Archive for March, 2008

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Vampires Done to Death?

March 31, 2008

By Jenny B, Digital Content Manager

Is it time to kill the vampire hero? I was catching up on my blog reading and I saw this interesting post over at Dear Author.  In passing, the writer comments on the relative popularity of the vampire as alpha hero:

Aren’t vampires on their way out? I can’t read another vampire story. I’m into shifters and in a poll I had a few weeks ago, shifters were preferred 3 to 1 over vamps.

Is this true? Are you over vampires as heroes? If so, what are you into now?

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Paranormal Romance novels nominated for RITAs!

March 28, 2008

By Jenny B, Digital Content Manager

The Romance Writers of America has posted its list of RITA award finalists! Congratulations to all those nominated, but especially to all the authors of paranormal romance and urban fantasy novels on the list — I’ll be there in the audience on August 2nd cheering and applauding for you!!

Dear Author has an interesting open thread on the RITAs, with some discussion of the world-building required in paranormal romance. 

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the paranormal romance nominees — have you read any of the nominated titles? Are any of your favorite novels from the past year missing from this list?  What would your “dream RITA ballot” look like?

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Author C.E. Murphy’s dark, sexy urban fantasy novels

March 26, 2008

Love dark, sexy, unhuman heroes in paranormal romance novels? We asked urban fantasy author C. E. Murphy to tell us about her vision of the collision between the “ancient races” and one very modern woman… 

By C.E. Murphy, author of House of Cards

New York City’s only legal counsel to the fabled Old Races, Margrit Knight is levelheaded in all matters extraordinary. But when she’s summoned to negotiate a peace treaty among rival factions, her own mortal world threatens to fall apart. Margrit’s been in hot water before, but re-entering the underworld brings a new set of problems. And a new set of friends and enemies, including a ruthless vampire mobster, a dragonlord who won’t take no for an answer, a band of subversive selkies…oh, and Alban Korund, the sexy gargoyle who got her into this mess–and whose granite-strong touch still haunts her every fantasy…

My favorite fairy tale has always been Beauty and the Beast, and that, without question, is the genesis of the Negotiator trilogy. Margrit Knight, a human lawyer, and Alban Korund, a gargoyle who will never be transformed by love’s kiss into a man Margrit can share her days with.

…boy, I’m mean, aren’t I?

Well, actually, I hope I’m not! My real thought behind the setup for these stories was that, like many people I know, I always felt Beauty got a little ripped off by falling in love with a magnificent Beast who, in the end, turned out to be only human.

So I wanted my Beauty to become involved in a world that had not just one Beast, but many, all with their own agendas and intentions. For me, a world in which Alban could exist by necessity had other ancient, magical races which also hid in the shadows of the world we know. The Old Races–gargoyles and dragons and djinn (oh my), selkies, and vampires–filed into place, and Margrit, an ordinary human woman, was thrust among them.

Chaos, as they say, ensued. Margrit’s a meet-it-head-on kind of character, ready to bull her way through on bravado and brains, and the Old Races need someone like her to help them function in the modern world–but they want her on their terms, and Margrit only works on her own. House of Cards starts putting paid to some of the consequences of doing it her way.

(I love consequences. Margrit’s face-it-down attitude is 180 degrees from my other urban fantasy lead, Joanne Walker, who prefers to stick her head in the sand. They’ve both got to deal with the massively different consequences that arise from their individual methods of coping. I think the world might implode if they had to work together on something.)

The Negotiator books are darker and sexier than the Walker Papers. They almost have to be–two-thirds of the story takes place at night, so it’s quite literally darker! But Margrit’s more sure of herself and more open to possibility than Jo is, and so the world she’s confronted with is automatically a lusher and more sensual place. That was a challenge for me as a writer, but I think it was worth it in the end. I hope readers think so too! 🙂

-Catie

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Lisa Renee Jones’ Alpha Heroes Addiction

March 20, 2008

By Lisa Renee Jones

My name is Lisa and I am an addict — an ALPHA HERO addict, that is. There. I said it. I feel better now. But, well, there’s more. Ready for the next confession? ONE alpha isn’t enough. I know. That’s bad. But I can explain. It’s not my fault. It’s their fault! Isn’t the man always to blame? 🙂 Every good alpha man I discover finds some perfect woman that is NOT ME! And then where does that leave me me me?! I need to find another one!

So I had to write a series that gave me a chance to discover a new ALPHA every few months. Rinehart was my most recent fling. Before him it was Max. Before that Des. Des from Beast of Desire. One of my favorites! He is wild, edgy, and sexy with a big capital S. And like the other alpha males I mentioned, he is one of the Knights of White. The Knights work for a higher power, enlisted to fight demons by the Archangel Raphael. Of course, being killed by a demon and saved by an angel tends to give a guy a tormented soul, but hey, what’s a heroine for but salvation – right?

The Knights of White series idea came from a trip I took to Brownsville, Texas, several years ago. While driving to the small border town, I passed through King Ranch which is bigger than all of Long Island. One thing led to another, and a conversation started about the Mexico border town not far from Brownsville where there is a legend known as the “Matamoros Beasts.” From there, the ideas began to evolve and the ranch became a home to demon hunters: The Knights of White.

One of the things I enjoy so much about writing The Knights of White is the message throughout the series of good conquering evil. And while their battles might require swords, they also require the same things each of us needs each time we face obstacles in our lives — the courage to risk failure balanced by determination not to fail.

Beast of Darkness, my July release, is a story of sacrifice, pain, love, and faith. You meet the hero, Max, in Beast of Desire, my March release. It is also a story that transforms the series in ways I don’t think readers will expect. By the end of this book, you will know there are new dimensions to the role the Knights of White will play in the war against evil. The characters in Beast of Darkness took me on a rollercoaster ride of danger and emotions that kept me on the edge of my seat as I wrote — there were times when the battles exploded with excitement, when I feared for the outcome for some of the characters. Every time I sit down to write a story in The Knights of White series, I am amazed at where the characters take me. Each story has felt so different, each an adventure I’ve enjoyed exploring immensely — I hope you feel the same about The Knights of White series!

But onward! Want to meet some of the guys? Complete with pictures and everything?
Click here: http://www.theknightsofwhite.com/the-knights  Stop by anytime! It would be a shame for any of these men to feel neglected!

Also, please look for my next Knights of White story, Return of the Beast in June. This Nocturne Bite features a Knight known for his ability to tame the wildest of horses … and it’s going to take one heck of a woman to tame the beast in him! Hope you will join me for Return of the Beast, available on eHarlequin.com in June.

Happy Reading!
Lisa Renee Jones 

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Writing a book? This could be your logo!

March 19, 2008

By Jenny B

Here’s a sneak preview of the Nocturne Bites logo:

Nocturne Bites Logo
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Bloodrunners: Sexy Werewolf Stories from Rhyannon Byrd!

March 14, 2008

By Jenny B

Attention all fans of sexy werewolf heroes!  For more information on Rhyannon Byrd’s Bloodrunners series, check out this interview with her on eHarlequin.com.  She teases the story arc that connects all three books in the trilogy, and even hints at what’s to come in books 4 and 5, due out in 2009!

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Rhyannon Byrd’s Sexy Half-Human Werewolf Heroes

March 13, 2008

Werewolves can have a soft side, too.
by Rhyannon Byrd

There’s no question that alpha males are my favorite kind of heroes, whether I’m writing a romance or reading one. And while I love the dark, rugged, seductive intensity of this compelling brand of hero, what really makes an alpha grab my imagination, as well as my heart, is when there’s an aspect of his character that’s slightly damaged, even a little bit broken.

In fact, it’s his vulnerabilities that often reveal an alpha’s softer side, and for me, that’s one of the things that makes them so delicious. While their aggressive, mouthwatering sexuality can drive us wild, it’s the unexpected, softer facets of these heroes that can truly reach in and grab a reader’s heart. And when you make that alpha a werewolf, then it’s even better. 😉

In my new Bloodrunners series from Silhouette Nocturne, the heroes are intense alphas, who just so happen to be half-human, half-werewolf. As an author, I enjoy the freedom and creativity that comes with writing paranormal characters–especially werewolves, who allow us to explore the darker realms of physical craving, while tempering that powerful, visceral hunger with the hero’s need to cherish and protect his woman. I’m fascinated by the combination of their primal animal hungers and human restraint–that seductive blend of the predatory hunter and devoted protector. And although the heroes in this series are often hard and dark and impossibly arrogant, they each possess a softer, more emotional side that only the heroine is allowed to witness.

Some of my favorite scenes from the Bloodrunner books are the ones in which these softer qualities are revealed to the heroine, allowing her to see that this powerful, confident warrior is so much more than the larger-than-life, untouchable persona he projects to the world. In Last Wolf Standing, it’s Mason’s deep-rooted fear of loss that finally reveals the more emotional elements of his character to Torrance, the woman destined to be his life-mate. With Jeremy, in Last Wolf Hunting, it’s his damaged heart and wounded pride.

But perhaps the most poignant of these three alphas is Brody, in Last Wolf Watching (available in May from Silhouette Nocturne), who bears physical scars, as well as emotional ones. Brody is a dark, intense, guarded hero, and yet, it’s the more vulnerable aspects of his character that make him so special. After everything that he’s suffered, he truly deserves a woman like Michaela, who sees past his scars and bitterness, to the amazing man (…or werewolf) that he truly is.

I hope you’ll enjoy these dark, sexy and often tender alphas as much as I enjoyed writing them, and look forward to the next batch of Bloodrunners coming in 2009!!

All the best,
Rhy