Albert Camus

Don't walk behind me; I may not lead. Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Dark Secrets: A Paranormal Noir Anthology

Six award-winning authors bring you this spellbinding collection of stories about dark desires, mysterious worlds, and danger that lurks in the shadows of the night. Where nothing is black and white; where things might not be as they seem; where magic and mayhem rule. 


Published: September 29th, 2015
Cover Artist: Robin Ludwig Design 

Six award-winning authors bring you this spellbinding collection of stories about dark desires, mysterious worlds, and danger that lurks in the shadows of the night. Where nothing is black and white; where things might not be as they seem; where magic and mayhem rule. 

MARION, MISSING by Rachel Caine 
Valentine is a detective with two major problems: he's been offered a kidnapping case that will probably get him killed, and his partner won't let him turn it down. He owes her that much … since his partner's a ghost, and he's the one who killed her. A dark, haunting noir mystery of love, hate and loss. 

FEMME FATALE by Cynthia Eden 
PI Mick Swayne has seen it all—his clients have included liars, thieves, and even killers. He thinks he can handle anything and anyone. Then she walks into his office. Savannah Moreau is beautiful, seductive, and…a vampire? The gorgeous vamp hires Mick to help her track down a killer who is hunting in Chicago, but as Mick slips deeper into Savannah’s paranormal world, he wonders if he can really trust his new client… 

When the devil starts the music, you'd better get ready to dance. 

Kathleen Murphy has sold her soul to the devil. Fame, fortune, success...everything she's ever dreamed of is hers, and all she has to do is the devil's bidding. When love comes knocking, the last thing in the world she wants to do is involve Jake in her twisted world, but the devil's started up the jukebox and Kathleen has no choice but to learn the steps. 

THE CONSORT by Suzanne Johnson 
Faulkner Hearne, the captain of the ruthless Fae Hunters, finds his duty at odds with his heart when he’s ordered to capture the consort of Faerie’s cruel Prince of Summer when she flees across the veil into modern New Orleans. Can Faulk turn Liandra over to a certain death at the hands of the prince, or will he risk a war with Faerie in order to save her? An all-new novella set in the Sentinels of New Orleans multiverse. 

HEART’S BLOOD by Jeffe Kennedy, a Twelve Kingdoms novella 
A dark fairytale retelling of a princess robbed of rank, husband and even her name. 

Nix is nothing. The Princess Natilde—her former waiting woman—attacked her on the journey to wed Prince Cavan, stripping her of everything and taking her place. With no serving skills, Nix becomes a goose girl. Perhaps if Nix keeps her promise never to reveal who she really is, Natilde won’t carry out her vile threats. Prince Cavan entered his arranged marriage determined to have a congenial, if not loving relationship with his future queen—for the sake of both their kingdoms. But, his wife repels him more each day and he finds himself absurdly drawn to the lovely Nix....With broken vows, anguish and dark secrets between them, Cavan and Nix struggle to find the magic to restore what’s gone terribly wrong... if it ever can be. 

THE DJINN IN THE MIRROR by Mina Khan, a Djinn World novella 
A paranormal Cinderella story with a young witch as the heroine and a wicked, sexy djinn instead of a fairy godmother....Dahlia, the step-daughter of a power hungry wizard, promises to free a djinn trapped in a mirror if he rescues her from impending death. But Ashmael the djinn has his own agenda: to trick & seduce his way to freedom. The only problem is he ends up falling for Dahlia. Can he win his freedom and save the girl?

The Ins and Outs of an Anthology
by Suzanne Johnson

“How would you feel about writing a novella for a new anthology?” A simple enough question from my friend, author Mina Khan. It was January or February, and late September seemed a world away. Plus, the other authors were Rachel Caine, Cynthia Eden, Megan Hart, Jeffe Kennedy, and Mina. How could I say no?

Of course, I wasn’t completely forthcoming with a couple of facts. That I had no idea what the subject of the anthology, “Paranormal Noir,” meant. That I’d never been part of an anthology. And that I’ve written a lot of short stories and novelettes and especially novels, but I’d never written a novella. I also had only been traditionally published, so the whole indie-publishing process was theoretical for me.

Needless to say, I learned a lot. Here are my anthology lessons:

1) The sheep need a shepherd (or, if one is more cynical, the creative cats need a herder). Mina Khan nudged and reminded and did accounting and nudged and reminded some more until—voila! There was a book! She deserves a medal. And a crown.

2) Anthologies are fun! We each had a rough word count of 20-25k and a topic: “paranormal noir.” How we chose to interpret that was up to each of us, so we ended up with six wildly different stories and that, I think, adds up to huge fun to the readers. Some offer a paranormal twist on the film noir hardboiled detective, while others (such as myself) went with a dark paranormal romance. There are ghosts and djinn and faeries and vampires.

3) Novellas are awesome—why didn’t I try one before? A lot of readers and authors don’t much like short stories, but novellas give a reader something with a little more meat and they give the author a little more breathing room to build worlds and set up stories. Since finishing “The Consort,” my novella for DARK SECRETS, I’ve written another novella set in my Sentinels of New Orleans world. 

4) Novellas help authors find readers, and vice-versa. The intro price on DARK SECRETS is only 99 cents for the ebook, but the point of it isn’t to make money. It’s to find new readers, or help new readers find us. If someone who likes my books comes to the anthology and discovers a couple of new authors to check out, that’s good for everybody.

5) Indie publishing is a pile o’ work, which I had realized but not to this extent. Editing, covers, formatting, pricing, promotion. Having six busy people agree on everything and keep it moving? It requires a lot of good-natured authors, which we had, and a herder (see No. 1, above). After working for years in higher education, where it’s all about Turf, it was amazing to work with awesome people who actually wanted to collaborate. 

In the end, DARK SECRETS was a great experience for the authors. Now, we hope the readers enjoy it as much as we have!
Are you a fan of anthologies? What’s the best one you’ve read?

About the authors: 
Rachel Caine is the New York Times, USA Today, and #1 internationally bestselling author of more than 45 novels that span the categories of horror, suspense, urban fantasy, science fiction, media tie-in, historical, and young adult. She’s also the author of more than 100 short stories. 

Award-winning author Cynthia Eden writes dark tales of paranormal romance and romantic suspense. She is a New York Times, USA Today, Digital Book World, and IndieReader best-seller. Cynthia is also a three-time finalist for the prestigious RITA® award. Since she began writing full-time in 2005, Cynthia has written over fifty novels and novellas. 

Megan Hart is a USA Today, Publisher’s Weekly and New York Times bestselling author who writes in many genres including mainstream fiction, erotic fiction, science fiction, romance, fantasy and horror.

"I can't live without music, the internet, or the ocean, though soda and I have achieved an amicable parting of ways. I can't stand the feeling of corduroy or velvet, and modern art leaves me cold. I write a little bit of everything from horror to romance."

Suzanne Johnson is the author of the award-winning Sentinels of New Orleans urban fantasy series. Writing as Susannah Sandlin, she is author of the award-winning Penton Legacy paranormal romance series as well as The Collectors romantic suspense series, including Lovely, Dark, and Deep, winner of the 2015 Holt Medallion and the 2015 Booksellers Best Award winner for romantic suspense. Her new Wildlife Wardens romantic suspense series begins in 2016 with Wild Man’s Bluff. 

Jeffe Kennedy is an award-winning author whose works include non-fiction, poetry, short fiction, and novels. Her most recent works include a number of fiction series: the fantasy romance novels of A Covenant of Thorns; the contemporary BDSM novellas of the Facets of Passion, an erotic contemporary serial novel, Master of the Opera, the fantasy series The Twelve Kingdoms, and the erotic romance trilogy, Falling Under. The first of the Twelve Kingdoms books, The Mark of the Tala, has been nominated for the RT Book of the Year while the sequel, The Tears of the Rose, has been nominated for best fantasy romance of the year. Jeffe lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico, with two Maine coon cats, plentiful free-range lizards and a very handsome Doctor of Oriental Medicine. 

Award-winning author Mina Khan grew up in Bangladesh on stories of djinns, ghosts and monsters. These childhood fancies now color her fiction. She daydreams of hunky paranormal heroes, magic, mayhem and mischief and writes them down as stories. She is the author of the Djinn World Chronicles, including The Djinn’s Dilemma and A Tale of Two Djinns, as well as Wildfire, a paranormal mystery with cowboys and dragons. 


miki said...

i loved teh anthology and even more the stories by mina khan and suzanne johnson

Donna said...

Not a bad story in the bunch. An amazing group of authors and tales.