Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year to the Best Readers Ever!

I'm getting ready to go out with the hubby for an early New Year's Eve dinner but I wanted to stop by and wish you all a very Happy and Prosperous New Year.

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May 2011 find you healthy, wise and ready to read lots of good books ;-)

And, please, if you're out partying tonight, make sure you have a designated driver. Death or maiming is so NOT a good way to start a New Year.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas!

For all of our Star-Crossed Readers,

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May your Christmas Holiday be filled with Peace, Joy and Love.


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Lynda and Skylar

12 Days of Christmas...The Writer Way

In honor of the holiday, I decided to take some liberties with the original 12 Days of Christmas and give it a writer twist. I hope it makes you chuckle!


On the first day of christmas
my true love gave to me
a calendar of himself for heroic inspiration.


On the second day of Christmas,
My true love gave to me,
Two USB jump drives,
And a calendar of himself for heroic inspiration.
On the third day of Christmas,
My true love gave to me,
Three chapter subscriptions,
Two USB jump drives,
And a calendar of himself for heroic inspiration.


On the fourth day of Christmas,
My true love gave to me,
Four inkjet cartridges,
Three chapter subscriptions,
Two USB jump drives,
And a calendar of himself for heroic inspiration.





On the fifth day of Christmas,
My true love gave to me,
Five books of stamps,
Four inkjet cartridges,
Three chapter subscriptions,
Two USB jump drives,
And a calendar of himself for heroic inspiration.




On the sixth day of Christmas,
My true love gave to me,
Six red mark-up pencils,
Five books of stamps,
Four inkjet cartridges,
Three chapter subscriptions,
Two USB jump drives,
And a calendar of himself for heroic inspiration.




On the seventh day of Christmas,
My true love gave to me,
Seven paid days at RWA Conference,
Six red mark-up pencils,
Five books of stamps,
Four inkjet cartridges,
Three chapter subscriptions,
Two USB jump drives,
And a calendar of himself for heroic inspiration.


On the eighth day of Christmas,
My true love gave to me,
Eight heart shaped paper clips,
Seven paid days at RWA Conference,
Six red mark-up pencils,
Five books of stamps,
Four inkjet cartridges,
Three chapter subscriptions,
Two USB jump drives,
And a calendar of himself for heroic inspiration.


On the ninth day of Christmas,
My true love gave to me,
Nine packs of envelopes,
Eight heart shaped paper clips,
Seven paid days at RWA Conference,
Six red mark-up pencils,
Five books of stamps,
Four inkjet cartridges,
Three chapter subscriptions,
Two USB jump drives,
And a calendar of himself for heroic inspiration.




On the tenth day of Christmas,
My true love gave to me,
Ten reams of paper,
Nine packs of envelopes,
Eight heart shaped paper clips,
Seven paid days at RWA Conference,
Six red mark-up pencils,
Five books of stamps,
Four inkjet cartridges,
Three chapter subscriptions,
Two USB jump drives,
And a calendar of himself for heroic inspiration.



On the eleventh day of Christmas,
My true love gave to me,
Eleven sticky note pads,
Ten reams of paper,
Nine packs of envelopes,
Eight heart shaped paper clips,
Seven paid days at RWA Conference,
Six red mark-up pencils,
Five books of stamps,
Four inkjet cartridges,
Three chapter subscriptions,
Two USB jump drives,
And a calendar of himself for heroic inspiration.


On the twelvth day of Christmas,
My true love gave to me,
Twelve bon bon chocolates,
Eleven sticky note pads,
Ten reams of paper,
Nine packs of envelopes,
Eight heart shaped paper clips,
Seven paid days at RWA Conference,
Six red mark-up pencils,
Five books of stamps,
Four inkjet cartridges,
Three chapter subscriptions,
Two USB jump drives,
And a calendar of himself for heroic inspiration.

What writer gear will you be asking Santa or your significant other for this year?

Monday, December 20, 2010

Review - Wolf Fever

Wolf Fever
Terry Spear
Sourcebook, Casablanca
December 2010

Carol Woods has been adopted by the gray pack who found and rescued her after her attack by a rogue red wolf. But it's been six months and she hasn't yet shifted into her wolf form. They don't understand her reticence to shift and, since female werewolves are at a premium, believe that if she takes a mate, she'll finally learn to shift. The main problem is the only male in the pack she finds remotely attractive has no interest in her. The other problem is that her psychic ability sets her apart from all her pack members. She needs any prospective mate to believe in her abilities and to fully accept them. Otherwise, no deal.

Ryan McKinley is a PI, mayor and pack leader of a gray pack in a nearby town. For six months, he's been obsessing about Carol and how she knew who had been behind the string of murders that he'd been trying to solve. He doesn't believe in psychic ability mumbo jumbo but he also doesn't believe Carol is guilty of anything nefarious. As far as he's concerned, she had to have overheard or seen something that led to her uncanny knowledge. His curiosity stubbornly leads him to investigate her. Or so he tells himself.

Ryan's reappearance after a six month absence intrigues Carol. Here is a man she finds attractive and who finds her attractive. The problem is that he doesn't believe in her abilities. She's had too many people think her abilities are freakish...even her own mother sent her to a child psychiatrist to rid her of the abilities. It annoys and frustrates her when it becomes clear that Ryan's only here to prove her abilities don't exist.

When she's nearly kidnapped by renegade red wolf shapeshifters, Ryan becomes her bodyguard, a task he takes seriously. With females being so rare, he's not surprised that other males would want her. She's beautiful, intelligent, compassionate and resilient. But he's opposed to her being taken against her will by a bunch of incompetents. She deserves far better than that. She deserves a male who can protect her. As her bodyguard, he stays close to her. It doesn't take long for that physical proximity to work its magic and it becomes a battle to not consummate his lust for her...to do so will mate the two of them for life. But he knows she deserves a male who can accept her psychic abilities wholeheartedly and that's a struggle for him.

It gets worse when a mysterious illness occurs among members of her pack. NOrmally, when a shapeshifter gets ill, they shift into their wolf form and are good as new. However, this flu-like virus causes its victims to stay in their wolf forms, unable to shift back to their human forms. Carol and her pack are frantic to find the cure before it's too late.

Wolf Fever is typical of Ms Spear's wolf shapeshifter books - great plots, fascinating characters and wonderful love stories. Carol isn't a shy little virginal character. She's fully mature, a strong woman who makes the best of the weirdities life throws at her. Ryan is Hot. Okay, he's more than just hot. He's intelligent, strong and caring. More than that, he keeps an open mind even when he's convinced otherwise. His pursuit of Carol is...well, different, in a kind of non-pursuit sort of way. His mind is focused on the story problems but his heart knows what's important. When he finally accepts Carol's psychic abilities, it's with everything he has. This is a love story where you know the hero and heroine will live happily ever after.

I might just have been in the mood for a great wolf shapeshifter story but this book seemed to grab my attention right from the get-go. I finished it in less than three days. And I'm ready to read it again which, for me, is the sign of a Really. Good. Story. If you need a Christmas present for someone, or for yourself, I recommend Wolf Fever.

Guest - Terry Spear

Good morning everyone! I hope you're all getting ready for the upcoming holidays.I've been busy baking gingerbread houses (lol, relax, I'm using a gingerbread house bundt pan and simply piping the design on. Pretty slick, huh?), cookies (check out some of the recipes I've posted on my blog at http://www.lyndakscott.com - the Lemon Stars are to die for), shopping and wrapping gifts...as I imagine many of you are. We work so hard to make the holidays great that we often forget about ourselves. We shouldn't do that. We all need to sit back and relax occasionally and one of the best ways to do that is with a good book. If you need a recommendation, check out my reviews. I've had the great luck to read a number of wonderful books this past year and I'm sure there are quite a few in there that you'll love too.

Before I forget, Sourcebooks, Ms Spear's publisher, is offering a copy of Wolf Fever to two of our lucky readers. If you'd like to enter the drawing, leave a comment AND email me with the first name of Wolf Fever's hero (found in this post)  in the subject header and your name and address in the body of the email. Do this by Friday, Dec 24th and I'll have my alien kitten, Wookie, select the winners around noon. Good Luck and Merry Christmas!

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

When researching a story, some interesting tidbits of information always come up. For one, did you know that wolfbane can kill, cure, keep him at bay, or do nothing at all to a werewolf?

According to numerous fictional stories that have used wolfbane in relation to werewolves, whatever the author says, goes. But in the real world, wolfbane has been used over the centuries to cure ailments, and it has been used to poison people. 

When I was trying to discover a werewolf cure in Wolf Fever (I’m not saying that my werewolves are not happily adjusted wolfish types, but a fever has really got them down), I found all kinds of interesting remedies. Did you know that lots and lots of exercise could wear the wolf right out of a body?

Hmm, yes, I could see how that would work. The person would be so tired, he definitely wouldn’t have any wolf left in him.

Now, onions soaked in honey was another remedy mentioned and it had me wrinkling my nose. But when I mentioned it at work, my fellow librarians had actually heard of eating such a thing. Not to cure anyone of “werewolfism,” or at least I don’t think so. Maybe I should have queried further. 

Even my werewolves were not very happy about trying such a concoction. I know I wouldn’t have liked eating anything like that. Unless I had the werewolf’s fever in Wolf Fever, and then, well, probably about anything would go.

Besides the fun I had with researching werewolf cures, I loved dealing with a werewolf who doesn’t want to be one. Carol Woods is already a psychic. She doesn’t have a lot of control over her psychic predictions. And now she can’t control her physical form?

When I was at one of the Army officer training schools, we had to participate in water survival training and we had some brand new swimmers, one of whom tried the 35 foot rope drop the last day of the training after just barely learning to swim. He fell on his back, knocked the wind out of him, and sank like a rock. I was next. I’m a good swimmer, but after seeing him nearly drown, and divers going in after him, I was afraid to shimmy out on the rope next, then drop into the lake like he did. What if I landed on my back, which from that height was like landing on concrete, and knocked the wind out of me, or broke my back and I sank and they didn’t find me in the dark, very dark water?

So I thought what if Carol is deathly afraid of water? She nearly drowned when she was younger. But as a wolf, swimming is a natural occurrence. So wouldn’t she now be able to swim? The problem is her human thought processes still take over. She can’t swim, because she believes she can’t. However, when she’s put into a real quandary and needs to escape her pursuers, she’s in her wolf form, still thinking with her human brain—she can’t swim across the water and escape.

Of course, if it was a different person, he or she might have reasoned this out differently. But Carol doesn’t. Not when she’s concentrating on three men with a fishing net. And on top of that, it’s her first time as a wolf. So it’s understandable that her human reasoning wins out.

So whether it’s researching tidbits of information and learning that what I thought was the truth wasn’t so true, or coming up with logical reasons why characters do the things they do, even if they’ve got a paranormal bent and have some other options open to them, writing the story always ends up with more twists and turns then I first surmise.

My question to you is: if you had a bag of wolfbane, what do you believe it would do for you? Do you believe in the stories where it could protect you from the monstrous shapeshifters that turn into a wolf and kill the unsuspecting? Or do you believe you could make it into brownies and feed it to your favorite guy who has a problem with getting awfully hairy when the full moon appears, to cure him of his problem? Or do you believe it really doesn’t do anything, just like so many products that claim they’re miracle cures for what ails you?

If you read Wolf Fever, you’ll learn just what wolfbane is truly good for!

Thanks so much for having me on Star-Crossed Romance, Lynda, and hope everyone has a chance to check out Wolf Fever before all the flurried activity for Christmas!


WOLF FEVER by TERRY SPEAR—IN STORES DECEMBER 2010

She may be his destiny, but she's not his first choice…

Hospital nurse and newly turned red werewolf Carol Woods is being pressured by her pack leader to find a mate, but he's the only guy in the pack who remotely attracts her… Why is he playing so hard to get?

The fate of the pack rests on his shoulders…

Gray pack leader Ryan McKinley doesn't want anything to do with Carol unless she's willing to embrace her wolf nature—no matter how beautiful she is.

But when a virus infects the local lupus garou pack, Ryan realizes just how wrong he's been not to seize the moment with the woman he's come to love. And now, it may be too late…

Praise for Terry Spear's To Tempt the Wolf:

“Ms. Spear's has spun a web of drama that pulled me in... Get it; read it; you'll love it!”
Romance Reader at Heart
“A paranormal romp that sizzles! Action-packed romance and suspense-filled plot add up to pure magic. I couldn't turn the pages fast enough. Terry Spear is a great addition to the paranormal genre!”
Armchair Interviews

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
With almost 56,000 copies sold, Terry Spear is a retired lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army Reserves. She received her MBA from Monmouth University. An eclectic writer, she dabbles in the paranormal as well as writing historical and true life stories for both teen and adult audiences. Spear lives in Crawford, Texas. For more information, please visit http://www.terryspear.com/.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Star Light, Star Bright...End of 2010 Recap!





In January we got to chat with Molly Harper about the latest release in her "Nice Girls Don't" series called NICE GIRLS DON'T LIVE FOREVER. Since then she's also had a trade paperback hit shelves in July called AND ONE LAST THING. But have no fear she's inked a deal with Pocket for a new Jane Jameson novel...date yet to be determined. So check her site for updates!












Next we visited with Kathleen Nance who'd just seen DRAGON UNMASKED hit shelves as part of her "Earth Magic" series. Sadly production on her installment (GRYPHON UNLEASHED) has gotten clogged up due to Dorchester's company changes. For more about Kathleen's sexy mages and news, go to her site. Hopefully someday soon we'll get our hands on Kahlil and Dayna's story!








March ushered in Alexis Morgan with her latest in the "Paladins" series called DEFEAT THE DARKNESS. 2010 also saw the release of VAMPIRE VENDETTA and A VAMPIRE'S VINDICATION from Silhouette Nocturne as well as DARK WARRIOR UNTAMED in her "Talion" series from Pocket Star. Coming up in 2011 she has three books lined up: A VAMPIRE'S SALVATION (March), BOUND BY DARKNESS (May) and THE DARKNESS BEYOND (June). For excerpts to hold you over, dash over to her site.










In April we chatted with C.E. Murphy who had two releases out...HANDS OF FLAME (Negotiator Trilogy) and DEMON HUNTS (The Walker Papers). In 2011, she launched a new series called "The Worldwalker Duology" with TRUTHSEEKER and in 2011 we'll see the next installment, WAYFINDER, from Del Ray. April 2011 will also bring the latest in her "Walker Papers" series with SPIRIT DANCES from Luna. If the holiday season has you hustling, you can also check out her novellas: "Blended" in RUNNING WITH THE PACK or "Perchance to Dream" in DRAGON'S LURE. If you want insider peeks, stop by her site!









Michelle Rowen stopped by for a Q&A in May, which coincided with her launch book for the "Living in Eden Trilogy" called THE DEMON IN ME. In October, SOMETHING WICKED hit shelves and December 2011 brings the final installment titled THAT OLD BLACK MAGIC. 2011 also promises a plethora of titles for her "Nightshade" series: NIGHTSHADE (February), PRIMAL: "Bleeding Heart" (February) and BLOODLUST (July). For the latest, head over to her site.











In June, we touched base with Katherine Allred who introduced us to the Genetically Engineered Persons in her "Alien Affairs" series. It kicked off with CLOSE ENCOUNTERS, followed by CLOSE CONTACT in June 2010 from Eos Publishing. For more titles by Katherine, see her site.










July brought the faeries of R.J. Anderson, who'd just welcomed the release of WAYFARER. Her next release, ARROW, is due to hit shelves January 2011, followed by SWIFT in 2012. A new stand alone novel, ULTRAVIOLET will also be out in 2011. Take a peek at her site to see her UK covers and learn more about her faery world.











Eve Silver gave us some scorching heroes to heat up August with her "Otherkin/Sutekh" trilogy from HQN. SINS OF THE HEART, SINS OF THE SOUL, and SINS OF THE FLESH all hit stores in 2010. Many fans thought the trilogy might be the end, but lucky for us HQN wants more...starting with BODY OF SIN in September 2011! To get in on Eve's awesome contests and learn more about those hot heroes, jump on over to her site.






November brought ghosts...at least a red headed one on a mission in GHOST IN TROUBLE by Carolyn Hart. Carolyn not only shared about Bailey Ruth Raeburn, but also gave us some insight to her award-winning "Death on Demand" series. The latest, DEAD BY MIDNIGHT, is due out March 2011! To get the latest info, visit her site.







Don't forget to visit the blog on January 21st, 2011 for our rescheduled Q&A with award-winning author Kelly Gay!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Guest - Kathryne Kennedy

Good morning all! I'm trying my hand at an interview today. Lucky for me, I've got a very interesting author for the interview so it's kind of fun :-) Hope you all enjoy! If you're interested you can read my review of Beneath the Thirteen Moons here. Oh, and Sourcebooks has generously offered a giveaway of two copies of this great book so read to the bottom to find out how you might win.


Kathryne Kennedy Interview
Author of Beneath the Thirteen Moons

        
Beneath the Thirteen Moons is your most recent release (a re-release of your first book, originally published in 2003). How did you come up with the title?
KK: First off, I’d like to thank you, Lynda, for having me here today, and for the very kind review you posted for Beneath the Thirteen Moons. Readers like you are why I keep writing! To answer your question, I knew I wanted many moons on the planet, so the waterways between the ocean trees would flow in many directions, and thirteen has always been a favorite number of mine. I also thought about making sure it had a romance element in the title, but also something to alert the reader right away that it was a fantasy.

What inspired you to write Beneath the Thirteen Moons?
KK: My love of the ocean, Venice, and…Tarzan.

Do you have a specific writing style? 
KK: I immerse myself in my world and characters, and try to show my readers what I’m seeing/feeling/experiencing, in as straightforward a manner as I can. My style has probably changed over the years, but it’s not something I consciously am aware of. It’s a development of my voice, and that’s a tough thing to define. There are some things I purposely remind myself of when writing, however. I avoid passive voice, I remind myself to use all of my senses, I try to weave description with action and dialogue, rather than inserting large chunks. I want my reader right there with me, waiting to see what happens next.

What books have most influenced your life most? And why?
KK: Probably my mom’s books, as she became a published writer years ago. I think it struck me that writing is not an impossible dream.

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
KK: Right now, Erin Quinn. We read each other’s finished works and critique them, we partner up in promotions, and we encourage each other when things get hard. She is a brilliant writer, with prose that often reads like poetry, so I value her opinion and insight.

What books are you reading now? 
KK: Masques by Patricia Briggs. I am a true fan of hers, as I adore anything she writes. I know when I buy her book that she will engage me fully in the story, regardless of what the book is about. She is one of the authors I look for by name whenever I go to the bookstore.
Thank you for the wonderful questions, Lynda! It was a pleasure!
Kathryne

BENEATH THE THIRTEEN MOONS BY KATHRYNE KENNEDY—IN STORES DECEMBER 2010

He's a ruler in a divided world...
In a magical watery world of the Sea Forest, the divide between the rulers and the people is an uncrossable chasm. Handsome, arrogant prince Korl Com'nder has lived a life of luxury that is nothing more than a fantasy to the people he rules. Until the day he is accidentally kidnapped by a beautiful outlaw smuggler and is forced to open his eyes to the world outside his palace walls.

She's an outcast, but at least she has her independence...
Mahri Zin would stop at nothing to save her village, and when they needed a healer she didn't think twice about kidnapping one. But when she realizes that the healer she so impulsively stole is none other than the crown prince of Sea Forest, Mahri knows that she has a chance to change the fate of her people...

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kathryne Kennedy is a multi-published, award-winning author of magical romances. She’s lived in Guam, Okinawa, and several states in the U.S., and currently lives in Arizona with her wonderful family—which includes two very tiny Chihuahuas. She welcomes readers to visit her website where she has ongoing contests at: www.KathryneKennedy.com.


-- Lynda Again
To be eligible to win a copy of this fantastic book, leave a comment AND send me an email (Lynda@LyndaKScott.com) with the word MOON in the subject and your name and address in the body. On Friday, Dec 17, I'll have my alien kitten, Wookie, select two winners. Good luck!

Monday, December 06, 2010

Review - Beneath the Thirteen Moons

Beneath the Thirteen Moons
by
Kathryne Kennedy
Sourcebooks, Casablanca
December 2010

Mahri Zin needs a Healer, someone who can save her village and remaining family from the ravages of a deadly disease. She doesn't expect any Healer to willingly come with her to the outreaches of their civilization. When her young son and husband lay ill with the disease, the Healer she sought out refused to come...and they died. This time Mahri is taking the decision away from them. She abducts a young Healer from the Healer's tree and, using the power of a zabba root, spirits him away from the guards and heavy pursuit.

Unfortunately, Mahri doesn't realize the Healer she's kidnapped is Korl, the Prince of Sea Forest, until it's too late. The only thing that matters is that Korl is a Healer and he will help her family and the other villagers. Mahri will see to that. What she isn't quite as clear on is why she finds Korl so attractive with his golden hair and mesmerizing green eyes. And this journey, confined in her small boat, is fraught with danger and desire.

As she travels with the handsome Prince, she discovers a bizarre plot from the Natives, the original inhabitants of the planet. They want Mahri and Korl to fall in love and form a union that will bring the poor of Sea Forest into a more equal footing with the elite city dwellers. When Korl seems to fall in love with her easily, she believes he's being unconsciously induced to think he's in love by the Natives. Even though she finds him almost irresistible, Mahri is afraid of losing her independence and, worse, of being left broken-hearted again, as she was by the deaths of her husband and son. Beneath the Thirteen Moons is the story of how she comes to terms with those deaths and learns to risk her heart again.

Ms. Kennedy has created one of the most detailed, fabulously rich cross genre stories I've read in a very long time. Beneath the Thirteen Moons combines an alien world, alien life forms and a fantastical form of mental power to create a fascinating blend of SF and Fantasy. The world of Beneath the Thirteen Moons is richly textured, the characters fully realized and the love story is powerful as well as highly sensual.

If you love books that combine SF with Fantasy, treat yourself to a Christmas present and get this book. You'll love it!