Thursday, August 30, 2018

Graphics and the Procrastinating Author

Posted by: Jenny Schwartz
I could win a gold medal if procrastination was an Olympic event. As an author, one of my favourite tricks is to design teasers (promotional graphics) for my books, or perhaps, even, a whole new book cover. is my enabler - credit or blame where it's due!

With Amaranthine Kiss out soon (but no pre-order link, sorry) I thought I'd use that excuse to share my best teasers for the paranormal romance Old School series, which is in Kindle Unlimited. The novels in it are all stand-alone reads. Amaranthine Kiss is Book 6 - and at the end of the post I'll share its blurb. It's a good one. 

Phoenix Blood 

Fantastical Island 

Storm Road 

Fire Fall 

Desert Devil 

Amaranthine Kiss 
(out soon)

And the blurb for Amaranthine Kiss:

Army doctor Angelo Sanderson is a veteran of supernatural combat. A classified mission revealed to him a world most people never have to fear; a world of monsters, mysteries and magic. Coming home to Boston was meant to be about returning to ordinary life. After all, he has no magic of his own.

But Doctor Effie Eliades does. Effie is a healer by profession and by magic. She’s known Angelo forever. He’s her brother’s best friend. She grew up knowing that she could trust him with anything. Now, she’ll have to trust him with her secrets and her life because a supernatural threat is killing her patients, and if she is to save them, she needs help.

The threat is real, but Effie is wrong about its target. The Amaranthine Kiss doesn’t want Effie’s patients. It is after her.


The sixteen-year-old girl looked as if she was ninety years old. Straggly gray hair whisped around a wrinkled, sunken face. Her heart was failing. Her lungs barely inflated. Every additional second of life was a struggle.

Dr. Effie Eliades leaned close. “Who did this to you, Jess? What did this to you?”

Soft as a sigh, final and heart-breaking, the dying girl answered. “A kiss.”

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Labeling a Multi-Ingredient Book

Posted by: Linda Mooney

Whenever you fix yourself something to eat, you don’t stop with using Just One Ingredient, do you? Not hardly. Even if you throw some meat on the grill, there’s salt, pepper, and maybe a dash of herbs or garlic you’ll sprinkle onto it. Well, the same goes for writing romances. What starts out as a fantasy might also include paranormal elements, post-apocalyptic scenes, a tad of time travelling, and maybe a pinch of romantic suspense—and that’s just a sample.

I’m finding it harder and harder to decide which categories my books fit into, because they aren’t single ingredient, either. And I’m certain that at some point you’ve bought a book to read that maybe was listed as a sci-fi romance, then decided, “Nope. This should be listed as a paranormal.” Same thing goes for me. When I finish a book, I then have to worry what to label it as. Sometimes I find myself needing to put up more than five tags on its description. But then I have to figure out, on my web page, should I stick it under Fantasy, Paranormal, or Sci-Fi? Or none of them?

Back in the good ole days, authors didn’t have these problems. In the olden days, the majority of romances were either historical or contemporary. A smattering of books were released as science fiction, but not many. It wasn’t until epublishing came about that “combination” books, stories which encompassed a wide variety of genres, became more commonplace. Nowadays, there seems to be a plethora of genres to stick the story under, including sub-genres such as MC, Small Town, Senior, and so forth.

So please forgive me if you buy a book of mine that sounds like a seven-layer casserole of different genres. It may seem a bit strange or unusual at the beginning, but I can guarantee you that once you taste it, you’ll love the flavor!

* * *

Paranormal/Contemporary Fantasy/Romantic Suspense
Word Count:  35.1K
$2.99 e / $9.99 p

She reaches into minds to discover the truth. But this time, what she finds could get her killed.

Wrynter Poe is both blessed and cursed with a unique ability. She can’t read minds, but she can follow a person’s memories of an event they witnessed. Which is why she works as a special agent for the FBI in helping local law enforcement agencies solve crimes. But this gift comes with a price. She cannot touch the bare skin of another person, for fear of accidentally obtaining emotional discharge or feelings from them.

Lieutenant Hammond Blake is an undercover cop who's been assigned to help this strange woman, when a homicide case she's helping with suddenly takes a dangerous turn. While that case is being investigated, he accompanies her to her next job to make sure she stays safe. All it takes is one touch, one breach of her self-imposed isolation, for the both of them to discover how much they need each other.

What neither of them realize is that the homicide has far deeper roots within the police force. Roots involving corruption and a cover-up that will put both their lives in danger, and test Wrynter's abilities beyond her own endurance.

Warning! Contains latex gloves, a special necklace, skin-to-skin contact, a four-legged snitch, a motel on wheels, a chase in the middle of nowhere, and only one chance for two people to discover if their mutual attraction is the real thing.

Monday, August 27, 2018

Here Be News for August 27, 2018

Posted by: Dani Harper, Author
All the latest 
from the authors at 
Here Be Magic

In Case You Missed It:

Monday, August 20 - 

"HERE BE NEWS" - All the latest from the authors at Here Be Magic.

Tuesday, August 21 - 
"BREATHING NEW LIFE INTO OLD BOOKS" - author PG Forte adds to her exciting Celtic Legend Series.

Wednesday, August 22 - 
"A NEW PARANORMAL SERIES" - The Coven of the Raven, coming soon from author Shona Husk. 

Friday, August 24 - 

Saturday, August 25 - 
This week's Bring It Back(list) feature is EDGE OF HEAVEN by PG Forte. See details below!


Bring It Back(list) Feature: 

Welcome to the afterlife, where men are men and the angels are fallen...

People have all sorts of misconceptions about angels. They think we’re perfect. They think we don’t have feelings or emotions or lust after each other’s bodies -- and occasionally after yours as well. That’s nonsense. Of course we do. We’re only human, after all. Or at least some of us were. Once.

My name is Edge. I’m an angel. And this is my story.”


Saturday, August 25, 2018

Bring It Back(list): Edge of Heaven

Posted by: PG Forte

People have all sorts of misconceptions about angels. They think we’re perfect. They think we don’t have feelings or emotions or lust after each other’s bodies -- and occasionally after yours as well. That’s nonsense. Of course we do. We’re only human, after all. Or at least some of us were. Once.
My name is Edge. I’m an angel. And this is my story.”

Edge of Heaven was one of those weird book ideas that seem to come from out of nowhere.   Once those opening lines appeared in my head, I couldn’t rest until I’d figured out whole the story.  I’m happy to have it up for sale once again.  

Welcome to the afterlife, where men are men and the angels are fallen.

It was a reckless act of passion that ended Edge's life and left him in Limbo--literally. Now, he's stuck here. While most of the other angels-in-training move quickly up the celestial ladder, Edge knows it can never be that simple for him. He's dealing with issues that are a lot more complicated than a simple lack of closure.

While Edge doesn't know for sure what it will take to get him into Heaven, there is one thing he's certain won't help--his latest assignment guiding angel-baby Matteo Matinucci while the newbie finds his wings.

But twenty-something Mattie--sexy, beautiful, recently departed and openly gay--could turn out to be the answer to all of Edge's prayers, as well as the fulfillment of all his fantasies, even the hot, sweaty, secret ones he's never confided to anyone.

Warning: This book contains angels in the afterlife, a host of heavenly hotties worth falling for, and man on man angel sex--so good, you'll be dying to get some.

Available for purchase at Amazon, Barnes & Noble , iBooks, and Kobo 

Edge of Heaven is told in the first person solely from Edge’s point of view. A friend of mine had put the idea in my head of writing the story again from Mattie’s point of view, but my publisher hated the idea. Now, however, since I'm the publisher, I’m pleased to say that Angel Mine is finally in the works!

You can check that out HERE

Friday, August 24, 2018

Sneaking in Character and Worldbuilding When Your Reader Isn't Looking

Posted by: Shawna Reppert

One of the hardest tasks that any writer faces is laying out enough details of his or her character and setting so that the reader is fully immersed without resorting to pages of boring exposition that will cause the reader to put the book down entirely. This is doubly true for authors of science fiction and fantasy, as we often have to introduce readers to wholly unfamiliar settings and to characters whose situations may be vastly different from the reader's workaday world. The author has to make every sentence count, and one of the best ways to accomplish this is by making descriptions, dialogue, and interior monologues do double or even triple duty, giving the reader insights in the character and/or the world while advancing the plot.
By using dialogue, I am absolutely not talking about “As you know, Bob. . .” ( For those of you not familiar, ‘as you know, Bob, is the common phrase for when a writer awkwardly inserts exposition into dialogue. “As you know, Bob, the two-headed green aliens invaded three years ago and we’ve been living in these caves ever since.”)  Trust me, there’s a better way.
Think about the last time you eavesdropped on a conversation in your local coffee shop. (Oh, come on, you know you did.) How much did you learn about the people at the next table and their lives just by those few lines that weren’t directed at you. (Sometimes waaaay too much!)
So, let’s take a quick look at the opening from my medieval fantasy, Brother to the Wolf.
Worth’s normally placid dun mare snorted in alarm and pulled back, wrenching his shoulder and nearly jerking the leather lead from his hand.
“Stag damn it.” Alf Smithson dropped the hoof rasp as he jumped back from the suddenly panicked animal. Alf’s face was red with anger and exertion, clashing with the rust of his beard. “Thought you were holding her, m’lord.”
Alf only called Worth m’lord when he was upset with him.
“Alf, look.” Worth pointed to the east, over the gray stone walls of his father’s manor.
. A bit of action, a bit of description, a snipped off dialogue. But what have you learned, probably quite subconsciously? You know that we are in a medieval setting.  Although there are still farriers in modern times, the surname ‘Smithson’ tells us that we’re in an earlier period when a person’s last name told you something about them, their occupation, or where they came from. And also when trades tended to be passed down from father to son. We can tell that Alf tends to be a bit hot-tempered and that Worth, though of higher rank, allows a degree of familiarity from those of lesser rank and does not think it beneath him to perform tasks like holding a horse to be shod. We know that Worth is the son of the lord of manor.
Let’s move a little bit further down in the same section.
The mare broke into a reluctant, but obedient canter—Yes, thank you—and then a lumbering gallop. She was a good Seax horse, bred as much for farm work as for riding. Please, just this once, find some speed. The ground was uneven. The mare stumbled, and Worth slipped. He grabbed mane, and righted himself. He was a decent enough rider, but nothing like a Vainqueur knight who was born to ride—and to kill.
Here, in the midst of a tense moment where my protagonist is riding toward danger heralded by distant smoke, we get hints of a division in our world. We have the agrarian Seax, the protagonist’s people, and the war-like Vainqueur.
Go back and look at some of your favorite works.  See how sneakily the author slips you information when you’re not looking.  And then go and try the same thing in your own work.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

New paranormal series

Posted by: Shona Husk

It’s been a while since I've had a new release, but I’m back with a new paranormal romance series about a coven of male witches in the service of the Morrigu. I have four books planned and the first three are written (the last one is plotted). I also had all the covers done as added motivation.

Each of the guys has some kind of special talent and there is a difference villain in each book so they can stand alone.

Cursed has quite a gothic feel, takes place in a creepy old house filled with death magic and there are some seriously weird statues in the garden. The hero has a death curse which has afflicted his family for a few generations and so is counting down his last few months. The heroine, well, she’s been alive for far too long even if she can’t remember all of it.

Hunted is very much an on the run story, while Embodied has a hero whose trying to balance being a witch a lawyer and a shifter (he's not doing it well). The hero in Stolen is a thief with an ex who needs his help. You can check out all the blurbs here.

While I had these books in my head for a while the stars never aligned for them until this year. I hope you enjoy the Coven of Raven.

Oskar Quigley knows exactly when and how he’ll die.

Living with a death curse isn’t easy, but after generations of research handed down to him he thinks he knows how to defeat the Thomas, his great uncle and a witch gone bad who caused the problem. There’s just one thing he never accounted for: another victim.

Mylla has been Thomas’s servant for as long as she can remember, but her memories can’t be trusted. The marks on her wall add up to decades, and her diary is a muddled collection of rambling. When Oskar arrives to tend the gardens she needs to warn him that bad things happen, difficult when she can only talk on Thomas’ command. But she doesn’t need to talk to steal a few moments for herself in Oskar’s bed as she tries to convince him that magic is real.

With time running out and Thomas’s suspicions growing, Oskar is forced to act. But if living with a death curse is hard, learning to live is even harder.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Breathing New Life into Old Books

Posted by: PG Forte

As I’ve mentioned here before, I’m in the process of re-releasing quite a few of my books that, for one reason or another, had been removed from their original publishers. I released two of them this month, Iron and Oak. The covers are new, of course, and Oak is the new title for what was once The Oak King; I may have done a little editing, but other than that, not much has changed.  They’re still two of the Books of my Heart, stories that, for one reason or another, demanded to be written. And I couldn't be happier to have them both back out in the world. 

Although they're not really connected to each other in any way--other than both being paranormal/fantasy romances set in nineteenth century Ireland--I’ve decided to release Iron and Oak as part of my new Celtic Legend series. There will be two more books in the series, Selkie (about a wounded seal-shifter who is rescued by a fisherman) and Flight (a bird-shifter menage story featuring two men who had always loved each other and the mysterious woman who almost comes between them).

I'm super excited about all four of these books--and their pretty new covers!


Click HERE for a sneak peek at Selkie.  

Nineteenth century Ireland. Blacksmith Gavin O'Malley is a bitter man, with a heart as hard as the iron he forges. He wants his life back--the one that was stolen from him the day his wife died in childbirth--taking their firstborn son with her.

When Aislinn Deirbhile, an immortal, shape-shifting fae, arrives on his doorstep, he knows he's in luck. For Aislinn can give Gavin everything he's been missing: A devoted-seeming wife in the image of his beloved Mairead, and children who are sure to outlive their father. Now, all he has to do is find a way to keep her--without losing his immortal soul in the process.

But Aislinn has an agenda of her own. On the run from a vengeful fae lord who's vowed to either make her his or end her existence, she knows the iron that allows Gavin to take her captive will also keep her pursuers at bay. In order to put herself permanently beyond her enemy's reach, however, Aislinn will need something more. She'll need to win Gavin's heart and convince him to willingly part with a piece of the very soul he's trying to save

Available at AmazonBarnes & Noble and Kobo

This title was previously published as The Oak King.

Twice each year, Aine Murphy ventures into the woods to hold ceremonies to honor the Oak King and the Holly King, never dreaming these Lords of the Forest could be anything more than myth. When the legends spring to life in front of her, how can she help but fall for the sexy demi-gods she's loved all her life?

From midwinter to midsummer, Fionn O'Dair rules the Greenworld as the Oak King--a role he feels is beyond his abilities, and one that dooms him to a loveless future, forever craving the one man he can never allow himself to have. How can he resist what Aine offers--the sweet devotion that soothes his aching soul, and the slim chance to live a "normal" life as her husband, if only for half a year?

Holly King Kieran Mac Cuilenn never desired a human lover--until now. Seeing Fionn and Aine together fills him with longing for the love he threw away and awakens feelings he thought he'd buried with the last Oak King. Is there enough magic in the solstice to correct the mistakes he made years ago? Or is he doomed to be forever left out in the cold?

Available at Amazon Barnes & Noble, and Kobo 

Monday, August 20, 2018

Here Be News for August 20, 2018

Posted by: Dani Harper, Author
All the latest 
from the authors at 
Here Be Magic

In Case You Missed It:

Monday, August 13 - 

"HERE BE NEWS" - All the latest from the authors at Here Be Magic.

Wednesday, August 15 - 
"SIRENS AND MERMAIDS - BEAUTIFUL BUT DEADLY" - Author Dani Harper explores the legends surrounding these popular mythological beings.

Friday, August 17 - 
"WHERE DO WRITERS WRITE?" The Here Be Magic authors get together to reveal their favorite - and sometimes unusual - writing spots!


Sales, Contests, and Events in August:

Fun for readers!

Some of the 
Here Be Magic authors 
will be helping sponsor the 

You could win a Kindle Fire HD with Alexa, books or ebooks, Amazon gift cards, or even a Mystery Box!

Runs AUGUST 16 TO SEPTEMBER 6 on Night Owl Reviews.


Friday, August 17, 2018

Where Do Writers Write?

Posted by: Dani Harper, Author

We often wonder how a story gets written. But do you ever wonder WHERE it was written? Thanks to today's technology, authors are no longer tied to a typewriter and a desk. 

In this post, some of the Here Be Magic authors have shared their favorite writing locations, unusual places to work, and sometimes getting the work done any which where you can! 


"Usually you can find me writing in my home office in front of my window but since I have a laptop I take my writing with me everywhere. I'll write in the living room, on my standing treadmill desk and even at lunch time at the day job.

"A few unusual places I've worked on my laptop include my car while waiting for the kids activities, on an airplane and at the beach." ~ Maureen  L. Bonatch

"I am best in my nest. I confess, it’s a mess. It’s a couch, I’m a grouch, I don’t like to go out...

"But when I had young children, the strangest place I ever wrote was in the after school pickup line on an Alpha Smart because my laptop was too big to fit behind the steering wheel. I am not what you’d call a flexible writer when it comes to my work setting." ~ Jody Wallace


"My favorite place that I've written is on the deck of a cruise ship. We took a cruise to Hawaii during spring break one year and the trip included 4 days at sea. This was back in the day when my kids were still at home, so normally I'd have been on mom duty. But not that week!

"I saw my family at meals, of course, and after dinner as well, but other than that... the kids were safe, supervised and happily occupied. My husband was off doing his own thing. And I got 7 hours a day of uninterrupted writing time--not to mention a perfectly gorgeous view of sky and sea, as well as unlimited coffee delivered right to my table. It was glorious." ~ P.G. Forte


"I have a sweet little Chrome laptop that’s small enough to fit into my purse. I take it EVERYWHERE with me, because you never know when you’ll get stuck somewhere for any length of time.

"I’ve found myself writing at the automotive shop when I needed to get my car’s tires rotated (2 hrs.), or the oil changed (45 min.) I’ve written while waiting at the doctor’s office, and once while stuck at  a railroad crossing, waiting for the train to go by. I’ve gotten as little as a couple of paragraphs done, up to a whole chapter! But every little bit helps, right?" ~ Linda Mooney


"At home I have an exercise bike with a desktop plus an office. In spite of that, its the kitchen table that seems to get used the most. Away from home, it's always been "have laptop, will travel" for me. In the car, in the library, in a coffee shop, in an airport, at a campground picnic table... Name the place, I'll try to write there.

"When we lived in Alaska, we were commercial salmon fishermen. My hubs built a tiny little desktop in front of the mate's chair in the wheelhouse for me, and that worked fairly well during downtime if the ocean wasn't too rough. One time, a big wave caught us broadside and green water swamped my open window while I was typing. Like any true writer, my first instinct was to SAVE THE STORY! I slammed the laptop shut just in time! I was soaked, but my work survived." ~ Dani Harper

I don't have a formal home office, rather my laptop is set up in the almost-never-used dining room. (And on those rare family dinners when I do use it, I have to dig it out from under a blizzard of paper first.) But that's only half the picture. I plan out my novels and edit them longhand while curled up on the much comfier living room couch. ~ Nicole Luiken

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Sirens and Mermaids - Beautiful but Deadly

Posted by: Dani Harper, Author
Sea Goddess mural in Monteray, California
A new TV series, SIREN, premiered in March of this year and by May it was signed for a second season. With it comes renewed interest in sirens and mermaids, two legendary sea creatures who have merged into one over the centuries. 

In modern times we think of sirens as glamorous women who captivate men with their beauty, or deliberately lure and seduce them into forgetting their own better judgement. The term "siren" comes to us from Greek mythology and literature, in which the Sirens were once handmaidens to Persephone, daughter of the goddess Demeter. When Persephone was kidnapped and taken to the underworld to marry the dark god Hades, Demeter blamed her handmaidens for allowing this to happen to their mistress.

As punishment, Demeter marooned the hapless women on a beautiful green island surrounded by treacherous rocks. Any ship that ventured too close to the island would be wrecked so that rescue was impossible. However, merely banishing the women wasn't enough for the vengeful goddess. The women were changed into strange half-human creatures. Still alluringly beautiful, they are sometimes portrayed with bird wings and feet. However, in many versions of the story, they became the first mermaids. While we usually picture them as possessing the head and upper body of a lovely woman and the lower body of a fish or a dolphin, there are some legends where mermaids have legs and appear human.

Demeter gave these unfortunate women unearthly voices and commanded them to sing without ceasing. Sailors in passing ships would hear the sirens' song, and either steer the vessel onto the rocks, or dive from the deck into the sea and drown. Any man that managed to survive the ocean and the rocks would make his way to the island, but find it far from a paradise. So enchanted was he by the siren's songs that he would follow the women wherever they went, forgetting everything else in the world. The hapless sailor would even forget to eat and eventually starve to death. The island became covered with bleached bones.

The Sirenuse Islands in the Mediterranean Sea
Embittered by their unfair fate, the Sirens eventually took great pleasure in their cruel task of luring men to their doom. Stories tell that they would often sing passing sailors into a deep sleep. The sirens would then board the ship and kill all the men as they slept, feasting on them for days afterward and tossing their gnawed bones into the oceanor making musical instruments from them!

The only man to hear the song of the Sirens and live to tell about it was Odysseus (also known as Ulysses). He filled the ears of his men with wax and bound their heads with cloth, so that they would be able to row directly past the deadly island, unaffected by the alluring music. Odysseus himself, however, had not plugged his ears. Instead, he commanded his men to tie him to the mast, so he could hear the Sirens' songs, but not be able to jump overboard or steer the ship into danger.

Demeter's magic had condemned the Sirens to live foreverbut only until the day came that a mortal was finally able to resist them. After Odysseus's successful plan, the Sirens were said to have flung themselves into the sea which turned against them and drowned them.

Ever since, maritime superstition claimed that hearing the song of a mermaid is a sign of a particularly ferocious storm approaching, or even spelled certain disaster for the ship.

Mermaids are found in the mythology of many countries, including China, Cambodia, Thailand, Africa, the Phillipines, the Caribbean, Brazil and Japan. They are called merrows in Ireland, and rusalkas in eastern Europe. Undines are freshwater mermaids from Celtic legends, which live in the faery realms of my Grim Series novels. In some myths, the mermaids are kind, even benevolent. In a few stories, a mermaid even falls in love with a human (Hans Christian Anderson’s 1837 tale, “The Little Mermaid, was based on such folklore). Unfortunately, most of these sea creatures behave like the Greek sirens, luring men to their doom, drowning them, and even eating them!
Female figureheads ensured fair weather

Christopher Columbus wrote of sighting mermaids on three occasions, noting that they weren't as beautiful as the legends claimed. It's generally accepted that what he actually saw were manatees. However, the infamous pirate Blackbeard also noted in his ship's log several times that he had witnessed mer-folk, and instructed his crew to steer clear of the areas they frequented. And in more modern times, from 1870 to 1967, both sailors and ship's passengers have reported seeing mermaids in the waters off British Columbia, Canada!

Strangely, despite all the ancient tales of dangerous sirens and mermaids (and later, the notion that women on board were just plain bad luck), there was a prevailing belief for at least two thousand years that the sight of a woman's bosom could settle an angry ocean.

By the 1800s, most sailing ships featured an amply-endowed female figurehead on the bow, often with breasts exposed to the salt sea air. And the most popular of all? A mermaid!


THE GRIM SERIES by Dani Harper

The fae are cunning, powerful and often cruel. The most beautiful among them are often the most deadly. Hidden far beneath the mortal world, the timeless faery realm plays by its own rules—and those rules can change on a whim. Now and again, the unpredictable residents of that mystical land cross the supernatural threshold…

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

See ALL Dani's novels on her Amazon Author Page

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...