Blessings of the fall season! I’m a big fan of whimsy. Since I write emotionally intense, character-driven BDSM romance which explores the darkness of human nature on the way to the happily-ever-after, I think putting whimsy in my daily life is my balance. It touches my heart, knowing that people create and indulge simple pleasures to make themselves and others feel good and smile. For instance, I was just visiting Disneyworld, and I love their fall decorations, like these pumpkin people. The existence of whimsy supports a theory I have; that maybe the best way to gain perspective in the midst of grief or despair is not to come up with some big theory to explain or cure the problem, but to figure out a small way to touch the heart and keep the candle burning in darkness. The darkness may always be there, sure, but come hell or high water, that candle’s not going out.
In my own stories, I’ve found indulging those moments in the midst of bigger problems is a way to keep the story from being too dark and offer the reader as much hope as the characters. Like this short scene in Mirror of My Soul, where Tyler is wondering if love is enough to heal Marguerite’s broken soul. He’s never even seen her laugh. They get caught out in a rain storm and…
In the way of Southern storms, the full force of the shower was on them in twenty more steps, a heavy rain that made the winding asphalt path slick and dark like a raven’s wing. Steam rose from the tarred surface, disrupted by the raindrops. Marguerite stopped, pulling her hand free to push her wet hair from her face. Tyler saw her eyes were laughing, her mouth quivering against the real thing.
“It’s like music,” she said, her voice rising over the wind. Lightning flashed over her, followed by the roar of thunder. His angel spread her arms and began to twirl, her hair spinning with her, the wet skirt fluttering with the wind, grabbing for slick purchase on her legs.
As it grew wetter, the dress’s white cotton fabric began to cling to her. When she twirled, she stepped into a puddle, splattering water on her ankles and the glistening curves of her calves. Gathering up her hair in her hands, she held it to the top of her head as she swayed with the movement of the wind, her eyes closing, her mind obviously concentrating on the presence of the storm on her body. She undulated her upper torso with that rhythm, began to perform a sensuous dance with the elements. Turning and jumping as lightly as a dancer, then stomping in the puddle with both feet with the abandon of a child.
She opened her eyes, stretched out a hand and he took it, moving with her in a spinning dance across the path and back. Taking both her hands, he swung with her in a wide circle, mesmerized by the way the water rolled down her face and the top curves of her breasts, revealed by the scooped neckline of the dress. He brought her into him, a turn that put her back against his body. He held her there, nudging her head to the side to suck beads of water off the side of her throat. When his hand came up to catch a cold wet nipple through the cloth, her back arched, rubbing her bottom against him. She broke away, headed down the path as her laughter—her laughter—called him to give pursuit.
Kicking off the comfortable slides, she ran from him in bare feet, her arms wide like wings, ropes of hair spilling down her back wildly like a glossy cape. His heart had wings of its own, as if he were a young man again with no weights on his heart, but with the wisdom of his present age to know what a tremendous gift this moment was. He caught up with her, seized her hand. They kept running, both running from shadows but running together, throwing off a light he reflected might keep those shadows cowering in the past where they belonged.
This excerpt reminds me of that beautiful lantern scene in the movie Tangled and the song that goes with it: “I See the Light”. It always makes me cry, in a good way. Hope and loss rise together hand in hand in that scene, and leaves me full of faith that the two will always at least balance, even if one can’t vanquish the other.
Hmmm…. Well, when I started this, I’d intended to write about my vampires, because we’re headed toward Halloween and the next release in my Vampire Queen series, Night’s Templar. My thought was I could talk about how sexy AND scary vampires can be, but I got a little derailed. That’s okay, though. I’ll still give you a snippet from one of my vampire books before I finish this post. If you love vampires, and want to explore the vampire-servant relationship from a Dom/sub perspective, you can read blurbs and full chapter excerpts for all dozen or so books in the series here. The upcoming one (late Oct-early Nov release) is a male/male BDSM romance, featuring a Fae Lord and a vampire. As you may have guessed from the title, the vampire was a Templar Knight!
Since many of you may not have read the series yet, I’m giving you a teaser from Beloved Vampire, Book IV, because some readers prefer to read it as the first book. That’s because it can standalone, is a great introduction to my vampire world, and has a wonderful male vampire as the Dom hero, Lord Mason. If you decide to read Mason and Jessica’s story, you also get a gentler introduction to Lady Lyssa, a Domme vampire who’s a bit scary at first, but whose story with her servant Jacob actually starts the series with Vampire Queen’s Servant. Anyhow, here’s the teaser from Beloved Vampire:
Lord Mason went to one knee next to Jessica and curled a lock of her hair around her ear, even as she tried to draw her head away from him. Vampires usually prohibited their servants from looking them in the eye, but he’d specifically asked her to look at him, a couple times now. However, she stared down at the towel wrapped around her, not wanting to see his handsome face, feel the pull in her lower abdomen at the slope of jaw, high cheekbones, the firm lips and steady eyes.
“I meant what I said, Jessica. No harm will come to you here, but you cannot cause harm to others, either. Attack one of my staff again, and I will keep you with me at all times.” She noted from beneath her lashes that his glance strayed over her throat, then down to the tenuously tucked towel. “You know enough about vampires to realize that if I’m around you too much, I will not deny myself a taste of you, in several different ways.”
“You said . . . I’d be safe.” She swallowed as his brow lifted.
“You would be quite safe, Jessica. As safe as you were in Amara’s arms. Keep that in mind before you decide to take out your anger on an innocent again. If you need to fight with someone”—his gaze sparked in a way that inspired fear and yet heat again, low in her belly—“you call on me.”
Jessica is a strong, amazing heroine who has been through a terrible ordeal with her previous vampire master, so she and Mason have a long road before she can trust him and her submissive instincts again.
And that’s all from me right now (except for my giveaway at the bottom – don’t overlook that!). For those who don’t know my work, I do contemporary and paranormal BDSM romance. So far, I have about 40 books and six series happening. I know, I know, I should have mentioned this at the first, but that seemed like a boring opener (grin). Here’s how to find out more about those books –
Website: www.storywitch.com (blurbs, excerpts, series order, etc under Books menu)
Fan Forum: www.storywitch.com/community (includes free novellas revisiting characters from my books)
Newsletter subscription: http://storywitch.com/cgi-bin/dada/mail.cgi/list/storywitchnews/
GIVEAWAY – You knew I wasn’t going to leave you without offering you goodies, right? For a $15 Amazon, B&N or ARe gift certificate, AND a free ebook of your choice, tell me about a piece of whimsy in your life that makes you smile. A cute figurine on your mantle, a memory of you or someone you love acting silly, a pair of pajama bottoms with snoozing sheep printed on it… you get the gist. You can also leave any comments and questions for me as well. I’ll randomly choose a winner after about 48 hours and post the person’s name here, but if you feel comfortable putting your email address with the comment, I can also email you directly if you win!