Tag Archives: Fae

Broken Mirror, Book Three Tales of the Black Court, RELEASED!

Fantastic Friday

a blog for paranormal fantasy romance lovers

If you’ve been waiting to find out what happened to Cassie, it’s time! BROKEN MIRROR released today in ebook form on Kobo, ibooks, Barnes and Noble, and of course, Amazon.

I’ll be putting it up on All Romance Ebooks over the weekend, and I’m busy proofing the print version, so never fear, print is near!

Broken Mirror cover art by Viola Estrella

Broken Mirror is released!

Squee!

I’m so excited to have this book finally out. It’s taken longer than I thought, but I persevered and it’s here. And one of the best things for me about this fantasy romance is the ending. I don’t want to give spoilers, but I love the ending of this book. When I wrote THE DARK HUNTSMAN I thought there would only be three books in this series. But I’ve figured out that I’m going to write two more! That’s good news for you and good news for me.

Meet Cassie, my last MacElvy cousin

I love all the MacElvy’s but for those of you who love spunky heroines, Cassie is stellar! You can get a really good idea of her character in her backstory novella THE OTHER SIDE OF THE MIRROR, A Fantasy Tale of the Black Court. Or you can just read BROKEN MIRROR and find out how terrific she is. I love what happens to Cassie in this book because unlike my other two books, Cassie is already a strong person. She’s had to be. She’s a mirror, a psychic, and dealing with having the Goddess hijack her body and use her to give out premonitions is a scary thing. It comes with migraines and a loss off control and somehow the messages are not always received like they should be by certain family members.

Cassie’s gift has kept her and her immediate family alive—so far—but that’s put to the test when she meets her match at the end of PRINCE BY BLOOD AND BONE. If you haven’t read that one, I won’t spoil it for you, but FYI, it’s a cliffhanger and you’ll want to jump right into BROKEN MIRROR afterwards. I didn’t mean for it to be such a cliffhanger, but sometimes when you write fantasy, things happen. The romance is all good and of course Bryanna and Kian find their HEA, so it’s satisfying, but I know fans wanted Cassie’s story. So here it is!

Bosco, bad boy hero

I admit it. I love the bad boys and Bosco is one of them. He’s had a rough background and his sister is a prisoner of the White Queen, so he has some excuse. But it doesn’t change the fact that he is determined to rescue his sister, Siobhan (pronouched Sh-Vaan), and if Cassie is in his way, that’s too bad. He has to think of Siobhan first.

Or does he?

Cassie may be the means to an end for Bosco, but spending time with her he’s intrigued by her spirit and how she copes with how her fate has been twisted by the Black Queen of the Fae. As the puzzle of Cassie is revealed, and Bosco and Cassie’s fates are entwined together, he finds himself struggling more and more with his dilemma. Rescue his sister? Or save Cassie. And of course, falling in love is going to ruin all of his plans.

Broken Mirror, A Fantasy Romance of the Black Court

Book three Tales of the Black Court

A false princess, the court trickster, and a magic spell, woven together with a frog prince twist.

Cassie MacElvy believes she’s a fae princess, but her life of pretty gowns and constant parties is an illusion. Trapped in a twisted spell, Cassie uses her psychic Gift to help the Black Queen hunt down the rebel Prince Kian and his human wife, never knowing she’s hunting her own sister. But when a handsome blackeyed fae kisses her, the fairy tale begins to crumble, and she tumbles down into a confused rabbit hole of memories and magic. 

Bosco is the court’s fool and a womanizer, but secretly he’s a spy, looking for a missing human psychic. All he has to do is find her and hand her over to his mysterious employer, and he’ll finally have enough power to complete a quest he started nearly a hundred years ago. When he runs into a beautiful fae princess who shouldn’t exist, he knows something is very wrong in the Queen’s court. But lovely Cassie might be the only person who can help him achieve his quest, and Bosco decides he will root out all of Cassie’s secrets, even if it means losing her trust.

Dare to enter Jessica Aspen’s world of steamy, fantasy romance in book three of her fairy tale trilogy: Tales of the Black Court

Amazon http://amzn.com/B00VQWZC0Y

AllRomance Ebooks

Barnes and Noble http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/broken-mirror-jessica-aspen/1122053350?ean=2940152205114

Ibooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1001430294

Kobo https://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/broken-mirror-1

Add to Goodreads Shelf: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25695636-broken-mirror-a-fantasy-romance-of-the-black-court

Author Bio:

Jessica Aspen

Jessica Aspen has always wanted to be spirited away to a world inhabited by elves, were-wolves and sexy men who walk on the dark side of the knife. Luckily, she’s able to explore her fantasy side and delve into new worlds by writing paranormal romance. She loves indulging in dark chocolate, reading eclectic novels, and dreaming of ocean vacations, but instead spends most of her time, writing, walking the dog, and hiking in the Colorado Rockies. You can find out more information and read about Jessica’s paranormal romances at http://JessicaAspen.com

To sign up for Jessica Aspen’s new release email and get your link to download your free book, please click HERE.

 

Author web links:  

Website: http://jessicaaspen.com

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5759763.Jessica_Aspen

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JessicaAspen

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JessicaAspenAuthor

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/jessicaaspen/

Join the Jessica Aspen mailing list! Get the scoop on new releases, sales, plus the chance to win ARCs and participate in special giveaways.  When I send you an email, there’s always something in it for you! To sign up for Jessica Aspen’s new release email and get your link to download your free book, please click HERE.

 

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Filed under Broken Mirror, fairy tales, Fantastic Fridays, Tales of the Black Court

Mixing Up the Cannons

Thursdays Bite

a fantasy romance blog

I’ve done something bad. Something fantasy romance writers aren’t “supposed” to do. I even had someone on a loop take me to task for it because you poor romance readers would be confused. What is this awful, terrible, thing that I’ve done?

I’ve mixed cannons.

prince by blood and bone by jessica aspenMy fantasy romance books are not strictly Irish, or Scottish, nor are they steeped in the legends of the North, like Tolkein’s books. I’ve brought in all of those things, mixed it up. I have leaned heavily on the Irish myth and history, but if I like something from somewhere else, I pull it in. Like using the word elves. Even though you as a reader may not realize it, when I did that, I dipped into Germanic stories.

Now why would I do that? Why would I not stick strictly to one mythology or another. Maybe it’s because I see the links in all the myths. They all have elves, even if they don’t call them that name. What’s in a name? Is it the way something is defined? Or is it the thing itself?

I don’t believe that. If an elf were to visit, and someone called him an “elf” in one land and a “shining one” in another land, then it doesn’t change what he himself is. I see the fae mythology as seeping into all cultures. So to me the race of fae, elves, shining ones visited all those places and the people there called them what they would. Made up stories about them. Perhaps only saw some of them and filtered their understanding through their culture.

That’s why I gave my “elves” their own name. Elvatian. Like humans they are a species. They have different cultures and colors and racial characteristics. Some are taller, some are shorter. They have political groups, like the Fir Bolg and the Tuathan. Those names I borrowed from Irish history, but in the future I’ll be borrowing from other culture’s as well.And then there are the lesser fae. Like the Elvatian they come from a separate place of being, not Earth. But they aren’t elvatian. They are the gnomes, and the trolls, and the troll-kin. Their own races with whatever mixed skills and magics I choose to give them.

the dark huntsman by jessica aspenAnd I did all of this on purpose. Yes. I said it. On purpose. Because, unlike that person on the loop, I think all of you can stretch your imaginations behind the rules of each individual culture. I think you can understand that the elvatian, who cross the boundaries of time and place using portals, wouldn’t be bound to one small island or one small continent. They explor our world, and other worlds via the passages in Underhill and the portals, and maybe even through other ways we haven’t even seen yet.

A species like that isn’t limited. And that’s why I broke the rules.

There’s a saying in the writing world, and you hear it all the time. Know and understand the rule before you break it.

Bah! Just crash through them, baby!

I’m currently immersed in Broken Mirror and the amazing impossibilities of crossing cultures. By mixing and mingling fairytales I get to play in different cultures and make my own world rules. Who knew playing creator could be so fun! Hope you are having fun this summer too!

 

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Filed under Fae, Fantasy Romance, Tales of the Black Court, Thursdays Bite, Writer's Journey

WARNING- Cliffhangers ahead!

Moonday Mania

a blog for readers and writers of all shapes and styles

Should your books come with a warning label? Should the publisher or author post it right on the front cover that you are heading for dangerous waters and need a puffy orange life jacket to navigate the rapids ahead? I think so. Definitely in the case of New York Times bestselling author Karen Marie Moning‘s urban fantasy Fever series.

I started off the series innocently enough. I’ve been putting off reading them as I am writing a fae fantasy romance series, Tales of the Black Court, and I haven’t wanted to mix up my world building. But my fae romance world is holding steady, I have The Dark Huntsman finished and Prince By Blood and Bone in a complete rough draft, so I decided to treat myself. Thank romance that I waited until her entire series was finished because even though I loved every page there are some major cliffhangers!

dark fever by karen marie moningBook one, Dark Fever, was complete in itself. I enjoyed it. Dark and with some nice twists on the fae that I appreciated it made me anxious to read the next book, but I didn’t feel like I was left suspended. Not so with book two, Blood Fever. Blood Fever left me hanging by my fingers, heading for a drop. But, once again, I could handle it. Luckily I had book three, Fae Fever ready to go, so I didn’t feel too cheated.

But then I read Fae Fever and was left not just heading towards the rapids, but swimming without a life vest in the dark waters with the sound of the rapids dead ahead.

Major cliffhanger!

I’m lucky. This series is complete and I’m able to read the books one after another, but I can imagine how upset readers were with having to wait for the next book, and the next one, because I am assured that Dream Fever also has an ending that makes you want to turn the page… but there is no page to turn.

I asked this question on an author’s loop that I am a member of: do you leave cliff hangers at the end of a book that is part of a series? Does this upset your readers?

The answer yes- readers get upset. Don’t to it. Unless…

Unless you have the next book ready to go and can get it to your readers hot, anxious, sweaty hands in record time. And don’t do it in romance. I have to agree. If your book is a romance, like my books, the relationship should not end on a cliffhanger. Once you do that you are out of the romance category and into something else. Urban fantasy, mystery series, maybe even serial women’s fiction…if there is such a thing. HEAs (Happily Ever Afters) are essential for romance. Or at least HFNs (Happy For Now).

But what about series threads? Can you have a cliffhanger in a romance series thread?

The consensus was not a cliffhanger, per se, but definitely leave some dangling threads.

In the Tales from the Black Court, that’s what I’ve done. I’ve kept some suspense throughout the series, but no romance cliffhangers.  All my couples get there HEA or at least an HFN. What about you?

shadow fever by karen marie moningDo you love cliffhangers? Karen Marie Moning has made it work for her. Her Fever series is very popular and fans raced out to buy Shadow Fever and find out what happens in the end of the series. And I have to admit, I loved her writing. I can’t wait to find out what happens and it woldn’t deter me from reading more of her books. But I might delay. Just in case.

Would you keep reading a series that left you scrabbling by your fingertips? Or would you get mad and give up? Have you ever been stuck waiting a year for a book that left you hanging?

Want information about the release of my new books?  Subscribe to my new release only mailing list where I promise to only send information on new releases and special sales- and not to clog your inbox.

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Filed under Fae, Moonday mania, writing craft

Discovering Self Publishing

Moonday Mania

a blog for writers of all shapes and sizes

Back in late 2009 I finished my first full length novel, The Dark Huntsman (originally titled The Queen’s Huntsman). But I had no clue what to do with it. My chapter members urged me to submit it for publishing, so I pulled on the big girl boots and sent it off to a few agents and editors. Over the course of 2010 I began to receive my very first (very nice) rejections. So sad.

With This Ring

Submitting your baby to agents and editors is like proposing to someone and having them respond, “I’ll be back to you in six to eight weeks.” So you wait, and you wait, and you wait. And they never get back to you. Meanwhile the rest of the world is getting hooked up. Spring is coming, weddings are being planned, and you sit home every Friday night with only the TV and Ben and Jerry’s for company. Finally you screw your courage to the sticking place and write a follow up letter, asking (okay, trying not to grovel, but also trying not to offend because you are secretly pissed off) asking the guy (editor) if he has even looked at your proposal (manuscript). Only to find out he hasn’t even looked at your letter yet. Or worse, he doesn’t even respond.

I went through it all.

Three re-writes later, three years later, and after lots of maybes… I finally received the acceptance letter! Woot!

But…

I didn’t like the contract. Not one bit. Which was a real shame because I truly wanted to work with that editor. But oh well, that is the way this business goes.

So now I was faced with a decision. It was now 2013 and time was flying by. Fairy tales are HOT! But they won’t stay hot forever, so I want to get this book out now. Do I go through another round of submissions? Do I wait months for someone to reject my work, or even accept my work, but then hand me an unacceptable contract? Is there a valid reason for doing that with this book?

I don’t think so.

I’ve taken an amazing class on self publishing from Amy Atwell and Kelli Finger at Author EMS and once again I’m pulling on the big girl boots, but this time I’m putting on my coat and hat and am venturing out on my own. I’ve hired an editor. I’ll be hiring a copy editor for the nitty gritty work as well as a cover artist (because if it’s up to me it would be a very ugly cover!) and the book will be out this fall!

Check back for updates on the saga. So far book one  Tales of the Black Court: The Dark Huntsman, , is due back from developmental edits June 1st. I’ll work on those, consider a second round, then send it off for copy edits. Meanwhile the cover is next on my agenda, as is finishing book two, Prince by Blood and Bone, and outlining book three, Broken Mirror.

I’m on my way!

Have you ever considered self publishing? Why? What would be the catalyst for breaking free of the traditional expectations of our industry for you? Or have you already taken the plunge? What made you do it? Was it the uniqueness of your book? Was it timeing? Was it simply getting tired of rejections while other people continued to tell you how great your book really was?

I’ll be updating my journey here, so check back!

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Filed under Fae, Moonday mania, self publishing, witches, Writer's Journey

Lori Corsentino and Why She LOVEs Writing Paranormal

Thursdays Bite

a paranormal blog

Why I LOVE Writing Paranormal

by Lori Corsentino

Why not? It’s an amazing genre to write. The only limits you have are the ones you put upon yourself. You can have werewolves, vampires, witches, aliens, or like me, the fey as characters in your books. You can have combinations of two or more supernatural characters. I know some authors are now writing about mythical creatures of old – gods and goddesses and the like. Another up and coming trend are stories based on well-known fairy tales. Both of these trends are going to create an amazing wave, I think. I can’t wait to see what comes of it!

When you write paranormal, you do have to have rules, of course, and you must abide by them. The really fun part is giving each rule your own interpretation. For example take the absolute rule that vampires must stay out of the sun. You’ve seen it in all the movies, and read it in all the books. In Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight series, her vampires avoid the sun because they shimmer and thus, give themselves away. In Charlaine Harris’ Sookie Stackhouse novels, the vampires have a completely different reason – the sun will burn and kill them. I love it that you can take a generally accepted “rule” and give your special twist on it. You get to tell your take of the story. That’s definitely one of my favorite parts of writing paranormal.

When I first started to write my novella Evelyn, which is the basis of Destiny’s Awakening, I pulled rules and the basis of another world from an unfinished piece that I began almost 4 years ago. I then thought about the best way to get my hero and heroine together in a short time frame, and make every minute count. One of my favorite fairy tales came to mind – Sleeping Beauty. I decided to pull elements of that story into mine, and then twist them to make it my own. That was the most fun, I think. Putting my own brand on it. I also took it one step further. A simple kiss would not do for my characters. When it’s life and death, you simply have to have more at stake.

Here’s an excerpt for your enjoyment. I took a bit of a fairy tale, and a typical belief about the Fey and made it my own.

destiny's awanening by lori corsentino

Buy Destiny’s Awakening Here

When she was close enough to reach his face, Evie braced her hands on his shoulders, straddled his waist, and sat on the edge of the silver plate that protected his torso. The cold metal bit into the soft flesh of her thighs and butt even through the thick denim of the jeans she wore. She squirmed and tried to find a more comfortable position. Heat spread to every point in her body. A delicious fever shimmered from her core and urged her forward. Finally, she found a niche where she was close enough to reach his lips, but where her tender bottom wasn’t being molested by his armor. She relaxed her muscles as best she could. She was here, in place, and within reach. It was time to kiss him. She took a deep breath and steeled herself for the next step. Still, she hesitated.

Maybe she should talk to him.

“You know, if someone had told me this morning I was going to meet a handsome Prince and I was going to kiss him, never in a million years would I have believed them.” The words rushed out in a long, breathless sentence. She gazed at the intoxicating man beneath her. There was no response. “I’m sorry to do this to you,” she told him, “but I have to kiss you and maybe bring you back to life.” The maybe bring him back to life was the best part. Then he could send her home. She was confident she had what it took to kiss him properly and get him awake. A dark realization rained on her parade. Reggie had said it might not work. She may not be his Ms. Wright come to awaken him. There may be someone else out there who was his one true love. The image of him with another woman stirred the little bit of jealously deep within her back to life. The emotion gave her the kick she needed to kiss him and prove she could break this sleep thing.

She raised a hand to smooth a stray lock of dark gold hair back from his forehead. It was soft and thick. The touch of the glossy strands against her over-sensitized fingertips nearly burned. That mere touch brought images of her running her fingers passionately through his hair, then pausing to hold his head still so she could plunder his mouth.

She raised herself up and sat hard on the armor. There they were again. Those lustful, carnal thoughts. She didn’t need to hold anything still. The man was comatose. He wasn’t going anywhere.

Through her erotic haze, a simple thought occurred to her. Did the Fey really have pointed ears, or was it just a myth? Was that why Reggie had wanted to see hers? If Mr. Hottie Prince here had pointed ears, then everything she’d been told up to this point was very likely true. He was a Fey Prince in an enchanted sleep. But what if they were rounded at the top? If they were, Reggie had some serious explaining to do.

She reached out and moved the golden hair away from his ear. She inhaled sharply. It was no joke. He had the cutest little points on his ears.

Damn.

I truly enjoyed creating the world for Destiny’s Awakening, and am looking forward to expanding on that in the next two books of the trilogy. I hope you enjoy reading this first installment, and look forward to the next!

All my best –

Lori Corsentino

Bio:

Lori’s love of reading has transcended to include penning her own tales of romance. She is experimenting with writing in several different genres, including paranormal – a definite favorite. “There is just so much you can do when you step outside the known world,” she explains “and creating a paranormal story allows you to take yourself and your readers anywhere your imagination wants to go!”

Destiny’s Awakening is Lori’s first foray into the “Tales of the Fey” paranormal romance trilogy. Visit her website at www.loricorsentino.com and follow her on Twitter @LoriCorsentino and on Facebook.com/LoriCorsentino. Also check out her blog weekly for a Manic Monday, Wicked Writer Wednesday, or Favorite Friday entry.

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Filed under fairy tales, guest post, Thursdays Bite

What in the BLEEEP Do I Write?

Thursdays Bite (on Friday)

a paranormal blog

Due to the added post on Tuesday for the first challenger of the Third Writers Platform-Building Campaign (click HERE for post) Thursday’s Bite has been delayed till today (Friday). Thanks for your understanding!

I say I write paranormal fiction, but is that exactly true? After reading Is it Paranormal, Supernatural, or Preternatural? by author Elijana Kindel on Paranormal Freebies I began to wonder. I write twisted Fairy Tales, like Little Red Riding Wolf and The Queen’s Huntsman. I also am currently writing a darker non fairytale linked series of werewolf stories. Do these qualify as paranormal by Elijana’s definitions.

PARANORMAL…that which lies outside the range of normal experience or scientific experience.

SUPERNATURAL… anything above or beyond what one holds to be natural or exists outside natural law and the observable universe.

PRETERNATURAL…that which is outside or beyond the natural and is believed to have a rational explanation for its occurrence.

Are werewolves and elves and witches outside the range of normal experience. I’d have to say yes. Are they outside natural law? I asked Elijana about werewolves and vampires and here is what she said:

“Weres and Vamps would actually fall into the Preternatural camp. Because they’ve got a finite range of abilities and they have (if the paranormal world is built correctly) a rational explanation for their existence. It might be genetic–or magical–or whatever, but there is a reason why they exist.”

So why do we call it “paranormal” fiction when it is really about preternatural creatures?

Here is my view:

It’s because of the universe. If you use our basic universe and our basic rules, stay on our planet and stay (mostly) in our time period. We label it paranormal, because it is within our normal range of experience.

If you go to other worlds without reference to our modern normal world, its fantasy. And if you go to other planets and too much in the future, it’s science fiction and you need to have reasonable solid science (okay, not perfect science, but believable within the worldbuilding).

So when is it urban fantasy?

Here is Wikipedia‘s definition:

Urban fantasy is a sub-genre of fantasy defined by place; the fantastic narrative has an urban setting. Many urban fantasies are set in contemporary times and contain supernatural elements. However, the stories can take place in historical, modern, or futuristic periods. The prerequisite is that they must be primarily set in a city.[1]

Doesn’t that sound like paranormal? When I looked at Wikipedia’s definition of paranormal fiction it sounded like it included urban fantasy, not that they were separate and distinct genres.

Which leads me to believe that even though my twisted fairy tales have werewolves in a modern setting, as do my newer WIP’s, and even though I write about elves and witches and magic. I can cover it all by calling myself a paranormal romance author.

What is your view? Do you have a distinct idea of what paranormal is versus urban fantasy? Do you only read one or the other or do you read a wide eclectic variety like me?

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Filed under roots of paranormal romance, Thursdays Bite, Werewolves and the Fae