These four urban fantasy authors answer several questions from what they love about writing urban fantasy to advice for aspiring authors.
Each year brings us the promise of something new, incredible, wonderful, spectacular or simply optimistic. For every person there is a different adjective, but I ask. How do you classify the gathering of NINE urban fantasy authors together on one blog? I can see shrieking fans in ecstasy and grandeur unlike any other. Note that I didn’t choose this art randomly. It represents what happened when “The Deadline Dames” launched.
The “Deadline Dames” and like their smoldering heroines, these femme fatales in the hottest new genre to be at to kick ass. And they do. It has been a week since the official launch of the site and you can see incredible and ranging number of comments, swelling at each post in the range from 3 to about 200. Cosmic numbers for any blogger and quite the launch. But shall we cover why “The Deadline Dames” have achieved such success.
We have the founding holy trinity plus one in urban fantasy and namely Jenna Black, Keri Arthur, Lilith Saintcrow and Jackie Kessler. Then we move on to Rachel Vincent, my personal queen of shapeshifter novels; Toni Andrews and Devon Monk, whose debut has been released last year. Last but not least we have Karen Mahoney and Rinda Elliott, both amazing people as well as writers and by both being represented by Miriam Kriss, success is inavoidable. I like to call them Generation Next in the urban fantasy scene. For me this grouping in experience is going to add some diversity and unexpected dynamics in the blog.
Second, and I think as equally important to the fans, “The Deadline Dames” are generous party girls and in order to celebrate their smooth start, for two weeks they are giving fantastic prizes as well as their insight on a matter of topics: deadlines being on top of their priority right.
I also would like to speak a few words about the site itself. Stylish and fashioned with the trademarks of urban fantasy such as dark colors, knives, guns, tattoos and the necessary femme fatales, “The Deadline Dames” is easy on the eye in more than one way. We have a rotating schedule for weekly posting and several pages for the visitor to explore. All in all, as a reader and writer in the genre, I have to say pretty darn good.
Here’s what you can look forward to hitting the shelves this month:
All I wanted was to make friends, meet boys, and keep on being ordinary. I don’t even know what that means anymore. It all started on the day that I saw my first ghost—and the ghost saw me.
Now there are ghosts everywhere and they won’t leave me alone. To top it all off, I somehow got myself locked up in Lyle House, a “special home” for troubled teens. Yet the home isn’t what it seems. Don’t tell anyone, but I think there might be more to my housemates than meets the eye. The question is, whose side are they on? It’s up to me to figure out the dangerous secrets behind Lyle House . . . before its skeletons come back to haunt me. [Amazon link]
1 – Elizabeth Bear – Ink & Steel (pb)
Kit Marley, playwright and spy in the service of Queen Elizabeth, has been murdered. His true gift to Her Majesty was his way with words, crafting plays infused with a subtle magic that maintained her rule. He performed this task on behalf of the Prometheus Club, a secret society of nobles engaged in battle against sorcerers determined to destroy England. Assuming Marley’s role is William Shakespeare— but he is unable to create the magic needed to hold the Queen’s enemies at bay.
Resurrected by enchantment in Faerie, Marley is England’s only hope. But before he can assist Will in the art of magic, he must uncover the traitor among the Prometheans responsible for his death…
1 – Mike Carey – The Devil You Know (mmpb) Felix Castor is a freelance exorcist, and London is his stamping ground. It may seem like a good ghostbuster can charge what he likes and enjoy a hell of a lifestyle–but there’s a risk: Sooner or later he’s going to take on a spirit that’s too strong for him. While trying to back out of this ill-conceived career, Castor accepts a seemingly simple ghost-hunting case at a museum in the shadowy heart of London–just to pay the bills, you understand. But what should have been a perfectly straightforward exorcism is rapidly turning into the Who Can Kill Castor First Show, with demons and ghosts all keen to claim the big prize. That’s OK: Castor knows how to deal with the dead. It’s the living who piss him off… [Amazon link]
1 – Dakota Cassidy – Accidentally Dead (pb)
It’s a lousy first day on the job for Nina Blackman when a patient, loopy from the anesthesia, bites her. At least he was cute. But for real drama she can’t beat the next evening. Nina wakes up with a set of razor-sharp fangs, bionic vision, supersonic hearing, and a taste for blood. But there’s a good explanation: It’s her patient, Long Island vampire Greg Statleon. Actually they’re perfect for each other—if Nina’s willing to commit to one man for eternity. [Amazon link]
The D’Artigo sisters are half-human, half-Fae operatives for the Otherworld Intelligence Agency. Camille is doing her best to juggle magic, men, and the demonic war into which they’ve been thrust—until she discovers a secret that could change all their lives. [Amazon link]
– Eve Kenin – Hidden (mmpb) Tatiana has honed her genetic gifts to perfection. She can withstand the subzero temperatures of the Northern Waste, read somebody’s mind with the briefest touch, and slice through bone with her bare hands. Which makes her one badass chick, all right.
Nothing gets to her. Until she meets Tristan. Villain or ally, she can’t be sure. But one thing she does know: he has gifts too–including the ability to ramp up her heart rate to dangerous levels. But before they can start some chemistry of their own, they have to survive being trapped in an underground lab, hunted by a madman, and exposed to a plague that could destroy mankind. [Amazon link]
Jess and Ramsey stopped a demon from bringing about the apocalypse. But a gate was opened and more demons have come to Earth—inhabiting human bodies. Now, these demon hybrids are paving the way for the arrival of the Soulbreaker, known as Lord of Bones… [Amazon link]
1 – GENA SHOWALTER – The Darkest Pleasure (mmpb)
Reyes is a man possessed. Bound by the demon of pain, he is forbidden to know pleasure. Yet he craves a mortal woman, Danika Ford, more than breath and will do anything to claim her—even defy the gods.
Danika is on the run. For months she’s eluded the Lords of the Underworld, immortal warriors who won’t rest until she and her family have been destroyed. But her dreams are haunted by Reyes, the warrior whose searing touch she can’t forget. Yet a future together could mean death to all they both hold dear.… [Amazon link]
4 – Ekaterina Sedia – The Alchemy of Stone (pb) Mattie, an intelligent automaton skilled in the use of alchemy, finds herself caught in the middle of a conflict between gargoyles, the Mechanics, and the Alchemists. With the old order quickly giving way to the new, Mattie discovers powerful and dangerous secrets – secrets that can completely alter the balance of power in the city of Ayona. However, this doesn’t sit well with Loharri, the Mechanic who created Mattie and still has the key to her heart – literally! A steampunk novel of romance, political intrigue, and alchemy, The Alchemy of Stone represents a new and intriguing direction by the author of the critically-acclaimed The Secret History of Moscow. [Amazon link]
8 – L A BANKS – The Shadows (pb) The Dark Realms are taking cover after an angel onslaught from On High. The Anti-Christ has been injured and the fourth Biblical seal has been broken. Yonnie and Val, a strange combination of a daywalker and an angel hybrid, have joined Damali and Carlos’s team. And the two new Council Level vamps, Elizabeth Bathory and Lucrezia Borgia, are still in recovery from their last mission.
Seething in the underworld is the Unnamed One, so furious that he’s bringing the battle topside, unleashing a full-frontal assault on mankind for the offenses committed by the Vampire Huntress team. This time, Damali and Carlos must address serious human casualties and collateral damage…all while the vampire councilman, Nuit rebuilds Blood Music to become more than a record label, but a media brainwashing empire for the dark lord. [Amazon link]
20 – CHRIS HOWARD – Seaborn (pb) Corina Lairsey has just clawed her way free from one controlling relationship when she finds herself in another-only this guy, Aleximor, has really gotten under her skin. Literally. A 400-year-old sorcerer who gathers the drowned dead off the ocean’s floor for the King of the Seaborn, he’s inside her head and is wearing her body like a wetsuit. Corina desperately schemes to regain control of her self, fighting against time as Aleximore trades pieces of her life away in exchange for power over the path between the worlds of the living and the dead . . . Kassandra is the King of the Seaborn’s granddaughter. She comes from the sea, but has spent her whole life in exile on the surface, struggling to control frightening powers she barely understands. She declares war on her murderous grandfather and manipulates her family, friends, oceanic royalty, and the US Navy to aid her- but Aleximore intends to use Kass to carry out his revenge against the entire Seaborn royal line. And she’s also fallen in love-one more struggle for an already troubled soul. [Amazon link]
28 – The Mammoth Book of Vampire Romance – anthology – Paranormal romance is a supernatural force to be reckoned with. Packed with a menagerie of werewolves, shape-shifters, and assorted demons, its undisputed king is none other than our favorite centuries-old bloodsucker—the vampire.
Let the biggest and brightest names in the paranormal romance business show you the bewildering array of complex vampire codes of conduct, dark ritual, and dating practices, as they chat up the locals and engage in the most erotic encounters you will sink your teeth into this side of un-Death. These ain’t your mother’s vampires!
In a quickly expanding genre, here are 30 short stories of hot blood and inhuman passions. [Amazon link]
28 – MIKE CAREY – Vicious Circle (hardcover)
Following in the footsteps of megasellers Neil Gaiman and Jim Butcher, comic book writer Mike Carey presents his second hip supernatural thriller featuring freelance exorcist Felix Castor. Castor has reluctantly returned to exorcism after the case of the Bonnington Archive ghost convinced him that he really can do some good with his abilities (‘good’, of course, being a relative term when dealing with the undead). But his friend, Rafi, is still possessed; the succubus, Ajulutsikael (Juliet to her friends), still technically has a contract on him; and he’s still–let’s not beat around the bush–dirt poor. Doing some consulting for the local constabulary helps pay the bills, but Castor needs a big, private job to really fill the hole in his overdraft. That’s what he needs. What he gets, good fortune and Castor not being on speaking terms, is a seemingly insignificant ‘missing ghost’ case that inexorably drags himself and his loved ones into the middle of a horrific plot to raise one of Hell’s fiercest demons. When Satanists, sacrifice farms, stolen spirits and possessed churches all appear on the same police report, the name of Felix Castor can’t be too far behind… [Amazon link]
Some people worship them. Some people fear them. And some people—like Morgan Kingsley—go up against them toe-to-toe, flesh to flesh, and power against power. An exorcist by trade, Morgan is one of the few humans with an aura stronger than her possessor, even though her demon can tease her body senseless. She’s also a woman who has just discovered a shocking truth: everything she once believed about her past, her identity, may have been a lie.
With a family secret exploding around her and a full-scale demon war igniting, Morgan is a key player in an unsettled world. Then a rogue sociopathic demon enters her life with a bang. His name is The Hunter. And since she is the prey, Morgan has only one choice: to hunt The Hunter down—no matter what heartbreaking truths she uncovers along the way….[Amazon link]
Mirage, a bounty hunter, lives by her wits and lethal fighting skills. She always gets her mark. But her new mission will take her into the shadowy world of witches, where her strength may not be a match against powerful magic.
Miryo is a witch who has just failed her initiation test. She now knows that there is someone in the world who looks like her, who is her: Mirage. To control her powers and become a full witch, Miryo has only one choice: to hunt the hunter and destroy her. [Amazon link]
Created by the merging of witch and doppelganger, Mirei is a unique being. Her extraordinary magic makes her the most poweful witch alive — and a notorious social outcast. While Satomi, the leader of the witches’ ruling Primes, hails Mirei as a miracle, rival Primes proclaim that Mirei is an evil abomination…and that those who champion her must be destroyed.
Now the different witch factions engage in a bloody war with magic, treachery, and murder. But both sides may be fighting for nothing. For the power that the rebel Primes fear, the magic that Mirei alone possesses, is killing her. [Amazon link]
29 – PATRICIA BRIGGS – Cry Wolf (pb) Anna never knew werewolves existed until the night she survived a violent attack…and became one herself. After three years at the bottom of the pack, she’d learned to keep her head down and never, ever trust dominant males. But Anna is that rarest kind of werewolf: an Omega. And one of the most powerful werewolves in the country will recognize her value as a pack member—and as his mate. [Amazon link]
29 – JOCELYNN DRAKE – Nightwalker (mmpb) For centuries Mira has been a nightwalker—an unstoppable enforcer for a mysterious organization that manipulates earth-shaking events from the darkest shadows. But elemental mastery over fire sets her apart from others of her night-prowling breed . . . and may be all that prevents her doom.
The foe she now faces is human: the vampire hunter called Danaus, who has already destroyed so many undead. For Mira, the time has come to hunt . . . or be hunted. [Amazon link]
29 – ANGIE FOX – The Accidental Demon Slayer (mmpb)
It’s never a good day when an ancient demon shows up on your toilet bowl. For Lizzie Brown, that’s just the beginning. Soon her hyperactive terrier starts talking, and her long-lost biker witch Grandma is hurling Smuckers jars filled with magic. Just when she thinks she’s seen it all, Lizzie learns she’s a demon slayer-and all hell is after her.
Of course, that’s not the only thing after her. Dimitri Kallinikos, a devastatingly handsome shape-shifting griffin needs Lizzie to slay a demon of his own. But how do you talk a girl you’ve never met into going straight to the underworld? Lie. And if that doesn’t work, how dangerous could a little seduction be…? [Amazon link]
29 – JENNA MACLAINE – Wages of Sin (A Cin Craven Novel) (mmpb)
Dulcinea Craven descends from a long line of witches, and she has just inherited wild, untrained magical powers that she has no idea how to control. Now a ruthless vampire and an age-old demon are determined to enslave Cin and steal her power for their own. Her only hope is The Righteous, a band of warrior vampires who slay the rogue undead. Among them is Michael, a fierce swordsman who inflames Cin’s most primal hungers. Showing her a sensual pleasure beyond anything in the mortal realm, she must choose between the human existence she has always known, and immortality as a vampire—a new life filled with forbidden urges, dark yearning, and unearthly passions… [Amazon link]
The man she’s been partnered with–her only ally in this nightmare–is a convicted mass murderer. But if he’s so violent, why does he protect her? And stranger still, what is it behind those haunted sea-green eyes that makes her want to protect him?
No one to trust. Nowhere to run. And the only hope of survival is working together to beat the
And in some ways, you’d be right. I actually get paid to study people’s dreams. It comes much easier than my employers at the Sleep Center suspect; after all, I, Dawn, am the daughter of the king of the dream world, and I can roam the dreams of others, battling the nightmares that plague them.
I call it a nightmare . . .
Honestly, I could use a good night’s sleep. But ever since I met Noah Clarke, I’m even more torn between the two worlds: smart, sexy, and able to control his own dreams, Noah could be my perfect man—except he’s being stalked in his sleep by an unearthly evil, hell-bent on destroying him . . . and the entire world. [Amazon link]
Happy Memorial Day!
Jes Battis reviews Tithe by Holly Black.
Scooper reviews The Devil You Know by Jenna Black.
Lurv la Mode reviews Magic Bites and Magic Burns by Ilona Andrews.
Jackie Kessler is giving away an ARC of Hotter than Hell here.
Tate Hallaway will be participating in an author/reader chat on Thursday, May 8 at 9:00 p.m. EDT.
Library Journal interviews Stephenie Meyer.
Jeri Smith-Ready interviews Jenna Black. Here is a teaser:
What was your inspiration for writing HUNGERS OF THE HEART?
Since the first book of the Guardians of the Night series, I’ve always known I would eventually write Drake’s book. Many of my readers have also impatiently been awaiting his book since they first “met” him in WATCHERS IN THE NIGHT. As excited as I was to write his story, though, it turned out to be very hard to do. One of the most attractive things about Drake in WATCHERS was his self-confidence, the sense that he was comfortable in his own skin.
Firstshowing has a Twilight Movie Trailer. Twilight is based on the hugely successful books by Stephenie Meyer.
David B. Coe interviews Tate Hallaway. “Seriously, I was talking to a friend about this at a bar the other night, and I confessed that one of my favorite things about writing paranormal romances/urban fantasy is that you get to have all the relationship/girly stuff married to the high-octane adventure/boy stuff.”
Wyrdsmiths have a Q&A with Jenna Black. “When I began to believe that it was my own abilities, not the whims of luck, that would ultimately get me published, I started working much, much harder at my writing. I started treating it like a career, rather than a hobby.” [Coincidentally, David B. Coe also interviews Black.]
Shanna Swendson tries to answer readers’ questions about why there won’t be a fifth book in her “chick lit meets urban fantasy” series. “All of my books have gone into multiple printings, even months after release, and the sell-through numbers seem to be what I’ve generally heard qualify as “success.””
Rob Thurman announced the line up for the future winter-holiday themed UF anthology, WOLFSBANE AND MISTLETOE:
“Gift Wrap” by Charlaine Harris
“The Haire of the Beast” by Donna Andrews
“Lucy, at Christmastime” by Simon Green
“The Night Things Changed” by Dana Cameron
“The Werewolf Before Christmas” by Kat Richardson
“Fresh Meat” by Alan Gordon
“Il Est Ne” by Carrie Vaughn
“The Perfect Gift” by Dana Stabenow
“Christmas Past” by Keri Arthur
“S.A.” by JA Konrath
“The Star of David” by Patricia Briggs
“Better Not Pyout” by Nancy Pickard
“Rogue Elements” by Karen Chance
“Milk and Cookies” by Rob Thurman
“Keeping Watch Over His Flock” by Toni L.P. Kelner
The Book Smugglers have a double review of Ilona Andrews’s MAGIC BITES and MAGIC BURNS.
American Chronicle reviews Justin Gustainis’s BLACK MAGIC WOMAN.
SQT reviews Vicki Pettersson’s THE TASTE OF NIGHT.
Wendy reviews THE DEAD GIRLS’ DANCE by Rachel Caine. And ClothDragon reviews Caine’s ILL WIND.
Amberkatze is giving away 3 UF books: BITING THE BULLET by Jennifer Rardin, 50 WAYS TO HEX YOUR LOVER by Linda Wisdom, and FROSTBITE by Richelle Mead.
A Bookworm is giving away a copy of J.F. Lewis’s STAKED. Enter before May 6. U.S. readers only.