Category Archives: Writer Wednesday

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.

Free book from Tara Maya

Initiate_coverThe Unfinished Song (Book 1): Initiate by Tara Maya

BLURB

DEADLY INITIATION

 

A DETERMINED GIRL…

Dindi can’t do anything right, maybe because she spends more time dancing with pixies than doing her chores. Her clan hopes to marry her off and settle her down, but she dreams of becoming a Tavaedi, one of the powerful warrior-dancers whose secret magics are revealed only to those who pass a mysterious Test during the Initiation ceremony. The problem? No-one in Dindi’s clan has ever passed the Test. Her grandmother died trying. But Dindi has a plan.

 

 

AN EXILED WARRIOR…

Kavio is the most powerful warrior-dancer in Faearth, but when he is exiled from the tribehold for a crime he didn’t commit, he decides to shed his old life. If roving cannibals and hexers don’t kill him first, this is his chance to escape the shadow of his father’s wars and his mother’s curse. But when he rescues a young Initiate girl, he finds himself drawn into as deadly a plot as any he left behind. He must decide whether to walk away or fight for her… assuming she would even accept the help of an exile.

 

 

EXCERPT

Blue-skinned rusalki grappled Dindi under the churning surface of the river. She could feel their claws dig into her arms. Their riverweed-like hair entangled her legs when she tried to kick back to the surface. She only managed to gulp a few breaths of air before they pulled her under again.

 

She hadn’t appreciated how fast and deep the river was. On her second gasp for air, she saw that the current was already dragging her out of sight of the screaming girls on the bank. A whirlpool of froth and fae roiled between two large rocks in the middle of the river. The rusalka and her sisters tugged Dindi toward it. Other water fae joined the rusalki. Long snouted pookas, turtle-like kappas and hairy-armed gwyllions all swam around her, leading her to the whirlpool, where even more fae swirled in the whitewater.

 

“Join our circle, Dindi!” the fae voices gurgled under the water. “Dance with us forever!”

 

“No!” She kicked and swam and stole another gasp for air before they snagged her again. There were so many of them now, all pulling her down, all singing to the tune of the rushing river. She tried to shout, “Dispel!” but swallowed water instead. Her head hit a rock, disorienting her. She sank, this time sure she wouldn’t be coming up again.

 

“Dispel!” It was a man’s voice.

 

Strong arms encircled her and lifted her until her arms and head broke the surface. Her rescuer swam with her toward the shore. He overpowered the current, he shrugged aside the hands of the water faeries stroking his hair and arms. When he reached the shallows, he scooped Dindi into his arms and carried her the rest of the way to the grassy bank. He set her down gently.

 

She coughed out some water while he supported her back.

 

“Better?” he asked.

 

She nodded. He was young–only a few years older than she. The aura of confidence and competence he radiated made him seem older. Without knowing quite why, she was certain he was a Tavaedi.

 

“Good.” He had a gorgeous smile. A wisp of his dark bangs dangled over one eye. He brushed his dripping hair back over his head.

 

Dindi’s hand touched skin–he was not wearing any shirt. Both of them were sopping wet. On him, that meant trickles of water coursed over a bedrock of muscle. As for her, the thin white wrap clung transparently to her body like a wet leaf. She blushed.

 

“It might have been easier to swim if you had let go of that,” he teased. He touched her hand, which was closed around something. “What were you holding onto so tightly that it mattered more than drowning?”

 

 

LINKS

Tara’s blog http://bit.ly/MtlSRJ

Tara’s Twitter http://bit.ly/162sCtE

The Unfinished Song on Facebook http://on.fb.me/1400mMq

Amazon http://amzn.to/15ciwYc

Barnes and Noble http://bit.ly/13yM5Dr

Kobo http://bit.ly/1aFhg1P

iTunes http://bit.ly/1baddhN

Smashwords http://bit.ly/17zK8Xn

 

Initiate is free everywhere except on Barnes and Noble (where it’s $0.99). You can download a free .epub version via Smashwords.

Writer Wednesday (On Thursday): The Four Questions

Welcome to the Writing Process Blog Tour. I was tagged by my fabulous fellow fantasy authors (say that three times fast), Michelle Muto and Beth Alvarez. What’s the tour all about? Authors talk about their writing process, as well as briefly touch on what they’re currently working on. Then, they pass the torch to three other authors.

And while we're at it, how about a cover reveal. TADA!
And while we’re at it, how about a cover reveal. TADA!

1. What am I working on now?

I’m in the final editing/rewriting stages of Haunted. It’s the second book in my Soulshifter series, which is a spin-off of my best-selling Sunwalker Saga. That’s due out at the very end of this year (barring alien invasion or zombie apocalypse). Then I’ll be turning my attention to the next book.

2. How does my work differ from others in the genre?

Wow. That’s a hard one. My main characters are all strong women, but lots of authors have strong female protagonists. I mix genres, often blending scifi and paranormal along with romance and mystery. But that’s nothing new, either. I guess it boils down to “voice.” My voice and style are unique and my stories tend to be fast paced. I also love to mash together legends and myths you might not normally find mashed together. Like the Lost City of Atlantis and the Knights Templar.

3. Why do I write the things I do?

I write what I love to read. It’s as simple and as complicated as that.

4. How does my writing process work?

Often I get ideas months or even years before they ever turn into anything remotely resembling a novel. All these ideas get written down (usually multiple times in varying ways). At some point one idea will coalesce into a real story and that is when the magic happens.

I almost always know how the book is going to start, and how it’s going to finish. It’s the middle bit that’s murky. Fortunately, I’ve got an awesome brainstorming partner: my cousin, Bonnie. She and I meet up for coffee, lunch, or whatever and just talk for hours, hashing out a rough outline. Of course, as I write, things sort of end up happening on their own and the end result looks nothing at all like that first outline.

While I’m working on a book, my entire house is in utter chaos. Little papers with random scribbles line the walls of my office. Piles of notes and notebooks crammed with reminders to add this or delete that are stacked on my desk. Inspirational pictures are tacked to photo boards. Blank notebooks litter every room in the house just in case I get a sudden inspiration while taking a shower or washing the dishes (Although I admit that dishes kind of get ignored while in the throws of creativity).

After the first draft is done (Written in an awesome program called WhyWrite to keep me marginally organized.), I usually go through it (with the help of various critique partners, editors, and proofreaders) about four or five times, polishing it until it’s ready. And then out into the world it goes while I turn my attention to the next book.

When I’m working on a project, I tend to get totally lost in that world. And since I tend to write in some very different worlds, I can only focus on one project at a time from start to finish. This tends to slow things down, but it’s how I roll.

201947_194098557300954_1918568_oEmma Jameson is the author of the FANTASTIC Lord and Lady Hetheridge Mysteries. I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned before how much I LOVE these books. I mean, who doesn’t love a cracking good murder mystery? Especially when set in LONDON!  Get your Anglophile on with Ice Blue.

norahNorah Wilson is a fellow Montlaker and the author of a seriously sexy vampire series (check out The Merzetti Effect) as well as some very sensual romantic suspense novels. Under the name NL Wilson, she writes the hilariously funny Dix Dodd Mysteries (with her partner in crime, Heather Doherty).

tumblr_lu5wlvk73l1r0fw3ho1_400Red Tash is a Teller of Tales and all things dark fantasy. She’s the author of the kick-ass Troll Or Derby and the acclaimed This Brilliant Darkness. My particular favorite is The Wizard Takes A Holiday (Which is FREE on Amazon, by the way). It’s short, but it’s dang funny.

So Sorry. I’m Brain Dead.

Okay, not really. I do have a migraine which is making concentration rather difficult. So, I’m going to blame my forgetfulness on that, mmm’kay?

What did I forget to do? Why I forgot to announce the winner of the giveaway for the ARC of Kim Law’s Sugar Springs.

And the winner is (drum roll please!):

Tina M

Congratulations Tina. I’ll be passing on your name and email address to Kim so she can get in touch with you.

And thanks to everyone who stopped by!

Let’s Hear It For the Small Town Romance!

Ladies (and gents), please join me in welcoming the talented Kim Law to ye olde blog today! Kim is another Montlaker. She’s also a two-time Golden Heart® finalist, a former baton twirler, and a wearer of purple cowboy hats. Today she’ll be giving away an ARC of her upcoming release SUGAR SPRINGS. Welcome Kim!

LuvBoat-770572

Ah, the romance of romance. :) I can’t remember a time I didn’t love it. Even as a kid, I was all about Barbie and Ken going out on dates. But then…maybe that was the norm ;) But I also loved the romance in some my favorite shows: Happy Days—who didn’t love Joanie and Chachi?, The Love Boat, Mork & Mindy—I was so glad when they figured out they liked each other!

But I didn’t just love the romance itself, I also loved the drama that built to the romance. Knots Landing was my all-time favorite show as a kid/teenager. I. LOVED. THAT. SHOW! I used to dream of writing for it! I loved all the crap that was always thrown in the way that everyone had to overcome just to get to their HEA…well, their HFN. It was Knot’s Landing, after all. Not sure there was ever a HEA. But I adored the drama and angst that was a given with the show.

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To Tempt the Devil

Today I’m welcoming another fabulous Montlake Romance author: CJ Archer! We’re talking dukes, rakes, and warriors, plus CJ is giving away a copy of one of her books. Take it away CJ!

Thanks for having me on your blog, Shea, and letting me talk all things romance.

To me, history and romance are like macaroni and cheese – separately they’re OK, but together, they’re better. Class and sexual divisions aside, life was just tougher in the past, and the men too. Warriors, dukes, and rakes held high opinions of themselves and it can be fun watching them brought to their knees by a woman.

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Kissing Under the Mistletoe

I’m thrilled to welcome my fellow romance addict and Montlake author, Marina Adair! She’ll also be giving away a signed ARC of her latest book. But first, let’s find out why Marina LOVES romance…

Marina Adair

I am a self-admitted, life-long romance-a-holic—an addiction that started well before I could even read. Growing up with a movie-buff for a mother and a live-in grandmother who had a thing for game shows and musicals meant that instead watching the Smurfs or The Facts of Life I was spoon-fed The Newlywed Game and movie classics. Seven Brides for Seven Brothers led me to Sabrina which led me to romantic comedies like French Kiss, You’ve got Mail, and Never Been Kissed. What gets me every time is the quirky heroine who is working toward accomplishing her dream when she suddenly finds herself in an awkward and embarrassing situation at the precise moment she meets her true love–only to be forced to choose between her perceived road to happiness and happily ever after. Contemporary romance and romantic comedies have a lot in common, which is why I think that, although I love all kinds of romance novels, I am drawn to reading and writing small town contemporaries.

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Welcome to Faerie, Mr Darcy.

Ladies and Gents, my apologies for the late post, but things have been a bit nuts this morning. I have for you another fabulous Montlake author sharing her thoughts on romance and the paranormal. Please welcome Delle Jacobs!

Thanks for having me here, Shéa! It’s great to see you on the Montlake author list!

Delle Jacobs

I wasn’t always a lover of romance. For a long time, I just assumed romances were poorly written, cheesy love stories, but I was really tired of dark, ugly, gritty stories that seemed to be so popular for a long time. So I’m grateful for Laura Kinsale for the first romance I ever read, Flowers From the Storm. I found what I was missing in the rest of commercial fiction. I like believing in people, and in finding happiness in love. And no matter what critics say about 50% of marriages failing, there are still the other 50% that don’t. Romance is about finding a true committed relationship. And that’s something I believe in.

S – Amen, to that, Delle!

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The Lure Of Romance

Latte Art by Mortefot

Today another of my new friends from Montlake Romance, Susannah Sandlin, dropped by for a chat and a cuppa. So pour yourself something tasty, pull up a chair, and join in on the conversation as I ask this author of dark paranormal romance (just my kind!) a few questions. Like why she loves paranormal romance…

I always like to joke that I love to read romance novels—as long as either the hero or heroine (or both) aren’t human. Yeah, I’m one of those paranormal romance people. What’s the lure of paranormal romance?

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