Archive for October, 2007

31
Oct
07

Blogiversary 2…

…is a bust.

I keep wanting to hit the delete button on this blog. Quite depressing when I should be celebrating this, huh?

Oh well.

I don’t really have much to say today. I am grateful to the people who have hung around despite my lack of posting, and those of you who have tried to keep in touch via email now that I am just unable to keep up with blogs. The thing is, I’m having issues even keeping up with emails!

I hate being behind, and this will force me to decide at some point a concrete date to end this blog–which will be sometime after the last thing currently on the blog schedule. I’m not a person who does things by halves, and I’d rather not blog at all than continue as I have since I moved here.

Part of it is simply that I’ve run out of things to say. It’s a struggle to read books that I’ve received for review, and it’s a struggle to read the same blogs I used to read and not think ‘why am I reading this?’

This feels like I’m saying goodbye. Or at least, like I’m preparing to say goodbye, and I guess I am.

30
Oct
07

Jackie Kessler: The Road To Hell

Hell hath no fury like a succubus scorned

Jesse may no longer be a succubus, but she’s got a Hell of a past. She wants to come clean about her infernal history with Paul Hamilton, her white-knight-in-training lover, except he’d never believe her. Just like some people are worth being (shudder) monogamous for, some secrets are worth keeping. So Jesse keeps mum—until three of her former associates strong-arm her into returning to the Pit. Now, unless Jesse faces off against the King of Hell, she’ll lose Paul’s immortal soul. If she’d known love was this tough, she never would have turned her back on Lust…

The Hell On Earth series takes a more serious turn in this book.

It’s a better book than Hell’s Belles in many respects. TRTH relies much less on the strength and appeal of Jezebel’s voice than HB did, which also makes it a book that is much more rereadable than TRTH.

The pacing is better, giving the reader space to breathe and to make the connections that turn TRTH into something more than a funny, romp book.

But for all that Jackie has improved as a writer, TRTH just didn’t have the spark Hell’s Belles did.

The Road To Hell rates 4 out of 5.

PS Jackie sent the ARC to me.

30
Oct
07

6 Questions with Jezebel

Jezebel, the star of the Hell on Earth series, is here, to give us some tips on being…Wicked!

1. On a scale of one to ten, rank your current level of insanity-where ten is belongs-in-lunatic-asylum insane-and tell us why.

Me? I’m perfectly sane. Except for when I think I might be going crazy. Being a former demon can be tough on the “This Is Normal For Mortals” radar. I mean, most humans don’t see auras, right? Or converse with demons regularly? Or get accosted by angels in the bathroom? Or really mean it when they tell someone to “Go to Hell,” right? Um. So I guess I’m either a 1 or a 10, depending on whom you ask.

2. You managed to resist Daunuan’s attentions. Think there are any lessons there us girls can learn in order to apply to that box of chocolate?

Yeah: Don’t ever fuck an incubus, unless you want to die a nasty, icky, painful death. Sure, getting there is a lot of fun – bless me, a LOT of fun – but the little death of an orgasm pales before the big death of…well, death. Don’t do it. Even if you really, really, really want to. Something else: demons don’t love. They can’t. They’re not wired that way. Only humans can. And sex without love is…well, a lot of fun, granted, but it’s also fleeting. True love is the real thing. And that makes the sex go from “spectacular” to “earth moving.” Hold out for true love. Trust me, it’s worth it.

3. Wicked Succubus versus Nice Succubus. Who’s going to win that girlfight?

If it’s a girlfight, the Nice Succubus. If it’s a demonfight, the Wicked Succubus.

4. What’s the one ‘human thing’ that you hate so much, you’d almost give up your soul for?

Periods. Man, those suck. The blood is cool-and seeping from a very awesome place, might I add-but the cramps and the bloating? Ugh. And no sex for five or so days? Ugh!

5. It’s a man’s world out there. From your point of view as a new…umh, newly-turned human, is that true or false?

That is so precious. I’ve heard that before. And it gets funnier every time I hear it. It’s the human world. (Which, by the way, looks more and more like Hell with every passing day. No, that’s not a compliment.)

6. Your Creator has turned her attention to Daunuan. Are you jealous, or are you cheering her on because you want to see Daun get his come-uppance?

About fucking time she got her focus off of me. Do you know what she just did to me? Sure, she tells me it’s just going to be a road trip for me and Paul, a nice little romantic weekend getaway for us, with absolutely nothing bad or Hellish about it. Yeah, right. She wrote it up in a novella called A HELL OF A TIME, and that’s coming out in April 2008 as part of Kensington’s ETERNAL LOVER anthology. Thank Gehenna that Daun has to deal with her for a whole book. That’s HOTTER THAN HELL, which comes out in August 2008. Wow, I thought Jackie hated me-my Dear Creator must despise Daun, based on what she puts him through. He’s just a dumb demon, but you have to feel sorry for him. Sort of. Well…okay, not at all. He deserves everything that she does to him. Everything. Stick your horn in that, incubus! Hah!

Jezebel can be found blogging at the Magical Minxes. To find the excerpts of her books, including the newly released The Road To Hell, please click here.

Her Creator, Jackie Kessler, blogs on her website.

10
Oct
07

Drollerie Press Upcoming Releases

In conjunction with Amy Garvey’s interview, I’m posting the list of upcoming Drollerie Press releases for the next three months. And given my inability to keep up with new releases any more, it’s a good way to keep track of books I want.

Alien Dreams by John Rosenman, (killer angels in outer space) should be coming out in the next week or so. We’re polishing the final edits now.

Bloodrose (working title/novel) and The Fire Within (novella) by Joely Sue Burkhart set in the same world as Survive My Fire.

I’ve read an early version of Bloodrose, and I loved it. She writes the way I want to write, and I would say this whether or not she was my Sister of the Severed Hand or not.

Beautiful Death, also by Joely Sue Burkhart, a Sci Fi novel about an assassin.

I love Joely Sue Burkhart just a little bit more than I love her writing. *g*

Revenant Road, Michael Boatman’s Horror/Humor novel

Shadowlands by Chloe Michelle, a YA supernatural thriller novella

But Can You Let Him Go? Cinderella short story by Cindy Lynn Speer

Confessions of the Creature by Gary Inbinder, a novel written in very mannered, 19th century prose about what happens to Frankenstein’s monster after Frankenstein’s death.

Accused by Heather Ingemar, a short vampire story.

Fire and Shadow, by Imogen Howson, a YA fantasy novella

Assiniboin Girl by Kathi Wallace, a YA novella, mostly contemporary mystery with some supernatural elements.

Unseelie by Meredith Spies, a very sexy Fantasy Romance, set in the contemporary world and the seelie and unseelie courts.

Pixie Warrior by Rachel De Vienne, a fantasy set in the Pacific Northwest and…other places.

I’ve read Rachel’s blog and I already know I want to read this.

Closing Arguments by Sarah Avery, a contemporary, supernatural mystery about the successors to Madame Blavatsky.

Plus, a new horror, fantasy romance novel, an anthology of Little Red Riding Hood stories told in different genres (including poetry) and with very different outcomes, and an amazing urban fantasy.

We’ll also have the advance sale of a limited run of Deborah Grabien‘s print novel, Still Life with Devils, signed and inscribed, beginning November 1st.

I’m reading this at the moment. That is, it’s next on my to be read pile (I read on average one book a month these days, or so it seems, so it’ll take awhile). 

10
Oct
07

6 Questions with Amy Garvey

1. On a scale of one to ten, rank your current level of insanity-where ten is belongs-in-lunatic-asylum insane-and tell us why.

Current level of insanity – definitely an 8. Why? Three kids, a temperamental dog, writing to do, editing to do, and a part-time job. My brain is pulled in seventeen different directions on a daily basis, and I’m lucky I can (usually) remember my own name. Tea helps. And way too many cigarettes.

2. From editor to author, and now you’re both. Why did you accept the position of Drollerie Press‘s Editor-in-chief?

I accepted because I adore Deena and I think she’s brilliant. And because Drollerie is publishing the kinds of things I’d love to read, and be able work on. Plus, I miss editing. Working with an author from inception to finished project is really a gift, and Drollerie gives me the freedom to choose projects I really love without having to please an editorial board or worry about the bottom line. I’ve gotten so busy, though, with my own writing, that I’ve been stretched pretty thin and I really want the erotica line to grow, so Deena and I have decided that I would take over the erotica line, Penflourish, and step down as Editor-in-Chief. I’m really excited about this opportunity to basically create my own imprint.

3. Did/Does being an editor make you a better writer and/or vice versa?

I think they complement each other in really helpful ways. Editing definitely informs my writing, which I noticed after I’d been editing for a while, because suddenly I could “see” the places where I would suggest revisions if it had been a project submitted to me.

By the same token, I think being a writer helps me to understand what other writers are going for sometimes, and sharing a common language with them makes communicating changes a lot easier.

4. Isn’t what you edit rather different from what you write?

Yup. That’s part of the fun. After editing romances for so long, too, it got a little formulaic – I could see the big-picture structure of where a story was going really early, and that sucked some of the joy out of it. I like being surprised with the Drollerie projects, and the freedom our authors have to wander away from traiditional happy endings.

But what I’m editing isn’t very different than some of what I like to read, and what I’ve published so far isn’t indicative of everything I write, or want to write.

5. Tell us about some of the Drollerie releases (previous and upcoming) that you edited.

I don’t have space to list everyone, or at least not talk about them in depth, but I was very lucky to work with everyone I have so far. But I’ll give two examples.

Editing Deborah Grabien‘s Still Life with Devils was an absolute joy; I’ve been a huge fan of her writing for a long time, and this novel was so gorgeously creepy and real, I couldn’t stop turning pages. Deb has the chops to sell almost anything, too-she makes you believe in the supernatural, makes you hear her characters speaking, see the settings.

I was also really lucky to work with Imogen Howson on Falling. It’s like she read my mind about the kind of submission I wanted. A fairy tale in a whole new setting, touching on the old themes and making them fresh and different, and written so smartly, so elegantly. A real pleasure.

6. What are you hoping to see when you next go through submissions?

I want to see some really good erotica. Not porn dressed up in Victoria’s Secret, either. Really lush, precise language, exploring sexuality in all its forms, and with all its ramifications, not just for the “wow, hot!” factor. And erotica in all kinds – historical, contemporary, even fantasy.

I want to see some new takes on fairy tales. Either retellings that bring a new perspective (Sleeping Beauty from the prince’s point of view, for instance, or the wicked fairy’s), or new twists on the old tales in new settings. A note: erotica is a perfect way to explore fairy tales. (Hint, hint.)

I also want some really innovative horror or paranormal stories. Ghost stories, vampires, whatever, but something *new*, something that takes me someplace I’ve never been. My only caveat there is that I want stories with worlds, and rules, firmly in place. Rules that make sense, too, insofar as that’s possible with something like vampires. Sell me on why your werewolf breed is real, for instance. And don’t hold back on the rough, the raw, the painful. Again, not everything has to have a happy ending.

Most of all, I want good stories told well. I want a strong, confident voice, a firm grasp of conflict and motivation, and the patience to weave the language into something gorgeous and still accessible.

Amy Garvey is the Editor of Drollerie Press‘s Penflourish line, as well as a published author in her own right.

Drollerie Press accepts erotica with a mythic theme in any genre, setting or style. It can be based on any of the legends, myths, or fairytales, or be original but mythic in tone, just as we accept for any other genre. It does not require a HEA, only explicit sexual content that is integral to the plot. To submit a story for publication under the Penflourish imprint, e-mail your submission to amy@drolleriepress.com.

I’ll post the list of upcoming Drollerie Press releases later today.

01
Oct
07

Extracting Demon’s Kiss by Eve Silver

The Compact of Sorcerers, a brotherhood sworn to guard the wall between the human world and the demon realm, have relied only on one another for centuries. But now there’s a traitor in their midst…
Struggling medical student Clea Masters knows she’s unique. Ever since her parents’ death, she’s been kept safe by an inexplicable force inside her that knocks back any threat. But when a demon attacks her, Clea is launched into a dangerous world she never knew existed. Her only ally is a lethal, seductive man who arouses a hunger stronger than anything she has ever imagined…

Compact of Sorcerers member Ciarran D’Arbois will not let harm befall Clea. In her, he sees a strength he admires and a body he longs to caress. Yet demons are determined to break down the portal Ciarran has sworn to protect, using Clea as their key. Now as a rogue sorcerer leads the enemy ever closer, Ciarran and Clea have only one hope. Both must surrender to their darkest passions–and unleash their most dangerous, untested deisres.

DEMON’S KISS–Which is more deadly, his passion or his power?

And you could win a signed copy of this book! Comment! Just how badly do you want this book? ;) 

Continue reading ‘Extracting Demon’s Kiss by Eve Silver’

01
Oct
07

6 Questions with Eve Kenin aka Eve Silver

1. On a scale of one to ten, rank your current level of insanity–where ten is belongs-in-lunatic-asylum insane–and tell us why.

Hmm…maybe an eleven, LOL! Right now I’m writing for three publishers under two different names, and I still teach human anatomy part-time. Talk about a juggling act.

As Eve Kenin I write for Dorchester’s new SHOMI line. My first book for them, DRIVEN, was a September 2007 release, with the second book, HIDDEN, slotted for July 2008.

I write historical gothics for Kensington as Eve Silver. My third gothic, DARK PRINCE, hit shelves in August 2007, and the fourth one, HIS WICKED SINS, will be out in August 2008. Add to the mix a gothic novella due for release in September 2008, and I’m definitely nose-to-the-grindstone right now.

And I’m very excited about my first dark, sexy contemporary paranormal written as Eve Silver, DEMON’S KISS (Grand Central Publishing). It’s out this month, and I’ve completed the second book in the series, DEMON’S HUNGER, but don’t have a confirmed release date yet.

So things are a little hectic, but I’m just hanging on to my keyboard and loving this crazy ride!

2. Did you start writing as an escape from gory human innards? *g*

I love teaching human anatomy. And I love writing. The trick is finding a balance. I don’t see human innards as gory; I see them as a fascinating construct, an assemblage of great brilliance and beauty. I love knowing the names of the bones, each bump and groove on each bone, each muscle and artery and nerve. And for those who have read my debut books, DARK DESIRES and HIS DARK KISS, my love of the science of anatomy and the history of medicine is apparent. *wink*

Actually, I started writing when I was nine; I wrote a story of an unwanted teddy bear that found a new and loving home. I started writing romance because I had always loved to read romance, and a set of events combined to create opportunity. My husband (who always thought I should write) found a small ad in our local paper for a writing workshop and he encouraged me to go. My sister-in-law talked me into buying a second-hand laptop. The workshop leader clued me in to the existence of RWA. At my local chapter I met the two women who would become my critique partners. And at that point, the secret yearning to write that had always burned in my heart became so strong that I couldn’t ignore it any more.

3. Why did you choose Eve Kenin to be the name for your Shomi title, Driven?

I knew I definitely wanted to stick with my first name, Eve. I was worried that if I chose something else, I would be at a conference or a booksigning some day, and people would be addressing me by a name not my own and I’d stare at them blankly. Not a good thing.

With the first name decided, I looked at surnames. I wanted something short, something punchy, something that sounded action-adventurish. I thought about using my husband’s name (Henning), but it was too long, so I shortened it and gave it a harder sound with the “k” and decided to run with it. Ta-da! The birth of “Kenin”.

4. Is the demarcation line between your Eve Silver books and Driven merely defined in terms of genre? Or is it themes and voice as well?

My SHOMI editor actually once commented that if she didn’t know for certain that I had written all those books, she wouldn’t have thought they were by the same author. They are all very different reads.

The voice and themes for my historical gothics (DARK PRINCE, HIS DARK KISS, DARK DESIRES) are spooky, eerie, suspenseful, a little melodramatic and overwrought. They have to be. That’s what gothics are all about.

For my contemporary paranormals (DEMON’S KISS) the writing leans to dark and very sexy with a hint of mystery and suspense.

In contrast, DRIVEN is edgy, kick-butt, post-apocalyptic, sci-fi, action-adventure with a dash of quirky humor.

Dig a little deeper, though, and you’ll find the common thread. Each book I write is, at its heart, a romance.

5. Did you have any specific inspiration for Driven?

DRIVEN bears absolutely no resemblance to this series, but Joss Whedon’s amazing FIREFLY was a huge inspiration. Something about his fascinating space-cowboy creation triggered thoughts of DRIVEN’s frozen wasteland. Also, as I was writing DRIVEN, I was getting into Anime and Manga (HELLSING, TRIGUN, FULL METAL PANIC), and I was seeing the value of a little shot of humor in even the darkest story. These elements combined to inspire parts of DRIVEN.

6. Do you think that lines like Shomi will attract newer, younger readers to romance?

I started reading romance when I was in my teens, and over the years, romance novels have offered me comfort when I’ve hit some rocky patches. I love the idea of a younger reader discovering these books and falling into a new and fascinating world. But I think the SHOMI books cross age and gender boundaries. I hope the line, and my books, attract new readers. Younger. Older. Those who have never tried romance but now might be willing to give it a try. I think the Manga-style covers of the SHOMI books might draw the eyes of the younger reader who is familiar with Anime and Manga. Perhaps a reader who likes comic books or graphic novels, and wonders what the SHOMI covers are all about.

Eve Silver‘s current release is Demon’s Kiss, to be followed by His Wicked Sins (August ’08) and Demon’s Hunger (TBA).

Writing as Eve Kenin, her current release is Driven, to be followed by Hidden (July ’08).

Eve is giving a copy of Demon’s Kiss to a lucky winner. If you’ve read both Driven and a Silver title, do you think what Eve’s editor said is true? 





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