Not your typical vampire: STEEL BLOOD Blog Tour Stop #13

Author Jennifer Loring asking me the ever-important question about writing in the fantasy genre. What makes my vampires and other supernatural creatures stand out from the crowd? How did I put my own spin on the mythology while still making my characters recognizable? Take a quick look:

My vampires fit the mold in that they’re essentially immortal creatures who drink blood to sustain themselves and can’t be out in direct sunlight. They are apex predators who have evolved to be humanity’s greatest hunter. But rather than slathering monsters, for the most part my vampires are part of a civilized society that would much prefer a cold beer to the hot blood of an unwilling victim.

Along with vampires, I also discuss werewolves, who have been a part of this series since the first book, and weredragons, a recent newcomer to the pantheon on the Steel Empires. I hope you check it out.

While you’re there, take a look at some of Loring’s available work! She’s a prolific author who writes in a variety of genres, so there’s sure to be something for everyone.


Tomorrow is the LAST STOP of this blog tour!! It’s been a wild ride, and I appreciate everyone who’s joined for the fun. We’re closing things out at Weston Kincade‘s blog, with a final book excerpt. Obviously a Romeo & Juliet pastiche has to have the requisite “No, sir, but I do bite my thumb, sir” scene!

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But I’m not a horror writer!: STEEL BLOOD Blog Tour Stop #11

Yesterday, we got a look at the more “human” side of my main character, the vampire Victory (over here, if you missed it). And while I love that scene, it’s not unique — being a vampire is just part of who Victory is, which also includes being a partner, a mother, a politician, a mercenary, etc. Today, fellow RDSP author Maria Alexander asked me to talk about why I write urban fantasy for a primarily horror publisher. Well, it’s because I think the monsters are people, too. A quick look:

Urban fantasy allows me to explore that sense of “otherness” using the supernatural, just as science-fiction has been teaching us about humanity through the lens of alien races for decades. Though still incorporating elements of monstrousness, supernatural creatures can be an equal part of society in open-world urban fantasy. That unique facet draws me in, and challenges me to create well-rounded characters no matter their species.

While you’re there, be sure to check out BOTH of Alexander’s award-winning RDSP novels, Mr Wicker and Snowed. She’s also much better at using her blog as an actual blog than I am, and there are some great gems. (Not that any of you have complained about my book reviews, thankfully.)


Tomorrow, author Jacob Baugher asked me to answer some interview questions about both my writing and Steel Blood!

Book excerpt: STEEL BLOOD Blog Tour Stop #10

Author Anna Zabo offered to host a short excerpt from Steel Blood on their blog for this stop of the blog tour!

The scene takes place near the beginning of the novel, when Victory and Mikelos have arrived in the Qin Empire’s colonial city of Jiang Yi Yue. As a vampire, Victory was prepared to wait on the ship until night fell to safely transfer to the palace and begin her mercenary contract as a bodyguard to the Qin princess. But the British delegation would have none of that, and arranged for alternative transportation.

Sound interesting? Click the link above to get the full story!

While you’re there, I highly recommend checking out Zabo’s work. I literally devoured one of their entire series in less than a week, and they are definitely one of the reasons I have to claim to be a romance fan now!


If you thought this excerpt humanized Victory, tomorrow I’m stopping by fellow RDSP author Maria Alexander‘s blog to talk about why I think monsters are people, too.

Tell Me: STEEL BLOOD Blog Tour Stop #9

Author and editor Jennifer Brozek (currently living the live I sometimes envision for myself) was kind enough to host me on her regular blog feature: Tell Me.

So, I told her all about how I was inspired to make up some new rules (and then break them) as I started the process of writing Steel Blood. A quick look:

Something else I’ve learned is that rules are meant to be broken. I’d love to write every day, but I manage it when my time and spoons allow. Writing is a priority, but yesterday was dedicated to hacking an IKEA media stand with my husband, because life is a priority, too. And urban fantasy is always my go-to genre, but I’ll read anything that’s well-written, whether it’s as similar as epic fantasy or as different as a cozy mystery.

In that spirit, I’d like to propose a new “author” rule—and why you should break it.

Find out the rest on Jennifer’s blog, and while you’re there, check out some of the other exciting projects she always seems to be up to her ears with!


Tomorrow, author Anna Zabo hosts another short excerpt from Steel Blood on their blog. Victory is about to encounter something she hasn’t seen in a LONG time.

Writing strong female characters with Rhonda Mason: STEEL BLOOD Blog Tour Stop #6

I have kind of a love/hate relationship with the “strong female character” trope. Today, with author Rhonda Mason, I talk about the ways the main character of my series falls into this particular urban fantasy stereotype — and how I break the stereotype. A quick look:

I’ve only been participating in programming at conventions for a handful of years, but I’ve already lost track of how many times I’ve been asked to be on the “Strong Female Characters” panel. I guess the theory is that, as a female urban fantasy author who writes female protagonists, I can easily contribute to the discussion. Though not every hero of urban fantasy stories is female, it’s interesting how they’re automatically assumed to be part of that trope.

Male heroes, I guess, are supposed to be strong as a given.

Mason also writes amazing female characters, and you should absolutely check out the first two books of her space opera trilogy to meet Kayla! I’m not sure Victory and Kayla would become best friends, but they’d certainly have a hell of a lot of respect for each other.


Tomorrow, the Tower of the Archmage interviews me about how my gaming history influences my writing, and vice versa!

The history of Limani with A.M. Justice: STEEL BLOOD Blog Tour Stop #4

For the next stop on the Steel Blood blog tour, I couldn’t miss a visit with my internet doppelganger, author A.M. Justice! We share a love of world-building in our fantasy novels, so she asked me to write a bit about how the city of Limani came to be. A quick look:

But while the British settlements were funded by second and third children of the werewolf nobility, and the massive Roman plantations were supported by corporations led by wealthy Roman vampire lines, the Greek colonists embodied the nature of their origins. These disparate colonists, from multiple Greek cities, maintained the ideals of equality and democracy that linked their alliance back in Europa. The major factor in their favor was that a larger proportion than expected of the original group of colonists consisted of mages from every elemental faction. These were mages schooled in the Greek magical academies held in esteem throughout Europa, looking for adventure and new beginnings.

And it was what saved Limani, in the end.

Go check out the blog post for the full story, and don’t forget to poke around the site while you’re there! A.M. writes amazing epic fantasy with just a touch of intriguing science-fiction thrown in to keep readers on their toes.


Tomorrow, I’ll share some of my favorite and most influential urban fantasy authors with author Sara Dobie Bauer!

FINAL CALL for Steel Blood blog tour volunteers!

Steel-Blood-Jacket.inddI’m starting to work on the final details for the celebration of Steel Empires Book 3 on July 19, so this is your last chance to be part of the party! Thank you very much to everyone who has signed up so far. I will start pulling together the final schedule and contacting everyone within the next day or so.

I am still looking for volunteers willing to host:

  • Book spotlight
  • Guest blog (topic to be mutually determined)
  • Interview (your questions or mine)
  • Excerpt

Sign up here for the Steel Blood blog tour!

NOTE: I will only use your contact information for this blog tour, and I will not share it with any outside entities, such as my publisher.