Congratulations to Jennifer Ashley, who is now a  New York Times bestselling author!  PRIDE MATES is also on this week’s USA Today list.  Hooray for sexy shifters!

magic-knotIn its annual romance issue, Booklist magazine, a publication from the American Library Association, has named its top 10 romances of the year.  Claiming one of the spots is THE MAGIC KNOT by American Title winner Helen Scott Taylor, which received a starred review earlier this year: “This book is so well written that it’s hard to believe it’s Taylor’s first novel, as well as the first in a promising series of contemporary fantasy romances.”

THE PHOENIX CHARM, the next book in the series, is a January release.

Some paranormal superstars such as Jacquelyn Frank, Cynthia Eden, Michelle Rowen, Angie Fox, Elissa Wilds, Natale Stenzel and more are offering a free round-robin short story called White Wedding Nightmares (oh boy!) in serial installments over at Romance in the Backseat.  There are already eight chapters posted, so you’ve got plenty to get you started.

I had a chance to take an early look at these and thoroughly enjoyed both:

BEYOND THE RAIN by Jess Granger

For all you folks who recently mentioned you were craving futuristics, you’ll want to give this one a try.  It’s got a fantastic “I can take of myself, thank you very much, but I’m not stupid and I’m not a bitch” kind of heroine.  And the guy… Oh, the guy.  Because of a special hormonal issue with his race (you’re gonna love this, I tell you), he needs sex to survive.  But the heroine who saves him from this hellhole where he’s being tortured must remain celibate, due to the laws of her people.  It’s really hot, great tension.  Difficult to explain but easy to love.

HAUNTING BEAUTY by Erin Quinn

This was initially described to me as “The Time Traveler’s Wife” meets Diana Gabaldon’s “Outlander” series.  So how could I not want to read it?  Its official blurb:

A mysterious stranger . . .

Danni Jones believed everything about her past—that she was an unwanted child abandoned by her mother. That she was an outcast set apart by her clairvoyance. That she was alone. Then came the stranger. Dangerously seductive Sean Ballagh appears out of nowhere with a startling story that will challenge everything Danni thought was true.

A lost woman . . .

He claims that Danni’s family has been searching for her ever since she disappeared twenty years ago. He’s come to bring her home to Ireland. But Danni fears there’s more to his story than he dares to reveal. And the only way to find out is by following Sean back in time, to a forgotten past, to a world where nothing is what it seems.

A terrifying legacy . . .

Now, in a land where the mystical and the occult are as vivid as the emerald fields, Danni must rewrite history to save her family, to fight a force more evil than she ever imagined, and to reunite with the one man she was destined for—or live forever in time as nothing more than an ethereal memory, a tragic and haunting beauty…

Winners will be announced July 16 at the national RWA convention in Washington, D.C.  Congratulations to all the nominees!

Dark Paranormal:
IMMORTALS: THE REDEEMING by Jennifer Ashley
HOTTER AFTER MIDNIGHT by Cynthia Eden
MONA LISA CRAVING by Sunny

 

Fantasy:
THE DRAGON MASTER by Allyson James
DRAGONBOUND by Jade Lee
KING OF SWORD AND SKY by C.L. Wilson

  

Novella:

“The Spacetime Pool” by Catherine Asaro
“Dark Nest” by Leanna Renee Hieber
“Kung Fu Shoes!” in THESE BOOTS WERE MADE FOR STOMPING by Jade Lee

Time Travel:
TWIST by Colby Hodge
MADMAN’S DANCE by Jana G. Oliver
A SEXY TIME OF IT by Cara Summers

 

Young Adult:
Cave of Terror by Amber Dawn Bell
CHOSEN: A House of Night Novel by P.C. Cast
Sleepless by Terri Clark

Futuristic:
Fallen by Claire Delacroix
Moonstruck by Susan Grant
Shades of Dark by Linnea Sinclair

Light Paranormal:
La Vida Vampire by Nancy Haddock
The Trouble with Moonlight by Donna MacMeans
Wicked Game by Jeri Smith-Ready

Erotica:
A Mermaid’s Kiss by Joey W. Hill
Carnal Desires by Crystal Jordan
Siren Singing by Isabo Kelly

Romance takes center stage in the most recent issue of Publishers Weekly.  Coverage ranges from what’s hot in paranormal now, what will be hot next and their idea of what will never be hot in paranormal (but we hope to prove them wrong!).  There are also some great sidebar pieces on historicals and contempories and a nice article from Debbie Macomber.

Some interesting releases to mark on your calendars:

St. Martin’s/Tor

According to Susan Squires’ site, TIME FOR ETERNITY is part of her Companion series, but I’m pretty sure the marketing materials from St. Martin’s called it the first of a new series.  It’s about a modern-day immortal bartender from San Francisco who goes back in time to Revolutionary France to confront the duke who turned her  into a vampire.  I found it very interesting that the spine was labeled Romantic Suspense and not Paranormal Romance. 

 

 

 

I have to admit, it was not the cover that caught my eye for PRINCE OF FROGS by Ananaliese Evans.  But I love the description.  It’s a historical paranormal with lots of fairy tale elements, maybe a cross between Colleen Gleason and Kathryne Kennedy.  Of course, I didn’t actually write down what the description was, and it’s not yet up on her site, but you can take a look at the first book in this series, NIGHT’S ROSE.

 

 

According to the marketing notes, ABC is planning to replace Lost in 2010 with a series based on FLASHFORWARD by Robert J. Sawyer.  It’s about an experiment gone awry that somehow flashes the population 20 years into the future for several moments.  It sounds like it has the potential to get pretty twisty with everyone back in their present trying to figure out what decisions propel them to their future selves.  You can read an excerpt here.  

 

 

 

Orbit

SOULESS by Gail Carriger is the first of the Parasol Protectorate series, and if the humor on Gail’s website is any indication of what we’re getting in the book, I can’t wait to read this.

It sounds like Mary Poppins meets The Golden Compass meets Underworld.

According to her site:

Alexia Tarabotti is laboring under a great many social tribulations. First, she has no soul. Second, she’s a spinster whose father is both Italian and dead. Third, she is being rudely attacked by a vampire to whom she has not been properly introduced!

Where to go from there? From bad to worse apparently, for Alexia accidentally kills the vampire, and the appalling Lord Maccon (loud, messy, gorgeous, and werewolf) is sent by Queen Victoria to investigate. With unexpected vampires appearing and expected vampires disappearing, everyone seems to believe Alexia responsible.

Can she figure out what is actually happening to London’s high society?

Will her soulless ability to negate supernatural powers prove useful or just plain embarrassing?

Who is the real enemy, and do they have treacle tart?

It is either Jane Austen does paranormal, or PG Wodehouse does steampunk and will be released by Orbit US October 1.

Grand Central

TALL, DARK AND FANGSOME is the fifth book in Michelle Rowen’s Sarah Dearly Immortality Bites series.  You can read an excerpt here.

Really want to go to a conference this year, but struggling with justifying the cost in this economy?  How does a tax-writeoff trip to Vegas sound?

Intrigued?  Then you’ll definitely want to check out KillerCon, a new convention geared toward published authors,  aspiring writers, and readers of Thrillers, Paranormal Romance, and Horror.  The event is Sept. 17-20.  Tickets cost $125 and the hotel rooms are $80/night.  Sounds like a pretty good deal to me.

Keynote speakers already on board include Heather Graham and L.A. Banks, horror writers Edward Lee and Brian Keene, and multi-genre author Joe R. Lansdale.

The conference is being organized by event-planner and author Wrath James White.  He just sounds like he comes straight from a J.R. Ward novel, no?  Looks it, too:

wrathjw

Wrath is amazingly talented, amazingly organized, and it sounds like this will be a great time.

bill-large     sam1     jason-large    lafayette    eric

CNN reports that True Blood, the HBO series based on the Charlaine Harris novels, is the network’s most successful show since “The Sopranos” and “Sex in the City.”  Yippee – because that means more episodes to come!  Especially since I have no idea how they’re going to wrap everything up in the finale next week.

I also hope it means more mainstream recognition for all things paranormal.  As one of the characters was explaining shape-shifters the other week, I kept thinking, “Who doesn’t know what shape-shifters are?”  And then of course I had to laugh a little at myself.

One of the things I like best about the show is the way it’s fleshed out the secondary characters – sometimes almost too much so; they start to overshadow the main ones.  Bon Temps, LA, is just full of interesting guys.  Who gets your pick?