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.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Creature Feature: Arkan Sonney

Heeeere piggy piggy!

Today's Creature Feature is the Manx arkan sonney ("lucky piggy" in English), a magical, long-haired pig or hedgehog-like creature that's white with red ears.

(If you read enough legends and lore of northern Europe, you'll find many magical creatures are described as white with red ears - cows, pigs, dogs, etc. Why that is, I'm not sure, but I'll look into it.)

The arkan sonney can shapeshift - sort of. It can change its size but not its shape. If you can catch it - which is almost impossible - it is said it will bring you good luck. Well, heck, if you had everyone chasing after you in hopes of gaining fame and fortune, wouldn't you become a master escape artist, too? :)

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

13 Reasons I Can't Wait For Dragon*Con

Eight more days to my favorite summer camp for wayward adults: Atlanta’s DragonCon. Yes, I’m counting the minutes. Here’s why:

13. The superior eye candy—James Marsters, Kevin Sorbo, Michael Shanks... (Oh yeah, they've got girls too—Vanessa Angel, Claudia Black, Lexa Doig, Gigi Edgley. Will they do?)

12. The chance to meet fellow Samhain writer Ally Blue.

11. More costumes per capita than anywhere in Georgia.

10. Concerts featuring the Cruxshadows, Emerald Rose, the Brobdignagian Bards, Voltaire and many, many more.

9. The DragonCon Parade.

8. Panels featuring fabulous writers like Kevin Anderson, Bob Asprin, Peter Beagle, Terry Brooks, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Jody Lynn Nye and Margaret Weis.

7. Panels featuring meeeeeeee.

6. The Pirate Ball.

5. Going to the Pirate Ball in costume with the rest of the Press Room scalliwags.

4. Swordplay demonstrations by the Crossed Swords.

3. The Iron Artist face-off between Bill Stout and Tara McPherson.

2. The irresistible temptations of the Art Show, Exhibit Hall and Dealers Room.

1. Have I mentioned James Marsters and the Cruxshadows?

See you there!

See more Thursday Thirteens here!

Saturday, August 18, 2007

In The Gloaming - Pre-Order on Amazon

My trade paperback anthology, IN THE GLOAMING, is now available for pre-order on Amazon.com! This anthology contains the print version of my novella, ABHAINN'S KISS, along with two other stories by J.C Wilder and Isabo Kelly.


Her peaceful world shattered, she has only days to fulfill her destiny. She must defy a curse that dooms her to hide from the sun, and take her rightful place in the Great Circle on the Isle of Avalon. Only Abhainn can restore the balance of Dark and Light, and heal the rift between humans and Fae. That’s a tall order for a one fragile Faery.

Michael Craig is on a quest of his own, one grounded in cold, hard reality. Fairy tales? They’re for children and dreamers. But when he rescues Abhainn from certain death with an accidental kiss, he finds himself thrown into a very different reality. One he’s reluctant to accept, even as it unfolds before his eyes. Only one thing holds him there—Abhainn will die without him.

Abhainn’s life depends on Michael’s kiss, his sword arm…and his ability to believe.


He grabbed his shirt and pulled it on without buttoning it. He was halfway to the caravan door before he realized the taste on his tongue wasn’t just part of the dream. She must have kissed him in his sleep before slipping out. Still, she had no business being out there alone, no matter how many friendly Fae surrounded them.

The familiar tinkle of her laughter drifted in through the caravan’s half open door. He stepped quietly outside and settled on the driver’s seat to watch the scene before him. The horse, unhitched, grazed nearby; Eoth lay draped across its back, sound asleep. Michael’s gaze swept the stone-littered meadow, and at last he found her.

She sat on a boulder, legs folded beneath her, arms thrown wide. Unabashedly naked as the day she’d been born. His groin tightened as, unobserved, he let his gaze pass over her body. Tiny as she was, there was no doubt that Abby was a full-grown woman, all slender curves and high, firm breasts. The morning light glowed on her pale skin, so fair as to be translucent, traced with river-maps of blue veins, flawless from the tips of her toes to the delicate points of her ears.

All around her flitted a cloud of tiny, winged Fae, who tended to her as if she were a queen in waiting. Which, he realized suddenly, she was. As the last of her kind, she by default was the Queen of the Asrai.

Humming like a swarm of honeybees, the Faeries combed and braided her white-gold hair, washed a smudge of dirt from her nose, handed her damp handfuls of moss with which she cleaned herself, rubbing it over her skin—all her skin—in slow, sensual delight.

More Faeries brought her sips of water and a sticky substance that looked like nectar, cupped in spring flowers. She tipped her head back and accepted their offerings on her tongue, smiling and licking her lips after each taste, catching stray droplets on her fingers and licking them, too.

The ache in his groin hardened into a painful knot. Blood pounded in his ears so hard that for a second he couldn’t trust himself to move. Despite the lust that roared through his veins, he remained conscious of the delicacy of her small, fragile body. She’s like porcelain. Like one wrong touch could break her.

Yet for that second, he understood what had driven Blaen of CraighMhor to risk everything for one night with a Fae.

And he lost it all, Michael reminded himself.

As if she sensed his eyes upon her, she turned her head and looked at him. She blinked once, slowly, and the smile on her face grew brighter. She held out her hand.

Abruptly, the attending Faeries screeched and scattered. Only one stayed, hovering above and just behind her golden head. Its buzzing grew into a snarl, and before Michael’s eyes it changed from a thimble-sized thing to a fox. It bared its fangs and bunched its muscles to spring at Abby’s unprotected back.

With a sickening lurch that took him back to his combat days in the Marines, time slowed to a crawl. Every detail of the scene sprang into sharp relief. Before Michael could do more than shout a warning, Abby’s face went blank.

Then, as the fox sprang, she changed into a statue of clear, hard ice.

The fox yowled in frustration as it clawed and bit at the back of her neck, but managing no more than a few superficial scratches.

Michael took advantage of the time she had given him by lunging into the caravan to retrieve the rusted sword. He lay hands on his rucksack and threw himself out of the caravan, pulling the sword out and dropping the bag on the ground as he ran, spilling the contents.

He sprinted the few yards that separated him from Abby, a hoarse cry in his throat and the sword raised to strike. The fox saw him coming, issued a series of short, harsh barks, then shapeshifted again.

Michael found himself looking up into the face of what could only be described as a vampire-like woman, complete with glistening fangs and black wings sprouting from her shoulders. With a hiss she flew at him, driving him back. He let her come, knowing it would draw the creature away from Abby.

“Come on, come on, bitch! What ya got? Come on!” he growled, goading her with the sword.

The vampiress closed in, and with moves too quick to see, she knocked the sword away then hit him square in the center of the chest with the leading edge of a black, leathery wing. Michael caught his heels on the rucksack and landed on his back, flinging his arms wide to break the fall.

His hand fell on his grandmother’s precious stone, which must have rolled out of the rucksack when he’d dropped it.

Wrapping his fingers around it, he waited, heart speeding to dangerous levels as the vampiress closed within striking distance. Waited, sweating, until her hot breath blistered his face, until he could count the veins in her bulging eyes. Then he swung at her head.

Instead of spurting blood, the broken skin on the side of the creature’s face erupted with huge horseflies the size of golf balls. In moments, the thing had completely dissolved into a cloud of the droning black bugs. Abby’s attending Faeries chased them all away, leaving the morning eerily quiet, as if nothing amiss had happened at all.

Panting, Michael hauled himself to his feet.

“Well done.”

He spun and found a tall, Tolkienesque elf lounging against the side of the caravan, idly examining his fingernails, longbow thrown casually over one shoulder.

Michael relaxed and straightened. “Thanks for the help,” he said dryly.

The elf raised an eyebrow, as if he were actually offended. “You did well enough on your own. Had you needed it, I would have intervened. The Lady chose well.” With that, the elf sauntered away into the trees.

“I will never get used to these people,” he muttered, turning toward Abby as thunder rolled overhead.

Abhainn still hadn’t changed back from the block of ice. It was a perfect replica, captured just as she had been sitting on the rock.

He crouched by the rock, afraid to touch her. “Abhainn. Abby, can you hear me?”
Huge, fat raindrops began to splat the ground.

Maybe she can’t change back.

His mind kicked into gear, looking for a way to keep her from melting and running in rivulets down the side of the rock. But as the first drops of rain struck her head, she shifted back into normal form and fell, shivering and blue with cold, into his arms.

“Jesus, you scared me, woman,” he said, gathering her closer, rubbing her arms. The bare skin under his hands felt like the ice from which she’d just shifted. He quickly lifted her hair to examine the back of her neck. Relief flooded through him. Her skin remained unbroken.

“I…I…knew not…I c-c-could do that,” she managed through clattering teeth. “I-I-I sensed the Mei was behind me and-d-d it j-just happened!” Then, incredibly, she began to laugh. “I wonder…w-w-what else I can do?”

Before he could stop it, anger flared white hot in his chest. How could she laugh? She had come within a hair’s breadth of death, and yet she laughed!

Shaking, not trusting himself to speak, he scooped her up in his arms and strode toward the caravan.

“Mícheál?” she gasped between giggles and shudders of cold. “W-what is it?”

“The fate of your people depends on you,” he gritted out. “And you sit there laughing when your quest almost came to nothing.”

She leaned back in his arms, her laughter fading to a gentle smile. “But it did not,” she said simply. “I have you to protect me. All is well. And I have found that I have powers I knew not I had. Why not enjoy the moment?”

He stopped dead in his tacks, light rain tapping on his head. He had no answer for her.

“Mícheál,” she said gently.

He shook his head, surprised at his inability to speak, jaw clenched tight. She could have died. She could have…

“Mícheál.” This time her lips touched his ear.

At the touch of her breath on his skin, he drew her to him tighter still, buried his face in her hair, inhaling the fresh-rain scent of her. He could find no words to say other than her name.

The skies let loose with a torrent of rain.


Pre-order on Amazon.com.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Becka's World Building Workshop ~ Post #5 & #6

Hey there, gang. I'm posting two World Building Workshops today because I missed the last one, as I was pretty sick. :( Therefore, today, you get a twofer! :D Stay tuned! My next blog day will be the final installment of my seven-part series!

If you have missed the other installments, here are the linkies:

World Building Workshop Post #1

World Building Workshop Post #2

World Building Workshop Post #3

World Building Workshop Post #4



Now that you have all the foundations in place, it's time to think of a history for your world. Now this can be as detailed or as sketchy as you want it to be depending on your story. Perhaps the inhabitants of your world *don't* know the history, in cases like Waterworld or Mad Max or what have you.

But a good history will make your world come alive, as you can add little details, maybe give magical items a history. If there's a pendant of invisibility or whatever, who made it? Who owned it? And what was it used for, good or evil? Think of leaders names, past and present. Maybe a lineage for a monarchy. Who was the first king?

Are there any heroes in your world? Tales of men overcoming all odds? Folk tales about mythical creatures such as the unicorn or dragon? If there are no unicorns on your world but there's folk tales about them, did they exist? Do they still? What happened to them so long ago to wipe them out? Or why do they now live in hiding?

These are all details you can jot down in a good history. And sometimes as you write your story, you can think of more history to go with your world, so it doesn't have to *all* be thought of at once. I know some of you might be thinking *whew!* :D

But these ideas can build a more believable world for your characters to live in. Just because you might not necessarily write about this information, YOU have it in case you need it to better understand your world, or perhaps understand the motivation behind your characters.

That should get you started on thinking of your own unique history. Just keep asking yourself the "what if" questions, and it will come. :)



A lot of times when I get stumped on thinking of a name, I combine words. Literally. Like one of my city's names is "Tabrinth". I named it that because at the time, I had a cat named "Tabitha" and I'd just recently watched the movie "Labyrinth". Hehe. Not really rocket science, is it! HAHA! But you might be able to do something similar.

Look in the phone book and combine names you find there for unique first names or surnames. Think of it this way. I just looked across my desk, and I saw a pencil and my printer. Combine them, and I have the name "Penter". Now, if I change up the spelling, Pinter, Pynter, Pentyr, Pintyr, Pintar, Pyntar... You get the idea. That could be a name for a creature, a city, a hero, a king...

But from “pencil” and “printer”, I can also get Cilrin, Enin, Terpen, Rinen, Cipri, & Ilrin.

Let’s see if I can do that again… Okay, again on my desk, I see a novel and a camera. Novera, Ovelca, Velmer, Merano, Lera, Cavel, Elcam, Rael… It’s really fun to do, and you can even come up with more words by scrambling the letters as well, not just pulling them from the words and adding them together.

But see how that works? It's what I do, and I've been complimented on my names more than once. Not only that, but I’ve never really been stumped for a name in my world. I guess it's my secret! :P

Good luck on your own names!


My example of Lyndaria comes from my fantasy/romance novels The Legends of Mynos, currently published at http://www.SamhainPublishing.com.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

My book is out.

I'm babbling about this everywhere, too. I'm going to try to put a new spin on it for you lovely readers here at FaE, but really, this is just more of me freaking out and realising My Book...is OUT! Like you could buy it. Right now! (if you were so inclined, and I rather hope you are :)

But what I realised today was that I've felt rather in limbo waiting for this book to release. I mean, I call myself a Samhain author...but I had no book out. It was in edits, it had a cover, (which is effing gorgeous)...and yet...I just kept waiting for Crissy or Angie to notice me there and go "Huh? You?! Get out!" (not that they would. They're nice people, or so I see when I'm peering at them hoping they don't notice me)

Today, though, my book is out. And I've signed contracts for my second book! So they're stuck with me now :) And I finally feel like...I'm THERE. Not that all of the other 200 Samhain authors would know who the heck I am or anything...but at least I'm starting to sort of carve out my little niche.

It's a good feeling. To be somewhere good things are happening, with some really great people, and to feel Part of It All. I'm a happy camper today :)

Now, feel free to go buy my book ;)

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Thursday Thirteen: 13 Mythical Dogs

I go this idea from another TT about Mystical Cats! :) Enjoy!

1. Coyote - the Trickster in Native American lore

2. Cerberus - Greek/Roman three-headed guadian of the entrance to the underworld

3. Gram - Norse mythology

4. Eqyptians, Aztecs believed dogs guided souls to the afterlife

5. Fighting dogs of Hecate

6. Black Dog - Appears in many mythological canons including England, Scotland, Ireland, across Europe and elsewhere. In general, it is a large creature with a long black shaggy coat and bright fiery eyes; a harbinger of death.

7. Ce Sith/Cir Seth - A fairy hound found in the western Scottish Isles. It was the size of a two-year-old cow, and green in color. The cir sith had a long tail which was usually coiled on its back, sometimes braided like the straw rug of a pack-saddle. It was kept as watchdog in the fairy knowe, but did occasionally run loose. It moved swiftly, making a noise like a galloping horse, leaving huge footprints. It trailed travelers, barked three times, and at the third it overtook its prey and pulled him down. http://www.skell.org/explore/mythad.htm

8. Devil's Dandy Dogs - A pack of fire-breathing black hounds found in Cornwall. They had bright fiery eyes, and followed the devil over lonely moors on stormy nights. If they captured humans they tore them apart limb by limb. The only know way to deter these monsters was for a man to pray sincerely. http://www.skell.org/explore/mythad.htm

9. Gabriel Hounds - A spirit hound which hunted high in the air. It could be heard yelping overhead during violent storms. To hear these yelps was a presage of death.

10. Qiqirn - in Inuit mythology, a large, bald dog spirit. It is a frightening beast, but also skittish and foolish. Men and dogs run from it, and it runs from men and dogs. It has hair on its feet, ear, mouth and the tip of its tail. When people approach it, they suffer fits. One way to scare it away is to shout its name.

11. Bran - Fionn Mac Cumhail's hound

12. Laelaps - Greek mythological dog who never failed to catch what he hunted.

13. Fenris - wolf offspring of Loki and Angrboda in Norse mythology

Click here for other Thursday 13s!

Seriously, Dayna, It's All Good

Our very own Dayna Hart’s first novella for Samhain Publishing, “Go Between”, will hit the web in less than a week. She’s bouncing off walls. One of the blog buds asked if she had any fingernails yet, and Dayna shot back, “Nails? Forget nails, I’m down to the joints.”

I was no help at all, of course. I tried to think of a single thing that could possibly be bad about having a new ebook release (with a great cover, no less) and failed utterly. I’ve said it before, and I think the time has come to say it again in public: it’s all good. Really.

Publishing is a lot like cooking spaghetti. A publisher works up a business model and hires editors, who buy stories they like which fit the publisher’s specs. Over the course of a year, the editors buy lots of stories. (Samhain alone publishes between five and ten novels and novellas a week.) They boil ‘em up--er, edit them, throw them at the wall--I mean, the reading public and applaud when something sticks.

Sometimes it’s serendipity. The right book hits at the right time, and an unknown author turns into J.K. Rowling. More often the progress is a slow build. Each book attracts two fans, who tell two of their friends about the next book, and so on and so on. Hard as it is to wait this one out, this scenario can be just as rewarding as the overnight sensation. Consider Nora Roberts’ career.
In either case, there aren’t any short cuts. Promotion helps, but it’s only to a point. Yes, these days reclusive writers are the exception as opposed to the rule. Yes, chats, excerpts, ads and convention appearances help. Signings and contests too--though to a much lesser extent. (I once ran a contest which had fewer participants than it did prizes. I never even shipped the grand prize. The winner neglected to provide a snail mail address.) But realistically, without a massive budget, there are only so many people a writer can reach.

Even a big budget is no guarantee of sales. To increase the return on their investment, New York publishers promote the heck out of all the titles they paid big advances for. But an ad in The New York Times won’t make a bestseller out of the literary equivalent of a sow’s ear. As the editor of a review site for eight years, I know for a fact the objects of some of the most expensive saturation ad campaigns of the past ten years sank without a trace.

Reviews help a little. Ahem, ALL reviews help a little. The most fascinating thing about the process is bad reviews help as much as good ones. I track the sales of With Nine You Get Vanyr through Publishers Marketplace, and every time a review appears, there’s a visible jump in sales.

In late July, I noticed a bump in sales and couldn’t figure it out. Sunday morning, for the first time in about two months, I decided to Google for reviews. Lo and behold, on July 21, just before my sales started to rise, Raph Koster panned Vanyr as a Mary Sue. He even said it was like watching a “trainwreck” (sic). That’s the nicest thing he could've done for me. Seriously. Within five days, my Amazon sales tripled. The sad part is he’ll never believe my thank you note.

I also discovered something far better for the ego, if not for the pocketbook. Vanyr has been added to the New England Science Fiction Association’s database of recursive science fiction.

I didn’t know what recursive science fiction was either until I rummaged around the site. The short version is SF or fantasy which uses SF/fantasy fandom or any other element of science fiction or fantasy literature or related media as a major plot point. WooHoo, I’m part of a catalogued sub-genre, along with people like Mercedes Lackey, Fritz Leiber, Sharyn McCrumb, Fred Saberhagen, James Tiptree and Roger Zelazny.

Like I said, Dayna, it’s all good.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Prince of Spies - Available for Pre-Order!

Prince of Spies

ISBN-10: 1599984253
ISBN-13: 978-1599984254

Prince Nico is a cunning master of stealth, but can he master a maiden’s fragile heart?

Book Four of the ongoing Dragon Knights series, but works well on its own, this is a dragon shapeshifter tale of magic, intrigue and spellbinding love.

If you pre-order, email me and I’ll send you a signed book plate, book marks and other promo items by mail, FREE. Just send email to: BIANCADARC at GMAIL.COM with the subject line “PRE-ORDER”, your mailing address. If you’d like the book plate personalized, please specify the name you want on it.

Website: www.biancadarc.com
NEW Blog: http://biancadarc.com/blog/

Monday, August 6, 2007

New contract!

I’m excited to announce I contracted a fantasy to Ellora’s Cave!

Cursed by Moonlight is a Werewolf tale on an ancient Earth like setting.

I’ve written the classic warlike/peaceful premise; with proof the warlike side isn’t all bad while the peaceful side isn’t all peace and light. My hero Alric’s people are driven by conquest while my heroine Caasi’s by magic.

Cursed by Moonlight blurb teaser:

Alric, cursed to live as a werewolf, wants Caasi.

Caasi wants to save Alric from the beast within him.

But hunting his own feral brother only convinces Alric of how desperate his situation is. Can they find a way to be together when they face not only mortal danger but the superstitions of their people?

Until later~

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Creature Feature: The Glaistig

The Glaistig is a Faery creature from Scottish folklore, and an interesting one at that (to me, anyway!) because of her complexity.

She can be either benevolent or malevolent, depending on her mood. On one hand, she is known to be a protectress of domestic animals, like horses and cattle. She even watches over children while mothers milk the cows and fathers tend the herds.

In gratitude - and to keep her content - the local townsfolk would pour out an offering of milk into a hollowed-out stone for her to drink. She's not big on practical jokes, however; one legend tells of a local teenage boy who poured boiling milk into the stone, burning the Glaistig. Needless to say, she moved on to antoher village.

Other legends depict the Glaistig as a mortal woman who became a Faery after begging the Fae to make her one. She dedicated herself to watching over her village's cattle, until a farmer greatly offended her. At which time she took to using her beauty and beguiling voice to throw travellers off the path, or lure men into dark caves where she would drink their blood.

It just goes to show, hell hath no fury like a Glaistig scorned! :)

Have a great weekend!

Souce: Wikipedia