Vampire fangs, vials of dragon’s blood, and tarot cards. Just a few of the oddities found at Vanpeer’s—a metaphysical gift shop found in the French Quarter. But when the owner, Twilight Vanpeer, uncrates an obsidian mirror she’s unprepared for the secrets it unlocks. The sudden arrival of a tall handsome stranger, Dwade Marks, jostles Twilight’s life. Suddenly, she’s dealing with memories that make no sense. But bad dreams aren’t that serious when that’s all they are. Hers, unfortunately, contain an awareness that needs to stay hidden. Adding to the weirdness is the fact Twilight is torn between two men—Dwade and her lifelong best friend, Preston Montgomery. One man is the key to her past while the other holds her future. Things get out of hand quickly when someone starts killing women who look like Twilight. Both men are suspicious but only one can hold her heart. Twilight has serious choices to make—own up to her past or bury it deep. One option appeases the gods while the other speaks to the shadow found in all of us.
As a reader, I love it when an author mentions my hometown (Detroit) or simply the state of Michigan. I also do my research when I run across an unfamiliar term used in conjunction with either of those things. I try to appeal to readers in other parts of the country with my stories. Aside from my paranormal romance series, all my other books tend to be in different places. Shadow Love is completely in the French Quarter.
For Twilight Vanpeer life is far from perfect. She has one friend who is seriously pissed off while the other wants more than friendship. Not to mention there's a mirror causing havoc in her life. Sounds like a Christmas gone wrong. I can happily say that I've never had a holiday with a bunch of problems. Sure, we've had our hiccups--pies not tasting the way they should or the presents that weren't exactly right. Definitely nothing to complain about, but plenty to remember and smile about.
In this scene, Dwade gives Twyla a lot of information about their past together. Not only are my characters doing a bit of reflection. As I consider what my goals are for the upcoming year, I think about what I've done so far. I still have benchmarks to reach, but I'll get there. It's just a matter of staying focused. Looking at what's worked and what hasn't. Then, drafting a plan to move forward.
I loved writing Twyla Vanpeer and her story. Imagine a love triangle featuring someone from a past you don't remember? Then, imagine your so-called best friend trying to push you into the arms of that man who is pretty much a stranger? The limits of friendship and Twyla's sanity are tested in this book.
What do you do when the bad guy might be a god? That was Twyla's dilemma. She didn't know if she could trust Dwade. Her gut told her not to, but her heart--or maybe it was her conscience--told her something different.
What if your nightmares weren't really fiction, but snippets of a life you once led? When Twyla Vanpeer meets a mysterious man and takes him home, the disturbing dreams begin. It seems that Dwade has unlocked a slew of memories that are unbelievably shocking. Question is, how real are they?
What if you'd had dreams of someone that you weren't aware of meeting? Strange scenes between you and that person play out nightly. Disturbing images... Intimate images... That was what Twyla experienced, and then, one day those dreams became a reality when Dwade came to her shop...
I loved writing this scene. It's that moment when you have to stop and say what's going on here. Ginny and Preston don't like each other but they love Twyla. You would think that would be enough for Ginny and Preston to keep their distance, but he keeps provoking Ginny. It doesn't help that Twyla has these feelings stirring for the man who's no longer the geeky boy she once knew.
Twyla Vanpeer has been a dealer of strangeness ever since she took over Vanpeer's, a quirky shop in the French Quarter. In the first chapter, she gets a strange delivery and a reunion with her hot friend!
Twilight Vanpeer (known as Twyla) runs a quirky shop in the French Quarter. Her best friends are Preston Montgomery and Ginny Lafon. They love her but can't stand each other. This is the reader's first glimpse at how strained the relationships are between these friends. Oh, and don't mind the food... I mention LOTS of yummy dishes in this book.
If you could have a second chance to discover your true love, would you choose the same person? It all begins with a thirty day punishment in Hell for a very bad succubus. When Sybil Najex asks her father-in-law, the King of Hell, for a demonic absolution, he gives her a different option—a Do-Over. It’s a chance for Sybil and her husband, Khan, to rediscover love. But things don’t go as planned when random males from her past display their affection for her. Then, Khan Najex garners the attention of a siren who is up for a challenge. In the end, they both must make a choice. Will Sybil choose Khan again, or will she opt for the life of a free spirit with a different male each night? Will Khan conquer his insane jealousy and allow Sybil to have her happily ever after? Sybil’s choice risks her marriage and her family, but it could also give everyone true happiness and…love. Unexpected Love (Another Falls Creek Romance Novel, #6) combines the stories of Sybil and Khan Najex. In Part I, The Do-Over, find out whether Sybil gets her demonic divorce. In Part II, The Challenge, learn what the future holds for Khan.
Although my family can be a little crazy, I'll admit I've never experienced anything as wild as Sybil's engagement dinner. In all honesty, I've led a very normal life without any devastating reveals. Perhaps that's why I add the unexpected to my stories.
Isn't that what we all love about the beginning of a year? It's a chance to wipe the slate and start over. It's what motivated me to write Unexpected Love. Technically, it started out as two novellas--The Do-Over and The Challenge. Then, I had the bright idea to combine them into a longer book (just in two parts). My characters get sort of a clean slate, a little redemption if you will. It's why I write broken characters. I love finding them at their lowest point and building them back up. Usually with the love of a good man or woman. In 2020, I have more characters to rebuild. And at the end of the year? I'll be doing it all over again. Hopefully, there will be more people who can say they've read my stories.
As much as I loved writing Sybil's story (the first half of the book), I enjoyed Khan's so much more. He was the character nobody was supposed to like--let alone love. Just as New Year's marks new beginnings, so does Khan's story.
I love dabbling bread crumbs throughout my Another Falls Creek Romance series. Besides the main characters, I like to introduce side characters who may eventually appear in their own books. This excerpt mentions Nico Constantine's partner, Becca. It also mentions the boarding school they attended. Both will be books in 2020.
When I first Khan Najex, I merely had him as the bad man who thought he was in charge of everything. Then, I brought his character out again for my male/male romance. Khan Najex suddenly had more depth--he was a royal incubus who didn't approve of his son's life choices. But why? I answered that question and more in Unexpected Love. Trust me, by the end of this book you'll have a new fondness for a character crafted for hatred.
The fact that life threw a major curb ball at Sybil Najex reminded me about how sometimes things don't go as planned. In my world, it's usually a dinner that didn't quite go the way I thought it would. Or the tree that didn't happen. Yes, we've had those times. When the paycheck came too late to purchase one... or the apartment was just too small to put one up. It does make us appreciate the times that do go right .
Torin Murphy participated in Sybil Nakamura's Do-Over not for his benefit but hers. In this excerpt, he's going over the reasons why he had to do it. Kind of makes me think about why I've done certain things in 2019. I spent the time pumping out the words, self-editing for hours before handing off manuscripts to editors, and making sure my formatting was good for one reason. I wanted to share my stories with those who would appreciate them. Sure, it's nice to make a profit, but even without much income from my work it's all good. I'm getting to leave something behind. A legacy for my daughter.
Unexpected Love is both a second chance romance and a reverse-harem style story. It's what happens when a supernatural is forced to marry to fulfill an obligation. This moment between Torin and Sybil is just a hint at what could have been had her parents not interfered.
Sybil Najex is a succubus, and her father-in-law is the King of Hell. She's in the Nether Region being punished for a misdeed. It was only supposed to be a month, but the female is having far too much fun in Hell. Even the King recognizes that she's a little too comfortable. When she refuses to go home to her husband, the King makes her a deal.
Known throughout history as the Red Witch, Elsbeth is responsible for introducing supernatural creatures to the New World. For seven hundred long years, she’s dealt with everything from plagues and witch hunts, to a crushing lost love. Yet none of that prepared her for the betrayal of the Blue Moon Coven rising up against her. Unsure of who to trust and second guessing every decision, Elsbeth gathers a crude team of witches, sorcerers, and a demonic incubus to prepare for the upcoming battle. The stakes are higher than ever before. Not only would failure mean death for countless numbers of supernaturals, but Elsbeth’s escalating feelings towards the incubus have tied her immortality to him. Now, whatever fate she suffers befalls him as well. Eager to claim the happiness that’s eluded her for centuries, can Elsbeth face her past before it costs her everything? From the world of Falls Creek comes The Spell Caster Diaries; a gripping new paranormal suspense series by author SF Benson!
Inception was a fun story to write bringing in a little history with the overall story. If you're a fan of paranormal stories, this one had something to appeal to all readers of the genre. There was intrigue (paranormal suspense), a little romance, and historical references. Out of all the paranormal romances I've written, this one stuck to a small circle of beings--witches & sorcerers, demons, and incubi.
As a kid, one of my favorite subjects in school was history. There were certain parts that just had me enthralled. Writing Inception, however, was not the first time I wrote a little history into a story. The fun part is always finding a way to bend the details to fit the narrative.
Inception without a doubt was my biggest challenge to write. I had to weave in a historical story with a paranormal suspense. I also added a healthy dose of romance. It was also the longest story I'd written. Challenges are good for the mind and the soul. It's why some people look forward to making resolutions. I prefer goals. I have a writing goal which I'll start assembling in 2020--writing a dark fantasy. A few years ago, I wrote a paranormal romance during National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). When I went to revise it, there was so much I needed to do that I shelved it. I knew I'd get back to it, but I wasn't sure how to fix it. Then, I stumbled across the term dark fantasy. When I looked it up, I knew it was something I wanted to do. It was the perfect vehicle for my shelved story too!
Oh, it's confession time in Falls Creek--or should I say Hell? Claudius and his father, Ashmedai, are busy airing their differences and learning some truths along the way. When I first toyed with the idea of giving Elsbeth her own book, I considered making Ashmedai her love interest. But he dynamic between her and his son made for a much better story. It also gave me a chance to let Ashmedai reveal his feelings without destroying his status as the King of Hell.
When I first created Elsbeth Beckworth, there was nothing admirable or likable about her. But I love finding redemption (and love) for despicable characters. After her appearance in Unexpected Love, I thought it was time for Elsbeth to rethink her life and decisions. So far, the best one she made was freeing the incubus from her attic.
I absolutely loved writing the historical portions of Inception. I got to marry my love of history along with the back story for a complex character. This scene gives you a glimpse at what Elsbeth encountered coming to the New World.
Much like Elsbeth's life, it seems that things are just bound to go wrong at the holidays. Years ago, long before we had a daughter or pets, my husband and I decided to spend Christmas without the annual road trip home. So we went out to buy a tree. We ended up with an artificial one that was barely four feet tall. Our decorating was last minute, and it was tough trying to find what we wanted. But what we couldn't see in the moment, was that we were blessed. We had each other. We had gifts to exchange and food to eat. It wasn't about all the extras. That's a lesson that Elsbeth Beckworth has yet to learn.
Elsbeth does a lot of looking back in Inception--the perfect thing for this time of year. I've been very busy for 2019 writing and publishing. I'm still waiting for it to pay off. In the meantime, I've met a lot of great people (other authors and readers included). It's been a fun ride so far, and I'm looking forward to seeing what 2020 can bring.
By the time Inception is done, readers will learn why Claudius was a necessary force in Elsbeth's life. Leading up to that conclusion are moments like this one where the Red Witch is questioning herself instead of merely acting.
Throughout Inception I mention the relationship between the Red Witch and the King of Hell. They have a mutual 'understanding' between them where boundaries are easily blurred. There are times, like this one, where Elsbeth pushes too hard with Ashmedai and he strikes back. Honestly, the King of Hell has been my funnest character to write.
Even evil characters should have a soft side. Thankfully, Claudius is responsible for Elsbeth getting in touch with her own. He gives her so much: the gentleness Elsbeth needs, and the understanding that no one else (not even the King of Hell) has given her. Most importantly, Claudius loves her in a way that no has ever done.
What's darker than Hell? According to Elsbeth, it's not a realm easily endured by supernaturals either. I guess it helps that the King of Hell has a thing for her. I first wrote a similar description in Blessed Hearts (Hearts Duology, Book 2). Even without the same level of detail, writing about the Nether Realm is always a bit on the creepy side.
This opening scene, one of the hardest for me to write in the book, is pivotal. Elsbeth is no ordinary human. She's something more, and by the time you reach the middle of the story you'll have an idea about her ancestry. I loved writing the historical chapters. They were like a story within a story, giving you insight into my main character.
Part of Elsbeth's problem (and her charm, if you will) is her wholehearted belief that she is right in all that she does. Inception is full of moments proving otherwise. Will Elsbeth learn before it's too late?
Inception is a story within a story. The historical chapters are told by an observer from Hell. The other chapters are set in present day and are told from the POV of Elsbeth (the Red Witch) and the incubus she freed from an attic, Claudius. This excerpt is told by the demon from the 8th level of Hell.
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