The Darker Side of Romance - A New Age of the Paranormal By Martina Bexte, October, 2004
Dark fiction has always held a special place in our psyche and nowhere is that more apparent than in romantic fiction, where the sub-genre dubbed 'paranormal romance' has for years been lurking in the shadows. With the help of online publications and growing reader demand, paranormal romance may finally see the light of day. Major publishing houses have taken notice and are actively acquiring and publishing break-out authors, as well as taking a second look at stories that never made it past their slush piles a few years ago. Even TOR books - a leader in science fiction, fantasy and horror - has joined this new wave and are launching a paranormal romance line next month. Is this new age of the paranormal here to stay? Let's hope so.
Ready to sample paranormal romance? For your Halloween reading pleasure, try these thirteen tempting concoctions ... First, Murder by Magic: Twenty Tales of Crime & the Supernatural, combines the fantastic talents of Mercedes Lackey, Carole Nelson Douglas and Roberta Gellis. Next, try Hot Blooded -- reader favorites, Christine Feehan, Maggie Shayne, Emma Holly and Angela Knight, serve up four delicious tales: Dark Hunger, Awaiting Moonrise, The Night Owl, and Seduction's Gift. And Silent Night presents a trio of dark suspense by Claudia Dain, Dee Davis & Evelyn Rogers.
Katie MacAlister goes for laughs in You Slay Me -- Aisling Grey is shocked to discover her true identity, as guardian to the Gates of Hell. In Annette Blair's The Kitchen Witch, Melody is fired from her job after accusations of using witchcraft. What does she do? She decides to use those very talents in her new cooking show. And Jenna McKnight spins a whimsical tale that grants Lilly Marquette a second chance at life in A Date On Cloud Nine.
In Blue Moon, Lori Handeland presents the first in her new werewolf series that follows sassy cop Jessie McQuade and her single-minded quest to track down the fabled creature. Staying with the lycanthrope theme, we have Eileen Wilks' Tempting Danger -- Detective Lily Yu and werewolf clan leader Rule Turner team up to discover the identity of a brutal killer. And Laurell K. Hamilton brings back popular Anita Blake in Incubus Dreams -- this time Anita's hunting vampires who are murdering strippers.
In Sword Across Time, Catherine Anne Collins introduces Tamara and Gavin (descendents of Merlin and Nemue), who must work together to fulfill their destiny after finding journals written by their ancestors. And veteran Constance O'Day-Flannery launches the new TOR line with Shifting Love, set in New York and Philadelphia, and featuring a secret international society of shape shifters.
Tamara Thorne combines UFO lore, religion, serial killers, military conspiracy, a large cast of characters and lots of creepiness in her latest spine-tingling tale, Thunder Road. And, last but never least, Industrial Magic is book two in Kelley Armstrong's imaginative Women of the Underworld series. It features powerful witch Paige Armstrong, who's trying to rebuild her life but can't escape the interference of the Sorcerer's Cabal.
Sufficiently spooked yet? Revel in romantic reading on the dark side, and have a paranormal Halloween!
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