Monday, April 30, 2012
Storm Buchanan's talent for mind control comes in handy as an investigator for a private agency, but it's hell on her love life. Men bow to her every whim, so there's no challenge. Where's the fun in that?
Maybe that's why she can't trust herself around Rafe Savage. The smug, sexy, annoying investigator for a rival firm is the one man who seems impervious to her power. Worse, when he kisses her, she all-too-willingly slips under his control.
Rafe's gift for seeing into the future doesn't usually blindside him…until it comes to Storm. The beautiful seductress assaults his control on all fronts, and the spontaneous flashes of her life in danger have his every instinct on alert.
When attempts on both their lives escalate, Storm and Rafe must stick together to find a madman bent on vengeance. While it's no surprise that their enforced proximity has their bodies going up in flames, neither expects lust to melt into love. Or that they'll need every ounce of their combined skills to fight for a future that could die before it's born.
When Aidan Marshall's boss assigns him a mission to retrieve a stolen book, he jumps at the chance to prove his worth once again to the team. Aidan is a telepath, and he knows he makes other uncomfortable. He likes working by himself and has nearly located the book when Gavin Caldwell screws up the entire case.
Gavin is a pain in the ass. He's a pencil pusher, a holdover from the nightmare that was the government's Psychic Warfare Program. It doesn't help matters that he's just Aidan's type.
With no recourse but to use Gavin to right the wrong he's done, Aidan and Gavin go undercover in a high stakes operation posing as lovers, in a place where anything and everything goes. In the course of their mission, Aidan finds out there's much more to Gavin than meets the eye, and much more to himself than he'd ever thought possible. Because with Gavin, Aidan learns not only to love another man, but himself as well.
Links of Interest
An interesting op piece: The Shatzkin Files - Things learned and thoughts provoked by London Book Fair 2012
Tor announces "...that by early July 2012, their entire list of e-books will be available DRM-free." Woo-hoo!
Fringe is renewed for a fifth and final season: "Not unlike "Chuck," the network is allowing producers to have 13 more episodes to end the story on their own terms."
Just weirdly interesting: Why is our skin waterproof? and Sun's Twin Discovered -- The Perfect SETI Target?
Steampunk Sherlock Holmes: "Interactive book maker Richard Monson-Haefel hopes to raise $29,000 to turn his eBook Steampunk Holmes: Legacy of the Nautilus into an interactive experience."
Have a great week everyone!
Friday, April 27, 2012
Tuesday, April 24, 2012
Monday, April 23, 2012
Friday, April 20, 2012
As a Carina Press author, sometimes I feel like I’m sitting on the fringe of things, watching from the outside. I’m a little more in the loop at Here Be Magic, but still, not quite in the thick of things.
Because I don’t write romance.
There. I said it. My books are straight-up urban fantasy, not paranormal romance or romantic fantasy.
This is not to say I don’t read romance in all its different forms, with or without some sort of magic or monsters in it. I just don’t know that I could write it. Reading a romance where people fall in and out and back in love in quick succession is exciting. The pace is fast and breathless and a little dreamy.
You get characters who fall into bed immediately, then fall in love over the course of the rest of the book. There are stories where the love is obvious to the reader from the start, but the characters take forever to sort it out for themselves, finally consummating the union at the very end. Tragic love stories, fated destinies, and arranged marriages that end in eternal happiness—I love them all.
But I don’t write romance.
And yet, there’s still a romance in my novel, Monster in My Closet. Very few books out there lack any sort of love story. Still, mine is a slow romance spanning the course of the whole series. Spoiler: Their first real kiss doesn’t even happen until book two. Sex? Sure, sort of. The bad guy is an incubus who kills women by orgasm. It may sound like a good way to go, but trust me, it’s not.
I thought long and hard (Hehe. I said “long and hard.”) about how far to take the romance between my main character, Zoey, and her hot (Grim) Reaper/paramedic, Riley. I wanted to prolong the magic of the beginning of a relationship. You know, that awkward, exciting time when your tongue trips over words, your stomach flutters with nerves, and every time you catch sight of that special new someone, your heart pounds with hope and expectation.
So, I took it slow with them. Zoey repeatedly babbles about cheese and dead bodies when she’s nervous around Riley, and he obviously thinks she’s adorable when she’s acting like a total spaz. The romance is buried in the rest of the story, on a slow and steady course. The only obstacles in their way are corpses, monsters and angry brides, but that’s more than enough to keep them from moving faster than my pen is comfortable capturing.
Because I don’t write romance.
Thursday, April 19, 2012
So go over and get your free copy now! This offer is good for Today Only.
* * *
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.
Wednesday, April 18, 2012
1. They’re animals in the bedroom.
2. They’re not shy about taking their clothes off.
3. Endurance is an animal instinct.
4. I (Grady) am a Shifter. Just sayin’.
5. Vampires aren’t real. And if they were, they’d be dead. Who the hell wants to cuddle up with a dead body?
6. Male Shifters are especially driven to satisfy their partners. It's genetic. Really.
7. Cats do it better. It’s a fact.
Note from Grady: We Chastells are a bunch of Ac-taw, Shifters living in the small town of Cougar Falls, Montana. Burke, the pride leader and my older brother, has gotten himself hitched. And now I've found "the one." But she's not convinced. Not yet. And to prove how incredibly wonderful I am, check this out...
An excerpt from Outfoxed
This is is so, so bad. In the raptor-run restaurant a block down the street, Gabby smiled and tried to focus on Grady’s words, not the firm lips shaping them. If anything, the distance from him the past two days had made her need even worse. It was like he’d awakened an inferno of lust inside her and she needed him to put out the flames. She hadn’t paid any attention to the men who’d come to visit her today. Even Miles, who’d stopped by her store to check out the new places in town, hadn’t turned her head.
Knowing how Grady tasted, how he felt in her hand, made it hard to do more than sigh at him. And then to watch him flirt with Millie, to tease her yet treat her with respect, to witness him gracefully sidestep the aggravating she-bears with ease without making a scene. She liked him more and more. There had to be something wrong with him…aside from the fact he couldn’t dance.
“Why are you looking at me like that?” He sounded wary.
“You’re awfully nice.”
He nearly choked on the swallow of beer he’d taken. “Nice?”
“Yeah. I’m trying to match this version of Grady with the man who taped a honk if you want me to make you purr note to the back of Burke’s pickup last week. Or the man who left his inebriated baby brother, naked as a jaybird, in front of Sonia Daly’s house.” Sonia was an older raptor who liked her men young and handsome. And drunk.
“I have no idea what you’re talking about.” He struggled to hide a grin and stared at his half-eaten plate of food.
“And last month. Who was it that dressed a stuffed animal—a dog, not even a wolf—in Monty’s sunglasses, covered the thing with his clothes and scent, and sent him to Sophie?”
“She told me the note promised hot nights with Scooby if she played her cards right.” Scooby. She grinned at the remembrance. Monty had been more than pissed at the time, while Sophie had thought it hilarious.
“Gabby, I’m hurt. How could you think I would do any of those horrible things?” The snort of laughter gave him away.
She joined him, and they laughed so hard they annoyed the wolves, bears and raptors trying to have a romantic dinner nearby.
A waitress came over to see what the fuss was about. Gabby started to apologize but stopped when she saw who’d come to inquire. “Sonia Daly?” she squeaked.
“Yeah.” She looked Grady up and down. “Hey Chastell, you tell your brother I’m still waiting on that date he promised me.”
“Yes, ma’am.” They waited until she left, looked at one another and burst into laughter again.
Grady didn’t wait for management to kick them out. He plunked some cash onto the table, grabbed her hand and dragged her out of the restaurant, still trying to catch her breath.
They stopped a few stores down from the restaurant. She turned to say something when their gazes caught. That tingle in her belly turned into an outright flutter of something special. Something warm and happy and right. Then he sighed her name and took her in his arms.
To read more, click here.
Outfoxed by Marie Harte
Monday, April 16, 2012
Dakota Territory, 1867
The day Ranait O'Brien buried her parents, she vowed to do anything to keep her family together. When Sheriff Tyler tried to place her young siblings in foster homes, Renny swore never to trust him again. No matter how he tries to make it up to her, or how tempting it is to fall into his arms and return his passionate kisses...
Tyler only wanted to help the beautiful and spirited Renny, but his actions turned her against him. Eager for her forgiveness, he offers to accompany her on a quest to find her Sioux brother--and he won't take no for an answer.
Infuriated at Tyler's interference, Renny is more determined than ever to prove she doesn't need anyone's help. But as the journey across the plains draws her closer to her mother's people, and to the one man who accepts her as she is, Renny learns she must be at peace with the past before she can embrace the future.
Book 11 of 12.
Links of Interest
Angela James, executive editor of Carina Press, at The Bookpushers talking about current and future fantasy offerings from Carina Press.
Yale Introduces Another Seven Free Online Courses, Bringing Total to 42. One of the new offerings is a class on Hemingway, Fitzgerald and Faulkner.
Is Fantasy Stuck in a Rut? "I think what fantasy needs is more people willing to invent new, fantastical places, beings and worlds rather than follow in the footsteps of the myriad writers who’ve already followed in the footsteps of people like Tolkien and McCaffrey."
More info on JK Rowling's new book, The Casual Vacancy.
The big news in publishing last week was the DOJ lawsuit. Here's a quick and fairly balanced news report if you want summary. Dear Author is doing a great series of posts from a variety of angles if you're interested in more information.
Here Be Magic Group Announcements
Altered Destiny is the RT Reviewers' Choice
2011 Indie Press Paranormal/Fantasy/Futuristic Award Winner.
Saturday, April 14, 2012
Friday, April 13, 2012
What are some of your favorite fantasy romances?
Tuesday, April 10, 2012
Monday, April 9, 2012
Pheasant Gully, Dakota Territory, 1867
A fire made Matilda O'Brien a widow on her wedding day, and left her blind. It also took the Sight, a gift from her mother's people. Yet nothing will stop her from keeping her family together, not even the frightening incidents that suggest someone is trying to drive her and her siblings off their land. When her visions suddenly return, she knows the stranger with blue eyes is the one man who can help her...
Bounty hunter Reed Robertson is in town for one reason only: revenge against the men who killed his wife. He has no intention of getting tangled up in the threats against Mattie's family. But something about her draws him, fills him with hope, and calls to a part of himself he's tried to bury... Can he allow himself to accept the love of a woman he doesn't believe he deserves?
Book 10 of 12.
Links of Interest
Moving Beyond Self-Publishing: "...about just how profitable it is to translate e-success to the mainstream print market."
Leadership lessons from the Godfather: An Offer You Can't Refuse
C.S. Lewis on Writing: "If you become a writer you'll be trying to describe the thing all your life: and lucky if, out of dozens of books, one or two sentences, just for a moment, come near to getting it across."
2012 Hugo Nominations
Friday, April 6, 2012
The conversation prompted by yesterday's post on writing in multiple genres, both on the blog and elsewhere (sorry, some people ping me in other venues, rather than commenting - it's all good to me), has gotten me thinking about genre.
First of all, someone pointed out to me that Kris Rusch posted on a very similar theme yesterday, which is well worth reading. Essentially she agrees that it's good for authors to write in multiple genres because it broadens audience. She also pointed to a workshop conducted by her husband, Dean Wesley Smith, on writing to genre and genre conventions. She kind of complains that only a few writers sign up for this every year, implying that this shows poor business sense.
On top of that, I'm cross-posting this to the Here Be Magic blog, because someone else wasn't able to, and the theme this month is "Fantasy Romance Favorites." For those of you not in the swim, fantasy romance is its own sub-genre now.
So I blithely agree to cross-post, then starting racking my brain for fantasy romance books. You'd think this would be easy for me, since Rogue's Pawn, the novel I have coming out July 16 from Carina, is fantasy romance.
Heh. And yet - not so much.
See, if I'd taken that workshop from Dean Wesley Smith, I would have written the book to the genre I picked. I can see how this would make good business sense. I totally did not do this. I started out with a character. I knew she was a scientist and that she became a sorceress. There were seed images and feelings that I dreamed. The stuff with the bathing chamber deep underground and the Black Dog - all stuff I dreamed.
(I know very few of you have read it yet - soon, soon!)
I did *not* dream the genre. Nor did I decide, "oh! I'll make this a fantasy romance, which means I need to follow this genre conventions." No, I wrote the story and there ended up being this waltz of seduction with a manipulative Fae in the story and there were my romantic elements.
Did this method cause me problems? Of course it did! I can tell people it's kind of like Jacqueline Carey and a bit like Anne Bishop, kind of like Diana Gabaldon and with hints of J.R. Ward. Which, if you have read those writers, probably sounds like a muddle.
Would it have made better business sense to take Smith's workshop and get good at writing within genre conventions? Probably so.
And yet. I don't wanna.
This might mean I will never be a hugely best-selling author. Today, I am at peace with that.
Categorizing books by genre help readers find what they want, but that way of defining is only one tool. As readers, we all know it doesn't always work. How many times have you have to ask the person in the Big Box Bookstore where they shelved a particular author? When I was on my Laurel K Hamilton kick, I had to ask. They'd put her under Mystery. Okay. I've read numerous pieces speculating that Fifty Shades of Grey has hit this new audience so big because none of them know it's a romance novel, much less "erotic romance with BDSM elements." Young Adult (YA) didn't even become a genre until recently. What were reading, those of us who were young readers in the 70s and 80s? Hard to say.
This is my problem as a reader, thinking about Fantasy Romance Favorites. Does Jacqueline Carey count? I bet not, because the romantic arc, while important, isn't the main backbone of the stories. The ISBN has it under "Kings and rulers, succession," which really amuses me.
What this comes down to for me is that the whole concept of genre is a construct. It's not real. It's about branding and marketing and expectations and easy sound bites, but it has nothing to do with the actual story.
And isn't the story what it's really all about?
Monday, April 2, 2012
White Dove's father has given her until the end of summer to choose a mate, or he will choose one for her. But not just any man will do for the rebellious daughter of Golden Eagle; he must be a strong Sioux brave. A skilled hunter in her own right, White Dove's pride will accept nothing less. But her heart and body have already decided on a man who is all wrong...
Jeremy Jones will do anything to show he is worthy of White Dove, including leaving behind the white man's world to train as a Sioux warrior. Though he knows in his heart he is destined to spend his days by her side, he has as much to prove to himself as he does to her...
Book 9 of 12.
Living forever is hard, but loving forever? That’s damn near impossible.
Children of Night, Book 2
1856, New York City. Moments after Conrad Quintano drives his life-mate away, heartache and guilt descend around his heart like a pall. Convinced that Damian’s hatred is as permanent as the scars Conrad has inflicted on him, Conrad steels himself for an eternity of emotional torture.
Present day, San Francisco. For the sake of vampire twins Marc and Julie Fischer, Conrad and Damian present a united parental front. In reality, their truce is a sham. Conrad, weakened by his recent ordeal, struggles against the urge to bring his mate back to his bed. And Damian misinterprets Conrad’s explosive temper as proof their relationship is irreparably broken.
When an old enemy’s quest to create a dangerous new breed of vampire threatens the twins’ lives—and the precarious state of vampire peace—it’s imperative the estranged lovers put the past behind them. Or the shadows of the past will tear apart everything they hold dear.
This book may not be suitable for readers with an aversion to emotionally damaged vampire heroes. Caution is advised if you have experienced prior sensitivity to any of the following: costume parties, fencing lessons, interspecies, inter-generational or intra-gender dating, occasional mild violence, and/or recreational blood-drinking.
Links of Interest
Ten Books Every Fantasy Author Should Read. Let us know if you have any to add to the list.
The 2012 RITA and Golden Heart Finalists Congratulations to Fiona Lowe, the first Carina Press RITA finalist for her book Boomerang Bride!
This doll I might actually consider buying: Mattel to release Katniss Barbie Doll
Stephen Hawking guest stars on The Big Bang Theory this week, April 5th.
I don't know where, I don't when but somehow I'm going to use this in a story: New breed of plastics bleeds, heals itself.
The new teaser trailer for True Blood Season 5.
Here Be Magic Group Announcements
The Here Be Magic theme for the month of April is Fantasy Romance Favorites. Thanks to everyone who voted!