Friday, April 25, 2014

Zoltan Countdown: 4 days!!

Congratulations to Stephanie from Florida who won this month's contest! Thank you all for the lovely comments! Please come back May 25th for my next post and contest. Thanks for all the support!

Finally! After months of waiting, How to Seduce a Vampire (Without Really Trying) goes on sale next Tuesday!

Those who come see me at C2E2 in Chicago this Saturday will be able to get a signed copy!  Or  if you attend the Launch Party on April 29th that's being hosted by Katy Budget Books, you can get a signed copy there, too! For more info: Even if you can't make it to the party, you can still order a book from Katy Budget Books, and I'll sign it for you that evening! There will be plenty of contests going on with opportunities to win free signed books. Please be sure to enter the contest on my website at and check out the other interviews/contests listed on the Appearances page of my website. I'll also be at the Romantic Times Convention in New Orleans in May, so I hope to see some of you there!

Now, more about Zoltan! If you recall in Wanted: Undead or Alive, Phineas and Brynley are in Wyoming, hunting for Corky, and Zoltan comes to help them. That is when we learn that Zoltan can communicate with animals!  In How to Seduce a Vampire (Without Really Trying), Zoltan is investigating a mystery, and a clue leads him to Tibet. Unable to communicate with the local villagers, he tries getting information from the neighborhood dog.  As you can imagine, the dog is very talkative and eager to make friends. Later on, when Zoltan meets the heroine's pet snow leopard, he tries communicating once again. As you can imagine, the cat is not talkative and not at all eager to make friends. Especially when the cat sees Zoltan as competition for the heroine's affection! I had so much fun writing dialogue for the dog and cat!

Today, to celebrate the upcoming release of book 15, I'm giving away a signed copy of Wild About You (book 13) and The Vampire with the Dragon Tattoo (book 14).  One lucky winner will be chosen at random. International entries are welcome.  To enter, just leave a comment. If you don't include an email address, please remember to check back here in a few days to see if I have posted you as the winner. And today's question: Would you like to have real conversations with your pet, or do you think they communicate quite well without words?  Good luck!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Never fear - the whole trilogy is here! (+giveaway)

Hate waiting for the next book in a trilogy?
Hate finding the second or third book and being scared to read it in case it doesn't make sense, but it's hard to find the others?
Hate starting a trilogy with the fear it won't be finished?

You can't hate the Dream of Asarlai trilogy for these reasons now! There's a new omnibus version available (electronic form only). You can get all three books in one, and the price is fabulous. Around 350,000 words of action, adventure, magic and romance, for less than $10. And that's Australian - probably even less in other currencies. (Except New Zealand - probably more for you. Sorry NZ).

Here's the blurb:

An exciting Urban Fantasy trilogy full of intrigue, action and a hint of romance. For centuries, the gadda have worked to keep their identity secret from the rapidly expanding human race. All this is now at risk - the most terrible of gadda teachings, the Forbidden Texts, have been stolen and the race is on to find them. Asarlai believes the gadda should rule the world, and she will risk everything, and everyone, to achieve her ambition. As the body-count mounts, Asarlai finds a powerful ally and the pressure builds to stop her and retrieve the Forbidden Texts before she can change the world forever. Join Maggie Shaunessy, Ione Gorton and Hampton Rouke on their quests to save what is dear to them ... and the world as they know it. Praise for Nicole Murphy: 'engaging' DAILY TELEGRAPH 'compelling' KIWI REVIEWS 'fresh and interesting approach to an urban fantasy series' Bookseller+Publisher 'a rollicking romp through the space where romance and fantasy collide' The Courier-Mail

Purchase from iTunes, Amazon and Kobo.

For you - an excerpt from the first book, Secret Ones.

His eyes focussed on a young woman who stood in the middle of a group of older men. Glorious golden hair was twisted up around her head. Her halter-neck black jersey dress, its hem just sweeping the tops of her feet, enhanced the rich curves of her body. Jackpot, he thought.

She turned and their gazes caught. She walked over, moving gracefully even though he was watching so closely.

‘Dr Valeroso.’ Her smile was as sunny as it had been that afternoon, although it lacked the heat he’d liked. ‘I’m pleased to see you survived the encounter with the grove’s protector.’

He bowed his head. ‘Thank you for saving me.’

‘I’m sure you’re quite capable of saving yourself.’

‘But always nice to have someone else make the effort, don’t you think?’

‘Sometimes, you have no choice.’ A shadow passed over her face and Lucas wondered what bad memory he’d just dredged up.

She shook her head and the smile resumed. ‘I hope you’ve managed to settle in.’

‘To my accommodation, yes. I haven’t seen my laboratory yet, but I’m looking forward to it.’ He didn’t like how businessy this conversation was.

‘If there’s anything you need, let me know. I’m working as the chancellor’s PA at the moment.’

He wondered if there was a reason O’Hara had hired his granddaughter to work for him. ‘At the moment? Isn’t what you normally do?’

‘No.’ Another shadow. ‘I’m just helping him out until the school year begins. I teach primary school. I think in the states that’s elementary school.’

‘Then you’re a fellow educator.’ Lucas was desperate to find a connection. He’d been so sure there was something between them during their first meeting.

‘Except you’re abandoning the chalkboard.’ The lightness that had entered her tone gave him hope.

‘Not by choice, I assure you. I’m allergic, you see.’

‘What, to students or the chalk?’

‘Um, both?’

She laughed, a thrilling sound that played over his body like music.

‘Actually, I think it’s the marking I’m allergic to,' Lucas continued.

‘How can it be? That’s my favourite part — hours bent over a desk, red pen in hand, wondering just how to tell someone they got it wrong without ruining their fragile self-esteem.’

‘Are we supposed to worry about their self-esteem?’

She laughed again. ‘Lucas Valeroso, that’s just too bad.’

‘Really? I’m trying very hard to be good.’

‘Oh, I’m sure you are.’

And there it was, that attraction that had so instantly drawn him. When her eyes sparkled like that, Lucas felt as though anything were possible. ‘Perhaps you can help me with that, Ms Shaunessy.’

‘Please, call me Maggie.’ She held her hand out. He reached for it, expecting to feel a thrill at the first touch of skin on skin. The shaft of energy that ran up Lucas’s arm surprised him with its intensity.

He knew she felt it too, because her eyes went so dark his stomach dropped into his shoes with arousal. Then she released him, and he fought back the disappointment. ‘We’re thrilled you decided to come here, Dr Valeroso.’

The ice in her voice threw him. What had he done to piss her off? ‘I’m not sure I had much of a choice. I think Chancellor O’Hara decided I was coming here, and that was it.’

‘Once he sets his mind on something, it does tend to happen,’ she said. ‘I need to keep circulating.’ She looked at him, and he fancied she was trying to read his mind. Then, with a nod, she walked away.

Damn, damn and double damn, Lucas thought. He’d really stuffed that up, somehow. Then he remembered the shock he’d received when he shook that aeroplane guy’s hand — a shock exactly like he’d just felt with Maggie. And Flaherty was involved with the O’Haras somehow. Something strange was going on around here. Good. He quite liked a good mystery, especially when the heroine was smart and gorgeous.


Don't we all, Lucas, don't we all :)

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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Experience Everything; Exclude Nothing

'Boundlessness in Bloom' by Duh Huynh
The full moon @25 Libra yesterday was a total eclipse -  meaning the next week is the perfect time to let go of 'tolerations' and get a move on with your life.

Symbolically, it's a time of culmination and release. Expect some emotional cleansing, the 'good for the soul' kind. You might also find something you've been waiting for arrives - the news, the green light, the big opportunity, and if not, you understand where, how, when and why it's time to regroup. Either way, it feel like progress is possible, and it is!

The focus might well be on relationship. You could see the light in terms of how to live your connections in a more fulfilling-to-you way Hint: if you want to improve your relationships 'out there' in the world, improve your relationship to yourself. It all begins with you.  

How can you best align with the energy of the eclipse?

First, release those 'tolerations'. Here's how Jeannette Maw describes them:
To tolerate something means to “allow the existence of, to permit or endure or put up with something.” This implies that the something (or someone) is less than ideal and tends to drain a person’s energy. Thus, a toleration is often a hindering influence to the vibration. More . . .
To recognize those toerlations, we need to feel everything; exclude nothing. Roll up your sleeves, and do the inner work. Whatever has kept you from your own growth and happiness is released, with conscious awareness and intention. If ever there was a Rainer Maria Rilke Eclipse, this is it:
It is not inertia alone that is responsible for human relationships repeating themselves from case to case, indescribably monotonous and unrenewed: it is shyness before any sort of new, unforeseeable experience with which one does not think oneself able to cope. But only someone who is ready for everything, who excludes nothing, not even the most enigmatic, will live the relation to another as something alive.
Use this opportunity to tune in and see where you can open this door to a shared experiences, and also clean any closets or clutter found blocking the way.

NOTE: The energy of the eclipse can be felt 30 days before, the time of, or 30 days after (give or take 3 days in each case). That means circle your calendar for (March 15), April 15 and May 15 +- 3 days. Also, for those of us mature enough to recall, note what was happening April 15th 1995, the last time we had a Lunar Eclipse at 25 Libra. What was the energy like then? How did you align to it? Ideas?

AriesARIES: The eclipse highlights a contrast between career/creative goals and your love life giving you a chance to see things from a different perspective. Take time to consider all sides then make a choice that feels like the most challenging. After all, you are meant to have adventures!
TaurusTAURUS: There is an indulgent feeling in the air, a sweet song that lures you away from practical goals like sensible eating and a good night's sleep. The eclipse in Libra will enchant you and then suddenly snap you back to 'reality.' Fortunately, a path once traveled is easily found again. Learn to walk both.
GeminiGEMINI: The Muse is awakened, called by the full moon eclipse in your house of creative self-expression. This is where you follow your heart's desire be it a lover, work of art, manuscript or film. You're officially clocked off! If it doesn't start with 'free spirited', it's not on the docket. Reconnect with your rapture.
CancerCANCER: The Lunar Eclipse in your home sector brings the urge to retreat, but not alone. You want those close to you gathered around. Easy done. Host a family dinner, have friends over for a film night, dance or ritual, organize a working bee. Take the initiative and bring loved ones together for a purpose.
LeoLEO: After weeks of crazy communications, this full moon is a time to clear up any lingering misunderstandings. Start first with yourself. What wires are crossed? What inner messages have you missed? Once sorted you go on to straighten out any kinks with friends and family. A simple, let's start again will do.
VirgoVIRGO: Mars is still retrograde in your house of $$$ and talents, and after ruling Mercury Rx for weeks before that, you might feel like your spinning your wheels. Not so! To get your life on track, think of three things you want to do this year, set clear intentions to do them and roll up your sleeves. By mid May, the plan unfolds.
LibraLIBRA: This is your yearly full moon (eclipse), one that has you feeling intense, focused and a little overworked. Set the tempo for the rest of the year now by creating perfect balance between home/family, career/creativity, lovers and others and your own 'me' time. Think equal portions, clear intentions, easy done.
ScorpioSCORPIO: This eclipse is tagging 12th house of the unseen real, bringing up content from the unconscious like a dog digs up an old bone. It might help to remember that for the dog, that buried thing is a treasure! The key to sailing through this lunation is to relax, let go and allow. Notice your dreams. Glean the message and move on.
SagittariusSAGITTARIUS: The key words for the centaur are socialize, tantalize, realize. This is not a go it alone time. As you mix with like-minded others, the eclipse shines on your goals and wishes for the future. Are they current? On track? Still relevant? Take time to sort through, eliminating anything past its use-by-date.
CapricornCAPRICORN: The eclipse lights up your house of public relationship, reputation and career. There could be some limelight, or at least an interview or two. The key is to 'create no response', that is, pay no attention to any gossip or whispers. Your authenticity stands. Just acknowledge credit where credit is due.
AquariusAQUARIUS: This is an explorer's eclipse for all Water-bearers, one that has you looking to distant horizons, speaking of sweeping events and notions and finding new paths to enlightenment. Under the cool rays of the moon you will see things from a fresh perspective. Think awareness, contemplations, assimilation.
piscesPISCES: The eclipse in your regeneration sector has you thinking intense thoughts and prepping to make life changing decisions. There is no rush. Actually, it serves you better to pace yourself this month, launching new plans after Mars goes direct on the 19th of May. Now is for composure and intimate connections. And inner peace.

Post in the comments where this eclipse is lighting up your chart. We'll compare notes! Happy fill Moon Everyone.

 Kim Falconer is a Supernatural Underground author writing paranormal romance, urban fantasy, YA and epic science fantasy novels.

You can find out more about Kim at or on the 11th House Blog, and on FaceBook and Twitter. She posts here at the Supernatural Underground on the 16th of every month. Her latest release is"Blood and Water" in Supernatural Underground: Vampires Gone Wild.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Inspire the heroes a mentor must

Year of Living Heroically #3: Meeting the Mentor

You read. You watch movies. You can spot these guys a mile away. You know exactly what they are there to do and what is going to happen to them.

The mentor is person/object that comes from the new world to which the hero is being called. The function of the mentor is to help ease the fear of the hero that made him/her refuse the call in the first place. This could be through giving the hero knowledge of the new world to combat a fear of the unknown, giving the hero confidence to overcome feelings of inadequacy, or giving them hope that they can survive the trials by serving as an example.

Do we really need to analyze how Miyagi, Morpheus, Keating, and Yoda served as mentors to their potential heroes? Didn't think so.

In romance novels, especially our near and dear paranormals, the mentors for the heroes are pretty obvious. In Diaries, it was Iris, the very old and very sassy former Prima of Dallas. But my main character, Violet, actually ended up being a mentor for her romantic lead. He needed an example of someone living a life they loved enough to fight for. When he got over his fear of disobeying orders, he fought to create a life he wanted to live. And then the smooching ensued.

So how do you identify mentors in your own life? How do you find the courage you might need to say ‘yes’ to your calling?

Listen. Listen to what people have done in their lives, read what people have to say about their experiences (yes- this means a few non-fictions every now and then). Remember that each of us is on a journey. Everyone has had a dark moment, a moment of resurrection, has refused a call. Listen to their stories and learn from them. Everyone is a potential mentor, a potential guide. And one person might have that one kernel of truth you have been looking for to take the next step in your journey.

Now this doesn't mean that you should let just anyone talk your ear off. But remember Mr Miyagi was the maintenance man. Mentors can be found in unexpected places. You just have to be listening. 

Amanda Arista
Author, Diaries of an Urban Panther series

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Finishing The Book – The Power Of Retreat

Well, that's what I've been doing over the last while – and although the hustle and bustle of the 'market square', and the buzz of the cafe, can provide rich material for writing, in order to mould and shape inspiration into a book, especially the final, finishng stages, I find I need to retreat into a space where there is no interference with the creative signal.

So I thought I'd share a few images of the retreat where I've just completed the third novel in my The Wall Of Night series, Daughter Of Blood.

Where the river meets sea, and sky...

Braided river, a little further upstream:

And then there's the wildlife – these are grey shags, storm driven to congregate, although the post-storm day belies it:

And the mountains, rising out of the plain:

For me, being in this environment cleared the signal enough to finish a book. 

But how about you: what are your favorite environments, for retreat or other reasons: what makes you seek them out?