All posts by Shéa MacLeod

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

Epic Research Trip: #Paris Pt. 1 – Tasty Beverages, the #EiffelTower, #LoveLocks

After a brief sojourn back to London, my next stop on my Epic Research Trip was Paris. I’ve been there before. Twice. But neither trip was specifically with writing in mind (although I included quite a bit of the city in Kissed by Moonlight).

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On the Rue Cler with travel buddy and fellow Paris enthusiast, Lyn.

It was good to be back. Although the quirky little hotel in the 7th Arrondissement had us on the top (7th) floor with a broken elevator and the steepest stairs I’ve seen outside a ladder. Um, yeah. Bit of a challenge that, but we managed. Instead of coming and going, we left in the morning and didn’t come back until bed time. Instead we’d sit in front of a little cafe on Rue Cler, have our dinner and drinks, and people watch. How very Parisian of us!

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No idea what building this is, but I love the architecture and the light.
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If you don’t know what THIS is. I pity you. ;-)

 

 

 

 

 

Our first day in Paris consisted of walking. And walking. And walking.

Since our hotel was so close to the Eiffel Tower, we started there before crossing the river and meandering along it to discover some very interesting art.

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Escapee from Jurassic Park.
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I guess butterflies like skulls? No idea.

 

 

 

 

Then we sauntered through a park that was wall-to-wall (grass-to-grass?) statues.  We passed a bridge flanked with golden pegasi before turning left toward the Luxor Obelisk and the former sight of the Bastille.

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One of many.
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Guardians of the gates.
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The bridge.
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Luxor Obelisk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We meandered up the Champs-Élysées and then wound our way back toward the river. We even got a chance to see the love locks before they were taken down for good.

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Love Locks on the Pont des Arts.

Once across the bridge we headed back to Rue Cler and our little spot at the cafe where we indulged in the Parisian past-times mention above.

Paris Beverage Day one
A tasty, refreshing beverage.
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The cafe on Rue Cler where we people-watched.

 

 

 

 

 

It was an exhausting and magical day.  So many ideas. So many great places to write into future books. I’ve got a few plots churning away in my head already…

Next up: Versailles!

 

Want More #SunwalkerSaga? #paranormal #romance #urbanfantasy

Deathwalker, the latest installment of the Sunwalker Saga: Witchblood series, is here!

Deathwalker_200x300Deathwalker (Book Two)

She Speaks to the Dead

Lene Davenport is unique in the magical community. She’s a Deathwalker: a witch who can sense death and speak to the deceased. It’s not fun having ghosts show up in your bedroom, so Lene does her best to avoid her gift. Unfortunately, Fate has other ideas and she is forced into using her powers in order to find a serial killer who is stalking members of the supernatural community.

He’s Not What He Seems

Lucien Antonelli is the rarest of the rare: a male Witchblood with real power. But all of his power can’t help him protect his people and when he meets Lene Davenport he realizes it’s not just his life that’s at stake. It’s also his heart.

Available now on Amazon US, Amazon UK, Amazon DE, and all other Amazon stores.

Coming soon on Kobo, Barnes & Noble, and iBooks.

Shéa & Sheena’s Excellent #Atlantis Adventure (#paranormalromance #urbanfantasy)

Those of you who have read Spellwalker might remember that Noah and Emory had their first date at a place called Cartlandia. Imagine a certain reader’s surprise when she found out Cartlandia is a real place! Check out this video where my sister Sheena and I show you around and talk deep fried ribs, sweet potato pie, and Atlantean food.

What To Read Next: Hot #Aliens and Metabolism-Boosting Chocolate? It’s #SciFiRomance!

I am obsessed. Deeply, completely, totally obsessed. With scifi romance. It’s always been a thing for me. A guilty pleasure, if you will (minus any actual guilt). Every since I started reading romance lo these many years ago, I’ve often taken forays into the exotic planets (and men) of the SFR genre. From Dara Joy’s Knight of a Trillion Stars back in the 90s, to the more current paranormal-meets-scifi blends of Jayne Castle (aka Jayne Ann Krentz), I seriously can’t get enough. Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000040_00014]My latest obsession is this little series of novellas by Mina Carter called The Warriors of the Lathar.  Hot aliens, cake that doesn’t make you fat, and loads of sexy times. What’s not to like? Nothing, if you ask me. I read the first book in one sitting. Absolutely couldn’t put it down! You can pick up Captured By The Alien Lord (Isn’t that seriously the best cheesy scifi title ever?) for just 99cents on Amazon. Go get one. I’ll wait. Because if you like scifi, romance, and some serious heat factor, you’re going to thank me.

Mega Research Trip: #Prague (Pt. 2)

My last full day in Prague was rather chilly and overcast. But there were still amazing sites to see and adventures to be had!

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View of the cathedral at the palace.

We wandered into the more modern part of the city only to find this lovely trolley which had been turned into a restaurant. What to do but try it out? The food was pretty tasty, the ambiance perfect, and the heat lamps very much welcome.

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This trolley is now a restaurant serving pasta.
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So, of course, we had to stop for lunch.

 

 

 

 

 

I also found a bit of cravat porn, so that was cool. ;-)

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Yes, this is a real person!

 

 

 

 

 

The streets of Prague are just so…atmospheric. I can totally see a chase scene happening here. Explosions! Hail of bullets! Vampires!

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The streets of Prague. Perfect for a chase scene.

 

 

 

 

A sobering and informative trip to the Jewish Cemetery.  There are 12,000 gravestones here, but more than 100,000 bodies! The stones date from 1439 to 1787.

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Jewish Cemetery
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Memorials at the Jewish Cemetery

 

 

 

 

And of course, plenty of gothic architecture to keep a person’s brain working overtime. Seriously, the city is so inspirational.

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Randomly gothic buildings everywhere!

 

 

 

 

We did a ghost tour that night which was fascinating.  Granted, the tour guide was a total arrogant jerk, but at least he was also informative and somewhat entertaining. How’s that for a dichotomy? lol

Next up: We’re off to Paris!

Let There Be #Dragons! The New #DragonWars Is Here. Plus a Dragon Wars FAQ! #romance #apocalpyse

At long last the fifth installation of Dragon Wars is finally here! I kow you’ve all been waiting patiently to see what happens to Rain and company. Not to mention the delicious Lt. Micah Caine. ;-) In Dragon Corps we finally get some of the answers you’ve all been waiting for!

Dragon Corps_200x300Stop Evil. Save the future.

Rain Mauri’s plan seemed so simple. She didn’t start the fight, but she will end it and she is willing to do whatever it takes. For her people. For the man she loves.

But nothing is simple in this war-torn world filled with monstrous dragons and violent men. If she wants to prevail, Rain will need more than strength, grit, and courage. She may need to sacrifice all she holds dear. Including the man she loves.

Available NOW on: AMAZON

(Available soon on iBooks, Nook, Kobo, and in paperback.)

Dragon Wars FAQ:

Q: Is this the last Dragon Wars book?

A: For now.

Q: Does it finish the story? No cliffhangers?

A: No cliffhangers! I promise. This book brings the overarching story of the last four books to a conclusion. HOWEVER, I have loads of ideas for other books in this world, so there will likely be a prequel story with our favorite crotchety Albie and a story following the ex-Marine, Ben, into the ruined city. I might even do a story set in the future with Jinx as hero.

Q: Oh, goodie! When?

A: I have no idea! Right now I’ve got a lot on my plate, so these will definitely be in the future. If you have a favorite character you’d like to read more about, let me know!

Mega Research Trip: #Prague (Pt. 1)

I don’t know what it is about Prague, but it’s like you can just FEEL that there HAS to be vampires living there. Or if there isn’t, there should be.  I can totally envision Morgan and co. running through the cobblestone streets taking names and kicking ass. Supernaturally speaking, of course.

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Yours truly.
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An amazing view across the river into the old town.

 

 

 

 

It’s especially atmospheric as the sun sets, creating an epic backdrop for the palace and other interesting buildings.

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Palace against the sunset.

On the second day, we visited the palace itself.  The complex is MASSIVE. It makes the castle of the dragon king, Drago, look downright scrawny! (Not something you want to tell a dragon.)

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View of Prague from the palace the next morning. Oops! How’d that filter get there?
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Tacky tourist pose with palace guard.

 

 

 

 

 

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The cathedral on palace grounds. MASSIVE and oh, so very gothic.
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Yours truly, again. This time in the palace complex.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Trust me, you WILL get fit walking up and down the extremely steep hill to the castle complex. Our hotel was about half-way up that hill. It was so perfect.

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View on the way down.
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View on the way down.

 

 

 

 

I can also totally see a romantic suspense or a murder mystery taking place here. And, believe me, the ideas are churning!

Next time: More Prague!

Mega #Research Trip: Day 4 – Rambles in #HydePark, #Mayfair, and #NottingHill

I totally lucked out on this Mega Research Trip of 2015. My friend and fellow author, Emma Jameson, was also in London doing some research of her own (She’s got two AMAZING cozy mystery series. I can’t recommend them enough). We were able to hang out and combine our research adventures.

First stop: Hyde Park. One of my favorite places in London. You will no doubt recognize the name from a couple of my books. Morgan gets into it with a vampire in Hyde Park in the second Sunwalker Saga novel, Kissed by FireThe park also makes an appearance in my contemporary romance series, Notting Hill Diaries.

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Hyde Park in the morning.
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The fabulous Emma Jameson lounging in Hyde Park.

 

 

 

 

 

Our next stop was Mayfair. One of Emma’s series is set largely in Mayfair, so this was a natural for our agenda.

See that ridiculously shiny car below? That was just meandering through the streets so of course I had to snap a pic. Good thing I did. It inspired a scene in the upcoming Sunwalker Saga: Witchblood novel, Deathwalker.

I also found some great pics of the inspiration for the mysterious basement apartment in Kissing Frogs(If you’ve read it, you know what I mean!)

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This uber cool car makes an appearance in the upcoming Witchblood novel, Deathwalker.
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The mysterious basement flat from Kissing Frogs. I used to walk by such flats every day on my way to work in Mayfair.
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The mysterious basement flat.
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Grosvenor Square near the American Embassy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A church in Mayfair.
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The Mayfair – a pub near my old office. We just had to pop in for a pint!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finally, we had to skip over to Notting Hill for some research. With Kissing Mr. Darcy coming up this fall, I knew I needed more fodder. I certainly got it! From the quirky shops to the pastel houses, everything was so inspirational. I can’t wait to add all kinds of fun things to the book. Including some flirtations with handsome gentlemen. ;-)

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A typical row of houses in Notting Hill. Much as I imagine Kate’s flat to be in Kissing Frogs.
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Chloe, however, is a more colorful sort. She lives in one of these. Painted purple, naturally.
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Of course we HAD to take a picture in front of this sign!
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One of the many cute little shops.
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We had to stop here for refreshment.
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More Notting Hill Goodness.
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A Notting Hill pub that will most definitely appear in the books.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was certainly a busy day! Next up: More adventures in London. AND stay tuned for Prague!

 

 

Mega #Research Trip: Day 3 – Of #Architecture, #Mermen, and the #Beatles

I’ve fallen totally behind on posting pics of my European Adventure. Where were we? Oh, yes. Liverpool! (You can find pics of my first day in Liverpool HERE.)

The architecture is amazeballs. That’s all I can say. A lot of Victorian era buildings. Lots of fun wrought iron work and bas relief work and whatnot. I was snapping photos constantly!

My favorite is the one of the mermen. It makes me think I should include those in the Sunwalker Saga: Witchblood series. What do you think?

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Mermen!
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Love the Celtic knotwork.
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Something so fun about these lamps. Makes me think of steampunk goodness!
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And, of course, the British know how to build a gorgeous church building.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This World War II memorial plaque gave me all sorts of feels. I mostly took it to show my grandfather (who was a soldier during the war), but I thought some of you might find it interesting. Yeah, total history geek here. Will I work it into a book? Maybe so.

WWII memorial plaque.
WWII memorial plaque.

 

 

 

 

The Cavern Club was a great deal of fun. It will DEFINITELY be appearing in a book. For those who aren’t Beatles fans, this is the first place they played. Loads of other famous people have played there, too. I was there on St. Patrick’s Day of all things! The booze was flowing, the music was excellent, and the atmosphere was perfect for supernatural hijinx.

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Me and some dude. LOL

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Cavern Club

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Liverpool is definitely on my list of favorite places in the UK. And it will definitely be the setting of a future novel. Or two. ;-)

Next up: I’m back to London for shenanigans with my friend and fellow author, Emma Jameson.