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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.


Picture


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.

 
 
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.

 
 
Welcome to Letter Q 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.

Picture
public domain photo from 1904

Q is for Questing Beast.

This unique creature out of folklore is a large, hoofed monster, somewhat dragon-like, with the head of a snake, upper body of a leopard, hindlegs of a lion, and hooves of a deer. The questing beast has an unquenchable thirst for water, but every stream or lake it drinks from becomes poisonous.

The questing beast appeared in various accounts of the legends of King Arthur.

Check out this site for a different version of how the beast got its name: http://d.lib.rochester.edu/camelot/theme/questing-beast.


 
 
Mystical Mystery Series Book Bundle

Three Award-winning Authors—Book Giveaway and Sale

Enjoy a touch of the mystical and an innovative take on mystery in three colorful settings. An international trio of authors — Australian Virginia King, American Amber Foxx and British Marion Eaton—all B.R.A.G. Medallion winners—have teamed up for a giveaway and over a week of discounts from April 21 – 30.  Buy each e-book for only $1.99 US. Enter the drawing to win a paperback copy of the first book in each author’s series. 

The Calling

The first Mae Martin Psychic Mystery

Obeying her mother’s warning, Mae Martin-Ridley has spent years hiding her gift of “the sight.” When concern for a missing hunter compels her to use it again, her peaceful life in a small Southern town begins to fall apart. New friends push her to explore her unusual talents, but as she does, she discovers the shadow side of her visions— access to secrets she could regret uncovering.

Gift or curse? When an extraordinary ability intrudes on an ordinary life, nothing can be the same again.

 The Mae Martin Series

No murder, just mystery. Every life hides a secret, and love is the deepest mystery of all.


When the Clocks Stopped

The Mysterious Marsh Series, Book One

When lawyer Hazel Dawkins decides to write some wills while she waits for the birth of her first child, she unwittingly triggers dramatic consequences. Mysteriously, she encounters Annie, a woman whose tempestuous life took place more than two centuries earlier when Romney Marsh was a violent place, dominated by smugglers.  Soon that past collides with the present, and Hazel finds herself pitted against an evil that has stalked the marsh for centuries.  As her destiny intertwines with Annie’s in the shifting time-scape, Hazel confronts a terrifying challenge that parallels history—and could even change it. If she survives.


The First Lie

Selkie Moon Mysteries Book One

Selkie Moon is a woman on the run.  In a mad dash for freedom she's escaped her life in Sydney to start over again in Hawaii.  But her refuge begins to unravel and she's running from something else entirely.  A voice in a dream says that someone is trying to kill her.  Not that she's psychic, no way. But the messages and threats escalate until she's locked in a game of cat and mouse with a mysterious stalker.  Entangled in Celtic and Hawaiian mythologies, the events become so bizarre and terrifying that her instinct is to keep running.  But is she running from her past?  Or her future?


                                 Enter the drawing to win paperback copies of all three books.

Three Intriguing Mysteries Raffle Conditions

1.      What is the Prize?  The prize consists of three paperback books: The Calling by Amber Foxx, The First Lie by Virginia King, and When the Clocks Stopped by M.L. Eaton.

2.      Who Can Enter? The raffle is open to any person aged over 18 years, all countries included.

3.      How Long does the Raffle last? The raffle runs from 12:00 midnight Eastern U.S. time on April 21 and ends 12:00 midnight Eastern U.S. time April 26, 2015

4.      How to Enter? When you click on the Rafflecopter link you’ll be able to choose which series you would like to learn more about. After that, you’ll be entered in the drawing. To get an additional entry, click on the option to tweet the give-away.

5.      How will the Winner be Chosen? A random winner will be chosen by Rafflecopter.

6.      When will the Winner be Announced? The winner will be announced on April 27.

                         To enter, click here:  http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/eb0a35092/




 
 
Welcome to Letter P 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.


P is for Psychics.

A psychic is a person with supernatural powers  (ESP) beyond the normal range of human senses, i.e. a medium, a clairvoyant, fortune teller, soothsayer. They are thought to have a special connection with the spirit world and other dimensions, which may include both time and space.

Psychics of one type or another are very popular in fiction. Check out this Goodreads list: https://www.goodreads.com/shelf/show/psychics-fiction and  psychics in YA fiction here: https://www.goodreads.com/list/show/24367.YA_Novels_about_Psychic_Abilities.


In modern paranormal fiction, psychic powers are attributed to nearly all supernatural creatures, such as vampires, witches, and wizards.


Thanks for stopping. Be sure to come back Monday for the Letter Q...