Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Romance Over the Holidays

One of the aspects of my life that I most enjoy are the relationships I am privileged to develop with some really incredible authors.

This week I would like call your attention to a prolific and wonderful romance writer, Claudy Conn. Claudy has two new hot series of romances out this year, The Legend series, and The Shadow series.  Both series fall under the genre of paranormal romance or fantasy fiction.

You might remember Claudy as the author Claudette Williams and think of her regency and historical romances. Claudy wrote over 40 mass market bestsellers in that field using the pen names Claudette Williams and Melanie Davis for Fawcett, Zebra and Doubleday book club. After a nine year hiatus [we won’t call it retirement,] Claudy Conn returned to the world of romance literature with a foray into writing paranormal romance.  Claudy embraces the paranormal aspects of her series with obvious enjoyment and ease.

Paranormal and fantasy fictions are my absolute favorite reads and she has made the switch seem effortless. She has nailed the genre as if she was born to write it. No disrespect intended toward the historical and regency set . . . I cut my reading chops on those romances.

Here is a link to Claudy Conn on Amazon where you can purchase your ebook or paperback versions today.

The Legend Series

Spellbound – Legend is a masterfully written tale that pits a contemporary young woman against ancient forces. Maxie Reigate descends from a long line of Druid priests and priestesses. She’s always been aware of the family legend but what she doesn’t know is that her fate is tied into the world of the Tuatha Dé, the fairy people, also known as the Fae, who are at the heart of Irish Myth and folklore. The wall of power, set up to separate the world of man from the Fae, is in danger of collapse; there is a blood sucking, evil and ancient beauty that wants her dead; the hero of her family’s legend, Julian, the High Druid Priest is about to wake up after a two hundred year coma and walk into her life; and then there is a Fae Prince who wants to protect and keep her for his own. There is danger at every turn and enough sexual tension to launch an arrow.

Shee Willow-- Legend
They called her ‘faeling’ and Willow ran.
She isn’t running anymore.
Half-human, half-Fae, Willow Lang has never felt she truly fit in either world, but she’s doing her best to ignore her Fae nature and focus on her work as an art restorer at a museum in New York City. Then she accepts a job restoring classic paintings in Ireland and finds herself in the middle of a conflict between the Seelie Fae and the evil Dark Fae. In order to protect the Human world, she must embrace her Fae powers.  But that’s not the only challenge Willow faces. Roland Omren, a handsome gypsy, is vying for her affection. The hunky Fae Breslyn, Prince of Dagda, is trying to seduce her. And then there’s her mysterious boss, Shayne Bantry…

Trapped –Legend
BJ Mulroy has had it rough. Orphaned at an early age to be raised by an emotionally distant aunt, she was left to struggle on her own in a world where humans posed the least of the dangers she must face. BJ is a Fios, a human woman born with certain magical gifts, the sight being one of them. She has the inborn ability to see past any glamour used by Faerie beings to cloak their true appearance from humans. This is a dangerous gift to have. In ancient times the Fios were hunted down and blinded to prevent them from being able to reveal a Fae’s identity to other humans. Now, with the protective wall between the worlds thinning and the number of Dark Un-seelie Fae breaking through it on the rise, the gifts of a Fios are both rare and precious.

The Seelie queen has manipulated circumstances to place BJ in the thick of things, hoping to tip the scales of power toward the light and away from her enemies’ might in numbers. The queen is gathering power, drawing on firm loyalties and pushing each of her subjects to their utmost before it becomes too late. Powers alone may not be enough to stand against the vast hoard of monsters her enemies control. It is imperative that BJ discover the fullest extent of her gifts if she is to survive and aid the queen. What BJ doesn’t know is that the power her blood contains could be used to dissolve the fragile wall which protects the human world from invasion.

Conn introduces a new Faery prince, Danté, to temp our heroine’s passions, but this time the hero is obviously a human, Daremont Carrick. Well, maybe our hero isn’t too obvious. Conn has made things difficult for BJ by placing Dare, our lovely man-stud, magically out of reach. Trapped, after all is the title of the book and trapped he surely is. There are aspects of this love story that add heart to the story and emotionally complicate matters for BJ and Dare. However, I do have to admit that, the idea of a hot powerful man, kept yearning, and just out of reach does something wickedly delicious to raise the lust-tension of the book, and push thoughts of Trapped explosively into the very best of your wildest romance-fantasy dreams.

Just released in November 2011, Free Falling - My Review  

I have just finished reading Claudy Conn’s Free Falling – Legend. If I were a cat, I would be hissing and spitting right now. [howling - Dammit woman, you just can-not leave a girl hanging like that!]

Readers, I have two words for you . . . spontaneous combustion –heck, have another, explosive! And another, AAAAAH! Well, maybe that isn’t a word exactly, but it’s what I’m feeling.

For those of you following the Legend series be warned. HOLD ON TIGHT! The Legend series has reached a boiling point and Free Falling is all action.

Claudy starts by throwing two of the most frustratingly stubborn beings in the universe together. You know it is going to be a love-lust match from the beginning. I mean, how can it be anything but, when they are coming together with so much personal baggage! [Claudy you are a pure torment-ress and I don’t know if I love you anymore! Strike that. I know I do!]

Radzia MacDaun, Z, is young, impetuous, sexy, rash, proud, and deeply wounded by the murder of her father, a Druid priest; and the loss of her mother, a Daoine princess, who lies comatose in grief. Radzia, a rare mixture of Fae and human, is consumed with a blood lust for revenge on her father’s murderer, the Fae traitor, Gaiscioch.

Enter Danté, Prince of Lugh, with all the cool, arrogant self-assurance, and wounded pride of a Faery lord who has recently had his amorous attentions rejected. He is a big, proud warrior, with a thousand years of experience over Radzia; and he is pissed that his queen is sticking him with babysitting Z’s youthful energies.

Danté thinks he is above the job, while his talents and energies are needed to fight a war. Radzia thinks of him as a pompous, over confident, overbearing, royal pain in the . . . not asset. For her, this is a personal battle. She is young and doesn’t feel any of the obligatory loyalty about following orders coming from her queen. She just goes with her gut, flying on instinct, and Danté isn’t part of her plans. Neither of them have time for romance nor do they see anything in the other, but an obstacle to their individual goals.

Claudy has placed these two and their romance in the midst of the rising storm. The moment has come for a final conflict between the forces of light and darkness. Queen Aaibhe’s pieces are moving into position for the final test and yet, everything that can go wrong is about to as Radzia leaps into action time and again without her hero at her side.

This is one hell of a roller coaster. Free Falling keeps you on the edge and leaves you hanging from its stormy start to catapulting finish. When you get to the end of this ride you are going to look around a little disoriented and stumble to get in line for the next. You won’t be able to leave the amusement park. I am almost scared to open my eyes and look for what is to come. I have no doubt that before Claudy ends the series; she is going to take us up, around, and upside down. When she finally lets us get off, we are going to be so sore! Thankfully, it will be Claudy’s kind of sore, which is all good. Are you ready for it?

[Shrieking, arms up, all the way] Here-We-Go!

The Shadow Series

Avid vampire and paranormal romance enthusiasts are in for a darkly delicious thrill when they sink their teeth into Claudy Conn’s Shadow Series. Conn has a gift for character and plot development that sets her work apart from other romance novelists. There are few romance writers of her caliber, who are able to sustain and build a quality series as she can do. It is a pleasurable gift to all of us that she has launched her writing into the paranormal and vampire sub-genres.

ShadowLove - Stalkers
Shawna has been running for most of her life. Half white witch and half vamp, Shawna’s daddy is Pentim Rawley, the powerful and vicious leader of a ruling vampire clan. Hidden at birth, protected and trained in the magical arts by her grandparents, Shawna has grown into a feisty, independent, beautiful young woman, but she is deeply lonely and now she has to run . . . Pentim has discovered that he has a daughter and he is looking for her.

Chad Macfare has secrets and desires of his own. He has visions, waking dreams of Shawna in Pentim’s grasp, and what he sees chills him to the bone. Chad is moved to seek Shawna himself, but is torn between the need to protect her and the knowledge that he will have to use her as bait if he is ever to destroy the monster that is Pentim Rawley. This is a deadly game with more at risk for Chad Macfare than losing his heart. Chad is more than he seems. His family has secrets so deep that if revealed would bring them under the eye of the father of all vampires himself, Dracula. Together Shawna and Chad struggle with trusting each other and knowing that the secrets they each keep could place others, innocents, in the hands of pure evil.

ShadowHeart –Slayer does something surprising in series literature. It forms a cross connection between Claudy Conn’s two paranormal series. Don’t worry I won’t spoil it for you.

Slayer, Nikki Walker is my kind of roundhouse kicking, vamp slaying gal. In spite of being a little inexperienced fighting the evil undead, Nikki is a more believable slayer than Buffy and other paranormal slayer-wanna-bees. It is possible that some of her appeal may come from the hero Claudy has matched her with.

Damon Drummond is a vampire. He is ancient, and more powerful than any vampire she has yet encountered, more mysterious, and oh so darkly desirable. In all respects, except for one, he raises her alarms and yet, for Slayer Nikki Walker, it is that one point where he staggers her comprehension. There is something that is just Not Vamp about him and that makes her hesitate. That something means everything to a slayer and because of it she can’t figure out if she should plunge a wooden stake through his heart or give him the key to her own. For his part, Damon has no doubts about how he feels towards Nikki. She is his to protect, and confound, simultaneously winning her heart, while thwarting her sole purpose, in denying her the vengeance she pursues. Separately they are formidable enemies, but when they combine forces the sparks fly and the chemistry explodes.

These two series will make fabulous gift sets for the avid romance readers in your life but if you don't want to wait, or if you are looking for some great holiday reading you can purchase them now. Both series are available in ebook formats or paperback through Amazon and other book sellers.

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