I'm here today at "Come Hither Pumps", guest blogging with Honoria, to promote my latest Breathless Press release "The Fifth Story". It's a paranormal erotic adventure that takes readers all over the place: a cabin, a castle...actually two castles and finally a space ship. It really does make sense, trust me.
I enjoy writing in many different styles just as I enjoy reading many different genres of books. However, my two favorite authors and authors that I find have a profound influence on my writing are Neil Gaiman and Sharon Shinn.
I love Neil Gaiman because Neil is just...well he's incredible. He can write in any genre and his stories always paint the most glorious and yet sometimes horrifying pictures. My favorite of his stories are when the extraordinary comes out of the ordinary. A normal chap could be busy doing his thing, minding his own business and then BOOM, he's attacked by a demon over the phone line.
Sharon Shinn is more of a science fiction writer. She sets her stories on different, but completely believable worlds with beautifully complex characters, carrying out heart breaking story lines. My favorite of her books is on called Archangel. In this book, two strangers meet, have to marry, and although they do not like each other at first, their passion for each other is ignited through music. The sound of each other's voices sparks their inevitable love for each other. It wasn't until I considered reading a passage at a writing group that I realized how sensual the book was. I was always moved and loved the scenes when she was describing music because the passion was so real, but when I read one scene I really loved out loud to my couch, I discovered how sexual it was. "I can't read this out loud!" I said to my cushions with the smiley faces. "I'd be too embarrassed!" There isn't a lot of actual sex in the book and now it's obvious why; the music is the sex. It's really wonderful.
If you haven't discovered these two authors, I highly recommend both of them—after, of course, you pick up The Fifth Story! :)
Thanks very much to Honoria for having me on today! Now I'll pass this over to my blurb and my excerpt!
Have a lovely Friday.
Blurb for The Fifth Story By Ivy Bateman
Every day we encounter doors. Some of these doors are open to us and some of them are closed, but when we pass through any door, a different truth or mystery lies beyond the threshold.
The night Bryn is pulled into a world of her own stories by a shadowy being, her reality is changed forever. Souls and danger, hauntingly beautiful witches, sexy and dangerous vampires, a soldier with a dying wish; she knows that each door leads to a story and to outcomes she can't control, but in order to return home, Bryn must complete a set of tasks for the enigmatic and strangely sensual Darkness.
With four stories to enter, four items to retrieve, Bryn takes part in plot points so out of character that she almost loses herself in the tales she's written. More than once she questions her sanity and curses herself for creating such perilous realities, but she always remains focused on her goal; the creation of the fifth story.
The Fifth Story, Excerpt
She walked quickly around the counter and headed to where the sign indicated where the washrooms were, but she couldn't find the women's room. Then she almost slapped herself with ridiculousness. Who cared if she went into the men's room? She marched over the door and pushed on it. Immediately she fell back. The door was stuck. She pushed on it harder, but could only open it about a foot. Something, or someone, was lying in front of the door. Bryn squeezed her head through the narrow space and looked down at the floor. Coran was lying passed out on the cold tile.
Bryn thought maybe something strange had happened in her story, and Coran was already dead. How lucky would that be? However, she realized that the story hadn't changed that drastically when Coran groaned, revealing that he was very much alive. He rolled over, away from the door.
With his weight suddenly off the door, and Bryn's weight still being pushed against it, the door went flying open. Bryn stumbled and fell into the washroom. None too gracefully, she hit the floor with a satisfying smack, and knocked her head against the tile floor with a hard clunk.
"Ow," she said, as she rolled on her back and pressed her hands against a rapidly rising goose egg on the right side of her head. "Ah" she yelped as the door closed on her foot.
"Are you okay?" asked a voice with a gentle Scottish brogue.
Bryn turned her head and opened her eyes. Coran, who looked like he'd been through a rough time, was leaning over her. His blond hair was a mess and it fell into his gray eyes. He had soot on his face and he smelled, not unpleasantly, of smoke. He gave her a little smile. "My dear, are you all right?" he asked her again.
She smiled in return. She was touched by his concern. The ash on his face and the apparent absence of anyone else in the castle told her she had come into the story not long after the first time she'd entered with Darkness. Coran had every right to ignore her and he really had no time to get involved with a stranger and yet, he didn't seem to be in any rush at all. Instead, he helped Bryn sit up.
As soon as his hands touched her skin, Bryn gasped and felt her heart beat quicken. Coran looked embarrassed and quickly, on unsteady legs, he stood up and got a paper towel. He wet it with warm water and kneeled down a couple feet away from Bryn. He handed her the paper towel. "Your face, it's quite dirty."
"Oh, thanks." Bryn said, trying to avoid looking at him too much. Her heart was pounding in her chest. Why had she written Coran to have this effect on women? "It looks like I'm not the only one that's recently been in a bit of a scrap," he said with a chuckle. Bryn couldn't help beaming at him with amazement. He was just as kind as she'd written him to be. However, if she was correct, this man should be putting all chivalry aside and be searching the castle for Melusine. He should be calling upon the ancient gods to help him in battle with the sea witch, but instead, here he was, watching Bryn wash her face and being concerned about her well-being.
"Is your head very sore? Can you stand?" he asked as he gently touched the bump on her head, but quickly pulled hand back when Bryn sucked in her breath at the feel of his hand on her hair.
"Yes, I mean—no, it's fine, and yes, I can stand," she stammered as she pushed herself off the floor. She again tried to avoid eye contact with him, but it wasn't helping. Coran was having a profound effect on her senses—something which she should have remembered could happen, but had completely forgotten about. In her story, Coran had a powerful effect on women and it was something he could do nothing about. Whether it was his aura or his pheromones, no one could tell, but women, upon meeting Coran, not only couldn't control themselves around him but didn't want to. Their thoughts would travel immediately down a sexual path as soon as they stood close to him and they would offer themselves to his every whim. Even the most reserved women would find their bodies pulsing immediately with desire for the tall blond stranger. Only those who knew how to, could control their passions for Coran. Katie, his assistant, was usually one of them, but sometimes, her guard would slip and she would be overcome with sexual longing for her handsome boss.
Bryn was finding her own guard was slipping rapidly and started thinking about very naughty things and wishing that she had time to explore her hidden bad girl side. Was this happening because she'd written him this way or was it because he looked so much like Tyler?
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