Sharon's INSPIRATIONAL Short stories of Faith and Romance can be found HERE or visit her
Facebook Page, which also has the links in the comments.)

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween

As Autumn Shelley walked at a brisk pace through the dark streets of London, an eerie fog crept over the city. From deep in the woods, a werewolf howled, its piercing wail slicing through the night. The full moon skittered across the dreary sky, casting an eerie light on the headstones in the graveyard. The streets were quiet and deserted, not a soul stirring. With thoughts of Jack the Ripper haunting her subconscious, Autumn was spooked by the echo of her own footsteps as she scurried to her destination. She spotted it, the haunted mansion high on the hill, a black iron gate surrounding it. Bats flapped about the bell tower, eking and screeching as they peered at her with their beady black eyes. From deep in the woods, an owl hooted, its warbling echo frightful. Her heart racing, Autumn tore up the rickety old steps and yanked the rope chain.

Oliver cranked the heavy oak door open, rusty hinges creaking. He stood there grinning, red eyes blazing. And when he smiled, his razor-sharp fangs glowed in the dark. “You rang?”

The shifter Oliver escorted Autumn down the long, dark corridor to the parlor where organ music cranked out the Werewolves of London. An eerie whistle snaked through the corridor, the air dank and musty. A mouse scampered in front of them, twittering as it vanished into a crack in the wall. From the parlor, the candles burned, the smell of vanilla potent.

Upon entering the parlor, a cold draft filtered through the room. Sharon, costumed in black witch’s pointed hat and black flowing gown, stood over a bubbling cauldron, steam billowing as she stirred it. Her guests were all seated, drinking from silver chalices, nibbling on finger food. Dracula and the Three Brides of Frankenstein, Freddy Krueger, Phantom of the Opera, The Veiled Lady and Jack the Ripper.

Sharon: Welcome, Autumn. We are thrilled you are our guest of honor this evening. Would you care for a glass of Moscato?

Autumn: (pulling a cobweb out of her hair) “Thanks, I’d love some.”

Sharon: Most excellent. And here comes Oliver with two glasses of our favorite red and some of his special Hummus on Pita bread.

Oliver’s red eyes glaze over as he places the silver chalice in front of Autumn. Then he spreads a dab of Hummus on the bread and feeds it to Autumn. From inside the walls, the skeletons rattle their bones and a woman screams loud enough to wake the dead. The pet bat soars through the room, flapping its wings before perching on Autumn’s shoulder.

Sharon: So, perhaps now would be a good time to tell us about your new book. What is the title of this most bewitching read?

Autumn: Mmmmmm….hummus on pita bread! My favorite! Oliver, you shouldn’t have! Oh, sorry, my story. Um, yeah, the title of my little ditty is “Blood Moon”. (glances nervously at the Count)

Sharon: But of course, it’s dealing with the paranormal? Evil chuckle rolls from the back of her throat. As if there’s any other genre on this most bewitching of nights!

Autumn: Oh, it’s so paranormal! And sweet. And sexy! (realizing too late she has the attention of the veiled lady..)

Sharon: taps her long green fingernails on the coffin table, snatches up a piece of the Hummus laced bread, sips from her silver chalice. But surely you have a copy of the book with you? I have a superb idea. Why not read us an excerpt. Oliver, command the ghost playing the organ to play the theme from the X Files while our guest reads.

And as the candles flicker and the organ plays in the background, the bat securely perched on Autumn’s shoulder, she clears her throat and begins.

Kate rescues what she thinks is a stray from a rainy midnight highway and gets more
than she bargained for in the form of shifter, Logan Turner. Suddenly she finds herself
at the center of a war; protecting Logan from harm, his kind from extermination and
her heart from him…

She didn’t hear the door open or the footsteps approach. All she knew was when she
looked up, he stood before her, wrapped in a blanket. He didn’t look happy.
They stared at one another for a full minute. Kate began to wonder if he could talk,
if maybe he was more canine than human. She looked down and realized she gripped
the paring knife in her hand. She looked back up at him, and slowly lowered the knife.
He continued to assess her with the most penetrating blue eyes she had ever seen
on a man.

“Uh, hi. I’m Kate. Kate Barrister. I, uh, found you last night. You really shouldn’t
be up, ah, eww, this is awkward.” She looked away.

His penetrating gaze made her tongue tied and more than a little concerned she had
done a really dumb thing. He continued to stand silently in front of her. Kate was
beginning to get nervous as well as embarrassed. A million thoughts rushed through
her head, all some sort of variation on
‘he really is a killer and I should have let the bad guys have him.’

He cocked an eyebrow as though she had spoken out loud. Oh great, now he’s a mind
reader? “Uh, do you, I mean can you talk? Do you…?”

“Understand the words comin’ outta my mouth? Yeah, I saw that one.” His face was
impassive, his tone sarcastic.

“Okay, well, you can talk. That will certainly make things easier. I’m Kate Barrister.”

“You’ve said that once already. I got it. We’ll get to the formalities in a minute.
What I want to know right now is, do I have any pants?"

Dracula and Jack the Ripper stand up and applaud, bringing the mansion down as the other guests thrust their hands together. The shackled chains from within the walls rattle as the skeletal remains howl, “Let us out!”

Sharon: Lovely. We all want to run out and purchase our copy. What a bewitching tale! Do tell us about the characters, Kate and Logan? But first, more wine?

Autumn: Definitely more wine. Hmmm, let’s see. Our heroine Kate is still getting over the loss of her parents in a tragic car accident when she comes upon a stray in the middle of the road. As a veterinarian, Kate is prepared for emergencies so she does what any woman would do, she takes him to her clinic where she learns that not everything is as it seems…

Logan has a mission and a limited time to complete it. Shifters have been disappearing for years, but recently many have died from strange illnesses. The only person who may be able to help is the daughter of a vet, but will she be willing to help?

Sharon: And wherever did you come up with the plot for this most intriguing read?

Autumn: I grew up in the Missouri Ozarks and it seemed the perfect setting for my set up. Most of my work is character driven, they dictate the story to me. I had a general idea about conspiracy and secret laboratories, but even I was surprised at some of the interesting turns my characters made on their journey.

Sharon: Do you write anything other than paranormal?

Autumn: I’ve dabbled in poetry since I was a child, and I have an interest an intense interest in two specific historical periods (Europe 1300-1700 and America 1750-1774) but they are a bit further down the road. Some of my characters are shy and need the proper encouragement before they are ready to meet the dawn.

Sharon: Tell us about your most interesting Halloween costume or masquerade.

Autumn: Halloween is a big deal at my house. I was in love with the parties thrown by Roseanne Barr’s character ‘Roseanne’ so it’s what I aspire too. Halloween is too big for the house, so I hold it (currently) in my garage. I decorate with my ‘theme’ for the year, put out the cauldron and the dry ice, crank up the tunes (X-files anyone?) light the torches and beckon to the little tricks-or-treatsers. Last year I went all out in the purple witch’s dress, hat, boots, etc. This year our theme is vampires. I’m thinking of re-creating a scene from the bar of my favorite t.v. show. If any of your readers can guess the hottest new vampire bar, I’ve got a free copy of ‘Taming of the Wolf’ with their name on it.

Sharon: What spooks you and do be specific.

Autumn: (glancing around to be sure she knows where Krueger is) Um, what spooks me? (swallows) um..people who are too normal to be normal? You know, the ones with the perfect outfits and matching socks. Hair that’s never out of place, yards that are never messy and smiles that are never quite genuine. (see’s Krueger by the punchbowl and sighs in relief) yep. The Normal’s scare me.

Halloween Myspace GraphicsThe organ grinds to an ear-splitting crescendo just as the ghost of the headless horseman gallops through the room. The candles glow an eerie shade of blue and then go out, a cold draft hurling through the room. Drac and the guests keep right on drinking and cackling, not in the least shocked to see the ghost of the headless horseman. But then the candles come back on and the ghost is gone.

Sharon: Autumn? Is there something wrong with your drink, dearie? You look as if you’ve just seen a ghost.

Autumn: I’m not sure…

Sharon: What an enchanting evening this has been. I just have one more question and then you can float about and socialize with Drac and the boys. Do tell me your favorite Halloween superstition?

Autumn: (smiles faintly) Favorite All Hallows Superstition? I light a candle to commune with my ancestors, receive their guidance and send them my love.

Sharon: And of course, inquiring minds want to know. Where can we purchase your books and get in touch with you?

Autumn: I would love to hear from everyone and can be reached at or my blogs:

And of course, everyone knows they can get a copy of ‘Taming of the Wolf’ at

The raven clock screeches out the witching hour. The werewolves howl as the light of the full moon spills through the windows.

Sharon: Thank you so very much for being our special guest. Now go grab some more wine and snacks. But first, here comes Oliver to grab you for a dance. Oliver swirls her around and around to the Monster Mash.

Autumn Shelley grew up roving the hills and valleys of Southern Missouri. There she
developed an obsession with all things unexplained: ghosts, Bigfoot, “The Spook Light”,
as well as the obligatory vampires , werewolves, witches and full moons. She currently
resides in central Texas with a husband, 2 geriatric heelers and one very nosy Westie.

Halloween Myspace Graphics


Sharon Donovan said...

Happy Halloween! And a warm...or...chilling welcome for Autumn Shelley. Come on out, Autumn! And here comes Oliver with two glasses of blood-red wine and more of his delicious hummus. So, Autumn, are you ready for Halloween?

Susan Macatee said...

Hi, Autumn! Happy Halloween! I've already purchased a copy of the Got Wolf? anthology, just have to find the time to sit down and read it. Your story, as well as the others I've read excerpts from, all sound delicious. I'm looking forward to a great read!

Best of luck with sales!!

Hywela Lyn said...

Hello Sharon and Autumn (What a perfect name for this Occasion, Autumn!)

I loved your excerpt, very intriguing. I think I'm going to have to get my copy of Got Wolf II too. (Toowitt, towoooooh) echoed the owls in the trees outside the haunted mansion)

Autumn Shelley said...

Good Morning All!!
It'a a busy day at my house, I have to go get the dry ice for the cauldron, hang the lights and find the time to transform myself into something, hmmmm, bewitching! I'll post pictures later of this years bash, I wonder if you will even recognize me????

Becca Simone said...

Hi Autumn and Sharon,
Autumn, your story sounds great. Just another one I need to put in my virtual TBR pile, eh? I love the hook of the heroine saving a stray which turns out to be the hero... Very romantic. :)

Oliver? Are you cheating on me? Yesterday, it was me you were paying all your attention to. But now I see you eyeing Autumn. My heart breaks...

Sharon Donovan said...

Greetings, Susan, Lyn and Becca! Oooh such dare souls to visit Autumn on this most bewitching of nights. Oliver, do bring refreshments for my guests. Sigh, Becca. Oh he of fickle heart. Sharon drools. Oliver falls in love with every beat of the heart. Sigh and double sigh. So, Autumn, tell us about your bash tonight. Or for that matter, which one stands out as a memorable one at your haunted mansion?

P.L. Parker said...

Hello Ladies - sorry to pop in so late. Been drinking hot lemon tea and staying in bed. Can't seem to get well these days. Must have the flu or something, seems to keep coming back. Oliver - I need some pick me ups. Good Luck, Autumn, excerpt sounds wonderful

Sharon Donovan said...

Hi Patsy. Sorry to hear you're sick but can relate. I've had something for two months now. I cough and cough and feel just plain awful. The doc gave me medicine but it didn't help. There is a lot of it going around and everyone says the same thing. Nothing helps but time. It's a virus so no meds can attack it. Hot tea is good. Oh, Oliver, make a hot toddy for Patsy!

Autumn Shelley said...

Hello All!
Sharon: A great big thank you for having me today! And a grateful 'hello' to all!
Becca: Your pile sounds like my pile, and mine just keeps getting bigger!
Susan: Thanks for the well sales wishes and back to you three-fold!
Hywela: How goes things on your side of the world???
PL: Sorry to hear about the crud, I agree with (mad) doctor Sharon, have Oliver fix you up a toddy!
The cobwebs are hung, the pumpkins are carved and all that's left is for me to perform my own transformation so stay tuned...Mwahahahahahahahahahhah

Debra St. John said...

Ah, moscato and Oliver with fangs...what more could a girl ask for? Great interview, as always.

The Missouri Ozarks are one of my favorite vacation places!

Autumn Shelley said...

Hey Debra!
Thanks for coming by, and yes, the Ozarks are home no matter where I go.
Well, Halloween was a success, we had probably 50 or more trick or treaters (and no, nobody got rocks or mousetraps!)We had a great time passing out candy to the kiddies and visiting with our neighbor mom's and dad's.
Don't forget to turn your clocks back and enjoy that extra hour. And Sharon, consider letting Oliver get some rest, he's worked so hard, poor thing! >wink<

Sharon Donovan said...

Hello, Deborah! I hope all had a bewitching and safe Halloween. We had lots of wee ones and the rain held off. A warm thank you for my featured Halloween guest. Best of luck to you, Autumn! Wishing you mega sales and much success!

Mary Ricksen said...

I tried to comment yesterday but blogger would not allow me to. Today I think I am in.
This book sounds wonderful to me, love wolves!