Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Holiday Shenanigans

Posted by: Cindy Spencer Pape
What to get your favorite writer for the holidays? Here are a few suggestions:

1) All the lovely t-shirts and hoodies, and fingerless gloves with book text or other writerly stuff printed on them.

2) Pens. Paper. Pretty inks. Almost every writer I know uses a computer but is a closet stationery junkie.

3) Your voice. Talk about her books. (Buy her books!) Most importantly, leave a review of her books!

Wishing each and every one of you a magical holiday season. BTW, Keep an eye on my page. I've got a whole lot of rights reverting soon, so a whole bunch of new editions will be hitting the virtual shelves. Today's treat is this yummy knight, the hero of Beltane Lion: a medieval fantasy romance based on the story of Tam Lin. this lickable new cover is by Carey Abbott of Safari Heat. The yummy new ending is by yours truly!






by Cindy Spencer Pape

Rhodri of Llyan has returned from the Crusades a cursed man. On the way home to Wales, a young friend is sorely injured. Rhodri seeks the aid of Selene, whose gift for healing is as uncanny as her beauty.

Selene’s magic can cure wounds, but she isn’t sure she can break the curse or heal the wounds on Rhodri’s heart? He offers a favor, but Selene is determined to use that to help them both, and maybe bring about the future filled with love that they both dream of


Star Wars for Christmas? Why yes I WILL have some

Posted by: Angela Korra'ti
Between the election and the start of the holiday season, we’ve been stresspuppies in my household. So given that our blog is fond of romance and SF/F and often the two of them together, I clearly need to divert myself from both of those contentious topics by sounding off about space opera for a bit.

And by space opera, I mean Star Wars!

Christmas means a lot of things to a lot of people, of course—but to me and my beloved, it’s one of the quieter holidays of the year. Since I live a great distance from my family and air travel is not really an option for me these days, my wife and I usually spend that particular holiday on dinner and a movie. Last year, the movie was The Force Awakens (and if you’re one of the five people on the planet who hasn’t actually seen this movie yet, fair warning, my post I’m linking to IS chock fulla spoilers).

This year, I’ll say right out, I’m looking forward to yet another Star Wars movie to enjoy. I’ve been trying very, very hard to avoid too many news items and spoilers and even trailers about Rogue One, as I want to go in as unbiased as possible. Because it ain’t like I’m not going to see the film—so I figured it’d be nice to be as surprised as possible when I get there.

Still, though, this is a Star Wars movie we’re talking about here, so avoiding tidbits about it is nigh impossible. I have picked up on some small number of things. So first, here are a couple of said things that make me a little twitchy about the movie:

  1. Wait WHAT John Williams isn’t doing the score? WHAT MADNESS IS THIS? Okay, I’ll be grudgingly willing to buy this if Williams is busy working on scoring Episode VIII… but it’s going to be weird watching a Star Wars film that doesn’t have his music involved.
  2. There’s no opening title crawl?! That’ll be almost as weird!

(Source for these two items: this article over on The Mary Sue.)

But really, these two items are outnumbered by what does have my interest, namely:

  1. Jyn Erso! Another female-led Star Wars story! Looking forward to getting to know this heroine!
  2. Alan Tudyk, best known to all Browncoats as Wash, voicing the droid K-2SO.
  3. The return of Darth Vader.
  4. Getting to see Bail Organa on camera, and appreciating the continuity of having the same actor that played him in the prequel trilogy. I’m going to be VERY curious as to whether this’ll mean we might get a glimpse of Young Leia.
  5. Ditto for Mon Mothma! Due to my history as a roleplayer on Star Wars MUSH and another Star Wars-themed game called Galaxy, I’ve got a soft spot in my heart for this character as an established female leader of the Rebellion, and later of the New Republic.
  6. What promises to be a nice mix of diverse faces in the cast, in addition to a female lead role.
  7. Seeing more of what the new canon timeline is going to fill in between Episodes 1-3 and Episodes 4-6. While I know a lot of Star Wars fandom was very upset about the relegating of the Expanded Universe to non-canon status, and while I myself am a bit sad about that, I’m still quite intrigued both as an author and as a fan to see what new possibilities are going to unfold with the new tales to come!

What about the rest of you out there? Any other Star Wars fans in the house? Who’ll be seeing Rogue One over the December holidays and what are you looking forward to about the movie? Sound off in the comments!


Angela, in addition to being a giant Star Wars nerd, writes as both Angela Highland and Angela Korra’ti. Come say hi to her (and geek out about Star Wars if you like) on angelahighland.com, or follow her on Facebook or Twitter!

Monday, November 28, 2016

Here Be News

Posted by: Eleri Stone

New Releases

STAR SURVIVOR - Veronica Scott's long awaited sequel to award winning Wreck of the Nebula Dream!

The survivors of a terrible wreck meet again—but this time only one can survive.
They survived an iconic spaceship wreck together. She never expected to see him again … especially not armed to kill her.
Twilka Zabour is an interstellar celebrity. She built on her notoriety as a carefree Socialite who survived the terrible wreck of the Nebula Dream, and launched a successful design house. But now the man who gave meaning to her life, then left her, is back–this time for the worst of reasons. Will he kill her … or help her survive?
D’nvannae Brother Khevan survived the Nebula Dream in the company of a lovely, warm woman, only to be pulled away from her, back into his solitary life in the service of the Red Lady.  Now Twilka’s within his reach again–for all the wrong reasons. Khevan will do everything within his power to discover why Twilka has been targeted for assassination, and to save her.
But Khevan is not Twilka’s only pursuer. Will allies Nick and Mara Jameson arrive in time to aid the couple, or will Khevan and Twilka’s ingenuity be all that stands between them and death?

Other News

Now available as an Audio Book!

I'M NOT EHRYNN ROSE
Paranormal, Urban Fantasy Romance
by Linda Mooney
Narrated by Daniela Acitelli
Length: 4 hrs, 17 min

Not feeling well, Nadia Logermeyer, a twenty-eight-year-old dental assistant living in New York City, lies down to rest, only to wake up in the hospital...in Houston, Texas. In someone else's body. With someone else's name. And with someone else's husband.

She has no idea how or why she's now Ehrynn Rose, or why Ehrynn tried to take her own life. All she knows is that as soon as she's able, she needs to return to NYC to find out what happened to her own body. 

But that's not the worst of it. She's falling in love with Nash Rose, Ehrynn's husband. Unfortunately, the couple are in the midst of a sticky divorce, and her claims of a body switch are only making things more complicated.

She's not Ehrynn Rose, but it's quickly getting to the point where she'd give anything to be her. It isn't until she discovers the real reason why she tried to commit suicide that she realizes the danger isn't over yet.

Warning! Contains a prenuptial agreement, a monkey-shaped birthmark, visits to pawn shops, high-end fashions, long-distance revenge, a pink Bentley, and an incredible circumstance that threatens a new-found love.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Guest Diane Burton Talks Holiday Aftermath and SciFi Romance Sale

Posted by: Veronica Scott
Veronica sez: I've known today's guest forever! We've been on weekend snippet hops together and on group blogs...happy to have Diane Burton here today to talk about the aftermath of the holiday!

Diane: Thank you so much for having me as a guest.

I hope your Thanksgiving was better than expected. Family get-togethers can be stressful. One year, my brother and I squared off over politics. Geez, I should know better. I’ve always admired my youngest sister who is so laid back. She doesn’t let herself get rattled or stressed, especially when hosting family dinners. My other sister is the opposite. Everything has to be perfect. She jumps in before anyone even thinks about helping then gets upset because she does all the work.

I’m somewhere in the middle. I used to stress over holiday meals. Not anymore. If you see dust, don’t tell me. LOL Now, my daughter says it’s her generation’s turn to host. I do like having the family at our house, but she’s seen how physically difficult it is for me and how tired I get. Good daughter. After she first married, she set a tradition, alternating Christmas and Thanksgiving between the two families. This is our year for Christmas.

So we had Thanksgiving dinner at my niece’s. We watched parades and lazed around since no one had to prepare anything—or it was already prepared. Football captured the guys’ interest. While the Lions have been doing pretty well lately, football is not my game. My middle sister wanted to watch the dog show. Then it was time for dinner. Yum. Everyone brought something. We were asked to bring rolls. Really hard work there.

After dinner, we all went into a tryptophan coma. Naps were definitely in order.

I didn’t go shopping on Black Friday. First, I hate shopping. Second, I hate crowds. I’ve been shopping online. Will I do more shopping tomorrow? Am I crazy?

No matter how you spent Thanksgiving, the meal itself wasn’t that important. (See, that’s how I’ve changed.) It’s family and friends who are important.

Diane's Wedding
My daughter and her husband and me and mine (bad not  grammar, I know) celebrate something more than Thanksgiving. We were both married on Thanksgiving Day. This family tradition started with my mom’s parents. Thanksgiving was the only day my grandfather got off work so they married on that day. My dad was in the service and was able to get furlough for Thanksgiving Day and the day after. So that’s when my parents married. I thought it would be cool to follow their example and Hubs agreed. (Great guy!) That was 44 years ago. Then our daughter married on Thanksgiving 18 years ago. Daughter and I agreed that we’ll both emphasize to her daughter that she doesn't need to be the 5th generation to marry on Thanksgiving. Will she listen? I hope so. Who needs that pressure.


I hope all who traveled returned home safely.








Starting tomorrow, I’m participating in a 3-day free and 99 cent sale on sci-fi romances at http://www.smschmitz.com/promo. My book Switched will be offered for 99 cents. Check out the list at this site! (Veronica NOTE: I have two books in the sale as well!). 

The blurb for Switched:
As if being kidnapped by aliens isn't bad enough, Jessie Wyndom discovers they grabbed her by mistake. She wise cracks past her fear especially when she learns she was part of an experiment separating Terran twins before birth. Her twin just took Jessie's place back in Ann Arbor, Michigan while she gets to twiddle her thumbs on an Alliance of Planets starship. The only good part is the hunky captain. Except. He's so unemotional he could be Mr. Spock's double.

Captain Marcus Viator's well-organized life is turned upside down by the free-spirited female from Earth. Problems with the starship prevent him from returning her to her home. Together, they discover treachery and true love.

Revised version of book published in 2001.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Exclusive Excerpt: To Catch a Stolen Soul

Posted by: R.L. Naquin
It's been nearly a year since the Monster Haven finale came out and Zoey's story wrapped up. But that doesn't mean all the characters are settled. In January, Kam, one of the most popular characters from Monster Haven gets her very own series. Here's a peek into the middle of the book. I'm going to throw you in with no context and no spoilers.


Fans of the Monster Haven series by R.L. Naquin will love this beguiling spin-off, featuring a trapped djinn caught in a hot mess of lost souls, fast food and otherwordly murder. 
Kam is a soul chaser for the Hidden Government, a much harder job now that the Hidden look like everyone else. Broke, out of magic and sick of playing waitress in a pirate-themed dive bar, Kam jumps at a chance for an out-of-town mission. 
A reaper-and his loaded soul stone-have gone missing. The stone contains souls that might get permanently stuck if Kam doesn't find it, like, yesterday. She tracks the reaper down to a food truck outside Kansas City, only to find a dead reaper and no soul stone in sight. Which means that someone who should be dead killed the reaper and is running around with a powerful magic item. Not good. 
And apparently the killer is targeting food-truck owners that also happen to be Hidden. So the only thing to do is open her own truck and go undercover-goodbye Kam the Djinn, hello Mobile Food Entrepreneur-and hope that she and her new runaway friend won't be the next targets…... 

Coming January 9th!

Preorder: Amazon B&N iBooks Kobo 



*****


I stood in the middle of our motel room in a long red velvet gown, hair up, dripping in costume jewelry, my hands and arms encased in full-length gloves.

Ash sat on the bed, legs crossed, regarding me as if I’d escaped a freak show. “Have you lost your mind? Is that…” She frowned. “Is that the Pretty Woman dress Julia Roberts wore?”

“Too much?” I did a slow twirl and touched my gloved hand to my throat.

She grunted. “Try again. Something a little more casual.”

I closed my eyes and tapped into my magic. The dress—which had started life as a tank top and cutoff shorts—shrank and altered until it was a tight black dress with a slit up the side. I glanced down at my new nosebleed black sandals with crisscrossing straps. My hair was now curled and cascading down my back.

“How about this?” I held my arms out.

“Dinner, right? He just said dinner. Why are you dressed for a proposal?”

My face felt hot. “I don’t know. I haven’t been on a lot of dates lately. What do people wear for dinner these days?”

“Well, not that.” She waved her hand at me. “That’s a cocktail dress. You went from a ball gown to a cocktail dress. You’re on the right track. Keep going.”

I groaned and tried again. The next one was a sundress, totally inappropriate for the weather, then a sweater set that looked too much like I was somebody’s mom. Three outfits later, I grew frustrated and found myself in jeans and a dark green cotton shirt that skimmed above the waist enough to flash the slightest bit of skin.

“There,” Ash said, clapping. “Now add a pair of medium-heeled sandals and tasteful jewelry.”

I closed my eyes and made adjustments. “How’s that?”

“Perfect.” She frowned. “How much magic have you got left?”

I moved my gold bangle and took a look. Both gems were dark. “I think I overdid it.” I hated when my magic was tapped out. It made me feel vulnerable somehow. I had no self-discipline. “Dried up.”

She gave me a wary look. “After this, maybe we should shop for clothes instead of changing one thing into another.”

I shrugged it off. Never in my life had my magic helped me out of a truly bad situation. I always managed that with my brain or a good kick in the nuts. Magic was fun and occasionally useful, but being a djinn had mostly gotten me into trouble in life, not helped.




Rachel writes stories that drop average people into magical situations filled with heart and quirky humor.

She believes in pixie dust, the power of love, good cheese, lucky socks and putting things off until the last minute. Her home is Disneyland, despite her current location in Kansas. Rachel has one husband, two grown kids and a crazy-catlady starter kit.

Sign up for her newsletter for news, extras, and exclusive stuff: Newsletter
Hang out with her here: Website Blog Facebook Twitter
Buy her books here:  Amazon B&N Carina Press

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

The Beauty of Deadlines

Posted by: PG Forte
I’m on a really tight deadline right now. By which I mean I’m only two scenes away from finishing the second of three books that I need to be putting to bed before the end of the year.  On this day before Thanksgiving, that’s what I’m most thankful for.

Being on a deadline means I get to tune out the family drama that’s been erupting off and on for most of the year, the political drama—basically everything.  When the going gets tough, the tough...get writing.

Being on deadline means I get to delegate without guilt. To give up control, to stop worrying.  So I have twelve people coming to my house and my dining room table comfortably seats six. What’s the worst that can happen?  Either I end up with a memorable (for all the wrong reasons) holiday, or I end up with a new book. Maybe both? Either way, it’s a risk I’m willing to take.

Deadlines aren’t anything I ever thought I’d be thankful for, but oddly enough, I am.  Here’s an excerpt from the first book in this new series about three cousins who are running a haunted hotel.

On her way back to her room, Gwyn castigated herself for being such an idiot. She should never have spent the night. She should have set her alarm for some ungodly hour and left while they were sleeping, while all her illusions were still intact. Now, she had to navigate her way from one end of the hotel to the other. It was lucky for her she knew all the hidden passageways. The Wild Geese Inn was not her walk of shame.

At least the ghosts seemed to find her predicament entertaining. A murmur of voices flowed around her, coming and going, echoing with amusement. Boards creaked beneath her feet. Lights buzzed noisily above her head. Nails poked out of the wainscoting to catch at her clothes. Time and again, she brushed at cobwebs, only to have them dissipate into nothingness at her touch. But at least she didn’t encounter any stuck doors on her way. And when she arrived at her room, she found the clothes she’d been planning on wearing laid out and ready.

“Thanks, Haunt,” she muttered in grudging appreciation. She was sure Brenda would have questioned whether Gwyn had suspected that she’d be out all night, that she'd hoped for it, wanted it—and had set the clothes out herself last night and then forgotten. Gwyn refused to think about that. 

The hotel ghosts had been her companions since she was a child. They’d been her friends and playmates when the others went home, and she was here by herself. She wasn’t about to start denying their existence now.

She grabbed her things, and ran back down a half flight to the landing, to her private bath, built into what had once been a closet under the stairs. She shed her clothes, turned on the shower, and waited until she was standing under the spray, until the hot water was beating down upon her, before she let her tears fall.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

I'm Having a Party! Come Celebrate the Release of My 100th Book!

Posted by: Linda Mooney

Today I'm celebrating my 100th book release, Their Battle Lord's Sacrifice, Book 7 of The Battle Lord Saga. Come join me and several of my author friends in this big event! There will be giveaways (including ten $10 Amazon gift cards), games, and lots of fun! International readers and bloggers are welcome!

Time: 6:00 PM to 11:00 PM (All times Eastern)
Location: 
https://www.facebook.com/events/1721341048185615

Attending Authors:
6:00 - Linda Mooney
6:30 - Maggie Mae Gallagher
7:00 - Deborah A, Bailey
7:30 - Veronica Scott
8:00 - Juli D Revezzo
8:30 - Helen Henderson
9:00 - AD Roland
9:30 - Lorrie Panzeri
10:00 - Dani Harper
10:30 - Robin Leigh Anderson

Monday, November 21, 2016

Here Be News

Posted by: Eleri Stone

New Releases

New!

THEIR BATTLE LORD'S SACRIFICE
Book 7 of The Battle Lord Saga

Sci-Fi/Futuristic/Post-Apocalyptic Romance
by Linda Mooney
Word Count: 60K
$3.99 e


Even though the truce between Mutahs and Normals, established by Battle Lord Yulen D’Jacques and his Battle Lady, Atty, is getting stronger and becoming more widespread, there are still divisions. After surviving the trap that had been set for them at Rocky Gorge, Yulen and Atty must return to Alta Novis to see how their people have fared. But after a brief stop in Wallis, they discover the Bloods have infiltrated both Mutah and Normal fortresses, blending in and biding their time until they receive the signal to attack.

Someone is taking control of the surrounding fortresses and using trained Bloods to get what they want, but Yulen will protect his people at all costs. Aware of the Bloods’ deception, the Battle Lord is left with no other choice but to continue on alone. With their newborn daughter still nursing, Atty must stay behind, but when she senses Yulen is in danger, she will stop at nothing to save him.

However, when it comes to his families’ lives being on the line, Yulen will be forced to make the ultimate sacrifice.

Warning! Contains a self-proclaimed deity, torture, coded messages, unorthodox nursing, nine bells, and a parental love that is greater than any other force in this world. 

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

Jeffe Kennedy's THE CROWN OF THE QUEEN will be available as a stand-alone novella on November 22! (You can preorder now at AmazonKobo and Smashwords.) If you already have FOR CROWN AND KINGDOM, this is the exact same novella in that duology with Grace Draven. You can get this one alone for $2.99 or both for $3.99. A deal, either way!! 

If you haven't read it, THE CROWN OF THE QUEEN takes place between THE TALON OF THE HAWK and THE PAGES OF THE MIND. It's told from Dafne's point of view and bridges the events in the aftermath of TALON and sets up her book, which is PAGES.

a novella of the Twelve Kingdoms and the Uncharted Realms 

It’s been a lifetime since librarian Dafne Mailloux saw the coronation of the tyrant who destroyed her family. She did her part to pull him off the High Throne. But his daughter, the would-be Queen, and her sisters must still tame their conquest. If her victory is to last, Dafne must forge peace with the subtle, ruthless methods of a diplomat—and the worst memories of her life . . .



Other News

Demon Hunter, the first book in the paranormal romance series, The Collegium, is free till November 25 (Amazon's timekeeping might mean a few hours delay before it goes free today). Happy Thanksgiving from Jenny Schwartz.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Guest J M Page Shares Excerpt from BEAUTY AND THE SPACE BEAST SciFi Romance

Posted by: Veronica Scott
Veronica sez: I met Jess in the Science Fiction Romance Brigade and I'm always excited by fairy tales retold in scifi romance terms. Take it away, J. M.!

Jess:

The story:
Beauty 

Mara Duport has always dreamed of home, a place where she belongs. She knows that she has one, but ever since she was a kid, her dad’s been keeping the secret of her origin locked away, refusing to give her any information. 

Dad’s been keeping more than one secret. He’s in debt — a lot of debt — and the ruthless pirates he borrowed the money from are coming to collect. 

The pirate captain is renowned the galaxy over for his brutishness and cruelty — but when Mara sees his stoic face, her heart races, her mouth goes dry… and she offers herself as payment.

Space Beast

Torak of Basniel has a fierce, uncaring, ruthless reputation to live up to. So when a beautiful, innocent woman offers herself up to him on a platter, Torak doesn’t think twice. What does he care about stealing away this man’s precious daughter? 

But Torak gets a more than he’s bargained for. Mara’s more than just innocent — she’s also intelligent, skilled, beautiful — and she can see right through him, past the thorny exterior, down to the heart he thought died long ago. 

Being vulnerable was never part of the plan. Love was never part of the plan.

Torak knows he’s an irredeemable monster, but with Mara he feels different. He sees the opportunity to be more than what’s always been expected.

Mara knows that there’s something beautiful and redeemable inside Torak, and she won’t leave him until he finds it. 

Not until she can tame the beast. 

The Excerpt: 
The massive ship’s shadow grew darker and darker until there was nothing else above them. A port on the underside opened, practically sucking the pod up with it. The pod settled and stilled while Mara’s stomach churned with anxiety and her chest fluttered with a mixture of dread and anticipation. She and her father stared at the door, neither daring to even breathe.

A pneumatic hiss released the door and when it opened, they found themselves surrounded by rough intimidating men, all scowling and brandishing weapons.

“Come,” the one in the middle said.

The men surrounded them completely and ushered them forward, through long winding hallways and up six levels to the flight deck.

Once there, the armed men filtered out, leaving just Mara, her father, and two alien men.

One, standing a little to the back, had skin dark as space itself, with eyes and swirling tattoos in glimmering silver. Long rope-like hair hung down his spine and he towered over everyone else in the room by at least half a foot. Though he was intimidating and made Mara nervous, he was nothing compared to the other man.

Only slightly shorter, but with a broad muscular frame that made him look bigger next to his lithe companion, the other man just oozed authority. He held himself with confidence that Mara envied. He wore simple clothes of high-quality materials — clearly a man of means though not boastful, she noted — and the way his shirt clung to his defined chest made her mouth go dry. With eyes yellow as sulfur and skin the color of cobalt, he didn’t look like anyone Mara had ever known.

Sure, there were millions of species and races throughout the Queen’s Empire, but in all her studies, Mara hadn’t stumbled across any accounts of someone that looked quite like him.

It was something in the way he regarded them both that told Mara he was the man in charge. The silence dragged on and he seemed to enjoy making them squirm with uncertainty.

“Are you prepared to pay your debt?” he finally spoke, his voice guttural and gruff, each word harsh and clipped in his strange accent. Strange, but striking, she thought, her stomach doing a somersault. His voice was a pick and Mara the string; he’d plucked at her and sent vibrations coursing through her in a wholly unnerving manner.

Dad shook his head, his shoulders trembling. “I have no means to pay you. Nothing of value,” he said, biting back another coughing fit, his voice raspy and strained because of it.

Mara watched him try to hold in the coughs, his eyes watering again. Guilt tore through her; her father was panicking and she was admiring the pirate’s physique. What was wrong with her?

“Then you’ll pay off your debt in some other way. My crew is always in need of more laborers.”

Mara sucked in a sharp breath, her hand going to Dad’s shoulder, gripping tight enough to hold him in place. “He’s too old! His health isn’t what it once was. He can’t!”

The blue man looked at her quizzically, but seemed unmoved by her pleas.

“Please,” she begged. “There has to be another way we can pay you.” She was grasping at air now, hoping to come up with something on the fly. If she’d had more time to think about it, maybe she could have come up with a plan. Why had her father kept it from her for so long? Why didn’t he think she could handle these things? It was just like the story of her mother. She was an adult, not a child. She could handle an uncomfortable truth.

But no. He wouldn’t ever confide in her and that left them in this awful position.

“What if I take his place?” she asked in a rush of breath before she could reconsider.

“NO!” Dad shouted, his outburst surprising them all. “You can’t, Mara. He’s dangerous, just look at him.”

Mara didn’t dare tell her father she was looking at him… and admiring him.

“You don’t belong out there. You have to stay home where you’re safe!” he continued.

Mara clenched her teeth, not wanting to get into a heated argument with her father in front of these strangers.

Instead of arguing with him, or explaining how she desperately wanted to leave home and explore the wonders of the galaxy, Mara simply turned back to the Captain and raised an eyebrow. “Well, do you accept my offer or not?”

Buy Link:  Amazon

Author Bio:
 J.M. Page writes timeless fairytales with a sci-fi twist. You can expect sweeping adventures in far-off galaxies, love in unexpected places, and of course a Happily Ever After every time!

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Guest Bokerah Brumley Shares Excerpt from FEATHER A HOTEL PARANORMAL Story

Posted by: Veronica Scott
Veronica sez: Our guest today has a new paranormal romance! 

Blurb:

Average is for the birds.

And Jane Jones is average in every way. With sixty-seven Jane Joneses on Facebook alone, it’s easy to disappear in Manhattan. So when the universe spins its web of chaos, Jane refuses to interfere. Saving humans is somebody else's job. After all, as a peacock shifter, she's just here for the buffet.

When the local wanna-be-a-hero-priest corners Jane in Central Park to warn her that she’s a hitman's target, she’s convinced he’s lost his mind. But it soon becomes clear that a shadow-villain is out to kill her. Plain Jane has a price on her head. Her only hope for survival is joining the priest's mysterious band of misfits.

When those plans fail, Jane does the most logical thing: she captures the would-be hitman and drags him to The Hotel for the weekend.

In a fancy room with six-hundred-thread count sheets and complimentary champagne, can Jane turn an assassin into an ally?

A Hotel Paranormal story.

The Hotel Paranormal is THE place for supernatural beings looking to get away from it all. Beings like werewolves, vampires, elves, sprites, djinn and more check in from all over the world for business and for pleasure -- and sometimes for both.

Excerpt:

This can’t be good. Apogee had probably gone off to hunt mice down the hall. That meant I was on my own.
The mattress didn’t move; the frame didn’t squeak. It was as though the figure wasn’t even there, an advancing cloud. At the edge of the bed, it stepped down to the floor. The dust didn’t move, and the feet made no sound.
I reared backward, falling on my elbows and scrambling away. I eyed the tiny window. There was no way I could get through that. I’d have to get past the shadow person and break through the glass.
A knock at the door broke my panic. I didn’t have any friends. I didn’t know anybody who would pop in to visit, but a muffled voice called, “Jane? Jane Jones?”
“Come in.” I crouched on the floor, preparing to shift. When the door opened, no matter who it was, I would be gone. That cloud-mutant would have a new target, and I could get away.
The knob jiggled. Force of a century-old habit, I locked the door when I was home, but the deadbolt wouldn’t hold anyone out. I didn’t worry about it. I had nothing, and nobody ever bothered me. There was a stream of curses, and then a crash as the door exploded inward. Jason and Woe stood there, peering into my room.
I didn’t have time to ask them how they knew where I lived or if they knew what that thing was. I jumped up, shifting as I gained altitude. As I flew over the unwelcome visitors, Woe shook her head, reaching for me. I leaned away from her, but I felt a tug as her fingers grazed my tail feathers. Once through the door, my wings barely fit in the stairwell; the tips touched the walls, throwing me off-balance until I tumbled end-over-end down the darkened stairs.
I made the only sound a peacock could.
I screamed. Like the dying woman I was about to be. 


Updated Author Bio:

Bokerah Brumley is a speculative fiction writer making stuff up on a trampoline in West Texas. When she's not playing with the quirky characters in her head, she's addicted to Twitter pitch events, writing contests, and social media, in general. She lives on ten permaculture acres with five home-educated children and one husband. In her imaginary spare time, she also serves as the blue-haired President of the Cisco Writers Club. 


Her work can be found in Havok Magazine (July issue), Southern Writers Magazine (Summer 2016 issue), The Stars at My Door (April Moon Books), A Fellowship of Fantasy Anthology: Fantastic Creatures, and two more upcoming anthologies. 


She was awarded First Place in the FenCon Short Story Contest, Third Place in the Southern Writers Magazine Short Story Contest, and Fifth Place in the Children's/Young Adult category for the 85th Annual Writer's Digest Writing Competition. More recently, she was selected as a 2016 Pitch Slam! finalist. 

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Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Sex, drugs, and fantasy – The Victorian obsession with FAERIES

Posted by: Dani Harper, AUTHOR

"Lily Fairy" 1888 by
Luis Ricardo Falero
[Public domain],
via Wikimedia Commons
We’ve been Disneyized almost from birth to think of faeries as pretty little beings with gossamer wings. They live among flowers, drink dew, and leave a trail of magical dust wherever they go. But it’s not really Mickey’s fault.

Blame it on the Victorians.

During the nineteenth century, there was an enormous revival of interest in faeries. They appeared in abundance in Victorian art and literature. But not as they once were! The faeries of legend were powerful. They almost never had wings—they didn’t need them. Beauty? The terms faery, fairy, and fae cover an enormous variety of creatures throughout the UK and Europe. Tall and short, exquisite and repulsive, dark and light, hunched and scrabbling, gigantic and toothy, two-legged and four-legged... Some fae beings, like the Pooka, changed shape so often that their true form can’t be agreed on. Whatever their appearance, most faeries were amoral creatures, recognizing neither right nor wrong according to petty human standards. Yet they often abided by ancient laws that were a mystery to mortals.   

One thing above all:  faeries were not to be trifled with!

But trifle with them is exactly what the Victorians did. First, they recreated faeries to be pretty, sweet-natured, and innocent. They gave them wings—but diminished them in stature. Cute was name of the game. Like Beanie Babies and Pokémon, faeries became a highly fashionable obsession and a cultural phenomenon. But why? Nineteenth century society was extremely uptight about a lot of things – science, technology, and progress in general. Class distinctions and proper etiquette. Oh, and sex. The Victorians were synonymous with sexual repression.

Illustrations from "The Water-Babies - A Fairy Tale for a Land-Baby" by Charles Kingsley, illustrated by Warwick Goble [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Enter the magical and sensual world of the faery. A perfect fantasy, one which was socially acceptable to indulge in. Certainly no one questioned the art of the period, where faeries might appear wholly or partly naked… It’s rumored that Lewis Carroll, author of Alice in Wonderland, counted 165 or so nude faeries in the 1849 painting "The Quarrel of Oberon and Titania" by Sir Joseph Noel Paton (a portion of which appears below).


"Study for The Quarrel of Oberon and Titania" By Joseph Noel Paton - Unknown, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=111976

"Come Fairies, take me out of this dull world, for I would ride with you upon the wind and dance upon the mountains like a flame!” ~ William Butler Yeats

Hand in hand with this delightsome escapism was a renewed fascination with the paranormal. In addition to experimenting with the supernatural through spirit rappings, table tipping, and séances, many notable people argued for the reality of faeries on scientific grounds. One of the top proponents of their existence was Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, author and creator of Sherlock Holmes. 

It is also a fact that Arthur’s father, Charles Doyle, firmly believed in faeries, and produced many paintings of them throughout his life. He was just one of countless artists who based their entire careers on producing fanciful artwork of the faery realm. More than a few of these paintings, however, were known to have been produced under the influence of drugs. In Victorian England, laudanum, cocaine, morphine, opium and many other mind-altering substances were readily available, and famous faery artists such as John Anster Fitzgerald and Richard Dadd experimented with drugs freely, citing them as sources of inspiration. 


"The Stuff that Dreams are made of" By John Anster Fitzgerald, 1858 - http://art-magique.blogspot.com/, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=20746146

Perhaps that’s why some of the major faery works included not only the beautiful but the ugly. Demonic-looking creatures appeared side by side with lovely and innocent sprites. Grotesque beings interacted with sublime. It’s no surprise that a number of famous faery artists (including Charles Doyle) ended up in asylums for the rest of their lives.

Or perhaps it was just a little revenge exacted by the real faeries…


>>>>><<<<< 

Hi, I’m Dani Harper, and I bring ancient faery legends to modern-day America with my Grim Series.  Storm Warrior, Storm Bound, and Storm Warned are available on Amazon.  Watch for Book 4, Storm Crossed, in 2017.  Check out all my novels on my Amazon Author Page, or go to my website at http://www.daniharper.com

The Grim Series by Dani Harper

DON'T FORGET TO ENTER THE GIVEAWAY!


Leave a comment below telling me what you’re reading right now! 

(Psst - I'm reading "Shadowed Souls", a dark anthology featuring Jim Butcher, Seanan McGuire, Kevin J. Anderson, etc.)

Open until midnight Eastern time on November 22, 2016. I'll draw a winner at random, and announce it right here in the comments the following day. 

Giveaway is READER’S CHOICE of any published book in my Grim Series, in paperback or MP3-CD audiobook. 

Prize will be delivered by Amazon. Open to US, UK, or Canada.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Here Be News

Posted by: Eleri Stone

Other News:

Veronica Scott's Dancer of the Nile, a tale of romance, adventure and fantasy in ancient Egypt, is currently FREE at all major eBook retailers and reached #8 in Amazon Kindle Free books over the weekend!


And it's last day to get Test Drive FREE, these other contemporary romances and the McCauley Brothers on sale.







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