Saturday, April 19, 2014

Enchanted Orb with Anna Hackett


Welcome to another Enchanted Orb with Anna Hackett who shares with us the inspiration behind her latest release, At Star's End and her love of action, adventure and romance.

During a dreary vacation in Scotland, a man named Robert Louis Stevenson painted a map to help pass the time. Looking at his creation, he suddenly had an image of a band of pirates. Stevenson recalled, “They passed to and fro, fighting and hunting treasure, on these few square inches of a flat projection.” He set down the paintbrush and started to write…the result, Treasure Island.

Well, the inspiration for my latest book, At Star's End, wasn’t a map but it does involve treasure and treasure hunters. In space.

When I sat down to write the first book in my new series, THE PHOENIX ADVENTURES, I had a burning desire to write a non-stop, action-packed romp across the galaxy after fantastic treasure.

Here are all the inspiration ingredients that went into At Star's End.

Action: everyday life is often missing action, or at least action of the thrilling, inspiring variety. Shopping, cooking, changing nappies, wiping grimy hands, heading to work…that’s not the kind of action that leaves the heart pounding. I want chases, explosions, spaceships…things that leave me breathless.

Adventure: I love ancient history (I’ve visited Egypt twice). I love to read about adventurers and explorers of centuries past discovering the treasures we now marvel at in museums. It just isn’t possible to have adventures like that anymore and that inspired my galactic treasure hunter and astro-archaeologist who race to find the last remaining fragment of the Mona Lisa.

Romance: yes, I love action and adventure but isn’t the biggest adventure of all falling in love? I love to see the boy win the girl (and of course have to earn it). All my stories have to have romance. What I love most about action-filled romance is that the action puts the characters in crazy, terrible, trying circumstances. It strips them back to who they really are, shows us what they are really made of, and isn’t that the best time to see them take the leap into love?

Treasure: I loved the idea of exploring what it would be like far into the future, with archaeologists looking back at the remnants of our world. I knew straight away what fabulous treasure my hero and heroine would be chasing—the world’s most famous painting (or what’s left of it in the distant future), the Mona Lisa.

So there you go. Add a cup of action, a large dash of adventure, sprinkle liberally with romance and add a spoonful of treasure and you have At Star's End!

BLURB:
Dr. Eos Rai has spent a lifetime dedicated to her mother’s dream of finding the long lost Mona Lisa. When Eos uncovers tantalizing evidence of Star’s End—the last known location of the masterpiece—she’s shocked when her employer, the Galactic Institute of Historic Preservation, turn its back on her. Left with no choice, Eos must trust the most notorious treasure hunter in the galaxy; a man she finds infuriating, annoying and far too tempting.

Dathan Phoenix can sniff out relics at a stellar mile. With his brothers by his side, he takes the adventures that suit him and refuses to become a lazy, bitter failure like his father. When the gorgeous Eos Rai comes looking to hire him, he knows she’s trouble, but he’s lured into a hunt that turns into a wild and dangerous adventure. As Eos and Dathan are pushed to their limits, they discover treasure isn’t the only thing they’re drawn to…but how will their desire survive when Dathan demands the Mona Lisa as his payment?

About Anna

I'm Anna Hackett and I write action romance stories to thrill you, excite you and leave you inspired. I write about people overcoming unbeatable odds and achieving seemingly impossible goals to inspire you with the truth that the possibility exists for all of us to do the same. I love hearing from fellow action romance lovers! www.annahackettbooks.com

Social Media links: Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Magic Thursday - The Old Religion and Called by Fire

by Delwyn Jenkins


After many years of wandering in the spiritual wilderness, looking for that illusive something that would help me make sense of the world, I stumbled on an introduction to Wicca course. And I finally found my place.

The Old Religion (as I like to call it) is all about trusting the divine, being the best person you can be, and respecting yourself and others (regardless of whether their views align with yours or not). I love the rituals that mark the changing of the seasons and the observances that are older and gentler than most people would expect.

When we conduct a ritual, we cast a circle – creating a sacred space that is protected from outside energies but is open to the Divine. Once the circle is closed (cast) it is lifted into the World Between, a space that takes us above the normal world and closer to the World Above and the domain of the Divine.

And that where Called By Fire was born. My writer imagination began to wonder what it would be like if the World Between was real. Who would live there? What would it look like? What kind of rules would that society have?

I wanted to be able to use modern language (I once wrote an epic fantasy and the language issues drove me nuts) so my heroines come from the normal world. But being a fantasy girl from way back, the normal world doesn’t do it for me, so I made my heroines Dahnan Witches – women born into their power rather than some ordinary chick with a pointy hat and a broom (like me).

And because I’m a fantasy girl, I decided the World Between would be a place of magic where technology is forbidden and the women have to use magic to get things done.

Working in a group of four (air, earth, fire and water) our heroines can magic everything from air-conditioning and running water to a spell to dry their hair (because I can’t live without luxuries, so they shouldn’t have to either).


Then there’s the boys…


When we cast a circle we call in the Guardians of the Watchtower. So, I wondered what the Watchtower would be like. What is the Watchtower that it must have Guardians? Is it a place or a thing? Are they creatures or people?

And so the Knights of the Watchtower were born. Men who died defending a witch, who went to the Summerlands (heaven) to rest, and – when needed – were called back into service to defend and protect the Dahnan in the World Between.

The Witches in my story live in our world, and the Knight must stay in the World Between. So what happens when a Witch and a Knight fall in love? How do they make that work? What other hurdles would they have to conquer?


To find out the answers you’ll have to read Called By Fire (or bail me up at conference and I’ll let you know how it all pans out – I’m always happy to talk. About anything).




Kamryn Vale is a Dahnan Witch who wants nothing more than to complete her studies in the World Between and return to her normal life. But when a sister-witch is murder and another is kidnapped, Kam becomes aware of dark magic so old and sinister it has drifted into myth. Driven by the need to help the investigation, Kamryn must deal with the complications of working with the mysterious Watchtower Knights.


After two hundred years in exile, the Knights have been invited back to protect the Witches in the Collegium. They can't afford any mistakes, and Alex knows his attraction for the fire Witch has trouble written all over it. With one eye on the investigation, and the other on Kamryn, Alex must balance his obligation to duty with the needs of his heart.



Buy link: Momentum




Delwyn Jenkins likes radical career changes. After serving in the Australian Navy for ten years (and being exceptionally disciplined) she switched to full-time university Arts student (where getting out of bed before 11am proved traumatic). She has worked as a teacher, an editor, and now writes full time a career she plans to stick with for as long as anyone wants to read her stories.

Delwyn is also an avid reader and movie-goer, an average bellydancer, and a disinterested cook. She lives on the beautiful south-east coast of Australia where the changeable weather suits her mercurial nature.



You can find Delwyn online at 




Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Good News Day


Welcome to this week's good news
coming to you by Cassandra L Shaw



BOOK COVERS & RELEASE DATES


Khloe Wren has Sapphire Angel

(Book 1 Gemstone Vampires Trilogy)
out now with Rogue Phoenix Press




Vampires are real...as is the fact they will only ever take one women. Their Eternal Bride.

When Angelo sees Darcy, he knows she is his Bride. Her sapphire blue eyes match his exactly. But he must wait to claim her. He fears he has lost her forever when she disappears.

Five years pass before he finds her again. Just when things start heating up between them, Darcy is taken by their enemies. Angelo must fight to free his one true love. Will he be in time?

Buy Link:  amazon  and trailer  


Check out the Blog Hop for Sapphire Angel

April 7:   Reviews by Crystal
April 7:   Long and Short Reviews
April 8:   fuonlyknew ~ Laura's Ramblins and Reviews
April 9:   Booklover Sue
April 10: Musings and Ramblings
April 11: Room With Books






Shona Husk has Sex with Strings 
series out in print






Sex with Strings series is out in print. (cover attached)

Four Vampires, one rock band. What happens on tour doesn't always stay on tour. The ancient vampire musicians of Lucinda's Lovers specialize in one-night stands with rock groupies, but sometimes backstage quickies turn into passionate nights and long-term lovers. Includes: Kissing Phoenix, Tasting Thanatos, Sharing Sirius, Enchanting Absinthe

Find it here: 



Cathleen Ross has Ruby's Fantasy
out in April with Harlequin Escape 








From Cathleen Ross comes a naughty-but-nice story about the fun one can have playing dress-up.
When Ruby follows up a distress call from her twin, she is plunged into her sister’s sexy secret life. Here she meets the gorgeous Jake Steele, who awakens the passionate nature she has always suppressed. But now that she’s discovered the delights of love, will she be able to return to the small town life she had before?


find out more:

Cathleen Ross
Amazon
Escape







Sale:

Mel Teshco, Denise Rossetti and Shona Husk have sold ES Siren, a sexy sci-fi series, to Momentum. Each author has been contracted for 2 books.






~~~
More Good News next week!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Magic Thursday: Surprise - I'm a Wolf!


by Leisl Leighton



One of the questions people ask when they find out I’m a writer is, ‘Do you plot out the story before you sit down to write?’ My answer is a profound ‘Noooo’. I am absolutely not a plotter. I usually have a scene or character in my head that keeps playing over in my dreams or speaking to me until I have to write it down. Sometimes those scenes grow into something and sometimes they don’t, but it is as much of a world of discovery for me as the writer as it is for a reader when they sit down to read and enjoy a book.

When I sat down to write Dark Moon, I had a scene playing in my head of two people meeting on a ski slope – one having smashed into the other and taken them for a tumbling toboggan-style ride until they stopped, arms and legs a tangle, bodies aligned in a more than friends kind of way. It was a scene that kept playing in my dreams, one of ice cold snow against heated skin and astoundingly blue eyes revealed with a sexy lift of goggles. It was a scene that would not leave me alone – so of course I had to write it down and see where it led me.

It had all the feel of a sexy contemporary romance and so I started writing it as such. But my characters and plot had other ideas.

My hero, Jason, kept on growling low in his throat and was given to animalistic actions, like being far too aware of scent and skin to skin contact. And then, astonishingly, he turned into a wolf.

I almost fell off my chair when this happened. It was so unexpected. Although, when I read back what I had written, I could see quite clearly that it wasn’t unexpected at all. The seeds of it had been playing throughout every scene. But if he was a wolf, what did this mean to my story and the other characters? My heroine? Was she a wolf too? Most definitely not. Skye had her own deep dark secret that turned my story from being a werewolf story into something quite different.

Skye was a bit more coy and reticent to show me her secret, unlike Jason. But I think that was partly because she really didn’t want to face it herself. But when the blue fire erupted from her fingertips in one scene, she could hide it no longer. She was a Witch. And her powers were exactly what Jason needed to save his people, if only he could persuade her to use them.

The simple scene had morphed into a story about an age old pact and an ancient curse. It was darker and full of a vibrant history that I’d had no idea about when I started. It certainly wasn’t the sexy contemporary story I’d had in mind to write – it was something far more involved and intricate, still incredibly sexy and sensual, but with a plot arc that would play out over a series, not just one book. The redrafting process made me focus on the story and journey my characters were trying to tell me from the start, but I was just too ignorant to see at first. And that’s how it became Dark Moon, the first in the Witch-Were Chronicles.


Non-writers often think I’m a little crazy when I tell them my characters tell me what to write, but I don’t think it’s crazy. It’s just my process and it’s one I’m glad I follow. I love the discovery, the wondering what comes next, the surprise of ‘hey, I’m a wolf’. And I wouldn’t write any other way.

~~~


Lately, Skye Collins has been unable to shake the feeling that she's being watched. After a lifetime spent hiding her true nature, she knows that any unusual attention is something to be wary of. And the only attention she's been receiving lately is from the intense and attractive Jason McVale.

Jason claims to know things about Skye that can't be true, and it's obvious he's hiding secrets of his own. Yet despite herself, Skye can't resist the attraction between them, and her surrender will set in motion a chain of events that will have consequences for everyone she holds dear.

Gradually, Jason convinces Skye that she has to trust him if she is to solve the riddle of her past and learn the truth about her power. But believing Jason means that her entire life has been based on a lie.

As her enemies gather strength and the danger increases, Skye is forced to accept who she really is. Will she risk everything and fight for those she loves? Or save herself and let them be destroyed by the forces of darkness?







Buy links for Dark Moon




Leisl is a tall red head with an overly large imagination. As a child, she identified strongly with Anne of Green Gables. A voracious reader and a born performer, it came as no surprise to anyone when she did a double major in English Literature and Drama for her BA, then went on to a career as an actor, singer and dancer, as well as script writer, stage manager and musical director for cabaret and theatre restaurants (one of which she co-owned and ran for six years).

After starting a family Leisl stopped performing and instead, began writing the stories that had been plaguing her dreams. Leisl's stories have won and placed in many competitions in Australia and the US, including the STALI, Golden Opportunities, Heart of the West, Linda Howard Award of Excellence, Touch of Magic and many others.

Leisl lives in the leafy suburbs of Melbourne with her two beautiful boys, lovely hubby, overly spunky dog, Buffy, and likes to spend time with family and friends. She sometimes sings in a choir and works as a swim teacher in her day-to-day job.

Leisl writes paranormal fantasy and romantic suspense.



You can follow Leisl and find out more about her and her books on her website: www.leislleighton.com | Facebook | Goodreads |  Twitter @LeislLeighton



Wednesday, April 9, 2014

A Bite Of... World Change


This fortnight it is always a pleasure to welcome Maggie Mundy with A Bite Of... World ChangeBook One in the Earthbound Series.


Can you, in less than five words describe your book?
World Change is time travel renaissance, vampire, romance, gypsies.


Who is your favourite character in this book? Who would you get to play your hero?

Trevi is my favourite character.

Alex Pettyfer he might be a bit young but he has that haunted look about him. He is a vampire but the only one that exists in his world. Clare, the heroine from Earth knows more about vampires than he does. He battles with his bloodsucking side of his personality and wants to be like everyone else.


What inspired you to write it?
I did a writing session at a local speculative fiction group and came up with the concept. I like the idea of someone reading vampire books and then getting transported to another world where they really exist. It was also messing with the idea that if Clare comes back to Earth she will make myth a reality here.

And here's the snippet!

In the light of the room she could see what Trevi looked like. He had wavy brown hair, blue eyes and a somewhat angular pale face, a sad face. Then she thought about what he looked like when his blue eyes turned white. Fangs. Remember, this guy has fangs.

"Please help yourself. Hyfa, prepared this food for you, but we were uncertain what you eat in your world. I hope this is acceptable."

Hyfa placed the tray down beside her on the bed, bowed and left. Clare looked at the food. It was fruit bread and milk, which made her think she needed to be more imaginative in future dreams. Trevi moved a chair beside the bed.

I'd like to take this opportunity to properly introduce myself. I am Trevi Foveae. You are in my home. I took the privilege of bringing you here last night when you were unwell."

She was having none of this. Then she remembered something he had said.

"What do you mean? In my world."

"You are like the offworlder who was brought through the portal for High Priestess Sari. From your appearance, I assumed you were sisters."

"I have a sister, Tina." Clare's stomach was starting to feel like it had a rat chewing away. What was going on here?

"I feared as much, I'm so sorry for your loss, Clare."

"What loss? What are you talking about?" Clare didn't like where this conversation was going. She didn't want to lose Tina, even in a dream.

"Your sister is dead. High Priestess Sari needs the life of offworlders to survive. Your sister was sacrificed."

"That's not funny, Tina isn't dead, this is a dream and you're not real. You're a vampire, and vampires don't exist except in myth. You were created to show how the aristocracies were bleeding the peasants dry. Not really bleeding them dry. How did you know my name?"

Clare looked at the room. The food, everything around her appeared real. She needed to wake up now. Grabbing the glass from beside the bed, she smashed it on the tray and scraped it across the palm of her hand. The pain hit immediately as beads of blood formed along the cut.

This wasn't meant to happen; she was meant to wake up. This felt too real, and what was even more real was the look on Trevi's face. His pupils were almost colorless and he opened his mouth in a snarl to reveal fangs. He was on top of the bed crouching above her. It was difficult to see anything of the man who had spoken to her a moment before. He bent down and laid his face next to hers. His cheek cool against hers. As he straddled across her middle, he grabbed her injured hand. Holding it to his mouth, he licked the blood away. Clare fought him and pulled away but he held on tight. Her hand was stinging but when he moved his head away, it was healed. As quickly as he had jumped on the bed, he was gone across the room and crouched in a corner.

He may have healed her but she needed to get away. Clare glanced at the door wondering if her equilibrium had restored itself enough to not pass out before she made her escape. The room spun as she tried to leave the bed, and she felt the bile rise in her throat. Her knees hit the floor as she started to throw up.

Trevi was beside her within seconds, holding a bowl for her to empty her stomach contents into. He held her hair out of the way as he rubbed her back. Vomiting had never felt so real before. She was shaking from head to toe. When the heaving stopped, she tried to get her thoughts back together. One minute he was trying to bite her, the next he was helping her. This couldn't be happening; she must have had an accident last night. Maybe she had fallen off the balcony when she had gone to find Tina. Maybe she was in a coma in an intensive care unit.

She had read books where the hero is fatally sick and believes they are in another world. She glanced at her body. She was wearing a white cotton nightgown she didn't recognize. She peered sideways at Trevi, his face full of concern. He picked her up and placed her back on the bed.

"I fear I've caused your discomfort yet again. My behavior was unacceptable. I offer no excuses except your blood. It's so different. I'm sorry. As to how I know your name, your sister appeared to me after she died and told me to find you. She said you would follow."

Her hand still stung. It had healed but the mark remained. She touched the raised area, it was tender. If the wound was real and what was around her was real, then what Trevi had told her was true too. Both she and Tina had always had an ability to know when the other was ill or worried. Once Tina had been in Sydney on a holiday when Clare had known something was wrong. Tina had been admitted to the hospital with a ruptured ovarian cyst. She tried to feel within herself for any sign of some pain coming from her sister. There was nothing.


If you would like to know more about Maggie and her work, check out the links below.



Thanks!


Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Good News Day



Welcome to this week's good news
coming to you by Cassandra L Shaw




BOOK COVERS & RELEASE DATES


J.M. Bray has Mending The Shroud

the exciting sequel to Tearing the Shroud is coming July 1, 2014


Once again Escape Publishing did an amazing job on the artwork and tying the two books together visually. JM is hard at work on the third book, so keep a lookout for it.

When you’ve learned to take possession in stride, love should be easy. Right? It might be if your life and the lives of people you loved weren’t threatened by an invasion of monsters.



Vincent thought saving the world once was a challenge, he didn’t figure on retribution putting a price on his head. It means college takes a back seat again as he’s possessed by Coleman to fight a new battle with the Kafla. But this time he’s not alone, Jule, the woman he loves is also is possessed.



Together they hope to stave off the invasion and take the fight to the Realm, where only a supreme sacrifice can Mend the Shroud and save their worlds.



Buy book one, Tearing the Shroud on Amazon



Connect with J.M. Bray:









Nicole Murphy's Dream of Asarlai Trilogy

is now available in electronic omnibus.


An exciting Urban Fantasy trilogy full of intrigue, action and a hint of romance.

For centuries, the gadda have worked to keep their identity secret from the rapidly expanding human race. All this is now at risk - the most terrible of gadda teachings, the Forbidden Texts, have been stolen and the race is on to find them. Asarlai believes the gadda should rule the world, and she will risk everything, and everyone, to achieve her ambition. As the body-count mounts, Asarlai finds a powerful ally and the pressure builds to stop her and retrieve the Forbidden Texts before she can change the world forever. Join Maggie Shaunessy, Ione Gorton and Hampton Rouke on their quests to save what is dear to them ... and the world as they know it. Praise for Nicole Murphy: 'engaging' DAILY TELEGRAPH 'compelling' KIWI REVIEWS 'fresh and interesting approach to an urban fantasy series' Bookseller+Publisher 'a rollicking romp through the space where romance and fantasy collide'
The Courier-Mail


AmazoniPad | Kobo

Connect with Nicole on her website



Delwyn Jenkins has Called by Fire

her debut release from Momentum coming out on 22nd April  2014

Kamryn Vale is a Dahnan Witch who wants nothing more than to complete her studies in the World Between and return to her normal life. But when a sister-witch is murder and another is kidnapped, Kam becomes aware of dark magic so old and sinister it has drifted into myth. Driven by the need to help the investigation, Kamryn must deal with the complications of working with the mysterious Watchtower Knights.

After two hundred years in exile, the Knights have been invited back to protect the Witches in the Collegium. They can't afford any mistakes, and Alex knows his attraction for the fire Witch has trouble written all over it. With one eye on the investigation, and the other on Kamryn, Alex must balance his obligation to duty with the needs of his heart.


You can find more on Delwyn on her website.









Saturday, April 5, 2014

Darklight On... Mel Teshco

Today's Darklight On is... Mel Teshco.
Welcome, Mel!



How did you come to write speculative fiction? What attracted you to the genre?

I think I kind of fell into it after being determined to write for the sexy line of harlequin but realizing my ‘voice’ was probably more suited to other genres. I dabbled around with a story that kind of formed from nowhere, and which won and finalled in some overseas contests many years ago (probably 7 or 8 years). That was my learning book – which incidentally looks like it’s found a home with a publisher at last lol! (with a great many rewrites) But werewolves and vampires always held an appeal to me.



Are you a plotter? Pantser? Or somewhere in-between?

I’m a pantser, but have refined my ways a little over the years so I’m not stumbling around too much at any given point. Once I write the opening scene I see in my head and I’ve kinda reached that point where everything stops flowing, I usually summarize the next scene, which sometimes includes the dialogue that comes to me too. It makes for a faster book.


Do you have a favourite of your characters?

Seriously, all my characters are my favourites, but I do love my h/h from my Alien Hunger series, Galactic Inferno (book 2). They both seemed to gel perfectly together.



What are you currently working on?

I’m working on a futuristic sci fi continuity series with two other Aussie writers. It’s a great learning experience and I’m loving the stories. I’ve also started a new Alien Hunger book (Galactic Blaze) and a couple of other short stories.



What is your favourite part of the process of writing?

When you read the story or even the scene and think, “Did I really write that? That’s damn good!” (as opposed to the days you feel as though you hate every word).

What can we expect from Mel Teshco in the future?

Hopefully longer length single title stories (with not quite so much sex) where the readers have more time to sink into the meat of the plot and travel the journey alongside the characters. Mind you, I’ll still be writing erotic novellas too.


Who are your favourite authors?

I don’t read a lot of Stephen King anymore, but you’re almost guaranteed to enjoy whatever you pick up of his. I’ve enjoyed J.R Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood series, but most particularly her earlier works. Loved Kresley Cole’s Poison Princess – but then I’ve been loving YA books lately.


What are you currently reading?

Die Trying by Lee Child



Do you have a favourite spec fiction movie or TV series?

Can’t go past Avatar! But so many – Terminator (all of them), The Matrix, I Am Legend, The Walking Dead. (does Dexter count? LOL)



Do you have advice for emerging writers?

Don’t follow the trends, write what you love to read and what speaks to you. Enter comps and get CP’s until you know your work is good enough to publish. It may take some years, but the apprenticeship is everything =)

~~~

Thanks, Mel Teshco!







Blurb to Seducing the Huntress:

She wants to kill him. He wants to possess her body and give her ultimate pleasure.


Isabella suffered an unimaginable loss at the teeth and claws of a vicious nightmix. She grew up wanting nothing more than to hunt and kill every last shape shifting black panther in the kingdom.


What she doesn’t expect is to go from hunter to hunted. Never expects to be captured by the nightmix monster, Reuben, and taken to his cabin, where he plays her body like a finely tuned instrument. Their erotic connection is explosive, but Reuben is the enemy.


Or is he...



Buy Links: Jasmine Jade (Ellora's Cave Site)   Amazon   B&N

Contact the Author:     Website      Blog      Facebook      Twitter: @melteshco