Friday, September 2, 2011

Out of the Shadows!

by Anna Campbell

I've been really looking forward to introducing you all to my lovely friend M.J. Scott. M.J. is a long-time and very active member of Romance Writers of Australia and it's always a pleasure to see her at our conferences.

It's even more of a pleasure to talk about her debut book SHADOW KIN which hits the shelves (and the e-waves) on 6th September. The great reviews for SHADOW KIN are rolling in. RT Book Reviews said, "Exciting and rife with political intrigue and magic, SHADOW KIN is hard to put down right from the start. Magic, faeries, vampires, werewolves and Templar knights all come together to create an intriguing story with a unique take on all these fantasy tropes...the lore and history of Scott’s world is well fleshed out and the action scenes are exhilarating and fast."

Here's the blurb:

On one side, the Night World, rules by the Blood Lords and the Beast Kind. On the other, the elusive Fae and the humans, protected by their steadfast mages...

Born a wraith, Lily is a shadow who slips between worlds. Brought up by a Blood Lord and raised to be his assassin, she is little more than a slave. But when Lily meets her match in target Simon DuCaine, the unlikely bond that develops between them threatens to disrupt an already stretched peace in a city on the verge of being torn apart...

You can find out more about Mel and her books and read an excerpt from SHADOW KIN on M.J.'s website: www.mjscott.net

M.J., welcome to the Romance Bandits and congratulations on the release of your debut book SHADOW KIN. Can you tell us about this story?

SHADOW KIN is the story of a half-Fae assassin who has been controlled all her life by some fairly unpleasant people.When she botches her latest assignment and meets someone with a different perspective on the world, things begin to change.

You describe SHADOW KIN as ‘dark fantasy’. Can you tell us about the world your characters inhabit and what inspired it?

I will confess that when I first started SHADOW KIN, I thought it was urban fantasy. But then I realised that they weren’t wearing modern clothes and when the first gun appeared, in my head it was an ornately engraved old-fashioned pistol. Then as my heroine told me more about the world and said that the four races who live in the Half-Light City maintain peace through a treaty, I started to think about what sorts of things a treaty between humans, vampires, werewolves and Fae might govern. The obvious things seemed to be rationing the amounts of iron and silver that are available for use. Which has some flow-on effects on the level of technology the humans have reached. Plus there’s magic to deal with. SHADOW KIN isn’t steampunk but the world is somewhere around an early Victorian level of technology, with some differences. As for the inspiration, I can’t point to any one thing. A lifetime of reading fantasy, science fiction and lots of historical romance, I guess!

Sounds great! What’s next for M.J. Scott?

Book 2, BLOOD KIN comes out in June next year. I’m just finishing book three and am working on other things that I can’t yet talk about.

Here in the lair, we LOVE call stories. Can you please share yours?

My call story is a bit of a saga. SHADOW KIN was the third book of mine that my agent went out with. I wrote it in a year where I was having a lot of near misses, so it was a bit of a roller coaster plus it was a bit of an odd book and I wasn’t sure where exactly it would fit and was feeling gloomy about the whole thing (even though I loved the book). Luckily my agent loved it too and then, when she sent it out, we got the first offer in about three weeks. But it then took another two weeks to get other offers and have a bit of an auction, during which I had to keep quiet about what was happening and didn’t sleep much. Lots of very early morning phone calls and emails given the time difference between Australia and New York. When we got to the actual final result, my agent finally got to make “the call” after nearly three years of repping me and there was much squeeing and snoopy dancing. Then I got to share the good news with the world and have a long nap. lol

I bet that was a very happy nap! Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?

Stick to it, keep learning and don’t give up. It took me nine years to sell and almost ten years before I finally got to hold my book in my hands but it’s worth all the hard work along the way!

Your heroine is an assassin – did you set out to write a bad girl heroine?

The couple of urban fantasy books I wrote before SHADOW KIN both had heroines who started out more normal and got dragged into darker worlds. When my heroine showed up in my head, standing outside a door, getting ready to go in and kill someone, I realised I was dealing with a whole different kettle of fish. So I didn’t start off to write her that way, she arrived that way and then the hero popped up almost her complete opposite and I had a good guy hero to deal with too. Which was a lot of fun to play with as a writer as things are rarely quite as black and white as they seems.

Okay, Banditas, I had a blast writing a bad girl/good boy story even though it was different to what I’ve tended to write before (as I’m usually a bit of a sucker for a bad boy hero). What’s your favourite romance pairing? Do you like to see the good girl get her bad boy or two charming tricksters go head to head in a bad boy/bad girl heroine or see a good guy get his world turned on its head by a sexy bad girl? Or even see two good people struggle to get it right?

Thanks, M.J. Get commenting, people. There's a copy of SHADOW KIN up for grabs today! Good luck!

144 comments:

Cath said...

I have been hearing A LOT about this book in cyberspace and its definitely going on my list to get. Blurb sounds amazing and you've been blessed with a great cover :)
Great interview Anna and M.J
cbcowley@gmail.com

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, Cath, you get the chook! Good for you! So glad you enjoyed the interview. I was so excited when I heard M.J. got the call - I've been containing my urge to have her on the Banditas for ages. Isn't that cover eye-catching?

M.J. said...

Hi Cath!

Thanks : ) The cover is definitely a blessing...the team at Roc outdid themselves and there was much happy squealing when I first saw it!

Helen Lacey said...

Hi MJ & Anna
Great interview!! Congratulations on your debut release. And a fabulous cover too :)

Jo-Anne said...

Wow this sounds amazing! Great cover. I like to see two strong personalities go head to head. Makes for very interesting reading.

Congratulations on getting your book published M.J. Must be exciting.

M.J. said...

Thanks Helen!

And Jo-Anne it is very exciting! I love the two people butting heads type stories too...one of my faves is Lord Perfect by Loretta Chase. Because they're both so determined to shape the world their way and it's adorable when it goes pear shaped because of love : )

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, thanks, Helen! So glad you enjoyed the interview.

Anna Campbell said...

Jo-Anne, I love it when two strong characters can't beat that attraction too. Always makes for really electric romance!

Robyn Enlund said...

I just love a solid virtuous man and a woman who's treading the line but maybe (or maybe not!) wants to change. I love the twist it puts on the relationship.
I loved your call story and the fact you wrote this book in a year that felt gloomy. Sometime the best things come out of the worst times!

Anna Campbell said...

Robyn, lovely to see you! Hey, we've got a lovely turnout of downunder gals here today to welcome M.J. to the lair!

M.J. said...

Hey Robyn

There's definitely something about that honorable man. Like Aragorn! mmmm....

Jenny Schwartz said...

I like the idea of bad girl/good boy. Blurb sounds fab. Congrats!

[I think my brain's been twitter-fied and can't type a post longer than 140 characters. May need therapy...ahem, chocolate!]

M.J. said...

Thanks Jenny!

And when do we not need chocolate? : ) Was just wishing I had some Haigh's dark peppermint crunch a little while ago!

Anna Campbell said...

Aragorn...

Just...ARAGORN!

Swoon.

Thud.

Anna Campbell said...

Jenny, that's the weakest excuse for wanting chocolate that I've ever heard. I want chocolate purely because it promotes world peace ;-)

Jenny Schwartz said...

LOL Anna, you just got a laugh out of me in the middle of Friday afternoon blahs. Thank you!

MJ, you're right. Chocolate is always necessary :)

M.J. said...

Chocolate promotes world peace? I mean, OF COURSE chocolate promotes world peace. By making us all happy. We must all go forth and contribute further to the cause.

Chocolate and Aragorn! (think brain might have just melted!)

donnas said...

Congrats on the book. Ive really been hearing a lot of good things about it and looking forward to reading it.

And I just want to say all of the above. It depends on what I am in the mood to read and which character type fits the story the best.

bacchus76 at myself dot com

Janni Nell said...

Bad boy/bad girl is such fun. :-)

Anna Campbell said...

M.J., you're verging on too much of a good thing there!

Anna Campbell said...

Jenny, I get Friday afternoon blahs too. We must eat chocolate to defeat these monsters!

M.J. said...

Thanks Donna : )

It is nice to have the choice...that's why I love romance and fantasy as genres...so varied and you can always find something to suit your mood.

Just like chocolate! lol

Anna Campbell said...

Hi Donnas. We love introducing debut authors to the denizens of the lair. They're so fresh and crunchy. Uh, no, that was our resident dragon who made me say that.

Anna Campbell said...

Janni, I think bad just is GOOD!

M.J. said...

Crunchy? Tosses chocolate at Anna to distract her from contemplating my crunchiness!

M.J. said...

Janni, I definitely have a leaning towards the bad boy...(my friends will attest to my undying devotion to Jack Sparrow). Nice to see them get bamboozled by a gal who can match them!

Anne said...

Congratulations, Mel, it's soooo exciting to see your book up there with its gorrrgeous cover — and looking so REAL! LOL. You've certainly put in the hard yards for this moment , so enjoy it.

Anna Campbell said...

Nom, nom, nom...

Hmm, it's like a CRUNCHIE bar!!!

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, Anne Gracie's in da lair! Isn't Mel's cover gorgeous? I bet she squeed when she saw it!

M.J. said...

Throws Crunchie bars at Anna (they are tastier than debut authors! promise!)

Waves to the lovely Anne Gracie (who was the first real live author I met and inspired me to finish my first book)! Thanks : )

And Anna yes, there was squeeing! Am officially biased but the cover is beautiful.

Keziah Hill said...

Any chocolate left? I'm sooo looking forward to reading this Mel. It has all the hallmarks of a curl-up-on-the-couch-with-your-favorite-indulgence-of-choice book.

Linda said...

A new book & a new author to add to my wishlist! Congrats MJ on your debut book; it sounds fascinating.

thumbelinda03@yahoo.com

M.J. said...

Hi Keziah

The beauty of virtual chocolate is there's always some left!

And only four more days until your Kindle can automagically deliver Shadow Kin to you : )

M.J. said...

Why thank you, Linda.

And may I say, that's a very cute avatar pic!

Sonali said...

Hi M.J, I love the cover. It rocks!!! Congratulations on the release!

Well i always love the traditional pairing found in alot of romance novels- the good girl, bad boy couple but when i come across a sexy bad girl who nows what she wants and isn't afraid to go for it, it just adds a kick to the reading.

Anna Campbell said...

Keziah, if you promise to use the chocolate to promote world peace, you are most welcome to have one of our Crunchie Bars. Or perhaps this chocolate Aragorn I prepared earlier.

Anna Campbell said...

I love Linda's avatar too, Mel! It's SOOOO cute!

Anna Campbell said...

Sonali, I'm a fan of that one too. I like it when the good girl finds out she's actually quite a bit naughty too ;-)

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, guys, don't forget you can pre-order Shadow Kin by clicking on the cover on the blog. We like to make things easy for you in the lair (unless you're a crunchy new author!).

Joan Kilby said...

Chiming in way late because I've taken a day off to enjoy the spring sunshine after a marathon deadline. Just wanted to wish MJ well and say the excerpt I read was fabulous. And that I have major cover envy. Gotta get me a copy asap. Hi Anna! Thanks for hosting Mel on this site.

Anna Campbell said...

Hi Joan! It's a pleasure to host Mel. And thanks so much for swinging by. Actually you're pretty early - the site works on American hours and it's only the wee small hours of Friday over there.

Joan Kilby said...

Lol, Anna, I'm either early or late. You'd think I'd get the hang of the time change by now, having come from that side of the pond.

Anna Campbell said...

Joan, I think it's lovely you've acclimatised so well ;-)

marybelle said...

SHADOW KIN has been on my list forever. I must bump it up. I feel like I have been stalking M.J. around in cyber space lately.

Anna Campbell said...

Mary, I'm sure M.J. likes you stalking her!

Vanessa Barneveld said...

Fabulous interview, Anna and MJ!

MJ, how exciting to finally see your book alive on the shelves. Congratulations! SHADOW KIN sounds so intriguing. Can't wait to get my hands on it.

Anna Campbell said...

Vanessa, isn't it wonderful to see M.J.'s book hitting the shelves? Huzzah!

Anna Sugden said...

Hi MJ and welcome to the Lair! Hi Anna!

Congrats on your debut release - sounds fascinating. Thanks for sharing your sale story too - it's so nice to hear of someone who didn't sell the first thing they ever wrote!

Can't resist the bad boys ... then again, can't resist the good boys either ;) Depends on my mood as to which I'll take delight in - kind of like which dessert I fancy.

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, Anna, didn't I just see you flirting with a koala? Yeah, M.J.'s story is very inspiring, isn't it?

M.J. said...

I had to run out and buy more Crunchies to fend Anna off with but I am back.

Sonali...there's really something about a bad boy, isn't there? Why do we like them so much?

M.J. said...

Joan, spending a day in the spring sunshine sounds like the perfect reward for finishing a book!

Thanks for stopping by : )

Anna Campbell said...

Hmm, M.J., if fear drives you to buy me chocolate, I must terrify you again! Anyway, it's Ermingarde the lair's dragon who eats debut authors. I just baste them a little before I hand them over to her! She likes her debut author marinaded.

M.J. said...

lol Marybelle...authors don't mind having their books stalked! Hope you enjoy Shadow Kin when you get to it.

And look, I seem to have accidentally acquired chocolate for myself whilst out buying Crunchies. Nom nom nom (or should I be sensible and eat dinner first?)

M.J. said...

Hi Vanessa!

Thanks! It's is very hard to describe what it's like to have your first book out. Exciting. Nervewracking. Fun. And it's even more fun celebrating it with everyone!

M.J. said...

Hi Anna S

I definitely didn't sell my first book. Shadow Kin is something like the 12th? book I've written (though there was a genre change in there at about book 8). Writers need a good dose of stubborn (and a good supply of chocolate to ward off the waiting blues)!

I like the idea of choosing your hero flavor for dessert...though now I'm imaging a vast hero stocked supermarket......mmmmm

M.J. said...

There's a dragon? Nice dragon? Here, Ermingarde, have a lovely marinated Crunchie bar...far tastier than little old me!

Might have to time machine back to the Met in NY and borrow on of their awesome suits of armor if this keeps up!

Anna Campbell said...

I'm closing up for the night. Off to watch Jeopardy! See you girls bright and early in the morning. And try not to scare poor M.J. She's sensitive! ;-) Which means keeping Ermingarde on the leash! Cabana boys, snap to it!

Anna Sugden said...

Who me? Must have been a bad boy koala ... though from the picture, I don't think he was bad at all! The wallaby, on the other hand ... ;)

Sharon Archer said...

Hi Anna and MJ!
Great interview and I've been reading wonderful reviews about your book, MJ! Congratulations! Not long until it's on the shelf now and I'll be able to race into town and get my copy!

Bad girl/good boy sounds excellent... and so does bad girl/bad boy... and good girl/bad boy... and... ! LOL

Mmm, hold the Crunchie... could I make my chocolate, plain and dark and a minimum of 72% cocoa please?!

:)
Sharon

M.J. said...

Anna S, you can never trust a wallaby....they know how to charm a girl ; )

M.J. said...

Sharon, I think you're a woman after my own heart, in both romance and chocolate. 70% or so dark is my favorite kind these days (though there is a place for the Crunchie from time to time other than warding off Ms Campbell, that is).

M.J. said...

Okay, gals, I have to sign off for the night too. Back in the morning...or sometime in the middle of the night if my cat decides to have one of her "I'm bored, play with me" 3am moments : )

Fiona Lowe said...

I' m so thrilled for you, Mel. I know how hard you've worked. Congrats on the lovely review fro RT and I'm sure more will follow.

Sarah Mayberry said...

Can't wait to read this, Mel. Hope you're having a lovely time and celebrating appropriately.

Susan Sey said...

Good morning, Anna & MJ!

Shadow Kin sounds fabulous, MJ, & I do love a good call story. I'm a big fan of the bad boy hero turning a good girl's world on its head, myself, but I have nothing against a bad girl, kick butt heroine either. I'm kind of omnivorous that way.

Best of luck with your debut!

jo robertson said...

Hi, MJ! Welcome to the Lair. This series sounds fascinating. You called it "dark fantasy." How does dark fantasy differ from urban fantasy (sorry if I'm showing my ignorance).

I think these worlds you create are fascinating.

Love a bad boy/good girl story. I love to see the bad boy get reformed LOL.

M.J. said...

And I'm awake...sadly due to noisy neighbours!

Thanks Fiona and Sarah, plenty of celebrating has been and will be occurring : ) (might be a lack of Crunchies at those though given I'm feeding them to Anna and her dragon!)

M.J. said...

Hi Susan

I like the idea of being an omniviorous reader : )
Still sounds like those bad boys are edging out as favorites though!

M.J. said...

Hi Jo

Shadow Kin is considered dark fantasy rather than urban fantasy because the setting is an alternative world. Most urban fantasy is set in here or now (or slightly future) our world with a twist whereas Shadow Kin is not our world (though close) and the world has a historical level of technology for various reasons. But it's not a traditional fantasy world either so, if you like UF, though, you'll probably like Shadow Kin!

Oh and reforming the bad boy...definitely! Maybe that's the appeal...taming the beast (at least in certain areas lol)

Diana said...

Great interview!!! I'd like to see a bad girl get tamed by a good guy and two people attracted to each other, but fighting it with lots of romance before the finally give in.

Louisa Cornell said...

Enjoy your feathery visitor, Cath! Hide the chocolate!

Great interview M.J. and La Campbell! You had me at faeries, vampires and FEMALE ASSASSIN! I'm a big fan of world-building fantasies. This one sounds intriguing and like some serious mayhem is in the offing.



I love a good bad girl heroine with good guy hero. Or vice versa! I guess I'm just a big fan of the redeeming power of love.

M.J. said...

Hi Diana

My two fight it (or maybe deny it on my hero's part)...on the face of it they're all wrong for each other : )

I like a good opposites attact scenario!

M.J. said...

Thanks Louisa!

It was interesting to write an assassin...she has a very pragmatic view of the world at times due to how she was raised/trained. Plus I got to write lots of cool fight scenes : )

M.J. said...

Okay, everyone, I'm going to attempt to go back to sleep now. The neighbour's seem to have gone to bed!
See you all in the morning!

catslady said...

I love variety so I love all the combinations that you mentioned and any others you can think up lol. I am also loving all these mixed genres. New worlds are fascinating and I love to get lost in them!

jo robertson said...

Thanks for the clarification, M.J. I haven't read much fantasy, but yours sounds great. I'll give it a try!

Anna Campbell said...

Oh, you gotta watch those wild wallabies, Anna! :-)

Anna Campbell said...

Sheesh! For that sort of chocolate, Sharon, you'll have to ensure world peace and self-clean bathrooms!

Anna Campbell said...

Fiona, it's wonderful to see Mel do so well, isn't it? And she did so many great things for Romance Writers of Australia too - this success is just karma!

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, it's the fabulous Sarah M! Lovely to see you here, m'dear!

Anna Campbell said...

Snort, Susan. So far, ominivorous seems to describe most of us!

Anna Campbell said...

Ooh, great question, Jo! I look forward to reading Mel's answer.

Anna Campbell said...

As you can probably tell, I'm awake too - my ageing bladder! ;-)

Anna Campbell said...

Diana, I love those immovable object and irresistible force romances too. They don't want to fall in love but of course they can't help it. Always works for me!

Anna Campbell said...

Louisa, SHADOW KIN sounds great, doesn't it? Lovely meaty conflict! And no, I'm not saying 'meaty' just because she's an assassin. Although I do happen to know the heroine likes a chop! Snigger.

Anna Campbell said...

Catslady, sounds like this is right up your alley!

Anna Campbell said...

Night-night, M.J. I've made a cup of tea and I'm heading back to bed in a moment too. Just thought I'd swing by to have a quiet drink in the lair first. And of course, it's party central! Sheesh! All those Crunchie bars doing the rounds have clearly given people sugar highs!

Eli Yanti said...

i choice a good girl with bad boy,i like bad boy and probably he can stir the girl to be bad girl lol

Anna Campbell said...

Yup, Eli, I love those ones where the bad boy finds the good girl's inner bad girl too. They're always delicious!

Louisa Cornell said...

"likes a chop?" GROAN !! The pun queen strikes again!

Minna said...

Geek boy and the tough girl, like for instance in the Three Sisters Island trilogy by Nora Roberts -she knows how to write geeks without making them look like idiots. But of course I like good girl and bad boy stories, too.

Blodeuedd said...

I like when the good girl get the bad boy, the good boy, the trickster, lol, yes everyone :)

Anna Campbell said...

And you can only kill her with a steak through the heart!

Anna Campbell said...

Just for you, Louisa...

Anna Campbell said...

Minna, I must read that trilogy. I've heard so much about it. And you've kinda got me with geek boy and tough girl. I like those too - Susan Elizabeth Phillips has a couple of lovely nerd boy secondary heroes that I just adore.

Anna Campbell said...

Blodeudd, that's surely one lucky 'good' girl! LOL!

M.J. said...

And I'm awake. For now : )

No vampires steaked in the making of this book. Or staked even lol When my heroine goes for a chop, there's usually a weapon in her hand!

M.J. said...

Catslady, I love genre mixes too! You can have it all in one book. Shadow Kin is definitely a mix. I kept calling it my "weird' book while writing it because it was such a mix of things I loved.

M.J. said...

Jo, I hope you do give it a try. I love fantasy! Was indoctrinated by my parents at a very young age with Tolkien and all sorts of things and have never stopped reading it.

M.J. said...

oooh Eli, yes. Another point for bad boys (yay, book three has a bad boy hero ; ) ). Finding your inner bad girl. Nice! We all need one of those. She's the one who knows we need to eat chocolate and will kick butt for us when necessary.

M.J. said...

Minna, I love the Three Sisters trilogy. And yep, that Mac is one hot dude.

Christina Brooke said...

A hearty welcome to the lair, MJ! Thanks for having MJ here today, Anna.

SHADOW KIN sounds rich and multi-layered. I love that the world and the characters seemed to come almost fully formed into your imagination. I've always thought of fantasy worldbuilding as this laborious, detail-oriented process and I'm glad to hear it's not always like that!

Love the idea of the female assassin meeting a good guy. I have a soft spot for two tricksters if done well, but I do love me a bad girl tempting the good guy on occasion. Any combination done well works for me.

Best of luck with the debut, MJ. I'm sure it's going to be a huge success.

Caren Crane said...

MJ, welcome to the Lair! (Never mind Cath and her chook over there in the corner...) Your book sounds amazing! It sounds, actually, like something that would spring from my reading habit, which sounds much like yours!

As to pairings, I rather enjoy naughty heroines paired with naughty heroes when both are wickedly clever. In those, both hero and heroine need someone who keeps them on their toes and keeps their too-clever minds occupied. I find Loretta Chase tends to write these types of pairings. It's no coincidence that I adore her books!

I look forward to gobbling up your book soon!

M.J. said...

Blodeudd, I'm with Anna...that's one very very lucky good girl.

Haven't tried a trickster hero yet! Tough to write I think but great when someone pulls it off.

Caren Crane said...

Oh, I meant to say I love books with a steam-punk feel. My dear friend Susan Griffith and her husband Clay write what is sort of steam punk/fantasy/vampire/alternate history. The second book in their Vampire Empire series is just out. Anyone lucky enough to be at Dragon Con in Atlanta this weekend can catch them there!

It may turn into a whole steam punk September!

Anna Campbell said...

Awwww, M.J., she's no pun!

Anna Campbell said...

Hi Christina! It's lovely to have Mel in the lair, isn't it?

Anna Campbell said...

Caren, sounds like Shadow Kin is right up your alley too.

Anna Campbell said...

Caren, Nancy wanted to take Ermingarde to DragonCon. Suspect it might have been best for all of us if we'd let her!

M.J. said...

Anna, you wouldn't want to meat her in a dark alley! lol

Helen said...

Have fun with him Cath

WOW I am not home one night and look at all the posts.

Waving Hi to Mel I gotta say this book sounds excellent I can't wait to read it whoo hoo.

As for Bad Girl/Good Guy love it but I don't think I have a favourite I love them all you know what I am like LOL.

Congrats on the release Mel and thanks Anna for inviting Mel along today can't wait to read this one.

Have Fun
Helen

M.J. said...

Thanks Christina!

I used to think you had to do all the world building up front too - which is part of why I ignored all the fantasy/uf ideas I had for a long time, didn't think I could do the world building. But then I met a few authors who did it my way. No idea how my brain comes up with it all but I like that it does : )

Anna Campbell said...

Ose Nose! Now M.J. has eaten so much chocolate, she's pun-ishing us!

Anna Campbell said...

Helen, you're a bit like Anna. It's all dessert to you ;-) Lovely to see you made it!

M.J. said...

Caren, I adore Loretta Chase too. I like that she does write smart people (though my all time fave Chase hero is Rupert).

And steampunk is such fun. Mine isn't gadgety steampunk...but it has that sort of level of steam technology. That way I get to play with some of the stuff I love in historical romance as well as fantasy and uf. Apparently I want it all! : )

Am envious of anyone going to DragonCon, I so want to go to some of the big SF/F cons. Got to one day of WorldCon in Melbourne last year and am hoping maybe to do San Diego ComicCon next year!

M.J. said...

Waves back to Helen!

I think romance pairings are like potato chips...you can't stop at just one! Let's have it all should be our new motto.

Barbara E. said...

Can I just say "all of the above?" I do love a bad boy, and bad girls are fun too, and any kind of pairing that an author can think of as long as it's an entertaining story. If there's a happily ever after at the end I'm good.

Shadow Kin sounds like a fantastic book, I love the description of it as a dark fantasy, with the setting in a somewhat early Victorian level of development, it sounds interesting. I'm looking forward to reading it.

Anna Campbell said...

Barbara, SHADOW KIN sounds great, doesn't it? Really interesting mixture of world building and romance.

Nicola Marsh said...

Sooo looking forward to reading this!

Nothing I love better than a kick-ass heroine.

And I love how you've combined so many worlds, Mel. Books that are 'outside the box' are right up my alley :)

Wishing you many sales!

M.J. said...

Hi Barbara!

I think all of the above is the best solution! It's too hard to choose!

M.J. said...

Waves to Nic! Thanks : )

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, it's the lovely Nic! Isn't it great to see one of buddies having such success?

Nicola Marsh said...

It sure is, Anna.

I met Mel when we both first started out & remember reading what she brought for critique & being highly intimidated!

Shadow Kin sounds like a cracker!

Kylie Griffin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kylie Griffin said...

Hi MJ and Anna!

Just dropping by to say congrats on SHADOW KIN hitting the shelves - I've just had my copy posted out by my fav.online bookstore and can't wait to have it delivered!!! (so don't include me in this giveaway) :-)

If you haven't checked out MJ's excerpt for SK on her website then you ought to - it's sucks you right into the world and story from the get-go! (http://www.mjscott.net/books/shadow-kin/)

As for your question, Anna, I like a mix of H/H's, but ATM I'm looking for a bad girl/good boy combo, haven't read one in a while.

Here's to many, many copies of SHADOW KIN flying off the shelves, MJ! :-D

Anna Campbell said...

Nic, I said earlier too that I love it when people who've given so much to other romance writers make it big. Mel was on the committee for what felt like forever there and held a number of pretty onerous roles including treasurer. Yay, Mel!

M.J. said...

Aw, thanks Kylie!

A few people have had it shipped apparently. And actually one of my US buddies found it in Barnes and Noble yesterday (she's in New York state)...so it's getting out there!

Anna Campbell said...

Kylie, thanks for mentioning the excerpt. It's stunning, isn't it? I've read a few historicals with bad girl/good girl combos. There's my Reckless Surrender, there's Lord Perfect and there's a Julie Anne Long that I really enjoyed where the good boy is a scientist. Love that mix. Like No Other Lover - great read!

M.J. said...

Anna, I love Julie Anne Long. Colin Eversea forever! There's your trickster/bad boy hero! They wrote a song about him.

Anna Campbell said...

I loved Colin, but I LOVED the guy in this one. He was kind of the opposite of a rake (not that I don't like a rake too). He was smart and perceptive and reasonable as romance heroes sometimes are not ;-)

Pat Cochran said...

Hi, Anna & M.J.,

Sounds like a great book! Great
interview, ladies! Super cover!

Anna, do I have to choose? Any of
the options offered would work for
me! Just give me an adequate amount
of conflict and rapid banter and I
am a happy reader!

Pat Cochran

Anna Campbell said...

Pat, this way to the romance buffet. You may find our earlier commenters have eaten all the really good stuff, but I'm sure there's plenty left for you to make a very delicious dish! ;-)

M.J. said...

Pat, no need to choose. After all, isn't it a gal's perogative to keep her options open (and to change her mind).

Anna has kindly pointed you to the buffet. And the good bit about that is, there's always another hot dish popping up to be added to the spread thanks to creative minds of all the awesome romance writers like Anna and the other Bandits!

Anna Campbell said...

Mmm, Aragorn pie.

Just...Aragorn pie.

Swoon.

Thud.

M.J. said...

With whipped cream, Anna? Or icecream perhaps?

hmmm, maybe I'll have a Captain Jack sundae...icecream and chocolate sauce! (and no, I don't mind if it's Jack Sparrow or Jack Harkness from Torchwood!)

Anna Campbell said...

Thanks, guys, for a great day in the lair. Thanks, Mel, for being such a great guest. Good luck with SHADOW KIN!

Don't forget to check back to see who won the copy of SHADOW KIN!

Pat Cochran said...

Anna,

Thanks for leading me to the romance buffet! I am so happy with all the
goodies laid on for us! YUM!

BTW, did you come across the b-day
greetings sent along to you from your
fellow Aug. 24th celebrant?

Pat C.

Kandy Shepherd said...

Coming in very late (I've been away) to congratulate Mel on the launch of SHADOW KIN. I read an extract on her web site some time ago and got totally drawn into the story. I'm looking forward to reading the rest!

Anna Campbell said...

Pat, I replied. I've been having funny things happening with the email lately - stuff should be there and it's not. Apologies if you missed my reply. Happy birthday to you too!

Anna Campbell said...

Kandy, great to see you! Thanks for swinging by. And wonderful that you enjoyed the excerpt.

M.J. said...

Thanks Kandy! Not long and you can enjoy the whole thing : )

M.J. said...

And an extra big THANK YOU to Anna and all the Romance Bandits for having me here in the Lair. I've had a blast. Thank you to to everyone who dropped in to comment and help me celebrate my release.

I shall distract Anna and Ermingarde with still more Crunchies and get them to help me pick the winner of the signed copy. Anna will let you all know tomorrow!

Helene Young said...

I'm late... Congrats Mel! The story sounds amazing, the cover is gorgeous and I can't wait to read it!! Enjoy every moment of release day on the 6th!!

M.J. said...

Hi Helene

Thanks : ) And I'm sure there's something left on the buffet for you!