I give you the first book in my new Victorian paranormal series. (I have yet to come up with a series name that I like, so that is forthcoming.)
OK, so I don’t go to the movies much. When I do it’s usually to see some geektastic event which usually starts out with a Marvel comicbook flipping pages, or with a scrolling updating shot letting me know which episode of the Star Wars saga I’ve stumbled into on that particular occasion. Every once in a while, I’ll get to see a film adaptation of a J.R.R. Tolkien novel, or something animated.That’s just the way I roll. When I want to enjoy a really good chickflick – and I use that term with the deepest affection–I go to my paid streaming subscriptions.
So a few weeks back I noticed a movie that made me sit up and take notice: The Devil’s Violinist. Now, I must regress and give a bit of background before I proceed here. About a year and a half I started writing a book under my Cassie Sweet pseudonym that involved a violin virtuoso in Victorian England. My book is kind of a homage to Mary Shelley, but delves into the world of the dark fae. His Master’s Summon’s: Azgarth’s Chosen Book I sold to Dreamspinner Press Presents for a January release. Imagine my surprise when I am flipping through Netflix and find a movie that is eerily familiar to my precious book? I’m so damn close to wearing tin foil on my head when I sleep, it isn’t funny. However, the coincidence did make me want to see the movie to find out exactly where that movie and my book diverged. As I sat down to watch a few things became clear. 1) The movie was based on an actual person – mine is not. 2) The hero is unfailingly straight – mine is not. 3) The paranormal aspect of the movie was only hinted at but never confirmed – mine is not – it’s blatant and in your face from page one.
A bit about the movie.
Nicolo Paganini was the most celebrated violinist of his time. This portrayal has him meeting up with the enigmatic Urbani who ushers him into a life of debauchery and drug addiction. The story takes us from his beginnings when he couldn’t even get people to listen to him play a lively jig, to his rise to fame and eventual fall from grace.
Paganini is played by a real violin virtuoso – David Garrett. What surprised me the most is that he really isn’t a bad actor. Who knew? Granted the part called for a moody, broody, artist which is not all that hard to pull off, but there were some surprising moments where he really did a good job. As the credits rolled it became clear he served several functions – other than lending his talented hands to portraying Paganini’s monster talent – he was also the executive producer and wrote the musical score.
There were parts of this movie that were damn sad, others a bit slow, but overall entertaining. The best part, it was not all like my book beyond the fact the characters are both violinists and both have a fall…of sorts. If you are in the mood for a period piece with lovely costumes and a handsome hero that is the victim of his own fame, this is the movie for you.
JOIN THE AFTER PARTY!
If you missed the Authors After Dark Vampire Ball, don’t despair! The dark mistresses of the night are here to provide you with a taste of something sweet–a chance to win a pile of books from the authors who sponsored the Vampire Ball, and a limited edition booklet only available to Authors After Dark attendees!
Many Books Signed by the Authors! Giveaway Open to the U.S. and Internationally!
ABOUT THE VAMPIRE BALL SPONSORS
Author Bio: Jess Haines writes about furred and fanged things that go bump in the night. Best known for the H&W Investigations urban fantasy series, she’s been writing since she was a teenager and was first published in 2010. Visit the author at www.JessHaines.com for the latest news and updates.
Type of Books: Jess Haines writes dark, daring and funny urban fantasy novels that follow the (mis-)adventures of human private investigator Shiarra Waynest. Praised by RT Book Reviews, Library Journal, and many more, the latest release is Forsaken by the Others (Kensington/Zebra; July 2, 2013).
Bio/Books: Winner of the Romantic Times Career Achievement award, Joey W. Hill has published over thirty contemporary and paranormal BDSM erotic romances, including four series. Her emotionally-intense love stories offer everything from vampires, mermaids, witches and angels, to boardroom executives, cops and simple housemaids. Free excerpts from all her works are available at her website, www.storywitch.com. Additional vignettes, character interviews and graphics inspired by the work are at the fan forum site, accessible through www.storywitch.com/community.
Author Bio: Jae Lynne Davies is an author, wife, and mother who wishes there were more hours in a day to balance all three and a full-time job. But whenever she finds a spare moment (usually in the late hours of the night when her husband and two young children are visiting the land of dreams), you’ll find her sitting in front of her laptop typing the next chapter!
Type of Books: Striving to share her passion of the written word, Jae Lynne pens stories of conflict and believable, but forbidden relationships between extraordinary characters. In fact, the more complex, the better, which might explain her desire to create erotically-charged paranormal tales of romance and urban fantasy that she hopes leaves readers thirsting for more.
Author Bio: USA Today Bestselling Author Rebecca Zanetti has worked as an art curator, Senate aide, lawyer, college professor, and a hearing examiner – only to culminate it all in stories about Alpha males and the women who claim them. She writes the Dark Protector vampire series, the Maverick Montana cowboy series, and the Sin Brothers romantic-suspense series.
Type of Books: Rebecca writes steamy romances featuring Alpha males and smart, determined heroines. Whether the characters are paranormal creatures, wild cowboys, or dangerous soldiers…there’s adventure, hot romance, and deadly fun in Zanetti’s worlds.
Author Bio: Nightmares as a child forced MK Mancos to begin telling herself stories before going to sleep. Thus began the lifelong love of a good pulse-pounding tale and lives not her own. MK resides in New Jersey with her wonderful husband, Dave, and dog, Lily.
Type of Books: MK Mancos writes anything that strikes her fancy. From tales of the Jersey Devil, to magical Leprechaun gold. She writes paranormal & fantasy as MK Mancos and futuristics and sci-fi under the name Kathleen Scott.
Author Bio: Back in 1994, TJ picked up her first romance novel by Heather Graham. It was love at first page. Years later, after raising her family and establishing her career, TJ wrote what became her first published work. Writing like a madwoman, TJ hasn’t lost steam. Her mind may be gone, but steam there is a-plenty!
Type of Books: TJ is an award-winning author of paranormal, fantasy, sci-fi and urban fantasy romance. No matter the genre TJ is penning, her favorite thing to do is build worlds. To take you somewhere extraordinary. To transport you to a place where you can close your eyes and slip into your fantasy…
Author Bio: Marianne Morea is a New Yorker, and her stories embody the grit and complexity of the city that never sleeps. An avid traveler, she uses experiences from around the world in all her books. Her love affair with the paranormal is born of fantasies, transporting her into a world of what if?
Type of Books: Dark Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy Suspense are the hallmarks of Marianne Morea’s writing style. Stories filled with underworld violence and the desire to transcend a broken soul, readers are thrust into a world where the city never sleeps because the nightmares are real.
Author Bio: A military brat and wife, Melissa Schroeder has a Monty Python type of humor meaning she is usually politically incorrect. She is busy raising two human and two dog daughters and is looking forward to her move back to Virginia after her husband finishes his career with the Air Force. More info can be found at: www.melissaschroeder.net
Type of Books: With over 50 novels, novellas and short stories published, Melissa has stories that span historical to futuristic time periods. Her ADD allows her the ability to write paranormal to straight romance, always with a touch of humor. She is best known for her Harmless series.
Author Bio: A national best selling author, Heather Long lives in Texas with her family and their menagerie of animals. In addition to military romance, Heather writes a wide variety of romance from paranormal historical western romance to contemporary romance and romantic suspense. She loves characters and the stories they have to tell. As a child, Heather skipped picture books and enjoyed the Harlequin romance novels by Penny Jordan and Nora Roberts that her grandmother read to her. Heather believes that laughter is as important to life as breathing and that the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy and Santa Claus are very real. In the meanwhile, she is hard at work on her next novel.
Type of Books: Heather writes paranormal romance, contemporary romance, military romance, and westerns with a paranormal twist. Her focus is on characters and the emotions that drive them to love, hate, live life and survive – romance with an edge.
Author Bio: Seventeen years and over a hundred books later, I’m still a quiet wife, mom and grandma who dotes on kids, cats and a growing collection of orchids that sometimes rewards me with an exotically beautiful blossom. One might say I’ve explored my wild life vicariously through the people in my stories. Although I’ve won several prestigious awards over the years, the compliments that mean most to me are those that come from readers who’ve been touched deeply by my stories.
Type of Books: I write romances, from “vanilla” erotics to kinky BDSM, in settings both familiar and fancifully exotic. All of my books have the proverbial “happily ever after” in common, though my lusty heroes and heroines follow many different and rocky roads to that happy, committed relationship.
Author Bio: USA Today and New York Times bestselling author, C.J. Ellisson, lives in northern VA with her supportive husband, two children who listen at their whim, two dogs that worship her, a cat she’s allergic to, and two lizards she wishes lived somewhere else. She’s been writing for a four and half years and can’t imagine ever returning to her previous day job of real estate and property management.
Type of Books: C.J. spins tales containing adventure, intrigue, action, a little bit of mystery, and a whole lot of steam. She firmly believes hot monogamy exists and all her books, whether erotica, urban fantasy, or contemporary erotic romance, reinforce her views on the magic two people can share.
Author Bio: Kristen Painter likes to balance her obsession with shoes and cats by making the lives of her characters miserable and surprising her readers with interesting twists. She currently writes award-winning urban fantasy for Orbit Books.
Type of Books: Gothic urban fantasy featuring vampires, courtesans, shifters and fae.
No. I’m not talking about the movie or even the place – I’m talking about giving yourself room to panic when situations are going utterly nutso and you think you might crack.
For me, panic sets in about a month or two before a conference and increases the closer I get to con date. This can be financially (how am I going to pay for this?) or travel related (how am I going to get there?) or even emotionally (why am I leaving the safety of my home?). It can also come in the form of having too much to do to get ready for a conference and not knowing where to start. It overwhelms when you continue to chip away at the list and more things spring up. Panic is that feeling in your gut that you’ve forgotten to do something very important or that you keep putting off doing stuff in hopes that it goes away. (I find the procrastination method to be the least effective in gaining control over panic.)
I think some of us need to panic. There is a built-in mechanism that switches on whenever we step across that threshold out of our comfort zones and into the abyss. I try very hard to suppress this by talking myself down and saying “it’s all good.” As far as I know the first time I did that successfully was this weekend and you know what? It really was all right. I panicked right up until a few weeks ago knowing I was stepping into a situation that I’d never been in and not knowing what to expect. I gave myself that permission to speculate, wonder and imagine things as they might be, to let myself fall into the fear-inducing agoraphobia that keeps me prisoner most of the time, and allowed my emotions to give me those dreadful arrhythmias that convince me I’m going to die any second. Finally, I just said to myself, “this is crazy. You are only making yourself feel this way because of the unknown.” Once I did that, my panic seemed to ease and I was once again sailing smoothly. As a matter of fact I didn’t even pack my car or my overnight case until the morning of the conference. You know what? Everything worked out just fine – with the exception of forgetting to pack a bra for yesterday morning, but I was only driving home and it was only a 30 minute trip so I really wasn’t too upset about it.
My next source of great panic is getting everything ready for AAD13 in Savannah, GA in August. I only hope I can be as calm and collected as I was with the Twisted World Con. Considering Savannah is a hell of a lot farther drive for me than 30 minutes, I better make sure I pack those bras now.
Sorry it has taken me a while to post this – real life has gotten in the way the past week. My apologies. But at long last here it is!!
The winners of my March Madness are….. *insert drum roll*
Shelly Hammond has won a book of her choice from my backlist.
Elf has won a series from my backlist.
And now for the grand prize winner…..
…..CM Torrens has won the entire shooting match…every book I’ve ever written. Wow!!!
Congrats all. Thank you for playing. It’s been fun. Please go to my website at http://www.MysticKat.com to select your prizes and then drop me an email from “contact” section on the website with your selection.
In honor of March Madness (and no I don’t follow basketball) I’m going to be giving away crazy ass shit on this blog hop. Detail will follow at the end of the blog, but for now…I want to talk a bit about the MM that is unrelated to hoops.
It used to be that March was the time of year when the bathing suits came out and me and my friends would rush to slather ourselves in baby oil, Crisco or butter (hey, it was the early 80’s and we didn’t know about sunscreen back then) and lay out at the beach or backyard to start working on our summer tans. See, in Florida that was so doable in the early part of the year. Hell, I remember doing that in late February on a few occasions. Thanks to a little hydrogen peroxide and sunlight hair would begin to turn blonder. By the time spring break arrived, we were totally babealicious and ready to “cruise the Strip.” – If you lived at all near Panama City Beach, Florida you knew what this meant, along with AEA Weekend. In recent years, MM has changed–altered from those carefree day to something a bit more dicey….
…yes, folks I’m talking about March in New Jersey.
To really appreciate the “bridge” month – that is the weather equivalent of limbo — one has to live here. It can be sunny and 60 degrees one day, and the next you are shoveling two feet of snow off your driveway and your car looks like a bump in the landscape. This year has been particularly frustrating since the weather people ….er…um…meterologists… have not gotten it right once. You’d think with all the hi-tech gadgetry, dopplers, satellites and GPS they would get a lock on systems and figure it out. But no, good old Mother Nature has stayed one or two giant steps ahead of them all season. It makes it a bit difficult to make plans when you don’t know from moment to moment if you’re going to need an shorts or snow shoes. Commuting to work on an ice rink is not my idea of good time, though in all honesty I have to commend the road crews for staying on top of things this year.
Then cabin fever sets in.
Like Jack Nicholson’s character in The Shining I feel like busting out of my house and saying, “Here’s Johnny.” I long to take a walk on the trails with my hubby and dog and just enjoy being outside. The days he has gone it’s been too cold for me to linger outside for too long. You know the type of cold I’m talking about – the one that cuts through your 27 layers of clothing and goes straight to your bones. It’s really beautiful country up where I live and is quite relaxing to walk along the many trails that cut through the woods and hills. However, that’s an activity better saved for April, when March Madness has ended and the weather is a bit more on the predictable side.
New Jersey is definitely an “outdoors” state. There are so many things to see and do when the weather cooperates. Festivals and plays, gardens and farmers’ markets, boardwalks and beaches, tiny bistros with dining on pretty patios. It’s all here. Parks and playgrounds. And events. I don’t think a week goes by when there isn’t some sort of outdoor happening within easy driving distance. This year the local St. Patrick’s Day parade was on the 9th and had nice warm, weather for all to enjoy. There have been some years when the pipers nearly froze their kilts off. Not a pretty picture. Makes marching in step all the more painful I’m sure.
This year my March Madness as taken another turn as I attempt to write several books in a month. I know what you’re thinking…she really is mad! Well, perhaps I am, but just think of it as taking all that pent up energy from being indoors all winter and channeling it to a greater, more entertaining purpose than breaking down a door with an ax.
To prove I am just as mad as a hatter, I’m giving away those prizes I mentioned above.
To one lucky winner I will give away a book of their choice from my backlist.
One winner will receive copies of one of my series. (In ebook)
Yet another winner will get my entire backlist – that’s three different author names and about 23 books. Wow!!! What a prize.
Winners will be selected from the list of people who reply, so if you reply please leave a name and email where I can contact you. It’s very disheartening to try and contact a winner only to discover there is no way to get a hold of them. If you mention you are going to Authors After Dark in Savannah this summer, I will enter you into an extra special drawing to meet me for drinks during the conference. (If you are under 21 your drink will consist of non-alcoholic beverage of your choice.)
Special notices: Due to the nature and subject matter of some of my titles all entrants must be at least 18 years of age. If you would like to comment on the blog, but are not eligible to enter the contest, please mention it in your reply. If you do not, I will assume you are good to go.
Contest closes on March 31st. Drawing to take place on April Fools Day – just to keep it interesting.
Good luck and let a little March Madness into your life.
It occurs to me that most authors will tell you what books they are currently reading, but not the why of it. Perhaps they feel an explanation is unneeded or unwarranted. All right, I’ll give them that. Most readers might not care why authors select certain titles for their own pleasure reading…but as both reader and writer, I’ll admit I’m curious about the reading habits of my fellow authors. Why? Because I’m a Kat and we are curious by nature. *wink* – Actually, I think it gives honest and real insight into people. It’s also a great way to do secondary research.
Lately I’ve been going through a stage. Yes, at 47 years, I still have “stages.” These aren’t bad ones, but they are habit forming. The stage I am in lately is not being able to get enough of reading books set in a certain time period. Victorian to be exact. And not necessarily romances either. Romance need not apply, as a matter of fact, I’ve been looking on other shelves for my reading material. Mystery. Science Fiction. Mainstream. Just so long as it is set in Victorian times. Recently I finished reading two entirely different tales one found in the sci-fi section the other, though labeled mainstream, should have been put in the mystery section, though the reader is given the villains’ identities throughout most of the book. The first book is The Map of the Sky by Felix Palma, the second is The Yard by Alex Grecian. Loved them both and have recommended them to friends. I am not going to go into a review of either of them at this time, but let’s suffice it to say, both books are entertaining and kept me turning pages when I should have been sitting in front of the computer writing my own novels. What I will say is that these particulars books allow me to see how other authors are handling the time period.
Yep…that’s right. I have written in the late Victorian, early Edwardian period myself, but have set the books in either America (New York to be precise) or as alternate history/fantasy. However, I think reading any material set in the time will still give you the flavor of the era, no matter if it’s sci-fi as Palma wrote or more fact-based as Grecian writes. Now, don’t get me wrong, I don’t do my research by only reading fiction novels set in a specific time period – I do read non-fiction works about the era in question. I think it’s important to balance the two while doing research. One is for the specifics, and the other as I said is for flavor. Reading fiction gives authors a chance to see how their peers and contemporaries handle certain situations. We have a choice to say, “Oh, I like that” or “Hmmm, I’d have done that differently.” And though I have read the works by authors who lived in the period (Dickens, Wells and Eliot) I do watch movie adaptations of novels by Edith Wharton and a few others. (I will admit Wharton is on my TBR list.) Again, it helps to bring the flavor of the time period to life. Social interactions and customs were completely different than they are in contemporary society. Language and slang have changed dramatically, even the very rights we take for granted have only come about for some of us in the last hundred and some odd years.
It wasn’t always pretty.
No. Not in the least. As a matter of fact, I’d say the majority of people lived hard and harsh lives back then. Only a small segment of society were able to afford anything beyond the necessities. I watched a documentary last week about the Triangle Shirt Factory fire and wanted to shake my fists to the heavens at the unfairness and tragedy of the event. These are the things as an author that make research real, visceral and profound. This is why it’s important to read material outside of our comfort zones or explore other media to give us the reality we might be lacking from a modern perspective.