Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Driven

I enjoyed our month of Paranormal themes so much but I suddenly realized that I never got to talk to any of you about my new release, Driven. It is the second book in my Young Adult series called the Warrior.

Here is the a blurb:

My name is Rachel Clancy. Forty-six years ago, life as humanity understood it ended. Armageddon. Well, that’s what we call it, anyway. What other term works as well to describe the day the Vampires and Werewolves slaughtered nearly all of humanity?


When Rachel Clancy turned sixteen, she inadvertently changed the lives of everyone around her. Now, six months later she has to figure out how to live with what has happened.

Sent back into the wilderness—this time with a new love—she will find herself face-to-face with two people she never thought to see again: the boy she thought she loved and the man who wanted to destroy her since birth. If Rachel can learn what drives her forward, there may be a chance for everyone to start again. If she fails, all is lost.



Genre: YA, paranormal, urban fantasy


And an Excerpt

My name is Rachel Clancy.

Forty-six years ago, life as humanity understood it ended. Armageddon. Well, that’s what we call it, anyway. What other term works as well to describe the day the Vampires and Werewolves slaughtered nearly all of humanity?

For me, all of that happened so long ago I almost never think about it. I’m much more concerned with what just happened and what will be occurring next.

Six months ago, when I turned sixteen, I changed the way life was conducted in the small portion of the planet I called home. I’m not sure exactly how any of it actually took place. When I let myself dwell on that time, which I don’t very often, it usually feels like it was something someone else did. Like I wasn’t there at all.

But I know that I was.

I have the scars to prove it. One of them on my cheek—long and jagged—out in the open to show the world I survived a Vampire attack. The other is hidden on the inside of my soul—not visible to anyone but me—and it was placed there by a boy, a Werewolf, who betrayed my innocence and will forever hold the title of being the first guy to break my heart.

It’s May—we have started keeping track of the months again like they did before Armageddon Day. The weather is beautiful and warm in our tent city; which sits over the remains of Genesis, the habitat that I lived in for my first sixteen years of life.

I can’t help but feel that something is coming. Something bad that we can’t stop. I haven’t told anyone about this sense I have. It’s not like I’m psychic or anything. I’ve never been able to predict the future. I’m not even particularly good at figuring out what’s going to happen to me next. But I can’t let this go—not this time—and I’m wondering if I’m going to have to let someone know about the dread that is eating away at my stomach lining.

Maybe I’m just being dramatic, but I can feel a black cloud of death on the horizon, and it’s going to swallow us all.


I'll admit it. I am as much a fan of Young Adult books as I am of Erotic Romance. How about you?

Monday, May 30, 2011


Memorial day, formerly known as Decoration Day, commemorates U.S. soldiers who died while in the military service. First enacted to honor Union soldiers of the American Civil War. It was extended after World War I to honor Americans who have died in all wars.

To celebrate this day, I made of list of military romance books.


The best way to heal a broken heart is to jump right back on the horse. So to speak…

Red, Hot & Blue, Book 2

After watching the girl he’s crushed on for years fall for his best friend, the last thing special operative Jack Gordon wants is a vacation. If cooling his heels doesn’t drive him crazy, doing it under his family’s scrutiny will.

But once he’s back home things get more than a little interesting. The new farm hand is cute, sexy—and his instincts tell him she’s got something to hide. Luckily, he’s got the skills and the backup to find out what.

Gordon Equine is the perfect place for Niccolina Campolini. The Gordons pay in room, board and cash. And they don’t ask questions. Perfect for a girl on the run…until Jack shows up. Sexy as hell and far too inquisitive, Jack strikes sparks and suspicions that put both her body and her heart in danger.

Jack knows better than to trust a woman with as many shadows as Nicki, but the heat waves of their attraction are messing with his focus. And when her secrets catch up with her, he’s not sure if he’s protecting her from something, or protecting his family from her…

This book has been previously published and has been revised from its original release.

Warning: This book contains extremely stupid gangsters bearing guns, a bored team of special operatives looking for some action, and one Southern gentleman guaranteed to charm your panties off.



Erin Riley receives a "Dear Jane" letter just days before her fiance is due home after two years away on active duty. Angry at first, she convinces herself it must be because she's overweight while he's become a honed military hunk. Determined to convince him he's just forgotten what he was missing on the home front, she screws up her courage and sets out to seduce him despite her own misgivings about her figure. But she's surprised to discover Patrick is a changed man. No longer her loving high school sweetheart, he's harder and she discovers he has a dark side. Although he succumbs to her lush charms, he remains adamant their engagement should remain broken. Fortunately, Erin isn't someone who gives up easily.

Patrick O'Rourke has seen a lot during his two years away. After a tragic incident, he's convinced he's no good for anyone, especially his innocent young fiance. He's not the same man he was two years ago and he doesn't want to defile Erin with his needs and desires. But from the moment he walks through the door, she makes it perfectly clear she's not going anywhere and she's unwilling to surrender without a fight. He tries to scare her away, allowing the dark side of his personality to take over. Instead of running away, however, Erin embraces the new experiences he offers.

Good communication and some hot, unconventional sex - that's what it takes to heal two wounded hearts.

Publisher's Note: This book contains explicit sexual content, graphic language, and situations that some readers may find objectionable: Anal sex, bondage, Domination/submission, spanking.


Four soldiers face alien threats in these two erotic tales of explosive romance. Detonate Alice MacKay can't keep up with all the bomb threats in Trios Port. When Boomer, a former Terran Marine with more than a healthy dose of arrogance, strolls into her office for an interview, she can't get rid of him fast enough. But disarming bombs is easier than disarming amorous Marines. When Boomer decides to stick around, MacKay wonders if she's met her match.

Happy Trails Jenna's been infatuated with Tyson Rivers since she boarded the mining ship, but the scoop's explosive ordnance officer doesn't seem to know she's there. Too shy to introduce herself, she decides to snoop in his personnel file instead. When Tyson catches her digging, he realizes he's not the only one feeling the attraction, but could his tactics to get her alone end with a bigger bang than he expected?


Want to win a copy of The Omegas or The Alpha? I'm over at RR Novel Thoughts today giving them away!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

My interesting experience with mermaids!!

Wow, this has been a fabulous month! I've loved celebrating supernatural beings and sharing why we love them, and what it is about them that intrigues us. The last post for Monster May Mash is about Mermaids. I have no experience with them, and haven't written about our water friends, but I do have something to share...

Have you ever seen this movie?

Of course you have! You hasn't watched the classic, The Little Mermaid! Well, when my daughter was around two and half this was one of the first movies she ever watched. I was so excited, really jumping out of my skin to share this movie with her, and see how much she'd love it. I will admit, the experience was slightly disappointing. Why you ask? It's simple--we curled up and watched it together, and suddenly, my daughter looks at me and says, "Oh look, it's you, mommy."

Imagine my horror when I see this on the screen....


Needless to say, we stay away from mermaid movies, and maybe that's why I've never written or read a mermaid story!!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Real Life Mermaids

I apologize, but this post is going to be short and sweet. My granddaughter is now mobile and I've been babysitting for a few days while her mom traveled to the South to sign for her new apartment.

Please excuse the lack of photos, as this mermaid works professionally as a model and actress. Her photos, though gorgeous to look at, are copyright protected and in respect for this, I omit the images. To see them, you can go to Hannah's site:
 https://www.hannahfraser.com/
Or here to see exquisite photos: 
http://iamamermaid.com/

Hannah Fraser is a model, performer and mermaid. She travels the globe, swimming underwater coral reefs as a mermaid. With the ability to hold her breath for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes, she transforms into a mystical siren of the sea by just adding fins and water.

Where'd she get that tail?
She made it. That's right.
She altered a Finis Fin Company Competitor Monofin and put her craft skills to work creating not only a beautiful tail, but a means to swim faster than any other human in the ocean.

Hannah has been featured on ABC's 20/20 and in various movies. Go here to check out the story: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7KV_jRjkAVo

Times up. My granddaughter has started climbing.

Have a great Memorial Day Weekend!

Dawn

Friday, May 27, 2011

Mermen

I know, I know - merpeople, merfolk... no, no, NO! MERMEN. Okay, I will give that there are probably mermaids also. *smile*

I've written one story, have one on the back burner, and they'll all be about merMEN, men who love men. They're strong, beautiful, sexy, and just plain wonderful. They have the advantage of being able to live on land, but they need the water to revive themselves. In my mind they were different if born in a cold climate versus a hot climate. The cold water mers are very big, muscular and blond, the warm water mers are not as big, didn't need the muscle to help fight the cold, so they're more sinewy and tanned with darker skin and hair -- each cannot survive for long in the other's climate.

The Gift, a short holiday story I did for Silver Publishing, started it all. Here's a snippet:

     “Who else is here?” The unmistakable scent of merman lingered in the air. Rad’s nose wrinkled as he sniffed loudly at the cool, fresh, tangy smell of sea salt invading the room. Similar, but so different from Cray.
     “Quinn came down, needed a place to stay for a bit.”
     “What is it with you guys? Can’t any of you stay out of trouble? It must be the cold.” Rad shook his head and grabbed his slacks. Pulling them up, he said, “You could have told me earlier. What if he’d walked in?”
     Cray chuckled. “He smelled us, and wouldn’t dare interrupt. The consequences would be deadly.”
     “That’s what I mean. You’re combative, all the time.” His butt rested against the back of the sofa, and he pulled Cray between his legs and pinched his nipples hard. His lover’s cock was already at half mast and rising quickly. “That’s twice you’ve laughed tonight. What’s going on?”
     “You guys done?” Both heads swiveled toward the door. One word spoken together, “No.”
     Quinn laughed. “Hold it for later, I’m famished. Want to take a dip?”
     Blue eyes bore into Rad from both men, and he shivered. The air had already grown chilly, and he wanted a hot bath. “Don’t let me stop you.”
     Crayton was already naked, and Quinn didn’t take long getting out of his clothes. Mer weren’t shy about their beautiful bodies. He was a big man, almost as huge as Cray. They came bigger from the north, and the muscle helped protect them from the cold. His hair wasn’t as light, but like all northerners, it was blond and if that didn’t say enough, he had blue eyes that would have been a dead giveaway.
     And then there was that fresh, icy scent they all exuded. Each different, yet similar.
     Quinn fidgeted from foot-to-foot, peering at Rad. “Hot as hell in here. Don’t know how you stand it, man.” Silver dots of light danced from his aqua eyes when he turned to look at Cray. “Did you tell him?”
     “Tell me what?” Rad asked.
     “Shut the fuck up, Quinn.”
     “Sorry, forgot you two do the holiday thing.”
     “Wait until we reach the lake, you’re in for it, bastard.”
     “Hey, said I was sorry.”
     Rad grew anxious, and his golden lights vied with the silver flashing around the room. Laser-like points of light glanced from the walls. Part of their vision process, these rays allowed mer to see better when they swam deep into the darkness of ocean waters. Though they could control it, among their own kind they didn’t bother. “Somebody want to tell me what’s going on?”
     Cray twisted around and looked at him mysteriously. “Later, get your hot bath. We won’t be long.”
     There was no point in arguing with Cray. He’d tell him whatever it was when he was ready, not a minute before. He should be glad that he seemed happier, more animated than Rad had ever seen him.
     Especially knowing this would be their last holiday together.

I can't wait to finish Quinn's story... and yes, he went south too!!

Growl and roar-it's okay to let the beast out.-© J. Hali Steele

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Living with Mermaids

Many of my summers were spent playing in the Atlantic Ocean. Well, most of them come to think of it. I live in a place pretty much surrounded by water. Ocean, bay, river and creek in fact. So mermaids and I aren't strangers. In fact, my hometown chose the mermaid as its mascot and back in 2004 asked artists to decorate, as they saw fit, the shape the city had chosen. Now, these stautes dot the entire city as landmarks. And there's quite a few. In fact, too many to list here. But, some of them are too pretty not to share and I picked five of my favorites to share with you today.

Enjoy!





Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Legs? Who Needs 'Em!

I was just commenting on Annie's post about how when I was a kid, all I wanted to be was a mermaid. I had it all planned out, how I would have a pet dolphin and go on treasure hunts. It was going to be a good life, and I spent every waking moment in my aunt's pool to get ready for it. Sadly, I never did grow my own tail. I did, however, inspire my aunt to sew me a tail from swimsuit fabric. It was beautiful, all purple and iridescent. The best part was that I could wear it in the pool and practice. Yeah, I had big dreams back then.

Now that I'm all grown up, I still love the ocean, love to swim, but I've accepted I'm stuck with legs instead of a tail. *sigh* At least in fiction, we're given the chance to escape the surface and dive into oceanic life.

I think mermance has yet to win me over. I have a love of the creatures and the setting, but I'm waiting for that one book that sets a president, you know?

Virginia Kantra's Children of the Sea series is a  good place to start if you're looking for a good ocean-set series, though her series revolves around selkies rather than mermaids.

You can read an excerpt of the first book in her series here.

How about y'all? Is there one book or series that will make a mermance believer out of me?

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Merman Anatomy

Merman Anatomy

Did you ever see that episode of Family Guy when Lois has a run-in with a merman? Except in this episode, instead of what most people think of, this merman had a fish’s torso (along with a horrible fish’s head and lips!) and a human’s lower body. When she points out this incongruity, he rebuts that how else would he be able to have sex with her if he had a man’s torso and fish’s lower anatomy?

*giggle*

Quite frankly, when I used to read about mermen, I always had the same question. I eventually found that a lot of authors conveniently turned the merman into a human for the purposes of smexin. Hello! What’s the point of that? An author can use his/her imagination to the fullest and bring me, the reader, along for the ride. There had to be some way to get the discordant anatomy to work while keeping it sexy.

Then Mina Carter, Lex Valentine and I started talking about a series about three brothers out for vengeance against their demi-god father. Thus Danyl and The Phoenix Prophecy trilogy was born. And I figured out a merman and a human woman falling in love wasn’t so tough to tackle at all. Take a peek at him:

Danyl used the powerful muscles of his tail to push through the water. He would not let them see his disappointment. Or his anger.

Another pairing ritual and another humiliation he'd been forced to live through. Coupled with everything else he'd been through recently, he didn't know how much more he could stand.

"Danyl, wait!"

Of course. He didn't have to turn to recognize to whom that voice belonged. No one else would bother to seek him out.

He slowed enough to allow Gagan to catch up. He remained facing forward though. If he had to look upon his best friend's luminescent skin or the perfection of his silver fluke right now, he'd vomit. The only things really silver about himself were his eyes. Of course, they weren't quite natural either. Every other mer-person had mesmerizing blue eyes.

No point in mentioning his own tail, which for years had the disappointing habit of becoming legs at a moment's notice until he'd learned to control it. Legs. Who in Hades had need for human legs underwater?

"What?" he snarled, forcing the cool ocean through his gill sac. Despite being located in the back of his throat, he could feel it wave in the water with the effort. Yet another thing that marred him as not quite like the others. To them, breathing was just another natural act. For him, it was an ongoing agony.

"Danyl, be patient. You will be mated—"

He whirled on him. "When Gagan? When the maids have decided that they wouldn't mind being mated to a freak? When their curiosity about fucking me overrides their common sense?"

What could he offer a mate? Unnatural sex and perhaps, deformed children who had legs, too. If nothing else, choosing to mate him guaranteed a lifetime of ridicule for any maid, for sure.

Gagan shooed at a school of fish daring to linger and eavesdrop. "Danyl, you are a good man. If none of the maids have realized that yet, it's their loss. When the time is right, you will be mated. And I have no doubt, you will love her with a passion that is unrivaled. With an intensity that will be the envy of merfolk for generations to come."

Good old Gagan. Ever the poet, who wore his heart on the outside for the world to see.

Danyl looked away, for if he looked into his friend's eyes a moment longer, he would fall under their hypnotic spell. His friend believed so truly that a mate existed for him, while Danyl's hope in that belief faded with each passing day. His friend believed so deeply in love and forever that he'd convinced Danyl to attend a pairing ritual yet again, as he had time and time before.

Danyl kicked and rode the undercurrent away from Gagan. "I don't have the stomach for this," he muttered.

"Gods damn it, will you wait?"

He wouldn't wait. Everything about his life had reached a crux. The ridicule, the alienation and now the abandonment and the loneliness left him shattered in ways that made him an unsuitable companion, anyway. Why this desperate hope for shelter and acceptance he could never dream of attaining?

Danyl pulled his shoulders forward as he swam. He knew why.

Because without the sliver of hope still shining through, he no longer had anything worth living for.

Gagan managed to catch him up, his lean length an enviable sight as he swam. Few of the mer-people could match his strength or speed. How they'd become fast friends was anybody's guess. He didn't so much as breathe heavily when he called out to him again.

"Danyl!"

He made a show of swimming beneath Danyl, rising up to his other side without breaking his cruising speed. Fucking show off.

When he did it again, Danyl surged forward, determined to not be outdone. Damned mermen were always playing games. Why couldn't the idiot see he wasn't in the mood for friendly competition? He didn't want to have fun. He wanted to find some dark hole where blind fish nestled and hide from the world.

Putting on another burst of energy, he sliced through the water, almost daring Gagan to match him around the jagged edges of coral and through the stinging wisps of grass growing in crags. Despite his very best effort to not enjoy it, stretching out and gliding through the water at breakneck speeds sent a thrill through him. He thought little of safety or boundaries. He gave no care to mermaids or matings. He almost managed to discard thoughts of family and home, too.

The two mermen whipped past startled schools of fish, scattering them in various directions before they reassembled. Jutting rocks from cliff ledges gave Danyl opportunity to dodge and put distance between them. They swam through hot spots only to be greeted by frigid cold spots moments later. Through it all, the vast ocean fanned out around them in a kaleidoscope of greens, blues and blacks.

By the time Danyl slowed, his earlier disappointment had worked out of his system. Chest heaving, he waited for Gagan to catch him up. To his complete surprise, he'd manage to out-swim his friend by a few lengths and they'd swum at least three nautical miles if not further. More energy must have been penned up inside him than he thought.

"That was awesome," Gagan called as he neared. "I didn't know you could do that!"

That made two of them. "It wasn't a race. I was trying to get rid of your sorry tail."

Gagan chuckled before his face straightened, becoming serious. "I wanted to talk with you alone, Danyl, and out here," he glanced at their sparse surroundings, “is probably a better place than any. It's about your mother. And your father."

Danyl almost looked away, but forced himself not to move. "What is it?"

"I'm sorry to tell you this, but we've looked into your suspicions."

"And?"

"You were right." Gagan reached for his shoulder and clamped a supportive hand around it. "The evidence is stacked against him. Based on what we've found, we agree that he most likely murdered your mother."

He wasn't surprised. He couldn't be. And now, he wouldn't let the news affect him.

No—that wasn't true.

He would let it affect him, for now he had something to live for.

He needed to stay alive long enough to kill his father.

Deeper Than The Ocean: Book 1 of The Phoenix Prophecy is available from Liquid Silver Books and other ebook retailers. Pick up your copy to see whether Danyl gets his vengeance and to watch him fall in love along the way.

~Dee

Dee Carney is an award winning, bestselling author of paranormal and contemporary erotic romances. Not every hero is typical and not every heroine is perfect, but they all get their happily ever after. Read more about her books at www.deecarney.com.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Last Creature of Monster Mash May

Let's talk mermaids and mermen!



Nope not this kind!!



Not this kind either!



That's more like it. Something beautiful with BITE.

My childhood fantasy was to be mermaid when I grew up. If I could change into any creature it still would be my first choice. In the real world, I dive and I snorkel. I share my passion with my sons and husband. The best time in my life is when I lived in Hawaii by the beach and snorkeled every chance I could get.

Mermaid is top of my list. So why haven't I written about one yet?

I write stories with twist. I can't write the normal tropes, they're too boring. It took me awhile to contrive something with a mermaid that wasn't already done a thousand time. I like strong heroines. Independent. Smart. Carnivorous.

Humans have myths of vampires and werewolves. Monsters that develope from humans. What if merpeople had their own myths. What kind of monster would they fear? Something shark like? Something born of their people like our own monsters?

The answers to these questions lead me find Marie Laframboise. Siren. Eater of sexual energy. Man killer. A mermaid vampire of sorts.



Werewolves believe in soul mates. Sirens eat theirs.

Coming in July



Sneek Peek Excerpt:

Starvation would force a person to do crazy things though, like crash werewolf parties. But the hunger that drove her from home also drove her here.

When merpeople reached adolescence most grew into beautiful, nimble adults with long, flowing fins, smooth hands, and normal sexual appetites.

Less than one percent grew into something different, something feared.

Sirens had haunted the oceans for centuries, preying upon both land and sea creatures, using their pheromones to attract victims, and feeding upon the energy created by their sexual desires. Exterminated almost to extinction, very few still existed, yet every generation some were born among the proud merpeople only to be murdered once discovered. Marie’s parents couldn’t kill their only child when her nails grew into graceful claws, her teeth to delicate fangs, and her little fin to a predator’s sleek, strong tail. Beautiful and deadly.  Her parents hid her on the land with no one to teach her how to feed the hunger that grew inside of her.

Lost among the humans, she learned the hard way what kind of damage a siren could cause. For the longest time her hunger controlled her actions, and she left a trail of dead lovers. With age came wisdom and she found another way to survive. One that concealed her monstrous nature. Too bad the fire had consumed her strip club, her only source of food.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

I love Werewolves!!

YAH! I’ve been waiting for this week all month! Werewolves are by far my favorite supernatuals to write…well, right now that is! I am so smitten with them. How can I not be with their intense love bonds, protective nature, hunky looks—yup, I’m a goner!

One character especially has stolen my heart, Briggs, from The Blue Bloods series. It’s not just him as a strong werewolf but it’s the gentle side of him that seriously makes me swoon. He kinda came out of nowhere for me. I hadn’t planned on writing his story, but when I finished The Devil’s Kiss, I was captivated by him and Rynn. Most of the hero’s I write tend to not be emotional…he is. And I love that about him. Love the way he sees the world and the way he sees Rynn. I think what makes him so unique is that his whole mind is wrapped around her life. And being that they are in danger, often, it’s quite a display to see a man that is utterly enthralled with the woman he loves.

To celebrate Briggs, I’m giving away readers choice of either, An Everlasting Bite or Silent Howl. Leave a comment with your email address and I’ll draw a winner on Monday!



“Fans of Patricia Briggs, Kim Harrison, and Kelley Armstrong are going to find a new favorite in Stacey Kennedy and her fresh take on the supernatural. I read this story in one sitting and loved it so much that I bought everything I could find by this author and read them immediately. I can only hope that the next book comes out quickly.”

~ THE ROMANCE STUDIO








“Rynn and Briggs are great characters that I loved in the first book and began to really envy in this book. The security and strength that they share through the mate bond, even though they do not know everything about each other, is amazing to watch. The personal moments are touching to read and the surrounding characters are interesting and realistic. This is a hard book to put down, all in all, and a fantastic follow-up to Everlasting Bite, Blue Blood series book 1.”

~COFFEE TIME ROMANCE








Saturday, May 21, 2011

Last Flight of the Ark

Business first, then we'll chat about werewolves.Annie is the winner of, Slipping the Past. It's headed to you via email.

I'm going to do it again this week with Last Flight of the Ark. Leave a comment under this post no later than Friday at midnight, and I'll draw a name from the virtual hat on Saturday and announce the winner in my post.

Now, let's talk about werewolves.


What walks on four legs in the morning, two at noon and three in the evening?

This is the riddle of the Sphinx and it suggests that the link with man and beast has been around a very long time indeed. But how far back can we track the legend of the werewolf and where does it get it's roots? It's suggested, that Ergot, a mold found in rye fed into the hysteria several times in the past, but hysteria is fed from beliefs. Ergot, the original LSD is suspected of wrecking havoc in civilization as far back a Ancient Greece. So were did the roots of those beliefs start?
  • Research suggests, about 140,000 years ago man and wolves began to establish a common bond and evolved together--literally.
  • Discoveries of alters in some of the earliest human settlements suggest that humans had bear, wolf and various other animal cults. In fact animals had become common elements of their myths and legends.
  • 25,000 BC, Franco Cantabrian cave artists depicted humans with animal heads and features.
  • There's argument about the age of the Sphinx, but for the sake of this post, we're going to say it came into being around 3000 BC. If you search cultures throughout the world, you will find the Sphinx was a common feature in myth and legend and not entirely an Egyptian icon. From Greece, Rome, India, Burma, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Sumeria, it played a role in religious beliefs of the time.
  • 2000 BC The Epic of Gilgamesh was written down and Enkidu born. Werewolves came to life in literature.
  • Jump forward to 1589 and the execution of werewolf Peter Stubbe. A very sadistic man with a lot of issues that fed into the legend and the paranoia of the time. He also gave birth to the modern version of the monster often seen in Hollywood films.
So, where am I going with all this? Well, the legend of the werewolf is evoloutionary, and much like my novel, Last Flight of the Ark, the werewolf stories have sprung from historical events and events of the past.

Blurbage time: 

Evolution never happened so fast.

Twelve hours outside of Terra II, Colonel Kaleb Titan, a molecular geneticist and commander of the Ark, faces a life or death choice that could change the fate of mankind.

The Genesis I, aka the Ark, travels with a hold full of wildlife and three crew members. When a wolf bite and genetically-altering gamma radiation transform Kaleb, he notices his senses have been heightened, his libido has gone haywire and he can’t keep his hands off his crew. Worse yet, they don't seem inclined to stop him.

When their sister ship, the Genesis II arrives early, Kaleb’s problems compound. As soon as the command crew of the Genesis II boards, one whiff tells Kaleb they’re not from Earth or who they appear to be.

When he discovers that they’ve kept the Genesis II’s crew of over two thousand alive, he begins to believe their reasons may be far more ominous than anyone could have imagined. However, he also discovers what’s holding them back. The hijackers seem to be allergic to canines.
Now they're forced to employ biological warfare against their own, but will it be enough to save humanity?

History is about to repeat and only one species will survive.

Leave a comment for your chance to win an e-copy of Last Flight of the Ark.
Last Flight of the Ark


Have a great Saturday,

D L

Friday, May 20, 2011

It's Friday

Feeling Frisky... uhh, Shifty!

Considering most of my characters are shifting cats, dogs, and wolves - my feeling frisky should come as no surprise. *grin* I love reading and writing about shifters, I enjoy the fact they can be any wild or domesticated animal, sweet little bunnies even - everything imaginable - and they all shift into: HUMANS!

My affair with shifters started a long... long... time ago with a movie - The Wolfman. The new one was okay, but I still prefer the 1941 version with Lon Chaney, Jr. I still get goosebumps when I hear the wolf howl. Then there's Ladyhawke, one of my all time favorite movies, where you get to see a hawk that becomes a woman, a wolf that becomes a man.

And, ahhh, all the books, so many books about shifters. I'd say the wolves still lead the pack, but they've been joined by cats, dogs, bears and horses. All of these creatures are loved by someone - no matter what form they take. In my upcoming release on May 27th at Changeling Press, you get a cat who falls hard for a wolf. So you get two of the most written about shifters. Here's the blurb:

The right wolf will make this cat howl at the moon.

Zader Montana is Sovereign Kind, a mountain lion infected with vampyre blood. He refuses to embrace his undead half, the part of him that prowls the night looking for the she-wolf he desires. His problem—she’s mated to the alpha of the wolf pack sharing his mountaintop.

Skye wants a taste of the cat who trails her every night. Convincing her mate to let her have a bite won’t be a big deal. The wolves are infected with the blood curse too, and they’re not finicky. Skye’s willing to be shared by both leaders, as long as she gets what she wants.

What's our fascination with them, why do we devour their stories? I believe it's their animal magnetism that draws us to the characters as viewers or readers. The idea that they can roam the world in two forms, care for us in either - it makes them a very romantic, and erotic, partner. The books allow us to slip into a world of raw, unbridled power, a world we'll never know except for the exciting stories weaved by wonderful writers.

 As a reader, what animal is your favorite shifter. What's your favorite shifter book or author?

Growl and roar-it's okay to let the beast out.-© J. Hali Steele

Thursday, May 19, 2011

I'm Begging You for Mercy

Mercy Thompson that is.


For those unfamiliar with Mercy, allow me to introduce you. She's is a garage mechanic who also just happens to be a coyote shifter. But don't worry urban fantasy fans, this series has it's fair share of other paranormal and fantasy creatures: vampires, fae, ghosts and, yes, werewolves. Oh my!

There's so much that's unique about this series that I love. It's not often that you find a lead female character that's a mechanic & owns her own garage. And in shelves crammed with what most of think as a shifter, werewolves, we get a coyote shifter.

Each book in the series just gets more lush and rich with Patrica Briggs' storytelling. And I'm not ashamed to admit that I'm throughly enamored with the complicated weaving of multiple subplots. Jealous even.

So if you're looking for some a little different, this is the series for you. I posted the cover of River Marked just 'cause I love the artwork, but if you decide to pick up the series, start with Moon Called.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Born or Made?

I can't think on vampires or werewolves without pondering the question of origin.

In the old days, it was a given that if you were bitten by a werewolf, you'd turn into one. Sometimes even a scratch was enough to do the trick. It was a good system. Kept the villagers scared and stabbing everything they could find with pitch forks.

In the past several years, born werewolves have made an appearance. They can bite and scratch you all they want, but you won't change. You're either born that way or you're not. It's also a good system, even if the villagers never got the memo. They pretty much still stab everything with pitch forks out of fear of the unknown.

What makes me prefer born to made is simple--it's damned hard work.

Let's focus on the aspect of werewolf romance.

All the romantic choices you make as a made wolf carry far less weight than if a born falls in love with a mortal.

If you're made, and you fall for a human, there may or may not be pack protocols to follow or other repercussions for your actions, but at the end of the day you can bite your lover and both go home happy. Unless you changed her without her permission, in which case, yeah, not so much.

If you're born, and you fall in love with a mortal, you have problems. Even though the immortality of werewolves is up for debate from series to series, it's generally a given the wolves will be long-lived. They will outlive their partner. There's no way around it. So falling in love is a painful prospect. The best they can hope for is supernatural aid in the form of another supernatural creature able to do the change (and in to what?) the wolf can't do alone. Or, they can bind their life to that of their mate (again, from series to series) and when the mortal dies the wolf does too. That gives us a poignant ending you'll almost never see inside of a romance novel. It's a painful, but poet resolution. I think it's my favorite.

So, how about y'all? Do you like your wolves born or made?

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Shifters--I love them.

What is it about Shifters that we find so appealing? For me, my fascination with shifters began in a small zoo very close to my house where I had brought my son.
Looking at the Wolf cages, I started to wonder what it would be like to be a Wolf-Shifter trapped in there with only regular wolves for company. Thus, Tristan Kane was born along with all of his brothers. The Westervelt Wolves have been with me ever since.
There is something about these guys--these men who hold the beasts inside of them. They can be mean and scary. They don't have any problem letting go of the rules society gives them about who they should and should not be. Murder? Well, if its necessary. After all, they're part animal. And animals kill to defend what belongs to them.
But there is another aspect to their brutality. Its tempered by their human side. Or, in the case of some of my Westervelt Wolves, its actually the animal holding back the meanness of the man.
And they need love but not just any woman will do. They need their love--their one true love. They're mate. Who wouldn't want to be so desired by such a power, potentially dangerous man who is a risk to everyone but YOU because for you he would live and die. For you, he has waited forever.
I think Shifters are sexy as hell and I'm going to keep writing them as long as people want to read them.

Have you read the Westervelt Wolves? Which one is your favorite?

Monday, May 16, 2011

Wolf Pack Hierarchy - Shifter Week

The Beta book 3 of The Vanguards releases today! To celebrate I'm giving away a copy. Just leave a comment with your e-mail address and I'll pick a winner on Tuesday.
I’ve had shifters on the brain for a few years. Wolf packs have always interested me since they live in such social groups. When I started on my shifter journey it only made sense that what I knew of pack behavior crept into my shifter society.

Within each wolf pack is an elaborate hierarchy. It may consist of a single breeding pair, the alpha male and female, a lower group consisting of non-breeding adults, each with its own ranking, a group of outcasts, and a group of immature wolves on their way up.  All of this works for my shifters except the single breeding pair. This is where I allowed their humanity to dominate and allow all pairs to breed.

The alpha wolves are usually the ones to make decisions for the pack when the group should go out to hunt or move from one place to another. Shifters need their alphas to guide them as a pack and advise them as individuals.

The other pack members all have positions in the hierarchy inferior to those of the alpha male and female. Some of them are able to "boss around," or dominate, their pack mates because they have established themselves as superior in some way. This superiority might be physical-larger size or greater strength - but it can be based on personality. Dominant wolves in the pack usually have more aggressive and forceful personalities than their pack mates of the same age.



This last part is what makes shifters lives like wolves so interesting and fun. What if the alpha sees potential in one of his omegas, the making of a beta shifter, the second in command of the pack? Not because he’s stronger or faster but because he’s smart. In our modern age of technology muscles and speed are not the only assets a pack needs.  


Blurb:

Three days of hell, in charge, and running out of antacids.

As the pack’s Beta, Robert needs to watch over the Vasi werewolf pack for a few days. He hates the responsibility, but his job is to dissolve any problems while his alpha honeymoons. Nevertheless, trouble comes to town and her name is Esther. She's beguiling, beautiful and picks his pocket. Although Robert doesn’t trust her, he still wants to possess her.

Esther arrived in Chicago with the intention of slaying a vampire named Daedalus. While trailing her quarry, she encounters Robert who unhinges her world. He doesn’t know her trade, and she doesn’t know his connection to the vampire. Disturbed by her attraction to this unusual werewolf, she can’t decide which prey to hunt. The one who’s stolen her heart or the one who’ll fill her bank account.

Hot graphic werewolf sex, growing body parts, and one pissed off Nosferatu.

Excerpt:

He couldn’t believe his ears when she asked him for the time. Tall, she had long legs with a nice curve to her hips and breasts, intelligent blue eyes and a personality playful enough to draw him out his shell. She’d taken control of the conversation, no hesitation in asking him to accompany her home or in kissing him. He loved smart, confident women but one had never liked him back.

Grinning like a fool, he jogged to his car, burning off the extra energy her kiss produced.
He’d wanted to do so much more with her, like push her against the wall so she could wrap her legs around his hips and allow him to grind against her core. Maybe tomorrow night, he’d get what he fantasized.

Approaching the car, he pulled out the keys. The gas gage was on empty on his way here. He needed to fill the tank, but he couldn’t recall how much cash he’d brought with him. After working for banks and credit card companies for the last few years, he never liked using either, not trusting the system. His right back pocket, where he usually placed his wallet, was empty. Checking the left pocket, his heart sank into his gut as it turned out empty as well. He patted the front ones and only found his cell. Maybe he’d dropped it while wrestling with Talon?

Deep down inside, he knew the truth. Esther.

He was such a fool. Beautiful women didn’t ask geeks like him for a kiss. Grinding his teeth, he pictured her laughing at him as she flipped through his wallet, counting what little cash he carried.

The hole in his gut grew wider. Crap, he didn’t have anything to buy gas and no way to get home but his own two feet. The last thing he wanted to do was call Daedalus or anyone from the pack for a lift. He’d never hear the end of it.

Respect was something you earned, and how would he ever obtain any if he fell for obvious scams?

Clenching his fists, Robert turned around and marched back to where he’d left Esther. His beast stretched inside him, frustrated that he wouldn’t release it. Control over one’s inner monster sounded easy, but the struggle became an hourly routine. Shifters dealt with this all the time, day or night, in sickness or in health. The first rule of the Vasi pack was human dominance over animal instinct, because once the beast started calling the shots the shifter began to forget right versus wrong and listened to the laws of the jungle instead.

Robert crouched by the spot where Esther had stood as she’d kissed him. Sometimes animal instincts came in handy. Her scent left a trail. He wanted his wallet back, and his pride.


Annie Nicholas



Sunday, May 15, 2011

Love me some Vampires!!

Oooo...vampire week! What's not to love about those sexy night creatures. I surely get all hot and bothered for them. Not only in my own writing but some of my favorite books have vampires as the lead hero's. Why are they so appealing? Who knows...could be the mysterious nature of them, how seductive they are, even could be the danger element. All I know is, they're smokin' hot!!

To celebrate these luscious creatures, I'm going to give away Bless the Beauty ~ Special Agent Fang Book One. I should warn you this is a molten title from Liquid Silver Books. Expect menage, lots of heat, and a desperate need for a cold shower when your done the book. If that all sounds fantastic to you, leave a comment with your email address and I'll drawn a winner on Monday to receive the ebook.





“Let me see if I can get my heart to stop racing and catch my breath long enough to do this book any justice with my review *takes a steadying breath and holds hand to chest* Readers I have just been taken for an exciting adventure and once again, Stacey Kennedy has delivered an amazing story. Filled with romance, heat and scorching Alpha males, BLESS THE BEAUTY is aptly titled and proves YET again, you can’t go wrong reading this authors work.” The Romance Reviews







EXCERPT

The warm salty rush poured through my mouth as my fangs retracted back into my gums. An explosion of energy coursed through my veins, as it always did after I drank a mortal’s blood.

With my need met, I licked the wound along Chase’s warm neck, lowered my head back onto the pillow, then met the gaze of the luscious man above me.

Chase’s short blond hair and deep blue eyes more than appealed to me. Nothing about him was unattractive―right down to his succulent body defined by sculpted muscles. He was a splendid display of delicious mortal man.

With the release of my fangs from his neck, he braced himself against his hands and thrust harder. His body slammed against mine as I wrapped my legs around his waist.

The blood may excite him, but it fuelled me. The need to feel more of him consumed me. I thrust back while he moved between my legs. My moves matched his speed and added to the pressure building inside of me.

Apparently, his need was just as strong. He leaned back on his knees, placed his hands on my thighs and pulled them back along my body as he filled me completely, reaching down into my very soul.

My back arched as a rush of pleasure rocketed through me. An unrestrained whirl of pleasure stole my breath from the angle he forced upon me. With hard, powerful thrusts, he demanded my climax and I wasn’t unwilling.

I screamed, encouraged him to go harder and demanded him to free me from the intense rush of pleasure as he kept me at the very edge of release. He pounded against me as if he hated me and wanted to cause me pain, but I relished in it―wanted more.

Only a few more hard thrusts and the power of my release rushed through me. A scream of indulgence tore from my throat as I crumbled into pieces, reeled in the enlightened sensation that only existed when a body erupts into a state of bliss.

Sometime later―who knew how much time had actually passed―I was too busy recovering to give a damn, my mind began to clear and I laughed quietly. “That never does get old.”

Chase raised his head from where it was buried in my neck. His eyes soft in satisfaction as sweat poured off his skin. “Not with you it doesn’t.”

“Why?” My tone was playful and light as I intended. “Is it because I’m dangerous and drink your blood?”

He winked, grinned with the same playful edge. “You know I love danger and don’t give a shit that you’re a vampire.”

I did know. We’d been together five years and our relationship was still as strong as the first day we met. After I had the balls to tell him―show him, that is―the creature I was, our love had only deepened. Sure, it was an adjustment for him to realize such things existed. But after some time, he came around to the idea and I think even thrived off the fact that I wasn’t normal.

Reaching up, I took his face in my hands to pull his mouth back to mine. Sadly, I was disappointed when my phone beeped. “And there goes the fun.” I sighed against his mouth, placed my hands on his chest and gave a steady push.

He slid out of my sated body then slumped into a tired heap beside me, only to groan with echoed disapproval when his phone beeped seconds later.

I leaned over toward the night table, grabbed my phone and scrolled down the messages. The bright screen displayed, “Headquarters, 911.”

An urgent call from headquarters meant only one thing―a shitload of trouble. My annoyance at the interruption might have matched Chase’s if I didn’t love the rush of solving a crime. It took an embarrassing amount of years to settle into what I would call my dream career, but this was it. I’d found my place as part of the FBI Criminal Division.

There would come a time to move on, though. In ten years, it’d be obvious I didn’t age and would arouse suspicion. Certainly, a brand of trouble I did not need. I had five more years to enjoy the life I’d built for myself and I wasn’t about to waste a moment of it.

“We have to go.” I jumped out of bed and grabbed my clothes that rested on the floor. Eager and ready to work, yep, that was me!

Chase groaned again, nearly not as eager and reached his arms over his head. “This job is going to be the death of me.”

The death of him. I cringed with deep heartache and I tried not to realize how much of a sore spot that statement was. I stepped into my panties, pulled them up and felt sick at the thought that one day he’d be gone. But he was a mortal. I couldn’t change that fact. Well, I could, but I wouldn’t. Chase was a fine human and one I wanted left that way. Maybe it was selfish of me not to offer him immortality, but I loved him just the way he was. So, if that made me a self-centered bitch, then so be it.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

What is a Vampire?

Let's test your vampire knowledge. Gather your stakes and garlic and let's see how much you really know about these legendary creatures.

When I say vampire, the first thing that probably comes to mind is fangs and blood-drinking. But another definition of vampire is a person who preys ruthlessly upon others. You all know the story of Vlad the Impaler, a Romanian Count whose legend spun the tale of Bram Stoker's Dracula. You might even be familiar with Erzabet Bathory, The Blood Countess, a very real and scary female serial killer who lived in Budapest in 1744 and gave birth to the term "blood bath",  by bathing in the blood of young women she'd murdered, but are you familiar with Adam's first wife, Lilith, the reason women sing lullabies to their infants?

Lilith the first wife of Adam, as legend has it, will steal into a baby's nursery at night and suck away the child's life force. The lullaby was thought to scare her away. Another vampire you may not be familiar with is the Chinese Chiang-Shih, a violent and sadistic vampire born in death, when one of two souls a person possesses, the lesser soul, refuses to leave the body, or how about the sinister Lobishomen of Brazil, whose bite turns women into nymphomaniacs, who in turn become sexual vampires, preying on men.

How about the Mara? A Slavic vampire thought to be created when a girl-child dies before she can be baptized or when a woman is unknowingly baptized by a corrupt priest? This spirit is doomed to walk the Earth until judgement day, preying on those as they sleep, taking human form and crushing them. Its favorite victims are human children, on which it also feeds on their blood, robbing them of their lives in vengeance for the life it was denied.

Have you heard of the Czechoslovakian Nelapsi? It destroys entire villages, glutting itself on the blood of every man, woman and child, as well as livestock and pets, before it moves on, leaving the area a wasteland.

How about the Keres, or Ker of Greece, who hover over battlefields, waiting to feed, or the Korean Kumiho, an evil fox that can shift its shape into a beautiful woman who seduces men and drains them of life and strength.

Have you heard of the Stryx of Ancient Rome who preferred to feed on the blood of innocents. She'd often transform into a crow or owl to seek prey. Stryx lived as normal humans and walked among the general population. A branch of white thorn on a child's window was thought to keep the Stryx away from children they'd been feasting from.

Speaking of Rome...  Did you know that vendors often purchased the right to drain the blood of newly slain gladiators at the games in Ancient Rome? This blood was sold as a draught to the spectators for medicinal purposes and thought to cure epilepsy.

Here are a few more:
Mullo--Serbia
The Children of Judas--Serbia
Asema--Trinidad
Glaistig--Scottland
Erestun--Russia
Bouda--Morocco
Lofa--Native American (Chickasaw)
Atakapa--Native American (Choctaw)
Old Woman Bat--Native American (Apache)
Mai-Coh, Skinwalkers--Native American (Navajo)
Eng Banka--Malaysia (steals souls)

And last but not least, and my personal favorite, the Ilimu from Kenya. In 1996 and movie came out called, The Ghost and The Darkness. It starred Val Kilmer, who was charged with building a bridge across the river Tsavo. Two lions relentless stalked and killed the workers. These weren't just any lions, they were thought to be Ilimu. Both lions possessed unnatural intelligence, hunted using deception and trickery, and beat the traps set for them time and time again. When they were finally brought down after their two month reign of terror, it was determined they'd killed over 130 people--not for food, but the sheer pleasure of the kill. This movie was based on true events that took place in 1898 in Uganda. Ilimu are demons that possess animals. They can take human form and insinuate themselves into a village to seek prey. If it can get an invitation into a home, it will kill all the occupants. It will often pick the guise of a frail or weak human.

So, how did you do? How many of these vampires have you heard of? I've left many out. Can you name a few I didn't?

Leave a comment under this post and I'll draw a name and reveal the winner on my post next week. The winner will get a copy of my eNovel, Slipping the Past, with a different kind of vampire, someone tasked with collecting the souls of those accused of past-life crimes.

Good Luck!
Thanks for stopping by. Have a wonderful Saturday.

D L