Showing posts with label Guest Post. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Guest Post. Show all posts

Friday, September 22, 2017

Guest Post by Marcus James


 



Rise of the Nephilim
A Blackmoore Prequel
Marcus James

Genre: Erotic PNR/Gothic Horror

Publisher: Candiano Books

Date of Publication: 07/24/2017

ISBN:1545039895
ASIN: B073q4gb9w

Number of pages: 201

Word Count: 61,272

Cover Artist: Ransom Graphics

Tagline: Sex, witchcraft, and rock and roll on the Sunset Strip

Book Description:

LOS ANGELES, summer of 1987.

Kathryn Blackmoore, the 26 year old heir to Blackmoore World Corp. and the future matriarch of the Blackmoore dynasty of witches has fled the haunted old monied neighborhood of South Hill in Bellingham, Washington looking to trade in a century of rumors, superstition, and her own heartache  for the sun, sex, and music of the Sunset Strip.

Taking up residence in the famed and decaying Chateau Marmont hotel, Kathryn quickly finds herself in an erotic and thrilling journey into the world of Niiq, Arish, and Kuri; members of the band Nephilim, who seem to have the women of the Strip enthralled by their dark and sensuous sound. When bodies begin to turn up all over town and a mysterious and haunting figure fixates on Kathryn, she quickly learns that you can never escape your destiny.

RISE OF THE NEPHILIM is the first of a two part erotic paranormal romance/thriller revealing the beginnings of one of the most captivating characters in The Blackmoore Legacy series. It is a standalone prequel of eroticism, romance, and suspense.


GUEST POST:
The Queen of the Night: My Journey with Kathryn Blackmoore

Characters. For the fiction writer they are the reflections of the hidden pieces of a writer's self, they are a constant companion who often teaches the author new lessons needed to be learned and a voice in the darkness when we are deep in solitude. Characters for me are as real as any other person. I sense their presence, I hear their voices, experience their emotions, and see their world through their eyes.

  My main characters have always been men-more specifically gay men or straight-identified men who find themselves desperately in love with the lead main character. I call them the Boys, and they inhabit the worlds I walk into, and allow me into theirs. They are like spirits for me, energies from someplace else and like a medium I am channeling them.
  
The other characters are just as real for me but they don’t usually come on their own. Usually the Boys of whatever I am writing, bring these other characters in and give them a chance to speak and connect with me.

 Getting Kathryn Blackmoore to come through and chat so I could write Rise of the Nephilim was no easy feet. It required more than just sitting at the computer and writing, it was more akin to a séance. I sat on the floor of my office, lit some candles, smoked some pot, and put on the music I knew I would be writing to for this book; mostly Guns N Roses and Motley Crue. I had to draw this reserved and stylish witch out of her world and into mine.

Kathryn Blackmoore originated in my series The Blackmoore Legacy, (the first two books, Blackmoore and Symphony for the Devil are available now.) And in these novels she is mother to the main character, Trevor Blackmoore, and she is the unofficial matriarch of the Blackmoore dynasty of witches. Think equal parts Buffy, Dark Shadows, The Lives of the Mayfair Witches, with a dash of Harry Potter and you have the series.

 As an older woman, dealing with the loss of her husband, running the American offices of Blackmoore World Corp., and dealing with a dark, ancient, and bloodthirsty god seeking to regain power and human flesh to destroy her family, Kathryn is a sexy stone fox with a whiskey voice.

  In the Blackmoore series, Kathryn became a breakout favorite. My female readers really adore her, my gay readers think she is a fierce queen, and many of my straight male readers tell me how sexy she is. I’ve always known I wanted to tell her story as a young woman-before marriage and a child-but I was never quite certain how to do it. In the first novel, Blackmoore, Trevor is kept in the dark about the full truth of his family. He knows they are witches, that they see spirits, can read thoughts, effect the environment around them, etc. But the rich history of Voodoo and European witchcraft, the Dark God of the Wood, his role in everything; all of this is kept from him. The Blackmoores used to be very open about all of this within the family, but then it all just stopped and suddenly the family became very secretive. Well, I wanted to explain that, to reveal what happened to make Kathryn-and in turn, the rest of the clan-decide to suddenly stop talking, and the Nephilim Books were born.

 In the first book, Rise of the Nephilim, Kathryn is 26 and living in Los Angeles. It’s 1987 and she’s right on the famed Sunset Strip, where what we think of as 80’s rock and metal were born and where it called home. She’s trying to escape her life in Bellingham Washington, and her neighborhood of South Hill. An old-monied and superstitious place in the Sacred Heart parish, and the gossip and rumors that have persisted about her family for more than a century.

 In L.A. she’s recovering from a break up that has haunted her for years and she decides she’s just going to party, shop, have amazingly hot and thrilling sex and just experience the freedom in being young and away from home, but a series of gruesome deaths and haunting visions of a powerful and inhuman form begins to remind her that she can’t escape who she is and that she has been expected.

I wrote Rise as a standalone prequel to the main series, so that if you’ve never read Blackmoore or Symphony for the Devil it wouldn’t matter. Everyone is introduced to Kathryn and the world of the Blackmoores for the first time. It is a dark and complicated family and history and I wanted to make sure that with Rise it was as luridly intoxicating and gothic as the main series.

 I’ve had a blast getting to know Kathryn as an adventurous young woman enjoying her freedom and seeing who she was before she became the icy matriarch and protective and devoted mother that she is in The Blackmoore Legacy series. She is strong, fierce, and wildly independent and writing with her has been a reflection of myself at that age (26) when I loved a little too hard, partied a little too much, and lived one day as if it was the last.


I’m forever grateful to her and for taking me on this journey and she is a woman I am proud to know. That’s one of the greatest gifts we get to have as fiction writers; the chance to be surrounded by incredible souls that really belong to us so intimately that we are never alone and who can teach us things about ourselves that we may never see otherwise.


Excerpt:

The library was quiet with the exception of the short and humming-to-herself library assistant stacking the books left out or returned through-out the day. The girl was a junior; she was sure of it. She had never talked to her; they had never orbited the same solar system in the day-to-day endless galaxy of Mariner High School, but that didn’t matter.
She could still reach inside the girl’s mind whenever she wanted to, and explore everything she kept hidden from the rest of the world. She could travel the fleshy terrain of the girl’s brain and see her hopes and dreams, her fears, her loves, and her longings.
She was able to pick out that her name was Tammy. She was a studious girl with dirty blonde curls that hung to her breasts, her skin milk-white and soft, her face delicate and scattered with a dusting of freckles across the bridge of her small nose. Her brown eyes were golden and looked over the spine of each book, scanning their titles and looking up to each aisle to see where they belonged.
Kathryn Blackmoore stood from the table where she had been discussing after graduation party plans with her best friend Lila Sifuentes and with her boyfriend Sheffield Burges, excited to finally walk and receive their diplomas and be done with this place forever.
She was tall – five feet and nine inches. Her lean body was dressed in a pink-and-white pin-striped collared shirt, the sleeves rolled up to her elbows, the collar popped and buttoned only to her full breasts.
A three-tiered pearl necklace glistened in the bright white fluorescents overhead, and her thick shoulder-length feathered mane was a rich auburn that seemed to glow around her like a halo.
She gathered her books and began to make her way to the doors to begin the walk through campus back to her home. Her long legs were encased in a khaki, knee-length Ralph Lauren skirt with a slit up the left thigh and a tasseled and thin brown leather belt was fastened loosely around her waist and rested on her hipbones. Kathryn looked at her watch; it was 9:00 p.m. They had been put in charge of the after-party by the entire student body – at least by the Golden Gods, as the popular kids were called – and it was their job to deliver.
Somehow by some cruel joke perpetrated by the universe, Kathryn had somehow become one of them. That was a first for her family, and it was no surprise to her that this ascension in the school’s hierarchy was achieved by her relationship with Sheffield. He was one of the kindest and most popular guys at their elitist school, and was a rock star on the Soccer field. It was the school’s claim to greatness and claim to fame. Other schools had football, but Mariner was known throughout the country for their school’s soccer team. In the eighteen years of its existence – as long she had been alive – Mariner was a crowning achievement and had only ever lost three games. Families from the country over, who dreamed of soccer field futures for their children chose Mariner – a public high school – over the best sports-driven private schools.
Mariner was a dynasty of Bellingham Washington, and the rite of passage for the exclusive children of South Hill, with their centuries-old Victorian, Tudor, Colonial, and Craftsman mansions that stood on large plots of land between treacherous and almost guard-like evergreens on every street, and sidewalks lined with monstrous oaks and maples. Homes filled with inhabitants of both the living and the dead.
Then there werethe Edgemoore kids. Nouveau riche. Most of them were native Californians whose parents moved here in a great rush for cheap land when California’s real estate began to climb higher and higher, and for the chance to get their kid on the Mariner soccer team.
Here, on the cliffs on the other side of Bellingham Bay, and staring back at the old genteel mansions, were the castle-like and gaudy estates of Edgemoore.
These kids had no respect for the history that still stood in the city, and the almost haunted charm of Fairhaven, that filled the space along the water between these two wealthy neighborhoods. Fairhaven was the last town to merge with the county of Whatcom in 1903, finally forming the greater city of Bellingham. For the city, and everyone in it, there was a difference between the South Hill neighborhood and the rest of Bellingham itself, as if it were still its own town.
Connecting the south to the north of Bellingham was the campus of Fairhaven University, which in the 1890s had been the Washington State Normal School. Fairhaven University was carved through the trees and made up of tall, red-orange brick buildings and concrete bridges overpaved pathways in between the green. The city was not unlike Bram Stoker’s description of Transylvania: a place wild and filled with spirits, and fiercer things that lived in the mouth of the Carpathian Mountains that surrounded it.
The city was surrounded by cliffs and an endless army of evergreens.
Interstate 5 snaked through all of this above the city, so that every exit dipped down into it. Kathryn had grown up here, had been born here, into South Hill’s superstition and paranoia and never-ending fears.
South Hill was filled with the descendants of the founding families, and the majority had worshiped at The Cathedral of the Sacred Heart.
The white wood church with its gorgeous and detailed mammoth windows of stained glass was crowned with a single black-slated roof and spire.
The first time Kathryn had ever used her witchcraft against another was the priest who had tried to take advantage of her when she was twelve. It had felt invigorating to watch his body convulse and the blood begin to slip out of his mouth, eyes, and nose – even his ears.
When he had hit the floor, his brain fried, she had screamed and run out of the office as soon as one of the nuns and another priest – Father
Malady – opened the door, covering her tear-stained face.
It didn’t help anything when she told them what he had been attempting to do when the aneurism hit. She could hear the headmaster’s thoughts, as well as the two nuns and Father Malady, who had sat with his arms folded, his angular and almost rat-like face with his beady green eyes looking at her with a smug grin. They knew she had somehow caused it. She was a Blackmoore, after all; she was a witch and she had used her charms to seduce the priest. To bewitch him and befuddle him and make him lose all of his sense and self-control. She had made him weak on purpose so that she could kill him – to sacrifice him to Satan and make another hit in their diabolical war with the Church.
She had said nothing. She wanted to leave and go to Fairhaven Middle School. She was in her last year of junior high and she didn’t
want to be in this place any longer, with ruler hits and other obscene punishments. They were more than happy to get her out. Her father,
Trevor Mayland, had been the one to insist she go to Catholic School.
He feared the Blackmoore name as much as anyone else, regardless of the fact that he had married her mother, Annaline Blackmoore in 1961.
He had loved her so much that he had wanted to save Annaline from what he saw as the Blackmoore curse. He thought that she would be far from the devil’s reach if he could marry her and make an honest woman out of her. A God-fearing woman who would go to mass every
Sunday and keep far from her family’s other practice, aside from Blackmoore World Corp. – a multi-billion-dollar-a-year international company which handled almost all the shipments of goods, most legal and some more questionable, of the entire world – was running the Church of Light, the Spiritualist church that her great-grandmother Aria had started in 1898, where she would commune with the dead, read palm, tarot cards, and tea leaves.
It was a place where for a hefty sum, Aria could be hired to work her witchcraft for others, no matter the intention. The Church of Light was then run by Aria’s daughter Fiona, and now her daughter Mabel, her mother’s older sister. Annaline had been too adventurous for that anyways, and so Trevor’s plan meant nothing one way or the other, as Annaline was too much of a wild child, concerned with music festivals and poets and drinking while smoking pot and cigarettes.
This fact did not stop Trevor Mayland from worrying about “his girls,” as he called his wife and daughter, and sending Kathryn to boarding school, only a few blocks from her actual home, to only visit on the weekends, was extremely easy for him.
Yes, she had had enough at that point, and the death of the priest put a smile on her face – a smile she had to fight back when they almost hesitantly told her that she was finished and would be going back home.
They were witches; this was true, and Father Malady had known this. A man of forty-seven, straight from Ireland – in Kilcommon,County Mayo – where the Blackmoores had originated from, and where they still lived inside the great limestone citadel known as Blackmoore Hall on the shores of Broadhaven Bay.
Everyone in that part of Ireland knew of the Blackmoores. They believed them to be a family who grew into their wealth because of a pact with the devil, and those who knew them gained fortune or befell ruin simply for knowing them.
During the witch hunts her ancestors had fled the Black Moor and built a rustic cottage with a thatched roof along the cruel and wild sea, in hiding from both the evils of Christian men and the even greater and ancient evil that had tormented the clan of the Black Moor for centuries before finally escaping. He was a dark and bloodthirsty God who had tried to make slaves of the clan and had forced them to sacrifice the weak and the innocent to his altar.
They had finally escaped him, turning their back on him and refusing to write his name down or speak it from their lips. This went on for two hundred years, until all those who had known him had died, and he had grown weak from being forgotten. They left the moor in the year 1145 and journeyed northwest, as far from the wood and that deity as possible. They were secluded and far from wealthy, and then suddenly in 1845, they began to buy up nearly thirteen thousand acres of land and built a great, almost castle-like home. They were all certain that the family was finally reaping their rewards for the trade of their souls.
This had never been the case. The reason for the wealth was far more mundane; Katy Blackmoore of New Orleans – where the family
had moved to in the 1780s – denounced the family and the many evils that served the Dark God of the Wood who wished to wipe out the Blackmoores, and left for Spain. She returned almost a year later married to Spanish royalty, and bequeathed a fortune enough for a kingdom to her father Tristan, her brother Nicholas, and her grandparents Sarafeene and Malachey, in exchange for being left alone by them so that she could live a normal life.
She had lost her mother to her family and their Legacy – the name of their great curse – and she was certain that if she separated herself from her family and lived a good Christian life, never summoning her witchcraft, then she would not lose her husband, and her children would never suffer the loss of a parent, or the feeling of knowing who you were and what you were would end up killing the one you loved.
The Blackmoores had agreed and with that money, they made the family flourish. First in New Orleans and Ireland, and then later, the family moved west and north, and all points in between. Spreading out all across the United States, England, France, Italy, and Ireland, in vesting in industry and especially shipping; and acquiring and building fleets upon fleets of ships, until there was no one to rival them.
By the time the family had arrived in Fairhaven to begin building their empire in the “Gateway of Alaska,” as it had been known, the residents of the city were openly hostile – being fueled by the legends and superstitions of immigrant priests and servants who whispered about the dangerous and devilish Blackmoores of Kilcommon and their mission to take over the Christian world and hand it to the devil and his fallen angels, wrapped with a big bloodstained bow.
It was shit, but superstition is slow to die, and even in 1979, the people of South Hill still feared the Blackmoore name and what it meant if you talked to them. Kathryn had suffered that for so long, and for the longest time, Lila Sifuentes – the only Latina in the school –had been her only friend.
Her father had always loved Kathryn, but up until his death a week after the incident – due to the sudden brain tumor that claimed the lives of those who have unprotected sex with a Blackmoore – he had always been slightly wary of her, as if he could see the curse deep under her veins.
Unprotected sex with a Blackmoore always seemed to kill seven to twelve years later, and always of a severe seizure and hemorrhage caused by the tumor. Blood pooled from the nose, mouth, and other parts of the face, and the body would convulse. They would be biting their tongues so hard that often they bit the tip off completely. Every witch in her family always hoped and often believed that they would be the Blackmoore to survive the curse, that their lover would be strong enough to beat it back.
They always died, and her father had been no different.
Kathryn had been dangerously beautiful all her life, with a statuesque body and icy eyes – the palest of blues – and soft olive skin with an always-perfectly-feathered auburn mane lik ealion, and the latest fashions straight out of Vogueclothing her. She had a husky whiskey voice, much like the actress Kim Novak. She had loved Bell, Book, and Candle, so the comparison was flattering; besides, she thought Kim Novak was a magnificent and stunning creature.


About the Author:

Marcus James is the author of five novels and has contributed to several anthologies with Alyson Books and has been a contributing writer for Seattle Gay News. He lives in Seattle with his husband and Staffordshire terrier. He is 32 years old.





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Friday, October 30, 2015

Guest Post: Heroes or Villains



Do you love your Heroes more, or your Villains?

I love my heroes.  But I love my villains, too.  The first book in my Wolfe Creek series (Lone Wolfe Protector) features Zane Wolfe as a “kind of” villain/bad boy/is he-or isn’t he-a werewolf.  I started out writing Zane as a guy who was supposed to just make the reader question who the real villain was, but as the story went on, I started falling in love with him.  Then as the book ended, I realized Zane would have to have his own story.  He was that hot, that alpha, that yummy ;) 
However, Koda (the hero in Lone Wolfe Protector) is pretty hot and alpha himself.  I loved Koda just as much as Zane.  Talk about confusing.  At one point I wouldn’t have minded finding myself in a Koda/Zane sandwich.
The third book, The Moonshadow’s Daughter, features Jake Blackstock as our hero.  He’s fairly yummy, too.  He’s the kind of guy who’s marriage material from the get-go and his hero status is firmly rooted from the first chapter.  I heart Jake.  Tall, dark, handsome...and a doctor to boot.  I hope you’ll love him, too!
Happy reading!      



To the citizens of Wolfe Creek, Aimee Styles is dead. What they don’t know is she’s alive...and a werewolf. After she was bitten two years ago, Aimee isolated herself away from the town, determined to keep them safe. But all it takes is an icy winter evening—and an incredibly virulent flu—to interrupt her self-imposed exile.

Nothing prepared doctor and single dad Jake Blackstock for the sight of Wolfe Creek's missing girl, or her delicate beauty. He's instantly and fiercely attracted to her, despite her secrets and the shadows in her near-black eyes. Jake's falling hard. He knows nothing about Aimee...or what she really is.

But something else lurks in Wolfe Creek's shadows. Something malevolent. Something that won't hesitate to rip apart their life and new love…


Purchase your copy of THE MOONSHADOW'S DAUGHTER:

“We might get more than a foot tonight,” Jake said,
looking out the window. “Maybe two.”

She nodded, not liking the thought of what else might
be out there in the darkness beyond the cottage. Tonight, she
was glad to be sitting in Jake’s living room, so close to him
and Daniel. If there was something watching in these woods,
it’d have to do it from a distance.

“Why are you here?” he asked.

She glanced up to find him studying her. She could tell
the beer was having the same effect on him that the wine
had on her. His gaze dropped to her chest for a moment,
then her thighs, before coming back to rest on her face. His
expression was bold, unapologetic.

“Why? Can you tell me that much?”

She took an even breath and put her glass down. She
knew she’d have to give him some kind of decent answer.

He deserved one. But she couldn’t exactly tell him the
two biggest reasons why she sat here now. That, one, she
was pretty sure something was stalking his little family in
the woods of Wolfe Creek, and she had to watch over this
home and the people inside it. And two, she was completely
attracted to him and lonelier than she’d ever been in her life.

“I’m…tired,” she said, choosing her words carefully. “Of
being alone. It’s hard.”

She let her gaze shift back to him, afraid of what she’d
see there. It was more than she’d intended to say, mainly
because it was so true. She hadn’t really meant to open up to
Jake Blackstock, but she guessed she could thank the wine
for that. She’d always had a problem with her filter, but add
any kind of alcoholic beverage to the mix, and forget about
it.

His eyes didn’t hold any kind of pity. Nothing to make
her feel like some kind of charity case. Instead, she saw
empathy, a kind of connection that touched her deep down.

“Me too,” he said simply. “I am, too.”
She watched him, studying his features. As beautiful as
they were, they were unable to mask the pain that lay behind
them.

“I guess we have something in common, then,” she said.
Her heart tumbled as his gaze dropped to her mouth.

He sat only a few feet away and she could almost feel his
body heat against her skin. The wind continued to howl
outside, impatient, lustful. The fire burned, but it was dying
down now. Only the embers remained, an aching memory of
what blazed there only an hour before.

“Why won’t you come back?” he asked. “You have so
many people who care about you. They must love you very
much.”

“I can’t. Maybe someday, but not yet.” Her voice hitched,
surprising her. Tears filled her eyes. She hadn’t let go and
cried for so long. But since meeting Jake, she’d done a lot of
things that she hadn’t in a while.

About the author:

Kaylie Newell was born in the great state of Oregon, where she was raised alongside rivers and lakes and scruffy dogs that chased their tennis balls as far as Kaylie's noodle arms could throw. As she grew, so did her imagination, and it didn't take long to realize she was a romantic at heart. She began to fancy herself the future wife of a cowboy, the likes of which graced every paperback novel she could get her hands on. She decided to go to college in Oklahoma to snag herself one, but irony won over when she fell in love with a hippie in sheep's clothing instead. Together, they came back to Oregon, started a family and watched their dreams unfold. Kaylie wrote her first book when her girls were toddlers, editing sex scenes with The Wiggles on in the background. She's proud of many things in life, among them the fact that she can still recite her lines from Romeo and Juliet from her seventh grade play, the fact that she can set a grilled cheese sandwich on fire faster than most people can make one, but mostly she's proud of the stories blossoming inside her noggin on a daily basis.

Connect with Kaylie Newell

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Release Day Spotlight: Tainted Kiss


Tainted Kiss by Sharon Kay
Watcher's Kiss Book 1
July 21, 2015

Blurb:

Tactical, lethal, resolute. 

Haunted by a centuries-old tragedy, there’s no room in Arawn’s life for softness. Every action he takes is for the betterment of his race and the good of the realm. He leads his elite band of warriors the same way he lives his life: full on, without compromise, determined. Except for one sexy female who happens to be his subordinate.

Tenacious, passionate, tough-as-steel. 

Ria relishes the duties Arawn assigns her as much as she respects the deadly combatants on her team. And she has a secret: her formidable boss is also her deepest fantasy. Years of working under his authority haven’t dulled the spark she feels, yet her passion is tempered by the hints of loss she gathers about him. His dark and sexy moodiness draws her, but he’s a hard man to approach as he keeps the world at emotional arm’s length. 

Secrets laced in blood burn his battle-hardened soul.

When Ria is gravely injured in the line of duty, Arawn can no longer fight his own long-simmering feelings. But a secret, more heinous and ugly than anyone could imagine, prevents him from surrendering his heart. Despite his intentions, he and Ria forge a connection both fiery and unexpectedly tender. Yet every day brings them closer to shocking facts. Evil stirs in his blood, and hiding the truth from her will be the ultimate betrayal.


Excerpt:

Wake up.
He always told her to wake up. The male voice was always light, almost teasing as it cut into the sluggish images that chased across her mind, disturbing them in a way that was surprising and wonderful. Wake up. But in his deep voice there was also a need. Not urgent, but…something different.
He wanted her to wake up. To join him. There was a tenderness in his voice that made no sense. Was she dreaming? This man, her leader, wasn’t patient.
Her thoughts were muddled, a jumble of questions and darkness. Certain voices echoed in her head now and then. Voices of people who loved her. Nearby and hushed. His voice, always, talking to her.
“Wake up. Now.”
Wait. This time, she heard it in her ears as well as her foggy brain. Ria forced heavy eyes open.
Bright lights. His huge body near her. Her left hand, impossibly warm…held in his?
He’s here. And his head was lowered over their hands.
Soft words whispered…what had he said?
What was happening? Am I dead? Something amazing and peaceful surrounded her inside and out, a feeling of belonging and…and rightness. And it had to do with him.
Abruptly his fingers tightened on hers, the trace of softness gone.
Powerless to do anything but stare, she was transfixed by his dark hair and impossibly wide shoulders. So she caught every nuance in his eyes when he lifted his head and started to push up from his chair.
She caught the resigned look of tenderness that flickered when he first looked up.
She caught the slice of absolute shock when he met her open eyes.
She caught the genuine smile he gave her. Gods, he rarely smiled. She tried to smile too, couldn’t help it. He looked like a warrior god created just for her. If this were a dream, she wanted to live here forever. Stay.
He was getting up.
No! “St—” Her voice was barely a whisper, cracking through the dry tissues of her throat. Did he even hear her?
Dark eyes wide, he leaned closer. Brooding, big, a swift protective presence. “Ria! Holy gods. Can you hear me?”
She nodded and opened her mouth to try to say more.
“Don’t try to talk yet.” He still held her hand in his much larger ones, concern and wonder on his handsome face.
Arawn.
His name burst like a firework in her mind. The Lash demons’ uncompromising Commander. His voice was the one that had cajoled her and ordered her to wake up.
She didn’t know why he was here, or why she was here for that matter. All she knew was this huge, lethal man was one hundred percent focused on her. He almost always looked ready to tear something apart, rarely cracking a smile.
But now, the grin he wore would have brought her to her knees, if she hadn’t already been in a bed.
And why, exactly, was she in bed? She glanced around, taking in the pale green walls. This wasn’t her room. She didn’t have a painting of the black sand beach of Tarsa on her wall. “Where am I?” Her voice rasped over the words.
“Already ignoring that I told you not to talk.” But his eyes twinkled. “You’re in the medical wing. Gods, it’s good to see you in the realm of the living.” He pulled out his phone and dialed. “Ashina. Get in here. She’s awake.”
Ashina…Ria knew that name. The healer. “What do you mean, the realm of the living?”
“You decided to take a month off.” He spoke wryly, but that grin remained in place. “And you didn’t request permission.”

Top 10 reasons why Paranormal worlds are better than Earth…

Hi everyone, and thank you to Gothic Moms for having me as a guest today! I write adult paranormal romance and, not surprisingly, this is also my fave sub-genre to read. I LOVE getting lost in the characters and worlds that other authors create.

I have a secret – sometimes I get lost in my own paranormal realms as well. It’s hard not to, when I created them. Every two-headed animal and every environmental disaster sprang from my mind, as well as every hot alpha warrior.  I filled my realms with good demons and very bad ones, along with fairies, nymphs, elves, witches, and lots of magic. This is SO MUCH FUN!

Another secret – when I was writing my first novel, Wicked Wind, I needed to send my characters on a journey and briefly debated sending them to South America. Yep, that lasted about a day, and then I decided 1) I didn’t want to get bogged down in research (I’ve never been there) and 2) I didn’t want anyone calling me out on incorrect terrain and climate and 3) if I made up my own world, I would have zero limits! And so…the immortal realms of Torth and Evena came into existence.

Sometimes reading is a necessary escape, sometimes it’s a way to pass a lazy afternoon, but I’d happily jump into a paranormal world any day. Here are my Top 10 reasons why, with details courtesy of the Solsti Prophecy series:


10. Supernatural hotties that live for centuries and can fight off enemies in any possible way (swords, spells, firearms, jiu jitsu, you name it).

9. An endless parade of characters with unusual kick-ass powers.

8. No financial worries. These guys live so long, they have accumulated LOTS of “old money!”

7. Traveling by portal is always on time, unlike airlines… though you might get queasy. Best to travel with a hot warrior demon to hold onto.

6. The wood nymph colony of Rivkin. What? You haven’t heard of it? Best vacation spot ever. Gorgeous tree homes, good food, and the nymphs (male and female) can’t get enough sex. Nymphy entertainment is always on tap!

5. No housework (unless you want to cook – one of my characters is a breakfast expert). There are dust elves, laundry elves and dishwashing elves to take care of all the hum-drum stuff.

4. No need for nanny-cams or wishing you could be a fly on the wall at your kids’ school – you can observe through a scrying bowl. Works best if you can find a hot Deserati demon to work the spell for you.

3. Once a mate claims you, not only will you enjoy every second of it, but he will know exactly what you want and need. All the time, because….

2. The mate bond includes a mental connection that will clue him in when you’re mad about something. Not only will he show up with presents, but it will lead to much hotter make-up sex!

1. Problem? Any problem you might have? There’s a spell for that!


About Sharon

Sharon Kay writes award-winning fiction and can never get enough reading time. She loves paranormal romance, with romantic suspense following close on its heels.  She loves winter and black coffee, and is endlessly inspired to write kick-ass heroines and the men strong enough to capture their hearts.

Sharon lives in the Chicago area with her husband and son, and didn’t expect to write one book, let alone a series.  But WICKED WIND and the Solsti series formed in her head one weekend and refused to stay quiet until she put pen to paper.  Her characters tend to keep her up at night, as they banter, fall in love, and slay endless varieties of power-hungry demons.

Sign up for Sharon’s newsletter to keep up with her demons, see early cover reveals and be entered in periodic giveaways.

Twitter: @sharonkaynovels 




Monday, July 20, 2015

Guest Post: Why Shifters? by Tami Lund


Of Love and Darkness
Twisted Fate
Book One
Tami Lund

Genre: Paranormal, Shifters

Publisher: Soul Mates Publishing

Date of Publication: June 24, 2015

ASIN: B00ZJ7SRB8

Number of pages: 181
Word Count: 60k

Cover Artist: Syneca Featherstone

Book Description:

OF LOVE AND DARKNESS kicks off the new Twisted Fate shape-shifter series. There are two kinds of shifters: Rakshasa and Light Ones. Rakshasa want to snack on human bones. Light Ones want to protect the humans.

Unfortunately, the Rakshasa are currently winning the battle, as the Light Ones are not fertile. Only one type of Light One, exceedingly rare females called Chala, are able to produce offspring. The Rakshasa know this, and have managed to nearly decimate the population.

Enter Gavin Rowan, a cursed Rakshasa who believes he is a Light One. He feels all his Rakshasa urges to kill, but has been cursed to protect the Light Ones instead.

Throw Sydney Amataya into the mix. She is a Chala– except she doesn't know it. At least not until Gavin saves her from a Rakshasa attack and then declares her as his mate.

But that’s not how Sydney operates. Encouraged by her cross-dressing Fate, William, she refuses Gavin’s claim. If he wants to mate with her–once she gets over the shock of discovering this supernatural world, that is–he's going to have to woo her, impress her, wine and dine her. Romance her. She deserves no less, end of the world be damned.

Available at Amazon


Guest Post: Why Shifters?

Here’s a question: why shifters? I’ve now started two series centered around shifters – the Twisted Fate Series (Of Love and Darkness is the first of three books) and the Lightbearer Series. Twisted Fate is entirely about shifters, while Lightbearer was supposed to be about magical beings called, well, Lightbearers. Yet when I threw shifters into the mix in that series, it became about shifters. How did that happen?

The answer is simple: shifters are one of my favorite genres to read. So not coincidentally, I also happen to enjoy writing about them. They are sexy, strong, powerful, hot, did I mention sexy? In my reasonably extensive research, I have learned a few things about these seductive alpha beings.

I’ve learned they all have one thing in common. All shape shifters have the ability to change from human form into…something else. And that, as far as I have been able to determine, is the single aspect that defines every shifter in every book I’ve ever read or written. Beyond that, well, every author interprets them a little differently. Which is the way it should be, right? We’re talking magic, and magic is defined by the imagination of the person writing it.

Some shifters can only change into the form of one animal. These are typically referred to as were-animals (werewolves, were-bearers, were- you get the picture). Others are able to shift into pretty much any animal, or, as I like to explain in my books, the form of any warm-blooded being. The shifters in my Lightbearer Series can even shift into the form of birds, if they are so inclined. This comes in handy when one wants to escape rapidly and he’s on the second floor or at the top of a cliff (both situations occur in the first book in this series).

Many shifters’ clothing cannot shift with them. The clothing is either shed before the shift or, if the shift must occur with little notice, the clothing is torn to shreds when the body changes and alters, and the shifter must figure out another means of covering his naughty bits when he returns to human form.

The shifters in my books can shift while wearing clothing, and when they return to human form, their clothing returns to their body exactly as it was before the shift. I admit, I made this decision out of convenience. I considering the no-clothing route because, let’s be honest, that makes more sense, from a non-magical standpoint. But I was having a difficult time writing the whole, “Hold on, I have to strip and hide my clothing for later” aspect into the various scenes and plots and sub-plots of the series. So I decided if magic can make a person change from human to animal, then magic can make that person’s clothes reappear when they return to human form.

Some shifters have the ability to speak to each other telepathically. Some are able to harness other forms of magic, too. Some have glowing eyes. In my Lightbearer series, the shifters’ eyes glow when they are feeling strong emotions. Anger, frustration, sadness, passion. Even if the shifter is trying to act stoic and passive, the object of his desire, if she is smart enough, can figure out pretty easily that he feels something, if his eyes are glowing. It’s practically a declaration of love.

Or lust.

Some shifters eat only red meat. Actually, the desire to eat red meat might possibly qualify as the second thing all shifters have in common, now that I think about it. Or maybe not. A vegetarian shifter could make for an intriguing storyline.

Many shifters have obsessive, jealous personalities. Like a dog, protecting his bone. Or his house. Or his mate. My shifters have this trait. In fact, it plays heavily into the next couple of books in the Lightbearer series.

I’m sure I’ve missed a few common traits. What other traits do you notice in your favorite books about shifters or weres? Which common traits are your favorite?



Excerpt:

It was silent for long moments before Sydney realized the two animals had stopped fighting. She risked a quick glance over her shoulder and saw that one of them, the larger, bulkier one lay on the ground in a pool of blood, his lifeless eyes staring at her, unseeing. Sydney swallowed back bile and turned away from the grisly scene.
And found herself staring at Gavin’s T-shirt-covered chest, as he crouched in front of her and cradled her wounded arm with more gentleness than she would have given him credit for. She tried to wrench her arm free and let out a gasp of pain.
“Stop moving,” Gavin commanded in his gravelly voice. He gently slid her shredded coat off her shoulder, as if he meant to inspect the wound more closely.
“Where the hell were you?” Sydney demanded. “I just got attacked by a rabid dog. A really big dog. I need to go to the hospital. I need a rabies shot. Damn it, that hurts.” She hissed as he ripped off the arm of her sweater, instead of trying to tug the entire thing over her head.
“Hey,” she protested, “that’s my favorite sweater.”
Gavin gave the sweater a look that indicated he could not quite understand why it was her favorite, and then he prodded the wounds on her arm. Blood poured freely from four long slashes, dripping off the tips of her fingers and onto her now-ruined coat.
“I doubt he had rabies,” he muttered as he continued to inspect the wounds. “And I just rescued you, so you’re welcome.”
Sydney gaped at him. “Rescued me? Rescued me? You ran like a cat when somebody pulls out the water hose, you moron. There were two dogs. One jumped out at me and the other attacked him. They started fighting and I somehow got caught in the crosshairs. We should probably get the hell out of here though, because only one of them is dead back there. The other one might decide to come back and attack us.”
“He won’t,” Gavin said with an odd inflection in his voice. “But you’re right, there are others, and the scent of blood will bring them relatively quickly. Especially your blood. What are you?”
To Sydney’s utter horror, he leaned close to her wounded arm and sniffed, like a dog checking out another dog’s scent.
She gave her arm another jerk, but Gavin held her in a death grip. “What are you doing?” she asked as he bent closer still and then . . . licked her wounded arm.
“Ew!”
Gavin’s eyes glazed over, as if he had fallen under some sort of spell. He blinked dazedly for a few heartbeats, his hands grasping her arm in a tight enough grip she thought the appendage might go numb. And then he bent his head and licked her wounds again, this time with earnest, licking over and over, as if he intended to clean up every last bit of blood. By the time the entire area was cleansed of all traces of blood, he was panting heavily and his eyes were still glazed. Sydney couldn’t be certain, but the bulge in his pants seemed to have gotten larger.
“Gross,” she snapped. “Now I have to get a rabies and a tetanus shot. I hate shots. Can you get hepatitis this way? I bet you have some sort of sexually transmitted disease, and now you’ve given it to me.”
“No disease,” he managed between pants and licks.
“I’m supposed to take your word for it? Get away from me.” She twisted her shoulder, and slid her arm out of a grasp that had gone slack. She was startled that she only experienced a twinge of pain, and when she looked down at her arm, her eyes widened as she realized the four long gashes were no longer bleeding, and in fact, appeared to actually be healing right before her eyes.
“What the . . .?”
“Chala,” Gavin whispered, his eyes still glazed and, were they glowing? It was the third time that evening she thought she saw glowing eyes. Sydney glanced up at the darkened, cloudy sky and wondered if it wasn’t some trick of the lights in downtown Detroit.
“Chala,” he whispered again.
Sydney gave him a cross look. “My name isn’t Chala.”
“You are a Chala,” Gavin said. The glazed look faded from his eyes, and while they still appeared to glow faintly, they had taken on a far more calculating look. Despite her current situation, she couldn’t help but think he had lovely silver-blue eyes.
“And you are my mate.”



About the Author:

Tami Lund likes to live, love, and laugh, and does her best to ensure the characters in her books do the same. After they've overcome a few seemingly insurmountable obstacles first, of course.

Tami is multi-published, both self and with a few publishers, including Crimson Romance, Liquid Silver Books, and Soul Mates Publishing. Chances are, there is a new book coming out soon. Be sure to stalk her on social media, so you know when.

And most important, if you enjoyed one of Tami's books, please let other readers know by leaving a review on the site from which you bought it, or on Goodreads. Otherwise, how will they know which book to read next?


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