Welcome to the June 2023 issue of my newsletter, “News from the Crypt,” and please visit Carter’s Crypt, devoted to my horror, fantasy, and paranormal romance work, especially focusing on vampires and shapeshifting beasties. If you have a particular fondness for vampires, check out the chronology of my series in the link labeled “Vanishing Breed Vampire Universe.”

Also, check out the multi-author Alien Romances Blog

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For other web links of possible interest, please scroll to the end.

In May my Lovecraftian paranormal romance, WINDWALKER’S MATE, was re-released by a new publisher after several years in limbo. Shannon’s little boy Daniel has disturbing psychic powers. He talks to the wind–and it listens. Shannon wants to forget the cult of the Windwalker, a dark god from another dimension, and the terrifying night when her child was conceived. But her first love, Nathan, son of the cult leader, contacts her for the first time since that horrific ritual. He claims his father is stalking Shannon and Daniel. Whose child is Daniel, Nathan’s or the Windwalker’s? An excerpt from the first chapter appears below. The publisher’s page for the novel:

Windwalker’s Mate

This month I’m interviewing paranormal fiction author Terry Segan.


Interview with Terry Segan:

What inspired you to begin writing?

In short, an overactive imagination! Over the years I’d come up with the beginning of a story but lacked the follow-through. I guess it wasn’t the right time for me. About a decade ago, I began taking myself seriously and threw myself into writing a full-length book. Time travel and paranormal happenings have always fascinated me, so it made sense that my first book, Photographs in Time, would involve time travel.

What genres do you work in?

At present, everything I write is paranormal fiction, usually a mystery as well. My most recent release, The Jelly Bean Jump Project, is a little bit of a departure from what I’ve written before. While it involves time travel, it’s also a Happily Ever After. Spoiler alert—nobody dies in the end. I’d have to say, tying the plot line up with a sugary sweet bow took great effort on my part, but I’m proud of the results and think readers will enjoy it.

Do you outline, “wing it,” or something in between?

I am a pantser. If you look closely, you may even see it tattooed on my forehead. Usually, I have a beginning and end in mind. Everything else spills out onto the keyboard as I go along. When I create minor characters, they want to stick around longer, and sometimes I let them. Occasionally I write myself into a corner and need to backtrack or move in a different direction. At that point, I say to myself, “What unexpected antic can I throw at my main character now?” From there the storyline twists in ways I’d never imagined.

What have been the major influences on your work (favorite authors, life experiences, or whatever)?

Many of the settings in my books are places that I’ve either visited or lived. I love it when I can incorporate details of fun trips into my writing. Obviously, I haven’t traveled to the 1950’s (yet) when The Jelly Bean Jump Project begins, but the setting of Oregon is someplace I’ve traveled to many times. Some of my favorite books are those with a dual timeline, like The Eight by Katherine Neville. In my recent release, the story is told from two viewpoints, Keira and Grayson, and at times they’re in different decades.

What sparked the unusual combination of jelly beans and science fiction in THE JELLY BEAN JUMP PROJECT?

The initial idea was inspired by the publisher, The Wild Rose Press. They created a new line of novellas released over the spring months called Jelly Beans and Spring Things. With my science fiction brain shifting into gear, I decided jelly beans as the catalyst for the characters’ leap through time to be unique. The exact moment of travel each year takes place at the Spring Equinox. As stated earlier, the concept of writing simply a romance conflicted with my tendency to write mysteries with a paranormal twist. I chose to combine the two and created an inventive story with a satisfying conclusion.

In your time-travel fiction, how do you deal with the familiar paradox that if the protagonist changes the past (and therefore its future, his or her own “present”), he or she will then have had no reason to go back in time and change the past?

For the purposes of this book, the characters are constantly leaping forward in time, so no paradox is created. In my first book, Photographs in Time, the characters went back and forth in time using an old sepia camera. If a character changed the timeline in the past, only those who had time traveled would be aware of it. They would then have an opportunity to go back and put things right or let it ride. I try to keep deep concepts such as paradoxes to a minimum, so my head doesn’t explode trying to resolve them. While I love science fiction, concepts of pure science elude me, and I can live with those limitations. Math isn’t high on my list either. That’s why I write!

Your bio mentions that both you and your husband work from home. Do you have any tips for people working from home or hoping to do so?

First of all, lock the liquor cabinet and hide all the knives. That will eliminate the need for police tape, chalk outlines, or alibis. If those do come into play, and you’re a writer, you may want to erase your browsing history. Beyond that, if you and your partner both need work space, set up in separate rooms. As we are full time RVers, that becomes a challenge. Investing in noise-cancelling headphones goes a long way to having an environment where I can still be creative if he is on a conference call. Since we’re both dedicated to what we do, we make it work.

What is your latest or next-forthcoming book?

My next book, Manatee Soul—The Marni Legend Series Book 2, releases October 16th. It’s a paranormal mystery in which Marni Legend assists lost souls to resolve their issue and move on. She’s from Long Island, as am I, and sarcastic humor is part of her genetic makeup.

What are you working on now?

I’m just beginning the third book in my Marni Legend Series. I’ve got a beginning and an end. We’ll see where my characters lead me.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Join a critique group and don’t be afraid to share your work. While every writer loves to hear how great their stories are, it’s just as valuable, if not more, to hear constructive advice on what can make your writing stronger. A new set of eyes (or several) goes a long way to perfecting your writing voice.

Thanks so much for allowing me to visit and chat about my writing, Margaret!

What is the URL of your website? What about other internet presence?

Author Website
Amazon Author Page


Some Books I’ve Read Lately:

NOBODY’S PRINCESS and NOBODY’S PRIZE, by Esther Friesner. Friesner is best known as an author of humorous fantasy. I’ve enjoyed her novels and stories in that subgenre as well as anthologies she has edited, especially the “Chicks in Chainmail” series. The “Princesses of Myth” YA novels depart from that pattern. This duology, comprising the first books in the series, imagines the youth of Helen of Troy when she was still Princess Helen of Sparta. At the beginning of NOBODY’S PRINCESS, she hasn’t yet become a legendary beauty, a role to which she doesn’t aspire anyway. She wants training in the use of weapons like her two brothers. After persuading the arms master to accept her as a student, she becomes proficient enough to trail after the participants in the hunt for the ferocious Calydonian boar. She meets and learns from her idol, the famed warrior maiden Atalanta, makes friends with the current Delphic oracle, and frees a slave boy who becomes her best friend. Helen takes a dim view of the legendary exploits of heroes such as Hercules, which she realizes are exaggerated or outright invented. For example, the hydra was really a nest of oversized swamp snakes. Nor does she place much credence in tales of divine parentage, including her own. In NOBODY’S PRIZE, she sneaks onto the Argo to join the quest for the golden fleece. The voyage is complicated by the need to stay as far as possible away from her brothers, in case they recognize her despite her being disguised as a boy. Once the ship arrives in Colchis, Helen assumes the identity of Atalanta. Although these novels contain moments of humor, they also include dangers, sorrows, and some deaths. As for fantasy elements, everybody believes in the gods and their occasional intervention in mortal affairs, but onstage magic is mostly limited to the powers of oracles and the reality of visions. These two books deal strictly with Helen’s youth; the only hints of her future as “Helen of Troy” come in said visions. She’s an engaging first-person narrator, and since the story involves events not covered in classical mythology, readers can enjoy plenty of suspense as to the outcome of Helen’s adventures. Other duologies in the series feature Nefertiti, Maeve, and the third-century Japanese princess Himiko.

ANNE FRANK REMEMBERED, by Miep Gies and Alison Leslie Gold. Viewers of the TV miniseries A SMALL LIGHT will find this autobiographical work interesting, since it covers the actual events on which the screenplay is based. Contrary to the implication of the book’s title, it doesn’t focus on Anne Frank herself, but on the life of Miep Gies, Otto Frank’s secretary and close friend, and her role in hiding his family from the Nazi occupying forces. Along with a few other people in on the secret, she protected the Franks and their companions in the hidden annex, supplying them with food and other necessities. Originally published in 1987, this edition includes an afterword added in 2009, the year of the author’s hundredth birthday. Having outlived everyone else who endured the wartime ordeal with her, she reveals the real names of people for whom she herself and Anne Frank originally used pseudonyms. Miep also points out some inaccuracies in stage and film adaptations. Comparing her book’s account of the historical events with the new miniseries, we can notice places where the TV adaptation makes minor departures from real-life chronology for dramatic effect. Moreover, some episodes briefly alluded to in Miep’s book are expanded in the series, while the script adds many incidents not in the book at all. Everything in the film that can be confirmed from the 1987/2009 book, however, seems to be accurate, and events that were probably invented for the screen feel true to the historical background. (After all, doubtless nobody was keeping exact notes of private conversations between Miep and her husband, for instance.) One of my questions isn’t answered: Who betrayed the Franks to the Nazis? Otto Frank (Anne’s father) didn’t want to investigate, and the police never made an arrest. Miep concludes that we’ll never know. With both the TV series and the book, we’re aware in advance that the story will have a sad ending. As is well known, of the people hidden in the secret annex, only Otto survived the war. Nevertheless, ANNE FRANK REMEMBERED is ultimately a moving, uplifting account of quiet heroism.

A TEST OF COURAGE, by Mary Lou Mendum, Jacqueline Lichtenberg, and Jean Lorrah. As the third volume in the “Clear Springs Chronicles” trilogy, this wouldn’t be a suitable entry point for a reader new to the Sime-Gen universe. The trilogy as a whole, however, explains the basic premise and background of that series well enough to serve as an introduction. As established fans know, many centuries in the future humanity has split into two “larities” (short for polarities). At puberty, every person becomes either a Gen, a producer of life-energy called selyn, or a Sime, who must drain selyn from a Gen once a month to survive. Simes have tentacles on their arms, while Gens look like us (Ancients, who are extinct). The cause for this catastrophic development is lost in the mists of history. Until the events of FIRST CHANNEL, an early book in the series and chronologically first in internal order, it was believed that Simes had to kill Gens to extract selyn. The discovery of Channels, who can harmlessly take selyn from Gens and transfer it to ordinary Simes, constituted a crucial breakthrough. At the time period of the Clear Springs Trilogy, this society has developed technologically as far as ours in some ways but lags behind in others. Generations after Unity (I don’t remember exactly how many, but not a terribly long time), the treaty that ended the long border war between the Simes and Gens of North America, the two protagonists run a Sime Center in Clear Springs, a college town in Gen Territory. Rital comes across as a typical earnest, driven, compassionate Channel. Den, his cousin and Companion (personal donor), is a delightful character with a passion for researching and recreating Ancient technology, especially powered flight. During their tenure in Clear Springs, they’ve acquired substantial cohorts of both enemies and allies, the latter especially recruited from the university’s student body as well as a few reasonable local officials who recognize the benefits of having a Sime Center in town. In A TEST OF COURAGE, the community faces a virulent, previously unknown disease informally named the Creeping Need, after a horrifying Sime urban legend. The way they cope with the plague eerily foreshadows the real-life COVID-19 pandemic (which didn’t begin until around the time the authors finished the first draft). Meanwhile, Den and his student assistants continue their undaunted quest to duplicate the Ancients’ early-stage flying machines. Naturally, at the climax these plot threads intertwine as the newly constructed light aircraft plays a vital role in the fight against the epidemic. If you’re a fan of the Sime-Gen universe, you probably know of this book already. For new readers, the previous novels, A CHANGE OF TACTICS and A SHIFT OF MEANS, would make an excellent gateway to this far-future SF series.

EMILY WILDE’S ENCYCLOPEDIA OF FAERIES, by Heather Fawcett. This isn’t a reference work, but a novel set in an alternate-world Edwardian era, specifically 1909. On this variant of Earth, fae beings of many different types exist openly, and the title character, a professor at Cambridge, is an authority on them. During research for her monumental encyclopedia, a project spanning years, she travels with her dog, Shadow, to an invented far-northern Scandinavian country. The novel, in the form of Emily’s journal, chronicles her exploration of the nature of the Folk, especially the Hidden Ones—the euphemistic term for any aristocratic, dangerous high-elven race—of this little-studied land. In the midst of adjusting to the primitive conditions of the cottage she’s renting and learning to navigate the social customs of the easily offended local villagers, she finds that her colleague, rival, and frenemy Professor Wendell Bambleby has unilaterally decided to join her. Typically, he brings along a couple of student assistants to relieve him of any manual labor. Not only physically attractive, he’s both exasperatingly annoying and irresistibly charming. The academically brilliant Emily, on the other hand, has minimal social skills and gets along better with the Folk than with human beings. For instance, she befriends a timid faerie creature who frequents a spring near the village, who later reluctantly gives her vital information. It’s not much of a spoiler, considering the revelation occurs early in the book, that her suspicion about Bambleby’s being one of the Folk himself proves correct. In fact, he’s a faerie prince in exile. In the course of Emily’s research, she records several local folk tales. Some of this material proves important to solving the trouble she gets into with Bambleby. She recognizes that it wouldn’t be wise to pursue their mutual attraction, which of course the reader notices before she does; romantic liaisons between mortal and fae seldom end well. Once she gets back on good terms with the local people, she becomes entangled with the search for a child abducted by the Hidden Folk and the quest for a certain tree that may hold the key to Bambleby’s fate. When she ends up a “guest” imprisoned in the faerie king’s court, she discovers to her surprise that her new human friends care enough to take risks for her. Incidentally, a certain magic word she has assumed to be of only academic interest becomes unexpectedly useful, as often happens in fairy tales. Her unwilling stay in the faerie realm is convincingly both enchanting and frightening. I found her narrative voice, characterized by intellectual analysis even in moments of crisis, with frequent academic side remarks and occasional footnotes, delightful. The cover blurb describes her with perfect accuracy as “curmudgeonly,” and watching her open up to human neighbors as well as to Bambleby complements her external predicament with internal growth. Although the story comes to a satisfactory conclusion, a sequel is promised.

For my recommendations of “must read” classic and modern vampire fiction, explore the Realm of the Vampires:
Realm of the Vampires



Sometimes a gust of wind is just a harmless breeze.

Shannon clutched at that belief when she caught sight of her son in the lobby of the Little Stars preschool and day care center. Ms. Ginelli, the teacher of the four-year-olds’ class, gripped him firmly by the hand. His curly, reddish-blond hair looked as if a gale had swept over it. The question, “Oh, no, what did he do now?” leaped into Shannon’s head. She bit her lip to keep the words from bursting out.

“What’s going on?” she asked instead.

Ms. Ginelli’s frown hinted at perplexity rather than annoyance. “We had a little accident, Ms. Bryce,” she said, “but I’m not honestly sure what happened. I wasn’t in the room when it started. Paige said Daniel and Jacob got into an argument in the block corner. When I got there, she’d already separated them.”

Paige, the aide for Daniel’s class, appeared behind the reception desk at that moment. Her hair, not confined in a tight bun like Ms. Ginelli’s, bristled as if she’d run her fingers through it—or she’d stood in front of a fan. “Jacob has a small bruise on his arm, but he’ll be okay. And don’t worry, Daniel didn’t hurt him. I was holding your son on the other side of the room when it happened.”

Shannon locked stares with Daniel, who gazed up at her with his lower lip quivering.
“What happened?”

Paige shook her head. “I’m not sure, either. It was over so fast. The wind rushed in and blew the blocks around. I mean, not just scattered them, lifted them off the floor. Hard enough that one of them bounced off Jacob’s arm.” Obviously mistaking Shannon’s gasp of alarm for worry about the other boy, she said, “No biggie. They’re soft plastic. It wouldn’t have left a mark at all if it hadn’t hit him so hard. It’s weird, though. The wind just sprang up all of a sudden, like a mini-tornado, and stopped a minute later.”

“It’s true,” Ms. Ginelli said. “I came in just in time to see the end of it.”

Shannon didn’t doubt the story for a second, though she couldn’t explain why freak winds surrounding her son didn’t surprise her. She flashed on a memory of him on the backyard swing set, at the age of three, swinging back and forth without pumping his legs, a breeze ruffling his hair while no wind blew anywhere else. She thrust the image back into the compartment where she stored all the impossible events she wanted to forget.

-end of excerpt-


The long-time distributor of THE VAMPIRE’S CRYPT has closed its website. If you would like to read any issue of this fanzine, which contains fiction, interviews, and a detailed book review column, e-mail me to request the desired issue, and I’ll send you a free PDF of it. My e-mail address is at the end of this newsletter. Find information about the contents of each issue on this page of my website:

Vampire’s Crypt

A complete list of my available works, arranged roughly by genre, with purchase links (gradually being updated as the Amber Quill and Ellora’s Cave works are being republished):

Complete Works

For anyone who would like to read previous issues of this newsletter, they’re posted on my website here (starting from January 2018):


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Here’s my page in Barnes and Noble’s Nook store:
Barnes and Noble

Here’s the list of my Kindle books on Amazon. (The final page, however, includes some Ellora’s Cave anthologies in which I don’t have stories):
Carter Kindle Books

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The Fiction Database displays a comprehensive list of my books (although with a handful of fairy tales by a different Margaret Carter near the end):

Fiction Database

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My Publishers:

Writers Exchange E-Publishing: Writers Exchange
Harlequin: Harlequin
Wild Rose Press: Wild Rose Press

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“Beast” wishes until next time—
Margaret L. Carter