Thursday, October 31, 2013

What Costumes Our Characters Would Wear For Halloween and Why!

Posted by: Veronica Scott
VS sez: This year we thought we'd do something a bit different for Happy Halloween at Here Be Magic and have each participating author tell you what one of our own characters would wear for their costume and why...some pretty varied answers - we hope you enjoy!

ANCHORED by A J Larrieu
Character: Susannah March
Costume: Her undisguised self, for once.
Susannah thinks Halloween is a frivolous waste of time, but it *is* the one night of the year she can drop the glamour hiding the wings that mark her as the guardian of Biloxi. Her boyfriend Jason might be able to convince her to put on a plastic halo and crash a costume party. Of course, he'll probably dress up as a devil just to annoy her, but something tells me she'll forgive him by the time the night's over. 

SOMETHING WICKED by Angela Campbell
The heroine of my story is Alexandra King, a psychic medium who regularly converses with dead people and uses her skills to help clients of a private detective agency. She has a witty sense of humor and  would probably dress as a sexy fortune-telling gypsy for Halloween, if for no other reason than to get a rise out of the story's hunky hero, Dylan Collins, a cop who has a hard time believing psychics are real.
FAERIE BLOOD by Angela Korra'ti
Character: Kendis
Costume: Zoe from Firefly
Why: As a half-Sidhe, half-human whose human parent was African-American, as well as a geek, Kendis is absolutely a Firefly fan and loves her some Gina Torres. And in fact, the forthcoming Bone Walker, being set in October, uses this as an actual background detail!

Kendis' other major favorite costumes have been both Leetah and Venka from the comic book Elfquest. Because brown elf girls FTW, and also because the Kendis in the Faerie Blood Movie in My Brain does in fact look like the child that Leetah and Rayek in Elfquest never actually had. Which is what I told Kiri Moth when I had her do the cover art!)

GAMING FOR KEEPS by Seleste DeLaney
Characters: Cal Burrows & Pen Holloway
Costume: Jabba the Hutt & Slave Leia
Why: Pop culture geeks to the core, there's no way these two are going as less than known characters (they can cosplay their own creations at conventions, thank you very much.) Since Cal turned down her Megara-Hercules idea, Pen would embrace her second-favorite princess. Plus, she knows her guy likes her showing off, even if she thinks he's crazy. Considering he often has to use his good looks in his work as a spy, Cal prefers to hide when in costume, and where better to hide than in a mass of slimy flesh rolls? Plus, he gets to stay attached to his best girl by means of a chain. 

From SXC by sachyn
THE ALLEGRA FAIRWEATHER SERIES by Janni Nell
Character: Allegra Fairweather
Costume: hula -- yep, the works: grass skirt, coconut bra, hibiscus behind the ear, lei (actually she'd probably save the 'lei' for Casper, whom she can now officially call her boyfriend) 

Halloween is the busiest time of year for a paranormal investigator. Allegra simply doesn't have time to celebrate what with all those pesky ghosts, witches and things that go bump in the night coming out to play. However, if Allegra did celebrate Halloween she'd avoid the obvious paranormal choices (too much like work) and dress up in a hula costume. She loves to dance (even if she's not very good at it) and now that she's a permanent resident of Hawaii she's been taking hula lessons. Of course, her favourite person to dance for is Casper.

KISS THE BRIDE by Jody Wallace
A contemporary romance from Entangled's Ever After line. If the heroine, Caroline, were to wear a Halloween costume, she would go as the Slime Monster from the Environmentally Polluted Wetlands. Yes, she's an environmental consultant who's passionate about saving the world. If Heck, the hero, were to wear a Halloween costume, he'd go as a zombie groom in the tux he wore to his high school prom, because it still fits (sure it does, Heck) and he ran out of time to get anything else. That or he might wrap a tarp around himself and go as a...tarp.

THE BATTLE LORD’S LADY by Linda Mooney
CHARACTER: Atrilan “Atty” Ferran D’Jacques
Costume: the frilliest dress, a crown, and makeup
Why: It’s the total antithesis of what she really is. When she was caught reading a book, many people were stunned to learn she could read. Atty shuns dresses as a rule, although she has on a couple of rare occasions. She’s such a tomboy and huntress, the last thing people see in her is her feminism. To completely doll herself up, and add a regal smug to top it off, people would get a tremendous kick out of her portrayal.

THE RAVENOUS DEAD by Natasha Hoar
Character: Kit Elkeles
Costume: Link from the Legend of Zelda videogames
Why: An enthusiastic gaming and pop culture fan, Kit has been passionate about the Legend of Zelda games
From SXC by DCarlton
since he was a child. He found solace in the game during the times when his sister caused turmoil in their family through her antics, and has created and sustained lifelong friendships with fellow Zelda fans. He's had several Link costumes over the years, each one becoming more detailed and game accurate. Whether for Halloween, or cosplaying at conventions, Link is Kit's favored 'solo' costume. He has yet to find someone to be his Zelda.

GATE TO KANDRITH & SOUL OF KANDRITH by Nicole Luiken
Character: Lady Sarathena Remillus
Costume: Jita, Goddess of Horses. Jita has long chestnut hair, widely spaced brown eyes and equine ears. She is the twin sister of Jut, God of Travellers.
Why: The Republic of Temboria doesn't have Halloween, but they do have masked fetes. Since she is unmarried, Sara isn't allowed to attend the often-scandalous parties, but if she did she would go as Jita, the Goddess of Horses. Sara grew up wild and loved nothing better than to race around on horseback. During a dark time in Soul of Kandrith riding helps Sara reconnect with her lost self. "The forest blurred by. Their speed made her hair stream out behind her, and she could feel wind and sunshine on her face. Together the sensations combined to give Sara an odd feeling in her chest of... lightness. Of their own accord, her lips curved up."

OLD SINS, LONG SHADOWS by P G Forte
Character: Marc Fischer
Costume: Men in Black 
Why: To poke fun at himself and his earlier insecurities. Growing up, Marc was uncomfortable about his heritage. He chose to believe vampires were descended from some alien species that had mutated and evolved and formed a symbiotic relationship with humans. As he put it: "Aliens, by virtue of the fact they’d had to travel through space to get here, were obviously smart, technologically advanced and, in all likelihood, peaceful ambassadors from a better, brighter world. Vampires, on the other hand, were murderers. They were monsters. They were the quintessential fairy-tale villains—right up there with ogres and trolls and gorgons—the kind of creature nightmares were made of. Who in the hell would choose to be something like that if they didn’t have to?"

RAVENSBLOOD by Shawna Reppert 
Character:  Cassandra Greensdowne
 Costume: Boudicea 
Raven absolutely refuses to dress up for Halloween, which is a shame because he'd make a lovely vampire.  But Cass is totally into it.

She chose Boudicea, a queen of one of the ancient British tribes who led an armed rebellion against the Roman occupation, because she admires her bravery and determination in defending her people against tyranny
  

JOURNEY OF DOMINION by Shawna Thomas
Character: Ilythra
Costume: A normal woman with a normal life. Maybe a wave rider’s or farmer’s wife.
The mantle of “The Wanderer” weighs heavy on Ilythra’s shoulders. This life was chosen for her, but is it what she wants? One night to forget the pressures, pretending to be something more ordinary, sounds like heaven.

DANCER OF THE NILE by Veronica Scott
Character: Nima the Dancer

Costume: Nima might wear the costume of one of the Ancient Egyptian goddesses, Isis perhaps, if she and her dance troupe were to be hired by a temple to perform in a procession or ceremony on a major feast day. 

THE MONSTER HAVEN SERIES  by R. L. Naquin
Character: Zoey Donovan
Costume: A sheet with two eyeholes cut out.

Why: In book two, Pooka in My Pantry, Zoey does go to a Halloween costume party. Having purchased the glittery fairy costume before actual fairies took up residence in her front yard, she was humiliated while walking past them on the trek from the house to the car. They thought she was hilarious. With monsters, urban legends, and mythological creatures constantly coming and going on her property, Zoey doesn't want to insult anyone or hurt their feelings. Or get laughed at any more than she already does. An old-fashioned ghost costume is the best way around it. Unless, of course, ghosts start showing up, too.




Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Win-A-Book Wednesday with...Veronica Scott

Posted by: Jax Garren

Veronica Scott
Best Selling Science Fiction and Paranormal Romance author Veronica Scott grew up in a house with a library full of books as its heart, and when she ran out of things to read, she started writing her own stories.  Always more stories to tell, new adventures to experience—Veronica’s personal motto is, “Never boring.”

MISC FACTS ABOUT VERONICA
Received a 2013 SFR Galaxy Award for her novel WRECK OF THE NEBULA DREAM.

Proud recipient of the NASA Exceptional Service  Medal but must hasten to add the honor was not for her romantic fiction!

Happy to be a member of the Science Fiction Romance Brigade writers’ group and the Here Be Magic authors…

Elvis Presley’s best friend once serenaded Veronica on a local TV telethon…now that could be a novel…
I selected Best Selling WARRIOR OF THE NILE for my giveaway today because there's a great deal of Ancient Egyptian magic going on here, with the goddess Nephthys (sister to Isis). And because RT Book Review Magazine said "4 Stars HOT…you’re in for the most romantic desert story since Elizabeth Taylor’s Cleopatra…”
Plus, good looking cover from Carina Press!

Egypt, 1500 BCE
Lady Tiya is bound to the service of the goddess Nephthys, who plans to sacrifice Tiya’s body to protect Egypt from an ancient terror. She embarks to meet her grim fate alone but for the hardened warrior Khenet, who is fated to die at her side. Tiya’s dreams of love and family now seem impossible, and Khenet, who is the last of his line, knows his culture will die with him. Struggling with the high cost of Nephthys’s demands, both resolve to remain loyal.
Neither expects the passion that flowers when Tiya’s quiet courage and ethereal beauty meet Khenet’s firm strength and resolve. On a boat down the Nile, their two lonely souls find in each other a reason to live. But time is short and trust elusive.
Without the willing sacrifice of Tiya and Khenet, a great evil will return to Egypt. How could the gods demand their deaths when they’ve only just begun to live?

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Realm Walker

Posted by: Kathleen Collins
Kathleen Collins' new urban fantasy released yesterday. Read about it below.

About the Book:
An estranged mate, a mangled body and a powerful demon who calls her by name…
As a Realm Walker for the Agency, Juliana Norris tracks deadly paranormal quarry using her unique ability to see magical signatures. She excels at her job, but her friends worry about her mysterious habit of dying in the line of duty without staying dead. That's only the first of her secrets.
 Most people don't know Juliana became the mate of master vampire Thomas Kendrick before he abandoned her seven years ago. Most people don't know the horrors she endured at the hands of the vampire he left in command. Most people don't know her true parentage, or why a demon on a world-threatening rampage has taken a personal interest in her… 

Even as Juliana pursues the demon, it goes after all she holds dear—including Thomas, who is back to claim her for his own. But if she can't reconcile her past and learn to trust herself again, she will lose him forever.
About the Author:
Kathleen Collins has been writing since Kindergarten. And while her ability has drastically improved, her stories are still about monsters and the people who play with them.
The rare instances that she actually finds some spare time, she spends it playing with her two boys. Three if you count her husband.
Excerpt:
            The click of the mechanism echoed through the alleyway. She eased the door open and stepped inside. Soft lights illuminated the hallway, giving her just enough light to see and casting just enough shadow for something sinister to hide in. She listened for any sound to indicate she wasn’t alone. Nothing.
            Stairs ascended into the darkness at the end of the hallway. She kept her back to the wall as she eased toward them, checking doors as she passed. All locked. She wasn’t going to take the time to unlock and search rooms. Her target would vanish from the roof long before she arrived if she stopped to check every office on the way up. She continued to scan for signatures with her gift.
            She reached the stairs and started up, ignoring the paranoia that swamped her at leaving her back exposed to the blackness below. She was too old to be afraid of the dark, or at least too old to admit to it. At every landing, she paused to listen for any sound. Nothing but her own breathing reached her ears. When she reached the access door for the roof, she ran her fingers over the lock, willed it to let her pass.
            She opened the door trying to make as little noise as possible and quickly realized she needn’t have bothered.
            An insect-like fae with skin the color of moss sat cross-legged in the middle of the roof watching the door. Small in stature, almost the size of a child, the fae possessed a set of four emerald green wings. It lacked any sort of signature.
            The door shut behind Juliana and she took a deep breath. Cinder and ashes. Fear settled in her belly like a lead weight
            “Hello, Hound,”

Buy the Book: Amazon B&N Carina

Monday, October 28, 2013

Here Be News

Posted by: Eleri Stone
New Releases

Book four of Blood of the Pride

P.I. Rebecca Desjardin is surprised when two seemingly unrelated missing-teen cases land in her lap on the same day. Her cat-shifter instincts tell her there's more to the story, and when she uncovers a bitter feud between the two families, she suspects Romeo and Juliet runaways. She turns to her lover, Brandon Hanover, a man who knows the underground better than most.

Brandon is determined to help the woman he loves outwit ruthless enforcers and bring two missing kids to safety, but when a woman from his past resurfaces he finds himself caught between two worlds once again.

As the claws come out and the war between the shifter families turns deadly, the two will have to stand together or fall separately--and even that might not be enough to save them.

Look for Blood of the Pride, Claws Bared and Family Pride, available now!

76,000 words

Buy Link

***

An estranged mate, a mangled body and a powerful demon who calls her by name...

As a Realm Walker for the Agency, Juliana Norris tracks deadly paranormal quarry using her unique ability to see magical signatures. She excels at her job, but her friends worry about her mysterious habit of dying in the line of duty without staying dead. That's only the first of her secrets.

Most people don't know Juliana became the mate of master vampire Thomas Kendrick before he abandoned her seven years ago. Most people don't know the horrors she endured at the hands of the vampire he left in command. Most people don't know her true parentage, or why a demon on a world-threatening rampage has taken a personal interest in her...

Even as Juliana pursues the demon, it goes after all she holds dear--including Thomas, who is back to claim her for his own. But if she can't reconcile her past and learn to trust herself again, she will lose him forever.

76,000 words

Buy Link

***

The job was simple: decapitate the zombie, get paid, get out. Warlock Marcus Shifter followed the plan perfectly.

The corpse, however, did not.

Now there's a body on the loose, accusations of illegal necromancy are flying, and the answers are waiting in the perilous alleys between the mortal and paranormal worlds. They're no place for someone who mostly gave up magic after a childhood accident. And given his tendency to shoot off his mouth and his Glock, Marcus is having a hell of a time digging up more than just bodies.

When an apocalypse-minded megalomaniac threatens Marcus's family, things get personal. Marcus will have to embrace the magic he's been avoiding for years--and even that might not be enough to save the world from a hellish demise.

86,000 words

Buy Link

***

It's 2065. Those born with magic abilities live in government-run zones, without rights or freedoms. Fear of magic created this segregated world and fear keeps it intact.

A high-profile murder brings Detective Nathan Perez to Magic Born Zone 13. He's had little experience with the Magic Born and isn't sure what to expect during his first encounter with a witch, but he never thought he'd be so drawn to her.

Trancehacker Calla Vesper uses magic to break into computers and aid the Magic Born underground. She has no interest in helping a cop, even if he is smoking-hot, but money's tight and Nate offers a tidy amount for help navigating the Zone. Calla's determined to keep it all business, but sparks start flying before the investigation even gets started.

When Calla's trancehacking and Nathan's investigation uncover a conspiracy, Calla becomes a target. Nate can protect her by keeping her role a secret--but then who will protect Nate?

89,000 words

Buy Link

***

Book Two in the psychic detectives series:

Something wicked this way comes…

All homicide detective Dylan Collins wants is a few hours of pleasure to take his mind off of the case haunting him. A serial killer is stalking the streets of Charleston, SC – a killer who calls himself The Grim Reaper. When the woman he'd just spent the night with turns up and offers her services as a psychic consultant on the case, his ardor quickly cools. Last thing he needs is to get tangled up with a con artist.

It doesn't take long for Dylan to realize Alexandra King is the real deal – and the killer's next target. Dylan's protective instincts battle his reluctance to get too involved with a woman he isn't sure he can trust. As they get closer to finding the killer, they also grow closer to one another, but will Alexandra's secret agenda destroy their chance at happiness – if the killer doesn't strike first?

75,000 Words

Buy Link

***

She's trapped with a man she hates...and can't resist.

When cruise ship turbulence sends children’s charity guru Mercedes Vega—and her tropical cocktail—flying into a mysterious stranger, she’s convinced her free vacation is a dream-come-true. But Lucas Bellamy isn’t just sexy as sin and richer than God. He’s her business rival, determined to outbid her charity for the land she desperately needs…a fact she doesn’t learn until after a night of mind-blowing, toe-curling sex. Unwilling to give up, she formulates a plan to make the charming playboy fall in love with her and back out of the property deal.

Lucas is drawn to Mercedes, but he won’t stand down—after all, he has promises of his own to keep. But one scintillating night with the enigmatic brunette leads to another, and before long, it’s unclear who’s seducing who, leaving Mercedes wondering whether the man she’s supposed to hate is the only salvation from her past.

Be sure to get your copy at your favorite e-tailer
Amazon
BN
iTunes
Kobo
All Romance
And many others...

***

GET YOUR SPOOK ON!

Every Halloween, Grandmother Rovela flees her house in fear of a ghost trapped in a cursed mirror. According to superstition, only on Halloween can the ghost be freed.

For years Linc Barron’s tried to avoid his attraction to his smart-mouthed friend Mandy Rovela, to no avail. He wants her, but more, he’s in love with her. And it’s high time he does something about it. So he makes a wager she can’t resist: twenty-four hours with him at her beck and call, if she’ll spend the night with him in her grandmother’s house. And ghost or no ghost, he plans to have Mandy.

Mandy has had the hots for Linc for years, but there’s no way she’s becoming another notch on his bedpost. So she agrees to his stupid wager – though no other Rovela would ever consider it – for a chance to win his heart.

But the ghost is not only real, it’s also far more than a trapped spirit. Dominic de Sange, the man in the mirror, is an earth mage who needs sex to gain power. And he’ll use everything Linc and Mandy have to push him back into the spirit realm where he belongs.

15412 words

Buy Link



Upcoming Release

Author Jody Wallace has ARCs of her upcoming light urban fantasy, THE WHOLE TRUTH, which is in need of some good (or mediocre! or bad!) reviews. Basically, some reviews.

Blurb:

A human lie detector is hired to unmask a mole but discovers her powers can’t protect her when even the bad guys are superpowered.

Cleopatra Giancarlo is different from your average twenty something career girl. For one thing, she knows when people lie because she can see the truth in their shadows. For another, she doesn’t use her power for good. Or evil. After repeated failures to help others, she mostly just uses it to get deals at Bloomingdale’s. She fears what the government would do if they discovered her ability, yet she longs to find out if there are people like her out there. If there’s anything more she could be.

She gets her wish when two strangers whisk her away from her old life and introduce her to the world of suprasensors. John Arlin and Samantha Grooms represent an organization called YuriCorp, one of many privately-owned firms that employ supras like Cleo to increase their profit margin. Any of these firms would be thrilled to have Cleo on staff, and their methods of recruitment aren’t always friendly.

But even in the world of supras, Cleo doesn’t get to be normal. Her new boss wants her to go undercover and seek traitors in the company ranks. Her new friends know what she can do and how to work around it. And her new assignment might end up with her in a coma–or worse.

109,000 words -- a doozy!

Find out more: http://jodywallace.com/books/the-whole-truth/

Bestseller List

David Bridger's recent release A FLIGHT OF THIEVES is on Amazon's YA Steampunk bestseller list!

http://www.amazon.com/gp/bestsellers/digital-text/7006668011/ref=pd_zg_hrsr_kstore_1_6_last

We're reliably informed that David is making excited dolphin noises. :)

Links

USA Today's Happily Ever After  blog recommended the book trailer for Veronica Scott's best selling science fiction romance ESCAPE FROM ZULAIRE:  http://usat.ly/1bgTqsK

Sunday, October 27, 2013

So Much Magic, So Little Time

Posted by: Jody W. and Meankitty
Magical systems in various fantasy novels I've read would make for a fascinating academic case study. Some systems involve elements. Some involve wands. Some involve lots of mumbo jumbo. Some involve extensive schooling at places like Hogwarts. Because I'm lazy, though, today I'm just going to talk about my own magical system in the world of Pack and Coven (Carina 2012) and Witch Interrupted (Carina 2014).

In these two romances, the primary supernatural species in my world are witches and wolves. No demons or mages or elves or unicorns or invisible men or what have you -- just witches and wolves. There's something special about the two species, which I don't want to spoil for people who haven't read the books, but it's probably pretty clear that the magic users are the witches.

When a writer develops a magic system, she has to ask herself a lot of questions. What magical skills do the practitioners actually have? How do they get juice for the spells? Are they born with it or is it Maybelline? What about training? Can they write books faster and better with it? Heal the sick? Can they convince their kids to clean their rooms? And, always, what are the downsides and limitations to using magic? Magical systemization is a subject that has been extensively discussed in the publishing world, and rather than recreate the wheel, I'll share a bunch of links from some well known and less well known sources:

http://www.brentweeks.com/extras/writing-advice/2-writing-fantasy-tools-techniques/#magic

http://brandonsanderson.com/sandersons-first-law/

http://www.writing-world.com/sf/martin.shtml

http://hollylisle.com/fantasy-is-not-for-sissies-real-rules-for-real-worlds/

http://www.web-writer.net/fantasy/

http://io9.com/5936277/12-questions-to-ask-yourself-about-the-system-of-magic-in-your-fantasy-novel

http://www.wikihow.com/Create-a-Unique-Magic-System-for-Your-Book

But. I was talking about MY magic system, wasn't I?

After much deliberation (okay, after about twenty minutes), I decided that my characters' magic would be plant based. Their power would come from inside themselves, to varying degrees. To shape the power inside themselves into something magical, my witches funnel their power through these organic components, giving the power shape and purpose.

To research, I bought a bunch of magical herb books, wild plant guides, and things like that. I read up on gardening, prices of spices and herbs, and tea blends. Some of the books listed historically consistent uses for herbs and plants while some had stuff in them that seemed as made up as -- my books! (http://www.amazon.com/Cunninghams-Encyclopedia-Magical-Herbs-ebook/dp/B007SNROEC/)

The material I researched added a great deal of complexity and consistency to my basic magical system. While I didn't restrict myself to the information in the books any more than I restricted myself to real Wiccan witches (nope, my witches are as made up as my magic), the herb books made for interesting reading, and I found myself buying more tea as a result.

My tea stash doesn't have a magical effect on anything but my counterspace, but it's definitely a side effect I have enjoyed.

What's your magic like? What's your favorite fictional magical system? What are some common things you see as well as some unique things you might have seen in your reading?

Jody Wallace
Author, Cat Person, Amigurumist
http://www.jodywallace.com  * http://www.meankitty.com  

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Pressing the "I Believe" Button

Posted by: Joshua Roots
Long before I got into writing, I'd heard about the 'I Believe' button. Normally this was the fall-back excuse when a person couldn't explain why something incomprehensible happened in a show or movie. How did Harry Potter summon his Patronus? Why could Yoda move an X-Wing but didn't bother building himself a nicer home? Etc. The response was almost always, "I dunno, man. Sometimes you just have to press the 'I Believe' button".

Magic is hard to believe in. As a species, we want concrete evidence and hard facts, yet the idea of magic require you to accept certain fantastical elements. Between the speed of social media and number of experts quick to debunk myths, it's difficult to maintain your faith that a magician pulled a rabbit out of a hat.

The thing is, deep down, I think we want to believe in the fantastic.

I remember when David Copperfield made the Statue of Liberty disappear. Staring at the TV, I was in awe as one of the greatest symbols of our nation vanished. One moment she was there, the next, she was gone.

Almost immediately, skeptics argued about how he pulled off the trick. Mirrors, lights, smoke, etc. If you looked close enough or dug deep enough, they said, there was a rational explanation.

Maybe they were right. Heck, common sense would tell you they were. After all, how could one man make a 151 foot hunk of metal disappear? Yet there I was, glued to the screen, willing to press the "I Believe" button. Because I wanted it to be real.

Even now, years later, a small part of me wonders how, not if, he did it.

As an adult, I find myself more and more enamored with the concept of things wild and wonderful. What's funny is now a-days it's because we seem to be constantly surrounded by magic. Granted, we can't make fireballs out of thin air or manipulate the weather with our thoughts, but almost all of us carry a device in our pocket that has access to infinite knowledge. With the touch of a finger, we can communicate with friends and loved ones on the other side of the planet. A click of a button allows us to share pictures, download music, and update everyone on what we had for lunch. Refrigerators know when it's time to order more groceries, cars can sense when you're drifting into another lane, and people can travel to other continents in a matter of hours. We seem aware of each other every day as the world grows smaller and smaller. And all because of fantastical elements that were nothing more than dreams a generation ago.

You ask me, that's magic. Maybe not the Dresden or Potter kind, but it exists.

All you have to do is believe.



-Josh

















Joshua Roots is a former Marine, car collector, and beekeeper. He enjoys singing with his a cappella chorus, playing video games, and reading comic books. He and his wife will talk your ear off about their bees if you let them.


Website: http://joshuajroots.com

Blog: http://joshuajroots.com/blog

Twitter: https://twitter.com/CobraMisfit


Friday, October 25, 2013

Something Wicked this way comes...

Posted by: Angela Campbell
Today kicks off International Magic Week, and we encourage you to check in for our posts celebrating this observation over the next few days.

Sadly, I don’t have any witches or wizards in my new release, Something Wicked, which releases Oct. 31! But my story is full of magic of a sort — the magic that conjures ghosts, allows psychics to communicate with the dead, and enables a couple of hot, kick-ass brothers to exorcise demons!

Something Wicked is the second book in my psychic detectives series, and it is full of spooky goodness. Thanks to Here Be Magic contributor and awesome writer Jody Wallace, who aided me in solving some of my world-building dilemmas, it is also the strongest paranormal tale I’ve spun so far. I could be biased, but I also think it makes a great read for Halloween, you know, in case you're looking for one. *wink*
 
All homicide detective Dylan Collins wants is a few hours of pleasure to take his mind off of the case haunting him. A serial killer is stalking the streets of Charleston, SC – a killer who calls himself The Grim Reaper. When the woman he’d just spent the night with turns up and offers her services as a psychic consultant on the case, his ardor quickly cools. Last thing he needs is to get tangled up with a con artist.
It doesn’t take long for Dylan to realize Alexandra King is the real deal – and the killer’s next target. Dylan’s protective instincts battle his reluctance to get too involved with a woman he isn’t sure he can trust. As they get closer to finding the killer, they also grow closer to one another, but will Alexandra’s secret agenda destroy their chance at happiness – if the killer doesn’t strike first?


EXCERPT:

“It must be your lucky night, hon.” A woman’s voice drew her attention.

Alexandra blinked up at her waitress as the young woman slid a mug of beer in front of her. Did the girl seriously just call her hon?

The redhead nodded over her shoulder. “The hunk at the pool tables bought you a drink.” She winked. “Enjoy.”

Oh, no. Not only were the dead people around here clamoring for her attention, so was some a-hole on the prowl. She bit back a groan and lifted her gaze to give the man a polite shake of her head, a silent thanks but no thanks and –

Hello, Mr. Delicious.

He was hands down the most criminally sexy man she’d ever laid eyes on, and for a woman who worked with some serious man candy these days, that was saying a lot. He studied her from the billiards area as he chalked up one of the cues. He was the only person over there, playing a solitary game while most people congregated at the bar. A slight smile teased his mouth as she managed to lift the mug and nod. So what if she hated beer? She’d gulp the whole thing in one go if that sex god wanted to watch. He nodded back, gestured to the pool table beside him, and—

Oh, yeah. She was tempted to saunter over there and see what happened. Beyond tempted. She’d never had a one-night stand in her life, but maybe this was as good a time as any.

“Well, I’ll be! He sure seems to have struck yer fancy.”

Oh, no. She’d forgotten about the ghost in the Derby hat. She scrunched her brows and shook her head. She had a bad feeling about this.

The ghost wooted. “Oh, but I think he has.” He glanced toward the billiards. “And I dare say he has taken quite a fancy to you, miss. Comes in here a lot, that one does. Never been able to spook ‘em though.” Derby Hat Guy abruptly stood and started walking toward the other man, saying, “Let’s give ‘em a game. Have a bit of fun with the rascal.” He rubbed his hands together.

“Wait! Uh,” Alexandra jumped to her feet and realized a few seconds later she was practically on top of the pool table when Mr. Delicious said, amused, “Whoa now. I’m guessing you like a good game of pool?”

Among other things.

She bit her lip and tried to ignore the ghost bent over the other end of the table, reaching for two of the balls that had been scattered near a corner pocket. She’d made this poor, delicious man a target of the ghost’s tomfoolery. Oh dear. She needed to fix this.

“Pool?” Her eyes widened when Derby Hat Guy picked up the white ball behind Mr. Delicious and moved it clearway across the table. There was no orange glow to it, which meant the ball had actually moved. Had anyone else seen that? This ghost was an old and smart one. Not many could move objects like that. “Yeah. Yeah, I love pool. Game on.” Leaning over, she slapped the green felt and flicked her fingers a few times toward the wall, trying to convey the message to Derby Hat Guy to get lost.

Mr. Delicious held out a cue stick to her in offering, distracting her from the ghost past his shoulder. “Great. We’ll start a new game. I was getting tired of losing to myself.” He looked her up and down where she still leaned against the table and seemed to like what he saw. His smoldering blue eyes burned with heat so intense, she felt her insides ignite. He wriggled the cue in his hand. “You know how to use this thing?” His smile was kicked up to full charge on the suggestive meter.

Oh, my, he was flirting, and that was a game best played by two. Accepting the wooden pole from him, Alexandra arched a brow and slowly ran a finger along its length. “I can handle a stick pretty good.” She pursed her lips, blew at the chalk on the end, and slowly batted her lashes when she looked at him again. “Besides, what woman doesn’t love to bust some balls every now and then?”

He gave an appreciative chuckle. “All right.” He began setting up a new game and she sighed, watching his taut backside move deliciously against his faded jeans as he bent over. Damn. Levis should pay him a royalty. Who looked that good in jeans, besides Calvin Klein models? No one, except this guy. Maybe he was a Calvin Klein model. He definitely had the face and body for it.

And maybe she should offer to buy him a drink or something—you know, to apologize for making him a target of the resident ghost.

“Can I get you a beer?”

“Nah. I’m good.” His back muscles stretched against his black t-shirt when he rested his elbows on the table, highlighting some serious muscle definition beneath.

“Something else? Whiskey?” She tilted her head at him. Me?

“No thanks.” His eyes twinkled with amusement as he straightened and moved closer. “Girls take advantage of me when I drink. I can see I’ll need to keep my wits around you.” 

***
You can learn more about Something Wicked and Angela Campbell's books at www.AngelaCampbellOnline.com.

Something Wicked is available for pre-order at the following locations: 

Amazon   |   Amazon UK  |   Amazon Canada   |   iTunes  |  Google Play  |  Kobo  |  HarperImpulse 

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Win-A-Book Wednesday with...

Posted by: Jax Garren

Sonya Clark

Sonya Clark grew up a military brat and now lives in Tennessee with her husband and daughter. She writes urban fantasy and paranormal romance with a heavy helping of magic and lots of music for inspiration.

Trancehack is Sonya's next release and the first book in the Magic Born trilogy. She had a blast blending magic and technology - for example using astral projection to enter cyberspace - and hopes readers will enjoy that, too!


It’s 2065. Those born with magic abilities live in government-run zones, without rights or freedoms. Fear of magic created this segregated world and fear keeps it intact.

A high-profile murder brings Detective Nathan Perez to Magic Born Zone 13. He’s had little experience with the Magic Born and isn’t sure what to expect during his first encounter with a witch, but he never thought he’d be so drawn to her.

Trancehacker Calla Vesper uses magic to break into computers and aid the Magic Born underground. She has no interest in helping a cop, even if he is smoking-hot, but money’s tight and Nate offers a tidy amount for help navigating the Zone. Calla’s determined to keep it all business, but sparks start flying before the investigation even gets started.

When Calla’s trancehacking and Nathan’s investigation uncover a conspiracy, Calla becomes a target. Nate can protect her by keeping her role a secret—but then who will protect Nate?



Monday, October 21, 2013

Here Be News

Posted by: Eleri Stone
Group news:

Congratulations to Here Be Magic contributor Shawna Reppert, whose book "The Stolen Luck" was named a finalist in the Fantasy Romance category of  EPIC's 2014 Ebook Awards.

All Carina Press fantasy titles are 20% off this month.


Kathleen Collins is hosting a giveaway to celebrate the release of her debut novel. Click here to sign up!

Win-A-Book Winner! 
Congratulations to Ronnie Buck, who won a free copy of Angela Campbell's book! Angela will be contacting you shortly about your prize.

Check back each Wednesday for more book giveaways.

Links of Interest:
When you think of ebooks, do you think of McDonald's? According to this article, that might change soon...

There's more to fantasy than the elves and orcs of Tolkien. The conflict between good and evil is central to every great fantasy novel, but the way writers handle that dichotomy has become ever more nuanced...

Saturday, October 19, 2013

October? Eek!

Posted by: Sheryl Nantus

 
Growing up I never made much of a fuss over Halloween, other than the obvious grab for goodies – being in Montreal, Canada made a difference as well. There was many a Halloween where my costume had to fit over a snowsuit, sort of dampening the thrill of being dressed up. Although I made a great bunny. Trust me on that.

As I got older I was never the popular girl that got invited to the parties so Halloween became a sort of "sit on the porch and give out treats" event.

Then I discovered horror films. Or, to be more precise, my younger sister discovered them and began watching them, renting them, waving them in my face for movie nights.

Eek!

I'm not talking about the old Hammer films, of which my hubby has copies of and adores – I'm talking about the slasher, gory flicks that dominated most of my youth. And while I could work in a hospital and go home to toss out a bloodstained shirt without even trying to save it I couldn't sit through a slasher movie for love or money.

And to this day it's like that. I just need to SEE a promo for "Walking Dead" to be tormented by nightmares and end up thrashing the poor hubby who ends up sleeping with his hands over his family jewels in case I knee him in the middle of a bad dream.

I can sit through the old Hammer films (usually on TCM!) during this month but I run from the room when other channels bring up the horror flicks such as Saw and all the gore. I know it's all special effects but it just hits me badly for some reason.

So, unlike most people, I cringe when I turn the calendar page and see October. To me it's a horrible month, a month when I scour the television listings like I'm searching for secret lottery numbers to make sure I avoid as much as possible.

So here's my question for you, dear reader… Is there any season/holiday you don't like and/or try to avoid? Is it Valentine's Day with the overinflated emphasis on LUV for you single guys and gals? Is it New Year's Eve with the screeching about resolutions that are going to be broken within the first week? What holiday sends you screeching from the room?
 
(and did I forget to mention my new book comes out at the end of the month!)
 

Battle Scars

Book four of Blood of the Pride

P.I. Rebecca Desjardin is surprised when two seemingly unrelated missing-teen cases land in her lap on the same day. Her cat-shifter instincts tell her there's more to the story, and when she uncovers a bitter feud between the two families, she suspects Romeo and Juliet runaways. She turns to her lover, Brandon Hanover, a man who knows the underground better than most.
Brandon is determined to help the woman he loves outwit ruthless enforcers and bring two missing kids to safety, but when a woman from his past resurfaces he finds himself caught between two worlds once again.
As the claws come out and the war between the shifter families turns deadly, the two will have to stand together or fall separately--and even that might not be enough to save them.
 

Friday, October 18, 2013

Writing in Norway

Posted by: Jax Garren
It’s always been my dream to travel to Scandinavia. I am of Swedish descent, and the myths of the Norse people have always fascinated me. I use them regularly in my books! After some sadness in June, my husband and I decided to splurge and GO. As I write this, we’re here! In a tiny town in the mountains of Norway between Oslo and Bergen. Viking Ship in the museum

We've met cool people and seen some amazing things. There were two things I wanted to do for book research purposes while here. The first was visit the Viking Ship Museum in Oslo. Three viking burial ships were found in southern Norway and are on display there along with the grave goods. Two of the ships have been reconstructed so you can see what they would've looked like in the 9th century. The size of them was amazing and the sleek shape fearsome. My husband stood beside one, peered waaaay up at the curved bow and commented, "I can see how someone standing on the coast and seeing these coming at them would totally lose their s***." Me too.

The next hasn't come yet. We'll be heading for Tromso at the end of the trip. There we'll hopefully see the Northern Lights! But for sure I'll be doing research on the town for a book and traveling down to the Lofoten Islands to see the Viking Museum there. (Notice a Viking theme? Uh...yeah. I'm obsessed.)

Tonight we drove through the mountains to get to a tiny town where we'll shelter for the night before heading into Bergen and touring the fjords. As night fell, and the tone of the scenery changed from breezy fall to nightly shadow, the feel of the mythological sagas came alive in a way I hadn't felt before. Tiny human lights beaconed in the gloom of rising peaks like safety in a threatening wilderness. The Norse people likened the mountains to frost giants--called Jotuns--and Thor was the god who protected them with his sacred hammer Mjolnir. The Norwegian ancients wrote poetry in a style we call dróttkvætt, and though I'm not a poet I felt inspired to give it a try.  The last line doesn't quite follow the rules, but I think I did the rest of it correctly!

Star and rock, I sing your
Silence. Looming, gloomy
Giant’s peaks ring wraith-like
Round the highway. Oh, the
Myths they call. I mind and
Mumble awe tonight. Come
Mjolnir guard my path this
Moonlit way through Jotun-home.

What's the most inspiring trip you've ever taken?

Thursday, October 17, 2013

A Tale of Three Partials

Posted by: Shona Husk
I’ve written three partials in three weeks. Not out of some creative urge or crazy deadline but simply because I had a break in my schedule that allowed me to catch up. Plus I discovered that writing longhand on my lunch breaks at the day job was really effective.

Let’s call the stories SFR, PR and FR (Yeah, they were all different genres)

Each book I write comes out a little differently. And even though I’ve plotted the stories there is no guarantee.

For example SFR was clear in my mind I knew who the characters were and how they sounded. I had plotted it in detail and when I wrote it flowed out of me easily. (Those books are awesome!)

FR, it’s first person and while I knew the heroine’s journey and who she was I really didn’t get a feel for her voice and her deeper character until I was about 2 pages in. Once I was in it was great until my carefully constructed plot got ignored…next up commence re-plotting of the rest of the book.

PR, despite my careful plotting and my knowledge of the characters and the existing world I was 2.5 chapters in before I got a handle on the story and it actually started to get a feel and shape that I liked.

2.5 chapters out of the three I was writing were just me trying to learn how to tell the story. Sigh and rewrite.

I'll need to reform those first 2 chapters. And I’m really not sure about the first scene as I think the second has more impact. I’ve learned not to start hacking away without a second or third opinion though, as what I see in my work is different to what an impartial CP does :)

After getting those three done I’m now back into edits. I probably won’t look at the partials again for anther month then they’ll be cleaned up and ushered out the door, hopefully to find a home.
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