Posts Tagged ‘Urban Fantasy’
I’m so excited! Today is a release day for me. The third book in the Draven’s Crossing series is out. *Grins* I hope you like it. I have another book or two planned for this series.
Excerpt: Meeting With Draven
Out Now at Purple Sword Publications
Draven’s Crossing: Hidden Diversions
With so many distractions, can they catch a killer before someone else dies?
Their passion may be the death of them…
Werewolf Chief of Police, Torger, is running into walls while tracking the Draven’s Crossing serial killer. No matter what he tries to do, he can’t find the clues needed to stop the terror that stalks the streets of his city. Things aren’t helped by his attraction to dragon shifter, Draven City News Reporter, Isadora Jones. With political pressure and bodies mounting, can he get through all these distractions to the truth before it’s too late?
Reporter, Isadora Jones wants to help with the investigation into the serial killer but Torger refuses to let her. She decides to do it on her own, but her world goes upside down when the killer sets his sights on her. Under Torger’s protection, they start to put the pieces together but will it be too late for them?
Things go from bad to worse when another killer appears. Draven’s Crossing just got a whole lot more dangerous.
Purple Sword Publications:
Torger tossed and turned in his bed. He could smell her on his covers. Her scent drifted around the room like an enticing trail he wanted to follow. His skin burned as his muscles contracted. Blood flowed straight to his cock, thickening the shaft. His balls hardened and throbbed with the need for release. With a groan, he rolled onto his stomach. His mind was split into two parts: one half didn’t think it was right to want sex much less have it with so many bodies piling up, and the other didn’t give a shit and needed to feel something good in a world full of crap. He didn’t want to think about anything. He had the All Packs meeting that was coming up after the full moon. His mind was abuzz with thoughts and lists. There were things he had to do and things he had to discuss. Torger hadn’t met with his Beta yet, nor had he met the new leader of the Branson pack after the old one had been ousted. Then he had to make sure that Draven would get the old ones to meet with him about the killer. There was Evanson to deal with, and he didn’t want to think about the shit storm that could come out of accusing him of anything, especially not with the man’s wife dead. Whether he had anything to do with it or not, the public wouldn’t be happy. Muffy Evanson was a beloved figure in the community. If the Representative had anything to do with her death, there would be chaos. He needed to be sure, to dig deeper. Torger knew he’d have to ask Isy to dive into the archives and see what she came up with.
The sweetest perfume drifted under his door. He snorted and sat up. She was near. His eyes had already adjusted to the darkness. He saw a shadow move in front of his door but it didn’t go to the guest room across the hall. He waited; the seconds ticked by. Each moment like a drip of water on his face, it seemed to last forever and there was no end in sight. He swallowed. His lips became dry as his heartbeat sped up. The jangle of a hand on the door handle rang in his ears. The delicate shells prickled at the musical sound. He waited. His heart stuttered and then crashed against his ribcage in a heavy drum beat. His body heat spiked as his wolf waited. Need coiled in the pit of his stomach. He licked his lips again, hoping, praying for what, he didn’t know. All he saw was that if she didn’t do something soon, he would. And then there would be no turning back. Everything would change for them, and he wasn’t sure how everyone would react or how everything would land.
As the seconds ticked by, her shadow remained at the door. The hand had stopped jiggling. Opening up his senses, he allowed her emotions to wash over him. He tasted the tang of hesitation with the sweetness of eagerness. All of it was tinged with the bright spice of lust. Underneath it all, there was Isy’s own unique natural scent. Not wanting to let the torture for both of them continue, he called out, “Isy, you can come in.”
There was a moment and then the door knob turned. Her perfume and emotions rushed into the room, driving away the stale trail she’d made before. It was as if someone had turned on the sun in his room. Heat poured over him in waves as she advanced into the space and shut the door behind her. Both of them were covered in darkness and yet he knew she stood between the door and his bed. So close and yet so far away as the cliché went. His fingers ached to hold her, to feel the silken warmth of her skin and bury his face in her neck and inhale deeply. Torger’s lips tingled with the need to kiss her, to feel her lips against his and slide his tongue into her mouth and taste her. He wondered what he’d find there. He didn’t want to think about it anymore.
“Isy? What’s wrong?” Torger knew what was wrong but didn’t want to come out and say it. His wolf on the other hand wanted him to get up off the bed, strip off her clothes, bury his face between her thighs and eat her out until she came. His cock jerked at that urge. Heat flared along his skin, flushing through is cheeks, down his throat, and crashing into his chest. Prickles danced along his flesh as his nerve endings came alive. His sense sharpened as his wolf came into play, pushing at its restraints, demanding that they finally get what they’d longed for after so much denial. And he couldn’t move. Frozen by his guilt as his responsibility pushed forward to the forefront of his mind. Pack. Duty. Draven’s Crossing. Those words screamed in his head, and he felt a tinge of shame.
No shame! His wolf cried out and growled at its master’s retreating libido. His skin cooled as his heart went back to its normal rhythm.
“Torger. Shut up. Stop thinking.” Isy’s voice came out as a low, husky command. Just like that, the fire inside burst to life. It went from simmer to all out firestorm as Isy advanced toward his bed. How she knew about the war going on in his head he didn’t know. Do dragons smell things the way other shifters do? The question pushed back some of his doubts.
The bed dipped under her weight, which served to shove back more of the pressure on his mind.
“Can you…” The question caught around a lump in his throat. It had formed when he wasn’t looking. A nervous sweat began on his forehead. He felt large and unsure of himself, like a teenager during his first experience. “Your stress and frustration reeks. It’s time to put an end to that. Your doubts and concerns won’t save the people of Draven’s Crossing and it sure as hell won’t help you catch the killer. Now didn’t I tell you to shut up?” Her hands closed around his ankles. He felt them slide up his legs. The cloth abraded his skin. Even though it was smooth cotton, it felt a thousand times rougher than before. He swallowed again, not used to this side of Isy. Rather than ask, he did as she said and stayed quiet. He didn’t move or even dare to breathe without her say so. His thoughts drifted away with her touch. She ran her hands over his thighs. The scrape of her nails over the cotton intensified his sense of touch. The blunted pain only enhanced his need. Desire crawled through his body as blood thickened in his veins. Her unique aroma became his air. Each gulp sent his head spinning and his mind drifting. He was lightheaded with her nearness.
“You’re going to let me take care of you. I’ll be handling your pleasure tonight. You do what I say and want without a single word, understand?” She placed a butterfly kiss on his stomach, so light it could have been the brush of the wind for all he knew. Her humid breath told him otherwise.
Torger nodded his acquiescence. He let out a yelp when he felt her teeth sink into one ridge of his abdominals. “No. Let me hear you say it. Tell me, yes, Isy, I understand.” She lapped at the pained flesh with quick licks of her tongue. Each lap pulled a soft groan from his throat as the pain turned to pleasure.
“Yes, Isy, I understand. Please.” He reached for her, wanting to bury his hands in her hair and pull her close but did nothing until told to. His alpha male self went to war over giving power to Isy. It had nothing to do with her being a woman or even a dragon. Everything in him was designed to take care of people, solve problems, and yet he was rescinding control to her. He was allowing her to take care of his problem, solve it for him and take care of him. He wasn’t sure how to respond so he did nothing. Curiosity peeked out from the wolf. It wondered how this would go, not in the least bothered by the shift in power.
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
Heroes and Villains
Sometimes there is a very fine line between the two. Call it the bad-boy syndrome or the anti-hero, but many story “heroes” often flirt with both sides. It can make for a nice dynamic, particularly if the heroine isn’t entirely sure what to make of it. And of course, she’s most likely going to be attracted to him, just for that reason. If he’s truly bad, can he be redeemed? And will she be the one to do it?
For myself, I don’t mind it if my heroes straddle the line, because people generally tend to exist in shades of grey, and that’s exactly how I like my characters. I enjoy watching a hero’s layers slowly peeling back as we discover what makes him tick and what those inner motivations are. Often we find certain actions that may have appeared villainous or untoward at first become much more heroic once we know *why* he did them.
Not that those reasons necessarily excuse them from being an asshat, but it lends a certain amount of sympathy to their plight and it can be much easier for a reader to connect with that character. We can make allowances as to why he very well *should* end up with the heroine.
In my debut, A Brush of Darkness, Brystion the incubus has a certain element of the anti-hero in him. He’s motivated by the need to rescue his sister, but my heroine Abby has very little incentive to trust him, particularly when she has her own set of missing people to deal with. Of course, they end up having to join forces in the end…but things aren’t always what they seem. As much as Abby is attracted to him, she’s also very much aware that Brystion is an actual daemon, and one known for his overly seductive traits. Although she does give in to him (partially due to attraction and partially due to a deal they worked out), there is always a niggling of uncertainty in the back of her mind. Will he love her? Or betray her?
Here’s a little excerpt of A Brush of Darkness:
“I wasn’t trying to seduce you. The offer was genuine.” He pushed his hand through his hair. “It’s a little disconcerting to be turned down by a mere mortal.”
“Just a mortal,” I snorted. “Real nice. I’ll see what I can do about soothing your ego, O gracious and tactful one.” I chewed on my lower lip thoughtfully and gave him a sly smile. “Of course, you probably shouldn’t feel too bad. After all, I am wearing a magical amulet now.”
His mouth pursed. “You are?”
“Sure. It’s made of silver and moonbeams and blessed by a flatulent dwarf,” I intoned gravely. “It’s a guaranteed ‘plus four’ against Incubus Seduction.”
“You’re an ass.”
“Kiss, kiss, darling.” I fluttered my eyelashes, puckering my lips in mock affection.
His hand snarled into my hair, fingers twined tightly at the base of my head. “This is a complication I don’t want, Abby.” He growled the words, but there was no mistaking the desire that smoldered behind his now glowing eyes.
“The bulge in your pants says otherwise,” I retorted, perversely nudging my hips against him. A little voice in the back of my mind was going into apoplectic fits at my boldness. As far as I was concerned, the incubus had been acting like some sort of preternatural cocktease since we’d met and I’d had enough.
He let out a stifled groan, his other hand snaking down to grip my ass. “You’ll regret it,” he breathed, releasing his hold on my hair to trace a curious thumb over my jaw. His face drifted closer until his mouth brushed mine. I shuddered at the delicate intrusion. His fingers slid up to the small of my back.
“Probably.” I sighed, my mind happily unable to focus on anything but the way he was nipping at my lower lip. “I regret a lot of things.”
The incubus stared at me, an unnamed emotion flickering across his face, and then his lips were on mine, fierce and possessive. He devoured me utterly. There was only the sweetness of his tongue, probing hot and wet into the velvet contours of my mouth. It swept shallow, lingering to taste the soft edges, and then moved deeper, pulsing and rhythmic to match the rapid beating of my heart. I jerked forward to bury my hands in his hair, my ragged breathing giving way to a low cry of longing.
“How’s that ego?” he purred.
“Rock hard from the feel of it,” I gasped. “Just the way I like it.”
I had a naked incubus in my bedroom. With a frying pan of half-cooked bacon and a hard-on. And a unicorn bite on his ass. Christ, this was turning out to be a weird morning.
Six months ago, Abby Sinclair was struggling to pick up the pieces of her shattered life. Now, she has an enchanted iPod, a miniature unicorn living in her underwear drawer, and a magical marketplace to manage. But despite her growing knowledge of the OtherWorld, Abby isn’t at all prepared for Brystion, the dark, mysterious, and as sexy as sin incubus who shows up searching for his sister—and is convinced Abby has the key to the succubus’s whereabouts. Abby has enough problems without having this seductive shape-shifter literally invading her dreams to get information. But when her Faery boss and some of her friends vanish as well, Abby and Brystion must form an uneasy alliance. As Abby is sucked deeper and deeper into this perilous world of faeries, angels, and daemons, she realizes her life is in as much danger as her heart—and there’s no one she can trust to save her.
A marine biologist in a former life, Allison Pang turned to a life of crime to finance her wild spending habits and need to collect Faberge eggs. A cat thief of notable repute, she spends her days sleeping and nights scaling walls and wooing dancing boys….Well, at least the marine biology part is true. But she was taloned by a hawk once. She also loves Hello Kitty, sparkly shoes, and gorgeous violinists.
She spends her days in Northern Virginia working as a cube grunt and her nights waiting on her kids and cats, punctuated by the occasional husbandly serenade. Sometimes she even manages to write. Mostly she just makes it up as she goes.
Facebook: – http://www.facebook.com/apang
Twitter: – http://www.twitter.com/allison_pang
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
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