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Category Archives: Paranormal

Pride, Prejudice and Zombies vs. Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters

Screen Shot 2014-09-21 at 3.35.24 PMSense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters is so much better than Pride, Prejudice and Zombies (PPZ). I enjoy a lot of paranormal and fantasy books and recommend Dead, But Not For Long to zombie enthusiasts, but PPZ was a disappointment.

Long passages of PPZ read as straight-up Jane Austen and then suddenly a zombie battle broke in which may have added excitement but also broke away from the language and texture so key to Austen’s witty prose. It was difficult to enjoy what should have been an entertaining adaptation, because the overall effect was one of a cut-and-pasted book. Apparently I am in the minority.

Thus, I join others in hoping for a good romp when the movie adaption of this wildly popular novel comes out. Then film Pride, Prejudice and Zombies is slated to release in 2015 with Natalie Portman (of Star Wars) producing, and will star Matt Smith (of Dr. Who) as Mr. Collins, Lily James (of Downton Abbey) as Elizabeth Bennet, Douglas Booth (of Noah), Jack Huston (of American Hustle) as Wickham, and Sam Riley (of Maleficent) as Darcy (link to IMDB).

Also from Quirk Classics, Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters enters the scene. Author Ben Winters builds an altered world around Jane Austen’s plot and characters that enlivens the plot with the paranormal, adds humor, extends characters’ nobility and follies, while managing to still retain the core themes, use the language of, and remain true to the social commentary of the classic. An excellent overlay of creativity fully integrated in plot, structure, and voice of the original. Well done.

As a reader you can choose to buy into the “Alteration” and enjoy Austen’s work fully embedded with Winter’s perspective.

I recommend Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters to steam punk fans, nautical adventurers, Austen fans and readers who enjoy works such as Janet Evanovich’s “Wicked” series.

Cast members for PPZ the movie.

Cast members for PPZ the movie.

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Kristin King is an author, publisher and Jane Austen fan. Her top sellers are “Unsinkable Vampire” and “Cain’s Coven,” and her latest novel in the Begotten Bloods Series is Death Taint.

 
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Posted by on September 22, 2014 in Book Reviews, Paranormal

 

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F is for Faery Lands

A to Z Blog Challenge 2014

Visit home page for this image by clicking on it.

Visit home page for this image by clicking on it.

Customarily I have not been a big fan of faery books as a paranormal sub-genre, fantasy, or fairy tale. Tinker Bell flitted across to introduce the Sunday Night Disney Movies of my childhood, but she lacked depth until Julia Roberts portrayed her unrequited love in the movie “Hook.” So it surprised me when a dream I had inspired my own take on Faeries.

F is for Faery Lands features a Story Bite, my opening sortie on a YA Faery novel. See what you think. This is a work in progress (i.e. WIP). Meanwhile, check out Kiersten White’s Paranormalcy for a solid take on a YA series with intriguing fairy characters. (A screenplay is in the works.)

Dr. Timothy Boone clutched his hair and tugged his scalp up as if he could stretch his brain’s capacity and thus find a solution to his problems. The honor and prestige of being selected to head a special project at one of the foremost private research firms in North America meant nothing if he failed at his first and only task. “Keep it alive,” he was told. He couldn’t even do that.

 

Project B8Z0013 was called Bates by the research team of three, and not only was Bates dying within the walls of their secure laboratory but Boone was certain someone was tailing him to and from work. Did he follow protocol and report the suspicious outsider? No. He’d seen what the thugs hired to protect this place had done to a homeless man found too close to the back fence. No. Whoever was shadowing Boone would have to breach the perimeter before any report was forthcoming.

 

The concrete, cinder block, rebar, and steel of the building were meant to look industrial. The construction felt more like a prison, one where Boone could scarce breathe. He needed to get away from the city, or at least as far as a park. If he could clear his head, breathe fresh air, maybe he’d think of another angle for the project.

Boone took a startled deep breath and shoved his chair back from his cold metal desk. Perhaps better air would help. He stalked the short white hall, keyed in his entry code and pressed his thumb on a scanner before wrenching the control booth open. Ignoring the technician, Boone crossed to a panel of buttons and gauges and stabbed a blue button repeatedly. Then he looked through the large glass window into the cell beyond and watched his project.

“We’ve altered the oxygen level before, sir, more incrementally, of course, with little effect. You know–”

“I know what we’ve done better than you, Johns.” Boone’s staccato steps headed for the decontamination lock.

“I know, sir, I just–”

“Maybe the slowed respiration was a good thing.”

“It started turning colors, sir. It–”

“Go home, Johns. Or catch a movie. Have a great meal out. Just go. I’ll stay on here till Miller arrives.”

 

Excerpt “Faery Lands” Copyright ©2014 by Kristin King

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Kristin King is an author and publisher. Her top sellers are “Unsinkable Vampire” and “Cain’s Coven,” and her latest novel in the Begotten Bloods Series is Death Taint. Her imprint Three Kings Publishing can be found here. Three Kings is a Mom & Pop publisher of Christian writers (not necessarily Christian books).

 
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Posted by on April 7, 2014 in Paranormal, Story Bites

 

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Tis the Season Reading: Unexpected Christmas Myth FREE

Free on Amazon

Free on Amazon

Well done, paranormal author Sadie Hart.

Silver Bells is a fantasy that pulls from holiday myth to create a completely new (at least to me) mystical world inside of ours. I didn’t see it coming and don’t want to ruin it for you. It’s a quick 24 page short story that appears to be on permanent FREE status for Kindle.

I recommend this to readers who don’t mind being kept in the dark so the story threads can come together in an unexpected ending.

While this story is an innocent tale, the excerpt attached to the end hints at hotter offings as the Hart norm (also see SadieHart.com). Ms. Hart’s bio at the end of this Christmas story says:

At night, she writes steamy, paranormal romances revolving around the things that go bump in the night – both the spooky and the naughty kind. She lives in Michigan with two large dogs and a flying pig, who’s possibly a superhero and possibly a figment of her imagination.

Regardless of your preferred genre, I think you’ll find Silver Bells a holiday delight.

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Also FREE for a limited time: Better Off Dead, the short story of a hairdresser turned assassin. Link here.

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Kristin King is an author and publisher. Her top sellers are “Unsinkable Vampire” and “Cain’s Coven,” and her latest novel the Begotten Bloods Series is Death Taint. Her imprint Three Kings Publishing can be found here. Three Kings is a Mom & Pop publisher of Christian writers (not necessarily Christian books).

 

 

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Witches, Demons, Angels in Young Writers 1st Release

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I love to find and promote young writers! In fact I facilitate a Young Writers of Christ which you can find here (Link).  Know a young writer? I’d like to know them too. I can’t tell you how much I admire these students.

What’s this book about?

When fourteen-year-old Ash is forced to move, the world as he knows it turns upside down. Soulville is a strange town, and the house his mom inherited from a distant relative should be condemned. It’s spooky. Possibly haunted.
What Ash initially believes to be a string of bad luck has nothing to do with luck at all and everything to do with a demonic curse on his family. Does Ash have what it takes to break the curse, or will his life be cut short like those before him?

Who wrote this?

Ciella Naden wrote this book as a 13-year-old home-schooler.  She battles dyslexia, but believes that with God, ALL things are possible.  She also holds a high-green belt in karate, competes in air pistol competitions with the local 4-H, and runs her own crochet business.  She loves Jesus and plans to write more stories about Ash in which he will be demon hunting.

What her mom, fellow author Cynthia P. Willow is saying on her blog:

While this book has fun paranormal elements in it, I must warn you that it has a clear Christian message.  Demons are real.  So are angels.  This book deals with both.  I am so very proud of my daughter’s willingness to witness for Jesus.  It’s not always an easy thing to do.

Recommended for YA and mature middle readers, this looks like a read not to be missed.

–Kristin

 

Kristin King is an author and publisher. Her top sellers are “Unsinkable Vampire” and “Cain’s Coven,” and her imprint, Three Kings Publishing can be found here.

 
 

Why Wednesday: Vampires, Zombies, and Me (Part III)

The Un-human Condition

What I think the monster stories get at that most other genres can’t quite capture is the spiritual death.  Because we were born into sin we are the walking dead (Ephesians 2:1).  We cannot truly live, have life, or understand what life is without a connection to Jesus Christ, the source of Life (John 14:6), for whom and through whom we were made (John 1:3-4).

Zombies are the walking dead horror show we fear the most.  We know we are dead.  We consume.  We have no purpose, no hope, so we feed and feed and feed  on whatever appears to have life in this world.  But it never satisfies and the hunger and the emptiness know no bounds (Ephesians 4:19).  In the Zombies we see the monsters that are given over to the desires of the flesh and it is all empty vanity (Ecclesiates 1 & 2).  They walk in darkness.

Even the hero and/or heroine who may ultimately escape the zombies are running barely clinging to life.  They only appreciate life as they know it because death treads on their heels at every moment.  Running from inevitable death is what they feed on in order to experience life.  The hero walks in the light. In Christianity, she knows the light and the Light is life (John 14:6).

It is the human condition.  We entered into death and became the walking dead.  Bodies moving, souls existing, but no longer alive because we were not connected to Life Himself anymore.  Indeed we cannot be connected to life without the perfect blood sacrifice.

“I am the way, the truth, and the life.  No one comes to the Father except by me,” says Jesus.  The Light of the World. (John 14:6, John 1:1-13)

The Best of the Best

Vampire stories capture our plight the best.  Condemned from the moment of their vampire birth not only for what they will do wrong (i.e. their sins), but for what they are (i.e. sinners).

The better stories have two types of the fallen.  There are those who have lost all humanity; they are given over to the desires of the flesh as if it is all they are and all they ever will be.  They are the evil, “bad” vampires.

Then there are the vampires who are holding on to some semblance of their humanity in that they value human life, and cling to some form of human morality.  They fight the desires of their own flesh that war with in them against their spirit (Galatians 5, however it is the Holy Spirit in the believer who fights otherwise we are doomed to failure).

This second type of vampire often believe they have no soul, but the sympathetic reader (and one or two of the characters) knows they have a soul.  Otherwise they would not hold human life in such high regard.   These are the “good” vampires.

And at just this particular point, so many of my friends have a bad taste in their mouth.  “Good vampires?”  “Yeah, let’s take what is evil and make it ‘good.’”  There are some very valid points to be made on that count.  I’m not writing about those, but you are welcome to read plenty of critiques of works such as Harry Potter for more about that.

 But to return to my soapbox, see the good vampire sickened by the evil he’s wrought.  Hear his self condemnation, his disdain for what he’s become.  Watch as he hopes against hope for redemption.  From my view this character is often better off than many people I know.  He knows that he is a sinner.  Every moment of his existence is lived with the weight of how great his need for redemption truly is.  And like friends I have personally spoken with about this very topic, they, like this character, often believe they are beyond salvation.

Oh what a great sadness is mine to think of my friend from college who believed this of her own life.  Do you have such a friend?  Have you ever thought you could not be brought back to God or that he didn’t want you? Another fellow student I knew thought what they had done made them too bad to come into a church.  And if it was only the blood of a ram, a goat or some other animal or even of just a human being that was shed for them, they would be right.  It won’t cover it.

But my God is so big, so strong and so mighty, there’s nothing my God cannot do.  He sacrificed the blood of his son, let his son die the death we deserve so that we can be redeemed, brought back into relationship with him for eternity.  Why?  Because God is LOVE (1 John 4:8).

Enter, the Romance

If the vampires capture our fallen state better than any other monster, it is the vampire romance story which is then the best of the best.  Beauty steals the scene and the vampire’s heart.  He finds hope in love.

Love is the source of redemption.

Of course, the human love interest is portrayed not as the fallen creature they really are, but more as someone who by their willingness to love the condemned vampire redeems the fallen some how.  Here the story falls massively short as we are all actually the fallen (Romans 3:23).

I hope my musings here explain my views of the parallels between monster lit and the Greatest Story ever told so that at least a few of my questioning friends see how I connect the dots from follower-of- Christ to vampire-novelist.

I will leave my soapbox for now to do some research on the rate of body decay when the corpse is refrigerated. Researching a vampire romance is so much fun.

 
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Posted by on October 17, 2012 in Paranormal

 

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Why Wednesday: Vampires, Zombie, and Me (Part II)

“For what it’s worth” 

The Greatest Story Ever Told is that of the God of the Universe who “so loved the world that He sent His only begotten Son so that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16) When I say story in that context I mean, quite literally, HIStory.

Then there are the stories we write not with our lives, because we are not in control of those, but with our  creativity and the “pen.”  There are those we return to again and again, and we do so (often unconsciously) because we are, in my opinion, drawn to the elements within them that parallel those of The Greatest.

Maybe I simply see more of those elements in monster stories than in the other fiction I tend to read.  I think that is why the vampires are my favorites.  (Kudos, however, to those who offered a blue pill to enter the rabbit hole of an entirely different genre with similar effect ala The Matrix NOT Alice in Wonderland).

Pause to consider monsters.  The best monsters are those who were once human; the zombies, vampires, werewolves, The Swamp Thing, and such.  We respond to them with fear, of course, and then revulsion and/or compassion.  And is it not so because somewhere inside we know that we are the monsters.

“We were meant to live for so much more, Have we lost ourselves? 

We were meant to live.” (Meant to Live by Switchfoot)

We were created “very good” (Genesis 1: 31) by Perfection to walk in the fullness of life with Love Himself beside us and to live forever  (Genesis 1&2). Death was not part of the plan in the Garden of Eden.  There was no death for man nor beast until we chose to sin. (Genesis 3) That was the fall.

And in our heart of hearts we know it.  Every man, woman and child who has experienced the loss of a loved one, whether that person was four, forty or four-score, we know that death is wrong.

It should not be.

We respond to it with righteous anger, denial, and heart-break, reflecting the very heart of God in whose image (Genesis 1:26) we were made.

I often hear someone say that an elderly person who has died “lived a good long life” and speak as if death is just natural.  But I tell you the death of the ninety-nine year old is as great a tragedy as the death of a child.

Haven’t you felt it?

The loss, the pain, the core of your being crying out that this thing, this death, is wrong.  We were made to live in relationship with God and each other forever, and our souls scream this truth at us every time a loved one is ripped away.

 
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Posted by on October 3, 2012 in Paranormal

 

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Why Wednesday: Vampires, Zombies and Me (Part I)

Alternate Title: What’s a Nice Christian Girl Like Me Doing Writing Vampire Novels?

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(Above: My first vampire book was released April 2012 with this cover.)

“Life is in the blood” ~ Holy Bible

The most obvious connection between Christianity and vampirism is the blood.  “Life is in the blood – do not eat of it” (Leviticus 17:14). Followers of Christ, like myself, eat and drink the blood and body of Christ.  “Do this in remembrance of Me” (Luke 22:19; 1 Cor. 11:23-26).  A blood sacrifice was necessary to cover the sins and nakedness of Adam and Eve and of all humanity.

Enter the fictional vampire who subsists on only blood, as a source of life and, of which, I admit I am a fan.

Aside

Please note, however, that I do not endorse all renditions of the genre.  It’s easy for a fan to be lured in by the whiff of vampire romance only to find something very damaging lurks beneath the surface. Many books, movies, and TV shows use compelling characters in interesting circumstances to bait and hook the audience before proceeding to fill their airtime with less of what caught us and more of what turns folks like me away (e.g. foul language, nudity, crude and rude interludes).

In my opinion one of the reasons the Twilight Series was such a mega hit was because it steered clear of the seedy side of the genre and used the age of the vampires to take us back to simpler times. Honestly , when was the last time you watched a movie where the leading man was intent on protecting virtue and waited till after the wedding?

And while I’m off track, one other caveat of my soapbox is that it is chock full of Christian lingo, jargon, and scripture quotes that you might not catch if unfamiliar with such.  So I added some references that begin to scratch the surface of that.  Please remember these are loose connections to Christian principles rather than theologically sound talking points.

 
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Posted by on September 26, 2012 in Paranormal

 

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