Category: Halloween

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This past week has been a doozy. My little world has been just fine, exactly what I expected when I wrote here last weekend, busy at the beginning, with a little more breathing room toward the end, but the bigger world has been filled with all sorts of terrible news this week. Because I could use something upbeat, I thought others must need the same thing. So today, I’ve got a few happy pictures to share with you.

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The ocean makes me happy, and I know some of my friends are happiest at the beach, too.

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Tulips make me happy, too. They’re actually my favorite flower, and I carried pink tulips when I got married.

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And pets make many of us happy, too.

( Photo by sayamindu on / CC BY-SA )

Right now, I’m happy that my family is safe and healthy, and that we have safe homes and good food to eat, jobs to pay for those things. I am also happy that I can write, and that I can share some of that with you, this week from Hunting Medusa.


Andrea rested her head on her folded arms on the kitchen table, only half listening to Kallan typing on his keyboard. She didn’t want to die just yet. She knew for sure she didn’t want to be mutilated before she died.

But she didn’t look forward to killing the Harvester either.

She never should have had sex with him. She knew it. She’d known it beforehand.

And she should definitely not still want him.

When the phone rang, it was a relief. For a few seconds. Until she realized it was Thalia. “My cousin.” She didn’t think she needed to explain her mental caller I.D. to him.

Kallan held her gaze for a long moment. “Don’t try to let her know what’s going on,” he said at last. “I know where a lot of your cousins are located, and I’m not the only one.”

Her heart pounded harder at the implication, but she got to her feet and picked up the receiver. “Hello, Thalia. How are you?”

“I’m fine, Andi, but I think you need to get away for a while.”

She frowned, feeling Kallan’s presence behind her. Close behind her. Close enough to hear her conversation. “What do you mean?” His body heat teased her.

“The Harvesters are out and about. I’m afraid for you.”

Andi shut her eyes for a second, then opened them again when he put his hands on her shoulders. She shot him a glare and moved away, back toward the table. “I’m fine.”

“Please don’t ignore this, Andi. You know I’m hardly ever wrong.”

That was true. But she wondered if her cousin realized she was very often late with her flashes of intuition. Far too late in this case. “Okay. I’ll give it some thought, all right? Mom said something the other day about visiting.” Gods, had it only been two days ago? “And Aunt Lydia just called yesterday too. I could go to see either of them if anything seems odd.”

His hands settled on her shoulders again, massaging the tense muscles there.

She didn’t bother to shrug him off this time. He was persistent. “I could even come visit with you,” she teased, forcing a lightness into her tone.

Her cousin cleared her throat. “I actually have company right now,” she said after a moment, and Andi could almost see her blushing. “You remember I met someone in Athens last summer? Well, he’s come again to stay for a while.” Even over the phone, the emotion in Thalia’s voice was obvious.

One more cousin safe—none of the cousins who’d fallen in love ever had the curse land on their heads. A tiny bit of relief made her relax further under Kallan’s touch. “That’s terrific, Thalia. When do the rest of us get to meet him?”

“We’re talking dates,” the other woman said, a hint of a smile in her tone now. “I’ll be sure to let you know.”

“Good. And thanks for the warning. I miss you.”

“I miss you, too. I’ve got to go, Andi. Talk to you soon. But promise you’ll be careful. Danger is coming from more than one direction.”

She pushed the off button on the phone and shut her eyes, ignoring the slight sting in them. She was not envious of Thalia’s good fortune. She was just in an impossible situation here.

His warm breath brushed the top of her head a second before his lips. “That was good.”

She wanted to tell him to go screw himself. She wanted a weapon to swing at him. She wanted him to wrap his arms around her and carry her down onto the nearest flat surface.

Her eyes popped open. Damned hormones.

His hands slid down her sides and wrapped around her, settling her back against his chest as if he’d read her mind. She hoped he didn’t have that ability.

“What have you found?” she asked instead, keeping herself upright instead of relaxing further.

“Not a cursed thing.”

She blinked. She hadn’t really expected he’d tell her, but the resignation in his tone told her his reply was the truth. She inhaled unsteadily. “I guess you have to make up your mind then. You or me.”

“There has to be something else.” He sounded frustrated now, as if he were gritting his teeth, and his grip on her tightened marginally.

Andi shut her eyes. No matter how torn he seemed to be about his destined tasks, she had no doubt he’d do them eventually. And if not, she’d do what the Medusas had been doing for millennia and eliminate the threat to her. That was her destiny.


Now, before I get back to some writing, I’m going to do something else that makes me happy–I have potatoes cooking to go with my fish for supper. Potatoes make me very happy, I could eat them every day.

I would love to know some things that make all of you happy. Maybe we can keep each other happy this week in a world that seems determined to do the opposite to us. What do you rely on to make you happy when you’re sad?




(  Photo credit: krystian_o via / CC BY  )

I haven’t quite been able to bring myself to start the second season of American Horror Story since I was disappointed with the first season.  So I have started a couple of other shows instead–Wallander, The Fall.  Wallander is a great show, though not one I am watching for scares, but for the great storytelling and acting.  And maybe for Tom Hiddleston.

The Fall isn’t scary, per se.  It is a very twisty, psychological thrill ride, with a serial killer in Belfast, and an investigator with some issues of her own who is doing her best to track him down.  The killer is creepy and smart, and only a few steps ahead of the investigator, who is even smarter than the killer.

The writer part of my brain is loving the storytelling that keeps me on the edge of my seat.  There are several moments in the first season that made me gasp out loud, things that I absolutely didn’t see coming.  I really started watching it because Gillian Anderson is in it, and I loved her on The X-Files.  Now I’m loving this show, and I can hardly wait to see what happens next.


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I still have the next week or so to get in my scary horror movies, so I’m still looking for suggestions.  And in the meantime, I think I have another little snippet of Hunting Medusa to share with you.


They had missed the last ferry crossing for the day by half an hour. Andi bit her lip as Kallan’s eyes spit green fire. She wondered if he was willing the boat to return for them.

She touched his back gingerly.

He looked down at her, his expression only softening a little.

“There’s a very cute inn about five minutes back the way we came. We can spend the night there and be back for the first ferry tomorrow.” She rubbed her fingers in a circle on the back of his shoulder. “Relax.”

He let out a long, slow breath. “I’m sorry.”

She lifted one brow as she tipped her head to the side. “We’re on vacation, right? No schedules.” She wished she could really think of this as a vacation and not just a life-or death flight across the world. But maybe the reminder was what he needed right now.

“Yes, vacation.” His hard mouth softened, and his gaze dropped to her lips. “I think the inn sounds like a good idea. Maybe we can find a place to walk along the shore.”

“But no swimming. That water is too cold,” she teased.

His expression lightened further. “And you with no bathing suit.” His gaze slid lower, eyes darkening.

Andi swallowed. Well.

“Let’s go get a room.” He wrapped his arm around her shoulders and herded her back to the car. Anticipation made her shiver as he followed the winding coast road back the way they’d come. When he winked at her while checking them into the little inn, she decided to just enjoy the time here. To enjoy Kallan. While she had the chance.

They carted their things into the room, which was farthest from the lobby, in the back of the inn, and with a door of its own leading directly onto the rocky shore. Andi opened that one and stared out at the gray waves for a long time, smiling at the birds that dove low over the rocks and water, calling to one another. She wondered how her deer were faring with her gone. Or if the moose had made an appearance in the last few days.

“Shall we take a walk?” Kallan’s big hand settled at her nape, thumb sliding along the side of her throat and making her shiver, warmth oozing along her veins and distracting her from her thoughts.

“Okay.” She gave him a smile over her shoulder before she moved away, outside, where she dashed over rocks, between clumps of scrubby grass that waved in the breeze.

Behind her, she heard his heavier footfalls, and she laughed, running faster.

He caught her before she reached the water, his hands grabbing her waist and swinging her into the air so she shrieked with laughter.

When he set her on her feet, a dangerous light glinted in his eyes, and she felt her pulse leap in anticipation.

She backed away a step, then another, and he stalked her, his steps eating up more space than hers did. Another step and her heel caught on a rock.





( Photo credit: fireboat895 via / CC BY )

Yes, I’m still working through old and new horror movies and shows  for the season.  I had wanted to see American Horror Story more than once, but I think I remember that when it started something else that I liked was on at the same time.  So I started watching the first season recently.  There are some seriously messed up people on this show.  But it hasn’t really scared me yet.  I almost want to go reread Rosemary’s Baby instead.  But there is some really good acting going on, so I’ll at least finish the first season before I decide whether to go any further.

I just went out to feed the birds in the backyard a little while ago, and we’re enjoying another really pretty fall day.  A little cooler than the forecast was calling for, but sunny  and bright.  I’ll take it over the hot and humid summer anytime.  And now we have very happy birds and squirrels in the backyard.  And happy cats at the kitchen window, watching them while I came back into the living room to work.

The manuscript I’m working on is the first of my tiger shifters (yes, still), and I have quite a long way to go.  But I do have another little bit of story to share with you.


About six-thirty, Tessa hefted her tote bag onto her shoulder and stepped out of her office. She’d managed to deal with the day’s actual work, plus spend some time with Ezra, who was holding his own today. Now to go home and deal with that mess. She shut her eyes for a second as she pulled her door shut.
“Ah, I’m just in time.”
Her eyes popped open. “Harley.” Her pulse skipped several beats.
He leaned against the wall, arms folded over his chest, smiling.
She swallowed. “What are you doing here?”
“I came to pick you up.”
“I told you I’d catch a ride.” Never mind that she hadn’t actually asked any of her co-workers for a ride.
He pushed off the wall, still smiling. “Your ride is here.”
It seemed silly to argue since he was standing right here. But her self-preservation instincts warned her this was dangerous.
She really wished India hadn’t gone out of town for work this week.
Harley caught her elbow. “Have you got everything you need?”
She nodded, her mouth dry.
“Great.” He steered her along the hallway and out through the main lobby to where his car sat in the first guest parking space.
She made herself participate in the conversation, small talk about her day. But half her brain wondered what she was doing, letting Harley take her home. Maybe he thought she wouldn’t be able to handle the mess.
She was so distracted by her own thoughts that it took her a moment after the car stopped to realize that he’d parked.
She looked out the front window and found they were outside a popular restaurant and bar. “What are you doing?”
“Supper.” He pushed his door open.

She stared after him. Harley had lost his mind. Or she had. When he came around and opened her door, she blinked up at him. “I need to go home and start cleaning up, Harley.”
“You also need to eat. I promise, we’ll only get something to eat and then I’ll take you home.” He held out one hand.
Tessa looked at the strong hand in front of her. She shouldn’t even think about it.
“When did you eat last? Last night?”

She glanced away guiltily.
“Come on, Tessa. If you’re going to work, you need some fortification.” He bent and caught her wrist.
She let him, deciding it was easier to acquiesce. And really, she was starving. The aromas coming from the restaurant made her mouth water. She could make sure he kept his word after she’d fortified herself with some supper.



( Photo credit: magnus.johansson10 via / CC BY-SA )

So somebody tell me about a really great scary movie you love.  It doesn’t have to be gory, but good and scary.





We had a gorgeous fall day here today–bright blue skies and lots of sun, with a brisk wind tugging leaves off the trees.  I think the rest of the week is supposed to be more of the same, which is what I waited for all through our hot, horrible summer.


( Photo credit: Jayt74 via / CC BY-SA )

Halloween is a few weeks away, so I’ve started digging through movies I like.  I watched Corpse Bride yesterday, and Sleepy Hollow today.  At some point soon, I’ll break out  The Nightmare Before Christmas (it’s a dual season movie!) and probably some Stephen King flicks.

I do love a good horror movie, but it’s hard to find really good ones.  Sometimes they’re so cheesy, they’re fun anyway.  Other times, not so much.  When I want to see cheesy flicks, though, I turn to the SyFy original movies, which are hilarious.  But this week, I’m in the mood for more actual horror films.  So I would love some suggestions for really great, scary movies.


(Photo credit: mari27454 (Marialba Italia) via / CC BY )

And in the meantime, I have a little snippet from Hunting Medusa for you…


Kallan Tassos sat at the foot of the mountain, tapping his fingers on the steering wheel of the rented truck. Getting to the Medusa had been a lot easier than he’d been led to believe.

He wondered why.

She was also a lot prettier than he’d imagined.

Sure, he knew the original Medusa had been so beautiful and confident she’d angered a Goddess. But this one wasn’t what he’d expected. She had short, dark hair framing very expressive blue eyes. Somehow he’d imagined long, blonde hair for a woman whose hair turned into snakes. And cold eyes like those very reptiles. Maybe not with a mouth that made him wonder how she’d taste.

He frowned, tapping his fingers faster on the wheel. Someone had left out a lot of details in the legends. Or the reality had changed much in the generations since the last

Harvester had done his duty in killing the monstrous Medusa.

He shook his head. No, his imagination was simply working overtime. And when he got home to Baltimore—or even when he went to Greece to visit Uncle Ari at the family’s ancestral home—he needed to find a willing woman, as it had clearly been too long if he was finding his quarry so attractive.

When his phone rang, he hesitated for a second at the name on the tiny screen. He finally thumbed the button after the third ring. “Stavros.”
“I hear you may have a promising lead. It is past time one of us killed this monster.” His cousin’s everyday accent thickened when he was excited, and judging by the way Greece flavored his words, he believed they were getting close.
“I’m sure one of us will,” Kallan said mildly, drumming his fingers on his knee.
“I keep imagining taking her head after all this time. Perhaps before I do, I can make her pay a little for her family’s existence.”
Kallan frowned. Stavros didn’t care who knew about his penchant for cruelty.
“Where are you now?”

Again he hesitated. He rarely lied, and never to his family. “Oklahoma. I’ve found some information on a young woman closely related to the last Medusa that perfectly fits our profile.” He didn’t feel bad about the lie, since he knew his cousin would be there within twenty-four hours if he told him where he really was and that he’d found the Medusa.
“Where are you heading?”
“Northeast.” He hoped Stavros would be satisfied with the vague answer for now. But he didn’t want his cousin breathing down his neck. Stavros had a vicious streak miles wide, had ever since they were children and just beginning to explore and use their individual talents in their hunt for the Medusa. Kallan could undo any lock with just a touch. Stavros could sense and undo any magical spell he found in his path. When they were teenagers, Kallan had seen him use his magical skill to kill innocent animals just because they were nearby. On occasion, he’d used any handy weapon or his bare hands, simply because he could. Kallan knew Stravros’s cruelty had intensified in recent years based on things not only Stavros had mentioned, but whispers from his other cousins.  While he knew as well as everyone else in his family the sort of monster the Medusa was, he didn’t think it necessary to make her suffer the way Stavros would. Especially now that he’d met her.
“Ah. Well, I wish you luck in your hunt, Cousin. Goddess bless our quest.”
He repeated the mantra, then thumbed off the phone, thinking. Hopefully his cousin would take the lack of a specific answer to mean Kallan was simply searching and not really onto a solid lead. That would keep Stavros on his own hunt and out of Kallan’s way.
He smiled grimly, turning the key in the ignition. Now he had plans to finalize. Supplies to purchase. He put the truck in gear and steered the vehicle back toward Ellsworth.
Now that he’d found her, the Medusa would die by his hand.


Give me your horror movie suggestions!