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WHAT’S URBAN FANTASY? – And the Chance to Win 45 Books

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Straight to the question I get asked more than any other: what’s urban fantasy?

The twin question clinging to that one? What’s the difference between urban fantasy and paranormal romance?

Short answer: not much. See, I can be succinct when I want to.

Long answer: in urban fantasy, although love often drives the main character, their journey is the focus. Redemption or revenge. Not simply the romance between two characters.

It’s been said, however, that paranormal romance and urban fantasy share 95% of the same DNA.

 

rebel-vampires-black-letters Fantasy book Rebel Vampires Rosemary A JohnsBeing ‘urban’, in urban fantasy the city becomes central. It can be set in any time period. In Rebel Vampires London and its dark and glory, is as much a character as the vampires themselves: St Paul’s, London Bridge or Primrose Hill.

If you study the Rebel Vampires front covers, you’ll see a different London skyline and bridge: these are central in each book.

blood-dragons-cover-medium-web Fantasy Book Blood Dragons Rebel Vampires series Rosemary A Johns

I love urban fantasy because unlike some other types of fantasy, the supernatural is either hidden beneath our world or is right there alongside: the magical among the everyday. Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere first turned me on to this style of fantasy, when I watched the original BBC TV version: it opened my eyes to a new style of fantasy.

blood-shackles-cover-medium-web Blood Shackles Fantasy Book Rebel Vampires series Rosemary A JohnsThis is one of my favourite scenes in Blood Shackles, because it contrasts the powerful supernatural with the reality of our lives.

‘I realised I hadn’t heard the click of the front door, when I glanced up, and you were standing there. You were leaning against the wall, with a thoughtful expression, as you watched me on my knees, dusting cloth in one hand, glass vase in the other and tears in my peepers, whilst I sang along to Amy Winehouse. I must’ve looked like a right berk.’ (Blood Shackles)

feb-17-general-urbanfantasy-1200graphicI’m taking part in a big urban fantasy giveaway this week. You can win books from authors like John Hartness and Michael G Munz, and a Kindle Fire. This giveaway ends soon, so make sure you hurry and enter!

Join the fun here! bit.ly/urb-fantasy

When you’re done, tell me which books you’re most excited to win.

Good luck in the contest and click here to start the adventure into Blood Life now.

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BOOK AWARDS – Blood Dragons Receives Award

finalist-logo-black-and-white The Wishing Shelf Book Awards Blood Dragons

The 2016 FINALISTS have just been announced for the WISHING SHELF BOOK AWARDS.

Blood Dragons – the first novel in the Rebel Vampires series – has been chosen as a FINALIST FOR ADULT FICTION.

The winners will be announced in April.

The Wishing Shelf Book Awards is a British award, which also has categories for children’s books and non-fiction. A respected award, it’s judged by Reading Groups.

~ Blood Dragons ~ Escape into a supernatural world of love, revenge and redemption.

There are three people in this affair…and two of them aren’t human. In a divided paranormal London, Light is the rebel bad boy vampire of the Blood Lifer world, with a photographic blood-dragons-cover-medium-webmemory. And a Triton motorbike. Since Victorian times he’s hidden in the shadows with Ruby – a savage Elizabethan – but he’s keeping a secret from her, which breaks every rule.

1960s London. Kathy is a seductive singer. But she’s also human. When the two worlds collide, it could mean the end. For both species.

When Light discovers his ruthless family’s horrifying experiments, he questions whether he should be slaying or saving the humans he’s always feared. Now he’s trapped in a race against time to save them all. The consequences of failure are unimaginable. Unless Light plays the part of hero, he risks losing everything. Including the two women he loves.

A rebel, a red-haired devil and a Moon Girl battle to save the world – or tear it apart.

To read Blood Dragons today click here.

To read and share Questions For Book Clubs click here.

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PREDATOR OR PREY – Are Vampires or Humans the Monsters?

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When a fantasy writer sets out to create a series (especially if it’s urban fantasy where the supernatural is slap-bang in the middle of our ordinary world), then they have to create something unique. Gripping. An idea, which arcs across books, even if they’re standalone.

When I was writing Rebel Vampires, I knew the heart would be this: were vampires the hunters, or the hunted? 

blood-dragons-print-and-iphone fantasy book rosemary a johnsIn Blood Dragons, Light the dark anti-hero of Rebel Vampires, starts as the apex predator:

‘Ruby and I swaggered through the shadowed streets, towards the promenade and Palace Pier – her in crimson silk, me in military Great Coat – two creatures from another world and time, unnoticed by these petty First Lifers because we weren’t painted in the colours of their tribe. We twirled each other round, dancing in the carnage and the flames.’ (Blood Dragons)

Yet Ruby – Light’s Author – teaches him to fear humans, showing him a stuffed gorilla in the Museum of Death, as a warning that they’d be next, if First Lifers ever discovered their existence.blood-shackles-print-and-iphone fantasy book rosemary a johns

In the second book Blood Shackles, Light has been transformed to prey. Ruby hadn’t been wrong to fear because Light has now been enslaved by the human Blood Club.

‘ ‘You really don’t know anything about us Blood Lifers, do you? How we evolved or–’

‘I know enough.’

Surprised, I drew back. ‘As in, only good Blood Lifer’s a dead Blood Lifer?’

You shot me a sharp look. ‘You wouldn’t be here, if that’s what I thought.’

‘Alright then, as in, only good Blood Lifer’s one in shackles?’

Your mouth tightened into a thin line. ‘And what about humans? Do we come in small, medium or large?’

‘In America you can supersize.’ I grinned, but you didn’t return it: some birds have no sense of humour. Of course, Ruby would’ve clocked me for that comment. ‘Look, that’s not who I am now. I’ve been on blood abstention for fifty years.’

Your voice was so cold it could’ve given frost bite. ‘Good for you.’

‘Not asking for a medal, sweetheart. I just wanted you to know I don’t… Not First Lifers. Not for a long time.’

‘Makes no difference to me.’

‘It does to me. You’ve no idea how much.’

‘OK.’ You turned back to your laptop, opening it with an air of indifference. Then there was that blasted clack clacking.

I listened for a moment in silence. Then I couldn’t hack it any longer. ‘What does?’

‘What?’ You didn’t stop typing or look away from the screen.

‘Make a difference to you?’

You didn’t even pause. ‘The profit margin.’ ‘ (Blood Shackles)

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In the third book in the series – Blood Renegades – which is released this June..? You’ll have to wait and see, but maybe it won’t be as simple as First or Blood, hunter or hunted. Maybe working out who’s the predator and who’s the prey? That’ll be part of the game…

To read Blood Dragons and Blood Shackles before the release of Blood Renegades: click here.

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VALENTINES DAY SALE – Three of the Best Fictional Lovers

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Happy Valentines Day!

As Light says: ‘Love’s the greatest motivator of all’ (Blood Dragons).

blood-dragons-cover-medium-webSo to celebrate Valentines (although ‘leave out the hearts and cupid’ of course), Blood Dragons is on sale today. It’s reduced by 67% to 0.99.

Click here to buy Blood Dragons in the Valentines Sale.

“In a precarious world where vampires are both predator and prey, Blood Dragons deftly blends elements of paranormal thriller and passionate romance… A character-driven, sizzling-hot saga” – Midwest Book Review

To Light? ‘Everything comes down to the heart’ (Blood Dragons). His love is obsessive, amplified by Blood Life. He’s torn between the savage Elizabethan Ruby and the human singer Kathy in Blood Dragons. In Blood Shackles he reluctantly loves his powerful slaver mistress Grayse.

As it’s Valentines I’ve picked three of my favourite other lovers – who would you have chosen?

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Three of the Best Fictional Lovers

  1. Katherine and HeathcliffeWuthering Heights. The moors, the passion, the dark anti-hero? All right, so this raw love had an impact on me – I’ve never lived in a book more.
  2. Gatsby and DaisyThe Great Gatsby. A complex love but a real love. Just how I like it.
  3. Estella and PipGreat Expectations. A girl who’s been trained to break boys’ hearts? One of the most painful, clever and haunting books ever.

Have a great Valentines and don’t forget to indulge in some dark romance: click here for the Valentines Sale. 

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FIVE FASCINATING FACTS ABOUT AUTHOR SIGNATURES

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I love autographed books: I have a small collection. As a pure reader/fan? They warm me. They’re also the perfect gift. Even more special when they’re personalized. ‘Dear Rosemary…

A special message too? That’s called being inscribed. Those who’ve had books signed by me? rebel-here-yeah-lettering Blood Dragons Rebel Vampires Fantasy QuoteKnow I have several special phrases of my own…

I also love S/L/D books (signed, lined and dated). That’s a line taken from the book, which means something to the author – and reflects the book. It increases the value as well. When requested, I do this with Rebel Vampires.

Autographed books are most valuable when the signature is on the title page.

Here are Five Fascinating Facts about Author Signatures:

  1. There are only 6 copies of Shakespeare’s signature surviving – and they’re all on legal pixaby-shakespearedocuments.
  2. Charles Dickens always signed with a blue fountain pen – so it was hard to forge. Clever bloke.
  3. Harper Lee’s signature is one of the most valuable because she so rarely autographed. A signed first edition of To Kill a Mockingbird can cost over $20,000…
  4. Graphic novelists often sign with doodles, which are art themselves: David Roman’s are blinding.
  5. J. K. Rowling is – no surprises – the 4th most valuable signature to collect. Her handwritten Beedle the Bard sold for $3.98 million…

For the very first time as a Valentines treat Blood Dragons and Blood Shackles paperbacks can be signed and personalized here or through these simple forms: 

blood-dragons-in-shopTo order your signed and personalized copy of Blood Dragons: click here

 To order your signed and personalized copy of Blood Shackles: click here

There’s a limited edition of this first run – so grab your signed, lined or inscribed copies today!

What signed books do you already have? Which are your favourite?

signed-blood-shackles rebel Vampires Rosemary A Johns fantasy author signature

5* HIGHLY RECOMMENDED – Love, Death, Humanity, and Monsters…

underground-book-reviews badge five stars recommended read Blood Dragons fantasy book

When blinding badges are awarded? This one by Underground Book Reviews is near the top… Seriously cute and seriously…serious.

It represents a 5* Highly Recommended and Selected Read. Try saying that fast, five times. blood-dragons-cover-medium-web

It’s just been presented to Blood Dragons, which the review describes as “just a brilliant book“.

Their reviews are held up as best standard on how to write reviews. I agree: well-written, exciting and passionate.

I love Light, so it was interesting to read the reviewer’s take on the main character in Rebel Vampires: “The book jumps from the present day to the past, with the tension and drama building at a faster and faster pace. The plot itself is enough to keep you reading, but I also loved Light and the journey he went on. He’s a brilliant and believable character and his language amused me endlessly.”

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Click here to read the full review.

Underground Book Reviews’ Recommendation:

“A unique book told from the point of view of a vampire addressing his dying wife, whilst looking back on the drama they’ve left behind. Quirky, amusing, frightening and dark, Rebel Vampires, Volume One offers a brilliant story, with plenty of twists and turns, romance and gore. For anyone who already enjoys vampire or supernatural horror style stories or for anyone who is just looking for something a bit different, a bit edgy, something that will amuse you, frighten you and take you on one hell of a journey into love, death, humanity, and monsters, then I highly recommend this book” – Underground Book Reviews

And a cute badge too? What more could anyone want?

To dive into Blood Dragons today click here.

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READERS’ FAVORITE REVIEW 5* – “A Novel Everyone Should Read”

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blood-shackles-print-and-iphoneBlood Shackles
was a difficult book to write: personal, challenging and unflinching. Passionate about slavery and human trafficking, I knew this would be an important book. As a writer of the paranormal, I asked: what would happen if humans enslaved Blood Lifers?

Blood Shackles was reviewed this week: Readers’ Favorite awarded 5*

“When Light is captured, he refuses to lose himself, despite how his captors try to break his spirit and force him into submission. Being sold to Grayse is the ticket he needs out of his cell, even though her father owns the company that enslaves him… Blood Shackles is brutally honest, tragic, triumphant, addictive and somehow hopeful… Johns succeeded in creating a world, characters, and a story that pulled me in until I had to finish reading it… This is a novel everyone should read, along with Blood Dragons” – Readers’ Favorite

blood-shackles-cover-medium-webThat brutal honesty? Light calls it ‘the truth flayed bloody‘. Same thing for a writer: your Soul wide open. Takes courage that…but I was never one to play it safe.

Blood Shackles is written as the Slave Journal of Light: it’s direct and immediate for the reader. A diary? Means you live each day in Light’s mind. You become the slave as well…if he’s ever truly one.

The journal is meant to control Light’s thoughts – no secret can be hidden – but Light is anything but a reliable narrator. His fangs might’ve been taken but he still has his words. And to Light? They’re a weapon.

blood-shackles-being-read‘So, dear Reader (because I know you’re reading this), did you reckon giving me this poncey journal – all softness and stink of leather – would make me spill my Soul? You already have my body, bought and paid for. You think you have my mind. My thoughts, however..? They’re my own. Write in it every day, you’d ordered, with that little smile. What do you think this is: Bridget Jones’s Diary?’ (Blood Shackles)

To dive into the world of the Blood Club click here.

To read and share the full Readers’ Favorite review click here.

The reviewer says, “I was so engrossed in Light’s story that I didn’t notice my Kindle was dying until it died.”

And that? Is why a writer flays their Soul.

Rosmary A Johns Urban Portraits

FANTASY AND SCIENCE FICTION EVENT – Rebel Here, Yeah?

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This weekend Blood Dragons – the first in the bestselling Rebel Vampires series – is featuring in one serious Science Fiction and Fantasy Event. All books – almost globally – only 0.99. Over 100 bestselling authors and new releases – so click here and take your pick.

The most blinding thing of all this week? My website has been revamped (see what I did there?). Have a prowl around, see what’s new: click here.

2017 is an exciting year for Fantasy Rebel: new releases planned and a whole lot more. Visit my events page, contests and here on my blog to make sure you don’t miss out! As always I natter on Facebook and Twitter too.

I’ll post with sneak peeks behind the upcoming Rebel Vampires Collection.

And here’s your first taste: the new banner for my website. Because ‘you can’t flay a rebel’s Soul.’ (Blood Shackles)

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$225 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway – Rebel Vampires Sponsors a New Year Giveaway

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What better way to start the New Year than with a serious Rebel Vampires giveaway?

anne-rice-ranking9 authors – myself included, of course – have come together to sponsor a $225 Amazon Gift Card to the winner. The giveaway runs this week. Click here to enter.

I’m celebrating the New Year Sale on Blood Dragons and Blood Shackles.

And what better way to kick off 2017? Blood Shackles has already broken into two Bestseller lists…and swaggered its way next to one my favourite authors: Anne Rice.

Good luck in the giveaway!

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