Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Poll Time! What do you prefer? #shifters #PNR


Hello everyone! It's great to be back. :)

Right now, I'm in between celebrating my kids' birthdays, getting ready to send them back to school, and preparing for a test at the hospital. Fun! Not.

Anyway, this month is shifter month at All Romance, and there have been so many events going on. My publisher, Decadent Publishing is giving away a Kindle Fire, too. If you get a chance, pop on over and enter to WIN!

One of the surveys Decadent conducted as part of the celebration was about the type of shifters people read about. There was a bit of a surprise for me in the results. And, I'm going to conduct my own here to see if they compare.

So, please tell me, what kinds of shifters do you read about? You can select more than one answer.

Possible answers: canines, felines, dragons, birds, bears, aquatic creatures, reptiles, small mammals, and so many others.

I look forward to your answers.


Bio:
Jessica Subject is the author of contemporary and science fiction romance, ranging from sweet to erotica. In her stories, you could meet clones, or a sexy alien or two. You may even be transported to another planet for a romantic rendezvous.

When Jessica isn't reading, writing, or doing dreaded housework, she likes to get out and walk. Fast. But she just may slow down if there is a waterfall nearby.

Jessica lives in Ontario, Canada with her husband and two energetic children. And she loves to hear from her readers. You can find her at jessicasubject.com and on twitter @jsubject.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

The Trilogy I've Been Waiting For

I know you've been there with me. There's a book/series/trilogy releasing soon. You have it on preorder and have caught yourself attempting to order it over and over again in your excitement. 

The first in Kim Knox's Agamemnon Frost trilogy released last week and I'm over the moon with joy. 

First of all, look at these covers: 

Incredible, right? 

Agamemnon Frost and the House of Death released on the 19th of August. I got it at midnight and have read it half a dozen times since then. :D 

Here is the blurb for book 1, Agamemnon Frost and the House of Death

Book one of Agamemnon Frost

Liverpool, 1891

Decorated artilleryman Edgar Mason was forced to find new work when the British Empire replaced its foot soldiers with monstrous machines. Now he waits on the Liverpool elite as a personal servant. He has just one rule: he won't work for fashion-addled dandies.

Agamemnon Frost, however, is far from the foppish man-about-town he appears to be. He's working to protect the Earth from an alien invasion being planned by a face-changing creature known as Pandarus. And on the night he plans to confront the aliens, he enlists Mason to assist him.

For a man to love a man is a serious crime in Victorian England. But when Mason meets Frost, his heart thunders and his blood catches fire. And when Pandarus drags the two men into the torture cellars beneath his house of death to brainwash them, Mason's new passion may be all that stands between him and insanity.

The trilogy continues with Agamemnon Frost and the Hollow Ships.

26,000 words

At $1.99 per book, it's a fantastic steal. Go check it out. (It's $1.79 at the Carina Press website!) 

It's available at all your favorite e-tail stores. :D 


Book 2, Agamemnon Frost and the Hollow Ships releases September 16th
Book 3, Agamemnon Frost and the Crown of Towers releases October 14th

The entire trilogy is available for order/preorder at Amazon. 

Other books on my virtual shelves at the moment: 
Lynn Viehl's Disenchanted and Co. book 1: Her Ladyship's Curse
Maggie Shayne's Gingerbread Man

What new books have you put on your shelves this month? Any series you're looking forward to? 

Keep Reading! 
Dawn Montgomery





Friday, August 23, 2013

Cover reveal!

I'm thrilled to present the cover art for the fourth book in my paranormal romance shifter series!

 
 
Book four of Blood of the Pride

P.I. Rebecca Desjardin is surprised when two seemingly unrelated missing-teen cases land in her lap on the same day. Her cat-shifter instincts tell her there's more to the story, and when she uncovers a bitter feud between the two families, she suspects Romeo and Juliet runaways. She turns to her lover, Brandon Hanover, a man who knows the underground better than most.

Brandon is determined to help the woman he loves outwit ruthless enforcers and bring two missing kids to safety, but when a woman from his past resurfaces he finds himself caught between two worlds once again.

As the claws come out and the war between the shifter families turns deadly, the two will have to stand together or fall separately—and even that might not be enough to save them.

Book 4 in the "Blood of the Pride" series comes out in October but here's an excerpt to let you know what you're in for with Brandon and Reb!

*****

I’d always thought I’d appreciate the sight of a near-naked man scampering around my house in a pair of boxer shorts.

Until now.

I cleared my throat as Jake Middleston glared at me, his back to the kitchen. He had about ten years on me, with skin that had been left out in the sun too long. The jean jacket he wore over a dingy gray T-shirt was ripped along the arms—honest injuries and not for fashion. His short-cropped black hair was turning gray in spots, scattered over the scalp.

His nostrils flared and he frowned.

He could smell Brandon Hanover, my lover and new roommate, as Bran snuck into the kitchen.

He let out something akin to a huff.

Jake was old-school Felis. Tolerated humans when necessary, and even then under duress. He and his kin believed in the doctrine of each to their own and being in the same house as a human was tough, much less knowing said human was mated to me, a fellow Felis. I could see the words on his lips itching to break out, a good old-fashioned racist rant at me for being so involved with human society that I’d consider one of them as my beloved.

I had a snappy retort ready to go, curses included. My home, my rules.

But he was also a client and I had to stay polite in the face of old-fashioned prejudice. I’d done it before for other clients, slimy adulterers who wanted an easy way out of their marriage and itchy-fingered businessmen looking for criminals in their midst who stole paperclips and pencils.

If you had asked me six months ago if I’d have my fellow cat shifters as clients I would have laughed in your face. Being outcast for two decades has that effect on me.

But recent events had brought me back into the family and scored me one hot human mate, so I was prepared to deal with family as possible clients. And keep my mouth shut.

Besides, I needed the cash.

“You said you needed my help,” I prompted, trying to draw his attention away from Bran. I couldn’t see him but I could smell him, fresh from our bed upstairs.

He hadn’t showered yet, making his natural male smell more intense, almost to the point of overpowering—let’s just say that we enjoy waking each other up multiple times before we actually get up. I’d managed to get into the shower before my arranged meeting with Middleston but he’d refused, showing his stubborn streak and annoyance at me having anything to do in the morning other than stay in bed.

Bran knew we Felis had an enhanced sense of smell. And he knew I knew my new client would have it, as well.

The older man rubbed the palms of his hands on his jeans, likely in an attempt to ignore the musky scent drifting across the room. “I have a daughter, Lisa. She’s almost eighteen and thinks she knows it all.” He gave me a knowing smile. “As you can guess we disagree on a few things.”

I nodded. Out of the corner of my eye I spotted Bran tiptoeing toward the stairs cradling a huge bowl of tortilla chips and a bottle of salsa.

He knew I hated crumbs in bed.

He knew I couldn’t say anything without making a scene.


*****

You can pre-order "Battle Scars" now from Amazon and B&N! I hope you'll come along for this next installment of Brandon and Rebecca's strange and sometimes stressful relationship!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Big Hops with Bigger Prizes

This week is a big one in my world. My newest superhero story is out and I'm celebrating big with a Tasty Blog Tour (with prizes--start here and enter! http://racingtoread.blogspot.com/   Today also marks the start of my Home to Hellas Final Days of Summer hop (with prizes--start here to enter! www.stephaniebeckromance.wordpress.com).

Between superhero schtick and white sandy beaches you'll find something to tickle your reading bone!


 
All the best,
Stephanie Beck
 

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Back from Camping & News

I had a fantastic time camping! We went to Sandbanks Provincial Park. I went there almost every summer as a kid. Growing up on the outskirts of Toronto had it's perks. It was only 2.5 hrs to this piece of paradise. When I got married I moved far away. Almost 5 hrs away. *sob* So my kids and hubby had never been.

Now they have and they love it as much as me.

It was nice to unplug for a few days, but then it became apparent that I needed a smart phone. Something to check in once and a while. There was a rush of emails. EEK!

So now I'm the proud owner of an iPhone 4s.

Part of the flurry of emails was one from my new editor Harlequin Medicals (My most awesome first editor dropped down to a part time freelance gig to stay home with her young ones), they were offering me another three book contract.

Of course the first deadline for this book is October 15th. *gasp*

I'm just finishing up the third bear book for Ellora's Cave so I can start on the next medical.

I'm drowning a bit in deadlines, because even though the next medical is due October 15th, I need it done before October 10th, because I'm driving down to Romanticon in Ohio.

So as I climb into my writing cave ...again, I thought I'd share some pictures of my trip to Prince Edward County, Ontario (Sandbanks Provincial Park).


The dunes about 7 a.m.


The beach before all the day use people come. The sandy, shallow shoal on Lake Ontario is peaceful and calm. How I miss this area.


Lake on the Mount near Picton Ontario. Sacred to the Mohawk people.



Thursday, August 8, 2013

Shining a Light on Dark Shadows

I'm a little late to the party, but I am super excited about this.

The mysterious Barnabas Collins, the governess Victoria, Angelique the witch…curses, werewolves, vampires, possessions, hauntings, and references to more classic gothic romances than you can shake a stick at.

My history with Dark Shadows is long and complex. When it originally aired, my mom would rush home from school to watch it. Then, much later, when I was old enough to watch, my mother started renting the VHS tapes from our local Blockbuster.

I'm not sure if that was my first exposure to paranormal and gothic romance, but it had to have been close, and it almost certainly led to my later affection for gothic literature and, eventually, TV series like Forever Knight, which also had flashback story lines and a very similar soap-opera feel. Later, I got sucked into Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel, which sparked a whole host of other viewing habits!

And now, after all that, there are Dark Shadows tie-in novels. Written by the actress who played Angelique on the TV series. I. Am. Sold!

--Dianne


Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Revisiting Buffy


For the past several days, I’ve been re-watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer from the beginning. I’d forgotten how it was as much a wonderful ensemble cast and a story about how a hero needs friends, as it was about how alone Buffy was, even with those great friends around her. Her mother, her watcher, and her friends loved her, but they very rarely understood her, expecting her to deal with incredible burdens and still be the perfectly behaved daughter, the unwavering slayer, the understanding confidante. And to get her homework done.

I also had this idea in my mind of Buffy as the inspiration for so many of our kickass heroines in urban fantasy today, but in fact, she was quite different from many who came after. Buffy may have broken through a barrier for female characters by being the hero in the tale, but she was as flawed as any human being, and she got the crap beaten out of her all the time. She basically spent most of the time just holding her own against the never-ending tide of evil spewing out of the Hellmouth. Which is kind of what life feels like most of the time, isn't it?

I think what I’m liking most about her right now is how vulnerable and imperfect and misunderstood she is. I’m not sure Buffy’s legacy is urban fantasy heroines after all. Mostly, she’s a strong, believable female lead, which is something we still don’t see much of in Hollywood 16 years later. When we do see women in the role of “hero,” it’s often as a woman who acts like a man—or should I say, acts like a man is expected to act: tough, violent, and emotionless. I’d like to see more heroes, both male and female, with traditionally “feminine” traits, and less of either sex being hypermasculinized.

Wouldn't it be great to see a female 007, mixed with the Doctor, mixed with Sherlock Holmes, who uses her brain, her wit, and her compassion to defeat the forces of evil? Hmm. Maybe I’ll write one. But if I do, she’ll have to be marvelously flawed.

What kind of women would you like to see more of in urban fantasy? How about men?

Monday, August 5, 2013

Various Stages of Menopause

...and on a ROAD TRIP!!


http://thegraphicsfairy.com/
Sisters, aged 55, 57 & 59, set off for their weekend in Virginia Beach. The driver, 55, was already anxious waiting for 57 to find her way out of the Philadelphia 30th street train station where she was being picked up after a visit with her pregnant daughter in Connecticut. 59 wasn’t sure she wanted to go on this trip but she soon got into the spirit of things. The front wheels of the  two door Chevy coupe had barely touched Interstate 95 when 57 had to pee. This was after a good twenty minutes of complaining about the crisp morning air coming in 59’s window blowing in her face and making her chilly. Taking the next exit, the group stopped at a MacDonald’s where, after helping 57 from the cramped space in the back and hitting the bathroom, they waited for two youthful employees to stop playing before they could put their orders in. Guess what 57 bought? Yup, she got a cup of coffee to help her stay alert! 59 didn’t think that was wise.
 
On the road again, 59 doesn’t like the air conditioner that 55 has to have on because she doesn’t want to be stuffy and they can’t open the window because 57 doesn’t like the air in her face! None of this really matters because 57’s legs are cramped in the back seat and she needs to stop to get her jacket from the trunk so she can be warm. Traffic is slow from all the roadwork around the Baltimore/Washington area and soon darn near comes to a crawl. But it’s okay—57 has to pee again!
 
Soon back on the road and this time with 59 in the back so 57 is not complaining about the open window, her legs being cramped, and 55 won't need to turn on the air conditioner which was freezing 59. A whole hour passed before 57 had to pee again! Good timing too because 55’s legs were getting achy and she could stretch them while 57 used the bathroom. By this time 59's body had grown stiff and she needed to be pulled from the back seat!
 
Lots of good conversation, hours of laughing (and peeing), miles of fun later, the sisters arrived at their destination, entered their room where one undressed to be cooler, one put on her flannel pajama's to stay warm, and one...well, who knows--they promptly went to sleep!!
 
The End.
 
The names of the individuals in this tale have not been used so as not to insinuate anyone is menopausal!
 
Growl and roar-it’s okay to let the beast out.-J. Hali Steele

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Netflix, Friend or Foe?


When I’m on the prowl for inspiration, I’m usually flipping through radio stations to find it. Once in a while, I crave visual inspiration. I have a couple of go-to movies for that and—thanks to a recently acquired Netflix addiction—I have a few new television shows to add to that lineup.

1.     Lord of the Rings – This is an old favorite. The story is familiar, the scenery is beautiful, the elves are gorgeous...and…wait… What was I saying? Oh yeah. Something about finding Legolas very visually inspiring.
2.     Supernatural – This is a very recent addiction for me. I’ve long admired Dean from afar, but I started watching the show a couple of weeks ago. So far I’ve really enjoyed it. Even if I am a chicken and have to close my eyes and peek through my fingers sometimes. That episode “Everyone Loves A Clown”? Um, no. They don’t.
3.     Lost Girl – This show is fun to watch, but not very deep. (Maybe that’s why it’s so fun to watch?) The big attraction here (for me) is the Fae lore. I’m an addict, and I love to watch episodes featuring my favorite creatures or being introduced to new ones.
4.     Vampire Diaries – Though I resisted its charms for years, I finally watched this show and I did enjoy it. It was a lot deeper than I gave it credit for, and I’ve enjoyed watching the characters grow. Well, the secondaries at least. Anyone else here on team Klausoline?
5.     The Nightmare Before Christmas – While this is a cartoon, I love the dark tone and the edge Halloween creatures lend to the Christmas holiday. Jack is such a great character, and I love Zero. I even have a plush Oogie Boogie.


I never realized how enabling Netflix is for people like me who don’t enjoy TV, but will gorge on streaming shows while online. What other shows have I missed? What are you watching and loving right now?

Friday, August 2, 2013

First Love by Chandra Ryan



First Love

Do you remember the first book you fell in love with? The first one to capture your heart and convince you the characters were real? Mine was Season of Ponies by Zilpha Keatley Snyder. I first read it in the fourth grade. At the time I hated reading. Reading was a hard, laborious process for me. And, since I’d never fallen in love with a book, they payout wasn’t high enough for all the work I had to put into it. But from the moment I opened Season of Ponies until the moment I put it down, I was captivated. I checked that book out of my school’s library so often that the librarian started making suggestions of other books to read. I didn’t want to read any other books, though. I was in love with Season of Ponies.

She did eventually get me to try a couple other books. And, eventually, I fell in love with several of those as well. But when I think back to books I’ve loved over the years, that one is always the first title to jump into my head. What was it that made me fall helplessly in love with this book? It had horses. I’ll admit it. I’m a girl and I loved horses when I was growing up. Any book with horses would’ve grabbed my attention. But it was more than that. The horses in this book were magical. They were full-sized, real life horses that were in the same color as those blown glass horses I loved! I so wanted one. And the girl got to escape her mundane life for a brief period. She got to have a grand adventure in the woods surrounding her aunts’ home.

The most important thing to me, however, was that while I was watching her story unfold, I was escaping from my mundane life for a brief period of time. Don’t get me wrong, my childhood wasn’t horrible. But it was childhood. Few people survive it without some discomfort. I wasn’t the best student. I wasn’t popular. And my family didn’t have much money. But none of that mattered when I was reading Season of Ponies.

By the time I’d grown up and decided I wanted to write, I’d fallen in love with so many books that I couldn’t possibly list them all. And I loved them for different reasons. Some I loved because they challenged my beliefs. Some I loved because they made me see things in a different light. Some I loved because they made me laugh. And some I loved because they made me cry. But it remained true that the ones I loved the best were the ones that wrapped me up in their words and carried me away to some magical place for a grand adventure. When I sat down to write my first book, it only made sense that I try to offer an adventure to my readers. So I decided to write fantasy. Some have been high fantasy, others have been urban fantasy, and recently I’ve delved into sci-fi. As different as these genres may look at first glance, they really aren’t. The reason I write fantasy and sci-fi is because there’s always an adventure waiting for the reader between the covers.

So what grand adventure do I have in store for you today? My first story, Ink in the Blood, was just re-released by Ellora’s cave today.

Blurb:

Prequel to Bond Betrayed

Izzy has lived between two worlds her entire life—one filled with magic and darkness, the other populated by mundane humans. She was born into the magical world of the Community. But sexy, forbidden DEA agent Jacob belongs to the other. He has no idea her world even exists.

But that doesn’t mean he hasn’t noticed her. They’ve worked together for the past six months, attempting to bring down her drug-dealing half brother while driving each other crazy with pent-up desire. But now that it’s time to say goodbye, they both find it impossible to let go.

After one passionate night together Izzy realizes her mistake. She can’t bring him into her world. She has to end things before she gets too attached. When he refuses to leave, she must find a way to guide him through the darkness.

Inside Scoop: In this scorching urban fantasy, ink is thicker than blood.

A Romantica® paranormal erotic romance from Ellora’s Cave

Publisher’s Note: This book was previously published elsewhere and has been revised for Ellora’s Cave.

If you’d like to know more, an excerpt can be found on the Ellora’s Cave site: http://www.ellorascave.com/ink-in-the-blood.html

Or on my website:

I can be found here-
Twitter: @ChandraRyan
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/chandra.ryan

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Scent of Salvation

Available Now! 
 


Love blooms across species, culture, and time.

Chronicles of Eorthe, Book 1

Stranded in another dimension, on a primitive version of Earth, Dr. Susan Barlow needs to find a way to survive. There’s no electricity, no cities, and to her shock, no humans. Instead, she faces a population of werewolves, vampires and incubi. The people are vicious but she must find her place among them. And live.

An illness is killing Sorin’s pack. As alpha it’s his responsibility to save them, but it’s a battle this warrior doesn’t know how to fight. Then a blue light in the sky brings a creature he’s never seen. She calls herself human, but to him she smells like hope.

Sorin offers Susan a safe haven in return for a cure, but she’s not that kind of a doctor. She’s a doctor of physics, not a physician. Yet as they search for a cure to save a dying people, they find something special—each other.

But even with Sorin’s protection, Susan can’t help but wonder how long she can survive in a world without humans…

Warning: Feral shifters, power-hungry vampires, and a sole human female suffering culture shock.
 
 
I love telling the story of what inspired this story because it shows how twisted my mind is. LOL
Both my sons were very ill with strep throat. Fever for days. When one was awake, the other was asleep, and vice versa. In other words, I had slept more than a few hours in days. I felt like the Tylenol, Ibuprofen, and antibiotic dispensing machine.
About two in the morning, I had both boys in one bed so I could watch them together. My oldest’s fever was raging and I was waiting anxiously for the meds to kick in or I’d have to place him in a cool bath. Again.  I was sitting on the floor and rested my head on the mattress and fell asleep.
In a matter of minutes, I dreamt of this whole world. I spent the next nine months writing book one and about a year editing it. If you’ve read where this story comes from and read the book, you’ll see much of the inspiration within it.  By the way, my boys are fine. Thank goodness for antibiotics.  :D
Susan is faced with Sorin’s sick pack. He offers her sanctuary within his small, poor den if she saves his people, but this Earth hasn’t developed technologically as ours has. There’s no Walgreens where Susan can get an antibiotic or supplies to create a vaccine. She has rock and fire and her knowledge to save this suffering pack.
I know how Susan felt as I watched my children suffer, waiting for the meds to take effect. I’m so thankful that I had those medicines in the first place. I doubt either of my boys would have survived without them.

Annie Nicholas