Mon 1 Sep 2014
Tue 26 Aug 2014
The cure they desperately need just rose from the ashes of evil…
Ghost Phoenix: The Phoenix Institute, Book 3
Richard Plantagenet, self-exiled prince of an immortal court, is content living the uncomplicated life of a California surfer. Until his brother’s sudden death and his Queen’s wasting illness wrest him from his ocean-side solitude for one last quest.
The Queen needs a cure. To get it, Richard needs assistance from someone with a singular—and slightly illegal—talent.
As the latest of a long line of ghost-walkers, Marian Doyle can, literally, walk through walls—bringing objects with her. Her gift comes in handy for her family’s shady antiquities business, but Marian’s had it with breaking the law. She wants a life of her own choosing.
Instead, she gets Richard.
Their mission seems simple: Find the body of Gregori Rasputin and procure a small sample of his DNA. But when they discover the Mad Monk of Russia is very much alive, the prince and the phantom must form a bond to battle a man who desires to remake the world in fire.
It’s almost here! Over the next month, I’ll be sharing some snippets from the book and perhaps even give away a copy or two. In the meantime, it’s up for pre-order on Amazon, B&N, and my publisher, Samhain Publishing.
And it would be a huge help if anyone interested clicks “want to read” on Goodreads. Thanks!
Looking forward to this one coming it. It’s full of all the kinds of stuff I love: immortals, superpowers, hot sex, ninja monks, tunnels, travel and one really hot surfer dude.
Tue 4 Dec 2012
I’m doing one of those fun blog hop things where you can read cool posts by other romance authors. We’re all answering the following questions. You can find the full list over at the lovely Dee Egan’s post at Slip Into Something Victorian. (Very cool post, go read!)
I choose to answer the questions about my work in progress, Ghost Phoenix, the third Phoenix Institute full-length novel. Well, it’s not there yet. Working on it. But I have the big climatic action scene in mind. And I know where the sex happens. So there’s that.
What is the working title of your book?
Where did the idea come from for the book?
This is the third story in my superhero romance series, the Phoenix Institute, from Samhain Publishing. So I have the basic plot idea of “superheroes fight bad guy, fall in love,” but each book has to be a little bit different. The first book, Phoenix Rising, inspired by the X-Men, had a fire starter and a telepath.
The second story, Luminous, inspired by my love of Gotham City, had a cop and a woman who was invisible, and the latest book, Phoenix Legacy, has a hero who can heal practically any injury on the warpath against those who are misusing his genetic material. That was more inspired by my love of black ops/spies.
For Ghost Phoenix, my hero is an immortal English prince and the heroine can walk through walls. Naming the ultimate antagonist is a bit of a spoiler, so I’ll hold off on that.
Basically, I threw what I loved about English history and superheroes in a mixing bowl and pressed ‘stir.’
What genre does your book fall under?
Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
Richard, the hero, is tall, imperious and charismatic. I’m thinking maybe the 30-year-old Lawrence of Arabia era Peter O’Toole. As for the heroine, she’s straight-laced and careful, so maybe Stana Katic of Castle.
What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
He’s an immortal prince without a country, she’s trying to live up to the family phantom gift. Together, they fight someone who wants to drown the world in fire. (Oops. Two sentences.)
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
Repped by an agent.
How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
First draft took two months, the polished draft took about four months.
What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
I tend to write out of the box stuff so I don’t have a good comparison other than maybe something like Marvel’s The Avengers. But I hear Suze Brockmann is doing a series about a special group of psy ops heroes. Similar premise to my Phoenix Institute, though a much different execution.
Who or What inspired you to write this book?
The whole series is informed with my love of superhero comics with a dash of Thomas Costain’s The Plantagenet Saga and I admit I gained some inspiration from Jayne Anne Krentz Arcane Society series. Plus, X-Men.
What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
My stories tend to happen over the course of a single week or two, so the pacing is very fast. And, of course, I will find creative uses for the superpowers while fighting the bad guys and maybe even during sex.
Mon 5 Nov 2012
Thu 19 Jul 2012
I’ve been playing this game based on the Apprentice television show over at the Brian M. Bendis forum on Jinxworld. (For non-comic readers, Bendis is likely Marvel’s more prolific writer. Avengers and all that.)
I’ve never watched the show but the game I’m playing basically consists of writing prompts. Coming up with story arcs, coming up with alternate takes on heroes, plotting out an entire Marvel line reboot and even plotting an entire year of an animated series.
It’s been great for generating ideas and characters, especially with all the plot bunnies. But it also is giving me a taste of what it would be like to write these characters, which is absolutely a blast.
Our last big assignment as a team was to come up with a #1,000 anniversary issue. Either Spider-Man or Action Comics (Superman) or Detective Comics (Batman.)
Naturally, I insisted on Batman. And then I got stuck for what I thought might be a big game changer. After all, sidekicks have all been killed before, Batman’s been defeated before, he’s even been considered dead fairly recently. Can’t really marry him off, he’s Batman and it wouldn’t stick. So then I looked at the villains and thought, well, the #1,000 issue demands the most iconic Bat villain.
So here’s our take on Detective #1,000, which might occur ten years down the line, if DC goes back to the regular number system. (They swapped all numbers back to #1 with the reboot.) This is not solely my own creation, I had the help of Kedd & Gary Sloan from the Bendis board.
I’ll give you a hint. Something very bad happens to the Joker. Second hint: Batman doesn’t do it to him.
Third hint? Look to the image.
Also, a certain redhead who’s been missing from the Gothamverse for a while makes a re-appearance.
Batman started fighting crime in a corrupt system back during the Great Depression, a problem that remains today in places like Detroit, New Orleans, and Camden, New Jersey. Batman still stands for the common person who gets back up off the ground and not only survives but vows to make certain that others never again suffer the same kind of pain. He is the guardian of the night whose quest is endless as no one person can eliminate the horrors of life.
Still, Batman will always try.
Over the years, Batman has trained a number of exceptional young men who have suffered similar losses, gained an ally in a thief whose life taught her that the ‘law’ is often a tool for the unjust, and made perhaps his truest friend in a man who, many times, provides his strongest link to the law.
As Batman: Year One was the parallel story of two men searching to serve justice, one outside the law, one inside the law, Detective #1,000 is meant to be a bookend to Year One, the story of the parallel tracks the actions of Batman and JIm Gordon and where those tracks have taken them.
This issue contains the story that allows the Batman mythos to move into the future with a somewhat altered status quo both for the Batman characters and for the city at large. Along with that, the back-up stories will showcase the best of the characters in Gotham and the work of the creators who’ve had such an impact on them.
Gotham’s Last Laugh
Thu 29 Mar 2012
One of the reasons I love the Spartacus series on Starz is that it contains much of what I love in stories: strong characters, unexpected plot twists, great action scenes and a theme that resonates.
So it’s not surprising that my own book, Dinah of Seneca, has similarities. (My writing predates the show by several years, in case anyone was wondering.:)
1. They feature main characters trapped in situations not of their own making.
Spartacus is a slave who escaped. Dinah is a former slave who escaped her master by fleeing across the Atlantic Ocean.
2. The main characters get pulled reluctantly into a cause.
All Spartacus originally wants is to find his wife and escape with her. He has no cause but his own and is not shy about saying it. It’s not until late in the events of “Blood & Sand” that he burns for the cause of everyone.
Dinah is originally drawn into a war because it threatens her home. It’s not until she accepts her responsibility for her new people that she fights for a cause greater than her own.
Okay, I can’t claim to have as much sex in my book as in Spartacus. Who could?
But there’s a fertility ritual at the heart of my story that has four participants. And if you want even more erotic content, Freya’s Gift, the prequel to Dinah, is all of that.
There’s a huge action sequence in the current “Vengeance” season set in Capua. My book has something similar, in that it ends with a big action sequence in which stuff is destroyed. (To say more would be providing spoilers.)
Spartacus has the gladiator fights and the Romans versus the escapes slaves. My book opens with one big battle, several smaller ones, and one desperate fight to escape when all seems lost.
5. The stories are LGBT friendly.
Spartacus features several gay couples and a lesbian relationship between Lucretia and her best friend in the “Gods of the Arena.”
My story features a Roman General Tabor, who is gay, along with several other gay supporting characters.
6. There are characters from many different cultures.
While the Roman society is at the forefront of Spartacus, the gladiators are from all over the Western World, from Syria to the African continent to Gaul and Celts from Britain. It’s the mix of the cultures that causes tension and, ultimately, dedication to one cause in which they can all be free.
My story’s main character is from Roman society as well, albeit one from an alternate world in which the Romans have colonized North America. Besides the Romans, there are Vikings, Native Americans, and a Roman Legion made up of people from all over the Empire. In the end, the Romans and Vikings must find common cause to survive.
7. The over-riding themes match up.
Spartacus is about people overcoming differences to fight a grave injustice and for freedom.
My book is all about Dinah fighting for freedom not only for herself but, ultimately, her people.
Of course, the big question is whether my book is as good as Spartacus.
I will completely duck that one as I’m a very biased source. I can only hope that people enjoy my story as much as I’m enjoying what the creators of Spartacus have done.
Fri 25 Nov 2011
The blurb and tagline elves at Samhain Publishing have been busy and sent me this on Wednesday
I should mention that while it’s book two, it does feature two completely new characters and the Phoenix Institute doesn’t even play into the story until the very end. But the second story featuring Al and Noir will have some familiar guest-stars and the third book, Phoenix Legacy, will have the entire cast of Phoenix Rising back. (No release date on that, I’m being hopeful that my editor will like the manuscript I sent.
In the meantime, Eagle of Seneca will be coming out in January. While Dinah of Seneca delved a little bit into the ancient steampunk side of the equation, it was mostly alternate history. Eagle’s main character is Ceti, a Roman engineer, obsessed with building a flying machine. So there are lots more cool Roman gadgets. It also brings in the Native American tribes in a big way, as the other main character is Sky, a Lenape leader looking for a way to preserve her people in the face of a Roman invasion.
He thinks he’s seen everything…until he encounters a woman he can’t see at all.
As a teen, Lucy left home to gain the independence to pursue her dreams. When a renegade scientist captured and used her as a guinea pig, she escaped, but not unscathed. Rendered permanently invisible and with little memory of her previous life, she has transformed herself into Noir, a rogue crime fighter with one goal: find and stop her tormentor from harming anyone else.
Police Lieutenant Aloysius James thought he’d seen it all in the crumbling and corrupt Charlton City, but a brutal bank robbery committed by a monster has left him feeling he’s out of his depth. One man is missing from the scene and if he isn’t found soon, Al fears he’ll be as dead as the rest.
Al is unprepared for the one woman with the key to solving the case—Noir, who seems equally surprised he doesn’t find her unique ability repulsive.
Together they go out into the night, joining forces to track the monster down. They never expected their desperate alliance would generate a force of a different kind. Attraction…and desire.
Warning: This book contains sex without sight, requiring the characters to do everything—yes, everything—by touch alone.