Ah, Sasha. What can one say about her.
Well, for starters, she’s an orphan. But not a sad, lonely, depressed orphan like you might read about in a Dickens’ novel. She’s spunky, kooky, and battles life in a funny, head-on sort of way.
She’s lonely, though. The car accident that killed everyone but her left her with nothing but a gift, or a curse. Or maybe turned her crazy. And that’s the problem—she doesn’t know. She sees large, hulking-type men in the shadows. Has since she was tiny. But no one else sees them. She sends her foster dad into the backyard, pointing and screaming that someone is out there, only to have him return angry and put-out.
When she finally meets the men that lurked in the shadows for all those years, she finds herself in an unimaginable situation for which she is not prepared. But fighting life head-on means grabbing her arsenal (a whistle and a penchant for smack talk) and marching into battle to rescue her boyfriend.
It is here that she realizes she possesses the ability of magic. Uncontrolled and fatal if used incorrectly, she throws herself onto the brink of death to escape.
In other words, the heroine is strong-willed, fast acting, and in way over her head.
He doesn’t know. Neither does she. They kind of happen on each other, two people from vastly different worlds, and share a connection that neither of them understand. But the more he learns about her, the more he gets entrapped. His clan needs a mage, and this human (Sasha) has a rare type of magic that could help his faction overcome their enemies.
The side effect of desire is certainly distracting. Especially since she’s human. And completely naïve to anything magical. And always in trouble, not to mention pain in the keister.
He can’t help but gravitate toward her.
My head. *quirked eyebrow*
In all (relative) seriousness, I wanted two things with this book.
The first was the paranormal aspect. I am sooo tired of the usual vampire suspects. Burn in sun or sparkle… Chew on human necks or animal’s… Hide from society or attempt to embrace it...
I wanted something different. I wanted to do a paranormal story with a modern take on vampires. That’s been done, has it? Um…not really. If you mean, vampires in today’s culture—okay, I guess. But they are still the same sort of vampire, right?
I wanted to take the myth of vampires, and put them in today’s world. As a different strand of evolution. Don’t believe in evolution? No problem. Then they are God’s experiment. I used anthropology to help define the probability of their existence. To make them “real”.
Second aspect was magic. I love magic. I really do. Everything magic I want to read about. In detail. And happy days, I can add magic to a paranormal/urban fantasy deal and no one would tilt the head. So I came up with a different type of vampire, and added a bunch of magic. Voila.
The world is based on modern times, but the desire of originality loosely came from the Kate Daniel’s series by Ilona Andrews. That series is an urban fantasy with an awesome take on vampires. Truly unique how they are defined and used. That was my benchmark. I wanted to come up with something as original as that.
I didn’t succeed. The she/he writer team is pretty freaking awesome. But I gave it a go, and my critical readers have noted that my new approach is interesting.
Interesting, yes. You’re riveted, I know.
I think the interest level comes from the roots in anthropology, though, and the references to natural elements that might be a bit different to accommodate a different species.
Also, it’s edgy, but that’s just my writing.
Thank god I’m crass, sarcastic, and threw a bunch of magic at it, or it might have been absurd. So, there’s that.
Well, the thing is, it’s the same world as this one. We are the same people. Sasha is just like you and me. Human.
The difference is, the boogey man is real, and she gets to meet him/her where we don’t. If I found out about this other group of “people”, though, I’d be all over it. I’d want to learn about their lifestyle, date one of their “men”, and check it all out. So, obviously, we know where Sasha’s streak of wild abandon came from.
Most of my creative “genius” is had during mundane tasks. Working on a spreadsheet. Walking/running. Showering. Cooking. I let my mind wander, and daydream about the world I am creating or want to live in. About the characters and what they might say. About who they are.
Then, when something occurs to me, I head to the computer like a sick man does a toilet, needing to purge the ideas into the story. I write like a fiend, and when the well runs dry, I drift away again and go back to daydreaming.
I am extremely logical, which is why I like accounting. Accounting is boring, though, which is why I like daydreaming about strange places and different people. Then I just write it down. Routine is the reason I write, or exercise, or drink wine. I need an escape. If writing were also routine, I’d probably stop doing it.
First it was a collection of romance books. Speaking of mundane. The classic romance is a hot, perfect man and the woman that gets him.
There are some better ones, and there are some that you read primarily for… well, not for the story, so much. I’d been married about a year, got into the rut—I mean, into a groove of life, and read a couple romance books. Then thought—I can devise my own perfect man with a lot more laughs, mistakes, and fun involved. So I wrote the essence of my college years into a story (Jessica Brodie Diaries).
After my fill of romance, the biggest influence on my writing was Ilona Andrews. It is a husband/wife writing team with imagination, creativity, humor, and a great writing style. Like gunpowder and kerosene, their books are great reads. I can’t say what I actually took away from them with any clarity, just that I knew what I wanted out of a book, she/he had done it, and I wanted to try and do it, too.
The thing with me is, I write something, and then stick it on a “shelf.” I wait until I forget the details, and then go back to it with a reader’s eyes. In the meantime, I write something else. So right now I have five things in the rafters, waiting for revisions. I also have two more Darkness books, working through critical readers and editors. I don’t like idle time, so when I am taking a break from one project, I am working on the next. So my projects are running all the time.
About the Story:
I’d always been different. I saw objects in the night where others saw emptiness. Large, human shaped shadows, fierce yet beautiful, melting into the darkness. I collected secrets like other women collected bells; afraid to fully trust lest my oddities be exposed.
Until I saw him. He’d been gliding down the street, unshakable confidence in every step. It wasn’t just that he was breathtakingly handsome with perfect features. Something about him drew me. Sucked my focus to him and then tugged at my body. As his eyes met mine, I was entrapped.
No one had noticed him. He’d been right there, just beyond the light, but only I had perceived.
I had to know if he was real. Or maybe I really was crazy. And even when my secret box was blasted wide open, dangers hurled at me like throwing knives, I couldn’t stop until I unraveled his true identity.
I just had to know.
As I met his black eyes, his puzzled expression deepened. “You’re human…”
“We established that, yes. What I want to know is, if I am human, what does that make you? And why do I notice you when others usually don’t?”
His head cocked to the side. His easy balance, his lethal edge; he was like a blade resting on billowing silk. “Very few humans are able to withstand our pheromones. Fewer still to break a Kolma once it has been placed. You’ve not been trained, that’s obvious; so how is this possible when you’re definitely human? Do you possess the blood of another species?”
I could barely think past the pounding ache of my body, begging to touch him. I needed to get a grip! He was revealing some very interesting factoids I needed to jot down in my mental notebook.
His nostrils flared. “Charles was right; your arousal is a unique scent. Like a spicy, warm drink on a mid-winter’s night. It rises above other smells, entrancing the mind.”
“Umm,” charged with questions, determination, anger, and demands, I thrust forward, “Listen, what did you mean about withstanding the…pher-thing? Or breaking the other thing? How can you trap someone’s head with pleasure? Because I’m pretty sure—not positive, but pretty sure—that Jared is straight. And also, I really think we should circle back to what the hell you are, and why nobody knows that you exist? Because this whole people scattering thing is not normal, and I think an explanation is probably in order.”
He stepped closer, not hearing me, or not caring that I spoke. His eyes looked at me like I was a life-sized riddle. They delved, searching. He took another step, forcing me to retreat two steps to keep distance between our bodies. Another step back had my back to the wall.
A small smile curved his lips. “I exude pleasure, you run. I exude fear, you come calling. You want me, I can smell it. I can feel it, almost like a palpable thing. Give in to it. Yield to me.”
Oh God I wanted to. His body was mere inches from mine, his intense eyes looking down into my soul from a face out of a Renaissance painting. The power of him, the sheer strength, had strange, primal fantasies running amok through my head. My core tingled, my chest surged, and my nipples were so hard they could cut this stone wall.
Why had I come here, again?
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