Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Moira Rogers: Addictive Apocalyptic Adventure

I was fortunate and extremely giddy to receive ARC's of the first two stories in the Children of the Undying series. I'm going to admit that I was a bit scared. What if I didn't like the series? This is a new project with no shifters. No. Shifters. So, I started Demon Bait slowly, paying attention to detail, and before I even realized it I didn't miss the shifters. Not one little bit. I was focused on the new world, the new characters and I loved it.

After I finished Demon Bait I contacted the authors about an interview, and they sent me the ARC for Hammerdown to read first. While I loved Demon Bait, Hammerdown blew me away. As soon as I finished it, I sent off a few questions, which are below. After the interview I have my thoughts and more information on the series.

BRENDA: Howdy Bree and Donna! I just finished the ARC's of Demon Bait and Hammer Down. My mind is reeling from thinking about this new world you guys have created. It's fascinating, kick ass and heartbreaking all at the same time.

How long did it take you to get the details of this new world worked out? Did it build slowly, or was it one of those mind explosion type of deals?

BREE: This one certainly built slowly. We actually spent a lot of 2009 slowly planning it. We knew we wanted demons walking the earth and to mix an apocalypse with a high-tech dystopian future, but we spent a lot of time putting all the pieces together and then developing our characters.

BRENDA: This is a darker world where the characters interact virtually as well as skin to skin. Did you have moments of "will the reader get that?" I thought you did a wonderful job making a complex world that was still easy to understand. Was that difficult?

BREE: There are always moments where you have to worry if the readers will get something, especially when writing speculative fiction. World building is a tricky thing, and too much or too little can ruin a book. Of course, how much is the right amount is always in the eye of the reader. As a reader, I’d rather be confused than bored, so I write that way and hope readers will trust that I know what’s going on and will get them there eventually. (And in a series, not always in the first book!)

BRENDA: This world is considered cyberpunk? I've been trying to learn more about the different genre categories and it can get confusing. I'm guessing this would be paranormal romance with a cyberpunk theme?

BREE: Your guess is as good as mine! No, really. Donna and I rarely write books that fit cleanly into genres, and are fortunate enough to have an editor and readers who don’t mind.

As for these books, I’d say they’re apocalyptic romance first. Paranormal, definitely, though with ambiguous magic born of angels and demons, not our usual brand of wizards and shapeshifters. The cyberpunk is also a theme, but a slightly smaller one.

BRENDA: Okay, be honest. Did you guys come to blows over this series? I picture it something like this:

"OMG, enough with the virtual sex. I want skin to skin!!!"

"You know nothing. Virtual is the way to go."

"Don't make me throw this flash drive at you again!"

"Flash drive? I'll throw this fricking hard drive at your head!"

Perhaps this is just how things go in my head, so let's hear what it was really like. *snicker*

DONNA: Actually? There are characters in this universe for whom virtual sex is awesome. Others can take it or leave it (like Marci). And still others, like Devi and Zel, want the sweaty real thing. So it’s like...asking which flavor ice cream is best. LOL

BRENDA: Thanks for taking the time to chat. I loved Demon Bait and Hammer Down, and can't wait to see what comes next.


Author: Moira Rogers
1. Demon Bait 11/29/2011
2 Hammer Down 1/23/2012
Available for the Kindle

Excerpts from both stories are available here:

My thoughts on the series are in the next blog post.

Monday, November 28, 2011

New Series Review: Children of the Undying

Demon Bait
Children of the Undying #1
Author: Moira Rogers
File Size: 242 KB
Publisher: Samhain Publishing, Ltd.
Released November 29, 2011
Available for the Kindle

SUMMARY: His mark could bind her forever—or finally set her free. Fifty years after a demon apocalypse devastated the world, summoners still bear the bulk of the blame. Marci lives in secret, hiding the gifts that could cost her a secure spot in one of humanity’s underground cities, and access to their virtual world. After all, her chances of avoiding the genetic-testing lotto are better than her chances of surviving topside.

The bastard son of a terrifying incubus, lust heats Gabe’s blood and sex fuels his magic. Innate charm and charisma help him navigate the cultural gap between the outcast town he calls home and the human settlements he infiltrates for trade. His latest mission nets him an unexpected asset—a summoner strong enough to soothe his darkest needs.

Trust a half demon, especially one who uses a lockdown to trap them together? Not in this lifetime. Yet Marci can’t resist Gabe’s offer to see her safely to a selective outcast settlement where she can live without fear. The journey alone is as dangerous as the way Gabe makes her heart race, but it could be her one hope of a real life. If only she could be sure Gabe’s telling her the whole truth…

Warning: Contains a virtual world where humans flee to escape the demon-infested earth, a dangerously seductive half demon with sex magic to burn and a network-hacking summoner brave enough to make herself vulnerable to him.

I will start out by saying I'm a fangirl of Moira Rogers and their shifter stories. I buy them automatically as soon as they come out. Reading about Demon Bait beforehand I was fascinated and a bit apprehensive. Would I love it as much as their other stories? I need not have worried because it was amazing.

How to describe Demon Bait? It's sci fi, post-apocalyptic, paranormal romance. It's about freedom, facing fears, being true to yourself and trust. The world in Demon Bait is complex, but not overwhelming. It's a story that satisfied my inner sci fi geek girl, while giving me steamy romance and amazing sexual tension.

Marci, the heroine, is a techie who hides her inner magic, making herself blend into the woodwork as much as possible in order to stay underground where she's safe from the demons that lurk above ground waiting to kill and control humans. She may be physically safe underground but is she truly living? She can experience life in her society's virtual world where sex is safe and nothing can hurt you, but is that enough?

Gabe, our hero is half demon and he oozes sexuality even when he tries to control it. He immediately latches on to what Marci is hiding, and craves her magic. He holds back, trying to give her choices, but is afraid to trust she will do what he needs her to without manipulation.

The chemistry between Marci and Gabe is explosive, but it's the deeper issues that kept me reading until early morning. It's a story I'll read again and again.

Hammer Down
Children of the Undying, #2
Author: Moira Rogers
File Size: 492 KB
Publisher: Samhain Publishing, Ltd.
Release Date:January 3, 2012
Pre order for the Kindle

SUMMARY: When hell reigns on earth, love is a luxury they can't afford. While the tattered remains of humanity huddle underground, hiding in their virtual world, Devi prefers living topside, making dangerous hauls through the demon-infested wasteland earth has become. The wealth that comes from smuggling supplies to those shunned as summoner-born or demon-touched doesn’t hurt, either.

The man she meets to arrange one of those under-the-table hauls is complicated…and handsome as hell. Literally. A glimpse of the predator beneath his silver gaze and she’s tempted to break her cardinal rule: never mix business with pleasure.

Zel’s first look at the wild-haired hauler threatens to distract him from his mission—and reminds him just how long it’s been since he got laid. As the leader of an outcast settlement, he can’t afford to trust too easily. Devi’s got a reputation for running a tight, disciplined crew, but her very willingness to deal with him means she has something to hide. Not to mention a hot, tempting package like her could be the cleverest trap his enemies have ever set.

Warning: Contains demon bars, virtual (and literal) fights to the death, forbidden love, renegade AIs, a badass truck-driving heroine who will do anything to protect her crew and the half-demon warrior who will move heaven and hell to make her his.

Demon Bait was a novella and the first in this series. Hammer Down is the second in the series, and a full length novel. In some ways Demon Bait was the appetizer, still amazing on it's own, but Hammer Down is the mouth watering entree. We learn about those characters we got a peek of in the first story, plus details are revealed about the world and it's people. Twists and turns abound. The story revolves around Zel and Devi, two strong, stubborn, intelligent and self-sacrificing leaders who don't think they need a partner. How much can people give without taking something in return for themselves? How much responsibility is too much? We learn much about this from Zel and Devi. I truly enjoyed the interaction between the couple from beginning to end.

The authors give us emotional, steamy romance mixed with post-Apocalyptic adventure, cyberpunk virtual intrigue, kick ass fight scenes and plot twists.

Hammer Down will be released in January, and it's worth the wait!

Learn more about both stories and the series on the authors' website:

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving: I Love You, Man...

I hope you all have a lovely Thanksgiving! I am so thankful for all the people I have met through this blog, and the encouragement you all given me this last two years.

Thank You!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Cowboy Crack: Interview with Vivian Arend

Vivian Arend is one of my favorite authors and I was thrilled when asked to review ARCs of the first two Six Pack Ranch books, coming out November 15th and January 10th. Here is the scoop on this addicting series:

The Coleman family has ranched in the Rocky Mountain House area of Alberta for generations. These modern day contemporary cowboy romance stories follow the current family members as they find both their place in the community and happy-ever-afters.

They are amazing, folks. I will be reading them again and again. I emailed a few questions to Viv, who despite her crazy schedule, was kind enough to answer my fangirl questions.

Brenda: I just finished the first and second book in the Six Pack Ranch series, and I have decided they are Cowboy Crack, and you're my dealer.

Viv: Hehehe. Lovely. I need to add that to my bio. :D

Brenda: Seriously, they were sexy, feel good stories that kept me up until 3 a.m. reading. I do have a few questions though that are burning in my brain.

Your cowboys are from Canada, but I notice they do still say "darling" for which I am eternally grateful. What is the difference between a cowboy from the U.S. and one from Canada?

Viv: The weather? I had someone tell em they were surprised-- they didn't think that Canadians talked like that, but it's all in the location. No, people in Toronto don't usually say darling. Neither do the white collar workers in Calgary, Alberta. But when you pop out in the country, you find that there's a certain overlap. Don't know if it's from working the land, or dealing with animals and needing to have that slightly slower pace...but there's a drawl and a sway to the vocal patterns that while the accents aren't as strong, there's a lot of similarities.
Listen to the people on rodeo circuit sometime and you'll notice the things that are different and the same.

Brenda: I know these stories were published a couple of years ago, but some changes were made. Was it more on the editing end, or did you expand them a bit? I know when I reread stuff I wrote a few years ago I want to add WAY too many changes and have to hold myself back.

Viv: They changed a lot. I added 20K words to each book, and I went through and changed every line I wanted to. Rocky Mountain Heat was the third or fourth book I wrote, so you can imagine I've learned a bit since then. Changed sentence structure to make it stronger, added emotions and reasoning where it had been skimpy--and this is why I think a lot of older books you shouldn't try to redo. Book two took less changes, since I wrote it after a year more experience.

And I have to say my editor at Samhain is simply amazing. She helped refine the story a lot as well.

Brenda: Cowboys seem to have quite a bit in common with wolves: the need to protect, that alpha stubbornness, loving a good fight, etc. I'm waiting for someone to write a Cowboy Crack version of a shapeshifter story. (Hint, Hint) Do you find when writing nonparanormal stories that you think "Man, that would be a great moment for him to be able to use wolf senses?"

Viv: Lol! I did have a few times I had to reword to make sure I stayed in the contemporary world. And I can never write the phrase "...he shifted..." without thinking of my paranormals. But overall, when I'm into the groove of writing, I just write what comes next, so it's not too difficult.

Brenda: I know we have a third book in this series coming our way, but will we get to read the other cowboy's stories as well? You let some HUGE details come forth along the way.

Viv: :D You like all the teasers? Again, they were simply a part of what was happening in the characters lives. But yes, all the brothers will have HEA eventually, and I've got plans for some of the cousins as well, if people like them.

Brenda: I'm looking forward to more Cowboy Crack from you, and I'll try to head off the withdrawal symptoms by reading other cowboy stories if I must:)

Viv: So glad you enjoyed them. Just putting the polish on the third book today. :D And December 1, I start writing book 4.

Book 1: Rocky Mountain Heat
Releasing November 15, 2011

Book 2: Rocky Mountain Haven
Releasing January 10th, 2012

Book 3: Rocky Mountain Desire
Releasing March 13, 2012

Viv has said on her website that there will be at least six books in the series.

Visit Viv's website for more information here:

Subscribe to Viv's blog for contests and snippets:


Tuesday, November 1, 2011

It's National Novel Writing Month O_O

Right up until the last minute I wasn't sure I was going to be able to participate in NaNo this year. Last year I learned so much about the writing process, and kind of flew by the seat of my pants with my WIP. However, I wasn't able to focus on much else during November, and there lies my dilemma. The only way I can write at home is to keep up my freelance non-fiction career and my blogs while I work on my fiction projects.

I made the decision to participate but my goal is not just a simple "write 50,000 words or die". This year I'm working to develop a solid schedule that allows me to keep up my freelance writing AND my fiction projects. If I can truly get a handle on this it will help me pay the bills and still write what I love. I'm crossing my fingers and toes that I figure it out:)

So, what am I working on this year? This idea popped into my head one day as I was driving home from grocery shopping. I was listening to Theory of a Deadman and the song Got It Made. This is part of the lyrics:

There's no time for a suitcase
Just grab a quick change of clothes.
You ask where we're going now, honey.
Well, I'd tell ya but nobody knows.
So sneak out the back door
Cuz you know they'll try to make you stay.
Make sure you got a seatbelt on
Cuz we're heading for the interstate.

It's really an upbeat and fun song that made me picture two people who are almost 30. They've been best friends since college, but never dated. As I thought about the story, replaying the song 2 or 3 times, I could picture this lean, good looking cowboy and a pretty, slim woman who thought she was going to be the next Lois Lane until she figured out the life of a reporter was nothing like she thought it would be. Mix this all up with a feisty grandmother, a man with a plan and a road trip that will change their lives. It might end up as a short story rather than a novella, but I have another story idea semi-outlined that I can work on next if I wrap this one up before the 50,000 words.

If anyone wants to follow my NaNo progress, or become my writing buddy, my page is here: