Monday, June 28, 2010

Guest - Erin Kellison

Good morning everyone! Today's guest, Erin Kellison, is the author of the Shadow Series, which includes Shadow Bound and Shadow Fall. Stories have always been a central part of Erin Kellison's life. She attempted her first book in sixth grade, a dark fantasy adventure, and still has those early hand-written chapters. She graduated summa cum laude with a degree in English Language and Literature, and went on for a masters in Cultural Anthropology, focusing on oral storytelling. When she had children, nothing scared her anymore, so her focus shifted to writing fiction. She lives in Arizona with her two beautiful daughters and husband, and she will have a dog (breed undetermined) when her youngest turns five.

You can contact Erin though her website,, where you can also sign up to receive her newsletter.


When I was a kid, I was deathly afraid of the dark. I’d keep myself awake at night watching the shadows in my room, sure that they were moving without cause. When I saw one shift, even slightly, I’d hold my breath and freeze every part of my body so that whatever was in the dark would not find me. Now I have to grin because it reminds me of the T-Rex in Jurassic Park looking for moving prey. If there was a bogeyman in my bedroom, I’m pretty sure he’d know right where I was. (My earliest memory of this was when I was no older than three. I remember elves made out of shadow emerging from the dark to jump on my chest while I clutched the covers. I was still scared of the dark in high school, but then, of course, Stephen King didn’t help.

We’ve all heard about monsters under the bed or in the closet—the darkest places in a bedroom. I can think of a couple movies off the top of my head that use that fear as a jumping off point for their stories. My kids love Monsters, Inc. Is fear of the dark as simple as a fear of the unknown? Or is there more to it?

If you had asked me as a child, I would’ve sworn to you that there was something there, and that it wasn’t good. But I would not have expected you to believe me. It was a personal fear, something I battled alone at night with a triangle of light from the hall beyond my door. Does every kid do that?

Somehow to me darkness always seemed like a conduit for scary things. I got it into my head that shadow was a between place where just about anything was possible. At least anything that my imagination could conjure. As I grew, the shadows in my room started to take on new possibilities. I started to wonder what kind of creatures inhabited the shadows and one conception can be found in my debut release Shadow Bound. The shadows became Shadow, a place of infinite possibility.

You can read an excerpt about Shadow by clicking the link below, which shows how I turned my childhood fear into the world of the Shadowlands.

So how about you? What scared you as a kid?

Leave a comment by noon Friday AND send me an email with your snail mail address. I'll select one random name to receive a copy of my book, shadows and all.

Excerpt link:


-- Lynda Again

Don't forget, you can still enter my Heartstone Grand Prize Drawing until my novel is released. Go to then click on News to get the contest details.

Hope to see you there!

Technorati Tags:
, ,

Flickr Tags:
, , Tags:
, ,

Furl Tags:
, ,

Friday, June 25, 2010

Star Light, Star Bright...Interstellar Interview with Katherine Allred

Born in Arkansas, Katherine Allred spent her childhood learning to love books from her grandfather. At five, her mom remarried and they relocated to Michigan. Ten years later they were on the move again...back to Arkansas, and she's been there ever since. Except her jaunts as an army wife to other countries and states.

After earning a BS in journalism at Arkansas State University, she began writing. To date, she's had nine books published with CLOSE CONTACT, which hit shelves earlier this month!

Katherine is an RWA member, and has achieved many awards including the 2006 EPPIE award, the PASIC Book of Your Heart in 2002, and Best Book of the Year by Romance Reviews Today in 2005.

When did you decide that fantasy/sci-fi would be your break out sub-genre?

I think it would be easier to explain when I *didn’t* know. Science fiction was always my first love in fiction, starting with Superman comics when I was four. I didn’t actually read romances until my children were almost grown. A friend forced me to read one of Nora Robert’s books and I realized romances weren’t the bodice rippers I thought they were anymore. I literally devoured every romance I could get my hands on after that. So the Alien Affairs series was simply a combination of my two favorite genres.

Do you miss penning your contemporaries?

A part of me does and I still want to write more southern women’s fiction like THE SWEET GUM TREE. But I don’t think I’ll ever stop writing science fiction romance. I’m having too much fun doing it.

What started the idea of the Alien Affairs series and the GEPs (Genetically Engineered Persons)?

I was watching the local news one night and they did a bit on what the newscaster called “designer babies”. He seemed vaguely horrified that parents might someday be able to pick things like hair and eye color, intelligence, and athletic ability. I kept thinking, “what’s so bad about that? Don’t we all want our children to be smart, coordinated, and good looking?” Of course we do. But since genetic engineering hasn’t reached that point yet, I decided to genetically engineer my fictional children instead.

Why did you craft Eco Adams a quasi-kick ass heroine and party girl?

To tell you about Echo, I need to tell you about the heroine from the first book, CLOSE ENCOUNTERS. When I made Kiera Smith, she was the only super GEP we knew about in her world. She was pretty naive about regular people (Naturals) because she’d never been around them. She went right from the crèche when she was thirteen to living on a spaceship and dealing with aliens.

When it came to CLOSE CONTACT, the second book, I wanted a heroine who would be the complete opposite of Kiera, someone who had been created to work with Natural people. And someone who knew nothing about being an agent. So, Echo Adams was born. She’s the quintessential city girl so it was loads of fun coming up with situations to make her squirm. It also gave me a lot of room in her character arc to turn her into a semi-competent agent.

Where were you when you learned of your contract with Eos and most recently about your 4.5 stars Top Pick from Romantic Times?

Wow, this could be a long answer. LOL. I had turned the final of CLOSE ENCOUNTERS in to my agent, Laura Bradford, and when she sent it out, she told me to relax, it would probably be months before we heard anything from the publishers she sent it to. Four weeks later, I was in the kitchen cooking dinner when she called me and said we had not one, but two offers on the book! A small bidding war ensued with me bouncing around the kitchen, fork in hand, trying to cook and keep up with her at the same time. I finally threw the fork at hubby and told him he was on his own, and then sat down, in a complete daze, until it was over. I’m still not sure I believe it.

The top pick from Romantic Times wasn’t as hectic. My wonderful editor, Emily Krump, had found out at the RT convention and copied the page. She sent it to me in the snail mail. I was very surprised, and very happy, to get it. And since I’m talking about this type thing, I’m also thrilled that CLOSE ENCOUNTERS is a finalist in the FF&P chapter's Prism contest.

What kernel of authorial knowledge would you bestow on a new writer?

Never give up, and write what you love to read. Quitters will never be published, and if you don’t love what you’re writing, no one else will either.

If you'd like to learn more about Katherine or her novels, check out!

Technorati Tags:
, , , ,

Flickr Tags:
, , , , Tags:
, , , ,

Furl Tags:
, , , ,

Monday, June 21, 2010

Guest - Lydia Dare

Good morning everyone! Today's guest, Lydia Dare, is actually a fantastic writing duo who are well on the way to becoming one of my favorite 'authors'. One of my secret passions is Regency romance but combine it with paranormal? I'm all over it. But I'll stop gushing now and let you read their guest blog. Don't forget to go all the way to the Lynda Again section. There's a giveaway you won't want to miss.

Oh, and here are links to the reviews I've done on these books. Check them out.

A Certain Wolfish Charm
Tall Dark and Wolfish
The Wolf Next Door 


There are two of us who make the writing team of Lydia Dare. Jodie, whose first love is Regency England, and Tammy, who loves all things paranormal and romantic. After a rather long day at a local writing workshop, we decided to merge our genres and see what happened. I think it’s safe to say the end result was magical, and not just because we introduced readers to a powerful coven in the process.

In truth, this new landscape was a bit foreign for both of us. Tammy wasn’t accustomed to cravats or dowries and Jodie wasn’t used to heroes who sprouted fur and claws once a month or world building. It was new territory for each of us in our own ways. I think it was also freeing in a way that neither of us would have ever expected. We were both able to bring a bit of our preferred genres to the table and come back with something we never would have come up with on our own.

Readers are so accepting of shape-shifters and vampires in contemporary settings because of television shows and movies. And if you buy into those stories, logic only makes sense that they’ve been around a lot longer than that and have a secret history just waiting to be discovered. Those pieces of history were what most interested us when we made the world the Westfields live in.

As the historical half of our partnership, Jodie was accustomed to working within the rules of the era and maintaining historical accuracy. However this new world was like a breath of fresh air. And those pesky rules went out the window, or they sort of did, anyway. Suddenly, the possibilities were endless and anything seemed possible. We could grow powerful extinct plants with mystic powers. We could race across the island nation in hours rather than weeks, and on foot rather than on horseback. We could have heroes who had authentic wolfish grins and heroines who had true powers to enchant those around them.

As the paranormal half of the partnership, Tammy got steeped in rules that usually weren’t present in her writing. Although the Lycans were a bit wild, they still had to follow society’s rules. So, while their ability to grow fur and fangs was a given, Tammy had to learn the setting, from the furniture to the clothing. While Jodie’s adventure into the paranormal was freeing, Tammy’s foray into the Regency was the opposite. The characters were now bound by rules that were foreign.

The tag line of our debut trilogy is “Regency England has gone to the wolves.” And in our world, that is very true. We’ve also added in witches and most recently vampyres into that same world. With each addition, we are able to reinvent our world and create a new mythology. It’s the most fun we’ve ever had as writers. As we continue to build our world and stock it with other paranormal characters, we’d like to know – What paranormal characters are you most drawn to and why are they your favorites?


A Certain Wolfish Charm, ISBN 9781402236945, April 2010
The rules of Regency Society can be beastly—especially when you're a werewolf. Simon Westfield, the Duke of Blackmoor has spent his entire life creating scandal and mayhem. It doesn't help his wolfish temper that since he's rich, powerful, and sinfully handsome, the town is willing to overlook his outrageous behavior. Lily Rutledge has a wild streak of her own. When she turns to Simon for help, he falls for her immediately. For Simon is drawn to the fearless Lily more powerfully than the moon...

Tall, Dark and Wolfish, ISBN 9781402236952, May 2010
The reckless, rakish younger brother of a powerful duke, Lord Benjamin Westfield transforms into a wolf under the light of the full moon—until one fateful evening when he doesn't change and his life is shattered. Fearing he may never be able to change again, Benjamin sets out for Scotland in search of a witch who can heal his inner beast. The noble werewolf is drawn to the beautiful young woman, but what does he have to offer in this broken state?

The Wolf Next Door, ISBN 9781402236969, June 2010
Rogue, Rake…Werewolf. Years ago on a full moon, Lord William Westfield gave way to his inner beast and nearly ruined young Prisca Hawthorne. Knowing he can never trust himself in the arms of the woman he loves, he throws himself into a debauched lifestyle. When Westfield discovers he has a rival for Prisca's love, he decides if she's going to marry a Lycan it damn well better be him. But time is running out as Prisca's other suitor takes an instant and potentially fatal dislike to Westfield.

About the Authors
Lydia Dare is actually the writing team of Tammy Falkner and Jodie Pearson. Both Tammy and Jodie are active members of the Heart of Carolina Romance Writers and live near Raleigh, North Carolina. They are working together on their next paranormal historical trilogy as Lydia Dare, which will be released by Sourcebooks Casablanca in Spring 2011! For more information, please visit


-- Lynda Again

Sourcebooks is offering a complete set of this trilogy to one lucky reader. To win, all you have to do is send an email to me at with the word WOLF in the subject line AND your address in the body of the email by Friday. I'll put all the names in the prize box and my little fluffy buddy, Wookie, will select the winner.

And don't forget, you can still enter my Heartstone Grand Prize Drawing until my novel is released. Go to then click on News to get the contest details.

Hope to see you there!

Technorati Tags:
, , ,

Flickr Tags:
, , , Tags:
, , ,

Furl Tags:
, , ,

Monday, June 14, 2010

Review - Strange Neighbors

Strange Neighbors
Ashlyn Chase

When Merry MacKenzie moves into the old brownstone apartment building, she’s looking for a little independence from an over protective father. But she discovers an overprotective father is the least of her worries. Topping the list is the instant attraction for the building owner/landlord, Jason Falco who happens to be a hunky all-star professional pitcher. Then there’s his nosy aunt Dottie, the vampire in the basement, the werewolf upstairs, the witches and the ghost who flits around with a variety of one and two liners no one but he can hear.

Jason is ready to fall head over heels for the sexy nurse who moved into the empty first floor apartment but he’s got a secret that he’s not sure he can trust her with. He’s a shapeshifter, one who turns into a falcon. But he’s determined to see what kind of a relationship he can have with Merry because she just may be his true mate.

As I began reading, I found myself enjoying the author’s writing style and I found the premise undeniably fresh. However…aside from frequent bouts of fairly hot sex, a brief misunderstanding and an unsurprising black moment, there just isn’t much plot for Jason and Merry.

The plot threads primarily revolve around the ghost. In fact, the story opens with an interlude between the ghost, Chad, talking to a neighboring ghost. Chad, you see, was murdered in the building some years before but he doesn’t know who his murderers were or why, exactly, they killed him and he spends most of his time annoying the other building occupants by passing through them and, hence, making them chilled or haunting prospective tenants for his old apartment.

With such a great premise and writing style, I was a bit disappointed with the book.

Furl Tags:
, , ,

Technorati Tags:
, , ,

Flickr Tags:
, , , Tags:
, , ,

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Real or Imaginary?

Are you a pretender? Not exactly in the sense as the tv show. I mean do you pretend to know things so that you can write about them? Do you project yourself into your characters to write in a more first person sense?

When I was younger, I never had an imaginary friend who portrayed all the things I wanted to be or had adventures I couldn't. I was the geeky kid that loved Wonder Woman and acted out portions of the TV show after watching Lynda Carter. Then I morphed into my Spiderman phase....yes, I know I'm a girl....but I could so relate to Peter Parker. But like kids who have an imaginary friend, I grew out of my imaginary phase. Though sometimes I still daydream :0)

Or are you the type of writer who really has to get your hands dirty so you can truthfully get the details right? Are you like me, and enjoy new experience so you can learn about topics that you can use as fodder? For instance, this morning I got my first MRI. Of course I turned to the internet to see how I needed to prep. I found that sometimes they let you play music and not to have any metal on your person. (Which made finding clothes, especially a bra, difficult!) I didn't get to listen to music for that half hour, but I was glad I didn't have on metal. I don't know if I was supposed to feel the magnetic waves inside the tube when the frequencies changes, but it was easy to tell by the thumping noise. To keep myself entertained I thought of how the event could be used in a story...what if someone got trapped, how many people could fit, what would people do to stay so still?

Do you also search the internet or library like a CSI to find certain details to make your fiction more real? I confess, I do occasionally turn to YouTube and Wiki for some input. Then there are documentaries on cable...sure some of it isn't all that helpful, but sometimes you hit on a gem. For instance, as I write this I'm watching a documentary called Sports Science that's testing X-Bionic clothing, which makes regular moisture wicking materials look like a fossil.

How do you research and write? Do you prefer to use your imagination with some tidbits of facts, or do you rely entirely on facts with some inventive imagination?

Technorati Tags:
, , , , ,

Flickr Tags:
, , , , , Tags:
, , , , ,

Furl Tags:
, , , , ,

Monday, June 07, 2010

Guest - Frances Pauli

Good morning everyone! Today's guest, Frances Pauli, writes Speculative Fiction with a touch of Romance. She has a short science fiction story published in Alternative Coordinates magazine, a Science Fiction Romance e-book released through Devine Destinies, and her Urban Fantasy trilogy due to begin in the fall through Mundania Press LLC. Her book, The Dimensional Shift is set to be released later this year through Awe-Struck ebooks.

Parallel Lives

I’m a big fan of string theory. I realize that dates me, that science has started to move on, but, hey, I’m a slow learner. The concept inherent in string theory, specifically, about the existence of parallel dimensions had completely captivated my imagination.

I mean, imagine it. Suppose there are an unlimited number of alternative universes, each a little different from our own, each just a shade off parallel. How many different versions of your home town are out there? Of your home, your family? Of you?

Now that’s the tricky part, isn’t it? Wrapping your brain around the idea of infinite versions of yourself can result in a fairly large headache. It tends to make people twitchy. I’m pretty attached to my individuality, and I suspect most of us are. To my mind, that just makes way too fertile of a background for
storytelling to resist.

What would happen if you ran into another version of you? Would you like them or hate them? Would you have anything to warn them about? Any advice to give? Even better, what might they have to tell you?

I suspect a person could become easily obsessed with their parallel identities. I mean, look how crazy we are about watching celebrities, royals, people we have no personal ties to. Imagine the reality television craze if those idiots on TV were other aspects of yourself. Would you want to watch them? I suspect a lot of us would. I suspect some of us might get addicted.

If someone invented a way to spy on your parallels, how much would you pay for it? Would it be dangerous? Illegal? Maybe just a fad that gets old really quickly?

I have a release coming out this summer featuring a maid in a hotel for inter-dimensional travelers. She finds out about her parallels, and her immediate reaction is to want to know more despite the warnings, the restrictions, and her new invisible best friend’s assurance that she “just doesn’t want to go there.”

I think the curiosity would be overwhelming, and the dangers even more so. Aside from the addictive possibilities, a whole mess of complications could ensue. Identity theft would take on whole new dimensions…literally. Criminals could blame everything on a parallel. Politicians and actors would have an easier time finding stunt doubles.

It would be chaos, but I’m a fan of chaos theory as well. Now that one really dates me.

So what do you think would be the biggest problem or the biggest benefit of knowing about your own alternates? What would you ask them, and would you really want to know the answer?

Thanks so much for having me today!


Frances' book Roarke is available from Devine Destinies or through her website at:
or in Kindle version at:

The Dimensional Shift is due for release later this year from
Awe-Struck e-books.

She also offers a free online read at:

"the universe is about to get sticky"

When Xenobiologist, Dr. Murray, receives yet another phony wedding
invitation from her galaxy hopping sister, she does what any good
sibling would do. She drops her research and hops the first flight to
some obscure planet at the edge of the civilized universe. But Zora’s
weddings never manage to go off as planned, and before the cake is
served, Murray finds herself imprisoned with the unapologetic bride.
With the assistance of a mysterious android and the universe’s last
living space slug, the two find themselves on the run in a stolen
space ship with half the galaxy in hot pursuit. Thanks to Zora, it’s
the least desirable half. Maybe Murray will get lucky, and the crash
landing will kill her.
-- Lynda
I wanted to let you all know that Frances is generously offering a copy of 'Temptations' to everyone who leaves a comment, their age and email addy by Wednesday.


she's offering a free pdf copy of Roarke to one lucky person who leaves a comment & their email addy by Friday. So make sure you leave a comment with your email address so you can be eligible for these great reads!

 As a reminder, if you join my newsgroup and follow the directions, you can be eligible for the Heartstone Grand Prize drawing to celebrate the soon-to-be release of my novel Heartstone. For information, go to my website at Click on the News tab, then follow directions to the Contest announcement.

 Hope to see you there!

Technorati Tags:
, ,

Flickr Tags:
, , Tags:
, ,

Furl Tags:
, ,

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Review - The Wolf Next Door

The Wolf Next Door
Lydia Dare
Sourcebooks, Inc

In this, the last book in the Westfield brother triology, Lord William the middle of the three Westfield brothers, is between a rock and a hard place when it comes to the neighbor he’s loved all his life. But since their failed elopement, Prisca Hawthorne has hated everything about him. He can barely tolerate her sniping, jabs and ill-humored barbs and , in self-defense, retaliates in kind.

But the beautiful raven haired Prisca is hiding her broken heart behind her spiteful words. She believes William was unfaithful just prior to their elopement and is convinced she can’t trust William with her heart again. If she could only convince her heart to let go and move on but that’s not in her power. She hates sniping at William and would avoid him but, if he’s at home, she can’t stay away from him. She simply has to see him even though their relationship is all thorns and bitterness. It’s a dilemma she can’t solve or repair. Oddly, the only time she feels at peace is when she’s in her garden and her special friend, a wild wolf, comes to visit her in the late evening hours. She has no idea why the wolf comes and she has no idea why she isn’t afraid of him. But the visits never last long enough, nor do they happen often...though it’s always by light of the full moon. If only William could be as faithful and loyal as her wolf, she would be a happy woman.

Their relationship remains unchanged...until the arrival of a new man at Hawthorne Manor. The mysterious stranger, Dashiel Thorpe, the Earl of Brimsworth, is a shapeshifter just like the Westfield men. It’s clear from the start that Thorpe is interested in Prisca, a situation Will simply can’t allow. When a gathering of Westfields and Hawthornes takes place, Will’s sister-in-law suggests a scavenger hunt but Prisca is partnered with Brimsworth. As his sense of possessiveness grows, Will contrives to get Prisca alone long enough to convince him that he must have her. The problem remains... how to convince Prisca? And, more important, how to claim her so that no other wolfish shapeshifter will take her from him.

This third book in the series is just as riveting, just as sexy and hot, as the first two. Ms Dare has combined two passionate, stubborn people whose love is hidden by old hurts and festering insecurity. She has deftly brought these two together in situations that force them to confront each other and their fears.

Sexy, witty, and wildly passionate, these are men who love deeply and completely. Her alpha heroes do whatever it takes to get the woman they love. And their chosen woman is strong and brave enough to face them down. I have great hopes that Dashiel Brimsworth will continue the series and bring us more of these wonderful alpha heroes.

Each book is worthy of repeat reading and a chant of more, More, MORE when you reach the end.

Friday, June 04, 2010

Just One Day

Lately with the news of the oil spill everywhere I turn, I've been thinking what would I do if I had the ability to fix one colossal problem in one day?

It's not an uncommon mission for a hero or heroine, especially in sci-fis and urban fantasies with increasing numbers of apocolyptic and post apocolyptic plots. How many times have we seen goals like a hero or heroine saving their people, their planet or the universe? I'm not saying that's bad, because there are limitless possibilities for how they'll achieve "the impossible". Just like in love, half the fun is getting to that final HEA (or close to it anyway).

In the present day would the hero and heroine's mission be to stop the oil spill without government approval or in the face of their opposition? Would they pull a hostile take over of BP to force them to take action? One thing is certain, it would be a hot button topic no matter who you talk to.

If you had the chance to use one day to make something impossible happen, what would you do?No, you don't have to play by the rules and only use what you presently know or are physically capable of. Let yourself go...imagine you're the hero or heroine of your story.

Personally I'm undecided. I'd love to stop the oil spill, so it doesn't harm the water supply, states along the coast, animals in harm's way, not to mention the people who've been touched by the catastrophe. I also thought about curing a disease like cancer or diabetes which are both epidemic in their scope. Then I thought about a super fundraiser being the catalyst for solving the problem, instead of me finding the secret/cure myself. Sometimes the facilitator is as important as the person who puts in that final peice.

Then I thought about all the people in debt, especially due to the economy's slump. Would I pull a Fight Club ending and take out everyone's credit card record? However with every good deed, there comes a cost...a ramification. Will having their balance stand at 0 really help or cause a bigger problem? Should my answer be to give people a way to help themselves by creating a business that would supply thousands (possibly milions) of jobs to get everyone back on their feet. As I wrote in ALL I EVER WANTED, give people who need help a hand up not a hand out.

There is so much that needs to be done, problems we may not see resolved in our lifetimes, but each little bit of growth can mean deciphering the bigger issue.

Technorati Tags:
, , ,

Flickr Tags:
, , , Tags:
, , ,

Furl Tags:
, , ,