2024 covers

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.

Tuesday 30 April 2013

Good News Day!

Welcome to this week's good news...


Coming 1st May, 2013 with Escape Publishing is S.E.Gilchrist's futuristic, erotic short story, Awakening the Warriors.

Fran must have been crazy to leave her ordinary, safe life and volunteer as a colonist to terra-form a new earth. Now she is trapped in a prison cell on an alien planet a zillion miles from home and bound for a hideous death in notorious research chambers.
She has one chance of escape: awaken the long dormant sexual urges of the Darkon Warriors shackled in the next cell.
It’s a desperate job, but someone has to do it.

The Shuttle by Imogene Nix is out now as a free read with Red Rose Publishing.
At the end of a mission, Lara only wants to get back to her Mothership and Simon. But when a storm blows up she has to decide what is more important…
The Shoe Salon, also from Imogene Nix, will be released at the end of May 2013 by Red Rose Publishing.
Working in an exclusive shoe salon can be both exciting and irritating. But one day, Lana is faced with a tougher question that what colour shoes and fit would be best. And Manny is there with her, all the way. But just what will she decide? 

Loving Memories by Imogene Nix will be out June 15th, 2013 from Steam E-Reads.
Jenny Douglas has the grim task of returning her friends body to the man she had loved.
Steve Davies is grieving for the woman he lost. The one that left him the little girl, Lola, who he thought of as his own.
The danger remains though and they must work together, quickly, to find out who the killer is. And if a little bit of passion gets in the way, well… it’s not the real thing… or is it?

Tag Man One by C.M.Simpson was released April 24th, 2013.

It's a speculative tween fiction chapter book about a boy, his brother and an experimental jet.

C.M. Simpson's Gods in the Lianreida was also released 24th April, 2013.

It's a fantasy short story about what happens when gods meddle in another's domain.


Khloe Wren has a book trailer for Her Guardian Angel: Book One Fire & Snow series. You can view it here. 

Sunday 28 April 2013

Belated Magic Thursday: Lovers vs Fighters

by C.T. Green

As this Magic Thursday Post is on Anzac Day I thought I’d write about supernatural soldiers and why paranormal romance is full of these fearsome heroes.

Black Dagger Brotherhood, Immortals After Dark, Lords of the Underworld – yep, these are some of my favourites series, but what I realised when I was writing this post was they all have heroes who are soldiers in one form or another. Surely this couldn’t be true? There must be a vampire accountant somewhere…an angelic chef…okay what about a werewolf florist? But the more I looked the less likely it seemed that this guy would be delivering flowers…sadly.

As I investigated other paranormal series, there was a singular lack of CEO’s, farmers or anaesthetists, but there were more soldiers than you could poke a stick at. (Not that you’d risk getting your arm taken off).  So…ah…why do we love the fighters over the lovers?  What’s so good about a bad-ass vampire solider with a pair of black blades when held up against a vampire who’s invested in veterinary science and just loves kittens?

Yes, the answer does seem rather obvious doesn’t it? The vampire soldier who’ll die to protect his race and his woman is just extremely sexy and swoon-worthy romantic. We want our paranormal men to embody all the things we see as strengths: physical prowess, protectiveness, ruthlessness, ferocity and loyalty. Even when they prefer other guys (as witness to the success of JR Ward’s extremely aptly titled Lover at Last) we find these warriors fascinating, sexy and dangerously irresistible.  These guys are so attractive to us not just because they’re stone-cold killers, they are also capable of tenderness and love – they’re lovers and fighters.

I’ve picked on vampires specifically because I’d like to leave you with this thought. Bram Stoker’s Dracula was a fighter who’d sacrificed his belief in God to make a pact with the Devil because he lost the love of his life…

Is it this which is a subconscious driving force behind the soldiers of paranormal romance or just a coincidence? 
Do we need our supernatural heroes to be males who live on the edge of violence because it’s that much closer to love?

Saturday 27 April 2013

Enchanted Orb - Nicole Murphy on finding the heart to continue

One thing, a writer needs is inspiration, but another is the ability to keep writing - and this sometimes needs a little help. Australian writer Nicole Murphy has found that inspiration, and has a few tips to assist those of us who might need to find it, as well.

Take it away, Nicole!


What inspires me to keep going when it seems things aren’t working out.

Previous Enchanted Orb posts have dealt with what inspires writers to write, what inspires individual stories. They are fabulous posts – if you’re looking for a bit of inspiration yourself, go have a read.

What I want to talk about today is what inspires us to keep going during the dark times. They happen – to all writers. A book or series doesn’t sell as well as you’d hoped. The contract you were sure was coming suddenly evaporates. Your first book is finally out, after years of struggle, only to be met by a bad review.

There are times it seems that we writers are masochists and you wonder why you keep going.

Not writing, that is. Writers will forever write. But submitting. Publishing. Shoving your precious words and stories out into the cold, harsh reality of the world.

Here’s some of the things that have inspired me and kept me going.

  • Hearing other writer’s horror stories. I did a series on my blog called “Dreams and Fulfilment” where I asked fellow writers to talk about the ups and downs of the journey. The one story that particularly hit me was Kerrelyn Sparks’ story. I love Kerrelyn’s books, and reading her tale of the hit after hit she took before she had success has many times helped me get up, dust myself off and keep going after my own hits.
  • Keeping snippets of great feedback from the past. The first bit of feedback I ever got that I kept was from science fiction great Piers Anthony. I was in an anthology that a collaborator of his published. After Piers kinda trashed most of the stories, he said there was two stories that held potential and that he kinda liked reading and one was mine! Over the years, I’ve collected more – mostly from reviews, but also the occasional fan letter. When it seems everything is conspiring to tell you you suck as a writer, these remind you that you don’t.
  • Switch it up. When my urban fantasy trilogy Dream of Asarlai didn’t do as well as the publisher and I expected, to the extent they knocked back the sequel, I decided to take a break and move into contemporary romance. I’ve just sold my second contemporary novel, so that seems to have been a great step to take.
  • Experiment. Spend some time away from the genre/characters/world of the book that’s dragging you down and play with words, ideas, themes. Go way out. Write poetry if all you’ve ever done is prose. Write horror if all you’ve ever written is fluffy bunny stuff.
  • Do something for others. There’s an ancient Chinese proverb that says something along the lines of ‘when times are dark for you, do something good for others and you will find the light’. When we’re feeling bad, it’s hard to think of doing a good thing for others but it really does help take you out of yourself. For me, I like to do things such as run conventions or edit and publish anthologies. Helping contribute to other people’s success makes me feel great.
  • Spend time with other writers. As you read this, I’ll be at Conflux 9, the Canberra-based science fiction/fantasy/horror convention I’ve been involved in running for ten years now. Immediately following that, I’m off on a week-long writing retreat with my writing buddies. Their support, encouragement and recognition that this is something all writers go through will greatly inspire me to keep going.

So if you’re finding that you’re in a bit of a slump because the dream isn’t turning out the way you want – try one of these ideas and see if it can help you to bounce back.

Or perhaps you’ve got an idea that’s worked for you in the past. Please share it.

Nicole Murphy is a fantasy/science fiction/horror writer who also writes contemporary romance as Elizabeth Dunk. Her urban fantasy trilogy ‘Dream of Asarlai’ was published by HarperVoyager Australia and her contemporary romance ‘Arranged to Love’ by Escape Publishing. Her next contemporary, “The Lies We Tell’ will be out in August. She’s an editor, publisher and convention organiser who’s looking forward to a chance to write again.

Wednesday 24 April 2013

A Bite Of...Betrayed

It is with great pleasure this fortnight, that I introduce to you Christina Phillips, with A Bite of... her book Betrayed.

Can you, in less than five words describe your book BETRAYED?
 Enslaved heroine, conflicted hero, manipulative gods

      What inspired you to write it?
While I was writing CAPTIVE, book #2 of my fantasy historical romance series, I didn’t have a clue if there would be a third book. Towards the end of CAPTIVE an acolyte of the Moon Goddess Arianrhod walked onto the page and I was immediately intrigued by her. The last we saw of her in CAPTIVE was when she ran off to do the bidding of the Briton king, Caratacus, and I was itching to find out what happened to her. Did she complete her mission? Did she evade capture from the Roman Legions? I couldn’t wait to find out her story. As it happened, it took me a lot longer to find out how Nimue finally reached her Happily-Ever-After than I imagined!

And here's the excerpt (from the beginning of chapter 3)...

Nimue was back in the forest of her childhood, in the sacred oak grove, watching her mother give sacrifice to the most powerful Goddess of them all.
               She looked up into the night sky. The full moon, as bright as if it was illuminated by a thousand candles, dominated her vision and awe filled her soul at the breathtaking beauty.
               Arianrhod, let her be worthy.
               Her mother beckoned her to join her in the center of the glade where all the women of their clan waited. Heart pounding with a combination of fear and pride, Nimue obeyed. Instantly the other women encircled her and removed her gown until she was as naked as them.
               They raised their arms, chanted the ancient rites to their foremothers and gave thanks for the Goddess’s blessing upon Nimue.
               Today, her first moon-time had occurred. A great blessing indeed, to take the first step on the path of womanhood when the full moon glowed in a cloudless sky. A sign that Nimue had, without doubt, been accepted and chosen by the Goddess she adored.
               This was the happiest day of her life. The proudest moment she had yet experienced. But something—something was wrong. Something had happened that had taken this moment and shattered it, destroyed it, tarnished its beauty and wonder forevermore.
               Something that had changed the course of her life and twisted the future she had always believed her birthright. Just as surely as her destined path had been irrevocably altered today.
               Jagged pain lanced through her body and the sacred grove shimmered, as if it had been plunged into a bottomless pool of glimmering water. She struggled for air, clawing through the grasping tendrils of fog that wrapped around her. For one tangled moment she thought she saw a tough warrior above her, his hypnotic eyes gazing at her intently, trying to infuse her with additional strength.
               Without knowing why she tried to reach for him but her limbs were heavy and uncoordinated. Desperately she thrashed her head from side to side, trying to escape from unseen restraints. Then, from the dark corners in her mind, a shadow walked unerringly toward her. And then it was no longer a shadow as from nowhere a shaft of sunlight surrounded the figure. Disbelief speared through her as, without knowing how she knew, she recognized him as one of the most powerful gods of her people.
               Gwydion, warrior magician, in all his youthful glory, smiled down at her. Terror froze her to the spot, but the god did not appear to mind her lack of reverence.
               What did Gwydion want with her? She had always given him due reverence when she worshipped the gods of Annwyn on their sacred days. But he had never shown her any preference before. She had never experienced any special affinity with him, the Greatest of the Enchanters. To her knowledge, Gwydion had never bestowed his benevolence to a female Druid nor taken one as his blessed acolyte. That he had appeared to her now was utterly terrifying.
               “Nimue, acolyte of my sister goddess Arianrhod, you are truly a chosen one.” His voice echoed in her mind, vibrating with power. She fell to her knees, holding her head, fearful her mind might collapse under the unwanted invasion. “The High Druid Aeron comes to you. Return what you have taken.
Nimue forced her eyes open and peered up at the magnificent, glowing god. He extended his hand toward her, uncurled his fingers and showed her what he held.
               Mesmerized, she stared at his palm. He held the shard of sacred bluestone she had taken from the magical enclave.

Thank you for sharing Christina!

If you want to find out more about Christina Phillips and her awesome books, check out these links;

Buy Links 
Amazon UK

For the month of April All Romance Ebooks has a sale on all Ellora’s Cave titles, including a 50% discount off BETRAYED – now only $4.38 at ARe!

Tuesday 23 April 2013

Good News Day!

Welcome to this week's good news...


The Colonist's Wife by Kylie Scott has received a 4 star review from Night Owl Erotica!
"Adam and Louise do marriage backwards but end up where they want to be – together. An author to watch."
Full review here.


Eleni Konstantine's Sealed with A Kiss is now on Amazon. Link here.

The trilogy The Outcast Chronicles (comprising the novels BesiegedExile and Sanctuary) by Rowena Cory Daniells (Solaris) has made it onto the shortlist for the Norma K Hemming Award! (‘The Norma K. Hemming Award marks excellence in the exploration of themes of race, gender, sexuality, class and disability’.) Congratulations, Rowena!!!

Here are the judges comments about the trilogy:
The Outcast Chronicles trilogy is a tour de force of extraordinarily detailed world building. Rowena has created political intrigue, attempts at genocide, a dangerous world of magic that many believe to be gods, with flawed, noble and ignoble characters on all sides. There is poetry and wit in the writing, and characters that stay with you long after you have finished this gripping trilogy.”
The winner and runner-up of the Hemming Award will be announced at the national SF Convention, Conflux, next weekend.

Monday 22 April 2013

Magic Thursday Winner (Sealed With a Kiss)

Thanks to everyone who commented on my blog post. I really hope everyone does think about themselves that little more, and not feel guilty in taking some time out. We need it.

Now thanks to random.org (I'm hopeless at choosing), the winner of Sealed With a Kiss is

Sloane Taylor!!

Sloane, I'll contact you regarding your prize.


Friday 19 April 2013

What We Are Reading

This month we have Kylie Scott, Colleen Simpson and Nicole Hurley-Moore sharing what they've been reading.

Kylie Scott

Addicted by Charlotte Stein
The torrid tale of a mild mannered librarian whose attempt at writing erotic romance needs a healthy dose of reality. Kit goes off to a sexual healing class and there meets Dillon, dreamy hunk and sex addict. I love Charlotte Stein. I honestly laughed so hard I cried several times with this book. It was brutally honest about our heroine's insecurities in the most wonderful way. You couldn't help but relate to her. Charlotte writes wonderful smexy times books in first person point of view and if you haven't tried her then please, for the love of good quality smut everywhere, give her a go. Addicted was fabulous. Can't wait for her next book.

Colleen Simpson

A Victory Celebration by Greta Van Der Rol
This short story of science fiction romance fills in a little more of the relationship between Ravindra and Morgan, the two main characters in Morgan's Choice, and Morgan's Return. Fast moving, it uses an unscheduled girl's night out to weave a tale love, conflict and reconciliation in a post-war time of celebration and intrigue. I enjoyed it, I now own it, and I want more from this author.

Nicole Hurley-Moore

Life as a Victorian Lady by Pamela Horn.
This is a little book and part of a series I think. It gives you a little glimpse into their world. It covers quite a lot but it is only 89 pages long – so if you are looking for in depth detail you may need to look elsewhere. Its chapters include – Growing Up, Etiquette & the Social Round, Mistress of the Household, The Role of Lady Bountiful and Pleasure & Pastimes.

Life in the Victorian Country House by Pamela Horn.
Well worth reading and has lovely illustrations and photos. It gives you a sense of the time and the cosseted world of the country house.

Happy reading
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