It’s NaNoWriMo Time with an Excerpt from A Demon’s Tale

Yup! I’m actually doing NaNoWriMo this year, and very excited about it I am too!  This is the first time I’ve participated in a couple of years. For those of you who don’t know, NaNoWriMo is National Novel Writing Month, which is every November. The challenge is to write a 50K word novel in a month. While my novels are always well over 50K, to be able to get that much done in a month means enough momentum to carry on to the end.

 

I’ve had the pleasure of participating in NaNoWriMo several times when my schedule has allowed it. Those times have resulted in Body Temperature and Rising, book One of the Lakeland Witches Series, The Tutor, which is a contemporary erotic romance, and a SciFi novel called Piloting Fury, which I’m still rewriting and deciding upon a home for.

 

This year I’m writing another novel in the Medusa Consortium series. This novel is a story readers have asked for, it’s the Guardian’s story, A Demon’s Tale. With the Guardian’s permission, here is a rough excerpt from Day One of NaNoWriMo and the prologue of the novel. Enjoy.

 

Guarding Her Sleep: Excerpt from A Demon’s Tale

He watched her sleep, something that he did every night, something that, until very recently, he had enjoyed immensely, for there was always the possibility that when she slept, she would dream, and perhaps in those dreams, she would visit him.  Truly, he treasured those visits. They were a time of getting to know her, of learning to understand her a little better so that he might become a more suitable companion, might better realize what behavior would be most pleasing to her.

 

In truth it was only in dreams that his constant, though unavoidable, presence was not a violation, however unintentional that violation might be. In the beginning, it mattered less, in the beginning when he was still angry at her for what she had done to him. But the anger was nothing compared to the mourning at the loss, her loss, what she had done to herself because of him. Mourning, such a very human experience, one of which he could not have imagined himself capable. And yet he had mourned, had hated it, had raged against it, that thing that made no sense to him, that loss that was so needless, that terrible, irreversible loss for which, in his solitude, to his horror, he came to realize he was fully to blame.  Blame had always been a thing he had thrust upon others, never a thing he had felt himself, never a thing he could have understood until she did what she did, until she made the sacrifice she had made. Because of him.

 

It was in dreams that he had slowly come to realize his need for her forgiveness. It was in dreams that slowly she began to give it. It was in dreams that, for the very first time, he found himself wondering at his true nature, doubting just how well he understood it even after so very long. It was in dreams that he could sooth her, comfort her, and he knew better than anyone just how very hard she battled to heal, to learn how to live now that she had been changed, to come to grips with her own losses and to fight for the protection of those she loved. The knowledge of what she brought to him in dreams, of the weight she bore in no small part because of him meant the guilt that he thought he could never feel was his constant companion driving him to seek redemption in pleasing her, in being useful to her. The irony of it all was not lost on him – a demon seeking redemption. How often had he wondered if perhaps he only dreamed such insanity. And yet when she came to him in dreams, he wanted nothing so badly as to be redeemed for her sake. When she came to him in dreams, he believed that perhaps in time, she would forgive him and come to feel more kindly toward him.

 

Yes, he had anticipated her dreams, longed for them and now, as he watched her sleep, he fervently hoped that she would not dream, at least not that kind of reality wrapped within a dream that had brought her to him. For to his horror, dreams were the one thing from which he could not protect her. The very thought made him frantic, made him rage, that he was so helpless against a violation greater than any he had ever committed in all his years. When these dreams came upon her, he could not free her, he could not protect her, he could only watch impotently while her worst nightmare grew into a reality he could not stop.

 

That the one who had come to her aid seemed as invisible, as incorporeal as he was
did not ease his worry, for the one who called herself Glinda was unknown to him. While everyone believed her trustworthy, he did not know her, he did not understand how she was able to pull his dear Susan from the depths of the nightmare when he, who was her constant and intimate companion could not, when he, whose power Susan and her companions had called upon with confidence could only watch her suffering. Who was this Glinda? Who was she that she could stand against the gods themselves and why did he find that even as he was grateful for what she had done for his dear Susan, he hated her that she could do for her what he could not.

 

Sex Magic and Creativity

I’ve been asked many times if I believe that sex magic is real. My answer was
something along the lines that I believe sex is the only kind of magic, and certainly the only kind of magic we all have access to. But the question itself gets me thinking every time about why the paranormal and the erotic work so well together. With NaNoWriMo about to begin and with me about to begin another Medusa’s Consortium novel, I suppose now is as good a time as any to talk about sex as magic again. In fact with Halloween only two days away and with the main character of the next Consortium novel being the Guardian, a demon that feeds on sex, I’d say the time is ideal

 

Writing always exposes us, though that exposure is sometimes more obvious than others. As I thought about the question, I realized that the choices I’d made when I wrote the Lakeland trilogy were very much my psyche’s way of doing the full Monte. I’ve written lots of blog posts about the magic of sex, about what happens when we cross that final barrier and get inside the skin of another person, about what happens when we make ourselves vulnerable. Though it certainly wasn’t a conscious part of my decision, choosing to make the witches of the Elemental Coven practitioners of sex magic speaks very powerfully of my writing credo and of my own psyche and what I believe is important.

 

I started writing erotica mostly to see if I could, and because I had always enjoyed writing sex scenes. But it was the magic of sex that kept me writing. It was what the act of sex revealed about my characters and how it exposed them, all of them, in one way or another to the magic of sex that kept me writing. Somehow sex brought them closer to their humanity while at the same time increasing the chance they would experience their own divinity, and that of their beloved. And, with any luck, my readers would experience the same, vicariously. There’s something exciting in knowing that the very act of sex between two people can completely change the course of a novel. All of these elements of sex kept me writing erotica. And all of
these elements are the reason I believe sex is magic.

 

There are few parts of our human nature we struggle more fiercely to control than sexuality. How miserably we fail in that struggle is a testament to the biological drive and even more importantly the archetypal power of sex. And that’s a whole other area, the place within the sex act that borders on the mystical, the magical. That’s why paranormal tales partner so beautifully with the erotic. Once that boundary between the magical and the sexual is breached anything can happen.

 

Ultimately, sex makes people uncomfortable, and anything that makes people uncomfortable is a fabulous tool for fiction. On some level sex is all about biological urges, experiences of a much more visceral nature than the sanitized, well defined, well ordered way we like our world to be. But the power of sex reaches way beyond the procreative. I know of no other act that can connect us to our animal nature while at the same time lifting us outside ourselves to the realm of the gods. I also know of no other act in which we become physically one with another human being, in which we literally get inside the skin of another human being, in which there is the possibility of literally creating new life. The human sex act is about as close to magic as we can get, and we’re not all that comfortable with anything we can’t explain away and dress up for polite company.

 

Sex is that one little sliver of our life in which real magic happens. It’s the place where our boundaries are most permeable. So it’s not surprising that we like to team up the erotic with things that go bump in the night, things we can safely experience on the written page, where those things are free to scare us and titillate us and take away our human control thus allowing demons and vampires, ghosts and witches, werewolves and succubae to dance the tango with our libidos while we all perform our own personal versions of sex magic.

 

Whether you celebrate Halloween, Samhain, Day of the Dead, All Saints, or whether you just like to enjoy the season, I wish you much sexy magic!

 

The Gossip from Grace Manor

It’s time for a bit of a catch-up sesh at Grace Manor, so grab a cuppa, pull up a chair, and get comfy. There’s gossip, news, free reads and giveaways in October’s Hopeful Romantic newsletter. Mr. Grace and I are just back from a fabulous mini holiday in Rome, tacked on to a conference in which he was involved.

 

Our first task upon returning home was to put our bed back together so we would have a place to sleep. Yes, that’s right, Grace Manor is getting a long overdue makeover, and while the paint job in the bedroom was done, the bed was not.

 

 

A week and a half later, the new flooring is down and painting is done in the kitchen, lounge, master bedroom, stairway and entryway. Now the actual redecorating can begin, a task I don’t mind saying I find more than a little intimidating.

 

 

Any advice you can offer me would be greatly appreciated. Please be patient with me for the next few months. My goal is to have the lion share of the work done by my birthday in January. We shall see.

 

November and a Demonic NaNoWriMo

If you’re wondering why there have been no new postings of my interview with the Guardian on my blog, let me solve the mystery. The interview has become far more complex than I had expected and, after some serious consultation, the Guardian and I decided that I should remove myself from the interview for my own protection and sanity. He did, however, concede, that as far as the latter was concerned, we might already be too late. JSeriously, he needs to work on his sense of humor.

 

 

Don’t worry, however, the Guardian’s story will be told in its entirety. As luck would have it November is coming up, and that means National Novel Writing Month! NaNoWriMo is one of my favorite ways to write a novel, when I actually can schedule it in. Turns out, this year, I can! A Demon’s Taleis now on the schedule to be written during November – or at least as much of it as I can manage. The premise of NaNoWriMo is to write a fifty-thousand-word novel in a month. While my novels are always at least twice that long, NaNoWriMo is the perfect way to focus my efforts and get a rip-roaring start to a longer story.

 

The chapter by chapter synopsis for A Demon’s Taleis finished, and I can tell you right now, the story the Guardian has shared is a doozy. I’m very excited to be the scribe who will be writing it. Here is the blurb.

 

 

A Demon’s Tale Blurb:

 

PI, Elise North, resurrects her career as an investigative journalist when she is asked to interview a demon. Imprisoned within the body of a vampire, this demon has a confession to make, one he hopes to manage without the knowledge of his jailor, whose friendship and hard-earned trust he doesn’t want to lose. In addition to his confession, he seeks to connect with an elusive witch called Glinda, who may be able to free his vampire/jailor from the nightmares that haunt her and threaten to become a reality. He knows that Elise is the only one who can keep their meetings secret from the vampire, who is his prison.

In book four of the Medusa Consortium Series, the Guardian, the demon imprisoned inside vampire and Scribe, Susan Innes, tells his own dark tale to a woman with an ulterior motive and a startling gift of her own.

 

 

Free Reads and Giveaways

 

Halloween Spooktacular EBook Giveaway

 

 

Forget the tricks! You’ll find only treats in this Halloween extravaganza. Get ready to fill your ereader with ghostly delights. To celebrate Halloween, check out Bookfunnel’s thrilling collection of speculative fiction sure to give you goose bumps and keep you reading way into the new year. From vampires to ghosts to monsters howling in the night, you’ll be sure to satisfy your Halloween fix with our FREE READS! Follow the link and feast on these reading treats.https://books.bookfunnel.com/halloweengiveaway/5qcgozv0s1

 

 

Kindle Fire Giveaway at theShadows and Spellcraft Urban Fantasy Book Fair

 

 

Best Selling author, Laura Greenwoodis hosting the fabulousShadows and Spellcraft Urban Fantasy Book Fair, a regular treasure trove for Urban Fantasy/PNR lovers. This is the perfect place to discover your next great read.

 

Be sure to check out the Shadows and Spellcraft Kindle Fire Giveawayat the bottom of the page! Just follow the link above and click on the covers or banners to find out more about each book!

 

 

Free Reads on my Blog

There are always plenty of free reads on a Hopeful Romantic, some finished, some not, but plenty to enjoy at your leisure. Here’s a listing of just a few for your reading pleasure.

 

 

 

Interview with a Demon

While there will be no more interviews with the Guardian on my blog, the interview as it stands will remain for your reading enjoyment with the whole story coming out in the fictionalized A Demon’s Tale which I will begin writing on in November. So if you’ve not read the interview yet, it’s still there for you to enjoy.

Interview with a Demon

 

Concerto

A remote location, a ruined Scottish manor and a mysterious pianist, these are the story ingredients that have inspired Concerto. Below you’ll find the link to the latest episode, which will contain the links to all the earlier episodes, if you’ve not read them yet.

Concerto

 

Other Free On-line Reads from the Medusa’s Consortium Series:

 

In Pursuit of Mr. Sands

 

In Pursuit of Mr. Sands Part 1

 

In Pursuit of Mr. Sands Part 2

  

An Unexpected Encounter with a Vampire

 

Part 1 An Unexpected Encounter with Alonso Darlington

Part 2 An Unexpected Encounter with Alonso Darlington.

Part 3 An Unexpected Encounter with Alonso Darlington

 

What are You Reading?

I’ve just begun the Wild Card Series, edited by George R. R. Martin, with stories, novellas and novels by some of the best SciFi/fantasy writers in the business, including the man himself. These books are soon to become a television series, and come highly recommended by Mr Grace. So far, I’d say the man has good taste. Here’s part of the blurb from The Epic Beginning.

There is a secret history of the world – a history in which an alien virus struck the
Earth in the aftermath of World War II, endowing a handful of survivors with extraordinary powers. Some were called Aces – those with superhuman mental and physical abilities. Others became Jokers – cursed with bizarre mental or physical disabilities. Some turned their talents to the service of humanity. Others used their powers for evil. Wild Cards is their story.

 

And what are you reading? Whatever it is, enjoy!

 

Cover Reveal: The False Series by Meli Raine (@meliraineauthor)

Cover Reveal: THE FALSE SERIES: False Memory (Book 1), False Hope (Book 2) & False Start (Book 3)

Author: Meli Raine

Release date: November 13, 2018

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Series Description:

She’s faking her amnesia to fool a very real killer.

FALSE MEMORY (Book 1)

Release Date:  11/13/18

Apple Books Exclusive:  https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/false-memory/id1387687477?mt=11

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40405827-false-memory

Bookbub:  https://www.bookbub.com/books/false-memory-by-meli-raine

It all started with the bereavement flowers with my name on them.

Not the best way to wake up, right? I work in a flower shop. I know a funeral arrangement when I see one.

I know a killer when I see one, too. And one is standing in my hospital room right now, straight behind the man who saved my life.

I can’t tell anyone the truth, because that’s the fastest way to really die. So I do the next best thing. I “lose” my memory.

I fake my amnesia.

Pretending not to remember a brutal attempted murder has its perks. The killer is backing down, spending less time around me, loosening the noose.

The less I claim to recall, the more my rescuer, Duff, works to help me “remember.” I hate lying to him.

But he doesn’t understand that my memory is dangerous. To me. And to him.

Fooling everyone isn’t easy. It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done.

Except it’s starting to look like I’ve been fooling myself.

In more ways than one.

 

FALSE HOPE (Book 2)

Release Date:  12.11.18

Apple Books Exclusive:  https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/false-hope/id1421994196?mt=11

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/42088265-false-hope

Bookbub:  https://www.bookbub.com/books/false-hope-by-meli-raine

 

FALSE START (Book 3)

Release Date:  01/15/19

Apple Books Exclusive:  https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/false-start/id1421999168?mt=11

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/42088271-false-start

Bookbub:  https://www.bookbub.com/books/false-start-by-meli-raine

 

Author Bio:

Meli Raine writes romantic suspense with hot bikers, intense undercover DEA agents, bad boys turned good, and Special Ops heroes — and the women who love them. Meli rode her first motorcycle when she was five years old, but she played in the ocean long before that. She lives in New England with her family.

Social Media Links:

Website:  http://meliraine.com/

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/meliraine

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/meliraineauthor

Bookbub:  https://www.bookbub.com/authors/meli-raine

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13536295.Meli_Raine

Newsletter:  http://eepurl.com/beV0gf

Cover reveal organized by Writer Marketing Services.

 

Meditations on Laundry

“We went through a lot of workout clothes this week,” I say. Raymond is making coffee and I’m folding clothes in front of the drying rack that clutters our kitchen whenever we do laundry. Sometimes it clutters our kitchen all week long until I finally get around to folding the clean clothes and putting them away. However this week I am making a virtuous effort to get everything ironed and put away by Wednesday.

 

“We’ve had extra workouts this week,” he says as we both listen to the satisfying gurgle of the mocha maker sitting on the cooker.

 

“Both your gees are clean and ironed, all ready for Saturday.” I nod to the pristine karate uniforms hanging over the kitchen door. He teaches a karate class on Saturdays in Sutton and goes into London for a workout in the morning as well.

 

“Thanks.” He says, getting out the coffee cups. Raymond doesn’t iron, but he makes kick-ass coffee and a mean bowl of oatmeal. “Are you going in with me to walk?”

 

“I plan to.” I just happen to be folding the lavender Dragonfly pole shorts and top I wore Thursday night, going through in my head very quickly the little combo we worked on that night. I’m still not getting the Juliet spin quite right, but I’ll get there. I smile at the memory.

 

I don’t smile at the memory of the ratty tank top I wear whenever I do the roots of my hair between visits to the hairdresser – always something I put off until I start getting skunk strip down the centre of my part. I fold it hastily and put it in the basket. Interesting that I take care in folding the clothes that I have fond memories of wearing recently, and not so much with the ones I don’t.

 

Raymond hands me the coffee just in time as I turn my attention to the frustrating task of folding his myriad black socks. The thing is, he has a gazillion pairs and they all look almost but not quite exactly the like. They’re just different enough to make matching them a real nightmare. Some have different coloured toes, some are ribbed differently and there are at least three kinds that are identical except for the ribbing on the cuffs, which varies in width by millimeters. I hate folding men’s black socks. This morning he has pity on me and takes the task off my hands so I can return to the pleasure of folding the history of our week told in laundry.

 

“You’ve got a rip there on the sleeve,” I say, holding up a blue shirt. “And the collar’s getting tatty. I think we should retire this one.”

 

He studies it for a moment and nods his agreement. “I caught it on the corner of the filing cabinet in the printer room. Something needs to be done about that.”

 

“You know, every week we can detail the past seven day’s history in our clean laundry,” I say. In our dirty laundry too, I think, but I’d rather not think about that too much, reminded of the ripe load of workout clothes I put in with extra detergent on long cycle.

 

He gives me The Look – the one he always does when he thinks possibly meds might be requires. Then he nods to my coffee cup, because clearly I haven’t had enough caffeine yet this morning.

 

“No, seriously.” I pull a pair of his blue workout shorts off the rack. “Remember kettle bells last week?”

 

“That was a killer,” he says with a smile that says he likes kettle bells class best when it’s a killer.

 

“And look, those walking trousers — I wore those in to try on new boots at the North face shop, but they didn’t have my size. Then I got ‘em muddy on the walk to Newland’s corner the day after.

 

“And that long-sleeve t-shirt there,” I nodded to a faded red V-neck. “I wore that last Wednesday when the house was like a deep freeze and I was trying to finish up the chapter by chapter synopsis for Nanowrimo. I wore that blue hoodie too and spilled tea on it in the process, and then I got toothpaste on it that evening when I brushed my teeth before bed.”

 

“I guess you’re right,” he says, looking around at our partially folded history lesson. “I never thought of it that way.

 

Neither had I, but there have to be a thousand stories in people’s laundry – dirty or clean. My laundry mostly tells the story of someone who writes and works from home, someone who walks a lot and works out a lot. Raymond’s tells the story of a man working in management, seeing clients, catching up on never-ending reports. They tell the story of a man who loves martial arts and loves being active. Sometimes there are travel stories, like the stain from some exotic sauce acquired while entertaining clients in a seafood restaurant in Alexandria. Sometimes there are anatomy stories, like the way his socks wear on the heels while mine wear out on the bottoms. We both threw away a couple pairs of socks after we’d finished the Coast to Coast walk a few years ago. I wear high socks when the weather’s cold and I’m sitting on my arse spending long hours in with my characters. I wear short light socks in the gym.

 

The point is that the stories of our lives and the fodder for the stories of lives I make up can unfold – or fold, in this case – in unexpected ways. Perhaps Raymond was actually using his martial arts skills to fight off spies who infiltrated the copy room to steal company secrets. Perhaps that’s how he ripped his shirt. Perhaps I woke up this morning and found myself folding the laundry of some stranger, none of it mine, none of it familiar. Perhaps the mud on my walking trousers was actually from my night haunts of staking vampires in old churchyards.

 

Mind you, most of the time, the folding and putting away of laundry is cause for little more than a sigh of relief that it’s done for this week and I can take down the racks and unclutter the kitchen. But sometimes, even folding the laundry can be more than it actually appears to be, and at the end of the day, everything tells a story – even men’s mismatched black socks.

 
© 2018 K D Grace
The Romance Reviews

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