Thursday, March 29, 2018

Guest Blogger: Deborah A. Bailey - Fated Couples Means More Conflict, Not Less

Posted by: Linda Mooney

I've always liked the idea of couples being meant for each other. Bound together by fate, they're inevitably drawn together.  So, when I started working on my Hathor Legacy series, it was important to create a hero and heroine who would fit that mold.

Though when I first got the idea, Jonathan was a shady nightclub owner with a criminal past. He and Nadira weren't fated, but were thrown together while she was investigating a crime.  

But in the process of developing the first book, the characters changed along with my original vision for the series.
In the completed version of, Hathor Legacy: Outcast, Jonathan comes to Hathor in search of his missing father. Nadira uses her PSI abilities as a member of the elite security force, the Guardians. Though she's responsible for investigating his father’s disappearance, she dislikes Jon at first. But, of course she’s attracted in spite of herself.

Though Jonathan could be arrogant and overly confident, his impulsive behavior helped move the story along. Inspite of his initial behavior, it was important to make Jon the type of person Nadira would grow to care about.

She creates a psychic connection with him so that she can protect him. Even though they're still at odds halfway through the book, their connection helps them to work together. And, ultimately it magnifies their physical attraction and leads to their love scene.

In book two, Hathor Legacy: Burn, their relationship has grown stronger, but it's not without pitfalls. Nadira, used to being independent and protective, ends up doing things without Jon's knowledge. He feels betrayed because she still maintains a separation between them. Yes, they're joined, but that doesn't mean they're completely open to each other.
Jonathan is an alpha male who has to manage an emotional connection where he can't hide too much from his partner. He wants to be the protector, but she's actually physically stronger due to her abilities. She has to learn to trust, and sometimes to yield. Their relationship is a bond of love, by this point in the series, but also one that is never entirely without tension.

By book three, Hathor Legacy: Revelations, they've moved through a lot of the relationship growing pains. Others around them have acknowledged that they have a real bond, even though no one really knows that Jon's secret past has a lot to do with the psychic connection. (In the interests of not revealing any spoilers, I won't say more about that!)

In fact, one of the characters says that perhaps Nadira and Jon were fated to meet and form a connection. Which, based on the events in book three, makes perfect sense.

They've grown and learned to trust each other completely. And by that point in the series, they've influenced each other enough to take on each other's traits. Instead of being impulsive, Jonathan learns to think before he acts. While Nadira, always the more conservative of the two, becomes the one most likely to rush in and confront danger.

Fated couples are drawn together by forces beyond their control, and that's when the real fun begins. They must learn to love and to trust, as they grow as individuals and as a unit.

Tension – sexual and otherwise - is always present as two strong-willed people find their footing. But, that's why their stories are so much fun to write (and to read).

***
Hathor Legacy: Revelations (blurb) -
An enemy returns to spark new tensions between the psychic Guardians and Novacorp. In the midst of the crisis, Nadira is given information about her parents that threatens to destroy her relationship to the Guardians and to Jonathan.

While Nadira searches for answers, Jonathan is enticed into the hedonistic world of the Novacorp executive class. His entertainment club attracts the elite of Hathor, but his notoriety comes with a price.

The worlds of the Guardians and Novacorp are put on a collision course where only one side may come out on top. Nadira is called on to make the ultimate sacrifice to save the legacy of the First Families, the original settlers of Hathor, while Guardians, Kasema and Deshtu psychic groups are faced with the choice to unite or be brought completely under Novacorp control.

Old scores are settled and long-hidden truths are revealed, and at the end Nadira and Jonathan's relationship and their world will never be the same.


|Amazon| |Barnes&Noble|
***
Deborah A Bailey’s Science Fiction & Paranormal Romance stories include suspense, a bit of mystery and a lot of romantic heat. She’s the author of the “Hathor Legacy” Science Fiction Romance series and several shapeshifter Paranormal Romance novels.  Her short stories have won awards from the Philadelphia Writers’ Conference and have been published in US1 Magazine and the Sun. They’re included in her short story collection, “Electric Dreams: Seven Futuristic Tales.”

Website: 
http://www.BrightStreetBooks.com 
http://www.twitter.com/AuthorDeborahB
http://www.facebook.com/AuthorDeborahAB
http://amazon.com/author/deborahannbailey 
http://www.instagram.com/db2233 
https://www.bookbub.com/authors/deborah-a-bailey

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Genre Woes, and a last minute sale

Posted by: Cindy Spencer Pape
So a little poll here: Is paranormal out? If not, what do you like? Shifters, vampires, psychics? Is time travel even still a thing? How about ghosts? Or is futuristic more your thing? Space opera, post apocalyptic, even (gasp!) steampunk? I'd love to know what our readers are looking for.

If you feel like playing, post the subgenres of the last 3 romance books you've read. I'll offer an ebook of their choice to one random commenter. I'll draw on Sunday and announce the winner on Monday's Here be News.

****

Also, This Saturday, March 31 is the final day of the sale, where Steam & Sorcery, the first book of my Gaslight Chronicles series is half price, $1.99 only on Kindle. If you haven't checked it out, it was named as "Possibly the best in steampunk romance" by Library Journal.


Tuesday, March 27, 2018

The Wild Hunt - mythic figures ride the skies in the Grim Series

Posted by: Dani Harper, AUTHOR

The Wild Hunt… There’s something about the name alone that instinctively raises the hair on the back of your neck! 

Out of all the myths and legends I've read and collected, the tales of the Wild Hunt are my hands-down favorites. A version of the Hunt appears in the lore of many countries, especially in the UK and Europe. Sometimes the Hunt is comprised of faeries, sometimes gods or heroes, and sometimes lost or damned souls. 


Johann Wilhelm Cordes, The Wild Hunt, 1856
Public Domain
The identity of the Hunt’s leader varies with every legend – Gwyn App Nudd, the Welsh god of the Underworld; Odin, king of the Norse gods; King Arthur and his knights; the Devil and his hounds. Even historical figures such as Sir Francis Drake and Theodoric the Great were each said to lead a spectral hunt. 

The Wild Hunt of Odin
by Norwegian painter Peter-Nikolai Arbo (1831-1892)
Public domain by Wikimedia Commons

My Grim Series novels have Welsh faery legend at their core, and it was inevitable that the Wild Hunt would turn up in my stories. Its leader is Lurien, a bold figure who commands a fearful amount of magic – and respect. As with so many of my characters, he wasn’t planned:  he simply showed up in Storm Bound and refused to leave! Although he hasn't been the main character to date, the Lord of the Wild Hunt quickly became a favorite with my readers, and my biggest challenge is preventing him from taking over whatever book I'm writing.

He's an enigmatic figure, origins unknown. At first Lurien seems to be one of the Tylwyth Teg, the ruling class in the Faery Realms. Yet his long black hair, dark eyes, and somber clothing set him apart from the ethereally beautiful Fair Ones. So does his unwavering sense of honor and his disdain for rank and position. Lurien’s formidable powers include summoning the dead to ride with the Hunt at times, and his preferred weapon is a light whip, which can be used to call down lightning. A pack of relentless white hounds follow him faithfully – the famed Cwn Annwn.

A storm can signal the presence of the Wild Hunt!
Photo: Bigstock.com
Lurien and the Wild Hunt patrol the mortal world at night, meting out a rough justice to fae and human alike. Betrayers and oath-breakers have the most to fear and, as in the old legends, the guilty are often condemned to follow after the Hunt forever.  

Most of the Hunters ride fae horses, but as in the many legends about the Wild Hunt, other mounts are possible. In Storm Warrior, mortal horses could be “borrowed” and charmed to keep up with the Hunt. In Storm Warned, the Hunt conscripts a herd of elk in place of horses. In Storm Crossed, one of the riders prefers a giant black goat with six horns. All of the creatures can gallop on the wind as if were solid ground, and a fierce storm often accompanies them.

EXCERPT from STORM CROSSED


A deep shadow abruptly fell across the forest, and thunder rolled from a formerly clear sky. The soldiers glanced around uneasily as their horses twitched and danced beneath them. The warths slunk silently away, and Trahern felt the hair on his head prickle and rise. Braith, get down!

The entire world erupted into white light and noise beyond hearing as a bolt of lightning crashed to earth before him.

Trahern wasn’t certain if he had lost consciousness or not, but it was an abysmally long time before he could see and hear again. Braith was on top of him, apparently trying to shield him. Move, he said in his mind.

Are you well?

I would be better if I could breathe. Move!

The great dog slid his bulk from Trahern’s chest, and he rolled over with a grunt, gratefully filling his lungs. His vision blurred and cleared, blurred and cleared, but he could make out that only a handful of the mercenaries remained, and most looked like they wanted to leave. He had to give the leader credit for nerve—but the man no longer looked at him at all.

“In the name of Eirianwen of the House of Oak, we have come to arrest the fugitive Trahern,” the man shouted.

“Her name means nothing here.” The new voice came from high above, and Trahern struggled to see. A burly stallion, as glossy and black as obsidian, stood upon the rocky outcrop behind him, and its tall rider was dressed in dark leathers. His hair was as black as his mount, falling to his waist in hundreds of braids and stirred by an unseen wind. Save for the dangerous glitter in his jet-colored eyes and the glow of the light whip resting on his thigh, it was like staring at Death itself.

“He—he is a traitor, My Lord, sir. We have a right—”

“As trespassers in the Nine Realms, you have no rights.” The great horse stepped down from the steep rocky outcropping as easily as if walking across a meadow. The mercenary captain paled visibly as Lurien, Lord of the Wild Hunt, placed himself squarely between the soldiers and their intended quarry. 

“Our laws state that betrayers and traitors are the rightful prey of the Wild Hunt,” said Lurien, then leaned forward in the saddle, his next words measured and menacing. “If he lives, he is mine. If he dies, he is also mine. Stay if you wish to join him.”

……………………………………………………………………..


LEGEND  LORE  LOVE  MAGIC

The fae are cunning, powerful and often cruel. The most beautiful among them are often the most deadly. Hidden far beneath the mortal world, the timeless faery realm plays by its own rules—and those rules can change on a whim.

Now and again, the unpredictable residents of that mystical land cross the supernatural threshold…

In this enchanting romance series from Dani Harper, the ancient fae come face-to-face with modern-day humans and discover something far more potent than their strongest magic: love.


  
STORM WARRIOR, STORM BOUND, STORM WARNED, STORM CROSSED
Note: Every book in this series is designed to stand alone.
It's fun to read them in order, but you won't get lost if you don't!


See ALL Dani's novels on her Amazon Author Page 

Monday, March 26, 2018

Here Be News

Posted by: Veronica Scott
New Releases:

Other News:

Bring It Back(list) Feature:
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.)

POSSESSION
Paranormal/Urban Fantasy Romance
Word Count: 60.9K
$0.99 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.
Sales & Promos:

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Bring It Back(list) - POSSESSION by Linda Mooney

Posted by: Linda Mooney
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.)

POSSESSION
Paranormal/Urban Fantasy Romance
Word Count: 60.9K
$0.99 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.

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???

No?

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 angelahighland.com, or say hi to her on Facebook or Twitter.
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