“Sleepy, Scary, Sexy” by Archer Atwood is ready to come home with you!
But first, a little bit about how the book and artwork came about.
Let’s begin with the “Sexy” part of the book: “Ceremony of the Rose”
Determined to ace her “History of Women” college course, Claire finds herself at the Willow Library. There she meets Miss Moon who hands her an old book that leads her to a special elderly woman. This woman hints about a ceremony that fuels Claire’s imagination and creates an obsession. An obsession to find the meaning of the Ceremony of the Rose. Did the ritual really happen? Or was it a folktale passed on by the lonely and frustrated women of Tucker’s Glen? What Claire uncovers is mystery and romance under the spring full moon. Sprinkle your bed with rose petals and expect some blushing and squirming while reading this story!
A bit ago…maybe more than a bit…I wrote the paranormal romance novella “Ceremony of the Rose”. It was the story that introduced Miss Moon’s unique influence on a plot and laid the ground work for the Willow’s Moon Song series.
I was inspired to write this story by news reports and history recounts of how women and their sexuality were seen as “evil”, and could cause men to do “evil things”, so the men did their best to keep the women under control, hidden, and erase their sexual identity. Sadly that is what happened to women then, and even sadder, it is still happening. This story is a celebration of women.
I shared an early version on my original website and with friends and got wonderful feedback. “Loved the ending for Ceremony of the Rose” “I finally read your little tale COR and by golly I’ll never look at a rose the same way again!” “OMG Atwood! I don’t have to tell you what I am feeling right now!” This one I really liked for obvious reasons: “…you write beautifully. I love your detail, and if you make love nearly as well as you write about it…”
The story would go through several re-writes.
I added hand drawn graphics for the titles.
I first thought of using Bleeding Hearts flowers to dress up the chapters
I ended up sticking to the rose theme. I used photos of roses from my garden as they came into bloom as the story “bloomed.” You will have to read the story to get the meaning of that! Each chapter would open the rose more.
As I began to write the other stories in the Willow’s Moon Song series, I interconnected characters. In order to keep the timelines straight, I introduced the “Comet Years”. I also keep a detailed journal of characters’ ages in that timeline and details about them and their places. To be honest, all of that is in my head, but I felt it would help my Readers if I keep a running list for them.
The early version also contained the decorated poem “Daughter of the Moon Lullaby”. I illustrated it in the style of a medieval illumination. It included a moonlight dance similar to historical pagan practices.
Looking at the early versions I felt something was missing. I needed to step up the backstory of one of the main characters. That led me to take Gaelic language classes. Talk about a hard language to learn! My teacher was an older gentleman from Ireland who was determined to get me to learn/speak Gaelic. Even though I have Welsh/Scots/Irish blood in me, my ancestors didn’t help me. Even though he didn’t want to give up on me, I had to end the torture! I did learn many phrases, fell in love with the old writing style, and I can read/understand some. That was enough for me to spice up the story more. I also added some other additions.
At that point I felt it was ready for publishing on Amazon. I created a cover image. My friend RK converted my document into the eBook text.
Thank you to all who purchased that first edition.
Time goes by. I find myself evolving as a writer, at editing, and as an artist. “Ceremony of the Rose” is a great story, but with fresh eyes, certain parts needed to be tweaked and being the perfectionist, I couldn’t handle having it out there and not be perfect! So I turned it off so to speak and made it unavailable for purchase on-line. If you read the earlier version, I hope you will like the new one. All the squirm and blush appeal are still there!
Now what? I had written another novella “Harvest Grove”, a paranormal Halloween story. It was never published, but did appear for a bit on my blog under “Book by Chapter”, as did another story, “Sleep Medicine.“ They were ready to go.
I pondered how these three unrelated stories, other than being connected by genre and Miss Moon could be put into the same book. I pondered a bit. Then it hit me: I would connect them by the title.
Sleepy, Scary, Sexy is born.
I hope you will enjoy the stories in this book. And please read on to learn the origin stories of the other two stories, and about the cover art.
This blog is copyright 2022 Archer Atwood:
Character names, places, and incidents are a product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously
Like the moon, women are full of mystery and beauty! Here is a companion article about women-power!