Friday, December 30, 2011

Start the New Year by Reading and Fighting Cancer

Posted by: Seleste deLaney/Julie Particka
About a year ago, my sister suggested I write a book where the main character had battled cancer. It was the hardest thing for me to say no to her. You see, she herself is a cancer survivor, and I completely understood the desire to see a heroine she could relate to in a romance novel.

If you think about it, even more than ethnic and racial minorities, people with disabilities or who have battled an illness like cancer are severely underrepresented in romance novels. I’m sure part of it is the desire for that whole happily-ever-after thing, and readers have a hard time reconciling that with deadly diseases. Romance novels aren’t supposed to make you ponder your own mortality.

But that has nothing to do with why I said no. Hell, without batting an eye, I could write a romance about a woman who suffers from depression and fights the urge to kill herself.

Because I could do it justice. I know what that feels like. I have a deep-seated understanding of that pain. And I know I could make it a happy book in the end.

I can’t do the story of a cancer-survivor justice. When my sister was going through chemo and radiation, I lived and worked on the other side of the state. I visited when I could, but I wasn’t there. I didn’t live it. As much as I could talk to her about what it was like and research it and do all that, I would still be an outsider.

And I don’t think I could do it, not where it would be worthy of those who have won and lost the fight. At least not until I'm a much better writer.

So, I do what I can. Part of that involved volunteering to be part of Decadent Publishing’s Read for a Cure program. Each month Decadent chooses a book, and for that month all publisher profits go to the American Cancer Society via Relay for Life. This month, the Read for a Cure book is my novella, The Ghost of Vampire Present, and in addition to the publisher profits, I will be adding fifty cents for each copy sold this month to my donation to my sister’s Relay for Life team.

If you received an e-reader for the holidays, if you’ve owned one for year, or if you’re willing to read on your computer, I hope you’ll consider a copy of The Ghost of Vampire Present before December is over.

The Ghost of Vampire Present is available at:
and other online retailers

The American Cancer Society and I thank you for your support and wish you a joyous and blessed New Year.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

A Half-Fae Hero

Posted by: Nicole North

The hero of my paranormal romance novella, Laird of Darkness, from Carina Press is half-Fae. I have to say he was one of the most interesting and entertaining heroes I’ve created. I enjoy writing paranormal heroes, such as shape-shifters of various types, werewolves, or vampires. But Duncan allowed me to do something different.

1.      Creativity – I haven’t read very many Fae or fairy romance novels so I was able to create the half-Fae hero just the way I wanted without worrying about fitting him into a certain mold. There haven’t been thousands of romance stories written about them yet. I could write the unusual worldbuilding just the way I chose.

2.      Sexiness – the Fae in my story world are highly-attractive people with exotic looks. Duncan is dark, surly, brooding and sexy. I love it when a spunky heroine gets beneath the skin of a hero like that. She’s like a burr in his kilt, yet he can’t resist her.

3.      Unusual paranormal powers – Duncan’s abilities are based on an ancient Scottish legend. He is able to disappear except for a glowing red spot, and once this happens, he can fly through the air like a spirit. He can move quickly, and has exceptional strength. He can fling men through the air like rag dolls, and he terrifies horses simply because he’s a paranormal entity they sense. Because of this, he can dominate during a battle or attack.

4.      He goes naked half the time – When Duncan disappears, his clothing falls to the ground. When he reappears, naturally he is naked. Much to the heroine’s chagrin… and delight.

5.      Interesting dark backstory - Duncan has a tormented past. If he falls asleep at night, monster-like creatures from Otherworld physically attack him by scratching and biting. His nightmares come to life.

Half-Fae Laird Duncan MacDougall is cursed. His nights are haunted by Otherworld creatures sent to kill him. The only way to stop them is to possess the magic bow currently in the hands of his enemy half brother, Kinnon MacClaren. In desperation, Duncan plans to take MacClaren's bride-to-be hostage and exchange her for the bow.

Lady Alana Forbes has never met her intended, but she hopes he is handsome—and a good lover, for Alana is no innocent virgin. On her way to Castle Claren, Alana and her escorts are intercepted, and she is kidnapped by a man with extraordinary abilities—and every attribute she longs for in a mate.

Duncan didn't expect the woman he thought of as a mere pawn to be so beautiful, and so arousing. Alana is drawn to him as well—but Duncan still needs the bow, and Alana is betrothed to another. How far will Alana go to save the life of the man she's come to love?

Find me online at:

Monday, December 26, 2011

The Last Slayer Is On Sale! (Plus an Exclusive Excerpt)

Posted by: Nadia Lee
This year's Christmas was extra special because it was one day before my first urban fantasy with Carina Press was due to come out. The Last Slayer is finally on sale today (after being pushed back a couple of months to make room for my pregnancy. Thank god for infinitely patient agents, editors and Carina production staff!)

Ashera del Cid is a talented demon hunter, but when she kills a demigod's pet dragon, the hunter becomes the hunted. Her only potential ally is Ramiel, a sexy-as-hell demon. Now the two must work together to battle dragons and demigods...and the chemistry crackling between them.

Ramiel has his own reasons for offering Ashera his protection. He knows her true identity and the real reason the demigods want her dead. What he can't predict is how she'll react when she discovers he knew who she was all along...

Ashera is shocked to discover that she is the only daughter of the last slayer. To claim her destiny, she and Ramiel must join forces to face down danger and outwit their enemies. Only then will she be able to truly accept her legacy...

102,000 words

I'd like to share an exclusive short excerpt from the story. The heroine Ashera has just taken a bath and is wrapped in nothing more than a towel when this scene takes place. Valerie is Ashera's sister, and currently in a poison-induced coma.

"I hadn't realized you weren't presentable," Ramiel said, his voice smooth. He bowed. "My apologies."

The formality of his manners lessened the discomfort I felt. If he was going to treat me like a lady no matter what I wore--or didn't wear--it didn't make any sense for me to make a big deal out of it.

"I don't suppose you have X-ray vision," I said drily.


"You need something?"

The steadiness of his gaze made me feel naked. It took an effort to keep my chin up and my hands down. If the towel came loose…

"I would like your word that you'll do as I say. Even if you disagree with me at the time," he said.

"I'm afraid that's not possible."

The skin around his mouth tightened. "Shall I list the reasons why I'm the logical choice to lead?"

I didn't bother to argue the point, because he was right. "The decisions you make will impact me and Valerie. I won't follow you blindly."

Suddenly he was standing a hairbreadth away. He loomed over me, his eyes vivid emeralds against the snow white of his skin.

"Why must you be so obstinate? I know things you do not."

"Yeah, and apparently you never want me to know, because you hide them like a preacher's daughter hides a pregnancy. How about a little sharing here, huh?"

"And of course you will believe what I say, as you've done all along."


His eyes blazed hot enough to scorch. After centuries of unquestioning obedience, it must have been infuriating to have a mere mortal defy him. Until now, he hadn't shown any emotion except mild amusement and derision. Now, up close and personal, he seethed with a mixture of frustration and hunger that made my chest hurt with its intensity. A small part of me was afraid, but another part of me was thrilled at being on the receiving end of this much focus. How messed up was that? Even more perversely, I wanted to push his control until it snapped.

"I intend to keep my vow, whether you cooperate or not," he ground out. "You don't have a say in the matter."

"You wi--"

His mouth covered mine, shutting me up. This time his lips were demanding. His fingers tunneled into my wet hair and held my head in place. Even if I could have moved, I wouldn't have. My instincts had been right. All my faculties were in place, and still I found him irresistible. He was all man and heat. His scent, dark and mysterious, clogged my lungs and drowned me in sensation. The brush of his skin against mine made the fine hair on the back of my neck rise in response. It was frightening, how his magic ran up and down inside me, and how mine twined so eagerly with it.

A monstrous need pushed me, whipped me into a frenzy of slick arousal as Ramiel's mouth ravaged mine, took it as if it belonged to him and no one else. I wouldn't have wanted it any other way.

A discreet knock at the door broke through the sensuous haze, dissipating it.

Ramiel abruptly pushed me away from him. His chest rose and fell rapidly, his lips moist from our kiss. "I don't care what you profess to be. You're a witch." His voice was hoarse and unsteady. "A slayer witch."

Sample The Last Slayer from my website here or download an electronic excerpt booklet in PDF, epub or mobi. The booklet contains the first 20% of the story.

To get the rest of the story, you can buy from Carina Press*, Amazon (US, UK, DE, FR, IT, ES), B & N Nook, Books on Board, Diesel, Kobo, iBookstore (US, Canada) and Sony.

* If you buy The Last Slayer from Carina Press, you can use the CARSP1011 coupon code to save $5 when you spend $10! The offer expires on January 4th.

Saturday, December 24, 2011


Posted by: Christine Bell

Congrats to the winners of our December Will Be Magic Again contest!!!!

1st place: Keta Diablo-Kindle Fire

2nd place: @jmesparza821-Book Basket

3rd place: pjschnyder-$25.00 e-book gift card

I have tweeted you all but will also email (if you listed an email).

THANKS SO MUCH TO EVERYONE FOR ENTERING! We hope you have a magical holiday season.

Friday, December 23, 2011

An Unseasonable Christmas

Posted by: Tia Nevitt
So I'm sitting here in shorts, two days before Christmas, missing my fire. You see, it's too warm to light a fire. Florida seems to be having an unusually warm weather this December. I'm trying to get into the Christmas spirit, but it's difficult when I'm in bare feet with the fan running overhead. When I was at the mall earlier today, I remembered going last year all bundled up. Which is the way it usually is here in North Florida. However, we do have these mild winters from time to time. What we never have is a mild summer. (Ha!)

So what am I doing to get into the Christmas spirit? Buying gifts, of course. We've been fortunate this year because I am still employed, and as a result of some careful debt paying and saving, we are able to be more generous with each other this year. (It will also be a debt free Christmas--we plan to pay off all new credit card bills in January.)

Oh! Speaking of giving, here's a plug for our giveaway:

There is still time to get in on the drawing for the Kindle Fire, a basket of 25 e-books, or the a $25 gift card to B&N or Amazon (your choice). Just click the image above to go to the post, leave a comment and include your contact info.

Back to the blog ...

I'm also baking. I made 5 dozen chocolate chip cookies yesterday, and since we should definitely not eat them up by ourselves, I shall take some next door to our neighbors tomorrow, and use them as enticement to get my brother to visit. In the past week, I've also made snickerdoodles and biscuits, all from scratch. When I bake, it's always from scratch, and always from all natural ingredients. Yum.

And of course, the house is decorated. The stockings are hung by the chimney with care, the tree has been up for weeks, the ornaments out, and I even took a stab at decorating a Christmas wreath, but somehow I didn't get very far.

And I'm planning some Christmas meals. We shall have a special breakfast and we are debating whether we will have a turkey that evening. We decided to go to church on Christmas Eve, which has its own magic. We also have been driving around looking at Christmas lights, and we will probably do it again tonight and tomorrow.

So -- sigh! -- I guess I don't really need to have cold weather to have a magical Christmas. After all, people in the Southern Hemisphere somehow manage to have green Christmases, don't they?

I'm dreaming of a hot Christmas,
Just like the ones they have in Perth,
Where the mirages glisten,
And children listen,
to hear, scorpions in the earth ...

Ok, all you Aussies can throw darts at me now because no, I didn't factcheck to see if there are scorpions in Perth. Or mirages...

Merry Christmas, everyone.

Tia Nevitt

Tuesday, December 20, 2011


Posted by: Barbara Longley

There is still time to get in on the drawing for the Kindle Fire, a basket of 25 e-books, or the a $25 gift card to B&N or Amazon (your choice). Just read the post, leave a comment and include your contact info.

A typical Sunday evening you can find me with my laptop open, my Kindle or Nook nearby, and the TV on for background noise. A couple of Sundays ago, this is how it went: Blah, blah, blah, blah, parallel universe, blah, blah. Say what? Back up! My interest was caught, and I watched two Nova specials back-to-back. The first was about String Theory, and the second was about Multiverse vs. Universe theory. Cool stuff.

A brief summary of string theory according to my limited understanding: Physicists used to believe that the tiniest most infinitesimal part of an atom was a single point of energy. Some now believe the smallest part of an atom is not a point at all, but a string of energy that twists, turns, loops and folds. This belief led scientists to posit that time is not linear as we imagine, but that it too bends, loops, twists, turns, loops and folds. Evidence (which is way beyond my ken) also suggests there are more than the three dimensions we are familiar and comfortable with. These theorists have identified eleven to be exact. Hmmm. It stands to reason that if there are multiple dimensions, and if time can bend back on itself, then parallel dimensions/worlds must also exist.

A brief summary of Multiverse vs. Universe theory according to my limited understanding: According to physicists and other branches of science, there are only a limited number of elements in existence. All matter is created by combining these elements in different ways. (2 Hydrogen atoms combined with 1 Oxygen molecule = water, etc.)  The explanation they gave for the existence of multiverses was profound in its simplicity and clarity. Take a deck of cards and start dealing poker hands. With a limited number of cards, after a while a pattern emerges, and you get identical hands. Look at the limited number of elements the same way. They shuffle and deal, and eventually you're going to get identical combinations. The theory? If you apply the principal of multi-combining elements, you must logically conclude that our universe has been replicated numerous times. You and I have been replicated multiple times. Our universe is one of many. We are living out our lives in another universe even as I write this. Whoa, right?

Both factions claim they are very close to proving their theory is correct. Someday we will be able to step across the time-line into another reality. Someday we'll be able to create a portal between multiverses. But for now? A fact is only a fact until proven otherwise. We used to believe the Earth was flat. We used to believe the sun was in orbit around the Earth. How we understand our reality and our place in our reality is always changing, and I find that fascinating.

In my debut novel, HEART OF THE DRUID LAIRD I guess I went with String Theory. The fae live in a void dimension. They project their desires upon the void, and this is how they create their living space. Without their magical projected energy, there is nothing in that dimension but swirling, gray mist. Ancient man once called the realm the Mists of Avalon. Now, none speak of it at all, yet it is still there, as are the beings who inhabit that mystical place.

So, what do you think? Suspend disbelief for a moment, and make a choice. Do you lean toward String Theory or do you lean toward Multiverse Theory?

Monday, December 19, 2011


Posted by: Marie Harte
I'm shamelessly using this joyous image I put together a few years ago. But hey, I don't get to break him out but once a year. :)

Celebrating the magic of the season is always fun, and it's even better when you can share great stories.

I'm giving away a free copy of Bodywork, my newest contemporary romance novel, through All Romance eBooks (ARe) and their Twelve Days of Christmas celebration. To get the book, you simply have to have an account at the ebook store (ARe) and pay attention to the banner at the top of the page. If you don't already have an account, sign up to get one, because it's FREE. There are a few days left in the Twelve Days give-away, ending Dec 24th. My book is free for 48 hours starting tomorrow, Dec 20th--a thank you to the many readers who've given me a chance and read one of my stories.

So happy holidays, whatever you celebrate, and enjoy the end of the year with some free reads from me, Evangeline Anderson, Emma Holly, Drew Hunt, and Brenda Novak these last few days until Christmas.

Now available...Bodywork
And coming Dec 27th, Closing the Deal

Saturday, December 17, 2011

December Will Be Magic Again: A Here Be Magic Giveaway!

Posted by: Christine Bell

A group of us at Here Be Magic wanted to do something really special to celebrate the season of giving. From December 17th until December 24th at 8:00 p.m., commenters on this post will be automatically entered to win one of three AMAZING prizes!

So tell us, Here Be Magic readers, what is the one thing that never fails to put you in the holiday mood? It could be a food or drink, a song or movie, a tradition.

Whatever it is, we want to hear about it! Three winners will be chosen at random. The first place prize can only be offered to U.S. residents, but international readers, 2nd and 3rd place prizes are open to all,so don't be shy!

First place prize is A BRAND NEW KINDLE FIRE!

Sponsored by Carina Press authors Christine Bell, David Bridger, Joely Sue Burkhart, Angela Campbell, Ruth A. Casie, Sharon Cullen, Seleste deLaney, Susan Edwards, PG Forte, Loribelle Hunt, Shona Husk, Jeffe Kennedy, Jane Kindred, Julia Knight, Barbara Longley, Linda Mooney, Janni Nell, Tia Nevitt, Nicole North, Cindy Spencer Pape, Jenny Schwartz, Veronica Scott, Keri Stevens, Eleri Stone, Dee Tenorio, Jody Wallace, and Rebecca York

Second place prize is a Carina Press e-book “basket” with 26 books, including:Allegra Fairweather, Paranormal Investigator by Janni Nell, Badlands by Seleste deLaney, Cry Wolf by Angela Campbell, Dark Magic by Rebecca York, Dark Vow by Shona Husk, Demon Crossings by Eleri Stone, Golden by Joely Sue Burkhart, Heart of the Druid Laird by Barbara Longley, Her Dark Knight by Sharon Cullen, Hunting Human by Amanda Alvarez, Kiss of Darkness by Loribelle Hunt, Knight of Runes by Ruth A. Casie, Laird of Darkness by Nicole North, Quarter Square by David Bridger, Sapphire by Jeffe Kennedy, Steam & Sorcery by Cindy Spencer Pape, Stone Kissed by Keri Stevens, Tempting the Enemy by Dee Tenorio, The Devil’s Garden by Jane Kindred, The Sevenfold Spell by Tia Nevitt, The Twisted Tale of Stormy Gale by Christine Bell, The Viking’s Sacrifice by Julia Knight, This Winter Heart by PG Forte, Three Wishes by Jenny Schwartz, White Dawn by Susan Edwards

Third place prize is a $25.00 gift card to either Amazon or Barnes & Noble (winner’s choice)!

If you put your email address or Twitter handle in your comment, we can contact you, but we will also announce the winners on the blog and Tweet the winner’s names at 10:00 p.m. on December 24th (our twitter handle is @herebemagic if you want to follow along).

The winners will have three days to collect their prizes. If we do not receive a response, another entrant with a listed email address or Twitter handle will be chosen so that we can contact them directly.

So come tell us, what is the one thing that never fails to put you in the holiday spirit?

Wishing you and yours a truly magical holiday season,

Here Be Magic Authors

Friday, December 16, 2011

Ripping Off the Masters

Posted by: Jeffe Kennedy
Here be Jeffe!

Hi, yes, I'm one of the newest additions to the Here Be Magic blog. The other Carina fantasy and paranormal authors tried to gently discourage me, but I wouldn't be stopped!

Actually everyone has been so generous and lovely to me. My fantasy doesn't come out until July, but I get to hang out here and yack about it. Which is really just a thrill. I grew up reading fantasy and now I get to contribute something back.

It feels magical.

I've mentioned before on my own blog, how much I loved Anne McCaffrey's books and how saddened I was by her passing. So, lately I've been going back and rereading my favorites. This has been an interesting exercise for me. Though I've read most of her books at least twice, some maybe as many as ten or twelve times, I hadn't read any for at least twenty years.

I went back to the very first book of hers I ever read, DragonSong, which may have been the first ever "real" science fiction book I ever read. (It's labeled Sci Fi on the spine.) I was ten years old and I found it in the school library. (Thank you librarians everywhere!) It was a hard-back copy, covered in that cellophane they use. I can't quite recall the cover, but it was alluring. I've posted the cover of the sequel, DragonSinger, here because it's the original paperback cover. I used to have a copy of DragonSong with similar art, but I lent it to someone and never got it back. I miss that copy. It may have been the first time that I read a library book and then went out and bought my own copy. The edition I have now has a stupid 80s cover. I have no idea what they were thinking.

At any rate, I discovered something shocking when I re-read these old books.

I totally rip off Anne McCaffrey in my own writing.

I know, I know. This is a terrible thing. Except I had no idea I was doing it!

It's maybe not that obvious, but I can see my own favorite turns of phrase were clearly laid into my brain by all that reading. "A keen sense of the ridiculous." "That's an invidious question." And countless other word choices, small and large.

There's more. I recognize my character interactions in her books. The way she combines personal relationships with world politics.

I recall in art class, they said the best way to learn is to recreate the paintings of the masters. You follow in their footsteps and learn how they did it. Growing up with my nose in a book maybe did this for me. The rhythm of all the great stories I read are laid into my brain, guiding my way.

I just hope I can come close to what they did.

Thursday, December 15, 2011


Posted by: Loribelle Hunt
Inspiration for a writer comes from a lot of different places. I've got a few favorite movies and videos I'd like to share. And it is a weird and unconnected set lol. ;)

In the movie list put Persuasion, A Good Year, and The Chronicles of Riddick. Music? A crazy, different story! LOL Here are a few

But here are a few. And it is an odd mix lol! :)

And finally,

So, now I'm done and wondering what y'all think? What do you like? Or love?

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

A Sense of Place

Posted by: Jenny Schwartz
Wanted: One Scoundrel, my steampunk novella, is set in Fremantle, Western Australia. That made visualising the setting a piece of cake for me. I grew up near there, went to uni not far away and studied...well, what else would a steampunker study? History and Sociology.

But it's not always so easy to visualise the setting of your story. With Google Earth we can "see" nearly anywhere on Earth. What other websites do you use to research a setting?

And some random photos to show off Fremantle (or Freo, as the locals call it).

Old Maritime Museum, right on the beach
In Fremantle, it pays to look up
Ferris Wheel! New & exciting

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Allegra Fairweather's ABC of Christmas

Posted by: Janni Nell

When I was trying to come up with a topic for this blog, I considered doing my own ABC of Christmas, but then I figured Allegra’s would be much more fun.

A is for Angel – Casper, of course.

B is for Breakfast – with pina coladas on Christmas morning.

C is for – well, duh! Work this out yourself. I’ll wait.

D is for Dad – my real Dad, who is missing, presumed dead, somewhere in the Australian outback. Wish I was spending Christmas with him.

E is for Eating – for all her faults, Mom does a great Christmas dinner.

F is for Friends – Happy Holidays Wanda.

G is for Gifts – and they’d better be good ones. My multimillionaire stepfather, Steven, can afford it.

H is for Holly – No, not the green stuff with the red berries. I’m talking about the b*tch who teased me in grade school. Hope she gets everything she deserves this Christmas.

I is for I – it’s all about me.

J is for Jingle Bells – will someone stop playing that song!

K is for Kiss – the one I won’t be getting from Casper

L is for Little Allegra – my niece, who prefers to play with wrapping paper than her presents.

M is for the Mistletoe I’ll be stomping on – it’s no use when my favorite angel isn’t allowed to kiss.

N is for New Year – bring it on.

O is for OMG Casper looks hot in that elf costume.

P is for Parties – but I’m often working Christmas. The paranormal doesn’t do holidays.

Q is for Quick thinking – moving away from the mistletoe when undesirables are around.

R is for Reality Check – get over it people, fighting over gifts is not in the holiday spirit.

S is for Sister – Lily loves Christmas.

T is for Too much information – Steven’s colleague kissing Mom under the mistletoe.

U is for my Usually poised Mom kneeing him in the groin.

V is for Very drunk, which is the only way to endure Mom’s Christmas parties.

W is for wish – if Casper turns up gift-wrapped under my tree I’ll be a happy camper.

X is for Xmgrz – a swearword in Witch that describes my feelings about Christmas.

Y is for – Why the heck is do we do this every year?

Z is for zzzzzzz – snoozing after a big Christmas dinner.

From Janni Nell: Wishing everyone a joyous and peaceful Holiday Season.

From Allegra Fairweather: bah humbug.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

I'm Celebrating With "The 12 Giveaway Days of Christmas"!

Posted by: Linda Mooney
I will be having two new releases this month, and I'm celebrating with a twelve-day giveaway!

If you would like to get in on the contest, it's very easy. Just email me with "12 Giveaways Days of Christmas" in the subject. That's it! You'll be entered, and starting Tuesday, the 13th, I will be announcing the winners every day on my blog. Each lucky person will get to choose any one of my books (PDF only).

For more information, you can visit my website.
Thanks, and good luck!

Friday, December 9, 2011

What have you done for the first time this year?

Posted by: David Bridger
Here's my list:

I built, stocked and kept a tropical aquarium. When I remarked over breakfast one day last year that I'd quite like a fish tank in my study, I had in mind something small and simple. Maybe a couple of goldfish or something sitting next to my monitor. I never expected my wife and daughters to club together at Christmas and buy me big tank with filters and pumps and lights and furniture and plants and books and everything. I found it quite daunting actually, because unlike dogs and cats these creatures depend on me completely and I discovered it's horribly easy for things to go wrong in such a closed environment. But I learned, and we've made it through our first year okay, and I love having this quiet glowing community in my study.

Changed from using a PC to a Mac. Now that was a leap, but I'm glad I made it and I doubt I'll ever go back. I love my shiny new machine.

Had two novels published in the same year. The Weaverfields Heir in spring and Quarter Square in the summer. Holy juggling edits, Batman!

Started a series. My Wild Times urban fantasy world with Carina.

Planned a project with a co-author. It's a cyberpunk series that Emma Shortt and I are very excited about. I'll be opening a new file as soon as I've posted this and will start writing Chapter 1 today. :)

Became a grandad! Sebastian arrived in October and he is gorgeous!

So, what have you done for the first time this year?

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Of Bells, Books, and Candles

Posted by: Jane Kindred
My first post on Here Be Magic, nearly a year ago on New Year’s Eve, had almost the same title. The movie that prompted that post is one of my seasonal favorites, so it's no surprise that it would be on my mind. I've watched it once already this month, and it won't be the last time.

While talking about Bell, Book and Candle in a post for one of the other stops on my blog tour, I recalled that I’d blogged about it before. The return of my thoughts to the same track nearly 12 months later really reinforced for me the turning of the wheel of the year, and how everything comes back to where it all started.

What struck me looking back at that first HBM post was the fact that in the midst of some exciting beginnings, I was lamenting endings.

Last December I’d just sold my first novella, just signed with my agent, and was finishing up revisions on my first novel in preparation for submission to publishers. This year, my novella The Devil’s Garden was published by Carina, and just two days ago, my debut novel The Fallen Queen was released by Entangled Publishing.

That post a year ago was about honoring the cycle of death and rebirth, and remembering that every ending is also a beginning. That couldn’t have been more true for me in 2011. In October, I lost my partner of 13 years to cancer amid all these new beginnings, and the journey forward seems a bit bittersweet. Jack put up with my pre-publication angst for all those years we were together; I wish he could have seen my first book in print. But like my heroine Anazakia in The Fallen Queen, I know I’ll find the light of new beginnings in the darkness.

In the meantime, as I promised myself a year ago, I'll try to remind myself to celebrate the endings. Because ultimately, the two are inseparable. No matter how we deal with it, the wheel will always turn.

Has this year been a year of endings or beginnings for you? Leave a comment and tell me how, and you'll be entered in a drawing for a $25 gift certificate to Amazon or Barnes & Noble. (And—hint, hint—you may just have something new to to buy things for with that certificate if you come back for our big holiday giveaway later this month.) Contest closes on December 15.

I’m also giving away a copy of The Fallen Queen today at RhiReading, and being interviewed on Rex Robot Reviews, with several additional chances to win from previous tour stops whose contests are still open. To find out where else I’ll be on my blog tour and which giveaways are still open, check out the Where’s Jane page on my website. And don't forget to come back to Here Be Magic next week for the big giveaway reveal!

Jane Kindred

* * *

Heaven can go to hell.

Until her cousin slaughtered the supernal family, Anazakia’s father ruled the Heavens, governing noble Host and Fallen peasants alike. Now Anazakia is the last grand duchess of the House of Arkhangel’sk, and all she wants is to stay alive.

Hunted by Seraph assassins, Anazakia flees Heaven with two Fallen thieves—fire demon Vasily and air demon Belphagor, each with their own nefarious agenda—who hide her in the world of Man. The line between vice and virtue soon blurs, and when Belphagor is imprisoned, the unexpected passion of Vasily warms her through the Russian winter.

Heaven seems a distant dream, but when Anazakia learns the truth behind the celestial coup, she will have to return to fight for the throne—even if it means saving the man who murdered everyone she loved.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

It's All About Words

Posted by: Ruth A Casie
I’ve got all these words in my head that are just screaming to get out. Some are descriptive, emotional, sensual, horrifying, loving. I know you understand what I mean. For us, my dear writer, they are the heart and soul of our work.

There are the types of words we scrutinize: adjectives and adverbs. We search them out and agonize over having too many or too few. We edit, re-write and edit some more. We don’t stop there. We hunt out clichés and overused phrases ripping them from our pages. And all the while we struggle for originality and that magic that hooks the reader and draws them into our stories. We work until our manuscripts shine with a high polish.

The readers are the witness, the hero or heroine, or whomever they prefer to identify with. It’s the juxtaposition of our words that create the pacing, paints the pictures, strikes the chord, arouse emotions and, for us romance writers, brings the story to a happy ending.

Some words we are eager to hear: the call, published, multi-published, reprint, best seller, finalist, award winning. But I’m getting ahead of myself. More often the words are strung a bit differently: I think the concept of your novel has a lot of potential …, Thank you for giving me the opportunity to read your manuscript …, Thank you very much for your manuscript which I have read with interest …, I think you have a wonderful voice … The ellipse is followed by the same word but. Different words but all with the same meaning, rejected, although I really prefer passed. It is just so much more humane.

I have worked hard on my new manuscript. I am well past my first draft. I have self reviewed and edited, my critique partner has reviewed and commented, at chapter meetings I have brought my five to ten pages for discussion. The version number on my document is in double digits. I know I have the words just right. I just need an editor/agent to love them as much as I do.

Sure I can. I can love them anyway you want them!

Special thanks to David Coverly for permission to reprint his cartoon.
Dave Coverly admits there is no overriding theme, no tidy little philosophy that precisely describes what Speed Bump, his syndicated comic, is about. "Basically," he says, "if life were a movie, these would be the outtakes."

These "outtakes" now appear in over 400 newspapers and websites, including the Washington Post, Toronto Globe & Mail, Detroit Free Press, Chicago Tribune, Indianapolis Star, Cleveland Plain Dealer, Cincinnati Enquirer, New Orleans Times-Picayune, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Vancouver Sun, Baltimore Sun, and Arizona Republic as well as the published “Speed Bump” books.

In addition to his syndicated work, Coverly's cartoons have been published in The New Yorker, and his cartoons are now regularly featured in Parade Magazine, the most widely read magazine in the world with a circulation of 73 million. Coverly works out of an attic studio in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He is married to Chris, and they have two daughters, Alayna and Simone.

Ruth A. Casie's debut novel, Knight of Runes is currently available. 

Monday, December 5, 2011

AMAZON HEAT by Melinda Leigh & Rayna Vause

Posted by: Melinda Leigh
It started out as a carpool just like any other car pool.  My critique partner and I were headed to our monthly meeting of Liberty States Fiction Writers.  On the way, we passed the time plotting a paranormal story.  Funny thing happened. The story was good. We looked at each other, each thinking the same thing: we should write this.

So we did.  AMAZON HEAT releases in January 2012 from Carina Press. The novella cover just went up on the coming soon page.

2 years ago...
Driven by grief to find a cure for cancer, Elizabeth DeMarco left Logan Spencer to accept a position on a research expedition to the Amazon rainforest. Kidnapped by guerrillas, she was saved by a secret all-female civilization, the last of the ancient Amazons. But Elizabeth discovers she's traded one form of captivity for another.
Logan never stopped searching for Elizabeth. While consulting in the remote Brazilian interior near where she was kidnapped, Logan suffers what should be a fatal fall. Near death, he's collected by the Amazons and magically healed. Elizabeth is the first person he sees as he wakes.
But there's no time for a joyful reunion. The Amazons' mystical medicine is rapidly changing Logan. They want his DNA and plan to take it—and then kill him. Logan and Elizabeth must escape before dawn or Logan—and their second chance at happiness—is doomed.

Find out more about Melinda and Rayna at their websites, and

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Is it that time of year already?

Posted by: Loribelle Hunt
The older I get the faster the years seem to fly by, and December is the fastest (and busiest) month of all. I never have enough time in December to wrap up the year's projects while also keeping up with the family's holiday obligations. This year we only have one school recital and no church programs, but not only are we going home during the school break my girls have two college tours scheduled. I'm tired just thinking about all that driving!

So how do I cope with this crazy month? My guilty secret is Christmas books. They can be contemporary, historical, paranormal...I don't care. I love them all. So much so I've written a couple of my own. Christmas Moon is about a couple of werewolves and the woman they love. It's hot, a little kinky, and on the lighter side for me. Then there's Defending Serenity which is anything but light. Boyd is a man determined to get revenge against the woman he blames for sending him to prison. The problem? He still wants her. And she's the chief of police.

I haven't had the chance to go book shopping yet this season. I'm hoping I'll get to sometime this week. So other than the great looking titles at Carina, I haven't heard about any must haves. Any suggestions?

Saturday, December 3, 2011

A complete idiot's guide to social media

Posted by: Angela Campbell
One of the things I've loved most about being a published author is connecting with readers and other authors. No, I haven't done any in-person book signings yet or been to any conventions since my book released, but I have taken full advantage of social media to make new friends out of readers and authors.

Do I know what I'm doing? Bwhahahahaha! I mean, er, of course I do. Well, I'm learning anyway. I have a blog on my website. I have a Facebook page. I'm on Twitter. That's all good, right?

I have to admit that of the three, I've grown quite fond of Twitter, which is strange because once upon a time I was addicted to Facebook and declared Twitter "a ridiculous gimmick" that I would never use. I think that was mostly because I was too dumb to understand it or how to use it. OK, so I'm still too dumb to understand it or how to use it, but hey, I've finally figured out what hashtags are and stopped thinking I needed to call the police every time I opened my email inbox to find a message stating that so-and-so is now following me. These days I'm on Twitter a lot more than I'm on Facebook, that's for sure. Pretty soon I will be Mayor of Twitter, you mark my words, or...oh wait, I think I'm mixing my social media again. That's Four Square or something or other, isn't it? Uh, nevermind.

For those readers out there, the point of this silly post is to remind you that us authors might not always be as smart as some of you are when it comes to such things, but that doesn't mean we don't appreciate connecting with you. In fact, our group of authors here at Here Be Magic has been secretly conspiring up ways to reward one very lucky reader of this blog, or two or maybe three, with something good. Something really good! I can't tell you what we're up to - you'll find out soon enough (he he) - but trust me, you're gonna love it!

In the meantime, if you see any of us on Twitter (check out our widget on the right bottom of this page for a listing of recent tweets by participating authors) or notice one of our fan pages on Facebook, don't be shy. We love hearing from you. Without your feedback on our books, none of us would grow as writers, after all. And I'm of the opinion that one can never have too many friends.

Oh, and remember, you can follow Here Be Magic on twitter to stay connected with the blog itself. We're @HereBeMagic .

Angela Campbell is the author of "Cry Wolf," now available from Carina Press. You can follow her on twitter @angelacampbel or find her on Facebook at . Visit her website at
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