Do witches have a bad name?

tarot-cards-magic-fortune-telling-gypsy-esotericDo witches have a bad name in romance?

I’m just wondering because while we had a vampire craze and a werewolf craze, which merged into a shifter craze, we haven’t really had a witch craze.

If you think about how paranormal romance became so big in pop culture, it was through Harry Potter, a witch, so it’s odd that we haven’t had a huge craze of romances featuring witches. Now, that’s not to say that there aren’t some fantastic romances about witches, we absolutely have. But none have inspired other writers to jump on the bandwagon and write more witch stories.

Is it because the category is so broad? Witches are, after all, simply people with the ability to wield magic. That could be mean anything.

They could be hocus-pocus witches who need a magic tool (like a wand) to create the magic. They could simmering witches who need magical ingredients (snail’s toenails and eye of newt) to create potions that do magical things. They could be innately magical where they just need to think or will something to have and *poof* it happens. Or they could be elemental magic, which is quite popular—although it too has not seen a craze like the vampires and shifters—but it’s a really fun area to explore, tapping into the Earth’s natural energies to control magic.

So, is that the problem? There’s just too much choice? Too many variants?

Personally, I love witches. I find the possibilities a wonderful opportunity to create something new and different. And, as you might have guessed, I really love bringing in an elemental aspect. The Earth itself is so powerful and full of wonder that it’s not a huge leap to think about harnessing that power into something magical.

As I’m working right now on the fourth book of my magical series, I wish that I had more books to read that featured witches. Naturally, with too few books in the sub-genre that I like, I feel compelled to write them myself. But if you know of any good books that feature witches, I’d appreciate it if you could share them below.

 

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Expertise

I’m in the process of reviewing my editors comments on a new short story/novella. It’s the bonus story in my Merry Men Box Set #2 (which will be available December 15th).

box-set-2In Box Set #1, I included the story of how the parents of the hero in one of the books in the box set met, so I thought it would be fun to do that again. The problem is that to write this story I had to learn all about the treaty negotiations between France and Spain at the beginning of the Napoleonic War. That would have been fine. I love history. But I didn’t just have to learn what happened, I had to figure out how a negotiator would have actually conducted his negotiations. I had to figure out all of the nuances in this delicate task and the underlying political consequences of each move.

I had to learn all about the politics at the time and how treaties are actually negotiated! Ugh! I am not a politician. I don’t like politics all that much. It’s really slippery stuff. But in order to write a convincing, authentic story I had to have an idea of how these things worked and how people who engage in politics (and treaty negotiations) think. Once I did that, I had to make sure that the story wasn’t actually about the politics (because, lets face it, you don’t want to be reading a dry recounting of a pretty minor treaty negotiation, you want to be reading a romance novel!), but about the people. studying

It made me start thinking… as writers, we actually have to know a lot about things work. If we’re going to have someone murdered in a book, we have to know exactly how it happens, how the blood spurts, how it feels to hold a gun, or sword, or whatever the murder weapon is in your hand and how to wield it. Just how hard is it to slice off someone’s head? Well… actually, it’s really hard. There’s a lot of bone and tissue and tendon in there that you have to slice through. Why do I know this? Because I’ve written about it, so I had to learn about it.

I’m beginning to think that if people knew how much research goes into every novel, they’d have a lot more respect for writers. We become experts in whatever it is we’re writing about. We need to be in order to write convincing stories.

How is it then that writers are dismissed and thought of in the lowest possible terms? We know how to kill you. Er… I mean, we know a lot of stuff! 🙂 History, medicine, politics, law, you name it, if a novel has been written about it, that author had to know that subject pretty darn well. No wonder the authors I know are so intelligent–intelligent enough not to get upset when our work is dismissed as frivolous.

So, what is your specialty? What could you write about? Or what have you learned by reading a great book?

Will you Nano?

nanowrimoNational Novel Writing Month starts in just a few days. For many writers, their normal writing life stops so that they can participate in this annual ritual of trying to write a 50,000 word novel in a month. For others, they see this as an opportunity to finally get to work on that book they’ve been wanting to write for years.

Since I write full time anyway, I rarely participate in NaNoWritMo (as it’s called). But this year, although I’ve gotten a head start, I’m in the process of trying to get a book done within the month.

My impetus isn’t just for the fun of it, or to see if I can do it, but rather because I was asked to write a book for a particular series and given a deadline of December 1. Luckily, I was also give two extra weeks and a word count of 25,000 instead of 50.

That being said, I will actually need to have the book done before the end of the month so that it can be edited and ready to be published by December 1–most people who participate in NaNoWriMo just try to finish a first draft, not have a book ready to be sent out into the world by the end.

So far, I’m managing to write 1500-2000 words a day, so I’m hopeful that my book will, in fact, get done on time.

So what exactly is this this quickly-written new book? Something completely new to me–a time-travel, paranormal, gay pirate romance! Yes, I was asked to write an LGBT pirate romance.

As I said, I’ve got a good start on it! Check back next month and I’ll tell you how I did, and hopefully by then I’ll even have a book description for you!

So, are you going to participate in NanoWriMo? If so, are you ready?

Something different

Do you like predictability in the books you read? Do you want to know exactly how it’s going to work out? How the characters are going to get from the beginning of the book to the end?

I would hazard a guess that the answer is a resounding “no!”.bored

We like surprises. We like something a little different; out of the ordinary.

If you’re a romance reader, you already know that two people in the book are going to end up in a committed relationship and usually by the second or third chapter you know who those two people are.

If you read mystery, you know that if there’s a dead body at the beginning of the book, by the end you’ll know who killed that person. If you read sci-fi or fantasy you’ve got a good idea of what you’re going to find when you crack open the pages of the book—a different world that the author has created and that you’re going to have fun exploring and learning about as you read the book. There may be magic or some complicated science that we could only dream of coming true.

You know this going into the book, but you don’t know what that world is going to be like or how the characters will have to navigate it. You don’t know who “did it” in your mystery. You don’t know what the hero and heroine of your romance are going to have to go through or give up in order to be together.

That’s the fun of reading a book.

So, if I told you that I wrote a Regency romance and you were a reader of Regency, you would expect ball rooms, lords and ladies, maybe some clever dialogue and all of it written in the third person (“He did this” and “She did that”).

If I told you that I’d written a Gothic romance you’d expect a haunted castle, a damsel in distress, a family curse, perhaps. It would be written in a dark, brooding manner, right?

Well, I just hate those stereotypes! I like to mix things up. So I’ve written a rather light (okay, there’s some spookiness, but nothing that will give you nightmares) Gothic Regency romance in the first person (“I did this” and “I saw that”).

What?!

MLG_400.jpgYes, you read that right. It’s a Gothic romance – there’s a ghost haunting a house with a deep, dark, troubled past. There’s a heroine who is in danger—although she’s not exactly a fainting ninny. She’s smart, and clever, and faces her obstacles head-on. It’s set in the Regency, although there’s not a ball room in sight. Okay, there are lords and ladies and maybe some clever dialogue (if I may say so, myself). But this is definitely not one of your Georgette Heyer-type romances.

It’s weird, and it’s different, and it’s fun, and there’s a slight mystery to it as well.

So, who’s up for something different? It’s called My Lord Ghost and you can check it out here.

Fiery Magic by Caryn Moya Block

If you Pre-ordered Fiery Magic by Caryn Moya Block, you should have received it at midnight last night. If you were waiting until it went live, now is the time to click through to your favorite eBook retailer. I’m sure you’re going to love Candace and Haytham’s story of magic, dragons, and most importantly — love.

Fiery Magic

 

fiery-magic GIFFiery Magic

Book Three in the Witch Guardian Romance Series

Haytham Luften is an Air Witch Guardian supporting his team members while fighting Blood Cult members and the Marwolaeth possessed. He never expected to be gifted with a Destined One, or to hear his uncle, head of the Air House, threaten to renounce him if he dared claim the one woman who could share his magic.

Candace Kindle grew up on stories of “destined love” and sharing her magic with one special person. But with the Marwolaeth attacking, true love will have to wait for another day. Following her brother’s advice she walks through a dimensional portal to take shelter with her mother and finds herself a slave in a land ruled by Dragons. There’s only one person who can save her, the Destined One she walked away from.

Apple     Amazon    Amazon UK    Barnes&Noble     Kobo     Smashwords

SPARK: Dragons in a New Book

iStock_83015149_XLARGE_edited-2I love dragons, and I have written several paranormal stories where the main characters are these mythical creatures. Shape-shifting dragons make the most sense since my stories are filled with romance. Dragons can be romantic…and they can be stubborn, heroic, difficult, dangerous, ‘human’, or evil.

What makes my characters and my stories different is that most take place in Scotland (Southern Fried Dragon was an aberration. I set it in Charleston, South Carolina on the eve of the Civil War. My heroine was a female shape-shifting Scottish dragon hiding out in America.) Besides the mythical Loch Ness monster, reported to dwell in the long, deep lake near Inverness, dragons are part of the tales passed down through Scottish clans.

Fictional locations are fine, but I set my new series, Clan of Dragons, on the Island of Skye. When I discovered their unusual mountains, known as the Black Cuillin Hills, I immediately knew I’d found a home for my dragons.

Here is one of many YouTube videos I discovered while researching the location. These awesome mountains have a volcanic history and are black, treeless, craggy, and desolate. Perfect!

Please help me celebrate

SPARK, Book #1 , Clan of Dragons

now available for pre-order

Amazon         Amazon Can

Amazon UK    Amazon Aus

 

Do you believe in dragons?

Nancy Lee Badger

 

 

 

Where do you work?

BrusselsWhen the sound of bird song has just about drowned out the sound of traffic and my nose is beginning to run, I know I’m in the right place. This is where I want to work.

I’ve found a bench to sit on because, once again, I’ve forgotten a towel to place on the wet grass. I find the one mostly clean spot on the one bench along this path because it looks like someone had a dance party on the rest of it the last time it rained.

Few people walk by here. Every so often someone comes by Bench.JPGwalking their dog, which just means that I need to be careful about where I walk because people don’t always pick up afterward, especially not here in the woods. And there goes the occasional runner while the whine of a saw provides background music.

Yes, it’s here that I can work. And if the sun decides to make more of a show of it today, I can move to a more open spot where I can catch some rays.

This is summer to me. Walking to the woods. Working outside. Enjoying the warmth of the days. Even here in perpetually raining Brussels, I’m taking advantage of the time I have to be outside.

BoireMy mind works better outside. It works better for having the walk to get here. My imagination can expand in the open and yet not too much that it wanders away from where I need it to go. The woods, the trees, they keep me centered and allow me to focus.

This is working in the summer.

Where do you work in the summer? Do you take a break from your usual work space or continue on as usual?