Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Artistic Vision is Available Now!

By: Dana Marie Bell
Type: eBook
Genre: Paranormal, Shape-shifters
Publisher: Samhain Publishing, Ltd.
Publication Date: 11-22-2011
Length: Category
ISBN: 978-1-60928-553-1
Series: The Gray Court 

Desire is the raw material. Lust is the spark…and love will sculpt their destiny.

Akane Russo, one of the Hob’s top Blades, can’t wait for her current assignment to end. She’s been tasked with protecting Sidhe hybrid Shane Dunne from the Malmayne clan’s scheme to kidnap him once again. But no one—not even her Seer half—warned her she’d have to protect herself from his heated gaze. Or that her dragon half would find him an irresistible puzzle.

Shane knew his destined bride would never come to him willingly, but she’s stuck with him and he plans to use her predicament to his advantage. It’s only a matter of time before she succumbs to what they both want. Their Claiming will be beautiful beyond even his wildest imaginings—and his wild, free dragoness will finally see herself as he sees her.

Then his unique, hybrid-borne visions reveal a new danger. The prophecy of the Child of Dunne can only be fulfilled down a path he must travel alone. To a place so dark and dangerous that not even his truebond’s flame may be bright enough to lead him home.

Product Warning: Contains explicit sex, graphic language, a pissed-off dragon assassin and a smart-mouthed Nebraskan farm boy. Bet you can figure out who wins that fight! (Hint: It’s not the dragon…)

Akane allowed the rhythm of the music to flow through her. She kept her movements sensual, tempting the man across from her in the way only a dragoness could. From the amount of drool on his chin her target was buying into it. Akane allowed some of her inner fire to seep into her expression, smiling slightly when the target almost dropped his drink in his lap.

If Robin’s facts were correct, this man would lead her to information the Malmaynes would kill to keep quiet. She ran her hands through her hair, fluffing the curls around her face with a coquettish look. She licked her lips and allowed her gaze to roam over her target. When she was sure she’d set him to a nice simmer, she crooked her finger at him. All she had to do was seduce him enough that he was distracted. Her temporary Sidhe partner would then read the target’s mind and extract the information they needed. But if the target sensed for even one moment that his mind had been invaded, the entire operation would have to be scrapped and the back-up plan put into action.

Akane did not want to go to plan B. Plan B involved Robin’s direct involvement, something she was striving to avoid at all costs. If Robin showed up, things would get…messy.

Akane allowed the target to slide his hands around her waist. The Malmayne looked like most of them did, with golden, gleaming hair and pale eyes. On any other occasion she might have found him semi-attractive. Tonight, he was nothing more than a mark.

She danced with…what was his name again? Tristan? She danced with Tristan Malmayne, wondering when her temporary partner would give her the signal that they’d gotten what they needed. It would be a simple matter to slip away at that point, something she’d perfected over the years. More than one man had been left in her dust after she’d gotten what she wanted.

The target wasn’t a bad dancer. If he hadn’t been on the devil’s side she might have even enjoyed herself. She ran her fingers through the hair at the nape of his neck, scraping the skin with her nails. A shiver ran through him. His pupils dilated. His erection brushed against her as he pulled her closer.

She turned in his arms, allowing him to move against her ass, hoping her partner was done. His hands roamed over her bare legs, trying to slip beneath the hem of her miniskirt. If his fingers moved two inches higher he’d find a four inch stiletto pinning his foot to the floor. She wanted gone from here before she found herself thrown over Tristan’s shoulder and carted out of the bar. She’d hate to have to explain to Robin that she’d been forced to break the target into tiny little pieces for being too grabby. Again.

Akane looked up, trying to locate her partner, and damn near shrieked in surprise.Right in front of her was one of the handsomest men she’d ever had the misfortune to meet. His sapphire eyes were blazing with anger. Dark blue silk stretched across massive shoulders. Tight, dark jeans were molded to his legs like a second skin. Those scarred hands took hold of the Tristan’s and twisted, sending the Sidhe reeling back in shock and pain.


“Sorry.” She turned to find Tristan’s eyes narrowed. He studied Shane, way too closely for Akane’s comfort. “Don’t I know you?”

Shane grinned. “Nope.” He took hold of Akane’s arm and pulled her to the middle of the dance floor. “You are in deep shit, Miz Akane.”

It took everything in her to keep from twisting his fat head off his neck like a bottle cap. “I’m working.”

“That’s one word for it.”

She gasped in outrage. If he said that again he was going to be known as the Cockless Wonder. She allowed herself to be pulled into his arms just so she could hiss in his ear. “Do you know what you have done?”

“Nope. Don’t care either.”

The anger still appeared to be riding him hard. She was surprised his magic hadn’t escaped his control, filling the air around them with sparks or painting the whorls of a leprechaun on his skin. Only Shane’s eyes glittered with an almost inhuman rage. His attention wasn’t focused on her, though. His eyes were tracking Tristan Malmayne as the man made his way back to his seat.

“Robin will be here shortly.”

That got his attention. “Shit. You meant you were working, didn’t you?”

She gritted her teeth. “How attached are you to your balls?”

He had the audacity to laugh down at her. “Pretty damn attached.”

She pulled his head closer. “That was Tristan Malmayne. He might have given me an in with the Malmaynes if you hadn’t fucked it up.”

“They know who you are and who you work for, remember? Didn’t you damn near hand out business cards the day Duncan explained to his ex-clanmates why Charles Malmayne had been executed, and by whom?”

She grimaced. True, she’d told the Malmaynes in the room who she was and backed up Duncan’s declaration that Charles’s execution had been legal and fully justified. That didn’t mean she still couldn’t work the case the way Robin had asked her to. Besides, Tristan hadn’t been in that room, may not have gotten a good enough look at her through the satellite feed Duncan had set up. She could have pulled it off, especially the way Tristan’s hands had been inching up her skirt.

Shane lifted his head and pulled her so close she could practically feel his heartbeat. “Your mom called. She said hi.”

Akane bit him through his shirt. The son of a bitch had been talking to her mother?

He pulled her head closer with a happy sigh. “She also said happy birthday.”

Akane attempted to lift her head. It was like trying to lift a Chevy Tahoe with her pinky. Damn, the man was strong. She usually snapped people like twigs when they annoyed her, but Shane was made of sterner stuff. He was the only person she’d ever met, other than Robin Goodfellow, who could physically haul her places she didn’t want to go. She’d kicked him once, and instead of the satisfying sound of bones breaking, he’d barely grunted. “You’re dead. You know that, right?”

She felt the rumble of his chuckle under her cheek. “Dance with me, sweetheart.”

She rolled her eyes. He was not going to wiggle out of his imminent demise that easily. “Sweetheart? Since when?”

“Since the moment I saw you.” He allowed her to lift her head, and she was under no illusions about that. He allowed it. “No matter your form, no matter what Robin asks of you, remember one thing: you belong to me.”

Monday, November 21, 2011


The winner of Artistic Vision is:


Congratulations, Lindsey! I've emailed you your copy. Enjoy your book!

P.S.: Don't forget, I'm giving away another copy at The Romance Studio!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

TRS Giveaway!

I'm taking part in the TRS Thanksgiving Giveaway! The grand prizes are a Nook and a $100 gift certificate to Amazon. For rules on how to enter (and to check out my awesome cookie recipe) click here!

Cookies and books. You can't go wrong.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

WriteWay vs Scrivener

I've been playing with some new toys recently, ones that are supposed to help me with my writing. A lot of authors on the RWA loops have been talking about two in specific: Scrivener, which just came out for Windows, and WriteWay, which was, apparently, always for Windows.

The first one I tried was Scrivener. My friend, PJ Schnyder, is working with it and loves it. She says it's really helped her keep track of her notes, her research, and keeps everything she needs in one place. I was intrigued.

Then I opened the program, and apparently I'm stupid, because I could not figure it out after two hours.

It starts by having you open a tutorial on how to work with it. Unfortunately, I found the tutorial to be utterly confusing after an hour of working with it. Scrivener was originally written for the Mac, and maybe that was my problem. I'm far more familiar and comfortable with programs written with the Microsoft Suite in mind. While the look of Scrivener, with its Corkboard, was really nice, I found the binders to be confusing. Worse, the program ate eight pages of The Hob, turning it into the tutorial's document! The good news is, the original Word document still exists, so I didn't lose my work from a few years ago, but still. I wasn't thrilled with Scrivener.

So I decided that while I liked the concept, Scrivener was not for me. What else was out there? That's when I saw WriteWay.

It was easy to work with immediately. I needed to hit the Help button once in the five hours I worked with it over the weekend (and I rarely write on weekends). I've got Angel in My Arms loaded, chapters and scenes set, research links added, all within two days. It's got a Synopsis page for when I'm ready, opens my Excel spreadsheet that I use for series work (as a separate doc), and has spots below where I'm writing for chapter and scene plot points and notes. When I'm ready to write, I click on the chapter scene I'm ready to write/edit and get straight to work. No confusion, no muss, and no eating of my document! It even keeps track of my word count in an obvious, top-of-page place. No hunting for it, no confusion. In short, it's perfect for me. Bonus? WriteWay is working on a version for Mac users.

The third program I heard of but didn't try was WriteMonkey, but the website was done in simple text, with no pics of the program. It is, however, free, which might explain the no-frills website. Some authors swear by it, but I'm happy with my purchase of WriteWay, so I won't be checking it out.

P.S.: If anyone has used Scrivener (or WriteMonkey) and loves it, please comment! While I didn't like the program for me, it looked really neat to work with. Maybe Mac users would find it more intuitive?

Friday, November 4, 2011

Meat Grinding and Names

I'm going through Angel in my Arms, just like I'd planned. Unfortunately, Robin (aka the Hob) has different ideas. He's been sneaking scenes into my head, and whispering, "Write it. You know you want to."

He's evil. But right. I do want to write him, but I'm stubborn. I've got a file of notes on the scenes he's given me, but I'm determined to finish Angel before I start Robin's story. I just need a working title for it, since I'm not sure I want to call it The Hob forever.

Don't worry, I'm not setting you aside, Mr. Angel

I want something with a little pizzazz; after all, we're talking about Oberon's personal Blade here. The man who scares the piss out of the Dark Queen's strongest warriors. The man High King Oberon walks warily around.

Chuck Norris might be slightly more bad-ass.

So I'm leaning towards something along the line of The Hob's Heart or Puck's Match, but I need to ponder it a little bit longer. Dusty came up with Wicked Games, but I'm worried it sounds a little too BDSM for what I'm writing (plus I already have Mating Games). Maybe Hob's Game

I know. You're wondering why I don't just start writing it and come up with the name later. I'm one of those writers who likes to have a good working title in mind, one that likely won't change when I'm done the book. I'm weird that way. If I don't have it figured out by mid-November, maybe I'll put it to a vote.

P.S.: Don't forget about the Artistic Vision contest! There's plenty of Hobby goodness, as Akane is a Blade.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Contest Time!

Told you I'd be starting the contest to win a copy of Artistic Vision at the beginning of the month!

For details on how to win a download of the third Gray Court novel, go to my website! The winner will be announced on November 21, the day before the book releases.

P.S.: When you enter, don't forget to send me your preferred format!

Favorite Quotes

"I had the right to remain silent, but I didn't have the ability." Ron White

"So let me get this straight. You want me to kill the little guys, kill the big guys, crowd control those I can't, buff the team, debuff the boss, keep myself alive, AND keep you alive, all while waving a stick and dressed in a towel?" - Anonymous Role Playing Gamer

"I think that statue over there is a statement on modern life. The statement is, "Well, shit." - Varric, Dragon Age II

"Why is it all claws and guns? Can't we piss off a fuzzy planet? Still dangerous, but hey. Bunnies." - Joker, Mass Effect

"Last night, I lay in bed looking up at the stars in the sky and thought to myself, "Where the heck is the ceiling?" - Dilbert

"Aim at the high mark and you will hit it. No, not the first time, not the second time and maybe not the third. But keep on aiming and keep on shooting for only practice will make you perfect. Finally you'll hit the bull's-eye of success." - Annie Oakley

"It is only when you fall that you learn whether you can fly." - Flemeth, aka The Witch of the Wilds, Dragon Age 2

"The very existence of flamethrowers proves that sometime, somewhere, someone said to themselves, 'You know, I want to set those people over there on fire, but I’m just not close enough to get the job done.'” - George Carlin

"I hear there's a wild bridge tournament down the street. And you know Bridge. It's a lot like sex. If you don't have a great partner, you'd better have a good hand." Barry Weiss, Storage Wars

"You know, I used to think it was awful that life was so unfair. Then I thought, wouldn't it be much worse if life were fair, and all the terrible things that happen to us come because we actually deserve them? So, now I take great comfort in the general hostility and unfairness of the universe." - Marcus Cole, Babylon 5, "A Late Delivery From Avalon"

"I aim to misbehave." - Capt. Malcolm Reynolds

"Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid." - Albert Einstein

“If you think you can or think you cannot, you are correct.” - Henry Ford