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A civilization thrown into hell by war and pestilence cries out for salvation. A band of Champions emerges from the shadows of chaos — reincarnations of the old daemons, demigods and deities from times forgotten.

A young soldier maimed in an accident and no longer fit for the battlefield answers the call to serve. Lieutenant Daniel Willoughby is ready — if not eager — to fulfill his duties as squire to Lord Thanatos, the Champion whose gift is swift, merciful death.

Daniel is prepared to sacrifice his mind and body in service to his new lord and master. He’s about to discover Thanatos wants that…and so much more.

* * *


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Available soon in eBook and print from
Amber Allure/Amber Quill Press.

(X-posted from SelahMarch.com)

February, huh?

When did that happen?

I'm at Tales from the Crit today, blogging about the Redeemed and Unredeemed Alpha Jerks we hate to love.

(X-posted from SelahMarch.com)

Tales from the Crit VIII

If you've got nothing better to do, check out today's post on Tales from the Crit. I'm talking about my own sadly obsessive tendencies when it comes to creating soundtracks for my writing projects.

(x-posted to SelahMarch.com)

New release: HARD HARVEST

HARD HARVEST, part of the "Three Kinds of Wicked" series.

Futuristic, Ménage à trois, Parnormal & Occult

Purchase link.

In twenty-second century America, war, disease and pollution have wiped out three-quarters of Earth’s population and left most women sterile. Scientists are battling the specter of human extinction. Now they’ve devised a DNA test and built a database to help each of the remaining fertile females find her perfect genetic counterpart, thereby ensuring healthy, hardy offspring.

For Midwestern farm girl Hannah Jenkins, this means accepting a stranger as a potential mate. Unfortunately, the handsome Dr. David Cabot isn’t everything she’d expected. Distant and humorless, he spends all his time in the makeshift laboratory he’s set up in the family barn. He and Hannah use more energy sniping at each other than communicating their wants and needs. After a few months of passionless monthly encounters with no pregnancy to show for it, Hannah is certain David will abandon her at the end of their trial marriage.

Then a stranger saves Hannah from robbery at gunpoint, and Hannah hires him to work as a farmhand. The mysterious Trey intrigues both Hannah and David, but can he show them how to make love without making war?

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Tales from the Crit Tuesdays V, VI, and VII

If you're interested, you'll find my last three Tales from the Crit posts here, here and here. Today's post is on the topic of nostalgia and what a sap I've turned out to be in my advancing middle age. Quelle surprise. Wishing you and yours a joyous holiday season. :)

Tales from the Crit Tuesday IV

Today I'm blogging at Tales from the Crit about what I've learned in 2009.

(This is normally where I'd insert a smart-assed remark, but I'm posting between doctor's appointments and, frankly, I'm not just not feeling it today. Good wishes for a happy outcome gratefully accepted.)

(X-posted to SelahMarch.com)

Tales from the Crit Tuesday III

And what a week it was, huh?

Don't know about anybody else, but I'm ready to get the @#$& off the Romancelandia Intrawebs and drown my bitter, bitter tears in a vat o' gravy. And be THANKFUL, already.

In that spirit, I've crafted a paean to my crit partner -- the fabulously brilliant and ever-stylish Barbara Caridad Ferrer -- over on Tales from the Crit.

Enjoy, and be well at this start of the holiday season. :)

(X-posted from SelahMarch.com)

The Behemoth Blinks

As has been noted pretty much everywhere on the publishing blogosphere, Harlequin has caved in the face of general censure and sanctions from the RWA, SFWA and MWA.

Author and all-around nifty guy John Scalzi has one of the best takes on the issues at hand, including a fantastically snarky read on Harlequin's "poor, poor pitiful me" letter implying the RWA is not only MEAN and NOT NICE for sticking up for its members, but also behind the times for not recognizing the amazing potential of vanity publishing to make tons of money (for Harlequin/TorstarASI and virtually no one else).

Also, my crit partner -- the ever-stylish and fabulously talented Barb Caridad Ferrer -- answers Harlequin editor Stacy Boyd's personal -- and not associated with Harlequin in any way -- blog on the topic of RWA/Harlequin relations in the wake of the HQN Horizons debacle here.

Questions remain. Will Harlequin further distance itself from this vanity press hot mess by removing all references to it from the eHarlequin site? Will they forbear from including solicitations for the vanity operation in rejection letters? Will they scrub the Horizons site clean of all "be a Harlequin author!" propaganda? Will any of this be enough to restore their standing with the various professional organizations they've managed to antagonize, not to mention the scores of authors -- the legendary Nora Roberts among them -- whom they've disappointed and disgusted?

And will the RWA -- specifically those members who are also Harl authors -- pay a price for their tough stance on this issue?

Tune in next week/month/year to find out, I guess. Same batshit crazy time, same batshit crazy channel.

(X-posted to SelahMarch.com)

My disillusionment, let me show you it.

My first romance novel was a Betty Neels-penned Harlequin titled BRITANNIA ALL AT SEA. My second, also by revered Harl author Neels, was called RING IN A TEACUP. I don't remember a lot of titles after that, but I do recall buying Harlequin romances like bags of corn chips and enjoying them with just as much gusto.

As I matured into a snotty adolescent pursuing a degree in English Lit and an elitist attitude, I considered my own addiction to romance novels a sort of guilty secret. My friends read Angelou and Cather and Atwood. I snuck Harlequin novels under the covers in my dorm room.

In the last several years, I've made plenty of jokes -- here and elsewhere -- about the ludicrous titles to be found in the Harlequin Presents line, as well as the antiquated and misogynistic values they too often represent (particularly the fetishizing of female virginity).

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The Ballad of Pay-to-Play

Most, if not all, self-publishing companies/vanity presses make the vast majority of their profits on fees collected from writers.

(Money flows to the author.)

Very few writers end up recouping their investment on self-published/vanity press published projects.

(Money flows to the author.)

No matter what they tell you, if you pay up front to hold a copy of your book in your hand, you're not published -- you're PRINTED.

(Money flows to the author.)

Yes, even if you are traditionally published by a major house, you will pay to promote your book. That's not the same thing as paying to have your book copy edited, printed and offered for sale. You can say, "Yes it is," as many times as you like, but... it's not. It's really, really not.

And so my power ballad becomes a dirge. Hum along if the spirit moves you.



As to the issue of the RWA in this brand, spanking new venture of Harlequin's... Well. I'm not a member. No dog in that particular fight. But given that approximately 70% of the RWA membership is comprised of unpublished authors, I think the organization has a responsibility to make sure its members know the difference between being "published" and paying to be "printed," and to take a strong position in this matter according to their own, much touted, standards. It will be fascinating to see if this Board of Directors has the balls to put their money -- and their relationship with the largest publisher of romance -- where their mouths are.

Other blogs on this subject:

SmartBitches (check the comments for the good stuff)
Anne Aguirre,
Barb Ferrer

(X-posted to SelahMarch.com)