28 February 2011

"Personal Demons" -- the little story that could

Long ago in a galaxy far, far away—well, ten years ago on the Intarwebs, a small press put out a call for stories about the price of magic. According to the editor, fantasy writers should treat magic like any other force in the universe. If it was an energy, it needed a fuel, a power source. If it was an action, it needed a reaction. He used as his example Sokurah, the evil magician in The 7th Voyage of Sinbad. Every time Sokurah used his power, he visibly aged.

I figured a lot of people would take that course. The problem is natural forces aren’t necessarily so simplistic. Take athleticism. You’d think hard, sustained physical exertion would prematurely age a person. But since I worked in the personnel side of the Department of Defense, I knew, strange as it seems, the reverse is true.

Military retirees live longer with a higher quality of life than their civilian counterparts. Part of that has to do with lifetime annuities and health care. But even taking those benefits into consideration, retirees still live longer and stronger. Why? Because they were routinely pushed to their physical limits and beyond. Their career requires them to maintain peak physical condition into their fifties—sometimes into their sixties. That's the secret to their health and longevity. Why couldn’t magic work the same way, strengthening its practitioners over time?

Which isn’t to say there isn’t a cost to military life. But off the battlefield, the greatest cost of the military lifestyle is personal: broken families, broken relationships, broken lives.

Again, why couldn’t magic work the same way, exacting a price that was personal instead of physical?

So I wrote my story, but the editor rejected it. The note cited my ignorance of telepathy. Huh? Did I mention that before I worked in DoD personnel I spent a couple years answering the public’s questions about the military’s experiments in telepathy and remote viewing? My DoD career was…varied.

My husband Greg said my use of telepathy wasn’t the problem. The problem was my two main characters were lesbian, and the male editor couldn’t handle it. “But he said he wanted diversity!” I yelped.

Greg looked at me pityingly. “Unless you include hot woman on woman action, a guy isn't interested.”

Well, Greg would know. I tried a couple more markets. As it happened, all of them had male editors, and all of those male editors rejected the story for equally peculiar reasons. One objected to the way I had sensation traveling up a character’s spine. Another cited my disrespectful attitude toward pagans (did I mention my protagonist was a tantric sorceress, and she’s a really, really good person?). Then there my “inappropriate” use of irony. Finally, I gave up and consigned the story to the Save file. I believed in the story, but the time and the markets just weren’t right.

Fast forward to February 2010. Drollerie Press issued a call for stories about "queer women magic users". A couple months later I learned my little story, now called “Personal Demons”, had found the perfect home in the Drollerie Press anthology Hellebore & Rue. What made this even sweeter, was the editors, Joselle Vanderhooft and Catherine Lundoff, had won many awards for GLBT fiction. In other words, I’d gotten the relationships right. That was my biggest fear for the story: Did I capture my characters feelings? Were the emotions and non-magical situations realistic as well as real to me? The fact that I got it right had me happy dancing for days.

Hellebore & Rue, containing the little story that could, is now on the virtual shelves. Click here if you’d like a taste. But if you'd prefer to sample the whole dish—and see the fabulous company my little story keeps—downloads are available from Drollerie Press and Amazon.

Happy reading!

Jean Marie

Follow the Yellow Brick Road

Or in this case the crazy swirling, what-do-I-do-with-this-book road. Remember when Dorothy first starts her trek to OZ, and Glenda Goodwitch says, "It's best to start at the beginning," so Dorothy takes her literally and starts in the very center, placing her ruby-slippered feet on the yellow bricks and around and around she went until the bricks were straight and heading out of Munchkinland? Ever wonder where those red bricks went to? Here lately I'm thinking they lead to a land where self-pubbing is a really attractive idea and reports from the blogosphere say there are some people making some awesome cash out there doing just that in the ebook world.

Like most authors, I have more than a few stories sitting on a harddrive/disk/thumbdrive that hasn't seen the light of day since before Kindles ripped a hole in the ebook time-space continuum. They have been around the publishing block more than a few times. Sad cases of that much-frustrating phrase, "I love it, I just don't love it enough." - so what do you do with the flotsam and jetsam of your work?

Yep, you guessed it. You wander out of the poppy field where some witch put you to sleep and you take your file to the gates of the Emerald City. Now, I'm not going to pretend expertise at this venture as I've never done it myself, but will cop to seriously considering it. I mean why not? The flounder books aren't doing me a damn bit of good taking up space where they're at, the least they could do is to go out there and earn me a few dollars.

Personally, I think in order to make some of the crazy money I've heard bandied around lately in self-pubbed ebook sales, you have to have something that's pretty hot right now. Something that is perpetually profitable. And you have to strike fast and furious in an almost blitzkreig flying-monkey style explosion of stories coming, bam bam bam on top of each other. (This, I think, is more important if you don't have a backlist. If you do then you might not have to hit it quite so hard your first time out of the gate).

So, I think I'm going to take the plunge with a few books that were passed over for one reason or another. I'll take them out, shake them off and let someone else look at them to see what I can strengthen, lose, or improve.

And why not...I might find some fun and adventure along the way.


25 February 2011

Snow? Really?

In reality, I realize that it is still technically winter. However, some part of my brain is screaming in frustration.

More snow? Seriously? I thought we were supposed to get rain only, but apparently our little oasis is too far north.

It wouldn't be so bad, I suppose, if we hadn't had two or three very Spring-like days to tease us recently. Days when you could smell the change in the air...the promise of sun and warmth...of new life beginning to bud.

Here we are, right back to our blanket of white and freezing our butts off as cars slide on the ice. SIGH.

Then again, those lovely days with highs at almost sixty did give us hope. We could see the light at the end of the tunnel...the sun at the end of another gray Pennsylvania winter. Hope, after all, is sometimes the only thing that keeps us going.

Hope... that we will see a blue sky, once again. Hope... that we will be able to go outside with only one layer of clothing on instead of four. Hope... that I will be able to demolish this writer's block once and for all and finish the dang book! (ahem)

Sorry... it's been a very long winter. Hang in there! I know I'm trying to do the same.

~~Meg Allison

19 February 2011

Divination: Celtic Ogham - Fearn

Tree: Alder
Letter: F and V
Color: Crimson
Element: Water
Bird: Raven (some sources say Gull)
Deities: Lugh, Bran,
Month: March/April (some sources say January)
Planet: Mars
Crystal: Amethyst
Chakras: Sacral, base and solar plexus

Alder is about balance, compassion and self-preservation. Its root systems are said to return poor soils to healthy pH levels. The Druids regarded Fearn as indicating balance between the male/female energies within the individual.

Associated with death and resurrections, Alder sticks were once used to measure graves. When cut cleanly, a branch first 'bleeds' white, then turns red. In addition, it regenerates itself by sprouting from remaining stumps.

Alder grows in wet places near rivers, streams and in swamps. Its wood, resistant to rot, was used for things that needed to last, like building foundation pilings, milk buckets, bridges and boats. In fact, the wetter it gets, the stronger it gets - let it dry out, and it'll get brittle and break. It was also used to make magical whistles, a figurative bridge between earth and heaven.

It was once said that if you cut one down, its angry spirit might burn your house. Which makes sense, because its charcoal was an excellent ingredient for gunpowder.

When Fearn appears in a reading, it is reminding you to keep a lid on your temper. Keep your eyes open for the unique qualities alive in others. Be a bridge of mediation in a dispute. Look for the unusual or what's "off" or out of place/balance. Stop talking and start listening...then be the voice of reason. Let your intuition be your guide. Fearn is a symbol of the evolving spirit.

The ancient Celts used Alder to make their shields, and used their instincts to know when to attack, when to shield, and when to use their strength to promote peace among warring peoples.

14 February 2011

Happy Valentine's Day

Greetings, Kittens!

Many of you spent the weekend with your loved one(s) celebrating the holiday that raises the moisture levels in the dreams of chocolatiers and jewelry store owners everywhere. Your read cards, smelled flowers, opened gifts, and watched movies while holding hands with the one that makes your heart skip a beat. The rest of you hate those people. But don't. As any of us here can tell you after writing romance for a living, it's not all it's cracked up to be. Of those many wonderful comings together, the flowers were droopy, the cards offensive, the gifts last minute and the movies awful. The holding hands was hopefully better and what it all comes down to in the end.

Some of you spent the weekend reading about romance and falling in love with characters for the first or hundredth time. I'll let you in on a little secret. We fall in love with those same characters while writing them and many of us would have happily spent the weekend with them over whatever it is we did instead. I'm not necessarily one of those folks by choice, more obligation, as I revise an MS into submission form. But I have to honestly say that I was quite happy with my writing frenzy this weekend. It was heart-rending and spirit lifting as I wept and cheered for people that I've only met inside of my head and that hopefully you'll see inside of your own this summer as well.

I quickly realized that sense of happiness and wellbeing came not only from spending that extra time with my characters but from the sense of accomplishment and progress. Perhaps that's what's missing from Valentine's Day as whole, a sense of moving forward. Next year, instead of the same old flowers and cards, pick something that really motivates and moves your relationship forward. Even if you've been together for twenty years, there's always room for progress.

No matter what you did for Valentine's Day weekend, I hope you did it with someone you love, especially if you did it alone. If you didn't get around to the weekend blitz, treat yourself day with everything you have available. Relax, pamper yourself and remember that no one does you as well as you do, even if you think you could do you better. (However you took that, that's how I meant it *grin*)

I considered a nice, fluffy, flouncy Valentine's Day image to share with you all here, but I thought I'd go with one more honest and perhaps put out that call for forward progress again *wink*.

Happy Valentine's Day everyone! May you always be in the presence of someone who loves you :)

12 February 2011

The Name Game

My new story and I have reached an awkward stage in our relationship.

I know what the story’s about: a naïve aspiring reporter helps an enigmatic sorcerer use the magic of Washington, DC, to take down a corrupt politician. I’m desperately in love with the setting. How can you not get all tingly at the prospect of writing a story set in a world capital crammed with historically charged relics and quasi-magical objects where there’s a pentacle set right into the street grid? And it’s my hometown. I love my hero and heroine, and I loathe my villains. But I don’t know who they are, and being a dyed-in-the-wool plotter, I can’t write about them until I do.

Wait a minute, you say, didn’t I just claim to love my characters? I did. I do. But I don’t know their names.

This happens to me a lot. Most of my stories start as a visual—a single scene or a character. It erupts like a camera flash in a darkened room, imprinting its image on my retina for a long time afterwards. Usually, however, that image is all I’ve got. I have to prod it with hot pokers to tease out the details. Sometimes I can see the character and his or her back story in cinematic detail, and still have no clue to his or her name.

It isn’t always that bad. Every so often, the character walks up and introduces him- or herself. Earlier this month, I submitted a story to an anthology focused on 21st century fae. Because I’m warped, I decided to write about a half-human cat sidhe trying to avoid getting neutered when he’s taken to his local animal shelter.

The obvious name for a male cat in that predicament would be Tom, but my guy said no way. His long-absent cat sidhe father was a Tom, Tom Tibbert—presumably related to Tibert (or Tybalt), the cat who often ran afoul of Reynard the Fox in medieval folklore, and whose hot-blooded character may have been an inspiration for his namesake in Romeo and Juliet. Instead, my hero called himself Jack, a name as far away from his feline heritage as he could get. The name of his Daoine Sidhe nemesis, who figured out how to become a veterinarian in spite of a serious iron allergy, came just as easily: Cait Kellas, the wild Kellas Cat of Celtic mythology. But Jack’s helpfulness didn’t end there, he even told me the title of the story, “Fixed”.

Personally, I think he was scared of his heroine, an awesomely competent young woman whose name loosely translates into “She who must be obeyed”. The process by which she acquired her name is typical for my human characters.

This character arrived brandishing a healthy chunk of back story. I knew her age—sixteen as of the projected publication date of the story. There was also a good reason why she had to be Japanese American. With these facts in hand, I went to Wikipedia and pulled up their list of popular Japanese actresses, looking for first names which would work in both cultures. I discovered “Erika” and its diminutive “Rika” were popular in Japan. In addition, according to the Social Security Administration, “Erica” was among the Top 100 U.S. Girls’ Names for 1996, the year my character would’ve been born (if you take book production cycles into consideration). An added plus was the name’s meaning: always ruler.

My character liked Rika. It was modern, a little bit edgy, and the meaning really fit her take-charge personality. Having a name meaning that reflects a character personality or appearance isn’t essential for me. In some cases, it can actually be a turn-off. But when it works, I let it.

Next came her surname. While I was trolling the list of Japanese actresses for first names, I was jotting down last names that were easy to say but didn’t have any associations that might interfere with my depiction of the character. For example, Tanaka is one of the most common family names in Japan. But I can’t see it without recalling “Tiger Tanaka” in the James Bond novel and movie You Only Live Twice. Chances are if the association is that powerful for me, it would get in the way of my readers, too.

To my preliminary list of actresses’ last names, I added the entries in the Wikipedia list of most common Japanese family names and the comments on Wikipedia’s Japanese name page. Finally, I reached the point I call the Spaghetti Test. I started throwing various last names at Erika/Rika to see which one stuck. Ultimately, we—I mean, I decided on Erika (Rika) Nakamura, because it sounded good.

To name a villain, I’d go through an additional step: searching on the name to see if it happens to belong to anybody famous, or at least famous enough to end up in Wikipedia. I prefer not to name my villains after real people. It’s just mean. But I really, really don’t want to give a villain the name of an under assistant secretary of something in the 1980s, especially not a villain who happens to be a politician. The individual in question might think it was personal.

Most people don’t mind having a hero named after them, but for the sorcerer I’m writing about now, that could get real dicey. I can’t use another character to intimidate him either. He’s the avatar of a god, and he knows it, dagnabbit.

Quasi-divine characters are (ahem) hell to name. You want a name that conveys both authority and mystery—and doesn’t make your readers spew cola out their noses the first time they say it aloud.

Some writers express a character’s magical potency and charisma by misspelling inherently powerful words, like “reign” or “wrath” or “lust”. I can’t. The very notion makes my inner pedant cringe. Of course, I wince when I hear people say “imply” when they mean “infer”, and “disinterested” instead of “indifferent”, so what do I know?

Another popular tack is to use the common archangel names: Michael, Gabriel or Raphael. I might resort to that if my sorcerer continues to play coy, but it’s a bit cliché. I’d prefer to give him an ordinary name that’s strong, fairly common and yet fitting. Names are an important tool for creating a character’s image in the reader’s mind. They are also self-fulfilling prophecies. I couldn’t name this guy Dick, even as a temporary measure, because sure as shooting, he’d start acting like one. That’s just how my mind works. To make matters worse, the son-of-a-gun told me which god he incarnates. Suddenly, there are whole categories of names I simply can’t use, unless I want to make him really mad, which is something I absolutely, positively don’t want to do.

At least, not at this point in our relationship. We’ll get there eventually. One of the eternal truths of writing is, sooner or later, your characters will hate you for the very things you do for their own good. They’re like children that way, or pets on the way to the vet.

Meanwhile, I’ll just keep throwing names at my sorcerer and see if any of them stick. Without a preselected list of candidates, the Spaghetti Test is a slow, random process.

And it leaves my dashing, enigmatic, nearly divine hero covered in spaghetti. Score!

08 February 2011

Bravery of a Writer Redux

Hey all,
If you follow my YA blog (and I don't think too many of you do), then this is a repeat. I just liked it so much I thought it could do with more airtime. Enjoy!

Long, long, ago (no, don't even start with me about a galaxy far away.) I thought I wanted to be an actor. I DID want to be an actor. I did High School musicals, community theater, children's theater. I had the bug. The first college I went to, I was a theater major. I auditioned and got in.

But I didn't get it.
I did all the exercises, and learned lines, did the dance steps, hit the marks and made every cue. But I never quite got to the point where I considered myself acting. I knew how the lines were supposed to be said, but there was always something missing from my performances. Except in children's theater, where I could be as outrageous as possible, really let myself go, and make those kids LOVE me. After one such performance, one of the main marquee actors of the company walked up to me and said "You are SO talented, damn it. I hate you." (It was said with a great deal of affection.) He was jealous that I could allow myself such freedom to act like a complete and total idiot. When it came to 'straight' roles, 'deep' roles however, I would freeze up.

After many many years, I  have finally figured out why my acting career never went anywhere. I was afraid. I had taken the classes, read the work of the great Saint Uta Hagen, repeated the mantra: Acting is believing. And here's what it comes down to:  I could never believe myself in any of those deep roles, because I was afraid to open myself up and show thatstuff - pain, heartache, embarrassment - to the world.

Look, I lived a great portion of my childhood being told to just let it roll off of me, to NOT let my heart show, because it always ended in tears. I learned in a rather painful way that people, especially children, are cruel, and letting them in was a surefire way to let them knock me down. So I armored myself. Put it all away beneath a thick layer of laughing it off. I had thought, for the longest time, that stepping into other people's shoes was a good way of shielding myself from the cruelty of the world. Make-believe was so much better than my real life.

I was wrong.
What I failed to realize is that playacting is the ultimate in NOT shielding yourself. Except for children's theater, but children are much more accepting of pretty much everything on stage; there you are a like a god, even if you act ridiculous. Especially if you act ridiculous. When you're acting, you put on someone else, like a coat, but the feelings below HAVE to belong to you, and that is pretty much exposing yourself for the whole world to see. Which is what I had a problem with.

The same goes for writing. When I first started telling myself stories, I always imagined them to be much more perfect than my real life, that my main characters always won and did it well. But that's not what writing is. To be a writer, you have to be brave enough to take those emotions, those feelings that you - that most people, for that matter - hide away, and pour them all out onto the page. The characters are someone else, but the feelings have to belong to you, and you can't worry what people will think of YOU because of what you write.

Acting is believing. Writing is believing. So many writers use events and people from their own lives, bravely putting it all on display for the world to see and judge. Judgment is what I was always afraid of, and still am, a little bit. But I get it now. I kind of wish I could go back to the theater, knowing what I know now, because I think I could completely rock it. (I've been looking up that old community theater company online, and if I get really crazy I might find something to audition for. I don't know if my body can handle the stress of musicals anymore, but maybe a play.)

Does that mean if you're not ready to open a vein and pour life's blood into the words that you can't be a writer? No. There is still plenty to learn. Eventually, though, if you want that next step, you will probably have to suck it up and be brave.

If I can do it, you can too.

07 February 2011

Love to the CPs

I have the best kick-butt critique partners in the world. No really, I do.

For those of you who don’t know, a critique partner (CP) is the rarest of individuals who works countless hours, giving up sleep and sanity, to read my chapters over, and over again to tell me what’s not working in them. She might make me cry, cuss a little, and stomp my feet in protest, but she will not let me quit, or give up on my dream.

Think: Drill Sergeant with a red pen and heels.

As a reader, I want to say thank you to all the CPs out there. Because of you, we have great books to read. Because of you, authors keep writing.

I am blessed to have a group of CPs. These ladies are phenomenal authors who give up chunks of their time to help ME write better. It’s like having a treasure chest of precious jewels, each one dazzling and brilliant. Together they help my stories sparkle. They kick my butt, watch my back and lift my heart. In a word, they are: priceless.

A CPs job is hard. Mine are not there to tell me how gorgeous, wonderful, and fantastic I am. That’s my mom’s job. No, they are supposed to tell me where I am falling down on MY job—holes in the plot, not digging deep enough, characters too flat, characters gone wild…

My CPs are not the kind of friends who let me go outside with underwear on my head and tell me the cotton matches my eyes. They will say, kindly mind you, that underwear on my head is stupid, whether is matches my eyes or not, and tell me to move it to where it belongs. This keeps me from sending a story into the world before it's ready, which means that readers won't see the ugly holes in the waistband or the strings pulling away from the seams.

While I try to give back by being a CP to each of these amazing writers, at times I feel like Michelangelo’s assistant, standing by, offering advice while he creates David.

“Um, Michelangelo, you missed that little spot right there, might want to smooth it out a bit.”

Here's to the CPs. Hug one today.

And if you have a great critique story, I’d like to hear it! Post your comments and questions here.


05 February 2011

Help! I'm Overwhelmed.

Ever have one of those days when there is so much to do you don’t know where to begin? Well, I’ve had a lot of those lately. While trying to dig out from under my mess of boxes, possessions, desires, and responsibilities, I’ve learned a few things. I’m happy to share what I’ve learned with you, and if you have suggestions, feel free to leave those in the comments section.

 The first thing I did was to list the things I was feeling overwhelmed about. My theory was that you have to know what you’re up against. I soon realized that I needed to clean house, finish unpacking from our move (two months ago), organize my writing space and figure out how to be more productive with my writing. Also, there were the errands, paperwork, phone calls, etc. Of course, I actually did this step in more detail, but I don’t want to bore you.

Now that I had an overview of what I needed to do, then I looked for help doing it. I found Julie Morgenstern’s books very helpful. Her Time Management from the Inside Out helped me a lot. One of the biggest problems I—and apparently many people—have is not having a good grasp on how long it is to do things. As silly as it seemed to me, keeping track of the time things took was an eye opener. For example, I thought washing dishes (by hand) was taking hours and just not wanting to devote the time and effort, I tended to let the dishes go until I had a huge mess, and then I REALLY didn’t want to do them. Once I realized it only took five to ten minutes to wash a load, I could look at the kitchen sink without feeling my heart drop in guilt. I could simply jump in there and do it. Just this step helped a lot, and I’m currently following through with her “time maps” and other hints. Having time to do what I need to do would be a real help, and I think she might be able to show me how to do that.

Housework and unpacking kind of go together. At this point, we’ve unpacked enough to live in the apartment. What’s left are boxes of stuff, things we don’t know what to do with. Maybe we need to be put up shelves, maybe ask our daughter to help put things on high shelves or knick-knacks on top of the kitchen cabinets. Then there’s the disaster of the second bedroom AKA my office. While my desk is in the corner where I want it, and my books and papers are sort of arranged, but the rest of the room looks like a storage room. Okay, a storage room after a tornado. I can stand in the living room and see every room in this place. And feel totally, completely, absolutely overwhelmed.

I have a friend who said his daughter used to get overwhelmed with her homework. He said they had to cover most of the page so that she could focus on a little bit at a time. I think the same applies to housework and unpacking. It has to be done a bit at a time. To help, I’ve found the Fly Lady to be very helpful. With her plan, you go through each section of the house once a month, plus giving you a plan to do the day to day cleaning without having a nervous breakdown. Using her plan, I’ve begun to section off the areas of the apartment and work according to her plan. That way, I don’t have to decide where to start. Also, Julie Morgenstern’s Organizing From the Inside Out is a great resource. She counsels making your stuff fit your lifestyle, not the other way around. I love that concept.

As far as my office and my writing, both Morgenstern’s books are helpful. I am putting aside the Fly Lady’s plan a bit though. Even though it isn’t the area she suggests for this week, I’m going to do some serious work in my office. My writing is important to me, and I need to be more productive than I have been. If cleaning my office will help me get to where I need to be, then I’d be wise to do that.

I really hope that your life and house are not the disaster mine has been lately, but if it is, remember you aren’t alone!


03 February 2011

13 New Releases with Speculative Elements

I was going to do a Thursday Thirteen featuring a list of things not to try to do with a 4 year old, but since I had to do most of them today, it would have been too depressing. Instead, how about 13 'coming soon' new releases from our mutual publisher, Samhain Publishing, that have otherworldly elements? I will confess I got this idea because one of the books on the list is going to be mine :). But at least I won't be depressed after I hit "post".

1) A Thread of Deepest Black
By: Finn Marlowe
Genre: GLBT, BDSM, Red Hots!!!, Shape-shifters

2) Yours, Mine and Howls
By: Kinsey W. Holley
Genre: Paranormal, Western, Shape-shifters, Fairies & Elves

3) Vanessa Unveiled
By: Jodi Redford
Genre: Paranormal, Fantasy, Red Hots!!!, Ménage & More, Shape-shifters, Comedy

4) One Thousand Kisses
By: Jody Wallace
Genre: Fantasy, Fairies & Elves

5) Running with the Pack
By: Beverly Rae
Genre: Paranormal, Voluptuous, Red Hots!!!, Shape-shifters

6) Deep Indigo
By: Cathryn Cade
Genre: Paranormal, SciFi - Futuristic, Red Hots!!!, Ghosts and Psychics

7) The Zero Dog War
By: Keith Melton
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Vampires, Comedy, Zombies, Angels & Demons

8) Fleeting Passions
By: Crystal Jordan
Genre: Paranormal, Romantic Suspense, Red Hots!!!, Shape-shifters

9) Blood of the Volcano
By: Imogen Howson
Genre: Fantasy, Shape-shifters, Ghosts and Psychics

10) Vampires' Consort By: Bonnie Dee
Genre: Paranormal, Red Hots!!!, Ménage & More, Shape-shifters

11) Key of Solomon By: Cassiel Knight
Genre: Fantasy, Angels & Demons

12) The Mercenary By: Cornelia Grey
Genre: GLBT, SciFi - Futuristic, Action-Adventure, Post-Apocalyptic, Steampunk

13) Wilder's Mate By: Moira Rogers
Genre: Paranormal, Western, Shape-shifters, Vampires, Steampunk

Bonus book!

14) Wicked Empress
By: Anitra Lynn McLeod
Genre: SciFi - Futuristic, Red Hots!!!, Ménage & More

All these are on the first two pages of Samhain's Coming Soon books. To see all the covers you can click here. Most of these can be preordered at a substantial discount!

Jody W.
http://www.jodywallace.com/  * http://www.meankitty.com/

02 February 2011

Helping a fellow author

As you've probably heard, Egypt is in revolt, attempting to throw out their dictator for a better form of government. In retaliation, the government has shut down all internet.

Olivia Gates is a fellow author who has a release out today with Silhouette Desire. She lives in Cairo and is unable to promote her book. I've never met Ms. Gates, but that doesn't mean I can't help her out. Today I am donating my blog time to her. To get the word out about her book.

To Tempt a Sheikh by Olivia Gates

He rescued hostage Talia Burke from his royal family's rival tribe and swept her into his strong embrace. But Prince Harres Aal Shalaan soon discovered there was more to the brave beauty than he knew. Talia held information vital to protecting his beloved kingdom…and she had every reason not to trust him.

Marooned together at a desert oasis, Talia couldn't resist Harres. Yet even as his sizzling seduction entranced her, his loyalty to his family and country would always make them enemies. Falling for the sheikh would be her heart's greatest mistake…but she feared it was already too late….

In stores February 1!

Available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Borders, Books A Million and bookstores everywhere. Also available at eharlequin both in print and as an ebook