Sometimes it’s nice to be normal

I love the paranormal. I love reading about it. I love writing about it. I even like contemplating it in my ordinary life, just for fun. But every now and then, it’s kind of nice to be normal. To live in the ordinary world.

Oh, don’t get me wrong here, I don’t mean the ordinary, everyday modern world. That would just be too boring. Honestly, I don’t like reading New Merry6x8contemporary stories unless there’s a paranormal element in them. Waaay too boring. Sorry.

But historicals, now, they can be fun. The historical element adds that little bit of spice, just like the paranormal element does. It keeps things just a little off kilter.

I don’t mind admitting that I’ll read anything historical from nearly any time period—there was one set in ancient Rome that I just had a bit of difficulty suspending my disbelief. But other than that Medieval, Regency, Victorian, even ancient Mesopotamia would be just fine with me.

On the writing side, I’ve written both Medieval (The Children of Avalon series, but that’s fantasy as well, so does it count?) and Regency (the Merry Men Quartet is non-fantasy, my Storm series is Regency and fantasy). It takes a good deal of research to write these books because while you are creating a world in very much the same way you’re creating one in a paranormal book, it’s actually got to have some relation to how things actually happened and how people actually lived at the time.

And then, of course, with historicals you can add in all sorts of fun stuff that you can’t have in your ordinary contemporary novel—sword fights, knights in armor, people dying of diseases we’ve long-ago found the cure for (okay, that last one isn’t so much fun, but it is a great plot device). You’ve got people in interesting clothes, traveling in interesting ways (horseback, carriages of all descriptions or by those funny things at the end of your legs, yeah, walking!), doing interesting things like fighting wars we already know the outcome of.

And just like in fantasy novels, there’s always a little bit more—a mystery, a new culture to explore, or politics to negotiate. These plots add urgency to your basic historical plot as well as fun. So, just for fun and to do something a little different, you might want to pick up a historical novel. Naturally, I’ve got three you might try in my Merry Men Quartet. A Dandy in Disguise is a mystery, An Exotic Heir discovers a new culture (India during the Raj) and The Merry Marquis is a marriage of convenience story. Try ‘em, you might like’em.

Monster Plant – Night-blooming Cereus by Dawn Marie Hamilton

One of the things I enjoy doing when not writing is gardening. Whether outside or inside, I adore plants. All kinds of plants. From the most common to the exotic. This is a tale about a plant that many would call unusual. I love it!

Monster Plant 1

My husband fondly calls it ‘Monster’. And when I care for it, he calls me, ‘Morticia’.

I don’t really spray dust on it.

My love for Monster started years ago, when a friend asked me to care for her plants while she was on an archaeology assignment in Africa for several months. Monster took up prime real estate in the west facing window of our kitchen. One night, she bloomed. The most beautiful flower I’d ever grown.

So…I took a cutting. Just one shoot. Seven years later, you see the plant above. In those seven years, it never bloomed.

Now here is the thing–the thing that feels supernatural…the other morning these appeared.

Monster Pod 1

Tune the theme for Little Shop of Horrors.

The evening before it bloomed…

Monster Pod 2

By midnight it looked like this…

monster FlowerMonster Plant with Flower

Monster Plant Droop

The last picture is from the following morning. The Night-blooming Cereus flower lasts for only one night then it’s gone.

~Dawn Marie

Why Paranormal Romance?

Sept Super Moon 2014 034

Why Paranormal Romance?

By Caryn Moya Block

So many fans and family members have asked me, why paranormal romance, why not normal romance? I would have to answer, because I can’t write anything but, paranormal. You see, my life is paranormal. I saw my first ghost at age three. Since that time, there have been too many instances to count the strange things that have happened to me or around me.

I guess some would say, I am sensitive, both emotionally and psychically. I don’t consider myself any different from everyone else. I think all of us have psychic gifts, even if we don’t recognize them. I can feel things empathically and often know things that I have no way of knowing.

I even write intuitively, or by the seat of my pants. I let my fingers fly over the keyboard and my characters tell me the story as we go along. I love it when my characters do something unexpected showing me that even I don’t know what is next in the story. Lately, one of my lycan males explained to me that he wasn’t mated to the girl I had planned for him. He was in fact mated to the bad rich girl I never planned to give a book too. That was the first time one of my characters said “No” to me. I have to tell you, I was surprised and even got a little whiny since I had already bought the book cover for the next book. I still don’t know who the mate is to this female character, but the cover is definitely for her, so hopefully, her mate will speak up soon.

I’ve tried to write a normal romance story. The closest I’ve ever come was starting a medieval romance. I got several pages in and already the story was heading for romance, now if I ever get the chance to finish it, we’ll see where it leads. But I will not promise that something paranormal won’t come in to play.

Another reason I write paranormal is because I have so many paranormal stories wandering around in my head. If I didn’t write them down, I might go crazy. Also, I like to wonder and dream about worlds where people are more than what they seem.

We’ve come a long way from people with psychic gifts being burned at the stake. Now you can turn on the television and see all kinds of shows on the paranormal. You can go ghost hunting with known experts. I did that with Mark Nesbitt in Gettysburg, PA. After a weekend of psychic investigation, I discovered how sensitive I truly was and that I could actually get sick being near ghosts.

So, that’s my answer. What about you? Do you have any paranormal things happening in your life?Caryn Ghosthunting

(This picture is of me while investigating inside a civil war house used as a hospital. It is during the day and no flash was used. You can see the orb floating near my head. At this time I am beginning to feel ill being in the house and have backed up against the wall because of feeling threatened. A short time later, I had to leave the premises because I felt like I was going to throw up. As soon as I was outside, I felt better and was able to continue on the tour.)


Be Kind to Editors and Writers Month


Summer is officially over, but the days are still sunny and the nights just right.  While writing and editing in a quiet corner of my home, or out on my deck, I find I keep thinking of how I got to this moment in time…September 2014. I was fortunate to find a love of writing, and took the chance at writing fulltime by retiring from my 40-50 hour/week job.

The various ups and downs that have plagued me does not tell it all, but I find that I have been blessed by people who help me achieve my dreams.  Since my second publisher just closed its doors, I am now officially an Independent Author, also called an Indie Author. Even without a publishing house behind me, I still require help. A couple of these fabulous helpers are called editors. They work nearly as hard as I do, making sure my spelling is perfect, my meanings are clear, and my story makes sense. That can be a challenge.

Writing and editing books with a supernatural flavor, filled with either shape-shifters, vampires, dragons, the occult, zombies and the like takes very special people. They have to understand what we are trying to share, then jump in and clean it up. (Not TOO clean, mind you)

I discovered that September has been designated Be Kind To Editors and Writers Month, so I wish to publicly thank those editors out there, especially the ones who read and correct my work.  (You know who you are but I am NOT naming you because I have too many books for you to work on!)

If you are an author, I hope others are kind to you this month. To all those editors of romance, technical books, magazines, blogs, newspapers and the like, be proud of your talent. Without u, mi werk wood reed farely dull end bee filt with erreres. Thanks!

My latest release, MY LADY HIGHLANDER

is available at Amazon & Kindle Unlimited for a short time.Createspace cover


(Also available in print)


Watch this space for the release of my next book