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Welcome to the Dark Side!

We are writers mainly from Australia and New Zealand who write speculative fiction with romantic elements. Be it fantasy, paranormal, dark urban fantasy, futuristic and everything in between.

Thursday 29 November 2012

Magic Thursday - Genesis of an Archangel

 Destined to fall... destined to love...

Writers are often asked where they get their ideas from, and it’s not always an easy question to answer. At least, I don’t find it easy because most of the time I have no clue where they come from!

But the spark that ignited the world of my Archangels is very clear in my mind, and dates back to well before we had the Dark Side blog. In fact there were only a handful of us in the Paranormal Group at the time when Eleni Konstantine announced that Harlequin were setting up a new line—Nocturne Bites.

Yes, I did say it was a long time ago :-)

For a reason I still can’t fathom, the image of a tortured Archangel flooded my mind (you knew he would be tortured, right?) He was on the outer edges of the universe being all moody and Alpha and it took me forever before I could get him to open up enough to allow me a glimpse of his story.

I wrote the novella, and something just didn’t click. It finally occurred to me the reason it wasn’t gelling was because Gabe had wings. But he was an Archangel, and Archangels have wings. How could he not?

Well, apparently this Archangel didn’t. And until I got that fact straight in my head Gabe wasn’t saying another word. And so I started over.

It soon became clear that a novella was never going to be long enough to get to the heart of what made the Archangel Gabriel into the immortal he was today. In fact it took me more than four years of writing, ripping apart, sewing back together and finally ditching a novel length book and starting again before his true depths were revealed. It was also some time during this process that an important secondary character was unveiled. And the inspiration for this character’s name is, once again, our very own Eleni :-)  I so owe her a big drink at the next conference!

So although the published book is very different from the original short story I first imagined, its core remains the same. An Archangel whose heart was shattered millennia ago and who is emotionally crippled with grief and survivor’s guilt.

And, of course, the woman who captures that damaged heart and heals his soul.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Archangel of Mercy by Christina Ashcroft

Archangel of Mercy

by Christina Ashcroft

Giveaway ends December 02, 2012.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter to win

Between an angel and a desperate woman comes salvation-
and a raw passion that challenges them at every turn… 

When Aurora Robinson attempts to open a rift between dimensions to embrace her true heritage, an arrogant Archangel is the only one who can save her from the jaws of hell. And while she owes Gabriel her life, she’s determined not to fall at his feet-despite the desire she feels whenever they’re together.

After his wings were brutally destroyed millennia ago, Gabriel has no compassion for humans like those who ruined him and betrayed the ones he loved. But when he inexplicably finds himself defying ancient protocols to rescue a woman from a fate worse than death, he is shocked by the searing attraction he feels for a mortal.

As the ancient forces that seek to punish Aurora for her actions close in, Gabriel offers the tempting woman protection at his private sanctuary. But as they both succumb to their desires, they discover an even deeper connection-one that threatens to consume them.

Christina Ashcroft is an ex-pat Brit who now lives in Western Australia with her husband and three children. She is owned by three cats who graciously allow her the occasional spare moment to write hot paranormal romance for Penguin/Berkley Heat.

Christina also writes hot historical romances as Christina Phillips for Berkley Heat and Ellora’s Cave

I have a copy of ARCHANGEL OF MERCY and some gorgeous swag to give away to one lucky commenter – just leave a comment on this post or let me know whether or not you love a tortured hero—and why!

The contest is open internationally to wherever The Book Depository delivers.

Tuesday 27 November 2012

Good News Day!

Welcome to this week's good news...


Mel Teshco has a new cover for Lusting the Enemy. It's a fantasy (dystopian) novella releasing with Ellora's Cave on December 19th.

Akeisha is on a mission to be chosen as part of a harem for the desert king, Judas. She’ll use her body as a tool to entice and beguile him, do anything it takes to save the near extinct larakytes, her shape-shifting, silver panther tribe, from his human subjects trying to eradicate them.
What she never expects is to succumb to the wild ecstasy in his arms, a pleasure that threatens to expose her inner cat even as it transcends anything she’s ever felt from one of her own kind.
Falling in love with a human enemy was never part of her plans, but maybe there’s more to Judas than meets the eye.


Christina Ashcroft (aka Christina Phillips) continues her blog tour for Archangel of Mercy. Here are the dates for this week:

Wednesday 28th Nov - Tote Bags n Blogs + Giveaway
Wednesday 28th Nov - Romance Writers of the Apocalypse - Apocalyptic Avenging Archangels
Thursday 29th Nov - Dark Side DownUnder + Giveaway of a copy of Archangel of Mercy
Friday 30th Nov - Friday Feast with Cathryn Hein - Archangel of Decadent Delight + Giveaway
Friday 30th Nov - Novel Adventurers - The Lost World of Archangels - + Giveaway
Monday 3rd Dec - Shelley Munro - Interview & Excerpt + Giveaway

Monday 26 November 2012

Magic Thursday Winner

The winner of Keziah's Familiar Strangers is:

Jenny Schwartz

Congrats, Jenny!!

Please contact Keziah (contact form).

Thanks to everyone who commented.

Sunday 25 November 2012

Weekly Overview


Mon 26 Nov - Winner of the Keziah's giveaway announced


Thur 29 - MAGIC THURSDAY with Christina Phillips and giveaway of Archangel of Mercy

Sat 1 Dec - DARKLIGHT ON... Adina West


Other blogs our DarkSiders have visited this week.

Anna Hackett - Kylie Scott's blog

Christina Phillips - Eleni's Taverna

Cathleen Ross - Romance Writers of Australia

AP Castell - Jennie Jones Romance Blog

Check out Christina Ashcroft's blog tour for Archangel of Mercy.
20th Nov Tina Donahue Spotlight & Giveaway
21st Nov Dark Side DownUnder – A Bite Of… 
26th Nov Paranormal Haven Interview & Giveaway
28th Nov Romance Writers of the Apocalypse & Giveaway
28th Nov Tote Bags & Blogs & Giveaway
29th Nov Dark Side DownUnder & Giveaway
30th Nov Cathryn Hein’s Friday Feast & Giveaway
30th Nov Novel Adventurers & Giveaway

Other group blogs with DarkSiders as members

Hot Down Under - This week: Keziah Hill, Shona Husk

Romance Writers of the Apocalypse - this week: Shona Husk, Tracey O'Hara

Hotter than Hades - JL Addicoat, Khloe Wren, Imogene Nix

Time for a cycling through the Facebook links


Check out Nicola E. Sheridan's latest book trailer for her first release, Magical Gains.

Love the tune!

Have a fantastic week!

Thursday 22 November 2012

Magic Thursday: A Big Week

by Keziah Hill

As you may know, last week was a big week for me. I was one of five launch authors for Escape Publishing, a new digital imprint (can you have an imprint if you don’t print?) from Harlequin Australia. Open to all authors and readers, Escape wants to bring Australian voices to an international audience.

The launch was amazing.  A big cocktail party at East Circular Quay (I even had a cocktail named after my story!), a day of glamming up and LOTS (and I mean LOTS) of photographs.

Even a You Tube video! Rhian Cahill and I had our picture and a story in the Sydney Daily Telegraph and I’ll have something in my local paper too (which is a lot more confronting – everyone will know I’m an erotic romance author. Time to come out.)

All of this flurry of activity was a wild ride. Apart from enjoying it immensely even if it was a little stressful, it’s given me a great sense of validation. Validation can be something a little thin on the ground for a lot of writers.

We hunch over our computers most of the time, tapping out words we hope someone will like. Many of us, particularly if we are RWA members, enter competitions and when we get feedback, we focus on the negatives instead of the positives. If we submit to agents and publishers we live with frequent rejection. We work in an industry that is fairly ruthless in the way it deals with us. Often not deliberately, it’s just the nature of the beast.

So getting some validation is priceless. But I was struck by something Kate Cuthbert, Escape’s wonderful acquiring editor said on the launch day about why she likes working with Australian romance authors. We have a sense of camaraderie and support for each other which is not always that common in other genres and in other countries. That’s certainly something I’ve always experienced since joining RWA in 2004. Through some hard writing times, my writing mates in RWA have provided support and encouragement when validation was non-existent.

So, here’s to us! (She says raising a Chains of Revenge cocktail) 

Now to a give away. Make a comment and go into the draw for my novella Familiar Strangers.

Great post, Keziah. I'm lifting up a Chains of Revenge cocktail. 

Keziah Hill can be contacted at her website,  on Facebook,  and on Twitter.  

Wednesday 21 November 2012

A Bite of...Archangel of Mercy

This week, I'm proud to present the lovely Christina Ashcroft, with A Bite of... Archangel of Mercy!

Can you, in less than five words describe your book, Archangel of Mercy?
Bad ass Archangel, girl-next-door, eternal love (maths is not my strong point!)

What inspired you to write it?
A chance remark from our very own Eleni (pop back tomorrow for more on this!) The more I thought about writing an archangel book the more the idea appealed to me. It took me years of rewrites and shoving the half-finished manuscripts in a cyber drawer before I managed to get to the heart of Gabriel and discover why, despite my first vision of him flying at the edge of the universe, he didn’t possess wings. Once I understood that essential element, he began to slowly open up. The final spark of inspiration came from my editor who was keen for me to write an erotic archangel book. I took up her challenge J For some more details on the inspiration behind the world of my archangels, have a peek at the recent post I did for the Enchanted Orb segment.

And without further delay, here's the excerpt!

He was gorgeous. He knew it and had no compunction in using it to his advantage. She hitched in a deep breath, tore her gaze from his and glared at her clenched hands. To her relief the hypnotic imperative to plaster her body against him and offer herself like a sacrificial slave crawled back into the murky depths of her libido.
His sexual pull was frightening. Lethal. His past was probably littered with broken hearts and broken promises and if she didn’t get rid of him soon she’d willingly be his next conquest.
She almost had been his next conquest. She couldn’t quite figure out whether she was sorry or relieved she’d pulled back earlier. But no matter how much she still fancied him, the moment for mindless gratification had passed.
So long as she didn’t look back into his eyes.
“I think we should go back to the house.” She kept her gaze on her hands. “Then we can make plans on how you can get home.”
He didn’t reply. Didn’t move. Eventually she couldn’t stand it any longer and risked looking up at him. There was an odd expression on his face, as if he was attempting to process her words and finding it beyond him.
Somehow she couldn’t imagine there was much he found beyond his capabilities.
Still he didn’t respond. The silence stretched between them, taut and strangely brittle, as if the slightest wrong word might shatter the pervading peace.
“Don’t you think so?” She tried to ignore it, but his silence was unnerving.
“I think,” he said, looking at her as if she was a particularly exotic beetle he’d discovered crawling over his foot, “I could do with that whiskey.”
“Right.” Aurora refused to be insulted by the expression on his face. “Good idea.” She could definitely do with a stiff drink or three, that was for sure. She grabbed the framed flower, pushed herself upright and mentally winced when her knees began to shake. She hoped he didn’t notice. “Come on then.”
He shot her a look that suggested he wasn’t used to people telling him what to do. For a moment she thought he wasn’t going to move, but then he expelled a pained breath and stood in a sensuous, graceful movement without needing to brace his weight on his hands at all.
Desire curled deep in her belly. Standing, she could admire his sculpted pecs and taut abdomen to their best advantage. As if fully aware of her furtive scrutiny he stretched, panther-like, biceps flexing as he linked his hands over his head. Dark gold hair dusted his chest, arrowing toward his unzipped jeans, and Aurora swallowed a groan of pure unadulterated lust.
He could probably taste the sexually charged pheromones radiating from her deprived body. But even that mortifying thought wasn’t enough to stop her visual feasting.
The corner of his mouth quirked, as if he was fully aware of her regard, and he rolled his shoulders, muscles bunching and relaxing as if he was deliberately trying to tempt her.
Mindless gratification hovered on her immediate horizon, assuring her the moment could too easily be recaptured, and it was more than tempting. Mesmerized by the allure of his body she watched, helpless to tear her gaze away, as he turned to face the woodland that bordered the property.
Her ravenous gaze licked over his powerful shoulders and froze, unbelieving. Two deep gashes ran from his shoulder blades down the length of his back. Her breath stalled in her throat, unnoticed. Good god, what the hell had happened to him?
It looked as if an acid-drenched axe had sliced through to the bone, eating the flesh, distorting the muscle. Although the wounds were now healed and looked ancient, the passage of time hadn’t disguised how horrific the injuries must have been, or how agonizing.
Slowly he turned toward her, and despite how she tried to hide it she knew the shock ricocheting through her blood was clearly reflected on her face.
He caught her gaze, held it and she watched his mesmeric eyes darken with comprehension. And then he took one stride toward her.
Thank you for sharing Christina!
If you're interested in reading more, click below on the buy links.
Additionally, you can find Christina and discover her other books below.
Have a great Wednesday


Tuesday 20 November 2012

Good News Day!

Welcome to this week's good news...


C.T.Green is a finalist in the paranormal section of the Spacecoast Authors of Romance “Launching a Star” Contest! Winners will be announced at a later date. Congratulations!


Here's Bec McMaster's Heart of Iron (Bk#2 London Steampunk series) book cover. It comes out with Sourcebooks on May 7th 2013.

Lena Todd is the perfect spy. Nobody suspects the flirtatious debutante could be a rebel against London's vicious elite--not even the ruthless Will Carver, the one man she can't twist around her little finger.
Will Carver, is more than man, he's a verwolfen and he wants nothing to do with the dangerous beauty who drives him to the very edge of control. But when he finds Lena in possession of a coded letter, he realizes she's in a world of trouble. To protect her, he'll have to seduce the truth from her before it's too late.

Mel Teshco has a new cover for Lusting the Enemy. It's a fantasy (dystopian) novella releasing with Ellora's Cave (no blurb or release date yet).

S.E.Gilchrist is one of our Dark Siders writing for the Hot Down Under line with Momentum. Her short story, Paying the Forfeit, is out December 1st.

Years later, she learns her sister has refused to honour the agreement. The forfeit – another mate or a cache of the prized yellow sapphires – must be paid or her remaining family will be banished.
For Leila, the role of second choice is not an option.
With the sapphires in her possession, Leila must decide – pay up now, or keep silent and take one long, hot night with the mate of her heart.

C.T.Green is also launching her Hot Down Under short story, Dream Lover, with Momentum on December 1st.

Cate Reynolds is lost in the middle of the Australian bush, all because of one fatally attractive man.
Reece Johnson’s not just a threat to her libido, but her peaceful paranormal existence. In order to avoid revealing her darkest secret, Cate needs to stay as far away from Reece’s irresistible appeal as possible. But how can she when they’re forced to share a tent? In the sultry heat of summer, Cate will discover just how incredible dreams can be and that sometimes they can also come true.

Shona Husk's Saved by the Trickster is out now from Ellora's Cave.

In a world of cold and Darkness, Lysanna is a Trickster, a demi-god charged with making people believe in Light and hope. She travels the world creating magic and wonder, taking human assistants to help on stage and warm her bed. Somehow they always betray her, and they always leave.
Zander is a fallen Celestial warrior. Cast out of heaven, he’s been given one month to earn his way back. When he meets Lysanna, he knows what she is. What he doesn’t expect to discover are the pleasures of being human, and the burning lust he finds in the Trickster’s bed. Returning to heaven begins to lose its appeal, but he’s sworn to fight the Darkness, to stop it from consuming the world—which means possibly choosing between duty and Lysanna.

Shona Husk's Dark Secrets will also be out in audio book in February 2013.


Christina Ashcroft continues her Archangel of Mercy blog touring this week! Here's where you can find her...
Wednesday 21st Nov - Interview at Eleni's Taverna - Writing Buddy Wednesday
Wednesday 21st Nov - Bite of... Archangel of Mercy at DSDU Blog
Friday 23rd NovBlack Friday Hop - Giveaways Include Kindle Fire or Nook Tablet
Monday 26th Nov - Interview at Paranormal Haven + Giveaway

Monday 19 November 2012

Magic Thursday winner

The winner of Lilliana's giveaway is:

Jenny Schwartz

Congratulations, Jenny!

Please contact Lilliana (website contact form).

Thanks to everyone who commented.

Sunday 18 November 2012

Weekly Overview


Mon 19 Nov - Winner of the Lilliana's giveaway announced


Wed 21 - A BITE OF... Archangel of Mercy by Christina Ashcroft

Thur 14 - MAGIC THURSDAY with Keziah Hill


Other blogs our DarkSiders have visited this week.

Other group blogs with DarkSiders as members

Tweet, Tweet. It's Twitter time! - Part 4 of cycling through Twitter accounts.


  • Denise Rossetti's Gift of the Goddess (with Mr Wonderful on the cover) is on Amazon for free - check it out HERE.

  • We have done over 500 blog posts!!! Wow. Go us!


Have a fantastic week!

Saturday 17 November 2012

The Enchanted Orb - What Inspires Rhyll Biest

Welcome, once again, to the Enchanted Orb. If you stop to look inside, you can discover where author, Rhyll Biest, finds her inspiration.

Please welcome, Rhyll Biest!

By day I’m a humble foot soldier in Canberra’s uptight army of darkness, the public service, so it’s a real thrill to come home at night and write things that are fun, passionate and totally inappropriate.

My sources of inspiration to write? OMG, those saucy sources are everywhere:

  1. Brain Oompa-loompas: Oh, go on, don’t pretend you don’t hear little voices talking in your head while you’re scrubbing the toilet or whatever. Might as well make some money out of the little brain Oompa-loompas by writing down what they say.
  2. Life and other random sh*t: Sometimes you see something, or hear something, and it just sticks with you, you can’t get it out of your head and it’s fun to play with that image or snippet or whatever and see if you can’t build it into something else. To give a fairly crass example, I love those random story generators and the idea of trying to make a go out of an idea like: a laborer who seems insane falls madly in love with a snide performance artist. Oh the hours of fun.
  3. Things that don’t happen in real life but should: We’re all familiar with reality, the rich marrying the rich, beautiful people dating other beautiful people, justice not being served, and the undeserving being rewarded. Well, my fictional world is the place where I get to set that sh*t right. In my stories, it’s the plain, very narky girl who gets the handsome man (and boffs his brains out something severe). Sometimes she even gets two handsome men, woo-hoo! And if someone grows a pair of fangs, or wings, or slays the undead in between the boffing and the romance then I’m really happy because that stuff just doesn’t happen enough either.
  4. The love of words: I confess, I’m a word slut. The most random words excite me (fug, thrombosis, berm, rapacious, malachite) and give me ideas to write about. In fact, sometimes I just want to do it with the dictionary all day long.
  5. Silly conversations with other writers: You know how these go. 
    • Cate: We should write a three-volume epic about a virgin warrior vampire colosseum.
    • Rhyll: OMG, you’re a genius. Let’s start now!
  6. Pictures: Sometimes, when I’m really stuck, I look at pictures like this one for inspiration. I don’t want to, but I force myself to. I’ll do anything for my art.
  7. The joy of being an innate trouble-maker: Fiction offers a slightly less troubled and destructive life path for those able to channel their energies into ruining their characters’ lives as opposed to, say, that of their neighbour or spouse. Home-wreckers, schemers and war-mongers are all just frustrated writers. The reverse may also be true.

Friday 16 November 2012

What We Are Reading

 Welcome to the November What We Are Reading column. Today, we have Mel Teshco and Jenny Schwartz.
Mel Teshco
Time Thief by Anna Hackett:

I bought this e-book (novella) after reading the excerpt on Anna's blog and thinking what a great start to the story it was. It only got better. The heronine, Bay North, is a tormented soul after watching her family murdered by a drug lord wanting to gain the 'gift' she now uses to make him pay. But when he sends Sean Archer, a bitter ex-navy seal to kill the time thief--one of the same 'gifted' people who murdered his team--she makes him realize the drug lord was the one behind the murder of his team and they join forces to exact revenge. Lots of action and a bit of down and dirty - great read.

Sin's Dark Caress by Tracey O'hara:

This is the 3rd installment of Tracey's Dark Brethren series, and possibly my favourite. The hero isn't your normal hero (love that) and the dragon is a cool addition.

Bianca Sin is a witch who'll never reach her full potential powers -- that is until a dragon egg hatches and becomes her familiar. She'll need all the power she can get to fight the sudden wave of brutal murders sweeping the city, a dark magic that sees homeless girls impregnated then ripped apart. Assigned to work with surly, drug addicted homicide detective Lancelot MacManus doesn't make her job any easier. But against all odds they make a great team and track down the evil Dark Brethren, confronting the chilling menace none would dare face.
Jenny Schwartz
I'm currently reading Dodger by Terry Pratchett . Terry Pratchett is my author hero.

I finished Gather the Bones by Alison Stuart a few days ago. It is a fantastic post-WWI novel with a paranormal element. Just lovely.

And Peta Crake has set her debut paranormal romance (with all the fun and attitude of chick lit) in my hometown, with lots of gods and goddesses dropping in. Harbinger promises a great new series.

Thursday 15 November 2012

Magic Thursday: Romancing Words

by Lilliana Rose

About three years ago I re-discovered writing poetry. I say re-discovered because like most people I did poetry at school. I knew about this form of writing and I had written poems before. But back then poetry hadn’t captured my attention or imagination like writing a novel length story had and I left poetry behind when I left school.

The love of writing and story telling has always been with me and when I decided to write for publication I began investigating different ways to extend my writing. I found poetry, but I didn’t really know what was involved in writing a poem, and I didn’t remember much about poetry from school, other than poetry seemed to always rhyme and I wasn’t good with rhyme.

To help reconnect with how to write a poem I went to a workshop on writing poetry. It was a disaster. The teacher told me I was blocked (which was true, but didn’t help me to get unblocked) and I left not wanting to write poetry. I didn’t write poetry for about a year. But poetry wasn’t finished with me, and it came up again through a writing friend/mentor. I decided to give writing poetry another try, face my fears and unblock myself. After all I only had to play with words and have some fun. I was only trying to improve my writing craft not become a Poet or have my poems published. I managed to write a few poems, but I had no idea if they were any good, or if I had written them correctly.

To help me continue on this journey I found a poetry editor and sent him five of my poems to critique. He was very gentle with his red pen and gave me some advice: ‘Go and read some modern poetry.’ I wondered if it could be as simple as reading poems that would improve my poetry. If it was then I decided I’d better get reading.

I bought some poetry anthologies and read them. I discovered modern poetry, and free form poetry with no rhyme, and I learnt how to handle metaphors. Ideas bloomed in my mind and I wrote more poems. I had found the joy of writing poetry and I wanted to write more poems. I couldn’t stop if I wanted to. I was falling in love with words (I even wrote a poem about my relationship with words, in my collection ‘Creating Wings’).

I sent another five to my editor to get some more direction on how to improve my writing. This time I got something unexpected. The poems were returned with a few red marks and a comment ‘… four of these are publishable…’

But what did that mean? I hadn’t had anything published before. And what did I have to do to get a poem published? Would I earn any money?

A whole new world opened up for me. I learnt about cover letters, and places to submit to who were supportive of new writers and I joined a poetry group. I sent my poems to newspapers, magazines, and anthologies without really knowing if these poems would really be published or just rejected.

The first poem accepted for publication in The Independent Weekly (Adelaide newspaper) was ‘The Creation of Wings’ which is in the collection ‘Creating Wings.’ I didn’t receive any money for the publication, but I did get a complementary book of poetry, and in a time when digital publications were becoming more common I saw my poem in print. I was excited, and I was learning about the industry of writing. I had fun sending out my poems to see if any would be accepted. I thought of my poems as feathers I was sending out into the word for others to enjoy. Without realising I became a Poet, and in between writing short stories and novels I had managed to write enough poems for a collection; ‘Creating Wings.’

More importantly, I continued to write poems, and despite rejections I sent them out into the word on a breath of my hope that they might get published. I no longer cared if I was going to get paid or not, I was having too much fun.

Poetry was a world that came to me and I’ve learnt how to play in this environment. I’ve learnt how to write economically, to play with words and combine them together in new ways to describe universal themes of life and death we are all familiar with. I’ve learnt poetry can be easy to write and it can be accessible and not highbrow or academic. And it can be fun. It’s helped me to be free and uninhibited when writing – maybe that’s why wings are such a theme in my poetry!

I’ve learnt to throw away the rules of poetry forms and find a modern twist, and that poetry is everywhere, in songs, hip hop, text messages and even Twitter. And I’ve learnt to bring the rules back to give myself a challenge.

I can even leave out the grammar in my poems. There are a lot of things for me to play with when writing poems. This has all fed into how I write short stories and novels, and has enriched my story telling skills. And my love affair continues.

Writing a poem means some of my ideas, the smaller ones, get attention. This somehow helps me to connect more strongly to my muse and the ideas keep popping into my mind – the good the bad and the ugly, which inspired another poem (‘Ideas’) I’ve written in ‘Creating Wings.’ Being able to write a poem about almost anything (forgetting whether or not this poem is going to be published or is in a state to be publishable) has helped me connect with my creative flow so that I’m writing and not blocked, and I am getting better at discerning between good and bad ideas as well as searching for those gems of ideas the hide in the darkness.

Writing poetry helps me to embrace the unknown, because I don’t always know the ending of the poem when I start, but by playing with words I find a way through to the end. It helps me feel a little more comfortable when writing longer pieces when I’m not sure of the ending I know that I do have the ability to find it, all I have to do is to keep writing, and edit later!

Sometimes I use poetry to help me capture an idea or emotions so that I can come back and use the poem to remind me of a story I want to tell in a longer form. Poems have helped me to shape the theme I want to write about in a novel. For a young adult novel I’ve written ‘Untangling Roots’ I wrote down ten words to describe the novel.

dusty straight road
flat paddocks
teenage girl

These words could form a poem. Poetry can be this simple. Maybe this poem isn’t publishable, but for this exercise it doesn’t matter because through these words I found the larger story to write and had guidance when editing. And I had fun with words.

When I don’t have time to write for long writing poems is quicker than writing a short story or novel, which means at least I have time to write a poem, or the first draft, and that means I’m doing what I love despite how busy I may be, which is of course writing.


Lilliana has kindly offered to give a ecopy (kindle or epub formats) of Creating Wings to one lucky commenter. (Thanks, Lilliana.)

Lilliana can be found on her website, Facebook, and Twitter

Tuesday 13 November 2012

Good News Day!

Welcome to this week's good news...


Exciting times for DarkSider Erica Hayes. She has two new releases coming out shortly. The first is Dragonfly, a romantic space opera adventure, coming out with Momentum 1st December 2012.

Japheth the Tainted is on the hunt for a mysterious demon vampire. But meeting her face-to-face might disarm his warrior spirit—and spark an unquenchable passion with apocalyptic consequences.
As a fallen angel, Japheth is determined to make his way back to heaven by staying pure and slaying hellspawn. With a new scourge of vampires unleashed by a blood-drinking demon, the Prince of Thirst, there’s plenty to be done. But Japheth is after one vampire in particular—the one they call the Angel Slayer.
Rose Harley never wanted to be a vampire, but the Prince of Thirst can turn even the kindest soul into a soldier of hell. Feeling abandoned by God, she stalks the West Village taking revenge on his angels—until she meets her match.
When Japheth and Rose encounter each other, the battle is fierce and charged with desire. But when they discover a common enemy—the Prince of Thirst himself—they form a dangerous alliance that could either cost them their eternal lives, or spark a love more powerful than heaven or hell.

Erica also has Redemption, a dark apocalyptic/urban fantasy/romance, released 5th March 2013 with Berkley Sensation.

Carrie Thatcher is a tough Imperial counter-terrorism agent. Her mission: pose as a sexy cyber-thief to entrap the notorious rebel Dragonfly, who’s planning a heist on the space station Casa de Esperanza; a orbital casino on the fringe of Imperial space.
And this assignment’s personal: Dragonfly murdered her closest friend, and she’s in no mood to show him mercy. Even getting stuck with the partner from hell—Malachite, her sociopathic ex-lover and the Empire’s most dangerous agent—can’t dampen her relish for the kill.
With Carrie’s expert weapons skills and penchant for cracking codes, insinuating herself into Dragonfly’s confidence should be easy. But is he the ruthless killer she was led to believe? Or has her precious Empire deceived her? With Malachite watching her every move, the slightest flinch in loyalty means death.
Carrie is soon racing to uncover an audacious treachery that will shock the Empire to its core … if she can stay alive for long enough to expose it. 

Nicola E.Sheridan's latest release, Magical Redemption (Bk#3 Magic series), was released this month with Eternal Press.

When magic is heavily taxed and traceable, a Genie can't expect good working conditions. So when Jinx finds herself the Genie of the coldly handsome Demonspawn, Lucian, she knows she's in for a rough time.
Lucian is being hunted by the Magical Mafia, otherwise known as the "Family". Years ago he pledged himself to serve, but in a moment of weakness betrayed them. Now, unable to live or love freely, Lucian finds himself falling for Jinx, but knows a future between them is impossible. As they hide from incredible and malevolent Magical Beings they search for a way to be together before fate and the Family separate them forever.

Eleanor Maine's Hunters of the Nile, an erotic time travel historical romance novella set mostly in ancient Egypt, was released in November on Amazon (in print and Kindle) and Smashwords (in all formats including i-books and Kobo).

When Callista wakes up naked after being abducted one evening from Inskip’s Stables, she discovers she is the subject of a modern day, but very secret hunt club. Running for her life, she tries to evade her pursuers by hiding in a cave, but she slips and falls into a strange mist, losing consciousness on the way down. When she returns to consciousness, it is to bright midday sun, barren desert and a hunt of a very different kind. Captured by an Egyptian noble, Callista must adapt to a new land, and a different era. Torn from all she knew, she must also learn if she has to face the future alone.

She also has A Gargoyle for the Hotel Gothica, a paranormal romance novella about gargoyles and inheritances, released in November on Amazon (in print and on Kindle) and Smashwords (in all formats including i-books and Kobo).

When Claire Handley wins her bid for a Scottish gargoyle and the Journal of Magick written by James Macgregor, she doesn’t believe the Scotsman’s centuries-old tales. It’s only when the legends come alive, invading her home and her bed, that she must decide whose side she’s on.

Secondhand Sweetheart, is Madeleine Torr's contemporary romance novel about leaving one love behind and finding another in the face of assisted misunderstandings. It was released in October on Amazon (in print and on Kindle) and Smashwords (in all formats including i-books and Kobo).

When Lisa Montgomery resigns her job to can mend her relationship with her long-time boyfriend, and is then photographed in a compromising situation with one of the airline directors, her future looks bleak. Unwilling to give up, Lisa decides to take control and see what she can do to repair her tarnished reputation. Honorable Mention: Harlequin’s 2012 Aviator's Challenge.

And C.M. Simpson's dark fantasy novel with elements of romance, Fisherpriest, was released in October on Amazon (in print and on Kindle), Smashwords (in all formats including i-books and Kobo), and DriveThruFiction.com (in PDF).

When the two halves of her soul rejoin, Linna finds herself in a city she does not recognize on a world she thought existed only in her imagination. To make matters worse, she is captured and sold to four princes from a distant land, who require a priest of the sea, and the god she serves has rejected her. What starts out as a journey to regain her deity’s approval, soon becomes a flight for her life. With one prince at her side, and unspeakable evil at her back, Linna embarks on a journey where she must survive pursuit by the purist Silver Mountains tribeselves, and captivity by the cave spider clan in order to find her place in the world.


Nicola E.Sheridan has a new trailer for her latest release, Magic Redemption.

Christina Ashcroft starts her blog tour for Archangel of Mercy this week.
  • 1st Nov - 2nd Dec - Goodreads Giveaway of a copy of Archangel of Mercy
  • 15th Nov - Magical Musings - 2012 The End of Days with an International Giveaway of a copy of Archangel of Mercy
  • 16th Nov - I Smell Sheep Interview in the Dungeons & Giveaway
  • 19th Nov - Riverina Romantics Heroes with Wings with an International Giveaway of a copy of Archangel of Mercy
  • 20th Nov - Tina Donahue Spotlight with Excerpt & Giveaway

check out all our books on our dsdu-books shelf:
DarkSide DownUnder's book lists (dsdu-books shelf)