Tuesday, April 22, 2014

LIFE IS STRANGER THAN FICTION: VAMPIRES BY ANNE HOPE




Yesterday, when I logged into my Facebook account, the following headline popped onto my screen: “One Hundred Vampire Graves Found in Bulgaria.”

Needless to say, it caught my attention and, being the author of paranormal fiction, I clicked on the link. After all, it’s not every day a girl gets to read about real-life vampires!

The article discussed the 700-year-old skeletons that archaeologists discovered in June 2012, when they excavated the grounds of a monastery in Bulgaria. These corpses had apparently been stabbed through the heart with iron rods, a sure sign that people considered them vampires.

It seems the word vampire means different things to different cultures. Some subscribe to the popular belief that vampires subsist on human blood. Others accuse them of being the bringers of plague and the cause of poltergeist activity. Another school of thought promotes the idea of psychic vampires, people who drain others of energy.

This last one piqued my interest. My Dark Souls series features the Kleptopsychs, Hybrids and Rogues, immortal beings who can affect people’s thoughts, moods and actions. These descendants of the Nephilim feed not on blood, but on human souls.

Could they, in fact, be the psychic vampires of lore?

Wikipedia describes a psychic vampire as “a person or being who feeds off the life force of other living creatures.”

Check.

The term energy vampire is used to refer to beings “whose influence leaves a person feeling exhausted, unfocused, and depressed.”

Double check.

In a way, psychic vampires are similar to the blood-sucking kind, except they drain the life force from their victims psychically instead of physically. They destroy a person’s will, steal their hope and leave them feeling listless and empty.

If we think back, I’m sure we’ve all known a person like that. Someone’s whose mere presence and negative nature sucks the joy right out of us.

Sometimes the world can be a very dark place, and its hard to understand why some people do the destructive things they do.

In my Dark Souls world, the answer is simple: psychic vampires. But there’s a twist—not all of them are evil. Imagine having the power to destroy the human psyche without actually meaning to do so. Imagine the angst, the isolation, the guilt this would cause a person who still possesses a conscience.

That’s what makes the heroes and heroines in my Dark Souls series so heroic. Every day they battle their dark nature to protect humanity. They hunt their own kind, struggle to preserve a world that’s determined to self-destruct. They fight for peace, when their very composition is one of chaos and violence. They defend what they were created to destroy. They love despite the fact that they are soulless.

Psychic vampires or not, they are the only ones who can stop the coming Apocalypse.

Whether they succeed still remains to be seen!




Soul Bound
Dark Souls
Book 1
Anne Hope

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Publisher: Samhain Publishing

ISBN: 978-1-60928-948-5
ISBN: 978-1619211391
ASIN: B007HCWHAK

Number of pages: 338 e-book
312 paperback
Word Count: 111 K

Cover Artist: Scott Carpenter





Book Description:

The one man she wants is the one man destined to destroy her.

Sooner or later we all end up dead. Jace Cutler doesn’t have the luxury of staying that way. After receiving a fatal stab wound, he awakens in a hospital room in Portland, Oregon, with no memory and a big hole where his soul used to be. Worst of all is the glow. Everyone is surrounded by a strange white aura he hungers to possess, none more compelling than the one enveloping Dr. Lia Benson.

Lia has always been ruled by reason, refusing to put stock in such nebulous things as destiny. Until Jace dies in her arms, then miraculously comes back to life. Whenever he’s near, her soul responds and her body burns. And she’s consumed by odd dreams she’s convinced are Jace’s lost memories.

When Lia is kidnapped, Jace tracks her and discovers a shocking explanation for who—and what—he is. Something no longer human, a dark legacy that until now has lain dormant within him. Something that could destroy the one woman he’d sacrifice everything to protect.


Warning: Contains bone-melting sexual tension, scary battle scenes, heartrending emotion guaranteed to keep you turning the pages well into the night, and a positively divine hero who may just steal your soul.

Soul Deep
Dark Souls
Book 2
Anne Hope

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Publisher: Samhain Publishing

ISBN: 978-1-61921-250-3 e-book
ISBN: 978-1-61921-681-5 paperback
ASIN: B009ZCG07Q

Number of pages: 301 e-book
304 paperback
Word Count: 100 K

Cover Artist: Kanaxa



Book Description:

Save her life…or save mankind. His choice could cost him his soul.
For nearly two centuries, Marcus has been the Watchers’ most faithful soldier. Sworn to protect humanity, driven by an unrelenting compulsion to atone for past sins, he has rarely found a compelling reason to question his mission, let alone defy his leader.

His partner, Regan, is his exact opposite, an enigma he longs to solve. A free spirit and reckless to a fault, Regan acts first and thinks later. Her smart mouth and tender heart have fascinated Marcus for decades, but the Watchers’ strict vow of celibacy has forced him to ignore the sizzling attraction between them. Until now.
When Regan goes rogue to protect a very special little boy, Marcus is forced to make an impossible choice—commit an act of treason or watch the woman he secretly loves die.

Hunted by enemies and allies alike, Regan and Marcus run for their lives, fighting to thwart an age-old prophecy and guard a boy whose destiny may very well be to destroy the world…or save it.

Warning: Contains violent battle scenes, angels with twisted agendas, nail-biting suspense, intense emotion, burning-hot sexual tension, and a sexy, stubborn hero who would rather face death than admit what’s in his heart.

Soul Thief
Dark Souls
Novella 0.5
Anne Hope

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Publisher: Samhain Publishing

ISBN: 978-1-61921-836-9
ASIN: B00CZ8MCFQ

Number of pages: 151
Word Count: 41 K

Cover Artist: Kanaxa

Samhain    Amazon   Amazon.ca


Book Description:

Born to hunt and destroy…until the light of one soul reawakens his own.
Adrian knows he once possessed a soul, but it abandoned him the day he was murdered. The day he was reborn as a Rogue, shunned by humans and hunted by his own kind. By night he feeds the darkness inside him by finding and snuffing out corrupt souls, perfectly content to live as an outcast—until a random act of violence unites him with a woman who makes him feel.

Angelica Paxton believes everyone deserves a second chance. Even her rescuer, a mysterious stranger with hypnotic powers, an unsettling ability to invade her dreams, and a shocking secret. Much as her body wants to succumb to Adrian’s seductive charms, she can’t. Not without breaking his newly awakened heart.

Adrian swears to protect Angie from his kind, even if staying by her side means volunteering at the center where she works to reform the very souls he has vowed to crush. Even if it means abandoning the shadows for the light. Even if that light exposes the darkest threat he’s ever faced. One from which he is powerless to save her…

Warning: This book contains flying subway cars, a woman in jeopardy, a relentless villain who’ll stop at nothing to get what he wants, and a dark, sexy hero who could very well haunt your dreams and steal your heart.

Soul Chase
Dark Souls
Book 3
Anne Hope

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Publisher: Samhain Publishing

ISBN: 978-1-61921-890-1
ASIN: B00DUB2554

Number of pages: 306
Word Count: 90K

Cover Artist: Kanaxa

Samhain    Amazon   Amazon.ca


Book Description:

A man she’d die for, a world she was born to defend… Only one can survive.
For twenty-five years, Adrian has mourned the loss of his soul mate, Angie. He’s content to live as an outcast…until a series of abductions forces him out of seclusion and into the arms of the very woman he loved and lost. Angie’s reincarnation, Emma.

Emma is on the run, hunted by soulless creatures whose one goal is to possess her soul. They have taken everything: her home, her identity, her mother. Left with no other choice, she must trust her fate to Adrian, the enigmatic stranger who comes to her rescue. An immortal being whose illicit touch makes her blood burn and awakens an inexplicable desire in her heart.

Emma follows Adrian to his isolated community in Arizona, where she is assailed by visions of a past life. As passion ignites and her enemies close in, Emma is drawn into a world where nothing is what it seems and where love could prove the greatest weakness of all.

Warning: Contains a dark, tortured hero, a hunted woman who can’t remember loving him, a nasty villain hell-bent on destroying the world, and a timeless love story you won’t soon forget.

About the Author:

Anne Hope is the author of emotionally intense romances with a twist—a twist of humor, a twist of suspense, a twist of magic. All her stories, however, have a common thread. Whether they make you laugh or cry or push you to the edge of your seat, they all feature the redeeming power of love and the heart's incredible ability to heal.

Anne's passion for writing began at the age of eight. After penning countless stories about enchanted houses, alien girls with supernatural powers, and children constantly getting lost in the woods, she decided to try her hand at romance.

She lives in Montreal, Canada, with her husband, her two inexhaustible kids, a lazy cat and a rambunctious Australian Kelpie.





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Guest Blog: Berman's Wolves by Gretchen SB




Ohhh, Shiny…

I am very easily distracted. I find this to be both a blessing and a curse as a writer. When I say easily distracted I mean holding a conversation with me when I get excited can be a little disorientating if you are not used to it. I can seemingly jump from one topic to another without a clear path for how I got there. As anyone easily distracted out there reading this can attest it also makes the world highly entertaining because there is always more than one thing going on at any given time.

I find this a good thing when writing because it means that I can have a plethora of story ideas to choose from which means there are plenty of stories meandering around in my head, sword fighting, playing chess. Just waiting for their turn up to bat. It also means writers block is easier to combat because there are other stories I can move on to if I get stuck.

Downside is getting things finished is hard. There is always some other story calling for my attention, or worse ‘I wonder what this random friend is doing?’ To get stories done I have to make my inner child very unhappy,  sit myself down and force myself to work on things I know need to get done. It also means that I can get caught up in a side story that might not help, or it might even take away from the central plot. Then before I know it, my characters are wandering around in a plot they were never meant to be in.


This is where I am right now with me upcoming book. I have written my cop into a corner and he is just standing there blinking at me going, ‘really? Are we really going to go with this? I think we can do better, don’t you?’ So now I have to go backwards up the rabbit hole to try and find the precise moment when I derailed the book. On the plus side, it means I get to write almost a whole new story, which should keep my inner child happy for a bit.

Berman's Wolves
Gretchen SB

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Cover artist: Talina Perkins

When a scientist runs an experiment on three separate college campuses that goes horribly wrong, several hundred students find their lives altered forever. They must learn to adapt to their new lives as Werewolves. Immediately after the incident a government program was put in place to keep track of these unwitting subjects. After a year the program falls apart as those in charge argue on how to proceed.

Without the programmers constantly looking over their shoulders the werewolves have now started to organize themselves. Creating their own hierarchy and alliances.

Jack is the Alpha of Pacific Northwest University's pack F. He thought the government had finally taken a step back and let him and the other Alphas run their packs. Recently, however, he has been hearing rumblings about the programmers wanting to reinstate the program. He thought they were just rumors until he finds out one of his pack is being threatened by several of the lab assistants that took part in the original experiment. Now Jack must scramble to find allies and hunt down those threatening his pack. The more he goes looking the bigger the plot becomes.

Available on Smashwords

About the Author:

Gretchen happily lives in Seattle, Washington where she spends her time creating new characters and situations to put them in. She also enjoys cheering on her local sports teams, even though it sometimes seems they are allergic to winning.

Gretchen has spent most of her life in Washington state. She graduated from Central Washington University with a BA in History and a BA in Philosophy. Though there was a brief stint after college where she lived in Florida and worked for the mouse (Disney World). She loves that Washington provides a large range of activities, from Shakespeare in the park to rodeos.

She has had a love of reading and telling stories as far back as she, or anyone else, can remember.  Currently, she loves to read the same genres she writes. She also loves exploring her home state. At the end of her adventures she unwinds by curling up on the couch, knitting while catching up TV shows via Netflix.




https://twitter.com/GretchenSB
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Red the Were Hunter
Farielle Series
Book One
Rebekah Ganiere

Fantasy Romance/ Paranormal Romance

What if you were the key to an ancient prophecy that would begin to heal your lands, but fulfilling your destiny meant you had to turn your back on everything you'd been taught to believe in?

Redlynn of Volkzene, member of the Sisterhood of Red, is heartbroken to find another village girl taken and her best friend slain by werewolves. Defying the head of her order, she sets out to kill the beast she believes responsible.  The King of the Weres-- But there are worse things in Wolvenglen Forest than the wolves.

Adrian, reluctant heir to the throne of Wolvenglen, and his band of wolf brothers are bound to protect the humans; especially the Sisterhood. Finding Redlynn unconscious in his woods, awakens in him a passion he's never before experienced and a protective instinct that has him ready to turn on his own men. Problem is, a female is that last thing he wants in his life. 

But all is not as it seems in Wolvenglen Forest and when the mystery of the missing girls is solved, Redlynn and Adrian must move past their inner demons to find the happiness they both so desperately desire.


About the Author:

Rebekah grew up on both the east and west coasts and currently lives in the Los Angeles area. From the Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein to The Stand by Stephen King, Rebekah immersed herself in other people's made up worlds. She began writing in junior high and then found she liked pretending to be other people's characters in high school. Lettering in drama she went on to study theater in college as well. After college she continued acting till becoming a mom. Ultimately, she ended up going back to writing her characters down instead of acting them out, so she could stay at home with her kids.

Rebekah is a member of Romance Writers of America and is a board member of both the Fantasy, Futuristic, & Paranormal and her local Los Angeles chapters.  When she isn't spending time telling the lives of the characters constantly chattering inside her head, you can find her with her husband and four children; reading comic books, gaming, at the movies or taking care of the menagerie of pets. A dog, a rabbit, two bearded dragons, and three tortoises. Wonder woman, the escaped snake, has yet to be located.


Twitter: @VampWereZombie










Monday, April 21, 2014

10 Things You Didn’t Know About Rising Shadows: Guest blog and Giveaway with Bridget Blackwood




1. Originally, the story was set in New Orleans, LA. I love NOLA. I was fourteen the first time I visited. My drill team was there for a Mardi Gras dance competition. Wow, talk about an eye opening experience! I found Mardi Gras to be an interesting den of iniquity that both terrified and intrigued me. As much as I New Orleans, I decided to change it in Rising Shadows to a no name location since I wanted each reader to imagine it in their own area. (I’ll be heading back to New Orleans October 2014, woo!)

2. Rachel had several name changes. I can’t remember them all but I know one was Tessa and another was Sarah. 

3. The hero’s name is Sebastien Bonvillain, he prefers to be called Bastien which is a nod to the main character in The Neverending Story. The last name Bonvillain translates to ‘good villain’. I am forever misspelling the whole families name’s wrong. 

4. I started book one and book three at the same time. I couldn’t decide which book came first for almost a year. Trying to figure out the timeline made me crackers. 

5. It took five years to finish Rising Shadows because I kept taking breaks to have kids and move houses. That’s all stopped so books are written much faster now.

6. Cleary Neil and Varian Caina are my favorite characters that you’ve met. I love how unpredictable and eccentric they are; If those guys think it, they say it. They are the easiest to write for because they don’t hide anything. 

7. Rachel had a cat! I couldn’t find a way to reunite her with her cat in a plausible way so I wrote him out. It made me sad to think she might never find out what happened to her cat. I’m an animal lover. I am owned by a pug, a boxer, four cats, and two ferrets. 

8. Winter Summersun was meant to have a small walk on role and then go away. Instead she’s a main character with a fan following. Her name is symbolic of her conflicted political status. 

9. I got the idea for Rising Shadows from a daydream. 

10. Livia and Rachel’s relationship was central to the story in every draft I wrote. I never changed their bond, it’s the catalyst for every move Rachel makes. 







Rising Shadows
World in Shadows
Book One
Bridget Blackwood

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Date of Publication: February 1, 2014

ISBN: 1494891751
ASIN: B00I6U2ARW

Number of pages: 107
Word Count: 32,404

Cover Artist: The Killion Group


ITunes    Kobo

Book Description:

Rachel Ryan wakes up with no knowledge of where she is or how she got there. Thrown into a world she thought only existed in myths, she finds more questions than answers.

Shape shifters, faeries, and vampires hide in plain sight among humans. There’s a war quietly brewing in the shadows. Rachel stands between mankind and those creatures that live in the darkness.

Enhanced with power she doesn’t understand, she’ll tip the scales, but who is the real enemy?


Excerpt #1

Gates is in the center of the club. I follow behind him curious to see what happens next. I should grab Livia and run. I look up at the loft. People are lined up against the railing watching the display below. My eyes are drawn to one man in particular. From my angle and with the low lighting, I can’t tell much about his features or height. His clothes and hair are dark, he rests one arm on the top rail and holds a pool cue in the other hand. His gaze is a penetrating green and I swear they glow, I have to make myself look away.
“Guns are not appreciated here, sir,” says a young woman behind the bar.
Liquid courage, come to mama! Moving around Gates, I walk over and take a seat in front of her. “Can I get a drink please?” I ask politely.
“What do you think you are doing?” Gates grinds out through clenched teeth. He is standing directly behind me.
“You folks had me locked up playing lab rat. I just want a few minutes of me time before the shit hits the fan.”
Gates doesn’t know what to say to that. Patrons watch me curiously. Let them. I am past the point of caring. The bartender grins at me. She has hair that’s a silvery lavender dancing around her shoulders. Her eyes are a mesmerizing shade of purple. She doesn’t seem real. I am spellbound. Not a shifter, what is she? I have to stop myself from reaching out and touching her.
“What would you like?” She asks me breaking the trance.

Back to reality, in a room full of doom. “What would you recommend for a woman’s last drink on earth?”

About the Author:

Bridget Blackwood is a hopeless romantic and a fan of happily ever after. She grew up in East Texas where she met and married her high school sweetheart. Together they moved to Southern Illinois, it's been home for over a decade now. Bridget began telling stories at an early age, she writes in self-defense because the characters in her head are loud and bossy. A social butterfly by nature, Bridget loves to talk and laugh. When she isn't writing she enjoys watching horror movies, playing video games, and not cooking.









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