Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Meeting Readers!

Congratulations to Juanita of Massachusetts for winning this month's contest! Thank you all for the great comments! Please come back next month on the 25th when I'll be giving away two more books! (Love at Stake 4 and 5). See you then!

I love meeting readers!  Recently, I accompanied my husband on a business trip to Europe, and I was fortunate enough to meet some of my readers. They all drove several hours to see me, and I really appreciate that! I gave each of them a signed copy of my latest release, How to Seduce a Vampire (Without Really Trying). In Nantes, France, Aurore took me to lunch at a creperie. So yummy!! We had a great talk, then walked about the center of town. When we went inside St. Nicolas church, we were in for a treat, since someone was playing the giant pipe organ.  A fabulous afternoon! Thank you, Aurore!

In Breda, Netherlands, I saw more readers. Valerie and her sister, Fabienne, drove in from Belgium, bearing gifts of Belgian beer and chocolate! We had a great lunch together in the town square. This was my second time to see them, and it's always a great pleasure!  The next day, Jolanda and Monique drove to Breda to see me. We ate giant slices of apple pie in the town square and toured the old cathedral.  And they brought more gifts!!  I have the sweetest readers in the world!

Now I'm back in Texas, and I hope to meet more readers soon.  I'll be at a cool event July 20-21 at the Lake Austin Spa. They even plan to have me do a Zumba class with some readers!  That should be interesting!  Here's the link, if you're interested in coming.
And don't forget the giant book signing at the RWA conference in San Antonio!! It's open to the public!  July 23rd, there will be over four hundred romance authors signing in one huge ballroom! Here's the link--

For this month's contest, I'm giving away signed copies of books 2 and 3 of the Love at Stake series-- Vamps and the City and Be Still My Vampire Heart. That's two books for one winner, who will be chosen at random. International entries are welcome.  To enter, simply leave a comment below. If you don't include your email address, please remember to check back here in a few days to see if I have posted your name as the winner. Good luck!!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Release the midsummer magic

Thanks to everyone who commented. I've declared you all the winner! Email so I can send you a copy of 'Release'.

It's Midsummer in the northern hemisphere - Midwinter here in the land of Oz. Here it's the shortest day of the year, and the longest night. From here, we fall down into deep winter and the weather is certainly do it's best to mirror that. We had a lovely mild autumn and it's taken a while, but the cold has hit.

The cows have been killed, the kegs tapped and we have feasted. Now we wait, and hope we make it through the hardness of the months ahead, until spring blooms and we can start anew.

At least, that's the way it used to be celebrated. A little sad that squirrels were smarter than humans... Anyway things are different now - we don't have to eat all the food for fear of it going off, or spend all our time indoors because it's too dangerous out (although you don't go outside by choice in this bit of Australia - nights are below freezing, days aren't all that much warmer sometimes).

Still, there's magic in the air. Days like today, where the sky is so blue, the sun so yellow and yet there's a crispness that stings your cheeks a little and makes you feel alive. I love walking in fog - the shadows it gives to familiar things, feeling alone even though you're in the midst of a city. And the crispness of frost on the grass.

Of course, the best thing about winter is being able to curl up under a doona with a good book. And luckily, I think I've got a pretty good one for you - if you like lots of steamy, sex with some hot spirits :)

RELEASE, my collection of four paranormal erotica novellas, comes out July 1. Below is the cover, blurb and some links and then a giveaway!

Four stories of eroticism, strength, experimentation, and ultimate salvation.

Cursed after death to live in grey nothingness until they atone for their sins, four spirits have spent centuries doing good for others. Finally they stumble upon the true key to their salvation — because they hurt women in their lives, they’ll only find release by now helping women to become all they should be. One by one, the spirits meet a woman and as each sexual delight unfurls, the grey nothingness disappears a little more. As the women find their happily ever after, they grant the spirits a chance at peace for eternity.

Follow the journey of four remarkable women — Luisa, Anna, Cara, and Jan — and the four spirits that set them on a new path to sexual freedom and boundless pleasure.

Preorder links 

Kobo -

Kindle -

iTunes -


I've got ten -yes ten -copies of Release to give away in your preferred electronic formate. To enter, tell me what is your favourite thing about winter?

I'll announced the winner on July 1, the day Release is released!

Monday, June 16, 2014

You Plus One

Black Unicorn by Michael Parkes

You Plus One Giveaway!

Thank you for all your BFF contributions and testimonies. That lights me up! The winner (selected by a random draw from the hat) is thatoneindiecindie. Congratulations! Please email Kim with your preferences  - book or Kindle, 2 titles and address/email. 

Thanks again!

To celebrate our theme of friendship, in and out of fiction, here’s your chance to win two books from any of my series, one for you and one for a friend.

Paranormal Romance? YA Dystopia? Science Fantasy? Pick your pleasure.

This is the opportunity for you to win a book for yourself and introduce a friend to the world of speculative fiction!

To win, leave a comment naming one of your BFF's or a fiction friendship that you love. That’s all you have to do, and I’ll send the winner two book, or Kindle versions, you decide.

Click on a cover to read the blurb.

Let’s all take a moment to celebrate our friendships! How wonderful is it to have them in our lives!


The Spell of Rosette by Kim Falconer 

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.

Happy Friendship!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Just a small town girl, learning in this lonely world

Year of Living Heroically #5: Tests, Allies, and Enemies

It is totally perfect (fated?) that Helen Lowe wrote about Sidekicks a few days ago and here I am talking about the portion of a book where the Heroes meet allies for their journey. She gave great examples of people who help along the way, and frankly, get all the best lines of dialogue.

So, our Hero has said YES to the adventure and is now entering a new world. This could be through starting a new job or, in most of our paranormal stories, the hero has actually jumped through a portal into an actual new world and needs to learn what is going to eat them and what is going to help them.

The Tests, Allies, and Enemies stage in the Hero's Journey is the exploration of the new world by the hero. She is stumbling around, trying to learn new rules, who to trust, what is real. And frankly, the best and most fun way of making a Hero learn is by testing them. Throw something ugly at them that makes them realize how this new world works. Its the Journeying part of the journey as the hero moves inevitably towards her Resurrection.

When I talk about Allies and Enemies, I'm talking about the people the hero meets who test her and who teach her. It is the character the hero encounters that helps her understand herself almost as much as the trials she is going through. And sometimes that needs to be an old-fashion villain.

In Diaries of an Urban Panther, Violet had to learn a lot and very fast. It seemed the middle section of that book was nothing but reading and fighting, learning and protecting herself from this new world and her new power. Finding out about herself, her best friend, and what exactly wanted to eat her for dinner.

In life, it really doesn't look much different. We face hardships every day that teach us something. We encounter people that drive us NUTS but teach us to be better. We meet people whose sole purpose of being is to make our life harder (yes, personal experience here).

I was chatting with a few people at RT in New Orleans (awesome sauce), and we decided we needed more words for 'friend.' There are people who you enjoy hanging out with who share similar interests. Then there are those who you would totally pick to survive the zombie apocalypse with. And then there are those who you really don't even like sometimes, but who have undoubtedly made you better some how. The word 'frister' came up and 'framily" and I couldn't help but think of Christina and Meredith from Grey's Anatomy. All of them help us along this journey, all in their unique way.

So reflections for this month: Are you someone's frister? Are you someones frenemy? Who is your person that helps you through your journey and have you said thank you lately?


Amanda Arista
Author, Diaries of an Urban Panther series

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Fantastic Sidekicks


Hands up all those of us who have a soft spot for the sidekicks in SciFi-Fantasy?

Buffy Season 1: the original sidekicks
Often it's the sidekicks who ground the heroine or hero, like the "Scooby Gang" in Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

And like Samwise Gamgee in The Lord Of The Rings, and Zuzana in the Daughter Of Smoke and Bone series, the sidekick has the heroine or hero's back.

Often, too, the sidekick's character acts as a foil for the main character's strength or weakness
or, again like Sam and Zuzana, illuminates both.
Han Solo: sidekick & show-stealing loveable rogue

Other times, the sidekick steals the show, as that loveable rogue, Han Solo, did in Star Wars.

Clearly, sidekicks are important. And like the loveable rogues they often are, they have a way of wangling their way into a story.

In my Junior/YA novel, Thornspell, recently reviewed by Kate Forsyth, the hero (Thornspell is a retelling of Sleeping Beauty from the perspective of the prince) finds sidekicks in unexpected places, including a shabby servant girl first met in a neglected garden:

"He turned away, kicking through a deeper drift, and saw that there was a girl standing beneath the bare crown of an elder tree... She looked like a servant, he thought, a girl from the scullery or laundry, with the ragged hem of her skirt stopping a few inches clear of bare, brown ankles. Her feet were thrust into the wooden shoes worn by the lower servants, and her hands were scratched, her hair a snarl of brown curls. She had a leaf caught above one ear and was looking at him sidelong beneath a tangle of dark lashes—a shy look, he decided after a moment, rather than sly.

“Who are you?” he asked. “What are you doing here?”

The girl pointed to her mouth and shook her head, and after a moment he guessed that she must be mute. “All the same,” Sigismund said, a little disconcerted, “I don’t think you should be here. You’ll get into trouble if anyone finds you.” 

It did not occur to him then, that he had already found her..."

In The Gathering Of The Lost (The Wall Of Night Book Two), the sidekicks are again vital to the action, including the part played by Raven, a hedge knight of dubious origin:

"“It's not far now,” his rescuer said at their next, brief halt ... [His] sardonic expression twisted into a grin. “You can call me Raven. I answer to it most days.”

The name suited the man, Carick thought. He was very dark and there was a sharp edge to his gaze, as though he was used to assessing men and situations at a glance. The shabbiness of his first appearance though, did not improve upon closer inspection. The old-fashioned sark had been mended with horn and bone in places, and his cracked leather gauntlets, like the helmet, had definitely seen better days. Carick had noted other signs of the disreputable as well: the tattoos glimpsed between the edge of the knight's sleeves and his gloves, the fetishes of bone and feather tied as a crest to his helmet—and horses that answered to a whistle. The father of one of Carick’s university friends, a prominent River merchant, held the unshakable opinion that horses that came to a whistle belonged exclusively to smugglers or brigands. In the merchant's world, mercenaries and hedge knights were only one step above brigands. 

“Ser Raven?” he said tentatively, not wanting to offend the man. But Raven just shrugged and remounted without replying."

Amongst more straightforward sidekicks, both the shabby servant girl in Thornspell and the disreputable hedge knight in The Gathering Of The Lost remain mysterious figures in their respective storiesbut like all good sidekicks they also play a pivotal role in the main characters' hero journey, frequently have the central protagonist's back, and illuminate their strengths and weaknesses. Unlike Han Solo neither steals the show, but both certainly complement it.

How about you: I'd love to hear about the SF-Fantasy sidekicks you "heart", and why, if you've time to leave a comment. :)