Sunday, February 2, 2014

New Kindle supernatural / superhero romance novel!

Elizabeth Gannon's new book "The Only Fish in the Sea" is now available for purchase on Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/The-Only-Fish-Consortium-Chaos-ebook/dp/B00I7BDAE2

Julian: Julian comes from the Golden Age of super-villainy. The son of Neptune and a mortal woman, he’s spent millennia as an outcast of both worlds. As king of the ocean, all Julian wants to do is protect the denizens deep and drown the humans for their crimes against sea creatures. He doesn’t care about the Consortium of Chaos’s new jobs as “heroes.” He still hates everyone, which is kinda unfortunate since he’s just become the one person responsible for keeping the world safe. He’d probably just ignore the human’s plight and go for a swim, except the beautiful woman he’s been searching for for years has shown up to help fix his “image problems.” Which means Julian might have to actually pretend to be a hero, after all.

Bridget: Bridget is a public relations specialist. Kind of. She’s not exactly at the top of her field, but she’s giving it her best shot. The curvy, average, dateless human is going to help Julian and his bizarre group of semi-insane, super-powered friends reach their full potential as heroes. And not JUST because he’s the handsomest man she’s ever seen. Years ago, Julian saved her life. In an age where good guys and bad guys seem way too much alike, Julian is the only person she’s ever seen act heroically. He can do anything. He just needs to believe that. …And stop telling all the humans that he’s going to conquer the planet. …And maybe not worry so much about seafood restaurants murdering his underwater subjects. …And actually pay attention to all the people trying to take over the city.

New enemies are rising and nearly everyone else in the Consortium is MIA. Now, it’s up to Julian and the Consortium members who are too old, weird, evil, or headless to be invited on the REAL missions to save the city. Except they suck at it. Humans are whining about the death-toll, the Consortiums screw-ups are all over the news, and their evil garage sale isn’t helping to pay the bills. Bridget’s going to fix all that. She’s determined to make the world see them for the heroes they are. Julian’s certainly willing to go along with her ideas, no matter how many public appearances he has to make at elementary schools and shopping malls. He knows he’s a villain and he couldn’t care less about what the rest of humanity thinks, but he sure loves the idea of being a hero to Bridget.
                                                   

Friday, January 17, 2014

New Kindle paranormal / supernatural romance novel!

The latest book in Cassandra Gannon's Elemental Phases Kindle romance series "Magic of the Wood House" is now available on Amazon.com:

 http://www.amazon.com/Magic-Wood-House-Elemental-Phases-ebook/dp/B00HWYJKAS

Elementals:  Water, Earth, Fire and Air are only the beginning.  Elementals support everything from Darkness to Time, secretly maintaining the processes of nature.  Only now the Elementals are nearly extinct.  Two years ago, the Air House released a plague that killed ninety percent of them.  With their society in chaos and so many of their kind dead, they can’t find their Phase-Matches; the other halves of themselves.  Without Matches they can’t have any more children and without the Elementals, the world will end.  Again.
Sullivan:  Sullivan Pryce is human.  Mostly.  Big, scarred and suspicious of everyone, he has no idea that his grandfather was one of the most respected Elementals who ever lived.  The surly Police Chief’s unique DNA means women are pouring out of the cosmos to try and court him.  Most of them wind up in Sullivan’s jail, awaiting psych evaluations and bail hearings.  All he wants for Christmas is to get rid of this “Cult” of insane stalkers.  Except, he can’t stop thinking about one of them:  Teja, the most beautiful weirdo he’s ever seen.  No matter how crazy she is, Sullivan can’t get Teja out of his mind.  And not just because her gangster family has kidnapped him.
Teja:  Notorious for their wild ideas on romance and mafia movie lifestyle, the Fire House is feared throughout the Elemental realm.  But, tossing the universe’s most eligible bachelor into a dungeon is crazy even for them.  Teja, of the Fire and Cold Houses is horrified by her zany relatives’ actions.  She knows that Sullivan is her Match and that’s the last thing she wants.  For two years, Teja has been frozen inside.  Having Sullivan in such close proximity threatens to melt the protective layer of ice inside her heart.
Being around Sullivan soon has Teja feeling far too much.  For instance, anger that he isn’t beheading the parade of home wrecking women trying to seduce him away.  And desire when she gazes at his warrior’s face.  And confusion that Sullivan seems to have far more powers than a mostly-human guy should possess.  …And fear, because someone is targeting the Fire Phases.  Her family is being framed for a terrible crime.  As the rest of the Elementals turn on the Fire House, Sullivan and Teja are about to be caught right in the middle of the fight.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Sneak peek at new paranormal / supernatural Kindle romance novel covers!

So, we have two new books which should be hitting the shelves very soon.  I thought it might be nice to give a sneak peek at the covers before they go on sale.  Enjoy!


"Magic of the Wood House" should be out within the next few days.



"The Only Fish in the Sea" should be out within the next couple of weeks.  It's 95% done.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Superhero Romance Character Bio #14: Julian

It’s been a long time since I did one of these as I’ve been busy with other things.  Namely, writing (I'm about 3/4 of the way done the next book now.)  I thought I’d finally do a new character bio though, and who better than the star of the book I’m working on, “The Only Fish in the Sea,” Julian! 

Julian Thalassic Sargassum AKA “Lord Sargassum” is “Ruler of the Seas” and head of the Consortium’s ‘Undersea Operations Department.’  He oversees their underwater base, is in charge of all aquatic crimes and takes his job very seriously.  He has a team of ex-criminals/current heroes who live in the underwater base with him, but they are usually absent from the Consortium’s activities.
Julian is a demi-god, and claims to be the son of Neptune and a human woman.  Oddly, he spends no time amongst the other Eternal people though, and instead seems to hang out on land with the “mortal surface-dwellers” he hates.  His reasons for this have never been explained.
 
The only thing we know about his past is that he claim to be responsible for “sinking the Titanic” because it “got in his way” and that he claims diplomatic immunity for his 254 counts of international piracy and crimes on the high seas.

He has the ability to breathe underwater indefinitely, and can talk to all aquatic creatures.  In the past he has also apparently claimed to be able to control seaweed, but has never been shown using this power.  He carries around his father’s golden trident, which he mostly seems to use to add drama to his everyday conversations by sweeping it around emphatically, and occasionally uses it to pick his fingernails when he’s feeling especially bored.  If he has any other powers or abilities, he hasn’t mentioned them to anyone yet.  

Julian is about 6’3” and has shiny black hair and turquoise eyes.  His age has never been given, but one can assume that at the very least he is more than a century old, since he was on the Titanic.  At the moment, he is sporting a beard befitting an ancient god and is very tanned.  He is usually described as being physically fit, and as wearing black fish scale armor pants and either manica (which are like armored sleeves) or a long cape made of material which looks like black seaweed.  Sometimes he wears boots, sometimes he goes barefoot.  Much to the chagrin of many of the male members of the team though, he never wears a shirt.  I seriously doubt this has anything to do with his powers, I think he just doesn’t like them.  Mortals wear shirts; god-kings do not.

His personality is marked by haughty pride and callous indifference.  Julian believes that the undersea world is superior to the world above, and has no qualms about telling people that.  Repeatedly.  To their faces.  He hates the surface world because he says it is destroying his kingdom, and he is on a mission to wipe the Earth clean of terrestrial life.  Every Consortium meeting, he makes a motion to create and oversee an army of “mutant fish-people” who will destroy the mortals for him.  His plan is always voted down though, and he blames Marian for standing in the way of his dreams by not approving his requested budget for the project.

To be perfectly honest, I’m never quite sure if Julian actually means a lot of the things he says.  He seems to alternate between feeling useless because the world considers him powerless, and taking his egocentrism to great heights while claiming to be the most powerful man in the world.  His sense of self-worth is either very good or very bad, and I don’t think even he knows which.  In either case, I think it hurts his feelings when people doubt him.

Julian has the distinction of being the only member of the team who has never done anything.  This is a deliberate choice on his part, and on mine.  He goes on every mission, he just always refuses to help in its completion, either because he does not believe in its goals, he is “on strike,” or would simply rather spend that time studying for an exam in college, which he no doubt will excuse himself from taking anyway.  I don’t think he’s lazy, I just think he doesn’t particularly care what happens to the “terrestrial” world.  He assures the team that if the oceans are threatened though, he will of course stop that danger.  Some might argue that he fails to aid the team because he can’t, since the battles in question are taking place on dry land and he's powerless, but I’m not convinced this is the case.  I think he could help if he wanted to, he just sees no reason to be bothered.
  
If I had to guess, I’d say that Julian probably ranks amongst the loneliest people on the Consortium’s crew.  He says that there are no other aquatic people, and since he seems to have spent most of his life under the sea, I think he likes the novelty of being around people.  He doesn't like being along, and even mortal company is better than nothing.  He is a member of every club the Consortium has, although he refuses to participate in their activities on general principles.  He still joins though, and still attends the Consortium’s parties, he just wants to make sure that everyone knows that he disagrees with their goals and is attending under protest.  There’s something kinda sweet about that.  There’s an innocence to Julian that most of the other characters lack.  He’s the little boy in school who always sits alone at lunch because he’s unpopular and shy, but wants to be part of the group.

Julian is another one of those characters who has just always been there.  Thematically, he’s based on any number of “fish-man” or aquatic characters in popular culture (Aquaman, Namor, Captain Nemo, etc), and their related tropes and issues.  I wanted to create a bad guy for one of those types of characters, while not straying too far from the trope itself, and stick him into a romance novel.  I’ve always really liked the idea of a hero whose only power would be fairly useless in a fight.  I find the dichotomy of being hugely powerful in one way, but utterly superfluous in another very interesting.  Julian has just always been there to remind the Consortium that they are nothing compared to the majesty of the sea though, and that they would all be doomed without him.  In fact, Julian actually predates the creation of the Consortium itself, and was a member of the team in the earlier (and vastly different) version of [book:Yesterday's Heroes|17231951].  Most of the other characters from that draft of the story (which mostly existed only in my head) are long gone or heavily rewritten (for instance, Seth, Monty and Wyatt were all the same character in that version, which is just impossible to even imagine now), but Julian remains, utterly unchanged.
 
Comic books have what are called ages.  The golden age stretches from the 1930’s to the 1950’s, and it’s home to most of the archetypal characters we think of as the superhero (Superman, Batman, etc).  The golden age has simple plots and clear morals.  There is good and there is evil, and evil never wins.  Storylines last one issue and the heroes are paragons of justice and morality.  Next comes the silver age, stretching from the mid-1950’s to the early 1970’s, and it introduces a lot of the more complex heroes to the scene, (the Fantastic Four, the X-Men, Spider-Man, etc).  It is in this era that the heroes lose their ability to always know right from wrong, and the idea that heroes can dislike one another is introduced.  Next comes the bronze age, stretching from the mid-1970’s to the mid-1980’s.  It is in this era that the heroes’ morality gets even murkier and the idea that the bad guy can win is introduced.  Finally, the modern era, stretching from the mid-1980’s onward.  This era is characterized by violent anti-heroes, dispensing justice as they see fit.  Morality is gray and there is little distinction between the heroes and the villains, and they frequently switch sides. 

For his part, Julian is squarely in the Golden Age.  All Julian wants to do is flood the world and create mutant fish people.  He has no deeper political or personal goals other than that, but the world around him has gotten more and more complicated, and I think Julian sometimes feels lost.
 
Julian is named after Jules Verne, author of "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea."  At the time, I thought about choosing something more “godly” sounding, but that just wasn’t where his character wanted to go.  Thalassic is a word meaning: “of or relating to the sea” and Sargassum is both a species of fish and of seaweed.  I chose it because of the old Mystery Science Theater 3000 film “Bloodwaters of Dr. Z” and its infamous line: “Sargassum... the weed of deceit.” 

The Weed of Deceit

I’ve always liked the sound of that.  Incidentally, the Sargassum fish is also one of nature’s most accomplished ambush predators.  It lures in its prey by pretending to be what it is not, and is thus able to swallow enemies many times its own size.  In one bite.

Julian is always fun, because he takes offense at everything, and no one ever gives him any respect.  He does nothing, and people don’t expect that to ever change.  At the moment though, Julian is currently in charge of the Consortium and is tasked with protecting the entire world while the others are gone, so it should be interesting to see what he does with his new power within the C of C.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Consortium of Chaos paranormal romance novel character bio #13: The Headless Horseman

Let’s do Ceann today.  There are going to be a few spoilers for The Guy Your Friends Warned You About in this one.

Ceann is the Headless Horseman, of Sleepy Hollow fame.  (“Ceann” means “Head” in Gaelic.) 



No one has ever given his last name, but I would imagine that it’s “Maguire”, since Cynic used that name at one point.  At the moment, he is not a member of the Consortium, but I think that given the organization’s current troubles (see the end of [book:Electrical Hazard|17912552]), that will change shortly.

Ceann is Cynic’s older brother, although the two do not really get along all that well.  He is described as being quite tall; Marian says that if he still had his head, he would be almost as tall as Hazard, who is the tallest man in the series’ “world.”  He is described as being muscular, and wears black leather from head to toe.  His right arm is bare though, and features a variety of red and black Celtic tattoos from his shoulder to this wrist.  He wears a long tattered cape, and heavy boots.  He is armed with a broad sword made of fire, and is described as having once used a whip made from a human spine (which is part of the actual legend, by the way).  He rides a horse named “Enbarr” around, and seems to genuinely care for the animal.  Whether this is the same horse from Irish mythology or not has not been specified.  Along with his siblings, he “works” for his parents, although their “job” appears to simply involve randomly attacking travelers at night.  The purpose of this activity is lost on them, but they don’t let it trouble them too much, except for Cynic.



Since Ceann has no head, he communicates through the use of a 1980s Speak & Spell toy.  The toy can speak exactly 1,220 words, many of which are simply different conjugations of the same basic words.  (You can try it out yourself here: Speak & Spell Emulator) Thus, Ceann has a rather unique vocabulary, and sometimes has difficulty communicating with the people around him.  Why doesn’t he upgrade to some new technology which would give him more words to choose from?  I honestly have no idea.  It would make sense, but that would be an utterly out of character thing for him to do.  I think he uses the toy because that’s what he uses.  I think if you asked him, he’d just stare at you.  …Well, not really stare at you, since he has no head, but you know what I mean.  In either case, he is incapable of eating anything and he apparently doesn’t “breathe” in the traditional sense.  He has been shown as being basically impervious to bullets, and has great physical strength.  If he has any other powers, they have not been revealed, although Cynic claims that they differ from his own.  He evidentially shares his brother’s aversion to gold though, and prefers to loom in the shadows rather than exhibiting his brother’s desperate need for attention. 

Ceann seems to have a grudging affection for his little brother though, no matter how annoying the other man is.  True, they often fight, but neither of them is seriously hurt in the altercations.  I get the sense that Ceann spends a lot of his time trying to get Cynic out of messes.  He seems to genuinely worry about the wayward black sheep of his family, although he tries to hide it.  Honestly, I think it’s probably the only hobby he really has.

I get the sense that he’s deeply unhappy, which probably shouldn’t be too surprising, as he doesn’t have a head.  He still showed up at his brother’s wedding though, and was still willing to help his brother’s fiancée fight her enemies.  I think he’s got a deep sense of honor and personal responsibility, which his brother lacks.  He views it as his duty to protect his family, and is willing to trade his happiness for theirs.  He will stand with them, no matter what.  He’s a protector by nature, and does what is asked of him, no matter how distasteful he might find it.  I’m sure he’s never been exactly thrilled with his role as “Headless Horseman,” but he does his job without complaint.
Cynic seems to view him as some sort of “Golden Boy” who succeeded at everything, and is obviously jealous of him.  Deep down, I think he blames himself for the loss of his brother’s head, although the circumstances have never been given.  Their sister Morrigan (well, the Blonde one anyway) insists that the injury was not Cynic’s fault, but I think he blames himself anyway.  For his part, I think Ceann views Cynic as the one who just gets life handed to him, and never has to accept any responsibility for his actions.  I think he’s as jealous of Cynic as Cynic is of him.

As far as friends go, he seems to spend a lot of time with Seth Van Diemen, the casino-owning Egyptian god of evil.  Whether this is because they just both happen to enjoy annoying Cynic and thus are occasionally in the same location, or if they are actually friends, has not yet been determined.  In either case, the men appear to get along fairly well, although again, that could have more to do with the fact that they both share the same hobby.  I don’t think Ceann actually works at Seth’s casino though, despite the fact that Seth seems to employ a lot of eternals people.  Honestly, I don’t know what Ceann does when he’s not “onscreen” in the books.  …I just picture him silently brooding in a dark room someplace, praying that his family will stay out of trouble for 5 seconds.  I feel sorry for him.  I think they’re just so used to him being there to protect them, that they take him for granted.

I have no idea where Ceann came from.  As a kid, I used to watch the old “Sleepy Hollow” Disney Short a lot, and the Headless Horseman used to scare me in an utterly delightful way.  I always used to rewind his scenes and argue with my friends about whether or not he was really Brom Bones.  To me, the point was obvious: he was not.  Ichabod is clearly shown looking down the collar of the Headless Horseman in one scene (29:55 into that video), and it he were really Brom Bones in disguise, this would expose the prank.  In my mind, the cartoon clearly indicated that the Headless Horseman was real, and utterly awesome in an utterly scary way.  His character is clearly the most interesting of the piece IMO.

Ironically, a week or two before my first draft of The Guy Your Friends Warned You About was completed, my sister looks at me out of the blue and says: “You know who would be a cool romance novel character?  The Headless Horseman.”  Since I hadn’t told her about Ceann at that point, I found that kind of scary.

I remember researching information for Cynic’s backstory, and stumbling across the Dullahan on the list of Irish myths, and thinking: “Bingo.”  Eventually, I split the headless horseman aspect of the myth into a separate person though, as Cynic already had enough going on.  This puts Ceann’s evolution fairly early in the series though, long before [book:Yesterday's Heroes|17231951] was even published.  It just took him a while to show up “on screen.”  He actually did have a scene in Yesterday’s Heroes though, but I took it out.  It would have come near the end of the book, when Stacy, Cory and Hazard are walking around the city.  It was edited both for length, and because I decided to hold him back for a later book, even though I enjoyed the idea of the Headless Horseman showing up without any explanation and then leaving again.  As it was, I included an in-joke with one of Cynic’s shirts, which referenced decapitation.

As for his Speak & Spell, again, I have no idea.  I remember looking for a way for him to communicate, and at first I was going to go with dry erase board, but then rejected that idea.  It was too easy, and in a written medium, lost all comedic value.  A deleted scene in The Guy Your Friends Warned You About had him trying to communicate with someone he wasn’t used to “talking to” in the hotel though, and after several unsuccessful tries at making himself understood (at one point, he even tried writing on the wall in blood) he became frustrated, left the room and returned with the silliest thing I could think of.  The second he walked through that door with his toy, I realized how awesome the Speak & Spell would be, and immediately changed the character again.  Since then, it’s been his “thing.”  It’s so incredibly clear in my mind. 

From the beginning, I have gone to great lengths to ensure that every word he “says” is an actual word the toy could “speak,” which adds hours and hours to all of his chapters, but for some reason, I’ve always thought it was important.  I change the way the toy declares the word, but the words themselves are all in there.  If I gave him an out, and allowed him to say whatever would be easiest for him and me, then it would stop being a problem for him.  If he can say anything, then it loses both its comedic appeal, and the rather tragic nature of his condition.  It needs to be more “real” than that.  He simply has no way of communicating some things, and it frustrates him.  I find that compelling. 
Plus, some of the words he’s forced to use are really amusing.  :- )

All in all, I think Ceann is probably one of the most successful of the second series of characters introduced in the series.  I always enjoy writing him and intend to use him a lot more in the future.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Where our money goes

My sister and I didn't get into writing to get wealthy.  We got into it to become fabulously wealthy, and allow you, our fans, to experience the glory of our riches by proxy.  ...Sadly, it hasn't turned out that way.  Not because you aren't buying our books, because you are, and we can't thank you enough for supporting our dreams of economic supremacy over our family and friends.  No, we are currently broke for another reason.  Meet Grady:


Grady is our 6 year old boxer, and is our baby.  Sadly, last year, he was diagnosed with terminal cancer and they gave him 4 months to live.  Thanks to the money that our books bring in though, we've been able to pay for some very expensive chemo treatments for him (you don't want to know what they cost), and have managed to keep him around this long.  We don't know what the future holds for Grady, but we thought we'd thank our fans for giving us the money to keep our friend around a little while longer.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

The best friends are fictional friends

I was reading an article about J.K. Rowling today, and how she says that if she could talk to any of the characters from her Harry Potter books, she would want to talk to Dumbledore (http://gma.yahoo.com/blogs/abc-blogs/...), and that got me thinking about my own books.

If I could pull any character from any of my books to talk with, it would probably be Holly. She’s the kind of friend I would want to have: fun, funny and always willing to hang out. Sure, I’d probably be called to testify a lot, and be forced to lie about being with her at a given time when a woman who looked suspiciously like her was seen destroying a metropolitan area, but it would be a small price to pay. Plus, having an in with her father would be pretty cool, as I’ve got a Christmas wish list a mile long. And she makes her own marshmallows and gingerbread men. Baked goods are a prerequisite for my ideal friend, and if I’m going to hang out with a fictional character, I see no reason to not hang out with one who would be fun to hang out with. And who has awesome fashion sense.

From my sister’s books, I’d probably go with Job, but for the opposite reasons. He’d be there to pat my hand in a comforting way, and tell me that Holly was leading me down the wrong path, and that she was a bad influence and was causing me to throw away a promising career. And speaking of career, he’d probably be able to help me out with that too, and give me good advice in a calm way, which I rarely take but desperately need. Having a life coach would be good though, and he doesn’t judge too much, which would be good since I mess up a lot. A whole lot. And if I asked him really, really nicely, I bet he’d help pay off my staggering student loans, which makes him an okay guy in my book, and the kind of friend I would want to have. Plus, he’d be a good character reference for when Holly got me arrested and I was now facing serious jail time for something crazy she had done. He's like a judge or whatever, which would have a lot of jury appeal and could keep me from getting sent away for a long, long time.

My sister says she would hang out with Cory from my books, but she would just want to use him for his powers, because he could put her into Supernatural to meet Dean.

From her own books, she'd go with Kingu because he can make her stuff, and she'd like to have a unicorn. And if he likes you, he's willing to help you with anything. "Hey, Kingu?" She'd say. "Can you make me a castle?" And then she'd get a castle. Which would be cool.

You'll notice that Cassie is inherently more selfish in her friendships than I am. And yet her books sell more than mine. As our readers, I think you can see how entirely unfair that truly is. ;)