Friday, January 24, 2014

Attracted to Evil: The Hybristophiliac

Attracted to Evil: The Hybristophiliac

by Tina Glasneck

Every day we are almost beat upside the head with tales of horrible crimes: murders, rapes, torturing and armed robberies.  Yet, while many of us gasp and shake our heads in outrage, others feel a deadly attraction. It is when the ultimate bad boy becomes an object of intense desire.

As you may know, my research takes me everywhere and I believe that to create believable characters, I also need to understand them. This month, my research has broached a topic I was unfamiliar with by name, but  familiar with by concept.

We all have our kink?

Hybristophilia, also known as the Bonnie and Clyde syndrome, referencing the dynamic crime duo of the 1930s, is nothing new, and the most popular case thereof, dates back to the 1890s.

With the romanticizing of darkness, our once hardened shell has become more accepting of finding the barbaric and atrocious appealing, evident by the rising trend of hybristophilia. By performing an internet search of it, you’ll notice that this paraphilia has been playing in the background of society for a while, but also that it is rising in the limelight.

The hybristophiliac seeks out companionship with violent criminals and is most known for their fan letters to serial killers, and are often referred to as serial killer groupies. In their letters, they often express their love and devotion.  In fact, it is estimated that a once notorious serial killer, who shall remain nameless, “received about two hundred fan letters each day from female admirers” while incarcerated. 

There are two main categories or  types of hybristophiliacs: passive and aggressive. The passive hybristophiliac is not serial killer fan because of her overwhelming interest in the crimes committed by the criminal, but because of her exaggerated attraction to the ultimate “bad boy.” Somewhere between fan letter and her knowledge of her idol’s crimes, she convinces herself that the perpetrator is either innocent, as in he didn't do it; or, he been reformed by the criminal justice system and has changed, or, he will change because  her love can be a catalyst of change, i.e., I love him enough to make change happen. Through her love, she truly believes she can change and rehabilitate the beast, changing his nature from feral to domesticated.

The aggressive hybristophiliac can be a ticking time bomb, whereby she can be involved in the crimes of her “bad boy.”  According to Love Art History website, “[She is] willing to help out [her] lover with [his] criminal agenda by luring victims, hiding bodies, covering crimes, or even committing crimes.” As an active criminal element, she is willing to do anything and everything she can to achieve that which she wishes to have.

When our appreciation of the anti-hero climaxes, and leaves us longing for more, and we've soaked up all that we can throughout hours of laid back entertainment, and we start to see monsters as men, we teeter on being swayed by our romanticism, until we reach the true dark side.

And you? What are your thoughts?What is your take on the serial killer fan club?

For more information on hybristophilia, please check out the following resources:


TINA GLASNECK loves storytelling. She is currently working on the next story in her Spark Before Dying Series, and loves her entertaining research. Her dark novella, and most recent release, ANGELS CRY, is exclusively available on Amazon.

Monday, January 20, 2014

The 2014 Golden Globes Fashion Wrap-Up!!

The Fictionista

Remember this from my blog post last January?

"January, for me, is all about the Golden Globes and fashion.

This was one of the best ceremonies in a long time, thanks to Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. The ladies were funny and classy and they kept things moving. In fact, the only thing I didn't like about them was that I didn't see them enough! I hope they're back next year, but I wonder if repeat performances will ruin the perfection of this one."

The awards ceremony gods listened to me and the funny ladies were back!! Next year, I'd like to be at the ceremony, sitting at a table with Ben & Jen. "Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there!"

Here's my breakdown of the ceremony:

The Hollywood Foreign Press (HFP) got it right: Andy Samberg and Brooklyn Nine-Nine. It's a really funny show. And since they didn't give my girl Mindy Kaling and The Mindy Project any love...

The Hollywood Foreign Press (HFP) got it right, Part Deux: Elisabeth Moss in Top Of The Lake. It was a great mini-series directed by Jane Campion and I'm so glad Moss was recognized for it. She's smart, sexy, vulnerable and flawed as a detective investigating the disappearance of a 12-year old pregnant girl. If you haven't seen the show, and you like crime dramas, I think it's streaming on Netflix.

The HFP got it wrong: Behind the Candelabra.  I can't even... *dry heave*... It's... *sigh*

Best Monologue Joke: "Gravity is nominated for best film. It's the story of how George Clooney would rather float away into space and die than spend one more minute with a woman his own age." ROTFLMAO

Now, the fashions...

Best dressed

Lupita Nyong'o in Ralph Lauren. When I saw her, I gasped. Gorgeous. The dress was simple and stunning. And on her skin tone... breathtaking.

Worst dressed

Paula Patton in Stephane Rolland Couture. It pains me to say this because I'm a big fan of Paula's and she's married to the sexy Robin Thicke (interracial love, holla ;-) ), but this dress did nothing to emphasize her beauty or her great figure. 


Cate Blanchett in Armani Couture. I am a fan of Cate's past choices and she looks beautiful, but I wasn't overwhelmed. Not like I was when she wore this (see below) to the Oscars in 2000. 

Did you watch the Globes? What did you think? And what was Jacqueline Bisset "on"? ;-)

Finally, on another note, I am thrilled to announce that my debut novel, The Tycoon's Socialite Bride, will be released next month from Entangled Publishing!! I can't wait for you to read it. If you like the flavor of my blog posts, then you'll love the story.

Make sure you join me next month for more about my debut release and my Grammys ceremony and fashion recap!

Tracey Livesay's debut novel will be released with Entangled Publishing in February, 2014. She blogs here on the third Monday of every month. If you like the flavor she's bringing, you can check out her blog, Mimosas at Midnight or Like her Facebook page.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Elvy’s New Year’s Blog

Last January I shared my shabby, entirely much too loved, Hanukkah tablecloth, and stated my New Year’s resolution to celebrate me more. 

 I was thinking in terms of not judging so harshly things like my very imperfect Hanukkah tablecloth, and be more appreciative of my accomplishments,  more aware of the things in my life that were meaningful to me. I was thinking more in terms of tangible things, looking at my life with new eyes, and see what I valued, what I didn’t.

So today I’m reflecting on my 2013 blog, and wondering if I accomplished this goal.  I think ‘yes’ is the answer, but in ways I hadn’t anticipated.

What I was really longing for was to be more firmly entrenched on my own team. My relationship with my husband is forty years old, and I’ve been a mother for forty-four years. I needed to take some of me back, and it wasn’t easy.

I don’t know if everyone who married young, and became a young mother goes through this, but I sure did, and am continuing the process.

The part of the taking back process I’m finding the most difficult is guilt. It’s the plague of women everywhere, I know; I’ve got a master’s degree in social work and I read. But knowledge didn’t help at all.

Guilt, guilt, guilt. It was so difficult at first, to do what was right for me when I’ve always done right by others. So, awkwardly at first, I began listening to myself, and only doing what felt like an internally correct thing to do.

Often the right thing to do was apologize, or to go an extra unwanted mile because I could tell I needed to. Even harder than an apology, (and anyone who knows me would happily tell you how difficult that is for me) was leaving a good friend behind. She was a very good friend, the kind you can count on, the kind you treasure. Yet when I understood it was too painful for me to continue watching her destroy herself, and there was no way I could be of help, I vanished from her life.

Talk about guilt, that was a doozy.  She wasn’t doing well, and I thought it kinder to drop out than to say why. So I slipped away, and ever since noticed what I visualize as a large white rope levitating on its own, and coming towards me from time to time.

It hovers in arm’s reach, and I always feel the urge to grab it, get sucked back into that killer guilt. The damned rope can pop into my head at the oddest times, but as long as I see it, and not grab hold, I don’t go back.

This makes for some uncomfortable moments, yet I’m acutely aware those moments are a small price to pay for not living in guilt.

My wish for 2014 is more freedom from negative emotions like guilt, and worrying about what everyone else thinks. And while I’m at it, how about resentments? I’d like to dump more of those. And any anger about things I have no control over, and doing what I can where I can, and then let it all go.

And isn’t that the same serenity prayer I have prayed all my adult life?

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and the wisdom to know the difference.

Although, up until now, I think I missed out on a lot of the ‘me’ part of it.

 I’m already beginning to see, when I take the time to be genuinely authentic, nothing else really matters, and I shortchange no one in the process.

Happy New Year everyone, I really mean it.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Vampires, Vampyres. Tomato, Tomahto. Oh positive, they bite!

by Denise Golinowski

Hi! Welcome back to Myth Perceptions where I explore myths, fairy tales, fantasy, and mystical motifs. Lately, I've been drawn into several vampire series, in book and television formats, and it got me seriously reviewing my knowledge base on Vampires.

Research on the web revealed that my understanding is less than complete and that modern writers are, as they are wont to do, playing fast and loose with the established tropes. Spinning, stretching, morphing them into directions the original story-tellers would find unsettling and bedazzling--just before they dove in to put their own takes on same, I'm sure. It is a professional weakness.

The vampire that we all know and love is usually based upon the framework provided by Bram Stoker's Dracula--dead, blood-sucking, night-walker, sensitive to religious icons, and virtually immortal, etc. However, popular movies have raised this deadly hunter from a pasty-skinned recluse to a suave and debonair hunter-about-town. Indeed, vampires weren't always so very seductive. Oh, no, siree.

Dig a bit deeper in the family vault, and you'll find descriptions of a less appealing nature. Vampires were portrayed as bloated, ruddy-skinned, and sadly lacking in basic hygiene skills. And as for fashion sense, you could describe it as "none." Most early vampires staggered about the 18th century southeastern European neighborhood graveyard in their burial shroud.

Ah, and there's an interesting point--European. The popular vampire is based on the European model, but other cultures have older and unique bloodsuckers of their own. Spoiler--I'll be trotting them out in a later post or two.

The vampires of folklore were more home-bodies than world-travellers, preferring to visit, torment, and feed upon family and friends. Though they weren't above purloining a random bit of livestock and or small animals. Vampires were often the result of suicide, witch-hunts, or malevolent spirits taking a local corpse out for a little joyride.

Since visitors with such poor social skills were less than welcome, the locals went to great lengths to ensure that their deceased loved ones remained peacefully interred. One of the more quaint routines was to bury the dead face-down in the ground so that if they took a mind to dig themselves out, they'd actually only dig themselves deeper. Religious icons also featured heavily in burial rituals not only in respect of beliefs, but to remind the dead to remain dead.

Regretably, emotions about vampire sightings would run so high in places that corpses would be unearthed to be staked, beheaded, burned, and even hamstrung. Anyone acting suspicious might run afoul of a ravening mob and end up staked.

Well, like the inside of the lids of some exhumed coffins, I've only scratched the surface, so please, come back next month when I'll be delving deeper into the world of vampires.

Denise Golinowski is a reader and writer of fantasy and romance. Her newest enovella, Collector's Item, is available from  The Wild Rose Press.

Her first enovella, The Festival of the Flowers: The Courtesan and the Scholar is also available  through the Wild Rose Press. You can visit her blog at Golinowski's Gambol.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Hypergrid Stories Project: The Future of Storytelling is Here

I always talk about one day being able to step inside the pages of a book and become a part of the story. Today I did it.

This is a preview of the Hypergrid Stories project I am working on with some of the authors here at Tea and Strumpets and members of the Greyville Writer's Colony. Consider this a rough but exciting draft.

Exploring the Story World

Hamlet on the Holodeck by Janet Murray was published way back in 1998. She must have been looking into a crystal ball when she wrote this passage:

The format that most fully exploits the properties of digital environments is not the hyper-text or the fighting game but the simulation: the virtual world full of interrelated entities, a world we can enter, manipulate, and observe in process. We might therefore expect the virtuosos of cyberdrama to create simulated environments that capture behavioral patterns and patterns of interrelationships with a new clarity. ~Janet Murray, Hamlet on the Holodeck.

We've built the simulations and now we're planting bits of story for readers to discover as they explore the world.

As you move about, touch, examine the elements in a scene, as the story tells itself to you, you become a part of the story, it begins to feel real.

You'll be transported to a new location and into a new segment after you've discovered all the segments in the current scene. This is as much a journey of discovery for me creating the story as I believe it will be for the readers exploring them. Every day I discover a new layer to this platform.

That's all I can say for now. Well that and that I think you'll love what will be coming your way on Valentine's Day. Keep your eye on this blog for more news.

~Nara Malone

To learn more about Nara Malone and her novels visit

To stay up to date on the Hypergrid Stories Project follow Nara Malone on G+ or Facebook.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Have we lost our humanity?

Have we lost our humanity?

The beginning of the year is always a time of newness, when we are able to be hopeful that the coming year will be filled with vitality, joy, merriment, glee and goodness. Yet, so far in January, it seems that the sheer intensity of crime has increased, as though diabolical demons are seeking to capture more souls and create chaos. Following my news feed, I can’t help but wonder, what will it take for this nation filled with consumerism to finally learn that our power is in understanding our humanity?
School Shootings

Ever since the mass shooting in Columbine, there seems to be a steady rise into this horrendous crime, perpetuated by those who choose to unleash their fears on the world or have someone else kill them rather then themselves. It has sparked gun control debates, but has resulted in no true change, and in lieu of change, we’ve settled to sit on the precipice of time, waiting for the next angst-ridden teen, disgruntled adult or mentally ill individual to grab an available weapon to shoot innocent people due to their own “issues.” Yet, I wonder, how would things be if we stopped lobbying for multi-million dollar companies and instead focused on the importance of loving the person beside us?

I am not arguing the pros or cons regarding gun control, instead, what I am insisting upon is that we be reminded of the importance and value of human life; that we again regard society as a village - a village needed to raise the youngsters in our care; a village that is there to assist the ill and poor, and, of course, a village that is not so preoccupied with Washington’s lobbyists that the cares and concerns of the nation’s citizens are disregarded.

Maybe if we spent less time pushing a ____________ (insert vice of choice) on others and started to remember the value of those around us, then this world can indeed become a better place.

The War on Poverty

This week marked the anniversary of Lyndon B. Johnson’s declaration of War on Poverty.  Somehow the perpetuation that millions are living the life off of the government’s “handouts” has been propagated by the media, movies and music, but the truth of the matter is that the entitlements provided by government are to assist those, who are unable to bridge the gap of assistance needed.

Having grown up with welfare and using food stamps, the only thing I personally wanted was to have food on the table, a roof to cover my head (rent subsidy) and to be safe from the ever growing street violence. Living an impoverished life is not a choice for millions of children. They are born into situations out of their control, but it is through education that changes are made – not by entitlement-shaming. When politicians degrade an ever growing percentage of the population, who is doing all that they can do, to make ends meet, then I can’t help but again wonder, how we would be, if we truly cared about the communities, in which we live.

Interestingly enough, we are easily moved by images of starving dogs, but are easy to say that the mother, who is washing her children up in the public restroom, made poor choices and the decision to live so. A society that fails to care for its feeble, hungry, homeless and poor is on the brink of doom, because it has lost sight as to what it means to be human.

I don’t know the answers to our world’s problems, and my ultimate goal is to start a conversation, but I fear that if we don’t change courses, and start respecting those around us, and understanding that everyone has value, then we are coming ever closer to being a society built on the blood of the innocent.

So, tell me:  Have we lost our humanity and what can we do to try to heal our communities and nation?

TINA GLASNECK is a fearless crime fiction author. Her latest release, ANGELS CRY, is available on Amazon. Connect with Tina on Facebook!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Getting That Glass from Half Full to Empty: The Value of a New Year's Wine

The world celebrates the beginning of a new year today. Some of you lucky folks welcomed the new year yesterday, but at press time, most of us were already embracing 2014.

My guess is that very few of you are in the appropriate emotional state to hear more about drinking. That’s understandable. Stick with me for just another few paragraphs anyway. I want to explain how a nice glass of wine today can get you in a better place for the new year.

You’ll have to slow down. A nice glass of wine – and I prefer a rich, full-bodied red wine for the new year – is going to force you to slow down and focus on it. That’s not true for our other friends behind the bar. You’ll have to gulp a shot. Keeping beer cold and effervescent demands some measure of attention. And while hard liquor has the power to slow you down, a nice glass of tequila doesn’t have the volume to keep you occupied for very long. Stick with a glass of wine, and slow down. Savor it. Take it sip by sip. You have a whole year ahead of you.

Alexa? Alexa, come on! You're thinking too hard! 
Wine stimulates thought. I know, I know. We’ve all seen that brave soul at the end of the bar, gazing deeply into the melting ice cubes as they settle into his glass of whiskey. Something’s on his mind. It’s probably a pretty deep question. Will she ever come back? Was everyone right about me? Are Tony Romo and Kyle Orton really that different? But you know what he’s not thinking about? He’s not thinking about how watery his drink is getting. Your glass of red is gently breathing there in its glass, ready to warm your viscera and stimulate your gray matter. It only took me a third of a glass to realize that Romo would probably have done the same thing Orton did against the Eagles. Then I was able to turn to other, more mysterious things, like whether now is a good time to take things to the next level with Jason Garrett. Remember, the active ingredient in wine is truth. The same cannot be said for Johnnie Walker and Captain Morgan, can it? (In case you’re wondering, wine said I should wait to have that talk with Jason. Tequila would have told me to go to his house. I don't ask tequila important questions anymore.)

Wine likes company. I’m not talking about friends, although I do love a nice drink with my fellow oenophiles. I’m talking about food. Something about a nice red makes food rise to the occasion. I find I can taste the lash of the grill more with the help of a glass of wine. A bit of cheese finds depth and dimension under the influence of wine. Even the lowly french fry enjoys the company of a sophisticated wine. Because you’re drinking slowly, you have the freedom to concentrate on your senses more. A good meal with a good wine is a special blessing, and the perfect setting for a nice long meditation on this new year. Starting 2014 by indulging your senses – how can that be a wrong idea?

It’s almost nine in the morning on New Year’s Day. What are you waiting for? I can hear your corkscrew gently weeping from here.

Happy New Year!

**Alexa Day is here to meet you on the first Wednesday of every month, and she is usually sober. Promise. Check her out here for a new way to bring the sensual into your everyday life, and then follow her on Facebook during the month. You can also be a part of her unfortunate TV habits on Twitter. And don't worry. Wine told her that working on her next book would take her mind off Jason Garrett.