Tag Archive | "urban fantasy"

Flames

Ashley J. Barnard tells us about Scaring the Relatives

Posted on December 2, 2010 by

Novelist Ashley J. Barnard has a new novel called Shadow Fox from Champagne Books. In this design essay she tells us about that initial fear of releasing her work to friends and family.

How a Nice, Shy Girl Passes Off Dark Fantasy to Her Family

One of my older sisters recently compared me to Giselle from the movie Enchanted. It’s a fair comparison; I sing when I clean the house, I love animals, I’m a hopeless romantic and I have a bright and sunny disposition. I want everyone to love me so it’s shocking to me when I annoy someone. The biggest difference between Giselle and me is that Giselle doesn’t write dark contemporary fantasy with heroin use, violence, occasional S&M and a liberal sprinkling of the F-bomb throughout. And if she did write it, she’d probably use a pen name and would die before letting anyone read it.

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Billzilla

A Touch Of Dead Review

Posted on November 3, 2010 by


With the new season of Trueblood beginning soon, I thought it was a good time to take a look at the books that inspired the popular HBO series, starting with a collection of short stories – an excellent way to evaluate the world of Sookie Stackhouse for one’s self.

For those who may not know, True Blood is based on a series of novels by Charlaine Harris. The main character of these books, Sookie Stackhouse, is a barmaid in a fictional Northern Louisiana small town called Bon Temps. Sookie has a rare talent; she’s a telepath. As much curse as blessing, her telepathic ability meant she always knew what everyone around her was thinking – both god and bad. Sookie had resigned herself to a lonely existence when “V-Day” happened. Japanese scientists perfected a synthetic blood, and vampires – no longer needing to attack humans to survive – one day formally announced themselves to the world, along with their intention to live side-by-side with humans.

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Flames

Bestselling Author Richelle Mead Inks Graphic Novel Deal

Posted on October 5, 2010 by

Sea Lion Books is proud to announce New York Times and USA TODAY Bestselling author Richelle Mead as its newest addition to its growing list of distinguished authors. Sea Lion Books will develop in comic book and graphic novel form the entire Dark Swan series starting with Storm Born.

“The world of the Dark Swan series is an amazing place,” says Richelle’s agent Jim McCarthy. “I’m tremendously excited for new readers and returning fans to have the opportunity to explore Richelle’s incredible creation in this new medium.”

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Megan

Waking The Witch Fiction Review

Posted on September 10, 2010 by

This book sweeps you into the world of Savannah Levine, a young private investigator with a motorbike, a bit of an attitude… and spellcasting ability, the latter being a mix of her heritage of a half-demon witch mother and a sorcerer papa. For this is the 11th novel in author Kelley Armstrong’s ‘Otherworld’ urban fantasy series, where supernatural beings inhabit a modern America that’s otherwise just like the real contemporary one.

The story appeals on many levels: fans of detective fiction, female empowerment or the supernatural/modern world interface will all find this enjoyable. You could call it Kinsey Millhone (heroine of the ‘Alphabet’ series of private detective stories by Sue Grafton) meets The Dresden Files, but this is a living, breathing alternate reality in its own right where most people potter along in contemporary lives much as you and I do while supernatural beings mingle amongst us mostly keeping their abilities to themselves (with good reason, at times!).

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Flames

Storm Front (Dresden Files) Graphic Novel Review

Posted on June 30, 2010 by

Adapting a beloved book series into another format is brimming with challenges. What goes into your head is rarely what you see and/or hear in the adaptation. Even a movie winning the Oscar is decried by patrons of the source material. The Dresden Files is no different. In spite of the pitfalls, Jim Butcher has not shrunk from putting his work in as many different formats as possible. The Dresden Files received the TV treatment. This was met with condemnation from many fans, but I must admit that though I didn’t enjoy the show, it was what first made me notice Butcher’s work. A new roleplaying game is out, something that fans of Jim Butcher know he would certainly have taken particular joy in seeing. And a limited series of comics entitled Welcome to the Jungle has been out and received positive reviews from this site and others. But Welcome was an original story. Storm Front is a true adaption of the first Dresden Files novel.

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Flames

Author Yasmine Galenorn on Writing and a Contest

Posted on June 28, 2010 by

FlamesRising.com is pleased to present you with a guest post about writing and inspiration from New York Times bestselling author Yasmine Galenorn. At the end of the post, Yasmine is offering a chance for you to win a copy of BONE MAGIC from her Otherworld urban fantasy series. Be sure to check out our excerpt of BONE MAGIC, too!

When I think about what influences my writing, first I have to go back to childhood. I had a very rough childhood—there was no Brady Bunch like life for me when I was little. Besides problems with my stepfather, we lived in a house that was creepy as hell with a lot of black widows in it, and I’m convinced it was haunted. I was psychic even as a child and that sure didn’t help. So horror plays into my books, always, in muted tones and shades of gray.

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Flames

Chapter One Excerpt of BONE MAGIC

Posted on June 28, 2010 by

Another equinox is here, and life’s getting more tumultuous for the D’Artigo sisters. Smoky, the dragon of Camille’s dreams, must choose between his family and her. Plus, the sisters can’t locate the new demon general in town. And Camille’s summoned to Otherworld, thinking she’ll reunite with her long-lost soul mate Trillian. But once there, she must undergo a drastic ritual that will forever change her and those she loves.

Flames Rising is pleased to present you with an excerpt from the first chapter of BONE MAGIC, which was written by Yasmine Galenorn.

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alanajoli

Vampire Week: A Joint Interview with Some Hot Urban Fantasists

Posted on June 24, 2010 by

When Matt first announced the idea of vampire week, I immediately knew I wanted to ask some personal questions to the folks who know vampires best – the authors who write about them and bring them to life. I sent out a short questionnaire to some of my favorite urban fantasy writers and got, unsurprisingly, some great responses. Here’s the who’s who of vampire know-how:

Dakota Cassidy, Angie Fox, Max Gladstone, Mark Henry, Nancy Holzner, Amanda Marrone, Kelly Meding, Nicole Peeler and Jeri Smith-Ready.

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Monica Valentinelli

Vampire Week: Night Myst Review

Posted on June 23, 2010 by

NIGHT MYST is the first book in a vampire series by Yasmine Galenorn. Written in the first person point-of-view, the premiere novel of the Indigo Court focuses on Cicely Waters: who she is, who she was and who she might become in the midst of a deadly power struggle between two, different types of vampires.

At this point, I’d like to point out that while I’ll make every effort not to include spoilers, there may be some in this review. Consider yourself warned. As a reader, I often approach a new vampire series with some amount of hesitation, because vampires, in my mind, should be monsters.

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alanajoli

Battle of the Network Zombies Review

Posted on March 11, 2010 by

You should, by now, already know about Amanda Feral.(1) The celebutante zombie star of Happy Hour of the Damned and Road Trip of the Living Dead is back in action, returning to Seattle’s night-life scene, albeit with far less cash than she started with. Like the rest of the world, Amanda’s finances are on the rocks, and the only thing that looks like it will save her(2) from the bone-breaking threats of the reapers, to whom she’s indebted, is taking a role on a reality show. Amanda’s no actress, but playing herself to the camera is something she’s perfected.

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Flames

The Girl’s Guide to Guns and Monsters Preview

Posted on January 29, 2010 by

FlamesRising.com is pleased to present an exclusive preview of a new anthology put together by Kerrie Hughes and Martin Greenberg. THE GIRL’S GUIDE TO GUNS AND MONSTERS includes several of your favorite urban fantasy and paranormal romance authors including: Lilith St. Crow, Anton Strout, Tanya Huff, Jim C. Hines, Mickey Zucker Reichert and Elizabeth A. Vaughan.

Featuring several new heroines that aren’t afraid to do the “rescuing,” this collection of thirteen short stories is all about empowered female characters. Now, you can read an excerpt from three of these stories.

The Girl’s Guide to Guns and Monsters is available now at Amazon.com and DriveThruHorror.com.

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Flames

Interview with author Anton Strout

Posted on October 22, 2009 by

In this interview, Flames Rising is pleased to feature urban fantasy author, Anton Strout. Anton is the author of a series of books called the “Simon Canderous series.” Set in modern-day Manhattan, Simon, the main character, has a power called psychometry.

We’d like to share with you Anton’s thoughts on urban fantasy, what inspires him as an author, and his perspective on his Simon Canderous series of books. If you’re a fan of Anton’s work, you can also touch base with him throughout the year at several conventions including New York Comic Con, GenCon and more!

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Monica Valentinelli

Dead To Me Fiction Review

Posted on September 30, 2009 by

Billed as Jim Butcher-light, DEAD TO ME is an urban fantasy novel for debut author Anton Strout. In this series, the main character (named Simon Canderous) struggles with his psychometric ability while working for the Department of Extraordinary Affairs in Manhattan.

Strout introduces Simon as a conflicted character who hasn’t quite figured everything out yet. His ability allows Simon to get a psychic impression (which is portrayed as if Simon is reliving a memory) off of everything he touches — including people. Sometimes those impressions are multi-layered; sometimes they’re not. His psychometric ability has affected everything from Simon’s moral judgments to his love life and even his health; there is definitely a “cost” to Simon’s inability to control his power.

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Tracy

Evil Ways fiction review

Posted on September 10, 2009 by

They had me at the giant demonic bats.

Evil Ways is a suspenseful dark fantasy novel by Justin Gustainis. Black magic and occult investigators are mixed together skilfully creating a exciting plot. It’s a very entertaining book… so long as you don’t mind jarring geographic errors and odd attempts at dialect.

The second book in the “Morris and Chastain” investigations, Evil Ways (published by Solaris Books) presents its protagonists with a problem: someone is killing children and stealing their organs, and this means dark magic is afoot, and a lot of it. Quincey Morris is an paranormal detective with skills in a variety of areas, including burglary; Libby Chastain is a white witch with experience in taking out some pretty nasty guys.

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alanajoli

Defining Genre: Not Quite Paranormal Romance

Posted on August 6, 2009 by

Last week, I talked about the paranormal romance novels that are easy to identify. So, what about paranormal novels that have lots of romance in them but don’t follow the category formula? Or what about novels that sort of follow the formula but have really deep world-building and a plot that reads more like an urban fantasy novel? Some paranormal romances read like romances with paranormal elements slapped on for fun, and others read like serious works of urban fantasy with a romance formula moving beneath the surface. Those are the cases where it’s harder to tell what you’re reading.

I struggled with Meljean Brook’s “The Guardians” series when I first read it because the world building was much deeper than paranormal romances I’d read before, and while the hero and heroine go through the usual pattern, there’s so much at stake in the series that the couple getting together doesn’t necessarily promise an HEA. The whole series also has a larger overarching plot that thickens with each episode, instead of getting closer to a resolution.

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alanajoli

Defining Genre: Paranormal Romance

Posted on July 27, 2009 by

Matt and I have been talking for a long time about me doing a column here at Flames Rising about different forms of urban fantasy. How can you tell if something is a paranormal romance vs. a true urban fantasy novel (and when it’s just vampire smut)? When is urban fantasy contemporary instead of urban (or is that term out the window)? Are superhero novels actually UF, or are they a different category all together?

The more I read other people writing about defining the subgenres, the more I think that no one actually knows a real, clear cut answer. Until we get more academic papers about the history of urban fantasy and all of its bits and pieces, it’s going to stay amorphous. (And even then, how many UF fans will read the papers on the subject? I’m not sure I will.) But sometimes the subgenre terms can be useful — or, at least, thinking about genre in specific ways can help navigate the genre terrain.

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Monica Valentinelli

Amazon Ink Fiction Review

Posted on July 17, 2009 by

Primarily set in the city of Madison, Wisconsin, Amazon Ink is an urban fantasy novel where the fabled race of Amazonian women exist. Part of Amazon Ink‘s appeal, for me, was the way Lori Devoti handled the legend of the Amazon warrior women in today’s society.

The main character is named Melanippe Saka, who lives with her mother, grandmother and daughter. Although her daughter hasn’t been acclimated into the Amazonian tribe with its curious-yet-permanent encampments, both her mother and priestess grandmother have different roles that conflict with Melanippe’s ousted status. From the first chapter, you can tell that Melanippe is something of a rebel, which adds quite a bit of conflict when a dead, college-aged girl shows up on her doorstep.

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Monica Valentinelli

Strange Angels Fiction Review

Posted on July 6, 2009 by

In young adult fiction, you’ve probably noticed a lot of urban fantasy and paranormal books hitting the market. Strange Angels, written by veteran author Lili St. Crow (You might recognize Lilith Saint Crow’s work from the Dante Valentine and The Night Shift series), is a dark exploration of what happens when a teenager named Dru finds herself lost, alone and in a fight for her survival.

Strange Angels is clearly, in my opinion, a novel that is right on target in its depiction of teenagers. The characters are not fully grown, beautiful and confident; they are awkward, tumbling and self-conscious. Dru is not the prettiest, or the most popular, or even the most sought-after girl in this small town. She’s a transplant who meandered around the country with her father hunting beings from the Real World, which is a world hidden beneath the surface of our own that houses all manner of creatures.

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Flames

Chapter Preview of Demon Mistress by Yasmine Galenorn

Posted on July 2, 2009 by

FlamesRising.com is proud to offer you a chapter preview for the book Demon Mistress by New York Times bestselling author Yasmine Galenorn. When we asked Yasmine about this new book in her Otherworld series, she mentioned that:

When I was writing Demon Mistress, it quickly became apparent that my tag line for it was going to be both awesome and bizarre. I told my editor that it was going to be, “Revenge of the Nerds meets Hell Boy, meets Lovecraft.” There wasn’t much she could say to that until it arrived on her desk and she read it. Then, she understood, and she loved it. I had a lot of fun with this book, and so far reviews are backing up my feeling that my readers will also love it, too. — Yasmine Galenorn

We hope you enjoy this preview of Demon Mistress, the sixth book in the Otherworld Series.

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alanajoli

Street Magic Fiction Review

Posted on June 13, 2009 by

There are some rare talents in fantasy these days whose words coast along like poetry while depicting a world full of dark and terrible dangers: drugs, monsters, and magic among them. Crafting a balance between artful and gritty writing – such that the language doesn’t shy away from either side of the equation – is incredibly difficult. Caitlin Kittredge has mastered it.

To my shame, Street Magic, which I received earlier this year as an electronic advance copy, is the first novel I’ve read by Kittredge, despite the fact that I own some of her earlier books. They’ve been sitting on my TBR pile, just waiting for me to catch up with other review titles and series titles that always seem to come first. I can tell you with great confidence: no longer. I’ll be picking one up to read as soon as I finish this review.

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