The first time I read Jeanine Frost’s “Halfway to the Grave” was in college and it was a moment of epiphany.
(The first book in Ms. Frost's Night Huntress Series)
You see, romance has always been my secret indulgence. Working through high school and college, I always rewarded myself after a hell-week of papers , tests and quizzes with romance novels. However, I found myself tiring of the traditional romance heroine waiting to be rescued, always taking a secondary role to the hero. And then I discovered Ms. Frost’s story and urban fantasy.
Some might argue that urban fantasy is not romance. No, but my favorite ones do have strong romantic elements. And have you read the Night Huntress series? Cat and Bones together are perfect, one the most romantic couples I have found in fiction. You never doubt their love for each other.
But more than that, Cat is a heroine I can respect. She starts off naïve, but with a steely inner strength that lets her hunt vampires. Even better, she’s intelligent. She’s brought up prejudiced against vampires, but soon starts examining evidence, making her own decisions, making mistakes but learning from them. She matures and grows into her true self throughout the series…and that’s what makes her one of my favorites.
I attended Conestoga 12 in 2008 because I found out several of my favorite writers – Ms. Frost, Melissa Marr and Rachel Caine—were attending. I was a reader then and I was thrilled. It was the first time I'd met writers.
(Jeanine Frost is on the far right, at the end of the table)
I loved the stories they wrote, the wonderful adventures they took me on. Sometimes those fictional heroes and heroines were more like friends. But meeting the people who wrote those stories, created that magic...that was a whole new level of awesome. Listening to these writers talk about their stories, about writing, was a spark that ignited all kinds of possibilities in my mind.
Today I'm a published author with my newest release, Wildfire: A Paranormal Mystery with Cowboys and Dragons, coming out on Sept. 20. I have written stories that I hope touched readers, or at least whisked them off to another world, a grand adventure. None of it would have happened without the stories, like the Cat & Bones stories, that touched me, the writers who worked hard to create those worlds and share them, who took time to talk to me, inspire me.
And that's what makes the Southern Magic Romance Readers' Luncheon so special. Yes, there are all kind of fun giveaways and baskets full of fabulous (I still love the books best!), but more importantly attendees get to meet so many talented authors, have so many wonderful conversations.
I plan to thank Ms. Frost in person at the Nov. 2 luncheon.
If you wish to attend the luncheon, be sure to register and pay before October 27 at www.southernmagic.org/luncheon/html.
When: November 2, 2013, Saturday, 11 a.m.
Where: Harbert Center in downtown Birmingham, AL (free parking)
Who: The keynote speaker is NYT bestselling author Jeaniene Frost! The welcome speaker is NYT bestselling author Christy Reece who also writes as Ella Grace.
Why: We’ll be giving away lots of free books, and fun SWAG, awesome raffle baskets and lots of laughs. You’ll also get to meet a ton of talented authors. FMI, check www.southernmagic.org.
And speaking of giveaways...
This month we’re celebrating our Romance Readers Luncheon by giving away books and other goodies, including the grand prize of a Kindle Fire HD 7" Tablet. To win the tablet, be sure to comment throughout the month. On September 30, we'll draw from everyone who commented (exception: Southern Magic members and international commenters are ineligible - sorry) and announce the grand prize winner.
Leave a comment today on my post, and you might be one of two people randomly picked to win a digital copy of Wildfire! I'll announce the winners on Sunday, Sept. 15, 2013.
See you at the luncheon!
Wildfire by Mina Khan
Lynn Hana Alexander is a 25-year-old Japanese American shapeshifter haunted by guilt. She’s been questioning herself and her dragon abilities ever since she failed to save her grandmother.
When her best friend is threatened by mysterious fires burning up acres of West Texas, Lynn rushes to the rescue determined not to fail again. However, with a tempting firefighter, a flirty city developer and dragon pheromones distracting her, how is she going to find the arsonist?
And worse: is her primary suspect a malicious rogue dragon or the love of her life?