03 September 2013

NEW RELEASES!

It's that time again! New releases up for sale!

First up? 


BLUTJAGDFRAU LOST (A Night Warriors History) is available in ebook from Phaze.

BLURB-
Rajicorin's mate has gone beast and released the Stone to the traitors.

The only way she'll live to hold her son is if she leaves the Warrior village behind and keeps herself hidden from both sides.

The war refugees believe Raji is a great sorceress, and legends of her spread. But the Stone is playing one of Her twisted games. Raji is carrying not just a son but also a daughter.

Orphaned at birth and left to be raised by the barbarian refugees, Korji and Ahdia have no idea which dark giants are friends and which are foes. It is up to Taigh and his family to win their trust and bring the lost children of Ani home to the Warriors.

And...


MAGMON'S LOVER (Fire and Ice #2) is also available in ebook from Phaze.

BLURB-
Before Karliss Furia, Magmon's Vessel, was presented to his Ician, he had to be trained to seduce a skittish virgin.

Rostana Renald was gods-crafted for such pursuits. Rostana came to the temple in Magmalen, hoping to be trained by the priests in lovemaking, but when Zaden is less than pleased about her pursuits, she finds herself in the arms of Zaden's father, Councilor Gabel Tiben. He's a man nearly three times her age, but he's fire between the sheets.

While Rostana is sure society will prevent such a match, Gabel will not be denied. After knowing the touch of a god, Rostana responds to him. What more proof does anyone need that she is destined for him?


Phaze should additionally be re-releasing the first book in the Fire and Ice Series, Magmon's Hunger, with a new matching cover soon. Isn't it gorgeous?

15 August 2013

The Perception of Romance and Sexism

I read a great article today! You can find the link to it here. I applaud the writers. I hope they continue with their study. Ladies... You've hit the nail on the head but not gone far enough. Let me give you some examples.

When my first novel (a two-book serial novel) was released, I overhead one of my beta readers (a gent with degrees in foreign languages and English) tell a friend on the phone: "Yes, there is a romance IN it, but you just have to read this plot." When I entered a SF/F/H contest that had recently added a romance category, I found myself unable to enter in that category, though my book had a romance co-plot, because their definition of romance included: "There are two POV characters in the book. The characters are rather two-dimensional and are not changed significantly by the experiences they have in the book."

 

You see, there exists a series of gross misconceptions surrounding romance. To be specific...
 

1. "Romance has a standard plotline (the formula), chosen from a short list of popular formulas." People liken writing romance to tossing a bowling ball down a lane with bumpers. That's not true. A more accurate description of writing romance, just as when writing ANY genre of work, is that you have a football field worth of room and can move in any direction. The idea that romance will have a HEA/HFN and will involve a romantic couple is no more restrictive than the idea that a mystery will involve a crime that is successfully solved.

2. "Romance is lacking in characterization." Beyond the fact that any successful romance MUST have solid characterization and realistic goals and motivations, you're not even limited to two main characters (or one or two more if it's erotic romance with menage). With writers like myself, who write in heavily cross-genre worlds, you may find books that span the epic fantasy line and contain (as my first book did) in excess of 20 POV characters, only two of whom were in a romantic relationship (though they were the two of the four central characters in the book).

3. "Romance is fluffy, brainless tripe." Mind you, I had one reader (who clearly expected that sort of book) complain to me that my books made her think too much. I never thought it was possible to think too much. To over think a situation? Yes. To think too much? Not so much. As for fluffy? Also not true. I have written a novella that ended up with a review stating: "This is definitely not a "feel good" light kind of read. This story is filled with tortured souls, lost love, and the inhumanity of man. It explores the darker part of life; from torture, bought women, and the struggle for power, we gain an insight of how a favored warrior can become a beast." (Chere Gruver for Sensual Romance) Moreover, I met a professional reviewer who'd reviewed one of my non-HEA love stories (for RT Magazine) THREE YEARS earlier. She not only remembered the details of the book, but she said: "I cried at the drop of a hat for three weeks. The book was so good, I read it four times in those three weeks." (Not every romance genre reader is looking for escapist fiction, and darker romance does exist in the market.) I once wrote a novel in which every main character was dead at the end, and it was the happiest thing that could have happened to them...sort of an atypical HEA. The book was described by a reviewer as: "the story of love, honor and betrayal unfolding against the ruthless backdrop of the warriors’ lives, mortal risks and immortal souls being at the stake." (Daria for Romance Junkies- 4 Ribbons)

And it's not just me writing gritty, realistic romance. Sherrilyn Kenyon took grief for the amount of torture in ACHERON, from some quarters. It was over the top, but his life of suffering was supposed to be over the top. I compare the people who complain about that book to the ones shocked and horrified at "The Red Wedding" in Game of Thrones. Personally, I saw the rebound on Robb Stark coming a mile away and knew it would be ugly when it landed. Mind you, though most of my books are romance cross-genres, I consider myself a SF/F/H/P author first and romance author second, but my readers come primarily from the romance pool.

4. "Romance writers write it because they can't write other genres." This also includes the "it's easy" concept. That is clearly written by people who want to believe it. It's not true of every romance writer. I started off writing poetry and non-fiction articles. I moved from there into short stories, none of which were romance. Romance and novels are the two late-comers to a very long writing life for me. I have written plenty of work that was not romance in nature, including straight genre SF/F/H. In fact, the world building in my romance cross-genres is no less strenuous than it is in my straight-genre writing. I've written straight-genre stories in my romance cross-genre worlds, and I write in 24 series worlds (including an overarching universe that contains 3 of those worlds), 23 of which already have books out on them (12 releases out in the most populated one so far).

Now... Why do these things continue? They continue because some of the more-established genres (like SF/F/H) still have an "old guard" of well-known males dominating the airwaves. I'm not anti-men or anything like that, but when there are entire blogs dedicated to how female authors in the field are "ruining" their male institution of writing in "their" genre, a war of the sexes has the stage ready set. If you read the statistics kept by BroadUniverse, you will find that sexism in the genre continues today. Since those voices already have a ready-made audience hanging on their every word, it is easy for these persons to perpetuate old stereotypes. The latest SFWA blow-up about sexism is a good example. As a woman, I was not offended by the initial picture and comments in the bulletin (by Mike Resnick and Barry Malzberg), though some were. But when they responded to the flurry, they made it worse and instead of saying something as simple (and probably true) as: "We didn't realize what we said would be taken as offensive.", they used their popularity and platform to attack all women who WERE offended instead. That comes off as misogynistic and high-handed. dismissive of the feelings of others (and certainly of their work, seeing as how they worded their attack on writing women), and that's the way I see the issue of dismissing everything written by women and for women as well.

How can we stop it? We live in a rape culture, where women's rights to proper medical care are at stake, where women STILL do not earn equal pay for equal work, and we wonder why we can't stop demeaning statements about a woman's work in an established field? I don't see an end to it in the near future, sadly. Destroying these established stereotypes means destroying the mindset behind them, and bigotry is hard to burn out of a culture.


Quick additional edit: I know many MEN who write in the M/F romance field (and women who write M/M, as well), some with female pen names, some with male, and some with gender non-specific or leading initials, obscuring gender identification. Keep in mind that the backlash against romance is unilateral, whether the author is male, female, or undisclosed.

08 August 2013

Promo day coming up (with prizes!)...

Don't forget! Tomorrow (9 Aug 2013), I'll be at the LR Cafe and More Yahoogroup! I'll be talking about books, having contests, and basically hanging out.

06 August 2013

NEW RELEASES!



I've got a ton of new releases at Phaze Books this summer and more coming soon!  And remember! All books (print and ebook) are 20% off at Phaze until Sept 30. Just enter the code SUN at checkout!






DAAHN RISING (Xxan War #1)

Available in Print and eBook from Phaze Books! This title is an anthology re-release from the series.

BLURB- MATING SEASON- It's mating season. Zondra Daahn has hit her quickening with both feet and no warning. She's on the prowl for a male to sate her, and Evan Duncan is just the overbearing, alpha male she needs.

There are just a few little problems...

****

CLOSE ENOUGH TO HUMAN- Miri Johns is a negotiator for the Xxan. When it all blows up, she finds herself captured by humans, an illegal crossbred experiment used as a weapon against them. The best she can hope for is that they'll kill her without torturing her too badly first.

Aleeks Daahn is a natural-born crossbreed, raised on Earth. With Miri at the height of fertility, Aleeks may not be able to control the Xxan need to Dominate and claim his young prisoner. Nor does he want to control it. Are two crossbred Xxanians close enough to human to survive in the human world?







CROSSBRED SON (Xxan War #2)


Available in eBook from Phaze Books! This is a new story from the series.

BLURB- Diagnosed with a chronic reproductive problem that would prevent her from having children, Abby walked away from Gabe and her dreams of a life as his mate.

Then came the curve ball. She was pregnant with his child, a child that the human doctors assured her would miscarry before viability.

What's a girl to do? Tell Gabe and force him to mourn a child that couldn't possibly survive or try to carry their son alone and face heartbreak the same way?

No brainer. Or so she thought.

Not only did Michael survive, he thrived. Now Abby is a single Hauaa to a Xxanian crossbred child, in a world where anti-Xxan guerillas are looking for the next reason to attack...and with no clue how she's going to explain the situation to Gabe.



DREAM WALK (Sanctum #1)
Available in eBook at Phaze Books!

BLURB-From the age of five, all of Sanctum has known Jaden would marry the Mage Lord's eldest female heir, but Rachel has no interest in being Jaden's mate. In fact, she denies that she is Jaden's mate and insists that the Mage Prophet who foretold it was wrong.

As a Dream-Walker, Jaden can enter the dreams of anyone who asks for his help. The only dreams he can enter uninvited are those of his mate. But when he's drawn into his mate's dreams, he finds much more than he bargained for. His mate is in danger...and she isn't Rachel. He discovers that Lara is the Mage Lord's eldest female heir, an heir no one within Sanctum knew existed.

Now it's a race against time. A rogue wants Sanctum, and Lara is his way in, if he gets to her before Jaden can.



THE LADY'S LOWBORN LOVER (Kielan #1)
Available in eBook from Phaze Books! This is a re-release title.

BLURB-Lady Riann Summer-Night's programs to help the lowborn find matches has brought Jaesin Park and his bond-brother Matty to a fine inn in Hanford.

Alia Autumn fears this meeting day will be her last; if she fails to find a mate or bond-sister in the morning, her high born family may decide she's unmatchable.

Being in a high-stress situation and close proximity are all these two need to find each other...or is it?




TIME CURRENTS (Kielan #2)
Available in eBook from Phaze Books! This is a re-release title.

BLURB- Lord Sevryn is home for a visit with his intemperate mother and spoiled siblings. Between rants about lowborns, courtesy of his mother, Sev makes a wondrous discovery; one of the maids his mother hired in his absence is his Goddess-destined soulmate.  

Or is she? Bettina is his soulmate, to be sure, but otherwise she's not what she seems. Her reasons for avoiding Sev are complicated. Mates don't hide things from one another, and there is a lot Bettina is hiding. For one thing, she's not lowborn. Raised in the lap of luxury, she decided to run rather than embrace a power that threatens her mind and heart.

23 May 2013

Suspsension of Disbelief

In an old post I wrote on building a character, I covered the fact that there is a certain unbelievability built into plot and characters, imposed by the editors and publishers an author works with. Just because an author has met people who are that petty, that stupid...the author has seen that precise combination of unlikely events fall into place in real life does not mean the publisher or editor will find it believable.

A conglomerate author I know recently wrote a blog post about the book she has out this month. One of the earlier editors her agent sent the book to rejected it because (no kidding) "Amnesia isn't real. It's a fake thing authors add to their books to ramp up the suspense." (paraphrased from the original) The irony? The author herself suffered traumatic amnesia in which she lost a week of her life when she was a child. She has never regained those memories. The character's situation she wrote about was directly modeled on her own experiences. But the editor wouldn't consider it, because the editor's nit is a staunch belief that amnesia is not real. Or at least that amnesia as most authors without intimate knowledge of amnesia write it is not real and, therefore, it's not worth reading the whole book to see how it's been handled by an individual author.

Sadly, this editor is not alone. One particular editor recently stated on his blog that he doesn't think amnesia, autism, or Asperger's (which shows his ignorance, since that is a type of autism) are "real." In fact, he reinforced this, when he stated that Tourette's is "real," but he doesn't believe authors should use that in books either. While it's rather pathetic that these people have the power to enforce their lack of knowledge on an entire publishing line worth of readers, there's no way to stop publishers from hiring them, so you have to work within the boundaries or find a smarter editor elsewhere. I'd prefer to find a smarter editor, personally.
 
The problem isn't whether the author would consider it believable (unless the author is self-publishing and has no one playing gate keeper). The problem is whether the editor/publisher will consider it believable. When you've got editors turning down books because they don't believe things that are factual could happen in real life, you've got to invest in what "most" or "your average" person will think is believable. Beta readers are good for catching this type of thing, which I why (when I still used beta readers) mine were of a mixed bag of professions, places they lived, and even religions.
  
ALL editors/publishers (conglomerate or indie press) have their own set of "facts" and "figures" they trust are correct. I know I spend time correcting my editors when they think my facts are incorrect. Just keep a cool head while you're doing it. A sense of humor helps as well, since I've had to correct editors who believed things like...

* Women aren't allowed to have sex in the third trimester of pregnancy.
* The terms the Army uses for things are the same as the terms the Navy uses.

You can see how some of these could get amusing or frustrating, I'm sure.

Even if it gets published, the editors will be looking at these kinds of things, because readers will have the same nits. 

I've worked in offices in four states (none of them NY) and NEVER had flip-flops in the office. I don't question that another author that claims to have seen it has, but I do highly suggest that the author write in a ready-made line to explain it initially, to avoid problems down the line. Ironically, I have worked in offices where steel-toed work boots or steel-toed dress shoes were par for the course, because even the office staff had to walk through the production areas, but if I write it into the story, I'd make a point of explaining it. Unless you're going to write a line explaining that it's common in that area of the country or in that particular industry (maybe the character finds it odd as well, at first glance), be prepared for someone to question you on what kind of office allows or requires such atypical office dress. 

That doesn't mean the editor/publisher won't allow you to keep it in the story, but they may ask you to explain it in the text of the story. Having the line in there initially (realizing the need for such explanation) forestalls the chance that the publisher will reject the story outright without even asking you about it in editing. These sort of culture/knowledge-base clashes can be pervasive in trying to sign and put out a book with a publisher and in working with an editor. Things you know are true will be questioned and require explanation to make them "believable" to a more general audience.

You've heard the phrase "suspension of disbelief" before, I'm sure? That's not just talking about realism in writing science fiction/fantasy/paranormal/horror. It's talking about immersing the editor/publisher/reader so deeply in your story (even a contemporary story) they don't get thrown out of it by something they can't believe, even if it really exists. 

One of the reasons some of the sexual gymnastics authors write don't go over well is that the readers spend half the time trying to figure out if that's physically possible or even if someone could be tied in that position for more than five minutes without cramping so badly that nothing done after it would be comfortable. Maybe the author has done the position before, but if most people can't do it, they're going to question it. Not everyone out there is a contortionist, after all.

It's one of the down sides of writing. Even if you've met people that petty, that flexible, that stupid...seen exactly that unbelievable chain of events happen in real life...that doesn't mean the editor/publisher/reader is going to believe it could happen. I'm not saying to fixate on it. I'm saying to always keep in mind that other people don't have your particular life experiences and will try to broad brush THEIR life experiences onto what they read, so taking the time to immerse them is worth the thought.

22 May 2013

NEW RELEASE DAY!


It's an excellent day. I have a new release out from Phaze! It's a new world for me too.

DREAM WALK (Sanctum Series #1)- 
From the age of five, all of Sanctum has known Jaden would marry the Mage Lord's eldest female heir, but Rachel has no interest in being Jaden's mate. In fact, she denies that she is Jaden's mate and insists that the Mage Prophet who foretold it was wrong.

As a Dream-Walker, Jaden can enter the dreams of anyone who asks for his help. The only dreams he can enter uninvited are those of his mate. But when he's drawn into his mate's dreams, he finds much more than he bargained for. His mate is in danger...and she isn't Rachel. He discovers that Lara is the Mage Lord's eldest female heir, an heir no one within Sanctum knew existed.

Now it's a race against time. A rogue wants Sanctum, and Lara is his way in, if he gets to her before Jaden can.

Excerpt-
“Have you recovered well from your nightmare, Rachel?” Jaden expected Rachel to concede defeat, however grudgingly. She was his mate, and his ability to walk her dreams without an invitation to do so proved it.

The look of venom she shot him announced the fight wasn’t over yet. Her words sank in slowly.

“I didn’t have a nightmare, Jaden. Lying about this won’t work. Call in a Truth-Sayer, if you wish. Or a Mind Healer. Either one can testify to the fact I am being truthful. You are not my mate.”

Jaden opened his mouth to protest the accusation that he was being underhanded, and she offered her palm in silent order to keep quiet.

“I don’t care what the Mage Prophet said, and I don’t care that you and my father believe her. She. Is. Wrong.” With that, Rachel rose smoothly and sauntered out of the room.

Jaden wanted to shake the truth from her. He wanted to growl and shout, to throw the crystal tableware against the wall, and maybe even to hit someone. Hard.

Reeve sighed. “You walked her dreams without an invitation to do so?”

“Yes, I did.”

Reeve shot a scowl after his daughter. “There really isn’t a question then.”

He offered Rachel’s father a weak smile. “Thank you for believing me.” If Reeve thought he’d lied, life would get complicated quickly. As Mage Lord, Reeve had the power to banish Jaden from Sanctum without even waiting for a trying by the Truth-Sayer.

“The Mage Prophet is never wrong, Jaden. Rachel is your mate. Sooner or later, she must accept that.”

A new idea occurred to him. “They’re not wrong, but they don’t always tell us the whole story. They offer puzzles and riddles as well as facts.”
Reeve leaned toward him. “What are you thinking?”

“What if...” He was being presumptuous, he was sure.

“Go on?” Reeve steepled his fingers and sat back in his chair.

Jaden took a drink of his coffee, composing himself. “What if Rachel hasn’t been ready to be my mate until now? What if my dream walk is the first indication that she might be becoming ready?”

Reeve’s brow furrowed. “In what way?”

“Perhaps her powers are evolving...changing somehow. Some young mages develop additional powers or expand them in their mid to late twenties.” That might be why neither of Reeve’s children—nor either of his granddaughters—had displayed the Lord’s power yet.

“The Mage Healers said Rachel’s powers had set. There is no fluctuation.” There was a note of finality in that, a warning that Reeve would not stand for further discussion on the matter.

“Not her powers then,” Jaden conceded. “A precipitating event, perhaps?”

Reeve tensed minutely. “Of what sort?”

“I don’t know,” he admitted.

There was a moment of tense silence. “I will seek answers from the Mage Prophet this Worship Day.”

Jaden tipped his head in thanks and took his leave. There was no possibility Rachel would choose to spend more time with him today.

****

“Come back here, you little bitch!”

Lara ran faster, her body aching, her lungs and heart working hard. Day and night, awake and asleep, she ran from him. How did Gart keep finding her?

On one level, Lara knew she was dreaming. She should be able to snap herself out of this or rewrite the dream, since it was lucid dreaming. 

Somehow, she had done so the night before, but she didn’t know how.

If I did, I would repeat it. Anything has to be better than running from Gart in my dreams, even lack of sleep.

On another level, Lara knew dreams weren’t safe. Gart could track her in dreams. He was tracking her in dreams.

And I have awakened with injuries he inflicts before.

“You’re mine, Lara. You know you’re mine.”

Oh, Mother. How could you do this to me?

In twenty-six years, her mother hadn’t mentioned a word about the betrothal. At the reading of her mother’s will, the magar had revealed the document her mother had signed on the day of Lara’s birth.

According to the magar, it was unbreakable. Lara was promised in marriage to a man nearly twice her age. She’d guess he was; in truth, Lara was basing that on Gart’s appearance. She knew nothing about him but his cruelty and his name, so all she could do was guess.

That and his legal claim on me. In essence, Gart owned Lara. She and everything that was hers—meager as that was—was his.

But not the opposite.

“I will find you. I will not be denied,” he warned.

Gart appeared before her as if by magic, his hand closing around her wrist and tightening.

Lara wrenched against his hold, desperate to escape him. She didn’t question what Gart was doing. They’d played this game for almost two weeks.

As if in confirmation, he chuckled darkly. “New York. You thought you could lose yourself in a crowd?”

Her breathing went strangled, and Lara shook her head. He’d tracked her again. She had to move.

Fast. Lara didn’t question where she’d go. She’d simply run. As far as the money will go, and then I’ll walk. Anything that kept Gart away from her was what she would have to do.

As if he could pick that thought from her mind, Gart’s face hardened. “Stay where you are, Lara. Don’t make this more difficult than it has to be.”

That unglued her tongue. “Difficult? I have crossed half the world to escape a madman intent on—”

He slapped her hard enough to send flashes of color through her field of vision. The copper tang of blood invaded her mouth.

Gart opened his mouth to say something, but a roar of rage eclipsed it. His hand loosened, and he turned away.

Lara didn’t waste time wondering what was happening. She was momentarily free. Her heart pounding in fear, she ran.

When I wake, I’ll have to run in the physical world. He’d touched her. He knew where she was.

****

His enemy recoiled, ducking Jaden’s blow.

A mocking smile curved the man’s lips. “A little Dream-Walker,” he taunted. “Did she call for help, Dream-Walker?”

“Clearly,” he lied. His energy is mage in nature. He’s not a part of Rachel’s dream; he’s an invader in it. He knows I’m a Dream-Walker. As long as he doesn’t know I’m Rachel’s mate, I have an advantage.

Jaden’s mind worked at this complication. He’d thought Rachel’s nightmare had been a natural dream. It wasn’t, which left him with the questions of who the mage was and how he found his way into Rachel’s dreams. For that matter, what sort of rogue terrorized another this way?

Rogue! That was the answer. Whoever he was and whatever his aim, he was no doubt a rogue out for revenge against Reeve, using Rachel to find it.

“You have no business here, Dream-Walker.” There was a threat couched in that.

“She asked for my aid. That is my business, by design of the Goddess Mother Herself.”

“How old are you, boy?” He sneered at Jaden. “Thirty...at most?”

“It is of no consequence, rogue.” It was, if the mage he faced was markedly older. If his powers have matured into a master mage’s abilities.
As if in answer, his opponent materialized a scythe. It wasn’t a young mage’s power. A mage would have to be twice Jaden’s twenty-nine years to do that.

At least.

A scythe. A scythe is a Tracker’s weapon. So, he’s a Tracker.

“Stay and die, Dream-Walker.”

The weapon arced toward Jaden, and he dodged too slowly. The slice across his bicep was excruciating, nearly painful enough to make Jaden lose his concentration.

That was unacceptable. If he lost concentration, Jaden would be catapulted out of Rachel’s dream realm, and that would leave her defenseless against the rogue.

The next two arcs missed entirely, but Jaden admitted to himself that he was outmatched. This was an old and accomplished mage who wasn’t adverse to the idea of killing him.

Jaden needed help. He needed—

Rachel!

He didn’t translocate to her within the dream realm, as he should have. Jaden sidestepped another blow, confused by his failure. This was Rachel’s dream. If she’d awakened, he would have been catapulted to his own dream world. A Tracker didn’t have the power to bind Jaden in the dream realm or to siphon his powers, no matter how accomplished he was.

Then why did I fail?

At a loss to explain it, Jaden pictured Rachel as he’d seen her moments ago. He reached his consciousness out into the construct of her dream, snagged her essence...

And translocated.

She hit him at a run, and they went down together in a tangle of limbs. A panicked little shout left her lips, and she raised her head to stare at him, her blue eyes going wide. Her face paled around the rising bruise the rogue had left.

“W-who are you?” she asked. “I know you. The beach...last night—”

A roar let Jaden know the Tracker was in motion and closing on them.

“Who is he, Rachel? Who is the Tracker?” And why haven’t you told your father about this?

She tried to push away from him, and Jaden held her close. They had no time for games. Didn’t she know that?

“Answer me, Rachel,” he demanded. “Who is he?” There was no question Jaden would need Reeve’s help, and knowing their shared enemy was essential.

“Let me go. He’s coming. Can’t you feel it?” Her eyes went wide and wild, and her struggling increased.

The Tracker barreled toward them from the dark recesses of her dreaming mind, and Jaden translocated them away. He cursed his inability to change her dream parameters with the Tracker fully engaged on his prey. If Jaden was older, he would be unparalleled in this realm. He would be able to evict the Tracker from her dream and even to wake Rachel from dreamtime to protect her.

“Who is he, Rachel? I must know, so I can stop him.”

She glared at him, an expression he knew well. “I’m. Not. Rachel.”

“What?” If she didn’t think she was Rachel, who did she think she was? And why would she not recognize herself in her own dream realm? Was it some trick?

If it was, how would the Tracker trick her dream self into the delusion? Short of him working with a rogue Illusionist, there was no way Jaden knew of to manage that.

She started struggling more earnestly. “Let me go!”

The Tracker reappeared, grumbling curses. Jaden translocated them again.

“He’s engaged now. He’ll find us faster every time I translocate us,” he warned her.

“Exactly. Let me go.” Rachel tried to push him off.

Jaden hoisted her up with him, wincing at the kick to his shin. “Stop that,” he growled. “Rachel, use your powers. When he shows up again, siphon his powers. Leave him helpless, and I can stop him.” At least for tonight.
“I can’t do that,” she snapped. “And, I’m not Rachel.”

The Tracker headed for them with a battle cry that warned he was going to kill Jaden at his first opportunity.

“What can you do?” Jaden countered, bracing himself for another jump. Surely, her delusion didn’t include her being powerless, trapped in a dream without her magic. Whatever she believed she could do was as real in here as her actual magic was in the physical world.

Rachel gaped at him for a moment. Her gaze snapped to the Tracker, and she wrenched her left hand from Jaden’s grasp. Before he could translocate them again, the outlay of her magic stunned him to stillness.

The Tracker flew the opposite direction with a grunt of pain. In the distance, something that sounded like glass crashed. The dream melted to a mist that told Jaden she was semiconscious. His hands were abruptly empty, as she took the first steps toward consciousness.

Realization was a moment behind. She’d woken herself by breaking something in the physical world with her magic.

The Lord’s power. Either Rachel was developing new powers, or this really wasn’t Rachel.

Perhaps not. He couldn’t state it definitively until he was certain. Perhaps Rachel had locked onto her father’s power in her befuddled state. It was a dream, after all, and she could use whatever she believed was real within the dream.

I have to get her out of here before the Tracker returns. The answers to all his questions could wait.

“Wake now,” he ordered her. “But call for me when you fear the Tracker is near. My name is Jaden.”

She whispered it back to him.

And woke.

Jaden levered his eyes open, trembling, bathed in sweat. He pushed from the bed, his arm complaining the still-weeping wound the Tracker had inflicted in her dream.

He was weak from the outlay of magic and in need of rest, but visions of Rachel covered in bruises haunted him. If the Tracker had marked her as well—which he didn’t doubt—he would have his proof.

And reason enough to kill the rogue.

Jaden scooped his boots from the floor and headed into the rising sun.

18 January 2013

Release time!

On cloud nine today, because it's a big release week! I have two releases this week.

First up? TIME CURRENTS from Phaze (already available for download)... For those not familiar with this series, this is the second book in the Kielan series, an offshoot of the Kegin series, via the Council of Worlds. Over the next few Kegin books, you'll start seeing the Keen and Kielan interacting in books together. The first story in the Kielan series is THE LADY'S LOWBORN LOVER.

Blurb for TIME CURRENTS: 
Lord Sevryn is home for a visit with his intemperate mother and spoiled siblings. Between rants about lowborns, courtesy of his mother, Sev makes a wondrous discovery; one of the maids his mother hired in his absence is his Goddess-destined soulmate.  

Or is she? Bettina is his soulmate, to be sure, but otherwise she's not what she seems. Her reasons for avoiding Sev are complicated. Mates don't hide things from one another, and there is a lot Bettina is hiding. For one thing, she's not lowborn. Raised in the lap of luxury, she decided to run rather than embrace a power that threatens her mind and heart.



And the second? Releasing this evening at 8 pm EST from Silver Publishing...AND IT WAS GOOD. This is a new world for my readers. At the moment, she's a stand-alone, but my readers know I sometimes find more to say and end up with a series.

Blurb for AND IT WAS GOOD:
Raised in the temple by servants and trained daily in sacred technology, the godlings lead a fiercely competitive but pampered lifestyle. Those who are fast, precise, and aloof are worthy of the GODs' continued attention. Those who fail mysteriously disappear.

When an aging GOD-Node must be retired, everything changes. Thrust into close quarters with members of the opposite sex for the first time in their lives, Julee and Staphan's un-GODlike desires may set them up for failure.

Or maybe it will free them to reap rewards beyond their wildest dreams.
  
 

17 December 2012

New Art!

I've got new art! Isn't she gorgeous? Reese Dante always seems to come up with the most fabulous artwork.
 
For those interested, AND IT WAS GOOD is up for presale at Silver Publishing
 
Don't forget to check out my other books at Silver while you're there. 
 
You'll find ALL'S FAIR... (book one in the It's All Greek to Me Series...available in ebook and audio book), UNEXPECTED DADDY (book one in the Unexpected Daddies series), and even some free reads!
 
For those who like my Angel-Wing Saga, there is a free read posted on Silver called "Clipped Wings." Be sure not to miss it!