Posts Tagged ‘Samhain Publishing’
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!
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
What’s so good about being the guy in the White Hat?
As a western romance writer, I have all sorts of heroes in hats, the cowboy kind that is. Not all of them are honorable men though. *gasp* Yes, it’s true, sometimes my heroes don’t wear the white hat.
I am very much the kind of writer who tries to stay true to real life. I’ve had heroines who are homeless, disabled, bitchy and even scarred physically. I’ve had heroes who are drunks, suffer from PTSD, or missing a limb. Yes, the book is an escape from reality but in order to identify with the hero/heroine, I feel like they have to feel real to me, and consequently, to the reader.
So my heroes can also be bad guys, who find their way to a good place with the love of a heroine. I’ve had three heroes who are truly badasses, men you would not want courting your daughter.
The first was Hermano, who made an appearance in my first book, The Bounty. In the first scene, Hermano was torturing the hero, Tyler Calhoun, to give him information. Nice guy, eh? He pops up throughout the book, and the next, The Prize, dancing in the shadows in the periphery.
Well, what happened next was Hermano kept whispering in my ear while I slept, telling me he needed his own story, por favor. I couldn’t resist the pull of such a dark, sexy man, one who valued loyalty but would kill in a blink if need be.
Thus, my third book, The Reward, became Hermano’s story. He was Malcolm Ross y Zarza, a half-scottish, half-mexican man with a past of his own, one that thrust him into the role of a bandito.
He’s unapologetic for his actions and his choices – one of the things I love about him. He’s real, y’know?
The second hero with a gun and a dark soul is also from the Malloy family books, Kincaid. Oh, Kincaid, how I love thee. He first appeared in book five, The Gift, as a man hired to kill the heroine, Adelaide. Somewhere along the way he became friends with Brett Malloy, the most reticent and quietest of the brothers. So when Brett’s story, The Tribute, was published, Kincaid played a major role. He found a friend in Brett that he’d not found before. At the end of The Tribute, Kincaid disappears only to resurface in his own book, Hell for Leather.
A man who survived a wickedly awful childhood, Kincaid tries to start over, to emulate the man he wants to be like his friend Brett. He finds a place to be, and a new name, Cade Brody, and tries to keep his dark past buried beneath the roots of a pine tree. It takes a strong woman, Sabrina, to force him to confront that blackness and find the love he deserves.
My third serious badass hero is Grady Wolfe from Ruthless Heart, my first book published as Emma Lang. Grady is the penultimate bad guy – who will take any and all jobs for money. He’d been an assassin since he was fifteen, darkest of dark. It takes a scientific, brainy heroine like Eliza Hunter to smash through the castle of hell he lives in, and find the man he could be.
Who doesn’t like a dark, tortured hero? Each of these men personified what I want to see happen to all badass men, redemption.
My next release in print, Devils on Horseback: Lee, has the angriest hero I’ve had. Lee lost an arm and the rest of the world is gonna suffer for it. He’s unlikeable and snarly – so what do you think I’m going to do with him? Why yes, bring on a heroine who is as brassy as he is, Genevieve is going to tame that beast, just wait and see.
Beth has never been able to escape her imagination and it led her to the craft of writing romance novels. She’s passionate about purple, books, and her family (not to mention long cruises). She works full-time and writes romance novels evening, weekends, early mornings and whenever there is a break in the madness.
She is compassionate, funny, a bit reserved at times, tenacious and a little quirky. Her cowboys and western romances speak of a bygone era, bringing her readers to an age where men were honest, hard and honkin’ built.
For a change of pace, she also dives into some smokin’ hot contemporaries, bringing you heat, romance and snappy dialogue.
Why Being Bad Can Feel so Good
by Beth Kery
My upcoming print release from Samhain, Velvet Cataclysm, involves clones, one who is evil to root of his bones and the other who struggles against his vampiritic, parasitic nature.
We all have a selfish, ego-maniac residing deep, deep inside us—go on, admit it—which is one of the reasons it’s so fun to write and read about a truly nasty anti-hero. Especially when said anti-hero is a gorgeous, walking god. Teslar, the bad-guy in Velvet Catalysm, does bad things because it gets him what he wants…or it feels good. He accepts his nature without doubt, and you’ve got to love a guy who’s decisive.
His face may have been Saint’s, but his luxurious mane of blondish-brown hair hung down his shoulders and back. While Saint wore a neatly trimmed goatee that was a shade darker than the burnished hair on his head, this man was clean-shaven. He wore a pair of circular, mirrored sunglasses that hid his eyes.
“Well, well, well. What have we here?”
His voice was very much like Saint’s—resonant, rich, and mesmerizing. She felt his eyes on her even through the dark glasses.
Heat bloomed beneath the surface of her skin. (From Velvet Cataclysm)
Freud was the one to break down why the bad in us can feel so good. Those id-impulses are alive and well in all of us; that part that would to bare our teeth and claws when we’re pissed or let the clothes fly and get down to it following a passing sexual attraction. There’s a good reason we don’t let things fly, of course; things like morality, the law, loyalty, compassion, etc. Yes, these things are worth the struggle to damp down the beast in all of us.
Yes, we know the superego is good and necessary for civilization and individuals to grow.
BUT, it sure is fun to let that bad girl or guy out occasionally, and books or movie give us that outlet.
The thing that I like about Saint, my hero, is that he’s not the opposite of Teslar. He actually completely identifies with Teslar, and understand that Teslar is—in essence–him. He understands he has the parasitic nature, the bloodthirst, the nearly uncontrollable hunger and lust. Saint’s power is that he chooses to fight it to gain something higher. Sometimes he fails, but the friction of his struggle grants a damned, inhuman creature the unimaginable—a soul.
The soul in this context incorporates Freud’s idea about the ego. The ego negotiates the impulsive beast (id) and the stuffy authority figure (superego) in all of us. It represents something higher than a combination of both. This is the transformation that Saint must undergo to be worthy of a soul…and an amazing woman, Christina.
Do you have a favorite bad guy/gal in a book or movie, someone you secretly root for? If I were an actress, my ultimate role would be a brilliant, ruthless…busty villainess. What about you? Comment to win a print book OR ebook version of Velvet Cataclysm, the first book in the Princes of the Underground series from Beth Kery and Samhain Publishing.
Velvet Cataclysm, in bookstores, March 1
Beth Kery is the National Bestselling author of more than twenty novels. She writes for Berkley, Harlequin and Samhain Publishing, both as Beth Kery and Bethany Kane. Beth holds a doctorate in the behavioral sciences and spends a busy life balancing her family life and two careers.
Captain Mal, The Ultimate Antihero
I love anti-heroes, men who make you question their motives and their morality but always come through in the end as men of honor even if their methods are a bit tarnished. One of my favorite anti-heroes is Captain Malcolm Reynolds from Firefly. Mal fought for the independents because he believed in a world where people could live free of the Alliance’s control. He did his best to care for the men and women who served under him. And later when he becomes captain of the Firefly class ship, Serenity, Mal truly cared about his crew even if he’s didn’t always show it.
Mal doesn’t behave as a traditional hero should. He prefers to shoot first and ask questions later. He takes jobs that put him on the wrong side of the law, content to steal when necessary to support his crew. He kills when he needs to and doesn’t spend time on remorse.
But “Bad” as he may be, Mal protects his crew even when he doesn’t like them personally, and he never leaves a man or woman behind. Once someone is under his protection, he’ll risk his life for them even if he thinks their predicament is their own fault.
Captain Marc Devlin from my Shifter’s Station Collection is a similar type of anti-hero. He served Terra Gov as a special forces officer until they chose to experiment on him and other members of his battalion, turning them into shape-shifting killing machines. A natural leader, he gathered a group of the genetically-altered shifters and helped them escape and form a mercenary company.
But he’s no do-gooder. He’s harsh and controlling, and he isn’t the least bit concerned with the legality of the jobs he takes on. As long as the money’s good and he can support his crew, he’s content. He’ll shoot any man or woman who threatens him or his crew without a second thought. He’s gruff and tough as hell on the men and women who work for him, but he has their loyalty, because they know he’ll do anything to keep them safe.
Captain Devlin is also not above abusing his power when it suits him like when Larissa delivers a faulty shipment of weapons to his station. He and his lover, Commander Kirlos Adesta, determine that she had no part in the sabotage attempt, but Marc wants her in his bed so he refuses to release her, eventually making her a wager he’s confident he’ll win.
Read an excerpt below of the meeting between Marc, Kirlos and Larissa and see if this anti-hero doesn’t make your pulse flutter…..
Silvia Violet writes erotic romance in a variety of genres including sci fi, paranormal, and historical. She can often be found haunting coffee shops looking for the darkest, strongest cup of coffee she can find. Once equipped with the needed fuel, she can happily sit for hours pounding away at her laptop. Silvia typically leaves home disguised as a suburban stay-at-home-mom, and other coffee shop patrons tend to ask her hilarious questions like “Do you write children’s books?” She loves watching the looks on their faces when they learn what she’s actually up to. When not writing, Silvia enjoys baking sinful chocolate treats, exploring new styles of cooking, and reading children’s books to her wickedly smart offspring.
Shifter’s Station Collection by Silvia Violet
Years ago, the Terran Government betrayed special forces officer Marc Devlin, forcing him to flee for his life. He rescued several fellow officers and built a new life as the head of his own mercenary force. When he captures a beautiful Cerian diplomat, he thinks to torture the man to learn Cerian secrets. Instead, he finds a lover. Months later, Marc and his Cerian lover, Kirlos, take a young woman captive, fearful she might be an agent of one of Marc’s oldest enemies. The two men strike a bargain with her that lands her in their bed for a month. As they dole out exquisite torment with their Cerian sex table, passion builds and turns to love. But Marc and Kirlos must fight to keep her and the life they’ve made for themselves.
This e-book collection contains the previously released Shifter’s Station series novellas Pilot’s Bargain, Pilot’s Heart, Loving the Enemy, and Eye of the Tigress.
Buy it at Changeling Press: http://changelingpress.com/product.php?&upt=book&ubid=1315
Buy it at All Romance Ebooks: http://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-shifter039sstationcollection-419034-144.html
Excerpt from Shifter’s Station 1: Pilot’s Bargain
The commander cut off whatever Captain Devlin was going to say. “I have the ability to probe your mind to determine if you’re telling the truth. And if you are lying, I can compel the truth from you.”
Larissa studied him for a moment. He seemed sincere and somewhat dismayed by the captain’s brusque manner. “Do it.”
She felt pressure on her head, as if someone were mashing the heel of their hand against her forehead. Then the pressure turned to pain. It grew sharper until it felt like a needle was boring into her skull.
She felt tension radiating from Adesta. “Stop fighting it.”
“I… can’t. I don’t –”
Then the pain spread as if her skull had cracked. She fell to her knees, panting. The world began to go black. But just before she passed out, the pain disappeared.
“Fires of hell, she’s strong.”
The captain snorted. “Did you get through?”
“Yes, she’s telling the truth.”
Thank the god. They would have to let her go now. Larissa heard the men speaking, but they sounded very far away. A dull pounding still echoed in her head. Nothing like the tearing pain of the scan, but she still wasn’t sure she could stand.
Then she felt a hand on her arm. It was the commander. She wanted to refuse his assistance, but she didn’t want to be on her knees in front of the captain. He was arrogant enough without her prostrating herself like a slave.
When the commander helped her to her feet, she stepped away and forced herself to focus on Devlin. His dark eyes were narrow and cold. “Who taught you to shield your thoughts?”
Devlin raised his brows. “You need this ability often on cargo runs?”
“When you take these kinds of jobs, you do.”
He laughed. “I suppose you are right. Federated Transport isn’t exactly a legitimate business.”
“And yours is?”
Adesta’s lips curled into a wicked smile. “You seem to be losing your touch, Captain. You usually have them trembling in their boots by now.”
Larissa just managed to keep from rolling her eyes. The captain might be one delightfully put together man, but she had no intention of rolling over for him. “Can I go now?”
Devlin scowled. “No.”
“The commander has established my innocence.”
“He has established that you were unaware that the weapons were faulty. But I still have one dead crewman and several more injured. Someone has to pay.”
“Yes. That someone is my bastard of a boss.”
“But he’s not here, and you are.”
“Captain.” The warning glare in the commander’s eyes gave Larissa hope he might convince his superior to let her go.
Larissa’s heart pounded. “You can’t be serious.”
He gave a cold smile. “I’m always serious.”
Larissa clasped her hands behind her back to hide their shaking. “You can’t just keep me here.”
“I can do anything I damn well please.”
The captain stepped toward her. She stabbed her nails into her palms, hoping the pain would dull her fear and help her hold her ground.
Devlin grasped the single braid that hung down her back and jerked her head to the side. “I am the law here. No one questions what I do. If I wanted to shove you out an airlock, that’s exactly what I’d do. No one would dare protest.”
She held her breath, and commanded her suddenly rubbery legs to keep her upright.
He let her go and stepped back. “Fortunately for you, I have something far more pleasant in mind as repayment for your crimes.”
Larissa’s lungs burned, but she couldn’t seem to fill them with air. She forced herself to look him in the eye. “I have no intention of letting you punish me for a crime I didn’t commit.”
Adesta smirked. “I like her spirit.”
The captain stared at her intently. “So do I. The spirited ones are so much more fun to break.”
Larissa’s heart hammered against her chest. She knew her eyes were wide and her fear shone all too plainly. She felt like a rabbit cornered by a wolf — a big bad wolf with plans to eat her.
Now why the hell did that thought make her body feel hot and tight? She was so damn wet she’d likely soaked through her flight suit. What was wrong with her?
Devlin took a long, deliberate inhale. “Mmm. I think she likes us more than she wants us to know.”
Shit! The last thing she needed was for him to be aware of how she was responding to them. She needed to convince them to let her go. But before she could think of anything to say, Devlin’s lips curled up in a wicked smile.
“Since you seem so interested in the issue of fairness, why don’t we strike a bargain?”
“What bargain would that be?” Larissa mentally cursed the quaver she heard in her voice.
His smile widened. “I will spend the next two hours convincing you that you want to stay. If you can resist, you go free. If you can’t, you agree to remain on the station as my servant for the next month.”
Larissa took a deep breath. Her initial reaction was to tell him to go to hell, but something told her this might be her only way off the station. “How will you convince me to stay?”
“That’s my secret, but you have my word you will come to no harm.”
“Why should I trust you?”
The captain’s face froze, and a sound too like an animal’s growl rose from his chest.
Larissa glanced at Adesta. He shook his head. “I wouldn’t go down that road if I were you.”
“Fine. If I were to lose, which I have no intention of doing, how would you expect me to serve you?”
The captain’s smile returned instantly. “With every last inch of your naked body.”
Purchase Link: http://changelingpress.com/product.php?&upt=book&ubid=1315
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To watch episodes of Firefly online go to Hulu here: http://www.hulu.com/firefly
Ah, Villains. My favorite. They add tension, conflict, danger, and suspense to any story. And in the case of The Zero Dog War, they bring the humor by the busload.
Yes, I just finished writing a comedy Urban Fantasy. It stars a heroine who is a mercenary captain trying to save her team from bankruptcy and save her heart from a potential rival—Green Beret Jake Sanders. But the craziness really ramps up when the villain strolls onto the scene. Meet Jeremiah Hansen, capitalist necromancer whose business plan involves using the zombies he controls to work in a factory that produces powdered gelatin. The Zero Dog mercenaries are ordered to stop him, and wild zombie-fighting mayhem ensues.
And if that scenario wasn’t wacky enough, Evil Overlord Jeremiah has a few odd personality quirks that sometimes hinder, sometimes advance his plot for world domination.
1) Jeremiah is a necromancer overlord and entrepreneur who hates golf. Hates it. He’s horrible at it. And despite the golf course being the “green boardroom,” he still can’t get a handle on the game. When he rules the world, golf will be banned.
2) He transports his zombie hordes around in a yellow school bus. This is by necessity, and not a stylistic choice, as school buses generally score low on the Villain Cool Scale.
3) He robs banks. With zombies. Enough said.
4) He has a crush on the heroine. And I think we can all guess this can only end badly.
5) Keeping zombies in line is a thankless, 24 hour a day task. Yes, when your employees are largely hungry mindless undead, it can be a struggle dealing with HR issues, productivity challenges, and manufacturing safety. If a few zombies end up in the powered gelatin mix, he’ll never be able to get the factory ISO 9000 certified—not to mention it throws off the color and taste of the lime flavor product.
6) All this and more! Seriously, there’s a ton more jokes/humor/comedy in this book. Everything from nudist-inclined werewolves to mages who can summon alien ferrets and demonic kittens.
Also includes: Action, romance, more action, forklift accidents, dark elves, and fire.
Here’s the blurb:
The first bullet is always free. After that, you gotta pay.
Zero Dog Missions, Book 1
After accidentally blowing up both a client facility and a cushy city contract in the same day, pyromancer and mercenary captain Andrea Walker is scrambling to save her Zero Dogs. A team including (but not limited to) a sexually repressed succubus, a werewolf with a thing for health food, a sarcastic tank driver/aspiring romance novelist, a three-hundred-pound calico cat, and a massive demon who really loves to blow stuff up.
With the bankruptcy vultures circling, Homeland Security throws her a high-paying, short-term contract even the Zero Dogs can’t screw up: destroy a capitalist necromancer bent on dominating the gelatin industry with an all-zombie workforce. The catch? She has to take on Special Forces Captain Jake Sanders, a man who threatens both the existence of the team and Andrea’s deliberate avoidance of romantic entanglements.
As Andrea strains to hold her dysfunctional team together long enough to derail the corporate zombie apocalypse, the prospect of getting her heart run over by a tank tread is the least of her worries. The government never does anything without an ulterior motive. Jake could be the key to success…or just another bad day at the office for the Zeroes.
Contains explicit language, intense action and violence, rampaging zombie hordes, a heroine with an attitude and flamethrower, Special Forces commandos, ninjas, apocalyptic necromancer capitalist machinations, absurd parody and mayhem, self-deluded humor, irreverence, geek humor, mutant cats, low-brow comedy, and banana-kiwi-flavored gelatin.
Get it here! Samhain Publishing
And Get it Here! ARe
And Don’t Forget Here! Kindle
Or Here! Nook
How about Here! Borders
Anyone Want a Slightly Damaged Hero?
N. J. Walters
We all love a hero, that brave stalwart soul who will stand side-by-side with the heroine to face down any foe. He’ll use whatever weapons he has at hand—a clever wit, sword, gun, tire iron—to rescue the heroine and vanquish the villain.
Then there is the everyday hero, the man who does what needs doing whether it’s taking out the garbage, changing a tire, or helping the single mom with her kids. Maybe it’s the corporate raider who reforms for just the right woman. There are all kinds of heroes and each of them has a place in romance literature.
I don’t know about most readers, but I’m partial to the anti-hero, that brooding, dark male who is reluctant to help but does it anyway. In spite of his penchant for being a loner and not caring about the world, he is drawn into the heroine’s problems. He may grumble and complain, but he does it because of his own code of honor.
This guy is a hero in spite of himself. He doesn’t think of himself as a hero. He doesn’t want to be a hero. Yet, somehow, it happens as he becomes more and more entangled in the heroine’s life.
I’ve written a lot of these men. What can I say? I can’t help myself. These men are fascinating to watch as they evolve.
My latest in a long line of dark heroes is Isaiah Striker from my newest Legacy werewolf book, Isaiah’s Haven. His past has made him turn his back on the position of enforcer with his pack. He feels he doesn’t deserve the position because of his sister’s disappearance years ago. All he wants is to be left alone. (Brooding hero anyone?)
His downfall from his self-imposed solitude comes about because of one underlying reason—his loyalty to his family. That character trait sends him on a mission to Chicago and it is there he meets the beautiful and independent Meredith Cross. She’s not looking for a male to handle her problems. She’ll take care of them herself, thank you very much. But when she and her family are threatened, Isaiah can’t make himself leave. In spite of his determination to stay away, he’s drawn to her and the plight of her small pack. He’s willing to sacrifice everything and to face his own demons to ensure their safety.
Thus the slightly battered and worn male becomes a hero in spite of himself. His true self emerges from the darkness as he embraces his future.
Isaiah Striker puts family first, the pack a distant second. Which is precisely the reason he’s in noisy, crowded Chicago instead of alone in his beloved woods. One look at the owner of Haven nightclub, however, and a simple favor for his brother turns into something else entirely.
Meredith Cross holds her small pack together with sheer determination. After years on the run, they hide in the glare of the city’s nightlife. Isaiah may heat her blood, but she can’t afford to risk the lives of the outcast half-breeds in her care. Once exposed, every bounty hunter and werewolf purist in smelling distance will hunt them down.
But when their sexual attraction spirals out of control, a moment’s distraction is all it takes to lead danger right to Meredith’s door. For Meredith there’s only one choice: her pack.
But Isaiah knows his mate when he sees her. And he’s not giving up without a fight.
Read an Excerpt: http://store.samhainpublishing.com/isaiahs-haven-p-6034.html
Buy the Book: http://store.samhainpublishing.com/isaiahs-haven-p-6034.html
N.J. has always been a voracious reader, and now she spends her days writing novels of her own. Vampires, dragons, time-travelers, seductive handymen, and next-door neighbors with smoldering good looks—all vie for her attention. It’s a tough life, but someone’s got to live it.
Supers? Aren’t they all?
When I started thinking about this idea of Super-heroes and villains, I instantly flashback to the Incredibles and Dash talking with his Mom, Elasticgirl. Mom says “Everyone’s special”, to which Dash grumblingly complains, “That means none of us are…”
I’ve written over 20 books now, and I don’t think any of my heroes have been…well…super. But each and every one of them in some way has been. Let me explain.
I’ve got shifters—wolves and big cats and water-shifters and predator birds. These characters are special and magical in that they can change from a human body to an animal. But that’s not what makes them into heroes. It’s that Keil in Wolf Signs is willing to allow his mate to save them, that Tad in Wolf Flight willingly sacrifices what he thinks is his chance at love to save his sweetie. That the hero of Wolf Games, Erik, waits until Maggie is ready to move on. And in Wolf Tracks, TJ uses logic to explain the unexplainable—a forever kind of love—to his reluctant mate.
No capes, no magic other than the most powerful one of them all—love.
In my contemporaries, there’s another element. The reality of life around us means that there are misunderstandings, misspoken words and hurt feelings. To make it to a HEA there’s got to be patience, compassion and the occasion bout of self-sacrifice. Like Jack in Falling, Freestyle who decides giving up his love might be the best thing for her. Or Maxwell in Turn It Up who knows that giving up his love is not in her best interest, no matter how much she tells him to go away.
That’s the kind of hero I like—super powers shown in their words and actions, not simply embroidered on their cape.
Vivian Arend writes both contemporary and paranormal erotic romance. HEA gaurenteed, with adventures along the way. See website for book list, excerpts and parties/contests.
Tie Me Up, Please!
By Vonna Harpe
Welcome to my world, a kinky, great fun world IMO! Here’s a poorly-kept secret. I love writing bondage/capture stories. Its my fantasy, where I go in my mind when the world gets heavy or simply for fun.
For those who think I’m blowing smoke, here’s an example from my recent Loose Id release Brought Down.
“Yes, my captive, yes. Right now, you don’t believe me. I don’t blame you.” His expression sobered. “You believe the only way I can get you to cooperate is by force, but force breaks the spirit.”
The whole time he’d been talking, his rough fingers had tightened and relaxed, tightened and relaxed, sending strange sensations throughout her lower leg. There was nothing forceful in what he was doing, and his grip was far from painful. To her shock, she regretted it when he stopped.
“A woman’s body is quick to heat,” he went on. Releasing her shin, he pressed the heel of his hand against the side of her calf. “Just as a wolf answers to his belly’s needs, a woman heeds her sex.”
What had he said? If not for those words, surely her attention wouldn’t have turned to what lay hidden between her legs. No longer just pressing on her calf, his hand now moved back and forth. Even more disconcerting, he’d started lightly raking his nails over her knee. The touch put her in mind of a bird’s wing.
No, not a bird’s wing.
She couldn’t get away. Struggling would serve no purpose. As he continued his unexpectedly gentle exploration, she relaxed a little. She should fear this man with the thick, rich black hair that brushed the tops of his shoulders and bushy eyebrows. Unlike some men who wore beards, he’d taken a knife to his cheeks and chin, but not for the past few days. The shading added to his wild appearance.
“I didn’t think your flesh would be this soft,” he muttered. “It should be rough from the wind.”
His uncertain tone pulled her back from her study of his appearance. For the first time, she noted curiosity in his eyes and wondered if today was as much a journey for him as for her. Yet the differences were telling. He was in control of his journey, while she had no say. He’d captured her simply because he could.
Sighing, he changed from a crouch to kneeling. Once settled, he ran his hand along her thigh. Both dreading and anticipating what was going to happen, Kahsha breathed through every inch of the journey. He could be cruel yet wasn’t. Could draw blood but hadn’t. Instead he studied her while slowly, so slowly, guiding his hand to the inside of her thigh. Her dress barely covered her crotch, yet he didn’t take advantage.
“You can’t want this,” he muttered. Leaning forward, he exhaled his warm breath on her leg. “You hate everything I’m doing.” He sighed. “At the same time, you want to know what’s going to happen. That will make you tremble, and in the trembling, you’ll give up pieces of yourself. Hand your body over to me.”
He was right about the shivering. To her disbelief, insisting she wanted nothing to do with what he was doing would be a lie. Surely it would be different once she fully recovered from whatever he’d injected her with.
Ah, that was it; there was still poison in her system. Nothing to do with wondering what his fingers on her core would feel like.
Maybe he’d tapped into her thoughts, because after patting her knee, he slid his hand between her legs. It’s going to happen, his deep eyes said.
“Time,” he muttered, “to begin.”
Barely believing what was happening, she stared at his forearm and what she now could see of his wrist. The upward march fascinated her so that she couldn’t concentrate on remaining erect. His rough skin burned hers. She tried squeezing her thighs together, only to sob and let go when her muscles threatened to cramp.
He was saying something in a language she’d heard a few times but understood nothing of. Only the tone, soft and low, mattered. Perhaps what he was saying had nothing to do with her, but maybe he was detailing everything he had planned for her.
Anyone except me hot and bothered now? What’s truly amazing to me is that before I dove into the world of writing erotica, I kept my fantasies under wraps. Why? Because of my upbringing. Let me explain.
In purely psychological terms, Freud was a nut. In 1908, he declared that, “a happy person never fantasizes, only a dissatisfied one.”
Fortunately, a great deal has changed since those uninformed days with such experts as psychologists Harold Leitenberg and Kris Henning doing extensive studies on peoples’ sexual fantasies. Their conclusion: only about 5% of people don’t dream up sexy romps. In fact, it’s now considered pathological not to have such fantasies.
Whew! Good news for me because my erotica banks on readers’ need and desire for the aforementioned. But it isn’t enough for an erotica writer to simply open the bedroom door wide and call a pussy a pussy. There has to be a reason for the pussy to get into the act, like a plot to go with the sex. Many times I decorate my plot around bondage.
Good choice because psychiatrist Ethel Person of Columbia University reports that 51 percent of women imagine being forced to have sex and another third get off on pretending to be a slave who must obey a man’s every wish. Yep, I’m in good company, something I didn’t know back when the muse (or my carnal imagination) compelled me to write my first Ellora’s Cave capture story, Forced. http://www.jasminejade.com/pm-5333-77-forced.aspx (Ask me how much I dig the cover)
In it, a downsized lady cop gets pegged to go undercover to expose a slavery ring. Unfortunately—or fortunately—the first step calls for her being taught what it’s like to be a sex slave. With every like-themed book, I kick up my own fantasies another notch and judging by reader reaction, I’m on the right track.
So why do scenes full of ropes and chains touch so many people’s hot buttons? For the answer, I went back to the shrinks. According to Leitenberg and Henning, “Women who find submission fantasies sexually arousing are very clear that they have no wise to be raped in reality. In their fantasies, women control every aspect of what happens.” According to the article, “Power, Desire, and Pleasure in Sexual Fantasies” by Eileen Zurbriggen in the Aug, 2004 Journal of Sex Research, women who fanaticize about submission have a more positive attitude about sex and are less sexually guilty and more open to a variety of sexual experiences. Female submissive fantasies may be one aspect of an open, positive, guilt-free sexuality.
Why is that? Blame or credit the brain. The brain is as potent a sexual organ as the genitalia. As a result, our imagination allows us to safely explore our sexuality without waiting for Mr. Right or Wrong. No one is going to judge and criticize our thoughts. We can let them run wild—or handcuff and hog-tie them if we so choose.
I’ll choose the handcuffs, thank you very much. And throw in a blindfold and dildo for my helpless, writhing, and over-the-top excited female captive while I’m at it. And, most important, add one (or more) male hunk who can’t keep his hands off her helpless body because real women get off on being desired. As Leitenberg and Henning put it, “Women tend to envision something being done to them and to concentrate more on their partner’s interest in her.”
In his Psychology Today article, “The Safest Sex—Sexual Fantasies”, Peter Doskoch maintains that men have Playboy to prime their pumps while women turn to the “cookie-cutter” Harlequin romances which always include an emotional, passionate romance for mental and otherwise stimulation. Well, guess what. Those vanilla romances aren’t enough as witness by Ellora’s Cave’s phenomenal success.
Women readers want and deserve and are now getting more, a hell of a lot more. Their pumps are primed because erotic bondage (and its relatives) include emotion and passion, in spades.
In other words, it’s a short step from book to bed.
Just because, my latest Samhain release, Predator, also touches on capture themes. http://store.samhainpublishing.com/predator-p-6252.html