New Urban Fantasy Paranormal Romance!

Look, it’s only a week later, and I’m back!! (Yes, I’m impressed too, lol!) Anyway, I have good reason to be back, because I get to tell you about an exciting new book that’s out Oct. 22, 2019. It’s another fun read, an urban fantasy romance, and I’m super excited to read it too!

Without further ado, here’s the blurb and info so you can go one-click it yourself:

Hell has come to collect, but Gisele Walker has no plans to pay the debt.

Being a paranormal bounty hunter in Baltimore is flirting with death, even for a half-demon like Gisele. An orphan with no memories of her childhood, she’s spent the last decade working for the foster father who saved her from the city’s streets. But when he partners her with Shade, an infuriatingly handsome demon who’s keeping secrets, all of her jobs start mysteriously going sideways.

Determined to ditch Shade, Gisele takes a contract to steal a magical curio and accidentally opens a portal to Hell. As a nightmarish ghoul hunts her for the curio, and parts of Baltimore burn to the ground, she finds that joining forces with Shade may be the only way to undo the mess she’s unleashed.

But just as a white-hot attraction between them ignites, Shade’s secret is exposed. The contract is nothing more than a ploy to lure Gisele to Hell’s royal court, where her devilish brother and aunt lie in wait. It’s a family reunion that has her wishing she’d remained an orphan with missing memories.

To save herself and Shade, Gisele must face her past and venture into the twisted, dark heart of the demon court where she nearly lost her life so long ago.

Fans of Ilona Andrews and Nalini Singh wont want to miss this spellbinding urban fantasy debut by Writers Guild of America nominee and RWA Golden Heart finalist Megan Starks!

“Starks doesn’t waste a moment launching readers into the heady, paranormal world of her action-packed debut. The complex mythology and feisty characters will hold readers’ attention. This is an enjoyable fantasy from an author with a lot of promise.” —Publisher’s Weekly

“Haunting. Original. Addictive.” —Emily Colin, New York Times bestselling author of The Memory Thief

“House is a smoldering, sexy thrill ride from start to finish.” —Angela Ku, Goodreads reviewer

 

Doesn’t it sound amazing? I definitely look forward to this one. 🙂

Here’s the buy links so you can check it out yourself:

On the Power of Hope and Dreams for Writers

Perhaps it isn’t surprising that in my first book, the acknowledgements section is pretty long. 😉 I also dedicate my book to all the dreamers out there. And the reason for both is very much the same: I was, and am, a dreamer. And without the support of all those people I list in the acknowledgements – plus probably many more I’ve neglected to mention – I wouldn’t have had the power of hope to keep fueling my dreams. 

I do believe that dreams and hope are a writer’s fuel. Yes, we need concrete goals too – we can’t just get away with pretending everything is a lollipop dream where someday things will be perfect (spoiler alert: that’s not reality.) We have hope that we will accomplish our dreams, and sometimes, that’s what carries us. It’s the space between hope and dreams where the hardwork comes in, where we have to set goals, solidify our intention, and get work done. Yet, without hopes and dreams, I wonder at our ability to create whatsoever.

If you think about it, that first story idea you get, heck, the very idea of writing whatsoever, is something of a dream. Perhaps it came to us literally while we slept – or at least the initial concepts of it. Perhaps it’s only the initial stages of the idea of writing a story or an entire novel. We have to be able to conceptualize it first, to have some faraway plateau we’re reaching and striving for – and those are our dreams. They are the seeds of all we will create, and perhaps indeed, all that we will become. 

But let’s face it: it’s a lot easier to just dream of writing a book than actually getting the work done. Even if we do write the book, or perhaps many books, we face rejection, critique, and doubt. Then say we actually get published. Sorry say, but those challenges that hurt before continue to dog us. Sometimes, we will want to give up. Some might even say it would be more sane to give up (because what we do? It’s perhaps not entirely sane in the first place.) 😉 

And that’s where hope comes in.

Hope fuels us, keeps us striving for those dreams, even if (or when) they might be completely ridiculous. Hope makes us certain that somehow, we will get there. Or if not certain, at least still willing to fight. 

And when the really dark times come, that’s when our support network comes in. They lend us their hope. They help shoulder our dreams, and trudge forward, perhaps dragging us along in their wake, even when we’re certain we can’t take another step. They keep pushing, tugging, hauling us forward until we get another glimpse at our dream, another refuel of our hope. That might take the form of a great review or an enthusiastic request. Whatever the case, onward we go again. Still hoping, still dreaming, still creating. 

So if you’re out there, and you’re writing or working toward your dream, whatever it is, remember to fuel your dreams with hope. Remember to borrow some when you’re running short, and whatever the case, to keep moving forward. I’ve dedicated my book to all the dreamers out there with the certainty that if you don’t give up, if you cling to your hope and your dreams, as shifting and changeable as they may, that you will achieve your goals and dreams too. Dream big. Hope furiously. Make your own happy ending. I know you can do it.

Now to you: what do you think? Are dreams and hope linked? If so, how are they linked for you? 

Thanks for reading! Have a great week, and remember: there’s always magic in the world if you look for it. 

Spreading disease isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

 

Piper Bane wants nothing to do with her pesky Pestilence bloodline and would give anything to be a Normal. In fact, she put Beckwell–land of the paranormal and home of the weird–in her rear-view ten years ago, and hasn’t been back since. Until an invitation to her best friend’s wedding coaxes her back home and reminds her what it means to continue the legacy of the four horsemen of the apocalypse. She receives a typical Beckwell welcome the second she reaches the city limits where she’s stalked by a toad and wraps her car around a tree. And is rescued by the one person she most wants to avoid: Daniel Quilan. Town doctor, genuine nice guy, and her ex-fiancé.

 

 

Ten years hasn’t been long enough for Daniel Quilan to forget the only woman he’s ever loved. His responsibilities as Beckwell’s only doctor keeps his mind off the hole Piper Bane left in his chest when she broke his heart and skipped town all those years ago. His not-so-ordinary patients and his trouble-making twin brother keep Daniel occupied twenty-four-seven, not to mention magic going haywire throughout town. But his plan to stay busy as the town’s golden boy is shattered when his latest patient turns out to be Piper. How good she looks isn’t his concern. How she still makes fire shoot through his veins isn’t his focus. But the fact that someone wants to end the world and will use Piper to do so……that makes her impossible to ignore.


Buy links: 

Amazon http://hyperurl.co/gz32q5  

Apple http://hyperurl.co/t8ikfb 

Barnes & Noble http://hyperurl.co/9oletm 

Chapters http://hyperurl.co/221yzq 

Kobo http://hyperurl.co/q0dfix 

 

Google http://hyperurl.co/xdwkfg




Paranormal Creature: Fomorian

Today I thought I’d introduce you to one of the creatures from my new series. Unfortunately (and possibly since they’re mythical beasts), I don’t have a great picture or etching for you, so you’ll have to use your imagination, okay?

The beast I want to introduce you to is the Fomorian. I tend to always like adding an extra “r” for some random reason (foRmorian), so you remember not to, okay?

These creatures were originally related to the myth of the Irish Tuatha, what some also associate with the fey / fairies. The Fomorians, though, were far from pretty. They were known as sea-based raiders / warriors, enemies of the Tuatha who had the head of a goat…and sometimes only one leg (nope, I have no idea how fierce they’d be with only one leg either…maybe they hopped really fast?) They could sometimes have wings, and they were not the kind of creature you messed with.

The other theory, and the one I’ve gone with, is the idea that they were some kind of latent / partial demon. Again, probably not the friendliest sort. 😉

Honestly, I’m not quite sure where I first heard about them, (though you can go find them on Wikipedia, and by doing a random Google search – you start to pop up some information, including their use in modern RPGs). But they became the inspiration for the hero and his twin in the first book of my Sisters of the Apocalypse series. Personally, I find the creatures who aren’t very popular, who could potentially be dangerous, but also misunderstood, these are the kinds of roots I want for my characters.

Plus, even better is how little information you find about them, which makes the Fomorians even more intriguing to me. The Tuatha are fairly well-known–and might I add perhaps a bit popular because of their renown beauty?–so what about these warriors they feared? Indeed, they did occasionally intermarry, suggesting too that other than their formidable fighting skill, the Fomorians themselves may have possessed some level of magic.

So, what do you think – are you as intrigued by the Fomorians as I was? Any theories on how they could get around with only one leg? Pop your answer in the comments below.

Otherwise, thanks for stopping by the read. And remember: if you look hard enough, there’s always magic in the world.

Must Love Plague: Cover Reveal and Pre-order up Today!

I have news…as of today, you can officially pre-order my first book, Must Love Plague. Even better, it’ll cost you less if you pre-order before the official release date, October 11, 2017. Cue wild Kermit the frog flailing. See? That whole count-down thing on my website wasn’t just there to look pretty (or to stress me out…though it’s been doing plenty of that, too.) 😉

Because I love you best, you also get the first look at the beautiful cover, designed by Christa Holland of Paper and Sage Designs. I’m both so excited and terribly nervous about releasing this particular baby out into the world – and I’m hard at work on book two, Must Love Famine.

So come and take a chance: visit the town of Beckwell, where myth holds a grain of truth, magic is real…and the four horsewomen of the apocalypse are back in town.

Must Love Plague: Sisters of the Apocalypse, Book 1

Blurb:

Spreading disease isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

Piper Bane wants nothing to do with her pesky Pestilence bloodline and would give anything to be a Normal. In fact, she put Beckwell–land of the paranormal and home of the weird–in her rear-view ten years ago, and hasn’t been back since. Until an invitation to her best friend’s wedding coaxes her back home and reminds her what it means to continue the legacy of the four horsemen of the apocalypse. She receives a typical Beckwell welcome the second she reaches the city limits where she’s stalked by a toad and wraps her car around a tree. And is rescued by the one person she most wants to avoid: Daniel Quilan. Town doctor, genuine nice guy, and her ex-fiancé.

Ten years hasn’t been long enough for Daniel Quilan to forget the only woman he’s ever loved. His responsibilities as Beckwell’s only doctor keeps his mind off the hole Piper Bane left in his chest when she broke his heart and skipped town all those years ago. His not-so-ordinary patients and his trouble-making twin brother keep Daniel occupied twenty-four-seven, not to mention magic going haywire throughout town. But his plan to stay busy as the town’s golden boy is shattered when his latest patient turns out to be Piper. How good she looks isn’t his concern. How she still makes fire shoot through his veins isn’t his focus. But the fact that someone wants to end the world and will use Piper to do so……that makes her impossible to ignore.

Available through:

Amazon  Barnes & Noble  Apple  Google   Kobo   Chapters Indigo

Thanks so much for sharing my news with me, and if you’d like to share, I’d be ever so grateful. Otherwise, thanks for stopping by, and remember: if you look hard enough, there’s always magic in the world.

Trailer Reveal for RACE THE DARKNESS

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Cover2Race the Darkness by Abbie Roads

Series: Fatal Dreams #1
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Publication Date: October 4, 2016


PRE-ORDER NOW
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Cursed with a terrible gift…
Criminal investigator Xander Stone doesn’t have to question you—he can hear your thoughts. Scarred by lightning, burdened with a power that gives him no peace, Xander struggles to maintain his sanity against the voice that haunts him day and night—the voice of a woman begging him to save her.
A gift that threatens to engulf them…
Isleen Walker has long since given up hope of escape from the nightmare of captivity and torture that is draining her life, her mind, and her soul. Except…there is the man in her feverish dreams, the strangely beautiful man who beckons her to freedom and wholeness. And when he comes, if he comes, it will take all their combined fury and faith to overcome a madman bent on fulfilling a deadly prophecy.

 

 

 


IMG_2582Abbie Roads

Seven Things about Abbie Roads:
1. She loves Snicker Parfaits. Gotta start with what’s most important, right?
2. She writes dark emotional books featuring damaged characters, but always gives her hero and heroine a happy ending… after torturing them for three hundred pages.
3. By day she’s a mental health counselor known for her blunt, honest style of therapy. At night she burns up the keyboard. Well… Burn might be too strong a word. She at least sits with her hands poised over the keyboard, waiting for inspiration to strike. And when it does—the keyboard might get a little warm.
4. She can’t stand it when people drive slowly in the passing lane. Just saying. That’s major annoying. Right?
5. She loves taking pictures of things she thinks are pretty.
6. She’s represented by Michelle Grajkowski of 3 Seas Literary.
7. Her first book RACE THE DARKNESS is available for pre-order.

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Cover Reveal: VIKING WARRIOR RISING

Here I am, another week and another gorgeous cover that I get to help reveal!! This one is from my friend and GH sister Asa Maria Bradley, and besides a yummy cover, this is yet another book that is already on my TBR list! The Vikings are coming, and my, aren’t we lucky!

VikingWarriorRising-300Viking Warrior Rising
by Asa Maria Bradley
Release Date: 11/03/15
Sourcebooks Casablanca

Immortal Vikings are among us.

Leif Skarsganger and his elite band of immortal warriors have been charged to protect humanity from the evil Norse god Loki.

Under attack from Loki’s minions, Leif is shocked to encounter a dark-haired beauty who fights like a warrior herself. Wounded and feverish, the Viking kisses her, inadvertently triggering an ancient Norse bond. But when Naya Brisbane breaks away and disappears before the bond is completed, Leif’s warrior spirit goes berserk. If Leif doesn’t find her fast, he’s going to lose himself to permanent battle fury.

But Naya doesn’t want to be found…and he’ll do anything to find her. Because they’re both running out of time.

“Asa Maria Bradley creates a swoon-worthy hero who sizzles across the pages in this tale full of passion, blood, and destiny! Sexy, stubborn, and smart lovers clash in a tension-filled race to outwit science and control fate. Bradley is a new force to be reckoned with in the paranormal genre! Move over Highlanders…the Vikings are coming!”
– Rebecca Zanetti, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Dark Protector series

“Strong world-building, and a hero that will make you want a Viking of your very own!”
– Paige Tyler, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the X-Ops and SWAT series

“An intensely thrilling and unique romance that whisks the reader into the intricate, smart, and sexy world of these wickedly hot Viking warriors.”
– Sara Humphreys, award-winning author of Vampires Never Cry Wolf

Add to Goodreads List or pre-order from: Barnes & Noble or Amazon

About the Author
Asa-Maria-BradleyAsa Maria Bradley grew up in Sweden surrounded by archaeology and history steeped in Norse mythology, which inspired the immortal Vikings and Valkyries in her paranormal romances. She also writes romantic suspense and currently resides on a lake deep in the pine forests of the Pacific Northwest with a British husband and a rescue dog of indeterminate breed. Asa graduated from the Inland Northwest Center for Writers MFA program at Eastern Washington University with an MFA in creative writing and also holds a Master of Science in Medical Physics from University of Colorado. She’s a 2014 Golden Heart finalist and represented by Sarah E Younger at the Nancy Yost Literary Agency.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Pinterest

Paranormal Romance Tropes

I did mention last week I was a tad obsessed with romance tropes lately, right? Well, it got me thinking that while romance has some larger tropes, specific sub-genres of romance, like paranormal romance, can make use of the traditional tropes, and also have some unique ones of their own.

So just in case you’re getting to work, here are some of the tropes I’ve commonly seen in paranormal romance:

  • hates what they are / think they’re a monster – I have a love/hate feeling with this trope, but essentially often the hero despises what they are / their powers and somehow wants to escape it, and potentially is saved by the romance.
  • loves being magical – opposite as above
  • fish out of water – not just a paranormal trope, but frequently appears when a human encounters the paranormal world.
  • two species that cancel each other out / fated enemies – very common, especially in vampire stories where there are “good vampires” and “bad” ones. This also encompasses hunted vs hunter stories.
  • fated mates – also very common, and can occasionally become love at first sight or at least “you’re supposed to be mine” for one of the partners (yep, love/hate with this one too.)
  • mates can save each other -this is where they have to find their mate to somehow gain salvation. But it can also be how they overcome their monstrous / magical nature.
  • soul mates through time – essentially, they find each other in every life time, and may or may not remember their past relationships.
  • protectors / guardians -also very common, where you have supernatural creatures protecting humanity OR other supernatural creatures OR the kind of demon-slayer / vampire slayer type archetype. This concept shows up in early mythology about many supernatural creatures, especially werewolves. 🙂
  • inheritance / awakening of unexpected magical / world-changing powers – one day you wake up and discover you’re a fairy…or a demon, or otherwise the most magical person in the universe. It sounds like fun, doesn’t it?
  • changeling babies -related to above, this is where somehow a magical baby / important species was lost / hidden amongst humanity.
  • foretold saviors of the world -again related to the above, these are the saviors and prophesized “lucky” characters who get to save the world … or doom it.
  • marked / cursed – similar to above, these characters may have been cursed or doomed from very early, or because of their particular actions.
  • dual universe / parallel worlds -whether aliens or
  • big bad magical vs ordinary human – often combined with other tropes (including fated mates and fish out of water), this is where an ordinary human somehow ends up in love with a supernatural creature … and often proves the power of humanity can equal anything magical out there.

I’ve written a few stories with these. Ironically, it’s especially the ones I’m not sure that I like which challenge me, since I try to write a story that turns the trope into something I would like.  And there are so many days I wish I’d wake up and discover I’m magical. Like, maybe I could read minds, or figure out a way to add an extra day to the week. 😉

Your turn! What tropes have you seen specifically in paranormal romances? Which ones do you love, and which do you loathe? Any I’ve overlooked? Love to hear from you. 🙂

Thanks for reading, and hope you all have a great week. Happy writing! And hey, like this post? Why not follow the blog?

Zombies – Arggggh!

I hate zombies. I do not watch zombie movies. I do not read zombie books. And when my husband watches his beloved “Walking Dead,” I leave the room.

Know what my next book contains? Yep. Zombies.

Now, it is true that in some ways I may be a bit of a masochist. But I’ve been thinking about how we need to dig deep, and seeing as I despise zombies, it seemed suitable to examine it closely, and maybe have a bit of fun. I was considering why I think zombies are so scary, and why I dislike them so much.

  • because zombies seem plausible. Not necessarily the classic voodoo type of zombie (the origin of the term), but the scary what-if where apocalypse comes because someone / some government was arrogant enough to think they could control a terrifying super-virus or “bad guy prevention” plan, and instead, it destroys humanity.
  • the humanity of zombies. They are human, perhaps more so than other paranormal creatures like vampires or werewolves. While potentially those conditions could be passed on as well, you could have a separate species. No matter how you look at it, zombies start out human, and it leads me to wonder how much of their humanity remains. What if they are our friends? Our family? ARE they still that person? Is there anything left? How would you confront this?
  • ease of transmission of the condition. Yes, the few zombie films I have seen have probably convinced me of this, but also the fact that while my  husband coughs once, and he’s done, I am thereafter sick for two weeks. Therefore, I’m likely to be one of the first zombies.
  • loss of control over self and body. What happens to the person you were? Are you still trapped inside a rapidly rotting corpse? Usually the only sure way to kill zombies (never mind a host of other species), is to destroy the brain. Well, if the brain is in a human body, than the consciousness inhabiting that brain must still be the original person, right? How much awareness is there? Is it like a comatose person unable to act? Or perhaps the most ruthless, aggressive form of humanity we fight to hide beneath a veneer of civility?
  • the senseless and vicious destructive nature of zombies. Whether they’re after converting other humans or the stereo-typical brains, most zombies aren’t easily stopped, and keep coming and coming and coming. There is something terrifying about an enemy that is without any fear to exploit. No matter the size of our weapons, non-zombies will run and eventually fail because they are afraid. The zombies will just keep attacking.
  • they remain a walking reminder of our own mortality – and potentially, our own inevitable fate. While in modern times we prefer to distance ourselves from death and sterilize mortality, zombies are a walking (and vicious) reminder of our own potential, and perhaps, what we too will become, whether simply the dead, or undead, depending on the manner of transmission.

Now it’s your turn. What do you think? Do zombies scare you? What have I missed? Love to hear from you. 😉

Thanks for reading, and hope you have a terrific week. 🙂

What I’m Reading: Libriomancer

I have a book recommendation for you. It’s a fun one, and be warned: this is the kind of book that will make you want to forget all the things you should be doing and just go off and read. 🙂

51hecROhA8L._SY344_PJlook-inside-v2,TopRight,1,0_SH20_BO1,204,203,200_To follow with my recent love affair with urban fantasy, I’m reading Libriomancer (Magic Ex Libris, Book 1) by Jim C. Hines. I saw the recommendation on another author page with an interview with the author, and it moved up quickly on my TBR list. And I’m glad it did.

Here’s the back copy:

Isaac Vainio is a Libriomancer, a member of the secret organization founded five centuries ago by Johannes Gutenberg.  Libriomancers are gifted with the ability to magically reach into books and draw forth objects. When Isaac is attacked by vampires that leaked from the pages of books into our world, he barely manages to escape. To his horror he discovers that vampires have been attacking other magic-users as well, and Gutenberg has been kidnapped.

With the help of a motorcycle-riding dryad who packs a pair of oak cudgels, Isaac finds himself hunting the unknown dark power that has been manipulating humans and vampires alike. And his search will uncover dangerous secrets about Libriomancy, Gutenberg, and the history of magic. . . .

What do I like about it? I really love how much this author clearly loves books; this book reads like a near homage to other paranormal, urban fantasy, and books in general. The writing is cute and funny with a quirky character voice, and I figure it has to be cute that I even find myself fond of a very large spider. Lots of fun, lots of pop culture references, and if you read in this genre and sub-genre, I imagine you’ll enjoy it even more. Personally, I’m finding it rather hard to be a good girl and do my work instead of just curling up and reading until the last page. 😉

So, any good books you’d recommend? I’m a decent way through the Harry Dresden books thanks to my brother, and also done most of The Iron Druid Chronicles by Kevin Hearne. If only I could read faster!

Thanks for reading, and have a great week. 🙂

 

Paranormal Utopia

While my original intent was to consider dragons, considering the kind of week it’s been, I’ve decided I wanted to look at why I love paranormals and their magical powers, especially writing them.

Because I get to be a god.

Okay, so that was a bit short, hmm? 😉 Let me explain. See, life is full of kids that need caring for, houses that never stay clean, bills, rain, weeds, so on and so forth. And that’s real life, and it’s far from all bad.

And then there’s the paranormal world. It offers a way to escape and run away from all those things. I mean, how often did Buffy the Vampire Slayer have to stay home and clean her room? How often do characters need to pay bills? Or weed their garden? Seriously, my garden at this point is a horror-story in itself, but I’ve never seen anything like it in a book.

And yet at the same time, sometimes we do see paranormal characters having to deal with being magical, kicking butt, saving the world AND paying the bills, cleaning the house, dealing with normal life. Those are probably my favorite, because frankly I know their lives are far more complicated than mine. And isn’t that just awesome? 😉

When I get to write paranormals, I get to populate my world with all sorts of beasties and magic. I don’t have to choose which religion or myths I believe in and start a fight with someone. Instead, I get to decide that all of them are true to some extent. And while this is what I believe in real life too, in fiction all those myths, religions, and heritages are able to muddle along together, finding unity instead of discord. Because they all have something in common (usually their magic or supernatural nature). The paranormal world allows me to create, envision, and live vicariously in a kind of utopia. Is everything perfect? No. But frankly, it’s often a lot less complicated than this world, and in the end I always know a happily ever after is waiting.

What do you think? Do you think paranormal worlds – and indeed, fiction in general – can provide us with a utopia we can’t find elsewhere?

Thanks for reading, and hope you have a great week. 🙂