Margaret L. Carter's News from the Crypt No. 20 (May 2007)
- 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:
We discuss a wide (and wild) range of topics related to aliens,
SF/paranormal romance, and the craft of writing. There you can also
find occasional excerpts and outtakes from the participating authors'
ROMANTIC TIMES BOOKS REVIEWS magazine reviewed two of my works, PRINCE
OF THE HOLLOW HILLS and TALL, DARK, AND DEADLY in its May issue. On
TALL, DARK, AND DEADLY, they comment, "This sensual vampire tale. . .
focuses on two interesting charactersthe seductive Claude and the
heroine, Eloise. . . . readers will find this a quick and entertaining
escape." They say about PRINCE OF THE HOLLOW HILLS, "The magic and
mysticism of the elfin world come to life in this enjoyable book. . .
. this story pulls you into a magical world and keeps you interested
until the end."
My erotic novella of an undine unwillingly succumbing to mortal love,
"Aquatic Ardor," was published by Amber Quill Press under its Amber
Heat line a few days ago. So I'm including an excerpt from it below.
Melia, the spirit of the lake, seduces its owner to save her home from
development but finds herself trapped by the depth of her own
emotions. You can see the cover of "Aquatic Ardor" in the Photos
section of this group on Yahoo.com.
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Here's an interview with historical romance author Cindy Holby, aka
futuristic romance author Colby Hodge and YA author Kassy Tayler:
1. What inspired you to begin writing?
Couldn't not write. Always have since I could hold a pencil. I can't
imagine not writing.
2. What genres do you write in?
Historical, Futuristic, Paranormal, Young Adult and I have a
contemporary on the back burner about a baseball team
3. What is your latest or next-forthcoming book?
The next Cindy Holby book is Rising Wind coming in August. It's a
colonial set piece and features a battle that took place in the town
of Point Pleasant WV where I grew up. The next Colby Hodge book is
Star Shadows. It will be released in Nov and it's the third book in my
4. What are you working on now?
Finishing up Star Shadows and then I work on Twist, my paranormal for
the new Shomi line at Dorchester
5. What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Network. Go to conferences and spend as much time as you can hanging
out with writers. Join your local RWA, go to coffee and just talk
about the business. Also read so you can get an idea of what the
publishers are looking for.
6. What's your website URL?
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Some books I've been reading:
Mostly the "In Death" futuristic police procedural mystery series by
J. D. Robb. Although it would be preferable to read the books in
publication order to follow the arc of the main characters' growth and
relationships, they can be enjoyed in any order. I've been reading
them at random, as I was able to get copies by purchase or from the
library. When my currently outstanding requests have been filled, I'll
have finished all the novels available to date. There's always a
wistful "no more worlds to conquer" feeling upon completing all the
books in a newly discovered series. Happily, there will be more to
look forward to, probably for many years to come. Another is being
published in November. It's fascinating to watch homicide detective
Eve Dallas and her fabulously rich husband Roarke explore intimacy and
trust issues in their relationship while gradually unearthing more
secrets about their own backgrounds, buried under the horrible
memories of their abusive childhoods. It's gratifying to see Eve and
Summerset, Roarke's trusted majordomo and substitute father, develop
from mutual loathing to grudging respect. And the murder mysteries
themselves are always entertaining. My favorite secondary character is
Eve's energetic, sharp-witted sidekick, Officer Delia Peabody.
MY FAVORITE EARTHLING, by Susan Grant. A fun, sexy sequel to YOUR
PLANET OR MINE? Jared Jasper, brother of the heroine of the previous
novel, has grown up with his California political dynasty's commitment
to public service deeply ingrained in his psyche, but he has never had
any interest in running for office like his grandfather, father, and
sister. On a whim, he activates the communication screen of a crashed
alien ship (originally the property of a captured cyborg assassin) and
encounters a sharp-tongued warrior maiden. Next thing he knows, the
security of our planet requires him to marry the queen of the galactic
Coalition. What will happen when sheltered young Queen Keira finds out
that, not only is Jared not the Prince of Earth, Earth doesn't have
the advanced fleet of spacegoing warships her people have been tricked
into believing we possess? And who is trying to eliminate Jared, and
why? We know the partners in this arranged marriage will fall in love;
as always in a romance, the fun lies in watching how they do it and
discovering the secrets behind the plot against them. The author has
left a setup for another sequel, involving Jared's other sister Evie
and the now almost-human former assassin, slipped in so smoothly that
it won't distract the reader from the current story. Entitled HOW TO
LOSE AN EXTRATERRESTRIAL IN 10 DAYS, the third book will be released
MORTAL TOUCH, by Inanna Arthen. This novel comes from a new small
press, By Light Unseen Media, planning to specialize solely in
vampire-related fiction and nonfiction. Regan, who manages a
secondhand shop in a town in New England, has a problem with her
difficult, volatile friend Veronica. She wants Regan, who has the
psychic ability to perceive people's personalities and memories
through touch, to "read" Jonathan, a newcomer in town whom Veronica
has a romantic interest in. Jonathan, who has kept Veronica at a
polite distance, takes the initiative to make contact with Regan. When
they're attracted to each other and start spending time together,
Veronica's low self-esteem goads her into the belief that Regan has
"stolen" Jonathan's affections. Meanwhile, Regan has been working with
a professor who wants to uncover the truth behind a series of
mysterious assaults on local people, all of whom have no conscious
memories of the attacks. Strangely, when she reads one of the victims,
she finds that the time surrounding the attack remains a blank. Of
course, Jonathan is a vampire, and after her initial negative
reaction, Regan decides to keep his secret. But things fall apart when
Veronica's jealousy reaches a paranoid level. A teenage boy who also
discovers Jonathan's vampirism gets dragged into the mess, and the
professor begins to figure out what's really going on. I won't reveal
any more of the plot, because I think you'll be genuinely surprised by
some of the twists. Regan is a sympathetic heroine, and Arthen's
variation on traditional vampire lore is fresh and well thought-out.
The story riveted my attention throughout. Support this new publisher!
Go to www.bylightunseenmedia.com and order the book.
Excerpt from "Aquatic Ardor" (copyright 2007 by Margaret L. Carter):
After the real estate agent drove away, Adam strolled down to the lake
again. Not much of a lake, really, only a mile and a half long by half
a mile wide, but too large to be called a pond. According to the
developer who'd commissioned that exorbitant offer, roomy enough for a
profitable cluster of McMansions, each one on a waterfront lot with a
private pier. A dozen small, tree-sheltered inlets along the banks
made the total area feel bigger than it was. Adam lowered himself to
the ground under a pine tree where he'd often dozed on summer
afternoons in his teens. Hands clasped around his bent legs, he gazed
at the setting sun's reflection on the water and tried to get his head
around the idea of construction on the shore of his lake. It wouldn't
be so bad, he guessed. After all, he would keep the wedge of land his
own house sat on. It wasn't as if the hypothetical neighbors would
crowd him. He'd still have plenty of privacy to work on the novels
he'd quit his Washington job to write.
A heart attack at the age of forty-four had shocked him into
reconsidering his goals. For one thing, it reminded him of how his
father had dropped dead before the folks had gotten around to that
European vacation they'd always talked about. Adam had decided maybe
he didn't want to spend the rest of his life as a beltway bandit after
all. If he ever wanted to write those military thrillers and become
the next Tom Clancy, he'd better get started.
So he'd resigned from the defense contracting firm, sold his Crystal
City high-rise condo, and plowed a hefty chunk of the profit into
renovating the lake cottage for year-round occupancy. He wouldn't have
to worry about social distractions, because the lady lawyer he'd dated
for the past two years had politely dumped him when she learned about
his plans. She'd embellished the "Dear John" e-mail with an invitation
to call her when he came to his senses, but they both knew that
wouldn't happen. That left him only one obstacle to worry aboutmoney.
The remainder of his savings and the condo profit would last only so
long, even with a simple, solitary lifestyle. He'd researched the
publishing business enough that he had no illusions about becoming a
bestselling author next year. If he wanted to work at his dream
full-time, he would need enough money to support him for several
years. That was where the developer's offer came in.
"Too bad I can't dig up Great-Grandpa's treasure."
He laughed at the sound of his own voice. He'd moved in only a couple
of days before, and he was already talking to himself like an
eccentric hermit. His great-grandfather, who'd died long before Adam's
birth, had bought the lake and built the cottage as a summer retreat
during the Depression, when land had been cheap. Family lore said the
old man had been a bootlegger, although he'd never faced jail time.
Rumor claimed he'd hidden most of his loot somewhere on this property
but hadn't lived to unearth and spend it. Adam suspected the tale was
pure fantasy, given that two generations had scoured the land and the
house for the lost "treasure" without finding a single clue. He'd even
spent an occasional afternoon himself pretending to hunt for the
money, between sessions of floating around in a rowboat fishing for
the trout, bass, and perch his grandparents had stocked the lake with.
More often than not, he'd caught catfish instead, ugly, alien-looking
beasts he'd thrown back.
With the sinking of the sun, the evening dimmed toward twilight.
Insects chirped and buzzed in the bushes. A welcome breeze relieved
the summer heat, drying the sweat on his arms. The fragrance of
honeysuckle drifted toward him from a tangle of vines festooning a
fallen tree. After swatting away a mosquito, he stood up and started
along the path to the house. Flickers of lightning bugs in the
underbrush reminded him of the jars he'd filled with them as a boy,
tromping through the woods with the guys who visited for weekend
sleepovers. He felt his neck muscles unknotting and tension rolling
off his shoulders like water.
"Why didn't I come back here a long time ago?"
A rustle of leaves behind him startled him to a stop. Probably an
animal. Who could have sneaked up from that direction without his
noticing? Then a voice made his heart jump. "Yes, why didn't you?"
He whirled around. A girl glided out of the lengthening shadows and up
the path toward him. A young woman, rather, no older than her early
twenties, with unbound hair cascading to her waist. A naked woman.
He swallowed and blurted out, "Who are you?"
"Melia. I've been waiting a long time for you to come back."
"Do I know you?" Was her hair actually pale green? And did her skin
have a faintly blue tint, or was that just an illusion of the fading
light? A second shock hit him. She looked like the girl in his dream.
At least, he'd convinced himself that meeting the summer after high
school graduation had been a dream, and until now he'd had no reason
to question the belief. Two guys from school had come to visit for a
week. That afternoon, they'd been swimming. With his friends out of
sight around a bend in the shore, Adam had paused to adjust the
drawstring of his bathing trunks. In water almost up to his shoulders,
he'd gotten one foot stuck in a tangle of roots on the lake floor near
- end of excerpt -
Two fiction-related newsletters you might enjoy:
Jewels of the Quill, a writers' group I belong to, has a newsletter
For more information, visit:
To subscribe, send a blank e-mail to:
Moonlight Fantasy, devoted to erotic romance:
Amber Quill Press: www.amberquill.com
Cerridwen Press: www.cerridwenpress.com
Ellora's Cave: www.ellorascave.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