On the holidays, I have an upcoming release!

Already up on Amazon for pre-order. It’s my vision of Christmas in a Gotham-like city. So there’s a bit of murder but also more than a bit of sex.

Unfortunately, there’s precious little sex in the television show Gotham so far. Instead, the show earns its mature style with over-the-top deaths, like being floated into the sky via balloon or crushed by ATM or death via insane ritual.

Also about sex, from a more serious standpoint, is my recap of the Sex Scenes From the Female Gaze panel at GeekGirlCon last month.

A sample:

When I put together this panel for GeekGirlCon 2014, I had two goals. One was to have a good time. The other was to shine a light on how our society tends to view sex and sexuality from only one perspective.

To those who attended the panel, I hope you had fun. It was awesome to see a packed house. I’d no idea we’d draw that many people to our panel. I laughed when reading the “Pool Boy” letter in preparation for the panel and I thought it illustrated our point well: this is how the stereotypical male gaze views women. (God forbid one should be over 40 and not have a bikini wax.)

But the second goal was more serious. I need to thank the questioner who asked why call it “sex scenes from the female gaze?” because that brings in all sorts of gender assumptions that may or may not be true.

I could lie and say I thought “The Smut Panel” wouldn’t be accepted by the GeekGirlcon organizers but the truth is that when I named the panel, I thought less of how individual men and women view sex and more about how our pop culture, which is predominantly male-dominated, views sex, especially sex for women. Whatever gender we happen to be, we get a steady diet of what female and non-straight-white male sex looks like through the straight white male gaze.

The rest at the link!

And speaking of the real Gotham, I’ve been recapping every episode over at CriminalElement.com

Here are some highlights. Click on the links for the full recaps.

Premier: Episode 1:

The first episode of the series nails Jim Gordon’s essential morality. There’s a line he won’t cross and shortcuts he won’t take. At least so far, because the first hour of Gotham promises some serious challenges to his worldview. It also provides Gordon an excellent counterpoint in cynical, slovenly and yet smart Detective Harvey Bullock. If Ben McKenzie doesn’t watch out, Donal Logue’s Bullock is going to steal the show from his Gordon. Watching the two of them this season together promises to be a lot of fun, especially if they can continue to exchange the wryly funny looks like the ones they gave each other while upside down on meathooks.

So what did we learn about the future of this show in the pilot?

“Selina Kyle,” Episode 2

Instead, from Falcone’s public beating of Fish’s lover, to the too on-the-nose dialogue about being “with the program” from Capt. Essen, and Bullock’s repeated badgerings of Jim Gordon to stop acting all high and mighty, Episode 2, “Selina Kyle” became, at times, almost as silly as its Monday night companion, Sleepy Hollow but not nearly as fun as Sleepy Hollow, which embraces its ridiculousness. (Look, everyone, studly naked torso!)

“The Balloonman,” Episode 3:

The show’s writers know that handcuffing corrupt officials to weather balloons and sending them up in the sky is a comic book murder concept. They use that ridiculousness to their advantage, even having one of the dead bodies fall back to earth, squishing an old lady in a scene that reminded me of the old woman with the dogs in A Fish Called Wanda.

“Arkham,” Episode 4:

Gotham should be subtitled “Rise of the Penguin,” as it’s clear by this fourth episode that this season is all about Oswald Cobblepot’s bid for power.

Focusing on the villain is a tradition in Batman screen adaptations, all the way back to Jack Nicholson’s Joker in Tim Burton’s Batman. And Oswald is perfectly cast to fill this need. Robin Lord Taylor has on-screen charisma to burn, enough so that while he’s a cheerfully unrepentant murderer, I find myself rooting for him. Oswald took a big step forward with this week’s orchestration of a robbery and then dispatching his hired help via poisoned cannoli. (He takes the gun, the cannoli, and the money.)

“Viper,” Episode 5:

Oswald doesn’t kill anyone this episode. That’s a first. Still, I need to give the writers full credit for finding another fun but gruseome way for Gotham denizens to die: crushed by ATM.

“Spirit of the Goat,” Episode 6:

What’s next?

Likely Barbara will stand by her now-proved innocent man. In any other show, I’d be worried that Barbara would be killed to add some more angst but, hopefully, Barbara’s future role as the mother of Batgirl prevents that.

Oswald will have fun manipulating everyone and trying to “help” his good, true friend Jim. It’s amusing that both Barbara and Oswald look to Jim as a paragon of virtue.

Bullock might keep on doing real work? I hope that means he’s redeemable.

And this show went a whole episode again without Oswald killing anyone. Pretty sure that’s not going to last.

“Penguin’s Umbrella,” Episode 7:

And, yet, it was also full of what’s becoming Gotham’s trademark humor: from Penguin being overly formal, apologetic and making honking noises, to villain Victor Zsasz’s Funkytown ringtone and to Harvey’s taste in bedroom companions. But the funniest sequence had to be Falcone’s idea of kidnapping nuns and chaining them together to block Maroni’s trucks from leaving the city.

What do I think of the show so far? Entertaining, a bit shallow but growing progressively better each episode.

This story releases on November 26th, at all media outlets. I’m posting the cover today because it was the day of the Connecticut Romance Writers of America meeting and it’s because of CTRWA member Jamie Schmidt that I wrote the story last summer, after she challenged us all to write a novella in 30 days. It helped that I knew the characters well.

It’s a stand alone story but the characters first appeared in the novella Luminous.

romance novella, police drama

The Phoenix Institute, Book 3.5

As Christmas approaches in crumbling Charlton City, Detective Aloysius James and his partner, Noir, are at a crossroads. Figuring out how to reconcile their careers with their relationship is harder than catching the bad guys.

Now that Noir has learned to control her invisibility and is making a name for herself among the city’s artist collective, Al senses there’s something she’s keeping from him. And he doesn’t know how long they can remain partners. Or even lovers.

Noir isn’t sure how Al would take it if he knew how deeply he has touched her artistic soul, or how he could react if he saw the secret drawings that have helped heal the wounds of her past.

When a murder lands them on opposite sides—Al ready to arrest a suspect Noir insists in innocent—they’re going to need to unwrap all the ghosts of their pasts to make this Christmas the first of many. Or it could be their last.

Warning: Contains explicit, desperate make-up sex. Also, pie.

Note: Yes, the hero is African-American, though the cover makes it look more like he has a tan. :)

 

Selfie! Myself at the top of the Seattle Space Needle

I have much to share about GeekGirlCon but first, I wanted to share a recap of our Smut Panel aka the Sex From the Female Gaze, which consisted of me and my roommates, romance writer Christine Merrill and Sequential Tart Sheena McNeil. Chris did a fun wrap-up on her blog already. My full report will come later, at the GeekGirlCon site.

But in short, we packed the room and had to turn away people. I predict we’ll be back next year with all new smut and more panelists! In the meantime, look below for my reaction when I realized how many people were at our panel. :) (Not really but close.)

First, quickie reminder:  it looks like Amazon and B&N haven’t changed the price yet on Phoenix Rising, the book that started all this. The sale could end any time now, so if you’re at all interested, now’s the time to grab it. Romantic Times magazine gave it four stars and Night Owl Reviews said: “Put Phoenix Rising on your keeper shelf, it’s an amazing read. I absolutely loved it…”

That out of the way, some fun stuff for Ghost Phoenix! :)

First, a few reviews.

 

Releases 10/7/2014

From the All ThingsUrban Fantasy site:

“The story is fast paced starting out as a simple madcapped heist to find the body of Rasputin, only to become a more complex race against time with massive deadly roadblocks in store for Richard and Marian. The conflict with Rasputin was very entertaining and suspenseful. The way in which they incorporated Marian’s ability into the quest to get Rasputin’s DNA was genius.  GHOST PHOENIX is a thrilling science fiction adventure story with a sweet romance that doesn’t overwhelm the exciting plot.”

From It’s About the Book:

“Corrina Lawson has built a very unique series with the Phoenix Institute novels–in fact, I would say it is unlike any other I’ve read. Each book is a unique story in and of itself; yet they build on each other like layers of a wedding cake. You can read one without reading the others and have a completely enjoyable read; however, to get the entire scrumptious mouthful, you’ll want to plunge into the whole set, making sure you get a taste of each. Honestly, even read out of order it works! Then you will get the total swirl of delicious textures, tastes and delights that this author has on offer with this truly one-of-a-kind series. Enjoy!”

I will always take it well when someone calls my writing genius or scrumptious. :)

And then I went podcasting with the geeks at Mass Collision, who hang out on the community blog of That Guy With the Glasses. What a fun bunch. From their description:

U.S.A’s Tyr hosts this episode’s runway disaster with Co-hosts Maluku from Germany, Darrius-Jonah from U.K, and Spookypony from Australia, also joining us, special guest writer and editor of Geekmom.com Corrina Lawson.  In this episode we talk about Corrina’s Phoenix Institute saga, Battle Royal is messed up, and you should totally read it, the plight of geeky mothers, Watchdogs DLC, and the Primetime fall lineup of shows, including Gotham, and Agents of Shield.

What’s next?

I’m leaving on a jet plane to Seattle tomorrow morning for GeekGirlCon. GeekMom will have a table, come visit! And don’t miss the presentation of “Sex From the Female Gaze” at 7 p.m. on Saturday. There will be smut, oh yes.

I’m presently wondering if they’ll let us bring a bottle of wine…

And the promised peek into Ghost Phoenix.

Richard Genet is part of a Court of Immortals. Why immortals? Because I decided early on that the first psychic ability discovered was a telekinetic ability to heal one’s own body. This ability is usually unconscious, meaning that only people with a strong will to live would live long enough to consciously realize what was happening.

I searched European history for these kinds of steely personalities and came out first with Eleanor of Aquitaine, ruling Duchess of Aquitaine, wife to two kings, mother to two kings, and whose descendants ruled Europe. And then there was William Marshal, Earl of Pembroke, Regent of England, who at the advanced age of 77, saved England from a French Invasion.

Marshal was Eleanor’s favorite knight. One of the joys of writing this book was putting them in a scene together.

“I’ve every right. Now that my brother is dead, I am the Queen’s heir.” Richard tilted his head and glared at the doctor. “You forget your place.”

“And you finally remember yours, Richard,” the Queen whispered, her voice muffled by the curtains around her bed.
The Queen’s words were barely audible, yet still carried a rebuke. All was not lost yet, Richard thought, if she possessed the energy to chide him. He strode to the bed and pushed aside the opulent curtains to reveal the occupant.

Only years of practice in courtly manners kept his face from showing the shock of seeing her like this.

None of his Queen’s beauty remained. Her sallow cheeks, the sick yellow tint to her skin, and stringy muscles that covered bone made her look like a corpse. Her silk bedclothes seemed a grotesque joke, beauty covering death.
Their immortality relied on the desire to live. Thought became deed. No disease could destroy them, and very few injuries were immune to their psychic healing abilities. Doctors and their precautions be damned—the only way the Queen could die was if she wanted to die.

“How could you let yourself become this?”

“How could you stay away from me so long?” Her eyes gleamed, full of anger. She raised a skeletal finger to him and pointed. “And with these clothes and with your hair bleached? This isn’t you.”

Richard bit his tongue and waited a few seconds before replying, lest he let loose his horror at what remained of the most vital person he’d ever known. “Ah, I see you’re not too far gone yet if you criticize me. But you didn’t answer my question.”

“We are not required to answer your question,” said the Queen, using the royal “we”.

Another good sign, he hoped. She must live. What could be so wrong? He sat on the bed, next to her. With her so tiny, there was plenty of room. “You chide me for leaving. And yet you’d give up and leave them without a Queen.”

“You could lead our court. You’re my heir, as you just said.”

“I’d lead them into the waves, perhaps.” He smiled. “Is that why you insisted I return, then? To assure yourself the Court could continue without you?” He shook his head. “I’m no replacement for you. No one is. You’ll simply have to live.”

She blinked and looked past him. Richard glanced over his shoulder and saw Marshal standing directly behind him. The others had moved to the opposite side of the room, giving them relative privacy.

“His manners lack, as always, but his words speak the truth, Eleanor,” Marshal said.

“You wound us, William,” she said.

“Truth often wounds. And I fear you may be too far gone for any words to have effect,” Marshal answered.

Releases 10/7/2014

::tosses confetti::

Today is the official release day for Ghost Phoenix, Book 3 in the Phoenix Institute series.

And if you don’t want to start with book 3 (though I do write them so you can read separately and out of order), book 1, Phoenix Rising, is still just 99 cents on all platforms: Amazon, B&N, Samhain, and all other stores.

Go buy it before the price swaps back tomorrow!

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.

I’ll be bad all day to update the post and add excerpts but you can also follow around on Facebook. Ghost Phoenix can be purchased for Kindle, Nook, and in any format at Samhain Publishing.

And while I know romance readers love their heroes, I know they also love their heroines. Here’s a glimpse of Marian Doyle, wanting to change her life around and using a kitchen skill we all wish we had….

Besides, if she’d been caught, she would have missed her new nephew’s baptism party.

She would never let down Jen. Her sister was the only one in her family she could relax with, the only one who cared about Marian the person, not Marian with the gift for smuggling million-dollar items. She liked her brother-in-law too. She expected she’d like the little guy at some point but all her godson James did so far was cry and sleep, so that was hard to tell right now.

But even crying, James was still definitely preferable to Grandfather.

She washed off the pastry knife in the sink as her brother-in-law rushed in to get the last slices to distribute to the guests gathered in the backyard. Scott looked harried, his eyes tired like only the eyes of a parent of a newborn could be. He barely mumbled thanks, added the slices to a tray and slipped back out. Laughter wafted in from the backyard as Marian slumped against the refrigerator, her job nearly finished. Hiding in the kitchen allowed her to plan her speech to Grandfather.

She was done with this. Over, finished. Screw their guilt trip. Her father had plenty of legitimate clients. Let those support the family firm. She couldn’t go on like this.

Marian pulled at a drawer to get out the last of the plastic silverware. It jammed. She tugged the drawer harder and that accomplished nothing except making herself angry. Dammit.

She looked down at her hand and concentrated until it was translucent. She stuck her arm up to her elbow through the jammed drawer and closed her eyes. Usually, she could do this to her hand without thinking, but her mind was stressed and jumbled today. How stupid would it be to screw up something as simple as un-sticking a drawer? She’d never hear the end of it.

She fumbled around in the drawer. The wisps of the solid items tickled her ghost fingers as she tapped around inside until she found the cheese grater in the back stuck upright. She concentrated again, feeling her fingertips take on their regular weight and become solid so she could shift the grater. When the rough edges of the grater scraped her thumb, she knew she had it. She twisted and it fell on its side.

She pulled her hand back through the drawer and dropped her concentration. Her hand filled out and became flesh and blood once more. She tugged at the drawer again. It came free. Success!

If only she could get her life unstuck as easily.

 

 

 

Good morning!

As a belated birthday present to me and all of you (well, I like to think of it that way) my publisher is dropping the price of Phoenix Rising, the first book in my superhero series, to 99 cents.

You can grab it on Kindle, , B&N and All Romance Ebooks now.

The sale is in celebration of the release of book three of the series, Ghost Phoenix, on October 7th. (Now available for pre-order on sale at $3.85 at Samhain Publishing!)

I listed ten reasons you might want to give Phoenix Rising a try. The other seven are at the link! :)
*************

1. The hero is a firestarter and telekinetic and also very photogenic. Or, as the heroine says, if God reached out to create a superhero, he’d look just like Alec Farley.

2. Telekinetic sex. Yes. That.

3. How many books do you read in which the heroine teaches the hero how to drive while listening to Motown?

Phoenix Legacy by Corrina Lawson (Paranormal Romance eBook)

4. Stuff blows up. As it does.

5. The heroine, Beth Nakamora, is a telepath. When she and Alec touch, well, like Springsteen said, “Fire!” Literally.

6. There are more than a few glimpses of the hero of book 2, Phoenix Legacy,  in Phoenix Rising, with Philip Drake being mysterious and deadly. As he does. (If you like dark heroes, Philip is your guy.)

7.  F-Team, Alec’s military-support team, featuring the leader, former Navy SEAL Daz Montoya, who is the hero of book 4, Phoenix Inheritance, coming out in March. He’s such a guy. I mean that in a good way. (If you like sweet but dangerous family men, Daz is your guy. )

8. Can you eat M&Ms with no hands? Alec can.

9. New York is saved!

9. It contains a homage to one of my favorite superhero movie scenes, namely the “You’ve got me? Who’s got you?” from the original Superman.

Give it a try!

You can be certain if my characters start a scene by sitting down in Bryant Park on a beautiful morning, it won’t end that way.

Ghost Phoenix is out on 10/7/14 and now available for pre-order on Amazon, B&N, and my publisher, Samhain Publishing.

Releases 10/7/2014

************************************************************

The sunlight was in Montoya’s eyes. No doubt that was why Richard saw the red dot appear on the soldier’s chest before Montoya did.

Richard tackled Montoya and grabbed Marian’s waist. The three of them went down in a heap behind the carousel. A bullet dinged off the sidewalk, raising small puffs of concrete dust. Richard rolled free from their pile, moaned and grabbed the side of his chest. His fingers came up bloody.

God’s eyes, he’d been so focused on the person stalking him that he hadn’t considered someone else could be after Montoya.

“What’s going on?” Marian scrambled to her feet.

He snatched her hand and pulled her back to the ground.

“Who’s shooting at us?”

“Unknown sniper, after Montoya. Stay down, please, Angel.”

Richard sat up, his back to the fence. Montoya was in a crouch, staring at the hotel windows, likely trying to locate the sniper.

“That bullet was aimed at me, Genet,” he said.

“I know. You’re welcome,” Richard said.

“I’m going to get us out of here,” Montoya said. “Be right back with transpo. Stay put.”

“Isn’t it dangerous to run out from cover?” Marian’s eyes were wide. But her voice was firm.

“Staying here and getting shot at is more dangerous. I can handle this. Stay down, miss. Besides, if he’s after me, you’ll be safer if I go.”

Richard liked Montoya a little already for trying to save Marian. He liked him evenmore now for protecting her. Edward might have misjudged these Phoenix Institute people. Which meant his brother had probably died needlessly. He wasn’t sure whether to laugh or cry about that. But he could do neither. Every breath he took was like a knife in his gut.

Marian, face white as a ghost, nodded at Montoya. “Okay.”

Montoya scrambled away, keeping structures in front of him as much as possible. No shots rang out. The sniper might have left already. Not that they could take that chance.Marian turned to him and noticed the blood soaking through his T-shirt and into the gray hoodie.

“Oh my God, you’ve been shot! I’ll call 911.”

“No. Would you like to spend the next few hours in a police station? Very boring, and then we’ll have the questions as to why my bullet wound healed so quickly.” He inhaled, holding back a moan. He needed to use shorter words. The stabbing pain crested. He exhaled and felt his whole side turn to fire. That was his body, healing itself, and driving down some of the pain.

“You’re losing a lot of blood,” she said.

Yes. He wouldn’t fully heal if the bullet remained inside him, as he suspected it was. It would have to come out. Soon. He had an idea how. But not here.

“Slide off my sweatshirt and press it against the wound. It’ll slow the bleeding.”

She did as he asked, and he wished pain didn’t prevent him from enjoying the touch of her fingers. He pressed his hand against the sweatshirt to keep it tight against him. “Don’t look so worried. It’s all right. Just stay put. I want you safe.”

“I’m safer than you are.” She curled her hand around his forearm. “I’m going to lookaround and see if someone is sneaking up on us.”

“You can’t—”

“No one can shoot a phantom. Bullets go right through me.”

“How would you know that?”

“I’ve been shot at before.”

He wanted to ask where and when and, if she had, why did she look so pale now, but it hurt to speak again. His head lolled down against his chest. Blood loss. Dammit. She straightened, and by the time she stood upright, she was immaterial. Again.Sunlight streamed through her. Again. Angel.

“I can’t see anyone or anything that looks dangerous.” Her voice was a low whisper, almost as immaterial as the rest of her, the sound of a ghost. She turned, and he lost sight of her in the sun. “Nothing.”

“Did you look at the windows of all the buildings?”

“Yes, but I don’t see anyone.” “Then come back here and return to normal, because there will be people at BryantPark who might convince themselves they’ve seen a ghost.” She must not suffer any fallout from this attack. “I need you to help with the blood loss.”

He took a deep breath. A sharp pain jabbed through his side once more, centered near the back. His healing fire couldn’t touch it. That must be where the bullet was lodged.Tires squealed around the corner. A black van sped toward them on the narrow street.

Ally or enemy?

 

 

Releases 10/7/2014

Today’s excerpt is from the first meeting of Marian Doyle and Richard Genet, aka immortal Prince Richard Plantagenet. New York is such a modern city, always moving, always changing, that I was curious what Richard would think of it.

Ghost Phoenix is out on 10/7/14 and now available for pre-order on Amazon, B&N, and my publisher, Samhain Publishing.

And you can click “want to read” on Goodreads.

****************

Marian decided, whatever her frustrations with her work, the last few years were worth it for the look on her grandfather’s face as Richard Genet put him in his place. Twice.

And Richard’s whisper of Angel in her ear was a nice bonus.

He radiated enough charm and presence enough to be an immortal royal, though he certainly didn’t look like a lost medieval English prince. No, he looked like a California beach god kissed by the sun.

Even on the streets of New York City, even dressed in a simple light-blue T-shirt, hoodie and khakis, he was turning heads.

He offered her his arm as they crossed the street. She took it, flattered when she should be wary. He was a client and she barely knew him. Instead, she was tongue-tied and off balance.

After several blocks of silent companionship, Richard stopped at the bottom of the steps to the New York Public Library. He tucked his hands into his pockets and stared at one of the stone lions, intent, as if the animal could stare back at him.

“Have you been here before?” she asked.

“A few times.” He shifted his gaze to the steps that led up to the main entrance of the library.

“If you tell me you helped construct the building or sculpted the lion, I’ll know you’re pulling my leg,” she said.

“It’s not my style of lion.” He smiled, apparently accepting her tease in good humor. “It does always amaze me that people keep building these kinds of monuments. At least this is one is devoted to institutional memory.” He shook his head. “Let us go sit in the park.”

It was early on a weekday morning. Bryant Park, an oasis of calm in the midst of the midtown skyscrapers, was nearly deserted. The restaurant was closed, the carousel silent and the public tables and chairs almost completely empty.

Richard chose a table in the middle of the park and pulled out a chair for her. “Thank you. I seem to be thanking you a lot today.”

“You are quite welcome for all of it.”

He folded himself into the chair. The sunlight streaming in from behind them caught the blond bleached into his hair by the sun and wind. No wonder he wanted to take a walk. He needed to be outdoors, not inside a stuffy office. His tanned face contained some age lines, primarily around his eyes. If he were an ordinary person, she would have guessed his age between thirty and forty.

Richard Genet wasn’t ordinary.

 

steampunk, steampunk detective, steampunk romance, Sherlock Holmes, female WatsonI have Google alerts set for my books as every author does.

But I have them set to a gmail account I never use. I didn’t know this until I went to set new alerts for my new books and noticed all alerts were set to go to my gmail.

I then checked the alerts.

Sure enough!

Some new reviews.

Well, not so new! July. ARGH.

But here’s someone who enjoyed The Curse of the Brimstone Contract and wrote a lovely review for Goodreads (at the link.)

A belated thank you, Jenna!

Now to see what else I’ve missed…..

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