Tuesday, July 31

Guest Author Nancy Holzner

By Nancy Holzner
Book #4 in the Deadtown series

Genre: Urban fantasy
Publisher: Ace
ISBN: 978-1937007706
ASIN: 1937007707
Number of pages: 336
Word Count: Around 110,000

Amazon | B&NPowellsBookDepository

Blurb/Book Description:

They call it Deadtown: the city’s quarantined section for its inhuman and undead residents. Most humans stay far from its border—but Victory Vaughn, Boston’s only professional demon slayer, isn’t exactly human…

Boston’s demons have been disappearing, and Vicky’s clients are canceling left and right. While fewer demons might seem like a good thing, Vicky suspects foul play. A missing Celtic cauldron from Harvard’s Peabody museum leads her to an unwelcome conclusion: Pryce, her demi-demon cousin and bitter enemy, is trying to regain his full powers.

But Pryce isn’t alone. He’s conjured another, darker villain from Vicky’s past. To stop them from destroying everything she loves, she’ll have to face her own worst fear—in the realm of the dead itself.

Author Bio:

Nancy Holzner grew up in western Massachusetts with her nose stuck in a book. This meant that she tended to walk into things, wore glasses before she was out of elementary school, and forced her parents to institute a “no reading at the dinner table” rule. It was probably inevitable that she majored in English in college and then, because there were still a lot of books she wanted to read, continued her studies long enough to earn a master’s degree and a PhD.

She began her career as a medievalist, then jumped off the tenure track to try some other things. Besides teaching English and philosophy, she’s worked as a technical writer, freelance editor and instructional designer, college admissions counselor, and corporate trainer. As Nancy Conner, she writes how-to and reference books on topics ranging from classical mythology to using Office 2010.

Nancy lives in upstate New York with her husband Steve, where they both work from home without getting on each other’s nerves. She enjoys visiting local wineries and listening obsessively to opera. There are still a lot of books she wants to read.

Website: nancyholzner.wordpress.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/NancyHolznerBooks

Twitter: http://twitter.com/NancyHolzner

Tuesday, July 24

Guest Author Irina Lopatina

EDIT: I didn't receive Irina's guest post until noon today (Wednesday), but here it is.

An Ancient Strength for a Modern Age
Written by Irina Lopatina,
Author of White Raven: The Sword of Northern Ancestors

When we read historical chronicles that are full of battles, campaigns and conquests with constant sword-rattling, we automatically start to imagine people who lived in the past as a sort of restless giants seemingly forged from metal. Partial enlightment comes when we find the laconic anthropological data: only five hundred years ago average height of a man was no more than 150 –160 centimeters (4’ 9” – 5’2”). That means such a “giant” barely reaches my ear in height. Their physique was even stranger. I remember very well when I stared at the ancient knight’s armor at a museum for the first time. In the best case, this armor could find room only for a modern twelve-year boy. However, there is a nuance – this boy in no case would rise to his feet under the weight of this glittering “piece of metal”

It turns out that our ancestors were very “compact” and capable of great endurance. But we want a completely different picture! Therefore, we can see Alexander the Great, Achilles that looks like Brad Pitt and all 300 Spartans in Cinemas. All this also concerns heroic fantasy that is crowded with brutal characters. No one but real machos should wander over various worlds while defending beauties and all the others they come across, because it is a superhero’s mission!

The White Raven series is no exception to this tradition. There are strong characters there, and they are all different. Unruly, elemental force of the main character (Vraigo) coexists with calm strength of the Grand Duke Vlady on whom the lives of many people depend. Soft courage of the young magus Evstarh faces the resolve and inflexibility of the Duke’s son Tagas. Even Nik, our contemporary friend who finds himself in the epicenter of the ancient battle, shows a fighting spirit.

So, existence really does strengthen character. And we have to admit that our ancestors, no matter how they looked and behaved, carried a supply of power that still attracts us. This power refracts in our subconscious mind, giving us the ability to walk through hardships now and again, in spite of all the modern comforts we have today.

White Raven: Sword of Northern Ancestors
By Irina Lopatina
Genre: Fantasy

The fate of Areya rests with the lost sword Urart. Will White Raven retrieve it before it's too late?

In the kingdom of Areya, humans, animals, and the magical creatures that inhabit the Eternal Forest have long coexisted peacefully, but now something is horribly wrong. A terrifying stream of monstrous creatures has begun to emerge from the secret depths of the earth, terrorizing all of Areya's native inhabitants. From the tiny, wise drevalyankas to the bellicose cave-dwelling gnomes to the devious kikimoras who gather roots and herbs in the marsh, everyone is in danger.

With the aid of Urart, the magical sword that has been passed down from the time of the ancient northern ancestors, Grand Duke Vlady can offer temporary protection to his people. But Prince Vraigo, Vlady's nephew, who is endowed with magical power himself, understands that the source of the evil monsters must be found if there's any hope of survival. Along with a motley crew of his forest-dwelling friends, Vraigo sets off on a perilous quest in search of the koschei, the powerful, corrupt Archmagus whose mission is the destruction not just of Areya, but of the entire world.

As if this weren't bad enough, Urart disappears from the duke's stronghold. Without it, Areya is doomed, and only Vraigo, the White Raven, can possibly get the sword back. This journey requires Vraigo to use all of his keen wits and magical abilities, as well as to ally himself to dangerous creatures like yagas and werewolves, natural enemies of man, and precipitates the young prince into the most bewildering, complex challenge he has faced yet: life in the twenty-first century.


About the Author:

Irina Lopatina lives and works in Siberia, Russia, but her homeland has an even more wonderful and exotic name: Altai. It is a unique place where old Altai Mountains rise high up to the sky, centuries-old forests stretch out as in ages past, and mighty Siberian rivers flow along the plains. Altai is one of the few places in the world where huge, densely populated cities coexist with pristine wild places. Moreover, this is an area of the earliest human civilizations, through which the great migration of people from eastern lands to Europe once took place.

While studying at the Altai State University, Irina devoted much attention to the past of her native land. As a student, she went to the archaeological sites of ancient settlements located on the mountain plateau, where it was only possible to arrive on foot. She remembers moments when it was quite easy to imagine how the ancient people had lived, what creatures neighbored them, and what adventures took place in these vast spaces. Irina needed take only a small leap from there to White Raven, his friends, and his enemies who were ready to begin a journey through the Eternal Forest of Areya.

Of course, it would have been much more difficult for her to create her stories if Irina had not been inspired early on by the works of many excellent fantasy and science fiction writers such as J.R. Tolkien and Ursula Le Guin, the Russian authors Nick Perumov and Svyatoslav Loginov, as well as the wonderfully charming Russian fairy tales where a brave prince, his faithful grey wolf and the evil koschei always live. And so it happens that Irina's novels are the stories of a distant, semi-fantastic land which, who knows, may still exist next door to us.

About the Illustrator:

Even as a child, Igor Adasikov knew that he would be an artist.

While studying at an art school, he devoted much of his time practicing classical drawing, seeking to depict the world around him as fully as possible. His works often won awards in Russian art contests, and he continued his education at Moscow Art Institute. After graduating from the Institute, Igor worked as an artist preferring realistic painting, such as portrait and landscape. However, his rich imagination still needed an outlet and manifested itself in full while illustrating the fantasy novel, White Raven: The Sword of Northern Ancestors.

Here, in the surprising fairy-tale world, void of any boundaries, the artist found the nourishment to feed his creativity. Having traveled with the heroes through the whirlwind of adventures, he worked to give readers a visible image of Areya, bringing to life the magical creatures that inhabit the land, and making friends with the heroes of this fascinating story.

Praise for White Raven:

"Areya always needed a blade to protect it, but only a few can truly wield it. White Raven is a fantasy novel surrounding the Kingdom of Areya, enjoying its own harmony. Vraigo, known as the White Raven, knows it is up to him to recover Urart, the sword that blessed Areya with protection for quite some time. As time grows short, Vraigo realizes it all falls to him. White Raven is an excellent pick for lovers of fantasy and adventure, much recommended.” ~ The Midwest Book Review, Small Press Bookwatch: June 2012

You can learn more about Irina's White Raven project and sign up for the chance to win a free copy at whiteraven.lightmessages.com

Irina and White Raven are also on Facebook at www.facebook.com/whiteravenbook

Sunday, July 15

News Bytes - SKIN DEEP is contracted!

Copyright (c) 123RF Stock Photos
Hey everyone!

I've been quiet and pretty busy lately since I've had a lot of things going on. Hubby's birthday, a nice vacation in Las Vegas (woot!), a blistering sunburn and a cold... wait... those aren't good things lol, and my five year anniversary was yesterday.

I'm really excited to announce that SKIN DEEP, a steamy paranormal romance, is contracted with Etopia Press! WOOHOO!! I'm thrilled to be working with them. Currently, I'm going through the whirlwind of blurbs, taglines, and cover art ideas. Yay!

Here's the 50-word pitch I used to give you an idea what Skin Deep is about. This pitch helped get me a request from my editor, Rachel Firasek! :-)
After a painful break up with the love of his life, Connor (a werewolf) is set on winning back Angelique regardless of the power she possesses. He has a secret of his own, which may wedge another gap between him and his flighty ex-girlfriend, but answers are the least of their concerns. 
Woot! Thanks for celebrating with me!

EDIT: Blacklist Rogue is up for DRB1stChp's Best of June 2012 for Cover and First Chapter! I'd love your vote. :-)

Tuesday, July 3

Guest Author Kinley Baker

Aiming for Impossible Dreams
by Kinley Baker

I’ll never forget when my mother read Denied for the first time. She’s a wonderful beta reader because she reads 3-4 romance novels a week, and she’s been to several conferences in her own pursuit to write a novel. It’s great to get her feedback, but this time when she came back with comments on Denied, I had to laugh.

She said, “I can totally relate to your heroine.”

And I responded, “You want to be the first female guard in your kingdom, too?” *Said with the sarcasm you should never use on your mother. Shame on me. My defense is we have a sarcastic family.*

My mom laughed, but then she said it wasn’t just about Tabitha wanting to be a Warrior. What my mother related to most was being told she couldn’t do something and pressing on anyway. I think a lot of us can relate to being told NO. You can’t do this, or you can’t do that. But the brilliant thing about our own personal journeys is that the road is our own. We don’t have to listen to the naysayers, even when we’re close to caving in and believing them.

Tabitha certainly doesn’t listen to the naysayers, but she struggles on a lot of levels to accomplish her goal. Everyone says that what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger, or some variation. What they fail to mention is the part that almost kills us really sucks. It’s so hard to keep running forward at your fastest speed, and then realize you’re still standing in place. I may or may not be feeling like that even at this very moment while writing this guest post. We all need encouragement! Keep fighting on! With a sword, like Tabitha. Or you know, metaphorically like most of us.

And if you ever need a break, you can always read about someone else reaching for the impossible. The characters in the novel might give you the inspiration you need to reach for your dreams.

What is an accomplishment you’re proud of, that people told you you’d never achieve?


When invaders brutally massacred the women and children of the Varner, Caleb witnessed loss and destruction on a scale few can comprehend. As the leader of a race on the brink of extinction, his only hope for survival is gaining acceptance into the Shadow Shifter Kingdom. Struggling with new customs, he meets Tabitha, a woman who challenges his limits.

Refused the right to join the king’s guard because of her gender, Tabitha must be stronger than the men to prove she deserves to be the first accepted female Warrior in the kingdom. She believes Caleb will help improve her abilities, until she learns her goals conflict with the foundation of his culture.

When the realm is attacked, Tabitha and Caleb must come together not only to fight, but to find the strength to win against an evil with the potential to destroy everything they revere most--including each other.

Add DENIED as To-Read on GoodReads! http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13646204-denied

Denied at Amazon

Denied at Barnes & Noble

Kinley Baker is the author of the fantasy romance novel, Ruined. She read her first romance at the age of thirteen and immediately fell in love with the hero and the genre. She lives with her husband and her dog, Joker, in the Pacific Northwest. As a firm supporter of all supernatural lifestyles, she writes fantasy romance, paranormal romance, and urban fantasy. You can find Kinley at www.kinleybaker.com.


Monday, July 2

Interview with Guest Author Lilly Cain

Hello everyone! Please help me welcome Lilly Cain to the blog today.

1. Tell us a little about yourself.
I am from Nova Scotia, on the Eastern Shore of Canada. I have two beautiful, tall, smart daughters, a big family nearby and a comfy house and a tiny cottage in the middle of nowhere that I share with my parents. I have an evil cat (aren’t they all?) and three horrible little hamster rat things. Shudder. Although my bio says I am a wild woman that is just something I play at, in truth I am a quiet nerdy gal who loves sci-fi movies and a good romance.

2. When/how did you know you wanted to write?
I’ve been writing a long time but only became a serious writer after my second child was born and my then husband decided to leave. After I recovered somewhat, I took to writing as a means of therapy, and it helped, especially when I needed to give someone a very bloody ending, LOL!

3. How long did it take you to get published?
I decided I wanted to publish in 2008. I work hard and wrote a book that will never see the light of day. Then I wrote another. The spring of 2009 I sold Dark Harmony, my first book, at the RT conference in Florida and it was published January 2010.

4. What’s your favorite part of being an author?
I think it is exploring things that I am curious about – the research and the writing allows me to do that. Sometimes that means exploring an attitude, sometimes it means finding out about Celtic mythology. :-)

5. Tell us about your newest release, UNDERCOVER ALLIANCE.
Undercover Alliance is the third book in my erotic sci-fi series, The Confederacy Treaty. It’s not quite the end of the series, there is one more, but it is action filled, both in bed and out, as the humans and the Inarrii – the alien representatives of the Confederacy – come closer to a peace treaty that could save our world. In this book we meet an Inarrii warrior whose career is on the out – she was injured in an earlier book and no one expects her to survive. She’s given one last tour of duty as a bodyguard for one of the paper-pushers of the treaty on the human side. She figured it’s a pity post, and perhaps it would have been except the man she’s sent to guard is actually an undercover human spy sent to protect the treaty from the inside. But word leaks and he’s a target, with only his Inarrii bodyguard there to save him…

6. What inspired The Confederacy Treaty series?
Strangely I was watching NCIS, and found myself a little disappointed with the plot (it happens, even to the best of shows) so I started to play what if. What if the girl accused of treason was innocent? What if she fell in love with her accuser and he with her while they tried to prove her innocence? What if he could read her mind? See what she saw? What if they were in outer space?? This became The Naked Truth, which is the second book in the series. After I’d completed a rough first draft I realized there was an earlier story to write, and that it would become a series.

7. Which has been your favorite book to write?
I think Undercover Alliance was my favorite. It was kind of a James Bond experience for me, writing the action scenes and the sex scenes. Lots of fun!

8. What are you working on now?
Right now I am doing something a little different – a series of very short novellas for Carina Press that are light, contemporary erotic romance. The series is called Bad Girls Know… and book one is called No Reservations. :-)

9. What advice do you give to those who are just starting out or trying to become published?
What I tell every writer is…Read, Write, Read, Write…repeat. Make writing and reading (lots of genres!) a big part of your life.

Undercover Alliance 
The Confederacy Treaty Book Three
By Lilly Cain
Carina Press

Sarina is scarred. Her L'inar, the curving nerve lines that enable Inarrii to experience their full sexuality, were severed in battle and she can no longer reach completion. Until she accepts a job as bodyguard to the human ambassador John Bennings, and is astonished to discover that they share a mental bond—a mirrored pathway of thoughts that will allow Sarina to climax.

When John's the target of an attack and they are forced into hiding, he's not sorry to be in close quarters with the compelling Sarina. They explore their erotic connection, and John is happy to demonstrate that humans have more sexual skills than Sarina thought.

To prove that she is whole and rejoin her Inarrii clan, Sarina needs John to bring her to climax in public in accordance with tradition. With a roomful of Inarrii and humans watching, will John be willing to perform as Sarina needs—and will their public display make John vulnerable to another attack?

About the Author:

Lilly Cain is a wild woman with a deep throaty laugh, plunging necklines and a great lover of all things sensual - perfume, chocolate, silk! She never has to worry about finding a date or keeping a man in line. She keeps her blond hair long and curly, wears beautiful clothes and loves loud music. Lilly lives her private life in the pages of her books.

Lilly lives in Atlantic Canada, although she spent eight years in Bermuda, enjoying the heat and the pink sands. She returned to her homeland so she could see the changing of the seasons once again. When not writing she paints, swills coffee and vodka (but not together), and fights her writing pals for chocolate.

When not living up to her pen name, Lilly is a single mom who loves reading and writing, dabbling in art and loving and caring for her two daughters. She loves romance and the freedom erotic fantasy provides her imagination. She loves the chilling moments in her novels as much as the steaming hot interludes. Her stories are an escape and a release, and she hopes that they can give you that power, too.

Media Links:

Website – www.lillycain.com
Publisher (books also available on Amazon etc, and available as an audiobook at Audible.com) www.carinapress.com
Group blog - http://contactinfinitefutures.wordpress.com/
Facebook – www.facebook.ca/LillyCain
Twitter – www.twitter.com/LillyCain
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