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.”