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
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)
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!
View the whole series at the series website.
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.
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.
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