Fictionista, Foodie, Feline-lover

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 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.