Book sighting!

Emma Jane Holloway
January 25, 2015  •  No Comments

A writing friend caught a picture of Silks at Powell’s over the holidays. Thanks for sending this, Jennifer McKenzie!

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Possessed by a Wolf – back cover!

Sharon Ashwood
January 17, 2015  •  2 Comments

For those wanting a hint at the next Horseman – here is the back cover copy of Possessed by a Wolf, coming to you on May 1, 2015. You know May Day is magical, right?

 

Wolves mate for life…and wolves never forget their first love  

Royal photographer Lexie Haven wasn’t expecting to see her ex-boyfriend Faran ever again. She could accept that he was a spy, but a werewolf? No way. No matter how good they had been together, she has very personal reasons for steering clear of monsters. That is, until he literally crashes into a royal gathering in all his furry glory—and with a gunman on his tail. 

Within minutes of seeing each other again, the two estranged lovers are on a collision course. For now, Lexie is a prime suspect in the heist of a priceless ring, and only Faran can help her find the jewel and restore peace to the royal kingdom. But first, Lexie needs to trust in second chances and the supernatural.


Awakening the Dragon

Sharon Ashwood
January 3, 2015  •  No Comments

AwakeningtheDragon Lord Dragon’s Conquest has some distinguished company!  Mills & Boon has done a Nocturne anthology of dragons, and I’m delighted to be included.  See more about it on the Mills & Boon site HERE.


Demon Kitty vs the Christmas toys

Sharon Ashwood
December 31, 2014  •  No Comments

ChristmasDLKBThings I love about holidays – time to think, to dream, to watch the cat stare down inanimate objects . . . like suspicious-looking nutcrackers.


Truby Software

Emma Jane Holloway
  •  5 Comments

I’ll start by saying that I am a great admirer of John Truby’s work. Although I take exception to the idea that all fiction should be written like a film script (a book can do so much more than a movie), there is much to be learned from scriptwriting techniques. John Truby has a brilliant grasp of storytelling, and I highly recommend his books. His newsletter has some pretty good insights, too.

Based on these warm and fuzzy feelings, I took advantage of a half price sale and ordered his Blockbuster software. I figured there was something I might learn there. What I learned was that they were marketing for a Mac operating system from lo, many generations ago and customer service at Truby’s Writers Studios is not speedy, either by phone or email. Mind you, if all the Mac users taken in by this sale are contacting them, what a surprise. Plus, it is the holiday season, when they apparently have time to market but not to answer the phone.

So, I’m posting this as a public service announcement. BE ABSOLUTELY SURE that your operating system is covered before ordering any software. Don’t be stupid like me. Even on sale this stuff isn’t cheap (thank heavens I only ordered the basics and none of the add-ons!). And as I know a lot of you are also writers on Macs, I advise caution with this particular product. Double check and check again.

To be fair, I will post here about any response I receive from the company, whether they make it right, offer a refund, or whatever. If they make me a happy camper, I’ll move on to giving a product review instead of just a consumer beef.

ADDENDUM:  I’ve heard back from the mothership and they gave me the code to activate the software. Of course, it took some poking around to convince the program to give me the window in which to enter said code, but that eventually got it up and running. If I close the program, it’s really slow to reopen. Despite their conviction that it runs on Yosemite (which it does) I get the idea from the Mac’s grunting and grumbling and slow response that the Mac OS is not the program’s happy place. Two more advisories: one, the software has not got any instructions with it. I recommend getting Truby’s book or other supplementary info–I’ve already read the book so I’m further ahead. Also, if you don’t get the genre add-ons, it’s missing a lot of info. In other words, some of the clickable bits don’t work.

However, all that being said, the software is really good for sorting out ideas. Yes, it can be done on paper and yes, I’m fully capable of much of this stuff on my own but the program prompts me to examine things I hadn’t thought about yet. I’m just beginning a project and in the last hour I’ve focussed the conflicts really effectively. That, for me, saves on rewrites. I have some big projects I’m eager to load into this puppy because I can already see how it will help them along.

I’ll keep going and report back later.


Christmas at Butchart Gardens

Sharon Ashwood
December 29, 2014  •  No Comments

Poinsettia window

Every year I try to make it out to Butchart Gardens to see the Christmas lights. Sometimes the weather is too rainy or cold but this year it was perfect–cool but clear.

Here is their poinsettia window:  2014-12-27 15.16.48

 

 

 

 

 

Of course, that’s only part of the fun. They also have a very cool diorama with train sets that is extremely popular with little kids and grown-up kids but resulted in blurry pictures. But the best part of the display is the outdoors stuff, because it’s like walking through an after-dark fairyland. It’s possible to imagine all sorts of unearthly adventures in the glittering, secret darkness. After all, isn’t it the delightful trickery of dazzling illusion what the otherlands is all about? Here’s a taste for you (or as good a taste as an iPhone can manage!):

2014-12-27 17.03.54

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Lucy’s Blade by John Lambshead – review

Emma Jane Holloway
  •  No Comments

Sir Francis Walsingham, Queen Elizabeth’s Secretary of State, was the greatest spymaster the world had ever seen. But when he asked Dr. Dee to summon a demon the result was unexpected, especially for his orphaned niece Lucy. Sir Francis’ duty as her guardian was to find Lucy a suitably aristocratic husband, not to let her fight demons and witchcraft for the Queen’s Secret Service. But his and Lucy’s duty to protect Queen and country from enemies both natural and supernatural kept getting in the way. And so did all those demons . . .

This book caught my interest enough to want to say something about it. I’m always fascinated by Walsingham and Dee, and (in my opinion, anyway) to mix those two figures with a free-floating futuristic intelligence (aka demon) and Elizabethan privateers takes a special kind of authorial swagger. This is a very ambitious premise.

It’s also a bit of a different style of book. It’s the kind of narrative that wanders from one point of view to another, feels free to introduce historical sidebars, and takes its time with the material. It’s not for those who like their stories as high-velocity bullets, pared down to the bare necessities. Rather, it’s for those who like wry humour, unlikely juxtapositions, and storytelling outside the box.

Was it successful? Yes, I believe so. I like quirky books and this one was refreshingly unlike anything else I’ve read lately.

Want to find out more?  Click HERE to read an excerpt on the Baen Books site


Festive tea!

Emma Jane Holloway
December 21, 2014  •  No Comments

 

.2014-12-21 tea at empressTook my mom for our annual Festive Tea at the Empress Hotel. It’s always elegant, delicious and the correct degree of overindulgence. It’s a family tradition and I’m grateful each time that I have the blessing of her company and the luxury of the treat.


Winner!

Emma Jane Holloway
December 14, 2014  •  No Comments

Congratulations to Karen Krack – you’re the lucky winner of Shereen’s book!


Bound by Blood

Sharon Ashwood
December 8, 2014  •  No Comments

It’s lovely to share the stage with a guest now and again, so please allow me to introduce fellow author and urban fantasy writer Margo Bond Collins!  Her latest Night Shift novella, Bound by Blood, promises that sometimes the monsters in the dark are real…

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BBBebookcoverAs a child, Lili Banta ignored her grandmother’s cryptic warnings to avoid children outside their Filipino community in Houston. When many of those other children fell ill, Lili ignored the whispers in her community that a vampiric aswang walked among them.

Years later, Lili returns to Houston to work for the Quarantine Station of the Center for Disease Control—but she is plagued by dark, bloody dreams that consume her nights and haunt her days. When a strange illness attacks the city’s children, Lili is called in to find its source, and maybe even a cure.

But in order to save the city, she must first acknowledge the sinister truth: A monster stalks the night—closer than she ever expected….

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Character Interview: Dr. Lili Banta

1. Lili, quick. Describe yourself in seven words or less!

Filipino-American, Texan, doctor, epidemiologist, scientist.

2. Tell us something about your current hometown.

I recently moved back to Houston. I went to medical school in Maine because I wanted to get as far away from home as I could—but eventually, I was ready to return. I’m staying with my mother—my Inay—until I find a new place. That might take longer than I initially planned, because my ex-boyfriend just called me in to consult on a strange case at his hospital.

3. What’s the strangest thing that has ever happened to you?

When I was a child, my grandmother warned me about the aswang hunting the children at my school. An aswang is a woman who turns into a monster at night and attacks women and young children. I didn’t believe in them . . . but I might be changing my mind.

4. What’s your favourite food?

I love the traditional dish adobo from the Philippines. My grandmother—my Inang—made it with chicken and peppercorns, cooked in soy sauce and olive oil, and lots and lots of garlic. At the last minute, she took it out and pan-fried it to get the edges just crispy enough. Mmmm.

5. Can you tell us a little about what to expect in Bound by Blood?

When I get called in to consult on Will’s case, we’re all surprised by what we discover. I don’t want to give away too much, but my past and Will’s present case are all tied together in ways we never expected.

6. Can you tell us something about yourself we don’t learn from the book?

My father died when I was very young—I don’t even remember him at all.

7. What is your author Margo Bond Collins like?

She’s kind of quiet until you get to know her—she likes to sit back and watch for a while before jumping into any kind of social situation. But then it’s hard to shut her up! She grew up in Texas, and after living all over the country, has come back to North Central Texas, where she lives with her husband, daughter, and a bunch of pets.

8. Name five items in your purse or pockets right now.

Two IDs: one for the CDC in Houston, the other for Houston General Hospital. My car keys and cell phone. A scrunchie to tie my hair back. A pen. And that’s pretty much all my lab coat pockets have room for!

9. If you had one chance to change anything about your life, what would it be?

I wish I had believed my grandmother—that I had figured this out before someone got hurt . . .

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Excerpt

Sitting straight up in bed, I gasped and threw myself back against the headboard, the thud dying away along with the remaining shreds of my dream.

But the word still ricocheted through my mind.

Aswang.

Until yesterday, I hadn’t thought of the term in years—not since I’d left Houston for med school in Maine, determined to get as far away from home as I could.

But this resurgence of the same, odd illness that had swept my city years before was apparently also dredging up the old stories from deep in my subconscious: the aswang, a vampiric woman who lived a quiet life by day and fed on children in the night, flying back home on bat-wings just before dawn.

My unconscious mind had clearly also expanded on the idea, casting me in the role of aswang and adding schizoid conversations with a chorus of internal voices.

Great. I’m insane in my dreams.

And I’m a monster.

Shuddering, I wiped my hand across my gritty, raw eyelids.

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Buy Links

Only $.99 via Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/Bound-Blood-Night-Shift-Novella-ebook/dp/B00PB3AIGC/

Paperback: http://www.amazon.com/Bound-Blood-Night-Shift-Novel/dp/0990743365/

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About the Author 

MargoBondCollins

Margo Bond Collins is the author of urban fantasy, contemporary romance, and paranormal mysteries. She has published a number of novels, including Sanguinary, Taming the Country Star, Legally Undead, Waking Up Dead, and Fairy, Texas. She lives in Texas with her husband, their daughter, and several spoiled pets. Although writing fiction is her first love, she also teaches college-level English courses online. She enjoys reading romance and paranormal fiction of any genre and spends most of her free time daydreaming about heroes, monsters, cowboys, and villains, and the strong women who love them—and sometimes fight them.

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Connect with Margo

 

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/author/margobondcollins

Email: [email protected]

Website: http://www.MargoBondCollins.net

Blog: http://www.MargoBondCollins.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MargoBondCollin  @MargoBondCollin

Google+: https://plus.google.com/116484555448104519902

Goodreads Author Page: http://www.goodreads.com/vampirarchy

Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/MargoBondCollins

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/mbondcollins/

 

 


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