Best Indie Scares

YA Indie Carnival fans, you’re in for a special treat this week. It’s Best Indie Scares…BOO!

I’ve got two for you, a recommendation and an excerpt.

1) The Recommendation

For a chilling Halloween read, check out Beyond the Veil: A Ghost Story Anthology by fellow indie carnival author Rachel Coles. I highly recommend it. I remember reading the story Kisses on my iPad in bed one night and had to turn it off because I was getting the heeby-jeebies from every shadow in the room. It’s great.

2) The Excerpt

Thought I would also include a scary short that I’ve written. This is one of my favorite scenes from the Midnight Guardian series. Keira shares this guardian bedtime story with Colby in Of Sun & MoonEnjoy!

Once upon a time…

A band of explorers were returning home after a long journey. Their expedition had taken more than two decades to complete. They now were making their way through Greece. Once they reached Athens, it would only be a few days more by ship to reach their homeland. When they, at last, reached the city, the weary travelers sought supplies and a night’s refuge before embarking on the final leg of their journey.

They found the city of Athens to be glorious and progressive. The citizens welcomed the strangers with open arms, even though they were creatures, like none they had ever seen before. Mogdoc was the name they grunted. The guttural name bubbled up from the primordial mud out of which they crawled. Of course, that’s not how they made their first impression.

They looked like monsters, but they were not judged on appearance. The kind-hearted people embraced their differences and took them in. They gave them warm food, cold drink, and soft beds. The mogdocs, no longer thinking of home, found excuses to stay first one night, then another, and another.

On the third night, the mogdocs were the special guests of a general in the Athenian army. The youngest female mogdoc, equivalent to a human of 6-years-old, had become fast friends with the general’s daughter. They spent every waking moment together. They skipped arm-in-arm, shared toys, and even played tea party with sweet drink and cake. On that night, the third night, the young mogdoc snuck out of bed for a midnight snack. She crept down the stairs, stole an apple from the kitchen, and slipped into the rose garden. To her astonishment, her friend, the general’s daughter was already there. The young girl was seated on a concrete bench at the garden’s edge. As the mogdoc got closer, she could see that the girl was crying. A rose thorn had pierced her finger. The tiny mogdoc took her finger, pulled out the thorn, and sniffed the blood.

In those days, mogdocs carried pouches of healing herbs. The elder mogdocs still carry them today as a reminder of this story. This young mogdoc had one and immediately delved into it. She pulled out some sweet smelling herbs and wrapped them around her friend’s finger. This made the young girl feel better. She hugged her mogdoc friend before returning to bed.

The next morning, the girl told her father of how the curious stranger had nursed her finger. The general was delighted and in gratitude invited the mogdoc clan to extend their stay. So, over the next few days, the mogdocs continued to stay at the general’s home. The children’s midnight meeting in the garden became a nightly occurrence. On the sixth night, the mogdoc was the first to arrive in the garden. The human girl skipped to the bench. The young mogdoc smiled at her friend and offered her a bite of her midnight snack. The general’s daughter screamed in horror. There was no apple. That night’s midnight snack was a human infant, blue and drained of blood. The young mogdoc took delight in the girl’s fear. She slashed the girl’s neck and fed from her friend until she was no more.

This story has been handed down from generation to generation as a testament to the manipulative nature of the mogdocs and the evil found in even the youngest of their kind. The mogdoc child had befriended the human girl to gain access. She had played tea party to sweeten the blood. She had healed her a few nights before out of greed, in order to save every drop of blood until the time was right.

If you dare for more scares, check out these other YA Indie Carnival blogs:

1. Laura A. H. Elliott author of Winnemucca & 13 on Halloween, Book 1 in the Teen Halloween Series 2. Bryna Butler, author Midnight Guardian series
3. Heather Self 4. T. R. Graves, Author of The Warrior Series
5. Suzy Turner, author of The Raven Saga 6. Darby Karchut, author of GRIFFIN RISING
7. Lexus Luke 8. PJ Hoover, Author of SOLSTICE, Blogging at ROOTS IN MYTH
9. Cheri Schmidt, author of the Fateful Trilogy 10. Rachel Coles, author of Into The Ruins, geek mom blog
11. K. C. Blake, author of Vampires Rule and Crushed 12. Patti Larsen, The Hunted series and The Hayle Coven series
13. Courtney Cole, author of The Bloodstone Saga 14. Amy Maurer Jones, Author of The Soul Quest Trilogy
15. Dani Snell’s Refracted Light Reviews 16. Fisher Amelie, author of The Understorey
17. M. Leighton, Blood Like Poison Series, Madly, The Reaping 18. Abbi Glines, author of Breathe and The Vincent Boys
19. Kimberly Kinrade, Bits of You & Pieces of Me, Forbidden Mind 20. Madeline Smoot, Missing, Summer Shorts, and The Girls
21. Cidney Swanson, author of Rippler 22. Nicole Williams, author of Eternal Eden, Falling Eden
23. Gwenn Wright, author of Filter 24. Abbi Glines: Breathe, The Vincent Boys, Existence

HAVE A HAPPY & SAFE HALLOWEEN EVERYONE!  ~Bryna

My Buffy Top Twelve for the Holiday

Indie author K.C. Blake recently posted her top twenty picks for her favorite Supernatural episodes. Being the tv-ophile that I am, this has inspired me. I started thinking of my all-time favorite TV show, Buffy the Vampire Slayer (yes, I am a diehard Whedonite).

So, just in time for Halloween, may I present my top dozen favorite Buffy episodes.

12. Once More with Feeling – Yep, this was the musical one. I’m actually one of those people who bought the CD. I know every word and sing along when I watch. Don’t you?

11. Superstar – When it first aired, I couldn’t figure out what was going on. I flipped through my TV Guide, looking for an overlooked episode to explain why I was out of the loop. This one took me totally off-guard when even the opening credits were re-cut to play into the storyline that a spell had changed the world to make the unnoticed geek the hero of the story.

10. Chosen (the final episode) – Angel returns to give Buffy some advice as she confronts the evil of the series finale. One of the best, insightful lines I’ve ever heard. “I’m not done baking.”

9. Fear, Itself – Halloween is always nuts in Sunnydale. The gang goes to a party in a frat house and craziness ensues when the door disappears. Oh yeah, Anya dresses as the scariest thing she can think of…a giant bunny.

8. Passion – What do you get when you mix love and evil? Obsession. Nothing is scarier than a vampire stalker. Character reactions were so well thought out. Often overlooked, but probably one of the best written episodes.

7. The Prom – Hellhounds trained to attack formalware…what more can I say?

6. Band Candy – The adults are acting like teens and the teens are acting like adults. Great performances.

5. School Hard – Spike and Druscilla’s first appearance.

4. Amends – Ghosts from the past haunt Angel and snow in Sunnydale.

3. Restless – The scoobies fall asleep and are held in their dreams. Really cool camera effects and techniques used like over-exposure and long hand-held sequences. It was such a departure from the typical season finale. Want some cheese?

2. Becoming, Part 2 – “Close your eyes.” I still cry when I watch it.

1. Hush – The “quiet” episode was chilling to the core and also had some of the funniest and most touching moments of the series.

Now that I’ve finished my list, I realize how very hard it was to pick just 12. Therefore, if you will indulge me, here are some Honorable Mentions: The Wish, Selfless, Life Serial, The Gift, The Body, Fool for Love, Prophecy Girl.

Dad Steps Out for Halloween

My boys at HalloweenThis week the YA Indie Carnival presents childhood memories of Halloween. While most of mine center around trick-or-treating, my favorite memory is actually about my Dad.

My father, like most men from his generation, is always serious and professional to a fault. For him, emotion and fun are private things. My finest proof of this is the time that we went on vacation and he wore a dress shirt, dockers and penny loafers…to the beach.

When I was a girl, the methodist church that we attended would hold an annual costume party. One particularly cold Ohio October, Dad shocked us all by boldly announcing that he was dressing up. This was unheard of. He gathered my little sister, little brother, and me in the living room to unveil his costume. He prefaced the impromptu family meeting by saying that he wanted us to see it ahead of time so that we wouldn’t be scared.

Suspense hung in the air like a London fog as he carefully pulled the zipper open on the suit bag. He was taking his time. He loved the drama even though he would never admit it. As the zipper slowly cleared its path, we saw it. Bright blue fur popped free.

“What is that?” my brother asked. We were all thinking it, but he was the only one brave enough to ask.

As it turned out, Dad used his connections as a professional advisor for agriculture and conservation to borrow the “Litter Critter” mascot costume. For those of you who don’t know or don’t remember, the Litter Critter was the predecessor to modern recycling efforts, an electric blue gorilla that urged kids in the 80s to stop littering.

My brother and I thought it was hilarious. My sister cried. She was only about three years old and the Litter Critter wasn’t the friendliest looking beast. The mascot often scared little kids.

After he removed the mask, she settled down. We all pulled on our costumes and piled in the car. It was a short drive to the church which was surrounded by a dense woods. When we got within a hundred yards of our destination, Dad pulled the car off the road and turned out the headlights. He hopped out and told my mother to move over to the driver’s seat and go ahead without him.

“Tell them I couldn’t make it,” he said and jogged between the trees until he was swallowed up by the night.

Mom shrugged and put the car into gear. She was already in the loop. However, the three of us in the back seat were completely bewildered. We begged her to stay and wait for him to come back. It was too far for him to walk home.

However, she knew better and proceeded on. We arrived and quickly found our friends. About twenty minutes later, a strange electric blue creature jumped into the party. It moved like an animal, certainly not like my father. He never broke character. I had visions that the real Litter Critter found my father in the woods and took his place. Surely this maniac wasn’t the prim and proper man that I knew.

In the end, everyone was laughing and trying to figure out the identity of the mysterious creature in attendance. It wasn’t until service the next morning that he revealed himself to everyone’s astonishment.

If you liked my childhood Halloween memory, you’ll love these from my fellow “carnies”…

1. Laura A. H. Elliott author of Winnemucca & 13 on Halloween, Book 1 in the Teen Halloween Series 2. Bryna Butler, author Midnight Guardian series
3. Heather Self 4. T. R. Graves, Author of The Warrior Series
5. Suzy Turner, author of The Raven Saga 6. Darby Karchut, author of GRIFFIN RISING
7. Lexus Luke 8. PJ Hoover, Author of SOLSTICE, Blogging at ROOTS IN MYTH
9. Cheri Schmidt, author of the Fateful Trilogy 10. Rachel Coles, author of Into The Ruins, geek mom blog
11. K. C. Blake, author of Vampires Rule and Crushed 12. Patti Larsen, The Hunted series and The Hayle Coven series
13. Courtney Cole, author of The Bloodstone Saga 14. Amy Maurer Jones, Author of The Soul Quest Trilogy
15. Dani Snell’s Refracted Light Reviews 16. Fisher Amelie, author of The Understorey
17. M. Leighton, Blood Like Poison Series, Madly, The Reaping 18. Abbi Glines, author of Breathe and The Vincent Boys
19. Kimberly Kinrade, Bits of You & Pieces of Me, Forbidden Mind 20. Madeline Smoot, Missing, Summer Shorts, and The Girls
21. Cidney Swanson, author of Rippler 22. Nicole Williams, author of Eternal Eden, Falling Eden
23. Gwenn Wright, author of Filter 24. Abbi Glines: Breathe, The Vincent Boys, Existence
25. Ten Things Authors Should Know About Social Media

I’m running off to join the carnival

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No, I’m not training for the flying trapeze. I am thrilled to announce that yours truly is the newest author to join the 2011 YA Indie Carnival.

What’s the YA Indie Carnival? That’s a great question. How did you get to be so brilliant?

Every Friday, participating authors will be posed a topic to blog about. I’m in some great company; including, Courtney Cole (I just finished her book Every Last Kiss and loved it), Patti Larsen, Laura A. H. Elliott, Cheri Schmidt, Kimberly Kinrade, Wren Emerson, Amy Jones, T.R. Graves, J.L. Bryan and more. Take a look at the full list of participating authors.

Check back on Friday and join the carnival fun…red nose and rainbow wig optional.