Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Cover Reveal: Blood Stitches by Erin Fanning

Blood Stitches
By Erin Fanning
Coming May 12, 2015 from Lyrical Press

Love and danger intertwine…

It’s called El Toque de la Luna—The Touch of the Moon. At least that’s how nineteen-year-old Gabby’s older sister, Esperanza, refers to the magical powers she inherited from their Mayan ancestors. Esperanza says women with El Toque weave magic into their knitting, creating tapestries capable of saving—or devastating—the world. Gabby thinks Esperanza is more like touched in the head—until a man dressed like a candy corn arrives at their Seattle home on Halloween. But “Mr. C” is far from sweet…

Soon, Gabby and her almost-more-than-friend, Frank, find themselves spirited away to a demon ball, complete with shape shifters—and on a mission to destroy Esperanza’s tapestries before they cause an apocalyptic disaster… And before it’s too late to confess their true feelings for each other.

Excerpt

A gust of wind scattered leaves across the University of Seattle campus. My hair tangled over my face. New contacts tortured my eyes, and books weighed down my backpack. It didn’t matter. A tornado could have snatched me up. As long as it carried me home and put an end to the anniversary of the worst day of my life.

“Watch out, Gabby.” My best friend Frank thrust his hands deep into the pockets of his pinstriped suit. “We’re being followed by a giant candy corn.”

“Giant candy corn? Yeah, right.” If I turned around, Frank would laugh and say, “Gotcha”, or some other dorky thing. The mind-numbing boredom of Calculus I, our last class of the day, always set Frank off, making him zanier than usual.

“I mean it. We’ve got a candy corn on our tail.” Frank whistled a Lester Ruben song as he sauntered ahead.

“Okay, okay. Let me see this Halloween wonder.” If I didn’t give in, Frank would never leave me alone. I whirled, ready to hear Frank’s laugh, and almost ran into a man. His face glowed orange, like someone who’d spent too much time in a tanning booth, and he wore a white cap pulled down to his ears. A yellow scarf hid his neck and chin. For once, Frank wasn’t kidding. The man resembled a giant candy corn.

Shredded paper and a postage stamp poked out of his scarf, and a moon decorated an edge of the knitting, like one of my older sister Esperanza’s creations. It didn’t seem possible, but no one else I knew added garbage and a signature moon to their knitting. A wool coat covered the rest of him, except his face and steel-tipped boots.

“Sorry.” I jumped back.

Frank’s chuckles mixed with squirrels chattering in a nearby tree. Drizzle moistened my forehead, and a cold dampness seeped into my bones. Everything seemed to happen in slow motion, like watching Esperanza unravel her knitting one stitch at a time to fix a mistake.

About the author

Erin Fanning spends her summers on a northern Michigan lake, where her imagination explores the water and dense forest for undiscovered creatures. In the winter, she migrates to central Idaho, exchanging mountain bikes and kayaks for skis and snowshoes. She’s the author of Mountain Biking Michigan, as well as numerous articles, essays, and short stories.



Links






Thursday, February 19, 2015

I ♥ antagonists


This is a reprint of a blog post that originally appeared at Fresh Fiction. I think it bears a repeat. I'd love to hear your thoughts.

In every story, writers hope readers will root for the hero and the heroine. They’re the main characters, the center of the story. But without other characters, readers can’t fully understand the motivations of the hero/heroine.



That’s one of the reasons I love antagonists. Not necessarily a villain, but someone who doesn’t blindly follow the others. Someone who questions why the h/h do what they do, or who may oppose them.



To me, the antagonist is every bit as important as the hero or heroine. Without antagonists and the conflicts they present, the main characters might not show readers what they’re really made of.



In Twice In A Blue Moon, Hayden can be a real jerk. He’s sarcastic, snippy and downright rude sometimes. Just as I imagine a reality TV set to be like, with at the participants adding extra conflict by acting out personal drama. Audiences love the conflict they provide, and love to hate the jerks, which is one of the reasons viewers keep tuning in week after week. So I imagine producers would love Hayden too.



Let’s take a closer look at Hayden. He’s a video guy for the reality show No Boundaries, so it’s his job to see everything that goes on around him. His camera adds a bit of distance to what he sees, so it gives him a better perspective. He knows Melanie’s falling for Buck even before she does.



I threw in a few hints about another reason Hayden’s more attuned to Melanie than most. He’s got a crush on her. Not head-over-heels in love, but he’s definitely In Lust with her. His actions speak pretty loudly about this. It’s his one saving grace.



Readers aren’t supposed to necessarily like Hayden. But without him, Melanie might have avoided the truth even though it was right in front of her. Hayden helped force her to realize she had to make a decision, one that would impact her future.



Antagonists help reveal the real character of the hero/heroine by challenging them on a deep level. They hold up a mirror of the soul to the main character, and though the main character might deny what s/he actually sees in that mirror, eventually s/he has to deal with the truth.



Without the antagonist, the story lacks an added believability and depth. I believe in HEA, but without an antagonist, that ending would be far too easy to get to, and a less interesting read.



How do you feel about antagonists in stories? Do you have any favorites? Bad guys/girls you loved to hate?




TWICE IN A BLUE MOON by Cate Masters

Publish Date: 1/19/2015

About 48,000 words



Can true love strike twice?

After the death of her first love, Melanie Michaels buries her grief in the risky demands of a reality show, where her extreme stunts leave her teetering on the edge of danger. That’s exactly where she wants to be—until she arranges for her crew to traverse the Swedish Lapland in the dead of winter. It’s the one place she shouldn’t go, on the one day she should avoid—her would-be wedding anniversary.

Instead of romantic nights spent in the Ice Hotel or under the Northern Lights, Melanie is stuck with Joe “Buck” Wright, a snarky loner tour guide who loves his sled dogs and nothing and no one else. But Buck is also trying to numb a painful past. Can two people skilled at pushing others away find warmth at the edge of the Arctic?




Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Cover reveal: A.S. Fenichel's Deception, The Demon Hunters book 2

Deception
Book Two
The Demon Hunters

Genre: Paranormal Historical Romance
Publisher: Lyrical Press/Kensington Publishing
Date of Publication: July 7, 2015

Available for Pre-order



Blurb

When Demons threaten Regency London, only a Lady can stop them.

Lillian Dellacourt is beautiful, refined and absolutely lethal. She’s also the most feared and merciless demon hunter in The Company. She’s come a long way from the penniless seamstress’s daughter sold to the highest bidder, and it wasn’t by trusting a man, let alone an exiled Marquis with more on his mind than slaying the hellspawn . . .
For Dorian Lambert, Marquis de Montalembert, being sent to keep track of Lillian is no mean task. He’s wanted the fiery vixen since he first heard of her five years ago. But wooing the lady while fighting the demon uprising is no easy feat, especially when the lady’s tongue is as sharp as the Japanese sai blades she favors for eviscerating the spawn of hell.
These two will have to learn to trust each other fast, because the demon master is back, and he’s planning to turn Edinburgh into a living hell…

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About the Author

A.S. Fenichel gave up a successful career in New York City to follow her husband to Texas and pursue her lifelong dream of being a professional writer. She’s never looked back.

A.S. adores writing stories filled with love, passion, desire, magic and maybe a little mayhem tossed in for good measure. Books have always been her perfect escape and she still relishes diving into one and staying up all night to finish a good story.

Multi-published in erotic paranormal, contemporary and historical romance, A.S. is the author of the Mayan Destiny series, Christmas Bliss and many more. With several books currently contracted to multiple publishers, A.S. will be bringing you her brand of romance for many years to come.

Originally from New York, she grew up in New Jersey, and now lives in the East Texas with her real life hero, her wonderful husband. When not reading or writing she enjoys cooking, travel, history, and puttering in her garden.


Find A.S. Fenichel