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Archive for the ‘Fantasy Romance’ Category

We’re all meant to root for heroines in books. The female who brandishes her wits like a sword to cut down her foes, whose beauty is more than skin deep, and who can seduce the hero while saving herself, thank you very much.

 

But what about the other females in the book? Even secondary characters, even those with roots in mythology, can have very real feelings. For instance, in Goddess Awakened, another goddess guards the gates of Tartarus, which is located just outside Hades proper. She’s one of the three Harpies, also called the Erinye. Her name is Tisiphone. Terrible to look upon, and even more terrible to smell, lol,

 

Tisiphone must make sure no one escapes the outer boundaries of Hell. It’s a lonely and tedious job patrolling the gate of Hell, but someone has to do it. Still, a girl has feelings. She likes to be invited out once in awhile, or at least keep up with the gossip from the outside world. Or world above, as the case may be. So when the hero, Eric, is kidnapped and trapped in Tartarus, and runs into Tisiphone at the gate, he unwittingly hurts her feelings by filling her in on the latest news: there’s a war between demons and fae in his hometown. As usual, no one thought to tell Tisiphone.

 

Eric, being a veterinarian, recognizes Tisiphone has a skin problem. Nice guy that he is, he offers to provide her with some creams and ointments. Did I mention Tisiphone has the head of a dog? Yep. A mangy one!

 

So if she happens to let the gate slip so Eric can slip through, well… who can blame her? Every goddess needs a little love.

 

The research for this novel led me deeper and deeper into mythology. I loved learning about the Goddess Iris – messenger to the gods, and also Goddess of the Rainbow, the bridge between the worlds.

 

Goddess, Awakened, is the first book in The Goddess Connection series, which says: Every woman should embrace her inner goddess. What’s your connection?

 

I have several more novels in this series in mind to follow. In each, the heroine will be somehow connected to a goddess. Her lifelong quirks will become strengths once she finds her true place in the world, and accepts herself for who she really is.

 

Something we should all do! Every woman should be treated like a goddess, don’t you think? 😉

 

Goddess-Awakened-MEDBlurb

With a little help from a goddess, battling evil is a piece of cake for Jocelyn Gibson.

A descendant of the goddess Iris, Jocelyn Gibson may have forgotten about the realm of magic, but it hasn’t forgotten her. When Eric Hendricks is targeted by a demon, Joss must step in to battle the evil and save the town’s awkward, but endearing, vet…who also happens to be the man she loves.

Joss’s new inn, a culinary career specializing in cooking with lavender and a new love all make for a fine recipe of disaster. She needs to embrace her inner goddess and harness the powers she never knew she had before it’s too late.

 

Goddess, Awakened

The Goddess Connection Book 1

Fantasy/paranormal romance novel

About 89,700 words

Amazon | Barnes & Noble |All Romance eBooks| Kensington

 

About the Author

Cate Masters has made beautiful central Pennsylvania her home, but she’ll always be a Jersey girl at heart. When not spending time with her dear hubby, she can be found in her lair, concocting a magical brew of contemporary, historical, and fantasy/paranormal stories with her cat Chairman Maiow and dog Lily as company. Look for her at http://catemasters.blogspot.com and in strange nooks and far-flung corners of the web.

 

 

Contact Details

Website: http://catemasters.blogspot.com

Email: cate.masters@gmail.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Cate-Masters/89969413736?ref=ts

Twitter: @CateMasters

 

 

Mini excerpt for GODDESS, AWAKENED:

In starting her life over, Joss had expected some resistance, even some trouble, but not this. The bedroom floor boards trembled beneath her golden-slippered feet. Tendrils of an unseen power curled upward from deep within the ground, tingling through her toes. She paused to steady herself, then continued to put the finishing touches on her costume. The tremors grew into rumbles and their hum seeped beneath her skin. When their tiny wisps twined through her mind, she clenched her hands. Enough. Go away.

Thick as starlight on a clear summer’s eve, sweet as the lavender blossoms she had yet to plant, energy whooshed up through the cracks of the worn wood and out into the October night.

She gripped the bureau until it passed, the vibrations rolling over her in lessening waves. Bubbly, effervescent waves. “Third time tonight, Taz.” Each departure took longer, and more of the essence remained.

When the dog whined, she stroked his fur. “Don’t worry, it won’t hurt you.”

Even if tonight the waves were palpable enough to make her hairs stand on end. Oh, no, please.

Nothing could ruin tonight. More than a party, this event would determine her future. And after three years of grief, she’d never allow anything to trap her in its clutches again.

 

Giveaway!

Do you love to read paranormals? Do you have a favorite goddess? Leave your reply on this post for a chance to win an ebook from my backlist (your choice – find all the titles at http://catemasters.blogspot.com). Be sure to include your email address in the comment! Good luck!

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TimeDancer_med

Darach is a spell, a magical being called from a far away realm to help Jana in a quest to save her best friend, the Crowned Prince. Darach’s power comes from the earth and, when he is part of the earth, his magic is replenished. To stay close to Jana at all times, he ‘rests’ in her earth-created necklace. The inexpensive circle of turquoise is their connection. He is her anchor as she dances through time and that connection must not be broken.

 

[Jana’s]Her fingers rose to touch the pendant around her neck. An inexpensive circle of turquoise, more blue than green and polished to a satin finish, it was elegant in its simplicity. It had been her mother’s, given by her father on their wedding eve. He’d handed it down to Jana when she came of age. If only he could have handed down her magic as easily.

…..

The hulking cloud solidified. A man formed in the wispy swirls. He stood well over six feet and had long, dark-oak hair that fell to the middle of his back. A wide brow topped a proud nose and firm chin. Eyes richer than deepest earth locked with hers. Jade silk pants that hugged powerful legs were tucked into leather boots. His matching thigh-length vest hung open, baring his broad chest and thick arms. A gold band wrapped around one upper arm. Strange gloves with steel tips that protruded like claws hung from a leather belt around his trim waist.

He could have been carved from the very rock of the mountains…

“I am Darach. I am no coward.” An arrogant sneer angled one lip high as he raked her with a scathing look. “Your magic is weak and your form even weaker. Does this world not have any mightier warriors than you?”

That smirk grated Jana, shot into her spine and stiffened her back. “Many, but this is my quest and you’re here to help me so get used to this weak form.”

“If I must.” A sarcastic nod of his head substituted for gallantry. “I await your call, my charge. Do not fritter away my limited time in this realm.”

He imploded, sucking into a tight plume of lilac smoke. The smoke barreled toward her chest, spearing her necklace. A hush breathed into the room as warmth emanated between her breasts. She touched the tiny gemstone that now held a living spell.

 

What better way to celebrate the release of TIME DANCER than to commission a unique replica of that necklace, a circle of turquoise wrapped in silver? Since Darach also has the shifter ability to become a grizzly, there’s also a bear charm included. The winner can choose to wear it or to remove it. After all, Darach didn’t STAY in the necklace. He traveled with Jana on her adventures as a living breathing (and gorgeous) man.

darach necklace

darach necklace 2

If you could dance through time, back to any place in your life, where would you dance to and why?

 

One commenter will win the Time Dancer necklace. Another will win digital copies all three books in The Eldwyn Chronicles.

 

MYLA BY MOONLIGHT- named as FINALIST in the 2010 EPIC AWARDS for Fantasy Romance and Long & Short Reviews nominated for BEST BOOK OF 2009

SALOME AT SUNRISE – 4 stars from Romantic Times Book Review, Romance Junkies – 5 Blue Ribbons, Long & Short Reviews awarded BEST BOOK July 2011

TIME DANCER – Releases February 11, 2013 from Carina Press

Time waits for no man. But for a woman…
Everyone has a duty in the Royal castle—everyone except Jana Haruk. Despite her promising magical bloodline, her gift is weak. As a Reminiscent Seer, she knows only what happened in the past, not what will happen in the future. When the crown prince’s life is threatened, Jana vows to do everything she can to help her brother-in-law—including asking the queen, a powerful sorceress, to lend her some magic.

The queen summons Darach, a spell in human form. The arrogant and mysterious man soon discovers that there’s more to Jana than meets the eye; she is a TIME DANCER, someone with the ability to move backward through time in her dreams. With Darach as her anchor, Jana can explore the past and try to figure out who is behind the attacks on the prince.

Despite her attraction to him, Jana knows little about the handsome warrior. The past is tying them closer to each other with every trip, but Darach is bound to return to his homeland when his mission is complete. Their time together is running out.

 

Inez Kelley is a multi-published author of various romance genres. You can visit her at her website http://inezkelley.com/  Follow Inez on twitter at @Inez_Kelley or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/inez.kelley

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Released from the captivity of the Fae, Murdoch Seton wants nothing more than to forget his lost years. Undertaking a quest to recover treasure stolen from his family seems the perfect solution – but Murdoch is not counting upon a curious maiden who holds both the secret to the theft and his sole redemption.

Isabella is outraged to find her brother’s keep besieged by a renegade knight – especially one who is too handsome for his own good or hers. After a single encounter, she becomes convinced that his cause is just and decides to unveil the true thief, never imagining that their single shared kiss has launched a battle for Murdoch’s very soul.

As the treacherous Fae move to claim Murdoch forever, Isabella seeks to heal the knight who has stolen her heart. But will Murdoch allow her to take a risk and endanger herself? Or will he sacrifice himself to ensure Isabella’s future?

 

~~~*~~~*~~~*~~~

Fairy tales were some of the first stories I ever read, and I continue to read them now. They are my favorite kind of story, which is why I have almost a whole bookcase filled with books that contain fairy tales. Some volumes of fairy tales have been collected by country of origin; others are gathered by theme; still others show an international collection of variations of a given story. I also collect collections of folk tales and stories that people told to each other. Finally, I have books that discuss fairy tales, their themes, and their importance. There are quite a few books of this type written by the scholar Jack Zipes on my shelves, for example.

 

What do I like about fairy tales? I like that people told them to each other, maybe before the hearth, and I like that the story could change, depending upon who was telling the story. Originally, fairy tales were not written down: a storyteller remembered them and recounted them whenever someone wanted to hear the story. A given storyteller might modify the story quite a bit, or maybe just a little, or maybe tweak it a bit to suit his or her audience better. That seems a lot like what I do, and in fact, twisting a familiar story around in a new way is one of my favorite things to do when writing a book.

 

I like the blend of elements in fairy tales, as well. They tend to have a bit of humor in them, and it can be quite earthy humor. They can star princes or paupers, or maybe even both. Often in a fairy tale, goodness is rewarded, independent of the character’s financial status or appearance. Fairy tales can feature riddles, and clever characters who solve them. Finally, fairy tales invariably include a magical or fantasy element. That works for me in a big way.

 

My favorite fairy tale of all time is Beauty and the Beast, and the frame of this story is one that I revisit again and again. I like to play with it and twist it around, maybe include a few surprises, but still have the fundamental structure — because it works so well. The idea that a beautiful young woman could fall in love with a man who hid his scars from her just because of his character is a beguiling one. That her love could shatter the curse that holds him captive is just about as romantic as it gets. The HEA in this story is one that is so well-earned, and both characters have to contribute to ensure they get the future they want with all their hearts. That’s why it’s my favorite.

 

My new medieval romance THE RENEGADE’S HEART (http://www.delacroix.net/trhX.html) might be called a paranormal medieval romance or even a medieval fantasy romance, but really it’s a fairy tale. If I tell you a bit about it, you’ll easily see which fairy tale is echoed in the story. Our hero Murdoch has been cursed by none other than the Fae Queen. She wants him for herself, but has promised to grant him one wish. Murdoch wishes to leave the realm of the Fae where he has spent years in captivity and return home. Murdoch knows enough of the Fae to understand that they like to play jokes, preferably at the expense of a mortal. No one is more surprised than Murdoch when it appears that his wish has been granted – and no one could be more disappointed to discover that he’s been deceived. Murdoch, like the best heroes, decides to make his time in the mortal realm count for something. He’ll defend his family’s honor, independent of the price to himself. That sets him on the course to Kinfairlie, where a curious maiden named Isabella is so intrigued by Murdoch that he can’t frighten her away – not even for her own safety. Of course, those of us who read fairy tales know that’s because Isabella is the one who can save him with her love, if only Murdoch can trust her enough to surrender his heart.

 

I loved writing this book. I was just as crazy for Murdoch as Isabella, plus I admired Isabella’s determination and curiosity nearly as much as Murdoch did. The Fae Queen, though, is not one to be easily denied her desire. (Okay, I liked that part, too.)

 

The other thing that was fun about writing THE RENEGADE’S HEART was revisiting the family at Kinfairlie who were introduced in my previous trilogy, “The Jewels of Kinfairlie”. I like checking in with characters and catching up with their news, and that’s what I got to do in this book.

 

Just because we all love fairy tales and happy endings here, I have two presents for you. (Maybe one is silver and one is gold.) The first book in the Jewels of Kinfairlie trilogy, THE BEAUTY BRIDE, is free right now at most portals. (Amazon keeps changing their mind as to whether it’s free there, but you can get a Kindle edition at Smashwords or All Romance eBooks for free.) So, please get yourself a copy and enjoy! http://www.delacroix.net/tbbX.html

 

Secondly, I’ll send a signed trade paperback copy of THE RENEGADE’S HEART to one person who comments on this blog post. Fatin will pick the winner, and the contest is open internationally. Just tell me your favorite fairy tale, and why you love that one so much.

 

Thanks for inviting me to visit, Fatin, and happy reading everyone!

 

http://www.delacroix.net

http://www.facebook.com/AuthorClaireDelacroix

 

 

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Inez Kelley has revealed the cover for her next Eldwyn Chronicles book! So pretty!

 

TIME DANCER

book 3 Eldwyn Chronicles

Life and love hinge on just one moment in time…

Jana Haruk’s magic was nothing more than an amusing trick until an undiscovered power manifested in her dreams— the ability to move backward through time. In the past, she must break the curse that now threatens her loved ones, threatens the Crown and endangers her homeland. She needs a guide to teach her, a spell called from afar.

Darach is that spell, a tracker with the magic to delve into the depths of Jana’s soul. Solid as the very Earth he is born of, he alone can guide Jana to a time of darkness, evil and the beginnings of a blood curse. Death stalks Eldwyn’s royal line, and if Jana and Darach are to save them, they must trust each other beyond the bounds of life and peel back the layers of time itself.

 

Available February 2013

inezkelley.com

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Hope dangles by a silken thread.

 
When the head of the Araneidae clan is found poisoned in her nest, her eldest daughter, Lourdes, becomes their clan’s new maven. If her clan is to survive, she has but one choice: she must marry before her nest is seized. All she needs is a warrior fierce enough to protect her city and safeguard her clansmen. Such a male is Rhys the Cold.
 
Born the youngest son of an impoverished maven, the only things Rhys has to his name are his sword and his mercenary reputation. His clan is starving, but their fondness for the flesh of fellow Araneaeans makes them unwelcome dinner guests. Torn between loyalty to his clan and fascination with his future bride, Rhys’s first taste of Lourdes threatens to melt the cold encasing his heart.
 
Amid the chaos of battle, Lourdes’s sister disappears and is feared captured. Lourdes and Rhys pursue their enemies into the southlands, where they discover an odd plague ravaging southern clans as it travels north, to Erania. Determined to survive, Lourdes will discover whether she’s worth her silk or if she’s spun the thread by which her clan will hang.
 
Warning: This book contains one mercenary hero with a biting fetish, one determined heroine who gets nibbled, and an answer to the age-old question, “What does dragon taste like?” Matricide and sibling rivalry are available upon request. The house special is revenge, best served cold.

~~~*~~~*~~~*~~~

When you think about fantasy novels, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? For me, it’s got to be the worldbuilding. When I read Robin D. Owen’s HeartMate, I was enamored of Celta. Robin took a few basic ingredients from our world, Celtic mythology and Wiccan-like religion to create a society similar to ours, but with fantastic differences. The result is a culture that’s both familiar and alien. On Celta, people use flair—magic—to do their chores and jobs. It’s a very interesting system, and I love that most everyone has their primary Flair that defines how they’ll earn their living, and a creative Flair. Then you have the echoes of Earth. The planet, Celta, was colonized by humans from Earth. One of the “characters” is actually Nuada’s Sword, a spaceship that has become sentient. There are also sentient houses called Residents and telepathic animals.

Really, I could go on for days about this series. If you want to see intricate worldbuilding at its best, read these books. The class system, technology, everything makes for a fascinating read.

I will say this series is marketed as science fiction romance, but it walks the line (to me).

Fantasy doesn’t always mean alternate realm/reality/world. Sometimes the most alien place is our world, twisted just enough so that humans aren’t at the top of the food chain. This type of fantasy usually falls under the heading “urban fantasy”. One of my favorite UF series has got to be Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files. I love Harry so hard. I want to hug him for surviving each book.

In Harry’s case, he lives in Chicago. It’s our Chicago, but it’s not. There are Fae, vampires, werewolves, skinwalkers, ghosts, goblins—you name it and Harry has probably pissed it off. His world is more alien precisely because it is so familiar. You’re home. Yet the monsters under the bed are real and they won’t hesitate to bite off your head then use your spine for a toothpick.

Another great urban fantasy series is Patricia Brigg’s Mercy Thompson series. While it also has a familiar setting, there are monsters to be found in her world as well. I enjoy the fact that due to Mercy’s lineage, Native American folklore plays a large role in that series. It’s refreshing, and I enjoy learning the history of gods, tricksters, as well as tribal lore that’s unfamiliar to me.

I remember going with my dad to the Archives building in downtown and spending hours poring over microfiche, letters, books, anything we could get our hands on. Dad loves genealogy, and the family history he uncovered made my imagination whirl with possibilities. I owe him for so much, sparking my interest in Native American lore is only the tip of the iceberg. So when it came time for me to write A Hint of Frost, I had a good idea of how I wanted my world shaped. I used bits and pieces of tribal lore and created my own story of creation for a race of people with spiderlike traits. The great thing about writing fantasy is that your options are limitless. There’s no right or wrong way to build your world. As long as you stick to your own rules, then you’re golden. Use whatever inspires you, whatever makes you think, whatever makes you ask yourself “what if”.

Those two words are magic.

Go ahead. Give them a try. You might be surprised by your answer.

 

~~~*~~~*~~~*~~~

For a chance to win a book from Hailey Edwards’ backlist (reader’s choice, any digital format), just leave a comment below. Good luck! 😀

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The Book

 

 

The Tease

 

The current swirled about him, curving around his waist and drawing my eye to the hard board of his abdomen. Scars crisscrossed roped muscle, pale against his tan skin. My gaze skipped like a stone across a pond, unsure which part of him to admire first. A dark trail led from his navel to the waterline, and my fingers itched to trace its path. His legs were the first bare thing I’d seen of him, and even they fascinated me. He said look upon him. I had. Now how did I stop?

My fingers curled. “Can I touch you?”

“I think that would be unwise.” His gaze cast upon the shore.

“Oh.” My hand dropped. I hadn’t realized I’d lifted it.

“Water is sacred to the Salticidae.” He touched my cheek. “I have a healthy respect for Old Father and his walking stick. Otherwise, I would have left you under Mana’s supervision.”

Better for us both that he hadn’t. “No touching then.”

“Not while your skin is bare and your eyes are willing.” His grin turned wry. “I placed more faith in myself than was wise. Resisting you clothed is difficult, while naked it’s nigh impossible.” His fingers sank in my hair. “I thought coming to the water would be safer for us.”

“You mean with your honor to hold you accountable and my fear to keep me honest?”

He chuckled. “Something like that.”

I touched his arm. “I respect their beliefs, but I know myself and own my desire.”

He cleared his throat. “I believe I said I owned my actions.”

With a careless shrug that cost me the dregs of my modesty, I stood on knees weak enough to be swayed by the current. Sacred waters kept my virtue untouched, but it also kept Rhys untouched. Digging my toes into the sandy bottom, I owned my desire. My innocence was his. He would be my husband. I knew him well enough to understand he would never let me go.

“Come, partisan.” I curled my fingers. “Help me bathe, then take me to your home.”

I heard him swallow. “As my maven wishes.”

 

The Blurb

Hope dangles by a silken thread.

 

When the head of the Araneidae clan is found poisoned in her nest, her eldest daughter, Lourdes, becomes their clan’s new maven. If her clan is to survive, she has but one choice: she must marry before her nest is seized. All she needs is a warrior fierce enough to protect her city and safeguard her clansmen. Such a male is Rhys the Cold.

 

Born the youngest son of an impoverished maven, the only things Rhys has to his name are his sword and his mercenary reputation. His clan is starving, but their fondness for the flesh of fellow Araneaeans makes them unwelcome dinner guests. Torn between loyalty to his clan and fascination with his future bride, Rhys’s first taste of Lourdes threatens to melt the cold encasing his heart.

 

Amid the chaos of battle, Lourdes’s sister disappears and is feared captured. Lourdes and Rhys pursue their enemies into the southlands, where they discover an odd plague ravaging southern clans as it travels north, to Erania. Determined to survive, Lourdes will discover whether she’s worth her silk or if she’s spun the thread by which her clan will hang.

 

Warning: This book contains one mercenary hero with a biting fetish, one determined heroine who gets nibbled, and an answer to the age-old question, “What does dragon taste like?” Matricide and sibling rivalry are available upon request. The house special is revenge, best served cold.

Available April 17, 2012

haileyedwards.net

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