Feminist, Fictionista, Foodie, Francophile

Sunday, April 1, 2018

The Ultimate Urban Fantasy giveaway

My novelette, The Fourth Sense. is in this giveaway and right now, the only place you can get it is on InstaFreebie. So why not pick it up?  And some other books as well.

Friday, March 30, 2018

Custom Cover art by John Donald Carlucci

Looking for original art to use for your cyber fairy series? Craving something out-of-the-ordinary for a fairytale retelling? Portland-based artist John Donald Carlucci has you covered. This fantastic painting filled with gorgeous detail--I'm particularly fond of the code inside the golden apple--can be yours for $250.  Interested parties can inquire here.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Fairy tale giveaway!

More than 50 books are up for grabs in this giveaway, including The Summer Garden, my retelling of Beauty and the Beast. Here's the link.

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Cover reveal...The Waking Dream

I am finishing up a new novella that will be included in the Dark Rising boxed set anchored by NYT  and USA Today bestselling author K.N. Lee. The boxed set will publish May 1 and is currently on pre-order for 99 cents on Amazon.

The theme of the boxed set is dark romance and my story, "The Waking Dream" features a woman who was fathered by Morpheus, god of sleep. She and her sisters are dreamwalkers, but unlike her sisters, my heroine does not have to be ASLEEP to enter another's dreams.

I found this beautiful cover by Natasja Hellenthal of Beyond Book Covers, who is currently selling her work through The Book Cover Designer. Her covers run from $69 to $89, which is a bargain these days.

I actually bought the cover before I had a story for it (a bad habit I have--I have a stockpile of covers; enough to last me through the decade). But I knew at some point I would have the right story and now I do. 

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Meet author L.C. Ireland

Leslie Colleen “L.C.” Ireland is an arts specialist in Ogden, UT. By day, she works as an arts advocate and teacher for public schools. By night, she writes children’s plays and fantasy novels. She loves playing Just Dance, Pokemon Go, and any Zelda game. Her novella Shatter the Sky appears in the Magic Rising boxed set of paranormal romances, published today. 

Connect with L.C. on:

On her website.

What does LC stand for and why did you decide to use that for your byline? I was named after two of my aunts, one on my mother’s side and one on my father’s side. One aunt is named Leslie, the other’s middle name is Colleen, thus my full name is Leslie Colleen. But I’ve always gone by “L.C.” My parents brought me home from the hospital calling me L.C.

You began your writing life as a playwright. What drew you to novels? I was that kid who dreamed about writing books before I could even read. One day I realized I was already writing and publishing my own plays, so why not books? So I sat down and made myself start writing.

You write and direct plays. Have you ever acted?  I did act in grade school and a little in high school. Unfortunately, I had an “undesirable” body type and found that getting roles was really difficult no matter how hard I worked or how well I sang or acted. I found a lot more success in directing. I started directing when I was 15 and knew that was what I wanted to do for a living.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Magic Rising!!!! Publishes this week

My novelette Vaikus (that's the Estonian word for "silence") is in this great boxed set, due for release on the 22nd!!Right now it's available for pre-order here for 99 cents. My story involves a gargoyle, a traveling theater group, and an ancient evil. As always, these boxed sets offer a terrific variety of stories (dragons!) by an exciting collection of authors. Many of the contributors have their "letters" (USA Today) and  "big letters" (NY Times best-selling) so I was thrilled to be a  part of the set.

Sunday Book Giveaways!!

So many, many, many books today!
Click here for the Instafreebie Science Fiction and Fantasy March madness lineup.

Want more? Of course you do, because life is all about the Extra.

Scroll through the offerings in the Mystery Magic Adventure giveaway.

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Sunday Sci Fi--the Next Big Thing

have a minor in geology and always had a soft spot for trilobites. I wrote this story for a contest a few years ago. 

The Next Big Thing

Priscilla Newnam had seen some peculiar things in her 87 years, but she had never seen anything like the bug that crawled across her spotless kitchen floor one sunny July morning as she was eating her oatmeal.
  For one thing it was huge, at least a foot long, maybe more.  And it was strange in a disturbing way.  It looked like what you’d get if you mated a roachy bug to a lobster.  She decided it probably was some kind of mutated crustacean that had somehow crawled up from the harbor and found its way into her house.  And now she was going to have to deal with it before she’d had a chance to finish her coffee.
riscilla Newnam had seen some peculiar things in her 87 years, but she had never seen anything like the bug that crawled across her spotless kitchen floor one sunny July morning as she was eating her oatmeal.

There wasn’t much that Priscilla Newnam was afraid of but the sight of the creature scuttling across her kitchen linoleum was…unsettling.  Priscilla’s husband Tom had been a lobster man, and once or twice he’d brought home some strange things he’d found in his pots.  There’d been a yellow lobster once, a freakish thing that he’d sold to the owner of a clam bar in Massachusetts who wanted to keep it in a tank to attract customers. 

A reporter and photographer from the Cape Courier had come up to the house to interview Tom.  The photographer, a young fellow named Julien Thibidoux, had take Tom’s picture holding the yellow lobster up by one claw.  Then Julien had taken a picture of Tom and Priscilla just because he wanted to and sent it to them later.  That had been nice of him.  She still had the picture on her bedside table.

As she watched the thing move from one end of the kitchen to the other, Priscilla decided that she was going to play the “age card” and turn the problem over to someone else.  She hardly ever did that because she didn’t want people to start thinking of her as an old biddy, someone who’d outlived her usefulness. But just this once, she decided she would call animal control and let them deal with it. 

Friday, March 2, 2018

Patricia Abbott picks her favorite short stories

Edgar Award finalist Patricia Abbott, author of Shot in Detroit, Concrete Angel, and a new collection of short fiction, I Bring Sorrow and Other Stories of Transgression, has written more than 150 short stories that have appeared in print and online publications. She won the Derringer Award in 2008 for her story "My Hero." She is co-editor of the anthology Discount Noir. She has published two previous collection of short stories, Monkey Justice and Other Stories and Home Invasion. She also maintains one of the most entertaining blogs around, Pattinase, which features everything from author interviews, to a regular Friday column, "Forgotten Books." I don't know anyone I'd rather talk short stories with. Here are her favorite picks today. 

My Ten Favorite Short Stories (today)

Since I have spent most of the last twenty years writing short stories, I also read a lot of them. For me, a good short story is closer to a good poem than a good novel. It manages to tell you something, hopefully something important, in a few pages. I always read them in one sitting. (Except perhaps here for the Munro story which is quite long.)

Here are a few of my favorites. Ask me next week and they might change but for now this is the ten. Incidentally nearly all of them are available in PDFs online.

1. So Much Water, So Close to Home, Raymond Carver

A group of men on a camping trip stumble on a dead girl as soon as they arrive, but do not let this detail interfere with their good times. Truly a chilling story and there is a good film of it called JINDABYNE.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Author interview...Sadie Carter

Bestselling author, Sadie Carter wanted to blend her love of writing, Sci-Fi (why did they cancel Firefly - sobs) and sexy, dominant males. Sadie lives in gorgeous New Zealand where she dreams up stories about strong, sassy heroines and sexy, Alpha aliens. Her story, “A Christmas Most Alien,” appears in the limited-edition boxed set, Wicked Winter Tails.

You live in New Zealand. One of the most otherworldly experiences I ever had was gong to Waitomo Cave and seeing the glow worms. If a traveler could only visit three places/cities in New Zealand, where would you suggest they go? So many places to choose!! But my favorite area of New Zealand is Queenstown. It’s absolutely beautiful with mountains and lakes. Next, I’d choose Bay of Islands and lastly, I’d choose the West Coast of the South Island.

I know you loved Firefly (Who didn’t?).What are your favorite science fiction books? Any writers whose books you can’t wait to read? Sci-fi romance is one of my favorite genres. And Ruby Dixon has to be my top pick. If you haven’t read her Ice Planet Barbarians then you need to!!

When you wrote your first Zerconian Warrior book did you conceive it as a series or were you happily surprised by the reader response? I was amazed when the first book sold so well! I did see it as a series but I may not have moved past book three if it hadn’t been for my amazing readers!

Your long-running Zerconian Warrior series is set in the same world as your story for Wicked Winter Tails,  “A Christmas Most Alien.”  Did you invent Tiran (the matriarchal location of the story) for this tale or is it mentioned in the other books? The setting for A Christmas Most Alien isn’t in the other books. It was made for this story.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Wicked Magic is here....

If you're looking for something to read this weekend--I've got you covered. Wicked Magic has just published and it's 99 cents on Amazon (or free if you're in Kindle Unlimited.)  Pick up  your copy here.

Here's the sales pitch:

A little bit of wickedness can be fun ...

Six novels and two bonus novellas of twisted magical tales with romance, adventure, and enchantment. Meet trickster fae, dark elves, mercurial heroes, faery queens, southwestern witches, shifters, draghans, and vampires. See the Devil himself get his due and fall in love, right along with these extraordinary heroes and heroines.

None of these stories are available anywhere else, and this is a special limited-time curated collection. Don't miss any of the wicked fun -- download it today!

About the Books
Soul Marked ~ C. Gockel
From the USA Today bestselling author of I Bring the Fire. When Tara finds a man passed out in her alley she hopes he's just a junkie ... and then she sees his pointed ears.

Sympathy for the Devil ~ Christine Pope
From the USA TODAY bestselling author of the Witches of Cleopatra Hill series. The Devil has never met a bargain he didn't like...but he might have met his match in one mortal woman.

Queen Mab ~ Kate Danley
MCDOUGALL PREVIEWS AWARD-BEST FANTASY OF THE YEAR. When Faunus, the god of daydreams, breaks the heart of Queen Mab, revenge is the only answer. But when this bitter fairy queen meets a gentleman named Mercutio, she will do anything, even if it means destroying the world, to save him.

Wicked Grove ~ by Alexia Purdy
As operatives of the elite Wicked Grove Supernatural Regulatory Agency, three fiercely independent and unstoppable siblings, Amy, Jay, and Craig, know the risks that come with the job. Get contaminated by one of the magicals, and you're screwed. Scratched by a werewolf? You're going to be howling come full moon. Bitten by a vampire? You might as well stamp "bloodsucker" on your face. You certainly won't be welcomed at the agency anymore. It's a no-brainer.

Elfhame ~ by Anthea Sharp
From USA Today bestselling author Anthea Sharp, a richly-imagined fantasy romance uniting an adventurous young woman and a fearsome Dark Elf warrior, in a magical tale reminiscent of Beauty and the Beast.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

New title for the blog formerly known as Kattomic Energy

Because most of my writing is now done under my pseudonym "Kat Parrish," I'm renaming the blog to reflect that. Welcome to Eye of the Kat. Same content. Same me. But new name.

Fantastic Fantasy Freebies!

Just click here to choose from among three dozen free science fiction and fantasy books.

Shakespeare in Historical Fiction

I am a fan of Bernard Cornwell's historical fiction and this new book, Fools and Mortals looks like it belongs on my TBR shelf.

Here's the pitch:

New York Times bestselling author Bernard Cornwell makes a dramatic departure with this enthralling, action-packed standalone novel that tells the story of the first production of A Midsummer Night's Dream—as related by William Shakespeare’s estranged younger brother.
Lord, what fools these mortals be . . .
In the heart of Elizabethan England, Richard Shakespeare dreams of a glittering career in one of the London playhouses, a world dominated by his older brother, William. But he is a penniless actor, making ends meet through a combination of a beautiful face, petty theft and a silver tongue. As William’s star rises, Richard’s onetime gratitude is souring and he is sorely tempted to abandon family loyalty.
So when a priceless manuscript goes missing, suspicion falls upon Richard, forcing him onto a perilous path through a bawdy and frequently brutal London. Entangled in a high-stakes game of duplicity and betrayal which threatens not only his career and potential fortune, but also the lives of his fellow players, Richard has to call on all he has now learned from the brightest stages and the darkest alleyways of the city. To avoid the gallows, he must play the part of a lifetime . . . .
Showcasing the superb storytelling skill that has won Bernard Cornwell international renown, Fools and Mortals is a richly portrayed tour de force that brings to life a vivid world of intricate stagecraft, fierce competition, and consuming ambition.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Fantasy freebies.

The Summer Garden, my 11,000 word retelling of "Beauty and the Beast, is available in this Instafreebie giveaway. Grab it now!!

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Some dark thoughts on BRIGHT

I hated it.
I hated it so much I bailed out at the two-thirds mark and I NEVER do that.
Really, I loathed it. And I shouldn't have. I should have embraced it with the fervor of a lover long denied. Because I love urban fantasy. The first time I encountered it, in a mix of two of my favorite genres--mystery and fantasy--I felt like it had been invented JUST FOR ME. The first urban fantasy I can remember seeing on television was Cast a Deadly Spell that featured a noir-ish storyline with Fred Ward as a private detective who gets involved with mystic books and cults and a woman he saves from a dark fate.  I loved it.
And then there were television shows like Poltergeist Legacy and the Dresden Files, and Warehouse
Paul Blackwood as Harry Dresden
and Grimm. There was Supernatural. Oddly, I never got into Buffy the Vampire Slayer, possibly because I didn't like the few episodes I saw. But Buffy was the gold standard for UF television for a long time.

And now there's Bright. Here's what I liked:  Margaret Cho's in-your-face performance as a tough police sergeant. It was interesting casting and she was fine. I also liked Joel Edgerton as a gentle orc still trying to figure out how to deal with being "the first" of his kind. Although weirdly, it felt like he was channeling Dave Bautista's gentle giant character from Guardians of the Galaxy.

Here's what I hated about Bright:  Everything else. It looked cheap. It looked like it had been filmed in sepia tone. The sound was muddy. But really, what I hated most was the cynical take on the world. And it's encapsulated in a scene that happens very early on in the movie when Will Smith's wife screams at him to kill the fairy who's been getting into their bird feeder. He doesn't want to kill the fairy, but she insists, so in front of a group of neighborhood gangbangers, who are vastly amused, he beats the fairy to death with a broom. It's not subtle. (And neither is the subtext.  A cop beating a fairy to death? And just in case nobody GOT THE SUBTEXT, Will Smith has a line about "fairy lives don't matter today.)

I almost stopped watching right then and when I later mentioned it to friends on FB, a lot of people were in agreement. (One guy said he thought it was funny but I could not disagree  more.) Will Smith is a wonderful actor. Here he seems to be phoning it in. His character is incredibly unlikable.

The movie was pretty polarizing. I checked out the Rotten Tomatoes reviews (My favorite had the line, "Orcs are the new black") and can see how polarizing it's been.  And while as a UF fan I should be thrilled that there's now a sequel in the works, all I can think of are the many terrific UF series that would be great as television series or occasional movies. Max Landis, Bright's writer, may love the genre, but he relied on every tired trope and cliche in the business and delivered a heavy-handed social commentary along with it. I was sooooooo disappointed.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

A Vampire a Day...Misbegotten

Yes, it's shameless self-promotion day.  I have just released MISBEGOTTEN, which is a novella and the first in a series of books set in my L.A. Nocturne universe. This is a paranormal LA in which vampire family vie for position against the most powerful family, which operates out of Griffith Observatory.

There are werewolves and ghouls and fae. the book began with a short story called "Tired Blood" that appeared in John Donald Carlucci's Astonishing Adventures Magazine back in 2007. I found I really loved the characters and the world and in the decade since then, I wrote enough paranormal short stories to fill an entire collection:  L.A. Nocturne Collection: Tales of the Misbegotten.

My protagonist, Kira Simkins, is a crime reporter who specializes in paranormal crime. She has her own blog, which was originally conceived in the manner of Nikki Finke's "Deadline Hollywood," which really rose to promminence during the 2008 WGA writer's strike. It's called paracrimes.com and I actually own that domain name, though not sure what I'm going to do with it.

I was originally inspired by Laurell K. Hamilton's Anita blake series, which I remember embracing with the fervor of a religious convert. I had never read anything like her books (it was really before "urban fantasy" was a thing).  This first story deals with the uproar that occurs when the head of a vampire family dies under peculiar circumstances that may or may not relate to a series of vampire on vampire murders occurring in the Southland. I'm really rather pleased with the results.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

A vampire a day...Blood Destiny

I have to say--the title caught me when the cover didn't. Honestly, I think that's a TERRIBLE cover, although it has the saving grace of not featuring a shirtless guy.  Those are soooooo CHEESY.  But, this is a series with nine books about a cursed vampire and a female Homeland Security Agent. That was enough to pique my curiosity. Blood Destiny is the first in Tessa Dawn's Blood Curse series and it begins in 800 B.C. Romania and right away we're introduced to murderous twins with the somewhat unlikely names of Jadon and Jaeger. It's soon obvious this is a kind of Cain and Abel story with Jadon cursed for his brother's actions.  I was sucked into it pretty fast and curious to see how the writer spins out her premise over so many books.

Tessa Dawn writes a number of series, all of them Gothic/dark fantasy. She has another popular one with dragons. You can read about them on her site. She's also done trailers for some of her books. Here's the trailer for the Blood Curse series as a whole. View the trailers here where you can also find audio samplings.

Monday, January 1, 2018

A Vampire a Day--House of Night

I've been reading "urban fantasy" since before it was a "thing" and my interest in vampires predates Twilight. Lately, though, it seems like urban fantasy has been edged out by "paranormal romance," a lot of which seems to feature near-naked guys on the cover. (Although to be fair, the whole "shifter" subgenre of UF seems to be the bigger culprit with the paranormal porn-y kinds of covers.)
I thought it might be fun to read (or reread) a sampling of what's out there and I'm going to start 2018 off with P.C. Cast's and Kristen's Cast's "House of Night" series.

Dustin M. Ramsey (Kralizec)
This mother--daughter writing team have set their book in Tulsa, Oklahoma and that immediately sets it off from the bazillion other books that are set in LA/NY/Chicago. The first book opens with a stunning scene that features this truly creepy statue that stands in front of the entrance to Oral Roberts University, and throughout the series, many real-life locations are woven into the story.

There's diversity in the story--the protagonist, Zoey "Redbird" is part Native American and she has inherited powers from her "Grandmother Redbird." Native American myth augments and amplifies the vampire stuff, and when the books (there are twelve so far) get into the "Raven mocker" parts of the story, the saga really takes off. There are characters here I really didn't like when I first met them and then the Casts surprised me with what they did. There is growth here--the characters don't stand still. The books are addictive, in a good way, and there are real stakes at the heart of Zoey's situation.  If you're looking for a series to binge-read, this is a good one.