Monday, January 26, 2015

Here Be News

Posted by: Eleri Stone

News

Here Be Magic Authors Need Your Words!

FOR:
March Melange Flash Fiction Week

READERS:
Provide us with five to six of your favorite words and be entered into a random drawing for one of two Amazon $20.00 Gift Cards (USA Only – sorry).

In March each participating HBM author will be assigned 5 Reader-provided words and will write a 300-600 word flash fiction scene inspired by, and utilizing the assigned words.

Check back March 24 through 28 to see what our creative members did with the words you suggested!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

New Releases


R.L. Naquin, author of the Monster Haven series, shares an assortment of stories from places just outside the world we know. These pages are filled with friendly monsters, dueling witches, floating ice fish, chupacabra taxidermy, and escalators leading to Heaven and Hell. 

This collection includes two brand-new Monster Haven tales. Find out how Riley got his job in “Reaper’s Tale,” and join Kam the djinn as she chases down a ghost with unfinished salon business in “Shampoo Girl.” Plus, as a bonus, this collection includes three previously released Monster Haven stories – just in case you missed them.

Also, take a peek into the new world of the Mount Olympus Employment Agency (series coming in 2015) with “Unmatched Cupid” and “Undercover Gorgon.” 

Transmonstrified offers quick reads for when the boss leaves the room to get coffee and longer ones for when that chatty lady on the plane won’t be quiet. Eighteen stories filled with magic and oddities await.

Because everybody needs a little magic.  Get it HERE!


***
The most dangerous thing they could do is fall in love…

Callie Noble fled to Ottawa to escape danger. But she is far from safe. Overwhelmed by a strange new power she can’t control, Callie is terrified and painfully incapacitated. Her only hope is to seek the help of the one man who broke her heart…

Derrick Llewellyn is one of the Sentinels charged with the protection of the city’s mysterious secret. Seeing Callie again is a shock enough, but the electricity between them is stronger than ever. Still, loving another marked individual is forbidden, and Callie needs his help—not romantic complications.


But there are forces at work in the city, and Callie finds herself inexorably drawn into a world filled with danger and untold magics. A world where loving Derrick isn’t just forbidden…it’s the surest way to drive them both mad.

Buy it now! 
***

Coming Soon

Two months should be long enough for a girl to learn to cope when she finds out she’s half-Sidhe, or so Kendis Thompson has convinced herself. She wants nothing more than as normal a life as possible, playing her violin and pursuing her growing relationship with Christopher, Warder Second of Seattle. But when the Unseelie bard Elessir falls through a portal out of Faerie, bringing with him a ghostly peril that puts her best friend Jude’s life and sanity in danger, Kendis must test the strength of her new magic. And when the bone walker Melorite threatens all of the Emerald City, Kendis must fight to save everyone she loves—even if it means succumbing to the dominion of the Unseelie Court.

Angela Korra'ti is proud to announce that Bone Walker, Book 2 of the Free Court of Seattle series, is now available for preorder at the special introductory price of $2.99! Kindle readers can preorder the book here on Amazon, and the book is also available for preorder on iTunes, Kobo, Google Play, and Smashwords! Nook readers will be able to buy the book on its release date of February 3rd. All official places to buy the book can be found on its official page!

And if you'd like to get caught up on Book 1 of the series, Faerie Blood remains on sale for 99 cents to celebrate Bone Walker's release! You can get Faerie Blood from Amazon here, and all the rest of the places you can buy it are available on its official page.

As a special bonus, Bone Walker also has an accompanying soundtrack by Crime and the Forces of Evil! The album features excerpts from both Faerie Blood and Bone Walker read by the author, as well as several traditional tunes sets, trad songs, and original compositions by Crime and the Forces of Evil, performed along with several featured guest artists. Find out more about the soundtrack on its Bandcamp page, where you can stream it or order a digital copy, or preorder the CD! If you prefer your digital music from Amazon, you can get it here!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Magicking in the Lines

Posted by: Jenn Burke
This is my first post on Here Be Magic. Thanks for having me! Earlier this year, Marie Harte wrote about 2015 being the Year of the Sheep. For me, it’s the year of the book. Tomorrow, my debut novel will be released by Entangled Publishing (a paranormal romance called HER SEXY SENTINEL—more on that in a little bit) and three books of my five-book male/male science-fiction romance series (co-written with Kelly Jensen) will be published by Carina Press before the end of 2015, starting with CHAOS STATION in March. I’m tired just thinking about it! (But also beyond thrilled.)

One of the things I like best about writing speculative fiction is the world-building. I can let my imagination run wild, coming up with fantastical creatures, landscapes, history, culture, magic. But in order to make sure readers can immerse themselves in the story, everything in a world needs a reason for existing and rules that govern it.

Rules are so important in speculative fiction. They keep the magic (or science) in a world consistent and, if they’re done well, present limits. Whether those limits are hard or soft is up to the writer, but they’re needed to prevent magic from becoming the easy answer to every conflict. If a character can get rid of a problem with a simple wave of a wand—without repercussion or limits—then you’ve got a problem. The story will lose all tension because there’s no longer any question if the characters will be able to get out of the predicaments they find themselves in.

When I created the magic system for HER SEXY SENTINEL, I made sure to keep this in mind. In that world (which is mostly like the real world except for, you know, demons and portals and magic), there are three tiers of magic-users. The first are psychics, who unconsciously tap into the energy they generate to enhance their senses. The second tier is magic-users, psychics who manage to access energy beyond what they generate themselves, either in a moment of crisis or through intensive study. On the third tier are the marked magic-users, the people who have the potential to be much more powerful than anyone else. From that tier come the Sentinels, two special magic-users who protect Ottawa. One of the Sentinels, the Magus, is the living nexus of all the magic in the city. Because portals. And demons.

At each level, there are limits. It takes a lot of adrenaline or effort for a psychic to break through to the next tier and become a magic-user, so it doesn’t happen often. A magic-user can’t wield too much magic at a time, or they risk burning themselves out. Even at the top of the magical foodchain, the Magus risks losing her mind if she releases too much magic from the nexus.

Because I had these rules in place, the conflict through the book isn’t easily addressed. Magic doesn’t become a deus ex machina but a tool with limits and repercussions for its use. Which leads to…

Well, you’ll just have to read it.

HER SEXY SENTINEL is available January 26!

***

The most dangerous thing they could do is fall in love…

Callie Noble fled to Ottawa to escape danger. But she is far from safe. Overwhelmed by a strange new power she can’t control, Callie is terrified and painfully incapacitated. Her only hope is to seek the help of the one man who broke her heart…

Derrick Llewellyn is one of the Sentinels charged with the protection of the city’s mysterious secret. Seeing Callie again is a shock enough, but the electricity between them is stronger than ever. Still, loving another marked individual is forbidden, and Callie needs his help—not romantic complications.

But there are forces at work in the city, and Callie finds herself inexorably drawn into a world filled with danger and untold magics. A world where loving Derrick isn’t just forbidden…it’s the surest way to drive them both mad.


Saturday, January 24, 2015

Coming Full Circle

Posted by: Loribelle Hunt
In August 2013 I blogged here about Turning Points. I thought at the time the changes in my life would be centered on writing. Little did I know. My mother died suddenly in October 2013 and my dad moved in with us a couple months later. The beginning of 2014 was not an improvement. My dad, who'd been in remission, spent several weeks in the hospital and my oldest daughter began what has been a series of illness and recover that so far is still unexplained/diagnosed. So it likely will come as no surprise my deadlines got a little flexible. (Thank God for understanding editors and publishers!) But finally that book I sold back in August 2013 is finished and edited and has a firm release date.

I started the first draft of The Southern Belle's Guide to Witchcraft in 2006 for my mother. She was a big fan of paranormal YA and Southern comedies and a fun gothic series (Dark Shadows anyone?). I'm not really sure what I intended the book to be other than something that would entertain my mother lol. There's a great deal of her influence in it. To say I'm nervous about its release is the understatement of my life.

And that's quite enough anxious introduction, isn't it? So here it is.  

The Southern Belle's Guide to Witchcraft

Southern Magic Book One

Coming February 27, 2015

There’s a new evil in town, and it’s gunning for Scarlet...

Scarlet Burke isn’t an ordinary witch. She comes from a long line of Burke witches, whose job it is to protect the good folks of Purgatory, Alabama from things that go bump in the night—and things that might slip through the portal in Fool’s Wood. Normally, it’s an easy gig that doesn’t take much time from her day job. Until her ex-husband turns up dead in a ritualistic killing no one recognizes. William, a mundane, had high-tailed it out of town years ago after getting Scarlet’s baby sister pregnant. So why had he come back? Better yet, who (besides Scarlet) had wanted him dead badly enough to lure him to the forest, stake him, skin him, and drain his blood? It wasn’t a vampire kill, but she was damned if she could determine what it was.

Werewolf Jake Mills, the bossy and possessive chief of police, can’t believe anyone in his town could commit such a brutal crime. And Scarlet can’t believe she’s still trying to avoid his advances. Jake has been chasing her for years, and if he wasn’t so charming—and so drop dead sexy—she might try harder to outrun him. Or at least summon a bit of self-control. But the man just refuses to stay in the “Just Friends” box she’s placed him in.

But when the killer targets Scarlet’s family, ghouls, demons, and dark fae all come under suspicion. And when her daughters become the targets of an ancient dark ritual, Scarlet and Jake are forced to make an impossible choice. Fight evil with evil, or watch Scarlet’s daughters die...

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Shake My Magic Dinosaur

Posted by: R.L. Naquin
Photo from BioPop
Science. Magic. Whatever. Why do we need labels? Isn’t magic just science we haven’t figured out yet? Of course, I’m writing this on a blog full of authors who write both science fiction and fantasy.

I’m sure the SF folks are giving me the stink-eye right about now.

But I’m giving it right back. I will not be swayed in my opinion. You know why? My husband gave me magic disguised as science for Christmas, and it’s the most badass thing I’ve ever seen.

Behold, the Dino Pet. You will never in your life see anything half this cool.

What I unwrapped was a box with an empty plastic dinosaur in it. It looked like a place to put loose change. Nothing fancy about it. But it also included instructions and a code to enter on the BioPop website to register my kit and tell them where to send my magical dinodudes.

Yes, that’s what I sometimes call them. Dinodudes. Little guys. Tiny buddies. They respond equally to whatever I call them. Much like Sea-Monkeys probably would.

Anyway. The company sent me what looked like a Capri Sun pouch with a nozzle, and it was all wrapped up in thermal material so my dinobabies wouldn’t freeze in the mailbox. I poured them into the plastic dinosaur, followed that up with some of the food the company sent me in a separate Capri Sun pouch, and screwed the plastic dinosaur’s bellybutton back in.

And then I waited.

What they sent me was a pouch of tiny, floaty bioluminescent dinoflagellates. They only glow at night, and the trip from California to my mailbox screwed up their circadian rhythm, so it took a few days for them to readjust.

You have to shake them to get them to glow, just like the movement of the ocean’s waves makes them glow in nature. The first night, I got a few of them to light up for a brief second. I was ecstatic! Coolest thing ever!

Each night after that, the glow got stronger. It’s been about two weeks now and they stay lit for about twenty seconds after I set them down. They fade to black, then a few late bloomers light up like tiny sparks in the darkness, one at a time, like fireflies signaling for mates.


I no longer mind getting up in the middle of the night to pee. I have friends waiting for me before I go back to bed. I am a contented, if slightly unstable woman, standing in the dark at three in the morning, smiling and shaking a plastic dinosaur filled with stars.

You can call it science if you want. But in the middle of the night, it’s a lot more like magic.

Rachel writes stories that drop average people into magical situations filled with heart and quirky humor.

She believes in pixie dust, the power of love, good cheese, lucky socks and putting things off until the last minute. Her home is Disneyland, despite her current location in Kansas. Rachel has one husband, two grown kids and a crazy-catlady starter kit.



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Buy her books here:  Amazon B&N Carina Press

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Why is Fantasy Romance so hard to find?

Posted by: Eleri Stone
I can never decide if the fantasy romance I want to read is incredibly rare or just really difficult to find. What I’m looking for is a secondary world fantasy + steamy adult romance. And because I stumble across some really great ones every once in awhile, I’m inclined to believe that it’s more a problem of finding them than that they just don’t exist at all.

Why are they so hard to find?

One problem is that fantasy romance is marketed in the same category as paranormal romance at places like Amazon and Barnes & Noble. When you plug in fantasy romance into a booksellers search engine, you pull hundreds of pages of PNR. A cursory look at favorite fantasy romance lists on goodreads shows mostly PNR as well. I did find an Epic Fantasy Romance list (One!) that’s specifically non-pnr here. http://www.goodreads.com/list/show/36509.Epic_Fantasy_Romance
But that’s just one list. Fantasy Romance is such a small fish and when you put it in the same tank as a monster like PNR you’re just asking for it to be swallowed.

Since the search engines don't work, that leaves word of mouth which can also be problematic. There are a lot of fantasy blogs (who won’t touch romance), some PNR-friendly blogs (who will occasionally feature SFFR). There are several SFR blogs too. But I’m not aware of any sites that specifically review Fantasy Romance. If you've seen any, please let me know!

So what do I do?

I feel bad for saying this, but I often find the most satisfying fantasy romances by searching through the fantasy section. Fantasy has a long tradition of strong romantic subplots and you can find plenty of satisfying romances within the fantasy genre. It’s actually a lot easier to search for fantasy and then scan the lists for fantasy romance than it is to search specifically for fantasy romance and find it. It's not the best process, I know. I miss out on all the romance categorized books which are actually a lot closer to what I’m really looking for. They’re just such a bitch to find.

Do you read Fantasy Romance? If so, how do you find it?

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Crossing the Streams or Hey! You Got Paranormal in My Erotica

Posted by: Jeffe Kennedy
Many of you know that I’m currently publishing in a couple of genres.

Along with the TWELVE KINGDOMS fantasy romances, I also have a contemporary erotic romance series with Carina, the FALLING UNDER books. The newest in that trilogy, UNDER HIS TOUCH, released yesterday - yay!

I usually alternate books, writing a fantasy, then writing an erotic romance and this works great to keep me fresh and create distance between books.

However, as you might imagine, particularly with going back and forth on edits, I’m often working on both a fantasy and a contemporary erotic romance at the same time. And, yes, I get a bit of bleed.
What surprised me with UNDER HIS TOUCH was the form the bleed took. It turned out (I discover these things as I write) than my young heroine, Amber, is a fan of the Neil Gaiman Sandman graphic novels. And the hero, Alexander Knight, reminds her of Dream. He’s also known as the King of Dreams or the Dream King. (Tori Amos even references him in her song, Tear in Your Hand.) It ends up being a metaphor for the whole story in kind of a cool, profound way.

Alec Knight is older than Amber and it’s one of the obstacles they face. At 44 and a Brit with a classical education, he struggles with his infatuation with the 22 year-old Amber, who also works for him. He likens his obsession to the struggle with damnation in Marlowe’s Dr. Faustus. As the story progresses, Amber tries to get him to take on a different metaphor – that of the Dream King.

This works on a couple of levels. Both Faustus and Sandman deal with issues of damnation, guilt and innocence on paranormal levels. Both deal with supernatural, if not godlike, beings. The metaphors brought a layer of emotional richness to the story and also provide a way for Amber and Alec to connect across their generation gap.

In the end—without spoilering—Alec recognizes the ways in which Dream’s story is like his own, and how he needs to change to find a better ending.

All of this is by way of saying that, as writers of all kinds of paranormal and speculative fiction, we can employ these themes and metaphors in other genres, too. I didn’t necessarily plan this out, but once the thread emerged, I went back and layered it in throughout. I loved how it worked out, too.

Has anyone else tried something like this or have ideas now of what they could do?

***

Amber Dolors knows better than to get involved with her boss. Devastatingly handsome in his sharp suits and sexy beyond belief, he possesses an air of command that fuels her darkest fantasies. But she’s worked too hard to get this job, and keeping it will lead to a brilliant future. She won’t cross that line-even if his way of giving orders and demanding her best performance gives her delicious warm shivers. 
Alexander Knight prides himself on his integrity and self-discipline. After all, he hasn’t risen to the position he enjoys by indulging his whims over ambition. He also isn’t blind. He’s certainly noticed his sharp, young assistant is hot as hell. His self-imposed sexual hermitage doesn’t stop him from watching her. And endlessly fantasizing.
The day Alec’s cool reserve cracks and Amber catches a glimpse of something simmering beneath his apparent indifference is the day everything between them changes. Alec gives her what she’s been looking for sexually-as masterful in the bedroom as he is in the boardroom. He finds himself in the grip of an affair that tests even his boundaries, while Amber’s new role as willing student pushes them both past any consideration other than mutual longing. 

“Kennedy’s novel has all the addictive tension and high-stakes passion that fans crave. Her main couple’s interactions are intense from the start, and she doesn’t shy away from either realistic details or dreamy fantasies. Best of all, she moves beyond their overwhelming physical passion to the emotions that drive them both, including the achingly real fears that threaten their happiness. As a result, this book is as touching as it is torrid. “
-RT Magazine, 4 1/2 stars!

Available January 19, 2015

 

Monday, January 19, 2015

Here Be News

Posted by: Eleri Stone

New Releases


Amber Dolors knows better than to get involved with her boss. Devastatingly handsome in his sharp suits and sexy beyond belief, he possesses an air of command that fuels her darkest fantasies. But she's worked too hard to get this job, and keeping it will lead to a brilliant future. She won't cross that line--even if his way of giving orders and demanding her best performance gives her delicious warm shivers.

Alexander Knight prides himself on his integrity and self-discipline. After all, he hasn't risen to the position he enjoys by indulging his whims over ambition. He also isn't blind. He's certainly noticed his sharp, young assistant is hot as hell. His self-imposed sexual hermitage doesn't stop him from watching her. And endlessly fantasizing.

The day Alec's cool reserve cracks and Amber catches a glimpse of something simmering beneath his apparent indifference is the day everything between them changes. Alec gives her what she's been looking for sexually--as masterful in the bedroom as he is in the boardroom. He finds himself in the grip of an affair that tests even his boundaries, while Amber's new role as willing student pushes them both past any consideration other than mutual longing.

Get it today!

***

Everyone has a breaking point.

Mina Tanner was once a converter, a human with telekinetic and telepathic abilities. After a vicious mental assault by an evil shadowmind stripped her of her powers, she was forced to flee her home to escape her attacker. Now, she's trying to start a new life in San Francisco, far away from any and all reminders of the gifts she grew up using.

But her precariously balanced "normal" life topples as her apartment and her job fall victim to a new luxury development. Jackson Herring, an old family friend and powerful converter, offers Mina his spare bedroom while she gets on her feet, and she agrees...reluctantly. Mina's finding it difficult enough to adjust without a daily reminder of what she's lost, especially when that reminder is six-foot-four, super-talented and gorgeous.

When a mugger attacks her and she somehow burns his hands, Mina realizes that despite everything she's lost, she may have gained something far more powerful--and dangerous--than she ever imagined. And when the rest of the shadowmind community learns about it, Mina will find herself on the run once again.

Book three of The Shadowminds

Get it today!

***

Secret Confessions: Sydney Housewives – Meagan
From the hottest writers in Australia comes a scintillating new series. Enter the world of Sydney’s elite, and find out what goes on behind the doors of the most exclusive addresses in the country…

Meet the Housewives of Sydney. They are wealthy, elegant, poised, and constantly in the public eye. But what goes on behind closed doors, in the private homes and parties where the cameras and paparazzi aren’t welcome? Delve into the most personal details of their relationships, their friendships and their lives. The only question is: can you handle the heat?

Meagan knows food. In the kitchen, she’s confident, cool, and in charge. But when it comes to presenting next season’s dishes and delicacies to the owner of the exclusive restaurant where she is head chef, all of her insecurities boil to the surface.

She knows that she’s playing with fire with a special dessert that blows the restaurant’s budget, but maybe, with the help of some unorthodox persuasion techniques, she might just get what she wants – everything that she wants.

US$0.99 Get it today!


***
All's fair in love and discipline...

http://marieharte.com/books/a-major-connection
Major April Soames is spending her last days as a Marine soaking up the sun and dog sitting for her sister. Unfortunately, the troublesome canine has dug up the garden of the last person in the world April expects to see—sexy Gunnery Sgt. Robert Thorn. The man is a hundred percent male with a body that won’t quit and a hardass attitude to match. He’s unforgiving, and now the darn dog has made a mess of his tomatoes.

Gunny Bobby Thorn has seen the major hottie on base, but officers and enlisted don’t mix. Then he learns she’s on terminal leave, only a few more weeks until she’s officially a civilian. That makes her fair game, and she’s just what he needs to add a little pleasure to his life. Thorn finds himself falling for her. Hard. Between her sharp wit, snarky attitude, and gorgeous looks, he’s addicted and needing more.

But April has plans to move on with her life, and Bobby’s not all that great when it comes to maintaining relationships. But with a little mastery in the bedroom and some tactical planning, he’s going to find a way to storm her defenses. When it comes to the heart, this is one Marine playing for keeps.
(Previously released in the Danger Zone anthology)

Book four in the Good to Go series (but also reads as a standalone)

Get it today!

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