Over the next month some of our ARRA nominees will be sharing their thoughts about their nominated books. First up is Dani Kristof, whose Spiritbound is nominated for Favourite Paranormal Romance.
Thank you so much for the readers who liked Spiritbound enough to nominate me for an ARRA award.
Spiritbound embodies what I like about writing paranormal romance. I get to play with some dark stuff and weave in the light and love. It’s a good ride that leaves you uplifted at the end.
It’s pretty early in my paranormal romance writing career so I can get away with saying that Grace Riordon is my favourite character. I love her so much and that can’t be disguised in the story. Spiritbound is the prequel to Bespelled, although I wrote it second. Weird, I know.
It is also Fel’s origin story. Fel is the undead cat you see in Bespelled. I wish I could put the undead cat in all my stories.
While Spiritbound is a romance, it also features female relationships—Grace’s relationships with her mother and her cousin, Elena, which are close, supportive and dynamic. Elvira, Grace’s mother, is a powerhouse and can take anyone on, so Grace has a strong role model there.
The next thing about Spiritbound is the setting: Balmain in Sydney. What is more natural than Balmain and the surrounding suburbs as the place where a witches’ coven sets up its headquarters? It’s adjacent to Sydney Harbour, has a fab vibe, with cafes, markets and boutiques, and if I ever returned to Sydney to live, Balmain is where I’d want to be.
Now to the hero: Declan Mallory is tall, good looking and a solid warlock. He is totally hot property, but he hates all the attention he is getting from witches and is looking for a real connection. Grace is the childhood friend he can trust.
Here is an excerpt from when they meet again.
Next, he was excusing himself and heading in her direction. Panic stations blared in Grace’s brain. Oh goddess! What will I say?
‘Hello, I’m Declan Mallory.’ He had a delicious British accent.
Her heart sunk. ‘I know.’
He chuckled. ‘I didn’t think anyone would remember me. I’ve been gone so long.’
‘Eight years, four months, five days.’
He frowned. ‘What?’
Grace threw up a smile, even though she knew she was doomed. ‘That’s how long you’ve been gone.’
She exhaled slowly, waiting, just waiting for the penny to drop. He studied her face, her hair. ‘Grace?’