Thursday, January 31, 2019

A New Dystopian Fantasy Series

Posted by: Jenny Schwartz
In 2019 I'm indulging in a new series. The Faerene Apocalypse blends apocalyptic fiction with fantasy. The first book, Stray Magic, is just out. Bound Magic will be out in late March (pre-order available, link: ). Loyal Magic is out mid-year. Below is the blurb and an excerpt from Stray Magic. The series is available to read in Kindle Unlimited as well as to buy. Enjoy!

Buy link:

When magic crashes through the Rift, Earth devolves into an apocalyptic nightmare. Survival becomes the only game in town, and college girl, Amy Carlton, learns she’s a more ruthless player than she ever imagined.

Magistrate Istvan signed up for the Faerene Migration knowing that the price of Earth’s future would be paid for in hellfire and blood. But the black griffin hadn’t anticipated humans accessing magic.

Now, a new and impossible bond must be forged between a Faerene invader and a human familiar. But first Istvan and Amy must survive to form the bond.


Note: “Faerene” refers to the many peoples of another world: the griffins, dragons, unicorns, werewolves, elves and ogres who've crossed to Earth. No prepper or survivalist could have been prepared for their arrival.


I grabbed my own phone from the pocket of my shorts and flicked through messages. Nothing from my parents, but my friends were peppering me with their exclamations of shock and amusement. I glanced toward the living room. I was partly responsible for the children in there innocently watching a movie. Instead of amusing myself with the sightings of fantastic beasts, I called up a reliable news feed. Ramona had opened my eyes. No matter what the perpetrators of this elaborate prank had intended, the consequences were what mattered.
Emma’s parents arrived first. An hour after they departed, the news was reporting a riot in Los Angeles. There was looting. In fact, judging by the determined, organized behavior of the looters, the looting was the point of the riot. A firebird observed everything from the roof of an office tower. Its glowing wings were a fiery point of light that matched cars set on fire on the street.
How were the pranksters covering the globe with their realistic creations?
There were vampires sighted dancing in Rio and turning into bats, a sphinx toured the pyramids of Giza, more ogres tramped through Japan, and a kraken flopped a long-tentacled limb onto the streets of Hong Kong.
More riots broke out, not just in America, and not all with looting as their intent. People demanded government action. Politicians demanded the pranksters reveal themselves and confess and, most of all, stop their criminal stupidity.
The night lived down to Ramona’s expectations. Parents arrived at all hours to collect their children, waking those who’d managed to fall asleep, baffled by why parents of other children were arriving in a flurry of panic and tears.
By midday the next day the camp was empty of children. All the other volunteers had fled, as well, returning to their homes in various cities.
I couldn’t comprehend their illogical behavior. I sat on the porch steps of the main house as the last of the volunteers drove away. “The cities are where the trouble is.”
“And their families, and familiar things.” Ramona walked heavily up the steps and collapsed onto the porch swing.
I swiveled on my butt to face her. Dusty jeans didn’t even rate as a problem. Like Ramona, I’d been awake all night. “They’d be better off waiting here for things to settle down.”
Patti leaned against a railing. “What if they don’t settle down? What if those things are real?”
My mouth dropped open. I’d considered her a sensible person. “They can’t be. Magic isn’t real.”
She looked across the valley, across the open field mowed short for children to play on, to the apple orchard on the far side of the snaking road. “There was a video of that dragon eating a missile. The air force scrambled three jets to take out the dragon. Instead, it ate a missile, then vanished.”
I wanted to say that the video had to be faked, except that lots of people had recorded the action over Washington DC, including television reporters.
“The children are sick.” Ramona stayed on topic, focused on what mattered to her heart. “It makes sense that their parents want them near trusted medical care. Dr. Fayed is good, but he’s a GP. He and his office aren’t set up for long term, specialized treatment.” She put her hands on her knees and pushed herself up. “I’ll cancel next week’s camp. Maybe the one after, just to be safe.”
“The Summer of the Dragons,” I muttered.
“And everything else,” Patti said. “It makes me worry about the creatures we haven’t seen yet.”

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

The More Things Change...

Posted by: PG Forte

The last few years have been difficult for me in terms of writing productivity. My word count is way down and I haven’t released a new book in two years.  Of course, part of that is because I’ve been working to re-release seventeen titles in the past two years—with another dozen yet to go—but that’s another story.
The good news, however, is that I’ve been reading like crazy. My TBR pile is rapidly shrinking away. And I’ve noticed some interesting changes in my reading habits. I’ve always been something of a binge-reader, and that’s only become more pronounced over the years. I’m also reading shorter books, I’m sticking to fewer genres, and I seem to be less open now to trying new-to-me authors than I ever was before. And, despite the endless supply of new books, I seem to spend an increasing amount of time re-reading old favorites.
I’m not altogether happy with these changes. I feel like I should be branching out and trying new things. But I suppose these changes reflect the reality of my life these days. I have less time and more distractions, so shorter books are more appealing. And in a world that seems increasingly uncertain, I crave a sure thing—hence my reliance on authors I trust and stories I love.
So, is it just me? Or have you noticed any changes in what (and/or how) you read as well? And if so, what’s different?

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Snowpocalypse 2019

Posted by: Cindy Spencer Pape
I live in Michigan. It's January. Snow doesn't really come as any great surprise. When we get a really good storm, though, it's all over the news and the meteorologists act like we've never seen snow before. Frankly, there isn't that much snow in my area, despite the forecasters' doomsaying. What is odd this time is that a few days ago, temperatures were in the 40s  and this week we're looking at highs in single digits--with temps of -20-40 when wind chill is considered. Temps that cold and the snow yesterday mean no school for possibly the entire week. Kids are ectstatic. Parents not so much. As a grandparent with a live-in firstgrader, I've been seeing both of those--and it's only Tuesday.

Before I turned to writing, I was an environmental educator. Climate and climate change is something I've been following since I was a teen. I'm not going to get started on that, but it did get me thinking about how weather effects the things I write.

I'm not thinking about outside weather, although winter brings about a certain coziness that may leak into my words, while a sunny summer day brightens my outlook. What I was really pondering is the use of weather to drive a story or add roadblocks for our characters.

From lightning animating Frankenstein's monster, to the tornado in The Wizard of Oz, weather can become a character in of itself, stepping out of the background and getting in the author or reader's face. Having a couple snowed in together is a fairly common trope. Electrical storms can do everything from giving a character psychic powers to hurtling them through time and/or dimensions.

My recently re-issued paranormal romance Sea Change, there is a character who is an immortal wizard/sorcerer/mage (semantics aren't clear), and it's mentioned that his powers include some minor abilities to control the weather. Since the book is set in the semi-tropical areas of the Pacific, he never needs to use those powers, so more clarity wasn't needed. Now that I'm working on a sequel, however, with him as the hero, I really have to think about this power and how it's going to affect the story. Not having it come into play would seem like cheating, sort of like putting a gun on the set in the first scene of the movie and never having it used or even mentioned. I'm not entirely sure yet how he's going to use his powers to save the day. The possibilities are endless.

So do you have a favorite book with the weather as a character? Is there a weather-related trope you really hate? I'd love to hear it.

* * * * *

Look for Sea Change, winner of the 2015 Prism award for best paranormal erotic romance, available now in print and e-book, from all the usual retailers, and hopefully the upcoming sequel, working title, Sweeter than Wine.

Dead! Well, not quite. Yet.

Heidi’s day started out well enough, studying dolphins with best friend and research partner, but things took a turn when they got caught in the middle of a drug exchange. Her friend is missing, probably dead, and Heidi was shot at and left to die, too.

Girl meets…guy?

Then the hottest boat bum she’s ever seen rescues her. Tall, dark and handsome, Jake is every girl’s dream. Still, the last thing on her mind is romance. The drug dealers figured out pretty quick she wasn’t dead. Now, they want to finish the job, and her mysterious, drop-dead gorgeous rescuer might not be able to save her—or himself.


Jake’s got a fishy secret of his own—complete with fins. He’s exiled from his colony and cursed to shapeshift with the moon. As a merman, Jake can’t afford to be around humans, especially a marine biologist who might discover his species. But he can’t throw Heidi to the men after her. He’ll fight drug lords, pirates and even the gods to protect her. Piece of cake, right? It’s easier than the other problem, the biggest problem of all: the massive attraction growing between Jake and Heidi, an attraction neither can deny.

A centuries-old merman and an air-breathing, very human scientist might fall in love, but where would they live? And can that love even survive? 

Monday, January 28, 2019

HERE BE NEWS for January 28, 2019

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

In Case You Missed It:

Monday, January 21 - 

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

Wednesday, January 23 -
HISTORICAL FANTASY, SLIPSTREAM, and THINGS IN-BETWEEN– Author Shawna Reppert talks about the fine art of blending history with fiction and fantasy – and the even finer art of determining what genre such a story belongs in.

Thursday, January 24 -
YOU CAN NOW SEARCH MY BOOKS BY GENRES!” - With 125 books and novellas to her credit, Linda Mooney (who also writes as Gail Smith and Carolyn Gregg) continues to expand her fantasy, paranormal, and sci-fi creations. Looking for dragon shifters? Zombies? Suspense? Linda’s organized them all on a fabulous spreadsheet with links to whatever world you’d like to explore. 


Things to watch for:

Author Jenny Schwartz is launching a brand new dystopian fantasy series: 
Look for her blog post (including an excerpt from the first book, "STRAY MAGIC") this Thursday, January 31st on Here Be Magic.

* * * * *

In case you were wondering... where the sounds of hammering and heavy equipment (and cussing. So much cussing...) were coming from this past few months, it was author Dani Harper's website

While the URL remains the same, the entire site has been rebuilt from the ground up. The grand unveiling (complete with a contest for readers) is Friday, February 1st. 


Thursday, January 24, 2019

You Can Now Search My Books By Genres!

Posted by: Linda Mooney

"Do you have anything about (insert topic)?"

I often have people comment on the fact that, because I have so many books, it's hard for them to tell at a glance which ones are in a particular genre, or have a specific trope that they favor.

When I'm at a book-signing, it's easy to steer them to the types of books they're looking for. But I understand why there's some confusion, even though my book titles are listed as either fantasy, paranormal, or sci-fi.

"Do you have any dragon shifters?"

"I like to read romantic suspense."
"What do you have with zombies in them?"

In the middle of the night, I woke up with an idea. (As most writers can attest, that's when most of the good ones pop up. Then, or when you're in the shower.) Why not make a spreadsheet of all my books under all my pseudonyms, so that each book's contents are easy to understand?

So - voila! - I did!

It's listed as GENRE BREAKDOWN. When you go to my Linda Mooney webpage, and click on My Books, you'll find yourself on the Choose Your Destination page, where all my pseudonyms are located. There, on the right, you'll see Genre Breakdown. Click it, and you'll see the spreadsheet where all my books are listed, their genres, tropes, and other kinds of information that will help you discover books you probably never realized had just the thing you were looking for!

Psst! If you don't see something, want to add something, or to correct something, don't hesitate to comment below to let me know! Thanks!

Paranormal Romance

by Linda Mooney
Word Count: 38.2K

Officer Sonia Sparrow is an introvert of sorts, spending her workdays on the force, and her off days alone. But lately it seems she’s acquired a new partner. A dog, that she’s dubbed Slash, keeps showing up at the nick of time to save the day.

Michael Masson, a former Marine, is looking for a quiet life, but he can’t help the desire he still has to serve his country. Having been burned in love once before, he’s vowed to never show his other side to anyone else. Instead. he chooses to spend his life roaming the country and not getting close to anyone. But when he spies the female police officer in trouble, he can’t just sit back and let it happen.

Sonia has been burned in relationships in the past as well, and if she can’t find a trustworthy man, she’s decided a dog would be the perfect companion to keep her loneliness at bay. What she didn’t bargain for was getting both.

The truth is almost too farfetched, but Michael is determined to make her believe. He hopes this new partnership will not only heal old wounds, but evolve into a deep and loving relationship for the both of them.

Warning! Contains beef jerky, once for yes, a coffee break, the constant fear of discovery, an unexpected ally, a trial run, and two broken hearts finding comfort and love within a common goal.
Excerpt and Buy Links

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Historical Fantasy, Slipstream, and Things In-Between

Posted by: Shawna Reppert

Historical fiction. Historical fantasy. Slipstream. Alternate history. Alternate universe. Where do the divisions lie? The truth is, it’s hard to find a black-and-white answer, and if you consider the terms as marketing categories rather than genre descriptions, things get even blurrier.
The thing is, whenever you add ‘fiction’ to your ‘history’, you’ve already crossed a line. You are introducing characters that didn’t really exist in that time period. Even if you steal names and dates from tombstones, you’re going to be attributing thoughts, emotions, and at least some actions to those characters that come from nowhere but your own imagination. But how much liberty can and should the author take? There’s a vast range of opinion on that topic. It’s at least a good idea to know the state of technology in the era you’re writing in. For example, purple-dyed cloth was difficult and expensive to achieve in medieval times, so if you dress your peasant lass in a purple dress with gilt trim, you will probably lose half your audience in one unfortunate clothing choice. And please, for gods’ sake, don’t put your lady in a corset if you don’t know for absolute certain that women corseted in that period!
But there’s a range of readers and therefore a range of what readers will accept in the guise of historical fiction. I once heard a historian go on a fifteen-minute rant because a certain very respected author of literary historical fiction made up a fort rather than using one that was known to exist. Ironically, I suspect he did so to try to preemptively avoid the historian hate mail he would get if he tried to put fictional characters in charge of a known historical fort.
Historical fantasy has a little more leeway. After all, we’re fairly certain that King Richard did not have an elven lord in his retinue, and so if we sign off on that, we may as well accept that little extra nation that the author nudged into Europe. (The Hound and the Falcon trilogy, and BTW author Judith Tarr has a degree in history and, other than the magic she slips in and the Richard who is not entirely a heartless monster, her actual historical details are probably more accurate than many history books.) My gaslamp fantasy/steampunk Victorian detective novel is a little bit further afield, as I have werewolves openly running through the streets of London, as well as alchemy that works. Also, my clockwork and steam technology is a bit more advanced than it actually had been in period.
A lot of books that are really slipstream get marketed under historical fantasy simply because slipstream is hard to define and no one knows what it is anyway. For example, Amazon put my novel Brother to the Wolf in the historical fantasy category. I’m not about to argue the placement, since I believe many readers of historical fantasy would enjoy it. Certainly, anyone familiar with the political and social situation of post-Norman Conquest England would recognize the background stage on which my characters move. History, however, stubbornly failed to yield to me a crown prince and a regent that exactly fit my plot. I have enough respect for history (and enough fear of historians) that I wasn’t going to claim to be dealing with Normans versus Saxons and yet invent characters and events that never existed in real history. (You can get away with it for peasants, yeoman, foresters, and the like, because their lives aren’t documented like that of the royals and their administrators.) By strict genre classification, Brother is slipstream, or maybe some genre classification of its own. (Pagan spiritual, historically-influenced fantasy just doesn’t roll off the tongue, somehow.)
Alternate history happens when doctoral candidates argue over their beers about what the world would look like if Hitler won or the South rose again, and someone decides that writing a novel is more fun than writing a thesis. (I’m being flip, of course, but you get the idea.) Alternate universes can be historical or contemporary. They’re what happen when a fantasy writer tries to set a novel in the real world, but things get out of hand. Think of it as a continuum between slipstream through alternate-universe fantasy to historical fantasy, although you could argue all night about where one ends and another begins.
Actually, I’d be happy to argue the topic all night, if someone else buys my whiskey. But since I’m not seeing any immediate takers, I will sign off here and let you discuss it amongst yourselves.

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