Archive for the ‘Kate Johnson’ Category
A bit of an update, I’ve signed a contract for the first book for a new series; Seven Sins Inn. The first book is a revamp of what was once called Mudslide. It was formerly apart of the Del Fantasma series. I’m taking the books that were written for that series, reworking them. The first book has been contracted to Etopia Press and is scheduled for release in June. I’m very excited by this new outlook for the series. I’ll post a sneak peek next Saturday.
Also, I’ve started a new Yahoo Group, which so far, has been so much fun. Here’s the link:
If you’d like to join in the fun, please do sign up.
One of the aspects of the Group is a Book Club. I pick the selection and at the end of the month we throw a party, discuss the book and if I can get the author in there to talk about the book and their up coming releases. Great fun. :-). This month’s selection is The UnTied Kingdom by Kate Johnson.
This book had been on my list for quite sometime. I tend to hoard books I really want to read, especially if it’s the last book in the series. I’ve put off reading Shadowfever by Karen Marie Moning, In Blood We Trust by Christine Cody (hides from Chris) and a few other books because I know they’re the last book in the series. I save them up and then read them when I’ve finished a book or accomplished a goal. The book had been sitting on the main screen of my Nook for some time, taunting me. So I took the opportunity via the Book Club to finally indulge and read the book.
Here’s the Blurb:
The portal to an alternate world was the start of all her troubles
– or was it?
When Eve Carpenter lands with a splash in the Thames, it’s not the London or England she’s used to. No one has a telephone or knows what a computer is. England’s a third world country and Princess Di is still alive. But worst of all, everyone thinks Eve’s a spy.
Including Major Harker who has his own problems. His sworn enemy is looking for a promotion. The general wants him to undertake some ridiculous mission to capture a computer, which Harker vaguely envisions running wild somewhere in Yorkshire. Turns out the best person to help him is Eve.
She claims to be a popstar. Harker doesn’t know what a popstar is, although he suspects it’s a fancy foreign word for ‘spy’. Eve knows all about computers, and electricity. Eve is dangerous. There’s every possibility she’s mad.
And Harker is falling in love with her.
Now aren’t you tempted to go pick up a copy?
We meet Eve after her fall from grace doing a stunt on a Reality show for has been celebrities. While hang gliding something goes wrong and she ends up falling. When she wakes up she’s in England but it’s another England, one that is at war and has never been the power house we know it to be today.
Kate Jonson paints a fascinating alternate England filled with characters that are vibrant and full of life. The story made me laugh, cry and tugged at my heart strings. I fell in love with Harker and thoroughly enjoyed the banter between Eve and Harker. I loved the little points in history that were used to show just how different the Alternate England was. I wouldn’t mind another trip back there for whatever reason. Even if it’s a mini story. *hint* *hint*
Another wonderful story from Kate Johnson. I look forward to more.
Until Next Time! Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
Cat Marsters—The Original Sinner: Striker
When I first wrote Striker he was going to be a villain, plain and simple. He had one function: to tempt my heroine, Chalia, away from the man she loved. Striker had varous magical powers and he wasn’t above using them to get what he wanted. When he got angry he’d explode things. Like buildings. People. Cities.
I kinda liked him.
And that was the problem. I wanted him to be the bad guy. I even tried to kill him off. But I couldn’t do it. Well, I did, but no one stays dead for long in my books. At the last count, Striker had been declared legally dead three times. He’s still walking around.
But herein lies the rub. I can’t make him a romantic hero. He kills people for fun. He once cut someone in half, vertically, with a sword made out of fire. Got angry and flattened an entire city. He explodes pickpockets. Kills people for looking at him a bit funny. He’s a psychopath. A proper unhinged nutter. He’s a villain. So why do I like him? Why does everyone else?
Well, he’s hot for one thing. A giant walking pheromone. But we’re not that shallow, are we? He’s funny, for sure—he has a very nice line in sarcasm. He can do anything. I mean quite literally, anything. Travel through time (what, like it’s hard?). Kill immortal beings. Being people back to life. Make it snow, just because Chalia says she likes it.
Is that it? Do we like him because he loves his woman? He’ll quite literally do anything for her, up to and including mass homicide (she’s never asked, but he’s waiting for the opportunity). Making it snow is nothing: when she died he brought her back to life. When she decided she wanted a baby, despite the gods attempting to keep him from procreating by making it physically impossible for the only woman he loved to carry a child (okay, so he can’t do everything—cut the guy a break, he’s a homicidal maniac, not a fertility expert) he travelled in time to change the course of history and befuddled the gods out of noticing until the baby was born.
Or do we feel sympathy for the devil? Striker was, after all, once an ordinary person. A very good-looking, smart, rich, and mischeivous person, but with no more inclination to mass murder than you or me. And then a random accident got him stranded in an alien world for twelve years, all alone and with just a few magical powers lent to him in order to survive. Telling himself every day he’d get back to the woman he’d left behind. Thinking of the one and only night they spent together. Pickling in his own madness. By the time he returned he was lean and hard and strange and cold, and he might still have turned into something resembling a human being were it not for the fact that his One True Love had buggered off and got engaged to someone else, and told him in no uncertain terms that she wanted him out of her life.
So he flattened a city. As you do.
The thing is, he does love Chalia, but that’s about his only redeeming feature. And it’s not much of one. He loves her selfishly, like a child loves. He doesn’t want to share her. It’s kind of hard to figure out whether he really loves his daughter or not—even I’m not entirely sure if he does, or if he just takes care of her because Chalia wants him to. I wrote about Striker’s relationship with his daughter, Chance, in my first Ellora’s Cave book, Almost Human. She doesn’t know what to make of it, and neither does he.
She knows her father is the most evil man in history. That’s going to give a girl quite a complex.
Excerpt from Mad, Bad & Dangerous, available now ffrom Ellora’s Cave.
Was this how Striker had become so terrible, so powerful and so dangerous? Was this why he’d rampaged through Euskara twenty years ago, murdering Magi and stealing their power, flattening cities, roasting people alive—just to mirror his own pain?
What the hell could have hurt such an inhuman man so badly?
He found himself on the ground, back in his human body, staring at the scryer in his palm. It glowed red then the face resolved into Striker’s visage.
“Who the fuck are you?” he asked.
The same shock of fear and disgust ran through Bael, but far less powerfully than it had before. “Why did you do it?” he asked.
“Do what? Who are you?”
“Kett’s— I’m…a friend of Kett’s,” Bael said through the bad taste in his mouth.
“Oh yeah.” Striker’s mouth twisted cruelly. “You ran away.”
“You murdered hundreds of my people.”
Striker shrugged, as if he couldn’t see what the two things had to do with each other.
“Why did you do it? You flattened the city of Vaticano twenty years ago. You stole power and tortured innocent people. Why did you do it?”
Striker shrugged again. “What are you, a groupie? I did it ’cos I wanted to, kid. I enjoyed it. I’d do it again—”
“No, you bloody wouldn’t,” came a female voice, the voice of the brunette at Nuala’s house. Chalia. Chance’s mother…
Understanding stabbed Bael in the heart.
“You did it for her,” he said slowly. “Because she hurt you.” With every word he became more certain, the knowledge creeping into him like fog.
Striker’s face turned to granite.
“Because she did something to you,” Bael went on. “Because she hurt you so badly it screamed inside you, and all you wanted to do was make everyone else feel as much pain as you. To hurt and maim and burn and slash and kill, because that’s what she did to you. And she never stopped you. She stops you now but she didn’t then. And you went on sucking power out of people so you could destroy more and more, bigger and bigger, until you’d destroyed a city and killed thousands—”
A jolt of power suddenly surged through the scryer, like the shock from ungrounded metal, making Bael flinch and lose his thread.
The view on his scryer tilted, as if someone else had taken hold of the device, and Chalia’s face appeared, pale and shocked.
“It was you,” Bael said, and her lovely dark eyes swam with fear and guilt and pain.
“What did you do?” Bael asked her.
Her hand went to her throat, lovely and unlined even twenty years after Striker had burned and destroyed cities in her name.
“I got engaged to someone else,” she said distantly. “Who are you?”
“Baelvar.” The world had narrowed to the scryer in his hand and the anger pulsing through him.
Chalia regarded him through the scryer. “You’re Kett’s mate, yes? The Nasc. With power.”
Bael clenched his fist and looked away.
Striker laughed softly. “What did she do?”
“Someone else,” Bael said.
Cat Marsters lives in Essex and belongs to a pride of adored cats. On occasion she can be persuaded to admit ownership of a demon puppy (but not if you suspect your flowers have been trampled). She enjoys watching TV and films that showcase the looks and talents of Richard Armitage, David Tennant and Hugh Jackman, reading books that make her laugh, dyeing her hair, and talking about herself in the third person.
Cat has been writing all her life, but in order to keep herself rich in shoes and chocolate, she’s also worked as an airline check-in agent, video rental clerk, stationery shop assistant, and laboratory technician. She’s still aiming for the fairytale cottage of her childhood dreams, and asks all potential Prince Charmings to apply in writing with pictures of themselves and their Aston Martins.
Buy link: http://www.jasminejade.com/p-8185-mad-bad-dangerous.aspx
Don’t Call Me A Hero: Major Harker.
by Kate Johnson
He doesn’t really like being called a hero. He doesn’t really reckon he’s done anything heroic. He’s just done his job. It’s never occurred to him not to.
For Harker, being a soldier is about one thing only: looking after your mates. And as he’s been promoted, his mates have become his lads, they’re in his care, he’s their leader. But he’s still looking after them. To Harker, success isn’t measured by how many yards of land you’ve won from the enemy that day, it’s in counting heads and getting the same number as you did before you started fighting.
All right, he has bigger concerns than that. He belongs to his country, body and soul. He’ll do anything the general tells him to, because she’s his general and he’s a major and that’s just how it works. Questioning orders is like questioning why a bullet comes out of the gun when you pull the trigger. And because he respects the general, most of the time he’ll do what she asks, even when it’s not an order. Most of the time.
He didn’t join the army in search of glory. Of course, at the time there wasn’t a war on. At the time, the army offered the best prospects for a working-class lad with no education and an ageing mother to support. Twenty-five years’ service and you get a decent pension. Retire as a sergeant, that’s a very good pension indeed. Enough to find a nice little place, maybe raise a family. He can send his pay home and not worry that his mother isn’t being cared for. Or course she didn’t really want him to join the army, she wanted him to go to the grammar school and become a teacher. In his heart of hearts, that’s what Harker wanted, too. But you can’t always get what you want. He knows that pretty well.
The army breaks some men and makes others. Harker was one of the latter. He’s a natural leader. That promotion to sergeant came quickly and deservedly. He’s still not sure if his ex-wife was behind his commission as an officer, but the role suits him. More men to look after, sure, but he’s got a natural authority, he takes care of his men and he listens to them. They know he’s got their best interests at heart. They know he won’t ask them to do anything he wouldn’t do himself. They know he’d actually do the dangerous stuff for them if he thought he could spare them the pain.
He’s got about as much in common with a traditional leading man as he has with a teapot. He’s not good-looking, he hasn’t cut his hair in years, and he’ll only shave if someone threatens him with a knife. He doesn’t have sexy and exciting scars, he has ugly patches of scar tissue where people have tried, repeatedly, to kill him. He has no idea how many confirmed kills he has to his name. Only a bastard would count. He can use a sword or a gun or he can fight with his bare hands, and if you offered him a fencing foil he’d punch you in the face. He doesn’t see the point of wearing a suit or having special shoes to go with it. Hates his dress uniform with all its shiny braid. He refuses to refine his accent, especially when there are posh people around to annoy. He’ll hold the door open for you whether you’re male or female, soldier or civilian, but you won’t get called Sir or Ma’am unless you happen to be of a higher rank than him. Or he’s patronising you. He spends most of his pay on importing cigarettes, which he smokes when he’s thinking, or when he’s worried, or frustrated, or stressed. Which is most of the time.
He leads like a wolf alpha leads: unself-consciously, without arrogance, and without vanity. He leads with natural authority and the respect of his men. He’ll go to hell and back for someone he considers to be his.
He’s Major William Harker of the 75th of Foot, and he’s at your service.
Excerpt from The Untied Kingdom, available from Choc Lit 1st April 2011
‘Sir! Sir, are you all right?’
That was Tallulah. Grimly, Harker dropped to the stony shore under the Tower’s walls and let the body over his shoulder flop on the pebbles.
‘I’m all right,’ he said. ‘Get a doctor, would you?’
She peered closer at the limp body. ‘Is it – is it a person? Is it alive?’
Harker, busy performing mouth-to-mouth and trying not to think about what the drowned woman would be coughing up if she was still alive, didn’t bother to answer. In the background, people were shouting. The guards on the walls had seen him dive into the river and come out with some sort of bedraggled alien.
Well, it wasn’t an alien, Harker was pretty sure. It was a human woman, and she – yes, there she went, coughing up river water through blue lips.
He rolled on to his back and fought the urge to throw up. Who knew what he’d ingested in the Thames’ foetid depths?
People were streaming out of the South Gate now, and a guy with a stethoscope flung over his pyjamas was kneeling by the unconscious woman.
‘She all right?’ Harker said, and the doctor nodded.
‘I think so. We need to get her inside. Can I get a stretcher?’
‘Dunno,’ Harker said, mostly to himself. ‘Can you?’ Patting his pockets, he found his cigarettes – a soggy, unsmokable mess. Dammit. Well, if he couldn’t have a quiet smoke, he’d have a quiet nap instead.
He lay back, closed his eyes, and tried to block out all the noise and the light. It was a trick he’d perfected after years on campaign. These days he could sleep anywhere, any time.
Then a foot prodded his ribs, and he opened one eye, grumpily.
‘Well, then, hero,’ Saskia said, her face demonic in the torchlight. ‘I suppose you’ll be needing medical attention, too?’
Harker waved a hand. Truth be told, he was so wet and cold he was beginning to worry about his extremities. ‘Get me a packet of smokes and I’ll survive,’ he said.
‘I think we can run to that.’ Saskia extended a hand. ‘Come on. Wheeler wants to see you.’
Harker groaned. ‘Why? What’d I do?’
Saskia just glared at him.
‘Oh, right.’ Ignoring her hand, he hauled himself upright. ‘Let’s go and face the fun, then.’
Dripping wet, he squelched through the gate after Saskia and gave the guard there a damp salute.
‘Sir, is it true you pulled an alien from the river?’
Harker rolled his eyes at Saskia. ‘Yep. Blue skin, it had, and one giant wing.’
The young man’s eyes were enormous. ‘Gosh!’
‘That wasn’t necessary,’ Saskia said, as they made their way to the General’s quarters next to the mess.
‘Yeah, but it was fun,’ Harker said.
Kate is a prolific writer of romantic and paranormal fiction and lives in the south east of England with a small and cheerfully insane collection of cats. She misspent her youth watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer and reading Terry Pratchett, which sort of made writing fantasy a bit inevitable. Under the name Cat Marsters she also writes award-winning erotic romance. She lives behind a keyboard in Essex and can be found online most days talking about men she fancies, the pride of adored felines aiding her ambition to become Crazy Cat Lady, and the Demon Puppy hindering it. Sometimes she talks about writing. Occasionally, she stops talking about writing and actually does it.
Buy link: http://www.bookdepository.co.uk/book/9781906931681/The-Untied-Kingdom
Urban fantasy.? I guess I started getting hooked, as so many others did, with Buffy.? Ah, Buffy.? With your shiny hair and your high kicks and your one-liners and your really, really hot boyfriends (I just typed boyfiends then. Go figure).? It was the boyfriends that did it for me.? Those sizzling encounters, where even a conversation felt like foreplay.? And everything was forbidden, because of course our Buffy had a habit of falling for the very creatures she was supposed to be slaying.
Would it have sizzled so much if Buffy’s beaux had been human?? If she’d been an ordinary high school girl?? If Sunnydale hadn’t been on the Hellmouth?? Of course not.? And while I’ll take David Boreanaz and James Marsters in any guise, I had to say the fangs did add a layer of hotness.
Always seems to come back to vampires, doesn’t it?? My first ever published story was about vampires (She Who Dares, now part of the Sundown Inc. collection from Changeling).? I’ve written about werewolves too?and werecats, and fae, and incubi, and sirens, and elves, and demons, and…where was I?? Oh yeah.? Vampires.? The beginning of everything else.
The thing is that vampires are so seductive, so predatory, so sexual.? Think about it: the metaphors of penetration, of arousal, of submission.? Where does a vampire bite you?? It’s no coincidence that it’s on your neck, your wrist, and if you’re really lucky, your groin.? Pulse points are erogenous zones.? Vampires are powerful, both mentally and physically, they’re beautiful and elegant, and if their lives are so long then just think about their stamina…
But they’re not the only ones.? We love our vampire romances, and the hotter the better.? But what about werewolves?? A slightly different fantasy, this one of a bestial lover.? An animal in bed.? Running wild, howling at the moon.? But still not human.? The same can be said of elves, fae and all the other urban fantasy creatures we love so much.? The elegant, powerful and terrifying creatures of the otherworld.? They’re not like ordinary men (or women).? A romance with them would never be normal, mundane or boring.? Vampires don’t come home tired from work, or nag you to do the laundry, or leave toenail clippings in the bath.
But with urban fantasy you’ve got one important detail.? There might be sirens and vampires and weres, oh my, but they’re in the real world, a world of cars and phones and computers.? The world we live in.? Buffy Summers fought demons and shagged vampires, but she also had to do her homework, pass her exams, get a job, pay the rent.? Just like the rest of us.? She lived in the real world…with vampires.
I guess that’s what I love about urban fantasy.? I know it doesn’t exist…but I can allow myself to believe it could.
Latest release: Sundown Investigations collection
You’ve never seen this side of New York City before…
Faeries and vampires have been at war for centuries, but in Manhattan an East Side Story plays out as renegade vampire Maria and Unseelie seer Ruarc clash in a blaze of passion.
Fifteen years ago in Australia, a young shapeshifter named Daisy lost her heart to an Alpha werewolf. Now Adam is back in her life and uncovering all her secrets, but can she ever accept his love again?
Lucky always thought she had a normal life — well, as normal as can be in the fashion industry. But when an incubus and his evil twin start haunting her dreams in the hottest way, she begins to wonder what’s hidden in her own past.
Kat thought her dancing career was over when she was bitten by a wild cat on safari in Africa. But every full moon her shape changes, and a terrifying shifter is on her trail. She takes solace in the arms of the gorgeous Wolfe, but now that the mating fever is on her, will he be enough to satisfy her, or will she need to take more than one shifter to her bed?
Sundown Investigations, where we take personal care of all your needs.
This collection contains the previously released novellas in the Sundown Investigations series:?East Side Story,?Drive Me Daisy,?Get Lucky, and?Here Kitty Kitty.
Cat’s upcoming release is Empire: Dawn Rising, out Nov 19.