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

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Magic Thursday ~ Lost Reaper and Speculative Species with Shelley Russell Nolan





Speculative Species

On the way home from Genrecon my seven year old son asked me why I like zombies. To spare him nightmares I simply replied that I thought they were wonderfully creepy and lots of fun. I certainly couldn’t tell him that I thought they were the ultimate monster, driven by an insatiable hunger for human flesh and relentless in their hunt for it. They have no conscience, no morals, just the need to feed. (For the record, I like my zombies slow and shambling. Those fast ones freak me out.)

My son’s question got me thinking about all the other creatures that populate the speculative fiction worlds that draw me in again and again. Paranormal, extra-terrestrial, supernatural, mythical or magical, I love them all. And I really love how the lines between the worlds can blur. Talented authors are blending more than one species into their stories, mixing the well-known with obscure or totally imagined creatures, turning what I think I know about the speculative fiction world on its head.

While I do have a couple of ideas for zombie stories in my ‘One Day I Will Write This’ folder, I decided to make reapers the focus of my debut urban fantasy ‘Lost Reaper’. When I started writing the first draft, over five years ago, I couldn’t find many books featuring the macabre little suckers. Since then I have seen more than a few popping up but have resisted the temptation to read them until after I have the next two books in the series written.

For ‘Lost Reaper’ I also had to come up with an entirely new race. At first I toyed with the idea of extra-terrestrials, and then came up with the Tr’lirians. Earth’s original inhabitants, and the root of many angel myths, they have hidden themselves away in a higher plane.

But that all changes when the Grim Reaper resurrects a seemingly ordinary human girl and turns her into a living reaper. Tyler Morgan has one week to discover the truth about her heritage if she is ever to enjoy her second chance at life and with more than one person wanting her dead that is not going to be an easy task.

I really enjoyed creating a new race of beings, and putting my own spin on the Grim Reaper and his underlings, but I’m sure it won’t be too long before those zombie stories start clamouring loud enough to get there turn to shine.



Blurb

Lost Reaper

The first dead body I ever saw was my own

For twenty-five year old Tyler Morgan, being murdered was easy. Easy in comparison with working for the Grim Reaper. Jonathon Grimm may have brought her back from the dead in exchange for working as a reaper for her home town, Easton, but she has to find his lost reaper before she can enjoy her second chance at life.

Only … the lost reaper isn’t actually lost. He has a new body, a new life, and no intention of turning himself in.

Tyler begins the grisly task of reaping the souls of Easton’s dead while searching for the reaper. He could be anyone – the intriguing detective, Sam Lockwood: the handsome, wealthy Chris Bradbury; or the serial killer stalking the women of Easton. Women who bear an uncanny resemblance to Tyler.

As the killer closes in and Grimm’s deadline draws closer, Tyler discovers she is fighting a much bigger threat than the Grim Reaper and time is running out for everyone.


About the Author



Shelley Russell Nolan is an avid reader who began writing her own stories at sixteen. Her first completed manuscript featured brain eating aliens and a butt kicking teenage heroine. Since then she has spent her time creating fantasy worlds where death is only the beginning and even freaks can fall in love.

A member of Romance Writers of Australia, Australian Romance Readers Association and Queensland Writers Centre, Shelley regularly attends workshops and writers festivals to meet other writers and readers.

Born in New Zealand, moving to Australia with her family when she was seven, Shelley currently lives in Central Queensland, Australia, with her husband and two young children. They share their home with a demon cat, a deformed budgerigar and two dogs that are fairly normal as dogs go.

Shelley loves to hear from her readers so feel free to contact her on Facebook or leave a review on Amazon or Goodreads.


Buy Links




Saturday, December 5, 2015

Dark Light On... Jess Anastasi

Today's Darklight On is ... Jess Anastasi

Welcome, Jess 

When Its A Long Time Coming...

Its a little surreal that I'm sitting here writing this post, staring down the release of Atrophy on Monday. Nearly every author will say that they have a book or series of their heart, and for me, Atrophy is it. Anyone who has known me for a number of years will have heard all about this book and the longish journey I took in getting it published. So I'm sorry to those people, but I'm about to do some rehashing. If you want to skip down to the blurb, then the moral of this story is going to be the old cliche of "never give up." Or, if you're a Foo Fighters fan, then you'll appreciate the quote from the lyrics of their song Best Of You that I have written on the top of my whiteboard in my study: "I swear I'll never give in, I refuse." 

So. Atrophy. I wrote this book back in 2008. I was post-studies (Diploma in Professional Writing and Editing), just had my first daughter and feeling the burn of not being published despite the fact I'd been writing for seven years. I had been struggling to do that magic thing all other, more experienced authors tell you, "find your voice." Despite trying to write historical romance, paranormal romance, and romantic suspense, and having the basics down, I wasn't quite "there" yet. Something was missing that would take my writing to the next level.

Around this time, I started working with my critique partner, Erin Grace, who basically went to town on my work (in a totally good way) and taught me a lot in a short amount of time. I'd been reading some sci-fi romances like Linnea Sinclair, but hadn't seriously considered writing a sci-fi romance myself, because I had this silly misconception that only super-smart people wrote sci-fi, and since science was never one of my strongest points, didn't think I could convincingly pull it off.

The idea for Atrophy had been sitting in my mind for years, ever since I'd watched Firefly about three or four years earlier. I'd also been heavily into other sci-fi TV shows like Stargate and Farscape.
After some back and forth with my crit partner, who may have even issued some kind of challenge, I decided to write Sanctuary, which would later become the first book I got published.
When I sat down to start Sanctuary -- which I was calling a paranormal romance set in space -- I was doing it for no other reason than fun and wanting to see if I could carry the weight of the sci-fi mantle.
And something happened. Words flowed. Characters cooperated. Dialogue was easy. It was like nothing else I'd ever written before. Sanctuary was only novella length, but by the time I finished it, I knew I'd struck the muse's chord perfectly. I also knew that I had to write Atrophy.

The only two things I knew when I started Atrophy was that I wanted to write a Firefly-inspired story about a close-knit crew working and living on a small ship. I also wanted the captain of that ship to be seriously dark with one heck of a tortured past. And when brainstorming with another writing friend of mine (who was more into screenplays at the time), she had a character named Rian, which I immediately fell in love with (the name, not the actual character). While she wasn't sure what she was doing with her work, I asked her if I could "borrow" Rian and the captain of the Imojenna came to life.

When I'd finished writing Atrophy, I knew that I had something unique in my files of unfinished and unpublished manuscripts, something I'd never be able to recreate even if I tried. I had discovered my voice, and I had written the book of my heart.

The journey of getting this book published is another long story, filled with many, many, many rejections. At the time it was frustrating, but now I can see that everything no doubt happened exactly how it was meant to. When I sent Atrophy to Entangled and they were so excited about it -- particularly my editor who helped me put the final shine into the story with some very awesome editorial advice -- I knew I'd found the right home. The home Atrophy was meant to have to see its full potential.

Some of the pre-release reviews have compared Atrophy to Firefly and its only made it all that much more surreal because Joss Whedon is my idol (seriously, I would pretty much fan-girl and die if I ever met him). 

And like the final touch to what is already an amazing gift, my publisher surprised me with the mother of all release parties -- they're hosting a live viewing event on twitter featuring the pilot episode of Firefly.
Yes, this was a long time coming. But I can say that it was definitely worth the wait.




No one on Erebus escapes alive...

Twelve years on the prison planet Erebus makes a man long for death. The worst part for Tannin Everette is that he was framed for murder. He’s innocent. When the ship Imojenna lands for emergency repairs, Tannin risks everything to escape…only to find himself face to face with the captain’s undeniably gorgeous sister.

Zahli Sherron isn’t planning on turning Tannin in. In fact, she actually believes him. Sure, he’s sexy as every kind of sin, but he’s no criminal—so she hides him. But no one escapes from Erebus and lives to tell about it. With every day that passes, Zahli further risks the lives of the entire crew…even as she falls in love with a man she can never have for herself.


Amazon

Entangled Publishing 

www.jessanastasi.com



 **Australian Time -- Thursday 10th December at 1pm AEST
On twitter: 
@JessAnastasi
@entangledpub

Thanks, Jess

 

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Enchanted Orb with Maggie Mundy

 

 
Today's Enchanted Orb post is with Maggie Mundy who is celebrating her latest release, Scarred Protector and the inspiration behind her series.

Maggie Mundy: How do you get your inspiration?

For me it can come from all different sorts of places. I find a single song lyric can be the basis for a whole story. Other times it might be something on the news or a documentary on TV. With the Midworlder Trilogy I wanted to have a different take on angels and demons.

A lot of the books I read with angels in were based around the religious concept of what these beings were. I came up with the idea of them being aliens and the idea that all the myths surrounding these beings were just that, myths. Of course this meant I had to create a world they had originally come from and why they were on Earth.

I hope you come on the journey with me with the first two books in the series. I am working on book three, Lost Protector as we speak.



 


Available November 18th 2015 from Soul Mate Publishing.


Blurb: Scarred Protector


Angels and demons are not what you think. They are aliens, and the Midworlders are their representatives on Earth. An Angelic Midworlder called Heath goes to the aid of Evie who is about to be attacked by Demonics. He soon discovers she can see the angels and demons around her and is in grave danger. He is captivated by Evie who has physical and mental scars like him. They are tortured souls who are deeply connected by his past. There is an evil lurking inside Evie that could kill them both.


 
Amazon buy link for Scarred Protector
 

Amazon buy link for Unknown Protector

About Maggie Mundy:

Maggie Mundy lives in Adelaide, Australia and is a member of Romance Writers of Australia (RWA), and the local chapter SARA (South Australian Romance Authors). She recently completed a Bachelor of Arts in Drama, English and Creative Writing at Flinders University. She had a short story published in the RWA Topaz Anthology Little Gems in 2010 called Sea and Vines. She has four books out with Rogue Phoenix Press. Two erotic novellas called Blood Scent and Blood Oath and two paranormal romances called World Change and World Apart. She also has two paranormal books out with Soul Mate Publishing called Hidden Mortality and Unknown Protector.

She has also performed for many years in corporate entertainment for which she wrote her own sketches, which probably explains why her head is so full of characters. She loves writing romance but thinks falling in love can be scary, especially in her stories where creatures of the night really exist.







Saturday, November 7, 2015

Darklight On... Maggie Mundy


Today's Darklight On is ... Maggie Mundy
 
Welcome, Maggie
 
 


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

I grew up reading epic fantasy books among others, so it seemed logical if I was going to write a book that it wold be fantasy. The first of a trilogy at 120,000 is still sitting on my computer. I then branched into paranormal romance when I started to read books in that genre. I really like the blend of magic with the everyday. I have started to write contemporary romance and women’s fiction but I have to be strong or the magic and the chopped up bodies will be trying to get in there too.


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

A plotter, though I have tried to be a pantser, but find I need a rough guide. I like to write out a few sentences for each chapter and work from them. This is not to say things have not gone off in a completely different direction. I was writing the second book in a trilogy recently and to my surprise, someone I thought was dead turned up. The muse sometimes say. ‘Hey you, I want to go this way.’


Do have a favourite of your characters?

I love the hero and heroine from my book Scarred Protector coming out next month. Evie is tough and feisty and won’t give in, and Heath is dark and brooding and a bit of a present day Mr Darcy. I should have had him in a wet shirt scene in the book. These two have pasts that will affect their futures together. Did I mention I make my heroes suffer?


What are you currently working on?

Lots. Worlds Reclaimed is the final book in my Earthbound Trilogy. If you love vampires, werewolves and alternate worlds, it could be your thing. Lost Protector is the third book in the Midworlder Trilogy. More angels and demons fighting over Earth. On the contemporary side I’m writing a series based in Los Angeles. Lots of movie stars and hot sex.


What is your favourite part of the process of writing?

Thinking about the story and suddenly getting that moment when you know it has come together and makes sense. I also love the bit when the words flow and the story just seems to happen. Like most writers I also know what it feels like to get stuck. When that happens I go back to my goal, motivation, conflict system and usually work out what is missing.


What can we expect from Maggie Mundy in the future?

I have an idea for a science fiction romantic comedy. I have also branched into self-publishing with my book A Death in the Family. It is a 1920’s murder mystery with a psychic twist. I would like to try and self-publish some more books.

Who are your favourite authors?

Sarah Dunant, who wrote the brilliant The Birth of Venus. Jane Austin, J.R. Ward. Margaret Attwood. Bethany Kane. 


What are you currently reading?

Kissed by Water, Delwyn Jenkins. Book three in The Watchtower Chronicles. I love the series.


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

Firefly. I thought the world Joss Whedon created was excellent. The characters were three dimensional and strong as well as being flawed.


Do you have advice for emerging writers?

Never give up and keep practising and learning. Join groups like RWA and attend conferences if you can. I am lucky to live in South Australia where we have the SARA group. (South Australian Romance Authors) They are a wonderful bunch of supportive writers. Find a critique partner. I have the wonderful Delwyn Jenkins and can’t begin to say how much we have supported each other on our journey.

 
             
Unknown Protector

Two things have helped Nicole cope since the murder of her husband. One is running her detective agency, and the other is her guardian angel Mira. When Mira is killed by a demon, Nicole accepts the help of Ridge, a long haired, cigar smoking diamond in the rough with wings. Things go from bad to worse when a replacement guardian cannot be found. She has to trust Ridge, which is tricky when she realizes there are no demons or angels, just parasitic aliens that humans have built the myths of these celestial beings around. Ridge isn’t an angel or a devil, but an alien half breed known as a Midworlder. He is also way too sexy for his own good, or is it her own good.
 
 


Available November 18th 2015 from Soul Mate Publishing.

Scarred Protector
Angels and demons are not what you think. They are aliens, and the Midworlders are their representatives on Earth. An Angelic Midworlder called Heath goes to the aid of Evie who is about to be attacked by Demonics. He soon discovers she can see the angels and demons around her and is in grave danger. He is captivated by Evie who has physical and mental scars like him. They are tortured souls who are deeply connected by his past. There is an evil lurking inside Evie that could kill them both.

Buy Links: Amazon


Bio:

Maggie Mundy lives in Adelaide, Australia and is a member of Romance Writers of Australia, and the local chapter SARA (South Australian Romance Authors). She has a Bachelor of Arts in Drama, English and Creative Writing from Flinders University. She has four books out with Rogue Phoenix Press. Two erotic novellas called Blood Scent and Blood Oath and paranormal romances called World Change and World Apart. She also has a supernatural thriller out with Soul Mate Publishing called Hidden Mortality and paranormal romance called Unknown Protector. A Death in the Family is her first self-published book.


She has performed for many years in corporate entertainment for which she wrote her own sketches, which probably explains why her head is so full of characters. She loves writing romance, but thinks falling in love can be scary, especially in her stories where creatures of the night really exist.


Find out more here: Pinterest / Blog / Goodreads


You can also contact her via her Website / Facebook / Twitter.


~~~
Thanks for dropping by Maggie




Saturday, October 10, 2015

Darklight On ... Janni Nell

 Today's Darklight On is ... Janni Nell
 
Welcome, Janni
 
 
 



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

The fact that I can use my imagination to its fullest. I like that there are no boundaries in speculative fiction.


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

I’m a pantser by nature, but I work more efficiently if I plot. So I’m trying to develop the habit of plotting.


Do you have a favourite of your characters?

I love my new heroine Ellie Oxrider, but I’m also very fond of her cousin, Matilda, who’s a shadowmaster and a bit of a diva.


What are you currently working on? 

Another Ellie Oxrider novel.


What is your favourite part of the process of writing? 

It’s when the outside world disappears and the words are flowing like a river in flood.


What can we expect from Janni Nell in the future?

More books, I hope. As well as Ellie Oxrider, who I hope will be around for a while, I have a dystopian that’s been rumbling around in my brain. Maybe that will finally get written.


Who are your favourite authors?

Susan Howatch is an all-time favourite. Suzanne Collins for The Hunger Games. Tracey Chevalier, Samantha Hayes, Deanna Raybourn, Tess Gerritsen.


What are you currently reading?

Dreamer’s Pool by Juliet Marillier.


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

Gattaca for movies. The main character has some seriously crappy genes, which means he can’t do the thing he wants most. But he’s a fighter. And he won’t take no for an answer.

TV series do not get any better than Carnivale. I loved that show!!!


Do you have advice for emerging writers?

Be patient, keeping working and improving. Don’t expect to be an overnight success.


~~~


Thanks, Janni Nell! 
 
 
 
 

Ellie Oxrider doesn’t like being the only “normal” member in her family of witches. But Ellie’s life is about to change. First she meets Saxon Darkwood, who claims to be an accountant but knows an awful lot about magic. Then she’s stalked by a shadowy figure that may or may not be real. Plus her aunt’s having premonitions of danger and her grandmother is warning her to stay away from Saxon. Suddenly normal doesn’t seem so bad.

Now it’s Ellie’s job to discover the identity of the shadowy figure, and the truth about Saxon Darkwood. And that’s going to take all the skill and courage she can muster. Things will never be normal again.
 

~~~
 
Buy Links: Amazon / Kobo / iBooks

 
About the Author: Website / Facebook / Twitter












Saturday, September 12, 2015

Darklight On... Cassandra L Shaw

 Today's Darklight On is ... Cassandra L Shaw
 
Welcome, Cassandra
 
 



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

I read a wide range of genres and sub-genres but the truth is over 70% the novels I really enjoy contain some sort of sci-fi, supernatural, or paranormal element.

When I decided to give writing a well-focused go, the story that came to me the strongest was a paranormal / sci-fi romance so it was that story I wrote. I love the world building in speculative fiction, the sense of I can make the rules of this world (yes, I love power—he he he), and I enjoy how I show my characters exactly how I see them.

I also write contemporary romance and romantic suspense but the majority of stories I think of come to me with otherworldly or supernatural elements though they usually also contain suspense elements too.


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

A strict pantser. I keep playing with plotting and have taken so many courses and workshops in the art of plotting but in the end—I pants my pants off.

I’ve even written over 20 pages of plot then when I dove into writing the story only followed my week worth of effort for two chapters (and I ended up changing those too). So I must face the fact my natural way of writing is pantsing.

I do however, when stuck or faced with a writers’ block, jot down ideas for the next two or three scenes and choose the best option and follow those ideas. That method probably makes a devoted plotter’s skin crawl but we must work the way that suits us as individuals and writers.


Do you have a favourite of your characters?

That’s a tough one. While writing each story those characters become your favourites but I have to admit I have a soft spot for Angel in my Grave Robber series. This is probably because she and I have to work together over several more books so I better enjoy her.

In my Katoom series each couple only gets the one novel devoted to their story, their romance. I have to admit I love writing men the most. Men talk to each other differently compared to the average woman. They think and react differently—in general to women. Kaid in Twin Flames is a mix of alpha and beta guy (whatever he needs to win and save the girl) and Xylvar the hero in the second in the series (currently writing first draft) comes over as such a bitter soul I’m enjoying trying to hide his good heart.


What are you currently working on? 

I’m working on four books. Yes four, and yes I’m nuts. But life got in the way for twelve months and I’m way, way, way behind where I should be. I’m revising the second in the Grave Robber series, writing the first draft of the second in the Katoom series, revising a single title contemporary romance, and I’ve started writing a Sci-fi romantic suspense that’s a little dark.


What is your favourite part of the process of writing? 

Mmm, that’s a tough one. But I love starting a new story, meeting the characters and developing the plot and story. Then I also love the first two or three revisions where the characters grow richer and fuller and the plot tightens. Once past the 4 or 5 pass point I’m starting to wonder why I write—he he he he.


What can we expect from Cassandra L Shaw in the future?

Books on the New York Times best seller list – yeah, don’t I wish. (Daily. I wish for that, daily.)

Well I love where my muse is currently taking me. So more urban fantasy, more paranormal romantic suspense, and a slight side-step with some contemporary and sci-fi romance.


Who are your favourite authors?

Another hard question as it changes and evolves as I find new authors. But on my top re-order book list, I have Karen Marie Moning and Darynda Jones but then I also follow other authors from other genres. Discovering new must buy authors is the best thing for a reader.


What are you currently reading?

J.D. Robb, her seventh in the Eve Dallas murder mystery series (so written a long time ago) and I just finished Sworn to Silence by Linda Castillo (suspense with romantic elements and new author for me).


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

This too changes with time as some start out great then wander off the track—but currently I’m enjoying Arrow, The Flash (when it’s on), Teen Wolfe and Dark Matter (though I’m still unsure on Dark Matter).


Do you have advice for emerging writers? 

Write a story and finish it (this is the most important part) then take workshops and courses and use these to improve your story. Once it’s all polished and shiny and you think it’s awesome throw the story under the bed and forget it exists.

Think of that story as your apprenticeship piece – it’s not really for public consumption. It was however a very important learning tool.

Now write another totally different story using all you know. And join writing groups, find a critique partner or three you gel with, and keep taking courses and improving your writing and never think you can’t learn more.

~~~

 Thanks, Cassandra
 
 


Twin Flames (Book 1 Katoom series) 
 
Paranormal Romantic Suspense out with Black Opal Books.
 
She’s in grave danger, but she doesn’t want his protection…
 
After a long and bitter world-war for pure human supremacy, humans and two sub-species the Eli and Crea reside on Earth in an uneasy harmony. One morning on a jog, Bliss Jacobs finds a murdered fellow Eli. She scents the killer on the body, but other evidence is washed away by a savage storm, leaving Bliss as the sole witness and the target of an assassin—and forcing her back into the world of the man who shattered her heart.
 
He believes she is his destined mate, but he knows there are no second chances…
 
Kaid Sinclair is chasing more than his best friend’s murderer. He wants Bliss in his bed and in his life, but after their relationship went south several years ago, he knows he has to tread carefully. So how can he keep her safe, while still proving to her that they are destined to be mates, and he doesn’t just want to control her? All he wants is for her to be safe—but with a killer who sees her as Kaid bait, Kaid may have to choose…his life or hers?

Buy Links:   Amazon / Barnes and Noble / iBooks / Smashwords / KOBO / BOB / Book Depository


Author Bio:
Cassandra L Shaw writes Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, Romantic Suspense, & Contemporary Romance. She lives in a small farm on the Sunshine Coast of Australia. Her eclectic past includes fashion design, environmental science and years of drudgery as an office worker where she dreamed of NOT being an office worker. She discovered writing a few years ago and has decided that with its mix of art, writing craft, and study she’s at last found the career that suits her arty and academic mind.
 
Find out more about Cassandra L Shaw here:  Website / Facebook / Pinterest / Twitter




















Enchanged Orb with Cassandra Shaw

Cassandra L Shaw likes to focus on Adventures Beyond Reality with Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romantic suspense, but she also dabbles in some contemporary romance. 

Today, on Enchanted Orb, Cassandra talks about some of the things that inspired her to write Twin Flames, Book 1 in the Katoom Series.
 



I read many genres but my go to list is usually, romance, suspense, paranormal and urban fantasy. I love the edge suspense brings to a story, how it kicks up the pace and can morph into horror or hope. It’s even better when it does both.

I also feel that a reader cheers on characters that have the chance of love and that a growing romance (either over one book or several) enriches a reader’s emotional journey.

So what inspires me to write a story, any story and Twin Flames?  I usually mentally see pictures of scenes – often like photographic stills or small action scenes that inspire me to start a story. I’m a very visual person but mostly my ideas come from my own imagination rather than pictures from the net. 
In Twin Flames with a backdrop of forest, I saw a shiny silver creature that was distinctly female, horrified as she leaned over the mutilated body of a dead man on a set of train tracks.

Who wouldn’t be inspired to write THAT story?
That image instantly screamed – paranormal romantic suspense. A mix I love to read and write.
A dead body makes you ask questions. Who is he? What does he mean to my main characters? What was his story before he died? And the who the Hell killed him and why? All fun to speculate on to inspire the next scene then the next.

On about my third revision of Twin Flames I changed the image of Bliss (my heroine) at the beginning to be human in appearance. The Eli, Bliss’s race still has the silver beast inside them when really needed but I wanted my race to be mostly human.
 
Then came the who are the Eli questions. In developing the story of their race I had a lot of fun working out their genetic make-up, and how the metal in their blood would react (it shows their emotions on the surface of their skin). It was also lot of fun to add heightened olfactory senses which acts as a sexual enhancement. I got a real buzz out of writing that!!

Then I worked on the how and when they arrived on Earth. Working out how humans would react to an alien race even after 500 years of co-existence was sadly easy. Modern history and the horrors of World War II pegged exactly how things could go. And it was this, the fact we are so intolerant that has given me my plot arc for the entire series. It’s really only lightly mention in Twin Flames (book 1 of the Katoom series) but it takes a higher perspective in book two which I’m currently writing.

For me the parts of any story I love to write the most are action and love scenes.

In fact if I’ve hit a wall in my story or my muse is taking a nap or a frustratingly lengthy holiday, I will jump ahead and write a love scene or a fight. And it this action that often jump-starts my writing motor again. I also enjoy writing men. I love the way men interact, joke around and I use this for a little relief for the reader.

Funnily, for me the hardest part of any story to write is the romance. I have to keep asking myself, is it emotional enough, is it too much (need a bucket to throw up it’s so sickly)? Is it believable the characters end up together, believable they have conflict that is keeping them apart, believable that they would ever look at each other to start with? 

To get over this I have to focus solely on the romance parts of the story many times to get the feel I’m after. Once I think I have it somewhere near where I want it, I send it to my critique partner. When it comes to romance she’s brutal and will soon tell me I need more romance here, here, and here. She’s also good at telling me I’m dragging it out - get them together - I’m over it. Got to love critique partners!


 
 
Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | iBooks | Smashwords | Barnes and Noble | Kobo 


Twin Flames Blurb:
She’s in grave danger, but she doesn’t want his protection…
After a long and bitter world-war for pure human supremacy, humans and two sub-species the Eli and Crea reside on Earth in an uneasy harmony. One morning on a jog, Bliss Jacobs finds a murdered fellow Eli. She scents the killer on the body, but other evidence is washed away by a savage storm, leaving Bliss as the sole witness and the target of an assassin—and forcing her back into the world of the man who shattered her heart.
He believes she is his destined mate, but he knows there are no second chances…
Kaid Sinclair is chasing more than his best friend’s murderer. He wants Bliss in his bed and in his life, but after their relationship went south several years ago, he knows he has to tread carefully. So how can he keep her safe, while still proving to her that they are destined to be mates, and he doesn’t just want to control her? All he wants is for her to be safe—but with a killer who sees her as Kaid bait, Kaid may have to choose…his life or hers?



About Cassandra Shaw:
Cassandra L Shaw writes Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, Romantic Suspense, & Contemporary Romance. She lives in a small farm on the Sunshine Coast of Australia. Her eclectic past includes fashion design, environmental science and years of drudgery as an office worker where she dreamed of NOT being an office worker. She discovered writing a few years ago and has decided that with its mix of art, writing craft, and study she’s at last found the career that suits her arty and academic mind.  

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Saturday, August 15, 2015

Darklight On ... Nicole Murphy


Today's Darklight On is ... Nicole Murphy,
 
Welcome, Nicole


 


When a series is done…

In July, the third book of the Jorda Series, ‘Protecting her Heart’, was released.




I had such a ball writing the three books in this SF romance trilogy. It was a long time coming – I first conceived of the idea somewhere around 1983! The characters had me from the start, but it took a long time to find the story that best suited them. W

When I did, the stories just poured out of me. Even ‘Protecting her Heart’, the hardest of the three because I didn’t know I was going to write it until I did, was one of my most enjoyable writing experiences.

So when it’s all done, and the stories are finished – it can be a bit of a let down. I adored working in that world. I can still see potential in it. But sometimes you have to drop something and walk away, because to stay there too long will be overkill.

Which makes the fact the very next book I wrote was related to my very first trilogy (the urban fantasy ‘Dream of Asarlai’) somewhat of a hypocrisy. But it had always been my plan that there would be six books set in the Gadda world (in fact with the novella there’s going to be seven, and there’s been a couple of short stories too) and I knew that what I was doing was fresh and interesting.

And there had been several years between the publication of the first trilogy, and working on the second trilogy. So it felt more like returning to a place I’d loved and finding out it was still cool to visit, rather than sticking somewhere because I was scared to move on.

It’s been great to sink back into that world again. I don’t have to create anything else – it all exists, full and ripe and ready for me to play in. So I can let my characters loose, let them do what they need to do, and enjoy it all happening in what is to me a real, settled place.

Who knows – maybe in a few years, inspiration will strike about Planet Jorda and I’ll head back there again and see what has changed, and what has stayed the same. In the meantime, it’s Sclossin and the world of the magical Gadda that now has me entranced.

Except for the cool new idea that’s buzzing in my mind. The idea I can’t start working on for more than a year because of commitments.

Anyone know how we’re going with that cloning thing?

***
 
 

 

Nicole Murphy is the author of the ‘Dream of Asarlai’ urban fantasy trilogy and the ‘Jorda’ SF romance trilogy. As Elizabeth Dunk, she writes contemporary romance and erotica. She lives in Queanbeyan with her husband Tim and their budgie Freddy.



You can find out more about Nicole at her Website or follow her on Twitter

You can find links to buy the Jorda series of SF romance here: Escape Publishing

Or buy the Dream of Asarlai trilogy here: HarperCollins 

 
Thanks, Nicole

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Enchanted Orb with Claire Boston

 
This month's Enchanted Orb post is with Claire Boston who shares the inspiration behind her writing life.

 
 


Mixing business with creativity


Most writers begin a story or a novel because they’ve had a great idea and want to get it down on paper. Each person has their own end goal: some just want to write a novel, some want to be published, and some want to make a living from their writing. I fall in to the latter category. I want to earn enough from my novels that I can write full time, so at some stage I needed to address the business side of writing.

There are some creatives who think business is a dirty word, but I’m not one of them. I see it as a means to my end goal. The truth is authors are their own small business. They need to track their expenses and their income and think about things such as promotion and marketing, and whether the contract they’ve been offered is right for them. In today’s market they also need to decide whether they want to go down the traditional publishing route, try self-publishing or do a hybrid of both.

For me I wanted the traditional publishing contract because I felt that would validate my writing – someone I didn’t know thought my novel was good enough to be published. But after I got that first contract I was already thinking about how I would get my second one, so I began to think with my business head on.

I emailed my publisher and asked them what they would like from me next. I pitched them several ideas that had been floating around my head for years and I suggested I could do a sequel to the first book. I figured if I wrote what they wanted, I’d have a better chance of getting that next contract. In the end they liked one of my story ideas, but they wanted me to make it a sequel to What Goes on Tour. That was perfect for me. It saved me the decision of which of my story ideas I should write next and also gave me the setting for the story.

By the time I finished writing what would become All that Sparkles, I knew I had to write two more stories in the series; George’s story and Piper’s story. When I sent through All that Sparkles for my publisher’s consideration I also pitched the rest of the series and the result was a three-book contract and The Texan Quartet series was born. Thinking about the business side of writing enabled me to get multiple contracts and take the next step towards being a full-time author. I can highly recommend mixing business with creativity.

Under the Covers is George’s story and book 3 of the series.


 
 

Blurb


What if the one time you didn't want love was when you truly needed it?


Forced to flee her abusive ex, alone with no support, Elle is determined to rebuild her life and protect her five-year-old son. Not one to take the easy road, she opens a bookshop café, but opening day almost ends in disaster. In the midst of this chaos, the last thing she needs is a man as charming as George Jones getting in her way.

George has always been a sucker for a damsel in distress, and Elle ticks all the boxes. But Elle's not interested in being rescued by anyone, especially not him. She knows her taste in men can't be trusted, but fighting George's charisma is harder than she expected. And George, who is not one to ignore an itch, has found there's something about Elle that's got under his skin.

When Elle's ex turns up to cause trouble, George must overcome his boyish flirtatiousness if he's to convince Elle to trust herself and let him into her life. But can Elle put her past behind her before it overwhelms her present?

About the Author
Claire Boston is the best-selling author of The Texan Quartet. In 2014 she was nominated for an Australian Romance Readers Award as Favourite New Romance Author.

Her debut contemporary romance novel, What Goes on Tour caught the attention of Momentum’s Joel Naoum when her first scene was read aloud at the Romance Writers’ of Australia (RWA) conference in 2013. This led to a four book contract for The Texan Quartet series.

Claire is proactive in organising social gatherings and educational opportunities for local authors. She is an active volunteer for RWA, as a mentor for aspiring authors and the reader judge coordinator.

When Claire’s not writing she can be found in the garden attempting to grow vegetables, or racing around a vintage motocross track. If she can convince anyone to play with her, she also enjoys cards and board games.

Claire lives in Western Australia, just south of Perth, with her husband, who loves even her most annoying quirks, and her grubby, but adorable Australian bulldog.


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Saturday, July 18, 2015

Darklight On ... JL Addicoat


Today's Darklight On  is ... J.L. Addicoat
 
Welcome, J.L.


 
 


Your latest release is Entangled Destinies. What inspired you to write this book?

I wrote Entangled Destinies over two consecutive years during NaNoWriMo.

Originally titled ‘The Bottle’, the book developed from a comment my husband Kevin made about finding a bottle with a message inside. We talked over a few ideas and he suggested I write it. Really, what he said was, ‘A bottle is found washed up on a beach with a message inside. Write a story about it.’

So, for the next 30 days I did.

 
Did you plot or pants this novel?

A bit of both really. The first part had each Chapter loosely plotted, until I got to Chapter Eight which became, Nine, Ten, Eleven, Twelve and Thirteen.

The second part, written over the second NaNoWriMo stint was totally pantsed. I knew what I wanted to happen and where I wanted it to lead, but the characters took off on their own little journey.

However, they didn’t get it all their way. In first edits, I rewrote the last ten thousand words.


What genre would you place Entangled Destines in?

That’s not an easy question. This novel has smatterings of a few genres. There’s Horror, Paranormal, Romance, Contemporary and Science Fiction. A bit of nearly everything I think.


When is your Entangled Destinies due to be released?

Release day for the ebook is the 22nd July, but could be a few days early.

I am self-publishing the paperback, and these will be available from my website hopefully around the same time.


~~~
 
Thanks, JL


E-Book Cover
 
 
Paperback Cover 
 
 



Blurb

Can a message found in a century old bottle bring a government to its knees?

Have you ever found yourself in the wrong place at the wrong time?

When Sarah glances out the window in time to see her employer, Edmund Starke, emerge from the shadows covered in blood, only her mistress’ brave actions allow Sarah to escape with her life.

With only a small bag and her diaries, she needs to leave England, but can she gain passage on a ship bound for America without Edmund’s henchmen catching and dragging her back?

 
 Buy the ebook here: Rogue Phoenix Press
 

About the Author

J. L Addicoat, (better known as Jenny or Jen) grew up in a small suburb in Melbourne.

Her mother, a German immigrant, pushed her to learn to read at an early age so she could give her mother a better understanding of the English language.

Books and J. L. soon became best friends and a means to escape to other worlds, be they fantasy or science fiction, J. L. loved them.
 
She now lives in a small rural Queensland town, with her husband Kevin and two spoilt felines.

 
 
Find J.L. here: Website / Facebook / Twitter


Saturday, July 11, 2015

Enchanted Orb with Anna Hackett

 
Today we have Anna Hackett, science fiction and action romance writer, joining us and her book, Hell Squad - Marcus is free.

 
“Inspiration is only the beginning.”Anna Hackett

I love to hear about the inspiration behind my favourite authors’ stories. Sometimes inspiration strikes like lightning in a dream, in the shower, or in the middle of a movie. Sometimes story ideas grow over time, stewing a little until the ingredients come together.

My latest series, Hell Squad, had a couple of sources of inspiration. This is a post-apocalyptic, action-adventure, science fiction romance series. Aliens have invaded and the series focuses on the human survivors (primarily a rough, tough group of soldiers) and their battle against the aliens. The first source of inspiration was obviously a long list of movies, TV shows, games, and books. You’ll probably see shades of Jurassic Park, Independence Day, Falling Skies, and Gears of War in Hell Squad.

The second source of inspiration was the romance in the first book, Marcus. I had a clear image of a tough, scarred, battle-hardened soldier and a beautiful society girl. In what situation would these two very different people fall in love? The middle of an alien apocalypse, of course!

And the third source of inspiration was the science behind the gadgets and weaponry in Hell Squad. Most of the technology that’s mentioned (the series is set about a hundred years into the future) is based on current research projects to develop exoskeletons, weaponry and armour.

BUT, like I said above, inspiration is only the beginning. Having a great idea is easy…making it a reality takes effort, hard work and determination. I’ve published four Hell Squad books this year…and there are more in the works that will be out before the end of the year. My number one tip I have for anyone struggling to bring their inspired story ideas to life: write every day. Not when you feel like it, not once the kids are back at school, not starting tomorrow. Every day, even if it’s only for a short time (and I think this can be applied to anything we want to achieve, not just writing!)

When I decided to get serious about my writing, I pored over interviews by successful authors. One thing jumped out at me…they all mention writing every day and not making excuses. Inspiration is easy, getting the words on the page is where we have to knuckle down and make it happen.

So, how many words did you write today? And how many are you going to write tomorrow?

About the author: Anna Hackett
I'm passionate about all things action romance. I love stories that combine the thrill of falling in love with the excitement of action, danger and adventure. I write about people overcoming unbeatable odds and achieving seemingly impossible goals. I like to believe it's possible for all of us to do the same. www.annahackettbooks.com

Grab the first book in Hell Squad, MARCUS, for FREE:


Blurb:

In the aftermath of a deadly alien invasion, a band of survivors fights on…

In a world gone to hell, Elle Milton—once the darling of the Sydney social scene—has carved a role for herself as the communications officer for the toughest commando team fighting for humanity’s survival—Hell Squad. It’s her chance to make a difference and make up for horrible past mistakes…despite the fact that its battle-hardened commander never wanted her on his team.

When Hell Squad is tasked with destroying a strategic alien facility, Elle knows they need her skills in the field. But first she must go head to head with Marcus Steele and convince him she won’t be a liability.

Marcus Steele is a warrior through and through. He fights to protect the innocent and give the human race a chance to survive. And that includes the beautiful, gutsy Elle who twists him up inside with a single look. The last thing he wants is to take her into a warzone, but soon they are thrown together battling both the alien invaders and their overwhelming attraction. And Marcus will learn just how much he’ll sacrifice to keep her safe.

Download your FREE copy!

Amazon US | Amazon AU | Nook | iBooks

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Darklight On... Kathrine Leannan


 Today's Darklight On is ... Kathrine Leannan
Welcome, Kathrine

 


How did you come to write fantasy? What attracted you to the genre?
 
To write for me, is as innate as it is to breathe. I couldn't imagine a world without dragons and faeries, unicorns or Pegasus. I have always been drawn to the fey. Magic is all around us, as is darkness. My muse is named Mimi, she is a 1000 year old dragon who crashed into my life two years ago.


 

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

Until very recently, I was a Pantser.

In the past, I would know, say, the end of a story, or a great middle bit, but little else. I always have a good idea of the main characters, but as is the way of epic fiction, numerous other characters are born along the way. At least that was the way it had been with the writing of Warrior Born - Book 1 of the Katana Series. 

However, that apparently was the honeymoon period. Reality well and truly set in when during the recent edit (rewrite) of Redemption - Book 2 of the Katana Series, I learned the rhythm of each scene and how crucial that is, to good writing. The great first line, the story arc and the BAM sentence to finish. That takes planning. This I have learned.



Do you have a favourite of your characters?

I love Angus. He to me, is just a delicious Highland male. I love that he is so strong, honourable and protective. Yet at the same time he can be brutal. Of course I love Hades the magnificent Friesian stallion. He is beautiful beyond words. As for Jilly Louise she is all sass. She is me.


 
 

What are you currently working on?

I am currently in final edits for Redemption. I am also mapping out the book from my PhD thesis—but that is another story for another day. All of my works of fiction have a Scottish theme or influence. I am so completely drawn to them. Curse of the Witches of the Moor is a book about a secondary character in the first two Katana books. This is very different from the first two. I am looking forward to finishing it.


What is your favourite part of the process of writing? 

That moment when Mimi and I are in sync and the ideas come so fast I only have time to make dot points. This is why I have a note pad and fifteen pens in every handbag I own. Mimi is oblivious to  anything but the story. Many times, I have had to veer off the road, grapple with my handbag and scrawl the words down—dragons don't take kindly to repeating themselves. Also the elation when after reading the work I am satisfied with the voice, style, flow and tempo. Those two words "The End" also feel great, especially after rewrites and edits.


What can we expect from Kathrine Leannan in the future?
 
Books with strong characters, written with passion, in a style that is different. Also I hope to achieve critical acclaim as an author of non-fiction and leave a legacy to my profession. Such is my commitment to these goals, that I have given up work, to write full time. The Katana Series is four books in duration. The Dark Witches Coven Series also is four books. After that, I imagine the creatures of the dark will continue to find their way to my pages.

 
Who are your favourite authors?

I am a fantasy/paranormal devotee. I rarely read outside the genre because I am easily bored - the exception to that statement is Diana Gabaldon and her Outlander Series. My favourites (Who else) J. R. Ward., J. K. Rowling., Karen Marie Moning., Richelle Mead., Sara Douglass., Jean M. Auel., P. C. Cast., Sherilyn Kenyon., Kresley Cole.

 

What are you currently reading?

I am currently reading: The Ruby Circle - Richelle Mead

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

Beauty and the Beast- the series, The 100, Star Crossed, Penny Dreadful, Stargate Atlantis, 12 Monkeys, Eragon.


Do you have advice for emerging writers?

This is something no one will tell you. There are rules to writing. Find like-people, join groups, learn the craft. But most important of all, keep writing—find the joy that the words bring and give them life.


~~~

Thanks,
Kathrine!






 
Warrior Born - Book 1 of the Katana Series

From the immortal kingdom of the Samurai, Imperial Leader Yokami Sukani and his wife Tomoe Gazen yearn for the child they know they will never birth. Tomoe’s Katana keens bereft, for the next Daughter of the Sword. Meanwhile, Bishamon, the God of War, and his Katana, wreak havoc in his endless pursuit of pain and suffering. 

Bishamon’s Sword of War must disappear, forever.
The battle of Culloden Moor is forty-eight hours away. Epona, Goddess of horses, dogs, healing springs and crops, prays for the coming of the girl child prophesized to be born with the Sight for the magnificent Friesian horses.

Yokami’s Katana recognises Marie MacDonald.
A bargain is struck.

In modern Australia, the awaited one, Connor MacDonald is birthed, awakening the ancient Scottish Horsemen from their three-century slumber.

Brutality finds her.

Bishamon, mad with rage, hunts for his blade.

Will he regain his instrument of destruction?

Born of the blood of the ancient Scots, named Daughter by the immortal Samurai, doubly blessed or doubly cursed, will Connor MacDonald be Bishamon’s instrument of revenge?



Buy links:  Amazon / KoboSmashwordsiTunes / Barnes & Noble / Grimoire Books

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