Pegasus’ Top Ten Ways to Ruin Ariston’s Day

UndertheSatyrMoon_200x300Rebekah Lewis is the author of the Cursed Satyroi series. The second book, Under the Satyr Moon comes out April 11!

Every hero needs obstacles to get around when trying to win the heroine’s heart. For Ariston, one of his biggest hurdles is trying to find alone time with Lily without her “chaperone” getting in the way. So I asked Pegasus what were the best ways to irritate Ariston, and these were the results. He knew only too well how to push Ariston’s buttons, and enjoyed doing it!

  1. Biting. Probably the most direct way, but efficient.
  2. Pushing between him and Lily when they try to make out.
  3. Not being around when actually needed to be around. Ariston is so amusing when he’s mad.
  4. Nomming all the apples. No apples for Ariston! Mwa ha ha ha!
  5. Breaking down the door. (Pegasus likes to make a grand entrance)
  6. Being a Peeping Tom at all hours of the day and night. Got to keep an eye on those frisky rascals!
  7. Having Lily take his side in all things, and watching Ariston’s face turn red when she tells him off for saying something unkind. BTW, Ariston, Pegasus says grass is NOT his favorite food ever. Just sayin’.
  8. Flapping his wings and getting dirt in Ariston’s eyes. Petty, but satisfying.
  9. Keeping Ariston from getting laid, but not denying his own stud-ly ways in the mean time. The lady horses fawn at his hooves.
  10. Simply be present, in his point of view, giving him the ole’ stink eye.  Day ruined. In 0.5 seconds. Mission accomplished.

So there you have it. Straight from the horse’s mouth…well, kinda.

Do you think it is wrong for Pegasus to torment Ariston, or does he deserve it?

Blurb:

The only cure to the satyr curse is a nymph. When Ariston finds one spying on him, can he win her over?

Under the Satyr Moon a curse was wrought, and under the same moon shall it be reversed…if the Fates allow.

A freelance photography job goes downhill fast when Lily Anders’ boyfriend dumps her and disappears from the campsite, leaving her stranded in the middle of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Feeling lost, heartbroken, and afraid, Lily follows a mysterious melody through the wilderness. She never would have guessed the source of the music would reveal that legendary figures of Greek mythology really existed, and she could be one of them.

Ever since he was cursed, Ariston has only wanted one thing—to be human again. He has searched the globe for a nymph to free him, but over three thousand years of failure has pushed him into a life of solitude. Ariston believes he’s finally found the salvation he’s longed for when he catches Lily spying on him in the forest. Unfortunately, he has to convince her to like him first.

What seems to be the Fates bringing them together in time for the Satyr Moon proves to be an elaborate scheme with macabre intentions. Dionysus has sent Ariston’s estranged brother, Adonis, to ensure the curse cannot be broken, and nothing tosses cold water over the flame of seduction like a twin seeking vengeance.

Buy: Under the Satyr Moon

Excerpt:

“Oh God. Oh God. I’m hallucinating, probably have a fever, and I need to get out of here now.” She nodded as she said the last word as if it finalized her babbling, confirming an inner argument of some sort.

“I don’t think you’re suffering any ailments. You can keep gawking at me all you like. Although, I would prefer if you looked a little higher than my feet.” Much more impressive, that. At least, no one had ever complained before.

She made a derogatory noise in the back of her throat. “Please tell me you’re some D&D nerd in a really well-made costume and you mean me no harm. Also, if you have a cell phone, I would really appreciate it if you don’t take my previous comment personally and let me borrow it for a moment.” Ah, well, that solved one of his concerns; if she had no phone, she couldn’t have sent evidence or contacted anyone about what she’d seen. Unless, of course, she had a camera stashed somewhere. I should probably frisk her to find out.

He crossed his arms. “This is not a costume.” Ariston narrowed his eyes, a thought occurring to him. “I didn’t sense you being attracted by my song like I did the blonde. Are you a magical being? Who are you? A deity? A demigoddess?” He was on to something there, but wasn’t sure what. Had she brought the freak thunderstorm the night before? There had been no sign of rain, yet rained it had. And hailed on top of it.

“Right… Maybe you should let me hold that phone I mentioned before. I think it could bring help for both of us.”

“I don’t have a phone on me. Where would I put it? In my leg hair?” He lifted a hoof and waved it in a counterclockwise motion. Brunette’s eyes widened once more. Why did everyone get all worked up over the hooves, but not the horns? Those mostly received a pffft reaction followed by a series of retorts about his nature of “horniness.” It’s not like he would start making goat noises and chewing on buttons. The only part of his anatomy of any real importance hung heavily between his legs, and that was as human as any mortal man. Except he liked to think he was better endowed.

“In your, uh, gun holster?” Brunette pointed to his panpipes.

“What about it?” Ariston asked.

“You asked where you would put a cellphone. There is a large pocket on your strappy purse thingy.” She nibbled her full bottom lip, an act that shot fire to his groin.

“It’s not a purse. How could you even say that? It’s very manly.”

“Uh huh. Of course.”

“It is.” The twinge of lust faded out as he noticed the blood spotted bandage across the palm of her hand. “How were you injured?” Ariston took an unconscious step toward her. He had medical supplies at the cabin. Though he healed at phenomenal speeds, his blood still made a mess when it flowed on the wrong side of his skin. He could patch her up in no time.

She glanced at her palm, almost surprised to see the bandage there. Then she shook her head and said, “Yeah, this is the weirdest conversation ever. Sorry, but…gotta dash.” She darted off in the opposite direction. As she sprinted away, stinging drops of water began to bombard his skin. Brunette had to be the one manipulating the rain, but how? What was she? It must be linked to her emotions somehow, and it made him wonder what had happened to provoke the furious assault from the elements the night before.

Ariston snapped out of his stupor and chased after her. “Hey, not so fast!” A thought started taking root in his mind. He’d been excited about her before, but if he was right… Gods, he couldn’t let her escape. Not if there was a chance.

Brunette was magical in nature, affecting the elements. The timing was too good to be true. Ariston had sought one of her kind for as long as he’d been a satyr, and if she turned out being a nymph, she was also his savior. Unfortunately, his salvation continued putting distance between them. She may have the upper hand in the rain, but he knew the forest well. He’d capture her like the legends of old, and she’d be his. Mine!

She had revealed herself to him. Perhaps not intentionally, yet she had. All he needed was Brunette to desire him enough to take him as a lover under the Satyr Moon. He smiled. Ariston was rusty when it came to true seduction, without the use of magic, but he enjoyed a challenge. He could be free, mortal, could finally have a family, grow old, and live a normal human life.

Buy: Under the Satyr Moon

SONY DSCBio: Rebekah Lewis holds a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature. She is an award-winning cover artist for digital publishers, and enjoys every minute of it when not immersed in a world of satyrs and Greek gods. Always feeling the need to be productive, she can be found creating something whether with words or images, or with arts and crafts. She resides in Savannah, GA with her cat, Bagheera.

For more info about Rebekah Lewis, visit www.Rebekah-Lewis.com

Buy: Wicked Satyr Nights, and Under the Satyr Moon

Review: Enraptured (Eternal Guardians, Book 4) by Elisabeth Naughton

eternal guardiansReviewed by Sharon S.

This story picks up right after the events from book #3 Tempted. You can read this as a standalone and enjoy the romance between Orpheus and Skyla, but you will be missing out on extensive world building and overall story arc information. Naughton does a good job of giving you the basics you will need to understand, but at book #4 there are so many character storylines that cross each other you would miss out on what makes this series such a pleasure to read. There is a glossary at the back of the book, but I would really appreciate a cheat sheet about who is who.

The story is way too complicated to go over in a review so I will just talk about the romance. Orpheus is convinced he is a monster without any chance of redemption. He is part Argolean, Medean and daemon. Three races that hate each other; he shouldn’t even exist. But he has a past life that is over 2000 years old that only a few know about, that is intertwined with the Gods and the Siren Skyla. Hades is willing to kill to keep the secret from getting out.

Skyla had her heart broken 2000 years ago and has never truly recovered. She shut herself off emotionally and became Athena’s top assassin. Orpheus spends most of the book not understanding why he is so drawn to Skyla and she struggles with keeping his past a secret from him. In true PNR fashion the two give in to passion only to push each other away afterwards determined to focus on their own personal goals.

Their romance didn’t move me like the couple in book #3. There was nothing that set it apart from all the other paranormal romances out there. I was more interested in the advancement of the main story arc, which is where I think this series really shines. Naughton’s world building based on the Greek myths is as complicated as a fantasy series, but you get the all the fun of a HOT romance.

I was intrigued by the character Maelea who we meet. She is the daughter of an affair between Zeus and Persephone. Neither parent wanted her and she was exiled to the mortal realm to wander alone as a human for eternity. She must also deal with the light and dark sides she inherited from her parents. Orpheus needs her to help him find rescue his brother, Gryphon from Tartarus. Gryphon is saved, but he is no longer the man he was. There is a darkness in his soul and I have a feeling Maelea will be the key to saving him. At least I am hoping they are the focus of the next book.

This was an enjoyable read, but not a page turner for me.

Rating: ★★★½☆

Buy: Enraptured

ABOUT THE SERIES

The Eternal Guardians Series is centered around seven warriors who protect their realm from threats of the Underworld.

Each of the guardians are descended from the seven strongest heroes in all of Ms. Naughton has taken the Greek Argonaut myth, turned it on its head, and OWNED it! mythology.

Book one, MARKED, is Theron’s story. He’s the leader of the Argonauts and the one person who has the power to stop an evil god from destroying their world.

Book two, ENTWINED, is Zander’s story. The oldest Argonaut and the one rumors say can’t be killed. After 800 years Zander doesn’t think he has much to live for until a random twist of fate finally gives him a goal worth fighting for.

Book three, TEMPTED, is Demetrius’s story. The cruelest Argonaut and the one the other Guardians steer clear of. Demetrius hides a dark secret that just might be the key to the destruction of their world.

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Get into Bed with Tina Folsom (Author Interview)

Keira: How did the Out of Olympus series first come to you?

Tina Folsom: I read a Greek God romance where a Greek God  was locked in a marble statue, and I thought the idea was very clever. Unfortunately, the execution of the idea wasn’t to my liking, so I looked around to find other books in that genre, and there were virtually none. I knew this would be a hard sell, but I really wanted to do something with Greek Gods, so I decided to come up with the rat pack of Greek Gods, four best friends who are mischievous and fun. I think I’ve found them in Triton, Dionysus, Eros, and Hermes.

Keira: What inspired A Touch of Greek and A Scent of Greek specifically?

Tina: In A Touch of Greek I wanted to explore what really attracts people to one another. Because we are all very visual and often judge people we meet by how they look, I liked the idea of taking that one sense away, making the heroine blind. Triton, who’s always relied on his looks to get by now has a harder time. He actually has to be nice for once, something less handsome man had to do all along.

A Scent of Greek came really when I was wondering how I could make it believable that a philanderer like Dionysus would suddenly change. I figured, if he didn’t know what he was really like, he would have no preconceived ideas about love and relationships. And I think by robbing him of his memory, I allowed the character to feel what he wanted for the first time in his life without him having to keep up a certain image.

Keira: Why do the titles include the physical senses? Does that mean future titles will be the other senses?

Tina: Actually, the first title A Touch of Greek was a variation of the old movie title A Touch of Mink. I liked the sound of it. So, when I had to come up with the second title, I needed something to show that the two books are related. I wanted the same kind of feel for it. The next books will definitely be along the same lines: … of Greek, but I don’t know yet whether I’ll find something fitting that relates to the senses. I’ll certainly try.

Keira: I noticed that in A Touch of Greek the heroine is blind and in A Scent of Greek the hero is suffering from amnesia. Will this trend of disabilities continue in future releases?

Tina: Both disabilities were fitting for the stories, but they are not necessarily what I was going for in terms of a theme for the books. In fact, only since you’re pointing it out here, I’m realizing what I’ve been doing. It’s funny how our subconscious sometimes does things we don’t even realize. I haven’t decided on the plots for Eros’ and Hermes’ story yet, therefore I don’t know yet whether another disability will fit into a future release. If it does, I’ll use use, but I try not to squeeze something into a story if the story doesn’t call for it. Otherwise it might feel forced. The way I plot stories, I often start with a central “What if?” question, and then work outwards from there. Sometimes I come up with a scene I really like and I build a plot around that. It’s a process, and that’s actually my favorite part of writing, figuring out the story.

Keira: What is your favorite scene in A Scent of Greek and why?

Tina: I love the scene where Dionysus prepares a special dinner for Ariadne and then proceeds to seduce her. When Ari is about ready to submit to him, he stops, and what he says next is just so hilarious that every time I re-read the scene I haul. It’s so Dio.

Readers have gotten back to me that their favorite scene is actually Dio’s first night as a waiter, and I must say, it’s pretty funny. I wanted to pay homage to all those waiters and waitresses out there who work so hard every night and have to take so much crap from the customers on a daily basis. Dio tells the customers what so many waiters and waitresses would like to say to them but can’t if they want to keep their jobs.

Keira: How do you define love?

Tina: Wow, that’s a tough one. There are so many types of love in this world, but if we’re talking about love for a partner/husband/boyfriend etc, then I’d have to say it like this: to understand and be understood, to be each other’s best friends, to have arrived.

Keira: What’s next for the Out of Olympus series?

Tina: There will definitely be books for Eros and Hermes, and depending on the popularity of this genre, I might add other gods to the mix. Certainly, there are always lots of other gods who play minor roles in each book, so it would be easy to introduce other potential heroes. Now the trick is to find some interesting and funny premise for the next books. A Scent of Greek is going to be a hard one to top. In hindsight, maybe I should have waited with Dio’s story until later! LOL!

Buy: A Touch of Greek, A Scent of Greek

GIVEAWAY: I have an autographed paperback of A Scent of Greek ready to go to one lucky winner. Open to domestic and international readers alike. To enter: 1 entry if you friend the author on Facebook, 1 entry if you sign up for her newsletter, and 1 entry if you leave a comment.  Max number of entries per person 3. Last day to enter: October 15, 2011.

Guest Review: The Heart of War by Lisa Beth Darling

by Sandra Scholes, guest reviewer

Greek myth and Celtic myth meet in this novel of passion and sexual attraction. Although the Greek myth and god part it taken lighter than expected as Ares has quite a list of personality traits to deal with, or more is the case, what other women have to deal with, and being a god who is largely well-built, well-endowed and has a sex drive that would flay most puny humans, the readers will wonder where he will find his new lady love next.

Alena is a runaway bride, one who is supposed to be kept for one man or one god if you prefer, and the god in question is Cernunnos, and he is very angry at her leaving his side after she meant so much to him. She in turn falls for Ares, the god of war, and wanting his protection strikes up a bargain with him using her virginity as bait. Ares is like her in many respects as he is in hiding from the gods for the rumour he has killed Psyche; though whether he has or not is up for debate. Even though he enjoys her in his bed, he would like to think that he has no emotional ties to her at all, even going so far as to consider giving her over to Zeus as his afterward.

He doesn’t realize how much has enjoyed her company, her personality, their similarities, both runaways, and misunderstood. Even having to choose between handing himself over to Zeus, and be judged accordingly, or spending the rest of his life with Alena seems to be a no-brainer to most readers who will notice how saucy and well-written the erotic scenes are in this hot and romantic story is.

I like the way the title is taken from that infamous novel The Art of War by Sun Tsu, and the way there is a little humour in it to take away some of the serious parts of the story. Katarina is the woman he is with at the beginning, but she might not be there at the end. The myth of both Greek and Celtic mixes well with the overall story, and readers will be in for a treat. Ares proves what kind of man he is both in and out of the bed, and Alena has a lot to offer him, both finding they are similar souls in the romance.

Rating: ★★★★☆

Buy: The Heart of War

Review: The Heart of War by Lisa Beth Darling

by Sharon S., guest reviewer

It doesn’t take long to realize Ares is an ass. He is definitely the spoiled, self-important brat that the gods of Olympus think he is. Lots of stories like to romanticize the Greek gods, but in reality they were a petty and mean bunch of beings. As a fan of dark paranormal stories, telling a story about the Greek gods as a dark erotic story only makes sense.

There are lots of reviewers out there that loved this book. I was impressed with how Darling took the Greek mythology and made it her own in The Heart of War. It is a damn fine saga with lots of twists, betrayal, brutality and sex (we are talking about the Greek gods here). But in the end I just wasn’t moved by Ares and Alena’s love story. The only character I felt sorry for was Eros.

The story is complex, with a lot of meat to it (yes, pun intended <G>). I did get a little confused by the shifting in POV sometimes. This is an erotic read, but not overly so. There is a good deal of rape, some of it brutal, but once again, we are talking Greek gods.

If you are a fan of Greek mythology then you will find this story fascinating. From a romance stand point, it didn’t move me.

The second book in this series “Child of War” releases Dec. 31, 2011.

Rating: ★★★☆☆

Buy: The Heart of War

Writing a Series

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by Judi Fennell guest blogger and author of Wild Blue Under

Thanks so much for having me here to talk about my latest release, Wild Blue Under, the second of my Mer series.

When I first started writing this series, there actually hadn’t been a series. I was writing my “little talking fish story” just for myself. So, when I sold it as part of a series, I had to come up with those other stories and work them into my world.

This shouldn’t have been that hard because I actually had started writing a series; just not a Mer series. My first book, In Over Her Head, was part of a twist on fairy tale series. The fourth, actually, after Cinda Bella, Beauty and The Best, and Fairest of Them All. (Beauty and The Best got some cyberwaves air play during the 3rd American Title Contest, so you might have heard of it. But it’s still in the drawer, hoping for “some day.”)

So, now I sold the fourth book of a series, except that it wasn’t the series I thought I’d sell. I worked up a blurb on the next two stories which became Wild Blue Under and Catch of a Lifetime. And while this sounds great in theory, in practice, it’s tough.

Why? Because once your book is in its accepted form within the publishing house, once it’s going through all the processes it needs to go through to get to the final published version, you can’t really go back and change a World Rule just because it doesn’t work for the next story or the one after that. So I was stuck within the parameters I’d created for that one book, which now had to fit two more books (and, hopefully, a few more).

Surprisingly, it wasn’t all that difficult. It helps, though, to be writing paranormal and have already set a precedent for Greek gods’ involvement in the first story. :)

The key is to make your world rules broad enough so that you can fit them to your next scenario – you know, the one you haven’t thought of yet? It’s all fine and good for me to have set up the fact that, in In Over Her Head, Reel had to get back into the water before two sunsets passed so he could get his tail back, but for Wild Blue Under, Rod has to travel across half the continental US in a car while dodging dive-bombing peregrines and a mercenary albatross who’ll go to any lengths to stop him from getting to the coast. Including not letting him get on a plane. Which increases travel time beyond the boundaries I’d already set practically in stone, so to speak. So I had to come up with a plausible way for Rod to keep his legs for longer than two sunsets without endangering his tail because he is, after all, the ruler of their world who’s been sent by the Council to bring the lost half-Mer princess back to their world. He’s going to need his tail.

Should be a piece of cake, right? Stick him on a plane, tell her she’s got untold riches coming to her if she heads to the coast, and voila! He’s back in the ocean in no time. Except…

We’ve already annihilated the plane thing by sticking vulture thugs at local airports to interfere with any plane Rod gets on, and what modern woman is going to follow some guy with a cockamamie story about an inheritance left to her by her deadbeat, take-off-before-she-was-even-born, father? To the ocean, which, as an added bonus, she’s allergic to.

Not so many. Matter of fact, not any that I can think of. The evening news is full of reasons why. So, now, not only did I have to work around Rod’s tail/legs thing, but also common sense. And we all know that it’s far easier to believe a story about mermen than it is to believe a modern woman is going to get in the car with a stranger. That’s just too fantastical.

It all worked out in the end with a little help from the bad guys, the good guys, busybody sparrows and the IRS. [“IRS? They’re heroes?” you ask. Sorry, I’m not telling. You’ll have to read for yourself how that happens. :) ]

But it did make me realize as I sat down to write my next series (about genies, releasing beginning Fall, 2010), that the broader I make the rules, the more easily I can manipulate them.

And speaking of manipulating…

Val adjusted the rearview mirror to look at the talking bird. “Okay, you guys are starting to freak me out. What are you? Some specialized branch of the FBI? CIA? What?”

Livingston shook his head. “I’m Chief Special Agent, ASA.”

ASA? Never heard of it.” She looked at Rod.

As well you shouldn’t,” he said, his eyes hooded—but not in the same way as they’d been during that kiss last night. Those lips that had been so pliant and urgent against hers now thinned to an almost invisible line—

But you will,” Livingston said. “Air Security Agency.”

Don’t you mean the FAA?” She pulled her mind back on the conversation—with a bird!—and off the kissability of Rod’s lips.

No. ASA. I don’t work for your government.”

You’re a foreign operative? A spy? Oh, hell, what have you two gotten me into?” One of the tires hit a pothole when she half-turned to gape at him.

Eyes on the road, Valerie.” Livingston turned his attention back to the sky. The clouds were growing darker. “Technically, yes, I am a foreign operative. But not to you. And that’s all the explanation you’re getting from me until I know what’s what.” Livingston readjusted his hold on the seat.

We need to know who he’s working for, Rod. I’ve been over the lists of known anarchists and I can’t come up with one. We’ve got the top wrasse working on it. They’ve studied those wires, the method of ignition planned, the locations they were stolen from, patterns of known movement among those on the list, and no one fits. It’s got to be someone else, someone new. Someone who doesn’t want you to take the throne.”

What?” Val yanked the car to the right, almost hitting Mr. Morris’s 1957 Chevy, his pride and joy.

Rod grabbed the wheel, avoiding an accident at the last second. “Valerie, please. You must retain your composure.”

Retain my composure? Are you insane? Yes. Yes, I think you are.” Val shoved the car into fifth and zipped onto the highway. “Anarchists? Throne? What throne? Who are you? What are you?”

He’s a prince, Valerie.”

Really? Whose? England’s? Monaco’s?” The porcelain god’s? She had to be dreaming this.

Rod glared at the bird then turned to her. “While England’s throne once sought to rival the territory of mine, today they don’t compare. As for Monaco, it has acceptable beaches, but the buildings, overabundance of Humans, and many conveyances have ruined the shoreline.”

She gaped at him.

Watch it, Valerie,” the bird—the bird!—said from the backseat. “You don’t want to catch any flies with that open mouth.”

Wake up, wake up, wake up.

She pinched herself.

Ouch. Dammit. She was awake.

So you’re really a prince? And I’m going along with the program as if heading off into the wild blue yonder with talking seagulls and royal princes is normal?”

Valerie, we’ll explain everything later. Right now we need to find a way to go faster. We’ll never outrun JR in this.” Rod patted her arm, and, amazingly, that settled her rattled nerves.

Until she realized what he’d said.

Are you saying that an albatross—and I can’t believe I’m even asking this question—can fly faster than a car?”

He doesn’t need to keep up with us,” Livingston said from his regained position on the backseat. “Besides the operatives he’s been amassing, he’s able to find a meal miles away on the open ocean, so I’m sure he boned up on Rod’s scent before embarking on this mission. This damp air is only helping matters, though I’d be surprised if he did anything but report on our progress.”

Report to whom?”

That, my dear, is the fifty-thousand clam question. And once we know the answer to that, we’ll know the threat.”

What threat?” She slowed down to veer around cattle that had escaped from their pasture and had decided to amble down the highway. Mr. Stromer had better check his fence line.

If we knew why this was happening, we’d stand a chance of figuring out who’s behind it. Until last evening, I was under the impression this was a simple recovery mission.” Rod’s fist thumped the seat.

Recovery mission? Okay, now I’m totally lost.” Val swiped a trembling hand across her forehead, brushing the hair that had adhered to the sudden perspiration. “Why don’t we just go to the nearest police station and let them handle this? Or the embassy if you really are a prince.” Or the Funny Farm for her…

Oh, he’s a prince all right,” said Livingston. “You can count on that. As well as the fact that a lot of M—er, people are going to be upset if anything happens to him. And you.”

She pinched herself again—just to check.

Still awake.

The blare of a semi’s horn as it passed confirmed it.

She looked in the mirror. Yep, that most definitely was her. Behind the wheel of her old Sentra, barreling down a two-lane highway with Rod and a talking seagull as her passengers, toothpaste and a cup of coffee only a wish on the horizon.

© Judi Fennell, Sourcebooks Casablanca, 2009

***

So, my question for you all, how many books makes a good series? Do they start to run out of steam after a while? Do you lose interest in them? What keeps the series exciting and fresh, and keeps you wanting more?

Wild Blue Under Cover

WILD BLUE UNDER—book 2 in the Mer Series—in stores November 2009!

The underwater kingdom is his as soon as he claims his queen…

Rod Tritone has the looks and charm to snag any queen he wants for his Mer kingdom, but unfortunately, it’s not up to him. As fate would have it, the one woman destined to rule with him is terrified of water…

She lives in land-locked Kansas and has no idea she’s a princess…

Valerie Dumere thinks Rod is gorgeous and irresistible—but why does he keep insisting she has another side to herself that only he can show her?

Somehow, Rod has to prove to her who she really is. But when she finds out the truth, will she ever forgive him?

Buy: Wild Blue Under

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About the Author

Judi Fennell is an award-winning author. Her romance novels have been finalists in Gather.com’s First Chapters and First Chapters Romance contests, as well as the third American Title contest. She spends family vacations at the Jersey Shore, the setting for some of her paranormal romance series. She lives in suburban Philadelphia, PA.

Review: In Over Her Head by Judi Fennell

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In Over Her Head is the ultimate beach read. No, seriously, it is. You have talking fish, Mers (only humans would classify them by gender), sea monsters, underwater cities hidden by the Greek gods, heirs, thrones, adventure, a cache of diamonds… there’s so much going on in this book.

In so many ways this book is a retelling of Little Mermaid, though I prefer to think of it as the reverse of The Little Mermaid. The hero is a prince, but he’s also a Mer. It’s the heroine who is human and is afraid of the water. She is petrified to be in the ocean: sharks, sharks, mysterious voices, sharks, and well sharks. It’s a wonder she ever got certified to dive.

Both characters are driven by the urge to prove themselves. Erica has been labeled incompetent, useless, and a nutcase ever since the Incident. She’s been struggling to prove to her brothers, who’ve teased her mercilessly ever since, that she is capable and smart and well normal.

Reel, being the second son, is the Spare… as in the heir and the… all his life he’s been a part of the Mer world without any of its perks. As the second son he doesn’t have fins, he has legs. Sure he can breath underwater, speak to fish, but he’s never had respect. The most important race in his life and he was four minutes behind. He doesn’t have the power or the immortality the rest of them do and has been struggling for acceptance into a society that looks down on him. If only his father would get to know him instead of considering him the ultimate embarrassment.

It’s a fish of a tale, pun so intended–bad as it undoubtedly is. If you’re looking to kick up your fins and read a good kelp-turner… yeah, okay I’m done with the water jokes. Judi is much better at these than I am. Well, no I do have one more. Have you ever heard that joke about the Merman, the Kraken, and the Female Human?

Rating: 3 Stars

Classified interracial because of Mer/Human relationship.

Buy: In Over Her Head

Vampires, Then and Now. . .and Then

by Cassandra Pierce, guest blogger and author of Heirs to Darkisle.

The early descriptions of vampires that have come down to us through folklore, provide a stark contrast to today’s hunky, bare-chested bloodsuckers who no longer necessarily suck blood. It’s true that some of the old, scary vamps sometimes ran around shirtless (they might, for example, have escaped from their tombs clad only in a winding sheet), but in those cases they tended to show off discolored, cadaver-like rib cages rather than sculpted pecs and perfect six-pack abs. They also had terrible breath, bad skin, a hollow gaze, and a complete disregard for their human prey. Not exactly the stuff of sexy dreams.

Nowadays, in addition to having excellent hygiene, many vamps are also loathe to drink human blood, and those who aren’t rich (though most vampires are, probably thanks to earning centuries of compound interest) may work in life-saving professions like law enforcement or medicine. These new, sexy vamps move among humans (especially the heroine) almost the way the Greek gods were once thought to interact with their toga-clad subjects. Both alternately protect and seduce, throwing in a few punishments for the vain and wicked along the way.

As an ardent vampire fan and an avid reader and writer of vampire fiction, I couldn’t be happier with the current explosion of principled vamps. One thing does worry me, though. Now that the rehabilitation of the vampire from fearsome monster to ideal mate is complete, where do we go with the genre? I suspect that romance readers are already starting to get a little bored with detectives who use supersensory powers to solve crimes and avenging angels with archaic vocabularies. This might be why werewolf tales are starting to take up the shelf space formerly occupied by our favorite immortals.

One possibility might be a return to a traditional Gothic format, with tormented guys pacing the towers of possibly haunted manor houses. Another might be an even more extreme version of urban fantasy or steampunk, with futuristic settings and high-tech methods for the hero to slake his need for blood. There have been some rumblings about a line or two of Christian-centered vampire romances.

I doubt the vampire hero will ever devolve—Count Orlock, with his oversized bald pate and frighteningly long nails and teeth, just wouldn’t fit the bill in a romance novel. On the other hand, teen vamp dreamboats with pouty red lips and a passing resemblance to Elvis in the 1950s have already become the objects of parody (and cell phone commercials). The publishing industry will soon try to convince us that vampires are last year’s hot ticket, pushed out by shapeshifters and even zombies, but the truth is that they’ll be back on top—as soon as writers can find a new angle to sink our fanged friends’ lovely teeth into. That’s what immortality is all about.

Cassandra Pierce’s vampire e-romance, HEIRS TO DARKISLE, is currently available from Siren-Bookstrand: http://www.sirenpublishing.com/cassandrapierce/

Readers can also visit her website at www.cassandrapierce.com and check her out on Facebook!