Guest Author – Brantwijn Serah with The Pact

Hi all,

How’s your Sunday going? I’m off to a vintage fair this afternoon, which should be fun, but before that I’m thrilled to have the fab Brantwijn Serah dropping in. Brantwijn is a wonderfully talented author, who I’m very jealous of because she seems to be able to do multiple genres effortlessly 🙂 She’s going to chat to us about her brand new release, The Pact, which is wild west with a definite twist! Read on to find out more 😉

 

So, let’s start with you telling us a bit about yourself.

brantwijn-serrahI’m a SoCal girl who loves rain more than sun, author of supernatural fantasy and fiction (as well as steamy romance), and the proud mother of five crazy furbabies. I take part in National Novel Writing Month every year, which is how The Pact came to be. Every book in the series – there are 8 total – started out as a National Novel Writing Month novel. When I’m not writing, I like to work on art including drawing, painting, digital art, and unique crafts like custom My Little Ponies.

Wow, that should give me a kick for my own Nano this month 🙂 Was there a specific moment where you first knew that you wanted to be a writer?

My earliest memory of writing is from when I was six. Our class was taught how to use basic shapes to draw three simple characters: an owl, a frog, and a pig. Then the teacher asked us to write a story about them. Though I didn’t realize it at the time, I incorporated literary device into my little tale, things like suspense and dramatic irony. I had no idea what they were; I wrote it that way because that’s how the books I read were written. I wouldn’t have even realized I’d done anything unique except my teacher pulled me aside and pointed it out. It was she told me that I wrote “like a writer”. I think I’ve wanted to be a storyteller, more than anything else, ever since.

Aww, that’s lovely. Do you have a particular writing routine, or any special rituals?

Lately I’ll find a YouTube video with and hour or two of instrumental music (nothing with words), pop on my headphones, and just write. I’ve saved hour-long videos of Celtic music, “Epic” music, “Spooky” music. Whatever is appropriate for what I’m currently writing, I’ll pop a similar video on and just go with it. It’s not really the same as using music as inspiration…I don’t really incorporate anything from the music into the work. It’s more like just white noise, blocking out distraction and centering my brain in the tone of the work.

I’m with you, I need very specific things on in the background when I’m writing – I can’t stand quiet but it can’t be anything too distracting either! Tell us about the genre you write in, and what drew you to it.

I write across many genres. Up until now all of my published works have been part of the erotica genre, spanning dark erotica, fantasy, sci-fi, and paranormal. The Pact, besides being my first non-romance release, is part of a genre known as “weird west”. It’s your typical style of Clint Eastwood, John Wayne, Tombstone-style Western story, but with a dash of something—just about anything—weird. In this series, it’s ancient world magic.

I have never heard that term before lol – but, hey who doesn’t love a bit of ‘weird’ thrown in? Are there any particular authors or books that have really inspired you?

I have a lot of favorites who have inspired me. I think my all-around favorite is JK Rowling, however. I think her talent for storytelling is amazing on many, many levels, and in fact I’m not sure she gets quite as much credit as she deserves. Other favorites are Stephen King, Jim Butcher, and lately Sarah Waters.

Yay, huge Potterhead here as well 🙂 What five things could you never do without?

Such a complex question! There are so many things, but for sake of time I’ll stick to five I could never do without in my writing career. First off, my laptop, since basically my whole life and every book I’ve ever worked on is on there, along with production notes, murdered darlings, and research. Second would have to be my iPod mini, where most of my writing music currently resides. When I get stuck I set that thing on shuffle and let the random selection of music speak to me. Thirdly is #SchalaMyMuse, the living beanie baby of a cat who flops down on my legs anytime I’m writing, to loan me her advice and expertise on the creative process. Fourth is an ice-cold unsweetened tea to mull over while I work. And fifth is my husband, who provides me a sounding board, a critical ear, and expert advice when I get stuck on some portion of the story. Mind you, those are in no particular order of importance…take any one of them away and I’m going to be throwing a fit!

Tell us a bit about your new release.

The Pact was my first-ever NaNoWriMo novel, written in November of 2006. It’s a supernatural weird west adventure, great for teens and adults who enjoy fantasy, urban fantasy, and sci-fi. It takes place in the fictional world of Geiral and follows a lady bounty hunter and hexslinger. She’s on the trail of her ultimate prey, the man who changed everything for her, with one goal. Whether that goal is justice or vengeance, well…that all depends on how you see things.

Oooh, sounds intriguing! Where did your inspiration for it come from?

When I started The Pact, I had also just started playing a weird west roleplaying game called Deadlands. I loved the setting and the style so much, I had to write a story rooted in it. The Pact isn’t a literal re-telling of any of my actual role-playing games or even a role-playing character…but it definitely takes a lot of inspiration from them.

I do love gaming for a bit of inspiration. What did you find most enjoyable about writing it?

Certainly the setting was enjoyable to me, but Serenity—the main character—was a ton of fun to write. To me, she’s like Malcolm Reynolds, Harry Dresden, Roland Deschain, and Catwoman all rolled into one.

Lol, that’s quite a combination 😉 What was the hardest part about writing it?

The story’s setting is roughly based on the American West in the 1860’s. So that means I have to do a lot of research as to the kinds of technology, medical knowledge, and cultures of that time. From time to time I find the research doesn’t play out in my favor, to do the things I want to do in the story. I do get a little leeway, of course, because it is actually a fictional world…but I walk a pretty close line between legit poetic license and cheating.

Hehe, yup, I always like having a purely fictional ‘country’ as I can base it on certain places but have the wee bit of a buffer against people who call me out on my ‘inaccuracies’! Who’s your favourite character in it? (I know, I know, favouritism!)

My favorite character doesn’t actually show up until the third book in the series. But for sake of answering the question, I’ll say that, in this book, my favorite character is actually Nathara, a developmentally disabled non-verbal character introduced in the second half. That will probably seem very strange to people, once they read the book, but Nathara has always touched a particular part of me. I don’t necessarily identify with her, personally. But she has a charm and an innocence to her that makes her a real joy to have along with me for the adventure.

Why should we run out and buy it right now? J

I’m told one of my strongest talents is building a world and a story readers can really immerse themselves in. You should run out and buy The Pact because you won’t want to miss the adventure inside.

 

Check out the book details here:

Blurb

cover-the-pactFleshlings and darklings… Rune-weavers and demons… When you walk in the land of the Reaper, who will survive?

Serenity Walker has cast runes for as long as she can remember. Her teachers call her a prodigy, and her secret studies hold the key to unlimited potential. Once an orphan left on an old woman’s doorstep, Serenity finally belongs. But when her mentor is murdered right in front of her, her hopes of a home die with him.

Her quest for vengeance leads her into a dangerous deal with a demon. Armed with its dark power and her own talent with the runes, she blazes a trail across the lands where ranchers and railroad men are kings, where the prevailing law is the law of the gun. To find the man who reshaped her past, Serenity offers up her future. She’ll face a world where weavers are hunted down to be hanged, whipped, or burned alive…but she won’t face it alone.

As Serenity’s mission takes her farther than most weavers are willing to go, she’ll have to decide who her true enemy is: the wicked men of the world, or the powerful demon inside her.

And you can get your hands on a copy here:

Buy Links:

Amazon

Champagne Books

Don’t forget to follow Brantwijn on social media to get all her latest news 🙂

Website

Google+

YouTube Channel

Blog 

Twitter @Brantwijn

 

Take care x

Review – Holidays in Hell by Erzabet Bishop

Hi all,

Weekend is here! I’ve been getting in the holiday spirit with lots of xmassy reads, and was lucky enough to get my hands on a copy of Holidays in Hell by the fab Erzabet Bishop. I’ll give you wee tip, you might not want to read in front of the fire – you’ll be more likely to need a fan afterwards 😉

HolidaysInHell_ByErzabetBishop-453x680Blurb

This year Christmas just got a little hotter.

Deck the halls with all things kinky. Jonas is an incubus with an incurable lust for women, gingerbread, and holiday lights. He needs one more soul to meet his quota. Amid the baubles and frivolity of the Winter Carnival, he meets Holly Pendleton—a woman with emerald green eyes and a body built for sin—and marks her as the final soul to end his contract. But now Jonas faces a heart-wrenching decision: take what he needs to feed his hunger, or sacrifice himself for the woman who has lit his own demonic

soul on fire. Tied up with red ribbons, Holly just might be Jonas’s deepest Christmas wish and the one woman who could set him free.

Holly Pendleton is still recovering from the death of her husband and Dom. The holidays are especially lonely until a dark stranger walks in the door to Harlowe’s Bookery and Christmas Shoppe. The man’s enigmatic gaze holds her and ignites her body and her mind. When Holly accepts a job to decorate the sexy client’s apartment, she unknowingly steps into an age-old battle between the forces of darkness. Jonas Corsair is a man who makes her blood run hot and her dreams even hotter. But will she survive his hold on her soul?

Review – 4 stars

Jonas is an incubus, trapped into a deal with a demon, he has to deliver a certain number of souls within a timeframe or he’s dead. There’s just one soul to go, but time is running short. When he meets Holly, a erotica reading book-seller who is still mourning her husband and dom, they have an instant connection. Will Jonas be willing to sacrifice her though?

This was a fun read, short and steamy. Jonas was an interesting character, the big bad demon with a secret love for all things Christmassy. Holly was sweet and endearing, trying to come to terms with the loss of her beloved husband, while struggling with the guilt of being able to move on. The sex scenes were steamy and well-written, and though I would personally have liked a little more on the relationship development side, I appreciate you don’t always get that in a short story.

I thought some of the secondary characters were interesting, and would be intrigued to see more of them in further books. They did all suddenly seem to appear out of nowhere at the end though, and the ending for me did feel a little rushed, I would have liked it to be more of a confrontation between Jonas and Bael. Personal preference though I suppose.

Overall, this was an enjoyable read, hot demons, some steamy sex, and a good dose of Christmas spirit.

Make sure you grab your copy here:

Buy Links:

Etopia Press: http://goo.gl/QxC433

Amazon Universal: http://rxe.me/9AU1QE

All Romance: https://goo.gl/LmnoQL

Holidaysinhellpresentationfinal

And Erzabet has been kind enough to share a wee sneak peak into some of Jonas and Holly’s top tens for Christmas. See if you have any in common!

Top Ten Favorite Books and Movies Holly and Jonas Watch or Read Together:

Panic Snap by Laura Reese

Practical Magic (Holly watches this one all the time and drives Jonas crazy.)

A Christmas Story

Christmas Vacation

Charlie Brown Christmas (with the soundtrack.)

Home Alone

Bad Santa (Holly hates this one but Jonas makes her watch it.)

White Christmas

Lost Boys. (They both love the music.)

A Christmas Carol

Top Ten Foods Jonas and Holly Enjoy:

Candy canes

Chocolate

Ghiradelli Chocolate squares. Any of them. All the time.

Strawberries and champagne

Steak

Cinnamon ice cream

Gingerbread cookies

Fruitcake (No really. Jonas loves it.)

Eggnog anything

Pumpkin pancakes with candied pecans. (Holly’s secret addiction.)

Ten Songs for Holly and Jonas

I Miss You by Adele

Fetish by Joan Jett and the Blackhearts

Ex’s and Oh’s Elle King

Fire Meet Gasoline by Sia

I Know You by Skylar Grey

Haunted by Beyonce

Love Me Like You Do by Ellie Goulding

Yours by Ella Henderson

Boom Clap Charli XCX

Demons by Imagine Dragons

 

Hope you enjoy – have a fab Friday x

Thursday Tall Tales – Tempting Sin Part Three

Hi all,

It’s been a packed week but edits are finally finished on Love Reawakened and fingers crossed, we should be good to go for release date now! I’m starting a lovely long weekend with a meal out with friends tonight, so am looking forward to a bit of chill-out time 🙂 Anyway, to help you get towards your weekend, I’m continuing my Free Reads with the last part of my short story, Tempting Sin. If you missed the earlier installments, you can find Part One and Part Two. This part is a little *ahem* steamier, so you’ve been warned 😉 Really hope you enjoy, and, as always, feedback welcome x

dark angel“Do you want me to go back and kill him?”

His tone was light but she believed he would do it. That made her cry more, because that was the kind of person he was and yet she was entirely at his mercy. To her surprise, though, he merely pulled her into his arms. She felt an odd jerk and when she opened her eyes they were inside a house. His powers were impressive, but right now she was merely grateful for the more private setting when she was embarrassing herself like this. He cradled her against him, stroking her hair; she gradually relaxed, her sobs subsiding.

“It’s okay,” he told her. “The new emotions can be difficult to deal with at first.”

She pulled back, rubbing her eyes. “Why are you being so nice to me?”

He smiled, but there was no softness in it. “I told you, Isaura, you belong to me. I take care of what’s mine.”

She frowned. “I don’t belong to anyone. I’m not a possession.”

“You believe it on some level if you fell.”

“They threw me out.” Tears welled again. “They said I was no longer pure, that I was not worthy.” The words still hurt.

His face clouded with anger. “You are worth fifty of them.”

She laughed shakily. “No, I’m not.”

He cupped her face again, leaning towards her. She held her breath, her body tensed as his lips brushed hers and her breath drifted out on a sigh of longing. This was what she had been dreaming of since the last time he’d touched her. All she’d been able to think of was being back in his arms. She wound her arms around his neck, pulling him closer, opening her mouth, wanting him to deepen it like last time. He obliged her, his tongue probing the warm wetness of her mouth, drawing little whimpers from her throat. He pulled back, feathering kisses over her cheeks and her jawline before drifting down a blazing trail down her throat, over her collarbone. He lazily waved a hand and her top disappeared.

A shocked gasp left her lips and she pulled back, trying to cover herself. He stopped her, holding her hands out to her sides; the bold admiration in his eyes set her heart pounding.

“You’re beautiful,” he told her. “And you’re mine.”

blacknessBefore she could protest again he bent his head, taking her nipple in his mouth. She squealed in shock. No one had ever touched her there before; it had never occurred to her, and the sensations were indescribable. The tight buds hardened and ached, his wet mouth sending a line of heat that seemed to pool between her legs. Her body shifted restlessly, wanting something but no idea what. Jaraxx seemed to know much better than she did as his hand slid over her stomach. Before she knew what he was doing, his long fingers were probing at the secret area between her legs. She stiffened in shock, and then moaned as his fingers began stroking; sensations like nothing she had ever known before began building within her.

She was barely aware of her pants disappearing, or of him laying her on the bed. Everything seemed to be centered on the unbelievable sensations building between her legs. Something was spiraling, building within her. Her hips bucked and strangled whimpers escaped her throat.

“Please,” she whimpered. He smiled down at her.

His fingers quickened and he added his thumb on the tiny bead at the top. Her eyes closed and she screamed out as she felt herself fall over the edge into blissful oblivion. Isaura had barely begun to drift down from the lofty heights when she felt him settling between her legs. Her eyes flew open with shock as she felt him slide inside her. It was the oddest sensation, not painful, but a little uncomfortable and very full. Then he began moving, the smooth thrusts speeding up and the sensation building back up until her hips were bucking against him, legs wrapped around his hips, and moans rising until she reached the crest again.

This time she exploded; her body shattered as she screamed out his name. She felt him thrust deeply into her, his guttural groan telling her he’d found his own release. He rolled them to the side so he didn’t crush her, keeping her clasped against him. As her ragged breathing gradually slowed, she finally dared to look at him.

His green eyes were softer than she’d ever seen them. She could almost imagine tenderness there.

“Are you okay?”

Isaura nodded, touched by the concern in his voice. “That was amazing. I had never imagined…” she trailed off.

His face spread into a self-satisfied smile. “I told you you were mine; things will go much easier if you just admit it.”

She smiled. “Fine, I’m yours. But you’re mine too.”

He grinned back at her. “Of course, I thought you knew that.”

Jaraxx drew her closer still, and she felt him stirring within her. Okay, she could maybe get used to a life of sin.

fire

Thursday Tall Tales – Tempting Sin Part Two

Hi all,

Well, it’s been a busy week but we’re heading for weekend now (and into October – where has the year gone!). Carrying on with my free reads, this is part two of Tempting Sin (if you missed part one you can find it in the archive from last week or the link is here). Hope you’re enjoying!

1525424_608191512567983_2062027298_nIsaura’s legs were shaking as she entered the biker bar. She felt ridiculously out of place, with no idea if this was even the right spot. A wolf whistle almost made her hightail it out of there, but she was desperate.

“Excuse me?” she asked the bartender. His scraggly gray hair was knotted in a bandana. He looked her up and down, unimpressed. “I’m looking for someone. Maybe you know him. He’s tall, dark hair, has tattoos all down one arm.”

The man’s gaze flickered around the bar; her description could match half the guys here.

“He usually goes by Jaraxx.”

The man’s face was shuttered. “Never heard of ‘im.”

“Please,” she whispered. “It’s really important I find him.”

The man glanced at her, and then shook his head slowly. “Like, I said, don’t know ‘im, and if I were you I’d look somewhere else. This is not the place for someone like you.”

As if she didn’t know that. She felt despair push down on her. The man was lying, but what could she do? As she turned and headed for the door, a burly man blocked her way.

“Leaving so soon, pretty lady?” he asked. The look on his face made her shiver.

“Yes, I’m sorry, I need to go.” She tried to step around him, but was stopped by a meaty hand taking her arm in an iron grip.

“What’s your rush? Stay and have a little fun.”

She tugged her arm but he didn’t budge. “I really need to go. Someone’s waiting for me.” She heard the note of desperation.

The man obviously could too; a slow smile spread over his face. “I don’t think anyone’s waiting for you, cutie. I think you’re all on your own. But don’t worry, we’ll keep you company.”

Isaura began struggling in earnest now, but she might as well have been trying to move a brick wall. He dragged her against him and she felt his beery breath a second before meaty lips covered hers in a bruising kiss.

A freezing chill suddenly cut through the air, and the bar behind them went deathly quiet. A voice cut through the silence.

“Get your hands off her. Now.”

Isaura sagged with relief and spun around to see Jaraxx standing there. She swallowed at the look on his face. His eyes were literally glowing and his expression promised death. The man holding her shifted uncomfortably.

“Hey, we were just having a little fun. I didn’t know she was with you.”

Jaraxx stepped forward and removed the man’s hand from her arm in a way that made him wince in pain and tucked her into his side.

“Now you know.”

The man was cradling his hand against his chest and fear filled his eyes. “Yeah, man, sorry. Won’t happen again.”

Jaraxx gazed at him as though he was debating whether to kill him or not. The man shrank back on himself, looking terrified. Isaura found herself actually feeling sorry for the man. No matter what he might have had planned for her, she didn’t want him to die. She lightly touched Jaraxx’s arm and he glanced down, fire still raging in his eyes.

“I want to go now, please,” she said softly.

She had a brief impression of the other man’s expression of relief before she felt the cool night air on her skin. The sense of freedom was almost enough to bring tears to her eyes. Jaraxx looked at her with concern.

“Did he hurt you?”

She shook her head. “No, I’m fine.”

She didn’t add, “Thanks to you,” but the thought of what could have happened suddenly struck her and she felt tears building. He cupped her face in his hands, those deep green eyes looking down into her soul.

“Do you want me to go back and kill him?”

lake