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Welcome to Letter Z of the A-Z Blog Challenge.

My theme is Creatures in Paranormal Fiction.
To reach other participating sites, click on the blue/gold letter button in the post

or the blog hop badge in the sidebar.


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Z is for Zombie.

And last but not least is one of the most popular paranormal creatures in modern fiction. Whether as mindless, undead killing machines feasting on human flesh or...wait for it...yes, romantic protagonists, the zombies have slathered their way through recent movies and books at an unchecked rate. To contrast the wide-ranging presentation of this creature, you might take a look at these links: Top 5 Zombie Apocalypses of all Time (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qwZIhJq9xBU), My Life as a White Trash Zombie by Diana Rowland, and Isaac Marion's sexy zombie romance, Warm Bodies.  If you haven't gotten your fill of zombie books yet, check out this Goodreads list: https://www.goodreads.com/shelf/show/zombies.


We've come to the end of the A-Z blog challenge. If you missed any of the posts, you can scroll through the blog looking for the blue letter buttons or click on blog hops in the sidebar. I hope you enjoyed this tour of fictional (or are they?) creatures...and I hope you can still sleep at night. 

Thanks for visiting. I hope you come back soon!
The author interview Coffee Chats will resume next Wednesday.


 
 
Welcome to Letter Y of the A-Z Blog Challenge.

My theme is Creatures in Paranormal Fiction.
To learn more about this blog hop and other participating sites, click on the blue/gold letter button in the post

or the blog hop badge in the sidebar.


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Yeti by Philippe Semeria
Y is for Yeti.

The Yeti is an ogre-like, hairy man-beast from the Himalayan Mts also known as the Abominable Snowman. He is often pictured carry a stone club. Similar sightings in North America have been attributed to Bigfoot.  Check out this list of popular Yeti books: https://www.goodreads.com/shelf/show/yeti.

Y is also for Yoda. Who can deny the Otherworldly creature from Star Wars belongs on this list? Psychic abilities and mind control are only a sample of his awesome powers.
Check here for a photo and more on information on the legendary Jedi: http://www.starwars.com/databank/yoda.


Thanks for stopping!
Come back tomorrow for the end of this blog challenge with the letter Z.
Can you guess what it will be?

 
 
Welcome to Letter X of the A-Z Blog Challenge.

My theme is Creatures in Paranormal Fiction.
To learn more about this blog hop and other participating sites, click on the blue/gold letter button in the post

or the blog hop badge in the sidebar.


X is for Xylomancer.

This diviner uses earth magic to draw visions of the past, present, and future from wood twigs. Throughout earth history, the diviners have been objects of both respect and fear. In various forms they populate almost every sub-genre of paranormal fiction. The specific practitioner of xylomancy is pictured here as an exotic, mystical woman. You can read more about xylomancy at this link: http://www.occultopedia.com/x/xylomancy.htm.


X is also for Xanthus - an immortal horse with the power of speech. Read about Xanthus here: http://www.factophile.com/show.content?action=view&pageid=414 

 
 
Welcome to Letter W of the A-Z Blog Challenge.

My theme is Creatures in Paranormal Fiction.
To learn more about this blog hop and other participating sites, click on the blue/gold letter button in the post

or the blog hop badge in the sidebar.


W is for Witch or Warlock.

A witch is someone who practices witchcraft, typically identified with spells, potions, and magical rituals. Witches have had a predominant place in legends, folklore. and superstition since the Middle Ages.
Although witches are commonly portrayed as women, there are also male witches, often referred to as warlocks.

Like any other folklore there are many variations on the supernatural powers of witches, but conjuring with spells or herbs, powders or potions, is always part of the formula.


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The traditional symbol for a witch is an old crone with a pointed black hat,
facial warts, a broom for transportation, and a cauldron to brew her evil potions, but that picture may be a fairly modern conception. Although there are a variety of myths and beliefs that are pointed out as explanations for this stereotype, the connections are murky, and many early depictions of witches show none of these accoutrements. It's likely they were created or at least enhanced and marketed by 19th and 20th century writers and film makers.


In literature, witches first appeared in Halloween or children's stories. In the last twenty to thirty years they've been humanized to allow for both good and bad witches, and they've become extremely popular characters in urban fantasy and paranormal romances.

Take a look at this huge list of popular witch books: https://www.goodreads.com/list/show/11296.Best_Books_With_Witches,
and this Wikipedia list of fictional witches: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_fictional_witches.

W is also for Wizard.

Unless you've been out of touch for the last few years, you're familiar with wizards from the Harry Potter series, but these conjurers/sorcerers have been around in folklore and legend for centuries. The most famous wizard before Harry Potter was probably Merlin from the Arthurian legends. Other books with wizards can be found here: https://www.goodreads.com/shelf/show/wizards.



 
 
Welcome to Letter V of the A-Z Blog Challenge.

My theme is Creatures in Paranormal Fiction.
To learn more about this blog hop and other participating sites, click on the blue/gold letter button in the post

or the blog hop badge in the sidebar.

V is for Vampire.

I doubt if the vampire needs any introduction. These undead beings who subsist on human blood have grown in popular fiction since the early 1800s and more recently have achieved a significant place in movies and television. In early folklore the vampire was always an evil being to be feared and avoided. The last two centuries have seen an emergence of vampires as more humanistic creatures with incredible powers and the ability to be either good or evil. They have so caught the public imagination they've inspired thousands of popular books and films with a huge fan audience. While vampires are generally considered to be fictional, there are groups dedicated to vampirism and who claim they are real vampires.

If you're interested in fictional vampire heroes, this is the list for you: https://www.goodreads.com/shelf/show/vampire-hero.

For more history on vampires, check out this Wikipedia article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vampire.

Need yet more vampire? Check out this web search for vampires photos: Vampire images.

Thanks for stopping! Be sure to come back for Letter W on Monday.

 
 
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                                 Our Fascination with the Paranormal

Most of us love things that go bump in the night and scary stories are as old as the earliest campfires, but why? What makes us so intrigued with the unexplainable and especially those things that seem to raise goosebumps on our arms?

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I've thought about this a lot since a recent interviewer asked me if I'd ever had a paranormal experience. I said, "No, but spooky things sometimes happen." I remember the attic trap door that closed for no explainable reason, the feelings of deja vu when visiting a place I'd never been before, and the campfire that seemed to form ghostly figures when we'd been telling scary stories. Especially the small log that tumbled out of the fire when the storyteller reached the spot where the victim's head was chopped off and we all screamed. Spooky! 

Imagination or reality? 
So what's the difference? Maybe it's all in the interpretation.My logical left brain always wants concrete answers, so it refuses to attribute supernatural answers to unexplained happenings. If I were to ask, left brain would roll her eyes and say the answer is logical, I simply don't know it. "Fair enough," the right brain acknowledges, but does that necessarily exclude a paranormal answer? Hmm. It's an intriguing thought. Unseen worlds and unnatural laws that might exist all around us. 

Sooo, how do we know the correct answer? The simple response is we don't, and that is one of the main draws of supernatural fiction - the ability, even the right, to imagine those answers, to participate in the creative process.

From haunted houses . . .

                    

                                           to an uneasy walk through a quiet graveyard at dusk . . .

                
                                                                                                         Or a lively adventure with a superhero . . .

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authors and readers have created in their minds the characters and stories that get the blood racing, the adrenaline flowing, tales that pull us out of and beyond ourselves. We invent stories that are larger than life or at least larger than our lives.

Call it escapism or a recognition of an alternate reality, but a tentative belief in the paranormal seems to be a necessary part of human existence. To see more than our immediate world. To go wherever our imagination can take us. To seek out other worlds and beyond.
 




Have you had a paranormal experience? Do you believe they happen?

 
 
Welcome to Letter U of the A-Z Blog Challenge.

My theme is Creatures in Paranormal Fiction.
To learn more about this blog hop and other participating sites, click on the blue/gold letter button in the post

or the blog hop badge in the sidebar.

U is for Unicorn.

The unicorn is a mythological creature bearing one horn from the center of its forehead. These fantasy creatures, usually depicted as beautiful and graceful white horses with an ivory or silver horn, have captured hearts all over the world and are especially endearing and marketed to young girls. The unicorn is a symbol of innocence.

For an article on the history of the unicorn, check out this site: http://io9.com/the-bizarre-history-of-our-obsession-with-unicorns-1466476905

Of course, the unicorn has made it into fantasy fiction: https://www.goodreads.com/list/show/1751.Unicorn_Books and children's fiction: http://www.unicorns.co.za/unicorn-books/childrens-books.html



 
 
Welcome to Letter T of the A-Z Blog Challenge.

My theme is Creatures in Paranormal Fiction.
To learn more about this blog hop and other participating sites, click on the blue/gold letter button in the post

or the blog hop badge in the sidebar.

T is for Troll.

Trolls come in all sizes and shapes, from the huge lumbering giants of Norse mythology to cute gnome-like creatures with colorful fuzzy hair. The only thing consistent about trolls is their persistence in folklore. Originally they were indifferent or hostile to humans. That image has not completely disappeared, but other types of trolls have emerged in merchandising, film and fantasy fiction.
In a few books and films they've been portrayed as small mischievous creatures of unpredictable temperament; in others they live in caves or under bridges and for a price will grant wishes or safe passage through their territory.
While occasionally cast as the main characters,  primarily in fantasy and children's literature, they've also been written as friendly sidekicks and loyal friends. The troll may have been the most diverse creature I found.

Popular books that include trolls: https://www.goodreads.com/shelf/show/trolls.



 
 
Welcome to Letter S of the A-Z Blog Challenge.

My theme is Creatures in Paranormal Fiction.
To learn more about this blog hop and other participating sites, click on the blue/gold letter button in the post

or the blog hop badge in the sidebar.

S is for Shifter aka Shapeshifter.

Shapeshifters are creatures in folklore and fantasy fiction who can transform into another being or occasionally an object. The most common shifter in current fiction is the werewolf, but other popular forms are werecats (panthers, lions, tigers). The variety seems to be limited only by the imaginations of authors and filmmakers. Snakes, rats, bears, dragons have all been written. I haven't yet seen an elephant, but that could be next year's big rage. :)

 Check out this Goodreads discussion group for a list of shifter series: https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/348876-were-shifters-books or this list: https://www.goodreads.com/shelf/show/shapeshifters.

See also L is for Lycan (April 14 blog post).


 
 
Welcome to Letter R of the A-Z Blog Challenge.

My theme is Creatures in Paranormal Fiction.
To learn more about this blog hop and other participating sites, click on the blue/gold letter button in the post

or the blog hop badge in the sidebar.

R is for Reaper.

 A reaper is someone who harvests. In the monster or supernatural creature world, the grim reaper aka reaper is a gruesome being who harvests human souls.

Stories of the grim reaper as the scythe-bearing image we've all seen date back to at least the 1800s, but as early as the 1500s, folklore placed a face on death.
Perhaps any image was better than none and was born from an attempt to minimize their natural fears of the unknown.
For an extensive article on this grim subject, check out this website: http://science.howstuffworks.com/science-vs-myth/strange-creatures/grim-reaper.htm.

There's no end to the imagination of writers. Even the reaper has made it into popular fiction in a romanticized version: https://www.goodreads.com/shelf/show/reapers.