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Christine Feehan on Drake Sisters, her vampires and why Alpha males rock! August 30, 2009

Posted by Diana McCabe in Authors.
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You want vampires who are out to save the world? Shapeshifters who live in the jungle? Military men and women with

Photo by Cassandra Young

Photo by Cassandra Young

supernatural powers?  Or what about a family story of seven magical sisters, each searching for true love? New York Times bestselling author Christine Feehan’s got ’em all.  I was lured into the paranormal world in large part by Christine’s DARK SERIES, about her Carpathian vampires searching for their lifemates. Then I discovered she had a military/science fiction series (GHOSTWALKERS) and also promptly read her LEOPARD SERIES (shifters). But I really liked the idea of a sisters series, and have read all of the DRAKE SISTERS books, including her last HIDDEN CURRENTS, which some fans considered too raw and violent. Christine has published more than 40 novels and won numerous awards for her books. Each of her four series has hit No. 1 on the New Times Best Seller list. She answered some questions for us about her latest Drake Sisters book, her vampires and why she thinks Alpha males rock. (Her next book — DARK SLAYER — is due out Tuesday.)

Q. Where did the idea for the series on seven magical sisters come from? (Did it have anything to do with your childhood and growing up in a large family?)
A.
Absolutely it did!  I loved growing up in a large family and now, as we have children of our own, we’re all still close. Our children are close as well.  I have ten sisters and seven daughters so I knew writing the familiarity of sisters would be fun.  Setting the stories on my favorite coastline (Northern California) was an added bonus!

Q. On your Web site, you show us the towns and buildings that inspired you to create the Drake sisters’ house and town. But that house — it’s an entity itself. Tell us more about it because it’s a character in each book.

Photo courtesy of Christine Feehan

Photo courtesy of Christine Feehan

A. I have to confess, I had a wonderful time thinking about that house and how it would emerge over the generations.  I liked the idea of making the house change itself to suit each new generation and the personalities of the occupants.  Because it wasn’t human and I didn’t have restrictions, I could really bring the paranormal element into the house.

Q. I’ve gotta ask …. why does the seventh daughter bear the next magical generation –7 children!!!!!! Is it a concept embedded in lore?
A. That’s an age-old myth that I just applied to my Drake sisters.

Q. Your Drake sisters series developed over time — in some ways touching on some very sensitive issues. Hannah’s story (her initial disfigurement) was brave. Did you always know that would be her story?
A. Yes.  I knew the story might be controversial, but if an author is going to bring in an issue such as human trafficking into a story, I think you owe it to those who are survivors and victims to make certain readers feel and identify with the realities of the horror they suffer.  I did a great deal of research and the numbers were terrifying.  While there is no way to portray each individual and how they handle recovery, the way the partner needs to handle it is the same, and I did my best to portray that.

hiddenQ. Your latest Drake sisters novel — HIDDEN CURRENTS –– was that a challenge to write because of the violence that Elle suffers? What did you want readers to take away from her story?
A. I did so much research as well having spent years working with survivors so I felt I knew my subject well enough to give a good portrayal, although I did soft soap  what actually happens because I was writing romance.  Even having done that, some people had a difficult time with the subject matter, although I was lucky enough to get thousands of wonderful letters, including a few from people working in human trafficking thanking me for writing on the subject.  I wanted readers to know there is life after the worst traumas, that, yes, it will always haunt you, but, you can build a life again.  And I wanted the partners of survivors to know you have to let them set the pace and that sometimes things will be all right and other times not, but it can still work.  Every survivor deserves a happy ending with an understanding partner.

Q. Is Hidden Currents the last of the Drake sisters stories?
A. I have a book for each sister, but I never say never. I may revisit them at sometime.  I am writing a sisters of the heart series set in Sea Haven, so of course they will know the Drakes.  We’ll see the people of Sea Haven including the Drakes occasionally.

Q. You write so many different types of stories. Not just the Drake sisters, but the Ghostwalkers series, the mindgameDark series, the Leopard series and other stories. How do you keep them all straight? As a writer, are you working on several at one time or do you focus on one series at a time?
A. I write one book at a time.  I don’t like writing two of the same series in a row because I don’t want to get bored.  I like to mix it up and I like the different voices and different research.  For me, it keeps everything fresh.

Q. Across all of your novels, you have strong women — but totally hunky, Alpha males! Why do you think fans continue to find Alpha males so intriguing?
A. The idea of a strong, protective male who loves his family and his woman above all else is very sexy.

darkmagicQ. Vampires are all of the rage now. But you have a very interesting twist on the traditional vampire tale. What was your inspiration for the Carpathians?
A. I’ve always enjoyed myths and legends and in every country and culture there is some sort of vampire legend.  I liked the idea of figuring out where they came from and how they came to be spread around the world.

Q. How did you decide that your Carpathians would see colors when they find their lifemates?
A. I lost my son in an accident and climbing out of that experience was long and very difficult.  I felt like I was numb, going through the motions, but no longer able to feel so that my world felt black and white.  I gave that same loss to the Carpathians.  In some ways, writing their stories helps me in my life.

Q. What is it that draws you to write paranormal romance?
A. I love the scope it gives me for my imagination to run free.  Also, with paranormal I’m allowed a little more leeway with Alpha males who otherwise wouldn’t be accepted because they would never be politically correct.

Q. Tell us a little bit about what you have coming up! (The trailer for Dark Slayer and the snippet I read from darkslayerthe back of Hidden Currents sounds intriguing! A mage and Carpathians and wolves!)
A. Dark Slayer was an almost magical book to write.  The main characters were two amazing people who I came to love and respect.  Each morning I would wake up eager to get to work, just to be with them.  This is a love story about two people who need one another and deserve happiness.  I hope my readers enjoy it!

Q. Anything else you’d like to add?
A. Thank you for the opportunity to connect with my readers. We have a small community on the Web site where we discuss my various titles and where I can answer questions. It’s free to join and we’re having a good time meeting old and new friends so please feel free to come join us!

Check out Christine’s fab Web site HERE. She’s got FAQs, everything you want to know about each book and all kind of cool details on her research.

Check out a video clip of DARK SLAYER:

Alyson Noel to release 3rd book in Immortal Series early August 26, 2009

Posted by Diana McCabe in Authors, News.
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Alyson Noel, author of the NYT best-selling Immortal Series (EVERMORE and BLUE MOON) , is releasing the third book2shadowland-NewwClosedEye-722460 in the series a few months early! (It was scheduled to be released in January 2010.) On her blog she writes:

SHADOWLAND will now be released on 11.24.09. That is official. It will also be released in hardcover with a trade paperback version to follow about a year later. And for those of you who prefer your books to match, I’m told that at some point
EVERMORE and BLUE MOON will also be made available in hardcover too. I’m really excited about this, and want to thank all of you for your excitement, too!

She also notes that she’s “racing toward the end of UNTITLED #4 (yup, still calling it that!), desperately trying to finish it up by its deadline.”

Check out her new Immortals Web site HERE.

Read my previous interviews with Alyson:

  • ALYSON NOEL: ‘Evermore author on teen angst, immortality and her next book’
  • See what she says about social media networking HERE.

Visit Alyson online at:

Her Web site
Blog
Twitter
Facebook
Myspace

Book pick: “Dreamfever” a hot, mysterious, cliffhanger!!!! August 24, 2009

Posted by Diana McCabe in Authors, Reviews/summaries.
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Karen Marie Moning knows how to craft a series — one that makes you want to read each book as soon as it comes out and karen3then you are left literally panting for the next one. And that’s fine by me. All of you wimpy/complaining fans who want everything wrapped up in one big fat book deserve to be eaten by the Unseelie.

Karen has always said she envisioned the whole story, knows how it plays out and how it ends. I trust her. After all, she’s written one heck of a Highlander series.

dreamfever_overBut Fever is definitely different and in DREAMFEVER we see a different Mac. Not the iPod/color my world pink chick who has slowly changed as she’s discovered her Sidhe-Seer powers. She’s in the lowest of low places. She is PRI-YA, a human addicted to Fae sex. It’s interesting how she is “cured” of this addiction, which is usually lethal. And who helps her. (Yeah — take a big guess. You’d be correct.)

Those scenes and the ones that follow later — the remembering — make for a nice mix of sarcasm and sass between our 2 fave characters in this book — and it’s pretty funny.

Not so funny — while Mac is finding herself, she’s really not a heck of a lot closer to figuring out how to get her hands on the Sinsar Dubh — or even if she should. And — while we have some light shed on V’lane — death by sex fae who has a thing for Mac — and why he hates Barrons, we still are pretty clueless about who or what Barrons really is.

Karen writes lickety split fast with details and ideas spinning all around — so there’s never a dull moment in the book. You just can’t quite seem to figure out how she’s gonna knit the world back together …. because fans do want some sort of happy ending. But maybe Karen has something different in mind. Maybe there won’t be a boy meets girl/loses girl/gets girl in this supernatural thriller. Maybe it’s more like girl meets boy/boy confuses girl/girl is lost/girl finds self? Boy lucky if girl looks at him again?

Dunno. That’s why I’m not a paranormal romance writer. So I’ll wait another year for her finale: ShadowFever.

If you haven’t read Karen’s Fever series, here’s the order. Click on the title and you’ll get a synopsis:

DARKFEVER

BLOODFEVER

FAEFEVER

DREAMFEVER

SHADOWFEVER — tk tk tk

OK, Next up on the blog: You want vampires? Magical sisters. Total Alpha males? Wait until you read my interview with the awesome Christine Feehan. Coming next week.

Why was ‘True Blood’ episode only 45 minutes long? August 23, 2009

Posted by Diana McCabe in Entertainment.
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Actually,  it was only 44 minutes vs the usual 52 or 53- minute show. Doesn’t matter. Everyone watching noticed that the show was shorter. And True Blood boards were buzzing with angry fans. It’s not like HBO gave us a more detailed or longer preview.

Image from truebloodnet.com

Image from truebloodnet.com

Still, if we’d checked the HBO schedule, we would’ve seen the show was listed at 44 minutes. Next week’s show, “Frenzy,” looks like it’s back to the regular 53 minutes, according to the show schedule.

Hummm? Does this mean we get an extra long finale? The schedule shows the season 2 finale on Sept. 13 — “Beyond Here Lies Nothin” — will run 57 minutes. We’ll have to see if HBO says anything on Monday about the 44 minute episode.

Sunday’s  episode — “New World in My View” — was packed with details:

  • Evil Maryann is after Sam’s soul and the souls of everyone in town.
  • Sookie’s fairy powers are beginning to show.
  • Tara is out of her Maryann trance but her friends and family need to keep her away from Eggs and Maryanne.
  • Maxine is bonkers out of her mind.
  • We almost get to see Queen Sophie-Ann (After Bill rushes off to see if she can help defeat Maryann).
  • And wasn’t Jason a kick tonight?

Susan Squires on her next release: ‘Time for Eternity’ August 23, 2009

Posted by Diana McCabe in Authors, News.
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From the August edition of Writerspace newstimeforeternity

Susan Squires
At long last the turn for fall brings the release of the first of my new time travel series, TIME FOR ETERNITY in September. What if you could go back in time and undo the tragedy that ruined your life? Frankie Suchet, a sexy vampire bartender in San Francisco, gets a chance to find out. She returns to the time of the French Revolution, determined to kill Henri Foucault, Duc d’Avignon, the vampire who infected her with his blood and then abandoned her. Now, with the experience of centuries behind her, she can see he has secrets she never guessed. Worse yet, she is still drawn to his preternatural vitality. By the time she realizes she loves him, it may be too late to keep the Paris mob from destroying them both. Given a rare starred review by Publisher’s Weekly, I think this one is special. I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed writing the story of Henri and Frankie.

Click on the links below to read my previous interview with her!

SUSAN SQUIRES: ‘Author of vampire series on strong women, kinky things, time travel’ and CLICK HERE for her writing tips.


Read Rhyannon Byrd’s prequel to ‘Primal Instinct’ series online for free August 20, 2009

Posted by Diana McCabe in Authors, Releases.
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I love freebies. And here’s one to read online. eocraving2

The U.K.’s Mills & Boon, a subsidiary of Harlequin Enterprises Ltd., has just launched a new series of paranormal romance books. The first book it is featuring is  Rhyannon Byrd’s EDGE OF HUNGER, which you’ve been able to buy at Amazon.com for months. The basic story: A psychic named Molly  seems to share nightmares with Ian – a man living with “a deep impenetrable darkness,” according to the news release.

But no — that’s not the freebie. It’s the prequel — EDGE OF CRAVING — that you can read for free at Totalscifionline.com. (Amazon sells EDGE OF CRAVING for $2.39 as a Kindle download.)

Here’s the summary: Since the moment he’d first laid eyes on Alia Buchanan, the warrior known only as Rhys had been obsessed with her. She consumed his waking moments. Tormented his dreams. But, as one of the few remaining descendants of a European dragon clan, Rhys knew there could never be a future for a monster like him…with an angel like Alia. Until her father is murdered and Alia’s life is in mortal danger. Now, Alia and Rhys must unite to find some ancient crosses that hold an unknown power before their enemies do. And once those are in hand, Rhys must figure out what to do with them … and his forbidden attraction to the women he’d sworn to protect.

I haven’t had a chance to read it yet, but it looks like it’s 107 pages. To read: CLICK HERE.  As always, let me know what you think! (OK — sorry for totally burying the lede here!)

Short story picks: Charlaine Harris & oinkers and Patricia Briggs & witches August 19, 2009

Posted by Diana McCabe in Authors, Reviews/summaries.
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I want to sooooo post a book pick on Karen Moning’s DREAMFEVER, but am waiting for the little sis to finish it up so we can talk about it first. Until then — and it should only be another day — I’m leaving you with two interesting short stories I’ve strangebrewpicked out from STRANGE BREW — a great collection of short stories by Charlaine Harris, Jim Butcher, Patricia Briggs and other authors.

BACON

Does Charlaine Harris have a thing for pigs or have I been watching too much of the HBO TRUE BLOOD series? I think not.

In BACON, Dahlia Lynley-Chivers is a vampire who is now a widow because her werewolf husband was defeated in a challenge fight for pack position. But, it was not a fair fight. Her hubby was messed with and the vamp is out for revenge. She hires a witch to help her find out what was done to her husband to make him vulnerable and weak during the fight. This witch has an interesting family history. An ancestor had turned visitors to her island home into pigs because — well — she just felt like it. And, the ancestor left a record — a grimoire — of her life and deeds. It’s a nifty little tale and you know something weird is gonna happen.  Suffice to say that justice is served.

But the pig thing made me wonder. Does Charlaine have a thing for pigs?  Yup — in the early books, the maenad ran around the woods with a razorback pig. Of course, it’s probably a stretch to say that the name “Sookie” sounds like a pig call. I believe that’s “Sooey!” However “Sook cow,” and “Sookie” are Scottish cow calls.  Hummmm. Well — in any event. I had porkers on the brain between the Sookie books, the pig in the TRUE BLOOD series and when I saw the title of her short story.

One note from Charlaine on her message board about this short story — which has nothing to do with pigs:

Bacon” is a Dahlia Linley-Chivers story. There was a previous Dahlia story in the anthology “My Big Fat Supernatural Wedding,” and there’ll be another Dahlia story in the MWA anthology “Blood Lust.” They have no bearing on the Sookie stories, though Dahlia does appear in ALL TOGETHER DEAD. The story in “Must Love Hellhounds” also does not have any bearing on the sequence of the Sookie stories.

SEEING EYE

The doorbell rang.

That was the problem with her business. Too many people thought they could approach her at any time. Even oh-dark thirty, even though her hours were posted clearly on her door and on her Web site.”

This is why I love Patricia Briggs. She writes smartly, tightly and her worlds are kind of spooky yet a little familiar. In SEEING EYE, a blind witch, Wendy Moira Keller, helps werewolf Tom Franklin search for his missing brother. But why is she helping, how did she become blind and what is it about the pair that seems to click from the get go?  It’s not love at first sight — OK — I so had to say that (San — I know you will hate that) but there is something there. So far it’s my fave.

Are you reading STRANGE BREW? What are your faves in the collection? More to come on this book.


Spoiler! Audio clip from ‘Dreamfever’ August 15, 2009

Posted by Diana McCabe in Authors, News.
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I listened to this, and it is a nifty spoiler!!! Karen Marie Moning sent it out today in her email newsletter. dreamfever It will definitely give you some ideas on what’s going to happen and who Mac is with — and will she regret it later??!!! Here’s what she said in her email. The link to the audio is at the bottom:

And finally, the EXCERPT–CAVEAT: EXCERPT CONTAINS SPOILERS.

I believe profoundly in protecting the rights of the reader who wants to enjoy the book without knowing anything in advance. And here’s where I have to say a huge thank you to all of you!  It’s been truly remarkable how few spoilers we’ve seen online. I’ve got the BEST fans in the world!  Thank you, thank you!

BUT, for those of you who are chomping at the bit for a tease, I mean a juicy, give me some dirt, spill it Moning, show-me-some-heat tease, this one’s for you and you’ve been warned:).

It’s a clip from the audio book that I was personally dying to hear myself. I think Phil and Natalie did an AMAZING job. Prepare to lose yourself for fifteen minutes, because the excerpt is six pages. For those of you who prefer to read your excerpts, the text will be posted at http://www.suvudu.com on Tuesday, August 18.

You’ll find the audio file at my blog. It’s called I AM HEAT.

Charlaine Harris on Sookie book she’s writing now August 14, 2009

Posted by Diana McCabe in Authors, News.
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What does this mean? What does Charlaine’s next book hold for us? This is from her blog. (See link below to read the full Charlaine_Harrisentry.)

This has been a week of working, working, working as I try to bring DEAD IN THE FAMILY to a close. Lots of unexpected things happened, and I realized I have to cut a couple of characters I had big plans for, but I’ll save them for another book. It took me a while to realize what the theme of the book was, and when I realized it was about family – Eric’s, Sam’s, Sookie’s, Bill’s – suddenly everything became much easier.

Read her blog HERE.

Read my latest interview with her HERE!

What’s next for Charlaine this year? Three releases.

Just a few more days until ‘Dreamfever’ released! August 13, 2009

Posted by Diana McCabe in Book lists, News.
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If you’re a Karen Marie Moning fan, you’re chomping at the bit for the next book in her Fae series with heroine Mac! DREAMFEVER is out in just a few more days — Aug. 18 — so we won’t have long to wait for find out if our sidhe-seer is dreamfeverpowerful enough to beat the Lord Master. And will we figure out who or what  Jericho Barrons is? And  is the death-by-sex Fae prince V’lane good for Mac? Or just plain bad! (If you’ve never read this series, give it a go. CLICK HERE for info on the series.)

Here’s a synopsis of DREAMFEVER from Karen’s Web site: (Yes — it is a lot steamier than the other books!) I’ll be posting more on the book once it arrives! And let me know what you think of the book! (Post in comments!)

MacKayla Lane lies naked on the cold stone floor of a church, at the mercy of the erotic Fae master she once swore to kill. Far from home, unable to control her sexual hungers, MacKayla is now fully under the Lord Master’s spell. In the New York Times bestselling author Karen Marie Moning’s stunning new novel, the walls between human and Fae worlds have come crashing down. And as Mac fights for survival on Dublin’s battle-scarred streets, she will embark on the darkest-and most erotically charged-adventure of her life.

He has stolen her past, but MacKayla will never allow her sister’s murderer to take her future. Yet even the uniquely gifted sidhe-seer is no match for the Lord Master, who has unleashed an insatiable sexual craving that consumes Mac’s every thought-and thrusts her into the seductive realm of two very dangerous men, both of whom she desires but dares not trust.

As the enigmatic Jericho Barrons and the sensual Fae prince V’lane vie for her body and soul, as she rallies the sidhe-seers to fight an impossible battle, and the power of the Dark Book weaves its annihilating path through the city, Mac’s greatest enemy delivers a final challenge…

It’s an invitation Mac cannot refuse, one that sends her racing home to Georgia, where an even darker threat awaits. With her parents missing and the lives of her loved ones under siege, Mac is about to come face-to-face with a soul-shattering truth-about herself, and about the world she thought she knew.


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