Monday, December 30, 2013

Paranormal Brainz

I know, you all think I'm writing about zombies, but nope. I am writing about paranormal writer's brains!

Writing speculative romance is the most fun! It is daydreaming, with plot points. How many of us were awful daydreamers as children? Staring into space, thinking of castles instead of doing our long division? Or, in later youth, on a date with a Lost Boy you reformed with your love instead of doing an essay? How many of us 'trained' from childhood to be paranormal writers?How many books, TV shows and movies have we loaded into our brain? Who can stll quote zingers from Buffy or Young Frankenstein?

I know my paranormal love goes back to childhood. Ghost stories were pretty popular when I was young!

Now that we are writers such dreams can turn into the fabric of a story we craft.

Ideas can come from just anywhere. Recently there was a news story about a Russion ship stuck in ice. International ice breakers were off to the rescue, and the first ship to reach them was the Chinese icebreaker, Snow Dragon.


(c) Can Stock Photo 

Ohhh. Snow dragon! Alabastor scales glittering in the icy winter light... I feel a character coming on. And they will have baggage, because how hard must it be to be a snow dragon shifter? Or maybe the heroine is a snow dragon--in the middle of LA! Or a single mom finds her adopted child is a snow dragon shifter...the brainstorming begins. Or her child brings home an unusual pet...

Don't you love your job?

I don't actually have time to write that story right now, but I can put the idea in a folder. And I can do a quick web search for a picture. Then one day, I just might write this!

Or maybe one of you will!

Melisse Aires

By Moonlight, a Collection of Paranormal shorts and novellas!
Amazon

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Sharing Some Holiday Cheer With Jingle Claws

I thought for my day on Paranormal Romantics, I'd share my latest release with you. Jingle Claws is about a Tiger shifter who needed to find his mate. He's a nice guy, just a little confused because he's now in his human form. Here's a snippet to see what happens! Happy Holidays and Happy Reading!

Jingle Claws by Megan Slayer 

Paranormal, Contemporary, Holiday
Novella
Shara Azod Publishing

Christmas is the time to come together. But for a tiger shifter stuck in his tiger form, it can be a lonely time. Kash isn’t just alone, he’s stuck in the zoo. He needs to find his mate and fast—or his human form will be lost to the tiger forever. There’s one woman who can help him out...if he doesn’t scare the hell out of her first.
Charise doesn’t believe in shifters. There isn’t such a thing. When the man appears in the sick bay where the tiger once lounged, she’s not sure what to think. He claims she’s his salvation. Will she be able to accept the Christmas spirit and his wild story in order to get her happily ever after? Only time and a little visit from Jingle Claws will tell.

Available now:

And now an excerpt!


1

“What a way to spend the holidays.” Charise Sutton scanned the medical sheets on the tigers under her care. Volunteering to care for the animals over the holiday break had seemed like a good idea—back when the other workers were still at the zoo. Instead, there she was, alone on the night before Christmas. Well, alone save for the bare-bones staff. For once, she wished she still had family around. Someone to care about her during the Christmas season and a place to go to celebrate. Nope. After breast cancer had claimed her mother and throat cancer took her father, she’d vowed to help others. Charise shut the lid on her laptop and glanced over at the monitor for the tiger enclosure. She’d administered the meds they needed. The three Bengal tigers napped happily in their faux jungle enclosure. The white tiger grabbed her attention. She loved the look of the massive animal. Then again, she’d always had a love of cats. Big, small...didn’t matter. Such intelligent creatures and so full of attitude. The tiger hadn’t moved much since that afternoon. “He should be up and at ‘em by now,” she murmured. He’d been withdrawn since the transfer from the Paducah Zoo, but the meds should’ve worked. She left her seat and strode over to the quarantine enclosure. The tiger flopped on his side and stared up at her. His chest moved, proving he was still alive.
She squatted at the outside edge of the enclosure. “I just want you to get better,” she said to him. She closed her eyes and placed her hand on the chain link. “God, help him. If I can’t bring him around by my hand, then I offer him over to you.”
Charise opened her eyes. He didn’t seem to be responding—not even to her prayer. She sighed and stood. Sleep beckoned. She’d been up all day worrying about him. If she didn’t get some rest, she’d be no good tomorrow. “Good night, handsome boy. Merry Christmas.”
She made her way back to the main lab room and plopped in front of the monitors. The office chair wasn’t an ideal place to crash, but any port in a storm. Charise removed the clip from her hair and kicked out of her shoes. Just a little nap. Long enough to recharge, then she’d check on the tiger again. She leaned back and draped her arms along the thinly padded armrests. Charise closed her eyes. Just a tiny nap.
A roar jarred her from sleep. Charise sat up and blinked. Where the hell was she? She rubbed her eyes, then glanced around the room. Oh, yeah...the lab. She turned her attention to the monitor. A man sat in the sanitary white enclosure.
“No freaking way,” she blurted.
She scrubbed a hand across her face once more. Her eyes had to be playing tricks on her from lack of sleep. She checked the wall clock. Two a.m. Well, shit. Her nap had lasted more than four hours. She looked back at the screens to the isolation areas.
The man still sat against the wall, his long legs stretched out before him. She looked closer at the black-and-white image. No...couldn’t be...well…he was naked.
“Oh, my God.” Charise jumped up from her chair and bolted from the observation room into the main isolation room. “How did you get in there?” she demanded. “Get out of there. You could be killed.”
At once she regretted what she’d said. Get out of there? What if the man was a maniac? She slipped her cell phone from her pocket and dialed 911.


 @Copyright Megan Slayer 2013



Friday, December 27, 2013

From the Archives: Sobek The Crocodile God Answers Questions

VS sez: Pulled this from the archives to inspire myself, since I'm working on the sequel to this novel right now, in December 2013. The new book is MAGIC OF THE NILE, scheduled for a late January/early February release, and involves Tyema, the younger sister of Merys, who was the heroine of the PRIESTESS novella from Carina Press. Which was my first ever published story!

Over on my own blog, I love to answer series of questions from various magazines - hey, I may not be a celebrity but I can have fun with the answers too! I thought for this month's blog here I'd have Sobek the Crocodile God from my novella Priestess of the Nile  take a stab at a few of the questions from the Proust Questionnaire, used in various forms by various magazines and TV interview shows.

What's your idea of perfect happiness? Listening to Merys, my beloved, sing some of my favorite songs from the olden days of Egypt.

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself? I really had to struggle to understand human problems, to have empathy for their concerns.

What is your favorite journey? Traveling the length of the Nile, from the source in the mountains to the lush delta at the mouth. A beautiful river, giver of life to Egypt!

Which talent would you most like to have? To dance. I'm not light on my feet in human form, although I can move with lightning speed as a crocodile.

What's your favorite occupation? Other than spending time with Merys, I enjoy cleaning up the Nile after a major sandstorm, eliminating sand bars that prevent her waters from flowing freely to the fields. On the rare occasions that I have to protect Pharaoh from black magic attacks, now that's a satsifying day.

What is your most treasured possession? I really don't have or need possessions, being a god, but I can tell you the humans greatly desire my tears, which I rarely shed, but when I do, they become emeralds and are said to bring good fortune.

What is your most marked characteristic? (Sobek laughs.) Other than being able to turn into a thirty foot crocodile? Loyalty.

What words or phrases do you most overuse? Well, since we're in polite company here, I'll go with "Set's teeth", which I do often say!

What is the quality you like most in a man? Honor. Keeping his word once he's given his oath.

What do you value most in your friends? We've known each other for a long time - eons, since the creation of all things - and they'll always tell me when I'm making mistakes.

What is it you most dislike? People who lie. Both the world of the gods and the world of Ancient Egypt where I exist are based on the concept of ma'at - order, law, morality, justice. Lady Ma'at, the goddess who personifies these ideals, works continuously to prevent the universe from falling back into chaos. She was a very good friend to my beloved Merys and me at a critical moment, presenting the truth of an issue so strongly that even Isis couldn't deny the situation.

Do you have a favorite motto or quote? There's this from a harper's song: "Follow your heart as long as you live."  I did that when I fell in love with Merys.


VS sez Thank you, Sobek! Looking forward to seeing you again in the not too distant future...

PRIESTESS OF THE NILE is available  at Amazon Barnes & Noble Carina Press All Romance

The story:
Drawn to his abandoned temple on the banks of the Nile by an enchanting song, Sobek the Crocodile god is even more captivated by the sight of the singer herself. Appearing to her as a man, he learns she is Merys, a descendant of his last priestess. Though filled with lust, Sobek believes Merys deserves to be more than just his mistress. But the rules that govern the Egyptian pantheon forbid anything beyond a physical joining of a Great One and a human.
Merys is attracted to the handsome stranger, who arouses passions in her that no man ever has. But with no dowry and no hope of ever leaving her village, she dares not dream of the future—or love.
Sobek takes every opportunity to visit Merys, taxing his resolve to leave her pure. And when he saves her life, their mutual desire must be sated. But can a love between a human and an immortal survive the ultimate test of the gods?








Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas!

Today is a fantastic one for our family. It's the first Christmas in four years where we are all together and healthy. The last few Christmas holidays were especially tough so this one is so much more special because of it.
Hidden Confections Now Available

While I'm making gingerbread and tea cookies, the kids have already planned a full day of super house cleaning, movie watching, popcorn making, and whatever else they can do to keep their minds busy. When I was stationed in Turkey, Christmas was interesting. It was a society that didn't celebrate the holiday so businesses that catered to Americans did their best to trim trees and hang stockings.

You'd find a fake tree with tinsel garland shoved in the middle, broken lights everywhere, and once a gargoyle on the top of a tree (he showed me the picture he'd used as reference when he picked it up). I have to admit the gargoyle was interesting. So I took a few minutes to chat with these guys and talk to them about traditions for the holidays and why things happened the way they did.

We spent some time modifying their decorations to appeal to American customers, and I had a really good time learning about their culture and other holiday traditions.

Deep Cravings Now Available
Then it occurred to me...what does a 400 year-old vampire think of these traditions? Increase it to 900, 1200, what about faerie folk and werewolves? During the solstice to they have their own traditions?

And then...what funny situations could I put those characters in?

I think Christmas is the perfect time to laugh and enjoy yourself. There's enough stress in the world at that moment. Why not relax with a short and quick read?

Both of my books released this month are full of humor and kitchen magic.

Hidden Confections:


A showdown between chefs like you’ve never seen before…

One Christmas Eve, Mia Devyne of Devyne Pastries went underground and closed up shop for good under scandalous rumors of bewitching red velvet holiday cakes designed to skyrocket your sex drive. Her disappearance sparked a worldwide search for her sensual seductions cookbook.

Four years later, a rival pastry chef has arrived on the scene with his own version of the cakes, and Mia can’t stay away. For a Christmas present to herself, she wants to try just one bite of the Better Than Sex cupcake, and then she’ll disappear back into the shadows. If she gets to kiss Liam again, well, that’s just an added bonus.

Liam Merriman has one goal… draw the sexy Mia out of hiding and back to the spotlight where she belongs. He knows why she disappeared all those years ago, and he plans on picking up where they left off. Naked. In his bed.

BUY NOW

Deep Cravings: 


The Vamp Life sucks if you’re the only female vampire in the world allergic to chocolate. When a wizard with a penchant for kitchen magic arrives, however, things can take a delicious and sinful turn. Especially when he puts himself on the menu.
Chocolate goes well with…everything.

Rachel Karrin is at her wits’ end. The benefits to vampire life look pretty grim when her new powers come with limits on her favorite food. Chocolate. The rare allergy is unusual enough to gain the interest of the Kitchen Witch Society.

When the sexy, brooding Ryan Shepard shows up, there’s more than chocolate in his repertoire and his temptation is far more than she can take in her world of blood and sex.

A Romantica® paranormal erotic romance from Ellora’s Cave

Publisher’s Note: This book was previously published elsewhere in 2009 under the title Decadence and has been extensively revised for EC.

BUY NOW

Ellora’s Cave | All Romance Ebooks Amazon | Barnes and Noble Kobo

(Note: Buy links will go live as soon as they’re available. As of 24 December 2013, Deep Cravings is available at the publisher site, All Romance Ebooks, Amazon, and Kobo)

Monday, December 23, 2013

Happy Holidays!

I know everyone's rushing oot and aboot to get ready for the holidays so I'll just take a few minutes to tell all of you readers out there to have a great holiday season!

Your support over the last year has been wonderful and I know all of the authors here appreciate your support as we try to bring you the best stories we can.

2014 is going to be an interesting year. With small publishers now competing actively with self-published and hybrid publishers and with the larger houses always looking for that golden goose it's going to be another wild ride. But it's never been a better time to be an author and to be a reader - no matter what your tastes you'll find it out there somewhere and we're pleased to have so many options to bring our work to you!

One last thing - if you'd like to give any of the authors on this site or authors in general a wonderful Christmas present we always appreciate reviews. Nothing sells a book to me like hearing how it worked or didn't work for someone I know and I enjoy getting reviews. Good or bad, one star or four/five, I love them all - because you took the time to write it. And if you didn't like my work it's okay to tell me that because I can't improve as an author without feedback from you, the readers.

But enough rambling from the old broad - go get yourself a cuppa 'nog spiked with your favorite goodie and read on, folks!

:)

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Christmas Songs!


Hallo everyone!

It's Holiday time again, and today I'm gonna talk about my favorite and least favorite part of the Holidays. Unlike most folks, I can't seem to get myself worked up too much about stores starting Christmas in October. I'm also not that worried about the commercialization of the Holidays. Both of those are just stores doing what stores are going to do; try to sell stuff.

Nope, for me my favorite part of the Holidays is the music. I listen to a lot of music on the radio, and when I start to hear songs about Christmas, I know it's time for some of my favorites to get some air time. Of course, some of the stations take it a bit too far; we've had a pair of local stations who started playing nothing but Christmas music back in October. They just skipped the spooky Halloween music entirely and jumped straight to endless renditions of 'Little Drummer Boy' and 'Do You Hear What I Hear'. Needless to say, I kinda avoided those two until this week.

Now, while I love Holiday music, I do get tired of it quick, because my favorites almost never get air time. Which are those, you ask? Glad you did! I've got not only a list of my top five, but also the list of my least favorite five, the ones that get played and played and played until I want to rip my radio out. They don't even have the vague top forty excuse of being 'new'.

My favorite five:

5. 'Santa Baby' - every pop tart ever (I have a weakness for pop tarts)

4. 'The Chanukah Song', both versions - Adam Sandler at his most tolerable ("What a funky, badass Jew")

3. 'Christmas Rapping' - The Waitresses (I can't help it. It makes me smile.)

2. 'Christmas Eve / Sarajevo' - Trans Siberian Orchestra (Used to get played a lot, but I've heard it ONCE this year. Also, it rocks mightily.)

1. 'The Closing of the Year' - Wendy & Lisa (Have you heard it? It is just fantastic)

My least favorite five:

5.'The Christmas Shoes' - NewSong (I'm allergic to glurge)

4. 'Do They Know Its Christmas' - Band Aid 1984 (Glurge plus a gazillion hearings, and message aside the song wasn't that good to start with)

3. 'Do You Hear What I Hear' - every singer ever (HOW many times do I have to hear this?)

2. 'Little Drummer Boy' - every singer ever (Apparently not quite as many times as I've heard this.)

1. 'The Turkey Song' - Adam Sandler (Adam at his most Adam-y)

So. Those are mine. What are yours? Tell me in the comments!

Until next time - Robert

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Merry Christmas and Happy Yule!

I want to wish you a safe, fun, happy, prosperous holiday. Thank you for reading my posts and commenting and just visiting the site. I wish I could give you a more in-depth post but I’m in the middle of trying to finish off an Easter story and organize a new Halloween Series. Yep, you read that right Easter and Halloween. It’s been a very busy few weeks, with back to back edits and writing, lots of writing. I did want to post and celebrate the holiday with you guys, that and I have two new books out. If you will, please check out the start of my new series: Bachelor Auction (paranormal), my Christmas Contemporary (my first ever contemporary story) and lastly, I’m pulling this from my backlist, a true on Christmas story (paranormal).




Bachelor Auction: Mate Not Wanted
Due out Dec 20th from Etopia Press




Will be available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble and ARe


Sneak Peek:
“I’m fine, back off,” she spat, more venomously than she intended.
“Not until I make sure you’re not hurt.” Before she could protest he jerked her against him until her breasts pressed against his midsection. Her nipples became tightened nubs that pulsed with need. Her skin tightened as pricks of heat danced along her exposed skin and her lioness purred louder, demanding more contact with her mate. For a moment, all she saw was him. Her world became the bright white of his shirt marred by the dark stains of blood, his sweat and unique scent, the tanned skin of his neck. She leaned forward to rub herself against him, imprint her own perfume on his clothes. A soft buzzing sound filled her ears.
Whispers and murmurs swirled around them, pulling her back to the reality of where she was. Madison cursed her weakness and took a step back. She was supposed to stay away from him, not give him more ammunition to prove his theory that she was attracted to him.
“No way in hell. I’m fine. No damage. I could have handled myself, you know?” It wasn’t a bluff, but she had to remind herself of why she should be so pissed at him. Things could have gone pear shaped in a matter of seconds had she not stepped in. “Why do you have to act like such a beast? Jesus.” She ran a hand through her hair and focused her weakened anger at him. “You could have gotten someone hurt, or worse.”
He blinked. “I know you can take care of yourself. I was just trying to help.”
His voice was now soft and gentle, and yet that roughness still remained. It was like a single malt—smooth, creamy, rough, and could keep you warm on the coldest of nights.
Another shiver raced along Madison’s skin and smoothed down her spine. Her nipples pulsed with heat as her breasts grew heavy and tight. She wanted to move back into his touch, feel the press of his chest against hers as he moved within her, rubbing his skin against the sensitive tips.
Madison cleared her throat and tried to stave off her desire. “And I’m not your mate,” she lied, trying to shrug off the effects that his tenor had on her body, “friend or otherwise.”
“For now.” Pierce closed the gap between them until his chest pressed against her breasts, giving them just a hint of the pressure they needed. It wasn’t enough, not nearly enough.




Thawing Ava
Due Out Dec 24th from Loose Id



Blurb:


Hockey player Brice Douglas has never gotten over the Christmas he spent with Ava Johnson back in college. Now, years later, he’s in trouble with his team, the Witch Fields Prowlers. Desperate to keep their rabble-rousing player’s head in the game, they hire a babysitter to keep his ass out of a sling and home in his bed at night: Ava. He’s determined to make up for lost time, while convincing her he’s not the man the team made him out to be, using every dirty, sexy trick he can.


Ava just got out a relationship with a cheating fiancĂ©. She needs time to rebuild her life and babysitting her old college crush maybe the answer to her prayers–so long as sex isn’t involved. Yet, with his sexy nightly self-pleasuring sessions and dirty talk her resistance quickly starts wearing thin. With every day that passes, she’s growing more comfortable with him and his desire for her.


Will she be putting Brice on ice, or will he end up thawing Ava?


Buy Link:


Unedited Unofficial Sneak Peek:


It was a gesture to shut her up, a kiss that stole her air and scattered her thoughts and cracked a few walls she hadn’t realized were weak. Though closemouthed, it branded her with a restrained heat she hadn’t expected. She wanted to open her mouth for a taste, give in and urge him to unleash all that heat. Ava could smell that clean scent of soap and male with just a hint of musk that sent the fire in her body spiralingHis heat seeped past the barrier of her jacket and the denim into her skin. She wanted to touch him, anywhere, everywhere, to pull the hardness of him against her. Ava wanted to peel off his clothes, gaze upon all that tanned skin, and explore every inch that she hadn’t seen in pictures. 
  
She reached out to touch him, but he stopped the kiss so quickly she could only whimper in response. When he lifted his head, she found herself panting and confused, any thought of why she was here gone. She brought her fingers to her lips and pressed them to the tingling flesh. 
“That Christmas was the best Christmas I’d ever had because I was with you. May have been two weeks, but I never forgot that time. Two weeks wasn’t long enough for us, for me,” he said before he stepped back. His face, ears, and throat red, desire and something else swirled in his eyes. “I have to go shower. You can just wander around, okay? Nothing to hide from you. I’m an open book.” He gave her another devilish smile and took off for the bathroom like demon dogs were on his heels. All she could do was stand there and touch her bruised lips. Damn it. She cursed herself, but she wouldn’t have taken that kiss back for anything in the world. She’d always wished she had gotten up the courage to kiss him that Christmas. 
  
He paused before he entered the sectioned-off room and looked over his shoulder at her. “By the way, I like to cook, and I’ll be making dinner tonight. No going out for us, so get your things and get your ass back here quick as you can. Don’t make me spank you your first night here. And I will do it. Don’t think I won’t.” His gaze caressed her body once more. 
  
Even through the layers of clothes, she felt it, touching her in places he couldn’t see, had never seen. Fuck, I’m so in trouble. As soon as he shut the door, her knees buckled, and her legs gave out. She didn’t let the pain of denim-covered skin and bone hitting the wood flooring register. 




Holiday Paws
OUT NOW at Changeling Press


Blurb:
After dealing with the flu and missing her flight to spend the holidays with her family, Nessa thought she’d be alone for Christmas. When her mate Ben shows up at her door with the intention of giving her a holiday she won’t soon forget, she knows this Christmas will definitely be the best yet.


Buy Link:




Sneak Peek:


“Nessa, babe? Answer me, sugar, or I’ll have to break down the door.” The stern warning only ignited her arousal. She could picture him just beyond the door, adjusting his glasses, his thick shoulders filling out his simple, red plaid shirt to the limit, wearing worn jeans that fit him like a second skin, and simple boots.
“Nessa.” Her name may have been a warning, but to her it was a sexy command, demanding she be ready to do anything he wanted sexually. All thoughts of illness and food fled as the need to come together with her mate, to feel him skin to skin, took over.
“Ben,” she sighed.
“Jesus, Ness! Are you all right or not?” There was a scratching at the lock, and the door opened. “Oh, I see.”
She gazed at him hungrily. He was yummy to look at, classically handsome with a square jaw, strong cheekbones, and beautiful green eyes framed by long, dark lashes.
There was just so much he didn’t understand.
Although he was a twenty-five-year-old second-in-command for the Pack, who managed every aspect of their lives and cleaned up their messes, she didn’t need him to save her. No matter how many times she’d told him that, it didn’t sink in. She was thirty-one years old and had been taking care of herself since she was sixteen.
“What?” He hadn’t moved, and she was wondering what he was thinking. Sometimes she wondered if he thought she was another mess he needed to clean up, an obligation he needed to take care of for the pack. She’d never voiced those thoughts, but they still came up. They had sex, and he did stop by to check on her, but she got the distinct feeling that sometimes he just didn’t know why he was there.
“It’s Christmas. I just wanted to stop by and see how you were and share a meal with you. Spend some time with you.”


Happy Holidays!
Se

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Taming My Inner Grinch


I usually don’t do a holiday post. What to say that hasn't already been said? Especially Christmas. Every year, I struggle with my cynicism born from consumer over-exposure. I think we’ve all thought it at one point or another while shopping after Halloween and seeing the green and red decorations up for sale. Already? Can I make it through Thanksgiving first?

The holidays with my family in Florida were always very low key, possibly influenced by the fact we had no snow. Some years, it wasn’t even that cold. What I appreciated is that we did what we could, gave what we could, without any pressure born of expectation. In fact, the only thing I expected was a good meal and that my mom delivered. Yum. Being Brazilian, she made the traditional black beans and rice dish. Sigh. In fact, I almost prided myself on having a family that celebrated in a non-traditional manner. Sure, we opened presents on Christmas morning, but that’s about it. After my stint in the Peace Corps in the Ivory Coast, I became more discouraged over just how much we have in our country when many children around the world have so little. Christmas began to represent those excesses to me, and I lost some of the joy of the holiday until I had my son.

Last Christmas Eve, when he was four, we watched Polar Express. (The animation is so weird, almost creepy, but it's a nice story) When Santa showed up and taught the boy how to hear the bell ringing, to believe in Christmas again, my son turned to me and asked: Is Santa coming? I want to meet Santa. He didn’t ask because he was worried about getting a present, he wanted to meet the symbol of Christmas. About a week ago, a year older and wiser, he asked me if Santa was real. That got my inner debate team in a tizzy. I didn’t feel comfortable out right lying, but I wasn’t about to crush his childhood so I told him Santa was real. (My husband insists every year on giving him a gift from Santa.) I could tell it meant a lot, to believe in Santa. He painstakingly wrote out a Christmas wish list that included Transformers, a Teddy Bear, and cars. Just those three things, and we mailed it to Santa at the North Pole. He was so excited, and some of that cynicism melted away.

I thank my son for returning some of that holiday mystery and joy. Last year, we gave him cookies and milk, which he placed next to the fireplace. After he fell asleep, we ate the cookies and milk, making sure to leave crumbs on the plate and a ring of milk in the glass. And that was the first thing he thought of when he woke up. He wanted to see if Santa had eaten the cookies and drunk the milk. And so did I. Can't wait to eat some more cookies on Christmas Eve :) and see his look of wonder the next day.

Have a wonderful holiday and new year!

Mimi Sebastian

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Paranormal Playlists

I'm one of those writers who usually likes to listen to music when I'm writing. I also craft playlists for my books that help me get into the world when it's time to write or do revisions. And every book usually ends up having it's own song. That one song on the playlist that just becomes inextricably linked with the book in my head.

Sometimes it's difficult, though, to find the right music for a given book. Today, I thought it might be fun to play you guys some of the songs that evoke a paranormal/fantasy feel to me.

"The Lady of Shallott"--Loreena McKennitt


I love McKennitt's voice. All of her stuff is really good for writing. This song in particular puts me right in a world of knights and fair ladies. Dragons and daring deeds to be done. Also, it's really pretty. :)

"Go Big or Go Extinct"--Ramin Djawadi (Pacific Rim soundtrack)


Now for something totally different. This is the kind of music you play when you need your characters to kick a little ass. I love this whole score. (In fact, I just love Pacific Rim period.)

"I'd Lie For You and That's the Truth"--Meatloaf


This one is more for a wild, Indiana Jones-esque adventure type of fantasy. But I love it. And the video is ridiculous amounts of fun. This was the "love theme" for my latest time travel story which is, funnily enough, a twisty, romantic, action adventure story.

"Gunpowder and Lead"--Miranda Lambert

Now this is the song you play when you need some inspiration for your kick ass, take no BS urban fantasy heroine. 

"I See Fire"--Ed Sheeran (From The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug)
 

"If this is to end in fire, Then we should all burn together...If we die, we shall all die together..."
Ugh, I LOVE this song. LOVE. IT. I suspect it will become "the song" for the Robin Hood story I want to write. I love all the Lord of the Rings music, but this is probably my favorite from any of the movies.

What about you guys? When you're reading do certain books have "soundtracks" in your head? Do you have any favorite music that just screams paranormal/SF/F to you? Share in the comments! :D

Ta,
Beth Matthews
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p.s. If any one is interested in the playlists I did for my books, I wrote about that a little bit before on my own blog:
Heir to the Underworld playlist
The Beauty's Beast playlist

Monday, December 16, 2013

Sparkly Castles and Everyday Magic

by Jeffe Kennedy

I posted this picture on my personal blog just recently, so forgive me if you saw it already.

It seemed like the perfect thing to post here, however, because so many of the Paranormal Romantics have been discussing Christmas themes recently. The paranormal genre is often conflated with the dark and horrifying, with Halloween being the "big" holiday cited. Not that this isn't valid - like many of my paranormal-inclined sisters and brothers, I love Halloween.

However, I also love Christmas and I see I'm not alone.

Amy Ruttan posted about her favorite Christmas movies. Dianne Fox mulled about the midwinter darkness and how that lends itself to thoughts of creatures of the night. The always awesome Jane Kindred confessed that she's a Christmas-a-holic.

I am, too.

I love the fantasy of Christmas in the same way I love everything paranormal. The sense that magic lingers in the air and everything is just a bit more sparkly, that the world is deeper and richer than we even realize. Those glittery castle ornaments are a gift from my mother - who's given me an ornament every year since I was born - and they commemorate that this is the year I'll see the publication of my fantasy trilogy, The Twelve Kingdoms.

Sparkly castles for the win!

When I wrote the first book in the trilogy, The Mark of the Tala, which comes out in late May, I originally called it The Middle Princess. That's because it's about the classic trope of the three princesses, each more beautiful than the last. I always wondered about the one in the middle - not the eldest, not the most beautiful. I knew, too, that a man hunted her, a man with uncanny and frightening powers. In writing it, I indulged in every magical image I love most. Yes, there are castles - sparkly ones, one built into a dormant volcano, and ones that aren't really castles at all. There's magic and love and loss. Everything that makes life rich and deep, and ever so much more precious.

Enjoy this special time of year, as the midwinter darkness turns around and gives way to the growing light.

Happy Holidays Everyone!
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Jeffe Kennedy is an award-winning author with a writing career that spans decades. Her works include non-fiction, poetry, short fiction, and novels. She has been a Ucross Foundation Fellow, received the Wyoming Arts Council Fellowship for Poetry, and was awarded a Frank Nelson Doubleday Memorial Award. Her essays have appeared in many publications, including Redbook.
Her most recent works include three fiction series: the fantasy romance novels of A Covenant of Thorns, the contemporary BDSM novellas of the Facets of Passion, and the post-apocalyptic vampire erotica of the Blood Currency.  A contemporary e-Serial, Master of the Opera, will be released in January. A fourth series, the fantasy trilogy The Twelve Kingdoms, will hit the shelves in 2014. A spin-off story from this series, Negotiation, appears in the recently-released Thunder on the Battlefield anthology. Her newest book, Five Golden Rings, came out as part of the erotic holiday anthology, Season of Seduction, in late November.
She lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico, with two Maine coon cats, a border collie, plentiful free-range lizards and a very handsome Doctor of Oriental Medicine.
Jeffe can be found online at her website: JeffeKennedy.com, every Sunday at the popular Word Whores blog, on Facebook, and pretty much constantly on Twitter @jeffekennedy. She is represented by Pam van Hylckama Vlieg of Foreword Literary.