31 January 2008

13 reviews

Thirteen book reviews that have piqued my interest:

  1. Grimspace by Ann Aguirre at Dear Author
  2. Like a Thief in the Night by Bettie Sharpe at Mrs. Giggles.
  3. Heart of the Winter Wolf by Dani Harper at Book Utopia.
  4. The Tea Rose by Jennifer Donnelly at AAR.
  5. Heat of the Night by Sylvia Day at Darque Reviews.
  6. Demon Night by Meljean Brook at The Good, The Bad, The Unread.
  7. Beautiful Girl by Shiloh Walker at I Just Finished Reading…
  8. General Winston's Daughter by Sharon Shinn at AAR.
  9. No Commitment Required by Seressia Glass at Dear Author.
  10. Paul's Dream by Rowan McBride at Book Utopia.
  11. Caine's Reckoning by Sarah McCarty at Karen Scott's.
  12. Dawn's Awakening by Lora Leigh at The Good, The Bad, The Unread.
  13. The Spymaster's Lady by Joanna Bourne at Dear Author.
Well, obviously I read reviews at Dear Author! But also a number of other sites. The last, 13, I've even bought and is on my tbr pile.

So which reviews have you read lately that got you interested in a book?

30 January 2008

Jenn's Addiction

People always seem to ask me the same question in chats, or interviews, "What inspires you to write your stories?" Though, sometimes, I get the feeling what they want to ask is, "What in the heck are you smoking?" After thinking about it, though, I've realized that I am an addict of sorts and what I'm jonesin' for is books, movies, and music, and here lately, I've figured out that I am even a little bit of a television-phile. But like many, I never knew what I had until it was gone. *sniffles*

Movies(and television to a certain extent) are pure visual escapism where I can just watch the story unfold. It's harder for me to do that if the movie in question is based on a book I've already read. My brain can't mesh the book/movie versions and I end up frustrated instead of happy. Although, a hot hunkolicious man in the lead role doesn't hurt my feelings any.

Books have been my friends for over thirty years. I'm a total book-hewoor. If you have a book, you may not want to lend it to me. While I won't hurt it, there is the chance that I will think of it as my own once I've taken it into my bookcave to fondle, er.. I mean read.

A truly great song can carry me heights of happiness and fling me to the pits of despair from one chorus to the next. My tastes are eclectic, from metal, classical, to hiphop and yes, I know you're surprised to hear it, even the pure sweet twang of a sad country song. While this one is the most conducive to my creativity as I can listen to it while writing, it can distract me as well, so I have to strike a precarious balance between feeding my addictions and working.


Of course, when all the others pale, there is always that old standby....



CHOCOLATE!!




*pauses for a moment of silence*


Whatever your addiction is, feed it every once in a while, because indulging yourself can be a great way to fuel your creativity.



Happy Wednesday and Happy Writing,


Jenna

29 January 2008

January 29 New Releases

This week, we have 3 paranormal or fantasy releases with a trio of *amazing* covers, so I uploaded them all! You may see some familiar names in this mix:

"A Spell for Susannah" by Jody Wallace
Genre: Fantasy Romance
ISBN: 1-59998-872-0
Length: Plus Novel
Price: 6.50
Publication Date: January 29, 2008
Cover art by Christine Clavel

A not-ready-for-Disney fairy tale.

***
"In the Shadow of the Selkie" by M. A. duBarry
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Red Hots!
ISBN: 1-59998-874-7
Length: Novella
Price: 3.50
Publication Date: January 29, 2008
Cover art by Vanessa Hawthorne

In the dangerous world of the selkie underground, a selkie vampire king and a mortal woman join forces to fight the queen of darkness that would destroy them all.

***
"Princess of Thieves" by Gia Dawn
Genre: Fantasy Romance, Red Hots!
ISBN: 1-59998-018-5
Length: Novel
Price: 5.50
Publication Date: January 29, 2008
Cover art by Anne Cain

Cross a lawyer with a tale-spinning thief and throw in three meddling fairy godmothers. Result? Magical mayhem, hidden evils and dangerous desire! Demons of Dunmore, Book 3

***
Jody W.
A SPELL FOR SUSANNAH--Available now from Samhain Publishing
http://www.jodywallace.com/ * http://meankittybox.blogspot.com/

Two Veilers with Releases This Week!

Congratulations Jody Wallace and Gia Dawn, who both have books releasing today from Samhain Publishing!

Click the author links in the sidebar for ordering information.

26 January 2008

Big changes afoot!

Dear readers,

You may have noticed there are quite a few new authors' covers over in the sidebar. That's because starting Feb. 1, the authors of the Fantasy and Enchantment blog will be merging with Beyond the Veil! We're all terribly excited and happy to have these fabulous authors on board. They are: Dayna Hart, Gia Dawn, Jean Marie Ward, Melissa Lopez, and Rebecca Goings. Christine Norris, another Samhain author, will be joining us as well.

The new merged blog will still be called "Beyond the Veil" and for now we're not moving anywhere. The only noticable difference will be that our tagline is going to change to reflect the change in focus, from "just" paranormal, to paranormal and fantasy.

Each author will be blogging roughly once a month, with a lot more wiggle room in the schedule for guest bloggers, contests, special projects, whatever strikes our fancy.

Also, while I'm at it, I hope you'll join me in welcoming back S.J. Willing! S.J.'s been offline for a little while as he deals with moving to a new house and all that goes with it. We've missed him terrible and overjoyed to have him - and Agent Double D3 - back in rotation!

Well, I've got to get back to adding rooms to the BtV Castle Keep. The faeries are all going to want corner chambers. Hmm, I think the stables will need to be expanded as well - all those dragons moving in, ya know. *sigh* So much to do! Must make a note to call in the Kilted Construction Crew to help out...



Slan,
Carolan
www.carolanivey.com

25 January 2008

How Long Should It Be?

A.K.A. Cutting it close, indeed

So, you’ve been going steady now for a few months. Life is good, the dates are good, the visits to the folks were good and the sex, bless his dark soulless heart, is fantastic. Yet during one of those steaming, make-me-scream-double-and-pull-the-ceiling-down orgasms you noticed, running your fingers through his hair, that he’s had the same old style for absolutely ever. Okay, we know his lifestyle, trepidation of sharp implements, and the fear of a gay Mr. Universe covered in tattoos fawning over him; will prevent him from getting anywhere near a barber shop. You’ve decided, then, to take matters into your own hands and forced your, rather reluctant, beau to sit in towel-wrapped-around-neck glory in your easy-to-sweep-the-floor kitchen. The trouble is, now you have all the implements of the expert coiffeur neatly stacked beside you, you have no idea what to do.

Never fear our special Agent Double D.3 has risked life, limb and fingertips in barbershops nationwide to bring you this exclusive report on everything you need to know to trim those silky locks. Can’t tell the shears from the snips? Find yourself sticking the comb into his ear each time? Not sure what the difference between a thinner and a trimmer is? Then come on in, take a seat, fluff up the apron and read Agent Double D.3’s special report on Cutting it close, indeed.

Agent Double D.3 reports :

1. Vampires: Don’t ask me why but these fellas, in spite of being dead, still grow hair. Yeah, yeah, yeah, we’ve heard all the arguments about polylactic acetyl enzymes and the maturity effect of vampire life magic. But let’s face it, it’s just a bloody nuisance having to untangle those long raven locks of his every time he takes a quick feast while on his way home and gets blood clots stuck in them. That’s another three hours wasted tending to him in the coffin when you could have been spending his hard bitten cash in the local fashion show. So, treat your fella to a nice short style, one that keeps the hair out of his eyes and well away from any unsuspecting wench’s neck. Rub in a goodly amount of garlic oil and the feisty stuff might not even grow for a while. What? He wants to know what you’re both going to do about being pantyless? Hell, nothing. You’re not sticking your face anywhere near him until that garlic smell wears off. Geesh, men!

2. Werewolves: This might be the first time you hear your werewolf lover whimper. Unfortunately it has nothing to do with the unbridled lust he feels at learning you’re without panties, and more to do with the loss of his wondrous, silken coat of fur. Never mind that the aforementioned silken coat is matted with mud, twigs, the entrails of moonlight feasts and literally crawling with bugs and other creatures that you dare not name. Be lenient with him though, leave him a reasonable head of hair, say, to just above his shoulders. After all, even the most timid of prey would likely laugh themselves to death at the sight of a bald wolf. If you feel this task is a little beyond you just take him to the nearest Petco grooming station. Make sure to bring his doggie treats with you and maybe you’ll get a treat back home…

3. Ghosts: Now you’re trying to make me laugh, yeah? I mean. Ghost, like, ghost. Yeah? Since when have you literally been able to grab this guy and hold him still for anything, let alone a haircut. Okay, so the sex is great, and you really get a thrill out of an ectoplasmic orgasm. But that’s not actual physical contact, right? This guy just doesn’t exist in a solid form and any attempt to trim his hair is likely to leave you with more than a few dozen nicks in your fingers. For this one gals, just take the easy route out. Exorcise him and keep hunting round till you find a ghost with the hair style you like. It will be so much simpler in the long run.

4. Invisible men: 1: Place mannequin head on table. 2: Sit in chair. 3: Place lovers wig on mannequin head. 4: Style to your hearts content. Hey, why waste energy trying to do the impossible. And think of all that extra time he’ll have to reward you for the panty free styling. Just wanted to mention it.

5. Mermen: The main problem here is the salt. Well, okay, the salt, the limpets, the barnacles, the… First thing is take him to your private swimming pool (or bathtub) and hold him underwater for, oooh, let’s say seven hours to begin with. Tie him there if necessary, after all this is for his own good. Come back every two hours to tease him about your pantyless state and ruffle his hair good. Remember to bring a chisel and hammer too, since some of them clam things really don’t want to give up their homesteading rights. At the end of the week, when he’s finally salt and shell free, sit his surly butt in the kitchen and snip those wavy bushels of hair to a nice buzz cut. After all he doesn’t really need hair, it just slows him down when he’s swimming. If he’s up to it afterwards, take him to the bedroom and remind him of your pantyless disposition, maybe he’ll return the buzz cut favor…

6. Incubus: Let’s face it, you’re gonna have sex. Aint nothing you can do which isn’t going to make this guy crazy in love with you, so make sure you do the styling naked. Preferably bent over the kitchen island and singing “Sweet mysteries of life,” while you do. Who knows, maybe twelve or a hundred orgasms later you might actually have given him a decent crew cut. It’s worth a try, eh?

7. Djinn: Djinn’s, alas, love their braids. It’s as if the braid holds their very life force in place and they would rather die than have it trimmed. Of course, he’s very welcome to spend the rest of his life in the bottle… Once he’s finally come around to your way of thinking don’t be too harsh on him. Chop off an inch a day on the braid thing. With a bit of luck he won’t use magic to regrow it back too quickly and you’ll have him with a sexy just-below-the-ear style in less than a year. If all else fails, well, there’s bound to be another magic lamp somewhere in the world.

Agent Double D.3 report ends.

24 January 2008

Thirteen Paranormal and Fantasy books Coming Soon

Thirteen Paranormal and Fantasy books Coming Soon

1 - In the Shadow of the Selkie by M. A. duBarry - In the dangerous world of the selkie underground, a selkie vampire king and a mortal woman join forces to fight the queen of darkness that would destroy them all. Publication Date: January 29, 2008




2 - Princess of Thieves by Gia Dawn - Cross a lawyer with a tale-spinning thief and throw in three meddling fairy godmothers. Result? Magical mayhem, hidden evils and dangerous desire! Publication Date: January 29, 2008


3 - Into the Mist by Maya Banks - One woman’s mission to bring down a sexy elemental shifter turns into a battle of wills…and hearts. Publication Date: February 5, 2008


4 - The King's Daughter by MC Halliday - As a dark web of spells closes in, Magaith may be Sygtryg’s only hope—and she his only destiny. Publication Date: February 5, 2008

5 - Stripped Away by Sydney Somers - Quinn excels at slaying demons. But betrayal is the one demon she never saw coming. Publication Date: February 5, 2008


6 - Lights, Camera…Monsters by Lila Dubois - When monsters need a makeover, they head for the one place that can make it happen. Hollywood. -Publication Date: February 12, 2008



7 - The Trouble with Kings by Sherwood Smith - Princess Flian finds herself the unwilling object of desire of three royals. Is the one she wants a villain—or a hero? - Publication Date: February 12, 2008


8 - Savage Retribution by Lexxie Couper - An animal rights activist is about to get a crash course in werewolves. One she may not survive. Publication Date: February 19, 2008



9 - Davin's Quest by Bianca D'Arc - Which man will Callie choose, the alien or the warrior? Or can she have both? Publication Date: February 19, 2008


10 - To Tempt a Wolf by Colette Denee - The best way to tempt a wolf? Offer something irresistibly sweet. Publication Date: February 26, 2008

11 - Standoff by Lauren Dane - It’s the law of the Pack—or anarchy. Publication Date: March 4, 2008



12 - Dark Prince of Anfall by Ciar Cullen - The bad boy Elf of Anfall shifts his way into a Texas Ranger’s heart. Publication Date: March 7, 2008


13 - Night Rhythm by Charlene Teglia - He’s waited centuries for her rebirth. Can he persuade her to love again? Publication Date: March 7, 2008



Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!
The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things.
Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Belated New Releases from January 22, 2008

I'm two days late posting, but these books are still enjoying their first seven days of release. Samhain had a very paranormal and futuristic week! Make sure you check out:

“Magnetic Attraction” by Mandy M. Roth
Genre: Romantic SciFi-Futuristic, Red Hots!
ISBN: 1-59998-867-4
Length: Novella
Price: 3.50

No matter how many light years you run, the past is never far behind.

***

“Master of Disaster” by Lani Aames
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Red Hots!
ISBN: 1-59998-869-0
Length: Novella
Price: 3.50
Cover art by Scott Carpenter

If you held the fate of the world in your hands…what would you do?

***

“Starbound” by Kassie Burns
Genre: Romantic SciFi-Futuristic, Red Hots!
ISBN: 1-59998-870-4
Length: Category
Price: 4.50

Four lovers’ lives are torn apart by a despotic race bent on sexual slavery.

***

“The Host: Shadows” by MK Mancos
Genre: Paranormal Romance
ISBN: 1-59998-871-2
Length: Novel
Price: 5.50

Sometimes the things that go bump in the night are there to protect the innocent.

***

Jody W.
A SPELL FOR SUSANNAH--January 29, 2008, Samhain Publishing
http://www.jodywallace.com/ * http://meankittybox.blogspot.com/

23 January 2008

Training a Puppy and Writing



I did something this past holiday season that I’ve never done before. I took more than one consecutive day off from writing! After the passing of my beloved dog, Wiggles, I emotionally spiraled downward for awhile. It was difficult to write without his head and paws resting on top of my feet.

But life does go on. After mourning Wiggles for a few weeks, I decided it was time to find another dog. Although I still had my two other dogs—Maxie and Lady—the house simply felt like it was missing something without that third dog. So, after an extensive search, Sammy came into my life.

I’d forgotten how exciting, tumultuous and frenetic life can be with a puppy. Yet as I chased him around the yard trying to pull grass and twigs out of his mouth (like many puppies, he’ll put most anything in his mouth), it suddenly occurred to me just how similar raising a puppy and handling a writing career can be. Let me share those similarities.

Similarity Number One: Sometimes it’s fun, but sometimes it’s just plain hard work. Puppies are cute and cuddly. Puppies are funny and lovable. Puppies, however, are just plain hard work. From watching them every second to trying to housetrain them, they take a lot of time and effort. Unlike human babies, they are also extremely mobile in those first few weeks. During the first couple of months with Sammy, I found myself wishing I could slap a diaper on him and strap him into a cradle. No such luck.

Don’t get me wrong. I love puppies. I am a true dog fanatic. However, I also love to write. I’ve written in one form or another all my life. I’ll never give it up. Plus, once I’ve finished a book, I’m thrilled and proud of what I’ve accomplished. Writing can be great fun. However, there are other days when putting my butt in my chair and getting to work is the last thing I want to do. I’d rather go shopping. I’d rather go out to lunch. But writing is what I do. It’s my profession. So I take the hard work along with the enjoyment.

Similarity Number Two: If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. Of course, you can guess what I’m talking about, can’t you? Training a puppy to do his business in the yard—and not on my clean carpet—is a full-time job. There were accidents and there were other times when I would’ve sworn Sammy peed on my carpet on purpose. You know. Just to get my goat. Heck, at times he did it while staring directly at me as though saying, “Oh, yeah? You don’t want me to pee inside where it’s warm and dry? Ha! Watch this, lady!”

Believe it or not, training a pup is a lot like writing. For instance, when I write a scene, I turn on the internal editor and just write it. However, I know from experience that the first version is never exactly the way I want it. The first draft is never complete. Never perfect. Never “placed” in the right spot. Just like Sammy’s sometimes pitiful attempts to poo in the right spot. But, just like with Sammy, I don’t give up. I try and try again and know that, eventually, I’ll get what I want and where I want it.

Similarity Number Three: What comes out is sometimes *#&*. Yep, you got it right. For the first three weeks of his life with me, Sammy had a parasite that turned his stool to mush. It was awful and it stunk to you-know-where. So, being a good dog owner, I followed the vet’s instruction and gave him medicine three times each day for three weeks.

You can see where I’m going with this, can’t you? Sometimes what I write is good. At times, it’s very good (if I do say so myself). But at other times, it’s just plain terrible. That’s when I go back to the beginning and work to turn &^%* into something good.

Similarity Number Four: The result is not always what you wanted when you started. I agree with Forest Gump’s mamma. Life is like a box of chocolates because you don’t always know what you’ll get. Puppies are supposed to grow up to be what you bought, right? A shih-tzu isn’t going to turn into a Doberman, right? Well, okay, maybe. I have one shih-tzu who was sold to me as a full-bred shih-tzu. However, he’s much bigger, much brawnier than any shih-tzu I’ve seen. I think he must be part Lab. But it’s okay. I still love the big lug.

Books are often the same way. I’ve written books thinking they were funny and light-hearted only to have readers email me to say they cried through much of the book. Okay, sure. Most of my books contain the gamut different emotions. Still, as the author, I have a certain impression of each book. Fortunately and unfortunately, the reader’s impression can be totally different from mine. And it’s okay. I still love my readers.

Similarity Number Five: Feedback is good and bad. Puppies give feedback in non-verbal ways. A snuggle in your lap says “I trust you.” A rapid succession of licks on the cheek says “I love you.” Yet not all their feedback is good. A slight nip on the hand can say “I don’t like what you’re doing.”

Writing is the same. Whether it’s a reader emailing to rave about my latest release or a reviewer trashing the book, feedback can vary widely. As a professional, I know this is true and, as a dog owner, I’ve learned to appreciate the good feedback and use the negative one for learning a good lesson.

Similarity Number Six: Even with the bad, I wouldn’t trade it for the world. Okay, I admit it. Getting used to a new puppy and training a new member of the household is daunting. At times, I regretted my decision to get another dog. But the first time Sammy rested his head and paws on my feet while I was writing, I knew I wouldn’t have traded him for the world.

Writing is often frustrating, aggravating, annoying, perplexing, thankless and worse. But when push comes to shove, I know the joy and benefits outweigh everything else. So, with Sammy at my feet, I’ll keep on writing.


Beverly Rae - www.beverlyrae.com
Giggle, Gasp & Sigh with a Beverly Rae Romance

22 January 2008

Futuristic Romances Pre-2004: A Very Long List

Bianca's post yesterday got me thinking about a newsletter I used to helm called the Science Fiction Romance Newsletter. I handed over the masthead in time, and the newsletter is no longer active, but at one time I gathered what I felt was the most complete list of futuristic romances from mainstream publishers available at the time. I was a regular list maniac. I had many lists. I narrowed my lists into subgenres and ended up having different lists for releases from mainstream romance houses, mainstream sf/f houses, and small presses because the lists became too unwieldy when combined.

On this particular list, I combined current day or first contact romances with space opera, future Earth, time travel with/from future Earth, and different planets. This list also doesn't take into account when authors have gotten their rights back and re-released the books for a new and adoring public to appreciate.

Anyway, I've wanted to update this list for years, and I thought I'd share it here if anyone is interested in its "historical" significance. Also, maybe making it public will force me to begin the task of updating. The last time I weeded this garden was -- ouch! -- early 2004. I'm sure you folks can help, too! Right? Right? :) The links should take you to the books' summaries at Amazon, or they did when they existed on the old site.

So, do you remember many of these old gems? Not that they're all antiques, but do you know which one of these was released the earliest? Did you know there were *this many* released before today's yummy boom of sf romances?

Anthologies: Charmed, Enchanted Crossings, In Our Dreams, Lovescape, A Mother's Way, Night Magic, The Only One, Out of This World, Silent Night, Summer Love.
Archer, Jennifer: Shocking Behavior.
Arnold, Judith: A> Loverboy (HA 389).
Ashley, Amanda: The Captive, Deeper Than the Night, Sunlight/Moonlight.
Avery, Anne: All's Fair, A Distant Star, "Dream Seeker" in Enchanted Crossings, Far Star, Hidden Heart.
Baker, Madeline: Beneath a Midnight Moon, Warrior's Lady.
Ballard, Patricia: By Honor Bound.
Bangs, Nina: Night Games, An Original Sin (Wink & A Kiss, 3).
Barbieri, Elaine: Dance of the Flame.
Barry, CJ: Unearthed, Unraveled.
Bennett, Janice: Amethyst Moon.
Brandewyne, Rebecca: Beyond the Starlit Frost, Passion Moon Rising.
Brockman, Susan: Time Enough for Love (Loveswept, No 858).
Burke, Cinnamon: Lady Rogue, Rapture's Mist, Ring of Fire.
Campbell, Marilyn: Pyramid of Dreams, Stardust Dreams, Stolen Dreams, Topaz Dreams, Worlds Apart.
Cane, Nancy: Circle of Light, Keeper of the Rings, Moonlight Rhapsody, Starlight Child.
Castle, Jayne: After Dark, Afterglow, Amaryllis, "Bridal Jitters" in Charmed, Harmony, Orchid, Zinnia.
Casto, Jackie: Daughter of Destiny, Dreams of Destiny, The New Frontier.
Cameron, Stella: Early in the Morning in Summer Love.
Cavanaugh, Sara: A Woman in Space.
Conn, Phoebe: Beyond the Stars, Starfire.
Cooper, Astrid: Crystal Dreams.
Copeland, Lori: The Best of Lori Copeland: Out of This World & Forever After.
Cresswell, Jasmine: Midnight Fantasy (Harlequin Temptation 574.
Davis, Justine: Lord of the Storm, The Skypirate.
Dawson, Saranne: Crystal Enchantment, From the Mist, Greenfire, Spell Bound, Star-Crossed, Starlight, Starbright Note: See books missing? Ms. Dawson has several books in the fantasy romance subgenre as well.
Deauxville, Katherine: Out of the Blue.
Delinsky, Barbara: The Outsider.
Elizabeth, Suzanne: Till the End of Time.
Estrada, Rita Clay: Forms of Love (Harlequin Temptation #500).
Flanders, Rebecca: Earthbound, Quinn's Way (Harlequin American Romance 558).
Fox, Karen: Somewhere My Love, Sword of MacLeod.
Gill, Judy: Whispers on the Wind.
Gordan, Deborah: Runaway Time.
Grant, Susan: Contact, The Star King, The Star Prince, The Star Princess , The Legend of Banzai Maguire , "The Day Her Heart Stood Still" in A Mother's Way anthology, "The Star Queen" in The Only One anthology, The Scarlet Empress.
Hall, Chloe: Ariel's Dance.
Hansen, Kim: Close Encounter (Harlequin American Romance #604).
Harris, Leann: Hunter's Heart.
Hooper, Kay: Summer of the Unicorn.
Hutchinson, Bobby: Not Quite an Angel (Harlequin Superromance #595.
Jordan, Marilyn: Warrior Moon.
Joy, Dara: Knight of a Trillion Stars, Mine To Take, "My One" in Lovescape, Rejar, Ritual of Proof.
Kauffmann, Donna: The Royal Hunter.
Kendyl, Sharice: To Share a Sunset.
Kenyon, Sherrilyn: Born of the Night, Paradise City.
Knight, Angela: Jane's Warlord.
Krentz, Jayne Ann: Crystal Flame, Shield's Lady, Sweet Starfire.
Krinard, Susan: "Kinsman" in Out of This World, Kinsman's Oath, Star Crossed.
Kyle, Kristen: Nighthawk.
Lee, Carole Ann: Banner's Bonus (Futuristic Romance).
Lindsey, Johanna: Heart of a Warrior, Keeper of the Heart , Warrior's Woman.
Madden, Mickee: One Bright Star.
Mallory, Tess: Jewels of Time, To Touch the Stars.
Maverick, Liz: The Shadow Runners.
Maxwell, Ann: Change, Dancer's Luck, Dancer's Illusion, Fire Dancer, The Jaws of Menx, Timeshadow Rider. Note: Most of the Ann Maxwell books were reprinted by romance publishers except Jaws of Menx, so look for it in the sf/f section of your bookstore.
McCutcheon, Pam: Golden Prophecies, Quicksilver.
McReynolds, Glenna: Prince of Time.
Michels, Christine: Ascent to the Stars (Love Spell), Beneath a Crimson Moon, In Destiny's Arms, In Fugitive Arms.
Morgan, Kathleen: Crystal Fire, Firestar, Firestorm (Five Star), Heart's Lair, Heart's Surrender (Five Star), The Knowing Crystal, Last Gatekeeper (Anthology: Enchanted Crossings). Note: See books missing? Ms. Morgan has several books in the fantasy romance subgenre as well.
Nance, Kathleen: Day of Fire.
O'Shea, Patti: Power of Two, Ravyn's Flight.
Owens, Robin: Heart Duel, HeartMate, Heart Thief.
Piel, Stobie: The Dawn Star, Lord of the Dark Sun, The Midnight Moon, The White Sun.
Popp, Robin: Too Close to the Sun.
Rafferty, Carin: Touch of Night (Dreamspun).
Richards, Emilie: From a Distance (SIM 456), Somewhere Out There (SIM 498).
Robb, J.D.: Betrayal in Death, Ceremony in Death, Conspiracy in Death, Glory in Death, Holiday in Death, Immortal in Death, "Interlude in Death" in Out of This World, Judgment in Death, Loyalty in Death, "Midnight in Death", in the anthology Silent Night, Naked in Death, Rapture in Death, Seduction in Death, Vengeance in Death, Witness in Death.
Roberts, Nora: Time Changes, Time Was (SIM 313).
Rock, Pam: Love's Changing Moon, Moon of Desire, Star Searcher, A World Away.
Roenbeck, Patricia: Golden Conquest, Golden Temptress.
Ross, JoAnn: Moonstruck Lovers (HT 436), Star-Crossed Lovers (HT 432).
Rush, Mallory: Kiss of the Beast (HT 558).
Savery, Jeanne: A Timeless Love (Zebra Regency Romance).
Shayne, Maggie: Out-Of-This-World Marriage (SIM 633).
Sizemore, Susan: After the Storm, Wings of the Storm.
Spangler, Catherine: Shadower, Shamara, Shielder, Shadow Crossing, Shadow Fires.
Speer, Flora: Destiny's Lovers, Lady Lure, No Other Love, Venus Rising. Note: See books missing? Ms. Speer has several books in the time travel romance subgenre as well.
Squires, Susan: Body Electric.
Stewardson, Dawn: Gone With the West (H Super 615), Moon Shadow (H Super 477).
Tarantino, Janice: The Crystal City, The Crystal Prophecy.
Taylor, Janelle: Moonbeams and Magic, Moondust and Madness, Stardust and Shadows, Starlight and Splendor.
Thompson, Trudy: Prisoner of Passion.
Waddell, Patricia: The Alliance (Lionheart), Whispers in the Stars.
Weyrich, Becky Lee: "Stars in her Eyes" in Night Magic.
Williams, Ann: Sam's World (SIM 615).
York, Rebecca: Prince of Time (HI 338), short story in In Our Dreams.
Zimlich, Jan: The Black Rose, Heart's Prey, Not Quite Paradise.

***

So. Let's update! Let me know what mainstream futuristics (or science fiction romances) have come out since 2004. I think we'll need to do a separate list for small press or it will be so long it frightens small children.

(I've got a fantasy romance list I can post as well, also woefully out of date.)

Jody W.
A SPELL FOR SUSANNAH--January 29, 2008, Samhain Publishing
http://www.jodywallace.com/ * http://meankittybox.blogspot.com/

21 January 2008

Spec Romance & The Marketplace

Please permit me to show off my latest cover. Ain't it great? The cover is for the print release of my first two Sons of Amber stories, which will be coming out from Phaze in March.

Okay, now that the eye candy portion of this post is done, let's talk about the book market a little. One of my last posts on this blog was about trends in the marketplace. Judging by my experience, paranormal is still very hot, yet the other speculative romance genres are beginning to make headway, much to my delight. My anecdotal evidence of this is the success of my recent paranormal ebook release, Sweeter Than Wine, and the plans being made by my publisher and booksellers for the upcoming print release of Hara's Legacy. (It will be be displayed on endcaps in both Borders and Waldenbooks for a few weeks after its release. Wow!!!)

Frankly, I've been amazed at every turn by the response Hara's Legacy is getting. I remember only a decade ago, when I first tried to sell the idea of a futuristic romance, the bigger publishing houses all rejected me. I stopped writing for a good long time, thinking I'd never be able to tell my kind of stories to the world. Now, it seems, the tide is turning. Although I believe it's still easier to give new ideas a shot with smaller publishers (why I chose to go this route), it seems the larger publishers--and book sellers especially--are starting to take notice of the readers' response to new and innovative storylines.

I think this is a win-win scenario for both writers and readers. Less cookie-cutter plots with the same old characters because big publishers want books that are "just like" something that was successful for another house. More choice for readers with more authors out there and smaller publishers taking chances on innovative works. All in all, it's a good thing for writers like me, and my friends here on BTV. Speaking of which, you may notice some changes around here (not sure if I'm supposed to mention this yet or not) in the coming weeks as we expand our coverage to include other speculative romance areas and more amazing authors. Stay tuned! Exciting things are afoot!

Bianca
Come over to The D'Arc Side... www.biancadarc.com

20 January 2008

Mystical Magickings and Manic Miscellany

Having finally just moved, and totally unable to find my Klahdagh set, or any of the Tarot, fairy and goddess reading cards I have, I’m just going to post here a little bit about how the Klahdagh came into being and hopefully do a reading the next time my turn comes around.

It was, really, a kind of accident in a way. My late wife, Teri, had been very gifted in her ability to read tarot and other things and the Klahdagh was spawned from one of her “moments”.

I remember the day well. An out-of-town friend had flown in to visit for the weekend, and this event always provoked, along with a flurry of fun activity, a tarot reading session or two. On this particular occasion Teri had me bring out her crystal ball, which was, for her, a very powerful thing and very rarely used.

It was during this time, (after managing to snap Teri out of yet another ball induced trance) that I noticed a diamond engagement/wedding ring on our guest’s finger.

Something about that ring oozed deceit.

I pondered on it for the rest of the day, up until the evening margharita’s, and then was promptly laid low the next day with pancreatitis. But the ring never left my thoughts for long.

Having had many years plying tarot cards, and other divination systems, and slowly becoming frustrated with all of them, an idea sparked that maybe I could marry my favorite systems (tarot and runes) into a new one and perhaps have a system which would be more suitable for my style of reading.

The next three weeks I sat down and began to think about what kind of system would be basic enough, like the runes, yet detailed enough to lead the reader into a defined reading.

So ideas, images and connections slowly popped into my head and the fundamentals of the Klahdagh were born. Firstly I found a need for four levels of tile. The Elder and most powerful of the tiles, the six tiles representing those events totally out of our control that can change and alter everything in our lives with one swipe of its claw. The Younger set to represent the minor dealings of our lives and living. The seasons tiles, for everything has a season and time, and our lives change along with the winds, snow and sunshine in our days. And then the Four Courts, for authority and laws hold a major sway over events and things we can do or say.

Loosely drawn from the tarot and the Viking runes the symbolic images representing sun, void, winter, and other more common things like cattle and tombs became the fabric of the divination. Each tile drawn and set in a pattern which interconnects and subtly changes the overall gist of the reading.

Still in a kind of infancy I’m occasionally fine-tuning the Klahdagh here and there. Yet some of the readings it has given have been with such clarity and accuracy it’s left the querent stunned.

The Klahdagh, at least for me, seems to be a success.

As for our guest with the ring who visited so, so long ago. Banil – the ring – held true. The deceit in her marriage, sadly, ran deeper than anyone at that time knew.

S.J.

19 January 2008

Visited from beyond?

I heard a news brief on NPR this week that caught my imagination (link includes audio of the story NPR aired).

"UFO Sightings Stream In from Texas Townsfolk"
Dozens of a small towns residents saw a large (bigger than a Walmart) object hovering overhead. The locals seem pretty calm about it all - no reports of abductions! - and the federal government is doing its best to spread the word that it was a natural occurance, such as light playing off an airplane flying by, or reflecting into clouds.

People around the world have chimed in with their theories, some curious and some openly mocking. The Washington Post ran an unscientific poll asking if people believed it was truly a UFO - so far, 60% vote yes.

I'm curious. I believe they saw something - too many reports with matching descriptions of size, speed, and sound. But was it a UFO?

Why not? I don't think we're alone. If we're looking for them, why shouldn't they be looking for us? My biggest question is what will happen when they say hello.

What do you think? Were we visited this week in Stephenville? What is going to happen when that contact is made?

18 January 2008

Library of Mythology


I would like to point out that I actually wrote this post yesterday. Because I forgot what day it was and I thought yesterday was Friday. For once, it turns out that I was a day early! This is important because I don’t always remember when it’s my day to blog. That would imply that I was in any way organized, which, clearly, I’m not. However, I actually put a few minutes of thought into this post and instead of my usual what weird mythology is Sela going to dig up today, I decided to talk about myths on a more …writerly level (Is that even a word? It is now.)

I spent some time over at Teach Me Tonight this week and, aside from discovering a wonderful new blog, I learned a lot about how writers write. See, our brains are “aglow with whirling, transient nodes of thought careening through a cosmic vapor of invention.” (Brownie points to the one who can name that movie quote.) Everything we’ve ever seen or read or heard lands on the fertile ground of our imagination, but we only become writers when we take that gigantic mess of stuff and transform it into a story.

Myth is the basis for thousands of contemporary stories – and nobody “owns” a myth. They may own the way they tell it, but the kernel at the heart of their story is free to whomever can write it a new and fresh way.

So where do we learn about myths to begin with? What puts them into our whirling nodes of thought? Where did you hear your first myth, and know what it was?

The first myths I learned were probably Norwegian. We lived in Norway for a couple of years before I started school and I remember tales of forest trolls and tiny, Santa-like “tomtes.” Then we moved to Egypt and the stories of Ra, Isis and Osiris were in the very air I breathed.

That’s when I started collecting books of fairytales and myth. Over the years, I’ve amassed quite a few. From my first East of the Sun and West of the Moon to my most recent purchases – two huge encyclopedias of mythology: Mythology: The Illustrated Anthology of World Myth and Storytelling, and Mythology: Myths, Legends and Fantasies.

I swear, I’m as happy as a mosquito at a blood bank.

Aside from these, I own D’Aulaire’s Book of Norse Myths, Bulfinch’s Mythology, and volumes of Welsh, Irish and English myth. I also treated myself to the New Verse Translation of Beowulf. But I don’t get all my information from these sources. I also have several sites bookmarked online that I use for reference.

Ancient Worlds.net is a gathering place for several different ancient cultures.
Timeless Myths is handy for Norse studies, as well as Celtic and Arthurian legend. Contains some information on Classical mythology.
The Encyclopedia Mythica is useful for looking up gods of all different cultures – if you know their names. It’s not designed to discuss an entire pantheon as a whole.
And yes, I use Wikipedia shamelessly. At the very least, the cross-referenced articles are a gold mine of information.

What’s in the myth section of your personal library?

17 January 2008

Tbr piles

Awhile back, I did a Thursday Thirteen that listed books on my tbr pile. I got curious to see if I'd read many, if any, of them. So I thought I'd revisit.

  1. Magic Bites Ilona Andrews—still want to read, though I did try once.
  2. Blood Bound Patricia Briggs—absolutely adored
  3. Lover Revealed JR Ward—read, it was fine
  4. Fire Logic Laurie J. Marks—must try again
  5. No Great Mischief Alastair MacLeod—unread
  6. The Fox Sherwood Smith—unread
  7. Riding the Storm Sydney Croft—unread
  8. Pale Immortal Anne Frasier—read, well written but too hard on the characters :(
  9. Stray Rachel Vincent—unread
  10. The Outback Stars Sandra McDonald–like!
  11. Not Quite a Lady Loretta Chase—unread
  12. One Forbidden Evening Jo Goodman—like!
  13. Mistress of the Art of Life and Death Ariana Franklin—started, but couldn't focus, want to pick up again when I can concentrate better
So, hmmm, 5 out of 13 doesn't seem to great. And 5 I didn't touch. So given that, I still have 7 up there I should add 5 more, I figure.

1. Iron Kissed Patricia Briggs
2. The Hell You Say Josh Lanyon
3. Lover Unbound JR Ward
4. If His Kiss is Wicked Jo Goodman
5. The Spymaster's Lady Joanna Bourne

So how are you tbr piles doing? Getting through any of the books? I find if a book stays on the pile too long, it never gets read, which is a bit of shame since I must have been excited about it at some point.

16 January 2008

Building a History

When beginning a story, or even thinking about one, I'm the type that thinks about the characters' history first.

Where do they come from? What do they do for a living? What's their favorite food, political leanings, likes, dislikes etc? What's their favorite sports team?

Knowing this information, helps me write these characters in a deep meaningful way. This type of information is important, well, besides the sports team question, which is a joke unless they happen to be a redneck, because that could be a murder motive right there.

History is important because it helps drive the plot along:

The hero and villain and they hate each other (aha!) The villain's out to kill the hero (and his girlfriend, the heroine) because of some crap that went down in college --or even high school. Nerds think about revenge and can build themselves a raygun to get it.
Or
Villain is peeved at the heroine for droppping him because he worked too much, drank too much, or just.. well, sucked at something I won't mention here. *coughs* And now he's out for revenge and/or to get her back. As if!
Or
The hero and heroine knew one another in high school. She was popular, he was a nerd. But now, after he grew into his nose, ears and um.. feet *grins* he got smokin' hot!! Guess what? Nerds think about sex when they're not figuring out how to build rayguns.
Or
He was popular in high school, she was the nerd. Guess what? Boys like bewbies, and now she's got them. Can you say wonderbra? I can. I can also say degree in business and a heap of confidence, which is what he notices. Along with the wonderbra, of course. I mean come on, they're bewbies, Ed.

***
History whether it's something that's shared between the two main characters or just somethingbetween the author knows about the and hero/heroine, it can help make the character more realistic.

Flaws, tics and/or other strange habits can help do this too, as long as they're not overdone, then it just gets annoying. Finding the right one is can be difficult though, but this is why most authors observe other people. We're looking for that one little quirk we need to give our characters all important.. LIFE! This fun-filled activity that authors-me at least- do is the only good reason I can think of to go to the mall or retail forbid, the Hellmart.


I'm praying they'll let Friday out early for good behavior, 'til then..
Happy Hump Day Yall,

Jenna Leigh

15 January 2008

Samhain New Releases

Samhain Publishing's new releases with sf/f elements for January 15, 2008 are:

"For Love and Country" by Mary Winter
Genre: Gay-Lesbian Romance, Red Hots! (Also Paranormal -- vampire hero)
ISBN: 1-59998-862-3
Length: Novella
Price: 3.50
Publication Date: January 15, 2008
Love? Or duty? His choice will damn his country—or his heart. A Serving Love story.

***
"Like a Thief in the Night" by Bettie Sharpe
Genre: Romantic SciFi-Futuristic, Red Hots!
ISBN: 1-59998-865-8
Length: Novella
Price: 3.50
Publication Date: January 15, 2008
Cover art by Scott Carpenter

She’s a heartless assassin; he’s an immortal thief. In another life, they would have been lovers. In this one, he’s her target and she’s his prize.

***

As for me, this morning I finally got my cover art! (My novel releases 2 weeks from today.) I'll post more about it another day, plus the video I'm creating.

Jody W.
A SPELL FOR SUSANNAH--January 29, 2008, Samhain Publishing
http://www.jodywallace.com * http://meankittybox.blogspot.com

14 January 2008

Playing God or Goddess

One of the first novels I wrote was the first book in a four part fantasy series I called The Prophet's Saga. When I say I know that world down to the minutia, I'm not lying to you. I could probably step into that book and get a job, I know it so well. I have a framed map of the country/continent where the books take place, which hangs in my office. I know the customs, religion, government and their rules of succession. I also begin each chapter with a quote from one of their sacred texts, or excerpts from one character to another. I love the world I created and only lament a publisher didn't love it as much. But I digress.

I spent the first draft of that first book engaged in trying to iron out exactly how the world fit together, putting it together a little bit as the story progressed. (And this first draft was all long hand!) But by the end of that draft, I knew my world inside and out.

Which brings me to my topic...

Do you like to world build?

For me, whether the story takes place in a futuristic America or on the heated plains of a duel-sun planet, world building is one of my most favorite activities to do while getting ready to write a book. Learning what motivates a culture or what their key inport/export is to me is totally fascinating. Birthing entire civilizations and seeing how they react is really a bit of a god (goddess) complex.

Some of my ideas for cultures are based on the known history of the Western world. Others take a more Eastern philosophy, and still others are purely from imagination...maybe even scattered remains of something I read in an archeological or scietific text. Whatever the basis for the world, I always try to put that one binding kernal in it to make it easily recognizable for the reader and not so far out of their experience they get lost in the explanation. After all, the goal is to submerge them in my world, not drown them in a sea of complicated explanations that will bore them to tears.

I've also been known to take myths and folklore and base a world on the story. Let the idea germinate until it fully blooms into something I can exploit. I have one story that pits two opposing forces against each other in a very bloody war with a clannish culture (similiar to historical Scotland) whose lands separate the two enemies. I got a lot of milage out of political intrigue by situating a country with it's own separate government right between the two warring parties.

So, how do you build your worlds? Do you start from the ground up? Do you start with your characters? Can you see the world completely, or does it come to you a little bit at a time as you write?

-Kat

13 January 2008

The Normal in Paranormal...

I was raised on preternatural fiction where the paranormal was hidden from the masses and everything that happened was covert and known only in legend. If mortals did happen to know about the creatures who slunk through the night, it was usually because they hunted them. Whether given holy charge by “the church”, or enlisted by an elite group within the government, the handful of warriors holding the truth were vigilant and ready to come to the rescue whenever the need arose. The rest of the world was clueless outside of gypsies, psychics, goths and various “fringe” groups who counted creatures of the night among their unending conspiracies.

Then fiction changed. More and more often stories began to emerge where the paranormal was part of the normal. These alternate realities where the grocer up the block is part goblin and the night watchman at your bank is part vampire began to grow in popularity and I found myself beginning to prefer them. When I stopped to look at where the appeal originated; I realized that we live in an age of instant communication and a known preternatural community seems more realistic.

It’s harder to believe that a vast global coterie of vampires, werewolves, demons, faeries, necromancers or anything else could exist and do their world machinations without ever being caught. I mean honestly, you know that the local cabal would be featured on a YouTube video before they could say carpe nocturne. So a world where everything is out in the open seems like the kind of thing that could happen.

If all of our “unknown phenomena” were to stand up and announce themselves tomorrow, we’d get caught up in trivialities of them and leave plenty of room for their more nefarious doings to go unnoticed. That’s not to say that they still wouldn’t get caught from time to time, but just as our human governments hide secrets, the preternaturals would be able to spin it all by giving us smaller sins to dwell on while the larger ones stayed behind the curtain.

I’m still drawn to stories where there’s a small handful of clannish shapeshifters, or a rare breed of non-traditional vampire that have been very careful to keep secrets on the down low. I also like the middle ground of the “open secret” where nothing has been revealed on the news, but there’s no doubt that more is going on than meets the eye and everyone knows it.

But more and more, I find the rich worlds built around an open truth and the search for acceptance within it to be a fascinating study of human behavior. Sometimes it’s done directly with a human protagonist at the center of things, but there’s the growing phenomenon of the non-human protagonists reacting to the world around them and their place in it. It allows Urban Fantasy to explore the same social mores once the sole province of Science Fiction.

How do you think the current wired world has impacted fantasy, and is it for good or ill in your opinion?


Modern Paranormal Ramble Done

~X

Xakara.com

10 January 2008

Thirteen Things about Rose Marie Wolf




Thirteen Things about Rose Marie Wolf

1 - Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your life?

Well, my name is Rose Marie Wolf and I like to write paranormal fiction. I've always wanted to be a writer ever since I could pick up a crayon and scribble. I guess you could say I have a fascination for all things unusual. I'm originally from Kentucky, but I now live in Indiana with my fiancé, his mother and a houseful of pets. It's obvious I love animals—I donate a percentage of my writing earnings to a local Humane Society.

2 - When did you decide you wanted to be a writer?

From the very first time I picked up a crayon. Of course, my stories have always been along the lines of fairy tale fantasies. I used to like to write ghost stories. I guess the first time I really thought about being a writer was when I was in the second grade. I had written a little story and showed it to my teacher and she was the one who encouraged me to become a writer.

3 - Do you write everyday? Any routines or rituals? Are you a plot or seat-of-your-pants writer?

I write everyday, whenever I can get a free moment. It's usually at night, after work. I'm a plotter, generally, but I like to allow a little room for my characters and stories to grow. They often take me in directions I would've never though possible.

4 - Star Wars or Star Trek?

Star Wars, definitely. I am such a geek when it comes to it. I'm always looking up trivia, watching and rewatching the movies. I read the novels and I've even written fanfiction. Guess you can say I'm a fan.

5 - Who would you say has influenced you the most?

My mother. She has always been my inspiration. A second close would have to be my fiancé. He was the one who inspired me to write my current paranormal series, the Moon Series.

6 - What would you say are the biggest challenges that you face (could be as a writer, as a person, as a wife... just some challenges you face)?

Balancing work and play. Or in my case, balancing work and work. I work in retail and it's really hard to balance that hectic life with my writing and promoting. There's so much promoting I would love to do, but I just don't have the time for it and I need my job for financial reasons.

7 - What would you say has been your most significant achievement as a writer?

Actually being published. I never thought it would ever happen, and yet, I have three books contracted and published and I'm still writing away. That is the biggest achievement ever.

8 - Once the deadlines are all met and the manuscript is delivered, what do you do to relax and give yourself a break?

I spend time with my fiancé. We go out for a nice dinner, maybe a movie. And I take a break for writing for about two weeks. I don't even look at my work, unless I have a pressing deadline.

9 - What kinds of books do you like to read? Who is your favorite author?

Paranormal of course! I've always been a big fan of Anne Rice and Stephen King, but I also like Kim Harrison, Charlaine Harris and Kelley Armstrong.

10 - What is your latest book about?

Hunter's Moon is the third book in the Moon Series and is a very emotional book about the werewolves Jason and Rose and the deterioration of their relationship. Jason has these visions that warn him that something—or someone—from their past is out to get them and Rose is just trying to keep their relationship together as Jason continues his obsession. It's not strictly romance, but more of a mainstream paranormal story.

11 - What are the goals you are still working toward?

I try to set goals every year and my goals in 2008 include writing at least two novels, and perhaps having one other novel published.

12 - How did feel to sell that first book, and how did you celebrate?

Oh, when I got the contract for my first book, I was ecstatic. I was so happy. I laughed, I cried. We went out to have a nice dinner later on to celebrate.

13 - Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

A best-selling author on the New York Times Best-Seller list. That's my ultimate goal. But I'll settle for a few more titles published and maybe an award or two.


Look for Rose Marie Wolf's latest release, Hunter's Moon, from Samhain Publishing!


Get the Thursday Thirteen code here
Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

09 January 2008

Is There Something Beyond the Veil?

Woo-hoo!!

Yep, I’m celebrating and it’s not just because of the thrill, the excitement, the mystery and the anticipation of the New Year. I’m celebrating because I’m now a regular contributor to the BTV blog. Which means, dear readers, you’ll be seeing my posts every other Wednesday.

I write, for the most part, contemporary paranormal romances that are sexy and funny. Occasionally, however, I delve into the darker side of both romance and mainstream fiction. Between taking care of my teenager and my best friend (aka my hubby), my life is filled with both the mundane and the slightly unusual. Which may explain why I feel the need to tilt the world even a little more and dive into the supernatural. After all, a girl needs more than PTA meetings and puppies in her life, right?

As I was thinking about what to write in my first blog, I began to wonder just how many people really believe that something lies beyond the world as we see it. Can at least a few of us see beyond what is right before us to what lies behind the scenery of normalcy? Or, in other words, do we believe that something really does exist beyond the veil?

Based on the information I’ve found, the American population seems split on the belief in the supernatural or paranormal. While only a few brave souls are willing to confirm their belief in ghosts—some even claiming to have seen one—most are at least willing to consider the possibility of their existence. However, people draw the line of acceptance at saying they think beings such as werewolves or vampires might exist. The reason is unclear. Perhaps it’s because ghosts are viewed as spirits, possibly even angels and, thus, tied with people’s religious beliefs, while werewolves and vamps are considered mere fabrications of fiction. Or perhaps the real truth lies in the fact that while one kind of mysterious being actually exists, we know enough—either subconsciously or not—to understand that that doesn’t mean any other kind lives among us. In other words, just because we might accept that angels are real, it doesn’t mean vampires are.

Whichever side of the fence you come down on, I do find it interesting that so many of our books, television shows and movies have the unnatural creatures as their subjects. Even when most of us dismiss the existence of Big Foot and the Loch Ness Monster, we travel in droves to the theatres to see horror flicks, sci-fi stories and tales of beings with super powers. But why do we seek out these cinematic creatures? Do we possess an unspoken yearning for them in our daily life? If given the choice, would we want a world inhabited by these wonders?

Think about it. Would our world be better or worse if the unusual, the preternatural lived among us? Could humans who often don’t tolerate the slight differences between themselves be able to tolerate beings who are vastly different both physically and mentally?

What would it be like to enter the local convenience store, reach for a gallon of milk and have your hand touch the container at the same time as another hand? Except that other hand sported incredibly long claws? Would you close your eyes and hope the owner of those claws was only a mere human trying for the world’s record for longest nails? Or would you prefer to look up into the red eyes of a monster with a craving for dairy?

How about literally running into a merman in a fender bender outside the local pool supply store? With his strength of ten men, would you argue about who was at fault? Or would you allow him to have his way, knowing how grumpy mermen are when they’re not in the water?

Other complications in a world filled with real-life supernatural creatures would occur. Would you—could you—forbid you daughter from dating the boy with the enormous fangs? Would you be afraid his version of necking wouldn’t be the version you’d grown up with? Even in a world where we’re constantly being watched, could you handle a curious gargoyle spying at you from the top of every building?

Still, even though the above examples don’t sound appealing, I think I could learn to live with them if the world also had the likes of Superman or the Fantastic Four to help out. After all, everything’s a trade-off, right? What we might lose in one area, we could gain so much in another.

But, alas, even though some of us may believe in at least one or two supernatural beings, we know most of these incredible entities do not exist. Enter the paranormal author. Paranormal authors like me strive to bring them to life, at least for a short time, on paper. We do so with the hope of bringing that world beyond the veil into your life. Will you open the door and let them in?

Beverly Rae
www.beverlyrae.com
Giggle, Gasp & Sigh with a Beverly Rae Romance

08 January 2008

Samhain New Releases, Including Two BTVers!

Look how many books with speculative elements and romance you have to choose from this week at Samhain Publishing! More importantly, there are 2 releases from our own BTV authors, Ember Case and Carolan Ivey:

"Hunting the Huntress" by Ember Case
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Red Hots!
ISBN: 1-59998-859-3
Length: Short Story
Price: 2.50
Publication Date: January 8, 2008
Cover art by Dawn Seewer

Nilana has one night to make the choice of a lifetime: Accept the love of two men, or keep hunting—alone.

Check out the book's page at Samhain, which also links to an excerpt.

***

"Beaudry's Ghost" by Carolan Ivey
Genre: Paranormal Romance
ISBN: 1-59998-852-6
Length: Novel
Price: 5.50
Publication Date: January 4, 2008
Cover art by Dawn Seewer

His legendary spirit is restless for revenge. But the touch of one woman could change his mind—and his destiny.

Check out the book's page at Samhain, which also links to an excerpt.

***

"Talnut" by J. H. Wear
Genre: Fantasy-SciFi
ISBN: 1-59998-623-X
Length: Novel
Price: 5.50
Publication Date: January 8, 2008

In the search for home, sometimes you find more than you bargained for.

***

"Black Widow" by Mackenzie McKade
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Red Hots!
ISBN: 1-59998-856-9
Length: Novel
Price: 5.50
Publication Date: January 8, 2008

Her touch is heavenly. Her kiss, deadly. To mate with her means certain death.

***

"Lover’s Talisman" by Ashleigh Raine
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Red Hots!
ISBN: 1-59998-853-4
Length: Novel
Price: 5.50
Publication Date: January 4, 2008

Welcome to Talisman Bay, where all hell breaks loose on a daily basis, especially when you fall in love.

***

"Starchild" by Katriena Knights
Genre: Romantic SciFi-Futuristic
ISBN: 1-59998-854-2
Length: Novel
Price: 5.50
Publication Date: January 4, 2008

A no-nonsense starship captain and a billionaire financier, Fairfax and Cavendish are the ultimate odd couple. Until an insidious government conspiracy leaves them with nothing—except each other.

***

Jody W.
A SPELL FOR SUSANNAH--January 29, 2008, Samhain Publishing
http://www.jodywallace.com/ * http://meankittybox.blogspot.com/

05 January 2008

Haunted Disney

Life in Florida has quite a few things going for it. The surf (only a few miles from our door); the weather (usually warm and sunny, despite this weeks brief dip into the 20's); the people (also usually warm and sunny - it must rub off from the weather).

And living right up the road from Orlando can mean some great last-minute vacations. When the hubby suggested we take the kids to Disney World for the weekend, it was only a few days planning instead of a half-way round the country excursion.

We're here, and there's really something for everyone in Disney. The rides. The food (if you've never splurged for the Dining Plan, I highly recommend it - yum!). The look of joy in my kids faces, especially my daughter when she was hugged by five princesses in five minutes. We even peaked at Ariel's feet to see if she had feet or fins!

Like any good vacation spot, Disney World has a haunting story or two. While the rumors of Walt Disney's remains being cryogenically frozen are good for a laugh (he was truly cremated two days after his death, and his remains interred at Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery), there are other tingly stories to keep visitors on their toes while at the parks.

A few hours from now we'll be on the Pirates of the Caribbean. I'll be keeping my eyes open for George while we're there. He is supposedly a construction worker killed during the building of the park. Legend has it that if the cast members fail to start his day off right he'll cause the ride to randomly stop during the day.

There's a little girl of unknown origin who wanters near Spaceship Earth in Epcot. We spent about5 hours in the area last nigh (Mission SPACE is a fantastic experience!), but had no sightings. I'll look again today when we're there during brighter times.

And finally there are rumors of a ghost near MGM's Tower of Terror. We'll be stopping by the area later today - I'll be sure to have my eyes open!

(My first release from Samhain Publishing, Hunting the Huntress, releases on Tuesday the 8th of January! Mark your calendar - and if you have time, stop by Romance Junkies on Monday at 9pm est for a chat!)