Monday, November 24, 2014

Guest - Echo Ishii

Good morning! I'm buried in galleys and writing Book 2 of my Rider trilogy and here it is Thanksgiving week (in the USA). I'm not even sure at this point if I'll be cooking the big celebratory dinner on Thursday or if Hubby and I will visit friends instead. I'll be happy either way because I love cooking the dinner but I also love visiting the friends. For me, it's a win-win :-)

So since this is Thanksgiving here, how about we all take a moment to think of one thing that we're grateful for. For me, I'm grateful for many, many things but for this moment, I'm grateful for all the Star-Crossed Romance readers. You all rock!

Now grab one of the comfy seats and a cup of your favorite brew and a treat or two and enjoy our guest, author Echo Ishii who will be discussing Magical Objects.

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

Magical Objects

Echo Ishii

For most fantasy stories, magical objects hold a certain fascination. Swords are ever popular, as well as knives, rings, necklaces, and amulets. And of course mirrors. Mirrors appear in a variety of stories.  And because, thus far, there doesn't seem to be a technological innovation that replaces mirrors they are likely to stick around.

The spinning wheel, however, is increasingly rare. Spinning wheels are still common in some parts of the world, but in a society in which clothing is commercially produced, spinning wheels, looms, spindles, and such-common in folktales-are rarely used items that many people have never encountered.

In my novella, Mr. Rumpel and Mr. Grimm, one of the characters is bound to a magical spinning wheel. Spinning wheels are common in folktales and fairy tales throughout the world: two of the most common are Rumpelstiltskin and some versions of Sleeping Beauty. The Three Spinners, a lesser-known Grimm tale about a princess and three old spinners whose bodies are deformed through spinning, emphasize the role spinning played in the lives of all social classes.

Directly related to tales of spinning and weaving, a whole genre of folktales and fairy tales concerning magical clothing. Who can forget…The Emperor's New Clothes? A classic tale of expectations and extravagance mixed with human foolishness. In a A Swahili tale, The Cloth of the Serpent Pembe Mirui, in which a merchant's wife demands that her husband acquire a special cloth from a magical serpent to prove his love and devotion. And many Chinese folktales focus on special garments made of silk given magical power and significance.

This was not only a world in which items were handmade, it was also a world in which people had fewer possessions. A man would have one good pair of boots. A woman might have one fine dress and one work dress. Until the last century, that was standard outside of the very wealthy. Things were made by people others knew and made to last. In a world of mass produced clothing, there is still something special about handmade items. The modern hobby industry of knitting and sewing exists as part of a desire to create something on our own.




Echo Ishii writes fantasy and paranormal romance. Her M/M fantasy novella Mr. Rumpel and Mr. Grimm is out now from Less Than Three Press. (note: some explicit content) and at Amazon.com.

Pinterest: mrsbookmark
Twitter: @mrsbookmark
Like her on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/echoishii

Follow Echo Ishii on google+

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Lynda Again --

Hope you've enjoyed our guest today. Please click on the Google (g+) button to help spread the word and leave a comment to let her know. Remember, if you're a member of my newsletter, you'll get the latest news on my books along with the newsletter. Sign up. It's free!

Have a Blessed day!

Contact me

Newsletter:  http://eepurl.com/ywCD1

Monday, November 17, 2014

Guest - Megan Morgan

Good morning! How are you on this cold, snowy (here at least) November day? Yep, I'm bundled up when I go outside and I'm bundled up when I'm working inside. It's too soon for the snow and cold but Mother Nature doesn't have a complaint department and I can be crabby when it comes to weather, lol. At any rate, we have author Megan Morgan visiting us today with a terrific post on scary things. Enjoy!

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

Scary Is the New Sexy

Once upon a time in the old, olden days (like, fifty years ago) the link between the paranormal and sex wasn't as strong as it is today. Entertainment intended to scare and horrify rarely titillated as well. Horror was created to shock, to repulse, to make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up and keep you awake at night. Nosferatu, with his deformed alien otherness, was a far cry from our modern sexy vampires who sweep the hapless village virgin off in a whirlwind of passionate discovery. Likewise, The Blob wasn't a tantalizing, hunky shifter looking for his true mate. Even the Bride of Frankenstein wasn't so much a love story as a tale of tragedy and horror. Monsters used to scare us because of their lack of humanity—after all, they lacked one of humanity's most fundamental values: no one could love a monster, not even another monster.

Until today, when everybody loves a monster, and monsters can love.

Our screens are now full of TV shows and movies about sexy, sensual, otherworldly creatures: The Vampire Diaries, Supernatural, True Blood, the Underworld movies. The monsters of yesterday who made our skin crawl are now misunderstood hunks and vixens looking for acceptance and love—and more often than not, finding it. Where the idea of fangs in your throat used to make your blood run cold, it now sets your pants on fire.

Thus the emergence of paranormal romance, that wild child of the romance world, the one that breaks formulas and bends the rules as only creatures from the fringes can. I hear every other week it's going out of style, or not being acquired/selling anymore, only to see a fresh batch of vampires and werewolves pop up, ravishing their chosen mates. Readers love it. Paranormal romance authors love it. We're not going anywhere. Supposedly horror went out of style years ago too, but fans are still demanding a steady supply.

Why is that? Because in addition to love, humans crave being scared. We like a thrill, something that sends our pulse racing, the idea that there might be something out there that can't be explained. We like mystery and magic. We like to believe there's something more exciting than this boring day-to-day, that if we leave our window open at night a sexy vampire will sweep in and make us his eternal lover; that if we get lost in the woods we'll acquire a hunky werewolf instead of just poison ivy.

Mixing love and scares is appealing. Monsters aren't mundane. They live in an unpredictable and exciting world, where you might live forever or gain superhuman powers. Likewise, we imagine they love as outrageously as they live—passionate, intense, desperate and devoted. They want to be understood and accepted and crave a tender touch from the only human who can love them the way they are. They want to be saved and transformed, but they're still dangerous. We like a little danger, because danger is sexy. If it's true women like bad boys, then vampires, werewolves, and shifters are bad boys with all the glamour and none of the realistic 'bad' of the real world, like a meth lab and six warrants in the next state over.

He might suck your blood, but he won't steal your purse.

At the core of romance are fantasy and escapism, and a suspension of disbelief. Romance is meant to take us to a world of passion and thrills, where things always work out and the sex is mind-blowing. Adding the paranormal gives it another layer of un-reality we desperately need in a world that is unpredictable and scary in ways that aren't fun at all. The hero battles the darkness he knows all too well, the heroine spreads her literal wings, but neither are trying to remortgage the house or survive an audit. Better to fight actual dragons than the dragons we deal with outside the page.

Scary is sexy now. Probably, it always was sexy, though the learned and stoic authors of the past didn't want to admit that—unless you're Bram Stoker, and even he was trying to pass on a tale of morality and humanity rather than a story of love and passion. Both terror and lust make you tingle and set your heart pounding. Nothing is wrong with craving something out of this world. Also, we see the humanity in monsters better now—the real monsters, out here in the real world, are the ones we actually, actively fear instead.

So go ahead and leave your window open. Metaphorically, anyway—you don't want the mosquitoes getting in. Those buggers will suck you dry.





THE WICKED CITY

She's got a voice to die for…

Whatever June Coffin says, goes—literally. And it’s not just because she’s a chain smoking rebel. As a Siren, June has the ability to force people to obey any command she voices. But in a world where those with supernatural powers quickly become lab rats for science, she’d rather look out for herself than fight on the front lines…until her similarly gifted twin brother, Jason, is captured by Chicago’s Institute of Supernatural Research.

To save Jason, June has no choice but to enter a hidden world of conspiracy, murder—and strange bedfellows—including a widowed paranormal advocate whose memory June accidentally erased, and a fiery paranormal separatist leader. Soon the lines between attraction and strategic alliance become blurred. But in a city exploding with paranormal crossfire, and her brother’s life at stake, June will have to face her inner demons and finally take a stand.

Available March 3, 2015. Pre-order at Kensington Books:



About Megan:

Megan Morgan is a paranormal romance, erotica, and urban fantasy author from Cleveland, Ohio. Bartender by day and purveyor of things that go bump at night, she likes her fiction scary and sexy. She’s a member of the RWA and trying to turn writing into her day job, so she can be on the other side of the bar for a change. Currently published with House of Erotica and Muse It Up, she is also the author of a three-book urban fantasy series coming in March 2015 from Lyrical Press/Kensington Books.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Lynda Again --

Hope you've enjoyed our guest today. Please click on the Google (g+) button to help spread the word and leave a comment to let her know. Remember, if you're a member of my newsletter, you'll get the latest news on my books along with the newsletter. Sign up. It's free!

Have a Blessed day!

Contact me

Newsletter:  http://eepurl.com/ywCD1

Monday, November 10, 2014

Guest - Red L. Jameson

Good morning! Author Red L. Jameson has a great post on Time Travel for us. Which would you do? Go forward or backward? I skipped the answer altogether in my ALTERED DESTINY and went...sideways though the heroine didn't realize that at first. Time is a great tool for us writers. 

Enjoy!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Time Travelers
By Red L. Jameson

Time travel . . . we’ve been telling stories about it for a long, long time. As soon as we began to film movies and television shows, we’ve been interested in wanting to know more about the past and the future. The longest running science-fiction TV show is Doctor Who, which is also based upon time travel. And it’s understood why time travel is so fascinating. When glimpsing into our shared human past, who among us hasn’t wondered what it would be like back then? When contemplating the future, we all wonder what will be in store for us. Even in our minds, meditation experts encourage us to think of only the present moment. Why? Because our minds run amuck with thoughts of what we just did or what we’re supposed to be doing. We can’t help but think of the past and future and often have a hard time paying attention to what’s right in front of us.

You know what? I think it’s perfectly okay to contemplate about our future and our past. And I’m not just saying that because I’m an historian. Nor am I saying that because I’m a writer of time travel. I think in order to make better decisions now, we often need to look back, think of what we did and either replicate it, if we were successful, or try to avoid the same problem. Also, when I need to make a really big decision, I often wonder what the me ten years from now would do. So, looking ahead and behind can be greatly beneficial on a personal level.

But on a grander level . . . have you ever thought about going back in time? Did you know in 1901 two academics were at the Palace of Versailles when they thought they saw Queen Marie Antoinette and her attendants? The two academics did not think they saw ghosts. They wondered if they had slipped back in time. They knew intimate details about the former queen that only someone who had been there would know. Okay. Okay. You probably noticed that the women were academics? Yes, they were well-researched historians. They probably knew well the details of the former queen and wrote about it in a way that would attract more attention to their recently published book. But have you seen the Charlie Chaplin movie, The Circus, made in 1928? You should check it out for the woman who walks by a zebra, appearing to be talking on a cell phone. It’s not the best of footage, and maybe she’s not really holding a cell phone. However, you should definitely watch a documentary about factory workers from Massachusetts in 1938. Again, a woman walks through the crowd, holding, what looks like, a cell phone. (I’ll leave the link below.) This one freaked me out, because she really is holding something to her ear that looks like a modern-day cell phone.

Or maybe you want to see the future? In 1935 a British wing commander flew around a cow field turned airstrip over Drem, Scotland. Upon first inspection, it was vacant and obviously still needing construction. A rainstorm hampered the commander’s plans to return home, but upon flying over Drem again, he saw that the airstrip was sunny, finished, and had airplanes the likes he’d never seen before. Four years later, the Royal Air Force began making planes exactly like what that commander had seen.  

Spooked yet? I know I was when I’d discovered an odd article documenting cell phones in the past—way past, as in there was no such thing at that time. In my Glimpse Time-Travel Series, I have muses and special cell phones helping the mortals shuttled through time. And I couldn’t help but wonder, especially as I saw a 1938 woman appear to hold a cell phone, what if the muses I’m writing about aren’t so . . . imaginary?

Yikes!
(Here’s the link for more about time travel happening all around us http://io9.com/all-the-evidence-that-time-travel-is-happening-all-arou-1446262029 )

I’d love to know what your favorite era might be? Do you want to go back in time? Or maybe fly to the future?
Thank you so much for having me on your blog, Lynda! Wishing everyone a great day!
-Red



Highlander of Mine



Book Two of the Glimpse Time Travel Series

Trickster muse sisters, Clio and Erato, kidnap genealogist Fleur Anpao and dump her in the seventeenth century. Even though Fleur has never been to Scotland, let alone the Highlands, and feels like a modern-day fish out of an ancient loch, the muses have a plan. What it is remains to be ambiguous—they are mischievous muses, after all, and can’t just tell her. Though the logical genealogist wants nothing more than to return home, there’s something about this time and rough land that feels somehow familiar. And there’s something about Duncan MacKay—so strong, so brutally handsome, and so distracting.

As a mercenary for long years, Duncan has seen many things. But never in his life has he seen the likes of Fleur: more beautiful than any woman he could have imagined. It doesn’t matter she insists she’s from another time, or that she’s too far out of reach for a common man like him. He’s drawn to her intelligence and wicked sense of humor. However, Cromwell’s reign threatens anarchy, clan rivalries reach a peak, and a laird’s younger brother vies for her attention. He can hardly protect her from his county’s bedlam, let alone convince her he’s the better man. And if he does, will the bonny time traveler stay with him?

Making matters worse, a god wreaks havoc, or has fun as he calls it, with Clio and Erato’s mortals. The two firecracker time stewards might have to set down their margaritas for this glimpse!

Excerpt:
Looking over his shoulder, he saw the crowd of recruits still far off.
Laird MacKay had asked for Duncan by name to help train the new troops, since the laird’s brother, Rory, was new to the captaincy. New to military life in general. Duncan had been the obvious choice because he’d been a soldier then a soldier of fortune, for a decade and a-half. And now was the time when Himself needed soldiers. Ah, hell, was there ever a time when soldiers wouldn’t be needed? After Cromwell had burnt through Scotland, the chiefs and lairds kept speaking of revenge. Reciprocity, they’d said. What the hell did they know if they hadn’t lost one of their own, say, a younger brother with sparkling mischievous green eyes? 
Jesus Christ, what was wrong with him for thinking such things again?
He shook his head, startled upon seeing orange flames from the corner of his eye. After a second look, he realized he was standing less than ten feet from a small fire right at the entrance of the cave, wondering how he couldn’t have seen it when he first arrived. But it was the sight beyond the sparks that entranced him, sitting so still he thought mayhap she was a statue. But eventually one side of her full pink lips curled up in a . . . Jesus, what a smile.
“Hi,” she said. Her voice was melodious and fluid, as if she’d just woken.
It seemed to take him an eternity, but finally he said, “Hello.”
“It’s probably illegal to have this fire, huh?”
Fire? What fire? All he could do was stare at her. He’d never seen a woman so beautiful in all his life. She was dressed in black, yet nothing like he’d ever seen before. But she—her—Lord Almighty, from her blackest black hair to her tiny nose and those full pink lips, she was wildly exotic. Her eyes shone back at him, sparkling like onyx. As much as she wore black, even her dark coloring, she glowed as if she were made from heaven’s own light.
Mayhap she was an angel.
“Am I in big trouble for the fire?”
He had to shake himself to gain access to some part of his mind that could function and speak.
“Nay.” Brilliant. He sounded just this side of idiotic.
God, then she did it again. She smiled. It widened and brightened, and Duncan felt his solar plexus explode with something he’d thought long dead.
“You seem . . . cold. Want to join me?”
Before he could even think, he was walking toward her. He sat right beside her too, not even a thought about circumstances or consequences, just staring. Couldn’t be helped. Couldn’t stop himself if he’d wanted to. And, oh, how he didn’t want to.
She kept her eyes on him, her smile shifting to warm and welcoming. For a long moment she searched his face, then glanced about his linen shirt. He’d forgotten he was drenched. With a quick glance, he noticed his goose bumps and nipples peaking out from his nearly translucent white shirt. He may as well have been naked from the waist up. Thank the Lord, his brown, heavy plaid was thick and didn’t reveal as much. That was when he realized he sat cross-legged, as she did. Oh, her legs. Yet again he couldn’t stop from staring at her long limbs, clad in black shiny trews that left precious little to the imagination.
“I’m Fleur. Fleur Anpoa.”
Pretty name. He almost let the words trip out of his mouth, as though he was a bumbling lad. “Duncan,” was all he could stammer. Aye, that was much better.
“You live around here, Duncan?” Her accent was lovely—definitely not Scottish, from the Highlands or the Low, but not quite English either.
“Aye.” Damn it all, say something more. Helpless, he gazed at her, while she looked deeply into his eyes.
She smiled widely and arched a perfect black brow. “Not a man of many words, hmm?”
Well, if she were in his head, and already he knew a part of her was, then she would know his mind was amuck with too many words, too many . . . feelings. No, that wasn’t quite right. Of his sentiments he felt only two—curiosity, and an animalistic sense he knew only during battle. But this—this was different. This wasn’t mere desire, for he knew what that felt like. This other feeling was magnetic and too powerful for him to make much sense of. All he knew was he wanted to sit with her for the next eon or so.

Where you can find Highlander of Mine:
Barnes & Noble – http://bit.ly/1ybpU33 
And other retail book sellers

Bio for Red:

As a military historian by day, sometimes Red does feel a bit clandestine when she writes romance at night. No one knows that while she researches heroes of the past and present, she uses everything for her characters in her books. Her secret's been safe . . . until now.

She lives in Montana with her family and far too many animals but never enough books.

She loves her readers, so please feel free to contact her at http://www.redljameson.com


You can find Red L. Jameson at . . .
Amazon Author Page: http://goo.gl/Gvd2vq

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Lynda Again --

Hope you've enjoyed our guest today. Please click on the Google (g+) button to help spread the word and leave a comment to let her know. Remember, if you're a member of my newsletter, you'll get the latest news on my books along with the newsletter. Sign up. It's free!

Have a Blessed day!

Contact me

Newsletter:  http://eepurl.com/ywCD1