Jennifer Lyon
Monday, February 23rd, 2009
One More Day…

 One more day until the official release of BLOOD MAGIC!The book may already be in some stores–these “drop dates” can be a bit flexible.  I just can’t believe it’s here! But the waiting has actually been fun…because of you all! You guys have been a blast! I really hope you all keep hanging around even after the Cyber Launch Party is over.  Which brings me to the next point, tomorrow, February 24th, I draw the Grand Prize!

This is an ENLARGED picture of the necklace:

grand-prize-necklace

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The actual size is  30 by 46 mm.  You can find out more at Silver Enchantments where I ordered the necklace.  All the comments from the last five weeks and today, will go into the Glittering Purple Hat where the random witch generate will select one winner.

witch-dancing-a-jig

 

Now, let’s all give a big shout out to our friend, KATE CARLISLE!

Kate’s book HOMICICDE IN HARDCOVER hit #34 the New York Times Times List!

Let’s all raise up our appletinis (no spilling!)  and dance a jig for Kate!

 

 

Question of the Day:  On a scale of one to five appletinis (five being the best), how much does it rock when our friends achieve their dreams like Kate?

Saturday, February 21st, 2009
Winners!

ninjafaceI had a very special guest to help me draw the winners…

This is Ninja Face. He was my son’s cat when he was in college, and then my son had to move leaving him with a roommate. (Ninja Face is fine, happy and fat, except for the Really Stupid Name. My son named him Ninja Face. I can’t explain it…perhaps I had too many appletinis when he was a baby and dropped my son on his head?)

Still Ninja Face agreed to help me choose the winners…when he gets around to it.

Have you ever noticed that Cat Time is way different from Human Time?

 

 Finally I got him to get off the couch to saunter over to the Big Purple Hat.

And the winners are:

glittering-purple-hat1

 

MEL K is the winner of the autographed book from Nalini Singh! Congrats Mel! Email Nalini at email hidden; JavaScript is required
and let her know which of her Psy/Changeling books you’d like, and your mailing address.

REBECCA wins the CHARMED third season DVD set. Congrats Rebecca! Email me at email hidden; JavaScript is requiredwith your mailing address.

Thursday, February 19th, 2009
Guest Blogger: Nalini Singh

It’s week five of the Cyber Launch Party!  The prize is the DVD of the third season of CHARMED, and I’ll pick the random winner from this week’s comments.  

 nalini-singh

 

I’m so excited about our guest blogger today! Last year, I picked up New York Times and USA Today bestseller Nalini Singh’s book HOSTAGE TO PLEASURE and became an instant fan girl. Nalini’s Psy/Changeling world fascinated me. And now, she’s embarking on an exciting new series with the release of ANGELS’ BLOOD March 3rd. Romantic Times chose ANGELS’ BLOOD as a Top Pick, calling it “Tremendous!”, while Night Owl Reviews called it one “heck of a ride.” Join me in welcoming Nalini Singh!

 

 

 

 

 Location, location, location!

Nalini Singh

 

First up, thank you to Jennifer for inviting me to guest on her blog. I thought it might be fun to talk about story locations today. 

angels-bloodMy March release, Angels’ Blood, kicks off the Guild Hunter series. Angels’ Blood is set in New York City. I had to change the geography of the buildings a little bit to insert Archangel Tower and a few other things, but the physical geography remains the same. So does the technology, as the book is set in the present day.

 

I didn’t consciously sit down and choose NY as the setting for Angels’ Blood. I simply knew as soon as I started writing it, that there was no other place it could be set. The city is urban, beautiful, and yes, it has a dark side. All those elements tied in perfectly into the story.  

 

But more, it was the feel, the beat of the city that was important, because the angels and vampires in Angels’ Blood aren’t reclusive or hidden. They’re very much active in the present, very much part of the world. We see the city through their eyes, and New York’s mix of sophistication and hard edges suits them far better than a “softer” city ever could.

I think setting can play an important part in a book, whether it’s described in depth, or mentioned in passing. As a reader, I often don’t pay attention to a setting consciously-sometimes, it’s only after I close the book that I realize how much it helped shape the story.

 How about you? Is setting important to you? Are there any settings, whether present day or historical, that you particularly enjoy?

 Everyone who leaves a comment goes into a draw to win a signed copy of a book from my Psy/Changeling backlist (i.e. published before 2009). Prize will be posted out in March.

 You can read excerpts at my website: http://http://www.nalinisingh.com/

 

Tuesday, February 17th, 2009
What Are You reading?

It’s week five of the Cyber Launch Party!  The prize is the DVD of the third season of CHARMED, and I’ll pick the random winner from this week’s comments.  

witchfrogThis witch gets a little cranky when she doesn’t have a book to read!

I feel the same way.  For a couple weeks, I haven’t been reading, just concentrating on revising SOUL MAGIC (the second book in the Wing Slayer Hunter Series).  I’m nearly finished, and so this weekend, I read a book. Lora Leigh’s COYOTE’S MATE.  This was my first book by this author.

I have Kate Carlisle HOMICIDE IN HARDCOVER  and Maureen Child’s VANISHED waiting for me as soon as I send my revisions off!

So how about you? What are you reading?

Monday, February 16th, 2009
BLOOD MAGIC Excerpt

Here is an excerpt from BLOOD MAGIC:

 © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Saturday: Day One of the Death Mark

The whispers were nothing new.

Darcy MacAlister followed behind her mother’s graceful white casket with the elegant raised scrolls as they left the MacAlister Funeral Home to process to the cemetery next door. Being the funeral director eased the knot of grief and sorrow in her throat. She was honored to oversee every detail of the service that celebrated Eileen MacAlister’s life, and show the community how well-loved her mother had been. She would not let the whispers affect her.

“They used to call her Dark Mac in high school.”

“Some say her father was afraid of her.”

“. . . Drove him to drink.”

“Hush! Darcy took care of your grandfather when he passed. She’s been nothing but kind to us.”

“She found my cat for me when he got lost. Just knew where he was.”

“There’s something strange about that one . . .”

Darcy stiffened her back, her black sheath dress sliding around her legs. She focused on the coffin and inhaled the briny, damp ocean air.

Joe’s arm slid around her shoulder, pulling her close to his side.

She looked up at her cousin. Joe hovered around six feet and weighed in at one eighty, and he knew how to kill, thanks to his years in the Special Forces. And right now, his jaw was so tight, she knew he wanted to hit someone. “Ignore them,” she said softly.

He barely nodded.

Not a promise, but the best she’d get from him. It had been almost nine years since Joe had left the seaside town of Glassbreakers, California, full of excitement about changing the world. When he returned a few months ago, he was a different man, grim and disconnected, like he didn’t care if he lived or died. Yet once he found out that her mom, his aunt, was terminally ill with a complication from lupus, he would show up at the house to do chores, barbeque, or take care of anything else that needed to be done. Any thanks just irritated him.

They stopped at the grave. The base of the casket was surrounded by flower arrangements; fresh greenery and baby’s breath was woven around the poles of the canopy under which the guests sat or stood.

Darcy cleared her throat, feeling the weight of her mother’s last gift; a silver Celtic knot pendant of loops and swirls that spread out like wings at her throat. “Thank you all for coming today. My mother asked me to tell you that she cherished each of you. That you all brought joy and happiness to her life. And now, she’s asked that you don’t grieve for her, but instead celebrate each of your days, and embrace your families and loved ones.” She looked out over all the mourners, warmed to see so many that truly cared about Eileen MacAlister. “Once we do the final prayers, we will have a reception back inside. We would be pleased if you would join us.”

She took her seat, grateful that she didn’t have to worry about the reception. Her best friend, Carla Fisk, and her newest employee, Morgan Reed, were inside the mortuary right now setting up the sandwiches, salads, and cookies. Instead, she concentrated on the prayers and closing words that would send her mom to her final rest. For the last time, people streamed by the casket, cried, and hugged her. The day was nearly over.

“You’ve done your mom proud, darling,” Reverend Jack Masters said, leaning down and kissing her cheek.

Darcy rose and walked with the minister to stand by her mom’s casket. “Thank you, Jack. We planned this ceremony together. I just followed her wishes.” Those last months had been a blessing and a nightmare. Eileen had struggled with lupus since her early twenties, but in the last year her lungs had given out.

Words from two stragglers floated to them. “Strange that she doesn’t even cry for her mother.”

Jack’s face tightened, then he shook his head in disgust. “Eileen knew you loved her, Darcy. And I have worked with you on dozens of funerals. You’re a professional through and through. This is your final gift to your mother.”

She almost cried then, but hugged him instead. “Thanks, Jack. That really helps.”

“Can I walk you in?”

She shook her head. “I want to stay here for a few more minutes.”

He nodded and headed inside.

Darcy was finally alone. She inhaled the sea breeze mixed with the scent of recently cut grass and freshly turned dirt. Jack was right, she had done her mom proud. That felt good; it felt right. Her mom had adopted Darcy when she was only a few weeks old, and no matter how odd a child Darcy had turned out to be, Eileen’s love had remained rock steady. Always.

Turning slightly, she swept her hand across the glossy surface of the casket. “I’m going to give the house to Joe, Mom. I’ve thought about this a lot. He needs something, an anchor. I can’t live there, I just . . . can’t. But Joe . . .”

The warmth she felt vanished, replaced by a deep chill. She snapped her head up and caught sight of a young couple walking along one of the sidewalk pathways directly in front of her. Sweeping her eyes left, she saw three people: two men and a woman standing by a headstone.

They all looked like normal visitors to the cemetery.

Dropping her gaze, she said, “Guess I’m tired. Anyway, about Joe and-”

She felt it again. This time chills raced down her back and the hair stood up on her arms. Her heart rate increased quickly. Dropping her hand, she whirled to look toward the canopy.

A man was suddenly there, standing by the chair she’d sat in earlier.

Her heart swelled and banged against her rib cage. The man was extremely tall and wore a long, black suede coat. But something was off, his face was too soft, almost feminine, yet his build was huge. Pull yourself together, he’s probably just a late mourner. Taking a deep breath, she noticed a coppery smell then said, “You startled me. Are you here for my mom?” Perhaps he was an acquaintance of her mom’s that she hadn’t met.

Staring at her, he said, “I’m here for you, Darcy.”

His eyes were a vacant and cruel green. She broke into a cold sweat. A voice in her head screamed, Run! Darcy shivered once, then turned and ran. The heels of her black pumps caught in the thick grass. She stopped, turned, and saw that the man was still standing there watching her, a nasty smirk on his full lips.

Fear washed up the back of her throat. She yanked off her shoes and looked back. The man was gone.

Vanished.

Run!

Unnamed terror pulsed deep inside of her and she ran, heading toward the mortuary. It was too far! At least thirty or forty yards . . .

“Darcy!”

It was Joe, striding toward her from the left, Morgan at his side. Darcy turned and raced to him, her thighs burning. She couldn’t get the metallic taste of fear out of her mouth.

Joe caught her in his arms, lifting her off the ground and turning with the momentum. “What’s wrong?” He set her down and whipped back around, keeping her at his back.

Tears burned behind her eyes at the gesture. He had always protected her.

“Darcy, are you okay?” Morgan looked at her, her huge blue eyes full of worry.

Warm embarrassment began in the center of Darcy’s chest and spread like a bad rash. What exactly had she panicked over? “I think I might have just made a fool of myself.”

Joe did one more scan then turned to look down at her; both of his dark eyebrows raised over vivid blue eyes. “You looked terrified. What happened?”

She shrugged, then leaned down to slide one pump onto her damp foot. “This guy just freaked me out.”

“That’s a switch. Usually it’s you freaking people out.”

She rolled her eyes as she balanced on one high heel, brushed a couple blades of grass from her foot, and slid on the other shoe. Then she stood and said, “He startled me. I didn’t hear him walk up, he was just . . . there. I asked him if he was here for mom, and he said ‘I’m here for you, Darcy.’?” Now that she said it out loud, she realized the man might have meant that he was there to support her at her mother’s funeral.

Morgan jerked her head around to stare at Darcy. “What did he look like?”

The fear coming off Morgan prickled her skin and nearly made her step back. In high school, Morgan had been popular and sure of herself while Darcy had been awkward; always trying to figure out how to fit in. Something had changed Morgan. She tried to answer, “Black hair, really weird green eyes, and his face was . . . well, it seemed almost delicate.”

“A small guy?” asked Joe.

“No. Big. Taller than you. He wore a black suede coat that went to his knees and black slacks under that.”

Morgan’s gaze darted around the cemetery, then she reached out and put her icy cold hand on Darcy’s arm. She opened her mouth, then grimaced before saying, “I need to tell you something. But I can’t seem to remember exactly . . .” She snatched her hand from Darcy’s arm and started rubbing her temples.

“Morgan, you need to eat. You’ve been working since this morning,” Joe said.

That was true, Darcy silently agreed. But she had felt the cold fear in Morgan’s hand. After being gone from town for a few years, the woman had returned scared and troubled by something. But then again, Darcy herself had just raced across the cemetery grounds like something out of a horror movie was after her, so who was she to judge? “Let’s all go inside. I’m acting like a nut house…

Saturday, February 14th, 2009
Winner!

cute-witch-cat-on-broom

 

 

So I raced home from my meeting…

 

 

glittering-purple-hat

 

 

Pulled the name out of the glittering purple hat…

 

 

 

 

 

 books-and-witches

And the winner of the Box of Paranormal Books is…QUILT LADY! Congratulations Quilt Lady! Please email me your mailing address at email hidden; JavaScript is required

Thursday, February 12th, 2009
Pick Your Familiar

It’s week four of our five week Cyber Launch Party! This week, the prize is a box of paranormal books. The winner will be drawn from all this week’s comments and announced on the weekend.

In my books, the witches have lost their bonds with their familiars, causing them to lose their high magic. They have to fix that, and they do it in a pretty cool way!

But alas, I cannot tell you how.  That would be wrong.

So instead, I thought we’d have fun and pick our familiars from the pictures below.

darth-vader

How about Darth Vadar?

 

 

 

 

 

 

tas-devil

 

Or this Tas-Devil?

 

 

 

 

 

bbwolf1

Or this wofl?

 

 

 

 

 

krokodilani5

 

Or Croc?

 

 

man-with-horns

 

Or are you the type to go for the Bad Boy Familiar?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Who would you pick and why?

JenniferLyon.com