Monday, June 6, 2016

The Thin Line between Heroes and Villains (@kd_grace #giveaway #pnr)

By K.D. Grace (Guest Blogger)

Thanks so much for hosting me and helping me celebrate the launch of Demon Interrupted, Lisabet. It’s always a pleasure to spend time at your place.

I’d like to talk about the great contradiction that makes good paranormal work for me, and how Demon Interrupted, the fourth of the Lakeland Witches novels, uses that contradiction. If a paranormal romance is to be believable and work for me, I want to be almost as afraid of the hero as I am of the villain, and I want to be almost as attracted to the villain as I am the hero. I honestly can’t think that anyone could really fall for a vampire or a werewolf or a ghost or a powerful witch, or any other paranormal hero/heroine without being, at the same time, terrified. Wouldn’t your first response always be to run away and hide, even while you wanted to rip off your clothes and let them shag your brains out? A part of what makes good paranormal work is knowing that the hero or heroine could easily turn and destroy the very thing he or she loves and longs to possess. In fact, more often than not, the hero is really an antihero, striving to be greater than his nature, and the more difficult the struggle, the more endearing I find him to be.


At first glance, none of those things apply to Ferris Ryder, my hero in Demon Interrupted. He’s neither heroic nor villainous, nor is he sexy or frightening. Here’s a brief description of him:


In a room full of people Ferris could remain totally unnoticed. It was almost as though he were invisible. He heard things that way, saw things that others missed. Fiori suspected that was part of his magic.

*****

His cock was already hard, but then she had noticed that it often was. In those times when he allowed attention to be drawn to himself, in those times when he made his presence known he neither attempted to hide his erection nor did he attempt to flaunt it.

*****
He was neither large nor small. Even his cock was nothing unusual to draw attention to itself, and yet there was no one at Elemental Cottage who didn’t relish the thought of Ferris between their legs …

There are times when the only separation between the hero and the villain is how willing they are to struggle to rise above their own flaws. Of course that struggle to rise above flaws is nothing but the age-old human struggle magnified many times. The fact the hero or villain in a good paranormal romp may not only be able to rip people’s throats out if he’s having a bad day, but very well may have done just that at some point raises the stakes, raises the level of the tension, raises the excitement. The lover is not safe. In fact, we may not even be entirely sure if the lover is, indeed the hero or if he just might be the villain. As Ferris’ story unfolds, we’re even less sure, and yet that danger makes the sex all the hotter and the angst all the angstier.

I remember seeing Frank Langella’s Dracula back in the day and wondering, as I watched the horribly delicious scene in which he takes Lucy, even with the terrible truth of what the end result of his sexy attentiveness to her would be, who could possibly have refused even if they had not been under his thrall? He was a gentleman, he was charming and mysterious, he was hypnotic, he was gorgeous, he was terrifying. And I wanted him!

That’s the feel I tried to create in Demon Interrupted. For all of his unassuming, quiet ordinariness, for all his completely un-hero-esque appearance, it very quickly becomes evident that Ferris Ryder is not safe.

In the hazy vision of heat he seemed larger than himself, much larger than himself as though his arousal, their arousal together, had released something broader of shoulder, deeper of chest, darker of memory and, as the moon disappeared, the power of him rose like a shadow thick and all-consuming and, somehow, other than himself. The hair on the back of her neck rose. Gooseflesh prickled over her breasts, even as she rocked out her orgasm against his mouth. But before the tingle of uncertainty and the edge of fear could take hold, the moon reappeared and unassuming Ferris gave her clit on last hard tug with his lips and then rose over her, positioning himself, easing her open with his knees and his hips.

Ferris Ryder pushed his way into my imagination as a secondary character in Riding the Ether, the 2nd Lakeland novel, and it was obvious from the beginning that he was more than he appeared to be. His story was one I knew I had to discover. When he is offered back his dreams, his memories, his true nature by the Fire Demon, Lucia, with whom he’s made a pact, he refuses to take them from her, and in refusing his true nature he must pay a terrible price, a price that affects all those he cares about.

I love the paranormal contrast of light and darkness and the way the two are blended. After all there’s only awareness of one in the presence of the other. I think the balance of fear and lust and the highlighting of flaws through otherness, done well, is the making of a good paranormal romance. Conflict is the main ingredient of any good story, and when a story is paranormal, there is, by the nature of the beast, or the demon as the case may be, more room for more conflict. That’s a big part of the fun.

Thanks again for having me over, Lisabet! And please, lovely readers, don’t forget to enter to win the Amazon Gift Card. 

 

Blurb

Ferris Ryder has a choice to make. He can reclaim the past, which he now consciously keeps from his memories, or he can let all that he fears to remember destroy the present and the Elemental Coven he has come to love. Has the mysterious Elaine come into his life to be his guiding angel or will she tear his world apart, along with that of his coven family?

Available from Amazon: http://mybook.to/demoninterrupted

Excerpt

What the hell?’ Ferris roared like an angry beast as he fought his way out of a blackberry bramble to land hard with his naked arse on the rocky ground. The thick summer night effervesced with the tingle of strong magic, and the sting and bite of the bramble were evidence that he had been called, very unceremoniously, into physical form, but who would have treated him with such disrespect? And other than Lucia, the Fire Demon, and the demon who now possessed that evil aberration spawned in the Americas -- what was it he called himself Deacon -- there were few who could have done such a thing. Besides, what would either of them want with him? And certainly it behoved them to treat him with a little more respect than to up-end him bare-arsed and bleeding in a thicket. Whoever had done it, when he found them, they would be sorry for humiliating him so. He would make certain that they …

The yelp of a female voice put a halt to thoughts of punishing the transgressor. As he turned, the dance of firelight dazzling his eyes made him think for a moment that it was Lucia, who had summoned him. The Fire Demon’s sense of humour was evil at best. But the flames were nothing more than a tiny blaze set in an insignificant fire pit. And then he saw her. Beyond the blaze the woman stood as naked as he was with lustrous dark hair that hung down her back and over the swell of her breasts. He would not have imagined it to be possible, but the slender woman, body burnished golden in the firelight was the source of the magic that had summoned him.

What do you want, little girl, and why have you called me in such an uncivilised manner?’ He said, making his voice as thunderous as possible and pulling the shadows around him like a cape because it lent him at least a little of the dignity she had stolen from him.

But she did not cower. Instead she squared her shoulders and stood to her full height, which, as with most mortal women, was not significant compared to his. ‘I am no little girl, Rider, and I have summoned you to do my bidding.’

Though he made no effort to hold back the roar of his laughter, the mortal did not so much as cringe. ‘You summoned me to do your bidding, little one? You are either very brave or very stupid.’ With a sudden flick of his wrist the wind rose and swirled around her, whipping her hair across her face and then back over her shoulders, and he saw that she was, indeed, no little girl. Her breasts were in the full bloom of womanhood crowned by roseate nipples that peaked in the cool kiss of the wind he had summoned. His cock rose in response to her, and for the first time since his unceremonious arrival, he was pleased to be in physical form. This human, this mortal woman was delicate of build, skin as pale as the finest porcelain, skin that seemed lit from within, skin that contrasted with hair that was night itself and eyes that were like a moonless sky. Her hips flared away from her center as though they hugged the soft pillowing of dark curls that caressed her womanhood, and she stood unladylike, with her feet set wide apart on the ground so that even his tempest did not unbalance her.

I am neither brave nor stupid,’ she said, when the wind settled enough that she could catch her breath to speak. ‘I am without recourse.’

He moved closer to her, so that the fire did not interfere with his vision of her, and still she did not flinch. ‘You must be desperate, indeed, if you would summon a Soul Rider to do your bidding.’

She ignored his statement. ‘You have it within your power to visit horrible hallucinations upon those who displease you, do you not? It is within your power to drive them form their sanity, and it is said that you have power even to drive them to their death. Is that not so?’

He moved still closer, until he could see the rapid rise and fall of her chest that belied the nerves she hid so well, until he could feel her warm breath against the body that now held his essence. ‘Shall I demonstrate that of which I am capable upon you, little one?’ As he reached for her, she stepped back.

I do not need your demonstration, Rider. I only need you to use those powers in my service.’

This time he stepped close enough that she had to bend her slender neck back as far as she could to look up into his eyes. ‘And might I ask what’s in it for me?’

Anything.’ Her breath caught in her throat and for the first time he felt the passion of her request with the intensity of the powerful magic she had just performed and what that magic had cost her. And was that passion tinged with more than a hint of despair? ‘Anything you ask.’

And if you are the payment I demand?’

Her eyelids fluttered and her voice was little more than a whisper. ‘As I have said. Anything you ask.’

That she did not frighten easily, that she was braver than most men who had, ultimately, cowered before him made him want to taste her fear all the more. ‘Then I shall have you.’ He pulled her to him and took her mouth, not expecting the full pout of her lips to part for him, not expecting her body to relax and soften into his embrace nor her arms to encircle his neck. As his tongue flicked over hers, he was stunned to find it was not fear he tasted; it was power, exhilaration, need, mixed again with a heavy patina of desperation, and all of those tastes in this woman made him want her even more. His cock stretched hard, pressed against the tensing muscles of her belly. The pillowed press of her breasts against him in her battle for breath made him want to take more of her breath, so that the pumping of her lungs would keep her fullness rising and falling and nestling against him.

He unclenched her fingers from behind his neck and guided her hand down between them, down to rest on his cock. ‘It has been long since I have worn flesh. My need is nearly beyond my control. It may well be that I would split your fragile frame in two, little girl.’

Before the words were off his tongue, she circled his hardness with slender, but strong fingers, and began to stroke the length of him, whispering in his ear. ‘I told you, whatever you asked, and I am not nearly so fragile as you might think.’ But then the brazen child did something he could have never anticipated. She stepped out of his embrace, back just enough that he could not easily touch her. ‘But I am not yours for the taking until you have done my bidding, Rider. Then split me in two, you may, or in a thousand pieces if it please you.’

He growled his frustration, and his cock bucked against his belly. ‘I do not need your permission to take you, little one.’ He took a menacing step closer to her, and she stepped back again until she stood flush with the bramble behind her. ‘Nor do I need to do your bidding. After all, your invitation was not very polite, now was it?’

There was no invitation, Demon. There was a summoning and a bargain to be struck.’

Again, I will ask you why should I not take what I want now rather than wait. I am the one who --’

His words died in his throat as her power buzzed over him, a bolt of lightning and a touch of silk and he sucked breath to keep from humiliating himself as the content of his balls threatened to spill at her feet. Though in truth, he was not sure that perhaps it was his very life force that this woman, this witch threatened to coax from his cock with her magic. He raised his hands, palms facing her, in a gesture of peace. ‘Tell me then, what is it you want, little witch.’

She studied him for a moment with eyes bottomless as the night sky. ‘I want you to ride the soul of my enemy. Make him suffer long and hard, make him pay for what he has done. If this you do for me, then I am yours to do with what you will.’

Are you sure this is a price you can afford to pay, little witch?’ With a move that was no more human than he was, he pulled her into his arms and fisted her thick mane of soft hair and shoved it off her shoulders, seeking to admire the delicacy of the mortal form, as one did art in a gallery -- beautiful creations that were far too fragile for any practical purpose. Their fragility in itself a part of their attraction, and his ability to break them somehow made them even more valuable to him. With his eyes shut, he tracked the beat of her pulse to the soft spot on her throat, then bent to nuzzle her there, and just as she moaned a sigh, he bit her in that spot against the thud, thud, thud of her tenuous life force.

At first he thought the near sob that breeched her lips was a release of her pleasure, disappointingly easy, he thought. It was as he opened his eyes that he saw the bruises on her neck, green and angry in the dance of the flames, and he realised the sob had been one of pain. Though he was no fire demon, the thought of his little witch -- for that is how he thought of her now, as his possession -- the thought of her in pain kindled a strange inferno in his belly that burned with the same rage he would have felt if someone had so marred the Mona Lisa’s perfection. ‘Who did this to you?’ Even as he spoke, he noticed other bruises on her arms, on her hips … on the insides of her thighs. ‘Who did this to you,’ he growled.

She shoved her way free from his embrace and stumbled backward nearly falling before she caught herself. He could taste the rage rolling off her, overpowering the desperation, overpowering the longing, overpowering all else to the point that it was he who was rendered breathless by it. ‘The one whose soul I wish you to ride, the one who I seek revenge upon. He did this to me and more than even your demon eyes can ever see. He took everything from me, and I want him to pay! I want him to pay!’

About K D Grace/Grace Marshall

Voted ETO Best Erotic Author of 2014, and a proud member of The Brit Babes, K D Grace believes Freud was right. In the end, it really IS all about sex, well sex and love. And nobody’s happier about that than she is, otherwise, what would she write about?

When she’s not writing, K D is veg gardening. When she’s not gardening, she’s walking. She walks her stories, and she’s serious about it. She and her husband have walked Coast to Coast across England, along with several other long-distance routes. For her, inspiration is directly proportionate to how quickly she wears out a pair of walking boots. She also enjoys martial arts, reading, watching the birds and anything that gets her outdoors.



KD has erotica published with SourceBooks, Xcite Books, Harper Collins Mischief Books, Mammoth, Cleis Press, Black Lace,Sweetmeats Press and others.

K D’s critically acclaimed erotic romance novels include, The Initiation of Ms Holly, Fulfilling the Contract, To Rome with Lust, and The Pet Shop. Her paranormal erotic novel, Body Temperature and Rising, the first book of her Lakeland Witches trilogy, was listed as honorable mention on Violet Blue’s Top 12 Sex Books for 2011. Books two and three, Riding the Ether, and Elemental Fire, are now also available.

K D Grace also writes hot romance as Grace Marshall. An Executive Decision, Identity Crisis, The Exhibition, Interviewing Wade are all available.

Find K D Here





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11 comments:

K D Grace said...

Thanks so much for having me and my demons over, Lisabet! Always a pleasure to be at your place. K xxx

Anne said...

Comgrats on your latest release. I think I was first attracted to the escapist aspect of paranormals. The characters and situations were different. Then I think it was the addition of potential danger that the alpha males provided. The ultimate bad boys.

Melanie B said...

I haven't read any paranormal books, but there's always a first time for everything!

Sharon E said...

Liked the excerpt very much. Will be on my reading list. Thanks.

Karen H said...

K D Grace is a new-to-me author so I'm not familiar with her work. Also I haven't read much in the way of paranormal books so that is a relatively new for me genre. Excerpts sounded good though...will look into them further.

ShirleyAnn said...

Congratulations on your new release K D I enjoy Paranormal stories because of all the different themes that make up paranormal ,like Werewolves, Vampires, Demons Etc.

pansypetal said...

Thank you for re-introducing me. I have read a couple of your books and loved them. This one sounds yummy! I look forward to reading it.

As to your question - "Why do you enjoy paranormal books?" Because it is make-believe. Fantasy. ANYTHING can and does happen. I find that exciting and interesting. Thank you for asking. aka Becky

Jen B. said...

I love science fiction and science fantasy and I think that translates into my love of paranormal stories.

Mary Preston said...

I like the diversity that paranormal reads bring.

H.B. said...

Congrats on your new release =) It sounds like an interesting read.

Lisabet Sarai said...

Hi, KD!

Sorry I couldn't be here yesterday to welcome you.

I definitely agree with the premise of your post. The temptation to slip over to the dark side is endlessly alluring. What I like most, myself, about writing paranormal stories is writing magical lust--a physical/psychic connection that's more intense than anything you could ever experience in real life. Sometimes this is due to a magical affinity between the characters, as in the my book The Eyes of Bast. Sometimes this is just a side effect of the demon/vampire/shifter's power. Either way, you can write a bit beyond a realistic description of an erotic encounter (though there's always the risk of going overboard).

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