Posts Tagged ‘Elloras Cave’
My celeb crush is, of course, Mike Kane! Whether he’s wearing a suit and tie or trunks, the man is utterly gorgeous. However, if given a choice, I like it best when he needs a haircut and is wearing shorts or jeans and a t-shirt. He’s drool worthy when he’s in a relaxed state.
The oldest item in my closet is a black vintage Chanel cocktail dress. She was a successful woman who listened to her creative urges and used it to design gorgeous clothes for women who also worked – I liked that. I don’t dress up often, but when I do, I want to make it special while still remaining classic, besides, the little black dress is timeless.
My first job was at one of the local art festivals as a waitress for the exhibitors. I walked around, took their orders for food or drinks, and delivered the order to their booths. It was fun, but I wasn’t very good. At the time I didn’t know about decaffeinated coffee and everyone got whatever was brewed, which was usually full blow caffeinated.
My fave cocktail is a Tequila Sunrise. I love watching the sun set with a sizzle behind Catalina Island while sipping on the delicious fruity drink. Add a few crisp jicama sticks on the side to nibble and I’m happy.
The farthest I’ve traveled was to China. Okay, I haven’t actually ever been there, but I’d love to go. It’s a big country, full of expansive beauty and crowded spaces, so much history and culture to take in, it would take months if not years to truly visit such a place. I’ll take it a trip here and there. If I had to decide right now where to start, I think it would be either Shanghai or Beijing – I must see the Forbidden City.
I’m always genuinely shocked when someone recognizes me from my show at the market or dry cleaners. It’s fun and an honor when they come up to me and want to discuss a particular project, suggest a new and creative way to reuse an item, or just want to say hello.
Right now, I’m lusting after Christian Louboutin shoes – they are so wickedly saucy slippers with their higher than high heels and red soles. I’d love a pair of black ones to wear with my vintage Chanel cocktail dress.
That’s how Mary Miller, the heroine from Missing in Paradise, would answer a Life & Style weekly magazine interview. As the host of a Martha Stewart type show based in Hollywood that focuses on recycling and reusing craft projects she would be in the magazine, but also because she’s on a made dash to correct a publicity mistake.
Here’s a bit more about and from:
Missing in Paradise by Tilly Greene
Contemporary Erotic Romance + Bondage
Published by Ellora’s Cave
When the love of Mike’s life breaks up with him abruptly, he doesn’t know where to turn. Mary is an emotional mess who reacts without thinking, and immediately regrets her decision. Making things right with Mike isn’t easy. It requires privacy to rebuild their love and share their lust. Neither expects their getaway to become a major news story.
The tattooed retired surfer and daytime TV star are opposites, yet perfect for each other. But paradise isn’t easy on them. Their bond will need to stand up to the strain of a public-relations nightmare if they have any hope of making it work.
Mistakes are made and they need privacy to fix things, but what about the media?
Mary Miller breathed deeply of the fresh salty air as she sat on the beach and watched Mother Nature do her thing. Waves crashed with a roar, rushed onto shore only to disintegrate and return to the ocean with a gentle swishing sound. The motion was a constant, predictable and yet never the same. She didn’t know when it happened, but at some point the beach had become an example of what she wanted out of life. No sharp edges or harsh points to cause pain throughout a unique journey.
The peacefulness of the beach at dawn eased into her pores and pushed out the tension. A slight breeze carried ocean spray to her uplifted face. There was only one blotch on her otherwise wonderful life. Mike Kane, the man she loved and had broken up with before he eventually walked out on her. They were great together and she’d wanted forever with him, except she knew they wouldn’t last that long. Leaving before she was left had been her solution for self-preservation. Unfortunately, she’d handled it all wrong and had only herself to blame.
Sipping her coffee, she watched a surfer ride a wave in with a variety of moves, before turning back over the crest and heading out for more. Maybe it was relaxing on the beach or watching surfers tackle the waves, but he was there in her head. She needed to figure out what to do next. As for the decision to leave first, she knew ending their time together hadn’t been right from the beginning, but had done it anyway and regretted it ever since.
“Hey,” the casual one word greeting startled her, but it was a large board and paddle dropping to the sand that made her jump. She looked up to see the man she’d been thinking about sit at her side. Encased in a full wetsuit, he rested his arms on bent knees as he checked out the waves.
Mary hadn’t a clue what to say or do to ease the tension between them. They’d been friends as kids, sweethearts in high school and finally lovers as adults. She didn’t want to lose him, but needed to think about what was best for her mental state.
Knowing an apology was necessary and actually giving one were two different things. She had no idea where to start, but knew simply saying sorry wouldn’t be nearly enough. Turning to look at him, she was struck by how handsome he was and her body responded to his sensual appeal. Didn’t her brain know it should be taking the lead right then, not her physical need for him. Apparently the two parts of her weren’t talking either and the pulse of desire beating in her pussy managed to rev up her hunger to be held by Mike again.
Had she said hello? She couldn’t remember saying anything and was shocked. Then again, it wasn’t a total surprise. Obviously Mike Kane robbed her of common sense. Looking at him closely, she soaked in every bit of flesh hidden away and left highlighted by the black rubber suit. Only his head, hands and feet were visible, and she felt compelled to wrap her arms and legs around him and never let go.
An onshore breeze helped the waves rise higher and delightfully rumpled his brown hair. She loved when it was in need of a cut. A little long so the strands curled a bit around the ears and neck. He’d probably rolled out of bed, put on the wetsuit and come out to paddle over the cold water. The man emoted sex and her need for his touch grew in strength. Her breath caught in the back of her throat when he turned and met her gaze. There was something there deep in the beautiful brown orbs that made her flinch, but they were connected. With the bond made, she was reminded of the last time they were intimate and wished they were making love instead of not talking to each other on the beach.
As if he read her mind, Mike suddenly held her as if he’d never let go and she was exactly where she wanted to be—held by him.
Momentum took them down to the sand where he held her hands on the sand by her head. Unable to manage a single word to either tell him yes or no, and it was definitely a yes, she gasped with pleasure when he threw a rubber covered leg over hers. The move hadn’t been necessary because there was no chance she’d leave.
In a heartbeat, his lips pressed firmly against hers and all she knew was how much she wanted whatever he offered. What they shared was not soft or tender, but what passed between them was filled with turmoil of raw passion and emotions.
He opened his mouth, ran his tongue across the seam as if demanding entrance and hers opened, ready to be ravished. They circled and danced around each other, hungry for the link they’d shared before. Thankfully Mike couldn’t ignore her need for his possession. He teased her passion to the surface and promised fulfillment. At first the kiss they shared was packed with what she believed was desire and love, then lust denied rushed forward and wouldn’t be ignored.
It was pure coincidence that he’d come down to the beach to paddle and collect his thoughts before seeing Mary, only to find her calmly watching the dawn’s surfers. Everything he’d planned to say to her fled as blood pumped through his body. Mike inhaled deeply to try to gain stability, only he caught a whiff of her flowery scent and was lost. He reached out and took what he wanted. The woman he loved was in his arms, beneath him, and he showed her what they had together.
©Tilly Greene, 2011
Missing in Paradise takes place in Southern California in February/March and the weather is lovely, but what beach would you go to escape the winter chill? In celebration of Read an eBook Week, a random commenter will win a copy of Missing in Paradise – a name will be drawn after midnight tomorrow.
Scorching romances full of twists, turns and ties.
Guest Author Promo: Evangeline Anderson
I’m excited to announce my new book, The Covenant, is now out from Ellora’s Cave. I really enjoyed writing this one and I bet you’ll enjoy reading it too. It has it all–a hot, brooding vampire, a serial killing demon, and of course, lots of hot sex. So step on over to EC and check it out here:
Kaitlyn Richards is a witch with powers beyond the norm. Her unique abilities make her one of the few people in the state of Florida qualified to be an S.E., or Supernatural Enforcer. As part of her duties she uses her home as a magical holding cell for creatures too strong to be contained in normal human jails.
Holden Sumner is a three-hundred-year-old vampire on a mission—he’s been stalking a serial-killing demon for centuries and he needs Kaitlyn’s help to kill it. The problem is, she won’t give him the time of night. But Sumner is determined to get under her skin.
Though Kaitlyn is reluctant to get involved with a vampire, she agrees to help Sumner search for the killer. But in order to drive the demon back to hell and stop the slaughter of innocents, she will have to bind herself more tightly than she ever thought possible to a man she doesn’t want to love.
She and Sumner must form a blood covenant…or die trying.
Sumner just looked at me, stared into my eyes for a long, breathless moment. Then his pupils dilated, the inky blackness within eating the pale iris until it was nothing but a thin silver ring. “See yourself, Kaitlyn,” he murmured. “See yourself as I see you.”
And suddenly I did.
It was like looking into a mirror that someone had placed in my mind’s eye. In it I saw a woman with long brown hair and big brown eyes. She had a generous ass, full breasts and wide, curvy hips. She didn’t look anything like the cover of a fashion magazine but somehow it didn’t matter. She was absolutely stunning.
Beautiful, Sumner whispered in my head. You’re so beautiful, Kaitlyn. From the moment I saw you, I wanted you. Wanted you so much.
He pulled me to him and kissed me again, gently on the mouth. “Can I see you naked now?”
Though the idea had made me feel nervous and uncomfortable before, now it didn’t bother me a bit. “Of course.”
Standing, I shimmied out of the nighty and let it fall in a little puddle of black lace on the floor. I hooked my thumbs into the sides of my panties but before I could push them down, Sumner said,
I raised an eyebrow at him and gave him a little smile. “I thought you wanted to see me naked.”
“I do.” His voice was thick. “But I want to make you naked myself. Come here.” He was sitting on the side of the bed, legs spread, so I came to stand between them. He was tall but the bed was low—his face was about the level of my inner thighs. I had a vague idea that having his face so close to such an intimate part of me would have made me extremely uncomfortable in the past. Now I felt intrigued.
“Well?” I murmured, running a hand through his hair. It was thick and silky between my fingers. “Now what?”
“Now this.” Slowly, Sumner slid the black lace panties down my thighs, revealing the soft thatch of well trimmed curls at the top of my mound. Leaning forward, he rubbed his nose against me there, making me shiver as he inhaled. “God, you smell good.” His voice was a low growl and I felt a shiver of anticipation go through me.
“What else?” I whispered, tugging lightly at his hair.
Sumner looked up at me with a predatory grin. “Impatient, Kaitlyn?”
I tugged a little harder. “What if I am?”
“Patience, sweetheart. I promise to make the wait worth your while.” He began pulling the panties down again at what seemed like an excruciatingly slow pace. Obviously he was in no hurry. In fact, he actually knelt at my feet and helped me step out of them before sitting back on the bed. “God, you’re gorgeous,” he murmured, his eyes drinking me in. “Just let me look at you for a moment.”
I twirled in a little circle for him and gave him a wink. “Like what you see?” I asked, throwing his own words back at him.
“You have no idea how much,” he said hoarsely. “I can’t wait anymore. Come here.” He gestured for me to step closer which I did with no reservations whatsoever.
Sumner reached out and took me by the hips, pulling me close and then closer. He leaned forward and at first I thought he was going to inhale my scent again. Instead he pressed his lips gently to the very top of my slit, kissing me there as though he was kissing my mouth. I gasped when I felt his tongue flicker out to taste me just the tiniest bit. God, I needed more! Why was he going so slowly?
“Because I want to savor this,” Sumner murmured and I realized he must have caught my impatient thought through our strange connection. “I’ve been wanting this—wanting you—from the second I saw you.” He looked up at me, his eyes filled with pale fire. “Now spread your legs.”
I did as I was told, feeling strangely powerful as he drank me in.
“Beautiful… So hot. So wet.” Sumner spread me delicately with his thumbs, opening me, putting my slippery pink inner folds on display. In the past such a thing would have mortified me. Not now. Instead of a blush of embarrassment, I felt a slow sexual flush of desire heating my body.
It wasn’t just that I was opening myself up for him, or giving him a show. It was the expression in his eyes—the reverent, almost worshipful way he looked at me. When he leaned forward to place a teasing, tender kiss on the aching bud of my clit he touched me like I was something incredibly precious and rare, kissed me as though he might break me if he wasn’t careful. I felt beautiful—adored in a way I never had before.
I knew I shouldn’t let my feelings rule me, knew that what we were doing was just for tonight and that tomorrow I would probably regret it. But I couldn’t regret it now any more than I could feel ashamed of being nude in front of him. Letting Sumner see me in all my naked glory, letting him touch me and kiss me and explore my body was a heady experience—it made me feel free. Free to give in to all my darker impulses.
Gripping the back of his hair, I tugged hard. “You’re driving me crazy. What are you waiting for, Sumner?”
He looked up at me, licking his lips. “For you to be ready. But I think you are.”
I opened my mouth to agree but suddenly the world tilted and I was on my back on the bed with my lower legs hanging over the side. I felt dizzy for a moment and realized that Sumner must have done one of his vampire moves—so fast it couldn’t be seen with the human eye. Only this time he’d taken me with him. Taken me and put me exactly where he wanted me because there he was, kneeling in front of me, a ravenous look in his eyes.
“Let me in, Kaitlyn,” he ordered in a soft, almost dangerous voice. “Spread your legs and let me in.”
I couldn’t have resisted if I’d wanted to. Parting my thighs I welcomed him, moaning softly as his broad shoulder split me wide, opening me for him completely. I had never felt so vulnerable—so exposed.
Sumner pressed his mouth to my slit and took a long, slow taste, licking upwards as though he was eating an ice cream cone. I moaned and jerked under his mouth and he looked up at me and smiled.
“Feels good, sweetheart?”
“Feels incredible,” I admitted. And it did. To be perfectly honest, I had never enjoyed this particular act before. I had always felt too self conscious to really relax and let myself go. Then, too, I had never been with anyone who seemed so completely into it. Most guys seemed to think it was something they had to do—but it was clear that wasn’t the case with Sumner. From the look in his eyes he was enjoying himself as much as I was—maybe more.
He licked me again, another long, slow taste, and then kissed me gently, swirling his tongue around and around my clit, making me moan and thrash. God, he was good! But when he looked up again, his eyes were pale-on-red.
“Sumner?” I looked at him uncertainly.
“Can’t hold back anymore, Kaitlyn,” he growled hoarsely. “I’ve been trying to go slow—didn’t want to scare you. But, God, you smell so good, taste so good…” The naked hunger in his face was both frightening and compelling. I felt a surge of heat between my thighs—knowing he desired me so fiercely was intoxicating.
“Then don’t.” Reaching down, I grabbed a handful of his hair again and pulled him toward me. “Don’t hold back, Sumner. I’m not afraid of you. Take what you want.”
“Can’t help it. I have to.” He buried his face between my thighs again, his open mouth hot and wet and urgent against my pussy.
And then he devoured me.
Bio: Evangeline Anderson is a registered MRI tech who would rather be writing. And yes, she is nerdy enough to have a bumper sticker that says “I’d rather be writing.” Honk if you see her! She is thirty-something and lives in Florida with a husband, a son, and two cats. She had been writing erotic fiction for her own gratification for a number of years before it occurred to her to try and get paid for it. To her delight, she found that it was actually possible to get money for having a dirty mind and she has been writing paranormal and Sci-fi erotica steadily ever since.
Can The Villain Really Be The Hero?
Of late, I’ve been a little obsessed with Megamind. Now here’s the thing about Megamind – he’s the bad guy. He’s a criminal genius determined to bring chaos and villainy to the world. Megamind is in constant battle with the hero of Metro City, Metro Man. Metro Man is the archetype hero – broad-chested, wide-shouldered, chiseled-jawed with an ego to match. Megamind is hell-bent on ridding Metro City of Metro Man and to this end, constantly kidnaps the city’s star reporter, Roxanne Ritchi (yeah, I know, it doesn’t make much sense but then, neither did Lex Luthor’s inclusion of Lois Lane in all his dastardly plans). I won’t give away the why and how of the end (for those that haven’t seen it) but Megamind become the hero and gets the girl. The villain no more.
Another villain I am totally enamored with who balances on the line of heroism is Dr. Horrible. Dr. Horrible is a wannabe villain who recognizes the world is a mess. Of course, he just wants to rule it, but it’s only because the status is NOT quo (and I just crammed as many quotes in those three sentences as I could). The thing about Dr. Horrible is he is basically a good guy with good guy intentions and a good-guy crush on a sweet girl, but (and thar be ***spoilers*** here) the actions of the hero—one Captain Hammer (“the hammer is my penis”)—pushes him to a place so dark he becomes the villain he thought he was. But by the end of Dr. Horrible’s Sing-A-Long Blog I can’t help but wonder if Dr. Horrible IS the hero: his bitter-sweet transformation highlights the superficial nature of society.
Professor Snape (Harry Potter’s universe) is a perfect example of a villain whose actions define him—eventually—as a hero. I won’t expand on Snape because to do so would ruin the story for those that haven’t read the books (and I’m sure there are at least a twelve people out there who haven’t read J.K. Rowling’s series yet), but the Professor is a mysterious, dark sometimes malevolent man with an ambiguous goal and equally ambiguous motives.
Villains quite often walk the tight-rope of heroisms and it is this tenuous walk that makes a large number of them so damn sexy. We never know where their actions are going to take them—we never know what they will do. They may truly be trying to bring about the end of the world, but they may just decide to leave the world alone because the girl of their dreams longs for a better place. They may however, decide to create utter anarchy when said girl misses a coffee date. You just never know.
I’ve written my fair share of villains. In fact, I once had a reviewer write, “The villain was, as always, reprehensible. Ms. Couper writes slime quite well.” Hee, I’m not sure what it says about my psyche that I’m proud of that snippet. But it does lead me to my latest villain, a bad boy I’m very very proud of: Asmodeus.
Asmodeus is very much a villain. There is little to redeem him. He is the Daemon of Lust and as such wields his power with an arrogant, charismatic charm that is capable of destroying a human’s life while giving them the most intense, never-ending orgasm of that life. Asmodeus however, has a wit sharper than a knife and a killer smile and if, one day, he truly finds the woman of his dreams (as twisted and rapacious as they may seem) he will no doubt show the worlds of man and daemon-kind alike just how damn heroic he can be. I don’t know whether that’s a good thing…or a scary thing.
Seven Deadly Daemons, Book Two
Cate Sinclair is ruled by lust. Day and night, awake and dreaming, an unseen force plies her with pleasure to the point of pain. Each orgasm wrenched from her exhausted body stealing her energy, her very essence, until insanity seems a sweet relief.
When Eamon enters her life, Cate’s uncertain if the gorgeous, enigmatic man is her salvation…or the cause of her worst nightmares.
Reader Advisory: Our heroine endures endless amounts of forced seduction. But how do you fight advances from an enemy you can’t see?
“Now now, Xander,” a new voice uttered, smoother than melting ice—and just as cold. “Surely you’re not so weak you’ll let a mere Muse influence you?”
Eamon stiffened, his head swiveling toward the speaker. A silent curse fell from his lips, his eyes flaring golden heat, and he let Xander fall to a heap on the floor. “The Daemon Form of Lust decides to make an appearance, does he?”
Cate’s gaze was riveted on the new arrival and her stomach knotted. The man stood beside Xander’s easel, his hand playing on the canvas, long, talon-tipped fingers stroking its edge with slow caresses. A lover’s touch, intimately gentle and knowing.
Even through the gray fog of her pain, she couldn’t miss the similarity. The Lust Daemon was almost a carbon copy of Eamon.
The name whispered through the deep reaches of her mind and with each syllable, her sex constricted. Consuming her with a horrific hunger unlike anything she’d ever experienced.
Asmodeus. The creature who’d given Xander power over her body.
Hate filled her. Hate and (God save me) desperate carnal need. She was going to kill him. She was going to—
She threw herself at the Lust Daemon, a raw cry erupting from her throat.
“Cate, no!” Eamon yelled, his voice like cracking thunder.
It was too late. Her body slammed into Asmodeus, her shoulder driving into his hard gut.
And the second her body touched his, a ravenous lust surged through her, mind, body and soul. She screamed, her sex constricting with such force her whole body shuddered.
God, she wanted to fuck. And be fucked.
Sharp claws raked at her back, her shoulder. Long fingers knotted in her hair, yanking her head backward until she was staring up at Eamon’s smirking double. His lips curled, his eyes flashing every shade of red. “Oh she’s a responsive one, isn’t she?”
“Let her go.” Eamon’s growl stroked all of Cate’s senses, the menace in his voice making her heart thump harder and the dark lust possessing her vanish.
Asmodeus laughed, a smug, confident chortle. “Don’t think so, Muse. Her pleasure does belong to me, after all.” And with that, Cate’s body was once more on the edge of orgasm. Instantly. Painfully.
Lexxie’s not a deviant. She just has a deviant’s imagination and a desire to entertain readers with her words. Add the two together and you get darkly erotic romances with a twist of horror, sci-fi and the paranormal!
When she’s not submerged in the worlds she creates, Lexxie’s life revolves around her family: a husband who thinks she’s insane, a pony-sized mutt who thinks he’s a lap dog, and her daughters, who both utterly captured her heart and changed her life forever.
Living in Australia makes it a bit tricky for Lexxie to pop by for coffee, but she still loves to chat! Contact her by email or find her at her website or her blog (http://lexxiecouper.com).
Grey is a Good Starting Place
He’s your knight in shining armor, handsome, wonderful, and there to do whatever it takes to help you out of a horrifying experience. Then, once you’re free, he’ll take you away for a happy ever after life together. Or he’s bad, gorgeous, and with evil on his mind. He’s there to kill you and your family, ending all thoughts of living a long and happy life.
Black or white, hero or villain, that’s the way it has to be, right?
No, it doesn’t, in fact those existing in the grey area end up following an interesting path to their end.
In Linda Howard’s “All The Queen’s Men”, the bad guy – Louis Ronsard – is selling a highly explosive material to the highest bidder. No question, that makes him beyond bad, right? What if I told you he was doing it to make money to help save his seriously ill young daughter? When the heroine, Niema, asks if that’s the reason he became an arms dealer, he says:
“Yes, I had to have enormous sums of money and quickly. The choice was drugs or weapons. I chose weapons.”
Not so cut and dry anymore, is it, at least Niema doesn’t think so.
There’s another type of neither good nor bad character and that would be the one who made a big, huge, ugly mistake. You know who they are, maybe they were the town toughie growing up or stole a car as a teen, and those are the ones in need of a second chance. Personally, as a writer, I like working with this type of figure. Perfection sounds lovely, but flaws can also be fabulous.
April 15th “Tied Up For Love”, from the Mythological Messes Redux series, will be released and it is the epitome of grey being a good place to start again. Marsyas, the hero, didn’t kill anyone, but he did insult a God and must therefore die. Before the sentence is handed down, he leaves to prepare himself mentally for the end of his life and people. As he comes to terms with the consequences of his actions, he finds himself falling in love, and is ashamed to share who he really is and disappoint his lover.
“I was stupid to throw down the challenge and once it was accepted, should have held back, flubbed a bit, but I was lost in the moment. It isn’t in me not to give my all.”
There is no place for the ipotane to go but toward being a hero or death. For Marsyas, the place in between being good and bad is where he needs to be in order to get a second chance.
A character who is either black or white, good or bad, are great to write and read. However, when it comes to romances, there’s definitely a place for heroes, villains, and those caught in between – in the grey area.
WARNING! Red hot romances ahead!
Tilly Greene Mythological Messes Redux Series
Hephaestus Lays Down the Law – paranormal erotic romance w/bondage
Together Again? – paranormal erotic romance
Cyra’s Cyclopes – paranormal erotic romance w/ménage
Double Punch – paranormal erotic romance w/ménage a trios
Tied Up For Love – paranormal erotica romance w/bondage – April 15 2011!
From Villain to Hero in One Easy Step
By Jennifer Ashley (aka Allyson James)
Villains are tough for me to write, not because I don’t like them, but because I become so fascinated by them.
I dislike books with cardboard or unbelievably evil villains—poorly constructed villains can ruin an otherwise good story. On the other hand, really “good” villains can steal the show.
The villain is the hero of his own story. He thinks he’s good and right about everything he does. He might do really awful things (murder, assault, kidnapping, plotting to end the world), but he knows that whatever he decides to do is justified.
Writing a good villain means finding solid motivation for his actions. It’s not enough that the villain does what he does because he’s inherently evil (unless you’re writing broad comedy). He has to have a reason for kidnapping the heroine and putting her naked in chains in full view of the hero. A very good reason, and it can’t be “bad” to him.
The deeper I dig into the motivations of my villains, the more I like these guys. I like them so much, I decide to go ahead and make them heroes in their own books.
James Ardmore as villain wanted to hunt down and kill the pirate hero of The Pirate Next Door. Why? Because not only was James a pirate hunter, but the hero was a pirate James blamed for the death of the woman he loved.
Good motivation. I really liked James! In The Pirate Hunter, James is still hunting pirates, but he works through his problems and runs across a heroine who challenges him.
In Dragon Heat, which I wrote as Allyson James, the villain, Malcolm, a black dragon, tries to kidnap the heroine to use her latent magic. Why? Because he’s trapped in the human world and wants desperately to go back to Dragonspace.
Malcolm is pretty bad—he coerces a young witch to help him, and the witch starts to fall in love with him. So much so, that when she’s attacked in The Black Dragon, she calls on Malcolm to help her. And he steps in and becomes a hero.
Penelope and Prince Charming introduced one of my favorite villains, Grand Duke Alexander. Alexander wants the charming prince (the hero) dead. Why? Because Alexander battled all his life to save his country from the tyranny of the hero’s father. Now he fears that the hero will come home and carry on the tyranny.
I loved writing Alexander. He acts not from personal ambition but for benefit of his countrymen (well, he that and his big ego). Alexander becomes the hero of The Mad, Bad Duke, where he meets a young Englishwoman who won’t let him get away with that big ego.
In each series I have some bad guys who drive the plot, but the true villains in these series are more obscure. In the Shifters books, it’s the overall situation of humans vs. Shifters (Shifters are second-class citizens made to wear Collars and live in Shiftertowns). The Shifter heroes battle to keep the others Shifters in line in order to keep the peace and let Shifters get strong enough to end their situation. (The current book is the bestselling Primal Bonds, which came out this March.)
In the Mackenzies’ books, the villains are the Mackenzies themselves.
The entire world views them as “villains” (not criminals, but dangerous and powerful). The Mackenzies do as they please, uninhibited by society’s rules, because they don’t care about the rules. They have too many other things to deal with to worry about rules.
The youngest, Ian Mackenzie (The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie, re-releasing August 2011), has Asperger’s Syndrome. Ian fights that demon every day, and his choices aren’t understood by most of the world.
His oldest brother, Hart, has done what he had to do to keep his younger brothers safe, especially from their father who was obsessive, jealous, abusive, and probably a little Aspy himself.
Hart’s actions regarding his brothers (and his father), can’t always be seen as “nice,” but he sees them as necessary and justified. More of his motivations and exactly what he’s done and why will come out in the August release, The Many Sins of Lord Cameron (about the womanizing, horse-training Mackenzie brother), and Hart’s own book, which I’m working on now.
As you can tell, I love giving villains a chance to tell their own stories. I love these guys so much, I want to give them a chance to fall in love and be happy.
“Good” guys can bore me—I think I’ll keep writing my men bad!
Jennifer Ashley Bio:
New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author Jennifer Ashley has lived and traveled all over the world, and now lives in the Southwest. She writes historical, paranormal, and contemporary romance as Jennifer Ashley; mysteries as Ashley Gardner; and paranormal romance and urban fantasy as Allyson James.
Jennifer’s/Allyson’s/Ashley’s novels have won RWA’s RITA award, the Golden Quill, RT Reviewer’s Choice awards, and the Prism award, among others. Jennifer’s novels have been also been translated into nearly a dozen European and Asian languages.
Jennifer enjoys writing and reading above all else, but her hobbies include cooking, hiking, playing flute and guitar, painting, and building miniature rooms and dollhouses.
If you have any comments or questions,
e-mail Jennifer at
A Different Kind of Dom by Joey W. Hill
Years ago, when I started the Knights of the Board Room series, I was driven by a basic theme. Five men, all top executives in a successful manufacturing/acquisitions company. All five sexual Dominants. Each book focused on one man finding his soulmate, the submissive he wanted to claim as his forever. And in each story, the other four men were willing to use a variety of combined sensual talents to help him win her over – body, heart, mind and soul.
Four of these men are very out front alpha types – Matt, Lucas, Peter and Ben. But Jon was the one who brought them all together. A deeply spiritual man who draws strength from the philosophies that underpin yoga and martial arts practices, he’d recognized their common code of conduct, both in the bedroom and the boardroom. When I wrote Matt, Lucas and Peter’s stories, Jon was a quiet force in their books, but somewhat overshadowed by the personalities of the others. If I now had the pleasure of sitting down with the other men to confess that impression (after I got over being tongue-tied and stammering) they’d probably exchange an amused, understanding look and then Matt would say, “People tend to underestimate Jon. And he’s the strongest of all of us.” After writing his story, I now agree. As the story unfolded, Jon surprised me, on so many levels. Though he was a different type of Dom, the underlying nature of a Dominant that appeals to a submissive personality was there in full force. Today, if I had to choose among all five of them (and mind you, I wouldn’t turn any of them away – lol), he’d be the one I’d choose for myself.
The reviewer for Whipped Cream blogspot noted: “I have a feeling that anyone would submit to Jon. The author did a great job displaying his strength without making him harsh. As a reader I found myself wanting to do whatever he demanded along with Rachel; that is how much power he wields. His character had me asking myself if men like him really exist and if so where can they be found? …This story has a strong yoga/tantric/Buddhism element to it. This helped to demonstrate why Jon was so comfortable with who he is and how he lived his life.”
To give you a more concrete example of what kind of hero Jon is, I chose a couple snippets from the book I thought you’d like. The following one comes at a point in the story when, in a desperate attempt to deal with her desires and escape her feelings for Jon, Rachel (who is a yoga instructor and physical therapist) goes to the wrong kind of club. This is a couple days’ afterward, when Jon comes to her apartment and confronts her about it. They’re sitting on her bed.
* * * * *
He put a hand on her face, the uninjured side. “Rachel, why did you do this?”
When he was little, her son had taken martial arts training. For some reason, at Jon’s direct look, the firmness in the hand on her cheek, Rachel remembered one of Kyle’s instructors. He’d been gentle, careful, intelligent. Yet when he helped the boys spar, there was a concentration in his gaze that suggested it was best not to underestimate the power of a gentle, focused man.
She closed her eyes. “Jon, we can’t have this conversation. I can’t have this conversation. It was stupid and pointless. That part of my life was over a long time ago. I’d accepted it. It was just…”
“I started something with you I didn’t finish, and left you nowhere else to go.”
“No.” She opened her eyes immediately. “This was my stupid decision, Jon. You weren’t responsible. I appreciate you coming by to check on me, but…”
It was as if he were weighing the significance of every word that came from her mouth, noting every minute change in her expression, the uncomfortable shift of her body. Since he was sitting on her bed, his hip brushing her thigh, he now slid his hand from her cheek to her shoulder, his thumb resting on her collarbone. It effectively stopped her babbling. She couldn’t seem to continue, to tell him she was fine, that he needed to leave.
“Breathe,” he said. “Like when you start your yoga class. Three count. And keep your eyes on mine.”
His thumb shifted so it was on the pulse in her throat, making short strokes there as she drew in a breath. She felt foolish, but she took that deep breath, drew it in for a count of three, even as she remained conscious of those two points of contact, his hand on her throat, his hip against her leg. When she let it out, emotion welled up in her chest, making it tighter. She got the second breath out, and it got worse, such that more tears spilled forth.
“I don’t want you to see this.” Her voice broke. “I can’t—”
“One more,” he said, not unkindly, though his hold on her throat increased, underscoring the relentless command.
It was a shudder of sobs, more than an indrawn breath, and as it crested, they broke. She’d cried a lot over the past day and a half, but this was different. This was the way a person cried when someone was there to hear, to help. Pulling her into his arms, he turned them so they were stretched out on the bed together, one of her arms wrapped around his back and the other around his neck, her face buried into his chest. He stroked her, crooned to her as she shook and cried, until she’d cried out the fear and shame, and was left limp with exhaustion.
* * * * *
Though the man captivates with his ability to slide inside a woman’s soul, he’s also fire engine hot (an added perk!). I’ve provided the gorgeous cover above, but on the Joey W. Hill fan forum, Katishka Taylor, one of our wonderful moderators and graphic artists for the site, designed a beautiful banner inspired by her impression of Jon. I provide it here for your additional viewing pleasure.
Now, in case I gave you the impression Jon was too gentle, let me leave you with another side of him –
She turned then, faced him, and it was so hard, for so many reasons, to meet that steady gaze. “I can’t have what you’re offering, Jon. You’re too young, too late and I’m too fragile. It took me too long to pull myself back off the cliff edge, and…” Her voice trembled once more. Closing her eyes, she steadied herself, spoke the desolate truth to that black space. “I won’t survive going there again.”
“I’m not offering anything.”
He moved then, closing the space between them. She wanted to shrink back against the glass, but managed to keep herself still. He had such a smooth way of moving, gathering an energy around him that would always turn a woman’s head. Her gaze latched onto the tie. His tie tack was a Japanese kanji symbol, one she recognized, because it was on a tapestry in her yoga studio. Perseverance.
Her palms tingled, wanting to reach out, touch it, flatten against his chest, feel his heat and heartbeat. When he laid his hands on her tense shoulders, she had another brief spurt of panic, but before she could wrench away, he’d pushed her against that panel of glass. It had absorbed a considerable amount of the sun’s heat, such that it burned through the fabric of her bolero and the thin blouse beneath.
“Let me go,” she whispered.
“No.” The resolve beneath the deceptive mildness was terrifying to her. Gentle, thoughtful Jon, so interested in the philosophy and spirituality behind yoga, yet he also understood the strength of it as well. A mountain could be placid, but it didn’t make it less immovable, less capable of demonstrations of utter power. However, while he could easily overcome her physically, he didn’t need that. His voice and manner alone arrested her.
“The instruction I left you this morning wasn’t an offer, a suggestion or a proposal, Rachel. It was a command. I’m not going to give you a choice. Not right now. Because you’ve been given far too many. That isn’t what you need, is it?”
The ache low in her belly was becoming that spinning wheel she knew too well, a wheel with blades that were going to cut her insides to pieces. “Please…don’t.”
“Keep your eyes down, Rachel. You’ll meet my gaze when I give you permission. You understand?” The implacable tone shut that wheel down, made her knees weak. He leaned in, until his lips were at her temple, trailing down her skin in a highly distracting way until he reached her ear. “Tell me you understand.”
Squeezing her eyes shut, she realized she’d latched onto his shirt at the waist, digging her fingers into the cloth as an anchor. A hard shudder ran through her body.
“Ssshh, girl. At the end of the third class I took with you, you told me you saw an old soul in my eyes. We talked about how we both believe in reincarnation, the idea that the physical body isn’t the sum total of a human being. You remember?”
She nodded. He tightened his grip. “Well, when I look in your eyes, I see a young soul, one who had her wings clipped too soon. She doesn’t realize they’ve grown back, that she can spread them out and fly, finally realize the potential that’s been there all along.”
Shifting, he closed his hand over one of hers at his waist. When he detached her fingers, he gave them a quick squeeze and then turned, taking her across the room to the drafting table, the stool there. He slid a hip onto it, then perused her with that lingering, appraising look. “Take off the shoes.”
He’d tolerate no disobedience, no discussion. She didn’t know what that would mean if she resisted, but her pulse thudded hard against her throat. Her shoes. If that was all he was asking, she could do that, right? And truth, they were pinching her feet. As she slid out of them, giving up the two-inch height they’d offered, she immediately realized why slaves were made to go barefoot. There was a distinct difference in status, looking down at her feet clad only in thin stockings, positioned between his polished dress shoes. Her toes curled into the deep carpet.
“Now the hair. Take it down and hand me the pins.”
* * * * *
I hope you’ve enjoyed this view of one of my heroes. You can read further excerpts and blurbs about the whole series on my home page, www.storywitch.com (direct link http://www.storywitch.com/Books/KBR/KBR.htm). You can also visit the JWH fan forum, where you’ll find further graphics of the Knights, character interviews with them and more (instructions on how to access the site, click here). In the coming months, I’ll be posting free vignettes there about Ben, my final Knight, to whet your appetite for his story. (Coming later in 2011 if all goes well!)
Thanks for letting me join in the fun with Heroes, Villains and In-Between. Best wishes to everyone.
Bio: Joey W. Hill is the author of over twenty-five award-winning titles of paranormal and contemporary erotic romance, most of them of the BDSM genre. She is a two-time nominee for the Romantic Times Career Achievement Award for Erotica. She writes vampires for Berkley Heat, mermaids and angels for Berkley Sensation and contemporaries (as well as a smattering of anything-goes paranormal) for Ellora’s Cave Publishing, so you have your pick of a wide range of heroes!
Bad Boys vs Assholes
There are all kinds of heroes in books. I write just about every type you could think of from the good guy to the tormented hero. However, there’s a breed of hero out there that I think is gaining a lot of momentum with readers: the heroes who aren’t all that sterling. Of these not so wonderful heroes, the two I like most are the bad boy and the asshole (jerk.)
The bad boy is the guy who appears to be not squeaky clean, not the boy next door, and definitely not the sweet, good guy. The bad boy may not be all that bad in actuality. He may not have a criminal record or have done anything that could remotely be called bad. He may be a bad boy simply by virtue of the fact that he’s unconventional. He wears biker boots or work boots instead of wingtips. Faded, ripped Levis instead of a suit. He may ride a motorcycle or drive a beat up truck instead of a sports car or fancy sedan. These guys are bad boys by virtue of their appearance.
Then there are bad boys who actually aren’t all that nice. These guys could be suit wearing corporate raiders or leather jacketed ex-cons. Their commonality is that they do what they want and brush aside the feelings of others. In other words, they are arrogant assholes.
In my series Tales of the Darkworld, I have both bad boys and assholes. In Ride the Lightning, the hero Vahid Delrey is a total asshole. He spurns his destined mate in favor of moving in with his boss’s sister. He’s horribly rude to his mate, judgmental and uncaring of her feelings. Eventually, he begins to change his attitude and his feelings about her. In the end, he takes responsibility for his poor behavior and the detrimental affect it’s had on Emily. He realizes that he needs to put her and her needs first and his attitude does an about face.
Seth Dylan who first appears as a secondary character in Common Ground gets his turn as the bad boy hero in Sunstroked. He’s the boot and jeans wearing, scowling and dour Scots werewolf who doesn’t recognize his mate when he finds him. I think Sunstroked’s readers found Seth to be pretty much a classic bad boy. He admits that his sexual relationships with men aren’t relationships. He admits to using those men to get off with complete disregard for whether they might be interested in more from him. When the man who took his virginity appears in his life after nearly two years, Seth realizes he’s held himself distant from other men because it’s Corey he wants, needs and loves.
The penultimate bad boy in my series is black dragon Sean Antaeus who won’t have his own book until the very last book. Sean is both bad boy and asshole. The arrogant, take no prisoners head of the Antaeus family and the conglomerate Antaeus International can be ruthless when he needs to be with family, friends, and in business. But a good portion of his bad boy image is just that, an image. One that equals the leather, ripped jeans and motorcycles of other bad boys. Sean uses it to hide how much he loves his family and how much they mean to him.
Whether you’re a fan of the bad boy hero or not, you can’t be indifferent to them. They always bring out some sort of emotion in you even if it’s annoyance. But I see more and more readers of my series calling for Sean’s story and exclaiming over Vahid’s redemption. The asshole and bad boy heroes are gaining ground on the nice guys. I like to think it’s because we all admire a man who is strong and forceful but still caring and loving. We all want to believe that everyone has good qualities. And who wouldn’t want to be swept away by a primal man with a fiercely loving heart?
An award winning, multi-published PAN author, Lex is a member of Romance Writers of America and EPIC. Her publishers include: Ellora’s Cave, Pink Petal Books, MLR Press, Liquid Silver Books, and Cobblestone Press. She is published in both ebook and print. The Tales of the Darkworld series can be found at Pink Petal Books.
Born and raised on California’s Central Coast, Lex moved to Southern California in 1992. She lives in Orange County with her daughter Nikki and Rott, her long haired, tattooed DH. She loves loud music, builds her own computers, and has very weird dreams about Nikki Sixx. Lex works full-time at a cemetery as the network administrator.
Heroes are always a complex subject, especially in fiction and particularly in romantic fiction. On the surface of it, they seem simple. The hero is the good guy with the perfect moral compass, who always does what’s right and gets the girl. Right?
Yeah, I suppose. But, being honest? That’s the sort of hero who bores me to tears. I don’t like reading them and I sure as eggs is eggs don’t like writing them. A writer has to like his or her hero, and even fall in love with them a little themselves, otherwise how can we do their story any justice or even write a story that is credible?
My heroes are usually deeply conflicted, not perfect, and even sometimes can be considered down-right bastards. But deep within, there is something there that is redeemable. Something about them which is just waiting for the right circumstance, and the right woman to come along to make them shine, or show them the way to being the man they want to be, and of course, the hero I want to write about.
Let me share with you my thoughts on one of my favourite heroes. I make no secret of the fact I am a Jensen Ackles fan. I’ve been hooked since watching him play on Dark Angel with Jessica Alba. But my favourite role of his has to be Dean Winchester.
Like my heroes, on the surface Dean isn’t hero material. He’s rough, violent, has questionable morals when it comes to women (okay, the lad’s got the morals of an alley cat at times) and has a more meaningful link with his car than most people. He’s a liar, a conman and for a good portion of the series’es (how the hell do you make series plural anyway?) he’s wanted for murder.
If we dig a little deeper though, there is something compelling and actually heart-rending about the character. He lost his mother at a very young age, but not young enough that he doesn’t remember her like his brother, and grew up dealing with his Dad’s one-man war against everything that goes bump in the night.
He didn’t have a normal childhood, instead moved from pillar to post as John Winchester hunted, and being responsible for his little brother for large periods of time. Both boys were brought up with the knowledge that the monster under the bed isn’t a story, but is real, and how to kill it in a variety of bloody and brutal ways.
As the story progresses, we see different facets of Dean’s character revealed like little gems. His ability to kill can’t be questioned, and he’d rather take that on himself than let his brother do it and suffer agony over it. He spent time in hell and started the apocalypse, but he fights harder than anyone to put that right.
The sweetest episodes for me are the ones were we see what Dean actually wants. Far from the gung-ho, action-driven lifestyle he has, and which most men would kill for in their dreams, he wants a home and family. He wants to be normal.
However, when the shit hits the fan, and the world is about to end…even though he can’t do anything and the very attempt will probably kill him…he doesn’t back down. He faces down the devil himself to try and save his brother.
Violent, egotistical, arrogant…determined to do right, unbelievably noble and sweet as all hell. That’s why Dean Winchester is one of my favourite heroes.
Mina Carter Bio:
Mina Carter was born and raised in Middle Earth (otherwise known as the Midlands, England). After a slew of careers ranging from logistics to land-surveying she can now be found in the wilds of Leicestershire with her husband and young daughter…the true boss of the family.
Suffering the curse of eternal curiosity Mina never tires of learning new skills which has led to Aromatherapy, Corsetry, Chain-maille making, Welding, Canoeing, Shooting, and pole-dancing to name but a few. A veteran Star Trek RPGer, she’s run both games and groups of games but now finds her home in Bravo Fleet, one of the internet’s oldest Star Trek simm groups.
She juggles being a mum, working full time and writing, tossing another ball in the air with her cover artwork. For Mina, writing time is the wee hours of the morning before anyone wakes up and starts making demands, or any spare minute that can be begged, bought or conned.
Her first stories were penned at age 11, when she used a stationery set meant for Christmas thank you letters to write stories instead. More recently, she wrote for her own amusement and to save on outrageous monthly book bills. Now she’s totally addicted and needs her daily writing fix or heads roll!
Primal, dark and dangerous. What’s not to love?
I was twisted early into favouring the anti-hero, the man with ambiguous morality, the man who isn’t afraid to walk—and possibly cross—the line into darkness.
Kerr Avon, one of the main characters from Blake’s 7 was my first, if improbable crush. A thief, a convict, a murderer…in the end Avon went completely to the darkside. He realised it in the final moments when he killed the only man he’d ever admired. And then the BBC went and killed him. I’ve never quite forgiven them for that.
So…jump forward more than a few years and the imprint of Avon is still with me. I look for it in books, in films in the heroes that often pull me to write their stories. Primal, sometimes bitter, tough, clever, not willing to play by conventional rules but following his own integral sense of honour. He will do what needs to be done. Regardless. And there’s a vicious charm there too, edged with a dangerous sexuality…
In real life, I’d run like hell from men like this. In fiction? I eat them alive.
I think the darkest hero I’ve written is John Ramius in Breaking Chance. He started out as an idea between friends. We wanted to write stories with a very dark hero…and a high body count. So enter Ramius, a criminally insane convicted mass murderer who’d killed fifty three men in as many minutes. Avon would be so proud!
Then I had the fun of making Ramius exactly what the heroine needed…
What a girl wants and what a girl needs are sometimes two different things…
For Melissa “Lucky” Chance, another stretch in Ganymede’s ice prison is nothing new. The flash-freeze that’s supposed to destroy her will only leaves her with an insatiable desire for the first hot body she lays eyes on. Except this time, she faces a death sentence. Her only hope of escape lies with the man known as The Butcher.
John Ramius understands the logic behind his conviction as a criminally insane mass murderer. No man should have been able to slaughter over fifty men in as many minutes, but no one sees the underlying curse that compels him to sense—and fulfill—someone’s deepest need. Chance’s skill will free him to kill the Sun-King; he will find no rest until he does.
As they run from the forces of the Jovian colonies, Ramius finds himself temporarily sidetracked, not only by Chance’s relentless desire, but by her underlying, unspoken need. Ignoring it—or his own compulsion to do every wicked thing imaginable to her—is not an option.
Only after all their defenses are stripped away do they discover that their meeting wasn’t by chance. Someone is manipulating them both, and the only way out is the path to their destruction…
This book contains explicit sex, thieves, murderers, a sentient ship and a hero who will give you exactly what you need.
Breaking Chance Excerpt
©2010 Kim Knox
“You have a kink?”
Ramius snorted and his fingers paused as they unfastened the second gun. “Yes, you could say I have a kink.”
“All right, now I’m curious.”
He met her gaze, and the warmth of humour left her. The cold face of a killer held her, all sense— possibly pretence—of banter gone. Her heart thudded in the endless, silent seconds and, damn it, his dark side tugged at her. A light shone in his eyes, and Chance recognised the quick surge of lust, felt it echoed in her own flesh. His change was palpable. Had her curiosity sparked something in him?
Ramius pushed himself up and her heart gave an excited jump. She was crazy, she was, to continue to push him. He was the Butcher and she’d seen the grisly evidence of his work…but… He was closing the distance between them with predatory grace. Blood pounded in her temples and her body ached. Sex made her feel alive, and every part of her burned right then.
Ramius took the mug from her lax fingers and put it behind her. His body blocked her and he gripped the edge of the counter, trapping her. Chance held his shadowed gaze, finding the familiar curl of lust and something else she couldn’t name. He leaned in, his mouth almost, almost, brushing her lips, and she drew in a sharp breath. “I don’t play games, Chance. I can’t.” His mouth moved and his whisper stirred the shell of her ear. She swallowed. “I’ve thought about fucking you, hard, fast, up against the nearest wall.” He paused, and in the short silence there was only the pounding of blood in her ears. “I know that’s the way you want it.” Ramius leaned in closer. “But I won’t ever do that.”
Her fingers curled into her palms, nails digging sharp into her skin, and she held her hands tight to her breastbone. If she pushed her hands against the hardness of his chest, felt the thud of his heart, the warmth of his skin…she would have to nip at his tempting earlobe.
His scent, spiced, seductive, wrapped around her. He was so tempting… Chance teased with the tip of her tongue, tasting his skin. She moaned. John Ramius tasted even better than he looked.
“Chance…” The soft growl forced her fingers to clutch at his shirt. “Stop now, and I won’t take this further.”
His words sounded reasonable, but she didn’t miss the need thickening his voice. A need that also spun though her blood. She nipped at his earlobe and his hiss burned her skin. “I think you will.”
Kim lives on an ancient boundary line, once marked by a Neolithic burial tomb. The tomb’s now a standing stone circle–thank the Georgians for that one–and stirs her mind with thoughts of history and ancient myths. She mixes the essence of the past into fantasy, along with the essential mix of magic and sex. She also writes science fiction romance, pushing out into the far future with effortlessly sexy men and the women who can’t resist them.
Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Kim-Knox/100915259965690
The anti-hero and his epic heart.
Is it true that women love bad boys? Or are we only in love with the idea of the bad boy? The great thing about fiction is that these two questions need only one answer—who cares! They shouldn’t even exist for the reader. Logic doesn’t enter the equation of whether or not its safe to love the bad guy. Real world mores and repercussions are irrelevant and inconsequential in the pages of a good book. Beneath the roof of a house of leaves, anything and everything the heart desires is perfectly acceptable—even encouraged. Bring on the bad boys, the badder the better, because its so much more fun to love the beast than it is to tame him.
The anti-hero is a fascinating character. He can be so many things at once, even the antithesis of everything we know to be good and worthy of our love. In fact the more dangerous, the more deadly, the more brutal he is, the more desirable he becomes. If he is capable of such heartless, single-minded purpose to gain his own ends, how powerful and shattering a thing might it be to capture his heart and be the target of his passions! He would love with all the unstoppable violence of a storm, devastating and consuming. It would take a strong woman to withstand such an encounter—that secret heroine in all of us, who thumbs her nose at danger and takes the devil by the horns with every intent to survive and triumph. There is no place at an anti-hero’s side for a simpering little Miss. He’d crush her before he even saw her. But a woman of spirit, now there is a prize any man would die for—doubly so the anti-hero, because he has absolutely no fear of death.
No matter how dark the anti-hero’s heart, it can be redeemed by the power of love. He may have the blood of thousands on his hands, but the stain is washed away (semi) clean when he meets the one woman who can reach through his savagery to the vulnerable man beneath the skin. Through her love he can find redemption, but he needn’t lose his edge. Love doesn’t transform the danger in his heart, it merely redirects it, channels it. The woman he loves becomes the center of his existence and woe betides the fool who dares get in his way. If anything, once the anti-hero finds his mate, he is even more deadly than ever before. Because if there is anything an anti-hero might fear, it would be the loss of his woman and so he would be driven to the single-minded purpose of keeping her close; never letting go.
In my series The Horde Wars, the recurring character Lord Daemon is a balls to the wall anti-hero. He is guilty of countless deaths, of immense destruction, yet he is without remorse. He can’t feel remorse (yet). He views life as a fleeting, inconsequential thing and as such, the taking of a life means little to him. Daemon will do anything and everything he must to achieve his goals. All because of a woman he loved and then lost.
Imagine being the focus of all that dark obsession.
Since the death of his woman, in a misguided attempt to resurrect her, Daemon has killed, maimed and corrupted everything in his path. He has turned the world in on itself and the gutted it. All in the name of love. Its twisted and its bleak, but Daemon is a shadow, not a rainbow. He has seen such darkness that were the light of a woman’s heart to find him now he would be blinded to everything else. But he’s so lost in his abyss of suffering that he may never find such a love again. There may not be a woman strong enough or brave enough to reach him anymore. But we can all fantasize. We can all imagine ourselves to be the one woman strong enough to ride out his fury, to claim his attention, become his new obsession and absolve his soul. We couldn’t tame him, would never tame him, but we could find the strength inside our deepest, most feminine self, to be capable of securing his all-consuming love.
That’s why the anti-hero is so appealing. Because no matter what he’s done, no matter how much of a monster he can be, to that one special woman he is the ultimate alpha male. Willing to kill, to poison his own soul, so that he can have her forever. He will tirelessly work to keep her safe and completely his. He would never crush her, but worship her, because she is his salvation. He has no heart, because she keeps it for him. An anti-hero would do anything, without regret, to hold onto his woman’s love. Savage, animalistic, barbaric and indomitable—this and all things dark are what comprises the anti-hero’s DNA.
Heady stuff. At least, in this reader’s opinion.
Sherri King lives in the American Midwest with her husband, artist and illustrator Darrell King. An avid bookoholic, when she isn’t reading or writing, she’s playing epic, time wasting video games with her husband, friends and two supernatural dogs, Porkchop and Spike. Sherri is the author of critically acclaimed series The Horde Wars and Sterling Files, as well as the horror lit-erotica, Venereus. Her books are available in electronic, print and audio formats from Ellora’s Cave Publishing, Inc. and Simon & Schuster.
To contact Sherri (provided she’s in Earth’s orbit and can be reached):
Facebook Page (where posts and news appear most frequently): http://www.facebook.com/pages/Sherri-L-King/116986838311505