Archive for October, 2012

YAY for sneak peeks!! Today we have another preview to share (thanks, again, to Sue from Romance at Random). This time, it’s Jacquelyn Frank’s upcoming release FORBIDDEN (World of the Nightwalkers, #1), due out October 30th.

From New York Times bestselling author Jacquelyn Frank comes this first book in The World of the Nightwalkers—an exciting and sensual new spin-off series in which the Bodywalkers, an ancient race of the night, battles the evil forces who prey on them.

The unexpected happens in an instant. On her way to work, secretary Docia Waverley hurtles into a crashing crossroads, and she quickly begins to suspect that things will never be the same. Then, when a tall, blond, muscular stranger intervenes on her behalf, telling her it is his duty to protect her at all cost, what is just a feeling turns to proof positive. That is, as long as Docia’s savior doesn’t turn out to be a crazed kidnapper.
When Ram finds Docia, he has no doubt that she is his queen. But as this golden warrior sweeps in to protect her, he feels something more than body heat every time they touch. He is overwhelmed by a searing connection that goes deep into the twin souls inside him. A desire rises in him that is forbidden—this woman is his queen, the mate of his king, his leader, his best friend. And yet Docia is so vulnerable and attractive that she awakens a hunger in Ram that is undeniable, a carnal craving he cannot yield to . . . not without risking the very survival of the Bodywalkers.


View this document on Scribd

Ok… here’s the burning questions in MY mind… can I read this without having read the Nightwalkers series?? With my luck, probably not. This looks SO SO SO SO good… but now I’m going to have to go back through an ENTIRE series to get to it. Worth it? Maybe. Anyone got a time turner I can borrow, lol??

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AAAAHHHHHH…. it’s almost TIIIIMMMEEEE!!!!

ICED, the next installment in Karen Marie Moning’s Fever series (spinoff trilogy featuring Dani “Mega” O’Malley), will be out on October 30th, and I CAN NOT wait. Ok… fine… I guess I can wait, considering I don’t have any choice in the matter, lol.

In the mean time… there are a few little sneak peeks available to ease (or maybe increase?) our release anxiety…

View this document on Scribd

In addition to this (which… um… WOW!), Karen has posted additional snippets and teasers on her facebook page. The lovely Dija, on Goodreads.com, has collected a list of links to all the teasers as of Oct. 16th… you can see the list HERE.

If you’d like to hang with Ms. Moning, and a whole lot of other Fever series fans, to celebrate the release, you can head to New Orleans from Oct 27th – 30th. Karen is hosting an ICED Book Launch Party… you can find the details on her website HERE. Can’t make it to New Orleans? She’ll be doing a smaller signing at the Bookstore1Sarasota, in Sarasota, FL on Oct 31st. Details are HERE. (I’ll be driving down to this one!!!)

So, my lovelies… what do you think of the snippet? (I know, it’s been posted in a few places, but I hadn’t read it until just the other day.) Even though I don’t imagine we’ll see much of Mac and Barrons in this, I’m sure they’re make an appearance or two. I’m really looking forward to seeing Dani grow up… and how her attitude changes with that growth. Lemme know what YOU think. (And if you haven’t read the Fever series… ummmm… O.o!!!! Get thee to a bookstore!!!)

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Authors Against Bullying

Posted October 19, 2012 By Jennifer

Hi there,

Today’s post is a quick redirect to a “blog hop” styled collection of authors who are standing up and standing out against bullying. Started as an idea on twitter, Mandy Roth and Yasmine Galenorn got the ball rolling, and today there is a whole list of authors participating in #AuthorsAgainstBullying.

(taken from Mandy M Roth’s blogpost…)

The story of the Canadian teen who committed suicide because of bullying—but not before she told her story via a YouTube video— has hit me hard. What makes the matter even worse are the comments on the video by trolls. The comments and the fact a young girl was driven to suicide (and she is not the only one) because of bullies have all come together into something simmering so close to the surface that I felt more needed to be done. People being bullied need to see others pulling together and standing united against the behavior and they need to know they are not alone. Yasmine Galenorn, a fellow author and friend, felt the same way. Together we decided to gather our writing friends and peers and invite them to take a stand against bullying. They responded and together we are Authors Against Bullying.

You can read the rest of her post… including her own story about bullies… by clicking on the graphic above. I’ve copied the list of participating authors below. Each links to their post about how bullying has affected them or their loved ones. Each is a personal story, some never told before, and each carries the message of awareness. It’s up to all of us to look out for each other and NOT let bullying continue.

*Each authors’ opinions on bullying are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views of all participating.

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Today’s guest brings one of my favorite themes to the blog. Shiloh Walker’s BLIND DESTINY is releasing today, and is book 7 in her Grimm’s Circle series of reimagined fairy tales. I’ve been a fan of these kinds of recreations for a long time, and Shiloh’s grimm add a fantastic twist to the stories you *think* you know.

1) For someone not familiar with this series, can you explain what the grimm are?

Well, I call the series ‘bastardized’ fairy tales…and that sums up the idea of it well enough.  I had the idea a few years ago. It was inspired by a bad case of the flu and a day-long binge of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.  I was watching the Hansel and Gretel episode…for those who never watched it, there was this demon who pretended to be the two kids.  Giles, one of the characters was hypothesizing and talking… he’s this super-smart, literary, nerdy type and just jabbers on… the bit that inspired the idea was this..

Giles:There is a fringe theory, held by a few folklorists, that some regional stories have actual, very literal antecedents.
Buffy:And in some language that’s English?
Oz:Fairy tales are real.

Read more:http://www.buffyguide.com/episodes/gingerbread/gingerbreadquotes.shtml#ixzz28KVbrXyg

So there I was in my drugged-out, flu hazed, thinking…Wow.  That’s cool.  I’d always loved fairy tales.  But how were they real and who were they and why did we think they were fake?  As soon as I asked myself that question, I had the answer.

They had to hide.  Because that had a big job to do, and naturally, since I’m watching Buffy, and it makes sense… the characters from fairy tales hide because they are demon-slayers.  But they aren’t just demon-slayers.  They are actually a special-class of warrior guardian angels.

The fairy tales were created to hide what really happened, because you know…you can’t go hacking things up without being noticed at some point.  So the stories hide the real thing, which is bloodier and far worse than anything the Brothers Grimm dreamed up.  As to the name?  Well… their leader has an odd sense of humor.

2) If your life was a fairytale, which one would it be, and who would you be in the tale?

I wouldn’t willing choose any one of them.  I’ve read too many of the originals and they are a lot darker than most people realize.  Yeah, they might end with a prince and a kiss, but even Cinderella had bloody parts. 😉  Besides, my life is a normal one…it’s a great kind of normal, but it’s normal.

Sooo… How about you, my lovely readers… what fairy tale would YOUR life be, and what part would you play?? One random commenter between now and Saturday (Oct 20th) will win a prize from Shiloh, a $10 GC to Samhain Publishing!!! (Contest is open internationally)

OH… and you should all check out her website for another awesome BLIND DESTINY / Grimm’s Circle contest. Shiloh’s giving away this beautiful necklace from Cadsawan Jewelry. Click the image to see the details of the contest and to enter.

Shiloh Walker

Heigh ho, heigh ho, it’s back to hell she goes…

Myrsina knows the stories. As one of the oldest of the Grimm, she had a hand in writing most of them, but only she knows the dark origin of the Seven Bloody Sisters. It springs from the place of her birth—and her death. A place of pain and misery to which she plans to never return. Unless forced. When Luc appears on her doorstep, her heart twists with suppressed longing for the man who can never be hers. The only man who can make her do the impossible—go home.

Luc may be blind, but through their unique, bittersweet connection, even he can see that the task laid before them is ripping Sina’s soul apart. This time it isn’t as simple as fighting a demon that has escaped from the netherplains.  Sina must go back in time—to that cursed ground—and right a wrong that she unknowingly brought about. To write a new ending to a story that may give them both a chance at happily ever after. Assuming they survive.

Product Warnings,This book contains a not-so-fairy-tale prince, a Snow White who was never very innocent, a lot of bloody fights, some ghosts, and a new sort of angel…

Excerpt

“Can’t you hear her?” I demanded.

Those sightless, impossibly blue eyes turned to me. If one looked closely, you could see the scars at the corners of his eyes. They were faded—a few hundred years of life would do that. One black brow winged up and he said, “Hear who?”

Snarling, I climbed off the bed and stormed over to the window, glaring outside.

Of course he didn’t hear her.

He hadn’t even realized anything was off earlier until I’d pulled him into my mind.

I was apparently rather keyed into her. Perhaps it was because I’d added to the weight of her insanity. Krell didn’t seem to notice anything unusual, either, and that was rather strange.

Most animals were rather in tune with that sort of thing.

Maybe I’m going mad.

Standing there, I thought maybe I could even hear their screams. And that just wasn’t possible. But it had been close to two millennia. Even the most determined ghost couldn’t cling for that long.

Oh, Despoina wasn’t that old.

But whether she’d come into this mess or not, I knew if I’d come here at any given time, I’d still hear those screams. I’d cursed this place. Cursed it well and truly.

Then I’d driven a wretched, evil, old woman mad.

Now I got to lie there and watch the house endlessly, thanks to the lovely window in our room.  I’d checked it out once Will had booked it and sent me the information. Preparing myself, I supposed.

It faces out over the street and you can see the mountains! See the mountains. See the birth of my nightmares. I could lie there, hear the screams again, see the blood as it spread across the building under the rise of the moon.

Others didn’t always see it.

But some did…there were whispers of it. The house that bled. Rooms that screamed.

Children were terrified of the place.

But that could be because of the legends. Because of Despoina’s tales, the stories of her descent into madness. There was a pall here, one even I could feel. It made little sense. She’d been dead for a long time. Well, not by my standards, but almost two centuries had passed.

Why did the taint of madness still linger?

Suppressing a shiver, I crossed my arms over my chest and closed my eyes. Behind me, I heard a sound but I ignored it. It would be best if I tried to get through this job without paying any more attention to Luc than I absolutely had to.

Why in the hell had Will paired me with him, anyway?

It wasn’t like I needed a partner.

And—

The floorboards, old and worn, creaked.

Shooting a glance over my shoulder, I saw Luc coming my way.

He moved slowly, with an easy, casual grace. When we’d first settled into the room, Krell had trotted all over it, time and time again, and I suspected Luc had been committing the room’s layout to memory. He’d moved around it several times over himself and now he came toward me unerringly. I was tempted to dodge around him and go hide on my bed.

Only one thing stopped me—pride.

Damn it, I was Myrsina. Others of our ilk trembled when they heard my name.

I’d be damned if I’d dodge away and hide because this one man made me nervous.

Even if I was standing there in just a T-shirt that skimmed a little high on my thighs.

I was nervous, damn it. Nervous and it made me even more nervous, and that pissed me off.

Defensively, I crossed my arms over my chest and decided I’d make a point of studying the black and white framed photograph hanging over his bed. It was of a ruin—probably local. The landscape was oddly familiar. Yes, yes, focus on the mundane—

“Why do you think you hear it when I don’t?”

Baring my teeth in a mockery of a smile, I said, “Because I’m the lucky sort, I guess.”

“Hmm. Nice try. But I’m not buying it. Try again.”

“Maybe you are the lucky sort,” I offered, shooting him a narrow look.

He cocked his head, a frown on that incredibly perfect face. I wanted to push my hand through his hair. Pull him to me, and for once…even if it was just once…I wanted to kiss him. Taste those lips, and feel his mouth on mine.

“Why are you angry with me?”

“I’m not,” I bit off. Was I?

“You’re angry with something and it has to do with me,” he said, his voice mild enough. “I feel it—your anger is like a red wave in my head.”

“I’m not…”

He lifted a hand.

Unerringly, he touched my face and I felt my breath squeeze down in nothing in my chest.

No, don’t touch me

But I couldn’t move away.

Not for anything. “You are angry,” he murmured. “And…”

Move, Sina! The voice of self-preservation was a trumpeting roar in my head and I knew I needed to move, needed to break contact. Even with my shields up, there were some things that were simply impossible to hide if the person had a gift like my own.

And Luc’s gift…was…just…like…mine.

Helpless, frozen in place, I stared at him and watched his eyes narrow. As something passed through his gaze, an awareness, I finally managed to find the strength to pull away and nudge him aside. “I’m not angry with you,” I said, my voice so raw I barely recognized it. “I—”

He caught my arm.

I jerked away but he didn’t let go.

“If you don’t let me go,” I warned him. “I’ll…”

So many years.

Did he have any idea what it was like to want something, to need it, for so long? And now, here he was…right there. In front of me. And not only was he right there…in front of me…

Want to check out more of Shiloh Walker’s Grimm Circle series before forking out any moolah for a whole book?? She’s got links to a FREE Grimm short story, ALL THE TIME IN THE WORLD, on her website.

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Hi everyone!! I can’t even tell you how excited I am about today’s guest post. Amy Lane is brilliant. She’s funny, and smart, and writes beautiful (and sometimes heartbreaking) stories. (If you have not read her Little Goddess series… go… now… buy… read) She’s one of my very favorite people to talk to, and you’re about to see a glimpse of why. Be sure to check the bottom of this post for a chance to win one of Amy’s books!!

The M/M fiction genre has been growing readers in leaps and bounds the last few years. There have been discussions all over the internet about it, there have been books written exploring the idea, and today… Amy breaks down her own take on why. (Warning: This will make you laugh out loud, it contains language of the NSFW kind, it will make you go “hmmmm…”, and by the end of it, you may need a rec list for M/M fiction. You’re welcome.)

The Curious Slope of Alphabet Soup

By

Amy Lane

It’s an interesting slide. People start out reading romance, you know, basic heterosexual, contemporary romance? Isn’t that nice? See Dick. See Jane. See them meet. See them fall in love. See them have sex like bonobos on aphrodisiacs with a jungle soundtrack of Rick James gong full blast, and little disco balls twinkling in the trees.

Whoopee! Go Dick! Go Jane! Contemporary romance at it’s finest! But wait!

Somebody hath added a wrinkle, and now Dick has fangs. Or fur. Or (oh joy!) both! And Jane is a super ninja fur and fang slayer who falls hard enough for Dick to allow the sensual bite of the fanged and furry lurve beast, and look! Yes! See them have sex like bonobos on aphrodisiacs with a jungle soundtrack of Warren Zevon and Sting going full blast, and little disco balls twinkling over the coffin!

Whoopee! Go werewolf Dick! Go ninja Jane! Para Normal Romance (or PNR) rocks!

But wait! Somebody hath added a wrinkle, and now Dick has fangs and Mick has fur, and Jane is the super ninja fur and fang slayer caught between them, and then Dick betrays Mick and Jane is caught in a conundrum, and then Phillip shows up and he’s looking mighty fine but he needs Jane to save the world, and Jane is forced to put a machete between Dick’s head and his shoulders and then Phillip dies from remorse and Mick turns out to be gay and Marcus shows up with both fangs and fur and then… well, by then we’re four books into the world and we are dying to see somebody have sex like bonobos, music be damned, but we understand it happens in the sequel!

Whoopee! Goddammit! Somebody have some sex! And welcome to the world of Urban Contemporary Fantasy, or UCF for short.

UCF differs from the first two in that the world is built and established, and the same characters move throughout that world. Usually, the people who start out reading contemporary romance and PNR slide nicely into UCF without really knowing the difference, and that’s fine. But when they get to UCF, for an odd number of readers, something really odd happens.

Meet Marcus—he has a dick. Meet Phillip—he is one. See Marcus? See him turn into a vampire? See Phillip? See Phillip turn into a vampire? See them deal with being vampires and kill things and cope with all of the insane rules in a supernatural world? See them have chemistry and makes sparks fly and have banter and, whoa wait, ohmygod, are those two guys having sex like bonobos with Lady Gaga playing in the jungle shrugs and… oh wow. That’s sorta hot. That’s really hot. We all knew those two guys were fucking each other with their eyes that way. Wowee! That’s incendiary! Oh Geez…

Does anybody have any other UCF M/M books they could recommend? Yeah, they can be werewolves. Or vampires. Or psychics. Or elves. Or some sort of space alien with two penises and spikes coming out its chest. Or, you know, regular humans. Yeah, yeah, fine, whatever. They can be contemporary. Sure. Fine.

And suddenly, there you have it.

Someone read the gateway drug and slid right into the slightly fringe world of M/M romance, and the rest of the world is at a loss.

But it actually makes a lot of sense.

Back when I was teaching high school English, I would teach the idea of archetypes—a framework for character based on cultural memory. One of the biggest requirements of any sort of archetypal hero was the idea that started out as “noble worth” in the textbooks, but that I sort of refined to “social heft”. It means that this person is someone that people will listen to—and, when you move from European archetypes to American archetypes, it means that the person doesn’t have to move in rarefied air, just that he has to carry some weight in the culture he moves in.

Uhm, notice that I said, “he”.

Yeah—in most genres, women have different archetypes than men. Men get to be epic, tragic, romantic, satiric, Gothic, American Romantic, or anti-heroes. For the most part, as I taught literature—and read romance on my own—women didn’t get to be any of these archetypes, because, as much as we like to think of women’s rights as a done deal, the fact is, our behavior in literature very often hadn’t reached “heroic” proportions. Women were stuck in the four V’s—virgins, victims, vixens, or vamps. The two genres that I could see where this didn’t happen were fantasy, and it’s modern Gothic counterpart, urban contemporary fantasy—or UCF.

So, what’s happened here is this.

Women like to read romance—that’s great. They tire of contemporary romance, because very often the feminine archetypes aren’t what they want to read. They want to see women do something—they want to see the two partners in the story as equals. Paranormal romance offers a different take on this kind of romance—but, very often, we still get the four v’s, and that’s hard to live with. I mean, the guy gets the fangs, the woman gets the fur, but he’s still calling the shots? So we move on to urban fantasy—and EXCELLENT! She’s a kick ass sorceress or a vampire or shoots some sort of magic powered fusion gun out her ass—it doesn’t matter, she’s got the same social heft to play with the big guys, if she had to rearrange the modern world to get it!

And once a reader—an open-minded reader—starts grappling with female heroes, they start dealing on a purely archetypal basis. They stop looking at gender as the criteria for who has the upper hand or the lower hand, and they start looking at personality, and what drives the characters in the story as people—even if they’re not technically human, they’re very often distilled into the essence of what makes humanity, because that’s what good writing, even genre writing, is all about.

And once a reader starts enjoying that, well, she (an open minded she) stops looking at gender, and starts looking at people, and suddenly, it’s all about the heroes and how they’re interacting.

And the heroes are so interesting, that once they start boinking like bonobos, our open minded female reader isn’t going to care if both the flames are blue, she’s just going to enjoy the frickin’ heat.

And that’s why the slippery slope, I think. I’ve talked to enough readers—and have read enough books and have thought enough about the subject—that this is the conclusion I’ve come to. In spite of all the acronyms and in spite of the “ohmygod, werewolves are gross!” and “ohmygod, gay werewolves are grosser!” outcry from your initial romance fans, I think that when it comes down to it, the readers who make the plunge into M/M this way are really looking at books for the same reason we’re all looking at books: they want to see the things that make us human.

Sometimes, it’s just more fun when the humans sport fangs and fur.

So… ladies and gentlemen… there you have it 🙂 Did you all have an “Oh, yeah. That makes a lot of sense.” moment?? Let me know YOUR thoughts in the comments below, and one random commenter will win an ebook copy of one Amy Lane title. (I would suggest VULNERABLE, which is book 1 in the Little Goddess series, but she has many other titles to choose from.) Comments posted by midnight pacific on Saturday will be entered to win. Winner will be chosen and notified on Sunday, October 14th.

Also…

Don’t miss your chance to meet Amy and spend some time with her and other awesome authors and readers at the Olde City, New Blood urban fantasy / paranormal romance mini-convention this February 8-10th in St. Augustine, FL. We’ll have panels, readings, meet & greets and lots of time for everyone to mingle with their favorite authors. Check out http://OldeCityNewBlood.wordpress.com for all the details. Can’t wait to see you there!

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