10 Reasons We Love the Dark, Dangerous, and Sometimes Undead

A writer whose fifty novels since 1987 cover the romance spectrum, Nancy Gideon thrives on variety. Under her own name and several pseudonyms, she’s written award-winning category romances, historical and paranormal bestsellers, earned a “Career Achievement for Historical Adventure” and a HOLT Medallion, and has had two original horror screenplays optioned for film. A Michigan native, she works full time as a legal administrative assistant.

Author Nancy Gideon explains how the undead like vampires werewolves zombies and more make our heart go aflutter during HalloweenFrom the haunted halls of Dark Shadow‘s Collinwood to the sexy patrons at Merlotte’s in Bon Temps, I’ve always had an affinity for the tall, dark and deadly type. Vampires, shape-shifters, demons, ghosts and ghoulies: What is it about these terrifying should-never-be-heroes that gets the blood pumping?

Hunter of Shadows

Hunter of Shadows

by Nancy Gideon

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  • Get Hunter of Shadows
  • Get Hunter of Shadows
  • Get Hunter of Shadows

In honor of Halloween, let’s take a look at why women are so eager to bring Creatures of the Night in from the cold, whether between the pages of a book or on the movie screen. Here are the qualities that make our guards drop and our hearts open to that unlikely lover—the elusive paranormal male.

He’s mysterious and unavailable and therein comes the challenge. We always want what we can’t have. We always desire that which is juuuust out of reach. Contrast the chatty accountant who corners you at a party to that dark, delicious, smoldery-eyed stranger you can’t take your eyes off from the second he enters the room. He’s more than good looking. There’s an aura of danger and risk about him. Catnip to the female psyche.

He’s forbidden, an outsider, not a team player, who sparks our rebellious streak. He’s Romeo and James Dean all in one, an irresistible “It’s you and me against the world,” because if you follow him, you’re leaving all you know and are familiar with behind you. A tantalizing choice.

He’s powerful. We’re drawn to power. It’s not just financial. It’s more than just physical. He’s that protector/hunter women have sought out instinctively since the beginning of time for his ability to provide and keep us safe (never mind that he brings his own kind of danger into the mix!)

He’s vulnerable despite all that strength. He has a secret or a weakness that appeals to our nurturing, sheltering nature. By opening up to share that Achilles heel with you, trust becomes a compelling bond.

When he loves, it’s completely, totally, almost obsessively. What woman doesn’t want to be adored, no, worshipped? Your safety, your happiness, your satisfaction is his consuming focus.

He wants to be “more” to be worthy of your love. He longs to change what he is, to be redeemed or accepted in your world in order to have you. He can’t quite believe you could love him as is. Who can resist a strong man’s humility?

He only bends to your will. You are the only one who can tame him. It’s the ultimate Beauty and the Beast relationship. Who wouldn’t want an alpha male on their leash?

He will fight for you, against all odds, even when impossible. He’s that knight, that rescuing prince, that ideal valiant who risks all for you. Sigh.

He desires a bond with you, a link, whether physical, mental or preternatural, reserved for soul mates. And once created, cannot be broken. No prenup. No infidelities. A real ’til-death-do-us-part agreement. And possibly beyond…

His is a love eternal, beyond the boundaries of mortality. He will cross time for you, wait centuries for the promise you offer, follow you beyond death itself to keep you. It’s the Happily Ever After we all dream of, because it never ends.

Whether they sparkle, growl, grow fangs or facial (and body!) hair, they fascinate us and tempt us to walk on that dark side with them. For Frank Langella’s coolly elegant Dracula (not Gary Oldman’s chinless version), Jonathon Frid (and soon to be Johnny Depp!) as the cursed and tormented Barnabas, Ron Perlman’s Beast, all the barely or rarely clothed fellows on True Blood, the glittery-versus-hunky boys that have Twihards in a dither, and all those supernaturally sexy bad boys who populate the pages of paranormal and urban fantasy novels from the MacGrieves to Bones, from the Dark Hunters to my own Max Savoie, we’re willing to risk the sometimes dangerous trick to have the decadent treat of fantasy that safely reflects our all too human needs and desires.

This Halloween, walk on the wild side. Indulge in things that aren’t necessarily good for you, but taste wicked good. Share the night with those dark, dangerous men from the paranormal realm. Bon appetite!

Nancy’s next book is out Nov. 29; you can pre-order it now! For more paranormal romance thrills, read her $3.99 Halloween e-Book Masked by Moonlight, like her on Facebook and follow her on Twitter.

Joy of Cooking, Cranberry Chutney, dessert recipe

Joy of Cooking Recipe: Cranberry Chutney

Megan Scott is the newest member of the JOY clan. After meeting John Becker in Asheville, North Carolina, she was warmly welcomed into the family and the happy couple was married on September 29, 2012. After graduating with a degree in French literature, Megan worked in a bakery where she honed her pastry skills and developed a passion for high-quality baked goods of all kinds. This experience with fast-paced industrial kitchen work inspired her to create her farmer's market baking business, The Little Blue Baking Company. Megan's work for JOY involves a little bit of everything. She is JOY's blogger-in-residence, she works with John on digital projects, newspaper articles, and food photography, and has spearheaded the Joy of Cooking's kitchen garden and flock of chickens. During her time off, she maintains a lively sourdough starter, sews, spins wool, and does yoga.

JuicyTurkeyBurgers567

The Pollan Family Table Recipe: Perfect Juicy Turkey Burgers

In The Pollan Family Table, Corky, Lori, Dana, and Tracy Pollan invite you into their warm, inspiring kitchens, sharing more than 100 of their family’s best recipes. Corky Pollan is the author of Shopping Manhattan, food blogger, the acclaimed Best Bets editor at New York magazine, and former Style Director of Gourmet magazine. Lori Pollan who holds an MBA, is a certified Life Coach with a focus on health and wellness, and cofounded the renowned Pollan-Austen Fitness Center with Dana Pollan, who cocreated and produced a series of exercise videos there. Tracy Pollan is an Emmy Award nominated actress who has appeared in television, film, and on the Broadway stage. She has served on the board of the Michael J. Fox Foundation For Parkinson’s Research since its inception in 2000.

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    [post_content] => Author Nancy Gideon explains how the undead like vampires werewolves zombies and more make our heart go aflutter during HalloweenFrom the haunted halls of Dark Shadow's Collinwood to the sexy patrons at Merlotte's in Bon Temps, I've always had an affinity for the tall, dark and deadly type. Vampires, shape-shifters, demons, ghosts and ghoulies: What is it about these terrifying should-never-be-heroes that gets the blood pumping?

In honor of Halloween, let's take a look at why women are so eager to bring Creatures of the Night in from the cold, whether between the pages of a book or on the movie screen. Here are the qualities that make our guards drop and our hearts open to that unlikely lover—the elusive paranormal male.

He's mysterious and unavailable and therein comes the challenge. We always want what we can't have. We always desire that which is juuuust out of reach. Contrast the chatty accountant who corners you at a party to that dark, delicious, smoldery-eyed stranger you can't take your eyes off from the second he enters the room. He's more than good looking. There's an aura of danger and risk about him. Catnip to the female psyche.

He's forbidden, an outsider, not a team player, who sparks our rebellious streak. He's Romeo and James Dean all in one, an irresistible "It's you and me against the world," because if you follow him, you're leaving all you know and are familiar with behind you. A tantalizing choice.

He's powerful. We're drawn to power. It's not just financial. It's more than just physical. He's that protector/hunter women have sought out instinctively since the beginning of time for his ability to provide and keep us safe (never mind that he brings his own kind of danger into the mix!)

He's vulnerable despite all that strength. He has a secret or a weakness that appeals to our nurturing, sheltering nature. By opening up to share that Achilles heel with you, trust becomes a compelling bond.

When he loves, it's completely, totally, almost obsessively. What woman doesn't want to be adored, no, worshipped? Your safety, your happiness, your satisfaction is his consuming focus.

He wants to be "more" to be worthy of your love. He longs to change what he is, to be redeemed or accepted in your world in order to have you. He can't quite believe you could love him as is. Who can resist a strong man's humility?

He only bends to your will. You are the only one who can tame him. It's the ultimate Beauty and the Beast relationship. Who wouldn't want an alpha male on their leash?

He will fight for you, against all odds, even when impossible. He's that knight, that rescuing prince, that ideal valiant who risks all for you. Sigh.

He desires a bond with you, a link, whether physical, mental or preternatural, reserved for soul mates. And once created, cannot be broken. No prenup. No infidelities. A real 'til-death-do-us-part agreement. And possibly beyond…

His is a love eternal, beyond the boundaries of mortality. He will cross time for you, wait centuries for the promise you offer, follow you beyond death itself to keep you. It's the Happily Ever After we all dream of, because it never ends.

Whether they sparkle, growl, grow fangs or facial (and body!) hair, they fascinate us and tempt us to walk on that dark side with them. For Frank Langella's coolly elegant Dracula (not Gary Oldman's chinless version), Jonathon Frid (and soon to be Johnny Depp!) as the cursed and tormented Barnabas, Ron Perlman's Beast, all the barely or rarely clothed fellows on True Blood, the glittery-versus-hunky boys that have Twihards in a dither, and all those supernaturally sexy bad boys who populate the pages of paranormal and urban fantasy novels from the MacGrieves to Bones, from the Dark Hunters to my own Max Savoie, we're willing to risk the sometimes dangerous trick to have the decadent treat of fantasy that safely reflects our all too human needs and desires.

This Halloween, walk on the wild side. Indulge in things that aren't necessarily good for you, but taste wicked good. Share the night with those dark, dangerous men from the paranormal realm. Bon appetite!

Nancy's next book is out Nov. 29; you can pre-order it now! For more paranormal romance thrills, read her $3.99 Halloween e-Book Masked by Moonlight, like her on Facebook and follow her on Twitter.

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    [post_excerpt] => By Nancy Gideon
Author of Hunter of Shadows
From the haunted halls of Dark Shadow's Collinwood to the sexy patrons at Merlotte's in Bon Temps, I've always had an affinity for the tall, dark and deadly type. Vampires, shape-shifters, demons, ghosts and ghoulies: What is it about these terrifying should-never-be-heroes that gets the blood pumping?
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