All posts by Shéa MacLeod

Author of urban fantasy post-apocalyptic scifi paranormal romances with a twist of steampunk. Also rather fond of lemon curd, mushroom pizza, disco, and Ancient Aliens.

10 #SF/#Fantasy/#PNR/#UF/#Steampunk #Books That Have Stuck With Me

One of my all-time favorite authors, Gail Carriger, wrote this fantastic post about the ten science fiction/fantasy books that have stuck with her. By now you’re all aware of my love for all things Agatha Christie and possibly know about my Regency obsession, but I thought it would be fun to compile a list of just these specific genres (science fiction, fantasy, paranormal romance, urban fantasy, steampunk) and see which ones you, my lovely readers, have read and loved.

In no particular order:

1.  The Blue Sword – Robin McKinley. Also mentioned by Gail Carriger and some of my other friends. This was possibly the first fantasy book I ever read (besides the Chronicles of Narnia), and definitely the first that had a sword-wielding female main character.

2. The City of Gold and Lead - John Christopher. My first exposure to post-apocalyptic fiction. And not just any post-apocalyptic fiction, but with aliens! Of course, being me, I wished there’d been more romance. Some of my very earliest attempts at writing involved post-apocalyptic landscapes and a better balance of girls and boys. Because everything’s better with romance. ;-) This was also the seed for what would eventually become Dragon Wars.

stand 2011 anchor3. The Stand – Stephen King. I read the unabridged version, of course. And in paperback long before Kindle. It probably explains why I have tendinitis! It’s still one of my favorite books and I now have the Kindle version for re-reading.

4. The Passage – Justin Cronin. The unusual take on vampires was interesting. The blend of science fiction, post-apocalyptic adventure, and beautifully crafted literature blew my mind.

5. Urban Shaman – C.E. Murphy. One of the earliest urban fantasy books that crossed my path. In many ways it began my obsession with the genre which eventually led to my writing the Sunwalker Saga. Scenes from the book still cross my mind from time to time.

grimspace6. Grimspace – Ann Aguirre. Another book that blew my mind. Elements of hard science fiction mixed with a healthy dose of romance to create the perfect blend. A strong female character that I could relate to.  The whole series is great, but the first book is amazeballs. It reawakened my love of scifi and helped birth the Omicron ZX series. Also, aliens.

Soulless_by_Gail_Carriger_1st_edition_cover7. Soulless – Gail Carriger. Quite Possibly one of the best steampunk series out there, in my opinion. Soulless was the book that really hooked me on steampunk and led to my reading the Iron Seas books by Meljean Brook and the Apparatus Infernum books by A.A. Aguirre. It’s the perfect blend of steampunkery and paranormal romance with a liberal splash of hilarity.

8. Guilty Pleasures – Laurell K Hamilton. When I first discovered this series lo, these many years ago, I loved it with a passion. It was such a perfect blend of urban fantasy and paranormal romance. It had so much action, wasn’t too overly gushy, and had a strong female lead. Unfortunately, after the first 4 or 5 books, the series totally jumped the shark. I miss those early books. So very much.

9. Slave to Sensation and Angel’s Blood – Nalini Singh. I’m cheating here by mentioning two books, but they’re both by the same author. So, there. The first is full on PNR, and the second is more UF with strong PNR elements. I love them both. So, so much. The world building is epic. I seriously have a girl crush because of world building alone.

259965510. Garden Spells - Sarah Addison Allen. Although technically this book doesn’t fall under any of the above genres (at least when trying to find it at the bookstore), in my opinion it encompasses both fantasy and paranormal romance with a touch of contemporary romance. It’s shades of Practical MagicGentle, whimsical, and definitely magical.

Which books have stuck with you?

 

Ride the Dragon: Intro Box Set #paranormal #science fiction

Ride-the-Dragon_300dpi

 

Want to try out the first book in four of my series for a discount? Check out Ride the Dragon, the paranormal/scifi intro box set. It’s cheaper than buying each book individually and it will give you a taste of some of my worlds.

NOTE: These are not new stories, but previously published books packaged together at a discount.

Description from Amazon:

A collection of four books introducing you to four different paranormal and science fiction series by Shéa MacLeod. Perfect for anyone new to MacLeod’s writing.

OMICRON ZX (An Omicron ZX Prequel) – Starship captain Zala Lei’s bid to bring a dangerous criminal to justice leads her to Omicron 5 and Xander Lodai, a man even more deadly than the one she’s tailing. She can only hope that Xander can help her stop evil in its tracks before she becomes the next victim.

FEARLESS – Soulshifter Trilogy Book 1 (A Sunwalker Saga Spin-off novella) – “I hated this life I’d found myself in and yet I had no choice but to carry on living it. Lost. Confused. Alone. Forever separated from my own kind.”

Murdered at the hands of her king and former lover, Zip finds herself stripped of nearly all her powers and trapped inside the mortal body of a teenager. She finally knows what it is to be human, but it might be the last thing she wants. Especially with a killer stalking the halls…

“Swallowing hard, I held his gaze. I wasn’t sure if I was daring him or defying him. Maybe both.”

Mick Egan is determined to make his life count for something. Getting clean was one thing. Discovering the secrets of a girl like Zip is another. If he was smart, he’d run like hell, except he’s not about to leave her alone to face a murderer.

DRAGON WARRIOR (Dragon Wars, Book 1) – A man without a past.
A woman without a future.
A world destroyed by monsters.
All that’s left is hope.

In Rain Mauri’s post-apocalyptic world there are no shades of gray when it comes to survival. Until she meets a Dragon Warrior and discovers nothing is as simple as it seems.

Together, Rain and the Dragon Warrior must uncover the truth behind the nightmare their world has become. Their quest will put them in the crosshairs of a ruthless enemy, but with her determination and his skill, they might just save their race from destruction. If they can save each other first.

BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR (Cupcake Goddess, Book 1) – Once the Welsh goddess of love and beauty, Branwen has lost her powers (most of them), moved to the middle of nowhere, found an obsession for cupcakes, and gained twenty pounds (okay, fifty). She’s not having a good millennium.

So when her next door neighbor, cross-dresser Ryan Roberts, makes a simple wish, Branwen decides to grant it. Ryan is about to find out that where cupcake obsessed ancient goddesses are concerned, you should be careful what you wish for.

Available now on Amazon and Kobo.

What To Read Next: A Hint Of Frost #fantasy #paranormal #books

I probably picked up this book back when it was published in 2012. Probably. I don’t even remember. And probably it was free. Or maybe 99 cents. Certainly it was on sale at the time. So, I bought it, loaded it on my Kindle, and there it sat.

My Kindle has approximate 7 million books on it and it’s slowed to the point of turning me homicidal. I decided I needed to go through all those stacks and stacks (virtual stacks, that is) of books I had downloaded and not gotten around to reading. I admit, I’ve tossed out a LOT of books. Some I found didn’t interest me. Some were well written but not to my taste. Some were just plain…awful. Out of ten books I probably deleted 9.

61eMGxNUbVLAnd then I stumbled across this little book by Hailey Edwards called A Hint of Frost. It’s the first book in the Araneae Nation Series (do not ask me to pronounce that). I had no idea what it was about so I dove in. I was hoping I’d finally found a book to enjoy.

I wasn’t disappointed.

I was hooked.

I’m not even sure how to explain the book. I guess it’s fantasy? It’s definitely romance. There’s a hint of paranormal. Somebody compared it to Game of Thrones. I guess? Ish? Except the author doesn’t kill everybody and there’s no incest.

The world building is fascinating. The characters believable. The romance made me happy. And the overarching story line grabbed was interesting. I immediately grabbed the second book in the series as soon as I finished reading Frost (although I will wait to read it until I’ve cleared out my Kindle a bit more).

Murder. Deception. Poison. Mystery. Sexy men. And bears with saddles. What’s not to like?

I’m also excited because it appears Edwards has a novel involve an archangel (yum!) plus a second paranormal series that involves…I’m not sure. Demons, maybe? Anyway, they look fantastic and I can’t wait to read them. This author goes in my “favorites” file.

From Amazon:

Hope dangles by a silken thread.

Araneae Nation, Book 1

When the head of the Araneidae clan is found poisoned in her nest, her eldest daughter, Lourdes, becomes their clan’s new maven. If her clan is to survive, she has but one choice: she must marry before her nest is seized. All she needs is a warrior fierce enough to protect her city and safeguard her clansmen. Such a male is Rhys the Cold.

Born the youngest son of an impoverished maven, the only things Rhys has to his name are his sword and his mercenary reputation. His clan is starving, but their fondness for the flesh of fellow Araneaeans makes them unwelcome dinner guests. Torn between loyalty to his clan and fascination with his future bride, Rhys’s first taste of Lourdes threatens to melt the cold encasing his heart.

Amid the chaos of battle, Lourdes’s sister disappears and is feared captured. Lourdes and Rhys pursue their enemies into the southlands, where they discover an odd plague ravaging southern clans as it travels north, to Erania. Determined to survive, Lourdes will discover whether she’s worth her silk or if she’s spun the thread by which her clan will hang.

Warning: This book contains one mercenary hero with a biting fetish, one determined heroine who gets nibbled, and an answer to the age-old question, “What does dragon taste like?” Matricide and sibling rivalry are available upon request. The house special is revenge, best served cold.

Supernatural Saturday. And Stuff.

I haven’t done a Supernatural Saturday in AGES. Seriously, over a year. So rather than bore you with my ranting about whatever supernatural creature is on my mind, I’m giving you this:

3195402a102037433b241316647lYou’re welcome.

You know I only do this because I love you, right? ;)

If you enjoyed that, you should come follow me on Tumblr. That’s another thing I joined ages ago but didn’t do anything with. I am now randomly posting things that make no sense. They’re just things I like. For instance, delicious Regency gentlemen. And amusing memes.

(I’m also on Pinterest if you don’t mind your feed being cluttered with pins of chocolate cake and hot British men.)

Rage of Angels02_200x300

If you’re wondering what I’m up to, I’m writing like mad trying to get the next thing out and into your hot little hands. Right now I’m working on two books at a time. I’m at the 55% mark for A Rage of Angels (Think Firefly meets CSI with a splash of romance and Ancient Aliens) and almost 70% on my hilarious new contemporary romcom (Think London, coffee, cupcakes, and Tom Hiddleston… mostly because I just like Tom Hiddleston.)

More eye candy. Just because.

the-deep-blue-sea

 

Happy Saturday!

 

Changing My Appearance

Due to various circumstances I won’t go into, I had to cancel my trip to ARC Phoenix this year. Boo! I hope all of those who go have a BLAST! Hopefully I can make it another year.

Ann Aguirre (left) and yours truly at the Beaverton Powell's book signing.
Ann Aguirre (left) and yours truly at the Beaverton Powell’s book signing.

Instead, I’ll be at the Greater Seattle RWA Writer’s Conference in Bellevue, Washington on October 17 – 19. I’m so excited! One of my favorite authors - Ann Aguirre – is the keynote speaker.

I got to meet Ann at a book signing here in Portland about a year ago. She’s such a genuine person.  I’d love to be her BFF and bake her cupcakes and talk books and hot boys, but that would be rather stalkerish, don’t you think? So instead I will simply go and clean whatever nuggets of wisdom I can from her talk.

I’ll also get to meet (and re-meet) my Montlake peeps. Hang out. Party. Etc.

Also, the party theme is Sexy Librarian. Urm…

What’s Next in the Sunwalker Universe?

Kissed by Ice_200x300With the release of Kissed by Ice, Book 5 of the Sunwalker Saga, I’ve been getting a lot of questions regarding the final book, (Kissed by Eternity, Book 6).  I thought I’d take the time to answer some of those questions now.

But just so you know, I will NOT be answering any questions regarding who Morgan ends up with, who dies, why so-and-so is a jerk, etc., etc.

RiverSongSpoilers

 

When will Book 6 be out?

I don’t have an exact date yet, but sometime this winter. I’m aiming for February. Be sure and sign up for my mailing list so you don’t miss out.

(I promise no spam! I hate spam! I only send newsletters when I have a new release.)

Will Book 6 really be the last Sunwalker novel?

Yes. And no.

How’s that for clear as mud?

On the one hand, the Sunwalker Saga was always meant to be only six books, and six books it shall remain. HOWEVER, the Sunwalker Universe is a pretty big place and there are still a lot of awesome places, supernatural species, and kick-ass characters yet to discover. Plus some whose stories aren’t nearly finished yet. So, next year I’ll be starting a brand new series set in the Sunwalker Universe. It’ll star a few old faces and some brand new ones.

Including THIS guy… ;-)

Haakon KbI

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

But I’m so sad over the Inigo/Morgan situation. HOW COULD YOU DO THIS TO ME???

Because I’m evil.

muahaha

 

 

 

 

 

But I want more Sunwalker NOW! Why can’t you write faster?

If I could have a superpower it would be supersonic typing! LOL Seriously, though, if you want more in the Sunwalker Universe, check out the Soulshifter Trilogy (Starting with Fearless which is just 99 cents). You’ll find out what happened to Zip and Mick (Mikey) after the events of Kissed by Smoke and before the final show-down in Kissed by Eternity.

If you have any other questions about the Sunwalker Saga (or anything else really), please feel free to leave a comment and I’ll answer as many as I can.

And remember: NO SPOILERS!

Magic & Mayhem Release Party TODAY! #giveaways #paranormalromance

Party

 

Join in the fun TODAY at 4pm Pacific (7pm Eastern). Three hours of games, giveaways, and random shenanigans to celebrate the release of my book, Kissed by Ice, and Tara West’s hilarious paranormal romantic comedy, Divine and Dateless.

Here’s the LINK. Stop on by and say “Heyyyy!”

It’s Alive! Kissed by Ice (Sunwalker 5) is out NOW!

Kissed by Ice_200x300Apparently I’m extra organized this month, because Kissed by Ice is already live on Amazon in the USKobo, Amazon UK, and Amazon DE

KISSED BY ICE

“Hurry, Morgan. If you don’t, we’re all dead.” 

With an old friend in mortal danger and the Dragon King demanding her presence, vampire hunter Morgan Bailey is stuck between a rock and a volcano. Jack’s gone AWOL, her nemesis is running amok with a magical book, and soul vampires are snacking on steampunk enthusiasts. Not to mention Morgan still has a price on her head. 

As if all that isn’t enough, a new power is growing inside Morgan. One so out of control it might be the one thing that tips her into madness. 

Be sure and stop by the release party I’m co-hosting with Tara West this coming Wednesday. There will be lots of fun games and prizes!

Party

 

 

FAQ: Of Audible and German Translations

I get a lot (and I do mean a LOT) of questions from fans about versions of books other than those currently available. The most common question I get (other than “When is the next book out?”) is when Kissed by Moonlight or Kissed by Ice will be available as audio books. The second most common question is when the rest of the Sunwalker Saga will be translated into German.

Let me answer question number two first. It’s the easiest.

german-class-langu_2497150bAt this time, Montlake Romance has no plans to translate the rest of the series. This makes me sad as I know I have a lot a fantastic German fans and right now their only option is to read the rest of the series in English. Unfortunately, there’s nothing I can do about this. However, I have been assured that once the German translation of Kissed by Darkness has been out for one year, the team will have another look at sales, etc. and consider whether or not to translate more books.  So, fingers crossed!

Now to the first question: When will the second half of the Sunwalker Saga be available as audio books?vintage_mic

Simple answer: I have no idea.

More complicated answer: I’m working on it.

Since I have to pay out of my own pocket (and audio books are very expensive to produce), it will, at the minimum, be several months if not a year or more. And that’s just for Kissed by Moonlight. If it happens at all.  I know some of my lovely readers really prefer audio books, which is why I’m trying to make this happen for you. So, please, please, please be patient. I’m doing my best.

I want to say a big huge THANK YOU to all my readers. You all are absolutely the best! I couldn’t do this without you!

I hope I’ve been able to answer your questions for now. I promise I’ll keep you posted regarding any developments.