Tag Archives: fantasy

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

Sneak Peek Sunday-10/5-The Dark Huntsman no.1

Sneak Peek Sunday

sneak peek sundayOctober is the one year book birthday of my venture into fantasy romance so the Sneak Peaks for October are into The Dark Huntsman, A Fantasy Romance of the Black Court.

And, for the first two weeks of October, The Dark Huntsman, is on sale for 99 cents! Check it out on:

Buy  at Amazon  B&N  Kobo  iTunes  or all romance ebooks

(Paperback available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble)

 

The Dark Huntsman

A Fantasy Romance of the Black Court

sneak peak

 

Sudden light burned into Logan’s face and his eyes flinched shut. He forced his shaking arm up and hid behind it as he tried to remember where he was. Cold seeped into his aching body from the uneven stone floor as he stayed under his arm and hid from the torchlight, staggered at the realization that he was alive. Weak, wobbly, and defenseless. But alive.

A heavy hobnailed boot kicked him in the side. “Here ‘e is sir.”

He groaned and curled into a ball, peering up through long matted and tangled hair at a heavyset chuckling troll with only one working eye. “I got ‘im out of the hole yesterday, but ‘e’s still not in good shape.” Another rusty laugh came from the troll. “But I guess that’s to be expected after fifteen year’n the hole.”

Fifteen years. Had it been so long?

Logan barely heard the troll’s dissertation on oubliettes, prisoners, and rates of death. Had he been in hibernieth, the Elvetian form of stasis, for fifteen years? What had happened to his friends and family? What had happened to the prince between now and the day their world had collapsed? The day he’d been stuffed into his tiny damp prison?

He pushed up on burning arms, collapsing in a panting heap. The troll laughed and kicked him again. Logan lay on the hard stone mentally apologizing to his clan and liege for his weaknesses. He had no strength to face whatever death was to come. His fate was sealed.

≈≈≈

Check out next Sunday for another snippet from chapter one!

It’s October and The Dark Huntsman’s Book Birthday! I’m celebrating with tons of October events. Click HERE to see what’s going on.

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

the dark huntsman by jessica aspen

Add to Goodreads Shelf

 Buy on Amazon

Buy on All Romance Ebooks

Buy on Barnes and Noble

Buy on Kobo

Buy on iTunes

≈≈≈

Check out next Sunday for another snippet from chapter one!

 

Want to check out September’s Sneak Peeks into my new contemporary, Gothic, holiday romance, Ghosts of Christmas Past?

Ghostly Peek No. 1

Ghostly Peek No. 2

Ghostly Peek No. 3

Ghostly Peek No. 4

Want to see other author’s peeks this week? Click HERE for the list!

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 book sale, Fantasy Romance, Sneak Peek Sunday, The Dark Huntsman

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

What is Fantasy Romance?

Thursday’s Bite

a fantasy romance blog

prince by blood and bone by jessica aspenBefore we dive into the blog, I have to share.  Prince by Blood and Bone, A Fantasy Romance of the Black Court, received FIVE STARS from Night Owl Reviews. 

WOOT!

“As a huge fan of fairy tales, I had no doubt that I would simply adore this series. What makes them even better and much more intriguing is the darkness that is woven so skillfully throughout them. Prince by Blood and Bone is the second novel in the ever so thrilling Tales of the Black Court trilogy by author Jessica Aspen, and let me say, this novel is awesome!”  night owl reviews top pick

Now on to the topic for today: What is “fantasy romance”?  Isn’t there romance in all fantasy novels? And why is or isn’t it paranormal romance? How did it get it’s own label?

 

When I started writing The Dark Huntsman there was fantasy and there was romance. Paranormal romance had just become something that might be a genre, and very soon it exploded into a genre packed with werewolves and vampires, and a smattering of elves and fairy tales, but on the whole, there wasn’t much fantasy in the romance genre. Now, fantasy romance is it’s own genre, but it’s still a tiny slice of the romance pie. When you search for it, very little actually comes up, and you end up with fantasy stories that have some romance in them being mixed in with mid-evil romances and Gothic romances.

Despite all of that, fantasy romance is a genre. Look, it even has a definition on Wikipedia!

Romantic fantasy is a subgenre of fantasy fiction, describing a fantasy story using many of the elements and conventions of the romance genre.[1]

One of the key features of romantic fantasy involves the focus on relationships, social, political, and romantic.[2] Romantic fantasy has been published by both fantasy lines and romance lines.

Some publishers distinguish between “romantic fantasy” where the romance is most important and “fantasy romance” where the fantasy elements are most important.[1] Others say that “the borderline between fantasy romance and romantic fantasy has essentially ceased to exist, or if it’s still there, it’s moving back and forth constantly”.[3]  From Wikipedia, romantic fantasy

Even by the time I published The Dark Huntsman I ran into some hurdles with calling it a fantasy romance. Entering it in contests, fantasy romance wasn’t always listed. I had to enter it in competition with other types of paranormal romance and sci-fi romance. That works for me, because I feel like fantasy romance is a sub-genre of paranormal romance.

Paranormal romance is a sub-genre of both romantic fiction and speculative fiction. Paranormal romance focuses on romantic love and includes elements beyond the range of scientific explanation, blending together themes from the speculative fiction genres of fantasyscience fiction, and horror. Paranormal romance may range from traditional category romances, such as those published by Harlequin Mills & Boon, with a paranormal setting to stories where the main emphasis is on a science fiction or fantasy based plot with a romantic subplot included. Common hallmarks are romantic relationships between humans and vampires, shapeshifters, ghosts, and other entities of a fantastic or otherworldly nature. From Wikipedia, paranormal romance

That’s great, because I’ve defined myself as a paranormal romance writer. I twist fairy tales, but I also write about werewolves, shapeshifters, and witches. With a few elves thrown in for good measure. Keeping my writing in the realm of paranormal keeps me within a genre that I’m hoping will encourage my readers from one series to stretch to reading the next series. In other words, if you like paranormal romance, you should like the fantasy romances.

See how that works?

Keeping the romance the strong part of my author brand lets me stretch my fairy tale twists from Radon, Colorado all the way to Underhill. And that’s fun for me, and (hopefully!) fun for the reader. Have you read fantasy romances? What authors or series to you like? What did you like about them? Were they heavy on the romance, or were they heavy on the fantasy?

Want to find out when my latest fantasy romance is coming out? Subscribe to my new release only mailing list. Only new release information and special sales will be sent out so you don’t have to worry about me clogging up your inbox.

 

 

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Filed under Fantasy Romance, Prince by Blood and Bone, Tales of the Black Court, Thursdays Bite, Writer's Journey

Red The Were Hunter by Rebekah Garniere

Thursdays Bite

a fairy tale blog

Please welcome Rebekah Garniere to Jessica Aspen Writes. Like me, she twists fairy tales into romances, and her first book in her series is based on Little Red Riding Hood. And like me, she incorporated werewolves. That’s where the similarities end. Check out, Red the Were Hunter.

Red The Were Hunter is the first in nine fairytale retellings that are all woven together in the same world. When I started out I only had the idea for Red and that was all. But then I started thinking of all the other cool fairytales out there and thought it would be fun to weave them all together in a fairytale land called Fairelle. There’s a mythos behind the entire world of how they used to be all humans and united under one banner. But when the king was about to die, his four sons called forth a demon to grant them each a single wish so they would have superiority and be able to rule the kingdom alone. However, the demon twisted their wishes to his own purposes and transformed the four brothers into four different races. Werewolf, vampire, fae and neriad. From there a war broke out dividing and devastating the world. Red The Were Hunter begins many centuries after that war.

 

In the nineties there was a miniseries called the 10th Kingdom. It did a similar thing, weaving the stories together. I loved that miniseries, but was bummed that the series only followed a few main characters. So I decided that in my series I would make each book about a different couple and their story. The characters weave in and out of each other’s books though. They all know each other in one way or another, or are connected through mutual friends. For instance, in Red The Were Hunter you see a vampire named Sage. He is the vampire prince from Snow The Vampire Slayer. And one of Snow’s brothers is the hero of the third book, Zelle and the Tower. I found that a fun way to write them

 

It’s hard working in the original fairytales. If you look at what movie companies have done to the original fairytales over the years, you find few similarities. I found, that for me, the best way was to tell my own stories in my own style, and for grown ups. My brothers, in Snow The Vampire Slayer, are not like the seven dwarfs of Snow White done by Disney. My Rapunzelle from Zelle and the Tower, is not like the Rapunzelle of old. My females are take charge women, rarely are they damsels in distress. My men are heroes, but most come with baggage, and they aren’t always nice. However I do try and put elements from the original stories in that people will recognize. Things like, Red’s cloak. The apple from Snow White. Zelle’s long hair. Things like that. But I think the best way to try and do a fairytale retelling is to make the story your own and give it a new twist on an old theme. So what’s your favorite fairy tale?

 

 

red the were hunter coverRED THE WERE HUNTER

 

What if you were the key to an ancient prophecy that would begin to heal your lands, but fulfilling your destiny meant you had to turn your back on everything you’d been taught to believe in?

Redlynn of Volkzene, member of the Sisterhood of Red, is heartbroken to discover another  girl kidnapped and her best friend slain by werewolves. Defying the head of her order, she sets out to kill the beast she believes responsible.  The King of the Weres– But there are worse things in Wolvenglen Forest than the wolves.

Adrian, reluctant heir to the throne of Wolvenglen, and his band of wolf brothers are bound to protect the humans; especially the Sisterhood. Finding Redlynn unconscious in his woods, awakens in him a passion he’s never before experienced and a protective instinct that has him ready to turn on his own men. Problem is, a female is the last thing Adrian needs complicating his life.  

But all is not as it seems in Wolvenglen Forest and to save the missing girls before time runs out, Redlynn and Adrian must move past their inner demons and learn to trust each other. In the search for vengeance however, sometimes you must give up what you desire most.

EXCERPT:

Redlynn whipped her head from side to side. Where am I? Pain exploded in her neck; she tried to reach up with her left arm, but it was pinned to her stomach. It’d been strapped in place by a strip of red cloth. Why am I half-naked? Her tunic and cloak were gone. So was her locket. Redlynn looked around frantically for her locket. Pain hit her in waves, confusing her and forcing her to breathe deeply. She refused to cry.

            Trying to process her surroundings, the fight with the Were flooded back to her. Shockingly, it seemed she wasn’t dead, she was alive, and in someone’s very richly furnished bedroom. She wiped at her face with her right hand, her vision muddled.

            Stone walls surrounded the large, mahogany, four-poster bed she lay upon. Dark, heavy curtains were partially drawn at the end of the bed. On either side, two ancient and beautiful nightstands held ornately carved glass oil lamps. A fire crackled, its golden glow peeking in the gaps of the curtains.

            Redlynn maneuvered herself to the side of the bed and set her feet on the floor. It was colder than her wooden planks at home. Slowly she scooted off the downy mattress, and tried to steady herself on one of the posts. She weakened, the blood draining from her head, her legs wobbling beneath her.

            On the floor lay her cloak. She stooped to pick it up, but lost her balance. At the last minute, she braced herself on the stone wall and avoided its colliding with her face. Taking a deep breath, she steadied herself once more and slowly reached down for the cloak, pressing herself into the stone for support. It took her several minutes to get the clasps buckled so that she was covered almost to her waist.

            By the time she finished, her body shook like she’d tried to pull a wagon by herself. A bead of sweat trickled down the side of her face. Sucking in a deep breath, she tried to clear her mind and listen for sounds. A faint rhythmical buzzing cam e from somewhere near the fire. Pushing past the end of the bed, she saw a large man asleep at a table.

            His head was tilted to the side and long, wavy black hair fell over his eyes and chiseled features. His large and strong form was set with broad shoulders and a powerfully built frame. He’d fallen asleep in his linen shirt and breeches, with his boots still on. A flutter settled in her stomach, the same surge of adrenaline she got before a fight. He was snoring. What was he doing there?

            Confused, Redlynn wasn’t sure if it was her fighting instincts kicking in, or something else all together. Part of her wanted to know what his lips would feel like on hers. Another part wanted to run.

            What the hell is wrong with you? You’d think you’d never seen a man before. She swallowed hard. She hadn’t.Not a man like him.

            She searched for an exit and found it to the far left of the room. The sleeping man didn’t look like he was guarding her, but why would he be in the same room with her, if he weren’t? She scanned the room for her things. Her pack, bow and quiver were nowhere to be found. If she were going to break out, she needed a weapon.

            On the table lay a tray with an empty plate, a knife, fork and spoon. Redlynn inched toward the knife. The closer she got to him, the more drawn she was to him. She stopped, a foot from the table.

            Keep it together! He’s only a man, and obviously your guard. For all you know, he could be a murderer!

            She slid her good hand across the polished wooden surface. As she reached for the knife, her collarbone burned with pain. She stumbled, tripping over her cloak and crashing into the plate.

            The man was up in an instant. Rising, his chair clattered to the ground. Redlynn grabbed hold of the knife and held it out in front of herself, backing away. It took him a moment to comprehend what was going on. He stared at her, not moving. She shook like a rabbit. He had golden eyes.     

            “Your . . .  your eyes,” she whispered.

            “What’s wrong with them?”

            “They . . .  They’re gold.”    

            “They’re brown.”

            “No . . .  No, they aren’t.” She shook her head. “They’re golden… just like—”

            “Like yours,” he murmured.

            Redlynn nodded, her head fuzzy, and her knees wobbly. She blinked several times. His eyes were brown. They had golden flecks in them, but they were definitely brown.

            “You’ve had a bad wound. You should rest.”

            “I have to leave. I have something I need to do.”

            “Do you remember what happened?”

            “Where am I?”

            “In Wolvenglen.”

            “Who in their right mind would live in Wolvenglen? Don’t you know there are Weres out here?”

            “Please, put down the knife.” He motioned to the knife Redlynn had forgotten she was pointing at him.

            She glanced at it and weighed it in her hand. It was solid. Her hunting knife was larger, but she could make do with it if need be.

            “Where are my things? I need to go.”

            “Hanna, our healer, will bring them in the morning when she comes to check on you, and bring you a change of clothes.”          

            Still holding the knife, she reached up and touched her collarbone, underneath her cloak. A bandage covered the wound. It was tender. Peeling it away, she assessed what she could see of the damage.

            “I wouldn’t do that,” he warned.

            Redlynn gave him a hard stare and went back to inspecting the wound. She stuck her fingers in the salve and rolled it between her thumb and forefinger, smelling it.

            “Comfrey and calendula.” Pulling at the green leaves, she winced as they ripped a piece of skin and seeped. Smelling the leaves, she put them in her mouth and chewed them before spitting them out. “Fernblend. Did she do that?”

            “No, I did.”

            “Don’t you know you have to keep it wet?”

            “I thought saving your life was more important,” he bit back. “You were in bad shape when I found you.”

            “Well when I scrub it off, I am going to wish I were dead. Where did you find me, anyway?”

            “Listen.” He took a deep breath. His eyes softened and his voice gentled. “I was trying to help you. It was one of the few things I remember my mother teaching me about herbs.”

            “Your mother’s a healer?”

            “Was. Now, will you please lie down before you pass out? You lost a lot of blood.”

            “I’ve had worse,” Redlynn lied. “I need to get my things and be on my way.”

            “You need to rest. You can barely hold that knife, let alone walk through the forest.”

            “I’ll be fine.”

            He stepped out of her way. “Very well. You are free to leave.” He motioned to the door.

            Was this a joke? Was he really going to let her go? Gripping the knife, she took several steady steps toward the exit before her knees buckled. He caught her around the waist, sending a shockwave of tingles through her body.

            His musky scent mixed in her nostrils and her head lightened again. His body wasn’t just warm, it was hot; he was a fire in his own right.

            “Let go,” she said softly.

            “I was merely keeping you from further injuring yourself.”

            His light blue tunic opened in a “v” and his chiseled, hairless chest peaked out beneath. Her eyes locked with his. He hadn’t shaved in a day or two; the whiskers looked ruggedly good on him. His face wore an expression she’d never seen aimed at her before. Desire. The butterflies in her stomach danced and spun. His face was so close as he studied her features.

            “Please, let go,” she choked.

 

rebekah garniereAUTHOR INFO:

Rebekah is an award winning author. Her first novel Dead Awakenings, debuted in January 2014. Red the Were Hunter, the first in her Farielle Series, will be published May 1, 2014. Her trilogy The Society will be released in early 2015 by Kensington’s Lyrical Press. Rebekah is the VP of Communications of the RWA FFP Chapter as well as a member of her local Los Angeles and Orange County Chapters. In her spare time when she isn’t writing you can find her moderating on Savvy Authors.com and in her local SCV Writers group, or hanging out with her husband, four children and dog, rabbit, two bearded dragons, three tortoises and a handful of fish. The escaped snake has yet to be found.

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Filed under Fae, fairy tales, guest post, Thursdays Bite, Vampires, Werewolves and the Fae

Justified

Thursdays Bite

inspiration, justified style

FYI I have my fantasy romance, The Dark Huntsman, on a Goodreads Giveaway. And I’ve included international! If you are interested in a print copy of my book then hop on over to Goodreads and enter the Giveaway, HERE.

For the last few Thursdays Bites I’ve shared some of my paranormal TV faves. This week’s show isn’t  paranormal, romantic, or fantasy, but I think it is so amazing, that I just have to share. If you are interested in the posts on other shows that I watch, you can check out my Vikings post HERE and the Long Island Medium HERE.

Justified.

How can you not love that title. And the song that opens it up is so not my music, but I love it, too. It’s rap and hillbilly combined, perfect for a show about the darkest side of Kentucky hill country.

I’ve read stories set in rural mountains before. In, Christy, the very sweet school teacher come to the mountains to share her knowledge with the poor folk. The shadowy mysteries of Sharyn McCrumb combine death with a hint of supernatural and are well worth the read. But I’ve never read the books that inspired this series, by author Elmore Leonard, and now that I watch it, I want to. Oh, yes, I want to.

I’ve been trying to figure out what is it about this show that captivates me, and I’ve narrowed it down to a few things. One is the villains. They are so real. They are bad, very bad. In fact, this is not a show I let my kids near. But, if you want to see bad guys made not only real, but likeable, watch Justified. Every person has a dark side. Every person makes mistakes. But these guys do some horrible things. And you feel for them while they are doing it. All of the bad guys have soft sides. They have mothers who need to be taken care of, or they are in love with their girlfriends. They grew up abused and just want some of the good life. I have never seen a show, or even read a book, that takes as much time developing it’s villains as it’s heroes as Justified.

timothy olyphant

The gritty and super-sexy Timothy Olyphant plays flawed hero Raylan Givens in Justified.

Maybe it’s Deputy US Marshal Raylan Givens (best name ever for a hero). Raylan is played by sexy (and Emmy nominated) Timothy Olyphant. If you want a deeply flawed hero, full of complexities, this is your show. Even when he’s making those bad, bad, bad choices, he’s motivated by the right things in life. Protection of children, women, and his family. His deep loyalty to his friends, the Marshal service, and the people of the area he grew up with, make many of his decisions conflicted. He knows they often have no choice but to live like they do. Or, that they don’t think they have a choice. Or, why should they? They always get screwed.

And of course there is Boyd Crowder (played by Walton Goggins). He’s both Raylan’s ex-best friend and the closest thing to family he has. We shouldn’t like Boyd, he’s got some terrible things in his past, and he does terrible things on a regular basis, but when things go wrong for Boyd I still find myself rooting for him. Why? I think, once again, it’s because the writers have done an amazing job showing his motivations. How do you make a drug-dealing murderer sympathetic? That is a tough order, but Justified has done it. I don’t think he’s right and I wouldn’t want to actually know him, but I understand him. He loves, he hates, and he’s not only trying to survive, but to thrive.

One of my favorite characters is Dewey Crowe. He is super pathetic. Nothing every goes right for Dewey. This season he was sent to kill a man who is one of his childhood friends, and it was painful to watch. And funny. It was while watching this horrible scene, and realizing it was funny, that I knew this show had true genius. Only Justified gives us slapstick comedy during such a dark scene as a man trying to kill an unsuspecting friend. It’s horrible, it’s amazing, and it’s something I can’t turn off. I think it’s because in real life, when things get bad, and I mean really bad, we still laugh. Dark laughter, without any real amusement, but it’s still there. Not many shows will go there. This one does.

I have a last reason why I think this show is incredible. I watch a lot of mysteries and suspense on TV. One thing you can count on is they won’t kill the kids or hostages. There will always be a satisfying ending. And the good guys win in the end. You will not have that watching Justified. Favorite characters are always at risk. They could kill off any one of them, with the exception of Raylan Givens, and the show would still go on. Just as in real life, the hero doesn’t always win, and when he does win, there is usually a price.

If you haven’t watched Justified from the beginning, I’m not sure you’ll be able to just jump in. I recommend getting on Netflix or Hulu and starting from episode one. I think it’s the type of show, that if you try to jump in now,  not only will you be lost in the complex plot, but you will miss out on the building of these characters. I think it is well worth your time. But don’t be deceived. It is a violent, dark, extreme show. Don’t watch it with your kids. Don’t watch it expecting a glow. Watch it because you can’t not watch.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Dark Huntsman by Jessica Aspen

The Dark Huntsman

by Jessica Aspen

Giveaway ends February 28, 2014.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

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Filed under About the Author, paranormal inspiration, Thursdays Bite, Writer's Journey

The Differences Between Gnomes

Thursdays Bite

a paranormal blog

When writing fantasy romance, like the Tales of the Black Court series, an author has to work within a familiar concept and yet make it her own. One of the ways I’ve done that is I have taken common fantasy creatures and not only used them within my books, but I’ve changed them up a little.

Take goblins. Most of the public is familiar with the goblins from Harry Potter, the bankers of the Wizarding World. But that’s JK Rowling’s interpretation of goblins. Not every writer has to utilize that, and in fact, it’s a very specific interpretation of goblins, so not every writer should utilize it. The idea of goblins as wearing suits and running businesses is a clever way to go, but it’s not classic.

George MacDonaldMy first introduction to goblins, and to fairy tales in general, was through my mother. She had a very large, very old, very much loved book called, The Princess and the Goblin, by George MacDonald. For those of you who may not know, George MacDonald was an inspiration for authors like JR Tolkien, Lloyd Alexander, and CS Lewis. He wrote original tales where good triumphed over evil and who a person was underneath was what mattered most.

The goblins in MacDonald’s books live deep in the mines and are scary, creepy creatures, who don’t come out into the daylight and will GET YOU! if you are not careful. I loved that book and when it comes to goblin inspiration its one of my main resources. Because of that, my goblins are natural underground dwellers. And they are creepy. But I still needed to give them my own twist.

In my fantasy world of Underhill, there are goblins, brownies and three types of gnomes. Today I’m focusing on the gnomes because in my world there are several varieties. In The Dark Huntsman, Trina and Logan question a garden gnome, one of the wild gnomes you can find everywhere in Underhill living among the tiny flower fairies and conducting their own business of catching fish and living off of the land, or inhabiting the land near houses and working in their gardens for a bit of extra money.

Then there are the common grey cave dwellers, who are small, a little weak, and not as bright. You might think of them as the worker gnome. At around 3 feet tall they have flat faces and round bulbous eyes. They’re coloring is all the same, if you had a roomful of them it would be difficult to tell them apart. They most commonly live in small groups and tend to be pushed by the powers that be of Underhill.

Next, there are the Galentian gnomes. These are tall gnomes, five to five and a half feet. The Galentian gnomes have an entire society of their own. They live in large communal groups that reside underground in warrens. My book, Prince by Blood and Bone, takes place partially in an abandoned warren that was one of their largest, most complex palaces, Cairngloss. Located in what is nominally callled the North it was abandoned when the White Queen moved in and took over the area and brought the extreme cold with her. Galentian gnomes like more moderate climates.

The last type of gnome is the Scalian gnome. Reclusive and bookish, they run just under the height of the Galentian gnomes, with the occasional very tall one as tall as the tallest Galentian gnome. It is rumored that they are closely related. Not much is known about them, but they are extremely smart, and are occasionally used as consultants by the peerage of Underhill.

I’ve featured gnomes, especially Beezel, a common cave gnome, in Prince by Blood and Bone. It’s been fun to create my own version of gnomes, brownies, and elves, even though it takes time to make sure you have all your details correct. If it weren’t for my extensive fantasy reading over the years, I might be afraid to expand my universe and try new traits and features out for what are common terms, but thanks to creative authors over the years, I’m not. I’m happy to spin large tales with surprising characters and creative back-stories.

What sort of fantasy do you read? Are you familiar with other types of gnomes, trolls, and goblins? Are you willing to jump from author universe to author universe, or are you a rules-person-rigidly adhering to the one set of rules you were familiar with when growing up?

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Filed under Fantasy Romance, paranormal inspiration, Prince by Blood and Bone, The Dark Huntsman, Thursdays Bite

The Top Three Questions Bloggers Ask Authors

Moonday Mania

a blog of questions for the questioner

the dark huntsman blog tourI’m on an author BLOG TOUR for The Dark Huntsman, A Fantasy Romance of the Black Court, and one of the things I’ve noticed after doing several interviews is that most bloggers ask similar questions. So I decided to answer them here, just in case you missed my answers elsewhere. And of course these answers have a few twists of their own.

Here are the top three questions bloggers ask romance authors:

-Where did you find your inspiration?

For this one they are usually asking about the inspiration for the book itself, but sometimes it’s general. Inspiration for The Dark Huntsman came from desperation. I wasn’t sure what to write, so I chose a fairy tale to twist. Then I had to make it different, so it started to spin itself. I loved the idea of a series, so I had the three MacElvy cousins, Trina, Cassie and Bryanna. But wow! That made it difficult. Especially when I sat down to write Prince by Blood and Bone, book two and Bryanna’s story. I had a series idea, but I had to make it new and fresh and yet connect to book one and three. That’s where I really had to dig for inspiration. Thank goodness book two is super close to being done. I’m anxiously waiting on the cover and will be getting it off to the last editor very soon. A month late, but that’s the way the inspiration crumbles.

-Do you ever get writer’s block?

I always say no. Which isn’t exactly true. Writer’s block, to me, is sitting there not writing. And I never do that. There is always something to write. I can skip to another scene or chapter. I can write down something terrible and know I can come back and fix it later. And, if desperate, I can go to another book and write that. Sometimes I’ve even been known to blog. But I don’t sit there staring at the computer wailing about my writer’s block. So not me! How would anything get done?

I approach life that way too. If I can’t clean the kitchen because someone is in there, I go clean the living room. There is always another job to do in my life, far too many of them are left undone, and writing is the same way. Too much to do to be sitting there doing nothing!

-What do you love/hate about writing?

I love writing. I hate writing. Even though I don’t let myself have writer’s block, that doesn’t mean it’s always easy. Getting started on a project is tough. Today I’m struggling with writing the blurb for Prince by Blood and Bone. I have one, I just don’t like it, so I tweak it. And tweak it. Then tweak it some more. The hardest thing about writing is the perfectionism. ALL the writers I know have it. They never think the book is ready, or good, or done. But we have to send it out at some time.

And I don’t want to do anything else. I’ve done jobs I’ve truly hated, and this isn’t one of them. Even on the worst day I would rather be here staring at my computer and frustrated with my words, than doing something else. Okay, I always want to be on the beach and on vacation. Just reading. Or off socializing at the coffee shop. But it’s the love of writing that keeps me in the chair. If you don’t have that, you can’t finish a book. You can’t break that writer’s block. And you don’t get the next book done. And it’s always about the next book.

I hope you enjoyed my mini-interview for my blog tour. You can check out the rest of my tour and discover all the other questions HERE and enter the contest by leaving a comment. There are some killer reviews of The Dark Huntsman, as well as some interviews where the questions are more varied and my answers may be a little different. That’s the thing about asking a writer a question, the answer is always different. 

Did I miss a question? What would you like to ask me? Ask away and you’ll be entered in my contest, check the tour page for details of prizes and rules.

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Filed under About the Author, Bloghops, Moonday mania

I Read Fantasy #99cent Fantasy Romance #Sale!

Thursdays Bite

(okay, it’s Wednesday, but this was too good to miss!)

This is the first of TWO 99cent Fantasy promotions this December. If you love fantasy and you love romance, December is your lucky month. Today through December 7th you’ll get the chance to only pay 99cents for some fabulous books and authors, and don’t forget to enter at Rafflecopter for the chance to win a fabulous prizes! Fantasy Romance Sale and Giveaway

 

 And there is even more. Starting December 1th-14th there will be MORE Fantasy Romance on sale, including The Dark Huntsman and a second Rafflecopter drawing. If you’ve been waiting to buy a copy, now is the time!

Join my mailing list! Get the scoop on new releases, sales, plus the chance to win ARCs and participate in special giveaways. I’ll be sending out a special mailing as a reminder for this sale on the 11th, so sign up today so you don’t miss out!

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Filed under book sale, Book Sales, Fantasy Romance, romance, Thursdays Bite

Hunting for a Dark & Delicious Read

Had to share the terrific post and book review of The Dark Huntsman,  from award winning author Sherry Isaac.

Hunting for a Dark & Delicious Read.

via Hunting for a Dark & Delicious Read.

And check out Lynn Cahoon‘s blog from yesterday. I had fun tying her Council Series in with my Tales of the Black Court.

Last but not least we are Trick or Treating through the end of the month for fabulous prizes. Click here to discover how to enter to win a Kindle Paperwhite and loads of books and terrific Halloween swag.halloween toombstones

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Filed under Bloghops, guest post, The Dark Huntsman