The Romance Reviews Third Anniversary

Oh!! And before I forget, I’m taking part in the Romance Reviews 3 year Anniversary party today–that is, March 30.
Romance Reviews 3rd anniversary

There are more than 450 authors participating with giveaways and the grand prize is  a $100 Gift Certificate! You need to be registered and log in to participate in the giveaways so head on over there now to do that.

cover art for Passion's Sacred Dance. Cover art by Kim Mendoza

Cover art by Kim Mendoza

And I’m giving away an e-copy of my paranormal romance novel Passion’s Sacred Dance to one lucky winner. My Q and A contribution is up here. Good luck!

Joleene Naylor giveaway

This is part of Ms. Naylor’s guest post below, but I didn’t have the code right. if you missed it and would like to toss your name in the hat you can fill out the form for the giveaway here:
Children of Shadows Release Tour giveaway

My apologies, everyone. Good luck to you, and thanks again to Ms. Naylor for visiting us!

 

 

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Q and A with author/editor Rebecca Buchanan

This morning I have something a little different for you. I’ve been following the pagan writing community for quite a few years now. Along the way, I’ve met some very talented authors and poets, made some good friends, and wanted to introduce you, my readers, to a few. Recently, I had the pleasure to interview editor of Eternal Haunted Summer, Rebecca Buchanan. Rebecca is the editor-in-chief of Bibliotheca Alexandrina, and the editor of pagan fiction and non-fiction ‘zine Eternal Haunted Summer. She has been published in Bards and Sages Quarterly, Cliterature, The Future Fire, Into the Great Below, Fire Jewel: A Devotional For Freyja, Linguistic Erosion, and Luna Station Quarterly, as well as Beyond the Pillars, The Shining Cities, Unbound: A Devotional Anthology for Artemis, Written in Wine, and other venues. She blogs semi-regularly at BookMusings: (Re)Discovering Pagan Literature.

Hi, Rebecca! Thanks for being here. I know you’re busy and I appreciate your time! What would you like people to know about Paganism?

Rebecca Buchanan: Primarily, I would like people outside of Paganism to understand that — whichever path or tradition we follow — we are completely serious and sincere in our devotions. This is not playacting or a phase.

Most pagan writers have a personal pantheon they’re dedicated to, and to which they dedicate their art. How did you connect with your personal pantheon?

Rebecca: I have loved mythology since childhood, especially Greek and Egyptian; those were always the books I lugged home from the library (along with the fairy tales). I would read the stories over and over again, study the paintings and sculptures, the photographs and schematics of the old temples.

Since my earliest exposure to the Gods was through books, I guess that is why my devotions now primarily take the form of writing and publishing.

Can you tell us a bit about how your path influences your own writing?

Rebecca: My devotion to the Greek pantheon has a *huge* influence on my writing. I would say ninety percent of what I write — poetry, short fiction, essays — is about the Gods and Goddesses. Plus, the fact that I could not find a market for my writing led to the creation of Eternal Haunted Summer; I wanted to offer a venue for other frustrated Pagan writers. It also led me to accept the position of editor-in-chief at Bibliotheca Alexandrina, so I could oversee the production of anthologies in honor of the Gods and Goddesses.

As a writer, is there any genre you haven’t tried that you’d like to?

Rebecca: Oh … tough one.

I try. ;)

Rebecca: Aside from the poetry, most of my writing could be broadly defined as science fiction or fantasy; there are a couple of dark fantasy/horror pieces, too. I guess I would like to try my hand at a mystery, an old fashioned, honest to goodness murder mystery. Maybe starring a modern-day devotee of Nemesis … or priest of Thoth ….

Ooh that’s does sound intriguing! What inspired you to take on the editorial spot of Eternal Haunted Summer?

Rebecca: Frustration! Pure, unadulterated frustration! I had written dozens of poems and short stories in honor of the Gods and Goddesses, and yet there were no reliable venues in which to publish them. The majority of religious publishers out there are Christian in their focus, and my stuff was *too* religious for the fantasy publishers. I heard the same complaint from other Pagan writers. Thus, Eternal Haunted Summer was born. It’s been a real honor to host so many talented authors.

It’s been an honor to find you too, Rebecca, and I have to agree. I have had the same experience in my path to publishing too. I’m glad to see that changing a bit. Next question: Is there anything/any aspect of Paganism, or topic you see little of in the submissions that you’d like more of?

Rebecca: I would love, love, love to receive more submissions which deal with myths, heroes, and Gods from outside Europe. I can appreciate a good Dionysus poem or an essay about Freyja as much as the next girl; but there are so *many* pantheons. I want Aztec-themed poems! Essays about the kami! Short stories centered on Spider Woman and Sedna and Marie Laveau. Reviews of books and comics and movies about Mongolian shamans and La Llorona and Maori tattoo traditions.

I would also love more essays which tackle difficult topics. I am not afraid to run a controversial piece; animal sacrifice, veiling, abortion, hexing, whatever. If it is articulate, thoughtful, correctly cited (as necessary), and respectful in tone, I am happy to consider it for publication.

What would you say to encourage a young Pagan writer to apply their path to their art?

Rebecca: Many people feel especially drawn to one or two Deities within a pantheon (though which Deities may change over time). In the case of a writer, my first suggestion would be to focus your writing on that Deity/ies. Create a poem listing the Deity’s epithets, or a short story retelling a favorite myth; or, write about anything you want, but dedicate the work of creating the story and the story itself to the Deity. Oh, and pray before you start working on it.

Same goes for any kind of art, and even such things as exercise and cleaning; dedicating any kind of work or creative act to a Deity will make it more meaningful.

What would you like readers to know about Eternal Haunted Summer?

Rebecca: That I am open to just about everything. There are very few restrictions when it comes to submissions. Sex and gore should be appropriate to the context of the story. The tone should always be respectful (no bashing other people’s Gods). Pieces about Atlantis or Mu or subterranean civilizations or aliens don’t interest me. Submissions with a monotheistic or Abrahamic focus wouldn’t really be appropriate either. Other than that, any format, any genre, any myth, any Deity, any pantheon.

What’s next for you? Any exciting new projects to tease us with?

Rebecca: Bibliotheca Alexandrina has new anthologies in honor of Demeter, the Morrigan, and the Muses, which will be available soon. I am currently editing the Spring Equinox issue of EHS, which is shaping up to be an awesome edition. I personally have a short story which will appear in the next issue of The Future Fire, and I’m working on a few other stories. Um … basically I am keeping busy. Must write!

fantasy, pagan fiction, pagan fiction authors, metaphysical fictionfantasy, pagan fiction, pagan fiction authors, metaphysical fictionUnbound

I hear that! Thank you again, for being here. Good luck with all you do. I can’t wait for the Spring issue! ;) It should be out by the Equinox, if I’m not mistaken. In the meantime, friends, do check out some of Rebecca’s work. I think you will enjoy it! :) You can find out more about her at:

Eternal Haunted Summer:  http://eternalhauntedsummer.com
http://neosalexandria.org/bibliotheca-alexandrina/
http://witchesandpagans.com/BookMusings/Blogger/Listings/rebecca-buchanan.html

and the EHS Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/268696863150514/
or Bibliotheca Alexandrina’s Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/24893808890/

A questing maiden takes a break to chat–Terri Rochenski’s Hyla

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I walked into a local pub recently and who should I find there? well, I suppose you’re never going to believe it. You know how pubs are, usually filled with questing Neanderthal heroes or adventurous wizards? Well, this time who should I happen upon but a woman on a mission from god–Hyla, the star of Eye of the Soul–and her faithful scribe, Terri Rochenski? I know, such a sweet pair to find in such a place. I simply had to find out what their story was!

Good evening, ladies, thanks so much for joining us. Hyla, I know how important your mission is so I won’t keep you long,  all right?

Hyla, you’re in the middle of an epic journey. If you could’ve avoided it, what would you be today, you think?

Hyla: Doubtless I would still be on our island home of Taran, finishing my apprenticeship to became a Healer. I would also be alone, never having had the chance to make true friends outside my people.

Oh, well. Maybe it was a good thing this happened then? But…. we all know stuff happens, so just to be a little evil, I have to ask, what do you hope not to find at the Pool of Souls?

Hyla: I’m heading to the Pool of Souls for a reason – to find the one Native who can help our people – and gods forbid I find disappointment instead.

Yeah, I can see how that would kinda ruin your day.  What do you wish Terri hadn’t revealed about you?

Hyla: My Talent, my curse. Few know what plagues me, what keeps me from making friends, for it makes me an outcast among my people.
What’s your favorite bedtime story?

Hyla: I’ve never been told a bedtime story. I was orphaned upon birth, and Soroca, the woman who became my guardian, had no time – or desire – to amuse me with more than harsh words.

Awww…I’m sorry. That’s so sad.  (I have this friend Terri, maybe she can help you out with that. I hear she weaves a mean bedtime story! ;)) Let’s try for a happier question: Jadon or Conlin? ;)

Hyla: I’ve dreamed of love and children, but such a life is not possible because of my curse. As for the two mens’ personalities, Jadon is a womanizer and full of himself, and Conlin … I don’t know him as well, but he seems sweet and caring.

(*Takes Hyla aside* Given the two, Hyla, a bit of advice: go for the sweet and caring guy. Believe me, you might be saving yourself a whole lot of trouble!)

Now, Ms. Terri, as Hyla’s creator, I couldn’t leave you out. So I have a few questions for you,  a) What inspired the Pool of Souls series?

Terri Rochenski: A trying of my own faith, patience, and identity a few years back. For the full story, you’ll need to stalk my guest posts during the EotS tour.  ;)

(The full tour list is on Terri’s site here: http://www.terrirochenski.com/eye-of-the-soul.html  if you’d like to follow along, folks.)

And secondly, now that Eye of the Soul is out, what’s next for you and Hyla?

Terri: Book #2, Secret of the Souls, is due out in Oct. of 2014. Being preoccupied with a pregnancy & now newborn, the final few chapters that need written have taken a back seat! After the completion of this manuscript, Hyla’s story comes to an end.

EotS-500-copyblurb:

Escape.

That should be Hyla’s first thought as her people are chained and imprisoned for no imaginable reason.

Instead, Hyla finds herself traveling through a land void of Natives, with human soldiers pillaging in desperate pursuit of her, and in search of the mystical Pool of Souls—home to the one man who can save her people.

Or so she believes.

Led by her faith in the deity Fadir, Hyla is met along her journey by Jadon—a human male and fierce King’s warrior, and his childhood best friend Conlin—one of the few Natives aware of his Fadir-given Talents.

Protected by Jadon, guided by Conlin, and with an unfailing belief in the purpose of her pilgrimage, Hyla carries on.

Like her, though, another searches for the Pool, and should he gain access first, everyone she loves, and everything she knows, could be lost.

Forever.

Excerpt:

Cursing her arthritic fingers, Miri squeezed out a rag and draped it over the human man’s hot forehead.

“I’ve seen a lot more harvests than you, old goat,” she muttered, lifting his eyelids. “I’m thinking you’ll never catch up either. Doubt you last another half-moon’s phase.”

Miri pushed to her feet and stretched her hunched back. A heavy sigh slipped past her wrinkled lips as she glanced around the sick house. Keeping the night watch wasn’t too bad—she’d volunteered often since her old bones wouldn’t allow much sleep.

“Joints wasted, hearing all but gone …” Miri yanked on the long white braid lying over her shoulder. “I’m the old goat.”

She shuffled down the aisle, woolen kirtle swishing in the silence. A cool, autumn breeze rustled the crimson leaves of the magnolia and palm fronds overhead, drawing her gaze upward. Violet streaks lit the pre-dawn sky.A dog barked, yipped, and fell silent.

Miri peered across the village green to the thatched buildings beyond. A shadow passed between two cottages. Another three hurried toward the neighboring dwelling.

“Sight fading or my mind, too?” Miri rubbed her watery eyes, blinked, and leaned forward. Light flickered through the palm trees behind the outlying homes.

Torches?

The flames drew closer, weaving between the trunks.

Humans from the mainland? Miri’s hand clutched at her throat. Soldiers. Fadir have mercy.

The men crept through the village, taking up positions at every doorway. Two brutes, more horse-like in size than human, approached the sick house.

Sputtering torch held high, the first strode forward, dark eyes intent upon Miri. A green surcoat covered broad shoulders and fell to his thighs. The golden wheat sheaf of the city of Varosh adorned his chest.

Cold sweat beaded upon Miri’s brow. Breath burst from her lungs, and she moved back, clutching the door jam.

The second soldier stepped closer, chains and shackles clanking in his hand. He stopped two paces away from Miri, and a smile stretched his stubbled cheeks, revealing rotted teeth. “Good morning pointy-ears.”

Miri stared, heartbeat thundering in her ears. She’d been called worse in her eighty-three birth passings but never with such malice.

A single cry rang out across the village, and doors crashed inward. Screams rent the air.

“Don’t fight Native woman,” rotten-teeth sneered, shackles outstretched.

“W-why?” Miri whispered, taking a step backward.

A scowl narrowed his gaze, and his fist shot forward.

Bursts of light and pain exploded through Miri as she crumpled to the floor.

#

Miri’s people huddled on the village green as fall’s pale sun crested the trees. Cold metal had been clasped around their necks and ankles. Many trembled in the cool air, little more than night clothes covering their nakedness. Miri held to her braid with a white-knuckled grip, her head and its egg-sized bump throbbing in time with her pulse.

A handful of other battered Natives who had attempted flight were the last to join them, the soldiers tossing them forward like sacks of potatoes.

Sounds great doesn’t it? She’s included a giveaway of a signed paperback, signed bookmark, a notebook, and pen, folks so, go here to participate in the Rafflecopter Giveaway:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/share-code/YzBlNDU5NWM5ODFhNjA3ZGZmY2UxMDkzYmEzOWNlOjM3/

Thanks for being here today, Ladies! Hyla, I wish you the best on your quest, and Terri, the best with Eye of the Soul (and  with your forthcoming WiP). Folks if you’d like to learn more about Terri Rochenski and her fine works see her website and blog. You can also follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Good Reads. (You can also add Eye of The Soul to your “want to read” shelf here.) Eye of the Soul is available at:

or from J.Taylor Publishing in epub, Kindle and paperback.

RocheskiTerri-Head-ShotcopyAbout Terri:

Terri started writing stories in the 8th grade, when a little gnome whispered in her brain. Gundi’s Great Adventure never hit the best seller list, but it started a long love affair with the fantasy genre.

Today she enjoys an escape to Middle Earth during the rare ‘me’ moments her two young daughters allow. When not potty training or kissing boo-boos, she can be found on her back patio in the boondocks of New Hampshire, book or pencil in hand.

Thanks, Terri, for being with us today and good luck with Eye of the Soul!

Interview with Jillian Roring of The Ice Captain’s Daughter and author S.G. Rogers

Sudeley Castle_secret_gardenTooling around London today, I had the pleasure to have tea with a sweet young lady who I’m sure many of you have heard of her before: Jillian Roring. She’s the daughter of the infamous Ice Captain. Well, you know how the London gossips can be so I thought, while I was able to have her as a captive audience, I’d get the real scoop. Here’s what she (and her pal author S. G. Rogers) told me….

Hi Jillian! Thanks for being here. I know you’ve had a heck of a time recently, so I appreciate it.

Jillian Roring: Yes, thank you, Miss Revezzo. I have had a rather adventuresome time of it, but fortunately my scar is now barely visible at all.

Glad to hear you’re doing better. Why don’t you tell us how it all started? You were heading to your very first Season in London, but something sidetracked those plans, I hear?

Jillian: My story seems unbelievable to me, as I sit here in this warm, comfortable drawing room, but my carriage was actually waylaid by a highwayman! I could scarcely believe it, since it’s 1899 and highwaymen rarely appear anymore.

Shocking, you’re right! Who woulda thought? Thank God for Mackenzie Logan! Speaking of the gentleman, what’d you really think of Mackenzie when he first showed up? Seems to me you’re a resourceful girl. You almost had that brigand in hand.

Jillian: I’m not a sea captain’s daughter for nothing! I was determined to escape the lout, and almost did… until he grabbed the back of my skirt and held me fast. The blackguard was pulling back toward the woods when Mr. Logan appeared with a shotgun. Although Mr. Logan looked a bit like a wooly bear at that point, I was ever so glad to see him.

Awww….he’s more teddy bear than wooly bear, I’m sure! What’d you think when you first heard the rumors of Mackenzie’s philandering?

Jillian: The rumors rather put me off, to be completely honest.  Although I must admit, after Mr. Logan had shaved off his beard and changed his clothes, I could scarcely stop looking at him.

Oh yeah. I mean who wouldn’t? He’s so cute!!! Now for a wicked question: If you could go and choose any of his friends, which would it be?

Jillian: Mr. Hawkins, who is Mr. Logan’s particular friend and neighbor, is a gentlemanly sort of man, and pleasant company. Please don’t tell anyone, but my feelings for him could never be quite so warm as they are for Mr. Logan.

Your secret’s safe with…oops! I guess not! Sorry. At any rate, you’re no stranger to the papers are you? The gossip about your father for instance, the Ice Captain, is quite intriguing, tell us the truth, is he as infamous as he seems?

Jillian: I’m given to understand from my Aunt Letty, that the ladies were simply mad for him during the Season he met my mother.  His fair coloring and handsome good looks have something to do with it! Plus, I think there’s something about a sea captain that sets the imagination on fire.

Oh, I agree. Finally, the papers have been buzzing about you two lately, care to divulge any future plans between you and Mackenzie?

Jillian: Oh, Miss Revezzo! Despite my regard for you, I beg you not to force a confidence.

Oh all right. I won’t twist your arm.

Jillian: I am determined, however, not to marry unless it is to a man who adores me as much as my father adored my mother.

Honestly I agree. That is the best way to go. ;) So we’ll just hope it’s with Mackenzie. Dreamy gentleman that he is. And one for your creatrix: S.G. dear what are we really looking forward to in Jillian and Mackenzie’s future? Can you give us a hint? And for those who haven’t read The Ice Captain’s Daughter, care to give us a little taste?

S.G. Rogers: It’s so hard for young ladies and gentlemen in London society, especially when they aren’t prepared for interference from gossips and rivals… most especially from scheming former fiancées such as Sophia Watkins! Here’s a small preview, so you can see what I mean for yourself:

Excerpt:

“Your papa…he’s the Ice Captain, is he not?” Sophia asked.

Jillian smiled. The nickname never failed to delight her. “Yes.”

“You might not want to mention that to anyone else.”

“Why not?”

Sophia wrinkled her pert nose. “I’m sure he’s a very good sort of man but importing ice is an awful lot like being in trade.”

Shocked, Jillian didn’t know how to respond. Sophia mistook her expression for fear.

“Oh, don’t worry. We’re friends, so your secret is safe with me.”

“I thank you, truly, but I don’t have anything to conceal as far as my father is concerned.”

Sophie gave Jillian a pretty little pout, as if she were a small child who’d just been caught doing something naughty. “Please don’t be vexed with me. Mama says I blurt out truths in an unvarnished fashion and it’s frightfully rude.

****

Sophia sounds like a complete…erm, not very nice person! I’m sure, Jillian, you will get the upper hand eventually! Thanks for spending some time with me today.

Folks, I hope you enjoyed this interview as much as I! Here’s just a tad more about Jillian’s story.

icdcover81copyThe daughter of a wealthy ice merchant, Miss Jillian Roring intends to marry for love.  En route to her first Season in London, however, a failed kidnapping sends her into the arms of the most jaded bachelor in England.  When Logan and Jillian unwittingly violate the rigid rules of propriety in Victorian-era England, he is obliged to make her an offer of marriage.  Because she aspires to be more than an obligation, Jillian refuses the match. Logan follows her to London to woo her properly, but his scheming ex-fiancée has other plans.

Can Logan convince Jillian that his love for her is real or will the cruel gossip and sharp tongues of London society tear their budding relationship apart?

If you’d like to check out Jillian’s story it’s available for Kindle at Amazon, and for more of S.G. Rogers’ fine works you can check out her website at: http://childofyden.wordpress.com