Thursday, August 30, 2012

Why I'm on a fantasy writing kick

Posted by: Kim Knox
I'm on a fantasy writing kick (proof being that my next three releases are all magic and fantasy and I'm working on a fantasy romance novel right now) which isn't the norm for my. I love my spaceships and aliens, oh, and blowing stuff up. Love that last one. So, the lack of SFR writing in my life has got me wondering...why?

What is fantasy romance giving me that science fiction romance isn't right now?

I still get to play with complicated worlds, smart heroines and brooding heroes--though I'm swapping the hand cannon for swords and crackling blasts of magic.

I think it has to do with the nature of the world building and what that drives the plot and the characters to become. Fantasy pushes me into creating stories that involve power struggles--court intrigue--as I can restrict myself to a city and force people to expose old truths when something first explodes within their world, breaking apart the old, accepted order.

Put people in a confined space and...shake. I could do that on a spacecraft--a tin can in vacuum--but that situation is more immediately life threatening and with no clear way for me to see romance and an HEA. And I have to have my HEA. It's addictive. *twitch*

DARK DEALINGS started out as a complicated love life story, but its fantasy setting almost necessitated my pushing deeper until it also became awash with political manoeuvrings as well as my first murder mystery. That surprised me! This novel isn't out for a while --26 November 2012-- but since I just got my cover finalised *squee* I thought I'd share a peek...

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Magic of Cowboys (or why I sometimes write westerns)

Posted by: Cindy Spencer Pape
Most of my readers know me for my paranormal and steampunk romances, but back at the beginning of my career, I also focused on one subset of contemporary romance--the contemporary western. In fact to one of my publishers, I'm that cowboy writer and the paranormal stuff (some 40 books or so) are an aberration.

So how did a city girl from Michigan end up writing about ranchers and bull riders? It's not a complicated story. My mother, who'd introduced me to category romance at the tender age of about 10 (not kidding) and her other favorite genre was westerns, a la Louis L'amour or Zane Grey. When she found a story that combined the two, she was happy as can be. She didn't much care for paranormal, and never had any interest in reading "your woo-woo stuff." So I decided to write a book for her.

About the same time, the idea of playing with romance cliches came to me. I love messing with expectations. I came up with a story that deliberately stuffed in as many romance cliches as I could fit in one book. That story became The Cowboy's Christmas Bride and the first of my Crazy H series at The Wild Rose Press. Two more brothers' stories followed, and two tied-in novellas that were also part of the Wayback, Texas series. Unfortunately, my mother died before she ever got to read any of my westerns, but she still feels very close when I'm writing about tough, sexy cowboys. FYI, I still manage to sneak some tiny bits of paranormal into most of these. The Crazy H series have matchmaking ghosts and one of my Wayback characters just...knows things. In my western Eagle's Redemption for Ellora's Cave, I have a heroine with a psychic connection to animals. It's all in good fun and I don't think Mom would mind.



Last week, The Wild Rose Press re-released my novella from the Finding Their Way Back anthology as a stand-alone e-book, with a yummy new Jimmy Thomas cover. If contemporary western romance is your thing, I hope you'll take a look at After the Rodeo.

Blurb: Free Wulfsen learned early on to ride fast, and that rodeo relationships never last. But after one wild weekend in Nevada, the barrel racer finds herself married to bull rider Zane Malone. She’s all set to ask him for a divorce when she takes a fall—and finds out she’ll have more to remember him by than a ring. Now it’s up to Zane to convince Free than love can last after the rodeo’s done and that the real prize is a lifetime together.

CONTEST!
I'm giving away your choice of paperbacks featuring my spin on western romance. Wild Wayback Nights contains my novella All the Way Back and is steamy but not erotic. Texas Passions includes Eagle's Redemption and is an erotic anthology from Ellora's Cave, or you can choose an e-book version of any of my titles. All you have to do to enter is leave a comment below. (With an email, please!)

Monday, August 27, 2012

Here Be News

Posted by: Eleri Stone
Our new releases this week

A secret ancient race of humans with fantastical abilities, the Vadïm are on the brink of extinction. Many of their women are imprisoned by an organization known as The Assembly, their history all but lost...

Devon Monroe has been a prisoner her entire life. She's determined to make sense of the strange markings on her body, to learn why no one may touch her, to find where she belongs. That means escaping into the unknown, where she has no choice but to trust her self-appointed protector.

Soldier-for-hire Seth Eastman has a job to do: deliver Devon to safety. When Seth discovers the markings on Devon's body, he's stunned at what they mean. And at how she awakens his long-suppressed needs. As they struggle to escape detection and search for the truth of the Vadïm, can he ever hope to claim her for his own?

Buy


Too many years of killer vamps have triggered the curse of the Blood Kissed. They’ve awakened the bloodline that can alter their world, because her blood has the power to control them all—even make them destroy each other.

Jocelyn thought her troubles with vampires were over when she drove a stake through her boyfriend Max’s heart two years ago. Even though she’s engaged to Chad, she’s never really forgotten him. Now Max is back, and Chad is taking her into the heart of the vamp community—and they’re the ones trying to keep her alive. The ones who love her and each seek to claim her for their own. Because once the elders know who she is, they’re all going to want her…or want her dead.

Buy



Book two in the Blood Currency series.

A vampire queen grown powerful with age, Imogen has protected her band of nightriders through the centuries. When refugee vampires from earthquake-shattered Europe seek shelter and sustenance, she’s honor-bound to feed them, by any means necessary. When her lieutenants dump the vengeful human man Kasar at her feet, Imogen succumbs to his masculine vitality and her overwhelming hunger for his blood—and his body.

Kasar has survived the breaking of the world, only to discover the vampire queen has slaughtered his sister and her unborn child. With the last of his bloodline dead, only his desire for vengeance keeps Kasar alive. He imagines he can pretend to succumb to Imogen’s seduction—not that he has much of a choice, chained as he is to the foot of her bed—and bide his time until he has an opportunity to kill her. The passion he finds in her arms is unexpected, and impossible to resist. But this haven of desire and satiation could easily destroy them both.

Buy


Wild Rose Press has re-released Cindy Spencer Pape’s After the Rodeo, part of the Finding their Way Back anthology, as a stand-alone e-book (with a great new cover!)

Wayback, Texas
Free Wulfsen learned early on to ride fast, hold on tight, and that rodeo relationships never last. After one wild weekend in Nevada, the barrel racer finds herself married to bull rider Zane Malone. She's all set to ask him for a divorce when she takes a fall—and finds out she'll have more to remember him by than a ring. Now it's up to Zane to convince Free that love can last after the rodeo's done, and that the real prize is a lifetime together.

Buy



Links of Interest

Interview with Terry Brooks from Wired.com. The Sword of Shannara was one of the first fantasy books I fell in love with.




Friday, August 24, 2012

The Druid Stone by Heidi Belleau & Violetta Vane - Influences and Layers

Posted by: VV
Hi! I'm Violetta Vane, and my first Carina novel is The Druid Stone, coauthored with Heidi Belleau. I'm excited to start blogging at Here Be Magic.

First things first: we're winding down the blog tour for The Druid Stone on Monday, August 27th. But until then, there are two giveways open. At the Carina Press blog, you can still enter to win a sterling silver triple spiral pendant. At one of my other group blogs, LGBT Fantasy Fans and Authors, you can win a copy of The Druid Stone simply by listing a bisexual immortal (if that sounds hard, don't worry—the post gives plenty of hints!)

For my post, I'd like to talk a bit about influences. We all have inspirational, foundational writers that we look up to. One of mine is C. J. Cherryh, a prolific writer of many science fiction and fantasy novels, series and stories. She has the kind of vivid anthropological imagination that’s so crucial to world-building in both genres. When she writes science fiction, I always get the sense that her aliens are really and truly alien, not just humans with a few forehead wrinkles.  The non-human races in her fantasy books are just as unique and compelling. Some of them she invents out of whole cloth, but she's also written several books inspired by Celtic mythology: The Ealdwood Saga, Faery in Shadow and "The Brothers", a short story that serves as the prequel to Faery in Shadow.

What I love about all these books is that they go back to the roots of Celtic mythology and strip away the Tolkienisms that most fantasy readers are used to. I'm a Tolkien fan myself—I grew up reading him—but there's a limit to how much Tolkien-lite I can handle, and I reached that limit decades ago. Cherryh's Celtic fantasy is told in epic language, but it's clean and spare, not pompous. The supernatural inhabitants of this world are what the ancient myths would be like if they were made flesh. They are not simply a sexier version of modern humans. They have godlike, animal and human qualities in unpredictable measure, and their motives are often left a complete mystery.

Of all these books, Faery in Shadow and “The Brothers” are my favorites, because of the tight plots and because of the relationship between Caith mac Sliabhin and Dubhain. Caith was fostered by outlaws but is the son of a chieftain, and Dubhain is a pooka, a shapeshifting water horse, though he most often takes the form of a dark-haired young man.  They’re thrown together by the machinations of Dubhain’s faery overlord, Nuallan. If you think this set-up is perfect for romance, you’d be right, and there’s a massive amount of homoerotic tension between Caith and Dubhain. Dubhain, being essentially inhuman, often torments Caith with a smile, but is forced to obey him and frequently says he loves him. Caith is a seriously depressed dude and full of anger towards the magical world. He hates having Dubhain’s service forced on him, but he also relies on him heavily. Despite the strong tension and some tender moments between the two, there’s no romance or sex at all in these books. The overall tone is incredibly dark and grim. In fact, they’re as close to true faery noir as I’ve ever read, and the dark side of humanity is shown just as much as the dark side of the supernatural.

The setting is pre-Christian Scottish highlands. There’s no attempt at location in a timeline, and I can’t judge the historical accuracy, but the feeling of this world is amazingly genuine. The descriptions have a timeless, mythic weight, balanced perfectly with concrete sensory details. I felt Caith’s frustration as he travels over the difficult terrain, and the landscapes of this book are absolutely gorgeous.  I received a strong sense of a misty, watery world, visions of dark green over grey stone—a cold wind from a cold sea.

Many things about this book influenced my own writing. A little bit of the tension between Caith and Dubhain—the way that it involves antagonism and power play, certainly—transferred over to Sean and Cormac’s early relationship.  Finnbheara owes a lot to Nuallan, both in his morality and in his role in the narrative, although we gave our own sidhe lord much more of a twisted sense of humor.  The overall back-to-the-basics approach to Celtic fantasy also structured my approach to world-building in The Druid Stone.  Heidi had exactly the same philosophy, although in her case it was more informed by her extensive college studies in Celtic history. We researched the hell out of everything supernatural we put in there, and we weren’t satisfied unless we knew it came from primary sources.  Lastly, the mystery and suspense are incredibly powerful in Faery in Shadow. The obscure motivations of many of the key players result in true conflict, nothing like the sort of easily predictable stuff you’ll find in books of any genre that use suspense as a sort of last-minute seasoning instead of an integral part of the plot. We knew we wanted to tell a tight, exciting story with some dangerous twists and turns; we worked on that goal from the very beginning and saw it through to the end.

The Druid Stone is a very layered book. Layers of history are, themselves, a major theme of the book. There are lighter, irreverent, thoroughly modern layers on the surface, and many layers of romance as well, but the deepest, darkest, most ancient layer—the world of the mounds that reaches out to menace our lovers—is very much influenced by the story of Caith mac Sliabhin, kinslayer and cursed hero.

~~~

Sean never asked to be an O'Hara, and he didn't ask to be cursed by one either.

After inheriting a hexed druid stone from his great-grandfather, Sean starts reliving another man's torture and death...every single night. And only one person can help.

Cormac Kelly runs a paranormal investigation business and doesn't have time to deal with misinformed tourists like Sean. But Sean has real magic in his pocket, and even though Cormac is a descendant of legendary druids, he soon finds himself out of his depth...and not because Sean's the first man he's felt anything for in a long time.

The pair develop an unexpected and intensely sexual bond, but are threatened at every turn when Sean's case attracts the unwelcome attention of the mad sidhe lords of ancient Ireland. When Sean and Cormac are thrust backward in time to Ireland's violent history—and their own dark pasts—they must work together to escape the curse and save their fragile relationship.

Find it at Carina, Amazon, or Barnes & Noble.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Meet the Here Be Magic Authors - Kaily Hart RISE OF HOPE

Posted by: Veronica Scott

Continuing our periodic feature of interviews with the Here Be Magic authors, today we have Kaily Hart, whose first Carina Press book RISE OF HOPE will be released on August 27th!

Here's a brief blurb about the book:
A secret ancient race of humans with fantastical abilities, the Vadïm are on the brink of extinction. Many of their women are imprisoned by an organization known as The Assembly, their history all but lost...

Devon Monroe has been a prisoner her entire life. She's determined to make sense of the strange markings on her body, to learn why no one may touch her, to find where she belongs. That means escaping into the unknown, where she has no choice but to trust her self-appointed protector.

Soldier-for-hire Seth Eastman has a job to do: deliver Devon to safety. When Seth discovers the markings on Devon's body, he's stunned at what they mean. And at how she awakens his long-suppressed needs. As they struggle to escape detection and search for the truth of the Vadïm, can he ever hope to claim her for his own?

On with the interview!
Tell us a little about yourself:
Gosh, I hate writing this part, which is why mine’s in 3rd person ;).

Kaily Hart, a seemingly straight-laced mother of four, left corporate America and a high-powered, lucrative career to be a stay at home mom. Right… That lasted about four weeks, during which time she realized she had a deeply repressed dream—to write. And (gasp) romance at that! Who knew? By day, Kaily plays conservative wife and soccer mom, but at night crafts hot and steamy tales of romance and love with gorgeous heroes who wouldn’t dream of leaving the toilet set up. Ever. She’s smart and sassy, at least in her own mind, and is creating as many happy ever afters as she can, one hot story at a time. Kaily never would have thought she’d be doing this, but now that she is? Well, you couldn’t pay her enough to do anything else.

What prompted you to start writing?
Boredom? Desperation? I’d given up work to spend more time with my kids. I had a very high-powered job which required long hours and travel. I had these ‘romantic’ notions of taking classes in crafts, getting fit, becoming more involved at my kid’s schools. Um. Yeah. I’m not built for that. I need to be working I found. I’d always loved to read, loved romance and I thought “perhaps I can write one?” And so I did J.

What’s your writing process? Where do you write?
Sit down at the keyboard and hope for the best? LOL. No, not really. I usually have a rough idea of my story when I start writing, but don’t know a lot of the details. What I do know are my characters. I develop them fully before I start writing. That way, I can put them in any situation and know exactly how they’re going to react. The characters have to be real and strong for me to get into their heads. And I have a process where I write I call “writing all over the book”. Literally, when I sit down on any given day, I can be writing any part of it, regardless of where I’m up to. I often write the end early on and the love/sex scenes last. *shrugs* I still don’t know exactly how it all comes together, but it does!  I usually write at my desk, but sometimes I’ll mix it up by taking my laptop outside. And sometimes when I want some inspiration, I’ll even start writing for a bit long hand!!

What’s your guilty pleasure?
I have four kids so it’s… Peace. Quiet. Serenity. Of course, I have been known to eat raw chocolate chip cookie dough right out of the tub, but don’t tell anyone about that ‘k?

Do you do a lot of research for your books?
Depends what you mean by ‘research’ *wink, wink* LOL. Seriously, for my contemporary romances I’ve had to do little research. I’ve been fortunate in that I’ve lived in many incredible cities and places and I’ve travelled extensively. I’ve also experienced a wide range of lifestyles (growing up in government housing in a rural area to living, working and doing well in some of the most urban cities around). Although the readers will never really see this in the books, I do research the details of things even if they’re only mentioned in passing. I once read an historical where the author went on for over 5 pages about some fine china patterns or something. Nope. Not in my books. I want to ensure accuracy of details, but I’m not there to dump a bunch of information into the book to show I know it. For my paranormal stories, I have a bit more leeway. I get to make the rules of the world although you still need to make sure everything consistently hangs together! What did authors do before the Internet, right?

Have you ever used an incident from real life in one of your books?
No, of course not! Never. Well…not really. OK, maybe. But I’ll never tell!
  
Quickfire:
Favorite TV Show: You know, I don’t watch a lot of TV and I’m actually pretty happy about that. SO many other things to do.
Favorite Flower: I never know the name of most flowers. Yeah, not much of a green thumb here, but I do love Hydrangeas, especially the blue ones that are as big as a plate!
Boxers or Briefs: Um…it has to be one or the other? Depends totally on the guy IMO ;).
Morning person or evening person: As a Mom I’m forced to be both, but I definitely lean on the night owl side.
Favorite food: White rice. Seriously!
Favorite time of the year: It’s hard to choose because I’m one of those people who can usually see the benefit in anything and tries hard to appreciate the here and now. I know. You hate me, right? I get that a lot LOL.

Finish this sentence  “I believe in the Magic of……”
LOVE! Duh.

What are you working on next?
I’m working on the follow-up books in my Fabric of Fate series as well as a couple of hot and steamy contemporary stories. I also have an idea for another paranormal series that I’m itching to develop a little further. No shortage of ideas here…

What one question do you want to ask your Readers today?
What makes a book great for you? Not just a good read or an enjoyable story but a great book that stays with you long after you’ve finished it? THAT’S what I always want to know. THAT’S what I want in the books I read.

Where can your Readers find you online?
I’m kinda all over. I love interacting with people so I‘m on Facebook and Twitter most days and have just started on Pinterest. Now the world gets to see how obsessed I am with decorating LOL.

Buy Links for book mentioned above:

All the details of RISE OF HOPE will be on my website - http://www.kailyhart.com/books/Rise-of-Hope/

Monday, August 20, 2012

Here Be News

Posted by: Eleri Stone
Our new releases this week
Desperate to escape an arranged marriage to an evil magician, Rowan flees her village--and runs right into the path of a handsome stranger. When Grant comes to her aid, she takes comfort in his arms...and sees a solution to her problem. Her betrothal will be called off if she loses her virginity--and her virile protector is the perfect man to do the honor.

Determined to seduce him, Rowan traps them together in a cave, where she and Grant soon give in to their undeniable desires. But despite their growing bond, she cannot reveal her telekinetic powers or risk being persecuted as a witch.

Grant has a secret of his own--he is Prince Grantland, reluctant heir to the throne of Arandal. He's thrilled to find a woman who's interested in him, not his crown. But he and Rowan cannot hide themselves--and the truth--forever. Will their love survive once Grant discovers she's everything he's been raised to hate and fear?

Buy


Cat-shifter Trinity Morrigan-Caine has discovered a demon is killing supernaturals. Magically challenged, she has every intention of letting handsome Alpha werewolf Gordon Barnes handle it. But after a dying vampire gifts Trinity a mystical amulet, she is drawn into the fray as the legendary Guardian of Bastet, a warrior born when the need arises.

Though Trinity initially rejects the role, she warms to the idea when Gordon agrees to train her--and their passion for each other grows as he teaches her to embrace her animal instincts.

As she begins to accept her destiny and believe in her growing powers, Trinity realizes the danger is even closer to home than she ever imagined--and she and Gordon are going to have to face the demon in a fight to the death...

Buy

Links of Interest

Jeff VanderMeer's guest post on SFWA.org: Dreaming Well: Does the Future of Publishing Need More Imagination? "The problem right now really isn’t the “tyranny” of big NYC commercial publishers or an Amazon monopoly. The problem is the virus of mediocre and received ideas coursing through the collective brains of the book world, infecting too many of its writers, commentators, reviewers."

Michael Bourne on “A Right Fit”: Navigating the World of Literary Agents

Ha! High School Student Seeking Book Summary on Yahoo! Answers Gets Response From Author

Here Be Magic Group Announcements

Seleste Delaney's blog tour for Kiss of Death (release date 8/28) begins today at Wicked Lil Pixie! For the rest of the stops, click here.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

My first post & a giveaway!

Posted by: Sandy James


My first blog post on Here Be Magic! I'm happy to be a part of this talented group of writers!

Please let me introduce myself--my name is Sandy James. I'm a teacher from Indiana who decided to started writing books when my children were leaving the nest. I found myself at loose ends. No more soccer games, plays, or choir performances to attend. A blessing and a curse. When I realized I was filling my free time by devouring books at a ravenous pace--books that weren't always satisfying--a plan began to form in my mind. Then came the straw that broke my back.



I read a romance about a thirty-nine year old heroine who was married. Great! A heroine like me! My celebration was short-lived. After claiming--several times--the heroine still looked seventeen, I pitched the book against a wall and decided to write my own. A time travel romance about a married couple who were separated by a "twist of fate." So from that very first book, I was writing paranormal.
I finished Twist of Fate in late 2005. And it led to another book and another...and I was addicted. I wasn't writing to publish. It was merely an outlet for me to express myself. But then some of my teacher friends wanted to read my books, and they liked what they read. So I figured, why not? What did I have to lose?

Funny, but although my published books are all contemporary romances, most of them have a paranormal element. In Free Falling, the heroine is an empath. In Faith of the Heart, Sarah is a genuine faith healer. When it dawned on me how much fun it was to have those little bits of magic, I decided to write a full-out, no-holds-barred fantasy romance. Which leads me to today!

That book was the first in what turned out to be a four-book series--Alliance of the Amazons. Book one--The Reluctant Amazon--releases on September 3rd.

Here's the blurb:

The last thing Rebecca Massee expects on her wedding day is to go from jilted kindergarten teacher to Amazonian Earth warrior. But when she causes an earthquake after her groom says I don't, she discovers that not only does she possess incredible powers, she is one of four lost chosen sisters who must fight to keep humanity safe from rogue gods and demons. Luckily she has help: ruggedly handsome Scottish warrior Artair MacKay, her protector and teacher.

An immortal, Artair has trained countless warriors for more than four hundred years. He understands Rebecca's confusion at the new world she's been thrust into and worries she is too emotionally vulnerable, but that doesn't stop his growing feelings for the beautiful and fearless woman.

When an evil force threatens to destroy the Amazons, Rebecca must claim her full powers--but they come at a cost. Can she sacrifice the man she loves if it means saving the world?

 

Why did I choose today to introduce myself? It's my birthday! I'm thirty-nineteen today! In celebration, I'm going to give away a gift instead of receive one! Leave me a comment, and on Sunday the 19th, I'll draw a name at random. That commenter will receive an ARC of The Reluctant Amazon!

I'm thrilled to be a part of Here Be Magic, and I hope to keep churning out those fantasy books for Carina!

*hugs*
Sandy

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The Little Story that Could

Posted by: Seleste deLaney/Julie Particka
My online writing group used to do these monthly writing challenges (they are now less often and I don't participate anymore). One year for February, the challenge involved using song lyrics to inspire a story. I can't even remember the song anymore but it was a ballad, and with Valentine's around the corner, the stories were mostly romantic in nature.

Except mine.

Oh sure, it had romantic aspects to it, but it was actually the story of a woman who felt like her boyfriend was controlling her in a borderline abusive way and how she dealt with it. The story was about 1300 words long and bore the title Of Course I Try (taken from a key line in of dialogue). It won the challenge and I got a cute little picture thing to add to my signature for the website.

The summer of 2010, I submitted the story for publication. I was informed it was too short and asked if I could make it longer. My answer to that was "Of course." I bumped it up to somewhere over 5000 words, which still made it a short story, but it was now a sellable short story. Reviews were good, but one thing kept popping up. "I wanted more."

Initially my thoughts were along the lines of "but it's a short story, it's supposed to be short." Then... wheels started turning, gears started grinding and smoke leaked out of my ears--I had a way to make more work. For the holidays that year, The Ghost of Vampire Present came out, continuing the story of the heroine from the first short. Basically it's a little bit of A Christmas Carol, combined with a little bit of The Lady or the Tiger, combined with vampires and a modern setting.

Obviously, by the end of that story it was clear it most definitely wasn't the end. In fact, those shorts were only the beginning. When I started pondering more, it wasn't a little more that came to mind, it was this whole world built around the idea that vampires wanted Jocelyn. The hows and whys and whens became far too big for short stories. From the moment I conceived the second story, I knew there'd be more and those shorts would serve as prequels to the bigger story.

On August 28, the first installment of that bigger story will be released. A far cry from the humble beginnings of a 1300 word story, Kiss of Death is a full-length novel (the first of three) that will explore the world of my vampires and their link to Jocelyn (the heroine of those prequels). And, it will introduce my favorite of all my characters to the world. In fact, he'll be taking over the guest blogging duties at several of the stops on my blog tour over the next two weeks. I hope you'll follow along. And for those of you who have been on the journey with me since the first Blood Kissed story hit the internet, thank you for your support. Kiss of Death wouldn't have happened without you.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Here Be News

Posted by: Eleri Stone
Our new releases this week

Cindy Spencer Pape has TWO new print releases from Ellora’s Cave this week:

Texas Passions

·         Three unexpected half-siblings meet after their father’s death. Together, they learn to deal with life, love and each other, in Texas Passions, by Cindy Spencer Pape, Desiree Holt and Regina Carlysle. 




Holiday Hearts

·         Born with the magic of the seasons running through their veins, the five Holiday siblings don’t believe in the family legends, until one by one, the magic happens to them. Look for year-round romance and passion in Holiday Hearts by Cindy Spencer Pape.








Links of Interest

From TIME Entertainment: I Hate This Book So Much: A Meditation by Lev Grossman. 


A Google Maps Tour of Famous Authors’ Homes. Mostly New York and Paris. Who knew?


As a Star Trek fan, I have to include this one... Quantum Teleportation Achieved over Record Distances.

About safety and cons: dear creepers: Let's talk about our rights. Great post from Delilah Dawson.

Here Be Magic Group Announcements

Cindy Spencer Pape and Seleste deLaney will be hosting Friday's #steampunkchat on Twitter at 9PM eastern.


Friday, August 10, 2012

Character Interview: Maurice of R. L. Naquin's MONSTER IN MY CLOSET!

Posted by: Veronica Scott
Today Here Be Magic has the distinct pleasure of interviewing Maurice, the Monster from R. L. Naquin's new book MONSTER IN MY CLOSET!

Here's what the book is about, as explained by Zoey Donovan, the heroine:

I stopped believing in monsters long ago. But I knew I wasn't imagining things when I found one in my kitchen baking muffins. I'd seen him before: lurking in my closet, scaring the crap out of my five-year-old self. Turns out that was a misunderstanding, and now Maurice needs a place to stay. How could I say no?
After all, I've always been a magnet for the emotionally needy, and not just in my work as a wedding planner. Being able to sense the feelings of others can be a major pain. Don't get me wrong, I like helping people—and non-people. But this ability has turned me into a gourmet feast for an incubus, a demon that feeds off emotional energy. Now, brides are dropping dead all over town, and my home has become a safe house for the supernatural. I must learn to focus my powers and defeat the demon before he snacks on another innocent woman and comes looking for the main course...

And now to interview Maurice:

What was your life like growing up?
Up until I was eight, I lived with my parents. I don’t really like to talk about it. After the fire, I lived at Zoey’s house for awhile. Her mom was awesome. I still miss her sometimes. She found me a great foster family with lots of other monsters my age. I had a rough start, but it was a good life. A lot of good people in it.
Before the action in the book, what were your plans/hopes for the future?
I wanted kids of my own. Maybe open a restaurant for the Hidden. A nice, normal, happy life in the suburbs with my wife.
What changed that?
My wife, Pansy, changed all that. She was sleeping with a bridge troll. I was willing to try to work it out, but she wasn’t. That’s why I went to Zoey’s house. With my foster parents retired and living in a condo in Italy, I didn’t have anywhere else to go. I used to be happy at Zoey’s. I needed a friend.
How would you describe your personality?
Friendly? I don’t know. I’m just a regular guy who happens to sleep in a closet. I like to take care of the people I love—you know, cooking for them, cleaning up. It’s better when they appreciate it, though. Pansy never noticed, but Zoey cares. That means a lot.
Do you have a motto or code you live by?
Sit-sit-sit! You’ll feel better after you eat something!
What one thing would you take to a desert island?
My iPod. Zoey bought it for me so it wouldn’t be so quiet around here when she’s at work.
Where would you go on vacation?
England. I hear they have wardrobes there instead of closets. That sounds so exotic.
What is your most distinguishing characteristic?
Personally, I’d say it’s my snappy sense of style. Zoey doesn’t think so, though. She says I dress like a circus clown. Considering how weird her wardrobe is, I don’t think she’s a good judge. I guess my eyes are kind of striking. They’re big and yellow. You don’t see that very often.
What is your major skill or talent?
I love cooking more than anything in the world. I got my start as a kid with Zoey’s Easy Bake Oven in her closet while she was asleep. I got into a lot of trouble for doing that. So worth it.
What’s your favorite color? Favorite food?
Color? Plaid, like my favorite pants. Food? Pickled eggs, but Zoey won’t let me make them since they stink up the whole house.
If you had to pick another career, what would it be?
I would make an awesome deejay.
What’s on your bucket list?
I’m still trying to get the wine stain out of Zoey’s Egyptian carpet. It looks like Phyllis Diller, and it was there when I moved in. Don’t tell Zoey I said this, but she can really be a slob sometimes.
Which actor or actress would you want to play you in the movie?
Paul Rudd. He’s everywhere these days. He’ll have to stop eating for awhile first, though. I’m really skinny.
Who are your closest friends?
Zoey’s my best friend, of course. And there’s Iris, the skunk-ape, Molly, the brownie, and I really like Zoey’s friend Andrew, but I’m still kind of shy around him. Unknown humans make me nervous.
Who do you love?
I still love Pansy. I know I shouldn’t, but I’m still holding out hope that we can work out our problems.
What are your future plans?
Sometime this week I’m going to try making a chocolate soufflé. It’ll be epic! Further into the future? Keeping Zoey alive. Maybe getting my wife back and going home. I don’t know. One thing at a time. Let’s focus on the soufflé. 

While he focuses on the souffle, I interviewed Zoey on my blog this week and R. L. is doing a giveaway of the book plus a $10.00 Amazon gift card over there.

But we'd appreciate comments here too, even though it's not a giveaway!  Did you have an imaginary playmate (or monster) when you were a kid?

You can find the book here:
Carina Press  Amazon  Barnes & Noble
<= Here’s R. L. , by the way!
 




 

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Sigma

Posted by: Annie Nicholas

Hi,

I'm Annie Nicholas and I'm new to Here Be Magic! If you're looking for hot, paranormal romance that has a twist then I'm the story weaver for you.
For me to write a book I have to be into the story, and I get bord very easily, so I have to keep it fresh.

Like most writers, I'm an avid reader but I also love to garden and well, I have little time for anything else after keeping up with my two boys.

And this is...

release week!!

LEAVE A COMMENT TO WIN A ECOPY OF SIGMA.

Sigma, book 5 of The Vanguards series, is now available.

Check out my blog for the schedule of other chances to win a copy of this book.




To defend and protect, at any cost.

Sam is Sigma of his pack, defender of the innocent and frail. Too bad the one time it mattered most, though the urge to guard the weak runs strong in his shifter blood, he failed to protect his best friend from an attack. Just when his self-confidence can't go any lower, he becomes entangled in a vampire skirmish and is left with an injured female in his arms.

Vampire accountant for Pal Robi, Inc., Clementine can't believe her master would ask her to commit corporate espionage. She’s shot when discovered, but a shifter comes to her rescue. It's as if he's made of her fantasies, and in the few hours with him she lives more than the decades she's spent among her clan.

Hiding with him on the streets of Chicago, in the midst of fighting together to stay alive, can a petite vampire break through her hero’s jaded heart?

WARNING: Hot dominating sex, an action packed evening, and a first date gone all to hell.

Excerpt:

He sprinted toward the injured female. What should he do? The police wouldn’t be happy about vampires and shifters being involved in a human shooting. If this got out to the press, there would be riots.
She struggled to sit.

He slowed, his steps faltering. That shot should have killed her. He shifted back to human form so he could speak. “Don’t move.” Kneeling next to her, he placed an arm around her shoulders. Blood coated his hand.

“Help me up. They can’t get me.” Her words came out halted, between gasps.

“Stay still. I’ll call for help.”

She grabbed his arm with surprising strength. “No.”

He slipped his hands around her slight build and stroked the hair from her face. “You’ve been shot. You need a hospital, you’re going into shock.”

She shook her head. “Bullets hurt, but they missed my heart.” Delicate fangs flashed between her rosebud lips as she spoke. “My master is on the way.”

He blinked. He’d landed in the center of a vampire squabble. Of all the stupid things he could have done, this topped the list. Eric, his alpha, would help Daedalus skin him. Scooping the female in his arms, he carried her back to his car while shaking his head. “There are other ways to settle differences besides guns. What if a human was caught in the cross fire?”

The gunman rolled onto his knees.

Without breaking stride, Sam kicked him in the head with a satisfying crunch. Pain raced through his bare foot and he grimaced, but the hurt was worth it. He twisted at the sound of screeching tires. “I hope this is your master. I don’t think I can shift again so soon.”

A sports car rounded the corner, speeding in their direction.

He dashed toward his vehicle, intent on shoving her into the back seat until he knew for sure who drove toward them.

“That should be him.” She gave the car a feeble wave. “I think.”

Twisting toward the slowing black Audi, he skidded to a stop. A familiar baldheaded Nosferatu launched from the driver’s side. Sam’s heart plummeted. “Oh, shit.”

Daedalus stopped mid-stride and their stares met. “What the fuck are you doing here? You’re supposed to be picking up Sugar.” His gaze traveled to Sam’s car. “You didn’t.”

“Wait, I can explain. She--” He held up the vampire in his arms. “Was in trouble…”

Before Sam could finish, the Nosferatu was in his car. “Babe?” Daedalus glared at Sam from the passenger side. Amazing the windshield didn’t melt. “What are you doing here and not safe at home?” Daedalus gathered Sugar in his arms.

“There was shooting--” Sam tried to explain, but what was the use? The Nosferatu had already decided not to listen.

Daedalus’s stare traveled to the female vampire, then to the unconscious ones on the ground.
“Sugar told me--” Sam was a loser. Nothing he said could defend his actions. As Sigma, he sucked with extra lemon sauce.

“Don’t be angry at Sam. I forced him to follow.” Sugar caressed Daedalus’s cheek. “Where were you?”
“Trying to help her.” He gestured to the half-conscious vampire in Sam’s arms. “And keeping you safe.”

The Nosferatu deflated before Sam’s eyes. “Fuck, I can’t believe you brought her into a gun fight.”

“Daedalus.” Sugar swatted his shoulder and squirmed in his arms. “Put me down.”

He ignored her and tried to give her a kiss.

She turned her face and gave him a cheek.

“We’ll speak about this at home.” He buckled her in the car and closed the door before approaching them. Stopping by the gunman’s body, he stared intently at the face. “I don’t remember him, Clementine.”

“They hired him after you left,” the female vampire responded. “They are a lot of new vampires at Pal Robi in the last few months, since most of the older ones have left.”

“Do you still possess the thumb drive?”

“Yes, Master.” She squirmed in Sam’s arms and removed it from her back pants pocket, handing it to Daedalus.

Master?


Annie Nicholas



Monday, August 6, 2012

Here Be News

Posted by: Eleri Stone
Our new releases this week


The Vanguards: Book 5

To defend and protect, at any cost.

Sam is Sigma of his pack, defender of the innocent and frail. Too bad the one time it mattered most, though the urge to guard the weak runs strong in his shifter blood, he failed to protect his best friend from an attack. Just when his self-confidence can't go any lower, he becomes entangled in a vampire skirmish and is left with an injured female in his arms.

Vampire accountant for Pal Robi, Inc., Clementine can't believe her master would ask her to commit corporate espionage. She’s shot when discovered, but a shifter comes to her rescue. It's as if he's made of her fantasies, and in the few hours with him she lives more than the decades she's spent among her clan.

Hiding with him on the streets of Chicago, in the midst of fighting together to stay alive, can a petite vampire break through her hero’s jaded heart?

WARNING: Hot dominating sex, an action packed evening, and a first date gone all to hell.


                                                                        *****

As the Mayan hero Técun lay dying, a sorceress cast a spell tying her bloodline to him, so that one day he could return and avenge their people...

Following a near-death experience, Cassandra Gonzales is haunted by erotic dreams of a mysterious man. As the dreams intensify, she is compelled to travel to Guatemala in search of him. There she learns that her blood has opened a gate--and she is the only one who can bring the great warrior back from the afterlife.

Once faced with Técun in the flesh, Cassie fears the need he stirs within her. She aches to submit to the pleasure he promises, but first she must learn to trust in him, and in her own desires. Their time for sensual exploration is brief--Técun's killer has escaped, intent on sacrificing Cassie and wreaking havoc on the world. Now, only Cassie's complete and willing surrender to Técun will give him the power to defeat the demon once and for all...

Buy

                                                                   *****

Sean never asked to be an O'Hara, and he didn't ask to be cursed by one either.

After inheriting a hexed druid stone from his great-grandfather, Sean starts reliving another man's torture and death...every single night. And only one person can help.

Cormac Kelly runs a paranormal investigation business and doesn't have time to deal with misinformed tourists like Sean. But Sean has real magic in his pocket, and even though Cormac is a descendant of legendary druids, he soon finds himself out of his depth...and not because Sean's the first man he's felt anything for in a long time.

The pair develop an unexpected and intensely sexual bond, but are threatened at every turn when Sean's case attracts the unwelcome attention of the mad sidhe lords of ancient Ireland. When Sean and Cormac are thrust backward in time to Ireland's violent history--and their own dark pasts--they must work together to escape the curse and save their fragile relationship.

Buy

                                                                    *****

"Mommy, tell me a story.  A fairy story."

Jill has a very real fairy story to tell her daughter.  Actually she has two: the one she recites at bedtime and the one that is the truth.

Once upon a time there was a faerie whose life was contained in the forest lands of northern Maine. But when unscrupulous loggers began to cut down the trees which were the lifeblood of her people, she was ordered to take human form and find a way to stop them by using human means.

Caine York worked for the US Forestry Service. The last thing he needed was a tree rights activist like Jill Lattimer tagging along. Yet as the days went by he found himself unable to resist the woman's uninhibited spirit.

Unfortunately, Jill was also finding herself falling in love with the forest ranger. The human forest ranger. A man her people would never allow her to be with once they found out.

She would soon find herself fighting to stay with the man who had captured her heart, just as Caine would struggle to have the woman he can not live without. Together they will fight to keep their beloved woods safe from deforestation, knowing that sooner or later one of them would have to lose everything they held dear.

Warning:  Contains horrendous weather, big bad humans, lightning from a stick, sex with wings, explosions, drone surveillance, barefoot nymphs, gunfire, and one very recalcitrant child.

Buy

Links of Interest

It's been rumored for awhile but now it's official: "Hobbit" movie adaptation to be a trilogy. December 14th, 2012! (Right before the apocalypse;)

Carina Press is hiring freelance cover copy writers and content/developmental editors. Check out the details here and here.


Wordwhores ran a series of thought-provoking posts last week about women and SF/F. Great stuff. Start here.

Here Be Magic Group Announcements

Visit Joely Sue Burkhart's blog for a chance to win an ereader. You can also download the novella Bloodgate for free here.

Stop back tomorrow for a chance to win a free copy of Sigma by Annie Nicholas.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Save An Ent - Read an Ebook!

Posted by: Joely Sue Burkhart
We wouldn't be "Here Be Magic" if we didn't love Tolkien.  I could watch Lord of the Rings over and over.  And over.  While I love the hobbits, Gandalf, Aragorn, and of course, the elves, the Ents hold a special place in my heart.

I guess I'm like them in many ways.  I'm slow to anger.  But once I'm roused...  Yeah, I could tear down the walls of Isengard too!  Mess around with my books, and I'm going to be one very grouchy Ent.

Paper books.  Ebooks.  I don't care -- I read them all.  But I love my Kindle and use it more and more every single day.  I can read on the elliptical.  In line waiting at school.  Buy a book at the salon because someone mentioned a new-to-me-author.  And yeah, we might be saving some trees if we read more electronic books.

We wouldn't want to rouse the Ents again if we try to cut down their precious trees!

In honor of The Bloodgate Warrior's release August 6 from Carina Press, I'm offering to buy one lucky winner his/her choice of eReader.  Want a Nook?  A Kindle?  Something else?  Just make sure the device you ask for will work in your country (I will ship internationally).  Details about how to enter are on my blog, but comments on this post will get you an entry!

So tell me, what's the best ebook you've read this year?  For me, it's Heat by R. Lee Smith.

And if you're looking for a free read to send to your device, I'm offering Bloodgate as a free prequel to showcase the underlying Maya mythology in the other books.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

My lil Wall of Weird

Posted by: Angela Campbell
What happens when a journalist starts writing fiction? Pure weirdness. At least, that’s my excuse for a lot of the stuff I write in my spare time. I have this habit of skimming the daily news headlines online every morning for ideas for my day job, and somewhere along the way, I always stop reading the newsy news and start reading the News of the Weird.

You know, Huffpost’s Weird News section. Reuters has that Weird News/Odd News section too. USAToday's Offbeat News. On and on. Gosh, there are so many.

I love that stuff. In my more fanciful moments I like to think of myself as a Chloe Sullivan-Carl Kolchak-Fox Mulder hybrid (kudos to any of you who understand ALL of those references). You might laugh, but those oddball stories in the news can be a goldmine for paranormal/science fiction/fantasy writers. I mean, you can’t make this stuff up. Well, you can, but.

I have this little document on my computer that I call the Wall of Weird (yes, another Chloe reference). I snag headlines and stories that spark a fictional idea and save it for future reference. Lord only knows what the person who inherits my computer will think when I die. Geez, she was even stranger than I thought. Weirdo.

Here’s some examples from recent news:

ON DEADLINE: Goats wow Calif. beachgoers with their surfing skills

Yes, in my story, those goats are genetic experiments a la Teenage Mutant Pirate Goats. I want to name them Monet, Renoir, Sisley and Degas.

Olympics UFO Was Definitely Our Blimp: Goodyear

Ha! A likely government-induced story! We all know it was the aliens scoping out our most athletic specimens for an abduction selection. Or perhaps they were searching for a renegade prince from the planet Hoticy who has fallen in love with a beautiful earthling and doesn't want to return.

Brooklyn Bridge 'Monster' May Be Distant Relative Of Long Island Montauk 'Monster'

Any cryptozoologist worth his salt knows this is really Nessie’s cousin, washed ashore in New York after journeying from Loch Ness to warn us. And there are more coming. Massive invasion of evil sea monsters headed for the U.S., and only one man and one woman can stop them, but first they must fall in love...

I could go on and on with more examples, but I’ll stop. I’m starting to scare myself.

What are some of your favorite “weird” headlines? Share them in the comments below. I'm sure we could all use a good laugh. For a day, the comments section can be our own lil Wall of Weird.
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