Today, I’m turning my blog over to the lovely and talented Ann Gimpel. I’m not going to ramble on about how you should scoop up this wonderful novel, or how you should
stalk follow Ann. Instead, I’m just going to let her take it from here. Ann:
Why Paranormal Romance, Rather than Contemporary?
I can only answer that question for myself. Since my writing roots are in science fiction and fantasy, the jump into romance just had to include some paranormal elements. I’ve never been a huge vampire fan, and zombies creep me out. Even absent those two, there are still a host of paranormal characters left. I sort of settled into a niche with shifters of various persuasions, Celtic gods, and Norse gods. Selkies even made a cameo appearance in one of my books.
In romance, the beauty of shifter males is they can be very “alpha-ish” because I borrow from their animal energy to make them courageous, strong, quick, protective, and intensely loyal. Nothing quite like a hero who would lay down his life protecting the heroine.
That being said, I like kickass women in my books, too. No shrinking violets for me. Maybe because I grew up in an era when women mostly stayed home and raised kids, I like my female characters to be gutsy, to take the guy’s gambits, and give him one better. So lots of my female leads are shifters, too. The ones who aren’t are witches, or dragon bond mates, or linked to wolves.
The other day, one of my author pals posted in Facebook that she was temporarily shelving her paranormal series and going back to writing contemporary romance. It didn’t even take twenty-four hours before her next post, which basically said, “Well, hey, that didn’t work. I’m back to writing paranormal.” When I asked her about it privately, she said the plot lines are just so much richer in paranormal books.
I absolutely agree with her. When characters have supernatural abilities, it throws possible plot directions wide open. On my whimsical days, I see myself as writing romantic fairy tales for grownups. And I suppose on some level, that’s what I do. There’s been a trend in some modern stories, including paranormal ones, to have nasty, mean heroes and sad, weepy, abused heroines. Unfortunately, they’re just as damaged at the end of the book as they were during the opening scenes. While this is probably pretty accurate, since most of us don’t get personality transplants, nonetheless, I read for pleasure.
If I want to read something that tugs my heartstrings, I’ll read true life adventure mountain climbing tales. People die in those books. They simply drop into an abyss, leaving their climbing partners with a great deal of guilt, and the need to memorialize what happened in a book. But you know what? For the most part, climbers treat one another with a great deal of dignity and respect. So, while it’s hard to read about death in the high places of the world, it’s not nearly as hard for me as reading fiction where the characters have zip in the way of redeeming qualities.
Boy, I really got off on a tangent there. Let me close the loop. For my paranormal characters, I suppose I could focus on their destructiveness, but I always infuse compassion into them, and the ability to give and receive love. After all, that’s what romance writing is all about. There’s an HEA, but I want my readers to care about what happens to the characters in my books, so that HEA means something.
How about the rest of you? What are your tastes and preferences for pleasure reading? I’d love to know.
Now, let’s get to the book!
Magic didn’t just find Luke Caulfield. It chased him down, bludgeoned him, and has been dogging him ever since. Some lessons are harder than others. Luke survives by embracing danger and upping the ante to give it one better. An enforcer for the Coven, a large, established group of witches, his latest assignment is playing bodyguard to the daughter of Coven leaders.
Abigail Ruskin is chaperoning a spoiled twelve-year-old from New York to her parents’ home in Utah Territory when Luke gets on their stagecoach in Colorado. A powerful witch herself, Abigail senses Luke’s magic, but he’s so overwhelmingly male, she shies away from contact. Stuck between the petulant child and Luke’s raw sexual energy, Abigail can’t wait for the trip to end.
Wraiths, wolves, and humans with dark magick attack. Unpleasant truths surface about the child and Abigail’s well-ordered world crashes around her. Luke’s so attracted to Abigail, she’s almost all he can think about, but he’s leery too. In over his head, he summons enforcer backup. Will they help him save the woman he’s falling in love with, or demand her immediate execution?
Ann Gimpel is a clinical psychologist, with a Jungian bent. Avocations include mountaineering, skiing, wilderness photography and, of course, writing. A lifelong aficionado of the unusual, she began writing speculative fiction a few years ago. Since then her short fiction has appeared in a number of webzines and anthologies. Her longer books run the gamut from urban fantasy to paranormal romance. She’s published over 20 books to date, with several more contracted for 2014.
A husband, grown children, grandchildren and three wolf hybrids round out her family.