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Guest blogger: Heather Killough-Walden

14 October 2012

A day for the dead—and the undead

The temperature is dropping, the leaves are turning, and the smell of wood smoke is carried on a breeze. Fog lingers now, and cemeteries seem a little less unoccupied than they did before. The nights are longer. Shadows are deeper. The moon appears like a Cheshire cat on a stage of velvet black.

Spooky is in the air.

And everywhere people smile, rub their hands together, and begin browsing online for stick-on fangs, gargoyle wings, stuffed ravens, and Styrofoam grave stones they can place in their yards. They get a strange and wonderful chill as they ponder the haunted houses going up, pumpkin carving, the orange and black candy, and the global masquerade that is about to take place.

Why? Why does Halloween give us such a thrill?

As a romance writer, I’ve often pondered the infatuation humanity has with, for lack of a better term, fear. ‘Why would a romance writer be interested in such a thing?’ you ask. Well, I’ll tell you. Fear is titillating. It’s exciting. Just the right amount of it gets our blood pumping to certain body parts, releases certain chemicals, and even has the potential to enhance—other—experiences.

Fear is a primal response and it engenders primal side effects. And there’s nothing more primal than sex.

Through years of observation and research, I’ve come to realise that this is one of the reasons vampires are so popular amongst paranormal romance readers. The vampire is to romance as Halloween is to holidays. It is that special and different and dangerous-to-a-certain-degree aspect of romance that gets readers’ heart rate up just a little higher than the bodice-rippers of old.

A vampire is dark, he is strong and deadly. He is immortal, so chances are he’s lived long enough to acquire a scary amount of knowledge. He’s powerful. He can control your bloody mind, for crying out loud. That’s seriously scary.

It’s also so very, very wonderful.

For if a man this powerful, this dark and dangerous, this knowledgeable and this out-and-out scary has chosen you as the woman he loves, that means you must be special too. That means something about you appeals to the forbidden in the same way that the forbidden appeals to you. And that scary, forbidden thing will bring you frightening amounts of pleasure-close-to-pain and can protect the hell out of you to boot. There’s also the added bonus that he will never grow old and fat—and by turning you, he can make sure that you don’t either! Talk about an added bonus. The vampire is virtually the tall, dark and befanged fountain of youth.

As All Hallows Eve draws near and the world shifts into blacks, reds, purples and oranges, ponder the spookiness of it all. Slip on your fake fangs, bat wings and silken capes and think about the mists and the unknown and the lurking unnamables. Be grateful for the night and the mystery.

Happy Halloween. 🙂

Now go celebrate the tantalising, titillating bit o’ fear that brings that much more pleasure to our otherwise boringly breathe-easy lives. Trick-or-treat with the best of them and pick up your copy of Halloween’s quintessential paranormal treat: The October Trilogy. There’s literally no better time than now.

Heather is giving away two copies of each of the first two books in the October Trilogy–Sam I Am and Secretly Sam–to go in the draw just leave a comment on this blog. (The giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to Tien and Louise.)

The October Trilogy

Sam I Am (book 1)

Seventeen-year-old Logan Wright has always turned to the make-believe world of her written words to escape the pain of her real life. Through her writing, she lives vicariously, creating gorgeous but dangerous male characters who hunt down, and fight for, their chosen mates. For a vice, it’s a safe one. Normally. However, this is October.

The moon is full, the cemetery is filled with mists, and the misspoken words of an ages-old spell have released an ancient force. It is shapeless—nameless. Until it happens upon the words of a beautiful young bard and takes the wickedly handsome form of one of her creations.

Now Logan finds herself the object of desire for a boy who appears to be everything she ever dreamed of. Sam Hain is tall, strong, and gorgeous. He wants her; there’s no denying that. So, what’s the problem?

Sam’s kisses come with sharp teeth—and a dark promise.

Logan, her friends, and her long-time crush must band together in order to save her from the force they unwittingly awakened. They have one month. And it’s going to be a rough one.

Secretly Sam (book 2)

It’s been a week since Logan Wright and her friends managed to defeat Samhain, the Lord of the Dead, and put an end to the death and destruction he caused in his relentless pursuit of her.

All has been quiet.

But it’s always quiet before a storm, and as the October wind picks up once more and red eyes peer from the darkness, it becomes clear that ‘Sam Hain’ is far from finished. He’s after something precious, something that can only be found here, and he isn’t going to go away without it.

In this second installment of the pulse-pounding young adult series The October Trilogy, Logan and her companions face an enemy that has grown more powerful, more determined, and more dangerous in spades. Samhain, who has once more become Sam Hain the indomitable god-turned-vampire, has his mesmerizing sights set on Logan Wright, body and soul.

Nothing is going to sway him this time. He’s learned his lessons and adapted. Time is running out. And nothing is more deadly than a Death God on a schedule.

Heather Killough-Walden the New York Times bestselling author of the Big Bad Wolf series, The Kings series, The Lost Angels series, The Chosen Soul series, and the October Trilogy. Heather’s educational background includes religious studies, archaeology, and law. She is represented by Trident Media and relies heavily on her fantastic agents and friends, Robert Gottlieb and Adrienne Lombardo. Visit Heather’s website, where you can sign up for her newsletter. Also, be sure to keep in touch with her and other fans through both of her Facebook pages and through Twitter (@killoughwalden)!

  1. 2 November 2012 1:41 pm

    Yay, thank you so much, Heather & ARRA for the giveaway 🙂

  2. 2 November 2012 11:08 am

    Hello Heather, and thanks, I’m a lucky winner of one of your books. I look forward to reading it soon. 🙂

  3. arrawebmaster permalink*
    2 November 2012 10:51 am

    The giveaway is now closed – congratulations to Tien and Louise

  4. Linette permalink
    20 October 2012 4:54 pm

    Just recently finished “Sam I Am” and looking forward to “Secretly Sam”. Super excited for Death’s Angel as well! 😉

  5. aimskye permalink
    19 October 2012 8:25 am

    Thanks for blogging Heather! I never really understood Halloween. But I love a good scary movie (so I can pause!)


  6. 17 October 2012 6:04 pm

    These books sound really good


  7. 16 October 2012 2:32 pm

    I really, really love Hallowe’en and I can tell that I will really, really love these books! Wooo-ooo-ooo…

  8. 16 October 2012 8:07 am

    There is something scintillating about the unknown especially when it comes in the form of a tall, dark, & gorgeous vampire -I’ll even take a werewolf 😉

    ps: love the chosen name -“Sam Hain” 😀

  9. Amanda Sue permalink
    15 October 2012 5:44 am

    This is one of MANY reasons why I absolutely love Heather’s work. Heather brings to life any and everything she touches and crosses path with. She gives a whole new meaning to what is brought to the table and to be able to see it through her eyes, feel it through her finger tips and experience every sense as if it were you personally – there is no other that can do it like heather. She make us feel – when in this day and age – we simply forget to enjoy the little

  10. Rachael Harte permalink
    14 October 2012 7:37 pm

    I love everything Heather writes… She rocks :)!

  11. 14 October 2012 2:28 pm

    Sounds fabulous. There’s nothing better than being a little scared and tantalized, anticipating what will happen next with a sexy vamp.

  12. 14 October 2012 9:55 am

    I understand what HK-W is saying about the joy of being scared – and the sexy possibilities it brings up in a paranormal romance with vampires, shape shifters, etc. I just finished Secretly Sam, her newest book from the October Trilogy, and it’s such a great paranormal ride. Scary, funny, romantic, and very real. I love the setting, and the vibrancy with which she relates it. Her depiction of the chill in the air, the scent of leaves, cornfields, and hot apple cider, add to the tale. I enjoyed her guest blog and what she revealed about how the season inspires her and how cool – and sexy – it is to be scared by an author when it’s done right.

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