Kevin Weir takes old black and white photos and turns them into spooky/funny/awesome animated .gifs. Definitely worth checking out: http://fluxmachine.tumblr.com/
So, some of you probably don’t know I write fiction on the side. In fact, I started this blog as an outlet for the research I was doing for my novels.
Well, I just published my first novel on Amazon.com and Smashwords! Yay me! It’s actually on sale right now because I don’t have the right cover art yet. Sam Garvey will be doing some awesome cartoon cover art for me, and when it’s done, I’m jacking up the price. But if you want to buy it now for $1.99, you can email me at teresawilde at gmail dot com and I’ll send you a spanking new copy with the good art when it’s ready.
Strange Academy is a paranormal romance with some
sex love scenes in it and a sense of humor. Here’s my pitch:
“I love this book. If Jane Ann Krentz and Harry Potter made a baby, it would be this book.”
–U.S.A. Today Bestselling Author, Sharon Page
Determined to uncover the secret behind her eccentric aunt’s mysterious death, Sadie Strange, a quirky substitute teacher with a Master’s degree in comic book superheroes, takes a job at isolated private school Strange Academy. Her biggest obstacle? Haughty hottie Lorde Gray, the chemistry teacher who looks down his Roman nose at her as he tries to get her fired.
Undercover demon hunter Gray vows to use his spell-brewing powers to protect Strange Academy’s true purpose—educating extraordinary children with paranormal gifts. If the world knew that the school’s extraordinary children have paranormal gifts, it would start a war that would destroy humanity. Gray won’t let a feisty mortal threaten that, no matter how much she swishes her heart-shaped ass.
When fate throws them together, strange allies Sadie and Gray seek to uncover the hidden forces behind her aunt’s death before they destroy Sadie—and the school. But when the demon hunter forbidden from associating with mortals and the mortal woman who can’t trust her own judgment around alpha males find themselves falling for each other, love is going to get a little strange…
Sadie Strange answered the door fresh from the shower, still tying the belt of her black kimono. Her dark hair dripped over her shoulders, dampening her robe almost to her breasts. Her red-painted toenails looked like cinnamon heart candies in her slippers.
Cinnamon heart candies? Damn, Gray thought. He really needed to get laid.
“Does this usually work for you?” A sneer tinged her voice, turning it caustic. When he looked up from her breasts, he saw the contempt on her pink lips.
“What?” When had Nons started speaking another language?
“Yeah. Definitely does. This—” She waved a hand at his chest. “—gets you whatever you want from women. You just walk up, ring a bell and they salivate.”
And it all became clear. She actually intended to fight him. He smiled inside. There was only one thing he liked better than an easy fix.
“But you feel nothing,” he said.
“I feel something, Gray. Nauseous. I know everything, by the way.”
A millisecond of panic. Then his hunter’s calm clicked on. He looked her in the eye while his right hand slipped inside his charcoal gray sports jacket and fingered the finger-slim vial in the secret pocket above his heart. Not a love potion. Something more permanent.
“Please be a bit more specific about this ‘everything’ you know,” he said.
“I know you don’t want me here. No one’s watching, so turn off the fake charm before I lose my dinner.”
He relaxed and took his hand from his pocket. No desperate measures. For now. “I told Cross that stuff in confidence.”
“A secret is something you don’t yell at the top of your lungs. The entire academy probably heard it.”
He followed as she walked into Pippa’s small kitchen, though he doubted she was going to open a bottle of wine. The damp robe clung to the upside-down heart of her backside.
“I don’t yell.” When he got mad, he spoke lower than usual. But his heart pounded in his chest, just like now. That’s how he knew he was pissed at her, not turned on by the way her slim waist twisted when she put the kettle on the ancient gas stove.
“‘I don’t care if her aunt was Pippa Strange. She’s not one of us. She won’t fit into the environment.'” She mimicked his voice’s manly timbre.
How had she heard that? He stiffened, feeling enclosed by the tight kitchen. And her in it.
“You don’t want me here, so you move into Strange Hall. What’s the point? Keep your friends close and your enemies closer?”
“And your lover handcuffed to the bedpost,” he added.
“If you don’t go to sleep, the bogeyman will get you…”
Words guaranteed to keep any child awake for the night.
Trying to scare someone to sleep has never seemed like a good idea to me, but many cultures disagree. Lots of places around the world tell stories of a man who takes kids who don’t do what their parents ask and stuffs them in a sack. The kids are never seen again.
In Vietnam, it’s ong ba bi, Mister Three Bags.
In Sri Lanka, it’s Goni Billa.
In Haiti, he’s Tonton Macoute.
In India, he’s Bori Baba.
In Croatia, she’s Babaroga.
In the Czech Republic and Poland, he’s the Bubak or hastrman, and on full moon nights he makes clothes for the children and adults he’s stolen, and has a cart pulled by cats. (I love that one.)
In Bulgaria, he’s Torbalan.
In Brazil and Portugal, two creatures share the bogeyman duties– homem do saco in the day, and Bicho Papao at night.
There are lots of other bogeyman-type creatures, but these are the only ones who carry a sack.
I think it’s amazing that there are so many similar bogeymen in different cultures. And I also think it can’t be a coincidence.
So what’s going on here? Could there really be a bogeyman? And how would he get from Bulgaria to India to Brazil?
Usually when you hear a folkstory from a lot of different sources like this, there’s a grain of truth in it somewhere. In other words, maybe there really was a person who liked carrying off kids in a sack, and parents thought it was a good idea to start threatening their kids with him/her.
If that was true, then we could expect to see these stories clustered in a single area, for example, just Europe or Asia. But this bogeyman story is spread all over the world.
So, what’s up? Did a bunch of parents all over the world have the same idea? Or is carrying off children in sacks a more common crime than we imagine?
Or is the bogeyman one busy demon?
In European heraldry, a certain type of legless winged serpent is called an “amphiptere.”
For a great story of about a terrifying amphiptere that appeared in England in the 1660s, check this out. http://www.henham.org/henhan_dragon.htm
Once, Laumas (Latvian, Lauma/Lithuanian, Laumė) were sky spirits who looked down on the Earth and saw the suffering of orphan kids, so they decided to leave their place in the heavens to become fairies help children with no parents.
Laumas are great at housework–washing, spinning, weaving. Any job that traditionally falls to women. They are hard workers, but have two fatal flaws: They can’t start a job, and they can’t finish a job. So they might come at night and work on a weaving that you started, but they will leave before the final threads are placed.
One of my sources, R.G. Latham’s The nationalities of Europe (Wm. H. Allen & Co., 1863) says that the fairies aren’t malicious, only mischievous, but goes on to say they kidnap children and replace them with fairy changelings. Uh, how that isn’t malicious I don’t know. Also, where do they get these fairy doubles, since they can’t have kids themselves?
A Lauma might take on a child who has lost both its parents as a project, Fairy Godmother-style, but when they give a gift with a warning, they mean it. So if a Lauma gives you a length of fabric and says don’t measure it, DON’T MEASURE IT.
Some say that Laumas spin and weave the fabric of life, weeping while they do, for the fate of mankind.
Some also say that the Laumas have lost their beautiful looks, due to disrespect from humans, and now look like ugly old hags.
Marija Gimbutas, Miriam Robbins Dexter, The Living Goddesses, University of California Press, 2001