Click to see the Spooky Legends Master List with links to all the previous posts and giveaways
Today’s Spooky Legends guest is Monica Burns, author of the Order of the Sicari paranormal romance series from Berkley. The series begins with ASSASSIN’S HONOR, followed by ASSASSIN’S HEART (both already available), and continues with the recently released INFERNO’S KISS. Our story today features The Bogeyman urban legend. Want to win your own copy to start this wonderful series? Check out the giveaway details below.
Monica Burns: Happy Halloween everyone, I’m delighted to be here today with my friend Cleopatra Vorenus—
Cleopatra Vorenus (Sicari assassin from Inferno’s Kiss): Jupiter’s Stone. You know I hate to be called Cleopatra, will you just use Cleo for Vesta’s sake.
Monica: Well you never chew Dante out for calling you Cleopatra.
Monica: ookaay. *eyes Cleo with a bit of hesitation. The woman is an assassin after all* Anyway folks, I brought Cleo along today to talk about an urban legend. One that’s been around for hundreds of years. The Bogeyman
Cleo: That’s right. In Italy, he’s called Babau. Supposedly, he’s a pretty nasty creature used to frighten children.
Monica: I don’t remember my parents ever threatening me with the Bogeyman. I seem to recall kids at school during Halloween mentioning him, but then I had my head in a book all the time, so I was pretty oblivious to a lot of things.
Cleo: My father wasn’t around while I was growing up, and I have to say that this legend of Babau seems pretty tame to me when it comes to my childhood fear that a Praetorian could show up when I least expected it. Of course, I suppose I could say that the Praetorians are the Sicari version of the Bogeyman. What I find really interesting is that this story’s been around for a long time, and its part of a lot of different cultures.
Monica: It is kind of cool that the Bogeyman exists all over the world, isn’t it. In fact, it got me to thinking—
Cleo: You think way too much, bella. How many times have I told you to stop thinking and just do?
Monica: SERIOUSLY. You’re going to say something like that to me? What about all the times you stopped talking to me while I was writing Inferno’s Kiss. What were you doing then, huh? Sleeping? No. More like sulking I think. Trust me, if I’d had any way of making you talk, I would have threatened you with a lot more then the Bogeyman.
Cleo: Bene! I’m talking now. So tell us what you were thinking about this Babau story.
Monica: Well, all the legends talk about a man who’s black, dark and indistinguishable. *pause* Say that might be a good idea for a—
Cleo: Vesta spare me! Will you focus for just one fucking minute and stick to the Bogeyman story. You do this all the time when you’re writing, it’s why it was so goddamn difficult telling you about Dante and me. *sighs with pained weariness*
Monica: Okay, okay *grumbles* As I was saying, the legends all talk about this man who doesn’t have any real distinguishing characteristics, and I was thinking he might be a representation of death.
Cleo: Death? *frowns*
Monica: Yeah, think about it. All parents want their kids to behave, primarily for safety reasons. You know, don’t play in the street. Don’t talk to strangers. Don’t walk home in the dark, stuff like that.
Monica: Indictio, I can’t remember what that is. I know it’s in my world-building rules somewhere. Give me a minute…
Cleo: For the love of Juno! *exasperated and glaring at Monica* Indictio is hard labor in the kitchen, cleaning the bathroom, that sort of thing. Are you sure you’re the author who wrote the Order of the Sicari series.
Monica: Don’t get smart! I wrote you into a book, I can write you out. *grits teeth and glares back at Cleo*
Where was I? Oh right, parents a hundred years ago had just as many fears for their kids as parents do today. They were just different kinds of fears. For instance, two hundred years ago, rural areas had wolves and other predators nearby. In the populated cities, criminals didn’t think twice about kidnapping a child and forcing them to work in gangs.
Cleo: But when parents mention the Bogeyman, it’s when they want their children to behave.
Monica: True, but if you told a young kid that Babau might get them if they played outside after dark, or that strangers might be the Bogeyman in disguise, don’t you think that would get their attention.
Cleo: *nods slowly in agreement* In other words, using the Bogeyman as a fear factor meant the child was less likely to do something that might put them in harm’s way.
Monica: Exactly. Today’s parents aren’t any different than the parents from the past. We’re just afraid of different kinds of predators getting our children. The wolves of yesterday are the sexual predators of today. Criminals are still kidnapping children and using them for their own ends. But these bad forces all have something in common. Death. Whether it’s physical death, emotional death or a parent’s loss of a child, the Bogeyman represents that fear.
Cleo: Hmm…that does make sense. The Grim Reaper is always a black, shadowy skeleton figure shrouded in a cloak as I’ve heard some of my Italian friends describe Babau. Not a bad theory, bella. Not bad at all. So maybe thinking isn’t so bad where you’re concerned.
Monica: See—and you were certain this chat about the Bogeyman would be a complete writer’s block moment for me.
Cleo: I never said that. You’re always putting words into my mouth.
Cleo: Fuck. Don’t start with me. I can kick your ass from here to Rome and back.
Monica: *arching eyebrow* Oh really. Who’s the writer here?
Cleo: You are.
Monica: *hits a couple of keys on the keyboard really fast* That’s right. I’m the writer. Cleopatra, meet the Bogeyman.
*Monica nods to someone over Cleo’s shoulder. Cleo draws her sword and whirls around in one smooth as velvet move.*
Cleo: What the fuck. Where did you did this guy up? *leaps forward to attack a shadowy figure that’s shaking a bony finger at her.
Monica: There you have it folks. The pen truly is mightier than the sword. I can write him in and I can write him out. It’s my pen and I wield it how I want. So tell me who should win?
An award-winning author of erotic romance, Monica Burns penned her first short romance story at the age of nine when she selected the pseudonym she uses today. From the days when she hid her stories from her sisters to her first completed full-length manuscript, she always believed in her dream despite rejections and setbacks. A workaholic wife and mother, Monica believes it’s possible for the good guy to win if they work hard enough.
Want to read more from Monica Burns?
This giveaway is provided by Monica Burns
One winner will receive a copy of Assassin’s Honor (A Novel of the Order) by Monica Burns
Available on October 4, 2011 from Penguin/Berkley
About the Book:
The laws of desire…
Dante Condellaire, heir apparent to the Sicari Lords, knows that being a true leader means sacrifice. For Dante it was relinquishing all erotic pleasures. But he never expected his willpower to be tested so fiercely by Cleopatra Vorenus, expert assassin of the Order, and daughter of the man he is positioned to succeed.
The rules of battle…
Cleo prefers working alone—until she meets Dante who shares her goal: to destroy a Praetorian stronghold where Sicari women are imprisoned for devious purposes. Bringing the mission off without a hitch pumps up more than their resolve. It sets off a sexual spark too combustible to ignore.
Are all made to be broken.
As their attraction flares like an inferno, the stakes are raised. So are the risks. Before the mission is over, Dante and Cleo will be plunged into a dangerous conspiracy where a traitor threatens the very foundation of the Order, as well as the fiery bond between Dante and Cleo—warriors and lovers now torn between duty and desire.
Click HERE to read an excerpt
**Don’t forget to visit All Things Urban Fantasy today for her Spooky Legends guest blog with Hannah Jayne and a chance to win a copy of UNDER ATTACK**
You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.