Archive for March, 2007

Saturday, March 31st, 2007
Urban Fantasy Authors

Since the other day we discussed how some writers are slamming urban fantasy, I thought I’d highlight a few authors that I love in the genre.

I’ll start with Patricia Briggs. Patricia has been writing fantasy for a while now, but recently added urban fantasy to her impressive resume. I found her through Paperback Writer. Her first book in her new urban fantasy series is called Moon Called. The story is about a woman named Mercy, who happens to be a shape-shifting auto-mechanic. (Yeah, that’s a little different. Don’t you think?) She recently released the second book in the series, Blood Bound. There are many reasons I like this series (ie terrific world-building, scrumptious heroes, great characterization, etc.), but the main one (beyond having a great heroine) is the fact that Patricia has written the characters so well that you aren’t sure who to root for. I’m not kidding. I love ALL the heroes she’s introduced in these books. It makes it very difficult to choose. And that’s something I’ve NEVER experienced while reading a book. If you haven’t read her work, you are missing out.

The next author is Karen Chance. Karen kind of snuck up on me. When I first started reading Touch the Dark I wasn’t sure if I was going to like the book. I kept reading and about a quarter of the way in the characters grabbed me and wouldn’t let go. She has a new book coming out called Claimed by Shadows. The story is a continuation of the first book, but she’s integrated back story well enough that you should be able to figure out what’s going on if you pick up the second book first.

The third author I’d like to bring to your attention is Rob Thurman. Once again, I found Rob Thurman through Paperback Writer. The first book in her series, Nightlife, introduces us to brothers Cal and Niko. The opening page made the teenage ‘boy’ that’s trapped inside of me stand up and shout. I LOVE the way she wrote the character Cal. The attitude is appropriately juvenile, while capturing the seriousness of the situation in which these characters live. Her books twist and turn, throwing you for a loop. She just came out with the second book in the series, Moonshine.

The next author I’d like to discuss is Carrie Vaughn. I recently read Kitty and the Midnight Hour and was blown away. She created such a believable world that wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows, particularly toward the end. I’m still shaken up by what happened. She has two other books (so far) in the series, Kitty Goes to Washington and Kitty Takes a Holiday. These are urban fantasy books at their finest.

Kim Harrison. It’s hard to not hear about her these days and for good reason. Kim has created a terrific witch series that just keeps on getting better and better. With a perfect blend of humor and darkness, Kim leads her heroine, Rachel Morgan from adventure to adventure. The book that started it off was Dead Witch Walking. It launched Kim’s career right onto the NY Times Bestseller list. What can I say? She rocks.

The final author I’d like to bring to your attention is Kelley Armstrong. I was introduced to Kelley through her book, Bitten. Her writing is clean and powerful. She draws you into her stories and doesn’t let you go until she feels like it. By the time the book ends, you feel as if you’ve been bitten*g*

There are several authors coming up that will be added to this list (ie Jeaniene Frost, Vicki Pettersson) and several authors that I like, but didn’t mention (ie Charlaine Harris, old LKH, Tanya Huff). I think I’m beginning to see why the ‘old guard’ is feeling so threatened by the latest group of urban fantasy writers. *wg* Their writing is hot, sassy, fresh…and it sells. 😉 No wonder they think there’s something wrong with it. *ggg*

Friday, March 30th, 2007
Highs and Lows

It’s been one of those extreme days where I’ve received good news and bad news. The good doesn’t come close to balancing out the bad, but it certainly helped ease it a little. Very little. No, I won’t be talking about the bad because it’s not appropriate and it is not about me. The good will have to wait until next week sometime. I wish I could tell you more, but I honestly don’t know much.

Now onto ‘cheerier’ subjects. I picked up Ilona Andrews’ book, Magic Bites today. I liked the excerpt and wanted to check it out since she’s set her world in the near-future like RED, my upcoming release from TOR. So far, the book is great. 🙂

I do have a wildcard question for the readers out there. Have any of you read Enchanted by Nancy Madore? If so, what did you think of it? Bonus points for anyone who has read EC books and can compare the heat levels to those in Enchanted. 🙂

Thursday, March 29th, 2007
Urban Fantasy—The New Bastard Child?

There’s an interesting conversation taking place around the web about urban fantasy not really being ‘fantasy’ because it has romance in it. And that paranormal romance and urban fantasy are the same thing (for the record, it’s not).***Cue sound of head hitting the desk now.*** I am SO sick of other writers (and a few readers) behaving as if ‘romance’ is something that malevolently taints everything it touches.

Here’s a news flash people: If the book that you wrote doesn’t have some form of love/romance in it (yes, it can be between you and your hand), then the world you built is lacking true dimension and reality. Seriously, go outside and look around if you don’t believe me.

Wednesday, March 28th, 2007
I Get By With A Little Help From My Friends

Today I plan to highlight several writers who’ve helped (and continue to help) me with my writing. So yes, this post is going to be biased. That said, I still respect these ladies and the work that they do. If you aren’t reading their work, you’re missing out.

The first person I’d like to mention is Julia Templeton. Julie and I met a few years ago, when we were both looking for new/more critique partners. I fell in love with her work and over time she’s turned into one of my best friends. She released The Bargain, which is a fantastic Norman/Saxon love story. It’s by far my favorite book by her. I love the hero, Renaud. He’s yummy. She has a new historical coming out later this year called Return to Me. It’s a bit of a new direction for Julie, since it’s a vampire romance, but it still contains her trademark sensuality and a classic love story. Go’eth out and purchase’ith now. See, I could write a Medieval. *ggg*

The second person I’d like to mention is Sylvia Day. Some of you might have heard of her. *g* We have critiqued for the past couple of years, schedules willing. I’ve found her insight extremely helpful. She’s been kicking some serious publishing ass lately. Sylvia is another one of those writers that you really can’t go wrong with any of her books. Her latest release, The Stranger I Married has been garnering a lot of attention. Lately, Sylvia has been winning a ton of awards, so if you’ve been wanting to check her out, now is the time. She’s on fire.

The third person I’d like to mention is Vivi Anna. I was a fan of her writing after I read Hungry Like the Wolf and Hell Kat. She’s terrific at action/adventure stories.
Vivi and I met for the first time at RWA in Atlanta last year. I realized after talking to her that our writing would probably mesh well. Am glad I was right. 🙂 Vivi recently came out with a couple of books, the lastest being Bad to the Bone from Loose Id. She also recently released her first Harlequin Nocturne called Blood Secrets. I mentioned this book earlier (ie CSI meets vampires/werewolves/and other creatures) in the month because I thought it was so cool. If you’re into action/adventure with a twist, Vivi is your girl.

The fourth author I’d like to mention is Charlene Teglia. Charli and I started talking several months back. She’s a terrific motivator. Always super positive and scary organized. *g* We do Fast Draft together and she works as a second set of eyes for my books. She writes fun, sensual books that run the gamut from contemporary to fantasy/paranormal. Her next release, Wild, Wild West will be out in August of this year. She has several more books from St. Martin’s lined up in the queue and they are smokin’.

The fifth author I’d like to mention is Cathryn Fox. Like Vivi, I met Cathryn at the RWA conference in Atlanta. She’s not really my critique partner per se, but she’s certainly saved my butt on more than one occasion. She gave me a read through, when no one else was available. I respect her opinions. They’re always spot on. Cathryn has had two recent releases. The first, Pleasure Prolonged, came out in December 06. The latest, Alluring Tales, is an anthology that includes Sylvia Day, Sasha White and Vivi Anna among MANY other talented authors. So if you’ve ever wanted to check her work out, this is the perfect opportunity.

The final author I’d like to mention is Jeaniene Frost. She’s been helping me with my urban fantasy. We haven’t met yet–other than online, but I like her. She has a potty mouth, too. Yes, it’s a point of pride. *ggg* Jeaniene has a kick-ass book coming out in November of this year called Halfway to the Grave. She has written a hero that rivals Henry on the series Blood Ties. His name is Bones. Once you read about him, you are not likely to ever forget him. I’ve already got dibs on him. 😛

Why did I list all these people? Because these writers help me to present the best manuscript that I can to my agent and editors. I know there are a few writers out there who’ve shunned critique partners because they just don’t work for them. I can respect that. I had to go without my normal critique partners, when I sent RED in to Tor. It was an invaluable lesson. One that proved to me that I could write a book without them, if I had to. It doesn’t mean that I liked doing so. And in the end, I still had Cathryn, Charli, my mom and my dh read through that book, before I sent it in.

I consider the people above my giant safety net. They give me the opportunity to continue walking the publishing tightrope without having to worry about plunging to my death. Do you have a safety net? If so, who or what is it?

Tuesday, March 27th, 2007
Hodge Podge

First I’d like to tell you about an opportunity my agent just presented on her blog. If you are a Golden Heart finalist (non-inspirational), my agent, Jenny Rappaport is sending out an open invitation for you to send her an email about your work. You can see full details at the bottom of the link that I provided above. Good luck! 🙂

I’ve been really pleased with the last two Supernatural episodes. They seem to be back in the groove writing-wise. I hope they continue. It’s been nice, even if the episodes were a little sad. Speaking of getting better, Blood Ties seems to be finding its feet. This week the dialogue hummed and the characters seemed to be blending a bit more. Hopefully it’s a sign of things to come. Although, in my heart of hearts, I think Vicki belongs with Henry. *ggg*

The last thing I’d like to discuss is the response I received from the ‘Ignored Authors’ post. I liked doing that entry so much, I think I’m going to make it a regular fixture on my blog. There are a lot of really good authors out there who don’t get near the attention that they deserve.

Tonight Christine Feehan is speaking at one of the local RWA meetings. I LOVE her work, but I’m just not sure that I’m up to sitting in traffic for forty-five minutes to an hour to go to the meeting. Yes, I know. I’m lazy.

Monday, March 26th, 2007
Doesn’t Need An Introduction–Yo Ho

Is it May 25th yet? Sniffle. Please. I can’t wait that long. This is pure torture.

I found this while I was out coveting the above. Thought it looked interesting. Here’s one that probably won’t have a wide release, but I have to see it since it’s from the guys who did Shaun of the Dead. And then there’s always this. I know some of you don’t enjoy this franchise, but I do. 🙂 This is also coming out in July. Looks like it’s going to be a fun summer movie season. About time.

Saturday, March 24th, 2007
Ignored Authors

I suppose ignored is a rather harsh word to use, but I can’t think of any other way to describe good authors who should be receiving more recognition.

I’d like to start with Eileen Wilks. I’ve talked about her work a few times. Told you how terrific she writes, but I’m still not sure she’s receiving the amount of attention that she should be garnering. This woman has released an amazing book, Blood Lines. Yes, it’s paranormal. Yes, it’s part of a series. And neither of those items should stop you from running out and grabbing her work. Eileen has a way with characterization that draws you into a story immediately. Her worlds are RICH with characters who come to life on the pages. She makes you believe that you are walking beside her heroines. And Rule Turner is simply YUM, whether he’s walking on two legs or four.

Next up is Jill Shalvis. I’m rather new to Jill’s work. I happened to read one of her novellas for a RITA award competition a few years back. She bowled me over with her witty dialogue and scorching sexual tension. I honestly thought it was the best story in the entire anthology, which is saying something considering who her company was in the novel. The characters in her books are well drawn and flirty. You believe that they fall in love by the time you reach the end. She has a new book out now called Smart and Sexy. I haven’t had the pleasure of reading it yet (I will.), but if it’s half as good as her previous work then sit back and prepare to indulge. 🙂

The third author is Michele Albert. I’ve been following Michele Albert, since her days as Michele Jerott. She writes a wonderful combination of suspense and romance. I loved ‘Her Bodyguard’, ‘Absolute Trouble’, and ‘A Great Catch’. Her books, Getting Her Man and Off Limits were both cute and smart. She turned a corner in her writing, when she released One Way Out. The suspense deepened, along with her characterization. Her heroes are always alpha hot and her heroines match them step for step. She has a new book coming out next week called Tough Enough. If you haven’t given her a try before, now is the time.

The final author I’d like to bring to your attention is Gennita Low. There are a lot of things I like about Gennita’s writing. She’s great at combining action/adventure with romantic suspense. And I’m not talking about a girl’s version of action/adventure. Gennita writes with a strong, realistic male bent. When her heroes speak, I believe that ‘real’ men are talking. Don’t think for a minute her heroines are weak. Those women have kicked some serious ass, but again, in a very realistic way. The love scenes are hot, the tension is sizzling and the danger in her books is all too real. If you haven’t given her a try, Gennita is about to come out with a new series. The first book is called Virtually His.

You don’t have to take my word for it. Read their excerpts for yourself. You won’t be disappointed. 🙂