Spooksville, USA by Stacy Hoff


Halloween is almost here. Being a contemporary romance writer, it’s incongruous to have a part of me really enjoy the macabre. But maybe, on some level, it makes sense. After all, how can anyone truly appreciate love’s lightness without a little darkness to show us what we’d be missing without it? Maybe that’s why most romance books have a villain.

Last year, to help my family really celebrate Halloween, we took a trip to Salem, Massachusetts. What fun! Salem is happy to embrace its dubious past, and proudly displays a sculpture of Sabrina the Witch from the sixties TV show “Bewitched.”

The town (smartly) transforms itself to Spooksville, USA, to precipitate a very lucrative season. There are ghost tours run by the locals, showing off some of Salem’s more infamous buildings (if you go at night, you can take a candle-lit tour). There are plenty of funky, cozy, indie coffee shops with Tarot cards laying about, ready to serve pumpkin-spiced lattes to the adults and apple cider to the kids. There are also plenty of “haunted house” tours. Some of these “houses” let you choose your level of terror, from “ten” (ohmyGodI’mtotallyfreakingout!) to “zero” (so the little ones can go, too).

Salem also has three museums that are must-sees. Two are about the history witches and witch-trials. One is about a different aspect of Salem’s history—shipping and piracy. All of the museums are great, not only in entertainment value, but in the amount of history they convey. I left knowing a lot more about life in the 1700’s. The number one thing I learned—I’m sure glad I wasn’t alive during those times. Because Salem was as scary back then as it is wonderful now.

I do hope you go to Salem at some point in the future to celebrate Halloween. And don’t worry if you forget your costume—trust me, they sell them everywhere.

Where do you go to celebrate Halloween?

Find Stacy on Social Media:

www.facebook.com/authorStacyHoff Twitter: twitter.com/authorStacyHoff   Web: http://www.stacyhoff.com

Desire in the Everglades available now. http://www.amazon.com/Desire-Everglades-Stacy-Hoff-ebook/dp/B00NFSMCYG/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1410289138&sr=8-1&keywords=desire+in+the+everglades

Photo of Downtown Salem at night, in front of the “Bewicthed” statue. Copyright 2013 by Stacy Hoff. All rights reserved.

Posted in Halloween traditions, Stacy Hoff, Sugar Jamison, Writer's Life | Tagged , , | 7 Comments

National Boss’ Day by Gerri Brousseau

Today is National Boss’ Day. I always thought that this was a Hallmark Holiday, but after taking a peek at Wikipedia, and much to my surprise, I discovered that it was first started in 1958. Holy guacamole!

I often wondered why someone would want to give gifts, cards, or accolades to their employer. I’ve had a few bosses in my time, and although I’ve liked most of them, there have been none I would like to shower with any of the above mentioned.

Generally my bosses have been easy to get along with, but our relationships have been strictly professional. I had worked for attorneys mostly and they are well known for needing everything yesterday. It was always a high stress situation with time constraints and court deadlines.

At any rate, this holiday was started by a gal who worked for her father. Well, now I can see why she would want to do something special like this for dear ol’ dad, but eventually the holiday was proclaimed by the state and now it’s become a national holiday.

What on earth does this have to do with writing? Absolutely nothing, except to say that the thought provoked me to do some research. I generally write historical romance in which I need to do a lot of research before I even begin writing. It’s all interesting to me, but I have found that in writing my recent work, which is a contemporary romance, I still found the need to do some research. I think it’s my background in the legal field that prompts me to enjoy research, but perhaps some would say it is something that spills over from a past life. Most people I know do not like to do research, but there are a few out there that enjoy it.

So, to all the Bosses out there, Happy National Boss’ Day. Now my questions today are: Do you like to do research or hate it? Do you celebrate boss’ day where you work? And if you do, will there be cake?

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Flying High

Okay, despite the title, I’m not talking about airplanes nor am I talking about lighting up and feeling that buzz. I’m talking about motivation and that groove we get into sometimes when the moment is just perfect. In writing that translates to a sort of high where the words are just flowing and you can’t contain your excitement.

Have no idea what I’m talking about? You know, the summer nights with all the windows down in your car and the perfect song just blaring from your speakers and you feel… what’s the word… invincible! I call this flying high and like any person who has experienced these moments, I do all I can to replicate the feeling because it seems in these moments that I have my best ideas and feel the most motivated.

So how do I do it? Well, it isn’t always a win, but I could turn around and ask you how you get motivated and in your groove, and we’d probably come up with a few answers. For me, music is huge. The right song can fly me high or drag me down and because of that I use it to inspire me in a variety of scenes. Sad, sensual, intense, empowered—music drives my mood and is probably one of the most powerful tools I use. Weather and environment are also huge although I definitely don’t have control over either of those. Still, if I get the opportunity to write (meaning the little ones are asleep and haven’t left me too exhausted, which is almost impossible) and it’s raining or there’s a light breeze in the cool night or the moon is large in the sky, I’m flying high. Even imagining this now, puts me at ease.

What about you all? Have you ever experienced flying high? How do you bottle it up and put it to use?

Enjoy, share your thoughts and have a happy week of writing!

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A Push for Captured by Mandy

First off, Happy Canadian Thanksgiving!

Now, moving on, I imagine that people are getting a little sick of this by now, but I’m going to talk about the super cool box set that I’m in again. It being super cool because it happens to be the first one that I’ve ever been in :D


Anyway, sometime on the 21st, there’s going to be a big push to try and get that set to hit a list, USAT or NYT, either or would be super cool, and both would be probably one of the best things to ever happen. Anyway, on the next post I make, and definitely on the 21st, I’m going to put out an all access bulletin on Facebook, Twitter, and even my blog that gets almost no love from me. I neglect it like a terrible blogger <3

Aside from my next plan on posting a soundtrack for Burns Like Fire, I will also being giving away a super cool necklace as part of a prize pack, both for captured, and for Burns Like Fire, though I'm still trying to figure out how I'll be giving the extras away. I found the necklace on Etsy, and then asked my cover artist to personalize it for me :)

Because I'm on my iPad right now and don't have access to my computer, I have to wait before showing how cool the necklace looks. It's a picture of a fire heart inside of a glass pendant with a small quote from the book surrounding it. I seriously can't wait for them to come in so I can start wearing mine all over the place.

Anyway, I guess aside from stroking my own ego about all this cool stuff that's been going on, I should quickly say thank you to everyone who picked up their copy of Captured, left a review and shared, all that stuff is so amazingly helpful. Everyone who helped out is amazing :) Even the people who left the one stars.

Here's the link for Captured on Amazon if anyone wants to check it out. It's also available on Nook and Apple, but right now I'm a little paranoid that if I open a new window I'll lose all this stuff I've written, so here you go for Amazon:


Mandy Rosko

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The Winds of the World Paranormal-Scope by Susan Hanniford Crowley

The winds are blowing the world around. I can feel the excitement coming. Can you?

While I am not qualified in any way to read neither stars nor planets, I am intimately linked to the paranormal in the world in many ways. So are you.

The paranormal-scope is for entertainment purposes only and is not meant to guide your life by.

The week for:

Elves are closing their barriers to reserve energy and rest. Build in extra sleep and down time. You are going to need it.

Shapeshifters are collecting resources to better plan for the future both at work and at home.

Werewolves are looking how they can make their home cozier. Put in some extras so you won’t have to go out in bad weather.

One dragon is never enough.  You’ll have to pull out all stops and soon.

Pixies are mischief-makers.  Keep a sense of humor and roll with the flow.  Be a team player and that includes smiling..

Leprechauns are naturally shy but you have the opportunity to make a wonderful friend. Don’t pass this up.

Vampires seek out kindred spirits to go on an adventure.  Are you ready for a change?

Mermaids are calling your name. A little time spend by the sea or a lake is very calming to the spirit.

Temple cats sense you are a person with a mission and they respect that.  But to be at your best, it’s important to have a healthy diet. These cats know what they’re talking about.

A dragon brings you to its nest to be nurtured and taught how to fly.  In the night, listen to what the old ones say.  It’s invaluable wisdom and will help you.

Hobbits are crazy crafters. Indulge your creative side. Have fun and meet new people.

Vampires think you have an understated charm.  People are noticing you in a good way.

Susan Hanniford Crowley

Posted in paranormal, Susan Hanniford Crowley, vampire books, Vampire King of New York In Print, Vampire Maximillion Vander Meer, Weekly Paranormal-Scope | Tagged , , | Leave a comment



This week has been an especially hard one for me.  My day job has consumed almost every waking hour since last Monday. I work in a theatre department and we had a  production going up yesterday.

Not a normal production either, a fashion show which is much more time consuming and stressful than a normal play to produce. Longer hours in a shorter amount of time, working with mdels who have no clue about the dedication required to put on a production, plus factoring in dealing with the designers who often promise clothes on one day and deliver them days later. Then the show itself is a day-long affair:  I began at 9am yesterday and did not stop until almost midnight.

Needless to say I have gotten no writing done in almost a week. Even if I had an hour here or there, I was so exhausted or distracted about the different components I was in charge of, that mentally I had nothing left with which to be creative.  Juggling teaching and writing is not that difficult.  Throw in a production and suddenly its like juggling chainsaws.  It’s going to bite you unless you pay attention only to the chainsaws.

These are the days when I most envy the full-time writers. I long to have my entire day dedicated to writing and all its attendant functions of promotion, social networking, marketing, etc. I know that full-timers have their own attendant issues, but you path to success as a writer seems smoother, more focused, more fun.  I’d love to be consumed by my day job if my day job was writing.

Today, after all the stress of the past few days, I’m taking the day for myself.  I don’t plan on getting out of bed except for the most necessary things.  My daughters are serving my meals in bed, except for dinner when they’re taking me out. I plan to read, sleep, and watch TV and re-charge. Since writing must be done sitting at a desk for me, I’ll start some of that at midnight.

For those of you who have the necessary evil of a Day Job, how do you cope with the time suck? Does your family life suffer?  Do you sacrifice sleep to get those writing hours in? ow do you manage to get it all done?

Posted in Jenna Jaxon, Writer's life | Tagged , , , , | 5 Comments

Writers and Desires by Susan Hanniford Crowley

First, I want to talk about what writers desire.  Some would say chocolate.  Not really.  Okay, sometimes.  But what writers really desire is to write all the wonderful tales that flood into their minds. I remember reading that Maurice Sendak said that everything just takes such a long time to get done.

That is very true. A novel for instance, not only takes the time that the author needs to write it but after the book is accepted by a publisher, there are the rewrites given by the editor and there are more than one.  Even the final version, the author has to read again.  At the publishing house, there is the book cover and the back cover copy and the for formatting.  There’s the choosing of the title if they feel the first title is weak. Then there is the advertising.  That has changed over the years.  Depending on the publisher, the author may do a little or may do a ton.  And while you’re on a book tour or doing signings, you are also writing the next book.

What does a writer desire?  To write faster. LOL  I find it all fascinating but I have to admit to you that the work involved from the time the book is thought of until it is published and readers can read it is more than most people can imagine.

Writers, writers like me that is, would love to just submerge themselves into the book.  The fun part in writing romance is in the so many ways the stories revolve around desire. For one character it may be revenge.  For another character, it may be to find true love.  Desire is the root of everything and from those roots relationships and even families grow.

Some of you may know I’m writing about the Vampire King of New York’s daughter Vampire King of New YorkNoblesse.  In Vampire King of New York, the reader not only saw King Max’s love story but also met some of the members of his family.  Noblesse, his “daughter”, is a tough Arnhem Knight, often her father’s bodyguard, and when Max is out of town, she runs VMeer Industries. Her brother, David Hillliard, is the captain of the Arnhem Knights and protector of the Arnhem Society.  A lot of this about David comes out even more in the next book. Noblesse has to face that in a crisis when Max is away, everyone turns to her, and she is a figurehead and a leader, her life changes.  Being torn between two men doesn’t help either. In this book, the focus is on Noblesse, where she came from, how she met Max, and what she really desires in life. Her past haunts her.

I was looking at the family of vampires and realized recently that I really need a family tree to keep track of everyone.  And to keep track of their desires.

Though I’m very pleased with the overall story, I ran into a chapter today that was just wrong.  So I’m rewriting it.  I want this book to be just as exciting and fun as the first book.  The story lines for other family members are already lining up in my brain.  So it makes sense that I would desire the ability to write well and faster.

There are times when it’s just easier to desire chocolate.  What do you desire?

Susan Hanniford Crowley
Vampire King of New York is available in Amazon Kindle and Print, Barnes and Noble Nook and Print and at Kobo.



Posted in Characters, Helping Other Writers, Norse, paranormal, paranormal romance, romance, romance novels, Susan Hanniford Crowley, vampire books, Vampire David Hilliard, Vampire King of New York, Vampire King of New York In Print, Vampire Maximillion Vander Meer, vampires, Viking, What A Writer Needs, Writer's Life, Writing Topics | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment