Saturday, December 26, 2009

Devine Misdemeanors - Reveiwers Duel

TERRY KATE:  Hello Readers, I would like to welcome two of Romance in the Backseat's reviewers to a Reviewers Duel.  The subject Divine Misdemeanors by Laurell K Hamilton.  Reviewers Doni and Jasmine take your marks.  Divine Misdemeanors, a crime to print or a crime to miss. 

JASMINE:  A crime to print!  This book needs work - an editor who is willing to edit - and some direction.  Where did this book take us in the Merry Gentry series? NOWHERE!  I look to the series for palace espionage, not rushed contrived murder mysteries.
DONI:  There are some redeeming qualities Jasmine.  We saw a lot more of the players in the story.  There of course is Barinthus Merry's father's right hand man.
 JAS:  I found nothing intriguing in this novel and I am a fan, or perhaps I should say former fan of the Merry series.
DONI:  Well there was intrigue,  Barinthus's temper, they thought one of their inside court was a threat, it turned out that they were wrong, but the entirety of the demi fey were at risk  having a psychotic demi fey that want to kill you and rip the unborn children from your belly is pretty intriguing  For a while they thought that Barinthus had turned on them.
 JAS:  Do I care?

DONI:  I did, and the Sex was mostly awesome.

 JAS:  All the previous books talked about Adonis and the Court as the big bad.  One crazy demi fey does not compare.  No villain, no threat, no care.  Bored.
 DONI:  Crazy demi fey, crazy human who wanted to have sex with the demi fey, a 7 ft fairy with a bad temper who thinks Merry made a mistake not taking the crown and whom some of her men think might have turned on her, plus the really hot sex, I say print. I was not bored, I was entertained.  All the murdered fey when you are one is very bad juju.
Jas:  Fine then why make it so jumpy within the larger narrative?  I want Merry in court.  The books where she is not tend to be a bunch of sex and little else.
 DONI:  perhaps it is the authors intentions was to get away from the "Court" and the psycho aunt for a while.  Come on Jasmine there has to be something that you liked?
JAS:  Nothing comes to mind. You could loose almost all of the first 120 pages.  Chapters 22, 23, 34,35, there might even be a few more in there that can go forever.  Chop chop, don't need those.

DONI:  Perhaps the author is setting it up so that there is a new Court and new Palace in LA with a different set of villains and assassins, and whats wrong with Rhys and sex sanctioned by the goddess for a specific purpose. Now there was some intrigue, they almost drowned in the ocean.

 JAS:  Fine, but if we are setting up a new "World" for Merry and the men it was poorly done.  I was at no point engaged with the elements surrounding Merry's new life.  Though I think Fairy Godmother could be a fun new opponent, but she too was poorly used in this story.  There was no impact as she insults Merry and Merry takes it, never addressing how it undermines her power in LA.

 DONI:  Perhaps this was just the start as you said yourself, the time line did not progress very far in the world of Merry Gentry in this book. Rhys has new "digs" so to speak perhaps this is just the beginning.  I Love Merry's men, to me they are engaging.  Perhaps this is just the set up for the big bad fairy godmother of LA to attack. The passion in the story is palpable I think that they are just being cautious due to the pregnancy, take away the men take away the demi fey, take away all the elements that make Merry and what do you have? Merry staring into a blank page.
 JAS:  You don't think Merry is interesting enough to fill the blank pages?
DONI:  By herself no.  With her court of men that have always been a part of the story, yes. Don't get me wrong, there are things that I would change as well.  Merry as a Private Faerie Detective I would buy without the men, but then the faerie realm and a lot of other things from the first book on would have to change. Merry as Queen of the faerie world would not unless she was as ruthless as Andais. I don't buy it.  It is the combination of the men in her life as well as her circumstances that make up the Merry Gentry series that we know of.
 JAS:  Fine, I get it.  Flesh, blood, love, and sex.  They are all there in the story.  Just thought they could all have been worked in better.
 DONI:  Right, but like I said it is not perfect.  There are things that I would like to have seen done a bit differently, but... I am not the author, or the editor, or the publisher.  I am just the reader, who read the book from the library, and probably will not buy this book like I have the others because of the things that I would have done differently.  I think that so often these days that the quality of many books has declined in favor of speed and volume. All right I am off my soap box now LOL.
 TERRY KATE:  So in conclusion Ladies, what do you say?
JAS:  This book is not worth the cash.  About 40 pages of it works towards the Merry plot line I have spent books following.
 DONI:  Read it, get it from the library, buy it used, or borrow it.  Even I am not sure whether I would buy it and I am a collector of Laurell K Hamilton. Enjoy it and the hot sexy men.  So what do you think Terry?
 TERRY KATE:  Oh me, well I just want to hear what other readers have to say.  Anybody love the book?

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Monday, December 14, 2009

Inteview with Allegory Ezine Assistant Editor and Author J.E. Taylor

Terry Kate:  Good morning everyone, I would like to welcome a special guest to the Backseat paranormal suspense writer and Assistant Editor with Allegory Ezine J.E. Taylor.
 J.E. Taylor:  Thank you for having me on your site.  I'm thrilled to be here and answer your questions!
 TK:  Oh what fun your initials spell out JET!  How appropriate.  Tell us a little about the E-zine?
 JET:  Allegory is an online venue for Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror.   I happen to be in a great writer's organizations called Backspace where I met Ty Drago - the Editor of Allegory.  He put out a call for associate editors and I happened to answer that call.
 TK:  Oh he has a fun name too!
 JET: He does have a fun name and ironically - it is the name of my main character in Survival Games that comes out next summer.  So when I met him, it was quite amusing.  I hadn't ever heard the name Ty before either.  LOL
I was promoted to Assistant Editor pretty quickly and have had the pleasure of helping narrow down the submission field to the final 8 for the January issue.  Allegory publishes three times a year  January, May and September and our submission process is pretty unique.

TK You are narrowing down the pool of submissions to eight, about how many submissions do you get?
And unique how?
 JET:  All submissions are reviewed within 4-6 weeks. If the story shows merit, we will respond with a "maybe" letter, explaining that the submission is in the running for a spot in the next issue. At the end of the submission cycle, which is always two months before the next issue comes out, all "maybe" submissions are re-reviewed, and the top eight are selected for publication.
 I don't have the exact number of submissions that Ty receives, I do know I've read close to one hundred this go round myself. There are 6 of us taking the first cut and thinning down the field.  So in light of that - I would estimate close to 400 submissions at minimum coming through the pipeline.
 TK:  Are these Published Authors, Aspiring Authors or a mix of both?
JET A mix of both.
 TK:  What is the most common issue that causes you to pass on a piece as an editor?
 JET:  It doesn't grab me from the get go.   Honestly, I have the attention span of a gnat and most of the time I'm multi tasking, so if the story doesn't grab me in the first few paragraphs - then I usually know.  I will even give a story a chance if the writing is good, but not compelling in the first page or two.  If it doesn't ramp up quickly, then you've lost me.  Another thing that turns me off is passive voice.
TK Passive Voice AKA the Kiss of Death.  What is the average length of the stories?
 JET:  Yes definitely, and it does show the maturity of the writer.  Average length I'd say is between 2 and 4K.  I've had stories shorter and as long as 12K.
 TK:  wow 12k
 JET:   Yes.  12K  - but if it is good, the length is not noticeable.  :)
 TK:  There seem to be less and less magazines, print or online, these days.  What is your feeling?
JET From a writer standpoint, I would agree with that because it seems the places to submit stories is getting a little thinner than before.  I don't know how it is at other magazines, but we don't get paid for what we do.  We do it because we love the craft and want to give something back to the industry.  We do pay for the submissions - well Ty does - so that in itself is amazing considering there isn't any advertising dollars coming in either.    Allegory is a popular online venue getting close to 500,000 unique visitors a year and that is a bigger circulation than some print magazines.
TK:  Wow, now I feel bad, I take ad money and do not pay out to anyone who writes for me- though unpaid employees sounds awesome!  Because of this is the art of the short story getting a bit lost?
JET I don't think so.  I think there will always be avenues to get the work out there, albeit smaller and more stringent in the quality that gets printed, but there are still an abundance of contests that highlight short stories available.
 TK:  I have a hard time completing an thought in 2,000 words, none the less a story.
 JET:  I hear you thereIt certainly is a challenge to fully bake a story in 2000 words or less.  You just have to look at every word under the microscope and decide if it is really needed.  This applies across the board though.  Short stories, novels, news articles.  Is the info pertinent to the story, and if it isn't it should be nixed.
 TK:  A good skill for novelists too.
 JET:  Yes and sometimes you have to cut your darlings.  It hurts - but it is necessary.
 TK:  Has the experience editing others made you a stronger writer?
 JET:  I believe so.  It helps me identify the weaknesses in my own righting.  Gives me a more objective look at what works and what doesn't.  Which is an eye opener sometimes.
 JET:  I tend to punch out things fast and it took me some time to learn patience and gain some distance to be able to cut things that when I wrote then I thought were brilliant - but they didn't move the story forward.  It was more for my own amusement and those have got to go.
 J.E. Taylor:  I see that in some of the stories that pass my desk.  In some cases I'm compelled to offer more in the way of a critique to the rejections to try to help focus a writer on what is working in the story and what doesn't.  Especially if I see talent there that just needs a little refinement or a story that started in the wrong place.
I don't like to receive form rejections, so I try very hard not to send them.
 Terry Kate:  I can not wait to get the news out to everyone on my site.  I am sure like me, they are always looking for a good free read and a new place to find up and coming voices in literature.
Visit J.E. Taylor's Site
Check out Allegory Ezine at

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Thursday, December 10, 2009

Eternal Seduction by Jennifer Turner Review

 Eternal Seduction
  Jennifer Turner
Dark Dreams Press Electronic Edition / October 2008 
 After living on the streets of New York City for over a decade, Logan Ellis admits her perceptions might be a little skewed. But twisted or not, there's a satisfying irony in watching a well dressed vampire stand in the middle of a ghetto alley, windblown trash scraping small circles near his feet. What she finds even more intriguing, is waiting for him to decide whether or not he's going to kill her. Kerestyan Nelek hasn't quite made up his mind. As the Lord of New York, he can't allow a homeless drug addict, whose memories are packed with knowledge of vampiric existence, to run free in his city. It's not the first time he's been in this situation with a human, it's just the first time in thousands of years he's come face to face with one who doesn't seem to care. And that's what makes the decision so damn difficult. What horrors would you have to witness before you went numb? How many years would it take for you to feel that way? What would it take to make you care again? Logan's answers are simple: the worst humanity has to offer, almost thirty...and something she never expected.
(Synopsis by

 5/5 Screams
Reviewed by Heidi
    Jennifer Turner's book, "Eternal Seduction" is a novel of unique surprise and exquisite dialogue. It is filled with rich imagery and like a well crafted play springs to life from the first moment that the eyes comes into contact with the
printed page. Few writers know how to make it all work out on the printed page, but Jennifer Turner has that remarkable talent of putting scenes, dialogue, and action together in this storyline that is almost like being treated to a fine batch of Godiva Chocolate and ice cream.  There does not seem to any flaws in it nor anything that needs to be rewritten.
    I loved the way that Jennifer Turner never "tweaked" Logan and Vouclade who become more than a little fond of her because she knows what they are, yet she does not fear them or treat them badly for being Vampires. There is a lot of love between the group because they are family in the blood as well as in bonding,and like most typical brothers they show it with kidding and wisecracks from time to time.  

I give this book a five out of five screams...I am planning to stand in line for Jennifer Turner;s next book as soon as I hear about it being printed.

Buy this book here -   From Amazon

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Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Where's the love? by Jennifer Turner

Where's the love?

Is the book you’re reading Paranormal Romance or Urban Fantasy? Truthfully, I’m an author in the genre and I still don’t know what the difference is. Some say Urban Fantasy is Paranormal Romance with a lot less emphasis on the romance. Others will tell you Urban Fantasy is just the new name for Paranormal Romance. But either way you go, you’re inevitably dealing with a world darker than what you’d find in most traditional romance novels.

I’ve been asked a number of times why I chose to bill my series as Dark Paranormal Romance instead of Urban Fantasy, and for me, the answer is always the same: I don’t want to lose the romance. Part of the appeal of setting my stories in a darker world is because when the romance happens, it means far more. When you’re thrust into a situation that threatens everything you know – a single look or touch can change everything.

Take Logan Ellis and Kerestyan Nelek from my debut novel Eternal Seduction. Logan is everything a heroine shouldn’t be. She’s homeless, addicted to drugs, detached from the world around her, and is nearly as jaded as some of the ancient vampires she finds herself involved with. So in the moments when she accepts Kerestyan’s offered hand or actually reaches for his, the simple gesture means so much more.

Here’s an example:

Logan squeezed Kerestyan’s hand when he laced his fingers between hers and gently pulled her around to face him. He gazed down at her, his blue eyes burning with emotions she couldn’t place. “Are you ready?”

She did her best to offer him a confident smile, but ended up shaking her head. “Honestly, no.” She reached up and smoothed the cascade of black hair spilling over his shoulder. “I was just starting to come to terms with being your prisoner, Lord Vampire.”

She shivered as he brushed the backs of his warm fingers down her cheeks before curling them behind her neck. He pressed his forehead to hers then closed his eyes and inhaled the steam her breath created as it mingled with the cold air.

He didn’t say anything. He didn’t move. He just stood there, his soft lips barely touching hers, breathing in her breath as though he needed it as much as she did.

That particular scene happens about halfway through the book. It’s one of my personal favorites, and I honestly don’t think it would have the same meaning if Logan wasn’t a darker character. Her nature allows some of the most overlooked gestures to become romantic: a shared look from across the room, Kerestyan’s strong hand at the small of her back, his warm lips against her cheek. For a heroine like Logan, who’s lost her faith in the world around her and cares about very little, a single look or gentle touch means more than flowers or candy ever could.

Personally, I thrive on writing a dark and dangerous world. I love finding characters who bend and break the traditional molds and give me a chance to paint love and romance in new ways. After all, you probably have a different idea of what love is than the person sitting next to you, and the characters you read about are no different. One person’s vision of a happily ever after may include a ring and a declaration of undying love, while another’s might be the realization that the person standing across from them makes them believe that love really is possible. I think romance, and the perception thereof, works the same way.

So that’s why I resist the Urban Fantasy moniker for my Dark Paranormal Romance series. If you take out the romance, what are you left with? Earth shattering battle sequences where the male and female leads just “like” each other? If that’s your thing, by all means – read what you like. :) But I’ll always be a fan of the story where a man and woman fight to overcome the odds together and find a way to pull each other from the darkness.

Jen Turner 

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