Friday, April 17, 2015
The Disciple Series is now complete! Interview with L. Blankenship about her new release, Disciple VI
Today, I'm so pleased to have L. Blankenship return and share with my readers about her new release, Disciple VI, the end to her fantastic Disciple Series.
If Kate, the crown prince, and the knight had not changed the path of the war, what might have happened to the kingdom?
If the three of them hadn't been there to play their parts, the kingdom would have suffered far worse and more quickly. The saints recognized the talents in each of them and arranged for them to meet each other precisely because they were all needed to help defend the kingdom – things got complicated from there, though.
What tasks will Kate be able to perform as an elect?
“Elect” is a far-ranging role. Kate is her saint's right hand, so in the case of going to war she's expected to do whatever is needed in support of the cause and the kingdom. She was trained as a healer, originally, but she's moved beyond that. Over the winter, the saints kept her busy training for battle – as a peasant girl, she never dreamed she'd need that.
What are some of the ways Kate has grown through the course of this series?
Kate started out good-hearted but uncertain and easily bossed around. The secret mission in Part I started the work of toughening her up and building her confidence, and her increasing responsibilities have kept upping the ante throughout the series. The stakes have risen as well. She's taken some hard knocks along the way, but she hasn't given up.
Which of those do you think Kate would be most proud of? Which elements of her growth are you, as the author, most pleased with in realizing her development?
Kate's too overwhelmed at this point to think in terms of being proud of her accomplishments. The impending war and having to face the cause of her heartbreak is dominating her life. Personally, I respect her determination and how tough she's become since the start of Part I. She was something of a lesson to me, in that.
How do you feel about ending the series? Happy, accomplished, relieved, sad, bittersweet?
Back when I finished writing Disciple, there were lots of mental high-fives and hugs with the characters...and then we all went home and collapsed into bed, so to speak. There was a good deal of relief that it was over. We all needed a break from each other!
What writing project will be next for you?
I've written a few novels/novellas in the meantime – it's actually been a couple years since I finished Disciple. My current WIP is an urban fantasy medical drama. When I finish that, I think it's time to start polishing the three hard sci fi stories that have been waiting very patiently for attention. Hopefully there will be announcements on my blog soon!
War is coming. Kate Carpenter is only a peasant girl, but she’s determined to help defend the kingdom and its bound saints against the invading empire. Her healing magic earned her a coveted apprenticeship with the master healer; now she must prove herself ready to stand in the front lines and save lives.
She’s not ready for the attentions of a ne’er-do-well knight and the kingdom’s only prince, though. This is no time to be distracted by romance — the empire’s monstrous army will tear through anyone standing between them and the kingdom’s magical founts. All disciples must put aside their tangled feelings and stand in the homeland’s defense.
the six-part gritty fantasy romance series is now complete!
collects all six books • save big!
Doorstop paperbacks at Amazon
Download Disciple, Part I for free!
Email me if you can’t get it for free: blankenship.louise at gmail
For More Information:
Visit the DISCIPLE series blog at http://discipleofthefount.blogspot.com.*~*~*
Friday, April 10, 2015
D.E.A.R. = “Drop Everything And Read” #Amazon Sale of #Fantasy and #Science-Fiction Books/Ebooks April 10-12, 2015
To celebrate “Drop Everything And Read Day" (D.E.A.R.) the Fantasy and Science-Fiction Network (#FSFnet), of which I am a proud member, is having an excellent book/ebook sale April 10 – 12, 2015 on Amazon.
For a list of participating authors, free and discounted books and links to the sale on , go to FSFnet’s website page.
D.E.A.R. programs have been held nationwide on April 12th in honor of Beverly Cleary’s birthday since she first wrote about D.E.A.R. in Ramona Quimby, Age 8 (pages 40-41). Inspired by letters from readers sharing their enthusiasm for the D.E.A.R. activities implemented in their schools, Mrs. Cleary decided to give the same experience to Ramona and her classmates. As D.E.A.R. has grown in popularity and scope, the program has expanded to span the entire month of April.
To spread the celebration, I'm offering Seeking a Scribe, the first of my Enchanted Bookstore Legends, at a sale price of 99¢ during April 10-12.
Available on Amazon.
Seeking a Scribe: Enchanted Bookstore Legend One by Marsha A. Moore
Genre: epic fantasy romance
Lyra McCauley is a writer and loves fantasy novels, but until she opens a selection from bookstore owner Cullen Drake, she has no idea he’s a wizard character who lives a double life inside that volume…or the story’s magic will compel her from the edge of depression to adventure, danger, and love.
His gift to Lyra, the Book of Dragonspeir, was actually her copy, misplaced years ago. Lost in her pain following divorce and death, she fails to recognize him as her childhood playmate from the fantasyland. Friendship builds anew. Attraction sparks. But Lyra doubts whether a wizard is capable of love. She’s torn—should she protect her fragile heart or risk new love?
Opening the book’s cover, she confronts a quest: save Dragonspeir from destruction by the Black Dragon before he utilizes power of August’s red moon to expand his strength and overthrow the opposing Imperial Dragon. Lyra accepts the challenge, fearing Cullen will perish if evil wins. Along with magical animal guides, Cullen helps her through many perils, but ultimately Lyra must use her own power…and time is running out.
The Enchanted Bookstore Legends are about Lyra McCauley, a woman destined to become one of five strong women in her family who possess unique magical abilities and serve as Scribes in Dragonspeir. The Scribes span a long history, dating from 1200 to present day. Each Scribe is expected to journey through Dragonspeir, both the good and evil factions, then draft a written account. Each book contains magic with vast implications.
Lyra was first introduced to Dragonspeir as a young girl, when she met the high sorcerer, Cullen Drake, through a gift of one of those enchanted books. Using its magic, he escorted her into the parallel world of Dragonspeir. Years later, she lost that volume and forgot the world and Cullen. These legends begin where he finds her again—she is thirty-five, standing in his enchanted bookstore, and Dragonspeir needs her.
When Lyra reopens that enchanted book, she confronts a series of quests where she is expected to save the good Alliance from destruction by the evil Black Dragon. While learning about her role, Lyra and Cullen fall in love. He is 220 years old and kept alive by Dragonspeir magic. Cullen will die if Dragonspeir is taken over by the evil faction…Lyra becomes the Scribe.
Click here to read an excerpt from Seeking a Scribe.
Purchase Links for books in the series:
Monday, April 6, 2015
Genre: New Adult/Paranormal
Publisher: AM Hudson
Date of Publication: April 20th 2015
Word Count: 112, 000
Cover Artist: AM Hudson
Elora can speak to the dead, but she has an affinity with the undead.
Born of immortal blood, her curse not set to trigger until around her twenty-fifth year, she was sent away to remain unaware of and hidden from the world of magic. And from vampires. But after Elora befriends the cocky, self-loving Ric Mason, she discovers secrets about him and his distant link to her family that reshape her entire world.
A dark, sexy three-book series that will have you screaming for more...
Preorder at Amazon
In my state of distraction, I hadn’t noticed how far into the prison we’d walked. I passed the other tour group on my way out, trying really hard not to advise a few people to check over their shoulders, and when I reached the yard, I stopped dead. A wide space of black grass, darkened by the absence of the orange lights and by the high cream wall, stared back at me, empty and oddly quiet. Usually, there were other groups lingering after their tours, but tonight … no one. Nothing. Not even flashes of torchlight showing the whereabouts of the rent-a-cops.
A cold shiver passed over me, pushing the summer heat away from the thick walls behind me.
I put my head down and brought my shoulders up, making myself as small as possible, casting my eyes to the glowing streetlight outside the prison gates. A hundred paces across the yard, that’s all that stood between me and freedom. A hundred paces through almost pitch darkness. A hundred paces past four ghosts that just made themselves visible to me, knowing I could see them.
They all looked up as I stepped out onto the grass, their eyes falling on the tight fist of fear in my chest. My heart raced as each step drew me closer, and I tried to remind myself that they had no physical power. They couldn't actually hurt me. I hoped.
Tales of horror, of the tortures and other atrocities that led these murderers to prison, filled my head as I walked between them. I could feel the hairs stick up on the back of my neck as another one came up behind me. I wasn’t sure who it was, but his energy felt dark and menacing. Every cell in my body screamed at me to turn around and just take one look. But if I did, or if I ran, they’d know I was afraid and they’d feed on that—they’d follow me, most likely outside the prison walls and to my car. If I let them think they had no power over me, they might let me be once I reached the gates.
My breath hitched and my stride shortened as I quickened my pace. I hugged my chest, holding tight to the keys, but as I my heart leaped forward, just six steps away from the gates, my hand went loose for no reason and the keys dropped to the ground. The clunk didn't register until I stepped outside the prison walls and as I spun around to look back at the shiny metal cluster—a few steps away into the pitch blackness I’d just walked through—the spirits closed in, standing shoulder to shoulder. No faces now. No form. Just wavering pulses of light. They hovered there just in front of the keys as if challenging me to cross the threshold back into the prison.
About the Author:
AM Hudson lives and works in Australia. She has four sons, a husband that plays in a band, and writing is her full-time job. In her spare time she reads books and spends too much time on Facebook.
Some of her works include: The Dark Secrets Series (complete), and Willa Wicked.
Friday, April 3, 2015
I'm so happy to have Laura Bickle back on my blog to share her latest release--Dark Alchemy--with my readers. The apparently quiet old West town of Temperance sounds so creepy and fun...and probably is not as quiet as first appears. Find out more in her guest article and be sure to check out her contest at the end of this post.
Time Stands Still in the Weird West
By Laura Bickle
Ever been to one of those places where time stands still, and it gives you the willies?
The town of Temperance is like that for geologist Petra Dee. She’s come here to escape her own personal demons and to search for her father, missing for ten years. She’s hoping to find peace and closure, but she must confront the supernatural weirdness that’s infested Temperance for more than a hundred years.
Built at the edge of Yellowstone National Park and ranch land, Temperance has changed little over the past century. Founded by an alchemist back in the Gold Rush days, Temperance flourished as long as rocks were transformed into gold. But the alchemist, Lascaris, perished in a suspicious fire, and the town’s economy tanked.
While the town withered, Lascaris left behind many half-finished alchemical experiments. Time stood still for the Hanged Men, the local undead. A product of Lascaris’s botched attempts to unlock the secret of eternal life, the Hanged Men are bound to the land, to the Alchemical Tree of Life that stands on a ruthless cattle baron’s land. The Hanged Men must return to the tree every night to decompose and regenerate, stuck in an incomplete alchemical process.
Gabriel is the oldest of the Hanged Men. He’s always in the company of his raven familiars, his spies on the world, while he masquerades as a ranch hand. Time has been kinder to Gabriel than the others. Later generations of the Hanged Men retained less and less of their humanity and memory as the power of the tree waned. For over a century, they’ll do anything in their power to preserve the tree, even kill for it.
When Petra unearths a golden compass, dating back to Lascaris’s era, she is forced to suspend her skepticism of the town’s origins. The pretty artifact has the power to locate magic, and it’s fueled by blood. The compass leads her to the door of the Hanged Men and places her in the crosshairs of the local drug lord, himself an heir to Lascaris’sold magic. When twisted and calcinated bodies turn up that Petra can’t explain scientifically, she’ll have to rely on her wits to escape the town that time forgot, or die trying.
Stephen King’s The Gunslinger meets Breaking Bad in Laura Bickle’s novel Dark Alchemy.
Some secrets are better left buried…
Geologist Petra Dee arrives in Wyoming looking for clues to her father’s disappearance years before. What she finds instead is Temperance, a dying Western town with a gold rush past and a meth-infested present.
But under the town’s dust and quiet, an old power is shifting. When bodies start turning up - desiccated and twisted skeletons that Petra can’t scientifically explain - her investigations land her in the middle of a covert war between the town’s most powerful interests. Petra’s father wasn’t the only one searching for the alchemical secrets of Temperance, and those still looking are now ready to kill.
Armed with nothing but shaky alliances, a pair of antique guns, and a relic she doesn’t understand, the only thing Petra knows for sure is that she and her coyote sidekick are going to have to move fast, or die next.
About the Author:
Laura Bickle grew up in rural Ohio, reading entirely too many comic books out loud to her favorite Wonder Woman doll. After graduating with an MA in Sociology – Criminology from Ohio State University and an MLIS in Library Science from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, she patrolled the stacks at the public library and worked with data systems in criminal justice. She now dreams up stories about the monsters under the stairs, also writing contemporary fantasy novels under the name Alayna Williams.
Her work has been included in the ALA’s Amelia Bloomer Project 2013 reading list and the State Library of Ohio’s Choose to Read Ohio reading list for 2015-2016. THE HALLOWED ONES and THE OUTSIDE are her latest young adult novels.
1 copy of Dark Alchemy by Laura Bickle
Tuesday, March 24, 2015
The day has finally come for me to share this new series! I've been writing this one in my mind for several years. It's set in southern Indiana, south of Bloomington, where I spent my favorite childhood years surrounded by the love of a big family. The book is rich with a warm Hoosier down-home feel.
Genre: New adult Paranormal romance
Twenty-three-year-old Jancie Sadler was out of the room when her mother died, and her heart still longs for their lost goodbye. Aching to ease her sorrow, Aunt Starla gives Jancie a diary that changes her entire life. In entries from the 1930s, her great grandmother revealed how she coped with her own painful loss by seeking out a witch from nearby Coon Hollow Coven. The witch wore the griever’s moonstone locket, which allowed whoever could unlock its enchantment to talk with the dead.
Determined to find that locket, Jancie goes to the coven’s annual carnival held in her small southern Indiana town of Bentbone. This opposes her father’s strict rule: stay away from witches. But she’s an adult now and can make her own decisions. She meets Rowe McCoy, the kind and handsome witch who wears the moonstone. He agrees to let her try to open the locket, but they’re opposed by High Priestess Adara and her jealous desire to possess him. Desperate for closure with her mother, Jancie persists and cannot turn away from a perilous path filled with magic, romance, and danger.
Here's the Goodreads link for you to add the book to your TBR list. https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/24807853-witch-s-moonstone-locket
For special book contests and news about my upcoming releases, sign up for my newsletter using this link: http://bit.ly/MarshaAMooreNewsletter
“Oh no.” Starla shook her head and pushed away from the table. “Let me get Aunt Maggie’s old diary. I got this in a box of old family things when Cousin Dorothy passed.” She lumbered to her spare bedroom and returned with a worn, black-leather volume only a little larger than her wide palm. Once seated, she thumbed through the yellowed pages. “Here.” She pointed a finger and placed the book between them.
from Chapter One: Great Aunt Starla’s Cornbread
Warm rain mixed with Jancie’s tears, and she rose to stand beside her mother’s grave. She bent at the waist and her fingers followed the arc of her mother’s name—Faye Sadler—in the headstone. From numerous visits, she knew the unyielding shape well. The word goodbye stuck in her throat. She’d said it aloud many times since her mother died six months ago, only to have the cemetery’s vast silence swallow her farewells. Rain beaded on the polished granite. Her hand, bearing her mother’s silver ring, slid down the stone and fell to her side.
If only she could’ve said goodbye to her mother before she died. After years of caring for her mom while she suffered with cancer, Jancie had missed the final parting moment while getting a quick bite of dinner. The pain still cut like a knife in her gut.
On foot, she retraced the too-familiar path toward her work at the Federal Bank. Although she’d landed a job as manager at the largest of the three banks in the small town of Bentbone, the position was a dead end. Within the first six months, she’d mastered all the necessary skills. Now, after a year, only the paycheck kept her there.
Jancie turned onto Maple Street. As usual, wind swept up the corridor, between old shade trees protecting houses, and met her at the top of the tall hill. September rain pelted her face and battled the Indian summer noontime temperatures. She zipped the rain parka to keep her dress dry, pulled on the strings of the hood, and corralled strands of ginger-colored hair that whipped into her eyes. She gazed farther into the valley, where the view spanned almost a mile out to the edge of town. Usually, farmers moved tractors across the road or boys raced skateboards and bikes down Maple Street’s long slope.
Today, on the deserted acreage just east of Bentbone, people moving in and out through a gate of the tall wooden fence breathed life into the rundown carnival. Surprised, Jancie crossed the street for a better view. She’d lost track of life around her since Mom passed. The coming Labor Day weekend in Bentbone meant the valley coven’s yearly carnival. She and her girlfriends always looked forward to the cute guys, fair food, and amazing magical rides and decorations, even if her father didn’t approve of witches or magic. The residents of the sleepy town awoke to welcome a host of tourists wanting to see the spectacle created by the witches of Coon Hollow Coven.
Somehow, Jancie had forgotten the big event this year. Last year, she didn’t go since Mom was so sick and couldn’t be left. Jancie sighed and turned onto the main street toward the bank. She’d lost so much since her mother passed. Really, since the diagnosis of cancer.
At that time, four years ago, Jancie withdrew as a sophomore from Hanover College, a select, private school in southern Indiana near the Kentucky border—too far away. Instead, she returned to stay with her mother and commuted to Indiana University. Balancing hours with the home health care nurse, Jancie had few choices of career paths. Not that it mattered, since her remarried father expected her to find a job in Bentbone and continue taking care of her mother. Despite the sacrifices, Jancie loved her mother, who’d always managed money for a few special things for Jancie—a new bike, birthday parties, prom dresses—even though their income was tight. Mom had paid for her tuition and listened to every new and exciting college experience.
Jancie smiled at the memory of Mom’s twinkling brown eyes, that mirrored her own, when she asked about what happened during the day’s classes: if Jancie liked the professor; if she’d made new friends.
When she rounded the last corner, she returned to her work day. At the bleak, limestone bank building, reality hit. Jancie pulled against the heavy glass door, and a gust swept her inside. She peeled off the drenched jacket and hung it on the coat rack of her small, plain office.
Through the afternoon’s doldrums, punctuated by only a handful of customers, her mind wandered to the carnival. She’d gone dozens of times before and loved it. But since Mom passed, nothing seemed fun anymore, like she couldn’t connect with herself and had forgotten how to have a good time. She organized a stack of notes, anything to put the concern out of her mind.
After work, Jancie drove her old blue Camry the five miles to the other end of town where she lived in her mother’s white frame house, the home where she grew up, now hers. Glad to own her own place, unlike her friends who rented, she’d made a few easy changes. In the living room, a new brown leather couch with a matching chair and ottoman. She replaced the bedroom furniture with a new oak suite for herself in what used to be her mother’s room. With pay saved from the bank, Jancie could remodel or build on, but she didn’t know what she wanted yet. Her great aunt Starla had told her to just wait and hold onto her money; she’d know soon enough.
Pouring rain soaked the hem of her dress as she darted between the garage shed and back stoop of the small ranch house.
Glad she’d chosen to get her run in this morning before work, she changed into cozy sweats, pulled the long part of her tapered hair into a ponytail, and headed for the kitchen.
Her phone alerted her of a text, and she read the message from her friend Rachelle, always the social director of their group: R we going to the carnival?
Jancie typed a response. I guess. R Lizbeth and Willow going?
Yep whole gang. What day?
Don’t know yet. Get back to u. Jancie worried she’d spoil their fun. Even though they’d all been her best friends since high school and would understand her moodiness, she didn’t want to ruin one of the best times of the year for them. Since Mom passed, they’d taken her out to movies and shopping in Bloomington, but this was different. Could it ever match up to the fun of all the times before? “I don’t know if I’m up to that,” she said into open door of the old Kenmore refrigerator while rummaging for leftovers of fried chicken and corn.
The meal satisfied and made her thankful she’d learned how to cook during those years with Mom. Not enough dishes to bother with the dishwasher, one of the modern upgrades to the original kitchen, Jancie washed the dishes by hand and then called Starla. When she answered, Jancie asked, “Can I come over tonight? There’s something I’m needing your opinion on.”
“Why sure, Jancie. C’mon over,” the eighty-five-year-old replied with her usual warm drawl. “Are you wantin’ dinner? I made me some soup beans with a big hambone just butchered from Bob’s hog. My neighbor Ellie came over and had some. She said they were the best she’s eaten.”
Jancie glanced at the soggy rain parka and opted for an umbrella instead. “No, I just ate. Be right over.” Keys and purse in hand, she hung up and darted for the shed.
Five minutes later, she turned onto the drive of the eldercare apartments and parked under the steel awning where Starla gave her a whole arm wave from her picture window. Jancie made her way to number twelve on the first floor.
The door opened, and Starla engulfed Jancie in a bear hug, pulling her into the pillow of a large, sagging bosom. Starla smelled of her signature scent—rosewater and liniment.
Jancie had loved her great aunt’s hugs as long as she could remember. Stress and worry melted away, and she hugged back. Her arm grazed Starla’s white curls along the collar of her blue knit top embroidered with white stars—her great aunt’s favorite emblem.
“It’s so good to see you. Come sit a spell, while I get us some iced tea.” Starla pulled away and gestured to the microsuede couch decorated with three crocheted afghans in a rainbow of colors. “I thought we were done with this hot weather, but not quite yet. That rain today’s been a gully washer but didn’t cool things off much.” The large-boned woman scuffed her pink-house-slippered feet toward the kitchen. “Would you rather have pound cake from the IGA or homemade cornbread?”
Jancie laughed and followed her into the kitchen. She wouldn’t get through the visit without eating. “You’re just fishin’ for a compliment. You know your homemade cornbread is better.”
Starla arranged plates with thick slices of warm cornbread and big pats of butter on top, while Jancie transferred the refreshments to the aluminum dinette table.
“With your hair pulled back like that, you’re a dead ringer for your Ma. So pretty with that same sweetheart-shaped face.” Starla folded herself onto a chair beside Jancie. “You look to be getting on well…considering what all you’ve been through.”
“I’m doing okay,” Jancie said through a mouthful of the moist cornbread. She washed it down with a swallow of brisk tea that tasted fresh-brewed. “But sometimes, lots of times, I feel lost, like I can’t move on.” She ran a hand across her forehead. “I didn’t get to say goodbye. I spent time with her through all those years, and it shouldn’t matter, but it does every time I visit her grave and most every night in my dreams.”
“Oh, honey. I know it hurts.” Starla smoothed Jancie’s ponytail down the middle of her back and spoke with a voice so slow and warm, it felt like a handmade quilt wrapping around her. “You spent all that time and gave so much. Just like when I cared for my husband some twenty years back. I know. I never got the chance to tell Harry goodbye either. Time will heal all hurts.”
Jancie looked down at the marbleized tabletop to hide her teary eyes. “I don’t think I’m ever going to heal, Aunt Starla. I don’t know if I can ever move on.”
“There is one thing you can try. I’d have done it, if I’d have known before decades softened my aching heart. Way back, I was desperate like you.”
Jancie looked into Starla’s blue-gray eyes, set deep inside wrinkled lids.
Her aunt leaned closer. “Not many know about this,” she whispered as if someone outside the apartment door might hear. “There’s an old story about how a member of the Coon Hollow Coven, one who’s recently lost a loved one, is made the teller of the moonstone tale.”
Jancie rolled her eyes. “That’s just a silly story, one of lots that Mom and Dad told to scare me when I was little, so I’d stay away from the coven. When the moonstone locket opens at the end of the tale, you’ll get your wish but also be cursed.”
Wednesday, March 18, 2015
I'm pleased to bring my readers a visit with guest author Genevieve Jack. She's sharing about her recent New Adult Paranormal Romance release, Mother May I. Be sure to check out her book and also her great contest at the bottom of this post.
Hi everyone! I’m Genevieve Jack. *waves* Happy to be visiting Marsha today as part of the Mother May I book tour, Knight Games book 4. For my guest post, I’m going there… I’m talkin’ about sex, baby. Yes, I am!
Sex and the Single Witch
“Your books are HOT!”
“Damn, I love your books but they are RACY.”
“Why does there have to be so much SEX?”
“Never, EVER take out the sex. It’s great!”
I get asked about the sexual content in the Knight Games series on a regular basis. Readers tend to either love or hate the explicit nature of the books, and I get plenty of email expressing peoples’ opinions both ways. The Knight Games books have an element of humor and are sometimes purposely campy, but that doesn’t mean serious thought didn’t go into their creation. So I’d like to pull back the curtain just a tad and explain what drove me to include the sexual scenes in the novels and why the story needs all the boom-boom.
First, a primer for those who haven’t read the books. In The Ghost and the Graveyard, a young woman discovers she is a reincarnated witch. In order to take back her complete witchy power, she must make love to her caretaker, a man who holds an immortal piece of her soul between lifetimes. Readers come to learn that a previous incarnation of the witch sacrificed her own immortality to make the caretaker what he is, in order to bind the two together for eternity.
Paranormal literature is filled with themes about sex and death. Milton’s Paradise Lostportrays sex as the death of innocent love, an act of separation from God that tosses Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden. Sex brings death.Victorian society even called sex the “little death. InBram Stoker’s Dracula, Dracula is imbued with sexual power. Don’t look him in the eye; he’ll draw you in! Those who give into Dracula’s allureare cursed with vampirism—poor Lucy.In this context, the woman is the preyed upon victim of sex and giving into her desires was a travesty. But then, in the past, sex was often linked with reproduction and death was often portrayed as the price of procreation. One cannot both be immortal and reproduce.
When I set out to write the Knight Games, I wanted to explore the other side of sex in a paranormal romance. Unlike the Victorians, modern society recognizes an element of magic with regard tosex. It isn’t always a bad thing and is as much about life as it is about death. In fact, the right coupling can enhance vitality, healing, and intimacy among the parties. Women can even initiate and enjoy sex. In my fictional world, Grateful sacrifices her immortality in order for her human caretaker to live forever.Love spans lifetimes, heals wounds, and brings power to the participants through sex. It’s a twist on the sex/death theme. She dies to make him immortal. He’s immortal so that she can live again.
Grateful’s previous sexual experiences have ended in disaster, and when we meet Grateful in book 1, she’s down on herself over the failure of her past relationships. All sex isn’t good or healing in this fictional world, and Grateful has a lot to learn about herself before she can be a full-fledged, sword wielding. ass-kicker. She’s a flawed character, who has made poor choices in the past (and makes a few more as the story progresses). Luckily, Grateful’s relationship with Rick is different. From the very beginning, their meeting kicks off a period of growth and self-acceptance that comes to a climax (ßsee what I did there) in Mother May I, the final installment. The story isn’t about sex per se, but sex , as a representation of intimacy and connection, plays an inextricable role in their relationship and her personal growth. Sex brings life. Sex brings connection. Sex heals.
In this paranormal romance, Grateful’s experiences are exaggerated and she doesn’t take herself too seriously. But I think mostadult women can relate to this fictional world in the same way they might relate to Sex in the City or Buffy the Vampire Slayer. For others, it’s simply a fast and fun beach read. Either way, I hope this post gives the slightest bit of insight into the reason for those steamy, blush-inducing pages.
That’s all for now! Happy Reading!
Mother May I
Genre: New Adult Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Carpe Luna Publishing
Date of Publication: March 16, 2015
Number of pages: 300
Word Count: 65,000
Cover Artist: Steven Novak
Love will launch the mother of all battles.
Grateful Knight is one stressed out witch. Not only has she failed to restore her caretaker, Rick, from an evil witch’s mind-control spell, but the loss he endured extends well beyond his memory. To make matters worse, compensating for his absence could cost her the job she loves and the strength she needs.
When a new supernatural threat leaves Grateful for dead, a vampire ally saves her life but at a price. Her assailant's calling card makes it clear she’s marked for death, possibly by her goddess mother. With the help of her half-sister Polina, can Grateful gain the power she needs to win Rick back and beat the goddess at her own game?
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Power is a pain in the ass. People think they want it, they’ll kill themselves to get it, but in the end, it’s nothing but trouble. Take Tabetha’s power; I was ringing with it. As I patrolled the street in Salem I’d seen in the mirror, the geraniums in the window boxes overhead stretched their necks in my direction. Don’t get me started on the roses in my living room. I’d become the freaking Jolly Green Giant of witchdom. The summer night veritably buzzed around me as the elements of wind and wood tuned in to my presence.
So much power and so much responsibility. I hadn’t asked for it, and I sure as hell didn’t want it. But here I was.
“Not sure. I couldn’t tell from the mirror.”
“What do you mean you couldn’t tell? And, more importantly, why on earth are we here if you don’t know what we are looking for?”
“There’s an evil presence here. We saw a woman die. She fell twitching to the street. I couldn’t see the perpetrator for some reason. Maybe she was poisoned, or it’s some sort of poltergeist or invisible demon. All I know for sure is a supernatural being means to do a human harm, and it’s our job to stop them.” Again I wondered if the deficiency of vision was due to Rick’s presence. I shook my head, not wanting it to be true. For all I knew, the enchanted mirror might be on the fritz.
“Mmm. It’s not the mirror, and I doubt it’s Rick,” Poe said, doing that intuitive thing he did that made me feel like he was in my head. “If you ask me, without Rick’s blood and, er, affections, your magic is weakening.”
“Don’t be ridiculous. I’m more powerful than ever. I can feel every blade of grass from here to Vermont.”
“Yes, you have more power, but a more sizable engine requires a more sizable battery. You, Witcherella, are running on empty. The mirror knows and is answering in kind.”
“Hmph.” I hadn’t considered this possibility, but Poe was probably right. It wasn’t Rick’s presence making the mirror go wonky; it was his absence. Three weeks had passed since I last enjoyed Rick’s blood and as far as physical contact, that enjoyment ended at handholding. Every time I tried to get close to him, it was the fishing pole all over again. A distraction. An evasion. “I want Rick to come around on his terms. This is all new to him. He doesn’t remember anything, especially not me. I was there, not so long ago, when I first met Rick and I didn’t remember who I was. I need to be gentle with him.”
“Sex can be gentle. Have I mentioned you’re weakening?”
I groaned at his lack of subtlety. “It’s not just about blood and sex,” I murmured. “He either can’t or won’t shift or do magic of any kind. The answer is to jog his memory. I bought him a laptop today and showed him some cat videos.”
“Cat videos?” Poe forced a gag.
I spread my hands. “I want him to learn about the modern world. LOL cats are the gateway drug. Oh, and that panda that sneezes. I love that one.”
“Is he still hunting?”
“And fishing. Sometimes he stares blankly out the window,” I said honestly. “Have you ever seen squirrel stew, Poe? It ain’t pretty.”
“Sounds delicious.” Poe smacked his beak.
“I try to be charming, but it feels forced.” I pressed a finger into my chin. “It is forced. We are two strangers, and I’m trying to force him to fall in love with me like a creeper. He probably wishes the entire thing was a bad dream. Plus, I think he might be depressed.”
“Ya think? He falls asleep in 1698 and wakes up in 2015, having witnessed his fiancé burned at the stake and his entire community, including his parents, struck down by the cursed spellbook used to bind her. Of all the things Rick could be, depressed is the most logical.”
“I don’t know how to help him remember. I need him, Poe. If you’re right about the mirror and my magic is waning, things are going to go downhill fast.”
“Perhaps if you dressed a bit more comely?”
I looked down at my black T-shirt, jeans, and boots. My outfit was enchanted to remain comfortable in any weather and to bend and stretch to the demands of my job. I loved it. “What’s wrong with this?”
“You have a skull and crossbones on your chest.”
“It’s fun. It says dangerous, yet fashionably casual.”
“It says weird goth girlwith emotional problems.”
“You’d have emotional problems too if your fiancé left you at the altar and then forgot who you were. This is who I am.” I stretched my arms to the sides. “Grateful Knight. Love me or leave me.”
Poe cleared his throat. “Only problem is, if Rick doesn’t love you and leaves you, it could mean your death. This is serious. If you can’t bring back Rick’s memories, at least try to make him want you. Tell him you need blood and sex, pronto. Love can happen at its own pace.”
Love. I hoped it could happen at all. Sometimes Rick treated me like his captor, like he didn’t quite trust me. I still loved him, even after he left me at the altar and ended up drugged in Tabetha’s bed. Those are hard things to forgive, but I’d let them go. I loved Rick from a deep, forever place in my soul. A place that couldn’t be reached by all the nastiness Tabetha had doled out before I tore her apart.
I rolled my eyes. Poe’s concern for my well-being had as much to do with his existence being tied to mine as for my safety. I got it. I did. I couldn’t go on much longer without Rick. But I also couldn’t lose him. If I pushed him too hard, I might drive him away.
“What was that?” I said, perking my ears.
“You didn’t hear that? It was a twanging sound. Very faint. Like a guitar string being strung.”
“Crap, Grateful. Move!”
Genevieve Jack is a former registered nurse turned author of weird, witty, and wicked-hot paranormal romance. She grew up in a suburb of Chicago and attended a high school rumored to be haunted. There she developed a love for old cemeteries and ghost tours. Today, she specializes in original, cross-genre stories with surprising twists. She lives in Illinois with her husband, two children, and a Brittany spaniel named Riptide, who holds down her feet while she writes.
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