Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Raven Vampire Nightclub Blog has Moved!

Raven Vampire Nightclub Blog has Moved!
Raven Blog - Raven’s got a brand new look, and a new location! We’ll be adding some great features to this, so stay tuned. Mondays are still Guest Blogger Days.

Please change your bookmarks and join us at our new location! While your at it, check out M&Ms new blogs as well!

Mandy’s New Blog

Michelle’s New Blog

That’s right, for those of you who aren’t big fans of Yahoo Groups, we’ve created forums for you to come and play!

Raven Vampire Nightclub Forum

Michelle Pillow’s Book Forum - Discussion of all things books welcome. You don’t just have to talk about me.

MandyRoth's New Forum - Brand Spankin' New, With Extra Spank!


Monday, March 19, 2007

Ancient beliefs

by Donna Grant

Ancient beliefs. Where did they come from? How did they start? And why are they still around?

There might never be answers to some of those questions. However, we can hazard a guess as to why those beliefs are still around. Some say its because mankind needs something to hold onto, some look for something that’s different than their normal lives.

I believe its because deep down, we know some of those beliefs are real. When I decided to write a series on Druids, I had already done a wealth of research. What I found was extremely interesting. There are conflicting reports on just what everyone thought Druids were. Some thought they were merely priests and priestesses who worshiped nature. Others thought they were nothing more than vicious murderers who served their needs with sacrifices. Still others believed that they had a special connection to Otherworld beings commonly known as sidhe or Fae.

No one really knows the answer thanks to Caesar erasing nearly all the Druid and Celtic history. Yet, that hasn’t stopped people from trying to determine the truth. Would the truth have changed the way we see things? Could that be the reason Caesar decided to write his own version of the Celts and Druids? Maybe we weren’t meant to know the truth. Maybe we aren’t ready to know exactly what the Druids did, what their purpose and possible connections were.

Because of all the conflicting reports, I took certain liberties with my series. My Druids are closely connected to the Fae, so close that the Fae give them special powers to control fire, wind and water - natural elements.

I tried to tie in both the natural beliefs of Druids with those of the unnatural beliefs. It worked for my story, and I get a sense that the Druids were most probably close to what I wrote about.

For all the information I discovered on Druids, it was nothing compared to what I unearthed about the Fae. They have other names. Sidhe and Otherworld beings being two of the most popular besides Fae. From the beginning of time and throughout different cultures there have been tales of these Otherworld beings.

Today, when you hear “fairy” you most likely think of Tinkerbell or something similar. Yet, for something as powerful as a Fae, surely it had to be something of more substantial size. Those little fairies are truly pixies - tiny creatures that can wreck havoc in a household. The Fae were much more powerful, more glorious and more…royal. It is said that the Fae once inhabited Earth.

Could that be why paranormal and fantasy stories hold a reader so enthralled? Do we sense what once roamed our lands, the magic that once filled the air? The next time Samhain comes around, October 31st, one of the most powerful nights of the sidhe, go outside. Legend holds that this is the night when the veil between the worlds runs thin, and the Fae has license to visit our world. Maybe you just might encounter a Fae for yourself.

About the Author:

Donna Grant is a multi-published award winning author for New Concepts Publishing. To find out more about her and her books, visit the links below.

Website: www.donnagrant.com

Blog: www.donnagrant.blogspot.com

MySpace: www.myspace.com/donnagrant

Newsletter: www.donnagrant.com/newsletter

Disclaimer, cause we have to: The opinions of guest bloggers do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Mandy M Roth and Michelle M Pillow. (Want to be a guest blogger?)

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Friday, March 16, 2007

Marketing with Mandy - A New Blog Series worth looking at

Mandy Roth on her Nocturnal Journal Blog has started a new series on Marketing geared toward aspiring and published authors. I think it's great, esp considering she has a degree in marketing. I highly recommend bookmarking her blog and checking back as new posts come up.

The first topic she has up is:
Marketing with Mandy: Websites—Getting Started

Have a wonderful day everyone, and make sure you comment and post questions over there (or here and I'll pass them along) letting her know what marketing topics you'd like her to cover!

~ Michelle


Thursday, March 15, 2007

Raven's First Thursday Thirteen - All About Raven

Thirteen Things about Raven Vampire Nightclub

  1. This is our first Thursday Thirteen
  2. Michelle M Pillow and Mandy M Roth are co-owners of the Raven, readers nicknamed us the M&Ms
  3. It's a free story - http://www.ravenhappyhour.com/raven.htm
  4. It's this blog - http://ravenvampireclub.blogspot.com/
  5. It's a podcast - http://www.ravenhappyhour.com/raven_podcasts.htm
  6. It's a myspace - http://www.myspace.com/ravenhappyhour
  7. It's free promo for authors
  8. It's a yahoo chat group - http://groups.yahoo.com/group/The_Raven_Vampire_Nightclub/join
  9. We love all thing paranormal, supernatural, coffee, smelly good, fantasy, romance, gothic, Mandy wanted to write science but Michelle said no, cause she's not a big lover of science so much as history. In fact, Michelle wants to be a princess in a big historical fairytale castle. So we love all things history...*ouch*
  10. Mandy just slapped Michelle
  11. It wasn't the first time
  12. Michelle and Mandy are not arguing the correct way to spell faery vs fairy vs fae vs *ouch* (another slap)
  13. We're always seeking new minions

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!

1. PJ
2. Stephanie
3. Anni
4. Kim Rees / Kim Knox
5. Raggedy
6. Jenny
7. Denise Patrick

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!


Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Mark Your Calenders! New Hunt Coming in May!



The New Pillow Scavenger Hunt!

Featuring these great authors and a lot of cool prizes, including autographed books!

Amy Knupp, Barbara White Daille, The History Hoydens, Jaycee Clark, Jenna Black, Jordan Summers, Joey W. Hill, Jory Strong, Kalen Hughes, Kate Austin, Kelley St. John, Lacey Alexander, Lauren Dane, Mackenzie McKade, Mandy Roth, Maya Banks, N.J. Walters, Nicola Marsh, Patricia Sargeant, Portia Da Costa, Raven Vampire Nightclub (M Pillow and M Roth Joint), Rowena Cherry, Samantha Storm, Shelley Munro, Shiloh Walker, & TJ Michaels &MORE!

Check back for details!


Monday, March 12, 2007

Dances with Ghosts

by Lisa Logan

Anyone seeking proof that the recently departed don’t always depart need look only as far as their local hospital. Night shift is even better. As someone who has walked–and worked–those darkened halls for sixteen years, I can tell you without hesitation that ghosts are real. While not all who reach the clearing at the end of their path in that place swirl around in a nether fog, some who suffer unexpected departures will, on occasion, take a while to find their beacon of light.

My most recent ghost stalked me for two days before finding his way onward. It was about a year ago, and I was jotting medication notes in the middle of a long hallway. As I bent over the notebook in front of me, my peripheral vision picked up the sight of someone moving up the hall. The "someone" stopped directly behind me, then leaned over my shoulder as if curious about what I was writing. The feeling was close and unmistakably male.

In little mood that day for breaches in space bubble protocol, I snapped my head around to confront whichever staff member had decided to be cute by playing Rubbernecker.

The hall was empty.

I shrugged it off and went about other tasks, though still having that "being watched" sensation. When dinner called, I wandered alone into the staff kitchen to warm up my food. I was making tea at the counter when I realized I’d left the sugar on the table behind me. Without warning I spun around, preparing to make a quick lunge for it....

...then never got there, as I smacked into someone hard. The automatic apology tumbled out. "Oh! Sorry."

But I was alone. The only reply was a disturbing cold stab of somethingness, which pushed its way through my midsection and out the kitchen door.

It was later that evening when I overheard the drama that had unfolded in the Intensive Care Unit next door. Something went wrong during what should have been a simple surgical procedure, and the man was rushed to the ICU in dire distress. Doctors worked feverishly to save his life...and failed.

A sudden and unexpected death, maybe fifty feet away from the hallway where I’d encountered Mr. Rubbernecker...right around the time of the surgical patient’s death.

Nodding, I figured I had an answer to my ghostly stalker. Then my shift was over, and it was time to put another work day behind. While it might seem this was a tale that would follow me home, it wasn’t the first time I–nor anyone else on the critical floor–had encountered such things. By the time I returned the next day, I’d forgotten all about it.

Until I ventured alone to the back supply room. I entered the code and pushed open the heavy, self-closing door. I wandered to the supply cart, half-awaiting the sound of the door clicking shut behind me. Instead, the door was nearing ground zero when it swung open again, carrying a whoosh of frigid air. Frowning, I peeked outside. No one was present.

It was then that I remembered my ghost stalker from the day before. Hadn’t the poor man found his way yet?

Probably because I’ve watched one horror movie too many, I turned to humor. "Um," I said to the supply room, "I’m flattered that you keep following me, but as you can see my job really isn’t all that interesting. Besides, I think there’s somewhere else you’re supposed to be now. It’s okay. It’s okay for you to go."

I stood and waited. Nothing. No swinging doors, rubbernecking, or bumps against my middle. After a long moment I grabbed my supplies and left. He never followed. I hope he found his way.

Lisa Logan
Writing in My Wildest Dreams at http://lisalogan.net
Author of VISIONS, a psychic romance/mystery available from Amazon, Borders, and other sellers
Editor, MysteryAuthors.com

Disclaimer, cause we have to: The opinions of guest bloggers do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Mandy M Roth and Michelle M Pillow. (Want to be a guest blogger?)

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Sunday, March 11, 2007

Cool Contest Finds - Win stuff, Help fight against Breast Cancer

Check this out for a chance to win

"Microsoft Vista Ultimate operating system , Microsoft Office professional 2007 or a couple of groovy mice...[and a] fabulous package of books that come with a cool book bag"
-- from the .ponderings of an innocent babe blog



Thursday, March 08, 2007

Love Book Videos? Check out the Award Show!

This is a mid-week, guest blog post. The topic isn't really on the paranormal, but this was such a fun idea, we thought we'd invite Dawn from http://www.theromancegalleria.com to come by and tell us a little about the new Award Show for Book Trailers! I hope all of you will head over and check it out.

Blog Post Provided by Dawn

We're going to be breaking from tradition a bit here in this post (no worries, we got the okay from the powers that be, lol) as we detour a bit from the paranormal to talk about book videos. A few years ago, if you mentioned the word "trailer" everyone automatically assumed you were talking about a movie trailer, but in recent years "trailers" have become a wildly popular form of book promotion. Pioneered by Circle of Seven Productions, who coined and trademarked the phrase "book trailer," they have paved the way for the evolution of the promotional video not only as a valid marketing tool but as a source of great artistic value and entertainment.

At the Romance Galleria, one of our biggest draws (outside of our popular author chats) is our 3D theater. We've found that readers not only stop by the theater to watch the assortment of trailers featured there, they come back again and again to watch their favorites. This got us to thinking about how theses videos have far surpassed their marketing stereotype to become a featured item in their own right. We decided it was high time to give this special art form the recognition it deserved. After hosting a hugely successful ceremony for the CAPA Awards inside the Galleria, we thought what a perfect way to showcase these works of art and acknowledge the accomplishments of these video. Thus, the Cameo Award was born.

The Cameo Awards celebrate excellence in romantic book video promotion.

Awarded annually by The Romance Galleria, it recognizes merit in many aspects of romantic trailer production and promotion such as art direction, scripting and marketing potential. The Cameos were developed to honor and showcase the artistic vision and effort in romantic trailer development.

Winners of the 1st Annual Cameo Awards will be announced at the Cameo Film Festival in the Galleria on May 5th, 2007. If you'd like more information about these awards or to find out more about our 3D world please visit us at http://www.theromancegalleria.com

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Sunday, March 04, 2007

Why Romantic Fantasy?

by Nikki Watson

My two favorite genres to dabble in have always been romance and fantasy. Has anybody ever noticed how there isn't a great deal of believable fantasy set without the background of a castle and medieval guards? Or romantic overtones between a human and a creature of another kind? Laurell K. Hamilton offers us her vampire hunter books, set within the comfortable background of St. Louis, and there are also L. J. Smith's Night World series for younger readers, but for the larger adult community, what is there?

I've decided to come back into fantasy reading and writing lately, because I've come to realize that you don't necessarily need to create a world of 'fantasy' for your novel to be considered 'a fantasy novel'. Our world works quite fine. We have an unlimited number of vampires and witches and general beasties that can be brought in from the realms of Stoker and Shelley straight to our real world in order to make a fantastical story.

This seems to level the playing field, a little bit, between fantasy and romance. Suddenly, the world building is just a writing up the world that we ourselves already live in. Most of us have lived in this world all our lives; so how hard can that be? Now, instead of a jealous ex-wife getting in the way of the hero and heroine in the story, perhaps it is the secret of witch blood that the hero has tried to hide in his blood line.

I personally read a lot of both romance and fantasy, and due to my love of both, a story really grips me when both genres happen to be meshed together nicely. If anyone wants me to recommend a writer who I think does this really fantastically, I would point out that Anne Rice has definitely been known to blur the distinctions between erotica and fantasy over the course of her writing.

Still, this brings us back to the role of vampires in romantic fantasy fiction. What is it that we find so sexy about vampires sucking the gooey, sticky, clotted blood out of our soon to be dead bodies? In both Hamilton and Rice novels, the vampires are the key standing feature for the fantasy, with werewolves and witches coming in at the sidelines. Vampires are constantly being reinvented, which is great, as it keeps everything new, but eventually, all the different options for reincarnations of the same old vampires are all going to be taken, and the old school done to death beasties are going to just be old, old, old. We as writers should be challenged to create creatures, where the only restraints placed upon us are only our own imaginations, and readers should ache to see that done.

I'm not saying the genre blend between romance and fantasy is for everyone. The loudest complaint I've seen between readers of fantasy and romance is the different formulas. While a fantasy reader would have no problem in following several different love interests on their travels to the end of a series, a romance reader would be much more likely to have an interest only in the two key characters who are going to get through their trials to declare their undying love for one another at the end. Genre blending certainly isn't for everyone, but it is a gentle alternative for people who already like both of the genres involved, and there's a definite niche in romantic fantasy waiting to be filled.

About the author:
Myspace: www.myspace.com/nikkiwatsonauthor
Livejournal: http://unity-of-hours.livejournal.com/profile
Link for Spiral: http://www.aphroditesapples.com/spiral.htm

Disclaimer, cause we have to: The opinions of guest bloggers do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Mandy M Roth and Michelle M Pillow. (Want to be a guest blogger?)

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Making Podcasts Out of Nothing at All…

Too Much Coffee and going nowhere, time budgeting, commitments, balancing RL and Writing Life, the Upcoming RT conferences, and Cloning the M & Ms.

Come listen to the newest podcast!

Want to be interviewed?
Have a question of topic you'd like M&M to discuss?
Going to be at RT this year and want to arrange a shout out/interview?

Either post it here, or email us privately at:
Mandy - mandy (at) mandyroth.com
Michelle- enchant (at) cox.net

Raven Podcasts

Give it a listen!

Making Podcasts Out of Nothing at All…



Friday, March 02, 2007

Happy Birthday Mandy!

Okay, so we’re a day early, but I never get dates right and she’ll just have to forgive me!

In honor of this special day, *running and unlocking Mandy’s dungeon door* Lycans and Vamps for everyone!!!!!

For her birthday, I’ve prepared a little song *clearing throat* Uh-hem, memmemememmememememmeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee…. *struggling as grabbed from behind, dragged to storage closet and locked in* What do you mean this is YOUR present to Mandy, Mike? How is locking me up during my song a present? She can’t hear me in here!!! MANDY!!!!!

Happy Birthday, Mandy! Here’s to another long, loooong, loooooooong year putting up with me as your friend.



Thursday, March 01, 2007

New Raven Happy Hour Chapter - Secrets Revealed!

Didn’t think you’d be getting another one so soon, did you? *wink* We’d continue to brag, but we’d only jinx ourselves….

So without further ado, come over to the Raven where secrets will be revealed!

Also, if you haven’t heard the latest Raven Podcast! Take a listen!


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