An Interview with PI Elise North from A Demon’s Tale

I’m very pleased to have the lovely Elise North to mine for coffee with
Elise this morning in the first of this two part interview, which will conclude next Monday, the 21st.

 

KD: Elise is a private investigator with some very unique gifts, and one of the main players in A Demon’s Tale, my present WIP, the next instalment of Medusa’s Consortium. Elise, I first heard about you when I read your reports for Magda Gardener concerning your investigation of an incubus, Daniel Sands. What got my attention is that you could get close to an incubus and not be affected by him. Tell us why that is

 

EN: “First of all, let me say wow, I love your coffee. I adore cold brew, and this morning I really need it. I was up all night searching for a wayward shape shifter. Anyway, never mind that. (runs her hand through short blonde hair, her large brown eyes sparkling like she’s about to share a good joke.)Of course I can’t talk about it at the moment. But to answer your question, yes, for some reason I can’t explain, nor can anyone else, magic has no effect on me, but I can sense its presence, even when no one else seems to be able to. Sort of like a sixth sense I guess you could say.

 

KD: Let me get this straight, you’re not affected by magic at all? Of any kind?

 

EN: Nope. Nada. But the flip side of that coin is that I don’t have any magic in me. I mean most normal people don’t, or think they don’t, but almost everyone has a smidge, even if it’s just a bit of intuition that’s uncanny from time to time.

 

KD: So there’s never a chance of someone slinging magic at you?

 

EN: Nope, never. The real risk is, for example, the strength of a vampire. I’m as vulnerable to strength and physical power, or a plain old handgun as anyone else. While I’m not vulnerable to demons, a person possessed will have super human strength. It’s the secondary stuff I have to watch out for. But I’ve trained for that. If there’s a physical threat, I mean. I spend a good bit of my leisure time at the little dive gym just down the street from my flat, or on the shooting range and I’m well trained in several martial arts. That’s a part of my job.

 

KD: So this being immune to magic but at the same time being able to see it, how does that work, exactly.

 

EN: Well for one thing, I do see dead people, like the kid in the film, though they almost always know they’re dead, and they come to me because they know I can see them, which means I might be able to help them.

 

KD: I take it you don’t mean help them cross over.

 

EN: Nope. Like I said, I don’t have even the teensiest bit of magic. They have to find someone else for that, if they’re in a traveling mood. They come for the typical PI stuff, you know, to find out if a spouse was cheating on them before they died, if said spouse might have been responsible for their death, to find treasure that was stolen from them, to get me to sort out things that only the living can sort. They’re only a small part of my business though.

 

KD: How do they pay you then?

 

EN: Well, as you might guess, KD, it costs a lot to hire me. You wouldn’t believe what I have to pay for insurance. I mean most insurance companies would laugh me out of their offices. So there’s that, but also, my line of work involves a lot more potentially dangerous situations most PIs would face. I mean most don’t have to worry that a less than well-behaved vampire might try to make them lunch or that they might get caught breaking and entering in the New York City library in the middle of the night to speak with a ghost. And I’m pretty sure none of them has ever had to deal with a demon possessed person trying to hammer their brains out. So while I do have a sliding payment scale when need be, generally speaking, I charge a lot.

 

Problem is that more often than not, I’m paid in assets that are only moderately liquid or in come cases not very. I get old coins, jewelry, even pirate treasure on occasion. I get a lot of stuff that has a high value, but can’t be easily converted to cash. One vampire paid me with a priceless Stradivarius. I actually kept that, even though I don’t play. At the time the legal hoops I’d have to jump through to place it in a museum without it looking like I’d nicked it were just too much to bother with. It didn’t seem right to take money for it. I figure some day I might know someone who can play, or maybe I’ll take lessons. Not likely, since I’m tone deaf. I wonder if music is a type of magic. Can I have another cup of coffee?

 

KD: Yes, of course.

 

I pour her another cup, and push a plate of shortbread across the table

 

KD: So I imagine you must have a lot of acquaintances and colleagues who can help you convert those sorts of things to cash.

EN: I have connections. Believe it or not a lot of them are in the police department,
mostly people who know someone who knows someone else they talked to while investigating a theft, but they have lots of connections at the NYPD. I try to stay on their good side.

 


KD:
Very wise, I’d say.

 

Check in with A Hopeful Romantic next Monday, the 21st for the conclusion of our interview, in which Elise North discusses her relationship with the Guardian and what it’s like to work for a demon.

 

Naomi Smart Launches Emerald Fire

 

 

 

Emerald Fire is the first title in an exciting BDSM contemporary romance trilogy 
Louisa relives the events of the most important part of her life. Meeting the love of her life Evan, the fight to prove her strength, embarking on a flight of sexual desire, pleasure and liberation. Evan opens the door for Louisa to a completely different form of pleasure, anticipation and allure – a world where the line between pleasure and pain can easily merge into one. The door that Evan closed some years before in a bid to move on and block the past that haunts him. Until he meets Louisa and can no longer fight the urge to keep that door closed. Can Louisa find the inner strength to stop Evan running away from the past?

 

Buy Emerald Fire Here

https://amzn.to/2RLpHam

 

 

A Mini Interview with Naomi Smart

 

Welcome, Naomi. It’s lovely to have you on A Hopeful Romantic. I know all writers get asked this question, but everyone always wants to know, do your nearest and dearest know what you do, and if so, what was their reaction when they found out?

 

Writing for me was a form of therapy. I’ve always been very open with my family and friends about my writing and its genre.

Those closest to me know how my mind works, so were not that surprised to learn I was writing erotica. Whilst others were surprised but happy surprised. Quite often I get seen as the quiet one, that is until you get to know me.

There are a few friends that started reading my work, but had to stop as all they could think off was ‘Naomi wrote this’

 

Do you have any unusual writing rituals?

 

I guess my main ritual is having to physically write the story, filling multiple notebooks before anything reaches my laptop.

So, there’s months of carrying notebooks and pens around, just in case the next scene comes to me in the oddest of places.

I have tried to break this ritual by heading straight to my laptop, but all attempts have been unsuccessful.

 

If you could bring one of your characters to life, which one would it be and why?

 

I think out of all the characters, I would love to bring Conor to life. I see him very much as a man with a great outlook on life, free spirited and fun with a very colourful personality. With Conor, a spade is very much a spade. But at the same time, he has this caring side. All make up great qualities of a friend.

 

What are you working on at the moment?

 

At the moment I’m working on the third part of the Gemstone Trilogy. Its exiting times. Both Emerald Fire and Sapphire Storm are stories being told from the female leads past. Where as Diamond Ice (The final part to the trilogy) is based in the here and now.

It has plenty of twists, which I’m hoping the readers will enjoy.

 

 

 

Find Naomi Here:

https://www.facebook.com/NaomiSmartAuthor/

 

Sex and Celebrating Our Animal Nature

From the Archives

One of the best parts of sex is that we can let our hair down and get back to our animal roots. It’s the one place where animal nature rules, and that’s exactly as it should be. Personally, I think the shame factor that dominates so many peoples’ lives where sex is concerned, is rooted in the effort to separate us from our animal nature, an effort to take out the lust and the heat and leave in its place only the ‘getting in there, doing our business and getting out.’

 

There’s no cleaned-up, sanitized version of animals in rut. I figure that’s why it’s a naughty little secret that it’s a turn-on to watch the dog hump the chair leg. Sadly, we humans are supposed to act civilized – even where sex is concerned. While I love sexy lingerie and corsetry and stilettos I can’t walk in, I find it much more arousing to think about someone ripping down their jeans, bending over a stump in the woods and going at it loud and sweaty and nasty. Such a scenario implies no forethought; such a scenario implies spontaneity and raw, driving lust. Even writing that sentence raises my pulse rate just a little bit.

 

I think what we, as erotica writers do, is a testament to our own animal nature and to how much value we place on the biological fact that humans are every bit as sexual as any of our animal cousins. In fact, we may be more so because our urges have the power of imagination helping to stoke the already leaping flames of lust. That being said our playground, as erotica writers, is absolutely writhing with primal, biological, animal down and dirty possibilities. We are the ones who get to write sex like we all WISH it was rather than how it more often than not tends to be. And we are the ones who can use our imaginations and the power of the written word to stoke the fires of primal animal lust in all of our civilized, tight-shirted neighbours, encouraging them to loosen up and hump the chair leg, so to speak. My god, the heat of it, the throw-your-head-back-and-howl-at-the-moon elation of what we do is enough to send you running for a cold shower or your trusty vibe, or your sweetie.

 

We remind people that sex is a celebration of life and physicality in a way that absolutely nothing else is. We remind people that button-down is no substitute for going down, and that the dirty and raucous and wild mammal is still there someplace inside all of us just waiting to come out and howl at the moon and join in the rut.

 

Oh yes, I take my job VERY seriously, as I’m sure all of my erotica writing colleagues do. We offer a peek at unabashed, unashamed, rock-your-world sex. We offer a safe and secret place to experience the wildest, darkest, nastiest of our animal nature, without giving up our civilized selves. We offer the best of both worlds, and even
better yet, we give permission to experience both. We let a world that is too tight-laced know that our lust, our animal heat, our urge to rip clothes off and rut is alright. It’s not only alright, it’s one of the very best parts of our humanity. As erotica writers, we remind people that being animal is very much a part of being human, and we remind people that it’s time to embrace the animal in us and celebrate it.

 

Good With His Hands by Lucy Felthouse (@cw1985) #romance #steamy #shortstory

Blurb

Layla is enjoying a beautiful moorland walk in the English countryside when suddenly, clouds start to roll in. The weather was forecast to be fine all day, so Layla is woefully unprepared when the heavens open and her visibility is reduced to next to nothing. Trying hard not to panic, she carefully makes her way towards a remote hut she spotted before the fog descended. When she arrives, though, she discovers park ranger Stuart already there, and luckily for her, he’s much more prepared than she is, and they soon find a way to pass the time until the storm blows over.

Note: Good With His Hands was previously published in the Down and Dirty boxed set.

Buy links

Amazon: http://mybook.to/goodwithhishands

B&N: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/good-with-his-hands-lucy-felthouse/1129960024

iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/good-with-his-hands/id1445209735?mt=11

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/good-with-his-hands-15

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/910076?ref=cw1985

*****

Excerpt:

Anticipation seeped into Layla’s body, increasing with every second that ticked by. Each handhold she groped for, each push off with her feet brought her that bit closer to the moorland plateau she’d been wanting to explore ever since she’d seen photos of it in a Facebook group a few weeks ago. She was a keen hiker—or walker, she’d never really understood what the difference was between the two—but she’d always stuck to places she knew well, or had at least visited a couple of times before, mainly because she always walked alone, and getting lost was bad enough without doing it by yourself.

But one Sunday evening, after a flurry of yet more stunning photographs of the area had been uploaded to the group, Layla made up her mind. The following Sunday, she would join the seemingly scores of people that headed up to the dramatic-looking gritstone edge in Derbyshire’s Peak District every weekend, no matter the weather. Hikers, climbers, fell runners… they all raved about the place, despite the crowds. And if she did get lost, well, she’d just ask one of them for directions. No problem. Then, providing it was indeed as amazing as the photo-uploaders proclaimed it to be, she’d add it to her list of regular haunts. It’d make a refreshing change from her usual low-level trail walks.

Now she was beginning to understand what all the fuss was about, and she wasn’t even at the top yet. After leaving the relative familiarity of the car park, she’d trekked up a slight incline through some dense woods—surprised to pass only one or two small groups of people on the way. She’d expected it to look like London’s Oxford Street but with outdoorsy types in hefty boots and backpacks instead of shoppers with umbrellas and carrier bags. The moment she’d stepped from the shadow of the woods, the landscape had opened up in front of her and she’d got a real sense of how special it was. Then she’d glanced up and to her right and, taking in the height of the edge she had yet to climb, realised she hadn’t seen the half of it yet.

With one last push to get her onto a particularly large boulder, then a small step, she was there. On the gritstone edge, the moorland plateau—whatever you wanted to call it. As she took a couple of tentative steps forward and looked around, she decided she wanted to call it heaven. It was like nowhere she’d ever been before—so removed from everyday life that she was half convinced she’d stepped onto the moon, except it was unmistakably England. Wild, untamed, rugged, but England nonetheless. How had she never been up here before? And were there more places like it? She suddenly felt like the worst kind of ignorant city dweller—her walks up until now had made a mockery of wearing walking boots. She may as well have done it in flip flops.

She turned at the sound of voices behind her, and moved aside to let a group of three men in their early twenties pass. They had enormous, weirdly-shaped bags strapped to their backs, and yet strode along—exchanging smiles and nods with her when they drew level—as though their burdens weighed nothing.

Layla shook her head incredulously and started to follow in their footsteps. She didn’t need to consult her walk instructions yet—there was only one path, deliberately keeping footfall to a dedicated area for conservation purposes, according to a snippet of text she remembered reading on her printout. The trail stayed close to the edge—not so close as to be dangerous, but close enough to afford the most amazing views. The ground beneath her feet was made up of mud, rough grasses, rocks and boulders in shades of grey, brown, and black, scrubby bushes, and what she suspected was heather. To her left, the stunning countryside went on for as far as the eye could see, with delightfully twisted trees in the foreground, followed by brown and green fields, woodlands, moorlands, and more fields, broken up only very occasionally by a road—often only identifiable by the moving glint of light that passed along them—vehicles highlighted by the reflection of the sun off their metalwork. It’d be incredibly easy to forget civilisation even existed while she was up here.

 

*****

Bio

Lucy Felthouse is the award-winning author of erotic romance novels Stately Pleasures (named in the top 5 of Cliterati.co.uk’s 100 Modern Erotic Classics That You’ve Never Heard Of, and an Amazon bestseller), Eyes Wide Open (winner of the Love Romances Café’s Best Ménage Book 2015 award, and an Amazon bestseller), The Persecution of the Wolves, Hiding in Plain Sight and The Heiress’s Harem series. Including novels, short stories and novellas, she has over 170 publications to her name. Find out more about her writing at http://lucyfelthouse.co.uk, or on Twitter or Facebook. Join her Facebook group for exclusive cover reveals, sneak peeks and more! Sign up for automatic updates on Amazon or BookBub. Subscribe to her newsletter here: http://www.subscribepage.com/lfnewsletter

Release blitz organised by Writer Marketing Services.

 

New Years Resolutions and Navel Gazing

Here it is the last day of 2018. I don’t mind saying the last month has been a total gut punch for me with the loss of my sister. I’m more than ready to shed 2018 and move forward. As of tomorrow, the gym will be overflowing with New Years Resolutioners; all around the world new diets will have begun as soon as the New Year hangover wears off; people stop drinking, stop smoking, begin learning Spanish or French, people promise to take better care of themselves, spend more time with good friends, waste less time in front of the telly, and the list goes on. Since Boxing Day, the universal urge to be ‘better’ in the New Year has been nearly palpable in the soggy English air.

 

It happens every year, that urge to reflect on what has been and plan how the New Year will be better. Hope and excitement at new beginnings is so much a part of our human nature that the end of a year and the beginning of another one can’t help but be the time when we anticipate, plan change, and dare to dream of what wonderful things we can bring about in the next year. In fact there’s a heady sense of power in the New Year. I think it’s the time when we’re most confident that we can make changes, that we really dohave power over our own lives. It’s the time when we’re most proactive toward those changes, those visions of the people we want to be.

 

Before I actually began to sell my writing, back when I dreamed of that first publication, back when there seemed to be a lot more time for navel gazing than is now, I was a consummate journaler. I filled pages and pages, notebooks and notebooks full of my reflections, ruminations and navel gazes. And nothing took more time and energy than the end of the year entry, in which I reflected on how I did on the year’s resolutions and planned my resolutions for the next. This was a process that often began in early December with me reading back through journals, taking notes, tracing down some of what I’d been reading during that year and reflecting on it. Yeah, I know. I needed to get a life!

 

By the time New Years Day rolled around, I had an extensive list of resolutions, each with a detailed outline of action as to how I was going to achieve it. I found that some of those resolutions simply fell by the wayside almost before the year began — those things that if I’m honest with myself, I know I’m never gonna do, no matter how much I wish I would. Others I achieved in varying degrees-ish. But sadly, for the most part, a month or maybe two into the year, that hard core maniacal urge to be a better me no matter what cooled to tepid indifference as every-day life took the shine off the New Year.

 

It was only when there stopped being time for such ginormous navel-gazes and micro-planning that I discovered I actually had achieved a lot of those goals that were my resolutions simply by just getting on with it. As I began to think more about how different my approach to all things new in the New Year had become the busier I became, I realised that I had, through no planning on my part, perfected the sneak-in-through-the-back-door method of dealing with the New Year. The big, bright New Year changes I used to spend days plotting and planning no longer got written down, no longer got planned out. Instead, they sort of implemented themselves in a totally unorganised way somewhere between the middle of January and the middle of February. They were easy on me, sort of whispering and smiling unobtrusively from the corners of my life. They came upon me, not in a sneak attack so much as a passing brush with someone who would somehow become my best friend.

 

I’m my own harsh task master. I’m driven, I’m tunnel-visioned, I’m a pit bull when I grab on to what I want to achieve with my writing. No one is harder on me than I am – no one is even close. And yet from somewhere there’s a gentler voice that sneaks in through the back door of the New Year and through the back doors of my life and reminds me to be kinder to me, to be easier on me, to find ways to rest and recreate and feed my creative self. I’ll never stop being driven. The time I’ve been given, the time we’ve all been given, is finite. And that gentler part of ourselves must somehow be a constant reminder of comfort and gentleness, of self-betterment that comes, not from brow-beating and berating ourselves, not from forced regimentation, but from easing into it, making ourselves comfortable with it. We, all of us, live in a time when life is snatched away from us one sound-bite, one reality TV show, one advert at a time. Often our time, our precious time is bargained away from us by harsher forces, by ideals and scripts that aren’t our own, and the less time we have to dwell on the still small voice, the deeper the loss.

 

So my resolution, my only resolution every year is to listen more carefully to that gentler, quieter part of me, to forgive myself for not being able to be the super-human I think I should be, to settle into the arms of and be comfortable with the quieter me, the wiser me who knows how far I’ve really come, who knows that the

shaping of a human being goes way deeper than what’s achieved in the outer world, and every heart that beats needs to find its own refuge in the value of just being who we are, of living in the present and coming quietly and gently and hopefully into the New Year.

I wish you all the very best in 2019 in a very gentle, very peaceful sort of way.

 

 

 
© 2018 K D Grace
The Romance Reviews

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