Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Deliverance is here!

Giveaway of Swag Bag + $25 Amazon Gift Certificate!  Closed!
The lucky winner is Crystal B. 

I'm really busy (in a fun way) with the release of Deliverance right now, so as wrapped up as I am, that's all I can think of to talk about! I'll do better next month, promise. 

All three ebooks in the Mortal Path series, including Deliverance which just released March 27th, are on sale for $4.99 each. What a great time to start the series~~you can buy all of it in ebook form for $15! Just check your favorite ebook retailer.

Giveaways abound, listed on my blog at In particular, I'd like to mention a bundle of ten newly released thrillers, all signed by the authors, on the Bookbitch site. Deadline to enter is March 31st. This one gives me the opportunity to rub shoulders with Harlan Coben, M.J. Rose, and Thomas Perry, among others. Free. Signed. Books.  From people other than me. Cool. 

I'd like to highlight a few reviews I've gotten so far and squeeze in links to their sites while also pushing my new release. Makes it a little more palatable, right? Double duty?

"Deliverance is wonderfully unpredictable, full of breathlessly exciting action scenes. Readers will be hooked till the very last page, and then will rush to pick up the others in the Mortal Path series." - RT Book Reviews

 “Deliverance transports us into another great adventure in Maliha’s quest for redemption. Ms. Banks has created a second to none but far from perfect heroine in Maliha and really makes us care about her whether she’s successful in her quest, The author’s skillful characterization supports some of the most intriguing plots I’ve seen.”Smitten with Bad Boy Heroes

 “I applaud Ms. Banks on delivering an action-packed book with a very intriguing story idea that's not your typical paranormal.” – Bitten by Paranormal Romance

Deliverance is sizzling hot and full of the trademark action that accompanies this fantastic series. I absolutely loved this book! The plot is outstanding as usual, full of twists and turns and incredible revelations. FANTASTIC. This series is definitely one of my favourites of all time.” – Bookaholics Book Club

“There is plenty of action, drama and suspense in Maliha's life as she continues to fight for redemption. Dakota's books are filled with unique adventures that leave your mind turning. With every book comes more understanding of Maliha's situation and what she might deal with in the future.” – Urban Fantasy Investigations
Deliverance is an exhilarating thriller in which the assassin feels she jumped from the frying pan into the fire. Filled with deft twists, sub-genre fans will wonder how the beleaguered protagonist will handle the Mt. Everest size deterrence to her goal of redemption.” – Alternative Worlds 

Deliverance is filled with action, suspense, raw honesty, and great drama. It's definitely the most high-stakes installment in the series yet and I couldn't put it down. Dakota has done a marvelous job of creating an untenable situation and forcing Maliha to deal with it.” – Tynga’s Reviews

Finally, because I love love love Supernatural Underground, I'd like to have a special giveaway here. My Mortal Path Swag Bag contains all three signed books plus a zippered tote bag, bookmarks, pens, magnets, and a yellow calculator, and on top of that, I'm adding a $25 Amazon gift certificate. Open internationally.

Below is the entry form. If you haven't run across Rafflecopter yet, try it--you'll like it! You MUST fill out the form to enter, since Rafflecopter randomly selects a winner only from the entries it receives. Tweeting can be done every day to increase your odds of winning. 

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Countdown to Phineas: TWO days!!

Congratulations to June of KY for winning the signed copy of Vampire Mine! Thank you all for the comments! See you next month on the 25th for another giveaway!

The moment has almost arrived! Wanted: Undead or Alive arrives in stores Tuesday, March 27th. If you've ordered the e-book for $4.99, you can wake up Tuesday morning with the Love Doctor! To celebrate the new release, all sorts of exciting things will be going on. Please check the Appearances page on my website for details.

There will be blogs with book giveaways, like this one here. Tuesday night, the Launch Party will take place at Katy Budget Books. The wonderful ladies at KBB always put the cover of the book on a cake. Imagine the icing with Phineas's gorgeous chest! Yum! If you would like me to sign a book for you at the Launch Party, please contact KBB. (Details on the Appearances page)

Thursday, I'll be signing in Dayton, Ohio. Friday in Lexington KY and Saturday in Crestview Hills, KY (Cincinnati area). For more information, go to the Appearance page!

In April, I'll be in Chicago for the Romantic Times Convention. The huge booksigning (over 400 authors) will be open to the public. I'll also be at ComicCon in Chicago. Details are on (you guessed it) the Appearances page of my website.

Just a note for those of you who saw photos last month of that sweet bear, Howard, helping me write the next book-- after devouring 5,628 donuts and bear claws, Howard came through and we finished the book! It's titled Wild About You and releases at the end of November.

And for today's giveaway-- a signed copy of Vampire Mine is up for grabs. I picked it because that was the book where the chemistry between Phineas and Brynley exploded. Believe it or not, it wasn't planned. I remember sitting back and thinking, what the heck was that? Those two came on stage and nearly fried my computer. After that, I knew I had to get them together. You'll see them burn up the pages soon in Wanted: Undead or Alive.

Just leave a comment, telling me which Love at Stake guy you would like to see as the hero in the book after Howard's. The winner for the signed copy of Vampire Mine will be selected entirely at random. International entries welcome. Good luck and many thanks for all your support!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Helping other writers

My first professional adult job was as a primary school teacher (elementary school in the USA). I quit that job in 2000, but I've never lost the drive to help others. It's a wonderful thing, to see someone else grow and learn and I get as much satisfaction from the success of friends and colleagues as I do from my own.

During my writing career, I've also done some editing and it's something that I've wanted to come back to.

Late 2010, those twin desires came together in the idea to start a publishing venture focussed on mentoring and working with new writers. Finally, I've gotten to a position where I can start things.

In fabula-divinos (Latin for The tale-tellers) is a project that will see twelve up-and-coming writers each year get the advantage of three weeks of mentoring with me as we polish a story and then publication, first on the website and then in an anthology.

I'm opening to submissions April 1. I'm really looking forward to finding some great new voices and giving them some direction in the development of their career.

You can find out more at the website.

Friday, March 16, 2012

The Mother of Magic

Circe, pronounce “KIR-kee, is one of our early images of feminine magic, a precursor to many Supernatural Underground heroines. In appreciation of our roots, I thought it would be fun to explore this ‘original witch’ who sparked the imagination of the ancient world.

In Greek mythology, Circe was an enchantress, a witch of great power. The daughter of Helios (the sun which represents consciousness) and Perse (an Oceanid who represents the unconscious), she is celebrated for her knowledge of magic and the use of herbs to heal and to transform.

Circe lived on the beautiful island of Aiaia where she waited for lost sailors to wash up on shore. Sometimes she helped them and sometimes she turned them into animals and served them for dinner! She was a bit unstable. She fell for Glaucus, a merman, but when he came asking for a love potion for his beloved Scylla, Circe lost it. In rage she poisoned the pool where Scylla bathed and turned her into a hideous monster. Jealousy can do that to a person. Circe was not immune.

Years later, Odysseus cast anchor in the bay of Aiaia. When his crew searched for food and water they found Circe instead. She transformed them into swine and kept them in pens. Of course Odysseus set out to find his crew and along the way he met Hermes, messenger of the gods, disguised as a young man. Hermes gave Odysseus a plant called ‘moly’ saying that it would protect him from the Circe’s magic. (This is where we get the saying ‘holy moly!’).

Circe welcomed Odysseys and cast her spell on him, but the moly did its trick. When Circe thought the magic was working, she struck Odysseus with her wand. Odysseus drew his sword and sprang at her and Circe surrendered. She released the twenty two pig-men and restored them to their original forms but they were taller and more handsome than before they had been enswined’. That night she invited Odysseus to her bed . . . so that in love and sleep we may learn to trust one another.’

And trust they did. With his freewill intact, Odysseus stayed on the island of Aiaia enjoying the sweet and sensual embraces of Circe. They were lovers for years, long enough for them to have at least two children, Agrios and Latinos. (In mythology whenever children are born of a union it means something creative is happening!) Eventually Circe agreed to help Odysseus return home to Ithica (and his wife Penelope). She tells him how to sail to Hades and bespeak the blind seer, Tiresias. In this act she is the psychopomp, the guide to the underworld, using her magic to connect Odysseus to the depths of his own unconscious.

Can you see any resemblance to Circe in our modern day magic wielding women? I know my own Kreshkali and Nell have some similarities and so does Rosette! How about other Supernatural authors/readers? I’d love to hear about your fav magical woman! Comments welcome.

Kim Falconer is a Supernatural Underground author writing epic science fantasy novels set in the worlds of Earth and Gaela. Kim’s latest series is Quantum Encryption. You can find out more about her at or her blog The 11th House. She posts here on the 16th of every month.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Having a Baby or rather a book...

Writing a book is a like having a baby.  Of that there is no doubt.  You conceive (an idea) You grow (the idea) You nourish (write, revise, write, revise) You prepare (promo, edits, cover)

And then you give birth.

So, I've kinda given birth 6 times over the last 2 years and I've got 3 in various stages of development. It's a long process and like having real children, the results will stay with you forever!

Today, I thought I'd share with you guys exactly how I gave birth to a book.

Wicked Road to Hell.

The Conception: I came up with the idea for this book in January 2010 when I sent in my option material to my editor and agent.

The Growth and Nourishment faze: I was given the go ahead, in March. and I wrote this book between June-August of 2010. In that time I sent it to a few beta readers and I revised, wrote some more and revised.

I sent it to my editor a few days early on September 11, 2010 (which is the anniversary date of my first sale to said editor, September 11, 2008)

Nourishment faze continues: I received an editorial letter on November 22, 2010 and handed my revisions in Dec 1st.

You prepare:

In June of 2011 I got my first peek at the cover for Wicked Road to Hell and after a bit of tweaking, it was finalized in the fall of 2011.  The first version had Declan with a long, flowing mullet and a tattoo that didn't belong.  I'm quite happy with the final version!

I handed my Copy Edits back in summer and on December 14th, I finished my page proofs (or galleys as some call them)

Arcs went out for Wicked Road to Hell in February of 2012 and....

The Birth: it hits both virtual and physical shelves on April 24th, 2012.

This is how it goes my friends!

And this week I'm celebrating the birth of Wrong Side of Hell, a novella I wrote for the League of Guardian series.  These titles are wrapped up in  much shorter time frame.  I handed this book in Sept 2011 and it was released March 6th!  Short, but no less painful than the others!

So now it's out there and I hope you all enjoy!

With battle lines drawn and evil forces gathering in the shadows, the League of Guardians is all that stands between chaos and the human realm…
Logan Winters, an elite hellhound shifter, wants to forget his allegiance to the League and the pain he’s suffered because of it. But when he’s ordered to retrieve Kira Dove from purgatory and bring her back to life, he can’t refuse. Not only will her death affect the balance between the realms, she’s also linked to a past he can’t forget.

Kira Dove, a young woman murdered before her time, wanders the gray realm, alone and vulnerable. The one bright spot in her life is the memory of a mysterious protector who saved her once before. As she makes her way through this terrifying place, she can’t help but wonder…will he come for her again?
As Logan races to save her, he knows he faces a nearly impossible task: How can a hellhound survive in the one place he shouldn’t ever be? The wrong side of hell…

You can find Wrong Side of Hell at the following


Thursday, March 8, 2012

March Supernatural Underground News

Helen Lowe
March 27, 2012
ISBN: 978-0061734052

Garrisoned by the Nine Houses of the Derai, the towering mountain range called the Wall of Night is all that separates the people of Haarth from the terrible Darkswarm.

Five years have passed since the Wall was breached and the Keep of Winds nearly overrun. Five years since the Heir of Night, Malian, and her friend and ally Kalan went missing in the wild lands of Jaransor.

Now, in Haarth's diverse southern realms, events are moving. From the wealthy River city of Ij to the isolated Emerian outpost of Normarch, rumors of dark forces and darker magics are growing. As the great Midsummer tournament at Caer Argent approaches, Haarth will have one opportunity to band together against an enemy in which few believe . . . or be lost forever.

Dakota Banks
March 27, 2012
ISBN: 978-0062049988

Kill . . . or be damned.

A demon's assassin for centuries, Maliha Crayne has gone rogue, determined to save a life for every one she's destroyed in order to free herself from an eternity of enslavement, damnation, and excruciating torment. But as the powers that sustained her in the past fade, she is wary of trusting those closest to her—especially her lover, Jake. And her closest friends are beginning to disappear, one by one. Amid her anger, suspicion, and sorrow, her life is spiraling out of control.

Worse still, a beautiful Renaissance murderess is recruiting Maliha as her new assassin. Maliha is turning into a lethal puppet with an evil Immortal pulling the strings, forced to kill innocents or see her missing friends die horribly. Suddenly trapped in a moral no-man's-land, Maliha is damned if she does and damned if she doesn't . . . and time is rapidly running out.

Kerrelyn Sparks
March 27, 2012
ISBN: 978-0061958069

He's a vampire from the big city . . .

Phineas McKinney thought New York City was tough, until he was attacked by Malcontents—evil vampires who consider mortals to be snacks. Saved by the good vampires, Phin swore to devote his now undead life to stopping the Malcontents. He's got his job cut out for him when word comes that their enemy may be hiding in Wyoming. What does a city boy like him know about horses and campfires? Good thing he's got Brynley Jones with him . . . if only she didn't hate every vampire on earth.

She's a werewolf princess . . .

Bryn believes vampires are seductive and charming, and that makes them dangerous. So she's more than a little annoyed about teaming up with Phin, even if he is the only bloodsucker able to make her inner wolf purr. But as they hunt down the new leader of the Malcontents, danger threatens . . . and Phineas and Brynley discover a passion that will rock the foundation of their supernatural world.

Jaime Rush
March 13, 2012
ISBN: 978-0062184603

Tucker has always known he was different. But he's learned to control the Darkness within him, to keep his inner wolf at bay, as long as he doesn't fall in love. And that shouldn't be a problem because he hasn't seen his one true love since he was a teenager.

Del needs help, desperately. And the only person she can rely on happens to be the one man she knows she shouldn't seek out. Tucker's fierce protective instincts have scared her before, but she has to take the risk.

Together again, the love they struggled so long to forget rushes back stronger than ever. The temptation to give in is high, but it could cost them everything. And when Tucker's wolf is unleashed, will they be able to save themselves?

Dakota Banks is running a drawing “Like my FB page and Enter to Win a Kindle Fire”, and giving away Swag Bags on her blog. The swag bag consists of a tote bag, 3 signed books, bookmarks, pens, magnets, and a calculator. The blog giveaway also includes a $50 donation to Feeding America each time she gives away a swag bag. Both drawings are continuous, meaning as soon as a winner is chosen, another drawing begins, and you can enter again!

DELIVERANCE received a very nice advanced review from RT Book Reviews. Highlight: 4 Stars “[DELIVERANCE] is wonderfully unpredictable, full of breathlessly exciting action scenes. With a little bit of mystery, a troupe of interesting characters not lacking for depth and a very satisfying ending, readers will be hooked till the very last page, and then will rush to pick up the others in the Mortal Path series.”

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

All for the Love of Valerio

While the Dark Days series has come to a close with the release of Burn the Night last summer, I decided to take one last stroll down memory lane with a few of my characters.  As the series plunged forward with the momentum of a runaway mining car down an abandon shaft, I didn’t have much time to look back with some of my characters, which was a shame since many of them had already lived extremely long lives prior to the events in Nightwalker.  But with the world saved in a manner and my main characters set firmly on a good path forward, I chose to pause and revisit a couple of old friends in the form of a novella.

One in particular is the ever-so-dashing and frighteningly dangerous vampire, Valerio.  If Valerio had ever stepped foot in Hollywood, producers, directors, and casting directors would have stopped in their tracks and pointed at him, shouting: “Him!  That’s him!  The perfect vampire for our movie!”

Valerio represents the quintessential nightwalker in the Dark Days series.  The creature is devastatingly handsome with blondish-brown hair and haunting Mediterranean blue eyes.  His human descent is either Spanish or Italian, but he refuses to talk about his past.  In fact, little is known about Valerio and none can actually confirm his age, though it is believed that he is an Ancient (over 1,000 years old).

Valerio’s main pursuit in life is pleasure in all its forms.  He knows that he is at the top of the food chain and revels in his powers.  There are few who would dare cross him, for while his past is unknown, his cruelty and twisted sense of humor is well known among the nightwalkers.  When he is not hunting for blood or seeking diversions in the pleasures of the flesh, he amuses himself with the torment of those creatures about him, whether they be human, nightwalker, or lycanthrope.

Now you can’t dig into Valerio’s lurid past without talking about his long relationship with Mira, the Fire Starter.  For more than two centuries, Valerio and Mira were nearly constant companions as they wandered about Europe.  Valerio knows bits of Mira’s past that even she cannot remember.  He knows secrets that he’s been forced to keep from the one and only woman he has ever let himself love.

Want a closer look at this dashing figure and one last great love?
Want to know why Mira still wears his ring despite years of separation and a mad love for Danaus?
Want to how she got that ring?

Coming on April 10, BOUND TO ME will be released as a novella e-book.   Take a trip into Mira’s past, as she and Valerio go on a mission for the coven and get trapped in dangerous game being played by two vicious opponents who don’t care about potential casualties.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Things I learned from my copy editor

Hello there,
Like Kerrelyn, I'm in deadline hell right now trying to hammer out the third installment of the Diaries of an Urban Panther series. As I'm putting Violet and Chaz through the ringer once again, I'm trying to keep in mid some of the things that the copy editor pointed out in my last book so she won't be so frustrated with me in this book. See writers are not perfect. We are human and we make mistakes, but like humans, can learn.
That's pretty much where the human part ends, but that's another blog for another time.
Okay, the five things I learned from my copy editor.
1. I have really random references. The copy editor sent me a style sheet with all the people names that I used. This list included: Neil Patrick Harris, Vin Diesel, and Yoda.
2. I don't write about shapeshifters, I write about shape-shifters. Just to about to write about hyphens being the devil.
3. My APA style brain spells out numbers under ten. But Chicago style says spell out all numbers under 100. Another reason I feel schizophrenic sometimes.
4. The dash. I'm not even going to go into the difference between a em dash and an en dash, but she did point out that there was a subtle difference between ending a line of dialogue in a dash and ending in an ellipsis. Ending with a dash means that the person was cut off versus an ellipsis means that the person trailed off. Which made me notice just how many times Violet interrupted people. She's a little rude.
5. Apparently, I spell lots of things the British way. Which is appropriate considering my new motto for finishing this book.
So as I'm making sure that Violet survives the massive nasties that I'm throwing at her (hint- I've been watching snake attack videos on YouTube all week), I'm also trying to be a better writer, though I'm pretty sure that hyphens are going to be the death of me.
Amanda Arista

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Counting Down To“The Gathering of The Lost”—And Two Supernatural Underground Authors Nominated for the Gemmell Awards

USA/Canada cover

As shared with you all last month, I am really very excited that The Gathering of the Lost (The Wall of Night, Book Two) is about to be published—27 March is the big day in the USA, Australia and New Zealand, while UK readers have to wait just a tiny bit longer, until 5 April! As of today I have begun a countdown to publication by beginning to post excerpts from the book on my own blog, something I shall continue to do through until publication day.

UK/AUS/NZ cover
You can read the first excerpt, from the Prologue, right here. And the next excerpt will be posted Monday on my blog, so you can check back here then to ‘read all about it’. Or alternatively, if you follow me on Twitter, @helenl0we, you can find out when the excerpts post that way.
But although that’s probably enough excitement for one gal, there is more. You see, the first book in the series, The Heir of Night, has been nominated for the UK-based Gemmell Awards for heroic fantasy. Needless to say, this is a tremendous thrill because the awards were established to honor the master of heroic fantasy, author David Gemmell—and to celebrate excellence in the fantasy genre that he exemplified through books such as Legend and Dark Prince. In this case I feel doubly honored because The Heir of Night has been nominated in two categories: the Morningstar Award for Best Fantasy Newcomer and the Legend Award for Best Fantasy Novel.

Obviously I’m excited about this—very excited even!—but the great news for the Supernatural Underground is that we have another author with two Gemmell Award nominations: Kim Falconer’s Journey by Night and Road to the Soul have both been nominated for the Legend Award as well. Pretty special, huh?

And you, as Supernatural Underground followers, can play a part too—should you choose to accept the mission! ;-) Because the Gemmell Awards are reader voted, if you feel you would like to support either Kim’s or my book (or another book on the list you really love) you can go to the following links and vote:

The Morningstar Award for Best Fantasy Debut—vote here

The Legend Award for Best Fantasy Novel—vote here

(To vote, click in the button immediately above the book you wish to support.)


And next time I see you here on 1 April, The Gathering of the Lost will be out: w00t!


Supernatural Underground author Helen Lowe is a novelist, poet and interviewer, and currently writer-in-residence at the University of Canterbury. She blogs every day on “Helen Lowe on Anything, Really” and on the first day of every month right here on the Supernatural Underground.