Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Happy Holidays!

 Congratulations to our three winners!!!  Pam from Idaho, Lori from Pennsylvania, and Lorian from Tennessee! Thank you all for leaving comments. Please come back January 25th for the next giveaway! Happy New Year!

Merry Christmas!!!

Wishing you all safe and happy holidays!  And a Happy New Year!  
I'll have three books out in 2013. February 12, the e-book anthology, Vampires Gone Wild. My novella (which will be about 1/4 of the book) is called 'V is for Vampwoman.'  The other authors are Pamela Palmer, Kim Falconer, and Amanda Arista. Then in the summer of 2013, my next historical romance goes on sale, the sequel to The Forbidden Lady. And finally, in the fall, the fourteenth full-length Love at Stake book comes out. The Vampire with the Dragon Tattoo, starring Dougal

I'm going to mimic the Three Kings today and give away three gifts-- not any gold, sorry about that!  But I have three books for three lucky winners.  Three signed copies of Wanted: Undead or Alive, one for each winner. Just leave a comment for a chance to win. International entries welcome.  Good luck!


Friday, December 21, 2012

The end of the world?

If you're reading this, the world didn't end.

I'm kinda glad. I've just started my Christmas holidays and I've got a lot of writing I want to get done. I'd be bummed if I lost my first serious, solid writing time in six months.

Of course, it could be that the 21st is just the BEGINNING of the end of the world, and it is going to end but not just now...

So I guess the motto of this particular moment is - don't put things off. Don't keep thinking I'll get to that tomorrow, or next week, or next year, cause you know that moment may not come.

So the two weeks holiday that are starting right now are going to be about getting to the things I've been putting off.

While I'll be seeing friends and family, my focus will be on my writing. I have some edits to go back (I've got a contemporary romance coming out in February) and I've finally worked out the storyline for a science fiction romance that I first conceived nearly THIRTY years ago! That's a story with a looooong gestation period. But I've finally cracked it, and I'm planning on the draft being ready to go by the time I go back to work January 7.

I'm also going to stop making excuses, stop putting it off and get started on an exercise regime, and losing weight. Had a bit of a health scare last week. Turns out I'm fine, but continuing to put things off, to decide it's too hard, will one day come back and bite me HARD - and not in the sexy vampire way.

What about you? What have you been putting off, saying you'll get to it one day? Why not make today the day you start?

You know, in case the Mayans were onto something and the world really will end soon :)


I've been doing my own Ten Days of Christmas celebration, giving things away and here's what you can get to celebrate Christmas. My fantasy romance 'The Right Connection' is available now FOR FREE from Smashwords in the e-version of your choice!

Have a great holiday season!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Next Big Thing - Interrogation of a Banshee

First, some Festive Fun:
[See Special Holiday Discounts @ Kindle, Fishpond & Amazon! YAYYY!]

Last week, the very talented fantasy author, Rowena Cory Daniellstagged me for "The Next Big Thing", where 5 writers tag 5 others with 5 or so questions, and so on forever all over the planet & cyberspace
until we’ve all been bagged-n-tagged and get to go around again in a few decades. So today it’s my turn to bag-n-tag a new batch of shy recruits. 

We all know how timid writers can be, and this time of year makes it all the more challenging. Moreso, if you’re stung by an urge to do it as a festive poem, as I was, but here goes;

Interrogation of a sly shy banshee  

Sooooo… What’s your Next Big Thing?
… while we’re all wallowing, dieting, caroling 
on a prayer and a wing, and we struggle to string
more than two words we can sing without seeming… unhinged?

Answer: Beats me, [blush] I’m winging it. 

But how do you cope with it? … get through it? Or even think of it?
Each little bit, as we struggle to sit and get ideas to fit 
On a page that just WON'T submit, and when others all quit 
How come you don’t split & simply admit that you’re just like us… a misfit?

Answer: Beats me, [blush] I’m just having fun with it.

Can’t you give us a hint? Or simply admit… 
will your next big thing hinge on your last big thing? 
Are they linked in a series, in a straight line or ring? 
Will there be killing? … More shootings, knifings and glassings? 
More stalking, more hawking, more hot sex and… voyeur-ing? 

Answer: [blush] … what do you think?

Now don’t suffer stage fright,& don’t be im-polite 
You can’t be contrite when it’s clear you’re forthright. 
Please accept this invite, and provide an insight… 

Do you write late at night, or maybe rise at first light?
Oh, please speak of your plight – of that one writer’s blight -
it turns ALL authors white; it’s where to find time to write… and to re-write?

Answer: [blush] By staying out of the limelight.

Phew, finally! I think we’re cracking this key!
Break out the Chablis and let’s all shout yippee!
An insight from Ms B; she answered verbally!

Answer: [Smack!... Smiling cheekily] 
Oh, my dear sweet MC, 
need some ice for that cheek? 

Crikey! Apologies! 
I had no idea you could be so…


Ah… [gulp]… how about gutsy? 

Please don’t pander the banshee. 
I keep her caged for my writing. 
… Let’s just settle on "esprit". 

Fine, and we’ll start again, shall we? 
Ahem… [clearing throat and shifting awkwardly] 
Time to scratch my goatee, and re-start as emcee…
‘Dear author this week… what’s your Next Big Thing?’

[Smiling shyly]
Let’s not go there, shall we?

But it's the whole point, apparently.

[Nodding knowingly]
I can see through that plea. It's called subtext, in Text World Theory.

Ahem. You've lost me.

It's really quite easy:
You didn’t come to sight-see a performing monkey.
I’m not a trustee, a draftee, adoptee or Queen Bee. 
Like you, I’m a trainee, still racing the Grand Prix.
So set up your marquee, pitch your tent by my tree,
Chill a glass for your Chablis, and spit shine your degree
But don’t ask me to fore-see how to access the party.
It’s not for invitees, wanna-bes, addressees or even cat copies.
It’s for devotees, and WILL-bes, and fans who rise from the debris.
It’s for those who look leeringly, with love and lust at a dictionary.
It’s for the crazy, the nutty, and the whole damn fruit tree. 
So don’t ask me indirectly about your OWN next big thing.
Just sit down and write it, and ride the wild ride beside me.

Psst… my next big thing? It’s really top secret.

And Bagged-n-Tagged by me so far for NEXT WEEK:
Valerie's CoverTina's CoverValerie's coverAndrew's CoverdescriptionAndrew's Coverdescription

Valerie Parv :                          Goddess of Aussie Romance
Tina Marie Clark:                  Queen of Childrens Lit Fests
Valerie Stewart Lewis:         Temptress of Celtic Fables
Andrew Warrilow :                Wizard of Familiars
Andrew Drage aka Brewin: Master of Madness


Join me on Facebook at AA Bell

Or on Twitter @ThePoetTrees

Sunday, December 16, 2012

The Next Big Thing - Vampires Gone Wild

Supernatural Underground author,  Helen Lowe, tagged me in the "Next Big Thing" and I'm blogging about it here, tagging other Sup authors too. It's a blast finding out whats coming up and today I'm thrilled to be talking about my newest story. Thank you Helen!  

1) What is the working title of your next book?

 Blood and Water, appearing the The Supernatural Underground anthology, Vampires Gone Wild, out February 12, 2013.

The book also features stories from:
Kerrelyn Sparks
Pamela Palmer
Amanda Arista.
2) Where did the idea come from for the book?

I have been developing the notion of an underwater, vampiric race over the last two years. I've written an alternate world epic fantasy around them, but this anthology called for paranormal romance and somehow the turn of the century San Francisco caught my eye. The fog, the ferry boats the steampunk feel. . . Blood and Water came from a deep, dark, unconscious corner of my mind. The Muse of this world was confronting in  many ways, but utterly worth it in the end. 

3) What genre does your book fall under?

 It's an Avon Impulse story, so 'paranormal romance.'   

4) What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?

  Ian Somerhalder playing Stellan Fletcher.

And, Deborah Ann Woll as Angelina.

5) What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?  

San Francisco 1906, three days before the great earthquake, Stellan rises from his watery tomb, wanting nothing from "landers" -- unless it's dinner, but that's before he meets Angelina . . .  

6) Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

This is an Avon Impulse book, published by HarperCollins USA. My agent is Nicole Resciniti of the Seymour Agency in NY. She's the best!  

7) How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?

 Blood and Water is a 16k word novella and it took me 10 days to write the first draft. But, I'm a ten draft author, at a minimum. I don't write polished prose the first go round, or the second or third. I develop organically, and it can be time consuming. I spent another two months on the story, before and after it was read by three beta readers (one who's my former HC Aus publisher), and my agent, all with comments and insights that shaped the telling of this tale. Much of the time was also spend in research. The story is set in SF, 1906, before and during the major quake, prior to the construction of the Golden Gate Bridge. There was so much to immerse in, the Model A cars, horse carriages, 'wheels' (bicycles) the fashion, mannerisms, photography, the Bay ferryboats, women's suffrage. Emancipation, Queen Anne homes, China Town . . . There are elements of steampunk as well. It was amazing to write this other world. Like traveling back in time.

8) What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

Other vampiric, historical works of the paranormal romantic hue. I am thinking Souless meets True Blood meets The Vampire Diaries (1864 flashbacks).  

9) Who or what inspired you to write this book?

It began with a  John Watherhouse painting called The Siren.

I was fascinated by the idea of an underwater race, beautiful and god-like, but needing human blood to walk on land.  This notion of the Mar has been brewing in me for years now. I have a lot of passion for it (I'm writing two separate Mar series, one paranormal romance, the other fantasy). You could say, I'm obsessed!

Blood and Water is the first glimpse of this world, this race. You can see the mood board I made for it  on Pinterest.  

10) What else about the book might pique the reader's interest?

Sensual, spell binding, sexy and cinematic, Blood and Water will stay with you long after you finish the last page . . .

 Thank you Helen Lowe for tagging me! In turn I am inviting all the Supernatural Authors who would like to talk about their Next Big Thing.  In particular, I want to hear more about the other stories in Vampires Gone Wild! Officially, I'm tagging:

Kerrelyn Sparks
Pamela Palmer
Amanda Arista

Jamie Rush

How about you, readers? What next big thing are you up to? We'd love to hear! Comments welcome.

Kim Falconer is a Supernatural Underground author writing paranormal romance and epic science fantasy novels.

You can find out more about Kim at kimfalconer.com or on The 11th House Blog. She posts here at the SuperntrlUnderg on the 16th of every month. Watch for her next release, out February 12, 2013. Supernatural Underground: Vampires Gone Wild.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Great Deals on Great Reads

The holiday shopping season brings out the bargain seeker in all of us, whether we are looking for that perfect give for a loved one or maybe just a gift for yourself for battling your way through a rough year.  You deserve a good book to curl up with.  And I'm here to help.  I have compiled a list of books that are currently on sale in either e-book, print, or audiobook form.  Hopefully, you'll find something that fits that certain someone or maybe what you really need right now.

Urban Fantasy

Holidays Are Hell anthology (Kim Harrison, Vicki Pettersson, Lynsay Sands, Marjorie Liu) e-book on sale: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo

The Taken by Vicki Pettersson e-book and print on sale: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, iBookstore

Angel's Ink by Jocelynn Drake e-book and print on sale: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, iBookstore

Waking the Witch by Kelley Armstrong paperback on sale at Amazon

My Big Fat Supernatural Honeymoon anthology (Kelley Armstrong, Jim Butcher, et al.)  print on sale: Amazon

Paranormal Romance

A Blood Seduction by Pamela Palmer all e-book formats on sale: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, iBookstore

Desire Untamed by Pamela Palmer (with deleted scenes) all e-book formats on sale: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, iBookstore

Weddings from Hell anthology (Maggie Shayne, Jeaniene Frost, Terri Garey, Kathryn Smith) print on sale: Amazon

The Bite Before Christmas anthology (Lynsay Sands, Jeaniene Frost) e-book on sale: Amazon, Barnes & Noble
Blood of the Wicked by Karina Cooper e-book on sale: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo

Historical Romance

It looks like a large chunk of Johanna Lindsey Kindle e-books are on sale for $2-5 each.


Tarnished by Karina Cooper e-book on sale: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo


Kithra by Dani Worth e-book on sale: Amazon

After the Crux by Dani Worth e-book on sale: Amazon


The Gathering of the Lost by Helen Lowe Kindle e-book (US only): Amazon

Dragonhaven by Robin McKinley paperback: Amazon

Young Adult

The Morganville Vampires Volume 4 by Rachel Caine (2 books in 1 volume) paperback at Amazon

Ghost Town (Morganville Vampires Book 9) by Rachel Caine paperback at Amazon

Sirensong by Jenna Black paperback at Amazon

Saturday, December 1, 2012

The Next Big Thing — Author Tags Author

One of the great things about the internet is that it facilitates communication with fellow authors, even those on the far side of the world. As a new author myself, I particularly enjoy getting to meet other new authors in the same field—and someone I have gotten to know, initially from via being on the Gemmell Morningstar Award shortlist together, then via Twitter and most recently through Abhinav Jain's "Names A New Perspective" guest author series is UK author Elspeth Cooper.

This week, Elspeth tagged me to do a "The Next Big Thing" post, which is all about authors tagging other writers and saying, "hey, tell us about yur work." Part of the fun of it is not just talking about what you are doing yourself, but shoulder tapping other writing friends to catch a glimpse of what they are working. And no question, catching that glimpse is always a joy.

So it was with real pleasure that I read Elspeth's "The Next Big Thing" post on The Raven's Shadow, the third book in her "The Songs of the Earth" series, right here. I hope you'll take a look and be as intrigued as I was.

Now, I have posted my take on The Next Big Thing on my own blog, but I enjoyed doing it and feel it's fun, so I thought I'd share it here with you today as well. May you enjoy!

1. What is the working title of your next book?

Ha! That’s easy: Daughter of Blood, The Wall of Night Book Three. :)
2. Where did the idea come from for the book?

Daughter of Blood is part of a series, so is part of the overall The Wall of Night quartet’s “big idea”, which is basically about an alternate world where an alien people, the Derai, believe themselves to be the champions of good, but are divided by prejudice suspicion and fear.

Where did that particular idea come from—I guess I’m of the school of Ursula Le Guin in the sense that I feel ideas are “just there”, in the ether so to speak, and as authors we simply reach out and pull them into being.

Having said that, the initial idea of a twilit shadowy world (the Wall of Night itself, in this case) first came when I was a kid living in Singapore where the equatorial nightfall always came very swiftly. Experiencing that left a real impression, and at the time I was also reading the Norse myths, with concepts such the twilight of the gods, and books like Alan Garner’s Elidor, about a world that is literally all in darkness. A little later, I was entranced by the Beleriand backstory alluded to in The Lord of the Rings, which is also full of shadow and darkness. So in a world building sense, I kept working with that idea in my head until the Wall of Night environment took more concrete shape.

In terms of the people who believe themselves to be the champions of good, but are divided by prejudice suspicion and fear—I think that idea probably comes out of my passion for history, as well as simply observing human fallibility via current affairs. But it was also sparked by long mulling over the trend I perceived in a great deal of the Fantasy I was reading, for the so-called “good guys” to do a lot of questionable stuff—but that was ok, by implication, simply because they were on the “right” side. I also really missed storytelling where the internal conflict within the protagonists is what really drives the story, not who smites whom and what colour hat they’re wearing when they do it (i.e. “white hats”/”black hats.”)

So I decided that I wanted to write a story where the internal conflict within both the individual protagonists, particularly Malian, the Heir of Night, and her friend Kalan (the two central characters), as well as their society (the Derai) is what the story is really all about.
3. What genre does your book fall under?

Again, with the “ha!” because I think I already answered this question under 2)–but I see The Wall of Night series as “epic” and/or “high” fantasy in the tradition of works such as Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings and Guy Gavriel Kay’s Fionavar trilogy. It’s also been described as “Dark Fantasy” which I would agree with to the extent that there is a great deal of darkness in the story and some elements of horror—but it’s definitely not “Horror” in a genre sense.
4. What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?

This is such a hard question, because with Malian and Kalan I find it hard to pick out characters who really “fit” them, either in terms of how they look or their characters. I wonder of that’s partly because of how stereotyped female characters in particular are in film, in terms of portraying strength of character… Plus there’s the whole young Malian and Kalan in The Heir of Night, and grown up Malian and Kalan in The Gathering of the Lost and now Daughter of Blood. So I really am going to have to pass on this one because there really is no one I can readily point to who seems “right.”
5. What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

I’m going to go with Daughter of Blood on its own for this one, since I’ve already given you the one sentence for The Wall of Night series—so here goes…

“Fearing that their ancient enemy, the Darkswarm, is poised to rise, Malian and Kalan risk their freedom by returning to the Wall of Night—only to find that rather than uniting against external threat, the already dangerously weak Derai Alliance is focused on internal power plays and risks fracturing apart.”
6. Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

The Wall of Night series is published by HarperCollins in the USA, and Orbit in the UK, Australia and New Zealand. My work is represented by Robin Rue of Writers House Literary Agency.
7. How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?

I am still writing Daughter of Blood and have been working on it for just on a year now. It took me 5 years to complete The Heir of Night (145,000 words), writing very much as and when I could snatch the time. My second novel, Thornspell  (70,000 words), took seven months, and The Gathering of the Lost (200,000 words) took just on two years to complete.
8. What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

As above, I think the Wall series is epic Fantasy that sits in the same broad quadrant of the Fantasy universe as The Lord of the Rings and Guy Gavriel Kay’s Fionavar trilogy. Other stories I see as sitting in the same broad quadrant include:
  • CJ Cherryh’s “Morgaine” chronicles
  • Raymond E Feist & Janny Wurts’ “Empire” trilogy
  • Robin Hobb’s “Assassin” and “Liveship” series
  • Brandon Sanderson’s “The Way of Kings” series (although it’s only just begun, of course)
  • Kate Elliott’s “Crown of Stars” series
  • Tad Williams’ “Memory Sorrow and Thorn” series
  • Patricia McKillip’s “Riddlemaster “ trilogy
  • David Gemmell’s “Drenai” novels
(And probably many more.:))

9. Who or what inspired you to write this book?

Obviously I answered 2) far too comprehensively! ;-)
In addition to my answer there though, I will add that every really good book I’ve ever read inspired me in some way to write–and in that sense to write the WALL story, too.
10. What else about the book might pique the reader’s interest?

In addition to what I’ve already said about both The Wall of Night series and Daughter of Blood, readers may also enjoy the series if they like stories that are:
  • Adventurous—this is a tale of quests and journeys, dungeon crawls and rooftop chases, battles, melees and contests of arms.
  • Magical—the WALL series is also an intensely magical story, in fact Robin Hobb described HEIR as being imbued with “strange magic” and I think that’s a fair enough description…
  • Twist-y and Turn-y—this is definitely not a story where, however classical the epic frame, you can ever rely on things always remaining as they initially seem…
And are also about:
  • Friendship—and the conflicts of loyalty and honor that may arise from this, both within and external to the “band of brothers”, is one of the strongest themes that runs through the series.
  • (And yes) Love—which began to enter the series in The Gathering of the Lost and evolves further in Daughter of Blood. (I’m not saying any more though, because that would be a—boo, hiss—Spoiler!)
As well as being:
  • Character-driven—this is a story that is very much driven by the characters. The touchstone question for me is always: “will the character, given how she/he has evolved, do this?” If the answer is no (and it was several times in The Gathering of the Lost) then it’s the story that has to change rather than having the characters do something ‘out of character’ just to make the plot work.

Now I am delighted to say that the following excellent authors, listed in alphabetical order by surname, have all agreed to do a “The Next Big Thing” post next week on Wednesday 5 December. Just click on the author’s name to go to their site:
  • Julie Czerneda – author of SF such as the Trade Pact series, and the forthcoming Fantasy novel, Turn of Light
  • Kate Elliott – author of Fantasy series such as the Crown of Stars sequence and Spirit Walker trilogy
  • Kim Falconer – one of our own Supernatural Undergrounders and author of the Quantum Enchantment & Quantum Encryption Fantasy-SciFi series
There, that’s it: all done!

And by the way – a merry festive season everyone. I hope it finds you all safe, well, and together with the people you love.