Tag Archives: urban fantasy

#HumpDay #ManWars with Kelly Moran

Happy #HumpDay! You know what that means! It’s time for #ManWars with my good friend Kelly Moran Books! My challenger today is sexy doctor Ramon from my UNDEAD UPRISING urban fantasy serial which is part of the EDGE OF NEVER box set!

It’s our book birthday and we’re having a party today at https://www.facebook.com/events/1622580184670054/.

You can get the 99 cent box set EDGE OF NEVER at these retailers:

EdgeOfNeverAmazon: http://amzn.to/1Kd4E4z
B&N: http://bit.ly/1iLS3MI
iBooks: http://apple.co/1iLT2fE
Kobo: http://bit.ly/1iLRjHc

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Some Upcoming Events & Taking a Break

Just wanted to let you know that I’ve got some writing and work-related obligations coming up for the next two weeks, so I’ll be absent off and on. I’ll pop in when I can to share photos, etc. and events.

Right now, there are a few upcoming events for you! I’ll be at RomCon in Denver from September 25 to 27. If you’re going, I’d love to spend some time with you!

I’ve also got a few release parties scheduled and here goes:

Romancing the Military Man Release Party – September 29

https://www.facebook.com/events/282992481870976/
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Hot Hometown Hunks Release Party – Oct 6

https://www.facebook.com/events/470433016469283/
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Edge of Never Release Party – Oct 14

https://www.facebook.com/events/1622580184670054/
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#TeaserTuesday Three Specially Priced Box Sets

I’m so lucky to have so many romance writing buddies. I love getting together with them to work on box sets and help spread the word about our books and offer you some very special deals. Today I’ve got three box sets that are specially priced at 99 cents and available for pre-order right now. Plus, each one is in a different genre, so you can really mix it up and get a taste of romance all across the spectrum.

Romancing the Military Man

RomancingMilitaryManWho doesn’t like a sexy military man? No one! How about ten, yes 10 hot military heroes? Join me and my friends for these stories about military men and women who will risk it all to save the world and find their happily-ever-afters. What can be better than that? How about the box set being priced at only 99 cents for a limited time?

This box set includes STAY THE NIGHT, with sexy Navy Seal Rafe Castillo.

You can purchase Romancing the Military Man for the special price of 99 cents at these e-tailers:

Amazon: http://bit.ly/AMZMilitaryMan
B&N: http://bit.ly/RMM_BN
iBooks: http://bit.ly/RMM_iBooks
Kobo: http://bit.ly/1iLR1QS

Hot Hometown Hunks

You know the guy. The hometown hunk who can make hearts race and knees shake with a flash of his abs or one crooked smile. From enemies to lovers to second chances, these sizzling, seductive, and satisfying full-length novels are guaranteed to sweep you off your feet.

This box set includes SECOND CHANCE AT PERFECT, a sexy and emotional story about a second chance at love.

You can purchase Hot Hometown Hunks for the special price of 99 cents at these e-tailers:

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1URNhyj
B&N: http://bit.ly/1iLSCpI
iBooks: http://apple.co/1iLSWor
Kobo: http://bit.ly/1iLRbYj

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Edge of Never

This box set includes Undead Uprising: A Wolf Alone, the first part of my urban fantasy romance with a kick ass werewolf heroine, vampires out to kill her people and an ill-fated love with a human.

You can purchase Edge of Never for the special price of 99 cents at these e-tailers:

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1Kd4E4z
B&N: http://bit.ly/1iLS3MI
iBooks: http://apple.co/1iLT2fE
Kobo: http://bit.ly/1iLRjHc

EdgeOfNever

#ManCandyMonday Joseph Gordon-Levitt

I’ve thought he was a cutie since 3rd Rock from the Son and Ten Things I Hate About You. His role in Inception just cemented the hotness factor for Joseph Gordon-Levitt.

Joseph has been an actor since an early age. At six he performed in a local theater group and then went on to a number of roles as a child star and then teenager. You might also recognize him from a stint in the latest Batman movie, The Dark Knight Rises.

I hope you enjoy today’s Man Candy! I’ll also have some pictures for you shortly from my trip to the awesome Olde City, New Blood conference in St. Augustine.

Photo Credit: gdcgraphics@en.wikipedia.com

Diaries of an Urban Panther by Amanda Arista & Giveaway

We’re very luck today to have a visit from Amanda Arista whose new release DIARIES OF AN URBAN PANTHER is one of Avon Impulse’s new digital releases.

Amanda was born in Illinois, raised in Corpus Christi, lives in Dallas but her heart lies in London. Good thing she loves to travel. The summer of second grade, she read every book in the young adult section of the library. So she started making up her own stories and hasn’t stopped since. She spends her weekends writing at coffee shops, practicing for the day that caffeine intake becomes an Olympic sport, and plotting character demises with fellow writers Wolvarez, Killer Cupcake and Keith (names have been changed to protect the not-so-innocent).

Amanda is generously donating a $25 Amazon or B&N gift certificate to one lucky person who leaves comments on the various blog tour stops which you can find at Goddess Fish Promotions. For more on Amanda, you can visit www.amandaarista.com, follow her on Twitter at @Pantherista or visit her Facebook Fan Page.

Without further ado, here’s Amanda to share more about her writing and her release.


At what age did you realize that you wanted to be a writer?

In the back of my head, there has always been a little person declaring herself a writer. I really did read every book in the kids section the summer after second grade and I finished my first story in 3rd grade. I’ve been writing ever since but I dared not say the word writer out loud. The first time I felt like I had the right to use the word was when I finished my first novel. It was no longer a strange hobby, something that I did, but something that I was.

Tell us a little something about the novel!

Diaries of an Urban Panther is a fun little experiment in which we take a nice normal girl and throw her into a situation in which she has to adapt or die. The fun part about Violet’s story is that she doesn’t adapt like everything thinks she should. Violet’s story is a fresh approach to the paranormal romance genre because the heroine is a writer, not a vampire hunter or necromancer, and the reader explores this treacherous and fantastical world through her guarded and very quirky heart.

Tell us a little something about the heroine!

Violet Jordan is a writer for a cheesy movie company called Cloak and Dagger productions. She polishes scripts for them as well as writes articles for a few e-zines in order to pay the rent, which seems to always need paying. She describes herself as the Velma, the sidekick in the movie of her own life, and really was just stuck in a rut until the incident in the back alley that turned her fuzzy once a month. She’s flawed and stubborn and is very hard on people and the most important thing to her through this whole ordeal is that she own this curse and refuses to let it control her life.

Are you a plotter who lays out everything in detail as you write or a pantser who lets the story unfold on its own?

I don’t outline until I know who the character is, which means that I’ll write out a couple of scenes in my head and then figure out who they are and what tortures I’m going to put them through.

And then I do try to plot. But mostly the characters take me where they want to go and highlight where they do not want to go, which means I force them in that general direction. Let me tell you how much the ending of Diaries changed when I found out the Jessa didn’t want to die in the first few scenes. There was no planning for that.

I knew it was going to be a romantic ending, but until I was half way done, I didn’t know what Violet could live through and what she would need in her romantic lead. I didn’t know that her biggest hurdle was going to be seeing her self as sexy and powerful in order to accomplish her mission. Until I knew Violet, I couldn’t predict what the plot needed to be.

Where is your story set and does that influence the plotlines and characters in your stories?

I live in Dallas and not too many books that I had read had captured the true urbanite quality of the city. It’s got everything that NY and Vegas have: dark alleys, interesting night clubs, just with bigger cars and less smog. You can drive 10 minutes and be in a vibrant down town or drive 30 minutes and be out in open land with cows. And let me tell you about a good pair of Wranglers.

Also, it fit Violet. She didn’t want to go to any place that reminded her of what happened in LA, so Dallas was a good choice. It’s not too chic, but neither is she. It does have a hometown feel to it, and she secretly wants a home. But it still has a coffee shop on every corner.

What is your writing schedule like?

I have a full time job, a husband, two needy dogs and am getting a graduate degree. Needless to say, I have to be a stickler about time. On weeknights, I set an egg timer. One hour for being Wife Amanda, usually include dinner, errands, laundry. One hour for Student Amanda, homework, readings. And one hour for Writer Amanda, type as furiously as I can for one hour.

Saturdays are the exception. On Saturday mornings, I get up and join my writers group for 4 hours. It’s more of an accountability group than a critique group, but all four hours are for typing and then I try to just be free the rest of the day. The brain must take a break at some point.
Of course, sometime when the muse strikes, you can stop writing, and, frankly, that’s what the coffee is for.

What are you working on now and what will readers have to look forward to in the future?

I’m currently working on the second book in the series. Poor Violet. I’m putting her through hell now that she’d proven she can take the heat. Expect to see the second diary in December 2011.

I’m also putting together another darker series called the Daughters of Chaos. It’s a new challenge that is proving very interesting and just a little steamy.

Thank you so much, Amanda! We wish you all the best of luck with your release. Don’t forget to leave a comment either here or on one of the various blog tour stops which you can find at http://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2011/06/virtual-tour-diaries-of-urban-panther.html.

Advice for Writers by Paranormal Romance Author India Drummond

We’re very lucky to have with us today India Drummond who is going to offer up some advice for writers.

India is the author of paranormal romance and urban fantasy. She knew from age nine that writing would be her passion. Since then she’s discovered many more, but none quite so fulfilling as creating a world, a character, or a moment and watching them evolve into something complex and compelling. She has lived in three countries and four American states, is a dual British and American citizen, and currently lives at the base of the Scottish Highlands in a village so small its main attraction is a red phone box. In other words: paradise.

The supernatural and paranormal have always fascinated India. In addition to being an avid sci-fi and fantasy reader, she also enjoys mysteries, thrillers, and romance. This probably explains why her novels have elements of adventure, ghosts (or elves, fairies, angels, aliens, and whatever else she can dream up), and spicy love stories.

So without further ado! Here’s India’s Advice for Writers!

My advice? Oh, don’t ask me that! Why not? See, I’m perfectly happy to share. I have learned so much from authors I’ve met online, from classes, workshops, and the good, old school of experience. Ask me anything specific, and I’m happy to give freely of whatever knowledge I have, but I rarely offer advice.

I’ve learned that what works for one author often doesn’t work for another. For example, I used to write by the seat of my pants. Then I heard all these authors saying, “You have to learn to plot. It’s the only way.” And I tried it… and failed. I was so frustrated! I felt there was a right way to do things, but I couldn’t do it. Of course, I also assumed this was why I was languishing on the query-go-round.

Then, as I began to write more books, I saw the patterns in my various novel projects, how I created turning points in around 1/3 and 2/3 of the way through a book, how I wove multiple storylines into one. I was developing my own style, and from that, I created an outline template that works for me and makes life easier. Would it work for anyone else? Probably not.

There’s so much advice out there on the internet. Some of it’s good, some… not so much. And as an unpublished writer, I gobbled up every morsel of it, hoping to find the magic nugget of gold that would transport me beyond the forbidden gates and into the world of the published.

Now that I have achieved my dream of publication, I have more perspective. And looking back, I see that I used to spend hours socialising with other writers on the various networks out there. I wish now I had spent at least 50% of that time writing more books.

So here’s my one piece of advice to aspiring authors. It might annoy some to hear it. But if you can get this, it will make you a better writer: Write more books. Quit agonising over your query letter. Quit worrying that one project to death. Quit spending more time blogging than you do writing fiction. Quit spending more time critiquing for others than you do writing fiction.

Write. More. Books.

Why “more books” instead of just making the current project better?

Because the average published author has written six books by the time they get a contract. Nothing, and I mean NOTHING, will improve your writing like experience. And you can’t get all your experience in one book.

I think part of that is that with each successive story, we experiment. Those experiments lead us into new places, and we begin to see what works and what doesn’t. I promise those unpublished projects won’t be a waste of time. What you learn by the third or fourth book, you can go back and apply to your first book, once you have some perspective on it.

So, yes, there’s some good advice out there. Do learn to write a professional query letter. Do learn how to write a blurb, how to write effective dialogue, how to use just enough description, but not too much… But don’t obsessive over the mountains of advice you can find on the net these days, hoping to learn “the secret”.

The real secret, in my experience, is experience. And you get it by writing. Nothing more, and nothing less.

So go forth and WRITE!

Never give up. Never let yourself get down. Never give in to the voices in your head that tell you it’s too hard or it can’t be done, or maybe getting published is too big a dream. You CAN do it… if you’ll only WRITE… and write… and write.

THAT is what I wish I’d known two years ago.

* * * * *

I second India’s advice! I always tell writers that the only wrong thing to do is to not write. There is no wrong or right way to write. Each person has their own creative ways of doing things. So don’t be stymied by well meaning advice about “the right way” to write. And NEVER GIVE UP!

For more information on India, please check out these sources:

India’s website and blog: http://www.indiadrummond.com/
Facebook Fan Page: http://www.facebook.com/india.drummond.author
Twitter: http://twitter.com/IndiaDrummond

To arrange an interview or contact the author, please email: author@indiadrummond.com

Blood, Smoke & Mirrors with Robyn Bachar

I want to welcome Robyn Bachar today who will be telling us a little bit about her new paranormal release from Samhain Publishing: BLOOD, SMOKE AND MIRRORS. Welcome, Robyn!

I love Urban Fantasy. I grew up in a suburb of Chicago, and my neighborhood is filled with brick houses that all look pretty much the same. On the long walk home from school I always wondered what went on inside those houses. What secret dramas were hidden behind those boring brick exteriors?

As an Urban Fantasy writer, I can take those secrets and give them a far more fantastic spin. Instead of just an affair, it’s an affair between two shapeshifters. Two shifters from rival packs, afraid of being caught and kicked out, or even killed. That creepy house with the owner that only comes out at night? Clearly a vampire. A vampire on the run from a terrible past—why else would he spend his unlife in Berwyn, where nothing ever happens? The family with the White Sox flag on their porch? Obviously a group of evil sorcerers bent on world domination.

Okay, maybe not, but I love the idea of taking a fantastic creature and giving it a crappy day job and a used car, and then telling it to save the world. In Blood, Smoke and Mirrors, my heroine is a witch who works full time as a waitress. Sure she has powerful magic, but that won’t pay her rent or the rest of her college loans. Having magic doesn’t make her life easier—in fact it’s made it a lot harder. And thanks to me, her bad days are about to get a lot worse.

Teaser

Even a bad witch deserves a second chance.

Wrongly accused of using her magic to harm, the closest Catherine Baker comes to helping others is serving their coffee. Life as an outcast is nothing new, thanks to her father’s reputation, but the injustice stings. Especially since the man she loved turned her in.

Now the man has the gall to show up and suggest she become the next Titania? She’d rather wipe that charming grin off his face with a pot of hot java to the groin.

Alexander Duquesne has never faltered in his duties as a guardian—until now. The lingering guilt over Cat’s exile and the recent death of his best friend have shaken his dedication. With the murder of the old Titania, the faerie realm teeters on the brink of chaos. His new orders: keep Cat alive at all costs.

Hunted by a powerful stranger intent on drawing her into an evil web, Cat reluctantly accepts Lex’s protection and the resurrected desire that comes along with it. Lex faces the fight of his life to keep her safe…and win her back. If they both survive.

Warning: This book contains one tough and snarky witch, one gorgeous guardian, explicit blood drinking, magician sex, gratuitous violence against vampires and troublemaking Shakespearean faeries.


Excerpt



For the entertainment portion of our evening Lex bravely—or perhaps foolishly—decided to teach the faeries how to play Texas hold ’em poker. The only cards I own are Tarot cards, but he’d brought a deck of playing cards with him in his gym bag, and we used pretzels and chocolates as poker chips. The man displayed the patience of a saint as he tutored my cousins in the basics of the game—I’d learned it when we’d dated, though we’d bet clothing instead of snacks.

Tybalt was enthralled, but Portia was slow to warm to the idea until she figured out how to cheat by magically marking the cards. Poker ended soon after that, and we turned to the Game Show Network for entertainment. Few things are quite as entertaining as watching millennia-old frost faeries shout “No deal, Howie!” at your television screen.

It was a welcome break, and I could almost imagine this was a normal night of fun with my cousins. The addition of Lex didn’t hurt, but it added to the strangeness. He was acting like the Lex I remembered—funny, caring, charming. I wanted to stay angry with him, but having him stand steadfast by my side today made that difficult. He was there when I needed him, which felt weird after what had occurred between us in the past.

A little after midnight I kicked the faeries out and sent them home so Lex and I could get a good night’s sleep before our big day tomorrow. Not that I predicted being able to sleep with the cold dread that’d settled into my stomach, but I was willing to give it a try. I gathered up the empty drinking glasses and the bag of chips we’d devoured, and brought them into the kitchen. When I returned to the living room for the second round of mess, I found the lights had been switched off. Barely visible, Lex stood at the window, staring into the night as he held the curtains aside.

“You need to see this.”

“What is it?”

“Might want to put your shields up in case they try to take a shot at you,” he advised as I crossed the room. With a deep breath I put my shields in place, feeling the energy snap around me and then continue its new odd habit of stretching to include Lex.

“How are you doing that?” I looked up at him, confused.

“Doin’ what?”

“You keep getting through my shields.”

“Huh. Probably ’cause your subconscious knows I’m not going to harm you, so there’s no need to keep me out. Those vamps outside, on the other hand, they’re probably not here to play cards.” Lex pointed into the darkness, and I looked out the window.

“I don’t see anything.” Squinting, I pushed my glasses up on my nose and strained to see what he indicated.

My eyes slowly adjusted to the rainy night. The streetlights had been doused, and this time it wasn’t my fault.

“There.” Stepping close to me, he gestured again. “Two in gangways across the street, one behind that oak tree.” Following Lex’s lead, I managed to spot three figures hiding in the shadows, and they were definitely not my neighbors.

“What are they doing?” I asked, my voice dropping to a tense whisper.

“Waitin’. They can’t get in, so they’re waitin’ for us to come out. Sooner or later they’ll get impatient and figure out a way to force their way in. In fact, I’m surprised they haven’t tried to set your building on fire and smoke us out.”

“They can’t, I have a ward against that too. Fire here can’t grow any bigger than a stove burner.”

“Damn, you are good. Still, with those vultures outside it’s not safe here anymore, Cat. You’ll have to stay somewhere else from now on.” With his point made, he let the curtains fall back into place, plunging the room into darkness, with only the light from the kitchen to see by.

“You’re right,” I reluctantly agreed.

“You could come stay with me.”

“With you?” Surprised by the suggestion, I turned to look up at him. We were standing so close I could feel the heat of his body and the light brush of his breath against my face. Nervous, I took a deep breath and unintentionally inhaled the familiar, unique scent of him. My heartbeat drowned out the steady patter of rain against the windows. With an amazing display of willpower I resisted the urge to bolt, knowing I’d only trip over something (like the cats that were still standing guard over Lex) and break my neck. Instead I took a slow step backward. “Why, you think it’d be easier to babysit me on your own turf?”

“I’m not babysitting you. Really, I’m protecting them from you,” he teased. Grinning, he reached up and tucked a stray lock of hair that’d escaped from my braid back into place behind my ear.

“Thanks, that makes me feel so much better,” I joked, a blush heating my face.

“I try. But seriously, Cat, I’ll be here as long as you need me.” Lex looked down at me, seeming sincere, and I shook my head at him.

“Don’t, Lex. You’re only here on orders. You’ll be gone and on to the next as soon as this assignment is over.”

“What if I don’t want that?”

“What if I do? I’m all for the life-saving thing, but I don’t want you in my life again.”

“Are you sure of that?”

Scowling, I took a steadying breath and prepared to launch into an explanation of the myriad reasons why I wasn’t about to go through another round of heartbreak with him, but before I could speak he leaned down and brushed a kiss across my lips.

A warm tingling suffused my body as soon as our lips met, the sort of electric reaction I usually associate with casting magic, but much, much better. He was hesitant at first, probably afraid I’d slap him or zot him with a spell, but when I didn’t object he slowly began to deepen the kiss. My knees went weak as my good sense vanished, and I slipped my arms around him to steady myself. Lex held me close as he continued to kiss me, and I leaned into him. I’d forgotten how well we fit together. He sighed, as though my lips were delicious and he savored them.

“This is a bad idea,” I murmured.

“No, this is a good idea.” Lex nudged me back toward the couch, and I sat down in a less-than-graceful flop. Next he joined me and drew me into his arms.

“Oh yeah? How?” My hormones were obviously happy to see him, but I still had a little bit of brainpower left, enough to be skeptical of the situation.

“Because letting you go was a bad idea. I don’t want to make that mistake again.” His voice was low and strained, and I wished it wasn’t so dark so I could see his expression. I sighed, a mix of old pain and new uncertainty, but he kissed me again and I stopped arguing.

I relaxed into the embrace, returning the kiss passionately. I felt better instantly—safe, warm, desired. Lex stroked my braided hair and let his hand rest at the small of my back. I ran my own hands up and down his back, debating whether or not it would be a good idea to tug his shirt off, but then I felt him unhooking my bra. My pulse jumped, and my magic decided to take that opportunity to wreak havoc on a pair of unsuspecting table lamps. With an electric sizzle followed by two sharp pops the light bulbs flashed and exploded. Startled, we jumped apart, the mood broken. We stared at each other, and I felt a guilty blush heat my face.

“Cat—” he started, and I held a hand up to stop him before he could say anything further.

“I don’t want to hear it. I’m going to get some new bulbs, and we’re going to pretend that never happened.”


Robyn Bachar
Every bad witch has a story…
http://robynbachar.com
BLOOD, SMOKE AND MIRRORS
Available now from Samhain Publishing


Don’t forget to come visit me at Gabriella Hewitt’s Blog today for her March Madness Blog Tour!