Friday, May 29, 2015

Lion Shifters with a Happy Ending ~ with Megan Slayer

I love writing about shifters. It's fun because I get to play with animals I wouldn't normally get to hang around with - meaning tigers, lions and such. For Rescuing Markas, I wrote about lion shifters. I'd seen a television story about lions being used in petting zoos as objects for people to...pet. Then once the lions aren't cubs any longer and can't be contained, they're supposed to be sent to zoos, but they might not be. According to the story, many were killed in canned hunts and such. I wanted to write a story that featured some of that plot line, but I NEEDED to change the ending. So I did. Rescuing Markas is the first story in the series and you can read each without getting lost, but you'll want to read all four in the series. So what is Resucing Markas all about? Check it out!

Rescuing Markas by Megan Slayer 

Sanctuary, Book 1
Resplendence Publishing
Contemporary, Paranormal
Novella
M/M, Anal Sex

An AllRomance Ebooks Bestseller!
The love of his life will bring out his roar.

John Dallas has lots of money, but no real direction in his life. He cares for lions at a local petting zoo where people can pay to pet the cubs. He’s heard stories and read about shifters—creatures who can shift from an animal form into a human form. Seeing the lions makes him wonder if those lions can shift. When he witnesses an act of cruelty to the lions, he finds his purpose in life—to save the lions.

Markas knows he can shift, but hasn’t yet. He’s fascinated by John and wants to shift in order to get to know the human better. But lions don’t last at the petting zoo past their third birthday. Once he’s at the age of being moved, he’ll lose his chance with John. Will John accept him his his human form? He’s determined to shift and snag the man of his dreams.


What will happen when the shifter and the human are thrown together by fate? White hot sparks.
Available at:

EXCERPT:
©Megan Slayer, 2015, All Rights Reserved
John’s breath clogged in his throat. He’d gotten three of the four lions out of the enclosure and into the adjacent farm, but Markas hadn’t made it past the hole in the metal fence. Fuck.
“Joe, I need your help. Now.” He didn’t wait for his brother to answer. “I’m getting the sheet and tossing him onto it. Not the best way to move a lion, but this one is a sweet boy, and he’s hurt. I can’t let the hunters have him.” Don’t let the bullet be in his chest or his head, he thought. Let them have hit him somewhere that’s not life-threatening.
“You tell me when to pull and I’ll do it.” Joe appeared at the hole. “I’ll keep watch.”
John scrambled around the cat, hefting the animal’s legs onto the sheet and then moving his upper body to the sheet as well. Gunfire rang out over his head, making him wince. He’d never been in combat and knew he wasn’t meant for a soldier’s life, but if he could save the beautiful animal, he’d take a few gunshots whizzing past his head.
Let’s just hope they don’t connect with me, too. “Pull. Joe, pull,” John shouted. With his brother’s help, John managed to get the cat to the hole in the fence.
“He’s heavy,” Joe groaned. “I’ve got him, but damn. What are you going to do with him? He’s been shot?”
“I know. I’ve got Willow Needs coming over. She’s a trained veterinarian.” John yanked one last time, getting the lion through the fence. Once they were all safe, he shoved the planks back into place. “There.” He turned his attention to Joe. “She’s been lobbying since high school to get this place shut down. She’s all onboard to help us.”
“Good,” Joe replied.
John checked the wound. Whoever had shot the cat had managed to hit the target but hadn’t buried the bullet deep. Still, the hole was high on the lion’s hip. They’d need to get him to the barn soon.
“I’ve got the others on the trailer. They went pretty easily.” Joe stood beside John. “Ready to put him in the truck?”
When John glanced up at his brother, Joe’s eyes were wide. “What?” John asked.
Joe opened and closed his mouth a couple of times before he spoke. “I don’t think we’ll need the trailer for him.”
John looked back at the covered-up hole. No one was trying to get through. “What is your problem?”
“Your lion is a guy.”
“What?” John stared at his brother. “Did you get hit on the head? He’s a lion.”
“Look.” Joe pointed to the big cat, except the cat wasn’t one any longer. Joe was right. A man lay crumpled against John’s hip.
John met his brother’s confused gaze. He had plenty of his own questions. Some of the lions at the petting zoo really were shifters. Dear God, they’d been bred so many times. It was possible some used for the canned hunts could’ve been shifters, too.
His stomach lurched.

“I’ve never seen one in person, but we’ve got a shifter.”

* * * * *
Megan Slayer - It's Always Fun to Squirm

Monday, May 25, 2015

Remembering Heroes . . .

by Nancy Gideon

My first ever hero was my dad. I thought of him as John Wayne, the strong, silent type who was always at kind of a loss with three daughters. Together, we watched Audie Murphy movies and laughed over Looney Tunes, fished for bluegills, listened to the Detroit Tiger games on the radio, and suffered from whiplash when he tried to teach my oldest sister how to drive a stick shift. He taught me to ride dirt bikes on the trails by our cabin up north and how to check the oil on my first car. But he was more than that I discovered going through a box of old black and white photos and yellowed news clippings. He’d served in the Army medical corps in WWII carrying morphine during the fighting in the Philippines. The only stories he ever told us were funny ones about riding giant tortoises and digging latrines. How I wish he’d shared more.


We write about heroes in our books. They’re larger than life, often tortured by deeds of the past. They always look great without a shirt, are noble (or not so noble until tamed by the woman of their dreams), don’t break wind at the table or leave toothpaste in the sink. We would run off with them in a heartbeat . . . at least for 300+ pages . . . and we wish for more. These are our fantasy heroes built off real human prototypes who are rugged rescuers, defenders of faith and family, risking everything for little or no reward. Who let old photos and discolored clippings tell the tales of their bravery.

Here’s to those who fight for us, those who protect us, those who’ve given all for us. Those who keep our streets safe, put out our fires, plow our snow, pick up our trash, cure our diseases, and heal our bodies, our hearts and our souls. And, oh yeah, our heroes aren’t just men. They’re the ladies rolling bandages (like my mom!), flying helicopters, working 12 hours shifts, teaching our next generation, sitting up all night with a sick child. Doing the jobs we don’t have time to do or the talent to do so our lives can be that much better and brighter.

Here’s to our heroes on this Memorial Day! May we raise them, may we love and support them. May we never run out of them.

Who were your heroes growing up?

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Nancy Gideon on the Web


Friday, May 22, 2015

Robots are Paranormal, Right?

By Stephanie Beck


I was a reader long before I was a writer, and I find that even now, my reading taste--while usually very predictable--can also be quite eclectic when my curiosity is heightened.


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Some themes I've picked up lately, that aren't usually my thing:


Fairy Tales. Yes, I wrote one for the Decadent Beyond Fairy Tales, but now I've been reading them. I pull out my phone (Kindle App) and enjoy as often as I can.  http://www.amazon.com/Blue-Book-Grown-Up-Fairytales-Beyond-ebook/dp/B00XUYBHMS/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1432300015&sr=8-1&keywords=blue+book+of+grown+up


Robots. This one surprised me, but what's a girl to do when she's in the mood for emotionless gears and...okay, I'm not going to try to justify it. I'm just glad there are fun and super sexy options out there. http://www.amazon.com/Carnal-Explorations-Adventures-Charlotte-Book-ebook/dp/B00XZHVHW0/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1432299737&sr=8-2&keywords=fernella


Gangsters. Not exactly paranormal, but the historical vibe on a very over the top lifestyle is pretty fantastic. Ginger Ring has a gangster theme going that I really dig. http://www.amazon.com/Gangsters-Kiss-Love-Dangerous-Thing-ebook/dp/B00LZFHEXA/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1432300169&sr=1-1&keywords=ginger+ring




What's your guilty pleasure? Some sub-genre of oddness that refreshes your reading pallet?


All the Best,
Stephanie Beck
BF word search tour banner


PS--HUGE Fairy Tale Blog Hop for Decadent Publishing starts this weekend at Ana Vitasky's blog. Big prizes, including a Kindle reader.
https://governingana.wordpress.com/

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

World Building - Daily Life



I’m continuing my mini-series on world building. Like my books, I didn’t plan a series. It just sort of happened.

Let’s concentrate on daily life. Think about your own. What do you do each day? Your routines. Now think about the world in your story. What routines does your main character go through first thing in the morning?

Not to be indelicate, but where do they go to the toilet? An outhouse, a garderobe, a fancy en suite bathroom?

Next think about clothes. Everyday wear along with special event clothing. The character’s job would impact his/her attire. In my science fiction romance The Chameleon, Jileena wears frilly, floaty dresses that make her seem inconsequential, a real bubble-head—the image her father wants her to project as his spy. Away from his influence, her clothing reflects her serious side, precisely the image she wants the hero to see. As she changes, so do her clothes. In my WIP, The Protector, my heroine owns a tavern in an old-west style colony on the Outer Rim. She wears what’s common out on the frontier, unisex rugged shirt and trousers, sturdy shoes.

What does your character call meals? Breakfast, lunch, dinner? Second breakfast? Tea? What about food? If your story takes place on Earth, the foods would probably have names the reader is familiar with. In her St. Helen’s series (Amaryllis, Orchid, Zinnia), Jayne Castle’s inhabitants’ ancestors originally came from Earth. She combines the names of Earth-based foods to approximate the taste of native foods, like pear-berry pie.

But what if your story takes place in a completely alien environment? Using made-up names alone can confuse readers unless you give them clues. For example, mashed plantens or scrambled spherix eggs. You could have your character slicing enfils and selba then arranging the crisp vegetables on a plate as I did in The Chameleon.

Occupation. Does your character leave home for work or work from home? How does he get to work? Public transportation or private vehicle? Or is he so wealthy he doesn’t need to work? If so, what does he do all day? Play sports, cards, hang out with friends?

I’ve read that writers build their world in basically two ways: top down or bottom up. I tend to do the latter. Since I’m a pantser (as opposed to someone who plots first), I build my world as I need it—usually by asking myself why. As my characters develop and the story progresses, my world starts to evolve. Writers who plot first have all their ducks in a row before beginning to write. That is, they imagine the big picture first then narrow down the focus to the character. Whichever type of writer you are sort of determines how you will build your world.

As always, you know much more than the reader needs to. You can (probably should) have tons of notes on how everything in your world works—especially if your story turns into a series. I have a separate file on all the details of my world. If I didn’t, I’d forget those pesky little details. When I learn how to use Scrivener, I’m sure keeping details handy will be much easier.

Here are a couple of sites with a lot more information on world building. The first one is courtesy of author Greta van der Rol. http://ed.ted.com/lessons/how-to-build-a-fictional-world-kate-messner This is a great, little (6.25 minutes) video.

The next one is courtesy of my critique partner Jolana Malkston who found it when I couldn’t. http://www.sfwa.org/2009/08/fantasy-worldbuilding-questions/

Have fun in your world. If you do, I’ll bet your readers will enjoy it, too.

Diane Burton writes science fiction romance. She's currently working on the third book in her Outer Rim series, The Protector.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

10 Paranormal TV Shows I Can't Get Enough Of

Lately, I've been binge-watching The X-Files and loving it all over again. Maybe not the most romantic of the paranormal options I can think of, but I always had a crush on Scully, so it worked for me. It got me thinking about the other paranormal shows I've watched and loved in recent years, and about the sad fact that most of them have ended. Of the first ten that came to mind, only two are still on the air. (Although some, like The X-Files, had respectably long runs.)

Here's my list in roughly chronological order of first air date:
  1. The X-Files
  2. Buffy the Vampire Slayer
  3. Charmed
  4. Angel
  5. Supernatural
  6. Hex
  7. Ghost Whisperer
  8. Medium
  9. Fringe
  10. Lost Girl
A few others deserve honorable mention: The Secret Circle, a CW show that only lasted a season—it wasn't fantastic, but I thought it had promise—and The Fades. Technically a zombie story, The Fades has a supernatural element, so I'm calling it paranormal. Like Hex, The Fades was a BBC show that ended prematurely, after only six episodes.

The two shows that are still going are Lost Girl, in its fifth season, and the apparently immortal Supernatural, finishing up Season 10 and reportedly coming back in the fall for Season 11. Though Supernatural is the only one on the list with no romantic element, it has epic bromance. Sure, sure; they're brothers. But we've all seen the fanfic. ;)

Two others that are (maybe) both still on the air that I've been enjoying are Haven (SyFy) and Hemlock Grove (Netflix). Hemlock Grove is a weird one, but it's got romance...and bromance. Since I write weird, I can't throw stones. I'd like to blame all this television watching on my weird bent, but I think it goes back a little too far to make that claim

There's one last show I have to mention: Dracula. That cancellation still has me so mad I can't see straight.

And I just realized I forgot two other current shows: Grimm and Sleepy Hollow. So, yay, there are still some paranormal options out there, and probably others that are currently slipping my mind. Which ones are your favorites? Any I missed?

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Happy Cinco de Mayo!

Okay, I scheduled a post for April 5 that didn't post and I keep telling myself to leave that schedule thingy alone because it never works for me...don't know what I do wrong but anyway I posted it for today and the dang thing posted and slid itself into the April 5 date--and I had added to the post a Happy Cinco de Mayo wish!! Sometime in the future, far, far away, someone will look at the post and wonder what lunatic roams the Paranormal Romantics blog--it's me!

Working on some new things, signed a contract for Phantom Lure - Driver, a new series with Changeling Press and I'm working on Vald's story, fourth in the Dirty Rotten Vampire series. You can find a free read titled Not The Garden of Eden at Changeling's Encounters to whet your appetite for the vampire of vampires. And, yes, Adam does make a rather naughtly appearance! Finalized the edits for Repent in Love coming May 20th from Ellora's Cave, and have another book, Grind, slated for July, hmm...need to check that out for sure. But here's a snippet of Grind.

Ten o’clock and traffic in and out of the front entrance slowed. The bartender leaned over and asked, “You good, Raider?”
“You know I only have one.” He’d spent more nights here than any other bar in the city waiting for something that would never come. Waiting for something that would never come. There wasn’t a person in the world special enough to put up with his bullshit.
“Let me know if you want anything.” Saucy bastard winked at him, emphasizing anything.
“You’re out of my league.” Rumor was Eggie wielded the stallion-sized cock between his legs like a pro. Combine that with his Latin good looks and he could pretty much walk out tonight with any man he wanted.
“You can handle me.”
Raider had considered bedding the powerfully built man a few times and there was a day he’d have enjoyed taming his ass. “Question is can you handle me?” Eggie became one of the few he called friend and Raider confided more than he should have to the fun-loving bartender.
“Stop being angry at every...”
“You need to tend to your customers.”
He swiped a cloth across the counter and eyed Raider. “Be a lot easier to find what you’re looking for.”
“I do okay.”
“Do you even see what looks back at you in the mirror?”
“What the hell are you talking about?”
“Loneliness, man.”
Between Davis telling him to get laid, and now Eggie’s bullshit, Raider was ready to snap like a used rubber band. “I got everything I need.”
“And how warm is that camera at night?”
“Kiss my ass.”
“I’m trying.” The bartender smiled. “Am I white enough for you?”
“Careful, Eggie.”
The man had opened a raw nerve. Coming from nothing, Raider possessed two things: an eye for color and the love of photography. He’d scraped and clawed his way up the ladder in a field overflowing with mediocrity. He had been kicked aside, stepped on, and kissed a lot of white ass on his way to the top. Now the industry kissed his.

Yet there was still a bad taste in his mouth.

Go forth, enjoy the great weather and drink lots of tequila to celebrate! I am.

Growl and roar-it's okay to let the beast out.-jhalisteele