Dare to Read

November 17, 2012

A Crimson Wonderland Blog Hop: A Touch of Fantasy



by Carmen Ferreiro-Esteban



I love stories. That’s why I read, that’s why I write.

I like my stories the old fashion way. I like them to have a beginning, a middle and an end. A happy ending, thank you very much.

And the stories I like best are those that have a touch of fantasy.

No surprise then that Two Moon Princess, the first book I wrote, takes place in an imagined fantasy world. This allowed me to play by my own rules and create a world that fit my fancy. And I enjoyed living there so much, I wrote a sequel and then, yet another book in a medieval alternate Spain.

As every writer knows to write the book is just the first step towards publication. The next step is to convince an agent to represent your work.

In real life, it took me a year to get my agent. But while I waited, I started writing a fictionalized account of my struggles. In this parallel world I created Carla, my protagonist, did not have to wait so long. In fact, she finds her agent in the first chapter.

But her agent is, she soon finds out, an immortal. The introduction of this paranormal element meant that, once again, rules could be broken and history rewritten. It meant that I could give my favorite poets, Lorca and Becquer who died young, a chance to live again.

And live they do in my latest novel, Immortal Love, taking Carla into their world and into an old blood feud that could cost her what she loves most.

Meet Bécquer.

He’s handsome, well-read, and can get you that book contract you always dreamed about. Never mind that he’s also an immortal and lives on human blood. Why would that matter? Your relationship is strictly business.

Or so you thought.

Until Bécquer’s life is threatened, and you discover that walking away is not an option, because he was hurt while protecting your son, because you are the only one who can save him now, because you care for him.

Welcome to Bécquer’s world.

Please, come inside. He’s waiting for you.

This is my contribution to the Crimson Romance Blog Hop.

Please, leave a comment for a chance to win dozens of giveaways and 3 grand prizes: One Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift certificate for $100!!! And two gift certificates for $50 each!!

To get more chances at winning, visit my fellow Crimson Romance authors’ blogs by clicking their name below.

1. Sharon Clare 2. K.M. Jackson
3. Lynn Cahoon 4. Tessa Berkley
5. Black Creek Burning 6. Erin Richards
7. Shay Lacy 8. M. J. Schiller
9. Terri Herman-Ponce 10. Sylvie Fox
11. Ashlyn Mathews 12. NLSScribe/Scribbles
13. Carol Ritten Smith 14. Beth Yarnall
15. Peggy Bird 16. Rowena May O’Sullivan
17. Suzi Love 18. nora snowdon
19. Tara Mills Romance 20. Vristen Pierce
21. Embrace the Shadows 22. Alicia Dean
23. Heather Thurmeier 24. Rena’s Ramblings
25. Dare to Read 26. Denyse Cohen
27. Pam B. Morris Blog 28. Becky Lower Author
29. Nikkie Locke 30. Nicole Flockton
31. Rionna Morgan 32. Elizabeth Boyce
33. Amanda L. V. Shalaby 34. Meline Nadeau
35. Kate Fellowes 36. Lola Karns
37. D’Ann Lindun 38. Jerri Drennen
39. Kristina Knight Romance Author 40. Morgan O’Neill
41. Shelley Wall Blog 42. Holley Trent
43. Karen Sue Burns 44. Patti Shenberger
45. Tamara Gill

November 15, 2012

My Road to Publication: M.V. Freeman


Today my fellow author, M.V. Freeman, shares with us the road that took her from writer to published author. Her journey shows that, as it is the case for most of us writers, perseverance is key to getting published.

Here is her story.

First of all, thank you Carmen for allowing me to be here on your blog. It is a pleasure to be here.

I love adventure, mayhem, and larger than life stories. As a writer, my instinct is to create a fabulous saga to tell you of my road to publication, to fill it with fantastical details, maybe a car crash for good measure–actually, I put that in my story.

The truth? It is a simple tale. I finished a book.

Sounds easy enough? I rewrote the book five times.

I never knew how long it would take to write my book… or how much I would learn. I thought once you wrote it—that was it. Editing what was that? I am embarrassed to admit how green I was. I have since rectified that little problem.

At this point I want to cue hysterical laughter because after I polished my manuscript, wrote my query letter and started to send it out. I expected—like every writer–the people I sent it to would love it. Everyone makes this mistake, I don’t care who you are. It is human nature.

I thought–who wouldn’t want a story about a dangerous Russian man, desperate and charming who will do anything to protect his people? Throw in some strange creatures, elementals, and a woman who wants nothing to do with him.

Apparently a lot of places didn’t want this story. My story was rejected—many, many, times.

I’d like to say I handled it in stride. Of course I didn’t. Knowing that people don’t want or like your story is hard. I won’t lie. The experience toughened me up. Publishing is a subjective business, not objective.

I could’ve given up. Instead, I decided I was going to be fearless. The worst I would get was a “no”. Heck, I was getting plenty of those. I kept submitting (and eating way too much chocolate when I go the rejections).

That’s why when I opened the email form Crimson Romance—I actually expected a “Sorry, but not this time.”  Instead–they wanted to take a chance on my story—as a Paranormal Romance. I had to read the email several times to comprehend that.

It was one of the best decisions I made accepting that offer with Crimson. With Publication I have been exposed to even more learning opportunities. I’ve had to learn about networking, marketing, more editing and other craft writing elements. A writer never stops learning or writing.

My road to publication isn’t very exciting—but I have no regrets and it is only the beginning.

What have you pursued in spite of rejections? Have you succeeded? Are you still working toward your goal?

Author Bio: M.V. Freeman is a native of Minnesota, but calls North Alabama her home. She is a member of RWA, and the chapters: Georgia Romance Writers and Southern Magic. By day her mind is filled with medical jargon at the local health clinic, but at night she finds herself exploring alternate worlds within our own. Heavily influenced by Slavic languages and culture, you will find she weaves these elements into her stories. Her award winning story INCANDESCENT is the first in a series. She is currently working on the second book in the series while plotting another project. When she is not writing, she’s reading, cooking, throwing around kettle bells, or making coffee.   www.mvfreeman.com  my twitter @MVFree

INCANDESCENT: Some gifts are unwanted, and Laurie Hudson’s affinity for fire is one she hates. It has destroyed her relationship with her family and she has few friends. She’s fought hard to keep the fire inside suppressed, living a low key life as a bartender, until a brutal and charming man blows into her life.

Around Mikhail Petrov, her careful control disintegrates. She is at once drawn to his urbane, cool demeanor and irritated by his overbearing manner. Her options are taken away when he kidnaps her, forcing her into a fight she wants nothing to do with.

As she learns to survive, Laurie faces the hardest choice of all, her freedom or the destruction of the frustrating man she’s come to care for.

October 2, 2012

My Visit to the Maryland Book Festival

Filed under: Event,On News,On Writing,Paranormal,Pictures — carmenferreiroesteban @ 5:44 am

 Harry Heckel, Josh (J. R.) Wagner and Carmen Ferreiro-Esteban

I was at the Maryland Book Festival this week-end invited by the SF and Fantasy Writers of America.

Apart from a reading, I participated in two panels: Crossing Genres Big Time and YA Dreams: What’s Hot and What’s Not.

It was an amazing and humbling experience to be with such dedicated, passionate and hard-working group of writers. They came from all kinds of backgrounds, ages and experiences, but they all shared an undying love for storytelling and a stubborn determination not to give up.

Here are ten things I learned at the Festival.

  1. The SF and Fantasy writers are quiet a fantastic bunch.
  2. Paranormal is still hot. Lucky me.
  3. Romance is here to stay. No surprise there.
  4. Fairy Tales will never die. They are, after all, a part of our collective subconscious.
  5. Be afraid, werewolves, vampires and Greek Gods are real and walk among us. Actually, don’t be surprised if you find out you are one of them.
  6. If your first book don’t sell, keep writing.
  7. If you hit a wall while writing, keep writing.
  8. If you ever want to succeed as a writer, keep writing.
  9. Writing is an addiction. You are not a writer because you write, you write because you are a writer and hard as you try you can’t help yourself: You have to write.

June 11, 2012

Lectura conjunta de Bécquer eterno / Bécquer eterno Blog Tour

Filed under: Becquer,Becquer Eternal,Books, Reviews,Event,Paranormal — carmenferreiroesteban @ 4:41 pm
Tags: , , ,



by Carmen Ferreiro-Esteban



Laky, en su blog Libros que hay que leer, ha organizado una lectura conjunta de mi novela Bécquer eterno.

Ni más ni menos que treinta y dos blogueras aceptaron el desafío de leer el libro y escribir una reseña del mismo en su blog correspondiente.

Podéis ver las bases aquí: http://librosquehayqueleer-laky.blogspot.com.es/2012/05/lectura-conjunta-becquer-eterno.html. Más abajo incluyo la lista de participantes y el orden en que aparecerán las reseñas.

Este miércoles, día 13 de junio Laky ( http://librosquehayqueleer-laky.blogspot.com.es/) será la primera en publicar la reseña. Las demás lo harán en el orden que aparece más abajo.

Mi más profundo agradecimiento a Laky por organizar la lectura.


Blog Tour Béquer Eterno

On Wednesday June 13, Laky at Libros que hay que leer (Books You Must Read) will publish her review of my paranormal romance Bécquer eterno. Thus starts the blog tour she has organized (thank you so much, Laky).

Every day until July 17, a different blogger will publish her review. I have included below a list of the blogs and the date the review will appear.

Please join us.





– Laky de libros que hay que leer: 13 de junio
.- Xula de Caminando entre libros: 14 de junio
.- Aprendiz de mucho de Aprendiz de mucho: 15 de junio
.- Meg de Cazando estrellas: 16 de junio
.- Pakiko de Las lecturas de Pakiko: 17 de junio
.- Aran de Espíritu libre: 18 de junio
.- Lupa de Acurrucada entre letras: 19 de junio
.- Tatty de El universo de los libros: 20 de junio
.- Isi de From Isi:  18 de junio
.- Kayla Morrison: publicará en Ciao: 22 de junio
.- MariLyn de Los libros de la bruja: 23 de junio
.- Marilú Cuenta libros de CuEnTaLiBrOs: 24 de junio
.- Sarah Degel de Yo soy bibliófila: 25 de junio
.- Pau de El mundo en libros: 26 de junio
.- Ro. de La vida entre páginas: 27 de junio
.- Margari de Mis lecturas y más cositas: 28 de junio
.- Armada invencible de La armada invencible: 29 de junio
.- Rachel Antúnez Cazorla de Contra los límites: 30 de junio
.- L de Tiempo entre lecturas: 1 de julio
.- Los libros de Eva de The reading coach: 2 de julio
.- Gem, que publicará en Ciao: 3 de julio
.- Carmina de De tinta en vena: 4 de julio
.- Patricia O. de Musas cuenteras: 5 de julio
.- Maga de Lioncourt de Una vida de novela: 6 de julio
.- Sandra M. de Reseñando que es gerundio: 7 de julio
.- Cotito de Leyendo entre letras: 10 de julio
.- Talisman dream del blog Talisman Dreams: 11 de julio
.- Lesincele de Leer es viajar: 8 de julio
.- InésM de Inés y sus libros: 9 de julio
.- Deigar de Espiral de letras: 10 de julio
.- Lourdes de Libros que voy leyendo: 11 de julio
.- Blair de Mis lecturas de cabecera: 12 de julio
.- Confergil que publicará en Ciao: 13 de julio
.- Cartafol de O meu Cartafol: 14 de julio
.- Udine de New life & blue sky: 15 de julio
.- Carmen de Carmen y amig@os: 16 de julio
.- Sasy de   : 17 de julio

March 16, 2012

Bécquer tan Cerca (Bécquer so Close) in Sevilla, This Spring


by Carmen Ferreiro-Esteban


If Bécquer were alive today, as he is in my story, he’d be 176 years old.

To celebrate this, his native town of Sevilla (Spain) has organized an Exhibit about the beloved author who, through his felt poems of unrequited love, provided many generations of Spanish teens a voice to mirror their experiences.

In this exhibit called “BÉCQUER, TAN CERCA… A TRAVÉS DEL ARTE” (“Becquer, so close…through art”), a hundred artists—painters, musicians, goldsmiths, sculptors, poets and writers—will share their work done in remembrance of the great Spanish author.

I’m thrilled to announce that an Spanish edition of my paranormal novel Bécquer Eternal (Bécquer eterno) will be part of the exhibit.

If you want to learn more about the exhibit that will take place in Sevilla from May 25 to June 24, please go to:


There is more big news.

My publisher Astraea Press has sent me already the final covers for the book. And because I wanted to include the picture of the real Bécquer in the Spanish edition, Astraea has graciously agreed to provide two different covers.
Here they are:

I hope you like them as much as I do.

March 15, 2012

My Road to Publication : Terry Spear


Interview by Carmen Ferreiro-Esteban




Today, I’m pleased to have, here with us at Dare to Read, Terry Spear.

Terry is the award-winning author of the urban fantasy and medieval historical romantic suspense novel, HEART OF THE WOLF, named in Publishers Weekly’s BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR, NOR Reader Choice for BEST PARANORMAL ROMANCE.

I asked Terry about her new YA novel The Dark Fae and she kindly answered my questions.
Here is what he had to say.

Hi Terry,

Welcome to Dare to Read and congratulations on your new novel The Dark Fae. Tell us, first of all: What made you want to write The Dark Fae?

A. I love both historical fantasy and urban fantasy and wanted to write a book about the mischievous fae and how they impact on the human world.

Q. What genre is it?

Teen historical and contemporary fantasy.

Q. Who designed your cover (which, BTW, I think is very intriguing).

The cover was available at one of the photo stock companies, and I used PhotoShop to add the title and byline.

Q. How would you describe your cover?

Dark, mysterious, fae-like girl on the cover. Each of the covers has a similar theme.

Q. In which formats is your book available?

A. e-book and paperback

Q. Why did you choose to self-publish?

An agent told me I ought to self-publish my vampire stories since they were such a glut on the market. That led me to publishing some of my YA that I hadn’t sold, and a couple that I had sold and had received the rights back on.

The Dark Fae was my 14th book to upload, had been turned down by two agents, and I never sent it out again. I didn’t think anything would come of it. But it began selling a 100 copies a day and has remained on the best seller list at Amazon and does well at B&N, so the book turned into a series.

Q. What are you working on right now?

I’m on deadline for a wolf and jaguar shifter series for Sourcebooks, but I am also writing another medieval Highland story because that series is doing so well, and am working on The Dragon Fae, book 5 in the series!

Q. Any advice you want to share with our readers who are considering self-publishing?

Keep writing, editing and submitting. If all else fails, try self-publishing!

Blurb for The Dark Fae:

Ever wonder why you trip over your own feet when there’s nothing there to trip you up? Why you spill a drink when there’s no reason for the mishap? Why you can’t find something that you just set down and there’s no one else to blame but yourself? But maybe there is.

Alicia’s always known she’s different–that she can recognize the mischievous fae when they show up to “play” with the humans. Only now she’s faced with one highly annoyed dark fae and she’s certain he knows the truth about her. She can see him, which means her life is forfeit.

Add to that, his sister arrives, who wants to play, too. And their mother, the queen of the Denkar, will want Alicia’s head, once she learns what Alicia can do.

And all because Alicia was attempting to rescue her friend, Cassie, on their beach excursion at South Padre Island, from the wicked fae. Now, Alicia has really gone and done it–and she’s thinking she should have let the fae have his fun. Her friend’s broken heart would be a lot easier to deal with, than Alicia losing her life.

But it is too late for regrets. As soon as she threw the soda at the dark fae’s chest, she had declared war on the fae. And he is happy to take up the challenge.


Terry Spear is a retired lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army Reserves and has an MBA from Monmouth University and a Bachelors in Business and Distinguished Military Graduate of West Texas A & M. She also creates award-winning teddy bears, Wilde & Woolly Bears, to include personalized bears designed to commemorate authors’ books. When she’s not writing or making bears, she’s teaching online writing courses or working full time at a library in the heart of Texas. You can visit her at her website: www.terryspear.com

February 9, 2012

My Road To Publication: Robin Helm






On the other end of the spectrum from last week blogger, Sabrina Beluris, today we have as guest, Robin Helm, an indie author who tells us candidly why she chose to self publish and explains how to do so.

As different as the road to publication of these two authors was, they both share a common thread in their stories as both their series have angels as protagonists.

The twist in Mrs. Helm’s story? The human girl’s name is Elizabeth Bennet. Her guardian angel’s? Xander/Darcy.

Below, Mrs. Helm tells us how her story became a book.

I taught high school English for twenty-five years. A few years ago, I noticed that my students were obsessed with the Twilight Saga, so I read it. The hero was a beautiful, intelligent, talented, self-sacrificing, natural bad guy trying his best to be good. The story was every girl’s dream scenario.

My story line would flip that. My protagonist would be the ultimate good guy, a guardian angel, gifted by God with emotions. He would fight his growing love for his charge, seeking instead what he thought was best for her.

I wanted to ensure that my work would actually be read, so I chose to write a Pride and Prejudice fan fiction and post it as a WIP (work in progress). Because it was my first effort, I chose to write about what was familiar. I set my story in a small southern town, similar to the one in which I live. I graduated from a religious college, so I used Scripture to introduce my chapters and develop the spiritual warfare angle of the books.  The time period matched my own life, so I knew about the technology, clothing styles, and music.

My genre is religious fantasy fiction (similar to Frank Peretti’s This Present Darkness and Piercing the Darkness, or Twilight with a religious angle), and I am an Indie author. I have published the first two books of The Guardian Trilogy, Guardian and SoulFire, through CreateSpace, Amazon Kindle, and Barnes & Noble Nook. My books are available in both paperback and e-books, and are doing very well. SoulFire was a “Hot New Release” rated in the top three of its genre for the entire first month of its publication. (One month is the period of eligibility for that list). Both books are on the top rated list for the genre, and both have been consistently in the top 100 in sales of that genre on Amazon. Self-publication through these avenues is free, and the author receives 70% of the royalties. I did spend $40 to buy the pro-plan through CreateSpace, because it was a smart marketing decision.

CreateSpace provides a free ISBN, publishing template, and choice of cover templates. Phil Thompson, a friend of mine who is a professional photographer, provided the cover photography for free. Six friends of mine who are also writers served as “betas” or editors, and one of them did the final edits after the books were formatted. I in turn beta for them. My books were published, available, and in the hands of readers within six weeks of completion. I began writing Guardian in March, 2011, finished writing it in June, and published it at the end of August. As soon as I finished writing Guardian, I began writing SoulFire, which I finished in November and published at the end of December. I am now writing the third book in the trilogy, Legacy, and I hope to publish it by the end of April.

The photographer, seeing the continued success of the first two books, did a photo shoot for the third cover and helped me with design. That cover is already completed. All of my covers have spiritual significance; for instance, the cover of Guardian shows light breaking through dark clouds, symbolic of good overcoming evil.

I chose this route on the advice of several of my friends who are published by traditional publishing houses. They wait up to eighteen months to have their work published and no longer retain the rights to their work. They also receive about 30% of their royalties, and they have to do their own publicity, just as I do. I don’t see a down side to self-publishing in my case, though if I could be guaranteed help with marketing and promotion, I would consider signing with a traditional publisher.

Robin Helm has published the first two volumes of The Guardian Trilogy, Guardian and SoulFire, and is presently writing Legacy, the third and final volume, posting as a work in progress on four different forums. She has also published two Regency short stories. She and her husband have two grown daughters and a Yorkie-Poo named Tobey.

February 2, 2012

My Road to Publication: Sabrina Benulis

Interviewed by Carmen Ferreiro-Esteban

Today, the talented Sabrina Benulis, author of Archon (Harper Voyager, December 2011) has joined us at Dare to Read to talk about her book and her road to publication.

Please make Sabrina feel welcome by leaving your comments below.

Hi Sabrina, welcome to Dare to Read. First of all could you tell us where the story started. In other words:

Q. Why did you write Archon?

A. Initially, I wrote ARCHON and what would be the framework for its sequels for the sheer enjoyment of it.  The novel had been simmering in the back of my mind, slowly building itself up on its own for quite a while during my latter college years.  At that time, there were hardly any novels that had angels in them to be found–especially in fantasy–and I had a rich reading background in mythology and world religions.  That, combined with my desire to create a very original story, something that hadn’t been done before, spurred me to write and revise, and revise and write, until the trilogy was (at that time anyway) finished.

Q. What genre is it?

A. THE BOOKS OF RAZIEL trilogy is gothic fantasy.  However, the plot is written in the style of a thriller as there are many mysteries important to the story.

Q. Who is the expected audience?

A. Older teens and adults would be the appropriate readers, especially people who like paranormal thrillers and unique fiction.  I’ve been told Anne Rice’s work is similar to mine in tone and atmosphere.  Perhaps I could also compare it to dark fantasy like Holly Black’s.  I’ve also heard mention of Anne Bishop’s The Black Jewels series.  The marketing has thus far tried to wedge me in with other paranormal romance authors with novels about fallen angels, but that is ultimately a skewed comparison.  There is romance in my story, but it develops slowly and does not put the novel solidly in that category.  In essence, I’m what you want to read if you’re tired of the same old thing.

Q. Who designed your cover which, BTW, is outstanding?

A. A graphic artist who goes by the name of Nekro was contracted for the cover.  He does great gothic-style illustrations and is apparently becoming quite popular lately.

Q. How does the cover reflect your story?

A. The two characters on the cover are the protagonist of ARCHON, a red-haired girl named Angela Mathers, and a great angel named Israfel who would be her love interest if not for the fact that he comes off as a villain.  Whether or not this is true is revealed in later books.  Overall, the colors of the cover are perfect for the book, as coincidentally black, white, and red are quite prominent in the story for different reasons.  Also, the gothic sensibility with the cathedral and Angela’s tattered dress fit the atmosphere of the novel almost perfectly.  As she stands in front of the church doors, you get the sense that both she and the reader are being invited to experience something special.

Q. In which formats is your book available?

A. ARCHON is available as a hardcover and most e-book formats.  The paperback should be coming out around fall of 2012.  From what I understand, the international version is also a paperback.

Q. Could you share with us how did you get your agent and publisher interested on Archon.

A. I got my agent the old-fashioned way, by query.  After she read my query, she immediately wanted to read the entire novel (as it was back then), and after a preliminary revision, I was taken on as a client.  I then had to go through another revision before the book could be sent out to publishers, and when Harper Collins took me on as an author, I had to do an entire rewrite of the book! (And in a month and a half!)  They  initially took a keen interest in my novel series mostly because of the unique way I protrayed angels and demons, which fascinated them.  It was they who also emphasized that they wanted me to make the book more gothic, bringing out a very supernatural atmosphere.
ARCHON was not the easiest book to get published, mostly because it is so very different.  It crosses a lot of genres, takes a lot of chances, and does things with the plot that just haven’t been attempted before, especially in its sub-genre.  But at the same time, that uniqueness was what got it published in the end, and if anything, it should be a lesson for authors to write what they love.

Q. Any final advice you want to share with our readers who are considering self-publishing?

A. For any reader who wishes to be an author, remember that as long as you believe in your story, others will too.  In this industry, it’s all about perseverance.

Thank you so much Sabrina for being with us today and answer our questions so honestly.

Let’s hope your audience embrace Archon for its uniqueness and loves it as much as I did.
For my review of Archon please go to http://www.myshelf.com/teen/fiction/12/archon.htm

Sabrina Benulis lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and a short-tempered cockatiel.  When she isn’t hard at work revising and writing that next novel, she can be found watching anime, reading, or anxiously awaiting her next beach vacation.  Sabrina has a Masters in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University, and ARCHON is her first novel.  When asked how real her angels might be, she often shrugs and smiles mysteriously.

November 2, 2011

“Gazing into his eyes I feel as if I’m slowly drinking his blood.” Federico García Lorca



I have found the perfect quote for my adult paranormal Becquer Eternal in Federico Garcia Lorca’s play The House of Bernarda Alba. Which is totally fitting giving that Lorca is one of the main characters in the novel, and Both Becquer and Lorca are immortal.

The line is, “Gazing into his eyes I feel as if I’m slowly drinking his blood.”


October 10, 2011

Steampunk versus Gaslight Fantasy



Steampunk is the new “it” in the wish list of agents that represent YA and MG authors.

But there is another term for a similar genre. The term is “Gaslight Fantasy,” and I learned about it today while reading Lia Keyes’ s wonderful post “A Past That Never Was” at the Enchanted Inkpot.

If you are intrigued by these terms and you want to know more about these hot sub genres of SciFi/Fantasy please join us at:


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