Barb Caffrey's Blog

Writing the Elfyverse . . . and beyond

Posts Tagged ‘urban fantasy

Take Advantage of the TTB #99cents sale…

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Folks, right now, Twilight Times Books has a ninety-nine cents sale going on. Books included in this sale are my own AN ELFY ON THE LOOSE, Jason Cordova’s CORRUPTOR, Chris Nuttall’s SCHOOLED IN MAGIC, Loren Jones’ STORIES OF THE CONFEDERATED STAR SYSTEMS, and much, much more.

If you ever want to see what’s going on with Twilight Times Books, here’s a link to the Amazon page: Once you get to this page, click the box that says, “Price low to high,” and you’ll see all sorts of great books available for only ninety-nine cents.


Because this is my page, though, I’m going to tell you a little more about my own offering that’s on sale right now, AN ELFY ON THE LOOSE. This is the first half of the Elfy duology (the second half being A LITTLE ELFY IN BIG TROUBLE, available right now for $2.99). Bruno the Elfy is taken out of his own culture and place, the Elfy Realm, and is brought to our Earth. He doesn’t entirely know why he’s here. He doesn’t know why a strange family from Northern California has kidnapped him. But he does know that the young daughter of that family, Sarah, intrigues him. Both are treated horribly, and both decide they’re going to leave…contacting Bruno’s mentor, Roberto the Wise, they attempt to get out of there, with Roberto ending up trapped in Bruno’s place instead. As Bruno and Sarah attempt to gather allies, they find out more about each other than they’d ever believed possible…and that much of what they thought they knew about themselves was flat wrong.

I’m proud of writing AN ELFY ON THE LOOSE, and I hope you will enjoy reading it. As it’s on sale right now, there’s no better time to dip your toe into the water of the Elfyverse than right now…and since the second half of the Elfy duology, A LITTLE ELFY IN BIG TROUBLE, is only $2.99, you can have a great, multi-day reading experience for less than the price of a tall latte at Starbucks.

What more could you possibly want?

(Oh, yes…and there’s a lot of humor here. Which might help divert you, and can’t we all use a diversion right now?)

Written by Barb Caffrey

June 14, 2016 at 9:55 am

Introducing…”Kaitlin’s Tale” by Christine Amsden

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KAITLIN’S TALE is the latest urban fantasy novel by award-winning author Christine Amsden. It features Kaitlin, a strong-willed heroine with a self-deprecating sense of humor…just my type of woman! She’s a young mother who’s made some bad choices, and now is on the run from some vampires — including her baby’s father, Jason. She meets up with a powerful, telepathic magician, Matthew Blair…and sparks fly in every possible sense.

Can these two basically good, but deeply flawed people find a way to make common cause against the vampires? And will they ever realize that they were made for each other?

KAITLIN’S TALE has my highest possible recommendation, folks…I edited it, and I know it’s an excellent novel that made me tear up in spots. Kaitlin is definitely one heroine who deserves her happy ending, most especially because she doesn’t seem to realize exactly that. And her son, Jay, is one cute little guy, too…all the way around, I loved KAITLIN’S TALE, and I hope you will give it — and Christine Amsden’s work as a whole — a try. (Read the first three chapters for free, here.)

Now, on to what Christine wanted to say about why she wrote Kaitlin’s story!


Christine Amsden says:

Who is Kaitlin?

I love Kaitlin. As I wrote the book, I sometimes thought to myself that I loved her more from the outside! She’s nothing like me. My inspiration for Kaitlin came from an experience I had as a sophomore in high school, shortly after one of those school-wide assemblies about sex and sexual abuse. They told me that one in three people had been sexually abused. I couldn’t believe it! One in three? I looked at the two friends I’d come with, wondering which one of them it had been since it wasn’t me (thankfully). To my surprise, I got the answer as we were leaving. She told me and she made me swear I wouldn’t tell a soul.

I didn’t, and it is the single biggest regret of my life. At the time I mistakenly believed that a real friend would keep a confidence. My only excuse is that I was fifteen and had precious few friends. Now I know that a true friend would have risked the friendship to do the right thing and get her friend help.

Over twenty years later, I give you Kaitlin, and I get her help. Not the sort you’re likely to get in real life (telepaths being vanishingly rare), but I wrote it for my friend, who I haven’t seen since high school, and for anyone else out there who knows what it’s like. Though I cannot truly know your pain, I have imagined it in this book.

If you do know the pain, and if you’ve never faced it, I urge you to seek help because there are no telepaths in real life. But there are people who understand.

Written by Barb Caffrey

May 28, 2016 at 5:00 am

New Interview (Mine) at Ally Shields’ Blog Is Up…

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Folks, I wanted to let you know that urban fantasy author Ally Shields invited me over to her blog today and interviewed me…and the interview has been posted. It’s a conversational interview — hence the name, “Coffee Chat” — and I enjoyed being interviewed by Ally immensely.

Please be sure to check out this interview, as Ally asked me some extremely interesting and relevant questions that I hadn’t been asked before. She’s an urban fantasy author herself, so one of her questions was about what attracted me to the paranormal/UF genre — and I told her that, along with many other interesting things.

For some reason, I’m having trouble cutting and pasting from that interview, so you’re going to have to go directly there and read it for yourself.

Thanks again, Ally, for having me over for a Coffee Chat.

Written by Barb Caffrey

December 31, 2014 at 4:54 pm

My story “Baseball, Werewolves and Me” Included in Halloween 2014 Edition of Twilight Times E-Zine

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Happy Halloween, folks!

Since it is Halloween, the time of tricks and/or treats, what say you to a little bit of both?

I’m discussing my story,  “Baseball, Werewolves and Me,” of course, as it’s included in the Halloween edition of the Twilight Times e-zine. It’s absolutely free to read, so in that sense it’s definitely a treat. But there’s at least a little bit of trickery in play, partly due to the nature of the story itself.

Arletta James is a psychic, and a good one. She’s also a huge baseball fan. So when “Madame Arletta” is asked to help Hank Rayne, manager of the Brooklyn Knights, some pointers to try to get the Knights out of their twelve-game losing streak, Arletta agrees. (Of course, she is getting paid good money to do this, as Arletta is not a fool.) Once she talks with Hank Rayne, she realizes something else — something much worse — is going on that’s caused the Knights to go into a tailspin. Will Arletta figure this out, or won’t she? And what does her husband Fergus — a werewolf — have to do with it all?

Baseball, Werewolves and Me” is a fun story that readers should enjoy, especially as it’s about a subject that usually does not get covered overmuch in urban fantasy: baseball.

And who doesn’t like a free story? Especially when it’s Halloween?

Written by Barb Caffrey

October 31, 2014 at 2:11 am

Just Reviewed Lackey and Edghill’s “Sacrifices” at SBR

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Folks, if you don’t regularly read my book reviews, I’d be really astonished.  (Well, those who aren’t following me simply for my insights, often trenchant, on the Milwaukee Brewers, that is.)  That’s the main reason I try to post something here when I write a new one.

Anyway, I’m very short on time right now, but I did get up a book review this evening for the excellent young adult urban fantasy by Mercedes Lackey and Rosemary Edghill, SACRIFICES.  This is book three in their Shadow Grail series, which deals with Arthurian myth (I called it “neo-Arthurian” as this series fuses the best of what’s great about urban fantasy and the best of historicity, in case anyone’s wondering how I came up with that) along with self-sacrifice and a whole lot of other interesting concepts.

If you love urban fantasy, mystery, Arthurian legend/history, or just admire the writing of Mercedes Lackey and Rosemary Edghill, you want to read this book, soonest.  (Trust me.)  Not your typical “middle series” book by any means, this book is a non-stop thrill-ride (unfortunately, as I’d already used that term for another of their books, DEAD RECKONING, I didn’t think I should use it in the review, variety being the spice of life and all that) that will keep you on the edge of your seat from beginning to end.

So I figured that before I went off to tonight’s rehearsal with the Racine Concert Band (for Sunday’s free concert at the Racine Zoo; I’m playing alto saxophone), I’d get something up for the review, then write a very quick blog post about it.

Anyway, go read my review, then go grab the book!

Just Reviewed “Arcanum 101” at SBR

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Folks, if you’re looking for a short, but really good, urban fantasy novel — better yet, one written by such masters of the craft as Mercedes Lackey and Rosemary Edghill — look no further than Arcanum 101: Welcome New Students.  (My review over at SBR is available here.)  This is a fun, fast read that does many good things — it introduces two good characters, Tomas Torres, a fifteen-year-old pyrokinetic (read: fire-starter) from the barrio, and teenaged techno-shaman Valeria Victrix Langenfeld (always called “VeeVee”), who’s been raised with magic, accepts it as her due, and has more talents than she knows what to do with.  Both end up at St. Rhiannon’s School for Gifted and Exceptional Students — St. Rhia’s, for short — and both are attracted to each other within moments of their first meeting.

As this is a young adult story, their romance is PG-rated.  I appreciated this, because it seems most unlikely that a young romance needs to become explicit right away — especially while in a school setting.

Overall, I enjoyed Arcanum 101 thoroughly, and think if you enjoy urban fantasy, anything written by Mercedes Lackey and/or Rosemary Edghill, or better yet, all of the above, you will enjoy it as much as I did.

So what are you waiting for?  Go read my review — then go grab the e-book!

Written by Barb Caffrey

October 21, 2012 at 12:25 am

Just Reviewed Sharon Lee’s “Carousel Tides” at SBR

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Folks, if you’re looking for a really good urban fantasy novel to read, look no further than Sharon Lee’s CAROUSEL TIDES.  This is an excellent read that does a number of things, all extremely well — it’s a coming of age story for its heroine, Kate.  It’s a story of female empowerment, again for Kate.  It’s a great quest story (where has Kate’s grandmother gone, and what’s happened to her?).  And it has a very nice, yet understated romance between Kate and the enigmatic, sea-going Borgan.

Oh, yes — there’s a really nasty evil guy to root against, too, a guy named Ramendysis.  This is a guy who’s into destroying as many other people with magical ability as he can, partly because he believes might makes right and partly because he’s just a terrible person.  So the “big bad” is hiss-worthy, too — as if you needed any more reason to read this novel.

I said much more about CAROUSEL TIDES in my review over at Shiny Book Review (SBR).  So please, read my review, then go grab the book!  (You’ll be very happy you did, especially if you love urban fantasy.)

Written by Barb Caffrey

October 9, 2012 at 8:36 pm

Finished Short Story and Sent it off to UFO Anthology

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Folks, the “UFO Anthology” referenced above is actually UNIDENTIFIED FUNNY OBJECTS — an anthology that accepts either science fiction or fantasy short stories, providing they are funny.  I sent in a funny urban fantasy story that’s about baseball; I don’t know what they’ll think about it, but I do know that it at least has the virtue of being original.  (Not many urban fantasies written about baseball these days, for reasons that elude me.)

Now, this was more difficult than I’d expected, considering that my main claim to fame (such as it is) is due to being a funny fantasist.  (ELFY, if you can say nothing else about it, is funny.  It’s meant to be.  I did that on purpose, even.)

Why was this, you ask?  (Maybe you didn’t ask.  But I’ll answer anyway.)  Simple — I came down with a sinus infection several weeks ago.  I was finally diagnosed last week, and got some antibiotics; only after taking antibiotics for several days was I able to finish up my latest urban fantasy story.

The good news is that I was able to complete my story on time; the bad news, as always, is that I wasn’t invited to submit to this anthology.  (I don’t have anywhere near the name recognition for that, nor the story sales to back me up, nor anything except sheer cussedness and a dab hand for urban fantasy to recommend me.)  And thus far, over 700 people in addition to those invited into the anthology have submitted stories; only a handful of stories have been accepted, at most, with another handful being debated among the editors for possible inclusion.

** Edited to add:  The official stats, from Alex S.’s blog post of 8/22/12, are these:  745 stories had been read.  18 stories were accepted totaling 55,600 words in length; 19 stories were held in round 3 (meaning they’re still being debated among the editors), totaling 35,000 words.  Now back to our regularly scheduled post.

How do I know this, you ask?  Well, Alex Shvartsman, through his blog, has given excellent updates throughout the process as to what he’s taking, why he’s taking it, and what he really doesn’t want to see any more of if he can help it.  (Fortunately for me, baseball stories were not among his “thou-shalt-nots.)

If you’re like me, though, and finished your story up the day before the anthology closed, then sent it in before the anthology was officially declared closed (as it says quite clearly that the “anthology window” is between July 1 and August 31, 2012), you can still get your story in if you hustle.  Go to the link provided above (click on UNIDENTIFIED FUNNY OBJECTS), follow the directions, and submit your story.

Otherwise, wish my little baseball-oriented urban fantasy well, will you?

Written by Barb Caffrey

August 31, 2012 at 5:45 pm

Just Reviewed Krafton’s “Bleeding Hearts” at SBR

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Here’s the latest over at Shiny Book Review, where tonight I took on Ash Krafton’s urban fantasy BLEEDING HEARTS.  This features the Demi-Vampire (they have souls, can eat regular food, and live a long time, but need blood to perform at optimum levels) as well as nasty Vampire (no -s in Krafton’s vision; the regular Vampire do not have souls and are nasty with a capital “N”) and the odd werewolf.

The heroine, Sophie Galen, is an empathic human being who writes an advice column.  (Before that, she was a nurse, which is probably why she’s named “Galen” after the eminent ancient Roman physician.)  She knows nothing about the Demi-Vampire (or D-V for short), much less the Vampire, at the start of BLEEDING HEARTS, yet she’s drawn to an unusual man, Marek Thurzo, when she visits a local museum.  (They bond over ancient Egyptian relics.)  And, of course, Marek is a D-V, which complicates her life — and the book’s plotline — nicely.

BLEEDING HEARTS is a well-paced urban fantasy/romance with some humor despite its often grim underpinnings.  I enjoyed it immensely.

So what are you waiting for?  Go read my review right now!

Written by Barb Caffrey

June 17, 2012 at 12:56 am

Just Reviewed Lackey/Edghill’s “Legacies” and “Conspiracies” at SBR

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Folks, if you love urban fantasy as much as I do, you really need to grab hold of these novels and don’t let ’em go until you’ve read ’em.

Mercedes Lackey and Rosemary Edghill have created a magical academy out in the middle of Montana called Oakhurst that’s both familiar and terrifying.  They get all the “teen stuff” right — the “teen speak,” all the emphasis on technology, wanting to eat junk food (and hating healthy food, for the most part), “teen angst,” etc. — and they also manage to get in there a great many hints at mysteries that go back to the Morte d’Arthur . . . really nice work, and I enjoyed both Legacies (book one) and Conspiracies (book two) immensely.

So go read my review already, then go grab the books!

Written by Barb Caffrey

December 22, 2011 at 12:17 am