Friday, February 24, 2017

Meet Cute

Posted by: Nicole Luiken
My husband and I met at a science fiction and fantasy convention—that there pretty much tells you everything you need to know about us. First meetings in my books range from the prosaic (neighbours) to the exotic.

Ways couples have met in my books:

1/ Chosen as the Unlikeliest Couple at a school dance
2/ Heroine falls off her stool in science class; hero helps her up
3/ Neighbours
4/ Amnesia victim of robots meets student nurse
5/ Hero proposes to girl he's just met in high school hallway
6/ Saving the heroine who is on the run from kidnappers
7/ Stealing a secret message on an airship
8/ Heroine wakes hero out of stasis
9/ Gunshot man knocks on door while heroine is babysitting
10/ Merman saves the heroine from drowning
11/ Hero is locked up in a secret room in a tower
12/ New boy at school
13/ Halfway up a bridge

Tell me which one intrigues you the most and I’ll tell you the title and post a snippet in the comments.




Thursday, February 23, 2017

And...Back to SciFi Romance

Posted by: Marie Harte
I've been writing professionally for thirteen years. I write in several romance genres and have over 100 books to my name. I like to write in different genres because it keeps me sharp, and I like creating new worlds and families with interesting relationships.

Lately I've been writing a lot of contemporary romance for one particular publisher. And don't get me wrong, I love it, but now that I have the rights back to one of my science fiction romance series, I've been super excited to put my stories back out there.

Take a look at the newly covered LIFE IN THE VRAIL series!! 

Life abounds in the universe, where the different solar systems are made up of interesting people, places, and unimaginable creatures. Life in the Vrail System has its ups and downs. Planets are full of inhumanly strong men, beautiful women, agile-bodied warriors, rebels, lawmen, bounty hunters and genetically enhanced beings. People who love, who war, and who die. They’re never less than interesting, and who knows what they’ll bring to the future. Life in the Vrail. A place where the impossible is possible, and love always finds a way.









Happy Thursday!

Marie


Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Do You Believe in Meant to Be?

Posted by: Maureen


Before the holiday decorations are put away we're bombarded with Valentine’s Day. Whether you love, or hate, the holiday, one thing is for sure, love is here to stay all year long. Otherwise our hearts wouldn’t soften at every romance we’ve read, watched—or lived. We wouldn’t covet television romance movies, the ones on the big screen, and those novel characters coming to life in our hearts and minds.

There are a multitude of methods to get the couple together, but the end result is the same—true love—whether it’s a happily ever after, a happy for now, or having loved and lost.

What's your favorite method of a first meeting for the hero and heroine? 


Chance Encounter or Destiny? 

Do you believe if something is meant to be? In a story, or real life?

My husband and I will celebrate twenty-two years of marriage this year in March. Like many unexpected encounters, the day we met might never have occurred if not for a few twists of fate.

My friend begged me to babysit with her. I reluctantly agreed. After we finished, she insisted we make a quick stop at the mall. I protested. I dressed for babysitting messy munchkins, not going to the local teenage hotspot. But...I relented.

We arrived, and ran into another girlfriend and her boyfriend. While we chatted, a tall guy caught my eye. I leaned in to my friend to whisper my thoughts. Unbeknownst to me, my friend’s boyfriend overheard—and he knew ‘the cute guy’.  He promptly went over and told my future husband exactly what I said.

To my mortification, my future hubby walked over and said, “I heard you think I’m cute.”  I promptly died of embarrassment on the spot. Since I’m alive to tell this story, I’ve disproved the possibility of dying of embarrassment, because if there was ever a time it could happen, that was it.

Tempting Fate 

I could’ve refused to go to the mall, or fled when my future hubby mortified me with my own words, but I didn’t. I suppose, if we were ‘meant to be’ then I would’ve ran into him another time and allowed our fates to intertwine.

Sometimes it’s nice to believe things are following a predetermined path, but other times, I like to think I’m in more control of my destiny.

Holding Out for A Hero 

I have a little more control over my couples in my novels. I can throw them together through fate or circumstance.



Hope and Griffith were connected through dreams, so their meeting was inevitable, but their destiny together, was not.

Carmen and Dylan were thrown together through coincidence—or not. Only you can decide if it was fate.




Do You Believe in Fate or Do You Make Your Own Destiny?


About Me:
Maureen Bonatch dreamt of becoming a Solid Gold Dancer. When the show ended, she followed other paths. Surviving twins gave her confidence to belly dance, declare herself a tequila connoisseur and biker babe to her alpha hubby. She lives in small town Pennsylvania and her love of the four seasons—biking, sweat pants, hockey and hibernation—keeps her there. While immersed in paranormal romance and fantasy, she survives on caffeine, wine, music and laughter. A feisty Shih Tzu keeps her in line.

Check out all her books on her Amazon Author Page

Find Me:

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Excerpt from DANCER OF THE NILE Free Ancient World Romance

Posted by: Veronica Scott
My award winning, bestselling paranormal novel of ancient Egypt, Dancer of the Nile (Gods of Egypt), is currently free, so I thought I'd share an excerpt today!

The story: 
1550 BCE
Nima’s beauty and skill as a dancer leads an infatuated enemy to kidnap her after destroying an Egyptian border town. However, she’s not the only hostage in the enemy camp: Kamin, an Egyptian soldier on a secret mission for Pharaoh, has been taken as well. Working together to escape, the two of them embark on a desperate quest across the desert to carry word of the enemy’s invasion plans to Pharaoh’s people.

As they flee for their lives, these two strangers thrown together by misfortune have to trust in each other to survive.  Nima suspects Kamin is more than the simple soldier he seems, but she finds it hard to resist the effect he has on her heart.  Kamin has a duty to his Pharaoh to see his mission completed, but this clever and courageous dancer is claiming more of his loyalty and love by the moment. Kamin starts to worry, if it comes to a choice between saving Egypt or saving Nima’s life…what will he do?

Aided by the Egyptian god Horus and the Snake Goddess Renenutet, beset by the enemy’s black magic, can Nima and Kamin evade the enemy and reach the safety of the Nile in time to foil the planned attack?

The Excerpt:

Far too early the next morning, Nima leaned on the stone wall surrounding the well, stifling a yawn and nibbled at a piece of journey bread, waiting for the caravan to push itself into motion. She’d deliberately spent the night away from Kamin again, testing her feelings for him, assessing the reality of what she was about to do. She’d enjoyed her time with the Minoan dancers, not just sharing steps and new moves, but also asking them questions about living and traveling with the caravan.
Andrios and his dancers probably thought she was really considering Ptahnetamun’s offer and were excited, providing advice and encouragement. And I know Andrios is hoping my curiosity extends to his talents in lovemaking as well. But she knew she was just playing with the concept, living the nomad artist’s life by proxy for a night or two.

The opportunity was opening up too late. Even a few weeks ago, she’d have signed the contract and been gone without a backward glance. Why didn’t I ever at least talk to a caravan master about the possibilities? Note taken for the future—if there was a future to be had after this Hyksos problem ended—be bold and pursue dreams. No more drifting along.

Bracelets jangling, Thala nudged her in the ribs. “Here comes your man, looking for you.”

“Uh huh.” Affecting a casual air she didn’t really feel, Nima pushed down a little surge of excitement. I hope he was as upset by our spat yesterday as I was. She turned to rummage in her sack for some fruit, offering a date to her companion. “Making sure I haven’t wandered into Andrios’s bed.”

“It means something that the soldier was so jealous,” Thala said, licking yogurt from her fingers. “He must have feelings for you, my friend. “

“He seemed so bereft when you turned your back on him and ignored him,” Mika added, leaning over to grab a fig for herself from the sack.

“And he stayed on the fringe of the crowd the entire evening, watching you dance.” Thala nodded, patting Nima on the shoulder. “Actually, he was watching the bystanders more than he paid attention to you, in case the men got out of hand, I think. It must be nice to have such a fearsome warrior looking out for you.” She shrugged. “Andrios is a fine troupe master, an excellent dancer, but he’ll never settle for any one woman. This soldier of yours acts like a man who’s given his heart, perhaps in spite of himself.”

“I think we should leave the lovebirds alone,” Mika said with a laugh. “In case they want to quarrel again before the inevitable lovemaking heals the anger.” Taking one more date, she and Thala strolled away, heading for the dance troupe’s wagons.

Shrugging off the girls’ lighthearted banter, Nima watched Kamin striding confidently through the lines of camels and the hurrying workers. What about him captivates me so? He’s not like any other soldier I’ve ever met. Handsome, yes. She knew he would have drawn her attention in any crowded inn. But looks were only part of the attraction. Handsome she could walk away from. Was it his confidence? His skill as a warrior? The way he took such good care of her on the hard trail they followed?

 “He treats me like an equal in this adventure,” she said out loud. Not some burden he has to shoulder for honor’s sake because I happened to free him. She’d been acutely conscious of him at her back during the endless senet game, lending her silent strength and support, trusting her to use her skills and win their freedom again. We’re partners. I’ve never had anything close to trust and true partnership with any other person, and I don’t want to give that up. True, he’d spoken no words of love, although her foolish heart beat faster now just remembering how he’d claimed her as his woman twice in front of the caravan crew. I know he was only trying to protect me, but perhaps... I’m willing to stay the course and hope.

Always a gambler!

And he certainly was unhappy with the attention Andrios was giving me.

Nima felt an irrepressible smile curving her lips as Kamin approached, walking fast.  
        
Giving her a bow, as if she was some grand lady at Pharaoh’s court, he said, “One of the camels has given birth this morning. Out of season, but the calf appears healthy.”

Buy Links:

Monday, February 20, 2017

Here Be News

Posted by: Eleri Stone

New Releases

Lady of Silver (Blood and Silver)

A man on a mission
A brutal crime is haunting detective Dale Morgan. A young woman has been murdered on the city’s outskirts, and her blood drained. Dale suspects the leader of a depraved cult may be to blame. Yet with barely a shred of evidence at the crime scene, Dale will have to turn to the one person despises almost as much as the killers he puts behind bars.

A woman with secrets

To humans, Saba Venn is a psychic, but she’s Albah, a race long forgotten by humans but who live amongst them, her powers fueled by blood and silver. She agrees to help Detective Morgan, if it means stopping the vampire cult she believes is behind the killing. But the attraction she feels with Dale is immediate, and as their relationship intensifies she begins to doubt she can keep her secret from him.

Buy links: Amazon Kobo iBooks Barnes and Noble

Other News

Veronica Scott's STAR CRUISE: OUTBREAK took 3rd Place honors in the Judge A Book By Its Cover contest, with the judges being professional book sellers. Cover Artist Fiona Jayde does wonderful work!

The story:
She saved countless soldiers in the wars … but does she have the weapons to fight an outbreak?
Dr. Emily Shane, veteran of the Sector Wars, is known as “The Angel of Fantalar” for her bravery under fire as a medic. However, the doctor has her own war wounds–severe PTSD and guilt over those she failed to save.
Persuaded to fill a seemingly frivolous berth as ship’s doctor on the huge and luxurious interstellar cruise liner Nebula Zephyr, she finds the job brings unexpected perks–a luxe beach deck with water imported from Tahumaroa II, and Security Officer Jake Dilon, a fellow veteran who heats her up like a tropical sun.
However, Emily soon learns she and Jake didn’t leave all peril behind in the war. A mysterious ailment aboard the Zephyr begins to claim victim after victim … and they must race against time and space to find the cause and a cure! Trapped on a ship no spaceport will allow to dock, their efforts are complicated by a temperamental princess and a terrorist–one who won’t hesitate to take down any being in the way of his target.  If anyone’s left when the disease is through with them…
     Buy Links:  Apple iBooks   Amazon     Kobo      Barnes & Noble   


Friday, February 17, 2017

In honor of Valentine's Day week, my favorite fictional couples!

Posted by: Angela Korra'ti
On Goodreads this month, because of Valentine’s Day, I received an author question asking me who my favorite fictional couple was. And since said holiday was this past Tuesday, I thought I’d make my post on Here Be Magic today an expanded version of my answer to that question!

So here you all go, in no particular order, my list of ten of my favorite fictional couples:

#1:
Heroine: Luthien Tinuviel
Hero: Beren
Source: The Silmarillion, by J.R.R. Tolkien
Why I like them: Because they are a shining example of a romance in which both involved parties actively contribute to the story. In particular, I love that Luthien takes on no less than Morgoth himself, the biggest bad in Middle-Earth EVER, to save her man.

#2:
Heroine: Sira di Sarc
Hero: Jason Morgan
Source: A Thousand Words for Stranger, by Julie E. Czerneda
Why I like them: This was the Czerneda book that made me fall in love with this woman’s writing, and decide that she was the writer I wanted to write like when I grew up. The story starts with the “captain with a heart of gold takes on mysterious stowaway” trope and I’m a sucker for that. Once the truly staggering strength of Sira’s telepathic gifts is revealed, I adore how Jason does not flinch from standing at her side.

#3:
Heroine: Amelia P. Emerson
Hero: Emerson
Source: The entire Amelia Peabody series, by Elizabeth Peters
Why I like them: Because Amelia is a parasol-wielding force of nature, because Emerson is adorably gruff, and because I love how every scene-closing cry from Amelia of “Oh, Emerson!” is totally code for “and then sex was on”. ;D Plus I love their mutual proposal to one another at the end of Book 1, and Amelia’s assertion that “I embroider very badly. I think I would excavate very well.”

#4:
Heroine: Nefret
Hero: Ramses Emerson
Source: ALSO the entire Amelia Peabody series, by Elizabeth Peters
Why I like them: Because I adore how the series outlines the developing relationship between these two characters, from when they meet as children (and Nefret is established as the only living creature capable of making Ramses shut up) clear up to when they finally declare love for one another. He Shall Thunder in the Sky, when that climactic resolution finally happens, is one of my very favorite books in the entire series.

#5:
Heroine: Isabella, Lady Trent
Hero: Suhail
Source: The Memoirs of Lady Trent series, by Marie Brennan
Why I like them: The dynamic between these two had strong callbacks for me to the aforementioned Amelia and Emerson, in no small part because what draws them together is mutual interest in science. Also, their mutual interest in science is all about dragons! Which is awesome. +1 as well for Suhail coming from an Arabic-analogue culture, which makes him a hero of color.

#6:
Heroine: Marion Ravenwood
Hero: Indiana Jones
Source: The Indiana Jones movies, but in particular, Raiders of the Lost Ark
Why I like them: There are REASONS Raiders of the Lost Ark is my all time favorite movie. But the ones that are pertinent to this list is the crackling chemistry between Indy and Marion all throughout the movie, starting with how she greets him with a punch to the jaw. Also, Harrison Ford.

#7:
Heroine: Leia Organa
Hero: Han Solo
Source: The Star Wars movies, but in particular, The Empire Strikes Back
Why I like them: See previous commentary re: mmmmmm Harrison Ford mmmmmmm. Also every single one of their scenes together in Empire. <3 “I’d just as soon kiss a Wookiee!” “I can arrange that!”

#8:
Heroine: Lois Lane
Hero: Clark Kent/Superman
Source: Multiple adaptations in TV and movies, but in particular, Christopher Reeves’ original Superman movie, the 90’s TV show Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, and the WB Superman, Batman, Justice League, and Justice League Unlimited cartoons
Why I like them: Because all my favorite implementations of Lois stay true to her core as a fearless reporter, and all my favorite implementations of Clark/Supes uphold his inherent heroism. And when they’re thrown together, their feelings for one another are radiant. Of my three favorite Superman adaptations, I’m most partial to Lois and Clark, because Teri Hatcher and Dean Cain spent all of season 1 being adorable cinnamon rolls at each other. <3

#9:
Heroine: Buffy Summers
Hero: Angel
Source: Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Why I like them: Because Buffy and Angel were delicious, delicious angst. “Ohnoez they can never actually be together” (for values of ‘be together’ meaning ‘actually have sex’) “because Angel will turn evil!” And, of course, they went there, which leads to one of Buffy’s most badass moments at the end of season 2 and arguably in the entire series.

#10:
Heroine: Dana Scully
Hero: Fox Mulder
Source: The X-Files
Why I like them: Because through so much of the early seasons of the show, they took the time to set up deep working trust between these two characters. So when we finally got signs that the relationship was turning romantic, it felt like a logical progression to me. I could argue for hours about how the relationship has played out since then—but for purposes of this post, I’ll simply say that Mulder and Scully: yep, I ship it.


How about the rest of you? Tell me about your favorite fictional couples in the comments!

-----
Angela may not be a romance writer, but she is absolutely a romantic sucker and has love stories in both her urban fantasy Free Court of Seattle series (written as Angela Korra'ti) and the high fantasy trilogy Rebels of Adalonia (written as Angela Highland). If you've read her books, come tell her which characters you ship at angelahighland.com, on Facebook, or on Twitter! And if you haven't read her books, she invites you to start. ;D

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

What to Do with a Naked Man in Your Front Yard - STORM WARRIOR

Posted by: Dani Harper, AUTHOR
Every writer has certain parts of their stories that they find particularly FUN to write. My favorite has always been when the Hero and Heroine encounter each other for the very first time. And this month, the theme of the HERE BE MAGIC BLOG just happens to be "First Meetings". 

I had a hard time deciding on which of my characters to feature (as usual, they all wanted to participate!), but in the end, I chose the couple from Book 1 of my Grim Series. Hope you enjoy it! And be sure to check out the SALE on the first 3 ebooks in the series at the bottom of the page.


EXCERPT from STORM WARRIOR by Dani Harper

Available in Kindle, Trade Paperback and AUDIBLE
Morgan pressed the sharp tip of the garden hoe against the throat of the man lying in the grass. “Okay Reese, what the hell are you doing here on my front lawn? You’ve got no car, no keys and no clothes. How’d you get here?”
“My name is Rhys.” He corrected, pronouncing it with a single roll of the r, just as Nainie had said her r’s all her life. As did every Welsh person Morgan had met on her trip, from the hotel clerks to the shopkeepers to the tour directors. “And it was you brought me here.”
“I’m pretty sure I’d remember that. Now, where did you come from?”
“I was a warrior of my clan until I was captured by the Roman invaders. They forced me to fight in the arena at Isca Silurum and named me The Bringer of Death for my skills. I thought I knew hell then, but I had not truly found it until I escaped from them.”
Good grief, was he high on something? The Bringer of Death… Somebody had been playing way too many video games. “Good for you. Ten points for originality. Let me guess, you were drinking last night, and your friends decided to play a prank on you. They stole your clothes and dumped you at the wrong place. Am I close?”
“A prank.” He seemed to consider that. “Yes, you could say that a bit of a prank was played on me. I found a cave, but it turned out to be an entrance to the world below. The Tylwyth Teg found me there, and there aren’t greater pranksters to be had.”
She nearly dropped the hoe. “How do you know about the Tylwyth Teg?” Except for her grandmother, she’d never heard anyone on this side of the ocean speak of them, never mind pronounce their name correctly. The tourist shops in Wales did a booming business in faery merchandise, yet she hadn’t heard the real name of the fantasy creatures used very much even in that country. She narrowed her eyes at the man, daring him to answer.
He shrugged a little. Although she wasn’t pressing on his neck anymore, he remained prone. “The Fair Ones are cousin to men but very much older. Ancient as the mountains. It was the custom of our clan to leave offerings for them, outside the village. The Fair Ones are often bored, and they think nothing of toying with mortals for sport.”
Nainie Jones had often spoken of her childhood, told of her mother leaving milk and bread on the back step for the Tylwyth Teg. It was an offering, a gift of hospitality, she said, so they wouldn’t play tricks on the family. Morgan gripped the hoe harder to keep her hands from trembling, yet she couldn’t help but be fascinated.
“You cannot enter their territory without permission or payment,” he continued. “I had nothing to offer when they discovered me. Not even my life, as I was dying. I thought they would finish me, but instead they healed me. And that was their prank. Because then they changed me, so they could take their payment in servitude.”
Rhys—if that was even his real name—either believed what he was saying or he was a prime candidate for an Oscar. Because try as Morgan might, she couldn’t see any evidence that he was lying. He had to be crazy then, but everything about the whole situation was insane. After all, she was standing in her front yard in her pajamas, holding a naked man at the point of a garden hoe. She’d taken assertive action when she’d seen him lying in the grass, assuming he was drunk or something. Well, she’d gotten the upper hand all right.
Now what was she supposed to do with the guy?


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About STORM WARRIOR, Book 1 of the Grim Series

Check out all my books on my Amazon Author Page at
https://www.amazon.com/Dani-Harper/e/B004FD8RV2

Two thousand years ago, Rhys was the fierce Celtic warrior branded by the Romans as “the Bringer of Death.” Mortally wounded in battle, he was captured by the Fair Ones, cunning and powerful masters of the Welsh faery realm. They spared his life…but for a price. As a grim, he has roamed the earth as a messenger of death—until a single act of kindness breaks the ancient enchantment and delivers him into a strange new world…


As a child, Morgan Edwards marveled at the faery tales spun by her beloved grandmother, stories of the magical beings hidden in the heart of ancient Wales. But now Morgan is all grown up, a veterinarian who believes only in what science can prove—until the night a massive black dog saves her from a vicious attack, and life as she knows it changes forever. Suddenly a stranger stands before her, the man of her dreams made flesh and blood not by science, but by a magic that could bring them their hearts’ desires ... or cost them everything they have.

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Love Faeries?  3-BOOK SPECIAL SALE

Get all 3 ebooks in the Grim Series by Dani Harper for just $6 at



Sale is ON NOW through the end of February!

PS - Don't forget to watch for Book 4, STORM CROSSED, releasing this year!

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