My Spin On Paranormal
While I’d been a reader of paranormal romance for years, I was a general fiction writer until just a few years ago. For me, paranormal romance had been an escape from the world around me. I could open a book and be transported to whatever world the author had built and encounter whatever paranormal creature the author had created. My favorite has always been the vampire. The idea that a being could be so old—and seen so much of the world—and still be young and virile has always hooked me. When I began thinking of writing a paranormal romance, the vampire was a definite consideration for the main character. How could he not be? But then one night in a dream I created my idea of a paranormal character in Aeveren.
Aeveren have three distinct paranormal facets about them. They can have powers above what humans possess, like telepathy and the ability to time travel; they have destined ones, other Aeveren they are drawn to across time and distance; and they live fifty lives through reincarnation.
I especially liked the idea of reincarnation for my paranormal characters. In reality, there’s nothing new under the sun in all the genres of romance. If you think of it, you can find it somewhere already in a story. While I hadn’t read any romances with reincarnated characters, I naturally assumed the concept existed somewhere already. That said, I loved the idea that any of my characters could have multiple lifetimes from the past to incorporate into their stories. I love history (an occupational hazard as a history teacher) and the chance to visit my favorite periods in time with my characters was exciting for me as a writer.
In Destiny Redeemed, I included some of each main character’s past. For instance, readers get to find out about Amon’s time in late 18th century England and Thea’s time in mid-19th century Russia, both of which let the reader know important facets to their personalities. They both have many lifetimes other than these, some of which I allude to, but the focus is always more on how those pasts have affected them than anything else.
Here’s a taste of Thea’s past from Destiny Redeemed:
“He must live! Heal him!” the Tsar’s guard bellowed next to her head, so loud her ears began to ring.
“I cannot help him if you continue to berate me,” she said looking up at him. “I’ll do what I can, but yelling at me won’t help him.”
“What is your name, healer?” the guard asked as he adjusted his hold on his gun.
“Yevtsye Karevshenko, sir.”
“And you are the local healer here?” he asked as his eyes scanned her small house in disgust.
“I am. There isn’t another healer until you reach the border.”
The guard seemed even more disgusted by this news and snorted before going outside to speak to the other guards.
Turning to the man who lay across her table, she gently ran her hands over his head. He’d been rendered unconscious after a mysterious attack had thrown him from his horse and her Aeveren neighbors, seeing the Russian Tsar Nicholas I was a fellow Aeveren, directed his guards to bring him to her.
For more than a half hour, he’d laid there unconscious while Yevtsye tried to revive him and dealt with his guard’s intimidation and impatience. She’d examined him but found nothing physically wrong, except for his inability to wake.
Over and over, she touched his head hoping to sense some feeling of pain but felt nothing. She moved her hands to his torso, opening the top of his heavy military uniform coat. Carefully, she unbuttoned each shiny gold button until she was able to see his white uniform shirt underneath. As she moved to lift it, the guard returned and placed the end of the gun’s barrel in her back.
“What are you doing?” he barked.
Terrified, she slowly lifted her hands and began to explain. “I cannot find anything wrong with his head. I want to check his chest and stomach.” As she spoke, her voice wavered as the feel of the gun in her back began to hurt.
The guard retreated to the other side of the table and watched her movements carefully. Slowly, she lifted her patient’s shirt to examine his skin for any evidence of illness or injury. Her hands moved over his rough skin sprinkled with thick black hair, and she noted each section of his body until she turned to the guard.
“There is no reason for him to not wake. I’ve checked him thoroughly, and I can find nothing.”
Enraged, the guard lunged at her over the patient’s legs, pushing her back against the wall. As she pleaded for mercy, he slapped her face repeatedly, causing her to cry out in pain. Finally, he pulled her by the hair back toward the Tsar and held her there.
“Heal him or die. It’s that simple.”
Tears rolled down over her cheeks and fell onto the man’s chin and neck as she prayed for a miracle to save both the Tsar’s life and hers. Nothing in her abilities as a healer seemed to help her revive him.
Beneath her, she saw the slight flutter of his eyelashes as he began to wake. Hoping to God he wasn’t about to die, she gently stroked his face as she whispered to him.
“Tsar, please wake. Are you well?”
The patient’s dark brown eyes opened slowly, and Yevtsye thanked God for hearing her prayers.
Gruffly, he asked the guard, “Ivan, where am I?”
“My lord, right outside the village where you were thrown from your horse.”
Slowly, the Tsar raised himself to sit upright and looked at Yevtsye as if to study her. He turned to face his man and ordered, “Get the guard ready. I’m ready to travel.”
Ivan bowed and left to alert his men of the plans, and the Tsar said, “Did he hurt you?”
Silently, she nodded and touched her hand to her still stinging cheek.
“I’m sorry, healer. Ivan isn’t Aeveren. He has no respect for what you do.”
“He threatened to kill me if I couldn’t heal you, but I found no injuries or illness to heal.”
Standing, he held his hand out to her and explained, “I have the shaking sickness my mother had.
Nobody but my personal healer knows this, but I foolishly left him at home.”
Bowing his head slightly, the Tsar apologized for inconveniencing her and left with his men without another word.
What she’d gone through at Amon’s was nothing compared to having her life threatened by a Russian soldier. Thea thought about the time she’d spent at Amon’s house, wishing she could tell Kat the wonderful news that finally she’d been given a destined one. Unfortunately, even he didn’t believe that was true.
My characters can remember their lifetimes before this one, which is a blessing and a curse at times. I love the idea of having former lifetimes. I can imagine myself as a flapper in the 1920s, maybe an Englishwoman in the 1800s, and even a Roman or Greek citizen in ancient times.
What about you? Can you see yourself anytime in the past?
Drawn to the seductive Amon, Thea quickly becomes a pawn the Council uses to trap him. Taken prisoner by the sadistic leader of the rebel group, the Soren, Thea must survive the vicious world of the people hellbent on taking her destined one away forever, and Amon must risk everything dear to him to free her from those who would sacrifice her to claim the bigger prize and return him to Nil.
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An avid reader of all types of books, I read my first romance even before I was a teenager. I must have been a very precocious young lady! I still remember the book, if not the title. It was about a Southern man during the years before the Civil War and his illicit affair with one of the slaves of a woman he "frequented". I remember vividly reading the word "manhood" often in the book, and the slave's name was Sukie. Isn't it amazing what the mind can remember?
Fast forward a couple dozen years and I'm a college history instructor. I still love history as much as that romantic young woman did, so I teach it to college students, and the romantic streak has never gone away. Now I get to do things that have to do with my other favorite love: romance novels.
The idea for my first book came to me in a dream. I know that seems almost cliched, but it did. I woke up one morning after having an extremely vivid dream and began to jot things down that I was able to remember. Days later, I had the first pages written and the ideas that I had dreamed about had become the characters in my first book. Those characters are the basis for the first series I've written, The Destined Ones Series, about a people called Aeveren who have lived side by side with humans since almost the beginning of recorded time. The first book in that series, Stolen Destiny, was published in June.
I'm still working on The Destined Ones books, and I look forward to what my imagination has waiting for me next. The second book about Aeveren, Destiny Redeemed, is scheduled to be released on October 13. I've finished the Victorian Erotic Romance Trilogy, three erotic novellas set in Victorian England. The first one, Vampire Dreams, is a paranormal erotic romance. The second novella, another erotic romance but an historical, Love's Master, involves some light BDSM. The third novella, Masquerade, is a straight historical, no kink or paranormal. After that, a paranormal romance set in the great city of New Orleans is up in December--Blood Avenged. Anyone who read Vampire Dreams will remember Vasilije, Brandon's sire. Blood Avenged is his story.
After that? Well, I'm in the planning stages of another trilogy, this time maybe novel length, that will come out in 2012. But one thing's for sure: no matter what the story is, it will involve gorgeous, Alpha male heroes; strong heroines; and steamy romance!
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Gabrielle will be giving away a total of seven copies of Destiny Redeemed tour-wide. To enter just fill out this form.