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Margaret L. Carter's News from the Crypt No. 13 (October 2006)

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  • margvamp
    Welcome to my newsletter, News from the Crypt, and please visit Carter s Crypt (www.margaretlcarter.com), devoted to my horror, fantasy, and paranormal
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 2, 2006
      Welcome to my newsletter, "News from the Crypt," and please visit
      Carter's Crypt (www.margaretlcarter.com), devoted to my horror,
      fantasy, and paranormal romance work, especially focusing on vampires
      and shapeshifting beasties. If you have a particular fondness for
      vampires, check out the chronology of my series in the link labeled
      "Vanishing Breed Vampire Universe." For my recommendations of "must
      read" classic and modern vampire fiction, explore the Realm of the

      Also, check out the multi-author Alien Romance Blog:
      http://www.aliendjinnromances.blogspot.com/. We discuss many
      provocative topics related to aliens, love, sex, SF/fantasy romance,
      and our books. We'd like to see more comments posted.

      As Dame Onyx, I'm a Jewels of the Quill featured spotlight author for
      October. Visit JewelsoftheQuill.com to find out how to win one of my
      books, such as EMBRACING DARKNESS, my Silhouette Intimate Moments
      vampire romance. The opening scene appears below.

      Starting this month, I hope to have a guest author interview in most
      issues of this newsletter. The first featured author is my friend


      I don't know that any *one* thing actually inspired me to begin
      writing. It seems like something I've done forever in one form or
      another, so the inspirations shift and change over time. I know when I
      was heavily into fan fiction writing it was a special character or
      actor, and sometimes a particular movie that just captured my
      imagination and wouldn't let go. That still happens from time to time
      and I have never quite given up the need to write in other people's
      worlds. That said, though, the real joy in writing for me these days
      is exploring where my own creations take me, because quite often the
      story I intend to write is not the one that I end up with by the time
      I write those two little word that mean I'm finished with the tale for
      the moment!! That happened with my first Liquid Silver Books release,
      it began as a short story, and a few weeks later it was a full-length
      erotic romance novel.
      SIMPLY THE BEST – http://www.liquidsilverbooks.com/books/simplythebest.htm


      I think it would be quicker to say what genre I don't write in:
      Science-Fiction. That really seems to be the only one I haven't
      dabbled in at some point. My favourite genre is Historical romance,
      followed by Fantasy. I've done my fair share of vampires, too, and
      they're probably easier than they should be for me, but there you have
      it! I suppose now that I think about it, I also don't write hard-core
      erotica, either. Virtually everything I've written in that vein can be
      classified as sensual or erotic romance. When I do historical romance,
      those I love most are inevitably set in the American Old West, or
      Victorian England, usually in and around the 1888/Jack The Ripper
      year. Of course, I also have a passion for pirates, so I've got one of
      those in mind, too!!


      My latest release is actually the first book in a series called The
      Devane Files, and Book One is called OUT OF HELL. This is set in
      Victorian London, and the hero of the book is not what I'd call
      typical. He's an opium addict with clairvoyant vision, he worked on
      the Ripper murders, he's lost a lot emotionally and in real-life
      terms. When he's called to investigate a messy murder in Kensington,
      he meets the new widow and they begin an affair that's something of a
      scandal in proper society. I've been thoroughly enjoying the series
      myself, so I hope it appeals to readers, as well. (My excuse to write
      more of them, obviously!) And, my next novel is due out sometime in
      October, and it's a vampire tale, dark and decadent, set in both
      modern time, and the bulk of it in 1700s Massachusetts, in a fictional
      town called "Pirate's Cove".
      The Devane Files Book One OUT OF HELL:
      DESCENT INTO DARKNESS: http://lsbooks.com

      Next Spring, my first fantasy novel will be released in Canada, then
      six months later in the US and internationally. The book is set in
      Ancient Greece, the time of the Gods, and modern day Athens. This one
      was years in the making, and is my first with a traditional print
      AS FATE DECREES: www.edgewebsite.com


      Lots of things. Primarily a second fantasy called "Between Two
      Worlds", which combines my love of fantasy elements with my love of
      pirates. I'm working on a new pirate romance, an Old West romance, and
      two serials with my friend, actor Branscombe Richmond. We're doing a
      serialized adventure story for the American Motorcycle Company, and
      coming up is a second serialized story called "Good Morning, Hawaii!"
      which will be featured on the new website of that morning show when it
      goes on-air.
      REBEL KNIGHT: http://www.amc1902.com/RebelKnight.php


      I've been asked this one before, and the answer never changes.
      PERSERVERANCE is the key to making this madness a success of any kind.
      You have to love the words, the process, and be willing to wait long
      periods of time for answers that sometimes never even arrive. I did a
      long post about this very subject on my blog, so if you want a more
      complete answer, drop in and check it out. The post is called:
      *Professional vs. hobby writing,* and if memory serves, it's in the
      July archives.
      My Blog: http://fantasy-pages.blogspot.com


      Website: www.denysebridger.com
      Newsgroup: http://ca.groups.yahoo.com/group/denysebridgernews

      Thanks for having me as a guest, Margaret, and I hope to chat with
      your readers again. My newsgroup is open to anyone, so do feel free to
      stop in there, or my blog. If you'd like to send a note, e-mail is:

      Some books I've been reading:

      FARTHING, by Jo Walton. Walton's previous novel, TOOTH AND CLAW, was a
      Victorian novel of manners set in a society of intelligent dragons. In
      FARTHING, she creates a chilling alternate history of a 1949 England
      different from ours only because of a relatively small turn of events.
      In this version of our twentieth century, isolationist factions
      prevailed in the U.S., Churchill was voted out of office, and Britain
      accepted German peace overtures. Now, thanks to the treaty that
      resulted, although Great Britain is supposedly safe, the Nazi Reich
      controls all of Europe and is perpetually at war with the Soviet
      Union. In the Pacific, Japan seems to be also in a constant state of
      war. English Jews are treated as inferior but not actively persecuted
      or hated with the fanaticism prevalent on the Continent. Lucy, the
      daughter of a noble family at the heart of British political power,
      has married a Jewish banker, David. Lucy's mother, who openly detests
      David, oddly invites the couple to a weekend at the family's country
      house, Farthing (a name symbolic of the peace agreement their "set"
      brokered). The murder of a politically prominent guest throws
      suspicion on David. The story is told in alternate chapters in the
      first person by Lucy and in the third person through the viewpoint of
      Inspector Carmichael, the Scotland Yard officer in charge of the case.
      A thoughtful, literate man, Carmichael has a secret of his own; he's
      in a homosexual relationship, which, if revealed, could destroy his
      career and send him to prison. Walton cites Dorothy Sayers as one of
      her influences, and this novel reads like an Agatha Christie country
      house mystery written with the wit and depth of the later Lord Peter
      Wimsey novels. The plot that unfolds leads to grim reflections on
      prejudice, political paranoia, the forces that can induce even a good
      man to compromise his integrity, and the way a climate of fear can
      permit oppression to flourish. (Which couldn't happen here and now,
      could it?) Unputdownable.

      CHANGELING, by Delia Sherman. An urban fantasy set in a parallel New
      York, inhabited by creatures of Faery from many different cultures,
      existing alongside the mortal city. Neef, the Changeling of Central
      Park, defies warnings and sneaks into the Green Lady's Solstice Dance.
      To placate the Lady and avoid being exiled to the mortal world
      Outside, Neef has to fulfill the three impossible tasks traditional in
      fairy tales. Armed with extensive knowledge of fairy lore, learned
      under the guidance of her fairy godmother Astris, a beautiful white
      rat (although the tales familiar to Neef have been adapted to her
      urban environment; Rapunzel, for example, becomes "The Hippy Chick"),
      Neef sets out on her quest and of course runs into multiple layers of
      unexpected difficulties. She also meets the changeling who was traded
      for her. This girl, whom Neef calls Changeling to avoid the risks of
      speaking aloud the true name the two share, turns out to be
      high-functioning autistic -- apparently normal behavior for a fairy
      creature stuck in the human world. The interaction between Neef and
      her alter ego was my favorite part of the story. It's also great fun
      to see creatures from different mythologies coexisting in "New York
      Between." The confrontation with the Dragon of Wall Street is
      especially challenging. The author provides a glossary of creatures,
      with their cultural origins, at the end of the book.

      THE DEMON'S DAUGHTER, by Emma Holly. Set in an alternate-world
      analogue of Victorian London, this novel envisions an Earth on which
      "demons" called the Yama dwell in the far north and have begun to
      mingle with ordinary human beings. Not truly demonic, the Yama are
      another species, humanoid but not human, capable of draining "etheric
      energy," and some of them find human etheric energy irresistibly
      tempting. Scotland Yard Inspector Adrian Phillips specializes in
      tracking down missing children, including those illicitly sold to the
      Yama. He has undergone enhancement with Yama implants that endow him
      with superhuman strength, a benefit that comes at a price of
      exhaustion in the aftermath of each use of this power. His colleagues
      view him with suspicion because he has accepted this operation, but
      the department needs him because he is one of the few officers who can
      function effectively in the part of the city where the Yama are in the
      majority. His work brings him into contact with Roxanne, an artist who
      takes him in after he has been injured while incognito in a dangerous
      sector of the metropolis. Soon afterward, Roxanne discovers that she
      is half "demon," a crossbreed previously thought to be impossible.
      Adrian's enemies and those of Roxanne's newfound Yama father, a
      prominent diplomat, place the two protagonists' lives as well as their
      relationship at risk. Moreover, Adrian's love affair with Roxanne
      threatens his law-enforcement career, the core of his identity. Since
      the late Victorian period is my favorite era, I found Holly's
      adaptation of that world enthralling, an excellent piece of
      world-building. Also, she writes some of the best erotic scenes I've
      read in a long time, both hot and tender.

      RENFIELD: SLAVE OF DRACULA, by Barbara Hambly. I've never read a
      disappointing book by Hambly, and this one is no exception. As the
      title implies, it retells the events of DRACULA mainly from Renfield's
      viewpoint, beginning with the night, shortly after his commitment to
      the asylum, when he escapes during a dinner party Dr. Seward gives for
      Lucy Westenra and her mother. The story is told partly through letters
      and journals, mainly Renfield's diary, and partly through third-person
      narrative passages mainly focused on Renfield and Seward. As in
      Stoker's novel, Seward comes across as an intelligent, introspective
      man. But the major emphasis, of course, is on Renfield's background,
      his deeply troubled mind, and Dracula's seduction of him. His mental
      bond with Dracula causes him to experience fragments of the other
      characters' lives in dreams, which allow the reader to glimpse events
      from the original novel outside Renfield's direct experience. Hambly
      makes him a former merchant living for many years in India, where
      exposure to exotic cultures and strange phenomena has left him open to
      the supernatural. While he lies helpless in the asylum, his
      mother-in-law and sister-in-law search for his wife and daughter, who
      have apparently gone into hiding. His fervent wish to reunite with his
      family drives his quest for power through the consumption of
      life-force. Soon enough, though, he realizes the danger of relying on
      the Count for help or protection. Further complications ensue, behind
      the scenes of Stoker's narrative, which I'll leave unexplained in
      order to avoid spoiling the surprises. Hambly ingeniously weaves in
      these new plot elements in ways that never violate the "facts" as
      presented in the original. A thoughtful and highly polished variation
      on the familiar story, with a sympathetic, believable exploration of a
      character who, in the classic novel, remains enigmatic and, although
      pitiable, has been treated on film as mostly just Dracula's minion,
      either a minor villain or comic relief.

      Grogan. Grogan is a newspaper columnist. Marley is a goofy,
      affectionate, but wildly hyperactive and destructive yellow Lab. The
      author reminisces about Marley's life from puppyhood through old age,
      as companion to Grogan and his wife from the almost-newlywed years
      through the births of their three children and a move from Florida to
      rural Pennsylvania. If you've ever lived with a large dog, you'll
      agree with me that Marley's escapades (viewed from a safe distance)
      are hilarious, e.g., the anecdote of his expulsion from obedience
      class. Compared to Marley, our Saint Bernard doesn't seem so bad at
      all. At least Frodo has never chewed a leg off a piece of furniture or
      dug through drywall. Grogan makes every incident, whether funny or
      solemn, come vividly to life. If you're at all fond of dogs, don't
      miss this book. Be warned, though, you'll cry as well as laugh.

      Excerpt from EMBRACING DARKNESS:
      No sign of life stirred inside the building below. Maxwell Tremayne
      soared on silken wings, circling the three-story split-level. He
      didn't worry about chance observers, since the house sat off the road
      in the center of a wooded lot. The vacant driveway only confirmed the
      emptiness his inhuman senses detected. Had the owner left temporarily
      or permanently? *Permanently, if she has any discretion,* he
      reflected. Not that her recent behavior suggested any.

      He scanned the trees around the house. The sun had barely set, and
      its afterglow made his head ache and his eyes sting. He knew he
      shouldn't have shapeshifted until full dark, but his patience had worn
      out. From this vantage point he would notice at once if his quarry, or
      anyone else, showed up. Amid random heat traces that he identified as
      small animals, a motionless patch of deeper red caught his eye. A
      human intruder. Max spiraled lower, shrouding himself in a psychic
      veil that rendered him invisible to human eyes. Through the
      summer-green leaves, he glimpsed a woman crouching near the edge of
      the woods. She watched the front of the house with a pair of binoculars.

      Not a casual hiker, then, but someone who, like him, took a
      particular interest in this place. Still veiled, Max glided toward
      her. He landed a few yards away and let his body melt into wingless,
      fully human shape.

      The female's scent and the crackling of her aura conveyed fear,
      frustration, and tightly reined anger. Any ephemeral who knew the
      truth about that house would be wise to fear its owner, but the other
      emotions puzzled him, as did her intense watchfulness. She swatted a
      mosquito just below the cuff of her denim shorts without shifting her
      eyes from the binoculars.

      His nostrils flared, savoring the salty tang of her flesh. The
      humidity made her T-shirt cling to her breasts. Her soft curves
      implied a wholesome disdain for obsessive dieting. The sweetness of
      her natural fragrance confirmed that sign of robust health. She had
      pale golden hair, a color never found in his own species. Cropped to
      just above her shoulders, it left her neck bare. If he had time for

      *But I don't.* He shook his head, impatient with his own
      woolgathering. No matter how appetizing this ephemeral might be in
      other circumstances, here and now she presented a threat to his
      mission. He had to get rid of her.

      -end of excerpt-

      Two fiction-related newsletters you might enjoy:

      Jewels of the Quill, a writers' group I belong to, has a newsletter
      for fans:
      For more information, visit:
      To subscribe, send a blank e-mail to:

      Moonlight Fantasy, devoted to erotic romance:

      My Publishers:

      Amber Quill Press: www.amberquill.com
      Cerridwen Press: www.cerridwenpress.com
      Ellora's Cave: www.ellorascave.com
      Harlequin/Silhouette: www.eharlequin.com
      Hard Shell Word Factory: www.hardshell.com
      Mundania Press: www.mundania.com

      You can contact me at: MLCVamp@...

      "Beast" wishes until next time—
      Margaret L. Carter
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