Tuesday, March 30, 2010

After a Long Absence - Immorati by MK Mancos Releases Again


I put this up on the freebie day since I've been away for so long that I thought it only fair. I never intended to stop blogging, it just kind of happened. This past year or so has been spent moving 90-to-nothing on getting projects done and out the door then working on edits for my pubs. Sometimes more than one edit would hit my inbox at a time. - So, I'm sure you see my delimia. Put on top of that my full time job and you definately have Yatzee.

So, thank you to Linda for her email a few weeks ago asking if I still wanted to be a part of the group. I do.

What else is new. Well, this past Friday marked the rerelease of Immorati from the Wild Rose Press/Black Rose. It's been a long and bumpy road for this story. Almost as much as the Edie and Aidan's.

Blurbage:

When the corpse of an unidentified species is found in the woods near Pine Haven, New Jersey along with a human female, anthropologist Edie Campbell is called in by local law enforcement and the medical examiner to help identify the strange humanoid male. The discovery of a heretofore unknown species is thrilling for Edie, up until she realizes the creature has recently mated with the human female.

Questions form with no apparent answers until Aidan LaMont arrives in Pine Haven to identify his cousin’s body. But the secretive Aidan hides as much of the mystery surrounding the strange creature as he explains. And Edie has no doubt that behind his simmering sexuality and amber eyes, he knows much more than he’s willing to tell.

Excerpt:

Aidan inhaled; she smelled vaguely of coffee with a hint of mint.
“I’m looking for what killed my cousin.”


Long mink-colored lashes slid shut, hiding her gorgeous eyes. “I’m so sorry for your loss.” A gentle touch on his arm made him stiffen in reaction. Her eyes opened again. “I’m even sorrier for the media intrusion into your family’s sorrow. Chief Urich tried to keep it quiet.”

Aidan wanted to shrug and show it didn’t matter to the Immorati, no one would be able to get close enough to the compound to intrude on their mourning, but he remained silent. “And what is your part in all of this?”

“Expert opinion.”

He raised a brow in query. Silence descended on them right before Cletus stepped into their space, cutting off the question even as it formed in Aidan’s mind.

“You need to remove her from this place.”

Aidan understood and took her hand in his and walked to the road. The last thing he wanted was for her to see a Corpesetti in full hunt. He and Cletus might be able to bring him down, but the woman would be a liability.

A crash through the brush was followed by an unmistakable stench. Aidan pushed the girl to the ground, throwing his body on top of her in protection. He felt the air whoosh from her lungs and her breathing stop. Damn, he might have hurt her.





-Kat

Monday, March 29, 2010

Guest - Barbara Monajem

Good morning everyone! Today's guest, author Barbara Monajem, wrote her first story in third grade about apple tree gnomes. After dabbling in neighborhood musicals and teen melodrama, she published a middle-grade fantasy when her children were young. Now her kids are adults, and she writes paranormal and historical romance for grownups. She lives in Georgia with an ever-shifting population of relatives, friends, and feline strays.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The world we live in is pretty fabulous as is, but adding the paranormal makes it even more fun. One of the great pleasures of writing paranormal characters is imagining the advantages and disadvantages that would arise from having extraordinary abilities in an ordinary world. Ophelia Beliveau, the heroine of Sunrise in a Garden of Love & Evil, is a hereditary vampire. She has fangs and is sexually irresistible.

Those are the disadvantages.

No, I’m not kidding!

It’s one thing to be attractive. It’s another to be hit on constantly and pursued by obsessive boyfriends who just can’t let go. As for the fangs… sure, they’re an added perk during sex (for both the biter and the bitten), but what if the fangs scare a desirable man away? There are jealous wives and girlfriends to contend with, too.

On the other hand, Ophelia’s a lot stronger than ordinary women, and she has enhanced senses – night vision, extra-sensitive hearing, and a fabulous sense of smell – particularly when it comes to delicious male pheromones...and of course blood.

I love to believe in the almost possible – like Ophelia, for example. There are real people with incredible sexual magnetism. Some people have sharper senses than others. Why shouldn’t they come in a genetic package that gives them fangs as well? What if people who are good at being unnoticed could literally fade into the background? Jack Tallis, the hero of my September release, Tastes of Love & Evil, can do just that. There are plenty of opportunities to do good with that talent...or bad. (But Jack is good. He’s a hero, so he has no choice.)

The hero of the third novel in the Bayou Gavotte series (which I’m working on now) has dangerous telepathic abilities. I love all this stuff. It’s close to reality (well, close enough to have fun with, anyway), but with endless possibilities and consequences.

What do you think? In what way would you like human characteristics and abilities to change and be just a bit magical? How would these changes affect people’s lives?

Leave a comment by noon Friday. One lucky commenter will win a signed copy of Sunrise in a Garden of Love & Evil.

Also, I’m holding an overarching contest until the end of April, with signed books and sundry other prizes. A comment on any of my guest blogs gives you one chance to win. You can get extra chances by signing up for my newsletter, or by posting links to any of my guest blogs on Facebook, MySpace, and/or Twitter. Just fill out the form on the Contact page of my website (www.BarbaraMonajem.com) to sign up or to let me know where you've posted links.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Dark secrets abound in the town of Bayou Gavotte, Louisiana, from blackmail to fetish clubs to murder, and when blood-and-love starved vampire Ophelia Beliveau calls in the police to scare away whoever is desecrating her garden, Detective Gideon O'Toole unearths more than he ever dreamed...

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

-- Lynda Again --
This week's member word is wanderlust
\WAHN-der-lust\ noun
: strong longing for or impulse towards wandering

Members of my newsgroup will know what to do with today's word. You can know too by joining us. But don't worry, there isn't any chatter. You'll only get notices from me so it won't fill your mailbox. My fluffy cat, Wookie Baby, will help me select the lucky person whose name is drawn and I'll announce it here on Friday. (She'd do it herself but her English vocabulary is limited to NO-when she's going to the vet and WOE-when she's getting a bath, lol) This week's prize is Maggie Shayne's - Bloodline, a new take on the vampire.

Directions on how to join the newsgroup are below. Hope to see you there!

To join my newsletter, send a blank email to:
LyndaKScott-Newsgroup-subscribe@yahoogroups.com
Be My Friend http://www.myspace.com/lyndakscott
My Website: http://www.lyndakscott.com
My Blog: http://www.lyndakscott.blogspot.com
Tweet me: http://www.twitter.com/lyndakscott
Be My Friend on:
Bebo: http://www.bebo.com/lyndakscott
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/lyndakscott


Technorati Tags:
, ,

Flickr Tags:
, ,

Del.icio.us Tags:
, ,

Furl Tags:
, ,

Friday, March 26, 2010

I Saw the Sign

Do you remember a group from the 80's called Ace of Base? They had hits with "All She Wants" and of course "I Saw the Sign". What brought this to mind in the 21st century? Hearing "Truly Madly Deeply" (by Savage Garden) on the radio as I was leaving the office. True it's not a rarity for a DJ to mix things up by throwing in an "oldie", but that song inspired one of my best and favorite short stories. Of course that little ditty didn't sale, nor did it do well in any contests. In fact I like to think of it as a great warm up as I grew as an author.


However that moment in my car continued a trend I've noticed. Seeing and hearing things that made me think of my writing.


Believe me I'm not a stickler for signs, yet I still believe Fate or God is trying to tell me something. Or rather to make it plain as day and do everything short of kick me in the rear. Over the last couple of weeks I've been thinking of sending out some of my novels in the hopes that since faces and perceptions have changed, my luck will be different. Some of my recent work needs a spit shine, but I have a few novels that have won contests and one that even sold, which I could send back out on rounds.


So what really made me sit up and take notice? Last Saturday I was watching a movie with my sister about a trio of men who ran the Sahara Desert. Yes, the whole thing...in 111 days, and some days did 50 - 100 miles. What kept them going was their passion...and a bit of stubbornness! The closing credits cascaded to a U2 song with a catchy beat. Low and behold if I wasn't in Bath & Body and heard "Where the Streets Have No Name" start on the overhead speakers. Coincidence? Perhaps.


Then again in one of my own books I state there is no coincidence. And no, I'm not about to quote Terminator and say Fate is what we make. Though on occasion that is true. Sometimes you get those little feelings, those punches to the gut, that can make or break the course of your life. Perhaps seeing a license plate with my heroine's name from TIES OF VALOR was just that. I know it struck me as super odd since not many people I know have a vanity plate with Zara on it.


And what was my last task at the office today? Cleaning out my desk...no not for good, but as part of the purge. I had a couple drawers I couldn't reach because of boxes, so I decided to polish them off on this fine Friday. While sorting out one drawer I found articles on how to save money, burn extra calories a week, and get the life I wanted.


Can you guess what the final folder was? I'll give you a hint...it was marked PERSONAL. Sure there were take out menus, some notes to myself about bills and balances, but I also found snippets about my books I'd jotted down as well as marked up pages! I put a couple aside and at five, I started to read them and got lost. Enough so that I was almost late for dinner with friends. It hit me as I read these stories, remembering the details like it was yesterday, that I had talent. I'm not saying this to gloat, but to kick myself in the pants! Without getting into all the deatils, I let a reprimand at work and my publisher going under stymie my passion...and lost out on something I love.



It's about time I got back in the game, fought for what I want, and set about capturing my dream again! This weekend I'd already earmarked some time to write a few articles for a magazine in the hopes of getting my tiptoes wet (and helping Relay for Life)...and after that I will definitely be plugging in my USB and getting out that red marker! And then I'll give into the voices that came back to talk to me today, saying "Why haven't you written my story?"


__________________



In other kitty news, by babies turned 8! Puff inspired my heroine in JUST ONE LIFE and Tabby was the leaping off point for the hero in my novella "Crashed Into You".






Technorati Tags:
, , , , , ,

Flickr Tags:
, , , , , ,

Del.icio.us Tags:
, , , , , ,

Furl Tags:
, , , , , ,

Monday, March 22, 2010

Guest - Laura Bickle

Good morning everyone! It's a bit cold here in Michigan today with the threat of that yucky, fluffy white stuff in the air. That makes staying inside with a cup of coffee and a good book even more tempting, yes? Today's guest, Laura Bickle, is here to tempt us with a fascinating article on ghosts and a great excerpt from her latest book.

Ms Bickle has worked in the unholy trinity of politics, criminology, and technology for several years. She and her chief muse live in the Midwest, owned by four mostly-reformed feral cats. EMBERS, her debut novel, is first in an exciting new urban fantasy series that continues with her forthcoming second novel, Sparks. More information on her work can be found at www.salamanderstales.com.

Laura also writes as Alayna Williams. Alayna's "debut" will be Dark Oracle, Pocket-Juno's June 2010 release. More information on the Oracle series can be found at www.alaynawilliams.com.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Ghosts in the Machine
By Laura Bickle

There’s no such thing as a typical ghost.

In researching ghosts and ghost-hunting for EMBERS, I learned that not all hauntings are the same. Each haunting is unique, in terms of activity, location, history, and emotional resonance.

But professional ghost-hunters use several categories to classify and track hauntings. In this way, hauntings with common characteristics can be grouped together and compared. I’ll discuss three types that captured my imagination: intelligent, residual, and inhuman hauntings.

Intelligent hauntings involve a ghost with some degree of self-awareness. The ghost was once a human being. Such spirits will often attempt to interact with the living. When we think of classic hauntings, ghosts that reach out for the living, an intelligent haunting is at work. Such spirits may attempt to speak or appear to the living.

In EMBERS, Anya, a medium, encounters a ghost who witnessed a murder and arson. He was a vacuum cleaner repairman in life, and he haunts the remains of his former shop in death. Among broken parts and shells of machines, he offers Anya information about what he’s seen. He speaks to her much as a living person would.

With intelligent hauntings, a level of consciousness is present. In contrast, residual hauntings lack that sense of self-awareness. Residual hauntings are likened to a tape loop playing over and over, or a needle stuck in a groove on a record player. A fragmented scene from another time is replayed by the ghost. An incident with high emotional resonance is effectively burned into the environment. The spirit is seemingly unaware of the presence of living people, intent on reenacting a past memory. Attempts to interact with the ghost often fail.

Anya, as a spiritual medium, hates going to hospitals, jails, and nursing homes. They’re crowded with ghosts. At a hospital, she sees examples of residual hauntings: an elderly woman howling and pacing the hallways, the ghost of a man in a waiting room numbly watching television. There’s no self-awareness, and they don’t try to interact with her. They are simply reliving a part of their life, detached from their surroundings.

Both residual and intelligent hauntings are relatively common. In contrast, inhuman hauntings are comparatively rare. They involve the presence of demonic or other non-human entities, and are considerably more difficult to remove. A human spirit isn’t involved; the subject of the investigation never was human. The entity may attempt to masquerade as a human spirit, to suit its own purposes. These inhuman entities gain a toehold in a victim’s residence or psyche, and slowly take over.

Anya encounters an inhuman haunting while pursuing what she believed to be a poltergeist. In reality, the poltergeist is an ancient Babylonian demon, Mimiveh.
Anya’s been spiritually and emotionally distraught, and that gives Mimi enough traction to invade Anya’s dreams and waking life.

There are more categories of hauntings, and cases that don’t fit neatly into any typology. But they provide plenty of fodder for the imagination, to wonder how and why they continue to linger in the realm of the living.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Anya Kalinczyk spends her days as an arson investigator with the Detroit Fire Department, and her nights pursuing malicious spirits with a team of eccentric ghost hunters. Anya—who is the rarest type of psychic medium, a Lantern—suspects a supernatural arsonist is setting blazes to summon a fiery ancient entity that will leave the city in cinders. By Devil’s Night, the spell will be complete, unless Anya—with the help of her salamander familiar and the paranormal investigating team—can stop it. Anya’s accustomed to danger and believes herself inured to loneliness and loss. But this time she’s risking everything: her city, her soul, and a man who sees and accepts her for everything she is. Keeping all three safe will be the biggest challenge she’s ever faced.

EXCERPT
She stepped into the bathroom and clicked on the overhead light. The black-and-white retro tile gleamed. A collection of rubber duckies lined a shelf on one wall, grinning down at her with cartoon smiles. Anya turned the bathtub tap as hot as it would go, dropped a fistful of bath salts into the water. She plucked her favorite duck, a jaunty pirate with a plastic eye patch, from the collection and dropped him in the water. He spun in lazy circles under the faucet.

She peeled off her sticky, pickle-stained clothes and stuffed them in the washing machine in the bathroom closet. The chill rippled over her body as she measured detergent into the basin and set the water temperature to hot. When she'd moved in, Anya had the foresight to install an extra-large water heater. As a fire investigator, her work was always filthy and she didn't deny herself the luxury of as much hot water as she needed.

She paused, catching sight of her reflection in the mirror. Her light chestnut hair swung over her milky-pale shoulder which was studded with a constellation of beauty marks. Her fingers fluttered over her chest. Below the salamander collar that housed Sparky, a black char mark was burned into the flesh over her left breast. The wound didn't hurt. She knew it would eventually fade, like all the other exorcism burns, but it was a lingering reminder of the soul she'd devoured.

She stepped into the bath, wiggling her toes, feeling the warmth begin to radiate up her legs. She sank up to her neck in the water, massaging the hot water through her hair. The pirate duck bumped against her toes. She reached for a loofah and began to scrub hard, as if she could scrub the memory of the dead child away from her skin.

The sepulchral voice captured on the recorder buzzed in the back of her head, and her thoughts nipped at it:

"Sirrush is coming."

Her brow wrinkled. She'd never heard the name spoken aloud, only read it in books. Sirrush was an old term used for firedrakes and salamanders, a name used only in witches' ceremonial magic to draw down the element of fire. But the spirit's message seemed to be aimed at her and she chewed on it, tasting it for any flavor of a threat.

As the water cooled, Anya climbed out of the bath. She smelled no pickles or ash as she pulled the drain plug, just soap and a hint of jasmine from the bath salts. The pirate duck spiraled around the drain.

Anya toweled off, and pulled on her robe, decorated in a pattern of yellow cartoon ducks. Wet footprints on the shag rug in the hall trailed behind her. She paused in the hallway to turn up the thermostat, looking forward to the warmth of her bed. A simple futon piled high with blankets dominated the small bedroom. Anya couldn't bring herself to buy a second-hand bed. All beds were stained too much with the dreams of their prior owners.

Anya climbed under the blankets, sighing. She'd be able to get a couple of hours of sleep before her shift began. As she drowsed, the salamander collar warmed around her neck. Sparky unpeeled himself, slipped down to the floor. He padded across the floor to a large flannel dog bed placed against the wall. Resting in the bed was his favorite toy: a Gloworm. The stuffed toy was a flashlight ingeniously disguised in a cherubic plastic head and a caterpillar body. Since it ran on batteries, there was little electrical damage that Sparky could do to it that would result in a hazardous situation.

Sparky placed his paw on the Gloworm. It lit up. He removed his paw, and the light winked out. He cocked his head, watching it, then patted it again.

On.

Off.

On.

Anya scrunched her eyes shut against the blinking light. As much as he enjoyed biting ghosts and other ghoulies on the spiritual plane, Sparky could only directly affect two things in the physical world: energy and Anya. The toy had brought him many hours of delight. She'd placed it in the dog bed that he never used, hoping that Sparky could eventually be persuaded to sleep on his own in his own bed.

A whine emanated from the side of Anya's bed.

Anya opened one eye. Sparky's head peered over the mountain of covers. Anya groaned. She was too tired to try to Ferberize the salamander tonight.

She climbed out of bed, grabbed the Gloworm, and tossed it into her bed. Sparky climbed in, rooted under the blankets. He made himself comfortable, draped over one of Anya's hips. He cradled the Gloworm between his paws. Anya idly stroked his loose speckled skin and Sparky began to purr, a low vibration in the back of his ribs.

Sometimes, Anya wondered what it would have been like to have had Brian's warmth next to her. She'd seriously contemplated it in the past. But she didn't know how to explain sharing a bed with a familiar elemental spirit. While it was true that humans couldn't see Sparky, his presence could be sensed: fluctuations in temperature, static electricity, a sense of being watched. When Anya had taken lovers before, Sparky had not taken well to them. It was distracting to be in the act of making love to a man with a five-foot salamander sitting at the foot of the bed, head cocked, slapping his tail on the blankets. Sparky manifested at will, unpredictably. But he could always be trusted to always make an appearance whenever Anya was in the presence of spirits...or when the possibility for intimacy with a man presented itself....

But then again, maybe sex was overrated. Sparky's warm tail coiled around her ankles and he snored softly. At least, Sparky had good manners: he didn't fart, scratch himself, or have morning breath. He was rather like sleeping with an electric blanket. . . which was probably the best Anya could hope for at the present.

Curled in the warm embrace of the salamander cuddling his toy, Anya drifted to sleep.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

-- Lynda Again --
This week's member word is magniloquent
\mag-NIL-uh-kwunt\ adjective
: speaking in or characterized by a high-flown often bombastic style or manner

Members of my newsgroup will know what to do with today's word. You can know too by joining us. But don't worry, there isn't any chatter. You'll only get notices from me so it won't fill your mailbox. My fluffy cat, Wookie Baby, will help me select the lucky person whose name is drawn and I'll announce it here on Friday. (She'd do it herself but her English vocabulary is limited to NO-when she's going to the vet and WOE-when she's getting a bath, lol) This week's prize is Secret Life of a Vampire by Kerrilyn Sparks

Directions on how to join the newsgroup are below. Hope to see you there!

To join my newsletter, send a blank email to:
LyndaKScott-Newsgroup-subscribe@yahoogroups.com
Be My Friend http://www.myspace.com/lyndakscott
My Website: http://www.lyndakscott.com
My Blog: http://www.lyndakscott.blogspot.com
Tweet me: http://www.twitter.com/lyndakscott
Be My Friend on:
Bebo: http://www.bebo.com/lyndakscott
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/lyndakscott

Technorati Tags:
, , ,

Flickr Tags:
, , ,

Del.icio.us Tags:
, , ,

Furl Tags:
, , ,

Friday, March 19, 2010

Star Light, Star Bright...Interstellar Interview with Alexis Morgan


Alexis Morgan grew up near St. Louis and received a B.A. in English from the University of Missouri-St. Louis. She and her hero hubby have called a small town near Seattle home for 30 years, and this is where she launched her writing career. As an avid reader of gothic romances and westerns, it doesn't take a big leap to see how she started penning contemporary romances and American West historicals! Reading and writing in these genres gave her a fondness for flawed heroes who stay true to their own code of honor; whether they're fighting rustlers with pistols or weilding swords, shoulder-to-shoulder with fellow warriors. Currently Alexis writes paranormal romances for Pocket Star and Silhouette Nocturne (including Bites)! She's looking forward to seeing her 20th novel on shelves during Spring 2010!






When did the concept for your Paladin series spark? Did you have all the Paladins and Handlers in mind, or did they evolve?

I was still writing American West historicals back in 2004 when a different kind of character started moving around in the back of my mind. I could just see this powerful warrior wearing jeans and a chambray shirt and carrying a sword. All I knew at that point was that he was a modern day hero who fought at the edge of darkness and light with an ancient weapon. Gradually, I figured out that the edge was actually a barrier between two worlds, one bright with light, the other shrouded in darkness.

That warrior became my first Paladin—Devlin Bane. I started the story with five Paladins and one Handler, the woman Devlin was in love with. Other characters have evolved as the stories have grown. For example, at the beginning I had no idea that I would have hero from the other world, and yet I’m just finishing my second book with a Kalith as the hero. It’s been fun seeing where the characters have taken me.







Why did you set up the storylines so the Paladin die over and over and know they’ll become like the Others?

I wanted the Paladins to have special abilities that made them the ideal warriors to protect our world. Their special DNA, inherited from Others who have blended into our world in the past, allows them to die and come back from it, but at such a terrible price. Even so, knowing the cost, they still pick up their weapons and head into battle, just as warriors have always done to protect their land, their people, their world.






Which component do you think has made the Paladin popular, while other series have lost appeal?

There are a lot of really terrific paranormal romance and urban fantasy series out there, and I’ve learned a lot from reading the stories by all those talented authors. The ones I like best evolve and change as the stories and, more importantly, the characters demand. I hope that’s what I’ve done with the Paladins. For example, I expected Barak to die in the first book when he crossed into our world. Instead, I realized that he was an honorable warrior just like the Paladins. By letting him live, it took my series in a whole new, and for me unexpected, direction.




If you were entrusted to be a Handler, which Paladin past or present would you choose?

For me, it would always be Trahern, without a doubt. He’s the one who is skating way too close to the edge of losing his humanity, but he still holds the line. That lost soul/warrior combination is always my favorite kind of hero.






Do you have a favorite place you’ve visited during your “author” excursions? Was a person or incident responsible for making the trip special?

When I was starting the series, my friend and I drove down to Mount St. Helens to see the volcano up close and personal. Although some places around the mountain were replanted and have come back from the 1980 eruption, the area immediately surrounding the mountain still reflects the awful devastation. The mountain still smolders. In fact the day we went, there was been a series of new tremors showing on the seismograph. Scary stuff. It was an amazing place to see and just made the books more real for me as I write them.






On release day, have you gotten in the habit of doing a special ritual or activity?

A friend and I pile in the car and drive to several local bookstores so I can sign stock—well, and have the fun of seeing my books on the shelf. Then we celebrate by having lunch together.









Are there any appearances or other big news fans should be privy to?

VAMPIRE VENDETTA, my first full-length vampire story, is a May release from Silhouette Nocturne. It’s set in the same world as the Bite that came out last November, The Vampire’s Desire. I had great fun writing both stories, and I just found out that I’ll be doing two more Bites and two more Nocturnes in the same series.

My next book signing will be the Spring Fling at Third Place Books, Lake Forest Park, WA on Friday, April 9, 6:30pm – 7:30pm

What’s new in romance? From cowboys to vampires, secret agents to warriors – this crew of authors provides thrills, chills and even some steam! Discover some of the newest books on the shelves and learn what’s coming up from the gals who know all about romance. Featured authors are: Alexis Morgan, Deborah Schneider, Lauren Dane, Amanda Forester, Kimberly Fisk, Jessa Slade, Rebecca J. Clark and Shelli Stevens




If you'd like to find out more about Alexis, check out http://www.alexismorgan.com/ and remember that one lucky post-er's name will be drawn from the comments below to receive a copy of DEFEAT THE DARKNESS!



Technorati Tags:
, , , , , , ,

Flickr Tags:
, , , , , , ,

Del.icio.us Tags:
, , , , , , ,

Furl Tags:
, , , , , , ,








Monday, March 15, 2010

Guest - Mima

Good morning everyone! This is the Ides of March, not a good time for Caesar but, for us, it's a splendid time. Today, we have multi author Mima on board. You can check out her web page here http://www.mimawithin.com/

Oh, make sure to read all the way to the end. I have another special treat for members of my newsgroup.
__________________________________________________________

The Magical Blender

One of the things that I love most about writing SF/F/P is the slushiness of it. You know how you put yogurt, chocolate syrup, and raspberries into a blender and get nom-nom goodness? Well writing in the magical genre is like that. I can toss together a little action (fireballs are good for this) and a little romance (perhaps a pair of people who seem all wrong for each other). I can carefully measure out a hero who is very much Other (I lean toward shapeshifters), with a mysterious mindset to be discovered. Make sure the magic is folded with a generous portion of belief so it’s more potent, and then sprinkle a garnish of bizarre creatures for imagination (like dragons). Reduce a heroine to her essential element, and bake.

This is close to the recipe I used in my upcoming release Flame Within. Sometimes I feel like a chef who’s been given a set of ingredients and told to create a buffet. It’s fascinating to experiment and discover all the various stories I can concoct. This is especially challenging when working in a series. Each of my Bonded fantasies taste very different, but I still want readers to know they were created with the same ingredients. The story of Odan and Vivienne is my seventh Bonded. While I want them all to complement each other, I also want them to be enjoyed as their own dish. There’s so much variety out there, and the freedom an author has when working in the realm of magic is truly limitless. But sometimes the constraints of building a multi-course menu of books which connect is where the imagination comes alive.


Bio:
Mima lives on the Erie Canal in NY. She is entirely too fond of metaphors and does not cook. Visit www.mimawithin.com for more about her Bonded fantasies and other magical works.


Flame Within: a Bonded fantasy
Odan couldn't imagine a woman less suited to this mission, but he is reluctantly impressed with how hard she works to succeed at it. Delicate, haughty, with aggressive and decidedly fiery tendencies, she's not his type. Until she is.

Vivienne has hidden her true self for years, afraid to lose control of her future. As Odan strips away her masks one by one, she is surprised to discover she loves the world he opens up. He's maddening, but tender. And strength is very sexy.

Vivienne and Odan both know the burdens of leadership, living lonely lives of power and isolation. As they train together, they grow in respect... and attraction. Furiously working to bring down the lizard birds terrorizing the Cities, they make a beautiful, deadly pair. Which really enrages the darkmages who control the birds. Vivienne will have to flare brighter than she ever has before, even if it burns all her disguises away.
__________________________________________________________
-- Lynda Again --
This week's member word is ides
–noun(used with a singular or plural verb)
(in the ancient Roman calendar) the fifteenth day of March, May, July, or October, and the thirteenth day of the other months.

Members of my newsgroup will know what to do with today's word. You can know too by joining us. But don't worry, there isn't any chatter. You'll only get notices from me so it won't fill your mailbox. My fluffy cat, Wookie Baby, will help me select the lucky person whose name is drawn and I'll announce it here on Friday. (She'd do it herself but her English vocabulary is limited to NO-when she's going to the vet and WOE-when she's getting a bath, lol) This week's prize is GODDESS OF THE HUNT by Tessa Dare, a historical romance that's a very nice change of pace from our normal reading. If you like lush, seductive novels of romance, you'll like this one.

Directions on how to join the newsgroup are below. Hope to see you there!

To join my newsletter, send a blank email to:
LyndaKScott-Newsgroup-subscribe@yahoogroups.com
Be My Friend http://www.myspace.com/lyndakscott
My Website: http://www.lyndakscott.com
My Blog: http://www.lyndakscott.blogspot.com
Tweet me: http://www.twitter.com/lyndakscott
Be My Friend on:
Bebo: http://www.bebo.com/lyndakscott
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/lyndakscott

Technorati Tags:
, ,

Flickr Tags:
, ,

Del.icio.us Tags:
, ,

Furl Tags:
, ,

Friday, March 12, 2010

Seeing Green

I just got home from seeing Green Zone with friends (ex-military and civilians), and was reminded why I politely bow out of anything political. Especially when it involves a huge topic like war and its catalysts.

That aversion includes my novels. Though one multi-published friend told me authors can't write a good sci-fi/fantasy novel without a political structure and the converging plotlines those power shifts evoke.

The only book I've written that remotely contains politics was my first novel (the one I sold), TAKE ME IN YOUR HEART. However, I didn't do straight modern day politics...I went with a caste system similar to the middle ages. Using that structure I created the order I needed without having to deal with the twists and turns (or call it order/disorder) of democracy.

The thing I found most interesting about Green Zone, is that whether or not the viewer believes the events that unfold as truth, what is laid out step by step makes them think about who's pulling the chords to those events. In effect, it treats the characters as chess pieces, just like what happens in every day life. Some of the moves are inevitable like going to school, to work, submitting to your boss' orders, social mores, etc.

However, it's also interesting to think what would happen if people bucked the system...chaos? Perhaps not. What if taking that "forbidden" step is the means to being happy? What if the outcome is love? How many times have we seen heroes and heroines step outside their original selves to become who they were meant to be? Isn't that what makes the character arcs we love and must have in a great book?

What do you think...do fantasy and sci-fi novels require politics be involved to enhance the romance or action with extra conflicts or enhance their motivation?





Technorati Tags:
, , , , ,

Flickr Tags:
, , , , ,

Del.icio.us Tags:
, , , , ,

Furl Tags:
, , , , ,

Monday, March 08, 2010

Interview with Dweezil

Our regularly scheduled guest was unavailable so I asked my pal, Linda Wisdom, if she had anything our readers might enjoy. She offered this interview with Dweezil, Jazz Tremaine's uncouth and ungentlemanly boss at All Creatures Car Service (think - limo's for the less human, lol).

So read and enjoy!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Dweezil, Jazz’s creature of a boss, owner of All Creatures Car Service, and featured in Linda Wisdom’s 50 Ways to Hex Your Lover and Hex Appeal sat down to be interviewed. Okay, he was bribed for this interview since we all know he believes in the power of coin.

Thank you, Elle, for having the fortitude to sit down and talk to him.

Picture Elle, pretty and slight seated across from Dweezil in his charcoal Armani suit that does absolutely nothing for his olive green skin. His long fingers try to linger over her hand, and knee, but she manages to avoid him just in time. And hopefully, that rumored third hand or second, well, you know, doesn’t show up either.

Elle -- Okay, Dweezil, I know you’re no softy so I’m gonna ask some straight up questions. I’m sure you can deal with it. Let’s start with the basics.

Dweezil -- What the F-? You a cop? You gotta be a cop with that attitude. Hey, I paid those tickets and no way you can nail me for that other. Although – (looks at Elle with a gleam in his dark eyes) you are kinda cute. You doin’ anything tonight?


Full name? Dweezil. We don’t got last names like you humans.

Age? Which one? My driver’s license says 35. My birth tablet reads 956. Take your choice.

Species? What can I say, babe? I’m one of a kind.

Gender? Hellloooo! See my collection? (gestures toward vintage erotica prints, sex toys, etc.) I’m a guy. And … you’re a girl, so you wanna …? (waggles fingers back and forth)

Favorite food? Mud slugs in garlic sauce

Legit Hobby? Collecting erotica and sex toys. Hey, someone’s gotta do it!

Not so legit hobby? We don’t talk about that. (looks around furtively) Why? What have you heard?

Now that we’ve taken care of the “obvious” questions, let’s get down to the nitty gritty.

When you look in the mirror, what exactly do you see and do you like what’s staring back at you? Hey, I’m a handsome male. Do you see this olive skin just anywhere? No. You know why? Cuz I take good care of my skin. It takes a lot of care and it’s worth it.

What made you decide to start your own business and why this specific one? I used to run a livery stable. Talk about smelly! I was real glad when the car was invented. Sure they were smelly in the beginning, but I never liked horses and they didn’t like me. Don’t know why. I like having a business that’s a service. And I run a damn good service.

How do you go about hiring your employees? I usually put an ad in the Supe Weekly.

It seems to me as though you have a tough time finding good ones and when you do, people tend to steal them away. Why is that? Tell me about it! I’m just a regular guy looking to make a living. I’m offering an excellent service here. You’d think they’d be grateful to work for me, wouldn’t you?

Ever think of taking an anger management course? You saying I got an anger problem? ME? The F you say! I’m a pussycat. Ask anyone. Okay, don’t ask Jazz, but that B lies about me all the time.

I feel as though you and Jazz have somewhat of a special relationship. Can you explain that? That witch will be the death me of yet. Cuz of her my offices almost blew up, she got my best client banished, and she’s a royal PIA to deal with. The trouble is, it’s not easy to find a witch to work as a driver. ‘Course it would be easier if she wasn’t so demanding. She seems to think I’m made of money. And no matter what anyone says I’m not.

Are you currently in a relationship? Not my fault there’s a restraining order and not cuz I got rough with the broad. Ya know, I’m a real catch.

Describe your home. We want to know where you sleep at night. Why do you want to know where I live? Hey, that’s secret for a reason! NO ONE knows where I live.

I think we can just about wrap this up now. I just have one more question for you. How many arms do you have? (catepillar eyebrows bob up and down) You really wanna see them? Come closer, babe.

So what about you all? Anyone have questions for Dweezil?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

-- Lynda Again
I hope you enjoyed the interview, lol. In the meanwhile, if you aren't already a member of my newsgroup, you might consider joining. Members of my newsgroup are eligible to enter drawings for prizes (books and assorted other goodies). Directions on how to join are just below here. Hope to see you there!

To join my newsletter, send a blank email to:
LyndaKScott-Newsgroup-subscribe@yahoogroups.com
Be My Friend http://www.myspace.com/lyndakscott
My Website: http://www.lyndakscott.com
My Blog: http://www.lyndakscott.blogspot.com
Tweet me: http://www.twitter.com/lyndakscott
Be My Friend on:
Bebo: http://www.bebo.com/lyndakscott
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/lyndakscott

Friday, March 05, 2010

Spring Cleaning...Kinda!

Spring is almost upon us, leaving many people super happy to see the end of snowy days. As I write this my little town is enveloped in mid 50 degree temps and a slight wind...ah, the first fingers of spring working their way to us. But that also means.... seasonal cleaning!

It got me to wondering how many times do you clean your office? Are you a bad girl/boy and only clean when you have to clear a path, or are you a good girl/boy and clean faithfully every month? Honestly my office was clean until the wedding, then every nook got filled with favors, gifts, etc. At present it's boasting our old mattress set after we inherited a newer/bigger mattress set from my in-laws. I think it was a bribe for a new grandchild, though my hubby's dad is going anti-girl this time, so there will be a male heir. How historical does that sound?

Personally, I fall closer into the clean only if need be, unless I just can't stand it anymore or I get the cleaning urge and go crazy. When I'm upset or depressed watch out carpet, blinds and clutter...here I come! And after those mattresses skedaddle, I'll be cleaning out my book collection and likely donating them to the local library sale. Though I do shudder at the thought of parting with the titles, still I need room for my newer titles...so I'm looking on the bright side.


Today also marks the "purge party" for work, though I've been cleaning all week...which means this weekend my house might not see more than a broom or a soapy sponge to clear those few dishes in the sink. I've heard more than a few people say they found papers back to 1998! One co-worker said they hadn't purged their offices since they moved in in 1997! You know it's bad when the trash guy tells you we should be on the show "Hoarders"! Personally after seeing the number of filled paper boxes for the trash guys to dump so we can refill them, not to mention the 2 ton dumpster they brought in for the special occasion, that we need to do this little event every year. In fact, I don't think a 6 month or monthly rule would hurt. True some people are more pack-ratty than others, but a few of the things we've unearthed are just plain eewwwy!

Care to tell us what ewwwy things you've found while cleaning your office?

At work I found a melted stick of butter in a bag....which of course I must have brought for toast but forgot about. Eww! And in case you're wondering under the bed I found shoes, a couple Christmas decorations and a few dust bunnies! Which my cat promptly attacked :0)




Technorati Tags:
, , , ,

Flickr Tags:
, , , ,

Del.icio.us Tags:
, , , ,

Furl Tags:
, , , ,

Monday, March 01, 2010

Almost Here!

I've been waiting so long to get this book back onto the market. Heartstone was my first novel length science fiction/fantasy romance and it's had an interesting life.

First, it was a finalist in RWA's Golden Heart contest - that's hugely significant for a first novel. At least to me it was. It told me I had the 'chop' to write novel lenght after several years of writing short fiction. But maybe the fact that Heartstone finaled in such a prestigious contest went to my head and karma decided to kick me in the rear. Because no matter where I sent it, it was either rejected or held so long they lost it. No, I won't name the pub who kept it under consideration for several years. Um, it may still be under consideration according to them but I quit asking a long time ago, lol. Finally, a publisher bought Heartstone. I was deliriously happy.

Unfortunately, that pub tried to grow too much too soon and ended up in bankruptcy court. It was a battle to get my rights back but after almost 18 months, Heartstone was my property again. So off I went in search of another publisher. In the meantime, my day job situation changed. I ended up working more hours than I wanted to but in this economy, one does what one must to keep the roof over her head and groceries on the table...not to mention making sure the cat and dog are properly fed -- they're quite insistent on being fed regularly, lol.

But things go in cycles and this is the upturn for Heartstone because it should be available in April (I don't have an official release date yet - if it changes, I'll let you know). And I have a very evocative cover that really reflects the story.

EXCERPT (unedited & uncorrected)

Opening day.

On the sign hanging over the door, the Old English letters spelling out The Treasure Chest gleamed in the morning light. The dark green awning that would prevent the hot afternoon sun from entering the windows added to the quaintness of the store.

Keriam Norton sighed happily. She treasured the old, well-worn and well-loved items in her inventory. They had a history, a past, a connection to earlier times, and now, with her help, they'd have a future.

She wished she could say the same. For all she knew, she and her mother, Meredith, had dropped out of the sky twenty-six years ago. As for the future, she would be satisfied with the store.

In the window, her cousin, Janna, fluffed the skirt of an old ivory wedding dress. Keriam smiled, remembering how the young woman had held it up to her body and admired it in the oval mirror. A true romantic, Janna fantasized about her wedding day constantly.

At least one of them had a fantasy.

In three hours, people would come into the store and browse through the collection of lovingly worn antiques.

People. Strangers.

She swallowed and rubbed suddenly damp palms against her pants legs. She took a deep breath. Released it slowly.

She and Janna would chat with them. Point out the eighteenth century armoire, the Art Deco or the kitschy collection of farm implements gracing the walls. Everything was going to be just fine.

Her stomach took a queasy roll.

Facing people she knew, and ones she didn't, was going to be hard. It hadn't always been so, just since her parents died. She inhaled raggedly at the surge of grief. So much had changed for her since then. But today was going to be a good day. It was, she repeated.

Keriam stopped as the weight of unseen eyes danced over her skin like thorny little ant-feet. She whirled, taking in the entire street with a sweeping glance.

Roseberg’s small business district, composed of ancient brick storefronts, would soon be bustling but now was serenely quiet. And yet...

Someone was watching her.

Across the street, a large black dog sniffed a reproduction coach lamp near the curb. Keriam dismissed the animal, letting her gaze move toward the intersection. A shadow, long and sharp in the sun's slanting rays, moved and vanished before Keriam could identify it. No faces pressed against the glass of the shops lining Main Street. There was no traffic.

Her attention returned to the dog. It sat, tongue lolling, tail idly sweeping the sidewalk. It had a feral tilt to its pale eyes that made her think wolf. Which was ridiculous, there weren't any wolves in this part of Michigan.

Then...expectancy flashed through her body, heightening her perception. From the east came the scent of the pig farms and the rendering plant, faint but distinguishable to her acute senses. Automobile fumes from the highway drifted, mingling with the occasional perfume of green, growing things from the surrounding farmlands. A silent call hung in the cool, morning air and she let the door close without going inside. She shut her eyes, fighting the urge to follow the call, to abandon Janna and the store.

A single, deep bark cut through the wild sensations and, as if a door slammed shut, the scents were gone, the call silenced. Her heart skipped a beat, then skittered like a wild thing. These episodes were coming far too often. And too powerfully. How long before she could no longer fight them?

How long before she lost her mind?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

-- Lynda Again
I hope you enjoyed the excerpt from Heartstone and I hope it whets your appetite to read more, lol. In the meanwhile, if you aren't already a member of my newsgroup, you might consider joining. Members of my newsgroup are eligible to enter drawings for prizes (books and assorted other goodies). Directions on how to join are just below here. Hope to see you there!

To join my newsletter, send a blank email to:
LyndaKScott-Newsgroup-subscribe@yahoogroups.com
Be My Friend http://www.myspace.com/lyndakscott
My Website: http://www.lyndakscott.com
My Blog: http://www.lyndakscott.blogspot.com
Tweet me: http://www.twitter.com/lyndakscott
Be My Friend on:
Bebo: http://www.bebo.com/lyndakscott
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/lyndakscott

Technorati Tags:
, , ,

Flickr Tags:
, , ,

Del.icio.us Tags:
, , ,

Furl Tags:
, , ,