Love with the Perfect Supernatural

It happens. All the time. Some unwitting human falls head over heels for a supernatural creature. A Vampire who makes them buzz with sexual desire. A Fae  bad boy who charges their batteries. A Werewolf who completely understands them. Humans are extremely susceptible to supernatural beings. Even Trolls have a sweet side, even though they tend to smell a little like burned dirty socks. Supernatural sexuality is dynamic, diverse and nothing like a human expects. Look around you. How many of your friends do you think are involved with or married to a Leprechaun, Gnome, Pixie or Shape-Shifter. My guess is that lots of people fall for these beings. They lust for them, fight with them, break-up with them and never, EVER recover from the experience.

Let’s play a little SUPERNATURAL DATING GAME. Which of these creatures do you think you’ve already had dinner and a movie or more with?

VAMPIRE – He or she works the night shift, prefers Bloody Marys or beer with tomato juice over vodka-anything. They tend to be pale and avoid the beach at all costs, wears sunglasses all the time and talk quietly. They are volatile in nature, argue at the drop of the hat and have a criminal record hidden somewhere in their past they never talk about. In bed, well the experiences are off the chart. Your Vampire lover wants sex all the time, especially in the middle of the day with thick curtains drawn and a glass of cranberry juice on the nearby dresser. They have no opinion on your day-to-day life, and expect you to drop everything when they call. (Hey, I just described both of my ex-husbands!) They are selfish but protective of their possessions (including and especially you) to the extreme. When their full attention is on you, they make you feel like the best thing walking on two legs.

PIXIE – Well these guys and gals take the cake for sexual dynamos. Surpassing the Vampire by a mile, Pixies simply can’t get enough and they don’t particularly care who it’s from. Loyalty and fidelity are not part of the Pixie lexicon. They’re stunning to look at, have not a single working brain cell in their head and avoid conversation at all costs. You’ll never notice though, because a Pixie can distract you with a sensual look, a teasing touch and a few magical sighs that drop you right onto your back, ready, willing and able. Pleasure is the name of the Pixie game, and if they can get a few laughs along the way, it makes their lives even better. Go ahead, date a Pixie but don’t be looking for anything with promise. One day, maybe in the middle of the best sexual climax you’ve ever had, they’ll simply disappear … off on the next adventure. You will have a few grains of Pixie dust on the carpet to sweep up, though.

WEREWOLVE – Ah, the damaged, troubled, doe-eyed lore of the Werewolf is irresistible to humans.  Even if you’re the kind of person who seeks out relationships with self-empowered, self-sustaining, emotionally-stable partners, one whiff of a Werewolf will change all that. These creatures are deeply broken by their lot in life. Beautiful, strong and powerful, they are emotionally shattered, constantly worried … the kind who over-insure themselves to protect their mates. A Werewolf is definitely the marrying kind. Children may not be in the cards because they’re so afraid of passing on their terrible curse, but you can’t find a better wife or husband. Loyal as a Labrador and partial to quiet nights at home, what you’ll have with your Werewolf is plenty of peaceful evenings, snuggled on the couch with a beer and a good movie partner. Once a month your Werewolf will disappear for a few days. At first you won’t notice, then you’ll get jealous because he or she is unwilling to explain where they’ve been or who they were with. Then you’ll cry and walk away. It’s just how it is. But you’ll always fondly remember the sweet lover who brought you the newspaper every morning.

TROLL – Trolls are the hoarders of the supernatural world and they bring it right into your world the minute you hook up with one. A Troll loves to collect things – stamps, old film posters, Civil War memorabilia, tea pots, thimbles, you name it. As soon as the two of you shack up together, the first thing your Troll does is build shelving and buy curio display cabinets. At first it won’t bother you one bit, after all, a hoarder also collects skills that come in very handy in the bedroom. But soon enough, you will find yourself picking pathways between boxes of stuff waiting for new shelves to live on. Before you know it, there’s no room for you! Then … you discover that your Troll has been collecting something else while you weren’t looking. Trolls are another supernatural race with no regard for fidelity. Trolls collect divorces.

SHAPE-SHIFTER – You already know this guy or gal. You’ve already come across them at work, at the country club, and in your dating life. These are the ones who can change on a dime. One day they have brown hair, the next, flaming red locks. One day they work as a financial analysis and the next, they decide to become housepainters. One minute they’re happy and laughing and the next, out-of-control pissed off. They know things they shouldn’t know, like what the whale on the Discovery Channel program is thinking, or what you talked about in your women’s support group. They recall things more clearly than any human and for a while, you think your lover is just insightful or has a photographic memory.  It’s nice at first, but soon all the always-being-right stuff rags on your nerves. The uncertainty of never knowing what your lover will look like or say or do in the next minute will drive you batty. Unfortunately, when you throw this one out on their ear and adopt the stray kitten that appears at your door a few moments later, the one thing you will miss most is that Shape-Shifters ability to know what you love most between the sheets – all those things that made you squeal with delight. Ah well, for now you have you new kitty friend to talk to. That should be enough to get your life back to normal.

GNOME – Ever met someone who is happy all the time? A not-so-pretty and rather short person who makes you smile and laugh and feel better about yourself? Those, my friends are Gnomes. Wiki’s Mythical Creatures and Beasts Directory says that Gnomes are tiny creatures, but I can tell you that over time, they’ve grown. Some area as tall as five foot five! Short women and men have no issues with partners that height, so the intermingling of these two races is on the rise. Gnomes never make you cry, they never argue and they always see the bright side of everything. Some people like that. Personally, I’d toss a Gnome across the living room is he told me “life is a bowl of cherries”. Gnomes are great gardeners. In fact, most find fantastic careers as landscape and garden designers. It’s not just the green thumb, it’s the instinct for soil, root and bloom that make them so good at it. Real Gnomes never have silly plaster garden gnomes in their yard. It’s a reminder of so many generations of being too short to have sexual relations with the pretty women whose skirts they’d been looking up. Even a silly Gnome knows where heaven is.

LEPRECHAUN – These dudes are more pleasant and luckier than they should be. Never taller than five feet ten, the Leprechaun is the lover who talks about counting cards in Vegas during dinner, develops a system for knowing when his numbers will hit the lottery while having sex with you, and decides which horse to bet on at the track while showering with you. You don’t mind one bit and do you know why? Because this guy ALWAYS wins! Life with a rich Leprechaun can wash away a plethora of evils. You’ll live in a fabulous mansion, wear designer cloths, travel the world every year and, when your Leprechaun lover isn’t thinking about winning the Publishers Clearing House Sweepstakes, enjoy fabulous sex with an Irish accent! How bad can that be?

FAE – The Fae like multiple relationships and multiple marriage partners and they’re right up front about it. This is the lover who asks for a ménage a trios on the first date. This is the one who loves swapping partners in a group setting. The more the merrier! The Fae are stunning, strikingly gorgeous and completely irresistible. Needless to say, most humans go with the flow wearing a goofy starry-eyed look and bigger than possible smile plastered across their faces. The Fae have an agenda, but no human understands it or can survive a relationship long enough to figure it out. The circus of sexual tension becomes crazy and it’s easy to get sucked into the vortex too long. More than one human involved with a Fae has awakened, years older, exhausted and in need of medical attention. The best thing to do when a Fae crosses your path and asks “Do you wanna?” is to run the other way, but of course, we don’t. The biggest issue with Fae/human relationship is that even though the Fae has been up front and honest about their desires, we still foolishly think we can someday have him to our self. Sad but true.

Okay, now we’ve explored relationships with supernatural creatures. Seriously, would you date any of these guys?

Vampire Explored is a blog by Deborah Riley-Magnus, author of The Twice-Baked Vampire Series. Book #1, Cold in California

COLD IN CALIFORNIA

 

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One Werewolf’s Conscience

What’s a werewolf? I mean, in most imaginations it’s that scary creature that – without any choice of its own – changes into a deadly animal during the full moon and tries to eat people roaming through the woods. Well, okay, not everyone has woods, or forests, or even a nice large park close by, but as paranormal and supernatural adventures continue to fascinate readers, werewolves are sure to show up just about anywhere …

  • In a pretty woman’s bedroom
  • In the animal rescue league kennels
  • At a back yard cookout
  • A ballgame
  • In the dirty city alleys
  • In a warehouse

Yes, a warehouse. In this case, no, it isn’t a warehouse shipping werewolves like an import/export business. This warehouse is purgatory for dead werewolves chosen for a second chance to earn a ticket through the Pearly Gates. In Book 1 of the Twice Baked Vampire Series, Cold in California, lots of dead, and in the case of vampires, double-dead supernaturals get this cool second chance to prove themselves worthy. This particular warehouse, located in West Hollywood, might be a really sweet, happy kind of place – if every character living there gave a good goddamn about getting to heaven.

Here are the facts: Survival is what matters most to these creatures. After all, survival was the focus of their lives, so why not their purgatory? Second, these are political animals, more so than humans by a long shot. The Gnomes are ambitious, demanding and extremely creative creatures. The Shape-Shifters are metro-sexual, mainly to fit into the Hollywood environment. Well hell, Shape-Shifters were always responsible for blending in, right? The Twice-Baked Vampires are volatile, no surprise there. The Fae are the resident elite while the Leprechauns are belligerent in their efforts to pay homage to no one around them. The trolls are efficient and effective managers. The Pixies, well, the Pixies are kind of like the sex symbols of the warehouse, hot, steamy, lustful and satisfying … if you can catch one that is.

The only dead supernatural creatures facing and dealing with the stark reality of the warehouse purgatory are the werewolves, and in the West Hollywood warehouse, there is only one werewolf, Pete Maloney.

Some (specifically Twice-Baked Vampire, Gabriel Strickland) call him “The Reverend”. Pete sees the whole picture, which is why he has always stood at the side of the warehouse manager to help keep peace and organization among the inmates. They’re all there to earn heaven, but they’re all pretty flawed souls who’ve spent a lifetime or two ignoring the golden rule. Pete likes the golden rule, and he generally likes his position as helper and second fiddle. He gets to watch souls come and go, see where they’re most likely heading (up or down) when final judgment arrives for them, and this is one werewolf wise enough to steer clear of controversy. He’s not a politician, he’s a brilliant trouble shooter. He’s not interested in power, he’s fascinated with the effects of the unscrupulous desires of others. “The Reverend” can laugh, enjoy some play time with a Pixie, stand at the leader’s side during a battle or storm, and still read a good mystery alone in his room. Pete Malone is an enigma among the population of the West Hollywood warehouse!

Vampire Explored is a blog by Deborah Riley-Magnus, author of the Twice-Baked Vampire Series, Cold in California

Cold in California cover, lgCOLD IN CALIFORNIA

A Tree is a Tree is a Tree, or is it?

I think that I shall never see

A poem as lovely as … a supernatural tree called Stick Man.

 

Twigs, leaves, wood and muscle. He’s 12 feet of animated shrubbery that can either scare the bejebus out of a person or just leave them petrified. Stick Man is a character in Cold in California who never intended to frighten anyone. He’s the awkward dude who was too tall for anything to fit in, especially in a time when basketball wasn’t even invented yet. It’s even worse these days, as the NBA isn’t quite interested in a player who requires pruning and an occasional sap infusion. Needless to say, the guy doesn’t get out much. He’s quiet, uncomfortable, desperate to please and terrifying to look at … and he lives in a West Hollywood warehouse with all the other dead supernaturals awaiting final judgment and hoping for redemption.

In Native American legend, the Stick Man was the mediator between good and evil … thus his perfectly tailored inclusion into a story about just that. But my Stick Man had to have more than just a job, he had to be bad at it. How else could a good guy who understands the difference between heaven and hell end up in purgatory, taking one last run at the Pearly Gates? So, this is how it went down for Sticky (as he’s lovingly called among the other dead supernaturals).

His responsibility, way back when other Stick Men walked around, was to whistle. Yes whistle. (Honest to Pete, it’s the truth, look it up!) See, the legendary creatures were responsible for leading lost “good” people safely back to their village by whistling a tune – AND – guiding the bad guys over a cliff by warbling a different melody. Sticky’s problem? He simply couldn’t remember which melody did what and occasionally tweeted the wrong song. Nothing intentional, mind you, just ignorance and dumb bad luck.

After his death, an untimely charring in a few rowdy young warriors’ campfire, Sticky woke as part of the West Hollywood warehouse community of dead and double dead supernaturals. Needless to say, he only whistles when completely alone and taking a leisurely walk through Griffith Park late at night. He can whistle well, he just doesn’t trust himself to do it when it matters, poor man.

When creating the character, Stick Man, I really had to dig deep for inspiration. Being just a tad over five feet tall myself, tall isn’t familiar at all to this author. Finding insight wasn’t difficult though. I just imagined those circus performers on stilts, walking kind of wobbly, hiding the concern in their faces and trying to be entertaining in light of the eminent dangers involved. I just imagined living that way … out of sync with the world … uncomfortable in a place where everyone else was normal height or less, as in the cases of the resident trolls, leprechauns and gnomes. I imagined him wanting to contribute, but unable to find a job that was actually helpful to the community. I imagined him spending a lot of time sitting in the corner of the warehouse, knees tight against his chest so as not to trip the other inmates, and wishing he could feel more involved.

The best parts of his story (as told to me by Sticky himself) are the parts where he actually gets to play the hero. It’s so much fun to watch a character like Sticky emerge as the champion! And all I had to do was write it.

So tell me, what kind of characters have you read that really twisted your imagination and made you wonder, “How the hell did that author think of that?”  Vampire Explored is a blog by Deborah Riley-Magnus, author of the Twice-Baked Vampire Series. Book 1, Cold in California

Cold in California cover, lgCOLD IN CALIFORNIA

There’s a Troll in the House

Trolls. Norse mythology. Ugly, rarely described as helpful or friendly creatures. In Scandinavian mythology, they have something to do with lightening. Mystical, not-so-attractive, poisonous and powerful dudes.

Yeah. Right.

In truth, trolls are many things to many people. Your mother-in-law. Your ex-lover. Your boss/manager/pain-in-the-butt coworker. Your landlord. Maybe even your noisy neighbor. Have you ever thought though that trolls are just people like everyone else? Only with an attitude problem? Maybe a wart or two?

Today I’m not talking about short, smelly creatures that live under the bridges (and we do have a LOT of bridges here in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania). I’m talking about trolls who pop in and out of our fantasy fiction whenever they damn well please! They may come in the form of a sudden desire to change the entire plot. Maybe they appear as a new and unexplored personality glitch in your hero or heroine. But sometimes they simply show up as … trolls.

The last thing I thought I’d write into Cold in California was a troll, but Crudo Cushman pushed his stout, vertically-challenged personality in so intensely, he became a key character! See, Crudo is the manager at the West Hollywood warehouse where my hero, poor twice-baked vampire, Gabriel Strickland, is stuck living out an undetermined purgatory. Crudo is tough, he’s persnickety and never lived under a bridge in his life. Today, he’s taking charge of the blog.

When I told him to get out of my head, he snorted. “Why, what are you doing that’s so damn important?”

“I’m blogging because people love to read the blog.” I said as politely as I could.

“Move over, woman, I’ll tell you what a real blog is!”

Okay, it’s happened to all of us. Writers are especially susceptible to this particular curse. It seems the inmates have taken over the asylum again. The following is a bit of information conveyed to me from Crudo Cushman himself. Needless to say, I’m compelled to pass it on.

According to this troll, the word ‘blog’ comes from ancient troll culture. He informs me that a blog was a roughly hewn shirt upon which a troll would make markings, symbols that indicated his or her (of course there are female trolls, just look around you) position within troll society. During his troll life, Crudo had never risen beyond mucking mud, which was symbolized by a pig’s snout made with red mire found in a certain bog several miles outside his village. He’d dip the side of his clenched fist into the mud and press it firmly against his shirt. It didn’t look like a pig’s snout, but it was recognizable by all. The bog-marked blog stank to high heaven even after the mark dried. If it rained, Crudo would need to remark himself. Where he lived, it rained a lot.

He says he envied the higher ranks, those whose blogs were etched with fine smears of brilliant green grass stains or careful figures drawn with bits of soft, colored stone, but Crudo came from a proud, long line of mud muckers and until his father passed, he wore the red snout, albeit with hidden embarrassment and hate.

When Crudo met his demise six hundred years later, he found himself in the West Hollywood warehouse and has since done very well. He moved up the ranks from “inmate” to “head honcho”, traded his rough, mud-stained blog for pressed white linen and bling and vowed to never, ever get dirty again. The symbols on his shirt these days say:

I’m in charge … I’m the boss … I’m watching you … and of course, Ralph Loren blessedly stitched on the silk tag inside his collar.

 Vampire Explored is a blog by Deborah Riley-Magnus, author of the Twice-Baked Vampire Series. Book 1, Cold in California

Cold in California cover, lgCOLD IN CALIFORNIA

What’s a Self-Respecting Pixie to do?

Pixies. These are supposed to be mythical creatures of ancient folklore. Are they from Cornwall? Britain? Sweden? Some tell me they have Germanic or Scandinavian origin. Who knows? Are they related to the Fae? Or the tiny demon Tommynackers or Scottish Brownies? Are they related to the Leprechaun? Are they part Sprite? Or maybe they are just memories of the aboriginal spirits at the building of Stonehenge?

I’ve heard stories that Pixies love pretty things and like to steal your jewelry or hair combs, but I always thought that was just something to take the suspicion off my younger sister. My grandmother, a fine woman of Polish descent, used to tell me there was a Pixie in the house if things fell off the counter. Never mind that I didn’t put it securely on the counter, it wasn’t my fault, it was the Pixie’s. In fact, even if I did do something wrong, she always blamed the Pixies. Pixies loved to create mischief and I really loved my grandmother!

Enter … FICTION. This is what I love most about fiction because in truth, fiction writers care less about what history tells us and more about what our grandmothers said.

Between what my grandmother told me and my imagination, I see Pixies as mischievous sexual dynamos. Creatures that are so damn pretty and attractive they can get away with anything, even murder. Think Hollywood, think furs and diamonds and Elizabeth Taylor. Think Marilyn Monroe! These are gorgeous creatures that cause havoc just by walking by. When I write a Pixie into a story, he or she is oozing misbehavior. The word Tomfoolery comes from a famous Swedish Pixie named Tom Fool who was so sexy, hundreds of women in one village alone left their husbands just to get a few moments alone with him. Seriously. Well, not really, but my fictitious Pixies are that kind of powerful.

They like to cause trouble, but they also have a job to do, just like everything else in the universe. See in my books, Pixie have, throughout all time, been the creatures you want to seek out to help find lost things or people. Misplaced your queen? Find a Pixie, and if s/he isn’t currently entangled in some amorous activity, your queen will be found and returned to you … minus a few jewels, of course. Not only does a Pixie deserve payment, they also love to snarf sparkly things.  And don’t even think about accusing them of theft. You never want to come face to face with a pissed off Pixie!

Well, those are my Pixie thoughts. What are yours? Have you read something that supports or contradicts my ideas? If so, I’d LOVE to hear them!

Vampire Explored is a blog by Deborah Riley-Magnus, author of the Twice-Baked Vampire Series. Book 1, Cold in California

Cold in California cover, lg

COLD IN CALIFORNIA

 

Next Age, New Wave, Sparkle Mange, Twice Baked, it’s still Vampire to me!

What’s the first supernatural book you ever read? Where the Wild Things Are? Interview with a Vampire? Twilight? Dead Until Dark? Dracula? Whether the book was written by Anne Rice, Charlaine Harris, or Bram Stoker, it caught our fancy and twisted our imagination into scary, curious and challenging ideas.

The mythology of every supernatural character slips and slides from ancient fears and superstitions to current, real life roll-play games or social behavior liken to vampires, werewolves, the fae and any other supernatural creature you can think of. Today, I want to explore mythology and how it still plays a big part in our lives, whether we’re simply looking for reading or viewing entertainment, or trying to live our day to day lives.

Who willingly walks under a ladder or doesn’t change their direction when a black cat crosses their path? Who doesn’t have a lucky sock, charm, piece of rock, rabbit foot or ( insert item here )? How many times a day do we question Fate or blame her for something that happened or didn’t happen? Whether we want to admit it or not, mythology and superstition are laced through just about every element of our lives. We may not call it superstition. If you’re like me, you blame it on your OCD, because see, if I don’t do it exactly this way every single time, something bad will happen! I’ll forget something else or mix something up wrong! It’s all connected!  I can’t change ANYTHING. OCD or Superstition? Did I create a reason to be superstitious because of my OCD, or did my OCD develop out of some ridiculous superstition?

The way we relate to the supernatural and paranormal world is the same Catch 22. Guess what? There really is a supernatural and paranormal world and it really is just on the other side of the veil. You’ve seen Ghost Hunters.  You hear all the time about hauntings in the neighborhood and even though you might not be as sensitive to these events as another person, you still have to admit, it’s happening. (If you don’t, you’re in denial and probably not someone who follows Vampire Explored, LOL.)

The rules are pretty simple, at least in our human heads. A ghost either a) doesn’t know he’s dead, b) doesn’t like being dead or c) is the ghost of an evil person who sticks around and haunts us. I get that. Lots of times I’m someplace I don’t want to be too and often I act out. Can’t give a ghost a time out though, so we hire and take the advice of ghost hunters, mediums, psychics and self-proclaimed experts in the paranormal field. Or not. Some of us just shrug and move on to the next thing.

Now, let’s talk supernatural. Sometimes the ghost hunting evolves into demon or spirit hunting and that’s where the supernatural come out to play. See, some of those scary mythological creatures look a lot like the paranormal experiences no one can explain away – a really mean entity who can create a nasty smell becomes a “demon”. Strange lights that terrify corralled horses in Montana become Native American “angry spirits”. All kinds of ideas come to us on how to appease and send these entities away so they’ll bother someone else on some other astral plane, but in truth lots of those solutions are right out of our fertile imagination.

These are my theories, developed from a long string of personal experiences and creative ideas. The supernatural world just is. Leave it alone and it’ll leave you alone. You make friends, expect them to stick around a LONG time, after all, all they have is time, right? Take your deepest imaginings about the paranormal, the supernatural, the vampire, shape-shifter and fae world and write them all down. Follow and/or boldly change other writer’s ideas. Watch the mythology splinter and shatter and regroup into all new concepts for our imagination.

That’s what this blog is all about! Peeking into the Fictitious World of Supernaturals. Werewolves can be your next door neighbors. Vampires can sparkle or fly or make mistakes or gain true love … or not.  Faeries can be beautiful or hideous or crafty or just plain flighty. We imagine these creatures as we wish them to be, they grew from some myth or legend, they develop for each generation and oh, one thing I will tell you … I LOVE that this generation has a little fun with it all. I mean … seriously … even the meanest vampire has gotta have a sense of humor.

At least that’s what I imagine! You have any thoughts on all this? Comment away, I’d love to hear your ideas!


Vampire Explored is a blog by Deborah Riley-Magnus, author of the Twice-Baked Vampire Series. Book 1, Cold in California  !

Cold in California cover, lgCOLD IN CALIFORNIA