Friday, December 30, 2016

#FridayFeatures Celebrating Southern Magic Authors #Romance #Making Magic

Author: Nancee Cain

Title: Tempting Jo

Released: September 9, 2016


Forbidden love is hell...

Confident and quirky, Jo Sanford thinks her boss is God's gift to women--and she couldn't be further from the truth.  Devilishly handsome, Luc DeVille will stop at nothing to lure his administrative assistant right into his arms--and bed.

Over Rafe Goodman's dead body...

Rafe, Jo's best friend, refuses to sit by and watch as Luc tries to win the heart of the woman he's always protected.  After all, Rafe is her guardian angel. Suddenly, Jo's caught in the middle of a battle between good and evil. But the closer she gets to the fire, the hotter it burns. Now, Jo's going to learn that when love battles lust, Heaven and Hell collide.

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Monday, December 26, 2016

So What Are You Reading?

I've been reading since before I started kindergarten. I even remember the first book I ever read. It was Dr. Seuss's "One Fish Two Fish, Red Fish Blue Fish."

I recall the exact moment when I sounded out each word and realized that I knew the meaning of every one, that I could follow the narrative. It was the beginning of my love affair with books.

People read for a variety of reasons:

  • Mental stimulation is one. Reading has been shown to slow the onset of certain types of dementia and even Alzheimer's.
  • Reading is a great place to pick up knowledge and learning. There's a good reason we all had "school books".
  • Reading is also good for stress reduction, an easy escape from your life and into one where the problems are the protagonist's and not yours.
  • Some researchers even think reading can aide in focus and concentration. After all, it takes time and deliberation to finish a book. A reader needs to immerse themselves in the world of the story, blocking out mundane distractions.
  • And most of all, reading engenders empathy. That's something sorely lacking in the world today. Bombarded with rhetoric that fosters an "us versus them" mentality, it's almost a relief to be able to turn the page of a book and actually be one of "them", step into their shoes for a time and ultimately realize that we're not all that dissimilar. Reading allows us to experience a world outside our own selfish sphere. It stops the mad rush of life and makes us ponder questions and status quo. Reading lets us experience a story from another side, intimately, internally, with hope and fears interwoven with tough decisions and seemingly insurmountable situations. 

Because books are magic. 

And reading will save the world. 

Friday, December 23, 2016

#FridayFeatures Celebrating Southern Magic Authors #Romance #MakingMagic

Author: Bambi Lynn

Title: Solid as a Rock

Released: September 1, 2016


With nowhere left to run, she must turn to her first love to deal with a powerful evil.  Except he's not the boy she remembers, and he's not exactly happy to see her.

Ellie King's life has never been easy--raised by a mother who went from one abusive relationship to the next.  Her only love and stability came from her grandmother.  But now Ellie's mother is dead and her gran's in a coma, both from causes doctors can't explain ... and Ellie may be next.  Her only hope of staying alive? The boy she once left without a word of goodbye, now a man--a devastatingly attractive man with a stony composure she can't read.

Michael Munro turned his back on the past to make a new life.  He's not happy at being pulled again into Ellie's sphere.  She's still impossible to resist, but now she's in deep trouble, and the cause may be a fragment of rock she found in her mother's effects.  An artifact that saps his powers of precognition, and even those of other paranormals like his uncle and mentor, Lucan. Can Michael stand strong against her pull and that of the ancient stone?

A powerful evil is on the trail of their find--in the demon Cael. Can Michael and Ellie resist the attraction burning between them long enough to find the missing piece of the artifact and get it to safety? If they don't, all hell will break loose ... literally.

She's in trouble beyond human understanding.  Good thing he's more than human ...

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Monday, December 19, 2016

SHOP TALK: How and Why Book Series End

On a book review blog last week, the talk turned to the way series end. The blogger had been disappointed in the last book of a series (I honestly can’t remember if she said which series it was) because the author had left some things open-ended and questions unanswered. She felt cheated to have invested so much time reading a series only to have it just…end. The question was: Does the author owe it to the reader to give a series a satisfactory conclusion?

It was clear from the responses to the post that a lot of people do feel cheated by the end of series, and that the blame gets placed on the author. A few years ago, because I was a reader long before I was an author, I would have agreed with them.

As a reader, I understand the frustration. I mean, a lot of people obviously didn’t like the way Charlaine Harris ended the Southern Vampires series, aka Sookie, but at least she ended it. Kim Harrison was very forthcoming about when the Hollows series will end, and she managed to tie everything up very neatly.

But you know what? Charlaine Harris and Kim Harrison are best-selling authors, who can dictate the length of their series. They can wrap everything up in a pretty bow and resolve all the questions.

The rest of us schleps? Not so much. Let’s look at my Sentinels series as an example of how a series works in the real world. I turned in the manuscript for book five, BELLE CHASSE, on January 4, 2015. It came out on Nov. 8, 2016. There is one more book planned in my mind for the series, but the publisher hasn’t decided whether or not it wants to continue.

If my publisher decided that no, sales have sucked and they don’t want to publish any more, in their mind the series is over. They make that decision, not me.

EXCEPT these days, authors of orphaned series have options they didn’t have even five or six years ago. They can self-publish and continue the series. If the Sentinels series is orphaned, I can and will put out at least one final book to wrap things up. A publisher doesn’t feel loyalty to readers, but to bottom lines, and that’s the way business goes. Authors, however, owe their series readers a conclusion.  

I have no answers here—every author is different in how he or she chooses to handle the ending of a series. And I think it’s inevitable that some readers will be disappointed. I just thought it important to point out that a suddenly abandoned series usually doesn’t happen because of anything the author does or doesn’t do.

So, what say you? Have you been disappointed when favorite series ended without a satisfactory resolution of story? Do you think authors—or their publishers—have an obligation to readers to put out a final series book that wraps up the storyline?

Friday, December 16, 2016

#FridayFeatures Celebrating Southern Magic Authors #Romance #MakingMagic

Author: Brina Cary

Title: All Her Men: The Queen's Men

Genre: Contemporary/Alternate

Released: August 27, 2016


2015 was a turbulent time...

As the world anxiously watched, Scotland voted for political freedom from England.

With the vote, frumpy Amelia MacRory became Scotland's only hope. As the last direct descendant of Mary Queen of Scots, fire ran in Amelia's blood. Only she could defend the rights of the people. After being kidnapped from her American home in the dead of night--and almost killed in the process--she was forced to become Queen of Scotland. And as a killer closes in, the Royal Scottish Guards must step in and protect her -- whether she likes it or not. 

Can she survived a world of intrigue, subterfuge, and assassins that have been designed to bring down the newly independent country? Or will she lose it all--including the man she loves... ?

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Friday, December 09, 2016

#FridayFeatures Celebrating Southern Magic Authors #Romance #MakingMagic

Author: Aidee Ladnier

Title: The Moonlight Market

Genre:  New Adult Magical Realism

Released: August 15, 2016


College senior Cory Long tracked his missing sister to the magical Moonlight Market to bring her home. Instead, he wound a disorienting world of performers and hawkers, bizarre sights and sounds, and one very familiar showman, Sanderson Beets.  Like a drowning man, he latched onto Sanderson, trusting him to navigate the twists and turns of the Market as unerringly as he had steered Cory to passion in their furtive trysts on campus.

But Sanderson was tired of being the quickie in the alley.

Sanderson Beets had escaped the Moonlight Market to attend college, hoping to settle into a normal life, maybe meet someone and fall in love. To obtain that new life he made a dangerous bargain. And when the sinister woman known as the Weaver of Dreams is involved, second chances always com with strings attached...and sacrifices. Sanderson's debt has come due, and the only payment he has to offer is Cory, and their chance at a relationship.

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Friday, December 02, 2016

#FridayFeatures Celebrating Southern Magic Authors #Romance #MakingMagic

Author: Ingrid Seymour

Title: Eclipse the Flame

Genre: Young Adult/Paranormal

Released: August 11, 2016


The sequel to the epic IGNITE THE SHADOWS
In the new world of The Takeover nothing and no one is safe. Marci must choose love or vengeance. 
One night she secretly follows her lover to a club. To her horror, she discovers those closest to her, mingling freely with parasitic creatures which have secretly possessed human minds. A bloody ambush follows, leaving Marci a shadow of her former self. 
Seattle is ravaged by a string of mysterious attacks. Ignite, the only resistance group, is disintegrating. As the world catches fire, Marci struggles to control the buzzing spectres in her own head. 
Her hardest battle is the forces of good and evil within herself. For Marci must fight. She was meant to burn. 

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