halloween

Because Halloween is a couple of days away I thought this week I’d share some paranormal thoughts. Today’s topic: GHOSTS. And I gotta tell you, as I type this in the dark late hours, with Sandy’s wind slashing rain against my windows, I keep looking over my shoulder, expecting some specter to be checking my spelling. *shivers*

Because folks … I know ghosts are real.

Unlike so many other paranormal entities, vampires, werewolves and fae (oh, my) I’ve seen my fair share of ghosts and I don’t mind admitting, they scare the living bejeebers out of me. I grew up in a very old house that had been built in the late 1800’s. That sucker was full of creepy sh*t, though I seem to be the only one of five children who saw/heard anything. Mystery foot falls running up and down the stairs. Attic doors that opened on their own. Lights that turned on when no one was in the room. People walking into rooms and then disappearing. You know, the sort of thing a teenager home alone doesn’t want to experience.

One of the wildest times happened when I was home alone with my boyfriend (who became Mr. Nina). We were *cough cough* studying in my room when we heard this wild lawn party going on at my neighbor’s house. Music, laughter, people talking. I opened the window to check it out (because I’m nosy like that) and guess what … there was no party outside. I pull my head back in, sure enough, the sounds of a distant party. Outside … nothing. I looked at creeped out boyfriend to confirm he was experiencing the same thing and we bolted from the room. Funny thing is, my parents came home shortly after we’d settled ourselves in the livingroom. Hmmmm. I’ve often wondered about that one.

When I was in college, my parents went through a divorce and my mom was in the house by herself a lot. She finally experienced the feet running up and down the stairs. Though she never mentioned seeing anything, I wonder if it was finally quiet enough for her to hear what had been going on around her all along.

To this day, I still sense the spiritual world. I can’t talk to them or see them, which is just fine with me, but I know when they’re there. I don’t need Ghost Hunters to confirm what I already feel. It’s the reason I can’t watch movies like Sixth Sense or Poltergeist. I replay every ghostly scene, tossing and turning at night, convinced if I open my eyes, someone will be standing over me.

My son is also sensitive. He spent many a night in my bed after he woke to find “the boy” watching over him in his bedroom. Yeeeah, I so couldn’t sleep in that particular bedroom of that house either. For the last two years we’ve been in an apartment in a refurbished mill. I understand there is a spirit in the common room downstairs … I don’t go down there. But I am grateful there is plenty of ambiant light lighting up my room at night. I never have to wonder when I wake in the night if something is haqnging in the shadows that isn’t human or feline. I liked it that way. I’m hoping the next house we buy will be the same. It keeps the nightly trip to go pee from terrorizing me. LOL!

So what about you? Do you believe in ghosts? Or do you think I’m completely off my rocker on this one? You know me. I’d love for you to share … I’m just curious like that.

(I’m also hanging out at Tabby’s Nocturnal Nights talking about writing memorable characters. She’s having a wonderful Halloween party over there. Stop by and join in the fun!)

HAPPY HALLOWEEN EVERYONE! With all the destruction left from Sandy (and still affecting some) I hope you and yours are safe and warm.

Everyone has their own experiences in the world…things that have happened to make them who they are and form their beliefs. In all honesty, my experience is limited. My Catholic background and middle class friends didn’t really stretch my world into the paranormal realm. It’s only since I’ve been a writer and active on the internet and on various social media, in forums, and Yahoo loops that I’ve met some very interesting people who have pushed my boundaries of the “normal world”.

Today, I want to hear your take on witches, fae, vampires, that kind of thing.

I’ve met (online) several writers who are witches. To be honest, I’m not sure what that means. I do believe they study (or practice?) Wicca and that they are part of covens. Beyond that, I don’t know much about witches. I don’t know if they cast spells or simply have a different view of the world. I do have a witch trilogy that’s been percolating in my brain for awhile so it’s one of those things on my to-do research list. If you have more information, I’d love to know.

And what of vampires? I have a friend who says there is a (coven?) of vampires in southern Maine. Not playacting people who don fake fangs, but actual non-living, non-breathing vampires. (Not like this type of human vampire.) This one stretches me beyond what I can actually fathom. I’m all about the sexy alpha vampires filling the pages of my books and hanging out on movie screens … but walking the city streets? I seriously can’t go there.

There’s also this new trend to plant faerie gardens to attract the wee folk. Like really have faeries coming to your garden? Or do people think the enchantment is as real as Santa and it’s the spirit of the idea? I don’t know. I have a friend who planted a special garden this summer, but I haven’t seen her in person to have a lengthy discussion about all things with wings.

So where do you stand on all of this? Any experience with any of the above? I hope you’ll share. Because I’m really not trying to pass judgment, I’m fascinated by all of it and would love to hear what you all think.

(I’m also hanging over at Full Moon Bites Blog chatting about other worlds. I hope you’ll swing over.)

This week before all Hallow’s Eve I wanted to share with you some interesting facts about Halloween. (And don’t mind the sexiness … the guys just haven’t been around for awhile and thought they’d just hang around and visit.)

1. Halloween’s roots can be traced back to Celtic culture in Ireland. According to their “Druid” religion, November 1st was New Year’s on their calendar. The celebration would begin on October 31st, and last into the following day. The spirits of all who died in the prior year, would rise up and roam the earth on this night. (That’s one heck of a party! And after a night like that … it’s the morning after that would bring the walking dead!)

2. The first Halloween celebration in America took place in Anoka, Minnesota in 1921. (I’m thinking they danced around a bon fire and made sure this guy was around to make sure it all stayed safe.)

3. Druids wore masks on Samhain to protect themselves from goblins, ghosts and evil spirits because it was believed the dead walked the earth. (And I’m thinking a little blindfold on Halloween might be juuuust enough.)

4. Vampire bats are real and they do drink blood. They live in Central and South America and feed on cattle, swine, and horses. Whether there are real human vampires depends on who you talk to. (And if there are vampires and they looked like Alex O’Lauglin … I’d happily let them take a bite out of me!)

5. Halloween’s colors are black and orange. To Pagans, orange represents strength, valor and energy. Black absorbed and banished evil. Non-Pagans viewed orange as the color of autumn and harvest; black as signs of death and malevolence. (Sometimes all you need is black and white.)

6. The original Jack-o-Lanterns were mangel-wurzels, large yellowish beets. According to legend, Jack was a mean spirited Irishman who outsmarted the devil. When Jack died, he was denied entrance to both Heaven and hell. The devil threw him a lump of coal to guide Jack on his eternal earthly journey and he put it in a mangel-wurzel.(Tht’s right sweetie, stay close, I won’t let you get lost in the dark.)

7. In an early form of trick-or-treating, Celts costumed as spirits are believed to have gone from house to house engaging in silly acts in exchange for food and drink. (I wonder what sort of acts this guy is up to?)

8. 90% of parents admit to sneaking goodies from their kids’ Halloween trick-or-treat bags. (Maybe we should bind his hands to be sure he’s a good boy. 😉 )

9. Halloween is second only to Christmas in spending. Consumers will spend over $2.5 Billion during Halloween. That’s a whole lot of candy, costumes, decorations, and party goods. (Pshaw… it’s the margarita mix and salt! Yee Haw!)

10. A man in Rhode Island broke the pumpkin record this year, growing a gourd that weighed 2009 pounds! He smashed the former record of 1818 pounds grown by a couple in Quebec, Canada in 2011. (Yeah, yeah, whatever … how about handling this guy?)

11. More than 35 million pounds of candy corn will be produced this year. That equates to nearly 9 billion pieces – enough to circle the moon nearly 4 times if laid end-to-end. (How about I wrap myself around this man candy just once?)

12. “Witch” comes from the Saxon word meaning “Wicca” which means wise one. Witches were thought to be wise enough to predict the future. (I’d just like this guy to work his magic on me!)

13. The world’s fastest time to carve a pumpkin recorded in the Guiness Book of World Records was 54.72 seconds by Stephen Clarke of the US. (Sorry, Stephen, there’s not one woman walking this earth that thinks 54 seconds is a good time!)

NOTE: No Ouji boards were harmed in the writing of this blog.


Welcome to our annual trick-or-treat contest. 13 “houses” to visit, LOTS of chances to win, including a grand prize of an engraved iPad ereader and a basket full of author goodies.

To begin playing, just pick an item from my goodie bag list below send me a note with your selection to Nina(AT)NinaPierce(DOT)com. Yep it’s that easy to enter from here. If you want to visit all the houses you can start over at Sam Cheever’s house and follow the links from one website to another.

**Please take some time to look around each site. Some of the authors will be providing fun tidbits and free stories for your reading pleasure! If an author looks like someone you’d like to read, consider signing up for her newsletter. Also, some of the authors are holding a special, in-house contest to increase your chances of winning! ***

On Halloween night at Midnight, EST each author will choose a winner from the emails sent to her and send the name to Sam Cheever. On November 1st, Sam will pick the winner of the grand prize basket from those 13 winners. The more houses you visit … the more chances you’ll have to win.

GRAND PRIZE BASKET INCLUDES:
Engraved iPad ereader
E-books from various authors
Signed copies of print books from various authors
Enough promotional swag to fill your trick-or-treat bag

In addition to the grand prize basket, there will also be a bonus prize awarded to the winner of the Author Island drawing this year, which is an extra stop at the end of the street.

*** Only one trip down the street and you must be
at
least 18 years of age to play! ***

Good luck everybody and have fun!

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Please choose one of the following destinations for your trick-or-treat pleasure:

1. XTC Resort, Key West (Maid for Master and Invitation to Ecstasy )
Claire’s bare feet tread steadily along the sandy path. Shafts of sunlight flickered in the cool shadows of the palm fronds. Lush leaves of thick underbrush tickled along her breasts and belly, raising goose flesh. Never had she been so aware of the sensations playing over her body. Even as the warm breath of the ocean breeze danced with her hair, caressing her sensitized skin like a lover’s touch, peaking her nipples and stroking her damp folds, Claire tried not to condemn herself for what she was about to do.

2. South Kenton, California (Shadows of Fire )
The pines opened to a small clearing. Morning fog hung heavy over the river running placidly behind their log cabin. Normal men would have found tranquility and sustenance fishing in its icy depths, but in the year they’d lived here, he and Josh had barely spent time on its banks. That’s why it surprised Reese when his eyes immediately fixated on the figure hunched on the boulder. He stared, not sure she wasn’t a mirage. He shoved the car in park and shut off the engine.

Alex had come to him.

3. Garden of Serenity (Healer’s Garden )
They rode through the fields bareback, climbing into the hills. The grassy fields gave way to palm trees and exotic vegetation Jahara had never seen. Emerald leaves fringed large flowers in all shades of the rainbow, their honeyed aroma filling the air in a sweet fog. Birds hidden among the foliage warbled and sang, permeating the jungle with their melodious tunes. It was a banquet for the senses and she closed her eyes, committing it all to memory.

4. Cutler, Maine (Blind Her With Bliss , Deceive Her With DesireCheat Her With Charm)
The musty scent of the earth mixed with the heady aroma of Julie’s perfume wrapped around his nose and made him lightheaded with anticipation. Her warm breath tickled his neck, leaving gooseflesh in its wake. She barely weighed anything, but the heat of her pressed against his back made the walk through the lush ferns very pleasant. Though he’d only been here once before, Damon had honed his sense of direction in the army and found the isolated waterfall someone at the radio station had told him about without having to retrace his steps. It had been winter the first time he’d come here on snowshoes, crisp and refreshing—solitary. This day, the lush foliage of summer and Julie’s company made the visit so much more inviting.

5. Lonesome Fork, Montana (Bonded Souls, Bonded by Need)
The morning had dawned bright and clear, the sun winking off the four inches of new snow like millions of diamonds, but she’d been too exhausted, unmotivated and sore to get out of her pajamas before lunch. Jayda suspected her achy thighs and butt had more to do with the two rides on the mechanical bull and not the romp with Cole in the backseat of his car. But a girl could fantasize.

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Send your choice of one of the destinations to me in an email Nina(AT)NinaPierce(DOT)com The contest is open until midnight EST on Halloween. All participants emailing me will also be entered to win this additional prize:

Nina’s Personal Halloween Prize Pack
* Digital copy of my vampire novel “Shadows of Fire”
* $25 Amazon Gift Card

So I’m dressing up as Cleopatra and going to parties in my thrown (okay … an electric wheelchair, but hey, it works). Do you have your costume ready to go?

When I was a kid Halloween was very low budget in my house. We lived in the country so there weren’t a whole lot of houses around, which meant my siblings and I weren’t overly invested in donning costumes to visit a dozen houses. But we knew we wouldn’t be successful gaining access to the candy stashes if we didn’t at least put forth some effort. So my costumes usually consisted of my dad’s oversized suit jacket, some charcoal rubbed on cheeks and chin for a beard and a stick thrown over my shoulder with a bandana hanging from it. Not the most inventive, but hey, it got the job done at 4:00 Halloween night.

When my children were young we lived in a neighborhood by the elementary school. LOTS of parents and children roamed the streets. It looked like the trick-or-treating scene out of ET (one of my favorite movies of all time). I was the one who stayed home and doled out candy … in costume of course (a witch dress and hat that slipped on after dinner with no hassles and served me for many, many years). The pumpkins the family had intricately carved were lit up in the front window. But still … it was all for one night and low-tech. The pumpkins were recycled the next day. No fanfare. No hassles.

NOW it seems Halloween has gone the way of Christmas. What’s up with all the decorations people put on their front porches? Everything from blow up pumpkins to witches stirring cauldrons (a mere $160 at Wal-Mart thank you very much). Seriously? I can barely get decorations up for Christmas and then they stay there until nearly Easter. Do neighbors actually expect people to put the cornstalks up around the porch posts and fall leaves in the window boxes?

Lord help me if that’s the case. I’m soooo not into that. When did Halloween become this crazy commercialized holiday? It seems to have snuck up on me like last year’s extra weight and I’m not very happy about either situation.

Even costumes are crazy. Rarely do I see the sheet over the head costume of my youth. (Hey, don’t knock it. If four other siblings do this it means everyone can hit the same house several times to get the good stuff … who would know?) Now, babies show up at my door dolled up like pea pods and cows. Yeah, they’re adorable, but we all know it’s not that 18 month old who’s snarfing down the candy. And don’t be coming to my house with the four year old sibling who’s holding a second bag for baby sister. Cut me some slack. If you can’t eat it … you don’t get to trick-or-treat for it.

I know. I’m the Scrooge of Halloween. I’ve completely lost the spirit. The Grinch of Samhain who’s heart just isn’t in it. I just can’t help myself. I’m feeling the pressure to keep up with my neighbors and I don’t like it. Hey, the mall is decorated for Christmas. Maybe I’ll just put up my Christmas decorations as well and call it good for the year. What do you think?

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Welcome one and all. This weekend I’m doing something a little bit different. I’m participating in a blog hop with all kinds of authors offering all kinds of prizes. If you happened upon my blog first, please do start HERE and join in on the fun to be eligible to win a Kindle 4!

Since this is a Halloween blog tour, I can’t resist sharing some candy …

I have no doubt this tooshie is popular on our hop today. But isn’t he worth another look?

Ah hem, okay, back to our regularly scheduled tour … Participants were offered the opportunity to “roll” a scene generator and challenged to use the words offered in one scene. Of course working it into a Halloween theme gets me extra points. (I totally made that up! *vbg*) But here are my characters: VETERINARIAN, DEMON, BOUNTY HUNTER and I somehow I had to incorporate the personality traits SMUG, OBSESSIVE, SHIFTY and it all had to take place in a SALON. LOL! I’m always up for a good challenge. Leave me a comment to know what you think and you’ll be entered to win a set of my romance trading cards(which you can check out HERE) and an ebook of BLIND HER WITH BLISS, the first book in my Tilling Passions series.

Please enjoy my story …

I slammed into the salon, the cheery bells announcing my arrival.

The day had dawned way too early after a night that had ended way too late. But calves didn’t arrive at the convenience of veterinarians. It felt like I’d no sooner fallen exhausted into bed when the alarm screamed at me to begin another day at my practice. I’d started my morning under a cold spray of water from a water heater my landlord had yet to fix. Add the burned toast and grinds in my watery coffee and I’d barely been coherent enough to change the flat tire I’d no doubt acquired at Old Man Corey’s farm the previous night.

“What the hell, Delanie Shepherd? You look like something one of your horses trampled. And I wouldn’t call a flannel shirt and jeans much of a costume.” My best friend, Peggy sauntered out of the back room, the sexy demon costume hugging her curves, reminding me I’d forgotten to buy candy for the trick-or-treaters who would be knocking at my door tonight.

“Don’t give me a hard time. I’ve had a crappy morning and I’m already running late. I told you I’d pick up little Oliver on my way to the office.”

“Of course I remembered. I’ve got my little guy. We’ve done some special bonding this morning commiserating about his surgery.” Peggy was obsessive about her ten cats. As responsible as she was, she always felt neutering was cruel form of toruture. “Why don’t you give me thirty minutes to work at trying to give that hair of yours a little style and maybe find you a sexy doctor’s costume you can wear for the day?”

The bell over the door rang.

“No time this morning. I’ve got shots to give and testicles to remove. Busy. Busy.”

“Ouch! I’m glad I’m not one of your patients.”

A low groan rumbled in my chest. That toe-curling Irish accent could belong to only one man. So not who I wanted to run into after I’d barely gotten two hours of sleep. But I pasted on my best I don’t care smile and turned to find Heath McTabbit in all his six-foot-something-mouth-watering glory standing there in a Hans Solo getup. The Bounty Hunter costume made the local pediatrician appear even more dangerous. The smile he flashed seemed to reach down and grab the pit of my stomach, pulling it into a hot lump in my throat.

“Are you emasculating all males you come across today or targeting specific ones?” he asked.

“Only males with shifty eyes who have no control over the libidos.” I shot back.

“Dr. Heath,” Peggy cried. “I’m so glad you could stop by this morning to pick up our basket of goodies for the children’s party this afternoon. Let me get that for you.” Peggy disappeared into the back room.

I rolled my eyes at my dear friend’s obvious attempt at matchmaking. Happily married, Peggy hated that I hadn’t found my Prince Charming. “I think Peggy’s arranging more than hair today.”

Heath stepped closer to me, the heat of his body buffeting me through the thin flannel of my shirt. The fresh scent of his cologne assaulted my nose, making my knees go weak. “I for one am glad she did. You seem to avoid me every time we’re in the same room.”

I backed up, only to find he’d trapped me between the free standing hair dryer and the wall of his body. My heart hammered in my chest and I suspected by the way his gaze dropped to my throat that he could see how he affected me. “That’s not true. I do not avoid you. I’m just…a busy woman.” A lie. There was something about my younger brother’s best friend that I found unsettling. Heath McTabbit never missed an opportunity to single me out at parties. But our five year age difference made me feel awkward and uncomfortable. In our small town, I had no desire to be the grist for the rumor mill that never stopped.

He toyed with my hair, his mesmerizing blue eyes raking my face. “Prove it. Find some sexy costume and join me at the Halloween dance tonight.”

“Heath…” I dragged his name over my tongue, trying to make my lips form the word no even as my head screamed yes.

“Stop worrying about other people, Delanie. Don’t think what’s right. Think about this.” His mouth came down hard on mine, not some soft exploration, but a full on assault that had my eyes falling shut and overwhelming me with the dizzying softness of his lips. He tasted and nipped before slowly easing back enough to talk, his breath feathering over my swollen mouth. “Say yes, Delanie.”

My lids fluttered open, my mind overwhelmed by his heat. His taste. His smell. “Yes, Delanie.”

The smug smile lighting his face, stole what little breath I had left. “Then it’s a date,” he said dangerously quiet in that Irish brogue that promised wicked tricks and sinful treats.

Peggy’s squeeing brought me back down to reality. “Well it’s about time you two figured this thing out.” She held up a basket of cookies and the cat carrier.

Peggy may have been wearing the demon costume, but when Heath winked, I was sure I’d just made a date with the devil.
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Enjoy the rest of your blog tour!

****  CONGRATULATIONS TO MY WINNERS  ****

Julia Barrett
(Blind Her With Bliss and Romance Trading Cards)

Donna
(A set of Romance Trading Cards)

****  CONGRATULATIONS TO BLOG HOP PRIZE WINNERS  ****

DJ – Grand Prize of the Kindle
Jessica Sutton – Winner of my “Bonded Souls”

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR EVERYONE WHO JOINED IN THE FUN!

In celebration of Halloween, I’ve decided to devote the next three Wednesdays to all things spookie and mysterious. This week’s topic … HORROR!

Now, as a disclaimer I’m going to tell you, I’m not really a fan of reading or watching horror. I’ve read Stephen King, but only those that were more psychological rather than outright horror. I’m just not into all that blood and gore. However, I can watch classic Hitchcock, television and movies. I think it has to do with the fact that his horror happens off screen. No severed heads rolling across the screen or bloody limbs hanging in the trees.*shiver* Seriously, I can’t stand that stuff.

Of course I had to look at the science behind actually choosing to expose ourselves to something that frightens us. It turns out research has shown we’re hardwired to enjoy the hunt, the thrill of the unknown. There’s a rush of endorphines, the body’s natural pain killer, flooding our brain when we become frightened. The fight or flight response is triggered, increasing our heartrate, dilating our eyes and tensing our muscles.

When we realize there truly is no threat, the life-saving reactions of our bodies become a pleasurable adrenaline rush. Hence the thrill of the fear.

This also translates over to high-risk activities like skydiving, white-water rafting and bungee jumping. See, these things I enjoy. When I participate in these activities I’m left with memories that don’t haunt my dreams or wake me in the night.

Horror movies on the other hand … yeeeeah, those visuals live with me long after the movie is over. I watched a B-rated horror movie when I was a teen that I knew would scare the bejeebers out of me. (cheap tickets, dark theater, new boyfriend … you get the picture) Anyway, I’ve forgotten very little of that movie. I remember how each and every person died when the door to hell was opened at a vacation home of some college kids. Of course the hero and heroine managed to fall into the depths of hell, stab the devil with a very large cross which he threw out of the gates of hell which they in turn used to seal the door shut again saving the world from the clutches of satan. I saw this movie over 30 years ago and remember huge chunks of the gore. If I want horror (which I wouldn’t), I’d just replay a few those scenes (which I don’t).

The only horror type movie that I watched every year even though I knew it would scare me for weeks was an odd version of Frankenstein. Definitely a more romantic version of the original. It was a mini-series and included a wife and everything. It ran for three or four years and it must have been shown around Halloween. I wish I knew the name of it because I just loved that movie and I wonder if I would enjoy it as much as an adult.

Okay, so I’ve rambled enough. What about you? Do you enjoy horror movies and/or books? Any favorites you can recommend for my other visitors … because you know I’m not watching them. LOL!

A howling opportunity to win a KINDLE, Amazon Gift Cards and a plethora of digital and print books.

Come on over to Night Owl Romance and check out all the details. Visit 25 author sites to be entered to win. Visit at least
40 author sites and you’re entered to win the GRAND PRIZE. (All prizes listed on the Night Owl site.)

Just look for this graphic on each website…

(All graphics are one click from home page.) Type the word you find in the entry form and you’re entered.

Easy peasy.

Just think of all the new authors you get to meet. All the wonderful books you get to check out. Oh, come on you know you wanna join in the fun! Start with the graphic on my website. Contest runs until Monday, October 31. What are you waiting for? Jump in for your chance to win!

Knock on the door and come on in! Do I have some candy and other treats for you!

Today, I’m coordinating my blog with several other Liquid Silver authors and offering you some real adult Halloween treats. We’re offering you “eye candy” and some wonderful ebooks.

Here’s my favorite candy to have with my morning coffee:

And then when I sit down for lunch I always enjoy a six pack with my sandwich:

Then I like to get some exercise in the afternoon and treat myself to more candy while I’m at it:

And after a hard day, I just like to settle in with a little candy to help me sleep better:

Sure I have a sweet tooth, but next to Dove chocolate, this is my favorite dessert! And I was happy to share those treats with you! Just leave me a comment and let me know when you like your candy best: in the morning, lunch, afternoon snack or in the evening.

I’ll be drawing one name at random from anyone who leaves me a comment before midnight Halloween night and they will win an e-copy of my futuristic erotic suspense novel, The Healer’s Garden.

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If you want to trick-or-treat with Liquid Silver authors you should have arrived from Savanna Kougar’s blog and after you comment you should trick-or-treat at Jeanne Barrack’s blog.

If you visit all 9 blogs and comment on each of them, you will be eligible to win the grand prize: A wonderful inbox full of Liquid Silver e-books.

Enjoy your candy today! (If you get lost and can’t find your way, come on back and I’ll point you in the right direction!)

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