Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Win-A-Book-Bundle-Wednesday In Honor of Our Healer Week

Posted by: Jax Garren

Here BE Magic HEALER WEEK

Win A Bundle of Books, not just one



This week we thought we'd give away a bundle of books, not just one! Some of the authors included are writing special posts for our Healer Week and others (like me) are just adding in books to support the Group.

One lucky winner will receivea copy of all the following (eBooks unless otherwise specified):
DANCER OF THE NILE and ESCAPE FROM ZULAIRE by me, Veronica Scott
SCENT OF SALVATION by Annie Nicholas
ONE THOUSAND KISSES by Jody Wallace
MOTOR CITY WITCH by Cindy Spencer Pape
GATE TO KANDRITH by Nicole Luiken
VALOR OF THE HEALER and VENGEANCE OF THE HUNTER, both by Angela Highland

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Why Faanshi is a healer

Posted by: Angela Korra'ti
It’s Healer Week on Here Be Magic—and ever so conveniently, it’s also the release week for Vengeance of the Hunter, my latest from Carina Press. And what ties these things together: the character Faanshi, the female lead of the Rebels of Adalonia trilogy, who happens to be the most powerful healer that the nation of Adalonia has ever seen. In this post, I’d like to talk a bit about why I made Faanshi a healer.

I’ve posted before on this site about the Elfquest comic book series, and that’s worth mentioning again here. Some of the most powerful magic users in Elfquest are healers, including the series’ long-running antagonist, Winnowill. (And how a primary villain can in fact be a healer is worth a post all by itself.)

It’s easy to think of healing as a feminine magic, and certainly Winnowill and Leetah are notable as Elfquest characters who are both a) powerful healers and b) female. The series adds gender balance, though, by also presenting Mender and Rain as healers—and while Rain is a briefly mentioned character in the backstory of the Wolfrider tribe, Mender is an ongoing significant character in the recently started, brand new storyline. As with many aspects of its characterization and worldbuilding, Elfquest thusly demonstrated a gender balance that was a fundamental influence on how I set out to write my own stories.

Just as important, though, was the physicality that it brought to healing magic. One of the earliest panels I remember from the very first Elfquest story I read was this one, where Leetah is healing Redlance, who’s been wounded by a human spear.


More than just laying-on of hands, this image spoke to me of the inherent power that could spring out of the connection of a healer’s hands to an injured or ailing person’s body.

It’s a theme I saw elsewhere, in early sources of SF/F in my life. The old Star Trek episode “The Empath”, while not without its problems, gave me another example of a character whose healing powers were very much oriented around physical contact with her subject. With that came another, equally important aspect—how the female who the Enterprise crew called Gem empathically felt the pain of those she healed, even as she healed them. Gem put herself in serious danger when she healed Kirk, and then threatened her own life when she healed McCoy. When I first saw this episode, Gem’s part of it played out for me very powerfully, and stuck with me even as I matured in my understanding of all things Trek.

Last but not least, the works of Gael Baudino contributed a final important building block to Faanshi’s creation. In her novel Strands of Starlight, Baudino tells the story of the character Miriam, later Mirya, who is possessed of incredible healing power that she cannot control. She must heal any injury or sickness she comes across, and it makes no difference whether she likes or even knows the person in question.

All of these came together in my head to eventually put me on the path of playing my own healer characters in roleplaying games—notably, I played Mender on the Elfquest-themed online game Two Moons MUSH. Later, on a Star-Wars-themed game, I played a character of my own creation, Rellawy Woodlake, who possessed great but uncontrollable healing talents, which at first got her mistaken for a nascent Jedi. Eventually, on AetherMUSH, I played the original version of Faanshi.

In Rellawy’s case as well as Faanshi’s, I loved the inherent conflict of a healer character forced to heal even when she didn’t want to, and the fight between antipathy towards one who might need healing and one’s own healer’s instincts. I also greatly enjoyed seeing where these characters’ ability to glean insight into the natures of those they healed would take them.

All of these rolled into the version of Faanshi who appears in the Rebels of Adalonia trilogy. This version of Faanshi is one who, even as she struggles to master her magic, draws great strength from what her magic has told her about Julian and Kestar, after she saves both their lives. It’s a source of reassurance that bolsters her almost as much as her faith in her goddess, Djashtet.

And it’s a big reason behind why Book 1 of this series is called Valor of the Healer.

If you’ve read Valor already, I invite you now to check out Vengeance of the Hunter, newly released by Carina Press! If you haven’t read Valor yet, now is a great time to start. Valor’s official page is here, and the page for Vengeance is here!

--

Angela writes as both Angela Highland and Angela Korra’ti, and lives at angelahighland.com! Come say hi to her there, or follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Here Be News

Posted by: Eleri Stone

New Releases


The Knight

After nearly being destroyed by a conspiracy within his Order, Kestar faces a crisis. The Knights of the Hawk have always stood against elven magic, but how can he proceed after discovering his own elven heritage? How will his Order react when they discover the truth?

The Healer

Free of the shackles of the Duke of Shalridan, Faanshi sets out to pursue her destiny with the elves--and finds herself at the head of an open rebellion. But her goddess isn't done with her yet, and controlling her magic turns into the fight of her life. One she cannot win without both Kestar and Julian by her side.

The Hunter

Rattled to his core after Faanshi healed his eye and hand, and haunted by guilt and a growing love for the elven healer, Julian flees. As he seeks retribution against shadows of his past, convinced of his own unworthiness, he'll need all of Faanshi's faith to turn him from the path of vengeance to help save Kestar, and the whole of Adalonia.

Book two of Rebels of Adalonia.

Buy it today!


**


"There are worse things to lose than one s good name. "

"Demons of Elysium, Book 2"

Belphagor can seduce demons with a look and bring angels to their knees with a single motion, but when it comes to being in love, the Prince of Tricks is out of his element.

At every turn, Vasily rebels against the discipline he claims to want, even refusing to use his safe word. But when Belphagor uses a scheme to shut down an underage brothel to test Vasily s limits, he loses Vasily s trust along with the boys he intended to set free.

Uncovering a smuggling ring that spans two worlds, Belphagor calls on a team of Nephilim mercenaries to rescue the Lost Boys from earthly gangsters. But his relationship seems beyond repair and a heartbroken Vasily beyond his reach in the arms of a sensual demon named Silk.

Belphagor has more than enough grand schemes up his sleeve to bring down the smuggling ring for good. But when it comes to putting things right with Vasily, his bag of tricks is empty. Except for trust and a plan to teach his boy a lesson neither will soon forget.

Warning: Contains two strong-willed lovers who will test the theory that without air, there can be no fire. Expect plenty of smoke, more than a few mirrors, and an old-fashioned Russian duel. You may need a shot of vodka when you re done reading this one!

Buy it today!


Sunday, April 27, 2014

Healer Week and One Thousand Kisses

Posted by: Jody W. and Meankitty
Over the next week at HERE BE MAGIC, we're going to be talking about healers. Magical healers, technologically advanced healers, contemporary healers -- those who diagnose and treat our ailments and bind our wounds have a special place in many human cultures, be those cultures imaginary or real. From medicine men to surgeons to AIs with a medical bent, healers have also played many significant roles in the fiction we write at HERE BE MAGIC. We'll be hearing about healer characters from Angela Highland, Shawna Reppert, Nicole Luiken, and Annie Nicholas, among others -- and anyone is welcome to chime in in the comments.

We'll also be hearing about a healer character I wrote. Anisette, the heroine of One Thousand Kisses, a 2011 release (http://jodywallace.com/books/one-thousand-kisses/), is a fairy princess whose magical skills are honed in the area of medicine. One approach might have been, in a realm where most of the characters can use magic, to make everyone able to heal--devaluing the skill that my readers would be used to valuing. What kind of society would develop when everyone was able to heal him or herself?

While that's potentially interesting (maybe some day!), I chose the more common route of having in-depth healing skills be rare and prized. As an unusually powerful fairy, Anisette's skills in healing could assure her a comfortable lifestyle and fulfilling work. However, she found herself torn between the path she'd been raised to follow in the fairy government and her preference for healing, medical research, and...avoiding politics. Yep, I started Anisette as the stereotypical kind, pacifist, sweet-natured archetypal female healer character so prevalent in SF/F and SF/F romances.

Not a virgin, though. I didn't go that far!

Either way, she didn't get to stay in her comfortable stereotype. I paired her with a hero, Embor, who had a very involved role in fairy politics. The co-president, in fact. Embor, who never liked to admit that he was in need of a healer's touch, knew Anisette was likely his "bondmate" -- the fairy with whom one's magical power increases instead of decreases should one choose to have children -- but didn't know how to tell her. Especially considering Anisette didn't like him much.

A fey cat proceeded to nudge them into a desperate adventure to save both their lives and the fairy realm itself, but most of their journey took place in the human world, where Anisette's healing powers wouldn't work and Embor wasn't president.

What if your best talent, the ability for which you felt you were most useful, was suddenly taken away from you? How would you function? How could you save the day? Anisette had to delve into her true potential after her magic faded and her life seemed destined to end up anywhere but where she'd always thought it would.

Would she end up a healer? A politician? Or something else entirely?

Check back all through the week to read about the great variety of healers and approaches to medicine we'll be featuring on the blog. Make sure you show up Wednesday for a chance to win several of the books we'll be discussing!

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

Friday, April 25, 2014

Postcards from Monster Haven

Posted by: R.L. Naquin
I can't believe I'm saying this already, but book four of the Monster Haven series, Golem in My Glovebox, came out earlier this week. Seriously. That's insane. It's all happened so fast. And developmental edits are coming in next week for book five, then the following week I start writing book six.

I'm going to let you in on a little secret: Most days, I feel like a big lazy slug who doesn't do any work. Then I look back at the last two years and I can't believe all that's happened.

Maybe that means I need to work even harder. Hmm.

Anyway. Book four, Golem in My Glovebox, is a road trip book. Zoey finally gets out of Northern California and sees something new. Over the past few weeks, I posted some postcards of her trip on my Facebook page. I thought it might be nice to put them all up together here to give you an idea of what's in store for our wardrobe-challenged heroine and her reaper boyfriend.

These are actual places from the story in the order they're visited. Zoey and Riley are in for a wild ride. (Click on the pictures to read the messages from Zoey.)


Center of the contiguous United States, home of the Hidden government. Of course you can't see it! It's disguised by a time-loop bubble. As you can see by the note, Zoey thinks she'll be home soon. Ha!


What's better than spray painting ten nose-deep Cadillacs in the middle of nowhere? Finding a dead body there. Just across town is the Bug ranch, where someone duplicated this marvel of modern art with five VW Beetles. Zoey still thinks she'll be home in a few days. Bless her heart.


Bright lights. Live entertainment. Kitschy museums. And the Leprechaun Mafia with a new scam. Those guys are so slimy. Poor Zoey doesn't even realize she's now driving away from home.


There are entire websites dedicated to the exploration of defunct amusement parks. When I watched a video of this place, made years after it was closed down, I knew Zoey needed to go. In the dark. With the bad guy laughing from inside concrete caves with peeling paint. Will Zoey even make it home?


For better or worse, this is where it all leads. If you've been reading the books so far, you might know what's so important about this location. Will Zoey get everything she's been longing for? Will she be in time? Will she be able to save anyone, including herself? 

Join us on the long trip. Misery loves company! Visit with old friends, meet a bunch of new ones, and see some of the stranger parts of America. Golem in My Glovebox is on sale now wherever digital books are sold.


Rachel's head is packed with an outrageous amount of useless Disney trivia. She is terrified of thunder, but not of lightning, and sometimes recites the Disneyland dedication speech during storms to keep herself calm. She finds it appalling that nobody from Disney has called yet with her castle move-in date.

Originally from Northern California, she has a tendency to move every few years, resulting in a total of seven different states and a six-year stint in England. Currently, she's living in the Heartland, planning her next grand adventure. Rachel has one heroic husband, two grown kids, a crazy-catlady starter kit, and an imaginary dog named Waffles.

She doesn't have time for a real dog.


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Buy her books here:  Amazon B&N Carina Press

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Writing, Biology and the Value of Failure

Posted by: A. J. Larrieu
My debut novel came out a few weeks ago, and one of the most common questions I’ve gotten is this: What’s a biologist doing writing urban fantasy and paranormal romance? I know it sounds weird, but there are more science-types writing fiction than you might think. Jennifer McQuiston is a historical romance writer as well as an infectious disease researcher. Stephanie Laurens also writes historical romance, and she has a former career as a cancer biologist. Diana Gabaldon is another biology Ph.D. who writes…well...no one’s pinned Outlander to a specific genre yet, so I won’t be the one to try. Jeffe Kennedy, another Here Be Magic member who writes fantasy and erotic romance, has a background in neurobiology. And I’m sure there are plenty more out there.

So, what’s up with all these biologists writing fiction? The truth is, I don’t think biology and writing are as different as they seem. Biological systems are complex and mysterious, and every time we try to pin them down and understand them, they slip away again, offering some new piece of data that throws all of our previous ideas out the window. They’re like the best kinds of stories that way, full of surprises.

That’s the good side of things. The other way biology and writing are similar is that they’re both full of failure.

I've never failed as often or as completely as I did when I was in graduate school in biology. Biology is like the Baskin Robbins of failure—31 flavors and then some. Experiments don’t work. Sometimes those experiments take days, weeks, months or even years to set up and perform. Sometimes they work, but they give you the opposite answer from the one you wanted, an answer that means your paper won’t be published or your grant won’t be renewed. And when an experiment does work? You spend years running all the controls and follow-up studies, write a paper about it and submit it to a scientific journal, only to be rejected. You present your data to your colleagues, only to be shot down in an auditorium full of your peers. Biology is full to the brim with more kinds of failure than I ever knew existed.

I don’t have to tell the writers out there that this sounds awfully familiar. And all you can do is keep working and hope for a stroke of luck.

But, it was useful training to go through all that failure as a biologist. It made the inevitable rejections of the publishing industry a little easier to take, but it also helped me to understand the value of failure. We tend to think of failure as something to avoid, something inarguably negative. But failure and creativity go hand in hand. The most exciting ideas are the ones that are on the edge of what’s possible—whether that’s in the world or in your head. There are failures of execution—the times I just didn’t do my work carefully enough—but there are also failures of exploration—the times when a failure was necessary to lead me to some shiny, brand new question I hadn’t known existed. Learning how to fail—and how to recognize the good kind of failure—helped me learn where the interesting things are, where the edges of our understanding are. Where the good stuff is.

Even though it still kinda sucks.

What do you think the value of failure is?
--

A.J. Larrieu is a biophysicist by day and a paranormal fiction author by night. Her most recent release, Twisted Miracles, is the first in a new urban fantasy series set in New Orleans. Find out more at www.ajlarrieu.com.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Win-A-Book Wednesday with...Jane Kindred!

Posted by: Jax Garren



King of Thieves, Demons of Elysium #2

“Kindred does a splendid job of balancing the decadent romance with an engaging conflict filled with lust, lies and revelations.” ★★★★
— RT Book Reviews Magazine

There are worse things to lose than one’s good name.

Belphagor can seduce demons with a look and bring angels to their knees with a single motion, but when it comes to being in love, the Prince of Tricks is out of his element.

At every turn, Vasily rebels against the discipline he claims to want, even refusing to use his safe word. But when Belphagor uses a scheme to shut down an underage brothel to test Vasily’s limits, he loses Vasily’s trust along with the boys he intended to set free.

Uncovering a smuggling ring that spans two worlds, Belphagor calls on a team of Nephilim mercenaries to rescue the “Lost Boys” from earthly gangsters. But his relationship seems beyond repair—and a heartbroken Vasily beyond his reach in the arms of a sensual demon named Silk.

Belphagor has more than enough grand schemes up his sleeve to bring down the smuggling ring for good. But when it comes to putting things right with Vasily, his bag of tricks is empty. Except for trust…and a plan to teach his boy a lesson neither will soon forget.

Warning: Contains two strong-willed lovers who will test the theory that without air, there can be no fire. Expect plenty of smoke, more than a few mirrors, and an old-fashioned Russian duel. You may need a shot of vodka when you’re done reading this one!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, April 21, 2014

Here Be News

Posted by: Eleri Stone

New Releases


A Monster Haven Story, book four

In her role as Aegis, Zoey Donovan has rescued and cared for hundreds of monsters and mythical creatures. Now humans are the ones in need of her help. Someone with a personal vendetta against the Board of Hidden Affairs has kidnapped all the other Aegises in the country--including Zoey's mother.

With the Hidden government in shambles and a string of deadly clues to follow, Zoey and her reaper boyfriend set out on a cross-country chase to stop the kidnapper from killing the captured Aegises. Along the way, they pick up a miniature golem who's on a quest to find his humanity...and may be the key to solving the grisly clues.

If Zoey succeeds in defeating this new evil, she'll finally be reunited with the mother she lost over twenty years ago. But if she fails, she'll become the final victim.

Don't Miss Monster in My Closet, Pooka in My Pantry, and Fairies in My Fireplace, available now!

Buy it today!

Win-A-Book Wednesday Winner

Congratulations to Rene, the winner of last week's Win-a-Book Wednesday! R.L. Naquin will be contacting you soon about your prize.

This Wednesday we'll have another mystery giveaway; stop by for more chances to win!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

This is not a blog post

Posted by: Shona Husk
Sometimes I run out of ideas. Not story ideas (I have a box of them that I’m always adding to), but blog ideas.

Sure I could share my shiny new covers.

Or I could talk about meeting Jim Butcher at Swancon on Friday (awesome guy).

My sock knitting is going really well (I had to learn how to knit socks for research for the ES Siren series). And because I don't do things by halves I had to make thigh high socks (it's almost winter in Perth so I'll be able to wear them!). Next up I want to make some lacy red ones--just for fun this time.

To make up for my lack of blog ideas I shall leave you with an excerpt from To Love a King…there may be chocolate involved because it’s Easter :)

~~~

He passed over her pants, now dry but covered in sand. She shook them out as best she could, well aware that compared to the coat she was sitting on, they were really cheap—but he didn’t seem bothered. She pulled on her panties, and he distracted her by kissing her again. For a moment, she almost expected her underwear to come straight off again. She melted into his arms. How had she gone seven years without him? Had she not noticed how empty her heart was and how cold her bed was?

He smiled at her. “I don’t want to leave you now.”

“Well, I guess we won’t have long to wait.” How long did she have left in the mortal world? She needed to eat chocolate and ice cream, to walk on the beach and do other things that she couldn’t do in Annwyn. She didn’t even know what she could do in Annwyn. She’d agreed to live in a place she’d never seen, rule people she knew only a little about, and become one of them. She swallowed down the rising panic. That was the only way she could have Felan, and it would be worth it. She had to believe that.

Amazon | The Book Depository | Barnes & Noble

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Win-A-Book Wednesday with R.L. Naquin

Posted by: Jax Garren

R.L. Naquin

Rachel’s head is packed with an outrageous amount of useless Disney trivia. She's terrified of thunder, but not of lightning, and often recites the Disneyland dedication speech during storms to keep herself calm. She finds it appalling that nobody from Disney has called yet with her castle move-in date.

Originally from Northern California, she has a tendency to move every few years, resulting in seven different states and a six-year stint in England. Currently, she’s planning her next grand adventure. Rachel has one heroic husband, two grown kids, a crazy-catlady starter kit, and an imaginary dog named Waffles.

She doesn’t have time for a real dog.

Golem in My Glovebox A Monster Haven Story (Book 4)

In her role as Aegis, Zoey Donovan has rescued and cared for hundreds of monsters and mythical creatures. Now humans are the ones in need of her help. Someone with a personal vendetta against the Board of Hidden Affairs has kidnapped all the other Aegises in the country—including Zoey's mother.

With the Hidden government in shambles and a string of deadly clues to follow, Zoey and her reaper boyfriend set out on a cross-country chase to stop the kidnapper from killing the captured Aegises. Along the way, they pick up a miniature golem who's on a quest to find his humanity…and may be the key to solving the grisly clues.

If Zoey succeeds in defeating this new evil, she'll finally be reunited with the mother she lost over twenty years ago. But if she fails, she'll become the final victim. (80,000 words)

***

This is the latest installment in the adventures of Zoey Donovan. Golem is a little different from the previous three, since it takes place on a road trip across America instead of in her home town. It comes out Monday, April 21st, so you can win it while it's still shiny and new. The virtual ink won't even be dry yet!

But you know what? If you haven't read the previous books in the series, you can choose any one of those instead. The first one, Monster in My Closet, is on sale for $0.99 until Saturday, April 19th, in case you want to start catching up right away. Lots of options. I'm flexible. Well, not like I was flexible when I was younger. I'd rather not pull a muscle. 

But I totally will if it'll make you happy. 

Thanks for stopping by and entering!

Rachel


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Canine Hero

Posted by: Jeffe Kennedy
Today I'm celebrating the release of a new Urban Fantasy, NIGHTMARE INK, written by my friend and critique partner, Marcella Burnard. Please give her a warm welcome for her guest post!

Allow me to introduce Riley. Isn’t that a handsome smile? He’s a red heeler who belongs to my friends Emily Olesin and Alden Denny. For a couple of years, they all lived across the dock from me, until the three of them abandoned Seattle in favor of Norway.

At any rate, Riley is the real life model for the dog in NIGHTMARE INK. In the book, I changed his name to Augustus, but everything else remains the same. He’s a willful, opinionated handful who’s convinced he’s a lapdog. He’s a tripod – both in real life and in the book. When Riley was a puppy, long before my friends adopted him, one of his rear legs was badly broken and had to be amputated. It doesn’t slow him down much and it’s possible it contributes to the HUGE chip Riley has on his shoulder. No one is quite sure whether that’s Riley trying to prove he can DO ALL THE THINGS! Or whether that’s just a red heeler trait. They are herding dogs who are generally happiest when there’s a job to do. Riley’s self-appointed duty was to keep the dock clear of birds. I think most of the boaters who hated washing seagull poop from their boats appreciated his efforts.

Gus lives in an apartment rather than on a sailboat, but I wanted that same ginormous attitude combined with delusions of lap dog-dom. Like Riley, Gus is very specific about who he likes and who he doesn’t.

Cute and all, right? Only one problem. Like most people who end up with a pet, I didn’t fully comprehend the consequences when I gave Isa, the heroine of NIGHTMARE INK a dog. She has a cat, too, who I’ll write about her tomorrow. The thing is, few people go into pet ownership (whether that’s you owning the pet, or the pet owning you) without at least a little bit of thought. It’s just that the reality of a dog that chews table legs, shoes, and sometimes pees in the floor occasionally comes as a shock.

It was one thing to blithely give Isa a dog who has to be walked and fed and played with because I thought, “Hey! Wouldn’t it be cool for her to have a dog just like my favorite canine neighbor?” And it was! There’s a scene of Isa walking Gus. The two of them play a game that Riley plays with Emily all the time – he jumps up and grabs hold of the leash near Emily’s hand and he hangs there huffing breath out through his mouth in a doggy laugh until Emily’s arm strength fails. Oh, it is great fun. Gus plays the same game with Isa in the book.

It’s just. Things happen in NIGHTMARE INK that make having animals massively inconvenient. So much so, I contemplated cutting them entirely. I couldn’t. I’d already fallen for them. So had the characters in the book. The result, as I struggled to write a story that juggled the existence of the dog and the cat, was a story colored very differently than the one I’d planned. Having Gus, and the cat, Ikylla, rooted Isa in a way I hadn’t anticipated. That served the story well, I think. It’s an emotionally richer experience. I hope.

And Gus has a part to play in Isa’s story. I’ll admit up front that I don’t know all that much about dogs – I’m not familiar with canine body language or behavioral issues since I grew up with cats. I hope it doesn’t show through in Gus. I want to be true to his nature – to Riley’s nature.

Course, I’ve always heard I shouldn’t write characters based on anyone I know so I don’t get sued. Do you suppose if Riley decides to sue, I’ll be able to pay him off with kibble?

NIGHTMARE INK is available April 15, 2014

With the needle of a tattoo gun, Isa Romanchzyk has the power to create and destroy. In her shop Nightmare Ink, Isa helps those in need by binding the powers embedded in their Live Ink—the magical tattoos that can enhance the life of the wearer, or end it. But binding tattoos has earned Isa the contempt of her fellow artists—including her former lover Daniel.

When a friend comes to the shop with a tattoo on the verge of killing him, Isa can’t turn him away. For the first time in years, she works Live Ink into someone’s skin—something she swore she’d never do again. But breaking her vow soon becomes the least of her problems.

Isa is horrified to discover her friend’s body in the shop, but the real nightmare begins when she’s abducted and inked against her will. Now, as she seeks retribution from the man who betrayed her, Isa must figure out how to bind her Living Tattoo before it consumes her completely…


***

Marcella Burnard graduated from Cornish College of the Arts with a degree in acting. She writes science fiction romance for Berkley Sensation. Her first book, Enemy Within won the Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice award for Best Futuristic of 2010. The second book in the series, Enemy Games, released on May 3, 2011. An erotica novella, Enemy Mine, set in the same world as the novels was released as an e-special edition by Berkley in April 2012. Emissary, a sword and sorcery short story released in the two volume Thunder on the Battlefield Anthology in the second half of 2013. Nightmare Ink, an Urban Fantasy novel from Intermix available April 15, 2014

Monday, April 14, 2014

Here Be News

Posted by: Eleri Stone
New Releases

Sex with Strings series is out in print.

Four Vampires, one rock band. What happens on tour doesn't always stay on tour. The ancient vampire musicians of Lucinda's Lovers specialize in one-night stands with rock groupies, but sometimes backstage quickies turn into passionate nights and long-term lovers.

Includes: Kissing Phoenix, Tasting Thanatos, Sharing Sirius, Enchanting Absinthe


Buy Links:

Book Depository

Amazon

Barnes & Noble



Announcements 

Sale:
Mel Teshco, Denise Rossetti and Shona Husk have sold ES Siren, a sexy sci-fi series, to Momentum. Each author has been contracted for 2 books.




Win-A-Book Wednesday Winner

Congratulations to Stephanie, the winner of last week's Win-a-Book Wednesday! Sheryl Nantus will be contacting you soon about your prize.

This Wednesday we'll have another mystery giveaway; stop by for more chances to win!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Infectious Evil

Posted by: Eleri Stone
The first vampire book I ever read was An Old Friend of the Family. It’s Book 3 in Fred Saberhagen’s Dracula series. Book One, The Dracula Tapes, tells the events of Stoker’s Dracula from Vlad’s point of view. But An Old Friend of the Family is the first book I picked up and I found it incredibly innovative at the time.

An Old Friend of the Family was first published in 1979 and I would have read it sometime in the early 80’s. This was before I’d ever heard of paranormal romance or urban fantasy. In 1985, I was reading Stephen King, Anne McCaffrey and David Eddings. I had yet to discover Anne Rice. My aunt passed it along to me in a box of old books and it blew my young mind.

I recently re-read it and it didn’t hold up as well as I’d hoped, but Dracula still makes for a very compelling anti-hero. He’s unrepentant about his need for human blood. He has a strange sense of honor that has a lot to do with loyalty and very little to do with kindness. He’s not a nice person and this is not a romance. But it so easily could be. 

It started me thinking about the nature of monsters, anti-heroes and paranormal romance, and why monsters make for such appealing heroes.

All of iconic monsters like Dracula are built upon the idea of infectious evil. One bite and a good normal everyday person turns into an evil creature who wants nothing more than to prey on other good normal everyday people. The monster isn't a monster because he started out evil. The monster condition caused the evil, not the other way around. He may be fighting to control his unsavory appetites and so long as he continues to do so, there’s always the sense that he could win the battle.

A lot of paranormal romance is rooted in sympathy for the villain, the outsider and the misunderstood. The concept of infectious evil works really well with that, as does the idea of love as a redemptive force. After all, if evil is infectious then it can be cured too.

I actually just used this concept in my most recent book, Reaper’s Touch, where a bite from a Reaper infects you with a parasite that takes over your nervous system and turns you into a cannibalistic zombie like creature. And while love doesn't cure the infection, it does give my hero and heroine the courage and determination to risk their lives going after a cure. Vampires, werewolves, zombies... What do you think it is about the classic monsters that makes them such great heroes?

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Learn more about Eleri Stone and her books at www.eleristone.com.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Book series: How do you know when to stop?

Posted by: Angela Campbell
With the third book in my series releasing soon, I’ve been thinking a lot about connected stories, or more precisely, when to end them. I’m not just a fan of books. I love movies, too. There are a lot of movies I love that went on to have sequels (or prequels) that were so bad, they almost ruined the first movie for me. Star Wars. Superman. Batman (90s). The Matrix. Pirates of the Caribbean. So. Many. Movies. So many that should have quit while they were ahead already.

The last thing I want to do as a writer is make the same mistake and drag out an overarching story or cast of characters when they’re overdue for retirement. Writers, by nature, are a self-doubting bunch, though, and we second-guess ourselves all the time. Seriously, we all need therapy for this trait. But also seriously, how are we supposed to know when our instincts are leading us astray?

I feel like I’ve only scratched the surface with the world-building in my series about psychic detectives, and I’m itching to continue it. Soooo, I’ve decided to trust myself and do just that. Because truthfully, I only ever planned to write one book, On the Scent, and be done with it. A straightforward mystery about a man, who discovers he's psychic after a mishap early in the book, protecting a woman and her two pets. Then I created psychic medium Alexandra King about two-thirds of the way into it, and I just knew she deserved her own book. Thus, Something Wicked was born.


The third book, same thing. A minor character named Spider started tapping me on the shoulder, demanding attention, bouncing on her heels and pointing at herself before I was even finished with Alexandra’s story. So I gave Emma "Spider" Fisher her own story, and it so far is my favorite of the series. I’m awaiting a cover and approved title, but oh, how I wish I could share them with you today. Soon, though. Spider’s book is scheduled for release June 5. Not much longer.

Funny thing is, the same thing happened again. I certainly never expected to write more than three books in this series, but wouldn’t you know it, Connor, another character who happened completely by chance, morphed into a force to be reckoned with, and it’s his story I’m working on now. And you know what? I’m trusting whatever instinct is leading me here and hoping I’m not pushing out another Superman III or IV. I kind of don’t think I am since I’m really enjoying myself with this series, and reader feedback has been really positive...so far. If I ever reach a point where the ideas have dried up and the characters aren’t lining up behind me, clearing their throats and begging for attention, I’ll stop it, cold turkey.

But did I mention Spider’s story releases June 5? I can’t share a cover or title yet, but I can share the unofficial blurb.
Socially awkward Emma “Spider” Fisher prefers her laptop to people, so she’s more than happy to oblige her boss when he asks her to pet- and housesit while he honeymoons in London. It doesn’t take long for accident-prone Spider to lose a dog, get locked out of the house, and set off the house alarm. Thankfully, her hot new neighbor is more than happy to come to her rescue. But Noah West is a mystery to Spider—and one she intends to solve. Because either the man is seriously living in a haunted house, or he’s a serial killer. Either way, he’s a total hottie, so Spider will have to guard her heart while she and her animal sidekicks sniff out the truth. After all, she has secrets of her own, dangerous secrets...

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Learn more about Angela Campbell and her books at www.angelacampbellonline.com.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Win-A-Book Wednesday with Sheryl Nantus

Posted by: Jax Garren

Sheryl Nantus


Biography

Sheryl Nantus was born in Montreal, Canada and grew up in Toronto, Canada. She met Martin Nantus through the online fanfiction community in 1993 and moved to the United States in 2000.

In 2011 she won two Second-Place Prism Awards from the Fantasy, Futuristic and Paranormal chapter of RWA. In 2013 she won a Third-Place Prism Award for the first book of her paranormal series, "Blood of the Pride"


Blood of the Pride (Blood of the Pride, Book 1)

When a severed rabbit's paw is delivered to her office, outcast cat shifter Rebecca Desjardin recognizes the summons home. One of their own has been murdered—and a shocking photo published in a local tabloid—and her Pride needs Rebecca, now a private investigator, to track down the killer.
Investigative reporter Brandon Hanover wants to find out who slipped the photo of the half-shifted cat-woman under his door, marking him as a suspect in her death. Determined to stay one step ahead of the sexy journalist, Rebecca reluctantly agrees to partner with him to find the real murderer. But as their mutual attraction heats up, Rebecca finds it harder and harder to keep Brandon from discovering the existence of the shifter society—and her own true nature.
When the search leads them back to the Pride, Rebecca must attempt to Change for the first time in years to face the killer, and save the man she loves...



To celebrate my new book, "In the Black", the first book in the series "Tales from the Edge" coming out next month from Carina Press I'm giving away the first in my cat shifter series! Enjoy!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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