Spring Flowers and Other Joys

A Perfumed Garden

Winter hung around longer than normal this year, but now the garden is making up for the dull days. The port wine magnolia is in flower, as are the stocks, and the lemon blossom is out. Heady days!

lemon blossom, jenny schwartz,
Port wine magnolia – it smells of banana lollies.
stocks, jenny schwartz,
Pink stocks, really pink!
lemon blossom, jenny schwartz,
Lemon blossom, one of my favourite scents

I was sitting in the sun the other day, enjoying the garden, when we had a visitor. This pink and grey galah was quietly talking to himself on our neighbour’s TV antenna.

pink and grey galah, jenny schwartz,
Galah – when I was growing up, “galah” was an old-fashioned Aussie insult for someone who was being foolish. He/she was “being a galah”.


Barley Salad

With the weather warming up, I’m trying out some new salads. I’ve fallen in love with barley, which I’ve only previously used in soups. I cook it, then rinse the grains in cold water, drain and put in a bowl with balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper. Pop it in the fridge and I have the quick and easy base for a salad. I just add as many scoops of the cooked barley as I want to a bowl, and then, whatever I feel like. The barley is really neutral (bland), so it can carry some strong flavours. However, it’s equally as good if you keep things simple. For instance, an avocado, a ripe tomato and shredded ham is yum!

Plus, barley is good for you!

Barley salad
Barley salad
Dream Home

I was watching Grand Designs the other week and saw Flint House. I fell in love. The pictures aren’t quite as good as the TV show’s walk through the house (featured in this episode), but they show you some of the beautiful design. I wouldn’t want to live away from Australia for long, but a year in Flint House would be amazing. Dreaming!

Alchemy Shift released last week

alchemy shift, jenny schwartz, paranormal romance, kindle unlimited,

I hope you’re enjoying my latest paranormal romance, Alchemy Shift. It’s 99c for a short time, so if you haven’t grabbed your copy yet, don’t miss out!

New Release – Alchemy Shift

Alchemy Shift, jenny Schwartz, paranormal romance, bear shifter, kindle unlimitedI’m releasing Alchemy Shift a tad earlier than the intended date of October 27 because I just couldn’t wait! Jet Walsh is an adorable hero. The action is fast and intense, and the emotions … sigh. Such an enjoyable book to write. Delphi and her family made me want to move to Queens!

Alchemy Shift will be 99c for a couple of weeks, so grab your copy today and tell your friends 🙂 As always, reviews are HUGELY appreciated. I’m never sure whether it’s polite or rude to thank people individually for their reviews, so I tend not to for fear of being intrusive. But I do thank you. Sincerely.

You’ll find the blurb and an excerpt from Alchemy Shift below. Also, I had a technical hiccup putting this newsletter together. I think you may have seen the draft of a different newsletter by mistake – does “The Crocodile Virgin” ring any bells? Yeah. That was meant to be a surprise. I’m such a klutz with technical things. The Alchemy Shift excerpt in that newsletter is the one that I’ve copied below. Just so you know and don’t wonder if you’re having a deja vu moment.


A woman, her sword, and the bear-shifter who’ll steal her heart.

Delphi Cosmatos is an alchemist. She investigates the strange and magical objects that find their way to Collegium headquarters in New York. She has magic—and a big Greek family, all ready to “help” her (they mean, interfere). When Jet Walsh moves in next door with no family except the two young orphaned cousins he’s responsible for, it’s a situation of opposites attracting, especially since Jet is a bear-shifter.

But Jet can’t pursue a romantic relationship. He’s tracking the rogue mage who tortured and killed his cousins’ mom. Banned spells are being trafficked across the world and the center of the trade is New York.

Delphi knew her city was dangerous, but now her heart is in danger, too. Jet doesn’t have magic, yet he’s tangling with a powerful, ruthless mage. If she wants to save her man, she’ll need all the help she can get. No! Not from her family. Stashed in the evidence bunker at Collegium headquarters is the legendary sword Excalibur, and Delphi is just the woman to wield it. Maybe.

Excerpt from Alchemy Shift

Jet got home about 11 p.m. and he was too tired, and too heartsick, to notice that he thought of Delphi’s house as home. All he knew was that he needed to see Tony and Grace, to see for himself that they were safe, and that the thought of Delphi was a welcome one.

He let himself in quietly, using the front door since it seemed less of an intrusion than the back one. Lights were on in the living room and he heard the low babble of a television. “It’s just me,” he called.

“Hi, me.” Delphi’s voice was soft but cheerful. She muted the television as he walked into the living room, twisting around from where she was curled up on the sofa. On screen, an old black and white movie played.

He could smell hot chocolate. “I should check on the kids.”

“They were asleep by eight. Worn out by the day, I think.”

“That’s good.” He wasn’t used to coming back from a crime scene to a real home. He gestured vaguely at the stairs, and she nodded, turning back to the television. The thought of sitting with her on that cozy sofa teased him as he climbed the stairs. The romantic music of the old movie sang of love and happiness. But that was off the agenda.

The glow of a nightlight shone from the kids’ room. Jet entered silently. The kids, especially Tony, had a tendency to wake at the slightest noise. It was a habit born of fear, of their uncertain lives with Emma.

If he’d realized…

Families drifted apart. He and Emma hadn’t grown up together. They hadn’t been close. Excuses. He scowled at his own dark thoughts. If his mom had been alive, she would have checked on Emma and the two vulnerable children. He couldn’t change the past, but he’d make sure of the kids’ future.

He’d make sure they had a future.

Tony was asleep in the top bunk.

Jet tucked the blankets more securely over the boy’s skinny shoulders.

In the lower bunk, Grace slept deeply, her arm around the orange teddy bear he’d given her at their first meeting. He hoped it would keep the nightmares away for her.

He had his own. New ones after what he’d seen tonight. There’d been no way to slip into the crime scene, but Perez had shown him photos.

Jet scrubbed a hand over his face. The photos had been bad and they’d brought back the memory of seeing Emma’s body. He’d had to put all of that aside and cast around for a scent, for some hint of the man who’d done this; who’d left the boy’s body.

“Two men.” Perez had been able to study the crime scene before the police response trampled it, obliterating scent trails. “One smelled of cloves.”

Cloves. A strong scent to hide the copper stink of blood as he murdered and mutilated? Or, did the killer have toothache? Clove oil was the traditional remedy, numbing tooth pain.

Not that the killer spared his victims pain. Although this time Perez said the child had been killed swiftly, without torture or sacrifice. Unlike Tony and Grace’s mom.

Jet had cast around for the scent of cloves, ignoring the police who watched him, and tracked it a block. One block, then it vanished. The killer must have had a car waiting since the scent vanished utterly. He’d reported the information to Perez who had the power to seize any security camera footage of the street. However, the killer had likely parked where he was unobserved.

That, or the killer had used magic to ensure he was unobserved.

There were spells that obscured technological surveillance and the killer had the magic to use them.

As a were, Jet lacked magic, but he had allies.

Perhaps those allies were a tad reluctant, but they had magic and that was enough for Jet. He’d called and Martin had reluctantly crossed town to check the crime scene.

“Nothing,” had been Martin’s conclusion. “The boy must have died before they could sacrifice him.”

“Can’t you get anything?” Jet had pushed.

“There’s no death magic, here,” Martin had snapped and gone home.

Jet rolled his shoulders. Tomorrow, he’d start again. That’s what investigating required. You followed each path as far as it would go, homing in on the answers. Only, this time he was in danger of being too impatient. Delphi’s mom hadn’t been wrong to warn against involving the personal element. However, one glance at Tony and Grace sleeping in Delphi’s guest room confirmed that he had no choice. The monster he hunted had to be caught.

He joined Delphi in the living room as the credits rolled on the old movie.
She switched off the television and looked across at him as he sat down in an armchair. “Do you want a drink, something to eat?”

“No, thanks.”

“To talk or be silent?”

He smiled then, faintly. “The daughter of a cop.”

“And the sister of one.” She understood. Sometimes the only way to help was to be there.


“Do you mind the television?”


She switched it back on, found a late night chat show, and they listened to its inanities.

Beneath the television’s noise, he could hear her heartbeat. He hadn’t realized that he’d slipped into his were senses. He could smell her scent, feminine and vital, and the tuna casserole she must have made for dinner. He slipped back into human senses, letting that other self fade. It wouldn’t help him to be too aware of her. This house, a haven of normality, wasn’t his, although he’d try to create something like it for Tony and Grace.

Nor was his attraction to Delphi one he should indulge. Already he felt too comfortable with her. It wasn’t her house or her competence or anything concrete: it was his sense that he belonged with her, that was dangerous.
“Bed for me.” She offered him the television remote.

He shook his head, surprised to see that twenty minutes had passed while he simply relaxed into being with her. “I’ll go up, too.” He needed to sleep. Tomorrow would be an early start and all the days after it. He stretched hugely. “Good night.”

“Good night.” She fussed with the cushions she’d been leaning against and folded up the blanket she’d been curled under.

Belatedly, he realized she was delaying so that they wouldn’t walk up the stairs to bed together. He moved away abruptly, taking the stairs two at a time, and leaving tempting dreams behind.

Alchemy Shift, Jenny Schwartz, paranormal romance thriller, kindle unlimited

Buy Alchemy Shift for 99c – a limited time offer.


Phoenix Blood is available for pre-order

Phoenix Blood

Phoenix Blood, paranormal romance, kindle unlimited, Jenny SchwartzPhoenix Blood is the first book in my new series of paranormal romance thrillers. Each novel in the Old School series is a stand-alone read with a different hero and heroine diving into danger. Phoenix Blood is 99c on pre-order and will release on December 27, 2016. Due to the chaos around holidays and Christmas in particular, I’ve set it up early on pre-order so that you can nab Phoenix Blood now while you remember.

This is a very intense book. There’s lots of action, but also an ocean of emotion. I adore second chance love stories, and Sadie and Marcus’s is as tragic yet hopeful as they come.

In a grim biker bar with wizard mercenaries on her tail and a “found” amulet around her neck, Sadie Howard needs a miracle. What she gets is the man who broke her heart nine years ago.

Marcus Aurelius is a changed man, in more ways than one. The preppy, confident medical school student is now a hard-bitten, magic-wielding assassin. He’s also a man on a mission. He has debts to pay and old wrongs to right before he dies—sometime this week.

As the secrets of Marcus’s heart are revealed, Sadie learns that nothing is as it seems and that the man who broke her heart also saved her life and paid in agony for her freedom.

With wizards trying to kill her, phoenix blood burning in Marcus’s veins, and a villain who’ll stop at nothing to acquire the amulet Sadie has promised to a friend, their roadtrip is a one-way ticket to extraordinary adventures. The question is, who will survive?

Pre-order Phoenix Blood today.

phoenix blood, paranormal romance, kindle unlimited, pnr, Jenny Schwartz,

Looking Ahead

The second Old School paranormal romance thriller, Fantastical Island, will be out late February 2017.

Fantastical Island, kindle unlimited, Jenny Schwartz, paranormal romance, pnr,

Which Monster Would You Kiss?

A new Beauty and the Beast movie is out next year starring Emma Watson and Dan Stevens.

I love Beauty and the Beast tales. Beauty by Robin McKinley is one of my favourites. Fire Rose by Mercedes Lackey was also good, although it’s been years since I read it, so my memory is a bit shaky on the storyline.

It’s all started me thinking, and I have a question.

If you HAD to kiss a monster, which monster would you choose?

Chance to Win a Year’s Subscription to Kindle Unlimited

This contest to win a year’s subscription to Kindle Unlimited closes October 31, 2016. I’m sorry, but it’s only available to US residents.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Win A Kindle Unlimited Subscription PLUS Free Books for Everyone

Win a Kindle Unlimited Subscription, Oct 1-2

kindle unlimited, contest, Jenny SchwartzThanks to the new group, Biters & Beasts Unlimited, there’s a chance for American residents to win a Kindle Unlimited subscription (sorry to all non-Americans, it’s the complexities of Amazon’s rules that have limited the contest to the USA).

Free Science Fiction and Fantasy Books for Everyone

Grab a book or ten (or a hundred) FREE Oct 1-2, 2016. Happy reading!

Jenny Schwartz

Included in this promo is my steampunk novella, The Icarus Plot.

Jenny Schwartz, kindle Unlimited, steampunk,

Romance in Kindle Unlimited: Shifters, Dragons & Aliens, Oct 1-15

Jenny Schwartz, kindle Unlimited,

Fantasy, Paranormal and Science Fiction Romance authors have joined together to showcase their books in Kindle Unlimited, October 1-15. Even if you’re not a Kindle Unlimited subscriber, this is a great place to browse for your next read 🙂

Happy weekend!

Cover Reveal for Alchemy Shift

Alchemy Shift

A huge thanks to Lou Harper who has once again created a stunning cover.

Alchemy Shift, jenny Schwartz, paranormal romance, bear shifter, kindle unlimited

A woman, her sword, and the bear-shifter who’ll steal her heart.

Delphi Cosmatos is an alchemist. She investigates the strange and magical objects that find their way to Collegium headquarters in New York. She has magic—and a big Greek family, all ready to “help” her (they mean, interfere). When Jet Walsh moves in next door with no family except the two young orphaned cousins he’s responsible for, it’s a situation of opposites attracting, especially since Jet is a bear-shifter.

But Jet can’t pursue a romantic relationship. He’s tracking the rogue mage who tortured and killed his cousins’ mom. Banned spells are being trafficked across the world, and the center of the trade is New York.

Delphi knew her city was dangerous, but now her heart is in danger, too. Jet doesn’t have magic, yet he’s tangling with a powerful, ruthless mage. If she wants to save her man, she’ll need all the help she can get. No! Not from her family. Stashed in the evidence bunker at Collegium headquarters is the legendary sword Excalibur, and Delphi is just the woman to wield it.

Alchemy Shift is out October 27. It is the final (for now) book in the Collegium series, which is available free in Kindle Unlimited subscribers.

To celebrate the gorgeous covers for the Collegium series, I put them in a video. It’s a simple one (because my video-creation skills are almost non-existent).


New Series – Old School

Old School is my new series of seven paranormal romance thrillers out in 2017. Each book will be complete in itself, telling the story of a different hero and heroine each time. However, old friends are likely to reappear and there’s an over-arching plot to the series, so reading them in order will be best.

The first book is Phoenix Blood and I’m debating releasing it December 27, 2016 – just sneaking it into 2016. Sadie and Marcus are an incredible couple. He betrayed her and they parted, but in a world of sorcery and secrets, not all is as it seems. Now, he’s her only hope of surviving the wizard mercenaries on her trail and who’d consider her death collateral damage. You see, Sadie has something they’re contracted to deliver.

Spring Garden

Jenny SchwartzThe broad beans are flowering and the bees are ecstatic. Buzzzy little things 🙂 I like growing things like beans because they help fix nitrogen in the soil, but I admit broad beans aren’t my favourite vegetable. I remove them from their pods, then from each bean’s individual outer coating, and only then, eat the sweet green inner bean. Peas are yummier, but I’ve found broad beans to be less inclined to get yucky things like powdery mildew. I’m a lazy gardener.

jenny schwartz Speaking of being an imperfect gardener, the parsley is trying to take over the world while I’m distracted.

Reading Update

I read Magic Binds by Ilona Andrews the day it hit my kindle, and it was every bit as wonderful as I’d anticipated.

Carthage Must Be Destroyed by Richard Miles is depressing me just by its topic. Reading it, knowing that the civilisation was wiped out by the Romans, is hard going – so basically, I keep stopping. When I’m as busy as I am currently, I like lighter-hearted books.

I’ve been enjoying the snarky attitude of Avery Shaw, heroine of Amanda M Lee’s reporter mysteries in three box sets. All the books are in Kindle Unlimited which makes me wistful and mad. I wish Amazon would bring Kindle Unlimited to Australia. It would save me money! (I would borrow so many books!!!)

Beyond Regeneration – SciFi Cozy Mystery – free Sept 21

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Beyond Regeneration is free today! I’m sorry it’s a blink-and-you-miss-it freebie, but hopefully you’re reading this on Sept 21. Enjoy!

Black Swans, Snakes and Books

Wildlife Encounters

black swans, Jenny Schwartz, paranormal romance,I visited a pretty and popular lake last week. I hoped that while I was there I’d have a chance to photograph black swans. Here in Australia, black swans are common. It’s the white ones that I consider rare. It makes me wonder about how many things we take for granted are strange to outsiders. Like me growing up with the phrase, “Have you fed the chooks?”, which just meant, someone needed to take the scrap bucket out to the chickens and empty it. Yep. Aussies call hens, chooks. It can even be a sign of friendship to be called an old chook!

Back on topic. I did get the photo of black swans. A happy black swan family was enjoying the sun, the cygnets nearly adult. But I also encountered a whole lot more…

tiger snakes perth, Jenny Schwartz, That’s right. Snakes!

I’m not so fond of snakes, especially the poisonous ones that Australia specialises in. A guy walking his dog (don’t worry, the dog was safely away from the snakes) identified them as tiger snakes. I’m not a hundred percent convinced (they could be brown snakes or dugites for all I know), but it did open the door to an interesting story.

Enter the hero of this story, a seagull.

gull and tiger snake, Jenny Schwartz

Just off the coast is a small limestone island named Carnac. It’s a nesting place for a noisy seagull colony. It’s also home to a whole lot of tiger snakes. Seagull parents defend their nests by pecking out the eyes of resident snakes. Today, I could see this gull thinking about whether to fight these snakes. However, his nest wasn’t nearby and the snakes are juveniles, so our gull hero let them go.

I took my photos and prudently retreated, too.

Magic Binds by Ilona Andrews

magic binds, ilona andrews, paranormal romance,Today is release day for Magic Binds by Ilona Andrews. It’s going to be hard to concentrate on my work. I think I’ll probably shut down the computer early and dive into my kindle. I love the Kate Daniels series and I feel like I’ve been waiting for Magic Binds for ages.


Dawn of the Infected by Eileen Cruz Coleman

Dawn of the Infected, zombie, apocalypse, I’m such a cowardly custard about reading horror, but Dawn of the Infected by Eileen Cruz Coleman was raw and immediate. I think the first person, present tense style helped with that. How would an ordinary person respond to the apocalypse? To be honest, I doubt I’d be very effective as a fighter. But maybe I’d be magic like the heroine of Dawn of the Infected? There’s lots happening in this prequel novella: angels, vampires, fae.

A Leap of Faith by Trisha Ashley

leap of faith, trisha ashley,One of the things I love about ebooks is that every so often a book I loved, but which has gone out of print, makes a return. With A Leap of Faith by Trisha Ashley, it’s been re-issued. I have an old paper copy from when it was called The Urge to Jump and I’ve recommended the novel to loads of people – but it was hard to get a copy. It’s a great example of using present tense to establish a strong narrative voice. If you like quirky and opinionated British women’s fiction, A Leap of Faith is fun.

The Jinx Hamilton Witch Mysteries by Juliette Harper

jinx mysteries, juliette harperThe Jinx Hamilton Witch Mysteries by Juliette Harper are fun! They’re an easy-read amble in a cozy North Carolina town with witches and ghosts and a magic shop. Like eating chocolate 🙂 They were a lovely, fortuitous discovery last week.


Alchemy Shift – Cover Reveal Soon!

Alchemy Shift will be out October 27. Mark your calendars, because this bear-shifter hero is tough, honourable and utterly lovable.