THINGS THAT GO BUMP IN THE NIGHT
Paranormal fiction has been topping bestseller lists for several years now, which makes the things I write seem less weird. This is good from a marketing point of view, but bad because I like being considered weird. I've never been totally satisfied with a conventional story in the "real" (read, "boring") world. One of the joys of fiction is the author's ability to bend the rules. Why shouldn't we exploit that freedom to its full extent?
A friend recently told me about the new Dark Shadows movie that will be coming out this summer (Laughed my bum off at the trailer! Check it out on YouTube if you haven't already!) which got me to thinking about when, exactly, I became fascinated with all things dark and creepy. The truth is, I have no idea. I can remember reading fantasy stories as a kid, back when sword-and-sorcery stories were popular. But my first real memory of anything paranormal was Dark Shadows.
When I was twelve, an updated miniseries based on the original show aired in primetime. I don't remember much of the storyline anymore, lo these many years later (haha) but I do remember being utterly enthralled by it after the first episode or two. And baffled that my parents had ever watched anything that cool when they'd been young. And amused that the guy playing the vampire was named Ben Cross. Ironic, ain't it?
From then on, unreality and I have been inseparable. I've watched as the traditional vampire mold has been bent, then shattered. I've watched the market filled to overflowing with vampire stories, to the point where I find myself—dare I say it—getting a little sick of them. OK, I dare to say it. If I ask you what your book is about, and the first words out of your mouth are, "Well, there's this vampire…" I'm probably gonna cringe. That kinda depresses me, but it is what it is. Hey, it's right there in my author bio—I hate trends.
So when I came up with the concept for Dark Angel's Ward (check out this post if you missed the back story,) I knew that it needed a paranormal angle, of course. I looked at my main male character and thought, "Well, what should he be? Not a vampire…" <insert eye roll> Thus I found myself dabbling the world of angel fiction—right as it became popular.
Oh well. Either you follow the herd, or the herd circles back around to pick you up and ask you where the hell you've been. But it's been one heck of a ride so far, and I couldn't ask for better travel companions. I have awesome readers!
Title: Dark Angel's Ward (Angel Warden Series, Book 1)
Author: Nia Shay
Publisher: Self (Moonwild Press)
Length: 80,000 words
Sub-Genres: Contemporary, M/F, Paranormal, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Urban Fantasy
Two years ago, Jandra Maxwell walked away from the secret Fairlight Society and started a new life in a quiet Texas town. When her former Ward, the dark angel Zeph, seeks her out and begs for her help, Jandra faces an impossible choice. She knows he can only offer her heartache, but she can’t turn her back on the only man she’s ever loved.
Zeph teeters on the brink of madness, pummeled by emotions his angelic blood once rendered him incapable of feeling. Driven to protect Jandra from a threat he can only glimpse in nightmares, he refuses to leave her side. As they explore the mystery of his recurring dreams, they discover the Fairlight Society has been keeping a terrible secret – one they’ll kill to protect.
Fighting for her life isn’t so easy when Jandra’s also fighting her heart. Her inexorable attraction to Zeph may save them...or may damn them both.
“Sound and fury,” I murmured aloud.
I didn’t repeat it; he probably wouldn’t have understood even if I had. Ever since I’d read that phrase in Macbeth I’d always associated it with this feeling. It was one thing to be selectively psychic – at least the only thoughts I usually heard were Zeph’s. But when he and I were truly joined, not just in body or in mind but in the very essence of our beings, I got a taste of what it was really like to be half angel. And I hated it. I couldn’t fathom how to cope with hearing the thoughts and prayers of half the damn city. Except maybe by dissociating large portions of my personality, like he had. Zeph’s mind could be a scary place.
“Jandra? Are you sure you’re all right?”
I dragged my attention back to the matter at hand. “I told you, yes.”
That seemed to satisfy him. At least he didn’t argue with me anymore. His fingertips brushed the side of my face. “Thank you.”
“Whatever.” I raised bleary eyes just in time to see his mouth descending on mine.
Our lips met before I could stop him, and once I felt his warmth I couldn’t quite bring myself to complain. I ended up moaning into his mouth instead of pulling away. Encouraged, he brushed his tongue across my lower lip, his hands stroking upward over my belly.
My body remembered this – his embrace, his touch. As I arched my back in unbidden reaction, he cupped my breasts, his long fingers splayed and caressing. I gasped, feeling his surge of fierce enjoyment as the pleasure he wrought in my body echoed through his own.
Which was just the reminder I needed. I wrenched away from him, hissing, “You are not allowed to touch me that way!”
“I can’t help it.” Zeph’s eyes were violet fire. “When you feel me and I feel you … how am I to resist?”
“Here’s a suggestion: how about going away and leaving me alone for the rest of my life? Wasn’t that the plan?”
He sighed, his gaze going distant. “I released you because you begged it of me, Jandra. Not because I desired it. Your pain was crushing us, and you couldn’t seem to heal while you were with me. But now you have healed. You are whole again, and strong.”
“So you’ve come to break me all over again?” I accused.
“I’ve no intention of hurting you.” He reached for me, but I evaded him. Instead, he pinned me with his gaze as he spoke his greatest lie. “I love you, Jandra.”
“No you don’t!” I shrieked, balling up a fist and darting forward to punch him in the chest. “You do not love anyone or anything. You are not capable of it!”
“Perhaps that’s true,” he said calmly, enfolding my fist in one large hand. “Or perhaps your love has changed me.”
The tears came as hot and fast as the resonance of his soul had, and they burned just as deeply. “I never loved you.”
He said nothing, merely released me and retreated to the doorway while I wept. As my sobs faded into racking gasps, he cast me a long look and muttered, “Yet I am the one reviled as a thief of souls.”
Smashwords - http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/113318
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Nia Shay is a reclusive weirdo who lives in a tiny concrete box in the middle of the Arizona desert. (No, seriously.) In between dealing with mild OCD and an epic caffeine addiction, she finds time to mold the voices in her head into cohesive sarcastic remarks, and sometimes even a story or two. She has been penning such tales, almost all of them with a decidedly paranormal flavor, since the second grade. Now that paranormal fiction is the "in thing," Nia has decided to overcome her extreme distaste for trends and jump on the ol' bandwagon. Join her on her harrowing journey through the twisted corridors of her own mind—that is…if you dare.
Email - firstname.lastname@example.org
Website - http://cheznia.com
Blog - http://cheznia.com/blog
Facebook - http://www.facebook.com/author.nia.shay
Twitter - http://www.twitter.com/nia_shay
The Giveaway! Nia has offered one eBook Copy of Dark Angel's Ward. To win simply comment with email below.