Monday, January 29, 2018

Here Be News

Posted by: Veronica Scott
New Releases:

Only a few stops are left in Dani Harper's book tour for
the new release in the faery-legend-inspired Grim Series. 

You might have heard about the book. But did you know about the giveaway? 
You can enter to win a Kindle Fire 8! 

The Rafflecopter for the giveaway AND the complete tour schedule are both on
 the Bewitching Book Tours site at this url:

But hurry! Both the tour and the Kindle giveaway end on February 7th!

Other News:

Bring It Back(list) Feature:
Veronica Scott's Award Winning scifi romance novel ESCAPE FROM ZULAIRE was our most recent feature. The book is FREE...
Buy Links: iBooks    AMAZON   Nook  Kobo   Google Play

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Bring It Back(list) ESCAPE FROM ZULAIRE #SciFi Romance FREE

Posted by: Veronica Scott
This week's Bring It Back(list) book is Escape From Zulaire, winner of the National Excellence in Fiction Award in 2014 and an SFR Galaxy Award. The book is currently FREE.

(Portions of this post first appeared on the Pauline B. Jones blog, under 'Why I Wrote Escape From Zulaire'...)

Many years ago, I read “Shadow of the Moon,” by M. M. Kaye, which was a well researched (and very long) novel set in India in the mid 1800’s.  Much of the plot revolves round the Sepoy Rebellion or Incident, the terrible things that occurred during that time (rights and wrongs on both sides, I’m sure) and her main characters’ efforts to escape death. I’d never heard of the Rebellion before reading her novel but since then I researched it pretty heavily. One aspect fascinated me more than any other – in the novel, as in real life, many of the English women and children living in India at the time had no idea they were at risk, no inkling that people they trusted and thought they knew were going to turn on them one hot day as part of a bigger war, and commit awful massacres.  

There’s an old SF novella by Andre Norton, “Eye of the Monster”, that has this same sort of theme and is one of my favorite books. Again, the main character finds himself in a life and death situation with no warning and has to think fast and move faster to survive and save other lives.

As an author, I was most drawn to the central idea of how it would be find yourself going about your normal day and then suddenly violence and danger hit all around, and you didn’t see it coming until you were plunged into the middle of fighting to survive. What would you have to do to have any chance of making it to safety? I always wonder what would I have done if I’d been there? What decisions would I have made?

Unlike my first SFR “Wreck of the Nebula Dream,” where I did a loose retelling of the sinking (with a lot of science fiction elements added), for “Escape From Zulaire” I didn’t take anything from the facts of the Sepoy Rebellion other than the idea of being in a place foreign to you and finding yourself a pawn in a war.  I transplanted the story concept to the planet Zulaire in the far future and had my heroine Andi spending part of the summer in an opulent but isolated summer resort, as a guest. There are hints of odd things happening and tensions building -people not arriving where they should be, gaps in communications from the city, abandoned cars found on the road – but Andi, like everyone else in the resort, finds it easy to explain these things away. And then of course, the situation erupts and she’s got to fight for survival along with the Sectors military team sent to extract just her, because she’s a citizen of the interplanetary civilization, not a native of the planet.

Here’s the story:
Andi Markriss hasn’t exactly enjoyed being the houseguest of the planetary high-lord, but her company sent her to represent them at a political wedding. When hotshot Sectors Special Forces Captain Tom Deverane barges in on the night of the biggest social event of the summer, Andi isn’t about to offend her high-ranking host on Deverane’s say-so—no matter how sexy he is, or how much he believes they need to leave now.

Deverane was thinking about how to spend his retirement bonus when HQ assigned him one last mission: rescue a civilian woman stranded on a planet on the verge of civil war. Someone has pulled some serious strings to get her plucked out of the hot zone. Deverane’s never met anyone so hard-headed—or so appealing. Suddenly his mission to protect this one woman has become more than just mere orders.

That mission proves more dangerous than he expected when rebel fighters attack the village and raze it to the ground. Deverane escapes with Andi, and on their hazardous journey through the wilderness, Andi finds herself fighting her uncomfortable attraction to the gallant and courageous captain. But Deverane’s not the type to settle down, and running for one’s life doesn’t leave much time to explore a romance.

Then Andi is captured by the rebel fighters, but Deverane has discovered that Zulaire’s so-called civil war is part of a terrifying alien race’s attempt to subjugate the entire Sector. If he pushes on to the capitol Andi will die. Deverane must decide whether to save the woman he loves, or sacrifice her to save Zulaire.

Available on AMAZON   Nook  Kobo  iTunes   Google Play

Friday, January 26, 2018

What Type of Reader Are You?

Posted by: Maureen
By Maureen L. Bonatch

Readers. We may all love a good story, fangirl a little over our favorite author and occasionally have more books than friends (who needs them when you have books?), but we are all unique in the way we read. 
But…just what type of reader are you? Take this quick quiz and find out.

Nibble or Gorge?

  1.  I nibble and savor a story. I like to sneak in little bits when I have a few minutes.
  2. I find a new author and buy ever other book they wrote and read them in order.
  3. I devour books as fast as possible.

Use a Bookmark or Fold the Corner?

  1. I use a real bookmark with a print book.
  2. Any old scrap of paper, gum wrapper, napkin or string will save my place.
  3. I mark my territory on a book by folding down the corner.

Print book, eBook or Audiobook?

  1. Print books- I like to hold it in my hand.
  2. eBook- I like access to a ton of books in my reader
  3. Audiobook- I want to hear the characters.
  4. All of the above- if it’s a book, I’ll read it.

Nighttime, Seasonal, Holiday—or Anytime?

  1. I sneak in a few chapters before falling asleep—or end up reading half the night.
  2. I usually read more on vacation, during holidays, or specific seasons of the year.
  3. I read any spare minute, even when I should be doing other things.

One Genre or The More the Merrier?

  1. I’m faithful to my favorite genre.
  2. I don’t discriminate, I read many genres.
  3. I will read anything I can get my hands on—recipes, instructions, just give me words!

Does Size Matter?

  1. I like big books and I cannot lie.
  2. Short and sweet are great to fit in my busy schedule.
  3. Size doesn’t matter if the story is good.

Buy, Borrow or Library?

  1. I borrow from friends and family.
  2. To afford my reading habit, I use the library.
  3. I must own all the books.

Persevere or Bail out?

  1. Even if the story drags, I hang on to see if it gets better.
  2. Have me at hello or I’m done.
  3. I have multiple books started and go from story to story when one gets slow.

What Type of Reader Are You?

Mostly 1’s? 2’s? or 3’s? Whether you're a Nibbling Nancy, a Methodical Melanie or a Gorging Gloria, no matter what your score or your reading style, you are fabulous—just like all readers.

Just how Big is Your—TBR List?

Looking for Love?

The month of love is just around the corner. Forget Me Not is a sweet, short read to get you in the mood for love.

If Cole can't believe she's a changed woman, can Sabrina accept the only second chance she has at love exists in her memories?

Author Bio: 
Maureen Bonatch grew up in small town 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, January 24, 2018

What is it like writing on a shiny new iPad Pro?

Posted by: Angela Korra'ti
Angela's iPad Pro
One of the nicest things about surviving the December holidays—aside from the general relief of the holidays being over—is the fresh slate of a new year. A lot of folks take this as an opportunity to do their New Year’s resolutions. I am certainly among them! And as a writer, there’s certainly a lot I could say about writer-based resolutions in general, or about my particular writing plans for 2018. But it’s a bit late in the month for New Year’s Resolutions posts, and I’ve actually already written the “my writing plan for 2018” post over on my own site.

What I want to talk about in this post is actually why I like January: because it’s when I have my birthday! This year, thanks to a nice bonus from my day job, I’ve treated myself to a birthday present. I’ve gotten me an iPad Pro. I’m not going to review the device in full here; plenty of tech sites have done that in depth already. But I do want to talk about its probable uses for me as a writer!

First and foremost: one of the accessories you can buy for it is a Smart Keyboard. If you follow Apple tech news you may already know about this, a cover similar to the smart covers that older iPads have, which magnetically snap shut over the screen when you don’t want to use the thing, and which can fold in useful ways when you do. The Smart Keyboard takes that same idea and expands upon it. Now, in addition to the ability to close over your screen magnetically and fold in a couple of interesting ways depending on how you want to arrange the device, there’s a built-in keyboard.

As a techie myself, I’m interested in how the keyboard functions. If you’ve used mobile devices before, iOS or Android, you are likely already familiar with Bluetooth. This new keyboard is not actually a Bluetooth device. Instead, as I understand it, it makes a direct connection to the tablet via three little dimples along the side. And it’s not battery driven, which is handy on the general grounds of not having to remember to charge it.

There are three possible downsides for the casual user for this thing:

  1. It comes in only one color, gray, so if you care about that you may find it kind of boring looking. I would not be surprised at all if Apple starts shipping the thing in different colors later, given how the smart covers are in a variety of shades. But for now, your option is just ‘gray’.
  2. It adds a bit of extra bulk when you close it over the screen. I still find it slim and light enough to make it worth carrying around with me, but it’s something to consider nonetheless. Even with the extra thickness from the keyboard, the tablet still fits in the previous sleeve I was using for my older iPad, an iPad Air 2, so it’s all good for me!
  3. I have a long history of writing on my laptop while flopped over on the couch, with the laptop propped against my legs. With my older iPad, I have a hard shell for it made by HP that has a built-in Bluetooth keyboard, and I can do that sort of maneuver with it, too. But with this new iPad and the Smart Keyboard, I can’t, quite. The reason for this is the way that the keyboard folds up against the device, and how the device attaches magnetically to it. It’s very stable on a flat surface, like a desk or a table. But it would not be quite so stable propped against your legs when you’re lying on a couch.

None of these issues are particularly huge for me, though. And so I wouldn’t hold any of them up as reasons for a fellow writer to not get one of these things.

“That’s all very well and good, Angela,” you may be saying now, “but you’re a writer. How’s it handle for actual writing?”

Good question! I can tell you that I wrote the first draft of this post on said keyboard. I find it very easy to type on, though the various keys are a bit squishy compared to a larger keyboard—such as the one on my MacBook, or even the Bluetooth keyboards I’ve used before. But unlike with the laptop keyboard, there’s no openings under the keys on this thing that would allow for dust getting in under them, which I feel is a strong win. The really interesting question for me will be how it holds up to extensive use, though. I’m a fast typist, and I can give a keyboard a lot of work in the course of long-term usage!

For now, though, I’m finding it a pleasant enough experience that I’ve not only written this post on it, but some work on my actual work in progress, too.

Which brings me to the next thing to talk about: what apps to use when you’re doing actual writing on such a device.

I’ve written here before about being blown away by Scrivener. I continue to love, love, love me some Scrivener, and as an iOS user, I’m particularly happy that the program—essential for my writing—has been ported to that platform. I’ve got mine set up to save projects to my Dropbox, so I can easily work on the iPad, save, and jump over to the laptop as necessary. Or vice versa.

This post, however, I wrote in something called DocsToGo. This was an app I picked up in the early days of my iOS usage, back before Microsoft Office existed in app form, and even before cloud services like Dropbox became a thing. DocsToGo set itself up as an app you could use to sync documents back and forth between your computer and your mobile device, and, most importantly, included compability with Microsoft Office files.

Now, of course, we have official Microsoft Office apps that exist on iOS, as well as Dropbox, iCloud, Google Drive, and other cloud services. But for now, I’m hanging onto DocsToGo just because it’s an easy way to write up a short thing like a blog post without having to fire up Scrivener. I’m not a hundred percent happy with this as a writing experience, just because it seems to have some screen redraw problems when I select text and delete it. I’m also seeing a bit of flakiness with the app taking a few seconds to acknowledge the keyboard’s presence when I bring the device out of sleep.

Aside from the keyboard, I note for reference that I chose to get the smaller iPad Pro, since I felt that the larger one was too bulky for my tastes. If you are a fellow writer who might want to write on an iPad Pro, screen size will be a matter of your personal preference. I find that the smaller device gives me plenty of screen space, enough that for any given bit of something I’m working on, there’s enough context that I can do any necessary edits.

I will be posting more general details about the iPad Pro over on my own site, including my playing with the Apple Pencil that I bought with it! I invite Here Be Magic visitors to come on over to and look for my posts there.

Here, though, I’d like to open it up to the floor for my fellow writers who write on mobile devices! What do you use? Do you write on a tablet or a phone? Do you use an additional keyboard? What apps do you like, either iOS or Android? Share your recommendations in the comments!

Editing to add: Changed the post to reflect that the Smart Keyboard does not actually come with the iPad Pro; you do have to buy that separately.

In addition to being a writer of urban and epic fantasy, Angela is also a giant tech nerd, as you probably guessed. Come geek out with her about your favorite apps at, and oh yeah, check out her books while you're over there! Or, find her on Facebook or Twitter.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Fun with the Free YASIV Amazon Products Visualization Tool

Posted by: Veronica Scott
VS NOTE: This post of mine first appeared on the Romance University site in Fall 2017. Romance U is a wonderful place with an endless stream of high quality posts on the craft and related aspects of writing by a wide variety of authors. Check them out if you haven't previously! They're @RomanceUniv on Twitter.

I’m a very visual person and I learn better the more pictures there are. Marketing is such an important part of being published, and especially for those of us who are indies, but I absolutely glaze over at about the second sentence of anyone’s attempt to explain cpc vs acpc vs acos…it’s me, not them!  I can’t absorb long detailed discussions with math included.

A free tool that has been amazingly useful to me is YASIV, or the Amazon Products Visualization.

This tool is not for directly for doing promo. The data that I use there is presented in the form of book covers, and represents your books’ current “Also Boughts” in Amazon. The tool was developed by Andrei Kashcha, who states on the YASIV Facebook page that he works on this in his spare time. It’s been around for quite a few years but I’ve really come to rely on it this year, to help me build lists of good keywords for running my Amazon Marketing Services’ Sponsored Product Ads. These ads have been my best promo tool in 2017, with one exception I’ll mention later. 

All the data YASIV uses is from Amazon but that works for me since roughly 80% of my sales are on Amazon. I do sell ‘wide’, or on various other platforms, but I think by now we all know who the big tuna in the room is.

A note – the AMS ads keywords are not the same keywords you’d use when setting up your book in the Kindle app itself and trying to get it into the right categories. There you’re not allowed to mention other authors as a keyword. For the AMS ads, the technique of related author names as keywords is recommended by people who teach the ins and outs of using the advertising tool and allowed by Amazon.  Amazon Also Boughts can be your very best friend for getting discoverability of your book.

The visualization tool I’m discussing today  to use as one way to identify new key words for the ads is located at If I type in  “Sectors SF Romance” the tool searches Amazon and builds a beautiful networked ‘tree’ of how the search term relates to all the other similar products bought by people who also purchased my books.  Today it found 62 relevant products. (The tree changes over time based on current sales.)  You can close the list of relevant products given on the right side of the screen and get a more complete view of the network.
A partial screenshot from 1/23/18, not the day I wrote the original post.

With your cursor, you can navigate around the entire tree and see how various authors connect to each other. The arrows indicate whether your book directed sales to another book or received sales from that book or author. No big surprise, Anna Hackett’s books drive sales to mine and vice versa, since we both write exciting scifi romance adventure, although hers tend to be more on the steamy side than mine. Sales of my books also have arrows pointing TO Ruby Lionsdrake, Susan Grant, Carol Van Natta and more. It’s reassuring to see this because if my books weren’t hitting in their genre, I’d have a real problem.

Next I look to see where the arrows to and from the other authors’ books indicate sales. They share readers with Ruby Dixon, Luna Hunter and Calista Skye for example. I include those names in my AMS ad keywords because the same readers are enjoying books that lead to books or authors that also send readers off to my books. I may not touch Ruby Dixon’s readers directly for example but if they try Ruby Lionsdrake’s Zakota, they may arrive later at my Danger in the Stars.

And Danger in the Stars had links to some romantic suspense novels that were not science fiction, which was another good insight. My book has a lot of romantic suspense elements so I was pleased to see some crossover with that very well read genre. I don’t think you want too much out –of-genre in your Also Boughts, however. If my scifi romance was showing up in the midst of a group of cozy mysteries, I might have a problem because most readers of cozies aren’t going to be natural customers for what I write. (Hmmm, a cozy mystery on a space station though…..)

Yes, you could go to Amazon itself and look up each author and get the list of Also Boughts from their author page, and then go to each of those authors’ pages and get their Also Boughts and so forth (and I have done that on occasion)….but I like the visual approach best. All the information in one place, illustrated by pretty cover art.

The biggest surprise I found today was a link from my permafree Escape From Zulaire to Lisa Daniels’ Dragons of Telera Collection. I may have to add her as a key word.

When I looked at my ancient Egyptian paranormal romances, I found 150 related products and also that my six novels weren’t in a tight cluster with each other but were scattered more widely in the network. The biggest surprise I had the first time I looked up the Egyptian books on YASIV was that there were arrows going to and from some really big name authors of medieval and even Regency romance. I hadn’t expected that but duh…people who like stories set in other historical times don’t necessarily limit themselves to just one era if the stories are good. So that discovery gave me a much broader set of author names to plug in as key words for my ads. I stuck mostly to the medieval romance authors for keywords, however,  as Egypt and the Regency are pretty far apart as genres.
And I was really gratified to see that my one and only paranormal fantasy novel (so far)The Captive Shifter, links to 168 items, including scifi romance, paranormal and fantasy. (Hmm, looks like I’d better get on with the sequel to that!).
A mere fraction of my books' web from 1/23/18

So there are some examples of the data or impressions you can mine from a session on YASIV. It’s not something you stare at for hours and hours.

And to be fair I recently read a comment on an author loop from someone who said YASIV was useless for her, so it may not be for everyone. I love it.

The other tool I’ll mention briefly is a new service which uses chatbots on Facebook Messenger (and other platforms I believe) to send its subscribers lists of free and $.99 books. I saw a large spike in downloads of my two permafree books when I had them mentioned on this service, and a nice spike for my last $.99 sale as well. The key here is that the service I used has willing subscribers – they don’t spam anyone. It’s relatively new and I think in book promo we’re all always searching for the next new thing. I believe it’s possible to set up your own chatbot and build a subscriber list, like an e mail newsletter subscriber list, but I haven’t looked into that possibility for myself.

I firmly believe romance readers are people who devour books and are always looking for more good reads so we authors just have to be proactive and innovative in how we spread the word about what we offer.

What new tools have you tried lately?

Monday, January 22, 2018

Here Be News

Posted by: Veronica Scott
New Releases:

Other News:
Veronica Scott continues to spread the word about scifi romance: "After Heroes & Heartbreakers closed their romance blog, Suzanne Krohn started Love In Panels and now I'm doing my monthly SFR Best Bets Mini Reviews for her. Here are 3 that I read recently and really enjoyed!…/sci-fi-romance-best-bets-janu…

Bring It Back(list) Feature:
Linda Mooney featured Your Heart, My Home, an urban fantasy romance, this week.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Bring It Back(list) - YOUR HEART, MY HOME, an Urban Fantasy Romance by Linda Mooney

Posted by: Linda Mooney
From January 1st through the 31st, you can get the ebook for only 99 cents! (Available at this price only on Amazon and my website. Note: Click BUY EBOOK to get the Nook or PDF version.)

Book 1
Urban Fantasy Romance
by Linda Mooney
Word Count: 53.9K
$0.99 e / $9.99 p / $17.95 a

They were deadly enemies, until a greater threat made them unwilling allies...and lovers.

Sherandar is the most cunning adversary Quazar has ever faced. He never knows when or where his worst nightmare will strike, but when she does, it's with the single-minded purpose to taunt him. Ridicule him. And to make his life a living hell. Regular cuffs and jail cells can't hold her, yet somehow, someway, Quazar has to bring her reign to a screeching halt.

But when a new enemy makes himself known, and tries to kill both Quazar and Sherandar, the two combatants realize the only way to defeat this deadly threat is to call a temporary truce and join forces.

It isn't until she lies broken, bloodied, and dying in his arms that Quazar realizes she has become more to him than his temporary ally. He has fallen in love with her.

Warning! Contains deadly necklaces, delectable desserts, a skintight costume, an antique stove, dining table sex, and a bored megalomaniac who has no qualms about killing because he just wants to watch the world burn.

Excerpt and buy links.

Friday, January 19, 2018

What Will We Be Reading in 2018?

Posted by: Jenny Schwartz
I know we're three weeks into the new year, but it's still January, right? We haven't broken all our New Year resolutions yet? Hmm? Anyways, here are my guesses on what could be hot in speculative fiction this year and what might just emerge to surprise us. I'm very interested to hear your thoughts.

Flat Earth 

Yes, there are quite a few people who believe that the Earth is flat. While this boggles my mind, I can see it could inspire some great fantasy or science fiction novels. Look out for them!

For an idea of what Flat Earthers believe, there's the Flat Earth Society.

Vampires are Back!

I've heard rumours of a vampire resurgence in the world of paranormal romance. I'm not a big vamp fan, so I'm not sure if this is true...  Would you like some more blood-suckers?

Gryphons are Nudging out Dragons

While dragons (and dragon-shifters) will always be hot, I'm seeing a rise in the number of gryphons out there - although I haven't seen any gryphon shifters (well, apart from the one I wrote in Phoenix Blood). If you know of any, please share the books in the comments on this post. Thanks!

Reverse Harem Exploded late in 2017 and is Going Strong

I think gothic romance has found a new expression and with multiple heroes. After all, why choose?!! There are loads of sexy brooding guys to rescue the damsel in distress in these books. Or maybe she rescues them?

Science Fiction Romance Moves Beyond Aliens

Where 2017 was great for baby-making with aliens, I think 2018 will spin scifi romance in new directions. Quite what those directions will be, I'm not sure. Space pirates, I hope. But also the mix that I'm seeing in Science Fiction as a genre is space fantasy, where science takes a back seat to magic, and the setting is futuristic.

Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy Merge to Become Contemporary Fantasy

There's an ongoing debate on where the line is between paranormal romance and urban fantasy, and when the action moves out of cities, it becomes even more muddled. How can a novel be urban fantasy when it's happening on a remote Alaskan island, for example? So, look out for Contemporary Fantasy. Quests in a modern world.

Dystopian Fiction Continues

Survivalist fiction has a growing market as people worry about the state of the world. Or maybe we could call it Escapist fiction? How do we survive when the world implodes?

What Would You Like to Read in Fiction this Year?

I hope you want to read an old-style fantasy (think Patricia C Wrede or Robin McKinley) because I have one coming out in February. The Troll Bridge - What does it take for a troll boy to become a man?

You can find all of my books on my Amazon author page: 

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Coming Soon! THE D'JACQUES DYNASTY, a Continuation of The Battle Lord Saga, a Futuristic Sci-Fi/Fantasy Romance Series

Posted by: Linda Mooney

For those of you who love my Battle Lord Saga with Yulen and Atty, and have been begging for the next installment, you'll be thrilled to know that my newest series will feature their children, beginning with Lucien.

Who's Lucien? As both Yulen and Atty explain, he's the "son who should have never been". The child who was miraculously born many years after Mistelle, their only daughter.

What's more, Alta Novis and every other compound are now under a new threat. Called the Damaged, these are Mutah who were afflicted with the same deadly virus Yulen suffered in Every Battle Lord's Nightmare. And although Normals who survive the disease are unaffected afterwards, a large majority of Mutah who survive are irreparably changed - and Damaged - forever.

If you're not familiar with The Battle Lord Saga, now's your chance to start on this breath-taking journey. The Battle Lord's Lady, Book 1 of the series, is permanently priced at 99c.

Book 1 of The Battle Lord Saga
Sci-Fi/Futuristic/Post-Apocalyptic Romance
Word Count:  112K
$.99 e / $15.99 p / $21.95 a

Their love would spawn a dynasty.

Three hundred years in the future, mankind still is trying to survive the Great Collision that changed the earth forever. People live in pockets of civilization called compounds, battling the elements and the mutations which have developed over the centuries, trying to live and survive day by day.

Yulen D'Jacques is the Battle Lord of Alta Novis. His duty is to keep his compound and his people safe, which means yearly sweeps of the area to remove any mutated men and animals from encroaching.

Atrilan Ferran is Mutah, a mutant warrior and huntress trained to protect and defend her home from Cleaners, the “normals” who invade the forests to slaughter everything and everyone who gets in their way.

They never anticipated the day when their hearts would collide, challenging and changing everything they thought was the truth. Leading them to the day they would have to prove their love for each other to man and mutant alike.

Warning:  Contains intense cruelty, an avaricious mother-in-law, unbelievable hunting abilities, mutant animals, silken tents, dungeons, denial, and a love that would spawn a dynasty.

So be on the lookout in late January/early February for Lucien, The D'Jacques Dynasty, Book 1.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

ARCHIVE: A Vampire New Year's Eve Celebration

Posted by: PG Forte
From the archives: I first posted this on my own blog on 12-23-15, as part of a blog hop I was involved in. But I thought it was somewhat timely to revisit it now. 2015 had been a great year, personally, and I had no idea how relatively lousy the next two years would end up being. In fact, I remember feeling nothing but optimism for the coming year. Ha!

It's interesting, though, that I'd have chosen to look back at NYE 99, which I  remember as being a frenetic mix of hope and dread.

What can I say? The more things change, the more they stay the same.


I think  you'd approach New Year's a little differently if you were a vampire. Especially after the first several hundred years. With so many chances to get things right--and so many years to regret mistakes-- I suspect every New Year's Eve would be either more poignant or less momentous for the undead.

At least that's the premise I've been working with in my Children of Night series. I'm highlighting this series in this post because the newest book in the series, To Curse the Darkness just released on December 22.

My vampires are, not unexpectedly, living under cover, attempting to blend in and act like humans. As a result, they end up celebrating all sorts of holidays, New Year's Eve among them. In fact, in the course of just two books in the series--Now Comes the Night and Ashes of the Day--they celebrate a total of five different New Year's Eves: from 1968 up until the present.

Here's an excerpt of just one of them. This is from Ashes of the Day:  

December 31, 1999
New Year’s Eve

Damian leaned against the railing of the second-floor balcony and cast a jaded eye over the crowded ballroom below. The decorations were a tad overdone, in his opinion. Gaudy gold-and-silver Mylar festooned every surface—the bar, the tables, even the walls. The glare all but blinded him. Overhead, a billowing mass of champagne- and platinum-colored balloons were tethered to the ceiling, awaiting the stroke of midnight, when they’d be released. The last day of the year had dwindled down to the final hour. Y2K was on the verge, that ticking time bomb that would shortly send the world hurtling back toward the dark ages…or not.

Either way, Damian could not find it in himself to be concerned, or even very interested, in the fate of the world. The new millennium, as most people counted it, was about to begin. For the time being, it was still 1999 and the throng of people gathered on the hotel dance floor was certainly partying like it.

Exhibiting far more enthusiasm than skill, the crowd sang loudly along with Prince’s signature anthem as they bounced and gyrated to the music. The once-familiar song struck a bittersweet chord in Damian’s heart and he closed his eyes as nostalgia overwhelmed him. How many times had he danced to this same record back when it was first popular? He didn’t feel even remotely like dancing tonight. Hadn’t felt like dancing in years.

Memories rose in his mind of a supple young body pressed tight against his own, warming his back, more often than not. He remembered arms holding him possessively close, sweet lips dropping kisses all along his cheek, his neck, his shoulder…

He remembered the feel of strong hands splayed on his hips, guiding him as they moved together, thrusting, grinding, taunting each other with graphic reminders of everything they’d be doing together later in bed.

Oh, how he longed to feel that way again, careless and wanton, desired, loved. Oh, how he longed to hear that sexy voice whispering in his ear.To feel those muscular arms encircling his waist or his neck, or wrapped around his shoulders.To see that smile, hear that laugh, just one more time.
Knowing those wishes would never come true, that those days of joy and innocence were lost to him, gone for good, never to return, did nothing to improve his mood.

Folding his arms across his chest, he surreptitiously touched the small gold rings with which his nipples had been pierced. The rings had been Paul’s originally, a final gift of sorts. Since he was Vampire, the pain had been mild and fleeting. The tiny wounds had healed almost instantly and had done nothing to ease the heavy sense of loss that weighed against his chest. Perhaps if the physical pain had been more intense, more prolonged, more on par with his emotional pain, it might have helped distract him from his inner turmoil. As it was, all he’d had to make do with was Conrad’s anger. While that was certainly painful to endure, it didn’t so much detract from Damian’s distress as add to it.

“Slaves were once made to wear such things,” Conrad had complained when he learned what Damian had done. “Is that your wish?To be thought of as a slave now? Is that how you want people to think of you? Is it how you want them to think of me?”

¡Ay, puñeta!” Damian had snarled, baring his teeth and shocking himself with his own boldness. “Déjate de leches. Tell me, who are these people about whom you’re so concerned? And what has any of it to do with you? Are the rings yours? Did you force me to wear them? No! So why should you have a say in this at all? Why do you even care what I do?” It was not his usual habit to disregard his sire’s wishes so recklessly or to respond so rudely to his complaints. No one spoke to Conrad in that fashion. No one without a pronounced deathwish, that is.

Is that what it’s come to?Damian wondered. Am I so weary of drawing breath I’m looking to end it all? Perhaps he was.

“Silence,” Conrad commanded. “You go too far. Have you forgotten who I am that you dare speak to me in this manner? Are you trying to make me lose my temper?”

Damian looked away. For all that a shudder ran through him when he contemplated the likely result of Conrad’s losing his temper, he still couldn’t honestly say no, that wasn’t exactly what he was trying to do. He needed something, didn’t he? Needed something drastic and extreme, something strong enough to pull him out of the abyss of grief he’d fallen into. Anything was preferable to what he was feeling now.

“Everything you do concerns me,” Conrad said after a moment, his voice lower but no less intense. “Don’t ever think otherwise. You’re a part of me, Damian, a part of my family, blood of my blood. Nothing will ever change that. And I will always have a say. Always.”

And that, Damian thought, was precisely where the problem lay. It was obvious that what Conrad objected to most of all was the idea of someone else’s “mark” being made visible on Damian’s body—a body Conrad still thought of as belonging to him, however little he wanted anything to do with it anymore.

Yes, the small bits of metal would last for centuries—another of Conrad’s complaints, and far more valid than the rest, in that at least it was true. They were as permanent a reminder of Paul as any Damian could think of, something he would carry with him wherever he went, something he could keep symbolically close to his heart for potentially the rest of his life. But what right had Conrad to rage about that either? None at all. Not when he himself had two living, breathing vampire children to remind him of his last lover. As a bequest, they had no equal. As a memorial, nothing else could come close. Of that Damian had no doubts whatsoever. They were his one saving grace, the only things that made his life worth living…

“A penny for your thoughts,” Conrad said, appearing at Damian’s elbow with two glasses of champagne in hand.

Damian started. As his mind returned to the present, the first thing that struck him was that the same song was playing—whether again or still he didn’t know. Memories washed over him once more and his heart twisted in grief. How was it the years could flash by, while the minutes lagged? Time was cruel, fickle, wearisome. How much more could he bear before it broke him?

“What’s wrong? Is one penny not enough? Perhaps you’re holding out for more?”

“What are you talking about?” Damian snapped. “More what?”

Conrad frowned. “Why must you scowl at me in that fashion? I did not invent the phrase and I’m quite sure I used it correctly. If you think I meant to imply your thoughts were not worth very much, I assure you you’re mistaken. I merely intended to inquire what was on your mind.”
Damian sighed. “Of course. I beg your pardon. Your use of the vernacular is exemplary. But I have nothing whatsoever on my mind—not even a penny’s worth.” He waved at the dance floor. “I was merely observing the crowd.”

“Ah.” A pleased smile curved Conrad’s lips. “Getting hungry, are we? Good. I’m pleased to hear your appetite’s returning.”

“No, I’m not particularly hungry.” There was only one taste Damian was craving, and as he had virtually no chance of satisfying that craving… “It all seems somewhat pointless, I’m afraid.”

Conrad’s smile disappeared. “Here,” he said, handing Damian one of the glasses. “Take this, at least. You look as though you could use something.”

“Thank you.” Damian took the glass and looked at it with distaste. Here was something else he’d felt no inclination for in well over a decade. “But I’m not, as they say, in the mood for it.”

“Hold on to it just the same,” Conrad said when Damian attempted to give him back the glass. “You’d do well to keep up appearances.” He studied him for a moment then asked, “Damian…you would tell me if there was anything you needed, wouldn’t you?”

“Of course,” Damian replied dutifully, lying again because what was the point of anything else? The truth wouldn’t do either of them a damn bit of good.


Everybody has secrets...but some have the ability to destroy them all.

Damian and Conrad's road has been a rocky one, and Damian is struggling to trust in the relationship he and Conrad now share -- what seems like a perfect love. After all, it's fallen apart before, why couldn't it do the same again?

Secrecy and conflict within the nest continues to grow, and Georgia's hold on the deadly secret she carries begins to erode. What she hides threatens their entire species...

Available at Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Entangled Publishing |Kobo 

Monday, January 15, 2018

Here Be News

Posted by: Veronica Scott
New Releases:


A fae who doesn’t believe in love. 
A mortal who has no time for it. 
And a desire that defies everything they know.

Available as Kindle ebook, paperback, 
MP3-CD or audiobook on AMAZON
The latest stand-alone novel in Dani Harper’s Grim Series will delight old and new fans alike, transporting them to the ancient fae realm beneath the modern human world, where magic rules and menace abounds . . .

Heir to a noble fae house, Trahern is forced to watch helplessly as his twin brother is cruelly changed into a grim—a death dog—as punishment for falling in love with the wrong person. Trahern doesn’t believe love exists, but he will do anything to keep his brother alive—even join the Wild Hunt and ride the night skies of the human world.

Lissy Santiago-Callahan believes in love but has no time for it. She’s busy juggling her career as an academic and her home life as a single mom to a young son with Asperger’s. Her hectic life in sleepy Eastern Washington is made even more chaotic with the sudden arrival of a demanding fae and his unusual “dog.”

Mortal and immortal have nothing in common, and the attraction between Lissy and Trahern surprises them both. But when their desire places Lissy and her child in the path of a deadly faery feud, will the connection last, or will their separate worlds prove too great a divide?

Available as Kindle ebook, paperback, MP3-CD or audiobook on AMAZON


Other News:
The reviewers at the Whiskey With My Book blog did not one but TWO reviews of Veronica Scott's latest scifi romance AYDARR! 

Speaking of reviews, If anyone's looking for Kindle Unlimited books, HBM Author Jenny Schwartz reviews the ones she really enjoys over at this FB page and that includes #scifi (just search for that hashtag on the page).


Bring It Back(list) Feature:
Veronica Scott highlighted her scifi romance thriller Danger in the Stars, which is currently on sale for $.99! Here's the link for the excerpt and buy links.

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