Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Guest - Kate Hill

Good morning! Happy July 1st. July always makes me think Summer with all the heat, fireworks and parades. And mosquitoes. But that's the cost of summer...biting insects. So I'm always looking for some way to ward the little blood suckers off so if you have hints, feel free to share.

In the meanwhile, we have author Kate Hill visiting today with an excellent post about the price of power. What are your thoughts? Authors? Readers? Let's discuss.


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The Price of Power

Often in stories involving the paranormal, characters have powers that give them an advantage over others. Characters who use magic, for example, can perform tasks quicker and with more efficiency than normal humans. Mediums have inside information about the afterlife and shapeshifters aren't limited by their bodies as humans are. Vampires have the gift of long life.

Characters with special powers add an interesting layer to a story, but should those powers come at a price to at least help level the playing field between them and average people?

If a character is all powerful, they run the risk of being less interesting. As humans, our flaws are part of what make us unique and because we all have them, it's easier for us to relate to flawed characters. If everything came easily to paranormal characters, they would probably have no interest in us and vice versa. Since most paranormal romances deal with the very human emotion of love, character flaws are especially important because part of real love is accepting each other's imperfections.

In general, most paranormal creatures have their own set of trials to overcome. In many werewolf movies, for instance, the werewolf endures quite a bit of pain when shifting shape. For some shifters, the change might not be painful, but a natural occurrence for their species. When that happens they usually have other issues to deal with. Maybe they come from a strict pack and if the rules are violated, a member might be cast out or worse.

Vampires have long lives, but the price they pay is that they much leech off others, absorbing either blood or energy. In a romance, that flaw can actually be an important part of the love relationship. Instead of stealing blood or energy, their partner offers it willingly, creating a bond between them.

Many characters are born with their powers, but must develop them. Witches and others who use magic often take years to learn how to control their gifts.

In my novel The Red King, the antagonist, Hypatios, has some otherworldly gifts. He can speak to animals and to the dead. His powers have come at a price, however, and because of this he is known as the mad prince of Zaltana. He is a powerful enemy of the hero, Areus, and doesn't hesitate to use his powers against him. The excerpt below features a scene with a wounded Hypatios dealing with his powers in the presence of his love interest.

Do you think characters with otherworldly powers should pay their dues for these abilities? If paranormal characters are flawed, do you find them easier to relate to?




The Red King
by Kate Hill
Erotic Fantasy Romance
ISBN: 9781419993534
Available July 01, 2015

Torn from her beloved convent home, Delia is forced to marry Areus of Lortia. The contract states she must deliver an heir within a year or the marriage can be annulled. Delia vows to control her fate by ensuring there will be no child--until she is mesmerized by Areus, the proud, virile warrior king.

Areus agrees to marry Delia to gain her father's army to continue his fight against Hypatios, the mad prince of Zaltana. He doesn't expect to fall in love with a convent-reared mouse, but from the first, Delia rouses his lust and touches his heart.

Their life together hangs in the balance as the war with Zaltana advances and Areus discovers Hypatios is far more than just his sworn enemy.

Excerpt:

“Hypatios!” Mira stepped inside. She dropped her armload of firewood and ran to the bed.

“Mira, no, stay back!” he bellowed, momentarily forgetting that she could neither see nor feel the spirits.

As she neared, the spirits continued fighting, rolling across the floor.

“What happened?” Mira asked, taking his hand and cupping his cheek. “You’re hot. I hope your fever isn’t rising again.”

“No, I’m fine,” he said, catching his breath. He closed his eyes for a moment and when he opened them, the spirits were gone.

“You must have been dreaming.” Mira reached for the mug of water and offered him some. “What was it about?”

His brow furrowed and a quirky smile touched his lips. “You want to know what I dreamed?”

“Do you want to tell me?”

“No.”

She nodded and stood to collect the scattered firewood.

“It wasn’t a dream,” he said.

Still squatting on the floor, she glanced at him. “What happened then?”

“You wouldn’t believe me if I told you.”

“Don’t be so sure. I’ve always had a wild imagination.”

He grinned. “That sounds enticing.”

Mira’s smile faded and she turned away, picking up the wood.

“I apologize,” he said. “I didn’t mean that how it sounded.”

She stood, her hands on her hips, and held his gaze. “Didn’t you?”



About Kate

Always a fan of romance and the paranormal, Kate Hill started writing over twenty years ago for pleasure. Her first story, a short erotic vampire tale, was accepted for publication in 1996. Since then she has sold over one hundred short stories, novellas and novels.

When she's not working on her books, Kate enjoys reading, working out and spending time with her family and pets.

She enjoys hearing from readers and she can be contacted at katehill@sprintmail.com. Kate also writes under the name Saloni Quinby. Find her online at http://www.kate-hill.com, http://www.twitter.com/katehillromance, and http://www.facebook.com/katehillsaloniquinby.

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Lynda Again --

Hope you've enjoyed our guest today. Please click on the Google (g+) button to help spread the word and be sure to leave a comment to let her know. Remember, if you're a member of my newsletter, you'll get the latest news on my books along with the newsletter. Sign up. It's free!

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Monday, May 25, 2015

Guest - Ines Johnson

Good morning! I hope everyone is enjoying the day. In the US, we're having Memorial Day (I speak about it in a previous blog post ) so I know there are lots of BBQ's taking place. Please be careful on the roads. We don't want to lose any of you!

We have a guest today, Ines Johnson, who's giving us a terrific article about, well, men, lol. Let me know what you think of it.

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Men of Devotion

If you read my books, you may have noticed a theme. Between the covers of many of my stories you’ll find a man of the cloth, who struggles with his feelings for a woman, and ultimately succumbs to the glories of romantic love.

An Old Testament
My fascination with priests began with the television movie, The Thornbirds. Richard Chamberlain in robes -nuff said. Its not just priests I’m fascinated with. It was an illuminating experience for me watching the Jedi of Star Wars. I even found Yoda hot! And then there was that string of movies about fallen angels where Christopher Walken was a badass angel and Elias Koteas was a former priest. Yummy. But the priest to end all priests? Matthew McConaughey in Contact!

Why am I attracted to priests, monks, angels, and even cone-headed, Buddha-like aliens? Because these men of devotion have a lot of qualities that women look for in their partners. They’re disciplined, full of grace, devoted, and they understand sacrifice.

A Beautiful Mind
Spiritual men are smart. Monks spend their lives studying ancient texts. Priests have to get a degree from college or seminary school, which can take anywhere from four to eight years. Jedi are taken as children, younglings, into the order. Other than Luke Skywalker, we know they spend all of their formative years training in the mental and physical art of the force.

Hopelessly Devoted
Speaking of Skywalkers, Padme didn’t fall for cute and cuddly Anakin. No, she fell for the grown Jedi who began to tug at the rules of his order as he pursued her affections. We all like a rebel, a bad boy, to some degree. The man of cloth might not be the bad boy, but their situation is definitely a naughty and forbidden one. He’s pledged his loyalty and devotion to another: namely god, a goddess, or some higher power.

The Sexy Priest trope is the perfect love triangle. You have the sexy priest, the first leg of the triangle. The priest is devoted to his vows, the second leg of the triangle. And then in walks another set of legs, the heroine. Admit it: we all want to be the chosen one in a love triangle. And if you can emerge the victor over a god-figure…

I already recognize that I’m going to hell. But that’s okay, because that’s where all of the sexy, fallen priests will be!




The Loyal Steed: a Pleasure Hound Novel

What starts as a series of carnal lessons turns into more as two rivals vie for the woman of their dreams.


Blurb

Trained as a Pleasure Hound and now surviving by selling his body to rich women, Jaspir’s heart has always remained loyal to Lady Merlyn. When Merlyn’s fiance, Liam, approaches Jaspir for help in ensuring her happiness in the bedroom, Jaspir agrees to train Liam in the pleasure arts. What starts as rivals in an uneasy truce, soon turns carnal when Merlyn learns of their secret lessons and iis torn between the attentions of two men who would do anything to rule her heart.



Quantifiable Love


"Our time is up, Merlyn."

"Should I buy more?"

Jaspir hesitated. He closed his eyes, resting his forehead against hers. She had his heart, but he would never be allowed to possess hers. He set her back on her chair.

"No," he whispered. He lifted his head and looked into her eyes. "No," he said more firmly.
Another hour, another day would change nothing. It had taken years to get over her. Who was he kidding? He'd never gotten over her. He never would.

"My time is up because you have another lover coming?" she asked.
Jaspir pulled away from her, staring into her golden brown eyes. "No. There is no one else."

She cocked her head to the side, the birdlike motion signaling that she was investigating his words. Just as Merlyn only spoke facts, she had a knack for sensing when someone told half-truths.

"I have no other lovers coming today." Something compelled him to go on, to assure her of her place in his heart. "You own my heart, Merlyn. I have loved you, and only you, every day since the first day I met you. I will continue to love you every day of my life."

She searched his eyes, her head cocking the opposite way as she considered every angle of his new statement. "Why is it that I believe you? There is no possible way to prove your declaration. Love isn't a tangible thing that you can point to. It isn't measurable."

Jaspir took her hand and placed it on his heart. "Do you feel that? What reason does a heart have for racing?"

"It’s a fight or flight response from the autonomic nervous system."

"Do you think I'm preparing to flee due to fear of you? Or that I'm preparing to harm you?"

Merlyn shook her head.

"Look at me, Merlyn. What do you see?"

"I see that your pupils are dilated." Her eyes dipped lower. "Your nostrils are flaring, and you are panting."

"I can tell you that my stomach aches when I think of you. My palms sweat and I feel light headed. Not to mention what happens in my sex organs. That's nearly every system of the human body engaged at the very thought of you."

"These symptoms happen every time you think of me?"

"Without fail."

"Fascinating," she breathed, eyes bright.

Jaspir grinned at the curious creature before him. She pressed one hand to his heart. The other she ran over his forehead. Her fingers came away with beads of sweat. Her thumb returned and traced his lower eyelid.

"I'd like to study this phenomenon some more." She looked into his eyes. Her own pupils were large, her nostrils flared, her breath came in small pants. "May I return to make more observations?"



Links
Amazon Purchase Link http://tinyurl.com/my66tfv
Goodreads http://tinyurl.com/mnmyczc
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/ineswrites?fref=ts
Website  http://www.inesjohnson.com/

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Lynda Again --

Hope you've enjoyed our guest today. Please click on the Google (g+) button to help spread the word and leave a comment to let her know. Remember, if you're a member of my newsletter, you'll get the latest news on my books along with the newsletter. Sign up. It's free!

Have a Blessed day!

Contact me

Newsletter:  http://eepurl.com/ywCD1