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.
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.
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.
I have to say this year’s was a lot of fun. There were some major problems with NYCCfail, but all in all it was a very good show. First the highlights.
Got to attend a panel with Sir Terry Pratchett. – There are just no words for how awesome and creative he is. Love him.
Dave got to meet with some of his favs from the comic world. George Perez, Stanton, and Grieger. I got two Helloby graphic novels signed by Mike Mignola. (Yes!!!)
Got a pair of custom fangs made for the Vampire Ball at AAD13 for next summer. If I’m doing this, I’m going all out. No plastic fangs for me baby. They rock. And I really can’t say enough nice things about Father Sebastian, the guy who crafted them. Nice dude, great conversation. Gave me some things to think about and books I really want to purchase.
Met Vickie from The Robot Museum and Cerece Murphy from LionSky Publishing. Both awesome ladies and real go-getters.
Watched a Quidditch match with my friend Malorie. Spent time shopping with her and her sis, Taylor. Dave and I met up with our friend Glenn Whittmore and hung out with him a while. (Why is it that most of our comic friends we only see at cons? Very sad that.)
Now for the not so good stuff.
First of all, shame on the organizers for placing Sir Terry in a huge hall where there were other events going on at the same time he was speaking. There was even a band playing not too far away. He’s a very soft spoken man. Even with the microphone we had a hard time hearing him. People actually got up and left because they couldn’t hear him. Very poorly done. #NYCCfail.
Secondly, the venders out front of Jacob Javits. Now, I want to say, I am a big supporter of the NYPD. I think they do a tremendous job in a city that size and that heavily populated. But why on earth would you make the venders move across the street from the venue for 10 minutes and then come back and just rearrange their carts? Did you not like the fact the falafel dude was on the right? And here’s the gyro guy on the corner…now you want him in the middle? Just dumb. So now you have all these conventioneers, crossing a busy street to go grab something to eat. Which is more dangerous, people lining up on a sidewalk out of the way of traffic…or crossing a busy street? *shakes head*
The “Green” door. – This is for the loading and unloading of ticketed conventioneers only. – Oh, unless they decide to stop anyone from going inside and make them stand in a line in the middle of the day because the concourse is too full. The entire reason people buy badges ahead of time (other than the fact the event has gotten so big you can’t buy them at the door now) is for the convenience of sailing right in and not having to wait in line. Also, the “Green” door is the farthest door away from whatever side street you happen to walk up. So, let’s just make in the most inconvenient entrance for all those involved. Oh, and while you’re at it…make sure you don’t let anyone walk OUT of the building in Artists Alley and force them to get back into the freakin’ throng of people wading through the corridor that connects that part of the convention hall to the main entrance. #NYCCfail.
The IGN Theater fiasco – Don’t get me wrong, it’s a nice theater. Big. Seats I don’t know how many, but has a decent capacity. First fail was the fact no where in the literature does it tell you that to line up for the theater that is located in 1D, they make you line up in 1C. For realz, folks. You couldn’t have printed that somewhere? Second fail was the fact they let people stay in their seats for the next show, or the next next show. This is fine on the first days of the con when there aren’t many people there, but on Saturday. Um, no. Wrong. So unless you’d camped out there from the morning, you weren’t getting a seat for the later shows. My friend Mals actually texted me that all panels were filled for the rest of the day. HUGE #NYCCfail. All right, so I have this loverly 4-day pass and I can’t get into any of the panels because you decided not to clear the theater? That’s just not right. Why should I have to camp out all day long to see something that doesn’t happen until 4 or 5 pm?
Oh, and the most ironic thing about that…they have a Q & A panel at the end of the con for voicing complaints about the show. Guess what? Yep, that’s right….IT WAS FILLED!! So, instead of voicing my complaints through the proper channels I get to rant here online.
Despite these problems, I still say it was overall a great show. A fun time. The costumes were amazing. People were nice and gracious, despite the overwhelming crowds.
Next year…I might just get a booth.
Next week is the New York Comic Con, taking place at the Jacob Javits Center in NYC. It’s been a few years since I attended this event as they seem to keep moving it around the calendar. The last time I went it was in January or February. Here it is October and we’re just gearing up for it…what’s that all about? Anyhoo…that time I only had a one-day pass that was paid for by a friend of ours who gave us the tix for dog sitting his adorable chocolate lab while he was away (the friend, not the dog.) This time I decided what the hell, I’d get four day passes for me and the hubster and we’d go in like the fan-geeks we are.
And why not? When we go to San Diego we buy passes for the entire con – of course going to SDCC requires a transcontinental excursion and a week’s vacation and another to recuperate, but it’s worth every minute and every penny spent. Since we live so close to NY, this four-day con will be spent in the luxury of our own home and getting back in time to let the dog out before she messes the carpet.
My friend Malorie went to the con last year with her four-day passes in hand and had a wonderful time (trust me, I saw the pix.) We’ve been discussing this year’s con since then and making plans to have a particularly kick-ass time. I can’t wait. Four days…to just wander around the dealer floor and artist alley and see the sights. To go to panel discussions and meet and greets of some of my heroes. It’s going to be awesome. I’ll be sure and take my camera and my phone so I can take pix on both and upload them here.
The best part of this – Dave got the four days off to go in with us. I bought the tix not knowing if he’d be able to swing the time off, but someone was smiling on us and made it happen. We’re hoping he makes some good contacts for his voice over work and gets auditions and all that loverly jazz. Me, I’m going to be concentrating on any writers and their tables down on the dealers’ floor and maybe I might just get a table next year, some banners and hock my own wares. Why not? I’ve had a vivid dream since Dave and his friends first started doing comic books and we’d go to show where they’d have their own tables: that dream is to take one year and do nothing but cons and write and meet the public. I’m still working on making that dream happen….maybe next year.