Archive for February, 2008

h1

Is there such a thing as a happy vampire?

February 28, 2008

By Jenny B, Digital Content Manager

There’s a great post over at Smart Bitches that (in addition to being snarkily hilarious) asks the question, is it possible to have a happy vampire hero?  I don’t know if I agree that the world of paranormal romance is populated exclusively by angsty, self-loathing, emo-type vampires, but it does seem that a good degree of brooding is a requirement for a lot of the vamp heroes I’ve been reading lately. 

There are some great insights in the comments thread so I encourage you to read that too — then if you feel moved, I’d love to see your thoughts here on whether or not a happy, well-adjusted vampire hero can provide a satisfying HEA!  What do you think? Would you even want to read about a happy vamp?  Or is the brooding part of the sexy mystique?

Advertisements
h1

Update on writing opportunity!

February 27, 2008

By Jenny B, Digital Content Manager

I know you’re all keen to know more about the new program of digital-only stories, Nocturne Bites, and since I just came from an update meeting I thought I’d share a few spoilers with you!

The tagline will be “dark, sexy, and not quite human”. 

The launch author will be the marvelous Michele Hauf !

The first one will be available May 1st!

And, best of all, the editors are most definitely looking for new talent to fill out the roster!!

So, get writing!

h1

Gena Showalter and Jill Monroe prove author videos can be fun

February 22, 2008

By Jenny B, Digital Content ManagerWhile catching up on one of my favorite book blogs, booksquare, I found this older post featuring a hysterical author video with Jill Monroe and Gena Showalter. Check it out!

Beyond the fact that a giggle is always a nice capper to a Friday afternoon, I love that booksquare is making a valid and too-often ignored point — author videos can be fun, funny, irreverent, and satirical while still promoting the author and her books.  Well done booksquare for pointing this out, and well done Jill and Gena for making a video that’s genuinely entertaining!

h1

Advance preview of Rhyannon Byrd’s Last Wolf Standing!

February 20, 2008

By Jenny B, Digital Content Manager

Want a sneak preview of Rhyannon Byrd‘s March Silhouette Nocturne, Last Wolf Standing, first book in the Bloodrunners series? Check out this cool digital excerpt

I love how the virtual pages turn… Does that make me a geek?  😉

h1

Kathleen Korbel’s Dark Seduction into Paranormal Romance!

February 15, 2008

By Kathleen Korbel, author of Dark Seduction (Silhouette Nocturne)

I came into paranormal romance by accident. Well, sort of. I was writing a series about ‘salt of the earth’ people from Wyoming, the first of which, Jake’s Way, was about a man named Jack Kendall who had held the family farm together by his fingertips to see his siblings raised. I introduced his two sisters and brother and knew they each needed their own stories.

For some reason, the minute I realized that, I knew that his brother Zeke, a field anthropologist, was going to end up in Ireland and run afoul of the Faerie Queen, just so I could write the scene where Zeke explains to his Wyoming rancher brother Jake how he, Zeke, had been kidnapped by Irish fairies (and yes, as a matter of fact, I had as much fun with the scene as I thought). I’d meant it for Silhouette Intimate Moments, the line in which all the other books resided. Little did I know that Silhouette was going to start the Nocturne line.

“Please,” Executive Editor Leslie Wainger said (at least in my version), “wouldn’t you like to be a launch book for Nocturne instead?” I assured her that was probably the silliest question I’d ever heard. Of course I would!

“There’s only one problem,” she answered. “Nocturnes are dark.”

“Dark.”

“As in, not as funny and light as this book is.”

“But my fairies are funny,” I protested.

“Not in the world of Nocturne, they aren’t.”

Hmmmm. Several thoughts came to me at once.

A) If you know anything about real Irish fairies, they can be very dark. They would probably also be incredibly sexual.

B) If I wrote about an entire new world of faerie, I could make one heroine into three sisters, and maybe even take it farther.

And that made the decision easy. And what I found is that I adore the world-building of paranormal. My fairies did end up being dark. And funny. And very, very, very sensual.

I do admit that I got caught up in the research aspect (I’m a fiend for research). “But what if I get the fairies wrong?” I feared, since much of the information I had on the world of Faerie contradicted itself. When I asked one of my good friends she gave me that look, like my hair was on fire, and said, “Eileen. It’s like the Quantum Leap Time Travel Rules. You. Make. Them. Up.”

It was a revelation. So I created two battling clans of fairies. One already known, the Tuatha de Dannen, a matriarchal clan, and the Dubhlainn Sidhe, a patriarchal clan, and I set them at each other. I created an entire universe that I adored playing around with. I made my three sisters heirs to the fairy throne. And I sent in a couple of humans to mess things up. And oh, yes. Lots of lovemaking. I guess I wasn’t thinking when I first visited my fairies, because I know perfectly well that they’re a race devoted to pleasure, beauty and joy. Sometimes they just have an odd way of going after it.

Then Leslie Wainger dubbed the series DAUGHTERS OF MYTH (I wanted to
call it Mab’s Daughters, but we weren’t sure enough people knew that Mab was Queen of Fairies). And my series was born.

The first book was Dangerous Temptation, in which my oldest fairy daughter, Nuala, falls in love with — yes, you guessed it — Zeke Kendall, the anthropologist. It’s based loosely on the folk story Tam Lin, in which Zeke has to triumph over three challenges given him by the faerie queen (and they’re quite tough, too) to win Nuala.

My February release, Dark Seduction, follows the middle sister, Sorcha. While searching through the land of mortals for a lost power stone of Faerie that must be recovered before the balance of life is unalterably destroyed, Sorcha trips (literally) over Harry Wyatt, who not only refuses to believe in fairies, but has a very personal reason why he shouldn’t. Poor Harry. He doesn’t stand a chance.

The third sister, Orla, was the villain of the first book. Well, I couldn’t leave it like that. So she shows up in September 08 in Deadly Redemption, when she pays her penance for an abortive attempt at the fairy throne by being sent to the Dubhlainn Sidhe as a hostage bride. Her new husband, Liam the Avenger, is no happier with the arrangement than she is. I have to admit, redeeming her was the most fun I had in the series. And believe me. I had fun.

I just want you to remember as you read this, that vampires and shape-shifters aren’t the only terrible beings out there. Fairies are pretty fearsome, too. Oh, and if you’re still stuck on the Shakespeare version, or the Leprechaun thing? Not so
much. The Tuatha resemble more the elves in Lord of the Rings. And they have better parties.

At least in my universe.

h1

Read Books for Charity!

February 12, 2008

By Jenny B, Digital Content Manager

This post isn’t about paranormal romance books in particular, but I wanted to let readers of this blog know about Harlequin’s 100,000 Book Challenge. Basically Harlequin is challenging folks to collectively read, and blog about, a total of 100,000 books in 2008, and when the challenge ends Harlequin will donate an equivalent number of brand-new books to the National Center for Family Literacy. Doesn’t matter what kind of books, what genre or publisher, or what format — eBooks and audiobooks count too.

Reading for a good cause? Sign me up!

h1

New writing opportunity in paranormal romance!

February 8, 2008

By Jenny B, Digital Content Manager

Calling all writers! Harlequin has a great new writing opportunity for lovers of paranormal romance!  All the details are in the writing guidelines, so without further ado:

Nocturne Bites

Silhouette Nocturne is looking to acquire paranormal editorial with strong sexual, fantasy and danger elements for its new eBook program, Nocturne Bites.

We’re looking for fast-paced novellas that hook the reader early by establishing a paranormal world and its conflicts. We are looking for stories of vampires, shape-shifters, werewolves, psychic powers, etc. set in contemporary times.

Many of the elements that make a successful Silhouette Nocturne remain true for Nocturne Bites. Stories should deliver a dark, highly sensual read that will entertain readers and take them from everyday life to an atmospheric, complex world filled with characters struggling with life and death issues. A strong alpha hero is of the utmost importance–he should be powerful, mysterious and totally attractive to the heroine.

While action-packed and mission-oriented, the scope of these stories should be more contained, with more focus turned to character development. All stories should be capable of standing alone; all loose ends need to be tied up, and the relationship between hero and heroine should resolve itself in a satisfying manner.

For published authors, this line is a great way to build their miniseries at Harlequin and Silhouette. Unpublished authors are welcome as well.

Only complete manuscripts submitted electronically will be considered from unpublished authors; no partials or queries, please. Submissions should be sent as a Word-compatible attachment. Submissions should also follow standard formatting guidelines–double-spaced and written in a clear, legible font on numbered pages. Author name and title should appear as a header or footer on each page.

E-mail address:nocturnebites@harlequin.ca

Length: 10,000 – 15,000 words
Editorial Director: Tara Gavin
Associate Senior Editor: Ann Leslie Tuttle
Assistant Editor: Sean Mackiewicz

Have you been reading paranormal romance for a while and wondered if you have what it takes to write one? We’re definitely looking for new talent — this could be a great opportunity to get your start! Don’t wait — get writing!!

Edited to add: If anyone has any questions about this new publishing program, please feel free to post them here; if I can’t answer your query personally, I’ll find out the answer for you!