Feminist, Fictionista, Foodie, Francophile

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Cover Reveal...MotherNature

This cool apocalyptic cover was created by A.S. Oren of Glass Crocodile. She also did the covers for my "Artifacts of Chaos" series and also my "Mortal Cravings" vampire series. I love what she does with saturated color. You can find Glass Crocodile on FB here.

Revenge is a dish best served cold...Sunday fiction flashback


Over at Death's Head Press, they've got a call for submissions for a new anthology with the theme of "Revenge.  They're not accepting reprints, but this is a story I would have written for them:

AULD LANG SYNE

I got a few quizzical looks when I signed in.  It’s possible some of the women working at the registration desk remembered me but I doubted it.  Back in high school I’d had lank brown hair, bad skin and had carried an extra 30 pounds.  I’d spent my four miserable years at Woodrow Wilson High School being invisible and dreaming of better times to come.  Better times had come.  I looked good for my age.

I spotted Alicia Cooper almost at once.  Alicia Womack, now.  Everyone had expected her to marry Tommy Womack ever since they’d been crowned king and queen at our senior prom.  I hadn’t gone to the prom.  I wasn’t asked.  I’d spent that night sobbing in my bedroom while my poor mother tried desperately to distract me with vanilla milkshakes.  I was inconsolable but I drank two of the milkshakes anyway.  I did things like that in those days. 

I never really thought I’d come to a reunion but as the years slipped by, the notion of making an appearance at my 50th began to seem attractive.  I’d long ago lost touch with everybody, but the reunion committee had set up a group on Facebook, so I was able to get all the information I needed.  I sent in my reservation, made my travel plans, and bought a new dress. 

The banquet room at the Sheraton was decorated with huge black and white photographs blown up from our senior yearbook.  There wasn’t a picture of me.  I’d skipped school the day pictures were taken. 

I drifted around the ballroom to get my bearings.  A few people glanced my way and smiled, inviting me to join their conversations but I kept moving.    

I saw Diane Todd and her husband talking to Harvey and Henrietta Martorelli.  I’d liked Diane.  She’d been nice to me in a way that hadn’t felt like charity.  She’d aged gracefully and the way she and her husband stood shoulder to shoulder told me that she was loved.  I was glad. 

Harvey and Henrietta looked more like siblings now than spouses.  Both had evolved into sexless, blocky creatures with the same graying skin and thinning hair.  Henrietta had been in my honors history and English classes.  She’d been an earnest grade-grubber with a GPA and SAT scores that should have earned her admission to Yale like her brothers, but back then, Yale didn’t accept women, so she’d settled for Bryn Mawr instead. 

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Twenty-nine authors in search of readers

Writer and friend to writers Damien Seaman has chronicled the adventures of the Rite to Reign boxed set authors as we negotiate the journey to publication and possible list-making glory!!  It's an interesting read, and you'll get to know some of my fellow writers, including E.B. Black, Candace Osmond, Alex Singh, Mirren Hogan, Stephanie Barr, and Scott Hungerford. You'll find the article
here.

Friday, October 19, 2018

Friday Freebie

I tend to be Amazon-centric in my posts because I own a Kindle and not an iDevice or Kobo. But I'm in this very cool FREEBIE collection of stories and you can pick it up on Apple Books, Kobo, or Google Books right now. (Amazon has been slow to price match.)

Think of this as an appetizer for the feast that is to come when #RitetoReign publishes later this year. Eleven authors who have stories in Rite to Reign have donated stories for First to Reign. My story, Vaikus, is the prequel to my Brotherhood of Stone series coming out next year.

I like the cover a lot. It was designed by Cyberwitch Press' Heather Marie Adkins (USA Today bestselling novelist), who also happens to be one of the authors in the collection and also in #RitetoReign.

Preorder Rite to Reign here to get all sorts of pre-order bonuses and freebies.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Cover stories...

It's no secret that I love book covers, or that I currently have more covers in stock than I have books. (I use them for writing prompts and for inspiration. Yes, that's my story and I'm sticking to it.) I buy a lot of premades, but even my go-to sites for premades are getting kind of pricey. I don't begrudge the designers their money--they have skills that are worth money and they have to eat--but sometimes covers I covet are just plain out of my reach.

And then there's Glass Crocodile Covers' A.S. Oren, who runs INSANELY affordable sales for CUSTOM covers. I bought a Glass Crocodile premade for a novelette I have in mind but when the offer of a custom cover for $35 came up, I jumped on it like a duck on a Junebug. A hundred and five dollars and less than a week later, I had a new set of covers for an upcoming trilogy.

The books are going to be urban fantasy and I'm going with something different--a "mature" leading lady. My heroine is pushing fifty and rocking it, and I am hoping readers will embrace the idea of a heroine who is no longer 18.  We'll see. But in the meantime, look at this gorgeous cover for the first book!!

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Everyone needs a crown--#ritetoreign

I'm not really much of a royal watcher but even I couldn't escape the pictures of yesterday's nuptials. And I zeroed in on that emerald and diamond tiara, which I thought was stunning. And very Russian-looking, I thought. (I've been thinking about Russian jewelry because Catherine the Great--my heroine in Secret Hexe--loved jewelry and a lot of her baubles ended up in the vaults of other European royals. If you didn't see it, here's a link to a story about the tiara and a great picture of it. (Getty images snapped up most of the pictures.)  I have no doubt that in short order you'll be able to buy a copy on Etsy, which already has numerous replicas of her distinctive engagement ring.

But I thought--who wouldn't like a tiara/crown of her/his own? And because great minds think alike, Anna Santos (another author in the Rite to Reign boxed set) has set up a giveaway in the Rite to Reign party room.  Drop by the party to comment on the crowns (number one and number five are my favorites) for a chance to win one of them. The party's going on all the way to our release date in December, so PARTY WITH US and win cool stuff and meet great people.

Friday, October 12, 2018

Who wants Freebies? #ritetoreign

Obviously, that was a trick question.
The answer is EVERYBODY wants freebies.
Well, you're in luck!!  If you pre-order our amazing boxed set here, you will get all kinds of goodness--exclusive content and more.  Follow the other writers for even more chances to win prizes and get advanced notice of good things to come. The party is in progress all weekend.

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Interview with writer Alex H. Singh


In your bio you say you’ve been writing since you were 18. Were you encouraged to write as a kid? Did either of your parents write?

Encouragement would have been wonderful as a pre-teen sadly that did not occur. Neither of my parents wrote. In fact I was discouraged by the both of them stating writing can be done by anyone with a paper and a pen. What made me so special? Those words alone were wood added to the fire within.  I made sure to focus and encourage myself until I managed to finish my FIRST official novel myself. 

Did you start with short fiction or did you dive right into novels?

My first book which I hand wrote with a paper and pen was 6 pages and 17 Chapters long.  Obviously, once I got a computer I re wrote that story which then become over 200 pages with 19 Chapters. I went big or what was the point of being an Author. 

Do you remember the first time you were paid for a piece of writing? What was it?

My first novel was picked up by a publisher which I was surprised and excited at that time.  They helped me self publish my novel and 3 months after I was given a cheque for $300.00.  It was for a novel which is now discontinued but it was called “Secrets of My Past”. 

Do you follow a set schedule for writing, have a process, and have a certain word count you want to hit each day?

Every day, no matter what I come home, in order to de-istress from the day, I sit down and depending on my mood I will work on Character or Chapter Outlines for books pending or work on an existing novel which means I would write about 3-7K words.

Do you outline?                                                                                


Yes, of course without that I would be lost.

What part of writing do you enjoy the most? The least?

-Dreaming of my Characters, what chaos I can ensue upon them and how they will get out of it…alive.   I guess it’s the aspect of creating this new world in my mind then transcribing it on paper.

My least favorite thing is when I find it hard to shut my thoughts off and I have more than 1,2,3,4…and growing ideas for different stories or sequels. I find it hard to focus on the ones I have outstanding with new ideas popping up inside my thoughts. 

Do you reward yourself/celebrate when you finish a book? If so, how?

I originally gave myself a goal that if I finished 10 novels I would buy myself a new laptop which I did. My new goal was if I did more than the last time I would buy myself an IPAD PRO which I am getting this holiday season as I did manage to surpass my goal. 

To me having my book in my hand is exciting enough. No need to celebrate every novel, at least for myself. 

Monday, October 1, 2018

The Witching Hour is here.



It's October, so it's time to think about witches!USA TODAY bestselling novelist Christine Pope invited me to join this boxed set of novels about witches and wizards and warlocks. My contribution is Magic in the Blood, which I've expanded into an actual novel. The set is full of great writers and available wide.
Buy it on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, iTunes, and Google Play.

Friday, September 14, 2018

#Amazon! #RiteToReign--the best boxed set of the season

Listen up witches!!!  Rite to Reign has landed on Amazon for pre-order.
Ninety-nine cents and this is what you get:

Willful witches, supernatural sorcerers, cruel queens, and powerful priestesses fall out of favor and rise to rule in this highly sought-after collection of spellbinding stories! 

More than 20 award-winning and bestselling authors have come together to curate this bewitching boxed set collection of the best PARANORMAL ROMANCE and URBAN FANTASY books in the genre, each brimming with stories of royal magic. 

Journey through worlds of danger and mayhem, where witches and warlocks battle for influence and wizards fight for unrestricted power. 

But reader beware: the highly addictive stores in RITE TO REIGN will put you under their spell. One click to secure your limited edition copy today!  Find it here.


Tuesday, September 11, 2018

stephanie Barr Interview


Introducing writer Stephanie Barr

 Although Stephanie Barr is a slave to three children and a slew of cats, she actually leads a double life as a part time novelist and full time rocket scientist. People everywhere have learned to watch out for fear of becoming part of her stories. Beware! You might be next!

You’re a rocket scientist! What do you do? I've done a number of things. I'm a dabbler. I've rebuilt data handling systems for ground chambers, designed ground comm systems for those same chambers (used for crew to test suit capabilities and procedures and test hardware). I've done qualification and acceptance testing for payloads going in the Mir (Russian) space station and the Space Shuttle,  wrote communication software for robotics, evaluated main engine software changes, addressed micrometeoroid/orbital debris risks, spent several years as an EVA Safety Engineer – (EVA +> when they go out in spacesuits) including more than one Hubble mission and Columbia's last flight. Now I help evaluate design changes and issues for our large launch
vehicles (Delta IV and Atlas V)

If you ran the space program, what would be your priority? A manned Mars mission? A moon base? Moon base. Pretty much any technology or system we'd need on Mars we could test on the moon where we're actually close enough to do something if it went south.

Did you ever want to be an astronaut? Nope. Can't stand free fall.

You’ve been writing since you were a child, at what point did you veer into science? I've always loved science and could do math and languages. I loved all kinds of academics, including literature. I loved writing but I figured I'd need a day job, so I majored in Engineering Physics because I could get a scholarship from the Physics dep't and the Engineering College at the same time. And then I was just too stubborn to get out. I really love problem solving so it turned out to be a good choice.

Saturday, September 1, 2018

#RiteToReign #iBooks--a boxed set for your iDevices

I don't know about you, but doesn't it sometimes feel like if you want to get an ebook you have to go through Amazon? My fellow writers on Rite to Reign feel your pain. That's why we want to offer it to you on iBooks for 99 cents. Preorder now!  You haven't heard of Rite to Reign? Hold on to your crowns and cauldrons..

Power is never given, it has to be taken.
In this collection of stories about wicked witches, cruel queens, and powerful princes, you'll find something for every flavor of your paranormal fancy. My own story Secret Hexe, is a tale inspired by the life of Catherine the Great from her childhood apprenticeship in magic (with her French nanny) to her arrival at the Russian court where her soon-to-be husband makes the mistake of thinking she's someone he can manipulate on his own way to power.
He is so wrong about that!
My story is just one among more than two dozen tales by North America's best-selling writers of paranormal and fantasy romance. This is a limited edition set and ONLY 99 cents. 

Friday, August 24, 2018

A preview of hell...

It's been smoky in the Pacific Northwest for the last week thanks to more than 300 fires raging out of control in British Columbia. The wind is finally blowing the smoke away but for a while there, the air quality was worse than it is in Beijing, giving everyone dry and red eyes.

It struck me that this might be a good time to share my list of favorite fire-related books. Everyone always points to Young Men and Fire by Norman Maclean, who also wrote A River Runs Through It, but I prefer Dennis Smith's Report From Engine Company 82, which came out more than 40 years ago, but is still available. If you were a fan of Denis Learay's Rescue Me, you'll see similarities in this book.

John Maclean (son of Norman) has written several books about fires, but his best is probably Fire on the Mountain, about a fire known variously as the South Canyon Fire and the Storm King Mountain Fire. (I'd have gone with Storm King Mountain--so incredibly evocative.) This was a particularly deadly fire in that it killed an entire elite team of 'hot shots" who'd been dropped into the area. The lone survivor of that event has written his own book.

An even deadlier fire, the Granite Mountain Fire near Prescott, AZ claimed 19 firefighters and is the subject of a movie called No Exit, starring Josh Brolin.

Two other memoirs that are gripping:  Bob Donbrowski's 38 Years: A Detroit Firefighter's Memoir  and Nick Brunaciini's B-Shifter.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

One for the TBR list

The cover of this book caught my eye.
I'm currently writing a sequel to Magic in the Blood called Santa Muerte, but the saint of the title is a benign, female version of death who grants favors to her followers. this looks like a very different book, but I definitely want to read it. It's available on a bunch of different platforms, but here's the publisher's site.

The debut authors are crushing it lately

Heart of Thorns, described as a fierce feminist fantasy, is the first in a series (of course), about a young woman who lives in a world where only women can possess magic. The author is Bree Barton, and if you sign up for her newsletter, you can win a copy of the book. (It was published last month.)

I like the cover--simple and elegant. I like the concept. Can't wait to dig into this one.

Monday, August 20, 2018

Peng Shepherd's Book of M--a review


In a world where people are suddenly losing their shadows, the lives of a group of unrelated people are bound up in a hope for building a new world on the memory of the old.

This is an epic, apocalyptic quest along the lines of Stephen King’s THE STAND or Robert McCammon’s SWAN SONG, with a large dose of INCEPTION thrown in. It’s also a zombie story of sorts, particularly in scenes where the “shadowless” surround those who are still tethered to their ‘dark twins.” The story unfolds in a somewhat nonlinear fashion where events being recounted by various characters overlap, but there’s a good mix of adventure and intimate contact.


The unraveling of reality is incredibly visual, and no one will much quibble with the premise that memories are stored in our shadows (and not in a certain part of our brains). The writer tells the story from multiple points of view, with both first and third person being used. The author does a very good job of “opening out” the story with flashbacks to “before” and even to multiple events after the Forgetting hits.


Peng Shepherd's debut novel is a multi-faceted apocalyptic quest story told from multiple points of view. She plays with pov in a way that I haven't seen since Kevin Brooks' iBoy, and it's astonishing that this is her first book. 

Monday, June 25, 2018

Coming soon!!!

I am very excited about this upcoming boxed set which features stories about royal witches!! Mine is about a young Catherine the Great using magic to play a real-life Game of Thrones. Stay tuned for more info!  In the meantime, if you have a iDevice or a Nook, you can pre-order. (Amazon pre-order will happen later in the year.)
Here's a link that will take you everywhere.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

The Heart of a Devil

I'm always interested in the villains. YYou HAVE to have great villains to have a great tale. My short story "The Ugly One," a tale of a mermaid's revenge, is in this collection. I can't wait to read the other stories. Here's where you can get it.

Friday, May 18, 2018

The Z Sisters

I've been having fun writing different kinds of stories this year and I had a blast writing a "zombie apocalypse" story for Nicole Morgan's Zombie Apocalypse boxed set (on pre-order at Amazon here for 99 cents).  I haven't been given the official go-ahead to share the cover (although it is up at Amazon) but the cover I have for the eventual stand-alone release is here. Images by Neostock, design by Indie Author Services.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Seven Shifter Stories!

The first book in Pure Textuality's Summer of the Supernaturals has landed:  Shifters in the Shadows, curated by Jena Gregoire and Brandy Dorsch. It's a sampler pack of all kinds of shifters--yes, there are werewolves (including my own The Howl), but there are whole worlds of paranormal creatures here--vampires, and witches, and mountain lions and panthers. And dragons. There are also dragons in the story that anchors the collection.

Wicked Desire by Brandy Dorsch (Hunger Mates, Book 2)--The story that leads this collection offers a strong, if conflicted, heroine and a little reverse-harem action with the two sexy werewolves who want her as their mate. Throw in some nice world-building that includes were and vampire protocol, and Wicked Desire is the perfect story to set the mood. Even better, if you love it (and you will), there are other books in the series. Find more of her work here.

One Wounded Wolf  by Nicole Zoltack--Set in Bethlehem, PA (where the author lives), this is a story of a town overrun by all sorts of supernatural creatures, from sirens to djinn, and an immortal werewolf that drinks blood. The narrator muses on the relative strength of vampires versus werewolves and concludes that, "They have fangs and so do we!"  Find more of her work here.

Monday, April 30, 2018

Privacy Policy

Privacy Policy for StoryAuthority

Policy effective as of 2018-05-19. We review our privacy practices on an ongoing basis, and as such we may change this privacy policy from time to time. Please check this page frequently to ensure you are familiar with its current content.

This privacy policy has been compiled to better serve those who are concerned with how their ‘Personally identifiable information’ (PII) is being used online. PII, as used in US privacy law and information security, is information that can be used on its own or with other information to identify, contact, or locate a single person, or to identify an individual in context. Please read our privacy policy carefully to get a clear understanding of how we collect, use, protect or otherwise handle your Personally Identifiable Information in accordance with our website.

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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
13
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.