Friday, October 21, 2011

Spooky Swap!

A Tale of Many Reviews started this awesome Halloween Spooky Swap for book bloggers and authors so of course I had to sign up.

Yesterday I received my package from my swap partner, Christi Aldellizzi. Now, since this was the first year I’ve participated in this, I wasn’t really sure how much would be overkill and I’m the kind of gift-giver that will go overboard if not kept in check. So this time I didn’t want to be that person, but now that I received my package I am kicking myself that I didn’t put more things in her box.

So here’s what I sent:

My partner wrote that she was slightly Disney-obsessed and liked the color purple and to have little things to display on her desk at work. Well awesome! I had just been to Disneyland for their Halloweentime and knew what nifty things they had that you cannot get anywhere else, not even online. Better still, my friend was going to Disneyland that week and agreed to pick up the items I wanted. So I got Christi a Minnie Mouse dressed as a witch and her costume was purple! And they sell candy apples done to imitate Minnie the Witch – perfect!

As far as books go Christi really just said that she didn’t read Vamps and Weres (which I can understand is over done for some) and that while she liked Dystopian, she wasn’t on the Zombie bandwagon yet. Okay, no worries! I have read some awesome Dystopian that wasn’t Zombie-centric. So I found her Goodreads list and yes, she had read all the books I was thinking of for her. Fail, for me. But I saw that she wanted to read The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer and, though I hadn’t read it yet, the reviews I had read were good and many said the book was “creepier than they expected.” Halloween, spooky swap, creepy, perfect!

And, though you cant see it in the pic, I tossed in some cute bat stickers for good measure since she said she liked bat decorations. Now, I felt pretty good about the package I put together, that was, until I got mine.

This is what I opened:

She blew me out of the water!

I had mentioned that I was a huge Neil Gaiman fan but that I had mostly only bought his ebooks
and only owned a paperback of Stardust. So Christi sent me the graphic novel of Coraline and the DVD! The DVD! I didn’t even realize I didn’t own that yet!

And she sent me squishy Halloween socks! I love Halloween socks!

And she sent me an awesome little candle holder and a luminary with a pumpkin face!

And look at all this candy!

So Christi is awesome and I shouldn’t’ve second guessed myself and sent her all the things I reached for. Hopefully Christi likes Disney enough to make up for it!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Facing My Fears in My Nightmares

October is a month filled with ghosts, frights, creepy things and spooky fun. At least, that’s what it’s about now. For the last two weeks I’ve been having nightmares almost every single night. Each of my nightmares has been about one of my greatest fears, making me jolt out of sleep and gasp for breath as my heart pounds in my chest.

Halloween is the night where the veil between our mortal, waking world and the other, nether world is the thinnest. It’s a night where we can reach out to loved ones who’ve already passed on and have the greatest chance of them hearing us. But because of this people have always believed that it is also the night where the more sinister passed on entities can reach out for us, get us, and snatch us. So we carve scary faces into pumpkins and place them outside our doors to scare off these evil spirits and we wear creepy masks to hide from them as we walk around on that night. Halloween is a night of light and dark, it just depends on which way you see it.

But one thing is for sure, it is a night of revisiting old ghosts. So I wonder if my continuing nightmares are my subconscious trying to get me to face these fears. Or perhaps they are manifesting themselves because I am at a part in my manuscript where two characters are in mortal danger and two others are lost, trying to find them. I have no idea, but I wanted to share my nightmares with you so that maybe I can face them here, on paper, and get them out of my head. Write my way out of them, if you will.

More than once I’ve dreamt about falling from a great height. This terrifies me. I always tell people that I am not afraid of heights, just of falling from them. And this is true. I’ve been to the very top of the Eiffel Tower, the Stratosphere in Las Vegas and I’ve stood on the edges of cliffs, like at the Grand Canyon. I can get to these places just fine and if I have something to hang onto, I’m usually good. But I can feel that strange urging sense pressing at the small of my back as I wonder what it would be like to fall right then.

So in these recent dreams I’ve been on the precipice of some ridiculous height and I have no idea how or why I came to be there, but there is a way down if only I’ll reach out and trust it. Once, there was a dragon hovering next to me, waiting for me to jump on. I did finally jump onto his back, but after flying tantalizingly close to the ground he flew back up and dumped me back on the edge. Two other times there have been ropes within grabbing distance for me to swing or shimmy my way down. But to reach the ropes I’ve had to stretch for them and the thought of leaning out for them is enough to shock me awake.

Another fear I have is of the day where I will lose my dog and husband. Intelligently I know I will live 50 years longer than my dog, but we got so lucky with our dog, Brody, that is really is a part of our family. And the other night I dreamt of some apocalyptic world where something terrible happened to him and there was nothing we could do but to put him out of his misery and I watched as my husband put a knife into Brody. I woke up crying. I have no idea why I dreamt about that and can think of nothing to rationalize it. But at least I’ve only dreamt of it once and hopefully will not dream of it again.

The third type of dream I’ve been having is of haunted places. I believe in ghosts and hauntings. I believe in residual hauntings where the ghosts have no idea we are there with them and they just replay a moment in their lives over and over again and I believe in intelligent hauntings where people have yet to move on and can interact with us, even if we don’t want them to. In each of the haunting dreams I’ve had lately, the hauntings have been intelligent, intelligent and angry. Either I or the people around me were attacked by the entities haunting the places we were. Last night way a particularly bad dream where in the beginning I was trapped at a great height on top of some sort of unfinished wall and the floor below me sloped down, like a staircase gone flat. When I mustered up the courage to grab the rope and slid down I ended up in a very cluttered living room and knew I was in the house to cleanse it of the angry spirit haunting it. Before I could start the cleansing there was a knock at the door. When I answered it there was a woman, a neighbor, who wanted to warn me to get out of the house. When I told her why I was there she shook her head at me and told me I would only upset the thing in the house and just then a baseball bat was pulled free of a pile of things and came swinging at my head. I tried to catch the bat and command the thing controlling it, but I woke up before I was struck. A small blessing I suppose.

The only good thing I can say about these dreams is that I seem to be trying to face them. When I’m stuck at the insane heights, I reach out for the thing that will get me down before I fall to my death or injury. When in the haunted places I am trying to combat the evil spirits/entities. When we had to put my precious dog down, I watched and was able to be there for him as it happened. Even if just typing the idea of it brings me to tears and the interesting fact that he just wandered into my office and stopped to nudge me into a doggie hug.

So maybe I am just trying to face my fears, my ghosts if you will. Maybe this Halloween is particularly spooky for me. But I do hope sharing these fears, these nightmares, with you will put my subconscious to rest. Because, trust me, there are plenty more fears my subconscious hasn’t brought up yet.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Blog Tour Stops

As I’ve told you before, I will be releasing the sequel to Earth, Air, on Halloween. In preparation of that I will be doing an awesome blog tour from October 24th through October 28th hosted by the fabulous Julie at A Tale of Many Reviews.

What does this mean to you? Free books! Every blog on the tour will be giving away a free ebook copy of Earth and there are two grand prizes! One person will win an autographed paperback copy of Earth with an Earth bookmark and one other lucky person will win an autographed copy of Air and an Air bookmark! There are obviously rules and you can read them here: Earth (Elemental #1) ~ Book Tour.

Many of the tour stops will be reviews but there will also be excerpts, author interviews, character interviews and even one quote off between two main characters! I am very excited about this tour and I hope you will enjoy the posts.

Here is a list of all of the blogs participating in the tour:

1. The Fiction Fairy ~ Author Interview (Oct. 24th)
2. Between Dreams and Reality ~ Author Interview (Oct. 24th)
3. Songs and Stories ~ Character Interview (Oct. 24th)
4. Shiirleyys Bookshelf ~ Review (Oct. 25th)
5. Bookish Delights ~ Review (Oct. 25th)
6. All Things Books ~ Review (Oct. 25th)
7. Basias Bookshelf ~ Guest Post/Review (Oct. 26th)
8. Bookworm Lisa ~ Review (Oct. 26th)
9. Letters Inside Out ~ Excerpt (Oct. 26th)
10. Jenn Reads Fiction ~ Review (Oct. 26th)
11. Paper Cut Reviews ~ Review (Oct. 26th)
12. The Magic Attic ~ Review (Oct. 27th)
13. The Fairytale Nerd ~ Author Interview (Oct. 28th)
14. Book Briefs ~ Reviews (Oct. 28th)
15. Braintasia Books ~ Character Interview (Oct. 28th)
16. YA Bound ~ Guest Post (Oct. 28th)
17. A Casual Readers Blog ~ Review (Oct. 28th)
18. Patricias Particularity ~ Review (Oct. 28th)
19. SeeitORreadit ~ Excerpt (Oct. 28th)
20. Young Readers ~ Excerpt (Oct. 29th)
21. A Tale of Many Reviews ~ Excerpt (Oct. 29th)