Monday, October 25, 2010

Two for the Price - Linda Wisdom and Lynda K. Scott

Good morning, everyone! My friend, Linda Wisdom, and I are giving you a double hitter for today. Linda has a popular Witch series with Sourcebooks and a plethora of other fantastic books in her backlist. Today, she'll be discussing a new e-novella she's putting out that I think is a great read (yes, I get to see some of these goodies in advance, heheheh). As for me, I'll be sharing a snippet from Heartstone and in honor of the coming USA holiday, a tasty recipe for your uncarved Halloween pumpkins. Sit back and enjoy!

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Wow! Thanks to Lynda for having me again and no one else I’d rather share space with.

Along with my witchy books I’m also bringing my backlist books back out as ebooks. Yes, as if I don’t have enough to do, I’ll be going through all the books whose rights I own. I have a novella up for Kindle and Nook readers titled Brady’s Hellion and I hope you’ll check it out. Here’s an idea what it’s about.

Mercenary Brady Hayes hated it when debts were collected. Especially when he was called to the Underworld. But when Lord Shar called him in asking him to protect his sister, Raven, he had no choice but to agree.

What he didn’t know was that Raven would be a gorgeous bundle of demon easy to fall for or that her ex-boyfriend would want to make trouble.

But then, Brady wasn’t known to back down from danger or abandon a beautiful woman, even if she was from the Underworld. 

You can find it here:

And I hope to have Thea’s novella up soon. I’m learning this process can take longer than we expect, but it’s also a great learning experience. I love all my characters and it’s fun seeing where they lead me even if it’s not even close to what I expect.

I love writing my books and writing novellas is a great way to catch up with the characters other than the flash fiction I write for my blog.

Plus what better time of year to do this than the month of magick and things that go bump in the night?

Please stop by my website and blog to see what’s going on! www.lindawisdom.com and http://linda-wisdom/blogspot.com

Linda

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-- Lynda Again. Here's an excerpt I don't think I've posted anywhere so you all get to see it first :-) After the excerpt I've got a recipe Keriam would have used to make her Dakka Soup. Enjoy!

Heartstone Excerpt 
(Eric has been injured in a fight with Gawan-infested Mer colonists and a large tentacled creature in the lake. Keriam has tended his injuries and, in doing so, makes a shattering discovery about how she really feels for Eric.)

The makeshift pillow, composed of piles of sweet-smelling grass
and covered by another grass mat, was really pitiful Keriam decided,
but it allowed Eric to elevate his head and shoulders enough to eat
comfortably. Moving back to the fire, she gingerly pulled the leafwrapped
fish from the baking stones.

“Where did that come from?” His eyes widened with alarm.

“You didn’t go into the water—”

“With George? No way!”

His brows drew together. “George?”

“Your friend, the oorgh. Apparently, our dinner tried to get
away from George and, alas, ended up on the beach. I figured a little
protein would help you get your strength back.” She broke off a small
piece and grinned. “Open wide.”

He caught her hand, then guided it to his mouth, licking the
morsel from her fingers. With a mischievous light in his eyes, he
sucked each of her fingers clean. Desire pooled low and hot in her
belly as she watched his erotic tongue move over her flesh. He finished
with a kiss in the center of her palm, then chuckled. “Thank
you, but I can feed myself.”

Disconcerted by the surge of lust Eric had invoked, she picked
at her portion of the fish. She’d never really noticed before how his
mere touch could inspire her hormones into a heady rush. Well,
she’d noticed but it hadn’t occurred to her there was more to it, far
more, than simple biology.

Like sunrise, the certainty lit the edge of her emotional boundaries.
And grew, grew until it encompassed her heart.

Eric looked up and gave her the beautiful smile that made her
breath lodge in her throat. Slowly, his expression shifted to concern.
“What’s wrong?”

“Nothing.” She shook her head. It had been so different from
what she’d felt for Marc, as different as night and day. She rocked
back on her heels, then cleared her throat. “How’s your food?”

“Excellent.” With relish, he took another bite.

“Maybe George will chase another meal onto the beach.”

“Be cautious. His tentacles have a very long reach.”

She nodded, silent and thoughtful. During his recovery, she’d
pushed herself, forced herself to endure the trials of her episodes—
something she would not have done two weeks ago. Several times,
she thought she might lose her mind so immersed had she been in
his pain, both physical and emotional.

She’d told herself it was because she didn’t want to face this alien
world alone. That wasn’t entirely true. At some point, his wellbeing
had become more important than her own.

“Looks like rain,” Eric said.

Keriam peered between the branches, looking at the afternoon
sky. Gray-pink clouds streamed overhead, promising rain and an
increase in humidity. “Yeah.”

He must never know.

A linlie quarrel erupted nearby. Froggie flitted to a nearby bush,
adding his voice to the melee. Eric chuckled and even she smiled,
though her heart ached.

He must never know. Everything would change between them.
She didn’t want his pity, didn’t want to see him back away, afraid to
hurt her. She’d come to value their budding friendship. That was all
they could have together. That, and a common goal. “The Heartstone,”
she started. “You think it can stop the Gawan?”

Eric chewed slowly as his attention turned to her. “According
to legend, it can.”


Heartstone is available at Mundania Press or Amazon

http://www.mundania.com/book.php?title=Heartstone
 
Trade Paperback

240 pages
$13.95
978-1-60659-233-5

eBook

$4.99
978-1-60659-232-8

Eric d'Ebrur is out of time. He must find the legendary
Heartstone and
fulfill the ancient Gar'Ja bond he shares with the Stonebearer. But
when he finds her, he discovers that love can be more dangerous than
the Gawan threat. Eric can defeat the mind-controlling Gawan but will
it cost him the woman he loves?

After terrifying episodes of hypersensitivity, Keriam Norton thinks

she's losing her mind. When handsome shapeshifter Eric d'Ebrur saves
her from the monstrous Gawan, she's sure of it. But insane or not,
she'll find the Heartstone and, if she's lucky, a love to last a
lifetime.



And now...the recipe. 


Keriam's Dakka Soup
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, 1 turn of the pan
2 tablespoons butter
1 fresh bay leaf
2 ribs celery with greens, finely chopped
1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
Salt and pepper
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons fresh thyme

6 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 (28-ounce) can cooked dakka (use pumpkin if you're on Earth) puree
2 cups heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

Heat a large soup pot over medium to medium high heat. Add the oil and melt the butter. Add bay, celery, and onion. Season with salt and pepper. Cook 6 or 7 minutes, until tender. Add flour and cook for a minute. Whisk in chicken stock and bring liquid to a boil. Whisk spoonfuls of pumpkin into the broth until it's smooth. Simmer soup 10 minutes to thicken a bit then add cream, thyme and nutmeg.

Reduce heat to low and keep warm until ready to serve.


Keriam didn't have all these items on Neraldi but had she been home, this is the recipe she would have used to make dakka soup. Pumpkin is an excellent substitute since most markets don't carry the Neraldian dakka. If you really want to, you can use fresh pumpkin but the canned pumpkin puree is a time and energy saving substitute and it's just as good :-)

Have a happy Halloween!

Lynda


Monday, October 18, 2010

Guest - Resa Nelson

Good morning! Today's guest is fellow Mundania Press author, Resa Nelson. Ms Nelson’s first novel (The Dragonslayer’s Sword) was Recommended for the Nebula Award and was a Finalist for the EPPIE Award for Best Fantasy Novel.  Her newest novel, Our Lady of the Absolute, is about a modern-day society based on ancient Egypt and leans toward the mystery/thriller genre.  She has been selling short fiction professionally since 1988 and is a longtime member of Science Fiction Writers of America.  She is also the TV/Movie columnist for Realms of Fantasy magazine and is a regular contributor to SCI FI magazine.

Enjoy!
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When I was in my 20s my definition of romance was shaped by what I’d seen in movies and on TV.  Romance was hating a man at first sight only to fall in love with him later. It was catching a man and manipulating him until he fell in love with you. It was even more romantic if he had major character flaws, because the woman’s duty was to show him the error of his ways and mold him into a better man.  At the same time, romance meant expecting flowers, cards, candy, and jewelry from a man.

Unfortunately, my expectations led me into a marriage that didn’t work for me and the realization that what I truly wanted had nothing to do with what my mother’s generation wanted.  I firmly believe that each individual is the only person qualified to make his or her own decisions and that what’s perfectly right for one person may be perfectly wrong for another.  I also believe that while my definition of romance from my 20s might work for some people, it doesn’t work for everyone and certainly not for me.

My new definition of romance bubbles up from my changed understanding of love.  I used to think “love” was nothing more than the emotion associated with attraction.  A woman might love a man because of his paycheck or his hairline or his waistline.  Or she might love him for his sense of humor or intellect or kindness.  No matter what the reason, I believed love was simply a feeling.

However, I now believe love is action.  For example, suppose you’re in severe physical pain, have been ordered to stay in bed for a week, and your doctor has prescribed a painkiller.  You ask your spouse to pick up your prescription from the local pharmacy.  Your spouse says, “Of course.  I love you so much, I’ll do anything.”  Then your spouse pauses and says, “But I have a job interview in half an hour.  I’ll come back as soon as I can.”  You’re in physical agony for hours.  Finally, your spouse breezes in with your prescription in hand and an armful of roses, saying, “Sorry it took so long, but my interview was delayed because the guy interviewing me got stuck in traffic.  But the good news is that I got the job and my new boss took me out to lunch!  I felt bad for making you wait, so I got you roses to make up for it.  I knew you’d understand because I love you so much and you’d be so happy for me.  You’re so wonderful!”

As far as I’m concerned, love isn’t putting your own needs first when someone else needs immediate help.    In this example, real love would mean calling to reschedule the interview and getting the prescription filled immediately.  Love isn’t making excuses or saying “I love you.”  Love is taking the action to help or support someone else.

If a man gives me flowers or candy or a gift, I take it with a grain of salt.  My idea of romance is a man who calls when he says he’s going to call.  A man who does what he says he’s going to do.  In other words, my idea of romance is a man whose actions match his words – a man of character.  That’s what makes me swoon.

Although I don’t write romance novels, a romantic relationship is the glue that holds each of my novels together.  Because of my own views about what is and isn’t romantic, my characters tend to already be in a romantic relationship when the novel begins, and then that relationship is tested.  In my first novel (The Dragonslayer’s Sword) the main character meets her sweetheart in childhood.  But when the book jumps ahead to her adult life, we learn they’ve had a serious argument and he’s inexplicably gone missing.  In my second novel (Our Lady of the Absolute) I wanted to do something different.  My main character is a woman who has a good marriage but no children.  Being childless makes her feel like an outcast.  Her dilemma is whether to accept her disappointment and hold onto her good and loving husband or to get divorced with the hope of finding a new husband and getting pregnant.  Does she value marriage above children or children above marriage?  This is the kind of question and character that fascinate me.

Ironically, despite my feelings about romance and love – or maybe because of them – I’m a huge fan of romantic comedies.  I still have a soft spot for the classic Doris Day/Rock Hudson movies, but I especially admire more recent films like The Proposal and Just Like Heaven.  At the end of the day, I’m all for romance and love as long as female characters keep their wits about them and understand their own value.

Visit Resa’s website at http://www.resanelson.com
Contact Resa at ContactResa@aol.com

Resa’s novels are available on Amazon at the following links:
Our Lady of the Absolute: 
The Dragonslayer’s Sword:


About Our Lady of the Absolute

    At first glance, Meres’ life seems perfect.  She has a loving and devoted husband.  A caring community.  A “glamour” job as the only civilian allowed to work inside the temple of Isis, Our Lady of the Absolute.  But there’s one thing Meres doesn’t have:  a child.  And being childless is enough to make any woman feel worthless in the White Walled City, the royal city of the Black Land, a modern-day society based on ancient Egypt.

     When Meres learns her beloved sister-in-law Pu is pregnant with a foreigner’s child, everything changes.  As a member of the Pharaoh’s harem, Pu is bound by law to be faithful to him, but she’s unintentionally broken that law and committed treason, a crime punishable by death.  As a loyal citizen, Meres is bound by law to turn Pu over to the authorities.  But how can Meres do that to someone who didn’t mean to do anything wrong – especially someone she loves?

     Suddenly, the life Meres cherishes turns into a nightmare.  Torn between love and envy, family and country, duty and faith, Meres risks rejecting the hard and fast rules of her religion in order to help the people she loves.  She plunges into a dangerous journey that will lead her to uncover the truth about herself, her life, and the realization that nothing is absolute.

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Thanks, Resa, for visiting us today. As always, you've given our readers something to think about.

Just a head's up to my readers...I'm participating with Lynda Hilburn's Halloween Giveaway. Lynda is giving away a Kindle e-reader to one lucky person who answers all the questions from participating authors. Check it out here 

http://paranormalityuniverse.blogspot.com

Monday, October 11, 2010

Guest - Linda Wisdom


Good morning everyone! Today's guest is one of our favorites, Linda Wisdom. I hope you join us as Linda discusses her the world of her books.

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Oh What a Tangled Spell She Weaves

Thank you Lynda for having me here!

I first created the idea of a witch series about four years ago and the first book, 50 Ways to Hex Your Lover was released in March, 2008. I couldn’t stop after that and luckily, my readers didn’t want me to.

I love writing this series for many reasons. It’s fun. It’s snarky. It’s a lot like me. At least, that’s what my friends tell me. I enjoy reading paranormal and urban fantasy, so no wonder I write the same.  

The idea of an alternate world where magick is alive and strong, and where mythical creatures are real is like a fairy tale for grownups. I also call it making the unbelievable believable. The thought of a universe that defies logic is a challenge for any writer. There’s nothing more I like than a good challenge.

With the witches I wanted to use the current world along with the fun spice of myth and magick. I wanted to infuse their energy into my books and hopefully when my fans read my books they’ll laugh and wish for some magick of their own. Or even a sexy magickal guy.

I wanted all of the witches to be individuals with unique powers and the kind of hero that deserves them.

Each one came to me fully formed. I could see her physical features and personality in my head, what kind of magick she excelled in, and where she would live. Her magickal sidekick would have to be the perfect balance for her. Something fun, hopefully memorable, and have their own crazy history.

I hope I give my readers well-rounded characters and a rich story.

Early this year my publisher decided to repackage my Hex series with a new title and cover. Demons Are A Girl’s Best Friend will be out in April 2012 featuring Maggie who appeared at the end of Hex in High Heels. Maggie is with the Hellion Guards that protect all preternatural creatures and now she’s caught up in stopping an ancient Mayan curse that demons have gotten involved in along with fighting the attraction of a sexy fire half demon named Declan. As if that’s not bad enough, ‘I am so not a mom figure’ Maggie has a mouthy teenage girl to further complicate her life. It was wild rollercoaster ride of a book to write and I hope my readers will agree.

I’m putting out a couple enovellas for Kindle and other ebook sites along with eventually releasing my backlist books. Word on those will be available on my website www.lindawisdom.com

Why don’t you tell me what you enjoy about paranormal and urban fantasy books? What has you coming back for more?

Linda

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Fini...The End

How many times have you seen it? That exalted flourish as an author pens/types THE END to their masterpiece? A few dozen at least? Personally I admit it gives me a rush, but I wonder how do others feel?

Do you rush toward the end at breakneck pace like a racehorse overeager to reach that finish line? Are you more calculating, relying on your outline to guide you there without missing any plot points? Or do you forgo the end all together and wander off on another project when you hit a snag hoping to reach its ending without a roadblock?


I've heard variations on all of these. But I daydream about what other authors do when they get there. Do they actually type/write the words? Do they hit save and close, then stand up stiff and weary from their chair? Do they say to heck with it, and stay up all night until they get to that HEA? When they get there, does the author question if what he/she has down in actually the place where they story should be ended?

We all know an author's prize isn't often a medal...though sometimes it can be a certificate or statuette for a job well done and well received. Does the author enjoy a box of chocolates, a glass of champagne (or other intoxicating concoction), visit a spa to relax and rejuvenate, or do they do dinner out?

I wonder, if like me, they stash the book away to swirl a while in the back of my mind while I get back to house chores and day to day activities. Then after a month or so, do they pull up the file and start to revise, or if they've reached their second finish line, are they revising for the second time before submission?

Is their finish line dropping that completed and spell checked document in an e-mail to their editor/agent with minutes to spare on their deadline? Or is that other writer a newbie who is doing the same for a contest and relishing in that first rush of hitting THE END milestone?



For each writer and most readers the occasion of reaching that point means a variety of things. Many writers love when they get there and don't want to let the characters go. That means they'll resonate with readers, and hopefully they can bring them back into a sequel or series.

For some they're also sad, because they know it will mean the parting of ways between people they've lived with for months or even years. Like THE END signifies, it's a time for letting go. But in that moment is also birthed a spark of creation, of making the kernel of another idea into a novel that reaches the same point, only better.

That, I think. is what keeps us writing and reading. The search for something new, something different until we can sink back with a sigh of contentment for finding (or creating) that one story that resonates like no other.

But in the end there can be more than one :0)

Monday, October 04, 2010

Guest - Erin Kellison

Good morning, everyone! Please join me in welcoming author Erin Kellison. Erin 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.

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Exploring a world through writing (or pre-writing)

First of all, thank you so much to Lynda for hosting me here today. I would love to give a copy of Shadow Bound and Shadow Fall to a lucky commenter, so make sure to say hi!

Right now I am working on my fourth book in my Shadow series. I’ve had the concept in my head for a while. I had the broad strokes of plot. I brainstormed to develop characters, and when I started saying things like, “She wouldn’t do something like that…” (as if the character were a real person), I knew that I was ready to write.

Pre-write, that is. Because no matter how much work I put into planning, the real story happens on the page, not in my head. I am reminded of this every single time I sit down to write a new story.

I wrote the first push of action. Didn’t work. Fleshed it out. Still not so much. Scrapped that beginning. Tried another. And another. And one more. No luck. Not that I didn’t get encouraging and positive comments from my critique partners, I did, but I could not sense the momentum I needed to open the book.

The problem wasn’t the writing itself. Nor was it the idea, story, or characters (I hope). I needed to find the right moment to begin the story and the voice that could carry it. During this process, I discovered so much about the world and the history of the characters that when I finally did write the scene that starts the book, it came with layers.

This process recalls an online lesson I found on Hatrack (Orson Scott Card’s writers site) a couple years ago. Written in 1998, the lesson was called Beginnings. You can find it here: http://www.hatrack.com/writingclass/lessons/1998-10-29.shtml. He provided an amazing, wonderful insight into how to begin by providing all his unused versions of Ender’s Shadow and the reasons that he discarded each and started again. Card in particular revealed how elements of the story are discovered through that process. I cannot tell you how grateful I was to have this example, and I plan to post the same kind of discussion in the future. I have found two other occasions where authors have put their raw beginnings online. Each time has been enormously helpful.

The most telling component for me in the first scene of my book is character, which is particularly critical in romance. How strange it is that character most often informs the world building. For example, Custo, the hero of Shadow Fall, is able to communicate telepathically with others of his kind (angels) and hear the thoughts of mortal humankind. I had no idea that he had that ability until I wrote him, though ironically he hates it. He does not pause at mentally telling the angelic host to piss off and get the hell out of his head. Suddenly the implications of his opinions spun out… if angels can read each other’s minds, they would not have much privacy. They would be extremely effective fighters. They’d have a problem caving to their vices. Not Custo though .

From there the story can unfold itself. Problems of course creep up. The plot must move forward toward specific goals, but whether the character is driving it, or I am, is a mystery. And one I don’t want to solve. Once I’ve got that kind of mojo going, then I really know I’ve begun my story.

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Shadow Fall



Sacrifice
Custo Santovari accepted pain, blood, even death, to save his best friend. But a man with all his sins just isn't cut out to be an angel.



Mystery
One moment he's fleeing Heaven; the next, he's waking up stark naked in Manhattan. In the middle of a war. Called there by a woman who's desperately afraid of the dark.

Shadow
It gathers around Annabella as she performs, filled with fantastic images of another world, bringing both a golden hero and a nightmare lover.

Wolf
He pursues her relentlessly, twisting her desires even as she gives herself to the man she loves. Because each of us has a wild side, and Annabella is about to unleash the beast.


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