Thursday, 30 April 2015

#AtoZChallenge - The Spell is Complete. The Witch has found her safe Zone

We are here. We have survived. We have experienced the highs and lows of life on the English Riviera, and we will never be the same again. Imagine if you took a holiday (or a vacation) in Redcliffe, Cornwall, and you discovered the werewolf pack, and the vampires. Imagine if you saw the witch Jessica Stone in the throes of magical sorcery. You would be forever changed. Just like Jessica, when she fell in love with a vampire. It is alright for you and I. We have our homes far away from the madness. Jessica now lives in a danger Zone. And she is immersed far too deeply to even consider an escape.


I hope you have enjoyed our adventures over here on the #AtoZChallenge 2015. I hope that you are now eagerly devouring the first three Redcliffe novels, and that they exceed your expectations. Perhaps you would care to leave a review, and share the books with your friends? I would really appreciate it. My life is very lonely at present, with my supernatural family demanding attention, and no one to share them with (my children are preschoolers. I think they are a little young for the Redcliffe novels just yet!). Maybe you are familiar with the tourist places in Cornwall that inspired my location. I used a mixture of Looe and Polperro, because those are places that I visited a lot many years ago. I also threw in a bit of Newquay, just for good measure.


Jessica will rest for now. I have completed the first draft of book 4 in the Redcliffe series. Eye of the Tiger is proving to be the most dramatic adventure yet, but it is far from finished. No. I have decided that I will take time over this novel. I will use the techniques, advice and information that I have gleaned during the years since I published the previous novels, and then I will make this one the Best Damn Paranormal Romance this side of the Atlantic. Jessica is learning her witchcraft. I, too, am learning my craft. My work continues to evolve, and now I allow myself the luxury of indulgent language. I will even endeavour to include some native Cornish dialect at some point. I do include local characters, after all; mostly members of the Redcliffe werewolf pack. See you soon, my friends…


I hope you have enjoyed participating in the #AtoZChallenge 2015. You can see other participants and find new authors over on the official website. We have everything from book stuff, to cooking, to photography, to travel, and a whole lot more. I am leaving now, to take a well-earned rest. And to catch up on some reading. And some writing… Toodle-oo!

*Image of Looe Harbour at sunset found on Pinterest

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

#AtoZChallenge - Yield to the Wolf and the Tiger

It is interesting to see that as I progress through the Redcliffe novels, the call of the werewolves becomes ever louder and more demanding. The vampires seem to hide in the shadows, watching, waiting, and feeding. The wolves, however, are powerful, assertive creatures, who will stop at nothing to dominate whatever and whoever takes their fancy. So it seems for our hapless heroine, Jessica Stone, as she battles with her feelings towards the identical twin brother of her vampire lover, werewolf alpha Danny Mason. The Yowl of the werewolf is a haunting sound, one that draws you in, and calls to a deeper, primitive, animal instinct.


Jessica has not seen much of the werewolves actually in wolf form. When she does, it is usually in stressful situations, when they call forth their animal power to protect and defend their precious witch. At least, that is how she seems to the alpha wolf. His subordinates are not so welcoming. Danny Mason has connected with Jessica on a magical level. He refuses to give up on her, and he will pursue her relentlessly until she gives him what he wants. Her problems are further complicated by the call of her ethereal animal familiar, the snow tiger, Suri. She wants the alpha wolf as a plaything. The wolf and the tiger repeatedly howl, growl, and yowl their insistence to their witch. Their voices grow louder. Her resistance grows weaker.
                         
           

What is a young witch to do? She has not long come into her powers. She is only just learning how to work spells, how to defend herself from enemies using magic, and how to celebrate the important seasonal festivals observed by her coven. Everything is distorted and confused. Jessica is absolutely certain that Jack Mason is her soulmate, even if he is a vampire. He loves her, and yet he is angry about what she has done. She feels the same way towards him. And always, creeping ever closer, is the alpha wolf, waiting for his chance to pounce. He will consume Jessica if she allows him. He will offer comfort, protection, support, and the greatest pleasure she has ever known. But what is his price? And what will happen if the wolf and the tiger come together in a cacophony of magical chaos?


If you are interested in seeing other participants for the #AtoZChallenge, check them out on the official website. We have everything from book stuff, to cooking, to photography, to travel, and a whole lot more. Happy April!


*Wolf image courtesy of List25; Tiger image courtesy of 500px

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

#AtoZChallenge - Sex is the ultimate eXperience

Well, the month has flown by, and now we are in the final days of the #AtoZChallenge. And you know what that means? The final, and probably trickiest, letters to write about. None more so than the subject of today’s post. I couldn’t find a word beginning with X to correlate with the Redcliffe novels, so I chose words containing this sharp letter instead. Today we talk about how sex is the ultimate eXperience in Redcliffe, and in the supernatural world.


Over here in the UK we like to think that we are an open minded and easy going nation. The funny thing is, when it comes to sex, we are so uptight it is laughable. Our media outlets overflow with cautionary tales of sexual exploitation, sex gone wrong, and basically tell us that sex is scary, dangerous, and we should avoid it at all costs. This all comes at the same time we are being coerced into embracing our sexual nature, flaunting our gorgeous bodies (especially the ladies, am I right?), and making ourselves available for procreation and the self fulfilling prophecy of a good old-fashioned family unit. But only in a safe environment. That is very important. Safety in numbers is essential in our society, except when it comes to sexual relations. Then, we are to trust in one other person completely, as we open ourselves up and reveal our most hidden, delicate, and sensitive traits.

Photo Credit Fanpop.com

It is little wonder, then, that our heroine in the Redcliffe novels finds herself conflicted when she falls in love with a vampire, and finds herself lusting after his identical twin brother who happens to be a werewolf. Jessica Stone is not inexperienced when it comes to sex. She is not particularly embarrassed about enjoying sex for fun. She is, however, stuck in the belief that a person should only ever have one sexual partner at any given time in their life. And they most certainly should not ever consider having sex with their boyfriend’s brother. Not even when magic, mystery, and supernatural power is involved. Jessica cannot take chances. She cannot give in to her sexual urges, even if the eXperience would leave her satisfied and fulfilled. Or can she?


If you are interested in seeing other participants for the #AtoZChallenge, check them out on the official website. We have everything from book stuff, to cooking, to photography, to travel, and a whole lot more. Happy April!

Did you enjoy this article? Join my tribe today, and I will send you a fabulous FREE book to get you started… (be warned, my vampires do not sparkle, and my wolves will bite!) 

Monday, 27 April 2015

#AtoZChallenge - Witchcraft makes the World go Round

I love a little play on words! And today, I will enjoy talking about Witchcraft. It is a subject that has always fascinated me. I used to dream about being a witch when I was a child. Not the fictional old hag, dressed in black and wearing a pointed hat. Oh no. My witches are beautiful, goddess-inspired women that exude power and confidence. Much like my ideal self image, I suppose… little did I know that witchcraft would become so important in the Redcliffe novels, back when I began to write about a human woman who fell in love with a vampire in Love Hurts (A Redcliffe Novel).


Jessica Stone didn’t know she was a witch until she discovered the supernatural secrets of her boyfriend and her friends in Redcliffe. All she knew about witchcraft was the stuff she read about in novels, and even then she wasn’t particularly interested. She is more of a chick-lit fan than anything else. But the truth is stranger than fiction (more play on words, ha ha!), as Jessica eventually began to find out. She explored the possibilities of her witchcraft in the second Redcliffe novel Love Kills, where she met her animal familiar in a very unexpected, and very passionate, encounter. In the third book, Love Redeems, she put her new-found powers of magic and mysticism to good use when she battled with a powerful vampire master.

Photo credit John William Waterhouse 
What exactly is witchcraft? It means different things to different people. Some people are terrified of it. They see nothing but danger and darkness, and believe that humans should not meddle with something so powerful and potentially destructive. Others see witchcraft as a natural element. I am one of these. I see witchcraft as an extension of life. We can use witchcraft to work with the powers of the natural world, to enhance our own experiences, and to create a reality that we would prefer. Therein lies the difficulty. If your intentions are of ill-will towards another person, for example, you risk unleashing powerful forces that you may struggle to control. A witch must exercise caution and observe respect for the power of nature at all times. Witchcraft can be whatever you want it to be. And that is a lesson just being explored by Jessica Stone in the Redcliffe novels.



If you are interested in seeing other participants for the #AtoZChallenge, check them out on the official website. We have everything from book stuff, to cooking, to photography, to travel, and a whole lot more. Happy April!

Did you enjoy this article? Join my tribe today, and I will send you a fabulous FREE book to get you started… (be warned, my vampires do not sparkle, and my wolves will bite!) 

Saturday, 25 April 2015

#AtoZChallenge - Fall in Love with the Redcliffe Vampires

Jessica Stone fell in love with a Vampire. She was a normal, happy human before she met detective Jack Mason. She never even considered the possibility that vampires and werewolves could be real and living in her home town. They were myths, stories, characters from the books that she sells in her shop. Jack hid his true nature, although there was always something a little off about him. Jessica was blinded by the strength of her love. She literally fell head over heels for this man, and it scared the hell out of her. She was a proud woman. Now she is a blubbering wreck, and she has the scars to prove it. Falling in love with a vampire is dangerous. It brings pain and suffering. It also brings the most exquisite ecstasy and power, and it was enough to awaken the witch within.


Jessica’s vampire lover is complicated. Jack Mason was turned by a former lover, a vampire who decided she would keep him for eternity. Emily Rose seduced him when his army unit marched across France and Switzerland during the Great War. Before he left town, she attacked. She turned Jack into a vampire, and then she lured a werewolf out of the woods to kill his identical twin brother, Danny. She never expected Danny to survive. She never expected him to become a werewolf. The brothers ran away, and continued to run and fight Emily Rose for decades after the event. She met Jessica in Redcliffe, and Jack became the trophy that each woman refused to surrender. Emily Rose tried to kill Jessica. She underestimated the strength of the young witch. It was a tough battle, and there were casualties. Jessica is recovering now, as I continue the story in book 4 of the Redcliffe series, Eye of the Tiger (A Redcliffe Novel).


Jack Mason and Emily Rose are just two of the vampires we meet in the Redcliffe novels. We are introduced to young millionaire Marcus Scott at the beginning of the series, in Love Hurts (A Redcliffe Novel). Marcus was turned into a vampire during the Victorian era. He was educated to be a gentleman by his master, and inherited the wealth of Lord Gregory Stockton. Marcus spent many years embracing his vampire nature, testing the limits of his power, and seducing humans along the way. He is fascinated by Jessica, and in the beginning he is not sure why. It all becomes clear when she awakens her magic. Marcus is a vampire who thrives on witch blood. He is addicted to it. He is controlled by it. Jessica is now learning how to handle him, because she actually likes him as a friend, even if she does not trust him as a vampire.


If you are interested in seeing other participants for the #AtoZChallenge, check them out on the official website. We have everything from book stuff, to cooking, to photography, to travel, and a whole lot more. Happy April!

*Vampire bite image courtesy of Vampires Do

Friday, 24 April 2015

#AtoZChallenge - Unbridled Passion is her Undoing

Have you ever been in love? You know, that crazy, unpredictable, uncontrollable desire to be with a person, to be as close as you possibly can, and sometimes you love them so much that it physically hurts? My Redcliffe novels are largely inspired by my experiences of being in love, and the absolute insanity of something that humans so very often take forgranted. Jessica Stone learns the hard way just how difficult it is to truly be in love with another person. She also discovers that love is never simple, it comes in many forms, and the one she struggles with the most is the Unbridled passion that her love evokes. She cannot control herself. She has to have him…


In many ways, Jessica Stone reflects a lot of my life experiences. Of course she does. She is my alter ego, I suppose. That sits awkwardly with me, because as much as I want the Redcliffe novels to be a world famous, bestselling phenomenon, I am literally opening myself to everyone who reads them. It is both exhilarating and terrifying. One of the main themes of the stories is passion. You can tell from the titles where we are going with these books. The first is called Love Hurts (A Redcliffe Novel). The second is Love Kills (A Redcliffe Novel). The third is Love Redeems (A Redcliffe Novel). They follow Jessica as she discovers the ecstasy of unbridled passion, true love, and the pain and chaos that it causes. She wants to be with Jack Mason. She is confused about his identical twin brother, Danny. The fact that Jack is a vampire and Danny a werewolf only make the situation worse. All of that supernatural power is too much for this witch to take. She is intoxicated. She is lost.


Jessica wishes that she could just have a normal life again, without all of the drama. But at the same time she embraces her new experiences. She can release the demon that lies hidden within, and explore the extent of her hidden power and ability. The vampire is excited all the more by her witchcraft. The werewolf can barely contain himself when her ethereal animal familiar comes out to play. Jessica walks between the worlds, lost in the mundane reality of being human, and desperate to experience the chaos and passion of being supernatural. She was raised to be a good girl, to find a man that she would eventually settle down with and start a family. Now her life is broken. All she thinks about is sex, power, magic, and the torment of possibly loving more than one person. Being human is complicated. Being both human and supernatural is a whole lot worse.


If you are interested in seeing other participants for the #AtoZChallenge, check them out on the official website. We have everything from book stuff, to cooking, to photography, to travel, and a whole lot more. Happy April!

*Magical lovers' embrace found on Pinterest

Thursday, 23 April 2015

#AtoZChallenge - Telepathy is a useful Tool

Most people are aware of Telepathy, using the power of the mind to communicate with another person. It has been the topic of much research and investigation over the years, both on a scientific level, and in the realms of paranormal study. I used to associate telepathy with ‘new age’ witchy types, a belief that probably came from my exposure to popular media and news stories in my small home town in the north of England. As I grew older, I learned more about telepathy, because I was fascinated about how it worked, and if I could ever use it one day. Well, apparently I can. We all do. And so do many of the supernatural creatures in the Redcliffe novels.


Jessica Stone has no opinion on telepathy when we first meet her right at the beginning of Love Hurts (A Redcliffe Novel). She learns more about it through experience when she discovers the paranormal secrets of her boyfriend and his identical twin brother. When Jessica uncovers her own power as a witch, she begins to accept that she does use telepathy, whether she wants to or not. You see, it can be a double edged sword. In much the same way that we humans can misinterpret another’s body language or attitude, and perhaps cause a rift that would otherwise never have happened, so the same could be true when telepathy is involved. An untrained mind may pick up all kinds of false ideas, images, and intentions from another person or animal. And the results could be deadly.

Photo Credit Om Times Magazine

Of course, telepathy can be a good tool as well. Jessica learns to locate her vampire boyfriend by the use of telepathy, and she subsequently manages to save him from his domineering and dangerous vampire mistress. Jack and Danny Mason have always used their shared twin connection to help each other, and to communicate. When one was turned into a vampire and the other became a werewolf, their natural telepathy only intensified, with exceptionally powerful consequences. Indeed, it makes the world a far more dangerous place for the Mason brothers, with enemies and antagonists appearing at every turn. And the Redcliffe wolf pack use their powers of telepathic communication when they hunt in the forest under the full moon, or when one of their own is hurt or threatened. Their alpha, Danny Mason, can call upon any one of his wolves using telepathy whenever the mood takes him, and for whatever purpose. The possibilities are endless…



If you are interested in seeing other participants for the #AtoZChallenge, check them out on the official website. We have everything from book stuff, to cooking, to photography, to travel, and a whole lot more. Happy April!

Did you enjoy this article? Join my tribe today, and I will send you a fabulous FREE book to get you started… (be warned, my vampires do not sparkle, and my wolves will bite!) 


Wednesday, 22 April 2015

#AtoZChallenge - Shapeshifters are Sexy!

OK, I admit, that is a slightly daft title. But it fits my mood, and I like to lighten things up a little when it comes to discussing the Redcliffe novels. After all, my novels can be pretty serious, even if they are designed for a commercial market. But they also have their comedy elements, a bit of fun, and a reflection of British life in an isolated town, albeit with lots of paranormal activity thrown in. I have a confession to make. I do think that Shapeshifters are sexy. And I say shapeshifters, because I don’t just mean werewolves, who seem to dominate the Redcliffe novels at the moment.


Ah yes, my beloved wolves. Perhaps I feel an affinity for them because I love domestic dogs so much. A lot of the behaviour of the Redcliffe wolves is inspired by my own pet, Baxter. He is a Staffordshire Bull Terrier X, and we nicknamed him Wolfie, because sometimes he does resemble his wild kin, especially when he bares his teeth and puffs his fur out. Wolves are incredibly protective, powerful, and noble creatures, I think. But as I said, they are not the only shapeshifters in Redcliffe. Not all shapeshifters are wereanimals. Some are witches with powerful animal familiars, who use the human bodies of their host to offer protection and magical assistance when necessary. Have you met Jessica Stone’s snow tiger, Suri? She is a fascinating creature, and the cause of much conflict and confusion for Jessica.


There are other wereanimals that make an appearance in the Redcliffe novels. We certainly have not met them all yet, and I know there are a few new characters waiting to introduce themselves. We have briefly met a couple of tigers, a husband and wife who run a popular cafĂ© in the nearby city, where the local supernatural community meet up. Jessica met them when a friend took her there, and she was quite literally stunned. They are vibrant, attractive, powerful, and sexy. And they will become more mainstream in future Redcliffe novels. They have made that very clear to me! Finally, I believe that vampires exhibit shapeshifting qualities. My vampires do not dissolve into mist or turn into bats. They are more subtle than that. They can cloud a human mind, effectively making themselves invisible, using their magical powers of persuasion. Their physical features contort when they feed, and they snap from human to monster in the blink of an eye…


If you are interested in seeing other participants for the #AtoZChallenge, check them out on the official website. We have everything from book stuff, to cooking, to photography, to travel, and a whole lot more. Happy April!

*Call of the Hunt image courtesy of Deviant Art

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

#AtoZChallenge - Ritual and Relationships in Redcliffe

Ooh, what a tantalizing title of alliteration! Ha ha, I couldn't resist that one. Today for my #AtoZChallenge, I will explain a little about the importance of Ritual in my paranormal world. And I had to throw in relationships and Redcliffe at the last moment, because, well, they are the essence of the Redcliffe novels. My paranormal romance series is all about the relationships between our witch protagonist, Jessica Stone, and her vampires and werewolves. Oh yes, there are more than one! Not all are romantic interests, you understand, but the threat is always there, simmering below the surface…


Most people associate ritual with witchcraft or shamanism, some form of spiritual, magical practice that evokes unknown entities to cause chaos or heal the sick. This is an element of spiritual work. A ritual is simply a special routine, something used for a specific purpose. For example, witches who use candle magic, will set out their candles in specific shapes, such as the pentagram, to symbolise the elements of earth, air, fire, water and spirit with which they work. They may wear special robes, and eat food that relates specifically to the ritual they are performing. It is all designed to call out those hidden forces of magic and mystery that we simply refuse to see in our daily lives. It is our way of creating sacred space in which to work, separating the magical from the mundane.

Photo Credit Deviant Art
Jessica Stone learns the importance of ritual during her explorations in witchcraft. She observes the Redcliffe wolf pack, and she watches how the vampires behave, learning about their individual and group ritual practices. Jessica only discovered she was a witch when she fell in love with a vampire, and so she is wary of magic and spells. She soon embraces her heritage, however, because it all comes so naturally to her. The ritual side of it is something that she must learn about. She will study her craft, listen to her mentor, and acknowledge her own daily rituals as she moves through her adventures in Redcliffe, and beyond.


If you are interested in seeing other participants for the #AtoZChallenge, check them out on the official website. We have everything from book stuff, to cooking, to photography, to travel, and a whole lot more. Happy April!

Did you enjoy this article? Join my tribe today, and I will send you a fabulous FREE book to get you started… (be warned, my vampires do not sparkle, and my wolves will bite!) 

Monday, 20 April 2015

#AtoZChallenge - There’s Nowt so Queer as… Werewolves!

I couldn’t resist this play on words! I often find myself muttering, in my version of what I think should be a Yorkshire accent, “There’s nowt so Queer as folk!” I don’t know where I picked it up from, but it stuck with me as I grew up, and every day it seems more and more appropriate to our modern world. And now it is the perfect #AtoZChallenge reference for my Redcliffe novels.


You see, here I apply the word queer in two forms. Queer means something strange or unusual. Well, that definitely explains the Redcliffe novels series. A human woman falls in love with a police detective, meets his identical twin brother, is kidnapped by their enemy, and subsequently discovers a world of vampires, werewolves and witches. All set in the peaceful seaside resort town of Redcliffe in Cornwall. Yep. Just another ‘normal’ British setting!

Photo credit Pinterest 
But then I also apply the word queer in its less politically correct definition. In previous decades we referred to homosexuals as queer. I don’t know why. Maybe because they were treated like social pariahs, feared and shunned simply because they saw the world differently to their heterosexual peers. Well, somehow I found gay werewolves in Redcliffe. Yes, you heard that correctly. Werewolves can be gay too! And my favourite man of the moment is Redcliffe pack lieutenant, Simon Bunce. He is a surfer, he is manager of The Ship Inn (that conceals the wolf lair), and he is in love with his alpha, Danny Mason. Has that got your attention? Excellent!


If you are interested in seeing other participants for the #AtoZChallenge, check them out on the official website. We have everything from book stuff, to cooking, to photography, to travel, and a whole lot more. Happy April!

Did you enjoy this article? Join my tribe today, and I will send you a fabulous FREE book to get you started… (be warned, my vampires do not sparkle, and my wolves will bite!) 

Saturday, 18 April 2015

#AtoZChallenge - The Power Animal

When I first began to write Love Hurts (A Redcliffe Novel), I had no idea of the twists and turns that were ahead of me for the Redcliffe novels. There was never even meant  to be a trilogy, much less a series. It just sort of happened. And now we are in a crazy world populated by powerful witches, possessive vampires, and proud werewolves. And a very intriguing Power animal familiar.


The power animal can take many forms. It can be a domestic pet, such as your beloved cat or dog. It can be a creature that visits your dreams, recurring, offering support, guidance or advice. It can be an ethereal creature that lives in a parallel world accessed through your human mind… really? Apparently so! That is how I met the power animal familiar of our new witch Jessica Stone. Suri, the snow tiger, made her dramatic appearance in my second novel, Love Kills (A Redcliffe Novel). She is a force to be reckoned with, not least because she has set her sights on the alpha werewolf, Danny Mason, and she detests the vampire, his identical twin brother, Jack.


Power animals are confusing creatures. Witches and shamans traditionally revere them for their wisdom and knowledge of the universe. Totems are created in their honour, and rituals are performed at different times of the year, and to represent different needs or situations. A power animal can offer deep spiritual fulfilment. They can also offer a strange version of reality that sits awkwardly with ‘real’ humans and their daily drama. When Jessica Stone meets her power animal in the Redcliffe novels, she embarks on a wild adventure, all within the peaceful confines of a picturesque, English seaside resort town.


If you are interested in seeing other participants for the #AtoZChallenge, check them out on the official website. We have everything from book stuff, to cooking, to photography, to travel, and a whole lot more. Happy April!

*Power animal image found on Pinterest

Thursday, 16 April 2015

#AtoZChallenge - Out of Body Experience

Have you ever had an Out of Body Experience? They are intense adventures, let me tell you! And the Redcliffe novels are jammed full of out of body experiences. Our protagonist, Jessica Stone, has vivid dreams that often see her running from some crazed beast, or speaking to a mysterious woman who likes to hold their meetings on Redcliffe beach at sunset…



I have been fascinated by the concept of the out of body experience for as long as I can remember. For me it goes hand-in-hand with ghost sightings, being psychic, and basically being an open-minded, spiritual adventurer. The events in the Redcliffe novels are largely inspired by my personal experiences over the years, although some are exaggerated for literary entertainment. It is not only Jessica Stone who has out of body experiences. As a witch, they are a natural occurrence for her. It is a method for her animal familiar to communicate across their parallel, paranormal world. Once Jessica makes an intimate connection with the vampire Jack Mason, and with his alpha werewolf brother Danny, her experiences become more bizarre and intense.


You could say that being a vampire or werewolf, or any other shape shifting creature, will lead to an out of body experience. The werewolves transform from human to animal, and that surely is an event that sends their spirit flying high or outwards as the physical body does its thing. Vampires are ethereal creatures. They are not human. They feel emotions and sensations very deeply. They can sense the thoughts of humans around them, and they can project their energy onto others. In that sense, they too experience being ‘out of body.’ The possibilities are endless, which is why such a concept is brilliant for my paranormal romance novels.



If you are interested in seeing other participants for the #AtoZChallenge, check them out on the official website. We have everything from book stuff, to cooking, to photography, to travel, and a whole lot more. Happy April!

*Out of body experience image found on Pinterest

#AtoZChallenge - Natural Instinct

All creatures are ruled by Natural instinct. Humans are driven by ego and emotion. We have created a world that is dominated by the desire for money, and the notion that this brings power and respect. We continually fight among ourselves, we love with passion and pride, we hate and struggle and survive. All of these emotions come naturally to us. They cannot be seen as physical entities. They simply manifest in our behaviour and our attitude. The same is true for supernatural creatures. Only their natural instinct can sometimes be far more deadly and dangerous.


Think about it. The werewolves are both human and animal. They exhibit all of the characteristics from two species. They have strong urges to hunt, to fight, to kill, to procreate. They feel deep emotion, they love and hate fiercely and in equal measure. The whole mix of natural instinct is a potent and powerful combination. And then there are the vampires. More than anything, they are driven by a natural instinct to hunt for blood. It controls them. It consumes them. Theirs is an eternal battle to appear human, to suppress these dangerous desires, and to avoid killing anything that moves, so that they may feed and satiate their never-ending thirst. Their senses are powerfully sharp and sensitive. They feel everything far more deeply than humans. Is it any wonder they get grumpy?


And how about other creatures? Witches, for example. Witches are essentially human. Their bodies are prone to illness and can be damaged by intent or accident. They have the same intellect, the same emotions, the same natural instinct. But they also have magic on their side. They have power animals, mystical creatures that guide them, support them, and sometimes fight against them. Witches learn to tread the line between human and animal. In the Redcliffe novels, Jessica Stone has a lot to learn once she discovers her hidden magic and power. She battles with her desires and urges, believing them to be wrong, when all she wants to do is follow her instincts and act on what feels natural. She was raised in a human world, with human morals and ideals. Maybe they are not right for her. It is for Jessica to decide.


If you are interested in seeing other participants for the #AtoZChallenge, check them out on the official website. We have everything from book stuff, to cooking, to photography, to travel, and a whole lot more. Happy April!

*Lover's kiss image found on Pinterest

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

#AtoZChallenge - Magic and Mystery

As we progress through the Redcliffe novels, and follow our heroine Jessica Stone, we begin to learn that she is not everything she seems to be at first meeting. Jessica does not even know herself when we begin reading Love Hurts (A Redcliffe Novel). When she falls in love with a vampire, her world is literally turned upside down, and she embarks on a new journey of self discovery. Central to this journey is Jessica’s natural condition as a witch. She learns about her own secret power, her Magic, her mystery.


Magic is very often confused with different aspects. Traditional magic can be one of two things. It could be magical illusion, as seen by a magician when he or she is entertaining a group of people. You know the sort: card tricks and disappearing acts. In the Redcliffe novels, we discover the power of ancient magic, that which belongs to witches and other supernatural creatures. I prefer to apply the old-fashioned spelling, Magick, but often my computer word processor will insist on correcting it by removing the k. When I read Magick in a text, it automatically sends shivers down my spine, and offers up images of ancient power and ritual, goddesses and gods, and everything that has now been consigned to the history books under the title of mythology.


Jessica Stone learns about her ability to use magic, and how she can work with her spirit animal, Suri the snow tiger, to protect herself against the werewolves and vampires that would play games with her. Jessica begins to realise that actually, she is the most powerful creature in this circle of beasts. She is, as yet, inexperienced and has only just begun to study her craft. It will take time, patience, and lots of mistakes, before she can truly become a great magician. The same applies for any of us in real life. We create our own magic, we are the magicians of our own lives.


If you are interested in seeing other participants for the #AtoZChallenge, check them out on the official website. We have everything from book stuff, to cooking, to photography, to travel, and a whole lot more. Happy April!

*Witch and werewolf image found on Pinterest

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

#AtoZChallenge - Lunar Cycles

There is a very definite werewolf theme developing in my #AtoZChallenge this year. As I have said previously, I never used to be so fascinated with shapeshifters. I was always a vampire lover. I still am, but now the wolves are stealing my heart… they are so vibrant, so passionate, and so unpredictable. Today I will talk a little about the power of Lunar cycles, and how the pull of the moon has such a hold over my Redcliffe wolves and their behaviour.


Traditional folklore dictates that a werewolf will only transform once a month, when the moon is full. I am still a little hazy about where this fact originated, but I am aware that people have always been fascinated by the moon and her mysterious ways. Before we developed the ability to study planets and stars, and properly explore our universe, people could only believe what they saw from the ground. They were aware of this huge, light-giving orb that showed in the night sky, and that seemed to ebb and flow on a constant cycle of death and rebirth. Many were aware of the feelings that came when they watched the moon, and how certain things seemed to occur naturally during the phases of full, dark, waxing and waning moon. It was all connected, although nobody could explain why and how.


My Redcliffe werewolves are not all controlled by the power of the moon. They are affected by it, however. The younger, weaker wolves will only transform once a month, when the moon is full. The older, stronger wolves, including alpha Danny Mason and his lieutenant Simon Bunce, are able to transform at will, although the process leaves them exhausted afterwards. Think about it: you are forcing you human body to change shape and form completely, and that can only be done with the use of magic. At other times of the month, the werewolves will exhibit different behaviour. They are more lethargic, and more human, when the moon is dark, or in the New Moon phase. Their strength and power grows with the moon, and on the nights surrounding the Full Moon, the Redcliffe wolves will be out hunting in the forest, embracing their animal instincts, and celebrating their true nature. How does the moon affect this? We will never know.



If you are interested in seeing other participants for the #AtoZChallenge, check them out on the official website. We have everything from book stuff, to cooking, to photography, to travel, and a whole lot more. Happy April!

*Werewolf and Moon image found on Pinterest

Monday, 13 April 2015

#AtoZChallenge - Kimberley

We are less than two weeks into the #AtoZChallenge and I am getting creative with my paranormal Redcliffe theme. Today I will continue from the previous post, The Wrath of a Jealous Werewolf. Today I will talk about Kimberley.


Kimberley is the antagonist in my latest Redcliffe novel, Eye of the Tiger. Every writer knows that a good story must have ’good guys’ and ’bad guys’ who battle their way through the plot, culminating in a fight to the death where the good guy wins. Well, in my fourth Redcliffe novel, I am applying this simple formula. My characters are not so clean cut, however. I do not have good guys and bad guys. My good guys can be very bad. And vice versa.


Which leads me to Kimberley. She is a werewolf. She is a jealous werewolf, who wants to be alpha female to Danny Mason, and to rule the Redcliffe wolf pack as their queen. Kimberley is conceited, proud, brave, and she has declared Jessica Stone her enemy.  This escalates some very brutal fighting between werewolves. But, Kimberley is not all bad. She is a doctor in her human capacity. She works at the local hospital, treating patients very efficiently and thoroughly. She is respected and revered in her profession. Ah, now there is the conundrum. How can she be a bad guy? It is all a question of perception…


If you are interested in seeing other participants for the #AtoZChallenge, check them out on the official website. We have everything from book stuff, to cooking, to photography, to travel, and a whole lot more. Happy April!

*Fire and Ice wolves image found on Pinterest

Saturday, 11 April 2015

#AtoZChallenge - The Wrath of a Jealous Werewolf

It might seem an odd choice for me to use the word Jealous for today’s #AtoZChallenge blog post. After all, jealousy is not a paranormal subject. It is, however, a very powerful, and often very destructive, emotion. It is even more dangerous when experienced by a supernatural creature, such as a vampire or a werewolf.


The Redcliffe werewolves are proud, powerful, and dangerous. The alpha wolves are the most volatile, which is how they came to be leaders of the pack. I am talking about the alpha wolf, Danny Mason, and his lieutenants, Simon Bunce and Sally Frost. Danny demonstrates the extent of his jealous power when he turns it on Jessica and Jack. The brothers descend into a vicious fight, and it is left to Jessica and her animal familiar to break it up. This is only one of many fights that occur, and not just between vampires and werewolves.


 The wrath of a jealous werewolf becomes most apparent as we progress through Love Redeems (A Redcliffe Novel) and into my current work in progress, Eye of the Tiger (A Redcliffe Novel). It turns out that the female of the species really is the deadliest. Jessica becomes further involved with Danny and his wolf pack, to the detriment of his subordinates. They do not welcome a witch among them. They believe that she is dangerous, unpredictable, and that she is leading their alpha astray with her magical wiles. Among the meek wolves, there emerge one or two that are prepared to fight for power. One is a female who fancies herself as the alpha’s mate, a position that has so far remained unfilled. And she is a force to be reckoned with…


 If you are interested in seeing other participants for the #AtoZChallenge, check them out on the official website. We have everything from book stuff, to cooking, to photography, to travel, and a whole lot more. Happy April! 

*Wolves image found on Pinterest