Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
Shona Husk | The Making of THE GOBLIN KING
Author Guest / October 6, 2011

I often get asked where my ideas come from. For me a story idea doesn’t just come from one place instead it draws on many much smaller ideas, which when left to bubble away at the back of my mind come together–often at very odd times. This was a 2am idea, or at least it was 2am when the ideas came together to form the story of THE GOBLIN KING. It went something like this: I was feeding a restless baby, it was cold and dark and I was tired. I have an overactive imagination at the best of times so I was wondering why the baby was so restless, and then I began thinking about things that could go bump in the night. Ghosts, no, we live in a new house. Brownies, I wish then they could do the housework. Goblins…goblins. Grey twisted creatures that love gold and battle…swords…heroes with swords (grin)…how would goblins work as a romance?  A curse…oh, I know he’s a cursed Celtic King. I only remember this because it was one of those very clear moments where the first scene just unravelled as if it had been waiting for me (this has only happened for…

Hauntings Around the Blogosphere, Part 2
Blog-o-sphere / October 5, 2011

Howdy y’all— I couldn’t squeeze all the happenings around the blogsphere into just one post! Like I said before this is probably the best month ever in the blogsphere. Haunted Halloween: True Tales of the Paranormal (Oct 1st-31st) Hosts: Jess from Confessions of a Bookaholic and Lisa from A Life Bound by Books What Can You Expect? Last year we gave away around 150 books and featured over 65 authors. This year we are expecting it to exceed that amount by quite a few! And, that’s not all. We have added other giveaways to the mix. We have some incredible donations from a few etsy stores and other “bookish” places. But it gets better! You know how we all love authors, right? They are pretty much our celebrities? Well what if you had something unique and custom made from one of your favorite authors? Not just signed…but actually designed by them and completely one-of-a-kind. Stay tuned for more information on that! We gotta keep a few things secret 🙂 A Month of Treats (Oct. 3rd-Oct. 31st) Hosts: Julie from My 5 Monkeys and Karen from For What It’s Worth Week One: Author Stacey Kade and Ghost themed book giveaway! Week…

Katherine Stone | More Favorites and Roommates Giveaway
Author Guest / October 4, 2011

I had such fun reading the comments to last month’s favorite ice cream and/or quotation blog, that I can’t resist posing another “favorites” question (and/or two). I was tempted to do favorite comfort food, but I got so happily and tantalizingly hungry reading–and, yes, sampling–the ice creams, I’ve decided on a no calorie category this month. “What’s in a name?” Juliet Capulet wanted to know when she was informed that a romance with Romeo Montague was a star-crossed notion indeed. “That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” Young though she was, Juliet (and, okay, Shakespeare) voiced an impressively grown up observation. Ah, Juliet–and William–if only I could follow it! Every time I start a book, I pull out all the baby names books, and pay special attention to every name that pops up before me online, on TV, in books, magazines . . . you get the idea. I’m particularly in search of male names, hero names, names that say to me strong, honorable, noble, kind. I should, as Juliet suggests, be able to take any name and make it heroic (that which we call a hero by any other name would be…

Linda McMaken | All About "Baers"
Author Guest / October 3, 2011

Ideas for books come from the strangest places. Joe Baer and the Baer Brothers sort of sneaked up on me one summer day. My family and I were taking a trip to the western U.S. with tickets in hand for the Cheyenne Frontier Days in Cheyenne Wyoming. We’d never been that far west before, so for us Easterners it was quite the adventure with long stretches of prairie, mighty rivers, and vast cattle ranches. Thousands of cattle dotted the hillsides and we were stunned by how many. Most of us never realize how many of those four-legged critters it takes to feed a nation all those hamburgers! As conversations tend to get a bit weird when we travel, my kids began telling awful cow jokes and my husband started naming cows that were close to the road; “That brown and white one, that’s Mrs. Sirloin, over there is Mr. T-bone and that large black one, well, that would be Mr. Roast.” My thoughts however went to the ranchers and the families that lived there. I wondered who they were, and what their story was. Then I made the mistake of letting my muse actually speak aloud; (a rare thing as…

History ReFreshed | The Sweetbriar’s Thorns: Wars Of The Roses Part I
History / October 2, 2011

The old story goes that during the tumultuous days of fighting between rival branches of the English ruling Plantagenet family, courtiers wanting to make their loyalties known wore a white rose if they favored Richard of York, a red one if they supported the Lancastrian Henry.  For nearly 500 years since, the struggle for the throne known as the Wars of the Roses has riveted the attention of historians—and novelists. Of particular interest have been the rival ladies.  Warning: unimaginative Plantagenet parents seemed to name all their sons Richard, Henry, or Edward and all their daughters Elizabeth or Margaret.  Before beginning a read-a-thon, you might want to check Wikipedia or invest in a guide to the period.  Novelist Alison Weir offers the non-fiction guide, THE WARS OF THE ROSES. New York Times bestselling Queen of Tudor fiction Philippa Gregory collaborated with historians David Baldwin and Michael Jones to produce THE WOMEN OF THE COUSINS’ WAR, which gives the background on the ladies featured in her Cousins’ War series. (more on her novels later.) WARS OF THE ROSES THE WOMEN OF THE COUSINS’ WAR Using a basically chronological approach, I begin with CROWN IN CANDLELIGHT by Rosemary Hawley Jarman, which features…

Fresh Pick | NO PROPER LADY by Isabel Cooper
Fresh Pick / October 2, 2011

September 2011 On Sale: September 1, 2011 Featuring: Joan; Simon 345 pages ISBN: 1402259522 EAN: 9781402259524 Paperback $6.99  Add to Wish List Romance Historical, Romance Paranormal Buy at Change of seasons, or a change of times? No Proper Lady by Isabel Cooper It’s Terminator meets My Fair Lady in this fascinating debut of black magic and brilliant ball gowns, martial arts, and mysticism. England, 1888. The trees are green, the birds are singing, and no one has any idea that in a few hundred years, demons will destroy it all. Joan plans to keep it that way. All she has to do is take out the dark magician responsible-before he summons the demons in the first place. But as a rough-around-the-edges assassin from that bleak future, she’ll have to learn how to fit into polite Victorian society to get close to her target. Simon Grenville has his own reasons for wanting to destroy Alex Reynell. The man used to be his best friend-until his practice of the dark arts almost killed Simon’s sister. The beautiful half-naked stranger Simon meets in the woods may be the perfect instrument for his revenge. It will just take a little time to teach…

Spooktacular Blog Events and Read-A-Thons in October
Blog-o-sphere / October 2, 2011

Howdy Y’all! It truly is the most Spooktacular Time of year in the blogsphere! Every year around this time the blogsphere explodes with ton of activities. So without further ado…. Read-A-Thons What is the 24 Hour Read-a-thon? It’s sort of a reading challenge, only everyone participates at the same time. For 24 hours, we read books, post in our blogs about our reading, and visit other readers’ blogs. We also participate in mini-challenges throughout the day and win prizes. What is the date of the next Read-a-thon? October 22, 2011, starting at Noon GMT. Here is a handy, simple-to-read time zone list. You can expect a Read-a-thon every April and October. Where can I sign up? You can sign up to be a Reader in the read-a-thon here and can sign up to be a volunteer here.   * * *   Wonderfully Wicked Read-a-Thon October 21-23rd Hosts: Bex @ Kindle Fever, Amanda @ Letters Inside Out, April @ My Shelf Confessions This is a Halloween themed Read-a-Thon but we’re not going to restrict it to only Halloween/creepy books, so pick whatever you want to read! If you don’t know how a Read-A-Thon works, you just read as much as…

Shirin Dubbin | A Terrible, No Good, Very Bad Date
Author Guest / October 2, 2011

Every time I tell this story jaws drop. I’ve been accused of making it up but my imagination runs closer to hot guys with swords, life sucking nightmares or fairytales in the modern world. I’m not good with covert perverts. I met him in Whole Foods—I now realize I’d confused organic food with wholesome men. He seemed lovely, though, a little pudgier than I like but with mocha skin and dark curly hair. Newly single and thinking of my safety I– Okay, the truth is since I was newly single and thinking of the television show Criminal Minds we chatted on the phone several times before I felt comfortable enough to meet him for a date. The first half of our outing went swimmingly. Although, I should have known I was in trouble when I told him I write urban fantasy/paranormal romance and he said, “Really? Mm, tell me your fantasies.” “Huh? Oh, no, no. Urban fantasy like Buffy the Vampire Slayer not Emmanuelle.” Um…not everyone is as well versed in literary genres as you or I, right? (If this were an audio post you’d hear me sigh.) The real turning point came at an Italian-style sorbet shop I enjoy….