Today, I'm happy to have Anise Rae as my guest. She's sharing about her reading treasures. Be sure to check out her new PNR book release, Enchanter's Echo, along with her great contest at the bottom of this post.
One reader’s junk is another reader’s treasure
by Anise Rae
Books are my treasures. I take solace in them. I find comfort and pleasure between their pages. They hold my memories, from my battered copy of Cinderella that has traveled with me from my childhood home to now, to the book club books that remind me of friends. But it’s the romance novels lining my shelves with their promise of happy endings that sing to my heart. They are the ones I most often take down to enjoy again and again…or tap open on my e-reader as the case may be.
There are a lot of romance readers in the world, but it’s not always easy for us to find each other. Someone has to be brave and dare to mention it first. It can feel like a bit of a risk since there are those who don’t hold the genre in high-esteem. We’re not alone in this lack of respect though. There is at least one other genre that doesn’t get the respect it deserves either: comic books and graphic novels. Poor comic book readers. We romance readers understand. You have it even worse than we do. After all, some claim that comic books don’t even count as real books. But really.Bound pages with words? Sounds like a book to me.
In Enchanter’s Echo, Edmund and Aurora, the hero and heroine, read comic books, and it comes out in one scene. I admit I did not plan this, even though I plan everything in my books. It just fell out of my pen and into the page. This bonding over books was such a lighthearted moment…one the characters truly needed…that it became one of my favorite scenes. I remember writing it. My mother was sitting close by, and I loved what I had written so much that I read it out loud to her. I rarely ever do that. Usually I guard what I write very closely until I’ve gone through draft after draft with it.
This moment sang to me from the start. It was a connection waiting to happen between the characters. Aurora brings up the comic books partly because she’s too tired to guard her tongue, and also because they’re facing horrible circumstances and she’s trying to put on a positive face.Edmund is shocked…and thrilled…tofind out she reads them. He never sees it coming, never thinks to ask if she likes them though the books are so important to him they are the only personal item he keeps in his attic hideout--the one room on his family’s estate where no one dares to disturb him. They’re his secret, his solace, a slightly guilty one at that. But Aurora speaks up about them. And rightfully so.No reader should ever feel as if she must hang her head because of what she reads.
Your book treasures are worthy of respect simply because you like them. So whatever they are, whether it’s comic books, political tomes, werewolves, vampires or 50 Shades, hold your head high. Defend your stash like the treasure it is. And if you dare to speak up, even better. You never know when you’ll make a book connection.
So now, readers, I’d love to know…do you have specific books that you re-read and consider treasures? Anyone ever dared to dis them?
Genre: Paranormal romance
Date of Publication: February 17, 2015
Number of pages: 270
Word Count: 99,685
Aurora Firenze lives a quiet life hiding in a junkyard. Her repair shop is the last hope for gadgets and gizmos before they get tossed onto the trash towers. Fortunately, Aurora can fix almost anything, including mages, though repairing people with metal enchantments is highly illegal.
Edmund Rallis, heir to the Rallis senate seat, has spent months hunting down his errant enchantress. He’ll play every game he knows to win her back and entice her to share the secrets she hides. But he’s inadvertently put her on the frontlines of a new game, one with an opponent who’s determined to destroy Rallis Territory and drive the Republic toward war. If the new enemy isn’t stopped in time, Edmund will lose his enchantress again—and this time there won’t be another chance.
The keep-out spell awoke at her approach. The enchanted mesh of vines and branches that blocked the entrance to Rallis Territory’s forbidden forest vibrated in welcome as its creator returned. Aurora Firenze cast her vibes along the perimeter of her spell, testing and prodding. Its strength resonated back. It was as strong as it had been six months ago when she’d created it and hid her secrets within the forest’s depths. She let go of a relieved breath, but it didn’t cure her tension.
Her nerves were strung tight, as if she’d spent hours placating customers in her repair shop. But the day had been quiet. She’d even made decent progress—fixing a curling iron with a too-hot heating spell and a stapler that had a bad habit of chasing the boss around the conference table. Yet a restlessness itched at her skin with an unpleasant persistence. She’d closed up early and headed out for the short walk to the forest. Within its heart, she’d find the peace to wash away this unease.
She sent another stream of vibes into the keep-out spell. A discreet doorway formed. With a quick glance around the barren field and the junkyard behind her, she stepped beneath her illegal spell.
As she brushed against the branches, a faint thump sounded at her feet—the soft crash of a pinecone or a weak branch falling to the ground. A normal forest noise. She flinched anyway. Her glitter puffed around her in an anxious cloud as her mage energy escaped her control. It was the fifth time today. Enchantresses did not make good criminals. She should probably let the other three in existence know, in case they were considering lives of crime. Those blasted sparkly clouds would blow their covers wide open.
She lifted her foot to continue into the small forest that was tucked inside the territory’s capital city, but stopped. A proper lawbreaker should investigate mysterious noises outside her lair. She turned and scanned the ground for the culprit. A gold coin glinted in the crisp weeds. That wasn’t normal. She reached to pick it up, scanning the field and the junkyard beyond with a twitchy gaze. Empty. She was alone.
Behind her, the forest shuttered closed, nearly catching her in its fortress wall. She jumped forward with a surprised lurch at the swat of vines and twigs. A basic rule of illegal enchantments: get out of the way or risk being incorporated into the spell.
Ignoring the sting of the swat, she stared at the coin. It was tarnished at the edges, a used-up charm. See-me-not was embossed on its golden surface. She jerked her head up. A man stood ten paces away. He was tall, broad...beyond familiar.
“Edmund,” she whispered. A shiver tiptoed across her shoulders like kisses, soft lips that hid a sharp bite. Her nerves stretched thinner yet, trapped in a battle between memories of lovers’ frolics and the promise of a dark fate that had just materialized from thin air.
Behind her, the forest’s trees rustled with the wind, a warning to retreat, one she dare not heed. Not until she knew why he’d finally come searching for her. She hadn’t thought he’d ever come back.
He prowled forward. “Hello, princess.” Though his words might have held some affection, nothing of the lover she’d once known appeared in his countenance. He lifted his left hand to reveal a glowing ball of mage vibes in his palm. His blue eyes reflected the tiny flashes of energy, and his power snapped in the air like a miniature electrical storm. The heir to the most powerful territory in the Republic had quite a steam of anger built up.
Dark hair waved across his forehead, and little curls peeked out at the edges of his neck. Though the wind buffeted and pushed at Aurora, winter’s boldness didn’t dare touch Edmund, not his hair, nor his dark gray suit or scarlet tie.
The hard slope of his nose matched the sharp lines of his jaw and cheekbones. When he smiled, he was deadly handsome. At the moment, he was simply deadly.
“Aurora.” He cast her name through the air and a piece of her soul tumbled away, as if it might dash toward him and cling like a forlorn, discarded lover. But he hadn’t discarded her....
“You stand accused of melding earthen metals to human flesh with an enchantment.”
Her heart thumped once, hard and loud, and then took off with a sprint, drenching her veins from head to toe with lightning sharp fright.
Goddess, he’d found out. How?
Even as she thought it, he revealed the answer. The glow faded from his ball of energy to reveal a small metal sphere. Her racing heart shriveled at the sight, pulling the rest of her organs with it, as if they thought to hide, seeking a chance to slip past this disaster unnoticed and, perhaps, survive. She shifted her feet on the ground, unable to resist the fear pumping through her core. Run, her gut whispered. She couldn’t afford to listen... not with the evidence sitting in his hand.
The sphere was heavier than it looked. She knew that. After all, she’d made it...and thought it long gone. He closed his fingers around it, capturing her fate within his fist.
“How’d you get that?” Her fast words shot out, hustling forward before fear, creeping up her legs with tingles and pricks, stole her voice.
“You ought to be down on your knees thanking me for confiscating it.” His voice was sharp and cutting. He sounded like a stranger, his jokes and teasing wit long gone.
“What did you do? Sneak into the junkyard and pluck his eye from his skull? Has it been hiding under your pillow for six months?” Not at all where she’d thought it was. Betrayal jolted through her. “Hardly actions befitting the heir of the mighty Rallis realm.” Her voice wavered.
“You have no idea what I’ve done.”
Anise Rae has been reading romance novels since she first discovered her grandmother’s stash of books hidden away in a cabinet. Learning that she wasn’t the only one dreaming about love and magic was a turning point in her life. She started her own stash of books and wrote a few too.
A native of Ohio, Anise long ago moved south, armed with boxes of romance novels and degrees in chemistry and library science. Creating chemistry on the page between two lovers proved to be a lot more fun than working with test tubes in a lab or searching patent databases. She refocused on writing.
Her stories revolve around heroines who dare to stand up to society’s expectations and be true to themselves and heroes with plenty of savvy to fall in love with such brave women.
Anise lives in Atlanta with her two children and a fluffy dog that has an amazing ability to find dirty socks.
For information on future releases and giveaways, sign up for her newsletter at www.aniserae.com
Author photo by www.surianiphoto.com
$25 Amazon gift card
1 set of Paper copies of Syphon’s Song and Enchanter’s Echo open to US Shippin