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Claimed Possession



5 Moons- I absolutely loved it, and highly recommend it!

4 Moons- I loved it! A must buy!

3 Moons- I liked it. Add it to your TBR.

2 Moons- It was okay, but not my cup of tea.

1 Moon- I didn't like it at all.
Friday, March 30, 2012

Giveaway & Guest Post: Closeness to characters by Su Halfwerk

Holly, thanks for having me here today and for the chance to share my relationship with my characters.

Every time I write a book, I develop a very close relationship with my characters.
To be able to write their stories, I have to understand their motives, likings, and weak points. I'm often asked which of my characters I like most or least, the answer is not simple. Even a negative trait can become endearing. Best example is Dexter Morgan from the TV show and the main character in Jeff Lindsay's series of novels.
Liking a negative character shouldn't reflect badly on you as a reader or author, but it shows how well rounded that character is. There should be evil and good in all, including fictional characters.
Hellbound has 3 short stories; The Deadening, The Substitute, and Scorned. I will share my feelings towards each main character while attempting to keep the stories shrouded in mystery.
In The Deadening, Bart is a morgue assistant in charge of dead bodies brought into the morgue. He's an average looking opportunist who has only one friend—if you'll call Moe that—and is very self assured. Writing him was like writing about that silent bully from school days, the one that doesn't push or insult, but only studies you as though you're an inferior species. His strength stems from your uncertainty of the extent of his power. I didn't like Bart initially, but after he received the Pain Letter—and definitely by the end—I pitied him.
On the other Stan from The Substitute is so handsome—and aware of it—that one of his customers wonders why he didn't consider modeling as a career. Surely agents would fight over the chance to represent him. Stan, however, is a practical man, one who knows looks wither while money remains. So he becomes a medium, a job that is part charm, part skill, part real spiritualism, even though he didn't have a single spiritual bone in his body. I never pitied Stan. I think he deserved what he got at the end.
We've all known or heard of someone like Jenna from Scorned. A housewife so dedicated to the satisfaction of her husband that she takes care of the house and learns how to do everything—and in the process, neglects herself. Her devotion to her husband erases her personality and what makes her unique. And then he goes and scorns her? Very. Big. Mistake!
I liked Jenna. She displayed both sides of a woman; her softness toward the one she believed to be her soul mate and her subsequent hardness to set things right. Too right in my opinion, but hey, you don't want to cross Jenna. When she took over the story at the end, I could only type, no thinking, no plotting, just sweet Jenna whispering her wishes in my ear.
Yes, I do develop a relationship with my characters, I like some more than the others, but they are all real to me.
Horror isn't always blood and gore; true horror is what's inside people, the real stuff, not the fluff shown to others. Hellbound has some blood and gore (even some yuck moments) but it is real to me…because people can't hide what they truly are when they're hell-bound.

Hellbound by Su Halfwerk
Genre: Horror

"One-way ticket to Hell.
Bart is a greedy morgue attendant with money on his mind. He gets more than what he bargains for when he chances upon a pain-letter, one he must pass on or bear the consequences of his inaction.

Stan is a chiseler, a fake medium, preying on his unsuspecting clients’ earnings through bogus channeling sessions. When he meets mysterious Joanna Stark, he believes her promises of powers beyond his comprehension, powers blessed by the Netherworld.

Jenna gives up her old life and career to settle down as Troy’s loving wife. He is a God-fearing man who will consent only to marriage. Except fate maps a different ending to their love story, a conclusion that takes them both down and never up again.

Bart, Stan, and Jenna are destined to go on a long and abominable journey that sinks them below their expectations and forces them to endure pain and anguish beyond their worst nightmares.

On the paths leading to the depths of Hell, their sins don’t matter!"
Purchase: Amazon | B&N | Publisher |

A scraping sound came from behind the small bar in the corner of the office; Stan swiveled his head in that direction.  From the corner of his eye, he caught Jo’s mocking smile.
With legs as heavy as lead, Stan marched to the bar, hoping his tough front would veil the shiver buried deep in his being.  At the bar, he placed both hands on the wooden counter and leaned over, and into the yawning blackness of his dead aunt’s eyes.  “Aunt Maude?”
She was coiled on herself and slumped behind the bar, facing him, her ancient crêpe skin stretched with the pressure of her jutting bones.  Through chattering blue lips, she pleaded, “Do her bidding, Stan.  Do it or she won’t let me rest.”
The begging quality of her voice squeezed the life out of his heart.  His proud, confident aunt was reduced to this creature?  He backed away.  “This is a trick.  You’re playing with my mind.”  He whirled around and faced Jo, who’d shifted around until she could peer down on the old woman as well.
“It’s no trick.”  His aunt’s low whisper made him turn again to her, her anguish-inundated gray eyes fixed on Jo.  “This witch is a necromancer as well.”  Her gaze shifted to him.  “Have mercy on me, Stan.  Give her what she wants.”
Wetting his lips, Stan gazed down at the woman who’d raised him like her own son.  He couldn’t do this to her.  Of their own accord, his hands stretched to touch her, to ease her pain and worry.  All of a sudden, she vanished.  Just like that; one moment she was there, and the next he was staring at the small rectangular carpet.
“Do you believe me now?” Jo asked in a calm tone.
He gritted his teeth so that the pain in his gums would distract him from lashing out.  “Why are you doing this?”
“I already explained that I need your services.”  When he shook his head, she continued.  “I can bring your family to you, one by one.  You’ll see them in different stages of decomposition, none of them as pleasant or jubilant as you remember.  I will mutate and twist your memories.”  She paused.  “Dead spirits are never happy when raised.”
No shit, he thought to himself.  He returned to his desk and plopped on his chair.  “What makes you think I have what it takes to resurrect you?”
“I was a witch long enough to know the necessary ingredients for a resurrection, and a powerful warlock or witch is essential to its success.”
“Why me?”  He raised a hand.  “And spare me the bullshit.”
She shrugged.  “It boils down to two factors.  One, you’re in the spiritual business, so you will think twice before asking any type of authority for help.”  She winked at him.  “Which, by the way, won’t work.  Two, you are buyable.  Your conscience is on a very long hiatus, it doesn’t twitch even when you hustle an old woman out of  her only source of income, her husband’s pension.”
Stan rolled his eyes.  “I’m getting a lecture from a dead witch about the morality of my actions.”
All of a sudden, Jo was in his face, glaring down at him.  “You can be as sarcastic as you wish, Stan, but you’ll also get initiated as a powerful warlock to resurrect me.  Your other option is endless suffering until you throw yourself off a balcony or in front of a speeding bus.  And when you die, you will be in my dominion.  Think about that.”

Su Halfwerk writes in the horror and paranormal romance genres. From a tender age, the written word left a strong impression on her, later on terrifying, blood-chilling books became the object of her interest. Su’s style in horror combines shuddery terror with elements of surprise; some would even call it an enigmatic twist. In the world of paranormal romance, she transforms the desire to scare into a quest to seduce and tantalize.
Other books by Su Halfwerk:
·         Seeker ~ Book 1 in the Unsettled Series (Paranormal Romance)
·         His to Possess (Finalist in 2011 EPIC Awards in the Paranormal Romance category)
·         Zuphreen (Horror/Urban Fantasy)
·         Intricate Entanglement (Horror/Thriller)
The books are available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and other online outlets
When not writing, Su is designing book trailers for herself and other authors.

Find Su at: Her Site | Facebook | Blog | Twitter

All you have to do to enter for a chance to win is fill out the Rafflecopter form below.

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  1. Holly, I love your blog, dark and inviting at the same time. Thanks for the chance to share my relationship with my characters, I hope you and your readers enjoy reading it as much as I did writing it.

  2. Love the excerpt, Su, and I'm busily collecting points so I can have the book!

  3. Hi Jenny, Nice to see you here. I'm real glad you're following the tour. Good luck, darling.

  4. Wow, this book looks really good! The excerpt was really good!

  5. Thanks, Lauren. I appreciate your kind words :-)

  6. Thank you for the awesome giveaway!

  7. Hello Su,

    Your recent release "Hellbound" sounds like a Darkly Intriguing Read, one not to be missed. Your Cover Art just draws a Reader right in to want to know More!

    I filled out the Rafflecopter, but I'm not a Member of Facebook or Twitter, so I did what I could.

    I would very much appreciate an opportunity to be considered in your very generous giveaway. Thank You.

    Take Care & Have a Great Weekend,
    PaParanormalFan (Renee’ S.)

  8. Thanks for the giveaway. I would love to read this book.


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