Wicked Wednesday with Saje Williams

•April 1, 2009 • 2 Comments

Interview with Jaz and Nyx

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Upon the release of the novel, Death of Heroes, I was fortunate enough to receive a visit from two of the women so centrally featured in its pages, during which I was granted an exclusive interview the likes of which no one has ever been offered.

Jasmine Tashae is the most visually striking, though both women could honestly be described as beautiful. Jaz is the taller of the two, with bright green eyes, dusky skin, and a sharp, slightly hooked nose that fits her face perfectly. Her broad shoulders and easy grace were the only direct evidence of her athletic build, clothed as she was in a voluminous green shirt and loose black pants.

Nyx Deathweb is smaller, equally dark, though her ancestry is plainly Latin where Jaz’s is Arabic. She is perhaps six inches shorter than her partner’s six feet, but clearly just as athletic. Nyx doesn’t quite share Jaz’s modest bent, arriving in a tight halter top that left her well-toned arms exposed and showed her modest breasts to good effect.

They don’t often visit our continuum, preferring instead to travel to worlds where their unique talents are, as Nyx put it, “better appreciated.” Suffice to say that neither woman finds the prospect of being harassed or prosecuted for assault or murder to be particularly enticing. When it’s pointed out that they can simply avoid killing anyone, the smaller woman let out an undignified snort and glanced at her partner.

“Jaz considers herself something of an exterminator,” Nyx told me. “She sees it as her duty to put an end to vermin pretending to be human.” By the tone of her voice, I took it that she didn’t always agree with Jaz’s perspective on such things.

Deciding that discretion was the better part of valor, particularly in these circumstances, I left that subject alone.

We met, as usual, at a pleasant outdoor location in Point Defiance along Five Mile Drive. Jaz has a particular fondness for the place and often visits in when she’s in an aspect where it exists. Sometimes she even stops by to visit the zoo.

“So,” I begin, taking out my tape recorder and pushing the REC button. “Are you up for an interview?”

“That’s what we’re here for,” Jaz answered. “Fire when ready.”

“So,” I say, “let’s start with something simple. Tell me about the Lady of Blades thing.”

The two women exchange glances and Jaz gives a husky chuckle. She has the kind of voice that demands male attention in much the same way her appearance does. “I thought it about time that we had an urban legend with a positive spin,” she says. “You know how it goes, right? Stand in front of a mirror in a dark room and chant “Lady of Blades” three times? That gets the attention of my Gray Robe and he brings me to you. But there’s a caveat. You have to be in danger, and you have to be an innocent. Anyone else pulls that trick and bad things will happen.”

I nod. That fit with what I had heard. “So that’s your job, then? Your mission? Protecting the innocent?”

“If and when I can. I don’t always succeed. There are a billion predators out there, and only one of me.”

“Two,” Nyx points out.

“Two,” Jaz agrees with a sigh. “Not enough people know about the Lady of Blades legend. I’m glad you asked that question straight away. I want more people to know about it. I can’t help if I’m not called.”

“I’ve heard that you two met like that,” I say, “that she called you and you came.”

Both women nod, exchanging another meaningful glance. Jaz reaches into empty air and pulls out a package, which she then hands to me. “Since you ask—this is a journal of our meeting. I’d like you to read over it and use it for your next novel about our exploits.”

I take the package. “It’ll be out of order. It predates Sword and Shadow by what—a hundred years?”

Jaz shrugs. “So? It’s a good story. It has airships and androids, young kings and captive princesses. And a love story like no other.”

“Sounds great. But what should I call it?”

“How about ‘Nyx and Jaz?” suggests Nyx. “Simple and catchy.”

I nod. “Okay. It might take me a while to get it up and running.”

“You’ll do fine,” Jaz tells me.

I shiver as a blast of cold wind rises over the bluff from the Sound. This time of year isn’t particularly hospitable here in the Pacific Northwest, but, then again, I’m partial to late Spring and early Summer. I hate the cold. Wet I don’t mind, but cold unmans me.

She gestures, doing something with those strands of magic I cannot see and I’m suddenly infused with warmth. “Thanks.”

They don’t seem to be affected by the cold at all, but that doesn’t really surprise me. One of the benefits of being immortal, I assume. “’Death of Heroes’” went to print last month, by the way.”

“That’s the one about Morrigan, right?” Nyx asks.

“Yeah—but you two are in it too.”

“I remember,” she says. “Kicking super-villain ass.”

“Doing what we do best,” Jaz murmurs. She glances up at my car, parked down on the street some fifty or so yards away. “I take it you don’t need us to get you home?”

I shake my head. “Nah, but I appreciate the offer.”

“The least we can do for our chronicler.”

“Hey, I get a lot out of this relationship,” I tell her. “I get to tell people that there are still real heroes out there—not just celebrities. Of course, they take it all for fiction, but what the heck? It’s all fiction until they turn a corner and find themselves looking at something they never thought might actually exist.”

“So we’re heroes now, are we?” She seems amused by this. “I guess it depends on how you define the word.”

“You protect the weak and take down the predators. That’s pretty heroic to me.”

She shakes her head. “There are a lot of types of heroism—you don’t have to wield a sword and blast bad guys with magic to be a hero. It’s easy taking on the big bads when you’re immortal. It’s a lot harder to deal with regular evil on a daily basis, or just deal with the ignorance and stupidity of ordinary assholes. Look around you, Saje. Anyone who tries to make the world a better place is a hero.”

“Well, that’s what you do, isn’t it?”

“We try.”

“Then there you are.”

Nyx glances at the mirrored bracer on her wrist that allows her access to the dimension of mirrors. Apparently it also functions as a timepiece, because she exclaims suddenly “We’ve got to go.”

Both women stand abruptly, leaving me sitting on the picnic table alone. Nyx produces a shining knife no larger than my index finger and tosses it into the bench beside me. What follows is difficult to describe, but both women seemed to fold themselves into its reflective surface and vanish. Only the knife remains. The knife and the package in my lap are the only things that prove they were ever there at all.

I climb into my car, set the package on the passenger seat, and start it up. I light a cigarette and stare out at the picnic area for a moment, then down at the knife in my hand. I place it carefully in the console and turn the stereo up. I pull out of the parking stall and cruise through the park, imagining for a while what it would be like to live their lives.

All in all, I think I prefer my own. Less danger, less surprises, and far fewer people who’d like to see me dead.

Everything has its price.


Buy Death of Heroes today at Samhain Publishing!

To find out more about Saje’s books visit his website at http://www.sajewilliams.com/

Wicked Wednesday with R.F. Long

•March 18, 2009 • 5 Comments

Fantasy Romance

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I blame a lot of my love of fantasy on my childhood. Not in a bad way, you understand, but definitely, it happened in my childhood. Formative Saturdays spent watching B-movies and series such as Flash Gordon, Champion the Wonder Horse, Buck Rogers, Zorro and Robin Hood. The wonderland of adventure stories my Great-Uncle loved to read to me – Tales of Ancient Egypt, Rome and Greece, King Arthur and once again Robin Hood. And during the 80s a seminal fantasy adventure began on TV. It was Robin of Sherwood and once more featured the adventures of, you’ve guessed it, Robin Hood. Yes, I can admit it; I have a Robin Hood problem.

Adventure and romance form a central part of Fantasy Romance stories. In essence they all come from the same sources – mythology, folklore and the poems of the medieval troubadours.

These poems and tales formed something of a quiet revolution during the time of Eleanor of Aquitaine, wife of Henry II, Duchess of Aquitaine and Countess of Poitiers. The courtly love of which Eleanor loved to hear made a new and modern assumption (in the late 1100s, an extremely radical one) – that a woman might have her own worth outside of family or dowry, that a woman was someone to be wooed and won for herself alone, and that a suitor might die for her love. The woman as lover started as an ideal, a fantasy creature herself, as elusive as the unicorn, but one that idea became entrenched in society, women started to expect to be treated this way, and men began to vie to show their worth. Chivalry was born. So too was romance.

The hero of a fantasy romance also stems from these disparate sources. The swashbuckling adventures of Robin, Zorro and the Musketeers, told of a world where men held honour, loyalty, their personal integrity and love, above everything else.

Like King Arthur’s Knights a fantasy hero might stumble and fail, but he will continue on, doggedly pursuing the goal of right over might, and his true love’s respect.

Because a lot of the struggles in these stories come down to the notion of respect – respect of self and others; respect for a partner, finding in them the strength needed to continue to the bitter end; respect for a leader, to find and follow a person or group deserving of respect; and respect of self, where the hero and heroine must ask themselves if they are in fact doing the right thing, no matter how difficult a question that might be.

While the stories which form the basis for modern fantasy romances might seem dated to us now, they carry fundamentally timeless themes at their core. The pursuit of love, honour, duty and respect continue to fascinate us. So too do those themes of redemption – that magical transformation that can sweep over a character who find the respect they thought lost through a series of trials and struggles. When that black moment takes the character, when they face themselves for what they are, or the thing they fear most – only one thing is going the help them rise above and succeed. We may portray these themes in different ways, wearing new faces in new worlds very different from our own, but the core remains the same.

Love – of self, of another, of one’s people, of one’s honour – eventually conquers all.

R.F. Long’s novel “The Scroll Thief: a Tale of Ithian” and her novella “The Wolf’s Sister: a Tale of the Holtlands” are both available from Samhain publishing (http://samhainpublishing.com/authors/r-f-long). Her second novel “Soul Fire” will be released from Samhain this summer.

Danielle’s Weird Question of the Day:

What is one thing you’re supposed to do daily that you haven’t?

  • The laundry. I hate laundry!!!

Wicked Wednesday with Lexi Adair

•March 11, 2009 • Leave a Comment


“Rockstar” by Lexi Adair

Buy from MBaM!

Read An Excerpt Online

ISBN: 978-1-60504-469-9

Length: Novella

Price: 3.50

Publication Date: March 10, 2009

It’s not the act. It’s the details…

Incredibly tight-lipped and painfully private, Anthony Phoenix has been known to make lesser women cry. Luckily, Summer Staite is by no means a lesser woman. It’s her job to know his type—rich, handsome, famous and used to getting what he wants. A dangerous, seductive combination. Luckily for her it’s not the man she’s after. It’s his story. A story that’ll earn her the respect she craves—one they tell her is impossible to get.

“They” have no idea how far she’ll go.

With his freight-train vocals, dark intensity and brooding good looks, Anthony is well aware he presents a challenge to the brazen columnist from Stripped Magazine. Yet she intrigues him more than he cares to admit. Beneath her soft, girl-next-door façade, she drips with the kind of sensuality that makes him edgy. High. And completely stupid.

Stupid enough to let her get into the act…and under his skin.

ROCKSTAR
by Lexi Adair

An Excerpt

Summer caught sight of Anthony as the band poured from the stage at the end of
the concert. His dark hair was damp and curled slightly at the tips. His gaze
was cast downward and she couldn’t see the dark sapphire irises that could make
her entire body tingle with one glance. A layering of chiseled muscles ripped
down his chest beneath his half-unbuttoned black shirt. Damn he was sexy. Too
good looking for his own good and he knew it.

Anthony lifted his gaze and genuine surprise etched his damp face. He stopped
dead in his tracks, triggering a domino effect as his bandmates stumbled over
him.

“You need a map, Tony?” the drummer joked as he slapped Anthony on the back and stepped around him.

A round of laughter burst out backstage but Anthony didn’t so much as crack a
smile. He was focused on Summer alone.

Heat licked up her body like a needy tongue. Intentionally, she broke eye
contact and turned back to Jenny.

“It must be exciting meeting so many celebrities.” Excitement charged Jenny’s
words. “Sometimes I think I might like…” Her words trailed off as something
behind Summer drew her attention.

Anthony took Summer by the arm and yanked her up to him. He drew his hand upward and trailed it along the length of her arm, over her bare shoulder then finally he wrapped his hand around the base of her neck. One by one, his fingers curled, caressing her skin as he had caressed his mic.

He pulled her close and their lips rested a mere breath apart. The air between them was thick with unspoken need. He pressed his lips to hers, hungrily devoured her with a desperate, breathless kiss.

Summer’s lips parted in eager acceptance. His tongue slipped softly over hers in
a moist, breathless dance. He drew in a deep, shaky breath as Summer ran her
hands up his back, sliding them up until her fingers were buried in his dark
hair. She bit down softly on his lower lip, suckling the tender flesh as a deep
moan escaped from his lips.

The world faded away into the shadows. The hoots and hollers from the stage crew were but a distant echo as he trailed kisses down her jaw, tracing the long line of her neck. “Damn it, woman.” His warm breath feathered across her skin. “I’ll give you your story.”

For more about Rockstar visit Lexi’s website at http://www.lexiadair.com

Buy the book now at: http://www.mybookstoreandmore.com/shop/product.da/rockstar

Danielle’s Weird Question of the Day:

If you were stranded on an island what three things could you not live without?

  • My laptop because without it I couldn’t write.
  • My iPhone… what can I say, I’m a junkie who always has to be connected lol
  • My family… as sappy as that sounds, I don’t think I could live without my husband and kids.🙂

Wicked Wednesday with Barbara Meyers

•March 4, 2009 • Leave a Comment
My latest release, A MONTH FROM MIAMI, has a couple of love scenes in it.  There I’ve said it.  The word is out!  There is a humorous/serious warning label on the back of the book, so if you don’t want to read a heartwarming story of love and new beginnings about a couple of unattached adults who live in the United States of America, who are over the age of 21, and yes, God forbid, they enter into a sexual relationship without benefit of marriage, then DON’T READ THIS BOOK!

Oh, no, I’m not sensitive about this subject, am I?  My previous two romantic comedies were slashed by the publishing house I sold them to, which published wholesome fiction for the library market.  I had to take all the good stuff out, the realistic stuff that happens in contemporary society between two consenting adults.  Yes, I sold out.

I wanted to be published (this was six or seven years ago), to get my foot in the door, and so I did what I had to do to get those books in print.If you like sweet, funny romance, where the characters are allowed to hold hands and little else, read HIDDEN ASSETS or TRAINING TOMMY.

If you want something a bit hotter, and more realistic, read A MONTH FROM MIAMI.  It’s very much the book I wrote, and I love that.  Input from my editor did nothing but make it a better book.  I wasn’t expected to cut out love scenes that seemed right for my characters and for the times in which they live.

Are love scenes necessary to a good romance novel?  Probably not.  A lot of “sweet” romance is published so one must assume there’s an audience for it.  People like my mother and my elderly aunts—they don’t want to read about people having an intimate relationship, no matter how well-written the love scenes are (like mine).

And oh, do I hear about this.  My mother, who’s in her 70’s, goes out of her way to let me know she disapproves.  Good thing I wasn’t looking for her approval when I sold the book, huh?  I’m sure some of my romantic bend came from years of watching the soap operas she tuned into daily when I was a child.  I loved the stories, the drama, the twisted plots, the things that love made people do.

What I also love is a happy ending.  After the drama and the misunderstandings, the conflict and the mistakes, I want to know that love conquers all.  A MONTH FROM MIAMI is a temporary escape from reality for today’s woman, much like those soap operas my mother watched to escape from her daily routine.  Now, I ask you, what’s wrong with that?

Samhain Author Page:http://samhainpublishing.com/authors/barbara-meyers
Web Site: http://www.barbmeyers.com

Excerpt from A MONTH FROM MIAMI

“How do you like it?” she asked.

She was standing in front of him, combing his hair over his forehead which put him at about eye level with her bustline. “I like it. Very much.”

She glanced down as he grinned up at her. She was blushing. She blushed more than any woman he’d ever known. She moved behind him. “I meant your hair.”

“Any way you like it.”

“Not too short, I suppose.”

“No one’s ever complained that it’s too short.”

“It’s pretty thick.”

“You’re the expert.”

“How long has it been?”

“About twenty-four hours.”

“Since your last haircut?”

“Oh. Couple of months, I guess.”

“It grows fast.”

“Under the right circumstances.”

“Rick…” There was a definite strain in Kaylee’s tone. “Don’t make this harder than it is.”

Rick squirmed uncomfortably, not sure if it was Kaylee’s close proximity or his own double entendres, but he was definitely turned on. “I think it’s too late.”

“I’m cutting now. Sit still and stop talking.”

Could there be anything more intimate than having a lover’s hands in your hair, Rick wondered. Well, of course, there could be, but Kaylee’s hands in his hair were conjuring up all sorts of images of her hands elsewhere on his body. It was exquisite torture to have her so close, yet hardly touching him. He followed her movements as best he could while he kept his head still. He gazed at her elbow, her breasts where they strained against the cotton of her sleeveless top.

Snip. Snip. Snip. Wisps of his hair floated to the floor as she worked in a silence broken only by the low hum of country music from the radio which sat on top of the refrigerator.

She moved around him from side to side, concentrating on the haircut. Then she moved in front of him and bent closer, combing his hair, visually examining it on either side of his head until her gaze met his.

“Could you, uh, spread your legs?”

“Gladly.”

Rick did so and she straightened and stepped between them. She raised her arm and the hem of her top rose with the movement of her shoulder, revealing her tiny waist and her navel. How much torture could one man take?

Snip.

Rick couldn’t help himself. He placed his hands around her waist beneath her top. Her skin felt like warm satin. How well he remembered the feel of her skin against his. He breathed in her scent along with the faint aroma of grape-flavored bubble gum.

“Kaylee…”

Snip.

He leaned forward, lifted her top and skimmed his lips across her stomach.

Snip.

“Oops.”

Danielle’s Weird Question of the Day:

If you could be anyone who existed in the world, who would you be?

I’d be my daughter or someone like her.  I’d like to know what it would be like to have a mother who loved, supported and encouraged you while you were growing up.  I’d like to know what it feels like to have a mother who’s also your best friend, a mother who gets you and did from the day you were born.  I’ve always wondered who I might have been or how I might be different if I hadn’t had to spend so much time trying to figure out why I wasn’t acceptable the way I was and looking for approval from others.  What if I’d been assured it was okay to be me from day one?  What might I have accomplished by now?

Lexi Adair’s Backstage Giveaway

•March 3, 2009 • 4 Comments

Posted for Lexi Adair:

LEXI ADAIR’S BACKSTAGE GIVEAWAY!

ROCKSTAR is releasing next week from Samhain Publishing and so to celebrate I’m hosting a Backstage Giveaway on my lexiadair.com website!

So come help me celebrate and enter to win free ebooks and and a swag back full of gifts!

Monday Blues

•March 2, 2009 • Leave a Comment

I usually post about some interesting little tid-bits about events or writing on Mondays but truth be told I didn’t do much of anything last week because my kiddos were home sick all week with the flu. Not really sure how I managed to escape getting the flu myself but somehow I did and I’m thankful.

The kids are better and back to school today but as for me, I’m still trying to catch up on the rest I didn’t get last week. And come tomorrow I’ll have a lot more work to catch up on since I’ve been off the last several days. While I’m enjoying my relaxing day today I’m already dreading tomorrows work load. Ah, such is life. LOL

Calliope’s Treasure Hunt: Grand Prize Winner!

•February 28, 2009 • 2 Comments

Congratulations to Angela S. who one the grand prize for Calliope’s Treasure Hunt! Thank you all for playing and look for more contests coming soon!

 
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