Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Grief

My Dad will have been gone four years this July. It was a long and hard death for him. He'd been diagnosed with Alzheimer's nearly 20 years before. He outlived my Mom by five years, and struggled to the very end in a body that literally disintegrated around him. My sister and her son took care of him and I helped when I could. But in the end we could only wait until he gave up.

I don't remember everything that happened then, but this is what I do remember:
Reading saved my life. My oldest best friend, Loren Rhoads was finishing up her space opera trilogy, In The Wake of the Templars, which she had sold to Night Shade Books. The fact that my friend had made a sale to a major publisher was literally the best thing that happened in.... it seemed like years.
She was on the tightest deadline I could imagine--it was months, where I take years to finish anything. Loren was doing it.

In the midst of all of that, she started sending me the book in progress, chapter by chapter. Now I couldn't tell you if it was one a week or a day, but it seemed as though, I woke up every day to something new, something exciting. Something that wasn't me at work, carrying my phone around all day waiting for the CALL.

My last memory of my Dad was that last day, sitting by his bed, trying to get him to wake up and take some water. It's also of Raena and her adventures. No More Heroes was so much more than a distractaction. It was a story that I could hang on to, in spite of everything. As I read Loren's story, I even had hope that there would be a time I could write my own again. I don't think I ever thanked her properly for that. 




Saturday, March 10, 2018

When Knowing Comes, brand new today!


~~~Brand New Release~~~


When Knowing Comes (Secrets of Windy Springs Book 2)
Valarie Savage Kinney

Release Date: March 10, 2018
Twisted magic pervades the enchanted forest at Windy Springs Renaissance Festival. Strange physical symptoms plague Keisha as her second season of vending at Windy Springs begins.
Violence and destruction bring fear to the festival as long-harbored secrets threaten to emerge. When stunning truths are unveiled, Keisha struggles to come to grips with a new reality. Will her relationship with Rogan withstand the coming changes or will the darkness he reveals about his past destroy the promise of their future?

When Knowing Comes is the second book in the Secrets of Windy Springs series. Grab your copy today and find out what mysteries await within the magical forest at Windy Springs.






About The Author:

Valarie Kinney is a writer, fiber artist and Renaissance Festival junkie with a wicked
caffeine addiction. She resides in Michigan with her husband, four children, and two
insane little dogs. She is the author of Heckled, Slither, Just Hold On, and the
Secrets of Windy Springs series, as well as short stories in various anthologies.
She can be followed on Twitter @kinneychaos.

Social Media Links:
Twitter - @kinneychaos






Wednesday, February 28, 2018

New Contemporary Fantasy from Loren Rhoads!


Check out this new collection from Loren Rhoads. A few weeks ago, I got to ask her questions about her stories. Read the interview below!
Alondra DeCourval travels from San Francisco to Prague to Olso, encountering magical creatures and searching for the limits she will go to for love.



 So, how long have you been writing your Alondra stories. I've been a fan forever.

Loren Rhoads: I wrote the very first story in high school. Thank god it's still unpublished. The first story that was published appeared in Not One of Us in 2008. That story -- about a fox spirit in Tokyo -- made the long list for the British Fantasy Award that year.

I remember that! It's a beautiful story. Alondra is such a great character, and you've been carrying her with you for a long time. Where did she come from?

Loren Rhoads: To be honest, I wanted to write a story about a red-haired witch. I had the hubris to think I could spin the trope and add something new to it. Actually, she's one of my favorite characters to write for.

The magic in her stories is so great too. I always learn something that I didn't know about magic.

Loren Rhoads: Wow, that is the nicest thing anyone's said to me all day!

I’m glad. It's true. What are your favorite monsters? What are Alondra's?

Loren Rhoads: Alondra has a thing for older men, so she's not sensible when it comes to the tragic backstory. She keeps getting tangled up with vampires and other immortals.

I mean, I like tragic. Also it keeps your commitment down.

Loren Rhoads: This is true.

I also like that the stories take place all over the world. You're very good at setting the scene. Where do these three stories take place?

Loren Rhoads:  The three in this book are set in Golden Gate Park, Prague -- including a visit to Franz Kafka's grave, and Olso. Olso is the one I haven't been to, so it took a lot of research

Which I know you love. I can't wait to read them. Do you see a more collections in Alondra's future?

Loren Rhoads: Thank you so much for asking that. I will have another collection of stories out sometime in April. It will be called Alondra’s Adventures.

Aha! I'm so glad to hear this. Something to look forward to.  I'm so envious of everyone who gets to read these stories for the first time!


The Alondra stories have appeared in Best New Horror #27, Strange California, Sins of the Sirens, Fright Mare: Women Write Horror, The Haunted Mansion Project: Year One, The Ghostbreakers: New Horrors and more.

Loren Rhoads is the author of 199 Cemeteries to See Before You Die and Wish You Were Here: Adventures in Cemetery Travel. She blogs about graveyards as travel destinations at CemeteryTravel.com.
Loren is also the author of The Dangerous Type, Kill By Numbers, and No More Heroes, a space opera trilogy set after a galactic war has wiped out much of humanity.
She is the co-author (with Brian Thomas) of the novel Lost Angels about a succubus who sets her sights on an angel and ends up possessed by a mortal girl's soul. 
Loren likes long walks in the moonlight and old graveyards. She remembers when men walked on the moon.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Cover Reveal Day! When Knowing Comes, By Valarie Savage Kinney

Today is a very special day. It's COVER REVEAL DAY for Valarie Savage Kinney's newest book, When Knowing comes. This is the second in Valarie's Secrets  of Windy Springs series. The first, In the Presence of Knowing is a lovely book, full of  darkness, magic, and love. My three favorite things. I can't wait for number two! The preorder link is right below. and the good thing about waiting for it is if you In the Presence of Knowing yet, there's still time. 
For now, please enjoy this beautiful cover. And hit that preorder.

Release date: March 10th

Twisted magic pervades the enchanted forest at Windy Springs Renaissance Festival. Strange physical symptoms plague Keisha as her second season of vending at Windy Springs begins.
Violence and destruction bring fear to the festival as long-harbored secrets threaten to emerge. When stunning truths are unveiled, Keisha struggles to come to grips with a new reality. Will her relationship with Rogan withstand the coming changes or will the darkness he reveals about his past destroy the promise of their future?
When Knowing Comes is the second book in the Secrets of Windy Springs series. Grab your copy today and find out what mysteries await within the magical forest at Windy Springs.

Here are all the link to lead you to Valarie's online presence:


Monday, April 24, 2017

In which J. Scott Coatsworth asks me about notebooks. Poor soul.

In the dark days of March, J. Scott Coatsworth was nice enough to give me an author spotlight interview on his blog. These questions were the most fun I'd been asked to answer, the perfect remedie for the not quite spring yet/still of that month.
 The interview is up here:Author Spotlight , on his blog. Which you should totally check out. I used to think that Ian McShane was the hardest working man in show business, but I've changed my mind. J. Scott has a lot of things going on. Not the least of which is his new novel, Skythane, which is a great sci fi read (seriously).

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Double Danger: a review

Double Danger: A Michigan Romantic Suspense by [Plants, Trilby, Tucker, Nancy]




When Alyssa Mallory crashes into Nick Trammel’s car, she is plunged into a roller coaster adventure. Her home is ransacked. Two men shoot at her and Nick, and Alyssa’s friend is shot. Nick forces her to go with him into the wilderness of northern Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, running from the two men who Nick says will kill both of them to get information they believe he has. But he doesn’t know what it is they want. Chased by men with guns, Alyssa ad Nick find themselves in a desperate race against time to figure out why they are targets. Complicating matters is the emotional threat of falling for a man Alyssa knows is dangerous. Alyssa is faced with a terrible choice, one that could save her life, but might cost her the man she loves. and Nick find themselves in a desperate race against time to figure out why they are targets. Complicating matters is the emotional threat of falling for a man Alyssa knows is dangerous. Alyssa is faced with a terrible choice, one that could save her life, but might cost her the man she loves.



Alyssa Mallory is a nice woman. She’s a school teacher who lives alone, has a cat and works part time in her deceased aunt’s antique shop. It’s a nice, empty, life. All that changes the second she crosses paths with Nick Trammel. She finds him irritating, if not handsome and smart.
Within hours of that chance meeting nearly everything in her life changes. She is forced to walk away, with nothing but her van and her cat. Nick Trammel is nothing that he seems, and he drags Alyssa into his world without warning. This book is a slow burn, a twisty mystery that ratchets up the tension between the characters as they race to unravel it.   Written in multiple points of view, we feel both the characters resist this relationship, and face their fears; Nick’s of failing to protect anything he loves, and Alyssa’s that she will lose him to the flash of a gunshot. They work together to deal with the bad guys and solve the mystery.
Double Danger is filled to the brim with memorable characters, vivid action and romance. It is placed mostly in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, and is filled with the wild beauty of that place. From beginning to end, it never fails to satisfy. If you’re a reader of Karen Rose, or Catherine Coulter, this book is for you. 
Here' the pre-orer link for Amazon:Double Danger, out April 30th!
I received an ARC of this book in exchange for a fair review.





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Monday, February 13, 2017

At the End of Things.

I am dangerously close to finishing a short story that has been on the back burner for a while. I write slowly. And that's also dangerous. Last year when Black Light, my novel, was published, it was the end of three decades of work. It's a rare thing when I come to an end. It's hard, I find to let go.
This story, as it turns out, is a prequel to Black Light. It's about Albrecht Christian as a young man, far, far before he meets Trace. It's set between WWI and WWII, when Albrecht is still adjusting to his new life as a psychic vampire, feeding off the misery and decay of Europe of the time.
I should have finished it months ago, but something has been holding me back.
After the election I could barely concentrate. I was lucky to get six paragraphs a day. I didn't expect that. I didn't expect to feel so afraid.
Awhile before all that a friend said to me, "I don't think your writing is holding you back. I just think that your characters are gay."
I know how that sounds, but she wasn't criticizing my choices, she was commenting on a fact.  Queer stories have a smaller audience than straight. I knew that, but, last year when Black Light came out, I thought the gap was closing. I mean, I read books about straight people, right? And I met a bunch of the people who bought the book.They seemed to be everybody.
But then November came, and you all know that story. So, I spent a while thinking about why I write, and who I write. Because suddenly I became afraid. Afraid that even less people would read my stories.  Afraid that it exposed me in a way that felt new to me. And I forgot that the best fiction is about what scares you. And that good words are dangerous.
So soon I will have completed a story about Albrecht Christian,gay  psychic vampire and his first true love, a powerful black magician and the Loch Ness monster. Yep, you read that right. It turns out that I like the story. iIt might find a home, it might now. But that doesn't matter, really. the finishing of it reminded me to write the story that I have. No matter what.
I think I've got my faith back now.