Thursday, October 31, 2013

FINAL CLUE in the Pulse and Prejudice Pop Culture Challange PLUS a Halloween Excerpt!

Click Here for the 99¢ book sale benefit to raise mental health awareness with all royalties going to support the non-profit organization TWLOHA.

Happy Halloween, dear readers!

Alas, it is the LAST DAY to enter the Pulse and Prejudice Pop Culture Challenge, but you have until midnight to submit you entry and win that iPad4 - or just jump into the fun of a literary Scavenger Hunt! - and at a special savings!  Pulse and Prejudice is still available from Secret Cravings Store at a 25% off Discount! Just use Promo Code Paranormal25 when placing your orders by October 31st.
Now the discount is only available through the Secret Cravings Store, but of course Pulse and Prejudice is available in paperback, eBook, and even Audiobook through all the major outlets (just click here) or order from your favourite bookstore.


All throughout Pulse and Prejudice - the paranormal adaptation Jane Austen's classic, which retells the story from Mr. Darcy's point of view as a vampire - you will find references to film, music, and literature I have enjoyed over the years, all of which are listed on the Acknowledgements page. Even if you are not participating in the contest, you will have fun looking for these little tidbits strewn about the prose.

The Last Clue can be found on my special Halloween Post on Austen Authors, which I have posted below.

Happy Halloween - and happy hunting!
~Colette 

Halloween has always been my favourite holiday. As a child, I always loved deciding who I wanted to "be" (although I did have to try to explain who I was the year I dressed up as Mary Hartman - I was a strange kid). In college, the night to celebrate was always the Saturday before Halloween because, up until a few years ago, that night the clocks changed back and the bars all stayed open an hour longer, so everyone would dress up that night, and you would find me at a dance club as Madonna. Then we LSU students got to celebrate again on Halloween at the famous Carlotta Street Block Party, where you would find me dressed as Madonna.

kids halloweenMy own children could come up with some rather creative costumes for me to sew for them, most of which - like the Statue of Liberty or the year my youngest wanted to be a turtle - I did without a pattern. Now on Halloween, my husband and I turn off the front porch light and hope that no one rings the bell and sends our dog into fits of barking. (If you read Pulse and Prejudice, I based the dog Amadeus on him, and his ear-splitting bark was no exaggeration.)

Having written a vampire adaptation of Pride and Prejudice, I thought I should offer a scary excerpt for my Halloween post, but I hate spoiling scenes for my readers - especially any intended to make you get goosebumps. So instead, I am sharing an excerpt from the sequel to Pulse and Prejudice, my current work in progress Dearest Bloodiest Elizabeth.

Today is also the last day to submit your entry for the Pulse and Prejudice Pop Culture Challenge; hence, I am offering a final clue here on Austen Authors: The scene in the gaming hell when Darcy meets the dwarf is my tribute to TWO of David Lynch's creations. If you can figure them and the other pop culture references out, you have until midnight to submit your entry.

Now the dwarf plays a significant but small (no pun intended) role in Pulse and Prejudice, but you will see a lot more of him in the sequel.Oh, and I also decided to make him Lutheran. In this scene from Dearest Bloodiest Elizabeth, after a day of shopping, the newlywed Mrs. Darcy returns home to find herself confronted by this strange man who knows far too much about Darcy's dark secret. Fortunately, our erudite Elizabeth can hold her own in a battle of words - and wills - when it comes to defending her vampire husband. Although perhaps not frightful, here is a little bite to give you a taste of what is to come...

A scene from Chapter XIV of Dearest Bloodiest Elizabeth

Once they were alone, the dwarf nodded towards the settee, inviting her to sit as if he were the host.

She took her seat and smoothed her skirts and steadied herself sufficiently until she could speak with ease.  “Would you like some coffee?” Her voice rang of the absurdity of such folderol in these circumstances. “Tea?”  He waved off her suggestion.  “You say you knew Wickham.  Then you know he was killed in battle.”

The dwarf kept his hands tight on the arms of the chair, and his feet just touched the floor.  He gave her a sidelong glance as if assessing her credulity.  “Weekhaum…died years ago, but he walks with the leeving in New Orleenz.”

Her chest rose and held onto a sharp intake of air.  “How would you know such a thing?”

“Aye…am…dhampir.  Do you know what this is, dhampir?”

She tried to swallow but found her mouth too parched.  She should have rung for tea.  “Yes.  Your father is…”

“Vampire, yes.”

For a moment, her mind fixated on which, if either, of his parents had been a dwarf; and she almost laughed aloud at the irony of his parentage.  He lacked only a fairy godmother and a leprechaun uncle to complete his Grimm tale.

  He continued.  “Dhampir have…special gifts for hunting vampire.”

“And you are hunting Wickham?”

He scrunched his face and shook his head.  “Aye tell the man you call husband it is his duty to find Weekham.  He must go.”

“To New Orleans?”

With a nod, he said, “He says he weel not go.  He says he weel not leave you.  That is why I come to you.”

“I do not wish my husband to leave.  Neither do I desire Wickham’s return.  He mistreated my sister.  What am I to do on the occasion?  It seems a hopeless business.”

“You know…you must leave heem.  Go home, Miss Bennet.  Go to your father.”

“You mean Mrs. Darcy.”  Her temper pricked, her words came out in clipped syllables.  “Pray, why would I leave my husband?”

“This man you call husband…is damned.  He is the white devil…a glittering Satan.”

“I think you received these ideas in your pipe dreams. My husband does not glitter!”

Vampire is against the weel of God.  To live without life, to crave blood…this is eevel. Perverted tastes.  This is from Satan.”

Cold fingers of truth gripped her heart and squeezed, pulling the blood from her face.  The dwarf had confirmed her fear.  I am wicked. 

In all he does, he is the very opposite of Christ… as befits a true Antichrist.  Hees soul weel burn een hell for eternity.”

She ground her teeth and clenched her fists, disturbed by how much this strange man knew of her husband and what he purported to know.  She refused to be intimidated, and her stubborn courage rose. 

“Pray, how could an immortal burn in hell?”

“Even…the living dead can be destroyed.  Come Judgment Day, hees soul weel be resurrected…returned to hees body in shame and everlasting torment.  The day to judge the living and the dead, but they are not alive nor dead.  Judgment has been passed on their souls.”

“Did Colonel Fitzwilliam send you?  Do you mean to frighten me?”

He studied her with his squinty eyes, his lips receding into a firm frown.  “No. In lying fashion, you ignore…what even children know.  Aye see your life is too brief to have worth.  Aye come to save the innocent – Weeckhaum’s prey.”

She released a humourless laugh.  “You are one of those deceitful people who affect modesty but who meanwhile breathe out threats and blood.  My life has no worth?”

“So long as you….remain weeth heem, you walk a razor’s edge with death; but I seee you are under his power.”

“As is any woman under the power and control of her husband.  If you suppose anything more, you quite mistake the matter.”

“The vampire…he has powers of attraction.”

“Oh, indeed!  For what else would a rich, intelligent, handsome man have to recommend him?”  She stood and strode towards the door.  “Say what you must and go, though you do nothing with all your profusion of words but fight a fire with dry straw.  I will not leave my husband.”

He jumped down from the chair and followed her.  “He is not your husband.  Think!  Think of your vows.  Death do you part.  So long as you both shall live.  He does not live!  He made a hollow vow.”

Near the door, she swerved around and stared down at the man and spoke with venom.  “Now see here, you vicious little gnome!”

“Aye am…not a gnome; I am a dwarf.”

“But of course!  You haven’t a hat!  And I believe there are some height restrictions as well!  You do nothing but shout, ‘Anathema, anathema, anathema!’ so that by your own voice you are judged mad.”  She shook her head and coughed out a laugh.  “You are not a gnome; he is not a husband; I am not his wife.  Then pray, what am I?”

“You are the prostitute of heretics! Lucifer’s leman!”  He fixed his eyes upon her with derision.  “You are the devil’s concubine.”

At his confident pronouncement, her blood turned to ice then began to boil.  “You, sir, have insulted me in every way imaginable – and unimaginable!”  She jerked the door open and stormed out of the room.  “Consider this your congé.  Seward!  Call for Rivens.”

“There is no need, madam.  Aye bid you farewell.”

Again he offered her a deep bow and, upon straightening, said, “You may tell Darcee…you are not with child.” He held her with his stare.  “May the Lord protect me and all devout souls from your contagion and your company.”
Then he turned and hobbled through the front door and disappeared into the night.






The rules of the contest are simple: Find the most pop culture allusions within the text of Pulse and Prejudice, and you will win a Fourth Generation iPad with Retina Display! PLUS, if you find 25 of them, you will win a CASH BONUS from an ever-growing Jackpot! There are even prizes for runners-up!

There is no purchase necessary to enter or win, so feel free to borrow a copy from a friend or the library - although I'm sure you will want your own ;) . Just don't use a pirated copy, or you will be disqualified. 

But time is running out!  Submit your contest entry to: pulseandprejudicecontest@outlook.com by midnight October 31st, 2013.

I have already given away several hints, so be sure to Follow this blog or "Like" my Facebook Author Page.  For complete contest rules and more information, please go to PulseandPrejudice.comGood luck - and have fun!

Colette

Only open to residents of the 50 United States and the District of Columbia, age 18 and older at the time of entry. Void in Puerto Rico and where otherwise prohibited by law. NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. A PURCHASE DOES NOT INCREASE YOUR CHANCE OF WINNING; HOWEVER, ANYONE USING A PIRATED COPY OF PULSE AND PREJUDICE WILL BE DISQUALIFIED. For complete contest rules and more information, please refer to the Contest Rules link on PulseandPrejudice.com



Pulse and Prejudice – A tale of love, blood, and desire; the definitive vampire adaptation of the Jane Austen classic.

This compelling paranormal adaptation of Pride and Prejudice tells the story of Mr. Darcy, vampire, as he endeavours to overcome both his love and his bloodlust for Miss Elizabeth Bennet.
When the haughty and wealthy Fitzwilliam Darcy arrives in the rural county of Hertfordshire, he finds he cannot control his attraction to Elizabeth Bennet – a horrifying thought because, as she is too far below his social standing to ignite his heart, he fears she must appeal to the dark impulses he struggles to suppress.

Available Now in Print, eBook, and audiobook!





Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Monica Fairview Presents - Steampunk Darcy!

Coffee with ColetteGood morning, dear readers! 
I cannot tell you how ecstatic I am to have another of my fellow Austen Author  joining me for Coffee - the brilliant and amazing Monica Fairview!  Ever since I heard she was working on a steampunk adaptation of Pride and Prejudice, I have been chomping at the bit waiting for her to finish it! (On my own "to do" list is a steampunk/shapeshifter version of Wuthering Heights, but it will be a complete parody - I mean, don't you think Heathcliff deserves to be parodized?) Now Steampunk Darcy is finally here! With such an imaginative variation, I know it will jump (or float by airship) to the top of your TBR list! PLUS she is ready to tackle any of your questions. So set your clocks back, tighten your corsets, put on your goggles, and get ready for a ride.....
~Colette

Mr. Darcy – as a Type

     
     First let me tell you – I’m really thrilled to be visiting Colette on her blog for the first time since she joined Austen Authors. It seems like we’ve known each other for years, but it’s actually been less than a year. Hard to believe.

     Today I’m going to don my professor’s hat for my post (some of you may know that I have two top hats), just for a moment. I haven’t really indulged myself this way for some time, so bear with me. I promise I won’t make you take a quiz at the end. Well, maybe I will. :grin:

     As a graduate student, I studied Comparative Literature. A lot of the graduate courses I took involved titles like: The Trickster as Topos in World Literature, Don Juan as a Hero in European drama, Transformations of Frankenstein through time, Retellings of Cinderella in World Cultures. Courses such as these looked at the ways in which successive generations or different cultures translated a particular type of story or a particular type of hero into different forms. Cinderella in early Chinese stories, for example, had bound feet, which meant that she was aristocratic because only upper class ladies bound their feet, so the fact that the tiny glass slipper fit her foot meant that she was in fact aristocratic and therefore eligible to marry the prince. Of course, when the story got imported into a European context, it lost that cultural meaning entirely.
     What does a Chinese Cinderella have to do with Darcy, you might ask?
     Well, it’s very simple, and it’s something I want to point out because there are still many

Monday, October 28, 2013

99¢ Fundraiser for #TWLOHA - Hope & Help for Depression - ENDS THIS WEEK!

Please Share: Book Sale Benefit Ends This Week!

Throughout October, I have devoted much of my blog to Depression Awareness Month, including my personal struggle as well as recognizing the symptoms of depression and the warning signs of suicide, but I have also hoped to convey a sense of how Major Depressive Disorder feels.

Southern Girl Press and To Write Love on Her Arms have collaborated on a book sale benefit in an effort to help those who have never had to deal with depression understand.

Throughout October, all profits from a trio of vignettes entitled Alicia Embracing the Dark will be donated to TWLOHA, a non-profit organization that focuses on hope and relationships, in order to raise awareness, benefit the organization, and highlight National Depression Screening Day

A Special Edition of this short collection is  now available only from Amazon for 99¢ for Kindle or Kindle apps for any device.

Alicia Embracing the Dark expresses some aspect of depression as experienced by each author at some point in her life. It is published collectively under the name of a fictional character suffering from major depressive disorder and suicidal thoughts in the wake of her collapsing marriage in her own story, in which depression is a primary motif.

Please repost and retweet, get the word out, help others learn about mental illness, bipolar, and major depressive disorder. Encourage others to make the 99¢ contribution in support of TWLOHA. Let everyone know that there is help and there is hope.


A dark anthology by Alicia Pageant, the heroine of Alicia's Possession.

Spirits - Former lovers reunite, but their reunion is haunted by the memory of her ex-husband and her wistful reflections on what might have been.

Portrait in Still Life - Catherine's father loved his wife. Her death propels him into a deep well of despair, eclipsing his world in grief. Anything else would mean he loved her less.

Dénouement - The fallout from the death of a relationship: Grieving the loss of a love affair with a lie.


You were created to love and be loved.
You were meant to live life in relationship with other people, to know and be known.
You need to know your story is important, and you're part of a bigger story.
You need to know your life matters.
Beyond treatment, we believe community is essential. People need other people. We were never meant to do life alone.
The vision is hope, and hope is real.
You are not alone, and this is not the end of your story.
—Jamie Tworkowski
TWLOHA Founder


Friday, October 25, 2013

Why You Can't AFFORD to Ignore Depression

Gentle Readers,
For most people who have never had personal exposure to mental illness, they may think, "What does this have to do with me?"

I think it is fitting that when we have an economic downturn, they call it a "Depression" because depression has an enormous impact on our economy.

Depression Costs US Workplaces $23 Billion in Absenteeism.
Depression is the most prevalent mental illness, affecting nearly 19 million Americans between the ages of 25 and 44 - essentially, the most productive years in the workforce. 12% of workers in the United States have been diagnosed with depression at some point in their lives. In the workplace, they miss an estimated 68 million additional days, more than ulcers, diabetes, high blood pressure, and arthritis.

The total economic burden of depression is $83 billion a year.
That exceeds the costs of the war in Afghanistan! Of this total, $26.1 billion (31%) were direct treatment costs, $5.4 billion (7%) were suicide-related costs, and $51.5 billion (62%) were workplace costs.

Depression is the leading cause of medical disability for people aged 14 to 44. Depressed people lose 5.6 hours of productive work every week when they are depressed. 80% of depressed people are impaired in their daily functioning. 50% of the loss of work productivity is due to absenteeism and short-term disability. In any 30 day period, depressed workers have 1.5 to 3.2 more short-term disability days.

People with symptoms of depression are 2.17 times more likely to take sick days. And when they are at work their productivity is impaired--less ability to concentrate, lower efficiency, and less ability to organize work. In fact, absenteeism and work performance are directly related to how severe the depression is--the more severe the depression, the worse the outcome.

BUT THERE IS AN ANSWER!  More than 80 percent of people with clinical depression can be successfully treated with early recognition, intervention, and support.

Would you recognize the symptoms of depression? If you think you or someone you know may have depression, use this link to find a place in your community, or Click Here to take an Anonymous Online Screening.

Please: Tweet and post these links or this blog so that as many people as possible will be made aware of the resources available to them.

Throughout October, I have devoted much of my blog to Depression Awareness Month. I have discussed my personal struggle as well as recognizing the symptoms of depression and the warning signs of suicide, but I have also hoped to convey a sense of how Major Depressive Disorder feels to those of us who struggle with it every day.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

4 Can't Miss Clues in the Pop Culture Challenge!

Click Here for the 99¢ book sale benefit to raise mental health awareness with all royalties going to support the non-profit organization TWLOHA.

Greetings, gentle readers!
As a reminder, until October 31st, Pulse and Prejudice will be offered through the Secret Cravings Store at a 25% off Discount! Just use Promo Code Paranormal25 when placing your orders.
 
Even though only one week remains to enter the Pulse and Prejudice Pop Culture Challenge, you are not too late to jump into the fun and win that iPad4 - and at a special savings!

Now the discount is only available through the Secret Cravings Store, but of course Pulse and Prejudice is available in paperback, eBook, and even Audiobook through all the major outlets (just click here) or order from your favourite bookstore.

Strewn about the prose of Pulse and Prejudice - the paranormal adaptation Jane Austen's classic, which retells the story from Mr. Darcy's point of view as a vampire - you will find references to film, music, and literature I have enjoyed over the years, all of which are listed on the Acknowledgements page.  Here are FOUR CLUES for you!

1.  Near the middle of Volume II, Chapter 9 of Pulse and Prejudice, whilst Mr. Darcy is in London, the Comtesse de Calmet fusses at him about spreading gossip regarding the personal affairs of Lord Byron. There you will find an allusion to Pulp Fiction.

2.  In Volume III, Chapter 5, Mr. Darcy has returned to London after reuniting Bingley with Jane. As he reads a letter from Bingley announcing their engagement, what should go through his mind but words quite similar to the lyrics from my favourite song by Madonna, "Gone" from the Music album.

3.  Towards the end of Volume III, Chapter 1, at Pemberley as Georgiana tells Elizabeth it's her birthday, Miss Caroline Bingley is being catty as usual. In Darcy's reaction, you will find a nod to Camelot.

4.  This one is rather tricky, I admit, unless you happen to watch the British version of Being Human. Earlier in Volume II, Chapter 9, as his valet Rivens assists Mr. Darcy after he returns to his London mansion, um, intoxicated because of his broken heart, Darcy laments:
"She has nothing but contempt for me, primarily because of what I did to her sister—and how wrong I was there as well! Believing Miss Bennet to be indifferent to Bingley, when in truth her sister is indifferent to me! Is this what this curse has wrought? Can I not discriminate human feelings because I am no longer human?"  
In his valet's reply, you will find the reference from Being Human.  (Also, as a bonus hint, earlier in that same paragraph of Darcy's distress is a line from my favourite Pink Floyd song!)
I will have one final clue next week on Halloween on my post on Austen Authors, for those of you who haven't gotten your entries in by then - you'll still have time since you have until midnight! So join me there where I will also have a sneak peek at the sequel to Pulse and Prejudice currently in progress, entitled Dearest Bloodiest Elizabeth.

Happy hunting!
~Colette


The rules of the contest are simple: Find the most pop culture allusions within the text of Pulse and Prejudice, and you will win a Fourth Generation iPad with Retina Display! PLUS, if you find 25 of them, you will win a CASH BONUS from an ever-growing Jackpot! There are even prizes for runners-up!

There is no purchase necessary to enter or win, so feel free to borrow a copy from a friend or the library - although I'm sure you will want your own ;) . Just don't use a pirated copy, or you will be disqualified. 

But time is running out!  Submit your contest entry to: pulseandprejudicecontest@outlook.com by October 31st, 2013.

I have already given away several hints, and I will be revealing a NEW CLUE EVERY WEEK from now until the end of the contest, so be sure to Follow this blog or "Like" my Facebook Author Page.  For complete contest rules and more information, please go to PulseandPrejudice.comGood luck - and have fun!

Colette

Only open to residents of the 50 United States and the District of Columbia, age 18 and older at the time of entry. Void in Puerto Rico and where otherwise prohibited by law. NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. A PURCHASE DOES NOT INCREASE YOUR CHANCE OF WINNING; HOWEVER, ANYONE USING A PIRATED COPY OF PULSE AND PREJUDICE WILL BE DISQUALIFIED. For complete contest rules and more information, please refer to the Contest Rules link on PulseandPrejudice.com



Pulse and Prejudice – A tale of love, blood, and desire; the definitive vampire adaptation of the Jane Austen classic.

This compelling paranormal adaptation of Pride and Prejudice tells the story of Mr. Darcy, vampire, as he endeavours to overcome both his love and his bloodlust for Miss Elizabeth Bennet.
When the haughty and wealthy Fitzwilliam Darcy arrives in the rural county of Hertfordshire, he finds he cannot control his attraction to Elizabeth Bennet – a horrifying thought because, as she is too far below his social standing to ignite his heart, he fears she must appeal to the dark impulses he struggles to suppress.

Available Now in Print, eBook, and audiobook!