From best-selling author Allison Butler comes a brand-new Scottish historical: A charming rogue, a woman with responsibilities, a highland romance you won’t forget…
The final bewitching story in a trilogy about sexy witches and second chances…
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?’
By Dani Kristoff
The belief in the ‘other’ is as old as human kind. We have always pondered the boundaries of our existence and what lies beyond. We have craved magic and power over life and death. We see it in the story of Frankenstein’s monster, in the myth of vampires, in the lure of the werewolf and in the premise of shapeshifters and angels. It’s the excitement, the danger, the virility, the sexual promise and the ability to conquer and change our surroundings and in triumphing over death. And do it sexy and well. Man, I love paranormal romance (and urban fantasy!).
With the genre brimming with the above, it’s not surprising then to me that I fell in love with witches and warlocks and the idea they live here among us, hidden and sheltered in anonymity. But what do witches do to blend in? Do they fall in love? Do they have trouble getting dates? Sometimes they do.
Grace Riordon appeared in Bespelled and she was such a strong subsidiary character that I had to write her love story. Writing Spiritbound and exploring Grace’s life was so much fun. Now I have a huge girl crush on her.
Now Grace is no run of the mill witch. She’s a powerful necromancer and can reach to the other side to bring things back. The power quite expectedly scares the hell out of the Sydney coven. I imagine the coven would be on tenterhooks on Halloween with the undead being so close and Grace’s power being so strong.
I imagine on Halloween Grace would have to have a few glasses of red wine to chill out and would then need to threaten Declan with being replaced by Randy Roger if he didn’t keep her mind off the restless spirits that stalked the streets outside their house in Balmain. One wrong thought and she could bring back some unsuspecting soul of this night of power.
Dani Kristoff writes a home-grown witch series about the powerful Sydney Coven: their lives and loves.
This isn’t your mum’s Bewitched…
Elena Denholm is a mild-mannered half witch. As a favour to her cousin, she agrees to meet with top Sydney lawyer, Jake Royston, to negotiate a property deal. Sparks fly immediately, but before they can even take a sip of wine, let alone explore where the sizzle might go, Jake is hit by a love spell and is helpless against his feelings for Elena.
Jake may be at her mercy, but Elena is keeping her hands off — exploiting humans is a no-no. But Jake’s good looks and powers of persuasion are breaking down her resolve, and Elena knows she must do something fast.
Desperate to set things right before her resolve crumbles, Elena begins a frantic search to find the witch or warlock who hexed Jake and return him to his right mind, even if it means breaking her own heart…
The Sydney coven is suffering from a man drought – some witches complain, and some witches just get creative.
Grace lives with her cousin Elena and her mother Elvira, and life is pretty damn fine, barring the warlock drought that has the coven’s younger witches a bit itchy. Grace isn’t worried – even if a suitable warlock were available, he wouldn’t be interested in Grace. Ever since she raised her dead cat as a child, Grace’s necromancy skills have put everyone around her on edge.
Then her childhood beau, Declan Mallory, returns from overseas. He’s a battlemage and hot property. To Grace’s dismay, she is but one face among many as the coven witches pull out all the stops to attract the tall, dark and handsome warlock’s attention. Fortunately their childhood friendship still holds some sway, and Grace and Declan soon find themselves reconnecting on all sorts of levels. But there are dark secrets in the coven, and Declan’s family is determined to shut their relationship down. But Grace has finally found her warlock, and she is not giving him up without a fight: not to the bitch-witches, not to his family, and certainly not to the past.
From Shona Husk comes a New Adult series set in Australian indie rock scene: They might be one of the hottest up-and-coming bands in Australia, but the members of Selling the Sun have a lot to learn about life, love, sex, and each other.
From the witty, clever, dramatic pen of Rebekah Turner comes the final instalment of the Chronicles of Applecross trilogy finds Lora left in charge – and quickly losing control. (Definitely check out books 1 & 2 for more Lora goodness!)