Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Facts about the Chupacabra by JoAnne Myers

The chupacabra, meaning  "goat-sucker" is a legendary cryptic rumored to inhabit the Caribbean (chiefly Puerto Rico), Central and South America, North America (chiefly Mexico and southern United States). The name comes from the animal's reported habit of attacking and drinking the blood of livestock, especially goats, while leaving strange puncture marks in the animals neck.
How the chupacabra come about is also made of countless myths and legends. In my fantasy anthology, “Loves, Myths, and Monsters,” one tale entitled “Welcome to Anna,” describes the creature originating from South America thousands of years ago. There was a jungle god, who killed a female coyote when she attacked him. Afterward, the jungle god realized she had a puppy. Since he had no wife, he cast a spell over the puppy transforming it into a human mate.
Over time the wife gave the jungle god three sons, but when they became men they also wanted wives, because their mother was the only woman at that time. The jungle god said to the three brothers, ‘The one of you who designs the perfect woman will be made Chief and given a wife. He will become the producer of mankind.”
So the oldest brother, named Lujuree, molded a woman from clay, but when it began to rain and the clay washed away. Then the middle brother, called Kujuli, molded a woman from wax, but she melted in the jungle sun. Then the youngest brother, Mopo, made a woman from wood and his father loved it so much, he made the youngest brother the Chief. That enraged Lujuree and Kujuli, so they killed Mopo.
For their punishment, their father cursed them for eternity. He turned the first brother into a coyote, an animal scavenging for rats and snakes, so all the people would hate it, then he sealed the second brother’s soul inside the same animal so the two souls would struggle continuously for dominance. During the full moon, the second brother becomes very strong, using the moon’s mystical powers, and the coyote turns into a hideous, blood-thirsty creature, roaming the night and sucking the blood from its victims. So the brothers are now either a chupacabra or a coyote, and they are feared and hunted no matter what shape they take. But it’s just a legend?
Physical descriptions of the creature are as colorful as a rainbow. It is reportedly a heavy creature, anywhere from the size of a small bear, to nine feet tall, with a row of spines reaching from the neck to the base of the tail. Some individuals claiming to have witness livestock attacks, described the creature as having large ears, whiskers, a long tail, and about the size of a house cat. Others described the creature as a “four-legged Dracula and a scrawny, scraggly thing.”
In “Welcome to Anna,” the chupacabra is enormous. Long gray/brown fur covers its entire body. Its teeth are large razor sharp and fanged. Its claws are long and curved, with eyes almost human, as it walks upright. 
Most authorities report these animals as being coyotes, fox/coyotes, or wild dogs suffering from Sarcoptes scabiei, a severe case of mange. That symptom would explain most of the features of the reported Chupacabras: they would be left with little or strange looking fur, thickened skin, and rank odour.
The reason this creature is said to kill goats and other small livestock is due to the fact that carnivores infected with mange, are greatly weakened, making it difficult for these sickly animals to hunt. So they may be forced into attacking livestock because it's easier than running down a rabbit or a deer.
Countless legends abound along with movies, books, and documentaries concerning the chupacabra. I once saw video footage capturing this bizarre creature believed to be a chupacabra, on episodes of the Syfy television series Fact or Faked: Paranormal Files.  The video was at times so grainy, that creature running around on camera, could have been a child in an animal costume.
My heroine from “Welcome to Anna” is Zoe. She lost her grandparents/guardians to a strange looking dog/coyote, while leaving her with minor injuries. Zoe must then return to the states to live with her estranged mother, Teresa. Little does Zoe realize, but the Chupacabra who attacked her and her grandparents followed her.  What happens next is a series of chilling mysteries, and unsuspecting friendships and love.
If you enjoy reading about monsters, danger, suspense, with romance thrown in, you will love “Loves, Myths, and Monsters.”

Excerpt from “Welcome To Anna”
Setting: Zoe is out with new friends cliffhanging.

    As we rode by the scene, we heard Jake conversing with the sheriff and veterinarian. “Did ya’ find something?” Jake asked.
    “Look at these huge strange footprints,” said the vet. “They lead only to the animals, not away from them.” Those words should have warned me.
    Once at the cliffs, we were joined by Dennis’s friend Nate and his twin sister Maggie, who had the needed climbing equipment. Both were tall, slender, and beautiful.
    While the guys sorted the gear, Annette gave me the “lowdown” on the sheriff and second deputy. The stocky twenty-nine-year-old Jim Darrell, was a church-going family man who served four years in the National Guard. He and his wife regularly dished out free food at the soup kitchen twice a week.
    The sheriff, Orville Snoke was short, pudgy and baldheaded, wore glasses, chewed tobacco, and gambled on anything and everything. He buddied with Jake and the vet.
    I was glad I came. The cliffs were tall and close to the lake, I saw from Teresa’s back deck. Pine trees surrounded the entire body of water.
    I frowned. “This is state-owned land, isn’t it?”
    “Yes,” said Dennis, “but your mom and her boyfriend are friends with the law, right?”
    Aha! Now I knew why Dennis invited me. “Yeah, I guess so.”
    “Great! Now let’s teach this virgin how to climb.” Dennis laughed, and all eyes focused on me.
    Oh, how embarrassing I thought. How do they know I am a virgin? I felt my face turn scarlet.
    Nate handed me a climbing harness, while Annette explained, “Don’t sweat it, Zoe. You said you’d never climbed before, so you are the virgin of the bunch…which means you go last.”
    Laughing awkwardly, I tried to recover. “Oh, yeah! I get it. No sweat.”
    Maggie the pro, strapped me into my safety harness and up they went, with my trailing. From the top, I saw Teresa’s house. The view was “awesome”, from that height. The clouds looked close enough to touch.
    “This is amazing,” I said. “Panama is mostly flat lands and I lived near the ocean, but the country here is great.” Maybe moving here was not so bad after all, I thought.
    “It’s the Navy for me,” said Nate resting on a nearby boulder. “As soon as I graduate, I’m gone.”
    “What did you mean when you asked Teresa, if the people and goats were killed the same way?” I asked Dennis.
    “I heard a news report stating all the victims were killed the same way and no weapons were used,” he said.
    “You mean the killer used his bare hands?” Maggie asked. “How creepy.”
    “Do police suspect a serial killer?” I asked. Dennis shrugged his shoulders. “That’s peculiar for this area, isn’t it?” I asked. “I mean don’t psychopaths hunt in big cities?”
    “Nothing is strange for the Chupacabra,” Nate said then laughed.
    That is now the third time I have heard the word Chupracabra. “There‘s no such creature,” I said. “It’s just a dumb legend.”
    “Most legends stem primarily from reality.” Dennis now frowned.
About JoAnne Myers 

JoAnne lives in Ohio and works for a nursing home. She is a cross genre author of 7 books and canvas paints. She believes in family values and following your dreams.

Contact JoAnne:

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Main Website: Books and Paintings by JoAnne

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Buy Links for “Loves, Myths, and Monsters” 7 urban and mystical tales entwined within the human world.


LULU in Print


Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Cover Reveal: The Devil's Wingman by J.M. Davis

Blurb: After the death of her father and her own serious issues, Kara Maven decides to move back to her hometown to complete her senior year at Belman University. She settles into life on campus when her world is shaken by a handsome bad boy with a knack for being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Dominic Benenati is a half-demon Damamah, or whisperer, whose role on earth is to ensure Hell’s population thrives by pushing humans to act upon their sinful thoughts.

To complicate matters, enter Cayden Adams who is an angel determined to save Kara from Dominic’s influence. But does Kara really want to be saved?

About the Author: I work full-time as a zoo curator, so when I'm not running a zoo, I'm trying to tame the one I live in! I have two kids, and a husband who sometimes acts their age. I can usually be found jamming to Elvis Presley tunes, or diligently chipping away at my never-ending 'to be read' pile. I tend to gravitate toward anything paranormal. I love creatures who fly and characters who sprout fur or fangs. Sprinkle some romance and magic into the mix, and I'm a happy girl!


Monday, March 30, 2015

New Release: Mara's Passion by Kelly Abell

At eighteen, Mara O’Banyon drove to New York, determined to become a chef. As the luck of the Irish would have it, she was discovered by world-renown Executive Chef and restaurant mogul, Jacques Bernaut. Under his tutelage, she soars to stardom in his restaurants, even surpassing the skill of her mentor/lover. But when her father dies, she returns home to attend his funeral and remembers what it was like to have family. On visiting the family pub, Shenanigans, ideas of how to create a fabulous menu swirl in her mind…if only she can get past the sexy but stubborn Jake O’Leary, the current cook/bartender. The man is trouble with a broad-shouldered, handsome-faced, hot capital T.

Jake has worked at Shenanigans since he was released from the county jail. A self-trained chef, he’s built the bar's menu into what it is today. The last thing he needs is some New York-trained chef to boss him around in his own kitchen—no matter how gorgeous she might be. However, it isn't his kitchen. It's hers. When attraction flares the first day they cross knives in the kitchen, he falls for her—hard. He just needs to make her see he’s better than her fancy French boyfriend in New York. Easy right?

When Mara returns to New York to settle her affairs, she finds Jacques isn't so willing to say good-bye. To her shock and dismay, he holds her hostage with not only his iron-clad contracts but with threats to her family as well. Mara wants to break free, but at what cost? When Jake learns of her desperate situation, he’ll do anything to save her. But will his interference lead to dangers neither of them could have foreseen?

In Mara's Passion, a Kindle new release in the Saving Shenanigans series, you witness the wits and determination of the third O’Banyon sister, Mara, as she tries to free herself from the demons of her past and tries to build a future including love and trust. Mara is one of three inspiring women in this series as she gains confidence and personal growth toward reconciling what it means to be loved. Mixing a secret past, the mob, and an insane chef is a recipe for mayhem.
Kelly Abell brings you romance new releases 2015 that will change the way you think of southern romance novels. Moving characters and a sprinkle of romantic thriller suspense make this trilogy romance series a keeper. Don't forget to check out Mabe's Burden, Book One, and Meg's Secret, Book Two, of the Saving Shenanigans Love and Loyalty Romance Novel series.

Chapter One Excerpt
Mara leaned against the bar to slip off her Jimmy Choos. Her sister Meg’s wedding had gone off without a hitch, with the couple departing for a quick honeymoon in Orlando. She was proud of herself. She along with her other sister, Mabe, had pulled together a wedding in three weeks in between Meg’s chemo treatments. The timing couldn’t have been better.

Tears sprang to her eyes when she remembered the undying love on both Meg and Rod’s faces as they’d pledged their lives to each other. Mara, not one to dwell on the negative, still accepted the fact Meg was fighting ovarian cancer. She still had a long way to go to recovery, but at least she had someone she’d adored all her life to support and love her through it.

Sipping her glass of champagne, she sat on a bar stool. The rest of the wedding guests had made their way to Shenanigans, her family’s pub, to have themselves a true céle, a rip roaring Irish celebration, with family and friends. Some reminisced about Shane, Mara’s father, telling stories past and present, others drank. Singing always accompanied a good céle. Shenanigans was not in short supply of good singers either. Several men stood together, their beer mugs in hand, regaling the crowd with a loud Irish drinking song. It warmed Mara’s heart to see the joy filling the bar, which was still under construction from the explosion earlier in the year. One which almost cost her youngest sister, Mabe, her life. What a year it had been. In a few weeks, they’d celebrate Christmas followed by the dawning of a new year.

Mara took another sip of her drink, reflecting on the last six months. What a whirlwind. She along with her sisters had lost their father; Mabe had fought the mob to win back the family pub—which had nearly been lost to their father’s gambling debt—Meg was successfully fighting, her battle with cancer, and they’d be planning another wedding in the coming year for Mabe. She huffed out a breath. Wow, who’d have thought one family could survive so much? But we’re O’Banyons. That’s what we do. We stick.

The oldest friend of her father, Gavin McCain, approached. His white hair, normally meticulous, was mussed, his cheeks pink from dancing. His blue eyes sparkling with mirth, he plopped on the stool next to her. “Ah, Mara, me darlin’.” His words came out a bit slurred, each syllable carrying a puff of alcohol. “It’s a fine thing you and Mabe did for your sister. A fine thing, indeed. I’ve never seen our Meg looking so happy.”

Mara smiled at the older man. He’d been a part of their family ever since she could remember. Through all the rough times of her own father’s drinking and after their mother’s death, Gavin had been a rock they could rely on. She reached for his hand, pulled it to her chest, squeezed. “She did look happy, didn’t she? Even if things go wrong for her, at least she and Emma aren’t alone.”

Gavin hugged her tight. “She was never truly alone. She had you, your sister. Didn’t she? But I know what you mean. There’s nothing like having a special someone to share it all with.” In all these years, he’d never lost the Irish lilt in his voice. Mara loved hearing it.

“It went well, didn’t it? The wedding, I mean?”

“Aye, it did that. I was so happy to have gotten home in time. What an honor it was to walk Meg and her angel of a daughter down the aisle. Shane missed out, I’ll tell ya.”

Mara made a rude noise. “He’d have been too drunk to do it if he’d been here.”

“Now, don’t speak ill of the dead, my darlin’. I know he wasn’t the finest father on the earth, but he loved you girls.”

“You’d have never guessed it by me. I knew in my heart of hearts he never thought I was his. He said so enough times.”

Gavin caught her gaze, held it. His eyes were the nicest shade of blue, but they held pain. “It was the drink that made him say it, Mara. He knew what was his. It broke his heart when you ran off to New York.”

“Ha.” Mara laughed. “He must have gotten over it pretty quick because he never came to look for me.”

“Ah, but there’s where you’re wrong. He had me hire an investigator to look for you.”
Mara’s jaw dropped. “You never told me.” 
“You never asked.”
 Buy Link: Amazon

Friday, March 27, 2015

New Release: The Hot Shoppe 2 by Letty James

The Hot Shoppe 2 -- where romance is always brewing....

Two hot reads under one cover...

When British hotel magnate, Colin Huntington, dares American event manager, Dori Darling, to touch him anywhere with only the tip of her finger, one small touch could lead to breaking all the rules, both business and personal. With Dori’s career at stake, can she afford to indulge in something so Delicious?

At the Johnny Dorado concert, LeeAnn Mukulski realizes she can get more than just another autograph from the sexy singer. After all, ten glorious, fantasy-filled years should amount to something. At least that Desirable one kiss. When Johnny hijacks her car after his concert, she quickly discovers there’s a real man behind the star façade--a man willing to follow his dreams, while challenging her to reach for her own.

Trouble, with a capital T, stared at her. His mouth curved into a slight smile, his lips fuller than in the pictures, colder than she ever imagined. The famous British chill seemed to have seeped into the room from a continent away. He could wound her with that mouth.
He thrust out his hand and she stepped forward to shake it. He didn’t let go, but held it firmly as his hooded eyes assessed her. Had he found pictures of her and spent his lunch hours studying every angle of her face, imagining them dancing cheek-to-cheek, or standing side-by-side on the deck of his sailboat, salty sea spray mingling with kisses? She highly doubted it. He didn’t broker in fairy tales like she did.
She felt the heat of her blush stain her cheeks, but she kept her eyes on his. Surely, his eyes were icy blue, but no—they were the deep rusty brown of the British tea she most favored. Only slightly taller than her in her four inch heels, he radiated a much larger presence in his wool, navy pin-striped suit and crisp white shirt. How well they would fit together.
Stop it. Don’t think about it.
 His eyes widened. One eyebrow curled up a notch as he caught her perusal. “Will I do?”
 “You’re ... perfect.”
Oh. My. God. She did not just say that.

On the last verse, LeeAnn and Johnny sang together, their mouths an inch apart at the mic, their voices seamlessly harmonizing as they pledged to travel the road together. Her heart pumped pure joy as the crowd went wild. Rosie, Molly, and Claire hooted and hollered over LeeAnn’s performance. She did a little curtsey for the crowd and Johnny, turning to wave thank you to the band.
Take that, Mr. Dorado.
"What’s your name?” Johnny leaned in close, his breath tickling her ear, raising goose bumps all down her arms.
“LeeAnn.” No way would she tell him her last name. He’d probably make fun of her.
"Let’s give it up for LeeAnn, everybody.”

The crowd clapped again.Someone in the back shouted, “Kiss her."
Johnny’s shocking green eyes met hers. She offered him her cheek. Instead, he grabbed her around the waist, dipped her over his knee and planted one right on the kisser. A quick kiss that lingered, searing her brain. Their eyes locked and the world spun. She grabbed his shoulders, dizzy from either the sudden movement or his kiss, she couldn’t tell.  
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Thursday, March 26, 2015

Interview with Darlene Fredette, Author of Twist of Faith

What made you decide to be an author?
So many stories swimming in my head demanding I write them. I also like to write about love and happy-ever-afters.

What do you like best about being a writer? What do you like the least?
I like the freedom of a schedule. Some days that means I get a lot of writing done and other days I don’t get one word. What I like least are the days I don’t get any writing done.

How do you think your life experiences have prepared you for writing?
My life experiences haven’t been novel worthy, other than marrying my hero and having a beautiful baby girl. However, my high school English teacher told me I had a flair for writing. I should have listened to her way back then.
Have you ever felt as if you were being dictated to while you wrote a book--as if the words came of their own accord? If yes, which book did that happen with?
All my stories are mapped in my head from start to finish. Getting them into print is the hard part. So much information - so little time.

You’ve written 4 novels and are working on a 5th novel. What’s your favorite time management tip?
Write when you can. Failing a deadline is too depressing, so I don’t set them.
Are you a plotter or a pantser, i.e., do you outline your books ahead of time or are you an “organic” writer?
I make notes of the outline and characters. Then fill in the details as I write the story.
If you had one take away piece of advice for authors, what would it be?
Don’t let pressure sit on your shoulders. Do life’s-daily tasks first. You’re then free to write, and the words will flow much easier.
Did music help you find your muse with this book? If yes, which song did you find yourself going back to over and over again as you wrote?
I don’t listen to music while writing as I find it too distracting. I end up singing more than writing, lol. However, music does find a place in many of my stories. In this particular book, my heroine likes to listen to Michael Bublé when she goes on her morning run.
Tell me more about Twist of Faith.

     Katrina has one goal—follow through on her late-grandmother’s last request, to oversee the renovation of Katrina’s childhood home. The handsome contractor is distracting, but she refuses to be swayed by his deep brown eyes and broad shoulders. A summer romance is not part of the plan. When the truth is discovered about her family’s past, Katrina fears her own future is in jeopardy. She doesn’t have faith, but the twists that lie ahead may just change her mind.
     Nick refuses to accept help from anyone, until Katrina gives him an ultimatum—one he can’t refuse. Her renovation project will save his business, but puts his heart on the line. Can he convince Katrina to stay or will a promise to her late-grandmother pull her away? With a little twist of Faith, the odds may be in his favor.

How about an excerpt from Twist of Faith?

    The man shifted his weight.
    Suddenly, the air cooled around her. For the first time since she spied him in her home, Katrina stared face-to-face at her intruder. Past the pain, she saw a strong jaw line and a chin framed by the shadow of a goatee, or as they say in Paris, a French beard. A perfect set of lips held a thin moustache and his brown layered hair fell just above his chin. Dark brown eyes kept her gaze captivated. Johnny Depp has broken into my house.
    His face didn’t belong to someone who made a living from breaking-and-entering. This face belonged to a refined and hard-working man. She could tell there was more to the story behind those eyes, but the instant she stared at his lips, her thoughts turned to mush.
    He stumbled to stand, leaning on the wall for support. Johnny Depp kicked the wood, sending it rolling to the other side of the room.
    Katrina, now believing he meant no harm, accepted the hand he offered to help her from the floor. She ignored the tingling sensation running up her arm, knowing the fuss couldn’t be from the strong hand holding hers.
    He inhaled a deep breath and opened his mouth to speak, but shook his head instead. Frowning, he pointed a finger toward the card on the floor and limped to the exit, slamming the door behind him.
    She bent to pick up the card, which read, Donaldson and Porter, Architecture and Contracting, Nick Porter. Her shoulders dropped. “Damn!”
    Katrina now had less than twenty-four hours to master the art of groveling.
Where can readers find more about your stories, books and you on the Internet?

Buy Links:
The Wild Rose Press: 


Darlene Fredette, thank you so much for being with us here today. I know my readers will enjoy your work and your interview.
Sharon, it was so much fun! Thank you for letting me share a little about me and my new book, Twist of Faith.