Futuristic, Fantasy and Paranormal

Helwyn by Kate Lockridge

Blog Diva - Saturday, May 10, 2014

Demon hunter, Nate Arbinger, uses ancient ballads to track the most evil of demons and send them back to Hell.

Synopsis:

The year is 1812. Nate Arbinger is a Helwyn, a demon hunter, who is using an ancient ballad to track the Elf Knight, a fearsome demon who has left a trail of brutal murders from Virginia to Tennessee. When Nate crosses paths with Molly Tucker, who is seeking revenge on the Elf Knight for her sister’s murder, it becomes a race against time to send the demon back to Hell before the creature takes Molly as his next victim.

My fascination with ballads –

Helwyn is an idea that has been kicking around in my head for a long time now. I've just always thought that ballads were such an interesting insight into history. Spanning across cultures and continents, their universal tales of love, loss, monsters and moral lessons are timeless. They are the urban legends of their day. I was fascinated by the idea that the ballad's eternal appeal held something more – something paranormal and romantic. The Helwyn, and the women who love them, were born out of this thought. Each book in the Helwyn Song series will be based on one of the ancient ballads, weaving story and song together to create an unforgettable read. Read More

Her Perfect Mate By Paige Tyler

Blog Diva - Friday, May 09, 2014

The Making of a Cover

Most people would agree that the cover isn’t the only reason they decide to read a book, but they’d also likely agree a great cover increases the chances you’ll take a close look.

When I started working with the Sourcebooks art department on the cover for HER PERFECT MATE, the first book in my new X-OPS Series, I wanted the best possible cover—every writer does. Fortunately, Sourcebooks has a great reputation for covers.

I had to give them detailed info about the book, like the background environment the characters were in, what the characters looked like (I even got to attach pictures of people I thought had the right look!), what kinds of weapons they carried, their clothing, etc.—the level of detail the artists were interested in was astounding.

I gave them the info…then held my breath. Every writer has probably been in a situation where they get that first look at a cover and realize that something has gone horribly, horribly wrong. I prayed that didn’t happen with this book. I’d invested almost three years with these characters. They’re like my best friends and I didn’t want to disappoint them! Read More

Eternally Yours By Gina Ardito

Blog Diva - Saturday, May 03, 2014

Lots of authors write to music, and I'm no exception. But I go a step farther. I create a soundtrack for every one of my books. Much like a movie soundtrack, my novel's soundtrack has music to fit every mood of the story: the "meet cute," the first crisis, the simple solution, the first kiss, the humorous secondary characters, the black moment, the climax, and the happily-ever-after. I find that certain songs, whether because of their lyrics, their melody, or both, light my creative spark

I begin with my working title, which is always based on a song title to help inspire me right from the start. For example, take ETERNALLY YOURS, Book I of the Afterlife Series. Here’s the blurb for that particular story:

After one too many disappointments, Jodie Devlin took her own life. Too bad her suicide is only the beginning of her troubles. Until a new future can be created for her, Jodie will serve as one of Death’s bounty hunters, retrieving souls who haunt Earth. She’ll need smarts, charm, and trickery to convince these specters to give up the ghost and move on. Of course, these same skills will come in handy for verbally sparring with her bull-headed, know-it-all trainer.

It's no wonder Luc Asante is so bitter toward women. His former wife ordered him taken off life support, condemning him to employment in the Afterlife. Now he has a trainee—a female trainee who’s as soft-hearted as he is hard, as impulsive as he is methodical. In a place where perfection is the norm, she flaunts her flaws just to drive him nuts.  Read More

Why Do Vampires Make Great Heroes? By Cynthia Garner

Blog Diva - Saturday, April 26, 2014

Prior to Bram Stoker’s Dracula, vampires were dead things that crawled out of their graves each night to feed on the living, usually their family members and friends. They were the evil (and icky) undead. Nothing remotely romantic about ’em. Then Mr. Stoker came along with his tall, dark and handsome Transylvanian count and all that changed. Oh, the vampire was still deadly. Just not as dirty.

This transformation opened up the way for the vampire to become the hero as well as the love interest of an intrepid heroine who was brave enough to take him on. When she looked at him, that monster cloaked in humanity, what exactly did she see?

Well, if she’s like me, she sees someone who’s sexy, powerful, and ruthless when he needs to be. He is fiercely protective of her and will use his strength—a preternatural strength that he could use to kill—to guard her from harm, from others and from himself if need be. And he’ll do it even while he’s fighting what he feels for her. He is usually emotionally (and sometimes physically) scarred. He’s big, tough, and ready to rumble. He might be a little (or a lot) rough around the edges, or he might be the quintessential metro sexual. But never doubt that he’s an alpha male who plays by his own rules. An apex predator. Read More

SNAP: White Nights By Michele Drier

Blog Diva - Saturday, April 12, 2014

Fantasy anyone?

During a mystery writers’ conference a couple of weeks ago (yep, I write those, too) I was talking to another author (male) and the subject of what women want came up.
Well, the subject was 50 Shades of Grey. When authors get together they always want to talk about books that sell millions of copies.

If we could figure out the formula, we’d sell millions, too!

The conversation went beyond book sales, though. The guy was truly wondering why millions of women bought and read the book. Read More

War's Passion By Lia Davis

Blog Diva - Saturday, April 05, 2014

War’s Passion, Sons of War book 1
By Lia Davis
Published by: Fated Desires Publishing
Genre: paranormal romance, dragon-shifters
Heat level: 4 flames


Series blurb:

Blurb:


After losing her parents in a brutal attack from a monster straight out of her nightmares, Gwendolyn Preston tries to pick up the shattered pieces of her life. Along with her best friend, she moves to a small fishing village on the coast of Maine to find a new life away from the nightmares that haunt her. Just when she believes her life could go back to normal, the deliciously dark and handsome Markus Sullivan disrupts her hopes to grieve in peace. Read More

Mass Market Appeal by Margot Justes

Blog Diva - Saturday, March 29, 2014

On a whim, as if by magic Devane came to Chicago in the dead of winter. What she finds in the windy city alters her life for eternity.

I’d like to introduce Blood Art, my first paranormal romance. It’s a story about vampire Nikolai Volkov, an obsessive art collector and his fight for happiness. In his path stands an evil spirit imprisoned in the Mona Lisa. I had a lot of fun writing this one, and I happen to love writing about art.

I’ve been told by some agents and editors that because I write about art I’ll never be
main stream, it’s a small niche market and placement would be difficult. I began to believe that I could never be main stream, and would never reach many readers.  Read More

Favored Dragon's Release by D. Renee Bagby

Blog Diva - Saturday, March 08, 2014

Shurik is a dragon, not a shifter. At no point in this story does he change into a human form. Why? Most dragon stories feature shifters because dragons are traditionally much, much bigger than the average human, making intimacy an issue. Shurik is no exception. He's about the size of a two-story house. So why not make him a shifter? Because I love to make things difficult for my characters.

I wanted to explore a relationship beyond the cultural differences I get when I do my usual fish-out-of-water stories. A physical incompatibility was fun to work around and added a level of tension to the story I wouldn't have had if Shurik could turn human when he wanted.

My other reason for wanting Shurik to be a non-shifter was Dragonheart (fun movie and Sean Connery was great in it), Flight of Dragons, and He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (1980s version). Yes, I am a He-Man fan. I was back then and still am. I didn't care if it was a "boy's cartoon." But I digress… Draco, Bryagh, and Granamyr (respectively)—they were the dragons I fell in love with. Because of them, I wanted to write a heroine who loved a dragon that was a dragon all the time, not just when it was convenient to the plot.  Read More

Anointed By Maggie Mae Gallagher

Blog Diva - Saturday, March 01, 2014

Excerpt

Brisk conversations stopped as I passed by and people scrunched their noses in disgust. I glanced down. Sewer water trailed in my wake; I was drawing far too much attention. Squelching the need for sustenance, I needed a place to check the manuscript and ascertain if anything was salvageable. If that place came with a shower and clean, dry clothes, I’d do months’ worth of penance to the gods. With this many people around, the less conspicuous I appeared, the better. Saving this world had to wait until then.

I ducked inside a store front with leather apparel in the display window. I completely ignored the clerk behind the counter with spiked blue hair and metal piercings in his eyebrows, nose, lip, ears and, frankly, I didn’t want to know where else. His bored eyes hardly noticed the state of my clothing as I perused the store.

I was more utilitarian when it came to clothes. They served a function but little else. I never much saw the point in it. Shirts of every color hung on display with crosses and symbols emblazoned across the chest. Leather pants and jeans in shades ranging from black to brown were stationed on round hanging units.

“Wot cha be wantin’?”  Read More

Stripper Named Kristar By D. Renee Bagby

Blog Diva - Saturday, February 15, 2014

Kitty is a classically trained dancer turned stripper. It's not a new concept but I pulled it out for KRISTAR because I wanted to use "write what you know." No I am not a dancer (trained or otherwise) and I'm definitely not a stripper (and never have been). I did, however, work as a bathroom attendant (a few sporadic weekends one year) in a strip club in the VA side of DC.

Working the bathrooms at the club was very interesting and I learned a lot about a profession I had thought was pretty easy—dance to good music while taking off your clothes. What's hard about that? Being around the ladies in the club taught me that stripping, like any profession, has it's own hardships.

Putting aside the guys who might get grabby and crappy tippers, there's a whole host of things those women put up with to do their job. Not to mention, swinging around that pole takes talent and a lot of upper body and leg strength. The pole dancing alone (actual pole dancing, not grinding against the pole) is something spectacular to see.

The best part about working in the club was meeting a woman who proved Kitty—my 6'2" stripper—wasn't unrealistic. A very lovely Russian-born woman worked in the club. She was 6'2" and she wore heels (flat heels instead of platforms, like a lot of the other ladies) and she got tipped a lot. I was almost schoolgirl-squealing when I saw her because I had thought making Kitty so tall as a stripper would seem implausible to a lot of readers. Reality to the rescue. Read More