Oh no! Nice Parents. What’s an author to do?

So this is a guest post, but not…

Hi! You know me. I’m Keira Gillett and I own and run Love Romance Passion. Today, I’m talking about something you might have noticed if you’ve visited the site recently or been hanging out on Facebook and Twitter. My book! That’s right, I took the plunge and wrote a story. Queue *oooo* and *ahhh* sounds. 🙂

Oooo

Ahhh

Zaria Fierce and the Secret of Gloomwood Forest is about an American girl who moves to Norway and meets a troll, who kidnaps her friend… a friend she must rescue. See the book trailer below:

My book is middle grade/young adult and does not include the typical romantic relationships we love to read and discuss on this blog, but my book does include some very special relationships. These are the familial bonds between parents and their kids.

So Zaria is adopted, an only child, has lovely parents, and is well adjusted. Queue the *horror.*

What will you write about without all that teen drama?!?!?

Wait! Adopted?

Adoptive parents can be absolutely wonderful people. They’re not all mean. Just like step-parents aren’t all nasty. Or aunts, uncles, grandparents, and other guardians… take your pick. Fictional kids can be like real kids and come from happy homes and not from neglected environments (an oft-used literary tool.) I wanted my heroine to experience the same happy home environment.

As for the relationships, I modeled Merry Fierce and Zaria Fierce’s relationship off of my relationship with my mom. Mom Gillett is a cool mom if I do say so myself. If I wanted to play hooky growing up, she’d play hooky with me. If I wanted to be checked out for a lunch date, we’d do that and head over to the fancy establishment by the school (Taco Bell.) If I wanted to desperately attend a midnight premiere for Harry Potter while on a family road trip she somehow made it work. In high school, she let my best friend stay with us while her dad was out of the country. We traveled the world together and are the best of friends. So I poured that loving relationship into Merry’s and Zaria’s relationship.

And I don’t stop there.

  • Colonel Fierce is hard-working, attentive, loving, strict, and obliging.
  • Emma Johansen (Christoffer’s mum) is kind, concerned, intelligent, and loving.
  • Mr Mickelsen (Aleks’ dad) is attentive, supportive, and kind.
  • Aleks has a good relationship with his gran.
  • Mrs Storstrand (Filip’s mom) is strict, fair, and loving.

The adults are all good people and yet the kids still get to go on adventures all over Norway to reach Gloomwood Forest. See parents don’t ruin all the fun! So how do the kids do it? Aha! Good question. Discover the answer in Zaria Fierce and the Secret of Gloomwood Forest.

What other books have you read where the adults are good people and have good relationships with their kids or wards?

Zaria Fierce and the Secret of Gloomwood ForestBook Blurb: On her birthday, Zaria Fierce finds her usual path to school blocked by an ugly river-troll. At first she’s surprised and curious, but then Olaf threatens to eat her, which is an act Zaria could not in good conscience consent to, so Zaria counteroffers. A deal is struck and she goes to school, but Zaria is about to learn the hard way that one does not trick a river-troll and expect to win.

Early Reviews:

“With kids interested in “Frozen,” with Anna and Elsa, this would be a natural progression.” – Judi Oswald, Reference Librarian

Excerpt:

Geirr stooped to pick up some decent-sized sticks, and Zaria bent to grab a few too. They talked amicably and walked, stretching their legs, until they were too burdened by their loads to keep going.

“My arms are going to collapse,” Zaria huffed. Her breath fogged around her face, covering and then revealing a well-pinked nose and cheeks. “Let’s head back to camp.”

“Sounds good to me,” Geirr said and turned around to do just that. Zaria followed and collided into him, dropping her load of kindling all over the ground.

“Hey!” she exclaimed, as she went to gather them. “Why did you stop?”

“I don’t think we’re going to find camp,” Geirr said, worrying his lip. He juggled his armful of wood and pointed haphazardly forward. “It’s like pea soup.”

Zaria looked up from playing fifty-two pickup and saw what worried Geirr. In front of them was a wall of fog, thick, viscous, and impossible to see through. She gulped and carefully set down the pile she’d been working to gather again. Was it her imagination or did the fog seem to be breathing? It crept closer in stages. Not fast enough that she saw it while looking directly at it, but if she looked away and back, it most definitely moved.

“Uh, Geirr,” Zaria said, slowly gaining her feet. “I think we should move and fast.”

Geirr looked at her puzzled. “I don’t think fast is an option here. Now if you pick up your stack and stick near me maybe we can Marco Polo our way back to the others.”

“Geirr,” Zaria hissed, her voice ratcheting higher. “The fog is moving.” He didn’t look impressed. The breathing sounds from within the fog grew louder, distressing Zaria. “No seriously, it’s moving like it’s alive.”

Geirr looked back again and stared hard, trying to penetrate the fog with his gaze alone. Zaria started to ease away, firewood forgotten.

“Come on, Geirr, we have to move. Can’t you hear the breathing?”

“That isn’t you?” he asked, alarmed.

“No!” Zaria shouted. “Run!”

Listen to an Audio Book sample:

Available in E-book | Print | Audio Book formats.

See if you’re eligible to get a free copy of the audio book here.

Keira Gillett author pictureAuthor Bio: Keira Gillett is a technical publications librarian, book blogger, world traveler, artist, and now author. She graduated from the University of Florida with a Bachelor of Arts in Drawing and Painting. From an early age her mother instilled a love of the written word, as such she has always been a big reader. Her first book, Zaria Fierce and the Secret of Gloomwood Forest, is about a young girl who must complete a quest to save her friend from a nasty river-troll.

Website: http://keiragillett.com

Social Media: Twitter (keiragillett), Facebook (zariafiercetrilogy), Pinterest (keiragillett)

Available in E-book | Print | Audio Book formats.

See if you’re eligible to get a free copy of the audio book here.

Review: Queen’s Wings (Emerging Queen, Book 1) by Jamie K. Schmidt

queen's wingsReviewed by Lynn Reynolds

This story is told in the first person. If you’re are on that is on the fence whether you want to try this book because it is told in the first person, please give it a try. You just might surprise yourself. One thing that is different about this book is that each chapter starts with a dragon rule.

There are dragons in New England – who knew! I’ll have to take a better look at my neighbors. Carolyn Donovan hears a song in her head by one of my favorite groups. If you like to listen to music as you read, you might want to play yourself some Queen. Carolyn knows what she is but has a hard time convincing anyone else.

Reed and Jack come to where Carolyn works. Jack is an experience to savor – and I’m not going to give you any hints. But if you need a reference – I can picture him with a very sexy drawl. If you want an actor reference – I think of him as Johnny Depp. There was one scene between Carolyn and Jack that had me glad that there was a strong breeze coming through the window. Reed to seems to be a man that broods a lot. But he also knows how to protect.

This was a very addicting book. With the descriptions Jamie uses, you will have no trouble picturing everything as each scene unfolds. I was happy that there was a thundershower going on at the time. The computer stayed off and I could get lost in this book. I was also glad that my dad watches TV with headphones on – I could laugh in peace. There are a lot of references that you may recognize and there was one that I hope I didn’t misinterpret. If I’m not mistaken there’s a reference to the Brady Bunch – you’ll just have to read the book and see if you can find it. It was a truly mesmerizing tale.

The only reason I gave this a rating of 4 ½ is because I want to enjoy the rest of the series. And then once the series is complete, and if the other books are as great as this one I can give the group a rating of 5. If you are a paranormal junkie then this is a book for you. If you were planning on traveling, depending on what your destination is, I would take this book with you.

[Rating:4.5]

Buy: The Queen’s Wings: The Emerging Queens (Entangled Edge)

Get into Bed with Susannah Scott (Author Interview)

author pic cover (200x300)Keira: I love watching Leverage, so learning Luck of the Dragon had a grifter (very rare in romance) made me super excited. How does your character feel about being a grifter, and is she any good?

Susannah Scott: Oh yes, Lucy is a very good thief, but she is conflicted. She gave up grifting to pursue a respectable life as a PhD gemologist. She is world-renowned for her professional (legal) skills, but in order to bail out her ne’er-do-well twin, Joey, she has to steal from the Crown Jewel Casino. Lucy is very feisty anyway, but the combination of being blackmailed and having to return to her old ways, pushes her over the edge, straight into Alec.

Keira: The sexiness of Las Vegas is the perfect setting for this novel because…

Susannah: I just love Las Vegas–for about 3 days–after that I am worn out. But if I had to define what makes it so sexy, for me it is the foil of the condensed opulence against the harsh dessert. It gives the place a feel of being out-of-time, that reality is truly pushed away to the edge of the green-watered lawns, so that anything–even dragons–are possible.

Keira: I love the paranormal twist – I did not see a dragon shape-shifter coming. I admit I originally thought an Asian themed casino and left it simply at that. It’s cool to see it be so much more in the book. What are some pluses and minuses to being a dragon shape-shifter?

Susannah: The dragons really struggle with their dual natures. In their dragon forms, they are too aggressive and are forced to be loners. But in the modern world, there are just not enough places for a loner dragon to lair-up. So, Alec devises a sanctuary at the top of his casino to provide a hidden-in-plain sight existence for his people. I love the constant conflict of their bestial natures and their human reasoning because they are forced to co exist.

Keira: How does a dragon-shifter recognize a mate?

Susannah: Usually with the first kiss, there is a mutual electricity that surges through them and possessiveness. This didn’t happen for Lucy though, because she is a human. Alec has a very hard time convincing her that he isn’t a crazy cult leader, really fun stuff!

Keira: Tell me more about this mating ceremony!

Susannah: The dragons are an ancient race. As such, they have a high level of pageantry and custom to their ceremony. All the different dragon factions have different clothing, ie. the water dragons wear blue shifts and jewels. They love and treasure the “finer” things in life. They are sensory connoisseurs, and this really comes out in the ceremony. It is vibrant and passionate and breath taking.

Keira: What was your favorite scene to write (or one that surprised you) and why?

Susannah: I always just get pulled in during the flight scenes. I am right there with the dragon, coasting through the sky, feeling the wind and the weather.

Keira: What’s next for you in life and in writing?

Susannah: Next up in writing is STOP DRAGON MY HEART AROUND. Leo and Tee’s story out this fall-ish. It is a fun friends to lovers tale, with lots of sexy banter. Personally, we have a new house and my kids are home from school for the summer. So I am alternating unpacking with enjoying them.

Thank you so much for having me Keira and giving my an opportunity to connect with your readers. Great questions!

All my best,

Susannah Scott

LuckOfTheDragon500Luck of the Dragon Blurb:

Luciana de Luca has a PhD in sass and gemology—and a problem. Her twin brother’s gambling debts have gotten out of hand, and a mob enforcer is blackmailing her to rob the latest, greatest mega-casino on the Strip. Although Lucy has worked her whole life to get away from her family’s grifter past, to save her brother, she dons three-inch heels and a sluts-r-us dress and struts into Alec’s Gerald’s casino, determined to put her long-forgotten thieving ways to the test again.

Alec Gerald, a shape-shifting dragon, has built the Crown Jewel casino to provide sanctuary for his people amongst the flash and awe of Las Vegas. Unfortunately, the sexy little thief trying to rob his gem exhibit turns out to be his mate, and he must woo her before he loses his dragon form forever. With enemies in every corner, and the all-important mating ceremony looming, Alec and Lucy must learn to trust each other, before time runs out for Alec and the rest of the dragons.

Buy: Luck of the Dragon

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SUSANNAH SCOTT lives in the Missouri Ozarks and is the lone female in a very loud household of males ranging in age from 4 to 40. While she jokes that the extreme levels of testosterone inspired her to write romance, it is really the love of creating an excellent story, and the occasional dreams of twenty-foot dragons, that wake her and send her to the laptop before the chaos of daily life ensues. Susannah loves to hear from her readers. Please visit her website at www.susannahscottbooks.com or follow her as Susannah Scott on Facebook and @Susannah_Scott on Twitter.

Buy: Luck of the Dragon

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Review: Broken Prophecy (Heirs of Aedan, Book 1) by Raven Raye

Broken ProphecyReviewed by Lynn Reynolds

Killian is thinking of a human and her name is Marcella. His purpose in our world is to find out who is threatening his kind. Marcella Rowan works at Cloudcroft’s hospital. She cares a lot about her patients. Her friend Brenna also works there as well.

Raven gives her readers a little bit of everything – paranormal, mystery, thriller, horror, and romance. She shows what lengths some people will go to for the person that they love. She has also made Lilith, an angel who’s not so angelic, the evil in this piece. I think she could give any other evil being a run for their money.

A circle seems to connect our characters. They all interconnect – both good and evil. For some, family has no meaning. For others, friends and family mean everything. Brenna and Marcella are the perfect friends. They complement each other and seem to know what the other needs. Plus they each have a special gift that can help the other.

This is a story that took a lot of creativity. Raven has taken everything that we thought were just fairy tales, and myths, and turned it around into a story that could be totally believable. She also shows the reader that no matter how “superior” a race, prejudice can exist and until something changes it always will. Hatred can cause a lot of destruction but can love and faith have a chance to change the impossible?

The only disappointment I had was that I kept seeing the pages disappear. I didn’t want the tale to end. But knowing that this is book one means that there will be another tale to follow. It will be interesting to see if Killian and Marcella’s story will continue or if Raven will introduce two new characters. You may want to keep an eye on her web site, http://www.ravenraye.com/, for any possible updates.

[Rating:4]

Buy: Broken Prophecy

6 Reasons Why the Paranormal Character is Always Male

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This post is in response to a little nugget that I read in Heather’s article at the Galaxy Express entitled Does Science Fiction Romance Need More Alpha Heroes? The specific section that caught my eye was this:

In response to the My Paranormal Malaise post at Dear Author, Lisa Paitz Spindler asked:

“Why is it the paranormal character is so often the hero and not the heroine?”

Yeah, what’s up with that?

I can tell you exactly what is up with that as I am a fan of paranormal romance and fiction. So here it goes… six reasons why the paranormal character is always the hero!

  1. We like our heroes mysterious. What is more mysterious than a mythological creature, be he vampire or lycanthrope or other?
  2. Strong powerful hero + average heroine = swoon. When an extraordinary specimen of the male gender sits up and takes notice of a rather ordinary female it is easier to place ourselves in the heroine’s shoes. That’s not because we think of ourselves as unworthy, this formula just makes it more accessible for readers. This scenario also tends to fill the tenderness and protectiveness side of the fantasy.
  3. Strong powerful hero + kickass heroine = hell yeah. When number two’s formula just doesn’t cut it there are the novels about strong heroes and stronger heroines. In this scenario the reader and heroine tend to dominate over the situation. The hero must work around the heroine to get in her good graces and who hasn’t imagine upon at least one occasion a strong sexy male groveling at your feet?
  4. Angel, Spike, Jean-Claude, Asher, Edward Cullen, Jasper Cullen, Eric Northman, and Bill Compton. Do I really need to go on with this point? I think this pretty much brings it home. Otherworldly men are downright sexy! Especially vampires!
  5. The desires of the paranormal fit better on a hero. The act of drinking blood is considered highly sexual in vampire romances. It’s become part of the erotic fantasy. Sometimes the heroine likes to pretend to be helpless and the hero’s act of feeding gives her a thrilling rush. Besides, I think I pretty much covered how icky it can be to read a heroine drinking blood.
  6. Redemption always looks better on a man. Many paranormal stories involve the preternatural lead repenting his past acts dictated by his nature, circumstances, and misinformed beliefs due to change. This makes him now a brooding hero and occasionally puts the heroine in the middle of the path toward his salvation or as his savior.

So there you go—six reasons paranormal stories always feature preternatural heroes.