The Cozy Paranormal

chalicexlgDo you enjoy cozy mysteries? Were you enticed by the latest vampire love story? Maybe it’s time for you to try a Cozy Paranormal.

Cozy Paranormal is a new sub-genre of paranormal / fantasy fiction where the gore and tension are downplayed and the characters represent one or more groups of magical creatures like vampires or shape shifters. Here are some things to help you understand the genre.

  • The main character is an everyday person with a charming appeal to the reader. Kimie and her best friend Sydney met in college and instantly shared a “gut feeling” connection that built a special bond between these mischievous best friends.
  • Gore and tension are downplayed.
    Find out why Vampires turn to dust when they die.
  • Magical creatures feel like they could be someone you know.
    Owners of construction companies or gyms, these people are your neighbors.
  • Magic can’t solve everything.
    Life isn’t scripted and like humans, magical creatures can die. Being a vampire has its own laws and life limits. If you are evil, there are consequences.
  • Good must always triumph in the end.
    You have to read the book if you want to find out how the ending happens!
  • Romance, especially in a series, keeps the hope for better times alive.
    Love comes in all forms and takes patience. When humans and magicals fall in love, there are always complications.

Check out Chalice Moon for a good example of a cozy paranormal. This is the first book in the new Chalice Princess series by Pat Sawtelle.

http://www.darkoakpress.com/chalice.html

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New Release!!!

seancexlghttp://www.darkoakpress.com/seance.html

Explore the Spirit World
Renown psychic mediums, Kalila Smith and Sid Patrick, share their explorations and experiments into the spiritual world. The accounts written herein are actual experiences as they are recalled by those who experienced them. Their spiritual journey began with deep personal losses and a need to know what happens to our loved ones when they depart from us and what mysteries do we have waiting for ourselves. They decided to pursue the answers as a series of experiments designed to help them separate the facts and real experiences from the hype. In other words, they did what felt natural to them.

The spirits who assisted with these experiments played an important role in bringing people together. Certain people crossed each other’s paths at specific times. Groups were brought together for specific messages. Without a doubt, there was a plan somewhere in place, although it was unknown to them at the time. They found themselves drawn towards certain circumstances and situations. In the end, they realized that during the entire time of their research and experiments, there were no accidents or coincidences. Let Kalila and Sid get you started on your own seance experiments.

New Release by Kimberly Richardson!

openaxlgThe Music of Passion and Madness
Graydon Fayette is a man who has it all: looks, wealth, talent, and the desire of every woman. Born into a powerful Memphis family fused with the Dark Gift and a long history of secrecy, darkness, intrigue, and startling eccentricities, Graydon enjoys his lifestyle and his music. Then he meets the lovely and seductive Aerin from another family with their own history in the River City. Now, his world is thrust into a web of lies, madness, murder, and sex, all wrapped in the chilling sounds of his violin and the spirit who both loves and hates him.

http://www.darkoakpress.com/opena.html

New Release!

mystaxlgRelease The Inner Valkyrie
The powers of the mythological valkyrie spirit begin to emerge after an attack by an obsessed fan that nearly killed Mysta.

While recuperating, she reunites with an old high school friend, Kieran, who encourages her to explore her new memories, assuring her that he was her former love. She longs for the passion they shared, until his brother Garik arrives. A strange and overwhelming attraction plunges her into a bizarre sibling rivalry as the men begin a deadly competition to win her heart.

Unknown to Mysta, for condemning him to the underworld, a demi-god seeks revenge on her valkyrie spirit. Rather than face her, he exploits the men in her life to achieve his evil goals. As the young woman continues to recover and her relationships develop, she discovers that one of the brothers really was her past love, but is he already possessed by the very fiend she must destroy?

http://www.darkoakpress.com/mysta.html

Searching For Spirits

Searching for SpiritsFollow world-renown author & paranormal investigator Kalila Smith into the mysterious world of spirits. This book is a concise “how to” manual for anyone who enjoys a good ghost hunt.

* Learn the history of spiritualism.
* Find out what is a ghost; what is not.
* Learn the truth about poltergeists.
* Discover how to conduct a paranormal investigation or a communication session with the dearly departed.
* Find out what pitfalls to avoid when investigating a haunted location.

Delve into the realm of spiritual beings that were never human. Explore the world of demons, real vampires, and join in real case studies conducted by Kalila herself. Taken from her paranormal class at University of New Orleans, many of the case studies have been featured on A&E, Discovery, and Travel Channel television broadcasts. This book will answer your questions you about ghost hunting. It is a must have for everyone from the novice to experts. Completely updated and in its second edition, this is one of the first guides for hunting ghosts based on actual first hand experiences

http://www.darkoakpress.com/searching.html

Author Interview: M. B. Weston

OOTS Front Dark OakDark Oak Press author, M. B. Weston, gave us an interview about not only her current fantasy series, The Elysian Chronicles, but also on her writing style and other things she has going on.

What genres do you enjoy writing? I started out with fantasy, but I’m also enjoying writing paranormal, suspense, urban fantasy, Steampunk, and I’m working on some pulp now. I also see a bit of mystery writing in my future.

Tell us about your latest book: My latest book is Out of the Shadows, the second book in the Elysian Chronicles series. The Elysian Chronicles is military fantasy about guardian angel warfare and treason with a lot of action. In the first book, A Prophecy Forgotten, my hero Davian must keep a young boy prophesied to save the world safe while at the same time stop a conspiracy of his fellow soldiers from taking over his home government. In Out of the Shadows, the scoundrels have successfully taken over, and Davian must do everything he can to bring them down, despite the fact he only has a few soldiers at his disposal.

What inspired the story? Where did you get that first bit of “ah ha” inspiration? Out of the Shadows is a sequel to A Prophecy Forgotten, and I have to admit that it was quite easy to come up with the idea for it since I knew what would happen once I started developing APF. It all began when I was imagining a scene with little boy drowning in a river. A young woman rescued him, but she ended up hitting her head on a rock and getting amnesia. When she woke, I thought, “Wouldn’t it be funny if this boy thought she was actually his guardian angel?” Then I thought, “What if she was?” At that moment, the entire story changed into epic fantasy, and the angels–cherubians, I call them–became the central culture instead of the humans.

Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is so special? Davian is a special operative in the guardian angel military who excels at leading black ops against the angel’s greatest enemies–mornachts. (If I’ve got angels, I’ve go to have some demons, right?) He’s a hard core soldier with a tremendous amount of focus on his mission–often at the expense of other aspects of his social life. I think my favorite thing about him is that he would really just rather live in peace in the country with a vegetable garden. In Out of the Shadows, Davian is imprisoned for 10 years and then finds himself with a chance at a new life when he escapes. Unfortunately, his loyalty to his country overcomes his desire for peace. He decides–with prodding–to free his country from the new dictator who rules it.

How about your least favorite character? I don’t have a least favorite character because all of them are vital to the story. However, most of my readers seem to hate Loraine, Tommy’s mother, the most.

How much research did you have to do for this book? Any travel involved? I did a lot of research on Delta Force, Green Berets, and Navy Seals to come up with the culture for my special ops team. I tried to blend the idea of navy-seals meets Roman soldiers with wings. The earth sections of Out of the Shadows take place at the United States Naval Academy. I was fortunate enough to be able to travel there for a weekend, and it really influenced my writing.

What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book? Trying to coordinate the battle going on in Heaven’s Realm (the name I have for the dimension the guardian angels live in) and the battle on earth. I had to make sure the timing fit into the appropriate parts of the Naval Academy’s academic schedule. (I used their 2006 calendar.) I also ended up dealing with two sets of characters on both earth and in Heaven’s Realm, and that meant I had to track each one’s development and make sure each was given his or her fair amount of time.

Which writers inspire you? Tolkein, C. S. Lewis, J. K. Rowling, and in this one I used a lot of Tom Clancy.

What does your writing process look like? Are you a plotter or a pantser? I’m a modified pantser, meaning I write by the seat of my pants–mostly. I start out with a story idea. I do a bit of brain work to give myself a big picture concept of where I want the story to end up. Then I just start writing it. I’ve tried an outline, but using an outline takes me double the time because the story always changes once I get into the scene and into the characters. To keep from writing too much that might be deleted during the editing process, I write in layers. My first draft is really more of a rushed, bare-boned pre-draft with dialog and stage directions. I go back in and fill in the details, which means that if I delete a scene or change things around, I’m messing with something that only took me five minutes to jot down instead of a highly edited bit of writing that took a day.

What are you working on at the minute? In order of timing:

  • The Lodestone Series: This is an urban-fantasy, pulp novella series for ProSe Press about an immortal wizard named Michael Lodestone who sets out to free the world from his nine, more evil immortal counterparts who are bent on taking over. Basically, he knows he has to kill them, and the process of killing an immortal wizard is quite complex. I’m going to deal with one wizard or witch in each novella. In this first story, he faces off with the evil queen from the Snow White tales. I based it on a short story I wrote called, “The Witch Hunter,” which is featured in The Big Bad II short story anthology.
  • Unleashed (Working Title): A paranormal suspense thriller about a woman who discovers the person stalking her is 1) responsible for 90% of the world’s unsolved serial killings and 2) isn’t human. I’ve got the rough draft done and I’m in the middle of the 2nd. I was asked for a pulp novella, so I put this one on hold in order to finish the fist Lodestone book.
  • The Elysian Chronicles: The Sword of the Vanir (working title): I need to get this done before I start getting death threats from readers. I have some reasons it has taken a while, but I have to keep those to myself.

 

Why do you write? Because I have to. I know, silly answer, but it’s true. I have stories in my head, and I need to get them out.

Where do your ideas come from? Everywhere. Anything can spark an idea. That’s why its so important for writers to pay attention to everything.

What is the hardest thing about writing? Making sure the plot feels organic instead of contrived. The plot needs to feel seamless and real, and as odd as it seems it takes a lot of behind-the-scenes organizational work to make the story feel like it’s just unfolding effortlessly in front of you.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers? Well, most of the advice we all hear all the time is pretty relevant: don’t give up, keep writing, etc. I guess to be different, I would say to learn how to really edit. Learn the craft of writing. Don’t just think that because you’ve got a great story you can rush through and be done. Learn about style and grammar. Make your manuscript sparkle before you turn it in to a publisher. There is no such thing as good writers, just good editors. The ones who make it to the top are the ones who edit their own work the best.

Michelle-021 MediumFind out more about M. B. Weston at these sites:

Be sure to check out M. B.’s books:

Author Interview: Kalila Smith

kalila__7 (1)What genres do you enjoy writing? I primarily write paranormal non-fiction but I love horror fiction and have a few short stories in anthologies such as the Southern Haunts series, and Luna’s Children.

Tell us about your latest book: My most recent book is Afterlife Mysteries Revealed. It is my real life journey delving deeper into the world of spirits. It examines after death communciation not only through mediums but signs,
dreams, and visitations. I am currently finishing up Seance Experiements which is a deep look at what goes on in the lives of physical mediums. It’s been a fascinating journey, and I think people will enjoy the book.

What inspired the story? Where did you get that first bit of “ah ha” inspiration? The first ah ha moment was physical manifestation of spirit during a table tipping seance. It just got better from there. I began to witness things that I just didn’ t think were possible.

How much research did you have to do for this book? Any travel involved? I spent over a year in a physical mediumship circle. I have also studied under masters in the UK and even worked a crossing over gallery in the UK.

afterlifexlg What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book? The hardest part was that the story was real and inspired by the untimely death of my youngest child.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp? The message is that death is not an end; there really is an afterlife and it’s a lot closer than we ever thought.

Which writers inspire you? Katherine Ramsland, Stephen King, Anne Rice, Christopher Rice

You can find out more about Kalila Smith atwww.kalilasmith.com.

Also be sure to check out Kalila’s books below: