28 March 2012

Goodbye Is the Hardest Word of All

This is my last post with Beyond the Veil. As always with life, things change and I've found that my writing has changed greatly. No longer am I writing paranormals but am now concentrating on historical romance. My books no longer fit with this blog. So it's time to take my leave and open a spot to someone who does write paranormal.

It's been a wonderful ride and I've made some great friends during my years with Beyond the Veil. I'm not saying goodbye to my friends because we're all connected through Facebook and Twitter. We will, of course, keep in touch.

As always you can keep in touch with me through my website, my Facebook page, Twitter, or my personal blog. I'll still be around and I still have paranormals published.

Thank you for reading my posts and all of your great comments!

Saying goodbye doesn't mean anything. It's the time we spent together that matters, not how we left it.
Trey Parker


23 March 2012

Steampunk, gaslight,... huh?

I enjoy steampunk style stories, although I've only read a few. Honestly, I don't fully understand all the nuances involved in the genre. But I do know what I like -- gadgets and gizmos; tough heroines and sexy heroes. If I like the characters and don't get bogged down in terminology, I'll probably like it. Well, if it's well-written. ;)

I've written my own short steampunk-esque style story. It also has a bit of paranormal thrown in -- shifters, anyone? And a tough little heroine with a lot of baggage and some interesting clothing options. It's a Western...an alternate historical taking place in the late 1800s. Maybe it's not 'real' steampunk? I don't dare label it as one thing or another, to be honest, because I know someone, somewhere will object. Nothing wrong with purists. I just don't happen to be one of them. ;)

I write wherever the characters and muse lead me. I mostly write to please myself, rarely to please the latest trend. Who knows? Maybe my take on a particular subgenre will create the next new thing.

Meg Allison

Indulge your senses...

22 March 2012

13 Things I Didn't Do Today

Some days run smoothly, and at the end of the day you truly feel like you made an impact. You made an impact on the world, on the laundry hamper, on a project at work, on whatever it is you intended to do that day. For a writer who works out of the home, a day that leaves me feeling productive is one in which I managed to write a certain number of new words, edit a good block of text, outline a book, sign a contract, send out queries or requests for information, balance my sales spreadsheets, create a cover, update a blog or website, stuff like that.

However, as the person in my marital relationship who works out of the house, sick kid daytime duty tends to fall to me, so a kid at home pretty much means no career work that day. I can sneak in a thing or two...like I'm doing right now...but any moment, I'll hear that siren call of, "Mom, I need a bucket!"

Here are 13 Things I Didn't Do Today Because I Had a Sick Child at Home:

1) Housecleaning (because I TOTALLY had that on the agenda)
2) Watching an R rated movie (see above).
3) Working on my WIP.
4) Practicing my tap routine.
5) Taking a nap.
6) Enjoying silence.
7) Researching half naked stock photos for cover art possibilities.
8) Updating Meankitty.com.
9) Running any errands, besides the doctor visit.
10) Eating lunch on my own schedule.
11) Figuring out where that weird smell is coming from.
12) Answering all the emails in my inbox.
13) Composing a blog post that isn't a blatant, last-ditch effort.


Granted, I should probably look at it more like 13 things I DID do today and be grateful I have the luxury to stay home with a sick child and make a comforting impact on her, but that's really schmoopy and upbeat, which is just not who I am :).

So what did you not do today? Okay, okay. Be schmoopy. What DID you do today that makes you feel as useful as "holding the bucket"?
Jody W.
www.jodywallace.com  * www.meankitty.com

20 March 2012

Guest Blogger: Caridad Pineiro with The Vampire's Consort

Sometimes a story just sinks its teeth into you. That’s what happened with THE VAMPIRE’S CONSORT and not just because it’s a story about the undead.

I was actually working on THE LOST when I first started getting flashes of ideas for THE VAMPIRE’S CONSORT and they went something like this:

Vampire friends warn their undead friend about choosing a young beautiful woman to be his keeper.

Young female keeper watches falls in love with her vampire boss, but also has feelings for her human ex-boyfriend

Vampire boss tries to make his keeper happy by arranging for a reunion with her ex-boyfriend which leads to a ménage a trois.

It was the last that intrigued me the most, especially as I started thinking about the setup for that particular scene. Why? Well both men that are involved with Eliza, the keeper, are fairly alpha so what would make them agree to share her and pleasure her at the same time?

Exploring the dynamics of the love triangle between Eliza, Adrian, her vampire boss, and her human boyfriend was very interesting. It was also just as interesting to see the development of the relationship between Adrian and Eliza, from the first moment he spies her in a pub in Ireland to the night Adrian realizes he must free Eliza from her servitude so that she find happiness.

I guess the last is one of the things that most appealed to me about the story: that Adrian was willing to suffer the heartache of losing Eliza forever so that she might experience true love with her human boyfriend. Of course, after their little ménage, will Eliza choose romance with her ex or a lifetime of love with Adrian?

I hope you’ll take a moment to check out THE VAMPIRE’S CONSORT and find out for yourself.


Vampire Adrian offered Eliza a choice: die of a fatal illness, or become his consort and attend to his every need. Eliza chose life, but she did not expect to fall in love–and lust–with him.

Nothing compares to the erotic excitement of watching Adrian pleasure one of his many willing companions, but she’s tired of waiting for Adrian to see her as more than his consort. She thinks she’s ready to move on with her human lover, John–until Adrian surprises all three of them with a sensual encounter that changes everything.


The first time Eliza had realized the moan was one of pleasure and not pain, she should have walked away from the peephole.

But she hadn’t.

The peephole had been placed in the wall after a so-called Slayer had tried to stake her master. Adrian had subdued the overly eager and decidedly naïve young woman. In time, the Slayer had come to realize that Adrian was not only one of the white hats, but an excellent lay.

Despite the truce struck with the Slayer, Adrian had decided that the peephole was necessary for safety’s sake along with the loaded tranquilizer gun in Eliza’s nightstand.

Luckily she’d not had a reason to use the gun, but the peephole had been another thing. Peering in it had almost become an obsession.

She used it way too often, drawn by the sight of Adrian and his lovers. Unable to yank herself away from her gorgeous master as he pleasured yet another willing woman before taking his sip of their blood as compensation for the wicked satisfaction they found in his arms.

Eliza imagined herself in those arms more than she should.

It was wrong, she knew. She was here to serve Adrian and keep his home, not to love him. But after nearly two hundred years of being his consort, it was hard to deny that was exactly what had happened.

Eliza had fallen in love with Adrian.

She loved him and lusted for him, she thought as she peered through the peephole once again and watched him move over the body of his latest companion.

The young woman was a lithe strawberry blonde with surgically amplified breasts that barely moved as she lay on the bed with Adrian’s big body snuggled between her long thin legs. Tanned skin which would one day be leathery contrasted sharply with Adrian’s pale alabaster perfection.

As Adrian lowered his head to suckle her breasts, Eliza’s nipples tightened in response and her sex grew heavy and damp with need.

Bracing one hand on the wall, she tugged at the belt for her robe. The silk fabric fell open and even that subtle movement of smoothness against her body dragged a breathy sigh from her as she imagined it was Adrian’s skin along hers.

19 March 2012

Keeping Things Fresh

Most of you who've read my books know I like to dabble in different worlds and situations. I like to skip around from paranormal to sci fi to epic fantasy and back again. I hope that's a good thing as far as my readers go. It certainly helps me keep things fresh and fun for me as a writer.

But I guess I can undestand where it might confuse some readers. Those who first came to know me through my dragon books, might not be so turned on by vamps and weres and vice versa.

Next month, my post will most likely be all about my new werewolf novel, BROTHERHOOD OF BLOOD: WOLF HILLS, which is a brand new installment in my Brotherhood of Blood series. It comes out April 17th and I will no doubt be talking it up anywhere and everywhere, but today, I'd like to just mention some other books - in a different genre - that are very near and dear to my heart.

By now you might've heard about KING OF SWORDS, a novella that had been previously released in a somewhat limited fashion (as part of an anthology) by Phaze Books. Well, it's out now - on its own - and it has a sequel!

KING OF CUPS is the second book in what will be a four-part series of novellas based on the kings of the tarot and playing card decks. What most people don't realize today is that each of the tarot suits (swords, cups, staves and pentacles) corresponds to a suit in the deck of playing cards we all know and love. Also, each of the kings represents a real king from history.  I've used their names and suits for the heroes and titles of each of my books. And to tie it all together, in each story, one of the characters reads cards to tell fortunes. ;-)

Here are the blurbs, in case you want to know more:

King Of Swords - Arcana, Book 1

David is a newly retired special ops soldier, looking to find his way in the unfamiliar civilian world. His first step is to visit an old friend, the owner of a bar called The Rabbit Hole on a distant space station. While there, he meets an intriguing woman who holds the keys to his future.

Adele has a special ability, handed down through her mother's line. Adele can sometimes see the future. She doesn't know exactly why she's been drawn to the space station where her aunt deals cards in a bar that caters to station workers and ex-military. She only knows that she needs to be there. When she meets David, sparks of desire fly between them and she begins to suspect that he is part of the reason she traveled halfway across the galaxy.

Pirates gas the inhabitants of the station while Adele and David are safe inside a transport tube and it's up to them to repell the invaders. But what good can one retired soldier and a civilian do against a ship full of alien pirates? Both will discover there's more to each other than meets the eye as they do their best to overcome the alien threat and retake the station.

Buy now from: Amazon, B&N, Smashwords

King Of Cups - Arcana, Book 2

Alexander is the proprietor of a working class bar called The Rabbit Hole. One of its best features, in his opinion is the petite woman who deals cards and sometimes foresees the future.

Della is an undercover operative working for the same intelligence service as Alexander, though he's only just come to realize it. She follows her visions of the future, with her employers' encouragement, to put her in the right places at the right times to do good for the human race. Lately, the right place has been in Alex's bar and the right time is quickly approaching. It'll be a turning point, both for her personally and for the warring races of humanity and jit'suku.

When the heir to the jit'suku empire is attacked, Della and Alex race to save him. Taken aboard the alien ship, Della and Alex must deal with a series of unforeseen events which put their lives and millions of humans and jit'suku in dire jeopardy. Can they find solutions for not only their people, but for themselves and the forbidden love they discover between them?

Buy now from: Amazon, B&N, Smashwords

Both of these books are now available in ebook formats from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, ARe, Smashwords (for all other formats), and several other ebook retailers. Enjoy!

Being able to mix it up genre-wise is what keeps me going. Just lately, I've been writing a contemporary novel that has no paranormal elements in it at all! I know, that's a shocker, right? But guess what? Trying different things, mixing it up - and stepping out of my comfort zone once in a while - really helps me keep things new and exciting for me - and hopefully for you too.
Bianca D'Arc
Come over to The D'Arc Side... www.biancadarc.com

18 March 2012

New Release

I know this month is about Steampunk and I adore that subgenre and I KNOW that shape shifters theme has passed, but I had a new release involving shape shifters.

Also I've been away during March Break and couldn't think of anything to say on Steampunk other than I love it! I love, love, love it. Pathetic I know.

Anyways, the bear one I hinted back when we were all talking about beasties.

Mounted Release was released on March 9 from Ellora's Cave.

I hope you all enjoy it as much as I enjoyed writing it. It's my first shapeshifter and probably won't be my last.

Here's a little excerpt:

Sheridan tumbled out of the cruiser holding her head as if in pain and his heart skipped a beat. He hoped there wasn’t something seriously wrong with her internally, like a hemorrhage or concussion, that was causing her to be a bit clumsy.

“Are you all right, Miss Stevens?” He rushed to her side and held her steady. Even through the thick snow that clung to them he could smell the heady scent of lavender and sun-baked hay, it reminded him of summers down on Rice Lake. Summers he spent swimming and fishing, it seemed like ages ago. A pang of homesickness engulfed him. He hadn’t thought of home in so long.

Sheridan froze and pushed his hands away. “I’m fine.” She began to shiver and he slipped his parka over her shoulders. “Don’t you need this, Constable Thomas?”

“I can handle the cold, besides you were the one in the accident.”

“Thank you,” she whispered.

Gordon nodded and slung his rucksack and his rifle over his shoulder. “Come on, it’s this way.” He held out his hand and she took it, letting out a gasp of surprise when they touched.

“You’re hot, I mean…oh lord.” She blushed. “Forget what I mean.”

Gordon chuckled. “I understood what you meant. It’s okay. I’m used to the cold.”

She sent him an inscrutable look as she tried to keep up with his pace through the high drifts.

“No one is that used to this kind of cold.”

“It would be colder if it wasn’t snowing. If it were a clear night I would be setting up camp in the patrol car instead of hiking out to the cabin. However, I don’t see this storm ending any time soon.” He waited for her to catch up. He tried to make his steps even and deep so she wouldn’t have to break the snow, but where he stood at six foot three she was a hell of a lot shorter. If he had to guess she was about five foot six. Tiny compared to him.

She stumbled and he reached out, catching her before she went face first into a snowbank.

“Dammit I hate the snow,” she cursed.

“Then you’re living in the wrong place, Miss Stevens.”

“Just call me Sheridan, and I’m beginning to question my judgment on coming up here.”

“Where are you from?” He didn’t get an answer immediately.

“Don’t I have a right to remain silent?”

Gordon cocked an eyebrow. Now he really knew something was fishy. “You don’t have to tell me, I was just making conversation.”

“Thanks, but I’m not in a conversing mood. I just want to get to somewhere warm where I can defrost.”

Gordon laughed again. “Totally understandable.”

They continued on in silence. He stopped every once in a while to let her catch up, but all too soon he could see the exertion of walking through the snow was too much for her. Sheridan had been through a lot tonight and if they kept up at this rate it was going to take them hours to get to the cabin. He scooped her up, causing her to cry out.

“What are you doing?”

“Carrying you, you’re exhausted.”

“You can’t be that strong, to carry me.”

Gordon grinned at her and fought the urge to place a kiss at the end of her little pixie nose. “It’s nothing to me. We’re almost there.”

Sheridan shook her head. “You can see your way in the dark, you’re not affected by the cold and you’re as strong as a…” She trailed off, her body stiffened in his arms. “Don’t mind me. Just tired.”

“You’ll be able to rest soon.” Gordon was pretty sure she was going to say bear. How right she would be, but he also got the sense that she knew what he was but was denying it.

A shiver ran down his spine and it wasn’t from the cold. Was she Mukswa too? Females of the clan couldn’t shift, only the males could. If she was female, what the hell was she doing out here alone? Female Mukswa were revered and protected by their clan. Especially during the years they were able to have children.

If she was a Mukswa it would explain the reason why he was reacting to her like an untried youth and it also probably meant she was in heat. Gordon inhaled deeply and recognized the cloying perfume smell. Yes, she was in heat.

Where was her mate?

The thought of an enraged male encroaching on his territory up here made him sick to his stomach.

Whether Sheridan Stevens liked it or not he was going to get some answers from her and he’d find the mate mark on her body. He didn’t want an angry male up here.
The last thing he needed was a fight on his hands.

The cabin was a welcome sight. He set her down and opened the door. She followed him inside cautiously, clinging tightly to the parka as if her life depended on it.

The cabin was adequate shelter. It was a large, square room with a small kitchen tucked into one corner, a fireplace against the wall and a wooden bunk in the other corner. He strode over to the opposite side of the cabin and opened the door to another small room, which had a stock of firewood, some canned goods and a composting toilet.

When he entered the main room Sheridan Stevens was still huddled by the front door, shaking in his oversized parka. He walked past her and locked the front door.

“I’ll get a fire started.” He dropped his rucksack on the roughhewn table but took the gun with him. Female Mukswa or not, he didn’t know her and he damn well couldn’t trust a female on the run. He knelt down by the fireplace, on alert now, waiting for a male to show up.

“What should I do?” Sheridan asked nervously.

He didn’t even look back at her. He was angry she was here. He had left Ontario to escape the clan. He didn’t want to be near another one. For ten years he had managed to bury that part of his life and yet here he was, locked in a cabin with a female. In heat. This was going to test his willpower, more than he cared to try.

“Constable Thomas, what should I do?”

“Once I get this fire started you can get undressed and show me your mate mark so I know who you belong to.”

17 March 2012

Lá Fhéile Pádraig Sona Daoibh!

I had plans to finally do a proper blog post today...until my daughter took a tumble and not only dislocated her ankle but broke it as well! And she tried to pass it off as a sprain. (smacking forehead)

What is it they say about nurses and doctors making the worst patients? Sheesh. "It's just a flesh wound, I'll be okay! Let me just drag myself up the stairs to my apartment and stick a package of frozen peas on it. No, don't tell Mom, she'll freak!"

So no partying for us! Just a quiet night at home with a pot of Beef 'n' Guinness Stew, a pint of Smithwick's, and watching The Quiet Man with a kid in a cast on the couch. :) Oh, and her boyfriend, who has stuck by her side through the whole ordeal of emergency rooms, surgery, bad reactions to a medication, another trip to the ER...

Yeah, it was that kind of day. :) But all is well and I am grateful.

My recipe is roughly:

About a pound of stew beef cut into bite size cubes
About a half cup apple cider
1 bottle Guinness stout
2 Tb tomato paste or puree (ketchup is fine)
Half a large onion, diced small
1 or 2 cloves garlic, mashed
Beef broth OR water with beef bouillion cubes OR just water
Cup of baby carrots
2 medium parsnips, chopped
4 to 8 red potatoes, depending on the size and how many you like. Peel and quarter, or just leave the peels on.

"Sweat" the onions and garlic over medium low heat in a little olive oil until soft. Meanwhile, pat the cubed meat dry with paper towels. Heat a little olive oil over medium heat in a heavy skillet. Brown the meat a few cubes at a time just until it is nicely browned but not cooked through. Transfer meat to pot with onions/garlic as they get browned.

Deglaze skillet with some of the Guinness, scraping up the browned bits from the bottom. Add to pot with meat and onions. Add apple cider and the rest of the Guinness and bring to slow simmer and stir in tomato paste. Let it work while you chop the rest of the veggies. Add them to the pot and add more water or beef broth to cover. Taste and add some salt or beef bouillion cubes if needed (remember it'll cook down so go easy on the salt). Cover and simmer slowly several hours. Taste again before serving to adjust seasonings, if needed. Add some black pepper to taste. Serve with hot buttered rolls.

Have a great day! Be safe, use a designated driver! :)


15 March 2012

Edgar Rice Burroughs

Since our topic this month is From Steampunk to Time Travel, I thought I’d share some things I learned recently about one of the fathers of science fiction, steampunk, and time travel, Edgar Rice Burroughs.

You probably know that he created John Carter, since the blockbuster movie is now out.  It’s an awesome movie, but it got me thinking – just who is this Edgar Rice Burroughs, anyway?  I made an offhand comment about him to my husband and said that he wrote in the ‘50’s, and my husband corrected me:  he wrote it a hundred years ago!


I went digging and found a wonderful site dedicated to the author, here.  He created many of the beloved characters of modern popular culture, including Tarzan and John Carter.  He also wrote Westerns and stories about all sorts of fantastical creatures and life on other planets.  He’s considered an influence on writers such as Ray Bradbury and scientists such as Carl Sagan.

As I watched John Carter the movie, I was struck by how modern it felt, how ‘now.’  That’s the mark of good literature, that it is applicable to any age and is, in effect, timeless.  The original story was written a hundred years ago and, since my husband has read it, he’s reported that the movie stayed fairly faithful to the book.  (As someone who likes to read, write, and watch series, I’m also excited to report that there are many John Carter stories so I hope they’ll continue the movies.)  You can check them out, many for free, or you can get a collection of them for the Nook at Barnes and Noble for $1.99, here.

Turns out our "modern" stories have quite a long lineage.  From Frankenstein's Monster to men from Mars, there's a lot of good classical fiction out there to read.  It's easy to forget that Steampunk isn't the next new thing, it's a reinterpretation of things that have gone before.  What fun it is to poke around in the attic and find lost treasures to enjoy.

Happy reading!

11 March 2012

Walking on the road less traveled...

I've always have a love of poetry, from The Canterbury Tales through to more recent works. There's just something about the words tripping off your tongue, of telling a story through a whole different way of communication.

In the last few years I've found the world of science-fiction poetry - scifaiku, to be precise. Using the haiku form to tell a short, snappy story in three lines is a challenge.

Other types of poetry offer wonderful ways to explore ideas and concepts. From triolets to Fibonacci to plain old rhyming verse it's a whole different way to spin a tale.

Recently I put together a small chapbook of my poetic works, published and unpublished, under the title of Echoes of Red. It's available on Amazon and Smashwords for only a dollar.

Here's a sample of some of my work:

No Shoes, No Shirts, No Service

 zombie shopping mall
"SALE! HALF OFF!" the sign proclaims
she looks with one eye
she is always on the hunt
for a good bargain, of course.

While poetry's not for everyone, I hope I've encouraged you to explore this way of expressing yourself and perhaps start playing with haiku and/or scifaiku to tell your tale. After all, who says a good story can only be told in prose?

10 March 2012

True Vampire Romance

This month’s blog falls on my anniversary, so I’m playing hookey today. But don’t break out the margaritas and marimbas yet. You don’t get out of me blogging that easily. I’ve got plenty of material in the vault, including my Halloween 2008 blog for Samhain Publishing that’s entirely appropriate to the occasion. Yes, Halloween and my anniversary are a natural match. If that doesn’t scare you, it should…

We knew we were doomed the minute we met.

“Not with a ten foot pole!” I announced mentally, though I’m still not sure who or what was supposed to be listening.

Greg heard the word. “Doom, doom, doom,” played over and over in his head. He fought it by trying to find something—anything—about me he could reasonably object to.

I didn’t have to try quite so hard. He’d just recovered from some nasty bug and was about fifteen pounds below skinny. If all the jabbing bones and straggly goatee weren’t enough to put me off, there were the hard brown eyes peering at me like Dr. Frankenstein at the purple ray. No problem keeping my self-appointed distance.

We managed to delude ourselves like this for two months, despite the fact we couldn’t stop snarking, sniping and talking to each other. We couldn‘t help ourselves. We’d read most of the same books, seen many of the same movies and related to them in ways that left our friends scratching their heads.

We didn’t think Halloween would be any different. I dressed as Shakespeare’s Viola playing Cesario, knowing I looked gorgeous in black velvet. I wasn’t dressing for Greg, you understand. Not at all. I had even worn the costume for a date with someone else the night before.

Greg knew which party I was likely to attend, and he planned to take his time getting there. He didn’t intend to snub me, but he did intend to angle for different fish—someone less likely to catch him in the same net.

Instead he strode through the door of the townhouse, through the living room and half the dining room to plant himself in front of the chair where I sat, pointedly chatting with someone else. His cape flared behind him as he walked—a real floor-length opera cape properly lined in white satin. (Not red. Red is for wannabes.) His white tie and tails looked like it was tailored to his lean, broad-shouldered form. The goatee was gone, revealing a long, bony face full of interesting planes and angles.

Then I noticed something odd about his hairline. He had a widow’s peak. That wasn’t right. Greg didn’t have a widows peak. But Dracula did.

“I shaved it,” he admitted, carefully enunciating the “s“ around his fangs.. “Well, I shaved in half. That way I can change the part and it’s gone.”

That’s when I knew I was doomed too. He was sardonic, fiercely intelligent, sexy and… A total goof.

It was the goofiness that did me in. Only a goof would shave in half a widow’s peak. That’s what made him happily-ever-after material. Looks change and fade. Intelligence can cut. Wit can burn. But goofiness is forever.

Greg and I have been together ever since. Ironically, given the way we got together, when I started writing fantasy I avoided writing about vampires. I read about them. I’ve seen all the movies, but I never wrote about them. There were so many good vampire stories on the market, and I didn’t feel I had anything to add to the conversation.

That changed a couple of months ago. Right now I’m working on not one, but two, very different vampire stories. One’s your standard much older, much more glamorous, heartbreakingly beautiful vamp with a secret sorrow. Yada Yada. It’s not that the story is the same-old. I don’t do “same old”. I write too slow to trap myself into writing anyone else’s kind of story. But the vampire fits the classic mold much more closely than most of my heroes. In a sense that’s part of his charm. He’s my doorway to the great vampire fairy tale of paranormal romance.

But his isn’t the story that rides me like some demon jockey. No, that’s reserved for the second story, the one where the vampire hero is only two or three years older than the very human, college freshman heroine who discovers him when he awakens, bewildered and hungry, after death has turned him. He is a goof. A very sexy goof, a very brilliant goof, but still a goof. The kind of guy you wind up taking home to your parents, because really, what else can you do? And for the duration of the first draft, when the words are something only I will see, his name is Greg.


Originally published by Samhain Publishing, October 31, 2008.

08 March 2012

13 F-ed Up Reasons To Download My Fantasy Novella

This is Read an Ebook Week, did you hear? As part of the Festivities, I've allowed my Fantasy novella, A Mage By Any Other Name, to go FREE at Amazon.com, as this is its last month available exclusively at Amazon. It will be free until March 10. Here is the link: http://www.amazon.com/Mage-Any-Other-Name-ebook/dp/B006RO3LVS

Quick Blurb: Mary's new job with Wizard Williwim is perfect. Through gainful employment and access to the classified central library, she hopes to discover a route to the respect and approval she yearns for. For years she’s attempted one plan after another, and this one appears to be working.

But Mary’s life has never been that easy. When an enemy from her past reappears to endanger everything she has nearly achieved, she has to decide whether to confess some dangerous secrets she’s been hiding.

A tricky choice, when those secrets could lead to her and Williwim being cast out of the district...or being very, very dead.

Anyway, if you need further convincing, here are 13.5 F-'d up reasons to click on that link:

1) It's Free.

2) It's Funny.

3) It's Fantasy.

4) It's Feminist-ish.

5) It's Frabjuous.

6) It's (not) Feeble.

7) It's From Jody Wallace (because I KNOW this is convincing).

8) It's Funky, kind of.

9) It's Frisky, but not that kind of.

10) It's Fresh (only 2.5 months old!)

11) It's Fairly well edited (me and mine are good at the spelling, yo!)

12) It's Full of worldbuildy goodness.

13a) It's Feudal. Not as in feuds, but as in, based in a somewhat feudal system of government, owing to it being a relatively standard fantasy novel set in a pseudo-Middle Ages era that should be FAMILIAR to readers of this genre but still accessible to readers not as familiar with the genre.

13b) Come to think of it, it's Feudy too. There is a definite feud in the book that influences the progression of the plot.

Until March 10, then. Have at it and avast and stuff!

Jody W.
So much cyberspace, so little time!
www.jodywallace.com  / www.meankitty.com

06 March 2012

Time to Get "Fixed"

I can’t begin to tell you how excited I am to announce that the DAW anthology, The Modern Fae’s Guide to Surviving Humanity, has hit brick-and-mortar and virtual bookstores everywhere.  In addition to featuring authors like Elizabeth Bear, Seanan McGuire, Jay Lake and Jim C. Hines, the collection contains my first story in a mass market paperback, a little (ahem) tale about a cat shifter trying his darnedest NOT to get “Fixed".
My contribution is a comedy, but the anthology has something for everyone.  To quote the jacket copy:
What if the fae were still here, living among us?  Perhaps living in secret, doing their best to pass for human?  Or perhaps their existence is acknowledged, but they’re still struggling to fit in.  How have they survived?  Are they outcasts clinging to the edges of society, or do their powers ensure success in the mortal realm?
Here are fourteen fabulous stories by Seanan McGuire, Susan Jett, Kari Sperring, Juliet E. McKenna, Avery Shade, Kristine Smith, Barbara Ashford, April Steenburgh, Anton Strout, S.C. Butler, Jean Marie Ward, Shannon Page, Jay Lake, Elizabeth Bear and Jim C. Hines—ranging from humor to dark fantasy—that explore how the creatures of the fae are fitting into the modern world.

And to whet your appetite, here’s a little taste of “Fixed”:
There were lots of advantages to being a part-time cat. Being chased by a Rottweiler named Bitsy through Holcomb Creek Park wasn’t one of them.
Heart pounding, chest heaving, Jack Tibbert raced down the bike path, insensible to the late November cold, the people on the path, or anything except escape. Bitsy’s heavy grunts grew louder as she closed the gap between them. His imagination added the heat of the dog’s breath on his neck as her massive jaws closed in for the kill. He had to take cover—high where her crushing teeth couldn’t reach. But where? To his right the ground dropped sharply to the creek. The leafless saplings mask­ing the fall were barely up to Jack’s feline weight. They’d never survive the dog. The only trees worth climbing grew on the left side of the path. To reach them he’d have to cross a field of dead grass set with exercise equipment too low to fend off a Chihuahua. It was gonna be close.
He feinted right. With a triumphant woof and the crackle of dead weeds, his pursuer plunged into the brush. Jack veered left, gaze locked on the outdoor bal­ance beam. If he could run the dog into the log…
“Look out!” a female voice screamed.
He turned just in time to see a bicycle twice his height tearing up the center of the path. Instinctively, he jumped. The wheel clipped his shoulder. He tumbled across the pavement and kept rolling until one of the saplings knocked all the wind out of him.
It took him a minute to put the world back together. Had to get up. Dog. Too close. Yelping? He shook his head.
“Are you all right?”
The light girlish voice seemed to come from heaven, which had dropped to a few feet overhead. The angel kneeling beside him had a perfect oval face, almond-shaped eyes and windblown black hair streaked with rusty brown. She looked about sixteen, maybe a year younger than him—the kind of girl you see in all those dumb TV shows set in high school but you never meet in real life.
Small teeth raked her plump lower lip. “Don’t scratch me, okay? I need to touch you to see where you’re hurt.”
Sugar, you can touch me wherever you want.
Somewhere in the background, Bitsy started to whine. Her owner wailed, “But it’s the cat’s fault!”
“Not if Bitsy was off her leash and chasing him,” Jack’s vision shouted over her shoulder. Foxy chick was a cat person, too. He purred, arching his back into the hand she trailed along his fur.
“Spine and hips, good,” she muttered to herself. She found his tail. He flicked the tip playfully. “All right. Any­thing else we can fix.”
She flinched at another blast from the Rottweiler’s owner. “Just keep her calm, Mrs. Saar. It’ll be okay. I’ve got my phone. 
“It’s not like it hasn’t happened before,” she added under her breath.
She couldn’t keep her hands off him. Swearing at the hit-and-run cyclist, dialing her phone—the whole time, one of her hands was stroking him or scratching the sweet spots behind his ears and between his shoulders. He rewarded her by turning the baby blues on high. They worked their usual magic. Her bright brown eyes and pretty pink mouth got all soft. She forgot the phone pressed to her left ear. When the call connected, she bounced in surprise. Ev-er-y-thing bounced.

With a grin as wicked as feline lips allowed, Jack rolled his shoulders and hauled himself to his feet. Joints popped. A dozen different muscles and tendons hummed with pain. He tottered a couple steps, wincing at his scraped fore pads, and collapsed dramatically across her jeans.
To find out what happens next, you really need to read the book.

Yes, I am evil like that.  Why do you act so surprised?  ;-)
Jean Marie Ward

05 March 2012

Below Decks: From Steampunk to Time Travel, all Things Subgenre

Our theme this month is all things subgenre. To open up the conversation, I think we first need to discuss what genres are and why subgenres exist.

I like to think of the publishing industry as a giant book store. Sigh, remember those?

Let's take a walk inside this gorgeous virtual store and take a gander at all those yummy books. On the left side of the store we have our nonfiction titles--memoirs, cookbooks, sports....

On the right side of the store is--wait, let me just breathe it all in--fiction books. This is a huge section of the store. How are we going to find what we are looking for in such a vast area?

To make it easier for readers to find specific books, booksellers have split fiction up into several categories, or genres. Genre fiction includes Mystery, Romance, Horror, Suspense and Science Fiction.

Let's just meander over there to the Romance section of our virtual store. Since we can make this puppy as beautiful as we want it to be, I'm calling the Romance section the biggest one in the place. Wowza, look at all those stunning covers!

Uh-uh. Now we have another problem. There are so many books, that we could get lost in here. Well, the booksellers don't want us lost, they want us to find our way back to the cashier, right? So they helped us out by creating subsets within our genre. These subgenres could be such things as Historical, Paranormal, Suspense, Women's Fiction, Category.... The subgenres are designed to help the reader know a little bit about what they are getting into before they buy. The covers reflect the subgenres as well. Remember all those pink Chick Lit covers with the drawn covers? Dark books will most likely have dark covers, and so on.


What happens when the author is a chronic genre-blender? Where is the bookseller supposed to shelf a Romance about a 15th Century ghost who gets tangled up with a contemporary murder mystery? What? Why are you all looking at me?

It gets a little tricky with authors like me, I admit. At my core, I am a Paranormal Romance author and that is probably where my books get placed.

What are your favorite subgenres?