Slices of Horror

In honor of Women in Horror Month, I have a question- How do you prefer your spiders? A) hanging from a thread two inches in front of your face, or B) hidden under your pillow waiting for you to sleep. There are no wrong answers. It’s all about personal preference.

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There are plenty of horror tales, both long and short, penned by women. Some readers favor graphic and gory images. Some like subtle, slowly building drama while others like a good psychological thriller where the hero or heroine gets a good mental shredding.

Whether the story is full of sharp, terrifying images or takes a more subtle approach in its telling, what makes a horror story (or any story) great for me is how hard it hits me. The words don’t need to flow like song lyrics and the structure doesn’t need to be set to follow a specific 325 page formula. If I’m still thinking about the story days or weeks after I finish it, then the story definitely got to me, and I appreciate that.

Because I’m a little warped out, and also because I’m a writer, I like to find a small slice of horror in the most everyday, mundane sort of things. I like to twist the elements of something that seems sweet on first glance to show that the sweetness can be a shell, a candy coating hiding a whole lot of badness. The illusion of sweetness can be a fluffy pillow sitting on top of a fat spider waiting to crawl out onto an unsuspecting, exhausted woman as she has her first pleasant dream in months. I can’t help but ask the “what if” questions about what lies deeper, what kinds of things a shiny, glossy image blurs and works to hide.

Driving past a quaint suburban neighborhood, I imagine the possible strangeness that goes on behind the walls of the houses. And then I laugh at my simple theories because what goes on behind the walls of the houses I drive past could be so much weirder than I ever imagined. I want to read the true stories masquerading as fiction!

FEBRUARY CHALLENGE: Horror isn’t simple gore and guts. The genre can be so much more. So this month, I challenge you to write your own scary story. It can be a paragraph, a page, or even longer if you wish. Then, get together with a few friends and share stories. Remember the tradition of telling scary stories by the campfire at Scout camp? Like that, except, since we’re all grown, we can have a glass of wine or line up whiskey shots at our horror parties. And there’s no need to sit outside by an actual fire and get eaten by bugs. Best of all, you can use as many curse words and as much violence as you want in your story, because you make your own rules. Have fun terrorizing your characters and scaring your friends!

Happy Holidays!

I hope you all have a wonderful holiday season and a happy New Year!

This is the time of year when I try to catch up with friends and family who I don’t see as often as I like. The holidays are also a time when I try to step back and gain a little perspective so I can keep in mind the bigger picture of my life and goals.

My children are out of school for the next two weeks which means I won’t get much writing done. Every holiday break, every summer, I’m up late trying to find those moments where no one is asking me hundreds of questions or needing something from me. In those moments I get a few paragraphs written, or if I’m lucky, a few pages or a poem or a blog post. The lack of progress can drive me mad but the opportunities  to relax next to the people I love and watch movies or bake something to satisfy my constant carb cravings don’t just magically come around whenever I snap my fingers or click my ruby red running shoes together. Everybody is busy. Almost all the time. So I remind myself that sometimes work has to be made up later and life has to be lived, truly lived.

Best wishes to everyone for a season full of beautiful memories and a 2019 full of joy!

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Paranormal romance Wolf’s Challenge is live!

The road to love is full of sizzling suspense and surprises for the shapeshifters and psy of Great Oaks, Virginia.

Wolf’s Challenge is the first story in the Stranger Creatures series and features Derrick and Sydney’s story. When temptingly handsome, powerful shape shifter Derrick dares shy, single mom Sydney to take a chance with him, will she rise to the challenge or will she run for safety, leaving him in the dust?

A short sneak peak of Derrick having zero luck with Sydney:

So, Sydney didn’t have the highest opinion of him at the moment. He would just have to impress her. Somehow, he would make her see him as a man worthy of her attention. Was he though? He could pretend.

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Goodreads link:

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15900423.Christina_Lynn_Lambert

Buy Links for Wolf’s Challenge:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Wolfs-Challenge-Christina-Lynn-Lambert-ebook/dp/B07JCSLVBJ

Barnes and Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/wolfs-challenge-christina-lambert/1124676509

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/wolf-s-challenge-1

Google: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Christina_Lynn_Lambert_Wolf_s_Challenge?id=UOB1DwAAQBAJ

iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/wolfs-challenge/id1441052967

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/900526

Perfection and Misery

Unremarkable

Back bent

knees grinding in the dirt

Weeds get pulled from the garden

No wild thing needs to grow here

Soon, the gardener forgets which are the weeds

and anything more beautiful than it should be

is gone

by Christina Lynn Lambert

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In the struggle for perfection, sometimes the beautiful flaws, the anomalies, the strange beginnings, they all get torn apart and thrown away. And the things that couldn’t be torn out? For some, the ultimate goal is to cast a rosy glow over grief or struggle until their pain is hidden and sharp edges are blurred to prove that a flawless existence is achievable. But that search for perfection is its own kind of misery.

It’s often the faults, mistakes, and imperfections that shape a person with strength and humility. Should that truth be hidden in favor of an image or persona that promises only peace and beauty? We all have to choose what we hide and what we show. Personally, I’d rather take a rusty spike through the head than have some emotional talk about my feelings or flaunt every flaw and mistake I’ve ever made since I was old enough to screw up. I just have to remind myself not to pull too many weeds.

Winter Wonderland Giveaway!

Update-CONTEST ENDED on December 13, 2018.

Romance book lovers! The Winter Wonderland reader giveaway is ending soon. Don’t forget to enter for a chance to win a fabulous new Kindle HD 8 w/Alexa, Spafinder.com gift cards, Amazon cards, Sephora.com cards and eBooks.

During this event, you’ll have the chance to find some great new books. Make sure to check out my novel Wolf’s Challenge (Stranger Creatures 1) at https://www.amazon.com/wolfs-challenge-christina-lynn-lambert-ebook/dp/b07jcslbj along the way.

Enter the giveaway at: http://bit.ly/NorWinter2018

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I wish you much luck in winning!

Below the Surface

He is Winter 

Moods like the seasons

play through my living room

Words like snow

soft but cold

change to sleet

as his heart and mind have closed

to keep out the heat

for his solitary winter

by Christina Lynn Lambert

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Funny how sometimes the people who seem the coldest burn the brightest below the surface and how the quietest people often have the most to say, just not until they’re ready.

Aiden, the bear-shifter hero in the Halloween-themed paranormal romance novella I’m working on, fits this poem so well. While he appears cold and indifferent to Evie’s flirting, he’s fallen crazy hard for her. Evie would never want him if she knew the truth about him, but if she doesn’t stop pushing his buttons, Aiden may lose his mind and all sense of reason. Aiden and Evie’s story- coming fall of 2019!

Bear’s Edge re-release is live!

A boss can’t date her employee—simple as that. No matter how much Shayla wants to unravel a few of Grant’s mysteries and take her friendship with the shy, sarcastic man to the next level, she’s determined to keep her fantasies of him to herself.

After bear shifter Grant lost his girlfriend and three best friends in a fire, he did his best to shut himself off from everyone around him. Falling for Shayla wasn’t part of his plan, but after a kiss that leaves them both speechless and hungry for more, Grant may not be able to keep his desire for his boss under wraps any longer!

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Here’s a sample of a chapter of Bear’s Edge:

What is it about Grant? Looking at the man beside her was no hardship; that was for damn sure. He had the tall, broad body of a heavyweight UFC fighter, but he never used his size to intimidate the people around him. Shayla wanted to sweep his wavy, slightly shaggy dark hair out of his gorgeous brown eyes. His dark hair and eyes complemented his bronze skin. He was hot, in a serious, dangerous kind of way. But in the two and a half years he had worked for her, she had hardly learned anything about him.

The waitress at the popular nature-themed restaurant, the Greenhouse Effect, showed them to their table. The plants growing around all the walls and columns made the place look like a wild garden. The smell of lavender and jasmine mixed with the delicious scents drifting from the kitchen. She tried not to drool, but breakfast seemed like eons ago. Shayla sat next to Sydney and across from Grant. A too-tall centerpiece of yellow-and-purple flowers blocked most of her view. Being short occasionally sucked. Grant moved the centerpiece to the side and gave her a shy smile. His smile made her want answers, among other things.

She knew he was from New Jersey and had gone to school in Wisconsin before moving to Richmond, Virginia, to work with Brook’s Comprehensive, a huge company that did everything from urban development projects to financial management for celebrities and politicians.

“Why do you want to make such a big change from a large corporation to a simple start-up company?” she’d asked him in the interview.

“Honestly?” He had paused then, the question hanging.

“Yes,” she’d assured him. She’d take honesty over smooth-faced, calculated interview answers any day.

“I want to live somewhere I can have a house and some land. Maybe spend more time outside. Also, I want a job where I can do more than just run numbers for projects where I never see the outcome.”

The last part had seemed to come as a surprise to him. Maybe he hadn’t really known he wanted something more than a change of scenery until he had said it out loud.

His answer had been simple and honest instead of a long, drawn-out elaboration about the projected success of new companies in the area or an extensive list of projects he had helped to fruition. She could look at his résumé for those kinds of details. He had wanted to be there, so she’d hired him. Simple as that—after a clean background check and drug screening, of course.

Grant the mystery man—a delicious mystery Shayla would like to unravel, piece by piece, layer by layer. Ah, but I can’t. I’m his boss. In a different lifetime, if we didn’t have the whole boss-employee obstacle going on…. No harm in looking, though, just a little, since he sat so close. She promised herself to keep her thoughts G-rated—okay, maybe PG-13. Grant had a talent with numbers and paid attention to detail. Also, he was a little shy and standoffish to a lot of people when it came to anything other than work. Shayla wondered where he sometimes went in his head, because, every now and then, his smile slipped from his face, just for a second, before being replaced with one a little harder. None of my business, she reminded herself.

She had really wanted to hug him this morning after seeing him so frustrated but decided it might be wiser and more appropriate to show him there were a few people on his side. Seeing him break things and try to be all strong and humorous about it made Shayla want to unravel the Grant mystery even more. It kind of hurt to watch him pretending to be fine, but all she could offer him was lunch and good conversation. Hopefully, Mr. Strong and Silent—Sydney called him that sometimes, although never to his face—knew Shayla and Sydney cared. And Shayla did care. Because he’s a friend. Just a friend.

Grant raised his soda in a toast. “To things not being worse,” he announced with a rueful half smile. “And, uh”—he cleared his throat—“to good company.” He nodded at Sydney, and when he met Shayla’s gaze, he held it. In his dark eyes, she saw hunger, wide-open desire, and about a million other things she couldn’t puzzle out. Grant looked at her that way sometimes, and she did her best to ignore it. He might have a small crush on her, or he could have a thing for petite, small-breasted girls possessing a great fashion sense.

Sydney broke the silence. “To good food and even better friends.” She clinked Grant’s glass, and Shayla came back to reality and smiled, pretending she wasn’t experiencing several different kinds of inappropriate thoughts and feelings for a sexy, complicated man who was her employee and also her friend. She needed to behave and remember things could never go any further than a panty-melting gaze.

Purchase Links:

Amazon:

https://www.amazon.com/bears-edge-stranger-creatures-book-ebook/dp/b07kb78g9k

Barnes and Noble:

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/bears-edge-christina-lynn-lambert/1127154505

Google Play:

https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Christina_Lynn_Lambert_Bear_s_Edge?id=GcZ2DwAAQBAJ

iBooks:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/bears-edge/id1441668063

Kobo:

https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/bear-s-edge-1

Smashwords:

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/905705