Monday, November 8, 2010

Guest Post by Author Sharon Ashwood with a Giveaway!

The pumpkins have barely exited stage left, and already the holiday season is jingling into view. Christmas trees are starting to appear in Starbucks and other gift-giving establishments, reminding me to start making my shopping list. I only have one response to that:  eek!

It’s hard enough shopping for the family but, when you’re an author of paranormal stories, you have professional contacts to please as well. It’s not only a matter of sending holiday wishes to editors and booksellers, but also giving a nod to the subject matter experts that contribute so much to an authentic paranormal tale.

For instance, there are vampires.  Of course they like presents. Who doesn’t? But if you find a fang on your gift list, what do you give them? Don’t panic. Just remember that they’re a little less about the candy canes and more about whatever—or whoever—is in that festive punch bowl beneath the mistletoe.

What to get the not-quite-dead on your list?  Pretty much what you’d get anyone else, except for food or sessions in the tanning salon. Even the very oldest enjoy a gift card to their favourite bookstore. After centuries of reading, there’s still always something new out there to add to the TBR pile. Just don’t buy them a copy of Twilight, or you’ll never hear the end of it. Vampires either love it or hate it, but they won’t spare you their opinions.

Ghouls?  Since they eat everything, a year’s supply of handy-wipes, or perhaps dental floss. Or the Christmas tree. Apparently they leave the breath pine-fresh. Safety tip:  don’t invite one to your New Year’s Bash. A drunken ghoul in a party hat is not a pretty sight.

Shapeshifters are twice as easy as humans, because if you run out ideas for their human half, there’s always the pet store to consider. Or, you can always mix it up. Catnip scented lingerie is always a hit for the feline on the list, whether it’s for the female kitty-cat to wear, or if you’re modelling it for the Tom in your life. Another suggestion:  Those cedar-chip pillows are excellent for flea control and they make the bedroom smell extra-nice. If your furry friend is a reader, try a copy of No Bad Dogs:  exploring self-esteem for the twin-natured. We all need to get in touch with our inner puppy from time to time.

Shopping for your paranormal friends takes a bit of imagination, and of course some are hard to buy for. I tried giving a demon friend some lovely table linens one year, but they unfortunately caught fire when he got them home.  Now I stick to Corning Ware. Live and learn. It’s the thought that counts.

Good luck with your own lists—and I’ll help you out with one stocking stuffer. Leave a comment on this blog and enter a draw for one of my books (your choice).  Read excerpts at

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