Category Archives: paranormal

THE WHOLE TRUTH about Jody Wallace

It’s been WAY too long since the lovely and talented Jody Wallace has visited. She has a new book out, THE WHOLE TRUTH (fab cover, isn’t it????), as well as a bunch of other fantastic stories. Jody is one of the most creative, smart and funny people I know.

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Recently, we got into a little conversation about writing “The End” and self-publishing. TWT is one of her indie offerings. She also has books out with Carina Press and Samhain.

JODY: So, Cathy, tell me about your recent accomplishment of writing “THE
END” on a new novel?

CATHY: Wait, I thought this was a guest post about YOU? OK, fine, I’ll start. In a few simple words, it was a relief. I was months behind where I wanted to be. But in my defense (pathetic as it is) there was a lot of research required.

What about you? How do you feel when those two little words get added?

JODY: Relieved that I wasn’t fooling myself all along about this book idea, since I just made a book out of it. I plan to write THE END on a manuscript this week, in fact.

CATHY: Yay to that! But I get what you’re saying. Sometimes, the more I read through a work in progress the more I think, “Man, this is the dumbest thing ever!” then the manic writer in me wakes up and is all, “Holy cow! This rocks!” I’m very VERY glad you put out THE WHOLE TRUTH. It’s definitely in the “This rocks!” category.

JODY: Thanks! It’s a very cross-genre book — light urban fantasy mixed with chick lit snark mixed with Southern fiction mixed with romance subplots –so I opted to self-publish it. Publishing a manuscript is kind of the ultimate THE END, or it used to be. Once you contracted it, you were forced to quit tinkering with it, aside from official edits or the anniversary revised edition twenty years after the fact.

Self-publishing is mostly like that–although the temptation is there to continue revising a manuscript once it’s published, because you have good ideas and because you can. I’ve found a few typos in my self-published work so far and, of course, I’ve updated the “About Me” section on occasion, but I’ve never given into the urge to really tinker.

Do you think you could resist that urge if you self-published?

CATHY: If I found typos, I’d fix them, or other formatting/mechanics issues. But I’d like to think that would be about it. Sure, after a book is out, I sometimes think, “Oh! I should have____!” but having it in someone else’s hands has helped me let it go.

What’s been the best aspect of self publishing for you?

JODY: I’ll get back to you on that when I get rich quick. Or slow. I don’t care. I just want a tornado shelter.

Until then, I can tell you a few things I like, without them being “the best”, right? I enjoy working with the cover artists myself instead of hoping the publisher gets it right. I appreciate being able to change my book blurb, my key words, and so on, tweaking that information, if not the book itself, to increase visibility. I also like being able to give free copies away willy-nilly. If only more people wanted them!

CATHY: I’d take a get rich slow scheme too. Well, in my lifetime, anyway.

Those are great aspects of self publishing. What about the not so great? (Other than the get rich too slow times). What do you find to be more frustrating compared to “traditional” publishing?

JODY: When you’re self publishing, it all comes down to you and the decisions you’ve made. So if your book doesn’t move, it’s you who made the “bad” calls, so to speak. Granted, publishing, especially self publishing, is so erratic that the same author could do the exact same thing with two equally polished books, and one could bomb and one could fly off the cybershelves. That’s partly true with traditional publishing, although in those instances, there are even more factors out of an author’s control than in self publishing. So you can change things in self publishing…but all the stress and blame are yours, too.

Why don’t you tell us about your latest project and then I’ll tell you about THE WHOLE TRUTH?

CATHY: Wait, aren’t you the guest? Why are we talking about *my* project? I can do that any time.

Tell us about THE WHOLE TRUTH. I’ve read this a while ago and LOVE LOVE LOVE it. Without spoilers, give us a little insight in to the types of folks who populate TWT.

JODY: I asked you first.

CATHY: *rolls eyes at Jody* Fine. It’s a cozy murder mystery set in 1919 Alaska, the town I currently live in, specifically. The story is sort of based on the murder of a “sporting woman” and her baby that happened in the ’30s or ’40s, but for some reason I decided earlier in the century sounded more interesting. It’s not like any of my other stuff. No space travel, ghosts or anything like that.

Your turn.

JODY: THE WHOLE TRUTH is what happens when you love chick lit, paranormal, urban fantasy, superheroes, snarky heroines, unexpected settings, office politics, food, cats and espionage all at the same time. Our heroine, Cleo, can see lies — a shadow forms in front of a liar’s face and mouths the true words. She thinks she’s the only person in the world like herself, but eventually, her unusual web searches and pointed commentary on internet blogs gets her caught, NSA-style, by a group of suprasensors who want to hire her.

But the group who hired her aren’t the only suprasensors in the world. And somebody out there seems to want to put suprasensors in comas. Or worse. It’s up to Cleo to get to the bottom of the mystery, and it really, really shouldn’t be up to Cleo, because she’s only a superhero in her abilities. Or that’s what she thinks

CATHY: I love Cleo. She’s a great snarky, reluctant heroine. My favorite kind :). And I’m sure once someone reads THE WHOLE TRUTH they’ll want more more more!

Do you have plans for other suprasensors’ stories?

JODY: That’s one of the worst pitfalls of self publishing and writing “on spec”, so to speak. You have to decide how to invest your energies. THE WHOLE TRUTH is not a short book. A sequel would consume months of my work-time to finish. (And by the way, anybody who snarks that books shouldn’t take that long to write can jump in a lake, because we’re ALL DIFFERENT, from process to product, thank God.) So, just like with any business, you have to decide if there’s enough probable profit to merit the project. Pleasure, yes, there would be pleasure in revisiting Cleo and the gang, but is that how I should spend six months of my time? Do my sales merit it? Or would I be better off investing my time in something else?

To make a long answer short, I don’t know.

CATHY: I can understand the reasoning behind that not so short response.

So while you’re busy promoting TWT and your other fab works, what are you writing? Can you share?

JODY: Letters to my children’s teachers. The book I’m about to write “THE END” on is the sequel to Tangible, which is through Samhain Publishing.

It was written on spec, it’s very long, and it’s taken a lot of time. I have no guarantee of a contract, but I enjoy working with my Samhain editor and have high hopes! After that? I want to write something short. What’s next for you?

CATHY: Good luck with the spec book! It’s great to have an editor who “gets” you, isn’t it?

For me? Good question I have a short, probably freebie SFR in mind as well as a longer SFR and a paranormal historical I’ve been chipping at. And others. I’m in a sort of limbo state, so I need something to really grab my attention. Unfortunately, what grabs *my* attention isn’t necessarily something that will be sellable ; P

JODY: I know that feeling well! And on that note…

Thanks so much for chatting with me, Jody!

Dear Readers, be sure to pick up Jody’s book THE WHOLE TRUTH. It is one of the most unique reads around. And check out Jody’s other books. You won’t be disappointed!

Posted in books out, guest, paranormal, SFR, UF, Woo hoo | 3 Comments

Pack and Coven by Jody Wallace


Happy release week to my pal and crit partner Jody Wallace! Her Carina Press novel Pack and Coven is out right now!

Harry Smith is a lone wolf, and he likes it that way. When he’s targeted to be co-alpha of the local pack, there is only one thing he can do to maintain his freedom: flee. But it’ll take a miracle to stay a step ahead of shifters in their own territory.

June Travis has been in love with Harry for years, but he doesn’t know her real identity. He sees her as the sweet owner of the local tearoom—the facade June presents to humans and werewolves to keep them from finding out she’s a witch. She may not be able to offer Harry a miracle, but she can help him escape.

Harry is drawn to this new side of June, and not just because he’s grateful for her help. With her magic temporarily hiding Harry from his pursuers, the witch and the wolf explore their mutual attraction. But there are consequences for witches who bed down with wolves…

Harry is not your typical alpha male shape shifter. He just wants to be left alone to do his thing. This doesn’t mean he’s a beta, not by any means. He is the definition of “lone wolf” who reluctantly accepts June’s help. Despite her genteel manners, June is a strong heroine who shouldn’t be underestimated. Both are refreshing characters in a genre where alpha-asshats and TSTL or uber bitches seem to dominate. Kudos to Jody for that and for creating a fully-realized paranormal world.

Oh! And Jody is having a contest! Go comment and win something yummy : )

Pick up Pack and Coven here:
Carina Press
Amazon
B&N
Audible

Posted in books out, Carina, contest, paranormal, win stuff | 3 Comments

“It’s Time, Not Age” with Guest Natalie Damschroder

The other day, Cathy mentioned being 3F (female, fertile, and forty). Well, I’m 3F too, and the last F is really annoying me.

When I was younger, I used to get really annoyed by my “elders” (like my mother) blaming age on everything. Their minds were going because they left the coffee in the microwave after heating it. Three times. Short-term memory lapses, putting things where they weren’t supposed to be, and a million other details of daily living were blamed on getting old. It always sounded like a cop-out to me.

I didn’t want to be that way. And I’m fighting it, believe me! In fact, I think the problem is really a convergence of two things. Yes, we’re older, and maybe our brains are aging like our bodies. Or maybe, aging just happens to coincide with the busiest time of our lives. We have way too many things to think about, too much on our to-do lists and filling our schedule books.

Of course, I don’t like to blame my body breakdown on age, either. I’m not full of aches and pains because I’m 40, I’m full of aches and pains because I have three completely sedentary jobs that take too many hours a day and leave me behind and feeling guilty if I take time to exercise. I feel like I’m approaching a point of no return, though. I’m going to have to find a way to compromise.

One specific thing I used to make fun of my mother for, I now completely understand, though. It’s a function of time, though not of age. She used to have this super-old, super-stuffed address book. I’d look for something in it, and 20-year-old pieces of paper would fall out. Sections would be so full stuff was written in the margins. I picked on her for not cleaning it out, at least, and really thought she should have gotten a new one, transferred over the relevant, current dates.

Yeah. *snort* I so get it now.

My address book? I bought it my freshman year of college. Some of the people in it, I haven’t talked to since I graduated from high school. In 1988. I’m proud to say I only have four pieces of paper stuck in the front… You know what? Forget it. At least here, I can be self-righteous. My brother came home from Afghanistan months ago. *recycle* That business card can go in my business card file. *set aside* Those directions to Number One’s best friend’s house when she was 5? I used it once. And she’s 16 now. *recycle* And that username and password are for a credit card I haven’t used in a decade. *shred*

Where was I?

Oh, yeah! Call me a hypocrite, because I’m not giving up this book. Yes, the binding dried out and separated years ago. And the Js (my maiden name is Jacobus) and Rs (the Raffenetti branch moved a lot) are full and encroaching on nearby sections. But this is living history! I can’t remember Mark-from-Ichabod’s last name? I just flip through the first pages of each letter until I find him. (Daley!) It amuses me that in 23 years, I’ve never picked up a friend with a last name starting with E or I (Q, V, etc., are expected).

And you know what else? It will take too damned long to copy the current stuff over. And that’s what really matters.

~~~~~~~~~~~
The heroines in Natalie J. Damschroder’s upcoming releases may not be 3F quite yet, but they’re not ingenues, either. And they totally kick ass, literally as well as figuratively (which is the only way Natalie can manage it, herself).

Behind the Scenes October 31, 2011
A romantic adventure about a security expert who refuses to let her attraction to the movie star under her protection be a distraction…especially when it makes him a direct target.

Carina Press | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Audible coming soon.

Under the Moon November 1, 2011
A paranormal romance about a modern-day goddess who teams up with her protector—and forbidden soulmate—to track down the leech who’s been stealing power from other goddesses.

Entangled Publishing | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

You can learn more about Natalie and her books at her website, eHarlequin, Goodreads, Twitter, and Facebook. She blogs with four other obsessed passionate Supernatural fans at Supernatural Sisters, with a number of fantastic romance authors at Everybody Needs a Little Romance, and just to hear herself talk at Indulge Yourself.

Posted in adventure, book coming out, books out, Carina, guest, paranormal, romance | 19 Comments

Don’t Fear the Research with Guest Sarah Mäkelä

Hello, Blogger Buddies! I have another New Author Friend to share with you! Please give futuristic/paranormal romance author Sarah Mäkelä a warm welcome!

Don’t Fear the Research

Research is something almost integral to any writer since while we might know a lot, usually what we write about sometimes delves into what we don’t know. That was something I did with the two series I have right now, one is a futuristic cyberpunk romance with a private investigator and a technomage (Hacked Investigations) and the other is a paranormal romance about a village in the Amazon Rainforest that mingles with shapeshifters (The Amazon Chronicles).

When I first started out with Jungle Heat, I did my research first and then supplemented it while writing. I went all out, finding out about the Amazon warriors who fought Spanish explorer and conquistador Francisco de Orellana and his men, where they fought, what happened, and everything else I could about the culture of those people that I could. I also learned about the kinds of animals and weather to better wrap my head around how the women live. You could say I pretty much geeked out.

It was a good experience since I learned not to be afraid of research. I don’t have to be restricted to what I know just because I’ll have to dig around and find out more information on town/item/culture. Will you find out everything and be able to make your writing 100% believable to someone who knows the subject very well? That’d be great, but it’s important to do the best you can. Some people will spot minute details only a person intimately familiar with the town/item/culture and will put the book down. That’s on them.

Here’s roughly my process for research. First off, I go to Wikipedia, and then I’ll fact check with Google. If there’s not much information online, I head to my local library. It’s important to get the information you want while researching, but also allow yourself to delve into what you might not know you want, but then that’s easy for me since I love learning. Besides, it’s great for when you’re writing the next book, and you find a way to use what you’ve found out!

Do you find research fun or frightening? Do you have any tips that make it easier?

Sarah Mäkelä
Dark Magical Encounters of Passion…
Website: www.sarahmakela.com
Blog: http://blog.sarahmakela.com
Twitter: www.twitter.com/sarahmakela
Facebook: www.facebook.com/authorsarahmakela

Here’s the blurb for my newest release, Jungle Heat. I hope you enjoy it! If you’re interested, the excerpt is available here.

The Amazon Rainforest still contains a few secrets. One of these secrets is a hidden village of women whose history is filled with the horror of conquering men.

Adara Rukan, princess of the Amazons, ventures away from her village to find something waiting for her. Andrei “Rei” Makarov is a weretiger and a biologist on assignment. Can Rei and Adara find love enough to bridge their two separate worlds?

Jungle Heat is available now from Changeling Press: Buy Link

Posted in books out, guest, paranormal, romance | 8 Comments

Bella Street’s “Kiss Me, I’m Irish”

One of the great things about the internet is hooking up (no, not *that* kind of hooking up) with people who share interests. Writing is no different in that respect, and the beauty of digital publishing is when you find a new author you can immediately download and read their books.

Bella Street and I are members of the same writers’ loop. We “met” when I asked about blog tours and we hit it off. Bella is the author of paranormal romances (and a So I Married an Axe Murderer fan, so you know she’s cool 😉 with a new release out called Kiss Me, I’m Irish.

Here’s the blurb:

In 1830, Emily Musgrave is heading to a convent for misbehavior. In modern-day Tennessee, Liam Jackson is playing his Dobro in seedy bars. It’s doing nothing for his career and even less for the dark places in his soul.

Pixie mischief can not only change time-lines, it can change hearts. Because sometimes a girl just needs a little magic in her life.

Here’s an excerpt:

He stared at her without answering. Emily returned his gaze, realizing this was the first time she’d seen him in full light. His hair was coal black and mussed from sleep. His skin, tan and ruddy, as if he were a field laborer. And his eyes were the intense blue of a milkwort blossom, with a telltale darker ring around the outer edge of the irises. Of course! With a name like Liam she should’ve realized it sooner. He wasn’t a gypsy at all.

He was an Irishman.

That meant this was some form of purgatory. Jem, Donnelly, and Our Lady of the Portal had had their revenge after all.

Crinkles formed at the edges of Liam’s eyes. “So you’re still holding to the story that you’re from another time?”

“I believe I’ve already made it clear I don’t tell falsehoods, Mr…” She bit her lip. “As we have not yet properly been introduced, I’m afraid I am ignorant of your formal title.”

“My last name is Jackson, but you can call me Liam.”

“Well, Mr. Jackson,” she said, lifting her chin, “I am Miss Emily Musgrave recently of Trethwick Hall, Truro, Cornwall, 1813.”

And here are the purchase links:
Amazon link

Smashwords link

Emily is out of her element, but with the help of musicians Liam and his sister Tinker, she gets a quick education about 21st century living. It’s a sweet time travel tale set in the South that has fun characters and interesting twists. I enjoyed it quite a bit and look forward to reading more of her work.

Check out Bella’s Kiss Me, I’m Irish and bring a little magic into your life.

Posted in books out, Fantasy, paranormal, romance, writing | 4 Comments

Bella Street’s “Kiss Me, I’m Irish”

One of the great things about the internet is hooking up (no, not *that* kind of hooking up) with people who share interests. Writing is no different in that respect, and the beauty of digital publishing is when you find a new author you can immediately download and read their books.

Bella Street and I are members of the same writers’ loop. We “met” when I asked about blog tours and we hit it off. Bella is the author of paranormal romances (and a So I Married an Axe Murderer fan, so you know she’s cool 😉 with a new release out called Kiss Me, I’m Irish.

Here’s the blurb:

In 1830, Emily Musgrave is heading to a convent for misbehavior. In modern-day Tennessee, Liam Jackson is playing his Dobro in seedy bars. It’s doing nothing for his career and even less for the dark places in his soul.

Pixie mischief can not only change time-lines, it can change hearts. Because sometimes a girl just needs a little magic in her life.

Here’s an excerpt:

He stared at her without answering. Emily returned his gaze, realizing this was the first time she’d seen him in full light. His hair was coal black and mussed from sleep. His skin, tan and ruddy, as if he were a field laborer. And his eyes were the intense blue of a milkwort blossom, with a telltale darker ring around the outer edge of the irises. Of course! With a name like Liam she should’ve realized it sooner. He wasn’t a gypsy at all.

He was an Irishman.

That meant this was some form of purgatory. Jem, Donnelly, and Our Lady of the Portal had had their revenge after all.

Crinkles formed at the edges of Liam’s eyes. “So you’re still holding to the story that you’re from another time?”

“I believe I’ve already made it clear I don’t tell falsehoods, Mr…” She bit her lip. “As we have not yet properly been introduced, I’m afraid I am ignorant of your formal title.”

“My last name is Jackson, but you can call me Liam.”

“Well, Mr. Jackson,” she said, lifting her chin, “I am Miss Emily Musgrave recently of Trethwick Hall, Truro, Cornwall, 1813.”

And here are the purchase links:
Amazon link

Smashwords link

Emily is out of her element, but with the help of musicians Liam and his sister Tinker, she gets a quick education about 21st century living. It’s a sweet time travel tale set in the South that has fun characters and interesting twists. I enjoyed it quite a bit and look forward to reading more of her work.

Check out Bella’s Kiss Me, I’m Irish and bring a little magic into your life.

Posted in books out, Fantasy, paranormal, romance, writing | 4 Comments