Friday, March 23, 2018

A Story Teller in Any Era

Posted by: Veronica Scott
NOTE from Veronica: This post first appeared on the SFF7 group blog, where our assigned topic of that week was to discuss in what other era would we have wanted to be a story teller, and why pick that time.

I imagine I would have been a story teller in any era, but there probably would have been a lot of barriers to success.  In ancient Egypt for example, I could have made up great stories about the gods – just look at my series of paranormal romances set in that time frame! – but unless I’d also been trained as a scribe (unlikely) or a scribe really loved my work and wrote it down for me in flowing hieroglyphics, the stories would have been lost. Even if my mythical handsome and smitten scribe did write it down, what are the odds anyone would find an entire Sheshemetka tale intact all these centuries later? (Do you like my flowing pen name of 4000 years ago?)

Jane Austen’s time is appealing in some ways, but since the real Regency wasn’t much like the romance-y Regency with waltzing Dukes, I’m not sure how I’d have prospered there. Unless I was born into a good family situation to start with, I’d probably have been too busy trying to survive as a governess or housekeeper, or other occupation, to write. (But there would have been a Duke, we would have waltzed….uh oh, I’m digressing again…)

Actually, I can envision myself quite successfully writing ‘pulps’ at the turn of the century, maybe even on into the 1950’s. I can tell adventure stories like Tarzan and John Carter of Mars, Flash Gordon and the like just great. Not too science-y, got a romance sort of and constant action. I write fast so I could have churned those babies out. Maybe Johnny Weissmuller or Buster Crabbe could have played one of my hunky heroes in an endless cliffhanger movie serial! (Author gazes off into space, goes off into space-time wormhole, develops entire plot about fast-talking, hard-drinking, glamorous pulp author self, bleached blonde, holding her own in Hollywood and….) Oh, where was I? Errol Flynn in his prime was going to play my hero on the big screen???


I’d have had to take a male pen name of course, or one that was suitably neutral, like Andre Norton. Not that she wrote pulps – I love her books – but I would have loved to have written science fiction at a desk close to hers and compared notes a lot.

At any rate, I’m glad I write now, where the only gate keepers are the readers, and I have all the tools at hand to create my stories and transcribe them and publish them. And if I want to try my hand at something new, or cross-genre, I’m perfectly free to do so. No disapproving Egyptian priests, hoity-toity Patronesses of Almacks or anyone else to stop me. Their modern day equivalents can leave reviews of course!

Just a reminder of my newest releases (speaking of action, adventure, romance and scifi):
Amazon      B&N  Google   Kobo     iBooks

Thursday, March 22, 2018

It's All in How You Say It

Posted by: Maureen
by Maureen L. Bonatch 

I love small towns. 

Stories about family and close friends and getting to know all the little idiosyncrasies that usually come with
Where we pass through a small town on our bike route. 
them warm my heart and pour onto the pages of my novels. 

I love exploring surrounding small towns to seek out their story. The wooded paths surrounding them help me to envision magic underlying the ordinary world.

I have trouble remembering road signs because I give, and often get, directions based on current, and past, landmarks. The quiet on a summer night, devoid of the sounds of a big city, and filled with the sounds of crickets waking for the evening wash the stress of the day away.

Sure, I’ve vacationed out of state, and out of the country, but I always love coming home. When I visited New York City the lack of space, and trees, and the multitude of people, made me appreciate small towns even more.

Now that you know my backstory, you know that when I say, “I’ve lived in the same state all my life,” that I say it with warmth and a touch of pride. But when my daughter said this same sentence as rationale for wanting to choose a college out of state, or at least not close enough to home to bring a mother comfort, her tone differed slightly from mine, despite having the same backstory as me.

Know Your Characters

When characters are well developed, as a reader, you can “hear” their voice in your head when you read. At least I can. Otherwise one sentence would always be interpreted in the same manner. When in reality, each individual person can make the same statement and have an entirely different meaning. 

Additional layers, such as descriptions of the character’s mannerism, expression, or tone can help convey the true meaning behind each sentence. A few other examples of different interpretations of the same sentence:

-“School’s closed tomorrow.” Tone of working parent vs. tone of child.
"Did you get a new dress?” – Tone of friend vs. tone of husband while paying the bills.
“Is there peanut butter in this?”—Tone of peanut butter lover vs. Someone allergic to nuts

We Write Our Own Story

I can certainly understand the desire to see the world, and take pride that my girls believe the world is theirs for the taking (did I mention that they’re twins?). But I must admit part of me wanted them to feel the same love for familiarity and small towns like I do. That might come in time.

Although, if everyone had the same desires, the same story, it might reduce our ability to live vicariously through characters in their stories.

When You Read, Do You “Hear” Your Characters Tone of Voice?

Don’t forget to enter the Here Be Magic spring giveaway right here and find out what we love about spring! 

Visit small-town Pennsylvania in my novella, Forget Me Not 

To prove she’s foreseen their destiny, Sabrina stirs Cole’s interest

by revealing specifics about him she couldn’t have otherwise known. 

Unfortunately, the one detail he vividly remembers is the pain when she left him and their "rinky-dink" town in her rearview mirror.

Author Bio: Maureen Bonatch grew up in small town Pennsylvania and her love of the four seasons—hockey, biking, sweat pants and hibernation—keeps her there. While
immersed in writing or reading paranormal romance and fantasy, she survives on caffeine, wine, music, and laughter. A feisty Shih Tzu keeps her in line.
Find Maureen on her websiteFacebookTwitter

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Excerpt from Walk the Wards!

Posted by: Angela Korra'ti
While I've been fighting with ongoing long-term writer's block, this year has not been entirely without words, I'm happy to report. I've made some progress on Walk the Wards, which is still planned to be my next release in the Free Court of Seattle series. As a general reminder, this book will not actually be a novel; it'll be a collection of novellas and novelettes.

And just to show that I have actually been writing at least a bit, how about an excerpt?

This is from "The Deepest Breath of Song", a story about a shy young tuba player who discovers there's a lot more to life in his small coastal town than he'd ever imagined when he must help the town's Warder find out who's been hunting the herd of hippocampi migrating through the local oceans.

When Oscar finds the culprit, well... let's just say it doesn't go well. ;D


Ashosha. Her name was the very crash of the tide against the sands. Oscar caught glimpse after glimpse of the ocean through her eyes, as she, proud huntress and magic-wielder of the merrow, roved through the wide Pacific waters on behalf of her people.

They numbered fewer every year, driven as they were into the last lingering hidden places of the deep, for the oceangoing vessels of his own kind grew harder and harder to elude. So too did the creatures that could feed the merrow dwindle—for all of them were threatened by not only the ships and submarines of humanity, but the pollutants that fouled the currents even when no humans were near. With such challenges before her people she could not afford compassion, not if it kept her from filling the bellies of hungry merrow children—

Without warning, as her finned hand snapped back from him once again, their connection broke. Or the physical one, at least. Oscar clutched his paddle to him, half-convinced it might somehow balance him against the sudden tumultuous whirling in his skull. This single huntress, this female called Ashosha, roared across his thoughts with a power far greater than the entire hippocampi herd.

How she perceived him he dared not imagine. Yet the wave that bore her drew her back from his kayak now, and he could no longer mistake the look in her eyes for anything but reluctance.

The next words she hurled at him, though, rang with resolve as sharp as her spear.

“I give the herd three days. In exchange, human, you will come to the shore each night and play upon this horn you say sounds like them. Make your case for their lives. If I do not like what I hear, your own life will be forfeit.”

It was no bargain; if anything, it was an ultimatum. Accepting it was the height of foolishness. The sheer thought of it crowded Oscar’s brain with twin thoughts that should have amplified his panic past all bearing. One, that hardly anyone in the town would understand, know, or care what happened to him if the huntress Ashosha should kill him. And the other, that his mother would.

He didn’t know how. He didn’t know why. But he did know that it was important that he return safely to his mother, and that he ask Amanda Beck, the quiet owner of a quiet B&B in a quiet little town, knew of the world Marikat had shown him.

Was his mother a Warder?

Had his father been?

“Promise me you won’t harm Marikat or my mother,” Oscar said. To his surprise, the words sounded steadier than anything he’d ever uttered, for all that his voice had gone quiet and thin. “Or anyone else in the town.”

“The merrow do not come ashore,” Ashosha replied. “None of your people will face our spears if they stay out of our waters.”

Whether he could believe her, Oscar could not possibly guess—but then, the whole night had been filled with impossibilities. Yet something in him, born out of that brief fierce contact with her mind, hinted that perhaps, just perhaps, she was not lying.

And that perhaps, just perhaps, there was compassion within her that he could reach. That made it easy to, at last, put forth his promise.

“I’ll come. I’ll play for you.”


"The Deepest Breath of Song" is just shy of 14,000 words as of this writing, and is indeed shaping up to be one of the longer pieces in the book! I hope y'all like my take on the "magical duel" trope. Not to mention my determination to have a musician in a story who doesn't play a traditionally sexy instrument, for once!

I'm fond of Oscar, too. I've had fun researching what a well-played classical tuba sounds like, just to get an idea of how he should sound on his instrument. And, he is totally a Tolkien nerd and named his tuba The Horn of Helm Hammerhand.

Want to know more? Check back with me! I'll be doing Camp Nanowrimo again next month, and hopefully, I'll be able to finish Oscar's story.

Meanwhile, I'd love to hear about your favorite story with a musician protagonist who plays an unusual instrument. Talk to me in the comments!

Angela writes the Free Court of Seattle series as Angela Korra'ti, and the Rebels of Adalonia series as Angela Highland. Either way, come find out about all her books over at, or say hi to her on Facebook or Twitter.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Good Luck!

Posted by: Jenny Schwartz
I'm a bit late for St Patrick's Day, but still - Luck o' the Irish to ya!

Thinking of St Pat's got me thinking about other lucky superstitions. There are some weird ones out there - weirder than kissing the Blarney Stone, for sure. (Good luck superstitions from Mental Floss). 

Even weirder is the fact that lucky superstitions can actually work! Yep, cross your fingers for luck as you read this article on a study concerning the nature of luck, belief and performance from Live Science.

Belief is a powerful force. I'd argue, that at its heart, belief is a story we tell ourselves. I've mentioned before how important I think stories are in making sense of our lives and the world around us, but stories can also change us. The story we tell ourselves of who we are becomes the reality we live. We live up or down to our own expectations.

Wow! Look at me getting all philosophical. Back to superstitions! I happily make up fairy tales (like with The Troll Bridge), but I've never thought to make up a superstition. I'm going to change that. I'm not sure which book I'll put it in, but I'm thinking of giving it to my young doctor heroine of Amaranthine Kiss. Superstitions can be how we cope with stress, and the life of a resident is definitely stressful! (Amaranthine Kiss is part of my Old School paranormal romance series). Now, I have to think of a superstition that a young Boston woman might believe...

Do you have any weird superstitions in your life? I've happily owned (or been owned by) a black cat, stepped on cracks on the sidewalk, and I never worry when I spill salt. But I do have a superstition that when I hang out the laundry in winter, it'll rain :)

Oops, they're all bad luck superstitions! Um, good luck ones ... you know what? I'm sitting here stunned because I don't think I have any lucky superstitions, not a charm, a habit, or even lucky underwear! LOL I'll have to adopt a new superstition. Any suggestions?

Monday, March 19, 2018

Here Be News

Posted by: Veronica Scott
Now Available as an Audio Book!
Deities, Book 1
Contemporary Fantasy/Apocalyptic Romance

Word Count: 34.8K
$2.99 e / $9.99 p / $14.95 a

Narrated by Matyas Job Gombos
Length: 4 hrs, 33 min

It's time for the earth to be cleansed.

Released after eons of being imprisoned and tortured, Aeron and his three brothers are ordered by the remaining old gods to bring the Apocalypse upon the world. Humanity has failed them too many times, and the Reckoning is overdue.

As the deity of the air and sky, it's Aeron's duty to bring about massive storms to wipe out civilization. Tornadoes, hurricanes, lightning - all are at his bidding, and Aeron is more than willing to do whatever he is requested to do. He will mete out the worst he can conjure, as long as it means he'll no longer be bound within the hot, dark confines deep within the bowels of the Earth.

Ceris Shahan is terrified of flying. But when the president of the company demands she be at the summit conference clear across the continent the next day, she has no choice but to take the next plane out. If her phobia wasn't debilitating enough, they run into turbulence that doesn't end. Tossed about, bruised and injured amid the ugly black clouds that continue to engulf them, she and the other passengers soon realize they will not survive.

When Ceris spots a figure outside the window, a man who appears to be standing amid the thunderheads and is surrounded by an aura of light, she starts to doubt her own sanity. Yet, when the man turns to find her staring at him, the look of stunned disbelief on his face is undeniable.

She shouldn't be able to see him, but she can. Realizing what this could mean, Aeron decides to risk everything, even his freedom, to rescue and protect the woman from the annihilation of all mankind.

Warning! Contains scenes of mass destruction, two apples, the plane ride from hell, stainless steel, extreme arrogance, an odd utility tool, and two people hoping for a future, any kind of future, as long as they can share it together.


Other News:

We're celebrating Spring with a fun giveaway! Check it out here:


Veronica Scott announced the return of pets in space, with Embrace the Romance: Pets in Space 3 scheduled for release October 9, 2018. The anthology of all new stories will again benefit the Hero Dogs, Inc., charity, which provides service dogs for veterans. The lineup includes SE Smith, Anna Hackett, Ruby Lionsdrake and more...there's a free coloring book offered while you wait for October. Click the link above to learn more!


Bring It Back(list) Feature:

Iron by PG Forte, set in Ireland. She talks about the influence of her Irish grandparents and shares an excerpt.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Bring It Back(list) Iron

Posted by: PG Forte
Since it's Saint Patrick's Day, I thought I'd feature the Irish-themed book I wrote, Iron.

This book is very special to me since the hero, Gavin, is a blacksmith--as was my grandfather, who was born in Ireland. Obviously, this book has nothing at all to do with my grandparents, both of whom would no doubt be appalled by most of what I write. lol!  But all the same, I swear I could hear my grandmother's voice in my head as I wrote it. The Irish cadence to the dialogue? That's all her.


Nineteenth century Ireland. Blacksmith Gavin O'Malley is a bitter man, with a heart as hard as the iron he forges. He wants his life back--the one that was stolen from him the day his wife died in childbirth--taking their firstborn son with her. 

When Aislinn Deirbhile, an immortal, shape-shifting fae, arrives on his doorstep, he knows he's in luck. For Aislinn can give Gavin everything he's been missing: A devoted-seeming wife in the image of his beloved Mairead, and children who are sure to outlive their father. Now, all he has to do is find a way to keep her--without losing his immortal soul in the process. 

But Aislinn has an agenda of her own. On the run from a vengeful fae lord who's vowed to either make her his or end her existence, she knows the iron that allows Gavin to take her captive will also keep her pursuers at bay. In order to put herself permanently beyond her enemy's reach, however, Aislinn will need something more. She'll need to win Gavin's heart and convince him to willingly part with a piece of the very soul he's trying to save.


Sleep did not find Gavin easily. He lay awake for a long while, studying Aislinn's face in the moonlight and brooding. She’d looked beautiful at dinner tonight, idly rolling her glass between her hands as they talked; the whiskey casting amber colored shadows against the table linens as she explained all the ways in which having a soul might aid her. She’d leaned forward earnestly as she made her case, speaking with all the persuasive passion she possessed.

And, all the while, her long, elegant fingers had cradled the glass as lightly as they might have held a frozen soap bubble, or a crystal ball—something rare and magical. As magical as she herself could be. He’d found himself staring at the glass, unable to look away; thinking of all the ways in which she and it were similar. Both were things of beauty, shiny and bright, fit for a palace; divinely inspired creations of earth and fire and breath commingled.

Both were delicate yet strong; durable unless they were handled carelessly or callously. Or cruelly. Fragile enough that, if they were treated without the respect their beauty and refined natures deserved, they would not just chip or crack, they’d shatter. Irreparably. As had nearly happened to her today in the forge. As could happen again—at any time—if the threat against her could not be finally and definitively eliminated.

She’d caught him off guard when she’d asked for his soul and even though it was clear from all she’d said that she thought it the perfect solution, at the time, he could think of nothing to say. He still could not. What answer  could he give her that he would not end up regretting?

However much he might wish to oblige her, to atone for the hurt he’d caused or repay her for all she’d given him, how could he honor such an impossible request? He had nothing to gain from such an exchange, and everything to lose.

With a soul, Aislinn need no longer answer to anyone. Endowed with free will, she could choose to disregard the geis by which her sister had all but given her to Tiernan. She could refuse Tiernan, and by extension her sister, without repercussion. She could refuse anyone. Even him—though she’d been far too careful to mention that last fact.

And, even if she were to marry Gavin—in gratitude for the gift of his soul, perhaps—what of it? She’d need be no more faithful to her vows than any human spouse. She might choose to leave him at any time and for any reason. Or for no reason at all.

Without a soul, on the other hand, she’d be forced to remain as she was: At his mercy. His to command. Bound by the iron that kept her imprisoned here. Bound by the promises he’d wrung from her today, at the point of death, and by her own words last winter. Bound by the geasa that still threatened her existence. And, perhaps most of all, bound by her abiding fear of being imprisoned in Annwn.

The fact that fear was his greatest ally in this war to keep her was a source of great shame to Gavin. He knew that a good man, one who was generous, chivalrous, disinterested, would be willing to aid her—without hope of recompense—not just in evading her enemies, but in defeating them, once and for all. Such a man would be willing to let her go, if need be, and if it was what she truly wanted; or even give up his life for her. But Gavin doubted he had ever been that good in his life, and he had no wish at all to be that man.

* * * * *

Currently, Iron is only available in paperback.

Friday, March 16, 2018

I Don’t Care What You Call Me As Long As You Try My Books

Posted by: Linda Mooney

The other day I overheard my mother telling a neighbor, “My daughter’s an Arthur.” I think I’ve lost track how many times I’ve heard her and others refer to me as an “Arthur”.
No, Mom. I’m an author.

Last month, at the Healthplex, a person in my exercise class commented, “I hear you’re a writer.”
To which I replied, “Actually, I’m an author.”
“What’s the difference?” she wanted to know.

Another one: “Do you write dirty books?”
“I write sensuous romances, yes. And some sweet.”
“Do they got sex in ‘em?”
“Somewhat, yes.”
“Then they’re dirty books. You write smut.”

As Pepe LePew would say, “Le sigh.” It makes me wonder if other "arthurs" have encountered this sort of thing. After a while, I learned to respond with a smile, and hand them one of my business cards. Let them go check it out for themselves. Heck, I don’t care what they call me as long as it becomes a sale.

* * *
From March 1st - 31st, you can get the ebook for only 99 cents! (Available at this price only on Amazon and my websiteNote: Click BUY EBOOK to get the Nook or PDF version.)

Paranormal/Urban Fantasy Romance
Word Count: 60.9K
e / $9.99 p / $19.95 a

If you were murdered by a stranger, wouldn’t you want the chance to be able to come back and find out who killed you? And why?

J was born blind, but she could "see" things. Her gift has always helped the police find such things as missing persons, serial killers... a ghost or two.

Detective Kiel Stark has worked homicide for eight years, but he has never met this mysterious Seer his fellow officers claim could almost perform miracles. Not until a gruesome triple homicide has his superiors calling in the reserved woman to help with the case.

Now Stark is faced with a double threat. Not only is he finding himself dangerously attracted to the enigmatic beauty, but she could very well discover his own carefully guarded secret—a secret that could bring an end to his career, his way of life, and any future he had hoped to have.

Warning!  Contains disturbing images, the living dead, revenge gone wrong, drug deals gone bad, and two people facing an impossible love without any chance for a future.

Excerpt and buy links.

Thursday, March 15, 2018


Posted by: Dani Harper, AUTHOR

As winter begins to loosen its grip, our thoughts have turned to celebrating Spring. 

The authors at Here Be Magic share their thoughts – and invite you to join in.  We want to hear from YOU, and to make it even more fun, we’re offering a great giveaway!

But first, let’s hear from the HBM authors – and see if you’re thinking some of the same things!

* * * * *

“Spring! I can't wait to throw open windows for fresh air. I'm looking forward to getting out of my sweats into shorts, tank tops and flip flops, but I'm really looking forward to longer warmer days.” Ruth A. Casie,

"What I like most about spring is the fresh green smell of new grass in the sun . . . it never smells quite the same any other time of the year. It's the scent of hope and joy and new possibilities." Shawna Reppert, 


“Getting up at the crack of dawn in the spring has it's advantages. I love to crack the window as the birds wake and hear their excitement for the coming day. Then as the day progresses, there is nothing more refreshing than fully opening the windows and letting in the fresh spring air.” Maureen Bonatch,

 “Since I was a little girl, I’ve always loved the flowers of Spring – the crocuses, iris, tulips and others that bravely poke their heads up, sometimes too soon, before Winter is entirely done with her bluster. The colors of Spring flowers are such a beautiful palette of pastels. I don’t care for lilies, however; they give me migraines!” Veronica Scott,

Winter wiener dogs can soon go for walks!
Photo: Linda Mooney
“With the weather turning warmer, I can finally take my two wiener dogs for walks around the neighborhood. Rusty in particular needs to lose those extra ounces he gained over the winter when they decided it was too cold to be outside for any length of time other than what it took for them to do their business.” Linda Mooney,

 “I can hardly wait for this year’s shipment of baby chicks to arrive. And I’m crossing my fingers that all the tulip bulbs I planted last year actually come up. I’ve never grown them before, but I remember picking them from a neighbor’s front yard when I was five because I thought they were pretty!” Dani Harper,   

 “Every year I look forward to the cherry blossoms. There's something about the way they perfume the air for entire blocks that's almost magical.  But this year, I have something even more magical to look forward to: the arrival of my first grandchild!” PG Forte,   

I love being able to walk without trudging through snow! Also, the fresh scents of new grass, and the very first flower buds gives me such a sense of renewal. Spring re-energizes me!” Cindy Spencer Pape,

"I always look forward to those first spring flowers. Daffodils, crocus, the blooming wild cherry and redbud trees... All make me so happy. Even if it turns cold or snows again, I know the end is in sight." Joely Sue Burkhart,


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