Sunday, August 31, 2014

Lazy Days

Posted by: CobraMisfit
When I was a kid, a Saturday without plans drove me nuts. Or a Wednesday afternoon. Or any down time, for that matter. To keep my need for entertainment sated, I played sports, joined the band, and participated in all sorts of after school activities that I’m sure drove my parents bonkers.

Because they had to drive me.

As I’ve grown older, my involvement in “afterschool fun” hasn’t slowed down. If anything, it’s picked up. Work, beekeeping, writing, socializing with friends, etc, keeps the midnight oil burning at both ends. Which is great for making days clip by. Wake up on Monday morning and the next thing I know, it’s Thursday night. A glass of wine and I’m ready to barrel into a weekend full of errands.

That said, I’ve come to appreciate an empty calendar so much more these days. Last weekend, my wife and I found ourselves without plans which was both awkward and delicious. With nothing to do, we kicked our feet up and promptly fell asleep.

Young Me would NEVER have considered dozing off for fours hours. I’d have been antsy to get out into the world and do something. Anything. But now a-days I find that a lazy Saturday is so infrequent that I can’t help but relish the slow passage of time. No TV, minimal Internet. Just let the world spool down for a little while.

What I’ve found is that Lazy Days are one of the most useful tools for me as a writer. Sure, there are all sorts of demands from needing to complete a synopsis to meeting deadlines or simply putting words to paper. Social Media is filled with memes stating you should be writing. Daily word counts hang over our heads like the Sword of Damocles. And while I fully believe in meeting or beating deadlines, there’s something to be said for giving yourself a break.

But here’s the thing, when I remove all the outside pressures, the writing itch begins clawing at me in short order. Without distractions, my mind begins to wander through plots, expanding outlines, and generally wondering what trouble my characters can get into.  Lo and behold, I soon find myself hammering out pages where previously I was grinding through a scene.

Lazy Days may not work for everyone, but for me, they’re a necessity. The chance to mentally detox from the noise the world throws at us is sometimes all it takes to recharge, refresh, and re-engage.

What about you? What helps you keep on keeping on?



Joshua Roots is a former Marine, car collector, and beekeeper. He enjoys singing with his a cappella chorus, playing video games, and reading comic books. He is still waiting for his acceptance letter to Hogwarts and Rogue Squadron. He and his wife will talk your ear off about their bees if you let them.

Twitter | Website | Blog | Goodreads 


Friday, August 29, 2014

Getting ready to go IN THE VOID!

Posted by: Sheryl Nantus
When IN THE BLACK came out earlier this year readers were eager to come on board the Bonnie Belle and meet the courtesans, including the enigmatic Captain Samantha Keller and Marshal Daniel LeClair.

You haven't visited the Belle? Why not?
It's available NOW at Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Carina Press!

Now it's time to see how far IN THE VOID someone would go for love...
(slight spoilers for IN THE BLACK, so be warned!)
“Stimulation of the erogenous zones is essential.”
Sean Harrison groaned and turned the page.
“Make sure to maintain eye contact and inform your partner that they’re special.”
He put down the tablet and rubbed his eyes, feeling a headache starting.
Some people thought being a Guild courtesan was all about sex.
It was mostly true.
But whoever had written this paper on how to sexually satisfy women had to be either a eunuch or Sean’s girlfriend from the sixth grade, who’d thought kissing immediately led to pregnancy.
He swam over to the bathroom sink and pulled a moist cloth out of the dispenser. He looked in the mirror and spotted a few new wrinkles around his eyes.
It’s not the years, it’s the mileage.
And he was getting tired of stomping on the gas pedal.
Rubbing the hot fabric over his face helped push the pain away, not so much the annoyance.
He’d had to pay for this report as he had to pay for almost everything from the Guild. The rules and regulations dictated everything from exactly how much he could charge for his services to the cost of a hot shower. It was a constant juggling effort for the courtesans to coax tips from their customers to stay ahead and not end up chained to the Guild beyond their five-year contracts.
In exchange the Guild provided excellent training and let them travel the universe, visiting distant mining bases to bring civilized conversation to lonely men and women.
Along with great sex, of course.
Sean pushed the damp towel into the disposal chute and paddled back to the receiving area where the tablet still spun in zero gravity, waiting for his return.
“Crap,” he announced to the room. “Crappity crap crap.”
A knock came at the hatch.
“It’s open.” He never bothered to lock the door between landfalls.
Harry Lafayette bounced through the hatch and smacked his legs on the table as he flailed to stop himself.
“Hey.” He nodded to Sean. “You seen this new report? Man, if I had this in high school I would have scored big time with the ladies.”
Sean closed his eyes in an attempt to call up that inner peace April kept talking about.
Had he been this annoying on his first tour?
Had he ever been that young?
Sean resisted the urge to check the mirror again.
“It’s just a guidebook,” he said, trying to sound as kind as he could. “It’s put together by experts,” he paused, almost hearing the air quotes around the word experts, “who claim to know what women want. It’s not gospel.”
The bare-chested man floated around the receiving room, the smallest of the three-room suite each courtesan occupied on the Bonnie Belle. “But the trainers said they’d tell us everything we needed, teach us what we needed to keep our customers happy.”
Sean smiled. “Some things only come via life experience.” He resisted the urge to rub the invisible wedding ring on his left hand. “The Guild is good but you’ll pick up things during your first tour that they can’t teach. Don't be afraid to ask for help from the rest of the crew.”
Harry chuckled. “You mean April, Kendra and Bianca, right? ’Cause I don’t think I’m going to get much from Jenny and Sam.”
Sean shrugged as he reached out for the tablet hovering between them. “Jenny’s the best mechanic out here. And Sam, well—she’s a damned good captain. This is my second tour and I’d have no one else in the cockpit.”
Harry nodded. “I’ll take your word for it. Any word on when we’re getting another courtesan?”
“No.” Sean tapped the screen and sent the report away. “We’re still running one short. You got Dane’s cabin and we’re still waiting for Halley’s replacement.”
“I’m sorry about all that.” Harry looked down. “I know you were buddies with them both.”
“Not so much buddies, but work associates.” Sean wasn’t sure how to explain it to the rookie. “You can be on the same ship for months, years and never be friends with anyone else. Halley—” He choked up, thinking of the dead courtesan.
They hadn’t been friends but they sure as hell hadn’t been enemies. If Sean had been the one to find her dead in her cabin with her throat cut—
“Dane Morris was an asshole,” Sean growled. “He killed one of our own and tried to kill the captain. He was no friend of mine.”
Harry nodded. “Understood.”
Sean released the tablet and rubbed his face with both hands. “I’m sorry. I’m a wee bit on edge.”
“No problem,” Harry replied. “I guess this gets boring to an old pro like yourself after a while.”
Sean was in the middle of composing an answer when the alarm went off.
“All personnel immediately report to the galley.” Belle’s calm voice was in contrast to the blaring siren. “Please report to the galley.”
Harry flailed in zero gravity until Sean got hold of his arm and helped him to the hatch.
“Is it bad?” Harry asked as they opened the door and swam out into the hall.
Sean wasn’t in a mood to sugarcoat his response. “Probably.”
Kendra drifted into the hall, her movements graceful even in weightlessness. She eyed the two men.

It wasn’t a question.
Book two of Tales from the Edge
Catherine Rodgers doesn’t like Mercy spaceships, or the courtesans who work on them—not after her husband left her for a Mercy woman. But after her luxurious transport ship gets blown up to prevent her from cracking the lid off a corporate scam that’s left hundreds dead and a few people very rich, the only vessel around to save her is the Bonnie Belle.
Sean Harrison has worked as one of the Belle’s courtesans for years, bringing happiness to countless women along the space lanes. When he’s asked to look after Catherine while the Belle brings her to safety, it should be just another job. Somehow it’s anything but.
Sean is captivated by Catherine’s sense of justice and responsibility. And Catherine finds a softer, more emotionally intelligent man in Sean than she expected. Drawn together in darkness under the threat of death, they find the beginning of something lasting. But with pirates after the Belle and a price on Catherine’s head, that beginning might be all they get.
Coming out October 6th from Carina Press!
Pre-order from Amazon and Barnes & Noble today!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

The Hollows Series: The End of an Era

Posted by: Jax Garren
In less than two weeks, Kim Harrison's Hollows series (also knows as the Rachel Morgan series) will release it's last book. It's book thirteen in a series that started back in 2004--a decade of adventures for my favorite witch.

I'm both thrilled and sad to know that in two weeks I'll know how it all ends. 

For those unfamiliar, the series follows Rachel Morgan, a witch who's like a female Capt. Mal Reynolds (from Firefly). She's got a good heart, even if she rarely follows the rules. And things never run smooth around her. With vampire Ivy and pixie Jenks, her partners in solving supernatural crime, she takes on the biggest baddies of Cincinnati--and later the USA--with sarcasm, streetsmarts, and grit.

In honor of the series, I'm going to relate my top ten moments. You may notice a theme...I'm a diehard fan of sexy, brilliant, semi-evil, elf on a mission, Trent Kalamack.

10) Trent caging Rachel when she was a mink and keeping her as a pet. Yes it was awful. But it was hilarious!

9) Vampires line dancing to "Living Dead Girl" on Rachel's date with Kisten (ah...Kisten. *sniff*)

8) Rachel making Jenks human-sized and realizing how hot he is. (I <3 Jenks so much.)

7) Rynn Cormell's gambling bloat blowing up--with Rachel and Trent on it. The way they saved each other was, for me anyway, the turning point when Trent went from evil to interesting. And the morning after with Trent's cold-hearted fiancee had me snorting with laughter in public. *embarassing!*

6) Realizing the terrifying demon Algaliarept was broke. It gave Al such humanity to know that he was striving to make ends meet in the Ever After (the demon realm).

5) Rachel staying awake with Quen (Trent's bodyguard and best friend), willing him to live and trying to convince Trent to believe in good, even when it's terribly unlikely to happen.

4) Ivy giving Rachel the vampire dating guide so Rachel can use it as a manual of what NOT to do!

3) Jenks and Trent's budding friendship after they liberate Lucy. (I prefer "liberate" to "kidnap".)

2) Rachel arresting Trent at the alter during his wedding. Priceless!

1) Trent using magic to help Rachel bake cookies...then rescuing her with a kiss.

This was harder than I expected!! I didn't even mention the road trip, Trent's silly spelling cap, Jenks' colorful vocabulary, ringing the tower bells with magic...I could go on and on! I'm seriously smitten with this series. Can I reread 12 books before the final one comes out?? I may have to find out!

Have you read the Hollows? What awesome moments did I leave out?

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Win-A-Book Wednesday with Veronica Scott

Posted by: Veronica Scott

Veronica Scott

Best Selling Science Fiction & Paranormal Romance author and “SciFi Encounters” columnist for the USA Today Happily Ever After blog,  Veronica Scott grew up in a house with a library as its heart. Dad loved science fiction, Mom loved ancient history and Veronica thought there needed to be more romance in everything. When she ran out of books to read, she started writing her own stories.

Mission to Mahjundar

Celebrating the recent release of this new science fiction romance!

The Story:
An attempted assassination left Princess Shalira blind as a child and, now that she’s of marriageable age, her prospects are not good because of her disability. She’s resigned herself to an arranged marriage rather than face life under the thumb of her cold stepmother. But then she meets Mike Varone, a Sectors Special Forces officer sent to Mahjundar by the intergalactic government to retrieve a ship lost in her planet’s mountains. After Mike saves Shalira from another assassination attempt, she arranges for him to escort her across the planet to her future husband. She’s already falling hard for the deadly offworlder and knows she should deny herself the temptation he represents, but taking Mike along to protect her is the only way she’ll live long enough to escape her ruthless stepmother.
But what should have been an easy trek through Mahjundar’s peaceful lands swiftly turns into an ambush with danger around every turn. Shalira’s marriage begins to seem less like an arranged union and more like yet another planned assassination. The more they work together to survive, the harder it becomes to stop themselves from falling in love. Caught in a race against time, can they escape the hostile forces hunting them and make it off the planet?

Monday, August 25, 2014

Here Be News

Posted by: Unknown

New Releases

He would do anything to protect her, if only she'd let him.

Corporal Sienna Jade wasn't given a choice about joining the mission to Unity. Seen as a troublemaker after reporting an assault by a senior officer, the army wanted her gone. Sienna resents the army for assigning her to Earth Ship Siren, and suspects the fleet's Unity mission will fail. But others would do anything to escape Earth ...

Alex Tariel knew his only chance to get a place on ES Siren was as a prisoner, so he stole water rations. As a former construction foreman, his skills make him a valuable prisoner on board, but still a prisoner unable to control his own life. Instead of keeping his head down, he gets involved in the fights set up for gambling privilege tokens, the only currency aboard ship among the prisoners.

Getting patched up by Corporal Jade might be the best thing that's happened to Alex on the trip so far, but becoming her ship husband puts him between her and the lieutenant who tried to kill her for kicks on Earth. While Sienna tries to keep control of her feelings for Alex, Alex would do anything to protect her, if only she'd let him.

As ES Siren faces its first crisis, a little trust and love goes a long way.

The ES Siren SFR continuity launches on August 28. You can pre-order now!

Yours to Command by Shona Husk

The other two books released today are:
Yours to Uncover by Mel Teshco
Yours to Desire by Denise Rossetti

New audiobook:
Veronica Scott's award winning, best selling science fiction romance ESCAPE FROM ZULAIRE has been released in audiobook format.

Narrated by Actors Michael Riffle and Mary Fegreus, the audiobook is available through Amazon and ACX.
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.


Angela Campbell is featured as the new and noteworthy author on today's episode of PNR Radio. She discusses her psychic detectives series and offers a giveaway. You can find more about the episode and listen to it on the PNR Radio website. You can also download the podcast directly from iTunes, or listen to it on the Stitcher Radio website. In partnership with, author Arial Burnz is the host of the podcast, where she features entertainment that goes bump in the night. If you love paranormal and fantasy books, TV shows and movies, you’ll love PNR Radio. Guests include bestselling authors (e.g., Nalini Singh, Kami Garcia, Kelley Armstrong, Sharon Hamilton & Patrick Rothfuss) and celebrities (from TV shows like Supernatural and Dracula), and every show has a giveaway.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Slight of Hand

Posted by: Ruth A Casie
Hand writing, cursive, long hand, is a lost art. Because each person's handwriting is unique and handwriting is somewhat stable over time, it can be used as a verification tool. It's used on legal documents all the time. 
So, how did I get involved in handwriting? My work in progress is about a time traveling researcher. She's content after finding her way to the 17th century and her hero. Ah, but she's tricked into returning to the 21st century. In order to find her way back to her hero she must research the answers in the old documents, some penned by him. As she reads his writing, runs her fingers over the words, she is once again close to him.

I drew on those emotions from a card I had kept from my mother. She has been gone a long time but seeing her handwriting brings her back
to me. Her handwriting was unique and somewhat flamboyant. Friends and family were always asking her
to address their special occasion invitations. She thought her handwriting was... nothing special. I always thought it was exotic. (And tough to copy on school documents... but you didn't hear that here.) What I wouldn't give to confess that to her today.

What are the characteristics of handwriting and what do they tell us?
The characteristics of handwriting include:
  • the average size of letters
  • the pressure to the paper
  • they rhythmic repetition of the strokes
  • the slant of the letters
  • the spacing, regular or irregular
  • the roundness or sharpness of the letter's shape
Graphology is the study of handwriting and handwriting analysis. There are over 300 features. Here are some of the basic ones that can be easily understood and provide some interesting information. For a full disclosure, this information was found in a free handwriting analysis tool PDF by Elaine Quigley BA Hons., MBIG (Dip)

Slant -
  • Right slant indicates a response to communication. The writer may wish to be friendly, manipulative, responsive, etc.
  • Upright generally means independence.
  • Left slant shows emotion and reserve.
Size - 
  • Small, under 9mm, can indicate a thinker or an academic.
  • Small and delicate handwriting may indicate this person is not a good communicator and may be introverted.
  • Large, over 9mm, can indicate the person is outgoing, and extrovert or the person acts as if they are confident.
Pressure -
  • Heavy pressure indicates commitment, taking things seriously
  • Excessive pressure could mean the writer gets uptight at times and can react quickly to what they see as criticism. They react first and ask questions afterwards
  • Light pressure indicates sensitivity and empathy.
  • Uneven pressure could translate to a lack of vitality
Zones - There are three zones or cases - middle, upper, and lower
  • Tall upper strokes reach toward goals and ambitions. If they are very extended, they may be reaching toward unrealistic expectations
  • A reasonable proportioned upper loop (l, t, h) may indicate someone who likes to thinks things through and use their imagination
  • Wide upper loops indicate a person who may dream up ideas and mull them over.
  • Up strokes that go up and return on top of itself indicate the writer may be squeezing out imagination and keeping to the basic requirements

The PDF has a lot more information that I'm certain you'll find interesting if not for a message left by your hero or your villain, the suicide note left by the victim or just a card sent from a friend. 

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Win-a-Book Wednesday with... Janni Nell

Posted by: Janni Nell

Janni Nell

Janni Nell grew up in a beach-side suburb of Sydney, Australia, then traveled the world before returning to Sydney, where she now lives. After completing the five book Allegra Fairweather humorous paranormal mystery series, Janni began work on a new series of romantic comedy novellas. The first installment, The Bride, The Groom and Me, released August 2014. When Janni isn't writing, you can find her line dancing, walking the dog or working in her vegetable garden.

To celebrate Janni's new release she is giving away a digital copy of your choice of any of the Allegra Fairweather books. Or a digital copy of The Bride, The Groom and Me.

About The Bride, The Groom and Me

Sassy Chance, a shoe sales clerk from San Francisco, is thrilled to be her best friend’s maid of honor. Too bad Sassy is in love with the groom. If that’s not bad enough Sassy is mugged and the heirloom, one-of-a-kind wedding ring is stolen.

Enter martial arts expert Devlin Fox. After saving Sassy from the muggers, Devlin feels compelled—for reasons even he doesn’t understand—to help her search for the ring.

With only days until the wedding, their chance of finding it in time is slim to zero. Looks like Sassy is going to ruin her friend’s perfect day. Oh, and she’s still in love with the groom.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Hang in There

Posted by: R.L. Naquin
Flowers help, too.
Within the context of the worlds we write in, writers are gods. We control the who, what, when, where, why, and how of all that occurs within our pages. Like the wonderful people who read those stories, we writers can find a little escape and live vicariously through the characters.

While I love living through my crazy cast of characters, the thing I seek the most isn’t what you might expect.

I have a pretty good life. Nine-and-a-half years in, I’m still ridiculously in love with my husband. My kids are intelligent, thoughtful adults who are a joy to be around, but also seek out my company, too. I have the career I wanted when I was a kid, and it’s as wonderful as I expected it to be.

So, why do I need the escape of Zoey’s world? Is it the monsters? Not really. Weird as they are, they’re just regular folks. The thing I crave most is knowing that, eventually, everything has to sort itself out for everybody. No matter what terrible thing happens in my books, things will eventually be okay. They have to.

When my real-life friends are in trouble, I can’t guarantee them anything. Lost jobs, divorce, sickness, unhappy careers, unexpected pregnancies after a break-up—I can’t offer anything but platitudes. I am helpless to change anything. As an author, I can look at my outline, nod, and say “Hang in there. It all works out by chapter twenty-seven.”

But reality isn’t that far off from the fiction I write. Time moves forward. Every event, no matter how difficult, will eventually move forward, too. Circumstances will change, and then we’ll look back and realize it’s all behind us. We moved through it and past it, whether we did anything or not, because time kept going and the story went along with it.

So, real life isn’t so different from fiction after all. We can’t fix everything, but we can hold each other's hands while we turn the pages to get to the next chapter.

Sometimes today sucks. But honest, everything works out by chapter twenty-seven.

Because it has to.

Rachel writes stories that drop average people into magical situations filled with heart and quirky humor.

She believes in pixie dust, the power of love, good cheese, lucky socks and putting things off until the last minute. Her home is Disneyland, despite her current location in Kansas. Rachel has one husband, two grown kids and a crazy-catlady starter kit.

Sign up for her newsletter for news, extras, and exclusive stuff: Newsletter
Hang out with her here: Website Blog Facebook Twitter
Buy her books here:  Amazon B&N Carina Press

Monday, August 18, 2014

Here Be News

Posted by: Unknown

New Releases

After years of denial, Cass Weatherfield has finally accepted her telekinetic gifts. Living with her boyfriend, Shane, has given her the confidence to be herself, but the fear of losing control and harming those around her is always present.

Knowing firsthand the hell of growing up without a mentor, she agrees to meet and help Diana, a young Shadowmind. But when Cass shows up, the terrified woman changes her mind and flees. Cass and Shane track her across New Orleans, and soon discover that Diana is being held against her will by an illicit organization that's selling her rare clairvoyant skills to the highest bidder. In charge is an ancient creature more powerful than any they've ever encountered. And apparently she wants Shane dead.

Cass and Shane work to free Diana. But as Cass uses more and more power, drawing it from her friends in the fight against evil, she feels an addictive pull that challenges her control. And, in the end, Cass may be the greatest threat to those she loves the most.

Book two of The Shadowminds

Get it today!

An attempted assassination left Princess Shalira blind as a child and, now that she’s of marriageable age, her prospects are not good because of her disability. She’s resigned herself to an arranged marriage rather than face life under the thumb of her cold stepmother. But then she meets Mike Varone, a Sectors Special Forces officer sent to Mahjundar by the intergalactic government to retrieve a ship lost in her planet’s mountains. After Mike saves Shalira from another assassination attempt, she arranges for him to escort her across the planet to her future husband. She’s already falling hard for the deadly offworlder and knows she should deny herself the temptation he represents, but taking Mike along to protect her is the only way she’ll live long enough to escape her ruthless stepmother.

But what should have been an easy trek through Mahjundar’s peaceful lands swiftly turns into an ambush with danger around every turn. Shalira’s marriage begins to seem less like an arranged union and more like yet another planned assassination. The more they work together to survive, the harder it becomes to stop themselves from falling in love. Caught in a race against time, can they escape the hostile forces hunting them and make it off the planet?

Amazon     Barnes & Noble   iTunes     All Romance eBooks

Other news

Shawna Reppert's Ravensblood won a gold medal in the Global Ebook Awards!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Where has all the paranormal romance gone?

Posted by: Unknown

I’ve been having trouble finding new paranormal romance lately. A lot of the books still being published in the genre are from longstanding series I’ve abandoned for one reason or another. I’m not a big fan of long series. Short attention span. Limited reading time. *shrugs*

A lot of PNR authors have moved on to other genres and many of the paranormal blogs I used to follow have changed their focus too. So, yeah, all signs of a once-hot trend that’s run its course, which is fine…it’s all cyclical, the nature of publishing, etc. But it leaves me in a quandary. I still really like reading PNR. I especially like new, groundbreaking PNR, and I haven’t been able to find much of it so I’m hoping you can help me out.

What am I looking for?

I prefer stories that would be labeled contemporary fantasy if not for the female protagonist and romantic storyline. I’m okay if the romance is subplot so long as it’s a strong one, preferably resolved within a single book. I’m okay with the romance being central so long as the underlying worldbuilding is solid. I like UF/PNR crosses especially well. I still like werewolves and vampires, but it’s gotta be a new take. I’m okay with insta-lust so long as it’s done well. By that, I mean so long as the lust isn’t the only foundation for the romance and there are real obstacles preventing the mains from acting on their inconvenient urges. I like historical PNR too, but I’ve read a lot of it.

PNR that falls more to the fantasy side is the real sweet spot for me. As a child of the eighties, I have a soft spot for portal fantasies and psychic storylines that I’ll never be able to shake. (Don’t want to.) I would love, love, love to find someone writing psychic/magic type PNR like the old teen novels that Lois Duncan used to write. I would also love to find some good PNR/horror mixes, especially something with a New Age-y kind of flavor. I know that one’s specific. I read this horror story about a New Age cult once that was really awful but the premise was so good (that magic was real and the forces they’d tapped into were evil and out to get them) that I’ve wanted to read another like it ever since…only better, you know?

So, do you have any suggestions for me? Read anything lately that you just love?


Eleri Stone is a RITA-nominated author of paranormal and fantasy romance. She was born in New Jersey, but now lives in Iowa with her husband and their three children. All of her stories have some element of speculative fiction in them and they all end with a happily-ever-after.

WebsiteBlog Facebook  Twitter 

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Nothing Succeeds Like Sincerity

Posted by: Jeffe Kennedy
"Nothing succeeds like success" - isn't that how the saying goes?

And then there's that other one, something like "The most important quality to have is sincerity - once you've faked that, you've got it made."

Therefore, I figure the transitive property of philosophy makes this true: One you've faked success, you've got it made.


This feels so true of publishing. Everyone works very hard to create the impression that a book is doing really well, because if people think a book is selling well, they're more likely to buy it. This is all a part of the black magic of marketing that I don't really understand. I'm a writer and a scientist. I have an assortment of eclectic skills and talents - I'm an excellent cook, draw passably well, have a green thumb and can untangle any knot or uncork any wine bottle, given enough time - but the whole selling people stuff is not one of them.

Partly because I have a problem with convincing people to spend their money on something that isn't their own idea, which often seems the point of marketing to me. It feels insincere on some level - a variety I'm uncomfortable faking.

And yet, I find myself in the business of not just writing books, but selling them. Alas. Right now my publisher is dangling the yummy chocolate enticement (because, really, who goes out of their comfort zone for carrots?) of buying three more books in my Twelve Kingdoms series. Right now, it culminates with book 3, THE TALON OF THE HAWK. But, once you read it, you'll see there's lots of places to go with this story. Since THE MARK OF THE TALA is doing so well - they're even making noises about featuring the series at the Frankfurt book fair! - that makes the possibility more promising.


Isn't that always the rub? The "but" is that they're watching pre-sales of THE TEARS OF THE ROSE, which comes out November 25. Because if more people buy ahead, then more people will buy, right?

*waves magic marketing wand*

So, don't mind me while I do the selling books song and tap-dance. For now I'm offering my prequel story to the series, called NEGOTIATION, previously available only in an anthology, free in my first newsletter. Whee! So, if you're interested, sign up for the newsletter here. I promise the newsletter will include only fun, sincere, non-spammy things.

~tap dances into sunset~

Friday, August 15, 2014

by Another Name...erotic gay paranormal romance

Posted by: Brenda
Many authors use their real name and many create one or more pseudonyms. And for as many fictitious names there are in the world, there are all sorts of reasons for going by another name -- one of the biggest is to hide the writer's true identity. In my case, it's the other big reason I use made-up names -- to differentiate between my styles, not my genres. I use my real name for my erotic romances whether they be contemporary or paranormal. I have another name for children and young adult. Then another for a man's point of view and yet another for inspirational or sweet. Finally, I have Sineth Killiri -- my pen name for my gay romances. I don't try to hide who I am, just categorize what I write. Here is my newest release for my alter-ego.

White Lightning Fever

Available on Kindle

Constantly aroused by his animalistic nature, mountain man and moonshiner, Eli Ulbrecht is quick to pounce on the handsome stranger that shows up in his territory. But Ryan Hunt wants to hunt for the one thing Eli cannot let anyone find—a white cougar. While Eli insists there will be no hunting, Ryan’s employer won’t take no for an answer, and Eli isn’t ready to see Ryan leave, so he agrees to help them, finding it the best way to control their search. Besides, how can they find the animal when he is the very beast they hope to capture?

Big game tracker, Ryan Hunt is on an expedition into the remote wilderness of the Appalachians in search of a rare white cougar when he meets sexy backwoodsman, Eli. He can tell right off that Eli is hiding something mysterious from him about the mountain cat, but the frequent sexual encounters between them are a distraction. And each of their unions builds with aggression, until visions drag him into the ultimately rough and feral mating with a cougar. As he becomes closer with Eli, he’s drawn deeper into Eli’s world of witches and moonshine and magic. But can their sexual connection lead to a lasting love or bring about a fatal end for the hunter and his prey?


Eli Ulbrecht stood guarded and motionless in his cougar form letting the morning shadows of the Smoky Mountain forest conceal him. He nosed a low hanging oak branch aside to stare at the strangers getting out of a mud spattered brown pick-up truck.

Interlopers. It made his hackles rise. The erectile hairs quivered the entire length of his straight feline back. His limited interaction with people put his emotions at odds. When anyone showed up in his claimed territory, he became anxious and on guard. They represented danger—to him, to his moonshine business, but especially to themselves.

Concentrated exhaust fumes filled the air. The noxious odor masked the scent of the human intruders. How would he track them if he lost sight of their whereabouts in the forest?

Agitated, he resisted the urge to pace. The strangers might notice sounds. He waited silently, unready to make his presence known.

In studying their movements, as he did when stalking any prey, he noticed the taller of the two moved clumsily. Twice the towering brawny one stumbled over dead branches on the ground.

The other man seemed steadier. He accomplished the task of unloading gear from the vehicle without one misplaced step. His graceful moves in lifting and carrying attracted Eli. It was his instinct to appreciate agility and his personal preference to admire beauty. The man’s profile showed off the handsome features that made Eli stretch his claws and paw the soft soil silently with desire.

He eyed the handsome man with growing interest. His heart skipped beats as excitement rose within him. The short hairs deep in his hide quivered. To scratch an itch beneath his fur, he raked the side of his muzzle against the bark of a tree.

Eli didn’t want the strangers nosing around his mountain, and yet, a deep longing for a companion gave him reason to debate the issue. Seven months of sexual abstinence made it simple to lust. His throbbing penis slid partly out from its protective sheath under his furry belly. The pointed tip quivered.

Was it possible that a gay man had happened into his region? His growing erection extended farther.

He hadn’t been with a man in a long while. The ones he had met down the mountain in town hadn’t captured his attention for more than a few hours. Finding someone desirable and suitable had limits. His remote residence up in the Smoky Mountains placed him far from society, adding to the difficulties of running into the right kind of fellow. Eli had only considered one lover suitable and that was so long ago, he barely remembered that feeling of oneness as Burl Vaughn fucked him.

 Eli watched the two men remove other items besides their backpacks from the truck bed. He tried to determine their business being there.



Vacationers on an adventure?

Eli had seen others with those intentions, and rarely, did any of them venture this close to his home. He didn’t want anyone disrupting the balance to his life.

Just how had they had traveled so far into the extreme remoteness Appalachian wilderness? The heavily forested mountains had no roads, except for his narrow motorcycle trail. Some of those paths had barely given him the room to pass between trees. These men arrived in a pick-up truck.

Sight of the guns caused a panic in Eli’s thoughts. Hunters. The worse kind of intruders. What had they coming looking for? He ran through a list of the ordinary animals in the region. Rabbit, quail or was it something bigger? Deer were as plentiful as turkey. Maybe bear? He tried not to include what he was in his present condition, but how could he not add mountain lion to the list of possibilities?

Slowly, Eli slinked forward. He ducked beneath the thorny underbrush to get a closer look at the men and their weapons.

Legends of a pale mountain wraith abounded along the Appalachian mountain ranges and many of them were rooted in fact. From accounts of sudden disappearances to haunting ghost stories, there was one tale that fascinated many.

Did they come to hunt for the elusive white cougar?

The story covered a million square miles. No one really had any idea where to start searching. Known as panthers, pumas, catamounts and painters, mountain lions in of themselves were a rarity. Even the fact they called the rare cougar white, showed they didn’t have any facts right. Eli’s fur was a sandy beige. While paler than any cat he’d ever seen, he never considered his coloring white.

Amateurs and experienced huntsmen alike aspired to have a mountain cat mounted as a trophy in their den. Sought by sightseers, photographers and occasionally hunters, the latter being the most treacherous, he was always careful. Had these two men lucked into the area he lived or did they have clues?

Growling from the underbrush wasn’t going to scare these men away and it wasn’t wise to show them the snarling animal he became. Reasoning had to be his first defense, his safest option. He closed his eyes, shook his furry pale hide and willed himself upright out of his cougar form into that of a man. He quietly picked up his clothing from where he had shed it earlier when he had transformed into the cougar. It was often his habit to remove his garments, although on many occasions in his rush, he let his transformation rip his pants and shirts apart at the seams.

With his blood still sizzling and his skin tingling from his molecular change, he dressed within the confines of the shadows. The men had a preoccupation with checking their gear, so no one seemed to notice his almost soundless movements.

The cool springtime air felt good against his hot skin as he worked his pants up and zipped them closed over his still hard cock. He left his shirt unbuttoned. Shoving his feet into his worn slip-on boots, he kept an eye on the strangers.

Not having a plan to make the men leave created apprehensive, but he had no choice. He strode into the clearing hoping inspiration came soon.

The men noticed him immediately. With an expression of surprise on their faces, they advanced cautiously, glancing around, apparently looking for others with him. Their concern made him more uneasy as if they had something to hide.

“We didn’t expect to see anyone around here?” the taller man said as he trudged forward toting a rifle in the crook of his arm. “You a camper?”

“Something like that. I live here,” Eli answered evenly, keeping his nervousness hidden behind a veneer of self-confidence. As a man, he could hold his own in a fight. As a mountain cat, he had an advantage of strength. Neither form had the ability to survive a lethal gunshot.

“You can’t live here.” The man challenged, a scowl furrowing his thick black eyebrows. “This land is part of a national park. The government owns it and people ain’t allowed to live on government land.”

Eli lifted his arm and pointed in the direction they came from. “State park border ends a mile down the mountain,” he told them, thinking they’d not believe anything farther.

“That’s impossible,” the tall man declared. “Government land extends all the way to—”

“Shut up, Hanks.” The other man suddenly spoke in a tone that said he was in charge. “I’m Ryan Hunt and this is Eramus Hanks. He tends to think he knows everything. While I’ll admit, we were under the impression this park covered most of the mountain, we’ll trust your word it doesn’t. I mean who else would know better where land boundaries are than a landowner.”

Eli evaluated the threat of Ryan. His passive tone, unwavering stance and in-charge attitude posed more trouble than that of the blathering idiot’s did. It wasn’t to say that Hanks hadn’t had his facts right. The government did own that part of the territory, but Eli wasn’t going to admit it. He aimed to get the men to leave.

A smile tugged at the corner of Ryan’s mouth and dimpled his cheeks. “Not being government land works for us.”

Eli’s chest tightened. He refrained from rubbing his hand over the center to dispel the sensation.

“We were looking to hunt and private land is much better, isn’t it Hanks?” Ryan continued. “No law against it as long as we got the owner’s permission, right?”

Hanks’ strange laugh lacked the same amusement in his expression. “Yeah, we don’t want to break the law.”

“I don’t allow hunting on my land,” Eli informed them quickly.

Hanks made a disgruntled noise as if he prepared to argue, but Ryan elbowed him in the side, stopping the noise of complaint.

“Not ever? We can pay.” Hit by sunlight in the face, Ryan squint his mesmerizing green eyes until he repositioned his brown hat with a downward tug.

“The land is rough and dangerous.” Eli tried using sound reasoning. “It’s not a good idea unless you’re familiar with the area.”

Eli had more than one motive to keep the men from wandering the forest—his moonshine still.

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