Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloween Photo Dump

My oldest son, headed out to the pub for a pint with the droogs
And have a favorite Halloween Story:

The Great Old Pumpkin
By John Aegard
25 October 2004

You must know, Doctor, that I did not choose to seek psychiatric help. I have no faith that I shall exit this room a healed man; I know now that I have been destined for the asylum since childhood. No mere conversation with you can steer me clear of that fate. That said, let us proceed with this court-compelled farce before my mad prattle provokes your crabbiness further.

As you are no doubt aware, I am the issue of solid Dutch stock—the prosperous Van Pelt family of St. Paul. Mine was a comfortable and happy childhood, and I spent much of it in the devoted service of the Great Old Pumpkin. For him, I cultivated an annual pumpkin patch—mostly Autumn Gold and Big Max, as I thought he would find the Atlantic Giants tacky. I also evangelized him in the community, relating the tale of how, every year on Hallowmas Eve, the day when the spiritual most strongly encroaches on the substantial, this mightiest of gourds would rise to revel across the world with the most sincere of his adorers. My neighbors were understandably skeptical; after all, not once had this superbeing ever chosen to grace my pumpkin patch or any other place in our town. I vowed that I would coax him into my backyard, and I set out in the manner of a learned man to discover how I might do this.

(go read the rest! Peanuts and Cthulhu!)



Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Halloween Eve


From "Serpents"

Of all the djinn in all the deserts of Arabia, Arqam was the most curious. He never passed a human dwelling, as he rode the night winds, without stopping to peer inside. He never passed a chest or jar, but he had to peek within.

All the elder djinn said he would come to bad end and it was his grandmother's human blood making him such trouble. None of them were surprised the day he was taken.

Arqam had ventured far to the east, leaving behind the sand and oases of his native Arabia, into the lush jungles of India, where the foreign white men ruled the local people. He listened to the clipped accents of the English, the soft music of the Indians. He peered into bungalows and huts, disregarding the privacy of Her Royal Majesty's Major General and the lowest of the pariahs with equal aplomb.

He watched the brown women in their colorful saris and the pale ones covered and corseted and fainting in the heat. He watched the men as they worked. In time, he grew sleepy and made a hammock of vines near the outskirts of a small village.

As he lolled in the steaming night, a distant cousin found him. “Arqam,” it hissed, its low guttural voice making him uneasy.

“Yes?” He peered over the edge of the hammock and saw what had addressed him. Although ghuls were a sort of djinn, Arqam's people had little contact with them. They served Iblis and haunted the graveyards. His folk lived invisible in the air. Arqam looked around but saw no graves. “May I help you, cousin?”

“I am Shahib, the fire that consumes the dead. Why do you wander so far away? No mind, all have heard of Arqam, how he sticks his long beautiful nose into every house and everyone's business.” The ferocious little grey thing crouched beneath his hammock. “I'd check your curiosity soon enough, pretty cousin.” Shahib's laugh was ugly and he batted at the hammock.

Arqam did not move from the hammock. As long as he stayed within, the protective spells would not let Shahib touch him. Shahib tried again, and the breeze of his hand's passage disturbed Arqam. Arqam looked down at the hideous creature, grey and snarling beneath him, its corded arms too long, like a hyena's front legs.

“Leave, Shahib. Follow the vultures and find some carrion. You do not feast upon djinn this night.” Arqam rolled over and pretended to sleep.

From below him, he heard the evil chuckling of the ghul. “A pity. It is said the djinn know more of congress than even the sensualists of India. But I do not tempt you, my pretty cousin.”

Arqam feigned sleep. He felt the hammock quake where Shahib shook one tree as he departed. But he remained safe, and in time, he fell asleep.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Monday goodies


Classic Molasses Popcorn Balls Recipe
This recipe makes wonderful crisp-chewy caramel popcorn balls that taste a bit like Cracker Jacks. Add some peanuts to make them even more Cracker-Jacky, and be sure to use a molasses with a nice flavor for the best result. Makes about 40 classic Halloween popcorn balls.
This easy popcorn ball recipe calls for plain granulated sugar, but feel free to use brown sugar to give them a richer flavor.

1 C. granulated sugar
3/4 C. light corn syrup
1/4 C. molasses
2 tbsp. butter
1/2 tsp. salt
8 quarts (1 gallon) popped popcorn, unpopped kernels removed

1. In a heavy saucepan, combine sugar, corn syrup, molasses, butter, and salt.

2. Bring to a simmer, and cook over medium for about 3 1/2 minutes.

3. Pour mixture over popcorn.

4. Mix well with a wooden spoon or spatula.

5. With greased hands, form into popcorn balls.

6. Let cool on greased baking sheets or waxed paper.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Halloween goodies


A Not Work Safe excerpt from Spellbound Desire

 He stared into my eyes like some cheesy romance hero and just like those books said, about a dozen butterflies banged around in my stomach, trying to escape. I felt ridiculous.

“Gonna bite me again, are ye?” he asked, one hand coming up to stroke my chin. I rubbed against it like a cat.

“No,” I whispered. “The quicker we get this out of the way, the better we'll work together. Stupid distractions.” The words didn't even feel like mine. Too real and sincere by half.

“Least said, soonest mended,” he agreed.

His mouth covered mine, the goatee silkier on my face than I'd expected. I liked the feel of it there, liked the feel of his lips on me. He tasted nice, a little smoky from the barbecue. He touched my lips with his tongue and it wasn't slick and awful like the few fumbling kisses I'd had in my teens before I gave up on kissing.

I hesitated, and then opened up for him. He came in gentle, like a visitor looking around instead of trying to gag me by shoving in all at once. I liked the sweetness. His tongue tasted even smokier and I sucked on it just a little as he ran it along mine.

I heard some soft moans that might have been mine and the hard breathing that definitely was. I pressed closer, needing to feel more of him against me, the leather and the skin both.
He snorted a chuckle and broke the kiss.

I smiled as I realized I was practically in his lap. Blame the mana, because D. J. Admire had never sat astride a man's lap. “Again?”

“Aye and as many as you want.” One of his hands slid around to cup my breast. “And anywhere you're wanting them.” He tugged me up to kneel up over his lap and pulled me down for another kiss.

This time I got his vest open, the little hooks on the front working just like the ones on the wicker chest I kept my few photos in, and he tugged my shirt out of my jeans. I rubbed against the chains on his kilt, sensitive enough to feel every link through the soft denim.

“And where are you wanting to kiss me?” I asked as I licked his scar out to his earlobe and the other all the way up to his eyebrow.

He undid my bra and I realized I was topless, in the lap of a near-stranger, dry-humping him through leather and denim.

“Oh lovely,” he sighed and planted a soft kiss on each nipple. I shuddered as my whole skin broke out in goose bumps. He looked up and gave me a smile which went wicked with mischief. That made those stupid butterflies feel like they were the size of bats and everything down below went gooshy.

He ducked his head and flickered his tongue over each nipple, back and forth, right, left and right again. I bucked against his lap, against the growing bulge I could feel under the kilt. I finally got it into the right place, and rubbing along the seam of my jeans and I rode it hard.

“More, please, more!” Well damn, even my dialogue was being written by Harlequin instead of Raymond Chandler now. Fucking mana. I wondered if the mana would make the fucking better, because I wanted him inside me, all of that nice, thick cock I'd seen during our little mental mutual masturbation session.

He just chuckled again. “All you need, lass.” He took a firmer grip on me and started to move us both.

For a second, I went into combat mode getting my leverage and ready to fight against being thrown, but he just laid me back on the sofa very gently and opened my jeans. I didn't want to be fucked on my back, but somehow, I couldn't get my protest out around his mouth.

My jeans were gone and so were my panties. His kilt stayed between us and I rubbed up against that ridge, wanting it, not wanting it, and needing to have him in me before I went off like a bottle rocket.

He was down to my tits again, but not lingering. Then it was all soft beard and softer lips on my belly. It should have tickled, but instead I just wanted him to keep going. Each one of the kisses tingled and burned almost as sweetly as my captain did.

He kept going, right on down. He hovered for a moment, taking deep breaths like he was smelling the most delicious dessert in the world. I wondered if I should have at least trimmed my bush. Bran, lovely man, didn't seem to care that I was completely au natural. He plunged right in, fingers, teeth, tongue and lips everywhere until I screamed.

Big mistake, Admire. Shouldn't lose control like that, especially when you're not the only office-cum-apartment on the floor. I giggled at that, since my office-cum-apartment really was full of the second item.

Two loud pounds on the door didn't give me time to realize I was being intruded upon, before my landlady, Frau Blucher—name withheld to protect the psychopathic-- barged in.

I glanced around, glad the sofa blocked most of us from view.

“Admire! What the hell? You sounded like you were being murdered. Just you and your dyke girlfriend, huh?”

Bran hadn't stopped. He hadn't even noticed the intrusion and was still flicking his tongue over my clit and running two long fingers in and out of me. I pounded my fist on the back of the couch as I came again and swatted his shoulder. “I'm fine, ma'am,” I managed.

“Tell the bitch that combat boots with a skirt are so last season. Your rent is due in three days, Admire. Be on time for once in your life and maybe I'll forget this little lesbian scene. It's illegal in Tennessee, you know.”

Bran chose that moment to pop his head up and look around. “Lesbians? Where?” he asked Frau Blucher, his burr thicker than ever. I looked at him, his hair mussed and sweaty, his face glistening, yet earnestly hopeful, and burst out laughing.

Frau Blucher stared at him, then me, and shook her head. “Rent, Admire. Six hundred dollars, three days.” She slammed the door behind her.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

A Mixed Cauldron today


Excerpt, from Spellbound Desire:

Bran came in around mid-afternoon carrying a big basket.

“Up, my lovely. I have a plan for the afternoon that is involving you, a large picnic hamper and a very private grove out-of-doors. Since you didn't seem to fancy the sofa in the alley, that is.”

I rolled over and reached up to him. “I'd rather picnic on the floor and spend the evening in my own bed. At least I know where all the lumps are there. And I'm not liable to end up with a pine cone up my ass.”

Bran sat down on the edge of my bed and kissed me. “Don't be making me jealous of the pine cones, darlin.”

I covered my butt with one hand. “I don't think so. I like you front and center, big guy.” I got one hand under his vest and teased his nipple, then stroked the rosary. “Besides, I didn't know you were the jealous type.”

“When you get a good thing, you hold onto it.”

“Mm-hmm.” I wrapped both arms around his waist and snuggled in to him, smelling leather and Bran and happy.

“Now, up, ya lazy bint. Let's eat, the chicken salad's getting warm.” A teasing swat landed on my ass. I considered staying put for more swats. “And the chocolate's melting.”

I sat up and kissed him for that. I'd been practicing the shield every chance I got, and I slammed it up now so that he couldn't hear me or feel how much he got to me.

“Nicely done, Admire,” he said, and kissed me again. “You're getting better.” I felt a push at the shield, but it wasn't a battering ram. “Definitely better.”

I got up and threw on a pair of jeans and shirt, without a bra. I wasn't big enough to need one, really, and it was just us, going out for a twilight walk in the woods. Besides, I didn't want to fool with it out there and end up with the cups full of acorns or pine needles.

“Gorgeous.” He grasped my shoulders and kissed me, which made me feel weird. He'd felt weird all evening, kind of possessive, like I was his property, his girl. I wasn't liking this new side. “Now, take me where there are trees, woman. How can you live in the concrete all the time with never the grass under your feet?”

“City girl.” I shrugged. “Come on, we'll go out to Shelby Forest. Got some ice packs for that picnic basket or are we moving into the ever so romantic 'getting salmonella together' phase of the relationship?” I grabbed a couple from my mini-fridge's freezer compartment. I almost never used them.

“And who are you picnicking with when I'm not here?” he teased as he opened the insulated basket. I saw a few freezer packs in there already.

“I keep them for hangovers.”

“Oh and here I thought it'd be for when your pixies beat you up.”

“I don't arm wrestle the supernatural.”

“I do.” He grinned and hefted the big basket like it was empty. “Trees, or I perish of smog and stone.”

I drove north to Shelby Forest. The first shelter was full of folks having a potluck. The second, deeper in the woods, was empty.

“This'll do.”

I parked and he carried the hamper to the shelter. He spread a tablecloth and laid the food out. The man knew how to plan a picnic supper.

We ate and then packed away the remnants and stashed it back in the trunk. He didn't repack the blanket, but draped it over one shoulder and offered me a hand.

“Come on, virgin girl, out into the woods and I'll show you what real loving is like.”

“No pinecones,” I warned before taking his hand.

“Only if you beg very sweetly.”

Friday, October 26, 2012

All Kilted Photo Dump

In honor of Spellbound Desire, an all kilted photo-dump.





If no one ever made a Brimstone vid to this, it was a crime against fandom.

No excerpt, because today is release day!

It's here, It's here!


Have you ever wondered if the universe would collapse should Naomi and I write a heterosexual novel? Guess not. This one arrived last summer, all raring to go.

And now it's HERE!

You can read the first chapter there.
Spicy excerpt soon.

BTW: the tattoos on his biceps read "From Ghoulies and ghosties and long-legged beasties and things that go bump in the night, may the good Lord deliver us."

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Geeky Halloween


I'm IN this Thriller vid. In the pink at the 3:19 mark.

And I kinda love the mashup.

Your excerpt of the day is from Spellbound Desire which releases TOMORROW! (work safe) If you like this clip, follow the link and read the first chapter.

We were dressed and ready to go out. I opened the door, only to find her cousin still on the doorstep, his jaw slack.

“He's gobsmacked, Admire,” I told her.

“You gotta turn down your aura, buddy.”

“I swear, I didn't lay an erg of mana on him.”

She snapped her fingers under his nose. “Jinx, Jinx!”

“You have a boyfriend.” The words came out mumbled and half-coherent. “You have a naked boyfriend.”

“Yes, I do. Do you want breakfast, Jinx? Bran's buying.”

“You have a naked boyfriend named for a muffin?”

“No, the cereal,” I said. I get that a lot. Bran may mean raven in the old tongue, but most people just think of oats. “Come on, Jinx. The big bad naked muffin is buying breakfast.”

D. J. tucked her arm in mine, affectionate-like. I'd not had a woman so friendly the next morning before. Combat magery doesn't lend itself to long-term partners. The Witan hadn't led me to believe she'd be so willing or so friendly. Abrasive, unpleasant and difficult had been their kindest adjectives. And they had very, very carefully not told me she was a woman.

The acid tongue made no appearance over a steam-table breakfast buffet. Jinx stared at my face and the six scars that mark it. D. J. ate like she hadn't eaten in three days. She might not have. My information said she often drank her meals.

At last she slowed and went to coffee. “Jinx, stop staring. It's rude.”

“The scars, dear Elvis, how did you live through them?” he asked me.

“By being the most powerful mage in a hundred years and more. Demon tried ripping my face off. Popped my eyes out with his smallest talons, stuck his thumbs in my gob and yanked out, ran the other two talons down my face. Nearly bled out all over the fewking floor. Anyone else would have.”

“Then what happened?” Jinx asked like a kid to a storyteller.

“He ate me,” I grinned and got up for more sausages.

D. J. laughed, a rusty sort of sound, like she didn't use it much. Poor Jinx just looked puzzled. He wasn't the brightest.

I sat back down, counting the plates in front of me. I quit at four. I was hungry and I hadn't even started casting. This town was going to be the death of me and I was hoping that wasn't a premonition.

D. J. leaned over and ran one finger along the scar across my cheek. I smiled at her.

“Oeilett?” she asked. I nodded. She looked Jinx over and I could see the wheels turning in her head. “Jinx, you want to come to a get-rich-quick seminar tonight? It's free.”

His look back at her said he'd been invited along on one too many trips that had gone bad. “What's the catch?”

“No catch. You're always complaining about bills and your landlady.”

“Ah, Saraphina's all right. She got her license back and does fortunes every day, so she's making money again.” He thought it over, taking way too long. I was willing to bet my lady didn't scruple at using him for bait.

“So are you in or not, Allan?” I asked.

He blinked, like he didn't hear his name very often. “I'm in. Sure, I'll come. If I get rich, I'll buy a house and an office building and D. J. can have her own suite and never worry about Frau Blucher again. Want me to pick you up?”

D. J. jumped in almost too fast then. “I'll drive. Your piece of shit is lucky to get to highway speed.”

“Generous lad,” I said. “See you tonight. Now it's time for a wee bit more of that private time for your cousin.”

He turned bright red and got up, stuttering his thanks for breakfast. “See you tonight.” He didn't quite run out the door, but it was near.

D. J. scooted closer to me in the booth. “Promise on the private time?” She shook her head and shoved away. “I'm sorry. God, I'm never this bad.”

“It's the mana. Let it work and we'll be done soon enough. Meanwhile, ride it for what it's worth.”

We got up and I paid the bill with the Witan's card, the one they gave me for emergencies. Let them worry about the money.

D. J. let me wrap an arm around her as we walked back to her place. I hoped the mana didn't let go. I liked being with her. I liked the way she talked, her sexy accent with just a little drawl and a lot of movie tough-guy influence, the way she listened, the way she looked at me without being horrified by my face.

“You only told Jinx part of the story. Was it at Chernobyl?”

I nodded. “I was young, stupid and full of myself. I thought I would do better letting Oeilett manifest than simply disrupting it. He got his claws in me, I got my knives in him. As he vanished, he ripped my face off.”

“Jinx already asked, why didn't you die?”

I gave her a squeeze. “Anyone else would have. I might have, but I still had plenty of demonic energy coursing around and it kept me going until I could clot up. I heal fast, like movie-in-reverse fast. There's some on the Witan as jokes it would take decapitating me to kill me. And others who bet if you got my head back on my neck fast enough I'd come back from that too. I'm in no hurry to find out who's right on that bet.”

“So the reactor story was just a cover-up?”

“Oh aye. Most industrial accidents are. Some are real, but most are demons or Nightsiders gone bad. You know normals, won't see it when it slaps them in the gob.”

“Chernobyl.” She gave a low whistle. “I was in high school when that happened. Lots of people died.”

“On my head,” I whispered, my face aching and the memory of the fifty who died immediately stabbing through me. The ache for the millions affected by my failure followed hard on its heels.

She turned in my arm and kissed me, right there on the street. Not ashamed to be seen with me, not afraid of my face or power. I wanted to keep her, if the mana would let us.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Monday Make it!

Pic of the Day:

And here's how to make them:

Sound of the Season:

And no holiday is complete without Pumpkin Pasties

Pumpkin Pasties
by Britta

Preparation Time 90 minutes
Servings 36
2 eggs, slightly beaten
3/4 cup sugar
1 1 lb. can pumpkin (or 2 cups fresh, roasted in the oven then pressed through a strainer to save your Pumpkin Juice to drink!)
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ginger
1/4 tsp. cloves
1 2/3 cups evap. milk (1 can)
1/2 tsp. allspice
9 oz pie crust pastry (enough for two single standard pie crusts)

Except for the pastry, mix together all the ingredients well. This is the filling.
Bake the filling only (no crust) in a large casserole dish in hot oven (425 °F) for 15 minutes.

Keep oven door closed and reduce temperature to moderate (350 °F/180 °C) and continue baking for 45 minutes or until table knife inserted in center of dish comes out clean.

Cool filling completely on a wire rack.

Make or purchase pie crust pastry.

Roll thin and cut into circles approx 4" in diameter.

Put a spoonful of the cool pumpkin mixture towards one side of the center of the circle.

Fold over the crust into a half-circle and firmly crimp the edges closed.

Slice three small slits in the top for venting.

Place on a greased cookie sheet.

Bake only until crust is a light golden-brown, approx 10 minutes

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Sunday Freebies


Your download of the week is "S is for Succubus." This is the first DJ Admire adventure, posted here in preparation for the release of Spellbound Desire

Right click and save as, or just read online

Or as Oli-chan says, "S is for Succubus that's good enough for me!"

Saturday, October 20, 2012




Tomorrow, a special treat.
Today, from Curse of the Pharaoh's Manicurists, work safe.:

Charlie dozed to the soft drone of Edward’s voice and awakened to a room full of sunset and Edward’s snoring. He still had some coins, so he ducked out to buy some bread to go with dinner. They might need to economize, but bread was only a few piastres.

He left a note and browsed the market stalls near their apartment. He had no fear. Lady Sarah and her cronies were four hundred miles away, learning nothing at all in the Valley of the Kings.

Charlie wandered the streets for the first time, being very careful not to get lost. He’d marked the route through the bazaar during the few trips with Edward on their way elsewhere, but he
hadn’t had time to just explore or to shop. He took it all in, the colors, the smells, the cries of the vendors.

He was definitely in Egypt. This was not New York or London, where great department stores displayed new merchandise behind enormous plate glass windows. Nor was it Harlow, with little
shops lining the streets so one had to carry a basket from bakery to greengrocer. Here, strange fruit formed miniature pyramids under canopy awnings. Handmade jars and boxes and furniture, none of which had changed in design much from the museum pieces, gleamed and tempted. A jeweler kept an eagle eye on a tray of lapis necklaces and turquoise rings. The sellers’ cries rang out,
competing with each other in the cooling evening.

On one corner, an old man sat talking to a crowd of rapt children. The grown-ups ignored him and Charlie realized the old man spoke English. He listened.

“So, Anubis and Khnum quarreled over the canopic jars, with each saying his were best. They brought it before a meeting of the gods, who decreed that the only way to determine the victor was to use each set of jars for a mummification. Now in those days, there lived two men, Khnum-ho-tep and Ni-ankh-khnum, both beloved of the potter god, manicurists to the Pharaoh. Anubis, Lord of Death, took them. Ni-ankh-khnum was mummified using Anubis’ jars. Khnum-ho-tep was mummified using Khnum’s jars. Once both men had been interred, the gods called them up to answer the questions of who made the better canopic jars. They were quite unhappy to learn this was why their lives had been cut short and swore revenge. This angered the gods and the manicurists were
trapped, prevented from moving on to the next world.”

Charlie ventured on. Edward could tell a better ghost story. He bought a round loaf of fresh bread and some other things from the vendor, paying two English pennies and an American one. The
vendor swore at him in Arabic and broken English, but Charlie gave him a grin. He knew what bread cost. He stored up the sound of the words to use next time he shopped. He tried some of the
Arabic words Edward had taught him and the vendor grinned, too. They went back and forth for a minute, until Charlie dropped a piastre in the merchant’s hand and thanked him for the new words.

He paused to watch a pretty girl with flashing dark eyes as she danced on a street corner. He dropped a silver two-piastre coin into the bowl at her feet and she sent him a smile. Only a couple of men were paying attention, so he stopped and watched a little more closely. She noticed and danced to him, her bare feet so light they barely seemed to touch the worn carpet she had spread as a makeshift stage. Her anklets jingled and the finger cymbals chimed
in his ears, making him want to join her.

She spun away from him, to the opposite edge and kissed one of the watching men, a tall man wearing a bright blue vest with gold embroidery. Charlie watched her dainty henna-patterned
hands come up on the sides of his face and press him to her after she unhooked one side of her veil. She lingered there, her feet and hips still moving, as the man moaned and shuddered. She released him and he sank to his knees as she danced away.

Edward’s words about women echoed in Charlie’s head. How would it be, Charlie wondered, having a woman that he wanted, not just one that wanted him as a trophy. The idea of having the dancer, with Edward there to help him and guide him along, consumed him.

She whirled toward him and then away, a cloud of myrrh and cassia from her veils fuddling his head. He dug in his purse and took out a whole pound note. She saw and he beckoned her over.
When she drew close, he held up the note and tried to negotiate in sign language.

She got the idea he wanted her and nodded. He held up two fingers and pointed to himself and then gestured, indicating a taller man. She smiled and linked her arm into his.

He entered the apartment, bread in one hand, girl on the other arm. Her name was Safi and she called him “Shar-lee,” making it almost two words. They hadn’t managed anything else. She spoke
no English and he spoke a dozen words of Arabic, four of them food, six numbers and two really foul curses he’d picked up from the baker. Learning from a military man had its drawbacks.

Once back in the hotel room, he set the bread on the table and had Safi sit down while he went to find Edward. His employer was up and shaving. Charlie took the razor from his hand before he cut himself.

“Sit down,” Charlie ordered. “You’re still shaky.” He rinsed the razor and stropped it. “How much Arabic do you speak?”

“Not much more than I taught you.” Edward watched Charlie, but relaxed when Charlie started to shave him.

“I have a girl.” Charlie pulled the straight razor over his skin with a brisk motion. “She came with me for a pound. She’s beautiful, a street dancer. Teach me?”

Edward looked at him as Charlie wiped the soap off his face. “A girl? Here?”

“Yes, she’s in the sitting room. I went out for bread and came back with her, too.” He hesitated. “Are you angry with me, sir?”

“Oh no, quite the contrary.” Edward smiled and pulled Charlie down to kiss him. “What would you like to tell her?”

“That I think she is very beautiful and that my master and I would like to make love to her until the sun sets and rises again.”

Edward looked puzzled for a moment. “I’m afraid that’s quite beyond my scope. We’ll just have to show her.”

“I hope you like her, sir. I saw her dancing and thought of what you said this afternoon.” Charlie led the way into the sitting room.

Safi sat where he’d left her. She smiled at him, her dark eyes enticing. “Shar-lee.” She held her arms open and Charlie went to her, breathing her perfume of myrrh and spice. Edward held back a little.

Charlie had reached her and was about to kiss her when Edward bolted across the room and thrust a flaming lucifer into her swirling veils.

Charlie dropped her arm and recoiled as she went up in flame, far too fast, burning more like dry paper than like a human being. In bare minutes, only dried ash and a whisper of myrrh remained. The chair wasn’t even scorched. A small golden pendant in the shape of a pot lay on the chair.

Edward gestured to a mirror that was angled so he could see the door in it. “Always use a silver mirror in strange countries, Charles. You never know what might follow you home."

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Halloween goodies

Pic of the Day:


Sounds of the Season:

Excerpt of the Day from "Deadman's Curve", available in Into Dark Waters
SO not work safe

Things went as usual for a while. Rick slept days, worked nights. One evening in mid-routine, he saw Michael come in and take his usual booth. Sterling came out and talked to him for a minute. Things had changed backstage and Rick had a private dressing room now, the only dancer who did. Sterling said it was for Michael’s convenience, at Michael's expense. The man’s dark eyes followed Rick as he continued dancing, grinding himself against the pole, one hand holding the cowboy hat on. His vest flapped around his bare chest and his chaps left nothing to the imagination.

A little smile half-twisted Michael’s full mouth as Rick gave him a complete back view then spun to slide down the pole, acting as if he were licking it. The song ended. Rick collected his tips and costume and slipped back to his dressing room. Michael was there, waiting on the comfortable couch, the same sardonic smile on his face.

“Sterling gave me my exclusive,” he purred, his voice mellow and sensual, “and without a fight. He must despise you, boy.”

Rick smiled and hung up the parts of his costume. “As much as he despises all humans, sir." He emptied the tooled leather pouch of both his genitals and tips, unself-consciously naked before his client. He emptied the money into a locked box atop the vanity and dropped the pouch in a drawer with several others.

“So you know then." The purr sounded both amused and a little surprised.

Rick just smiled, meeting his exclusive’s eyes in the big oval mirror. “Just like I know you’re immortal of some sort.”

“Clever little whore, aren’t you?" Michael rose from the couch and pinned Rick to the vanity. Rick felt Michael's erection under his pants. Power games were Michael's thing, but Rick had played them long enough to understand all the rules.

“Not really. But Sterling said to do anything you wanted.”

Michael laughed, a low, ugly sound. “Anything?”

“Yes, sir, Mr. Michael. Anything.”

Michael shoved him to his knees. “And if I broke your nose as you sucked me, forcing you to suffocate in your own blood?" He pressed close, rubbing against Rick’s face, letting him feel just how much harder the idea had made him. “How long until you wake back up, zombie slut?”

Rick grinned and rubbed his face against the bulge. He could smell the heady scent of Michael through his tailored trousers. “About four hours, I think. How can you tell?”

Michael pulled away a little and ran a hand over him about an inch from his skin. “Your aura. You’re dead, but there are no hougan marks or loup-garous in it. What sort of revenant are you?”

Rick shrugged. “The Rick kind. I woke up on a morgue slab after I cracked up my bike back in 1981. I just sort of kept waking up after being shot or killed. Lost my last job when a scene in a kink club I was working went really bad. I wound up getting hanged. Boy, did the police freak out when I stopped them from zipping the body bag. I can’t stand those things.”

“You talk too much." Michael bit at his neck, hard enough to leave a bruise. “I’m not killing you tonight." He settled back onto the couch. “Suck me off.”

Rick followed him and knelt between his feet, still naked. One large hand slid over his hair and down to trace his lips.

”Your mouth was made for this." Michael's dark eyes burned and Rick felt his own cock jerk against his belly.

“Anything you want,” Rick said and swallowed his cock.

Afterward, Michael had him stay kneeling. He adjusted Rick’s posture and position with taps from his belt until he was satisfied. Rick stayed there a long time while Michael just looked. He was looking at the floor, as Michael had insisted. Then he heard a ruffle, like a pack of playing cards released into the air, and several bills fluttered to the floor around him.

“Undead whore with dead presidents." Michael walked to the door. “Pick them up, in your teeth. And crawl."

Rick went to hands and knees and picked up the first bill.

“Excellent." Michael opened the door. “All of them, with your teeth. I’ll know if you don’t." He left, shutting it behind him. Rick didn’t know how he’d know, but he obeyed anyway. It was never a good idea to mess with immortals like that. He stashed the five hundred in fifties in his tipbox and dressed for his next routine.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Halloween post

Pic of the Day

Sound of the Season: Turkish Song of the Damned

Excerpt, from "Prey" available in Howl at The Mistletoe Not Work Safe

The building had been used as shelter by transients. Bits of fires, graffiti, the occasional den in a sheltered corner where the remaining doors could be closed for protection from the wind and ice. I caught a few of these. The Flyer always ran a heart-tugging story on homelessness when the weather started getting cold.

I shot some of the graffiti. Most of it was basic crude intaglios: initials, drawings, dates. There were some more skilled artworks. One in particular made my skin crawl. I didn't recognize it, but I shot it anyway. It looked sort of like a summoning seal, but I'd never seen one with
eight points. The language around the edges looked like Latin and I figured I could translate once I got it developed. The seal had me curious, but it made me nervous at the same time. A low-grade stomach churn and the skin crawling on my neck like It was watching me -- whatever It was. I'd see what I could find in the occult section at work.

I finished the roll and got back in my Beetle. I drove out of the gate as darkness fell and straight to the nearest bar. After two drinks, my hands stopped shaking and I poured myself back into the bug and drove home. I'd develop the pics after work. I didn't feel like fooling with it
right now.

I didn't feel like eating either, so I just went to bed.

So pretty this one. Oh, Lord of Lust, let him... no, he didn't touch the seal. Damn. Ah! A picture. Now that I can work through. Yes, and he's a developer sort. When he develops that one he's mine. Mother Lilith, why do you put such mortals so near yet so far, like the temptations of
Heaven? Is it to remind us Winged Ones that we can have neither?

He's sleeping now. Father Asmodeus won't mind if I take a peek. Hm! Bisexual. He dreams of pretty red-haired girls and pretty blond boys at the same time. I wonder which way he'd like me better? The succubus shape never feels as right as my incubus form. Most demons are neuter
and we Winged Ones switch as the mood takes us. But a few, like me, have a distinct preference. I am male.

I conjure a mirror and look at myself, molding my features into what I have seen in his dreams. Blond doesn't look bad on me. I award myself a penis such as I have seen in paintings: as thick as my forearm and reaching to my knees. It juts straight out and I imagine taking him with it.
The way he would clench and gasp, the way he would be unable to scream for the pain as it rips into his fragile mortal body. In my mind's eye, the tip emerges from his throat to ejaculate over his face.

This stepbrother of mine is my lawful prey. He has taken my seal, my summoning route, to himself. I decide to chance a dreamsending. Asmodeus frowns on such, but what the Lord of Lust doesn't know won't hurt me.

Only El is omniscient, and he stopped caring for my kind when Mother flouted his command to return to the Man of Dust. I slip into my prey's dreams. I do not retain the prick I had chosen, but temper it to something more reasonable: as thick as my wrist and the length of a cubit.

He thinks he's a top! Isn't that precious? No, dear brother, you are mine.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Lovers and other monsters

In honor of my oldest announcing her engagement, it's all romantic today...

Pic of the Day:

Sound of the Season:

Excerpt of the Day. From "Siul a Ruhn" in Howl at the Mistletoe. (limited supplies)

We stepped into a great clearing of moss-covered stones and straight aspen tress. The twilight filtered in, making the place look like a cathedral, one to whatever god watched over woodland creatures and werewolves. Cian laid his hands on a large clear boulder that stood at the bottom of the sloping glade like an altar.

I looked at Dan and he took my hand, nodding. A few months ago, I'd gotten ordained over the Internet on a whim. I suspected Dan had told our friends. I'd never expected to use it. Now I looked at Cian.

“This is perfect. Can you marry us? I'll do the same for you.”

Cian smiled and I could almost see that faint silvery shimmer that marked him as half-Sidhe. He nodded and beckoned us. Still holding Dan's hand, I walked to the altar, Without thinking about it, Dan and I went to our knees facing each other.

“We are here, tonight, to enact the age-old joining of two hearts and lives,” Cian said, his voice ringing through the trees as if the glade was full. “Mating, for wolves, is a life-long pairing. Mother Moon sanctifies the mating, not we mortals. We ask her blessing here tonight and that of all nature as well. Danior, do you take this one to be your mate and alpha wolf? To love him and run with him, to live with him and care for him, until the day you return to Mother?”
Dan clasped my hands a bit tighter and nodded. “I do.” His large eyes were full of his love for me and I knew this was the right choice.

Cian looked at me. “Paul, to be an alpha is a serious thing. It is to take responsibility for another's health and welfare all of your life. It is to put his needs before your own; to set his happiness higher than yours and to love, endlessly and unstintingly, until death takes you. Can you bear this burden?”

I looked into Dan's face and smiled. My Furball, big eyes and dark hair, short beard and laughing mouth, and behind it all the sharpest mind and biggest heart in the world. “I can. More, it's all I've ever wanted since I met him.”

“Then take the ring,” Cian looked at us, “You have a ring, aye?” I slipped it off Dan's right hand. Cian smiled more broadly when he saw it was a claddagh. “Take the ring and put it on your mate's hand, repeating after me-”

I followed his words, meaning every one. “I, Paul, take you Dan, to be my mate and love. To live with and love, to protect and honor, in all ways and places, until death takes me.”

Dan said the words back, putting the ring on my left hand. I was shaking by the time he was done. This was the biggest thing I'd ever done. More important than designing the county prison. Bigger than drafting that office building. Better even than saving the whole of existence.

“Now seal your pledges with a kiss, lads, and know you are blessed.”

I took Dan in my arms, kneeling there on the green moss in the fading light. The courthouse, our friends, everything faded before that reality. Him, me, and one perfect moment when our lips met and the realization struck us that we were bound together, mated as men and wolves until the end.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Kitchen Witch Monday

Pic of the Day:

Sound of the Season:

No excerpt. Just one of my favorite halloween recipes:

Brain Dip:

1 cup mayonnaise plus 1 tablespoon
1 (10.5 oz.) can cream of mushroom soup
1 (8 oz.) package of cream cheese softened
1 (.25) envelope of Knox unflavored gelatin dissolved in 1/4 cup hot water
1/2 cup minced scallions
1 1/2 lbs. cooked bay shrimp
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
Pinch of salt


Use 1 tablespoon of mayonnaise to grease a 6-cup brain mold or a bunch of mini brain molds; set aside.

Pour contents of soup can in a medium saucepan and heat over medium until warm. Stir in cream cheese until melted. Stir in dissolved gelatin with water until blended. Add remaining ingredients and mix well.

Remove from heat and pour into brain mold. Chill until firm. Unmold on to a platter and serve with crackers.