With 2012 just around the corner, and lots to look forward to in my publishing career like the release of my first mainstream novel, Hidden Salem, with Mitchell Morris Publishing Inc; the release of my first ever three book series, At War In The Willows, with Naughty Nights Press; and the release of my first steampunk story Love, Magick and Creativity also with Naughty Nights Press; along with several other stories in anthologies, participating in a compilation for charity, Paw Prints, with Rebel Ink Press, etc. I wanted to do a small Book Tour which looked back on some of the more notable stories which have released since 2008 and looking forward to what is to come in 2012! During the tour there will be lots of giveaways, sales on print books direct through the author.
After my novel, Torn Asunder (which mixes the genres of historical, paranormal, suspense and erotic romance together) released I got a few reviewers who were pretty upset that I had dared to put sex in my Regency-set romance. Apparently sex outside of marriage just doesn’t belong in these novels. I am all for letting people have their opinions and preferences as far as what genres they read in, I just want the same courtesy. I like to mix it all up and write a quite different kind of history. And, I just keep going back to it. To me the 1800’s in
were a magical time, so witches and other such beings just fit. Add in a little sex magick, well and I am having some great fun writing the story. England
I do want to point out though that sex was not a foreign concept, in or out of marriage at this time. It may have been outside of the laws of propriety to speak of them, but there were more unsavory parts of
with gaming hell as they were called where men could gamble or match up with a light skirt, their slang term for a prostitute. As well, their were magazines and other publications like the infamous England which were very erotic in nature circulation in the late 1800’s as well. So sex outside of marriage, mistresses, were not a foreign concept back then. Pearl
I’ve been doing a lot of looking back on what I’ve written and had published as well as looking forward to what is coming out soon in my career lately. As far as my mixed historicals go I have a little handful of them now. If you are looking for a free read, I have a vampire novella you can download from Smashwords called, Bloodlust & Redemption or you can just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will happily send you a PDF of the story. I am really looking forward to the release of my first steampunk story, set in Victorian England and involving a vampire and witches, releasing from Naughty Nights Press in February called, Love, Magick & Creativity – A Steampunk Valentine’s Day Tale(blurb below). But, if you want a little taste right now of how I mix up my historicals my short, Lizzy’s Secret, is below as well.
|Beautiful Steampunk Valentine, isn't it? Available at http://www.zazzle.com/steampunk_valentine_photosculpture-153601075385782205|
Blurb for Love, Magick & Creativity– A Steampunk Valentine’s Day Tale Coming Feb 2012 from NNP:
All acts of magick take on shades of gray in the end. Especially for Emma, one of four females witches who by birthright belong in the social circles of the privileged upper ten thousand in
. Yet, by rumor of the unknown and the misunderstood, she stands apart, cut by her peers along with her cousins, because they hold a secret—each is gifted with magick. London
Their elders had taught them respect for their powers even when mixed with a spanking amount of fanciful mischief. On the other hand, if a lesson was warranted, then white verses black magick could be hard to define. No where was the color of steam more evident than in the matters of justice, a slippery term to define. Yet, they’d made breaking the laws of society their mission. Most of their nights at parties and balls were spent creating a magickal comedy of errors, helping the uptight aristocracy side step their fastidious standards.
Only this year, days before Valentine’s Day, a damnable day for women without suitors, Emma is not quite sure what is happening to her. Something dark and seductive, something not of this world, is luring her, possessing her, and she has no comprehension of what or who the presence really is. But, when he does show his face finally, and she feels him to be a night walker, she must fear not only the threat he poses to her blood and to the energy or magick he can suck from her, but also the danger he poses to her heart. After all of these days feeling him, wanting him, she has to wonder if her feelings are just a matter of his compulsion, if she is under this vampires own type of magick.
To complicate matters further, the vampire’s propositions are as exciting as they are scandalous, to teach her how to power her magick with the overabundance of sexual energy she bears. But, how he knows such thinks he remains elusive about. And there is the added attraction that this vampire was a failed inventor in life, one with a basement full of contraptions she finds she can power through the use of her sexual energy. Valentine’s Day seems like it could be all kinds of fun this year now.
Yet, in these days of social unrest and out-of-control creativity, what is a witch to do with a vampire? When Valentine’s Day rolls around, and a secret is revealed, what will be left for her?
“Lizzy’s Secret” – A Short Story Inspired By Pride and Prejudice
|A picture from Universal Pictures', Pride and Prejudice, starring Keira Knightley|
Author’s Note: This story, a sweet romance, is just for fun, an additional chapter to Pride and Prejudice. It takes place after one of my favorite scenes from the movie, after Mr. Darcy has asked his Lizzy to marry him, but before the wedding. In this chapter, Lizzy reveals a secret to her Mr. Darcy hoping he will still want to marry her after. For those of you familiar with my work, you know how I see Regency England as a magical time, and thus love to read and write paranormal Regency Romances. Plus, I've watched this movie more times than I can count...
“You can’t imagine the devilish things…I can no longer bear the wait to become your husband.” His voice rolled over her like sweet jam over scones.
Despite this, her stomach coiled. Lizzy hoped after she told him the whole truth, he’d still hold less than noble intentions toward her rather than wanting to see her hauled before a magistrate.
“Why do you look so aghast? Please forgive me for saying…”
“No, don’t apologize,” she cut him off. “It is I who should be making amends. I hold a secret which I fear to share. Yet, share I must.”
“A secret?” A fierce storm of shadows cast over his eyes, ones she’d seen there before in the most unfortunate of circumstances, like when she’d turned down his first marriage proposal. That day the inclement weather itself had mirrored the same tempest within him.
“Yes, I daresay. I’ve something of importance you must know before we join together. I pray you’ll keep an open mind as you listen. But, if in the end, if you cannot see your way past all that I am, if you wish me to perdition, then I shall leave.”
“Lizzy, you’re being nonsensical. Tell me what this secret is. I fear I can forgive you anything. Now, tell me. For, you cut up my peace by making me wait.” His tense jaw clipped his words despite the fact he’d spoken in a gentle manner.
“I think what I have to say shall explain some of my peculiarities,” she began. “I know what has been said of me. I’ve been cut for my wit, my zeal, my trouble with silence, my lack of respect, and even my love of walking when it puts mud upon my dress.”
“I love each of those things about you,” he spoke the words as he leaned in and kissed her fiercely, his lips soft yet crushing down upon hers. “You’ve bewitched me, body and soul,” he smiled repeating the words from a moment she held onto so tightly sometimes she’d feel her actual fingers go numb in the trying.
“No I haven’t! Not in any way. You must know that above all.”
He shook his head at her, brow furrowed. “Lizzy, your ire isn’t easing my apprehension one wit. Tell me now this secret of yours.”
“I’m a witch, Darcy. But, I never cast a spell upon you.”
“You’re a what?”
“I hope the proper words will come to explain this, but I have powers, abilities beyond the explainable. I beg of you not to tell anyone, if not for my sake, then for my fathers, my families. I’m risking so much here, but I know you are a good and honorable man. It’s because of this, I felt I couldn’t marry you without your knowing the truth.”
She cupped his cheek with her hand. His fingers grasped over hers with a death-like grip. She winced.
“Why would you create such a cock and bull story?” he asked, his voice a fierce growl.
“I’m not making this up. Let go, and I shall prove it to you.”
He dropped her hand, standing statue still, his countenance stone. So, she plucked a few leaves from the nearest tree, tossed them up in the air and swirled her hand. The leaves moved, though untouched, through the air as if spun by the wind. She made them dance above his head. The beauty of it all in the haze of the late-day sun was what she concentrated on. He watched open-mouthed for a few moments, but then he batted them away from his head.
When she stepped forward, he backed up, stumbling over a small rock.
When she reached for him, he put his hands out to stop her. “Don’t touch me.”
“Darcy, please. I know such things seem but fantastic notions, but it’s the sober truth I tell. I’m a gifted witch. You had to know. My life is now in your hands more so than it ever was before. If you cannot accept me, please lie for me. Keep my secret. I promise to otherwise abide by whatever you wish, even if it means never seeing you again. Though...”
“Leave me alone!” He stormed off over the hillside with as much passion as he had charged over it to see her minutes ago.
She fell to the ground, sat there staring at the stone her Darcy had stumbled upon while the sun descended from the sky.
Having spent the last three days in her room,
was ruffled, quick to flare. With Jane married, there was no one she could confide in. Even her father, for she dared not tell him what she had done. He, only he, had as much to loose from her telling Darcy the truth. Elizabeth
She could no longer think on it. Having not heard from Darcy since she bared her soul, she was relieved to find neither had men come to take her away. Darcy hadn’t told anyone her secret, but his silence spoke volumes she couldn’t decipher.
The promise she’d made herself to not do anything rash if he walked away was weighing on her. She would do no love spells to bring him back to her. That was not the kind of love she wished for. However, she had to do something.
When she heard her parents retire for the evening, she crept to her father’s study. Even there, she could still hear her mother’s voice, the tiresome woman, having more hair than wit, reigning a fine peal over her father made a fine barrier. Lizzy wouldn’t be heard pulling up the lose floorboards where he hid his grimoires and spell books.
She flipped through the pages hoping for a spell to help without interfering with Darcy’s right to free will.
A basic ritual for purpose jumped out at her. But, whatpurpose did she seek? She wanted him to remember his love for her, to open his mind to the possibilities of what she was. That way, if he still felt he couldn’t be with her, then she would know they weren’t meant to be. The universe would’ve spoken.
After she gathered up her supplies, the moon guided her journey to her usual clearing in the woods. The tiny chill in the air awakened her senses. Each footfall on the soft earth connected her to the spirits in wait.
She cast a circle, lit her candles. Then, she took several deep breaths letting her coat and chemise drop to the ground. Turning to face the moon she asked for guidance, truth and blessings for her ritual. Turning back to the candle, she pulled power from the earth, the trees, the moon and the sky. She was cold from the night air, until the power of her magic warmed her.
It took nothing to conjurer up her Darcy’s image in her mind. Her body, her mind and her spirit, called to him. As the ritual continued, she began to feel his presence increase. The rustle of the dry brush behind her gave her pause, followed by the sound of a stumble and then a grunt.
She stifled her smile. He was behind her.
Closing her eyes, she tilted her head back and outstretched her arms. Chanting, “Let me know what I know, and let me see what I don’t,” she began to spin around.
As the energy grew around her, became a more visible, transparent white light, she heard him gasp. The gossamer glow surrounding her would shroud her body while making her look ethereal, otherworldly. She bit her lip for a second before finishing her third and final spin.
“What is my purpose?” she called out to the night. “Only this, dear Goddess. Give my love and I both the wisdom to see what’s before us with open minds and open hearts. Let our love triumph. Let what will be, be. Give us both the strength to bear it. Remind him of my love for him. Remind him of his love for me. Our feeling are a gift I’ll ever be grateful for.”
She stopped and turned toward the direction of where he stood. “I know you’re there, my dear Darcy. Please come to me if you feel you can.” Footfalls coming in her direction let her release the breath she’d held as she’d donned her chemise. When he appeared, she blurted, “You came?”
“I’ve come every night hoping to see you…to speak with you” his words came through heavy breaths.
“My secret…” she forced out even though she wanted to run to him. “Can you accept me as I am?”
“I’d hoped to ask you a few questions. But, now, I find myself too dumb-witted to think of them.”
She grabbed for her coat, put it on and started to rub over her arms.
“You must be freezing.” He exclaimed moving forward. “Can I offer warmth?”
“Yes.” The small amount of heat from her blush was forgotten when he pulled her inside of his coat and wrapped his arms around her. She could barely breath pressed against him like this.
“I’ve been barely living without you, my dear, Elizabeth. So, I’ve come to learn what I can. I’ve a hard time believing…even despite the leaves moving and the light you…right before my eyes.”
“Ask me anything. I swear to you, I’ve nothing else to hide,” she cried, feeling tears of relief wash over her cheeks. His quivering hand wiped them away for her.
“Who else in your family has such powers? Jane? Who else knows of your abilities? I can’t help but wonder, worry, forgive me…”
“Only my father and I have these powers. My mother has always complained of him giving me preference above my sisters, and well that is why he does. Although, she knows not the reason. Long ago, when their marriage was arranged, he thought it best as did his mother, to not disclose such information to his wife. He’s never told me why their match was made.”
She giggled then, and continued, “I’ve often heard him exclaim to her that she does not know what he suffers when she goes on so. I daresay, she has no idea. But, I didn’t want a marriage like theirs. My mother has her heart in the right place most of the time at least. Yet, my father’s powers probably explain why his is such an odd mixture of parts. He is sarcastic and humorous as a defense, reserved mostly and yet prone to sudden changes in behavior. Poor man, in four and twenty years he’s been insufficient to make his wife understand his character. No, I couldn’t live such a life with you.”
What she couldn’t live with much longer was the way his body was contorting to hers, his girth and hardness menacing upon her willowy and inexperienced body.
“I swear to you, you’ll not have to. I’ll make sense of it all somehow. Give me time.”
“You still love me then?” she asked.
“I do. Although I dare not use the term bewitched again.” He gave a half grin.
“I would never.”
“That, I think I know. Jane then, has not such abilities either?”
“No, I think Jane’s beauty is a power all its own, but she has none of a magical bent. Mary, Kitty and
, thank the heavens with their restless ecstasy about all things, did not acquire such powers either. Jane does know about me, though. I needed one person in my life with whom I could be completely honest. Jane never sees a fault in anybody, has no idea of the scheming that can go on in the world. Her steady sense and sweetness of temper have made her both sister and friend. Although, I do not believe she would reveal such a thing to Mr. Bingley if only to protect me.” Lydia
“That is understandable.” He shifted as he spoke. His head fell to her hair, and he gasped out, “Lizzy…” Both his hands dropped to his side.
A predatory noise sounded in his chest. A hint of anxiety fanned the flames of her own unnamable desires.
She feared she would deny him nothing if he touched her again. Her breathing became more labored instantly, making a tempo with his own erratic breaths.
“I’m most sorry for how I walked away from you the other night.” His hands landed on her shoulders, slid down her arms. His threat lingered over her, seducing her with promises. “ I love you, my Lizzy, my little witch.”
She pulled back to look in his eyes, to see if any malice was there when he called her such a name. Her breathing slowed. The rolling of her stomach gave way to the awe of seeing the sentiment of love mirrored in his eyes again.
“I love you too,” she sighed pulling his mouth down to hers. She let her mind go, over the edge of relief it’d been teetering on these past moments. Heat, energy, bliss coursed through her when his tongue swept across hers.
“Lizzy,” he called out her name. She only grinned and moaned. “No, Lizzy, open your eyes.”
She did so to find his face scrunched up, before she noticed the white, translucent light about them. To see the glow didn’t surprise her. What did was the way the leaves, brush and flowers which had fallen to the ground of their own accord now swirled around them. The universe cocooned them in it’s delight.
His head came back up again to look at the nature now falling back to rest on the earth.
“It’s beautiful, isn’t it? The magic we can make together,” she asked.
“Thanks for sharing all of you with me. I will make sure you never regret it.”
For More Information about my stories go tohttp://www.kikihowell.com