Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Guest Author: Dani Harper STORM WARNED Excerpt and Giveaway

Posted by: Veronica Scott
Veronica: Welcome to the blog and take it away, Dani!

Dani: Although I launched my writing career with werewolf tales, the transition to writing about CELTIC FAERIES was an easy one. I had a Welsh grandmother whom I adored. She was a brave and tough little gal, full of fun, who immigrated to Canada all by herself at the tender age of 19! The rest of my family roots are Irish and Scottish, with some English sprinkled in. So you can bet that I grew up on an abundance of stories about the Fair Folk, the Fae, the Sidhe, the Tylwyth Teg, and more. Most were cautionary tales. Some of the characters were beautiful, many were scary, but ALL were dangerous!

One of my favorite Welsh legends provided inspiration for my new GRIM SERIES. The Grim is a legendary canine with many names: The Black Dog, the Gwyllgi, the Dog of Darkness, the Barghest, Dog of the Twilight, and the Black Hound of Destiny. It’s said to resemble a giant mastiff, larger than any living dog, and its eyes are often glowing red or resembling twin flames.

The story is an old one, dating all the way back to Celtic
times in Wales, long before the Romans arrived in Britain. The Black Dog is the herald of Death itself, and those who see the animal are usually destined to die very soon. The dog appears without warning, follows or even chases people – yet vanishes without a trace. Electrical storms are often associated with the dog’s appearance.  

In its defense, however, the Grim hasn’t always been threatening – at least, not to the innocent. In some tales, the animal is an instrument of justice, hunting down escaped murderers. A few stories recount incidents where the great beast protected children or guarded lone travelers. This made me wonder – what if the ghostly creature had a conscience, a sense of right and wrong? What if the black dog didn’t mindlessly follow its mission? In fact, how did it get stuck with a task like this in the first place? Thoughts like these that led to the creation of my GRIM SERIES.

There are three books in the series at present:  STORM WARRIOR, STORM BOUND, and STORM WARNED, and they’re available on Amazon in Kindle, paperback, and Audible.  You can check them out on my Amazon Author Page at amazon.com/author/daniharper. (A fourth novel, STORM CROSSED, will be released in a few months!)



PS - Although the books are related, each story can stand alone. And while each book necessarily has its paranormal beginnings in Wales, the Grim and all its faery associates wind up in present-day Washington State, to run afoul of the humans who live there!


***

EXCERPT FROM BOOK 3 OF THE GRIM SERIES, STORM WARNED:

Passionate musicians Caris and Liam grew up centuries apart. When their fates collide, they must learn to trust each other and work together to stop a dark force from seizing both Fae and human worlds.
***

The forest seemed far darker than it should. It wouldn’t be the first time Caris had stayed too long, lost in her music, but a break in the trees revealed ominous clouds overhead that doused the bright daylight as surely as water doused a fire. It was a long way back to the farm, and she could find her way there blindfolded if need be—yet a mountain storm was nothing to trifle with.

A flash of lightning half blinded her. Thunder crashed like the world was ending, and her steady, dependable Eira did something unheard of:  he threw his rider and bolted for home. By the time she got her breath back, her pony was long gone. Caris got to her feet slowly and with care. Nothing broken or sprained, thankfully, but she’d have some bumps and bruises on the morrow.

The wind had picked up, thrashing the limbs of the trees, and above the din, the mournful horn wailed like a lost soul. She’d never heard the like of it, and the hairs on the back of her neck prickled.

It’s coming this way.

Caris saw nothing unusual in the dim forest. The storm above, bearing down on her with incredible speed, was something else entirely. The blackened clouds roiled like an angry sea, lit within by flares of unnatural lightning—green and blue and vivid mauve. I’ll never make it to the farm. But staying among the trees in such weather was a poor plan. There was little other shelter to be had—unless she went to the dolmen. On their way to their campsite each year, the Romani waved bits of red cloth at the ancient stone structure and spat in its direction, giving it as wide a berth as the rutted forest paths would allow. Evil or not, Caris hoped the great white capstone, supported by three half-buried boulders, would shield her, and she ran as fast as she could in its direction.

Her heart was in her throat as the wind whipped her long black hair free and yanked at her clothing with invisible fingers. Lightning struck behind her, close enough that she could feel the ground shake, and she nearly lost her footing. As the clap of thunder died away, instinct made her cast a glance over her shoulder, and what she saw did make her stumble and fall: great coal-black hounds of monstrous size were bounding in her direction, their red and glowing eyes revealing their identity. Grims!

Panicked, she scrambled to her feet. The dark fae dogs were said to foretell one’s death, but they weren’t the most frightening thing she saw. Following the hounds were forty or fifty riders—and their horses’ hooves didn’t touch the earth!

She was completely surrounded by the otherworldly company before she could scream.

Caris choked down her fear and forced herself to stand still, her hands in front of her gripping each other so hard that they hurt. She needed the pain to help keep her wits together. All these years she’d thought the Wild Hunt was just a story to frighten children into being good, that the Tylwyth Teg, the Fair Ones, were nothing but make-believe. She knew that many of her neighbors believed them to be real, however, real enough that they set offerings of bread and milk on their porches at night to avert fae pranks and beg their favor. Even the preacher must have thought them real, as he occasionally spoke out against the evils of consorting with demons and faeries. Perhaps he thought them to be one and the same. Whatever they were, no one wanted to actually meet them.

But here she was.

***

STORM WARNED is available on Amazon in paperback, Kindle, and audiobook at https://www.amazon.com/Storm-Warned-Grim-Dani-Harper/dp/1477827927/

You can check out and purchase ANY of Dani’s books on her Amazon Author Page at amazon.com/author/daniharper 

Say hi to Dani on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Dani.Harper.Author or visit her website at https://daniharper.com/


***

GIVEAWAY

Leave a comment below naming one of your favorite paranormal creatures and why you like it, OR tell me what you’re reading right now! I'll draw a winner at random on September 1st, and announce it right here in the comments.


Giveaway is READER’S CHOICE of any published book in the Grim Series, in paperback or MP3-CD audiobook. Prize will be delivered by Amazon. Open to US, UK, or Canada.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Two Versions or One?

Posted by: Linda Mooney
 I’ve been watching a recent conversation between authors regarding erotic versus sanitized. In short, there are some authors who are taking their erotic or explicitly sexual books and removing the sex altogether, then releasing those books as a cleaner, second alternative to those readers who don’t want to read the harder version.

Some authors who do this say they are making good sales on both versions of their books, but I’m wondering how you readers feel about this practice?

A few years ago there was a company that made news when it was revealed that they were taking R-rated movies and “sanitizing” them into G-rated versions for family viewing. Even then they claimed there was a market for “sexless” movies, although the violence and most of the language remained intact.

How do you feel about two versions of a book being released? Is this something you would be interested in? Or should the author keep their explicit books intact, and simply write another, different book specifically targeting readers who want “cleaner” stories?

* * *
Ever read about an alligator shifter?
New!
MONSTER OF THE GLADES
Subwoofers, Book 3
Contemporary Fantasy/Paranormal Romance
by Linda Mooney
Word Count: 36.3K
$2.99 e

Alligator, Bear, Cougar, Deer, Eagle
They found each other by accident. They became a team for life.

When Clint Abrams of Bag It and Tag It Excursions is approached by representatives of JayMax Productions to film scenes in the swamp for a horror movie, he is intrigued. Both by the movie, whose subject hits a little too close to home, and by the tall, freckled redhead, Charlie Dupine.

Clint can’t hide his feelings for Charlie, and the more time he spends with her, the more he knows she is his destiny. His life mate. His everything.

There is something about Clint that Charlie can’t quite explain, and she can’t get him off her mind. She’s not big on relationships but if nothing else, a one-night stand with the guy can’t hurt while she’s at the lodge. He’s causing feelings in her that she’s not sure about.

But when danger rears its head, it’s not all because of the wildlife. Clint will do whatever it takes to save her, but that may mean exposing his secret. Will she run when she learns the truth? Or can she love him just the same? That choice may be taken away when lives are threatened and the FBI becomes involved. 

Warning! Contains swampy bogs, a snare pole necklace, alligator soup, were-gators, an explosive pineapple, and one insane act that could cost a man his life, as well as the woman he loves.

Excerpt and buy links:  http://lindamooney.com/Subwoofers.htm


Monday, August 22, 2016

Here Be News

Posted by: Eleri Stone

New Releases

New!
MONSTER OF THE GLADES
Subwoofers, Book 3
Contemporary Fantasy/Paranormal Romance
(Alligator Shifter)
by Linda Mooney
Word Count: 36.3K
$2.99 e

Alligator, Bear, Cougar, Deer, Eagle
They found each other by accident. They became a team for life.

When Clint Abrams of Bag It and Tag It Excursions is approached by representatives of JayMax Productions to film scenes in the swamp for a horror movie, he is intrigued. Both by the movie, whose subject hits a little too close to home, and by the tall, freckled redhead, Charlie Dupine.

Clint can’t hide his feelings for Charlie, and the more time he spends with her, the more he knows she is his destiny. His life mate. His everything.

There is something about Clint that Charlie can’t quite explain, and she can’t get him off her mind. She’s not big on relationships but if nothing else, a one-night stand with the guy can’t hurt while she’s at the lodge. He’s causing feelings in her that she’s not sure about.

But when danger rears its head, it’s not all because of the wildlife. Clint will do whatever it takes to save her, but that may mean exposing his secret. Will she run when she learns the truth? Or can she love him just the same? That choice may be taken away when lives are threatened and the FBI becomes involved. 

Warning! Contains swampy bogs, a snare pole necklace, alligator soup, were-gators, an explosive pineapple, and one insane act that could cost a man his life, as well as the woman he loves.


Released August 20, 2016! Book Two of The Sorcerous Moons

Oria’s Gambit

A Play For Power

Princess Oria has one chance to keep her word and stop her brother’s reign of terror: She must become queen. All she has to do is marry first. And marry Lonen, the barbarian king who defeated her city bare weeks ago, who can never join her in a marriage of minds, who can never even touch her—no matter how badly she wants him to.

A Fragile Bond

To rule is to suffer, but Lonen never thought his marriage would become a torment. Still, he’s a resourceful man. He can play the brute conqueror for Oria’s faceless officials and bide his time with his wife. And as he coaxes secrets from Oria, he may yet change their fate…

An Impossible Demand

With deception layering on deception, Lonen and Oria must claim the throne and brazen out the doubters. Failure means death— for them and their people.

But success might mean an alliance powerful beyond imagining.

Buy on 


Smashwords

To celebrate the release of Book Two, Book One in the series, LONEN'S WAR is on sale for only .99!

Amazon
Smashwords
Barnes & Noble
Kobo













Sunday, August 21, 2016

Who Are You?

Posted by: Joshua Roots
“You’re a writer? What are you working on?”

At some point, every writer has been asked some version of these questions. Sometimes it’s in passing, other times it's in earnest. It might be family, friends, random acquaintances, or even friends of friends who somehow sniffed out that you're working on a story. Spend enough time penning one or a hundred-thousand words and someone is going to question you.

The issue is, a lot of us have no clue how to respond. Or, if we do, we start to realize that it’s a lot harder to explain what it is we actually do. Halfway through describing our Epic-Zombie-Western Sci-Fi-Self-Help Cookbook, it begins sound less epic than it did in our heads.

That can be disconcerting. It might even make us begin to doubt this chosen path. Are we really worthy of calling ourselves “writers”? Why bother when there are so many great stories already out there? What can we possibly bring to the market/genre?

The thing is, we don’t have to have all the answers. But being able to ask ourselves the questions can help point us in the right direction. Not only when it comes to our identity, but our goals as well. 

For me, one of the best examples of self-examination is The Four Key Questions of Babylon 5*. Each species or person asks these of the main characters, all of which helps to define both their motives and, ultimately, their destinies. 

Who are you? – The Vorlon Question

In my opinion, this is the hardest one to answer. Figuring out our writerly identity can be a challenge because so many of us simply have no idea. Are we hobbyists? Professionals? Lovers? Dreamers? Business people? Activists? Maybe we’re some or all of the above. We don’t always have to have a firm grasp on our identity, but asking this in the mirror can go a long way to helping us figure out who we want to be as a writers.

What do you want? – The Shadow Question

This may seem like an easy one, but when we sit down and really ask ourselves this, it can be eye-opening. Granted, few would deny wanting to be the next King or Rowling, but are those our hard-core objectives? Maybe. Or maybe we just want to finish our first story because it’s been lingering in our minds for so many years. Having a goal, whether small or large, is a big step in furthering our identity and helps to define our expectations.

Where are you going? - The Technomage Question

I like to think of this as The Five-Year Plan question. Although similar in nature to the Shadow Question, the Technomage Question is asking us to not only examine our end-goal, but how we plan to get there. If we want to see our name in print, what are we going to do about it? It might be that we are going to follow a "traditional" publishing path of seeking an agent and printing through a major house. Or maybe we prefer the self-pub route. Maybe Indie. Having an idea of how we want to get from A to B is another critical piece of the writing puzzle. 

Why are you here? – Emperor Turhan’s Question

Of the four questions, this is likely the easiest to answer. A lot of authors will tell you they write because they have to. It’s a passion. A calling. The characters demand their story be put on paper. Others are more binary. They enjoy it, so they do it. Still others feel the need to give voice to the silent or to amplify a cause they believe in with all their soul. Whatever our reasoning, asking ourselves why we’re bothering to invest so much time and effort to write a story can sometimes give us that little boost of motivation to get through a challenging chapter or decade. 

No matter how much or how little we write, eventually someone will want to know about it. Maybe we don’t have all the answers, but with a little internal reflection, and a little help from Babylon 5, fielding those questions won’t be so hard.


So ask yourself: Who are you? What do you want?

Bio:


Joshua Roots is a car enthusiast, beekeeper, and storyteller. He enjoys singing with his a cappella chorus, golf, and all facets of Sci-Fi/Fantasy. He's still waiting for his acceptance letter to Hogwarts and Rogue Squadron. He and his wife will talk your ear off about their bees if you let them.

His Urban Fantasy series, The Shifter Chronicles, is available wherever digital books are sold.

He's also still figuring out who he is and what he wants.



Saturday, August 20, 2016

Excerpt: Decadent Moon

Posted by: Shona Husk
This weekend I’m at the Romance Writers of Australia conference. While I don’t get to conference every year it’s always great to catch up with other romance writer and see friends who I only ever talk to online. I always come away from conference tired and enthused about writing.

This year the conference is in Adelaide and I’m also spending a few days catching up with friends, visiting wineries and tasting the local chocolate :)

Obviously I have scheduled this post in advance, so here’s an excerpt from Decadent Moon my alien boxset made up of Lunar Exposure, Lunar Reunion and Lunar Dancer. This excerpt is from Lunar Dancer, enjoy!

Jorin carefully applied the kohl to his eyes. He could’ve done it in his sleep. Some things didn’t change much between shows. The makeup, glitter, and barely there costume. Sure the colors, or the styles and accessories were altered but the general idea was the same. Not that he cared. He’d have danced naked if it meant he could stay on the Moon.

It was probably the safest place in the galaxy for him. The only place his brother couldn’t reach—or his brother’s assassins.

He’d read about the death of his father. Had wanted to go home for the funeral, but stepping foot on Ograth was akin to putting his head on the chopping block and waiting for the sword to sever his head from his body. Leaving the Moon would be the same inviting a bounty hunter to grab him and haul him home.

There were two things he’d always known about his life—he’d be killed when his brother became king and that he had no interest in ruling, which was why he’d never attacked his brother to try and claim the throne even though it was his right to attempt to do so. As second son he could challenge for the throne. But his brother wasn’t allowed to attack until the death of their father. Ograth had strict rules about fratricide and how it should be done. However, Jorin had no doubt that his brother was planning on eliminating the only threat to his reign. As prince Jorin couldn’t be hung or poisoned, only beheaded. It wasn’t comforting, and didn’t help him sleep at night.

Perhaps running away, changing his name and joining a dance troupe had been enough to stop his brother. He couldn’t have made it any clearer that he had no interest in ruling. By hiding in plain sight it had also made it harder for his brother to attempt any accidents. Just because Ograth had rules, didn’t mean the rest of the universe was bound by them. Plenty of otherwise suspicious deaths had been covered up in the past and called an unfortunate and unforeseen event. That there were professional assassins as well as bounty hunters indicated that there was a good trade in underhand deaths. His brother would never have been connected to it, if he had attempted.

The brother he had once known though would never have acted that way. He believed in the laws. Now? Jorin had no idea what kind of man his brother had become.

He drew in a deep breath and checked his makeup, then added a little more gold dust to his fat, curving horns. If his contract with the Moon didn’t get renewed, he was going to be shafted. And the royal family of Ograth knew how to shaft extremely well. It was why they’d been the ruling family for the last four hundred years.

Every performance had to be his best, not that it was hard. He loved performing. Loved dancing, something he’d discovered thanks to the many lessons he’d had to take as a prince. He always wanted to dance on Decadent Moon, becoming principle was a bonus. That he’d been here when his father died a blessing of sorts.

If he’d been touring anywhere else, it would have been easy to make him disappear. Decadent Moon was as well known for its security as well as its shows and luxury. People came here to secure trade deals because there could be no hostilities on the Moon. Not even assassins attempted kills here.

But the Moon was as much his salvation as it was his prison.

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Decadent-Moon-complete-Shona-Husk-ebook/dp/B01H99JY6U

Friday, August 19, 2016

What I'll Miss After The Apocalypse

Posted by: Jody W. and Meankitty
Contrary to what you might expect, this isn't a political post about what I think will happen if Trump wins the upcoming US Presidential election. I'm about to release (via Entangled Publishing) PRODIGAL, the third book in my SF-romance trilogy, the Maelstrom Chronicles, and it all takes place after an alien invasion that pretty much serves as an apocalypse. The book comes out September 5, and the hero is a character we've heard mentioned in the previous two books and would never have expected to become a hero...because he's the guy who kind of CAUSED the apocalypse in the first place, by failing in his job to prevent it.

Apocalypses are popular fare in our media. We've been watching The Last Ship and enjoyed Falling Skies when it was on, and I've been thinking a lot about what humans would really do in times of great crisis like pandemics or zombie hordes. While we don't watch The Walking Dead, I've heard it is a gritty representation of post-apocalyptic times. Also -- Defiance (post apocalypse alien invasion all out war and not much like my books), and does anyone remember Dark Angel? Man, that was a fun two season show! Lots of movies (FURIOSA!) and books about apocalypses, too, proving I'm not the only creator fascinated by this plot line.

ANYHOO.

What would YOU miss after the apocalypse? Beyond standard fare like "my family" and "what we consider a normal life in the US," there's electricity, air conditioning, modern medicine, coffee, chocolate, washing machines... Travel for pleasure. Frivolous stuff indeed, but still a hallmark of our civilization. In some part it depends on the kind of apocalypse, and how savage humanity ends up becoming. In many many many interpretations, of course, it's all-out Patriarchal Darwinism with women being chattel, and you can see countless glimmers in today's world cultures why this is a logical conclusion.

My characters in the Maelstrom trilogy get involved with the "good aliens" who have advanced medicine, the loss of which is probably one of my biggest concerns. But they have to struggle with limited supplies, waste disposal, bandits, food, livestock, and so on, though not in such gritty detail that I've written a survival manual.

Started a Pinterest board for when I think of things I'd miss... this list currently has a lot of chocolate on it, heh.

https://www.pinterest.com/realmeankitty/what-ill-miss-after-the-apocalypse/


Tell me what you'd miss in the comments! If you want to participate in my upcoming blog tour, you're more than welcome. Think of it as free blog content for a day that will probably involve cats and snark.



Jody Wallace
Smart. Snarky. Seductive. And that's just the books.
http://www.jodywallace.com

 

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Guest Post: Marie Andreas SAPPHIRE MANTICORE Cover Reveal and Ongoing Madness of a Fantasy Series!

Posted by: Veronica Scott
Veronica: Today's guest author talks about her Lost Ancients series!

Marie: Hello and welcome to the mayhem! I am the author of a six-book fantasy series called The Lost Ancients.


It all began with The Glass Gargoyle:
Archeologist Taryn St. Giles has spent her life mining the ruins of the elves who vanished from the Four Kingdoms a thousand years ago. But when her patrons begin disappearing too—and then turning up dead—she finds herself unemployed, restless, and desperate. So she goes looking for other missing things: as a bounty hunter. 
Tracking her first fugitive—the distractingly handsome and strangely charming Alric—she unearths a dangerous underworld of warring crime lords, demonic squirrels, and a long-lost elven artifact capable of unleashing a hell on earth.
Chased, robbed, kidnapped, and distressingly low on rent money, Taryn just wants one quiet beer and
to catch her fugitive. But there’s more to Alric than his wicked grin—is he a wanted man or the city’s only hope? With menacing mages in pursuit and her three alcoholic faery sidekicks always in her hair, Taryn’s curiosity might finally solve the mystery of the elves… or be the death of her and destroy her world.
Since then, two more books have been born: The Obsidian Chimera and The Emerald Dragon. More drunken faeries, hot elves, and beings bent on world destruction. You might think three books would be enough. But those damn drunken faeries got really toasted one night and pulled back the curtain on how huge this issue was, and their real role in it. Now this is a closed series- aka the entire thing is ONE giant story. Finding out that the faeries had been holding out on me, and doubled the tale of what happened, was a bit of a shock!
 But, you gotta do what the voices tell you to do, so I dutifully sat down and began the next book, The Sapphire Manticore. The rest of the story will nicely round out with two more big healthy books beyond the Manticore. I SWEAR- this will be a hexalogy. Seriously, after what happens in book six, not even an armada of drunken faeries could keep going!
 With all the craziness going around writing a trilogy, that was really a hexalogy, I thought this nice lovely blog might be a great place to do a cover reveal for The Sapphire Manticore. The faeries love this one—they finally bribed my cover artist to put them in—they’re the colored streaks going by.
Here’s where it all starts (excerpt from Glass Gargoyle):
Damn and double damn, Crusty Bucket was drunk again.
I looked around as a snippet of song rang out over the noise of the pub. A song sung by only one creature I knew—my faery, Crusty Bucket—and only when she was dangerously drunk. I had no idea where she was in the pub. The Shimmering Dewdrop was deep in a raging bar fight and, from the bodies littering the floor, it had started long before I pushed open the door. Pretty much the norm for a Saturday night . . . except this was Tuesday night and the mayhem seemed more focused than usual. The smell of spilled booze and cheap tallow candles was far stronger than it had been for a long time.
I took a deep breath and shook off some of the rain that had hounded me the entire way here.
Maybe I was wrong, maybe I hadn’t heard her. But again the high pitched singing flew over the noise of the fighting.
“Bring me the dancing minkies!”

I froze, wondering if anyone else heard it. Faeries aren’t beloved by most creatures—drunken ones are often hunted down and smashed. Not that they stay smashed, mind you.
The last thing I needed right now were my faeries out and about. And drunk. The main reason I’d taken this bounty hunting job to find this Alric person was to make sure those tiny hooligans and I stayed off the streets.
I’d been chasing him for the last two hours in the pouring rain, only to be told that he’d gone to ground in my pub. No, I don’t own the Shimmering Dewdrop, but I've spent plenty of time and cash here. The fact that the son of a hag was holed up in my home away from home was enough to annoy any self-respecting woman.
Crusty’s song trailed off—most likely she’d jumped into another bottle of ale—and I let myself ignore her for the moment. The thin whistling sound of a chair flying at me suggested that ignoring the pub fight would be more difficult. I ducked, then looked around to see that far more chairs were being used as weapons than as seating.
I didn’t have time to get involved in a fight right now. I needed to find Alric, deliver him to the wizard, Cirocco, and then pay my landlady with the bounty money. Otherwise, my faeries and I would be on the streets by tomorrow night. And it wouldn’t be long before they did something to land us all in jail. 
Marie is a fantasy and science fiction reader with a serious writing addiction. If she wasn't writing about all the people in her head, she'd be lurking about coffee shops annoying total strangers with her stories. So really, writing is a way of saving the masses.
When not saving the masses from coffee shop shenanigans, Marie likes to visit the UK and keeps hoping someone will give her a nice summer home in the Forest of Dean. She has out the first three books of her humorous fantasy series—The Lost Ancients (mayhem, magic, and drunken faeries!) and the first book (Warrior Wench) in her space opera-The AsarlaĆ­ Wars.

To find out more about her books, and future series, please visit her website--especially if you happen to have a small cottage to give her.
Twitter: @MarieAndreas1

Thank you for having me here!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...