her incubus master. He’s been keeping secrets from her.

Marcus is a Nephilim working for heaven. His job is to stop the sexy succubus from getting any more souls destined for heaven.

How do they meet?

Raven is sitting in a bar waiting for her prey and he walks in. There is spontaneous attraction but they both try to avoid it because they have jobs to do. Of course, they can’t.

You describe Hell’s Bounty as ‘the steamy supernatural.’ What attracts you to this kind of storyline?

I am a romantic. I love writing and reading stories about people falling in love. Of course I like the hotter stories. The supernatural part is easy to explain. Humans fall in love all the time, we write about and make TV shows and movies about it so why not supernatural beings? In Hell’s Bounty their love is forbidden love.

Do you listen to music while you write or do you like it quiet?

I listen to music. I love WWOZ broadcasting from New Orleans. They play a lot of instrumentals. Once I was listening to a rock station and I was humming along to the tunes. The next day I read what I wrote and it was the lyrics. Lol. Since then it is only instrumentals.

I also write in coffee shops. I need the white noise to get into the creative side of my brain.

Raven and Marcus have great chemistry. I hope we’re going to meet them again.

Hell’s Bounty is the first book of the heaven and hell series. Neither of them will be in the second book, Hell Hath No Fury, but right now I think one of them will be in the third book of the series, Hell Bent for Leather.

Excerpt

Raven looked over at him. “Marcus, this is the coroner, Doctor Hill. Doc, this is my new partner, Detective Marcus Dionysius.”

Marcus extended his hand to the doctor, but he just paced back and forth, ignoring the proffered handshake. “Oh, my dear, you shouldn’t see this.”

“Doc, I’m a detective. There isn’t much I haven’t seen.” Raven’s no-nonsense tone had no effect on the doctor.

“No, dear, not this time.” He took her by the elbow and led her a few feet away from the body. Shaking his head, he continued, “This time it’s too personal. You don’t need to see this.” He pointed at the body on the ground. “It’s Stephen, my dear.”

Marcus watched shock flash across her face for a moment before she got control again. She wasn’t expecting to see her late partner. She hadn’t done this, but that didn’t clear her of the other attacks.
The captain was sleazy. Everyone in heaven and hell knew it. And everyone thought that because Raven worked so closely with him, she was part of his plan. Marcus hoped the sexy succubus wasn’t connected with hell’s mess. He moved closer to the body.

Doctor Hill glanced at him and stopped talking.

Clearing his throat, Marcus said softly to Raven, “I’ll handle this if you’re not up to it. The captain can assign another detective to work the case with me.”

Raven looked up at him, anger flaring in her eyes as she answered, “What do you think I am? Some fragile female who can’t do her job?”

About Kayden

Kayden Claremont

Kayden Claremont

Kayden is hooked on Paranormal Romance. She loves writing about the rollercoaster ride of demons, angels and watchers and the consequences they must endure when they fall in love. Her sensuous style drives the characters in lustful romps.

Kayden is a member of Sisters in Crime International; Sisters in Crime Toronto; Romance Writers of America, Toronto Romance Writers.
When she’s not at her day job she’s crafting more tales of love, crime and the supernatural or spending time with her husband and children.

You can contact Kayden at:
Facebook: Kayden.Claremont
Blog: Kayden Claremont
Twitter: @Kayden Claremont
Email at: Kayden Claremontatbell.net

Hell’s Bounty is available now:

http://www.wildrosepublishing.com/wildcatalog_v151/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=182&products_id=1013

‘Deadly Dozen’ novels really grabbed me

Deadly Dozen Anthology Smart and Scary Reads

Deadly Dozen Anthology Smart and Scary Reads

For those of us who always like having a book at hand there’s a new Kindle collection out from Imajin Publishing that features crime/mystery novels by 12 Imajin authors. I know some of these writers personally but most of them were new to me and I was struck by the calibre of the work. Each of these novels is a gem and together the collection took over my life for days.  The collection is Deadly Dozen published by Cheryl Kaye Tardiff at Imajin  and it is excellent.
Deadly Dozen Anthology Smart and Scary Reads

Deadly Dozen Anthology Smart and Scary Reads

Permission to Fail from Louise Penny

The smell of fresh paper, pens, pink erasers: Back to school time is filled with potential. High hopes, the determination to finally get it together and finally get a bunch of As this year, and then at first gently and soon quickly reality bites and it is time to write those papers, submit those projects do anything to get it in on time and at least pass the course. Life is like a first draft. You do your best to get it right but some things just don’t quite work. Louise Penny, multi award winner, NYT best selling author has some advice. Give yourself permission to fail – at least with the first draft. She was interviewed by Mary Lou Finlay in August before a capacity audience at the Metro Reference Library in Toronto. She says she learned more about things from mistakes she made. Bad things can happen and sometimes you come through the other side and the miracle occurs…’

There’s a balance between discipline, and strangling the creative, guiding without throttling the characters.

So toss your inner critic. Write from joy and in your first draft give yourself permission to make mistakes. Thanks Louise!

Mary Lou Finlay and Louise Penney at Appel Salon Toronto, August 2014

Mary Lou Finlay and Louise Penny at Appel Salon Toronto, August 2014

Great Day

Linda and her motherBeautiful morning: An early run and then off to celebrate Mom’s 95th birthday! Mom was born on a farm, before computers, almost before phones. As a girl she lived in a big house in McGill’s student ghetto. She had three sisters, two brothers and six McGill University students as company. Her Mom ran a boarding house and was renowned for her pies. When Mom and her sister get together they still talk about their Mom’s cooking! Happy Birthday Mom. Thanks for everything.

Some books hold you and won’t let you go

Have you ever read a novel and had it bring you to a place you have never been and when the book ends you can never leave? I finished Lisa De Nikolits fourth novel The Witch Doctor’s Bones and I cannot get her landscape and her characters out of my mind. The same is true for D. J.  McIntosh’s The Book of Stolen Tales which I read last summer. In The Witchdoctor’s Bones a group of misfits goes on safari in a budget van to learn the beauty and lore of South Africa’s Namib desert and come to realize there is a killer among them. In The Book of Stolen Tales, New York art dealer John Madison  goes to London to source  a rare seventeenth-century Italian book of fairy tales for an anonymous client. Before he can deliver it to the buyer, he is robbed and chasing the book and the thief  through Europe and the mists of time.  In both cases the authors, and their characters, have kept a grip on my imagination.  It’s a rare skill in today’s landscape of ephemeral entertainment.  Books like these let you live differently because they bring you to another place or space.  From time to time I will blog about books such as these two. Have you read any books recently that do the same for you? Let me know.

The Walking Dead

You don’t have to like Zombies to love The Walking Dead see how one TV viewer was converted in Karen’s blog.

Karen Blake-Hall

The Walking Dead Marathon.

When people told me to watch the Walking Dead two years ago the only thing I could think of was I don’t like zombie movies so why would I find a zombie TV show interesting. I didn’t watch it for weeks, but then I was lying on the couch sick on the weekend lying in the couch and I flicked the TV on. The Walking Dead marathon was on.

I fell in love. Not with the zombies, but with wonderful acting and tight writing.

Now I’m addicted so I sitting in front of the TV watching another round of every episode and I’m seeing things I missed the first time I watched it.

I have a habit of watched the first season of a show and about half way through the second season and I lose interest. I find the story-line stale and unimaginative but with…

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