Monday, October 31, 2016

Here Be News

Posted by: Unknown

New Releases

Out October 29!

At last, the much-anticipated next installment in the Sorcerous Moons series.

A Narrow Escape 

With her secrets uncovered and her power-mad brother bent on her execution, Princess Oria has no sanctuary left. Her bid to make herself and her new barbarian husband rulers of walled Bára has failed. She and Lonen have no choice but to flee through the leagues of brutal desert between her home and his—certain death for a sorceress, and only a bit slower than the blade.

A Race Against Time 

At the mercy of a husband barely more than a stranger, Oria must war with her fears and her desires. Wild desert magic buffets her; her husband’s touch allures and burns. Lonen is pushed to the brink, sure he’s doomed his proud bride and all too aware of the restless, ruthless pursuit that follows…

A Danger Beyond Death… 

Can Oria trust a savage warrior, now that her strength has vanished? Can Lonen choose her against the future of his people? Alone together in the wastes, Lonen and Oria must forge a bond based on more than lust and power, or neither will survive the test…

Buy the Book

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Fear Itself

Posted by: Shawna Reppert

Put it down to an overactive imagination, but I was possibly the wimpiest kid in the world when it came to scary movies and TV shows. My parents threatened to stop letting me watch Doctor Who because it gave me nightmares. (Though in my defense, “Image of the Fendahl” is seriously creepy when you’re ten!). For as far back as I can remember, I have had nightmares involving home invasion and serial killers. (Let me state for the record that I had an otherwise normal and stable childhood. 
Maybe it was a past-life memory. Maybe I just started watching the ten o’clock news young and tender an age).

Paradoxically, I also have a fascination with ghost stories, even though I know they will interfere with my sleep for many nights to come. This was something I had occasion to ponder, as I streamed spectral tales through headphones while working past dark in a mostly empty building and occasionally jumping at imaginary sounds. (At least, I hope they were imaginary!)

I also had to ask myself when I first started writing A Hunt by Moonlight whether or not I could handle writing a book about a serial killer that preyed on women, even a fictional serial killer in an alternate-universe Victorian London. Even though the killer was not one of my POV characters, I still had to get into his head enough to understand his motivations, and his head was a deeply unpleasant place to be. Even one or two of my red-herring characters made my skin crawl.

And yet I found that I had fewer nightmares while I was working on Hunt. I had to ask myself what was up with that? It might have been different, of course, if I was the sort of writer that described the killing in (literally) gory detail. (Reviewers of some of my previous books have praised my ability to portray the horror of an occurrence without resorting to stomach-churning description). That might explain why the nightmares didn’t increase. By why did they lessen?

Part of it, I think, was that this killer was under my control. He jumped when I said ‘jump’. I could stop him at any time. Another factor may have been that the focus of my writing was the good guys, the ones trying to stop the killer, the ones that wanted to protect citizens from harm. I spent more time by far in their heads. 

But maybe the biggest factor might be what the amazing writing teacher (and author) David Farland says about one of the values of fiction to society. In a workshop I took with David a few years ago, he said that scary/tense/difficult moments in fiction help to prepare us for dealing with scary/tense/difficult moments in real life in the same way inoculations of killed or weakened virus prepare the body for encounters with live virus in the real world 

David is not entirely alone in the theory. I first encountered something like it in the analysis of A. E. Houseman’s poem “Terrence, This is Stupid Stuff” in a high school English Lit textbook more years ago than I care to count.

So I, for one, intend to keep listening to those ghost stories and writing about the occasional serial killer. Here’s to inoculating the brain.

Find out more about author Shawna Reppert at her website:

Find A Hunt by Moonlight and her other works on Amazon!


Saturday, October 29, 2016

The Transition that Became a Book

Posted by: Jeffe Kennedy

At last! The next installment in Lonen and Oria's epic tale is here!

I have a somewhat sheepish confession to make. You can gaze on this gorgeous cover by Louisa Gallie to salve your soul while you brace yourself. I'll wait.


(It really is a pretty cover, isn't it?)

Okay, this is not the book I meant to write.

Well, it's part of it, but not all of it. This sometimes happens to authors like me, who discover the story as they write. I had a pretty good idea of what this book should do storywise. I thought. (Spoilers here for the first two books, LONEN'S WAR and ORIA'S GAMBIT, if you're not caught up on the series.) I figured it would see Lonen and Oria escaping Bára, journeying to Dru and continuing the war from there, to the dramatic conclusion. I had all sorts of stuff in mind for what would happen in Dru and the various challenges they'd face.

I even fretted over my certainty that this book should be called THE TIDES OF BÁRA when very likely 75-80% of the story would take place in Dru.

Silly me.

Turns out that there will be at least book four (possibly six or seven) and that the next is called THE FORESTS OF DRU for a really good reason. Because that's the next phase in the story. 

What I thought would be a fraught journey to Dru turned into an epic adventure. It seemed Lonen and Oria had much more to overcome during their travels than I'd realized. No small transition there.

Which is okay, because I love this story - and a great deal more has been laid into the foundation of the ongoing conflict.

Can't wait for you all to read it!


A Narrow Escape 

With her secrets uncovered and her power-mad brother bent on her execution, Princess Oria has no sanctuary left. Her bid to make herself and her new barbarian husband rulers of walled Bára has failed. She and Lonen have no choice but to flee through the leagues of brutal desert between her home and his—certain death for a sorceress, and only a bit slower than the blade.

A Race Against Time 

At the mercy of a husband barely more than a stranger, Oria must war with her fears and her desires. Wild desert magic buffets her; her husband’s touch allures and burns. Lonen is pushed to the brink, sure he’s doomed his proud bride and all too aware of the restless, ruthless pursuit that follows…

A Danger Beyond Death… 

Can Oria trust a savage warrior, now that her strength has vanished? Can Lonen choose her against the future of his people? Alone together in the wastes, Lonen and Oria must forge a bond based on more than lust and power, or neither will survive the test…

Buy the Book

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Alchemy Shift - New Release

Posted by: Jenny Schwartz
This was meant to be release day for Alchemy Shift but I hit the publish button two weeks ago. Don't worry! You can still get your copy of the hottest, most cuddly werebear and his mega-ton of troubles for the special release price of 99c.
Buy link:

A woman, her sword, and the bear-shifter who’ll steal her heart.

Delphi Cosmatos is an alchemist. She investigates the strange and magical objects that find their way to Collegium headquarters in New York. She has magic—and a big Greek family, all ready to “help” her (they mean, interfere). When Jet Walsh moves in next door with no family except the two young orphaned cousins he’s responsible for, it’s a situation of opposites attracting, especially since Jet is a bear-shifter.

But Jet can’t pursue a romantic relationship. He’s tracking the rogue mage who tortured and killed his cousins’ mom. Banned spells are being trafficked across the world and the center of the trade is New York.

Delphi knew her city was dangerous, but now her heart is in danger, too. Jet doesn’t have magic, yet he’s tangling with a powerful, ruthless mage. If she wants to save her man, she’ll need all the help she can get. No! Not from her family. Stashed in the evidence bunker at Collegium headquarters is the legendary sword Excalibur, and Delphi is just the woman to wield it. Maybe.

Download a copy today!


Jet had been following his nose since entering the Collegium, but even though his nose had never lied to him yet, he was still shocked to actually see Delphi in front of him—and carrying a sword. She looked fierce and sexy in those killer high heels and short skirt, and she obviously knew how to use the sword.
“What are you doing here?” they said together.
He shook his head. “I thought I smelled your scent in the foyer.”
“You tracked me by scent?” Her eyes widened. Then she stared beyond him, evidently noticing their growing audience of her curious colleagues. She scowled, gripped his arm and tugged him into a tiny office that smelled of her, of woman, chocolate and roses. She shut the door on their audience with a sharp bang.
With shelves on both walls and under the window, the tiny space was narrow, but he didn’t mind being crowded with Delphi.
She put the sword she held down on her desk and folded her arms. “What are you doing here?”
Since the many shelves in the office were crowded with huge old leather books that were likely grimoires, as well as crystals, scrying bowls, masks, figurines and more objects that his recent cramming on arcane lore enabled him to recognize as magic, he decided it was safe to tell her the truth. It wasn’t like she’d disbelieve in magic. “I work here.”
“Horse apples,” she snapped.
He laughed.
She unfolded her arms and gripped the edge of her desk. “You’re a bear-were, Jet. You don’t work for the Collegium.”
“You know what I am?” In his shock, he took a step toward her. In the small space, that meant he was less than arm’s length from her.

Remember it's only 99c for a short time! Grab your copy now - and discover all of the Collegium series FREE on Kindle Unlimited.

Demon Hunter
Djinn Justice
Dragon Knight
Doctor Wolf
Plague Cult
Hollywood Demon
Alchemy Shift

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Witches and Spells - Including One for You!

Posted by: Ruth A Casie
Double, double toil and trouble; Fire burn, and cauldron bubble. Witches. The very word brings different images to mind from ugly old hags to real beauties. Witches delight us in stories by challenging our imagination and suspending reality for just a while. Oh, if only I could have a magic wand to get the housework done, suspend time to write more words... now there's a thought.

That brings me to spells. The very first spell I clearly remember is salagadoola mechicka boola bibbidi-bobbidi-boo. Put them together and what do you get? Cinderella! A magic coach, horses, a footman, glass slippers and a beautiful ball gown and let’s not forget the handsome prince.

What makes the fairy-godmother’s words a spell? A spell is much like a prayer said with a great deal of intent, focus, and will that gives words (or nonsense ones) new meanings. Deborah Blake, an authority on Wiccans, explains that taking a shower can be a magical event. Your intent or goal is to wash away the stress of the day. You focus on the water pouring down on you and visualize your stress being washed away. Your will is to apply energy to the task. Along with the words she uses to increase the impact of the magick “Water, water, wash away all the stress of the day,” your shower becomes magickal.

So, is Cinderella’s fairy-godmother invoking magick? Her fairy-godmother cast her spell speaking an incantation to create a specific outcome. She clearly imagined what she wanted. She intended the magic coach, horse, etc. to all appear. She was keenly focused on the results. And through sheer will she used all the energy at her disposal to make it happen.

What is a spell? Spells are written or spoken words along with set action sometimes using objects, done together with the intent to bring about specific results. The words are the important thing. The actions and objects are used to help the spellcaster concentrate and amplify their request. The spellcaster uses what they feel works best for them candles, herbs, oils, gems and other things. Color, phases of the moon and the day of the week may also play an important part of the spell.

Are there any rules for using magick? Deborah Blake, in her book, The Goddess is in the Details by Llewellyn Publications, July 2009, lays out the seven beliefs at the heart of being a witch.

  1. Harm none. The Wiccan Rede says, “An it harm none, do as ye will.” While this sounds simple, whatever you do make certain you harm no one. That includes yourself and anyone else. She pointed out quite clearly that downstream affects are really unknown. This rule is a guideline and a reminder that the intent should always be to do good.  
  2. Do not interfere with free will. Everyone is responsible for their own actions and should not interfere with the actions of others. Not every witch (other regular person for that matter) seems to believe in this.
  3. What you put out (into the universe) is what you get back. The Law of Return. I believe very strongly in this rule and I’m not a witch. I call it paying it forward. I truly believe that if you give of yourself will come back to you threefold.
  4. As above, so below: Words have power. Witches believe that words have power. It is the reason why spells are said out loud—to announce your intention to the universe. They also believe symbols can be used to heighten the effects of words and can stand for objects or ideas. Sometimes they use candles, stones, water, wine, or anything that will help connect them to the object or idea. As above, so below means they not only have the power to effect change through symbolism and their connection with the universe, but they must also be careful with their words and thoughts. Ms. Blake gave a great example. If words have power, and you get back what you put out, think what would happen when you say, “I hate you.”
  5. Magick is real and witches can use it to bring about positive change. With combination of their belief that they can bring about positive change and the power of words and symbols, they use intent and focus to alter their world.
  6. We are part of nature. All Pagans have one thing in common—they respect nature and believe they are a part of it, not above it. While traditional religions view humans as superior, Pagans see themselves as guardians. Witches worship the mother earth, the nature goddess. They follow the cycle of the seasons and strive to connect to nature and stay close to their primordial gods.
  7. The divine is in everything, including us. Pagans believe in the old gods and goddesses and that there is an element of the divine in everything. This is at the heart of what it means to be a witch. This connection to the universe and to the divine gives witches both power and responsibility. It connects them to every other living being.
So, let me leave you with this. Find a comfortable place to sit where you won’t be disturbed. Light a white candle, take a sip of red wine, hold the book your reading, and say:  

The winds are still,
as the words unfold.
Strong is the will,
as the story is told.
Peace fills the room,
and carries me away.
Imagination in bloom,
the rest of the day.

Now sit back, open your book and enjoy the adventure. Happy Reading!


Lost: One locket filled with memories. 
Will finding it lead Rachel to peace and happiness? 

The Witching Hour
by Ruth A. Casie 
featured in 
Haunted Havenport
with stories by
Emma Kaye
Nicole S. Patrick
Lita Harris

Now available at:

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Going Back to Find You by PG Forte

Posted by: PG Forte
There’s a special delight in setting a paranormal story in a contemporary world. Going Back to Find You, which releases today, is a very classic vampire meets girl, vampire loses girl, vampire goes back to Nebraska to find girl again. But it’s set in a small Nebraska town where vampires and zombies and werewolves and faerie queens only show up at Halloween and are always revealed to be your neighbors in disguise.

Not this year.

My hero, Jason, appeared very briefly in the first Children of Night book, In the Dark. Ever since then, I've wanted to tell his story. But it just didn't happen.

Until now.

Because even a vampire deserves a second chance.

When Jason Cook boarded the train to San Francisco, he didn’t plan on coming back. He never really thought he’d see Nebraska or Lizbeth Petersen ever again. But when an unexpected turn of events threatens the woman he’d loved and lost, he has no choice but to go back and try to make things right.

Lizbeth never thought she’d see Jason again, either—and she’s not so sure she wants to see him now. Her life’s a mess, but at least it’s her mess. And after a lifetime of other people making decisions for her, she’s looking forward to finally figuring out some things on her own. Besides, Jason already left her once when she needed him. Why should she trust him not to do the same again now?

Warning: This is not a drill. Vampires are invading your favorite, small Nebraska town this Halloween. Does this mean Type-O flavored booze will soon be the new rage in Sapphire Falls? Hopefully, it won’t come to that. But you never can tell…


“I’m not sure about these candles.” Hailey Conner Bennett gazed critically at the lamps Lizbeth Petersen had painstakingly arranged on the steps leading up to the door of her brightly painted wooden caravan.
“How do you mean?” Liz was pleased that she was able to keep the snarl from her voice. A big orange cat had wandered over while she and Hailey were talking. When it started pawing at the little glass cups Liz shooed it away. “Not sure about what?”
“I’m not sure they’re a good idea.”
Which was tantamount to saying nothing. Liz counted to ten and forced a polite smile. “Why is that?”
“Well, they’re a fire hazard.” A faint crease between Hailey’s brows revealed an uncertainty that the predator in Liz found irresistible—in a chase-her-down-and-drain-her-blood kind of way. “Don’t you think? I’m sure the fire marshal will. Especially with all the children who’ll be running around.”
Fair enough. Sapphire Falls first annual Halloween Festival had definitely been postured as a family-friendly event. And as the former mayor and current Director of Tourism, Hailey had both a point and a legitimate reason to involve herself in Liz’s business. But, all the same, Liz had to appreciate the irony. Being a vampire, she was undoubtedly much more concerned about the possibility of fire than even the most scrupulous of fire marshals.
“Not to worry. I’m using flameless candles. They might look real, but they’re battery-operated LED lights. The best part is that they’re all on automatic timers, which should look suitably spooky to any of the children who happen to be around when they start going on or off by themselves. Spooky or magical,” Liz said, correcting herself. “Depending on their outlook, I suppose.”
“Oh, good. I guess I should have realized you’d have thought of something so basic.”
“I wouldn’t be much of a psychic if I couldn’t intuit that. Besides…” Liz felt a surge of pride as she patted the exterior of her cottage on wheels. “I have to protect my investment. This is my home, you know, as well as my livelihood.”
Hailey’s gaze swept the camper once more. “You don’t live in it, do you? Full time?”
“Yes and yes.” Liz chuckled at the surprised expression on Hailey’s face. “Listen, I spent more years than you need to know about stuck in one place, dreaming of the day I could just pick up and go anywhere or anytime I felt like it. Now that day is here, and I’m determined to make the most of it.”
Hailey shook her head. “I couldn’t do that. Not just because Sapphire Falls is my home, I’d get claustrophobic.”
“It does take a certain temperament,” Liz agreed. She studied the woman for a moment, trying to disguise her hunger. Hailey was so poised and polished. She was young, healthy, strong—just the way Liz liked her meals. It was all she could do not to drool. “You probably have closets bigger than this.”
A frown creased Hailey’s brow. “I don’t know why you’d say that.”
“Professional psychic, remember?”
“Oh. Right.” Hailey continued to look uncertain, which Liz suspected was an uncomfortable state for a woman who was so clearly used to being in control.
She smiled reassuringly. “It’s okay to admit it. You won’t hurt my feelings.”
“Well, in that case…” Hailey’s own smile reasserted itself. “You might be right.”
“Maybe you’d like to see inside?” Liz held out her hand invitingly. She let a hint of compulsion bleed through her voice. Her fangs pulsed in anticipation when Hailey responded, moving toward her in a dreamlike manner. “That’s it. Come on up. Let me show you around.”
Liz stepped back, moving out of the way so Hailey could enter. She did so hesitantly, blinking in surprise as she glanced around the interior of Liz’s new home. “Wow. This place is amazing.”
“Thank you,” Liz replied, surreptitiously pressing the door’s secret latch so they wouldn’t be interrupted. She took a moment to cast her gaze around the room as well, trying to see the place from Hailey’s perspective.
Satisfaction surged. It was amazing. She was enormously proud of the job she’d done. After Felicia’s death had freed Liz to make her own decisions, she’d taken her share of the clan’s inheritance money and used it to commission a custom mobile home loosely based on a traditional Romani vardo. She’d paid a pretty penny for all the little extras. Hand-carved wooden panels covered the interior walls, their Art Nouveau curves picked out in gold. The velvet drapes and repurposed oil lamps gave the room a mysterious air while keeping it comfortably dark. Her bedroom was a marvel of vampire engineering, arranged to be as cool and lightproof as possible, its entrance hidden, like the lock she’d just engaged, to keep the curious from entering and the nervous from escaping. With the addition of an extra-large shower and mini fridge—crucial for cleaning up accidents and storing emergency rations—she was all set.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Here Be News

Posted by: Unknown

New Releases

Releasing tomorrow (October 25):

A paranormal romance set in a very contemporary, small town Kindle World? Sure, why not. It's Halloween, after all. 

Going Back to Find You

Because even a vampire deserves a second chance.

When Jason Cook boarded the train to San Francisco, he didn’t plan on coming back. He never really thought he’d see Nebraska or Lizbeth Petersen ever again. But when an unexpected turn of events threatens the woman he’d loved and lost, he has no choice but to go back and try to make things right.

Lizbeth never thought she’d see Jason again, either—and she’s not so sure she wants to see him now. Her life’s a mess, but at least it’s her mess. And after a lifetime of other people making decisions for her, she’s looking forward to finally figuring out some things on her own. Besides, Jason already left her once when she needed him. Why should she trust him not to do the same again now?

Warning: This is not a drill. Vampires are invading your favorite, small Nebraska town this Halloween. Does this mean Type-O flavored booze will soon be the new rage in Sapphire Falls? Hopefully, it won’t come to that. But you never can tell…

Available through Amazon. Sorry, links won't be live until release day, but in the meantime you can read an excerpt HERE.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

What it's like to become a writer

Posted by: Angela Korra'ti
Any writer who’s managed to get a book out the door, whether they’re a tiny little indie writer like me or a national bestseller, will eventually get asked “Hey! What’s it like to break into the writing business?”

I got asked about that week, in fact, by a friend who relayed to me that a friend of his was thinking about doing it. So, since it’s my turn to post on the Here Be Magic blog today, I thought I’d address this very question.

First, a caveat: I’m coming at this from the perspective of someone who’s specifically working in the SF/F genre, and also, someone who’s specifically working on novels. Mileage will definitely vary if you’re wanting to break into writing short stories, or non-fiction, or poetry, or articles for media sites, etc. For the purposes of this post, though, I’m going to focus on where my experience lies.

So. The very first thing you need to do, if you haven’t done it already, is write the book. This may seem self-evident, but sometimes, for some folks, it’s not.

Don’t get me wrong—it’s useful, vital even, to be looking ahead and working out a plan for what exactly you want to do with your work once it’s ready. But don’t let making that plan get in the way of the most critical thing you need to do. Which is to say, writing the book.

I wrote in more depth about this on this post over on my personal site, so rather than going into detail about that here, I’ll just give you all the link. To that other post of mine, though, I’ll add here that this was one of the most valuable things I had to learn about getting into writing: that it should, in fact, be treated with the same seriousness that you’d approach getting things done at your day job.

You get paid for doing things at a day job. And if you’re hoping that people will pay you for your writing, you should approach it with the same level of care you’d use for any other work.

Once I got to a point where I was able to start querying completed novels around, I came to learn that the current state of the publishing world had become a lot different than it was when I first started wanting to write. By which I mean, there are more options available today for aspiring SF/F novelists. No matter what route you take, though, there will be challenges. And there will be questions you’ll want to ask yourself.

If you want to go the traditional publishing route:

  1. Do you know which publishers you want to work with?
  2. Do you know what their submissions guidelines are?
  3. Do you know how to write a query letter?
  4. Do you know which publishers will take unsolicited manuscripts, and which ones won’t?
  5. Do you want to get an agent?
  6. Do you know which agents represent the kind of work you want to write?

If you want to go indie:

  1. Do you have the technical skills necessary to build your own ebooks?
  2. If not, do you have a budget set aside to hire someone to build ebooks for you?
  3. Do you know how to find a trustworthy editor to edit your work before release? (Because yes, you will need an editor.)
  4. Do you have the graphic design skills necessary to do your own cover art?
  5. If not, do you know how to find and commission a cover artist?
  6. There are a lot of vendors through which you can deploy an ebook for sale. Do you know what those vendors are, and how to deploy books to them?
  7. Do you want to try to sell your book in print as well as digital? If so, do you know what your options are for printing your book?
  8. Do you know how to do your own book promotion? If not, are you prepared to find and hire a publicist?

And this is just scratching the surface of it all.

Either way, whether you want to go traditional or go indie, my answer to the question of “what’s it like to break into writing?” boils down to this: it’s challenging. It’s exciting. Often it’s nerve-wracking, particularly if you go a while between sales, as a lot of indie writers can attest.

Because here’s the thing: just because you have a book up for sale does not mean you’re going to have money roll immediately in. The vast majority of writers, traditional and indie alike, do not make much money. Be prepared for this and adjust your expectations accordingly. I can name multiple SF/F writers who, even after releasing several novels, making it onto the New York Times bestseller list, and winning awards, still had to wait many years before they could give up their day jobs and write full time.

If you want to be a writer, all you really need to do is write. There are countless fanfic writers out there, and others who just want to write for the love of writing. If you’re writing something, anything, you’re a writer.

But if you want to break into writing as a business, go into it with your eyes open. Every writer with a novel to sell wants to make money. Few actually will. But if you can find a balance between your love of telling stories and how fast you can sell them, if you can work out a long-term plan as to how you want to deploy your work for sale, I daresay you’ll find the path easier to follow.

And no matter whether you want to be a traditional or an indie writer, good luck. You’re in for one hell of a ride.

Angela writes as both Angela Highland and Angela Korra'ti, and you can find out all there is to know about her books over on! Or you can come say hi to here on Facebook or Twitter.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Female Medical Care

Posted by: Joely Sue Burkhart
As a woman of a certain age, I'm starting to have a few reproductive changes. In fact, I have an appointment this morning to discuss an issue I'm having. Which may (big emphasis) require surgery.

And it strikes me: we need more advancements in--and stories about!--women's medical care!  (More stories about women as doctors too - but here I'm specifically talking about female patients and common medical issues.)

Yes, I know that our society doesn't want to hear about this. There's a stigma about periods. Don't even get me started about women being shamed for enjoying sex and pursuing their own pleasure. It's time we change these ridiculous "polite" standards!

We see the fancy body scanners in Star Trek that can heal the deadliest alien virus. Painless shots from a needle-less stun gun. But they never talk about what those medical advancements meant for women.

No more cramps? Tidier ways to deal with periods? How about pregnancy? Painless delivery without the barbaric practice of inserting a needle into a laboring mother's spine?

Let alone menopause. Issues like fibroids, cysts, and fertility.

The only romance I can remember reading that contained advancement for women's health was Warrior's Woman. All children on Tedra's planet were born from technology, saving women the pain and risks of childbirth. Of course her barbarian immediately demanded she carry his baby the "old fashioned" way.

The more kids I had...and the older I got...the less "romantic" I found that!

So tell me: have you read any great romances with cool medical advancements for women? I'd love to read them!

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Guest Donna S Frelick Shares FOOLS RUSH IN SciFi Romance Excerpt

Posted by: Veronica Scott
Veronica Scott: Donna, our guest today, and I ‘met’ in the Science Fiction Romance Brigade and we’ve got her here today to talk about her new book:

Donna: The blurb for Fools Rush In:

She thought she had the toughest job in Rescue— until the day she had to convert a pirate into a hero.

Interstellar Rescue “conductor” Rayna Carver is deep undercover on a slave ship bound for an isolated region of space when the ship is attacked by pirates. Her liberator is Captain Sam Murphy, a man known in the spacer bars to love only profit, adventure and women.

But Murphy hates a few things, too, chief among them slavers. Will it be enough to gain his help for Rayna’s mission—ferreting out two spies bent on sabotaging an arms factory to turn the tide in an alien civil war?

The Excerpt:

“What the hell do you think you’re doing?  This is a restricted area.”

Still clinging to the grab bar, Rayna glanced up at the captain’s face.  His expression didn’t match the censure in his words.  The furrows between his brows didn’t look like anger, but she couldn’t quite interpret their true meaning.

“For a pirate ship, you sure have a lot of rules.”

“Discipline is necessary no matter what kind of ship it is.”  His lips curved upwards.  “Now answer my question.”

Sam Murphy really was a fine-looking man, a dangerously fine-looking man, with those green eyes and a face that belonged in holovids rather than on the deck of a real ship.  But damned if he was going to back her up, even in zero G.

“You saw what I was doing; I was working out.  The ribs have healed—almost.  I didn’t think I’d have to ask permission, especially since I was back here with the waste processors.”

Murphy leaned in closer.  In spite of herself, Rayna inhaled and took him in.  God, he smelled good—like . . . the first breath of fresh air dirtside after months on a ship.  For a second she was lost, drifting as surely as if she had let go of her mooring on the hull.

“This is my ship, Little Bit.”  His voice was a seductive purr.  “You need permission for everything.”

Heat flashed from the top of her head to the bottoms of her feet.  Rayna meant to shout, but her voice came out in a matching sultry whisper.  “Why you puffed up, self-righteous, arrogant—” She got her hormones in check and started over.  “Control seems to be your middle name, Murphy.  Well, let me tell you something:  I joined Rescue because Independence is mine.”

“Do I have to remind you you’re a guest on my ship?”  His expression had tightened into a smoky scowl.  “The one place I have plenty of room onboard is the brig—maybe you’d like accommodations there.”  His eyes held hers like he meant it, but a muscle jumped in his jaw.  His tell, she realized.  He wanted something quite different for her.  That heat flashed through her once again, and this time she was certain it had nothing to do with anger.

Damn it.

“All right, yeah, I saw the big ‘Keep Out’ signs.  But every other square centimeter of space on this tug is occupied.  I needed a workout, and zero G is a good place to get started.  I didn’t think anyone would be back here.”

His expressive face changed yet again, the hard lines around his mouth and eyes going soft as the tension drained from him.  “Any day but today you’d have been right.”

“What’s different about today?”

He scanned the empty hull space before he answered.  “The ship’s on lockdown; I’ve ordered a full security sweep.”

Understanding dawned.  All that bluster was because Murphy was feeling protective.  She looked up at him and, yep, there it was, shining from those eyes, despite his stern refusal to smile. 

But just because her body responded instantly with eager anticipation didn’t mean her mind should be onboard with this program.  Seriously, how would it ever work between them?  He was a pirate, for chrissake.  According to him, she was an interfering bleeding heart.  The only thing they had in common was a disregard for authority, and they would never even agree on the reasons for that.

Oh, but, damn, he smelled so good.  He kept floating closer, and she was so tired.  She wanted to let go and settle into those arms.

“You miscalculated.”  His arm was around her shoulders again, his lips against her ear.

“What do you mean?”  Her protest came out in a breathy murmur.

“You’re exhausted.  You weren’t ready for this much exertion.”  He was so close, so warm, encouraging her to let go.  “I bet you didn’t ask Doc Berta for permission either.”

She finally gave up and transferred her hold to him, arms and legs wrapping around his hard body.  He hooked both feet around the handholds below them, anchored one hand and used the other to clasp her to him; she was so small in comparison, his arm stretched all the way across her lower back.
She looked up at him, lips inches from his.  “I don’t ask permission for anything.”

Author Bio:

Donna S. Frelick has been a journalist, a Peace Corps Volunteer and an author of STAR TREK fan fiction. She was an RWA® Golden Heart® Double Finalist in 2012 for the first two novels in her contemporary SFR Interstellar Rescue series. Book 3 in the series, Fools Rush In, launched October 18, 2016 from INK’d Press.

Find her at; blogging at; on Facebook at and on Twitter @DonnaSFrelick.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Lesser-Known Fantasy/Paranormal Authors I Love

Posted by: Nicole Luiken

I love to read SF, fantasy and paranormal romance. Many of my favourite authors in the genres are the big bestsellers that you’ve probably read (or at least heard of) yourself. In fantasy: Jim Butcher, Patricia Briggs, George R.R. Martin, Ilona Andrews, Brent Weeks, Seanan McGuire, Brandon Sanderson, Naomi Novik, Kevin Hearne, Faith Hunter,  Anne Bishop, Django Wexler, Diana Rowland, Kim Harrison. In SF: Lois McMaster Bujold, C.J. Cherryh. In paranormal romance: Nalini Singh, Darynda Jones, Thea Harrison, Karen Marie Moning, J.R. Ward. All of these authors are auto-buys for me.

But there are also many authors who are equally good, but are lesser known. Here are my top five:

1/ Wen Spencer  (SF and fantasy)

Okay, be warned, I’m probably going to gush here. 

The first Wen Spencer book I read was A Brother’s Price about a world where women vastly outnumber the men and thus men are the cossetted, protected ones in society, who are expected to stay virgin until they marry a group of sisters. Thought-provoking role reversal, a healthy dollop of romance, and action. Of course, I then had to buy her other novels.

Next I read (and have since reread and reread) her Ukiah Oregon novels: SF with super cool aliens and a sweet P.I. hero with an eidetic memory and awesome tracking skills (he was raised by wolves). Seriously. Read the first chapter of Alien Taste. You will be hooked. 

Then there’s her Tinker series. Tinker is an 18-year-old girl, a genius with mad inventing skills and a talent for trouble. It’s set in world where the city of Pittsburgh, through a temporal accident, is transferred to Elfhome every thirty days. Yes, really. Great characters, lots of action and magic. I LOVE this series.

2/ Carol Berg  (fantasy)

If some cretin tries to tell you only men write awesome epic fantasy, shove some Carol Berg books in their face.

The first book I read by her was The Song of the Beast. The shattered hero has just been released from jail after a seven-year-sentence of silence—and he still doesn’t know what crime he committed. My heart ached for him—and then we find out why he was imprisoned, plus another twist that blew my mind.

Next I moved on to her Rai-Kirah trilogy. Book one Transformation features a hero who has been stripped of his magic and enslaved. Bad enough, and then Seyonne realizes a demon is trying to take over his arrogant master. High tension and the ending was bang-on perfect.

Her latest series duet Dust and Light/ Ash and Silver were both 5 star reads for me.

3/ Diana Pharaoh Francis

The first book I read by her was Bitter Night, first of the Horngate Witches series. In a sea of new urban fantasy books with kickass heroines, Max still stood out. I love the concept of the witches’ Shadowblades and Sunspears. The whole series is excellent.

More recent is her Diamond City Magic series which has its own unique setting--a mob-run city high in the snowy mountains—and very cool magic. Plus a sizzling romantic subplot. The perfect blend of UF and PNR.

4/ Rachel Aaron (fantasy) who also writes as Rachel Bach (SF)

The first Rachel Aaron book I read was The Spirit Thief. I was immediately hooked by the first scene in which Eli Monpress, the roguish thief hero, escapes prison by convincing the door that it’s underappreciated. Yes, the door. Cool magic, fascinating characters—not just Eli whose ambition it is to have a $1,000,000 price on his head—but his partners, a legendary swordsman and a girl being consumed by a demonseed. The series starts off quite light, but by books 4 & 5 has a more epic plot.

Her latest Heartstriker’s series about “nice” dragon Julius is in the same vein: fun, high-action, and inventive magic in an UF setting. Bob (a dragon seer) and his pigeon alone make these books worth reading. Go buy them!

Rachel also is well-known for her blog (Pretentious Title) about writing and her 2K to 10K book.

5/ Shannon K. Butcher (paranormal romance)

She also writes romantic suspense, but it’s her paranormal romance series The Sentinel Wars that have me hooked. Noble warriors who are dying out plus modern women and plenty of demon-fighting. Mmmm. Book one is Burning Alive. I am going to be so bummed if this series has been cut off.

And yes, she is the wife of Jim Butcher.

Huh. This list seems to be all women… Okay I’ll add one bonus guy:

6/ D.B. Jackson/David Coe

I heard David Coe talk at a panel at When Words Collide and decided to try some of his books. While I am enjoying his Justis Fearsson UF series, it’s his fast-paced historical fantasy Thieftaker series that he writes as D.B. Jackson that has really grabbed me. Set in Boston prior to the War for Independence (do I have that right? Canadian here) it combines mystery, magic and history, making for a heck of a ride. And the villain is female.

I could easily come up with five more (Tanya Huff, Gini Koch, Laura Resnick, K.A. Stewart, Leigh Evans—see?) but I’m out of space. Who are some of your lesser-known favorites?
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