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

science fiction romance, australian science fiction, kindle unlimited,

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.

covering

Superstitions. Modern Magic. Tempting Fate.

Superstitions

I’ve been thinking about superstitions because I’m wondering if one of the heroine’s of my 2017 series, Old School, is going to have some superstitions in her life. It made me question if I have any.

superstitions, kindle unlimited, paranormal romance, Jenny Schwartz,At first, I would have given a definite “no”. I once owned (or was owned by) a black cat. I walk under ladders (or more usually widely around them since I’m a klutz and I don’t want to knock anyone off a ladder). I never throw salt over my shoulder or worry about Friday the thirteenth. But then I remembered … I have superstitions about tempting fate.

If I’m talking about things going well, I tend to either say or do “touch wood”. Or I simply won’t talk about something that’s sailing along (like a story I’m writing that is awesome in its characters and plot twists) for fear of “jinxing” it.

So, while I’m okay opening umbrellas inside and breaking a mirror only annoys me because then I have to clean up the mess, I find that I am superstitious. How about you? Do you have any superstitions in your life?

Modern Magic

I don’t practice magic, so this isn’t literally about magic, but about how magical thinking is adapting to our computer age. When I talk about algos (the algorithms that rule our life – they’re the things that Facebook uses to decide which posts from our friends we see) I could be talking about magic. I have no idea how they work, but I’m superstitiously convinced that they have to be appeased.

For instance, I won’t type the word -s-pa-m- for fear it summons it! Similarly, I have a gizmo-thingie on this website that scores me on how well I’m writing this post. I suspect the score is a load of rubbish, but I still bow down before it in the hopes of magically writing a post that Google searches then show to everyone!

So any time we’re uncertain, magical thinking rushes in to fill the gap. In a world of chaos and change, we try to impose order.

Fighting Fate

I don’t believe our destinies are fixed. I think we have the power to change our lives and others’. For me, superstitions are defensive. We’re cowering before Fate, trying to avoid the worst times.

We need to take the fight to Fate.

And this is why I love reading fiction. Fiction tends to be quest stories where characters charge into battle (real or emotional) and us readers run with them. In the safety of fictional universes we experience the power and price of challenging destiny. I hope that every fictional happy-ever-after makes us a little more willing, or confident, that we can seize happiness, too.

Hats & Magpies
hat, jenny schwartz,
I was going to model it, but my hair is a mess & I have panda eyes from hayfever. Not my best look!

I’ve bought myself a new hat! Isn’t it stylish? Spring is here and I intend to walk around the neighbourhood as the weather warms despite … do you have birds that swoop people where you are? Everyone talks about Australia’s dangerous snakes and spiders, but our Australian magpies can be vicious, too. I’ve had one swoop, strike me, and draw blood – and it’s currently nesting season! Danger!Danger! Hence, the sturdy new hat. (And for those of you who think I’m exaggerating, magpies really are dangerous).

magpies, superstitions, Jenny Schwartz,I’ll leave you with one final superstition, from England, concerning magpies:

One for sorrow,
Two for mirth,
Three for a funeral
And four for birth.  (Wikipedia)

Or as I prefer:

Don’t bother counting, just run!

Wildflowers from Space!

P.S. I’m not sure I believe it, but the exaggerated claim is that the spectacular wildflowers I mentioned a couple of weeks ago are visible from space. Whatever the case, my home state sure knows how to put on a show 🙂