Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Fearless by Elliott James - Guest Post & Giveaway

I'd like to welcome Elliott James to the blog today!
I loved this guest post-- I hope you enjoy it as much as I did :)

ASK JOHN CHARMING: Common sense solutions to uncommon problems

Dear John,
                 What can I do about these weird dreams that are keeping me up at night?
-          Crazy Dreams in CA

Dear Crazy Dreams.
                                    Do these weird dreams ever involve sleep paralysis or a conviction that you are awake and someone is in the room with you?  If so, one easy solution is to make sure that you have really bad breath before you go to sleep.  You see, you might be the victim of a nacht maere (Nightmare), and the reason she’s making you have nightmares is because anxiety makes you breathe faster and harder.  Nacht maeres feed off the little slices of breath that sleepers exhale, so for a nacht maere, causing a sleeper to hyperventilate is like carb-loading. But if your breath is toxic…well, the world is full of other sleepers.  I freely admit that this isn’t a traditional folk cure, but this sort of thing isn’t without precedent.  For years, people thought vampires were repelled by garlic, and they were, but only because vampires have a heightened sense of smell.  So rubbing garlic around your throat really is a good way to keep them from…necking.  Anyhow, in this particular case I would recommend smelly food that tastes good so that it isn’t a hardship (at least not for you), like Gouda cheese or sardines.  Of course, this might not be good for your love life, but the French have some kind of saying about how either both people in a couple should eat garlic, or neither.  So if you have a bedmate, see if she or he is up for snacking before macking.   
            If the bad dreams are of another variety and truly chronic, you might try repeating “Baku-san, come eat my dreams” three times in the middle of a hard night.  This is how Japanese folk-lorists and children summon the Baku, an ethereal creature who devours nightmares.  This is considered a last ditch Defcon 1 kind of an option though; if the baku doesn’t get enough nightmares to eat, it might go on to eat your hopes and ambitions and fantasies about getting stranded on an island with your favorite celebrity.  A safer option might be to find a picture of a baku and hang it on your wall to scare nightmares away – I’m talking one of the traditional freaky looking sketches, not the cute child friendly ones.  Although come to think of it, if you’re already having bad dreams, this might be like putting a sinister clown doll on your nightstand.

            For a full spectrum of nightmare anti-biotics, you might also consider filling a hula-hoop with salt and putting it under your bed, wrapping strands of your hair around a Native American dream-catcher, or set a recording of chanting Buddhist monks on low and playing it in the background as white noise.  Or praying to whatever or whoever you consider the source of your soul if you are inclined towards that sort of thing.   

            Of course, it’s also entirely likely that your nightmares aren’t supernatural in origin, and you might have to try something boring like therapy, exercise, meditation, dealing with something in your life causing you stress as best you can, reading or watching something comforting and low key before you go to bed, or checking your diet or medications to see if anything has changed, especially looking for things that produce insulin or cortisol. For what it’s worth, you also have my best wishes.      

See more of the FEARLESS Dear John column at:  http://www.suzannejohnsonauthor.com and http://www.kimchance.com

Pax Arcana Series, Book Three

Elliott James

Urban Fantasy
Orbit Books
August 11, 2015

Amazon | B&N

When your last name is Charming, rescuing virgins comes with the territory -- even when the virgin in question is a nineteen-year-old college boy.

Someone, somewhere, has declared war on Kevin Kichida, and that someone has a long list of magical predators on their rolodex. The good news is that Kevin lives in a town where Ted Cahill is the new sheriff and old ally of John Charming.

The attacks on Kevin seem to be a pattern, and the more John and his new team follow that thread, the deeper they find themselves in a maze of supernatural threats, family secrets, and age-old betrayals. The more John learns, the more convinced he becomes that Kevin Kichida isn't just a victim, he's a sacrifice waiting to happen. And that thread John's following? It's really a fuse...

FEARLESS is the third novel in an urban fantasy series which gives a new twist to the Prince Charming tale. The first two novels are Charming & Daring.

This can be read as a standalone.

About the Author

An army brat and gypsy scholar, ELLIOTT JAMES is currently living in the blueridge mountains of southwest Virginia. An avid reader since the age of three (or that's what his family swears anyhow), he has an abiding interest in mythology, martial arts, live music, hiking, and used bookstores. Irrationally convinced that cellphone technology was inserted into human culture by aliens who want to turn us into easily tracked herd beasts, Elliott has one anyhow but keeps it in a locked tinfoil covered box which he will sometimes sit and stare at mistrustfully for hours. Okay, that was a lie. Elliott lies a lot; in fact, he decided to become a writer so that he could get paid for it.

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