Monday, January 23, 2017

Here Be News

Posted by: Eleri Stone

New Releases

NEVERWYLDE

The Rim of the World, Book 5

Sensuous Sci-Fi Romance
by Linda Mooney

Word Count: 33.3K
$2.99 e

Releasing Tuesday, or Available Now on my website!

The adventure is almost over…


Finding themselves on yet another new part of the half-world, Kyber and the crew need to escape quickly or risk death, but he can’t find it in himself to care anymore. His Kelen is gone.  
The group is tired, both Terrans and Seneecians. Tired of fighting. Tired of running. Tired of struggling to survive. They have nothing left to give. But if there’s even the tiniest of chances that Kelen is still alive, Kyber will stop at nothing to find her.  

Giving up hope on ever escaping, the crew decides on a new strategy—survive, learn as much as they can, and hopefully help anyone who may crash there in the future. With new friends and allies, and new information, there just may be hope yet. 

Warning! Contains warmth by furries, death by furries, identification by old Earth code, bowls as weapons, soapy sand, planet-wide monitoring, and a love that will carry two people through tragedy and despair, to the possibility of rescue.

Excerpt and buy links.

Up In Flames


Up In Flames - paranormal romance - just out and FREE till Friday January 27. Enjoy!


Diane Lee is a newly qualified Mage for Hire with a To Do List that ought to include hiding under the blankets. Bad enough she still hasn’t bought her mom’s birthday present, but now that list item has been replaced with “fall in love”. As if she had time! And then there is Number One on the list, “Save the President’s life”. Uh, what? Diane’s organized day goes up in flames as she encounters a very sexy, presidential bodyguard and a salamander with a sensual desire to bliss out.

“Up In Flames”, a paranormal romance novella, was originally published in the Dare collection, which is no longer available. For fans of sexy witches and handsome bodyguards.
Buy link: https://www.amazon.com/Up-Flames-Jenny-Schwartz-ebook/dp/B01N13GBDQ/


Other News:

 

Sale!

Magic. Mirrors. Parallel worlds...

Buy links

Friday, January 20, 2017

Excerpt from Chapter 1 of Warder Soul!

Posted by: Angela Korra'ti
For a writer, there are few things more frustrating than making about 20,000 words into a manuscript, only to realize that it's not working. This has recently happened to me, as I work on Warder Soul, book 3 of my Free Court of Seattle urban fantasy series.

The bright side of this, at least, is that I was only about 20,000 words in versus, oh, say, 90,000. And also, I was able to nail down pretty well why what I was writing wasn't working for me, because it was a problem that had come up while I was working on Victory of the Hawk. Namely, that after releasing five novels, three of which had me working extensively with a good editor, I'd developed a tendency to write too superficially in the name of trying to write more quickly.

Because of this, I just wasn't feeling suitably, truly engaged with what I'd put down for the story so far. And if the writer isn't engaged, the reader can't be!

So even though it was irritating to have to go back and rewrite the beginning, I did it anyway. I now have a new opening scene for Chapter 1, and I'm feeling a lot better about it. So I'd like to share it with you all now!

The scene is long, about 2,000 words, so I'm only going to include a small taste of it in this post:
Amount of time it took to get my hair ready for Jake and Carson’s wedding: three hours.
Amount of time it took a flock of fairies to have at it: five minutes.
The little knuckleheads divebombed me the minute Jude and I got out of her truck at the Golden Gardens bathhouse. One minute I was closing the passenger door behind me, taking care not to crinkle my skirt as I got out, because honestly, how often was I going to wear a dress in public? I’d been twitchy the whole morning about tearing it, or spilling coffee on it, or any number of potential disasters. The next minute, my field of vision filled with a disaster I hadn’t counted on: the glittering, swooping bodies of seven fairies, all of whom seemed more pleased to see me than I’d ever seen fairies be about anything. And that counted the time I’d bribed half a dozen of them to find my phone. With red velvet cupcakes. They’d brought me three other phones before I’d finally convinced them that no, really, my own phone was enough.
“Queen!” one of them caroled as it whirled around my head, so quickly that I got barely a glimpse of flashing wings and tiny flailing hands. “Queen is here!”
Want to read the whole scene? I've got it available as a PDF on my site!

The moral of this story: listen to your muse, if it's telling you you need to fix something in the story.

The other moral of this story: cake is awesome.

---
Angela writes the Free Court of Seattle urban fantasy series as Angela Korra'ti, and the Rebels of Adalonia epic fantasy trilogy as Angela Highland. Come tell her all about your favorite kinds of cake at angelahighland.com, or follow her on Facebook or Twitter!

Thursday, January 19, 2017

5 Great Ways to Deal With Those Unwanted Christmas Presents

Posted by: Linda Mooney

We've all gotten them. Neat little gifts that we know we'll have absolutely no need to use or want, but are too much trouble to try to return to the stores. So what do you do with them, other than re-gifting?

1. Have a Swap Party
You and several friends get together and bring some of those gifts to trade off, one for one. So if you bring two items, you get two items. Just be sure you don't offer anything that was given to you by one of your guests.

2. Authors, Give It as Part of a Swag Bag Prize
After a while readers tire of bookmarks, pens, and postcards. Toss a few of those little no-wants into a basket or bag, and hold a contest.

3. Donate
Take some of the more practical items to places that could use them. One year I'd gotten several dish towels and pillowcases. Those I didn't want I gave, along with a crocheted blanket and a manicure kit, to a day care. I've also taken some things to my local animal shelter.

4. Authors, Offer as a Freebie at Book Signings
I take a box of no-wants with me to book signings. I offer anything in the box as a freebie for every book purchased. I actually had a reader buy a book simply because she wanted a bracelet I had to give away.

5. Garage/Sidewalk Sale

*****

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Excerpt from STAR CRUISE STOWAWAY #Petsinspace SALE!

Posted by: Veronica Scott
Veronica sez: The Library Journal Best Books of 2016 pick Pets In Space anthology is reduced to $.99 for January 17 through 22 only! Don't miss your chance to pick up this fun assortment of stories featuring scifi romance and heroic pets. Here's an excerpt from my story in the volume. (Slightly edited from the published version.) The Sectors Criminal Investigation Agency has now boarded the ship to talk to the stowaway.

“SCIA has boarded the ship,” Maeve said on the senior officer link. “On their way to the wardroom.”
The special agent in charge wasn‘t the stern bureaucrat with a badge and a blaster Owen had expected, but a drop-dead gorgeous woman in a well-fitted suit, with a mane of curling red hair and a sultry deep voice. She threw him off for a moment, which he realized was probably one of her most effective tactics.
“I’m Special Agent Anjali Paterson, these are my associates Ben Fredricks, Al Vorson and Emund Osto.” Having introduced herself and her team, Anjali honed in on Tyrelle, sitting between Owen and Jake. “You must be the stowaway?”
“I’m Captain Fleming, and Miss Tyrelle is an inadvertent passenger,” Fleming said, his voice firm. “The CLC Line has no complaint against her.”
“Should she have a lawyer present?” Owen asked.
“And you are?” Anjali’s voice was cold as she eyed him.
            “Cargo Master Owen Embersson, Miss Tyrelle’s advocate on this ship under ICC regulations.” He made his voice just as icy. She didn’t scare him, except of course when the issue was her authority over Tyrelle.
            The agent closed her eyes for a moment and rubbed her forehead. “I sense we’re getting off on the wrong foot here. Miss Tyrelle isn’t being charged with anything. She’s not under arrest, and she doesn’t even have to talk to me…although, of course, I hope she will. She’s free to go if you choose to shuttle her to the surface, Captain.”
            Tyrelle clutched Owen’s arm. “Where would I go? What would I do? I have no credits, no papers. They – they’d find me again—”
            He was given no chance to reassure her.
            “Exactly. And none of us want such an outcome, do we?” A pleased, almost secretive expression on her expertly made-up face, Anjali seated herself in the central chair across the table from Captain Fleming. “Let’s start over again. Can you please introduce yourselves?”
            The group went around the table, providing names and ranks, with Maeve chiming in at the end.
            “All right, I can understand the Ship’s Security Officer being involved, and I’m willing to accept the advocate’s presence, rather than waste time arguing. Let me tell you what I’m here for.” She took charge of the meeting smoothly. “For a long time the SCIA has been trying to penetrate the Amarotu Combine operations in this arm of the Sectors. Finding this stowaway represents our first major break in the case. I’m prepared to offer Miss Tyrelle a deal, a substantial deal, in return for her assistance.” Speaking directly to her, Anjali said, “We’d give you a new identity, more than enough credits to begin a new life and relocation to a frontier Sector world far from here where your nonTerrestial origins would draw less attention. I can offer you several choices of new home.”
            “After I help you.”
            “Well, yes. First I want to hear your story.” Anjali held up one elegant, well-manicured hand. “After which I’ll tell you what we know and what we want.”
            Tyrelle told her story much as she’d recited it to Owen in the secret garden a few days prior.
Owen was glad she’d been through it once with him already, because she sounded calmer and more controlled today.
            Tapping her fingers on the Zulairian mahogany conference table, Anjali nodded. “Yes, we’ve known for some time now the Combine has a standing order with the Shemdylann for slaves with psychic powers or any other unusual attributes. They pay an extra bounty for such sentients. Your world, your people and abilities are previously unknown to us, Miss Tyrelle, so your home solar system is probably deep in enemy Mawreg territory.”
            “Mawreg?” Eyebrows raised, she sought enlightenment from Owen.
             “I’ll tell you later,” he said, remembering she didn’t even know about the Shemdylann pirates who’d originally captured her.
            “The Sectors government is concerned about the increasing link between the pirates and the Combine,” Anjali explained. “We’re not sure if the connection represents a new strategy for creating chaos in the Sectors on the part of the Mawreg overlords, or if the Shemdylann are becoming more independent. Those are among the facts we’re hoping to glean during this investigation. We also have a Mellurean Mind attached to this task force as a consultant, at their request, due to the Combine’s concentration on sentients with special abilities.”
            Owen liked the sound of the Mellurean involvement, which might benefit Tyrelle, if the all-powerful ancient race took an interest. The aliens kept themselves apart but anytime Sectors Command could persuade them to assist was counted as a victory. The Mellureans had unparalleled mental powers so might be extra sympathetic to a woman with similar abilities.
            “Our understanding is the Combine has several teams of captives working as assassins, influencers, what have you under the control of what they not-so-humorously call ring masters,” Anjali said, waving one hand in a circle. “Like old-fashioned circuses? The ringmasters send out their captives under the close eye of a subordinate handler, who usually travels on the same ship with the assassin concealed in an illicit cryo sleep container such as the one you found. The handler has the tech to activate the explosive collar if needed.”
            “Yes.” Tyrelle nodded, agreeing with the agent’s assessment. “You understand the system well.”
            “Thank you for the confirmation. The Combine provides services on a contract basis to others and also uses these unfortunate prisoners for executions and coercive actions serving the Combine’s purposes. We believe Miss Tyrelle was separated from her handler due to the freight forwarding situation you encountered two stops ago. He or she—”
            Tyrelle shivered in her chair. “He. Cosimil.”
            Owen could feel her fear, and he took a deep breath to subdue his anger. He had to concentrate on the agent’s discussion.
            “He’ll try to reacquire her when you arrive at Devir Six in a few days. Since you kept the incident so quiet, for which I congratulate and thank you, Captain Fleming, we believe the Combine has no idea she’s been exposed. We want to preserve our advantage.” Focusing directly on Tyrelle, she said, “We want you to go undercover as our operative.”

The blurb for Pets In Space:
Even an alien needs a pet…
Join the adventure as nine pet loving sci-fi romance authors take you out of this world and pull you into their action-packed stories filled with suspense, laughter, and romance. The alien pets have an agenda that will capture the hearts of those they touch. Follow along as they work side by side to help stop a genetically-engineered creature from destroying the Earth to finding a lost dragon; life is never the same after their pets decide to get involved. Can the animals win the day or will the stars shine just a little less brightly?
New York Times, USA TODAY, Award Winning, and Best selling authors have eight original, never-released stories and one expanded story giving readers eight amazing new adventures  and one expanded story that will capture your imagination. Come join us as we take you on nine amazing adventures that will change the way you look at your pet!

moby_and_midorri_pets_in-space_artwork_nyssa_juneauAnd the blurb for Star Cruise: Stowaway:
Cargo Master Owen Embersson is shocked when the Nebula Zephyr’s ship’s cat and her alien sidekick, Midorri, alert him to the presence of a stowaway. He has no idea of the dangerous complications to come – nor does he anticipate falling hard for the woman whose life he now holds in his hands. Life aboard the Nebula Zephyr has just become more interesting – and deadly.

Buy Links:
iBooks    Amazon    Nook      GooglePlay     Kobo

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

A Child's-eye View of Victorian Winter

Posted by: Shawna Reppert




 Photo credit: Lisa Oliphant Brown. Used with permission.

 

Maybe it was my mother’s fault.  Long before I had any clue of what the Victorian era was or where it fit into history, she bought me a ‘punch-out book’ of people and buildings, basically everything you needed to make a Victorian town in winter. (Do they even make punch-out books anymore? For the initiated, a punch-out book is made of pages of stiff card-stock, and you very carefully punch out along the scored edges and fold where it tells you to fold and insert taps into holes according to instruction and you end up with little figures, buildings, et cetera that you can arrange and make up stories about. I’m not as old as this makes me sound. Really.)

 



The punch-out book was from a catalogue, or maybe one of those Scholastic Books order forms that you bring home from school.  The thing is, I can’t really remember wanting it when I first saw it listed. I think we were ordering some other books I wanted and my mother asked if I thought I would like that, too, and I kind of said ‘sure’. But I remember when I got it and had it set up, it seemed like the coolest thing ever. All these interesting houses, like nothing I’d seen in our neighborhood, and all covered in snow, with cheery lights in the windows. Men with tall, elegant hats and women wearing strange clothes with bustles and muffs. (New words my mother taught me when explaining that people dressed like that back in the olden days)

 



I can’t even tell you how old I was when I got the punch-outs, or whatever became of them. But it was the first time I can recall brushing against the magical world of Victorian England.



Or maybe it was the fault of my sisters, who insisted on watching some version or other of A Christmas Carol on television each year, with all the lovely language and fine sentiments and (again) those strange and elegant clothes.

 



Or you could blame Albert, who brought what most of the English-speaking world now thinks of as Christmas traditions to Victorian England, where they spread like wildfire, becoming synonymous with the biggest winter celebration in the culture I grew up with.

 



For whatever reason, no matter what I know about the darker realities of the Victorian era, winter always makes me nostalgic for a time I never knew, a time of horse-drawn sleighs with harnesses a-jingle, holly and caroling and snow softly falling on gaslit cobblestones.

 



What about you? What associations do you have with this time of year?

 

 

Shawna Reppert is an award-winning author of fantasy and steampunk. You can find out more about her at www.Shawna-Reppert.com 

Her Amazon best-selling novel,  A Hunt by Moonlight, is free for Kindle through 1/19/16!

 

 

Monday, January 16, 2017

Here Be News

Posted by: Eleri Stone

New Releases

The Devil of Bourbon Street by Cindy Spencer Pape, originally released as part of the Here Be Magic anthology, is now available as a solo novella on Kindle and Kindle Unlimited, with a hot new cover by HBM's own Angela Campbell! Also, Cindy has the rights back to nearly half her backlist, so look for another re-release every week or two, along with some new fiction to come out in 2017.

Three years after his wife’s death, Quinn Carling has finally come to peace with himself and the detective returns to New Orleans to visit her grave and say goodbye. Darcy Jefferson is a street performer who can see auras and refuses to let her abusive past bring her down.

When this unlikely pair meets, the sparks begin to fly. When they witness a murder together, Quinn resolves to protect Darcy. With help—and interference—from Quinn’s former in-laws, the local police who want Quinn back, a mutt named Olaf and a powerful voodoo priestess, the two of them help search for the murderer, so he doesn’t find them first. Quinn never expected to fall in love again, but he hadn’t counted on the magic of New Orleans.



Other News


This steampunk Victorian detective novel by an award-winning author has been described as 'Sherlock Holmes with werewolves'.  It currently sits at #2 in Amazon's steampunk for Kindle category and it's free through 1/19/16. Snap up your copy here!

More about the book:

Something more deadly than werewolves is stalking the gaslit streets of London. Inspector Royston Jones, unacknowledged bastard of a high-born family, is determined to track the killer before more young women fall to his knife. But his investigation puts him in the way of a lord who is a clandestine werewolf and the man’s fiancĂ©e , a woman alchemist with attitude and a secret of her own.  Will they destroy Royston to protect their covert identities, or will they join with him to hunt the hunter?

*************************************


Pets In Space, A Library Journal Pick for Best Books of 2016     Sale!
The Pets In space scifi romance anthology is on sale for $.99 for one week only, starting tomorrow!

Join the adventure as nine pet loving sci-fi romance authors take you out of this world and pull you into their action-packed stories filled with suspense, laughter, and romance. The alien pets have an agenda that will capture the hearts of those they touch. Follow along as they work side by side to help stop a genetically-engineered creature from destroying the Earth to finding a lost dragon; life is never the same after their pets decide to get involved. Can the animals win the day or will the stars shine just a little less brightly?

Buy Links:



 

Sunday, January 15, 2017

2017 - the Year of the Fire Rooster!

Posted by: Dani Harper, AUTHOR
Graphic designed by Dani Harper
using purchased Image from Bigstock.com
When hubs and I lived in Alaska, our favorite little restaurant featured placemats printed with the traditional Chinese zodiac. 

The signs in order are:  Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Boar

We used to speculate on whether family and friends – or each other – matched up with the detailed characteristics of their signs. It was always a lot of fun but (lover of ancient trivia that I am) I just had to find out more!

Turns out that this fascinating system of 12 animal symbols in a recurring 12-year cycle is called the Sheng Xiao, and it’s been in use in China for over 4,000 years. This predates the roots of our Western zodiac by well over a thousand years.  

2017 will be the Year of the Rooster. Will be, because Chinese New Year is determined by the lunar calendar. This means it lands on a different day each year, and in 2017, it doesn't begin until January 28th.

Original image purchased from Bigstock.com
The Rooster rules until Feb. 15, 2018, and his natural characteristics will be in play until then. This is actually really good news for all of us who are still recovering from the incredibly turbulent Year of the Monkey! 

A Rooster is said to be highly social, loyal, hardworking, confident, and likeable. He’s independent, bossy, blunt, and stubborn too – spurred on by the fact that his instincts are usually right. All in all, this is a pretty good description of Earl, the rooster currently in charge of my flock of chickens, LOL.

However, every year is ALSO influenced by one of five elements: Metal, Wood, Water, Fire, or Earth. And in 2017, our bird will be a Fire Rooster.

With this kind of mascot, 2017 is predicted by many to be a powerful year, full of passion and creativity. It’s generally considered an auspicious time for relationships and marriages. Long term business ventures, particularly solitary endeavors, may bear fruit this year. (That sounds promising for authors! Writing tends to be a solitary business...) Naturally, there are MANY more predictions, but as with Western astrology, opinions vary.

Some cautions exist: Avoid getting carried away and taking on more than you can handle. And don’t make any risky investments. Of course that's pretty good advice for any year!

Whatever you do, however, don’t wear red. With a fire rooster in charge, it’s considered by most to be an unlucky color! (No one ever says what will happen. Do you spontaneously combust?) Earthen tones like terra cotta, brown, gold, etc. are said to be best because they balance the fire element while retaining its warmth. To really calm things down, wear purple or lavender!

Meanwhile, some people have noticed a bit of a similarity between the incoming Rooster and the president-elect. Check out the video, as reported HERE by USA TODAY:

https://youtu.be/7ZFkYKkxZ_s 


So, are YOU a Rooster? Your animal sign is determined not by your birth month, but by your birth YEAR. Past Rooster years include 1921, 1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, and 2005. Most astrologers seem to agree that Roosters should be somewhat cautious in 2017. While other signs will benefit from this flamboyant year, it could prove to be too much of a good thing for you! 

Maybe wear a lot of purple?
Original image purchased from Bigstock.com
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>><<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<

I grew up on Celtic faery stories. Not the ones where faeries are tiny with delicate wings, and as sweet-natured as they are pretty. Nope, I teethed on the ones where faeries come in every shape and size. Dark or light, terrifying or beautiful, sensual or cold, indifferent or cruel ... all are dangerous!

My Grim Series is based on one of my very favorite fae legends:  The Grim is also known as the Black Dog, and his role is to act as a herald of death and misfortune. 
But how did he get a job like that? And what if he doesn't want it?

Check Amazon for STORM WARRIOR, STORM BOUND, and STORM WARNED


Watch for STORM CROSSED, Book 4 of the Grim Series, later this year.
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