A Princess Bride Paranormal-Scope

The Princess Bride, both book and movie, are masterpieces. On this cold day, I find it warm and reassuring like comfort food.

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:

Rodents of Unusual Size (R.O.U.S) are running down your street. Focus on the home and make it cozy.

“Have fun stormin’ da castle.” Opportunities are coming your way. Shine at work and listen to colleagues.

You feel like you’ve fallen into the Pit of Despair.  Don’t give up hope. Things are about to change.

“Get some rest. If you haven’t got your health, then you haven’t got anything.” It’s true you know.

“There’s not a lot of money in revenge.” Forgive an old debt and move on. Better things are coming your way.

“As you wish!” Be careful what you wish for.

“No more rhymes now.” Okay, maybe a few more. Laugh more. Embrace fun.

“Death cannot stop true love. All it can do is delay it for a while.” Smile and remember.

“Inconceivable!” There are a lot of inconceivable things in life. Don’t worry about them.

“What you got here that’s worth living for?” A lot. Count your blessings and enjoy those you love more.

The Shrieking Eels pass you by. You are having a lucky week.

“Love is many things, none of them logical.” Spend more time with those that care about you.

Susan Hanniford Crowley, Amazon Kindle Bestselling Author of Vampire Romance
Where love burns eternal and whispers in the dark!
Vampire King of New York available at Amazon Kindle and print, Barnes and Noble Nook and print and in Kobo
A Vampire for Christmas in Kindle

Posted in A Vampire for Christmas, Max Vander Meer, Norse, paranormal, paranormal romance, romance, romance novels, Susan Hanniford Crowley, The Stormy Love Life of Laura Cordelais, vampire books, Vampire David Hilliard, Vampire King of New York, Vampire King of New York In Print, Vampire Maximillion Vander Meer, vampires, Viking, Weekly Paranormal-Scope, Yule | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Spooky Reads for October


October is my favorite month, always has been. The weather turns cooler, I can wear sweaters, which I love, the leaves here in Virginia are startlingly gorgeous in their brilliant reds, oranges, and golds. But most of all I love October because of Halloween, my favorite holiday.

So to start off a month of Halloween posts, I’m giving you some of my picks of Halloween/scary books some of which made me keep the lights on just a bit longer than usual. I’ll start out with a couple of classics and then get to more recent scariness.

It coverStephen King is one of my favorite authors, the King of Fright, and two of his books really did make me look around the room and over my shoulder as I sat reading them. One is, of course, The Shining. The end of the book actually scared me more than the movie. The one that I could not read more than once was Pet Sematary, truly bone-deep frightening. And my favorite King novel, It, scared the bejesus out of me, but I love it and have read it many times. It’s being re-made into two movies. I cannot wait!

If you like zombie apocalypse fun, check out Only Love only love survivesSurvives by Renee Charles. Fantastic, frightening and romantic read.

Ghostlover first try (400x640)Then there’s Ghost Lover by Liza O’Connor, a romantic ghost story that I also love. I wouldn’t mind being haunted by her sexy 18th century ghost at all.

And if you want a little comedy with your spooky read, check out Patricia Preston’s just released Haints in Hollywood. I’m a little biased about this book, as I’m actually in the dedication (big smile!), but it’s the sequel to Patricia’s Laid to Rest, one of haints in hollywoodthe most hilarious books I’ve ever read. That book’s heroine, Darlene, is back in this short story and headed for Hollywood to become a star just like Elvis and Marilyn Monroe. Unfortunately, she’s delayed by a trip to the ghost town of Hollywood, where she encounters sparkly vampires, zombies, and haints. But don’t worry, you’ll be shaking with laughter by the end of the book.

So there are my picks for this Halloween season. Thrills, chills, romance, and laughter. Hope you have a howling good week!

Posted in Halloween, Holiday reads, Jenna Jaxon | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

What Do You Like to Do When It Rains?

By Bidgee (Own work) [CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

By Bidgee (Own work) [CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

Rain does two things to me. It either inspires me or puts me to sleep. Since I dream my books, it’s a win-win for me. I love how the world looks like a watercolor painting when it rains. Some people are always in a rush and that won’t change. I find that it slows things down.

Today I slept for a long time dreaming about my characters and then I woke and began to write. On other rainy days, I go to the movies. I like to bake cookies when it rains.
I’ve been shopping and when it pours it sort of traps you in the store. When I was in a restaurant and that happened, we had dessert.

What do you like to do when it rains?

Susan Hanniford Crowley, Amazon Kindle Bestselling Author of Vampire Romance
Where love burns eternal and whispers in the dark!
Vampire King of New York available at Amazon Kindle and print, Barnes and Noble Nook and print and in Kobo
A Vampire for Christmas in Kindle


Posted in A Vampire for Christmas, Norse, paranormal, paranormal romance, romance, romance novels, Susan Hanniford Crowley, the romance of life, The Stormy Love Life of Laura Cordelais, vampire books, Vampire David Hilliard, Vampire King of New York, Vampire King of New York In Print, Vampire Maximillion Vander Meer, vampires, Viking, What inspires you?, Writer's Life, Writing Exercises, writing prompt, Writing Topics, Yule | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Writing Inside the Box (Set) by Stacy Hoff


It’s been said in the publishing world that authors have to “think outside of the box.” But what about writing inside the box? Specifically, writing for a box set? (By the way, as a helpful guide for middle-aged folks like me, “box set” is the trendy new name for what used to be called anthologies.)

This topic came up for me recently, when I was asked to join yet another box set. I had already participated in one, SEASON OF LOVE, with a different group of writers. SEASON was released May, 2015. The authors for SEASON had set forth three conditions: (1) the story had to end in either engagement or marriage; and, (2) the heat level had to be no hotter than “moderate,” and; (3) the length had to be short—either a short story or a novella. But being the “pantser” that I am, having limitations was hard. It made me feel boxed in, maybe because I had only written whatever the heck I had wanted to up to that point. I was relieved to have found an upside—I came into that project more focused than usual.


The authors for the new box set I’m in, HOT SEDUCTION—SIX SIZZLING TALES, gave me different parameters. The story for this one had to be: (1) “new adult” (i.e. have a protagonist college age or slightly older); (2) be full-length; and, (3) have a high heat level. When I was approached to join this group, it immediately occurred to me that fulling these requirements would be much easier for me because I had already written this story, years before. The title I had given it was ART AND SEDUCTION.

So why hadn’t I sought to traditionally publish this story? After all, at 72,000-words, ART AND SEDUCTION is long enough to be published as a novel in its own right. The reason is because of yet another box I needed to fit in—author marketing. I currently hold myself out to my loyal reading audience as a traditional contemporary writer. And I love writing this genre. My traditionally published books all have a lot of humor, and either a moderate heat level (LAWFULLY YOURS) or a high level (DESIRE IN THE EVERGLADES, along with its Januay, 2016, to-be-released sequel, DESIRE IN THE ARCTIC). So how can ART AND SEDUCTION, my dark tale of a love triangle between a college senior, her professor, and the freshman fraternity brother who longs for her, fit in with the rest of my work? It can’t. Especially since this story has not only some scorching scenes, but a little bit of “kink” as well.

ART AND SEDUCTION is, for me, an anomaly. Maybe because I wrote it before my contemporary work got published I was able to write something out of the box. How ironic that for me to feel comfortable publishing it, I had to think inside the box (set).

What have you done to make you think outside – or inside – the box?




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

Hot Seduction cover









Sol cover new



Posted in A writer's life, romance, Six Sizzling, Stacy Hoff | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Know Thyself

Okay, so the cryptic title is really about self-awareness. I’ve had a few great conversations this week about history repeating itself and the type of learners we are. In my conversations with friends and peers at work, it is clear we worry a lot about whether we are learning all we can from our experiences. For instance, what did we as a society learn from the 2008-2009 stock market collapse? Are we out there being careful about the types of mortgages we offer and the criteria we hold people accountable to? Probably not as much as we should be. Why? Today I wanted to “talk” about our self-awareness and particularly its role in why sometimes we don’t learn what we should.

So a bit of a disclaimer, I am not a social scientist and don’t proclaim to actually know about this subject to any degree of expertise. My ponderings here are basically a result of interactions I’ve had over the past week. I’ve also been researching different ways to learn (visually, audibly and kinesthetically) and that has prompted thoughts about how well we absorb information and how we grow in our craft—specifically referencing writers.

So a few questions…how many of you out there actually know how you learn? The reason I ask is because this has been something I’ve been trying to figure out for myself lately. To my reference in the first paragraph, I haven’t always learned from my mistakes and history does repeat itself. As this has happened, I have to wonder if it was because I wasn’t going about my “learning” in the right way to really have it sink in for me. Perhaps, I haven’t been as self-aware as I thought.

As a follow up to my first question, for those of you who do know how you learn, do you use that to improve your craft? Do you diagram plots out or read things aloud? Do you role play through scenes or trying writing different iterations of a particular scene in your story? These are only a few suggestions but at this point you may be getting what I’m saying. I feel at many times we writers become stagnant in our craft because we either don’t experiment with ways of learning that actually hit the spot, and/or we just are self-aware enough to realize where some of our weaknesses really lie. That’s where critique groups come in handy.

You task for this week – pick an area you feel you need to improve upon (writing characters, creating plots, etc.) and experiment with how you can improve that area in a way that addresses your unique learning style (and yes that means you need to find out what that learning style is). Feel free to drop a line as to how it works out.

Good luck and happy writing this week!

Posted in romance, Toni Kelly, What inspires you?, Writer's Life | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Wine Time with Author Assistant Fiona Fischer by Heather Novak

Ladies, Gentleman, & Sharks (Penny Reid Fans),

Photo on 4-24-15 at 7.05 PM #2Allow me to present my funniest Wine Time yet! I had the chance to ply author assistant Fiona Fischer with lots of wine (see picture on left) and get her to answer questions about her love of all things nerdy, her most embarrassing work stories, and of course, what it’s like to be the assistant for USA Today best selling romance author Penny Reid.

Hold on to your wine glasses, it’s about to get weird.
Just the way I like it.


Tell us a little about yourself and your background! 

IMG_2053 copyAm I supposed to drink wine as I answer these? No? Too late. I was born and raised in Florida (pass no judgment) I have two older brothers who I attribute my “coolness” factor to. They got me into Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, Calculus, computers etc. I attended college about 30 minutes from home. (10/10 would recommend if you want your laundry done and home cooked meals from your mother) My degree is in cello performance and I recently moved to Southern California!

Do you do anything creative? If so, what? (Just wait for the epicness, folks)

562518_633657833316143_597835296_nI play cello and sing. I started on violin at age 4, and switched to cello at age 8. My oldest brother played violin and piano, and my other brother played viola and guitar. My mother sang as well, and my grandmother played flute! I’m the only one who continued to play through college and still plays today. I started singing when I was around 3 and haven’t stopped since. Music is a big part of my life and every time I try to move away from it, I get sucked back in!

I’ve played with Michael Buble, Josh Groban, and the Trans-Siberian Orchestra.



I also enjoy wine tasting, surfing, and sleeping but these seemed significantly less creative. Oh and camping, I really enjoy the outdoors.




Um, can we just take a moment and talk about how FIONA HAS PLAYED WITH JOSH “MY HUSBAND” GROBAN?! Do you all know the story ajosh runningbout how I touched his left elbow once? Well, I did. And he was wearing a very breathable fabric. Excuse me, I need to fangirl for a few moments…
Here’s a picture of the moment after I touched him.

Ignore the fact he’s running away from me and just move on to the next question.


How did you land your current position with Penny Reid? Have you worked for other authors in the past?

I get asked this question a lot, and it was definitely just being at the right place at the right time. Someone in my family worked with Penny’s husband and I was about to graduate college unsure of my future and losing my will to live. My family member mentioned me to her husband, they scheduled an interview and apparently I marketed myself well enough for her to hire me. I got extremely lucky. The best part was I was late to the interview because when I got in my Jeep there was a cat in my car. I had to open all the doors and scare it out, I don’t know if she actually believed that, BUT IT IS TRUE.

What’s the best part of your job?

So first of all the best part of my job is that it doesn’t feel like a job. I get to interact with all these wonderful women from all different parts of the world on a daily basis. I like that I get to be myself all the time!! Which probably wouldn’t be acceptable at other places of 10374032_296772363837614_9156572008951272750_n copyemployment…

The best part of my job, hands down, is having Penny as a boss. She’s my boss but we are kind of like comrades on the S.S. Penny Reid. She laughs at my jokes, tells me I’m weird and bakes me scones. Also we share memes a lot.



Here’s an anecdote: She’s not the best at using her phone and I sent her this weird gif of a ketchup bottle robot squirting ketchup all over the table and she never responded.

I remember thinking that it was probably too soon to unleash my weirdness on her and she was probably regretting giving me her phone number. She really is an exceptional individual, I love her for taking me under her wing and believing in me. This is getting gushy. I tolerate her, OKAY.


What kind of work do you do as an author assistant/what is your typical day like? Does it involve travel?

When I first started, I had never worked for an author or anyone really. So at first it was Penny introducing me to the online world she was involved in and I read her books and learned about the characters. I moved to the other side of the country so now my day is a 25903_335358129715_3259670_nbit different. I’m usually organizing things for the next release, doing research for promotions and signings, booking hotel rooms, booking flights, and making graphics. We typically have meetings twice a week on the phone and are always emailing, texting, sending carrier pigeons, etc. I love getting to travel for signings and meeting all her fans. Signings are a crazy experience, I didn’t even know that author signings existed until I started working for her.


Do you get to meet other authors you love? Any trouble controlling your “inner fangirl?” 

So I’m a bit late to this romance world I won’t lie. I typically read fantasy and sci-fi. However I’ve met April White and Elizabeth Hunter (both AWESOME) and I think I would freak out if I met LH Cosway because we have e-mailed and things like that but I know so much about her and have never met her. AND SHE HAS THAT ACCENT! Also I would freak if I met J.K. Rowling.


Do you have any words of wisdom for authors searching for assistants or people searching to become author assistants?

I think the reason Penny and I work so well together is because we are similar. We have similar senses of humor and ideas. I think an author needs to find someone who they work well with, and someone who understands their brand, vision, and goals. If I was going to give advice to someone who wanted to be an author assistant I would suggest you be extremely organized, find an author that you work well with, and don’t be afraid to annoy the author with reminders of things they have to do. (I’m still working on that last one…)


What books are in your To Be Read pile? Who are some of your favorite authors?

So I really enjoy epic fantasy and memoirs. My TBR pile is kind of weird right now but since it’s sitting next to my bed I will tell you.

  • Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris
  • Two Thousand Minnows by Sandra Vaughn
  • Tempting Fate by April White
  • Killer Queen by LH Cosway
  • Confessions of a Reformed Tom Cat by Daisy Prescott


My favorite authors are J.K. Rowling, George R.R. Martin, J.R.R. Tolkien, David Sedaris, and Isabel Allende. OH and Penny Reid. ;-)


Wine or beer? Hockey or soccer?

I like both… but Wine?! I live in California come on! Hockey, I used to hate that fighting was allowed. Then I went to a game and was cheering on the fight. I will watch the World Cup and that’s about it…


Share with us your funniest/best/most embarrassing story as an author assistant!

WOW. This is hard to imagine because I usually block embarrassing stories from my memory. Honestly this is my embarrassing moment. So all of my websites auto login to Penny Reid things, I.E her amazon account. I forget that when I open amazon it is her accounts and that links I open up in Amazon get put under product recommendations. Sorry about the ingrown hair serum under “products you may enjoy” Penny and husband… also for the barrel of lube my boyfriend was showing me to be funny… and the giant inflatable penis I was going to get for a friend’s pool party. LE SIGH. I’ve since started using two browsers, one for Penny things, and one for JUST FIONA things to avoid this.

My other favorite story is when she made me put on “ear muffs” so she could tell her husband he had too many computers things after he complained that she had 3 staplers. I’m glad she saved my virgin ears from hearing anything, you know it got real ugly (NOT. They are relationship GOALS people).

OH and the first time I met her she was wearing a dress that looked like an owl (literal owl dress, not owl printed dress) and she says “oh let me change, this is what I wear when I travel so people won’t talk to me” and It was at that moment I knew we were meant for each other. <3

Fiona, it was a pleasure having you on Nights of Passion! I feel we’re destined to be friends after this interview…(not too creepy, right?)

And, if you’re looking for funny, weird romance with smart women, make sure to check out Penny Reid and become part of the Sharks of Awesome (Jawsome?) fanclub.

It’s Fun Fact time! October 1st is known for:

National Vegetarian Day!
Happy day to our veggie and animal lovin’ friends.

Wishing You Laughter & Good Books,
Heather Novak
Bold. Bewitching. Breathtaking. 

Find me at:
Twitter: authorheathern
Facebook: authorheathernovak
Website: Heathernovak.net

Author of Hunting Witch Hazel featured in Falling Hard (A New Adult Anthology).

Heather 2D FallingHardAnthology_2500px

Hunting Witch Hazel Trailer

Available Now!
Amazon U.S.
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A Blood Moon, the Pope and a Changing World

I’m writing this blog a bit earlier in the week as I watched the blood moon and total lunar eclipse yesterday evening. I have to say that as people at my day job ask about my weekend and whether anything “eventful happened”, I want to scream out that “yes, the world is changing a lot each day, the Pope spent a great deal of time imparting words of wisdom this weekend and the world might have come to an end as predicted by many who felt this blood moon was a sign of end times.” Instead, I tell them that “no, it was a short weekend and we spent quite a bit of time killing scorpions in our backyard yesterday evening.”

So why do I do this? I don’t know, perhaps because one answer sounds a bit insane and the other is expected. The truth of the matter is, the world hasn’t ended yet although it might at some point, the Pope did impart words of wisdom and our world is changing so much and at such a fast pace it can be overwhelming at times.

Okay… so what do we do? I’m really not sure. I know that I as a person (and any influence I have on my friends and family) will continue trying to do better, trying to be better and trying to keep up, because the truth is that is all I believe we can do—at least until I receive some sort of sign or opportunity that shows me I can do more. What about you all, how was y our weekend?

Happy writing this week!

Posted in A writer's life, blood moon, Toni Kelly | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment