The Romance Reviews

The Romance Reviews

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Firestorm- #SPeekSunday

Today's offering is the second book in my series. A historical paranormal tentatively named The Children of Drakkan. This book is set in ancient Pompeii. Why? Where else would a fire breathing dragon be at home lol!
This book revolves around Rogan Nauld, childhood friend of the king of their shape shifting race and leader of an elite cadre of fighters. 
I hope you enjoy my current WIP.

     With his orders given he cut through the woods, angling black toward Draghar Keep, his steps brisk. Halfway up a small knoll his arm tingled, sending a chill down his spine, stopping him mid stride. The tingle rapidly became a biting sting as a flush of heat raced through his veins. A fine sheen of perspiration covered his forehead as the heat burned hotter. His upper arm began to throb, sending pain down his arm.

     With a feeling of dread, he shoved his loose linen shirt up, exposing the tattoo of two dragons separated by a curved line. All of Drakkan’s children were bestowed with the brand—even his god Drakkan—by their allies, the Tuatha Danann. The mark was a counter measure for the curse their enemy, Cerne the Black of the Famorian’s, placed on all females who bore even a drop of fey blood. Cerne scattered the females in time with no memory of who they were or that they were the only women the dragons could successfully mate with.
And the only way to reach your destined mate was through the al-matar, or mating fever in human language. The heat he experienced earlier flashed through his mind and he shivered with sudden chills. It could not be. Not he, not when he was needed the most.

     His limbs quaked with sudden weakness as his fever raged higher, his gaze riveted on the brand as the line between the dragons started to move, encircling the dragons. His vision wavered as blood rushed through his ears. Desperate he attempted to calm his pounding heart, a stillness filled the air around him, pulling his gaze to the surrounding woods. Before his astonished eyes the forest began circling around him, the colors swirling into a vortex of ever increasing movement.

      Frantic he reached out to Crispin with his mind. “Something is happening I do not understand. Crispin…Crispin!”

     For a brief second in time, he felt the connection, his friend’s alarm before it was viciously severed, the power streaking back to him with such force his nose bled from the recoil. His world spun with even greater velocity, coiling tight around him like a great snake seizing him in a vice of vicious strength. His world dimmed, his body falling into oblivion and he knew no more. 
I hope you enjoyed this small sample and enjoy all the wonderful stories just waiting a click away for you.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Blending Paranormal with Historical Fact - Delving Deeper into Soul Fire and Firestorm

Building a world in a paranormal or fantasy genre can give your imagination compete freedom to make up all your rules. Now, taking a historical and weaving your paranormal world within an existing world is much more tricky. First off, you have to know the world your working in. What does this mean for the writer?


Lots and lots of research. In my latest series, I've taken history and blended my paranormal world within it, twining the two into as plausible environment for my characters to grow in and the stories to flow. In my first book, Soul Fire I've created my world in 12th century Brittan where my shape shifting dragons live hidden in plain sight among humans. The many myths and legends of dragons which flourished in this era have made my world plausible in such a way where it works. But how do you make a story plausible when dealing with shape shifting dragons? This is where all the nuts and bolts I learned through many workshops on craft come in. The Goal, Motivation, and Climax (GMC) are the building blocks for any good story. Along with well thought out layered characters I can now blend historical fact around my paranormal premise. Here is an example of setting the mood of the story within the parameters of factual history. I've chosen a snippet from Soul Fire which I hope demonstrates my point.

The sun sank beneath a restless sea casting the heavens in a glowing nebulous of red orange and gold. Dark shadows swallowed the thick forest leading to the sheer cliffs plunging into the sea. Draghar Keep rose up to touch the jagged outcroppings of rock, reaching to the heavens like the arm of some ancient Titan. Built into the side of the mountain, the Keep boasted high, arched fenestra windows overlooking a small fishing village at the base of the great mountain. Torches flared to life looking, weaving, and darting like an army fireflies in the gloaming.

An undercurrent of excitement carried in the air, anticipation for the night’s festivities. The sound of a bodhran beat out a lively rhythm while the sweet undertones of a lute carried the melody. The music, slow and sensual stirred the blood with thoughts of the upcoming communion between the goddess Flora, the May Queen and the God Jack-of-the-Green. 

Just as important I found is the language of the times. You characters must be believable in that they live within the era depicted. Nothing yanks me out of a book faster than having the characters speak in twenty-first century terms when they are in a different era. Of course if the book is about time travel then I expect it. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. That being said I've seen the other hold true where you can't grasp what the heck they are talking about without a dictionary by you side. Here is an example from Soul Fire where I blend the two to make it believable.

“’Tis not right! The gods are displeased, I tell you,” the aged woman muttered, her gnarled hands worrying the fabric of her rough wool apron.
“Still your tongue, old woman!” Egan admonished gently, taking her arm in a firm grip and led her down the stone hallway toward the servant’s quarters. “Now, get you to bed while I attend to Lord Crispin.”
“Aye, I will be going Egan Thorne,” the woman grumbled, narrowing her rheumy stare on him. She thrust one boney finger into his face. “Best mark my words, all is not well with our king, and his downfall will be the end of us all.”

In Firestorm the majority of the story is set in ancient Pompeii, I can't very well have them spouting off Latin or no one could understand a word they read. So I tweaked things a bit where the language would blend within my world. 

The history of the time was fascinating and it didn't take long for the story to fill out once the research was done. With so much offered about that time period I found a rich bounty of material to pull from. Again I set the scene of ancient Pompeii as seen through the eyes of the heroine.

Sabine ignored the stares and whispers as she filled her third plain clay pot from the communal fountain and handed them to the two young men standing anxiously awaiting her. They moved away quickly, carrying their precious cargo, back to their Dominus residence. The sun lightened the night sky, dimming the shinning brilliance of the stars in the heavens before vanishing all together, the day promised to be another hot one. Not even the air stirred. No offer of cool breezes from the nearby sea to refresh and ease the steady swelter of a relentless sun. Only the thick odor of sweat and heavy perfumed oils filled her nose, making it tickle uncomfortably. With the back of her hand she wiped the moisture beading on her forehead and took a moment to just watch the fiery disc rise over the mountains chasing the shadows of night back for another day.
The whispers around her intensified as she tried to ignore the other women. It mattered little to them that she was, like them, nothing but a slave. What mattered was the way she appeared garbed in strange clothing with no memory of anything save her name. They called her barbarian, from some tribe from Britannia, and certainly not to be trusted. 

I've enjoyed writing both of these stories, and have quite a few more being worked out for this series. What I think I enjoy most about it is the way the premise of these books allows me the freedom to go anywhere I wish in history. Soul Fire was set in the thirteenth century, Firestorm in Pompeii, while the next book is in Elizabethan England. I also have a small trilogy within the series which will include heroines from our time. I hope you join me on my journey and enjoy reading these books as much as I did writing them. Both Soul Fire and Firestorm will release this summer and will be available in both paperback and eBook form.
As I put the finishing touches on Firestorm I feel like a parent watching their child go out among the world for the first time. Fearful and excited and looking forward to continuing this amazing journey I'm on, where I can blend historical events and times with a paranormal theme.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Pick Me Up Monday-Gladiators, Ancient Pompeii and Firestorm

Happy Monday my friends!
I couldn't help but post this since it perfectly captures the feel of my latest WIP. Firestorm the second book in my historical paranormal series will release this summer. 

I've never been all that interested in Roman times, finding the era to be cruel and barbaric. Only a funny thing happened as I began research of Pompeii for my shape shifting, time traveling dragons. I found the more I learned, the more interested I became. For the past several months I've immersed myself in all things Roman and the life of gladiators specifically. 

The journey I'm on with Rogan and Sabine is filled with wonder as they tell me their story and I can't help but be drawn into their world. It is times like these when I dearly love what I do. How many people can lose themselves in wondrous worlds of their own creation and bring a story and their characters life? Yes, being a writer is an awesome thing where every book opens you up to a new experience, seeing the world through your characters eyes, delving into the history of those times and reading the day to day accounts of people who lived it. 

It makes one appreciate what we take for granted in the twenty-first century. It can also show you another side to life, one of a much slower pace with much less complications. In our world of instant gratification there is not much time now to savor the expectation of working hard for what you want. 

Makes you wonder what hopes and dreams ancient man may have held dear and strove to attain.

Yes, I am a geek when it comes to history. I can't seem to get enough and the more I find out, the more questions I have. Firestorm is proving to be one hell of a journey for me, one which makes me appreciate what I have right in my back yard. Like Dorthy in the Wizard of Oz who realizes at the end there is no place like home. 

Well enough deep thoughts and back to my world where Rogan is waiting impatiently for the next scene to be born. Black dragons are notorious for their quick temper and little patience. Have a wonderful week and don't forget to stop every once in a while. Take the time to smell the roses and be thankful for the little things in life as well as the big.

And with that, I'll chat with you next week.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Pick Me Up Monday - Dark Desire, Soul Fire and Firestorm-One Busy Summer!

Happy Monday!
My offering to you this week - some kilted goodness to inspire your day.
You may or may not have noticed I've have been gone from all social media last week. I caught a nasty strain of the flu complete with fever and then for a bonus it turned into a head cold from hell. So I spent much of my time sleeping and writing when I could string two sentences together. On the plus side, I'm getting my strength back a little each day.

It occurred to me recently that I have a crazy summer coming up. With the release of Dark Desire, book four in my Dark Breed Enforcer series, will be out in June. Soul Fire will be also released this summer followed by Firestorm. 
I'm very excited about my new historical paranormal series, which takes place throughout time. Firestorm is set in Pompeii-where else would you place a dragon shape shifter?
And of course if I'm placing my shifter Rogan, in Pompeii 
I just have to have gladiators...hawt, sexy gladiators at that! Boy, my research turned out to be quite extensive. Who knew there was so much to such a bloody sport?
Anyway, I'll soon be sharing small excerpts from Firestorm to wet your curiosity very soon.
Well, back to it I go. Hope everyone has an awesome week ahead and we will talk again.