To E or not to E

September 30, 2009 at 1:00 am (General)

As a writer who has both electronic books and print books available I have to say I’m very glad for both formats.  I think a lot of readers fall in one category or the other.  Most will only read print books.  Some will only read electronic books.  And maybe a few read in both styles.

Myself, I prefer the print book because I’m a cover freak.  I love to look at the pretty picture.  😉  I will often refer back to the cover, as I’m reading, if it features a person to get that image in my brain as I’m reading.  Plus I like the feel of the book in my hand.  Though I confess I am not a spine-breaker.  I will go to great lengths not to crack the spine, even if that means reading the book barely open.  With eBooks I don’t have to worry about that.

And yes, eBooks do have covers.  You can view them on the screen in black and white, which takes away the thrill of the ‘pretty picture’ for me.  But that doesn’t ruin my thrill for eBooks.  I do love to read on my Kindle, and find I use it more to check out new authors, and then if I like that author, I’ll start buying their books in print format.  I also like the novellas you can buy for a couple bucks.  It’s a great way to fill the time while waiting in the doctor’s office or for your tires to get rotated.  Short, quick, and satisfying.

So I’m just curious what everyone prefers.  E?  Print?  Both?  How do you read eBooks?  Does the lacking cover or B&W cover bug you?  Do you check out new authors, or do you have entire collections for various authors on your electronic reader?  Do you think you’ll ever go completely electronic?

After the Kiss - SEP 09.inddI have an electronic book released this month.  “After The Kiss”, a short story, is available at eHarlequin and Amazon and various other eRetailers.  If you’ve read MOON KISSED, and wonder what Severo and Bella are up to six months later, then check out the short story.

So?  Do you E?

Michele

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BOM: Winter Kiss, Deborah Cooke

September 27, 2009 at 1:11 pm (Book of the Month Club, Deborah Cooke, General, New Releases) (, , , , , , , )

winter
Publisher: Signet Eclipse
Release Date: Nov 3, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-451-22843-7

The mysterious Dragon’s Blood Elixir gives immortality to Magnus, the Pyr’s greatest enemy, and his minions. The Pyr must destroy this source of power, and outcast Delaney vows to complete the quest himself. Delaney was exiled because of his dangerous impulses, and success in eliminating the Elixir will either redeem him or end his suffering.
But his plans don’t take into account his sudden firestorm—or fiery Ginger Sinclair. The firestorm revitalizes Delaney, restoring him to his old self. And when Ginger learns about Delaney’s mission, she realizes she cannot resist a strong man with a noble agenda.

Deborah Cooke continues on her epic journey of the life struggles of the Pyr, she takes a refreshing turn and delves into the possibility of the superior intelligence of infants. The Buddhists in Asia believe that their beloved Dali Lama is reincarnated over and over again throughout the eons, compiling his knowledge and wisdom. Deborah examines that theory with her own oracle in Winter Kiss. The theory that an infant can pass on knowledge given her from a higher source. Whether she understands what she is passing along isn’t quite as important as getting people to listen to her. As we humans struggle with our divine path, so does Delany, rebuking the signs bestowed upon him. Believing his way is the only resolution to the Pyr’s dilemma. In this, Delany struggles against the gift given to him, to carry out the destiny he believes to be true.

I certainly didn’t struggle against the gifts Deborah bestowed upon me in Winter Kiss. I blazed right through this novel, holding my breath most of the time. Panting a little, I admit, through some very hot romantic scenes. Exhaling as the characters started piecing together the signs to solve their latest enigma. Enjoying as I do, reading a novel that, even in the tiniest ways I can relate to my own life. (and no, I’m not referring back to the sexy parts, wink, wink.) Instead, I reflect on the main characters and their love of farming.  Thomas Jefferson once stated, “…cultivators of the earth are the most valuable citizens…” God’s little signs pointing the way down my own proper path, I suppose.
∞Penelope Fitzgerald

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Bite Club wants you!

September 26, 2009 at 10:31 am (General)

So if you’ve picked up THE MAMMOTH BOOK OF VAMPIRE ROMANCE 2 to read Larissa, Jennifer, and Deborah’s stories, then you’ll want to join everyone else who will be chatting about it in October at the Bite Club.  This is our first month and we selected an anthology because it’s a fun way to read a variety of authors.  Stop in and check us out!

biteclubMammothVampRom

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New Release!

September 21, 2009 at 12:57 pm (Larissa Ione)

Okay, so this isn’t shapeshifter related…maybe.

See, the Mammoth Book of Vampire Romance 2 releases tomorrow (includes stories by me and two other Shapeshifter Romance authors, Deborah Cooke and Jennifer St. Giles,) and as the title would suggest, it’s all about vampires.

But vampires can be shifters too, right? I mean, how can we forget all the old movies and old legends of the vampire shifting into a bat or a wolf?

Now, I’ve been scouring my brain trying to think of a vampire romance in which the vampires shifted…but I can’t think of any. Maybe Linda Lael Miller’s vampire books?

Anyway, I’m hoping to see some of vamps in the new Mammoth book shift. (Mine don’t, but it just doesn’t fit my Demonica world mythology.)

What about you? Do you know of any vampire romances that feature vamps who can shift into other creatures? I’d love to hear about them!

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They Can Shapeshift…WHEN???

September 20, 2009 at 12:17 pm (General)

Creating an urban fantasy is fun. You build it from scratch, your world, your way. But what happens when readers are used to the world you’re creating being a different way? What happens when your world doesn’t meet the usual standards of similar fantasy worlds?

Welcome to my world! 🙂 I enjoy reading other authors’ fantasy worlds also. I wouldn’t dream of theirs being just like mine. I wouldn’t dream of making mine just like theirs. In fact, when I wrote my first werewolf romance, Heart of the Wolf, I hadn’t read any werewolf romances, only had seen a few werewolf movies–most of which were horror, or in the one case, a teen comedy, and in another, Jack Nicolson’s story.

And so, my story is mine. As much as the imagination can create one’s own unique story.

Case in point–I had a fan mail asking why my werewolves can shift when the moon isn’t a full moon. In the old werewolf horror tales (which I don’t write), even if a cloud drifted over the full moon, the poor werewolf would automatically shift back from his hideous wolf monster form, to his crazed not-sure-what-happened human form. And then when that darned cloud moved again, there he was shifting back to monster wolfishness.

So nope, I don’t follow that line of reasoning in my stories. Not to say it isn’t perfect for the way the stories are written in these authors’ cases, it’s just not my world.

Why did I choose to have that my wolves can shift at any time during the month except during the new moon when the moon is barely visible? I wanted to have at least one phase of the moon where they couldn’t shapeshift. Why? It allows them respite from having to shift, and it also can cause a heck of a lot more trouble–sometimes. If the reverse were true where they could only shapeshift during the full moon, do you realize how infrequently they could shift?

My editor wouldn’t buy it. Werewolf stories are about werewolves and they have to be a wolf for a good part of the story. That’s what she tells me. 🙂

And no, the moon doesn’t have to be visible either. They can feel the moon’s pull. They know which phases the moon is in. Which means, they can live in Oregon and shapeshift away, still!! For anyone who doesn’t know, it’s cloudy in Oregon a lot! 🙂

I read a werewolf romance recently, that followed a lot of the old horror tale and I was so suprised, not expecting it at all. But it was fun to read! But it was the–man doesn’t know if when he shifts, he’s killing people, wears wolfbane to keep from shifting, etc. And no one believes there are werewolves. The heroine’s human and can’t believe the people popping in and out of her room through her balcony are werewolves. 🙂 Except of course for all the doggy tracks on her balcony. 🙂

Diversity is the spice of life.

So if you’re looking for something new, To Tempt the Wolf just came out! Deadly Liaisons will be out in January (vampire romantic suspense), and in February, Legend of the White Wolf!

Have a super Sunday!

Terry Spear

“Giving new meaning to the term alpha male!”

www.terryspear.com

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September Update from Deborah Cooke

September 15, 2009 at 6:04 am (Deborah Cooke) (, , , , , , , )

There’s something about September. Maybe it’s the habit of getting ready to go back to school – even long after we’ve finished doing that! – or maybe it’s the fall snap in the air. Either way, there’s a new energy afoot in September. I find myself with lots to do each year, and lots of initiative to get things done. Septembers in publishing then start to perpetuate their energy, as most print books spend a year in the production cycle. This year, you’ll see the fruits of what I wrote last year – and what I write this year will be out next fall.

So, what’s coming up? First of all, I have a novella in the anthology THE MAMMOTH BOOK OF VAMPIRE ROMANCE II – this is the one with the steampunk vampire chick on the cover. It’s my first vampire piece and I had fun with it – my contribution is called “Coven of Mercy.” The antho goes on sale September 22 but it looks as if Amazon has it in stock now.

Next up will be book #2 in my future-set fantasy romance series, featuring fallen angel heroes in a post-nuclear, pre-Apocalyptic world. GUARDIAN goes on sale September 30, and is the sequel to FALLEN. Tanzey at FreshFiction wrote a wonderful review which you can read HERE. You can read the cover copy and an excerpt – and check out the gorgeous cover! – right HERE.

Next up will be book #4 in my Dragonfire series from NAL Eclipse. WINTER KISS is Delaney’s story, and tells of his quest to eliminate the Dragon’s Blood Elixir. Of course, he isn’t planning on having his firestorm right in the middle of his mission, much less on the force of nature that is Ginger Sinclair. Tanzey was quick with reviews this summer – you can read the Fresh Fiction review of this book HERE. You can read the cover copy and an excerpt – and check out another gorgeous cover! – right HERE. WINTER KISS goes on sale November 3.

I will be the opening keynote speaker at the Emerald City Writers’ Conference in early October, plus I’ll be teaching a workshop. There’s a booksigning associated with the conference, as well, one that I believe is open to the public. I will be doing a couple of booksignings in Toronto at the beginning of November with both new titles – you can always check out my schedule on THIS PAGE of my blog.

And finally, I will be the writer-in-residence at the Toronto Public Library in October and November of this year. There are several public events associated with the residency – these are free events, but you need to register with the library that you plan to attend. One will be an intro to me and the residency, and for the other, we’ll have a panel discussion with an editor and agent about the other side of the business. If you’re too far away to attend, there is also a blog associated with the residency, which will launch on October 5. We’ll talk about the romance genre, about writing and publishing, and will have some guest bloggers, too. This is the first time that the TPL has offered a residency focussed on the romance genre, so I’m honoured to have gotten the post – and I think it will be a lot of fun! More information about the residency is posted HERE.

Phew! I think that’s enough to keep me out of mischief, don’t you?

Deborah Cooke
blogging most weekdays at Alive & Knitting

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Winner of Myla by Midnight!

September 8, 2009 at 1:03 pm (General)

Congrats to Nancy Gililand.  You have won Myla by Moonlight!  Email me so I can get this to Inez and get your copyof Myla by Moonlight!  Email at desertpetiri@aol.com

Congrats again, and thanks everyone for participating!

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Excuse me? A fantasy romance? A shifter story? Um, aren’t you a comedy writer?

September 3, 2009 at 6:00 am (General)

Take a moment to welcome Inez Kelley.

Inez Kelley writes what she reads, which is pretty much anything with a romantic flair. Her first book was a romantic comedy from Samhain Publishing titled JINXED. Her second Samhain book, MYLA BY MOONLIGHT, a fantasy romance, will be available on September 8th.

MAGIC BITES…and its name is Myla.

Created at Prince Taric’s birth, Myla is a spell, an enchantment designed to appear and protect him when he needs it most. She has always been content to do her duty…until one night of forbidden passion leaves her longing to experience life—and love—as a mortal woman. Yet the risk is too great. Even if her blood runs as red as his, she can never give him the one thing he needs: a child.

Taric’s blessing—and his curse—is knowing the kingdom’s future depends on his producing an heir to continue the bloodline. His bond with Myla has always been that of protector and protected. When it suddenly becomes something much more, he unwittingly sentences his people to certain death.

An old enemy is plotting to destroy all he holds dear: his lands, his people, his father, and his lover. And this time, even if they fight tooth and blade, their shared magic may not be enough to save them…

Excuse me? A fantasy romance? A shifter story? Um, aren’t you a comedy writer?

Well, yeah, I am. Kinda. But see that last word up there -WRITER? That’s me. I read across genres so why not write across them too? Call me Mastercard, I go anywhere.

I wasn’t surprised when this story idea came to me and didn’t give writing it a second thought. I squeezed in a wee bit of humor just because there’s always at least one character in my head who’s a smart ass. I have no idea where that stuff comes from really.

In Myla by Moonlight, I faced my first experience writing in the non-human realm and what a trip THAT was. A female magical being as a bodyguard? Protection with sharp teeth and claw? Woman, warrior, jaguar and lover? Sounded cool so far, so I ran with it. And hit my first problem.

Myla is an ageless spell, a non-real entity. When she is not needed to fight, to kill, she ‘rests’ in a scar on Taric’s side.

Wait. What?

Everybody, say it with me… ewwwwwww! Hey, I wrote it like I saw it. I sat back and listened to Myla and it works. However, the ewww-factor was still pretty high. So I did what any good writer would do. I tackled it head on.

“I kissed Myla.”

“What? After that whole ‘she’s not a tavern whore to be ogled’ shit, you kissed her?” His captain’s mouth hung open like a cellar door. Snapping it back in place, he melted into the chair and grinned. “Was it good?”

“You could say that. Except the part where she pushed me away and told me she wasn’t made for my pleasure.”

“Ye-ouch.” Grimacing, Bryton shook his head. “Probably just as well. I mean, she’s a stunning woman, Tar, but she lives in a scar on your side. That isn’t exactly normal. It’s kind of creepy, really. Isn’t she like a part of you? So it was kind of like kissing your liver or something.”

Disgust filled him and he rose to sit on the bed. “Bry, shut up. It wasn’t like that. It isn’t like that at all. I can’t get her out of my head.” Seeing Bryton’s mouth open, Taric cut him off. “And no, it’s not the same thing as when she’s asleep inside. It’s different.”

Okay, ewww-factor addressed, giggle and move on.

Second issue I had was HEEYUGE. See, when Myla returns to Taric, she is reborn again in the exact likeness she was originally created. Pristine. Perfect. Virgin.

Wait, again. What?

Yep, I thought I wrote my butt into a corner and gave my sexy shifter a magically reappearing hymen. And wouldn’t that just suck like a baby vampire? I actually stopped and stared at that scene and went “Oh Sh*t.” I knew I had to tackle that puppy, too.

“Taric shouldn’t have taken liberties or your virginity without a wedding.”

“He took only what I gave to him. I like loving with Taric a great deal.”

“Well…good.” The queen giggled before her face softened in compassion. “Then you know what I mean. I’m sorry you must be pained each time he loves you.”

“Pained?” Myla withdrew her hand, puzzlement in her voice. “There is no pain in Taric’s love.”

Lunian rose, fumbling with the pinned shift and keeping her pink face turned away. “Maybe we aren’t speaking of the same thing then. When you say Taric has your body…do you lie with him? Without clothing? Did you bleed?”

“I have lain with him many times. There is no pain. The first time we loved, there was some stinging and blood but both were slight and went away quickly. He assured me it was normal.”

“It is,” Lunian hurried to comfort her. “But you said all your wounds heal and you’re reborn. Does…that not heal? Do you not become a virgin each time you return?”

I’m not telling you how THAT little issue was resolved. It would be a huge spoiler. But it makes perfect sense. Completely.

As hard as these issues made me snicker, other parts made me bawl like a baby. The depth of Myla and Taric’s love could only exist in a fantasy. Taric is her heart, her reason for being in this world and he loves Myla no matter which form she takes.

Seeing her clad head to toe in mail, he would never have guessed she possessed the curves he’d caressed the night before. She was a fighter, a soldier and a killer. Myla as a lover was incredible. Myla as a jaguar was mesmerizing. Myla as a warrior was breathtaking. If war could be called music, she would be its dancer for her grace and speed were choreographed to a deadly melody. Each twirl and vault of her stance seemed more ballet than fight but her blade drew blood time and time again. In the midst of death and bloodshed, she captivated him.

There were other little things, like Myla speaks in a formal cadence, with the harmony of magic, and Taric doesn’t. There was a minor insanity issue. The laws of a fantasy land when the Prince goes on trial, the whole discord between a magical and a human bodyguard who think differently and well, face it, loving a woman who is stronger than you are really torques a man’s ego. Fun stuff.

Taric puts it so much better than I could, so let me share his thoughts.

Taric refolded a parchment and shook his head. “I’d hoped for something more. Most of this makes no sense to me. It’s like reading a different language.”

Balic grumped. “It is a different language, one that I don’t know a soul who speaks anymore.”

“Slight as it is, the names give me someplace to start searching.” Taric grabbed onto the smallest clue but the tasks before him were daunting. “Let’s see, I have to go on trial and defend a crown which I don’t have yet, discover a way to bring a cloud of violet smoke to life, and thwart the magic of the most powerful sorceress ever recorded. All while fighting a war with a madman. Life won’t be dull.”

My trip into writing fantasy romance was filled with laughter, tears and sighs. I hope you find MYLA BY MOONLIGHT as heart-wrenching, as fun and as exciting to read as it was for me to write.

Thanks so much for visiting Inez! what an exciting story this is! I can’t wait to get a chance to read it. Inez has offered one download of Myla By Moonlight to one lucky commenter, so make sure you drop a note and tell Inez you what you think of her post.

You can find more about Inez Kelley at http://inezkelley.com or purchase Myla By Moonlight at http://samhainpublishing.com/coming/myla-by-moonlight

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Winner of Passion Untamed

September 1, 2009 at 10:20 pm (Contests, Winners) (, )

Hi all, and thanks again for offering such a warm welcome to Pamela Palmer as our guest blogger last week!  The winner of Passion Untamed, chosen randomly by my husband who hadn’t seen the list of commenters, is EMOORE.  EMoore, please email me at desertpetiri@aol.com with your name and address and I will see it gets to Pamela.  Congrats EMOORE!!!!

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Writer in Residence

September 1, 2009 at 7:13 pm (Deborah Cooke) (, , , , )

This is a little bit O.T. but I am the writer-in-residence at the Toronto Public Library this fall. It’s the first time that the TPL has offered a residency focussed on the romance genre, so I’m pretty excited about the plan.

There’s more information about the residency and its associated programming here – the blog, of course, will be accessible to everyone independent of geographic location.

Today, an interview I did with Metro Morning on the CBC aired – it’s also available for download from the CBC website here.

And there’s an article on the CBC site about me and the residency, here.

So, if you’re in Toronto, please come out to the residency events, or bring your manuscript in for critique. And if you’re not in Toronto, please participate online!

See you at the library!

Deborah Cooke

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