Happy Halloween, everyone! In honor of the upcoming spooky holiday, I invited back award wining paranormal author L.D. Rose to Nights of Passion. L.D. has her new novel, Black Bullet, coming out in a few days, so she’s in a particuarly festive (and spooky) mood!
Take it away, L.D.!
As a child, every Halloween (and really, at many other times of the year), I tried to conjure up the infamous Bloody Mary in every mirror in my (haunted!) house. Of course, it never worked, but I’ve been fascinated with the folklore and her story, so I decided to blog about it today on NIGHTS OF PASSION. Thank you, Stacy Hoff, for inviting me! Also, stay tuned for a giveaway at the end of the post. 😉
The concept of Bloody Mary originally began with Mary I, Queen of England and Ireland in the 1500s. Via my most amazing resource, Wikipedia (haha):
“She was the only child of Henry VIII and his first wife Catherine of Aragon to survive to adulthood. Her younger half-brother Edward VI succeeded their father in 1547.
When Edward became mortally ill in 1553, he attempted to remove Mary from the line of succession because of religious differences. On his death, their first cousin once removed, Lady Jane Grey, was proclaimed queen. Mary assembled a force in East Anglia and deposed Jane, who was ultimately beheaded. Mary was the first queen regnant of England.
During her five-year reign, she had over 280 religious dissenters burned at the stake in the Marian persecutions.”
Pretty nasty, huh? But that’s not what I found the most fascinating about her.
Mary was a precocious redhead who hardly ever wept as a child. She was often sick, depressed, loved to gamble, and splurged on fine clothes. Even with multiple marriage proposals, she didn’t take on a husband until her late thirties, and it was purely for business. However, Mary had an overwhelming desire to have a child and apparently faked a pregnancy. She was never able to bear children and likely passed away from uterine cancer at age 42. Known as a “bloodthirsty tyrant,” she had a reputation that preceded her. Her motto was “Truth, the Daughter of Time.”
Historically, the folklore surrounding Bloody Mary is the notion that if you summon her, she’ll reveal your husband’s identity. By walking up a flight of stairs backward while holding a candle and a hand mirror in a dark house (that’s a whole lot of hurt waiting to happen right there!), your husband’s face will materialize in the mirror. However, if a skull’s face appeared instead (or rather, the Grim Reaper), you were destined to die before you had a chance to wed. This act of scrying is known as catoptromancy.
Nowadays (or at least when I was a kid), the ritual is as follows: you chant her name in a dimly lit room (or even in the dark), normally three times. Her apparition will allegedly appear as a corpse, a witch, or a ghost drenched in blood (and wearing a wedding gown, as per eyewitness reports). She’s been known to shriek, curse, strangle, steal your soul, drink your blood, or scratch your eyes out if she’s disturbed (maybe all of the above, heck, why not?!). And if you even mention babies? Fuhgetahboutit!
Oh, I really wanted to see her when I was growing up. I was desperate to know if she was real. I would stand in front of my bathroom mirror, finger on the light switch or a flashlight, chanting “Bloody Mary, Bloody Mary, Bloody Mary!” just dying to glimpse her face.
But alas, it wasn’t meant to be. *dramatic sigh*
However, some have reported they’ve genuinely seen her, screaming back at them silently.
The medical explanation for all of this (of course, I must touch on this!) is that by staring at a mirror in a dark room for a prolonged period of time, you may start to hallucinate, particularly if you have a vivid imagination. Your own face may appear to melt, distort, and even change or disappear, likely due to a self-induced hypnosis from temporary sensory deprivation. It’s the same mind-trick as staring at a dark road with the headlights on for a long drive. Every once in a while, you’ll imagine things at your periphery, particularly when you’re tired. A deer, a werewolf, a zombified hitchhiker, who knows?
Or, you know, she could actually be real. Just a little picky about who she murders. 😉
Have you every attempted to summon a ghost? Would you try it now?
I’m giving away a copy of an ARC of RELEASING THE DEMONS, a dark paranormal romance and the first novel of my Order of The Senary series. Just comment with your answer to the above question and check out below for more details about the book. 😀 One random winner will be chosen on Nov. 1, 2016. Void where prohibited by law.
Thanks for joining me here on my birthday! And have a Happy Halloween!
BLACK BULLET by L.D. Rose
He had everything under control until she crashed into his afterlife.
Fledgling vampire Jonathan Kerr has just met his match.
Not even his past life as a former marine and FBI agent could prepare him for the battle against the monster inside him, struggling to take hold. After an old nemesis of the Senary surfaces in Brooklyn, unleashing chaos and terror in the battered borough, Jon sets out to take him down. Instead, he ends up with far more than he bargained for when he clashes with the beautiful half-vampire hybrid, Lawan Knight.
After escaping near death and suffering unspeakable horror at the hands of vampires, Lawan trusts no one, regardless of species. In between bouts of drunken stupor, her only goal is to exterminate all those who’ve wronged her, including every member of Jon’s vampire bloodline. But Jon’s soulful eyes and quick smile crawls under her skin, transforming her black and white world into a hazy shade of gray.
As the days rapidly grow darker, Jon and Lawan turn to one another, but their inner demons threaten to tear them apart. The only way either of them will survive is if they overcome their greatest fear—love.
Pinterest Board: https://www.pinterest.com/writerldrose/black-bullet/
Excerpt from Black Bullet:
Jon only had time to take a single breath before a dark boot materialized in front of his face, the heel aiming straight for his throat. He snatched it before it made contact and twisted hard, thrusting it away from him. The limb yielded beneath his grip as his attacker collapsed beside him, metal clattering nearby. He levered to his feet, pulling a KA-BAR from his boot as pain lit up his nerves, setting his teeth on edge. His attacker was already standing, the blade of a gorgeous double-edged Kris sword pointed at his throat.
His opponent was female, wearing a slim-fitting black battle uniform and carrying enough artillery to outfit a small army. Her jet-black hair was tied in a long braid and a black mask covered the lower half of her face. Her dark, almond-shaped eyes revealed her Asian heritage, her skin the color of caramel. A scabbard stretched across her back, strapped to her chest, along with the M16 she’d used to tear up the warehouse.
Jon took a step back, but she didn’t hesitate, launching at him with the blade. Metal clashed and sparks flew as he parried the long sword’s quicksilver arcs with his dagger. Although she limped from her injured leg, her strikes were hard, fast, and precise, each blow intended to kill. He nearly tripped over the pirate’s body as she backed him against the wall of the refinery, and he ducked as the blade screeched along the brick.
Before Jon straightened, he jabbed the butt of his KA-BAR into her knee and she yelped, stumbling backward. He slashed at her and caught nothing but air as she lurched away from him. She swung the Kris at his head and he raised the KA-BAR to engage and bind the sword. Both of their weapons trembled as their eyes locked on one another across the tangle of deadly metal.
And as her smoldering gaze drilled into him, he smelled it.
Dama de Noche.
Lady of the Night, a nocturnal blooming flower he’d first smelled years ago in Nepal, when he was a human soldier. The scent was unmistakable, underlying the incense of vampire. The stench of leech didn’t belong to her, but the floral aroma was all her own.
She’s not a vampire.
Stunned by the revelation, Jon wavered, and she quickly took advantage of him. She sidestepped and lunged at him, sinking the blade in his shoulder. He shouted, dropping his KA-BAR as pain erupted from his dominant limb. Moving lightning fast, she yanked the blade out and sliced an arc across his chest. Luckily, she only scored his Kevlar, and as the sword swooped around again, Jon caught it with his gloved hands, silver biting into leather.
“You’re a hybrid,” he ground out. “I’m on your side!”
She pushed hard against him, drawing blood. “Bullshit.” Her voice was a rich contralto, edged with a growl. “You reek of Temhota.”
The Dama drew back and chopped at his belly, but Jon blocked her with his forearms, metal jarring against his bones. Finally, he managed to kick the blade out of her grip and it spun away, clattering to the ground. She somersaulted backward to retrieve it, but Jon caught hold of her braid in mid-air and wrenched on it. She cried out and landed face-first on the pavement, her breath audibly whooshing from her throat.
Jon wound her braid around his hand like a rope and straddled her, pinning her down. He tore the M16 off and tossed it as she writhed beneath him, fighting hard. Yanking her head up, he leaned close to her ear. “I’m not your enemy,” he hissed.
Her already shallow breath quickened and her struggles intensified, her sweet scent pumping from her pores in cloying waves. Panic. Fear. Restraining her like this completely terrified her.
Jon let up, knowing it was a mistake, but the shred of humanity still left in him couldn’t resist. The Dama slammed the crown of her head into his face and his retinas exploded in a staggering palette of reds, whites, and grays. His nose caved in, but not so far as to bury the bony shards into his brain. Blood poured out of him like a leaky faucet as he fell back, propping himself up on the wall of the refinery.
She was on him in an instant, chopping the edge of a flat hand into his trachea before smashing a fist in his ear. She wobbled to her feet as he struggled desperately to breathe—remember Jon, you don’t have to—and she gave him a vicious kick to his solar plexus, doubling him over. The pain was terrific, a cacophony of agony echoing from every corner of his body.
Jesus Christ, she was beating the shit out of him.
The Dama stood there, shaking, the fabric of her fallen mask fluttering to the ground. Jon blinked, trying to clear his blurred vision as she picked up her sword. He stole a glimpse of her face as she flung the mask up with the blade and caught it. A tattoo marked her cheek, the black symbol unmistakable but jagged, as if she’d thrashed during the process.
The same mark he’d painted on his chest lay branded on her face—the emblem of the Temhota.
Jon yanked down the neckline of his shirt, much like he had with the pirate, but this time he wiped at the mark, smearing it. The Dama paused in front of him, eyes narrowed, a gash marring her forehead. Even with the mark of his enemy on her face, she was breathtaking, and he didn’t have much breath left to spare.
“Not real,” he said past swollen lips, lifting trembling fingers stained with both paint and blood. “No mark.”
“But you are a leech.” She pointed the serpentine blade at the hollow of his throat.
He nodded, swallowing iron. “I work with the Senary. I used to . . . I used to be human. I’m not what you think I am.”
“You stink of them.” Her lip curled in a snarl.
He nodded again, every muscle in his body screaming. “Because I’m one of them. Yet I’m not.”
Brilliant. Maybe a few of those bony shards made their way into his brain after all.
She flipped the sword deftly and held it in a two-handed grip, the sin qua non of impending decapitation. Her dark eyes didn’t have the cat-like gleam signature to vampires, but hate and anger bled through them anyway.
“Makes no difference to me.”
L.D. Rose is a neurotic physician by day, crazed writer by night, and all around wannabe superhero. She writes paranormal romance and urban fantasy, but she’s been known to delve into horror, sci-fi, and medical suspense on occasion. L.D. Rose is a PAN member of the RWA, FF&P, NEC-RWA and CoLoNY. She currently lives in Rhode Island with her studly hubby, her hyperactive boxer, and her two devious cats.
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