Thursday, December 14, 2017

The Silver Metal Lover - An Inspiration from Tanith Lee

In 2015, my second book--well, actually the first was a short story--novel was released by The Wild Rose Press.  I was very pleased to be returning to the Garden with a sci-fi romance, Love for Sale.

March Morgan always set her standards for men high.   Divorced but still a dreamer, she readsLove for Sale, sentient androids indistinguishable from human, programmed for love.  She flies to London and meets the image of the man she has been searching for her entire life.  Christian loves March at first sight, without programming, but internal and external forces soon threaten their happiness, indeed their lives.
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Recently, I finished the sequel Life for Sale, which brought to mind the inspiration for both of these novels.  Has anyone ever read Tanith Lee’s The Silver Metal Lover?  I read this many years ago, and the book stayed with me all this time.  I recently re-read it and enjoyed it just as much the second time as the first time I read it when I was a teenager.  In those faraway years, it was a Book of the Month selection for some book club or the other to which I subscribed.  That was quite a feat because at the time the genre wasn’t as well known.  The Silver Metal Lover is a different coming of age story.  I love Ms. Lee’s lush writing and have read many of her books, but this one is my favorite.

Here is the Plot Summary from Wikipedia:

“Robots have replaced human labor on earth, causing massive unemployment in a world devastated by pollution and natural disasters. Then Electronic Metals releases a new line: performing artists and sexual companions designed to entertain human partners. Jane, a rich, lonely, and insecure 16-year-old, meets one, the minstrel Silver, and falls passionately in love, despite revulsion at the idea of preferring a mechanical man to a human. She gives up everything she has known for him, and discovers herself. Silver becomes more and more "human" in loving her—a clever illusion created by his programming. Or is it? This unstable society can't afford any evidence that some robots might be indistinguishable from humans. Tragedy is inevitable.”

In researching SML, I find that it is part of the S.I.L.V.E.R. series.  Metallic Love was published in 2005—immediately added to my TBR.  SML is currently out of print though in 1985, it was published as a graphic novel.   There is a rumor that Ms. Lee will write a third in this series.  I, for one, sincerely hope so.

Love for Sale isn’t a retelling of The Silver Metal Lover at all.  I simply got the idea of a sentient robot from Ms. Lee and ran with it in my own direction.  I hope it is as memorable as its inspiration!

Visit my website for a free vampire story and information regarding all of my books.

Linda Nightingale

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Lights by Diane Burton

Throughout the year, we use candles as part of our celebrations. Candles on a birthday cake, candles inside a jack-o-lantern. This time of year we see many more uses of light in celebrations.

Winter Solstice, a celebration of Light and the return of the Sun, has been celebrated for thousands of years. It was known in old Europe as Yule. People burned the Yule log to celebrate. 

Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights, commemorates the rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem and is a remembrance of the miracle when there was only enough oil for the Temple lamp for one day. Instead, it lasted eight days. Starting last night (December 12th), a candle in the menorah is lit each day until the celebration ends on December 20th.

Kwanzaa, a modern holiday celebrating African-American heritage, uses a special candle holder called a kinara that holds seven candles, each color has a special meaning. Kwanzaa lasts from December 26 to January 1st. Each day a candle is lit.

Christmas is celebrated many days before the actual day, December 25th. Lights play a large part in Christian celebrations because of the belief that Jesus is the Light of the World. Lights on trees, on houses, around the inside of houses. In a time without electricity lit candles were used instead. Lights on the Christmas tree came with the German immigrants and became a tradition. Candles pinned or glued with wax to the branches of a dead evergreen? I can just imagine the danger of fire.

a Christmas card designed by Adele Soderberg
Today is St. Lucia’s feast day in Sweden. Legend goes that while secretly bringing food to persecuted Christians (around 300 AD) she wore candles in a wreath on her head to keep her hands free.

A tradition popular in the American southwest that has spread around the country are luminarias, candles in a bag with sand that outlines the path to one’s house. Christmas traditions in other countries can be found here.
Some people really get into decorating with lights—to the point of competition. Others like to coordinate the lights with music. All fun unless they go overboard. Imagine their electric bill. As entertaining as they are, I’m not so sure I’d want to live next door.

There is something, though, about lights that bring joy and happiness. Maybe because light dispels the gloom and early darkness at this time of year, when daylight is shorter, and reminds us that spring isn’t too far off.

When I asked my cover designer to incorporate a candle in the cover for my latest release, Romance Rekindled, she did a great job.


Abby Ten Eyck likes her life the way it is. She runs a successful business, has a well-adjusted teenage daughter, and has managed to keep men at bay since her divorce fifteen years ago. Just before Christmas, she’s hit with change. Her mother decides to sell the family home. Then she’s arrested, with an unknown man. Could this new man in her mother’s life create more upheaval? Or could his handsome son be just what Abby needs to revive her dormant feelings?

Sam Watson embraces transition from frenetic Wall Street to a small Michigan resort town. His health is worth moving close to his dad who seems over the moon in love. But it’s the daughter of his father’s girlfriend who fascinates him. Abby Ten Eyck reminds him of his driven self. He must help her slow down before she burns out. Like he did.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

GUEST Veronica Scott - New Release; New Series

Thanks for having me back at Paranormal Romantics! Always a nice feeling to be back here for the day.

I’ve got a new release, Aydarr  (A Badari Warriors Scifi Romance Novel), Sectors New Allies Series Book 1. This is the first book in a new series I’m launching, connected to my scifi world of the Sectors, but with the action taking place elsewhere. I’m excited about writing an actual series with a specific overarching plotline, although of course each individual book has a satisfying Happy for Now ending for the hero and heroine. No cliffhangers! Each book will focus on a different couple, but the primary characters in the series will be showing up in the story no matter who is front and center. It’s a bit different for me, so I’m hoping my readers will like it!

I thought I’d share a short excerpt from the book today.

The blurb:
Jill Garrison, a maintenance tech at the Sectors Amarcae 7 colony, goes to sleep one night as usual only to wake up in her nightgown stranded in the middle of a forest on an unknown world. There’s no time to think as she’s stalked by carnivorous predators and rescued by genetically engineered warriors calling themselves the Badari. Turns out they and she, along with her whole colony, are now prisoners of the Khagrish, a ruthless race of alien scientists. Working for enemies of the Sectors, the Khagrish have created the Badari to be super soldiers.

Aydarr, the Badari alpha, isn’t sure he can trust Jill but his attraction to her is undeniable. He impulsively claims her as his mate to prevent her death at the hands of the Khagrish.

Can he continue to protect her from the experiments already underway?  Will his claiming her put his pack in jeopardy from their alien masters?

As Jill searches for a way to rescue her fellow humans and get them all to safety, she finds herself falling for Aydarr, despite the secrets he’s keeping. She has a few of her own.

The situation becomes dire when Aydarr and his pack are sent offplanet on a mission, leaving Jill unprotected, prey for the senior scientist. Can she escape the experiments he has in mind for her? Will she be able to thwart the Khagrish plans and liberate humans and Badari alike? How will she and Aydarr reunite?

The excerpt from the beginning of the book:

Why am I lying face down on the wet grass in the rain?

         Jill rolled over, putting a hand to her forehead in an attempt to quell a ferocious headache. Opening her eyes gingerly, she blinked at the vividly colored pink, purple and blue leaves on the tree above her, which certainly had never grown on Amarcae 7. She’d been all around her home colony on various repair jobs, and nothing there had riotous leaves in these colors, much less with spikes at the tips. As she watched, one of the leaves snapped into a tight roll to capture a slow moving insect.
         “Thank the Lords of Space I’m too big a bite.” Wary, nauseous, she sat up, swaying a bit, and examined her unfamiliar surroundings. She was in the midst of an old growth forest, with other forms of vegetation besides the carnivorous trees but nothing recognizable.
       A loud roar in the distance gave her the shivers, and she forced herself to stand, staggering a few feet to lean on a less colorful tree’s broad trunk to stay upright. Despite the rain, her mouth was dry, and she had a hard time swallowing. “What the seven hells?”
Her mind was curiously blank, no memory of how she’d gotten to this place, or what had happened in the last few hours. She guessed it might be late afternoon here, from the glimpse she got of the white sun above the horizon, before the clouds drifted in front of the orb again. She refused to contemplate the fact that the star providing heat and light to her colony was yellow. If the sun here was white hot, the reality of where she stood, lost in the galaxy, was terrifying.
                She remembered eating dinner in her small modular house on the edge of the colony, falling asleep watching an adventure trideo she’d seen a hundred times then…nothing.
                “And now I’m here.” She took a closer look at her left arm and did a double take. A black bracelet she’d never seen before was solid against her skin just above the wrist, with no visible hinge or fastening. As she gawked at it, prying at the edges in an increasingly desperate attempt to make the band move, flickers of red and yellow pulsed inside the cool, hard surface. The bracelet and what it might mean scared her more than the loss of short term memory or even the unknown sun above her.
                The roar came again, closer, and was answered by another. Something hunting me maybe?  Distracted from the ominous mystery of the bracelet, she was briefly tempted to try climbing the tree, but the lightheadedness persisted. Also, the smooth trunk didn’t offer anything in the way of handholds. She pushed off, realizing she was barefoot, wearing her short, pink-and-black nightgown, molded to her body by the rain. Lingerie was her secret luxury after a day spent in technician’s coveralls, but certainly not suited to this experience.
                Am I dreaming? She paused, gazing at the sky and pushing her damp hair off her face. The shower had tapered off and now the sun was shining but an ominous gray storm front was advancing. A bolt of lightning arced across the sky, and Jill broke into a zigzag run, forcing her body to respond to her terror. Standing anywhere close to a giant tree in a thunder storm was a recipe for disaster.
I’m in a nightmare, not a dream, but it’s all too real. In her headlong flight, she stepped on a rock or a sharp root and cried out, but she kept going as thunder boomed. She had to find either a stand of small trees surrounded by taller ones or a ravine. Of course, an actual shelter would be better than either of those make-do options but probably too much to hope for.
                Running full tilt, ignoring the pain from her foot, she suddenly slammed into an invisible barrier and bounced off, falling on her back. Cautiously she rose, extending her arms. The barrier was a tingling against her palms. She tried going right then left, but the wall ran for quite some distance in both directions. Being in an invisible cage was the most unsettling thing since she’d awakened, especially when coupled with the bracelet affixed to her arm.
                 A boom of thunder directly overhead startled her into motion, and she ran in a new direction, terrified of being struck by lightning. The rain lashed her face and barely-covered body, like stinging nettles, adding impetus to her desperation to find cover.
                The ground gave way under her feet. She teetered on the edge of the sinkhole or pit, but her precarious state of vertigo betrayed her. Screaming, she half slid, half fell into the deep hole, debris raining down with her.

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Author Bio and Links:
USA Today Best Selling Author “SciFi Encounters” columnist for the USA Today Happy Ever After blog Veronica Scott grew up in a house with a library as its heart. Dad loved science fiction, Mom loved ancient history and Veronica thought there needed to be more romance in everything. When she ran out of books to read, she started writing her own stories.

Seven time winner of the SFR Galaxy Award, as well as a National Excellence in Romance Fiction Award, Veronica is also the proud recipient of a NASA Exceptional Service Medal relating to her former day job, not her romances!

 She was honored to read the part of Star Trek Crew Member in the audiobook production of Harlan Ellison’s “The City On the Edge of Forever.”

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Escape to Willow Bend! #Shifters #Wolves #Series

As we wind the year to a close and I'm recovery from surgery, I wanted to spend some time looking back at the Wolves of Willow Bend.

In Wolf Bite, released in July 2014, Mason Clayborne heard the sound of a familiar woman being mugged—pursuing the sound he raced into an alleyway in Dallas in time to see Alexis Huston breaking the nose of her would be assailant. Coming face to face with his past dropped a pebble into the still waters, and those ripples would become a tidal wave.

The wave would gather force as the ripples spread out to include wolves like A.J., abandoned by his previous alpha and left to stew in a prison, and Owen, the senior Hunter whose love for a journeyman healer drove him to follow her to another pack when Hudson River needed her help.

Available now!

Mason’s relationships with other alphas like Brett and Serafina opened the door to new challenges and changes for more than only Willow Bend. With each subsequent novel, we journeyed to the five different packs and even met an alpha from Italy.

Each arc from Rise of the Alpha (books 1-3), Dawn of Three Rivers (book 4-6), Wolves of Change (Books 7-9) to Guardians of the Wolves (Books 10-12), has played a role in the evolution of a world which brings us to Ghost Wolf.

I can say any number of factors, events, and people inspired this novel. It covers a range of time from World War II to the present day. Each decade has a different flavor, a lingo, and rhythm to it that affected the point of in the tale blossoming. More, many of the events occurred during my lifetime and it was fun to look back at moments like needing a phone book to look up someone’s address.

Hello, no Internet!

More, at the heart of the story were two people who share a convoluted journey and a long history—it was a romance, which fired my imagination. I admit to loving all the books I’ve written, but Ghost Wolf is special—because it weaved so many threads together.

At the end of the day, each novel in the Wolves of Willow Bend adds to the overall mythology, but remains focused on the core couple and how their lives are changed by knowing each other. 

Looking for some great paranormal escape this month? Head over to Willow Bend for some small town romance with a bite! 

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Nazi-Punching New Release for the Holidays (and a Devilish Cover Reveal!) by Jane Kindred

My slightly dumb but gorgeous Viking dragon shifter, Leo, is on the loose! Leo is hot AF and does not like Nazis. That is all you need to know.

But I’ll tell you more anyway, because I’m awesome like that. When I wrote Leo, I had two versions of Chris Hemsworth in mind: Hemsworth as Thor and Hemsworth as Kevin in the 2016 Ghostbusters remake. And because Leo himself has more than two versions, this makes sense. (Boy, am I on a cryptic roll tonight.) Both are totally adorable. He also has multiple Norse tattoos, which, as Leo and I discovered together, can give people the wrong idea, because certain deplorables have coopted the Norse gods for their own purposes over the years. Leo is not down with that.

Rhea, the heroine, is also adorable, tattooed (and a tattoo artist), with Riot Grrl (is that still a thing?) “mermaid” hair, and, as my editor commented, she is salty AF. (I added the AF, but I know that’s what she meant.) Particularly to Leo. But he kind of has it coming.

And all of this is just in time for the holidays, as the Wild Hunt, which Leo leads, rides from the Day of the Dead (or rather the Norse equivalent, Álfablót, a sacrifice to the elves) through Yuletide. Leo just happens to lead his Hunt through the Arizona desert among the snow-capped red rocks of Sedona, inspired by Johnny Cash’s Ghostriders in the Sky.

So, to recap, Leo looks like Thor, can be not-so-bright on occasion like Kevin, leads Odin’s Wild Hunt, has more than one personality, can shift into a Norse dragon, punches Nazis, and wears a cowboy hat and boots with a brown leather duster while riding through Sedona’s snowy nights. And Rhea has the blood of Lilith in her veins (oh, did I not mention that?), can read people’s fates in their tattoos, looks like a Riot Grrl (cuz I'm old), and is salty.

Oh, and for readers who like “Easter eggs” in their books (of a sort):
Dressler means Turner in German.
And that reference is timely right now, but that’s all I have to say about that, or I’ll just have a rage fit.

Never mind me; it’s been that kind of a year.

The Dragon’s Hunt, Book 3 in the Sisters in Sin series from Harlequin Nocturne, is available now from the following retailers:
Barnes & Noble

Note that this series should be read in order! You can find the series order and buy links on my website.

As a special bonus, I’ve just received the cover for Book 4 in the series, Seducing the Dark Prince:

Hell Might Be Heavenly...for One of the Sisters in Sin
Lucien Smok is heir to the Smok fortune. He's also the crown prince of Hell, a legacy he despises. Clairvoyant Theia Dawn tries to convince herself that she's only interested in Lucien because of his family's role in the persecution of her ancestor, not because he's the most beguiling man she's ever met. The attraction that burns between them might be her downfall. Or it might be his salvation.

Seducing the Dark Prince is available now for pre-order from the following retailers: | Barnes & Noble | Booktopia | iBooks | Kobo

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Nix Those Holiday Blues

The festive season is upon us and how quickly it arrived.

Seems like yesterday it was November and Thanksgiving... Oh, wait, that could be because I'm still seeing turkey everywhere since I cooked a 25 pound bird. My kitties and all those rampaging in the neighborhood are happy balls of fur who definitely put on a few pounds.

It's also the time of year an abundance of wonderful holiday stories hit shelves in every book outlet. I enjoy Christmas stories that give a peek at how many ways people celebrate the season. Do they stay home and decorate a tree or whip up delicious goodies that everyone samples around a fireplace as carols heralding the season play softly in the background? Is attendance at an office party or a small gathering of friends part of their festivities? And who doesn't wonder if an elf may show up--will they bring joy or mischief? As the scent of cinnamon, apples, and peppermint waft through air, I look for books that toss a generous dose of spice into a romance.

So many magical things crop up during this time of year as happens in my Christmas stories which are erotic romances. A visit to a far-off romantic island getaway, celebration of a special bonding ceremony, and Santa Claus, well, his son anyway.

HOLIDAY BLUES brings the story of an office manager who becomes entangled in a threesome with her boss and his best friend.

Two men who love each other, add one woman…

Pennington Seevers picked the same all-inclusive island get-away the very woman he wants to escape also chose. Partner, best friend, and lover, Rory Burton, is along for the trip and though they enjoy sex together, even love each other, Rory insists Pennington is more than attracted to Headley Etta Xavier and accuses him of not wanting to share as they often do.

Headley Etta Xavier who goes by the name Hex knows involving herself with her boss, Pennington, or his second in command, Rory, might mean an end to her job so she takes her first vacation in years hoping to wipe both from her mind. Little does she realize the men she watches having sex from a hidden spot behind a tree is Penn and Rory. Worse yet, seeing them in the act doesn’t deter Hex, it makes her hotter than hell!

A holiday to remember or a case of holiday blues?

THE GIFT tells the tale of two men who overcome adversity to celebrate a special bond.

Rad and Crayton— the same yet different. They meet as often as possible throughout the year to be together. Christmastime is particularly special; it's when they celebrate their bonding. Mermen, one born in the south Caribbean Sea, the other from frozen waters surrounding Iceland. Neither can exist for long in the other's climate.

Rad returns to his summer home in Pennsylvania, determined it will be the last time. The cold has taken a deadly toll on him. Cray can go no farther south, so they will have to give up their celebration, and the Christmas holiday together.

Cray discovers a way to defeat Mother Nature but—is it too late?

SANTA'S CLAUSE is now part of Changeling's A CHANGELING FOR ALL SEASONS, VOL. 8 Here you'll find a mix of holiday cheer by thirteen awesome authors! Mine has a heroine who finds breaking bad with Santa can be damn good!

Lacey Dalton gave up on Santa Claus a long time ago. Every Christmas Eve she waited like a good girl to see what Santa would bring. He never came. Now she’s in her late twenties and he shows up with a contract! If Lacey signs on the dotted line, anything she wants is hers… if she lets Santa have her for one night.

Hopefully, you'll find something to brighten your holiday, a story that brings back a wonderful memory, a new idea for celebrating the season.

Merry Christmas early!

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

Monday, December 4, 2017

When The Words You Write Are Frightful…

by Maureen L. Bonatch

…But not having an empty, blank page is delightful. When you’ve only got a month to go, let words flow, let words flow, let words flow! 

Or How To Keep Writing that Novel Even When You Want To Quit. 

Forgive my attempt at butchering what may be one of your favorite Christmas songs, but I am fresh out of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWri) and high off a win. (A win meaning that I wrote 50,000 words in the month of November). 

I’ve written about NaNoWri many times before and addressed things such as:

So I’m sure you’re wondering what else I could possibly have to say about National Novel Writing Month—don’t tempt me. I did just vomit out 50,000 words in a tight time frame. 

But despite participating for the past 10 years, this year’s NaNoWri was a little different. Even though I love NaNoWri and look forward to it every year. This year was the first time since I started winning over the last 6 years that I was tempted to quit.

What Kept My Fingers on the Keyboard

You Can’t Edit A Blank Page (I’ve tried. It’s Useless)
  • I may have a ‘hot mess’ of 50,000 words, but there is bound to be some diamonds in the rough once I tear it apart with editing.
Peer Pressure (AKA: Find Your People)
  • I joined several teams (SavvyAuthors NaNoWri Bootcamp and From the Heart Romance Writers (FTHRW)) who competed for the most words for the month. There’s nothing like a little competition to get me up and at the keyboard at the crack of dawn. The sprints, motivational quotes and team spirit helped as well.
Be A Role Model (Moms Can’t Be Quitters)
  • Besides my teams, for the last few years I’ve not competed in NaNoWri alone. For two years both my daughters joined in, but didn’t make it too far through the month (they were around 13), last year one of my daughters did NaNoWri with me but she didn’t hit the word count, but this year she did! When I was tempted to give it up I'd see her determinedly pushing through the word counts. When I showed her my winning certificate on the 29th, it pushed her enough to finish over 5,000 words in one day and make goal!

What I Learned From This Year

  • Prepare Before You Start: I don’t outline, but prior years when I wrote a brief summary of the story, or at least a list of plot points I ended up with a more coherent story—that still required heavy editing.
  • Don’t Be A “Yes” Girl: I knew from the start of the month that I’d overextended myself with personal, professional and writing obligations in addition to NaNoWri. But I was too stubborn to miss my favorite month.

Kind of Like My Christmas Tree

As the final days of NaNoWri wound down, the story hung heavy on my mind as we put up our Christmas decorations. Our tree isn’t
one of the ones that is color coordinated, or themed, it’s more of what I like to think of as a memory tree. I buy an ornament for my girls and husband each year to symbolize something from that year. 

As I watched the tree spin on the rotating stand, with it’s collection of ornaments that didn’t quite go together, but each spectacular on their own. I realized that’s kind of how my NaNoWri story turned out this year. 

Now to make those pieces mesh into a perfect whole.

My 2012 NaNoWri Winner!
My 2013 NaNoWri Winner!

Visit My Amazon Author Page for info on all my books.

Happy Holiday! Enjoy this complimentary gift of holiday hacks from my publisher, and the authors, of The Wild Rose Press.
Click Here.
Author Bio: Maureen Bonatch grew up in small town Pennsylvania and her love of the four
seasons—hockey, biking, sweat pants and hibernation—keeps her there. While immersed in writing or reading paranormal romance and fantasy, she survives on caffeine, wine, music, and laughter. A feisty Shih Tzu keeps her in line. Find Maureen on her websiteFacebookTwitter