Saturday, December 24, 2011

What's in YOUR E-Reader?

One of the unexpected benefits of switching to an e-reader is the virtual "library" it creates for you. With just a quick glance, you can look back and see what you've been reading for the past year. I did that this morning, and decided -- just for fun -- to list the ebooks I've read in 2011 (excluding my own).

*Note: This isn't a complete list of the books I've read this year, as I still love a good paperback! 

In my E-Reader Library:

BLACK SHEEP by Georgette Heyer
NATURAL BORN CHARMER by Susan Elizabeth Phillips
THE WISE MAN'S FEAR by Patrick Rothfuss
LOVE, LUST & FAKING IT by Jenny McCarthy
DESCENT INTO DUST by Jacqueline Lepore
THE GRAND SOPHIE by Georgette Heyer
JUST KIDS by Patti Smith
AIN'T SHE SWEET by Susan Elizabeth Phillips
DON'T BREATHE A WORLD by Jennifer McMahon
CHARITY GIRL by Georgette Heyer
SANDMAN SLIM by Richard Kadrey
HIDEAWAY by Dean Koontz
GRAVEMINDER by Melissa Marr
THE GOOD SISTER by Drusilla Campbell
THE HUNGER GAMES by Suzanne Collins
CATCHING FIRE by Suzanne Collins
MOCKINGJAY by Suzanne Collins
WOLF HUNT by Jeff Strand
THE BODY FINDER by Kimberly Derting
FIRST LADY by Susan Elizabeth Phillips
THE HELP by Kathryn Stockett
GAME OF THRONES by George R.R. Martin
NEVERWHERE by Neil Gaiman
ANANSI BOYS by Neil Gaiman
FAITHLESS by Joyce Carol Oates
HAWK OF MAY by Gillian Anderson
THE KINGDOM OF SUMMER by Gillian Anderson
IN WINTER'S SHADOW by Gillian Anderson

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

12 Days of Supernatural Christmas Giveaways!

Some of my writer friends and I are counting down the final twelve days to Christmas by talking about our “first holiday memories”, and giving away a book a day over in the Supernatural Underground! Each day will bring a new author, a new memory, a new book giveaway until December 25th, when one lucky winner will win a Grand Prize Packet, filled with books from some of today's hottest (and coolest) voices in Speculative/Supernatural Fiction!

Join me, Sable Grace, Kim Falconer, Joss Ware, Leah Cypess, Anita Bell, Dakota Banks, Nicole Murphy, Josephine Angelini, Juliana Stone, Helen Lowe and Kerrelyn Sparks as we share Christmas memories over the next twelve days.  Pop in and leave us a comment over at Books That Go Bump In the Night to be entered in the giveaways!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Reviewers Choice - Devil Without a Cause

Great news! I just found out that DEVIL WITHOUT A CAUSE was the Reviewers Choice for November 2011 over at GraveTells Paranormal Reviews. The reviewer includes several excerpts in her review, including one of my favorites... a scene where Samael the Fallen, Lord of the Abyss, comes face to face with both his past and his conscience, and doesn't like what he sees.

So, because I love getting Reviewers Choice awards and because pretty silver ribbons across my book covers makes my heart sing, I thought I'd share the excerpt with you here:


Samael stared bitterly into the pool, seeing now only his own reflection, and the blackness that surrounded him, as always.

Ariadne turned away, heading back into her cave, and he let her go, knowing himself a fool for wishing for things he could never have. Nicki Styx was beyond his reach, and part of him, Darkness help him, was grateful for it.

He stayed by the pool a long time, soaking in the quiet. There were no further visions, and he didn’t expect them—the pool revealed what it wanted to reveal, when it wanted to reveal it, and he had long ago ceded control of its moods to Ariadne. She was the Weaver, farseeing and complex, and the black pool her familiar. He did not begrudge it, for he had plenty of familiars of his own.

After a time, in no hurry to return to the eyes that watched him constantly in Sheol, he climbed the narrow path that led from the cavern into the bright light of day, thinking he might wander down to the sea and watch the waves beat against the cliffs. Ariadne’s isle was isolated, a hard little rock in a chain of larger rocks, remote from the rest of the world. He’d brought his favorite pair of Ray-Bans just for the occasion, and slipped them on just as he reached the top.

“What do you think you’re doing, Samael?”

Sammy whirled, shocked to hear another voice. He’d been coming to this island for millennia, and never seen another soul save that of the Weaver’s. His old friend Gabriel stood at the head of the path, emanating light, radiating disapproval.

“What the hell are you doing here?” Samael snapped, not at all pleased to see him.

“I’m here to speak with you,” Gabe said, taking a step forward. “Without your army of darkness behind you, hiding in the shadows.”

Sammy drew in a breath, reining his temper. “How did you find me?” he demanded.

“You’re not the only one who knows of this place—we found it together, remember?”

He remembered. They’d circled it, eons ago, he and Gabriel, on a beautiful day just like this one, sea winds holding them aloft, the sun warm on their wings. The skies surrounding them had been cloudless, but a gray fog had clung to the island, shrouding it, marking it as different. It had appeared so barren, yet so alive; its sinister aspect had drawn him like a lodestone. Gabriel hadn’t wanted to explore, but Samael had been unable to resist. He’d come back one day, alone, and it had been then that he’d met the old woman who lived in the cavern, and learned for the first time that he and his brothers were not the only immortal creatures in the universe.

“What do you want, Gabriel?” he asked shortly.

“I want to know what you’re doing to Faith McFarland,” Gabe answered grimly. “You were supposed to help her, to look out for her—instead, you’ve turned her into a thief.”

Sammy felt his temper rising—he answered to no one. “And a whore,” he agreed, flatly. “I made her into a whore, too. Don’t forget that part.”

Gabriel’s eyes flashed, for even angels were capable of anger, particularly when it was on someone else’s behalf.

“You were supposed to stay out of it, mind your own business, remember?” Sammy ignored Gabriel’s anger, and brushed past him to the head of the path, following it downward to the sea. “She’s unharmed, and the boy is in remission. More importantly, we agreed to do things my way.”

“You could heal the boy in an instant,” Gabriel stated, stopping him in his tracks.

“True,” he agreed, eyeing Gabriel over his shoulder. “Is that what guardian angels are supposed to do? Remove every trial from life and grant every wish as though they were someone’s fairy godmother?”

Gabriel made an exasperated noise, and Sammy knew he’d made his point. He turned and started again down the path. A moment later he heard the clatter of stone as his former comrade followed. They made their way in silence, single-file down a narrow track through the rocks. Soon the scent of the sea surrounded them, clean and sharp, and their ears became filled with the rumble of crashing waves, growing louder until they reached the end of the path, which opened onto an empty beach.

There Sammy stopped, feeling the wind whip through his hair, watching and listening to the thundering waves. The wind and the waves did only as they pleased. Nature had no need of a conscience, and neither did he.

It was several minutes before Gabriel, who watched the waves in silence beside him, finally spoke. “What are you up to, brother?”

His anger had passed, or Sammy might’ve struck him for using the word. As it was, he merely shrugged, still watching the waves, and stated, “I’m helping her. Her son is home from the hospital, isn’t he?”

“You’re using the child to get something you want. That was never part of the bargain.”

“Speak to me not of bargains,” Sammy said, not realizing how he’d fallen into a much older speech pattern, “for you know nothing of them. Everything you have has been given to you with an open hand.” He demonstrated, opening a hand to the cool touch of the wind, though his eyes stayed on the waves. “Beloved of the One, the universe your playground,” he added, without heat. “You know nothing of struggle, of pain, or of loss.”

“That’s not true,” Gabriel said firmly, but Sammy chose not to hear him, listening only to the crash and boom of the sea, pounding stubbornly against the rocks that surrounded the island.

“I told you I would do this thing my way,” Samael repeated, keeping his eyes on the ocean. “Go back where you belong, Gabriel, and don’t come here again.”

Gabriel’s laughter took him by surprise. “I’m not one of your servants, Samael.” He shook his head, apparently amazed by his old friend’s arrogance. “You do not command me. You reign within your hidden temple, and you play at evil among the shades of dead while you torment the living, but mostly you just hide—you hide from the One and you hide from yourself.” The angel took a step back, unfurling his wings. The sea winds caught them, buffeting the edge of his feathers, bearing him aloft, where he drifted. “We are brothers still, born of the same womb, that of the infinite universe. You hate me now for what I am, as I hate what you have become, but our fates will always be entwined.” The winds bore him higher, out of reach. “For that reason, and that reason alone, I give sway here today. Do what you will with Faith McFarland, at least for now, but do not disappoint me, my brother.”

Then he dissolved in a burst of light that made Sammy shield his eyes, despite the Ray Bans.

“Showoff,” Sammy muttered, beneath his breath, then turned back to the waves, letting them sooth the jealousy that had speared his veins at the sight of Gabe’s feathers, fluttering in the wind. The wind taunted him by bringing one of them to rest in the sand near his feet, where without hesitation, he crushed it beneath his heel.


Tuesday, December 06, 2011

A Devil Named Desire - an Excerpt!

 ~ Coming January 31, 2012 ~ 


    Gabriel sat in Mr. Qualey’s rooftop garden, alone in the dark, watching Hope through the window of her apartment. The police and the ambulance had come and gone hours ago, and all was quiet.   

    The night wind set the plants rustling, and lifted his hair. Gabe stayed in the shadows, wondering about the woman who thought him a murderer, and what had happened to make her so quick to see evil where there was only good.

     He was drawn to her, perhaps more than he should. Her boyish blond hair and her air of tragic fragility should’ve inspired nothing more than protectiveness, but Gabriel the Archangel, Servant of Truth, never lied to himself, and knew that despite the hurt and anger that had almost driven him away, what he felt for Hope was something more than mere protectiveness. He’d aided many beautiful women through the centuries, yet not once had he pictured them the way he’d pictured her in his mind’s eye, those few moments after the old man’s death. Women were mortal, and he was not. Women were human, and he was not. Why then, had he imagined her smiling up at him over a bridal bouquet, lying in his arms, perhaps even holding his child?

     Troubled, he chose to put his momentary lapse aside, and concentrate, instead, on keeping her safe, even if he had to do it from a distance. He’d watched her for hours after the police left: first as she’d moved around her apartment, occasionally weeping, then as she sat at her computer, her face illuminated by whatever she was looking at on her screen. He’d seen the cat leap into her lap, observed how—as it grew dark—she’d gone through the apartment room by room, turning on all the lights. She was still afraid of whatever had driven her into his company today; he could see tension in the set of her shoulders, wariness in her eyes. Strangely, she hadn’t closed her drapes, almost as though she were afraid to hide herself away from the world, perhaps for fear something else might creep in.

     “I see I’m not the only one with a weakness for gardens,” came a familiar voice, and his old friend Sammy stepped from the shadows. “Or is it a weakness for something else?”

     Unfazed by his old friend’s appearance, Gabe regarded him silently before he spoke. Samael looked every inch the Prince of Darkness this evening, clad in a crisply tailored black suit, eyes hooded. The only light thing about him was his hair, cropped short and carelessly mussed, and the glint of silver from an earring in one ear.

     “Why are you sneaking around in the dark, Samael? Haven’t you tired of it yet?”

     Sammy didn’t answer, and it was this that told Gabe his barb had struck home, so he pressed a bit further. “You look as though you have a party to go to… Black Mass at Dante’s Inferno, perhaps? Virgin sacrifice at dawn, champagne to follow?”

     “I came to check on my newest recruit,” Sammy said smoothly. “How’s our darling Hope this evening?”

     The hair on the back of Gabriel’s neck rose, for he knew a challenge when he heard one.

     “You can’t have her,” Gabe said flatly. “I’m going to drive the Darkness away from this one.”

     “You’re too late,” Sammy answered, with a smile. “She’s already mine.”


Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Ebook Pricing, A Novella, and Stuff

Hope everyone survived the Thanksgiving holiday intact!  I had a wonderful November, visiting the beach at St. Simon's, speaking at the Scribbler's Writing Retreat, working in my garden, cooking for my family.  Now I've put the fall decorations away, put up the Christmas tree and started my holiday shopping, knowing full well that Christmas will be here sooner than I think.

I also got two great pieces of news this month from my publisher that I wanted to share:

Book #2 in my Devil's Bargain series, A DEVIL NAMED DESIRE, will be released on January 31st, 2012.  My publisher has wisely decided to yield to the overwhelming demand for lower-priced ebooks (this is a good thing, people!), and has set the price for my devilishly delicious darling at only $4.99!  The paperback version will remain at $7.99.

For the record, I'm really glad to hear that the price of the the ebook was lowered. The ebook market has been flooded by a new wave of self-published authors offering low cost reads, and $7.99 was, in my humble opinion, just too high.  Why pay $7.99 for one ebook when you can buy two for $2.99, or 8 for .99?

Anyway, I'm thrilled that Avon is doing their part by being sensitive to ebook market pricing, and bringing out A DEVIL NAMED DESIRE at the lower price point of $4.99. 

Now, quick... go and download it before you spend all your Christmas money!!  :)

My second piece of good news is also ebook related - I have a Nicki Styx novella called GHOULS NIGHT OUT that will be released in standalone ebook form on January 17, 2012.  Isn't the cover cool? (I'm such a sucker for a graveyard - I literally "squeed" out loud when I saw this one.)  :)

This novella was previously published as part of the WEDDINGS FROM HELL anthology with Jeaniene Frost, Maggie Shayne and Kathryn Smith, but Avon is offering it as a standalone at only $2.99 (ditto everything I said above about their sensitivity to ebook pricing).

If you haven't read it yet, you should know that it's a ghostly Nicki Styx wedding adventure, complete with a missing bridesmaid, a murderer who needs his comeuppance, and the fugliest bridesmaid dress Nicki's ever seen, much less been forced to wear.  I should probably mention that it also has some embarassing relatives who enjoy country karaoke, but then again, who doesn't have some embarassing relatives who enjoy country karaoke?  :)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Urban Fantasy: Modern Day Faery Tales Drawn From Fantasy and Folklore

I recently had the very great pleasure of talking to a group of aspiring authors, writing teachers and writing students at the 2011 Scribblers' Retreat Writers' Conference in St. Simon's, Georgia, and thought I'd post my notes on my topic, which was Urban Fantasy: Modern Day Fairy Tales Drawn From Fantasy and Folklore. (Because that's what I write, yo?) :) Keep in mind that these were only my notes, which I expanded upon during my talk, which hopefully made it a little more fun and interesting than just the dry read-thru that you're about to experience (including one part where I almost caught on fire, but you kinda had to be there to get the full effect of that incident...) At any rate, maybe there are some other aspiring authors out there who can use the info, so here you go!

Urban Fantasy: Modern Day Fairy Tales Drawn From Fantasy and Folklore

At its most basic level, Urban Fantasy is a sub-genre of fantasy which involves present-day Earth and includes a supernatural element. On a much broader scale, however, Urban Fantasy represents the basic human need we have—especially in today’s uncertain times—to believe that good always beats evil. This “trope”, or literary technique, is at the heart of every good fantasy novel, whether it’s Sci-Fi Fantasy (Star Wars, Star Trek), Historical Fantasy (Lord of the Rings, Game of Thrones), Young Adult Fantasy (Harry Potter) or today’s Urban Fantasy, which includes novels like Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight series, and Neil Gaiman’s American Gods or Neverwhere.

According to Library Journal, Urban Fantasy was first defined as an acknowledged sub-genre in the late 1980’s and early ‘90s(1). In the years since, there has been a slow but steady growth in stories about alternate realities, vampires, werewolves, witches and zombies, leading to 358 fantasy titles hitting the bestsellers list in 2010 (up from 160 in 2006)(2). Fantasy and science fiction made up 10% of adult fiction sales last year, compared with 7% for mainstream literary fiction.(3) Urban Fantasy is considered a “cross-over” genre, as modern-day fantasy tales can be combined with mystery, romance, science fiction, horror, young adult genres, and by default, reaching a wider variety of readers. In light of declining print sales, major publishers like the Big 6 (Hachette, HarperCollins, MacMillan, Penguin, Random House, and Simon & Schuster) are increasingly seeking crossover novels that break genre molds and span genre bridges, and Urban Fantasy fills that need perfectly.

Urban Fantasy has always been around, from the days when spooky stories were told around warm fires on cold nights, but many classic Urban Fantasy tales were written in the 1800's: Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, Bram Stoker's Dracula, Robert Lewis Stevenson's Jekyll and Hyde. Spooky stories involving everyday life never went away, and were reflected in 20th century “pop-culture” through the use of television shows and movies:

Dark Shadows               The Twilight Zone       The Addams Family    The Munsters

X-Files          The Outer Limits          Tales From the Crypt  Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Unsolved Mysteries    

And the tradition continues in a more modernized way:

Grimm               True Blood         Supernatural                 Ghostwhisperer

Once Upon A Time      Sanctuary           Haven                Being Human

Lost                                  Medium                          The Vampire Diaries

No matter how many statistics I quote you, no matter how many examples I give you, the bottom line is that people are drawn to the unexplained, the fantastic, the out-of-ordinary. I joke that I began my writing career by deciding that imagination was the best weapon in the war against reality, but that’s actually the truth, not a joke. I’ve always been drawn to a story well-told, and the more elves and hobbits and white rabbits and talking caterpillars it had it in, the better. Today’s Urban Fantasy tales are no different than the fantastic tales of J.R. Tolkein or Lewis Carroll; they’re just tales told in a way that reflect today’s society, viewed through a modern day, somewhat supernatural lens.

The supernatural elements in today’s Urban Fantasy are virtually unlimited. Vampires, witches, werewolves, ghosts, zombies, faeries, dragons, any form of magic. Special powers such as telekinesis, the ability to read minds, invisibility, superhuman strength. New twists on old legends or mythologies. Vampires who are married to witches who read minds and give birth to werewolves. Zombie faeries who can only be killed by toxic pixie dust. Shapeshifting dragons who roam the skies at night and fight forest fires during the day.

Those are extreme examples, of course  (but hey, if I see one of those ideas in someone else's future novels, I want credit, darn it!), and while the plot device the writer chooses to employ will of course vary, the basic plot of an Urban Fantasy novel usually includes:
  • 1) An over-arching theme of Good vs. Evil. The stakes can be as high as the fate of the world, or as simple as saving the life of one individual, but there is always a goal that serves the greater good. Whether your protagonist is a supernatural bounty-hunter who keeps demons from taking over the world, or a single mom who finds out her neighbor is a vampire, moral dilemmas—and the consequences of them—are a mainstay of Urban Fantasy.
  • 2) The journey of the self – UF protagonists often start out ill-equipped, or even unwilling, to deal with the situations they find themselves in, but through character development (which the author shows by their ongoing actions and insights), find within themselves the strength to meet ever-increasing challenges.
  • 3) A Major Secret – one that puts the protagonist outside the realm of “normal”, but forces them to behave as though they were just like you and me. By placing the protagonist in an urban, “everyday” setting, the author creates a sense of kinship with the reader, fostering the much-needed suspension of disbelief.
As an author who was raised in the South, I never had a whole lot of trouble with “suspension of disbelief”. I grew up in Florida, where weird is normal, and spent my time watching those pop-culture TV shows and making up stories in my head.  I relied heavily upon my Southern roots when I started writing my own Urban Fantasy "ghost stories", beginning with DEAD GIRLS ARE EASY.  I tapped into all the elements of the unknown that I found the most fascinating: ghosts, near-death experiences, voodoo, demonic possession, haunted houses, bits of folklore and biblical stories, Celtic legends, fallen angels - anything that frightened or intrigued me was very likely to end up in one of my books.

I tend to shy away from straight horror, and I must admit that I've never quite seen the appeal of the whole "zombie" thing (unless it's based on the true genesis of that particular belief, which is deeply rooted in voodoo, not brain-eating automatons who can only be killed with a shotgun blast to the head), but who knows what I'll write about next?  With Urban Fantasy, I've got a rich field of imagination in which to play.
(1) Library Journal, “Urban Fantasy: The City Fantastic”
(2) Stuart Johnson & Associates/Simba Information, book sales tracking
(3) Bowker® is the leading provider of global book information and decision-support solutions through services that promote an efficient supply chain to publishers, book sellers and libraries.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

DEAD GIRLS ARE EASY, and Cheap, Too!!

Now only .99 cents for the e-book version!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Friday, October 14, 2011

No Tricks, Only Treats!

I'm blogging with my fellow HarperCollins authors today over in the Supernatural Underground, where I'm talking about trick-or-treating, and giving away treats!  (Like, duh.)  :)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

DEVIL WITHOUT A CAUSE Giveaway On Goodreads

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Devil Without a Cause by Terri Garey

Devil Without a Cause

by Terri Garey

Giveaway ends November 15, 2011.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

Saturday, October 08, 2011


During the month of October, you can not only buy the e-version of DEAD GIRLS ARE EASY for $2.99, but you can win a really cool DEAD GIRLS ARE EASY t-shirt to go along with it!

Visit THIS PAGE for details!

And that's not all! As I do every Halloween, I'm giving away lots of treats! Go visit my special GHOULISHLY GREAT GIVEAWAYS page!

What are you waiting for? No tricks, only treats!

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Ghoulishly Great Halloween Giveaways!

Oh, joyous joy! Oh, heavenly happiness!  It's time for the annual Halloween madness to begin!

Yes, I tend to go a bit nuts for Halloween, decorating my house inside and out, turning my quiet little bungalow into a garishly gothic monstrosity, complete with a graveyard (my collection of headstones and cobwebs is pretty impressive, if I do say so myself!).  I also like to liven up my website and blog with Halloween graphics, and I start giving away the treats early, by giving out very special goodies to my readers!  So this year, I've assembled an entirely new bunch of ghoulishly grand giveaways, just for you!

A "Come To the Dark Side" gift basket full of goodies

Two (2) custom designed DEAD GIRLS ARE EASY t-shirts

and this adorable "Ghouls Gone Wild" wall hanging!

How do you get a chance at winning them?  Simple, ghoulfriends... just go to my special Halloween Giveaway Page, and enter the drawings.  No obligation, nothing to buy, just a little spooky fun!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Attrazione Infernale, or Why I Love Italian

Take a peek at the brand-new Italian cover of "A Match Made in Hell" coming from Delos Books!

I love the look that Delos has given the Nicki Styx series (this is book #2), but just as a reminder, here's the cover for book #1, Dead Girls Are Easy.

The graveyard, the cool blue colors... and I can't help it, but I think everything sounds prettier in Italian.  :) 

For instance, just listen to the announcer in this Delos Books promo video when she says "Neeki Steex" instead of "Nicki Styx".  I love it!

p.s. - the first clip of the video talks about a zombie book, then about Charlaine Harris and her Sookie Stackhouse series, which has also been translated into Italian by Delos - I think I'm in some pretty good company here!

Friday, September 02, 2011

A Devil Named Desire - Cover Reveal, and Excerpt!

From the back cover:

Forbidden fruit is always the sweetest...

...and no one knows that better than Sammy Divine.  Once an angel, now cast down, Sammy's out to prove he's not the only angel who can be led into temptation...

Hope Henderson's sister has disappeared without a trace, and Hope will do anything to find her--even make a deal with the Devil.  An ancient text holds the key to unspeakable power, and it's the Archangel Gabriel's job to make sure it stays hidden, even if he has to become mortal to do it.  Lives, love, and the fate of the world hang in the balance, as Hope and Gabriel learn that when passion's involved, desire can be a devil that's impossible to control.

Whaddya think?

This is Book #2 in the Devil's Bargain series, and will be in bookstores January 31, 2012.  (It's available for pre-order already--e-book or paper--at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.) A continuation of Sammy Divine's complicated and sometimes surprising search for redemption, this is also the story of his oldest friend, the Archangel Gabriel, who you may remember from Book #1, DEVIL WITHOUT A CAUSE.

Take a peek and see what kind of trouble the world's original bad boy has stirred up this time:

"I'd really like to kiss you."

And then she did, and Gabe's universe expanded to include the sensation of soft lips on his own, the exchange of warm breath, and a throb in his lower belly that was near pleasure/pain.  He had no idea why he let her do it except that she seemed so precious and fragile, so vulnerable, as though she offered him her loneliness and her sorrows along with her body.

Heaven help him, he could not help but drink them in.

Closer she moved, and closer still, until her breasts were against his chest, and it was this that broke the spell; the desire to put his arms around her and drag her even closer came over him like a wave, and with it came the knowledge that if he let it, he would drown.

Abruptly, he jerked his head back, ending the kiss.  "Stop," he whispered, looking into her eyes.  "You must stop."

Hmm... I wonder if she stopped?  ;)

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

My Family Tree Is Full of Nuts

I must admit that I've never really been too interested in finding out much about my family's genealogy; it was enough to know that my family tree was full of nuts, and leave it at that.  :)  My grandfather was a bootlegger who left North Carolina under a cloud of moonshine fumes (he was one step ahead of "them thar revenuers"), and my great-grandmother used to run a boarding house (at least, I always hoped it was a "boarding" house, but being young and naive, I might've misheard - "board" is a word that could've rhymed with something else, if you get my drift).  I knew I had a passle of cousins on both sides (including one named Bubba), but I'd only met a handful of them. With both my parents gone, I figured I knew all I was ever going to know.

But then, last week, my uncle (who is a lovable nut himself, and the lone repository for information of this kind), asked my sisters and me if we remembered any specifics he could use to track down some old addresses.  Being a former Information Systems Analyst and all around Internet Info Geek, I decided to dip my toe into the waters of, and guess what I found?

Meet my great great grandfather, Simon Spencer Bohannon, born in 1835.  He was a Captain in the Confederate army, and spent four years as a prisoner of war in a Union camp in Hilton Head, SC. 

According to census records, he owned land in Fall Creek, a fairly remote area in Yadkin County, North Carolina, where he married and raised at least five children, including twin girls, Martha and Minnie.

(Twins in my family... who knew?)

Here's a picture of Simon on his front porch sometime in the mid 1870s, with his wife, parents, and four of his children.

The boy on the bottom step (right) is my great grandfather, Henry, and what I find absolutely amazing is that he is the spitting image of my brother Jon at that age:

When you consider the fact that back in those days, people did not smile for their photographs, the impish expression on Henry's face tells me a great deal.  I think that perhaps my brother Jon's nut didn't fall too far from the tree, if you know what I mean.  Jonny was the biggest nut who ever lived, and I really regret I can't show him this picture.  I think he would've gotten a real kick out of seeing this pic of Great Granddaddy Henry, and knowing that some of those wild oats he sowed so freely were actually in his blood all along, perhaps planted in the fertile soil of Fall Creek, Yadkin County, South Carolina.

Monday, July 18, 2011

To Hell and Back (Maybe...)

Ah, summertime... heat, vacations, maybe a little rest and relaxation by the pool, huh?  Or maybe you're the adventurous sort, preferring travel to exotic locations, checking out little known hot spots and boldly going where angels fear to tread. 

I hope so.

Just in case you're stuck at home at the moment, I thought it would be huge fun to take you to the hottest supernatural hot spot of them all, and give you a guided tour of Sheol from my main character's perspective -- that of His Infernal Majesty, Sammy Divine. Pack your bags, grab some bottled water (you're going to need it), and step into Sammy's world. Don't worry if he seems a bit cranky at first... he'll warm up to you.  :)


Hasn’t your mother ever warned you not to play with fire?

And yet here you are, asking for a guided tour of Sheol, Kingdom of the Damned.

Be warned: even though my hair isn’t as black as pitch, and I have neither a goatee or a pitchfork, I’m nonetheless a devil. THE Devil, if truth be told, but I rarely make a habit of telling the truth. The road to Hell may be paved with good intentions, but you’ll find none of that nonsense here.

Yes, I know quite well that the cover of DEVIL WITHOUT A CAUSE looks intriguing, but looks can be deceiving…. do you trust me to take you to Hell and back?

Very well. If you’d like a glimpse inside the world of Samael the Fallen, Lord High Prince of Darkness, then take my hand, and come with me.

You might expect our tour to begin with the River Styx, and its taciturn ferryman, Charon, but I’m afraid that the name “Styx” holds some bitter memories for me these days. I prefer to avoid it, and shall instead take you directly to the opposite bank to show you the handiwork of my friend Ariadne, the Weaver, in the Forest of Forgetting. It’s peaceful here, is it not? Yes, the trees are stunted and mishapen, but listen to the wind… it speaks of dreams and nothingness, of flowing water and endless skies, of oblivion and absolution. All lies, of course; lies designed to lure you into the trees, where you’ll find a myriad of spiderwebs, sticky traps for the foolish and unwary. For there is no such thing as forgetting, once you’ve entered Sheol. Here, you’ll find an eternity to remember past mistakes, a fact I know all too well, for I have made many, and have had eons to reflect upon them and wish things had turned out differently…

But enough about me—let’s move on, shall we? Next is a place where I’ve spent many an hour, listening to the song of the Nereids. Strange creatures, the Nereids: half woman, half octopus, singing the songs that the Sea of Sorrows moves them to sing for a captive audience, the lingering shades of regret who wander the shoreline. Not your average beach, I’ll grant you, for there are no colors here, merely shades of gray. Don’t let those wisps of guilt and shame touch you, lest you be trapped here with them forever. It’s all too easy linger here, thinking of what might have been had you only been honest with those you loved, and let them love you in return. All too easy to wonder how your life might have turned out had you made different choices… whether the touch of a loved one’s hand was worth more than you traded for it, whether their laughter could’ve banished the shadows within your soul…

Bah, enough of this place. The Nereid’s maudlin caterwauling has begun to effect even me.

I know! I shall show you true splendor, and take you to my audience chamber, which is papered in red velvet and hung with Swarovski-crystal chandeliers. Thirty-eight columns of pure gold line the vaulted chamber, which I fondly refer to as my Unholiest of Holies. The cries of the damned echo here, a mere reflection of the damnation I suffer every single day, all for one simple mistake, that of being tempted by a woman. Oh yes, my dears, I was the one made to suffer for introducing sin to mankind, while it was mankind, and their lust for the flesh, who tempted me.

Ah, well. Water under the bridge, I suppose.

Finding the audience chamber too gaudy for your tastes? We could always visit the edge of the Abyss and watch the fire imps at work, or stop by the Canyons of Despair, where the moaning of the wind sounds like millions of voices, lost in misery and anguish. The imps are ugly creatures, but a necessary evil, for there are so many souls to torture, and so little time. Don’t give me that look; contrary to popular belief, I’m not responsible for how people end up here. Mankind creates more more than enough cruelty and chaos to destroy itself, with little help from me. I’m merely doing my job—my thankless, never-ending job. Others get to laugh, and love, and live out their days in the sunshine, while I, I am condemned to the Darkness. Have you heard the old saying, “Better to reign in Hell than serve in Heaven?” I should let you try for yourself and see if it’s true.

Shall I tell you a secret? I loved a woman once. Not that seductress in the Garden, for that was merely sex, not love. (How was I, an angel, innocent of the ways of the flesh, supposed to resist her, by the way?)

No, I loved another, with brown eyes full of kindness and laughter, streaks of pink in her dark hair. Her name was Nicki Styx, and she chose another over me. I wish I could hate her for it, but I don’t. In all these eons, she alone knew me for what I was, and forgave me anyway. She alone touched my blackened heart, and lifted it to heights I’d long forgotten, earthbound and damned as I currently am. If I let you go, will you perhaps go check on her? You can read all about her, and the lost spirits she helps, over at

Yes, my darlings, I said “if” I let you go, not “when” I let you go. Don’t look so surprised… I warned you in the beginning not to trust me, didn’t I? These days, I’m a devil without a cause, and everyone knows that idle hands are the Devil’s workshop. I have plenty of work for you to do… would you like to borrow a pitchfork?

Oh, very well. I’ll let you go on one condition: watch this video about my latest book, and listen to one of my favorite songs, “Devils” by The 69 Eyes. Their lead singer is a friend of mine (in a way), for he, too, finds inspiration in the dark side…

Saturday, July 09, 2011

Want A Chance To Win Your Own Paranormal Library?

My fellow HarperCollins buds over in the Supernatural Underground not only share a group blog, but we decided to share a bunch of books, too - in honor of some awesome new releases in June and July, we're giving away TWO huge prize packets of nearly 20 books apiece (plus some miscellaneous goodies)! Get on over there and leave a comment for a chance to win!

1. ASCENSION by Sable Grace
2. HUNGER UNTAMED—2 copies—by Pamela Palmer
5. BLOOD OF THE WICKED by Karina Cooper
6. FEAST—2 copies—by Merrie Destefano
7. BURN THE NIGHT by Jocelynn Drake
9. ARC of ENTHRALLED edited by Melissa Marr and Kelly Armstrong
10. GRAVEMINDER toe-tag from Melissa Marr
11. SECRET ONES by Nicole Murphy
12. NEON GRAVEYARD by Vicki Pettersson
13. NIGHTSPELL by Leah Cypess
14. DEVIL WITHOUT A CAUSE—2 copies and assorted bookmarks—by Terri Garey
15. VAMPIRE MINE—2 copies—by Kerrelyn Sparks
16. DIAMOND EYES—2 copies—by A.A. Bell

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Riding the Whirlwind - Romance Writers of America 2011 Conference

I just got back from an action-packed, fun-filled, craaazy week in New York City, where I attended the 2011 Romance Writers of America conference. This button, my favorite souvenir of the conference, pretty much says it all, as it was five full days of mingling, meetings, workshops, sightseeing, eating, drinking and general overall socializing, as well as talking business, business, business.  For a writer who spends most of her time alone with her thoughts and her computer, it was hella nuts, and there were days where I was glad to remember my own name, much less someone else's!  :)

Anyway, I thought I'd share a few of the highlights while they were still fresh in my mind, beginning with the view from my room overlooking Times Square.  Now technically, while I do not prefer to glance out my window and see gigantic women in their underwear, I had to admit it was quite an experience!  Bright as day, 24 hours a day, and always, always full of people. (I loved it, but found myself very grateful for the blackout curtains.)  Monday was a day of catching up with old friends and doing some sightseeing, as I walked to (and got lost in) Bloomingdales, roamed past Rockefeller Center, Radio City, ABC Studios, the Rainbow Room, and even accidentally found myself outside my publisher's building! 

That night, I joined eight of my fellow authors and blogmates from the Supernatural Underground for a wonderful Italian dinner, and while there were lots of pictures, I particularly like this one of me in between Colleen Gleason and Vicki Pettersson.  (A blonde, a brunette, and a redhead who are all smart, funny, and write books that go bump in the night... what more could you want?)  There with us were Pamela Palmer, Juliana Stone, Karina Cooper, Amanda Arista, Amanda Alvarez and Amanda Vynes (a/k/a the Three Amandas).

Knowing the way around town came in useful the next morning when I joined about 40 of my fellow HarperCollins authors at a "Digital Day" presentation led by Carolyn Pittis, Senior VP of Global Marketing and Operations.  We were fed great food and fabulous information regarding recent, sweeping changes within the publishing industry, and what HarperCollins is doing to keep up with them.  It was all very interesting and innovative, so much so that if I told you, I'd have to kill you, so I'll just keep those industry secrets to myself!  :) 

After that came more sightseeing, and then a quiet meeting with my fabulous editor, Erika Tsang, during which we chatted about life and future story ideas.  (Btw, if you like my books, you have this woman to thank, both for giving me the chance to publish them and for helping keep me on track when my writerly brain goes off on tangents.)  Afterward, Erika and I fought our way through the unbelievable crowd that had gathered in front of our hotel for the red carpet premiere of Transformers 3 (I took this shot while pinned in place right next to the stage.  Can you say "claustrophobia"?!)

That night, I took part in a giant Literacy for Life signing with over 400 authors  and hundreds upon hundreds of book lovers at the Marriott Marquis - it was a total mob scene, and tons of fun!  Afterward, for a late dinner, I went back to the Italian place (What can I say? I like Italian!) with frabjulous New York Times bestsellers Jeaniene Frost and Pamela Palmer, where we solved the publishing world's problems over pasta and conversation.

Wednesday I met with my literary agent, Christina Hogrebe, and attended a fascinating panel discussion on the current state of the industry with literary agents Steve Axelrod and Bob Gottlieb, and publishing VPs Liate Stehlik of HarperCollins and Matthew Shear of St. Martin's Press.  During the day, I had a little time to catch up with old friends like Deanna Raybourne, Kate Carlisle, Janice Lynn, Kathleen Long and a host of others.

Before I knew it, it was time to run off and get ready for the Avon Cocktail Party at the Central Park Boathouse.  It was a beautiful venue in the heart of Central Park, complete with great food, champagne, and great company.
Here I am giggling away on the outside patio with authors Colleen Gleason and Kerrelyn Sparks, along with bookseller extraordinaire, Maureen Downey, who had us in stitches!  I met so many people that night that I couldn't begin to list them, but want to say a special thank you to Pam Spengler-Jaffee for organizing such a great evening!

Exhausted just reading this far, aren't you? :) 

Well, too bad, because now you've got to follow me to an 8:30am workshop on Light vs. Dark Paranormal fiction with fellow authors Karina Cooper, Pam Palmer and Kerry Sparks, where we talked for over an hour about plot, characterization, tone, and setting to a surprisingly large group of aspiring paranormal authors. 

We barely had time to put down the microphones before darting down two floors to take part in the Avon Open House signing, where we chatted and signed, then signed some more!  More mingling, lunch, and the rest of the day was a bit of a blur.

On Friday, I attended a panel discussion with head book buyers from Books-A-Million (Margaret Terwey), Borders (Ellen Clark) and Barnes&Noble (Jules Herbert), where they talked about what's selling and what's not (and why), and the importance of covers, titles and store placement, among other things.  Somehow I still found time to go the very cool Pompeii exhibit at the Discovery Museum, and played kid again at the giant Times Square Toys R' Us, which was so big it has a ferris wheel inside.

Then, that evening, the conference culminated in the glittering RITA and Golden Heart Award dinner and ceremony.  (I don't normally post pictures of my husband, but he looked so handsome that night that I can't resist!)  :)  Some of my dearest friends were up for Golden Heart necklaces and golden RITA statues, so many that I found it hard to know who to cheer for, as some of them were competing with each other in the same categories!  Our emcee for the evening was NYT best-selling author of The Princess Diaries, Meg Cabot, who was an absolute riot, and quite glamorous besides!

At any rate, I ended the evening with some wonderful pictures with some of my best buds, Janice Lynn and Anna Sugden.  (Do I have gorgeous friends, or what??)  There are many more, but I don't have them all developed yet.

And, of course, we did not forget the traditional shoe pic.  :)  Extra points if you can pick mine out of the lineup!

All in all, it was exhausting, fun, fabulous and already seems too long ago.  I can hardly wait for next year's conference in Anaheim, California to do it all again!

So, what were you up to while I was gone?  :)

Monday, June 27, 2011

A Vampire and a Ghost Writer Walk Into a Bar...

Sounds like the beginning of a joke, doesn't it? :)

Surprisingly, (further proof that truth is stranger than fiction) it is NOT a joke, but a reality:

On Saturday, July 9th, I'll be joining my friend and favorite Helsinki Vampire, Jyrki69 of The 69 Eyes, as he rocks the house at 1135 Decatur, New Orleans.

The best part is that before we walk into that bar, we'll be taking a good old-fashioned ghost tour through the spooky streets of old N'awlins, the details of which you can read here:

Those of you who've read my most recent book, DEVIL WITHOUT A CAUSE, may find Jyrki a bit familiar, for he was the inspiration behind the character of Finn Payne, the bad boy rock star who sold his soul to the Devil.

For the record, Jyrki isn't a much of a bad boy as he appears (shh... don't tell anyone), for he also graciously allowed me to use his song, "DEVILS" as the backdrop for my DEVIL WITHOUT A CAUSE book trailer, as well.  Watch it, and then go visit my website at for a chance to win the fabled Ring of Chaos (just like the one bad boy rockers wear).  :) If you like the song (and you will), you can download it from Amazon for only .99 by going HERE. Better yet, download the entire CD!

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Devil Without a Cause Video, featuring Music by The 69 Eyes

I'm super-excited to show you the new book trailer for DEVIL WITHOUT A CAUSE! The soundtrack is called "DEVILS", one of my favorite songs by The 69 Eyes (used with permission) which makes perfect sense when you consider that the band's lead singer, Jyrki Linnankivi, may or may not have been used as the inspiration for one of the lead characters in the novel. :) Another key aspect of the book is the Ring of Chaos - a cursed ring that will conform itself to the owner's deepest desires, endowing them with an artistic talent far beyond what they might have had otherwise. You've heard the phrase regarding a "fine line between genius and madness", right? Well, you, too can get a little madness by winning an actual replica of the ring!

Awesomeness, right? Watch the video, and see what I mean:

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Bats, Ribbons and Reviews!

Woohoo! I got a couple of new reviews on DEVIL WITHOUT A CAUSE this week, and wanted to share: Four out of five bats (ha!) from All Things Urban Fantasy, and four and a half blue ribbons from Romance Junkies. The reviews themselves contain spoilers, so I'm just hitting the highlights here:

Rating from All Things Urban Fantasy:

"Excellent - Loved it! Buy it now put this author on your watch list."

"DEVIL WITHOUT A CAUSE takes things into the realm of myth and magic without treading on too many dogmatic toes. This paranormal romance surprised me quite a few times, most particularly in the way that the main character/supporting character dynamic was reversed. While it’s unusual for me to be interested in world building over romance, I enjoyed the glimpses of this particular devil’s world so much he quite stole the show."

From Romance Junkies:

Full of imagination and creativity, DEVIL WITHOUT A CAUSE, the first book in talented author Terri Garey’s new DEVIL’S BARGAIN series, is an edge-of-your-seat thriller that will have you rapidly turning pages to see what happens next. An emotion-packed tale, DEVIL WITHOUT A CAUSE is filled with complex and compelling characters, a heart touching plot, deceit, plot twists, manipulations, romance, suspense and paranormal mystery, making it a delight for readers of various genres. This is a story you do not want to miss!