Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Angus MacKay's Secret Hobby

Congratulations to Pam of Pennsylvania for winning this month's prize! And thank you all for dropping by and leaving comments. Please come back June 25th for the next contest! And stop by my Facebook page to see more photos from Scotland, Ireland, and the Orkney Islands.

I've just returned home from a fabulous cruise around the British Isles, and withdrawal pains are setting in. No castles to see today? Where's my five-course dinner and personal waiter? How can I possibly sleep when no one has turned down my bed and put a foil-wrapped chocolate on my pillow?

Now reality is back. There are about ten Munros (Scottish mountains) of dirty laundry to do, and my family doesn't believe my claim that I've completely forgotten how to cook. Maybe I should just give them some Haggis Poo or Nessie Poo to eat?

I didn't spot Nessie in Loch Ness, but I did discover what Angus and Robby have been doing whenever they get a free minute away from MacKay Security and Investigation.  Apparently, they like to make jellies and jam!

It's probably obvious from my books that I love Scotland (and Scottish men, alive or undead). In the next Love at Stake book, Dougal Kincaid will take his heroine to Scotland, and she'll love it, too. She also gets to meet Connor, his wife Marielle, and their baby son. The Vampire with the Dragon Tattoo goes on sale August 27th.

Last month's winner never responded, so that prize is still looking for a home.  If you'd like a chance to win Robby's book, The Vampire and the Virgin, plus the poster, please leave a comment and tell me which Scottish vampire you like the most-- Angus, Robby, Ian, Connor, or Dougal?

International entries are welcome. If you don't leave an email address with your comment, please remember to check back in a few days to see if I'm trying to find you. Good luck!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

How to Attract a New Sweetie

Diamond Warrior by Michael Parkes
Recently I listened to a talk by relationship coach Lisa Hayes. It was part of her series on Dating in the Vortex and focused on Lisa’s “two list” approach to attracting new or improved love. Since this is the topic of interest to all of us Sup readers and authors, I thought to explore some of these ideas here.

On the call, Lisa read us a client’s LONG list of her ideal date. It was as detailed as a Briggs-Myers personality test, only more personal and included a CV, physical traits, emotional responses to a wide range of situations, minimum bank balance etc. etc. There really wasn't much missing, down to the most personal, um, details.

Lisa's point – specifics might actually be limiting if we aren't listing how we want to feel. (who cares what their annual income is, or make, model and car registration # or even favorite food, if we aren't feeling the love?) This example got me thinking about list making altogether, especially when it involves another person. Isn't that conditional love? The thought of someone ticking off my appearances, traits, IQ and emotional responses feels . . . odd.

Actually, it's kinda creepy. I wonder how our heroines might feel if their love interest was concerned with 'specs'. It would get my leading ladies' hackles up, for sure. The question is, are we missing the point of relationship when we preordain what the ‘other’ must be like? Maybe, but don’t get me wrong. Lists are valuable. They tell us things about ourselves.

For example, if I make a my new sweetie (MNS) list and it goes like this: MNS is rich, smart, funny, gorgeous, adventurous, independent, fit, must love cats . . . what does this say about me? It says, I want to be rich, smart, funny, gorgeous, adventurous, independent, fit and surrounded by cats. The list is never about ‘them’. It’s about us, and when we get that, we can stop ‘needing’ others to be x,y or z, and be that ourselves. Then, we enjoy the new sweetie for who they are. Period.

Besides showing us what we want to become, the MNS list can point out why we want what it is we want. Armed with that knowledge we can get to the feeling place now, before MNS shows up. Does everyone know the “why do I want that” exercise? It's so insightful.

1) Start with a current desire. It might be I want to date a man with $$$. Underneath that statement ask, why do I want that? It might go like this:

I want to date a man with $$$

Why do I want that?

So I don’t have to pay for everything myself

Why do I want that?

So someone besides me steps up for a change

Why do I want that?

So I feel special

making your listAnd there it is. In this case, I don’t give a hoot about their bank account. What I really want is to feel special.  

And this is an inside job. As Ean Begg says, When we stop expecting other people to fulfill us, we can begin to fulfill ourselves. Does that leave the door open for true relationship, or what? The other great thing about the MNS list is, it tunes our radar for new possibilities. 

If I say my sweetie is generous, kind, hot, funny, smart, sporty etc I'm cuing my unconscious that these things do exist! Like they say, I’ll see it when I believe it, and the list helps me believe. For those who think relationships suck, or that men/women are untrustworthy, lists can help shift the vibe to a better feeling place.

How about you? Do you make lists for dates, partners, perfect clients, agents, others? Or do you connect with people from scratch, where who they are and what they look like and how they think is of no concern because you know, if they are in your space, they are a vibrational match? 

Combination of the two? I’d love to hear your thoughts (and lists)!

Kim Falconer is a Supernatural Underground author writing paranormal romance, urban fantasy, YA and epic science fantasy novels. She also co-directs Good Vibe Astrology, an astrology and law of attraction school.

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

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Dead Man's Deal Is Out!

****CONTEST WINNER: Heidi Reinhardt is the winner of the signed copies of Angel's Ink and Dead Man's Deal.  Please email me your address at Jocelynn DOT drake AT gmail DOT com so I can drop the books in the mail for you.  Congratulations****

Is there anything better in this world than new book Tuesday?  Sometimes I think it's the only thing that makes the week tolerable.  In an effort to help make the week pass enjoyably, I am making my own donation to the bookshelves of the world.  Yes, the second book in the Asylum Tales series, Dead Man's Deal, is now out!

Do you like magic?
Do you like tattoos?
Do you like elves, vampires, werewolves, trolls, incubi, hobgoblins, warlocks, and talking cats?
Do you like weird and crazy stuff happening at every turn?

The Asylum Tales series could be for you.

With the second book hitting shelves today, it's a good time to start reading about Gage and his friends at Asylum Tattoo Parlor.

Here is a brief description of Dead Man's Deal:

In a gritty urban fantasy world where elves, faeries, trolls, werewolves, and vampires swim free in a sea of humanity, sometimes you need an edge. 

Looking for a little love? 
Need some luck? 
Desperate for revenge? 

Gage can give you what you need. The most talented tattoo artist in town, he knows the right symbol and the right mix of ingredients and ink to achieve your heart's desire. One tattoo is all it takes. But remember, everything has its price. 

The wizards know Gage is using forbidden magic, and they intend to punish him for his  transgressions. Too bad if innocent humans and monsters—entire cities—get in the way. They will quell a nascent magical uprising and Gage will be the sacrifice they need. First, though, they have to find him.

Here is the reading order for the Asylum Tales:

The Asylum Interviews: Bronx (prequel novella)
The Asylum Interviews: Trixie (prequel novella)
Angel's Ink
Dead Man's Deal
"Of Monsters and Men" (short story in Blood by Moonlight anthology)


To celebrate the release of Dead Man's Deal, let's have a contest.  In the comments below, tell me your favorite supernatural creature (vampire, werewolf, elf, etc...).  I will give away a signed copy of Angel's Ink and Dead Man's Deal.  If I get over 100 entries to the contest, I will give away 2 sets of books.  The contest ends on Friday, May 10 at midnight Eastern time.  The winner will be announced on Saturday, May 11.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Why being a ninja is great!

So I'm reporting live to you from RT Booklovers Convention 2013 in Kansas City. It is a weekend of fun parties, reader interaction, and author meet-ups. Because this is the 30th anniversary, they have really  pulled out all the stops.

Because I am between series right now (see last month's post on plotting plotting plotting), I find myself in a little bit of a limbo. I get to plan my own schedule. See the panels I want to see (totally hunted down Jude Devereaux), and relax. A new concept for me in general, let alone at a conference.

So I find myself mostly sitting and watching and listening. The conversations here are awesome because everyone is as exciting about books as I am. And boy, are the topics varied. The two women across from my right now are talking about the upswing in New Adult. Two women in the elevator this morning were still talking about the Fated to be Mated panel that our very own Jeaniene Frost and Kerrelyn Sparks gave yesterday afternoon.

And no one is even noticing me. I feel very ninja. Listening to everyone, watching them stroll by in their Regency dresses or their Steampunk corsets (how Karina Cooper does it, I have no idea). And the SHOES. There are some fabulous shoes here.

Oh, right now, someone just asked me for a chair and I think she's doing the same thing that I am, capturing the energy and love of good stories and, lets be honest, some cute cover models.

LOOK, THERE'S JULIE GARWOOD. Have to go stalk someone!

This is Amanda Arista signing off from behind a ficus!


Amanda Arista, Diaries of an Urban Panther

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Celebrating May Day – & Summer’s Eve In “The Gathering Of The Lost”

Happy May Day, dear Supernatural Undergrounders – and happy first of summer to everyone in the Northern Hemisphere. I hope some of you will be bringing in the may. :)

US cover
In The Gathering Of The Lost, the second novel in my The Wall of Night series, the equivalent festival is called "Summer’s Eve” and is “always held on the first new moon of summer.”

Reflecting on May Day today got me thinking about influences on our writing, especially where the author is trying to create a world that feels “real” and resonates with the reader (yes, even when writing “Fantasy”). May Day, with its traditions of mumming (acting out folk stories), crowning the May Queen and (in England, anyway) dancing around a Maypole is an easy celebration to draw on.

But when I lived in Sweden, the festival of Valborgsmassafton, (also celebrated in Germany as Walpurgis Night), seemed almost as important as the May Day that followed. The nights are definitely shortening by 30 April, and Valborgsmassafton is celebrated by lighting bonfires in the long clear evenings, then dancing and partying through the night and into May Day itself. The overlaps to the Celtic festival of Beltane also seem clear.

Arguably, bonfires are a traditional celebration in many circumstances, but I am sure it is not accident that one way in which “Summer’s Eve” is celebrated in my story is by lighting “fires for Imuln”:

UK/AU/NZ cover

‘ “What exactly is the festival about?” he asked Malisande one fine evening when she was down at the inn again, helping Manan sort and bag herbs. The girl looked up in surprise.
“Don't you celebrate Summer's Eve on the River? The festival honors Imuln in her aspect of Maiden and is always held on the first new moon of summer. Those coming of age keep their sacred vigils and lovers make binding vows to each other.” She smiled. “That is the serious side, at any rate. But we also celebrate the beginning of the really fine weather by lighting bonfires, and use up the last of winter's stores baking special cakes and breads. The fires are lit on the actual Eve, but the next day there is dancing and feasting through into the night.” ’
~ from "The Gathering Of The Lost"
 So whether bringing in the may, dancing, feasting, lighting a bonfire, or keeping a "vigil" of your own, I hope you are enjoying some sort of 1st of May festivity. 

And if you have your own special celebration of the first of summer with family or friends, please feel welcome to share it here. :)