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For all you fans of the paranormal, registration for the 2014 Coastal Magic Conference is now open. The event will be held at Daytona Beach, FL from February 6-9, 2014, and it will feature over 50 authors in the paranormal and urban fantasy genres. Best of all, the cost for the conference is only $70.
I’ll be there, and I’d love to see some of you there as well!
For more information, go to http://coastalmagicconvention.wordpress.com/registration/.
Everyone, I have a special guest here today. Jess Macallan is the author of Stone Cold Seduction, and a lover of all things Supernatural. That makes her A-okay in my book! Without further ado:
I’m so excited to be a guest at Rosalie’s blog today! Not only is she one of my favorite Entangled authors (I’m a BIG Taeg fan), but we also share an obsession *cough* I mean appreciation for those gorgeous Winchester brothers from Supernatural. Because the holidays are in full swing, I wanted to do a holiday-themed blog for the paranormal fanatics out here. Santa may get a number of requests for Sam and Dean Winchester wrapped in a bow…ahem…but if that’s out of your budget, here’s a list of must-haves for the Supernatural lovers on your list:
- A custom-made, cushioned shoulder holster. If you’re ganking monsters, comfort is key when carrying weapons. Plus, if you’re forced to wear cheap suits, you need at least one quality accessory.
- A big-ass knife. If you want to score bonus points with the gift recipient, make sure it can kill demons, and have “The Gank-inator” etched on the blade.
- Holy water in a decorative, hand-blown glass vial. This is especially important if you’re a fan of supporting local businesses. If you’re going to toss holy water on all sorts of nasties from the depths of hell, your neighborhood glass blower can help you out.
- A baseball hat from a truck stop for the Bobby…um…boy in your life. A flannel shirt is optional.
- A khaki trench coat. Nothing says Cas, I mean class, like a well-tailored coat.
- Artisan gourmet salt—when you’re on the road chasing the next monster, you need salt for protection and flavor.
- And last but certainly not least, pie. Yes, pie. Dean’s favorite food deserves a space on this list for no other reason than because you’ll deserve a slice after shopping.
What’s your favorite paranormal or Supernatural inspired gift?
In the meantime, I’m celebrating the recent release of Stone Cold Seduction, the first book in my Set in Stone trilogy, available now from Entangled Publishing. Below is an excerpt I hope you’ll enjoy. I don’t have Sam or Dean Winchester, but I do have a sexy gargoyle and a hot phoenix. *winks*
“Elle. It’s just Elle.”
When a regular night of Robin Hood-ery results in the manifestation of some, um, unusual paranormal abilities, perfume-maker Elleodora Fredricks realizes the normal world she lives in isn’t quite… normal. And neither is she, thanks to her father, king of the shadow elves. Not only is he evil incarnate and the reason Elle moonlights as a burglar—someone has to take care of all his victims—he’s stolen her memories.
And only reading her fate can fix that.
Good thing she’s got a trio of hotties willing to help her find said fate. Saving her oracle BFF’s fiancée, falling in love with the gargoyle, and making up for breaking the phoenix’s heart ought to be a piece of cake for the princess of the shadow elves.
If only the king didn’t want his daughter dead…
Get in, get out. Get in, get out, I chanted in my head.
I could do this. I crept toward the stairs, keeping to the shadows and the outer edges of the room. Footsteps moving at a fast pace were coming toward me. I touched the small mark for the cloaking ward and silently chanted the words, and pressed against the wall. Please let this work. A split second later, two gargoyles rounded the corner. My mouth went dry, and I was afraid they’d hear my heart pounding, it was so loud.
They were full gargoyles. Their stone feet made dull, heavy thuds against the stone floor. Hysteria bubbled, and I wondered what happened if they got a chip in gargoyle form. Did they ever break a toe or finger off? Wings tucked behind them, horns on their heads, they were an awesome sight. Long faces, pointy chins and bright, glowing silver eyes. No clothes and very, very…naked.
I brought my gaze back to their faces as they neared the stairs. I held my breath. Silently, they brushed past me, oblivious to my presence. So close, I could have reached out and grabbed their…er…wings. I waited until I could no longer hear their footsteps, before releasing the ward and my breath in a quiet exhale.
I sucked in a deep, shaky breath. That had been far too close for comfort. I made my way down the stairs, one cautious step at a time.
Candle sconces lined the walls. Tiny flames flickered and cast sinister shadows down the curving stairwell. I felt like I was walking down to the dungeons, which is what I’m sure the lower levels used to be. Fear snaked along my spine. I didn’t want to be here.
Which was more motivation to hurry the hell up.
Because of the candle sconces, I couldn’t hug the walls. I crouched down and took the steps as quickly and quietly as I could. Every five steps, I paused to listen. The gargoyles must be faster than I gave them credit for, because I didn’t hear their footsteps receding.
The growing silence strained my nerves. Where were all the guards and oracles MacLean had spoke about? I’d heard one female and seen the two gargoyles. There were five upper levels and three lower levels. I should hear something.
Keeping one hand on the wall, trying to avoid the hot, dripping wax, I made my way downstairs, into what felt like the pit of hell. Was it getting warmer?
The spiral stairs continued down. I was almost there, when the next ward hit me. If I’d thought the first one was big, this one brought me to my knees. Literally.
I couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t see. I couldn’t hear. Raw energy consumed me. It ripped through me with the force of a tsunami. As quickly as it started, it was over. Huddled on the stairs, I gasped for breath. A twinge in my shoulder indicated where the new mark was.
“The ward is down. Did you hear that?” The low, nasty voice came from below. It echoed in the stairwell. Heavy thuds on the stairs had me scrambling to my feet.
Shit. They were coming.
Quiet, calm shadow. Quiet, calm shadow, I repeated mentally, squeezing my eyes shut. I held the image in my head, praying it would hold. If I got out of this alive, I’d donate more. Volunteer my time. Be nice to every person I met. No more take-out food. I’d exercise and get enough sleep. I’d…
The two gargoyles raced up the stairs. Fast and agile, they ran right through me. Right through me.
Shock held me still.
Time was running out. I moved down the stairs, despite the way my legs threatened to give out with each step. Hitting the second level, I ducked into the first room I found. Hoping there was electricity down here, I fumbled for a light switch. Success. I flipped the switch.
With horror, I took in the scene in front of me.
Learn more about Stone Cold Seduction HERE.
Today is a big day: the official release of BLOOD OF THE DEMON, Book One in the Demons of infernum series!! I’ve lived and breathed this book for the past year, so to say I’m excited would be a huge understatement!
I’m celebrating today’s release with a guest post at Louisa Bacio‘s site. Please drop in and say hi!!
Also, the lovely Suzanne Johnson over at Preternatura has reviewed Blood of the Demon, and is holding a contest giving it away! Stop in to enter!
Last but not least, the fabulous Thea Harrison is on my blog and giving away a copy of DRAGON BOUND. Don’t forget to enter to win this fantastic book!
Happy Friday, everyone! Today I have a special guest, Pamela Turner, talking about the ripple effect and how action affects character. (Don’t you just love her cover?) Without further ado:
When Xariel fatally stabs Karla Black then brings her back to life, he irrevocably changes her destiny. He also sets into motion a chain of events that affects not only Karla but himself, the other angels of death, and Karla’s friends. It is this ripple effect that shapes the plot of my urban fantasy/paranormal short novel Death Sword.
However, Xariel is not acting of his own volition. He’s ordered by his superior, Metatron, to find Karla and bring her back. The angel of death obeys with the intention of handing Karla off to Metatron and resuming his regular duties.
Metatron has different ideas. He suggests Xariel train Karla as an angel of death. Not only that, but Metatron wants Karla to work with Xariel under Samael, one of Metatron’s seconds-in-command. For Xariel, this order is met with trepidation. He knows Samael despises humans, women in particular. But Metatron is adamant. He assures Xariel Samael will obey orders.
Samael, chief of satans and angel of death, agrees to take Karla on as one of his employees. But he sees her as a threat. Not only does she stand between him and his cursed ex-lover, Xariel, she also upsets his plans for usurping Azrael’s position.
As a result, Samael decides Karla not only needs to lose her powers, she needs to die. But first he plans to defeat her resolve by attacking her friends.
For Karla and Xariel, defeating Samael is paramount. But the chief of satans is a formidable opponent. Armed with a poisoned rapier, Samael can easily kill both humans and angels. Even worse, if he slaughters too many people, he becomes an unstoppable berserker.
Ultimately, Karla must decide if she will accept her role as an angel of death. Because her actions, or lack thereof, will determine not only the outcome of her fate but that of those around her.
Here’s a blurb for Death Sword:
The only thing more dangerous than an angel of death is one obsessed with vengeance.
Karla Black has always known she’s different from other people. She learns just how different after she’s fatally stabbed and brought back to life as a half-human angel of death.
With newfound power comes a newfound boss.
Samael despises her. He considers Karla impure and resents her relationship with her partner Xariel…who also happens to be Samael’s ex-lover. When he takes that hatred to a higher level, Karla vows vengeance – a task easier said than done.
With the loss of their angelic powers, Karla and Xariel face a dilemma – how will they defeat an unstoppable Samael, whose poisoned rapier can kill human and angel alike?
If Karla doesn’t awaken to her true identity, both heaven and earth are in danger of annihilation.
Karla lay on the sofa, her heart racing, driven by adrenaline-induced fear. Another scare and she’d go into cardiac arrest.
Samael loomed over her, hands on either side of her head. “Human filth,” he whispered, “the sooner I’m rid of you, the better.” A dagger appeared in his hand. The intricate markings differed from the ones on Xariel’s knife. She’d no doubt Samael meant to kill her. Too bad she hadn’t told Xariel she loved him.
He pushed the tip against her throat. “Should I kill you now?” The chief of satans smiled at her, a cruel grin which didn’t reach his eyes. “I’d love to, but I want Xariel to watch.” He cocked a brow at her distressed expression. “Oh? Didn’t I tell you? He saw his darling Delilah die. I’m sure he’d be very disappointed if he couldn’t see your final moments.”
Karla swallowed. “What now?” She prayed for a swift death. Samael pressed down on the dagger. The tip sliced through skin, piercing her windpipe, the sharp pain excruciating. A strangled gasp burbled in her throat. Shock laid a merciful hand on her head. She closed her eyes, letting darkness wash over her.
A heavy weight pressed down on her body. Lungs burning, she struggled for air. Minutes passed. Nothing happened. No tunnel, no white light. Curious, Karla opened her eyes, tried to sit up.
She couldn’t move.
Death Sword is published by Lyrical Press and is available for the Kindle or Nook.
You can reach the author at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Update: The winner of this contest is Renee Rearden! Thanks to everyone for participating. :-)
Good morning everyone! Today I have a guest post by the awesome Kathryn Scannell, and boy is it a fun one. Let’s get going:
One of the hot button topics in erotica/erotic romance is whether or not we have a responsibility as authors to encourage safe sex practices by setting good examples in our stories. In general, I think it’s a good idea, but that’s as far as I’m willing to go. Why? There are actually quite a lot of good reasons.
First, there’s the question of whether it’s appropriate to the story. There are settings where it just doesn’t make sense, and paranormal romance is often one of them. After all, if your shifter or your vampire is immune to bullets and heals from nearly any injury, how likely is it really that an STD will stand a chance of infecting them? Although there was an entertaining story in one of the tabloids back in the early 80’s when AIDS was a new problem very few people had heard of about how it was decimating the vampires of Europe…
It’s not very realistic for most historical settings either. Options for safe sex were fewer then, and the association between the act of having sex with someone who might be sick and getting sick yourself was tenuous at best in many cultures and eras.
Even in the modern era where it’s a practical option, it may not be appropriate to the character. In the real world we all know of guys who aren’t careful, even very intelligent ones.
We’re writing for adults here. I’d like to think my readers are smart enough to realize that not everything that happens in my book is a good idea to do themselves. That includes not practicing safe sex. If I were writing stories that were trying to send a message or teach a lesson, then I’d be sure something unfortunate happened to the character as a result of that unprotected sex. But I’m not doing that, and neither are most romance/erotica writers. The point of the story is the romance, and the happy ending, not a social message. So if its useful to the plot of the story, there may be repercussions, but I won’t add them to the plot just for the sake of making a point about practicing safe sex.
Building a nanny attitude into our books is a slippery slope. Saying my characters will always practice safe sex to set a good example seems like it might be a good idea at first. I’ve been feeling a little guilty that I didn’t give some kind of nod to it in my latest book, but it just doesn’t make sense. If you’re a wizard and can heal yourself, the idea of needing to worry about catching an STD is ridiculous. There’s not even a good reason for the character to think about the fact that he doesn’t need to worry.
Here’s the problem – if you start feeling you have to avoid any kind of unsafe sex even if it would be in character, for the sake of being a good example, why stop with sex? Why not extend the attitude to other things? That character that smokes, the one who drinks too much, the one who’s overweight – they could all be fair game for things that shouldn’t be in the story because they’re bad examples. If you write nothing but good examples, you end up with a book full of perfect, healthy people, who are terminally boring to read.
I do make one exception, and I’ll freely confess that’s a personal soapbox. When I write a BDSM scene, I’m very careful that it’s something that can be done safely, and that the precautions that make it safe get mentioned. I’ll confess that’s a little inconsistent with my general feelings about self-censoring your books for health or political correctness issues. My reasoning is this – these days nearly everyone gets the safe sex message from a lot of places – school, TV public interest spots, and so forth.
BDSM is a little different. A whole lot of people get their primary exposure to it from reading it in fiction. They may never go read an introductory book on how to do it safely, or have a more experienced partner for their early experiences, or seek out someone to advise them on what’s safe. So I want to be sure that if someone decides the scene I wrote was really hot and they want to act part of it out with their partner that they’re not going to damage anyone doing it. I don’t want that on my conscience.
I do lean toward putting in at least a voice advising safe practices when I can do it without impairing the story. I’ve got someone in Embracing the Dragon who advises the main character not to drive when he’s been drinking, because it’s something a friend or co worker should say under the circumstances. It would be odd if he didn’t.
When I write in contemporary settings, my characters do use condoms, because they’re generally smart, practical people, and safe sex is the smart thing to do.
Kathryn’s latest release is called “Embracing the Dragon”, a M/M romance straddling the boundary between urban fantasy and high fantasy. Read on for more info.:
Danny O’Riordan’s life was complicated before he had the vision of a past life that forced him to admit to himself that he was bisexual. There’s a war going on, and being Liegeman to Aran, the Elven King of Avalon puts Danny squarely in the middle of the politics of two worlds, Earth and Avalon. Adding a romantic relationship to the mix could be explosive.
His lover from that previous life has been reborn as Mordellir, the ruler of the Tengri Empire. The Dragon of Heaven is the most powerful person in his world. Will he want Danny back once he knows he’s been reborn? If he does, how far will he go to get his way?
Danny knows it isn’t smart to get involved with the Dragon of Heaven. Aran hates the Tengri. Following his heart and renewing that old relationship with Mordellir will leave him torn between his commitment to Aran and those old feelings which are still frighteningly strong. If he yields to temptation, can he balance his love for both men?
Mordellir looked more at ease than Danny had ever seen him. Was this what he’d been like before he became Emperor?
Looking at him now, in this mood it was easy to see the resemblance to Demeth. Certainly there were differences. Demeth had been only part Tengri. He’d been shorter and a bit heavier built. Demeth’s hair had reddish highlights, which hinted at demon in his family somewhere. But there was still something in the body language, and the aura which reminded Danny achingly of those memories of Demeth. It wouldn’t be hard to put this man in place of the image of Demeth in those memories…
Thinking that had not been a good idea. Danny realized his mistake when he felt his cock start to swell. Just remembering the damned dreams he’d been having was enough to get him hard again, and the bathrobe he was wearing was not going to hide it. He could see a telltale bulge already. He shifted to cross his legs, hoping to keep things under control, but it just didn’t work.
Mordellir had noticed, too. His gaze followed that moving bulge, and he gave off a mix of amusement and interest. All the extra blood that wasn’t already in Danny’s cock rose promptly to his face as he realized that.
Mordellir grew even more amused as Danny turned bright red. “I didn’t think you were interested, Daniel. It’s certainly nothing to be embarrassed about. You’re a handsome young man. I’m not intimate with all my Favorites, but it’s certainly an option.”
Danny cursed inwardly. This was rapidly becoming a disaster. “No! I’m not– I mean I don’t– Oh Hell.” He ground to a halt. Doing anything would be stupid, and guaranteed to make settling the problem of those old memories worse, not better, but how did he say no without insulting the Emperor? Especially when his cock was obviously saying yes.
“Slowly, Daniel,” Mordellir said gently. “If I read that wrong, I’m sorry. Will you tell me why you’re so confused and embarrassed? It can’t be just having an erection in front of someone else, not after living among the Elves and the Kennakriz. What is it?” He looked probingly at Danny out of his good eye.
Danny took a deep breath to try to calm himself. “No. This isn’t simple to explain. You didn’t misread my reaction, but it would be a terrible idea to act on it.”
“Why?” Mordellir sounded genuinely puzzled.
“Because you’re the Emperor of the Tengri, and I’m the senior Liegeman to the King of Avalon, who happens to hate Tengri in general, and you in particular. That gives whole new levels of meaning to conflict of interest,” Danny said, wondering why he was explaining the obvious to someone this experienced in politics.
“So?” Mordellir felt perplexed. “Is this an Earth thing? A little sex hardly constitutes anything important. It’s not as if there was a commitment involved. There isn’t even a chance of children to worry about negotiating.”
What could he say to that? From an Avalon or Empire perspective, Mordellir was entirely right. The problem was that Danny was sure that if he let himself get any closer to Mordellir that those old memories would hit him full force, and he’d want something more. A lot more. That would be a serious political problem.
His first impulse was to explain that, but doing that could be opening a huge can of worms. He didn’t really know Mordellir. He might not be anything like Demeth. There were vast differences between Danny and Emrys, thanks to the different worlds they’d lived in, and the things that had happened to him in this life. Emrys had trusted Demeth, but everything he knew about Mordellir told Danny not to trust him. This was a man who’d schemed his way to the Imperial Throne over a trail of bodies, including his father, the previous Emperor. Then he’d held his own against his remaining siblings and children to keep that throne for more than 10,000 years. He had to be a master of manipulation and deceit. It would be ridiculously risky to lay a vulnerability like this out for him to exploit. But it was so very tempting. It felt right to do. Danny’s thoughts spun in circles, his impulses arguing with his common sense.
Mordellir waited for him to answer, looking faintly puzzled. In the end, that pushed Danny over the edge in favor of explaining. The expression was so like one Demeth had often directed at him when Emrys was new to the Empire, and reacting oddly to everything. This was still Demeth, and some deep part of him trusted Demeth.
You can follow Kathryn at the following sites:
What are your thoughts? Is it a total turn-off for you if the characters don’t think about safe sex, or do you feel that you’ve had your nose rubbed in it too often, and want to enjoy a good fantasy where you don’t need to care about that level of realism?
One lucky commenter will win a copy of “Leap of Faith”, Kathryn’s short story set in the same world as “Embracing the Dragon” (selected via random.org).