Guest - Linda Thomas-Sundstrom

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Guest - Linda Thomas-Sundstrom

Good morning! Grab a seat and help yourself to some caramel flavored Roobios tea and chocolate cookies. We've got one of our favorite authors visiting today - Linda Thomas-Sundstrom. So sit back and enjoy!


PARANORMAL FOREPLAY . . . It’s what we crave.

Hi everyone - I'm Linda Thomas-Sundstrom, author of paranormal romance and urban fantasy tales for Kensington Brava, Dorchester, Amazon Montlake, and Harlequin Nocturne . . . and I'm here to chat briefly with you about "paranormal foreplay" in the books we love. I'd be really interested to hear your take on this, as I confess my own thoughts on the matter.

What's so freaking cool about the romance in it?
What is it about a paranormal or fantasy story that turns you on, as a reader?

I have my own ideas, of course. The first one revolves around the phrase "Forbidden fruit." The "guys" we, as um... good girls... aren't supposed to give the time of day to, yet curl up with at night with when the lights are low and we have time to indulge in our bookish fantasies. You know what I mean. “Others.” These guys are still leading the best-seller lists all over the place, and for good reason. They can tantalize with their eyes, they have bodies to die for, and most of them have traits we somehow can relate to, even if we aren’t “Other.”

The second concept is a major one on many levels. "Foreplay.” And not necessarily the meaning of the word that initially comes to your mind. Because much more than just jumping into bed happens in a well-written novel when a vampire or a werewolf or one of the long-lost Fey seduces a woman properly. In a well-written paranormal (or any other genre, for that matter) foreplay equals seduction. And who doesn’t prefer a long seduction to a quickie? A slow build of literary foreplay carries readers through the book as a lead-up to a great and satisfying culmination of two souls finally merging.

This kind of “foreplay” concept is crucial in writing any kind of romance.
Most of those "guys" of whatever species we prefer, are of the tall, dark, and dangerous persuasion. So what makes one character stand out over others? What makes one story stand out above others? What keeps us turning the pages?

Here’s the answer: It’s the way an author crafts the seduction of the characters through words on the pages.

The way a vampire seduces. The process of a good alpha Were seduction. Dangerous, sure, but oh-so-sensual. So sexy. So very special if it’s drawn out and done well. Here, foreplay means the sighting, the chase, the intimate and immediate knowledge of another being “the one,” and then having to convince another character of it through actions, plot, dialogue, and sexual tension.

Whether you’re writing or reading, try to notice the story in terms of this take on “foreplay,” and see if this rings true in the books you love. I’m pretty sure you’ll find that it does.

I write both dark paranormals (Wolf Moons series, Vampire Moons series. etc) and light paranormals (Barbie and the Beast, Veronica and the Vampire), and have found that as a writer, paying strict attention to the concept of “foreplay” in terms of character seduction mixed with action and dialogue helps to pace a novel or novella, no matter the intensity level of the story. Paying strict attention to how the seduction is molded is an absolute necessity, just as that other kind of foreplay is. (wink)

Just me:
I keep this concept fresh for myself by playing with the further concepts of dark vs. light. Writing both dark and lighthearted PNR stories keeps my toes, expands my love of the genre, and helps me stay sane (though some might say I’m already over the edge – LOL). I usually write a dark and a light story at the same time, and switch back and forth. And so far, my Muse likes to sing. I’m working on my 17th book now and am loving every minute of it.

In summation: For a paranormal story to really grip me and suck me in, I, as a reader and writer, need to be seduced by the words on the page, and seduced by the characters on those pages. I want to feel the foreplay right along with them. Don’t you?

Writing: I’m working on two new novels for Harlequin Nocturne right now, and am releasing a new series of urban fantasy novellas under the heading of Dark vs, Light. Urban fantasy has different rules. The story itself can seduce, rather than the characters. Yum. A blissful rearranging of above. The first urban fantasy is out now, as of September 1, and titled “Trapped in Stone.” Here’s a brief blurb of the kind of thing that rocks my creativity:

“Trapped In Stone” – The forces of Dark and Light are fighting for the soul of one man op top of Notre Dame Cathedral, and the woman who loves him has vowed to change his fate.

I’ve attached a sneak peek snippet of “Trapped In Stone” below.
Please wave and leave a comment. One lucky response will receive a book from my backlist. PRIZES for being… well… you. And chatting with . . . Moi.

Happy September 4th to you all.
Cheers from

Trapped in Stone
Tristan hadn’t seen this coming. Not this part. The winged devil with the blood-colored eyes must have been a diversion. A good one, Tristan thought as he was broadsided by a body that hurtled in his direction with the speed and force of a runaway boulder.

The fact that he and Izzy had fallen for the black devil’s antics was a kink in the plans, but he couldn’t concentrate on that now. Izzy had transformed right in front of his eyes, and he knew this was the true Izzy, at last.

She was glorious, sublime, wild, and outrageously seductive.

She had wings.

Row after row of iridescent, jet black feathers the same color as her sleek, waist-length hair formed fascinating patterns across a huge wingspan. In stunning contrast, her pale skin was completely colorless. The whitest of white. Nearly transparent.

In brief glimpses of her face, Tristan saw features that were extremely thin, with sharp cheekbones and deep-set eyes. Her skin was luminous. Her dark hair flew around her like an aura, like some kind of living shadow. Dangerous, yes. Magnificent for sure. In reality, Izzy was as perfect as all of her former disguises, only more so by a factor of ten.

Buy Link: Kindle

The second in the series releases in November, and is a much quirkier. “Hot Holiday” – The Dark Side has put a hit out on Santa Claus, and send a Recruiter named Wanda to do the deed. But Wanda has to get past Santa’s unexpectedly hot heavenly bodyguard.

-- Lynda Again
    Great post! And I love the concepts behind these books! Okay, readers, do you agree with Linda about foreplay? Let us know!

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3 Responses to "Guest - Linda Thomas-Sundstrom"

Lynda K. Scott said...

Thanks for visiting us Linda and, again, my apologies for those technical difficulties we had yesterday. Your books sound amazing.

Linda Thomas-Sundstrom said...

Hi Lynda. So glad this got up.... LOL. Those pesky blog demons!
I'm working today, but I'll stop by when I can to read comments. I'll come back tonight. Thanks for having me!

Lisa Kessler said...

Great blog Linda!!! :)

There is nothing better than a paranormal seduction for sure! :)