Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Deliverance Excerpt and Giveaway!

*** Swag Bag Giveaway *** 
Giveaway Closed - Sharon is the Winner!
Thanks to all who left comments.

A month from today, Deliverance: Mortal Path Book 3 will be released! I'm so excited, and I want to share an early review and an EXCLUSIVE sample from Chapter 1 just for Supernatural Underground readers. 

Don't miss the end of this post, because I have a great giveaway.

RT Book Reviews has this to say about the book:

"Readers might not know this is the third title in a series, so subtle Banks is at providing comprehensive background information. The story is wonderfully unpredictable, full of breathlessly exciting action scenes. With a little bit of mystery, a troupe of interesting characters not lacking for depth and a very satisfying ending, readers will be hooked till the very last page, and then will rush to pick up the others in the Mortal Path series."

Now straight to the excerpt, appearing here for the first time. (A few teensy words have been omitted to keep this from being an R-rated post.)


 Maliha Crayne placed her feet carefully on the old clay-tiled roof. Freezing rain made the passage treacherous. Xietai, the man she was chasing, seemed as sure-footed as a gazelle. She had already sent a tile sliding to the street three stories below.
It was three in the morning, and although New York never sleeps, the residents of this neighborhood did. Most of them, anyway. As another tile clattered to the sidewalk, a window was flung open and a woman’s head appeared, her neck twisted to look up at the roof.
“What’s goin’ on up there? Think yer Santa Claus or somethin’? Get off my roof!”
             With flat roofs all around, he has to choose one with tiles. Should have gone around and picked up his trail on the other side. Maliha 0, Xietai 1.
Xietai had been in her sights twice before, and he’d eluded her. He ran a human trafficking ring, bringing Asian girls to America, and then sending American girls to Asia. Round-trip profits. Complicating matters was that Xietai was the son of one of Maliha’s dearest friends, Xia Yanmeng. Maliha planned to bring Xietai to justice, but with his record of confrontation, it was possible she’d have to kill him.
Kill Yanmeng’s son. Not sure how he’d feel about that, even though the two of them are estranged. If my daughter Constanta had survived her birth and grown up evil, would I be hunting her?
Maliha came to the end of the tiled roof and paused briefly. Xietai’s footprints led her on into the moonless night. Using her ability to view auras, she could see the outline of his footsteps and the tendrils of red and black twining together, rising from them. Normally she used her aura vision for a few seconds at a time, a quick check to see if someone was lying or to make sure she faced a truly evil person before plunging her sword into him. Constant viewing, as she was doing now to track Xietai, was draining. His aura footprints were clear, but her surroundings were a little out of focus. As long as Xietai kept out of her normal sight, he had an advantage.
Maliha felt a touch on her shoulder, as soft as if she’d been brushed by a bird’s wing. Yanmeng was a remote viewer, and he was signaling her that he was viewing her now. He’d been trying to increase his remote presence to the point that he could move objects. He’d made some progress but it was erratic. She could extend her arm and make an L-shape with her fingers, the sign they’d agreed upon for him to withdraw, and he would immediately stop remote viewing her. At least, she trusted that he would.
She didn’t make the withdrawal sign.
It’s his son. Yanmeng’s not going to like this, but it’s not right to hide it from him.
She swung over the edge of the roof, hung briefly by one hand, and dropped down to an adjacent flat roof. Landing with a forward roll to break the momentum of the fall, she put out a hand to avoid sliding on the patchy ice. She scraped the side of her hand raw on the rough roofing material. She wasn’t an accomplished traceuse—tracer—so her hands weren’t calloused. The man ahead of her was a highly skilled practitioner of parkour, a method of crossing obstacles in the most efficient way and the shortest time.
She ran barefoot, with loose black shorts, a black t-shirt, a belly bag with a few throwing stars secured inside so they couldn’t shift and hurt her, knives strapped to her thighs, with her thick black hair flowing behind her. It was late November, and an icy rain pelted her face and other exposed skin. Maliha wasn’t prepared for this pursuit, but when Xietai crossed her path, she had to try it.
Maliha jumped to a building a dozen feet away. She rolled, then ran and dropped to the fire escape.
Could he be Ageless?
Her bare feet landed lightly on the fire escape’s icy stairs, and at each landing, she vaulted the railing to the next run of stairs. She dropped the last ten feet to the ground. Thin red wisps spiraled eerily up from slushy puddle he’d passed through. She cleared the puddle in a small hop. Ahead a wall loomed. He’d taken her down a dead-end alley. Using the momentum of her run, she stepped up the brick wall to a balcony, used a spring from the rail to power another couple of steps, and then muscled up to the roof.
No good. Blind corner...
Anticipating a trap, Maliha threw one of her knives, then ducked and rolled as a sword swung powerfully where her neck should have been. She lashed out with her second knife, scored a deep gash in Xietai’s calf, and felt the splash of hot blood on her hand.
That should slow him down a little.
Xietai took off into the night, running away before she’d come fully out of her roll. She retrieved her thrown knife from where it had landed. Her opponent took them down to street level. She was gratified to see a blood trail in the pale cone of light from a street lamp.
He bleeds too much to be Ageless.
Then she spotted Xietai on the roof of a run-down theater, standing next to the marquee with its hundreds of broken bulbs. His aura was blacker than the night sky washed by city lights, and the spidery electric red web of his anger had intensified since she’d wounded him.
This is it.
One of them was going to die.
She sped toward an alley a few buildings away on the theater’s left, using a burst of superhuman speed, a remnant of the time she spent as an Ageless assassin beholden to the Sumerian demon Rabishu. When she was a demon’s slave, she could maintain that pace effortlessly. Now she would grow weaker as she used it and have to rest before speeding again.
Melting into the alley’s entrance, Maliha hoped that Xietai hadn’t seen her. At roof level, she paused to make sure her target hadn’t joined her there, and then found a secure observation point on the roof. Xietai was still there, with impatience starting to work on him. The pursuit had changed from a fast traverse to stealthy tracking, and she didn’t have to use her aura vision.
Finally, advantage: Maliha.
Maliha checked the rooftops for possible launching points. The only thing that caught her eye was a dilapidated billboard sign on the roof where he waited. She did the gap jump followed by a drop, her bare feet moving as silently as a sigh, taking her right to the base of the billboard. She climbed a few feet up the cross timbers of rotten wood.
Xietai had moved out onto the metal frame of the marquee, face down on one of the supports, peering around at the ground. He must have thought she was down there on the street. There was a sword fastened tightly across one shoulder blade, slanting toward the small of his bare, muscular back. From where she was, the scabbard looked bent, as though it conformed to his skin, something that would allow him flexibility for parkour.
Maliha had two throwing knives and three stars. She could plant five bladed weapons in his back before he had a chance to rise. She had her throwing knives in one hand and stars in the other when Xietai suddenly rotated onto his back.
Their eyes met. He pulled the sword from its scabbard and it came out in loose sections. A flick of his wrist brought the sections into alignment as a formidable sword, longer than its scabbard.
I want one of those.
He strode onto the roof. Maliha threw her three stars to distract him as she got down to roof level. She saw with dismay that he swatted away the stars with his sword, and had to remind herself that he wasn’t Ageless, just superbly trained. The cloth dripping with blood wrapped around his calf was proof he was mortal. If he was Ageless, blood would have stopped flowing from his wound and it would have healed by now, leaving no trace. She ran toward him faster than his human eyes could follow. Veering away just out of reach of his sword, she swung around him and slashed behind his knees, going for crippling blows. Neither knife connected.
He’d spun around and blocked them.
He heard the rush of the wind when I used Ageless speed. Can’t sneak up on him. I’m in deep trouble.
He began fighting with both the sword and a knife he’d pulled from somewhere. Soon Maliha’s bare legs and arms ran with blood.
Retreat? Master Liu says that humility is the best way to handle being overmatched. But not yet...
On her knees, Maliha saw a way for one of her knives to weave in close to the core of his body. Feinting with the other knife, she closed in. If he didn’t go for the feint, her head would be too close to his knife to think about.
Poor Maliha! Caught up in a deadly fight with the son of one of her best friends, seriously underdressed, running barefoot on icy tiles and stairs, and suffering from sword envy too. There are plenty of dilemmas for Maliha to face in the rest of this book; this is only the start of a story that tests her friendships, her love, and her deeply held morals.

I'm giving away a Swag Bag consisting of a zippered tote bag, three signed books, pens, bookmarks, magnets, and a calculator. Don't ask me why; I just love calculators. All my giveaways are international.

To enter, please leave a comment below that includes your disguised email such as "dakota" -at- "dakota-banks" dot "com" so I can get in touch with you if you are the winner. You can double your chance of winning by following my blog.
+1 Comment
+1 Follow my blog

The last day to enter is Monday, March 5th. Go for it!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Deadline Dementia!

Congratulations to Lori of PA for winning the contest! Thank you all for the comments! I really enjoyed reading them! Please come back next month on the 25th for the next giveaway!

I'm closing in on my last week of deadline hell. In other words, I am losing my mind. The book I'm furiously trying to finish is Wild About You, starring Howard Barr the were-bear, and it will release at the end of November.

Given the fact that I am totally unstable at the moment, I have agreed to let a co-author help me. Here he is, hard at work in front of my computer. Write faster, Howard! You should see his furry paws flying over the keyboard.

How can I afford a were-bear who used to be a defensive lineman for the Chicago Bears? Howard won't write for peanuts! But I have discovered he will write for a steady supply of donuts and bear claws.

Meanwhile, as the clock ticks ever closer to my deadline (go, Howard, go!), time is also moving closer to the release date for Wanted: Undead or Alive! That's March 27th. If you haven't read the excerpt or entered the contest, you need to run over to my website now! And while you're there, check the Appearances page to see if I'll be on tour in your area.

As you probably know, Phineas is the star of Wanted: Undead or Alive. Today, in his honor, I'm giving away a signed copy of the book where he first appeared--Be Still My Vampire Heart. I'm also giving away a signed copy of Born at Midnight, by the fabulous YA author, C.C. Hunter! It's the first book in a paranormal series that you will love! So that's two books you could win! Just leave a comment with suggestions on how I can feed a were-bear and keep him working. Thank you!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Creatives are organisers too!

We've all seen it in movies - the scene where the writer struggles up from their desk and stumbles over to the fridge, only to find that the milk is empty and they've forgotten to go shopping and so they eat a bowl of dry cereal before stumbling back to the computer and diving back into the world again.

It happens. We do get so caught up in our writing that we forget basic stuff. Paying the bills. Getting food in the cupboard. Having showers...

But don't think that writers are like this ALL the time. Those that are don't make it. The rest of us are capable of being very organised. Everyone here at the Supernatural Underground is a very capable person, because we wouldn't be published authors if we weren't.

There's lots of organisational stuff that comes with being an author. Getting an agent and/or a publisher requires a lot of paperwork, sending of emails, responding to queries and the like. Then there's organising promotion - be it as simple as getting postcards printed or remembering to put up a blog post you've committed to, or a massive tour such as Melissa Marr and Kelley Armstrong are currently putting together. And because we're self-employed, there taxes to worry about...
Then there's organisation in our actual lives. We KNOW what we're like when we're lost in a book, and that can be amplified if we're coming up to deadline, so we plan around that. We have work plans and we get our lives, our homes, set up to help us achieve them. If we're lucky, we've got family to help share the burden. If not - then we plan ahead with pre-cooked meals and the like.

Over the past couple of days, I've gone into my computer hard-drive and re-organised all my files. Over the past few years, it's gone all a bit unwieldy. Now, it's organised and on any given day, I know where to go to for work I'm currently doing, or work I want to revisit, or how to check my progress on projects.

I've planned my progress for the next few weeks, I've got everything I need to do marked up on a calendar and sending me reminders and I've got the meals planned out. So now I've got the brainspace to let myself go in my story and be secure in the knowledge that when I surface again, my world won't have fallen in a heap around me. It will look tattered, but it will still be standing.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Neptune, Chaos and Creation

Hi Everyone! The name that came out of the hat was Elizabeth Lhuede! (Please email me your address and I'll get the signed books in the post to you!) Thank you everyone for your comments and support. My sister who made the trailer, Shawn Wilder, has enjoyed reading you all as well.

Happy new moon everyone! Namaste, Kim

To celebrate the creation of my newest book trailer, I’m giving away volumes 1 & 2 of the Quantum Encryption series: Path of the Stray and Road to the Soul. All you have to do is watch the clip and let me know your favourite image/scene. For me, it’s the lioness! What’s yours? Post in the comments and your name goes in the hat. Winner to be drawn on the new moon, February 21st.

Astro-Flash for the month: Neptune goes into Pisces for the first time since 1861! Neptune into Pisces is illusive, unconscious and ineffable. It represents a part of us that can never be defined. Neptune asks us to experience life without concrete boundaries, knowledge or proof. Sometimes Neptune can coincide with confusion . . . And confusion gets a lot of bad press, right? Aren’t we told to ‘get clear’, know our why, be aware of our unconscious motives, gremlins and tolerations?

Clarity is a great way to bring awareness into our lives but sometimes there is a better one: hanging out in ‘I don’t know.’ There is a beneficial role for confusion, chaos, and lack of clarity and that role is inspiration. ie Creation. Artistry. Love.

The eighth century BCE Greek poet Hesiod said before any of the original deities, there was chaos. Ultimate confusion! All our creation myths, in all places in all cultures in all times, begin with chaos, darkness, water. The unknown. “In truth at first Chaos came to be . . . Hesiod

There is a metaphor here! To create something truly new, first there must be chaos. We have to go back to scratch, forget what we think, and what we think we think, and immerse in the unknown.

Jeannette Maw puts it like this: Sometimes reality is a handicap to vibrational alignment because what’s happening in our “real world” is very different from what we want to create.

Neptune is all things unworldly, without form, ideas that cannot be proven. In esoteric terms we say it represents what is behind the veil. This energy, this part of us, wants Bliss. Reunion with the divine. Merging with source.

Higher and lower Neptune - My friend Mystic Medusa talks about higher and lower Neptune, lower being escapism, addictions, fears, and phobias because we want something so far beyond the rational, mundane experience of life, something so rarefied and beautiful that we reach for anything that can ‘drown’ us. At its core is ‘escape.’ Higher Neptune energy is more the expression of bliss, love and communion with all life. An experience of the divine while in a physical body. At its core is transcendence.

Neptune is bliss/confusion that doesn’t really function in the world of form because this energy is only interested in formless states of infinite possibility. Think of Deepak Chopra’s Discontinuity (the space or gap between our thoughts). That’s Neptune. By the time you get the message of Neptune, he’s already ‘gone’ because the getting is the realm of Saturn (the edifice of the ego). Neptune is outside that.

Neptune denies evidence. Neptune defies logic. Neptune simply believes - Joanne Wickenburg. This energy wants to dissolve overly rigid structures so that you can receive inspiration, communion, source energy. It is from a place of ‘uncertainty’ and allowing that creative originates!

Neptune into Pisces is a home coming for this planet. The sea god returns to his rightful realm. There is power there, and relief! Honour this transition. Allow yourself to get swept up into the bliss of the unknown. Welcome this ingress into Pisces like a Muse, a divine lover, the part of us that takes things on faith. Neptune says stop thinking and dance!

Another word for Neptune – Namaste!

Kim Falconer is a Supernatural Underground author writing epic science fantasy novels set in the worlds of Earth and Gaela. Kim’s latest series is Quantum Encryption. You can find out more about her at kim.falconer.com or her daily blog The 11th House. She posts here on the 16th of every month.

Hey, Has Anyone Seen My Best Friend?

WINNER: Thanks for the awesome words of wisdom in helping me be my own best friend. The winner of a signed copy of Bedeviled is: Na. Send us your shipping info (and the name of the person you'd like to have it signed for) to sablegrace@ymail.com and we'll get that right out to you.

Recently I was watching an interview with Whitney and she was asked, “Who is your worst demon?” The answer wasn’t what I was expecting. She gave a soft smile and replied, “Whitney.” Then she laughed and continued with, “I’m my own best friend and my biggest worst enemy. No one makes me do anything. Right or wrong, good or bad, I choose.”

Yes, I’ve heard this a gazillion times before, but this time it really stuck with me and got me to thinking. I know I’m my own worst enemy. I call myself the self-saboteur and it affects every area of my life. Say, I’ve eaten right for weeks, then I see a box of snacks and I tell myself one cookie won’t hurt—even though I really don’t even want the stupid thing and I know I can’t eat just one cookie. Yes, I then start beating myself up for eating the one cookie which leads me on a downward spiral that takes weeks or months to pull myself out of.

My exercise routine isn’t immune either. I work out every morning because I’m lazy and if I don’t get it out of the way before I start doing other things the next thing I know it’s two a.m. and I’m crawling into bed when I remember I forgot to exercise. Thanks brain for telling me this as I’m trying to go to sleep because now I have all night to belittle myself for not doing an hour’s worth of activity that didn’t include sitting on my butt in front of the computer. And yes, the next morning I rush to the cookie instead of the treadmill.

Oh, and then there’s the writing. I live a hectic life. Surrounded by chaos and buried under stress. So what. Everyone has their own form of chaos and they still manage to get their daily chores done without making excuses for the lack of words showing up on the still empty page.

It is so easy to blame outside influences for the decisions we make. Just because someone or something puts it out there, it doesn’t mean we have to pick it up. That’s where the best friend part comes in—I do believe.

I’m a good friend to other people. Try to help out where I can. Listen and offer advice. Hold their hand or give them a shoulder to lean on. When they put themselves down for a failure, I’m right there to kick them in the rear and remind them of all the good they’ve done and one slipup doesn’t mean they’ve ruined everything they’ve worked so hard toward. But I rarely—like never—do this for myself. I slip off the eat-healthy train and I drown myself in Cheetos and those wonderful cookies. I stumble around the treadmill one day and it becomes a catchall for weeks. I don’t write for one day and well, I’m sure you can figure out how long it takes me to get back into that routine.

So how does one become one’s own best friend? How do you love yourself as much as you love everyone else? How do you forgive yourself for the slipups and get right back on that train without missing a beat?

Share your ideas and one lucky poster will win a signed copy of Bedeviled.

Thursday, February 9, 2012


Well, it's that time folks!  Time to celebrate my shiny, brand new up coming series, LEAGUE OF GUARDIANS and the release of the prequel novella, WRONG SIDE OF HELL!!! (click on the title to read the entire first chapter!)

I've been anticipating this for weeks and weeks now, LOL and in 3 1/2 weeks, on March 6th you guys can read Logan and Kira's book!

With battle lines drawn and evil forces gathering in the shadows, the League of Guardians is all that stands between chaos and the human realm…
Logan Winters, an elite hellhound shifter, wants to forget his allegiance to the League and the pain he’s suffered because of it. But when he’s ordered to retrieve Kira Dove from purgatory and bring her back to life, he can’t refuse. Not only will her death affect the balance between the realms, she’s also linked to a past he can’t forget.

Kira Dove, a young woman murdered before her time, wanders the gray realm, alone and vulnerable. The one bright spot in her life is the memory of a mysterious protector who saved her once before. As she makes her way through this terrifying place, she can’t help but wonder…will he come for her again?

As Logan races to save her, he knows he faces a nearly impossible task: How can a hellhound survive in the one place he shouldn’t ever be? The wrong side of hell…

And read on for a small bonus excerpt!

   Her hair was a mess of tangles, her eyes large, luminous balls of black oil. Her mouth parted and he saw the tip of her tongue. She took a step toward him, unsure, her tongue now moistening her lips as she bit down.
For a second he imagined that tongue wet and glistening, gliding across something else. Logan exhaled harshly, banishing the image from his mind just as quick. What the hell was wrong with him?
“That was . . .” She ran shaking hands through the tangles at her neck. “That was incredible. You’re incredible. I’ve never . . .”
“Christ. If I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard that line, I’d be a fucking millionaire.” The result was worth it.
Her lips pinched briefly, and the fire he needed to see in her eyes returned. Considering what lay ahead, she sure as hell was going to need it.
Kira rested her hands on her hips and the tongue that had been teasing him disappeared, which, if he was to be honest, was disappointing.
“You may be an incredible . . . dog or whatever the hell you--”
“A dog is a pet.”
“And?” Her brow was arched as she took a step closer.
“I’m no pet.”
“So what are you, then? A big-ass fur ball with fangs?” She was pissed now.
Logan’s eyes glowed red as he leaned down until only a whisper separated his mouth from hers. “I’m like nothing you’ve ever met before, lady.”

All right!  So I've been running this contest over at my blog and it will end midnight, MARCH 5th!  Here are the details and they are EASY!

1st Prize 25$ Gift card from Amazon
2nd Prize, A signed copy of Wicked Road to Hell, the first full length book in this series which releases April 24th!

Here's how to enter!

1. Sign up for my newsletter if you haven't already and email me at my website so that I know you did and can get you entered.  You can find my email address HERE

2. Double your chances by following me on Twitter and/or Facebook. Again, email me at my website so I can make sure you're entered.  

3. TRIPLE your chances by pre-ordering WRONG SIDE OF HELL and sending your proof of preorder to me at my website. (the link is above).

Bonus, points for posting my cover and blurb all over the place and linking it back to this blog post!

Wrong Side of Hell is only 1.99 at the following sites!

Please note, that the pre-order is for ebook only, as this is an ebook original with print coming several weeks later!

All right! Spread the word lovlies and good luck!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The Hot Supernatural Guys of YA - 8 for 8

Since it’s February and Valentine's days is on the horizon I thought I’d take a look at the eight most swoon worthy supernatural guys by catagory, in YA at the moment.

In vampires we had many contenders. Whether you like your vampires sparkly, gruesome or brooding, we’ve got a vampire that fits the bill. While I’m Team Edward all the way and secretly flying the Bill Compton flag; I’m leaning towards hotness and twisted inner turmoil of the super cute Damon from The Vampire Diaries. Rarrr.

I must admit, I’m not really into wolves. I don’t really see the appeal of hairy dudes that morph into big doggies, but if I was forced to choose one, I guess I’d put up with dog breath from the gorgeous Alcide from the Sookie Stackhouse Series - aka Joe Manganiello from True Blood. Oh dear lordy that man is delish.

There are so many to choose from with all the angel books doing the rounds at the moment, but the one that always springs to mind first is Daniel from the Fallen Series by Lauren Kate. Oh my gosh… such angst.

Admittedly, there aren’t that many contenders in the hot zombie guy category, though there are more and more zombie books hitting the shelves lately.  The first adorable zombie to come to mind is the super cute in a I’m-not-sure-what’s-happening-I’m-devoted-to-you-Frankenstein kind of way is Danny from Cold Kiss by Amy Garvey. He totally made me cry, just like Frankenstein did.

Fey (AKA Fairies, but Fay sounds a bit sexier don’t you think?)
I’m a sucker for a bad fairy. And they don’t get much worse than Reth from Kiersten White’s Paranormalcy. He’s a nasty piece of work, but there’s always an underlying feeling of misunderstood good intentions. I’ve my fingers crossed that he’ll come good in the third book the series, Endlessly.

Greek God Types
Again, there are a fair few to choose from in this category with books like The Goddess Test, Abandon, and the fabulous, Starcrossed. But the one that jumps out for me is the uber gorgeous Aiden from Half-Blood, by Jennifer L Armentrout. Oh be still my beating heart.

I haven’t come across many hot guy witch types, but if I’m forced to pick one, I’ll have to dip into the murky divide between MG and YA and go for Severus Snape. From Harry Potter.  Maybe he’s an odd choice, but there's a certain hotness to his unrequited love and he’s just so broken. 

There’s a new demon on the block and his name is Kaidan. He’s bad to the bone, his job is to lead others astray, and yet… ahhh we see that golden spot of softness hidden away. Eeek! You can read all about the delicious Kaidan in the up and coming YA novel, Sweet Evil, by Wendy Higgins.

I’d LOVE to know who your favorite hot supernatural guys are. Let me know in the comments.

Have a gorgeous Valentine's Day!

All the best and talk soon.


Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Book Signing

They're letting me out of the house!
Yes, I'm ditching my computer, sneaking away from my desk, and getting out of the house for a book signing.  I'm one of those authors that doesn't get out of the house much.  So, I'm going to be dusting off my social skills.  I'm already looking for my shoes and practicing my small talk.  But there won't be much time for small talk.  We're talking books!   
Do you live in the Cincinnati, Ohio/Northern Kentucky area?  If so, I will be signing books, discussing the events of the Dark Days series, and sharing secrets about my new Asylum Tales series on Thursday, February 9 from 7pm to 9pm at the Joseph-Beth Booksellers in Crestview Hills, Kentucky.

What will be talking about:
The six books of the Dark Days series, including the end of the series
The insane world of the Asylum Tales
The title of the first book in the Asylum Tales
And the title and release date of the final Dark Days novella

Of course, if you're interested, I would also be happy to talk about my writing process and my adventures in getting published.

I'm also looking through the piles of stuff that is going to be released this year, and I'm thinking of reading from bits and pieces to give you a taste of the new world that I've created.

Here's the details:

Thursday, February 9, 2012
7pm - 9pm EST
Joseph-Beth Booksellers

2785 Dixie Hwy.
Crestview Hills, KY 41017

I hope you can make it.  It's going to be a long of fun and Joseph-Beth Booksellers is just a great bookstore to visit.

Friday, February 3, 2012

It's more than just pollen in the air.

I've been extra aware of relationships of late. Could be the season. Could be that I'm just about to hit seven years with the hubby. Could be that I'm still working out the kinks in my heroine and hero's romantic journey. Either way, I've got it on the brain.

In books and movies, I like a low slow burn to my romance. Lots of longing glances, touches that stay with them. Its probably why I love BBC dramas. I'm all about the wait. And when there are sparks, everything combusts into one brilliant flash of just WOW. But what comes after that? Besides breakfast, if you're lucky.

In the Diaries series, I've got Violet and Chaz in a pretty committed relationship and I have to admit that I was beginning to see why some people believe that marriage kills romance. Instead of longing glances, they are glaring. Instead of touching him, she's usually doing his laundry.

Sounding familiar to anyone?

I had a bit of an epiphany as the hubby and I were playing with foam swords in the back yard (research for the new book- my life is weird). After the steamy WOW, when you embrace the commitment, you are freer and more exposed than ever before. And I’m not talking about walking around naked in your living room kind of free or exposed. I’m talking about the soul-lifting, laughter-inducing freedom that comes with binding yourself to another person because you don't have to carry around the facades anymore. You can be the silly, Chuck Taylor wearing, graphic novel girl who writes stories all night long without fear, because you've seen that he is a Coast-to-Coast listening philosopher with a weaknesses for puppy dogs.

I know, its a bit mushy. But as I looked at Vi and Chaz's relationship, they don't have any more masks to hide behind. Its just them. All they have are their naked insecurities, all exposed and trusting that the other person won't point and laugh.

That's even more dangerous than playing with fire.


Claws and Effect is currently on sale at Amazon, Barnes and Noble and other major e-book retailers for $1.99.

And if your a paperback person, those will be released Feb 7th.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

“The Gathering of The Lost”---Another Fabulous Cover & Author Quote!

Last month I welcomed in the New Year with the big reveal for the US cover for The Gathering of the Lost, which is Book Two in my The Wall of Night series and will be published on 27 March. I am really very excited about that, one because it’s a new book out and nothing beats that feeling—but also because getting the book finished at all in the midst of our ‘year of 9000 earthquakes’ (here in Christchurch, NZ) took just about everything I had to give. So being able to kick back, say “it’s not only done but here’s this amazing cover that I can share with you” is a special moment.

Something that made 1 January extra special again (but it was New Year, so hey!) was that I got to share the wonderful cover quote from Juliet Marillier as well. (Here—just in case you missed it last month.)

Today though, there’s more!

Because you see, as of 4 April, The Gathering of the Lost will also be coming out simultaneously in the UK, Australia and New Zealand—and because I have a different publisher in those countries I get a different cover as well. Double the fun!

But just before we go to the fabulous UK/AU/NZ cover, I also feel very, very privileged and honored that Nebula Award winning author Catherine Asaro has recently advance read the book and had this to say:

“Helen Lowe writes wonderful stories, yes, but her work also speaks with lyricism to deeper questions of how we treat each other.  With lovely prose that brings vivid life to her characters, she creates a universe with people we care about. This is an author with a gift for fantasy.” 
~ Catherine Asaro

As I said last month, this is probably the highest honor one author can pay another and I feel very grateful to both Catherine and Juliet for taking time out of their own very busy writing schedules, first to read and then to provide a quote for The Gathering of the Lost.

So without further ado, here is that second wonderful cover. In this case Duncan Spilling of Orbit’s in-house design team has created the artwork—and I think he’s done an absolutely fabulous job. (Look below for what it says on the back cover.)


Five years after the Darkswarm assault on her stronghold home, 
Malian of Night remains missing, believed dead in the wilds of Jaransor.
But not all accept her death and now her enemies and are on the hunt. Suspicion falls on the heralds Tarathan and Jehane, who find themselves caught in a web of intrigue and murder during the Ijiri Festival of Masks. They flee bearing word of a death on the Wall – and a call to duty and honour that Malian must answer or be forsworn.

Yet after five years of searching, the legendary weapons of the Derai’s greatest hero remain lost. Without them, a return to the Wall of Night promises only defeat and death.”

As always, thank you for letting me ‘share the goodness’ with you here today.

Supernatural Underground author Helen Lowe is a novelist, poet and interviewer, and currently writer-in-residence at the University of Canterbury. Her latest novel, The Heir of Night, the first of THE WALL OF NIGHT quartet, is published internationally, and won the Sir Julius Vogel Award  for Best Novel in 2011; it is currently nominated for the UK-based Gemmell Awards in both the “Legend” and “Morningstar” categories. Helen blogs every day on “Helen Lowe on Anything, Really” and on the first day of every month right here on the Supernatural Underground.