Indie urban fantasy series I recommend…

I know many of you are waiting patiently for Darkness Divides to come out on April 20th.  As an update, it’s coming along well and I’ll be posting the first two chapters this weekend.  So be on the lookout!

In the meantime, I thought I’d give you all a list of other urban fantasy authors who I follow.  Most of you are probably already aware of the big traditionally published names in the genre such as Jeaniene Frost, Ilona Andrews, Karen Marie Moning, Chloe Neill, Patricia Briggs, plus many more.  This is to highlight the indies who I’ve found to be just as enjoyable.

Keep in mind that your mileage may vary as no two people have exactly the same tastes, but these are ones I’ve found to be good and think you might too if you haven’t discovered them already.  All covers are linked to the book’s Amazon purchase page.  I’ve also included some brief thoughts on my impression of each author’s books.

 

 

Blood Wager coverConnie Suttle– If you haven’t read the book that begins her Blood Destiny series and sets up the ones that follow it, check out Blood Wager first.  The key thing to know with her work is that it has a lot of emotional twists, action, and expands to include sci-fi elements as the series progresses.  The romance in her work isn’t of the traditional variety, but I love the uniqueness of her writing.  Her “voice” is very different from other writers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Demon Bound book coverDebra Dunbar– For those who enjoy a wicked sense of humor, this is a great series to try.  The main character is a demon imp who gets into a lot of trouble, but as you get to know her you’ll find she’s surprisingly relatable.  There are light romantic elements and a rather hunky love interest or two, but nothing too hot and steamy for those who prefer those elements toned down.  Do expect some naughtiness, though.  This series has five books out so far and Debra recently released two spin-off novels.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sleight of Hand book coverMark Henwick– His series is strong on action and suspense, while being lighter on the romantic elements (though you should expect some explicit content).  The thing I think readers love the most about his writing is how fast-paced it is  and that he includes investigative elements as well as a female character who has a military background.  This series has three books out so far, plus a prequel.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dark Dates coverTracey Sinclair– I stumbled upon this author after seeing a review of one of her books from a blogger who also follows my series.  The cover is a bit different from most UF, but I promise this series is great!  The setting is in London, so with this one you get out of the United States so you can enjoy something a little different.  There is some nice humor and the romance will keep you intrigued.  If you like heroines who are always trying to do the right thing despite not being all that powerful, you should enjoy this one.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Elemental Magic coverAngela Wallace– She has a nice UF series that features elementals (users of earth, air, water, fire).  Her novels are lighter than the ones I mentioned above, making them a great change of pace from the standard darker fare.  There’s more mystery to her books too and they have sweet romantic elements (nothing hot and heavy).  The main character stays the same for the first two books before switching to a different one with the third.  She should be releasing the fourth novel soon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

shadowpath_coverP.L. Blair– She has a UF series featuring two main characters.  A human female and an elf male.  They are detectives who have been partnered together to investigate supernatural cases.  The criminals in this series are rather unique and the lore this author uses keeps me fascinated.  The romance doesn’t pick up until much later in the series and the author keeps things fairly clean, but I must admit I was ready for it when it came!  Expect the books to focus on the plot and have some nice action sequences.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Feel free to make your own suggestions in the comments section.  I know there are a lot of other good ones out there and that I didn’t name them all.  If you can tell us a little about why you like any particular author/series, that would be helpful too!

Quick update on available retailers for Darkness Haunts

There are now several places you can pick up Darkness Haunts.  For those interested, check out the links below.  They cover most of the types of eReading devices you may have, except iBooks. Still waiting on the paperback version as well, but I will make an announcement when it is ready!

Kindle (Amazon US)

Kindle (Amazon UK)

Nook (Barnes & Noble)

Kobo

 

Author Interview for the Melissa Craig and Charity Parkerson Show

Everyone seriously needs to listen to this episode.  For one, because I’m on it and I talk about my new novel, Darkness Haunts.  For two, because we had so much fun and got a bit (or a lot ) wild.  We talked about writing, publishing, music, and tons of other stuff.  Everyone who has listened so far has really enjoyed it.  My only warning is don’t exercise or do anything complicated while tuning in.  People have been known to nearly fall off treadmills from laughing too hard.  Also, keep any children out of hearing distance.  This is very much an adult interview. You can also load it for free from iTunes or on some Podcast apps.

Also, if you like the new theme song played on there, titled I will, check out Melissa’s post below to find out more about it and where it can be purchased.  I’ve already got it downloaded onto my iPod!  The video for the song is below as well.

New Theme Song for 2012 by Kayo Marbilus

A final teaser for Darkness Haunts…

For those of you who haven’t noticed, Darkness Haunts is live on Amazon today.  It should be available on Nook and Kobo soon.  In the meantime, I thought I’d share a short excerpt (about 550 words) from a section further into the novel than the last one.  Only one small piece gave anything important away. I cut that out of this version.  Hope you enjoy!

*****

I didn’t make it outside in time. The sups pulled a late-model, black BMW into an empty parking spot right in front of the bar. My SUV sat three spaces past it. I kept walking.

Please don’t let them notice me.

“Hey, pretty lady,” the driver said. The only vamp in the group had to be the one to notice me. He stepped right into my path.

Avoid the eyes or he’ll know.

I stared at a small stain on the collar of his brown suede jacket. Dried blood?

The two werewolves snickered. “You can take that one for yourself, man. We’re going inside.”

Rock music spilled out as they opened the bar door. I didn’t look back. The vamp in front of me held all of my attention.  He appeared to be in his mid-twenties, but was actually closer to thirty. He’d been undead for about five years. I could take him…probably.

My hand itched for my gun, but I remembered Wanda’s words from long ago. “Melena, don’t ever bring a gun to a vampire fight. You’ll get one shot off before they kill you.”

Okay, fine, plan B.

I put my hands in my pockets. “You wanna get out of my way?”

“Why don’t you look at me, pretty lady?” Yeah, because that would be such a good idea. He was too young to compel anyone with his voice.  In another few years he’d have that skill, but not yet. He had to use the eyes for now.

I continued to stare at the stain on his jacket. He had hurt an innocent human.  For all I knew it could have been Aniya. I clinched my fingers around my pocket knife. This guy had to be handled very carefully.

“Get out of my way,” I said through clinched teeth. “I’m not interested.”

His hand shot out to wrap around my throat. I flinched, but his grip wasn’t so tight I couldn’t breathe.  Dead prey made bad meals for vampires.

“Look. At. Me.” He forced my head up, but I kept my eyes averted. In my hand, I flipped open my knife and pressed it hard against the bulge in his pants. The tip didn’t go through, but the threat was clear. He loosened his grip on my throat enough so I could speak.

“Back the fuck off,” I said, “or else this is really going to hurt.” Some people think the bigger the knife, the better. If used properly, a three inch blade could be every bit as effective.

He backed off.

“Bitch,” he spat.

I smiled and held up my weapon. “Go inside before I change my mind and use this anyway.”

A muscle ticked in his jaw. I thanked God he was too young to be a real threat. He hesitated a moment longer before making a move to pass me. I stepped aside, giving him plenty of room. My knife stayed up where he could see it.

He tried to catch my eyes one more time. He kept going when it didn’t work.  I’d had years of practice keeping my eyes averted when vamps were around. It had kept me alive, though I preferred to avoid them altogether. One day, I’d run into a vampire who wouldn’t forget he could heal from a knife wound—even if it was pointed at his genitals.