Storytelling, Sarcasm and Steam
Now that I’ve been writing for a few years I’m discovering more and more that definitions are far too fluid to be able to set in stone. What one person considers terribly racy and suggestive barely makes another person yawn. With the recent increased exposure for erotic stories, I’m still thinking about this—what makes one person say that a book had “oh my gawd hawt sex” and the next person simply says “meh”?
Expectations have a lot to do with it. If I hear something is awesome, great, incredible, I’m going to compare to what I’ve already experienced that meets that criteria for me. And then I’m going to make a judgment call. Bottom-line, it still comes back to OUR expectations, and our past experiences. Which means the old axiom of “You can’t please everyone” still remains truth.
So, in a seemingly total change of topic—but not really—what do you think about paranormal stories? I ask because here too there are expectations and past experiences that colour our thoughts. I will admit it: I’m not a vampire fan. I’m also a wimp, and dark, frightening stories put me off. So for many years when people talked about loving a paranormal series, I didn’t pay any further attention. I’d TRIED reading a paranormal. Someone got killed in the first three pages, their soul sucked away to the eternal abyss of pain, and the hero was wiping blood from his mouth and—**shudder**
Okay, let’s think about rainbows and ponies for a while. Better? Me too.
Not that dark books are bad—they can be beautifully written, with exquisite plotting and character development. But they aren’t for ME. And that experience coloured all my thoughts of paranormal. Until one day…
I read a Shelley Laurenson book.
Paranormal? Yes. Well written? Yes. But most important to me, it was funny as spit. I got kicked out of bed for giggling so hard I was shaking the bed and woke my husband. That book changed the way I thought about paranormal series, because while some are dark and full of vamps, some are sheer out fun and full of people I’d like to meet in real life.
Just like the steam level in sexy books can will be judged on what you’ve already read, there are a wide variety of paranormal stories that have different elements. Darkness, sexy alpha males, complex world building. Or…there’s the Takhini Wolves and Granite Lake Wolves, my version of stepping into the ‘other’ side. Shifters with sarcasm and steam. Also powerful Alphas, but they’re more likely to be involved in a bar brawl after shooting moonshine than a bloodletting.
Next Tuesday SILVER MINE releases. If you’re not a huge paranormal fan… (because the darkness scares you? You’re not into weird world rules?) …this is a different kind of book to try.
Who knows? You might find something totally unexpected. You will find sex—although of what heat level, you’ll have to be the judge.
If a tree falls in the forest, duck…
Life in isolation is the safest place for Chase Johnson, a crossbreed who doesn’t know which form he’ll assume next—cougar or wolf. Once a year, his unelected position as spokesman for the Yukon outcasts forces him to visit civilization. This time he runs across someone unexpected. She’s not his mate, but she pushes all the right buttons.
It’s taken years for Shelley Bradley to gather the courage to return to her home pack. In spite of being the lowest of the low—a shifter who can’t shift—she’s determined to make a place for herself as the Whitehorse locals’ new vet-slash-doctor.
There’s definite electricity between her and Chase, but sex with fellow shifters and the inherent mind games got old a long time ago. Ignoring him seems best. When he shows up at her office with a wound that won’t heal, she’s stuck—yet drawn to solve this medical mystery.
As they journey deep into outcast territory in search of answers, their powerful sexual attraction crumbles her resistance. But time is of the essence. If a cure can’t be found before his human and cougar succumb to his injury, he—and others like him—will die.
Warning: Contains a silver-tongued, hairy-chested, lean-muscled Alpha who’s got what it takes to lead in the wilderness and in the bedroom. Yeah, I know…not really much of a deterrent, is it? Throw in continuing territorial wars and a domestic cat. Stir and enjoy the chaos.
Vivian Arend in one word: Adventurous. In a sentence: Willing to try just about anything once. That wide-eyed attitude has taken her around North America, through parts of Europe, and into Central and South America, often with no running water.
Her optimistic outlook also meant that when challenged to write a book, she gave it a shot, and discovered creating worlds to play in was nearly as addictive as traveling the real one. Now a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of both contemporary and paranormal stories, Vivian continues to explore, write and otherwise keep herself well entertained.
Question: DO you like paranormal books? If you do, what kind is your favourite? If not, what’s the one issue you dislike about them? I have an ebook copy of the 1st book in the Takhini Wolves, BLACK GOLD, for one commenter, (or if you don’t like paranormal, winner’s choice of a backlist contemporary ebook. Because fair is fair.