Archive for October, 2008


Happy Halloween from Harlequin!

October 31, 2008

Halloween is all over romance headquarters today! People are dressed up for our costume contest, cubicles are decorated for the pumpkin carving contest, and treats abound!

eHarlequin is also celebrating the holiday with a one-day-only double free book Friday offer: by any two print books from, and get a free Harlequin Presents novel and the first book in Jennifer Armintrout’s vampire series Blood Ties Book One: The Turning!

Our eBook Store is also giving away a free eBook today only.

How will you be celebrating Halloween today?


Interview with a Vampire…

October 29, 2008

The eHarlequin community welcomes a special guest this week — vampire Drystan Hurst, hero of Lori Devoti‘s “The Vampire who Stole Christmas” (in Holiday With a Vampire II, available in December from Silhouette Nocturne).

Some questions that have been asked so far: What do vamps do in their free time? What separates vampires from demons? And why does Drystan want revenge? Stop by the discussion to get the answers straight from the horse’s — er, make that demon’s — mouth, and pose your own burning vamp questions to Drystan.

If you could go one-on-one with a fictional vampire, who would it be — and what would you ask?


Free Reads and Online Treats this Week

October 28, 2008

With Halloween just around the corner, treat yourself with these following online goodies!

1) Free Nocturne online read at eHarlequin! The Ledoux Curse by Debra Cowan

In 1688, a jealous French nobleman cursed the Ledoux family—if a Ledoux woman fell in love with a man, he would die, damning her to a life of loneliness and guilt.

Despite her mother and grandmother’s warnings, Aubrey never believed in the curse. Until she fell in love with Jeff Wyrick. Until Hallowe’en night five years ago.

After that horrible night, Aubrey pushed Jeff away, vowing never to see him again or admit her feelings, even to herself. Even when he appears on her doorstep with those chiseled features and eyes that melt her resistance.

But Jeff didn’t come back for a meaningless night with Aubrey—he came back for a lifetime. And he’s willing to risk everything, including his life, to be with her.

But first they must break The Ledoux Curse.

We also have previous free online reads from Maggie Shayne and C.E. Murphy in the online reads library.

2) Dark & Dangerous: A Collection of Paranormal Treats

An ebook exclusive bundle of ten backlist paranormal novella by favourite authors like Susan Krinard, Maggie Shayne, Charlaine Harris, Karen Whiddon, and more, for an incredible bargain price!

3) Chat with fellow paranormal and fantasy readers at eHarlequin’s Community forums for Silhouette Nocturne and Luna.

And while you’re there, congratulate Anna Hackett on selling to Nocturne Bites!

4) Read some guest-blogs by Nocturne Authors!

First, Bonnie Vanak is talking about her November release Enemy Lover at Fresh Fiction. And Barbara J. Hancock is guest-blogging at Midnight Moon Cafe.

5) Get 25% off paranormal ebooks at our eBook Store! Get a great deal on books with dark & dangerous heroes…

6) Don’t forget — our free novella Desire Calls by Caridad Piñeiro disappears after Halloween!

Know of any other online treats this week? Share them in the comments!


Susan Krinard’s Historical Werewolf Hero

October 24, 2008

Bestselling author Susan Krinard’s third book in her werewolf vampire trilogy is out now! Susan tells us about Come of the Night and its hero Ross Kavanagh — a one-quarter werewolf cop — and asks readers to weigh in on their favorite kind of hero…

by Susan Krinard, author of Come of the Night

Hi, everyone! The third in my recent werewolf/vampire trilogy is out this month: Come the Night. It follows the adventures and romance of Gillian Maitland, daughter of the patriarch of a powerful English werewolf family, and Ross Kavanagh, a disgraced, one-quarter werewolf cop. Gillian is bound by werewolf custom to marry a mate of her father’s choosing, a marriage that will forge new alliances and insure Sir Averil Maitland’s continued power as head of the great werewolf gathering, the Convocation. Gillian has resigned herself to her fate, even as she mourns the loss of her one true love, surrendered years ago to her own fears and his stubborn pride.

Having been accused of a murder he didn’t commit, Ross has seen everything he cares about slip out of his hands… But when a young English boy shows up in New York to claim that Ross is his father, Ross discovers that his bitter feelings towards Toby’s mother are far more complex than he’d like to believe. In order to protect Gillian and their son, Ross must travel to England, where he’s plunged into a chaotic world of deadly werewolf politics. Forced to conceal his mixed human blood, he’ll have to fight to clear his name, prove himself Gillian’s equal, and restore the love they’d so tragically lost.

While Come the Night is set in the 1920’s, the unique world of the English country house gives the book a timeless feel. The werewolves of the Convocation are the aristocrats of their species, many bent on purifying the werewolf kind of all corrupting human blood. In a world trembling on the brink of a new way of life, the werewolf clans have a choice: either accept that they must share the world with humans, or join their cause with tyrants bent on conquering the world.

Ross and Gillian see the great danger to both werewolf and humankind; the stakes are high, for themselves and for the world as they know it. Their love may be the bridge that will change the course of the future.

Ross Kavanagh appears as a secondary character in my previous vampire novel, Dark of the Moon. He’s also the son of Sim Kavanagh, the half-werewolf gunfighter hero of To Tame a Wolf. I became very fond of Ross while writing DOTM, and really wanted to see him featured in his own novel. He’s now become one of my favorite characters: a hard-boiled cop with a heart of gold. I’ve always loved this kind of hero, cop or otherwise … Bogey in Casablanca comes to mind. Or, to extend the example a little further, my ultimate favorite: Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine in X-Men. I’m looking forward to writing other characters like him in the future.

I’d like to ask readers a question: what is your favorite kind of hero? Quiet but tough? Diamond-in-the-rough? All-out macho alpha-male? Or something else completely?

To read an expert of Come the Night, just use the Browse the Book widget below!


More About the Raintree Trilogy from Beverly Barton!

October 22, 2008

Bestselling author Beverly Barton wraps up the Raintree trilogy with her story Raintree: Sanctuary. Here, Beverly gives us some background to the trilogy and tells how all three stories fit together…

by Beverly Barton, author of Raintree: Sanctuary

Writing the Raintree books was a real labor of love for us. This trilogy was more than four years in the making and came together originally as three separate novels for the Silhouette Nocturne line. These books were released, one each month, in May, June, & July of 2007. I’m delighted to see the three books now combined into one, with the inclusion of the Inferno prologue which was inadvertently left out of the original release. I never would have undertaken such an ambitious project with any other writers. This collaboration succeeded only because we three are very good friends, because we conceived and executed the idea ourselves, and because one editor – Leslie Wainger – edited all three books.

The Raintrees are an ancient race of people who are “more than human” and who have supernatural powers that vary from person to person. Our main characters are the royal siblings: Dante, the dranir (king) of the Raintrees; Gideon, the prince and reluctant second in line to the throne; and Mercy, the princess who is the keeper of the home place, the Sanctuary. These siblings possess unsurpassed powers and they are dedicated to using their powers only for good. Dante has power over fire; Gideon power over electricity and an ability to see and speak to the dead; and Mercy is the greatest empath in the world, with the ability to heal the body and the soul.

Another tribe who broke away from the Raintrees seven thousand years ago, the evil Ansara, fought and lost a battle to the death with the Raintrees two hundred years earlier and was thought to be virtually wiped off the face of the earth. But in fact, the Ansaras had been rebuilding their clan and planning for another war in which they intended to wipe every Raintree from the face of the earth.

All three books take place simultaneously from one Sunday to the following Sunday and each story leads up to the final battle scene between the Raintree and Ansara, which takes place at the end of my book. Each sibling has his/her own love affair which is interwoven into each individual book. Sanctuary, the final segment (book) ties up the loose ends in all three stories.

To win an autographed copy of Raintree from Beverly Barton, visit the contest page on her website:


Linda Winstead Jones Writes Raintree

October 20, 2008

Authors Linda Howard, Linda Winstead Jones and Beverly Barton teamed up to write the Raintree trilogy, three books about a supernatural family first published by Silhouette Nocturne and now available in a single volume from HQN. RITA® Award winner Linda Winstead Jones joins us to talk about her contribution Raintree: Haunted and what it was like collaborating with two other amazing authors!

by Linda Winstead Jones, author of Raintree: Haunted

Just last week I was talking to a local readers’ group, and I told them how the Raintrees were born. I smiled the whole time. Good friends are a fabulous gift. Good friends you can sit down and plot with, friends you can plan and research and talk and laugh with are a blessing, indeed. Working on a trilogy with two other writers (and trust me, all three of us can be classified as control freaks, at least to some extent) could be a nightmare. This project was anything but. We spent years plotting and researching, and it was a blast.

The Raintree family is filled with gifted individuals. Psychics, healers, those who control the elements – and then there’s Gideon, my hero, a homicide detective who sees and talks to ghosts. He also harnesses energy, often in the form of lightning. He draws it in, he is capable of releasing that energy – sometimes on purpose, now and then, not so much. The more I wrote and plotted and planned, the more I realized how such a power would impact his life. Computers, cars with computer chips, toasters and microwaves, televisions, even a simple bedside clock…as the world around him became more and more computerized, Gideon would be more and more impacted. At one point in our planning, Linda Howard e-mailed me and wrote, “Gideon can’t fly!” My first thought was “Of course he can’t fly. He’s Raintree, not Superman.” And then it hit me. Oh, yeah. He can’t possibly get on an airplane.

So, what kind of heroine do you give a man whose life is anything but normal? What woman would be able to handle a man who fries electrical appliances, and makes computers go haywire, and on occasion stands on the beach and sucks in the lightning? How about a woman who doesn’t believe in any of that hooey? Hope Malory’s mother owns a new age shop, believes in auras and tarot cards and spirit guides. Hope does not. Also a homicide detective, she believes in what she can see and touch, nothing more. It doesn’t take long for Gideon to turn her neat and orderly world upside down.

And then there’s Emma, the vision of a child who continues to appear to Gideon, insisting that he’s “Daddy” and she’s coming. Soon. Emma’s appearances are quite disconcerting for a man who’s determined to remain single and childless.

The Raintree trilogy is set in a real world, with very real people and those who are different. Those who have special powers hide their magical abilities, they blend in among us and keep their secrets close. If you had a magical ability of some sort would you tell the world? Or would you hide it, as the Raintrees do?

Use the above widget to read a sample of each story in the Raintree collection and share it on your own page!


New Author Barbara J. Hancock Makes Her Nocturne Bite Debut

October 17, 2008

Barbara J. Hancock makes her publishing debut this month with Wilderness, a new ebook novella from Nocturne Bites. Barbara tells us about her story and something she shares with her heroine: conquering fear…

by Barbara J. Hancock, author of Wilderness

Tess Haverty examined the silver bindings that twined once, twice and again around his bare, muscular torso. Considering her plans, it was lame to mentally go down the list of how well he was bound . . . arms to chest (check) . . . wrist to wrist (check) . . . ankles to floorboard (check). She chalked it up to nerves mixed with a hearty dose of survival instinct. She had known this would be dangerous, but somehow knowing and seeing were two very different things.

We’ve all had defining moments in our lives when we had to decide to act or to hide. As the daughter of an alcoholic, I know a little something about fear. For years, I cringed through each day, never knowing if the next moment or the next was going to bring catastrophe in the form of drunken anger or public humiliation. My father quit drinking when I was a teenager.

My cringing didn’t stop.

When you’ve been conditioned to be afraid of each coming moment and what it might bring, it’s hard to break free of that fear.

In Wilderness, Tess Haverty is an uncertain Psychic because she feels as if her powers aren’t reliable. She lost her parents in a car accident she didn’t foresee soon enough to save them. She lost her sister to government authorities who have targeted Psychics and other Supernaturals for research. Tess must face down her fears as she steps forward into a dangerous future no less intimidating because her dreams give her glimpses into it.

Knowing what has to be done and actually doing it are two very different things.

There are probably few people who knew I was afraid as a teen. I was quick to laugh. My smile was the perfect camouflage. A defining moment in my life came when I held my baby son in my arms for the first time and timid was no longer an option. I owed him action. I owed him a fresh new life, free of fear. Sometimes it’s not about knowing what the future will bring, it’s about being not only prepared, but eager to face it, come what may.

Wilderness is a story about a woman embracing her power for the first time. It’s also the story about a man who inspires even as he represents the biggest challenge of all! Colin Masterson is powerful, dangerous and wild. He’s been captured and he’s on his way to a government research lab.

With a deep breath, she dropped to one knee. This was the do-or-die moment. Tess knew the truck was only about fifteen minutes from its destination. It was time to act. She just wished she didn’t have a sudden twist in her gut that redefined the moment as do and die.

Can you imagine the moment? Can you imagine cutting those chains?

Tess has to face her fear of failure. She has to brave the dangers of freeing a werewolf and, not only that, she has to embrace the untamed unknown he represents. This is her call to adventure, the call of the wild, and, for Tess, letting fear control her isn’t an option anymore.

I’d like to think I would be brave enough to cut Colin Masterson’s chains. (Especially because I know what lies ahead for Tess in reward for her bravery!) I know I am much braver than I used to be. My smile is real and those cringing days are behind me…for the most part.

Whether we could or couldn’t bring ourselves to free a sexy dangerous werewolf, going along with Tess as she does has truly been one of the wildest rides of my life. I hope you’ll enjoy sharing her adventure as much as I did.

But, I do wonder, would you be able to cut those chains?

Note from Amy: To celebrate her new book, Barbara is running a contest on her website to win a beautiful silver bracelet! Visit her giveaway page for details on how to enter.


Mindy Klasky’s Paranormal Chick Lit Finds a Home at Red Dress Ink

October 14, 2008

Author Mindy Klasky’s Jane Madison series combines chick lit and the paranormal — and found the perfect home in Harlequin’s Red Dress Ink imprint. Mindy tells us about her genre-bending heroine, librarian-turned-witch Jane Madison, whose adventures continue this month in Magic and the Modern Girl...

by Mindy Klasky, author of Magic and the Modern Girl

Jane Madison has a problem. Or two. Or three.

She’s working as a librarian, trapped in absurd period costumes and serving up expensive lattes, all in an effort to keep her employer’s budget in the black. She has a desperate crush on her Imaginary Boyfriend, a professor who regularly uses her library. Her doting grandmother is determined to reunite her with her long-absent mother. And now she’s been told that the library can’t pay her a well-deserved raise – instead, she can live for free in an ancient, dusty cottage on the library grounds.

When Jane settles into her new, allergen-infested home, she discovers a hidden chamber lined with ancient books – a world-class collection on witchcraft. She begins to read a spellbook, never suspecting that she has the power to work actual magic.”

When I created my proposal for the first volume of the Jane Madison Series, GIRL’S GUIDE TO WITCHCRAFT, I thought that I was preparing to write for Luna. I was truly excited by Harlequin’s fantasy line; I had read dozens of the books published by that imprint, and I was eager for my librarian-witch to join her Luna sisters.

Imagine my surprise when my editor thought Jane was more a Red Dress Ink kind of girl! RDI has always led the chicklit field – fun novels about women finding their place in the working world, juggling relationships with best friends, family, and boyfriends.

In other words, RDI was Jane Madison’s perfect home. Even if Jane’s story had strong elements of the fantastic. Even if Jane’s story flirted with paranormal romance. RDI was strong enough to take on my genre-skirting heroine.

Jane’s story has grown in the telling. In GIRL’S GUIDE, Jane meets her snarky familiar, along with her sometimes-overbearing astral warder. She learns how to use her powers, and she begins to understand the importance of being a witch. In SORCERY AND THE SINGLE GIRL, Jane confronts the Washington Coven, the snooty group of local witches that wants to control her powers. And in MAGIC AND THE MODERN GIRL – released October 1 – Jane struggles to regain her powers when they unexpectedly disappear.

RDI has let me write paranormal romance with a fun, light voice. Jane’s perils at her job, her struggles in the kitchen (she can’t even make a batch of brownies!), her search for the perfect man – all of those endearing challenges let her walk the line between the chicklit presence of Red Dress Ink and a more traditional paranormal romance line, such as Nocturne.

And now, looking back? I wouldn’t have it any other way!


Bestselling Author Sharon Sala’s Nocturne Novella

October 10, 2008

Near-death experiences can be life-altering…but in the Aftershock anthology from Silhouette Nocturne, they also give people special powers. New York Times bestselling author Sharon Sala tells us about “Penance”, her contribution to the collection…

by Sharon Sala, author of “Penance” in Aftershock

Doing an anthology with two of my dearest writer friends was a no-brainer. After all the years we’ve shared with the ups and downs of the business, getting to share a book cover was the best. And, writing for Silhouette Nocturne was another no-brainer for me, because I love the paranormal genre.

The title, AFTERSHOCK, refers to what happens to our characters after experiencing a near-death experience. They are left with a paranormal power they didn’t have before. The fear and confusion that comes with that premise made writing it even more intense.

In my story, my heroine survives a gunshot wound to the head. Beyond the obvious physical problems, the fact that she begins to “see” things happening, like a family in crisis, crimes being committed, etc., is horrifying to her. She wants to deny it, but after a time, comes to accept that what is happening to her isn’t going to go away.

The title for the story came about because, while she had been brought back to life in the hospital, she hadn’t been able to be thankful for still being alive, for focusing on what she’d lost – like memory, her ability to walk without staggering, many things that people with brain injuries often suffer. She comes to accept that her debt to a greater power is that the rest of her life will often revolve around helping others.

It was easy for me to write in this genre because I do believe there are people who gain these kinds of insights after near-death trauma and I have great admiration for people who are able to “see” what the rest of the world can not, although I do not envy them the burdens that come with it.

I have always enjoyed participating in anthologies, but this one will remain a favorite for many reason, not the least of which was sharing a book cover with two people for whom I hold great respect, admiration, and love. I hope you enjoy our stories as much as Debra Cowan, Janis Reams Hudson, and I enjoyed writing them for you.

Sharon Sala

Use the widget below to read a sample of “Penance!”


The Story Behind the Story

October 8, 2008

Ever wonder how authors find their great ideas? Author Vivi Anna answers that very question by revealing the unlikely inspiration behind her series the Valorian Chronicles, continued this month in Veiled Truth (Silhouette Nocturne) and Mahina’s Storm (Nocturne Bites)…

by Vivi Anna, author of Veiled Truth and  Mahina’s Storm

As a writer I always get the question, “How do you come up with your ideas?” I get ideas from everything around me. Music, movies, something someone says, something I read in the newspaper, weird dreams. And sometimes, I get them while watching TV.

That’s how the idea for the Valorian Chronicles came to be.

I don’t watch TV often. There are a few shows that are must-see every week for me. Right now, its Battlestar Galactica, Supernatural, America’s Next Top Model (yeah, I don’t know how that happened, but I’m hooked and have watched the past 4 seasons) and the new one True Blood. But once upon a time, I used to be addicted to CSI. The Vegas one. Why, the Vegas one, you may ask? Well, it’s all because of Gil Grissom. I love me some Gil. Intelligent, quick-thinking, quirky, handsome Gil.

So, one night, while I’m watching Gil do something extraordinary in his strange little way, I had an epiphany. I asked myself, what if Gil was a vampire? And after that question popped into my mind, everything came at me in a rush. It was like I was watching it on TV. You know, like if Jerry Bruckheimer ever wanted to make a really cool CSI show with vampires, lycans and witches, and he could, you know, call it CSI: Necropolis, for lack of a better name. (Are you listening Jerry???)

Anyway, I wondered what kind of crimes Gil would solve if he were a vampire. Who would he work with? What would the lab be like? So, the chief investigator Caine Valorian was born from that. And with him came the rest of the team: Jace Jericho, lycan; Lyra Magice, witch; Captain Mahina Garner, lycan; Laal Bask, vampire; Kellen Falcon, vampire; Gwen McKinley, witch. From there, I thought about all the cool people I could pair them up with.

And of course, I had to set this fascinating world somewhere, so I chose to create my own Otherworldly city called Necropolis. It’s a secret city of Otherworlders located south of San Antonio, Texas, down I35. I’ve had emails from readers in the area, telling me they could actually feel like they could drive down I35 and see where Necropolis would be. That’s way cool!

Once I had the world and the characters created, I started on a plot. And the book Blood Secrets was born. This book was Caine’s story. Then came Dark Lies, which was Jace’s story. And now the third book in the series is out October 1, Veiled Truth. This is Lyra’s story. And I’m hoping it’s as thrilling and fun to read as it was to write.

And that’s my story. And I’m sticking to it.

You can check out my world at