Who Do You Blame for Your Love of Reading?

As a kid, my parents were always trying to get me to “put down that book and go play outside!” But they only had themselves to blame. Even before I could read, Mum’s treat for me during the weekly grocery shop would often be a Little Golden Book.

Do you remember who or which books sparked your love of reading? Was it a movie perhaps that you loved and then wanted to read the original book?

Books are such a joy. They’re adventure, escape and reassurance. They let us share others’ emotions. Studies prove that reading encourages empathy. Maybe all politicians should be made to read a children’s book before they take office!

I’m in a bit of a nostalgic mood. So apart from asking you about who or what sparked your reading habit, I thought I’d ask about food.

Food Memories

Do you have any foods that you eat because they’re part of good memories? Comfort foods, I guess. When I think about it, most of mine are sweet! Hot chocolate, apple crumble (homemade, of course!) and pancakes. And ice cream cake … I love ice cream cake!

Pre-order Bargain

I saw this on my wanderings through Facebook. The authors involved are organising some pre-release promotion.

Werewolves, dragons, vampires, faes, witches, demons… Do YOU have a favourite or do you love them all?
No need to choose with this boxed set of ALL NEW stories from 22 NY Times, USA Today, and Award Winning, Bestselling authors!
Prowlers & Growlers
Preorder for #99cents but for a limited time only…
Amazon: http://hyperurl.co/PnGBs
Nook: http://bit.ly/2jzPcGI
iBooks: http://hyperurl.co/PnGiB
Kobo: http://bit.ly/2lcxcYe
Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2kfFjSp

Fantastical Island Update After Release

It’s been a week since Fantastical Island released. I’m so thrilled you’re enjoying it. Thank you HEAPS for the messages and reviews. Thank you to everyone who quietly mentioned it to a friend.

I’m about to hit the button to raise Fantastical Island to full price ($2.99), so if you want to nab it at 99c, do it now! It will remain free to read for Kindle Unlimited subscribers.

kindle unlimited, paranormal romance, Jenny Schwartz

Kindle Unlimited Discoveries

Amanda M Lee is a prolific writer. She has a slightly snarky tone in her upbeat mysteries. I enjoy them and definitely enjoyed Off the Record, a recent release. However, I recommend starting at the beginning with this series. The characters grow on you 🙂

kindleAnd speaking of new additions to enjoyable series, Lindsay Buroker released Cyborg Legacy. Again, it won’t make as much sense if you start the series here, but for fans of her Fallen Empire series, Cyborg Legacy is fun.

New Release: Fantastical Island – & More!

There is a lot in this newsletter, so please read on.

Fantastical Island

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Out today! 99c for a short time.

Buy link: https://www.amazon.com/Fantastical-Island-Old-School-Book-ebook/dp/B01N56RZ7Z/

Someone is hunting the fantastical creatures of Catalina Island.

When a magical amulet gives marine biologist Naomi Twain the power to see through glamours it plunges her into a world of danger and intrigue. Fantastical creatures are everywhere, but hidden, on Catalina Island—and someone is hunting them, putting at risk a unique, magical ecosystem.

Corey Madrigal is bathing a behemi, a flying miniature pig, when Naomi crashes into his life. With a natural talent for seeing through glamours, he feels a responsibility to the creatures of his island home, creatures who were the friends of his childhood. Now, he’s a Hollywood special effects artist, and he’s going to be an amazing ally for Naomi in her quest to capture the hunters of the island’s fantastical creatures.

But the hunters have their own agenda.

And then, there’s the ghost…
Intense danger, wild storms, and passionate loyalties put to the test. Fantastical Island is a stand-alone adventure in the Old School series.

Other New Releases

kindle Familiar Magic, The London Coven series, Book 1, by MV Stott

Three dead witches. An unknown killer. One big mistake: they left me alive.

My name is Stella and I’m the Familiar to the London Coven.

Magic is real. It’s all around you, and it’s dangerous. Uncanny things lurk in the shadows, hell-bent on murder and destruction. It’s my job to make sure the people of my city are protected, and I’m usually pretty good at it, but now…

…now something has dropped into my life and torn my coven apart. It did the impossible and murdered three of the most powerful creatures in London, leaving me alone and running scared.

Something evil beyond anything I’ve ever experienced is loose in London, something with the power to squash me like a bug…

…and I’m going to destroy it.

My name is Stella Familiar, and evil just picked on the wrong woman.

.

Lady of Silver, Shona Husk

A man on a mission
A brutal crime is haunting detective Dale Morgan. A young woman has been murdered on the city’s outskirts, and her blood drained. Dale suspects the leader of a depraved cult may be to blame. Yet with barely a shred of evidence at the crime scene, Dale will have to turn to the one person he despises almost as much as the killers he puts behind bars.

A woman with secrets
To humans, Saba Venn is a psychic, but she’s Albah, a race long forgotten by humans but who live amongst them, her powers fueled by blood and silver. She agrees to help Detective Morgan, if it means stopping the vampire cult she believes is behind the killing. But the attraction she feels with Dale is immediate, and as their relationship intensifies she begins to doubt she can keep her secret from him.

[Shona is a fantastic Aussie author – the only person I know who has ever released a goblin into the botanical gardens of my city, Perth – For the Love of a Goblin Warrior]

.

Immortal Kiss, JK Coi

It has been two years since Baron’s initiation into the world of the Immortals and was forced to set aside his past to embrace the challenges of his new future…a future without the only woman he ever cared about.

Maxine is strong, determined, and loyal to a fault, but her promise to Baron’s brother is a hard one to keep, because it means tracking Baron down and dragging him home to face the music. But the man she finds isn’t the same one who broke her heart when he left two years ago without even saying goodbye, and now that she’s been sucked into his dangerous new world, nothing will ever be the same again.

When Baron encounters a vicious vampire who vows to destroy everything he loves, it doesn’t faze him in the least. He gave up everything he loved along with his humanity. But then the demon finds Maxine, leaving her broken and battered on Barron’s doorstep, and he realizes he still has something to lose…

[JK is one of my fantabulous Antho Sisters. Back in 2011, she, PG Fort, Stacy Gail and I had novellas in the anthology, A Clockwork Christmas. We had the best time promoting that book together, although we live in three different countries.]

Free and 99c Fantasy Romance Novels, Feb 21-23

I wonder if there’s a special word for book greediness? I’d have to confess to it if it was a sin 😉 Fortunately, books are fabulous! I hope you find some to delight you in these free and 99c fantasy novels.

SM Schmitz organised this promo, so I want to do a special shout out for the boxed set of books she has a story in, Wicked Legends, which is free Feb 21-23.

Win a $100 Amazon giftcard

You should have received news of the $100 Amazon giftcard giveaway that I’m sponsoring to celebrate the release of Fantastical Island, but in case you missed it, you can enter at Dreaming of Unicorns. The contest closes February 28, 2017.

fantastical island, jenny schwartz, kindle unlimited, paranormal romance,

The Crocodile Virgin is free till February 24

I put my short paranormal romance, The Crocodile Virgin, free for the fantasy romance promo mentioned earlier. It has a new cover, so you mightn’t recognise it. I had some fun with the cover!

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And I think that’s it! I warned you it was a BIG newsletter 🙂 Please don’t forget to pick up my new release Fantastical Island while it’s 99c.

 

Dreaming of Unicorns

CONTEST CLOSED!! Winner is KateS who’d love to meet Pegasus! I wish I could arrange it for you 🙂 I’m sending you an email to arrange the giftcard delivery.

Thank you to everyone who entered the contest. I wish we could all meet our favourite mythological creatures. I really enjoyed reading your varied responses – dragons, unicorns and all the rest.

 

To celebrate the release of my latest paranormal romance, Fantastical Island (99c for a short time, FREE in Kindle Unlimited), I’m offering a $100 Amazon (.com) giftcard for one lucky winner. For your chance to win, simply comment on this post with the name of the mythological creature you’d like to meet. It can be something sexy like a werewolf (well, I think they’re sexy) or unique like a baku (there’s a baku in Fantastical Island). Have fun!

Random.org will be used to select a winner. The contest runs February 21-28, 2017. Good luck!

fantastical island, jenny schwartz, kindle unlimited, paranormal romance,

Someone is hunting the fantastical creatures of Catalina Island.

When a magical amulet gives marine biologist Naomi Twain the power to see through glamours it plunges her into a world of danger and intrigue. Fantastical creatures are everywhere, but hidden, on Catalina Island—and someone is hunting them, putting at risk a unique, magical ecosystem.

Corey Madrigal is bathing a behemi, a flying miniature pig, when Naomi crashes into his life. With a natural talent for seeing through glamours, he feels a responsibility to the creatures of his island home, creatures who were the friends of his childhood. Now, he’s a Hollywood special effects artist, and he’s going to be an amazing ally for Naomi in her quest to capture the hunters of the island’s fantastical creatures.

But the hunters have their own agenda.

And then, there’s the ghost…

Intense danger, wild storms, and passionate loyalties put to the test. Fantastical Island is a stand-alone adventure in the Old School series.

Fantastical Island is 99c for a short time, or FREE to read in Kindle Unlimited. Amazon link: https://www.amazon.com/Fantastical-Island-Old-School-Book-ebook/dp/B01N56RZ7Z/

Good luck in the contest! I’m genuinely curious which fantastical creatures people want to meet.

Happy Valentine’s Day – Celebrating that Life is Good

I write romance novels. When I tell people that, especially guys, they’re a bit stuck for something to say. Over the years, their discomfort has prompted me to think about what I write and why. At the heart of it is something simple and powerful, and true to all storytelling. I write about relationships.

We exist in a web of relationships. Some are casual. A few are intense. Some are destructive. Others are life-affirming and supportive.

In a romance novel, the focus is on the romantic-love relationship. How do people fall in love? Why do they fall in love? How do they negotiate the highs and lows of building a relationship? Will they run? Will they open up? And in a romance novel we all know that they HAVE to open up for the relationship to grow. In a novel, great risk brings great reward.

On Valentine’s Day, as in a romance novel, the focus is on the romantic-love relationship, but there are so many other relationships that we participate in that we ought to celebrate. In a novel, those are the relationships that an author uses to reveal aspects of the hero or heroine. How does he or she treat other people? How do they let other people treat them? How do they see themselves? We reveal ourselves in our relationships.

Every relationship contributes to whether our day is good or dull.

So it’s not sexy, and it’s not red roses and and chocolate, but this Valentine’s Day I’m going to focus just a little more on being kind to people. Every relationship glows a bit when kindness is added.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

One More Week till Fantastical Island Releases!

I’m so excited. Publishing a new book is fun! Stressful and rollercoaster-ish, but absolutely wonderful. If you want to pre-order Fantastical Island so it appears magically on your kindle next Tuesday, the link is:  https://www.amazon.com/Fantastical-Island-Old-School-Book-ebook/dp/B01N56RZ7Z/

kindle unlimited, pnr, paranormal romance,

Kindle Unlimited Discoveries

kindle unlimited, fantasyDragon Trials by Ava Richardson launched an enjoyable old style fantasy quest trilogy.

kindle unlimited, mystery,Whereas Mary Burton wrote a scary thriller of the kind I remember from the 1990s. The Shark had a neat twist at the end.

And just out today (I wonder if author CE Wilson chose Valentine’s Day especially) is a new young adult dystopian romance, Cruel and Unusual.

kindle unlimited

Why Do We Write Romance Novels

Elizabeth Reid Boyd is a good friend and a clever, insightful author. She has a dual identity: academic by day, romance author by night. For Valentine’s Day she was invited to write on romance fiction, and has done so wittily on the contradictions and complexity of juggling her two identities. Actually, I think she did something more. I think her article, To The Mattresses: A Defence of Romance Fiction, reveals the satisfaction romance writing gives exactly because, unlike what its critics might claim, it doesn’t shy away from big issues.

When we tell a story, we share with each other the possibilities open to us all.

Free Books & Neighbourhood Musings

So many books today!

Free Books – Nearly 70 Free Romance Books on Instafreebie

With thanks to JL Hendricks for organising this, here are nearly seventy romance novels and novellas free to download from Instafreebie. Lots of different romance subgenres and authors. Promotion ends February 15.

Free New Releases from Me!

kindle unlimited, paranormal romance, jenny schwartzActually, Embracing the Ghoul isn’t exactly a new release. It was part of my Dare collection, but that’s no longer available, so I’ve released Embracing the Ghoul as a separate paranormal novella. It’s free February 8-12.

Embracing the Ghoul buy link:  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N9ZQDAU/

I’ve done the same thing with Denying the Dragon, but it’s not free till tomorrow – so please wait to nab it! Denying the Dragon is free February 9-13.

Denying the Dragon buy link:  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01MUW1KB4/

And for those of you who don’t know that I once wrote contemporary romance, my Valentine’s Day sweet western short romance, Kiss Me, Quick, is free February 10-14.

Kiss Me, Quick buy link:  https://www.amazon.com/Kiss-Me-Quick-Cowboy-Valentines-ebook/dp/B00SF98CEE/

I know these staggered dates are confusing, so please, please, check that the books are free before you grab them. Thanks!

February Fantasy Fair – Free & 99c Books

With thanks to the Book Nymph, you can find some gorgeous free and 99c books at her Fantasy Fair.

Do You Know Your Neighbours?

As much as I get annoyed with my neighbours when they’re busy being noisy (and wow are they noisy), they’re good people. It was an article by a respected Australian social analyst that got me thinking about neighbourhoods. Hugh McKay wrote of the need to sustain our communities “by responding to ugliness with beauty; by responding to treachery with integrity; by responding to lies with truth.” My neighbours aren’t my friends (we’re all very busy and very different), but I hadn’t really considered how lucky I am that I can trust that if I had a problem, any of them would help. I’m talking of my immediate neighbours, but if I go wider, the story is still the same.

Like the couple walking past who found my neighbour’s brother’s pup that had escaped her temporary home (puppies are tricky that way) and was wandering on the road. Poor Nikki didn’t know what to do with her freedom. The couple rescued her, door knocked (we were home, our neighbour wasn’t) and handed over the pup only after checking that she obviously knew us and that we were more than okay to babysit Miss Trouble.

People have an instinct to build community, whether in real life or online, and I think we sometimes take the power of that instinct for granted. I’m a bit shy, but I like knowing that I exist in a web of connections. Sometimes we contribute to community building with a gift, and sometimes by making a request. It humbles me to consider how often a simple request for help is answered with overwhelming generosity.

The media cycle lately has been filled with depressing stories of political fighting, disasters, and all kinds of dramatic and unpleasant happenings. The article by Hugh McKay caught my attention because it argued that the negative stuff oughtn’t to overwhelm us and that in small but vital ways we can build a better world.

Kindle Unlimited Discoveries

I’ve had an absolute blast with the Union State science fiction series by E.M. Foner. It is light-hearted, thoughtful and funny.

 

Work-in-Progress: Storm Road

Just to tantalise you, here’s an excerpt from Storm Road which I’m working on now for an April release.

paranormal romance, kindle unlimited,

“I need the police—or something.” The man shook his head, not in negation, but as if dazed.
Shock? Beulah tried to assess her visitor and whatever problem brought him to her door.
His blue eyes were narrowed against the sudden brightness of the light and his lips thin and lacking colour; tight with pain or intense emotion.
“Are you alone?” she asked.
His eyes flared wide. “God. I hope so.” His head turned north east, back up the mountain. “I think I lost him…it.”
It? An eerie word. Beulah tried to ignore the shiver that slid down her spine. There were bears in the mountains. Maybe the man had been chased by a bear? There was dirt on his face and hands, but she couldn’t see any blood. He’d fallen at some point.
He didn’t look like a man who’d panic at the sight of a bear. In fact, he didn’t look panicked now. He looked determined—and afraid. That was the reason for the sense of oddness he gave off. Terror had an element of shock to it. The man was dazed by his own fear, but controlling it.
He spoke quietly, reasonably. “I can’t get a signal on my phone.” He looked beyond her to the old phone fixed to the wall near the fridge. “May I—” He cut himself off, looking around more carefully. Evidently noting the lack of evidence of anyone else present in the small cabin. He released the doorframe and stepped back a pace. “I can stay out here if you’ll phone the police.”
“To report what?” she queried. “What has happened?”

It’s only two weeks till Fantastical Island releases. Pre-order your copy for only 99c. Buy link: https://www.amazon.com/Fantastical-Island-Old-School-Book-ebook/dp/B01N56RZ7Z/

paranormal romance, kindle unlimited,