2017 covers

The Black Tide
The Black Tide
Cloud Door
Fate in the Sun
Chasing Taz
Silver Reaper
The Starman's Arrival
Ashes Reborn
Beta’s Mark
Secrets at Wongan Creek
Freeman's Choice
Blood Chance
The Years of Voyage
Just a Dinosaur
Necessary Alpha
Fighting Mac
Exclusive
Taken by the Desert Sheikh
Alien Resistance
The Stars to Guide

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Good News Day!

Welcome to the DarkSider good news post for the week...



Series Title

Mel Teshco
Galactic Burn, now has a series title: Alien Hunger.




Flash Fiction

Eleni Konstantine
The Magician was published on the Flashes in the Dark site on the 28th May.





Reviews

Nicola E. Sheridan
Magical Gains received a lovely review from Strange Candy Reviews. Part of the review follows:

"Magical Gains is a different paranormal romance, a nice change from the usual. I really enjoyed the story, and thought the idea of a tax on magical creatures and the like a great idea. It make's you think how would all us normal people react the having the extraordinary 'come out', so to speak. Magical Gains get really interesting when they end up in a Free Zone, where magic isn't policed. Primrose finds herself in a spot of bother with some Satyrs. Then we meet Imran's brother and find out about their dark past.
If you're looking for something inventive and new in the PNR genre then give Magical Gains a go. It's a fresh, funny, fantastic read with a healthy dose of sexy thrown in. I can't wait for the second book in the series, Magical Creations. I give it 3.5/5."

Releases

Janni Nell
South of Salem, book Two of the Allegra Fairweather Mystery series, was released on May 30th from Carina Press.




...& Cover

Shona Husk
Tasting Thanatos was released by Ellora's Cave on May 27th. And here's the cover.





~~~

Congratulations, everyone.
Please join us next week for some more good news.

~~~

P.S. forgot to add on the Weekly Overview. 
For those who live in Adelaide - Keri Arthur will be at two book signings on Friday 3rd June - Castle Plaza Books (Edwardstown)  at 1pm, and Dymocks Adelaide at 3.30pm.



Sunday, May 29, 2011

Weekly Overview

Coming up this week...


Tues 31st May
Good News Day


Wed 1st June
Winner announced for Amanda Ashby's Fairy Bad Day


Thur 2nd
Magic Thursday -  Nicole Murphy with giveaway, Rogue Gadda    


Sat 4th
Darklight On… H.C. Brown












What's Up...



  • Eleni had a post about going to see Wicked and had some dark art showcased. 
  • Rowena has brain fry after turning in her trilogy.


~~~
Have a great week.


Saturday, May 28, 2011

Darklight On...Wendy Godding

Due to unforeseen circumstances, this Darklight On will be postponed to a later date.

In the meantime, here's just a snippet about Wendy.



Name: Wendy Godding

Writes: Young Adult Romance with a paranormal bent.

Agent: Julia Churchill, The Greenhouse Literary Agency

Blog: http://wendygodding.blogspot.com

Member of Romance Writers of Australia.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Magic Thursday Giveaway - Fairy Bad Day




Yay, it's so nice to be here on Magic Thursday, not just because I love Thursdays (though I do) but also because I love magic. For as long as I can remember, I've believed that magic is real. The weird thing is that when pressed, I have no answer as to why I believe in something that exists beyond science and explanation, I just do.

Perhaps it's because I grew up on a steady diet of Tolkien, Raymond E Fiest, Anne McCaffrey, Marion Zimmer Bradley and Ursula LeGuin? Or maybe it's because sometimes the real world seems unfair and cruel and the idea of magic existing just makes me feel better. Or, there is a slim chance that I believe in it because I secretly want to wake up one day with some kind of special power (I'm thinking Karma God would be kinda cool!)

But whatever the reason, all I know is that regardless of what boring proof people try and show me, I will always believe that there is something extra in this world!

And because it wouldn't be Magic Thursday without a giveaway, I'm going to put a copy of my upcoming YA novel, Fairy Bad Day up for grabs. To be in with a chance to win, all you need to do is tell me what kind of magical powers that you would secretly like to have (and why).

Fairy Bad Day is my third published novel and it comes out in the US on the 9th of June and in Aust/NZ on the 27th of June. And while there isn't much magic in this book, there are a lot of skittles, not to mention invisible fairies, pointy swords and a cute hero on crutches!

Here is a small blurb about it and you can find more over at my website.

While most students at Burtonwood Academy get to kill demons and goblins, fifteen-year-old Emma gets to rid the world of little annoying fairies with glittery wings and a hipster fashion sense. She was destined to be a dragon slayer, but cute and charming Curtis stole her spot. Then she sees a giant killer fairy - and it's invisible to everyone but her! If Emma has any chance of stopping this evil fairy, she's going to need help. Unfortunately, the only person who can help is Curtis. And now, not only has he stolen her dragon-slayer spot, but maybe her heart as well! Why does she think it's going to be a fairy bad day?

"The exciting plot, humor throughout—often provided by the little fairies—and relatively innocent romance between characters will grab readers and keep them involved. " Kirkus Reviews

"In a fun mashup of the modern and the magical, Ashby (Zombie Queen of Newbury High) creates nicely developed characters and supports them with strong plotting and zippy writing. Laced with humor, danger, and romance, this book will have readers smiling all the way to the last page." Publisher's Weekly


Amanda Ashby

Fairy Bad Day ~ Puffin 9th of June 2011
Sophie's Mixed-Up Magic #1 Wishful Thinking ~ Puffin Summer 2012
Sophie's Mixed-Up Magic #2 In a Bind ~ Puffin TBA
Sophie's Mixed-Up Magic #3 Out of Sight ~ Puffin TBA
Demonosity ~ Puffin Spring 2013

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Winner of "Three Wishes"

The winner of a digital copy of Three Wishes from last week's Magic Thursday is

LINDA!!!

The draw was very scientific with scraps of paper and eyes closed lucky dip :)

Hope you enjoy the story, Linda. I think you left an email addy, so I'll drop you a line and you can choose your preferred format, epub or pdf.

Thanks, everyone, for sharing my happiness at the release of Three Wishes.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Good News Day!

Welcome to this week's Good News....

Reviews


Mel Teshco
Moon Thrall received a 4 hoot good review from Nocturne Romance Reads.

"At the start of Moon Thrall, I didn’t like Elyse’s character. She was weak, and way too cautious, but after reading more, all that faded away. Anyone would have acted the way Elyse had if they had been trapped under Caleb Marsden, Elyse’s ex-fiancé, for the past five years.
Once Elyse changes into a werewolf for the first time, and meets Dane, there is no slowing this book down. I was amazed by Elyse’s transition, how she gave herself over to her animal instincts emotionally, physically, mentally, and sexually. Moon Thrall is a fun ride through the Australian Outback you will not soon forget."



H.C. Brown
Gabrielle over at The Romance Studio, gave Hawke's Purr-fect Seduction, 5 lovehearts.

"Hawke is a prince of the Knight Watch who finds his mate at the latest Scenting but she is determined to refuse him. Lydia is part Fae and part Pride. She sees herself as deformed and no matter how much she craves to be with Hawke she will not disgrace him. When their land is attacked, Hawke must fight to protect their people but when he is captured Lydia must decide if she is willing to follow her head or her heart. Can Lydia save Hawke before it is too late or will she run and hide? I love the princes of the Knight Watch and Hawke is one of my favourites. I am so glad he found his mate and got his story told. Hawke is a great man who loves with all his heart. He cares for everyone and will do anything to protect them and when he finds Lydia he will stop at nothing to claim her. Lydia loves just as strongly and is a fierce woman that just needs a bit of faith and courage and Hawke is just the man to give it to her. The two make a beautiful couple. Add in Nox the king of the Fae and the couple becomes a ménage that is full of love and emotion that no one can tear apart. I really enjoyed seeing the relationship develop not only between Hawke and Lydia but also with Nox. Each character stands strong on their own but together they are a wonderful unit.
H. C. Brown pulls the reader into the wondrous world of the Prides and the Fae in this book. I was hooked right from the start of this story and kept turning the pages to see what would happen next. I cannot wait to see which of the princes will be next to find his mate."



Competitions

Bec Skrabl
Bec won the Winter Rose paranormal category



Naming series

Amanda Ashby
The mid-grade books will have the series name, Sophie's Mixed-Up Magic. It will begin with Wishful Thinking.



Releases


Nicole E. Sheridan
The latest Metior magazine (issue 3) is now out throughout Perth, with Nicola's column From Battle Axes to Bodice Rippers. 





Keri Arthur
Mercy Burns, book two of the Myth and Magic series, is out in Australia!




Jenny Schwartz
The third novella in the Out of the Bottle series, Three Wishes, was released on May 23rd.




New York Times

Keri Arthur
Mercy Burns hit the NYT extended list at 21 in it's first week out. Yep, that's just one off the main list. And was at 24 for a second week.




Covers

Nicole Murphy
Here's another lovely cover for Nicole's third book in The Dream of Asarlai series, Rogue Gadda



(Psst... Nicole will be here next week on Magic Thursday, with a copy to giveaway)


~~~

Congratulations, everyone!
I love seeing the good news come in. See you next week with some more.




Sunday, May 22, 2011

Weekly Overview

Coming up this week...


Tues 24th May
Good News Day



Wed 25th
Winner announced for Jenny Schwartz's Three Wishes


Thur 26th
Magic Thursday -  Amanda Ashby with giveaway, Fairy Bad Day



Sat 28th
Darklight On… Wendy Godding












What's Up....

  • This week is the start of a new feature - where are DarkSiders have been (or will be) during the week. 

  • Welcome to our latest DarkSider, Maggie Mundy.


  • Kylie has done a FAQ on her blog, and an blog post on deep POV.




  • Jenny has been interviewed over at Christine Bell's blog.




Saturday, May 21, 2011

Darklight On...Paula Roe: Q&A

Today's Darklight On... is with Paula Roe. Welcome, Paula!



Paula, you write for Silhouette Desire, but you are drawn to speculative fiction. What attracted you to the genre?

Growing up with Narnia books and Doctor Who, Blakes 7 and Star Trek on the telly, I’ve always loved that ‘other worldly’ stuff. But it’s only been in the last ten years or so, when I need to ‘replenish the author well’ outside the category genre, that I’ve gotten into spec fic. In particular, the UF genre which is exciting and fresh and unconstrained by anything except the author’s imagination. Thank you Laurel K Hamilton, Keri Arthur, Rachel Vincent, Maria V Snyder, Jennifer Armintrout... <g>


Please tell us a little about your road to publication. 
Gosh, it was looong and paved with yummy goodies that turned sour when you ate ‘em ;-) Years and years of writing, submitting, getting knocked back. Seeing my fellow writers getting published and wondering when it’d be my turn, dammit. And entering contests, let’s not forget those – all 90 (or so) of them. They were good for me because it forced me to write to a deadline (and I suck at self-made deadlines). They also got me in front of an editor in the year of 2006, when I had a bunch of contest wins and placings doing all sorts of good things. I got The Email in September 2006, and my first Desire, Forgotten Marriage, came out in September 2007.


Your most recent release is Promoted to Wife? Can you tell us a little about it? 

I loved writing this story (well, moreso than the others <g>) It’s part office romance, part good girl/bad boy, part makeover story. Zac Prescott is a dream, less alpha than all my other heroes, and Emily is every-girl, worrying about love, weight, appearance, work... I loved writing their dialogue, loved their conflict and loved my secondary characters (especially Emily’s sister AJ, who really does threaten to steal every scene!) I’m particularly chuffed Romantic Times described their relationship as ‘sizzle and burn’ <g>


Are you a plotter? Pantser? Or somewhere in-between? 
Hahahahaha! Sorry, just had to do that because for me, I’m a little of everything. But mainly, I’m a scener (meaning I write the scenes then string them together into a cohesive, understandable way) but I also need a plan, first for my editor, second for me because my flighty Gemini personality would have me standing in the middle of my office yelling “where the hell is this story going? What am I doing? Why, God, WHY?!!!” if I didn’t. I love discovering new ways of writing that make the tedious bits easier and I’m thrilled to share some of those discoveries in my upcoming workshops this year.

Do have a favourite of your characters? 
Generally, the ones I’m writing now.  J  But as I’m kinda over them right now (the familiarity/contempt thing) I’m currently fascinated with Arrik, a dark and tortured noble warrior who features in my erotic- off-world-alternate-fantasy story.


What are you currently working on? 
Heaps! (the Gemini thing again). My tortured warrior story, plus a couple of erotic novellas – an historical set in 1872 Naxos with a sexy Greek and a repressed English widow, and a contemporary which features a hit man and woman who must play a bunch of bedroom games to carry out their job. Plus, I have a June 1 deadline for my next Desire which will hopefully be the first in a three-book series. Interestingly, this is a story I originally wrote over 15 years ago :-D Sure, it’s changed a lot since then, but the premise is kind of the same. And it’s interesting to see how much I’ve learned in those years! Oh, and I’m waiting on feedback for a secret project I’m hoping my editor will like...


What is your favourite part of the process of writing? 
The character charts – I love figuring out who my people are and what makes them tick. The next best part is handing in my line edits, which means everyone is happy with the story and I can finally kick it out of the nest <g>. I’m okay with the “The End” but not truly ecstatic because I always need to do more work after that!


What can we expect from Paula Roe in the future? 
More books! We’re talking waaaay in the future, right? ;-) Hopefully something completely different in the spec fic area. Or an historical or two (my very first love). Or maybe that Young Adult body switch idea that just simply won’t go away...


Who are your favourite authors? 
I like to share the love with many, many authors, both for their writing skills and their wonderful generosity and friendship. ;-) Keri Arthur, Anna Campbell, Kelly Hunter, Bron Jameson. And ones I admire from afar – Suzanne Collins, Michael Grant, Jennifer Rardin, Vicki Pettersson, Sarah Mlynowski, Sophie Kinsella, Jennifer Wiener and the aforementioned above.


What are you currently reading? 
I’ve just discovered Vicki Pettersson and Jeaniene Frost, so I’m totally involved in those.


Do you have a favourite spec fiction movie or tv series? 
Waaaay too many! ADORE Firefly and Serenity, TrueBlood. Loved Moonlight and Charmed. Oh, the recent Star Trek movie (I can haz the forbidden Spock love!). And from the UK, Life on Mars, Afterlife, Being Human and the hilariously dark Misfits. Oddly, I’m not a Supernatural fan, nor a Buffy watcher (yet). 




Do you have advice for emerging writers? 
Learn and grow. Don’t be too precious about your work because we all suck at some stage. Read, go to conferences, attend workshops, ask questions and understand what your strengths and weaknesses are. And develop a thick skin!

~~~
You can visit Paula on her website, her blog,
follow her on Facebook and Twitter.




Thursday, May 19, 2011

Magic Thursday Giveaway -- Three Wishes

Okay, first up. Anyone who leaves a comment on this post goes in the draw to win a digital copy of Three Wishes, my latest Out of the Bottle novella (angels and djinn). And I want someone to win it! So leave comments, I don't care if you're Genghis Khan. Everyone deserves a happy read :)

So with business out of the way, let's get to the heart of the post this Magic Thursday -- villains and Disney simplicity.

When I was growing up, life was easy. All villains wore black hats. Seriously. That's how you knew they were bad. And if they lost their hat they did things like laugh maniacally or twirl their moustache. *sigh* How simple Disney made it to boo and hiss the villain.

Then I grew up.

And I found the black and white world became much more interesting when I allowed in infinite shades of grey. Disney has no idea what it's missing! Why is a villain bad? Was it his childhood? Was it her last diastrous relationship? What does the hero have to overcome to be good?

Shades of grey intrigue me. They allow character complexity and a chance to recognise our own struggles.

But because nostalgia is so enjoyable, I'm going to end with this question: Who is your favourite childhood villain?

I'm voting for Captain Hook! or maybe the tick-tock crocodile :)

***

She is the Bringer of Death

Cali, a djinni, has sworn to twist the wishes of humans so they die by their own greed and evil. Her latest master is arms dealer David Saqr, a man Cali believes deserves the fate she has in store for him. But this time she finds herself up against Andrew, David's guardian angel.

He is a Protector of Life

Andrew believes David can yet find redemption. He fights Cali for the man's life, even as he tries to persuade her to give in to the sizzling attraction between them. He shows Cali another side of David, and invites her to trust again, to hope. But centuries of being enslaved have hardened Cali's heart--it's going to take all of Andrew's love to convince her to open it and let him in.

from Carina Press


***

You can find Jenny at her website, on Twitter and Facebook and indulging her love of pretty pictures on Tumblr.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Good News Day!

Welcome to this week's Good News....



Covers

Rowena Cory Daniells
Hot on the heels of the release of covers for books one and two of The Outcast Chronicles, comes the third cover, Sanctuary.





Sales

Mel Teshco
Galactic Burn, a short novel, has been accepted by Ellora's Cave.




Releases

Pia Moonglow
Don't Press Enter is released this week by Noble Young Adult Publishing.




~~~
Congratulations to you all. 
Please join us next week for some more good news.



Monday, May 16, 2011

What We Are Reading

Welcome to this month's What We Are Reading Column. Today, we have regular reviewer, C.T Green, Mel Teshco, Nicole Murphy, and Gemma Kettley.

C.T. Green
~ The Darkest Secret ~ Gena Showalter

I’ve been waiting for Gena Showalter to produce the next instalment in her Lords of the Underworld Series.After being pushed back a few months The Darkest Secret finally hit the shelves (and my hot little hands) in late March.

This story features Amun, who has been a rather silent and peripheral character until now. Given that he is possessed by the demon of secrets, it’s not really surprising he doesn’t have much to say, as every time he opens his mouth, he spills everyone’s deepest secrets.

In the previous book in the series Amun is possessed by a legion of demons which means he’s chained to his bed and guarded by a matching set of a dozen or so hot angels (‘cause this is Gena we’re talking about).There’s not a harp in sight, but the very definite threat of instant decapitation should Amun’s new little friends try to make a bid for freedom.

Enter the heroine who’s here to help.

Haidee who we met in the previous books is a Hunter, which equals enemy of the Lords.If that weren’t enough she also killed their best friend, Baden.Though it’s been a couple of millennia, the Lords are still a wee bit annoyed.

It initially appears Haidee is destined for Strider, keeper of the demon of defeat.This leads to a great deal of tension between Amun and Strider, as suspicion about Haidee’s motives (did I mention her status as public enemy number one?) rises, as do, ahem, other things.

Threats abound from all sides and Showalter weaves a complex plot that manages to exonerate everyone except the bad guy – which is just as we like it!Lots of sexual tension and a few unexpected twists, The Four Horseman of the Apocalypse as well as action and angels aplenty make this a great read.If you like the other Lords of the Underworld books then this will keep you very happily entertained.



Mel Teshco


I bought Hush Hush and Marked—both YA books, for my thirteen year olds birthday (amongst other things, teenagers ARE expensive sods *g*) – I think deep down I was being a little selfish, knowing I too would eventually get my mitts on them and spend some time absorbing someone else’s paranormal world *happy sigh*

The first: Hush Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick. (My daughter thought I might enjoy this one more than another book I was about to grab out of her bookshelf—Raised by Wolves) and I really did enjoy this fallen angel book—despite its very mixed reviews.

We see the world through Nora Grey’s eyes, her school, her big old house in the country she lives at with her mother, with its rather spooky long dark road she drives every day in her little bug. Though I found some of the plot a little too contrived—the teacher ensuring she sits with the dark and brooding Patch, the roller coaster ride that is funnily enough called Archangel—I still ate this story up and really enjoyed the simplistic and elegant writing style Becca weaves. (Yes, I am a little over the complex worlds and plots of some adult books).

I won’t reveal too much of the plot, but I have to say the pacing was spot on, with enough mild action to keep me interested. My biggest gripe—the hero’s name, Patch. It pulled me up far too many times. I kept imagining him breaking out with “ahoy me maties!”

I would give this novel 4.5 stars (5 stars on Goodreads).


The second: Marked by P.C. and Kristin Cast. I’ve just finished this book and thought it was great reading—again, despite the mixed reviews. We are in 16 year old Zoey Redbird’s world now. Her life is on track, well...aside from her jock boyfriend who imbibes a little too much liquor and her best friend who turns out to be...not so best.

The author drags the reader into a story where vampires (vampyres) not only exist, but live alongside the human population. Of course, there is nothing much more horrific than suddenly being ‘marked’ by a creature and becoming an outcast from the human world. Unfortunately Zoey’s mum is ruled by Zoey’s stepdad and abides by his demands that her own daughter be locked in her room until the religious fanatics sort her out. Zoey escapes to her Cherokee grandmother’s house. One thing leads to another, and Zoey finds herself in Vampyre school where the usual pecking order exists and jealousy abounds as the cool guy shows interest and Zoey very quickly jumps through the ranks with her special powers.

I gave this book 4 stars on Goodreads.



Nicole Murphy


On the weekend, I polished off More Scary Kisses from Ticonderoga Press. This is the follow-up to last year's fabulous Scary Kisses. The two are anthologies of paranormal romance (although the stories are not always romance in the genre sense - more romantic elements). And here's the disclaimer - I have a story in both the anthologies.

More Scary Kisses does some interesting things. I think it really showcases what people are finding hot in paranormal at the moment - particularly taking vampires and werewolves into different time frames. It also showcases a real range of the writing - there's lighter and darker, some very action focussed, others with sumptuous language and exquisite touches.

Particularly, I'd recommend the stories by two of Australia's best dark fantasy/horror writers - Jason Nahrung and Kirstyn McDermott (who also happen to be husband and wife). Beautifully written, poignant and at times confronting - wonderful stories.


Also, I have to give a shout-out to a fellow Darksider - I recently finished Death's Sweet Embrace by Tracey O'Hara, the follow-up to her fabulous Night's Cold Kiss. Tracey's world is so rich and full of intrigue that it feels incredibly real. I loved that in this book, we had slightly older characters featured in the romance - parents of university-aged girls. She did a wonderful job of the backstory of why these two hadn't been together until now and why it was questionable that they could make it work this time.

Well recommended.


Gemma Kettley

Rachel Caine - Unknown

As a fan of Rachel Caine's other series "The Morganville Vampires" and "Weather Warden" I had high hopes for this series and I was not disappointed. The first book in this series was Undone and is a must read before reading Unknown due the cliffhanger ending of the first book. As with her other series this is a not stop edge of your seat ride. Cassiel was a Djinn until she had a disagreement with Ashan, the leader of the True Djinn, Now she can only sustain her life through the charity of the Wardens — humans who control aspects of the powers that surround us, such as wind and fire. She is partnered with Luis Rocha, commands the powers of the living Earth. To Living among mortals, the djinn Cassiel has developed a reluctant affection for them-especially for Warden Luis Rocha. As the mystery deepens around the kidnapping of innocent Warden children, Cassiel and Luis are the only ones who can investigate both the human and djinn realms. But the trail will lead them to a traitor who may be more powerful than they can handle. Since reading this book I have found out that Unknown takes place concurrently with Cape Storm which is Book 8 of the Weather Warden Series. Also look at the back of the book of a list of songs that Caine listened to while writing. The only problem I have with any of the Rachel Caine series is the long wait between books.

Jennifer Estep - Spider's Bite

If you are looking for a book that is more about magic and the elements then Vampire or Shapeshifter then give this book a try. Estep combines magic, mystery and murder with a strong heroine who in the eyes of Detective Donovan Caine "is nothing but a cold hearted killer". But as the story progresses you will find out that there are many times when it is she that is the good guy. Gin (aka the Spider) is a feared assassin who also works as a Cook at the Pork Pit which is owned by her handler. When Gin's lastest client decides to tie up any looses end Gin, her handler and his son become the targets. Then when Detective Caine starts to ask to many question his name is added to the list and it is up to Gin to save him then team up to find out the truth. And where would we be with out the many forms of tension between Gin and Caine. Although I am not sure about some of her sandwich combinations I did enjoy this book. With the cliffhanger ending all I can say is it will be interesting to see what is installed for the characters in book two.

Peter V Brett - The Desert Spear

This is the second book in the Demon Series. While the first book "The Painted Man" (also know as The Warded Man) was the story of Arlen (aka The Painted Man or Deliver of the North) whose life is shattered by the demon plague and he is forced to see that it is fear, rather than the demons, which truly cripples humanity. Believing that there is more to his world than to live in constant fear, he leaves the safety of his home to discover a different path. Leesha, a proud and beautiful healer whose skill in warding surpasses that of the Warded Man himself; and Rojer, a traveling fiddler whose uncanny music can soothe the demons - or stir them into such frenzy that they attack one another. "The Desert Spear" starts with the background story of Ahmann Jardir who has proclaimed himself Shar'Dama Ka, the Deliverer, and he carries ancient weapons - a spear and a crown - that give credence to his claim. Sworn to follow the path of the first Deliverer, he has come north to bring the scattered city-states of the green lands together in a war against demonkind - whether they like it or not. Once Arlen and Jardir were friends and brothers is arms but now they are adversaries. I found that this book didn't seem to flow the same as the first book but it may have been due to the writer putting the pieces in place for the final book. But I am looking forward to seeing how this series ends. If you like David Eddings, Robert Jordan or Raymond E Feist then give this series a try.



~~~



Great reviews, everyone. Thank you.


As of next month, we have the talented Shona Husk bringing you


the What We Are Reading posts. Thank you, Shona.


Sunday, May 15, 2011

Weekly Overview

Coming up this week...


Tues 17th May
Good News Day

Thur 19th
Magic Thursday -  Jenny Schwartz with Three Wishes e-book giveaway

Sat 21st
Darklight On…Paula Roe





Saturday, May 14, 2011

Darklight On...Bec Skrabl: Q&A


Today's Darklight On... is with Bec Skrabl. Welcome, Bec!



How did you come to write speculative fiction? What attracted you to the genre? 
I’ve always loved fantasy and speculative elements. Even back to the days of Enid Blyton’s The Faraway Tree series or Grimm’s Fairytales. Everything I read as a kid had fantastical elements and when I wasn’t reading, I was making up games featuring unicorns and fairies, for example. My sister always says I played the coolest games with her. So when it came time to put pen to paper, the stories were always going to have fantastical elements.

I think I love the world-building the most. The ability to dream yourself into another world and escape for a few hours. Plus, dragons and goblins and faeries are cool. Who wants to read about boring real-life stuff? We’re already living it.



You seem to have taken over from Kylie Griffin as the competition slu...I mean, queen, with you finalling in many contests over the last year or so. What do you find so valuable by entering contests?
This is the second year I’ve hit the contest circuit. Last year I submitted to all of the RWA Australia contests, because I wanted feedback on whether the manuscript was, well, any good. It was a great experience and I learned heaps from the judges about what did and didn’t work.

This year the contest thing has more of a specific goal. I’m only submitting to contests where the final judges are publishers or agents I would like my work in front of (presuming I make it through the first round of course), so mainly RWA America contests, though I have entered the Emerald and the Clendon. It’s also a great way to get your name out there and again, to see how the general readership responds to this new manuscript. Because it’s a new genre for me (steampunk), I was wondering how most readers would warm to it. So far, so good, it seems.

Besides, Michelle (my CP) challenged me for Kylie’s title this year, and I just had to accept. LOL.


Are you a plotter? Pantser? Or somewhere in-between? 
I’m somewhere in between. When the idea first hits me, I have to get it down in as much detail as possible – saying this, I once wrote a 45 page single-spaced synopsis and couldn’t work out why that book never got written. Now I try and hold myself back at about fifteen pages so it doesn’t get too stale. I also write out a blurb (like the back cover copy of a book), because I find that the blurb concentrates on the main conflicts of the book, so its easier for me not to lose track if I go back and glance at it.

Then I start writing. I follow the synopsis for a good three chapters and then the characters start intruding and fleshing themselves out and plot twists pop up that weren’t accounted for. I actually don’t like to know too much about my characters before I start, but they’re fully realized by the time I finish. It’s like I’m slowly unearthing them at the same time as a reader might, and I love what little hints of history and flaws they might reveal. So, in the end, you might say I start out a plotter and end up a pantser, but it seems to work for me.


Do have a favourite of your characters? 
I have a thing for my heroes, the darker the better. The story is always more heroine-centric (her journey anyway), but give me a flawed hero any day. My current favourite is probably Blade, the hero of The Devil of Whitechapel. Born in the gutters and turned into a blue blood by the craving virus, he’s my diamond in the rough. I wanted a hero who wasn’t a duke or vampire master. In fact he doesn’t want power at all. He’s simply a man trying to protect his friends and family from the monsters without... and the monster within.


What are you currently working on? 
I started a steampunk series (Devil of Whitechapel) last October and finished the first manuscript in late January. I’ve got the ideas mapped out for the next two books in the series, but I’ve just started a new series to keep myself fresh. This is my (admittedly rough) blurb for my latest WIP and it’s half paranormal, half erotic.


THE CLAIMING 
Welcome to the world of the Inferi. A sensual world where humans are slaves to the passion of their Inferi masters and pawns in the Courts of Midnight. Where entering this world means you might never want to come back out... 
When Detective Regan Kane’s sister, Darcy, goes missing in New Orleans, she returns home vowing to find her – no matter what the cost. The trail leads to a world she never believed existed, where all the monsters her mother has raved about for years are suddenly real. 
Someone is intent on drawing her into the world of the Courts of Midnight, with their wicked, sexual games. Taking an invite meant for her sister, Regan enters the House of Éros for its annual Claiming Ball; a night where the Inferi choose their new esclavage for the next year and a day. Regan needs an in to this mysterious world but even she is shocked when Theron, one of the Inferi Masters, chooses her. 
Responsible for the death of his previous esclavage, Theron vowed never to take another. But it’s clear that Regan is in over her head amongst this dangerous world and one look in her grey eyes rouses an unusual protectiveness – and a hunger he has denied for far too long. From the bayous of Louisiana to the dazzling glitter of the French Quarter, they must work together to discover the mystery behind Darcy’s disappearance – and the dark threat facing the Inferi world. 


What is your favourite part of the process of writing?
Definitely the first 60,000 words. That’s when the story’s coming at a rapid fire pace and I can’t type quick enough to keep up with it. I’m exploring a new world and I love every twist and turn of it.

Then of course, the dreaded 60,000 hits for me and the shiny new ideas start beckoning. I’m trying not to cheat on my first manuscript, but sometimes I can’t resist playing with something else.


What can we expect from Bec Skrabl in the future? 
Hopefully a publishing contract.


Who are your favourite authors? 
Ilona Andrews, Jim Butcher, Lilith Saintcrow, Meljean Brook, Karen M. Moning and Linnea Sinclair are a few of my paranormal/UF auto-buys.

On the fantasy side of things I love Jacqueline Carey, Robin Hobb, Anne Bishop, George R.R. Martin and Tad Williams.


My absolute fave author in general is Dorothy Dunnett, who wrote the Lymond Chronicles many years ago. I can re-read once or twice a year and still find things she’s layered in. An absolute master in how-to-write and plot.


What are you currently reading? 
I’m currently reading Zoe Archer’s Stranger, the fourth book in her Blades of the Rose series. One of my obsessions is travel, so I just love the fact that the BOTR quartet are set in very different places, rather than the usual America or UK. The first was in Mongolia, the second in Greece, the third in Canada. Stranger is mostly based in the UK, but it features a man of colour who is also an inventor, so I give it points for originality there – how cool is that?



Do you have a favourite spec fiction movie or TV series?
I don’t tend to watch a lot of TV (sob). Last year I was working full-time, travelling to Melbourne twice a week to do a course in tourism and I’d decided to make my writing a priority. Something had to give, and that turned out to be TV – and sleep.

I tend to watch series on DVD with my boyfriend. That’s my little treat. Unfortunately he’s not so into sci-fi/fantasy, so we have to compromise. Though we did recently enjoy the Vampire Diaries, Supernatural’s latest season and I can’t wait for Game of Thrones to hit Oz.

As for movies, old faves include Ladyhawke, the Princess Bride, Willow, LOTR, Pitch Black and Sunshine. Watched Sucker Punch two weeks ago (the steampunk aspects sucked me in) and even though I’m still trying to work out the plot, I loved the visuals. That’s so what goes on in my head when I write. LOL.



Do you have advice for emerging writers? 
There are so many great tips for emerging writers on craft (and most likely said much better than I ever could), but one of the things I read somewhere that really made me think was; this is a business that we’re (hopefully) getting into. The more you know about the business side of things, the better. Study the publishing industry and follow agent and editor blogs, learn what’s selling and what’s not. Even if it’s not information that currently applies, bookmark it for later. I have a huge marketing file that I may never need – but if I do, then I’m going to be prepared. I hate the idea of marketing and promo, but its something that is necessary in this business, so I figure the more I know about it, the better.

I can understand why so many authors warn against the internet being a time suck, but for me, I feel like I’ve learned so much from it in the last two years. Mind you, just make sure you get that word count in FIRST.

Have your dreams, live your dreams, but work for them too. This, for me, means a daily word count and a responsibility to myself for my future career.

A great quote that I have pinned to my desk - ‘Dreamers who only dream, never have their dreams come true’.


Eleni, thanks so much for having me!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Magic Thursday: For Your Eyes Only...

Unfortunately, no give-away today (golly-gosh-darn it!) but definitely a bit of light-hearted fun, gentle readers.

The upside is that you get to look at a swag of hot guys...and they get to look at you!

I've chosen 11 pairs of eyes - all belonging to actors in movies with a paranormal slant - sci-fi, fantasy, futuristic, UF etc.

All you have to do is identify the actor or character/movie they belong to. Some are a tad easier than others, as you'll see (heh, heh!).

Answers are at the bottom of the post. How well did you go? Do you know these eyes by sight?

Actor A







Actor B
Actor C

 
Actor D



Actor E






Actor F
Actor G





 
Actor H
Actor I





Actor J
Actor K






ANSWERS:
A. Hugh Jackman (The Fountain)
B. Brad Pitt/Achilles (Troy)
C. Hugh Jackman (Van Helsing)
D. Andy Whitfield/Spartacus
E. Eric Bana/Nero (Star Trek)
F. Sam Worthington/Marcus (Terminator Salvation)
G. Hugh Jackman (yeah, I have a thing for Hugh, I know...)
H. Sam Worthington/ Jake Sully (Avatar)
I. Johnny Depp/Jack Sparrow (Pirates of the Caribbean)
J. Chris Pine/James T.Kirk (Star Trek)
K. Ioan Grufudd/Lancelot (King Arthur)

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Magic Thursday Giveaway Winner-Shona Husk

The winner for Shona’s e-book from last week was
Gigi (Boyfriend in a Bottle)
Congratulations Gigi!
Please contact me at shona @ shonahusk. com (no spaces)
Thanks to those who commented.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Good News Day!

Welcome to the DarkSider good news for this week...


Reviews

Amanda Ashby
Fairy Bad Day has had a great review from Publisher's Weekly.
"Sophomore Emma Jones has been training at Burtonwood Academy for years, expecting to follow in her late mother's footsteps and become a dragon slayer. Being made a fairy slayer is not in her plans--fairies are harmless and lame ("...the worst she'd ever seen them do was change the food labels at the supermarket"), nearly impossible to kill, and they love taunting her. Worse, she's forced to train with Curtis, the cute guy who took her dragon job. As Emma tries to change the principal's mind about her specialty, an extremely dangerous seven-foot-tall fairy that only she can see shows up. Now Emma needs to figure out where the creature came from, what it wants, how she's going to kill it, and most of all, how it knew her mother. In a fun mashup of the modern and the magical, Ashby (Zombie Queen of Newbury High) creates nicely developed characters and supports them with strong plotting and zippy writing. Laced with humor, danger, and romance, this book will have readers smiling all the way to the last page. Ages 12–up. (June)"

Mel Teshco
Carnal Moon, received a 4 tombstone review from Bitten by Books. Here's a snippet from it:

"Carnal Moon was an exceptional novella. With a lot of paranormal romance, it is not uncommon for me to figure out the path of the plot early and go with the flow until the end, and this book was really no different. I expected the outcome to some extent and was not surprised by the ending of the book. What made this novella different was the characters themselves as they, especially Holly, revealed their turmoil over what was happening in their lives and their inability to do anything about it.
Carnal Moon was sexy, appetizing and decadent — a quick read that will leave you with a feel-good vibe to get you through your day or take away the hum-drums of a bad afternoon. Take a chance and enjoy this brief but spicy read — it will only leave you wanting more."

Jess Anastasi
Severence was given a 3.5 star (out of 4) from Manic Readers.
"Nakita Branson is in a fix. Her intelligence gathering mission has just gone totally wrong— the rest of her team is dead and worst of all, the one person—demon—she never wanted to see again has just saved her life. Alastor, the jerk who abandoned her in her mission to find her friend, Tori. The thing is, he never intended to save her when she was in danger, he was drawn halfway across the universe to protect her. The agreement they made in their first journey together seems to be intact, and he is bound to protect her. And he can’t stand it. So he hauls her off in search of someone, anyone, who can help them break the agreement. But when the sparks begin to fly, unwontedly, between them, will they still have the desire to be parted?"

 Sanctuary was reviewed by Joyfully Reviewed. Here's a snippet from it:


"Although Sanctuary is a well mapped out story, the plot is filled with lots of surprises because the author is very good at not giving anything away.  The only info you’re given is what’s necessary in regards to the human, angel, and demon dynamic and the cause and effect.  It works as a major reason why Tori and A’albiel can’t stand one another and why they can’t (or shouldn’t) become a couple.  All of this makes for good angst as you get to know them better.  There’s enough action to keep the story flowing fast forward, and then unexpectedly, the romance blooms and explodes all over the place until your heart is filled with such warm fuzzy feelings you’ll feel as if you’re going to explode from the warmth flooding your heart by the end.  I didn’t explode, but the warm fuzzies didn’t leave either. The love scenes are sensual with a hint of spice.  I was moved by the sweet tenderness between Tori and A’albiel because the author brings to life here that sex between two people who love one another is an expression of love."

H.C. Brown
Floggers Holiday Sale received a 4.5 heart review from The Romance Studio.

"Floggers' Holiday Sale contains two great books. Two tough Doms find themselves falling for two wonderful subs. Each of the stories revolves around the BDSM club that the Doms belong to. Each man finds a sub he longs to be with and the adventure begins from there.
In the first story we meet Danny who has longed to be Rafe's sub for years now. He has trained and learned to be what Rafe needs. Hoping that when Rafe finally meets with him, the sparks will fly. I really enjoyed Rafe he is a great Dom and he may understand what a sub needs but it seems he needs help in finding just what he needs. After fearing the feelings he starts to have for Danny, Rafe brings another sub home and dismisses Danny's feelings, but when he finds himself on the verge of loosing him Rafe realizes his feelings and fights for them. Danny is a strong man and he is more than willing to give himself over to Rafe. Yet when he finds Rafe with another sub his heart can't take it. Watching the relationship build between the two was a great read.
In the second story we meet Nash and Paul. Nash is a rough Dom who likes things on the edge but Paul is a virgin to not only the scene but in the literal sense as well. Nash is a wonderful Dom always knowing just what his sub wants. The only thing in his way is his ex Damien. Paul may have caught Nash's eye but can he catch his heart as well? Paul is a strong man who loves with all his heart but he can't compete with Nash's past. He tries and gives his heart to Nash but is he enough to make Nash forget Damien? This was an intense read and the bond that forms between these two was really nice.
With wonderful characters and a great storyline this book takes the reader on an emotional roller coaster. I enjoyed the intensity of the relationships and will definitely be looking for more stories from both of these authors."



Covers

Shona Husk
Check out the scrumptious cover for The Goblin King.




Rowena Cory Daniells
The first two covers of The Outcast Chronicles, Besieged and Exile  have been released. Yes, there is a typo on the first one, but these are just too magnificent not to show them off. 







Other News

Nicola E. Sheridan
Nicola is writing a column for the Metior Magazine. The first issue is available online now. 




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Congratulations, ladies!!
Join us next week for some more DarkSider good news.....