Saturday, October 10, 2015

Psychic Week - An Excerpt from Her Sexy Sentinel

Posted by: Jenn Burke
For Psychics Week, I thought I'd offer up a snippet from my first book, Her Sexy Sentinel. It's a paranormal romance that deals with psychics, magic, murder and demons...and a hell portal under Canada's Parliament Hill, yay!


The first ring of his phone roused Derrick Llewellyn enough for him to blink at the clock radio on his nightstand. The wavering three, five, and two stared back at him and he swore. Better not be Risa. He’d crawled into bed a mere two hours before after leaving his sister’s place.

Was it too much to ask for more than a couple hours of uninterrupted sleep?

He rubbed a rough hand over his face and grabbed his cell phone. “Llewellyn.”

Dead air greeted him, along with another ring. He groaned and tossed the cell back on the nightstand.

Levering himself up on one elbow, he reached for the chirping cordless handset and flipped on the bedside lamp. Caller ID displayed “George St. Diner” and he frowned. It had to be a wrong number. Some drunk who misdialed while calling up his buddy. Anyone who actually knew him would have called his cell, seeing as he rarely parted from it. He stared at the phone, his thumb hovering over the talk button.


He jabbed it and barked, “Llewellyn.”


Though quiet, there was no mistaking the voice. In an instant, he was twenty-three again, watching a petite blonde laugh across from him in a crowded pub, her graphite eyes sparkling, her cheeks flushed with amusement. Whatever he’d said to evoke such merriment had been lost to time, but it didn’t matter.

“Callie?” He tried to sound casual, but shock still colored his voice. He was dreaming, right? Because there was no way in hell Callie Noble would randomly call him at 4:00 a.m. For anything.

“You remember?”

How could he forget? As much as he’d wanted to. He pushed himself into a sitting position. “Yeah.”

“So.” She paused. “Um, how’ve you been?”

“You didn’t seriously call me up in the middle of the night to chat, did you? What are you doing in town?”

A chuckle reverberated across the line, a sad, watery sound. “No, I didn’t.” She sighed. “I—I’m in trouble.”

His shoulders rounded, drooping under yet another weight. He didn’t need this, an extra complication in an already-complicated life. He had enough burdens, enough responsibilities, without the added variable of a woman he hadn’t seen for seven years. The “sorry, can’t help” balanced on the tip of his tongue, held back by one simple fact.

This was Callie. Dammit, she should not have the same effect on him now as she had years before. And yet he had the inexplicable urge to pull her into his arms, to protect her, just like always.

That should’ve been his first clue, way back then, that he was meant to be a Knight. Well, that and the fact that his sister insisted he had the determination for it. Though the word she used was “pigheaded.”

Gods, he was tired.

He scrubbed a hand over his face. “Trouble how?”

“I don’t know.” She hiccuped a sob. “I think I’m sick—or something.”

“Have you seen a doctor?”

“No, I can’t—”

“Get in a cab and head to the hospital—”

“Derrick, please—just be quiet.” He thought he heard a moan. “I can’t think. God, I can’t think… I need help.”

His hand moved from his face to his hair, his fingers getting tangled in the messy dark strands.All of his protective instincts, already primed by the first stutter that had reached across the phone lines, reared up at the desperation in her voice and pushed aside his reluctance. “I’ll come get you.”

“Are you sure?”

Yeah. Dammit. “You’re at the George Street Diner?”

“I guess so. I-I wasn’t paying attention.”

“Give me five minutes.” He got out of bed and pulled on the jeans he’d discarded only a couple of hours before.

“Thank you.”

He paused—something in her voice didn’t sound quite right, her words slurred. “Are you all right?”

“I’m crashing,” she whispered.

Shit. “Hang on.” No response. He heard a thump and a crash on the line. “Callie!”

“Hello?” Another voice came through the phone.

“The girl I was speaking to, is she all right?”

“Passed out, poor thing. I guess she had a rough night. Are you her boyfriend?”

“Something like that. I’m coming to get her. Five minutes.”

“I’ll get her some more coffee.”

“You do that,” he said, and disconnected.

What the hell? She hadn’t sounded drunk, until she’d slurred her words there at the end. She’d said she was sick. But why call him, of all people? For that matter, why was she here at all? He shoved those last two questions aside— he’d deal with them later. Right now, he’d help her, like she’d asked.

He made good time. At four in the morning, little traffic impeded him, and the stoplights all seemed to switch to green when they saw his BMW approaching. Ottawa didn’t quite roll up the sidewalks at midnight like some other small cities, but this late—or this early—few souls were about. The bars in the ByWard Market had all closed at two, and the drunken stragglers had long ago disappeared from the area. Even the denizens of the street were hidden away somewhere, sleeping off their poison of choice.

Derrick pulled to a stop in front of the George Street Diner, ignoring the no parking sign. Bursting through the glass door, his gaze swept the interior, noting the gray-haired waitress and a slouched figure who didn’t pay any attention to his entrance. And in a booth across from the door, a mop of blond curls resting on a tabletop.

“Callie?” He was at her side in a few quick steps, his lungs hardly working. She seemed so small, so fragile, so not the Callie that lived in his memories. He nudged her shoulder and she rewarded him with a heavy sigh.

She turned in his direction and blinked those unforgettable stormy gray eyes at him. “Derrick?”

“I’m here.” He crouched before her, his brow furrowing as he noted the dark mottling of her skin near her ear, along her jaw. A bruise? What the hell? Had someone laid a hand on her? The need to protect her thundered through him again—and this time, he wanted to find the bastard who’d hurt her and throw a few punches of his own.

“Your hair’s shorter.”

Trust a woman to notice he’d cut his hair, despite being sick. Fishing a twenty out of his wallet, he dropped it on the table. “Let’s go.” He reached down and scooped her into his arms. “I’ll get you to the hospital.”

“No hospital. I’m just tired. Need a place to sleep.”

“Yes, hospital. We need to find out why you’re sick.”

“No,” she moaned.

“The doctors will help. I’ll stay with you—”

“I can’t go to the hospital!”

A force expanded from the small woman in his arms like a shock wave from a high explosive. It blew past his already- messy hair, and the coffee mug on the table where Callie had been sitting shattered with a pop.

PopPop. He watched, stunned, as each mug set out on the tables in the diner disintegrated.

“Oh my God,” the waitress whispered behind him.

Callie moaned again, turning toward his shoulder. Her eyelids fluttered and her breathing grew irregular. The shock rumbling through him deepened as her body started jerking. He held on, swearing. Fuck. This just got more and more complex. And unbelievable.

“Hey.” The blue glow of his eyes reflected from the waitress’s gaze. Her facial features slackened under the onslaught of his power as his mind sought to influence hers. “Everything’s fine, Marj. Do I smell something burning?”

“Oh my goodness, I must have left an empty pot on the burner.” Marj scurried behind the counter to retrieve the nonexistent pot. Good girl. Derrick glanced at the other figure in the diner, who hadn’t stirred—a quick read of his emotions told him that he wasn’t even aware of his surroundings—then tamped down the power, packing it back into its usual compartment. He held Callie to his chest, relieved that the convulsions seemed to have stopped. He could feel each rise and fall of her chest; every expansion seemed shallower, less strong. He knew where he had to take her, and it definitely wasn’t the hospital. Risa would be pissed about being woken up, but tough shit.

Duty didn’t always wait for business hours.


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.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Skeptics, Dreamers, and Limits

Posted by: Cindy Spencer Pape

I think my colleagues have pretty well covered some of the delights and difficulties of writing about psychics. It's so much to play with powers we only wish we had, and yet they can so easily take over a story. My solution? Limit the powers. In my Gaslight series, Jamie has prophetic dreams that come true--most of the time. But the characters never know what might change or trigger that outcome.

In Sea Change, a paranormal romance, just now available in print,Heidi knows her best friend isn't dead, and sometimes has a warning sense wen trouble is coming--but sometimes just not quickly enough. Also, because she's a scientist, she's reluctant to trust her own gifts. Putting limits on powers helps us keep the characters from having too easy a time solving their problems.

Also a scientist, I was trained to be a skeptic, but I like to keep an open mind, mostly because the romantic dreamer inside me likes the idea that there are powers out there we haven't yet explained through science. One of my few experiences was the night my oldest son was born. They'd taken him off to intensive care with very little explanation, so of course I was frantic. But I knew something else was wrong--really wrong. I found out the next day, that while I'd been in Philadelphia having a baby, my older brother in Detroit had been in a catastrophic car accident.

They waited until the middle of the night, after they'd chased my husband from the hospital, to put the baby in intensive care. The poor man was exhausted and didn't hear the phone until the third time I called. He finally talked me through it and I was able to breathe again. At 3 am--after having a baby at 4 am the morning before, I finally got to sleep.

The next day, I spoke with my mother-in-law. She and I have always been close. She said she'd felt something was wrong and had stayed up praying. (Our beliefs aren't the same, but I respect hers.) At 3, she'd sensed that all was well and had gone to bed.

I don't know if that was a psychic link or not, but it was sure comforting. I know that if someone near me is in pain, I sometimes feel it as if it were my own. That part isn't so much fun. So the rational, scientist in me will say that psychic powers are at best highly developed intuition. The dreamer in me isn't so sure.

My story in Into the Flames  doesn't have any psychics, but since today is the last day to get the set for 99 cents, I wanted to mention it. My newest story, Beltane Lion, in the Entice Me  boxed set, features an empathic healer who also has a bit of precognition. The next story I have coming out is called The Devil of Bourbon Street, in a set called (not so coincidentally  Here be Magic) and the heroine is a street singer who sees auras. I hope you enjoy my explorations into the unknown.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Writing Psychics Can Be Fun...But Also Really, Really Hard! Here's Why

Posted by: Angela Campbell
I’m not sure when my fascination with psychics began, but I think it probably ignited when I saw the movie Fear starring Ally Sheedy way back when I was in high school. I know. Anyone else probably would have credited Carrie, but not lame-o me. For me, it was Fear. Anyone else ever seen it? For some reason, I think it premiered on the USA network as a made-for-cable-TV movie, and I watched it on its premiere night. I don’t know, because according to IMDB, the movie released in 1990 and I can barely remember where I parked my car yesterday. I was a teenager who was raised on John Hughes movies, so I was all over watching anything with Ally Sheedy in it. Honestly, I probably didn’t even know what the movie was supposed to be about. Don’t judge. It happens. I'm also certain by watching this trailer on Youtube that it was cheesy and badly acted and I would laugh my head off if I watched it now, but hey. When I saw it, back in 1990, it had impact!

Basically Ally Sheedy plays a psychic who works with the police to catch killers. In this particular case, she's trying to help the police catch a serial killer they called Shadow Man, who it turns out (spoiler alert) is also psychic, and better at being psychic than good ole Ally. In fact, he used his psychic abilities to stalk and kill his victims without getting caught. So a thrilling game of cat and mouse began in which he taunted Ally and then targeted her, too, because of course. I haven’t seen the movie in…decades, but I remember it well because I thought, wow, what a plot twist that the killer is also psychic! It's psychic vs. psychic! Keep in mind this was 1990, back before that became a thing. At least, I’d never seen or read that plot before.

Needless to say the trope of psychics hunting bad guys stuck with me because, well, that’s what I write about these days. Whether you believe psychics exist in reality or not, you can’t deny what fun characters they make to read, and in my case, write. Personally, I like my psychics to be a little bit quirky. After all, imagine if you could see the future, talk to dead people, or move objects with your mind. I’m sure that would make me more than a little quirky, too. As fun as they are to write, I’ve also encountered some problems by making my characters psychic. Here are a couple of examples:

Problem: Hey! He can read minds so….wait a minute. Shouldn’t that instantly solve the mystery? D’oh!

Solution: The mind is an extremely complex bundle of shifting emotions and memories and awareness. I know! My hero doesn’t know what he’s doing and has flaws and stuff. Yeah, that’ll work.

Then I decided to write a series, with each book in it readable as a standalone and featuring a different hero and heroine.

Problem: This psychic hero really knows what he’s doing so….wait a minute. Shouldn’t that instantly solve any mystery? D’oh!

Solution: This is where my non-psychic characters come in. They’re smart, too. Smart enough to have learned how to defend themselves against the hero’s psychic mumbo-jumbo. Bingo. Now, I have some world-building happening. Yeah!

Anyway. Writing psychics is fun, but it can also be hard work. I mean, I'm still trying to fill in plot holes I've created in the fourth book in my psychic detectives series (yes, I'm still writing it), but I also just finished a novella — unrelated to my series, but still featuring a psychic hero — that I think is pretty good. Maybe. I dunno.

If I had psychic powers I would know if you would like it or not, but I don't, so I guess I'll just have to wait and see. Fingers crossed.

Angela Campbell is the author of the psychic detectives series from Harper Impulse. Learn more about her and her books at Looking for a psychic mystery that's great for this spooky time of year? Here's a recommendation (it's Book 2 in the series, but it can be read as a standalone):

Something wicked this way comes…

All homicide detective Dylan Collins wants is a few hours of pleasure to take his mind off of the case haunting him. A serial killer is stalking the streets of Charleston, SC – a killer who calls himself The Grim Reaper. When the woman he'd just spent the night with turns up and offers her services as a psychic consultant on the case, his ardor quickly cools. Last thing he needs is to get tangled up with a con artist.

It doesn't take long for Dylan to realize Alexandra King is the real deal – and the killer's next target. Dylan's protective instincts battle his reluctance to get too involved with a woman he isn't sure he can trust. As they get closer to finding the killer, they also grow closer to one another, but will Alexandra's secret agenda destroy their chance at happiness – if the killer doesn't strike first?

Amazon | Amazon UK | Barnes and Noble | Nook (UK) | iBooks | Google Play | Kobo 

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Bringing Conflict, Tension, and Quirk Through the Paranormal

Posted by: Danube Adele
Psychic characters are not a new phenomenon to literature and film. Characters that can peek into the future or have an extra sensory leg up have been an added spice or the main enchilada to many famous literary works over time. When used well, they've added an extra layer of depth and complexity to a story, inviting the audience/reader to be more than passive spectators. As the witnesses to this extra sensory knowledge, the audience is challenged to remember what they've been told and to try and piece together how this extra knowledge will shape character action and plot twists. Many strange and wonderful plot points have wowed readers and movie goers through this paranormal/sci-fi convention.

"Double, double, toil and trouble Fire burn and cauldron bubble." Can I get an "amen!" from the Shakespeare club? Think back to the shortest but bloodiest of all Shakespeare's plays, MacBeth. In this tragic tale, we watch the three Weird Sisters caution MacBeth with signs to watch for that will mean his doom. No man born of a woman will ever hurt him, and until Birnam Woods comes to him, he will be safe. But what does this mean? How should we interpret this? We struggle with MacBeth and watch with horror as he commits murder after murder of innocent people. The sisters never told MacBeth to kill, but they planted the seed of conflict and let MacBeth nurture it with his own fatal flaws. They toyed with him and let us all watch him go down in flames.

There are so many fascinating psychic characters that have driven the plot with their gifts. Dead Zone with Christopher Walken has been a favorite of mine since I first saw it as a child. It had me spellbound, alarmed by his visions and on the edge of my seat when he tried to keep horrible things from happening around him. The Sixth Sense gave us all the OMG moment at the end of the movie if no one spilled the secret in advance. But let me share a character that is more quirky and lighthearted from my own genre. Nix the Ever Knowing or Nucking Futs Nix. She's part of Kresley Cole's exciting world in the Immortals After Dark series where she's in high demand from all of the powerful creatures of the lore. The twist? She's adorably spacy, but in a very calculated way. Absolutely love her.

Using psychic characters in my own writing seemed to occur naturally enough. In fact, I find it difficult to write characters who have no paranormal abilities, which is where Dreya comes in. She's the seer in my Dreamwalkers series, working to give knowledge as it is revealed to her, in order to help the people of Te're find peace from their generations old war amongst themselves. The Brausa and the Sunan have lived with bloody enmity as far back as anyone can remember, but the gods have determined it is time for change.

In Quicksilver Dreams, book one of the Dreamwalkers series,  Dreya invites Taylor Lane to discover who she really is in the universe, introduce her to the new power that will be hers to develop, and train her to be the next seer. Of course, it doesn't hurt that Dreya's grandson Ryder is tall, dark and dangerous to her senses. It's a rocky road when they both have trust issues along with very hot chemistry. In Dark Summer Dreams, the second book in the series, Dreya forces Shandry, her granddaughter, to risk life and limb breaking the number one enemy of her people out from a Sunan prison. Instead of being grateful, the Braussian warrior takes her back to his camp where they both feel the reluctant spark of a passion that's beyond their control. As the spice, Dreya is a mystical conductor of plot twists, and she has much left to do before she can rest.

Carina Press

The third book in the series is Dreams of a Wild Heart. Ceci has dreams that allow her to connect with a long lost love, but being a doctor of medicine, she's in constant conflict, but that all ends when she finds herself unwillingly transferred to another planet for the use of her doctoring skills by a dark, brooding, Braussian warrior. There's been little joy in his life, and Ceci finds she wants to help him find it again.


The war is not yet over. As the characters dig deeper into the past, they'll begin to uncover more of what happened to bring such hatred between the two nations, and it will take the bravery of our heroes and heroines to reach for the heartfelt dream of lasting peace. Stay tuned for Book 4 in the Dreamwalkers series.

Thanks for tuning in. Who are your favorite psychic characters?

Carina Press

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Psychic Week - We're All a Little Bit Psychic

Posted by: Linda Mooney
Whether you want to believe it or not, we're all a little bit psychic.

Have you known who was calling you before answering your phone (and not looking)?
Have you known your phone was about to ring, or someone was at the door before hearing it ring?
Have you "felt" someone's presence nearby before looking to see who it was?
Have you been aware of something being "wrong", and going to check it out to find you were right?

These are just a few instances that all of us have experienced at some point or another in our lives. Maybe there were times when you grew aware of something before it happened or revealed itself. If you have, please share!

Speaking of psychics, please check out my book Possession. It contains a blind psychic and a cop...who's already dead. That's right. He's already dead. And this novel has an HEA. Honest!

Sensuous Paranormal Urban Fantasy Romance
Word Count: 60.9K
e / $9.99 p

If you were murdered by a stranger, wouldn’t you want the chance to be able to come back and find out who killed you? And why?

J was born blind, but she could "see" things. Her gift has always helped the police find such things as missing persons, serial killers... a ghost or two.

Detective Kiel Stark has worked homicide for eight years, but he has never met this mysterious Seer his fellow officers claim could almost perform miracles. Not until a gruesome triple homicide has his superiors calling in the reserved woman to help with the case.

Now Stark is faced with a double threat. Not only is he finding himself dangerously attracted to the enigmatic beauty, but she could very well discover his own carefully guarded secret—a secret that could bring an end to his career, his way of life, and any future he had hoped to have. 

Warning!  Contains disturbing images, the living dead, revenge gone wrong, drug deals gone bad, and two people facing an impossible love without any chance for a future. 

For an excerpt and buy links, go to:

Monday, October 5, 2015

Here Be News

Posted by: Eleri Stone

New Releases

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.
Available: Amazon  Kobo  iBooks 

Skip Trace

Book three of Chaos Station

Zander Anatolius has been revived from the fatal effects of the super-soldier program, but now he has to face his estranged family and tell a story few would believe. With his lover and the crew of the Chaos at his side, Zander returns home to a media frenzy, threats from the military and pressure to join the family business.

Felix Ingesson still struggles with the horror of believing Zander dead. And no matter how strong their emotional connection is, Felix feels out of place in the glittery world of Zander’s rich family. His lover would be better off without a broken, low-class ship’s engineer holding him back.

When the crew receives word that another of Zander’s former teammates needs rescue, Felix travels with the Chaos…setting Zander free. But when Zander is arrested for treason, the men realize they need each other as much as ever—not only to survive, but to make their lives worth living.

Read the first chapter on our website!

Lurin's Surrender

When the hunter becomes the hunted, all bets are off because love is on the line.

For Captain Mara Seni, being a bounty hunter is what she does, not who she is. But her latest bounty makes her question her job. He’s tall, dark and handsome. But a rapist? A murderer? And why is the victim in question more intent on keeping him than putting him in jail?

There’s something off about Lurin Vez, and it’s more than his good looks. Though she shouldn’t care, Mara’s not going to stop until she finds out the truth. But when the truth turns into a love brighter than the sun, it’s all she can do to withstand the heat.


Cover Reveal

Here is the very gorgeous cover for Desire to Fall, my next science fiction romance novel (and book 1 in a new series)! You might notice she has a rather nice set of wings and that it looks little gritty and urban--all of which is true (the cover is totally perfect).
What you aren't seeing is the that then men don't have wings. Society is split and this made for some interesting world building and some unique problems. But it is such a fun world to write in.
If you like your SFR gritty and very sexy (did I mention the ménage?) keep an eye out for Desire to Fall at the end of October!

Member News

There's a Goodreads giveaway for the newly released anthology that Jeffe Kennedy has a story in!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Dark Secrets by Rachel Caine

Dark Secrets

by Rachel Caine

Giveaway ends October 31, 2015.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter Giveaway

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Psychic Week: Tales of Everyday Magic

Posted by: PG Forte
Welcome to psychic week! I’m so excited to be part of this celebration of some of my favorite characters in the paranormal genre.  Not that I have anything against vampires or shifters, or elves, wizards, fae—you name it—I love them all. But all of these characters tend to exist in a world apart from ordinary reality where you’re pretty much expected to check your disbelief at the door.

There’s nothing wrong with that, of course, but sometimes I want a book set in a world not that different from our own—with just a touch more magic. A book where the line between fantasy and reality is a little bit blurred. 

For Marsha Quinn, one of the main characters in my Oberon series, being psychic is no picnic. Practically everyone she comes in contact with thinks she’s a mind-reading witch.  When I wrote the Oberon series I was inspired in part by true stories I’d heard over the years about ghosts or angels or astral projection, of impossible coincidences, dreams that predicted the future or wild hunches that turned out to be true. So many stories, told to me by so many people, that could lead me to only one conclusion: whether we accept it or not, we’re all just a little bit psychic.  

You can read more about the Oberon series by clicking on the link below. But now I’d like to hear from you. What sort of psychic phenomena have you experienced?


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