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Posts Tagged ‘paranormal erotic romance’

Dianna Hardy Shares the Story Behind The Witching Pen Novellas

It’s my pleasure to welcome the delicious Dianna Hardy to A Hopeful Romantic today to share with us the story behind her exciting Witching Pen novellas.

Book One: The Witching Pen

Book Two: The Sands of Time

Book Three: The Demon Bride

It started with a domain name. Yes, seriously: thewitchingpen.co.uk

That’s how it began. I bought it three years ago when I was publishing my first ever book (in paperback – I knew nothing of eBooks then): a collection of poetry that I had spent my life writing sporadically.

I knew poetry wasn’t going to be all that I wrote, so I wanted a domain name that I could use for my website that would be flexible enough to encompass other genres, including the spiritual / occult books that I occasionally bring out.

As the months went on, I began to write erotic fiction. (That’s how I discovered eBooks.) That developed into paranormal romance, which in turn included hot urban fantasies… and now I truly am multi-genre, because, for the life of me, I can’t choose just one genre – I need to write anything I please at any given time!

DiannaHardy.com became my domain name, and thewitchingpen.co.uk became defunct.

But I liked that domain name – I couldn’t just give it up! And suddenly, just like that, the idea for The Witching Pen fell into my lap; out of the sky, or so it seemed. What if you really did own a pen that was witchy and magical, and that pen could do great things? What if it was mightier than the sword? Would you use it for good or for bad?

I had the plot, now I needed characters. I had the idea of a very strong, street-smart heroine wielding this pen to start with, but it didn’t work – not at all. And as I wrote her, within the first chapter, she morphed into this sweet, kind and innocent witch, who could appear meek to those who didn’t know her well, but who carried unrivalled power through her bloodline, and, unbeknownst to her, through a pen she happens to find one day: The Witching Pen.

Enter her best friend, Karl, the boy next door who she’s always loved – who has always loved her – who she can never be with because of a ‘curse’ that ensures she will lose her powers to any man she ever sleeps with … My God! I had book one! I had a paranormal romance.

From that point, the writing took on a life of its own, the characters became … real … (almost) and I never looked back. Books two and three tumbled out of me; sometimes with ease and sometimes through sweating blood and tears. But that is the nature of this series: it is easy, but hard; it is light, but dark; it is trust and betrayal; it is a test of the self.

In short: The Witching Pen began as a domain name intended to represent me and my writing, but it became a paranormal romance series that tested me and my writing; tested it in wonderful, beautiful and torturous ways. It truly is magical to me, how one can start with just a word; just a sentence … and it grows, and grows, and a year later, you have a trilogy that – thank God – most readers so far have fallen in love with.

To me, The Witching Pen will always be just that: a tool that somehow weaves magic with words. And I don’t always know if I’m the magician, or just the observer.

The Witching Pen Novellas are available in digital format, with the first trade paperback having been released in April. All info and buy links can be found on the series website The Witching Pen Novellas.

 Thanks so much to K D Grace for taking the time to host me on her blog.

 Book Promo Spotlight: The Demon Bride, by Dianna Hardy

The Demon Bride (Book Three of The Witching Pen Novellas)

Preceded by Book One and Book Two.

Two thousand and eleven years after the birth of the Failed One, the Witching Pen will be made manifest on Earth by the Great Shanka Witch of the Old Scrolls. By her hand, the Earth will rumble and shatter, and all dimensions will bleed into one.

The true purpose of the Witching Pen has been revealed, and it must be destroyed before an apocalyptic prophecy comes true. There’s just one problem — the Pen is indestructible.

As everyone searches for much needed answers, Elena lays down plans for a radical mission to save her mother from the Shanka’s shadow world.

Meanwhile, Mary has finally discovered who she really is, and what that means for the human race.

What Mary doesn’t know, is that Gwain has been searching for her for over ten thousand years, and had lost all hope of finding her. Now that he has her, he’s faced with an impossible choice: does he save the woman who altered his very existence, or does he sacrifice her to save mankind?

eBook available NOW!

Amazon US   Amazon UK   Smashwords

View the whole series at the series website.

EXCERPT

Prologue

Her fingernails dug into his wrist, as her scream pierced the air.

“God damn it!” he cursed. “Don’t you let go of me – don’t let go!”

But this was a battle they were both losing. The pulsing abyss beneath her was relentless, swallowing everything too close to it, like some ominous, living black hole, and she was more than too close to it – she was dangling above it, her feet touching the hungry darkness.

Terror gripped her – an unforgiving fear she’d never known, and she’d known a lot of fear.

For a second, exhaustion took her over, and her fingers slipped a little.

“No!” he shouted, and squeezed his hand in a tighter vice around her wrist. His other hand – the left one – was buried in the earth. He had pegged himself into it in an attempt to stop their forward movement. He had his legs entwined around a tree trunk, but the tree was now coming up at the roots, bowing to the force of the suction. Every muscle in his body was straining, bulging unnaturally – she wondered if he’d ripped any yet. Hell, he was strong – but not strong enough.

She looked up, forcing her head to move against the pull of the abyss, and met his eyes. Steely grey, and usually so steady, they were now marred with panic and anger. But still he held her gaze, and still – despite the horror of what was about to happen – she found a semblance of peace within his presence.

“Let me go,” she whispered.

Her answer was a tenacious growl.

“It’ll pull you in if you don’t. It doesn’t want you, it wants me. Let me go.”

He tightened his hold on her.

Damn it! She won’t risk him. Not now, not ever.

She spoke to him in the Old Tongue. “I’m not supposed to be here – it was always going to be this way.”

Determination hardened his features.

My God, he’s stubborn.

“I love you,” she whispered, and let the truth of her words touch him, seep into him, through the all-consuming connection they shared – one which she suspected was about to be ripped to shreds.

He was momentarily stunned at the weight behind her words. She had him off-guard, and in that split second, with a strength she didn’t know she possessed, she brought her left hand up, fighting against the vacuum with all she had, and tore into his cheek with her nails.

Startled, his grip loosened, and it was enough.

She yanked her right hand out of his.

His look of shock quickly turned to one of both rage and desperation when he finally realised what she’d done.

Blood seeped through the cuts on his cheeks. Her own face stung in response.

“Forgive me,” she pleaded. “You mean too much to me.”

Tears welled in his eyes.Tears? Oh, no, m’angeal, don’t cry. I’m not worth your tears.

“I’ll find you, I swear it,” he choked out.As the abyss closed up around her, she uttered a prayer, and she had no idea whether she was praying that he would, or that he wouldn’t.

Chapter One

Mary jolted awake, then moaned as the pounding in her head dominated all her senses. A nightmare? No. This pounding felt like normal pain – the kind you had when you hit your head, not the type of pain that seared her during her nightmares.

What had woken her up? A dream? But she didn’t have dreams – not normal dreams, anyway…

She tried to grasp at it and failed, the throbbing in her skull preventing her from going in too deep.

And she was hot – too hot – baking hot.

Where the fuck am I?

And far too quickly, she remembered her encounter with the monster in the prison, and being dropped into the hole in the ground. A portal of some kind? The memories rushed at her – they came so quickly, she thought she might puke. Ugh. She remembered being thrown down and cracking her head on the cement.
Shit. She hoped she didn’t have concussion.

Gingerly, she tried to move and realised that something was crusted onto the left side of her face, which smarted big time – she guessed it was her blood. Her face felt mangled. She must have done it when she’d cracked her head. A glance down at herself told her she was naked. That meant she’d been undressed.

Fuck.

She mentally assessed her body, trying to figure out if she’d been messed with in any way. It felt the same as usual, apart from her arms. Looking up with effort, she could see that her hands were tightly secured above her head in metal cuffs, each attached to a stone wall by short, linked chains.

She gave her hands a little wriggle. Pins and needles shot down to her elbows, which ached. She winced. Could this be any worse?

“She awakes,” came a voice, low and soft, to her right.

It just got worse.

Excerpt copyright © Dianna Hardy, 2012. All rights reserved.

Dianna Hardy is a multi-genre author of paranormal things, dark things, poetic things, sexy things, taboo things, and sometimes funny things.She writes about witches, demons and angels. All info about her books can be found on her website DiannaHardy.com

 

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Body Temperature and Rising, the Long Way Around

Body Temperature and Rising, volume one of my Lakeland Heatwave Trilogy, is now available in all ebook formats with most major distributors. It will be available in print in February. After a very strange, circuitous journey to completion, I’m very excited to be able to share my first ever paranormal erotic romance with the world.

Body Temperature and Rising didn’t start out to be a trilogy. In fact, it started out, three Novembers ago, as my first effort to write a novel in a month for National Novel Writing Month. (NaNoWriMo). During November, National Novel Writing Month, people everywhere of all ages from all walks of life attempt to write a novel in one month. For me, not only was it my first attempt to write a novel in a month, but it was my first ever attempt to write an erotic novel.

Considering the way it all began, Body Temperature and Rising could hardly have been anything BUT paranormal. My good friend Helen Callaghan and I decided to get the first day of our NaNoWriMo experience off to a good start by driving to Avebury to write at the pub there.

Avebury is a village set in the middle of the biggest Neolithic stone circle in Europe, a stone circle 500 years older than the Pyramids.

The Red Lion Inn. Taken on a much nicer, much less haunted day.

Because the stones are much easier than Stonehenge to access, and there is no charge, Avebury has become a gathering place for modern Pagans and other New Age folks. And our timing was perfect, as it was the day after the old Celtic holiday of Samhain and even in spite of the torrential downpour that we arrived in, we found ourselves surrounded by druids, witches, wiccans and all manner of Pagans celebrating what is essentially Celtic New Year. The people watching was fabulous, even with the drowned-rat effect.

Never mind that, Helen and I were there to write, so after a scuppered attempt at an inspiring walk in the wind and rain, we settled in at the Red Lion Inn, right in the centre of the stone circle. This 16th Century pub proudly boasts the reputation of being ‘the most haunted pub in England.’

It didn’t take us long to get pulled into the writing, so after lunch we wrote our way through numerous coffees and pots of tea, watching the super-saturated Pagans come and go in the pouring rains. There was a fire in the fireplace, and we were both in the zone.

By late afternoon, sharing leftover Halloween candy across the table while the Muse whispered in our ears the pub was nearly. Suddenly there was an enormous banging sound, like doors slamming. It seemed to be coming from the hall that led to the restroom behind us. The space that had felt toasty warm all at once felt chilled, and we were both shivering. Seconds later, one of the wait staff came running back to the restrooms looking very panicked and very pale. From behind the bar to the kitchen we heard murmurs and nervous laughter. We overheard mentions of the ghost, followed by more murmurs and mentions of supernatural phenomena when the volunteer returned unscathed to join the rest of the staff cowering behind the bar. And then the room was warm again. Helen and I ate more sweets, ordered another pot of tea and discussed our near-brush with the supernatural. Then we kept writing.

One of the Avebury stones on a nice day.

It was only as dark settled and the rain hadn’t let up even a little bit that we remembered two things. We weren’t parked in the pub car park, but in the National Trust car park on the other side of the village, a car park that closed at dark.

We quickly gathered our belongings and made a run for it, trying to hold umbrellas to protect us from horizontal rain, and struggling to see our way on the tiny, unlit path back to the car park, illuminated only by the pale green light of Helen’s mobile phone. With boots full of water and a banged knee from the metal fence post I ran into, we finally arrived at the Car Park to find it deserted except for Helen’s car, and thankfully for the National Trust Land Rover parked by the gate with a lovely NT employee waiting patiently to let us out.

Oh, and that intsy-weentsy little second thing we’d forgotten about… We’d been so busy talking on the way over to Avebury that we’d forgotten to get petrol for the car, and we were running on fumes. Avebury has a pub, several tourist shops and a post office. No garage. The next town of any size up the deserted highway was Marlborough. Everyone with any common sense was long since inside out of the horrid weather. It felt like we were the only people on the planet. We were only fifteen miles from Marlborough, but we weren’t sure we were even going to get to when we realized the Kennet River, which usually runs under the road was now running OVER the road. Thinking only of the fumes quickly dissipating in the petrol tank, we ploughed through the raging waters of the Kennet and continued on our way, a thought which still gives me a chill when I think what might have happened crossing a flooded river as we did. But only a few miles up the road, looking like the gates to paradise was a small Murco station. And it was open! We were saved! Thus began Lakeland Heatwave: Body Temperature and Rising, which at that time was called ‘Love Spell.’

During the month that I wrote BTR, a time when I already had a very full writing plate on top of the novel-in-a-month plan, the paranormal experience continued as I was magically transformed into The Bitch

Research is hard work

from Hell, a creature so unpredictable, so terrifying, so vile that only my husband, Raymond the Brave, could successfully handle being in her presence for long periods of time. The man has permanent psychological scars from that infamous November, I have no doubt.

In the meantime, I got trapped in the Eurostar Tunnel and The Initiation of Ms Holly was born, followed by The Pet Shop while BTR languished tucked away in my computer as a Word file. I just wasn’t confident enough to attempt anything paranormal. Then, maybe it was the influence of the Avebury Ghost, but I decided to propose Body Temperature and Rising to Xcite, knowing that it would need a lot of reworking because I had grown a lot as a writer. Once Xcite accepted my proposal, I found myself totally unable to continue with the rewrite. Every attempt felt like a false start, every effort felt like it wasn’t right somehow.

Just when I was about to lose heart, I took a long walk and realized that if it were going work as I envisioned it, Lakeland Heatwave would have to be a trilogy. Xcite went for the proposal and from that point on, the ghosts and witches practically wrote the story for me.

Of course with the action set in the Lake District and the first chapters set in a bad storm on the fells and in a slate mine shaft, I was forced to make several research trips to the Lakes. How I suffer for my art! I have no doubt I’ll need to do much such suffering as the Lakeland Heatwave Trilogy unfolds.

Body Temperature and Rising will be available in print in February 2012, and as is the happy tradition, will be celebrated with wild partying and raunchy reading at Sh! Hoxton.

Blurb:

American transplant to the Lake District, MARIE WARREN, didn’t know she could unleash demons and enflesh ghosts until a voyeuristic encounter on the fells ends in sex with the charming ghost, ANDERSON and night visits from a demon. To help her cope with her embarrassing and dangerous new abilities, Anderson brings her to the ELEMENTALS, a coven of witches who practice rare sex magic that temporarily allowsghosts access to the pleasures of the flesh.

DEACON, the demon Marie has unleashed, holds an ancient grudge against TARA STONE, coven high priestess, and will stop at nothing to destroy all she holds dear. Marie and her landlord, the reluctant young farmer, TIM MERIWETHER, are at the top of his list. Marie and Tim must learn to wield coven magic and the numinous power of their lust to stop Deacon’s bloody rampage before the coven is torn apart and more innocent people die.

Dale Head. The sight Marie would have seen without the mist.

Excerpt:

‘First you treat me like I don’t exist, then you go all big brother on me like I’m too delicate and soft-brained to take care of myself. Well I have news for you, Tim Meriwether, I was taking care of myself for a long time before you decided I needed looking after.’ She shoved again, and this time he grabbed her with such force that she felt the bones in her neck pop.

With her forward momentum, he stumbled over an uneven paving stone, lost his footing and went over backward into a manger full of fresh hay, pulling her on top of him.

Before she could shove and claw her way to her feet, He grabbed her around the waist and rolled, pinning her beneath the weight of his body. He gave her no time to think about it, but pulled her into a bruising kiss, forcing her lips apart, probing her hard pallet with his dexterous tongue, biting her lower lip before he came up fighting for the breath to speak. ‘I think about you a lot, Marie,’ His chest rose and fell in hungry gasps. ‘But I promise you, none of those thoughts were even remotely brotherly.’

She bucked underneath him and clawed at his shirt. ‘Then do something about it, damn it, and stop toying with me.’ Several buttons popped and flew across the stable floor. He forced her legs apart with his knee, moving it up to rub against the crotch of her jeans. She shoved his shirt open and arched up to him as he pushed her t-shirt up and manoeuvred and tugged, forcing her breasts free from her bra into his spayed hands and hungry lips.

She fumbles with the fly of his jeans, sliding an anxious hand into his boxers. He huffed a breathless grunt, and the muscles low in his stomach tense as she closed her fingers around his engorged penis and began to stroke.

He had just began the anxious efforts with her own fly when suddenly the stable door slammed shut, and the light bulb overhead exploded in a shower of fine glass plunging the two into total darkness.

Marie yelped, and Tim cursed. As they fought their way to their feet, the mare screamed, and they could hear her struggling.

Tim vaulted over the manger’s edge seconds before Marie, calling back to her. ‘Get the door. Get it open.’

Struggling to secure her jeans with one hand, Marie felt her way along the perimeter of the stable toward the door. The relief was short-lived when her fingers closed around the handle, and it wouldn’t budge.

‘It’s locked,’ she shouted above the desperate cries of the mare.

‘What do you mean, it’s locked,’ Tim shouted back. ‘It doesn’t have a lock. It’ can’t be locked.’

‘I’m telling you it won’t open,’ she yelled back, feeling an icy chill blasting her from behind. With one final tug, the door gave and she tumbled backward on her ass. The sharp knife edge of light that shot through the darkness was blinding, like a flashbulb going off, leaving a deep bruised after image dancing in front of her face, an after image of Deacon.

She cried out and crab walked backward, as he stepped toward her, unfurling his bullwhip, in what seemed like endless slow motion.

 

 

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Sommer Marsden Tells Us What Happens on Page 237, Or Not

I’m elated to have the totally yummy Sommer Marsden as my guest today. Sommer’s on a blog tour to promote her sizzling new paranormal novel, Big Bad.  And to celebrate the release of Big Bad, Sommer is giving away a copy of this fab new novel to a lucky commenter.

Welcome, Sommer! I can’t wait to find out what happens on page 237!

And on page 237 they will…

Yeah, see that’s not me. The plotter, the planner, the index card holder. See that title up there? You will never hear me say that. Which is why it can be terrifying writing something like paranormal. I swore I’d never do it for reasons just like that.

If I’m on page 237…I might know what happens on page 238. I might not. I tend to fly by the seat of my pants and blindly follow characters wherever they  go. Down dark alleys, into houses that are currently being stalked by bad guys, down a long dark highway to another state in the rain. I fall in love with them, sometimes when it’s a good idea, and sometimes when it’s not. Sometimes with more than one person. I just…follow.

See, they are very much in charge. Not me. Imagine if you will, the quiet court reporter in the corner, slowly but surely taking down everything that happens as it happens—in shorthand (in my world shorthand=typos…heh). That is me! I am the court reporter.

Which is why you will NOT find world building in my paranormal. You might find a reality with…accessories? Something that is pretty much real life but a smidge left of center. I write men (or women) who just happen to be able to turn into wolves. The way I happen to be able to remember pretty much every single lyric to every song I’ve ever sat to listen to. I write shifters who have shifting ingrained in their history the way Native American or Scottish is ingrained in mine. People who inadvertently become psychic. Like dropping an ice cream cone on the sidewalk. And hey, as far as past lives, I’ve done my share of research and talked to my share of people—but that was out of sheer interest. It just happened to crop up in my book through no fault of my own.

Basically, I do what they tell me. I sit in the corner in my little skirt and nerd glasses with my hair in a bun (okay, leggings, big socks, funky tees and possibly a messy bed head hair twist) and do as told.

And I never know what is going to happen on page 237 for sure until page 237. When I feel that nervous ‘oh no! what happens next!?” I usually go take a long hot shower or a long wiener walk with the dachshund and the characters tell me. Ellis and Ruby and Tyler were known to whisper to me while I was washing my hair or doing dishes or walking my wiener. And they usually only gave up little snippets of info. Mostly, I had to sit down, shut up and take notes.

I don’t build worlds. It’s not my deal. I leave that to the pros who can spin entire worlds out of nothing but gossamer and lace. Me, I write about people who are somewhat accidentally special and then I listen to what they have to say. They always know what’s going to happen on page 237…they just take their sweet time tellin

Blurb

Lust according to Ruby:

You read those books where they explain it all away. They make it fine with rationalization. But what if I just want to? What if that’s my whole reason? My life is not a romance novel. I don’t need justification. I’m a grown woman who knows what she wants.

I want Ellis. And I want Tyler.

And I won’t apologize…

What’s worse than wanting both your best friend who’s a vampire and the just-back-in-town alpha werewolf you find yourself fixated on? Finding out that the werewolf in question wants you, too. But he isn’t too keen on the sharing part. Oh, and by the way, you’re his dead mate.

Okay, okay, dead is harsh—reincarnated.

What’s worse than that? Realizing that you believe the whole crazy tale of reincarnation. Because it seems to be true.

And yet you still want them both—together. Vampire and werewolf and you in the middle. Stuck between two predators who want you and only you. To complicate it all, you find out that you can have it. With your new/old mate’s blessing. But just one time before he claims you as his.

Are you brave enough to take it? That one shot?

Well…Are you?

Excerpt from BIG BAD:

I didn’t want to talk about him being mine or me being his. Or the feeling I got in the pit of my stomach when he said stuff like that. The feeling was akin to peace and security.

“Can I get you a dri—“

I never got the sentence out because he pinned me to the wall outside my small bedroom and kissed me. The kiss was the kind that left no room for talking. His tongue tangled with mine until I felt the wet intensity of his kiss all the way in my pussy. My ears thrummed with my pulse, his shirt was soft under my fingers, his chest hard.

“Back up or it’s right here in the hallway.” Ellis growled.

I walked back as he guided me and finally the bed hit the back of my knees and I folded myself down onto the mattress. Ellis covered me, pinning my hands at my sides with his much bigger ones. His belly pressed to mine, his cock hard against the split of my pussy. I wiggled just to feel the pressure of him through my jeans.

“Christ, don’t do that. I’ll come in my pants like a young wolf,” he laughed. His teeth flashed in the low light of my bedroom—nothing but a golden nightlight lit the periphery.

“I’ve never seen you change. Can I?” Now that it was in my head, I wanted it. I wanted to see him in wolf form, run my fingers through his fur. Possibly other things. But I didn’t think that and I certainly wouldn’t say it. I simply acknowledged that I wanted to experience Ellis in all his natural forms.

“One day.” He rose and shimmied out of his clothes. Slowly. I watched the flex and roll of each hard muscle. The flat of his belly exposed one button at a time. He peeled off his boxer briefs and chuckled at my attentive gaze. “You make me feel like I should have dollar bills sticking out of my waistband.”

I blinked and then caught his joke. “Oh, how rude. I do have some singles. Would you like a tip, sexy boy? Shake your money maker.”

He didn’t flinch, but he didn’t smile either. “Take off the clothes, toots. We’re going to do it right this time.”

“We did it wrong last time?”

“Let me help you,” he said and his voice was so low the fine hairs in my ears felt ticklish trying to make out his words.

His fingers tugged at my black top and then my bra. Naked from the waist up, I tried to focus on breathing. He was perfect and sexy and looked so fucking serious my body buzzed with nerves. “I can—“

“Hush, Ruby.” His lips found my breast and his tongue did lazy tours of each one before his teeth found first one nipple, then the other. I felt the tug and thump of my arousal in my cunt. I touched him, just to feel how warm he was. How hard he was. And prove to myself that Ellis Bach was real.

He dropped small light kisses from my breastbone to my belly button and his fingers worked the button of my jeans with ease. “Up,” he said and I thrust my hips up so he could snag my jeans and panties and pull them down. I kicked off my boots so the jeans could come off and Ellis peeled off my over-the-knee socks.

“I’m like a trained dog,” I joked, my voice shaky with emotion.

“You are no such thing. But I like dogs,” he said. “A close relative of yours truly.” His laugh rumbled through him and vibrated into me as he kissed the sides of my thighs and the backs of my knees. I gave a small squeak and the laugh grew deeper. “Ticklish?”

“Yes. Will you change?” I blurted. I hadn’t even known I was going to say until it was out. But I barreled on, fueled by false bravery. “Will you? Please. Change for me, I want to see you.”

“Soon,” he said, licking my hipbone gently. “Not this time.”

Remember to leave a comment and you’ll have a chance to win a copy of sizzling eBook copy of Big Bad, then find out what’s on pate 237 for yourself!

Warnings: This title contains graphic sex and language, spanking, m/f/m sex, multiple partners.

 

Buy link for BIG BAD by Sommer Marsden from Excessica (also on Kindle, at ARe, Bookstrand, Smashwords and more):

http://www.excessica.com/books/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=22&products_id=463&zenid=d01ee27908400fa90dea4bdce8c1fb87

 

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The Story Behind The Story: Taken By Surprise by Nichelle Gregory

The lovely Nichelle Gregory is my guest today on A Hopeful Romantic, and she’s sharing the story behind her sizzling paranormal romance, Taken by Surprise. Welcome, Nichelle!

 

Every story I’ve ever written has a backstory and Taken By Surprise is no different. This steamy erotic paranormal romance was originally penned for a submission call. I knew my heroine’s name would be Zori from the start. I’d had this name rattling around in my head for awhile to use. The name Zori has always evoked an image of a gorgeous, exotic female in my mind.

When I started working on Taken By Surprise, I knew I needed a unique heroine name that was memorable with a totally feminine feel. Finally, I was working on the right story and the right character for the name!

The Greek translation for Zori is: “Golden Dawn.” Beautiful, no? And so fitting for my wickedly beautiful heroine!

So, I had a name, but what exactly was Zori? I knew my hero would be a werewolf and I needed Zori to be just as fearsome. She had to be a supernatural being, but which one? I wanted to pick a female creature to write about that hadn’t been overly done. I wracked my brain for the perfectly fierce heroine. She had to be tough, yet sexy, scary, yet completely relatable to female readers.

And then it hit me! I would incorporate my love for Greek mythology and select one of my fave mythological creatures to base Zori after! Once I knew what Zori was, the rest of the story flowed. Taken By Surprise was one of those tales that literally wrote itself! The submission call I was crafting this tale for only wanted short stories of 5,000 words or less. Taken By Surprise ended up being just short of 4,000 words.

I was very pleased with how my edgy erotic tale came together. It was the first story in which my heroine actually died in the end! I submitted it and waited to hear if it would be selected for inclusion in the anthology.

Insert a *sigh* here.

My story wasn’t selected. I was a little bummed, okay, a lot bummed, but I’d told myself if my story wasn’t selected, I’d flesh out the rest it. I gave myself a new deadline and challenged myself in expanding the original work.

No longer needing it to be a dark erotic tale, I had to reshape the ending. We can’t have the heroine dying in an erotic romance! I took my time adding in parts, filling in scenes and making the story and characters pop with energy. The finished story ended up being almost 17,000 words and was even better than the original!

Taken By Surprise surprised me! I wasn’t certain I could truly broaden the story without disturbing the feel of it and I definitely didn’t expect it to be as long as it ended up being.

Lesson learned? Don’t let a rejection make you stop believing in your story. Do take another look at it, rework it if necessary, but pass it on to someone else who might just treasure your tale as much as you do!

Blurb:

Zori revels in the control she exerts over the opposite sex; no man has ever challenged her in the bedroom or out…until she meets Greyson. 

She’s beautiful, intelligent and sometimes deadly to the men who enter her bedroom. For Zori, voracious appetites for sex and food reign supreme. She’s never known rejection, romance or love…her life and heart has always been her own. The moment she sets eyes on Greyson, Zori makes it her quest to have him in her bed, but she’s finally met her match. Can two lovers with secrets face the truth and trust their hearts?

Excerpt:

“Can I buy you a drink?”

“No, thanks.” Zori barely flicked a glance towards the handsome blond ogling her body as she walked by. Men could be so pathetic. She looked across the sunken dance floor to the bar against the back wall to see her target tilt back a bottle of beer. Her talons scrapped against the smooth floor as she waded through sweaty dancers along the wall to reach the other side of the club. As she approached, he turned around and their eyes met. A zing of anticipation raced through her blood as she moved next to him at the bar.

The thrill of the hunt always excited her.

She leaned against the counter, fully aware of his dark gaze running over her body as she pretended to inspect the bottles of alcohol on display in front of her. With a casual toss of her ebony tresses, she turned her face to see arresting brown eyes staring at her with interest. She moved a little closer to him with a practiced shy smile. “I’m Zori.”

“Greyson.” He offered a slight grin before taking another sip of his drink.
Up close, her guy was taller and bigger than she first estimated which pleased her. She felt sorry for the expensive suit straining to give way to the hard muscles concealed underneath. “Happy Halloween.”

Greyson lifted an eyebrow. “Back at you.”

The sexy smile curving his full lips tempted her to pounce on him right then and there, witnesses be damned.

“Are you here alone?”

He turned his body towards her, his deep voice carrying easily over the loud music.

“Yes.”

“Really…wow.”

His eyes moved from her folded wings down over the rest of her body.

Zori smiled, pleased, even though she’d heard enough compliments to last a lifetime. “Dance with me?” She began to move her hips to the seductive rhythmic pull of the DJ’s house mix which was tripling her desire to get him alone.

Greyson looked down at her feathered feet. “Can you dance in those?” His gaze lingered on her sharp claws.

Zori laughed. “C’mon.” She led him to the dance area and was even more impressed to discover he was a great dancer.

He pulled her in tight as she closed her eyes, enjoying the feel of his strong body moving against her own. She wrapped her arms around the thick column of his neck and drew in a tempting whiff of his sexy cologne. Dancing was nirvana. This was the one time she allowed her male partners to take the lead which Greyson did so masterfully. Their bodies swayed and dipped to the music as one and Zori enjoyed every minute of it.

“Can I buy you a drink?” Greyson asked several songs later when both of them were breathless and laughing.

“Absolutely.”

She took his hand as he manoeuvred them back to the bar. He stood out with his good looks and in his fine suit and females noticed him, eyeballed him, to Zori’s annoyance. She flashed one chick who had the audacity to step in the way of his path a venomous look that clearly said: He’s all mine, lady.

And she could hardly wait.

 

Taken By Surprise is available now with Total E-Bound Publishing!

 

Buy Link: http://www.total-e-bound.com/product.asp?strParents=&CAT_ID=&P_ID=1281

Author Bio:

Nichelle Gregory has been in love with books and writing since middle school. A lover of the arts, she enjoys anything that embraces the creative nature within us all. Bringing believable characters to life that thrill and excite her readers is a challenge that continues to push Nichelle. She loves creating stories involving super sexy alpha heroes with divine heroines in magical, exotic, and fantastic scenarios. So, gone on . . . Indulge your secret fetishes and desires in one of my simply sexy stories!   Visit her website http://www.simplysexystories.com and blog http://www.simplysexystories.blogspot.com

 

Thanks, Nichelle! As a lover of Greek mythology, and a lover of hot romance, I’d say you have a scorcher on your hands!

 

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Bits n Blogs by Tabitha Rayne

Tabitha Rayne is a rising star in the world of erotic romance, and I’m very pleased to have her at A Hopeful Romantic on her blog tour to promote her yummy new book, Mia’s Books, Tabitha, welcome!

Thanks for having me. This is my first venture into blog touring… eek!

I love, love, reading blogs – I can spend many an hour set aside for actually writing my new ideas down, reading about all your lives. I love it!  It is a wonderful thing to be able to catch a glimpse of other people’s thoughts, what inspires them, what annoys them, what makes them jump for joy… so this is me attempting to join this world…

The problem is, by the time I have written this, I might have missed some exciting news you’ve shared on Twitter. What if I’ve been left behind on an unfolding story into why you’ve decided not to take the offer of three nights in Bali…? Everything is so fast paced in this virtual world and sometimes, if I fall into a daydream (which is one of my favourite things) I can take an hour just to make a coffee! So what have I missed? I never watch soap operas but I think they must have the same addictive quality.

So as I am a writer, I guess blogging is like writing and sharing mini stories about yourself – and that makes it easier for me to get to grips with.

When I was writing Mia’s Books, I switched off the internet for four weeks and went underground. I comforted myself with the knowledge that I was creating a new world, giving birth to new characters and I needed to immerse myself in it all, and I loved doing it.

However, I can’t help feeling, what did I miss?

Mia’s Books

Ghost lover or mortal—can Mia have both?

Mia has a big problem. She is in love with two people, and one of them happens to be a ghost. After a late night seduction in a deserted library, Mia brings home a haunted book. The book contains a ghost which instructs her to seduce strangers on its behalf. Mia falls in love with one of her conquests and finds herself in a romantic tangle. Can she keep both her lovers, or will she have to choose?

Mia’s Books excerpt:

The book had changed colors. It was now jet black and lay seductively by the bed. Gently lifting her sheets off, Mia slowly made her way over to it as if she were trying to capture a bird.

Her fingers were trembling. Cold air chilled her hands as she reached out and picked it up. Thick raised letters on the cover gave her instruction. Open Me. And she did.

Rows upon rows of names and numbers merged into each other. It was a phone directory. Mia was disappointed, but curiosity kept her flicking the pages, watching number after number fly by. She was about to close it and just go back to bed when she realized the numbers were all the same and the name wasn’t a name at all—it was another instruction.

Call Me.

Mia flushed with excitement. Was this her ghost lover contacting her for real? She reached for the phone and dialed before she could change her mind.

Silence.

Mia flopped back onto the bed and let the phone fall by her ear. She began to ponder the fear that she might actually be going mad when a voice startled her.

“Hello?” She thrust the handset to her ear and strained to hear. “Hello?” she repeated, barely able to breathe in her excitement.

“Mia?” came a breathy whisper that set her nerve endings alight.

“Yes?” she whispered back.

“I need to s…” The voice faded, and Mia started to panic.

“What? You need to what? Please…don’t go.”

“…see you.” The sound was so faint that Mia had to strain to catch it. “Meet me at the park at dusk.” The line went dead.

Mia was exhilarated. It hadn’t been a dream. She was going to meet her ghost lover once more! She hadn’t been on a date in ages. Not since the insomnia had made her feel like a grumpy old hag. She suddenly felt young again—young and ready for anything…

Where to Buy Mia’s Books:

Buy from publisher http://www.beachwalkpress.com/mia%E2%80%99s-books/

Also available from all good eBook retailers, including Amazon, All Romance eBooks, Barnes & Noble and many more!

About Tabitha, and where to find her:

Tabitha Rayne loves her romance with the heat turned up. She lives in the country with her partner who has the difficult job of having to listen to new ideas and help her to focus on one project at a time.

Blog http://aneroticadventure.blogspot.com/

Twitter http://twitter.com/#!/TabithaErotica

Thanks for stopping by and sharing a bit about Mia’s Books with us, Tabitha. This hot little number sounds just too good to resist.

 

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