Daniel de Lorne – Why Romance?

In the lead-up to Mardi Gras, we spoke with Daniel de Lorne about writing gay characters, representation, and why romance matters…

 

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Which Witch?

by Leisl Leighton

You’ve already identified your inner wolf, but what about your inner witch? Luckily, Leisl Leigton’s new paranormal series provides enough action and adventure for both…

Witches are creatures of the elements, pulling on the power of mother nature to fuel their magic – wind, water, earth and fire. These elements come together singularly or in multiples to create the base power of the witch. In the Pack Bound series, the four heroines are: Bron, a Healer, Shelley, a Medium, Skye, an Elemental, and Eloise, an Empathic-Shifter. Which one of them do you most closely resemble?

Which Witch are you? Answer these 10 questions to find out.

What element do you feel an affinity for?

  1. Air
  2. Water
  3. Earth
  4. Fire

What animal is your spirit guide?

  1. Hawk
  2. Dolphin
  3. Wolf
  4. Dragon

What colour is your favourite?

  1. Purple
  2. Yellow
  3. Green
  4. Blue

What is your favourite stone?

  1. Amethyst
  2. Amber
  3. Emerald
  4. Sapphire

Do you prefer:

  1. Spring
  2. Autumn
  3. Winter
  4. Summer

Do you like to:

  1. Go mountain hiking
  2. Go for a swim
  3. Work in the garden
  4. All of the above

Would you say you are:

  1. Rational and analytical– you don’t like to be rushed into things
  2. Emotional and sensitive – you prefer spontaneity
  3. Practical and grounded – you like to work with your hands
  4. Daring and bold – you like to take risks

If you were at a party, would you be:

  1. Involved in debate about politics and social discussion
  2. Floating around making sure everyone is having a good time
  3. In the kitchen making sure there was enough for everyone to eat and drink
  4. Dancing on the table, in the middle of all the fun

Do you feel at home:

  1. In a school, university, place of study?
  2. Living room or place of social activity?
  3. In a garden/farm?
  4. Wherever there are people and fun activities?

If you could describe your ideal job, what would it be?

  1. Something that was intellectually stimulating
  2. Helping others heal physically or emotionally
  3. Working with your hands
  4. Teaching and inspiring others

If you answered mostly A you are: Shelley.

Congratulations! Shelley is a medium whose main element is Air. The Air element’s direction is east and its season is spring. Air governs the realm of the mind and mental activity and is the most ethereal of the elements and one of the reasons why Shelley’s main power allows her to speak to spirits and move in the veiled world of death. She longs to travel, is very intellectual and imaginative and gets a great deal of satisfaction out of discovering new information and new places.

She is always at home in places she can explore any of these loves, as are all those governed by the Air element. Meeting rooms, schools, libraries, airports, railway stations and bus terminals are all places that speak to her in ways that are unusual for others, which is probably why she was also attracted to working as a nurse in a hospital despite the spirits who have a habit of accosting her there. Despite this, she also loves being outside, especially at the top of a mountain or on a windy plain, or quite frankly, anywhere where there is a clear, open sky.

She is very rational and analytical, doesn’t rush into things and loves mental stimulation – which is why she loves studying the Pack Diaries. Sometimes she can be too judgemental and critical of herself and others and pedantic about getting things right. Her power when it manifests on the physical and psychic planes is amethyst. She is deeply loyal, and once she loves, she loves forever.

If you answered mostly B you are: Bron.

Congratulations! Bron is a Healer whose main element is Water. The Water element’s direction is west and its season is autumn. Water is the element that most affects the subconscious, emotions and dreams. It purifies, heals, offers emotional release and removes all that is stagnant which is partly what makes Bron the talented Healer she is. Her power is the warm amber-gold of true Healing in both the physical and psychic planes and she is never so happy as when she is helping someone else.

Bron is extremely social, loving always to be with people, although not always the centre of attention. She is in touch with her feminine core, is very sexually confident and has no problem with touch. In fact, she needs the touch of those she loves and cares for to feel whole.

She loves water places – seas, lakes, rivers, marshes, wells, pools and areas where the land is rain-drenched. She is spiritual, emotional, sensitive and very intuitive, which is why she can also feel and sometimes even see the dead and talk to them, although bearing their sadness is very difficult for her because she is likely to take it on herself. She is extremely spontaneous, sometimes too spontaneous – something that has got her into trouble in the past – but this is balanced out by her empathic and nurturing soul. The biggest danger to Bron is giving herself too much to those she loves and not leaving anything of herself.

If you answered mostly C you are: Eloise.

Congratulations! Eloise is an empath whose main element is Earth. Earth’s direction is north and its month is winter. Earth’s main qualities are those of shelter, the womb, rebirth and as a home of ancient oracles – and Eloise has all this in spades and more. Earth is also related to the gods and goddesses who represent sexuality and vitality, but its power is also grounding, which is one of the many reasons why she is the Nexus with the ability to create and destroy.

Her power is life and death, which is one of the reasons she is afraid to take risks and branch out and it often seems to her that her dreams are out of her reach, but everything is there inside her, she just has to trust herself to step up and take the chance. Her power when it manifests on the physical and psychic planes is spring green and when she finally opens up, she feels very connected to everything around her.

She loves to work with her hands and has a keen intellect, things that come in handy when she studied engineering, particularly her love of fixing cars. She needs to be surrounded by family because like Bron, she’s very tactile by nature and enjoys the pleasures of the senses. These were pushed aside for many years so, when these needs are finally explored, she discovers with delight that she has a very healthy libido, a fact she is more than happy to explore with the love of her life.

If you answered mostly D, you are: Skye

Congratulations! Skye is an Elemental whose main element is Fire, although she also has dominion over the other elements as well because of her Elemental status, so she can claim some of the characteristics of her friends. Fire’s direction is south and its season is summer. Her power when it manifests on the physical and psychic planes is electric blue. Motivated, creative, passionate and fast to act, Skye likes living a little dangerously. She loves a challenge and is addicted to the adrenaline rush of X-sports. She loves being outside and feeling one with her body and nature, but can push herself too hard and get hurt.

She is intuitive, understanding and imaginative which makes her a natural to work with children and one of the reasons why they love her so much, because in many ways, she is as open as they are. However, Skye is terrified of her powers and how they make her feel like she is out of control, that her natural instinct is to destroy. She allows her fear to cloud the fact that she is courageous and strong and has the power to transform everything she touches, and doesn’t immediately see that fire is not only destructive, it cleanses, purifies and creates.

Like most Fire personalities, she is charming, charismatic and passionate and lives her life to the full, relying heavily on instincts. Daring and bold in career, she is afraid to give in love until she opens to the reality of who she really is, and then she gives herself to love in the same way she gives herself to everything else – wholly and completely.


33095One pack, one coven, a destiny intertwined…

Five hundred years ago, facing extinction, a group of powerful witches united to create a pact with the Were to save witch-kind. The pact expelled an ancient evil, known only as the Darkness, that was blocking the Were from their wolves. With the Darkness destroyed, the Packs and their Covens grew strong as they thrived beside each other in their brand-new world.

But the Darkness was not destroyed.

Skye Collins has been brought up to fear her magic and shy away from witch and Were alike. But when Jason McVale, the Alpha of Pack McVale, comes in search of her, she is intrigued and tempted. Her mistrust of magic and wariness of the intensity of passion she shares with Jason threatens her control—and if she loses control, she just might turn into the weapon the Darkness intended her to become all along.

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Who is your Inner Wolf?

by Leisl Leighton

If you were a Were-Shifter, would you be an Alpha, a Trickster or a Lone Wolf?

Do you like to:

  1. Make decisions on behalf of others

  2. Make decisions just for yourself

  3. None of the above

When you run, how do you like to do it?

  1. At the head of the pack

  2. By yourself

  3. Whenever the mood takes you

When you go out with friends do you like it to be:

  1. A large group

  2. A small group

  3. Don’t care as long as it’s fun

Of these sports, what one do you like to do?

  1. Anything as long as you can be captain

  2. Swimming laps by yourself

  3. Playing volley ball on the beach

What’s your favourite colour?

  1. Brilliant blue
  2. Spring green
  3. Amethyst

What’s your favourite holiday?

  1. Halloween
  2. Easter
  3. Christmas

If you were an animal, what would you be?

  1. Lion – king of the jungle
  2. Tiger – solitary predator
  3. Dog – family is king

What phrase best describes you?

  1. You love to be in charge and can handle a crisis
  2. You love the quiet and being by yourself
  3. You are the life of the party and don’t like being alone

Do you prefer to:

  1. Stay at home with family and friends
  2. Travel to exotic places and meet new people
  3. Both of the above

In regards to work, do you:

  1. Own your own business/are the manager or boss
  2. Work with your hands/are the creative type
  3. Work in entertainment/events, anything where you can help people have fun

If you answered ‘a’ to most questions, you’re an Alpha. Strong and resilient, you live for family and to protect those you love. You are loyal and kind, but firm and are good in a crisis. A serious soul, you always have your head firmly on your shoulders and would rather have a serious conversation and a good meal with an excellent glass of wine with friends and family than be out playing the town. Once you love, you love forever.

If you answered ‘b’ to most questions, you are a Lone Wolf. You too are strong and resilient and live for family, but unlike an Alpha, you prefer to go it alone. You don’t tend to ask for help and aren’t big on sharing emotions, except with your one true love. You can be quite artistic, and enjoy working with your hands. You need to travel and experience new things and are very creative. You don’t expect to love or be loved, but once you find love, you will never give it back.

If you answered ‘c’ to most questions, you are the Trickster. Like the Alpha and Lone Wolf, you are resilient and strong and incredibly loving and loyal to family and friends – you’d die for them if necessary – but you rarely sit still long enough for people to figure this out about you. You love to party because you get joy out of others having a better time than you. You hate to see others sad, lost or alone, and do everything you can to change this for them. You never give up on anyone – stubborn is the core of who you are. When you love, you give your all and there is no going back, ever.


33095One pack, one coven, a destiny intertwined…

Five hundred years ago, facing extinction, a group of powerful witches united to create a pact with the Were to save witch-kind. The pact expelled an ancient evil, known only as the Darkness, that was blocking the Were from their wolves. With the Darkness destroyed, the Packs and their Covens grew strong as they thrived beside each other in their brand-new world.

But the Darkness was not destroyed.

Skye Collins has been brought up to fear her magic and shy away from witch and Were alike. But when Jason McVale, the Alpha of Pack McVale, comes in search of her, she is intrigued and tempted. Her mistrust of magic and wariness of the intensity of passion she shares with Jason threatens her control—and if she loses control, she just might turn into the weapon the Darkness intended her to become all along.

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Exclusive Excerpt: Pack Bound

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One pack, one coven, a destiny intertwined…

The microwave pinged and Skye jumped.

Stupid. Jumping at microwaves!

This is what happened when you had the kind of overbearing grandmother who sent people to follow you around on your holiday. Paranoia.

Slamming her hand against the button, she barely waited for the door to swing open before grabbing the bowl. Soup spilled over her thumb.

Fudge a fudgy-duck!’ She put the dripping soup bowl down on the bench and sucked at her burned thumb. ‘Ffffffruitloops, that’s hot.’

Wow, impressive. She not only skis like a pro, but she knows how to swear in the most inventive way I’ve ever heard. Tell me you can dance the samba and I think I might just want to marry you.’

The prickles on her neck bloomed into hot fire at the sound of a voice she would never forget. ‘You!’ she said, spinning around.

Me.’ His lips twitched.

Her gaze collided with those incredible eyes and her heart took a flying leap up her throat, cutting off her breath.

Breathe. Don’t act like a teenager with a crush. He’s just a man.

But what a man!

Luckily, her lungs responded to the demand for oxygen, because her brain was still missing in action.

Here. Let me help.’ Without asking, he took her arm and led her out of the kitchen to a bench, made her sit and then headed back to the kitchen, returning with her soup, toast, a spoon and a glass of water a moment later.

Thanks.’ Skye spun the spoon between her fingers as he sat on the bench seat opposite. It clanked against the side of the bowl, the sound kick-starting her brain enough for her to ask, ‘What are you doing here?’

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Celebrate (Wiccan) Good Times

by Leisl Leighton

I have always been fascinated with modern religious holidays like Christmas and Easter and how they got to be the way they are. Why on earth do we decorate a pine tree to celebrate the birth of Christ? Why is Christmas in December when historians know Christ was born in the Spring, not in Winter? And why would we have a rabbit leaving eggs to celebrate a man’s death?

It was always so weird – wonderful and interesting, but weird. As I got older, I discovered the reason was because many of our own holidays actually borrow elements from other religious pantheons, most particularly from pagan festivals which are now celebrated by Wiccans and Witches.

For instance, Midwinter, or Yule takes place on the 21st-23rd December. Marking the last month of the old year and the first month of the new (from the lunar calendar), Yule was a time of sacrifices, feasting and gift giving in the northern hemisphere.

Holly

People decorated their homes with ever-greenery – holly, ivy, mistletoe, yew, pine – often featuring red winter berries. (Sound familiar? The only thing missing is a jolly fat white-bearded man wearing a red and white outfit – thanks Coca Cola!) Yule was a very important festival, a turning point of the yearly cycle, a reversal of the sun’s ebbing presence in the sky, symbolising the rebirth of the solar god and presaging the return of the fertile season.

Historians posit that the Christians appropriated this holiday for their own celebrations, due to similar themes of birth and hope they wished to focus on (not to mention supplementing the Roman holiday of Saturnalia, which occurred around the same time and was a regular orgy of food, drink and flesh – and a completely different story for another blog!)

Easter also takes much of what it is from the Pagan festival of Ostara or Oestra (sounds a lot like Easter, right?) Ostara is the Vernal Equinox running from the 19th-22nd March. It gains its name from the fertility goddess, Ostara, the Eastern Star.

The festival itself inaugurates the new year on the Zodiacal calendar and is the point at which the day becomes longer than the night in the northern hemisphere.

It is a time of rebirth – hence why it celebrates the goddess of fertility! Given eggs are a symbol of fertility, it became the custom to decorate them in celebration and as a kind of hopeful prayer for the new year. That’s why we give eggs at Easter time – although the chocolate thing is an entirely modern twist that most of us find indulgently delicious.

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In regards to the bunny rabbit who delivers eggs (something we all know rabbits don’t do), the Goddess Ostara is associated with fecund symbols, most especially the hare (we all know the phrase ‘going at it like rabbits’) and the egg. So, this is why we have a rabbit delivering eggs. Cool hey?

14e1790a29ae4edd67f32a8370f9a88a--easter-decor-easter-crafts

And then there’s Halloween. A bastardised version of ‘All Hallow’s Eve’ or All Saints Day, it was a reference to the eve of Samhain, a sabbat festival, considered to be one of the four Great Sabbats.

It’s a time to celebrate the lives of those who have passed on. It is often considered a festival of darkness, balanced at the opposite point of the Wheel of the Year by Beltane which is the festival of light and fertility.

Wiccans believe that at Samhain, the veil between this world and the afterlife is at its thinnest, making it easier to communicate with the departed, the strongest time at midnight on Samhain Eve. It became tradition during the middle ages for people to go ‘mumming’ or ‘a-souling’ on the night before Samhain. They’d dress up and pretend to be spirits of the departed, roaming from door to door offering prayers for the dead. They were offered sweet cakes and fruits in exchange for this ‘mumming’.

220px-Mummers02

Of course, in modern times, candy companies and costume makers jumped on this tradition (after trying to start up their own ‘Sweets Day’ in the USA earlier in the month but failing to get traction) and the homemade treats and costumes became horror dress ups for candy. Trick or Treat anyone?

Trick-or-Treat-Photo

While I enjoy the modern versions, I love the histories of these ancient festivals, the rich traditions which are still payed homage to by thriving Wiccan communities across the world. It was this fascination that led me to include these festivals, the ties to the power of the earth, to rebirth, to changes, death and the power beyond the veil, into my Pack Bound Series. I hope the thread of ancient mystery mixed with my own imagination helps to bring my world of Were, Shifters, Witches and Wiccans to life for readers as much as they have for me.


33095One pack, one coven, a destiny intertwined…

Five hundred years ago, facing extinction, a group of powerful witches united to create a pact with the Were to save witch-kind. The pact expelled an ancient evil, known only as the Darkness, that was blocking the Were from their wolves. With the Darkness destroyed, the Packs and their Covens grew strong as they thrived beside each other in their brand-new world.

But the Darkness was not destroyed.

Skye Collins has been brought up to fear her magic and shy away from witch and Were alike. But when Jason McVale, the Alpha of Pack McVale, comes in search of her, she is intrigued and tempted. Her mistrust of magic and wariness of the intensity of passion she shares with Jason threatens her control—and if she loses control, she just might turn into the weapon the Darkness intended her to become all along.

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Christmas Earworms: Good King Wenceslas

by Daniel de Lorne

My favourite Christmas carol is Good King Wenceslas. When I was about 10, my cousin and I used to play a lot of Christmas duets on the piano. They were probably simple arrangements, but for me they were filled with a fun type of stress. She played the second part and I had the melody. Good King Wenceslas was my favourite of the lot, especially the part where it goes “Brightly shone the moon that night.” There was something rousing about those notes and I learned the whole lot off by heart.

That year I’d decided we’d have carols on Christmas Day when my family and my cousin’s family would come together to open presents. I’d spent weeks (or maybe it was only days) typing out the words to the carols and arranging them in a booklet, printing seven and colouring in specially designed covers. They were a work of art.

The day arrived and we played about 12 Christmas carols for the family going through a whole lot of the classics – Silent Night, Deck the Halls, Angels We Have Heard on High and of course Good King Wenceslas. All five verses. I’m sure the adults were wondering when it would all end, but they kept that to themselves and we had fun bashing out the tunes.

Years later when I was in Prague I quietly sang Good King Wenceslas while wandering through Wenceslas Square. I don’t think I’d even considered he was a real person before then at age 22.

I was trying to find a cartoon version of Good King Wenceslas that I remember from my childhood but couldn’t find it within the billions of videos on YouTube so here’s an Irish version that’s a lot more sprightly.


24083From the author of the romantic horror debut Beckoning Blood comes the gripping sequel that mixes blood, sex, and magic.

No-one gets to choose who they spend eternity with.

Aurelia d’Arjou has vampires for brothers, but it is as a witch that she comes into her own power, keeping balance and control, using her strength to mitigate the death and pain that her brothers bring. When she is forced to take on the centuries long task of keeping the world safe from the brutal demon that wore her father’s skin, duty dominates her life. But rare happiness comes in the form of a beguiling, flame-haired oracle who makes the perfect companion…but for one thing.

Hame doesn’t want to be an oracle, but when a demon destroys the closest thing to a father he has, he has little choice but to aid Aurelia with his visions. Unable to love her as she would wish, their centuries-old friendship comes under attack when a handsome Welsh witch enters his life – and his heart.

As treachery and betrayal push Hame to choose between his closest friend and his lover, it becomes clear that when it comes to war, love doesn’t always conquer all, and happy endings are never guaranteed.

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Friday Five: Jami Gray

2814First published with Escape: June 2017
Favourite romance trope: Emotionally scarred H/H, with Alpha tendencies from a military background, with paranormal elements. (Yeah, picking one isn’t easy.)
Ideal hero (in three words): Protective, complex, unexpected
Ideal heroine (in three words): Courageous, Quick-witted, kick-ass
Latest book: Lying in Ruins

What began your romance writing career? Why do you write romance?

An avid reader, when I hit high school, in-between the fantasy and murder-mysteries from my school library, I started sneaking my mom’s romance novels out of the house. Then entering the big bad world as an adult, I stumbled through life and discovered my characters suddenly became harder to hurt (emotionally and physically) while their relationships became crucial to my stories. A therapist would have a field day with this, but my stories shifted to heroines who didn’t need a hero to ride to her rescue. Sometimes it was more satisfying if she rumbled up to his rescue on her Harley.

How do you write? What is your process like?

I started out a solid pantser (one who writes with little to no planning), something I soon learned would not work long term, mainly because I’m a series writer and it’s way too easy to lose a sub-plot or a subtle piece of a character before you realise it. After eleven books I have mastered the art of a basic outline. Granted it can’t be too detailed because then I get bored (not a good thing when you’re the one telling the story), but my outline has enough major points to ward off distractions and keep me (somewhat) on point. Characters tend to come to me first, bringing their worlds along for the ride, then comes the fun part—creating conflicts of all shapes and sizes.

What was your hardest scene to write? Which kind of scenes do you find difficult to write? Which scenes do you enjoy writing the most?

Some of the more emotional scenes are difficult, only because to do justice to why a character reacts the way they do, without providing an easy emotional out, is tricky business. Anger’s a great emotion, but can be overused. Fear, even in the strongest person, can be the most corrosive. Love can cut both ways on the good/evil spectrum. But emotions are the core of who we are, and why we choose to act the way we do to any given situation. Writing such scenes aren’t just painful for my characters, they’re painful to write, but when done right they’re also the most rewarding.

 

What do you do when you’re stuck with a scene?

One of the most frustrating parts about story creation is hitting those plot pits, you know the kind that will drop your story into an endless chasm, never to come back? Yeah, those. The fun part about being a writer, nothing is ever final until it’s published, which means much like the awesome Dr. Who, I get to play with timelines, or in this case, story lines. Since the scene is stuck in my head, I’ll leave it for a day or so while I mentally rewrite it ad nauseam, changing little things with each rendition until something finally wrenches those clawing talons from my ankles.

 

As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal? Do you have one already? 

As much as I’d like to say I’m bi-symbolic because I could swing either toward wolves or leopards, going to have to admit I tend to lean more towards the canine. As a proud rescue mama of my Fur Minxes, Lola and Angel, it’s easy to guess I’m a huge dog person, and yes, I’ll admit, being highly allergic to the feline population doesn’t help. However, leopards are stealthy, cunning, majestic felines that rule their worlds with a cynical eye, but wolves have this fabulous duality of both pack animals and lone predators built on a basis of loyalty and fierce determination. An introvert by nature, something about the ability to move between social and solo appeals to me.

Fur Minxes

 

What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever had to research for a book?

When a two-hour span of my search history chronicles: How to set up a marijuana grow house, US Dept. of Defense’s list of current projects, most lethal FOB (Forward Operations Bases) of the US military, and how to set a Trojan virus, I’m pretty sure Homeland Security has me on a list somewhere. It was for my PSY-IV Teams series (a group of ex-military psychics) and I was impressed no men in dark suits came knocking on my door.

Where is your favourite place to write? 

I tend to write at my desk normally, but my favourite place to write is with my writing group during our retreats. As desert dwellers, we tend to head north where green things grow and the temperature tends to rest beneath broiling. We try to carve out a long weekend once or twice a year to get together. We stockpile coffee, food, and power cords and then disappear into our worlds for long, blissful uninterrupted hours. Occasionally one of us will surface, mutter a question about some fantastical element and its probable outcome, but the sounds of Mother Nature are interspersed with the click of fingers breezing over keyboards, broken by the slurp of caffeine intake. This picture was from one such jaunt, a lovely multi-room cabin where cell signals were only achieved by driving up the road, holding the phone at a 90 degree angle three feet from your body. It was lovely!

 

 

Writers Retreat View
Besides writing, what is something else that you’re really good at?

Organisation. While I ride the line between plotter and pantser (writing without a plan), in every other aspect of my life, I must plan and things must be in their place. Trips have an itinerary, I have a list of tasks to accomplish for almost everything, and I can’t sit down to write unless everything’s done. In fact, I share an office with my husband (see photos). Can you tell who owns which desk?


31476 (3)In a world gone to hell, it’s hard to tell the good guys from the bad…

The world didn’t end in fire and explosions, instead it collapsed slowly, like falling dominoes, an intensifying panic of disease, food shortages, wild weather and collapsing economies, until what remained of humanity battles for survival in a harsh new reality.

Charity uses lethal survival skills learned too early in her work as a ‘Hound, sniffing out pivotal secrets for one of the most powerful people on the west coast. Her work is deceptive, deadly, and best performed solo, which means when she has a run-in with a member of the notorious Fate’s Vultures, she has no intention of joining forces in some mockery of teamwork. The man might be sexy as hell, but she travels alone. She will accomplish her mission and she will settle a score – hopefully with the edge of her blade. But fate has other plans.

As one of Fate’s Vultures, a nomadic band of arbitrators known for their ruthless verdicts, Ruin witnesses the carnage of corruption and greed battering the remnants of humanity, and he bears the scars to prove it. Now he has a damn ‘Hound showing up in suspicious circumstances, leaving every cell of his body sceptical – and painfully aroused. The woman is trouble, and Ruin has every intention of steering clear. But when they realise they have a common enemy, Charity and Ruin will have to set aside their distrust if they want to achieve their mutual goal – justice and revenge.

Sometimes, when the world’s gone to hell, it’s better to stick with the devil you know…

Lying in Ruins is available now

Feed Your Reader: A Giant Romance and A Book Full of Bad Boys

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A brand new steamy paranormal romance about learning to love all of yourself.

In a world where people judge one another by exacting standards of size and style, being a big girl like Eudora Splat was never going to be easy.

Though trouble is brewing between magic folk and human purists who would see them all destroyed, Dora, a half-giant, tries to eke out a quiet, unnoticed life for herself, but it’s hard to be subtle when you’re over seven feet tall.

Losing her job as a gardener due to human complaints, Dora is recruited as a prison guard, where she’s enlisted to protect the magician Evander “Bear” Gordon from human purist attack. Bear encourages her to embrace her power and celebrate her heritage, introducing her to a world where she can be extraordinary and not just weird.

But after years of hiding and shying away, can Dora find the strength to grab onto a new life — and hold on to the man she’s falling in love with?

One-click now!

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32435 (1)

Three full-length novels about heroes who are mad, bad, and dangerous to love…

Getting Wild — Sarah Barrie

The Devil Wears Prada meets Man vs Wild in this fast-paced romantic comedy set in the no-holds-barred world of travel journalism.

When Ella Jameson, editor-in-chief of Australia’s top travel magazine, steps into a room, people scramble to attention. She’s ruthless, terrifying, and untouchable.

But when Ryan Edwards walks into her office with a job proposal, Ella just knows he’s going to be trouble. In the tropical beauty of Australia’s Top End, it’s not just the weather that’s going to sizzle…

Hot Chocolate — Charlotte De Pace

She’s always been the good girl, but this trip to Italy will show Annabella that love and chocolate can both be sweet, tempting — and dangerously addictive.

When infamous playboy Alessandro De Costa entices Annabella Beaumont to be his master chocolatier and faux fiancée, neither anticipate the deception — or passionate seduction — that will follow.

As she slowly succumbs to the playboy’s charms, Annabella struggles with sweet temptation — as well as secrets that could ruin everything.

Tell Me No Lies – Shirley Wine

For single mum Victoria Scanlan, a visit to the luxurious country house of Darkhaven is a rare chance to combine work with pleasure. Securing the commission for The Wedding Of The Year will guarantee the ongoing success of her floral boutique and secure her the stability she needs for both herself and her son.

But Darkhaven comes with a shocking guest – the groom, Keir Donovan, is the man she once knew as Seth Donahue. Her young son’s father. The man who has no idea he has a child. The man she can’t forget.

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Exclusive Excerpt: The Magician’s Keeper

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A brand new steamy paranormal romance about learning to love all of yourself.

Dora watched the inmate, Mr Gordon, trying to keep her features carefully schooled and follow the instructions given during the induction. She was to always be on the lookout for possible shifts in mood that may precede an attack on the prison guards, other inmates but especially visiting legal representatives. This particular inmate was showing all the signs of suppressed aggression – and in her opinion quite justly. The lawyer was revolting and did not appear at all sympathetic to his client’s cause.

The inmate’s heavy brow had grown thunderous, his dark eyes flashed and his broad chest heaved with irritation. She really couldn’t blame him, she was starting to feel a little annoyed herself.

Her eyes lingered on the v- of his orange overalls. His skin was smooth with only a hint of chest hair. She looked away as her pulse raced a little.

Lord.

It was impossible not to notice the man’s frustration, but it was equally impossible to ignore fact he was a very attractive man.

In a delicious, big, bad wolf kind of way.

She shook the feeling away, knowing just how very inappropriate it was, as another equally as absorbing sensation took its place. A very real righteous indignation on Gordon’s behalf flared hotly in her gut.

Here was a vital, strong Magician, imprisoned in an unfair justice system simply for trying to get people to believe in their cause. He was the very kind of man her mother had died trying to help through her work in the UMC.

Her heart thumped loudly and she took a breath to steady herself.

The Magician’s Keeper is available for pre-order now!

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He’s a Magic Man…

by Nicola E. Sheridan

I write about magicians – but forget old guys pulling rabbits out of their hats, or macabrely dismembering pretty girls in boxes. Seriously, forget about those.

The magicians I’m talking about aren’t charlatan tricksters with brainless sidekicks. I’m taking about magicians with real magic, real power and real hearts. The kind of magicians who’ve inspired my latest book, The Magician’s Keeper – coming out in November.

Here are my top five.

Allanon_ManuBennett&me

Allanon –Terry Brooks, Shannara Chronicals

Allanon is the frankly delectable last Druidic Magician, who has just woken from a 400 hundred year sleep. He’s powerful, good and loyal. His love is enduring. He is also portrayed by the utterly gorgeous Manu Bennett in the television series.


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Pug Rift War series, Raymond E. Feist

Oh, Pug, for all his ugly name, he is a character I absolutely adored through my teen years, when I hungrily devoured Feist’s super awesome series. Pug starts the series as an unloved youngster hoping to become a Magician, who’s humiliatingly rejected by all who cannot see his potential. To cut a long, long, story short [spoiler alert] Pug becomes one of the most powerful magicians of all time.


Merlin_variousportrayals

Merlin – Arthurian Legend.

Merlin, he’s either portrayed as an old bearded man, or as a uniquely featured young man in the TV series ‘Merlin’. Both of these depictions do not meet with my expectations. The Merlin of myth is a pretty interesting character, he was the son of a princess, fathered by an Incubus (nocturnal sex demon). So he’s got some funky DNA right there. He was baptised right after birth, casting out his inherent evil, but retains the powers of his father *insert waggling eyebrows here*.


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Raitslin Majere – in the Dragon Lance series by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman

Raitslin is an interesting Magician, he inherited his skills at magic from his mother and passed gruelling Test of High Sorcery. As a result, he acquired white hair and golden skin, and was cursed with hourglass eyes which saw the effects of time on all things. So he is pretty handsome too.


Konstantin Yuryevich_as Anton

Anton GorodetskyNight Watch, by Russian author Sergei Lukyanenko

Anton, is a reluctant Magician, preferring to live his life quietly, but finds his powers are growing and with them, his problems. Anton is also a bit of bad-ass, carrying not only his magic but also a pistol and silver bullets to put down any Vamps or Werewolves that come his way. He’s cynical, and despite his oddities, more than a little cool.

So, there you have it, five totally awesome Magicians. If you want to read about one more, you’ll find him in novel A Warlord’s Lady, which is out now.


32437A brand new steamy paranormal romance about learning to love all of yourself.

In a world where people judge one another by exacting standards of size and style, being a big girl like Eudora Splat was never going to be easy.

Though trouble is brewing between magic folk and human purists who would see them all destroyed, Dora, a half-giant, tries to eke out a quiet, unnoticed life for herself, but it’s hard to be subtle when you’re over seven feet tall.

Losing her job as a gardener due to human complaints, Dora is recruited as a prison guard, where she’s enlisted to protect the magician Evander “Bear” Gordon from human purist attack. Bear encourages her to embrace her power and celebrate her heritage, introducing her to a world where she can be extraordinary and not just weird.

But after years of hiding and shying away, can Dora find the strength to grab onto a new life — and hold on to the man she’s falling in love with?

The Magician’s Keeper is available for pre-order now!

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