Something is wrong. I’m finally waking up. I can almost feel my consciousness slip into focus, but I still feel like I am floating.
I pry my eyes open, and I can see I am lying in a bed, but I can’t remember how I got there or when I’d gone to bed. Had I been hallucinating? Is Ryan okay?
I put my hand to my head, or I think I did. I can’t feel it. I can hear movement, but I can’t feel anything. I frown, realizing the floating feeling hasn’t gone away. It isn’t really like floating; it isn’t as soothing. It’s just... nothing.
That scares me.
My eyes pop open, and I sit up, feeling like my heart should have shot to my throat. This isn’t my bed. This isn’t my room.
It is dark in this room, but I can see it fine. Moonlight filters in through the window to my left and helps define the room. I am in a four-poster bed in a renaissance style room. It’s as big as my living room. It is beautiful, but how did I get here?
I hear the rustle of the bed covers and look down. I can see my hands on the covers, but as I grip them, twist them, and throw them away from me, I still have no sense of their weight or texture. I rub my fingers and hands together, but nothing.
I can’t feel... anything!
Alarmed and panicked, I take in air through shallow and quick breaths as I kick away from the things I can’t touch. In the process, I fall backward over the side of the bed and hit the floor with a thud. I wish I could say that it hurt. But without the bang that resonated in the room as I hit the ground, I may not have known I’d fallen at all.
What is wrong with me? Tears of fear fill my eyes. Fear as intoxicating as poison burns inside me, and I begin to cry, too scared to think. I crab crawl quickly away from the bed, as if it was the thing that made me this way. I crunch against the far bedroom wall, which stops me from going any further. I turn and run my hands along the wall, but it’s the same as the bed. Without my sight, I wouldn’t even know it was there. Terror grips me, and I curl up in the corner and hug myself, but it doesn’t help. It’s as if my whole body is filled with novocaine.
Before too long, I can hear footsteps outside the room I’m in. They sound like they’re coming toward me. They are going to find me. I don’t know if I want them to or not.
Wednesday, October 19, 2022
Haunted Halloween Spooktacular: Bloodlink by Raye T. Watson
How to have a haunted Halloween Party | Tips from a YA Vampire Author
Halloween is my favorite time of the year. I love the spooks and thrills that come with the season, but sometimes, it can get a bit gory for my tastes. But when you remove all the blood, it can start to feel too childish. So here are some tips and tricks to have a hair-raising Halloween without getting blood everywhere.
Where you host your party doesn’t matter nearly as much as how you set the stage. Whether it’s outside, at someone’s house, barn, or rented out space, how you use the space with make the difference, and a few decorations can go a long way.
But that does not mean you have to empty out your wallet. Grab some cobwebs, creeper cloth, and make a skeleton or two and you have the start to your prefect haunt. And finding things around your house like old bottles, notebooks/ journals with little or no decoration, black cloth, etc. can be an excellent way to decorate without breaking your bank. For an added effect, you can use black and silver spray paint can give your old items a whole new look. This especially works well for old bottles, using the silver paint to give it a speckled aged feel. And depending on your theme, most anything old and torn will also work. Anything to give your place that run down and ruined feel.
From there, find a corner or a spot you want to be a focal point and use your decorations to create a scene in whatever party theme you want. I prefer the haunted house vibe myself. Last year, my aunt create this awesome witch’s brewing corner for our Halloween party. Most of decorations were things she already owned or recycled from pervious years. Dim the lights and with a cauldron of dry ice, it was the perfect setting to greet guests as they joined the party. But this set up could be quickly changed to a variety of themes. Take away the cauldrons and the witch decoration, and I know a few Bloodlink vampires that would enjoy this theme.
Set the Mood
Music is everything. It can turn your party haunt into a barnyard debacle if not chosen well. But adding the right ambience music with help your guest get a sense of mood from the moment they arrive.
Some of my favorites from my Halloween playlist actually made it on to my writing playlist because they fit so well. I’m a personal fan of Nightcove_thefox, an indie music artist who writes song inspired by the popular indie horror game, Five Night’s at Freddy’s or FNAF. A few of them I’d recommend for most any Halloween playlist are “Twisted”, “Wolves” and “For You”. Of course, how can you have a Halloween party without Micheal Jackson’s “Thriller” and “The Monster Mash”. But my all-favorite song to have for the spooky season comes from the cartoon Scooby Doo movie Scooby Doo! On Zombie Island. “It’s Terror Time Again” is pure gold, and though it is a little harder to find, it’s one I definitely recommend. Whether you are planning a dance part or just want music in the background, these songs with fit most any Halloween playlist.
If possible, it is best to dim the lights in your space. Either turn off the main lights and stage the light with colored lights, or if you are lucky enough to have them, use the dimmer on the main room lights. Dimmer light will instantly create a creeper vibe as who knows if there is a ghost lurking the dark corner you can’t see. And if you have the extra cash, I definitely recommend getting a fog machine, so long as your space can handle it. Make sure to get low lying fog and use it in spacious or open air areas as breathing in too much of the fog created can be bad for you.
Set the Table
Lastly, what party is complete without treats! These can be a simple as buying one from the store and arranging them in fancy glassware to look like a mad scientist’s table to homemaking one of the thousands of recipes and ideas you can find on the internet.
One of my favorites is making mini brownies, and while they are cooling, press the middle down with a spoon then top it with green frosting, sprinkles and a pretzel stick to make mini cauldron’s you can eat.
And with that, you’re set. I’m so grateful to have the opportunity to guest blog today and hope these tips helped you can create you own spooky party haunt. Have a happy and haunted Halloween!
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Raye T. Watson
Genre: YA Vampire and Paranormal Mystery
Publisher: Knighted Phoenix Publishing
Date of Publication: August 2, 2022
Number of pages: 421
Word Count: 188,536
Cover Artist: Raye T. Watson
Tagline: Sometimes, in a world of darkness, it’s the secrets that keep you sane.
Katelyn Phillips hates the Greatlee Wood, the small forest near her home in Effingham, England. She just wants to forget the uncomfortable feeling of being watched whenever she sees that line of trees and move on with her life like a normal person. But when she wakes up one night numb and dead, the forest becomes the least of her worries.
Now she’s lost all connection with the outside world as she fights for control of her mind and the lust for blood. But she’s not alone.
Aidan O’Conner, the superstitious Irish fellow with centuries of experience, is willing to help. Together, with his family and friends, they teach Kate what it means to be a vampire and how to manage her newfound powers, but there are some secrets they are not so willing to share. Like why the door at the end of the hallway is always locked? Or why the manor they live in was half burned down 20 years ago? And how does it all tie into the ghost tale of the Armuary Phantom?
Can Kate uncover the truth and protect her new surrogate family, or will these secrets and deceit cause her to lose trust in everything, including herself?
Raye T. Watson grew up in Northern California near the capital of Sacramento where she continues to live with her family. She is the only girl and second oldest of four children. She graduated Brigham Young University – Idaho with a bachelor's degree and a minor in English. She enjoys learning and being a jack-of-all-trades.
As a kid, she actually did not like reading as a kid because her reading level was slight below average compared to other kids in her grade, but she loves most anything with a story: movies, TV shows, video games. But books were too boring to bother with. When she was 11 years old, her older brother tried to get her in a newer series about a young boy who learns he is a wizard and had to take an invisible train to go to wizarding school. She was not interested. But this book had a movie coming out, which he was very excited to see, so their parents took them to see the first Harry Potter movie. Watson was so enthralled with this magical world, she read books 1-4 before the second film was released in theaters. And thus, her love of reading was born.
Watson had always loved creating her own stories, whether it was creating new characters to fix the TV show plotlines during the commercials or playing games of make believe with her younger brother, but once she started reading, she began to write. None of her written stories ever got far, but she dreamed it all in her mind.
In early 2010, she got her first glimpse of what would become her debut novel, Bloodlink. She’d always loved vampires and the spooky thrills of Halloween, and having finished the Twilight Series and Dracula, she began to define her own kind of vampire.
In the summer of 2012, she met the lady who would become her best friend and fellow author, Charity Mae. Watson and Mae swamped stories during their first meeting and have encouraged each other’s writing ever since.
Watson continues to write to this day and enjoys drawing and painting in her free time. She created the cover art and title page art for her book and hope to publish more art and books in the years to come.
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