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Posts Tagged ‘friends’ projects’

joanne_doorsDoors is a brand-new time travel romance from Joanne Renaud, author of A Question of Time (which I also reviewed), out now from Champagne Books.

So, first, a disclaimer: Joanne’s a good buddy of mine, and I got to be a beta reader for this book, so even though I will try hard to be fair and balanced and objective, I will probably fail. That said, on with the review!

Doors is the story of Jackie Karam, a struggling freelance comic artist in New York City; the brightest spot in her life is her friendship with rich, eccentric party boy Orne St John. Inspired by an old book and the strange real-life disappearance of its author, Orne gets a wild idea: if one had a lost book in one’s past, a book one could remember almost nothing about, perhaps finding that book could open a door into an alternate dimension.

Orne himself has no lost or forgotten books in his past, but it turns out Jackie does: a pulp science fiction novel recommended to her by her favorite high school English teacher just before he died in a car wreck.  (This is Alan Forrest, the romantic lead from A Question of Time.) In the wake of the accident, Jackie forgot everything about the book, even its title, only an image of the gaudy paperback she checked out from her hometown library lingering in her mind.

This thin thread is enough for Orne. Ready for adventure, he hauls Jackie off to Maryland to try to open an interdimensional portal. (more…)

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Today as March Mayhem continues we would like to introduce Marcus Aurelius, Lord Malton. He’s the hero from Lynne Connolly’s brand new historical romance, Dilemma in Yellow Silk— a delightful romp through mid-18th century England with assassins, secret Jacobites, star-crossed lovers and much more.  Welcome to the blog, Lord Malton!

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lynne_Marcus_lgIf you had a free day with no responsibilities and your only mission was to enjoy yourself, what would you do?

Ride. Anywhere that took my fancy. I’d go back to the family estate and ride somewhere nobody expected anything of me, or even knew my name.

Let’s say you believed in reincarnation, a la Plato. If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be? What are you most proud of about your life?

Probably a pampered lap dog. Some people think I am one anyway, because of my birth. That couldn’t be further from the truth, but I cannot persuade them of that. I’m proud of my family, of supporting my father in the work he does.

What was the happiest time of your life?

Playing with my father’s steward’s daughter, Viola, when I was a child. Viola never concerned herself with my birth or consequence. I owed her nothing, unlike my siblings. Viola was—is—the most charming, lively person I know. She’s a good friend. I’m just sorry she can never be anything else. (more…)

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Today I’m hosting an excerpt from Lynne Connolly‘s Dilemma in Yellow Silk, one of the books you can win when you enter the March Mayhem giveaway, hosted by author/artist/all around talented lady Joanne Renaud. Click the banner above for the details.

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lynne_Dilemma-in-Yellow-SilkConcentrating on her music, Viola nearly jumped out of her skin when a large body plumped down on the stool next to her. She shrieked, spun around, and closed her eyes. “You!”

“Why, weren’t you expecting me?”

His expression of innocence did not fool her for a minute.

“Not here, not like this. Did you run from the last staging post?” she demanded. She should not talk to the Earl of Malton like this. Right now he was less the earl and more Marcus, the boy she’d known so long ago. “Oh, my lord, sir, I’m sorry!”

She should recall her place, but she was finding the task difficult when he was wearing the same mischievous grin he’d used at nine years old.

“I couldn’t resist. Do you know what you were playing?”

The heat rushed to her face. “Yes.” No sense dissimulating. Of course she knew.

“And if you don’t stop ‘my lord’ and ‘sir’ing me, I’ll have you sent home forthwith. When we’re alone, it’s still Marcus.”

What had happened to him? Marcus had slowly moved away from her, gone from a childhood friend to a dignified, proper aristocrat. She understood the move, because he would have responsibilities to take care of, but sometimes she missed him. He’d remained a distant figure ever since, growing more pompous every time she saw him. Now he seemed to have cast all that off.

“I thought—that’s not right.”

Sighing, he shook his head. “And I’ve stopped you playing. A pity—I was enjoying that. Carry on.”

“Is that an order—sir?”

He growled deep in his throat, such a small sound she’d have missed it if he were not sitting so close to her. “Stop it. I’ll be Malton in about an hour.” He pinched the bridge of his nose. “I’ve spent the last three days in a closed carriage with my father, and I want to forget the stateliness. He would, given the chance. But with outriders and men riding ahead to warn innkeepers we were on our way, we had little chance.”

“So they commit the great crime of ensuring the best bedrooms are free. The cook is bursting from his waistcoat, trying to cook the best meal he’s capable of making. If only my journeys were so tedious!”

His laugh rang around the room. “Exactly. But we’re welcomed with ‘Good evening, my lord,’ and ‘How can I serve you, my lord?’”

“You poor thing.” She should guard her tongue, but she delighted in reacquainting herself with the man she used to know.

He rewarded her with another laugh. “I know. It’s such a hardship.” Lifting his feet, he spun around on the bench so he faced the keyboard, as she did. “You got a phrase wrong. The tune is based on the traditional one, but it’s varied in the last line of each verse. Slightly different each time. Like this.”

When he demonstrated, Viola understood exactly what he meant. But with the amusement, her heart ached. She had missed him so much. At the delicate age of nine, two years after his breeching, Marcus had begun his training, and since then, he’d become engrossed in his life’s work. Before then, the laughing boy had had no cares, and they’d played together.

Until someone remembered their different stations in life, and she did not think it was Marcus.

“Your turn.” (more…)

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Nothing will stop the mayhem! March Mayhem, that is! If you haven’t signed up for the epic swag giveaway (lots of free books, guys! So much reading material for your eyeballs!) sail on over and do so, then come back here for an interview with Orne St John, hero of Joanne Renaud’s timey-wimey romance, Doors.

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joanne_Orne_lgOrne St. John, the hero of Doors, is the youngest child and only son of Stephen Orne St. John, the only son of billionaire philanthropist Charmian Struck (of Struck Museum fame). The Struck family is old New York money, descended from Gilded Age railroad magnate Herman Struck, who was related to the Schemerhorns and part of Mrs. Astor’s 400. Orne is an eccentric dilettante who loves occult theory, paranormal conspiracies and collecting rare books and art; he is also a throughly modern guy who loves EDM and is attached to his smartphone.  We’re happy to have him here today.

 

If you had a free day with no responsibilities and your only mission was to enjoy yourself, what would you do?

I’d love to just disappear. Back when I was a kid, after I dropped out of Princeton, I roamed the world going to raves and sleeping in the rough. I’d love to fly off back to Thailand and hang out at Koh Phangan. I had a lot of good times there. I went to several Full Moon Parties back in the ‘90s and it was always spectacular. I wish I could go back.

Of course, my love of Koh Phangan isn’t exactly a secret. I think I’d pick a new place to go. Some place new to explore. Some place no one knows about. A secret. (Well, maybe one person.) But I don’t think I’ll tell you. Then it wouldn’t be a secret, would it?

 

If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be?

I think I’ve been fairly lucky in my lives so far. I’m aware of how privileged I am. I imagine my next life should be something rather drastically different then this one. Maybe I’ll be a ditch-digger on Mars. Or maybe I’ll work in a asteroid mine. It’s hard to tell what the future will bring, as it looks like Late Capitalism has— and will— make life on this planet exciting for quite some time to come.

 

What are you most proud of about your life?

God, who knows. I’ve hardly changed the world or solved hunger or cancer or whatever. I know I’m not the easiest guy to get on with. But I like to think that I’ve been a good patron to artists, authors and other creatives. It’s tough— very tough— to make a living in this city, and I want to help out however I can.

 

What was the happiest time of your life?

I’d say one of them was traveling the world back in the late ‘90s in my beat-head phase— seeing new places, meeting new people— hearing the most astonishing new music out under the open sky. New York is one of the greatest cities in the world, but it can be like living in a fishbowl.

 

What about the lowest point?

Dealing with the fallout from my cousin’s death. Or my mother. Anyway, I’d rather not talk about that. (more…)

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March Mayhem continues! I’m hosting interviews with characters from some of the books you can win when you enter the giveaway (you’ve done that, right?), starting with Yalira, the heroine of Kat Parrish’s Bride of the Midnight King.

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kat-parrishYala_lgYalira de Braxis, the heroine of Bride of the Midnight King and its sequel, Daughter of the Midnight King, was the natural daughter of Lexander de Braxis, a merchant who served on the vampire King Idrax’s Sunlight Council. She was orphaned early in life and brought up by her stepmother Tamare in the company of her stepsisters Resa and Rilla, working in Tamare’s gambling club, The House of Chaos and Chance. Yala, as her friends call her, never expected her life to take the turn it did, but that’s chaos and chance for you.

This interview with Yalira was conducted after the events of The Bride of the Midnight King, so her answers may contain mild spoilers.

 

If you had a free day with no responsibilities and your only mission was to enjoy yourself, what would you do?

 As you know, I live in the Shadow Palace now and sleep during the day, so it would have to be a night without responsibilities. The truth is, I enjoy my responsibilities and my days are balanced between duty and pleasure so that I never feel over-burdened by one and never get bored by the other.

 

If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be? What are you most proud of about your life?

 I should like to come back as a person in the far future when it will be possible to travel not just to other realms but also to whatever realms lie among the stars. When I was a little girl, my father would point out the pictures in the sky and tell me stories about the stars and I would wonder—what kind of marvelous creatures live on the stars?

I hope at the end of my life I’ll be able to look back at things I’ve done that have made Eindar a better place for all her citizens, human and vampire alike. I’m well aware of my position and the power that position gives me to effect change. I see my role as someone who can unite the factions that are threatening the peace and happiness of Eindar’s people.

 

What was the happiest time of your life?

Was? The happiest time of my life is the present. (more…)

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Spring is here, and it’s time for March Mayhem! Fifteen days… five authors… and the chance to win a fabulous swag basket with prizes from Donna Thorland,Lynne Connolly, Kat Parrish, Joanne Renaud, and me!

In addition to a shiny new paperback copy of A Question of Time and Joanne’s brand new science fiction romance Doors, Joanne is also giving away the artwork featured in the banner above, which features (from left to right) Yalira from Kat Parrish’s Bride of the Midnight King, Marcus Aurelius, Lord Malton from Lynne Connolly’s Dilemma in Yellow Silk, Anna Winters (and her kitten Scrappy) from Donna Thorland’s The Dutch Girl, Charlie from my short story Somebody Brave, and Orne St. John from Doors.

More info about these characters here!  You can find out more about March Mayhem prizes here, and you can enter to win from Joanne’s home page from now until 3/30/2016, 12 AM, EST.

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Michelle and I have been online buddies for awhile now, and her latest project, Cursed, is a rollicking fun fantasy, which she is posting on her blog.  Here’s an interview with her, about her process, her inspiration, overcoming writer’s block, and her favorite books!

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