Monday, June 30, 2014

Musing Monday's June 30, 2014

TC is in the sun musing about the chipmunk she sees out the window.
Hopefully that is all she does.  So far this month she has presented me
 with two chipmunks - one alive and one dead but both in my bedroom.
Musing Mondays asks you to muse about one of the following each week.Musing Mondays is sponsored by Should Be Reading.
• Describe one of your reading habits.
• Tell us what book(s) you recently bought for yourself or someone else, and why you chose that/those book(s).
• What book are you currently desperate to get your hands on? Tell us about it! 
• Tell us what you’re reading right now — what you think of it, so far; why you chose it; what you are (or, aren’t) enjoying it.
• Do you have a bookish rant? Something about books or reading (or the industry) that gets your ire up? Share it with us!
• Instead of the above questions, maybe you just want to ramble on about something else pertaining to books — let’s hear it, then!

I usually pick audio books written by authors that I have seen but have not read anything they published.  Recently I picked up Ice Forged (The Ascendant Kingdoms series)  by Gail Z. Martin and Written in Red (The Courtyard Series) by Anne Bishop.  Both are fairly prolific fantasy writers but I since I did not know their work I passed them by for authors whose work I was familiar with.  I loved both books.  Since Ice Forged and Written in Red were the first book in a new series and book two in both series had already come out I did not have to wait to read the next book in the series.  Worked well.  While I did not have to wait for book two book three in both series has not come out yet.   Now I have to wait almost a year to get my next fix in both series.  I guess that is the price we readers pay when we enjoy how a authors writes.  We have to give them time to write so we can read.

What else I read in June, 2014

Here are the other books I read or listened to in June.


Pia Saves the Day (Elder Race 6.6) by Thea Harrison -Pia Saves the Day is a must read for any fan of the Elder Races books.  This follows the action in Dragos Takes a Holiday and is part of a three novella series. Dragos is in an accident and loses his memory.  Only Pia can help him get it back.  Watching the interaction between a Dragos who does not remember his past and Pia who only wants to help him is the heart of the story.  There is tension and danger as well as romance.  Look for a surprise from Liam that leads up to the next novella in this series.

Riding Hard by Vicki Lewis Thompson – Drake really did his best
friend wrong and even when he is forgiven he is at loose ends.  He does not want to go back to the life he was living so he decides to stick around.  When he meets Tracy Gibbons she helps him come to a decision about what he wants.  They also fall in love.  Tracy does not make it easy on Drake and it is fun seeing how he has to work to win first her trust and then her love.  Riding Hard is another great short fun love story in the Sons of Chance series.  Everything happens in a very short time period but Riding Hard does tell a complete story. This is part of a series but works well as a stand-alone.  If you are looking for fun reading set in the modern west pick this book up and prepare to enjoy.

Riding Home by Vicki Lewis Thompson - The series started with Regan who caught his fiancĂ©e Jeannette in bed with his best friend Drake.  Regan (Riding High) fled to Last Chance Ranch, Drake (Riding Hard) followed looking for forgiveness, then invited Jeannette to see if all three could be friends again.  In their books Reagan and Dayton found true love.  In Riding Home it is Jeannette turn to find love and a new direction in her life.  Again all of the action takes place in a very short time span.  Zach Powell and Jeanette click as soon as they meet.  They know they are in love but Zack has some issues to come to terms with before they can be together.  That is the some tension but in the end everything works out.  I did love how strong Jeanette was and how she knew what was best of Zach even though he was in denial.  I have really enjoyed this part of the Sons of Chance series.  Riding Home is a really nice short love story that held my attention to the end. 

Million Dollar Maverick by Christine Rimmer - Million Dollar Maverick is the first time I have read a Christine Rimmer book and now I am hooked on what she writes.  I love books that start and end in the same place.  In Million Dollar Maverick the book begins as Nate Crawford stops to help when Callie Kennedy runs out of gas and it ends as he finds what he really wants to do after wrecking his truck at the same place he stopped to help months ago.  Nate is trying to recover from two things.  Fear of loving again (It has been seven years since his wife died) and the dirty trick he pulled last year when he ran for mayor (he lost and the dirty trick backfired).  I loved Callie and how she stood up for what she believed and I respected Nate as he acknowledged how he tried to wrong his opponent in the election. The title – Nate won a very large powerball jackpot and is keeping it secret while doing good deeds for Rust Creek Falls, Montana.  Nate and Callie are two great characters who have a very interesting journey to their HEA.  I recommend this for anyone who likes small town and western romances.  This is part of a long running series but works very well as a stand-alone.

Unmasking Juliet by Teri Wilson - Cute sweet story is a bit of a play on the theme.  The book is about two people who make their living creating amazing chocolate treats.  It is also a play on Romeo and Juliet.  No unhappy ending though.  Leo (Romeo) and Juliet (Juliet) are not teenagers, they are adults.  Their families are feuding.  Juliet just does not see how it can work and Leo does not see the problem.  He has been gone for years and has not bought into the feud.  I liked the story.  It had a lot of tension, one big surprise and a great HEA for Leo and Juliet.

Traitor's Blade by Sebastien De Castell - I had to sit on this one for several days before I wrote the review.  I had mixed feelings about the book.  It would catch me, lose me and then catch me again.  It is the first in a series and required a lot of world building, back story, and character development.  The author used flashbacks for much of the backstory.  It worked but did interfere with the flow of the story.  The story itself was slow to build but did come to a interesting conclusion that set up the next book.  There is a lot of sword fighting (I skimmed that part) that kept the action moving.  While I just gave it a three I did like it enough that I will try the next book in the series when it comes out.

White Trash Zombie Apocalypse by Diana Rowland – Book three kept the tension and danger going.  There is everything from a zombie movie with some real zombies to an unexpected flood.  Angel Crawford continues to carry the series as she studies for her GED and faces more danger. I love seeing how her character continues to grow and flourish.  Loved the story and am waiting on book #4.  Still don't really like the covers but do like what is in between them.

The Scandalous Adventures of the Sister of the Bride by Victoria Alexander - Delilah, the very proper widowed Lady Hargate, and Samuel Russell, the groom's friend, are just great fun to be around. Their dialog really shows the personality of each. For most of the book they spar but then it get serious. Delilah just does not want her heart broken again and refuses to take a chance on love. Sam almost gives up on her. That is the part that is not fun. This is another great Millworth Manor story. Book 3 in the series but works well as a stand alone.

Otherwise Engaged by Amanda Quick - Amity Doncaster saves Benedict Stanbridge's life and then finds hers in danger.  This is another great mystery/romance interesting characters and a wonderful story line.  Amity is another strong female charater with something in her past that sent her traveling around the world.  Benedict is great as the male who she saves and who is interested in Amity.  This is not part of a series but it does have a hook that could produce a related book set in the present.

Audio Books:

Hidden Summit by Robyn Carr - Leslie Petruso is new to Virgin River and so is Conner Danson.  Both are through with love so of course we all know what is going to happen.  There is a big element of suspense and danger for Conner.  He is hiding out until the trial of the man he commit murder.  Another great set of characters, a visits with some from previous books and a wonderful story to go with all of that.  I read the book but still enjoyed the recording.  I picked it up because I did not see anything else that interested me.

Spirits From Beyond by Simon Green - I keep meeting JC, Melody and Happy in audio books.  So far I have listened to the entire series.  I liked this one.  Happy is back on the pills, Kim is back, Melody feels like she has failed Happy and JC is the same as always.  I love listening to the dialog and how they once again they succeed in their task.  However, Kim keeps telling them there are things she cannot share and the last scene is Kim at the Carnacki Institute and you just know something big is coming up in the next book. 

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Stacking the Shelves, June 29, 2014

Books Stacked on My Shelves

I didn't do a post last week and this one will be just a list of books and authors.  No links, No cover picture.

From Amazon Vine:  The Promise by Robyn Carr, Burn for Me by Ilona Andrews

For Review:  Peanut Goes to School by Thea Harrison, Patton's Spaceship by John Barnes, Trapped at the Alter by Jane Feather, Maverick Sheriff by Deloras Fossen, Core Punch by Pauline Baird Jones, Forever and a Day by Ann Gimpel

From the Library:  Something Borrowed,  Someone Dead by M. C. Beaton, Written in Red by Ann Bishop, Murder of Crows by Ann Bishop 

Won:  Wyoming Escape by Kate Wyland, The House With the Wrap Around  Porch by Mary Pat Hyland, and $25.00 gift certificate to William Sonoma. 

Wild Iris Ridge (Hope's Crossing #7) by RaeAnne Thayne

Contemporary Romance

From Goodreads:

Lucy Drake and Brendan Caine have only one thing in common…

And it's likely to tear them apart. Because it was Brendan's late wife, Jessie—and Lucy's best friend—who'd brought them together in the first place. And since Jesse's passing, Brendan's been distracted by his two little ones…and the memory of an explosive kiss with Lucy years before his marriage. Still, he'll steer clear of her. She's always been trouble with a capital T.

Lucy couldn't wait to shed her small-town roots for the big city. But now that she's back in Hope's Crossing to take care of the Queen Anne home her late aunt has left her, she figures seeing Brendan Caine again is no big deal. After all, she'd managed to resist the handsome fire chief once before, but clearly the embers of their attraction are still smoldering.

Sadly we will be leaving Hope's Crossing after this book.  RaeAanne Thayne wrote 2 Hope's Crossing trilogies and a bonus book in the series.  In an interview she said “My June book, WILD IRIS RIDGE, is my last planned Hope’s Crossing book and I’m starting a new series, Haven Point, with my November title SNOW ANGEL COVE. The hero of SNOW ANGEL COVE is Aidan Caine, yet another sibling of Charlotte, Dylan and Brendan Caine,”

But before we leave Hope's Crossing we get Brendan’s story.  He has a history with Lucy Drake.  There was a really great kiss between the two years ago but then Brendan married Lucy’s cousin, Jessie. Jesse died two years ago and Brendan is slowly recovering.  Now Lucy is back in Hope’s Crossing and the sparks start to fly.  Brendan starts to come alive again while Lucy realizes she still has feeling for Brendan.

I enjoyed the story.  It had a nice vibe with plenty of tension between Lucy and Brendan.  Neither were willing to admit to their feeling and it looked like they would go their separate ways.  It took an accident to finally bring them together.   It was a nice way to end the series.

Harlequin published Wild Iris Ridge by RaeAnn Thayne in 2014.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Book Beginnings and The Friday 56, June 27, 3014

I'm linking up with Rose City Reader for Book Beginnings and Freda's Voice for Page 56.
 Check out the links above for the rules and for the posts of the participants each week. Pick the closest book on your book stack and
Come Join us!

The Beginning:

"In 1863, in a world much like our own, European scientists discovered Osiris serum, a concoction which brought out one's magic talents."

Page 56:

"House Harrison wasn't large or powerful enough to claim its own territory, but they were comfortably wealthy."

From Ilona Andrews' Burn For Me, the first book in her new Hidden Legacy Series. I received an ARC of Burn For Me from Amazon Vine this week. I haven't started it yet but I already think I will like it. The book is due out in October.

Here is what Goodreads says about Burn for Me.

#1 New York Times bestselling author Ilona Andrews launches a brand new Hidden Legacy series, in which one woman must place her trust in a seductive, dangerous man who sets off an even more dangerous desire…

Nevada Baylor is faced with the most challenging case of her detective career—a suicide mission to bring in a suspect in a volatile case. Nevada isn’t sure she has the chops. Her quarry is a Prime, the highest rank of magic user, who can set anyone and anything on fire.

Then she’s kidnapped by Connor “Mad” Rogan—a darkly tempting billionaire with equally devastating powers. Torn between wanting to run or surrender to their overwhelming attraction, Nevada must join forces with Rogan to stay alive.

Rogan’s after the same target, so he needs Nevada. But she’s getting under his skin, making him care about someone other than himself for a change. And, as Rogan has learned, love can be as perilous as death, especially in the magic world.

Vixen in Velvet (The Dressmakers #3) by Loretta Chase

Historical Romance

From Goodreads:

From the Diary of Leonie Noirot: The perfect corset should invite its undoing . . .

Lethally charming Simon Fairfax, Marquess of Lisburne, has reluctantly returned to London for one reason only: a family obligation. Still, he might make time for the seduction of a certain redheaded dressmaker—but Leonie Noirot hasn't time for him. She's obsessed with transforming his cousin, the dowdy Lady Gladys, into a swan.

Leonie's skills can coax curves—and profits—from thin air, but his criminally handsome lordship is too busy trying to seduce her to appreciate her genius. He badly needs to learn a lesson, and the wager she provokes ought to teach him, once and for all.

A great plan, in theory—but Lisburne's become a serious distraction, and Leonie's usual logic is in danger of slipping away as easily as a silk chemise. Could the Season's greatest transformation be her own?

I loved the first two books in The Dressmakers series and have been looking forward to book three. I loved Leonie.  She has always been the practical sister taking care of the business end of their shop.  Now her other two sisters are married not longer as big a part of the business as before.  Leonie is determined to keep the business going and does not plan to let anything get in her way.  Then Simon Fairfax shows up and she finds she is not as practical as she thought.  At the same time Simon presents himself as totally impractical but he is anything but. 

The two embark on interesting journey.  I loved how they interacted and how each of their characters were revealed as the story progressed.  Once again Loretta Chase has written a fascinating story full of romance, laughter and love.  Vixen in Velvet is a great end the the Dressmaker series.

Avon published Vixen in Velvet by Loretta Chase in 2014.

I received an ARC of Vixen in Velvet from Edelweiss.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Even White Trash Zombies Get the Blues by Diana Rowland

Paranormal/Urban Fantasy

From Goodreads:

Angel Crawford is finally starting to get used to life as a brain-eating zombie, but her problems are far from over. Her felony record is coming back to haunt her, more zombie hunters are popping up, and she’s beginning to wonder if her hunky cop-boyfriend is involved with the zombie mafia. Yeah, that’s right--the zombie mafia.

Throw in a secret lab and a lot of conspiracy, and Angel’s going to need all of her brainpower--and maybe a brain smoothie as well--in order to get through it without falling apart.

This is a series I never expected to read and one I would not have picked up on my own.  Instead I had a free copy of My Life As a White Trash Zombie in my bag at World Con last year and in a break when I had nothing else to read so I started it.  Imagine my surprise when I really liked the story and the main character.  Angel Crawford is what makes the story.  She has had a tough life and has made some really bad choices.  When she is turned into a zombie she starts to change.  It is fun to watch her think and realize she can make her life better.  In Even White Trash Zombies Get the Blues she changes and grows even more.  That is what makes the stories so great.  There is a great cast of secondary characters who add to the story.  Some become Angel’s friends and some are her enemies.  They all help keep the story moving and filled with excitement.

If you like the paranormal and urban fantasy give the White Trash Zombie books a try.  You may be as hooked as I am.  I have already read White Trash Zombie Apocalypse and have the next book How the White Trash Zombie Got Her Groove Back on pre-order.

DAW Fantasy published Even White Trash Zombies Get the Blues by Diana Rowland in 2012.

P.S. The cover on the first book was a big turn off for me and this one is not that much better.  If you feel the same ignore the cover and look at what is inside.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Until We Touch (Fool’s Gold # 15) by Susan Mallery

Contemporary Romance

From Goodreads:

From New York Times bestselling author Susan Mallery comes the story of secret desires finally fulfilled…

After a family tragedy, former football hero Jack McGarry keeps the world at arm's length—a challenge now that his PR firm has moved to neighborly Fool's Gold, California.

Larissa Owens knows where she stands—Jack sees her as just another one of the guys. No matter what her heart wishes, Jack's her boss, not her boyfriend. But then Larissa's big secret is revealed…by her mother!

When Jack discovers the truth about Larissa's feelings, her touch suddenly becomes tantalizing, and he's not sure he wants to resist. But if he gives in to desire, heartache is sure to follow. Friendship or true love—will Jack go for the ultimate play?

I have wondered about the relationship between Jack McGarry and his girl Friday Larissa Owens.  They hang out together, work together, Larissa seems to run Jack’s life but is there more.  Well neither would admit it until Larissa’s Mother confronts Jack telling him that Larissa was in love with him. If she had just stayed out of things everything would have continued with no problems.  But she did not and a lot of problems popped up.  Larissa stays strong throughout but Jack falls apart.  Look for him to slam every door to every relationship that is important to him.  You can also look for Jack to be wearing a pink dress once he comes to his senses and starts trying to make amends. 

Until We Touch is another great Fool’s Gold story.  I got to visit with some characters from previous books and see Jack finally grow up.  You can read this as a stand-alone.  I think if you do you will want to read more about the people in Fool’s Gold.  If you do there are 14 other books already written and ready to read.

Harlequin published Until We Touch by Susan Mallery in 2014.

I received an ARC of Until We Touch from Netgalley.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The Rebel Cowboy's Quadruplets by Tina Leonard Book Blast and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Tina will be awarding a $25 Amazon GC to TWO randomly drawn commenters during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour. Remember, the more stops you visit and comment, the better your chances to win.


Justin Morant can't believe he answered an online dating ad! Turns out, beautiful Mackenzie Hawthorne is looking for a ranch foreman, not a husband. Good thing, because marriage isn't in the injured bull rider's future. Justin is happy to take up the cause of saving the Hanging H ranch—and then there's the bonus of playing stand-in father to the sexy single mom's four angelic newborns.

Mackenzie doesn't know what miracle brought Justin to Bridesmaids Creek, Texas, but she'd be a fool to fall for the hunky cowboy who wears his rebel status like a badge of honor. Justin's a natural with her daughters and a whiz at ranching…yet one day she knows he's going to gallop off into the sunset. Unless, of course, the marriage-minded townspeople get their hands on him!

Now enjoy an excerpt:

“You’ve got the strangest look on your face,” Ty said as Justin returned his gaze to Mackenzie. He just couldn’t seem to get enough of looking at her. “I’d say you have indigestion, except you’re smiling.”

Justin relaxed his mouth so the smile would disappear. He had been smiling, because his muscles ached a bit. Like he’d been smiling a long time—watching Mackenzie walk and chatter with some friends who came over to talk to her.

“I’m not smiling, but I may have indigestion.”

Ty snorted. “I see what’s going on here.”

“Do you.” He made the comment as flat as possible. His buddy’s opinion didn’t really matter. Ty had no idea what was going on, because Justin had no idea.

“You’re tired,” Ty said. “Being around those babies and that falling-down farm has worn you out. You better hit the road with me. You’ll be back to your old self in no time.”

“What was my old self?”

Ty put his hat on, prepared to leave, which was fine with Justin. Then he could go back to surreptitiously staring at Mackenzie. “Grumpy, cranky, annoying.”

Justin grunted. “Thought that was you.”

“Not me.” He peered at Justin. “I really hope this wasn’t too much for you, old buddy. I didn’t mean to bring you down. Figured some time in a small town with a real job would do you good.”

Justin put his hat on, too, because if he didn’t get out of there, people were going to notice that he couldn’t stop staring at his beautiful boss. “That’s what you get for thinking. See you at the house. Don’t get there too soon. I’m taking the boss lady shopping.”

Ty stared at him, stunned. “What’s happened to you?” he whispered. “You’re a shadow of your former self!”

Well, that was a question he didn’t care to ponder too much. Mackenzie came to stand beside him, smiling up into his face, and his poor stupid heart felt like it took the final dive into his stomach.

What had happened to him indeed.

Mackenzie and four babies were happening to him, and they were going to require a great deal of consideration. This was a bad idea, this tiny woman with the big eyes and her sweet family. A very bad idea, because he wasn’t a family man; he wasn’t a staying man.

“You ready?” he asked Mackenzie, and she nodded.

“If you’re not going to chicken out,” she teased.

Oh, he might. He was thinking about it. Thinking about it hard.

But something told him he probably wouldn’t.

USA Today Bestselling and award-winning author Tina Leonard has sold over 2.6 million copies of her titles. She has made the USA Today Bestseller, Waldenbooks, Bookscan, and Ingrambook lists, and has written and contracted seventy-one books and special projects. Her work has been published by Harlequin, Samhain Publishing, Robinson Scarlet, and most recently Random House Loveswept contracted for a single title trilogy project, Hell’s Outlaws. Leonard was chosen to be among the first authors published for Robinson’s Scarlet line, writing four single title novels for that imprint. Not long after, she sold on proposal to Harlequin American, where she has since written several popular series, most notably the Cowboys By The Dozen, Morgan Men, and Callahan Cowboys series. Her newest single title project, HOTTER THAN TEXAS, was published in March 2013. Leonard is known for her fun sense of humor, endearing communities, snappy dialogue, and memorable characters.

Join Tina at

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Monday, June 23, 2014

Musing Monday, June 23, 2014

TC is in the sun musing about the chipmunk she sees out the window.
Hopefully that is all she does.  So far this month she has presented me
 with two chipmunks - one alive and one dead but both in my bedroom.
Musing Mondays asks you to muse about one of the following each week.Musing Mondays is sponsored by Should Be Reading.
• Describe one of your reading habits.
• Tell us what book(s) you recently bought for yourself or someone else, and why you chose that/those book(s).
• What book are you currently desperate to get your hands on? Tell us about it! 
• Tell us what you’re reading right now — what you think of it, so far; why you chose it; what you are (or, aren’t) enjoying it.
• Do you have a bookish rant? Something about books or reading (or the industry) that gets your ire up? Share it with us!
• Instead of the above questions, maybe you just want to ramble on about something else pertaining to books — let’s hear it, then!

I am listening to Written in Read (A Novel of the Others) by Ann Bishop.  
Even though she is a very prolific fantasy/paranormal writer I have not read or listened to any of her other books.  

I am not that far into the book but so far her world building and character development has just blown me away.  She has a world filled with humans and others.  The setting is North America but everything has a different name.  As the book progresses some things are so familiar and then everything becomes very very different.  I am just amazed at how Bishop has kept some things the same in a world that is filled with characters that are so different from what I would expect.  I listen to audio books when I drive and with Written in Red I keep trying to find extra places to go so I can keep listening to the book.  I guess that is a sign of very good writing.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Deadly Curiosities by Gail Z. Martin Blog Tour and Guest Post

Paranormal Mystery/Urban Fantasy:

I asked Gail about what she had to do to use Charleston as the setting for the first book in her new paranormal series Deadly Curiosities.  I had been to Charleston and knew some of what was real but wondered about the things I had not seen or heard about.  Read her post to see what she decided to use and what she made up. Then follow this link or scroll down to see my review of Deadly Curiosities.

The Haunting of Charleston: Setting Deadly Curiosities in the Real World
By Gail Z. Martin

My new urban fantasy novel, Deadly Curiosities, is set in modern-day Charleston, SC. Charleston is one of the most-visited tourist cities in the U.S., and it deserves its fame. It’s an old city in a young country, and it’s played a big role in history, from the American Revolution through the Civil War and into the current headlines. It’s beloved for its food, its architecture, its horse-drawn carriage rides and its multitude of ghost stories. And when I visited Charleston a few years ago, I thought that all of those features made it a perfect setting for an urban fantasy series.

So how does an author handle writing fantasy in the real world?
Carefully, and with a lot of fact-checking.

In my Chronicles of the Necromancer series and my Ascendant Kingdoms Saga books, the setting is entirely of my own making. Yes, the kingdoms have a medieval, somewhat Western European look to them, but their history, their geography, everything about them is completely out of my imagination. There’s no historian who can gainsay me that I got the dates wrong for King So-And-So’s reign, or that some other historic point is incorrect. My world, my history.

That all goes out the window when you’re writing about a city where hundreds of thousands of people actually live, and many thousands more have visited.

I remember talking to someone who actually lived in Hawaii when Hawaii-Five-0 was on TV back in the 1970s. When I asked about the show, he said that people who lived in Honolulu regularly had a good chuckle when the cops on TV went to the corner of streets that didn’t intersect, buildings that didn’t exist, etc. Some of those “errors” might well have been intentional to avoid causing problems for real businesses. (There have been horror stories about companies or individuals who had an address or phone number used in a movie, TV show or song.)  But whether intentional or not, the locals noticed.

On one hand, there’s no point setting a book in a real city if you aren’t going to use real landmarks and snippets of the city’s actual history. Otherwise, you might as well just make the whole place up and be done with it.

On the other hand, as an author you don’t want to accidently cast aspersions on real people (living or dead—unless they are so famous that they are essentially in the public domain, like Abraham Lincoln). And if you’re looking for a location for a gruesome murder, vicious ghoul attack, human sacrifice or some other less-than-flattering activity, it’s reasonable to think that private businesses don’t want that kind of thing linked to them, even in fiction. (Public sites, like monuments, parks, government buildings, etc. are fair game.) 

So while the locale in which a major event happens in the book does exist (the old Navy yard), the buildings I reference are completely fictitious. So are the businesses that Cassidy patronizes as well as their owners. On the other hand, landmarks like the Charleston City Market, Battery Row, and White Point Garden do exist, grounding the story in some reality and giving visitors to Charleston a clear image of where the action takes place.

Some of the historical figures I mention (like the famous murderess Lavinia Fisher) are real. Others I created based on historical precedent, but not on a single historical person. When writing in a modern-day setting, I Google names to avoid accidentally using the name of a local person, and I’m cautious about using references to influential people from the past since they may well have living relatives in the area. None of these were things I had to worry about in my epic fantasy!

I’ve taken some liberties with the city’s history as well. If I can find an interesting event in history that works into the story, that’s great. But if I need something to advance the plot, I’ll insert a little alternate history to make it work. After all, if magic is operative and Charleston is filled with vampires and Voodoo, adding a new pirate or an extra hurricane here or there is not such a big stretch!

At the end of the day, I want the series to feel comfortable and familiar to those who know Charleston well. Maybe the Charleston in my books isn’t exactly the city they’ve visited or lived in, but all the right touchstones are there to make them feel at home. And with luck, the ways I’ve altered the city and its history to meet the needs of the story feel authentic, the Charleston that could be or might have been. After all, this is fiction!

About the Author:

Gail Z. Martin is the author of the new epic fantasy Reign of Ash (Orbit Books 2014) and Deadly Curiosities, a new urban fantasy novel (July 2014 Solaris Books), set in Charleston, SC. She is also author of Ice Forged in The Ascendant Kingdoms Saga, War of Shadows (Orbit Books, 2015), and Iron and Blood, a Steampunk novel (2015, Solaris Books).  She is the author of The Chronicles of The Necromancer series (The Summoner, The Blood King, Dark Haven & Dark Lady’s Chosen) from Solaris Books and The Fallen Kings Cycle (The Sworn  and The Dread) from Orbit Books.  She writes two series of ebook short stories: The Jonmarc Vahanian Adventures and the Deadly Curiosities Adventures. 

Gail’s work will appear in at several new anthologies in 2014: Clockwork Universe Steampunk vs. Aliens, Athena’s Daughters, Dreams of Steel 5, The Big Bad 2, Dance Like a Monkey, plus an illustrated story in Icarus: A Graphic Novel, Heroes (stretch goal author) the British Fantasy Society’s Unexpected Journeys and With Great Power, a superhero anthology. Other US/UK anthologies include Magic (Solaris), The Bitten Word, Rum & Runestones, Spells & Swashbucklers, and The Mammoth Book of Ghost Stories by Women.

Find her at, 
on Twitter @GailZMartin,
at blog 
She leads monthly conversations on Goodreads and posts free excerpts of her work on Wattpad