Carrie Pulkinen, Magic & a Giveaway!

Carrie (1)Carrie Pulkinen writes sexy, haunting, paranormal romance. And when I say “sexy,” I mean her heroes will definitely make your heart beat faster! Growing up living next door to a cemetery,  it’s easy to see where her penchant for paranormal comes from. She’s also a woman after my own heart since her favorite things are chocolate and red wine. Not only that, but she’s agreed to be my very special guest today. Enjoy!

 

 

 


 

One of my favorite things about writing paranormal romance is the magic. All of my stories contain magic of some sort, whether it’s psychic powers, spell casting, shapeshifting, or some other ability, and I’m frequently asked the same question: where do I find all the information for the magical worlds I create?

People have asked me if there is some giant encyclopedia of magic that all paranormal and fantasy authors refer to when writing their stories. If such a thing exists, I don’t know about it.

519L6nLTfrL._SY346_I do a lot of research when planning the magic for my stories. Most of my books contain some sort of soul or spirit elements—ghosts, reincarnation, demons, or other nonphysical entities. When I first started writing, I took psychic development classes from a local psychic medium, and a lot of what I learned in that course helps me with the magic in my books.

In my newest release, Beneath a Blue Moon, the heroine is a witch named Rain. She’s been cursed, and her powers are bound, so her sister does most of the spell-casting in the majority of the book. I scoured websites to learn about the kinds of herbs and other ingredients used in potions, and I visited a store in New Orleans that specializes in witchery to gather knowledge to write the sister pair.

While research is extremely important to make the magic as believable as possible, quite a bit of the “rules” for my worlds come straight from my head.

The Crescent City Wolf Pack series is about a pack of werewolves in New Orleans who battles demons and whatever other monsters threaten the safety of humanity in the city. And while there are tons of werewolf books out there, each author will treat the magic behind the characters differently.

I’ve read some where the act of shifting from human to wolf is a very physical thing. Muscles slosh and make icky noises as bones break and rearrange themselves to take on the form of the beast. As they shift, their clothes tear or fall off, and when they turn back to human again, they are naked.

That type of magic didn’t work for the Crescent City Wolf Pack world. Chase and Luke and the other werewolves have to be able to shift on command, many times in the shadows of the city, to fight the demons that are threatening the humans. They shift frequently, and if they busted out of their clothes every time, they’d all be broke with the wardrobes they’d have to keep replacing! Not to mention there’d be a lot of naked people running around the French Quarter…a lot more than usual, anyway!

Instead, I wrote the shift as a more magical experience. Their bodies vibrate as the actual make-up of their cells and everything they are wearing transforms into the wolf. Their clothing is essentially absorbed by the magic, and when they return to human form, everything is in its place.

This makes for much faster transformations and gives them the ability to shift as often as needed to save the city from the supernatural threats.This is why I love writing about magic. I can make up the rules and weave it into the world, making it believable for each specific series.

Beneath a Blue Moon combines the magic of werewolves and witches, while also sprinkling in psychic abilities amongst the characters. It’s book 2 of the Crescent City Wolf Pack series, and while it can be read as a stand-alone, it does contain spoilers for book 1. Here’s what it’s about:

BeneathaBlueMoon_LargeFate has a sick sense of humor.

Chase Beauchamp has had a grudge against witches for as long as he can remember. When he’s tasked with investigating a magicless witch who might be to blame for a string of murders in the French Quarter, the wolf in him wants to claim her as his mate. To his dismay, the man might agree. But when her secrets are revealed, Chase discovers loving this witch will put his pack and his family in danger.

Rain Connolly will do anything to break the hex that binds her powers and makes her an outcast in the supernatural world. But when fate drops the answer to her prayers into her lap, she can’t help but fall for the sexy werewolf who can end her curse. The problem is what she needs him to do could cost him his life.

Can a witch and a werewolf overcome their haunted pasts to find love? Or did fate bind their hearts only to rip them apart?

Beneath a Blue Moon is available in both ebook and paperback, and you can find it at these stores:

Amazon: http://getbook.at/BeneathaBlueMoon

iBooks: http://bit.ly/BeneathABlueMoon-iBooks

Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/BeneathABlueMoon-Nook

Kobo: http://bit.ly/BeneathABlueMoon-Kobo

Google Play: http://bit.ly/BeneathABlueMoon-Google

Fashion model brunette with professional makeup and long hair

Thanks so much for letting me guest post today, Christie! It was fun!

Giveaway!

I’ll give away an ebook of Carrie’s first book in her Crescent City Wolves series, Werewolves Only, to one person who leaves a comment.You’re gonna love this book! (Sorry, but this giveaway is for US residents only.)

Winner!

The winner of the $25 Starbucks gift card is Caroline Luce. Congratulations! Please email me with your postal address at christie@christie-craig.com.

Mark’s Good Deed Contest

IMG_5844In Don’t Close Your Eyes, Mark is always buying people coffee.  He calls it his, “Good Deed for the Day.”  I want to pay it forward and have a contest where I’ll send someone a $25 Starbucks card to buy yourself and maybe even someone else a cup of coffee.  To enter, post a picture of you reading my book or a photo of my book someplace cool (like the photos below), and post it with the hashtag #MarksGoodDeed. If you don’t have a Twitter or Instagram account, you can send me a link (christie@christie-craig.com) of your post.  Below is the good deed for the day scene from Don’t Close Your Eyes.

 

 

Don’t Close Your Eyes Excerpt

Annie, sitting at her usual table, refocused on the stack of ungraded papers. The dark circles under her eyes were hidden behind darker sunglasses. Blond and fair skinned, she lacked sleep, which brought out raccoon eyes. Too bad she couldn’t wear the shades while teaching.

“Happy hump day.” Fred waved his cup of espresso with extra milk as he moved to his booth. For reasons unbeknownst to Annie, the elderly widower was always happier on Wednesdays. Sometimes, when the place was full, he’d even sit with her to chat.

Annie smiled. “Did you have a good night last night?”

“Sure did.” A sparkle brightened his light blue eyes. He sat down and pulled out his newspaper. Was he seeing some lady on Tuesdays? Not that it mattered, Annie liked seeing happy people.

Christie Craig - Weekend 4Glancing out the window, she took in the early-morning walkers trying to get their steps in. The quaint coffee shop nestled between high-rises in downtown Anniston, Texas, was conveniently located a block from the junior college where she’d taught for last five months. Coming here had become part of her morning ritual. Being an only child, she liked feeling as if she was part of a community. She knew the regulars. They knew her. At least most of them did.

The door swished open. Pretty sure who it was, she glanced up, without lifting her head. He always arrived between seven and seven thirty. The coffee shop was conveniently located a block from the police precinct, too.

Detective Sutton liked the dark roast and drank it black. Sometimes, he added a skinny hazelnut latte to his order. Probably for some long-legged, lucky secretary at his office.

While Annie was certain he’d never noticed her—he was one who didn’t speak or even nod—she’d noticed him.

Even before she’d seen him on television.

Christie Craig - Weekend 3It wasn’t just his big-gulp size, or his big-gulp good looks. Oh, she noticed those, too—hard not to—but it was the fact that, like her, he hid behind sunglasses. Considering most of his cases involved murder and some involved children—she wondered if he wasn’t suffering from some bad nightmares, too.He shot to the counter with his usual determined pace. Not so much rude as running late.

Today, he wore his navy Dockers and his light blue buttoned-down oxford. The shirt, creases down the sleeves, no doubt dry-cleaned, hugged his broad chest. His dark hair appeared freshly showered damp.

The customer ahead of him, an elderly grandmother—not a regular—looked antique and frail. “I know I’ve got some coins…” Her arm, lost in her big purse, fumbled for loose change.

Annie waited to see if he’d do it again. She’d seen it happen six times.

“I got her coffee,” he spoke over the woman’s gray hair to Mary, the barista.

The older woman looked back, and up. And up. “Why that’s sweet, but I’ve got…”

My good deed for the day, Annie said in her head, right before he did.

A smile curled up in her gut and gave her good-guy butterflies. She’d even borrowed his act of kindness herself.

IMG_2905Shamelessly, she’d considered attempting to be his good deed for the day for an introduction-and maybe more. But she’d failed at her last attempts of “more.” And considering the return of her nightmares, she needed to get her life fixed before she asked for company.

Fun Facts

51WVbFHb5yLDon’t Close Your Eyes released last Tuesday, and I’ve been pretty busy with interviews, book signings, etc. ever since. This is one of the best parts about being and author–a chance to connect with my readers. So thanks to everyone who came out for my book signings, I loved meeting every one of you.

And don’t forget, you can snag the ebook of Don’t Close Your Eyes for only $2.99, but that sale is ending very soon. So hurry! Download your copy at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Now, I thought I’d share a few fun facts about Don’t Close Your Eyes. This is from a blog originally posted Harlequin Junkie on Aug. 27, 2018.

 

  • Don’t Close Your Eyes was originally written as a movie treatment for a screenplay contest twenty-five years ago. It won the contest.  The original title, To Remember Jenny, had been inspired after I watched the movie Prince of Tides.  I loved the idea of writing about a traumatic childhood memory and how the lingering effects could uproot one’s life years later.
  • Don’t Close Your Eyes revolves around Annie Lakes, who is dealing with a repressed memory. This subject, how victims remember trauma, is among one of the most explosive issues facing psychology today.  Some experts believe that traumatic experiences are unforgettably engraved on the mind.  Others argue that the mind can defend itself by banishing traumatic memories from awareness, making it difficult for victims to remember things until years later.  The argument is debated so vigorously because it used so often in legal cases.
  • Annie Lakes, my heroine, suffers from posttraumatic nightmares. These are more intense than regular dreams and similar to flashback memories that can contain replays of the actual traumatic events. However because some dreams can only be symbolically related this makes unraveling the truth extremely difficult.  For Annie, this makes her feel like an unreliable witness to something that happened to her.
  • Like Isabella, a secondary character in Don’t Close Your Eyes, I’m bi-lingual. I love writing about Hispanic characters and adding different cultures in Texas-themed books. When I was young, I lived in Venezuela, and spoke only Spanish for almost two years. Living in Texas, Spanish comes in handy and I kind of love to shock people when they are speaking Spanish and I’ll just chime in.  With my blonde hair green eyes, I really throw some people off.
  • I enjoy murder. On paper.  And on film.  Actually what I honestly enjoy is solving cases.  I’m addicted to the ID channel.  I can stay up until two in the morning watching Forty-Eight Hours and Cold Case. I love sifting through the evidence and trying to figure out who did it and see how they catch the bad guys.  Suspense has played a part in most every book I’ve written, even my young adult novels have suspense.

Winners!!!

The winners from last weeks giveaway are Dorothy Cameron, Danielle Meek, Samantha McFarland and Roxie Hartschuh.  Please email your postal address to Christie@christie-craig.com and I’ll send you your book.