Monday, April 30, 2012

Here Be News

Posted by: Unknown
New releases this week

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

Meet the Here Be Magic Authors - Ruth A Casie

Posted by: Veronica Scott
Continuing a new feature at Here Be Magic - periodic interviews with the Authors who create the magic. Our next interviewee is Ruth A Casie, whose most recent book is Knight of Runes.

1. Tell us a little about yourself:
I’m a seasoned professional with over twenty-five years of writing experience but not necessarily writing romances.  No, I’ve been writing communication and marketing documents for a large corporation.  Over the past years, encouraged by my friends and family, I gave way to my inner muse and let my creative juices flow. Now I write historical fantasies about strong men and empowered women and how they cope with unexpected challenges. I hope my stories become your favorite adventures.
2. What prompted you to start writing? I have always enjoyed telling stories, but I kept them in my head. I would read a story and fantasize about a follow up. But I never thought to write it down or become an author.
A friend of mine told me she was writing a book and I offered to help, edit, be a beta reader, anything. We decided to write a romance series based on the story in her head and the one in mine. We sat down and helped each other outline our stories, talked about the characters, and had a great time being creative. She was training for the New York marathon and doing the college tour thing with her daughter. She just didn’t have time to write. I went on to finish my story.
Once I found that creative outlet I couldn’t stop.
3. What’s your writing process? Where do you write? I proudly say, I am a linear plotzer! I start with page one and write sequentially. If a scene pops into my head I have learned to jot it down and tuck it away for later. I used to think I’d remember them but quickly learned I forgot more than I remembered.
I start with a story idea and then my characters. I do write out their goals, motivations and conflicts. I do a rough outline of the story to make certain I know where key points should go, more of a direction rather than a hard and fast roadmap. Sometimes the side trips I take are really worth it. Sometimes my characters actually amaze me with how they develop the story.  
With all our children grown and out of the house, I’ve taken over one of the bedrooms and made it into an executive office. I love it.

4. What’s your guilty pleasure? If you’re talking about food it’s ice cream, vanilla. I know, not too exciting until you put on some hot fudge and whipped cream. I also love to go to the theater. Living close to New York City, my husband and I try to often.
5. How do you celebrate when you finish a novel? My family took me out to dinner. My brother and his wife brought over a bottle of champagne. My grandchildren gave me kisses (any excuse). I had a smile on my face for days!
6. What has surprised you about being a published author?  I think it was confidence in myself and my story and knowing I had a dynamite opening line to my pitch. I also think I needed to find a quality publisher who would risk going outside the box. Editors and agents kept telling me that there was no interest in time travel.
7. Do you do a lot of research for your books? It seems that at every scene there was something to research. I found myself researching how fast a horse canters and trots and then calculated how long it would take to drive the same distance. Rebeka holds a PhD in Renaissance studies so I researched PhD programs and even developed a possible thesis for her. I even researched where the solicitor in London would have his office.
The 17th century annual harvest is a pivotal part of the story. I read about harvest festivals, games, music, and even banquet meals. I researched recipes and even tried a few so I could write and make the story sound plausible and authentic.
The fight scenes were a challenge. I watched YouTube videos and wrote copy as if I was a radio announcer just to get an idea of the timing and moves. I took a fight scene writing workshop with Rayne Hall to get understand what worked and what didn’t when writing a fight scene.
However, the most fun thing I did was drive a BMW Z4. Well, how else could I describe the look and feel of the car to say nothing of the joy of the ride. Oh, the things I do for my craft!
8. Have you ever used an incident from real life in one of your books? Yes, I have. On a business trip several years ago I stayed at the Savoy Hotel in London and had tea in the Thames Room. I fell in love with tea, scone and clotted cream. I put that into my story.
9. Quickfire:
Favorite TV Show: Dancing With the Stars
Favorite Movie: Seven Brides for Seven Brothers
Cats or Dogs? Dogs
Favorite Flower: Hydrangea
Tea or coffee:  Coffee
Boxers or Briefs:  His briefs
Sweet or spicy: Sweet
Morning person or evening person: Morning
Favorite food: ice cream
Favorite time of the year: Fall
Favorite song: Smooth by Santana
10. Finish this sentence  “I believe in the Magic of……” of a child’s laugh.  You can’t help but smile.
11. What are you working on next? I’m working on a historical fantasy set in 1290 on the border between England and Scotland.  In order to save the man she loves from being wrongly executed and prevent being married off to another, a woman, born with mystical abilities, must make a crucial decision. Dare she rely on her knight to find a way to save them both or does she trust her magic and risk exposure and persecution as a witch?
12. What one question do you want to ask your Readers today?  How much of the hero/heroine do you want described? Do you want to know every little thing or do you prefer filling in your own image?
Where can your Readers find you online?
Knight of Runes can bed found at Carina Press  Amazon  Barnes & Noble

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Celebration Give Away!

Posted by: Shawna Thomas

It's not every day yourbook wins an award and Altered Destiny winning the RT award for fantasy/paranormal is so far the highlight of my career. So I think a celebration is in order! Don' t you? And what better way to celebrate than to give away some fantastic prizes. My fellow writers have graciously offered to donate their e-books for a ginormous give away.

We have:
Steam and Sorcery by Cindy Spencer

Acceptable Risks by Natalie Damschroder

Target of Betrayl by Melissa Ohnoutka

Rough Ride by Keri Ford

Texas Two Step by Cynthia D'Alba

The winners choice of book from Liz Talley

Demon Crossing by Eleri Stone

Priestess of the Nile by Veronica Scott

Quarter Square by David Bridger

The Last Slayer by Nadia Lee

And last, but not least,
a key chain compass in honor of the tool that led Jaden through the White Forest.

So what do you have to do to win all this wonderful? That's easy. Just mention Altered Destiny on the web somewhere. Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, your blog, etc. Take your pick. Just be sure to paste a link at my blog or here at Everybody Needs a Little Romance so I know about it and that's it! You're entered! The winner will be announced on May 4th 2012. So what are you waiting for? Link away! : ) 

Monday, April 23, 2012

Here Be News

Posted by: Unknown
New releases this week

There are no Here Be Magic releases this week, but there are some new ones from Carina Press you might be interested in:

In the post-apocalyptic Midwest, now a ravaged dust bowl, former guardsman Derek Covington must find help for a sick boy. With nothing but memories of all he lost, Derek crosses the desert alone in search of the doctor who saved his own life ten years ago. Drifter gangs who loot and pillage don't dare come near, for Derek has a formidable weapon: a prosthetic arm with a deadly blade.

For a decade, Dr. Lidia Sullivan has fantasized about the handsome guardsman who'd been in her care. And now she can't deny his dangerous request. But as they make the treacherous journey back to Old St. Louis, they must contend with much more than fierce desert winds and their unthinkable attraction. A fearless gang has spotted Lidia--a rare woman--and will fight Derek to the death to get her. And though he risks his life to save her for the sake of the child who needs her, she fears there's one thing Derek will never risk: his heart.


Two-hundred-year-old Daegan Blackwell is one of the last remaining Empowered, an ancient magical race. Daegan's duty is to lead and protect his remaining Brethren in the coming war foretold by prophecy. The last thing he expects is to meet the one woman who will either save or destroy him--his destined mate.

Fiercely independent Realtor Olivia Farrell believes darkly handsome Daegan is simply a prospective client. Until she's attacked by a man with a strange aura--and Daegan fights him off, taking away her pain with just his touch. At first, Olivia refuses to believe she's part of a magical race, yet mounting evidence and her powerful chemistry with Daegan are too strong to deny.

But as Daegan's partner, Olivia becomes a target in the battle between good and evil that threatens her life, as well as the very existence of the Empowered. And the only one who can save her is the man claiming to be her destiny...

Links of Interest

Trove of 500 fairytales discovered in Germany – Will Disney option the Turnip Princess?: "While Hollywood is bleeding the same three fairytales dry, a new crop of magical stories has been uncovered in Germany, recorded at the same time that the Brothers Grimm were collecting fairytales."

Pineapple idiots! Who knew my book would be used for world’s dumbest test question: "...if a thing is absolutely illogical and meaningless, it’s not possible to ask questions like, “Which animal in the story was the most wise? Choose (a), (b), (c), (d), etc.” And, “Why did the animals eat the pineapple?”

Earth Day tips from the cast of Fringe: Earth Day 2012

Tolkien and Dickens descendants to collaborate on new fantasy books: "Poet Michael Tolkien will write two new novels based on stories that his grandfather told him as a child, entitled Wish and Rainbow. Gerald Dickens meanwhile (great-great-grandson to the legendary writer) will narrate the audio-book versions of the stories."

Friday, April 20, 2012

Slower Than the Speed of Love

Posted by: R.L. Naquin

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.
Sort of.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Today Only! The Battle Lord's Lady is FREE and Featured Over at All Romance eBooks!

Posted by: Linda Mooney

Every April, All Romance eBooks highlights the first book in a series by authors you may not be familiar with. My book, The Battle Lord's Lady, has been selected to be spotlighted and offered FREE!

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

7 Reasons Why Shifters Make Better Lovers

Posted by: Marie Harte
Seven Reasons Why Shifters Make Better Lovers… According to Grady Chastell

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?”
“Sophie who?”
“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

Here Be News

Posted by: Unknown
Our new releases this week

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.

Congratulations Shawna!!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

As the Song Says "My heart will go on"

Posted by: Veronica Scott
Our Here Be Magic theme this month is “Fantasy Romance Favorites” and while I like to be a team player, today is the 100th anniversary of Titanic striking the iceberg, so my mind is wrapped around that. (My grandfather had a distant relative who was a Second Class passenger, who did survive.) I’ve been immersed in Titanic-related topics and blogs for the past few weeks, and of course my latest book WRECK OF THE NEBULA DREAM is science fiction adventure loosely based on the events of Titanic.
Still, I do think the last few scenes in James Cameron’s Titanic are one of my favorite romantic fantasies – when Rose “returns” to the ship and on screen the wreck slowly transforms itself back into the beautiful luxury liner she had traveled on, loved and lost Jack on…culminating in the scene where she reunites with Jack on the grand staircase, surrounded by the rest of the lost passengers. I cry but I LOVE that scene!
I’ve always been fascinated and comforted by the idea of reunion with special loved ones after death (I assumed Rose had passed away, up on the deep sea exploration ship – after all, she was supposed to be 100 or so at the time the movie events took place).
Hollywood shares my fascination – who can forget the movie “Ghost”, for example, with Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore, plus Oscar-winning Whoopie Goldberg? Again, an ending that makes me cry but in a totally good way.
A few years ago, my mother was losing her battle with breast cancer, standing very close to the door into the next world – which she kept telling us she saw clearly – “a big, golden door, standing open, right there, can’t you see it?” and obediently I would turn and stare where she was pointing across the hospice room but never caught a glimpse of what she was so comforted by. She described how, just across the threshold, my father was waiting for her, her father…and my own husband, who passed away in 1988. All waiting to greet her….
I’ve only written one such scene in my own novels, in PRIESTESS OF THE NILE, based on the very specific beliefs of the Ancient Egyptians, but informed at least a little by listening to my mother share her last few words on this earth. Here’s the excerpt:
Eventually, Merys took a deep breath and stood, using the wall for support. She smoothed her skirts and straightened her jewelry. Every Egyptian, even the children, knew at the end of this tunnel lay the Hall of Judging, where her heart would be weighed and her spirit’s ultimate fate decided. It is no less and no more terrifying than what I have already endured. It doesn’t matter what happens to me now that I can no longer have Bek. A flash of painful sorrow shot through her at the thought.
She walked on. A lighted chamber lay ahead and as she entered the enclosure, she found Anubis, Thoth and Lady Ma’at waiting as she expected. Anubis had the semblance of a man from the neck down, well muscled. From the shoulders up, he was a sharpfeatured, ebony-furred jackal. Long, pointed ears framed a feral face. Cold emerald eyes glowing with uncanny brilliance scrutinized her as if assessing whether she was to be his prey in some otherworldly hunt.
Breathtakingly beautiful, Lady Ma’at had a kind face and welcoming smile. She was clad in fine white robes, and many intricate necklaces formed a multicolored collar swathing her elegant neck. A scarlet ribbon headband threaded its way among the glossy curls on her head, holding a large feather, which curled gracefully back over her hair.
Thoth sat behind her, cross-legged on the floor, in the manner of all scribes. Merys rejected a mental picture of her father, working on his scrolls in the village. I won’t think of him anymore. Thoth held a sharp reed pen upraised in one well-formed hand and clasped a small oblong tablet in the other. His head was in the form of an ibis, with an elegant, long curving beak and fine green iridescent feathers. Merys had often seen such birds in the shallows of the Nile.
Her attention was drawn to an unexpected fourth participant as he strode forward from the shadows. “Sobek!” Her heart raced and tears clouded her eyes. She ran to him and he met her halfway, sweeping her into his arms and hugging her tightly with his great, brawny arms until she couldn’t breathe. “I never thought to see you again,” she whispered. “I hoped maybe I would catch a glimpse of you in the Afterlife someday.”

Friday, April 13, 2012

Fantasy Romance Favorites

Posted by: Unknown
This month’s theme is Fantasy Romance Favorites so I’m sharing a new favorite I read just a few weeks ago, The Well of Shades by Juliet Marillier. Marillier’s books are a cross between historical fiction and fantasy. She’s an amazing writer with an incredible gift for establishing her world so vividly you feel like you’re there. Most of her books are set in ancient Britain and Ireland but it’s the fantastical version of ancient Britain with wise druids, meddling fae and brave women who go on grand and life-transforming adventures.

While her stories usually have a strong romantic subplot, I’ve always read Marillier for the fantasy. The Well of Shades is the first book I’ve read of hers where I found the romantic storyline completely satisfying. So, for readers of fantasy romance, if you haven’t tried this one yet, I highly recommend it.

Note: This is the third book in the series but it can be read as a standalone. I didn’t read Book 1 but I did read Book 2 years ago and that was where I started to fall for Faolan. Book 2 is also good but not as good as this one.

And if I haven’t convinced you, here’s one of my favorite parts. Faolan is telling Eile a story because, well, she asked for one and she keeps shushing him when he tries to tell her he loves her. This is halfway through Faolan’s story. Saraid is Eile’s daughter.

Remarkably, he got another chance. She gave him that; she was wiser than he was. This time he determined to tell her how he felt; how she had opened him up and let light into his life. But she kept saying, shh, no, not yet, and he held his tongue. Until the time he nearly lost her again. Then he told her, even though she tried to stop him, because he knew that if anything happened and he hadn’t said it, he could never forgive himself.”

A silence. Then she murmured, “I suppose you’d better say it, then.”

“I love you,” he whispered. “I’ll take as much or as little as you’re prepared to give me. I’ll give you and Saraid everything that’s in me.”

The fire flickered; the birds on the tapestry moved in the draft; the silence lengthened. At last Eile’s voice came, hesitant and sweet: “That was the best story I ever heard, Faolan…”


What are some of your favorite fantasy romances?

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Good Reads, Strange Places

Posted by: Regan Summers
When I was in college I lived in an apartment complex with a shared laundry room and what I can only assume was a fleet of kleptomaniacs. The first time I did laundry, I lost a pair of underwear and two t-shirts. This is a big deal in college, when you don’t have a lot of money to buy clothes and your favorite t-shirts are The Best Things in the Whole World!

So I had to stay in the laundry room while my possessions were there. Of course I’d bring a book. But being a fast reader – and, back then, not having a smart phone or tablet – I’d often finish the book before the clothes were dry. Luckily, the laundry room became a communal area for small things others were giving away. There were three linty shelves by the door, holding chipped single dishes, board games missing pieces, and books. These books were phenomenal. None had been published in the last fifteen years, many had sensational (!) covers, if they had covers at all. They were in genres I didn’t read back then, like police procedurals and romances.

After I’d been through all twelve books there (I’m kind of messy and I didn’t have a lot of clothes, so I laundered often), picking up the last one. It was a romance, and the cover was fuchsia and sea green, if I remember correctly. Skeptical, I was about to run back to my apartment for a familiar book (risking another pair of underwear). Then I started reading. It was amazing.

The heroine was from a family of hoteliers but unlike, say, Paris Hilton, she was dedicated to the business. Then her family’s business was devastated (by pirates, revenge or weather, maybe all three) and she had to start over. The hero was Italian or Greek – big, dark and beautiful. He died, incidentally, so maybe it wasn’t a traditional romance. But they fell in love and quarreled and sacrificed for one another, so it was close.

I learned a lot from that book. And not just about heaving bosoms and throbbing *ahem*. Actually, I don’t recall if there was much of that. I did learn about the havoc wreaked by hurricanes, about the economic impact of separating the U.S. dollar from gold. About betrayal and forgiveness, and maybe something about organized crime.

Having read the thing in one sitting after only a cursory glance at the cover, I don’t remember the title or author, and the book was gone the next time I looked for it. But I treasure the fact that I was able, wrapped in the soothing shush of the dryer and the artificial citrus-floral medley of multiple detergents, to dive deep into that book and not surface until it was finished. Plus my clothes were super dry. Also, I think night might have fallen while I was in there.

Has this happened to you? Did you ever pull a book off a shelf while babysitting? Find one in a seat pocket on an airplane? Stumble across one in a waiting room?

Monday, April 9, 2012

Here Be News

Posted by: Unknown
Our new releases this week

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

Deciding on Genre

Posted by: Jeffe Kennedy

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

Here Be News

Posted by: Unknown
Our new releases this week

Nebraska Territory, 1859

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.

Product Warnings:
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.


When Dara Ellis sets out to do research for a new article, she gets much more than she bargained for.  Vampland is a hedonist's playground. It's the hottest new dance club in town, and her inspiration for showing women how to embrace the bad girl within. But it's the club's owner who really gets her pulse racing, first in lust and then in fear when she learns who--and what--he really is. But Trey is far more than a creature of the night. He's a flesh and blood man with gifts given from a higher power. And only the love of the right woman can save his soul from the darkness growing closer. But will Dara take a chance on a creature as much myth as man? Or will fear deny the love burning brightly between them?

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!

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