[Guest Post] A Sleepy Hollow Inspired Chase Scene by P.T. Michelle

A Sleepy Hollow Inspired Chase Scene
by P.T. Michelle

If you don’t remember anything else from the short story The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving, you remember the chase scene! Irving sets the scene with a quirky, flawed character in Ichabod Crane who fully believes in the supernatural. Painting Ichabod into an interesting backdrop of a small, sleepy town full of old legends and a rivalry for a woman’s affection, Irving sets up the perfect scenario for Ichabod’s inevitable run in with the Headless Horseman on a lone dark road sprinkled with creepy night sounds, shadows around every corner, and patches of dense woods.

When I write a chase scene, especially one that takes place in darkened woods, the Headless Horseman scene is usually in the back of my mind. Whether the Headless Horseman was real or not, Ichabod’s fear certainly was: will he be able to out run his pursuer? the fear of learning the villain’s identity–is he real or supernatural, and what will happen to him if he’s caught? I try to incorporate all those emotions within my own characters.

Check out the chase scene below from my YA BRIGHTEST KIND OF DARKNESS. 

Shit!” One of them yelled as I disappeared into the bank of trees.

“She’s just a girl. She can’t get far. Go around, I’ll follow her!” a gruff voice ordered.

I entered the forest on a well-worn path, running straight ahead. When I saw that the woods only went so far in the direction I was headed, I veered off the path. Staying within the thick protection of the trees, I alternately cursed and praised the darkness. I’d run a quarter mile in when I heard the blond guy’s gruff voice sing-song “Narrr-ah”, then deepened in a growl of anger, “Come here, you little bitch!”

Panic shot through me, but my lungs were on fire, so I quickly stopped and threw my back against a thick oak tree, doing my best not to pant or make any noise.

I thought back to the day Ethan had helped jumpstart my car. I’d assumed I’d left my headlights on, but now with these two psychos chasing me, I realized those guys probably turned my lights on to drain my battery so they could “offer” me a ride. That’ll teach me to lock my car.

Why were they after me? And why did the names Kurt and Jay sound so familiar? I wracked my brain trying to remember, but the fear pumping through my veins scattered my thoughts like the leaves falling from the trees around me.

The blond one had stopped running. The underbrush rustled as he walked a few steps, then stopped. Probably listening for my footsteps in the thick leaves.

I heard the dark-headed guy running through the woods too, but he’d run the opposite way from me and had apparently doubled back.

“Jay, that you?” The blond, not more than ten feet away from me, yelled out in the dim light.

“Yeah, I haven’t seen her yet,” Jay answered from afar.

“Go to the edge of the woods and make sure she doesn’t come out that way,” Kurt said. His friend immediately headed off to his right, away from us.

Rustling kicked up once more. Every leaf-crunching step brought him closer, making my stomach twist. He was less than five feet away now.

“I know you’re in here, somewhere between Jay and me,” he said. “You’ve already cost me fifty bucks. Don’t piss me off any more.” His footsteps stopped, then thumped the ground hard, followed by a grunt of annoyance.

I can’t believe he’s after me over fifty dollars. So the “pretending to be offended that I’d dissed them” was just an act? Still, I had no clue why I’d cost him any money at all. I scanned the woods, looking for a path I could take that would allow me to work my way around toward the soccer field and my car in the lot beyond.

BRIGHTEST KIND OF DARKNESS, BOOK 1

Nara Collins is an average sixteen-year-old, with one exception: every night she dreams the events of the following day. Due to an incident in her past, Nara avoids using her special gift to change fate…until she dreams a future she can’t ignore.

After Nara prevents a bombing at Blue Ridge High, her ability to see the future starts to fade, while people at school are suddenly being injured at an unusually high rate.

Grappling with her diminishing powers and the need to prevent another disaster, Nara meets Ethan Harris, a mysterious loner who seems to understand her better than anyone. Ethan and Nara forge an irresistible connection, but as their relationship heats up, so do her questions about his dark past.


Read an excerpt | Watch the Book Trailer

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LUCID: BRIGHTEST KIND OF DARKNESS, BOOK 2

Once Nara combines her prophetic ability with Ethan’s power to outsmart Fate at his own deadly cat-and-mouse game, she’s more determined than ever to help Ethan learn the meaning behind the raven sword tattoo that suddenly appeared on his back after their confrontation with Fate.

During her quest to uncover the tattoo’s secrets, Nara enlists the help of some new friends and discovers her own surprising connection to Ethan.

While Nara digs deeper into the mystery, her desire for answers leads her down a dangerous path full of powerful and ruthless enemies. Swept into an age-old battle, Nara quickly learns that keeping one’s enemies close can be a necessary evil, making an intangible enemy she can control far more preferable to the human enemies she can’t. 

Read an excerpt

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ABOUT P.T. MICHELLE

P.T. Michelle is author of the young adult series BRIGHTEST KIND OF DARKNESS. When P.T. isn’t writing, she can usually be found reading or taking pictures of landscapes, sunsets and anything beautiful or odd in nature.

LINKS: Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Pinterest | Newsletter

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[Guest Post] Sleepy Hollow: The Enduring Power of Scary Tales by Adrienne Clarke

The Enduring Power of Scary Tales
by Adrienne Clarke

I like scary stories, the darker and more mysterious the better. People are often surprised by my penchant for horror, perhaps because I don’t look the part. I’m too girly, too soft spoken, and I have almost no black clothes. My love of all things gothic might be a less visible aspect of my personality, but it burns brightly underneath my pastel exterior.

Like many people, my love of scary stories started early, and one of the first scary stories to make a deep impression on me was The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. In many ways this tale was a departure for me.  With neither looks nor charm to recommend him, Ichabod Crane was not the sort of hero I was used to. The absence of superior strength, intelligence, or wit made him vulnerable and touchingly human. A passionate reader of fairy tales, Ichabod seemed a rather sorry figure compared to my golden dashing princes, who fought dragons and cut down walls of thorns. Still, there is something about the underdog, the ordinary person, which arouses our interest and enlists our support.

Undoubtedly ordinary, Ichabod was not devoid of admirable qualities. I liked his tenacity, his daring to pursue his heart’s desire in the face so much adversity. Difficult not to feel sympathy for an outsider in this odd place where “… a contagion in the very air… breathed forth an atmosphere of dreams and fancies infecting all the land.”

Our appetite for scary stories shows no signs of going away. Awash in horror movies, TV shoes, and books that look for new ways to frighten its audience, so how does The Legend of Sleepy Hollow endure? One reason, I think is the tale’s ambiguity. Was Ichabod the victim of a cruel hoax? Was the vision of the headless horseman real? Or a trick of his fevered imagination? The story challenges the reader to decide whether Ichabod’s fate was human or supernatural. Too often, stories beat us over the head, telling us what we are supposed to think and feel. While frustrating to some, I find the idea of not knowing for certain, for having to make up my own mind exhilarating.

The best stories make us call upon our own powers of imagination. Do we believe or not? Can we enter that sleepy town, mysterious wood, or dark grotto and emerge unchanged, or belief system intact? Or are we changed somehow? Of one thing I am certain: Reading scary stories has changed the way I see the world. Like the inhabitants of sleepy hollow, strange and mysterious happenings form part of my consciousness. I peer carefully around dark corners, wondering with a mixture of fear and awe what might be on the other side. My fear is part of what makes me a writer. I like to explore those dark places, to travel down that dark and lonely road, even when I’m uncertain of what I might find there.

Adrienne Clarke’s debut YA fantasy novel TO DANCE IN LIRADON was recently released from Soul Mate Publishing.

Website: http://adrienneclarkewriter.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/#!/ToDanceInLiradon

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/AdrienneLClarke

TO DANCE IN LIRADON is available at:

http://www.soulmatepublishing.com/

http://www.amazon.com/

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/

[Guest Post] Sleepy Hollow: Fantasy Brought To Life by Stephen Morris

Sleepy Hollow? I clearly remember watching the Disney animated version of “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” as a youngster and I clearly remember reading the original story in a small, beige book I found on our family bookshelves one afternoon. I read the story in that small book many times over the years. But I always assumed that the town of Sleepy Hollow was as much a fictional creation of Washington Irving as the escapades of Ichabod Crane, the Headless Horseman, and the rest of the characters. The name itself of the town sounded like an artificial creation to me, growing up in a neighborhood of Seattle in the 1960s and 70s. What real town would ever be named “Sleepy Hollow?!”

Then I came back east to attend college. The arrival of the acceptance letter from Yale was my ticket out of Boredom and Exile and an admission into everything I thought life ought to be! Flying from Seattle to JFK in early September 1976 was the first time I had ever been in an airplane. Escaping the prison that I felt Seattle to be and arriving on the East Coast was already a foray into an urban-fantasy-come-true! But then, that autumn, as I was talking to a recent graduate during one afternoon shift of my student aid job at the Anthropology Library, he remarked in passing that he would be visiting a friend of his that weekend in a picturesque Hudson Valley village known as Sleepy Hollow.

“Sleepy Hollow?!” I exclaimed. “It exists? It’s real?” I was dumbstruck.

“Sure, it’s real,” he chided me, laughing. “It’s a real place, though I’m not so sure the Horseman is.”

That was the beginning of a series of mythical places suddenly becoming real, earthbound locations. London was suddenly closer and cheaper to reach than Seattle was. I could feel the axis which the world rotated around suddenly shift beneath my feet. New York was within striking distance as well, less than a two-hour train ride from New Haven. One day, walking with friends from the metropolitan NYC area along First Avenue, we walked under a large overpass whose concrete walls were carved to imitate rough-hewn stone.

“Remember the song, ‘Feelin’ Groovey?’ The one called the ‘Fifty-Ninth Street Bridge Song’?” one unexpectedly asked as we passed into the shadows beneath the underpass.

“Of course,” I replied, unsure why he was suddenly interested in my memory of that particular song.

“Well, this is the Fifty-Ninth Street Bridge.” He pointed to the wall and the massive structure it supported.

My feet froze. I stared at him and then at the stonework around us. It felt like I was seeing clouds and ether materialize around us, dreams taking substantial form in the waking world, an extra-dimensional door opening and taking solid form before my eyes.

Everyone else kept walking but then burst out laughing when they realized that I had frozen in place.

I reached out and carefully poked at the concrete walls, afraid I might disrupt the magic and the whole bridge suddenly disappear. But the stone was solid and rough to my touch. The bridge remained above us. As I walked to the next street, my fingers trailed along the wall beside me. I was touching myth and legend made stone.

Years later, I drove with a friend to visit mutual acquaintances who had recently moved to Sleepy Hollow. It was a village of picturesque houses and soothing river views along the Hudson and I had the sensation again of feathery, delicate dreams settling on the earth and taking on materiality. It was a warm, sunny Sunday afternoon in the early spring but a distinctly chilly shiver rippled down my spine as I opened the swinging gate in their picket fence.

Not even an appearance by the Headless Horseman himself could have been more fantastic than the ability to touch myth and music incarnate on those afternoons.

About the Author: Stephen has degrees in medieval history and theology from Yale and St. Vladmir’s Orthodox Theological Academy. A former priest, he served as the Eastern Orthodox chaplain at Columbia University. His previous academic writing has dealt primarily with Late Antiquity and Byzantine church life. “Come Hell or High Water” is his debut novel.

Book Available at:
Kindle and paperback on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Come-Hell-High-Water-Part/dp/0984773126/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1346427751&sr=8-1&keywords=come+hell+morris

eBook on Nook: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/come-hell-or-high-water-part-one-stephen-morris/1111794614?ean=2940014626972

[Guest Post] Author Sandra Sookoo Takes On Her Fear of the Headless Horseman

We’re kicking off the Sleepy Hollow guest posts with author Sandra Sookoo. Her recent release is about werewolves in the Civil War! Read on for an excerpt and a giveaway! 

Thanks for having me on your blog today!

I love the legend of Sleepy Hollow. As a child it was one of my favorites. Of course, me being a Disney freak, the version that sticks close to me is the Disney version. I’ll never forget the first time I saw the headless horseman gallop onto the animated screen with a flaming pumpkin under his arm to bedevil poor Ichabod Crane!

Since then I’ve devoured every remake and version that’s been put to screen and book. One of my other favorites is the Johnny Depp version, Sleepy Hollow. To this day Christopher Walken’s portrayal of the horseman gives me the creeps. And who can forget that eerie tree that sucks people down into the ground?

Brrrr!

This year, I’ll be experiencing a first for me. Every year the local living history museum, Conner Prairie, puts on the ride of the Headless Horseman. They have a really nice bridge over a stream there. The first time I saw it, I could well imagine the area being blanketed with chilly darkness with dry leaves crunching beneath my feet, and in the distance, the unmistakable whinny of a worse. Couple that with the mocking laughter of a headless horseman… And yes, I’m the biggest baby for scary stuff that ever lived so I’ll be the forty-year-old woman in the hayride wagon screaming her fool head off at some bit of make believe. LOL

I love this time of year—not for the scary stuff but for the imagining of the scary stuff!

I’d love to connect with you around the web! Here’s where you can find me:
Website:  http://www.sandrasookoo.com
Believing is Seeing blog:  http://sandrasookoo.wordpress.com/
Twitter:  http://twitter.com/sandrasookoo
Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/sandra.sookoo
Goodreads:  http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2931453.Sandra_Sookoo

A Wolfish Tangle

In the mood for a bit of werewolf fun? I’ve brought the blurb for my latest release A WOLFISH TANGLE. It’s the sequel to A Wolfish Scandal. What could be better than a story set in the Civil War era and the hero is a werewolf besides?

What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.

While the War Between the States grips America, Franklin Garrett fights his own battle.  A wolf shifter, he successfully manages Rutledge Estates, but he’s a failure at romance.  When an old family foes resurfaces and threatens his idyllic life, he sends his cousin Grey and his wife Lyndal away for their safety.  Unfortunately, a different sort of peril lands right on his doorstep, stirring his protectiveness and sense of duty.

Caroline Harrison’s brother is detained in Camp Morton, a Union war prison in Indianapolis. Led by intuition, she arrives at Rutledge Estates, where she’s promptly kissed by an inebriated Franklin.  Her personal desires collide with her devotion to her family and her personal promises, yet Southern charm will see her through. Though she’s had enough of arrogant men, she needs his help to spring her brother.

When the man who decimated the Rutledge wolf pack shows up, both Franklin and Caroline must figure out what’s more important in life—family or love?

Excerpt

A gust of wind caught a tendril of her hair. It streamed behind her in a dark ribbon. “Though I doubt the wisdom in that plan now. Southern men, and especially those in my social circle, aren’t willing to invest in a headstrong female. Whatever else I am, I will always be that.”

“There is a certain appreciation in knowing your biggest flaw is also your greatest strength.” Here was the opening he needed. “What are you searching for in a man, a mate? You’d already indicated you wouldn’t consider a werewolf, so I’m curious.” Though he attempted a nonchalant stance, he couldn’t control the wild beating of his heart. He wanted the chance to change her mind, wanted the ability to say she should try pursuing a man from Northern roots—him.

“If you’d have asked me that question a week ago, my answer would have been an adamant no to courting another werewolf.” She chewed her bottom lip.

“And now?”

Her shoulders lifted with a shrug. “I might be changing my mind.”

“Why?” He had to know.

Her breath came in shallow pants. “You, but I don’t understand why.”

“Ah.” Franklin fought the urge to bundle her into his arms. If he did that, he wouldn’t be able to stop himself with merely holding her. The passions simmering just below the surface would take over and he’d be lost. “Not all men are like your husband. Believe it or not, some of us still have honor and practice respect.”

She gathered her hair over a shoulder. The length covered one breast and brushed her waist. “I still have my doubts.”

“I see.” He rubbed a hand along his jaw. “With your earlier slip of the tongue, you said ‘courting a werewolf.’ Will you take control in your next relationship?” The scene on the train flickered through his mind. She’d been more than willing to assume control then, yet she’d let him carry the lead. She was a delightful mix of controversy.

“That depends on the man.” The corner of Caroline’s mouth quirked in a grin. She continued to gaze over the lawn, her expression intense. “I want a man who won’t seek to dominate me, but won’t allow me to dominate him either. We’d be well-matched in temperament, charm, and attraction.”

“An ambitious ideal. You might need to employ some of your Southern charm in order to seduce him first.” Despite his tenuous frame of mind, Franklin grinned. “Any man worth his salt, werewolf or not, would find you an appealing challenge. The chase goes both ways, my dear, and you’d be well worth it.” Did he make a declaration? Did she understand what he was offering?

“Would you be daring, Mr. Garrett?” She didn’t move any closer, yet her body heat seemed to twine around him, tugging at him, drawing him in. She knew.

Excitement gripped him. He hadn’t wanted anything—anyone—as much as he wanted her in that moment. “It depends on the strength of your seduction ability.”

“You weren’t immune to me in the orchard.”

“True, but it could have been an aberration.”

“There was always the train.”

“Yes, but the session didn’t go very far, did it?” Why not attempt to bait the hook and see where she’d take their teasing? Was she serious about a romantic attachment or was she seeking only to play with his emotions? “Perhaps you weren’t trying as hard as you thought, or perhaps your potency doesn’t have an effect on me.” It took all his willpower not to look at her. He kept his gaze on the verandah’s flagstones.

“Too bad you feel thusly.”

Franklin raised his eyes to her face. Hers glittered with mischief. He had to know how she saw him, needed to ascertain her interest. “Out of curiosity, how would you attempt to seduce me?”

You can purchase A WOLFISH SCANDAL here:

Publisher buy link:  http://www.lsbooks.com/a-wolfish-tangle-p703.php

All Romance buy link: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-awolfishtangle-946723-139.html

Amazon buy link:  http://www.amazon.com/A-Wolfish-Tangle-ebook/dp/B009G9T8TU/ref=sr_1_37?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1348571604&sr=1-37

Giveaway

And, because fall and Halloween are my most favorite times of the year, I’ve brought a giveaway. One lucky commenter will receive book swag (postcards, bookmarks, etc.) plus a free download of one of my Halloween-themed books. You can choose from: Courtesans and Thieves, Hunter’s Moon Magic or Tail on the Moon. All blurbs can be found on my website.

Please be sure to leave your contact information and enter by October 31!

[Guest Post] A Scientific Approach to Magic by Jocelynn Drake

Please welcome Jocelynn Drake! Today she is going over how she came up with the whole new world featured in her new urban fantasy series, The Asylum Tales. (The six-book Dark Days series featured vampires.)

A Scientific Approach to Magic

by Jocelynn Drake

When creating a new urban fantasy series, one of the core components is strong world building. A reader picking up an urban fantasy novel is prepared to be launched into a strange world filled with the impossible. The reader knows that unbelievable things are about to happen, but it is the author’s job to not only lead the reader through the impossible, but also convince them that these things really can happen. This is where great world building is crucial.

As I started creating the city of Low Town and Gage’s inevitable battle with the Ivory Towers in my new Asylum Tales series, the one thing that I wanted to tackle first was the magic system. Considering that the series was built around a warlock, I knew that I would have to have a good handle on how Gage got things done in an amazing but believable fashion.

Digging into the Asylum Tales, the first thing I did was divide magic into two worlds: potion and energy. As a result, there are two distinct users of these systems: tattoo artists and witches/warlocks.

Potion Magic

Potion magic is the layman’s magic. All the magic that makes amazing things happen comes purely from the ingredients in the potion. Whether you’re using a severed crow’s leg, Easter Lily pollen, or a strand of hair from an extinct unicorn, all the magic is held within that ingredient. There is no exterior magical energy required to make the spell work. As a result, anyone can mix an effective potion, just like anyone can bake a cake or whip up mashed potatoes.

Now as anyone who has watched their soufflé deflate can attest, cooking does take a little skill, a lot of patience, and a bit of practice. Different ingredients can be used for different outcomes on different types of people. The same goes for mixing up a potion for true love or good luck.

As a result, tattoo artists not only study to create beautiful tattoos, but they must also learn how to use different ingredients to create different potions. Luckily, they are thoroughly tested and licensed by Tattoo Artists and Potion Stirrers Society (TAPSS) before being set loose upon the world.

Energy Magic

On the other hand, there’s the magic used by the warlocks and witches living in the Ivory Towers. Not every human can tap into this magic. In fact, less than 1% of human children born every year in the world develop this ability between the ages of seven and twelve. No one has yet determined why these people are born with this talent. Genetic mutation, evolution, or just bad luck aside, the children are whisked off to the Ivory Towers upon discovery and are trained. If you fail in your training, you die. If you succeed in your training, you become a full-fledged warlock or witch living in the Towers and feared by the world.

This magic is a mix of hand gestures, symbols, or words along with a push of magical energy floating in the air. The elves claim that the magical energy is born from the earth, while others believe that the magical energy is created by the souls of all living creatures. Either way, warlocks and witches tap that energy and use it for their own purposes.

Of course, warlocks and witches aren’t the only ones who can tap that energy, but they have the broadest use of it. The Summer Court elves have a talent for nature-based magic. The Winter Court elves have a talent for glamour as well as affecting a person’s dreams. Dragons are good at a wide range of magic, but we all know there aren’t any dragons around any longer. All in all, warlocks and witches are the power players in the magic world.

Consequences

Now, the clincher. When creating a world, it helps to have some balance. When you give great power, you have to have a catch; something to keep the powers in line. If there are no consequences for actions, then what’s to stop you from blowing up the world?

In the Asylum Tales world, magic doesn’t like when you remove a source of potential power so you’ve got to pay a price. If you kill another living creature with magic, you’ve got to give up one year of your life. Of course, your first thought is probably “that’s not so bad. Who really wants to live through those crappy years at the end where you’re stuck in an adult diaper, gumming strained peas, and unaware of where you’re at?”

Hold your horses there! You don’t lose a year off the end. In fact, you never know when you’re going to have to pay up that year. It could be five years down the road when you’re 35 years old and in excellent health. You could be heading to the hospital to pick up your wife and new baby to deliver home, and BOOM! You drop dead. And for 365 days, you are dead. Your soul is stuck in limbo with the dangerous Lilith watching over you.

If you’re lucky enough to have someone preserve your body during that year, then you can return to earth and the living. But if your body isn’t in working order, I’m afraid that you’re going to stay dead.

As a result, the warlocks and witches have gotten sneaky when it comes to killing off a rival, but the threat is always there.

With the magic system locked down, I was able to build much of the rest of the world around it, giving my characters a strange but defined space to play in. But if you’re passing through Low Town, my advice would be keep your head down and stay away from the warlocks and the witches.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Thank you, Jocelynn!

ANGEL’S INK, the first in the new series is scheduled to hit bookstores on October 16. Available for pre-order.

To help introduce this new world and its characters, Joceylnn prepared a couple of novellas, “Bronx” and “Trixie”.

Check out our review of “The Asylum Interviews: Bronx”. (Hint: “Bronx” and “Trixie” are actually stories, mysteries even, not interviews.)

Don’t miss this exciting new series!

Flashback: Guest post from Jaye Wells

Back in 2009, Jaye Wells stopped by and gave us this unique glimpse into RED-HEADED STEPCHILD, her debut novel, the first in the Sabina Kane series.

immortal-vineyards3Hello Urban Fantasy Land!

I’m writing to you from beautiful Napa Valley, home to Immortal Vineyards. Can I just say, the visitor’s center is a hoot! They’ve done the place up to look like it’s run by real vampires. They’ve got lots of fun souvenirs, like bumper stickers that say, “Vampires do it all night long.” The wine bar is made to look like a coffin, and a bust of Bella Lugosi stands near the restrooms. Even the wine names are vampiric: Sanguinarian Shiraz, Crypt Cabernet and Killer Chianti. Not sure why they only carry reds, but I’m not complaining. I got a few weird looks when I refused to spit the wine out during the tasting, but after several glasses, I’ve stopped caring.

I need to go now. A hot guy in a cape just offered to give me a personal tour of the grounds. When my character, Sabina Kane, recomended this place, she said something about avoiding red heads, but I’m having trouble remembering why. I mention it now because my hottie tour guide looks just like Ewan McGregor. Normally, I’m not into red heads, but what the heck? I’m on vacation and the wine is making me feel a little giddy. Wish me luck!

XOXO,

Jaye Wells

www.jayewells.com

Guest Blog: Ann Aguirre, author of Blue Diablo

aguirre_blue-diablo1Last year I took a trip to Catemaco for research. Located in the state of Veracruz, Catemaco was largely cut off until the early 20th century. The first train arrived there in 1912. The first paved roads didn’t reach this area until the 1950s, Consequently, the area’s populace had to get good at healing, using the plentiful herbs in the surrounding jungle. Since then, Catemaco has become famous for its magic and mysticism. The town is full of witches (brujos), healers (curanderos), gypsy fortunetellers (hungaros), and other lesser known types chamanes, culebreros, yerberos.

It was to this place that I traveled last year to research an authentic experience for my heroine. I met a witch. I had a cleansing. So now, enjoy the video and feel free to ask me what you’re seeing. (I included a photo of me climbing the path to the witch’s hut.)

http://widgets.clearspring.com/o/47b132e07b3c9036/49d2ffa34936e13c/47b132e05b7229a5/dedf4aed/-cpid/d879f480f42fc6d6

A random commenter will win a copy of Blue Diablo.