Archive for June, 2008

h1

Author Kat Martin’s Aliens in Love!

June 24, 2008

How do you mix romantic suspense with alien abduction? NYT bestselling paranormal romantic suspense author Kat Martin discusses the inspiration behind her newest book, Season of Strangers (MIRA)…

By Kat Martin, author of Season of Strangers

I’ve always been interested in U.F.O’s. When a story began in my head that dealt with unidentified flying objects and alien abduction, I told myself I didn’t dare chance writing something like that. But as with all intriguing tales, it kept nagging and nagging until I had to put it down on paper.

And so it was that my newest paranormal romantic suspense, Season of Strangers came about.
I did a ton of research for this book. I dug out the latest information on space travel and how close we are to being able to leap through hyper-space, as a UFO would do. The information on alien abduction was spine-chilling and entirely too believable. More reason to write the book!

Over the years, I have written a number of romantic suspense novels based on the idea of ordinary women who have extraordinary experiences. In my current series, that is what happens to social worker, Elizabeth Conner, in Scent of Roses, a ghost story; and also to Autumn Sommers in The Summit, when she begins to dream about a lost little girl.

In Season of Strangers, Julie Ferris, a real estate agent, discovers that she and her sister are missing several hours of time. When Laura begins having bouts of paranoia and begins to claim she was abducted by aliens, Julie thinks her hypochondriac sister has gone completely out of her mind.

Then odd things begin to happen. Most striking, the mysterious, life-altering change Julie’s sinfully handsome boss, Patrick Donovan, a dedicated womanizer heavily involved in drugs and alcohol, makes practically overnight.

Such a drastic change seems almost humanly impossible. Surely it was the heart attack his cocaine use brought on. Or is Laura right and a man from outer space is using Patrick’s body?

It is all wildly disturbing, and to make matters worse, Julie is falling in love with this new Patrick. As their relationship deepens, Julie begins to ask herself–am I losing her heart? Or my mind?

I always write lots of sex and romance in my stories and in that way, this one is no different. It is, however, a wild and unusual story. I would like to read more of these outer space adventures. Does anyone out there agree?

~Kat

 

h1

Author Jennifer Armintrout’s Sexy Bloodsucking Fiends!

June 17, 2008

With All Souls’ Night, Book Four of the Blood Ties series, Jennifer Armintrout wraps up the gripping saga of doctor-turned-vampire Carrie Ames and her eternal fight against evil.  We asked Jennifer to tell us what readers can expect from the final installment…

By Jennifer Armintrout, author of Blood Ties Book Four: All Souls’ Night

Hello, people out there in blogland! Hey, my new book is out, you should buy it! Not to be pushy or anything, but I do have a kid who’ll need college tuition some day. 🙂

Another really good reason to pick it up is that Blood Ties Book Four: All Souls’ Night wraps up the Blood Ties series completely.

Okay, maybe not completely. I do have a couple more ideas up my sleeve for Carrie, Nathan and the gang, but for right now, this is the end of the series. It’s the final showdown between good and evil, and it’s time for all of the characters to reconcile themselves to the fact that they’re really, pitifully outnumbered.

It’s also time for some old friends to return, and a new one to be introduced. And of course, there is gore. Much gore. I don’t like to brag or spoil anything for anyone, but zombies. Being attacked by werewolves. That statement alone can sell the book better than anything else I can say.

So, if you’re in the market for some thrilling action and you’ve already gone to see Iron Man this summer, then I think you have no choice but to check out Blood Ties Book Four: All Souls’ Night. If you haven’t read any of my other fine offerings in the Blood Ties series, such as Blood Ties Book One: The Turning, Blood Ties Book Two: Possession or Blood Ties Book Three: Ashes To Ashes, you’ll probably want to read those first, so you’ll know what’s going on in Book Four. And also, that college tuition thing I mentioned earlier.

~Jennifer

To learn more about Dr. Carrie Ames and the Blood Ties series, join Jennifer Armintrout in the eHarlequin.com Community this week, June 16-20, as she blogs and chats in character!

h1

Author Susan Grant’s Otherworldly Sci-Fi Romances

June 12, 2008

How does a pilot become a paranormal – slash – romance – slash – sci fi author? Author Susan Grant (Moonstruck) shares her inspiration for her out-of-this-world novels…

By Susan Grant, author of Moonstruck (HQN)

I’m often asked how a commercial airline pilot ended up writing romance. “Easy,” I say. “Too little time on the ground coupled with way too much time to think!” Trust me, nothing aids plot-hatching and character-developing like fifteen straight hours stuck in the cockpit of a 747 with lukewarm coffee and a sky so black you can see every star in the Milky Way.

The sights, smells, and tastes of the exotic locales I visit, and the conversations I have with people I’d never normally meet, provide the most amazing material to weave into my stories. With a little imagination, a dark alleyway in Shanghai ripe with the stench of sewage, garlic, and moped exhaust becomes a lawless, backwater planet in the Borderlands, a region in the stars where my newest series takes place. A Chinese restaurant where I nibbled on pickled jelly fish, stir-fried fungus, and sautéed morning glory transforms into dinner-for-two with a warlord on a distant planet. Sometimes I think I have the perfect “day” job for a paranormal author.

When I’m not a jet-lagged daydreamer wandering around Sydney, Shanghai or Saigon soaking in ideas for new stories, I’m a suburban mom raising two teens. When they were much younger I used to bring them, and usually the neighbor boy, too, to the local park to play . One day the boys ran off, each clutching a laundered-too-many-times Beanie Baby (the only two toys in the car), leaving my daughter empty-handed. “But, Mom,” she said, grief-stricken. “Now I have no one to be!”

To be

Whoa. Simple words, but what a concept! My daughter, with the boundless, easily accessed imagination of a child, intended to be a Beanie Baby, slipping into the fluffy body of a kitten, or duck, or crocodile to live through its eyes. And, boy, did I understand her disappointment. That’s exactly how I feel when I open a book and can’t lose myself in it, when I’m unable, for some reason, to form that seamless emotional connection with the characters that allows me to live the story right along with them.

Think of the books on your keeper shelf. What made them so special the first time you read them? Did they engross you to the point where when you turned the last page you looked up blinking because you forgot who and where you were? Did they sweep you away to another time, another place, another body? Then those authors succeeded in giving you someone to be.

If you’d like to come along on some of my flying adventures, visit my blog and check out the archives. No luggage required! Oh, and for a peek at the stories these adventures have spawned over the years, stop by my website, www.susangrant.com, where I maintain a printable list of all my books and what series they belong to.

~Susan

h1

Writing Opportunity Update: Tips on Writing Nocturne Bites

June 10, 2008

By Jenny B, Digital Content Manager

Still working on that Nocturne Bites submission?  Check out this eHarlequin.com article, chock full of tips on what to do and what not to do when writing a paranormal romance short story! 

(Or, refresh your memory by reviewing the writing guidelines, or these tips from the editor herself!)

Best of luck with your writing endeavours!

h1

Author Lisa Renee Jones’s Demon-Hunter Cowboys!

June 9, 2008

Demon-hunters + Cowboys = hot paranormal romance! Lisa Renee Jones, author of the Knights of White miniseries from Silhouette Nocturne, shares the inspiration behind her latest title, Return of the Beast (Silhouette Nocturne Bites)…

By Lisa Renee Jones, author of Return of the Beast and Beast of Darkness

When my editor called me about writing a Nocturne Bite, I was in a UHAUL moving from Texas to New York. Leaving Texas behind was an emotional roller coaster, and during the drive, I was replaying in my head all the things I was going to miss about my home state. So it was easy to say, I wanted this Nocturne Bite to be ALL TEXAS, and it seemed only appropriate that my Nocturne Bite feature a REAL COWBOY — I have learned they don’t have many of them in New York! I am amazed at how cowboy-deficient this state is! Boy, am I glad I have my Texas memories to cling to!

And from those memories came Return of the Beast, my June Nocturne Bite. Return of the Beast features a hero nicknamed “Ryder,” a name he was given for his ability to tame even the wildest of horses. Ryder works as the horse trainer at the Brownsville, Texas, horse ranch that The Knights of White use as a cover for their Demon-hunting operation. Something inside Ryder tells him to go home, back to Round Rock, Texas, where he first became a Knight of White, to the place he himself was attacked by a Demon. It is here that he finds the Demons are again preying on innocents, and one of those innocents is a woman who will change his life. Ryder is about to be tamed — if he dares allow such a thing!

Of course, the entire Knights of White series is based upon the Texas Legend of Matamoros Monsters, aka Demons. You can find that legend at http://www.theknightsofwhite.com/the-legend/. Texas is at the heart of the Knights of White, and that will never change, because much of my heart is still in Texas as well. In fact, my July Nocturne, Beast of Darkness, takes place in the haunted Texas town called “Nowhere.” The hero is a three-hundred-year-old, Harley-loving, bad boy, with roots in England, but who now calls Texas home.

Beast of Darkness is a wild ride, complete with ghosts, Demons, magic, and a whole lot of action-packed danger. Add a really hot romance, and it is perhaps my favorite Nocturne to date that I have written. That said, the fun thing about writing a Nocturne Bite, from a writer’s perspective, was the chance to do something a little different and focus more on the romance and characterizations and let those things drive the story. I really had fun writing Return of the Beast, and I hope readers will enjoy it, too!

As for the future of The Knights of White – Book 4 is CAPTIVE BY THE BEAST. The hero, Rinehart, travels to a secret military island to save a group of humans with XMEN-type gifts that the Beasts hope to clone for their own use. This story will leave you with a slight cliffhanger related to the characters in the next book BEAST OF FIRE. BEAST OF FIRE will give away major secrets regarding Marisol and Rock’s story, and yes, they will FINALLY get their story in book 6 – tentatively titled HEALED BY THE BEAST!

I really hope you enjoy Return of the Beast, and I can’t believe it but Beast of Darkness will go live on the Harlequin page June 1 as well!

Here’s wishing you many an exciting summer read!

~Lisa Renee Jones

 

h1

Author Pamela Palmer on Making Faeries Real

June 5, 2008

What if there really were faeries in this world? We asked Pamela Palmer, author of The Dark Gate and Dark Deceiver (Silhouette Nocturne), to share her thoughts on finding the heart of a legend…

By Pamela Palmer, author of Dark Deceiver

I’ve heard it said that every legend has, at its heart, a kernel of truth. Now the ‘truth’ may be as simple as, yes, there was once a great Saxon warrior by the name of Arthur. Did he live in Camelot, have a magician as a friend, and sit at a round table? Hard to say since there were no video cameras or even literate witnesses around at the time to record the details. When it comes to oral history, it’s a near certainty that facts are going to get embellished, misinterpreted, or flat out changed to suit the storyteller. As my beloved grandmother used to say, “Why should I tell it the way it happened when I can make it so much more interesting?” (Guess where I got my talent for making up stories?)

The legends of the faeries and elves are a good illustration of how legends morph and change. In most of the original tales, faeries and elves were the size of humans, decidedly wingless, and generally dangerous. Over the generations, that perception’s changed to the point where modern culture portrays them as benevolent tiny winged creatures or pointy-eared dwarfs.

I’m a daydreamer, I’ve always been a day dreamer, but I’m also an intensely logical person. So, several years ago when I stumbled upon a book of ancient faerie beliefs, I got to thinking. What if there was actually a kernel of truth in these old legends? What if, long, long ago, there really were faeries in this world? My logical mind promptly took over and started firing off questions. What happened to them? Why were they here? Why aren’t they here any more? How, over the centuries, have the original facts been twisted and changed as original facts always are? And, best of all, what would I do if suddenly faced with irrefutable fact that the creatures at the heart of the legends had returned? Creatures that were not cute little Tinkerbells, but man-sized, malevolent, and bent on the enslavement of the human race?

And so the Esri were born. In Book 1 of the series, The Dark Gate, the first Esri in fifteen centuries finds his way back into the human realm and wreaks havoc on modern day Washington, D.C. The hero and heroine have to accept the impossible in order to stop him, and come to realize there’s truth in the old legends after all. In Book 2, I flip that realization a bit when one of the Esri, a dangerous, dark-haired, part-human known as the Punisher, infiltrates the human realm to destroy the only humans who can stop the Esri invasion, only to realize humans are a far cry from the mindless creatures his own legends have portrayed. One human, in fact, steals his heart and changes his understanding of everything he’s known, including himself.

So, here’s my question to you. What legend or story or fairy tale would you most love (or hate) to discover was real? What idea excites you or terrifies you the most? Anything from vampires to Atlantis to Star Trek’s Federation of Planets. Happy imagining!

~Pamela

For much more on Pamela’s Esri series, including excerpts, character bios, and laws of the world, visit www.pamelapalmer.net

 

h1

Author Lori Devoti, unbound: hellhounds and valkyries, oh my!

June 3, 2008

We asked Lori Devoti, author of  Wild Hunt, the third in the Unbound series from Silhouette Nocturne, about what readers can expect from book three, and what inspires her as a paranormal romance writer…

By Lori Devoti, author of Wild Hunt (Silhouette Nocturne)

What can readers expect from this novel? Romeo and Juliet. It’s that simple and far more complicated.

Wild Hunt  is the story of two individuals (Venge and Geysa) who are fated to be enemies because of what they are—hellhound and Valkyrie. Beyond their historic differences are their opposite goals. Geysa wants to stop the Wild Hunt because it killed her mother. Venge wants to control the Hunt so he can kill his father. Two more opposite goals and motivations couldn’t exist, but at their core Venge and Geysa are very similar. Neither feels they “fit” with their own kind. Neither loves or really accepts who they are, and both need someone who does accept them, who can appreciate them for themselves—see them, not as a Valkyrie or as a hellhound.

So, Wild Hunt is the story of Romeo and Juliet and self-acceptance. Maybe all of my books are about self-acceptance…I’d have to think about that!

Wild Hunt is also the continuing story of the Unbound world. Characters from books one and two reappear, and we learn a bit of what has happened in their lives. We learn more about hellhounds in general, how they live and get along (or not) as a group. We also meet two strong all-female beings, Valkyries and Norn, and get a bit of a glimpse into their world. And perhaps my favorite part of the book, we get to see the Wild Hunt in action and witness the Valkyries in all their original glory gather forces to stop it.

Wild Hunt is probably my favorite of the three books so far in this series. And I think that boils down to characters. They care intensely about protecting the things they love (or come to discover they love). It made me love them in return. I hope it does the same to you.

I have been reading fantasy novels my entire adulthood. However, I think my influences for the Unbound series started way before that–stuck in the backseat of a Ford Galaxie on a sticky hot Southern Missouri night while my parents watched Charles Bronson, John Wayne, and Clint Eastwood on the big drive-in screen. I can even think of a few episodes of Gunsmoke (on a much smaller screen) that stuck with me.

This may seem like a strange reply since I do not write Westerns (although Wild Hunt is set in an old west ghost town), but to me the Unbound world isn’t really about the “Nine Worlds,” and hellhounds and dark elves—it’s about the characters and the bigger than life sacrifices they are willing to make to do what they see as right. It’s about emotional intensity. It’s about caring for someone or something besides yourself. That to me is the Unbound world—and it wouldn’t exist if I hadn’t grown up knowing that sometimes you have to willing to challenge someone to “make your day” because some things are just that important.

~Lori