Category Archives: Writer Wednesday

Almost time for #RoseCityComicCon!


Had an amazing time this past weekend at Passion in Portland 2015. Met some great authors, awesome readers, AND got to make a fool of myself at karaoke. Let’s just say I’m REALLY looking forward to PiP 2016!

Coming up this weekend is another event I’ve really been looking forward to: Rose City Comic Con.  This will be my first time at this Comic Con and I’m really looking forward to it.

You can find me and fantasy author Miranda Mayer at table Q8 in the Artists’ Alley.  Be sure to stop by and say hello. (Yes, I will have copies of the entire Sunwalker Saga, plus pretty much all the other books I’ve ever written.) Paranormal Romance author Stace Lee will also be there (though she’s at another table so go find her!).

Look forward to seeing some of you this weekend!

What’s Up With This #Angel Thing? #romance #amwriting

If you follow me on Facebook, you’ve probably noticed I’ve been posting a lot of teasers for something called Angel’s Fall. You might have even asked yourself, “What is this Angel’s Fall thing?”

Ask no more. I’ve got answers!

About a month ago, an author friend of mine (Belinda Boring. Go check her out.) who is known as the Queen of Swoon challenged me to write something really super swoony. As you probably know, while I may include swoony moments in my novels, they’re generally not pure swoon. (Hard to do too much swooning when hunting down bad guys.) But…CHALLENGE ACCEPTED!

Thus Angel’s Fall was born.

It’s a story about an angel who falls in love with his charge despite the fact it’s forbidden. It’s about a woman who finds inner strength despite the fact she’s been broken. And, yeah, it’s chock full of SWOON. Look for it this October. In the meantime, check out these teasers:

Teaser 15 teaser 14 Teaser 12 Teaser 9 Teaser 8 RaphaelTeaser 5











#PassionInPortland Author Spotlight: #ParanormalRomance Author Stace Lee

Staceys IPhone 704Our next Passion in Portland author, Stace Lee, is no stranger to this blog. She’s had a guest spot before for her awesome paranormal romance. And she hangs out with me every month at the Portland Peeps (where a bunch of us crazy authors and bloggers get together to get plastered  have dinner and chat).

What sparked the idea for your latest novel? Was there a specific “Ah—ha!” moment?

Well, I’ve always wanted to write and I’ve been told by a few different people such as Psychic’s and Empath’s, that I carry emotions that aren’t my own. This really sparked the idea of writing “Broken”.  A story about a girl who takes on emotions that don’t belong to her and she doesn’t understand what is wrong with her. We see her struggles and how she overcomes them.
Continue reading #PassionInPortland Author Spotlight: #ParanormalRomance Author Stace Lee

#PassionInPortland Author Spotlight: #Fantasy Author Miranda Mayer

Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, you’ve probably heard of the super amazing romance author/reader event, Passion in Portland. (For more info click HERE) Over the next few weeks, I’ll be introducing you to some of the AMAZING authors who will be at PiP signing their books and sharing their love of all things writing and romance.

First up is a very dear friend of mine, Miranda Mayer. (You can also find Miranda over on Facebook.) Miranda writes amazing fantasy with a touch of romance and a dash of Regency (among other things)Miranda Mayer

Miranda, what sparked the idea for your latest novel? Was there a specific “Ah—ha!” moment?

Sometimes, my mind will just manufacture an image or a mood, and it grows from there. This latest book (at present still untitled) I thought of a heavily haunted house, and how its residents would cope with it, and the story evolved from there. I go in spurts of inspiration started from that little seed.

Tell us about your hero and heroine? What makes them and their story unique?

Dae is an introverted, befreckled girl. She’s got a hidden strength about her that doesn’t come to light until her parents are arrested by the crown, and she and her younger sister are sent to live with a dotty old aunt in a haunted old manour. She finds herself being haunted by a violent, angry ghost, and in her quest to determine why he is trying to harm her, she discovers with the help of a handsome ‘ghoster’, that there’s a great deal more to her story than she ever imagined. Dae takes a great deal of painful truths in stride, and carries a great burden on her shoulders. Although she’s quiet, she’s also determined and strong, even when she has to make difficult decisions.

Why do you write Romance? Why your specific sub-genre of romance? (Note: Please include the sub-genre(s) you write.)

I write mostly (but am never restricted to) Fantasy, Fantasy Romance, the occasional Post-Apocalyptic ditty, and am working on an Alternate History Romance.

I do it because that’s what’s going on in my head. I’ve always been a world-builder, and I have always had unique and intriguing universes floating around in my overactive brain. I’m a daydreamer, and my books are my daydreams in print.

What’s the funniest thing that ever happened to you at a signing?

I haven’t done many signings. However, I’ve done conventions and shows, and the funniest (or most bizarre) thing to happen was signing a book under my nom-de-plume, and realizing that I actually went to High School in Brussels with the person buying the book. It took a moment for us to realize we recognized one another.  It’s a small world, to run into someone at a comic convention who went to school with in a city on the other side of the world.

Now for the Lightening Round! Answer these fast and quick (ala the Hot Seat questions on Inside the Actor’s Studio)


Chocolate or vanilla?

If it’s ice cream, Vanilla. But I would probably brain someone for a good quality chocolate bar.


Where do you write?

Sometimes (preferably) on my laptop at the table, looking out at the squirrel feeder. But most of the time these days, I’m tapping out my books on an iPad Air at 2AM in bed, with my kid and husband wedged up against me.


Favorite romance novel plot device?

Finding out that the underdog was the right guy all along.


What trait in a man do you find most sexy?

I find men who are taciturn but quietly intelligent very sexy. I also love seemingly gruff men who are gentle with animals and children.

Least sexy?

Whiny guys; or an overwhelming momma’s boy.

Your book is going to be made into a movie! Who plays the lead roles?MV5BMjI3ODkxMjU3OF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMTk2Njk3MTE@._V1_UY1200_CR85,0,630,1200_AL_Vanessa

For the Wizard King (I already figured this one out): For Ynith, Vanessa Morano. For Arnsword, it would be Adrien Brody.

Jessica Alba - -9

Tinna Trilogy: For Tinna: Jessica UK - "Stoker" Premiere in LondonAlba with a lion’s mane of black curly hair, and Taneth; Matthew Goode.

I haven’t figured out who looks most like Dae or Figson, or Amdreus yet. But I’m working on it.

Thanks so much, Miranda! You can get a copy of The Wizard King over on Amazon!

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.

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?


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





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.




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.




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?”




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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.