31 July 2008

change of title

You may notice that one of my titles has recently changed.

Originally, Gregory L. Norris and I were going to do an anthology of revisited (i.e. urban fantasy), unsanitized Grimms' tales titled ONCE UPON A TIME...YESTERDAY. When all was said and done, we'd each come up with between 65K and 75K of work for the anthology. They were all fabulous stories, and Greg's were interconnected, which meant we couldn't just drop anything out. So, rather than release a single 140K monster of a book, Terri at UTM decided to release two separate anthologies--one of Greg's work and one of mine, connected by theme.

Long story short? We obviously didn't want to have two books with a single title, and Greg's portion fit better with the YESTERDAY part, since his contains a time travel to the past and a generational type of story, including both past and present. All of my stories are set in the current time or thereabouts. After much deliberation, Terri decided that Greg would keep ONCE UPON A TIME...YESTERDAY, and my anthology will be titled ONCE UPON A TIME...TODAY.

30 July 2008

UPDATED release schedule

You're going to notice some changes, of course. I have tentative dates for TYGERS and all the Grimms' stories I've written from UTM, for instance.

You'll notice that I have at least one release a month from July 2008 through March 2009. The Fall/Winter releases should end up somewhere in that range, as well. That comes out to 14 releases in 9 months. One of the down sides to having so many publishers is that they may all schedule you at the same time. It's never been this bad before, but...hey. It happens. I may have to push a few back a bit. So, stand by for more changes.

July 2008:

Last Chance for Love (K1) in e-book and print from Phaze

August 2008:

Fates Magic (FW1) from Phaze

September 2008:

Rites of Mating (K2) from Phaze

October 2008:

Matchmaker's Misery (K3) from Phaze

"Catch Me, If You Can" from Mojocastle/UTM e

November 2008:

Double Image (K4) from Phaze


December 2008:

"Three Wishes" from Mojocastle/UTM e

Fall/Winter 2008:

Written In The Stars (SM1) from Mundania Press, LLC.

"One-Hour Burial" in Pretty Scary from Dark Hart Press

January 2009:

Restrained (K5) from Phaze

February 2009:

"The Temptation of Eve" from Mojocastle/UTM e

March 2009:

Alien Encounters (K6) from Phaze

Once Upon A Time...Today in print from UTM (includes "Catch Me, If You Can," "Three Wishes," and "The Temptation of Eve")

Spring/Summer 2009:

Monsters of Myth from Mundania Press, LLC.

"Melting The Ice Queen" in Forbidden Love: Fire and Ice from UTM

Renegade's Run (REN2) from UTM

More coming soon!




"LAST CHANCE FOR LOVE is an ambitious, lengthy Sci-Fi/Fantasy Romance that truly delivers! Ms. Lyons does an excellent job of creating the world of Kegin, giving it customs, mores, language and life while keeping it believable and realistic. Her character creation is also fantastic as even secondary characters are well rounded and ready to jump off the pages. The plot contains mystery, romance, adventure, betrayal, redemption and love—both for mates and family. I really loved the depth of this story, it was engrossing and although too long to read in one sitting, I was always anxious to return and find out what happened next. Each section had new facets to recommend it; Susan and Jole's story sets the stage and setting and I feel is the most romantic, Mik and Danellan's story the most heartwarming, Alex and Lyssa's is the most exciting and Pyter's the most heartbreaking. The romance is exciting, sensual and sexy and although graphic I truly would consider LAST CHANCE FOR LOVE to be erotic romance as opposed to erotica. Since this is touted as Book One, I can honestly say I am looking forward to reading Book Two as I would be very happy to revisit this world again!"
Reviewed by Sandi Potterton for Dark Angel Reviews 4.5 Pixies!

To purchase LAST CHANCE FOR LOVE, now available in both print and e-book, visit Phaze!

18 July 2008

first time in print

Not me, of course. I've been in print a few dozen times now. No, I'm talking about one of my best-loved worlds (Kegin) and books (LAST CHANCE FOR LOVE). A Dream Realm Award Finalist in 2003, the book has been re-edited and now includes the matching novella SECOND SON. For the first time ever, this book has released in print from PHAZE! An e-book version is also available, for those who didn't catch the stories the first time around and prefer e-book.

What's the story with Kegin? Simply put, Kegin is separated into several distinct timelines...the legendary/mythological Kegin stories, the historical Kegin stories (including THE LAST OF FION'S DAUGHTERS and CONQUEST), and the contemporary Kegin stories (including LAST CHANCE FOR LOVE).

In the contemporary timeline, Kegin is a world fighting back genetic decay and attempting to cross-breed genetically-strong women to save their world.That wouldn't be quite so traumatic to the women if they knew what they were and were raised to the idea, but they weren't. Once they reach adulthood, the age of 20, they are brought through the gateway to Kegin on the next gateway cycle and presented to their mates, problematic at best...and all the worse when the American government becomes aware that there are aliens living on Earth.

The current game plan is to release the next 6 books in the series in quick succession, so those who've started with LCFL and RITES OF MATING (EPPIE Finalist 2006) will get a chance to find out 'what happens next?'!

17 July 2008

sharing the MUSE SALON

Okay...everyone has been after me for pictures since I announced that my new office was finally finished, and since Rob just helped me get the new doors up (thank the puppy for me NEEDING new doors) and the art hung, here she is...

The entire space is about 8'x12' or so. As you can see, I have heavy folding doors to close the room off from the rest of the house.

The entire left wall is covered with bookshelves of course.

If you've ever wondered how I organize myself, the last bookshelf is a half-size. On it, there's the Love-Me Shelf and two shelves of current research material and written scenes/stories. In addition, I have boxes and shelves (elsewhere) of finished drafts and edits.

In front of the bookshelves, I have my reading chair and the hand-woven rug Rob bought me in Bahrain in 1992 or so. I've been waiting all these years to have a place worthy of displaying it!

Above the organization shelves, I have the single window in my office, capped off with a lace curtain and a rose quartz drop (unfortunately still partly-covered in paint tape...snicker). To the right of the window, I have a picture of the muse. The picture is an ink drawing by the wonderful Robert Quill! If you haven't checked out his work, you should.

The right wall starts off with a set of heavy shelves that contain my promo gear and supplies. Draped on it is a Celtic cross shawl that Rob bought me in Scotland in 1996. I've always hung this in my office space.

To the left of that is my half-size file cabinet, and above that...THE ACCOLADE, topped with a second lace curtain. Rob bought the painting for me in 2001, and it has hung in every office since then.

The centerpiece of the room is the computer desk, a huge corner desk that usually houses both my desktop computer and the laptop. As you can see, the laptop is away from the desk, at the moment.

Along the wall behind the right side of the desk, there is a picture of my youngest and her 'twin cousin,' what my sister and I refer to as our 'bookend babies,' one of the three fairies I've attached to the walls, a picture of Rob and I when we were dating, a plaque of the Irish Blessing that I've hung in every house we've owned since 1994 (I bought it when I was pregnant with my oldest), and my two inspirational pieces to keep me motivated.

For anyone who doesn't know, the 'inspirational piece' on the left is a fan letter from 2004 that so touched me, I still have it hanging on the wall. The one on the right is a couple of mentions I got in magazines, my first Romantic Times review, and the printout of Oct 17, 2003 (when Fion's Daughter and Second Son were #1 and #2 rated in erotic at Fictionwise...and Emma Holly's Menage was #3).

Above the left side of the desk (the far wall of the room), I have my animals (have to bring the skunk my youngest keeps trying to steal back down from my bedroom) as well as a couple of my certificates for finaling in awards.

The crowning glory of the room is the leopard painting hanging above the desk. This has a particularly fond place in my heart, at the moment. When Rob took me on vacation for our 20th anniversary this month, he actually bought the painting off the walls of our first hotel room at Adventure Suites, just because I liked it.

And THAT...is the grande tour! Now you know how I work...nice and cozy in my little nook...when I'm not on the edge of the couch with a lap desk.


summer news part 2

People who know me have heard me talk about how wonderful my husband is...probably more than they want to. Tongue planted in cheek. But, even the die-hards can't help but admire this!

I got home from Lisa's just in time to be told to pack for a second trip. To my surprise, Rob told me to bring along my work. Not that I got a chance to touch it, but it was a good idea... Grinning.

You see, July 2nd was our 20th anniversary. On July 1st, my younger sister Maryann and her boyfriend George showed up. My husband had hired them to watch our three little hellions for four days. On the morning of the 2nd, Rob whisked me away to parts mostly unknown.

NOTE TO HUSBANDS OUT THERE- NEVER expect to be able to surprise your wife, if you have three kids to help ruin surprises. I did know Maryann and George were coming and one place he was taking me in advance of departure.

Packed in my luggage was a VERY special book (not that I had time to read more than 3 pages of that, either...but it was still a great present). Rob, with the help of my co-author and friend, Gregory Norris, found out who my favorite authors were. He got a mass market copy of Sherrilyn Kenyon's DARK SIDE OF THE MOON (which I already owned in hard cover), signed by Sherrilyn...and the prize winner...a copy of Angela Knight's WARRIOR: THE TIME HUNTERS, also signed and delivered a week before the official release date. Angela is SUCH a sweetie!

Back to the trip. Rob drove us up to North Conway, NH. If you've never been there, go. I mean that. There is a ton to do, shops galore (I could spend weeks in those shops), and the mountains are fabulous.

We got there three hours before our room would be ready, so he took me to lunch. After that, we went to Settler's Green Outlet Mall. Strangely enough, they were celebrating their 20th year, as well. Long story short, Rob took me clothes shopping...several hundred dollars worth of new clothes, in addition to what I'd brought with me. I even got a new signing/pitch outfit.

The first night in North Conway, we stayed at Adventure Suites. I could go back to this place, again and again. Rob and I had the Jungle Suite, complete with a full-size jacuzzi in the room. He'd pulled out all the stops: silk sheets, embroidered matching robes, chocolates, rose petals on the bed, a dozen red roses and a single red rose for me to carry around...just because he knows I like that sort of thing.
He also had Kahlua and milk waiting on ice in the room and brought along a six-pack of IBC Root Beer. Aside from dinner out at a restaurant, we didn't leave the room...literally.

NOTE FOR HUSBANDS OUT THERE- There is NOTHING that will make other women jealous like your woman carrying around a single red rose that you've given her. I'm not entirely certain many of the husbands in North Conway want us to come back, because Rob sets a higher standard.

Day two started with a shopping trip downtown and checking out of Adventure Suites. We didn't buy much, but we earmarked several gifts for the kids. North Conway is full of little shops that showcase local artists. You can have nearly anything you want special made. They also have a lot of rock shops and pagan shops, including the wonderful Luna Gallery.

Lunch was aboard the Dining Car Chocorua on the Conway Scenic Railway. It's a lovely trip, and the food is divine. Twice along the way, I had people ask me if I married at 12, when we said we'd been married 20 years.

In the afternoon, we checked into another hotel (across the street from Adventure Suites, actually). The Stonehurst Manor has been standing since the late 1800s and operating as an inn since the 1940s. The builder's daughter, Helen Bigelow Merriman, who remade the manor into what it is now, was herself an artist and writer.

If you want somewhere romantic to get away, this is the place. Stonehurst has only 25 rooms, only 15 of them in the manor house, where we stayed. We had room #25, one of the few Stonehurst rooms with both a fireplace and a jacuzzi tub in the room. Add to that the chocolate covered strawberries he ordered to be placed in the room and yet ANOTHER dozen roses, and Rob was off and running again.

In contrast to the pool and hot tub around back, there are signs everywhere that Stonehurst is a classic experience. The dinner and breakfast menus are stunning. You could stay a week and still say, "I have to choose?" The rooms are gorgeous, but the common areas are stunning. The club, for instance, is built into the library. The club menu is unbelievably complete, offering classic drinks, the standard fare, and a full page (Lisa take note) of single-malt varieties. Add to that little touches like the (no kidding) 'water closets' in public areas, and it's an experience you won't forget.

The front lawn has a large chess set that people were playing at all hours, and there are Adirondack chairs set up on the back lawn...as well as tables and chairs. The views are to die for, and the staff is not only courteous but also attentive.

To put it simply, if I ever found myself a rich woman on a deadline, I would check myself into Stonehurst for a few days. I'd emerge for breakfast and dinner...perhaps to the hot tub or the tables outside to work for a bit. Otherwise, I'd light a fire in the room and never emerge. I jokingly told my husband that he could stay across the street at the Adventure Suites with the kids and meet me for dinner at Stonehurst, if I ever had that kind of money. Of course, I was kidding.

The third day was a whirlwind. We ultimately decided not to attend the fireworks downtown, when we could barely drive up and down the main road at 1 pm. Seeking escape from that madhouse, we went to Cathedral Ledge and Echo Lake. Don't worry. I didn't try to climb the cliffside. Anyone who knows me knows I'm terrified of heights. In fact, you couldn't get me closer than 30 yards from the (I'm not kidding) 2 1/2-foot-tall fences that ride the edges of the more than 400 foot drop. Rob got a good laugh out of my complete unwillingness to approach the edge. Of course, he's the one who used to go bridge jumping in Pittsburgh for fun, so go figure.

As if I needed more added to this, there are two more things he did for me on that trip that rated really high on the 'I know my wife' scale.

When we checked into Adventure Suites, I fell in love with the leopard painting above the door in the bedroom of our suite. Rob literally bought the painting off the wall and hung it over my computer desk.

The second thing he did was take me to Tattoo America, on the main road (ironically directly between the two hotels). Scott, the tattoo artist, took only 15 or 20 minutes to recreate a printout of two of my Night Warriors glyphs: Zel Jee (Death and Justice) on my ankle.

Tune in tomorrow to find out what happened next!

summer news part 1

It's been a while, and I'm just getting back online. So, what's been going on with me?

The last month of school for the kids is always a mess, of course (chorus, band, track and field, academic league, math league, etc.)...and add to that four of the five household members with the flu, medical emergencies, conferring on cover art, doing edits for books coming out soon, orthodontists, and so on...

You'd think summer would be a relief, but it's not...unfortunately. I always have grand plans of visiting my sister and getting writing and editing done, but it never quite works out that way. I love her dearly and wouldn't have her any other way, but vacations with Lisa always end up as working vacations. To top it, we couldn't go outside the house much, because there were two wildfires (including the Dismal Swamp burning) that meant you couldn't see the next block.

Being home, strange as it seems, is more relaxing than vacation. As per my doctor's instructions, I'm trying to both work out and keep the stress down. Among other things, that includes a daily walk in the park with the kids...

After almost two impossible weeks of trying to get online at Lisa's (imagine 12 people, two of them professional writers, trying to share a single online computer...wince), I came home full of plans to write and edit.

Read part two to find out what happened next!