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‘Kisses From Hell’ — paranormal YA anthology — due out September February 28, 2010

Posted by Diana McCabe in Releases.
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KISSES FROM HELL,  an anthology of paranormal young adult stories featuring authors Kristin Cast, Richelle Mead, Kelley Armstrong, Alyson Noel and Francesca Lia Block, will be in stores in September. Alyson Noel writes on her blog that she “had a blast writing my story, a gothic romance titled, BRING ME TO LIFE, and I really hope you enjoy it too!” She said the title is from the Evanescence song. Richelle Mead’s story tells how the parents of Lissa from VAMPIRE ACADEMY met and fell in love.  No title yet, according to her Web site. I couldn’t find any other info about the other stories. Hear anything? Let me know and I will update!


Latest book blurb for ‘Dead in the Family’ (Sookie book No. 10) February 24, 2010

Posted by Diana McCabe in News.
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Interesting stuff in the latest book blurb (from Amazon.com) for DEAD IN THE FAMILY, Sookie book No. 10 by Charlaine Harris, due out May 4.

After enduring torture and the loss of loved ones during the brief but deadly Faery War, Sookie Stackhouse is hurt and she’s angry. Just about the only bright spot in her life is the love she thinks she feels for vampire Eric Northman. But he’s under scrutiny by the new Vampire King because of their relationship. And as the political implications of the Shifters coming out are beginning to be felt, Sookie’s connection to the Shreveport pack draws her into the debate. Worst of all, though the door to Faery has been closed, there are still some Fae on the human side-and one of them is angry at Sookie. Very, very angry…

Anne Rice vampire story coming to video book February 21, 2010

Posted by Diana McCabe in News.
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Image from Anne Rice's Web site.

The author of INTERVIEW WITH A VAMPIRE will release a previously published short story  — THE MASTER OF RAMPLING GATE — on March 1 as a “vook,” or video book. You can find THE MASTER OF RAMPLING GATE, about a vampire living in a 400-year-old estate, on audio book and it’s still available through some book sellers as a graphic novel. (It was previously published in Redbook magazine in 1984. CLICK HERE to read a story summary.)

Here’s what Vook said about Anne Rice and the short story on its blog:

“… We can officially declare that we’re in production on a title with Anne Rice. Called The Master of Rampling Gate, our Vook will offer readers, vampire fans, lovers of Gothic fiction and everyone interested in new ways to experience stories an innovative take on Anne Rice’s classic blend of the romantic, the uncanny, and the truly frightening. The Master of Rampling Gate is a Rice short story that will probably be brand new to most readers. We’ve spent a lot of time finding the best way to address the narrative with videos and create a Vook that lets you get lost in the story and explore a variety of different takes on Rice’s world at your convenience, all in the same easy-to-use format of the Vook application.” (CLICK HERE FOR Vook blog.)

The audio book cover.

“Vook represents a very exciting combination of new technological elements, that I think is long overdo in publishing. I’m excited that ‘The Master of Rampling Gate’ is going to have new life in this form, and cannot wait to see the finished product. I’m not sure that my mind can conceive of all the possibilities of this new form. I’m learning. And it feels good.” (CLICK HERE for full story.)

Stories on the Web say her video book can be purchased through digital devices for $6.99.

CLICK HERE for Anne Rice’s Web site. (She also has a very cool Facebook page, which you find under her name. You can join easily via her Web site, too.) You can also follow her on Twitter under AnneRiceAuthor.

Outlander’s Diana Gabaldon on movie, graphic novel with sketches of Jamie/Claire February 17, 2010

Posted by Diana McCabe in News.
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Diana Gabaldon/Scotsman.com

Some odds & ends from OUTLANDER author Diana Gabaldon:

Movie news: Direct from Diana on her Web site ….  “There really isn’t any to speak of, but I know by this time that the fact that I don’t say anything isn’t sufficient to convince y’all that nothing’s going on. The option held by Essential Entertainment has expired, but they want to renew it, and we want to let them. So once that’s done, if anything’s changed or develops further, I’ll tell you, OK?”

Graphic novel: THE EXILE: AN OUTLANDER GRAPHIC NOVEL, which is loosely based on OUTLANDER, will be released Sept. 28. Diana says there’s a new storyline in this novel because the story is told from Murtagh’s point of view. But she says  readers of the original will recognize many of the major events in the graphic novel. Diana wrote the script and the artwork is by Hoang Nguyen. Now — we all wanna know what Claire and Jamie look like! If you go to Diana’s site and click under “excerpts” at the top of the page and then go to the left-hand side of the page —  you’ll see she’s listed the graphic novel. Click on that and ou see links to some of the sketches. She’s got an early sketch of Jamie and one of Claire. So check it out! (CLICK HERE to get to her site. Follow the link that pops up.)

Book 8: She’s working on it and hopes to have an excerpt up on her Web site soon. She doesn’t have a publication date for Book 8. She also had this to say: “BTW, I don’t know where this silliness gets started, but evidently there’s some nitwit rumor going around to the effect that Echo is the last book of the series. Don’t be ridiculous; why on earth would I end it that way if it was? Have a little sense, now, people, would you? (No, I don’t know whether Book Eight is the last one, either. If it turns out that it is, I’ll mention it, though.  On the cover. In big red-foil letters.)”

CLICK HERE to read Claire Black’s recent interview with Diana Gabaldon in the Scotsman.com.


Q&A: Author Alexandra Ivy on her vampires and werewolves! February 14, 2010

Posted by Diana McCabe in Authors.
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Alexandra Ivy

Vampires. Demons. Imps. Werewolves. Fairies. Vampires. She always comes back to the vampires! Alexandra Ivy writes the fun and sexy GUARDIANS OF ETERNITY series, which feature heroic vampires (who can’t remember their past lives) who are connected to extraordinary women in battles against evil doers. And boy does she like to create some nasty villians!  Her heroes and heroines aren’t perfect. They whine, joke, make big relationship boo boos. But Ivy keeps her stories rolling with interesting plots and some funny situations and side characters. We talked to her about her series and how she writes. Leave a comment below and you’ll have a chance to win an ARC of the next book in the series, BEYOND THE DARKNESS.

Q. In your Guardians of Eternity series, you’ve got a slew of paranormal characters! Vampires, demons, fairies, imps, werewolves! What sparked the idea for this world? (Was it specifically the story about Abby and Dante’s story in WHEN DARKNESS COMES and you just developed the series from there?)

A. Yes, it all started with WHEN DARKNESS COMES. I wrote the book just for my own enjoyment since I was writing regency historicals at the time.  Then things just kept growing and growing and growing.

Q. Where did you learn about imps, demons and fairies? (What kind of research/reading did you have to do to figure ’em out?)

A. I love to read folklore from all ages and from all places.  It’s fascinating how different cultures can create characters that were vastly different and yet at the heart of them very similar.  I do try to add my own twist to all of them.

Q. We know you in the paranormal romance world as Alexandra Ivy, but I also know you write lots of historical romances under the name Deborah Raleigh. I did read one vampire short story — TO TAME THE BEAST (Beast of MacDonnell and Isobella’s story) under your historical romance pen name among a trilogy in HIGHLAND VAMPIRES (with Hannah Howell and Adrienne Basso). Was that a precursor to your Guardian series that helped you decide you wanted to write a full paranormal novel? (Do you have other paranormals under your Deborah Raleigh name?)

A. I did write a trilogy of vampire stories under the name Debbie Raleigh.  They were traditional regencies (which was unheard of at the time: MY LORD VAMPIRE, MY LORD ETERNITY and MY LORD IMMORTALITY. I absolutely loved writing them and it did inspire me to try my hand at trying a contemporary paranormal.

Q. Abby & Dante. Shay & Viper. Darcy & Styx. Anna & Cezar. Regan & Jagr. If you could turn into one of your heroines, which one would it be and why? If you needed to be protected from demons or curs or another dark force, which hero would you pick and why!

A. I’m always in love with the characters that I’m currently writing.  I know that’s what every writer says but it’s true.  Of course, there will always be a special place in my heart for Abby and Dante … they were, after all, my first!

Q. Why did you decide your vampires wouldn’t retain their memories from their previous lives? And with the weres — what is it with shifters! It seems like they always have problems reproducing!

A. I’ve always thought that the memories of a person would be attached to their soul, and that they would leave the body together.  And to be honest, it always seemed a little creepy to think of being taken over by another creature while still remembering who you once used to be.  And I don’t know if it’s being a mother myself, but just the thought of transforming into a werewolf during pregnancy made me shudder. It seems natural that they would struggle to carry a child to full term.

Q. BEYOND THE DARKNESS is book No. 6 in the series. It comes out March 30 and it’s the tale of werewolf Salvatore and Harley (sibling to Darcy and Regan, right?) What else can you tell us about this story. It’s a little different because the main hero is a were!

A. Salvatore is the King of Weres and it’s his duty to save them from extinction.  The females have become unable to carry their litters to full term and even their bite has stopped making new curs.  They are fading into oblivion.  Then 30 years ago he genetically altered four female babies so they wouldn’t shift.  Unfortunately they were stolen from his nursery and he has been on a desperate chase to find them.  Harley is one of the females, but there’s no way in hell she intends to become a broodmare for the arrogant, aggravating, pain-in-the-ass Salvatore. It was surprisingly different to write about Weres!  He’s hot-blooded and ruthlessly dedicated to his pack, instead of a cold and aloof from others.  And he will sacrifice anything to save his people from extinction.  His journey teaches him about betrayal, the need to accept help from others, and most of all about the power of love.

Q. How many more books do you have planned in the series? (Will we get to hear Tane’s story? And will Levet — the adorable little gargoyle — get his own story?)

A. I’ve signed for four more stories (Tane’s will be next) as well as two anthologies!  I’m not exactly sure what Levet’s fate will be.  Right now it’s still up in the air.

Q. Who/what are your reading right now?!

A. I’m reading Karen Chance’s new story and next on the pile is Amanda Quick and then I’ve promised myself to take a break from writing and indulge myself with Robert Jordan’s latest!  I read everything.

Q. About how your write! Every day? Is this your full-time job? With music or any other background noise? Do you outline or just start writing? Where do you do your best thinking or get your best ideas? Do you write one project at a time or juggle?

A. Right now I’m writing 10 to 12 hours a day since I’ve had my deadlines moved up … sigh.  Thankfully I have a very understanding husband and patient children!  It’s been my full-time job for the past five years, which has been wonderful.  It’s not often a person gets to live their dreams and I appreciate my good fortune every day.  I do some light outlining, but things are always changing so I tend to fly by the seat of my pants. Ideas really strike without warning, although I’ve convinced my husband I need a long hot bath without interruption to feed my muse!  I do juggle several projects at once. It makes me crazy, but it also keeps me from getting bored.

Q. Any advice for aspiring authors? (How long did it take you to get your first story published? Do you think it’s harder to get noticed/published now? What’s changed — if anything?)

A. I’m the perfect story for struggling authors!  It took me 10 years and countless manuscripts to at last get published.  I just absolutely refused to give up, even after anyone with the least amount of sense or pride would have thrown in the towel.  And that’s my advice…never, ever give up!  I’m not sure if it’s harder to get published, but I think it might be harder to stay published.  It seems that some publisher will give an author one or two books to hit it big and then drop them.  No matter how great a writer, it takes time to develop a loyal readership.

Q. What’s up for you next in your historical romance series? Any plans to write in yet another genre — like YA or urban fantasy?

A. I do have a short story under the name of Deborah Raleigh coming out this summer in the MAMMOTH BOOK OF REGENCY ROMANCE. And I’ve always got ideas rattling around in my head. I don’t know if that’s good or bad. I’d love to try a UF series.

Q. What do you do to relax! (Or when you’re not writing!)

A. I love to read, of course, but my favorite thing is traveling.  It doesn’t matter where I go as long as I’ve never been there before!!

Q. Anything else?

A. I’d love to give a huge thank you to all those readers who’ve made it possible me to continue with the Guardian series.  It’s truly been a dream come true!

Thanks Alex! OK, folks. Leave a comment below and Alex will pick a winner (random) for an ARC of BEYOND THE DARKNESS! (You can follow Alexandra Ivy on Twitter — Alexandraivy — and visit her blog HERE!) You’ve got a week to post a comment! (Feb. 21.)

And here is a list of other author interviews on the Paranormal Romance blog!

Gena Showalter — On her fave characters, books and Kresley Cole

Keri Arthur — On her Riley Jenson series and why it must end!

Christine Feehan — Drake Sisters and Dark Slayer

Alyson Noel — Her Immortals Series

Charlaine Harris — Her latest Sookie book and HBO’s TRUE BLOOD

Jennifer Lyon: BLOOD MAGIC

Shana Abe: THE TREASURE KEEPER

Susan Squires: TIME FOR ETERNITY

Linda O Johnston: ALPHA WOLF



Who is your favorite werewolf?! February 9, 2010

Posted by Diana McCabe in Entertainment, Fun stuff.
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My fave shifter movie.

The release of The Wolf Man is this week. Yup — it’s a remake of the 1941’s classic that starred Lon Chaney, Jr., but now Benicio del Toro will get all hairy and snarly on us. The remake looks very interesting and creepy and full of blood and gore and bodices. (Per the movie trailers!) Will go see it. But for some reason, my fave wolfy film is the 1981 An American Werewolf in London. It’s possible it left such an impression on my because I was still in high school. Maybe it was the music. Dunno. But what’s your fave werewolf movie? Heck, forget the movies. Who is your fave werewolf from the world of paranormal romance?

Anita Blake’s Richard? Twilight’s Jacob? Adam from the Patricia Briggs’ Mercy Thompson series? Alcide from the Sookie Stackhouse novels …. see where I’m going here. There are probably a ton more. Leave a comment with your fave wolfy boy or flick. And maybe we can get a conversation going on hairy things that go bump in the dark. (Here’s a cool little movie chart that  shapeshifterromance.wordpress.com sent us to > http://bit.ly/d0SaN4 (be sure to go back and check out the shapeshifter blog though. It’s fun.)

In the meantime — here’s a tune from An American Werewolf in London, along with a little transformation!


Book pick: Chloe Neill’s Chicagoland Vampire series rocks! February 7, 2010

Posted by Diana McCabe in Reviews/summaries.
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Here’s the latest book pick from Dot — a regular contributor to this blog! (Thanks Dot!) You can also see what Dot and other paranormal romance fans are reading by going to the “What are you reading” tab at the top right side of this page or  CLICK HERE! (Scroll to bottom for latest comments!) And now onto Dot’s pick!

It’s still very cold here in New York but who cares when I can curl up with a hot cup of tea and an all engrossing vampire series.  Yes, I do stray from the vamps now and then but something always pulls me back and ‘sucks’ me in. Well, isn’t it terrific when we find a new series that keeps us wanting more?

In 2009 Chloe Neill came on the Paranormal Romance scene with two wonderful books in her Chicagoland Vampire Series.  The first was SOME GIRLS BITE and the second is FRIDAY NIGHT BITES. The story is about Merit, a grad student in the Windy City who is attacked late at night on campus by a vampire who is chased off by another vampire.  Merit is so near death that the second vampire, the vampire master of Cadogen House, chooses to save her by turning her.  Merit is a reluctant vampire at first but soon sees that her fate lies with the vampire house that sired her.  Once again we have the heroine we love, strong willed, kick ass yet vulnerable.  Pit her against her vampire master Ethan and we have clashes of will and strong sexual tension.  Throw in a rival vampire master, Morgan, and we have a love triangle.  There are supporting characters that lend even more interest to the story.  Mallory is Merit’s roommate and has some secrets of her own that are just being discovered.  Catcher is Merit’s trainer in weaponry.  Merit’s grandfather has even more secrets.  Neill peels the layers back for us bit by bit, and we can’t wait to discover what is next.  Luckily we don’t have to wait long for TWICE BITTEN, book #3 in the series due July 6.  (Neill has posted a “sneak peek” chapter from TWICE BITTEN on her Web site HERE!) This is an adult read with some sensuality and implied sex.

Neill also has just published FIRESPELL, the first book in her Young Adult DARK ELITE SERIES.  It tells the story of Lily Parker in a fancy all girl’s boarding school in Chicago.  Lily doesn’t want to be there but has no choice and she befriends Scout, who has some strange secrets.  In Lily’s pursuit of Scout’s secrets she encounters some very dangerous paranormals in some very dangerous encounters.  This is definitely a teen read. As much as I liked the Chicagoland Vampire series, I found this first book of the Dark Elite series to be very slow going.

Dot’s Note: In 2009 Chloe Neill and D.B. Reynolds (RAPHAEL, JABRIL) both stormed on the scene as new authors in the Paranormal Vampire genre.  I strongly recommend both of these authors for page turning, can’t put it down, up all night reads.book

After Diana Gabaldon series, what would you recommend next? February 4, 2010

Posted by Diana McCabe in Book lists.
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3 comments

I’ve often wondered if there’s anything else out there that’s sort of like Diana Gabaldon’s sweeping series. And then a visitor to the blog — Petra — asked the same question. What would you recommend after reading that series? What might possibly hold a small candle to the saga of Jamie and Claire?

That’s a tough one! I don’t think there is anything quite like Diana Gabaldon’s books! So I’ll post a couple of suggestions and then see what you have to say!

-Lynn Kurland’s time travel or historical series
These are light-hearted romances. Characters usually travel back in time to medieval England. (Sometimes it’s switched and the knight lands in present day USA!) But Kurland has a wicked sense of humor (where is that chocolate bar or cup of coffee in the 13 century when you need it!) and adds a little bit of romance to keep things interesting. Plus — some nifty historical details. She also has a slew of books so you might want to try STARDUST OF YESTERDAY (heroine inherits haunted castle and falls in love with ghost. Or THE MORE I SEE YOU, about woman who wishes on a star and finds herself with a 13-century knight. Web site: http://www.lynnkurland.com/reading.html

–C.C. Finlay’s Traitor to the Crown series
You want fantasy? American history tinged with some magic? Check out this well-researched trio of stories that begin with Proctor Brown — minuteman and witch. He’s got a loyalist girlfriend. But he wants to fight for the American cause and use his special talents. And he’s not the only witch fighting the American Revolution. (THE PATRIOT WITCH, A SPELL FOR THE REVOLUTION, THE DEMON REDCOAT.) Web site: http://www.ccfinlay.com/index.html

-Jack Finney on time travel
Probably the book I like the best is TIME AND AGAIN. Simon Morley, an illustrator, agrees to participate in a  secret govenment project to hypnotize himself into 1880s New York. It works and he goes back to investigate a mystery. Morely finds himself falling in love with his landlady’s daughter in the past. He also has to deal with threats both in the past and present. Finney also has a collection of short stories — ABOUT TIME — that includes  “The Third Level,” about a mysterious platform in Grand Central Station that leads into another world (well before the “Level Nine and Three-quarters” in  “Harry Potter”). And “The Coin Collector,” about alternate realities, where “a Woodrow Wilson dime” reveals that “every once in a while something from one of these worlds . . . will stray into another one.”

So what would you recommend? Let us know!

Scotsman.com interview with Diana Gabaldon February 3, 2010

Posted by Diana McCabe in Authors.
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Finally — found it. Been waiting for this to see if Diana Gabaldon would say anything new about her characters or writing or possible movie etc. in this Scotsman.com story. I didn’t see anything new about the OUTLANDER series, but it’s a nice piece about her — and heck — she’s in Scotland. Here are a few excerpts from reporter Claire Black’s interview: (link to complete interview is below!)

Diana Gabaldon/Scotsman.com

Sitting at a corner table tucked against ceiling-height windows, Gabaldon is striking, her long black hair poker-straight, her eyes bright, but the view is gritty reality. The poetic beauty of Loch Lomond and the Trossachs is only half an hour away, but the urban sprawl of Glasgow is a reminder of what Scotland really is, a million miles away from Gabaldon’s literary confection, whipped up from guidebooks and historical texts, old paintings and photographs.

***

So it’s interesting that the books came about almost accidentally. The central character was a Scot only because Gabaldon happened to see a Dr Who repeat featuring a man in a kilt as she conjured her character. She chose to fix him in the 18th century simply because being allowed to research the period meant she could avoid having to make the whole thing up. The time-travel element came about because the other main character, Claire, was resolutely modern when she appeared, apparently full-formed, from Gabaldon’s imagination.


***

But it hasn’t all been straightforward. Gabaldon’s novels are impossible to classify in terms of genre: replete with historical detail, they might be described as military history, and focused on the relationship between Jamie and Claire, there are elements of romance, including plenty of lusty sex. But then there’s the time travel. Gabaldon’s first editor had to threaten to quit to ensure that the three-book deal the writer had been offered was honoured. Gabaldon herself has had several skirmishes with editors and the book industry to have her work positioned on the general fiction shelves of bookshops rather than amongst the romance or fantasy. In one letter sent to an editor, she described the problem of her literary identity in typically Gabaldonian terms. “We seem to be in a certain difference of opinion regarding my literary identity. I think I am Alexandre Dumas with a time machine and you appear to think I am Dame Barbara Cartland in the large economy size.”

To read the complete interview, CLICK HERE!


Free Teresa D’Amario read, KMM on Twitter! Gena Showalter book, Alexandra Ivy Q&A February 3, 2010

Posted by Diana McCabe in Authors, Reviews/summaries.
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For folks who missed it, check out the cool freebie read from Teresa D’Amario’s “Let’s Tell a Story,” a nifty, fun tale she wrote on her recent blog tour. It’s about a Faery Prince and a SheWolf. Can the two get along? Teresa visited different blogs — including this one! — posting a chapter and asking a few questions afterward. She took reader input to shape each chapter. This was the first blog tour I’d participated in and it was really fun. And Teresa made it fun because she talked to us and encouraged us to participate. (A lot of fun people jumped in to comment, including one of my childhood buddies — the only guy? — who is talented enough that he could get into these manga books if he only had a story!!) Sooooooo — if you want to take a look and start reading a little each night, CLICK HERE for her chapters. I think at some point she has plans to re-edit it and put it on one file. (There are 14 chapters so not sure the last few are up  yet. But if you click on her CALENDAR you can get to the original blog tour and find ’em. More fun that way, no?)  Oh, how could I forget. If you liked that than check out her novels LONE WOLF and DARK SUCCESSION. Now, whose doing the next blog tour!

***

Finally, Karen Marie Moning is on Twitter! The author of the sizzling hot/mysterious Fever series and Highlander novels has been Tweeting/twittering since Jan. 27.  You can welcome her at www.twitter.com/KarenMMoning …. yah! (Think she’ll give us hints about the last Fever book, SHADOWFEVER, due out Dec. 28?)

***

Just got my advanced copy of Gena Showalter’s INTO THE DARK. Will start reading that shortly. (Release date is May) and will let you know what I think. To read my previous interview with Gena, CLICK HERE.

***

Alexandra Ivy, author of the Guardians of Eternity  series — BEYOND THE DARKNESS (book No. 6) comes out March 30 — has graciously agreed to a Q&A. She’s patient, too, because I should’ve sent it out a few weeks back. Working on that now. But if you’re a fan and have a question, lemme know!

***

Last but not least, our resident vampire book expert — Dot from N.Y. — has sent me a great one on the Chicagoland Vampires. I’ll post that next!

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