Tuesday, March 31, 2015

I've Been To A Marvellous Party

Life is playing a giant April fool on me. It’s snowing. Again. And I’ve caught a nasty cold. To get rid of my funk, I came up with the literary cocktail party guest list of my dreams. The only rule was the writers had to be alive. 

Welcome to my cocktail party! 

I am drinking Richard Kadrey under the table. William Gibson is in the back room, being antisocial. Kalayna Price is petting the cat. You can’t throw a party without inviting J.K. Rowling, but she’s there only on the condition that we don’t mention Harry Potter. JR Ward shows up in a dominatrix outfit. Chuck Palahniuk is giving boxing lessons in the back yard. Jodi Picoult is the person everyone wants to hang out with. Jennifer Weiner is telling the best jokes, while Jack Ketchum and Chuck Hogan are creeping everyone out. 

And we are all yelling at George RR Martin to go home and finish the next damn Song of Fire and Ice book. 

This is my brain on NyQuil. 

Friday, March 27, 2015

Book Review: SILK by Chris Karlsen

Contest lovers should read to the bottom. Not only is there a Rafflecopter giveaway but the author is giving away one Kindle copy of SILK for each tour stop, including this one!

Historical fiction is tough. You have to research your time period within an inch of its life. Readers that are sticklers for details happily call out your errors. I’d love to write a historical fiction, but I am positively frightened of it. So kudos to Chris Karlsen for braving the choppy waters of this genre. 

SILK has two stories running concurrently that eventually cross paths. We open with William, a wealthy aristocrat, member of the House of Lords, friend to Queen Victoria, and an insatiable appetite for kink. When his current paramour is accentually killed during an intimate act, the power from that taste of blood proves so tantalizing that William decides to perpetrate non-accidental deaths.

Set in the middle of the Jack the Ripper panic, which has whipped neighboring Whitechapel into hysteria, Inspector Rudyard Bloodstone and his partner are tasked with solving their own peculiar murders taking place outside the British Museum. As the defiled bodies of working class women pile up, the Inspector has his hands full trying to solve this crime without setting off a city wide, Ripper induced panic.

When William gets involved in a copycat killing, he and Bloodstone cross paths, beginning a fascinating cat and mouse game between the two. 

SILK was a bit of a slow start for me, but once the story got going, it grabbed me. While William is revealed as a killer at the start of the book, we are left on pins and needles about his motives for the other murders. He picks up a woman he at a remote train station, will he kill her next? There were several moments in the book that left me breathless. 

There were also bits that slowed down the captivating story. For example, the stiff romance that bloomed between a widowed seamstress and Bloodstone didn’t do much to further the plot, and I skimmed over those moments. There was also a fascinating historical element to the book that Karlsen worked into Bloodstone’s backstory. While I appreciate what the author was doing, and I agree it was fascinating, I felt like it brought the story itself to a halt. 

Quibbles aside, the story is fascinating and I even found myself rooting for William until his final monstrous act. I love villains that are layered enough that you can find ways to sympathize with them. Just like I love imperfect heroes, and Rudyard was certainly that. He came down on the right side of the law, but his personality was as chilly as the serial killers he chased.  

Fans of books set in Victorian England, or of the BBC series Ripper Street (I'm a fan), will enjoy this one.

Check out Chris Karlsen's website, buy SILK from Amazon. Don't forget to leave a comment on this post if you'd like to win a Kindle copy! 

And you can enter a Rafflecopter give away (includes a Kindle copy of SILK, swag bag & a $10 Amazon gift card):

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I received a free Kindle copy from the author for the purposes of reviewing.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

HB3 Update!

Hell’s Belle fans will be happy to hear that I made terrific headway on my pre-outline outline for Book 3. 

I know, weird, right? A pre-outline outline?

This is basically where I decide the major plot points, as well as identify the characters I need to carry the these plot points forward. It looks like our favorite surviving characters are back: Nina, Frankie, and Max, of course. Darcy and Matty return, and Casper too. Chuck will probably turn up a time or two, simply because the Beta Vamp really grew on me. Dr. O returns in this book, but we probably won’t catch much of him until the end. And, of course, our favorite demon Ami Bertrand is back pulling everyone’s strings. 

Plus, I am introducing a new, pivotal character. He’s a doozy, and I am crazy excited to write him. 

Nina and Casper are going to go through a major upheaval in this one. I know, how much more crap can I throw at Nina? But just like I needed to off a certain character in Tainted Blood so that Nina could grow as a character, this is the next step in her development.

Action lovers will be happy to hear that it looks like the action sequences are back in line with the original Hell's Belle. The crew knows exactly what's going on and what they need to do. So this time, it's all in the execution. 

Here's a playlist of music kept me going while I worked it all out.  Let me know how you feel about the tunes! 

Thursday, March 19, 2015

I’m still here! And other odds and ends...

Since I've been busy as a beaver, here's a pic of a beaver dam that I took last summer!
Good news! The new paranormal romance is off to the publisher. I am taking a minute (seriously like a minute) to breathe and then kickstarting Hell’s Belle 3 plus working on the outline for a new PNR that I hope to sell. It’s going to be a slight genre departure for me, so I am kind of excited to work on it.

Add in the day job, and my schedule was hellish this winter. I am a bit exhausted. But I’ve loved every minute that I’ve been writing, and spending more time with my characters daily has been really amazing. It simply drives home that I would love to write full time.   

Since I've been slammed, I have been neglecting this blog a bit, as well as my fellow compatriot authors. I hope to remedy in the coming weeks. I have book review coming next week, and hopefully, I can get back in the swing of the author interviews. And I have a new adventure on tap that I will announce soon-ish. (When I am through the testing phase -- I am okay with tech stuff if I have the time to devote to playing with it, and I am carving out the time now!)

So, it’s all good. I’m still here!

Oh, by the way, did you know I have a mailing list? Sign up if you want book updates, freebies, and sneak peeks at stuff I am working on! (By the way, I don't sell names. You guys are mine, all mine!) 

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Cover Reveal: A Question of Counsel

It's been a while since I've done a cover reveal and this one is very pretty! (Keep on scrolling for a giveaway at the end of this post!)

A QUESTION OF COUNSEL, a fantasy romance by Archer Kay Leah, is releasing on May 25.

Here's the description:
Life hasn't been easy for Aeley since she arrested her brother, and her role as a political leader leaves her feeling isolated and lonely. Days before her brother's trial, she meets Lira, a quiet and modest scribe who makes Aeley want more than just a professional relationship.
When she attends the trial and leaves with a marriage contract, Aeley doesn't know what to do. She must choose one of two brothers, marrying into a family she doesn't know. Then she discovers that Lira is part of the same family—a sister to Aeley's suitors and the family's disgrace. And not at all opposed to an intimate relationship.
Except random acts of violence against her people test Aeley's ability as a leader, and a web of lies and deceit threaten not only her chance at happiness, but her life...

You can pre-order from the publisher, Less Than Three Press

Find Archer online at her website, Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads.

Giveaway Time!

Win 2 $10 Amazon gift cards during the cover reveal party!

a Rafflecopter giveaway