It's always a pleasure to meet other writers while at conference. And, it's even better when you make one of those magical "connections." While she doesn't mention it in this column, Christine also writes some wicked and insightful blogs on wine, such as this recent one on Mulled Wine. Christine also was kind enough to offer an electronic copy of Demon Soul to one commenter. She'll randomly choose the winner later this week.
Hi, I’m Christine Ashworth. I met Louisa when we sat next to each other at a booksigning at Romantic Times this past April. She was kind enough to ask me on her blog to talk about my books, and I really appreciate it!
When I first made the switch from writing contemporary romance to writing paranormal romance, I thought long and hard about what kind of paranormal creatures I wanted to write. I knew that, if done well, it could be a world I’d inhabit for years, so I wanted it to be fun, different, flexible and exciting.
Unfortunately, someone had already created Cirque du Soleil; and I don’t know enough about circuses to set my books in one. So I turned to the staples – Witches, Vampires and Were-creatures. I decided I wanted to write about a bunch of men –brothers. I decided to make my men tri-breds in order to give myself more to play with, and came up with the Caine boys – men who, through generations of breeding, are walking around with demon and Fae blood, as well as their human blood. This has given me a lot of room to play. When Rose, my heroine in DEMON SOUL came out of a coma with a tattoo on her belly that houses a fire demon, and Gabriel, my hero in DEMON SOUL had his soul stolen by a vampire, the story took off from there like a rocket. So my tagline for that book is…to retrieve his soul, she’ll become fire… lots of fun stuff with Rose as a fire demon. Here’s an excerpt for you:
DEMON SOUL Excerpt:
His own demon uncurled inside him. It fought to be freed, violently attracted to this transformed Rose. He shook his head fiercely and his demon subsided, pouting, though he knew his eyes still whirled green.
"Rose? It's me, Gabriel. How can you…it is you?" His voice held his demon, a growl that would not be denied.
She glanced at him over her shoulder. Her eyes took a bit to focus, and it seemed to him she'd grown taller. "It's me. I've got a fire demon's powers, and look at me! I know you’ve seen me before, but look. Look at what I can do." Her smile was quick and endearing as she rolled a ball of fire.
Before she could launch it, Gabriel caught her arm. Amazed at how hot she felt. "No." He growled the command even as his inner demon struggled again to be free.
"Why not?" A frown gathered between her eyes and she tossed the fireball from hand to hand. "We don't like that place. We can get rid of it. Easy. Just, poof!"
"There are people to save in there, Rose," he said. Sweat beaded on his face and he wondered how much longer he could hang onto her.
She tilted her head. "Then let's go in and save them. The demons are gone. Come on, Gabriel, let's go be big bad demons together."
Her hands squashed the fireball and she streaked to the open door of the club, as fast as any fire. Gabriel roared a challenge. She turned to him and grinned, did a little dance in the doorway. "Come on!"
Gabriel changed into his demon, his heart in his throat. He caught sight of Danny's eye on him. Focusing, he took the time to tell him the plan. "We go to save the weres." He moved to the back door of Twisted.
The place stank of vampire. Gabriel grumbled low in his throat as he followed Rose's scent of smoke and sunshine down the stairs, traceable among the heavier scent of vampire that clogged at the back of his throat. As a human, he had a difficult time with the stairwell. As a demon, he hated it—too enclosed, the steps too small for his feet, yet he followed her.
Found her. With her demon strength she broke open the locks. All the doors stood open on the floor, but only three of them had held prisoners. She stood now in front of one of the doors, her head cocked to one side, little flames licking along the edges of her hair. "It's okay," he heard her say. "You can come out. We're the good guys."
DEMON SOUL has dark corners as well as sly bits of fun. Justin, Gabriel’s older brother, is extremely attracted to Maggie, a hereditary Witch who has no time for him. They wrangle their way through DEMON SOUL, and get closer in DEMON HUNT – but their story takes a dark turn at the end of HUNT, and Maggie becomes the pursuer of Justin in their story, DEMON LUST.
Kellan Caine is a cousin who came to live with the Caine family as a surly teenager. Now he’s hunting demons of all kinds on his own, and drops in to help the brothers when he can.
Gregor Caine’s story is told in DEMON HUNT. A portal has been opened between the Chaos Plane – where the demons live – and the Human Plane. Serra Willows, a Fae Warrior, is sent to the Human Plane to find the Caines and help them kill the demons flooding into Santa Monica, California. But the plot runs deeper; a human Death Mage is in the background, pulling strings, and even friends can’t be trusted. Serra and Gregor must work in concert to eradicate the land of the evil being spread.
Unfortunately, not all their friends survive the Hunt.
A VERY brief bit of DEMON HUNT:
The fire bolt cut the demon in two before burning all the pieces. Lightning flashed and thunder rumbled. She looked upward and rain hurtled down as if in response to her call, washing away all evidence of the demon that had threatened them.
Serra stumbled to the gutter and emptied her stomach. She wiped her mouth and, on shaky feet, moved back to Gregor’s side and sat abruptly. Her barrier between them and danger had lifted.
No matter how long she’d been killing, no matter that she felt it her duty, she hated it. She had hated it when Terrell did it and she hated it now, but she hadn’t vomited in years. It left her weak and shaky. Not acceptable. At least the Caine hadn’t seen her weakness.
Lifting her face to the welcome rain, she allowed herself the joy of it against her skin. It smelled of the ocean and electricity. Caine’s hand twitched against her hip and she turned a frown toward him, but he didn't move again. Not even the rain soaking him caused him to stir, and now that she focused, she could smell his lifeblood emptying into the ground.
Panic slithered through her, made her stomach clench again. He’d fought for her; she was honor-bound to Heal. She knelt at his side and pushed her hands against the three thick rips in his flesh, shoulder to waist, his blood still warm against her cooling skin. Memories of the very last time she’d Healed intruded, and Terrell's pale face imposed itself on Gregor's. Her heart stopped and her breath tangled in her throat.
But the Caine was not her twin brother. They weren't on the Fae battlefield right now, and the demon – this time, anyway - had been vanquished. Blinking away Terrell’s face, Serra dug deep for her Healer instincts, gone mainly unused in the last decade.
She pulled the energy from the very earth and layered it, piece by piece, into Gregor's torn body, painstakingly healing the internal wounds, breathless with the effort healing demanded. She’d forgotten. She’d been a Warrior for so long now, that she’d forgotten how much it took out of her to heal.
The rain soaked them both as time passed in uncounted heartbeats. She worked to ease the rips in his skin back together. The last of the healing. The squall had lightened, turned to mist before she finally finished and sat back, dazed.
He murmured something under his breath. She looked at him to give him comfort, but his eyes weren't blazing at her.
He was still out cold.
So there you have it, DEMON SOUL and DEMON HUNT. DEMON SOUL is out now as an eBook or Print Book at CRESCENT MOON PRESS, Amazon, Barnes & Noble and All Romance Ebooks. DEMON HUNT will be a 2012 release. Feel free to stalk me – info below - or drop by my blog and website at http://christine-ashworth.com.
Thanks Louisa for having me on your blog, and letting me chatter away about my men. I had a blast!
Where to find Christine and her books:
Crescent Moon Press: http://crescentmoonpress.com/books/DemonSoul.html
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/demon-soul-christine-ashworth/1102878693?ean=9780984180592&itm=2&usri=demon+soul
All Romance eBooks: http://www.allromanceebooks.com/storeSearch.html
Thanks again for visiting, and remember to leave your email address for Christine to contact the winner!