30 September 2013

Blue Moon for Bianca

Well, it's my own little version of a Blue Moon - this month I get to blog TWICE on BTV! The Keeper of the Calendar schedules us all every so many weeks (I think it's 4) and this month, I ended up blogging at both the beginning of the month and now, just before the end of the month. Neat, huh?

I'm happy to say, a lot has been going on. First, I should mention that the rest of the Dragon Knights books will be coming out in print - one per month - until next March. So next up is Border Lair on October 1st, I believe.

This new print edition has a bonus in it. It also contains the new novella, Master at Arms, which was written expressly for this purpose. So you get two stories in one book. You can pre-order this new print edition at Amazon, B&N, Samhain, and wherever print books are sold.

I'm hard at work on a few different projects at the moment. We're in the middle of edits on a book that will probably be releasing next March, called Harry's Sacrifice. It's the 5th and final book in my award-winning Resonance Mates series and I'm glad to finally have the book on its way to publication. I know a few die hard fans have been waiting a long time for it!

I'm also finalizing the 2nd book in my Tales of the Were - Redstone Clan series. It's called Red, and it will be out later this month in both ebook and print. Here's a little bit about it...

Steve Redstone agrees to keep an eye on his friend's little sister while she's partying in Las Vegas. He's happy to do the small favor to an old Army buddy. What he doesn't expect is the wild woman who heats his blood and attracts too much attention from Others in the area.

Steve ends up defending her honor, breaking his cover and seducing the woman all within hours of meeting her, but he's helpless to resist her. She is his mate and that startling fact is going to open up a whole can of worms with her, her brother and the rest of the Redstone Clan.

As I said, it will be out mid-October. I don't have a final date yet, but stay tuned to my website, blog, etc. I'll be announcing the date as soon as I know. Meanwhile, I have another book that is now available for pre-order...

Wolf Quest is the much-anticipated sequel to last year's RT Award Nominated Wolf Hills. It releases on December 10th, but you can pre-order it now! Here's a little bit about it...

Love and magic lie at the heart of this storm... as well as a whole lot of danger.

When Major Jesse Moore, brother to the Wyoming Pack Alpha, is sent to Iowa to check on his sister-in-law's cousin, knocking politely isn't an option. Sounds of a struggle send him storming into her kitchen -- where he finds anything but a damsel in distress. The tiny human woman knows how to handle herself in a fight, and all Jesse's senses shout she's his mate.

Exotic-animal vet, Maria Garibaldi has never trusted the magic her aunt and grandmother claim is her birthright. She's always known about the Others, but she had no idea she was also part of their world. When Maria sets out with Jesse to find the parents of a young grizzly shifter she found and treated, she learns the meaning of temptation in the form of the ex-Special Forces soldier.

As passion flares, the trail leads them toward the eye of a massive storm... where an unspeakable evil awaits the right moment to destroy the good in the magical world.

Warning: Things get explicit when a werewolf wants his mate and he doesn't care where they are. Outdoors, indoors, wherever and whenever -- never get between a wolf and his woman.

Pre-Order Now from Amazon, B&N, Samhain and wherever ebooks are sold.

As always, you can get more information on all my books on my website: WWW.BIANCADARC.COM

See you next month!

- Bianca

29 September 2013

Saying Good-bye

I hate good-byes. I do. Only, it's time for me to say good-bye to the awesome ladies at Beyond the Veil. My writing direction has moved away from paranormal and on to an exciting career with Harlequin. All my focus is on contemporary medical romance at the moment. It's been an amazing couple of years and I've met some extremely talented and awesome authors. I hate to leave, but my deadlines are just a bit nutsy that I'm running out of time and brain activity to blog. Thanks for memories Beyond the Veil and I wish all these ladies continued success! xxoo Amy

26 September 2013

‘Dem Bones, ‘Dem Bones…

I started to type the title for my post and the theme to “Bad Boys” came into my head. ‘Dem bones, ‘dem bones, whatchoo gonna do? Whatchoo gonna do when dey come fo’ you… Our theme next month is releasing our ghosts through writing and I couldn’t resist posting to that a little early. It feels Octoberish in my part of the States right now anyway, so here we go.

Many, many words have been penned about memoir, personal writing, journaling, keeping a diary, and a host of other ways to say the same thing: meeting ourselves on the page. I read once that journaling is the closest we come to being in the moment, except that it’s still at one remove because we’re talking about the moment and not literally being in it. (Sit with that thought a moment, it’s rather Zen but I think is a good point to ponder.) So how the hell do we do that?

One of my favorite books for getting into the moment on the page is by Natalie Goldberg, Writing Down the Bones. In it, she gives a series of essays and exercises to guide us in getting in touch with ourselves on the page and for getting into the moment. It amounts to getting out of our own way and quieting the censor, that voice that says, “That’s not how you spell censor!”

Rather than worrying about how we’re writing, we write and let the words flow out of us like the breath. When we breathe, we don’t worry about how we’re breathing, it just happens automatically. When we start to speak to someone, we open our mouths and the words flow out of us – we don’t think about how to breath to form speech, how to shape our mouths, where to put our tongue, or any of that. For most of us it’s simply an automatic process. We speak, simple as that.

I remember the first time I picked up Ms. Goldberg’s book. I was living in Mount Shasta at the time. I worked in a bookstore/coffee house and my official story was, “I was on sabbatical to write books.” That’s also the literal truth, though I wouldn’t have put such fancy language around it. I wanted to write books with every fiber of my being but, unfortunately, there’s not a book-writing tree from which we can go pick fruit and BAM! a book results. It’s a lot of hard work and there’s a lot of “stuff” in the way: chiefly, that censor I talked about above. Ms. Goldberg’s words practically floated off the page and hit me between the eyes: try filling one notebook a month.

One notebook a month? Is she nuts? Crazy? Cracked? Wrong?

Nope. She’s pretty much on the ball with that one, as I discovered over the months after reading her book and fighting with the exercises and learning, word by word, page by page, to get over myself and just write.

What about you? What’s your favorite tool for getting onto the page?

“It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.”
- E.E. Cummings

The Chicagoland Shifters series:
Book 1 BURNING BRIGHT, available from Samhain Publishing.
Book 2 TIGER TIGER, available from Samhain Publishing. An All Romance eBooks Bestseller!

The Persis Chronicles:Check out EMERALD FIRE, available from Torquere Books.
Check out "Seeking Hearts", available from Torquere Books.

Check out COOK LIKE A WRITER , available from Barnes and Noble.

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Publishers: Samhain Publishing | Torquere Press

21 September 2013

Lesson Is More

I laugh at your feeble attempts to unseat me from my throne--and
control my reading material. Laugh, I say! Mwahahaha!
I don't have any littles marching off to class, but I'm constantly getting schooled.

No surprises there. The alternative to what my supervisors liked to call "lifetime learning" is to pull a Jonathan Franzen and pout in your corner rocking chair while the world moves ever faster toward a goal you can't see. It's great for short-term publicity. (Witness the noise generated by Franzen's latest release.) But over the years you run the risk of what Amazon founder and new Washington Post owner Jeff Bezos calls "aging with your audience" and going the way of Woolworth's...since nobody remembers the dodo anymore.

Besides, the new is all about opportunity. I need to learn how to record from Skype, for example, because it's the only way I'll get to interview Lilith Saintcrow short of traveling to the Pacific Northwest, and the budget just doesn't stretch that far.

What never ceases to surprise me, though, is who my teachers turn out to be. Pumba, aka The Management, spent the summer patiently instructing me that we need a new vet.

I don't know why we need a new vet. The current model is staffed by nice folks who come to the house.

But every time they do, the same cat who calmly enters his carrier every month to get his nails trimmed at PetSmart--where they have dogs! Big noisy, smelly dogs! (His words, not mine)--turns into a rocket-propelled escape artist capable of running across the ceiling while loosing weapons of mess destruction aimed with the proverbial pinpoint accuracy.

And he doesn't just know the vets.  He recognizes their van.  He can tell the difference between it and the FedEx van, even though they're the same size and color. Even more amazing, he can recognize it by the sound of their engine along a cross street.

You know, when the universe turns something that should be easy into a battle of wills won time and again by something weighing fifteen pounds, it's time to step back and consider what the universe is trying to tell you. We'll see if it's trying to tell me to take him to the vet at PetSmart.

Which isn't to say that you shouldn't persevere at something just because it's difficult. I wouldn't be writing full-time if I believed that. But even something like writing, which is inherently difficult and rewards copious effort, can surprise you.

Writing continually surprises me. It's never the same from day to day, much less story to story. Some characters and stories talk to you like old friends. Others play coy, forcing you to write around them before flashing a hint of their core. Some insist on being outlined. Others fly by the seat of your pants--and terrifying they are, too.

But I learn from every trial. Or try to. I don't want to end up like Woolworth's.

At least the dodo landed a cushy gig at Capclave.

Jean Marie Ward

20 September 2013

Signs, and More Signs...

There’s a reggae song from back in the 80’s that’s always been a favorite of mine. The lyrics of Lots of Signs by Tenor Saw say in part (and with some changes for clarity): "Life is one big road with a lots of signs, signs and more signs. Have to make up your mind to face reality all the time." 

Yeah. Love it. Just wish I was better at seeing the signs and facing up to what they mean!

There have been a number of turning points in my life and it feels as though I just muscled my way through them, without any real plan. I’m missing the signs (I often feel) that will give me a real indication of what I should be doing. I like to think I learn my lessons, but only with hindsight. It would be nice to have those moments of clarity while the effluvium is hitting the oscillating blades.

So it is in life, so it is with writing.

Once more I’m at a crossroads with my writing career and scrambling to make sense of it all. Oh, I had a plan (well, plans, really) but it hasn’t (they haven’t) worked. It would be nice to have a good idea why, but I really don’t. I work the plan, then the plan works me over and blows up in my face… BOOM. It gets a little disheartening sometimes. But I’ve tried sticking with it. After all, don’t people say, “Never give up.” “Try, try again.” “The race is not for the swift but for those who can endure.” Shouldn’t I be concentrating on ‘staying the course’? (Cliché alarm activated…)

Or maybe, just maybe, it’s the universe’s way of telling me a certain path just isn’t for me, that it’s time to not just adjust the plan, but make an entirely new and radical one. Strike out in new directions. Forge a new trail… (Cliché alarm reaches maximum pitch).

We’ll see. All I can do is keep on keeping on (Cliché alarm dies a horrid death) and keep looking for signs. If anyone knows a good way to interpret the signs life sends us, do let me know!!

16 September 2013

September Mom

September brings new beginnings and fresh starts.

It also comes with a twinge of sadness for me because I like having my kids home for summer break. I enjoy going for walks with them, swimming, exploring the mountains and beaches. I relish our time together because it is so fleeting, so special. And time slows for no mom.

Oh boy. I have a feeling this might be a tough year for me. My eldest son just turned eighteen and will be graduating from high school and going to college while my youngest will be graduating from eighth grade and going on to high school.

I am so excited for them. Do you remember how you felt at these life-junctures? I do. I was a little scared and homesick, but I was excited too, thrilled actually, to be on my way.

I’m sure my boys feel the same. The great big world is in front of them with thousands of paths to take full of twists, turns, ups and downs.  Everything is exciting and bright. First loves, new friends and adventure await them and all they have to do is step off the roost and flap their wings.

Me? I’ll be back here in the old nest waving good-bye. Oh Lord, I choke up at the thought. I’m so not handling this well. Any suggestions on how to get through it?

I know in the end I will handle it because that's my job as Mom. I’ve prepared them and it is just about time for those chickies to fly. And with all my heart I want them to soar, looping in and out of the fluffy clouds seeing the world like never before. They know that I’ll always be with them. I’m not going anywhere. I’m the rock, the safe spot, the landing place.

They’ll hear me in their thoughts—would Mom want me to do this? They’ll see me at their doorstep should they need me and when they think they don’t. I’ll arrive with chicken soup and Tylenol when they get sick. I’ll weep all over their tuxedos at their weddings. I’ll be gripping their shaky hands when their babies are born.

I am in their wings, their memories, their hearts.

I am Mom.

06 September 2013

Ahhh, September...

This is my favorite time of the year. Although it's not officially Autumn, the season is definitely in the air.

The nights are cooler; the sun sets sooner; the leaves are starting to change colors and fall from the trees. I can smell wood burning as neighbors try to take the chill off their houses. Then there's that school bus rattling down the road twice a day.

It also seems to be the time of year that my muse comes out of hibernation... or maybe it's home from vacation. ;)

I'm not sure why it's easier to write in the Fall. It could be the simple change in seasons and that I've always felt at ease and happy this time of year. It could also be the few extra hours of 'silence' as children go back to school or resume their on-line classes. Whatever the reason, I feel more inspired. I feel more equipped to face that cursor and the blank, white space.

What inspires you? Is it a season? A time of day? When does your muse seem to wake?

Meg Allison

Indulge your senses...

05 September 2013

Meankitty "Bad Libs" Book Review: Tiger Tiger

TIGER TIGER by A. Catherine Noon and Rachel Wilder is a Urban fantasy/Paranormal M/M romance. I finished it in record time: about a day. Hey, I didn't say it was the QUICKEST record. The plot wasn't always easy to follow, but I defenestrated my way through. That's right. Defenestrated. Which is a fancy way of saying the authors threw the plot RIGHT OUT THE WINDOW.

The characters in this attractive book were named Sasha, Neal, and Steve. The first protagonist was a very soft character with black fur. Her relationship with the second protagonist reminded me of the movie THE SUN ALSO RISES because of their happy feelings for each other and the way they merely watched anytime they were faced with danger. The third character, on the other hand, was a real platypus. Should that character have been subjected to cancer of the left toe, I would have been quickly sad. I know I'm a cat, but playtpuses are just cute, you know?

There was never a moment in this book where I felt drunk. Mostly because I'm a cat and I don't drink alcohol. The furry plot was full of surprises. I creatively continued to turn pages. You HAVE to be creative when you turn pages in a cat body! The conflict was softly resolved. Soft like my belly. When I reached the end, I wanted to listen to birds and drink fluffy ouiska, which is pronounced "whiskey" according to Google. So you know that's crazy for me, since I just said I don't drink alcohol! The writing style is worth mentioning, too, since it was gracefully hard. I counted 624,987,524,618.2 typos to boot.

My summation: TIGER TIGER receives a grade of 428 on a scale of 1 to 2. And if that doesn't sound possible, it's just because you haven't yet read this fuschia book. I wanted to give this book a toothsome desk with a side of ridiculous chocolate.

Also, for the record I would like to adeptly state that cats are the bravest animals on earth and dogs are made of MRSA infection.


Bad Libs Meankitty & the Typing Human
www.meankitty.com  * www.jodywallace.com

For more Meankitty Reviews visit www.meankittyreviews.com

02 September 2013

Aliens, Shifters & Dragons! Oh my!

Happy Labor Day, everyone! Well, everyone in the U.S., that is. ;-) I'm enjoying my "day off" by... working! Big surprise there. A writer never really gets a day off.

I opened my email this morning to find edits for Harry's Sacrifice - a book that will (hopefully) be out next March, though I don't have a firm release date for it yet from the publisher. It's the fifth and final book in my award winning Resonance Mates series and I'm really happy to finally have it in the pipeline for publication. It's been a long time coming.

I'm also putting the finishing touches on my next Redstone Clan book, titled simply Red. The hero is Steve Redstone, the second eldest cougar shifter in a family of five brothers. Each will be getting his own story either later this year or early next year. With any luck, Red will be out in mid-October.

The next story, Magnus, is slated for either late December of January release, but I already have the cover. Isn't he yummy? He's a werecougar, but he has this thing for a woman from his past. A woman with fangs...

I'm also working at drumming up some more votes for Dragon Knights: Master at Arms, which is up for Book of the Month over at LASR. If you feel so inclined, please go over and vote. I think the voting ends today. The book came out on 8/20 and I'm really pleased with how well it's doing. Here's a little bit about it...

Master at Arms

When Cara's half-brother is gravely wounded, she rallies the defenders of their keep as best she can. She knows how to fight, but is smart enough to realize she cannot-and should not-lead men into battle. No, that is the job of the Master at Arms, a mysteriously attractive foreign fighter named Tristan.

But when deadly, venomous creatures called skiths attack, only dragons can save them. A flight of dragons arrives in the nick of time-among them an unpartnered dragon named Rath and his mate with her handsome knight partner, Sir Thorn. Until Rath finds a knight and both knights find their lady, the dragons cannot be together. But fate may have just stepped in to help both dragons and men.

Caught on the ground, Rath is in serious danger from a rogue skith when Tristan comes to his rescue. His courage impresses the dragon greatly. This is a man who could be a knight... if his loyalties can be won by dragonkind.

And all is not as it seems with Cara's family and the half-brother who wants nothing more than to pack her off to a loveless marriage, sold to the highest bidder. It will take all the diplomacy and skill of both Thorn and Tristan to set things right... and win Lady Cara's heart for themselves.

Warning: When two dragons really want something, it's best not to stand in their way. And when their knights are focused on a single woman, nothing and no one will stop them from getting what they want. Beware! This trio gets up to all kinds of naughtiness in the pursuit of true love.
Buy Now from: Amazon - Barnes & Noble - Samhain - and other fine ebook sellers.

And I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the sequel to Wolf Hills. It's called Wolf Quest and it'll be releasing on 12/10. I can't wait!!! It's a werewolf story with a twist. Lots of magic and magical creatures in a very action-oriented story. I really think people are going to like it! At least I hope they will!!!

So that's my Labor Day - work, work, work. I hope you all managed to get in a barbeque or something! It's pretty rainy here on Long Island today, so that wouldn't have really worked for me anyway, but it's nice to dream...


Bianca D'Arc