Monday, April 21, 2014

Never fear - the whole trilogy is here! (+giveaway)

Hate waiting for the next book in a trilogy?
Hate finding the second or third book and being scared to read it in case it doesn't make sense, but it's hard to find the others?
Hate starting a trilogy with the fear it won't be finished?

You can't hate the Dream of Asarlai trilogy for these reasons now! There's a new omnibus version available (electronic form only). You can get all three books in one, and the price is fabulous. Around 350,000 words of action, adventure, magic and romance, for less than $10. And that's Australian - probably even less in other currencies. (Except New Zealand - probably more for you. Sorry NZ).

Here's the blurb:

An exciting Urban Fantasy trilogy full of intrigue, action and a hint of romance. For centuries, the gadda have worked to keep their identity secret from the rapidly expanding human race. All this is now at risk - the most terrible of gadda teachings, the Forbidden Texts, have been stolen and the race is on to find them. Asarlai believes the gadda should rule the world, and she will risk everything, and everyone, to achieve her ambition. As the body-count mounts, Asarlai finds a powerful ally and the pressure builds to stop her and retrieve the Forbidden Texts before she can change the world forever. Join Maggie Shaunessy, Ione Gorton and Hampton Rouke on their quests to save what is dear to them ... and the world as they know it. Praise for Nicole Murphy: 'engaging' DAILY TELEGRAPH 'compelling' KIWI REVIEWS 'fresh and interesting approach to an urban fantasy series' Bookseller+Publisher 'a rollicking romp through the space where romance and fantasy collide' The Courier-Mail

Purchase from iTunes, Amazon and Kobo.

For you - an excerpt from the first book, Secret Ones.

His eyes focussed on a young woman who stood in the middle of a group of older men. Glorious golden hair was twisted up around her head. Her halter-neck black jersey dress, its hem just sweeping the tops of her feet, enhanced the rich curves of her body. Jackpot, he thought.

She turned and their gazes caught. She walked over, moving gracefully even though he was watching so closely.

‘Dr Valeroso.’ Her smile was as sunny as it had been that afternoon, although it lacked the heat he’d liked. ‘I’m pleased to see you survived the encounter with the grove’s protector.’

He bowed his head. ‘Thank you for saving me.’

‘I’m sure you’re quite capable of saving yourself.’

‘But always nice to have someone else make the effort, don’t you think?’

‘Sometimes, you have no choice.’ A shadow passed over her face and Lucas wondered what bad memory he’d just dredged up.

She shook her head and the smile resumed. ‘I hope you’ve managed to settle in.’

‘To my accommodation, yes. I haven’t seen my laboratory yet, but I’m looking forward to it.’ He didn’t like how businessy this conversation was.

‘If there’s anything you need, let me know. I’m working as the chancellor’s PA at the moment.’

He wondered if there was a reason O’Hara had hired his granddaughter to work for him. ‘At the moment? Isn’t what you normally do?’

‘No.’ Another shadow. ‘I’m just helping him out until the school year begins. I teach primary school. I think in the states that’s elementary school.’

‘Then you’re a fellow educator.’ Lucas was desperate to find a connection. He’d been so sure there was something between them during their first meeting.

‘Except you’re abandoning the chalkboard.’ The lightness that had entered her tone gave him hope.

‘Not by choice, I assure you. I’m allergic, you see.’

‘What, to students or the chalk?’

‘Um, both?’

She laughed, a thrilling sound that played over his body like music.

‘Actually, I think it’s the marking I’m allergic to,' Lucas continued.

‘How can it be? That’s my favourite part — hours bent over a desk, red pen in hand, wondering just how to tell someone they got it wrong without ruining their fragile self-esteem.’

‘Are we supposed to worry about their self-esteem?’

She laughed again. ‘Lucas Valeroso, that’s just too bad.’

‘Really? I’m trying very hard to be good.’

‘Oh, I’m sure you are.’

And there it was, that attraction that had so instantly drawn him. When her eyes sparkled like that, Lucas felt as though anything were possible. ‘Perhaps you can help me with that, Ms Shaunessy.’

‘Please, call me Maggie.’ She held her hand out. He reached for it, expecting to feel a thrill at the first touch of skin on skin. The shaft of energy that ran up Lucas’s arm surprised him with its intensity.

He knew she felt it too, because her eyes went so dark his stomach dropped into his shoes with arousal. Then she released him, and he fought back the disappointment. ‘We’re thrilled you decided to come here, Dr Valeroso.’

The ice in her voice threw him. What had he done to piss her off? ‘I’m not sure I had much of a choice. I think Chancellor O’Hara decided I was coming here, and that was it.’

‘Once he sets his mind on something, it does tend to happen,’ she said. ‘I need to keep circulating.’ She looked at him, and he fancied she was trying to read his mind. Then, with a nod, she walked away.

Damn, damn and double damn, Lucas thought. He’d really stuffed that up, somehow. Then he remembered the shock he’d received when he shook that aeroplane guy’s hand — a shock exactly like he’d just felt with Maggie. And Flaherty was involved with the O’Haras somehow. Something strange was going on around here. Good. He quite liked a good mystery, especially when the heroine was smart and gorgeous.

***

Don't we all, Lucas, don't we all :)

Leave your name and email address for your chance to win the Dream of Asarlai omnibus (iBookstore or ePub readers only).

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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Experience Everything; Exclude Nothing

'Boundlessness in Bloom' by Duh Huynh
The full moon @25 Libra yesterday was a total eclipse -  meaning the next week is the perfect time to let go of 'tolerations' and get a move on with your life.

Symbolically, it's a time of culmination and release. Expect some emotional cleansing, the 'good for the soul' kind. You might also find something you've been waiting for arrives - the news, the green light, the big opportunity, and if not, you understand where, how, when and why it's time to regroup. Either way, it feel like progress is possible, and it is!

The focus might well be on relationship. You could see the light in terms of how to live your connections in a more fulfilling-to-you way Hint: if you want to improve your relationships 'out there' in the world, improve your relationship to yourself. It all begins with you.  

How can you best align with the energy of the eclipse?

First, release those 'tolerations'. Here's how Jeannette Maw describes them:
To tolerate something means to “allow the existence of, to permit or endure or put up with something.” This implies that the something (or someone) is less than ideal and tends to drain a person’s energy. Thus, a toleration is often a hindering influence to the vibration. More . . .
To recognize those toerlations, we need to feel everything; exclude nothing. Roll up your sleeves, and do the inner work. Whatever has kept you from your own growth and happiness is released, with conscious awareness and intention. If ever there was a Rainer Maria Rilke Eclipse, this is it:
It is not inertia alone that is responsible for human relationships repeating themselves from case to case, indescribably monotonous and unrenewed: it is shyness before any sort of new, unforeseeable experience with which one does not think oneself able to cope. But only someone who is ready for everything, who excludes nothing, not even the most enigmatic, will live the relation to another as something alive.
Use this opportunity to tune in and see where you can open this door to a shared experiences, and also clean any closets or clutter found blocking the way.

NOTE: The energy of the eclipse can be felt 30 days before, the time of, or 30 days after (give or take 3 days in each case). That means circle your calendar for (March 15), April 15 and May 15 +- 3 days. Also, for those of us mature enough to recall, note what was happening April 15th 1995, the last time we had a Lunar Eclipse at 25 Libra. What was the energy like then? How did you align to it? Ideas?

AriesARIES: The eclipse highlights a contrast between career/creative goals and your love life giving you a chance to see things from a different perspective. Take time to consider all sides then make a choice that feels like the most challenging. After all, you are meant to have adventures!
TaurusTAURUS: There is an indulgent feeling in the air, a sweet song that lures you away from practical goals like sensible eating and a good night's sleep. The eclipse in Libra will enchant you and then suddenly snap you back to 'reality.' Fortunately, a path once traveled is easily found again. Learn to walk both.
GeminiGEMINI: The Muse is awakened, called by the full moon eclipse in your house of creative self-expression. This is where you follow your heart's desire be it a lover, work of art, manuscript or film. You're officially clocked off! If it doesn't start with 'free spirited', it's not on the docket. Reconnect with your rapture.
CancerCANCER: The Lunar Eclipse in your home sector brings the urge to retreat, but not alone. You want those close to you gathered around. Easy done. Host a family dinner, have friends over for a film night, dance or ritual, organize a working bee. Take the initiative and bring loved ones together for a purpose.
LeoLEO: After weeks of crazy communications, this full moon is a time to clear up any lingering misunderstandings. Start first with yourself. What wires are crossed? What inner messages have you missed? Once sorted you go on to straighten out any kinks with friends and family. A simple, let's start again will do.
VirgoVIRGO: Mars is still retrograde in your house of $$$ and talents, and after ruling Mercury Rx for weeks before that, you might feel like your spinning your wheels. Not so! To get your life on track, think of three things you want to do this year, set clear intentions to do them and roll up your sleeves. By mid May, the plan unfolds.
LibraLIBRA: This is your yearly full moon (eclipse), one that has you feeling intense, focused and a little overworked. Set the tempo for the rest of the year now by creating perfect balance between home/family, career/creativity, lovers and others and your own 'me' time. Think equal portions, clear intentions, easy done.
ScorpioSCORPIO: This eclipse is tagging 12th house of the unseen real, bringing up content from the unconscious like a dog digs up an old bone. It might help to remember that for the dog, that buried thing is a treasure! The key to sailing through this lunation is to relax, let go and allow. Notice your dreams. Glean the message and move on.
SagittariusSAGITTARIUS: The key words for the centaur are socialize, tantalize, realize. This is not a go it alone time. As you mix with like-minded others, the eclipse shines on your goals and wishes for the future. Are they current? On track? Still relevant? Take time to sort through, eliminating anything past its use-by-date.
CapricornCAPRICORN: The eclipse lights up your house of public relationship, reputation and career. There could be some limelight, or at least an interview or two. The key is to 'create no response', that is, pay no attention to any gossip or whispers. Your authenticity stands. Just acknowledge credit where credit is due.
AquariusAQUARIUS: This is an explorer's eclipse for all Water-bearers, one that has you looking to distant horizons, speaking of sweeping events and notions and finding new paths to enlightenment. Under the cool rays of the moon you will see things from a fresh perspective. Think awareness, contemplations, assimilation.
piscesPISCES: The eclipse in your regeneration sector has you thinking intense thoughts and prepping to make life changing decisions. There is no rush. Actually, it serves you better to pace yourself this month, launching new plans after Mars goes direct on the 19th of May. Now is for composure and intimate connections. And inner peace.

Post in the comments where this eclipse is lighting up your chart. We'll compare notes! Happy fill Moon Everyone.



 Kim Falconer is a Supernatural Underground author writing paranormal romance, urban fantasy, YA and epic science fantasy novels.

You can find out more about Kim at kimfalconer.com or on the 11th House Blog, and on FaceBook and Twitter. She posts here at the Supernatural Underground on the 16th of every month. Her latest release is"Blood and Water" in Supernatural Underground: Vampires Gone Wild.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Inspire the heroes a mentor must

Year of Living Heroically #3: Meeting the Mentor

You read. You watch movies. You can spot these guys a mile away. You know exactly what they are there to do and what is going to happen to them.

The mentor is person/object that comes from the new world to which the hero is being called. The function of the mentor is to help ease the fear of the hero that made him/her refuse the call in the first place. This could be through giving the hero knowledge of the new world to combat a fear of the unknown, giving the hero confidence to overcome feelings of inadequacy, or giving them hope that they can survive the trials by serving as an example.


Do we really need to analyze how Miyagi, Morpheus, Keating, and Yoda served as mentors to their potential heroes? Didn't think so.


In romance novels, especially our near and dear paranormals, the mentors for the heroes are pretty obvious. In Diaries, it was Iris, the very old and very sassy former Prima of Dallas. But my main character, Violet, actually ended up being a mentor for her romantic lead. He needed an example of someone living a life they loved enough to fight for. When he got over his fear of disobeying orders, he fought to create a life he wanted to live. And then the smooching ensued.

So how do you identify mentors in your own life? How do you find the courage you might need to say ‘yes’ to your calling?

Listen. Listen to what people have done in their lives, read what people have to say about their experiences (yes- this means a few non-fictions every now and then). Remember that each of us is on a journey. Everyone has had a dark moment, a moment of resurrection, has refused a call. Listen to their stories and learn from them. Everyone is a potential mentor, a potential guide. And one person might have that one kernel of truth you have been looking for to take the next step in your journey.


Now this doesn't mean that you should let just anyone talk your ear off. But remember Mr Miyagi was the maintenance man. Mentors can be found in unexpected places. You just have to be listening. 

======================================================
Amanda Arista
Author, Diaries of an Urban Panther series
www.amandaarista.com

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Finishing The Book – The Power Of Retreat

.
Well, that's what I've been doing over the last while – and although the hustle and bustle of the 'market square', and the buzz of the cafe, can provide rich material for writing, in order to mould and shape inspiration into a book, especially the final, finishng stages, I find I need to retreat into a space where there is no interference with the creative signal.

So I thought I'd share a few images of the retreat where I've just completed the third novel in my The Wall Of Night series, Daughter Of Blood.

Where the river meets sea, and sky...
















Braided river, a little further upstream:





















And then there's the wildlife – these are grey shags, storm driven to congregate, although the post-storm day belies it:
















And the mountains, rising out of the plain:

















For me, being in this environment cleared the signal enough to finish a book. 

But how about you: what are your favorite environments, for retreat or other reasons: what makes you seek them out?

Friday, March 28, 2014

Spring Fling: A New-to-You Author

http://thegraphicsfairy.com
CrystalGB was the winner. 
Thanks, everyone, for your comments.

*** Giveaway ***

Spring is here! For those of you still coping with snow, rest assured that Spring arrived on March 20 at 12:57 P.M. EDT, even if it hasn't shown its fair face in your location yet.

Time for a fling! To a dedicated reader, that means books. What, you were expecting shopping for frilly, pastel Spring clothing and new shoes or packs of garden seeds? Hah! We readers have our priorities straight!

Do you know all of us here on Supernatural Underground? You might read the posts by your favorites, but if that's all you do, you could be missing a great new-to-you author. So I'm going to introduce all of us quickly, in alphabetical order. Click on our names to visit our web sites and follow us on Twitter with the links after our names.

Amanda Arista (@pantherista) was born in Illinois, raised in Corpus Christi, lives in Dallas but her heart lies in London. Good thing she loves to travel. The summer of second grade, she read every book in the young adult section of the library. So she started making up her own stories and hasn’t stopped since. She writes the DIARIES OF AN URBAN PANTHER series.




Dakota Banks (@dakotabanks) writes the Mortal Path dark urban fantasies, paranormal thrillers with a splash of romance. With Ancient Sumerian mythology brought forward to the present, a three-hundred-year-old woman tries to redeem her soul by saving as many lives as she's taken. The third book in the series, DELIVERANCE, won the 2012 USA Best Book Award for Fantasy. As Shirley Kennett, she writes suspense thrillers in the PJ Gray series.

A.A. Bell (@ThePoetTrees) is the winner of the prestigious 2011 Norma K. Hemming Award for Excellence in Science Fiction and Fantasy Themes (Race, class, gender, sexuality, disability, etc.) for her debut novel, DIAMOND EYES, and for her second, HINDSIGHT. She's the first to ever win the award twice. As Anita Bell, she writes children's books, and was the first author to win an International “CrimeStoppers Award" for a children's crime series. 


Merrie Destefano (@MerrieDestefano) writes edgy urban fantasy: Vampires and fairy tales, Bladerunner meets Jim Butcher. AFTERLIFE (where everyone gets nine lives) and FEAST (edgy urban romance) leave you wanting more. Her first book of short stories, WAITING FOR MIDNIGHT, is highly satisfying, and the title tells all.  She writes for Young Adults too, and can teach you how to draw fantasy characters.




Jocelynn Drake (@JocelynnDrake) is the New York Times bestselling author of The Dark Days series and The Asylum Tales. When she’s not hammering away at her keyboard, frowning at her monitor, or curled up with a book, she can usually be found cuddling with her cats, Harley and Demona, walking her dog Max, or flinging curses at the TV while playing a video game.


Kim Falconer (@kimfalconer), a bestselling SF/Fantasy author, writes the Quantum Enchantment and Quantum Encryption series, epic stories that seamlessly mingle science and technology with sociology, environmentalism, philosophy, and magic. Astrology has been a part of her life for over 30 years and she teaches and consults in this field. Born in Santa Cruz, California, she lives and writes in the far eastern coast of Australia, sharing her dwelling with two black cats and a pair of Torresian crows. (!)

Leigh Fallon (@Leigh_Fallon) was born in South Africa, raised in Dublin, Ireland and moved to Cork in her 20s. Her debut paranormal romance in the Carrier series was discovered on Inkpop, a website for writers of teen fiction. Within weeks, book one of the in the series, CARRIER OF THE MARK, hit the coveted top five spot and was reviewed by an editor at HarperCollins. A few emails and some hysterical screaming later, she signed her first deal with HarperTeen. The second book in the trilogy is SHADOW OF THE MARK.

Jeaniene Frost (@Jeaniene_Frost) is the New York Times, USA Today, and international bestselling author of vampire stories in the Night Huntress series, Night Prince series, and the upcoming Broken Destiny series. To date, foreign rights for her novels have sold to eighteen different countries. Jeaniene lives in North Carolina with her husband Matthew, who long ago accepted that she swears like a sailor, rarely cooks, and always sleeps in on the weekends. Aside from writing, Jeaniene enjoys reading, poetry, watching movies with her husband, exploring old cemeteries, spelunking and traveling – by car.

Terri Garey (@TerriGarey) is the RITA© award winning author of six novels, two series, and various novellas. Her devilishly delicious tales from the dark side have been described as "sweet yet smouldering" by Publishers Weekly, and "sultry and upbeat" by Library Journal. Despite her choice of spooky subject matter, Terri prefers to avoid graveyards, especially on Halloween.



Colleen Gleason (@colleengleason), a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, has written more than two dozen novels in a variety of genres  – most of them with some sort of supernatural element. From vampire hunters in Regency England to dystopian romance (as Joss Ware), Colleen has run the gamut. Her most recent release is ROARING MIDNIGHT, a spin-off of the internationally bestselling Gardella Vampire Chronicles, in which she brings the vampire-hunting family to Roaring Twenties Chicago.

Helen Lowe (@helenl0we) is a Fantasy/Science Fiction author, poet, interviewer and blogger. She won the prestigious Gemmell Morningstar Award for THE HEIR OF NIGHT, the first novel in her The Wall of Night epic fantasy series. THE GATHERING OF THE LOST, the second in the series, was described as a "a classic right up there with the likes of George RR Martin's A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE" by SF Site. Helen has twice won the Sir Julius Vogel Award for Excellence in SciFi-Fantasy: for her YA novel THORNSPELL and for THE HEIR OF NIGHT.

Kristin Miller (@KM_Miller) is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author who writes the dark and sexy Vampires of Crimson Bay series featuring a blood war between vampires and shape-shifters and the Seattle Wolf Pack series, with her latest release GONE WITH THE WOLF. In addition to paranormal romance, she also writes contemporary and  historical romance and romantic suspense.

Nicole Murphy (@nicole_r_murphy) has been a primary school teacher, bookstore owner, journalist and checkout chick. Her urban fantasy trilogy Dream of Asarlai's last book is ROGUE GADDA. As Elizabeth Dunk she writes contemporary romance. As a journalist, Nicole has won awards for her writing; she has also had more than two dozen short stories published, the most recent in BLOODSTONES, an anthology of urban fantasy. Nicole lives her love of science fiction and fantasy through her involvement with the Conflux science fiction conventions. As Elizabeth Dunk, she writes contemporary romance. She lives with her husband in Queanbeyan, NSW, Australia.

Pamela Palmer (@Pamela_Palmer) is a New York Times, USA Today, and internationally bestselling author of more than a dozen novels including the Vamp City, Feral Warriors, and The Esri series. When Pamela's initial career goal of captaining star ships failed to pan out, she turned to engineering, satisfying her desire for adventure with books and daydreams until finally succumbing to the need to create worlds of her own. Pamela lives and writes in the suburbs of Washington, D.C.

Jaime Rush (@Jamierush) is the New York Times bestselling author of The Hidden series about humans with the essence of gods who walk the knife’s edge between the glamour of Miami and a place filled with dark magick and dangerous beauty. She also writes the Offspring series: Dangerous outcasts with extraordinary psychic powers who must band together to fight an enemy out to destroy them. As Tina Wainscott, she has published eighteen romance novels, mostly suspense and many with a touch of paranormal.

Kerrelyn Sparks (@KerrelynSparks) is the bestselling author of the paranormal romance Love at Stake series, which has hit as high as number 5 on the New York Times list and 22 on the USA Today list. Her most recent release, is THE VAMPIRE WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO. She also writes historical romances. She lives in the Greater Houston area with her husband, children, and a house full of garlic.  So far, there are no vampires in her family. Werewolves are another matter entirely.


Wasn't that a blast?! You followed all of us on Twitter, right? Now for the giveaway: a $25 Amazon Gift Card for your Spring Fling. All you have to do is leave a comment below saying whether you like to stay with tried-and-true authors or try the new-to-you authors. Last day to enter is April 1st (no fooling!). I'll notify the random winner if you leave your disguised email; otherwise, check the top of this post on April 2nd for the winner's name.  

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Countdown: One Month!!


Congratulations to Marcia of Oregon, who won this month's prize!! Thank you all for the comments!  Please come back April 25th for the next contest!

In one month, Zoltan Czakvar will leave his crumbling castle in Transylvania behind, so he can visit with you! How to Seduce a Vampire (Without Really Trying) goes on sale April 29th. I'll be doing a Launch Party with Katy Budget Books, so stay tuned for more news about that!  I will also be at C2E2 in Chicago, so if you're planning to attend that, please come by to see me! I'll be appearing on a panel and doing a signing with some other fabulous paranormal authors. That will happen the last weekend in April.

I've been so busy writing Russell's book, that I'm behind on website updates. I promise to get an excerpt up soon for Zoltan's book. Here's more about his book: Vampire Zoltan Czakvar is on the hunt for the truth about his father's death. He's been searching for a very long time—since 1241, in fact. And he is not about to give up, even when he's attacked by a woman with striking blue eyes and a hell of a right hook!

Neona is also on the hunt. She's looking for a mate and she thinks muscled Zoltan will work just fine. After all, men are good for only one thing. Soon, though, she realizes there's more to this handsome vampire than just sexual prowess. But she's keeping a secret from Zoltan, something so big that it will rock the vampire world.  Can their newfound love survive . . . even if their passion means the destruction of her world?

How to Seduce a Vampire (Without Really Trying) is available for pre-order now, in print, e-book, audible, and audio CD.  And what will you do while you wait for Zoltan?  How about letting Gregori and Phineas entertain you?  Today's prize is signed copies of Love at Stake books 11 and 12, Sexiest Vampire Alive and Wanted: Undead or Alive.  The winner will be chosen at random. International entries are welcome.  If you don't leave your email address in your comment, then please remember to check back in a few days to see if you have won. I will announce the winner at the top of this post. Good luck!! Now for today's question-- what kind of super power would you like to have?

Friday, March 21, 2014

A flying visit

Just dropping in to say hi - 'Hi!' *waves* and to share some news.

I'm in the middle of organising a progressional development day for writers and the Aurealis Awards ceremony. The Aurealis Awards are Australia's premier speculative fiction awards. So I'm kinda busy.

I've also got book deadlines up the wazoo. Between now and May next year, I've got four books coming out. The first is 'Release', a collection of paranormal erotic novellas. It was a very different thing to write, and lots of fun.

Then there's a science fiction romance trilogy - The Jorda Trilogy (Jorda is the planet it's set on). The first book is called Loving The Prince. It's a story I've been trying to get right for 30 years and finally, I've done it. And the publisher loved it enough to want two more!

Finally, HarperCollins Australia is relaunching the Dream of Asarlia trilogy as an electronic omnibus! The new version, with a new great price, goes on sale and April and here's the cover:


That's all I've got time for this month -  hopefully next month I can stop by for a proper chat with you all.