We've Moved!

The authors of FaE have relocated to the Beyond the Veil castle keep. BtV is now your one-stop blog for Samhain Publishing's paranormal and fantasy romance authors!

Come on over! Just be careful when you cross the moat. The mermaids are still getting settled in with the Cracken. The drawbridge might be a little slippery.

Monday, April 30, 2007


Since I do a great deal of collaboration writing I thought I’d touch on how it came about for me.

Collaborating isn’t for everyone. Some personalities simply aren’t meant for compromising and collaborating involves a lot of compromising. Every aspect of co-authoring demands give and take from both parties.

Now, for me collaboration came easily. When I first started writing I was heavily involved in the official Dark Hunter fan-fiction role play group. It wasn’t long before I moved over to the official Dark Hunter After Dark scene. I made some great friends through the interaction. I loved role play. Loved writing fan fiction. I’ve still got characters I owe happy-ever-afters.

Although, fan fiction and/or role play isn’t for everyone…some take the game completely seriously while others seem to be under the assumption “real” people aren’t involved at all. I'm fortunate the playing time was a wonderful learning experience on so many levels.

In fan fiction role play you can weave your story thread with other writers/players. I got lucky and met two fabulous ladies. Mo (Mari of Marissa Alwin) and Tiffany (Lany of Melany Logen.) I clicked with both of these talented ladies and we in turn took our interactive writing away from the game and into several genres of romance.

It was actually a dear friend Lo who suggested we should make a go at real fiction. Even though I’d known Mo a while longer, I approached Tiffany first because we have more free time to write. It’s been so long now…I jotted down a few story ideas....Tiffany picked futuristic fantasy genre and the heat level. I’m still surprised she wanted to delve into erotic romance. Though, I’m just as glad she did.

After Lany and I broke in at Ellora’s Cave with Torc’s Salvation I approached Mo and Marissa Alwin was born!

Just as I was with role play, I’m addicted to my co-authorship writing! It’s great fun! It offers me the interaction I crave. As well as instant gratification. But, the authorships are serious businesses and must be treated with respect. Lany and I have an article on collaboration on our Melany website. http://melanylogen.com/oncollaborating.html

If you’re interested in trying your hand at a collaboration I suggest reading through it first. We offer some great tips and some must dos.

Until later~

Thursday, April 26, 2007

13 reasons Fantasy (books) are better than sex

13. Your hair doesn't get messed up reading a book
12. The hero usually has some magical power you can totally imagine him using for your greater pleasure
11. Having more than one book doesn't make you a slut.
10. The only injury you're going to get from a book is a papercut, while we all know sex is dangerous! :)
9. Books can't give you STDs
8. While books may cost money, there's nothing wrong with paying for the gratification they give. Can't say the same for paying for sex.
7. You can display books.
6. You can read in public.
5. You can imagine yourself in the place of the heroine, and whoever you want as the hero.
4. It's okay to love more than one book. At a time :D
3. Reading actually makes you smarter.
2. A good book can last for days.

1. Books have covers and sheets...and you don't have to wash them.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Please allow me to introduce myself...

I’m a baaaad girl.

I signed up for the Fantasy & Enchantment Blog weeks ago. I nagged my fellow Samhellions into letting me in the door. I nagged them into posting Anne Cain’s gorgeous cover for my book. Then what did I do?

I vanished into the writing hole, that’s what.

Bad Jean Marie.

Well, no more. I’m back, and I plan to be a lot badder. Consider me the wild card in the F&E deck. I write comic fantasy strongly influenced by popular culture. My first novel, With Nine You Get Vanyr, written with the late Teri Smith, explored what would happen to a stultifying, Renaissance-style world where magic worked if you imported nine fanfic writers who thought they knew everything about it. My current WIP looks at the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice, and you know, the way I write it (from her point of view) it’s a comedy. Sex, death and rock-n-roll--what more could anybody ask?

I love dragons and great clothes and magicians and world-altering battles of good and evil, but I come at all of them from a slightly skewed angle. This blog showcases some of the best fantasy romance writers Samhain has to offer. They are our resident experts on everything from Celtic mythology and dragons to medieval witchcraft. They know their stuff, and most of the time I’ll leave the discussion of those topics in their capable hands.

I plan to bring you the other side of the fantasy coin. For example, everybody knows about the Hydra, the Minotaur and other A-list monsters of Greek mythology. But have you ever heard about the Melinoe? Did you know that Eros isn’t really a god at all, much less the son of Aphrodite (or Venus)? Depending on which source you read, he’s either the oldest of the Titans or the oldest sentient being in the universe. How cool is that for someone who believes in romance?

Then there’s the stuff that comes from other mythologies. The youkai--or demons--of Japanese legends are the personification of natural forces and natural-born shifters. They combine facets devils and shifters, and according to one popular theory, the reason we don’t hear about them anymore is they have figured out how to pass as human.

There are a million stories in the naked fantasy city. I hope to be your guide to the ones a little off the beaten track. They glitter just as brightly as the ones you know.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Magic is in the air

Spring has sprung here in Canada where I live, and it's the time of year when magic seems its most possible. New life, new birth, and the awakening of things long dormant.

The Ancient Egyptians seemed to have a real handle on the idea of rebirth...something I don't think people think about as much these days.

Every year, the Egyptians would watch the scarab beetle delve into the sand, only to re-emerge, months later, in the spring. This became the basis for their life's work...being buried (in caves and pyramids instead of sand) only to re-emerge in the spirit world, later. Even the scarab's food (the scarab's other name being 'dung beetle') reinforced this idea of life-from-death.

Once you discover this theme...nature seems to just back it up...from the rising and setting of the sun, to the phases of the moon (which appears to birth, grow, and then die as the new moon, only to come back to life again.) Here in Canada, the trees appear dead all winter long, buried beneath snow instead of sand, emerging fresh and green in the months of April and May.

This, of course, is but one of the faces of magic, but a powerful one: the magic of renewal.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

13 Books...

From last week's post...these are the thirteen books the thirteen characters came from:

  1. Sword of Shannara, by Terry Brooks
  2. Bridge to Teribithia by Katherine Paterson
  3. The Last Unicorn by Peter Beagle
  4. Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card
  5. The Talisman by Stephen King and Peter Straub
  6. The One Tree by Stephen R. Donaldson
  7. The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
  8. Tigana by Guy Gavriel Kay
  9. Artemis Fowl by Eion Colfer
  10. Hitch-hikers Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
  11. Star Wars by Alan Dean Foster, but credited to George Lucas (thanks Wikipedia!)
  12. Stone of Farewell by Tad Williams
  13. Assassin's Apprentice by Robin Hobb
Many of these are series, which have only the first book listed.

Thanks for playing.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Creature Feature: Wyvern

What is a wyvern? Looks like a dragon, right? But it's not.

A wyvern has two limbs and two wings. Note that many Western dragons have four limbs and two wings, while Eastern dragons often have no wings, only four limbs. Wyverns also seem a bit more serpent-like than dragons. Sometimes they have fish tails or barbed tails, and their limbs are more bird-like that a dragon's.

They figure prominently in heraldry, as do dragons and unicorns. Sometimes they are described as having the head of a dragon and the tail of a snake. Personally, I may have plans for some fictional wyverns I can't divulge just yet. ;-) For sure I've got dragons of all kinds in my books at this point, but no wyverns... yet.

I hope you've enjoyed this Creature Feature. We have more planned like this, so stay tuned!

Bianca D'Arc
Come over to the D'Arc side... www.biancadarc.com

Friday, April 13, 2007

The Care and Cultivation of Faeries

The magic spell is upon me,
I'm glad that I did not wait;
For life's at its best in the morning,
As you pass through the garden gate.

- Howard Dolf

Faeries are nothing if not sensual creatures. Otherwise, why would romance authors write find them so fascinating? And what is more sensual than a flower garden? We humans find pleasure in the rich symphony of a garden's smells, colors, textures and tastes. To the Fae, these are more than just simple pleasures - they are life itself.

So how does a fantasy romance author’s Faery garden grow? When you’re planning your flower beds this year, tuck in a few of these plants that have been known to attract the Faery folk.

These tiny flowers summon the Fae to midnight revels in your garden. Drink a little elderberry wine at Beltaine, and you might see them!

After long spring nights of dancing, give your Fae a place to bed down at dawn. They’re quite fond of ferns, which are perfect for moist, shady areas.

Make this one of the first flowers you plant, because heather is a natural portal between the Faery world and our own. Same with primoses.

A Faery favorite, sprinkle rose petals on the ground and dance gently on them while asking for a Faery blessing.

Sprinkle sprigs of thyme in front of your door and on your windowsills to let the Fae know they are welcome in your home.

St. John’s Wort
This attractive, ground-hugging plant is called Fairy’s Horse in Ireland, where the Fae ride through the air on its scent. Leprechauns are said to bury their treasure under it, so plant lots!

Fae mothers like to put their babies to bed in tulips, so be careful when you cut some to bring indoors! You may have an anxious Faery mommy turning your house upside down in search of her infant.

These are just a few suggestions. Just about anything colorful and/or aromatic will do. One popular plant you may want to avoid, or at least plant far away from your Faery garden, is peony. Historically these have been used to repel Faeries.

Don’t forget to provide shelter for your new tenants. This can be as simple as piling up stones to form a sheltered space underneath, or just lay an old clay pot on its side.

Don’t have a garden space? Don’t despair! Get a large shallow clay dish and plant a miniature rose and some creeping woolly thyme. Sink a little dish of water in the soil, add some rocks and some moss, and you’ve created a charming environment for your Fae.

Just be careful – once you’ve drawn them into your world, take care of them! They like presents, lots of presents, and they can wreak havoc if they think you’ve forgotten about them. Regular offerings of bread, butter, milk, and honey will bring you good Faery karma.

Happy gardening!

~Carolan Ivey
ABHAINN'S KISS, a novella of the Faery realm, available now from SamhainPublishing.com!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

13 fantasy character names...

ThirteenCharacters from Fantasy Books
See if you can figure out what book they're from. Some are easy :)

1. Shea Ohmsford
2. Leslie Burke
3. Schmendrick the Magician
4. Ender Wiggin
5. Wandering Jack
6. Thomas Covenant
7. Legolas
8. King Brandin of Ygrath
9. Holly, Foaly and Root
10. Zaphod Beeblebrox
11. Luke Skywalker
12. Sithi Storm King Ineluki
13. King Shrewd and Prince Verity

Tune in next week for the 13 books these characters come from :)

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Intro--Dayna Hart

I've written so many of these introductions in the last year, I find it hard not to regurgitate the same information over and over again. I have one bio listed at my website, one on my 'author info' pages at each of my epublishers, and then another one in the little sidebar here at blogger.

But at the risk of repeating myself, I'd like to give an introduction here which gives appropriate kudos to Fantasy writing. :)

When I was three years old, I walked around the house with a notepad in hand, drawing loopy circles in a row across the page. When asked what they were, I would tell whoever asked a story. Never the same one twice, either. Because of this rather unique habit, my aunt dubbed me "Doodles". (I didn't answer to it then, I won't now. Just FYI for anyone thinking it'd be a 'cute' nickname to try using for me.)

However, this marked the beginning of it all for me. Even at three years old, I told people "When I grow up, I want to be a writer."

It was only recently I realised there could be anything else for me but fantasy, and I tried my hand at all of it. Rather unremarkably, too, I'll add. Unless I throw in some winged creatures, fairy spells, or magic potions, it just doesn't feel right to me. But I've learned a lot about romance, and erotic romance, so it felt natural to blend the genres.

And here I am.

I have a rather warped sense of humour, which sometimes translates to the page, and sometimes not.

My writing and I both struggle with elements of darkness--even the most lighthearted of my stories end up with threads of darkness throughout. This is a theme I explore in my work, too. And the fact I have identifiable themes...well, I take it as part of my Canadian heritage...making even a simple story into something Literary.

Which sort of lends itself to fantasy, which has always been about 'good vs. evil'.

So that's me...or at least, a start to knowing me. And if you want the really short version:
I'm a dichotomy. A complex set of contradicting ideas housed in one place. :)

Monday, April 9, 2007

A contributor’s intro:

I’m Melissa Lopez. Many call me Mel, which is still odd at times…even though I normally use it as my signature. I always thought Mel a little masculine. I was dubbed with the nick name when I first joined the official Dark Hunter fan-fiction world some six years ago.

Some call me M’lis. The rare, one or two, call me Melly. And yeah, really old friends still call me Missy. The use of Missy is showing their age. ;)

I’m a mother, daughter, sister, wife, friend, critique partner, and college grad. All roles I’m proud of.

I’m also a storyteller first. A author second. And a writer last.

Besides, writing under my own name, I co-author both Marissa Alwin and Melany Logen. A large chunk of my writing time is spent creating worlds in several genres of fantasy.

I’ve always been fascinated with “what ifs?” Mythology. Folklore. Legends. And the imagination shows. As part of Melany Logen we’ve created a futuristic fantasy world. Torc’s Salvation the first in our Soul Shifter series was released this past October. Story two, Law’s Deliverance is now under requested revisions. We’re also working on other stories set in the world that aren’t part of our Soul Shifter series.

For Marissa Alwin while we’ve not got anything I’d categorize as fantasy we do have paranormals. And as we know, the paranormal is part of fantasy worlds.

I’ve recently contracted Dark Sentinel the first of my Netherworld series to Samhain Press. My Netherworld is a dark urban fantasy world. I admit, I find urban fantasy captivating. I love to study cultures and belief systems. Netherworld is definitely an edgy dark place of fantasy and romance. I’ve crossed genres, and I’m so thrilled Samhain has faith in my world. I’ve promised my editor story two, A Knight’s Risk by October.

I’ve also been working on a couple ancient fantasy tales, and will talk about them more when I can.

Until later~

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Thirteen ways to tell you're reading a fantasy book.

ThirteenWays to tell You're Reading a Fantasy Book

13. One of our names on the cover ;)

12. There is use of the word magic, majik, majyk, magyk, magyc, majick, or some other derivative thereof included inside the covers

11. Mages, magus, magi, magii, or any derivative used to describe a character with 'otherworldly powers' that you are NOT, under pain of death, to call magic.

10. Dragons, dragyns, wyverns, wyrms, or other winged, lizardlike critters.

9. Animals that talk *please note, this alone is not a valid test, as there are numerous books with talking cats. These are often not fantasy, but mysteries. I think it's done to confuse people.

8. It begins with Once upon a time

7. There is a prince, princess or king under a spell.

6. There is a quest to destroy the penultimate evil.

5. There is someone/something that represents penultimate good

4. Cover art with clouds, and a (preferably identifiable) lightsource shining through it. Even better if said lightsource is from a magic relic, character, or whatever else represents penultimate good in said book.

3. Names with apostrophes in odd places.

2. Names with more vowels than consonants...or better yet, no consonants

The number one way to tell if you're reading a fantasy?

1. Elves. Or, a human like race of magical creatures who are taller than average, generally blonde haired and pointy eared, and live for a very long time...and are NOT, under pain of death, called elves.

Hello Friends!

If I've got my dates right, I'm supposed to be posting for the very first time on this new blog today. Since the subject is fantasy, I'm tempted to ask what you all define as fantasy? The definitions of sub-genres like paranormal, fantasy and sci fi tend to be a little elastic to many people, but I find most fans of the genres have definite ideas about what falls into which category.

For myself, I tend to think of anything with a vampire or werewolf as paranormal. Also, the "darker" urban fantasies that have demons a la Buffy tend to strike me as paranormal too. Anything set in outer space seems to me to be a sci fi story first and foremost, though things set on a future Earth can be either sci fi or sometimes fall into the realm of fantasy or paranormal, depending on the focus of the story. (Am I confusing you as much as I'm confusing myself?) LOL

When it comes to fantasy though, I start with the ingredients of epic fantasies like Tolkein's Lord of the Rings - elves, wizards, warriors, trolls, goblins, orcs, dwarves, etc. - and fairy tales of the Sidhe (elves), Bainsidhe (banshee), fae, leprechauns, mermaids, selkies and the like. Both seem to me to be pure fantasy. But then you have dragons. Mmm. My favorite! ;-) Dragons fall into that fairy tale realm, but some of my dragons are also shapeshifters. I leave it up to the reader to decide what sub-genre that puts them in. ;-)

For those of you who don't know me, I've written a series called Dragon Knights and yes, it contains dragons, knights and maidens fair. My dragons communicate with their knights. They're definitely the good guys. They partner with their chosen knight for life and when the knight finds his mate, so too can the dragon finally claim his own dragoness. Together the knights and dragons form a large, extended family, and the children - whether human or dragon - are raised by them all together. What a cool way to grow up, huh?

Thanks for joining us on our brand new blog. In the weeks to come we'll have lots of fun activities - maybe a giveaway or two, interesting questions to answer, and lots of discussion of our favorite genre: fantasy!

Until next time,
Bianca D'Arc