Choose Your Own Hero, Take On the World

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I have an addiction to aural storytelling. As a kid I couldn’t wait to go to the local library for story time. In the evenings I’d beg my father to tell me bedtime stories. Of course he’d thwart me by reciting the following ditty:

“Once upon a time a monkey found a dime. The dime turned red and the monkey fell dead.”

Sheesh. No wonder I’m issue-matic…but this is a happy post. ^_~

My adoration for stories quickened in the creation of my own tales and in sharing them with playmates. In high school I added a romantic element and narrated custom love stories—starring my girlfriends and the hero [read: popular singer or actor] of their choice. The worlds I built became the property of the listener and their joy got me high. The habit continued into college and friends still talk about the romances I wove for them back then.

Lately I’ve adopted the title: Raconteur [strikes a pose]. It sounds elegantly roguish, doesn’t it? Like some fabulous synonym for cat burglar or grifter—which is probably why I like it. I continue to tell romantic stories but now they’re urban fantasies in book form. There’s something magical in sharing an adventure with anyone who’s up for the journey, whenever they’re ready for the ride.

The only things missing: I can’t clarify, edit on the fly, or customize the hero or world to suit a particular reader. The aural tradition is singular because of those things. The listener can ask questions and tale becomes interactive.

I bridge the vibe of aural storytelling with the written in two ways. First, by supplying a banquet of delicious heroes. Dreams’ Dark Kiss, my romantic urban fantasy, features a leading hero, Keoni, and three equally sigh-inducing supporting heroes. You can read more about the Dream Guardians at eHarlequin (totally worth the click).

Secondly, to share more of the world, I created a glossary that is an intriguing ^_^ read by itself. I’ve included a sneak peek at the end of this post but I’d like to say one last thing. It’s a great joy for an author when a reader adopts their characters, revels in their world, and ultimately makes them both their own. So feel free to customize my heroes and lay claim to the world of Dreams’ Dark Kiss. After all, this story’s for you.

**How could I forget? Carina Press and Audible.com have given me a Christmas gift straight out of my childhood glee. Dreams’ Dark Kiss will soon be available in audiobook! Pardon me while I dance a noel rendition of my infamous shimmy-shake. Who wants sangria?**

Dreams Dark Kiss Glossary of Terms:

ankou: noun \ ahn-koo \
A human being who has been possessed by a bane (below) and utilizes nightmares to torture and/or kill. See also: howler

bane: noun \ beyn \
The tainted from of a howler (below), these pale shaggy beasts stalk the dreaming (below) in search of victims to pervert in an effort to become ankou.

Ciaran: proper name \KEER-en\ Wannabe demon-slayer and resourceful—“where there’s a frying pan there’s a way”—heroine.

chakra: noun \ chuhk-ruh \
One of seven points of spiritual energy down the center of the body according to yoga philosophy. Each point is related to a color, an emotion, and is visually represented by a bloom with a certain number of petals.

the Dreaming: noun \ dreem-eng \
The second of the two worlds forming all of existence; the Dreaming is comprised of the dreamscape, wastelands and the Otherside (all below).

dreamscape: noun \ dreem-skeyp \
The plane on which the act of dreaming takes place, shared by all dreamers.
See also: the Dreaming

howler: noun \ hou-ler \
Beneficent nightmares who help to drive human development through confrontation with fear. See also: bane and ankou

Keoni: proper name \ Keh-oh-NEE \ In a word: Hawt! (i.e. emphatically hot).
See also: dreamy, steamy, funny and delicious.

Last Hurrah: noun \ lahst \ • \ huh-rah\
Final journey a soul takes, in the company of a psychopomp, before crossing over to the Otherside (below).

Libros Arcanum: noun \ LEE-vros \ • \ ahr-kay-nuhm \
The great, secret library of the Dreaming; all libraries and none simultaneously. Houses the Dream Guardian Guild.
Also know as: LibrosArc, big ass library

psychopomp: noun \ sahy-koh-pomp \
Person who guides or conducts souls to the Otherside; e.g. Charon, Hermes.
Also know as: soul conductor

the Otherside: noun \ uhth-er-sahyd \
Land of the afterlife. See also: the Dreaming

Somnian: noun \ som-nee-uhn \
Evolved human being who protects mankind as they sleep.
Also known as: dream guardian

spirit animal: noun \ spir-it \ • \ an-uh-muhl \
Avatar or spiritual representation of a person’s essence, projected into the dreamscape via an animal form.

three realms: colloquialism \ three \ • \ relms\
Slang term used to reference the dreamscape, wastelands and the Otherside succinctly.
See also: the Dreaming

two worlds: colloquialism \ too \ • \ wurlds\
Slang term used to reference the Waking World (below) and the Dreaming as one.

Waking World: noun \ weyk-eng \ • \ wurld \
World of reality. Also know as: waking life

wastelands: noun \ weyst-lands \
Hellish landscape between but simultaneously beneath the dreamscape and the Otherside. See also: the Dreaming

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Shirin Dubbin
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