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Steampunk dreams

A few summers ago, I got the wild hair to turn my living room into a steampunk masterpiece. Not that I knew a whole lot about steampunk, mind you. But I’d been fascinated by the fashions and decor for awhile, and I liked Wild Wild West and Firefly (which isn’t steampunk but it is Chinese and Chinese is cool).

steampunkery and zoos 027We added the Victorian interest in nature by having mounted butterflies with microscopes, the old steam trunks, the Persian rugs… and this Chinese cabinet which was truly a beautiful antique, with lacquered carvings all across the front panels.steampunkery and zoos 024

This was the highlight of our collection, acquired in a dusty old antique store in Asheville, North Carolina. We were in love with it. (Right now though, I’d love to sell it so I don’t have to move it again. It’s very solid and heavy!!)

 

We added the gear-naked clock, and a gear-laden chicken. (see below).

So what have I written that qualifies as Steampunk?

Absolutely nothing.

One of the delights of steampunk is the adherence to knowledge of machinery and science. I’m a mother, not an engineer, damn it, Jim. One day, I might take the time to research and educate myself in an effort to get up to speed enough to write on the subject. I like what I see that other people do, for sure. I mean, who doesn’t like magic steampunkery and zoos 029flying machines and submarining 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea??

steampunkery and zoos 031Another facet of steampunk that I love is the focus on travel. People are always flitting about in airships, or on boats or underwater or into space, even. The curiosity of the Victorian Era just continues on in spades.

Sure, there’s still politics and poverty and all the other parts of modern society, but the chase for knowledge seems to be valued above all else.

And they love one thing I also love: the octopus.

Not just your average little inking cephalopod, either. They don’t mess around. Their octopi can take down whole boats. And they are ubiquitously useful. Do you need one of your very own? Check out this video! They come in chandeliers and door handles. They make lovely Halloween costumes. Need I say more?

What do you think about steampunk? What’s your favorite example?

One of my sister authors has a beautiful photographic novel entitled THE DOOR—this post is part of her campaign to raise funds for its publication before she goes on for her Masters’ degree. Hit the link above to enter the contest and capture your clue words for the scavenger hunt of the week. Win wallpapers and other bonus gifts. Most of all, support starving artists everywhere! 🙂

octopus

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dark skies, dieselpunk and super heroes: welcome author Pippa Jay!

Welcome a writer friend from across the pond, the fabulous Pippa Jay!! And don’t forget to read all the way to the bottom to learn about her intriguing contest, which runs until December 19–take it away, Pippa!

WP_20141125_007pippaHi, I’m Pippa Jay, author of scifi and the supernatural with a romantic soul. Over the last year I’ve written things I never imagined I would, from subgenres of SF to paranormal and urban fantasy. From aliens and space-faring humans to zombies. And now to superheroes. If you told me I’d be writing those a couple of years ago, I’d have laughed. But here I am, with my first superhero story out in the wild.
Several things influenced the setting for When Dark Falls. When I first started thinking about the story, it materialized as an urban fantasy, something I’d never written and don’t read a lot of, so the idea scared me off a bit. I tried to put a SF twist on it as I started Camp NaNoWrimo in August 2012, but soon I realized I was trying to write two different genres in one and I had to stop. When Dark Falls stumbled to a messy stop.
Then I was listening to Living Things by Linkin Park, and the music transformed the story. The album had a quite dark/industrial sound. It made me think of Art Deco buildings, of technology out of synch with the period feel. It reminded me of Dark City and Skycaptain and the World of Tomorrow. Smoke, oil and metal. Bronze and chrome. Black skies and flame.
A bit of research took me into dieselpunk and decopunk. I’d found the setting I wanted for my characters, and a bit of research into Egyptology (which was so tied into the Art Deco/Art Nouveau periods) gave me a name for the city from the goddess of funereal custom – Nephthys. So Neophopolis, with its bronze futurist towers and dark skies with pillars of flames came to life.
Just think what might have happened if I’d been listening to something else…

About the Story:

In a city where Dark Technologies Inc. now runs the show, Kadie Williams has more immediate concerns than the fall of Blaze, their guardian superhero. Almost every morning for the last few months she’s woken up with cuts and bruises on her body, and no idea how she got them. There are no nightmares. No evidence that she sleepwalks, or any sign of a break in. And nothing to tell her who’s been cleaning up after her. As just one of thousands of civilians conscripted to slave away in the labs of Professor Dark, she knew there’d be trouble ahead. But she never expected it to be so bad, or so personal.

Desperate for answers, Kadie looks to the new defender of the night, the only person who can hinder the total domination of Professor Dark—Nocturnelle. The mysterious vigilante superhero came from nowhere with her cybernetic sidekick Shadow, set on putting an end to the brutality of Dark’s regime. But as his laboratories work on a new secret super-weapon, Nocturnelle and Shadow may not be enough to save Nephopolis…or to save Kadie either.

When Dark Falls is an alternative 1920s superhero romance released by Breathless Press on the 21st November. Add it to your Goodreads shelf HERE. Sign up to my no-spam newsletter HERE to stay up to date with releases, cover reveals, sales and giveaways for all my titles and more.

whendarkfalls_1650x2550Excerpt:

Nocturnelle perched on the carved griffin statue decorating the tower’s cornerstone, with hundreds of feet of empty space between her and the ground below. Her second skin felt tight. It was a familiar sensation and yet always the first thing she noticed on waking, as if her body needed to remind her of the fact. She stretched and her outer skin crackled like leather. She flexed her fingers, the delicate oh-so-white digits a stark contrast to her black arms. Silver lines marked her left forearm, and she frowned at them. She was meant to be impervious to blades and bullets, and yet somehow, not too long ago, she must have injured herself.
As she rose, her skin creaked. She stretched again, and then tugged her hands through her hair, pulling the thick swathe of black silk from her face and knotting it at the back. Darkest Night forbid it should get in her way. The second skin pressed tight against her forehead, running around her eyes and mouth, cradling her chin. She ran her fingers around the edges, tracing the outline. Perfect. Her body tingled as though electricity danced in her veins, and she smiled. Breathed in the evening air. This was her time.
Viscous and reeking, the night sky hung over the city of Art Deco towers and buildings like an oil-slick. Behind her, the metallic chinking of the cloudburner cooling after a day spent scorching the sky ticked away the seconds like a clock.
“Nelle?”
The deep male voice sent a shiver down her back, and she turned. “Ah, my faithful Shadow. Ready for another night-time jaunt?”
A figure stepped out of the shadows to join her. He matched her for height; his whipcord frame clad in a charcoal-colored armor vest, black combats, and a hip-length military jacket. When the rooftop lights hit his face, the chiseled jawline showed; his skin a dark tan. He wore a mask over his eyes, but his teeth gleamed white when he smiled. And when he smiled, something inside Nelle set her heart racing.
“Ready and set, Nelle.”

About Pippa Jay:

After spending twelve years working as an Analytical Chemist in a Metals and Minerals laboratory, Pippa Jay is now a stay-at-home mum who writes scifi and the supernatural. Somewhere along the way a touch of romance crept into her work and refused to leave. In between torturing her plethora of characters, she spends the odd free moment playing guitar very badly, punishing herself with freestyle street dance, and studying the Dark Side of the Force. Although happily settled in the historical town of Colchester in the UK with her husband of 21 years and three little monsters, she continues to roam the rest of the Universe in her head.

Pippa Jay is a dedicated member of the Science Fiction Romance Brigade, blogging at Spacefreighters Lounge, Adventures in Scifi, and Romancing the Genres. Her works include YA and adult stories crossing a multitude of subgenres from scifi to the paranormal, often with romance, and she’s one of eight authors included in a science fiction romance anthology—Tales from the SFR Brigade. She’s also a double SFR Galaxy Award winner, been a finalist in the Heart of Denver RWA Aspen Gold Contest (3rd place), and the GCC RWA Silken Sands Star Awards (2nd place).

Website – http://www.pippajay.co.uk
Blogs –
Adventures in Scifi – http://www.pippajay.blogspot.co.uk
Spacefreighters Lounge – http://www.spacefreighters.blogspot.com
Romancing the Genres – http://www.romancingthegenres.blogspot.co.uk/
SFR Brigade – http://www.sfrcontests.blogspot.co.uk/
Twitter – https://twitter.com/pippajaygreen
Goodreads – http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5054558.Pippa_Jay
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Pippa-Jay-Adventures-in-Scifi/114058821953752
Pinterest – http://www.pinterest.com/pippajaygreen/
Google+ – https://plus.google.com/u/0/101080630877126516448/posts
Wattpad – http://www.wattpad.com/user/PippaJay
Amazon page – http://www.amazon.com/Pippa-Jay/e/B0080QVWEE/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1406376408&sr=8-1

Buy Links:

Breathless Press – http://www.breathlesspress.com/index.php?main_page=product_free_shipping_info&cPath=25&products_id=691
Bookstrand – http://tinyurl.com/kkonr53
All Romance eBooks – http://tinyurl.com/n873eap
Amazon US – http://www.amazon.com/When-Dark-Falls-Pippa-Jay-ebook/dp/B00P5MQR6Y/
Amazon UK – http://www.amazon.co.uk/When-Dark-Falls-Pippa-Jay-ebook/dp/B00P5MQR6Y/
Smashwords – http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/495412
Web page to other links – http://www.pippajay.co.uk/#!when-dark-falls/cl15

Contest:

Open internationally until the 19th December. I’ve donned my superhero guise for the length of the tour, and you get to name me and decide my talent(s)! If I like it, I may include it in the sequel to When Dark Falls and credit you in the acknowledgements. To enter, please put the name, talent, and your contact details in the comments. Please note – by entering this contest you are giving me full permission for me to use the superhero name without any recompense to you, financially or otherwise, other than the acknowledgement, and you are waiving any rights to the name. You’ll also get a digital format of your choice for When Dark Falls.

***

How exciting is that? Your very own superhero in Pippa’s next book? Can’t wait to see all the possibilities.  Thanks for visiting, Pippa! Cheers!

The Shaughnessy File, revealed!

shaughnessyfilecoverFrom author ETTA JEAN, her latest, The Shaughnessy File, first in a five-book series:
Welcome to the 3rd District in New York City, where pumpkins become limos and corporations are kingdoms in this modern take on classic faerie tales.

Trouble starts in the Shaughnessy household when youngest daughter Aenya starts dancing her way through her shoes every night—without ever leaving her room! She keeps her double life a secret from all the men who try to find the truth, but then private investigator Hiro Michaels arrives on the scene. Can she find a way to have her dreams and her love all at the same time?

Kienan Shaughnessy throws his dreams of a musical career on a wild gamble that takes a detour once he meets plain nightingale Madelyne Winters. The young innkeeper has been burned by love and cursed by hate, and she can’t trust anyone as beautiful as swan-like Kienan. Can he teach her to sing a love song before it’s too late?

Eldest sibling Taegan Shaughnessy unexpectedly gets a new pair of glass slippers as he pines for a princess out of his reach. Station and impropriety alike threaten to keep Kalliope Tavoularis from having the man she loves, but this princess won’t take anything lying down. Can some help from an unlikely faerie godmother stop the clock from striking midnight forever?

Mel Shaughnessy is the wild-spirited beauty of the household. Though as smart as he is handsome, his college grades have plummeted past the point of no return. His only hope is the university’s tutor: a woman nicknamed ‘the beast’. Audra Alexandros has no sympathy, and no graces, and yet there’s something about this lone wolf that Mel finds himself helplessly drawn toward. Can the beauty win the beast and close the file on the Shaughnessy Family for good?

Excerpt

****

“Special delivery!” Kienan told Madelyne cheerfully as he reached her side. “I caught the teacher at the door and decided to save him a trip.”
If she hadn’t been sure that he was behind it, she would have never suspected him. She warily got to her feet and took the carnation he was holding out. The card was blank and she blinked at it. “It’s not signed.” What was this maddening male up to?
“It’s not?” He peered at the card. “How are you supposed to know who it’s from then? Ah! Wait. I bet this will help.” He reached into his pocket and pulled out a pen. Before she could stop him, he had taken the card and scrawled his distinctive signature across it. “There. That ought to do it.”
“Oh my god!” a girl in the back of the room blurted excitedly. “Kienan Shaughnessy is courting Madelyne Winters!”
The entire room erupted into an excited buzz. It was the most interesting thing to happen in a long time, and definitely the most romantic thing to happen ever.
“No!” Madelyne said hastily, trying to wave her hands in the air for attention. “No, he’s not! Kienan,” she pleaded, looking at her ‘admirer,’ “tell them the truth!”
“What truth?” He grinned. “I am courting you, nightingale.”

***

AVAILABLE AUGUST 2014 from PDMI Publishing!

Bio:
Etta Jean was made in England but born in Sacramento, California. Her destiny as a bard was somewhat inevitable. Little else can explain how she constantly told her mother tall tales so outlandish that she couldn’t even get grounded for them. A love of worlds created by others eventually brought out the desire to create her own, and she has never looked back. She has seen both good and evil in her life, and her stories, like life, have no half measures. Her happy endings never come without cost, though, for she truly believes we can’t appreciate the good and the joy without the bad and the pain along the way.

Her current haunt is a comfy house in her beloved Sacramento where she wrangles four feline fur-kids and consumes peppermints like mana in order to balance a calendar filled with more creative venues than a sane person should realistically undertake. If she’s not chained to her desk, she’s stomping through the scenery in search of equally fantastical photographs.

 

Write what you know–J.C. McKenzie with a great read and a chance to win!

First, I’d like to thank Lyndi Alexander for inviting me to be a guest on her blog today. I plan to discuss the setting of my debut novel, Shift Happens, which is now available exclusively on Amazon. At the end of the post, you can enter ShiftHappens_w8140_300for a chance to win one of five kindle ebooks of Shift Happens.

Shift Happens takes place in Vancouver, Canada. In this case, I took Mark Twain’s “write what you know” quote literally (although I personally feel he referred to emotions). I’ve lived in Vancouver for many years and definitely know it. Born and raised on the West Coast, I feel at home in the rain, with the ocean breeze, and the picturesque views of snow-capped mountains and dense evergreen forests.

My not-so-secret plan is to spotlight a beautiful city in a beautiful country. With writing Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy, I add “supernatural” elements to the location to make it my own, but I keep a lot of the landmarks, street names and areas the same, hopefully preserving the ”feel” of the city. I like mixing the known with the unknown. Isn’t that what Urban Fantasy is all about?

Does that mean every book I write will be set in Vancouver? No. In fact, I’m currently working on a short story set in Maine. Writing a piece with an unfamiliar area takes a lot of research. It’s definitely not the easy way out. What types of birds do they have? Flowers? Trees? What kind of slang do people from the area use? It’s exhausting. As much as I love research, the need for accuracy (total A-type here) means I’ll never do something like Historical Romance. Not only do historical writers have to get the area and landmarks right, they also have to get the time period aspect correct as well—when did they stop wearing pantaloons, when did indoor plumbing come about, when did men wear knee-high boots, etc, etc. Exhausting!

So did I “cop out” by placing my series in Vancouver? I don’t think so. Vancouver fits with the dark, gloomy and rainy image I’m going for with Shift Happens. I needed a city that could be beautiful and bright, and at the same time be seedy and grimy; and all surrounded by the brilliance of pristine nature, namely forests and mountains. In other words, Vancouver! My imagination took me on a journey; one that specifically took place in a city I love.

 What’s your take on setting?

Does it matter to you if you read a book set in Vancouver, versus New York or LA?

Do you like it if you read a book set in a place you know really well, or do you find it distracting, even insulting (if they describe a place you like negatively)?

Do you prefer to read about a place you’ve never been to? Escapism at its best?

 Thanks for taking a moment to join me. Happy writing and reading!

·         HER PAST DESTROYED HER HEART, CAN SHE PUT IT BACK TOGETHER IN TIME?

Story:
Andrea McNelly’s job as a government agent is not asking questions, but then a routine assignment turns into a botched assassination of a Master Vampire’s human servant. Answers become a priority. Her search to discover the truth is riddled with obstacles, the largest being an oversized Werewolf who resembles a Norse god. Andy can’t afford the distraction he offers, because if she fails, she faces eternal enslavement.

 Wick’s job is to monitor Andy, but he prefers more intimate activities, none of them G-Rated. His choices, however, are often not his own. His ability to help Andy is limited by his bond to the Master Vampire.

Facing many trials and challenges along her path to redemption, Andy learns the value of her freedom might be set too high.

Excerpt:

A large black wolf trotted into the clearing to confront me. He had a white-tipped snout, white boots and mitts and would have looked cute had he not been the most intimidating Werewolf I’d ever seen. Standing tall and solid, power rolled off of his body. His eyes bore into mine. I sniffed the air. The strong Werewolf scent of rosemary swirled around me, strong and seductive, laced with sugar. A weird fuzzy sensation spread out from my chest. Whoa.

Alpha.

My other form growled low, demanding release, straining against my skin. The energy of the wolves built—layers upon layers of excitement and impatience. The air pulsated with anticipation. They could sense the imminent kill.

Let me out! My other form repeated, throwing her power against my built up walls, howling in defiance.

When the energy of the Werewolves surged, I finally released her. My wolf form flowed out fast, wiping out the feline in little more than a heartbeat. Smaller, weaker and the size of a natural wolf, a Shifter in this form was no match for a Werewolf, especially a dominant one. I had time to meet the eyes of the Alpha for only an instant before the pack leapt forward. My limbs shook. It went against every instinct ingrained within me, but I rolled onto my back—submissive.

 Buy Links:

Available exclusively in Kindle electronic format on March 27th, 2014

Available in print and all other electronic formats on July 16th, 2014

View More: http://photos.pass.us/headshot2About the Author:

Born and raised on the Haida Gwaii, off the West Coast of Canada, J.C. McKenzie grew up in a pristine wilderness that inspired her to dream. She writes Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance.

Contact Information:

Website: www.jcmckenzie.ca

Blog: www.jcmckenzie.blogspot.ca

Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/j.c.mckenzie.author

Facebook Account Name: JC McKenzie

Twitter Page: www.twitter.com/JC_McKenzie

Twitter Account: @JC_McKenzie

GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/JCMcKenzie

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Chronicle of Summer–Destined to experience the sound and the Furies

Today’s interview is with Etta Jean, about the characters in her new book CHRONICLE OF SUMMER. Etta Jean and I have known each other for a number of years, meeting on the internet in the late 1990s in a Star Trek RPG chat, where participants generated original characters as well as channeled those already in existence in various franchises. I was always struck by her ability to provide unique traits and interesting folk to interact with–and I’m pleased to say that her novels have carried on that wonderful gift!

etta

 Question 1: So, tell me a little bit about CHRONICLE OF SUMMER.

 SUMMER is the conclusion to the Chronicle series, started in Chronicle of Destiny. The Chronicle kids are becoming adults, and they are now embarking on their own journeys to find their destined Furies as well help save the world. Lucksphere has been through many changes in nine years, and while sentiments are changing, it’s still not safe to be a Chronicle. Everything comes down to an epic battle for the fate of the world and . . . well, that’s all I’m going to say.

 Question 2: What came first, the characters or the story itself?

 The characters, which is not unusual for me. I have an old, old notebook that has some bare notes in it that merely said “Fury” and “Chronicle.” The words were just sticking in my mind. I wanted to do something with Dragons, and I decided a Fury was a Dragon . . . and it just snowballed from there. Relatively speaking, the final product of the series is not too far removed from my very first story notes.

 Question 3: Did your characters develop exactly as you’d originally pictured them, or did hidden facets come out you hadn’t expected?

 Ha! My characters are always throwing curveballs at me. I didn’t even know Tariah was a cook until she revealed it to Dominic. The younger Chronicles, C.J. and Kelsey especially, were constantly hitting me with either things I didn’t expect them to do, or they’d open their mouths and something hilarious would come out.

 Question 4: Can I meet them?

Sure! Let me pry Kelsey from her forge and get Solis to stop tormenting Xander. *exasperated* Would you two get over here? Sheesh.

 Question 5: So, Solis while remembering to keep this PG-13, what’s your favorite thing about Kelsey?

 Heh, no worries on the rating. My favorite thing about Kelsey isn’t a physicality: it’s her spirit. She’s temperamental with a short trigger, sure, but she’s passionate and loving and just . . . perfect for me. I rather enjoy watching her take charge of situations where no one else can. And when she laughs . . . at the risk of being incredibly mushy, there’s no sweeter sound to me. She was worth waiting for.

 Question 6: Kelsey, what about you? What was it about Solis that made up your mind that he was the only one for you?

 Well, I kiiiinda lacked any actual ‘choice’ in the matter, being that we were destined to be together, but I’m absolutely fine with that! Pretty much from the time I realized he liked my temper and that he enjoyed my bossiness, I decided I was perfectly content with what had been picked for me. *sotto* And he has a really cute butt. Just saying.

 Question 7: What turned out to be your favorite part of the story?

 Kelsey: Well, my absolute favorite part has to be when Xander punted an enemy over a mountain.

Solis: For me, I will probably not forget the sight of Morgan and Tariah giggling after accidentally getting intoxicated.

Kelsey: Oh yeah! That was funny, too.

 Question 8: Anything else you guys want to add?

Kelsey: Buy our story or else!

Solis: What she means is that we hope you will enjoy following us on our journey and stick around long enough to see what shape our happy ending takes.

Kelsey: I like my way better . . . .

 Question 9: Thank you so much for joining us. Etta, this was a blast. Anything you want to say to your readers?

 THANK YOU. Thank you so much for following me, supporting me, and returning with me to the worlds I’ve created. I literally wouldn’t be here without you. And thank YOU, Lyndi, for hosting me and my cranky Fire Chronicle! I’ll have Tariah send you some sangria.

 Blurb:

It has been nine years for Lucksphere. A devastating battle that shattered millennia of beliefs looms in the past. Magi are confused, the Black Magi Elite are in hiding, and Chronicles are still murdered on discovery. Yet a secret hides within the sheltering arms of the world. A secret that the Elite will literally kill to find and the Dragons are rushing to find first: Tariah and Morgan Chronis are not the only Chronicles who have made it past puberty.

 The four Chronicle children that Morgan sent away for safety are now becoming adults. Kelsey Renaire is a fiery Master Weaponsmith with often more sass than sense. Roman Arequo is an aloof and airy farmer who dabbles in glass carving. C.J. Daragon is a gentle weaver who creates beauty from soil and sand. Jayda Lakemore is a gifted doctor whose watery talents mend all but the most terminal injuries. Secretly living as Master Magi, all have felt isolated from their peers. All have suspected there might be something more to their power.

 None of them know what destiny lays in front of them.

 As the Elite rise again and strike out in ways that threaten to tear the land to pieces, the six Chronicles of Lucksphere and their Furies are going to have to join forces and fight not only for their right to live, but for the rights of the Magi and Kin as well. If they don’t work fast, this summer will be last for Lucksphere.

Will love finally defeat hate?

Bio:

Etta Jean was born in Sacramento, California and destined from birth to be a bard. She told tall tales while devouring the creative worlds of others until she finally had to create her own. She has seen both good and evil in her life, and her stories, like life, have no half measures. Her happy endings never come without cost, though, for she truly believes we can’t appreciate the good and the joy without the bad and the pain along the way. Her current haunt is a comfy house in her beloved hometown where she wrangles three feline fur-kids while constantly overbooking her calendar. If she’s not chained to her desk, she’s stomping through the scenery in search of equally fantastical photographs.

 Info:

CHRONICLE OF SUMMER is now available at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IFAZK16 for Kindle or http://www.amazon.com/dp/1940938198/ for paperback. Etta’s Summer Fest blog tour continues through February, and there are prizes to be won by commenting on the stops along the way.

CHRONICLE OF DESTINY, the original Chronicle tale, can be purchased from Amazon here: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1940938104/   and check out the book trailer here:

@ettajeanfantasy on Twitter

www.ettajeanfantasy.com

www.ettajeanfantasy.wordpress.com

www.facebook.com/ettajeanfantasy/

 

I’ve got a bad feeling about this… Sci-Fi Fantasy Saturday for 1-25

Greetings from the frozen Northland! I used to live in Montana, where THE ELF MAGE is set, and I decided to leave there because it just got too cold in the winter. So today I woke up to -3 (-16 with the wind chill) here in Pennsylvania, and in Missoula, it’s 22 degrees. What’s up with that?

cvr200x300elfmageAnyway, as I sit here bundled up in my chair and just my fingers sticking out so I can type, I wanted to share a snippet of THE ELF MAGE, part of the Clan Elves of the Bitterroot series. This piece is near the beginning of the third book, just after the elf prince has been abducted by persons or elves unknown and the clan nearly destroyed. Daven Talvi, whose pride helped bring things to this point, has come to after being knocked out in a fight, in the queen’s enchanted home, finding himself alone and everything in shambles:

Astan had many times expressed his concern since the queen came to live in the forest with the clan, worried that Grigor had not perished alone in the forests, and that he would return to avenge his dead master Bartolomey. But Daven had counseled his son not to take action, to wait and watch. Astan disagreed, but obeyed his father, as duty required.

            And look where that has brought you.

            Truly Daven had underestimated the evil Grigor held within him, the sense of blackness that still pervaded the atmosphere inside the queen’s home. As a fullblood elf, well-trained in the ways of divination, Daven perceived several mental voices, several personas who had left the barest impression of themselves behind, an impression of menace and ill-will.

            Something about one in particular felt familiar to Daven. Something he had not felt for many years. Something so vague he couldn’t put a name to it yet. But he would.

***SFFSat logo

And thus begins a transformation that will lead to the biggest battle this clan has ever endured…that may be the end of them all.

For more on the series, visit the Clan Elves page or my tab above, or check it out at Amazon.com .

For other amazing snippets from sci-fi fantasy authors around the world, check out this week’s edition of SFFS here!

Uncovering BATTLE CRY–coming in June 2014

BattleCry_750#CoverReveal:  BATTLE CRY by Melissa Snark

 

BATTLE CRY by Melissa Snark

 

A Victoria Storm novel

 

#3 Loki’s Wolves series

 

Genre:  Paranormal/urban fantasy

 

Coming in June 2014  * * *  Add to your Goodreads Shelf

 

We meet Valkyrie Victoria Storm in the middle of a blood bath, and we did continue on from there. I must say Melissa Snark has all the makings of an awesome story teller.”

Gloria Lakritz

Sr. Reviewer and Review Chair for the Paranormal Romance Guild

 

“A definite must read for anyone who enjoys urban fantasy.”

Lisa Lester

Fight For Your Write Blog

Melissa Snark

Melissa Snark

 

 

Just when you thought it couldn’t get any better…

Are we ready to r-r-rumble? Or READ?

hydraOne of my favorite small publishers, Hydra Publications has announced its SUMMER BASH! This means, thirty–yes, 30!–of their ebooks will be FREE on Tuesday and Wednesday, July 16 and 17. The Facebook Event is listed here.

LoveMeKissMeKillMe_Final_small2Here’s a list of the books to be offered, including mine:

  • Amy the Astronaut and the Flight for Freedom by Steven Donahue
  • Andraste by Marissa Mills
  • Anon by Peter Giglio
  • Blood of the Highland Moon by Morinda Montgomery
  • Bounty Hunter by Amy McCorkle
  • Bridgeworld by Travis McBee
  • Chronicles of Destiny by Etta Jean
  • Dearly Departed by Rachael Rawlings
  • Deception Peak by Dianne Gardner
  • Empyreal Fate by Rachel Hunter
  • Eternal Patrol by Michael Wallace
  • Gnosis by Tom Wallace
  • Into the Spiral by Erin Danzer
  • Love Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me by Lyndi Alexander
  • Lure of the Vampire by Bertena Varney
  • Morning Star by Desiree Finkbeiner
  • Primal by Raven Bower
  • Raising Riley by Brick Marlin
  • Reality Check by Eric Garrison
  • Tale Spinner by David Donaghe
  • The Exile’s Violin by Bobby Hunter
  • The Fall of Onagros by Marian Allen
  • The Hand of God by Tony Acree
  • The Heart Denied by Linda Anne Wulf
  • The Know-it-all Girl by Joanna Forman
  • The Universal Mirror by Gwen Perkins
  • The Wall Outside by James Peercy
  • Ukishima by Nigel Sellars
  • Virginia Creeper by Blaine Pardoe

So many books, so little time. What are you waiting for? Mark your calendars for next week and get ready to read! Here’s the site where the book links can be found: http://www.hydrapublications.com/hydra-summer-bash/

Escape into Fantasyland!

Escape into Fantasyland (pun intended)

By Beth Ann Masarik

Thank you for having me on the blog today! I was asked to write about fantasy as an escape for readers, which is how I came up with the title .

beth author photoI don’t know about you guys, but whenever I want to escape reality, I usually pick up a book that has some kind of fantasy in it.  I don’t know why, I guess because it’s all that magic and make-believe stuff that gets put in it that draws me in.  I love the flexibility that fantasy has with world building, as opposed to mainstream genres.  With fantasy, the possibilities are endless.

I’ve loved fantasy ever since I was introduced to the Harry Potter books, which I think is what really sparked my interest in writing.  Oh, I was writing long before I read them, but that was what set it in stone for me.  I remember saying, “I want to be a best seller like JK Rowling.” Well, that hasn’t happened yet, but if everyone goes out and buys my books and short stories, that might actually happen *wink wink*.

So for me, the appeal of fantasy comes with sometimes just wanting to escape reality, and it’s just a lot of fun to write and role play in.

twau official bannerAbout The World Among Us: Prince of Darkness (the full length novel)

Hades is hell-bent on taking over the world, but in order to do so, he has to remove his nemesis, Gaia from power.  But one thing stands in the way and she goes by the name of Selene.

Cue Damien, son of Hades and Persephone.  He happens to be in love with Selene, and will stop at nothing to make sure Princeofdarknessfinal coverhat she is safe even though their love is forbidden.  Furious with his son’s treachery, Hades tricks Damien into killing the only woman that he has ever loved.  He does so by telling Damien that he will spend the rest of his eternal life in the Fields of Asphodel if he does not prove his loyalty.  Torn between his un-beating heart and his family, Damien does the only thing a true demon prince knows how: killing those closest to him.

Will Damien follow through with his father’s evil scheme?  Or will he be banished to the Fields of Asphodel for his treachery?

 

About the short stories:

The short stories are meant to get your feet wet and ready for the re-debut of the upcoming saga titled The World Among Us.  The World Among Us was originally released in 2011 with Otherworld Publications.  Unfortunately, Otherworld closed its doors last year, and Beth had to find a new publisher.  Fortunately, she was offered a contract with Hydra Publications, and the titles that were released with Otherworld have been/are being revised and revamped and re-released!

Regretsmoon (1)About Murderous Regrets (A T.W.A.U. prequel #1):

Leon Greene is accused of murdering his best friend, Jason Aysel, and the world wants to know if he really did it.  Cue Elise Stevenson, the top news reporter for the Daily Gazette who gets the scoop.  Will Leon tell her the truth and his motives behind the murder?

**This is a short story based off the novel, The World Among Us: Prince of Darkness. This was originally published by Otherworld Publications in 2011 and in the Augnowrimo anthology.  It has been edited and revised and now published by Hydra publications.

 

About Hell Bound (a T.W.A.U. prequel #2)

After impressing her boss with her interview with werewolf, Leon Greene, Elise is Hell Bound to an interview with the Lord HellsbounDof the Underworld himself.  Mr. Murphy wants her to find the dirty scoop on Hades himself, and foil his plot to take over the world.  Will she survive the clutches of Hell?

*this is a short story based off the soon to be released novel, The World Among Us: Prince of Darkness.  Hell Bound has never been released!

About Hell’s Captive

As if interviewing Hades himself wasn’t enough, Elise gets sucked into doing an interview with his son, Prince Damien.  It turns out that the Prince of Darkness has a few tricks up his sleeve himself, and is head over heels for the girl he murdered.  Will Elise uncover the Prince of Darkness’s deepest, darkest secrets?

HCaptive*this is a short story based off the soon to be released novel, The World Among Us: Prince of Darkness.  This is a never before seen short story.

About Moon Spirit

Raul Blackoak’s world is tossed upside down one evening when he stumbles upon a damsel in distress.  What he wasn’t expecting was that his life would be changed forever by her.  Because he risks his own life to save her, he is caught between two worlds; the world to which he belongs, and the human world.  Will he be able to balance being in both worlds?  MoonOr will he have to give up one to be happily ever after in the other?

***this is the revised and edited edition. Moon Spirit was originally published by Otherworld Publications in 2011, and is now represented by Hydra Publications.

About Beth Ann Masarik

Beth Ann Masarik is a Young Adult author and writer, indie publisher, and youth advocate. She writes Young Adult fantasy and urban fantasy novels that are mostly about forbidden romance and have some sort of magical creatures in them. Her debut novel, The World Among Us: Prince of Darkness was first published with Otherworld Publications. Unfortunately, OWP closed on December 31, 2012, and the book is no longer available. However, she has signed with Hydra Publications, and it will be released sometime in 2013.  You can visit her author website at www.bethannmasarik.com and the series website at http://www.theworldamongussaga.com for more details on my publishing adventures.

As a youth advocate, she, along with her new husband, is one of the adult coordinators of the Our Lady of Fatima youth group that is supported by the current pastor and the parents of the kids in the group.

In addition to writing, she also publishes a bi-monthly e-zine called Literary Lunes Magazine. It is offered as a free black and white e-copy and also offers a low-cost full colored paperback copy of each issue.  For more information, please visit the magazine website at www.literarylunespublications.com  

No sense in working without an angle…SFFS for April 13!

cvr200x300elfguardian2This week’s snippet goes back to one of the elf queen’s human friends, Lane Donatelli. For those who’ve read the YA Clan Elves series, you’ll remember Lane is a former foster-care child who compensates for his anxiety with food, especially cupcakes, and he’s a master computer whiz.

But he also needs to pay his bills:

Lane retreated to the Cave, his carefully-constructed getaway inside the apartment, four computers ensconced in a space enclosed by walls built from an assortment of cardboard boxes, crates and storage bins.  Once upon a time, his whole life had been centered within these artificial walls, very much like Crispy had constructed his own “safe” place, his agoraphobia keeping him inside the apartment until his therapist—and a generous helping of elven magic—had invited him back into the world.

            Lane’s egress into the greater world had taken a different form. Plopping down in his well-padded manager’s chair, he noted the blinking icon that indicated he had email waiting for him. Clicking on it, he revealed seven notes from fans new to his recently-published digital book, The Elf Princess.

            He’d taken the adventure he’d shared with Jelani, Astan and the others, and written a thinly-disguised version of the story, careful to set it near Butte instead of Missoula, to protect the clan’s existence in the Montana woods.  The manuscript had been rejected by a dozen agents as “too outlandish,” proving to Lane that truth was indeed stranger than fiction. Finally, he’d tapped one of his gamer buddies online, they’d whipped the manuscript into shape for e-publishing, and he’d published it himself.

            His gamer friends spread the word, and as they were a widely-diverse group, Lane had sold a good number of copies already, a fan base developing almost without his effort.

“Now if I can only figure out how to leverage this into a fully-paid appearance at the San Diego Comic-Con…”

***

wildwest-trip-107-150x150THE ELF GUARDIAN is the fourth book in the Clan Elves of the Bitterroot series, available at Dragonfly Publishing and at Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble.com, at Apple ITunes and most other online outlets. Find out more about the series at the tab above or at the home of the Clan Elves online.

Find more delicious low-calorie snippets at Science Fiction Fantasy Saturday today!SFFSat logo

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